Geography of Wesnoth

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Irdya

The name of the world in which the kingdom of Wesnoth is situated is "Irdya". This term is , however, only rarely used in the era depicted by the main map. People normally just say "the world" or, poetically, "the wide green world".

Wesnoth and Surrounding Lands

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This map is current for approximately YW 450. Named cities were founded during the Golden Age of Wesnoth and have thus have existed for at least 200 years.

Place names in bold are marked on the main map.

  • Major features:
    • The Great Ocean: Lies to the west of the continent and all rivers eventually flow to it.
    • The Bay of Pearls: The Elensefar Peninsula in the North and the Isle of Alduin in the southwest separate this from the Great Ocean. This is where human refugees from the Green Isle first landed in 1YW.
    • Isle of Alduin: Inhabited island off the west coast of the Great Continent. Home of the Great Academy of Magic and a traditional center of magecraft.
    • The Three Sisters: Group of three islands north-northwest of Alduin. The nearest is individually known as the Isle of the Damned and has an evil reputation.
    • The Great River: Runs east to west on the main map, unmarked.
    • Ford of Abez: Easternmost point at which the Great River can be crossed without ships. A traditional invasion route for armies crossing in either direction.
    • River Weldyn: Tributary running north from the Dulatus Hills to the Great River.
    • River Aethen: River running from the Dulatus Hills to the Great Ocean through the Aethenwood.
    • The Heart Mountains: the major mountain range surrounding Lake Vrug.

Wesnoth

The Kingdom of Wesnoth is located in the north-central portion of the Great Continent. Most of the mainline campaigns revolve around it. It is bounded on the map by the Great River to the north, the shore of the Great Ocean to the west, the Aethenwood to the southwest, and the Bitter Swamp to the southeast (lower right corner of the main map).

Over the River Aethen, south of Fort Tahn, is a Wesnothian frontier region. It is bounded to the south (off-map) by dense woods of which the Aethenwood may be considered a northernmost extension.

  • Notable cities:
    • Weldyn: The capital of Wesnoth.
    • Aldril: City lying on the Bay of Pearls.
    • Blackwater Port: City lying south of the Bay of Pearls.
    • Carcyn: Located between the Grey Woods and the Great River.
    • Dan'Tonk: Wesnoth's largest city, located in the center of the country, just west and north of Weldyn.
    • Soradoc: The northernmost border outpost of Wesnoth, controls the confluence of the Weldyn River and the Great River.
    • Fort Tahn: The southernmost border outpost, controls the north/south road crossing the River Aethen.
    • Tath: Important fort city north of Dan'Tonk, exerts control over the wilderness country around the east of the Brown Hills and north to the Ford of Abez.
  • Notable land features:
    • Gryphon Mountain: Home of the fabled Gryphons
    • Ford of Abez: Shallow part of the Great River, it is usually controlled by Wesnothian forces
    • Weldyn River: It branches from the Great River and goes south
    • Great Central Plain: Area bounded by Weldyn, Dan'Tonk, and Fort Tahn, this plain is Wesnoth's bread basket and home to most of its population
    • Dulatus Hills: These rolling hills bordering the Great Central Plain provide much of Wesnoth's livestock and agriculture
    • Brown Hills: Wasteland surrounding Gryphon Mountain that is not well-populated and occasionally very dangerous.
    • Horse Plains: Region of rolling plains just south of the Great River, bounded by Glyn's Forest to the west and the River Weldyn to the east; the southern reach merges into the Central Plain. Home of the powerful Clans; the best horses in Wesnoth are bred here.
    • Estmark Hills: Largish range rising south of the Great River and east of the Weldyn River. The northernmost portion, nearest the River Weldyn, has at various times been settled by Wesnothians, but the Kingdom's control is tenuous at best and banditry is common.
    • Glyn's Forest: Sometimes known as the Royal Forest, named for one of Haldric II's sons
    • Gray Woods: Large forest in the heart of the wilds of Wesnoth, located between Carcyn and Aldril and generally considered to be haunted
    • Green Swamp: Large swamp in the heart of the wilds of Wesnoth, south of Aldril. It receives drainage from the Brown Hills and feeds into the Great River. (Not shown on the main map.)

Southwest Elven Lands

The Wood Elves are separate from those of the north, and have only intermittent relations with them and most other countries. Its borders are the Green Swamp to the northeast, the desert (not shown) to the south, and the Ocean to the west.

