Stormlight Archive Wiki
Advertisement
Urithiru

Urithiru: City of Kings
Fan art by lonsheep[1]

Type City
Location Somewhere in the central mountain range of Roshar
Inhabitants Alethi Warcamps
Created Before or during the Heraldic Epochs

Urithiru is a city from the days of the Heraldic Epochs. It is where the ten orders of the Knights Radiant were centered,[1] and it was said to be the center of the ten Silver Kingdoms, holding ten thrones, one for each king.[2]

It was the most majestic, most amazing, most important city in all the world.[2] Reportedly located somewhere to the west of the kingdom of Alethela, in the place nearest to Honor,[3] it was abandoned even before the Lost Radiants turned against mankind, an event known as the Day of Recreance.[2]

Though many wished Urithiru to be built in Alethela, it was obvious that it could not be. And so it was that we asked for it to be placed westward, in the place nearest to Honor.

Jasnah's note: Perhaps the oldest surviving original source mentioning the city, requoted in The Vavibrar, line 1804. What I wouldn't give for a way to translate the Dawnchant.[3]

The scholars, Varala and Sinbian, both claim the city was inaccessible by foot. However, in The Way of Kings, Nohadon claims to have walked from Abamabar to Urithiru, forgoing the usual method of rapid transportation. It was suggested that perhaps a way was constructed, or Nohadon was being metaphorical.[4]

Present Day[]

Shallan's Sketchbook: Urithiru
Drawing by Ben McSweeney[5]

Shallan suggests to Jasnah that the knowledge of Urithiru was just one of the things that the Hierocracy suppressed. To this, Jasnah agrees, but believes that such knowledge had already begun to fade into history even before then, but that the Hierocracy hadn't helped.[6]

According to Dalinar, making this place his fortress is like camping in an unknown land.[7]

Jasnah researched the place hoping to finding books and records there of ancient date. None present there now have found anything like that.[8]

Having calculated the total surface area for farming at Urithiru, and comparing it to the projected number of rooms that could be occupied in the tower, Taravangian has determined that even if food grew there naturally - as it would on an average fecund plain - it couldn't provide enough to sustain the entire tower.[9]

Taravangian has trouble believing that the Knights Radiant, always threatened with war, would build a fortress like the tower to be anything but self-sufficient. Adrotagia tells him he thinks they enhanced the growth by use of Stormlight-infused gemstones providing light to darkened places, which he confirms.[9]

Jasnah had spent years hunting for the city and the information she'd assumed it would hold. Navani spoke of the ancient technology she was sure the place would contain. So far, she'd been disappointed. She'd cooed over the Oathgates, had been impressed by the system of lifts, but that was it. There are no majestic fabrials from the past, no diagrams explaining lost technology. No books or writings at all. Just dust.*[10]

Hence, the necessity for Urithiru's library drawers.

Shallan had felt the wrongness of Urithiru that Mraize had spoken of. She'd felt it the moment she'd tried to draw the place. To her, Urithiru is like the impossible geometries of Pattern's shape. Invisible, yet grating, like a discordant sound.[10]

She determines that everything else about the place is empty and arid. Endless rooms, corridors, and caverns. Floors strewn with only the occasional bit of civilization's detritus. Decayspren huddle like barnacles on ancient doors.[10]

Dalinar had sent expeditions down the tunnel the Unmade had used to flee. The scouts reported a long network of caverns. Following a stream of water, they'd marched for days, and eventually located an exit into the mountain foothills of Tu Fallia. So, there was another way out of Urithiru - and a potential means of supply other than through the Oathgates.[11]

Location[]

Urithiru is located within the mountains south of the Purelake in the center of the continent of Roshar, somewhere near Tu Bayla or Emul.[12] Even if isolated, according to Dalinar, the city's remote location makes it incredibly defensible.[12]

Description[]

Within the structure of the city tower that is Urithiru, there are strange fabrial lifts. Each resembles a balcony and is one of many that line a vast open shaft in the middle of the city - a columnar space as wide as a ballroom, which stretches up from the first floor to the last. The balconies crawl steadily along vertical trenches in the walls. Currently, only a handful of the dozens of the lifts work. Back when Urithiru flourished, they all would have been going at once.[7]

