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|Ruled by||Queen Savrahalidem|
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
“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, the City of Bells, is an independent city-state on Roshar, ruled by Queen Savrahalidem. 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. An honorspren stronghold, 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-ins 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 have 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.
Buildings are constructed from either crem, daub, mud, or a combination of all three, blocky in nature, and either built on top of or carved out of, the mountain. Each structure is painted in vibrant colors, with each color symbolizing the function of the building. Most buildings are either red or orange with fewer being painted blue or yellow. Violet colored buildings signify tailors or cloth merchants, while food can be purchased in green buildings. Homes are painted in pastel colors and use different patterns than commercial buildings. Kharbranth is a busy city, with stores and venues operating well into the later hours of the evening.
The Kharbranthian plumbing system, which relies on gravity to move water through pipes, has become quite popular in the Alethi warcamps. The system is used within the Conclave and is combined with heatrials to produce running hot water.
The Conclave can be located at the top of the city and is built down into the surrounding mountain. The Conclave serves as both an official building and a residential abode, with a section of the building serving as the king's palace, and another as a residential wing for guests. The Palanaeum can be located within the Conclave.
Deep within the Conclave, there were once secret hospitals that were run by Taravangian and the Diagram. Terminally ill patients, as well as the extremely poor, were taken to these hospitals to be killed, in the hopes that they will deliver a Death Rattle as they die, which could be used to extrapolate the Diagram. These hospitals were shut down shortly before the betrayal of Taravangian in 1175, in order for the city to avoid facing retribution for its leader's actions.
The Palanaeum is the largest known library on Roshar and contains over seven hundred thousand texts. Entrance to the Palanaeum is expensive, with the funds collected being used to finance Kharbranth's hospitals. The Palanaeum also doubles as Kharbranth's royal treasury and houses the city's store of emeralds. The scholars of the Palanaeum are involved in the translation of the Dawnchant. Following the Everstorm, the Palanaeum saw a large increase in requests for information on the Voidbringers.
“You’ll need to have Mother read to you about some of these newer medications—they’re discovering some remarkable things at the hospitals in Kharbranth. ”—Kaladin telling Lirin about the advances in Kharbranth's medicine
Kharbranth's medical practices are well known throughout eastern Roshar, and at least parts of western Roshar, with the city's colors and banner being synonymous with surgeons and the idea of healing. This reputation is well earned, with Kharbranthian surgeons providing unprompted aid following the Battle of Vedenar (1173) as well as both before and after the Battle of Thaylen Field (1174).
Kharbranth is famous for both the number and quality of its hospitals, with medical care being available for both physical and psychological illnesses. These hospitals, also double as research facilities where there are ongoing efforts to formulate new medication and methods of disease prevention, including the invention of attenuated vaccinations.
Funding for these hospitals is provided by the entrance fee to the Palanaeum. Any who require assistance will be treated, regardless of eye color, social ranking, or nationality. During his time as king, Taravangian is a frequent visitor to the hospitals and is warmly welcomed by patients during their stay. During his visits, he will stop and speak with each patient individually, checking in on their care and wellbeing.
Private patient rooms, along with larger wards, can be found in some, if not all, of Kharbranth's hospitals. The wards are segregated by gender and resemble large hallways. Partitions can be set up around each bed to provide privacy for each patient. The hospital that Shallan is initially admitted to after faking suicide is run by an ardent named Mungam.
The Great Concourse of Kharbranth
The Great Concourse of Kharbranth is a training school for surgeons and healers, which offers the best medical training available. Tuition to the Concourse is expensive and there are strict and rigorous entrance exams, which can be taken by those over the age of sixteen.
School of Storms
Little is known about the function of the School of Storms. Scholars at the School of Storms have legacy access to the Palanaeum. Taravangian's granddaughter, Gvori, is a current student at the school.
