Fjorden

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Fjorden
Sycla-Opelon Map.jpg
Ethnicity Fjordell
Capital Widor
Region Sycla (Opelon)
World Sel
Universe Cosmere

Fjorden is a theocratic nation state on Sel. The people of Fjorden are called the Fjordell.[1]

Strict and militaristic, Fjorden is the dominant country of the continent. About three hundred years ago, their leader, the Wyrn, converted to the Derethi religion, and within a generation all of Fjorden had done likewise. Now, instead of sending troops across the continent, Fjorden sends priests, and it's said that much of Fjorden's vast power comes from conversions obtained—or forced—by them.[2]

Geography and Ecology[edit]

Fjorden and its client states encompass the vast majority of the continent of Sycla, with the only other state being Arelon. Among these states, Fjorden is by far the largest.[3]

Fjorden[edit]

Though Fjorden lies along the shore of the Sea of Fjorden, the nation doesn't seem to control many large islands. To the west, Fjorden is bordered by the Dathreki Mountains (or Atad, as they are known to the Arelenes).[4] At least two large rivers run through Fjorden.[3] Fjorden has a cold climate. It sometimes gets so cold in the winter that trees freeze and explode.[5]

The Aberteen is a flower found and favoured in Fjorden.[6] The Sea of Fjorden, which lies next to the nation, contains many species of fish. One such species is the kike.[7]

Fjordell Empire[edit]

The Fjordell Empire has very diverse geography. Hraggen contains a large mountain range, while Hrovell is bordered to the south by mountains. All the southern nations in the Fjordell empire are bordered by a large desert. Svorden has control over a large group of islands to the west of the peninsula.[3]

Notable cities[edit]

  • Widor - The capital city of Fjorden. The Wyrn resides in a palace called the Zigareth in Widor.[3]
  • Seraven - The most important city in Svorden. Seraven is an important harbor, being located on the Sea of Fjorden. It is also the northernmost point in the entire Fjordell empire.[3]
  • Fellavoo - A city in the north of Duladel. It is located close to both Arelon and Fjorden.[3]
  • HaiKo - A city located in the north of JinDo. Haiko is built against the shore of the same river as Widor.[3]
  • Gmordsom - The largest city in Hraggen.[3]
  • Velf - An important city in Geant. Velf is located at the mouth of an important river.[3]

Government[edit]

Theocracy[edit]

Fjorden is a theocracy. Its state religion is Shu-Dereth.[8]

Fjorden seems to be ruled by Wyrn.[8] The Fjordell empire isn't a true empire, but rather a collection of nations united by their belief in a single religion, Shu-Dereth. Each of these nations has its own ruler, although all of them are Derethi.[9][3] Shu-Dereth teaches that Wyrn is the highest priest, prophet, and Jaddeth's chosen. Due to this, the Derethi obey his every command, which means that he essentially rules the empire.[8] The Fjordell priests have a very tight grip on the Derethi nations; no king rules east of the Dathreki Mountains unless he has professed allegiance to Shu-Dereth, and the most desirable and lucrative governmental positions always fall to those who were diligent in their worship of Jaddeth.[9]

The skaze, Splinters of Dominion, also have a direct influence on Fjordell politics.[8][10]

Territories[edit]

While Fjorden itself doesn't directly rule over other territories, the Fjordell Empire consists of many different kingdoms.[3]

  • Svorden - A kingdom in the eastern part of the Fjordell empire, considered to be the cultural epicenter of the east.[9][3]
  • Hrovell - A nation in the rural southeast of the Fjordell Empire.[11][3]
  • Geant - A nation in the east of the Fjordell Empire. Its people have become almost indistinguishable from the Fjordell.[3][12]
  • Hraggen - A nation in the Fjordell Empire. It is located to the south of Fjorden.[3]
  • Jaador - A nation in the southern part of the empire. The people are ethnically JinDo, although much of their culture has been replaced by that of the Fjordell.[3]
  • Jindo - A nation in the Fjordell empire.[3] When the Fjordell began expanding, the JinDo, preferring peace to fighting, outwardly converted to Shu-Dereth and joined the empire.[5]
  • Duladel - A kingdom in the west of the empire, they joined the Fjordell Empire after a bloody revolution, which ended with the foundation of a pro-Fjordell monarchy.[3]

