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Alethkar - Kholinar.jpg
Drawing by Isaac Stewart
Type City
Location Alethkar
Inhabitants Alethi

Kholinar is the capital city of the kingdom of Alethkar. It is located amidst the Kholin lands. It is one of Roshar's great cities.[1]


The great city is built amid formations of rock like fins rising from the stone.[2] Noted for its symmetrical shape, the city's enormous fins are known as windblades and are unmistakable even from afar.[3] They are enormous, curving spines of rock that cut through the city.[4]

Map of Kholinar[5]
Drawing by Isaac Stewart

Beautifully lined with colorful strata on the sides, they curved, curled, rose, and fell unpredictably, like fish leaping from the ocean.[4]

There were those who said that the Almighty had drawn the city in rock, scooping out sections of ground with his finger.[4]

The rock took the shape of rolling hills and steeply sloping valleys, and when the stone was cut into, it exposed thousands of brilliant strata of red, white, yellow, and orange.[4]

According to Shallan, the monastery structures there are much smaller - yet far nicer - than those on the Shattered Plains had been. A cluster of fine stonework structures with slanted, wedge-shaped roofs, the points toward the Origin.[6]

Ornamental shalebark grows around the bases of most buildings, cultivated and carved into swirling patterns.[6]


Kholinar existed during the Heraldic Epochs. It was the capital of Alethkar during King Nohadon's rule. The city suffered several Desolations and has been rebuilt many times since its foundation.

It is also the place where Talenel, Herald of the Almighty, announced that the Desolation had come.[7]

Kholinar was never sacked. It was one of the few eastern cities on Roshar that didn't suffer the fate other cities did in the chaos after the Hierocracy's fall. The palace had burned once, but that fire died out after consuming the eastern wing. It was called Rener's miracle: the arrival of a highstorm to put out a fire three hundred years prior.[4]

It had been a hardy, stubborn lot who had grown the place.[8]

Dalinar had never seen the place before his twelfth year.[1]

He didn't like that Gavilar was buying into the story the rest of the kingdom told, the one that claimed their branch of the house had until recently been ruffians from the backwaters of their own princedom.[1]

In recent history, it became the Alethi capital city of Alethkar, after Gavilar and Dalinar had reunited Alethkar's warring highprinces into a single Alethi Kingdom. Following the assassination of King Gavilar and the war that ensued, his son and eventual king, Elhokar, effectively relocated the center of power from Kholinar to the Shattered Plains.[9]

Present Day[]

According to Dalinar, Kholinar is a grand city, like few in the world. Instead of hiding in the shadow of a cliff or inside a sheltered chasm, he believes that Kholinar trusted in its enormous walls to buffer it from highstorm winds. That it defied the winds, and did not bow to the storms.[8]

Shallan finds the city to be brimming with secrets. She feels that it is stuffed with them, so tightly that they can't help but ooze out.[10]

When Kaladin asks Yokska who rules the city, she tells him that nobody does. Further, that various highlords basically seized sections of the city, arguing that the monarchy had fallen, that the king had abandoned them. She tells him that the real power in the city is the Cult of Moments.[10]

Most of the ardents outside the palace took refuge with one of those highlords, who are increasingly isolated, ruling their districts on their own.[10]

Yokska tells Shallan that if one uses a fabrial of any sort - from spanreed, to warmer, to painrial - one will draw screaming yellow spren that ride the wind like streaks of terrible light. Spren that shout and swirl about, which then usually brings the creatures from the sky, the ones with the loose clothing and long spears (i.e., the Fused), who then seize the fabrial, and sometimes kill the one trying to use it.[10]

Elhokar tells Adolin, Shallan and Kaladin that Voidbringers are trying to isolate the city. That they locked down the palace to prevent anyone from using the Oathgate, then cut off communication via spanreed. He believes they're stalling until they can gather a large enough army.[10]

Based on her drawings, Shallan confirms that there is something wrong with the city's spren.[10]

Kaladin thinks the city has too many secrets.[11]

The city calls to Venli, with its majestic walls and beautiful buildings. It reminds her of Narak.[12]

Shallan tells Adolin that she believes there are two Unmade in the city: Sja-anat and Ashertmarn.[13]

When drums begin sounding, Kaladin indicates that it's the signal that the city's under attack.[14]


Yokska confirmed that each night, some members of the cult set a blazing fire on top of the Oathgate platform, and that they guarded the place all hours of the day.[11]

When Veil approached it, two guards were dressed as flamespren, with golden and red tassels.[6]

Moonlight Way[]

According to Grund, there are refugees in the park on Moonlight Way in need of food.[15]

Veil finds these children to be right where Grund had indicated, so she left a heap of food for them, then walked away as they scrambled up to it in amazement.[15]


Weeks after the fall of Kholinar, to Wit the place still smells like smoke. Though the city's new masters have moved tens of thousands of humans out to work farms, complete resettlement will take months, if not years.[16]