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Chapter 37 - The Shallow Sea

The Shallow Sea is mentioned a number of times in Steve's novels, but only in the most general sense. For example,

Lord Drien was known to have favored extravagant plans of all sorts, and was better than usual in carrying them out. In this case, his idea was for a series of towers, anchored in [Nacine] to serve as a center of communication between the coast to the south, the Shallow Sea to the east, the Adrilankha River to the west, and Dzur Mountain to the north ... (The Lord of Castle Black, Chapter 37)

Fortunately, Steve was willing to discuss the Shallow Sea in some detail. For example, when I asked him how far south it was from Deathgate Falls, he replied,

About 1200 miles from the northernmost tip of the shallow sea to Deathgate Falls.

This reference to a "northernmost tip" suggests that the north coast of the Shallow Sea comes to a point. It also indicates that any distance from a peak in the Eastern Mountains to the Shallow Sea is actually the distance to this northernmost tip, since the entirety of the Eastern Mountains appears to be to the north of the Shallow Sea.

South Mountain is not the southernmost of the Eastern Mountains--Tiren's Peak has that distinction--but is, rather, a large mountain near the southern tail of the chain, and one that actually marks the westernmost extremity of the mountains. It achieved its name, in all probability, because it is the first mountain one will encounter when traveling from the southwest, or the last one will see when traveling from the northeast. (The Lord of Castle Black, Chapter 42)

From the above, it appears the Eastern Mountains run southeast from South Mountain to Tiren's Peak (since South Mountain is the westernmost peak and Tiren's Peak is the southernmost).

[After leaving Keybrook] They traveled in this way as the days and weeks wore on, and the mountains, which were ever upon their right hand, began to seem lower and lower ... It was eight or nine days later that they awoke to discover that the ... Eastern Mountains, were no longer upon their right hand, replaced with only the most harmless-looking hills. Morrolan and his friends looked back to the north, and saw, as it were, the trailing edges of the mountains. ... I nearly imagine ... that I can smell the sea, although it is yet more than fifty leagues distant ... [they spot Zerika and friends between two hills heading north] Southward, and a bit to the west [to Southmoor] (The Paths of the Dead, Chapter 27)

The above takes place just after Morrolan et al have rounded the southern tip of the Eastern Mountains. That is, after they rounded Tiren's Peak. So Tiren's Peak appears to be about 150 miles (50 leagues) from the northernmost tip of the Shallow Sea.

Another reference to a peak and the Shallow Sea comes during Vlad's campaign against Fornia. He ends up at the Wall, which is located in the Eastern Mountains.

I looked to the north, where I could see the camp of our reserves, stretching all the way from the stream to the Wall. Between us and the Wall, to the northeast, was a smaller hill--"Beggar's Hill," I learned ... We held the north ... To the west was the stream, a little spinoff from the Eastern River. It ran straight south until it emptied into Khaavren's Sea, some three hundred miles away. To the southwest were a couple of smaller hills ... three hundred miles is too far away to smell the sea (Dragon, Chapter 15)

While it is possible there is another sea to the south of the Eastern Mountains, it seems more likely to me that "Khaavren's Sea" is another name for "Shallow Sea."

I'm sure there are many maps which match the above, but here is the arrangement I chose:

Locating the Shallow Sea
Locating the Shallow Sea

I also asked Steve how tall (north/south) the Shallow Sea was:

I guess about 600 miles from the point closest to the Eastern Mountains to Methni's Channel, which connects to the ocean-sea.

I could only find one reference to Methni's Channel in Steve's published works.

[Zerika] controls territory stretching from somewhere west of [Adrilankha] to Methni's Channel, and from the coast to very nearly South Mountain. (Sethra Lavode, Chapter 83)

This passage suggests the Channel is to the east of Zerika, and the coast referenced here is almost certainly the southern coast.

Another oblique reference to the coast can be found in Taltos:

[Morrolan] lives about a hundred and fifty miles inland, in a floating castle [Castle Black] ... (Taltos, Chapter 1)

It's not specified from which coast it is inland from, but considering the relative locations of Adrilankha (which is on the southern coastline) and the Laughing River delta (which empties into the Shallow Sea), both coasts appear to be about 150 miles from Castle Black.

The Shallow Sea
The Shallow Sea

600 miles is almost exactly the distance from the northernmost tip of the Shallow Sea to the mouth of the Laughing River, so my guess is that Methni's Channel starts very near to the mouth, and runs south.

As to the east coast of the sea, when I asked Steve how wide it was, he replied,

Well, there's a point where it's about 450 miles, because of an odd land formation that extends it Eastward; but for the most part, about 300 miles, I guess.

I drew a rectangle 600 miles tall and 450 miles across, and slanted it to match the western coast. I then split it vertically 300 miles across to the east. Most of the Shallow Sea fits within the western 300x600 rectangle, with this "odd land formation" within the eastern 150x600 rectangle:

Extent of the Shallow Sea
Extent of the Shallow Sea

The River of Faerie flows into the Shallow Sea from the northeast, as evidenced both by Steve:

The Elbow River flows southwest for a while, yes. There aren't any others that do that except the River of Faerie, far, far to the East.

And Paarfi:

the nearby roads that connected to the waterways which ... connected to what the Easterners called the River of Faerie, which eventually made its way to the Shallow Sea (The Paths of the Dead, Chapter 27)

This odd land formation to the east might be (or be near to) the mouth of the River of Faerie. As to the specifics, I think "odd land formation" is vague enough to give me carte blanche here. In other words, I guessed.

Shallow Sea
Shallow Sea


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