Cities, towns and villages

Many towns and villages in Valdyas are on a river and optionally called "Something-on-Something". Where that is the case both names are given. This list is not at all exhaustive.

Valdis, Ildis, Veray, Rizenay and Lenay have stone walls, and so did Dol-Rayen when it still existed. Essle, larger than these six combined, has neither walls nor gates, but is called a city because of its size. Turenay has only a wooden palisade, but it's considered a city as well.

Albetire
Also called Albatire. Port city on the north coast of Iss-Peran in the kingdom of the same name. The harbour guard alone is larger than the whole population of Lenay. The palace of the Enshah is there.
Ashas
Settlement deep in the Iss-Peran desert, near the equator. Without the imperial palace it would probably be an insignificant oasis, but in fact it's the hub of the whole empire.
Dol-Rayen (Merie Dol-Rayen)
City in Idanyas, effectively its capital until it was destroyed by a battle between King Athal and the primeval entity that lived under the city. Built on the foundations of a much older city at the mouth of the river Mera. It was an impressive sight with its whitewashed buildings and the great gate with the words Dol Rayin Anshein "City of the Protection of Anshen" written over it. Its function of main port of Idanyas and location for shipyards is being taken over by Selday.
Erday (Valdie Erday)
Former village in Lenyas, with about 700 inhabitants. Stronghold of the Guild of the Nameless, destroyed by King Athal. The most famous Lenyas wine, Hostleni Grin "Swans' Blood" comes from a vineyard very close to it. This legend (in Dutch) tells about the origin of the wine.
Essle
Semi-independent port city in the delta of the Valda. Opinions differ on whether it's a diffuse city or a densely populated archipelago. Here's an extensive description of it.
Glan
Name of two villages north of Ildis. There's Reshinen Glan ("Glan in the Wood"), very small and impenetrable, and Ildie Glan ("Glan-on-Ilda"), slightly larger and friendlier. The Ilda is navigable downstream from here, and there's nothing of any importance further north on the Ilda (yet; more land is being made habitable, especially by the Houses Brun and Hayan), only woods where some trappers live. In the autumn of 525, Glan became the scene of a battle between the usurper Rhanion, who tried to seize the throne, and Queen Alyse's troops. Rhanion was eventually driven off and took refuge in the castle of Sarabal.
Gralen (Rychie Gralen)
Village in Ryshas (about 200 inhabitants) with the largest brewery in the region - easy, because there are only two large breweries in this wine-growing country. The master brewer, Torin, had a landing-stage built when he set up; before that time the village was considered too insignificant to have one.
Gulynay (Valdei Gulynay)
Village grown around the inn and stables where the Valda becomes navigable in the north. The name means "Falls of the Valda".
Ildis
City on the Ilda with about twenty thousand inhabitants, though it would comfortably house about half that number. It's built on the only dry spot in the middle of a swamp, making it next to impossible to enlarge it outwards so people have been doing it upwards for generations. Most houses have five or six floors and some have to be held up by wooden beams. Famous for its silversmiths, who are mostly there for historical reasons (one historical reason in fact: there was a nobleman in Ildis in the time of King Vegelin the Great who went down in history as "Mad Hayan" - he collected silversmiths the way children collect pretty pebbles). Ildis also has the Academy. The city was the main stronghold of the Guild of the Nameless until the battle of Glan in 525, when it was thoroughly purified.
Lenay (Valdie Lenay)
City in Lenyas, literally on the Valda: many houses are on bridges. About 7.000 inhabitants. The Temple of Mizran in Lenay is famous for having corrupt Mighty Servants; in the last three hundred years, not one of them has been completely honest. Trade is flourishing, however.
Liorys (Valdie Liorys)
The ancestral estate of the House Brun, half a day's ride north of Valdis. The original keep has been enlarged and rebuilt countless times and is now a sprawling conglomerate of towers, halls, houses and outbuildings, dominated by an eight-sided tower that houses the Temple of Anshen. It overlooks a small but prosperous village.
Nesile (Ildie Nesile)
Small village exactly halfway between Ildis and Glan; nes-ile means "half-way".
Nesh (Rychie Nesh)
Village about a day's ride west of Veray. It serves as "gate to Veray" for travellers from Essle and Tilis as well as most travellers from Valdis, because all traffic along the Rycha has to pass through. Consequently, lodging in its only inn is very expensive.
Rizenay (Valdie Rizenay)
The northernmost city in Valdyas, in sheep country. It has a sub-arctic continental climate, with the ground only thawing completely in a very warm summer. The city was founded in the early days of the kingdom by the House Rizean, a small duyin house. It has about 2,500 inhabitants in summer, 3,000 in winter when many farmers and shepherds seek a warmer place to live. There are three annual fairs: the lamb market at the end of spring, the sheep-shearing festival in early summer, and the cloth market in late summer. For the rest of the year Rizenay is virtually isolated. Most houses have two front doors, one in the usual position and one on a balcony on the first floor to allow entrance when the snow is high. Rizenay is famous for its cloth and tapestry industry, as well as for its windmills. People are reputed to turn into sheep if they stay there too long.
