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True Desolation

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True Desolation
Date 1173-present
Participants Humans, singers, spren, Odium
Effects Ongoing
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Stormlight Archive
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I have seen the end, and have heard it named. The Night of Sorrows, the True Desolation. The Everstorm.

—Collected on Palaheses 1172, 15 seconds pre-death. Subject was a darkeyed youth of unknown origin.[1]

The True Desolation follows the Era of Solitude on Roshar. Odium and his servants wage war against the rest of Roshar, hoping to eventually allow the Shard to break free of the ties bonding him to the Rosharan system.


After the Last Desolation, nine of the ten Heralds could no longer bear to return to Braize to be tortured by the Fused, and instead gave up the Oathpact. One Herald, Talenel, had been killed in the final battle and had automatically returned to Braize; with him there, the Oathpact remained intact and the Fused were sealed away. They also left behind the Knights Radiant to continue to protect the people of Roshar.[2]

Around the time of the False Desolation, the newest generation of Radiants learned that humans were not native to Roshar and had essentially been taking the singers' land for millennia. Around this time, something—possibly Melishi trapping the Unmade Ba-Ado-Mishram—caused the singers to be stripped of their Connection and Identity, leaving them mostly unable to act for themselves. Honor did not support the Radiants through these events, instead raving about how they would destroy Roshar. As a result, all of the Knights Radiant except the Order of Skybreakers broke their oaths, killing their spren in an event known as the Recreance. Some time after this, Odium finally Splintered Honor, though not before Honor was able to make some arrangements to guide the people of Roshar through the coming fight with Odium.[3]

Unite them. The sun approaches the horizon. The Everstorm comes. The True Desolation. The Night of Sorrows.

Honor during one of Dalinar's visions[4]

Sometime prior to the reunification of Alethkar, the Stormfather began sending the visions that Honor had recorded to potential Bondsmiths to warn them of Odium's coming, guide them to refound the Knights Radiant, and encourage them to unify Roshar against the threat of Odium and his armies. Gavilar Kholin received these visions prior to his death and, shortly thereafter Dalinar Kholin began to receive them as well.[5] The spren were also aware of Odium's impending return and a few Radiant spren began to return to the Physical Realm to bond with potential Radiants.

The Diagram collected a Death Rattle that predicted the coming of the True Desolation.[1] When confronted about his knowledge, Taravangian told Dalinar that the information came from the Herald Battar.[6]


Who am I? I ... I am Talenel'Elin, Stonesinew, Herald of the Almighty. The Desolation has come. Oh, God ... it has come. And I have failed.

—Talenel upon arriving in Kholinar[7]

The True Desolation formally began when, after four and a half millennia of torture, the Herald Talenel finally broke and allowed the Fused to return to Roshar. He then returned to Roshar to warn the people of their coming and prepare them to fight, arriving outside of Kholinar. Upon entering the city, he proclaims that the Desolation has come and that he has failed, before falling to the ground, unconscious.[7] Talenel is later brought to the Shattered Plains where he is widely viewed as a madman. He repeats the same mantra warning of the coming desolation.[8]

Meanwhile, some voidspren were laying the groundwork for the Fused to return. One, Ulim, successfully made contact with the singer Venli, who was researching new forms to help the listeners fight the War of Reckoning against the Alethi. With significant help from Ulim, Venli discovered stormform.[9][10] Though Eshonai worried about that stormform would open the listeners up to their gods, she volunteered to take the form as a test of its nature and abilities.[11] She is unable, however, to control the form and, with Venli's assistance, convinced most of the rest of their people to adopt it as well.[12] During the Battle of Narak, the stormform singers used its power to summon a new storm of Odium, known as the Everstorm. Much like the highstorm, it continually rounds the planet, though in the opposite direction.[13] It restored Connection and Identity to the singers and allows the Fused to be reborn in the body of a singer as it passes over a region.[14][15]


History of Roshar
War of Reckoning The True Desolation Ongoing
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