Kingdom of Sarnor
The Kingdom of Sarnor is a region of northern Essos along the shores of the Shivering Sea. The Forest of Qohor and Vaes Khadokh are to the west, while the Dothraki sea extends along the south. Omber is a peninsula to the northeast of Sarnor, while the Kingdom of the Ifequevron is farther to the east.
The fall of the Kingdom of Sarnor are chronicled in works such as Bello's The End of the Tall Men, Maester Illister's Horse Tribes, Being a Study of the Nomads of the Eastern Plains of Essos, the eastern chapters and appendices of Maester Joseth's Battles and Sieges of the Century of Blood, and Vaggoro's definitive Ruined Cities, Stolen Gods.
Sarnor was an ancient kingdom centered around the great river Sarne and its tributaries and some of the lakes remnants of the Silver Sea. They boasted descent from legendary king Huzhor Amai. A confederation of city-states each with its own king, the Sarnori were nominally ruled from Sarnath by a High King. Most of the grassland kingdom was destroyed by the Dothraki in the Century of Blood after the Doom of Valyria, with the cities Gornath, Kasath, Sallosh, Sarnath, Sarys, and Sathar left in ruins. The only surviving Sarnori settlement is Saath.
Sarnori traded with Valyria, Yi Ti, Leng, and Asshai. They also sailed the Shivering Sea to Ib, the Thousand Islands and Mossovy; warred against the Qaathi and the Ghiscari Empire; and led forays against the bands of nomadic horsemen who roamed the steppes to their east.
After the Doom of Valyria, the Sarnori kingdoms took less than a century to fall. While the Free Cities became locked in a savage war for domination, the so-called Century of Blood, the Tall Men ignored the Dothraki threat, even as khalasars began to raid across their eastern borders. Accustomed to them being little more than a nuisance, some of the Sarnori kings even sought to use the Dothraki in their own wars, offering them gold and slaves and other gifts to fight against their rivals. However, Khal Mengo, who had united all khalasars under his rule, took these gifts gladly, and then took the conquered lands as well, burning fields, farms, and towns to return the grasslands to their wild state.
The Tall Men didn't realize the danger until Mengo's son, Khal Moro, led his khalasar to the gates of Sathar. The men of Sathar were put to the sword, while the women and children carried off as slaves; three-quarters of them dying on the march to the Ghiscari city of Hazdahn Mo. Sathar was burned to ash.
Even then, the kings of Sarnor did not united. the kings of Kasath and Gornath sent forth their armies, not to aid their compatriots, but to lay claim to a share of the plunder. In their greed for lands, both cities went to war with one another.
Six years after the fall of Sathar, Khal Moro razed Kasath, with the aid of the king of Gornath, who had made common cause with the Dothraki and taken one of Moro's daughters to wife. Yet a dozen years afterward Gornath also fell. Khal Horro had killed Moro whereas the King of Gornath was killed by his own wife, who despised for his weakness. Afterward, Horro took her for his own, as rats devoured the corpse of the late king.
The Kingdom of Sarnor got a reprieve after Horro was slain by a rival, which led to the splinter of his khalasar into a dozen lesser horses. The reprieve was short-lived, however, as the Dothraki knew of the Tall Men's weakness and the new khals sought to outdo one another by conquering wider territories, destroying cities, enslaving people, and carrying their broken gods to Vaes Dothrak. One by one the Sarnori cities fell, including Sallosh, along with its great library. Kyth and Hornoth son followed, with rival khals trying to outdo each other in savagery.
The fortress city of Mardosh resisted nearly six years, cut off from its hinterlands. The Mardoshi were forced to eat their dogs, and horses, then the rats and other vermin, and finally their own dead. When they could endure no longer, the remaining warriors of the city slew their own wives and children to spare them from the khals and then opened the city gates to charge one final time. None survived, and the Dothraki named the ruins Vaes Gorqoyi, the City of the Blood Charge.
The fall of Mardosh finally awoke the Sarnori kings from their stupor and united under Mazor Alexi, last of the High Kings, and struck to the east. In the halfway between Sarnath and the ruins of Kasath they met the combined power of four khalasars in a battle that would ever after become known as the Field of Crows. Khals Haro, Qano, Loso the Lame, and Zhako commanded nearly eighty thousand horsemen, while Alexi led six thousand scythed chariots with ten thousand armored warriors behind them, ten thousand light horsemen, many of them women, on the flanks, and, behind them, a hundred thousand spearmen and slingers.
The chariots smashed the center of the Dothraki horse. Khal Haro went down and was trampled, causing his khalasar to break and flee. The High King and his armored riders plunged in after them, following by the Sarnori foot. However, the rout was feigned and the Tall Men had fallen deep into the trap, as the fleeing Dothraki suddenly turned and unleashed arrows on them. The khalasars of Qano and Zhako swept in from north and south, while Loso and his screamers circled round and attacked the Sarnori from the rear, cutting off their retreat. It is said a hundred thousand men died, among them Mazor Alexi, six lesser kings, and more than threescore lords and heroes. Bereft of defenders, Sarnath was put to the torch by Loso less than a fortnight later.
- Sarnath of the Tall Towers
- Kasath, City of Caravans
- Sathar, the Waterfall City
- Gornath by the Lake
- Sallosh by the Silver Shore, City of Scholars
- Mardosh the Unconquerable, City of Soldiers
- Saath the only surviving city
A Game of Thrones
Notes and References