by Isaac Stewart
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
The main building of the palace stands between the Monastery Dais and the Sunmaker Park. The main entrance leads to twin ballrooms - presumably, a separate one for men and for women. Both ballrooms have access to the garden that forms the northern side of the palace. Directly adjacent to the Grand Entry are the palace garrison and the guest quarters. From the latter, one may reach the Eastern Gallery and through it, the Sunwalk, which leads to the Monastery Dais.
The lower floors of the palace have broad and wide corridors. The palace basements house the unloading docks, used to transport cargo to and from the palace plateau. The upper floors are narrow and cavernous. The royal quarters are located there.
The Monastery Dais is a large, almost perfectly circular platform near the main building, and may be technically considered part of the palace complex. As its name indicates, it houses the Kholinar ardentia. Notable features include the King's Chapel and a room with eleven lanterns. The ardents believe that the lanterns represent the Silver Kingdoms, with the last one marking the Tranquiline Halls.
The People's Hall is a separate building within the palace complex. It's a large, open-air structure sitting in the shadow of the palace. In contrast to other parts of the complex, it is open to the public, as it is from there that the reigning monarch can address the common people of the city. It also holds a dais with the Common Throne, where the king or queen sits while making pronouncements. It is there that Pai chooses to write her denouncement of Aesudan Kholin.
The Beggars' Porch is a small patio in the back of the palace gardens, so named because the city's homeless often come there, hoping for some charity from the royal family. During the time between Evi and Gavilar's deaths, Dalinar Kholin would visit it often to get alcohol from the beggars, as his family would hide it from him. It was also there that the Herald Jezrien could be found, under the nickname Ahu. Whether the Porch still remains in this capacity after Gavilar's death is unclear.
Palace Guard and Queen's Guard
The Kholinar Palace has two forces tasked with protecting it: the Palace Guard and the Queen's Guard. The Palace Guard is responsible for protecting both the palace and the city of Kholinar, while the Queen's Guard is responsible for protecting the queen and the royal heir, who in the current times are Aesudan and Gavinor Kholin.
Due to the actions of Queen Aesudan, the Queen's Guard has been corrupted either during the siege of Kholinar or shortly before that by the forces of Odium. Aesudan refers to them as her "Knights Radiant".
It is unclear when the palace was built, or when it became the seat of the Kholin family. Likely, it was already in their possession by the time of unification of Alethkar, as it became the seat of the Alethi government following King Gavilar's ascension to the Alethi throne.
King Gavilar was murdered in the palace by Szeth during a peace celebration with the Listeners. Following that, his descendant, king Elhokar, moved to the Pinnacle on the Shattered Plains, so as to be closer to the fighting there. Queen Aesudan - and, later, prince Gavinor - remained at the Palace, along with the widowed queen Navani Kholin, as Aesudan was managing the kingdom in her husband's absence.
At some point after Navani left for the Shattered Plains, the palace came under the influence of the Unmade Ashertmarn. This caused the queen to begin acting increasingly erratically, throwing food away to rot, hosting excessively lavish parties and losing interest in ruling Alethkar. The situation came to a peak when ardent Pai was executed for publicly denouncing this new lifestyle, causing wide-spread riots in the city.
After the riots, the queen recalled her guard into the palace, and appears to have fallen fully under the influence of both Ashertmarn and Yelig-Nar. Anyone to enter the palace would never return, either killed by the Queen's Guard or subsumed by Ashertmarn, while the spren of the Oathgate beneath the Monastery Dais were subverted by Sja-Anat. During that period, the Cult of Moments held feasts in the Monastery Dais. A portion of the Palace Guard resisted the lure of the Unmade and were locked in a room. After their release, they claimed that time seemed to pass differently for them, feeling it has only been a few days, not a few weeks, since the riots.
The strike team led by Elhokar Kholin tried and failed to re-take the Palace from the queen. After the king's death and Kholinar's fall, the Fused appear to have made the Palace the centre of their operations in the city, and began to dig it out from under the rubble in search of the Cryptic that was supposed to bond Elhokar. Its further fate is unknown so far.