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Ghealdan ] Isles of the Sea Folk ] Land of the Madmen ] [ Mayene ] Murandy ]

Mayene

Symbol: The Golden Hawk.

The 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.

Protected 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.)

In 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.

Few 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 as actual ruler of Mayene.

Over 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.

The 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.

The 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.

The 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, a 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.


 

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