Now on Stormseat
They blame our people
For the loss of that land.
The city that once covered it
Did range the eastern strand.
Stormseat was the capital city of the historic Silver Kingdom of Natanatan on Roshar. During the War of Reckoning, it's called Narak (Pronunciation: [naɹˈɑːk] nar-AHK), or Exile, and serves the home of the listeners.
Stormseat is located in the southeastern Roshar, in the lands that are presently mostly unclaimed by anyone. Ancient maps placed it in the center of the Unclaimed Hills, and modern scholars tend to agree with them, citing the fact that the characteristic domes that can be found on the Shattered Plains are missing in illustrations of Stormseat. In reality, it sits in the very center of the Plains. Its location makes it highly exposed to highstorms at their near-full power, which may be where the city's original name came from.
”Ruins of ruins, one might call them. The works of men and listeners alike did not last long before the might of the highstorms.
Little is known of the appearance of ancient Stormseat. Although the Song of War claims that the city "covered" the Shattered Plains, the surviving images of it paint it as rather small, though it likely had numerous outbuildings and satelite towns. Within the city itself, several landmarks could be distinguished, among them a tall tower in the very centre and the dias housing the city's Oathgate to the south-west of it. It's known that Stormseat had a temple dedicated to the Herald Chana, with a large mosaic on its leeward side. If Stormseat was similar to other major cities from the era, like Kholinar and Thaylen, it's possible every Herald had a temple of their own within its walls.
In the present day, the city is split between numerous plateaus. The largest of them comprises the plaza that houses the ancient tower, as well as its surroundings buildings, and it is there that the listeners live. Of its stuctures, the tower is by far the best-preserved, as centuries of highstorms have toppled most other structures and covered them in crem. While the ancient purpose of some can still be guessed at, often the ancient houses and halls are utterly unrecognizable as man-made constructs. Though numerous structures have been completely filled in with crem and rocks, just as many remain empty within, hiding what remains of Stormseat's once-great past — remnants of its inhabitants, rotten furniture and even rusted door hinges. The air within is humid, and musty with age.
Rather than excavating Stormseat, the listeners constructed their own settlement atop the city's bones. The rocky shelves have been transformed into barracks and homes, while carapaces of greatshells form ramshacke houses. Inside, crem is used to divide them into separate rooms, with additional layer on the outer walls to provide insulation. Mounds of former buildings serve as rockbud farms, while many houses grow shalebark on the outside. Both the homes and the farms are built in the shadows of the older structures, to protect them from highstorms. This does not make them completely protected, however. As the highstorm arrives, the listeners stuff rags under the doors, set up support beams under the walls, and close up their windows, hammering in large blocks of wood to secure them.
Following the Battle of Narak, the city has been taken over by humans, who turn it into a fortress to protect Oathgate to Urithiru and the route between it and the warcamps. The tower has been repurposed into a lookout, and the buildings became barracks. The surrounding plateaus are connected to each other and Narak by old bridges from gemheart runs, though plans are made to replace those with permanent structures. They serve as training grounds for the Windrunner squires and assembly points.
The Natanatan Oathgate is located in Stormseat. The platform survived the shattering of the Plains intact and splintered off completely from the surrounding land in defiance of the normal pattern of the Plains, suggesting that it's made of sturdier material than the rest of the city. Though by now, it's buried in crem, it has retained its former shape near-perfectly. Inside, the control chamber has been perfectly preserved, with the mosaics on the walls and the floor retaining their colour and the lanterns around its circumference still whole. Despite the added mass on top, the Oathgate remains functional.
When listeners live in Narak, the plateau is used as practice ground for their soldiers. Afterwards, it's retored to its former function. One of the Knights Radiant is on standby either there or on matching Urithiru gate most of the time to operate it.
The tower is one of the few structures that can be found both in ancient Stormseat and modern Narak, although its appearance has changed during that time. Over the centuries, it has turned into a spire akin to a stalagmite, with its inside clogged up with dried-up crem. Nonetheless, it remains standing despite being exposed to the elements for centuries.
To return the tower to a semblance of its prior functionality, the listeners carved steps into its outer side and added a railing to prevent people from falling off. The very top of it has been flattened, and became the meeting spot for the Council of Five that rules the listeners.
The Hall of Art
A long pavilion serves as the Hall of Art. It has walls covered with crem and numerous small alcoves one can hide in. To let in as much sunlight as possible, there is no ceiling. It is there that the listeners of various forms attempt to create artwork in hopes of attracting creationspren.
