Formerly a province under gubernatorial rule, it was declared a sovereign nation, and is the oldest and largest of the nations formed after Artur Hawkwing's empire collapsed. The capital of Andor is Caemlyn.
During the first millennium after the Breaking, the territory of Andor was held by two of the Ten Nations, Manetheren in the west and Coremanda in the east. The city of Hai Caemlyn was founded as one of Coremanda's major strongholds, a large city close to the River Erinin, which was important for trade. During the Trolloc Wars both kingdoms were destroyed.
After the conclusion of the wars, the kingdoms of Farashelle, Aldeshar, and Caembarin arose out of the ruins of the two older kingdoms. Aldeshar and Caembarin, named for its capital at the rebuilt city of Caemlyn, were two of the most militarily powerful nations of their time and sent armies against the false Dragon Guaire Amalasan in the War of the Second Dragon, although it was actually King Artur Paendrag Tanreall, known as Artur Hawkwing, of the small kingdom of Shandalle, east of Caembarin, who defeated Amalasan. Caembarin attacked Shandalle a few months later and Aldeshar followed suit the following year, allegedly due to the manipulations of the Amyrlin Seat, Bonwhin Meraighdin. During the Consolidation, Hawkwing conquered Caembarin early in his campaign, but Aldeshar did not fully surrender until FY 963, the last nation to be added to his growing Empire.
Blaming King Joal Ramedar of Aldeshar for the murder of his wife, Amaline Paendrag Tagora, three years previously, Hawkwing put Ramedar to death and scattered the people of Aldeshar across the Empire. This period of rage, the Black Years, ended after Hawkwing's aborted invasion of the Aiel Waste and his marriage to the lady Tamika.
Hawkwing set about organizing his Empire into provinces. The Imperial Province of Andor was created early on, spanning the central regions of the Empire. The precise borders of Andor Province are unknown, but Caemlyn was the ruling city. The first governor was Jeorad Manyard (who was more interested in creating a translation of The Prophecies of the Dragon), but his rule did not last long. Displaying regret for his harsh treatment of Aldeshar, Hawkwing permitted its people to return home and appointed Endara Casalain, King Ramedar's daughter, as the Imperial Governor of Andor in FY 967.
In FY 975 Hawkwing's armies besieged Tar Valon, a siege that was to last for the remaining lifespan of the Empire. Endara's daughter, Ishara Casalain, began a romance with General Souran Maravaile, the commander of the siege, in the early FY 990s.
Declaration of sovereignty
After the death of Artur Hawkwing in FY 994, Ishara and the new Amyrlin Seat, Deane Aryman, persuaded Souran Maravaile to lift the siege of Tar Valon. Ishara and Souran returned to Andor and married. Endara withdrew any claim to the governorship or crown and swore fealty to Ishara. Ishara declared herself the first Queen of Andor, establishing an unbroken bloodline of female rulers:
- Ishara Casalain, FY 994 - FY 1020
- Alesinde Casalain, FY 1020 - FY 1035
- Melasune Casalain, FY 1035 - FY 1046
- Termylle, FY 1046 - FY 1054
- Maragaine, FY 1054 - FY 1073
- Astara, FY 1073 - FY 1085
- Telaisien, FY 1085 - FY 1103
- Morrigan, FY 1103 - FY 1114
- Lyndelle, FY 1114 - FY 1165/30 NE
- Modrellein, c. 300 NE
- Mordrellen Mantear, ??? - 972 NE
- Morgase Trakand, 972 - 999 NE
- Elayne Trakand, 1000 NE
Early Andoran traditions
Many of Andor's traditions were established during these early years. Unlike many nobles of the time, Queen Ishara knew that no one ruler would be able to take control of Hawkwing's entire empire. Instead, she focused on controlling only what she could. As a result, Andor began only with the capital city of Caemlyn and the small surrounding villages. Cautious expansion marked the reigns of the early queens of Andor.
