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Jah Keved

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Jah Keved
Locator JahKeved.png
by User: Otto didact
Ethnicity Veden, Unkalaki, Bav, Siln
Capital Vedenar
Ruled by King Taravangian
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive

Jah Keved is one of the five Vorin Kingdoms on Roshar, situated in the eastern half of the continent. Its capital is Vedenar.[1]

Geography[edit]

Jah Keved on the world map

Located in eastern Roshar, Jah Keved is the second largest state on the planet, claiming over five and a half million square kilometers of land.[2] It shares its eastern border with Alethkar and Herdaz on three rivers, while in the west, it is bordered by Tu Bayla and Triax. North to south, the country stretches across the entire continent, between the Reshi and Tarat Seas.

Though verdant, Jah Keved doesn't possess many major rivers. The country's most notable geographical feature are the Horneater Peaks in the east, which form an important strategic barrier against the Alethi.[3]

Notable Locations[edit]

Regions[edit]

  • Horneater Peaks - Massive mountains on the eastern side of the country, the Peaks are the home of the Unkalaki people. Despite their high altitude, the mountaintops are habitable thanks to a series of hot lakes known as the Horneater Oceans.[4]
  • Bavland - A small mining region, known for being dusty.[5]

Cities[edit]

  • Vedenar - The capital city of Jah Keved. Much of it was destroyed during the civil war of 1173.[6] It is the site of the country's Oathgate.[7]
  • Valath - The location of the Holy Enclave, the center of Vorin faith.[7]
  • Silnasen - The main city of the Siln people.[3]
  • Northgrip - The largest city located on the northern coast.[3]

Other[edit]

History[edit]

Ancient Vedenar

During the Silver Kingdoms era, the territory now occupied by Jah Keved belonged to the kingdom of Valhav. Since that time, the countries of Tu Bayla and Triax have splintered off, though Jah Keved still holds vast majority of Valhav lands, including what was presumably its capital, Vedenar, along with its Oathgate.[10]

For a long time, Jah Keved was the largest country on Roshar. After Gavilar Kholin unified Alethkar into a single state, the Veden fought a number of small border wars against the Alethi, attempting to test their defenses.[11] Though they were eventually pushed back by the forces led by Dalinar Kholin, small conflicts between Alethi and Veden highprinces continued for many years.[12] Nonetheless, the country remained the main oasis of stability in the region.

This changed, however, in the year 1173, when Szeth assassinated the Veden king, Hanavanar, along with a number of highprinces.[13] This plunged the country into a chaotic civil war, with at least seven different factions hoping to claim Vedenar and crown their leader king.[6] The situation was further worsened by the presence of the Unmade Nergaoul, known better as the Thrill, leading Veden soldiers to fight with unprecedented degree of drive and brutality.[7]

The civil war lasted for a few months, with the final confrontation being the battle at Vedenar. Highprince Valam emerged victorious, becoming the new king. However, he quickly passed the crown to king Taravangian before ordering his illegitimate son, Redin, to kill him. Given Valam's poor health and his insinuations shortly before his death, it's possible he was being poisoned by the Diagram to achieve this, as it was them who instigated the civil war by sending Szeth.[6]

Under Taravangian's leadership, Jah Keved was, alongside Kharbranth, the first country to ally with Urithiru.[14] Fearing that it would be overrun by Voidbringers, the king requested - and was granted - aid from other members of the coalition.[15]. However, following the revelations of the Eila Stele, the country broke off from the alliance as part of Diagram's plan to undermine Dalinar.[16]

Though king Taravangian pledged himself to Odium, Jah Keved was not part of his deal.[17] As such, its current position in the Last Desolation remains unclear.

Politics[edit]

Government[edit]

Much like Alethkar or Kharbranth, the population of Jah Keved is divided into darkeyes and lighteyes, with the latter holding power. A number of weaker, lower-dahn noble houses own fealty to a group of Highprinces, who in turn own fealty to a king. Prior to the civil war, known Veden Highprinces were Valam, Abrial, Boriar, Evinor and Jal Mala.

Over the year 1173, most of the country's political structures have either fallen into chaos or outright disintegrated. Opening with the death of the then-king Hanavanar at the hands of the Assassin in White, the ensuing civil war has claimed the lives of all the Veden Highprinces, either through assassination or open warfare. The nominal victor of the war, Valam, passed the Veden crown to king Taravangian of Kharbranth, who has a claim to the throne through his mother.[6]

Following the civil war, Taravangian appointed two new highprinces to replace the ones lost. The two men are brothers, the elder of which is named Nan Urian.[18]

International relations[edit]

As the largest country prior to the unification of Alethkar, Jah Keved has strong influence on the culture of other Vorin states. The centre of Vorin church, the Holy Enclave, is located in the Veden city of Valath.[7] Valath is also the location of one of Roshar's major spanreed hubs, adding to the city's importance.[19]

