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|Kingdom of Tortall|
|Tortallan Universe place|
|Location||Coast, borders Scanra, Galla, Tusaine, and Tyra|
|Terrain||Mountainous, desertland, fertile fields|
|Climate||Humid continental climate (very cold in winter, very hot in summer)|
|Main Industry||Fishing, agriculture, mining|
|Residents||The Tortallans, the Bazhir|
|Head of State||King Jonathan & Queen Thayet (co-rulers)|
|First appeared||Alanna: The First Adventure|
|Latest appearance||Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales|
Location and climate
Tortall is a country in the Eastern Lands. It has a humid continental climate, for the most part, and is hot in the summer and cold in the winter. In the north, Tortall experiences quite a lot of snow during the winter. In the south, however, near the Great Inland Sea, it has a rather warmer winter, although there is quite a lot of rain.
It borders the Emerald Ocean at the western border, and the Great Inland Sea on its southern border. This gives it many miles of coastline, but also many contentious borders. Tortall has been invaded quite a few times by raiders and bandits of other countries.
Landforms and bodies of water
Tortall hosts a number of landforms and bodies of water.
Rivers & Lakes
- River Drell, forms eastern border. Flows south to the Great Inland Sea.
- River Hasteren
- River Bonnett
- Vassa River
- River Tellerun
- Olorun River, second of Tortall's largest rivers. Flows east through heart of the kingdom. Empties into the Emerald Ocean.
- Lake Tirragen
- Golden Lake
- Lake Naxen
- Halseander River
- Banas River
- Long Lake, body of water where Fief Dunlath is located
- River Domin
- Lictas River
- Grimhold Mountains—mountain range that forms the northern border between Tortall and Scanra
- Tusaine Mountains, range that runs up Tusaine border
- Coastal Hills
- Southern Wall
The current ruling family of Tortall is House Conté. Tortall is a constitutional feudal monarchy and is ruled by a king and/or queen, although there are no known Conté queens who have ruled in their own right. It currently is ruled by Jonathan IV of Conté and Queen Thayet, who are joint rulers of Tortall. Tortall has a prime minister and several councils. The Council of Lords, the Council of Commons, and the king's private council. There is also the Council of Mages that makes legislation for mages and mage work. The monarch has a significant amount of power, but they must listen to their councils and their prime minister. The monarch does not have absolute power, and thus is not autocratic. During the reign of King Jonathan IV, Sir Gareth serves as the king's prime minister and chief adviser.
Laws and justice
There is organized crime in Tortall and the surrounding lands, namely the Court of the Rogue. Not all criminals are members of the Court, but those who are swear their allegiance to their leader. The Rogue, or the King/Queen of Thieves, protects those under their care, keeps them away from law enforcement, takes care of them during times of hardship like famine, and helps them if they are caught and punished. What the Court does and does not condone and whom the Court does and does not protect depends quite a bit on each individual ruler. Many times, the Court will punish its own members if it feels that the criminal did something reprehensible or traitorous.
The law in Tortall is kept and upheld by the Provost's Guard and the magistrates, which was founded in the second century of the Human Era. Lawbreakers are subjected to a trial in front of a magistrate to decide punishment. It is unknown how much punishments differed in the 5th century from the 3rd century for specific crimes.
The law enforcement's relationship with crime organizations like the Court of the Rogue has fluctuated quite a bit over time. In the 3rd century, law enforcement and the Court had a tentative truce, and the Court would pay bribes in order for the law to overlook a few of their minor crimes. In the 5th century, the relationship between the two organizations had changed drastically. There seemed to be no sort of amnesty policy, and the Court operated in secret.
During the 3rd century
- sentenced counterfeiter was boiled in oil
- someone who knowingly kept counterfeits in circulation had his or her hand lopped off.
- punishment was very strict when a guardsman or guardswoman was attacked or if children were harmed
Slavery and the slave trade
- "Many evils take place under the canopy of slavery, including the banditry and piracy that plague our mountains and seas. This trade may go elsewhere. Let other monarchs deal with its mischief. I hope they can protect their children from it."
