A glossary of people, places & objects in Earthsea

Now showing glossary items starting K


Also known as: River Kaheda

Calm river of the Middle Valley in south Gont. Its springs arise at the valley head; the port of Valmouth lies at its mouth; near Oak Farm, it runs through meadows and reed beds

Sources: Bettering, T; Home, T

'…the placid, silvery Kaheda.'

[Home, T]


Inland village by the river Kaheda in Middle Valley in the south of Gont. It lies downriver from Lissu, upriver from Oak Village and near Round Hill

Sources: Frontispiece map, T; Home, T; Winter, T


Titles: The Eldest

The oldest of the dragons, immense, scarred, iron black with red wings and yellow eyes; so old that Orm Embar is but a yearling kid beside him (or her). Inhabits an island called the Keep of Kalessin in the Dragons' Run. Calls Tehanu 'my child'; she calls him Segoy

Sources: The Stone of Pain, FS; Kalessin, T; Tehanu, T

'Its head, the colour of iron, stained as with red rust at nostril and eye socket and jowel, hung facing him, almost over him. … It did not move. It might have been crouching there for hours, or for years, or for centuries. It was carven of iron, shaped from rock -- but the eyes, the eyes he dared not look into, the eyes like oil coiling on water, like yellow smoke behind glass, the opaque profound, and yellow eyes watched Arren.'

[The Stone of Pain, FS]


Medium-sized island in the southerly end of the West Reach, near Simly and Near Kaltuel

Sources: The Dragons' Run, FS


Also known as: Kameber Rock

Small hilly islet in the Gontish Sea off the west coast of Gont; on a clear day its hills can be seen from the Old Mage's House in Re Albi

Sources: Mending the Green Pitcher, OW


Small island on the east of the Inmost Sea, south of Ilien and near O; nearest of the eastern islands to Roke

Sources: The Shadow, WoE

Kapperding Scarp

Rocky slope with a cave near Ten Alders in the northeast of Gont

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE


Large, wealthy main island of the Kargad Lands in the north east of Earthsea; capital is Awabath, location of the Godking's court. Other cities include the old capital, Hupun

'…the distant loom of hills like clouds, the great island of the Godking.'

[Voyage, ToA]

Kargad Lands

Also known as: Eastern Isles, Kargad Empire, the Four Lands, Empire of the Sky

Four islands in the north-east: Karego-At, Atuan, Hur-at-Hur and Atnini, which do not form part of the Archipelago. Awabath on Karego-At is the capital. The white-skinned inhabitants, Kargs, are ruled by the Godking and, after civil war in around 1061, the High King. They have a very different culture, religion and language (Kargish), from the rest of Earthsea, with magic and writing being outlawed. The Kargad islands have few mineral resources

Related entries: Priest-Kings; Legal and punitive systems; War; Religion and the afterlife; Place of the Tombs; Reincarnation


The language of the Kargad Lands. It is dissimilar to those spoken in the Archipelago, being closest to Osskili, though its eventual derivation (like all Earthsea languages) is from Old Speech. The Kargish dialects spoken on Atuan, Karego-At and Hur-at-Hur appear to be mutually comprehensible. Few even among highly educated Archipelagans speak any Kargish, and vice versa; Seserakh of Hur-at-Hur did not know there was any language besides Kargish

Sources: A Description of Earthsea, TfE

Related entries: Language

Further information on Kargish

Kargish architecture

A typical Kargish town is built of yellow clay brick with red tile roofs and is walled around with overhanging battlements, a single gate and watchtowers at each of the four corners. Houses in the desert of Hur-at-Hur have thick walls with window slits

Sources: The Western Mountains, ToA; Palaces, OW

Related entries: Building materials; Houses, town


Also known as: Hoary Men, Eastern peoples

Inhabitants of Kargad Lands, generally white-skinned and fair or yellow-haired. Considered war-like barbarians by the Archipelagans, who sometimes call them 'Hoary Men' for their frost-like colouring

Sources: Dragonfly, TfE

'…they are a savage people, white-skinned, yellow-haired, and fierce, liking the sight of blood and the smell of burning towns.'

