The Coppermind has spoilers for all of Brandon's published works. Information about books that have not yet been released, like the secret novels releasing in 2023 and Stormlight 5, is allowed only on very specific pages. For more details, see our spoiler policy. To view an earlier version of the wiki without spoilers for a book, go to the Time Machine!
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”The Purelake seemed to extend forever, wide as an ocean... Rock outcrops broke the lake near the coast, but inward the Purelake grew placid, more empty.
Geography and Environment
The Purelake is a large, shallow lake that is hundreds of miles wide. It is separated from the Reshi Sea by the nation of Marabethia. The Purelake borders the nations of Tu Bayla to the east, Yulay to the south, and Babatharnam to the west. In Shadesmar, the Purelake is a mountain range. The depth of the lake in the Physical Realm is not related to how it appears in the Cognitive.
The waters of the Purelake are warm and crystal-clear, and the surface typically calm and smooth despite the tides. The lake has an average depth of about midcalf, with its greatest depth being around six feet, not including sinkholes. The lake bottom has small ridges and sharp ledges of rock, which can make walking through the Purelake precarious. Purelakers are skilled at navigating such terrain, knowing to test their footing before putting their weight down.
It is unknown what type of, if any, mineral deposits can be found around the lake.
Villages that can be found on the Purelake include:
Large structures have previously existed on the Purelake, though their continued existence is questioned by scholars. A large obsidian fortress once existed somewhere on the lake, prior to the Recreance, but it is believed to have been destroyed. Modern-day Purelakers still speak of large structures existing on the lake, although this is dismissed by those outside the region as mythology. This fortress is not related to the geography of the Purelake in the Cognitive Realm.
”Like an endless bay, mere feet deep. Warm water. Calm breezes.
The Purelake has a tropical climate that is consistently both warm and humid, with calm breezes. The passing of the highstorm is the only time the temperature drops and the lake's climate turns cold. The Purelake's weather is similar to that of Hallandren, on the planet Nalthis.
The highstorm is weaker in the Purelake than it is further east, and although still a tempest, it is no longer strong enough to throw boulders or blow down exposed buildings. During a storm, the Purelake drains into holes and pits in the ground. Those outside will lodge their raft between ridges and use them as a windbreak to ride out the storm. 
”The Purelake was life itself.
The Purelake is home to an abundance of lifeforms such as fish, cremlings, and riverspren. The area is also known for having small brown flies, similar in appearance to hungerspren. Trees can be found on the shores of the Purelake, along with a type of slug used to create a clothing dye known as Mycalin red.
The fish in the Purelake have magical properties and form symbiotic bonds with spren. This Investiture does not come from Honor, but may come from Cultivation. The magical nature of these fish is similar to that of Aviar from the island Patji, on the planet First of the Sun.
The exact magical manifestations of these animals is unknown. The local inhabitants believe certain creatures to imbue specific supernatural gifts; however, it is yet to be seen whether the Purelakers' superstitions are based in fact or fiction. While it may be the case that these fish grant the abilities specified by the native inhabitants, it is uncertain whether the Purelaker religion correlates directly with the magical properties of these lifeforms.
Types of Lifeforms
At some point prior to the Recreance, one of Sja-anat's spies and a thunderclast attacked a group of soldiers near an obsidian fortress assumed to be on the Purelake. Dalinar visited the battle in a vision provided to him by the Stormfather.
Era of Solitude
In his youth, Dalinar traveled to the west of Roshar and visited the border of the Purelake, but he never had the chance to see the center. Although he has wished to explore the region more when visiting nearby countries, he was never able to find the time.
In the year 1173 three members of the Seventeenth Shard, Galladon, Demoux, and Baon, traveled to the Purelake, believing it to be the current location of Hoid. To try and find him, they enlisted the help of a Purelaker, Ishikk, who traveled to the different Purelake villages over the span of five months. Unbeknownst to Ishikk, the trail he was following had been falsely laid by Hoid to distract and avoid the Seventeenth Shard members who were seeking him. As such, Ishikk was ultimately unsuccessful and unable to find any evidence of Hoid having been in the area.
Later that year, the Purelake experienced the spread of an off-world illness, the common cold, which had been transmitted to the locals by either the Seventeenth Shard members or another worldhopper.
The True Desolation
In 1174, a group of criminals escaped from a jail on the northern edge of the Purelake. The Skybreakers were called in to catch the escapees, who had broken out of the jail and fled. The Skybreaker acolytes were tasked with finding the criminals and bringing them to justice, with the exercise also testing their understanding of the law.
During the Silver Kingdoms, the Purelake was governed by the king of Sela Tales. After the fall of the Epoch Kingdoms, it appears that the Purelake broke away from the surrounding lands and established sovereignty, with local inhabitants forming autonomous villages. Modern-day Purelakers are more likely to define themselves based on their geography than country borders.
People who live outside of the Purelake find the inhabitants to be strange, and do not understand the appeal of living within a lake. The Azish are particularly dismissive of the region, believing that there is nothing of consequence on the lake, and are baffled why anyone would want to visit the area.
The region may now be under the control of Odium's forces, with the surround lands having been captured by Iri and the Fused. Iri may have wished to have control of the Purelake for several generations.
The Purelake is sparsely populated, with inhabitants living in small remote villages. These settlements are most likely connected through trade, as many Purelakers work as fishermen who will travel around in order to sell their stock. Most Purelakers own a raft that they use for sleep and to transport items.
