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                Help Information for Cairhien

Pronunciation: KEYE-ree-EHN

SIGIL:  A many-rayed golden rising sun; the Rising Sun
BANNER:  A many-rayed golden sun rising on a field of blue
SYMBOLS:  The Sun Throne, the Sun Crown
RESOURCES:  Farming, Trade, the Great Library, Education


Cairhien, once known as Al'cair'rahienallen, or the Hill of
the Golden Dawn, was founded at the end of the War of the
Hundred Years.  It was a vast nation, stretching from the
River Erinin to Shienar, to the Spine of the World.  Now
the land covers less than half that area, south of what
is known as Kinslayer's Dagger.

In 566 NE, the king of Cairhien gave the Aiel what is known
as the Water Gift, for water is a precious commodity in the
Waste, and usually the Aiel have to fight for what they need.
In gratitude for the King's generosity, the Aiel granted Cairhien
the exclusive right to travel the Silk Path from the Jangai Pass
through the Aiel Waste.  At the same time, they gave the king
the only known sapling of Avendoraldera, the Tree of Life.  The
nation prospered from trade with the lands beyond the Waste,
until Laman's Sin.


It was a minor part of one of King Laman's plots that caused
him to cut down Avendoraldera to make a throne which could
never be duplicated.  This action started the Aiel War, which
changed Cairhien's history forever, and earned Laman the name
of "Treekiller" among the Aiel.  The black-veiled savages, as
they are often referred to in Cairhien, stormed over the
Dragonwall and began one of the bloodiest wars in history.
Cairhien was sacked and looted, the Aiel taking their 'fifth'
of everything.  Farmlands were razed, graineries destroyed.
The only thing the Aiel left untouched was the Great Library,
for they valued knowledge, and saw the destruction of books
as great a sin as Laman's killing of the Tree of Life.


After the Aiel War, Cairhien was greatly weakened, and the
nation's exclusive rights to the Silk Path were revoked.
With the razing of its farmlands, and the destruction of
its graineries and other resources, the nation was forced
to request aid in feeding its people from neighboring
countries such as Andor, with whom Cairhien has fought often.
The Aiel continue to remember Laman's Sin even to this day.
The once-majestic, sky-reaching towers of Cairhien are now
known as the Topless Towers, for they were burned and never
rebuilt during the Aiel War.  Only the Great Library remains,
the nations greatest treasure, though the city has since been


The City of Cairhien is the nation's capital, and is today
laid out in a precise grid of perfectly straight lines and
sharp angles in a square surrounded by high gray walls.  The
River Alguenya borders one side of the city, allowing for
river trade.  People travel in closed sedan chairs or in
curtained carriages among pedestrians who make a pretense
of intently minding their own business.  All of the buildings
are similarly desgined in precise, square structures with
straight lines and sharp angles, and even the hills are
carved out into straight lines that look man-made.

Recently, Cairhien has become the home of a ground-breaking
school in what was once the manor of Lord Barthanes, where
inventors, philosophers, and those of scientific thought
may work and study and experiment to create new wonders.
Between the school and the Great Library, Cairhien has, in
fact, become a center for learning and forward thinking
since it fell to Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn.

See Also:  Cairhienin, Aiel, Nations, Rulers, Update, Timeline

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