|Bonded With||Pattern, Testament (formerly)|
|Aliases||Veil, Radiant, Swiftspren, Kishi|
|Religion||Vorinism (Devotary of Purity)|
|Groups||Knights Radiant (Lightweavers), Unseen Court, Ghostbloods (formerly)|
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”I seek the truth. Wherever it may be, whoever may hold it. That's who I am.
Shallan Davar, also known as Veil or Radiant, is a lighteyed Lightweaver of the Knights Radiant from Jah Keved. Shallan is an emerging scholar whose greatest achievement is the discovery of the legendary city Urithiru. She is also renowned for her extraordinary talent of accurately reproducing even fleeting scenes with photographic accuracy.
Hailing from a mid-level noble house in Jah Keved, Shallan lived a sheltered life on her father's estate until the age of seventeen, when she left to seek an apprenticeship under Princess Jasnah Kholin as a scholar. While acting as an apprentice to Jasnah Kholin, she became the causal betrothed of Jasnah's cousin, Prince Adolin Kholin, who she later married following the Battle of Thaylen Field. She also learns of and shares in Jasnah's quest to stop the mysterious and calamitous Voidbringers.
Shallan has a bond with the Cryptic Pattern, allowing her to manifest Pattern as a Shardblade and giving her access to her powers as a Surgebinder. Eventually, during the Battle of Narak, her bond with Pattern allowed her to become the first Lightweaver to be revealed as a Knight Radiant since the Recreance. She is bonded to a deadeye Cryptic named Testament as well and is able to summon her as a Shardblade in addition to Pattern
Appearance and Personality
Shallan is a slim, pale-skinned young woman in her late teens with auburn-red hair that reaches past the middle of her back, and blue eyes. There are freckles on her cheeks and nose, although they aren't very noticeable. She is five foot six inches tall.
As a child, Shallan was considered shy, quiet, and delicate, although she has always had a quick wit, and often uttered the first retort that came to mind. Her brother, Balat, considered her incapable of handling herself and the family's affairs, having never lived away from the family estates. Indeed, Shallan was initially naive and inexperienced, with little concept of money; for example, while trying to remain inconspicuous, she overpaid for some street food by two hundred fifty times. However, when she left the family estates behind, she quickly opened up and gained confidence.
Despite her timidity, Shallan can also have a temper at times, a trait which she inherited from her father.
”I have this uncanny ability to hide away anything I don't want to think about. It … it’s getting harder, but for most things I can just… There. Gone.—Shallan
Shallan closely resembles someone with dissociative identity disorder, as demonstrated by her struggle to maintain a singular personality. While she initially developed her separate personalities such as Veil and Radiant to fit the various roles she was assigned to, Shallan began to use them as crutches. She repeatedly mentioned that these separate personalities had not experienced the hardships Shallan had dealt with, so she was able to conveniently use her Lightweaving abilities as an escape from her past. While she was able to maneuver through different social situations with these personalities, Shallan soon found that it was becoming increasingly difficult to separate her personas from her original personality. She began to experience blackouts and even failed to differentiate between her three personalities until her allies intervened as seen in the Battle of Thaylen Field. In addition to this, Shallan is sometimes not in full control of her other personalities as they tend to peek out without her knowing. This is especially common with her first persona, Veil. Despite all of this, Shallan and her alters are still a single individual in the Spiritual Realm.
After arriving at the Shattered Plains and encountering the Ghostbloods, Shallan took on the identity of Veil in order to infiltrate the Ghostbloods. She changed her appearance by using her Lightweaving abilities to craft a new appearance for Veil. As Veil, Shallan appears as a slightly older darkeyed woman. Although Veil has the same height and build as Shallan, Veil has long, dark hair and an angular face with a scar across the chin. Veil's personality is daring and bold, being an accomplished con-artist and spy. She's willing to scam other people but still needs people to be around. She often drinks and will sometimes drink Horneater lager which is supposedly the strongest drink in all of Roshar. She rarely shows signs of being drunk. Veil prefers her men to be hard and rugged, showing interest in men like Kaladin while expressing disinterest in Adolin. Following Shallan's marriage with Adolin, however, Veil has become fond of the prince and even became drinking buddies with him.
After arriving in Urithiru, Shallan developed a third personality, Radiant, in order to better assume her role as a Knight Radiant. Due to the similar mannerisms, she is likely based on Jasnah Kholin. Appearance-wise, Radiant looks mostly like Shallan, but with a bigger bust.
Radiant learned how to wield her Shardblade with Adolin, and is a capable Surgebinder like Shallan. She does not care at all about how other people think of her, and easily dismisses people as stupid. Like Veil, she also thinks a relationship with Kaladin would be appropriate, commenting that a relationship between two Radiants would be suitable.
Attributes and Abilities
Because of her Nahel bond with her spren, Pattern, Shallan possesses the ability to Surgebind. She has access to the surges Illumination and Transformation. As with all Surgebinders, she has superhuman endurance, strength, and healing when she holds Stormlight. She has demonstrated her ability to Soulcast multiple times, though the full scope of her abilities remain yet to be seen.  She is in the process of becoming a Knight Radiant.
The Surge of Transformation allows Shallan to use Soulcasting. She discovered that she could soulcast without the need of a fabrial after visiting Shadesmar and changing a goblet into blood. She then learned that the soulcaster she had been determined to steal was a nonfunctional fake, and that Jasnah could also soulcast without one. She used this ability to sink the Wind's Pleasure by turning the ship into water during an assassination attempt on Jasnah by the Ghostbloods. While stranded in Shadesmar with Kaladin, Adolin, Azure, and their spren, Shallan showed the ability to influence the Cognitive Realm as seen when she used the spheres found in the world to create structures such as bridges and walls.
Shallan has the ability to project incorporeal images into existence. At the behest of Jasnah, Shallan focused on this surge rather than Transformation. Due to a lack of practice and experience, however, she could initially only create the images after sketching them first, and she was unable make them move. She later discovered that she could use Pattern to project sounds and move her images when they were in the them. After trial and error, Shallan learned that the range of the images she creates are limited to their proximity to a source of Investiture. As the user moves away from an image it will begin to blur and then dissolve when its connection is broken, increased focus on the part of a user can increase the range but not greatly.
After practicing her abilities, Shallan learned how to make her illusions move without the aid of her spren. She was also shown to use Illumination without drawing her images beforehand as seen when she conjured images from a play she watched as a child and, later, an army to fight the Odium's forces. In addition to this, Shallan learned how to produce sounds without the aid of Pattern as seen when she was able to alter her voice whilst disguised as Veil. During the Battle of Kholinar, Shallan was capable of making more solid illusions. While the reason for this is unknown, Jasnah commented that Shallan's projections appeared to have some substance to them as if it had more stormlight than usual while Shallan briefly wondered if she mixed her Soulcasting abilities with this Surge.  Shallan's Illumination abilites also seem to be able to harm some of the Unmade as seen during her encounter with Unmade, Re-Shephir. During the battle Shallan was able to repel the forces conjured by the spren by simply using the light emitted from her illusions.
When combining her Illumination abilities with Dalinar's own abilities, Shallan was shown to be able to construct a visual map of Roshar entirely out of stormlight even though she had not visited the entire continent.
Like all Knights Radiant, Shallan possesses a resonance. Shallan has the ability to deliberately Memorize a scene after which she can paint or draw it with remarkable accuracy. Shallan's ability to memorize scenes and reproduce them accurately seems similar to the ability of an Archivist to store memories in a coppermind, in that both talents involve the removal of a memory from the mind and its replacement in another medium - in Shallan's case, a sketch rather than a coppermind. She is able to reproduce text as well as images. It is unknown how her ability to do so remained after she killed Testament.
Shallan has begun training in swordsmanship with Adolin as her teacher. Due to her aversion to her Shardblade, she developed her Radiant persona in order to comfortably wield the weapon. While not an expert, she has shown to be quite capable while under the control of Radiant.
Shallan had a passion for learning and also a great talent for drawing. She was never without her sketchbooks and charcoal, so she might draw whatever caught her interest. Shallan frequently drew and made notes on the world around her, in order to promote her Calling of natural history. With the use of her Memory, Shallan can make complete duplicates of images she has retained in her mind and accurately reproduce those images on paper. Even when not utilizing her Memory, Shallan has shown to be still be skilled at drawing. Many have commented on her skill and even sought out a picture of themselves for her to draw. With her drawings, Shallan seems to have the unique ability to inspire the people she draws and motivate them to become better versions of themselves as seen when she changed Gaz from a selfish and cruel sergeant to a hopeful and even loyal soldier.
Her art also seems to be influenced by the presence of the Unmade Re-Shephir. When Re-Shephir was residing in the lower levels of Urithiru, Shallan's drawings became more abstract and surrealistic without her being aware of it—these effects disappeared after Re-Shephir was banished. It is unclear if this was due to Re-Shephir's general presence in the tower city, or whether there is some kind of connection between this Unmade and those with access to the Surge of Illumination.
Early Life (1156–1173)
Shallan was born into the Davar household to Lin and her mother in mid-1156. She was the youngest of five children, with four older brothers: Helaran, Balat, Wikim and Jushu. As the Davar household was a mid-level noble family, the patriarch, Lin, held the fourth dahn while Shallan herself was of the fifth dahn. The Davar family's estates were located in Highprince Valam's territory in Jah Keved, north of Valath.
In some instances, Shallan recalls happy memories from her early childhood--such as a time when her parents loved to tell her stories. On the other hand, the mysterious dealings of her mother and the attention her family drew from the Cryptics suggests a more disquieting family life. By 1167 Shallan's mother had been associating with a certain group of "friends," including a man by the name of Dreder, who would occasionally visit the family's estates. These people were associated with the Skybreakers and at least one of their number, with whom Shallan's mother had an intimate relationship, was a Skybreaker acolyte. At some point, Shallan bonded the Cryptic Testament, and spoke the First Ideal at a young age. Their early interactions with one another took place in the family's gardens, where Shallan would bring her daydreams to life by practicing Lightweaving. It is unclear whether these experiences were a means for Shallan to deal with a troubled childhood or simply the play of an imaginative young girl.
”A familiar lullaby, one he always used to sing to her. In the room behind him, dark corpses stretched out on the floor. A red carpet once white.
At the age of eleven, Shallan's mother discovered that her daughter was a Surgebinder. Her mother and a friend confronted Lin, trying to argue that something must be done about Shallan. The argument became a fight after the unfamiliar man drew a knife, apparently intended for Shallan. She watched as her father and the man struggled, her father scoring a cut on the man's arm before being pinned to the ground. Her mother seized the knife and moved for Shallan, prompting Shallan to summon Testament as a Shardblade in self-defense. After killing both her mother and the associate, Shallan dropped the Blade and fell into a state of intense shock. Lin placed the Shardblade in his strongbox and held Shallan while singing "Sleep My Baby Dear" to soothe her. Though the Blade naturally vanished, Shallan began to associate it with her "Mother's soul," which she believed was held in the strongbox--an idea she clung to so firmly that the safe would visibly glow to Shallan's eyes. In the months that followed, Shallan began to repress her memories of her mother and these events. Her disassociation with the Shardblade and the truth of what had happened caused her bond with Testament, her original cryptic, to fail, causing Testament to become a deadeye. In order to protect his daughter, Lin Davar allowed rumors to spread that he had murdered his wife and her lover--a secret he would share with few before his own death.
Cutting the Thorns
”Shallan longed to stay outside. Here in the gardens, people didn't scream at each other. Here there was peace.—Shallan at age 12
After her mother's death, Shallan did not speak for five months. At this time, Helaran became involved with the Skybreakers, which frequently kept him away from his family's estates. Before leaving, Helaran purchased a sheaf of fine drawing paper and a new set of charcoal pencils for Shallan--along with a leather satchel--hoping to coax some life back into his sister, who had enjoyed drawing at an early age. All of the younger Davar siblings had handled the death of their mother poorly, and Helaran hoped that Shallan would help to lift their spirits in his absence.
Lin confronted his eldest son, who had ordered a carriage prepared without his father's permission to leave. Shallan watched as Helaran drew a mysterious Shardblade of his own and held it to his father's chest, naming the man a murderer. After threatening his father further and dismissing Lin's attempt to explain the truth, Shallan begged Helaran to relent. Amused that her first words after the incident would be to defend their father, Helaran dismissed his blade. He explained again to Shallan that he would have to leave, despite her objections, and promised that he would one day explain the reasons for his activities. After asking her to continue to practice her drawing and threatening to keep an eye on Lin, he left--prompting their father to destroy several pieces of furniture in an uncontrollable rage which lessened only after returning his gaze to Shallan.
For the next year and a half Helaran came only sporadically, always avoiding his father. During a particularly long absence they received word from him only once through a brief letter--containing little aside from veiled threats for Lin--along with a book for Shallan written by Jasnah Kholin. Lin Davar's anger only grew as he would occasionally turn his violence towards the servants. Shallan practiced her artistic skill with the help of a drawing book by Dandos the Oilsworn, often using art as a diversion from the family's struggles. Shallan's other siblings continued to fare poorly, with Balat mistreating animals and starting fires and Jushu given over to drunkenness and gambling. The house was also facing economic shortfalls--a truth Shallan discovered as she began assisting with the family's accounts. In spite of this, Lin Davar frequently insisted on throwing elaborate feasts, whereupon he would flaunt his alleged wealth to impress their lower-dahn guests. Given a new dress for each occasion, Shallan became part of this elaborate display as well.
At one such feast around late 1169, with the Tavinar family in attendance, Lin Davar announced his recent betrothal to Malise Gevelmar. After uncomfortable, prompted applause from his guests and family, a disgruntled Lin distributed gifts to his children--fine daggers for his sons and an aluminum necklace for Shallan. The feast was suddenly interrupted by Redin, bastard son of Highprince Valam, come to investigate the rumors of murder. Lin denied the rumors and requested that further discussion be held in private. While waiting, Shallan told jokes to her brothers, prompting laughs, smiles, and their first genuine interaction with one another in quite some time. After additional encouragement from Shallan, Balat complained that simple optimism will not solve their problems. However he later thanked Shallan for the light she seemed to bring them. Speaking loudly so as to be heard by the children, Redin declared his need for a testimony against Lin Davar in order to convict the man. Balat considered answering this summons before fear led to hesitation. Wikim encouraged Shallan to speak out, noting that their father will not harm her. However, Shallan claimed that she could not remember what had happened, while internally denying that anything had happened at all. After earning no response from the children, Redin reiterated that a witness was welcome to come forward at any time. At the demands of Lin, Redin then departed.