Origins and Early History
Kharbranth was formerly a pirate town in its early years, before becoming a real city over the course of decades. It is rumored to be older than the Last Desolation, with at least one source claiming that it was built during the shadowdays. During the time of the Silver Kingdoms, the area in which Kharbranth is situated would have been considered part of Thalath. Kharbranth has been a Vorin nation since at least the Hierocracy, and maintained a strong alliance with many of the other Vorin nations following the War of Loss.
The two chambers that make up the Palanaeum predate the founding of the city, with the rooms that house the Palanaeum's collection of manuscripts, books, and tomes having been added after people settled in the region. How the caverns were created is unknown, however, some believe that it was the work of the Dawnsingers. At some point between the creation of the Palanaeum and present day, a fire occurred that destroyed parts of the library's collection.
Tales of Surgeons
“Don’t make the same mistake I did, son. When you get to Kharbranth, stay there. Don’t get sucked back to this tiny, backward, foolish town. ”
As a youth, Lirin traveled to Kharbranth as a courier, where he was introduced to different cultures and societies. Later in his life, Lirin studied medicine under Vathe, who had been trained as a surgeon at the Great Concourse of Kharbranth.
Lirin desired to send his son Kaladin to Kharbranth to train as a surgeon when he turned sixteen. Lirin and his wife Hesina stole a large number of spheres, claiming to have been given them by Brightlord Wistiow on his deathbed, in order to fund Kaladin's study in Kharbranth. After the arrival of Roshone in Hearthstone, Lirin and Hesina wrote to the surgeons in Kharbranth with a plea to let their son take the entry tests early, however, their request was denied. Lirin considered escaping Hearthstone and taking his family to Kharbranth after Roshone cut off all their means of income, however, decided instead to stay and continue to oppose the Brightlord.
After receiving news that the Bridge Four members who had been left in Kholinar might still be alive, Kaladin flew towards Alethkar, stopping to stay the night in Kharbranth. Before moving on from the city, he requisitioned a number of infused gemstones from the Kharbranthian royal treasury to aid him on his travels.
In 1175, Lirin closely followed the news coming out of Kharbranth in relation to the Purelake plague, which was eventually deemed not deadly.
The Diagram and the Death Rattles
“Someone must bear the responsibility. Someone must be dragged down by it, ruined by it. Someone must stain their soul so others may live. ”
On the night of his death, Gavilar Kholin confided in Taravangian about the visions he had received regarding the True Desolation. Believing the visions had come from the Almighty, Gavilar insisted to Taravangian that for the world to survive the True Desolation, it would have to be united. Taking the king’s warning to heart, Taravangian traveled to The Valley to visit the Nightwatcher and beg her for the ability to save Roshar. The Nightwatcher bestowed Kharbranth's king with a boon and a curse; the boon being extreme intelligence and compassion; the curse, constant fluctuation of these traits and the inability to have both at the same time.
After visiting the Nightwatcher, Taravangian experienced a day of extreme intelligence, where he transcribed a large number of predictions on the available surfaces in his bedroom. These writings were bound together into a tome referred to as the Diagram. A society by the same name worships the Diagram, however, it is currently unknown if this society existed before the creation of the Diagram, or whether it was formed in response to Taravangian's creation.
“While I promised to do whatever was necessary to save our people, I will not go one step further. Not a single death more than needed.”
Following its creation, the Diagram began supplementing Taravangian's predictions with the Death Rattles provided by the Unmade Moelach. Moelach took up residence in Kharbranth in the year 1167, approximately around the time Gavilar began investigating the Shattered Plains. It is possible that the Unmade's arrival in Kharbranth could be related to Gavilar's exploration of the easternmost part of Roshar. Why Moelach chose to settle specifically in Kharbranth at this time is unclear, however, when the Unmade began to move away from Kharbranth in 1173, Taravangian worried that the creature may return to slumber, implying that Moelach could possibly have been inactive prior to settling in Kharbranth.
