Alagaësia (literally "fertile land") is a large continent and the setting of the Inheritance Cycle of books. It features a varied climate and terrain and is home to a wide number of races including Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Urgals, Werecats and Dragons. Several of the races inhabiting Alagaësia, including Humans, Elves, as well as Urgals, were not native to the land, having migrated to Alagaësia in centuries past.
The terrain of Alagaësia varies greatly. The north is mountainous but predominantly forested while the heart of Alagaësia is composed primarily of the vast Hadarac Desert. Southwestern Alagaësia is fairly flat, but the towering Beor Mountains dominate much of the southeast. The western portion of Alagaësia is flat, like a grassland, with the exception of The Spine. The map does not extend all of the way to the eastern coast. If it did, Paolini has stated that the east-west distance depicted by the map would be slightly larger than the width of the continental United States.
The first beings to settle in Alagaësia were the animals, the Dragons, as well as the Dwarves. The Grey Folk were also early inhabitants, though it is unknown whether they were native to Alagaësia, since exact dates for their culture are unknown. Later, the Elves came from across the Western Sea. In Domia abr Wyrda by Heslant the Monk, it is mentioned that the Elves arrived from Alalëa in 5217 AC where Teirm now stands. They were followed by the Urgals and eventually by the Humans, who were seeking new land. The Ra'zac followed the Humans, but were wiped out in a large war against the Dragon Riders. Only two known Ra'zac remained in Alagaësia by Galbatorix's time, which were killed by Eragon. However, Galbatorix mentioned that more Ra'zac eggs remained under his control. This is true as two of those hatch in front of Eragon's eyes when he and Arya are prisoners of the priests of Helgrind- the Ra'zac's mountain lair. These are killed by Eragon and Arya. In total, there were between one million and two million resident sentient beings in Alagaësia.
By the time of the Rider War, most of western Alagaësia had been under the totalitarian authority of the Broddring Empire (under King Galbatorix) for about a hundred years. An independent country, Surda, existed on the Broddring Empire's southwestern border, remaining outside Galbatorix's grasp, mainly because the King did not consider it a threat to him. Later, however, the Imperial forces moved against the combined forces of Surda and a rebel group known as the Varden, and clashed at the Battle of The Burning Plains. There were great losses on both sides, but the victory went to Surda and the Varden. However, the main body of the imperial army was withdrawn unharmed. The Varden soon ever so slowly, marched closer to Urû'baen. The Varden first took Feinster, then Belatona and Aroughs, as well as finally Dras-Leona. The Varden then assaulted Urû'baen and won. With this victory, Nasuada became the new Queen. She renamed Urû'baen to Ilirea, which was the name the Elves gave it before Galbatorix took over. She gave Aroughs, Feinster, Melian and Furnost to Surda while Teirm became an independent city-state. Both Surda and Teirm pledged their loyalty to Nasuada.
Alagaësia was comparable in its language, religion, as well as customs to Viking-era Scandinavia, with an agrarian culture, primitive technology and motifs such as dragons, quests, as well as magic. It could also be comparable to medieval Europe, where the use of long-bows, cross-bows and Siege Trebuchets were commonplace.
Alagaësia has two different pronunciations.
The first, incorrect, pronunciation given in the books of the Inheritance Cycle is "al-uh-gay-zee-uh". However, the sound of the "ë" in Alagaësia is an "EE" sound (the "¨" indicates that the "e" should be pronounced independently of neighboring vowels), so the real pronunciation is "al-uh-ga-ee-zee-uh."
It is stated by Christopher Paolini in the extended version of the Eragon movie that the reason why it is pronounced "al-uh-gay-zee-uh" is because pronouncing it the proper way makes it too uptight.
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- History of Alagaësia
- Beor Mountains
- Doru Araeba
- Du Weldenvarden
- Hadarac Desert
- The Spine
- Timeline of events