The Land - and it certainly deserves that capitalised "L" - is the primary location for the events in all three Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and as such quite naturally appears in all the books bar one (that being The One Tree, where Covenant, Linden and assorted friends go on a relaxing ocean cruise with a few Giants). The Land should not be confused with the Earth, which includes the former and all other geographic locations mentioned within the Chronicles.
The Land should not be confused with the entire fantasy earth that Covenant & co, find themselves oft transported to. Instead, it's a mere region of that world. Its size in relation to the whole is not certain, but it's clearly a good-sized chunk of it.
The Land is bounded by the high peaks of the Westron Mountains (homeland of the Haruchai) to the west, the chilly steppes of the Northron Plains to the north and the desiccated deserts of the Southron Wastes to the South... enough with the -rons already! It thus comes as a huge relief that the briny waters to the Land's east are called the Sunbirth Sea, rather than the Eastron Ocean - finally a brief flash of authorial imagination.
In general, the Land has a temperate climate - well, that's a temperate climate when it's not being disrupted by the Sunbane. The whole environment feels somewhat North European in nature, which should probably come as no surprise, given SRD's frequent travels to the wellspring of Norse mythology for inspiration.
Primary Geographical FeaturesEdit
Apart from the various bits of geography bordering it, the Land has several other notable landmarks.
Chief amongst these is Landsdrop, a cliff many leagues wide and thousands of feet high that runs roughly northwest to southeast. Landsdrop divides the Upper Land from (surprise, surprise) the Lower Land.
Mount Thunder is one of the Land's two major mountains. Spanning across the edge of Landsdrop, it sits in both the Upper and Lower Land. Mount Thunder is a semi-quiescent volcano and has been used as the Land's municipal rubbish dump for many millennia. Basically, any evil bane or sacrilegious item was invariably buried deep within its bottomless abysses. Mount Thunder has been home to many entities over the eons, including the Viles, She Who Must Not, the Cavewights, the Fire Lions and not least, Lord Foul himself, who has an overweening love of its dark cavernous heart. What is it with these overlords and their fascination for gloomy, foreboding evil lairs anyhow? Cannot they for once set up their throne in the middle of a rose garden, next to a happily chuckling fountain decorated with cupids?
Melenkurion Skyweir is the Land's other principal peak. Situated in the far southwest amid the Westron Mountains, at its roots can be found the location of the Earthblood, itself giving the Power of Command, the seventh of the Wards of Power.
Andelain lies at the very centre of the Land and is thus unsurprisingly considered as its heart. A region of literally jaw-dropping natural beauty, it features gently rolling hills and lush grassy plains, crystal-clear chuckling streams and blue limpid pools, majestic gilden trees and a huge variety of multicolored wild flora. It lies just to the east of the Center Plains.
The Land's two great rivers are the Soulsease and the Black, both of which flow through the Center Plains. The former, which is fed by several large tributaries with their sources in the northern reaches of the Westron Mountains, flows due east towards Mount Thunder. The latter, which springs directly from the roots of Melenkurion Skyweir, flows to the south in a more northeasterly direction. The two rivers meet in Treacher's Gorge, on the western flanks of Mount Thunder and proceed into the ominous volcano's bowels. Just one vile and polluted river emerges from its eastern side. Now in the Lower Land and corrupted both by the filth of the wightwarrens and by all the noxious influences of the various banes buried therein, this foul current is now christened Defile's Course as it oozes and bubbles its way eastwards towards the Sunbirth Sea.
Fed by such a virulent outpouring in the Lower Land is the Great Swamp that forms the majority of the Sarangrave Flat. Home to the Lurker, the Feroce, the Skest and many other bizarre and malevolent life-forms, it really isn't the best place for a vacation. That is, unless you're one of those stereotypical dark lords that adore such nefarious noxiousness...
Finally, the Land's mighty forests deserve a mention. Originally the entirety of the Land was covered in trees, a thing known with a staggering lack of imagination as the One Forest. However, after many centuries of human lumberjackery (occasionally spurred on by the malign urgings of the Ravers) that original forest has now been split into several. Far to the northeast and in the Lower Land lie the chilly Giant Woods, whereas south of Mount Thunder but in the Upper Land lies restless Morinmoss. Northwest of that - and still very much counting as a forest - lie the woods of Andelain and further northwest again lies dark Grimmerdhore. Last but by absolutely no means least, dire Garroting Deep is to be found in the Land's far southwest, spreading outwards for many leagues from the foot of Melenkurion Skyweir.