Norothian Cycle Map: Daul 1395-1398 NC, Book VI update

16 May

Daul Timeline

So here’s the thing I’ve found over the course of the 5+ books of The Norothian Cycle – when you’re writing an epic fantasy where the unfolding plot and the actions of the characters have an ongoing effect on the fictional “world,” mapmaking becomes almost a second job (or fifth or sixth job, if you count writing, editing, reading, social media butterfly, blogging, etc.)

As readers are aware, a lot of the action of the novels has unfolded in and around territory that up until 1395-1396 (by the Norothian Calendar) constituted The Kingdom of Daul, various parts of which have come “under new management” more than one time. Thus most of the books have included updated maps which, while geographically the same, cover a number of shifting political and military realities “on the ground.” Now that I am working on Book VI, which is meant to be the capstone of this part of the Norothian Cycle, I bolted this map together to keep things straight in my head for myself, but then thought “Hey, why not blog it?”

So here we go: some words relating to these maps, which may contain a few spoilers for those who haven’t read through Book V (The Channel War), though I will endeavor to keep those plot related without dipping into too many character references. From there, I will tell you where I am now, as Book VI (John the Red) begins to unfold.

1395 NC
This was the political situation during Book I (The Sable City) after decades of war between Daul and Ayzantium (located to the southeast just off the map). Daul still controlled most of its historic territory, with the exception of the Chirabis peninsula and the port of Roseille, languishing under Zantsh occupation.

1396 NC
During Book II (Death of a Kingdom), Daul largely collapsed under the weight of internal revolt centered around the Duchy of Chengdea in the west and invasion in the east from a joint force of Tarthagars and Kantans cooperating with renegade elements within Ayzantium. The map shows the situation by book’s end, with Chengdea and much of the west pledging loyalty to the Empire of the Code, while the forcibly occupied east is reordered by the Kantans and Tarthagars as “The Protectorate.” The grey area is an ill-defined “neutral zone” between those two powers.

1397 NC
In Book IV (Devil Town), the Kantan/Tarthagar alliance fractures when the latter enter into a mutual-defense treaty with the diabolic powers of Vod’Adia (The Sable City), led by Lord Balan – Prince of Hell, and devil-about-town. Literally. The northern half of the Protectorate is absorbed directly into the Il-Tsardom of Kantantanalace, while the south remains occupied exclusively by Tarthagar forces, in alliance with devils and other nasty critters.
The west meanwhile begins to be reordered and incorporated “Under the Code” into Duchies and Counties, some with traditional Daulic rulers, some with newly appointed Codians in command.

1398 NC
In Book V (The Channel War), the long-awaited invasion from the Martan powers located to the south across the Channel on Kandala crashes into this contested region of Noroth. Existing divisions are exploited, with the Martans rallying indigenous resistance among the Dauls of the Protectorate against their Tarthagar occupiers. That does not quite work out, as a “bolt from the Blue” puts an end to certain intentions to crown a new King of Daul, and by late in the book the powers behind the Martan invasion do seem to be reevaluating the invasion as a whole, which has come to occupy the area in red on the last map (the Chirabis, Sitl, and East Borea).

As Book VI begins, this is what this part of the world looks like. The Tarthagars and the Protectorate are gone, and the far more powerful Codians and Kantans are looming over the relatively small and largely exhausted swath of territory under the military command of John the Red, who finds he is receving little in the way of direction from above, and is largely left to his own devices in the face of what is not a tenable military situation.

For those of you who know John by now, you will probably not be surprised to hear he is not content to sit still in the face of danger. For those of you know Claudja, Tilda & Zeb, Duke Uriako Shikashe, and the other folks who came together way back when in the Sable City, and have now found their own place within the Codian Empire, you can likely guess that there is going to be trouble when John starts to move. As I continue writing the opening chapters of this last book of the Cycle, that movement is underway. (cue the Mortal Kombat music).

That’s where I am, and where I’m going. Thanks for stopping by, and wandering ’round Noroth with me. It’s a nice place to live, if you can mange to stay alive. 😉

– Ed   


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9 responses to “Norothian Cycle Map: Daul 1395-1398 NC, Book VI update

  1. lynnecantwell7

    May 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Very cool, Ed. 🙂 I should have looked at the map before; I keep thinking Nanshea is north of Chengdea. Not that it matters a lot, as I’m not one to map out the military campaigns in my head as I read. (Which is one reason why I don’t write epic fantasy myself — freakishly huge battles seem to be a requirement.)

    Also, I have to tell you that Kantantanalace is in my top-5 of names for epic fantasy nations.

    • medmcn

      May 16, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      Thanks, Lynn. To no one’s surprise, I’m OCD about maps when I read, constantly flipping back to them anytime a place name is mentioned. Bleeds over into the writing, too. 😉

      And Kantantanalace is easy, “tan” is people and “kan” is horse in the Tanuk language of Kandala, so the Il-Tsardom of “Kantantanalace” is “The People’s Kingdom of the Horse People.” Aren’t you glad you asked?

      Wait, you didn’t ask. My bad. 😉

      • acflory

        May 17, 2013 at 1:15 am

        I very carefully looked aside from the spoilers as I’m still reading, but I couldn’t help noticing the title of book vi – John the Red. John Deskata is still one of my favourite characters/semi villains so I’m very interested in what happens to his life. 😀

      • acflory

        May 17, 2013 at 1:16 am

        lmao – I should have known you’d worked on the languages too!

  2. medmcn

    May 17, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Thanks AC, and yes, the title of that last book is, maybe, something of a spoiler in an of itself. But it just fits too well to try and come up with a new one. 😉

  3. Dorothy farner

    June 29, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    I don’t normally write things to authors. Reminds me to much of asking for an autograph, but have to tell you awesome series . It’s right there with wheel of time, which I loved. I am ready for John to get his butt kicked so write on kind Sir cause I am waiting for “John The Red”.

    • medmcn

      June 29, 2013 at 11:37 pm

      Made my day, Dorothy. Thank you. 🙂

  4. Robert

    July 9, 2013 at 12:48 am

    I love this series…i feel like a clash between john and uriako is surely on the way..who else could kill john? Curious when do you think book 6 will be finished?

    Big fan!

    • medmcn

      July 9, 2013 at 2:41 am

      Thanks Robert, and the plan is definitely to get book 6 out before the end of the year, and thus my dereliction posting on the blog here. 😉

      I agree about Uriako and John, ever since the two of them were standing shoulder-to-shoulder on that bridge back in the Sable City, there’s been a little nagging question of how they would fare when facing off.


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