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WoR Ch53


As to the other orders that were inferior in this visiting of the far realm of spren, the Elsecallers were prodigiously benevolent, allowing others as auxiliary to their visits and interactions; though they did never relinquish their place as prime liaisons with the great ones of the spren; and the Lightweavers and Willshapers both also had an affinity to the same, though neither were the true masters of that realm.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 6, page 2


Point of view: Adolin
Setting: Dueling arena, the Shattered Plains

Progression of the Chapter:

Adolin duels Elit using a new technique, very precise and calculated; Elit’s Plate completely seizes up for lack of Stormlight to repair it, Adolin is pronounced the victor, and the crowd is annoyed, all of which pleases Adolin tremendously; Shallan comes to congratulate him, and Navani promptly leaves; Shallan and Adolin begin to make dinner plans, but are interrupted by the arrival of Relis in a foul temper; Adolin had expected this and finally goads Relis into a duel by offering all his family's Shards against those of Relis and whoever he brings with him; it promises to be spectacular.

Quote of the Chapter:

"Fight me!" Elit shouted from within his helm.

"I have." Adolin replied quietly. "And I’ve won."

Elit lurched forward. Adolin backed up. To the boos of the crowd, he waited until Elit locked up completely - his Plate out of Stormlight. The dozens of small cracks Adolin had put in the man’s armor had finally added up.

Then, Adolin strolled forward, placed a hand against Elit’s chest, and shoved him over. He crashed to the ground.

Adolin looked up at Brightlady Istow, highjudge.

"Judgment," the highjudge said with a sigh, "again goes to Adolin Kholin. The victor. Elit Ruthar forfeits his Plate."

Commentary:

Yet another fighting style from Adolin. The first duel was a beat-down, then in the second one he carefully kept very close, and in this one he deliberately wore down Elit’s Plate until it seized up. He's definitely not lost his edge and he's doing it all on purpose. However, all others see is that he’s being inconsistent, except that he's winning everything.

Adolin maintained incredible self-control in this duel. Despite the emotional backdrop, he is absolutely controlled - and controlling - as he executes exactly the duel he had planned.

Ideal form. Each step in place. The Thrill rose within him, but he shoved it down. He was disgusted by the highprinces and their squabbling, but today he would not show them that fury. Instead, he’d show them perfection.

Adolin is frustrated, angry, disgusted, and generally cranky about both the Parshendi and the Highprinces who oppose Dalinar, but instead of being controlled or driven by his emotions, he is calm, careful, serene, precise, quiet. He planned exactly how he wanted it to go, and it went exactly as he planned. Because he’s just that good. And all that in spite of the fact that Elit was clearly trying to wound or kill him ... quite against the principles of dueling.

Elit growled audibly from within his helm, then came in with another thrust. Right at Adolin’s faceplate.

Trying to kill me, are you? Adolin thought, taking one hand from his Blade and raising it just under Elit’s oncoming Blade, letting it slide between his thumb and forefinger.

Elit's Blade ground along Adolin’s hand as he lifted upward and to the right. It was a move that you could never perform without Plate - you’d end with your hand sliced in half if you tried that on a regular sword, worse if you tried it on a Shardblade.

With Plate, he easily guided the thrust up past his head, then swept in with his other hand, slamming his Blade against Elit’s side.

Adolin’s gambit pays off, since Relis comes storming in with his fellow lighteyes, all threats and bristles, and finally allows himself to be goaded into a duel. Why does Brightness Istow come with him? Even though she assures Relis that Adolin didn’t break any rules, judges are supposed to be impartial!

Did Relis catch on right away about the loophole left when Adolin didn’t specify a number? Likely, Istow noticed it. Did the others realize it as well, or did she give them the idea?

Stormwatch:

This is the day after Kaladin's and Shallan’s respective level-ups in Surgebinding. There are thirty days left in the countdown.

Heraldic Symbolism:

Battar presides alone over this chapter. Patron Herald of the Elsecallers, she represents the attributes of Wise/Careful, which I assume is the reason she’s here. She is represented positively by Adolin’s careful, precise, perfect execution of the duel… and negatively by his failure to think carefully through the wording he used in his challenge to Relis:

"If you’re afraid," Adolin said, looking back to Relis, "you don’t have to duel me alone."

Relis stopped in place. He looked back. "Are you saying you’ll take me on with anyone else at the same time?"

"I am," Adolin said. "I’ll fight you and whomever you bring, together."

"You are a fool," Relis breathed.

...

Relis stormed out. The others trailed after. The highjudge lingered, regarding Adolin. "You realize what you have done."

"I know the dueling conventions quite well. Yes. I’m aware."

She sighed, but nodded, walking out.

Words of Radiants:

It seems that both Transportation and Transformation give a reasonable affinity to Shadesmar, so a Willshaper would be able to access it roughly as well as Shallan does; the combination of the two Surges, unique to the Elsecallers, grants true mastery, after a certain amount of practice. Historically, the Elsecallers were known to graciously transport others - Knights Radiant only, or others as well? - to Shadesmar with them. Why?

- Paraphrased from Alice Arneson[1]

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