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THE PROVINCE OF SHALDOR

Today we learn a little more about the Province of Shaldor.

According to its shape one may say that it appears to be an elongated diamond shape. The northernmost point of the province of Shaldor is appropriately named Norpoint. Moving further south we come to the highest point in all of Shalrodan, namely the lofty mountain known as Highwatch. At 4,892 meters (or 16,050 feet) it is one of the 400 highest mountains in the entire world (352nd to be exact). South and east of Highwatch is the Capital city of Shaldor.


Shaldor is the Capital city of Shalrodan much the same way that Washington D.C. is the Capital city of the United States of America. As such it has a great deal of power, politically speaking. It's no wonder that Thetus would do most anything to prevent Prince Derek from ascending to the throne, even murder Shaldor's king, Lord Iotheld. The Council of Shalrodan meet on a quarterly basis in the City of Shaldor. The leaders and representatives of the various Provinces meet to discuss important matters of state.


To the southwest of Shaldor lies the city of Shadorgal and the mines of Dorga. This location is fairly significant because when the lands of Shalrodan became too cold to inhabit, the Valrimir people found refuge in the Mines of Dorga in a city that they later renamed Valrifas.


The city of Shadorgal and the mines of Dorga are administered by the Thrafri of Dorga. A Thrafri holds power through holdings of land passed from generation to generation, rather than appointment by the king, such was common of the vassals such as Barons, Dukes and Earls in ancient England.


SPOILER ALERT! At the beginning of Earth of Fire, Sky of Ice, Shaldor is being ruled by King Iotheld. His wife Valerian was believed to have died in childbirth while giving birth to Iotheld's youngest son, Valhalek. At least that is what the citizens of Shaldor were told. The true story is far more sinister, and is only revealed in full after Dairel has arrived at the Oracle and he enters the Chamber of Mirrors. In a dark scene in chapter sixty-five of "Earth of Fire, Sky of Ice", Dairel relives the day that in his position as Royal Physician, he assisted in switching the girl infant child who is the real daughter of King Iotheld and Queen Valerian with a boy infant who Thetus believes to be his own son, who was forcefully conceived against her will with Valrissa, Queen of the Isles of Kolothys, so that Thetus could exact his revenge upon the House of Graymare, who he believes stole his throne in Kolothys.


Thetus pays a rogue named Salim to take the girl child far away from the palace and to destroy her, however, Dairel intercepts Salim, and pays him far more to spare the childs life, and so Salim takes the child and leaves her in the care of Fabrillo and Genessa in the Southern Wayfarer's Inn. More about the inn shortly.


To the southeast of the city of Shaldor is Sentinel pass, which leads to the Dramarak Passage. It was called Sentinel Pass, because this is the point when the Sentinels who serve high upon the mountain top are able to see any force from the south that might be moving northwards towards the city.


The Dramarak passage is an interesting part of Shaldor. It is a long winding valley surrounded on both sides by impassable mountains. There are two entrances to the Dramarak passage, namely the Northern and Southern Gates. The gates close at Sunset and open at sunrise daily. Travellers who wish to traverse the Dramarak Passage must either travel in groups of two or more, or else hire a guide to escort them through. Additionally, travellers must pay a 20 silver fee to the gatekeeper, so passage is costly. It is estimated that for a traveller on foot, it will take three days to traverse the passage. As such, there is a Northern Wayfarer's Inn positioned at the end of one days journey, and another Southern Wayfarer's Inn which is positioned further south after the second days journey. South of the southern inn is the southern gate, near the convergence of the Dramviron road which leads from the Southern Dramarak Gate southwards towards Silvergap and on to Vironia, and the Tarmarak Roud which heads eastward towards the port city of Tarshilon, the capitol city of Tarshus, and home of the Academy.


The west and the east branches of the Sentinel Range form an immense "V" shape and contain the lands of lower Shaldor. which is primarily farmland.

The rule of Shaldor has been passed from generation to generation from Rodanim's eldest son, Shaldor himself. Iotheld is the younger son of King Iolaren. Iotheld's older sister Gaiia, was the Crown Princess by virtue of the fact that she was the eldest child. However, King Iolaren had another son, Iotheld. Gaiia, and Traboret, a noble from Kolothys married and produced a child, Thetus. However Gaiia suffered much during the delivery, and died shortly after. Thetus speculates that had his mother Gaiia lived to ascend to the throne, and had his uncle, Iotheld never been born, he himself, would have eventually ruled over all of Shalrodan.





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