|This article contains information original to the novel Fable: Edge of the World, which is a licensed Fable work, but does not necessarily conform to Lionhead's Fable canon.|
Samarkand is a country to the east of Albion. It has not been featured in any of the Fable games to date, and was first referenced by name in Fable II. It is featured as a main setting of the novel Fable: Edge of the World.
Samarkand is largely a desert country. A massive mountain chain known as the Blade Mountains surround the desert on the west, north and east sides, while the south is bordered by the sea. The main port town on the south coast is Fairwinds, located in the centre of the coastline. From here, the Great Trade Road arcs away to the west before curving around to the Samarkandian capital Zahadar in the northeast.
A number of oasis villages can be found in the desert, mostly concentrated near the route of the Great Trade Road. One of the more sizeable ones is Sweetwater Trees, situated just to the south of the buried city of Asur-keh-la. In the eastern mountains to the south of Zahadar lies a fertile valley tended by a group of warrior monks.
Water is scarce in the desert, but there exist a few natural and man-made sources of hydration. Southeast of Sweetwater Trees lies Sky Blue Lake, and the desert is dotted with kannats - collections of underground wells connected by channels. The Cave of a Thousand Guardians, a popular spiritual resting place, is also said to contain a spring that never runs dry.
In the time of the Old Kingdom of Albion, Samarkand used to trade with the nation, and it is from here that Albion gained the katana and, in later years, gunpowder. Samarkand is also home to a great library, where Theresa studied in the centuries following the death of Jack of Blades and the disappearance of her brother, the Hero of Oakvale. There, she learned of the Tattered Spire, its power, and its purpose. Believing she had found a way to prevent the evils of the world from hurting others like it had herself, Theresa finally returned home to Albion. Several decades later Theresa teleported Garth and Reaver from the Tattered Spire to the country where Reaver tried to kill Garth in his sleep, only for him to escape. Garth moved to a temple in the eastern mountains, and eventually Reaver returned to Albion.
Almost a decade after the defeat of the Crawler by Albion's greatest new Hero and King, the Hero of Brightwall, Samarkand became a target for the resurgent Darkness. During this tumultuous period, a mysterious woman known only as the Empress usurped the rulers and took the throne of Samarkand. With turmoil racking Samarkand, and with the prosperous Albion seemingly safe for the time being, the Hero takes Ben Finn, Kalin, and a detachment of the Albion Royal Army to follow Shan back to his home to liberate Samarkand from both the Empress and the Darkness. Travelling through the exotic desert land, the group, now joined by Garth, plan an attack on the capital of Zahadar that involves the Hero sneaking into the palace to capture the Empress. However, the arrival of the Darkness forces the Royal Army to retreat, and Samarkand remains in the tyrannical grip of both the Darkness and the Empress.
Samarkand is an extremely inhospitable landscape, consisting almost entirely of hot deserts with little water to be found. Because of this, the settlements of Samarkand are few and far between, all concentrated near the few water sources that exist in the desert. Most of the villages are located near an oasis or two, while man-made sources of hydration. The capital, Zahadar, is built near a river for hydration, and the port-town of Fairwinds is able to survive thanks to the sea.
It is also repeatedly hinted in the descriptions of various weapons and items that Samarkand has a large amount of tribes, scattered across the landscape.
Government and Law
Ten years after the defeat of the Crawler, Samarkand is under the control of the Empress, indicating that Samarkand is, like Albion, a country ruled by a monarchy. It is unknown how united Samarkand was under this monarchy.
Unlike Albion, there is no indication that Samarkand has undergone an Industrial Revolution, which means that they would still be largely an agricultural society based on the barter and trade of simple goods and services. Like Albion, Samarkand uses the gold coin as its currency.
The massive kannat known as the 'Cave of a Thousand Guardians' is a traditional meditation spot for many Samarkand monks and is held in absolute reverence by the locals.
In addition, The Rising Sun speaks of another tribe on Samarkand for whom dawns were considered sacred.
Weapons of Samarkand
- Gunpowder, discovered in the Eastern Hills of Samarkand.
- Katanas, imported from the hills of Eastern Samarkand, where they are forged by warrior monks.
- The Master Axe, a devastating battle axe which was the favoured weapon of the elite guard of Lord Onish.
- The Rising Sun, a cleaver which had belonged to Roamer.
- The Daichi, a legendary katana which had belonged to Zuna Daichi.
Notable People from Samarkand
Little is known about Samarkand, aside from it being a region outside of Albion. Here follow the most likely real world influences:
A very likely theory is that Samarkand is based on the Silk Road cities of the Middle-East; Samarkand is a real world Silk Road city. Also, in the Spire, Reaver describes it as having "exotic substances" and "uninhibited people", although Garth immediately denies this saying that it is "nothing like that". The Silk Road was the main trade route for Europe with China before the Portuguese found the sea route, and many riches like gunpowder travelled through there. This made the Arabs who lived there very rich. Christie Golden, author of Fable: Edge of the World, has also stated that the Silk Road formed a major part of her own research when writing the novel.
Samarkand also seems to have a cultural influence based on East Asia, and more specifically China and Japan. This theory is supported by the fact that the katana and gunpowder were invented there.
- Samarkand is actually the second-largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital of Samarqand Province. The city is most noted for its central position on the Silk Road between China and the West, and for being an Islamic centre for scholarly study. It is listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO.
- Another possible example of the generally Asian motif is Theresa spending centuries in a Samarkand library. A possible reference to The House of Whisdom, which was a massive library in Baghdad from 800-1250
- The western reaches of Samarkand is where Garth is from.
- In the original Fable, katanas are stated to come from the "western lands". In Fable II they are stated to have been made in Eastern Samarkand. This led to a theory that put Samarkand west of Albion, along with the Cities of the West. The East Samarkand shores would be the first place travelers from Albion would reach in that case.
- However, Theresa's dialogue in Fable: The Journey directly states that Samarkand is in the east.
- Reaver in his autobiography Reaver on Reaver describes Samarkand as a place of very hot nights and sober people.
- Occasionally, in Fable III, you can hear a child say "Have you ever been to Samarkand? I hear it's really interesting!"