  • Notable cities
    • None known
  • Notable land features:
    • Aethen Forest: The largest southern forest, it extends far to the southwest - much farther than is charted - and is home to elves


Elensefar

Elensefar is at times a province of Wesnoth, at times an independent country, and at times in a treaty federation with Wesnoth. Its borders are the Great River to the north, a loosely defined line with Wesnoth to the east, the Bay of Pearls to the south, and the ocean to the west. More information is found in the historical narrative of Wesnoth.

  • Notable cities:
    • Elensefar: The capital, located on an island in the Great River delta
    • Carcyn: City on the Wesnoth-Elensefar border, disputed with Wesnoth
  • Notable land features:
    • Great River: It is very wide at this point, and only ships can cross it.

Northlands

There is no government of the Northlands. Various groups of orcs, dwarves, barbarian men and even elves populate the region. The northern and eastern borders are not defined, the southern border is the Great River, and the western border is the Great Ocean.

  • Notable cities:
    • Glamdrol: An Orcish tribal capital
    • Romyr: Another Orcish tribal capital
    • Wesmere: The location of the Ka'lian - the Elvish Council
    • Dwarven Doors: A mixed human/dwarven town in the region of Knalga in the southern Heart Mountains. A major trade center.
    • Dallben and Delwyn: Human villages originally built by settlers who crossed the Great River during Wesnoth's Golden Age expansion. Now abandoned. The forested area northeast of Elensefar, where these villages were located, was named the Annuvin province by men but was known by the elves as Wesmere.
  • Notable land features:
    • Heart Mountains: A virtually impassable barrier between the river country and the Northern Plains.
    • Heartfangs: the particularly forbidding stretch of high peaks southwest of Lake Vrug and north of the Forest of Wesmere. The most inhospitable and dangerous portion of the Heart Mountains; only hermits, madmen, and mages live there.
    • Swamp of Dread: a very large bog located between the Heart Mountains and the Great River. A notoriously dangerous place.
    • Lake Vrug: A large mountain lake whose river carves the only pathway through the Northern Mountains
    • Arkan-thoria: The river than comes out of Lake Vrug. This is the elvish name; among humans it is called Longlier.
    • River Listra: The south-running tributary of the Great River into which the Arkan-thoria empties.
    • Lintanir Forest: The southernmost portion of the Great Northern Forest, a gigantic wood whose eastern and northern boundaries are known only the elves. Their capitol, Elensiria, has only seldom been visited by humans.
    • Great River: The origin of this river is somewhere in the east of the northern lands

Wesmere

The location of the Ka'lian - the Elvish Council in the Eastern part of the forest. The river Telfar flows through the forest. The Kal'ian is on an island in the Telfar. The River Telfar is crossed by the Northern Shallows, the Ford of Alyas, the Ford of Tifranur and the North Bridge. Villages surrounding the Ka'lian are named Telionath, Arthen, Arryn, Illissa, Viricon, Tireas, Essarn, Valcathra, Aelion, Elendor, Erethean. Other areas near the Ka'lian are Brightleaf Wood, Telfar Green (an opening in the forest), Dancer’s Green (an opening in the forest), Karmarth Hills, Westwind Wood (possibly the foothills of the Heart Mountains to the north east of Wesmere), Southwind Wood. East and outside are the forest are the villages of Dallben and Delwyn.

Far North

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Cold, harsh, and inaccessible, the Far North is the ancestral home of the Orcish Clannate. It lies north of the Heart Mountains, which the Orcs call the Haggid-Dargor and claim (without merit) as their own. To the east lie the Unaligned Tribes of the Wild Steppe, who fell out of the control of the Clannate, instead roaming with wild human barbarians and clashing with the High Elves of the North Plains (known as North Elves in human lands). The High Elves themselves reside further east, where it is rumored they rule a vast kingdom.

