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Caith-al-Caen is a vale along the Fourth Lane where the Riathan Paravians celebrated the solstice and equinox, in order to renew the athael, or life-destiny of the world. It is also the birthplace of Cianor Sunlord and the place where the Ilitharis Paravians first Named the winter stars. The site never held a fortress, and all traces of the orchards are long gone. The area is still haunted with the grace of the Paravians.

By the end of the Third Age, "Caith-al-Caen" has been corrupted to Castlecain, and is also called the Vale of Shadows. A power focus is located here, which the Fellowship uses to travel from the fourth lane.

Role in the Story

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from multiple books in the series.

Curse of the Mistwraith

Third Age 5637: Caith-al-Caen is the location where Asandir first teaches Arithon how to sense the ghosts of the Paravians.

Warhost of Vastmark

Third Age 5646: After the return of Kharadmon, Asandir uses the power focus here to transfer to the ruins at Athir.

Traitor's Knot

Third Age 5671: Arithon uses the power focus to visit the clans in Halwythwood on his way to Etarra. The normal round trip length between here and the clan's secure camps is three days.

Destiny's Conflict

Third Age 5924: When Arithon recovers his memories of Dakar, he recalls his capture by the Koriathain after transferring to the power focus in Third Age 5674.

Dakar is near Caith-al-Caen when he exposes a True Sect trap aided by Koriani spellcraft. In a surprise assault, True Sect arrows are spell-turned to aim at Cosach. Arithon uses Shadow and a storm of iyats to provide Dakar with the space to see Cosach's war band to safety.

Esfand's scouts capture one of the True Sect's copper rods. The clans plant the rod at Caith-al-Caen drawing lightning from seasonal storms to the Fourth Lane and triggering hallucinations in The Hatchet's men across Daon Ramon Barrens.