Emond's Field is located north of Deven Ride and south of Watch Hill at the intersection of the North Road and the Old Road. West from the village stretches the Quarry Road which passes through the Westwood and the Sand Hills to terminate at the Mountains of Mist.
The community is the largest of the villages in the region and has been built surrounding a Green where a natural aquifer, the Winespring, flows continuously from a low stone outcropping. The Winespring is the headwater for the Winespring Water which flows east through the Green under two low railed footbridges, the Wagon Bridge, and passes adjacent to the Winespring Inn. From there the stream widens with willow trees dotting its banks, passes the mill owned by Jon Thane, and eventually splits into several flows in the Waterwood before draining into The Mire. While some villagers reside inside the community limits, others like Tamlin al'Thor live on outlying farms.
HistoryEditLong ago when Manetheren ruled the region the location of the village was a crossroads near the capital city, the mountain home itself. During the Trolloc Wars Manetheren was besieged by armies of Shadowspawn and waged a desperate battle for survival. Legend holds that the war ended when the Band of the Red Hand fell while defending King Aemon al'Caar al'Thorin near the crossroads at a place which came to be known as Aemon's Field. The legend further asserts that when these heroes perished, a spring identical to the Winespring burst forth where they fell to forever mark their sacrifice. In the years following the fall of Manetheren, farmers returned to the area to found a community centered around the spring. It is likely that the name Emond's Field is a social evolution of Aemon's Field.
Like the other villages in the Two Rivers region, Emond's Field practices a form of gender-based bicameral government. They do not consider themselves under the Queen of Andor as there has not been any interference from or even knowledge of the Andoran royalty in quite a few generations.
Governance is officially controlled by a Village Council consisting of eight men who are elected to office via popular vote. Council meetings take place in the common room of the Winespring Inn. The council is headed by a mayor who is elected in a similar fashion. The current mayor of Emond's Field is Brandelwyn al'Vere. Though elections for mayor can be contentious in the villages of the Two Rivers, Mayor al'Vere is well liked and has served multiple unopposed terms during his tenure. Additionally, a second ruling body called the Women's Circle controls community matters as well. Members of the circle are always elder females who are chosen by existing members. The Women's Circle is headed by a Wisdom who serves for life. The current Wisdom of Emond's Field is Daise Congar who has recently replaced Nynaeve al'Meara. As in the villages of Watch Hill and Deven Ride, political control of Emond's Field exists as an ongoing willful struggle between the Village Council and the Women's Circle. In general however, the Village Council tends to regulate economic matters and the Women's Circle holds sway over social issues. Though Emond's Field continues to assert political independence, recently many villagers, including Mayor al'Vere, have begun to defer to Lady Faile Bashere Aybara and Lord Perrin Aybara.
Inhabitants of the area live a lifestyle centered around farming and tradecraft. Adult women wear their hair in a braid and a young girl from Emond's Field is allowed to braid her hair only when the Women's Circle determines that she is of marriageable age. Men are usually farmers or masters of a trade skill. Every spring villagers hold a Bel Tine festival on the village green where contests are held and unmarried adult villagers are encouraged to dance together around a Spring Pole. Folk are also sometimes distrustful of outsiders, evidenced when they occasionally refer to Taren Ferry men as "sheepstealers" and keep a wary eye on visiting merchant caravans. Like all inhabitants of the Two Rivers, villagers of Emond's Field are known for a strong streak of stubbornness, a legacy of ancient Manetheren. As a consequence they are a hardy folk unwilling to give up even when times are tough. While on the surface it may seem to outsiders that the conflict between the Village Council and the Women's Circle is forever ongoing, villagers are actually fiercely loyal to each other. As a result they will fight united with every fiber of their being to protect their property and way of life.
Economics and tradeEdit
The economy of Emond's Field depends primarily upon tabac farming and wool gathering. Guarded merchant caravans will journey to the village from Baerlon and Taren Ferry during certain times of the year in order to purchase and return with these commodities. Commerce takes place upon the village green and, as a function of his office to ensure a fair marketplace, Mayor al'Vere dons his badge of office while observing all transactions and weighing coins with a set of merchant's scales. In addition to these commodities, the economy of Emond's Field also depends on the tradecraft of blacksmith Haral Luhhan, mill owner Jon Thane, thatcher Cenn Buie, and horsetrader Abell Cauthon. The Mayor and his wife Marin al'Vere also enjoy a brisk business as owners of the Winespring Inn.
For as long as anyone can remember Emond's Field has been a peaceful, isolated village, but recent events have led to dramatic changes.
On Winternight of the year 998 NE, a force of about one hundred Trollocs attacked Emond's Field in search of the Dragon Reborn. As a result a few people were killed, several more were wounded, and many houses were destroyed. Fortunately the Aes Sedai Moiraine Damodred and her Warder interceded and prevented more violence. After these events, the Aes Sedai left with four young villagers (Rand al'Thor, Matrim Cauthon, Perrin Aybara, and Egwene al'Vere) and a gleeman named Thom Merrilin. Later the village Wisdom, Nynaeve al'Meara, left in pursuit and did not return. Before leaving, Nynaeve sent for the Wisdom of Deven Ride, Mavra Mallen, to act as her temporary replacement. When Nynaeve did not return, Daise Congar was chosen by the Women's Circle to serve as the new Wisdom.
After the fall of the Stone of Tear, Padan Fain attempted to lure Rand al'Thor into a trap by harassing Emond's Field with a force of Shadowspawn. Perrin Aybara returned to the area instead with Faile Bashere and ultimately led a heroic defense of the village in a cultural turning-point that would come to be known as the Battle of Emond's Field. The conflict led to a social knitting of Emond's Field with Watch Hill and Deven Ride establishing the foundations of a sovereign power with Lord Perrin Aybara and his wife Lady Faile Bashere Aybara as defacto rulers. Though Perrin does not seek leadership, it is likely that his nature as ta'veren is the driving cause of these social changes.
After the violence with Shadowspawn was settled, refugees from Almoth Plain, Tarabon, Arad Doman, and Ghealdan begin to enter the region in flight from other conflicts and troubles. Initially this caused a population strain on the village but in time the economy of the Two Rivers expanded and Emond's Field began to grow. New houses are now being built that sport superior clay tile roofing, and a new inn, The Archers, is under construction. The inclusion of new cultures and trade skills are leading Emond's Field to grow into a town surrounded by a stone wall with fortifications reminiscent of the Borderlands from where Lady Faile hails.
—Robert Jordan, speaking of his real home in Charleston, SC
- A false version of Emond's Field appears in The Great Hunt.