The Wyrns[edit]

Political significance[edit]

Fjorden is ruled by a Wyrn. It appears that the Wyrn can do whatever he wishes inside Fjorden. Wyrn doesn't directly rule the other Derethi kingdoms, but he holds significant influence in them. Wyrn can command the Fjordell monasteries, including Dakhor, to carry out certain tasks for him.[13]

The Wyrns live in the Zigareth, a palace located in the Fjordell city of Widor.[14]

Religious significance[edit]

The title Wyrn is also the title of the highest priest in the Derethi religion.[15] It is believed that only Wyrn is holy enough to commune directly with Jaddeth.[16] This, combined with the strict Derethi chain of command, makes each Derethi serve Wyrn. Because of his position as Jaddeth’s prophet, Wyrn holds great influence within all the Derethi nations.[8]

Wyrn is also the hroden of many important priests, such as the Gyorns.[17]

Titles[edit]

The Wyrns have numerous titles. Known titles are: Emperor of Fjorden, Prophet of Shu-Dereth, Ruler of Jaddeth's holy kingdom, and Regent of all Creation.[3] This last title refers to their state of rulership until Jaddeth rises from his throne.[15] Some priests also refer to him as their master.[17]

Foreign Policy and International Relationships[edit]

Arelon[edit]

The Fjordell have bad relations with the Arelene people.[8] This is mainly because of the difference in religion. The Arelenes worship both Domi and the Elantrians, which makes the Fjordell see them as pagans. Besides that, the Fjordell have repeatedly attempted to conquer Arelon with little to no success, which contributes a great deal to their hatred of Arelon.[18]

Ten years after the Reod, Wyrn sent some of his fiercest warrior monks from the Dakhor monastery to invade Arelon and slaughter the Arelene people. He got them into Arelon without anyone noticing, and at Wyrn's command, they began slaughtering the Arelenes, both nobles and commoners alike.[19] This invasion was eventually stopped, but it significantly worsened the relations between the Fjordell and the Arelenes.[20]

The day Teod fell beneath Fjorden's glory would be a joyous day indeed.

Teod[edit]

The Fjordell also have antagonistic relations with the Teo. The Fjordell view the Teo as their archenemies and historical rivals. Many Fjordell also assume that there is no hope for the Teo. This isn't actually Derethi doctrine, however. Instead, it is a simple justification that infuses Fjorden's historical enemies with theological hatred.[21]

Ten years after the Reod, the Fjordell began invading Teod, sailing straight to Teoras.[20] This invasion was stopped, as Elantris was restored and an army of Elantrians arrived at Teoras.[20] The invasion significantly worsened the relations between the Teo and the Fjordell.

The Rose Empire[edit]

The Fjordell view the people of the Rose Empire as barbarians, calling them the Rose barbarians.[3] It seems that they don't interact much with these peoples. Svorden is known to have diplomatic relations with the Rose Empire, although in recent years these relations have become somewhat strained.[22] There is a Gyorn who essentially functions as an ambassador stationed in the Imperial Seat.[23]

Military[edit]

Armies[edit]

Fjorden itself only has a basic defense force, while the other nations in the Fjordell empire have far larger armies. Due to the strict Derethi chain of command, these armies are also under Wyrn's command.

The pagan nations of Arelon and Teod have been blackened scars upon my land for long enough.

