The Borderlands is the collective term for the nations of the far north that border the Blight. In the late New Era, they are Saldaea, Kandor, Arafel and Shienar, though up until fifty years previously, Malkier was north of Arafel and Shienar and they were not truly part of the Borderlands. When Malkier fell and the Blight spread south, they became truly one of the Borderlands.
Society and Culture
The lands are cold, with a martial culture with little of the Daes Dae'mar that infests the other lands and conflict between them is rare. Along the Blightborder, are signal towers, equipped with a large mirror and fire for signalling. Throughout the Borderlands, no one may hide his head in the borders of a town, to guard against Myrddraal (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 26). To strengthen ties between the countries, intermarriage between the nobles and rulers and their families is common (TPoD, Prologue). The countries all have a similar concept of honour and duty. Along the border with the Blight are a series of WatchTowers, heavily manned and fortified to give a first line of defence against Shadowspawn incursion. These Towers come under attack from Trolloc hordes (ToM, Prologue; Ch. 27), but some manage to hold on (ToM, Ch. 27) at first, though Barriga believes the Kandori towers had fallen and can see Heeth Tower smoking from his position to the north (ToM, Epilogue).
In the years between the Trolloc Wars and Artur Hawkwing's conquest of the lands, they were Basharande, Elsalam and Rhamdashar. During the time of the Compact of the Ten Nations, they were Jaramide and Aramaelle, though both those lands extended far away from the Blight and were not considered Borderlands at the time.
Aes Sedai are respected throughout the Borderlands (TGH, Ch. 3).
There is a bounty on ravens in the Borderlands (TDR, Ch. 1).
A woman who discovers another woman had been bedding her husband is given the option of knife combat, though the tradition is rarely used (ToM, Ch. 18).
Ties between the Borderlands are strengthened through marriage (TPoD, Prologue).
The Borderland Army
In 1000NE, the four rulers of the Borderlands gathered together with a large part of their armies to pledge to seek out Rand al'Thor. Whether to oppose, support or berate him is not clear. With them, they have thirteen Aes Sedai who did no respond to the call from either Salidar or the White Tower (TPoD, Prologue). After the pledge, they headed south to Braem Wood, where they camp for a while, before deciding to head to Murandy at the suggestion of Elayne Trakand (WH, Ch. 27). The army sends a delegation to meet with Rand, who tells Rand he is there to offer terms for Rand to enter Far Madding, where they are camped. Rand considers sending fire and lightning against them to teach them a lesson, but is talked out of it by Nynaeve. Instead, he sends Hurin back with a message, that they have a choice. They can either go back to the Borderlands, or he will leave them there (TGS, Ch. 44). After Rand has broken free of the darkness the threatened him, he goes to meet the rulers, where, in turn, they each slap him. Paitar tells Rand he has a question, which is the true reason they have come, though his allies did not know it at first. Paitar tells Rand that if he had not been able to answer, prophecy had told them to kill him, to bring the end swiftly. He tells them that tomorrow he is going to meet with the monarchs of the world, then Travel to Shayol Ghul to break the remaining Seals and that if they want to be part of the Last Battle they must swear to him (ToM, Ch. 51).
"The look of the eyeless is fear" (Borderland saying, The Eye of the World, Chapter 8).
"`Better to have one woman on your side than ten men." (Borderland saying, The Great Hunt, Chapter 6)
"A polished sword reflects the truth' (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 16).