The tiers of the city, despite looking circular from the front, are actually more half-circles, with their flat sides facing east. The edges of the lower levels meld into the mountains to either side, but the very center is open to the east. The rooms up against the flat side have windows there, providing a view toward the Origin.[7]

Each tier is smaller than the one below it, but the roof above is over a hundred yards wide. It is cold up there.[7]

In the central shaft, windows make up one wall. It's a pure, single, unbroken pane of glass hundreds of feet tall. In daylight, they light the shaft with brilliant sunlight.[7]

Several pillars designed with representations of the orders of Radiants stand on the top floor of the tower. A set of steps there take one up through a trapdoor onto the very roof of the tower.[7]

According to Shallan, Urithiru seems to have been crafted straight from the rock of a mountain, like a sculpture. There aren't seams at the corners of rooms, nor are there distinct bricks or blocks in the walls. Much of the stone exposes thin lines of strata; beautiful lines of varied hue that cut through the walls in distinctive patterns.**[8]

The corridors often twist about in strange curves, rarely running straight toward an intersection. (Dalinar suggested that perhaps this was to fool invaders, like a castle fortification.) To Shallan, the sweeping turns and lack of seams make the corridors feel like tunnels.[8]

The enormous tower stretches impossibly high, and she struggles to contain it on the page upon which she draws.[8]

In individual chambers, ledges that surround wide square depressions, perhaps four feet deep, cut into the stone floor. The wall strata therein continues their curving, twisting medley of oranges, reds, and browns - ballooning out across the sides of each chamber in wide bands before coiling back into narrow stripes to continue down hallways.[13]

In the upper reaches of the chamber in which the body of Vedekar Perel was found, there are several stone sculptures - like the heads of horses - extending from the walls with their mouths open. Shallan identifies them as spouts and the room as a bathing chamber.[13]

The grand plateau of Urithiru is ringed by ten large platforms, each raised about ten feet high, with steps up beside a ramp for carts. At the center of each one is a small building containing the device through which people transport from elsewhere to the city.[14]

To the arriving people, the sight of a tower as wide as a city and as tall as a small mountain, there isn't anything else like it in the world.[14]

When Taravangian asks of Dalinar what makes a balcony move, Dalinar tells him that his engineers are still studying the lifts, and that it has to do with conjoined fabrials, with gears to modulate speed.[14]

Further, Dalinar tells him that it involves the use of Stormlight, and that they had to replace the gemstones therein with infused ones to make it work.[14]

There are pillars within what they are calling the Initiation Room, each representing an order of Knights Radiant. There are also strange glass panes on the inner walls that seem like windows, only clouded. So too are there pairs of discs on the floor and ceiling that look something like the top and bottom of a pillar that had been removed - a feature of a number of rooms they'd explored.[14]

Again, to Shallan, the tower of Urithiru is a skeleton, and the strata beneath her fingers are veins that wrap the bones, dividing and spreading across the entire body. But those veins don't carry blood.[10]

As she slides through the corridors on the third level, in the bowels, away from civilization, passing through doorways without doors and rooms without occupants, she thinks that men there had locked themselves in with their light, telling themselves that they d conquered this ancient behemoth. But that all they'd had were outposts in the darkness. The hallways she traverses had never seen the sun. Storms that raged through Roshar had never touched there. She thinks that this was a place of eternal stillness.[10]

Shallan then finds herself on a raised portion at the front of a large room with curving walls and rows of stone benches, realizing that it's a theater and she's walked out onto the stage. There's also a balcony above. Rooms like this in the tower strike her with their humanity.[10]

But, within the tower is also a network of twisted passages. This maze, these enigmatic tunnels, were not what Shallan had expected from the home of the Knights Radiant. She thinks that rather, it should be a fortress, simple but grand - a beacon of light and strength in the dark times. Instead it is a puzzle.[10]

A large meeting room within the tower has a clear view out flat glass windows overlooking mountains. The half-circle room also has a tiled floor inlaid with the image of the Double Eye of the Almighty, complete with Surges and Essences.[15]

When Rysn visits Urithiru to speak with Navani, she had heard it was nearly 200 stories tall.[16]

Dimensions[]

According to Ben McSweeney, every level is about 18 floors, internally. Each level is about 15' tall, for about 270' in height per tier, but these are loose numbers and may not precisely reflect the final dimensions.[17]

