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Warrior Scarlet
WarriorScarlet
First edition cover

Publication

1958

Length

Novel

Audience

Young adult

Historical era

Bronze Age

Illustrations

Charles Keeping

Warrior Scarlet is a novel first published in 1958 by Oxford University Press, with illustrations by Charles Keeping. A Bronze Age boy with a crippled arm must prove himself as a warrior or be cast out of his tribe.

Warrior Scarlet was a Carnegie Medal Honour Book and an American Library Association Notable Book.

PlotEdit

Drem learns at nine years old that if he cannot become a warrior of his Tribe despite his withered right arm, he will be cast out to live among the conquered Half People (1). He runs off into the forest, where he encounters Talore the Hunter, a one-handed warrior who promises to stand for him when he comes to his initiation (2).

Talore offers him a puppy if he can hunt him a bird with a throw spear, and Drem, ever determined, brings down a swan (3). Talore gives him the puppy, whom he names Whitethroat, though they offend another would-be buyer, Drem's age-mate Luga (4).

A wandering bronze-smith stops in the village and shows an iron dagger from across the sea, a metal so hard it cuts bronze and strikes sparks. Midir the Priest recognises the man for the father of Blai, the girl abandoned as a newborn in Drem's household, but he rejects her in front of the tribe and she throws away the brooch he tosses her as a mock dowry (5). At twelve Drem enters the Boys' House for his warrior training, where he becomes blood brothers with Vortrix the Chieftain's son (6). At fourteen they attend the coronation of the new King of the Tribe (7), where Drem champions his Chieftain in a knife fight over the same iron dagger (8).

Next spring, the New Spears of Drem's year go to their Wolf-Slaying, but Drem misses his thrust, to have his wolf beaten off by Vortrix (9). Drem is dead to the Tribe and goes to Doli, his old friend among the shepherds of the Half People, where Vortrix finds him to say goodbye on the last night before his initiation to the Men' side (10). That spring, Drem meets Blai at sheep-shearing, but while angry at a recalcitrant sheep, rejects her offer of loyalty and visiting. At harvest time, he hears that his brother and Vortrix have both taken up with women, and but has learnt not to take his desolation out on the sheep (11).

Winter settles in late and hard, and at the end of lambing time Doli goes out after a straying ewe before a snowstorm. Drem finds him fallen and unconscious with the labouring ewe, and fights off a pack of three starving wolves before the rest of the Wolf Guard finds them (13). He wakes from wound-fever to learn that the wolf he killed was the one who escaped his Wolf-Slaying, and Midir the Priest, nudged by Vortrix, has declared that he will be initiated with this year's New Spears, and at Beltane he goes to his man-making (14). At the Beltane fire he is shunned by his fellow shepherd of the Half People, and at home he finds Blai shunning the Tribe and the Half People both. He realises that she is like him, neither completely belonging to either people, and that they belong together. She accepts him, and they go to jump the fire (15).

ChronologyEdit

From the Historical Note: "It is the story of a boy called Drem, who lived with his Tribe on what is now the South Downs, nine hundred years before the birth of Christ. His land and his people were not cut off from the world; the Baltic amber and blue Egyptian beads that the archaeologists find today in Bronze Age grave mounds show that clearly enough. But probably he never heard much of what went on in the world beyond his own hunting-runs; a world in which Troy had already fallen three hundred years ago, and Egypt was already past its greatest days, and a hollow among the hills by the ford of a rather muddy river had still more than a hundred years to wait before wild Latin herdsmen pitched their tents there and founded Rome."

The story takes place over the course of seven years, following the protagonist from ages nine to sixteen.