”You can't fix us, Shallan. Jushu will destroy himself. It's only a matter of time. Balat is becoming Father, step by step. Malise spends one night in two weeping. Father will kill her one of these days, like he did Mother.—Wikim to Shallan at the Middlefest Fair
Determined to continue bringing hope to her brothers, Shallan began seeking ways to encourage each of them to take steps away from their vices and towards more positive activities. At the Middlefest Fair of 1170 Shallan put several of these plans into action after seizing an opportunity to leave her father's side when Lin and Malise began discussing the terms of a one-sided trade deal with Brightlord Revilar. Accompanied by a guard, Jix, Shallan sought out Eylita Tavinar and then delivered a message from her to Balat in the festival's gambling pavilion. Shallan revealed to Balat that she had seen the two eyeing one another and so had organized an opportunity for the two to meet and walk together. With Balat on his way to meet Eylita, Shallan returned to find her father concluding a meeting with an unfamiliar messenger who came with news from Helaran. The man gave a start of surprise upon seeing Shallan, and then dumped a powdery substance into his own cup before departing. When Shallan prodded for the news, Lin declared Helaran to be officially disinherited and named Nan Balat his heir. He then asked Shallan to speak with Wikim, who had refused to leave the family's carriage. Shallan took this opportunity to leave again, and found Wikim where he had been left. After discussing the family's battered state with Wikim, Shallan proffered several sheets of math problems related to highstorm timing calculations, which she had taken from her father's books and translated into glyphs. Seeing through her intent, Wikim belittled her efforts, but he could later be seen working the problems attentively and with a smile. Leaving the carriage feeling dejected, Shallan crossed paths with Helaran's messenger. The man, who she later meets again as Elhokar's Wit, shared what little news he had of Helaran: that Shallan's brother was in good health, "doing things he finds very important," and keeping an eye on their father. He then began to ask pointed questions of Shallan, suggesting that he was aware of her family's brokenness and Shallan's Surgebinding abilities. After sharing a story about two blind men contemplating beauty, Hoid asked Shallan to indulge him with her own definition of beauty. With some prompting, Shallan began to describe a idyllic scene of her family--all present, including her mother and eldest brother--in their gardens, interacting with one another in love and joy. As she spoke, Hoid held out a handful of infused spheres, which Shallan subconsciously used to Lightweave the scene described. Realizing what she was doing, Shallan withdrew her abilities. Hoid encouraged her, suggesting that their struggles are partially caused by an Unmade or some other supernatural force. Apparently satisfied with what he had discovered of her abilities, Hoid then bowed, disclosed that Helaran was currently in Alethkar, and left.
”Keep cutting at those thorns, strong one, and make a path for the light. The things you fight aren't completely natural.
The strain between Lin Davar and his household came to a head later that year, when Jushu's gambling debts climbed higher than he could manage. Shallan, now fourteen years old, was joking with Balat and Wikim in the family gardens when the three heard the arrival of a carriage. As they rose to investigate, Wikim gave Shallan a small pouch of blackbane leaves he had been intending to use and thanked her for her enheartening efforts. They arrived at the manor house to discover Jushu bound, his creditors demanding repayment from the boy's father. Refusing to pay his son's debts, Lin relinquished Jushu and hardened himself to Shallan's pleas. After repeatedly petitioning her father to change his mind, Lin Davar came to the decision that he had been too soft for the last several years. Grabbing Shallan firmly by the arm, he sent her to her rooms without further question. Determined to do what she could regardless, Shallan asked Balat and Wikim for their daggers and chased after Jushu. She begged for her brother's life, using both emotional appeals and logical arguments to convince the men to trade Jushu to her in exchange for the fine daggers. Shallan's sense of victory soon vanished, however. Upon returning to her room, Shallan's father arrived, behind him lying the bloody, crumpled body of a serving maid. Resolved not to harm his own daughter, Lin coldly explained that his anger was beyond his control and that future disobedience from Shallan would result in others being punished in her place. The brightlord's assertions that he has plans to make something great of House Davar suggest that these events coincided with the onset of Lin Davar's involvement with the Ghostbloods.
”I've done this for you, and you will obey. I've gone wrong, somewhere, in letting you learn to question me. There will be changes in this house. No more weakness. I've found a way ...—Lin Davar to Shallan
The Perfect Daughter
In the months that followed, Shallan became very quiet and submissive, avoiding her father when possible by confining herself to her room most of the time, her only act of rebellion taking the form of private jokes about her father's visitors when in the company of her siblings. The family's fortunes began to improve, though it did not restore kindness to Lin Davar as Shallan hoped it would. In mid-1172, Lin confronted Balat over his relationship with Eylita Tavinar, with whom a marriage would provide no political advantages. When the argument became heated, Balat crossed the line of naming his father a murderer, and Lin commanded his guards to put down the boy's new axehound pups, an order they swiftly executed. Before leaving, Balat revealed that Helaran had returned. Shallan followed to inquire further about his conversation with their brother, and Balat explained that this would likely be Helaran's final visit for a very long time. Balat proposes that they flee, confessing that he will do anything necessary to be with Eylita. Shallan convinced Balat that he should take Wikim and Jushu as well, though explained that she would not be able to join them. Shallan then returned to the manor and overheard her father give the command to have Helaran assassinated. Before she could react, the voice of Malise spoke up, criticizing Lin for going too far. Shallan fled to her room as the argument escalated and an enraged Lin attacked his wife.
”He'll kill us all. One by one, he'll break us and kill us. There's a darkness inside of him. I've seen it, behind his eyes. A beast ...—Malise to Shallan after being beaten
A couple of hours later, strengthened by encouragement from a book by Jasnah Kholin, Shallan went to Balat and asked him to flee with Malise as well. News of the order to assassinate Helaran urged him to take action, and the two conspirators began to discuss a way for them to leave and seek help before being caught. Upon returning to the house, Shallan entered her father's sitting room to tend to the wounded Malise, her first time in the room since the day of her mother's death. As Shallan began to clean and bind her stepmother's wounds the woman bitterly questioned why Lin hates everyone besides his daughter. Shallan then explained her plans made with Balat, dismissing Malise's concerns, before departing.
Shallan and Balat set their plans into motion during the final weeks of 1172, just prior to Shallan's seventeenth Weeping. Helaran seemed to have disappeared, having been killed by Kaladin just several weeks prior. Balat decided to continue with the plan, however, by seeking refuge in Highprince Valam and Redin's promise made years before. They began to discuss what to do with Malise when Wikim suddenly appeared with news that Eylita had arrived, unscheduled. The siblings sought out Eylita and their father in the feast hall, where Lin Davar revealed that he was aware of Balat's plans to leave and that he had news that Helaran had died on a battlefield in Alethkar. Shallan, while passing by the kitchens on a separate task, then discovered the lifeless body of Malise. Realizing that her father was beyond saving, Shallan prepared a glass of wine and poisoned it with the blackbane leaves she had received from Wikim years before. As Shallan worked, Balat and Lin drew swords. The duel was short and ended with Balat unarmed on one knee. Mocking his son, Lin paused to drink Shallan's proffered wine. Balat took the distraction to grab his sword and thrust at his father, but he narrowly missed. Furious, Lin seized an iron poker from beside the fire and began to beat Balat's leg mercilessly. After several blows, Eylita placed herself in the way. After a brief pause, Lin began to swing at the girl before suddenly slumping to the ground--the poison having done it's work. Shallan commanded Eylita to bind Balat's wound while explaining what she had done with the blackbane leaves. As Jushu pulled a mysterious Soulcaster from his father's pocket, Lin began to stir and they realized that the poison had only worked to temporarily paralyze the man. Before he could recover, Shallan looped her necklace around her father's neck and twisted it tight, whispering "Sleep My Baby Dear" as he suffocated.
Though House Davar was effectively wealthy at the time of Lin's death, the man had extended himself with aggressive business deals, which the Davar children were unable to make good on. Their finances had depended heavily upon the use of a secret Soulcaster to create a stream of steady income by means of marble deposits "discovered" on their lands. During the fight that ended in Lin's death, Balat accidentally damaged the Soulcaster. They took the Soulcaster to a jeweler to have it superficially repaired, but their father's adviser who was trained to use the fabrial, a Ghostbloods member named Luesh, claimed that it still would not work. With their source of income gone and their father unable to reassure creditors, the family's financial state was in peril. The siblings considered their options and determined that the only means by which they could settle their debts was with a working Soulcaster. Unable to repair the device in secret, Shallan devised a plan to become the ward of Jasnah Kholin--ostensibly a heretic with a Soulcaster of her own--and covertly exchange the fabrials. The request to Jasnah was written in desperation, but when the princess replied Shallan and her brothers believed that the plan was worth the risk. Shallan was to meet Jasnah in Dumadari in two weeks time, however Jasnah's constant travels left Shallan chasing the woman for nearly six months. For most of this journey, Shallan traveled with Captain Tozbek, a longtime business partner of the Davar family, who offered a generous discount, aboard the Wind's Pleasure. Shallan finally caught up with Jasnah Kholin in the city of Kharbranth.
Petitioning Jasnah Kholin
Upon arriving in Kharbranth in Shash 1173, Shallan now seventeen years old, Captain Tozbek checked with the dock registrar to confirm that Jasnah Kholin was still in the city. He explained to Shallan that, as a princess, Jasnah would certainly be staying in the Conclave at the top of the city. Tozbek assigned one of his men, Yalb, to escort Shallan, and promised to deliver her belongings if she proved successful with Jasnah. Yalb hired a rickshaw porter for Shallan and served as a translator as they took the direct route from the docks to the Conclave. Shallan took in the exotic sights of the unfamiliar city as Yalb translated the porter's commentary. Upon reaching their destination the porter attempted to overcharge Shallan, but Yalb explained the truth. Shallan paid Yalb handsomely for his help and asked him to to remain outside the Conclave in the event she needed him further. Once inside, Shallan sought the assistance of a master-servant, who located Jasnah Kholin and led Shallan to the woman. Shallan joined Jasnah as she accompanied King Taravangian to the site of a recent cave-in which had trapped his granddaughter. Though Jasnah was impressed by her tenacity, Shallan soon realized that Jasnah's request to meet was merely an opportunity for her to petition the woman rather than a tentative acceptance. Jasnah began to evaluate Shallan's educational background and, with a few exceptions, found it to be sorely lacking in several subjects. Upon reaching the cave-in, their conversation was put on hold. Jasnah Kholin used her Soulcaster to transform the fallen boulder into smoke, freeing those trapped on the other side and gaining Taravangian's leave to make use of the Palanaeum. Wasting no time, Jasnah denied Shallan's request for wardship and made her way to the city's famed library.
Determined not to return home without trying every avenue, Shallan decided to make a second attempt to convince Jasnah to take her on. She followed after Jasnah to the Palanaeum and, finding the 1000 sapphire broam cost of entry well beyond her means, sought out Jasnah's alcove in the Veil. After reaching the alcove, Shallan took a moment to draw sketches of Kharbranth and Yalb to clear her mind. After a third sketch, of Jasnah Soulcasting the boulder, Shallan drafted a letter that she hoped would change Jasnah's mind. Before she could place the letter and leave, she was interrupted by a young ardent, Kabsal. After admiring Shallan's artwork, Kabsal explained that he had been attempting for some time to meet with Jasnah and convert her back to Vorinism. Kabsal left shortly before Jasnah's arrival. Shallan was swiftly dismissed, after being berated by Jasnah for wasting her time, but as Shallan composed herself outside the alcove, a servant invited her back in to collect the spheres she had left. Jasnah Kholin apologized for her anger and sour mood and, at Shallan's prompting, read the letter which had been overlooked. Impressed by Shallan's arguments and the revelation that she was self-trained, Jasnah gave Shallan the unique opportunity to request wardship a second time, after improving her deficiencies in history and philosophy. Thanking Jasnah, but realizing her house would be destitute by the time she could repetition, Shallan departed.
”You can tell much about a person by what they carry with them. If that notebook is any indication, you pursue scholarship in your free time for its own sake. That is encouraging.—Jasnah deciding to make Shallan her ward
Upon leaving the Conclave, Shallan was surprised to discover Yalb still waiting outside, gambling with a group of city guards. Yalb attempted to cheer Shallan up as they made their way towards the docks, after she had explained her failure with Jasnah, and he eventually convinced her to make one final attempt to win Jasnah's acceptance. Yalb sought out a bookstore and Shallan went inside, searching for books by some of the authors Jasnah had listed. The Thaylen book merchant, Artmyrn, and his wife were somewhat taken aback by the young lighteyed girl's requests and attempted to sell her a romance novel instead. After a series of biting remarks from Shallan, they eventually provided her with some of the works she had requested. Finding the cost much higher than expected, but unskilled in haggling, Shallan began to pay when Yalb suddenly burst into the room pretending to work as the servant of one of Artmyrn's competitors. With Yalb's help Shallan was able to reduce the price significantly before making her purchase and returning to the Conclave. Shallan gave Yalb the sketch she had made of him in thanks and returned to the Palanaeum where she rented the alcove adjacent to Jasnah's. She settled herself with her new books, planning to study as much as possible before Jasnah's departure from Kharbranth. Jasnah, who had bribed the servants to report if Shallan returned, appeared a moment later, surprising Shallan. She guessed at Shallan's new plan and, knowing something of House Davar's precarious situation, explained she understood the source of Shallan's urgency. Jasnah then requested to see her satchel, sifting through the contents before beginning to study Shallan's sketchbook. Impressed by Shallan's natural curiosity and inclination to scholarship, as expressed in her drawings, Jasnah finally decided to grant Shallan's request for wardship. She wrote home the next morning via spanreed, letting her brothers know that she had succeeded in the first step of their plan to steal Jasnah's Soulcaster.
A Scholar's Mantle
Shallan was provided a simple room within Jasnah's quarters in the Kharbranthian Conclave. She was given admittance to the Palanaeum and trained to use the library's ubiquitous filing system. Shallan greatly enjoyed her new position as Jasnah's ward, dividing her work between her own education, assistance with Jasnah's research, and occasionally some cherished time for her personal interests. Though her education sometimes proved to be a tedious endeavour, Shallan found the new lifestyle to be a refreshing experience. While she expected her her wardship to be one of dull memorization and busywork, instead she found interest in her studies and encouragement from Jasnah. The newfound freedom was a treasure and her self-confidence grew tremendously.
After her father had placed tight restrictions on what and whom Shallan was allowed to sketch, she now relished the opportunity to draw anyone who would permit it. Shallan's talent quickly became the talk of the Conclave, and as word spread, even King Taravangian himself came to request a portrait from the young artist. While sketching the king, she accidentally added the forms of two Cryptics standing behind the man. Not understanding the significance of what she had drawn, Shallan claimed she had made a mistake and started the sketch anew. This surprised Jasnah, who had never known Shallan to make such mistakes in their time together. Though Jasnah herself did not show much interest in Shallan's artistic ability, she did see some value in it. On one occasion, she had Shallan copy the purported image of a "Voidbringer" while corresponding with Dalinar.
Kabsal continued to visit periodically under the pretense of converting Jasnah, though his romantic interest in Shallan became apparent as he often arrived while Jasnah was away. Their friendship grew as the two would converse over bread and different varieties of jam--including Shallan's favorite, simberry jam. Shallan found herself in an awkward position, torn between Kabsal's concern for her soul, as the ward of the infamous atheist, and Jasnah's frank suspicion that Kabsal was using Shallan to steal her Soulcaster. Jasnah did not forbid their friendship, however, and Shallan found great satisfaction in the young man's attention.
