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EWoT: Arad Doman

"The more women there are about, the softer a wise man steps."
   —Domani saying

Arad Doman is a country that lies to the far west of the Westlands, along the coast of the Aryth Ocean. The sign of Arad Doman is the Sword and Hand.

Geography

Arad Doman is located in the northwest of the Westlands, lying between the Mountains of Mist and the Aryth Ocean. Its capital and principal city is Bandar Eban, located at the mouth of the River Dhagon. Its second-largest city is Katar, near Lake Somal. Due to their distance from the capital, the lords of Katar and the surrounding lands tend towards autonomy and on occasion have to be reminded they are part of the kingdom.

Location within the Westlands

History

Arad Doman was founded in approximately FY 1096 by forces led by Lord Jalaam Lazari, Lord Ahran Nawaz and Lady Bastine Almadar, proclaiming the existence of a nation immediately after taking Bandar Eban. The power and importance of merchants in the former nations of Abayan and Darmovan, and in Artur Hawkwing's imperial province of Arad Doman, led to the three leaders allying themselves with an informal council of merchants, which was formalized at the end of the War of the Hundred Years. Shelaan Lazari was the first to bear the title of King of Arad Doman in c. FY 1116.[1]

Since the fall of the nation of Almoth, Arad Doman has long maneuvered against Tarabon to gain control of Almoth Plain.

Domani claim descent from those who made the Tree of Life in the Age of Legends, although they do not claim to have ever possessed a sapling of the tree.

Government

Arad Doman is ruled by an absolute monarchy. The King is elected for life by the Council of Merchants, comprised mostly of women. He legally has absolute authority, but can be deposed with a seventy-five percent vote from the Council of Merchants. The king has to come from one of the noble Houses, called the Bloodborn, rather than the mere merchant Houses of Arad Doman. The monarchy is often passed down in one family, but nothing requires this, and only the vote of the Council of Merchants carries weight.[1]

The reigning King of Arad Doman prior to the Last Battle was Alsalam Saeed Almadar. For three hundred years, Arad Doman was at war with Tarabon over possession of Almoth Plain. After Rand al'Thor battles Ba'alzamon in the sky above Falme, Arad Doman fell into civil war between the King's forces and an army of Dragonsworn. In the chaos, King Alsalam goes missing.

Before the arrival of the Dragon Reborn, Arad Doman was decaying due to the interventions of the Forsaken Graendal, posing as the Lady Basene. She was a major contribution to the chaos in the nation.

Arad Doman was briefly under the occupation of Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, who had begun concentrating his forces there in preparation for Tarmon Gai'don.[2] His steward was Iralin, a former dockmaster who had been newly raised to the Council of Merchants.

After the Last Battle a group of Aes Sedai persuades Rodel Ituralde to become King, informing him that King Alsalam is dead.

Culture

Domani women wear diaphanous, form-fitting clothing considered scandalous in most countries, and have raised the practice of seduction to an art. It is said that Domani mothers begin teaching their daughters this business at an early age. Most Domani merchants are women, and few men can best them in a bargaining session. Most men, however, consider losing to be worth the experience. Domani women have reputations as femmes fatale, equaled only by that of Sea Folk women.

Domani men are not especially vulnerable to seduction, however, and are often trained in the male version of these arts. Most Domani merchant houses are headed by women, and most merchants are women too, with men often handling accounts while the women trade and negotiate. Female merchants often try to seduce foreigners; this is also attempted by male merchants with female foreigners, though not to as great success as with their female counterparts.

Wearing an earring given by a member of the opposite sex was considered an acknowledgement of being lovers.

Domani of upper classes receive retainers in the bath, although these servants are always of the same gender as their employer. Receiving in the bath is considered a suitable time for handing out orders, while the master or mistress is relaxed.

The Domani trade a great deal with the Sea Folk, and are among the few merchants in the land who can hold their own in bargaining with them.

Horses are an important commodity, especially the famed "razor," prized by nobles; however, few Domani will sell them to outlanders.

Domani cuisine consist of meat and vegetables prepared in slivers, to be eaten with two wooden sticks named sursa.

Economy

Arad Doman is renowned for its glasswork, especially fine bowls, and its carpetweaving. There is some manufacture of mirrors and looking glasses. Mutton, leather, iron, and iron or steel products are also procured. Most trade from Saldaea passes through Bandar Eban.[1]

Military

The army of Arad Doman historically consists of the personal levies of nobles and the levies raised by the guilds, never being a permanent formation like the Queen's Guards in Andor or the Defenders of the Stone in Tear, for the Council of Merchants does not want the king to be able to call on more than his own House's forces in case he is deposed by their vote. The guilds do often keep some permanent troops in guise of guards, which often number as many as a given House can call upon.

Arad Doman is unusual in that it does have a standing navy of sorts, called the coast guards, maintained and controlled by the Council of Merchants and not the King. It is a small force with only enough ships to ensure that the shipping around the coast of Arad Doman is untroubled by pirates, but fell into disarray with the troubles in Arad Doman after the king's disappearance.[1]

Towns/cities

Parallels

Arad Doman is thought to be based on Iran, as well as several Arabic nations. The name "Arad Doman" is similar to "Arab Domain," and several characters' surnames seem Arabic in theme, such as Sharif, Eriff, and Zeffar. The capital of Bandar Eban has a similar name to the Iranian maritime city of Bandar Abbas. The Terhana Library found in Arad Doman has a name very similar to Iran's capital, Tehran.[3]

Notes

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