A glossary of people, places & objects in Earthsea

Now showing glossary items relating to mountains, hills, crags & caves


Also known as: Mount Andanden

Huge silent volcano with a broken cone on the island of Semel; land around it is black lava. Said to be 'a most sacred place to the dragons, where they came to drink fire from the earth in ancient days.'a

Sources: On the High Marsh, TfE; Palaces, OW (a)

Armed Cliffs

Also known as: Gates of the Port

Steep cliffed headlands on either side of a narrow channel at the mouth of the long narrow bay on which Gont Port stands; only 100 feet apart at the narrowest point. Bowmen are positioned in forts high on the cliffs. Ogion holds them apart when they are threatened by earthquake ten years before 'The Shadow' [WoE]

Sources: The Dolphin, T; The Bones of the Earth, TfE

'The ship was passing between the Armed Cliffs, towering grim walls that seemed to lean above the sails. Bowmen on guard in little forts like mud-swallows' nests high on the cliffs looked down at them on deck…'

[The Dolphin, T]


See Lips of Paor

Cave at Aurun

See Lips of Paor

Cloud Cape

Rocky headland on the west coast of Atuan; it has cliffs above a sandy beach, a narrow cave 30 feet long just above the high water level, and a freshwater stream

Sources: Voyage, ToA

Cutnorth Cliff

Cliff on the Gont Port bay, just north of the city, near an unnamed village; a cove and beach lie below

'…the dark jagged bulk of Cutnorth Cliff, above which the snowy fields of the mountain rose up into cloud.'

[Hunting, WoE]

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]

Gont Mountain

Also known as: Gont Peak

Mountain forming the island of Gont. Its multiple ridges, between which the Gontish valleys nestle, radiate from several central summits rising around 5000 feet (1600m) above sea level; Hot Springs Mountain above Lissu and a south peak are mentioned. Its lower slopes are forested

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE; Frontispiece map, T; The Dolphin, T; The Master, T

'The island of Gont, a single mountain that lifts its peak a mile above the storm-racked Northeast Sea …'

[Warriors in the Mist, WoE]

High Fall

Cliff on Gont rising 100 feet above the springs of the River Ar; also the steep goat pastures that lie above it

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE

Hill of the Tombs

Hill within the Place of the Tombs on Atuan, on which the Hall of the Throne and the Tombs of Atuan are set. The crest of the hill is encircled with a massive rock wall, the Tomb Wall

Sources: The Wall around the Place, ToA

Hot Springs Mountain

Mountain in the south of Gont, above Lissu and the Middle Valley. Possibly a subsidiary peak of Gont Mountain, or a local name for the mountain itself

Sources: Home, T

Iria Hill

Hill in the centre of Old Iria in the domain of Iria on the island of Way. The Old Iria mansion house stands on top of it, the unnamed village of Old Iria lies at its foot, and a shallow pool with a spring lies immediately beneath it

Sources: Dragonfly, TfE

Jackass Hill

Hill near Westpool on the island of Way

Sources: Dragonfly, TfE

Kapperding Scarp

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

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE

Lips of Paor

Also known as: Aurun, Cave at Aurun, Cleft called Aurun

A cave a few miles south of Havnor City whose mouth is a twenty-foot wide crack in the ground. Called the Lips of Paor in ancient maps of Paln, it's a centre of the Old Powers, and is said to have spoken in ancient times. At the time of The Other Wind, used to dump foul-smelling tannery waste

'…they came suddenly to a great crack in the ground, a black gap twenty feet wide or more, right across their way./It was as if the spine of rock had been cracked apart by a wrenching of the earth and had never healed again.'

[Dolphin, OW]

Mount Andanden

See Andanden

Mount Onn

Also known as: Onn, Mount

High mountain on Havnor, geographical centre of the Archipelago. Its lower slopes are farmed; the mountain village of Woodedge lies on them. Described as having long ridges and a domed summit

'Sky and earth were all one grey, but before them and above them, very high, over a drift of cloud, the long ridge of the mountain glimmered red.'

[The Finder, TfE]

Mountains of Os

Also known as: Os, Mountains of

Range of mountains to the east of Osskil, north of the Keksemt Moors and the city of Neshum

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

'…far to the north small white peaks stood sharp against the blue'

[The Hawk's Flight, WoE]

Mountains of Pain

Also known as: Pain, Mountains of, Mountains called Pain

High black range of mountains or volcanoes called Pain at the far side of the dry land (the lands of the dead) from the wall of stones; crossed by a road forbidden to the dead, they border with the living world. The rocks are hot to the touch, and cut the flesh. At the end of The Other Wind, fire breaks from the mountains

Sources: The Dry Land, FS; The Dolphin, T; Rejoining, OW

'The rocks were rough, burning the hands like molten iron. … There was a torment in the touch of this earth. It seared like live coals: a fire burned within the mountains.'

'"The stones … The stones cut, and the cuts are long to heal."

