Places

In this section I provide information about the various places occurring in the books.

Please note that the books follow only the protagonist whose knowledge of the world he is living in is rather limited, in particular at the beginning. Since I do not want to spoil this veil of ignorance, I will only rarely give information which would go far beyond what the protagonist could know. In fact, this section should rather be thought of as a glossary of places occurring in the books. It is mainly meant to help you look up names, in particular when you read later books and may have forgotten details from the earlier books. The information here may, however, include spoilers if you have not read all books. Please read at your own risk.

Please also note that there might be slight inconsistencies between what you read here and in the books. The reason is that the books are translated into English by a professional, not by myself. However, in all likelihood I will add information here which concerns a book before its translation is finished. That is, the translation in the books may eventually differ from how I wrote here. If I spot such inconsistencies I will remedy them, but I may overlook some.

The references in the footers indicate where in the books the story takes places at the specific location.

Major Places

This section is dedicated to the most important locations in the books. These are frequently visited by Nikko and presented in chronological order.

Vyldoro

Vyldoro is a remote mountain village at the end of a long valley that cuts into the mountains separating the Landgraviate of Hocatin in the west and the Duchy of Hymal in the east. The village is located at the foot of the Vyldam pass which consitutes the only connection between Hocatin and Hymal.

The small village comprising some half dozen farms is home to Nikko, who has never left it before the story begins, and his huge family who runs the south-east farm.

The inhabitants of Vyldoro are mostly dairy farmers, herdsmen and hunters. A speciality of the village is goat cheese which has its admirers throughout at least Hocatin, and possibly beyond. With the exception of Thorodos and perhaps Nikko himself the people of Vyldoro are rather simple people.

I: 1, 4, 6; II: 3, 4; VI: ?

The Vyldam Pass

The Vyldam Pass is the only connection between the Landgraviate of Hocatin and the former Duchy of Hymal. In fact, it is the only way mountain and sea surrounded Hymal can be reached overland, unless one wishes to climb cliffs and rocky walls. At its western foot the village of Vyldoro is located along the road that leads further down to Hocatin City. On the other side Halfuár is located, not very far from the eastern foot.

The pass is nearly always snow covered and can be crossed only a few months every year, in some colder years not at all. However, since Hymal is abandoned by men and home only to orcs, travel across the pass has nearly ceased. The old tollhouse on its west peak is half ruined already.

Nikko crosses the Vyldam Pass the first time together with Thorodos on his mysterious journey. While this first crossing is already unpleasant the boy nearly freezs to death on his own way back. Subsequent crossings, first with Danuwil then with Fydal as well as later ones seem to be much easier.

I: 2, 3, 7; II: 2; VI: ?; X: ?

The Plains of Hymal

The plains of Hymal are rumoured to be the result of a magically created forest fire that is said to have lasted a full century. While it remains uncertain how much of this is true the once tree covered plateau is nowadays a vast sea of grass that streches across at least half of Hymal, all the way from Halfuár in the north-west to the capital Sinál in the very south.

Nikko sets foot on the plains right after the death of Thorodos, when he decides to seek out the Prince's expedition which he assumes to have set up base on the lonely hill that will turn out to be the ruins of Halfuár much later. The boy does not get close to the castle and is attacked by orcs that drive him in to the Elf-Forest. Later on, together with Danuwil he will have more success and even rescue Fydal.

After the king appoints Fydal Duke of Hymal the latter grants the former county of Halfuár to Nikko who will have a good amount of work ahead of him to pacify and rebuild his lands in the north-west corner of the Plains of Hymal.

I; 3; II: 1, 2; VI-?

Vylrahdo

Vylrahdo is a paltry inn at the road from Hocatin City, right where it forks into a road leading to Skingár in the side valley to the north and the path to Vyldoro in the east, at the end of the main valley, and further on over the Vyldam Pass.

Though Vylrahdo is a rather insignificant place Nikko visits it quite often, usually on his travels from or to his home village Vyldoro.

I: 4, 6; II: 3, 4; VI: ?

Zundaj

Zundaj is both the capital of the Duchy of Zûldaján and of the whole Realm itself. As such the city also houses the Main Chapter of the Arcane Order, and most likely the headquarters of more or less every major guild. Zundaj is moreover the largest city in the Realm. Indeed, with its rumoured millions of inhabitants it dwarves not only smaller cities like Hocatin but even regional capitals like Terys.