The tradition of Andor is that only a queen must sit on the Lion Throne of Andor, and wear the Rose Crown. However, it wasn't always intended that a queen would rule - it happened that the sons of Andor's first two Queens were killed, and so their daughters became queens. After this it became tradition that a queen would rule. The eldest daughter is known as the Daughter-Heir, and is always sent to Tar Valon to study. The eldest brother of the Daughter-Heir is sworn to protect her with his life, and is prepared from an early age to take control of Andor's army. He is given the title First Prince of the Sword. If the Daughter-Heir does not have a brother, another man is appointed to the post.
If a Queen does not have a daughter, then another successor is appointed, judged by the number of blood ties she can establish to Ishara. Four times in Andor's history this method has been disputed, leading to the Succession Wars.
Andor's military strength
—battle cry of the Queen's Guard
Andor is a powerful nation, with a substantial army consisting of the Queen's Guards and the standing armies maintained by the individual noble houses, who are also able to call upon huge levies in times of crisis. The maximum military strength of Andor has been estimated at almost 200,000 men, although many would be barely-trained levies.
Through history, Andor has been under almost constant pressure from neighboring countries. Andor and Cairhien have been to war more times than any two countries except for Tear and Illian. Often-lawless Murandy, south of Andor, is the source of many border incursions which the Queen's Guards must fend off; conversely, the Andoran forces at the Murandian border have resulted in Andor having a strong hand in Murandian politics. The Children of the Light have always had a reason to dislike Andor, as the Daughter-Heir always studies in the White Tower.
Andor's strength comes from its wealth. Much of this is generated in the Mountains of Mist, far to the west of central Andor. Gold, silver, iron, and copper are extracted from the rich mines in these mountains. Most of this metal is refined in the smelters near the mines.
The strength which must be expended to retain the valuable mines in the Mountains of Mist means that other outlying regions of Andor have been virtually forgotten. A good example of this is the Two Rivers, where few even realize they are part of a larger kingdom. One well-known town in the far west of Andor is Whitebridge, so named for the large bridge which crosses the River Arinelle into the town.
West of Whitebridge
Baerlon is the primary city of western Andor, though far smaller than huge Caemlyn in the east. Primarily a mining town, it serves as a resting point for merchants bringing metals from the mines in the Mountains of Mist or tabac and wool from the Two Rivers to the more populous eastern half of Andor. Baerlon is also the home of Min Farshaw.
The Two Rivers
The Two Rivers is a region of Andor south of Baerlon, located between the upper reaches of the river Manetherendrelle, or the White River as it is called in the Two Rivers, and the River Taren, a smaller tributary. It contains four villages; from north to south, Taren Ferry, Watch Hill, Emond's Field, and Deven Ride. To the west are the Sand Hills and the Mountains of Mist, and to the east lies the Waterwood, a dangerous swamp. These obstacles, along with the two rivers, the Taren only crossable at Taren Ferry and the White River impassable at any point, make the Two Rivers a highly isolated region of Andor. Andoran soldiers and tax collectors have not been seen in the Two Rivers for many generations.
After Rand al'Thor proclaimed himself the Dragon Reborn, however, the isolation of the Two Rivers ended. The collapse of the nations of Tarabon and Arad Doman, due mostly to his presence, brought huge numbers of refugees across the Mountains of Mist and into the Two Rivers, disturbing the local culture and quickly "modernizing" the agricultural backwater. Even worse, Padan Fain brought Whitecloaks and Trollocs to the region, attempting to draw al'Thor out. Instead, Perrin Aybara returned, and, in light of his defense and leadership, was unanimously (and unwillingly) elected Lord of the Two Rivers, the region's first noble in hundreds of years. Because his wife, Faile Bashere, is second in line to the throne of Saldaea (currently held by her cousin, Queen Tenobia Kazadi), the Lord of the Two Rivers may soon rise from obscurity to political importance.
The Two Rivers is home to many of the major characters of the Wheel of Time series:
- Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn
- Matrim Cauthon, General of the Band of the Red Hand and husband to the Seanchan Empress
- Lord Perrin "Goldeneyes"
- Egwene al'Vere, the Amyrlin Seat
- Nynaeve al'Meara, married to the King of Malkier, an Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah and the most powerful living Aes Sedai channeler of this Age
East of Whitebridge
Caemlyn is the capital city of Andor, second in beauty only to Tar Valon. The city of Caemlyn is actually made up of two cities, the New City and the Inner City. The New City is less than two thousand years old, constructed exclusively by humans. The ancient Inner City, on the other hand, was constructed by Ogier. The entire city is encircled by a fifty-foot wall; the Inner City itself is also surrounded by a wall. Certainly the most impressive building in the Inner City is the Royal Palace of Andor, which serves as the seat of government.
