A glossary of people, places & objects in Earthsea

Now showing glossary items starting F


Clothing fabrics mentioned include silk, satin, fur, sheepskin, wool, fleecefell, felt, leather, linen, velvet, cloth of gold, cloth of silver, gauze and lace. Feathers are used for decorative purposes, eg on a headdress in Hort Town and on dress armour/helmets in the Kargad Lands. Although fabrics are traded and sold in eg Hort Town market, much clothing throughout Earthsea appears to be made by women on handlooms at home. The Children of the Open Sea make a fabric from nilgu fibre (brown seaweed).

Fabrics for other purposes mentioned include painted silk (fan), felt (blankets), linen (sheets), tapestry (hangings), damask (tableware), leather (animal collars, sword sheaths, packs, sacks, bottles, flasks), net (bags), grass (bags), canvas (awnings, mats, tarpaulins, mattress covers), burlap (a coarse hemp/jute canvas) and sailcloth

Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q; Hort Town, FS; The Children of the Open Sea, FS; Hawks, T; Finding Words, T; Home, T; Palaces, OW


Soldier, presumably in Lebannen's employ, killed by the slaver Egre at the Siege of Sorra

Sources: Dolphin, OW

Falcon, the

Constellation of the Archipelago

Sources: Mending the Green Pitcher, OW

Falcon's Nest

See Re Albi

Faliern Forest

Great forest in the interior of Havnor island, west of Samory, near villages of Endlane and Woodedge. Its trees include oaks. The Old Powers are said to be strong there

Sources: The Finder, TfE

Faliern Mountains

Also known as: Faliorn Mountains

Range of mountains in the west of Havnor Island; its foothills lie immediately west of the sands of Onneva. A pass is found a day's ride from the sands of Onneva

'They had just emerged from woods on the crest of an open hillside and could see through the clear half light all the way to the pass. The mountains to either side of it massed black against the dull reddish glow of a cloudy dawn. / But they were looking west.'

[Palaces, OW]


The days of the waning moon after Sunreturn; an unlucky time

'It is an unlucky time for travellers and for the sick; children are not given their true name during the Fallows, and no Deeds are sung, nor swords nor edge-tools sharpened, nor oaths sworn. It is the dark axis of the year, when things done are ill done.'

[The Open Sea, WoE]


Small island in the southerly end of the West Reach, near Arrins and west of Ensmer


A painted silk fan is an heirloom of Weaver Fan of Gont, given to his grandfather by a pirate. Very large and fine, it depicts figures in Havnor City on one side and dragons on the other; possibly linked with legends of the Vedurnan

'The delicately painted men and women in their gorgeous robes of rose and jade and azure, the towers and bridges and banners of Havnor Great Port, were all familiar to Tenar as soon as she saw the fan again. Visitors to Re Albi were often brought to see it. It was the finest thing, all agreed, in the village. … Dragons moved as the folds of the fan moved. Painted faint and fine on the yellowed silk, dragons of pale red, blue, green moved and grouped, as the figures on the other side were grouped, among clouds and mountain peaks. … [T]he two sides, the two paintings, made one by the light flowing through the silk, so that the clouds and peaks were the towers of the city, and the men and women were winged, and the dragons looked with human eyes.'

[Hawks, T]


Dry red wine produced in the domain of Iria on Way. Ten-year-old Fanian is traded to destinations including Hort Town and is said to be valuable

Sources: Dragonfly, TfE

Far Sorr

Small island, south of Lorbanery and the Isles of Sand in the South Reach

'"Sailors say that there are stars to be seen from the waters by the Isle of the Ear and Far Sorr that cannot be seen anywhere else, and that have never been named."'