Shallan's true mission constantly loomed before her, however. As she worked to earn Jasnah's trust, action would soon be demanded, and though Jasnah certainly proved to be a difficult woman to please, she was far from the harsh apostate from whom Shallan had imagined she would be stealing. After two months as Jasnah's ward, Shallan received word via spanreed from her brothers, who faced increasing pressure from their creditors. Nan Balat further confided that Luesh had been found dead and that his associates were demanding the return of the Soulcaster behind veiled threats. On top of the added urgency, this would require Shallan to learn how to use the device in addition to stealing it. Though she took great efforts to study Jasnah's technique with the Soulcaster, the woman used it sparingly where Shallan could see. As Shallan took greater care to observe Jasnah, she also took secret interest in the woman's private research. While the princess sometimes gave Shallan work to do which was related, such as a scholarly investigation into the death of King Gavilar, she never revealed the nature of her studies. Shallan was, however, able to catch glimpses of the books that Jasnah was reading. Eventually, Shallan went searching for a copy of one such book only to find that it was merely a collection of folktales and children's stories.
”There will be times when you must make decisions that churn your stomach, Shallan Davar. I'll have you ready to make those decisions.—Jasnah Kholin
An opportunity to steal the Soulcaster finally arrived soon after Jasnah began using Shallan as her bathing attendant. One evening, as the women conversed over the nature of Gavilar's early interactions with the Parshendi while Jasnah soaked in her bath with eyes closed, Shallan moved to swap their Soulcasters. Heart beating wildly, Shallan froze up and found herself unable to make the exchange. As she glumly attended to Jasnah while contemplating her weakness, the two began discussing the philosophy of morality. Having decided that Shallan's studies had been too academic of late, Jasnah became suddenly inspired to teach Shallan a hands-on philosophy lesson. She dressed and, despite the late hour, they made their way out of the Palanaeum and into the city itself. They walked the Ralinsa towards the theater district until coming to a dark side street which provided the most direct path. Jasnah explained that several murders had happened along this street in the previous two months and that the city watch had done nothing. After defending their right to use the road safely, Jasnah led them down the side street and revealed the gems of her Soulcaster. Four men with knives soon attacked, but as Shallan screamed in panic Jasnah swiftly Soulcasted one man into fire, another into quartz, and the final two into smoke as they ran. They returned to the Conclave on a palanquin. Shallan, shocked and horrified by what Jasnah had done, argued with her tutor over the ethics of the encounter. Jasnah defended her actions then tasked Shallan with researching the various philosophies involved and building her own case on the matter. As Shallan helped Jasnah undress and prepare for bed, she suddenly spotted another opportunity to swap the Soulcasters. Galvanized by her disgust at what Jasnah had done with the device, Shallan checked that Jasnah wasn't looking and performed the theft unnoticed.
Heart of a Thief
A few days later, Shallan still found herself disturbed and confused by what she had witnessed. The experience drew out memories of the recent murder of her own father and forced her to confront her recent theft on behalf of her family, which only challenged her further. Shallan also had a difficult time waiting to see whether Jasnah would suspect her in the theft. Nan Balat contacted Shallan once again, with more concerns for the house's finances and the men asking about the Soulcaster. Though he urged her to return soon, Shallan explained that she could not leave until she had an opportunity to deflect Jasnah's suspicions. Though several days had passed, Jasnah showed no signs that something was wrong, which left Shallan unsure whether Jasnah was even aware of the theft. This left her trapped in Kharbranth, but it also gave Shallan more opportunities to study the device's method of operation. She turned to the sketches of her memories of Jasnah's "philosophy lesson," but found no revelations as to how the Soulcaster was made to work and was unable to make it transform anything when practicing in private.
Eventually Shallan completed her philosophy studies, deciding that Jasnah's actions were "both legal and right," but also immoral and unethical. After determining that Shallan had studied the subject to her satisfaction, Jasnah gave her the day off. Shallan returned to her quarters to test the Soulcaster further, having found a new reference the day. The tip, however, proved useless, and Shallan's mind began to wander until she took to drawing. As she sketched the strata of the rocks on her ceiling she heard a voice suddenly whisper, "What are you?" Startled, Shallan investigated the source of the voice and found a maid in the sitting room. After realize the maid had entered Jasnah's room (despite requests that no maid enter), Shallan sent the woman to apologize to Jasnah and took the opportunity to look through Jasnah's notes herself. Though she hoped to find some reference concerning use of the Soulcaster, Shallan instead found several notebooks of Jasnah's research into the Voidbringers and the Knights Radiant. As she wondered why Jasnah would be so interested in such myths, a knock at the door forced her to abandon the espionage abruptly.
The new visitor was Kabsal, bearing jam and bread, which they took to the Conclave gardens to enjoy. Over the course of their conversation, Kabsal began hinting more outwardly of his growing affection toward Shallan, even suggesting that he would leave the ardentia to be with her. Uncomfortable with the situation, Shallan deflected the conversation towards Jasnah and her skepticism of the ardent, which then gave her the opportunity to ask Kabsal about the nature of Soulcasters. Kabsal unfortunately proved to have no personal experience or useful knowledge regarding the device. After Kabsal departed, Shallan's thoughts shifted towards the realization that she would need to leave Kharbranth soon. Saddened by the idea of her time as Jasnah's ward reaching its end, she decided to return to the Veil and spend the remainder of her free day studying. On her way, she received a letter from Captain Tozbek to inform her that they would arrive in the city in one week's time, placing a final deadline on her departure.
Shallan used her final days living the life of a young scholar. On the day prior to her departure, Shallan made an observation about the nature of King Gavilar's strange interest in the Parshendi which sparked a conversation about how Shallan's studies on the king related to Jasnah's own research. Though Jasnah avoided explaining herself fully, the prospect of her own discoveries supporting Jasnah's work excited Shallan. Realizing that her time was practically up, however, Shallan asked some blunt and probing questions about Urithiru, Voidbringers and the Parshendi. When Jasnah eventually refused to answer further questions for the time being, Shallan found herself desperate to learn whatever she could in the time remaining. Under the excuse of searching for a book about Gavilar, she entered the Palanaeum to research anything she could find about the Voidbringers. She found little of substance after searching for two hours, however, and was discovered by Kabsal just as she began to return. She asked him questions while obtaining the book she had originally come for, though Kabsal knew little either.
As they began to return to Jasnah's alcove, Shallan confessed to the ardent that she would be leaving the following day--giving the excuse of urgent family matters. Kabsal offered to come with her, but Shallan refused him a final time. Wounded, Kabsal asked for a sketch of himself before she departed, and Shallan suddenly realized that she had never drawn one of him during her time in Kharbranth. They hurried back to the Veil, and Shallan set to drawing the young man through tears. Kabsal then insisted that she draw a second image of them together in exchange for payment. Shallan used a mirror to capture a Memory of the pair of them and began to sketch while filled with feelings of guilt and anxiety. As she wrestled with these emotions, Shallan once again accidentally sketched the form of a Cryptic, standing behind Kabsal. Crushed by the weight of her circumstances and concerned for her mental state, Shallan declared that she had made a mistake and dashed from the balcony seeking privacy. As she took the lift down to the main level Shallan took another Memory of the landing above. Upon quickly sketching the scene, two of the symbol-headed figures stood above, watching her. Shallan fled to her quarters as quickly as possible, pausing for one more moment along the way to draw another sketch, this time with five of the creatures following her. She hid in her room, huddled on the bed with doors locked, as she began yet another sketch of her surroundings which revealed a group of the Cryptics surrounding her, one of them reaching out as if to touch her. Despite her promises to herself not to use the blade ever since her mother's death, Shallan began to summon her secret Shardblade out of pure terror. She was interrupted then by a voice, asking, "What are you?" With her response, "I'm terrified," the room around her crashed into beads and Shallan found herself in Shadesmar for the first time. Though only there for a moment, she accidentally managed to Soulcast the crystal goblet beside her bed into blood. Assuming that the transformation was related to the device she carried in her safepouch, Shallan was shocked out of fear momentarily and began to ponder what she had done. Jasnah, however, had followed quickly and began knocking on Shallan's door. Out of concern that Jasnah would discover the blood and realize Shallan had the Soulcaster, she took a shard of glass that was broken in the accident and cut a gash in her own wrist. As Jasnah entered the room, Shallan slipped into unconsciousness.
Questions and Answers
Shallan spent two days in the hospital under the constant eye of the nurses, who suspected that the incident had been a suicide attempt. Shallan had time while she rested to consider what had happened, but as she pondered she only found more questions. After a brief visit from King Taravangian, Jasnah and Kabsal were finally permitted to see Shallan. Jasnah apologized deeply for the pressure she had placed on Shallan, assuming that she had overworked her ward, and gave Shallan a copy of the Book of Endless Pages as a gift. Kabsal entered a moment later with a gift of strawberry jam, and Shallan insisted that Jasnah stay and share the bread. As they spoke, Shallan's plans to leave were revealed to Jasnah, who assumed it was also related to the pressure she had placed on her student. As they began to eat the bread, Kabsal began to insist emphatically that Shallan try the jam. When she took the jar for herself however, she found that it had a vile odor and was unwilling to try it. Kabsal took some for himself anyways, desperate to get it down, before stumbling away and collapsing. Shallan leapt from her bed after him but found that she was dizzy herself. She fell as Jasnah called for a garnet for her Soulcaster for use in healing Shallan. Believing that Jasnah would be unable to help her with the swapped, broken Soulcaster, Shallan revealed the stolen Soulcaster from her pouch before passing out.
”She'd lost it all. No fabrial to protect her family, no wardship to continue her studies. No Kabsal. She'd never actually had him in the first place.—Shallan after her theft was revealed
She awoke alone in a quiet room and her memories slowly began to settle. A single man guarded the entrance to her new room, and reported to Jasnah when Shallan woke. Jasnah arrived and explained that Kabsal--now dead--had poisoned the bread in order to assassinate Jasnah and that she had saved Shallan's life by Soulcasting the poison from her blood. The theft now revealed, Jasnah questioned Shallan's motives before accepting the truth Shallan provided. Jasnah revealed Kabsal's conspiracy and death, chided Shallan for her actions, and explained that she had arranged passage for Shallan to return home the following day before leaving without further response.
Left alone, Shallan slowly processed through her thoughts and heavy emotions concerning the theft, Kabsal, and her time in Kharbranth. As she considered the poisoned bread and examined sketches of her memories, several holes in Jasnah's explanation began to surface. Why had the antidote failed? Why had Jasnah not been poisoned? Paired with her own experience Soulcasting without the apparent aid of the Soulcaster, the answer eventually became clear to Shallan: Jasnah could Soulcast without the use of a fabrial. She left the hospital, during the night and still wearing her gown, and made her way to Jasnah's alcove in the Veil. The princess threatened to call the guards but hesitated as Shallan began to explain what she had uncovered. Though at first Jasnah began to explain Shallan's arguments away, a sketch of Shallan's look into Shadesmar gave the woman pause. As final proof, Shallan reached out to Pattern (whose existence was still a vague memory) and spoke a deep truth--that of her murder of her father--which enabled her to visit Shadesmar once more. Shallan crashed into the sea of dark glass beads and began to slip beneath the surface before Jasnah suddenly appeared as well and pulled Shallan back from the other realm.
”I want to know, Jasnah. I want to be your ward in truth. Whatever the source of this thing you can do, I can do it too. I want you to train me and let me be part of your work.—Shallan petitioning Jasnah to reaccept her
Though Shallan's betrayal had cut deep, Jasnah found herself unable to pass up the opportunity to teach and train a new, young Surgebinder. Under heavy conditions and promises, Jasnah reaccepted Shallan as her ward and began to share the truth of her Soulcasting abilities, the deeper secrets of her research into the Voidbringers. After studying Jasnah's notes, Shallan agreed with her conclusions that the parshmen were, in fact, mankind's ancient enemies. She also learned of the urgency of Jasnah's research upon being told of the Ghostbloods--an organization that Shallan now realized her father had been dealing with. Though concerns for her family's situation weighed upon her, Shallan determined that assisting Jasnah was of greater importance. With the Palanaeum resources exhausted and assassins at Jasnah's heels, the pair began making plans to travel to the Shattered Plains.
Journey to the Shattered Plains (1173)
The Wind's Pleasure
”Power is an illusion of perception... On an individual basis, in most interactions, this thing we call power—authority—exists only as it is perceived... I can create that illusion for them, as can you.—Jasnah to Shallan, aboard the Wind's Pleasure
Jasnah and Shallan took passage towards the Shattered Plains aboard the Wind's Pleasure. Several days into the journey, as they sailed through Longbrow's Straits, Shallan was sketching from her memory of Shadesmar while on the ship's deck when she noticed a new Cryptic, Pattern. As she considered the strange sight, the crew began calling attention to a santhid which was spotted following the ship. Desiring to sketch the nearly mythological creature, Shallan attempted to have Captain Tozbek stop the ship, but the man refused her requests leaving Shallan deflated. Jasnah emerged from her cabin shortly afterwards and, seeing that Shallan was distracted by her visit to the strange realm of Shadesmar, explained the basic nature of the Cognitive Realm and spren to satiate Shallan's curiosity. When Shallan expressed concern for her brothers' situation, Jasnah explained that she had taken some actions to alleviate their problems. She had corresponded earlier in the day with her mother, Navani Kholin, making plans both to repair the broken Soulcaster and to establish a causal betrothal between Shallan and Adolin Kholin. This would solve the Davars' financial problems and satiate the Ghostbloods while also tying Shallan closer to Jasnah. Humbled by Jasnah's opinion of her potential, their conversation turned towards Shallan's self-doubt, to which Jasnah explained that power and influence is often nothing more than an illusion. Encouraged and emboldened by Jasnah, Shallan commanded Tozbek to stop the ship and lower her into the sea, where she was able to capture a Memory of the santhid for later sketching.
Pattern appeared again a few days later as Shallan was studying in her cabin. By taking a Memory and sketching the spren she was seemingly able to help cement his presence in the Physical Realm. Jasnah appeared at her door a moment later and the women discussed the nature of their nahel bonds and the spren associated with the Knights Radiant, including the Cryptics. Jasnah then charged Shallan with devoting her full time to the study of Pattern over the next several days. Pattern's intelligence and understanding seemed to be increasing notably as Shallan observed and conversed with him, though the crew took his presence as a bad omen. In one instance, as Pattern recalled his earliest memory, Shallan began to instinctively Lightweave--but it lasted only briefly once she realized the memories that it was unearthing. One evening, after a long but satisfying day of study, Shallan visited Jasnah's cabin to borrow infused spheres for light. She found Jasnah in an exhausted, troubled state which left a strong impression on Shallan--both of Jasnah's humanity and of the importance and urgency of their task. Upon hearing Shallan's desire to help bear the weight of their task, Jasnah explained more of what she understood about the Voidbringers and the Desolations. She also gave Shallan the requested spheres and explained the importance of Stormlight, along with what little she knew of Shallan's ability to Lightweave. She also gave Shallan a copy of Words of Radiance to study the Knights Radiant further. Shallan then retired to her room but slept only for a while before she was awoken by shouts and smoke. Shallan quickly surmised that the ship was under attack. Upon peeking out of her cabin she saw several men throw Jasnah's body to the floor and stab her through the chest. The men spotted Shallan who retreated into her room, leaving her trapped. As the men began to break through her door, Shallan was able to conjure a basic Lightweaving of a form dashing from the room and out onto the deck. The men chased, giving Shallan time to move to Jasnah's room. With the crew captured and no other means of escape Shallan entered Shadesmar and managed to Soulcast the entire ship into water. Shallan lost consciousness as she sank into the dark, icy ocean.
