The Desert is a fictional Princedom (or country) in Melanie Rawn's fantasy novels of the Dragon Prince Trilogy and Dragon Star Trilogy. It is the primary setting of these trilogies.

"For as long as the sands spawn fire..."

The Desert is Rohan's princedom. It is the home or birthplace of most of the main Dragon Prince Characters. The royal color of the Desert is blue; its banner is of a gold dragon on a blue field. It is a land rich in Dragons, Fire, and sand. The Desert people are known for their rugged strength, loyalty, and fierceness.

Dragon Prince Locations
The Desert
Colors blue
Banner gold dragon with blue eyes and an emerald ring
Seat Stronghold
Jewels topaz
Trade glass ingots, horses, salt, silktrade

The LandEdit

The Desert is an eastern princedom with only one seaport: Radzyn Keep. It is bordered by Princemarch, Cunaxa, Meadowlord, and Syr. The Desert is the hottest, driest princedom and one of the largest. The Long Sand, through which there is no water and no shelter from the sweltering sun, stretches the length of princedom. To the West of the Long Sand there are some mountains and some vegetation, and Skybowl is nestled above a lake. Near Stronghold is Rivenrock, a valley where dragons breed and where the dragon eggs can be gathered for their gold. To the East is Radzyn and the sea, the Desert's sole port and main trade center.

To the inhabitants of the Desert, their Princedom is beautiful. The sun gleams over the vast sands and sends a myriad of colors into the dawn and evening skies as a rainbow shimmers across the dunes. Night falls like a balm on the scorched land, and the clear sky allows the stars to twinkle brightly.

Every hundred years the Desert blooms. This is a miracle to the Desert-born, who finally see their beloved land covered in flowers and tall, green stalks. Winter rains soak into the sands and churn up soil that had been long buried. Seeds that had been brought on winds and dragon wings sprout, scrubs and cacti bloom vividly colored flowers. With the foliage came butterflies, other insects, and a plethora of singing birds.

The PeopleEdit

Traditionally the people of the Desert have dark hair and tanned skin. (Rohan and Pol inherited their blond locks from Milar, who was from Catha Freehold not the Desert.) They are known for their strength and untamed spirit, both of which match their land. Until Rohan, the Desert was ruled by warrior Princes, whose test of manhood included dragon hunting. Once Rohan became Prince he outlawed the slaying of dragons, but the warrior spirit of the Desertborn lived on in him and in the Desert people. In fact, the Desert has never been conquered (since the Merida were driven out in ancient times and the pact was made between Zehava's ancestors and the Isulk'im).

The CultureEdit

Much of a Desert person's way of life is associated with dragons. Babies and children are often referred to as 'hatchlings,' and parents play dragon with their children; the parent wears a cape as wings and is a mighty dragon that has to be slain. Many Desertborn people can also 'feel' when dragons are near. They can sense the great beasts flying overhead before the dragons either are seen or heard. Throughout the series it was common for Rohan, Feylin, and the others to suddenly stop what they were doing and look to the sky; dragons were inevitably flying up above. Dragon hunting had been a glorious event and a test of manhood, but was outlawed by Rohan - his first official act as High Prince. The dragon became the symbol of the Desert as dragons possess all the traits the Desert and its people honor: strength, majesty, loyalty, fierceness, and intelligence (though this was discovered later). Rohan, who also held these qualities and whose love of dragons marked his reign, became known as Azhrei, which means 'Dragon Prince' in the Old Tongue, or even just 'the Dragon.'

To the people of the Desert, their Prince is a living flame. His Fire burns from the Flametower of Stronghold as beacon over the land, a light of hope and prosperity. Each Prince of the Desert lights his Fire in the Flametower. It burns for the length of his life and the tower is never cleaned throughout it. When the Prince dies, his Fire from the Flametower is built to fill the entire tower room and is used to light his pyre. The Prince is burned so that his ashes are carried across the sands, making him one with the land. After the signal blaze from the tower, the Fire is finally extinguished. The new Prince's wife or closest female relatives must then cleanse the Flametower floor. When it is clean the new Prince lights his own Fire, so that it too will shine for his people.

