Tear (City)

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Author: Leora Oldessroth



The capital city of the nation of Tear, the city was originally a part of the nation of Essenia during the time of the Compact of Ten Nations (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 10).

Tear is a port city and is considered to be the greatest port on the Sea of Storms. The port is located well above the mouth of the river Erinin and is guarded by the Stone of Tear, an ancient fortress (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

Tear is as large as Caemlyn or Tar Valon but not as beautiful as either (TEotW, Ch. 48).

The Ogier grove built outside Tear is now an empty pasture (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 22).

The city 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).

Before the city was conquered by the Dragon Reborn, many laws had double standards. Temporary foreign visitors were allowed to carry weapons, but locals other than lords who did so were subject to punishment. Commoners could not obtain justice in redressing a grievance against a merchant or lord; those who pressed their cases were imprisoned and punished. Riots were forcibly put down by the Defenders (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

City Layout and Buildings


Tear is not easily accessible by the ocean. It is protected by the winding maze of waterways within the vast delta at the mouth of the Erinin called the Fingers of the Dragon. These waterways are under strict Tairen control and no ship may pass through them without a Tairen pilot aboard (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

The city is built on flat land. The inner city is protected by a high wall of gray stone. The finer houses and palaces (square-domed) are within this wall. They are set along streets paved with stone (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30). Buildings in the outer city are roofed with slate and have oddly sharp corners, some of them rising to a point (TEotW, Ch. 48). Buildings in the inner city are larger and taller but their general shape/design is the same (TDR, Ch. 50).

Outside the wall, the streets are unpaved and always deep with mud (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

The port district is called the Maule and is the rougher part of town. It is adjoined by a district known as the Chalm that contains stone warehouses along the docks. Both districts contain cramped, dirty inns. The Maule contains shops that cater to sailors and working folk of the sea (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30).

“Tear was not beautiful, like Caemlyn or Tar Valon, and few of its streets could be called particularly broad, but it was large and sprawling, one of the great cities of the world, and, like most great cities, a jumble that had grown up willy-nilly. In those tangled streets, tile-roofed inns and slate-roofed stables, the roof corners slanted sharply, stood alongside palaces with squared white domes and tall, balcony-ringed towers that often came to points, the heights of domes and towers gleaming in the early-morning sun. Smithies and cutlers, seamstresses and butchers, fishmongers and rugweavers' shops rubbed against marble structures with tall bronze doors behind massive white columns, guild halls and bankers and merchants' exchanges” (KoD, Ch. 21).

The Stone of Tear

Main article: Stone of Tear

The seat of power for the High Lords of Tear, the Stone is a massive fortress that dominates the city like a small mountain. It is believed to be the oldest stronghold of mankind (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30). The Stone dominates the city landscape (TDR, Ch. 48).

Other Buildings

People and Customs


Only the noble and wealthy ride horses (TDR, Ch. 52).

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

Characters from Tear