- —King Roger's decree
Slavery was prohibited in the 3rd century by decree of King Roger II, after his son was kidnapped and enslaved. The ban states that all slave traders must leave Tortall by the 1st of October in 249, and all slave auctions and selling of human beings is illegal except to reunite families—this case must be approved by a Crown magistrate. Slaves may buy their freedom, or remain with their owners until their deaths—no owner may cast out a slave, and the law will protect them. In 250, by the spring equinox, no child under the age of ten may be a slave, and owners must find new work for the young slaves. The ban needed two witnesses to ratify it and make it legal; King Roger was one and Rebakah Cooper was the other.
Before the ban, slavery was completely legal, although there were already progressive inclinations to ban it and to forbid illegal slave auctions—which were only illegal because they didn't pay the demanded taxes to the Crown. People holding slaves were responsible for their doings and could be imprisoned when their "vicious slaves" did any harm. After the ban, it is unknown what the punishment for slave trading was, but it is presumably quite high.
Tortall exemplifies the fluctuation of women's rights. In the third century and prior to that, women were able to enter the workforce. Noblewomen also had the prerogative to become knights. There was still a high amount of misogyny and sexism that was rampant, but women were able to work in occupations that were dominated by men later. By the 5th century HE, women had lost those rights. In many places, women were considered the veritable property of male members of their family.
In the mid-5th century, King Jonathan and Queen Thayet did what they could to ameliorate life for women. In the 450s HE, there was a large amount of activism, mostly on the part of the temples of the Great Mother Goddess, to end violence against women in Tortall. There were still quite a lot of problems in cases involving noblemen and commoner women, as the courts automatically swung in the favor of the nobleman.
Rights of commoners
The activism for commoner's rights was closely linked to activism for women's rights in the 5th century HE, as many commoner women suffered from both classist and misogynistic laws and presumptions. Commoner women rarely won sexual assault cases when the perpetrator was a commoner man, let alone a nobleman. The temples of the Great Mother Goddess fought for commoner women who were victims of sexual assault. Many leaders of the temples became quite militaristic about justice for commoner women, even if the abuser was a nobleman. When Keladry of Mindelan petitioned King Jonathan and Queen Thayet to change a law that measured servants in coin and stripped them of their own agency, King Jon mentioned that they would get support from the temples of the Great Mother Goddess, as they would see it as furthering progress for women's rights.
Besides the intersection of women and commoner rights, change occurred that would aid all commoners. Queen Thayet worked hard to provide free schooling for commoners, especially poorer tenants of a noble's lands.
The nobility wield a large amount of power throughout the kingdom. They are allowed to call upon noble privileges, which have political power as well as cultural power. With noble privileges, aristocrats cannot be arrested when they have sanctuary on their own property, they can get away with more in terms of crime, etc. They wield considerable power over their own property and the tenants who live on that property.
Fiefdoms in Tortall are by royal grant. Further inheritance depends on the provisions set out in that grant. As long as there is either a legitimate heir (50% of Tortall Fiefdoms) or a legitimate male heir (50% of Tortall Fiefdoms), the grant belongs to the family for life. Land goes to the oldest heir. If there are no legitimate [male] heirs within 3 degrees of cousinship, the land will return to the crown. 
Ruling Monarchs of Tortall
The following is a list of known rulers of Tortall:
- Baird III of Tortall, reigned in the second century HE, established the Provost's Guard
- Jonathan I, the first of his name, wrote the Scroll of Salute honoring four noble families of Tortall. It is unknown when he reigned
- Roger II of Conté, ruled during the time of Rebakah Cooper. Ended slavery in Tortall.
- Gareth of Conté, ruled after Roger II, his father. Called "The Strong"
- Jasson III of Conté, "The Conqueror", added many lands to Tortall
- Roald I of Conté, "The Peace-maker/keeper", son of King Jasson
- Jonathan IV of Conté & Queen Thayet, joint rulers of Tortall
Of course, this list is non-exhaustive. Unlike Queen Lianne, Thayet was mentioned because she is co-ruler of Tortall with her husband and shares equal power, as opposed to just the wife of the ruler of the country.
The Conté family had been ruling Tortall for centuries, beginning with Jonathan I. No Conté queens who ruled suo jure (in their own right) have been mentioned or portrayed in any books.
