city-state of Mayene, easternmost city of the westlands,
occupies the southern tip of a peninsula pointing at
the Sea Folk island of Cindaking. Although not counted
among the kingdoms of the westlands because the
nation of Tear claims it, Mayene defiantly asserts its independence
and struggles constantly for security and recognition.
by its location, guarded by the sea and by the
Drowned Lands, Mayene avoided most of the direct warfare
that ravaged the rest of Hawkwing’s empire, although it
was sacked twice during that time. Only Tar Valon,
Tear, and Far Madding, which escaped being sacked
altogether, fared better during a time when most cities
were taken and looted frequently. (Some suggest that
even Tar Valon may have suffered at least partial looting.)
approximately FY 1004, a youth was brought to the
city, calling himself Tyrn sur Paendrag Mashera and claiming
to be Hawkwing’s grandson (or great-grandson; accounts
vary). Mayeners believed the claims, and while he
and his followers denied any desire to try to retake Hawkwing’s
empire, Mayene welcomed him, perhaps as a symbol
of stability, and styled him the First Lord of Mayene.
if any outside Mayene believe that Tyrn sur Paendrag was
any relation to Hawkwing, perhaps because no claim
was made on his behalf for the empire as a whole, and
while great efforts had been expended in killing all of Hawkwing’s
known descendents, few attempts were made on
Tyrn’s life. He died of a fever in 1054, whereupon his eldest
daughter, Miselle, was given the title First Lady of Mayene.
While Tyrn had become extremely influential in the
city during his lifetime, Miselle was the first to be acknowledged
ruler of Mayene.
the years there have been a few coups and other disruptions
to the hereditary line, as in most countries. However,
only those who descend from Rys have been recognized
as legitimate Firsts. (The "Lord" or "Lady" portion
of the title was eventually dropped.) Originally there
was only one Second, who was usually the successor to
the First, but this is no longer the case: In the last century,
as many as nine nobles have held the title at the same
time. Seconds are always the high seats of their noble
Houses, and they are ranked above other lords and ladies.
Tairen lords have tried many times to conquer Mayene,
but the forces of nature, combined with fierce Mayener
resistance led by the famed Winged Guards, have
foiled every attempt. In recent decades, the Tairens have
limited their efforts to political and economic manipulation. They
also occasionally employ assassins, which
is why every First learns secret fighting skills.
current First, Berelain sur Paendrag, a young woman
of striking beauty, strong passions, and fierce will, continues
the long-standing tradition of maintaining her city’s
independence. High in the favor of the Dragon Reborn, she
has served as his regent in Cairhien, and with his
protection undoubtedly will maintain her nation’s freedom.
In her absence, her group of Seconds (loyal nobles she
trusts and relies upon for advice and assistance) keep
the city running smoothly.
Drowned Lands: A
natural bulwark keeping Mayene
safe from landward invasion, the Drowned Lands
are a vast saltwater marsh with no lengthy open waterways or
truly solid high ground. Junglelike areas grow amid
seas of chest-high grass, providing homes for dozens of
distinctive creatures that make travel through the swamps
even more hazardous. In addition to a plethora of
highly venomous serpents, these creatures include the nedar,
tusked water-pig that reaches up to 50 pounds; the
soetam, a gigantic rat weighing as much as 15 pounds; twenty-foot-long
carnivorous water lizards that do not hesitate
to attack humans; and the swamp cat, a predatory feline
of about 20 pounds.