Tortall is bordered by the Emerald Ocean to the west, Scanra to the north, Galla, Tusaine and Tyra to the east, and the Great Inland Sea to the south. This gives it many miles of coastline, but also many contentious borders. Carthak and its eponymous capital city are located across a small straight of the Great Inland Sea from Tortall's southern coast.
Its two largest rivers are the River Drell, which forms Tortall's eastern border and flows south to empty into the Great Inland Sea, and the River Oloron, which flows east through the heart of the kingdom into the Emerald Ocean. Corus is located on the Oloron, near the coast.
A mountain range forms the northern border between Tortall and Scanra. Apart from this, Tortall is flat in the north, and some of the the south contains the Great Southern Desert, home to the Bazhir tribes.
Government and Economy
Tortall is a feudal monarchy, currently ruled by the Conté royal family. Like most of the Eastern Lands, the Code of Ten forms the basis of its government. Nobles make up the backbone of the power structure of Tortall, exercising considerable (though not unlimited) control over their own fiefdoms. All nobles swear fealty to the king, who rules with the help of advisers. There is a Council of Lords and a Council of Commons who vote on funds.
The military includes a standing army, the King's Own, the Queen's Riders, semi-independent knights, and troops levied from local lords. Bandit raids are a problem throughout the kingdom, and border-raids from Scanra are common.
Farming, and fishing along the coastlines, are the main sources of food and wealth in Tortall. Corus and Port Legann are also trading centers.
The main unit of currency in Tortall is the gold crown, gold noble, with gold bits, silver nobles, copper nobles, and copper bits as lower denominations.
- In the 240's 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 equalled 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 was on the front of the silver noble coins, with the country's enblem, 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 false silver coins was in circulation, being produced by Pearl Skinner, with Hansevor Remy as the person providing the silver for it. Before the counterfeiting caused silver prizes to drop, ten silver nobles equalled a gold noble and ten copper nobles equaled one silver noble.
Some currency values from the 400's 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)
History and Culture
Originally Tortall was only a state in the Thanic Empire. It became a sovereign nation 630 years before Alanna of Pirate's Swoop and Olau's time, e.g. around 211 years before the year count of the Human Era began. That's the time when the Tortallan Books of Nobility were begun. In that time the country was much smaller than during Jonathan IV of Conté's rule. Present-day Tortall includes many conquered lands, among them Barzun.and most recently scanra Tortall, by dint of absorbing the Bazhir tribes and other nations, being a center for commerce and learning, and the policies of its current rulers, has become a multicultural society, at least in Corus.
The law in Tortall is kept by the Provost's Guard, which was founded in the second century of the Human Era. In the third century strict laws were in place. For example a sentenced counterfeiter was boiled in oil and someone just passing coles along had his or her hand lopped off. Apart from that the law was also very strict when a guardsman or guardswoman was attacked or if children were harmed. Slavery was still allowed in that time, although there were already progressive tendencies wanting to ban it and illegal slave auctions—which were only illegal because they didn't pay the demanded taxes to the Crown—caused some trouble in that time. People holding slaves were responsible for their doings and could be imprisoned when their "vicious slaves" did any harm.
- 378 HE- The nation of Barzun is conquered by King Jasson I (various other wars of conquest by King Jasson were also conducted around this time.)
- 435 HE-Tusaine War
- 452 HE-Immortals War
- 460 HE-Scanran War
- ↑ LK, Chp 4
- ↑ LK, Chp 6
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 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")
- ↑ ATFA, Chp 5
- ↑ Page, Chp 1
- ↑ WM, Chp 1
- ↑ Random Buzz; "Random Tortall Questions..."; April 22, 2009
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 7, 247 (p. 11)
- ↑ Bloodhound, September 8, 247 (p. 50)
- ↑ 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)