1,908 Pages

Type Duchy/Country
Location Central/south
Size Large
Terrain Hilly, plains, glaciers
Climate Warm (does not snow)
Islands Battle Islands
Landforms Dalburz Glacier
Bodies of water Pebbled Sea
Marine Life
Location Information
Established c. 200 KF (over 800 years before series)
Official Language Imperial
Religious Head
Residents The Emelanese
Religion Living Circle
Patron God
Law Enforcement
Major Events Pirate Attack of 1035
Blue Pox (1036)
serial killings (1039 KF)
Capital Summersea
Port Cities
Major Cities Winding Circle
Major Roads
Notable Buildings
Government Monarchy (Duchy)
Head of State Duke Vedris IV
Wars Major battles with pirates
Enemies Namorn (somewhat, threatened monetary restrictions)
Main Industry
Trade Partners Namorn
Currency Maja, astrel
Bibliographical information
Circle Universe place
First Mentioned '
First Appeared Sandry's Book
Latest Appearance The Will of the Empress
Last Appeared '
Only Appearance '
Last Mentioned Battle Magic
Only Mentioned '

The Duchy of Emelan (pronounced EMM-eh-lahn) is a country in the Circle Universe. It is ruled by members of House Toren, a noble house that has been in power for eight centuries.[1]



The duchy borders the Pebbled Sea to the south. It borders the country of Sotat to the east, Qalai to the northeast, Lairan and Gansar to the north, a tiny bit of Irod, and Anderran to the west.

The duchy has quite a few mountain ranges, bodies of water, mines, farmland, and glaciers.


Emelan gets very hot in the summer and does not snow in the winter. It maintains a rather warm temperature throughout the seasons.



Emelan is a feudal monarchy. The Duke or Duchess of Emelan wields considerable power throughout the realm. Much of the state of the government is unknown, but there is a great degree of power that goes toward the nobility. Women and men are of equal standing.

The Duke or Duchess of Emelan also has the power to name an heir who is not of his or her immediate family. He or she does have the power to displace heirs apparent or presumptive[2].

The Emelan coat of arms was a ship with a lighthouse on either side. The rune for protection could be seen above those and an enclosed spiral below them[3].


Emelan has strict laws concerning cruelty to animals. Such an offense is fined with a high fee of twenty silver astrels[4].

Summersea, the capital of Emelan, as an epicenter of trade, has strict laws against organized crime done by merchant families, such as House Rokat and House Dihanur. These crimes usually involve assassination and piracy that occurs rampantly in other countries that do not care as much about such things.

Piracy is strictly forbidden and punished severely.

International relations

Emelan has good relations with all the countries that it borders. It has a lot of trouble with pirates, or did, before the Duke cracked down, making Summersea the safest port on the Pebbled Sea[5]..

It almost had financial trouble with Namorn, an empire in the far north ruled by Empress Berenene. Sandrilene fa Toren was considered an heiress in Namorn and in great demand. Berenene threatened Vedris's finances by saying she would tax Emelanese goods and traders more than foreign goods from other countries, and more.


Main economical ventures

Emelan's economy is centered largely around fishing and trade. Summersea is an epicenter for trade, which brings in a great amount of tax money to the duchy. Copper and lumber are also main sources of wealth for the country. Its trade spans around the Pebbled Sea, and it even has several banks in Namorn. It is quite prosperous and wealthy.


Emelan has four coins in circulation: Gold majas, astrels in gold and silver, and crescents in silver and copper. A gold maja measured half a year's income for a poor family. A gold maja and a gold astrel equal three hundred silver crescents.[6] Twenty silver astrels equal three months of income for a poor man and still a month of income for a craftsman[4] and three silver astrels are enough to provide a poor family with food for three months[7].


In 1035 KF the country was afflicted by several problems, starting with an earthquake in Mead Moon and a pirate attack in the same month. The removal of the damage cost the Emelanese treasury all of its surplus[8]. In addition to those incidences the northern regions, among them Gold Ridge, had been suffering from a drought for three years and grassfires were causing additional problems there, especially when a large forest fire broke out. Duke Vedris was hard-pressed to help all of the northern fiefs because his treasury was still low from the summery incidences. The following spring a blue pox epedemic also struck the capital.


Known cities and towns


The Emelanese mainly worship the Living Circle gods. Winding Circle temple is one of the greatest temples of the Living Circle. It is a center for learning and magic that rivals the University of Lightsbridge.


Imperial is spoken in countries around the Pebbled Sea, due to the Kurchal Empire, which stood there thousands of years ago.


Women's fashion

Upper class and middle class women primarily wear skirts. Trisana Chandler claims that since she is a girl, it is proper for her to wear skirts, even in the heat. Usually, upper class and noblewomen also wear veils over their hair.

Despite that different climate, Emelanese fashion doesn't seem to differ quite a lot from Namornese fashion. Women wear skirts and modest clothing in both cultures. The only major difference would perhaps be the fabric of the gown, the designs, and the overcoat/undercoat trend that is popular in Namornese fashion.

Known Emelanese

A list of all named Emelanese, or characters who live mostly in Emelan, who appear or are mentioned in the books.

Royalty and nobility

House Toren

Other nobility

Winding Circle Dedicates


Working and lower class

Law enforcement and guards



Notes and references

  1. Sandry's Book, Cp. 2 (p. 18; Scholastic paperback)
  2. Discrepancy: Tamora Pierce changed her mind about this one, and mentioned (on her Tumblr blog online) that it would be one of Vedris's sons who would inherit, regardless of what Vedris wants.
  3. Daja's Book, Cp. 10 (p. 180/181; Scholastic paperback)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sandry's Book, Cp. 10 (p. 183; Scholastic paperback)
  5. Tris's Book
  6. Daja's Book, Cp. 2 (p. 30/31; Scholastic paperback)
  7. Daja's Book, Cp. 3 (p. 50; Scholastic paperback)
  8. Daja's Book, Cp. 9 (p. 166; Scholastic paperback)

Real world connections

Based on the climate, Emelan is likely based on Greece or even Turkey. The Pebbled Sea mirrors the Mediterranean, and they have similar cuisine.

See also

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