  • Time immemorial (1): Tah-Nu came north across the Great Water
  • Sometime after that (1): the red-haired giants conquered Tah-Nu's Children
  • More recently (1): Drem's people conquered the Half People
  • Drem is 2 (1): Blai was born and her mother died
    • 2 days later (1): Blai's father moved on
  • Summer, Drem is 9, Blai is almost 7 (1): Drem finds out he's disabled
    • That night (2): Drem meets Talore
  • A year later, Drem is 10 (3): Whitethroat is born.
    • 2 months later (4): Drem kills his swan.
  • Autumn, a year later, Drem is 11 (5): Blai's father returns
  • Next spring, Drem is 12 (6): Drem goes to the Boys' House
  • Autumn, 2.5 years later, Drem is 14 (7): The King dies and his son is crowned
  • Past mid-winter (9): the Wolf-Slaying begins
  • Spring (9): Drem fails and goes to the Half People. Vortrix is put under taboo.
    • 11 days later (10): Vortrix comes to say goodbye
    • Next day (10): the other boys are initiated
    • Next night (11): Beltane. Flocks go to the summer pastures the next day.
  • A month later (11): Sheep-shearing. Drem rejects Blai's friendship.
  • A few evenings after the harvest festival (11): Drem hears that Drustic and Vortrix have girlfriends
  • Samhain (12): flocks driven down to the winter pastures for slaughter
  • "within a moon of the start of lambing time" (12): the Wolf Guard begins
  •  lambing time (12): "for the next two moons or more". Drem meets Vortrix.
  • A month later (13): Drem goes after Doli
  • Later (14): Drem wakes from wound-fever
    • 5 days earlier: Doli died
    • 9 days earlier: Vortrix found his scar on Drem's wolf
    • 3 days earlier: the Spring Council decided it was Drem's Wolf-Slaying
  • Spring (14): Drem recuperates
  • Beltane (14): the initiation of the New Spears
    • That night (15): Drem and Blai marry.