The Black Tower is a partially-walled fortress less than a day's walk from the city of Caemlyn. Established in the very recent past by Rand al'Thor, its purpose is to train men who can channel. With the removal of the taint on saidin, the Black Tower may gain a more permanent (and tolerated) existence.
Known settlements in Andor
- Arien - a village on the Caemlyn Road between Whitebridge and Breen's Spring.
- Aringill - Andor's principal port on the River Erinin and a border crossing with Cairhien.
- Baerlon - Andor's largest town in the west of country, located a week's travel north of the Two Rivers.
- Breen's Spring - a village on the Caemlyn Road between Arien and Four Kings.
- Buryhill - a village in Andor, located between Damelien and Forel Market.
- Caemlyn - the largest city and capital of Andor.
- Carysford - a village on the River Cary, two days' ride by wagon west of Caemlyn.
- Comfrey - one of the mining villages in the Mountains of Mist.
- Cullen's Crossing - a village ten miles from Caemlyn.
- Damelien - a village in Andor near Buryhill and the Hornwell Estate, a holding of House Trakand.
- Danabar - a mountainous area near the Murandian border and the Lugard Road where Elayne Trakand has estates.
- Deven Ride - a village in the Two Rivers.
- Emond's Field - a village in the Two Rivers.
- Forel Market - a village in Andor, located between Buryhill and Harlon Bridge.
- Four Kings - a crossroads town on the Caemlyn Road.
- Harlon Bridge - a village in Andor, eleven days' ride from Caemlyn.
- Jornhill - a village in Braem Wood, north of Four Kings.
- Kore Springs - a village in Braem Wood and the home of Captain-General Gareth Bryne.
- Market Sheran - a village on the Caemlyn Road between Four Kings and Carysford.
- New Braem - a large town or small city in Braem Wood, near the northern border of Andor.
- Sheldyn - an estate held by the Lady Ellorien Traemane.
- Taren Ferry - the northernmost village of the Two Rivers.
- Watch Hill - a village in the Two Rivers.
- Whitebridge - Andor's principal port on the River Manetherendrelle.
Major Andoran Houses
There are nineteen major houses in Andor, though this number may decrease in the future if any of the major houses are sufficiently weakened to lose their influence as a major house. The nineteen are:
Trakand's initial supporters
Tranferred from Marne to Trakand
Transferred from Taravin to Trakand
Cannot support Trakand
Won't support Trakand
Laws and customs
Laws of Succession
Customs concerning the White Tower
The Queen of Andor traditionally has an Aes Sedai advisor. The Daughter-Heir traditionally trains in the White Tower, regardless of her ability with the One Power.
Positions and Titles
- First Sword
- High Seat
Modern associations and references
- Andor is thought by many to be based in part on England during the Middle Ages, and the author has confirmed that Andorans speak with a modern English accent.
- In The Lord of the Rings, Númenor was known by the Elves as Andor, meaning "Land of the Gift".
- Ishara's decision to concentrate on Andor as a territory already under her control, focus on consolidating her power, and not waste resources fighting to control all of Hawkwing's collapsing empire in the Westlands is reminiscent of the real-world Ptolemy I Soter, a Macedonian general, Diadochi, and follower of Alexander the Great who chose to consolidate his rule as governor of Egypt instead of fighting to succeed Alexander - ultimately establishing a lasting dynasty.
Abayan · Aldeshar · Balasun · Basharande · Caembarin · Dal Calain · Darmovan · Dhowlan · Elan Dapor · Elsalam · Esandara · Farashelle · Fergansea · Hamarea · Ileande · Indrahar · Kharendor · Khodomar · Masenashar · Moreina · Nerevan · Oburun · Oman Dashar · Rhamdashar · Roemalle · Shandalle · Shiota · Talmour · Tova
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