  • Notable cities:
    • Barag Gor, a city home to the Orcish Council
    • Bitok
    • Borstep
    • Castelfrang
    • Farzi
    • Festog
    • Grisbi
    • Lmarig
    • Melmog
    • Prestim
    • Tirigaz
  • Notable land features:
    • Swamp of Desolation
    • Mountains of Dorth
    • Mountains of Haag
    • Green Forest
    • Silent Forest
    • Forest of Thelien
    • River Oumph
    • River Bork
    • Wild Steppe

Area around Tirigaz

Featured in Dead Water.

dead-water-map.png

  • Notable cities:
    • Tirigaz
    • Jotha
    • Agvorad
  • Notable land features:
    • Swamp of Desolation
    • Mountains of Dorth
    • Bilheld, a large island.
    • A small island of coast of Bilheld

The Southern Land

Where is this confirmed?

This is the land to the far south of wesnoth.

  • Notable cities:
    • Serrul: a peaceful city that excels at sea trade.
    • Varrant: a prosperous trade city.
    • Kesh: a powerful military city.
    • Azen: capitol of the Azgar (a Expansionist clan with a strong military force)
  • Notable land features:
    • The Ashland Desert: a long and hot desert that leads to Wesnoth.

The Green Isle

The geography features in The Rise of Wesnoth. In this place names are placed over the map below as overlays. the_green_isle.png

Wesfolk Land

This is where the Wesfolk live, with their Lich overlords. The boundary between it and the Islefolk land is the hilly area running south-west to north-east. The Wesfolk land is in the north-west. Little is known about what happened to the island after Haldric left.

  • Notable cities:
    • Jevyan's Haven: The capital of the Wesfolk, where Jevyan reigned; presumably where the gates to orcland were opened
  • Notable land features
    • None. (its not a very detailed map, is it? :) )

Islefolk Land

This is where the Islefolk (Haldric's folk) live. The boundary is the same as that of the Wesfolk; the islefolk land is to the southeast.

  • Notable cities:
    • Blackmore: {??}
    • Clearwater Port: {??}
    • Southbay: {??}
  • Notable land features:
    • None. (see Wesfolk land)

Campaign References

This section collates specific facts about geography asserted in the the text of mainline campaigns, implied by map dots (track) or by features on a battle map (map). It aims to be complete as to locations on the main map and identifiably adjacent to it. Two groups of off-map locations are confined to single campaigns, the Green Isle in The Rise of Wesnoth and the Far North in Son of the Black Eye; those locations are not listed here.

Heir To The Throne

Konrad was raised in the Aethenwood (track, The Elves Besieged). He returns to the mainland very near the location where Haldric the Great first landed in 1YW. (map, Bay of Pearls). The fight with Muff Malal takes place on the peninsula north of the Bay of Pearls (track, Bay of Pearls). The city of Elensefar is actually located on a large island in the mouth of the Great River (map, The Siege of Elensefar). The crossroads fight takes place where the roads from Carcyn, Dan'Tonk and Fort Tahn meet (track, Crossroads). Konrad meets Li'sar on the road between Dan'Tonk and Carcyn (track, The Princess of Wesnoth). Konrad fights undead in the Brown Hills southeast of Gryphon Mountain (track, Valley of Death). The track for Gryphon Mountain unsurprisingly lands on the Gryphon Mountain map feature; equally unsurprisingly, the track for Ford of Abez lands on the Ford of Abez map feature.

North of the Great River this campaign is our basic textual evidence for several important features. The country around the easternmost tip of the Swamp of Dread is described as "abundant pine forests nestled in rolling foothills" (track and text, Northern Winter) and, at least during the Turmoil of Asheviere, is inhabited by orcs. Dwarven Doors and Knalga are located in the center of the southern arm of the Heart Mountains, south-southeast of Lake Vrug (The Dwarven Doors). Lionel, the Lost General, is found in an orcish warren at the northern edge of the southern Heart Mountains, north-northeast of Knalga and adjacent to the valley of the Arkan-thoria (The Lost General). Konrad re-encounters Li'sar north across that valley in the foothills of the northern Heart Mountains (track, Hasty Alliance). The Scepter of Fire is found in those same foothills a bit further east and south, just north of the southernmost bend of the Arkan-thoria (Scepter of Fire).

Konrad's party travels southeast through the caverns, under the Arkan-thoria, to just south of a northward bend of the river (A Choice Must Be Made). Kalenz says that this river is called 'Longlier' by men and 'Arkan-thoria' by the Elves. He further says that the homeland of his people lies to the east and north. Kalenz identifies their location at the easternmost edge of the southern Heart Mountains (track, Snow Plains) as "...once the home of my people. We left here centuries ago" (text). In the next scenario, the North Elves are contacted at the confluence of the Arkan-thoria and the Listra (track, Home of the North Elves). Konrad's party take refuge in Emetria, an Elven castle located just within the border of the southern lobe Lintanir Forest. The Elven Council takes place in the elven capital of Elensiria, location not specified.