'…the tall, rawboned men with their pale, braided hair, their plumed headdresses, their court armor of silver mesh interwoven with feathers.

[Warriors in the Mist, WoE/Palaces, OW]


Coastal village or town in the southwest of Gont, near Essary and the islet of Kameber

Sources: Frontispiece map, T


Coastal village or town lying on an unnamed inlet in the northwest of Gont, near Tutok Bay and Oskres

Sources: Frontispiece map, T

Keep of Kalessin

Island in the Dragons' Run with sheer basalt cliffs three hundred feet high; named the Keep of Kalessin by dragons. Possibly constructed by Kalessin or another dragon, or a natural rock formation

'…ahead of them loomed an island like a tower. Its cliffs were black, and made up of many cylinders or great pillars pressed together, with straight edges and plane surfaces, rising three hundred feet sheer from the water.'

[The Dragons' Run, FS]

Keksemt Moors

Large area of bleak rolling moorland in the interior of the island of Osskil, bounded by the Mountains of Os in the north and the coast around Neshum in the south; described as bare, brown and treeless. Though crossed by several tracks, it appears to lack habitations, apart from the Court of the Terrenon

Sources: Hunted, WoE; The Hawk's Flight, WoE

'…over the low brown hills that went on houseless and treeless and changeless, clear to the sunwashed winter sky.'

[The Hawk's Flight, WoE]


Little coastal village, a fishing port on a headland in the north-west of Gont, near Tutok Bay. Home to the Woman of Kemay

Sources: Going to the Falcon's Nest, T


Also known as: River Kember

River in the northwest of Way; its mouth is the port of Kembermouth

Sources: Dragonfly, TfE


Prosperous walled port city at the mouth of the River Kember in the northwest of Way; it lies two days' journey from Westpool

Sources: The Shadow, WoE; Dragonfly, TfE


Titles: Prince of Enlad

Prince of Enlad three hundred years before The Farthest Shore, he killed the dragon Bar Oth

Sources: Hort Town, FS


See Yarrow


Inland village or town lying on an unnamed river in the west of Gont, near Var

Sources: Frontispiece map, T


Cock belonging to Heleth. The other chickens are named Red Bucca, Brown Bucca, Grey, Leggings, and Candor. Missing when Ogion moves into the Old Mage's House, presumably killed by a fox

For monarchs of Earthsea, see King of All the Isles, Godking & High King

Sources: The Bones of the Earth, TfE

King of All the Isles

Also known as: King of Earthsea, King of the Western Lands

The Archipelago was formerly ruled by the King of All the Isles or King of Earthsea, first at Berila on Enlad, then at Havnor City. The kings and queens of Enlad included Lar Ashal, Dohun, Enashen, Timan, Tagtar, Morred (whose ascension was counted as year 1 in the Hardic calendar), Serriadh and Akambar, who moved the court to Havnor City in around the year 150. The fourteen kings and queens of Havnor included Gemal Sea-born, Denggemal, Heru and Maharion. The line of kings died out on the death of Maharion in the year 452 (800 years previously according to some sources). The new king was prophesied by Maharion to have 'crossed the dark land living and come to the far shores of the day'a; such a king was thought to bring peace and unite the lands. Lebannen, son of the Prince of Enlad and heir of Morred, fulfilled this prophecy and was crowned in Havnor City in around 1051.

Ceremonial items associated with the Archipelagan monarchy include Morred's High Seat, the crown of Morred and a gold-weighted state robe. During Lebannen's reign, however, the king dresses plainly when not performing state duties, and bears no mark of authority, such as a ring or chain

Sources: The Masters of Roke, FS (a); The Dolphin, T; A Description of Earthsea, TfE; Palaces, OW

'"But so runs the prophecy of the Last King, and therefore someday one will be born to fulfil it. And Roke will recognize him, and the fleets and armies and nations will come together to him. Then there will be majesty again in the centre of the world, in the Tower of the Kings in Havnor." '

' "Let there be a king upon the throne, and we will have peace, and even in the farthest Reaches the sorcerers will practise their arts with an untroubled mind, and there will be order, and a due season to all things."