Rizene Tal-Ryth
Village with about 400 inhabitants two days' ride south of Rizenay. It has an inn called "Halla's Right Hand" because, like many other villages in the north, it purports to be Valdie Sali. The Valda is navigable from here, but only from late spring (because of the melting-water from the mountains) to early autumn (because of the weather).
Rychie Tal-Serth
"Glass Village on the Rycha", where wine bottles and low-grade drinking glasses are made.
Sarabal
Headland with a castle on the south coast. Traditional refuge of grand masters in the Guild of the Nameless, until it was taken after Rhanion's rebellion and given to a baroness in the Guild of Anshen by Queen Alyse II.
Sarbale Tal-Ryth
Fishing village on the shore under the headland of Sarabal. Lately, a large number of refugees from Aumen Síth have settled there and turned the village effectively Síthi.
Selday
Port town in the eastern part of Idanyas, the closest port to Essle. After the fall of Dol-Rayen it has become much more important for trade and shipbuilding.
Tal-Borin
Village on the northern border of Idanyas, close to the Western Plain. The name means "border village".
Tal-Crun
Small village in the Western Plain, about ten days' travel from Ildis, with extensive horse ranches belonging to the House Brun.
Tal-Crysin
Village just south of Rizenay. The name means "Snow Village".
Tal-Nus
Village in western Lenyas with a manor-house belonging to a branch of the House Eraday. Note that nus means "backside", in more than one sense of the word.
Tal-Ryth
Name of at least one village in every rural region. It means "Chief Village".
Tal-Serth
"Glass Village", name of two villages with glass industry in Ryshas: Turene Tal-Serth and Rychie Tal-Serth. Better qualities of glassware come from Iss-Peran and, until a few decades ago, Solay.
Tal-Sorn (Valdie Tal-Sorn)
Village about four days downstream from Valdis. There's a toll-gate there, but it's not often used. The name means "Toll Village". It has an inn called Mornie "The Carp".
Tal-Vauryn
Village in southern Ryshas, named after the legendary mage Vurian (Vauryn is the form of his name in the local dialect) who lived there and disappeared one day, leaving his house a charred ruin. It is still there; nobody dares build on the site. Here's the story (in Dutch).
Tilis
Baron's castle and two villages in the wetlands at the beginning of the main delta of the Valda. Tilis Moy "Great Tilis" is to the east of the castle, Tilis Rhas "Little Tilis" to the west. All of Tilis together has about a thousand inhabitants. There's a strong presence of the Guild of Anshen, especially in Great Tilis. Queen Alyse's ancestors on her mother's side were farmers from Tilis. In spring, when the Rycha is in spate, Tilis is usually under one to three feet of water; most houses, as well as the castle, are built on stakes.
Turenay
City in Ryshas with medicinal springs and the school of the Guild of Anshen. The name literally means "bath-place". It has about 6.000 inhabitants and usually about 2.000 permanent and semi-permanent guests in the season (autumn and winter) who come to take the waters.
Turene Tal-Serth
"Glass Village near Turenay", where mostly window-panes and similar things are made.
Valdie Sali
"Thingy on the Valda", the name that Mailei Halla, King Vegelin the Great's historian, gave to her native village. Many if not most villages in the north sport an inn called "Halla's Right Hand" (facts are supposed to be written with the right hand, fiction with the left, regardless of the actual handedness of the writer; Halla wrote a book of folk tales in her old age, called Mailei Hallei rainei lhayi gylsin "Book of Mailei Halla's Left Hand") and say that their village is the one and only Valdie Sali.
Valdis
Royal city and capital of Valdyas, with about 70.000 inhabitants. The original fort was built in the fork where the Ilda joins the Valda. A village, later a city, grew around it. The Royal Palace, still called the Fort, has the old fort at its centre. Valdis outgrew its walls at least twice; King Vegelin the Great finally had a set of walls built that accommodated the growing city for nearly two hundred years. The eight-sided Keep of Anshen, the main stronghold of the Order of the Sworn of Anshen, was incorporated into Vegelin the Great's walls. Until that time it had been a separate fortification south of the city. The city now also sports a school for higher education, the School of Knowledge, founded by Queen Raisse.
Veray (Rychie Veray)
Market city in Ryshas with the baron's castle. Minor stronghold of the Guild of the Nameless, though most barons have been either neutral or in the Guild of Anshen. The week before Midsummer fencing and wrestling tournaments are held in Veray; the winners are considered to be the champions of all Valdyas. The Wine Fair in autumn is famous and makes its population of 15,000 easily double for about two weeks around the Feast of Mizran at the autumn equinox.