The Silent Gatherers were tasked with administrating and running the hospitals where the Death Rattles were collected, however, the creation of these hospitals, as well as the details surrounding the formation of this group, are currently unknown. It is also unknown when this operation began, and whether Death Rattles were collected prior to Taravangian's creation of the Diagram. Frequency in the number of Death Rattles begins to decline in late 1173 before ceasing completely in 1174 after Moelach departed the city and settled in the Horneater Peaks. Why the Unmade decided to leave Kharbranth is unknown, however, Taravangian postulated that it may have been drawn away by something residing to the west of the city and eventually circled back around to take up occupation within the borders of Jah Keved. Despite the decline, and eventual cessation, of the Death Rattles, the hospital continued to operate through to 1175 when Taravangian ordered them to be shut down as part of his general dismantling of the Diagram and its operations in the city.
Scholar and Apprentice
“She closed her eyes and fixed an image in her mind: Kharbranth as she’d memorized it in that moment soon after landing on the docks. Waves surging against the wooden posts, a salty scent to the air, men climbing rigging calling one another with excitement. And the city itself, rising up the hillside, homes stacked atop homes, not a speck of land wasted. Bells, distant, tinkling softly in the air. ”
During the year 1173, Jasnah Kholin traveled to Kharbranth to access the Conclave and the Palanaeum in order to continue her research into the Voidbringers and Urithiru. Shallan Davar, who had been attempting to contact the Alethi princess for six months, arrived in Kharbranth part way through the year, relieved to find that she had finally caught up to Jasnah. Locating the woman in the Conclave, Shallan petitioned Jasnah to become her ward and, eventually, was accepted. Despite Shallan's enjoyment of scholarship, her primary purpose for seeking out Jasnah, was to switch the broken Davar Soulcaster, with Jasnah's functional one.
Shallan's arrival at the Conclave coincided with Jasnah helping Taravangian rescue his granddaughter, who had become trapped in an inner room of the palace following a cave-in. The situation had been deliberately planned by the Kharbranthian king, who wished to view the Alethi princess use her Soulcasting abilities when removing the fallen stone blocking the room's entrance. Taravangian had suspected Jasnah did not need a physical Soulcaster to be able to use Soulcasting as an ability and to test this theory, engineered a scenario where he would be able to watch the Alethi princess wield her power. Jasnah Soulcast the rock into smoke, masking her abilities with the fake Soulcaster she wore on her right hand. In return for freeing his granddaughter, Taravangian granted Jasnah entry to the Palanaeum, which she had been unable to access until this point.
Out late one night in the city, Shallan and Jasnah were attacked by a group of criminals while in an alley near the theatre district. Jasnah had deliberately taken them to a specific street where the criminals had been attacking, robbing, and killing people. She had planned to dispatch the men as a service to Taravangian who she felt had put himself in a more precarious position than he realised when he allied with her and allowed her access to the Palanaeum. Jasnah killed the four men during the encounter, turning them into a variety of other substances using Soulcasting, and in doing so, saving both her own and Shallan's life. Shallan, angry at Jasnah for the situation she had deliberately put them in, switched her broken Soulcaster, with Jasnah's device shortly after the pair returned to the Conclave.
“Am I a monster or am I a hero? Did I just slaughter four men, or did I stop four murderers from walking the streets? Does one deserve to have evil done to her by consequence of putting herself where evil can reach her? Did I have a right to defend myself? Or was I just looking for an excuse to end lives?”
As the months passed, Shallan began to grow more and more aware of Pattern and the other Cryptics who watched her from the Cognitive Realm. Several times, Shallan unconsciously included them in portraits she created, first while sketching King Taravangian, and later in a sketch of herself and the ardent Kabsal. She also began hearing the Cryptics whispers, convincing herself that she was mishearing sounds made by the Conclave staff as they worked. Eventually Shallan was unable to ignore the spren, leading her to accidentally Soulcast a goblet into blood. To hide what she had done, Shallan cut open her arm, pretending that the blood was hers, and was taken to one of the city's many hospitals.