CharactersEdit

  • The Tribe (1), rulers of the Chalk, conquerors of the Half People. The Golden People (2).
    • Drem (1), "the skin of his broad, hot-tempered face–of his whole body–freckled-dusted and fair, his hair the colour of polished copper, and his eyes grey with golden flecks in them; eyes that would seem when he was excited or angry to be all gold." "the assurance of the Lordly Ones of the world" "few people could move more silently than Drem when he chose" "his spear arm that he could not use, the Grandfather had said. It was thinner than his left, and somehow brittle looking, as though it might snap like a dry stick. It was queer, like something that did not quite belong to him. He had always known, of course–when he thought about it at all–that he could not use that arm, but it hadn't seemed important. He held things in his teeth and he held things between his knees, and he managed well enough without it." (1). "the arm which the boy carried trailing like a bird with a broken wing." (2). "flinging his head up like a pony, in the way that always showed when he was ready for battle" (3). "Drem was one to keep his loves in separate stalls" (7). "He was not aware, for his pride did not run on that particular trail, that standing there poised in the firelight and the golden mist, on the edge of intense and deadly action, he was beautiful to see. A tall, red-haired boy, with the lean, strong grace of the King's wolfhound; all the more beautiful, in a queer, crooked way, because he carried his right arm trailing, like a bird with a broken wing." 'He is a born fighter, that hound cub of yours.' (8). "His voice, which had become a man's voice in the past year, cracked and steadied." "he knew that little by little he would lose his own faith that was sharp and fierce and bright as a spear blade" (10). 'Nay, there is no question of equals. Since you have come to us, by our standard you must be judged...you are the least among us.' "Drem was no happier than he had been, but he began to grow used to what had happened" "He had a harsh desire to make the sheep suffer...but he had learnt that lesson–among other lessons that summer on the High Chalk." (11). "Sheep had ceased to be just sheep to Drem by that time, and he began to see them as the shepherd kind saw them, as he saw men and women" "Patience never came easily to Drem, but he had more patience with animals than he had with people; and besides, he was learning. He was learning many things, those days and nights." (12). "at fifteen he had not yet come near to his full strength" (13). "puckered, thunder-purple" wolf scars in his breast, arm, and shoulder. "It seemed to Drem suddenly that the world was very kind. He had known its beauty often; a fierce and shining beauty like that of his great white swan, but he had not had time for the kindness. After this, maybe he would not have time for it again, but he thought that he would not quite forget. . ." (14). 'Even the great Drem One-arm cannot hunt in two worlds at once.' (15).
      • Whitethroat (3), son of Fand the Beautiful and a wolf, bought with a shot swan (3). "[Blai] was the one person in Whitethroat's world, apart from Drem himself, to whom the great hound ever paid any attention." (5). "He would never make a herd dog, for he had been a hunting dog too long, but he understood that the sheep were not for hunting but for protecting" (11). "seemed to have the love of all small and young things that some very big dogs possess, and an instinctive feeling of what to do with a new-born lamb" (12). Leads the rescue party to Drem and Doli (13).
    • Sabra, Drem's mother (1), "his mother was one to worry, and whe she worried, her hand was hard." "a tired face in which the beautiful bones stood out so sharply that it looked as though you could cut your hand on it." 'Sometimes I wish that I had been born to the Men's side; sometimes I grow weary of the spinning and the weaving and the grinding corn.' "her hair was always straying from the blue linen net in which it was gathered" (1). "softness in her voice that came there all too often" "often she wanted to know too much." (2).
    • Drustic (1), Drem's older brother. "Drustic hated anyone else to meddle in a thing he was making." "all his movements were slow and deliberate" (1). "young, ruddy face" (2). "took life heavily and was always troubled about something" (8). "his pleasant square face" (10). Marries Cordaella the harvest after Drem leaves (11). He and Drem don't speak to each other on the Wolf Guard (12). "slow grin" (14).
      • Kea (2), "the mother of all of Drustic's hounds"
    • Cathlan, The Grandfather (1), their father's father, "a man like a huge old brooding grey eagle that had once been golden." "a voice that came mumbling and rattling up from the depth of his great frame." Father of three dead sons, Drem's father the youngest (1). "eyes that went golden when he was angry or glad, just as Drem's did" (2). 'Always he is pleased with himself. It is the rest of the world he is not pleased with!' 'I grow old indeed, and because I grow old, it is bad for me not to do as I wish!' (7). "The grandfather ate, but then nothing in the world would come between him and his food." (10). "the buzzing, sing-song snore of the Grandfather, who must have fallen asleep over the fire after his supper, as he so often used to do." "the familiar, wide-nostrilled snort" (14). "He remembered the Grandfather towering over him as he towered over most people when he cared to stand erect, setting the freat new war spear in his hand with a grumbling, 'There, take it. Did I not always say that the boy would make a warrior?' and a golden glare under his eyebrows for anyone who dared to contradict him." (15).
    • Blai (1), "Blai was not his sister...rising seven years old, black as her mother had been, in a house where everyone else was red-gold like flame, and somehow never quite belonging to them. Blai believed that one day the bronze-smith would come back: 'One day, one day my father will come for me!' seemed to be her talisman against all ills, the faith that she clung to as something of her own." "her small wan face as usual telling little of what she thought or felt." (1). She bites Drustic to stop him from whipping Drem (2). "the little clear voice that had somehow the note of a bird call in it and never seemed to belong to the same person as her narrow, shut-up face" (3). "not hanging back as she generally did when she was with the other girls" 'Aye, you're like the woman your mother; the same whey face and goggle eyes; but at least there was fire in her–like the secret fire in the heart of this grey dagger of mine; and a man might warm his hands at it–aye, and burn his fingers too! But you–faugh! You're like a damp cobweb.' "He had no particular fondness for Blai; but she was of his hearth fire, and that was enough." "he had a feeling that she was older than he was, much, much older, which was foolishness because he was eleven and she was only nine." "the bronze-smith had been wrong about Blai, after all." (5). "Blai never spoke of what had happened" "being gentle with Blai, it seemed, was no good; she merely shrank away, like a wild thing backing from a kind hand, looking sideways and showing its teeth." (6). "it was pleasant to make Blai glad, now and then when it wasn't any trouble." (8). 