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Type Country
Location East of Tusaine, West of Sarain
Size Vast
Terrain Large plains
Fertile fields
Climate Sunny, rainy (good for agriculture)
Bodies of water Shappa River
Marine Life
Location Information
Official Language Common Eastern
Religious Head
Residents Marenites
(pronounced MAHR-enn-ait, like "bite")
Religion Main Pantheon
Patron God
Law Enforcement
Major Events
Capital Berat
Port Cities
Major Cities Fortress Jiroken
Major Roads
Notable Buildings
Government Monarchy
Head of State Norrin & Anj'la (200s HE)
Barnesh (400s HE)
Main Industry Wheat
Trade Partners Tortall
Copper Isles
Bibliographical information
Tortallan Universe place
First Mentioned Alanna: The First Adventure
First Appeared '
Latest Appearance '
Last Appeared '
Only Appearance Lioness Rampant
Last Mentioned Trickster's Choice
Only Mentioned '

Maren (pronounced MAHR-enn) is a large, prosperous slaveholding country in the Tortallan Universe.



Maren is located in the Eastern Lands. It borders the Great Inland Sea to the south, Tyra to the southwest, Tusaine to the west, Galla to the northwest, and Sarain to the east.

Landforms and bodies of water

Maren borders the Great Inland Sea to the south, but it has many rivers, including the Shappa River, which forms its eastern border with Sarain.


It is assumed that it has a similar climate with Tortall. It has farmland in the south near the coast, which produces quite a lot of produce.



Maren is an feudal monarchy like Tortall. The nobility take quite a bit of precedence and privilege, while commoners are of a lower class depending on their wealth and connections. The particulars of the type of monarchy are unknown, but it is likely not an absolute monarchy and has some sort of constitution. Like most of the Eastern Lands, Maren adheres to the Code of Ten.



It is a slaveholding country and uses slaves for agricultural purposes. It is unknown if there are any laws protecting slaves—although Winnamine Balitang suggested there might be. According to Winnamine, Sarai, and Dove, the slavery in Maren is not as harsh as slavery in the Copper Isles, and they are afforded more protections.

Noble rights

The power of the aristocracy, although still great, is at the whim of the ruler of the country. In 457 HE, Barnesh stripped all his nobles of their royal land grants and told them that if they wanted their lands back, they could petition him and pay through the nose[1]. This suggests that Maren is a relatively peaceful nation in terms of war and that the country has its own military force, as a ruler wouldn't dare strip nobles of their lands if it were wartime or if the nobles had to provide fighters for the military.

Known kings and queens

  • Norrin III & Anj'la — co-rulers who reigned during the 200s HE, and who utilized the Dominion Jewel for the benefit of the kingdom. Norrin III was first seen wearing the jewel in 208 HE.[2]
  • Qual — After negotiating peace with Sarain and Siraj in 308 HE, King Qual shaved his head and took a vow of silence. His nobles chose his female cousin, Kirikene.
  • Kirikene the Clever — Strong and wise queen, who kept her nobles on their toes.[2]
  • Barnesh, the current King of Maren during the mid 400s.

Aristocracy and feudal lords

Like many countries of the Eastern and Southern Lands, Maren has a very powerful and wealthy aristocracy, although not powerful enough to deter King Barnesh from canceling all their titles and land grants at risk of offending them.

Known nobles of Maren:


Culturally, Maren is similar to Tortall and the other Eastern Lands.[4] However, there are also distinguishing features of the kingdom. The food in Maren is spicier and its architecture, interior design, and clothes use brighter colors. Maren is also a slaveholding nation[5], while Tortall outlawed slavery in the 200s HE during King Roger III's reign[6].

Known cities


Women's Fashion

Women sport wide skirts, and an embroidered underdress. Their overdresses have a lower neckline and slit sleeves in order to show some of the embroidered fabric beneath. Headdresses are also fashionable for women; they are crescent-shaped and decorated with ribbons, feathers, and flowers. The headdresses also act as a weight to hold sheer veils in place. Lotions and perfumes are also a trend, and ladies often make their own. They have scent parties in which they smell each other's concoctions and go looking for new scents.

Men's Fashion

The men also wear chemise-like undershirts which they show off through their overdress, although it's unknown if they are embroidered or just rich fabric. For headwear, men use flat caps that they decorate with feathers and brooches[8].


The Shang school is hidden in northern Maren.[9]


In the 200s HE, Norrin and Anj'la ruled Maren with the help of the Dominion Jewel and brought prosperity to their kingdom. By the 400s, this would become a legend, true though it was.

In 438 HE, with the Saren Civil War[10], Maren took in many refugees from Sarain and gave them farmland in the southern part of the kingdom[11].

Notes and references

  1. Squire, mentioned by Lord Raoul
  2. 2.0 2.1 Tortall: A Spy's Guide, pp. 225-35
  3. Trickster's Choice chapter quotations
  4. Lioness Rampant, Chp 1
  5. Trickster's Choice
  6. Mastiff, final chapters
  7. Lioness Rampant, Chp 1
  8. Random Buzz; "Meanwhile, Back at Cavall (and Maren)..."; April 20, 2009
  9. Randombuzzers: Chat with Tamora Pierce - Tortall - retrieved on March 11, 2011
  10. Tortallan timeline
  11. Lioness Rampant, Chp 2

See also

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