Konrad crosses the Great River into Wesnoth just north of Soradoc (Return to Wesnoth). The country between the Elven forests and the river is inhabited by, among other things, "hermit mages" (text). He then crosses the river into the Estmark Hills hills east of the Weldyn River (track, Test of the Clans).

Neither the Estmark Hills, nor the Heart Mountains, nor the swamp between them and the Great River are named in this campaign, but one scenario title refers to the latter as Swamp of Dread.

Continuity problems: the map for 'The Princess of Wesnoth' is difficult to reconcile with the track location; the lake to the south should be large enough to show on the main map and is difficult to fit in a valley in the Brown Hills. Likewise, the map for Home of the North Elves shows only an east-west river probably too small to be the Arkan-thoria, and not the Listra that it should flow into.

The campaign maps feature map labels

A Tale of Two Brothers

This campaign has a tracking map. In text, the village of Maghre is described as being in the "western reaches of Wesnoth" (Rooting Out a Mage). In The Chase, the haunted forest is identified as the Gray Woods.

An Orcish Incursion

This campaign has a map and a journey track. No places are named other than Wesmere; the action takes place north and west of there. A pass that is bottleneck route through the northern mountains figures in the action.

The South Guard

This campaign takes place off the main map and has its own background map.

We know from it that the city of Westin is located southwest of Fort Tahn (track, Born To The Banner) and is capital of the frontier province of Kerlath (text), also that the Aethenwood is to the west (text).

There is no map track after the second scenario. We learn that south of Westin , Kerlath is bounded by dense woods, "a bastion of the ancient heart forest of the Great Continent so dense and gloomy that even elves forbore from dwelling there." (Born to the Banner) South of it an unspecified distance lies the elven Vale of Tears, and much further south of that the Black River, of which Etheliel says "No elf, still living, has crossed it."

The campaign maps feature map labels

Liberty

This campaign uses a modified version of the main Wesnoth map for tracking. The map shows the villages of Dallben and Delwyn, and some small patches of forest, between the forest of Wesmere and the ocean; also it labels the Gray Woods. Text (The Raid) identifies this as the province of Annuvin, a frontier area of Wesnoth. It is clear that Elensefar is the chief city of Annuvin.

Baldras and his party travel south to Elensefar (track, A Strategy of Hope). From there they go upriver to Carcyn (track, Hide And Seek), and south to the Gray Woods (track, The Gray Woods), then south on the road to Aldril. The campaign finishes at Halstead. In the Epilogue, there is a reference to villagers fleeing southwest to settle on the Three Sisters.

The scenario maps feature map labels

The Rise of Wesnoth

This campaign has its own tracking map for the Green Isle, which is our only actual source of information about the Green Isle's geography. The only Great Continent location of interest is the Ka'lian, which has the same location in the Forest of Wesmere that it does in other campaigns.

The lady Jessene uses the term "Old Continent" to describe the ancestral home of her people, and implies that it lies in "the far West".

The Legend of Wesmere

This campaign uses a modified version of the main Wesnoth map for tracking. The map shows far fewer settlements with the notable addition of a castle settlement in the Swamp of Dread, called Saurgrath (the location of The Saurian Treasury).

The map track for Hostile Mountains shows Kalenz starting from the Lintanir Forest and moving across the easternmost Heart Mountains to a spot on the Arkan-thoria. They travel to Wesmere Forest (The Ka'lian Under Attack); the map tracking runs almost lengthwise through the Heart Mountains. The Ka'lian is near the northeast edge of Wesmere forest; the Elvish treasury is further west (track, The Elvish Treasury). The Saurian treasury in the westernmost foothills of the Heart Mountains (track, The Saurian Treasury); Kalenz and his men avoid the direct route from it back to Wesmere by going north from it and that they return via the eastern approaches to Wesmere. On the way, they re-encounter Olurf in the southeastern reaches of the Heart Mountains (Acquaintance In Need). They march back to the north edge of Wesmere Forest (track, Elves' Last Stand).