'You came after me because I was of your hearth, you said; and so now–surely if I am of your hearth, then you must be of mine.' "Just for a moment he seemed to be looking at Blai for the first time, and for the first time really seeing that she was there...Somewhere deep inside him, a small faint fellowship curled open". Offers to visit Drem with news, but he brushes her off in a fit of temper (11). Possessively nurses Drem during his recovery: "he should rather have hoped that Bai would be kind to Cordaella." "She never looked at him now. She had stopped looking at him when he began to get better. She did anything he wanted, willingly, but she didn't look at him any more, and he felt vaguely hurt." (14). 'What place have I yonder with the Women's side? I have no place among the maidens of the Tribe. I am not one with them, I am not one of the Half People either. It is better that I come away. . .' "Blai, who was not quite a handmaid nor yet quite a daughter in his home, who had no dowry of cattle nor yet any beauty to take its place and make her desirable in the eyes of some young warrior. For a moment it was only compassion, and then quite suddenly and simply he understood that he and Blai belonged together, like to like; that no other girl could ever come as near to him as Blai could do, because she knew the things that he knew." Interprets Drem's offer as kindness but accepts after clarification (15).
    • Talore the Hunter (1), 'one of the great ones of the Men's side to this day.' 'Talore the Hunter was a man and a warrior before ever he lost a hand to the cattle raiders.' (1) "The man was slight and dark–dark for one of the Golden People– and had faintly the smell of fox about him" "the coils of a great snake of beaten copper that coiled again and again about his left forearm...the tail curled downward into a hook that served him instead of a left hand." "the lithe and lazy swiftness that was in all his movements" 'Men call me Talore One-Hand as often as Talore the Hunter, yet no man has ever questioned my right to the scarlet.' Offers to sponsor Drem at his initiation (2). Lives with his three grown sons, one daughter-in-law and grand-daughter. Offers Whitethroat to Drem (3). Has a new baby in the household the harvest after Drem leaves (11). "[Drem] did not mind the older men so bitterly–even Talore, who never tried to speak with him, but set a hand on his shoulder once in passing, as he bent over a sick ewe." (12). Claims the sponsorship of Drem at his initiation (14).
      • Fand (2), "the wisest and most beautiful of his hounds", mother of Whitethroat (3).
      • Swift-foot (2)
    • Wenna (3), wife of Aesk. Fat, kind, runs Talore's household, mother of an infant girl.
    • Aesk (3), Talore's eldest son, also a hunter, kind to Drem
    • Belu (3), "from above the ford", buyer of one of Whitethroat's litter (3). Cordaella is his third daughter (11).
    • Gwythno of the Singing Spear (3), buyer of one of Whitethroat's litter (3). Father of Rhun, Vortrix's wife (11).
    • Morvidd (4), "a big broad-shouldered man...heavy, reddish face", the Chieftain's brother. "big and red-gold and blustering". Would-be buyer of Whitethroat (4). "hot-tempered blue eyes" (7).
    • Luga (4), Morvidd's son, "a boy with a quarrelsome and unhappy face", "apt to be at the root of any trouble" among the boys. Resents the rejection of his father's offer for Whitethroat (4). 'You can never see anything alive and–and liking being alive without wanting to throw something at it and make it be dead.' (5). Drem's year-mate (6). "It was queer how long Luga could carry a grudge and still find pleasure in it." (7) "looking at Luga's dark face over the tilting rim of the pot, he thought suddenly: 'I know you; you're a troublemaker, always one to pick a quarrel and bear a grudge; but you're one of the Brotherhood still, and let any threat come against the Brotherhood from the outside, and you'll stand with the rest of us until the threat is beaten back.'" (8). Part of Drem's rescue party (13).
    • Kian the Smith (4)
    • Maelgan (5), Drem's "fat, good-natured" age-mate (5). "the biggest of them all, with the slow strength of an ox" "pale eyelashes" (6). "Maelgan, who was used to being a butt, grinned peaceably." (7).
    • Dumnorix the Chief (5), "lord of three hundred spears...a big man with a mane of red-gold hair tumbling about his bull neck and on to his shoulder, and the bright hairs of his beard spreading over his breast almost to the bronze buckle of his belt." (5). Blond and grey-eyed. "not a good man to defy" (6). 'my father laughed that great laugh in his chest'. Proposes to the clan that Drem be reinstated (14).
    • Midir the Priest (5), an old man, with "narrow dark eyes with a gleam of gold behind them, like dark sunlight" (5).Goes to the King-Making in a litter and an eagle headdress (7). Blesses the New Spears before their Wolf-Slayings (9). Ritually purifies Vortrix for meddling in Drem's Wolf-Slaying (10). Gives the final word on Drem's Wolf-Slaying. Treats Drem's wounds with the Fingers of Power. Embodies the Sun Lord in the making of the New Spears (14). Provides the morning-after stimulant. Presides over the fire-making at Beltane (15).
    • Vortrix (5), "a square-built boy a few months older than Drem, with bandy legs and a pair of round, very blue eyes" (5). Defends Drem in the Boys' House. 'See, we have mingled our blood. We are brothers now, you and I." (6). Vortrix, though not in general over-quick to sense such things, was wise in the ways of his blood brother" (7). "they did not talk to each other much, but often they knew what the other one was thinking." (8). Wounds Drem's wolf to keep him from killing Drem (9). "Vortrix's square, clet jaw was set, and there were great stains like bruises under his eyes. What had they done to him, those nine days and nights, in the hut with the clay seal on the door? Drem realised that he would never know; that he must not even ask." "They had always been equally matched, a team that had neither leader nor follower; but now in the parting it was Drem who was the stronger of the two, and Vortrix who cried...with his head bent into the hollow of Drem's shoulder". The eldest of the year class (10). Takes up with Rhun while Drem is gone (11). Visits Drem on the Wolf Guard (12). Part of Drem's rescue party, immediately begins calling it his Wolf-Slaying (13). Finds the mark of his spear on the grey leader's shoulder and shows it to the Chieftain (14). Jumps over the Beltane fire with Rhun (15).