Regions

Chenyas Telhin
"Western Plain": immense grasslands to the west of Valdyas. Valdyas is encroaching on it, but not very fast because it is only marginally habitable. Herds of wild and half-wild horses roam it, followed by tribes of nomads. Villages like Tal-Crun attract some trade from the plains people, who come to exchange horses, bone objects and skins for metal weapons, tools and cooking utensils. In the southern part of the plains, a combined army of Plains people and Valdyan troops led by Reshan astin Eraday is fighting against Khas who venture too far north for comfort.
Hinyas Havin
"The Northern Highland": the frozen wasteland surrounding the North Pole. In summer there's probably some open water as well, because polar bears have been sighted almost as far south as Rizenay in long bad winters. People usually stay south of the mountains and don't cross to the highland beyond.
Idanyas
Region to the west of Essle, separated from the rest of Valdyas by a swamp to the east and virtually impenetrable woods and moors to the north. Idanyas, like its ruling House Rhydin, has always gone its own way, perhaps a little too much for the tastes of Queen Alyse II: she visited it in order to establish herself as Queen of all Valdyas. The Guild of the Nameless is emphatically not welcome in Idanyas; the Guild of Anshen holds border patrols to ensure that no enemy even enters it. Even though (or perhaps because) this means that every semte in Idanyas is in the Guild of Anshen there's an uneasy feeling in the air, more so than in the rest of Valdyas where both Guilds interact freely. Since the fall of Dol-Rayen, Selday has become more important as a port.
Lenyas
Wine-growing region along the Valda. The ground is mostly limestone here and the Valda has carved itself a deep ravine between the hills. The most famous wine in all of Valdyas, Swans' Blood, comes from Lenyas.
Ryshas
The wine-growing region in eastern Valdyas along the river Rycha. Ryshas is the most prosperous region in all of Valdyas, which is greatly helped by the fact that it has the best climate (barring Idanyas, but that is so far away that it usually isn't taken into consideration).