[The Masters of Roke, FS]

Related entries: Government

King of Earthsea

See King of All the Isles

King of the Western Lands

See King of All the Isles

King's Council

Hundred-member council voting on laws and taxation in the Archipelago, which meets in the throne room of the New Palace in Havnor City. Instituted by Lebannen and presided over by Sege. Councillors are selected by the king to serve for terms of 2-3 years (possibly repeated), and include noblemen and women, princes, merchants, guild masters, wizards, islandwomen, army and sea captains, poets and scholars. Speeches are limited to two minutes using a sandglass

'All laws and taxations, all judgments brought before the throne, [Lebannen] discussed with them, taking their counsel. They would then vote on his proposal, and only with the consent of the majority was it enacted. There were those who said the council was nothing but the king's pets and puppets, and so indeed it might have been. He mostly got his way if he argued for it. Often he expressed no opinion and let the council make the decision. Many councillors had found that if they had enough facts to support their opposition and made a good argument, they might sway the others and even persuade the king.'

[The Dragon Council, OW]

Related entries: Government

King's Courts of Law

After the restoration of the Archipelagan monarchy in 1051, the king's law courts recommence meeting to judge serious cases, including murder. Such cases are tried at Gont Port on Gont, so presumably the king's law courts are distributed across the islands ruled the King of All the Isles, rather than located on Havnor

Sources: Winter, T; The Master. T

King's guards

Part of the guards of Havnor City during the reign of Lebannen; their organisation is unclear, but a gate captain and lieutenants (including Yenay) are mentioned. Their uniform includes a fine harness, and they are armed with swords and bows

Sources: The Dragon Council, OW

Related entries: Soldiers

King's House

See New Palace

King's Island

See Havnor

King's Rune

See Bond Rune

King's Tale

Tale of Ged's travels in the Kargad Lands and the finding of the Ring of Erreth-Akbe, presumably composed by Lebannen

Sources: Dragonfly, TfE


See Dagger


Small elongated island in the eastern North Reach, north of the Allernots, near Sort and Chemish


Small island in the East Reach, near Korp, Apso and Holp

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE


Small, elongated, inhabited island in the East Reach, near Sneg and Iffish; it has small villages

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE; The Open Sea, WoE

'…first raised land off the southernmost cape of Koppish. Over the waves they saw cliffs of stone rise like a great fortress. Seabirds cried wheeling over the breakers, and smoke of the hearthfires of small villages drifted blue on the wind.'

[The Open Sea, WoE]


Tiny island in the easternmost region of the East Reach, near Gosk

Sources: The Open Sea, WoE


Small westernmost island of the East Reach, near Kopp. An Islandwoman of Korp serves on the King's Council at the time of The Other Wind

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE; The Dragon Council, OW


Coastal village or town in the northwest of Gont; it lies on an unnamed inlet

Sources: Frontispiece map, T


Titles: High Priestess of the Godking

High Priestess of the Godking at the Place of the Tombs on Atuan. She looks after some of the duties of the One Priestess while Arha (Tenar) is a child. Unlike Arha and Thar (High Priestess of the Twin Gods), her motivations appear to relate more to power than any belief in the gods. In appearance she is tall, stout and heavy, with grey eyes; in character, cruel

Sources: The Prisoners, ToA; Light under the Hill, ToA; Names, ToA

'Kossil had no true worship in her heart of the Nameless Ones or of the gods. She held nothing sacred but power. The Emperor of the Kargad Lands now held the power, and therefore he was indeed a godking in her eyes, and she would serve him well. But to her the temples were mere show, the Tombstones were rocks, the Tombs of Atuan were dark holes in the ground, terrible but empty. She would do away with the worship of the Empty Throne, if she could. She would do away with the first Priestess, if she dared.'

[Light under the Hill, ToA]


See Master Namer



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

Earthsea and its inhabitants were created by Ursula Le Guin, and no infringement of her copyright is intended in this fan site