The city is situated on a huge mesa and comprises a number of rising semicircular sections. The higher the section the more exlusive are its habitants, and the more restricted is the access to it. The top section harbours the gigantic King's Castle, where His Royal Majesty resides. The section below is home to the headquarters of the most influential guilds, amongst which is of course the Arcane Order, as well as to the embassies of the provinces and to the residences of the richest and most important people in the Realm.

Nikko reaches Zundaj after a long journey from Ironhold via Terys, together with Fydal and Danuwil.

III: 5-7; IV: 1-7; V-1; X: ?

Skingár

Skingár is a small mining town at the north end of a side valley of the same valley Nikko's home village Vyldoro is located in. In fact, the town and its castle appear to consitute a small county which belongs to the Count of Skingár, a character of a rather troublesome reputation, who turns out to be a powerful apostate sorcerer by the name of Master Hafuch, or simply "the Necromancer".

Skingár's status is somewhat confusing. On the one side it is, territorially speaking, a part of the Landgraviate of Hocatin. On the other side it is a royal fief, that is, granted by the king himself, not by the Landgrave of Hocatin. This situation has more than once lead to frictions between the Landgraves of Hocatin and the Count of Skingár, leaving quite a few resentments.

Nikko visits Skingár for the first time together with Grandmaster Peryndor to seek temporary asylum during their flight from the Arcane Order. However, this will not be his last stay there.

V: ?

Halfuár

Halfuár is the name of an old castle in the north-west corner of Hymal and the homonymous county surrounding it. The ruins of the castle are located on a lonely hill in the Plains of Hymal, only a few hours from the eastern foot of the Vyldam Pass.

Nikko visits the ruins first with Danuwil during their investigation of the fate that befell the expedition the Prince of Hocatin had sent into Hymal. Later on after his appointal as Duke of Hymal Fydal gifts Halfuár to Nikko and has it rebuilt.

II: 1; VI: ?

Sinál

Sinál is the capital of the former Duchy of Hymal. Much like the rest of this forlorn province it lays initial in ruins, until Fydal is appointed Duke of Hymal and sets out to rebuild the city, along with the rest of the land.

Nikko reaches Sinál, to be more precise the ruined chapter of the Arcane Order which he believes he is to head in the future, first by teleportation after Grandmaster Peryndor recovers the pattern from the south.

VI: ?

Minor Places

This section is dedicated to some locations of lesser importance to the story. Nikko may have visited them only once or perhaps twice. These places will be presented in alphabetical order.

Brigo

Brigo is a muddy little town in the west corner of the Grand Duchy of Thordám, not far from the border to the Duchy of Zûldaján. It appears to be the eponymous part of a Thordám county belonging to the notoriously greedy Count of Brigo who resides in a picturesque castle in the adjacent forests.

Nikko and his companions pass through Brigo on their journey to Zundaj. It is there where Danuwil gets himself into a lot of trouble and thereby jeopardizes the whole journey. Moreover, his misdeed forces Nikko and Fydal to stay longer than they would like.

III: 3

The Elf-Forest

The deep forest covering the southern foothills of the mountains in the very north of Hymal are all that is left of a great forest that is rumoured to once have covered the whole plains. The woods are home to a remnant tribe of elves of which little to nothing is known. In fact, it struck many people in Hocatin City as a surpise when they learned that there are elves left in Hymal at all.

Nikko runs into the forest fleeing from a band of orcs whose chieftain he seems to have struck down with his mysterious wand. While the elves make short work of the orcs they make it clear to the boy that he is not welcome there either, yet they let him leave unharmed.

Later when Nikko has to solve the wood shortage of his fief Halfuár he runs into some trouble with the elves who have assaulted his band of woodcutters. After taking some drastic measures Nikko and the elves come to an agreement but tensions remain lingering.

I: 3; VI: ?

Hocatin City

Hocatin City is the eponymous capital of the Landgraviate of Hocatin and the residence of the Landgrave Firót of Hocatin. The city is quite small in comparison to other regional capitals like Terys and even more so to the Realm's capital Zundaj, yet is is the largest municipality in and around the principality. The city is located at the east shore of Lake Hocatin and the landgrave's Castle was build on a small island in the lake, just as the picture shows.

Nikko reaches the city after travelling with the merchant Fodaj and his sons from Vylrahdo, to deliver the meassage he found on the Vyldam Pass. It is there where he meets Danuwil whom he is to accompany back to Hymal. After rescuing Fydal they return to Hocatin City only to be forced to fly from Rhobany's assault a few days later.

