by Yen Shu Liao
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
Geography and Ecology
During a dream, Kaladin has a vision of the peaks and describes them as "majestic", populated at their tips, with villages clustered near vents emitting steam. They provide a natural defensive barrier for the nation of Jah Keved. There is a strip of land to the east of the peaks, between them and the border of Alethkar, that is strategically important to the conflict during the True Desolation.
The top of each mountain is collapsed inward, forming a crater, which is filled with a lake of warm water. The heat from each lake is enough to create a pocket of livable land, despite the altitude. The Unkalaki call these bodies of water "Oceans". The warmth of the Oceans is so great that it is often warmer on the peaks than it is on the rest of the continent. Their warmth only extends to a point, after which the mountains are covered by ice fields left by highstorms. Lunamor refers to his homeland as a "place of extremes" due to the juxtaposition of ice and snow with heat and humidity.
Plants such as grass and fruit trees that would not normally be seen at high elevation are able to grow near the Oceans. The Unkalaki are able to cultivate crops, as they are known for their distinctive food and drink (such as "Horneater white" alcohol).
Chulls breed on the southern slopes of the peaks, and the importance of this cycle is documented by Jasnah. Chulls are a food source for the Unkalaki, and the name "Horneater" comes from the fact that they are able to eat the entirety of chulls and other animals, including horns and shells.
Geese can be found in the peaks; unlike other Rosharan languages, the Unkalaki language has unique words for different types of birds.
Vivenna (as Azure) states that the Horneater Peaks contain Cultivation's Perpendicularity. Specifically, the lakes or "Oceans" contain the perpendicularity. The Unkalaki revere the Oceans and they have a number of unusual qualities. They give off heat, and are emerald in color. Lunamor maintains that the water is connected to the gods, and that outsiders would be killed if they swam in it. Bathing in the lakes is part of the reason that some Unkalaki are able to see hidden spren.
The story of how the Unkalaki came to live in the Peaks is only known through legend. The Unkalaki are known to be hybrids of singers and humans. According to Unkalaki tradition, they became pariahs in Roshar due to their fighting prowess and had to appeal to the gods to create a new place for them to live.
Over time, the Unkalaki were reintroduced to Rosharan society; at the end of the Era of Solitude it was not uncommon to encounter a Horneater in the larger cities of Jah Keved and Alethkar, and many people in the area had partially red hair that indicated some measure of Horneater blood.
After the Battle of Narak, Lunamor's family traveled to find him and tell him that something was very wrong in their homeland. Not long after, Kaladin, Shallan, Adolin, and Azure traveled to Shadesmar and learned that ships traveling from the area of the peaks to Celebrant had not been arriving. They later learned that Voidspren and the Fused mysteriously arrived in the southwestern part of Shadesmar (west of the Nexus of Imagination) and traveled to the perpendicularity. The Voidspren then occupied the area, sailing warships and demanding tribute. Other ships in Shadesmar then refused to sail to the perpendicularity. In the Physical Realm, Adrotagia told Taravangian that the Unmade Moelach had settled in the peaks and that Joshor had been sent to investigate. Rock made the decision to return to the peaks about a year after the Battle of Thaylen Field; wanting to see his homeland, Skar and Drehy accompanied him and his family there and returned from the trip after the events of Urithiru's occupation and the coalition's Emuli front.
Although the Unkalaki technically live within the borders of Jah Keved, they are essentially treated as a sovereign nation with the peaks as their territory; they are not referred to as Veden. They are not mentioned as participants in any of the many skirmishes between Jah Keved and Alethkar. The residents of different peaks occasionally attack each other, but this is rare. They desperately want to win Shardblades and Shardplate but have not been able to do so until Cord claims a set of Plate during the expedition to Akinah.
Worldhoppers have desired to establish trade with Roshar but found the prospect difficult. In control of the only stable entry point to the world, which lies within their peaks, the Horneaters are "unpleasant to deal with."
- Map of Roshar
- The Way of Kings chapter 46#
- Although this perspective is seen in a dream, the vision appears to come from the Stormfather and likely reflects reality.
- Oathbringer chapter 107#
- Map of Silver Kingdoms
- Words of Radiance Seattle signing
— Arcanum - 2014-03-08#
- Words of Radiance chapter 46#
- Oathbringer chapter 37#
- The Way of Kings chapter 23#
- Oathbringer chapter 18#
- Oathbringer chapter 104#
- Words of Radiance chapter 12#
- General Reddit 2017
— Arcanum - 2017-11-22#
- Shadows of Self Chicago signing
— Arcanum - 2015-10-12#
- Oathbringer interlude I-2#
- Idaho Falls signing 2014
— Arcanum - 2014-11-29#
- Oathbringer chapter 93#
- Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A
— Arcanum - 2014-08-13#
- Words of Radiance chapter 5#
- Oathbringer chapter 97#
- Oathbringer chapter 102#
- Rhythm of War chapter 15#
- Rhythm of War chapter 114#
- The Way of Kings chapter 14#
- Dawnshard chapter 16#
- Rhythm of War chapter 13#