Tear (Nation)

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Sigil Three white crescent moons arranged diagonally. Known as the Moons, the Crescent Moons, or the White Crescents.
Banner Three white Crescent Moons slanting across a field half red, half gold.
Capital Tear
Ruler King Darlin Sisnera
Palace The Stone of Tear

Author: Leora Oldessroth

Pronunciation: TEER


All prime property is secured for the Lords and towns are taxed with increasing taxes as they grow, preventing any town but Tear from growing large. The town of Godan is allowed to remain only because of its strategic importance overlooking Mayene (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

Channeling is outlawed in Tear. Aes Sedai are tolerated if they do not channel. Girls with the ability to channel are sent off to Tar Valon the same day they are discovered and they are discouraged from returning (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

Telling or possessing a copy of the Prophecies of the Dragon results in imprisonment (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

The penalty for rebellion is death (LoC, Ch. 4).


All information from The Wheel of Time Roleplaying Game. A similar entry appears in the Wheel of Time Companion, confirming the information. Other information is also included in the Companion, but we did not use it in the TarValon.Net Library.

Tear was founded by nobles led by Istaban Novares and Yseidre Tirado, shortly after they had confirmation of Artur Hawkwing's death. Initially, they just held the Stone, and the surrounding city.


alt a map of the continent, outlining the position of Tear in the south west coast

Relation to Previous National Borders

According to the maps, during the time of the Compact of the Ten Nations, the land of Tear was all part of the nation of Essenia. After the Trolloc Wars, it was part of the nations of Fergansea and Moreina.


Tear is bordered to the west and northwest by the Plains of Maredo, to the north by Haddon Mirk, to the northeast by the Spine of the World, to the east by the Drowned Lands, to the southeast by the Bay of Remara, and to the south by the Sea of Storms (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 2; TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

The river Erinin flows through the city of Tear before it empties into the Sea of Storms. The river splits into seven branches near the coastline, forming a delta; this area is called the Fingers of the Dragon (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 2).

The land between the Sea and the city of Tear is large enough to support several towns but Tairen Lords won’t allow even small villages as they don’t want the villages to compete with the capital city for sea trade (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

Geographical Features

Bodies of Water
Hills and Mountains


Tear traditionally had no one ruler, no king or queen. A council known as the High Lords of Tear rule together as a body (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

The members of this council must be of a particular rank, but there is no fixed number of lords on the council. The membership has ranged from six to twenty over the years (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

All decisions of the High Lords are presented to the people as unanimous. The Lords of the Land — i.e.: the lesser Tairen lords — then participate in carrying out the edicts of the High Lords (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

The High Lords rule from the Stone of Tear in the City of Tear, a massive fortress that dominates the city (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

Tairens consider themselves to be simple when it comes to playing Daes Dae’mar (LoC, Ch. 4).

The Throne


The High Lords of Tear
Noble Houses
  • Aldiaya
    • Nalesean
  • Annariz
    • Fionnda
  • Andiama
    • Torean
    • Estean
  • Asegora
    • Melanril
  • Damara
    • Astoril
    • Medore
  • Haellin
    • Sunamon
  • Mendiana
    • Meilan
  • Pendaloan
    • Algarin
    • Emarin
  • Saniago
    • Weiramon
  • Selorna
    • Edorian
  • Sisnera
    • Darlin


The City of Tear is protected by an elite military unit housed in the Stone, called the Defenders of the Stone. The poor say that the Defenders only protect the rich (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

Tairen nobles do not think much of foot soldiers, so much of their personal retainers are cavalry (LoC, Ch. 4).

Regular soldiers are uniformed with brilliant red coats with wide sleeves ending in narrow white cuffs. A gleaming breastplate is worn over the coat with the sleeves showing clearly. The breeches are tight cut but not quite so brightly colored as the lords' and are tucked into knee-high boots (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

Defenders of the Stone wear black and gold coats with puffy sleeves as well as plumes of various colors on their rimmed round helmets to mark officers and under-officers. The soldiers of a particular lord wear that lord's colors on their puffy sleeves (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

Cities, Towns, and Villages

Cities, towns, and villages in Tear

Relations and Trade

Tear has historically fought and warred with Illian (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 14).

Tairens hate Mayene; this hate is second only to their hatred of Illian (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

Tear is best known for its olives and horses (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

Olive farms cover the land and the oil is exported through the port. The farms are owned by the lords and are worked by the peasants; the lords garner all profits from the farms. Tear's chief rival in oil production is Mayene, who relies on its oilfish. Tear has spent a great deal of time trying to annex and/or control Mayene, but has never succeeded (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

Tear has no rival in the breeding of fine horses. Their deep-chested steeds are the best in the land known for superior speed, endurance, and beauty. Much of the forest land has been turned into grassland to pasture herds of horses (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

The Fingers of the Dragon are home to many types of fish, which results in a large fishing industry (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

Tear exports large quantities of grain. For the past twenty years, most of it was sold to Cairhien (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

The Seafolk trade a good deal of silk through Tear (TDR, Ch. 50).

Tear makes good steel (KoD, Ch. 6).

People and Customs

The nobility will pay a good price for ice peppers from Saldaea (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 28).

Only peasants toss dice. Lords play a card game called chop. Playing cards are hand-painted to depict characters, with the rulers painted to resemble actual rulers of the time, with the nation's own ruler always leading the highest suit as Ruler of Cups. Many idle nobles spend most of their waking hours playing chop (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

High Lords perform the Rite of Guarding four times a year in the Heart of the Stone, claiming that they are guarding the world against the Dragon Reborn by holding Callandor (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

The wealth from Tear's commerce goes only to the lords. City commoners live only in the outer city unless they are house servants. In the country they live in conditions that most other nations would consider unfit for livestock (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

The person who holds the Stone of Tear is lord of the city and the nation (TSR, Ch. 2).

Feasts and Festivals

Appearance, Clothing, and Dress

Tairens have dark complexions (TFoH, Ch. 47).

Tairen lords wear colorful coats of padded silk and brocades with puffy sleeves, sometimes colored in stripes. Their breeches are tight to show a well-muscled leg to best advantage and are often brightly colored (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30). They wear dark beards trimmed to neat points (TFoH, Ch. 30).

Common men wear baggy breeches tied at the ankle and held up by a broad colored sash. Some wear long, dark coats fitting tightly to their arms and chest and becoming wider below the waist. Sometimes low shoes or boots are worn, but most prefer bare feet or clogs. Most wear cloth caps that hang to one side of their face, or wide conical straw hats to keep out the sun (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

Dockmen and other laborers wear baggy breeches, but go bare-chested or with a long vest in place of a shirt (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

Noble ladies of Tear wear long dresses with necklines cut to bare shoulders and considerable bosom. Silk is the preferred material and dresses are often adorned with a lace ruff and a tiny matching cap. Tairen widows wear white. Ladies carry a tiny porcelain bottle of smelling salts and fans at all times (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30; TSR, Ch. 5; TSR, Ch. 21).

Common women wear dresses with chin-high collars that reveal nothing, and ankle-high hems. The dresses are often adorned with pale-colored aprons, usually in combinations of two or three of progressively larger size, each smaller than the one beneath it. Hats, when worn, are wide-brimmed straw, sometimes dyed to match the aprons (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

All people who walk through the outer city wear special clogs. These clogs are small wooden platforms that fasten to the soles of the wearer's shoes to keep them clear of the mud (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).



Characters from Tear

Main article: Tairen Character List

Many characters from Tear feature in the books. Juilin Sandar is the most important.