Presumably having been rescued by the santhid, Shallan awoke to find herself on a rock near the shore of the Frostlands. The fate of the crew uncertain, Shallan made her way to the beach and traced a glyphward prayer before searching for other survivors. As she began to wonder how she would survive the night, Pattern spotted a chest which turned out to be Jasnah's--containing all of the woman's notes and research as well as a wealth of infused spheres. With night drawing near and Stormlight at her disposal Shallan, attempted to Soulcast a stick into fire, but amidst her own exhaustion and inexperience she was unable to overcome the stick's stubborn will. Refusing to give up, Shallan began walking further along the beach long after the sun had set. She eventually noticed a campfire in the darkness. Too cold and tired to think clearly, Shallan approached the fire, laid down, and fell asleep. She was roused in the morning to learn that she had wandered into the camp of the slave merchant Tvlakv. Though the party was eager to move on without her, Shallan exerted her rank and made promises of payment in order to convince Tvlakv to escort her to the Shattered Plains. They retrieved Jasnah's chest then set off, Shallan riding a wagon along with one of Tvlakv's mercenaries, Bluth. Shallan sought to distract herself as the weight of her loss--everything from Jasnah to her sketchpad--slowly settled, though Bluth proved to be a poor conversation partner. After Tvlakv called a halt at midday, Shallan acquired the key for the cage on Bluth's wagon so that she might use the vehicle as a carriage. With a place to be in private, Shallan examined the contents of Jasnah's trunk and discussed with Pattern the reason for his coming and the need to continue Jasnah's research.
”You live lies. It gives you strength. But the truth . . . Without speaking truths you will not be able to grow, Shallan. I know this somehow.
Several days later, as the group was settling into camp for the evening, Shallan used Pattern to spy on Tvlakv and his other mercenary, Tag. Unsettled by their plans to hold her hostage in exchange for payment, Shallan approached Tvlakv to reiterate her promised payment and hint that she was aware of his schemes. Punctuating their exchange with an subtle Lightweaving, Shallan turned and headed back towards her carriage as Bluth returned from scouting the area with a call to put out the fire. He reported bandits in the vicinity, prompting the group to pack up their things and travel further through the night. As they continued riding the following day, Shallan began a new sketchbook with drawings of the santhid, local plant life, and Bluth in order to ease her nervousness. The bandits were spotted following, but eventually they found smoke in the distance ahead of them. Shallan pushed Tvlakv into approaching this new caravan, again making use of her Lightweaving abilities, and they set off once more. Shallan soon moved from her seat beside Bluth to the interior of her makeshift carriage for some privacy. She examined her feet, which she had treated with knobweed sap earlier in the day, to discover they were far more healed than they should be. In speaking with Pattern about her Lightweaving, which she had begun to realize she was unconsciously doing, Shallan learned how to breathe in Stormlight and determined that it was causing her feet to heal. They spoke further about the nature of Shallan's oaths and Pattern's belief that she would eventually kill him.
Shallan emerged from the carriage just as they moved near enough to determine that the caravan ahead was under attack. As they approached while the sun set, they encountered Tyn--the head of the new caravan's guard--who explained that the bandits who attacked them were still nearby. As this group began to attack again, Shallan turned with Bluth to confront the bandits following behind. Finding these men to be deserters from the Shattered Plains, Shallan appealed to their sense of honor and made promises of forgiven debts and pardons. She succeeded in convincing them, again with a Lightweaving to aid her, and these men charged off to join the battle. They proved victorious, but not without cost. Shallan found Bluth dead, among dozens of his comrades. He was however clutching the sketch Shallan had drawn of him earlier in the day, indicating that Bluth was inspired by Shallan's sketch to uphold a sense of honor that Bluth originally assumed he had abandoned, resulting in a surprising amount of dead bandits surrounding Bluth's body in the aftermath of the battle. It is assumed that the inspiration of honor from Shallan's sketch inspired Bluth to risk everything, including his own life, for the chance of becoming the person he saw as himself in Shallan's sketch. Shallan then spoke with the caravan's owner, Macob, and they agreed to accompany one another to the warcamps at the Shattered Plains. Shallan then seized Tvlakv's slaves, claiming them as payment in exchange for saving his life. She purchased his wagons as well, despite his protests which were stifled by Shallan's tentative ownership of her own new band of mercenaries.
Shallan easily earned the respect of most of her new mercenaries, including Gaz and Red, but struggled with the threatening pessimism of the band's leader, Vathah, who was vocal in his doubt that she would keep her promises to them. On the fourth day of travel after the attack, Shallan was invited to dine with Tyn. They ate in private as Tyn revealed her belief that Shallan was actually another woman assuming the identity of "Shallan Davar" in order to pull off a scam. Though Shallan tried to convince Tyn of the truth at first, she eventually relented and invited Tyn to be part of a pretend scheme to blackmail Dalinar Kholin. Tyn took the younger Shallan under her wing and began teaching several skills, including acting and forgery, that would be useful to the girl she believed was a young, inexperienced con artist. Several days later, while the two women were practicing various accents, their caravan encountered four men on horseback. Tyn ordered Macob to halt, deciding that she and Shallan would confront the men alone in order to give Shallan a chance to practice some of the techniques they had spoken of. Prodded by Tyn, Shallan assumed the role of a Horneater princess as the men, including Kaladin and some members of Bridge Four, approached. As Kaladin began to question them, Shallan began to tease the captain and ultimately demanded his boots in payment for a feigned offense.
Two days later, just shy of the warcamps, Shallan had the caravan pause for a break as they passed a lait. She found a quiet place and took time to think and relax as she sketched, despite brief disturbances by Gaz and Vathah. As she moved from drawing the local plant life, Shallan drew two strange images--one of a woman kneeling over a broken statue and one of the crew of the Wind's Pleasure on a rocky beach. Tyn eventually interrupted and Shallan finally revealed that her supposed scheme was to assume the role of Adolin Kholin's betrothed. As she considered everything she would have to balance when arriving at the Shattered Plains--her actual betrothal along with Tyn's plans, all amidst Jasnah's research--she grew anxious but also excited.
”Difficult things. Yes. I believe I told you. I've learned that lesson already. Thank you.
The following day, the caravan finally reached the outskirts of the Alethi warcamps at the Shattered Plains. However, with a highstorm approaching at night and the sun soon setting, Tyn and Shallan decided to spend one last night in camp. As they waited for confirmation from Macob, Tyn revealed that her king, Hanavanar, along with six Veden highprinces had been murdered recently by the Assassin in White, prompting a succession war. She invited Shallan, secretly concerned for her brothers, to attend her later during a meeting with an informant via spanreed so that they could inquire for more information. Shallan later waited out the highstorm in her carriage--throughout which Pattern acted particularly strange and nervous--before joining Tyn. As they met with the informant, Shallan learned that her own family's own highprince, Valam, was preparing to assault Vedenar itself--if he wasn't secretly dead already due to poor health. Frustratingly, this gave her little insight into her brothers' situation. The informant continued with information on the deserters Shallan had recruited. To Shallan's dismay, Tyn insisted that they should turn the men over in exchange for reward. Her resistance prompted a firm lecture from Tyn, which left Shallan distracted by how to handle the situation. A new message soon came with news regarding the presumed death of Jasnah Kholin. As Shallan began to realize that Tyn was involved with the Ghostbloods, additional information came through about Jasnah's ward--Shallan herself. Tyn quickly realized the truth and attacked Shallan. Pattern was able to distract the woman for a short time by using Jasnah's voice, but when she finally approached Shallan with sword drawn, Shallan swiftly summoned Pattern as a Shardblade and pierced her through the chest. A moment latter Shallan's men poured into the room, having been warned by Pattern, to find Shallan with her Shardblade and Tyn dead on the ground. Shallan swore them to silence and set them about searching through Tyn's things. Only then did Shallan notice that the informant had continued writing with a request from the Ghostbloods for a meeting in the warcamps. Seeing an opportunity to discover how much the Ghostbloods knew, Shallan responded affirmatively.
The Shattered Plains (1173)
”Shallan awoke as a new woman. She wasn't yet completely certain who that woman was, but she knew who that woman was not. She was not the same frightened girl who had suffered the storms of a broken home. She was not the same naive woman who had tried to steal from Jasnah Kholin. She was not the same woman who had been deceived by Kabsal and then Tyn... During the trip with Tvlakv, she'd pretended she could lead and take charge. She no longer felt the need to pretend.—Shallan's thoughts the morning she entered the warcamps at the Shattered Plains
A New Woman
The next morning Shallan prepared herself to enter the warcamps using Tyn's things. Macob and his people departed their camp first, sending a palanquin back for Shallan. Followed by her guards and slaves, Shallan intended to approach Dalinar Kholin, but they soon learned that all of the highprinces were in conference with King Elhokar, as the Assassin in White had attacked the previous evening. They proceeded to Elhokar's palace, where Shallan entered with Vathah and Gaz in attendance. At the entrance to the king's conference room, she was recognized by Kaladin, who took her claim to be Adolin Kholin's betrothed with a great deal of skepticism after her act as a Horneater princess three days prior. Their sourness of their previous meeting led to a bitter exchange of insults and caused a scene before all the many guards of each highprince that were present. Moments later the meeting of highprinces paused for a break, giving Shallan an opportunity to enter and approach Dalinar. She reported on the death of Jasnah to the highprince and Jasnah's mother, and tried to explain the nature of Jasnah's research before Navani began pressing for more details about Jasnah's murder. After Navani excused herself, Shallan garnered pardons for her guards, and then the discussion turned towards the betrothal as Adolin approached and introduced himself. They found one another attractive and though the basis for the union appeared weakened with the loss of Jasnah, Dalinar and Adolin agreed to maintain the causal for the time being.
The meeting resumed, and Shallan observed from the periphery, trying to piece together the current situation among the Alethi--including the news about the Assassin in White's attack and the nature of the strained relationship between Dalinar Kholin and Torol Sadeas. As the discussion concerning Szeth continued, Vamah noticed Shallan standing in the back and Ialai Sadeas began to question her concerning news of the assassin and the war in Jah Keved. Shallan had nothing in the way of news to offer, but her connection to Dalinar was made known and when several in the room appeared to see her as a political tool Shallan used the opportunity to find housing and employment with Turinad Sebarial. Eventually the meeting reached it's conclusion, and Shallan joined Sebarial for the ride back to his warcamp. Though Sebarial was not a particularly welcoming host, he kept his word, and once the pair reached Sebarial's manor, his mistress, Palona, proved far more amiable. She provided Shallan with a comfortable set of rooms and answered all of Shallan's questions before Shallan sank into her bed and fell into heavy sleep.
Upon waking, Shallan found Tyn's spanreed flashing. She responded to Tyn's messenger, successfully imitating the woman, and learned that the Ghostbloods desired to meet within the hour. Unable to delay the meeting, Shallan explained that she--Tyn--was wounded, and that her apprentice would appear for the meeting instead. Shallan practiced her Lightweaving as she waited for the meeting to be coordinated, inventing a false identity to use as Tyn's supposed apprentice--a false identity she would soon come to name "Veil." With everything organized and her identity covered by an illusion, Shallan snuck out of her room and into the night. Shallan eventually located the building she had been directed to in Sebarial's camp. The guard at the entrance allowed her to enter and then led her down into a basement and through a trapdoor. In the stately room below, Shallan met Mraize and an audience of silent onlookers, including masked Iyatil. Though disappointed not to see Tyn herself, Mraize decided to spare "Veil's" life, intrigued by her boldness. He asked Shallan, whom he calls "little knife," to have Tyn infiltrate Brightlord Amaram's palace in search of "hidden secrets." Shallan then left the hideout and returned home, using a Lightweaving along the way to elude a pursuing Iyatil.
”That was, she thought, the most ridiculous thing I've ever done. And yet she found herself excited, flushed with the thrill of it. Storms! She'd enjoyed that. The tension, the sweat, the talking her way out of being killed, even the chase at the end. What was wrong with her? ... I'm not that girl anymore, Shallan thought, smiling and staring at the ceiling. I haven't been for weeks now.—After Shallan's first meeting with the Ghostbloods
Six days after the meeting with the Ghostbloods, Shallan used her increasing skill with Lightweaving to sneak into Amaram's manor. Disguised first as a messenger boy and then as one of the maids, Telesh, she sought out the room which she suspected held Amaram's secrets. Inside, she found detailed maps of the Shattered Plains covered with stormwarden script. Additional notes revealed that Amaram was studying the same things that interested Jasnah--and that he was working to return the Voidbringers. Short on time, Shallan captured Memories of the documents before leaving the room. She covered her tracks on the way out, tying the loose ends of the lies used to enter the manor. Leaving the camp as the messenger boy, she informed Amaram that Shallan Davar wished to make sketches of his Shardblade. At this he summoned the Blade, revealing it to be Helaran's and leading Shallan to believe that Amaram must be responsible for her elder brother's death.
The following afternoon, after Adolin's duel with Elit, Shallan travelled by carriage as Veil to the appointed meeting place outside of the warcamps in the Unclaimed Hills. After a short hike she reached a pavilion where several Ghostbloods, including Mraize, awaited her. Believing Tyn to have failed in her assigned mission, Mraized was taken by surprise when Shallan produced multiple sketches of what she had seen in Amaram's room, though some detail had been secretly withheld. Mraize deduced that Shallan must have entered the room herself, but was disbelieving when she claimed to have produced the sketches from memory. He tested her then by having her drawn one of his associates, Jin, on the spot. Shallan's success impressed Mraize thoroughly and he began to probe at her motivations, which led to his realization that Shallan had killed Tyn. He assured her that this would not damage her credibility with the Ghostbloods as Tyn was not a member, and then told Shallan to await instructions concerning a new task. Upon leaving, Shallan grew concerned that someone might follow her again, so she Lightwove a boulder to hide inside of. She had Pattern command the carriage driver to head back into the warcamps, using her voice to deceive the man into thinking she had slipped in quietly. The Ghostbloods eventually passed, but Shallan continued waiting until here Stormlight ran out. Along her long walk back to the warcamps, Shallan passed the burning wreckage of the carriage and the corpse of the coachman, reinforcing fears that she was in more danger than she realized.
A note from Mraize eventually came approximately two weeks later, directing her to seek further instructions at a specific time and location. Shallan arrived early, hoping to catch the delivery of these instructions, but after a long wait with no arrivals she began to wonder if the Ghostbloods were attempting to watch her in turn. She had Pattern search the windows of the tenement she waited on and was able to trick a spying Iyatil into revealing herself. The masked woman explained that the instructions provided were supposed to be carried out immediately, so that the Ghostbloods could watch Veil at work. When Shallan pressed, she explained that her task was to investigate a strange madman who had arrived in the warcamps under the custody of one of Dalinar Kholin's most trusted footmen. Determined to impress the Ghostbloods, Shallan invited Iyatil to join her on the task.
