—An author's thoughts on Fal Dara
Fal Dara is the northernmost city in Shienar, close to the Blightborder, and part of the final line of defense between it and the cities and farmsteads farther south. The city has several gates, the East Gate in the east wall, the King's Gate in the south wall and the Malkier Gate in the north wall.Its wall is studded with towers and encloses shops, inns, and homes around the central fortress with farms outside the wall. Most of the houses within and without the walls have sharp peaked wooden shingled roofs that run almost to the ground. This angled design prevents the damaging buildup of snow and ice during the long winter.
As with many cities of the Borderlands, the center of the city is dominated by a fortress or keep, and all streets and alleys are torchlit at night to prevent incursions from Fades. At the center of Fal Dara a dry moat, deep and wide with sharp spikes embedded in the bottom, and a second defensive wall studded with more towers, protect the inner keep, a massive fortress of stone built atop the highest point of the hill. The keep is the home of the Lord of Fal Dara, Agelmar Jagad, as well as his family, retainers, warriors, and servants. His fortress, as well as the walls that protect it and the town around it, are built for strength rather than beauty, yet there is a severe elegance in the stark lines of each wall and beauty in the massive stones. Its sign is the Black Hawk.
It was known as Mafal Dadaranell in the days before the Trolloc Wars, capital of Aramaelle, one of the Ten Nations. It was Ogier-built, consisting of grand towers, graceful arching buildings, and intricate palaces joined by wide avenues. Yet nothing was strong enough to hold back the waves of Shadowspawn flooding from the Blight. When the Trolloc Wars finally ended, Mafal Dadaranell was gone, razed to the bare earth. Those who survived decided to build another city on the site of the old one, but the Ogier stonemasons were gone. Rather than make a poor imitation, they replaced its elaborate design with simplicity.
In 998 NE, the then Amyrlin Seat, Siuan Sanche visited the city with an escort of no less than fourteen Aes Sedai, among them Anaiya, Maigan, Alanna Mosvani, Liandrin, Carlinya, Verin Mathwin and Serafelle.
- Though not all Shienaran towns and fortresses have such interesting histories, all are linked more strongly by their shared threat than by their allegiance to the nation. Ankor Dail holds the eastern marches and guards the Spine of the World. Other fortresses such as Mos Shirare, Fal Sion, and Camron Caan each provide an integral part of the defense of Shienar, and each has its own stories, and its own heroes.