These militaries will crush entire civilizations for their Wyrn.[8] Their conquests are also quickly soldified by the arrival of Derethi priests, who strive to convert the entire population to Shu-Dereth.[24] The Fjordell believe that "with all mankind united under Wyrn's rule, Jaddeth could rise from His throne beneath the earth and reign in glorious majesty upon the world."[8] This is one of the reasons for their conquests. The Fjordell also have multiple bandit groups under their control. Ten years after the Reod, these bandits were operating in Arelon.[21]

Warrior Priests[edit]

The conventional armies are augmented by Derethi priests. Derethi priests are trained in the monasteries of Fjorden, where they are required to undergo vigorous physical training. This makes all Derethi priests excellent warriors.[25] Besides that, this training makes the priests into a capable force for Wyrn to use in his conquests.[13]

Equipment and Weaponry[edit]

Fjordell soldiers likely use small and light spears that can be thrown.[21] The common soldiers wear steel armor, most of them also carry swords. Derethi warrior monks wear red surcoats over their armor.[26]

Navy[edit]

They are also wealthy enough to have a navy large enough that they could beat Teod by sheer numbers.[27] Most of these ships come from Svorden. Fjorden itself lacks any real maritime strength.[12][28]

Culture[edit]

People[edit]

Fjordell tend to have dark black hair and be very wide of build. Fjordell are also notably tall, and some Fjordell can even rival the Teo when it comes to height.[2]

Sports and Games[edit]

The Fjordell also spar using dueling blades. For these sparring matches, they use a special type of sword called a Syre.[12] The Fjordell also presumably play a Svordish game called Leky stick.

Social structure[edit]

The Fjordell have a very strict social structure.[16] The people are expected to obey the commands of their superiors, who obey others and so forth, until the chain reaches Wyrn, who is the only man allowed to serve Jaddeth directly. Fjordell will do anything to rise in ranks—ambition is the one emotion Jaddeth would accept as readily as devotion.[8][24]

Foods and drinks[edit]

The Fjordell drink Garha, a caffeine-rich drink.[29] They may eat kike, as it is found in the Sea of Fjorden.[7]

Language[edit]

Their language is called Fjordell; according to their doctrine, it's Jaddeth's own chosen tongue and thus holy, while other languages are considered profane.[17] The native Fjordell accent is thick and melodic.[30]

The language prefers guttural sounds. ‘U’ sounds, ‘F’ sounds, ‘H’ sounds, and ‘G’ sounds. It has a ‘Y’ sound in the form of a ‘J,’ and placed emphasis on the ‘Hr’ combination. From this language come names like Dilaf, Jaddeth (pronounced yah-death), and Sycla.[31] The Fjordell use Hruggath as an obscene oath. This oath is often used with 'Ja,' the shortened, vulgar word for Jaddeth.[11]

Religion[edit]

Lord Jaddeth can only return when all men are united beneath Fjordell rule.

Fjorden's religion is Shu-Dereth, founded by Dereth. Shu-Dereth interprets Keseg's teachings to mean that all men must be united beneath the rule of one nation. Dereth taught that once all men bow before a single monarch, proving their unified nature, their god would come to live among them.[9] Said god is Jaddeth; only one man can serve him directly.[16]

Though Dereth's ideas were originally rejected in his native JinDo, they were embraced by the Fjordell. The founders of Shu-Dereth realized the power of the religion. They decided that if they could get the nations of the East to believe in a single religion–with that religion centered in Fjorden–they would have power equal to, or even greater than, the power of the Old Empire. At the same time, they wouldn't have to worry about rebellion, or even bureaucracy. The people of the other nations would govern themselves but would give devotion, loyalty, and money to Fjorden.[32]

Wyrn Wulfden the First converted, and so, therefore, did most of his people. Since that time, Shu-Dereth has been the official religion of Fjorden, and has spread to all of the eastern nations. Fjorden's militaristic society stratified and organized Dereth's teachings into an almost martial level.[12]

Economy[edit]

Fjorden is a rich country. It has strong trade with Teod and Arelon, as well as with all of its current territories. It is wealthy enough to use money to control foreign politics, like the support from Telrii in Arelon.[33] It is also infamously known for capitalizing on other nations' chaos.[34]

The Fjordell gold coin is called Wyrning.[15] It is stamped with the profile of the Wyrn.[33] The Fjordell make good wine, and they export these wines to other nations such as Arelon.[35]

Invested Art[edit]

The Fjordell have figured out their own way to access the Dor. They do this via an art called Dakhor. This art is known only to the Derethi priests of the Dakhor Monastery. It causes their bones to grow harder and twist into what are thought to be Fjordell symbols.[36] These symbols grant the Dakhor priests various powers, most of them battle related.

