Pass of Orlan

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The Pass of Orlan is the major thoroughfare through the Thaldein Mountains in eastern Tysan, connecting the human city of Erdane with Isaer Ruins. The pass is described as a series of promontories and sheer drops interspersed with waterfalls from the River Valendale, and becomes completely impassable in the winter time.

. . . the scarp . . . looked savage and strange, a tableau of slate overhangs, wind-chiseled ridges, and strands of gnarled evergreen slashed and skewed with the boulder-strewn scars of old slides. The road wound and jagged between buttressed peaks, a mere lip in places over vast, windy chasms of cold air. The forested valleys unfolded below like creases in a painted silk fan, delicately blued in haze and crisscrossed by the gliding flights of hawks.[1]

Merchants transporting goods through the pass generally eschew the use of carts -- because the trail is so narrow at some points, drays cannot turn or maneuver once committed to forward motion.

Role in the Story

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

Curse of the Mistwraith

Third Age 5637: Asandir, Dakar, and the half-brothers cross through the Pass of Orlan on their way to Althain Tower. It is here that Arithon baits Earl Grithen into holding him hostage. The group is hosted at the west outpost in the aftermath.

Ships of Merior

Third Age 5644: Lysaer's caravan destined for Avenor is ambushed here by Maenalle s'Gannley and the clans of Tysan, and relieved of all the goods and riches they had amassed along the way.

Third Age 5646: When Lysaer's men travel back across the continent to attack Merior, they are met by Maenalle s'Gannley, who allows herself to be captured and executed, so that the clansmen of Tysan will see what Lysaer has become.

Initiate's Trial

Third Age 5922: Asandir visits the clan outpost near the Pass of Orlan to designate Saroic s'Gannley as the next caithdein of Tysan.

Destiny's Conflict

Third Age 5923: Saroic s'Gannley oversees the flow of refugees at the output as The Hatchet's army closes in around them.

Eternal Links

Pass of Orlan on the Interactive Map


  1. © Janny Wurts, Ships of Merior, p. 70 (US-Hardback)