The women rode a palanquin to the temple complex in Dalinar's warcamps, where Shallan simply used her own identity to gain entrance while Iyatil was distracted. They reached the building where the man--none other than the Herald Talenel--was being kept, along with other mentally ill patients. Shallan then convinced the ardents that Iyatil was possessed by a Voidbringer, giving her a distraction to slip through unnoticed as well as a mean to escape from Iyatil's observation, and snuck into Taln's dimly lit room. Though the crazed man reacted minimally at first, constantly reciting his repetitive speech about his nature and purpose, an attempt to Surgebind by Shallan caused him to snap into a brief intense lucidity in which he seemed to recognize her as a Knight Radiant. Dazed after drawing her Shardblade in fear, Shallan was unable to leave before Meridas Amaram arrived with Bordin to question the man himself. Shallan hid behind a Lightweaving as the brightlord asked questions of the man without success, revealing to Shallan that he believed the words of the Herald to be true. After the two new arrivals departed, Shallan returned to Iyatil with information about Taln's rambling speech and the arrival of Amaram. Later that evening she delivered a full report via spanreed. Upon receipt, Mraize welcomed Shallan as a full member of the Ghostbloods.
Adolin Kholin's Betrothed
A few days after arriving in the Shattered Plains, Shallan visited the Kholin practice grounds as Adolin practiced under the watchful eyes of Kaladin and his guards. Shallan used their brief interaction to casually plan a walk with Adolin the following day, which in turn opened the door to a date at a winehouse of Adolin's choosing. They used this time to get to know one another on a personal level, and seemed to connect well despite--or perhaps because of--Shallan's unorthodox conversation topics. Shallan also took the opportunity to question Adolin about the chasmfiends. Convincing him that the Alethi and Parshendi may be hunting them to extinction, she asked him to speak with Dalinar about the possibility of travelling with the army to see a chrysalis for herself. After Adolin confided in her the details of their betrayal by Sadeas, Shallan explained the research into the Voidbringers that Jasnah had been working on, and asked for help in smoothing over the relationship with Navani. After the approaching highstorm was spotted, the two remained until the final seconds before the stormwall reached them before retreating into the shelter and making plans to speak again later.
The two met again after Adolin's duel with Elit, where Shallan began to devise a plan to help Adolin corner Sadeas himself in a duel. There they made plans for another date the following day. When Adolin and Kaladin arrived at Sebarial's manor to pick her up, Shallan recognized Wit, acting as the coachman, to the man who comforted her at the Middlefest fair three years prior. She thanked and hugged him before joining Adolin in the carriage, where they decided to visit a menagerie in the Outer Market. As they rode, Shallan shared more details about her plan regarding Sadeas--telling of the highprince's own use of the Right of Challenge and the King's Boon to corner Brightlord Yenev into a duel. She handed over further details in a letter to Navani, blushing as Adolin praised her plan and thanked her. They soon reached the menagerie and enjoyed their time there--Shallan sketching animals and explaining what she knew of them while Adolin made jokes.
Shallan attended Adolin's full disadvantaged duel the next day. She berrated herself for not realizing the trap Adolin had walked into--intrigue she would be responsible for recognizing, as Adolin's wife. As her betrothed struggled in the dueling arena, Shallan briefly considered joining the fight herself, before writing off the idea as foolishness. Feeling wrong to interfere with Adolin's own fight, Shallan sent Pattern to distract the Shardbearer facing Renarin, which bought enough time for Kaladin to enter the fight and tip the balance in favor of Adolin. Adolin's self-imprisonment after his victory gave the couple some time apart, though they continued to chat via spanreed on occasion. This freed Shallan to continue her research and her efforts to contact her brothers, but it also allowed some doubts to creep in concerning the security of their relationship. Though Shallan was never particularly jealous, she struggled with fears that Adolin was not as committed.
Scholar and Radiant
After settling in Sebarial's warcamp, Shallan was finally able to devote more time to the study and continuation of Jasnah's research. While trying to discern the location of Urithiru, she made her first breakthrough--the realization that Jasnah was hoping to find an Oathgate to the mythological city on the Shattered Plains. After infiltrating Amaram's mansion, Shallan used her findings there to focus her research. By comparing his map of the Shattered Plains with an ancient map of Natanatan, she determined that the ruins of Stormseat must be located on the Plains. Amaram's notes further confirmed the idea that on Oathgate in the ancient capital would provide a means to reach Urithiru.
As Shallan dug deeper into these matters, Pattern repeatedly tried to explain that she would need to confront her past--particularly the murder of her mother and the early memories of Pattern--in order to become the Radiant that she would need to be. Pattern hoped that by confronting these truths she would remember skills long forgotten, but Shallan continued to instinctually stiffle those memories. Instead they continued practicing and learning anew her skills with Lightweaving, including the ability to attach illusions to other objects and to suppress her glow when holding Stormlight.
When Dalinar began making plans for an expedition into the heart of the Shattered Plains, Adolin was able to convince his father to allow Shallan to accompany one of the scouting missions. The scouting mission set out on Ishakach 1173 with Shallan riding a palanquin--though she often ran ahead of her porters in order to sketch things that interested her. At one such stop, she managed to find evidence of the ancient structures she had expected to find. Her eccentric excitement repeatedly put Kaladin on edge, and after the bridgeman insulted Adolin, Shallan lashed out with her usual sarcastic banter, angering Kaladin further. As Shallan later explained her findings of the ruins to Adolin while the pair crossed a chasm, an assassination attempt on Dalinar suddenly unfurled. The bridge was sabotaged, and though Adolin managed to save his father, Shallan fell with the bridge into the chasm below.
Shallan did not wake until the sun began to set. The army above had apparently fled some attack from the Parshendi, and the only other survivor of the fall proved to be Kaladin Stormblessed--whom Shallan believed she must have somehow saved by accident. Together they searched dead bodies for supplies and then began to speak of a plan. Shallan had assumed that the Kholins would return for them, and paled as Kaladin convinced her this was unlikely. With a highstorm arriving in just one day, they set off on foot through the chasms. Though glad not to be alone, Shallan was easily irritated by the bridgeman's disposition, and her teasing to lighten the mood only served to irritate the man further. The tension grew into a shouting match, which soon attracted the attention of a chasmfiend. They ran, Shallan relying on her supply of Stormlight to keep up, until Shallan led them back around past the dead bodies at the site of the fallen bridge. Finally safe from the distracted chasmfiend, Shallan was thrilled to have an opportunity to capture a Memory of the greatshell before they silently set off once more. They walked for a few hours before halting for the night. Shallan sketched their path through the chasms while relaxing before sleep, which Kaladin interpreted to mean they had veered in the wrong direction.
”He saw it in her eyes. The anguish, the frustration. The terrible nothing that clawed inside and sought to smother her. She knew. It was there, inside. She had been broken. Then she smiled. Oh, storms. She smiled anyway. It was the single most beautiful thing he'd seen in his entire life.—Kaladin's thoughts on Shallan's confession of a difficult past
Kaladin roused Shallan early in the morning and they set off once more, hoping for the sun to give more help with their orientation. It didn't take long before they began to irritate one another once again, but as the conversation progressed, they slowly began opening up to one another. When Kaladin admitted his suspicions of Shallan, she shared Jasnah's theories concerning the Voidbringers and swore to him that she intended no harm to the Kholins. Unfortunately, the rising sun revealed that they were again headed in the wrong direction, so Shallan set about drawing their path once again. They began relying on her sketches to make slow, steady progress through the chasms. The process helped her to realize that the Shattered Plains were symmetrical, which Kaladin reinforced by explaining he had once seen them as symmetrical in a dream. With Kaladin highly discouraged, Shallan tried to be upbeat. He attributed this optimism to an easy upbringing, and was shocked when Shallan showed him a hint of the brokenness within herself. Something about her honesty encouraged the bridgeman, and he actually began to join in with her joking--until the chasmfiend revealed itself once more.
Kaladin pushed Shallan into a crack in the chasm wall, where they hid just out of reach until the monster relented and began to simply wait. With the highstorm only a few hours away, Kaladin decided to run as a distraction--giving Shallan an opportunity to escape with her important knowledge of Jasnah's research and now the Plains' symmetry. Shallan allowed him to leave, but not before offering up Pattern as a Shardblade. She darted from the crevice after Kaladin drew the chasmfiend's attention and was able to reach her satchel, containing what little Stormlight she had left. As Kaladin struggled to survive against the attacking beast, Shallan used illusions of herself and Kaladin to distract it and buy him precious moments. When the beast finally snapped at the true Kaladin, he drove Pattern deep into its head, slaying the creature. Shallan rushed to his side to help free him from the dead monster's maw. With Kaladin alive but too wounded to help, and the highstorm soon approaching, Shallan used Pattern to cut a series of handholds into the chasm wall above the chasmfiend's corpse, followed by a small cleft just above the waterline. She clambered into it herself, and pulled Kaladin in as the stormwall struck. Terrified amidst the raging torrent, they clung to one another. Kaladin mentioned his prior experience being strung up in a highstorm, and prompting from Shallan encouraged him to share much of his personal story with her--though the truth of Helaran's death was obscured by happenstance. Shallan listened silently and shared of her own childhood struggles and time with Jasnah after he had finished, including the murder of her father. As her story came to a close, the Stormfather appeared to Shallan. Then, with the height of the storm passed, Shallan fell asleep against Kaladin.
The pair recovered the gemheart from the chasmfiend the following morning and returned to the warcamps, tattered but alive, where they were brought to the triage pavilion for care. Navani arrived shortly after and took fierce command of Shallan's treatment, as if the girl was her own daughter--ordering blankets, a warm bath, and a hot meal despite Shallan's protests. Though the older woman's sudden affection was overwhelming, Shallan embraced it graciously. Shallan had Pattern spy on Dalinar and Navani as she bathed, and revealing Dalinar's hopes that Shallan would join their expedition for the use of her mapmaking skills. Adolin arrived soon after, relieved to discover that his betrothed was still alive. After a long hug and kiss, he swore to protect her more carefully, earning him a strong reprimand from Shallan, with thoughts of her father in mind. When Dalinar arrived with Navani to request Shallan's aid, Shallan explained her theory that the ancient ruins of Stormseat at the center of the Shattered Plains held answers to Jasnah's research. She also explained the supposed danger posed by the parshmen, and convinced Dalinar to leave them in the warcamps. With Shallan's decision set, Navani decided to join as well, and the army was ready to march within the hour.
Shallan's lady's maid and guards joined as well, included Gaz who arrived at the last moment with a newly acquired copy of Words of Radiance. Adolin gave Shallan a placid horse, expecting she wouldn't ride for long with little experience on horseback, and the couple enjoyed one another's company as the army began to depart--though Shallan felt a distracting and lingering sense of yearning for the unwavering intensity that she had seen in Kaladin.
The march to Stormseat took several days, during which Shallan spent much of her time studying Words of Radiance for clues that might be helpful in reaching Urithiru. As the Weeping began on the second day, Navani joined Shallan in the carriage and offered her apologies at how she had been treating Shallan as well as assistance in Shallan's research. Thankful to have the older woman's support, and for Navani's insistence that Shallan would oversee the project, they began to collaborate. Shallan explained Jasnah's research and revealed that Jasnah herself proved to be one of the Knights Radiant that Dalinar had been hoping to unite. One week into the expedition, Dalinar came to speak with Shallan in private about these matters. Seeing that the highprince was in great need of encouragement, Shallan confided in him that she herself was a Lightweaver--creating an illusion as proof. She swore Dalinar to secrecy, for the time being, before they left together to investigate the report of a Parshendi who had surrendered. The men of Bridge Four identified the Parshendi as Rlain, appearing to Shallan as one of the Voidbringers of legend as described in Jasnah's notes. After speaking with Dalinar, Shallan interviewed Rlain herself, and was able to work out a map to Narak with his help--though he knew nothing of the Oathgate--and a few days later they reached the outskirts of the city. With retreat no longer a viable option, Dalinar charged Shallan with seeking the Oathgate at all costs, in case it became their only chance for survival.
As the Battle of Narak commenced the following day, Shallan was hard at work sketching the center of the Plains in hopes of a clue, when one of the Kholin scouts indicated that a portion of her map was incorrect. Shallan instantly recognized that this strange plateau, breaking the symmetry of the Shattered Plains, would hold the Oathgate. Shallan quickly set out with Renarin Kholin, Inadara, several bridgemen, and a squad of soldiers, to investigate. They skirted the ongoing battle to reach the plateau, and Shallan soon located the entrance to the Oathgate's control building, buried under centuries of crem. Once inside, however, they struggled to understand how the ancient fabrial might be used. Shallan identified the "keyhole" requiring a Shardblade, but did not understand why Renarin's dead Shardblade failed to activate it. She gave the order to gather the Alethi armies on the Oathgate plateau before continuing her efforts. Eventually, amidst Renarin's cryptic lament, Shallan recognized that the device was a fabrial--requiring Stormlight to be utilized. Abandoning all hope of keeping her nature as a Surgebinder a secret, Shallan began collecting infused gemstones and transferring the Stormlight to the Oathgate's lamps. As the Everstorm and unexpected highstorm collided above Narak, Shallan attempted activate the Oathgate once more with Adolin's Shardblade. When, again, nothing happened, Shallan realized that the living Shardblade of a Knight Radiant would be required. She removed Adolin's Blade, drew Pattern, and transported the remaining Alethi forces to Urithiru.
On the eve of her arrival in Urithiru, Shallan was helping to explore the tower when she happened across a note--addressed to her and marked with the symbol of the Ghostbloods. She entered the next room to find Mraize, who had discovered her true identity--though he insisted that "Veil" is Shallan's true self. Mraize reiterated both Shallan's debt to the Ghostbloods--her father's broken Soulcaster--as well as her admittance into their ranks. Shallan denounced him, noting their apparent murder of Jasnah Kholin, however Mraize claimed he would deliver her brothers to Urithiru, teased secrets relating to Helaran, and promised Shallan that she would only find answers to all of her questions by working with the Ghostbloods. Exhausted after the long day and confrontation with Mraize, Shallan met with Adolin, who led her to a room selected by Pattern as a place for rest. The room instantly reminded Shallan of her father's study, and once she entered Pattern explained that she would have to confront the truth of her past in order to become the Knight Radiant that the world would need. He prompted her to relive the murder of her mother through a Lightweaving; memories buried deep down and long suppressed returned to Shallan's consciousness--the weight of it crushing her, but deepening her bond to Pattern. It was assumed at this time that Pattern was the original Cryptic Shallan had bonded, and that he had been pushed back into the Cognitive Realm and their bond weakened, when in reality Shallan betrayed her Radian oaths and killed Testament.
”I don't want revenge. I want my family.—Shallan recalling her mother's death
After reforming the Knight Radiant, Dalinar asked Shallan and Renarin to learn as much about their newfound powers as they could; however, Shallan had a lot more on her mind than just her new role as a Knight Radiant. Following her confrontation with her past, Shallan struggled to keep her mind from from wandering to the murder of her parents, so she attempted to focus on drawing rather than murder she had committed. As she practiced drawing Urithiru, she found that her drawing was more of a surrealistic interpretation of the tower city rather than a realistic one. Noticing her frustration, Pattern assured Shallan that it was okay for her to hate them for killing her parents; however, Shallan assured Pattern that she did not blame the spren but rather the way her life spiraled out of control and eventually led to her killing her parents. As the conversation between her and Pattern lulled, a scout arrived to inform her that she had been requested to attend a meeting with Dalinar and his family also in attendance. While making their way to the meeting, the scout asked Shallan about what it meant to be a Knight Radiant and carry a Shardblade. Despite being a Lightweaver, she pretended to be an Elsecaller when in public in order to hide the fact that she could create illusions. Shallan assured the scout that she would still be able to maintain her femininity whilst acting as a Radiant, seemingly disappointing the scout.