In the decades prior to the True Desolation, Jah Keved fought a number of small border wars against Alethkar. Though they were initially pushed back out of Alethi territory by forces led by Dalinar Kholin, the skirmishes and battles between Veden and Alethi highprinces continued for over a decade.[11][12] Despite that, the two kingdoms appear to have good diplomatic relations, and a marriage between their lighteyes isn't seen as anything out of the ordinary.[20]

Military[edit]

We talk of Jah Keved's weakness, but that’s relative. They still have a huge standing army, strong fortifications. If the enemy wades into Jah Keved now, while solidifying their own power, it will drain their resources and stall their conquest.

Dalinar Kholin on the Veden military[18]

Though not as militaristic as their eastern neighbors, Jah Keved is thought to possess the most Shards of any country other than Alethkar, including about twenty Shardblades.[21][22]

Prior to the civil war, each Veden highprince maintained their own military.[6] However, it appears that following Taravangian's crowning, the surviving units have all been folded under his command. As the last battle was fought over Vedenar, most of Veden troops are stationed in storm bunkers at the city's outskirts.[7] The civil war was catastrophic for them - many units suffered over 50% casualities - yet even with those loses the Veden military boasts an enormous number of soldiers and powerful fortifications.[7][18] Entering their territory without sufficient preparations is generally considered to be a horrid idea bound to mire the potential assailant in years-long conflict, and a massive drain on resources.[18]

Jah Keved is known for their raiding tactics. The army operates in smaller raider groups, about four thousand strong, backed by a powerful main force. Those raiders are highly mobile, capable of harrying the enemy while avoiding direct confrontation. Their generals are noted to be excellent, even by Alethi standards.[11]

A major focus of the Veden strategy is the defense of the strip of land between Horneater Peaks and Alethkar. Though narrow and underpopulated, it's a verdant, rich land that can be used as a staging area for any invasion of Jah Keved.[18]

Following the fall of central and northern Alethkar to the Voidbringers, large number of Alethi soldiers withdrew to either Jah Keved or Herdaz in hopes of escaping the flying Fused.[23]

Culture[edit]

Veden man wearing the latest fashion

Jah Keved is comprised of at least four distinct ethnic groups - Veden, Siln, Bav and Unkalaki.

Veden[edit]

While your food sits well in my stomach, the amount of bowing and scraping you show ardents made me uncomfortable.

Kabsal on the people of Jah Keved[24]

The Veden people are typically associated with pale skin and violet eyes.[25] Their language belongs to the Vorin family, and is close enough to that of Alethkar to be mutually intelligible for both sides.[26] The Alethi are also close to Vedens in fashion.[27]

The Veden are by and large Vorin, worshipping the Almighty and the Heralds. They appear to be more religious than average Vorins, with higher importance being placed on the trappings of the faith, such as the safehand and the strict division between masculine and feminine arts.[1] In particular, they are noted to be highly respectful and reverent of the ardents, and extremely traditional in the particulars of the doctrine.[24]

In Veden families, the sons have two-part names, with the latter part being their given name, while the former references their order or birth. The first four sons are called Nan, Tet, Asha and Van.[28][29] Should one of the sons die or be disinherited, his younger brothers all move up a level; for example, Tet Balat becomes Nan Balat.[28] The numerals are used mainly in formal context; siblings usually drop them when talking among themselves.[30]

Siln and Bav[edit]

The Siln people live in and around the southern city of Silnasen. They are noted as being less technologically advanced than the rest of the country, with highly ritualized warfare.[31] Their apparent independence from Veden rule may stem from the fact that they were once a sovereign city-state.[32]

The Bav people live in Bavland, a small region in the south-western corner of the country. They are mostly miners, and have their own language and culture largely separate from that of the Veden.[5]

Unkalaki[edit]

The Unkalaki - or Horneaters, as they are called by outsiders - live on top of the mountains known as Horneater Peaks. They are one of several peoples with Singer ancestry, and have some attributes that set them apart from other Rosharan humans, such as their ususually strong teeth (which is where the "Horneater" nickname comes from) and the ability to occassionally hear the Rhythms.[33][34] Red hair are also a typically Unkalaki feature, and are a mark of Horneater ancestry on a person from outside the Peaks.

Though the Horneater Peaks are nominally part of Jah Keved, the Unkalaki have their own language, system of beliefs and government, and don't seem to see themselves as Veden citizens.[21] However, the Veden still claim the right to levy troops from among them in times of war.[18]

Notable citizens[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • At 5.5 million square kilometres of land, Jah Keved is a little over half the size of United States.
  • Szeth hid one of Gavilar's black spheres somewhere in this country.[5]

Notes[edit]

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