    • Kylan (6), "who ruled the Boys' House with his oxhide whip" "squat, hairy figure" (6). "oddly gentle as he always was at this moment" before the Wolf-Slaying (9). "There were long rituals of strengthening and purification to be gone through under the eyes of old Kylan; and Kylan himself painted the white clay patterns of initiation on their foreheads." "wolf-yellow eyes" (14).
    • Belutugradus (6), great-grandfather of Dumnorix, year-mate of Cathlan
    • Gault (6), "a boy with a round head and a mouth like a frog" "a great one for playing the fool" (6). Killed at his Wolf-Slaying (9).
    • Urian (6), son of Cuthlyn, year-mate of Drem, "fierce brown face" (6). Part of Drem's rescue party (13).
    • Cuthlyn (6), Urian's father
    • Tuan (6), Drem's smallest year-mate, "always inclined to be cautious." (5). The youngest of the class (10).
    • The King (7), dead of a boar-hunting wound, "a hard man and a shining warrior". Red-haired and beak-nosed.
    • Cuneda (7), boy from Bragon's Clan at the King's Death Feast. Short-tempered. Clashes with Drem over a pony and later fights him on behalf of their Chieftains (8).
    • The new King (7), "a very young warrior, with the same bright, ragged hair, the same great beak of a nose" as the old king (7). "young golden beard", "big golden man". 'the young bull has an old head on his shoulders.' (8)
    • Bragon (8), chieftain of another clan, "a fat man whose paunch bulges over his gold studded belt, and whose eyes bulged also, on either side of a mottled nose." Won the iron dagger off the bronze-smith at dice.
    • Cerdic (8), dog-fight attendant
    • Llew (8), owner of a fighting dog
    • Fynn (8), "an old warrior" of Dumnorix's clan, owner of the red devil
    • Irdun (8), dog fight attendant
    • Findabair (8), another clan chieftain
    • Caradig (11), Morvidd's quarrelling neighbour
    • Cordaella (11), "A plump, pink girl who smelled like new bread." Drustic's wife, third daughter of Belu from above the ford. Not allowed to help nurse Drem (14).
    • Rhun (11), Vortrix's girl, daughter of Gwythno of the Singing Spear, "she grows very fair". "a tall, laughing girl with bright hair round her head.", who jumps the fire "shrilling like a curlew" at Beltane with Vortrix (15).
    • Vran (14), "the stupidest" of the class of New Spears with whom Drem is initiated
  • The bronze-smith (1, 5), "a bronze-smith had come by from the Isles of the West, and his woman with him–a wild, dark creature with hair and eyes like the night. She had been sick already, and in the night she had died and left a new babe bleating in the fern against the wall" (1). "a tall, dark man" from the Green Island, "with a pride...like a prince on a journey". Traded his latest woman for an iron dagger on the continent. Mocks Blai, whose existence he had forgotten (5). Lost the dagger to Bragon at dice (8).
  • The Half People (1), "you came, and treated the children of the giants as they had treated us. Now we are all the Half People, Tah-Nu's children and the children of the giants alike, and we come at your call." The Little Dark People. Shepherds. Men of the Tribe who fail join the Half People. "the Dark People, the Flint People, whose homes, half underground, were the little green hummocks in the hidden combes of the Chalk; who came and went at the Tribesmen's call, though they never owned the Tribesmen as their masters" (1). "the Little Dark People whose instinct was to run and hide instead of coming out to ask questions" (5). "Many of the Half People bowed themselves to the Sun Lord" (10). "That was one of the maddening things about the Dark People; they were often in some way beyond the reach of an insult." 'Once we killed the Corn King every year...but now ther are not enought young men among the Dark People, and we kill him only once every seven harvests.' (11).
    • Doli (1), an old shepherd. Lives by a dew-pond, has a wolf scar on his ribs. "He never moved without need." Sarcastic (1). "Doli very seldom showed anything." Drem's leader among the shepherds (10). While ill, goes out to catch a stray ewe and falls into the quarry in the snow and is knocked out (13).
      • Cu (11), "the older of Doli's two dogs, who had been the young one, six summers before, would not work with anyone but his master" (11). Goes with Doli after a stray sheep and alerts Drem to his whereabouts. Dies fighting a she-wolf (13).
      • Asal (11), "the young one now, would work with Drem well enough". "being young and over-eager, was sometimes inclined to chevy his charges"
    • Flann (1), a shepherd. Has a woman in the village of the Half People with whom he spends the winters (12). 'his woman has come to her time also, and all men know the fool that he is about her.'–his brother (13).
    • Hunno (1), Flann's brother, "a surly little man with small round eyes like jet beads" (1). 'the gash that I carry here in my shim where the she-wolf caught me seven winters ago. Always it aches in a frost.' "growling gentleness in his voice that was only there when he spoke to a sick sheep, and never for his own kind." (12).
    • Erp (5), Drem's boyhood companion, "who could swim like an otter under water" (5). The youngest of the shepherds with Doli. Plays a pipe. "it was seldom that he came up from the abodes of men without news of some kind; he was all eyes and ears" "torn as he always was between his wish to please the boy who seemed to him so tall and golden and splendidly heedless of where his feet fell, and his wish to be revenged on him for being what he was." 'Little Eyes-and-Ears could always hear the thoughts of a man's heart a day's trail away, by putting his ear to the ground.' (11). Inherits Asal from Doli. "The little dark shepherd looked up then, looked him full in the face for almost the first time in their lives, then let his gaze slide downwards. 'What is it to the Golden People where Tah-Nu's children lay their dead?' He whistled Asal to heel, and turned away about the business of the sheep." (15).
    • Erp's not-girlfriend (12), one of the shepherds's cooks. "She showed her teeth like a young vixen when [Erp] sat too near her; but she was wearing the necklace."
  • Deities (1)
    • Corn King (1)
    • Earth Mother (1)
    • Tah-Nu (1), mythical first settler of the land north of the Great Water
    • The Forest Gods (2), object to wasteful killing
    • The Sun Lord (2)