[The Open Sea, WoE]

Far Toly

Islet in the eastern East Reach, near Sneg

Sources: The Open Sea, WoE


Sailing ship which carries Alder to Gont

Sources: Mending the Green Pitcher, OW


Kargish warriors wear tall red plumes on their helmets and their lances are decorated with plumes; their court armour (at least at the time of the High King) is silver mesh armour interwoven with feathers. Possibly in imitation of this style, Seserakh's carriage and its horses' headstalls are decorated with tall red plumes in Havnor City. A feathered headdress is worn by a market tradeswoman in Hort Town. The raft of the House of the Great Ones (the temple of the Children of the Open Sea) bears tall poles at its corners, decorated with tufts of sea-bird feathers. Feather or down coverlets and mattresses are mentioned in the cold climes of Gont and Osskil

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE; The Hawk's Flight, WoE; Hort Town, FS; The Children of the Open Sea, FS; Winter, T; Palaces, OW; Dolphin, OW

Related entries: Headgear; Weapons; Beds and bedlinen


Medium-sized island in the east of the Archipelago, between Way, O and Havnor; features include Felkway Bay, with an unnamed town at its mouth. The Passage of Felkway leads into the Ebavnor Straits. Ruled by the Lord of Felkway

Sources: The Shadow, WoE

Felkway Bay

See Passage of Felkway

Felkway, Lord of

See Lord of Felkway


Town or city on Paln; home of the Pelnish wizard Seppel

Sources: Rejoining, OW


Old woman of the town of Glade on Havnor island

Sources: Darkrose and Diamond, TfE


Small island in the eastern North Reach, north of the Andrades and south of the Allernots

Festival of Sunreturn

Also known as: Sunreturn, Feast of Sun-return

Winter solstice festival, widely celebrated in the Archipelago, with feasting and the singing of the Deed of the Young King (or Deed of Morred) & the Winter Carol

Sources: Home, T; A Description of Earthsea, TfE

'…when the sun turns north to bring the spring…'

[Home, T]

Festival of the Lambs

Festival held in the New Year on Enlad and possibly elsewhere, of blessing and increase on the flocks

Sources: The Rowan Tree, FS


Stiff, tent-like, all-enveloping veil worn by well-born women of Hur-at-Hur in the Kargad Lands; the wearer is called feyagat. Shorter veils are worn by serving ladies. The feyag is not worn in the city Awabath on Karego-At, or on Atuan

Sources: Palaces, OW; The Dragon Council, OW

'She was veiled, entirely veiled, as was, it appeared, the custom of well-born women in Hur-at-Hur. The veils, red with lines of gold embroidery, fell straight down from a flat-brimmed hat or headdress, so that the princess appeared to be a red column or pillar, cylindrical, featureless, motionless, silent.'

[Palaces, OW]


See Master Finder


Art of finding, binding and returning; ranges from finding a lost household object to prospecting for underground water or minerals. Originally considered one of the high arts of magic, Halkel relegated finding to the base crafts, practised by witches, sorcerers and specialised finders. Medra is a finder

Sources: The Finder, TfE; A Description of Earthsea, TfE

'The first sign of Otter's gift, when he was two or three years old, was his ability to go straight to anything lost, a dropped nail, a mislaid tool, as soon as he understood the word for it. And as a boy one of his dearest pleasures had been to go alone out into the countryside and wander along the lanes or over the hills, feeling through the soles of his bare feet and throughout his body the veins of water underground, the lodes and knots of ore, the lay and interfolding of the kinds of rock and earth. It was as if he walked in a great building, seeing its passages and rooms, the descents into airy caverns, the glimmer of branched silver in the walls; and as he want on, it was as if his body became the body of the earth, and he knew its arteries and organs and muscles as his own.'

[The Finder, TfE]


A great mage who sought to undo the darkness and stop the sun at noon. Defeated by Erreth-Akbe. The yellow-flowered sparkweed is said to grow where the wind dropped the ashes of burning Ilien, when Erreth-Akbe defended the Inward Isles from him

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE; A Description of Earthsea, TfE


A central firepit, rather than a hearth and chimney, is a feature of many houses, especially rural huts and cottages

'…they sat on the broad coping of the firepit, their feet almost among the coals.'

[Iffish, WoE]


Fireworks are mentioned on the islands of Havnor, Way & Sattins, often as entertainment at outdoor parties. Though they seem to be usually produced by a sorcerer or wizard, it's unclear whether they work by magic or gunpowder

Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q; Darkrose and Diamond, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE


Sheep-farming village in the west of Havnor isle, lower down the slopes of Mount Onn from Woodedge

Sources: The Finder, TfE

First Priestess

See One Priestess


See Anieb


Silky material made from the fine underwool of goats from the north-eastern isles, including Gont and the Andrades; Gontish work is finer, having six or more warp strings to the finger's width, while Andradean work has only four. Also shawls and similar made from the fabric, suggested for female winter wear

Sources: Hort Town, FS; Worsening, T

'…a great cream and brown square, woven of the silky hair of the goats of the north-eastern isles.'