In the hospital, Shallan was visited by Jasnah, who had been studying outside the hospital room. While Jasnah was with Shallan, the pair were joined by Kabsal, whom Shallan had struck up a friendship with during her time in the city. In an attempt to kill Jasnah, Kabsal offered both women poisoned bread, knowing that Jasnah would not eat the jam that contained the antidote. Jasnah, suspecting that Kabsal was trying to assassinate her, Soulcast the jam when she inspected the jar, believing that it was the item that contained the poison. Unfortunately, she removed the antidote, leading to the poisoning of Shallan and Kabsal. Jasnah saved Shallan's life by Soulcasting her blood to remove the poison, learning at the same time that Shallan had stolen her Soulcaster.
Jasnah eventually forgave Shallan for the theft and agreed to take her back on as her ward. Deciding that she had found all the information she could within the Palanaeum, Jasnah, along with Shallan, departed Kharbranth for the Shattered Plains in 1173 upon the ship, Wind's Pleasure.
Politics on the World Stage
During 1173, Taravangian acquired Szeth's oathstone and tasked him with murdering a large number of high ranking officials in several foreign nations. These murders, dictated by the Diagram, aimed to cause chaos in several foreign countries including Jah Keved and Azir. Taravangian, as a precautionary measure, included his own name on the list given to Szeth to divert suspicion away from Kharbranth if the assassin had been captured during his spree. When Szeth travelled to Kharbranth to kill its king, Taravangian revealed that he was in possession of Szeth's oathstone and had been behind the list of assassinations Szeth had been given. After showing Szeth the hidden hospital where the Silent Gatherers collected the Death Rattles, Taravangian tasked Szeth with killing Dalinar Kholin, who he believed had to die, based on his reading of the Diagram.
“Leaders dead, lives lost. Panic and chaos. Was this your destiny? Do you wonder? Given that monstrosity of a Shardblade by your people, cast out and absolved of any sin your masters might require of you?”—Taravangian when first confronted by Szeth
By using Szeth to causing mayhem and destruction across Roshar, Taravangian was able to further the goals of the Diagram and created a situation where he could take control of the Veden empire without creating suspicion. Towards the end of the War of Succession (1173), Taravangian sent food, medical supplies, and healers to the country to help the wounded on all sides of the fighting. In doing so, he secured a new ally for Kharbranth with whichever side was victorious. In the case that the country fell to ruin, Taravangian, through a distance connection to Veden royalty, could engineer a situation that would end with the king of Kharbranth on the Veden throne. When the war ended later that year, Taravangian was named as king by the previous monarch, Valam, shortly before he died, securing Jah Keved as an ally for Kharbranth.
Taravangian entered both Jah Keved and Kharbranth into an alliance with Alethkar in 1174, after Dalinar Kholin contacted the leaders of Roshar's nations seeking aid in the fight against the Voidbringers. Taravangian was the only leader to initially respond to Dalinar's request. The council of Kharbranth were suspicious of Dalinar's offer, as well as his intentions of refounding the Knights Radiant. Mistrust of Dalinar increased amongst the council members after Dalinar pronounced the death of Honor, which those within the Vorin church conflate with the Almighty. Kadash, one of Dalinar's ardents, did what he could to try and calm the council and allay their fears. It is unknown whether Kadash was successful, leading to the council agreeing with Taravangian to enter into an alliance with Alethkar, or whether the king of Kharbranth has executive power over foreign affairs.
“Kharbranth. Preserve only Kharbranth. You may destroy all other nations. Just leave my city. It is what I beg of you.”—Taravangian's deal with Odium
Entering into an alliance with Dalinar, allowed Taravangian and the Diagram access to Urithiru and the inner workings of the Alethi government. Unimpeded from joining political assemblies with other foreign nations, or scholarly meetings, the Kharbranthian cohort were able to gather intelligence on the coalition, and several other nations of Roshar, and their research into Urithiru, the Voidbringers, as well as other matters. As part of the coalition, Taravangian was able to manipulate other world leaders, as well as spread misinformation that threatened the breakdown of the alliance, with the hope that Dalinar Kholin would fail, leaving Alethkar open to be secured under Taravangian's rule. Shortly before the Battle of Thaylen Field, Taravangian attempted to undermine Dalinar's authority, anonymously releasing information about Dalinar's meeting Odium, the highking proposal, and the translation of the Eila Stele.