History[edit]

For centuries, the Fjordell working class lived and died under a feudal system that treated them worse than farm animals. They did not rebel, as they were raised to it, and to them, the feudal system was the only system.[16]

The original state reigning over Fjorden was the Old Empire, also known as the First Empire. Over three hundred years ago, it nearly conquered all of Opelon—only Arelon, with the help of Elantrian magic, stood against it. Eventually, the Old Empire fell because of administrative problems—it conquered more than it could hold.[2]

About three hundred years ago, Wyrn Wulfden the First converted to the Derethi religion, and within a generation all of Fjorden had done likewise. Thus, Fjorden was reborn--this time, as a theocracy. For the next three hundred years, the Wyrns have been blatantly altering their country's own histories and literature to make it seem as if the empire has always been a manifestation of divine purpose. Poetry and lives of kings were all rewritten to remove any outdated references--after all, they couldn't have it sounding like their greatest historical king was a pagan.[34]

Over the past three centuries, the Wyrns have used their new theocratic power to expand and spread, conquering numerous surrounding states by the means of religious conversion. By the time of the Reod, the Wyrns were more powerful than even at the height of the Old Empire's power.[30]

After the Reod and the subsequent fall of Elantris, Fjorden started pushing the boundaries of its influence again, this time instigating the collapse of the Duladel Republic. [16] This was successful, albeit bloody, and after Duladel's fall, Fjorden once more set its sights on Arelon, as well as their ally, Teod.[8]

They began by sending Hrathen to attempt to convert Arelon to Shu-Dereth, and thus make it submit to Fjorden. Should this prove impossible within three months, Fjorden would send armies to destroy every living being in Arelon's cities.[8] They also lent financial support to Telrii, an Arelene follower of Shu-Derethi who wanted to take the Arelene throne, and sank King Iadon's merchant fleets.[33]

In Teod, in turn, they forced king Eventeo to convert under threat of invasion, and removed the Teod ambassadors in Arelon.[37] Finally, they threatened to kill Eventeo's daughter, Sarene.

Their plans fell through when Elantris was restored, and the Elantrians recovered their power. During the restoration, the Fjordell were cast out of Arelon,[20] and later out of Teod as well.[36]

Notes[edit]

  1. Elantris chapter 2#
  2. a b c Elantris (book) glossary section F
  3. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Map of Sycla
  4. Map of Arelon
  5. a b Elantris chapter 14#
  6. Elantris (book) glossary section A
  7. a b Elantris (book) glossary section K
  8. a b c d e f g h i j k l Elantris chapter 3#
  9. a b c d e Elantris chapter 9#
  10. Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson
    Arcanum - 2011-01-10#
  11. a b Elantris (book) glossary section H
  12. a b c d Elantris (book) glossary section S
  13. a b Elantris chapter 57#
  14. Elantris (book) glossary section Z
  15. a b c Elantris (book) glossary section W
  16. a b c d e Elantris chapter 8#
  17. a b c Elantris chapter 12#
  18. Elantris chapter 7#
  19. Elantris chapter 58#
  20. a b c d Elantris chapter 62#
  21. a b c d Elantris chapter 6#
  22. The Emperor's Soul - Day 12#
  23. The Emperor's Soul - Day 98#
  24. a b Elantris chapter 21#
  25. Elantris chapter 31#
  26. Elantris chapter 60#
  27. Elantris chapter 47#
  28. Elantris chapter 20#
  29. Elantris (book) glossary section G
  30. a b Elantris chapter 5#
  31. Languages of Elantris
    — brandonsanderson.com #
  32. Elantris Annotations
    Arcanum - 2005-10-17#
  33. a b c Elantris chapter 15#
  34. a b Elantris chapter 43#
  35. Elantris chapter 11#
  36. a b Elantris chapter 63#
  37. Elantris chapter 18#
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