When Shallan arrived to the meeting, Dalinar hoped to glean some sort of information from her in order to understand more about the political world. Unfortunately, Shallan was unable to share the information Dalinar was hoping for, disappointing the highprince. While the meeting went on, Shallan constructed a three-dimensional projection of Roshar out of stormlight with the aid of Dalinar's own abilities. As the attendees at the meeting marveled at her creation, Lyn returned to inform them that there had been a murder. When they arrive at the scene of the crime, the victim appeared to be Vedekar Perel, and they discover that the murder was an exact copy of the murder of Highprince Torol Sadeas. When Adolin is assigned to search for the perpetrator, Shallan noticed that he had been acting strange and Pattern hummed in response to Adolin's strange behavior.
Afterwards, Shallan began to practice her Illumination abilities in her room. She learned to better control her creations and could now cause them to move without the aid of Pattern. As she was practicing, Adolin arrived and they began to flirt with one another and eventually kissed until Pattern interrupted them.
While Adolin and Shallan continued to build their relationship, Adolin urged Shallan to learn use a Shardblade in order to better defend herself. Shallan, however, could not bring herself to use the blade due to her past experience with the weapon, so she created a new personality, one she named Brightness Radiant, to take on while using the Shardblade. Noticing Shallan's discomfort with the blade, Pattern advised Shallan to sever the bond and kill him, so she could forge a bond with a new spren and have fresh start. Shallan, however, quickly squashed the idea and focused on her training. As she continued practicing with the Sharblade, Shallan noticed the similarities between Adolin and herself as they were both passionate about what they loved. As time passed, Shallan began to feel that she could be herself around Adolin and even briefly allowed herself to slip through her disguise as Radiant so she could enjoy her time with the prince.
Later, Shallan, disguised as Veil, decided she would head to the Breakaway, the marketplace established in Urithiru following the Battle of Narak, in order to search for any clues on the recent murders to aid Adolin in his investigation. As she made her way to the markets, Pattern expressed his fondness for Adolin. While he initially disliked Adolin because he carried a Shardblade that was essentially the dead corpse of a spren, he came to understand that humans in the Physical Realm kill and destroy in order to survive. As the conversation began to lull, Shallan brought up the previous conversation Pattern initiated about her supposed hatred for him. Pattern, again, urged Shallan to sever their bond and kill him, so she would no longer have to deal with the discomfort she felt when wielding him as a Shardblade. Before the spren could finish, she quickly expressed her need for the spren and begged Pattern not to leave her, telling the him that she also hated herself but she did not want him to go. Seemingly pleased with Shallan's response, Pattern dropped the conversation and hummed to himself.
”There was a simple relief for Shallan's pain. There was an easy way to hide. Veil hadn't suffered as Shallan had—and she was tough enough to handle that sort of thing anyway. Becoming her was like setting down a terrible burden.—Shallan while changing into Veil.
As Veil arrived to the Breakaway, she began eavesdropping on conversations between the people there in order to pick up on any information on the murders. After failing to learn anything relevant to her mission, she entered a bar set up in a large battle tent in hopes of learning more there. Noticing that Veil lacked the experience she posited herself to have, Shallan hoped to increase her credibility as a darkeyed con artist while visiting the marketplace. While Shallan primarily visited the marketplace in order to gain more information on the recent murders, she also used Veil to become more knowledgeable about the darkeyed society established in the tower city. As Shallan ignorantly ordered hard wine in the bar, Jor, a bouncer attracted to her, made his way to her and began flirting with Veil. Observing that she was becoming increasingly drunk, Jor offered to escort her out of the bar and call a palanquin to return to her room before it got too late. Picking up on the opportunity to learn more about the murders, Shallan asked what were the "dangerous places" she should look out for, so she did not get harmed. As he informed her that someone had been stabbed the previous night at All's Alley, Shallan collapsed on the floor and unconsciously sucked in stormlight to ease the pain she felt. She quickly discovered that she was no longer drunk. Shocking the bouncer and barkeep, Shallan calmly drank another cup of wine and began to make her way to the location Jor informed her of.
Noticing that she had let Veil slip while she was drunk, Shallan berated herself for dropping the disguise and letting herself feel the pain of her past she was hoping to avoid. As Pattern attempted to remind her that Veil was just a disguise, Shallan shared her fear that she may have killed her brothers and fabricated the memories she had with Balat as she conversed with him over spanreed. Worried over Shallan's mental stability, Pattern reassured her that her brothers were still alive and questioned if she could still differentiate between her lies. Assuming her Veil personality in order to hide from Pattern's questions, Shallan assured Pattern that she could still tell. Pattern, however, noticed that Shallan was still lying and expressed his confusion over the reason she chose to assume her Veil persona. Veil simply replied by saying that she needed to go deeper with her disguise, making Pattern even more anxious over the deliberate lies Shallan continued to place over herself.
As Veil interned the All's Alley, she ordered and drank Horneater white, the strongest drink they had, impressing the others at the bar. Hoping to prevent Veil from becoming too drunk, the barkeep attempted to stop her from drinking any more of the alcohol, but Veil stopped him and used that opportunity to ask about the murders, using the excuse that she was searching for the murderer that killed her little sister in the Alethi warcamps. Refusing to share any information on the murder, he directed Veil to a group of thugs that might have the answers she was searching for. In order to learn more information on the murder, Veil stabbed one of the thugs in the hand for pushing her out of his chair and threatened them by revealing her association with the Ghostbloods. While interrogating them, Betha, one of the thugs, revealed that a man named Ned had strangled his wife to death. Believing she had reached a dead end, Veil began to make her way out of the bar. Before she left, she overheard Betha mention another murder that occurred in the markets while conversing with Ur, the thug Veil had just stabbed. As she returned to the thugs, Betha quickly informed Veil that a barmaid had also died a similar way, but Ned vehemently denied any connection to the second murder before Ur killed him for supposedly killing the barmaid. Realizing that this was likely a double murder, Veil was satisfied with the new information and left the tavern.
A New Job
The next morning, Shallan, still ill from the heavy drinking she did as Veil, woke to sound of Adolin knocking on her door. After enjoying some light banter with the prince, she sucked in stormlight from a sphere he offered her to clear the hangover she suffered from. As she began to dress herself for the day, Adolin informed her that he would be meeting with Ialai Sadeas, the widow of Torol Sadeas, in order to discuss any clues she might have on her late husband's murder. Disturbed by Ialai, Adolin requested that Shallan accompany him to his meeting with woman. When Adolin requested that she bring her own soldiers to accompany them meeting instead of his, Shallan shared that she did not think she had any real use for the former deserters, and she did not find them necessary to follow them. After he explained to Shallan that her soldiers would feel honored by being put to use, Shallan relented and promised to find more tasks to assign to her guards.
When they arrived at Sades' section of Urithiru, Shallan found that Mraize was also there, acting as one of Ialai's soldiers. Despite being surprised by his presence there, Shallan and Mraize both pretended not to know each other. When Ialai dismissed Shallan to fetch tea, she and the assassin discussed Veil's actions with the thugs in the Breakaway and the whereabouts of her family. While he did not reveal any important information on her family, he informed her that she must remove the "darkness" that is supposedly plaguing the city and that he would share some information on her now-deceased brother, Helaran, in exchange. Frustrated by Mraize's teasing of her brother's name, Shallan returned to the proper rooms where Ialai revealed that she had assigned Amaram to investigate Sadeas' murder on his own due to her distrust of the Kholin family. After the revelation, she and Adolin returned to the hallway and discussed their dislike for the woman. As they began to leave Sadeas' residence, a guard informed them that the highstorms have returned.
While exploring the city of Urithiru, Shallan discovered a long-abandoned theater and put on a play for Pattern using images from her sketchbook to conjure people to act it out. Recalling a play she had seen as a child, Shallan told the story known as The Girl Who Looked Up, a Rosharan folk tale about a girl curious about an ancient wall surrounding her village to the protect the people from "bad things". As Shallan began to recall memories about her family and consumed too much stormlight for her illusions, she dropped the images she used to act out the play. While all of her illusions dispersed, she noticed a dark figure leave the theater. Startled by the presence of the intruder, Shallan transformed herself into Radiant chased after it. As she reached a dark chamber, she used her Lightweaving abilities to create various versions of herself to illuminate the room. After they vanished, she found a dark form writhing and squeezing into a small slot leading into the marketplace. Believing it to be some kind of spren, Shallan transformed into Veil and chased it into the market where she discovered that Rock, a member of Bridge Four, had been stabbed in the hand by a strange man. Veil quickly realized that Rock was a Horneater just like Ur, the thug she had stabbed while visiting All's Alley. After learning that there at been no new murder, Veil came to the conclusion that whatever was copying the murders was also copying all the violence occurring in the city. As she was about to leave the market, Ishnah, one of the thugs she previously encountered, requested to join the Ghostbloods in order to learn more about the current events going on in Roshar, but Shallan refused.
Encounter with Re-Shephir
As Shallan attended another meeting led by Dalinar, she drew an image of the spren she encountered while in the theater. Pattern informed her that this was not a typical spren like he is but it was, instead, a spren of Odium. Bored by the political conversation, Shallan drew an image of Sadeas and discovered that his appearance was similar to that of Brightlord Perel, confirming her belief that the murderer was copying any violent acts performed in Urithiru. While idly flipping through her drawings of the recent murder victims, Malata, the Dustbringer accompanying Taravangian, attempted to make small talk with the Lightweaver, but Shallan found the conversation unpleasant due to her indifferent attitude and overfamiliarity when conversing with her. As she began to plan her next move in her search for the murderer, the room quieted as Ialai Sadeas and Meridas Amaram entered. While initially shocked by their sudden appearance, Dalinar attempted to invite Ialai to attend the meeting, but she quickly rejected his invitation and announced Amaram's delegation as regent and heir to the title of House Sadeas. After Adolin insulted the highprince, Dalinar asked his son to leave the room and Shallan quickly followed. When she caught up with the young prince, he expressed his displeasure by Ialai's announcement, and Shallan unexpectedly shared her belief that Amaram may have killed Helaran. As she explained that the highprince possessed her brother's former Shardblade, Adolin reluctantly reminded her that Amaram obtained the Shardblade after Kaladin killed a Shardbearer. Shocked by the news, Shallan tucked her thoughts away, and tried to move the conversation to another topic while they made their ways to the bottom floors of the tower. While Adolin went to visit the stables, Shallan returned to her room and absentmindedly flipped through her sketchbooks to keep her mind busy. While flipping through the sketchbook, she found strange images she could not recall drawing. Disturbed by the drawings, she shut her sketchbook and quickly left her room. Later, she arrived in the common room of the barracks and informed her soldiers the she had a new job for them.
”Plan every battle as if you will inevitably retreat, but fight every battle like there is no backing down.—Adolin to Shallan as she hesitated during her battle with Re-Shephir
Prowling through the Breakaway markets, Shallan, disguised as Veil, became increasingly concerned by the strange spren that seemed to creep over the people in Urithiru. Despite being aware of their ignorance, she was frustrated by the common populace's lack of concern while the void creature inconspicuously observed them. Shallan used her guards to try and search for any more clues about the recent murder, but they had not found any new least in the four days since they began their investigation. While Veil waited for a new murder, she made her way to her soldiers,Gaz and Red, both unaware of Veil's true identity. Also frustrated by the lack of new leads, the two soldiers grumbled about the lack of action and began to poke at Veil's history. She lied by saying that Shallan had picked her up and hired her as a soldier under her, which they seemed to accept. Annoyed by their questioning, Veil reminded them to keep watch of a murder similar to one that occurred recently. Three nights ago, a player in an initially friendly game of cards hit another player in the head with a bottle, effectively killing the man. The perpetrator, later revealed to by one of Ruthar's soldiers, had been executed via hanging in market's central square. Veil was sure that the spren would return to copy the murder by hitting another person with a bottle as well, so she had ordered her men to keep watch of a similar murder. As Veil began to reflect on both the similarities and differences between her, Shallan, and Radiant, she was startled by a sudden scream in the market. Following he sound of the scream, she encountered Vathah, who informed her that the murder had actually been similar to the hanging of the executed soldier. As Shallan chased after the murderer, she transformed into Radiant in order to engage with the spren. Realizing she would have to descend deeper into the tower city, she sent Pattern to bring Adolin along with additional soldiers as backup. Before Adolin could arrive, she quickly removed Veil's clothing and, unaware of what she was doing, cast an illusion of Shallan over herself. Realizing what she did, Shallan began to panic as Adolin arrived along with Bridge Four. After informing them of her encounter with the strange spren, she and the rest of the party found a room containing a pit where the creature was likely settling in. As they descended down the hole, they discovered a room covered with murals depicting all ten heralds and the Almighty. Immediately after they enter the room Renarin informed them that Glys, his spren, felt something unpleasant about the room. Shallan agreed and mentioned that Dalinar could not feel it but the two of them could. As Shallan brought that to light, Renarin was about to say something, when Adolin returned to show Shallan the decaying library he had found. As Shallan began to mourn the loss of ancient knowledge, Lyn and Renarin alert the others as they found a large black mass settling in the hallway. While they gaped at the strange form, they realized that the murders have been the result of the Unmade, Re-Shephir.
In response to the intruders, the Unmade created copies of Bridge Four in order to repel them from its domain. As Shallan watched the creature, she had the vague impression that she was familiar with the Unmade and knew why it was committing murders. While Adolin and Bridge Four's attempted to drive the creatures back, Shallan made her way closer to the spren despite Adolin's insistence that she retreat. As the Unmade continued to create increasingly distorted copies of the residents of Urithiru, Shallan used her Illumination abilities to conjure a glowing radiant force consisting of copies of people she drew in her sketchbook, seemingly driving the Unmade's creations back. Making her way closer to the Unmade, the black form began to back away and revealed a bowl-shaped room where the rest of its form resided in. Realizing that she had a strange connection with Re-Shephir and that the midnight creatures were no longer intimidated by her light, Shallan began to hesitate and asked Adolin whether they should retreat or continue to fight the Unmade. Adolin responded by telling her to persist and fight as if there was no other option. At Adolin's advice, Shallan ordered Bridge Four and Adolin to clear away for her to reach the central mass while Renarin watched her back. Using her Illumination abilities, Shallan conjured various versions of herself to take the brunt of the midnight creatures' attacks. While they distracted the Unmade, she made her way into the dark mass and gingerly pressed herself into the Unmade. As Shallan connected with Re-Shephir, she learned that it was an ancient spren creating by the splintering of a greater being. After being ordered to cause chaos, the Unmade became interested in men and eventually found itself attracted to the violence they committed. Clinging to the advice Adolin had given her, Shallan continued her attack on the Unmade using stormlight. While she struck at creature, she learned that it was scared of being trapped again as it had been by another Lightweaver in the past. As Shallan realized that the Unmade was learning about her similarly to how she was delving into the mind of the creature, she began to back down out of fear despite convincing herself that she would continue to fight off the Unmade. Sympathizing with the creature, Shallan removed herself from the the dark mass and collapsed out of exhaustion from her battle with the Unmade. As Re-Shephir forced itself out of the pit and fled, Shallan told the rest of the group not to follow. While Teft frowned at Shallan's order not to follow the Unmade, he assented and they discovered a large treasure of cut gemstones where the Unmade had previously settled in.