In an attempt to gain favor with Odium, Taravangian interfered with the redeployment of troops from Urithiru to Thaylenah during the Battle of Thaylen City by having a member of the Diagram, Malata, unlock the Kholinar Oathgate in secret, allowing Odium's forces to invade the ancient city.
“...I knew my friends and family could escape if I let you take me. I knew that your wrath would come upon me, not Kharbranth... If you were to attack Kharbranth, you would attack innocents.”—Taravangian explaining his actions to Dalinar
Following the battle, Taravangian revealed to Dalinar that Kharbranth had been behind Szeth's murderous spree across Roshar. He told Dalinar that he had sought out Szeth after Dova had approached Taravangian and warned him that the Desolation was approaching. He also told Dalinar that about the ardent Dova and how he believed her to be the Herald Battah'Elin. Later, Odium met with Taravangian during the Everstorm agreeing to spare Kharbranth and its citizens during the imminent war in exchange for the Diagram's loyalty.
Despite strained relations, Kharbranth remained an ally of the Urithiru coalition, however, frequently opposed the suggested military maneuvers that were suggested by the other members of the group. During this time, Taravangian's inner circle began to distance themselves from their leader and spend more time in Kharbranth, at Taravangian's bequest. This allowed for the other members of the Kharbranian delegation to avoid suspicion when Taravangian betrayed the coalition and revealed himself as a double agent for Odium.
Following her father’s betrayal, the newly anointed Queen Savrahalidem condemned the former monarch’s actions and pulled the city from the alliance with Urithiru and Odium, declaring itself neutral in the global conflict. No longer tied to any party, Kharbranth reclaimed its mantle of offering medical aid to anyone in need. In response to the cut ties, Dalinar blockaded the sea near Kharbranth but was unwilling to commit to a costly ground attack, which Queen Savri had likely factored into her decision when breaking their alliance.
Kharbranth is a multicultural city that does not limit or restrict entrance to the city or its surrounding waters based on nationality or status. As such, people from all walks of life and the many nations of Roshar can be found throughout the city.
Restaurants can be found in Kharbranth. Soup is the preferred lunch option.
Like other Vorin nations, Kharbranth's social structure is based on eye coloring, with lighteyes considered the upper class, while darkeyes the lower, or working class. Each class is further split into a ten rank system; dahn for lighteyes and nahn for darkeyes. Each rank reflects different amounts of power and influence within the Vorin system, with those of the first or second rank holding more privilege than those of lesser ranks. The Kharbranth monarch would be considered of equal status to that of first dahn, however, traditionally does not claim this rank. Unlike other Vorin nations such as Alethkar, Kharbranth does not allow for human slaves. The city does, however, still utilize parshmen for free labor.
Kharbranth is one of the five Vorin nations. The ardentia in Kharbranth holds a degree of influence within the city and remains in contact with the other Vorin leaders in the eastern Rosharan nations. Ardents, alongside their religious duties, manage and staff the Palanaeum. Not all Devotaries can be found in Kharbranth, with the city currently containing no ardents from the Devotary of Sincerity. The Kharbranthian ardentia do not own any Soulcasters and during his time as king, Taravangian makes sure to familiarize himself and keep careful track, of his clergy.
The Kharbranthian language is very similar to Alethi and Veden, with all three being considered similar dialects of the same language. Differences between the three languages come largely from variations in pronunciation, instead of variances in the language's vocabulary.
Like most of Roshar, Kharbranth uses spheres, glass beads with an embedded gemstone, as its currency. Spheres infused with Stormlight are also used as a light source. The type and size of each embedded gemstone determines the value of the sphere with a diamond chip being the smallest denomination and an emerald broam the largest. The Palanaeum doubles as Kharbranth's royal treasury, and the city's store of emeralds are used to light the pathways within the Palanaeum proper.
The smallest of the five Vorin nations, Kharbranth is a fragile, but independent, city-state governed by Queen Savrahalidem.