[The Dry Land, FS/The Dolphin, T]

Onn, Mount

See Mount Onn

Os, Mountains of

See Mountains of Os


West-facing cliff top or rocky ledge of red sandstone in southern Gont, described as an 'air-swept shelf of rock'a jutting out from the mountainside, 2000 feet above the sea. The village of Re Albi is located on the cliff top; the Old Mage's House lies on a steep grassy slope near the cliff edge, just north of the village. Further back from the cliff edge, the Overfell becomes a narrow strip of marsh, Overfell Marsh, behind which rise the wooded slopes of Gont Mountain

Sources: Going to the Falcon's Nest, T; Kalessin, T (a)

'Ogion's house stood apart from the village and closer than any other house to the edge of the Overfell, here a steep grassy slope broken by ledges and outcrops of rock, where goats could be pastured. As you went on north the drop grew ever steeper, till it began to fall sheer; and on the path the rock of the great ledge showed through the soil, till a mile or so north of the village the Overfell had narrowed to a shelf of reddish sandstone hanging above the sea that undercut its base two thousand feet below. / Nothing grew at that far end of the Overfell but lichens and rockworts and here and there a blue daisy, wind-stunted, like a button dropped on the rough, crumbling stone.'

[Kalessin, T]

Pain, Mountains of

See Mountains of Pain

Prisoners' Door

See Red rock door

Red rock door

Also known as: Prisoners' Door

Door to the Undertomb at the Place of the Tombs on Atuan, in an outcropping of red lava near the Tomb Wall. It can only be opened from outside, using a long-shafted iron key with two ornate wards (one of the ring of keys)

'A few yards down the slope an outcropping of red lava made a stair or little cliff in the hill. When she went down to it and stood on the level before it, facing the rocks, Arha realized that they looked like a rough doorway, four feet high.'

[The Prisoners, ToA]

Revnian Mountains

Range of mountains in the northeast of Havnor island

Roke Knoll

A high green hill on Roke Island above Thwil, near the Immanent Grove; steep, round & treeless, it's covered in long grass and sparkweed. Said to be the first land to stand above the sea at the Creation, and whose roots go down to the centre of the earth. In 'The Finder' [TfE], however, it states that Roke was the second island to be raised, after Ea. A site where the Old Powers are manifest; all things take their true form there

Sources: The Loosing of the Shadow, WoE; The Finder, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE

'The presence of that hill where many wonders had been worked was heavy, like a weight in the air around them. As they came on to the hillside they thought of how the roots of it were deep, deeper even than the sea, reaching down even to the old, blind, secret fires at the world's core.'

[The Loosing of the Shadow, WoE]

Round Hill

Hill near Kahedanan in the south of Gont; site of an old slaughterhouse

Sources: Winter, T

Tombs of Atuan

Also known as: Tombstones, Place of the Old Powers

Nine black stones, eighteen to twenty feet high, behind the Hall of the Throne, within an encircling wall, the Tomb Wall. Sacred to the Nameless Ones, they are said to have stood there since the creation of Earthsea. The name also encompasses the Undertomb beneath the Tombstones, where the power of the Nameless Ones is at its strongest. The Tombstones fall into the Undertomb in the earthquake that follows Ged and Tenar's escape from the Labyrinth with the Ring of Erreth-Akbe

Sources: The Wall around the Place, ToA; The Anger of the Dark, ToA

'Inside the loop of the wall several black stones eighteen or twenty feet high stuck up like huge fingers out of the earth. Once the eye saw them it kept returning to them. They stood there full of meaning, and yet there was no saying what they meant. There were nine of them. One stood straight, the others leaned more or less, two had fallen. They were crusted with grey and orange lichen as if splotched with paint, all but one, which was naked and black with a dull black gloss to it. It was smooth to the touch, but on the others, under the crust of lichen, vague carvings could be seen, or felt with the fingers -- shapes, signs. These nine stones were the Tombs of Atuan. They had been planted in the darkness when the lands were raised up from the ocean's depths. They were older by far than the Godkings of Kargad, older than the Twin Gods, older than light. They were the tombs of those who ruled before the world of men came to be, the ones not named, and she who served them had no name.'

[The Wall around the Place, ToA]


See Tombs of Atuan


A large natural underground cavern beneath the Tombs of Atuan, adjoining the Labyrinth. Highly sacred to the Nameless Ones, it can be accessed only via the red rock door near the Tomb Wall or by a trapdoor in one of the rooms behind the Hall of the Throne. Light is forbidden there, and only the One Priestess, the two High Priestesses and their eunuch wardens (Manan, Uahto, Duby) may enter. Gives access not only to the Labyrinth itself, but also to a minor labyrinth beneath the Hall of the Throne and the Hill of the Tombs, including the Room of Chains, which houses prisoners. The Undertomb is destroyed by an earthquake when Ged and Tenar escape from the Labyrinth with the Ring of Erreth-Akbe

Sources: The Prisoners, ToA; Light under the Hill, ToA; The Anger of the Dark, ToA

'--Saw what she had never seen, not though she had lived a hundred lives: the great vaulted cavern beneath the Tombstones, not hollowed by man's hand but by the powers of the Earth. It was jewelled with crystals and ornamented with pinnacles and filagrees of white limestone where the waters under earth had worked, eons since: immense, with glittering roof and walls, sparkling, delicate, intricate, a palace of diamonds, a house of amethyst and crystal, from which the ancient darkness had been driven out by glory.'

[Light under the Hill, ToA]

Western Mountains

Range of tawny mountains and wide valleys in the west of Atuan, between the Place of the Tombs and the western coastal plain. A fairly arid region, the predominant vegetation is sagebrush; the summits are snow-clad in winter

Sources: The Western Mountains, ToA

'Before them the western mountains stood, their feet purple, their upper slopes gold.'

[The Anger of the Dark, ToA]



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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