PLACES IN CAITHEN
Caithenor: the capital. A hilly, medium-sized city surrounded by farmlands. Most of the novel takes place either in or near Caithenor. There’s no particular place that it was based on or that I visualized when describing it.
The Bloodhorn: particularly high mountain with a horn shape like the Matterhorn, but colored red.
The City of Silence: abandoned city in the northwest; now a tourist attraction.
Dalrinia: A small city in the north in a mostly agricultural area. It’s old and quiet and out of the way.
Dele: Caithen’s largest city and hub of foreign commerce. It’s located on the side of a bay, with low hills around it. Think typical seaport.
The Dragon Valleys: Huge volcanic canyons where the dragons lived. They are remote and challenging to get to. They are entirely imaginary.
The Fell Hills: rugged terrain that would be called mountains if they weren’t backed up against really high mountains (15-20 thousand feet). The opening chapter of Samuel Butler’s Erewhon was somewhat of an inspiration. (And there’s an odd book, give it a read sometime.)
Harin: Easternmost city in the country, medium-sized, near the border.
The hold: Small military proving ground in the Fell Hills.
Kariss: a small town in the southeast.
Liden: The major university city, small and quiet. I imagine it as a combination of Oxford and Annapolis, Maryland.
Mount Fang: another large mountain.
Pell: Second largest city in Caithen in the west. The Treaty unifying various small countries into one nation was signed here.
Tower Peak: a large and impressive mountain where the climactic scenes of the novel take place. Tower Peak was inspired by the Minarets in the Eastern Sierra of California, and by some of the other mountains in the Sierra Nevada and around Yosemite National Park.
The wizard village: well, this is secret, so you don’t get to know anything else. Oh, that’s right, it’s on the map. This is a village of about 500 people on the coast in the mountains and owes a lot in my general visualization to the small Mexican town of La Mision in Baja California – both in the arrangement of a village on hills beside a river emptying to the ocean, and in its rural poverty. The surrounding valley is more like Yosemite, though.
Argondy — borders Caithen on the east.
Illyria — lies east of Argondy. Conquered by Tyrekh.
Liddea — lies east of Illyria. Conquered by Tyrekh.
Cylicia — lies east of Liddea. Conquered by Tyrekh.
Na-ir — east of Liddea, at the end of the Narrow Sea, and west of the Black Peaks.
Sarium — east of the Black Peaks.
Mycene and the Mycenean Empire:
Mycene lies south of the Narrow Sea. The Empire stretches east and south. Caithen is the only vassal state north of the Narrow Sea. The northeastern part of the Empire is separated from Na-ir by desert.
No map for these countries exists yet, but I drew ideas from the maps in this collection at the University of Texas:
Poke around, they’re fun!