Summary:Words of Radiance/Chapter 1

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Chapter 1: Santhid
Shallan's Chapters.svg
Words of Radiance Summary
Follows Prologue: To Question
Precedes Chapter 2: Bridge Four
Viewpoint Shallan Davar
Word Count 7,930


To be perfectly frank, what has happened these last two months is upon my head. The death, destruction, loss, and pain are my burden. I should have seen it coming. And I should have stopped it.

—From the personal journal of Navani Kholin, Jeseses 1174

Plot Summary[edit]

Shallan and Jasnah are sailing from Kharbranth with Tozbek and his crew. Shallan attempts to sketch Shadesmar, which she has only visited once before. As she does so, she sees a pattern emerge from her drawing. She is shocked as the pattern moves. The pattern, of course, is Shallan's spren, but she has not realized this yet. Shallan exclaims in fear, but then reassures the sailing crew that nothing was wrong. The crew shouts an alarm, for a Santhid is sailing next to the boat. Shallan, a natural historian, is thrilled to see one of these creatures in person, since many scientists considered them extinct. Frustrated that all she can see is the top of its shell, Shallan asks the sailors to bring a rope so she can go underwater for a better view. She exclaims, "Nobody has ever produced a drawing of a live santhid"! As she waits for the sailors to get what she needs, Shallan meditates on how much bolder she has become over the past few months. She reflects, "It was as if...once she had feared the darkness, but now she had stepped into it. She had experienced some of the horrors that awaited her there." A voice inside her reminds her, "You always knew...You just won't let yourself remember them."

The captain of the ship approaches her and says he will not permit her to get in the water to view the Santhid. Shallan is deeply disappointed and wants to protest, but wilts and accepts their order.

Jasnah emerges from below deck, and sees Shallan's sketch of Shadesmar. Shallan is surprised that Jasnah has decided to explain Shadesmar to her, but Jasnah says, "I know through painful experience how dangerous Shadesmar can be. If I leave you in ignorance, I'll be to blame if you get yourself killed there." She explains that it is "not truly a location...Shadesmar is here, all around us, right now. All things exist there in some form, as all things exist here....All things have three components: the soul, the body, and the mind...Shadesmar, is what we call the Cognitive Realm--the place of the mind." Jasnah then expresses trepidation about returning to Shadesmar, and reminds Shallan that Jasnah knows little more of the place than Shallan does, despite having been aware of its existence for six years. Jasnah elaborates, "There is an entire world, Shallan, of which our minds skim by the surface. A world of deep, profound thought. A world created by deep, profound thoughts. When you see Shadesmar, you enter those depths. It is an alien place to us in some ways, but at the same time we formed it. With some help." She says spren are part of the cognitive world that have "leaked" into the physical world. Jasnah says that information is hard to get from the spren because of "our ancient betrayal", the details of which they do not share with Jasnah.

Shallan is worried about the family she has left in Jah Keved, but Jasnah says that she has taken measures to help them. She has asked her mother Navani to try to fix the Davar's broken soulcaster, and has arranged for Shallan to be betrothed to Adolin Kholin. Shallan is ecstatic at the prospect, but then anxious at how little she has to offer Adolin in marriage. Jasnah responds that she thinks that Shallan might be a Knight Radiant, and would thus be able to offer something no one else could. Jasnah tells Shallan that power is just "an illusion of perception". She urges Shallan to try to act more regally in order to be more respected. Shallan tries out the advice and demands from the ship's captain again to see the Santhid. She imitates what she thinks Jasnah would do, and is successful. She goes under the water and sees the majestic ocean creatures, surrounded by strange spren. She sees it eye-to-eye and makes a Memory.




Aboard The Wind's Pleasure (Tozbek's ship) heading to the Shattered Plains.

Chapter Header[edit]

Pailiah.jpgPailiah.jpgShallan's Chapters.svgPailiah.jpgPailiah.jpg
Shadesmar Icon

The icon used for Shallan's chapters for The Way of Kings and early chapters of Words of Radiance.

Pailiah wedge

Pailiah is associated with the divine attribute of "Learned" and Shallan learns several lessons over the course of the chapter.

See Also[edit]


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