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EWoT: Saldaea

Saldaea is one of the four Borderland nations which lie on the threshold of the Great Blight. It is the westernmost of the Borderlands, lying between the Aryth Ocean and Kandor. The sign of Saldaea is three silver fish on a field of dark blue.

Geography

Location within the Westlands

Saldaea is the westernmost of the four Borderlands, lying adjacent to the nation of Kandor. It is also the largest of the Borderlands, larger than Shienar and Arafel combined.

Saldaea stretches from the Aryth Ocean to the Plain of Lances and consists of forests in the south, mountains (such as the Banikhan range) in the north and plains in the east. Saldaea's coast is extremely rocky and consists of vast cliffs known collectively as World's End. It has no major port or good harbourages.

History

The nation of Saldaea was formed early in the War of the Hundred Years. The governors of Hawkwing's five northern provinces met and agreed to form stable nations to preserve the peace and defend against the Blight. Rylen t'Boriden Rashad was the first King of Saldaea. Saldaea lies on ground formerly possessed by the kingdoms of Basharande and Jaramide, and the capital of Maradon is built on the site of former Jaramidean capital of Deranbar.

Government

The government body of Saldaea is a monarchy, where the monarch may either be male or female. The spouse of the monarch is not simply a consort, but has the status of an almost co-equal ruler. It is a hereditary monarchy, and the eldest child of the reigning monarch normally succeeds. If the throne passes to a child younger than fifteen, then a regent is chosen from the child's aunts and uncles of the blood, picked by a combination of age and degree of relationship.

If the monarch dies without issue, the throne passes first to brothers and sisters where the eldest are first in line to the throne, and then to aunts and uncles, where the same rule applies.[1]

The throne is currently held by Zarine ni Bashere t'Aybara, also known as Faile, who is also the wife of Perrin t'Bashere Aybara, Lord of the Two Rivers. Per their agreement with Queen Elayne of Andor, it is expected that the two domains will be divided between their children. The throne is located in the capital, Maradon.

The reigning monarch is advised by the Council of Lords.

Gender relations

Saldaean women are almost a breed apart, known as they are for their fierce loyalty and strength of will (not to mention temper). For Saldaeans, war is a family affair.

In general, Saldaean women expect strong husbands, or those who are strong enough to stand up to the strong-willed women of the nation, and despise weakness in men. They do not expect to be bullied, but can be expected to step back. A Saldaean woman is often contemptuous of a man who cannot stand toe-to-toe with her in a fight.

It is also custom for noblewoman to accompany their husbands on military campaigns, except into the Blight, although this expectation is often flouted. Many lesser officers' wives also accompany their husbands, and wives sometimes lead troops into battle in place of a wounded or incapacitated husband.[1]

A traditional farewell from a Saldaean wife to a husband going to battle is "If you fall, I will take up your sword." While not trained with the sword, Saldaean girls are quite skilled both with knives and in hand-to-hand combat. All Saldaeans are armed with at least a knife at all times; in Saldaea, steel is not bared unless it will be used. Saldaean farmgirls are notorious for being very forward, especially at harvest.

Economy

The Saldaean economy is strong; built upon the trade of furs and wood, Saldaean goods fetch high prices at markets as far away as Tear. Ice peppers are a Saldaean monopoly; they do not grow elsewhere due to the combination of soil and climate in the nation. There is a substantial woollen industry, but not much of it is exported. Large exports include iron, steel, and finished iron- and steel-work. Diamonds and silver are often mined, but there is very little gold-mining in Saldaea.[1]

Culture

Saldaeans have bold, prominent noses and slightly upturned, almond-shaped eyes. While as ferocious in battle as any of the Border nations, their equestrian skills are undoubtedly superior; no other nation in Randland can match Saldaea for her famed and effective use of light cavalry. Saldaean soldiers often carry serpentine swords. Saldaean men usually have long mustaches.

Another important part of Saldaean life is the sa'sara, a dance outlawed by several Saldaean queens for its indecency. While known by virtually every noblewoman, few would ever admit to the knowledge. Apparently, the sa'sara has the ability to drive men wild. The sa'sara is known to have started three wars and sparked two rebellions, among many other smaller disturbances.

Marriage customs

In Saldaea, a noble wife takes her husband's name but retains her own, and her name is also incorporated into her husband's name. For example, Faile (Zarine) si Ghaline Bashere became Faile ni Bashere t'Aybara when she married, and her husband was referred as Perrin t'Bashere Aybara in Saldaea. A noble child is born with both parents' names; thus Zarine, daughter of Davram t'Ghaline Bashere and Deira ni Ghaline t'Bashere was named Zarine si Ghaline Bashere. In commoner families, a wife keeps her maiden name. The child is born with the father's name, and takes the mother's maiden name as a middle name.

Men propose marriage, and women either accept or decline. A long pursuit is expected, and women usually make men prove that they really want her before accepting.[1]

Recent events

Saldaea fought along the other nations of the Westlands in the Last Battle where its total losses are unknown, but the nobility and royalty suffered heavy casualties. Among the first to fall was ruling monarch Tenobia of House Kazadi, and Marshal-General Davram Bashere and his wife Deira Bashere were also killed in the fighting.


Towns/cities

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