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Desolations are events in the ancient history of Roshar.[1]


Little is known about them except legends. Still those agree on some points.

Desolations come in cycles, and are regular in coming.[2][3][4] During Desolations, the inhabitants of Roshar are attacked by an enemy force, generally called Voidbringers.[5][6][7][4] The cycle of Desolations seems somehow attached to the Oathpact.[2]

The coming of a Desolation is announced by the appearance of the Ten Heralds.[2][4][8] The appearance of Midnight Essence is also a sign of an upcoming Desolation.[6]

One of the Desolations lasted eleven years.[4]

At the end of what is called the Last Desolation, nine out of ten Heralds abandon the Oathpact leaving only Taln to return to damnation, the place where the Heralds go between the Desolations. This leads to a period of about 4,500 years without a Desolation.

When Talenel appears at Kholinar, he announces the coming of the True Desolation.[8]

Knights Radiant and Desolations[edit]

It is the duty of the Knights Radiant to stay vigilant and prepare themselves and mankind for Desolations, and to fight the Voidbringers when it arrives.[6]


According to Vorinism, mankind fought the Voidbringers during Desolations ninety and nine times, before mankind finally won and drove them back to the Tranquiline Halls.[7] That victory was later referred to as the Last Desolation.


The Desolations had happened during the near-mythical shadowdays, before real history began. Before mankind had defeated the Voidbringers and taken the war to heaven.
Dalinar's thoughts[6]
In the aftermath of each one, mankind was broken. Great cities in ashes, industry smashed. Each time, knowledge and growth were reduced to an almost prehistoric state.


History of Roshar
Expulsion to Roshar The Desolations Aharietiam
  1. The Way of Kings chapter 61
  2. a b c Prelude to the Stormlight Archive
  3. The Way of Kings chapter 42
  4. a b c d The Way of Kings chapter 60
  5. The Way of Kings chapter 3
  6. a b c d The Way of Kings chapter 19
  7. a b The Way of Kings chapter 45
  8. a b The Way of Kings epilogue
  9. Words of Radiance chapter 6
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