“Taravangian, the king of Kharbranth. A beloved monarch, known for building and maintaining hospitals in his city. It was known as far away as Azir that if you were sick, Taravangian would take you in. Come to Kharbranth and be healed. The king loved all. ”—Taravangian's public image
The Kharbranthian government follows a monarch and council system, with the monarch being hereditary through either the male or female line. The current queen is Savrahalidem, daughter of the former ruler Taravangian. The exact dynamic between the monarch and the council is currently unknown, however, the king or queen is able to propose and influence policy, decide upon and conduct foreign affairs, and also has some form of direct authority over the implementation of laws. Although the monarch of Kharbranth would be considered equal to first dahn under the Vorin class system, they do not traditionally claim the rank, due to Kharbranth's city-state status.
Kharbranth, while generally considered a safe city, has previously had issues surrounding violent crime, which have not been adequately policed. It is suspected by some that the city watch has deliberately avoided taking action against violent criminals due to corruption and influence from politicians.
In the past, members of the Kharbranthian government worked for the Diagram, however, anyone with connections to the group was removed from office on Taravangian's orders shortly before he was deposed.
“He may not offer binding commentary on the Diagram, but he may interact outside of supervision. He may change government policy so long as there is a three-day delay before the changes take effect, and he may also freely pass judgment in trials.”—Mrall's judgement on Taravangian's daily restrictions.
Taravangian was a popular king, beloved by the common darkeyed citizen of Kharbranth for the time and effort he invested in the city's hospitals. Doing so, however, allows greater political freedom which the elite gladly capitalise on. Despite this, those in the royal court were known to complain about the amount of time Taravangian spent at the hospitals in the city, believing he placed too much priority on the institutions. In general, lighteyed residents of Kharbranth found the king to be dull and his political capabilities to be lacking.
Taravangian's intelligence and compassion fluctuated on a daily basis and he would be tested each morning to determine how much control he had over policy and how much he could interact with the politicians and citizens of Kharbranth. Initially, his political power was to be limited only on days of extreme unintelligence, however, after proposing, and attempting to implement, a eugenics program in Kharbranth on a day of high intelligence, it was decided that his ability to affect policy be restricted for both extremes. Additionally, Taravangian's ability to interact with others is also restricted, as he has previously attempted to reveal his condition to the general public.
King Taravangian was known to show deference to foreign nationals, which likely furthered the upper class' poor opinion of his political competency. Additionally, by welcoming Jasnah Kholin to Kharbranth and allowing her access to the Palanaeum, Taravangian may have strained relations between himself and the Vorin leaders in Kharbranth.
Queen Savra's relationship with her council and the people of Kharbranth are unknown. Upon becoming queen, she has broken her father’s alliances with all parties of the war and claimed neutral ground, deciding to focus on Kharbranth’s history and strength in providing medical aid where it is needed. Taravangian deliberately did not involve his daughter in the Diagram as he knew he would likely have to sacrifice himself to save the city, and did not want her to be implicated by his actions.
Kharbranth has only a small standing army so as to not affect its cultivated image of being unassuming and unthreatening. Kharbranth rarely engages in war, and offers medical aid to both sides of conflicts. The city-state does not have a true navy, however, has a number of merchant ships that can be commandeered in times of need. Kharbranthian soldiers wear burnt orange livery.
In the past, Kharbranth has had strong alliances with other Vorin nations, due to their shared religion. Taravangian was a close friend and confidant of Gavilar Kholin before his death; however, it is unknown if there was a formal alliance between Alethkar and Kharbranth during Gavilar's time as king.
During their alliance with Dalinar Kholin, a scribe managed Taravangian's kingly duties, while he and his advisers were away from the city. It was rumored throughout foreign nations that Taravangian was only a figurehead and that the true power behind the throne was either the scribe left in charge or Taravangian's head scribe, Adrotagia. This underestimation of Taravangian, led credence to Kharbranth's reputation as an unthreatening, peaceable city-state.
