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Featured Article: Kharbranth

by Grant M. Hansen
The City of Bells

Kharbranth is one of the most sheltered major cities in the world, and the bells are a symbol of that. It’s said they were first erected to warn that a highstorm was blowing, since the winds were so soft that people didn’t always notice.

—The myth behind Kharbranth's nickname, the City of Bells

Kharbranth, City of Bells, is an independent city-state on Roshar, ruled by king Taravangian. It is one of the five Vorin nations and home to the Palanaeum, the largest library on Roshar. Kharbranth is known for the quality of its hospitals, and people come from all over the world to study medicine from Kharbranth's surgeons. The Kharbranthian royal colors are burnt orange and white, and have become synonymous around Roshar as the colors of surgeons, medicine, and healing.


Kharbranth is located on the western coast of the Frostlands, within a natural harbor that opens onto the Tarat Sea. One of the most sheltered cities on Roshar, Kharbranth is naturally protected on both its eastern and western fronts. The honorspren capital, Unyielding Fidelity, is situated close to Kharbranth within the Cognitive Realm.

Residing within a natural wedge shaped lait that opens onto the sea, Kharbranth is built on unbroken stone and extends down the side of and into the surrounding mountain. It is believed by some in the ardentia that Kharbranth was built upon a cymatic pattern, however, it is currently unknown as to whether this claim is true. While the city itself is well protected from the highstorm, the mountain shielding it from the east bears the full force of the storm, leading to occasional cave-in's within the Conclave and rockslides on the stormside of the mountain. Kharbranth is protected from the Everstorm due to the city's slight southerly orientation.

Bells can be found in large numbers throughout the city, supposedly to warn of the passing highstorm, which as story tells it, is too gentle to notice otherwise. The ringing of these bells can be heard even deep within the Conclave. The regularity and presence of these bells has earned Kharbranth the nickname of the City of Bells. Clock bells are rung on the hour, through the day. Famous for its crowds, the streets of Kharbranth are often packed during both the day and at night. The Ralinsa, the main thoroughfare made up of a series of switchbacks, connects the port and docks with the Conclave at the top of the mountain. The steepness of the pathways makes it difficult to use chull pulled carts to transport goods, and instead merchants will hire workers to carry their products. Rickshaws and palanquins are available to hire for transport throughout the city.

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