The WealthEdit

The main trade of the Desert is in horses and horse breeding, though there are also mines, salt, and silk trades. Radzyn Keep breeds the best horses, and also exports silk. The Isulk'im, nomadic tribesmen, ride the sands and guard the White Crown. (The Princes of the Desert and the Isulk'im share a common ancestor; the White Crown symbolizes the Prince's right to rule the Desert.) They also 'borrow' Radzyn's horses for their own stock. The Merida jealously covet the Desert and its royal seat of Stronghold. They had once ruled the Desert and have sworn to reclaim it.

Dragon's gold is the secret wealth of the Desert. When hatchling dragons are still in their eggs they scorch the inside of their shells, melting the inner coating and turning it to gold. The egg shells are gathered from the hatcheries and brought to Skybowl, where the shells are smelted into gold bars and/or coins. Very few people are privy to this secret, and the gold often used to help the people. For example the dragon gold enabled Rohan to purchase and distribute dranath, the only cure for the Plague, to the entire Continent. The gold has also been used to rebuild and to lend aid, discretely, where needed.

The PrincesEdit

"The Treaty of Linse gives the Desert to Zehava's family for as long as the sands spawn fire." [1] Zehava's grandfather, Prince Zagroy wrested that treaty from the High Prince's ancestor after a war between the Desert and Princemarch. Through the treaty Zagory had begun building the princedom of the Desert for his line. Kirwan, Zehava's father, won land from the Merida, and Zehava himself won even more land. He then strengthened what lands and Keeps he had. By the year 698 many of the Desert Keeps were prosperous in their trades, making the Desert the richest princedom of the Continent.

See also:

Main article: Rohan
Main article: Pol

The Isulk'imEdit

Main article: Isulk'imThe Isulk'im are nomadic tribesmen, who live on the Long Sand. They are distantly related to the Princes of the Desert and hold the White Crown of the Desert, the selej. Their culture and society is very different from the other Desertborn people as they more closely follow the old ways.

The PlacesEdit

  • Stronghold: The royal seat of the Desert. This fortress was said to have been carved by Dragons. Princess Milar converted the stone fortress into a majestic castle by adding gardens and tapestries. The color is blue.
  • Elktrap Manor: Northern manor held by Riyan and Ruala. Elktrap belonged to Princemarch before Riyan became its Lord through his marriage to Ruala. The colors are blue and green.
  • Faolain Lowland: A southern Desert holding near the Faolain River. In the war between Princemarch and the Desert, this Keep was used as an early base of operations. Nearly all the food and goods the Keep had to offer were used to support Chay's army. Baisal, the holding's Lord, had approached Rohan in 698 for stone in order to upgrade his Keep; after the support he gave to the Desert, Baisal received his stone.
  • The Long Sand: The open expanse of desert sands that stretches across the Desert princedom. There is no water for miles, nor any shelter from the burning sun. The Long Sand is home to the Isulk'im, whom roam the Desert.
  • Rivenrock Canyon: Breeding ground of the dragon's near Stronghold. It was here that Sioned and Rohan rescued Maarken and Jahni from a hatchling and discovered dragon's gold. After the Plague the Dragons left Rivenrock until Pol cleansed the Desert with Fire during the sorcerer's duel with Ruval.
  • Radzyn Keep: The only port of the Desert, it is the richest and largest holding on the Continent. Radzyn is famous for its quality of horses.
  • Remagev: The last Keep in a line that once stretched to Surise Waters. Young Lords and Princes are trained in battle tactics here.
  • Tuath Castle: A small holding given to the heir of Remagev Keep.
  • Tigalth: A Northern Keep used to keep the Merida at bay. The outer walls were left torn down after the War of 704 as a symbol of Rohan's peace.
  • Whitecliff: A small manor given to the Heirs of Radzyn Keep.
  • Feruche: A tower Keep on the border of Princemarch and the Desert. It was rebuilt after Sioned burned it in 704.
Princes and Princesses of the Desert
Zagroy and Tehana - Kirwan and Gavrina - Zehava and Milar - Rohan and Sioned - Pol and Meiglan - Jihan - Rislyn

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