It is taller than the Burj Khalifa.[2] And significantly wider; the topmost tier is still wider than the Khalifa at its base. Even with the .7G allowance it's a wonder the whole thing doesn't collapse into itself.[18]

Mechanisms[]

After having been asked by Adrotagia about what she means with regard to mechanisms in the tower, Janala says that they talk about the lifts, the strange fabrial column, the twisting hallways. That they try to understand these things merely from their designs. That maybe instead they should figure out the tower's needs, and then work backward to determine how those things might have been met.[19]

Renarin then chimes in and states that they're not fabrials; they're a fabrial.[19]

Characteristics[]

According to Raboniel, the faintly teal light emanating from the tower is a combination of Stormlight and Lifelight.[20]

Epigraphs[]

Now that we abandon the tower, can I finally admit that I hate this place? Too many rules.

–From drawer 8-1, amethyst[21]

The wilting of plants and the general cooling of the air is disagreeable, yes, but some of the tower's functions remain in place. The increased pressure, for example, persists.

–From drawer 1-1, second zircon[22]

I am worried about the tower's protections failing. If we are not safe from the Unmade here, then where?

–From drawer 3-11, garnet[23]

Today, I leaped from the tower for the last time. I felt the wind dance around me as I fell all the way along the eastern side, past the tower, and to the foothills below. I'm going to miss that.

–From drawer 10-1, sapphire[24]

Notes[]

In Dalinar's first vision, Harkaylain tells Dalinar (as Heb) that should he wish to put his mysterious training to use, he should come to Urithiru. Given Dalinar's skill, he is confident that Dalinar will find a place with the Radiants.[1]

Jasnah believed that Allahn, along with others, mistook the home of the Radiants as their birthplace.[25]

Szeth visited Urithiru, sitting atop the highest tower in the world, hidden in the tops of the mountains, when he contemplated The End of All Things.[26]

He found it to be the perfect place for his contemplation, and if he hadn't been bound to an Oathstone, if he had been another man entirely, he would've stayed there.[26]

According to him, it was the only place in the east where the stones were not cursed, where walking on them was allowed. To him, this place was holy.[26]

Shallan hates how the unfathomable building makes her feel.[13]

*The deterioration of Urithiru has to do with the fact that the Sibling is asleep.[27]

Good night, dear Urithiru. Good night, sweet Sibling. Good night, Radiants.

–From drawer 29-29, ruby[28]

**It's possible that the strata patterns in the stone of Urithiru are a hallmark of Stonewarding.[29]

Speculation[]

If Urithiru is " ... the place nearest to Honor," was the city also near to where Honor was Splintered? Or, is Urithiru atop the highest mountain in the region, thereby making it as close as possible as it could be to the Almighty?

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Way of Kings, 19. Starfalls
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Way of Kings, 45. Shadesmar
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Way of Kings, 35. A Light by Which to See
  4. The Way of Kings, 32. Side Carry
  5. Oathbringer, 33. A Lecture
  6. Words of Radiance, 6. Terrible Destruction
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Oathbringer, 4. Oaths
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Oathbringer, 8. A Powerful Lie
  9. 9.0 9.1 Oathbringer, Inter5.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Oathbringer, 25. The Girl Who Looked Up
  11. Oathbringer, 53. Such A Twisted Cut
  12. 12.0 12.1 Words of Radiance, 87. The Riddens
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Oathbringer, 9. The Threads Of A Screw
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Oathbringer, 24. Men Of Blood And Sorrow
  15. Oathbringer, 96. Pieces Of A Fabrial
  16. Dawnshard, 2.
  17. Dimensions ...
  18. Burj Khalifa
  19. 19.0 19.1 Oathbringer, 44. The Bright Side
  20. Rhythm of War, 61. Oil And Water
  21. Oathbringer, 65. Verdict
  22. Oathbringer, 69. Free Meal, No Strings
  23. Oathbringer, 73. Telling Which Stories
  24. Oathbringer, 74. Swiftspren
  25. The Way of Kings, 49. To Care
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Words of Radiance, Inter10.
  27. Sibling ...
  28. Oathbringer, 87. This Place
  29. The Dusty Wheel Show, 6/17/21
Advertisement