Kharbranth has declared neutrality in the conflict between the Urithiru coalition and Odium, however, the city is likely still protected by the oaths made by Rayse to Taravangian. The Urithiru cohort are hostile towards the city due to the betrayal of its former leader, however, are unwilling to commit to a full conflict. This is in part due to the relative unimportance of the city-state, and in part due to Taravangian’s efforts to remove the Diagram prior to his being captured so there would be no justified reason to act against Kharbranth.
“The Diagram has served its purpose. We have protected Kharbranth. We have fulfilled the Diagram. ”—Taravangian's decision to dismantle the Diagram
The Diagram is a secret society on Roshar that is headed by Taravangian and based around a book of predictions, that goes by the same name. The Diagram (literature) is a recollection of writings by Taravangian that was created on a day of extreme intelligence. These predictions, initially written over many surfaces within the king's bedroom, have been transcribed as written and form the basis of the secret society. Different sects exist within the society and interpret the Diagram differently to Taravangian. While it is active, the society heavily influences the governing of Kharbranth, dictating the size of the city-states military as well as how Kharbranth should present itself to foreign nations.
Before they were closed down, members of the Diagram known as the Silent Gatherers, staffed and managed the secret hospitals hidden within the Conclave, where patients and citizens were brought to be killed and the Death Rattles collected. This operation was overseen by the ardent Dova, during times that Taravangian was away from the city.
The Diagram (group) was disbanded by Taravangian in 1175 shortly before he was captured, with orders given to dismantle the organizational structures that were in place in Kharbranth.
- Taravangian: former king of Kharbranth
- Savrahalidem: queen of Kharbranth, daughter of Taravangian
- Adrotagia: head scribe
- Dova: Herald Battah'Elin, ardent
- Dukar: Stormwarden. Dukar is in charge of Taravangian's daily intelligence testing and helps determine whether the king is fit for duty each morning.
- Mrall: Taravangian's bodyguard and the final adjudicator on the king's daily intelligence testing.
- Kabsal: Ardent. Deceased.
- Joshor: Head of the Silent Gatherers.
- Pailiah[disputed][fn 1]
- The Alethi, Veden, and Kharbranthian languages are closer in similarity than Spanish and Portuguese.
- Kharbranth resembles the Italian city Positano, however, this was not intentional on Brandon's part. Isaac Stewart used real world inspirations for the maps found in the books, and although Brandon believes Positano may be one of the cities Isaac used, this has not been confirmed.
- The Palanaeum was named for Pailiah the Herald. It's name is based off the Greek word "Athenaeum".
- It was partly inspired from the ancient Library of Alexandria.
- An open-source project created by 17th Shard for archiving and transcribing Words of Brandon was named after the Palanaeum.
- ↑ In 2017 a Word of Brandon from a signed book confirmed that the ardent Shallan finds in the Palanaeum, while searching for the book Shadows Remembered, is the Herald Pailiah. No photo of this WoB is attach to the Arcanum entry and Brandon has been evasive when asked to confirm whether this information is true.