Following the encounter with the Unmade, Palona began to pry Shallan for information about her battle with Re-Shephir while they sat in Sebarial's sitting room. As Shallan explained the nature of the spren, she realized that she sympathized with the creature, noting that it killed simply to mimic human behavior and possibly better connect with them. Palona urged Shallan to search for the rest of the Unmade to prevent them from escaping imprisonment as Re-Shephir did, but Shallan explained that she did not feel as though the other Unmade were imprisoned like her. While she continued to recover from her fight with the Unmade, Adolin barged into the room to inform Shallan that someone had arrived to the tower. As Adolin began to reassure her that it was good news, Jasnah and several other people entered the room, much to Shallan's surprise.
After Jasnah's arrival to Urithiru, Shallan remembered that she was Radiant but also a scholar. Resuming her scholarly nature, she hoped to discover how Jasnah had survived the shipwreck during their journey to the Shattered Plains. After failing to find the princess, Shallan made her way back to the pits where she battled Re-Shephir after making several inquiries. When she reunited with Jasnah, the scholar quickly shared her thoughts on the fused gemstones discovered after the Unmade's escape from the pit. Jasnah shared that she and her mother speculated that the crystal pillar was actually a large fabrial. After discussing the moral implications of trapping spren in gemstones, Jasnah ordered Shallan to sketch images of the gemstone pillar, reminding Shallan that she was still expected to carry out her duties as Jasnah's ward. As Jasnah revealed how she escaped from the Ghostbloods by using her Elsecaller abilities, she also confided to Shallan about her concern over her lack of understanding about the Desolation.
As Shallan was forced to become a scribe for Jasnah during the meetings held by Dalinar, she realized that she was not fond of resuming her duties as Jasnah's ward. Despite her displeasure at being ordered around once more, she did as she was asked. During the meeting, Jasnah noticed Shallan's inattentiveness and called for a short respite to talk with her ward. While proud of Shallan's growing confidence, Jasnah shared her concern over the secrets she seemed to be hiding from her. After Shallan refused to share her work with the Ghostbloods, Jasnah told her that she would need to balance both her wardship and her duties as a Radiant. Finished with their discussion, they both return to the meeting. As Shallan returned to the meeting, Pattern informed her that the room held "memories". Concerned by the new information, Shallan informed Jasnah of Pattern's comments, and the latter advised her ward that she should listen to her spren as they often share useful information. After being dismissed by Jasnah, Shallan returned to her room where she discovered a letter from the Ghostbloods revealing that Helaran was a Skybreaker acolyte. The Skybreakers, led by the Herald known as Nale, received information that there was a potential Radiant in the Davar household from the lover of Shallan's mother, another Skybreaker acolyte. After noticing Helaran's potential, Nale recruited her brother and had him prove himself to be worthy of a spren bond by killing Amaram, a member of the Sons of Honor. However, Helaran would later be caught and killed by "a member of Amaram's army who was close to bonding a spren". After reading the letter, Pattern informed Shallan that there were lies in the letter, but the new information was still enticing to her. Shocked by the revelation, Shallan disguised herself as Veil and left to find Vathah and the rest of her men in their barracks to keep her mind off the news. While Veil shared her frustrations with Shallan to her men, Gaz and the other soldiers also shared their pride about being useful for their mistress. As she enjoyed the company with her men, she began to reflect on her relationship with the Ghostbloods. While she was aware that she was likely being used as a mole for the organization, she needed to find a way to turn that around on the assassins. While discussing the usefulness of the soldiers, Veil noticed a washwoman observing them nearby. Recognizing the woman as Ishnah, Veil questioned the woman. She soon discovered that Ishnah was once a spy and hoped to join the Ghostbloods by proving herself. Seeing this as an opportunity to learn more about being a spy, Veil gave Ishnah the option of teaching her men how to be spies in exchange for promising to see if she would be worthy to join the Ghostbloods. While training under Ishnah, Vathah and the others are practicing how to do espionage. As Isnah teaches them how to observe their surroundings, Shallan realized she was late for her meeting and ran to the meeting, begrudgingly continuing her duties as a scribe.
While bored of her duties as a scribe, Shallan convinced herself to resume her wardship under Jasnah. When Renarin is being taunted by Janala, Shallan stood up for him, which he greatly appreciated. Renarin and Shallan discuss the nature of the fabrials that seem to be in, an actuality, one giant fabrial that runs throughout the tower city. As the two got closer, Shallan realized her way out of her wardship after Renarin tells her that she should stand up to Jasnah more or just not be around her anymore. To avoid Jasnah, Shallan hoped to leave Urithiru by joining Dalinar's mission to Kholinar. She managed to convince Elhokar to let her go and help him take back Kholinar after offering herself and her spies to accompany the king, telling him that they are not Dalinar's subjects and they could make their own decisions. While Shallan left, she hummed along with Pattern as she convinced herself that she was not running away from Jasnah but rather going on the mission to Kholinar for a good cause.
Siege of Kholinar
Kaladin, two of his squires, Elhokar, Adolin, Shallan, and her retinue arrived in Kholinar in order to open the Oathgate and defend the city from the Fused. The group met at the shop of tailor named Yokska and learned that the queen had been acting erratic due to the supposed influence of a dark spren. Due to the disruption of the entire chain of command, a new highmarshal of the Wall Guard assumed control, bringing some semblance of order to the city, and a strange group known as the Cult of Moments now ruled the city. While the conversation occurred, Shallan, through random acts designed to embarrass and injure herself, learned that the spren in Kholinar have taken a strange appearance. The king later tasked Shallan, accompanied by Kaladin, to send a letter to the queen with the use of her Lightweaving abilities. Before sneaking into the palace, Shallan shared her Veil persona with her retinue, much to their shock. Inside the palace, Veil discovered the royal guards were not acting like themselves and was soon stabbed by the captain when she demanded that she personally deliver Elhokar's letter to the queen. When the guards moved to dispose of her body, Veil pretended to be dead but slowly healed herself using Stormlight. While playing dead, she noticed a strange black figure with glowing circles for eyes in a mirror that should have held her reflection. Veil was deposited in a waste room holding several corpses and sneaked out of the palace using Illumination to disguise herself. Still in shock from her near murder, she sent Pattern to retrieve Kaladin so they could return to the safehouse.
After recovering from her experience in the palace, Shallan and her companions regrouped in Yokska's kitchen and discussed their next plan. Tasked with finding a way to infiltrate the Cult of Moments, Shallan, disguising herself as Veil, scrounged for information. During her exploration of the city, Veil encountered an urchin named Grund that had been abandoned because of his physical disfigurement. In exchange for information, Shallan gifted food to the boy and others willing to provide intel. As Veil began to doubt her actions taken to provide for the poor citizens in Kholinar, she encountered Wit retelling the story of Mishim. Once finished, Wit led Veil to an inn and he complimented Shallan on her skills with Illumination. While talking, they discussed the meaning of power, eventually giving Shallan the advice she needed to infiltrate the Cult of Moments. After this, he left her with the bill for the food he ate, much to her displeasure. Through the information she gathered, Shallan learned that a group known as the Cult of Moments, under the thrall of the Unmade Ashertmarn, guarded the Oathgate, and that the only way to join their ranks was to bring food to their grand feasts after receiving an invitation. Assuming the persona Swiftspren, Shallan attempted to attract the Cult of Moments through displays of Illumination and philanthropy. Eventually, she received an invitation from the Cult of Moments after a grand heist at a local mansion.
”Your other minds take over because they look so much more appealing. You’ll never control them until you’re confident in returning to the one who birthed them. Until you accept being you.—Wit to Shallan as she fell into despair
Despite her charitable actions, Shallan unwittingly caused the death of Grund after the boy was attacked by the Grips, a group that had been stealing the food given to him. Following the murder of the urchin, Shallan was scarred by the experience and was left revisiting traumatic memories from her past. In an attempt to ease the pain, she shifted through several personas using Illumination in an attempt to search for a personality that could repair the damage she had habitually caused. She soon came to the conclusion that the past actions she took to aid others only left things worse in her wake. Huddled in Muri's abode, Shallan encountered Wit. Through his retelling of The Girl Who Looked Up, Wit advised her not to regret her actions and to accept herself if she wished to take control of her personas. Shallan later regrouped with her companions, and Kaladin soon arrived with Highmarshal Azure and her army.
While discussing their findings, Kholinar was attacked by the Voidbringers and the enthralled soldiers of the city. Shallan, accompanied by Adolin, searched for the lingering presence of two of the Unmade at the Oathgate platform. On their way to the control building for the ancient fabrial, an undulating black mass blocked their path to the entrance. After finding her Shardblade could not destroy the mass, Shallan touched it as she did with Re-Shephir. Inside the mass, she was overwhelmed by Ashertmarn's voice as it attempted to convince her to engage in sensual self-indulgence. When Shallan was inundated by the various personalities she had created in the past, she heard Wit's voice in her mind and was advised to take control of them rather than fear them. As she felt herself nearly being consumed, the black mass soon evaporated and Adolin proclaimed that Shallan had defeated the Unmade, despite her feeling as if she had failed. As she entered the building, Shallan saw the black figure she observed previously when infiltrating the royal palace, and it identified itself as Sja-anat. The Unmade claimed they were not Shallan's enemy and warned her not to operate the Oathgate, as it was compelled to corrupt the spren of the platform so it would not function properly. After Elhokar was seemingly murdered by Moash, Shallan and her group were overwhelmed by enemy forces. At the urging of Adolin, Shallan began to activate the Oathgate platform. Unsure of what to do, Shallan asked Pattern whether they should trust Sja-anat, but the spren was unable to discern whether the Unmade was lying or not. Sja-anat insisted that Shallan should not use the fabrial but noticed that she still did not trust it, so the Unmade promised that they would refrain from killing them all while traveling through the Oathgate. In order to avoid being attacked by the deranged cultists, Shallan utilized the fabrial to transport Azure, Adolin, Kaladin, and herself along with their spren. When they awakened, they found themselves in Shadesmar, and Azure grunted about her dislike for the strange realm.
Journey through Shadesmar
While in Shadesmar, Shallan and Kaladin found themselves accompanied by their now fully-sized spren as well as Maya, the dead spren tied to Adolin's Shardblade. Syl pointed out that the spren represented the Oathgate on the platform they stood on were corrupted and Shallan came to the colclusion that this was due to Sja-anat, but the Unmade managed to keep its promise not to kill them despite their current predicament. Stranded on an island and surrounded by the hostile denizens of the Cognitive Realm, the group were unsure of what to do. Azure, being the one most familiar with navigating the strange realm, explained that Shadesmar was the inverse of the Physical Realm, so they would need to travel to what would be nearest body of water in their world in order to find land in the Cognitive Realm. Because Kaladin's abilities drew in too much stormlight and attracted the hostile spren, Shallan had to use her abilities to maneuver through the world. Pattern explained that Soulcasting would not work the same way in the Shadesmar. She instead discovered that she can read the impressions of the objects in each sphere that surrounds them and shape the surrounding spheres into various structures based on that impression. Shallan used the soul of the Oathgate control room to shape various copies of the building, and they slowly made their way to land. While traveling, Pattern pointed out that the flames representing the souls of their companions on the other side were no longer going out as quickly as when they first entered, so some may have surrendered. Shallan and her party soon arrived to the next piece of land and recovered after their hardships. Now faced with the dilemma of having a lack of supplies, the group struggled with what to do next. Azure explained that lightspren were known to act as guides for humans traveling through Shadesmar, so they should try to locate them and travel to the nearest spren city where they could trade stormlight for supplies. A corrupted spren appeared in Shadesmar and, in the voice of Sja-anat, warned Shallan that Odium sent some of his minions to Shadesmar in search of them, and he was growing suspicious of the Unmade. Due to Shallan's previous misdirections, he believed that she was an Elsecaller rather than a Lightweaver. The spren soon left after Shallan's companions attempted to attack it. They eventually settled at a lighthouse where they met Riino, the lightkeeper. Shallan felt useless due to her inability to scout the area as Kaladin did in his initial exploration of the lighthouse. Veil was still broken from her experience with Grund, so she was unable to sneak through the buildin. However, the other personality was beginning to return as Shallan discovered she could not draw with her usual skill and instead produced drawings reminiscent of Veil's style. Shallan mulled over Wit's words and pondered over how she could keep her personas in check, but she failed to come up with a solution. While the others discussed where they would go to next, a ship without a sail soon arrived at the lighthouse.
As the group boarded the ship helmed by the Reachers, Shallan continued drawing during their voyage to Celebrant. At the urging of Syl, Kaladin conversed with Shallan and they discussed their attempts at dealing with their past. He complimented her ability to ignore her past trauma, but she remarked that it was not a good skill to have despite his admiration of her. When Kaladin tried to continue their conversation, she became unresponsive as she no longer wanted to think about it. The group soon arrived at Celebrant and they agreed to split up to prepare for their voyage to either Thaylen City where they hoped to somehow activate the Oathgate from the Cognitive Realm or the Horneater Peaks where they could travel to the Physical Realm using Cultivation's Perpendicularity. Shallan, Pattern, and Azure were tasked to find passage for the journey. Using Pattern as a translator, Shallan learned that no ship was sailing towards Thaylen City or the Horneater Peaks as Voidspren accompanied by the Fused sailed warships near there and demanded tribute from those hoping to sail there. They then approach a stone-like spren that was sailing east towards Freelight. Just as Shallan and Azure found a ship that could take them, the Fused caused a commotion and set Captain Ico's ship on fire. They learned that Voidspren have recently appeared in Shadesmar and seized control of the city. Patten overheard the Fused speaking and translater what he heard to Shallan and Azure. They discovered that the Fused were seeking out Radiants bonded to an honorspren and inkspren, the latter due to them thinking that Shallan was an Elsecaller. Because of this, Shallan used Illumination to disguise Azure, Pattern, and herself as lightspren to avoid attention from their pursuers. Shallan and her companions regrouped and they discovered that they are being pursued by both the Fused and a group of honorspren seeking to capture Syl. As the ship heading towards Freelight sailed away, Syl attracted the attention of some honorspren beginning to leave the city and they quickly captured Syl while Shallan and her allies boarded the ship.
Aboard the honorsprens' ship, Shallan and Kaladin devised a plan to escape as they neared Thaylen City. While they discussed their strategy, they witnessed Azure establish a deal with the honorspren—she would receive passage on their ship after reaching Lasting Integrity in exchange for details about her blade. Kaladin, infuriated by Azure's betrayal, stalked away while Shallan began to prepare for their plan over the next few days. After getting permission from Captain Notum, Shallan practiced visualizing objects from the beads she obtained from the sea, so she could construct structures to aid them in their escape. While practicing, Veil continuously bled into her conscience, and Shallan found herself struggling to maintain control over her personalities. Seeing Shallan in distress, Adolin approached her, and she explained the various personas she created to protect Shallan from being broken any further. In return for her honesty, Adolin confessed to murdering Sadeas. Shallan comforted Adolin and remarked that she did not think negatively of him and actually agreed with his decision to kill the late highprince. Relieved by her response, Adolin assured her that he was content with the "real" Shallan that she shared with him and did not think less of her either. When Kaladin is later surrounded by windspren, a rarity in Shadesmar, Shallan bemused that she wanted to draw the scene Kaladin unintentionally created. Just as everyone on the ship was enamored by the display, eight of the Fused are discovered near the ship.
