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”...the new aristocracy of Arelon, even more insecure than most nobles, felt a desire to prove its level of cultured refinement by associating with kingdoms such as Svorden, the cultural epicenter of the East.
Svorden is located on a peninsula at the northeastern tip of Sycla (Opelon). The country has many miles of coastline and presumably controls an archipelago off its eastern shore. Most of its land border to the southwest is with Fjorden, with Fjordell fortifications just across the border. To the south, Svorden has a small river border with the nation of Geant that includes their capital city of Velf. The Svordish capital, Seraven, is at the northeastern tip of the country. According to Adien, Svorden is two million one hundred six thousand two hundred and thirty-eight steps from Elantris.[fn 1]
Little is known of Svorden's history, but it was occupied and annexed by the new Fjordell Empire at least a century prior to the Reod. Since being annexed, Svorden has operated as a vassal state of Fjorden; they adopted the state religion of the Empire, Shu-Dereth, and Wyrn Wulfden the Fourth is in direct control of their government and military. Svorden's status as a center of culture and academics allowed the nation to maintain its way of life more than other Fjordell vassal states; they have continued to make scientific discoveries, and they have maintained diplomatic and trade relations with many other nations. Their most notable involvement in the ongoing conflict between the Empire and the Aonic nations of Arelon and Teod was the addition of their formidable navy to Wyrn's military resources.
Svorden is politically the second most important nation in the east, after Fjorden. Although Svorden is still referred to as a "kingdom", it is considered a de facto province of Fjorden. Positions of power in the government are given to devout followers of Shu-Dereth, as determined by the chain of command within the church.
Unlike other nations in the Empire, Svorden has maintained a strong national identity, including its own language. They also seem to have some control over their own diplomatic relations with other nations. Sarene served as a Teo envoy in Seraven. Svorden once sent gifts, including a table, to the Rose Empire, but the relationship between the countries later became strained. Despite the ongoing hostility between Fjorden and Arelon, people of Aonic descent such as Lukel are allowed to travel to Svorden for schooling.
They are known for the strength of their navy. It was gladly commandeered by Wyrn Wulfden the Fourth after he annexed the country, since Fjorden itself lacked maritime strength. The navy is powerful enough to pose a serious threat to the Teo armada. Svorden also has soldiers, although Wyrn has generally not utilized them.
”Even with my training at the university in Svorden, I still couldn't follow half of his theories.
Svorden is the center of culture and learning in eastern Sycla, and the Svordish university is well respected across the continent. Svordish scientists and philosophers are leaders in numerous academic fields, including anatomy, art, and astronomy. Theories espoused by Svordish scientists generally gain traction across Sycla, including the idea that humans can only retain six languages and that eclipses occur when the moon falls into the planet's shadow. Embalmed bodies are kept at the university for study. Svordish literature is well known on Sel and includes heroic epics. Shai, a citizen of the distant Rose Empire, is able to read books written in Svordish.
As part of the Fjordell Empire, the Svordish people are required to follow the Derethi religion. The concept of Svrakiss originated in Svorden, implying that they once had their own religion that included a heaven. Svrakiss have been integrated into Shu-Dereth as a representation of pure evil, although it's unclear how closely the Derethi version adheres to the original Svordish beliefs.
Svorden has its own language; because of their rich literary tradition, it is read by educated people in other parts of Sel despite the fact that some people find it difficult to learn. Jalla, who hails from Svorden, speaks the Aonic language with a thick accent.
”That is why you lack the riches and blessings found in nations like JinDo and Svorden.
Svorden's people are are relatively wealthy. They have highly skilled tradespeople, including the finest locksmiths in the Empire. Svorden is therefore a lucrative market for trade; despite the long distance to Svorden, merchants in the west utilize trade routes in order to sell goods there.
- Earlier versions of Elantris noted this distance at over sixteen million steps, but this was later revised.
- Elantris chapter 9#
- Map of Sycla
- Elantris chapter 32#
- Elantris chapter 5#
- Elantris chapter 20#
- Elantris chapter 33#
- Elantris (book) glossary section S
- The Emperor's Soul - Day 12#
- Elantris (book) glossary section L
- Elantris chapter 2#
- Elantris chapter 62#
- Elantris chapter 15#
- Elantris chapter 8#
- Elantris chapter 18#
- Elantris chapter 42#
- The Emperor's Soul - Day 2#
- Elantris chapter 24#
- Elantris chapter 12#
|Characters||Raoden · Sarene · Hrathen · Dilaf · Galladon · Eventeo · Kiin · Iadon · Roial|
|Places||Opelon · Arelon · City of Elantris · Duladel · Fjorden · Teod · JinDo · Svorden|
|Magic||AonDor · Aons · Dakhor · ChayShan · Seons · Skaze · The Shaod · Forgery · The Pool|
|Mythology and Lore||Devotion · Dominion · The Dor · The Reod · Shu-Korath · Shu-Dereth · Shu-Keseg|