- ↑ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z The Way of Kings chapter 3Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_3#
- ↑ a b c d e f g h i j The Way of Kings chapter 5Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_5#
- ↑ a b c d e f g h i j The Way of Kings chapter 7Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_7#
- ↑ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Words of Radiance interlude I-14Summary: Words of Radiance/Interlude_I-14#
- ↑ Map of Roshar
- ↑ a b Oathbringer chapter 58Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_58#
- ↑ Oathbringer chapter 108Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_108#
- ↑ a b c d e f The Way of Kings chapter 45Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_45#
- ↑ a b c d e f g h The Way of Kings chapter 36Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_36#
- ↑ a b c d e f g h i j k l m The Way of Kings chapter 71Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_71#
- ↑ Oathbringer chapter 21Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_21#
- ↑ Words of Radiance chapter 67Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_67#
- ↑ a b c d e f g h i j Rhythm of War interlude I-3Summary: Rhythm of War/Interlude_I-3#
- ↑ a b c d e The Way of Kings chapter 33Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_33#
- ↑ a b Oathbringer chapter 50Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_50#
- ↑ a b c d e f g h Oathbringer chapter 24Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_24#
- ↑ a b Rhythm of War chapter 18Summary: Rhythm of War/Chapter_18#
- ↑ a b c d Oathbringer chapter 121Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_121#
- ↑ Oathbringer chapter 59Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_59#
- ↑ a b The Way of Kings chapter 16Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_16#
- ↑ The Way of Kings chapter 52Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_52#
- ↑ a b c d e f g h i j k The Way of Kings chapter 48Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_48#
- ↑ The Way of Kings chapter 50Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_50#
- ↑ a b c d e f g h Oathbringer chapter 122Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_122#
- ↑ a b c The Way of Kings Annotations
— Arcanum - 2017-10-20Cite: Arcanum-7125#
- ↑ Map of Silver Kingdoms
- ↑ a b c d e The Way of Kings chapter 8Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_8#
- ↑ The Way of Kings chapter 46 epigraphSummary:The Way of Kings/Epigraphs/Chapter_46#
- ↑ a b The Way of Kings chapter 31Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_31#
- ↑ a b c The Way of Kings chapter 10Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_10#
- ↑ a b The Way of Kings chapter 17Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_17#
- ↑ The Way of Kings chapter 37Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_37#
- ↑ Rhythm of War chapter 23Summary: Rhythm of War/Chapter_23#
- ↑ Oathbringer chapter 86Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_86#
- ↑ Words of Radiance Dayton signing
— Arcanum - 2014-03-19Cite: Arcanum-2892#
- ↑ Rhythm of War interlude I-6Summary: Rhythm of War/Interlude_I-6#
- ↑ The Way of Kings Annotations
— Arcanum - 2017-11-03Cite: Arcanum-8070#
- ↑ Supanova 2017 - Sydney
— Arcanum - 2017-06-16Cite: Arcanum-3242#
- ↑ Supanova 2017 - Sydney
— Arcanum - 2017-06-16Cite: Arcanum-3243#
- ↑ a b c d e The Way of Kings chapter 29Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_29#
- ↑ a b c The Way of Kings chapter 42Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_42#
- ↑ The Way of Kings chapter 70Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_70#
- ↑ Words of Radiance chapter 1Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_1#
- ↑ The Way of Kings interlude I-6Summary: The Way of Kings/Interlude_I-6#
- ↑ a b c Oathbringer chapter 12Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_12#
- ↑ a b c Oathbringer chapter 4Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_4#
- ↑ Oathbringer chapter 44Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_44#
- ↑ a b Oathbringer chapter 107Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_107#
- ↑ Oathbringer chapter 111Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_111#
- ↑ Oathbringer chapter 120Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_120#
- ↑ a b c Rhythm of War chapter 66Summary: Rhythm of War/Chapter_66#
- ↑ Rhythm of War chapter 16Summary: Rhythm of War/Chapter_16#
- ↑ a b Rhythm of War chapter 19Summary: Rhythm of War/Chapter_19#
- ↑ a b c d e f Rhythm of War chapter 50Summary: Rhythm of War/Chapter_50#
- ↑ Words of Radiance chapter 24Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_24#
- ↑ a b /r/Stormlight_Archive
— Arcanum - 2017-08-09Cite: Arcanum-4006#
- ↑ The Way of Kings chapter 63Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_63#
- ↑ General Reddit 2016
— Arcanum - 2016-12-05Cite: Arcanum-4968#
- ↑ General Signed Books 2017
— Arcanum - 2017-04-10Cite: Arcanum-4419#
- ↑ Skyward release party
— Arcanum - 2018-11-06Cite: Arcanum-11589#
- ↑ Skyward Pre-Release AMA
— Arcanum - 2018-10-31Cite: Arcanum-11521#
- ↑ General Reddit 2017
— Arcanum - 2017-08-04Cite: Arcanum-4005#
- ↑ Steelheart signing Seattle
— Arcanum - 2013-10-14Cite: Arcanum-10562#
- ↑ /r/Stormlight_Archive
— Arcanum - 2015-12-08Cite: Arcanum-12099#