[Hort Town, FS]


Titles: Farmer Flint

Farmer & shepherd of Oak Farm in the Middle Valley of Gont; husband of Tenar, father of Apple & Spark; described as tall, with a long, narrow face. Married to Tenar for around 20 years, he dies of a stroke in around 1049

Sources: A Bad Thing, T; Kalessin, T; Bettering, T; The Master, T


Titles: Seacaptain Fogeno

White-browed old man of Sattins island in the East Reach. A former sea captain, he is blind from a detached retina

Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q


A spell to gather mist or fog together in a single location temporarily; the mist can also be shaped into transitory images. A discipline of weatherworking

'The fog had closed and thickened all over the village, greying the light, blurring the world till a man could hardly see his own hands before him. … The Kargs began to run, all of them, downhill, stumbling, silent, until all at once they ran out from the grey blind mist and saw the river and the ravines below the village all bare and bright in morning sunlight. Then they stopped, gathering together, and looked back. A wall of wavering, writhing grey lay blank across the path, hiding all that lay behind it.'

[Warriors in the Mist, WoE]


Typical main meal fare across Earthsea appears to be bread, cheese, fish and meat/fish/vegetable soups, with the wealthier eating chicken or other meat. A substantial meal on Gont comprises 'bread and cheese, cold beans in oil and herbs, a sliced onion, and dry sausage.'a A 'splendid repast' on Sattins island in the East Reach consists of 'roast goose, sparkling Andrades '639, and plum pudding with hard sauce.'b At the Havnor New Palace, a lunch of cold meat, smoked trout, lettuces and cheese is served to the king. Breakfast at the Roke School of Wizardry comprises 'milk, sour beer, bread, new butter, and cheese'c; curds are eaten for breakfast on Semel, pork pie in a wealthy household on Havnor, fresh fruit, bread and milk at the Havnor New Palace, warm barley gruel, a boiled egg and a peach on Gont, and buckwheat porridge at the Place of the Tombs on Atuan. Nuts, fruit and sometimes raisins are mentioned as snacks.

A variety of foodstuffs are mentioned. Meat products mentioned include roast or boiled chicken, roast goose, roast or smoked mutton, liver, meat or pork pie, meat soup, cold meat, roast kid, pork sausages, dry sausage and frogs' legs; beef cattle are mentioned, and their meat is presumably also eaten. Fish and shellfish are staples in coastal areas, including herring, sea bass, dried haddock, smoked trout, fish stew, fish soup, fish cakes, mussels, crabs, oysters and clams. Dairy produce mentioned includes cow's or goat's cheese, butter, curds and hard-boiled or fried eggs. Grain produce mentioned includes flour, bread, bannocks, hardbread, wheatcakes, cakes, shortbread, piecrust, buckwheat or corn porridge, barley or oatmeal gruel, lentils, millet mush and barley. While the bread used at the Place of the Tombs on Atuan is unleavened, reference is made to dough rising on Gont and yeast is used across Earthsea to make wine, so leavened bread is probably common. Vegetables and herbs mentioned include potatoes, onions, spring onions, scallions, beans, peas, cabbages, lettuces, cucumbers, tomatoes, pickled beets, turnips, squash, vegetable soups, rosemary, mint, thyme and parsley. Fruit and nut products mentioned include apples, pears, peaches, plums, plum pudding, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, currants, raisins, cantaloupe melons, walnuts and chestnuts. Flavourings mentioned include honey, oil, vinegar and salt.