Tortall's relationships with its neighboring countries has fluctuated immensely over centuries. In the mid 200s HE, there were no wars and most of the strife was internal. Many wars took place in the 300s during the reign of King Jasson III—who was known as the Conqueror. Even King Roald's reign is blemished by war, even though he was known as "The Peace-maker"—although that epithet was mostly due to his peace-making in the conquered lands of his father.
In the 200s HE, a marital alliance between Galla and Tortall was attempted when King Roger II married a Gallan princess, Alysy. As Queen of Tortall, she was extremely unhappy and depressed because of her husband's philandering. She died of breast cancer.
After Queen Alysy died, King Roger II married a Barzunni princess, Jessamine. Their marriage was more successful and they created a strong alliance with Barzun, especially because Queen Jessamine encouraged King Roger II to take a stronger role in politics as King of Tortall, and she gave him an heir, Prince Gareth, who would later become a well-remembered king in Tortallan history as "Gareth the Strong".
The Barzunni alliance did not hold a very long time as nearly a century later, it was conquered by King Jasson III, despite his Barzunni heritage. Of course, perhaps Jasson felt even more fit to rule Barzun because of his royal blood from that country. Jasson also conquered the lands outside of Tortall, expanding Tortall's borders well into Scanra and Tusaine.
Tortall's relationship with Tusaine suffered during the early 400s, when the Tusaine War broke out in a fight over the valley surrounding the Drell River. The Tortallans were the victors and they drafted a treaty that would force Tusaine to never lay claim to that territory again.
King Jasson III conquered the Great Southern Desert without a thought for the people already living there, the Bazhir, and at first the tribes were immensely hostile to Tortallans. There was peace between them when King Jonathan became the Voice of the Tribes while he was still the crown prince of Tortall. Once king, he allowed Bazhir men to enter into page training to become knights of the realm.
Alanna the Lioness succeeded in ridding the Bazhir of the Ysandir, deadly immortals who feasted on the souls of humans. This created the first bridge between the Tortallans and the Bazhir tribes who were still hostile to the northerners.
Raoul of Goldenlake also helped matters in recruiting Bazhir for the King's Own. Quite a few men joined, and Lord Raoul is rather beloved of the Bazhir tribes and welcomed with the highest hospitality.
Although originally rather hostile to each other, the Yamani Islands and Tortall forged a marital alliance between their two countries. The emperor of the Islands sent a second-rank princess Shinkokami to marry Crown Prince Roald, King Jonathan and Queen Thayet's eldest son and heir.
The Tortallans also received military aid from the Islands in the Immortals War. They did not seem to receive troops from the Islands for the Scanran War, but it would not be surprising if they received monetary aid.
Copper Isles and Carthak
Tortall has a historically bad relationship with the Copper Isles and Carthak, as government sanctioned slavers and privateers would capture Tortallans and sell them in their countries. This was relatively the same for Scanra, which often conducted sanctioned border raids. In the late 440s HE, the Immortals War broke out. The belligerents were Ozorne Tasikhe and his Stormwings, Copper Isles, Scanra, and some rebel Carthakis, against Tortall and the Yamani Islands. Tortall did not receive aid from Galla, Tusaine, or Maren.
In the late 450s trouble started brewing on the Scanran border when killing devices started appearing and wreaking havoc. War was officially declared in early 460 HE. The war ended officially in 464. It is unknown if any treaties were signed, but Tamora Pierce mentioned that King Jonathan was looking for a Scanran princess for his second son Prince Liam, and that would suggest that he is interested in forming a marital alliance between Tortall and Scanra.
There are several roads that span across Tortall, as well as smaller roads in various cities.
Larger roads and highways
Note that some of these roads span through a few cities, districts, and provinces that list smaller roads.
- Conté Road
- Great Road North
- Great Road South
- Great Road East
- Coastal Way
- Port Way
- Vassa Road
- Rivers Road North
- Rivers Road East
- Galla Highway
- Frasrlund Road
- Normen Road
- Olorun Road
- Tellerun Road
Three Rivers Province
Tortall has many different branches of armed forces to protect the country:
- The Standing Army—Led by several Generals. As Vanget haMinch is the General of the Northern Armies, there is likely a General of the Southern Armies whose identity is unknown. The standing army responds to crises like the declaration of war and open battles. They rarely do reconnaissance and chases that require speed.
