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Lift

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Lift
Lift.jpg
by Dominick Saponaro
Born 1160[Citation needed]
Abilities Edgedancer
Profession Thief
Groups Huqin's crew
Nationality Reshi
World Roshar
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
This page or section contains spoilers for Edgedancer!
This information has the ability to potentially ruin elements of the plot for the reader. Proceed with caution if you have not read this book.
You're my pet Voidbringer, and no lies are going to change that. I got you captured. No stealing souls, now. We ain't here for souls. Just a little thievery, the type what never hurt nobody.
—Lift to Wyndle[1]

Lift is a Reshi thief who works in the city of Azimir in Azir on Roshar.[1] She has Surgebinding abilities that correspond with the Order of Edgedancers.

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Someone has to care. Too few people care these days.
—Lift[1]

Lift is thirteen years old, and has long straight dark hair that she wears down to her waist.[1] Her skin is tan and she has the rounded features of the Reshi. Lift always keeps a diamond mark in her pocket, which she considers lucky.

As would be expected from someone Lift's age, she often acts child-like.[1] For instance, although she is thirteen years old, she claims to be ten because she believes that any number that she cannot count to on her fingers is unlucky. Lift is often sarcastic and irreverent, which often annoys her fellow Azish thieves. She also enjoys mocking her spren, Wyndle, calling him a Voidbringer instead of a spren because she knows it annoys him and not due to any sort of dislike she has for him. Lift also has little patience for Wyndle's extremely technical explanation of the Realmatic Theory behind her abilities. Despite her teasing, she truly does like Wyndle and is genuinely worried for him when she thinks that Darkness is following her to try and kill Wyndle.

Lift has an interesting perspective on the morality of her thievery.[1] She does not think it wrong because it does not hurt anyone. Lift is also totally uninterested in stealing typical items such as gold, jewelry, spheres or anything traditionally of value. Instead, she likes to break into places and eat their food. She steals food for the challenge, rather than trying to gain any sort of wealth for herself. She uses the Surge of Abrasion often in her thefts.

For all her flaws, Lift has a good heart.[1] She has seen much death in her life, but it still impacts her greatly when someone she knows dies. For instance, when Gawx is mortally wounded, she cares enough to return and try to save him, despite the fact that she is risking capture and death to do so. Lift cares for other people because she thought that someone has to, which seems to be a temperament that is shared by other Edgedancers. Once, Lift tried to stop caring about others, possibly during her time in Rall Elorim, but she quit because it was worse than being dead.

History[edit]

Lift by User:Exmakina.

Early Life[edit]

Despite Lift's race, she was not born in the Reshi Isles.[1] The only reason that she knows that she is Reshi is because her mother told her so. She never lived there or knew her people at all. Lift grew up in the city of Rall Elorim, the City of Shadows, in Iri. Lift had a tough childhood there. It appears she grew up on the streets there, learning to move through crowds with ease. It is possible that Lift learned her thieving skills in Rall Elorim. She eventually left Rall Elorim for unknown reasons, possibly due to her difficult life. It also seems likely that this was the time in her life when Lift attempted to stop caring.

Lift also visited the Valley to see the Nightwatcher and ask a boon of her.[1] It is unknown what Lift's request was, or what Lift's curse was, but it appears that her boon was that Nightwatcher altered her to exist partially in the Cognitive realm. Due to this incredible power bestowed upon Lift by their mother, the Ring decided that Wyndle should be sent to bond with her, so he could mold her while she was still young. This granted Lift her Surgebinding abilities.

Lift spent some time in Marabethia, where she was hunted by Darkness, because he believed that her Surgebinding could bring another Desolation to Roshar.[1] She fled Marabethia and went to the capital of Azir, Azimir. There, Lift fell in with a crew of thieves. The crew was made up of Tigzikk, who Lift called Tig, Huqin, his nephew Gawx, Maxin, and two unnamed brothers who were quick with knives. Tigzikk was the only one Lift knew well. An informant told him which night would be good for robbing the Bronze Palace, while the vizerate was busy choosing a new Prime Aqasix, following the death of the last two at the hands of Szeth. Lift could have robbed the palace on her own, but she felt like she owed it to Tigzikk to help him, and she wanted to make sure that he would be safe.

