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|The Stormlight Archive
”These Uvara, these People of the Great Abyss, were prone to astonishing cruelty. If one of their members did something wrong—something the slightest bit untoward or unfavorable—the others would slaughter him or her. Each time he asked, Derethil’s caretaker gave him the same answer. ‘Our emperor will not suffer failure.’
The Uvara are only known from the legend of the Wandersail as told to Kaladin by Hoid. A king named Derethil decided to attempt to sail through a highstorm on the open ocean in an attempt to find the origin of the Voidbringers. The ship was blown out to sea and wrecked on a ring of islands that surrounded a huge whirlpool. Derethil and his crew encountered the native people known as the Uvara, who had long, limber bodies and wore clothing and accessories not found elsewhere on Roshar. The Uvara appeared to be peaceable and friendly, and helped the crew regain their health and rebuild their ship. However, Derethil's crew soon witnessed them violently killing each other if they made any kind of mistake, in fear of displeasing their emperor. The emperor lived in a tower on the largest of the islands, and the Uvara believed that he demanded perfection from his subjects.
Disturbed by the violence, Derethil and his crew raided the tower and discovered that the emperor had actually been dead for years. When the Uvara realized that they alone were responsible for all of the death and violence, their entire society was thrown into chaos and rioting. A single member of the Uvara, Nafti, joined Derethil and his crew to escape the riots and became a crewmember on the Wandersail.
The tale of the Wandersail is known in several nations of Roshar, but some regard it only as a myth. Hoid answers cryptically when Kaladin questions the story's authenticity. At the same time, there may be elements of truth to the story.