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Talenel'Elin

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Talenel'Elin
Herald Tanat
Drawing by Isaac Stewart
Biographical information
Race Herald
Gender Male
Status Alive
Abilities Surgebinding
Physical Description
Hair Color Black
Eye Color Dark Brown
Social Information
Aliases Taln, Talenelat, Stonesinew
Title(s) Herald of War, Madman
Occupation Herald of the Almighty
Appears in The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance

Talenel'Elin, Stonesinew, one of the ten Heralds of the Almighty[1] (called Taln by his fellows and Talenelat in modern Alethkar), is known as the Herald of War.

BiographyEdit

He was abandoned 4500 years ago in Damnation[2] (or wherever Heralds go to between Desolations) by the other Heralds (after they decided to separate and forsake their oaths) to suffer alone. At the end of The Way of Kings, he is seen returning to Kholinar, worn and slightly delusional, warning all that the True Desolation had arrived. He then collapses.[1]

At the end of The Way of Kings, it is unclear whether he is dead (as his sword doesn't vanish, which makes some think he is dead).[1] However, there is evidence that Honorblades behave differently than regular Shardblades. Several of the chapter epigraphs appear to be attributable to him. However, he appears in Words of Radiance as a madman.

Taln vs wit

Talenel and Wit
Fan art by botanicaxu[1]

AppearanceEdit

Talenel'Elin is a tall, dark-skinned, muscular man, not unlike a man from the Makabaki kingdoms. His hair is long, matted and ratty. His beard has bits of wood and leaves stuck in it. His eyes are dark brown, like a man's of the Alethi lower class, yet wild and dazed.[1]

He is dressed in a ragged, sacklike length of cloth wrapped about his waist.[1]

PersonalityEdit

In the past Desolations, he had a tendency for picking impossible fights and winning them, though it often led to his death. He was a man of great tenacity and dependable as well as dutiful.

In the current timeline, after suffering torture in Damnation for the past 4,500 years, he appears mentally unstable. He reacts sparsely to his surroundings, and appears to desperately hold to his task to prepare mankind for the Desolation, repeating what should be done over and over again like a mantra.

Curiously, he speaks in different dialects at times; Dalinar and Elhokar were only able to understand a word here and there, whereas at other times people had no problem understanding him.

Abilities and PowersEdit

As the only one among the Heralds who remained true to the Oathpact, Talenel'Elin still possesses his Honorblade. It is long, narrow and straight, shaped like an enormous spike.[1] Due to its nature as an Honorblade, it doesn't dematerialize unless Taln directly commands it to do so.

Though his mind appears broken, he has incredible reflexes and is able to move with stunning speed when forced into action, as is evidenced when he catches two darts in quick succession from Iyatil's blowgun when she ambushed Amaram in his cell. (This is made even more notable by the fact that his cell is kept very dark).[3]

Words of RadianceEdit

Dalinar had a trusted servant (i.e., Bordin) bring Taln to his warcamp and the "precious cargo" who was "carrying a Shardblade" was ensconced in his temple complex.[4][5]

With regard to Taln, given Dalinar's new knowledge of Amaram's past acquisition of a Shardblade via Kaladin's own reveal to him,[6] Dalinar delivered the following realization to Amaram:

"I told my servant," Dalinar said calmly, "to go drinking with your personal guard - he knew many of them - and talk of a treasure that the madman had said had been hidden for years outside the warcamp. By my order, he then placed the madman's Shardblade in a nearby cavern. After that, we waited." [5]

And again ... :

"I thought," Dalinar said, "that if you had been willing to murder for one Blade, you'd be willing to lie for a second. And so, after I knew you'd sneaked in to see the madman on your own, I asked you to investigate his claims for me. I gave your conscience plenty of time to come clean, out of respect for our friendship. When you told me you'd found nothing - but in fact you had actually recovered the Shardblade - I knew the truth." [5]

RescueEdit

In an attempt to remove Taln from the temple complex, Amaram is attacked by Iyatil with her blow darts. Taln intercepts the darts by grabbing them from within their projection. Amaram was targeted by Iyatil because his maps and possible attempts to find lost Urithiru appear to be in conflict with the plans of the Ghostbloods.[3]

Amaram attempted to summon his Blade, but was too slow. He chased after the perpetrator, looked back toward the Herald for his safety, and was startled to find the Herald standing tall. He then brought Taln to his coach.[3]

ReferencesEdit

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