PlacesEdit

  • The Chalk (1), ridge overlooking the forest, marsh, and the sea
    • The summer sheep runs (1), on the High Chalk, with turf folds, a dew-pond, and shepherds' bothies (1). Elder trees (11).
    • The Ridgeway (1), green track running east-west along the crest of the Chalk
    • Drem's home steading (1), in a combe on the inland (north) side of the Chalk, with the cattle-ground at the head of the combe and the house-place below it, surrounded by a garth and thorn-hedge, its gate facing down the combe to the fields and orchard and a broader valley below (1). Off the cattle track down from the Chalk (5).
    • The old flint quarry (1), north of the sheep runs (1). Doli falls into it while tracking a stray sheep. "the chalk dropped away so sharply as to be clear of snow save where the whiteness clung about the roots of the bushes that grew here and there on the sheer surface of the drop." "Drem never paused to remember that there was a perfectly easy way down the hillside and into the old working at the lower end." (13).
    • The Hill of Gathering (3), above the village, with a round grave mound
    • The Chieftain's steading (3)
      • The Boys' House (6)
    • Talore's steading (3), smaller than the farmers'
    • The Under-Hill track (5), a highway on the north slope of the Chalk that fords the brook above the boys' bathing pool (5). Drem picks up his wolf there (9).
    • The Royal Dun (7), about a day west of Drem's Clan's village, "high on its vast wave-lift of the Chalk". A many-ramparted hill fort.
    • The Holy Place (7), the Kings' grave mound
    • the lambing pens (10), in "a sheltered fold of the downs high above the village"
    • "the clustered turf hummocks in the high combe that was the nearest thing Tah-Nu's children had to a village" (11)
    • "the hollow place among the hills where the warriors of the Tribe were made" (14), "the ancient turf circle with its nine thorn trees" on the other side of the Hill of Gathering
  • Marsh Country (1), south of the Chalk and the forest, above the Great Water (1). Also inland of the Chalk, where a large river running south overflows its bed. Dammed by beavers. "No one lived in the Marshes that lay inland of the Chalk" because they're feverish (3).
  • The Great Wild (2), north of the Chalk, "mist haunted, spirit haunted, rolling away into the unknown; the wilderness of forest and marsh that was the place of wolf and bear and wild pig, the place of the Fear that walked among the trees, so men said, after dark; where only the hunters went at night" (2). A low oak forest characterized by dense undergrowth of yew and holly (9).
    • The wolf's den (9), an overhang in a clearing
  • The Green Isle in the West (5),
  • The Mist-forests across the Great Water (5), where yellow-haired giants forge iron

Literary and historical backgroundEdit

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