- The King's Own—Used to be a rather useless branch until Raoul of Goldenlake shaped them up and recruited from the Bazhir and the common factions of Tortall. Prior to his leadership the King's Own acted as a comfortable way for second sons to spend time and carouse while avoiding other duties. By the mid 400s, the King's Own is a formidable battle troop. They are used for reconnaissance, forest work, and open battles. They are generally the first responders to a crisis such as an immortal attack.
- The Queen's Riders—Founded by Queen Thayet, the Riders are able to reach less accessible places of Tortall, like in the mountains or in heavily wooded areas, unlike the standing army. The Riders accept both men and women into their ranks, unlike both the standing army and the King's Own. They are also charged with teaching defense and fighting skills to locals.
- Knights—Taught a variety of fighting skills and offensive and defensive skills. Knights are usually given command of troops or forts. When working with the standing army, however, they are given less power unless they are older and more seasoned. The appointment of a newly created knight to a command position is rare but not unheard of—as is the case with Keladry of Mindelan.
Wars and conflicts
Several wars have occurred throughout Tortall's history:
- Centaur Wars, a series of battles between humans and centaurs that occurred before the Immortals were banished into the Divine Realms by mages. This was before the Human Era.
- Major conquests: King Jasson III conquered many lands, expanding Tortall's borders. The king completely conquered Barzun in 378 HE.
- Tusaine War, took place during the generally peaceful reign of King Roald I, King Jasson III's successor and son. Tortallans were the victors, as Prince Jonathan and Alanna of Trebond were able to take Duke Hilam and Count Jemis as hostages.
- Immortals War, took place during the reign of Jonathan IV, the son and successor of King Roald I. Major war between Tortall and Carthak, Scanra, and the Copper Isles. The latter three countries joined together with Uusoae, Queen of Chaos and several other unsavory types of immortals, thus giving the war its title. Tortall and its allies were the victors.
- Scanran War, took place in the early 460s between Tortall and Scanra. Maggur Rathhausak wished to conquer well into the northern Tortallan border and used metal monsters dubbed as killing devices to accomplish this goal. Tortallans were the victors.
Conflicts and events
- The Bread Riot—247 HE. Rioting occurred due to rampant hunger and starvation. Caused, in part, by the counterfeiters
- Bandit raids are a problem throughout the kingdom, and border-raids from Scanra are common. Wars have occurred such as The Immortals War, the Scanran War, and the Tusaine War.
- The Great Market Riot—Occurred in Corus due to civil strife. Rioters believed a curse had befallen Jonathan. 15 dead, 36 injured.
- Coronation Day Battle—was a civil conflict between two members of House Conté, King Jonathan IV and his diabolical cousin Roger of Conté. King Jonathan and his allies and friends were the victors due to the use of the Dominion Jewel.
- Famine of 439 — occurred after the Coronation Day Battle. The Dominion Jewel used up too much of the earth's energy for it to continue properly sustaining itself. It took years to get agriculture back on tract, which resulted in a devastating famine. King Jonathan and Queen Thayet had to scrounge to get Tortallans through it.
Farming and fishing along the coastlines, are the main sources of food and wealth in Tortall. Corus and Port Legann are also trading centers. Tortall is considered to be a prosperous nation, even with its various poor.
Currency and value
The main units of currency in Tortall are the gold crown, gold noble, with gold bits, silver nobles, copper nobles, and copper bits as lower denominations.
- In the 240s HE a gold noble valued ten silver nobles and a hundred copper nobles. Four gold bits also made up a gold noble.
- A gold bit equaled two silver and ten copper nobles.
- One copper noble equaled ten coppers while ten copper nobles made up one silver noble.
In 247 HE, fresh bread cost two coppers before the Bread Riot and three coppers each after the riot. The baker Garnett took a bribe of five copper nobles from the customers who had accidentally paid him with false coins.
In the third century of the Human Era the profile of King Roger II was on the front of the silver noble coins, with the country's emblem, a sword with a crown, on its back. The coin's appearance probably changed throughout the years to match the current ruler of the realm.