”A good Purelaker never covered his shoulders when the sun was shining. A man could get sick that way, not getting enough sunlight.—Ishikk
Purelakers are known for their long limbs, leathery skin, and dark hair. In general, they have happy-go-lucky attitudes and are rarely fazed by misfortune. They have a relaxed way of life and enjoy taking their time. They see no need to rush and will go about their tasks in a slow, leisurely manner, allowing themselves to think more about their actions and enjoy the day.
Purelakers are also rather unconcerned with the notion of exact time, and do not understand why foreigners care so much about it. As a whole, they are rather unimpressed by foreigners, believing that they are constantly in a hurry and act oddly due to their avoidance of nature. Purelakers do not understand why anyone would not want to live on the Purelake, but, at the same time, do not want outsiders coming to fill up the area.
Purelakers typically wear sandals and knee-length pants so they can maximize their exposure to the lake. Men rarely cover their upper body, preferring to leave their shoulders and torsos bare to the sun. Despite Purelakers' preference for sun exposure, it is possible to purchase wide-brimmed hats in the region. The fashion of the Purelake is known for being rather unchanging.
Purelakers' feet don't get wrinkled.
The Skybreakers have a stronghold on the northern edge of the Purelake in Marabethia that is used to train acolytes. They will often use their surroundings for this training, including by placing items in the lake, to be used by the squires.
The Marabethian government is aware they are in the region and will contact the Skybreakers if they require assistance with enforcement. It is unknown if the Purelakers are aware of the order's presence along their northern shore and how much contact they have with the Skybreakers.
Szeth visits the Purelake at some point before becoming a Skybreaker.
Society and Customs
”That bastion of culture and fashion! Are you going shopping in Bavland next?
Purelakers speak Selay, which is in the same language group as the languages of Iri, the Reshi Islands, and other northwestern parts of Roshar. The Purelake dialect is heavily influenced by the inhabitants' way of life and their religious beliefs, with many sayings relating to the weather, the lake, or their gods.
Purelaker buildings have the appearance of rockbuds, with domed roofs. They are among the few things to break the surface of the Purelake. The buildings of Purelakers are typically built on blocks or stilts. However, they are still set a few inches below surface level, keeping the floor covered in water. The buildings will drain when the tide is low. Although housing exists, some Purelakers see no point in sleeping indoors, instead opting to sleep on rafts.
Purelakers use a trade system that generates favors by providing products. The economy is likely heavily dependent on the fishing trade, with many Purelakers nomadically travelling the area in search of rare fish.
Purelakers, like many Rosharans, are inherently healthier than average due to the nature of Roshar's Investiture. Because of this, they are unaccustomed to illnesses, particularly those that are easily transmissible and able to spread across wide distances through infectious carriers. Their infrequent interaction with infectious illnesses makes them likely to unintentionally overstate the severity of a disease, due to its unfamiliarity.
Due to the region's low population density and pre-industrial society, waste accumulation does not pose any major concerns. Human waste is naturally broken down by the surrounding ecosystem and then removed by the highstorm, while man-made trash either naturally breaks down on its own, if possible, or is removed by passing travelers.
”I swear it by Vun Makak. May he watch over me and curse me as he pleases.
Purelakers are known to be highly religious; their religion is based on two gods, Nu Ralik and his younger brother Vun Makak, and seemingly focused around the bestowment of suffering. Although the Purelakers consider Nu Ralik to be their true god, they must hide their worship of him, lest they anger his brother. According to mythology, Vun Makak is a spiteful god, prone to jealousy over the attention that is paid to his sibling. In order to deceive Vun Makak, the Purelakers only vocalize praises about the younger god and keep the name of their true god hidden. It is unclear whether the Purelakers have been successful in their trickery of Vun Makak.
Holy grottos are the only places where Purelakers can voice their worship for Nu Ralik freely. It is unknown where these holy grottos are located and why the Purelakers believe them to be safe from Vun Makak's observation.
Purelakers hold a number of superstitious beliefs that are associated with the ecology and environment of the Purelake. Many types of fish are considered to have special abilities or provide certain powers. These superstitions influence many aspects of the Purelaker lifestyle; inhabitants tend towards exposing a large amount of skin, as the sun is believed to bring good health, while the magical properties of area's fauna affects the value of trade goods. Purelakers also believe that the tide of the lake can be used to predict the future.
- Oathbringer chapter 92#
- Map of Roshar
- The Way of Kings interlude I-1#
- Teen Author Boot Camp
— Arcanum - 2015-04-11#
- Skyward Seattle signing
— Arcanum - 2018-11-10#
- Map of Shadesmar
- Words of Radiance Dayton signing
— Arcanum - 2014-03-19#
- Oathbringer Houston signing
— Arcanum - 2017-11-18#
- Words of Radiance chapter 4#
- Oathbringer chapter 90#
- Words of Radiance chapter 81#
- Oathbringer chapter 19#
- Oathbringer interlude I-8#
- General Signed Books 2013
— Arcanum - 2013-12-18#
- Skyward Seattle signing
— Arcanum - 2018-11-10#
- Oathbringer release party
— Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
- The Way of Kings chapter 22#
- The Way of Kings chapter 26 epigraph#
- Words of Radiance chapter 89#
- Firefight Phoenix signing
— Arcanum - 2015-01-21#
- Oathbringer chapter 122#
- Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017
— Arcanum - 2017-09-21#
- Words of Radiance interlude I-3#
- Oathbringer chapter 49#
- YouTube Livestream 9
— Arcanum - 2020-05-28#
- Oathbringer chapter 98#
— Arcanum - 2016-11-29#
- Supanova 2017 - Sydney
— Arcanum - 2017-06-16#
- Words of Radiance chapter 3#