Countries

Albetire
Central of the Five Kingdoms. Mostly agricultural land surrounding the immense port city of the same name. It's ruled by the Enshah-elect Koll Konandé and his wife, the Azure Princess Yilde, daughter of the late Enshah.
Dasht
Easternmost of the Five Kingdoms. Its king is Zar Zameshtan.
The Five Kingdoms
Kingdoms on the north coast of Iss-Peran which have formed an alliance to fight against the invading Khas: from east to west Dasht, Jahan Javan, Albetire, Il Ayande and Jomhur.
Il Ayande
One of the Five Kingdoms, immediately west of Albetire. In danger of being conquered by the Khas. Its queen is Darya.
Iss-Peran
A continent, most of it one empire, across the sea to the South of Valdyas. Exports: spices, medicines, fine textiles, glassware, dried fruit and other luxury goods. Much of the trade with Valdyas is from the Five Kingdoms and goes through Albetire, especially now that part of the harbour quarter there is Valdyan territory. There are many different peoples in Iss-Peran. Iss-Peranian people are usually brown-skinned, ranging from slightly darker than the average Valdyan to almost blue-black. There is a common trade language, understood by almost everyone from Iss-Peran who is involved with speakers of other languages (either on their own continent or from overseas)
Jahan Javan
One of the Five Kingdoms, adjoining Albetire on the east. Its king is Baran.
Jomhur
Westernmost of the Five Kingdoms. Conquered by the Khas. King Aheste of Jomhur is in Albetire seeking military aid to take his country back.
Solay (Aumen Síth)
City state on the east coast of the desert region south of the Western Plain. Until it was completely overrun by the Khas it was ruled by the priesthood, but it also had an emperor who thought he was in power. It used to be an important trade partner, but after a fire in the harbour trade almost collapsed. Ships no longer call at Solay, but take the direct route to Iss-Peran in spite of pirates, many of whom are former soldiers of the Emperor of Solay. The name means "gold-place". In its own language, Síth Kura, it's called Aumen Síth. Arnei Arvi travelled to Solay and kept a diary (here in Dutch).
Velihas
Country to the east of Valdyas across the mountains, nominally belonging to the royal house by marriage, but largely left alone under its own rulers. The ruling monarch does have the official title "king/queen of Valdyas and Velihas".

Water

Ilda
River which runs first due south and then east from a lake in the northern mountains to Valdis, where it joins the Valda.
Lena
River that gives Lenyas its name. Its source is in the mountains between southern Lenyas and Idanyas. It flows, or rather throws itself, into the Valda just south of Lenay. For most of its length it's shallow enough to wade through.
Mera
The main river of Idanyas; it originates somewhere in the Western Plain and runs roughly south-east until it flows into the sea at Dol-Rayen. Unlike all other rivers in Valdyas, it's not part of the basin of the Valda.
Nysa
Shallow stream that runs south from high in the eastern mountains, past Turenay, joining the Rycha between Tal-Serth and Gralen.
Rycha
River that runs west from the mountains near Bryn Nanei. It splits in two along the way to be called Rycha Havin "Northern Rycha" and Rycha Hanre "Southern Rycha", rejoins itself, and then flows into the Valda north of Tilis. The Rycha is mostly a meltwater river, though it does have a source in the mountains, and goes into spectacular spate every spring.
Valda
The largest river in Valdyas. It runs more or less straight north-south all the way from the mountains bordering the Northern Highland to the sea at Essle. Its main tributaries are the Ilda and the Rycha. In fact, most of the country south of Tilis consists of the delta of the Valda.

Other things

Bryn Asel
"Grey Mountain", though Asel is usually considered to be its name, "Mount Asel". Working volcano in southern Velihas. It is part of the scenery in this story (in Dutch).
Bryn Nanei
"The Mother's Mountain", a holy place of the Mother in the mountains that separate Valdyas from Velihas, close to the source of the river Rycha. The sanctuary itself is a hill of gravel: pilgrims have been bringing pebbles from home for generations. Here is a story about it (in Dutch).
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