In Council of Hard Choices we learn that the mage Crelanu lives in "the mountains of Thoria". The route north goes over the mountains to the "Arkan-thoria" (track: Bounty Hunters), the name is confirmed in text. The mountains of Thoria themselves are just north of the valley of the Arkan-thoria (track, Cliffs of Thoria). Crelanu's keep is well into the northern Heart Mountains, right at the northern edge of the map (track, Battle of the Book).

Kalenz and friends "return to the Ka'lian" (News From The Front); then to orcish forces are "encamped south of the Great River, and have surrounded the fortified human settlement of Tath". The track for Breaking the Siege indicates that the killing of the Great Chief took place at the southeastern tip of the Heart Mountains and that Breaking the Siege takes place on the River Listra, just north of the confluence with the Arkan-thoria.

The remaining scenarios convey no new information; the track points are all east of the River Listra between it and the Lintanir Forest.

Kalenz's home map has big water to the east. This has to be a lake off the NE corner of the main map, emptying into the main course of the Listra.

The campaign maps feature map labels

LOW Custom Map

legend-of-wesmere-map.png

Eastern Invasion

This campaign has its own map, with the River Guard outposts shown, and a tracking map. The intro describes the location of the River Guard posts on "the near bank of the Weldyn", alludes to trouble in the Estmarks, and refers to "raiders from the great desert", location unspecified.

One path from An Unexpected Appearance leads west, the other east (text). But the western path forces Gweddry and his men to travel north, into "known forest country just south of the Great River" (text). On the other branch, Mal-Ravanal's capitol is in the Bitter Swamp (Mal-Ravanal's Capitol); the party flees "west and north" until they find a "low pass in the Estmarks, and [are] greatly relieved to see the valley of the Weldyn open before them." (text). In Undead Crossing, Gweddry's party crosses the Great River to the north (text). One of the following scenarios is named Lake Vrug. In Drowned Plains the party goes south to the Great River, crosses it, and Owaec announces that they have entered the Horse Plains. Weldyn is on the map of the final scenario.

The Orc kings stronghold map has map labels

The Hammer of Thursagan

This campaign has a tracking map. It begins at Knalga, and the heroes travel generally eastwards. There are no other specific geographical references in it, except to "the High Pass" about halfway between Knalga and Kal Kartha.

Descent Into Darkness

This campaign has a journey track, and a map on which the the "northern border town of Parthyn" (Saving Parthyn) appears. An eartly fight (Orc War) takes place near the river Longlier (the Arkan-thoria). This is denoted by a map label. Later in the campaign (Return To Parthyn) it is specified that Malin follows a trail south across the Great River and west to Parthyn. Part of the action (A Small Favor and three sequels) takes place in the city of Tath.

Scepter of Fire

This campaign has a tracking map. The campaign begins in "the foothills of Knalga" (text, A Bargain Is Struck) when Haldric II rides north from there from the Ford of Abez. Rugnur looks for Thursagan in "the northern wastelands", which is near the coast north-northeast of Rumyr (Searching for the Runecrafter). Much of the rest of the campaign takes place in the old eastern mines just north of the Arkan-thoria; this is where the Scepter will be found in Heir To The Throne. Alanin's running battle with the outriders takes place just north of the Ford of Abez (track, Outriding the Outriders).

(Note: earlier versions of SoF were set in a completely different location in the far western foothills of the Heart Mountains. This was an error by some hapless chronicler.)

Son Of The Black Eye

This campaign takes place off the northern edge of the main map and has its own tracking map (see "The Far North") above. There is no reference to anywhere on the main map other than Dwarven Doors, and that does not indicate either distance or direction.

Dead Water

This campaign has a tracking map. It takes place on and near the coast of the Far North; the port city of Tirigaz, mentioned in Son of the Black-Eye, is a locale of one scenario. We learn that one of the small islands off the coast is called Bilheld and is inhabited by drakes.

Delfador's Memoirs

This campaign has a tracking map. Its scenario locations are in general well known from other campaigns. The campaing maps feature some map labels

Northern Rebirth

This campaign has a tracking map. It begins in Dwarven Doors. No distances or directions to places elsewhere in canon are indicated.

Under The Burning Suns

This campaign has no tracking map. It takes place long after the fall of Wesnoth and none of its locations can be clearly tied to anywhere in the main map.

See Also

This page was last modified on 23 March 2013, at 20:00.