Bronze Palace Heist[edit]

When the crew enters the grounds of Bronze Palace, Lift spots Darkness in the streets near the palace and quickly climbs the wall to escape.[1] She uses Wyndle to gain access to a room which the thieving crew begins ransacking for clothes and shoes. Lift is supposed to keep watch in the room with Gawx, but she leaves in search of food, and he follows. They disagree about where to go, she wants to go to the Prime's quarters where she can find food, but Gawx wants to go to the Vizers' quarters, which he thinks will be mostly empty. They each go their separate ways.

Lift manages to successfully sneak into the Prime's quarters because of the commotion caused when Gawx is caught.[1] However, before she can eat much food, Darkness arrives, along with two associates, bearing forms that give him the authority to arrest and execute her. Lift is briefly captured, and manages to escape, but during the process one of Darkness's men cuts Gawx's throat. Despite the fact that she is safely away, Lift decides to return to try to heal Gawx from his wound.

Lift returns in time to save Gawx's life, performing Regrowth for the first time to heal him.[1] Darkness then captures her and drags her away to kill her. However, the viziers think that Gawx has healed himself, and believe that it was a sign from the Heralds that Gawx is to be their new Prime Aquasix. They think it means that he can survive future attacks from Szeth. Gawx hurriedly pardons Lift for her crimes, and Darkness is forced to release her.

Time in Yeddaw[edit]

Lift ultimately left the Bronze Palace in Azimir and set out for Yeddaw[2]. She interrupts a local guard, Hauka, while she is reviewing a smuggler who is also trying to gain entry to the city. She avoids capture once being discovered in the smuggler's pile of Tallew, and then tips the cart over into the immigrant district of the city, then jumping off the ledge after it[3]. She avoids death by grabbing onto Wyndle to slow her descent [4].

She then goes out in search of urchins to find a place where she can eat since she expended most of her Stormlight evading the guards [5]. She met a girl who told her of the Tashi's Light Orphanage, a place where she could potentially get a meal if she got on the good side of the woman who runs it [6].

When Lift arrives at the orphanage she is told to wait which upsets her. While waiting for her food, she sees a mother come by the orphanage to drop off her child as he is hurt and sick and she can no longer care for him. When the Stump comes to bring the child in, she is told by the Stump that she will be given three meals and then they will no longer feed her at the orphanage. After getting her food, she talks with an old man sitting on one of the stone benches in front of the orphanage. He tells her that the woman who runs the orphanage likes to trade spheres and that if she can find someone who would trade with her then she may let Lift stay at the orphanage[6].

After she leaves the orphanage, Lift sets out in search of the guard she met at the gate. She finds her then follows her to her home, where she sees Darkness go in after her and question her on her altercation with Lift [7]. She then trails Darkness through the city, and ultimately to his base of operations within the city[7]. After eating his food, she then spies on the Skybreakers and finds that Darkness has found two potential recruits in addition to Szeth. She overhears them talking about searching for her and for another person within the city who is a potential radiant[8].

After this, Lift returns to the orphanage to claim her second meal from the Stump. While she is there she runs into the boy whose mother dropped him off during her first visit to find that his condition seems to have significantly improved. The Stump seems to think this is because he was faking his injury all along to take from the orphanage [9]. She also has another conversation with the old man who frequents the orphanage's bench.

Lift then goes off in search of a place where information in the city is stored. She trades for information with a woman who points her to the Grand Indicium at the center of the city [10]. She then travels to the large building to find an idea of who the other radiant in the city might be[11]. She goes straight to the front of the building, telling the scribe at the desk that she is a friend of the emperor of Azir. The scribe does not believe her so Lift has the scribes contact the Aquasix in Azimir who then bade the scribes to listen to what Lift needs[12]. She then has the scribes search the information for any strange events that have happened in the city recently but none of them seem pertinent so Lift begins getting frustrated. She then gets the idea that Darkness' minions likely got the same idea to track down the potential Radiant as she did and heads off in search of where in the building they might be [13]

When they find the room where Darkness' lackeys are looking for information in, Lift has Wyndle follow them inside and listen for who they are targeting while she stays outside, unable to sneak past Szeth, who sits guarding the door. Wyndle did not gather much information other than the fact that the Skybreakers had found their target, so Lift follows them when they leave the room [14]. She is confronted by Szeth who partially unsheathes Nightblood. When Nightblood leaves Lift unharmed, Szeth has a conversation with Lift, informing her that the other Skybreakers were in search of the old man who often sat outside the orphanage as there were rumors that he could change his appearance and was marked as a potential Lightweaver. He tells her she has no chance of catching up to them, but Lift sets out after them anyway [15].

