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Another one of our mysterious locations to discover is El-H—, an obviously Arabic city but with few other clues to help us find out where on earth it actuallly is. Below is a list of characteristics that may help us triangulate its location.

  • It borders open water/ocean on one side and desert on the other. Attacking armies must cross that desert in order to attack it by land.
  • It has ancient stone walls surround it, making it an ancient city.
  • There is a night suq – an Arabic marketplace.
  • The local currency is purple and blue.
  • Possible child charmers being sold for the amusement of one pasha or the other (see p147). Ostrero told a cautionary tale he was told when young about disobedient children that were carried across the straits to the Arab markets where they would be stuffed into baskets and charmed by flute players – just like what we see happening on p236 in the night suk. This seems to strongly imply that El-H– is across “the straits” from where Ostrero grew up, likely in Spain. So it seems there is a strong possibility that we need to concentrate our search in Morocco near the areas where it is closest to Spain. Maybe.
  • It’s not in Europe, because Samar might have fallen in love with a European sailor.
  • The name Khatef-Zelh is Arabic for the pied kingfisher. (Thanks, Osfour).
  • Musical instruments: drum, oud, spike fiddle.
  • Insects: locusts.
  • Flora: Date palms.
  • Fauna: finch, feral dogs, cats,.
  • Clothing: checheya, kaftan.
  • Food: lamb, cumin, cardamom, pepper.
  • Archaeology: Moorish archway, minarets.

Anyone else notice anything about El-H– that might help us pinpoint its name and location? Or see anything in those things mentioned that stand out?