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. There are an unknown number of inhabited peaks. They provide a natural defensive barrier for the nation of Jah Keved. There is a strip of land east between the peaks and the border of Alethkar that is strategically important.
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 are reintroduced to Rosharan society; at the end of the Era of Solitude it is not uncommon to encounter a Horneater in the larger cities of Jah Keved and Alethkar, and many people in the area have partially red hair that indicates some measure of Horneater blood.
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.
After the True Desolation, Lunamor's family travels to find him and tell him that something is very wrong in their homeland. When Kaladin, Shallan, Adolin, and Azure travel to Shadesmar, they learn that ships traveling from the area of the peaks to Celebrant have not been arriving. They later learn 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 occupy the area, sailing warships and demanding tribute. Other ships in Shadesmar now refuse to sail to the perpendicularity.
- Map of Roshar
- The Way of Kings chapter 46 Summary: 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.
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- Words of Radiance chapter 46 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_46#
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