A glossary of people, places & objects in Earthsea

Now showing glossary items relating to tools, implements & industrial items


See Retort


Also known as: Magnet

The Archipelagans appear to understand the force of magnetism, and to harness it to navigational purposes. Compasses are used as a navigational tool on boats and ships; the compass needle can also be made to point at will, using the magic of the Seamasters referred to as craft with iron. 'The force that draws the magnet'a is one of the forces dealt with by the art of summoning

Sources: The Shadow, WoE; The Loosing of the Shadow, WoE (a)


Also known as: Knife

Daggers and knives are commonly carried as weapons throughout Earthsea. As a boy, Ged has a bronze knife given to him by his father. In Atuan, he carries a steel dagger with a jewelled hilt, sheathed at his hip, which he breaks trying to tunnel to water in the Labyrinth. Lebannen always wears a steel dagger in a sheath. Osskilian freemen wear a long knife at their hip. A pearl-hilted knife is mentioned in the Ninety Isles. Knives are also mentioned as weapons in Ten Alders and Re Albi (Gont), Hort Town (Wathort), Sosara (Lorbanery) and Astowell (made of shell).

One of the One Priestess's traditional accoutrements is a little steel dagger, a miniature of a sacrificial knife with a four-inch blade, worn attached to her ring of keys; it is thrown and caught in one of the dances of the Ceremonies of the darkness. Other uses for knives mentioned include chopping food, carving wood (eg Ogion at Re Albi, Murre on Iffish), pruning vines (Coney on Way) gelding animals (on Gont) and extracting maggots from sheep (Rose of Old Iria)

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE; Iffish, WoE; The Man Trap, ToA; Voyage, ToA; The Finder, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE; Palaces, OW

Dragon's fire

Crimson dye from Lorbanery; once worn by the Queens of Havnor

Sources: Lorbanery, FS


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


See Dagger


See Compass


Also known as: Alembic

Vessel used for distillation; mentioned in the magician's workroom in the south tower of the School of Wizardry on Roke

Sources: Orm Embar, FS


Simple farming implements, including hoes, rakes, spades, scythes, pruning hooks, pruning knifes, pitchforks and wheelbarrows, are commonly employed across Earthsea, as are spinning/weaving implements, including the (drop) spindle, distaff, spinning wheel and various types of handloom. Smithying implements mentioned include forge bellows. Woodworking tools, used for ship-building, are mentioned in Havnor City during the Dark Years; they include a bubble level and unspecified fine-work tools; Ogion carves a staff using a knife and rubbing-stone. A flint and steel is used as a lighter on Atuan. Other tools mentioned include a crowbar and hatchet

Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q; Warriors in the Mist, WoE; The Hawk's Flight, WoE; Prologue, ToA; The Western Mountains, ToA; Hort Town, FS; Hawks, T; Finding Words, T; Home, T; Tehanu, T; The Finder, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE



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