In 247 HE a large amount of counterfeit silver coins were in circulation, being produced by Pearl Skinner, with Hansevor Remy as the silver provider. Before the counterfeiting caused the value of silver to drop, ten silver nobles equaled a gold noble and ten copper nobles equaled one silver noble.
Some currency values from the 400s HE in Tortall:
- A top-quality horse—Upwards of 30 gold nobles
- Wage of a maid in the Royal Palace—One silver noble per month (plus room and board)
- Wage of the assistant horsemistress of the Queen's Riders—Two coppers per day (plus room and board)
Note that the value of the coins probably dropped due to some sort of inflation, so we cannot assume that the same value from the 200s apply to the value of the 400s.
Known cities and towns
- Corus, capital city
- Blue Harbor
- Black City, where the Ysandir lived before they were defeated, near Persopolis
- Pearlmouth, port city near Tyra
- Port Caynn
- Port Legann
- Whitethorn, city located near the Olorun River
- Frasrlund, fortified city on the Scanran border
- Bearsford, fortified city by the Great Road North
- Queensgrace, formerly a fiefdom, now part of Fief Princehold
- Bay Cove
- New Hope, began as a refugee camp and became more of a town
- Babet, town existed in 3rd century HE, unknown if it still exists by 5th century
Most Tortallans worship primarily Mithros and the Goddess, along with any of the other Greater and Lesser Gods, depending on location and occupation. Despite the gods' interference in many mortals' lives, religion is not an incredibly central theme to Tortallans, unless they themselves are a priest or priestess of a divine being. Religion is more of a private practice, as opposed to a larger, overarching one. A Tortallan may visit a temple and worship/pray every so often, but attending such services on a weekly or monthly basis does not seem to be compulsory or even on the minds of many Tortallans. Regularity of worship probably depends on the god in question as opposed to the society as a whole. Prayer outside of a place of worship is common for Tortallans, and religion is integrated into society through regularity of prayer as opposed to compulsory worship.
See List of Tortallan Gods for more information about specific gods and religious practices in Tortall and the Tortallan Universe as a whole.
In the 450s HE, many of the trends set for women at court were by Queen Thayet. In one instance, Thayet wore a deep black gown studded with jewels and silver embroidery, which was made by Lalasa Isran. The queen was known for being incredibly daring with her clothing.
"It depends on the religion. Mithrans have ceremonies which include the couple lighting a fire together, and wearing marigold necklaces which they trade with each other. Marriages under the Goddess follow the Wiccan mode, with the ribbons. If people are married under the faith of the Wave-Walker, they get dunked in a river, pool, or sea together; the bride has a headdress made of shells (for fertility). There are as many rituals as there are faiths. All require an exchange of vows, so everyone knows what they’re getting into, and prayers from the priests or priestesses. Some have attendants, some have family and friends throwing flowers, or grain . . . It all depends.
A royal wedding in Tortall is performed by a priestess of the Goddess and a priest of Mithros, and involves attendants, long trains for both the king and queen, incense, candles, and earth in the bride and groom’s shoes to remind them of their connection to the land."
Tortallans trained in Carthak and the Yamani Isles go for brush and ink, while those trained in the Eastern lands use charcoal/paper or chalk/slates, then quill/parchment/paper for formal writing. Books are printed page by whole, carved page–no moveable type yet.
In the Eastern Lands and Copper Isles, most knights (such as Kel and Alanna) carry a longsword. They are similar to our world's Norman longsword. Tortallans in general use longbows or smaller recurve bows. Riders in Tortall use recurves. Some archers use crossbows.
Scanrans favor broadswords (similar to Vikings in our world).
In the Yamani Islands, warriors use Glaives. (These are similar to Samurai naginatas rather than European glaives.) They shoot using a Yamani Asymetric bow.
Everyone used a dagger for eating and fighting.
Originally Tortall was only a state in the Thanic Empire. It became a sovereign nation 630 years before Alanna the Lioness's time, e.g. around 211 years before the year count of the Human Era began, the same time when the Tortallan Books of Nobility were begun.