When she reaches the orphanage, she hears a scream that makes her believe she has come too late. The Stump confronts her outside the orphanage, believing her to be the source of the scream. Lift asks for the last of her three meals to replenish her stormlight before going off to confront the Skybreakers [16].

Lift finds that instead of the old man being the one harmed, it was in fact the two Skybreakers who lay dead on the ground. The man, Arclo, goes on sever tangents about philosophy before revealing that Darkness will go after the other radiant if she were to flee. Arclo then guides Lift to the conclusion that the Stump is the other radiant, leaving Lift to go back running towards the orphanage [17].

When she arrives at the orphanage, she finds that Darkness has beaten her there. The fight and he ultimately traps her with his knife until the Stump comes back down from the roof of the orphanage, allowing Lift to free herself. Darkness then stabs the Stump and leaves her to bleed out while he chases Lift. They end up on the roof, where Lift states one of the Edgedancer ideals, allowing her to change Wyndle's form into something she can use as a weapon. She is ultimately able to convince Nale that the voidbringers are back, and that he needs to stop trying to stop the radiants from forming[18]

She is able to help the Stump to heal, and explains to her some of the abilities she has, like the ability to heal herself and those around her. After which she leaves to head back to Azimir [19].

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Thievery[edit]

Even without any sort of magical help, Lift is a skilled thief.[1] She can scale walls easily and is a skilled enough pickpocket that she can easily steal as many spheres as she likes without it being any sort of challenge. Her mastery of thievery is possibly what drives her to break into heavily guarded locations and steal something so unconventional as food.

Surgebinding[edit]

Lift has formed a Nahel bond with Wyndle, which grants her the ability to Surgebind, although Lift herself is not entirely certain whether she believes this.[1] As with all Surgebinders, Lift gains superhuman strength and speed when she holds Stormlight, as well as the ability to heal quickly from non-mortal wounds. When Lift is invested with Stormlight, she refers to it as her "Awesomeness." She is a member of the order of Radiants known as the Edgedancers. This gives her access to two Surges, Friction and Growth. Lift also has a rare and possibly unique ability to convert food to Stormlight through consumption. While this may seem a great blessing, it hinders her ability to gather Stormlight from gemstones and other sources.

Abrasion

Abrasion allows her to change the friction of her body against her surroundings.[1] She refers to this ability as her "Slickness." Lift uses this ability often to make quick getaways. She reduces friction on all parts of her body except the soles of her feet and palms of her hands, and then kneels and propels herself swiftly forward using her palms. This also comes in handy when Lift is escaping pursuers, because it is nearly impossible for them to get a grip on her. She can also use it to increase the friction of herself, making it extremely easy to climb walls with even the slightest handholds.

Progression

The Surge of Progression allows for two different sorts of abilities.[1] The more basic of these two is simply called Growth. Lift can use Stormlight to increase the rate of growth of plants. When Lift uses Growth, plant life that she illuminates grows at an extremely accelerated rate, and she has some measure of control over the way that it grows. She is less practiced at this ability, but she uses it for things such as making vines grow to force a locked window open. It is unknown if this allows Lift to enhance the Growth rate of animals or not.

The Surge of Progression grants Lift another power as well, known as Regrowth.[1] It allows Lift to heal others from serious injuries that would otherwise be fatal. When Lift uses Regrowth, she breathes out clouds of Stormlight which then flow into the injured person's mouth, healing them.