After Notum released Syl, Shallan and her companions jumped off the ship and into the sea of beads while Azure stayed behind to help the honorspren fend off the Fused. Using a bit of the stormlight she carried, Shallan created a room underneath the beads so her group could breathe. They stayed within the space for a short amount of time, allowing the ship and the Fused to pass, before resurfacing. The group were unable to find Syl, but Pattern reassured them that spren did not need to breathe so they were most likely safe. They soon made their way towards a patch of land where they found Syl safe and sound. The honorspren reported that the Fused were gone, so it was safe for them to continue moving. No longer in danger, Kaladin lashed the rest of the group, and they began to fly towards the island of Thaylenah where they hoped to access the Oathgate and return to the Physical Realm. In order to preserve stormlight, they hike the rest of their trek to Thaylenah and continue without breaks at the insistence of Kaladin. Using Shallan's mapmaking skills, they soon arrive at Thaylen City and see its Oathgate platform in the distance. There, they witness the uncorrupted, gargantuan form of the spren of the Oathgate and thousands of the Voidpsren surrounding their only avenue of escape. Half a dozen of the Fused and a mass of red light soon appeared to guard the control building. Shallan and her friends remained unsure of what to do as they were clearly outnumbered and lacked enough stormlight to defend themselves and activate the Oathgate. Kaladin insisted that Shallan should create illusions and rush to the Oathgate platform while he fend off the remaining enemies. As Odium summoned the mass of red light to possess Amaram's army in the Physical Realm, they were left with only six of the Fused, so Kaladin initiated his plan. On her way to the Oathgate platform, Shallan Lightweaved several figures from her sketchbook to accompany Adolin and their spren as they drew the attention of the remaining Fused Kaladin was unable to distract. She then rushed to complete her task of activating the Oathgate and attempted to convince the Oathgate spren to allow them to travel to the Physical Realm. They informed that they were unable to accept her request as Honor ordered them to prevent travel between the two realms using the Oathgate before his death. When Adolin failed to distract the Fused, one of them charged at Shallan and she somehow managed to manifest the physical form of a bead she carried that held the mind of a wall. Pattern and Adolin, wounded from one of the Fused, returned to Shallan, and they soon realized that the were running out of stormlight. Desperate, they jumped into the sea of beads and regrouped with Syl and Kaladin, who was also out of stormlight. As Kaladin failed to say the Fourth Ideal necessary to protect his friends, they began to lose hope. In the Physical Realm, Dalinar temporarily Ascended and summoned Honor's perpendicularity, giving Shallan and her friends an opportunity to leave Shadesmar.
Battle of Thaylen Field and Aftermath
WIth the arrival of Shallan and her group, Dalinar noted that he sensed the presence of all the Orders of the Knight Radiants on the field despite there only being nine individuals standing with him. Because Odium had withdrawn from the battle, they were now confident that they could fight against the remnants of his army. Using the renewed stormlight Dalinar summoned, they were each assigned a task to complete on the battlefield. Shallan is ordered to use her Lightweaving abilities to summon an army that would attract the Voidbringers while the rest of them completed their tasks. Despite losing her original sketchbook, Shallan managed to summon every single person she every sketched in her lifetime, Patten noting that this was likely due to Dalinar momentarily bringing the three realms together. When she felt herself weakening, she created Veil and Radiant to aid her as she created more illusions. In order to maintain the attention of the enthralled soldiers, Shallan crafted realistic deaths for her illusions to satisfy the Thrill of her enemies. While her illusions were successful, she felt as if a part of her was being destroyed as each one of them were killed by the soldiers. As Shallan nearly consumed all the renewed gemstones, Lift appeared to her asking for help. At Lift's request, Shallan used Illumination to transform a rock into a ruby, so Lift and Szeth could fool the Fused hoping to escape with the gemstone. Shallan, Veil, and Radiant began to falter as more of the Fused destroyed their illusions. When she began to run out of stormlight, Jasnah appeared and Soulcasted the air into a wall of flames to protect her ward. As they used that diversion to run away, Jasnah gave Shallan some tips for Soulcasting. She mused that Shallan may have actually Soulcasted her illusions to give them weight or it may have been due to their high concentration of stormlight. They soon arrived at Navani's camp, and Shallan used that opportunity to recover while the scribes received updates from Urithiru. During her period of switching between Shallan, Veil and Radiant, Shallan confessed to Pattern that she thought she might be better than she was before. While Veil surveyed the area, Pattern noted the appearance of enemy reinforcements carrying ladders from their ships. When they attempted another assault on the city, the Thrill seemingly vanished and the remaining enemies retreat back their ships. Due to Lift's and Szeth's actions, they managed to capture the Unmade Neragoul within the ruby gemstone, effectively severing the last thing empowering their enemies. 
Seeing Shallan was exhausted from the battle, Jasnah and Navani attempted to get her a palanquin to recover. During periods of switching between herself and her personalities, Shallan experienced an identity crisis, unable to determine which version of her was really herself. When Adolin approached Shallan, he immediately realized that Shallan was not acting like herself. Noting his concern, Shallan reclaimed her core personality and assuaged his worries. After he left, Shallan's personalities began to bicker about their relationship with both Kaladin and Adolin, and she quickly suppressed her other personas. Following the battle, Shallan and Adolin relaxed and conversed about the recent events. When he noticed her glancing at Kaladin, Adolin confronted Shallan about her apparent interest in the other man and offered to end their relationship so she could pursue one with Kalasin. Shallan assured Adolin that she loved him and confessed that Veil does have an interest in Kaladin. Despite this, she promised that neither she nor her other personalities would go after Kaladin.  Shallan later attended a meeting with Dalinar and his generals. During the meeting, they discussed options for ending their war with the Parmeshen without conflict and the possibility of there being a traitor in their midst. When Dalinar brought up Adolin's coronation, Adolin, at the urging of Shallan, hesitantly confessed to his murder Sadeas. He rejected his appointment as king of Kholinar, and Shallan convinced them to appoint Jasnah as queen. A week later, Shallan and Adolin marry with Veil and Radiant by her side. Her brothers arrived to Urithiru, bringing with them a note from Mraize. The note stated that Shallan had fulfilled a portion of her debt to the Ghostbloods by defeating Re-Shephir and they would need her to convince Sja-anat to serve them.[expand]
The War Continues (1174-1175)
Shallan grew up as the only daughter in the minor noble family. After first manifesting her Surgebinding abilities, her mother and her lover attempted to kill her, forcing to Shallan to fatally wound her mother out of self-defense. While her brothers were unaware of the Shallan's part in the death of her mother, her father was aware that his daughter killed her. Shallan's father, Lin Davar, took responsibility for the murder of Shallan's mother, showing that he did care for her daughter. After dealing with public scrutiny and the slow decline of his family, Lin Davar became an abusive father and would often beat his sons and servants, even blaming Shallan for his actions. Fed up with her father's abuse, Shallan and her brothers arranged his death and eventually successfully murdered their own father.
While Shallan had a poor relationship with her parents, she seemed to have a close relationship with all four of her brothers. Out of all of them, she seemed to be closest to her eldest sibling, Helaran. Helaran was shown to constantly bring gifts for Shallan and even visited the house despite his poor relationship with his father. When she was informed of her brother's visits, Shallan would often look forward to his company and the gifts he would bring for her. After learning about the death of Helaran, Shallan became extremely depressed and even resented his murderer until she became aware of the identity of the dark-eyed soldier responsible for his death. While not as close with her other brother, Balat, Shallan deeply cares for him and was shown to often communicate with him despite his disturbing fixation with killing small animals. Shallan was shown to be the only one to care for her other brother, Jushu, when he suffered from his gambling addiction, even going as far as to sell her Soulcasted necklace and convince her brothers to give up their daggers to pay off his debt. While this did not pay all of his debt, Shallan convinced the debt collectors to let him go by sharing that he comforted her when her mother died. After this, the two siblings became much closer to one another. Wikim, the twin brother of Jushu, was often the target of their father's abuse and Shallan would often comfort him during his periods of depression. She was shown to be able to cheer him up by gifting him with sheets of mathematics. Despite not being to close with Wikim, Shallan still cares for her brother.
Despite her miserable childhood, Shallan had maintained a amicable personality until she was forced to confront her past. It is likely that the confrontation of her past experiences with her family, namely her parents, has forced her to create multiple personalities to deal with the emotional trauma she dealt with as a child.
Pattern, a Cryptic, is Shallan's steadfast companion, and perhaps her only friend since childhood, although she herself did not know this for many years. Shallan and Pattern have shared a bond ever since Shallan was a young child. When Shallan's mother attempted to kill her, Pattern manifested himself as a Shardblade, allowing Shallan to defend herself. However, Shallan represses this memory and does not remember this incident or even Pattern until years later. When faced with pressing situations, Shallan would briefly contemplate on whether she should call on Pattern as a Shardblade.
Eventually, Shallan comes to meet Pattern again, who initially is unable to talk and has a weak connection to the physical world. As their bond solidified and Shallan spoke more Truths to Pattern, Pattern grew in intelligence and developed the ability to affect the Physical Realm. In addition to this, Pattern is now capable of becoming a fully formed Shardblade which Shallan uses against enemies such as Tyn.
When Shallan realized that Pattern was the Shardblade she used to kill her mother, she initially expressed her anger and even disgust towards the spren. After reflecting on the situation, Shallan dropped all hostility towards the spren. Despite Shallan's reassurance that she no longer bears any ill-will towards Pattern, the spren is adamant about his belief that Shallan wants to kill him as an act of revenge.
Shallan knew this spren when she was younger, yet had not given her the name of Testament. Instead, she called her Pattern. It wasn't until her adventure into Shadesmar that she remembered that her current spren, Pattern, is not the Cryptic from her childhood. She then recovers this spren from her youth, and names her Testament.
Adolin Kholin was causally betrothed to Shallan after Jasnah proposed marriage between the two adolescents to secure the stability Shallan needed for her family. She accepted the offer, hoping to use his power to save her family. They meet on the Shattered Plains and Shallan is immediately smitten by his looks. As they spent more and more time with one another, Shallan was able to become comfortable around Adolin, sharing her true self with him. After Shallan revealed herself to be a Knight Radiant, he teaches her how to fight with a Shardblade. The two have shown a profound amount of trust for one another as seen when they both exchange their deepest, darkest secrets with one another. While Shallan was initially hesitant to share her mental disorder with Adolin, she later opened up to the prince in order to grow closer to him. Shallan revealed to Adolin that she struggles with her identities due to her dark childhood, and Adolin shared his part in the murder of Highprince Torol Sadeas in return. After the Battle of Thaylen Field, their betrothal is finalized and they are married by the Vorin church.
Jasnah Kholin is Shallan's tutor. Initially reluctant to take on Shallan as a ward, she eventually gave in after Shallan's persistence. Although Shallan initially became Jasnah's ward as a ruse in order to steal Jasnah's Soulcaster, Shallan eventually enjoyed learning from Jasnah and even came to respects her greatly. During her time with Jasnah, her Surgebinding abilities manifested for the first time. Jasnah, who herself has Surgebinding abilities and is a nascent member of the Knights Radiant, helped Shallan to develop her own powers. Recognizing her potential, Jasnah also arranged a causal betrothal for Shallan to her cousin, Adolin Kholin. When Shallan believed that Jasnah died during the shipwreck of Wind's Pleasure, Shallan was clearly distraught by her apparent death.
When Jasnah resurfaced and eventually made her way to Urithiru, Shallan was relieved to know that the scholar was not dead. Jasnah expected that Shallan would continue her duties as a ward; however, Shallan did not really want to return to her old role. While attending meetings of the Knights Radiant, Shallan expressed her frustrations with the scholar and even displayed her annoyance when around Jasnah. Despite this, Shallan and Jasnah still remain on good terms. Shallan even proposed the idea that Jasnah should be crowned queen of Alethkar following the death of the former king, Elhokar.
Shallan and Kaladin are the first two publicly-revealed Knights Radiant in centuries. They initially had a strained relationship. During their first meeting, Shallan was convinced by Tyn to lie to Kaladin, leading to her humiliating Kaladin and taking his new boots. During their later meetings, Shallan believed that she was being treated unfairly by Kaladin, who was holding a grudge against her for events beyond her control. This clash of personalities is reflected in their respective spren, as the Cryptics and honorspren (to which Kaladin's spren Syl belongs) are involved in a complex spren conflict.
Later, when stranded in the chasms of the Shattered Plains, they grew to respect one another. They reveal some of their personal history and deep secrets to each other, including the fact that Shallan has a Shardblade. Due to this time, they both suspect each other of being a Knight Radiant. While Veil and Kaladin both showed some romantic interest in one another towards the end of the second book, both of their feelings for one another seemed to have dissipated by the end of the third book. After learning that Kaladin killed her eldest brother, Helaran.
Shallan first met Wit as a child while attending the Middlefest Fair when he comforted her after she became distraught while thinking about the state of her family and the seemingly dark dealings her father was involved in. Since then, Shallan is shown to think highly of the court jester and seems to be one of the few people on Roshar able to tolerate him. She was even excited to see him again when they encountered one another in the Shattered Plains as seen when she affectionately hugged him much to the surprise of Adolin and Kaladin.
When Shallan began to doubt herself while in Kholinar, Wit comforted her despite his assurance that he is not the kind man she believes him to be. Despite this, Shallan still confided in the man and clearly thinks of him as a friend. She even opens up about her struggle with her mental disorder, and the former court jester advises her to take control and make her other personalities serve her rather than fear them and let them control her.
In the course of her travels, Shallan has accumulated several followers. Many of these followers have progressed into Lightweavers themselves. Together they call themselves the Unseen Court.
- Ishnah, a former spy for House Hamaradin, began spying on Veil in an attempt to join the Ghostbloods, and joined her after being caught at it. She has trained Shallan in spycraft, as well as serving her as a spy.
- Gaz, the former sergeant in charge of bridge crews for Sadeas. When his band of deserters encountered Shallan, he joined her, and has served her loyally.
- Red is another deserter from the same band. In addition to his soldiering skills, he has learned something about spying from Ishnah.
- Vathah was the leader of the band of deserters that attacked the caravan escorting Shallan to Urithiru. Initially defiant and hostile, he grows to respect her. During the siege of Kholinar, to his own surprise, he channels Stormlight as a Lightweaver Squire.
- Shallan did not exist in The Way of Kings Prime.
- Shallan is bisexual. Brandon has said that, while he didn't consciously write her as bisexual originally, he thinks it was in his subconscious. When fans pointed out how some of her thoughts about Jasnah in particular suggest she is bisexual, he agreed and added that he felt like it is "something that was there that [he] hadn't vocalized."
- Shallan was the first person to interact with a Cryptic in centuries.
- Shallan was also the first person to utilize an Oathgate in centuries.
- Shallan is one of the first people to become a Knight Radiant following the Recreance.
- Shallan is a Ravenclaw.
- Shallan is allergic to flowers.
- Oathbringer chapter 122#
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