I: 5; II: 4, 5

Iron Citadel

The Iron Citadel is an ancient fortress on a rocky ridge overlooking the Hocatin plateau in the north and the tree covered plains of Thordám in the south, which are separated by the majestic Waterfalls. The fortress belongs initially to the Landgraviate of Hocatin and provides for a handsome income from the ore trade tolls.

Nikko reaches the Iron Citadel after they flee from Hocatin during Rhobany's assault on Hocatin. He spends a few weeks in the fortress until he decides to accompany Fydal and Danuwil on their journey to Zundaj.

II: 6, 7

Terys

Terys, the White City by the Blue Sea, is the capital of the Grand Duchy of Thordám and, therefore, residence of the Grand Duke Arlenn of Thordám. The city owes its byname to the bright white stone it was built with. Terys or, to be more precise the Duke's Castle, houses a chapter of the Arcane Order which is initially run by Master Sinúl.

Nikko passes through Terys on his way to Zundaj, together with Fydal and Danuwil. It is there, where he makes first contact with the Arcane Order. However, later on he will spend more time in Terys.

III: 2; V: ?

Miscellaneous Places

This section is dedicated to location of little to no importance for the story, some of which Nikko has never visited but only heard of. They are presented in alphabetical order, too.

Baldhon

Baldhon seems to be one of Hocatin's few fiefs. It appears usaully in combination with Holtán which implies that the two are not too far away.
none

Bregánt

Bregánt is where Danuwil comes from. It is apparently a small town in the north-east corner of Zûldaján, probably with some sort of a castle. Danuwil mentioned that the fiefdom actually belongs to Thordám but did not elaborate. Most likely Bregánt was lost to Zûldaján in a war or by polictial intrigue. Danuwil also mentioned that one of his modestly two wives lives there.
none

Gátam

Gatám is a fortress in the north-west corner of Thordám. When Nikko, Danuwil, and Fydal set out from Terys on their journey to Zundaj they have the priviledge of accompanying a band of grand ducal soldiers whose destination is Gátam. Near Brigo the companions and the soldiers split to the great dismay of Fydal who enjoyed their presence very much.
none

Lake Hocatin

The Landgraviate of Hocatin is situated on a high plateau surrounded by mountains from which uncounted rivers pour into Hocatin Lake in the middle of the plateau. The landgraviate's capital Hocatin City is located at the east shore of the lake. The landgrave's picturesque castle was build on a small island a few stone's throws into the lake. The lake pours out to the south where it forms a river that will eventually end up in the ocean by the city of Terys.
II: 6

Holtán

Holtán is a small fishing village at the west shore of Lake Hocatin. It further seems to be the eponymous part of one the Hocatin's few fiefdoms. Nikko and his companions pass through Holtán on their flight from Hocatin City to the Iron Citadel during Rhobany's assault.
II: 5

Khond

Khond is the capital of of the Duchy of Khondharr and the residence of Duke Rhobany. Nikko can catch only a swift glance at Khond, to be more precise at the Duke's castle, which he accidentally visits while searching for the missing teleportation orb of Skingár. From what he can see at least the Duke's residence appears to be build only from intricately carved wood.
X: 6, 7

Kûlan

Kûlan is a small town in the east of the Duchy of Zûldaján, right at the border to the Grand Duchy of Thordám. The town is the last beacon of civilisation before the road to Zundaj leads through the rather inhabitable steppes in the west. Kûlan is also rumoured to house a chapter of the Guild of Mercenaries. Nikko and his companions pass through Kûlan on their journey to Zundaj.
III: 4

The Steppes

The long road from Terys to Zundaj leads for several days through the inhabitable Steppes. Soon after leaving Kûlan, a dusty little town right at the border between Thordám and Zûldaján, to the west the land will turn dry and drier. Only a single oasis along the road promises recreation. However, the Steppes are not only notorious for their hostile climate but also for steppe wolves, brigands, and slavers.
III: 4

The Waterfalls

The plateau of Hocatin is remarkably higher than the plains of Thordám to the south. Lake Hocatin which is supplied by dozens of small rivers from the surrounding mountains pours out into a broad river. This river drops from the higher Hocatin plateau via various ledges down to the lower Thordám plains where it continues all the way down to the sea by Terys. The Waterfalls are probably one of the most magnificent sights nature has to offer.
II: 7
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