Melniboné - Geography


Only a small area of the island of Melniboné is described in the series. The decadent Melnibonéans of Elric’s time have lost their curiosity about the world. The shrinking population seldom leaves its single remaining city. Only slaves travel to other parts of the island, and their actions are not followed in the books.

The main geographical feature of the island is the Plain of Imrryr. It is named for Imrryr, the capital and last city of the Melnibonéans. Surrounded by walls on three sides and an artificial sea-maze on the fourth side, Imrryr is a well protected port. Early in Elric of Melniboné, Elric and his cousin Cymoril ride over the grassy plain to a pine forest, where they find a flowery meadow and a line of hills. Finally they reach a cliff overlooking the sea; a path provides access to the white sandy beach. In "The Dreaming City" Elric lands a boat in a secret inlet a few miles from Imrryr. A few additional clues are given in The Revenge of the Rose when Elric rides a dragon over woods and low, grassy ridges on the Plain of Imrryr. The dragon takes him to the ruins of H'hui'shan, the City of the Island. The only other Melnibonéan city to be named in the series, it was destroyed in a civil war. Soon after, Elric recalls the roar of the Dragon Falls; presumably a river runs through the Plain of Imrryr.

Melniboné has been inhabited for over ten thousand years. Undoubtedly, every square foot has been visited by the Imrryrians at some time. They have preserved their knowledge of natural magic through geomantic arrangement of the landscape. Children learn sorcery by walking the paths and ley lines that criss-cross the island. Some even lead to other planes of existence, if the walker knows the correct incantations and magical gestures.

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