- Reign of Baird III of Tortall
- Reign of Jonathan I of Conté, the establishment of House Conté as the royal family
- Bread Riot and Counterfeiting of 247 HE
- Treasonous plot to overthrow King Roger II, ends in the king's favor in 249 HE. King Roger ends slavery
- The Gentle Mother cult grows in power and influence
- Women lose all prior rights due to the cult of the Gentle Mother
- Jasson III of Conté ascends the throne. King Jasson begins his conquests of neighboring territories.
- In 378 HE the nation of Barzun was conquered. Various other wars of conquests were also conducted around this time.
- Roald I of Conté ascends the throne, and strives to create a peaceful era. His and his wife's inability to have more than one child created a succession crisis.
- 435 HE marked the year of the Tusaine War. Tortallans were the victors.
- Early 438 HE—Deaths of King Roald and Queen Lianne. The crown passes to Jonathan.
- Great Market Riot—people believe Jon is cursed
- In 438 HE, Roger of Conté attempted to destroy Tortall using dark magic in a battle known as the Coronation Day Battle.
- 438 & 439 HE, large famine left Tortall destitute and hungry because of the use of the Dominion Jewel.
- Ordained that women would be allowed to become knights.
- 452 HE—Immortals War. Large death toll, Tortallans and Yamanis were the victors.
- 460 HE—Scanran War. The use of killing devices destroyed the Tortallans for a while. After the assassination of Blayce the Gallan, the Tortallans were victorious.
Tortall is featured prominently throughout the books, and is the reason why the universe is referred to as the "Tortallan Universe". Tortall is mentioned in every book of the Universe, and appears in almost all of them.
- Song of the Lioness quartet. Appears in all books.
- The Immortals quartet. Appears in all books except for Emperor Mage.
- Protector of the Small. Appears in all books.
- Trickster Series. Appears in the Trickster's Choice, mentioned in Trickster's Queen.
- Provost's Dog. Appears in all books.
- Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales. Book of short stories, appears in quite a few.
- Exile. Upcoming trilogy about Numair Salmalín. Tortall may or may not appear in the first book, The Gift of Power (published 2017), but will certainly appear in later installments.
Notes and references
- ↑ Maps in Mastiff
- ↑ Makes up border between Tortall and Scanra
- ↑ Lady Knight, Chapter 6
- ↑ Mastiff, early chapters
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 7, 247 (p. 11)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Mastiff, final chapter (pp. 571—573; Random House hardcover)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 8, 247 (p. 50)
- ↑ Lioness Rampant, Chapter 4 (pg. 129; Simon Pulse paperback)
- ↑ Dispute: Trebond discrepancy; Tamora Pierce mentioned that Trebond got annexed to Crown lands upon Thom's death because women could not inherit—this is directly contested in the original text of Lioness Rampant.
- ↑ https://tpwords.wordpress.com/2007/08/25/inheritance-trebond/
- ↑ https://tpwords.wordpress.com/2007/08/25/inheritance-throne-of-tortall/
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Squire, Chapter 16 (pg. 318; Random House paperback)
- ↑ Privateering is legalized piracy that is condoned by the pirates' own government. This usually occurs during wartime or times of hostility.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Bloodhound, Glossary
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 15, 247 (p. 203; Random House hardcover)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 9, 247 II (p. 79)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 8, 247 (p. 36)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 19, 247 II (p. 429)
- ↑ Bloodhound, Glossary (terms "gold noble" and "silver noble")
- ↑ Alanna: The First Adventure, Chapter 5
- ↑ Page, Chapter 1
- ↑ Wild Magic, Chapter 1
- ↑ .Mastiff, maps
- ↑ In the Hand of the Goddess
- ↑ https://tpwords.wordpress.com/2007/08/25/marriages-in-tortall/
- ↑ https://tpwords.wordpress.com/2007/08/25/writing-systems/
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 https://tpwords.wordpress.com/2007/08/25/weapons-and-training/
- ↑ Random Buzz; "Random Tortall Questions..."; April 22, 2009
- ↑ Tortallan timeline
- List of Tortallan Fiefs
- List of landmarks (Tortallan Universe)
- Events in Tortallan history
- Places in Tortall
- Characters with Tortallan origin
- Tortallan citizens
- Tortallan family tree
- List of Tortallan Gods
- Gods (Tortallan Universe)