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Warning Book Spoiler: Significant plot details follow.






Words of Radiance is the book Jasnah presents to Shallan in order that she learn more about the different Orders of the Knights Radiant.[1]

Among the Knights Radiant, there was an order known as the Lighweavers. I know precious little about them, but of all the sources I've read, this one has the most information.

–Jasnah to Shallan [1]

This is Jasnah's own copy, later lost in the shipwreck of the Wind's Pleasure.[1]

Once she reaches the reaches the warcamps on the Shattered Plains, Shallan enlists the assistance of Vathah and Gaz in locating a replacement copy of the volume.[2] Unfortunately, that copy has to be ordered in from Kholinar. The volume does not arrive until Gaz presents her with a worn, found copy just as the combined armies of Alethkar are about to make the final excursion across the Plains for Stormseat (recently inhabited by and known to the Parshendi as Narak).[3]

Shallan finds the distraction of the book extremely welcome as the armies move across the Plains. To her, the book is both wonderful and frustrating.[3]

HistoryEdit

The book has a chapter for each of the Orders of Knights Radiant, inclusive of descriptions of their traditions, abilities and attitudes. The author admitted that a lot of it was hearsay as it was written two hundred years after the Recreance, by which time facts, lore and superstition had mixed freely. It was written in an old dialect of Alethi, using the protoscript, a precursor to the women's script of the modern day.[3]

Known TextEdit

But as for Ishi'Elin, his was the part most important at their inception; he readily understood the implications of Surges being granted to men, and caused organization to be thrust upon them; as having too great power, he let it be known that he would destroy each and every one, unless they agreed to be bound by precepts and laws.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 2, page 4[4]

And thus were the disturbances in the Revv toparchy quieted, when, upon their ceasing to prosecute their civil dissensions, Nalan'Elin betook himself to finally accept the Skybreakers who had named him their master, when initially he had spurned their advances and, in his own interests, refused to countenance that which he deemed a pursuit of vanity and annoyance; this was the last of the Heralds to admit to such patronage.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 5, page 17[5]

As to the other orders that were inferior in this visiting of the far realm of the 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[6]

And now, if there was an uncut gem among the Radiants, it was the Willshapers; for though enterprising, they were erratic, and Invia wrote of them, 'capricious, frustrating, unreliable,' as taking it for granted that others would agree; this may have been an intolerant view, as often Invia expressed, for this order was said to be most varied, inconsistent in temperament save for a general love of adventure, novelty, or oddity.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 7, page 1[7]

They also, when they had settled their rulings in the nature of each bond’s placement, called the name of it the Nahel bond, with regard to its effect upon the souls of those caught in its grip; in this description, each was related to the bonds that drive Roshar itself, ten Surges, named in turn and two for each order; in this light, it can be seen that each order would by necessity share one Surge with each of its neighbors.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 8, page 6[8]

Now, as the Truthwatchers were esoteric in nature, their order being formed entirely of those who never spoke or wrote of what they did, in this lies frustration for those who would see their exceeding secrecy from the outside; they were not naturally inclined to explanation; and in the case of Corberon's disagreements, their silence was not a sign of an exceeding abundance of disdain, but rather an exceeding abundance of tact.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 11, page 6[9]

Malchin was stymied, for though he was inferior to none in the arts of war, he was not suitable for the Lightweavers; he wished for his oaths to be elementary and straightforward, and yet their spren were liberal, as to our comprehension, in definitions pertaining to this matter; the process included speaking truths as an approach to a threshold of self-awareness that Malchin could never attain.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 12, page 12[10]

Now, as each order was thus matched to the nature and temperament of the Herald it named patron, there was none more archetypal of this than the Stonewards, who followed after Talenelat’Elin, Stonesinew, Herald of War: they thought it a point of virtue to exemplify resolve, strength, and dependability. Alas, they took less care for imprudent practice of their stubbornness, even in the face of proven error.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 13, page 1[11]

But as for the Bondsmiths, they had members only three, which number was not uncommon for them; nor did they seek to increase this by great bounds, for during the times of Madasa, only one of their order was in continual accompaniment to Urithiru and its thrones. Their spren were understood to be specific, and to persuade them to grow to the magnitude of the other orders was seen as seditious.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 16, page 14[12]

And when they were spoken of by the common folk, the Releasers claimed to be misjudged because of the dreadful nature of their power; and when they dealt with others, always were they firm in their claim that other epithets, notably 'Dustbringers,' often heard in the common speech, were unacceptable substitutions, in particular for their similarity to the word 'Voidbringers.' They did also exercise anger in great prejudice regarding it, though to many who speak, there was little difference between these two assemblies.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 17, page 11[13]

When Simol was informed of the arrival of the Edgedancers, a concealed consternation and terror, as is common in such cases, fell upon him; although they were not the most demanding of orders, their graceful, limber movements hid a deadliness that was, by this time, quite renowned; also, they were the most articulate and refined of the Radiants.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 20, page 12[14]

Yet, were the orders not disheartened by so great a defeat, for the Lightweavers provided spiritual sustenance; they were enticed by those glorious creations to venture on a second assault.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter21, page 10[2]

These Lightweavers, by no coincidence, included many who pursued the arts; namely: writers, artists, musicians, painters, sculptors. Considering the order’s general temperament, the tales of their strange and varied mnemonic abilities may have been embellished.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 21, page 10[15]

There came also sixteen of the order of Windrunners, and with them a considerable number of squires, and finding in that place the Skybreakers dividing the innocent from the guilty, there ensued a great debate.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 28, page 3[16]

The considerable abilities of the Skybreakers for making such amounted to an almost divine skill, for which no specific Surge or spren grants capacity, but however the order came to such an aptitude, the fact of it was real and acknowledged even by their rivals.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 28, page 3[17]

So Melishi retired to his tent, and resolved to destroy the Voidbringers upon the next day, but that night did present a different stratagem, related to the unique abilities of the Bondsmiths; and being hurried, he could make no specific account of his process; it was related to the very nature of the Heralds and their divine duties, an attribute the Bondsmiths alone could address.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 30, page 18[18]

In short, if any presume Kazilah to be innocent, you must look at the facts and deny them in their entirety; to say that the Radiants were destitute of integrity for this execution of one their own, one who had obviously fraternized with the unwholesome elements, indicates the most slothful of reasoning; for the enemy’s baleful influence demanded vigilance on all occasions, of war and of peace.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 32, page 17[19]

Twenty-three cohorts followed behind, that came from the contributions of the King of Makabakam, for though the bond between man and spren was at times inexplicable , the ability for bonded spren to manifest in our world rather than their own grew stronger through the course of the oaths given.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 35, page 9[20]

Now, as the Windrunners were thus engaged, arose the event which has hitherto been referenced: namely, that discovery of some wicked thing of eminence, though whether it be some rogueries among the Radiants’ adherents or of some external origin, Avena would not suggest.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 38, page 6[21]

That they responded immediately and with great consternation is undeniable, as these were primary among those who would forswear and abandon their oaths. The term Day of Recreance was not then applied, but has since become a popular title by which this event is named.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 38, page 6[22]

This act of great villainy went beyond the impudence which had hitherto been ascribed to the orders; as the fighting was particularly intense at this time, many attributed this act to a sense of inherent betrayal; and after they withdrew, about two thousand made assault upon them, destroying much of the membership; but this was only nine of the ten, as one said they would not abandon their arms and flee, but instead entertained great subterfuge at the expense of the other nine.

–From Words of Radiance chapter 38, page 20[23]

ReferencesEdit

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