Cities of Zelénpese

Meška's map of Caerlean

Śvecene – ‘white fish’. County town of Zelénpese. This area sits on the fringe of a limestone ridge, resulting in a tumble of chalk hills, greensand and clean-flowing streams where you can see fish stirring the pebbles with their plated bodies. Although a land of ‘little’ rivers – compared, say, to Rijeka – Śvecene carries the advantage in terms of trout and salmon.

White horses – of an even greater scale than those in Deepe – are cut into the chalk hillsides, and a feeling of space and emptiness can descend upon those who venture out of the town, which was built upon a water-meadow. Śvecene has been the site of a royal mint since the time of King Auwode (son of Gwythyr the Great), with the River Elwy running straight through the town centre. This brisk waterway, connected to both the Chynogod and Great Itchen, supports the prosperous fish industry, transporting the finest salmon straight to the capital.

Uaham – ‘silver meadow in the bend of a river’. The town of Uaham is built upon the much-older site of a prehistoric camp covering some twenty miles. Situated at the top of a large flat-topped hill, five hundred feet above sea-level, the views are magnificent – green valleys interrupted only by the River Elwy, curving back and forth like a silver thread. The river surrounds the hilltop town, lending a further level of protection to its early inhabitants.

At some point in the town’s history, steps were purposefully cut into the side of the hill. With a tread depth of twenty feet and rise as tall as a man, it is rumoured they were made by giants during the early years of Caerlean. Now, the gravel is much overgrown with moss and sand sedge, and most parts have been smoothed into pathways, practical for horse-and-cart use.