After humans begin to repurpose Narak as a fortress, they find the Hall of Art, and the works it contains. While they find the paintings interesting, it's uncertain whether they do anything about them or attempt to repurpose the room.
The watering square
Outside the Hall of Art sits a watering square. There, a pool has been sculpted out of clay by nimbleforms for the purpose of collecting highstorm water for drinking. The mateforms sometimes bathe there, although that is heavily discouraged. It's likely the square still serves its former purpose now that Stormseat is controlled by humans.
As with other Dawncities, it's uncertain when Stormseat has been built. During the Heraldic Epochs, it served as the capital of Natanatan, and one of the ten cities with an Oathgate that connected it to the Knights Radiant headquarters, Urithiru. The area around it has been densely occupied, with numerous outbuildings and settlements surrounding the city.
At some point, Stormseat was destroyed by the same event that transformed large part of Natanatan into the Shattered Plains. There is some disagreement as to when this happened. Human sources place the destruction of Stormseat at the Aharietiam, the last of the old Desolations. Listeners, however, put it significantly earlier. By the time the Last Legion was sent into the area and became the listeners, the Shattered Plains already existed. Whichever is the case, humans blamed the destruction on the listener gods (either the Fused or the Unmade), though the Song of Wars is confident that this wasn't their doing.
Following the destruction, Stormseat wasn't rebuilt, but rather left to crumble. Over time, the nation of Natanatan fell, until only a single coastal city, New Natanan, claims descendancy from it. It is perhaps for this reason that while Urithiru was abandoned prior to the Recreance and all the other Oathgates were locked from both sides, the one in Stormseat remained accessible.
Era of Solitude
Though listeners have lived on the Shattered Plains since before the Aharietiam, they made their home at the collapsed domes. It was only following the assassination of the Alethi king, Gavilar Kholin, that they moved to Narak, as its remote location made it a better defensive position. Over the next five years, the listeners transformed Narak into a functioning city, building on top of the old structures.
It was during that time that Jasnah Kholin began her research into Urithiru. Eventually, she pinpointed ancient Stormseat as a possible access point into the city, and though she seemingly perished in the attack on her ship, her ward Shallan Davar contined her research. Eventually, Shallan managed to pinpoint the rough location of Stormseat and convinced Dalinar Kholin to organize an expedition to find it, and the Oathgate it held.
At the same time, the listeners at Narak were transforming into stormform, while the children, the elderly and those who refused to change abandoned the city for the dubious safety of the Plains further east. Eventually, the stormforms and the Alethi clashed over Narak and the surrounding plateaus in the Battle of Narak. Though the listeners were defeated, it was not before they managed to summon the Everstorm, and Shallan had to rescue the Alethi armies by reactivating the Oathgate.
The surviving stormform listeners did not return to Narak after the arrival of the Everstorm. Rather, they searched the surrounding chasms for anything of note, and then left for plateaus further away, whereupon most of them gave up their bodies for the Fused.
In the listeners' absence, the Alethi claimed the city for themselves. In the following days, eight of their ten armies travelled through there on their way to Urithiru. Later, they began to turn Narak into a fortress, both to protect the Oathgate and to secure the route between it and the warcamps. Many of the city's structures were repurposed - most houses became barracks, and the tower of the Five was turned a watchpost. Groups of Windrunner squires and possible squires, as well as regular soldiers, would often practice there. However, Dalinar worried whether the city afforded sufficient protection to the long road between the camps and the Oathgate.
- Words of Radiance chapter 26 epigraph Summary: Words of Radiance/Epigraphs/Chapter_26#
- Words of Radiance chapter 60 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_60#
- Brandon saying "Narak" at a reading
— YouTube - 2012-11-03#
- Words of Radiance interlude I-1 Summary: Words of Radiance/Interlude_I-1#
- Stormseat Mosaic
- Words of Radiance chapter 81 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_81#
- Words of Radiance chapter 77 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_77#
- Map of Thaylen City
- Map of Kholinar
- Words of Radiance chapter 83 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_83#
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- Words of Radiance interlude I-5 Summary: Words of Radiance/Interlude_I-5#
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- Words of Radiance chapter 86 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_86#
- Words of Radiance interlude I-13 Summary: Words of Radiance/Interlude_I-13#
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- Words of Radiance chapter 78 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_78#
- Oathbringer interlude I-3 Summary: Oathbringer/Interlude_I-3#
- Oathbringer interlude I-6 Summary: Oathbringer/Interlude_I-6#
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- Oathbringer chapter 50 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_50#