Old Magic[edit]

Lift's visit to the Nightwatcher leaves her with a rather unique trait, one that is not among the typical power set of the Edgedancers.[1] She exists partially in the Cognitive realm, which grants her some special abilities. The first is that she can touch spren, something that is supposed to be impossible, as they exist mostly in the Cognitive realm. This ability greatly helps Lift with her thievery, as Wyndle takes the form of a vine. He can make handholds or increase the width of ledges for Lift by growing where she needs to go, but no one else is able to see or touch him.

Lift's other power is even more impressive.[1] Most Surgebinders need to draw Stormlight from an external source in order to manipulate the Surges. Lift, however, can metabolize food directly into Stormlight, instead of sugar.[20] Food that she can metabolize quicker, such as bread can be metabolized into Stormlight faster than something like sausage, but may provide less Stormlight overall because it has fewer calories. She can also convert the energy reserves in her own body into Stormlight. These abilities are unique to Lift.[21] However, this power can be dangerous too, as she often risks malnutrition when she burns through all her excess energy.[1] There is another issue with the fact that Lift can gain Stormlight from food. She does not learn how to drain Stormlight from external sources, so the amount of Stormlight she can use is limited by the amount of food she has eaten.

In Edgedancer, it is hinted that Lift wished to remain the same, not change, or to remain young. The boon and curse are still unknown as of Edgedancer's release

Quotes[edit]

I'm pure. I'm a child and stuff. I'm so storming pure I practically belch rainbows.
— Lift[1]
What's the point of sneaking into a palace if not to get in trouble?
— Lift[1]

Development[edit]

Lift is a character that Brandon Sanderson has had in his head for quite a while.[22] She is a classic example of what he is hoping to do with a broader series, such as the Stormlight Archive. With the extra space a multi-book series allows, Brandon wants to create a world full of cultures and characters that are less common in fantasy and science fiction. Lift is an outgrowth of this desire. Brandon wants the Knights Radiant to be something different than classical European knights. He doesn't want them to all be young, white, men, swearing oaths of chivalry and valor. Brandon was looking for a character that would be interesting and popular, but no one's first idea when they thought of a knight. Lift, a thirteen year old Hispanic girl on a thieving crew with a weird sense of morality, is the result. Brandon hopes that playing with concepts like these, and stretching our ideas of what a fantasy book and it's characters should look like will allow him to avoid the staleness that is a common complaint in science fiction and fantasy.

Lift's appearance in an interlude in Words of Radiance will be the first of many.[23] Brandon decided to write an interlude featuring her, as a sort of "seed" for her future appearances.[24] She is one of the flashback characters for the second five book arc in the Stormlight Archive,[25] something that Brandon has planned for a long time.[22] As one of the characters in the back five books, Lift will become even more prominent as the series continues.[26] Brandon intends to perhaps even write a few more short stories featuring Lift before he publishes her books.[27]

Notes[edit]

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Words of Radiance interlude I-9
  2. Edgedancer chapter 1
  3. Edgedancer chapter 3
  4. Edgedancer chapter 4
  5. Edgedancer chapter 5
  6. a b Edgedancer chapter 6
  7. a b Edgedancer chapter 7
  8. Edgedancer chapter 9
  9. Edgedancer chapter 10
  10. Edgedancer chapter 11
  11. Edgedancer chapter 12
  12. Edgedancer chapter 13
  13. Edgedancer chapter 14
  14. Edgedancer chapter 15
  15. Edgedancer chapter 16
  16. Edgedancer chapter 17
  17. Edgedancer chapter 18
  18. Edgedancer chapter 19
  19. Edgedancer chapter 20
  20. What she can do is she can metabolize into investiture instead of sugar.
    17th Shard forums - February 20, 2015
  21. Lift is one of a kind.
    Theoryland - August 13, 2014
  22. a b You will get a lot more with Lift.
    Theoryland - Apr 16th, 2014
  23. Lift, specifically, is one of the characters in the back five.
    Theoryland - March 19, 2014
  24. Lift is seeded there because she will be very important later on.
    Theoryland - March 11, 2014
  25. Yes, Lift is one of the characters who was originally planned for the back five.
    Theoryland - March 21, 2014
  26. It will focus mostly on different characters
    Theoryland - August 31, 2013
  27. And I'll probably do some more shorts with Lift because she is so much fun.
    Theoryland - March 21, 2014
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