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|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
Bornwater is located in Bavland, an autonomous region at the base of a mountain range that is technically within the borders of southwestern Jah Keved. It is the largest town in its immediate area, although it could still be considered a "backwater". Outside of the city, there are plains where wild horses run free. Nearby settlements include the smaller town of Staplind. The closest larger city of note is Kneespike.
The town is well-protected from highstorms by a large cliffside to the east that forms a natural lait. The local citylord owns a well-guarded three story mansion with cultivated gardens on the east side of town, although he does not reside there.
In 1173, a Bav criminal named Makkek came into possession of Szeth's Oathstone. He realized that Szeth could easily eliminate his rivals so that he could seize power and wealth. After taking over Staplind, Makkek moved on to Bornwater, and ran the largest gambling den in town. The local citylord learned of Makkek's rise to power and sent another criminal named Gavashaw to Bornwater to serve as a rival. Makkek ordered Szeth to assassinate Gavashaw, but when Szeth arrived at the mansion where he was staying, a masked agent of the Diagram showed him the severed heads of both Gavashaw and Makkek. The agent also held Szeth's Oathstone, and gave him a new list of high profile targets, including King Hanavanar of Jah Keved.
As part of Jah Keved, Bornwater is a Vorin region. However, some of the residents are very lax in following traditional Vorin social decorum; a prominent gambling den exists in the town where alcohol and firemoss are common. Despite these improprieties, certain aspects of Vorin culture are embedded in the residents. They do not bet on games of chance that could be considered "predicting the future". Although women in the gambling den often leave their safehand exposed, this is still seen as a provocative and flirty act.
Despite the town's location in a lait that is well-protected from highstorms, the architecture still follows cultural tendencies, with long flat roofs that slope gently to the east. Unusually, some buildings in the town are built with soil and clay rather than stone. Soil is extremely rare on Roshar outside of Shinovar, and such buildings are not known to exist elsewhere in the western part of the continent. Szeth noticed these building materials during his time there.
Bornwater is an industrial town that is likely ignored by the Veden government, like the rest of Bavland. Although the eastern part of the city has a wealthier neighborhood, the city is not the type of place where prominent lighteyes choose to spend their time. Even the citylord seems to take a hands-off approach, since he lives in the larger town of Kneespike.