No religious or other restrictions relating to food are mentioned, although fasting is a common practice in Atuan, and in the Archipelago, a fast is observed before the winter solstice Festival of Sunreturn

Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q (b); The Masters of Roke, FS (c); Hawks, T (a)

Related entries: Food preservation

Food preservation

Food is preserved by drying (apples, onions, fish, meat), smoking (fish, meat), salting (meat), pickling (beets) and preserving in oil (beans). No other methods of food preservation, such as refrigeration or canning, are mentioned. A cool-room is mentioned for food storage on Gont; also a larder or pantry, which might be situated so as to keep food cool. Food appears to be eaten close to the source; trade in foodstuffs (apart from wine) is not mentioned

Sources: Iffish, WoE; Dreams and Tales, ToA; Sea Dreams, FS; Ogion, T; Mice, T; Hawks, T; Home, T


Unit of distance used in Earthsea; as with other imperial measures, presumably silently translated from the actual unit

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE; The Eaten One, ToA


Laced sandals are typical footwear for both sexes and all classes, both in the Archipelago and on Atuan, eg Ged wears laced sandals travelling on Atuan; Tehanu wears light sandals at the court on Havnor. Laced shoes are also mentioned, eg Lebannen wears them in Hort Town. Boots of glove-leather are worn by the wealthy, while Ogion wears goatskin boots in the winter snow of Gont. Wooden clogs are mentioned on Way. Moccasins are worn by slaves in the roaster tower of the Samory mines on Havnor. Country people and the Children of the Open Sea (raft people) commonly go barefoot, as frequently do the priestesses at the Place of the Tombs on Atuan; the Hur-at-Hur princess Seserakh also goes barefoot on board ship. Cobblers are mentioned in Thwil on Roke island. Knitted woollen stockings or leggings are common legwear among rural people; the former at least cover the feet

Sources: The Hawk's Flight, WoE; Light under the Hill, ToA; Magelight, FS; The Finder, TfE; On the High Marsh, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE; The Dragon Council, OW

Forest of Aol

See Aol

Forge, the

Constellation with four bright stars visible in the central Archipelago

Sources: The Finder, TfE


Fountains appear to be a reasonably common ornamental feature of towns. Mentions include the Court of the Fountain in the School of Wizardry on Roke, a fountain in Hort Town on Wathort, at which women gather to gossip, and the famous fountains of Shelieth on Way, commemorated in the Deed of the Young King as 'the silver harp of the waters'a

Sources: The Rowan Tree, FS; Hort Town, FS (a)


Wood appears to be the most common fuel in most places. Coal is also mentioned occasionally. Lookfar has a little charcoal stove, and charcoal is burned in the temples on Atuan. Peat fires are mentioned, eg on the High Marsh on Semel. Oil lamps are sometimes used, for example at Hare's house in Hort Town, and lamps burning attar of roses (an essential oil) are used in the Temple of the Godking on Atuan. The people of Astowell in the East Reach, lacking wood, burn goat-dung and broom-faggots. Other fuels, such as mineral oil or gas, are not mentioned

Related entries: Lights

Fundaur, Black Well of

See Black Well of Fundaur


Mentioned in the magicians' workroom in the south tower of the School of Wizardry on Roke; perhaps used for metal refining

Sources: Orm Embar, FS


Rooms in noble houses, such as the Court of the Terrenon and the New Palace are furnished with tapestry hangings and bed curtains. Carved window screens and an embroidered chair seat are mentioned in the New Palace (though the throne itself is bare, uncushioned wood). The Dolphin has velvet cushions under canvas awnings, and awnings and striped canvas mats adorn the roof gardens of Havnor City. Vetch's spacious and comfortable house in Iffish has 'much homely wealth of pottery and fine weaving and vessels of bronze and brass on carven shelves and chests.'a Chambers in the Court of the Terrenon and the New Palace are carpeted; the floors of the River House are polished and uncarpeted, while the halls and anterooms of the New Palace have floors of tile, marble or oak. Many of the rooms of the temples/other buildings of the Place of the Tombs on Atuan have tiled floors, sometimes with marble tiles. The Old Mage's House in Re Albi on Gont has a polished oak floor, which is regarded as a luxury. Oak Farm in the Middle Valley on Gont has stone floors; poorer houses and huts have earth floors

Sources: Iffish, WoE (a); The Eaten One, ToA; The Man Trap, ToA; Palaces, OW; The Dragon Council, OW; Dolphin, OW

Further Runes

See True Runes



WoEA Wizard of Earthsea
ToAThe Tombs of Atuan
FSThe Farthest Shore
OWThe Other Wind
W12QThe Wind's Twelve Quarters
TfETales from Earthsea

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