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|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
Appearance and Personality
Adrotagia is an aging Kharbranthian woman. She has green eyes and wispy, silvery hair that she wears in a bun. She shows various physical signs of her age, including liver spots and large bags under her eyes from drooping skin.
As a scholar who is also an unbeliever, Adrotagia disapproves of people relying on faith rather than evidence. However, she still maintains the Vorin practice of burning glyphwards, which she does each morning for her deceased husband. Taravangian sometimes thinks of her as "sentimental".
She shows ruthlessness in seeing the goals of the Diagram achieved even when they involve murder, showing little regard for Taravangian's pangs of conscience whenever he is having a day of low intelligence but high compassion. Despite this, Adrotagia still follows some sort of moral compass. She once objected to the idea of killing innocent children, calling Taravangian a monster for ordering it during one of his extremely intelligent but conceited days.
Attributes and Abilities
Intelligence and Scholarship
”It's perfectly possible. The likelihood of it having happened is one, as it already occurred. That is the oddity of outliers and probability, Taravangian. A day like that could happen again tomorrow. Nothing forbids it.—Adrotagia, regarding the day of Taravangian's peak intelligence
Adrotagia is an exceptionally intelligent polymath. She is an expert in interpreting and deciphering the puzzles of the Diagram, and has performed translation of complex symbols and languages that Taravangian made up on the spot, sometimes making multiple attempts if new information comes to light. She can write in women's script and is able to coordinate the use of multiple spanreeds at the same time. She is knowledgeable regarding Rosharan architecture and ancient books and poetry. She has plotted a graph tracking Taravangian's level of intelligence, proving that it falls on a logarithmic scale and that the distribution follows a normal bell curve. She is able to serve as a stormwarden and can even calculate the speed and strength of the Everstorm. She has also performed experiments with Stormlight, including its effects on plant growth. Her age does not seem to have affected her ability to handle her various scholarly duties.
Leadership in the Diagram
Adrotagia is aware of all of the Diagram's activities, including the use of Szeth as an assassin and the plot to undermine Dalinar's coalition. As one of Taravangian's most trusted advisors, she is one of the few people who knows of the king's fluctuating intelligence. Through her position in the Diagram, she generally has a high level of knowledge regarding politics and other happenings across Roshar through her close relationships with Taravangian and Mrall. The writings of the Diagram itself also provide her some clues about the importance of certain individuals such as Mraize and Dalinar. She performs normal scholarly duties outside of her work with the Diagram, and maintains a relatively high profile; some people who are unaware of Taravangian's condition suspect that she holds the true power of the Kharbranthian throne.
Adrotagia presumably helps with interpreting the Death Rattles, which are used to augment the Diagram. She keeps in contact with Joshor and Dova, who collect these Death Rattles. She also helps the Diagram track the locations of the known Unmade on Roshar, including Moelach and Nergaoul. She has a high level of knowledge regarding the various magical phenomena on Roshar, such as Surgebinding, Soulcasting, the Thrill, and the Everstorm. She oversees a group of subordinate scholars loyal to the Diagram, and sometimes enlists them to help with various tasks; some of them are based in Jah Keved after Taravangian becomes its monarch.
Adrotagia grew up as a close personal friend of Taravangian, presumably in Kharbranth. Taravangian described her as a mischievous child, and reminisced about the trouble that they would get in together. She referred to the king by his boyhood nickname of Vargo and he called her Adro, even as adults, although she sometimes addressed him more formally as "your Majesty". At some point, Adrotagia was married to an unknown individual, but was later widowed. As Taravangian rose to power, Adrotagia became the head of his scholars and scribes. Taravangian noted that when he and Adrotagia were young, they wanted to conquer the world—or save it.
Taravangian, Old Magic, and the Diagram
Adrotagia was among Taravangian's most trusted confidants and was presumably aware of his visit to the Valley when he received a boon and curse through the Old Magic of the Nightwatcher. Taravangian told Adrotagia on several occasions that he asked for "capacity" to save humanity. Because of her long, close relationship with the king, she is perhaps the person most conscious of the consequences of his request. She was present on the day that Taravangian created the Diagram and was instrumental in compiling his writings as quickly as possible. She and her team created a portable annotated version of the Diagram that was painstakingly copied from the original writings that covered walls and furniture.
Along with Mrall, she accompanied Taravangian to Jah Keved in the wake of that country's civil war. The three of them discussed their plans, then entered the battlefield, observing the conditions and comforting some of the injured Veden soldiers. Szeth appeared and Adrotagia demanded to know why he had failed to kill Dalinar. Szeth revealed that he had seen a man (Kaladin) perform Surgebinding in the Alethi warcamps. Taravangian found it unfortunate that the assassin had seen Adrotagia, as he did not want Szeth to be aware of her in case he turned against his master. Taravangian and Adrotagia discussed the Surgebinder, and he was able to deduce from the Diagram that it would be a bridgeman.
”Yes, I see this interpretation of the headboard—we must push the Blackthorn so hard that he collapses. But we'll need secrets to use against him.—Adrotagia
Adrotagia and other Diagram members accompanied Taravangian to Urithiru when the king declared that he would join Dalinar's coalition against the Voidbringers. There, she attended both the meetings of coalition scholars—including a fabrial discussion alongside Jasnah, Navani, and Shallan—and (as Taravangian's head scribe) the meetings of coalition monarchs.
All the while, Adrotagia and the rest of the Diagram members continued to meet. She and Mrall monitored Taravangian on one of his intelligent days; he made a few minor alterations to the Diagram, shifting the group's focus to replacing Dalinar with Taravangian as the leader of the coalition, as they believed that killing him would no longer be productive. Adrotagia also worked on building a relationship with the enigmatic Malata. The group renewed their resolve to save Kharbranth over all else in the face of Odium's attacks. Adrotagia helped plant leaked information that would undermine Dalinar's leadership.
Despite the Diagram's efforts, Dalinar emerged victorious in the Battle of Thaylen Field. After returning to Urithiru, Adrotagia gave a relatively unintelligent Taravangian some letters from his grandchildren, then continued to review the Diagram to try and figure out what the group's next steps should be; she remained optimistic. She was nearby when Odium appeared to Taravangian, but it is not clear if she was able to see Odium or even knew of their conversation.
”He and Adrotagia had grown up together, and she still used Taravangian’s boyhood nickname. He liked that. It reminded him of days before all of this.—Taravangian
Adrotagia and Taravangian have been close friends since childhood and have a very good rapport. They are generally directly aligned in their goals, as both of them believe that correctly interpreting the Diagram is the key to saving humanity. Adrotagia's skills are invaluable to furthering their organization's goals and ensuring that Taravangian cannot act unwisely when he is at either end of the intelligence spectrum. Taravangian is aware of Adrotagia's pragmatism and tries to avoid talking about "faith" in front of her. Taravangian becomes more manic and egocentric when he is super-intelligent; he tends to bluntly comment on people's flaws, even Adrotagia's. He refers to her "idiocy" at one point although he immediately regrets doing so.
Mrall is another of Taravangian's most trusted advisors, and Adrotagia often works closely with him. Although Mrall is a bodyguard rather than a scholar,they seem to have a cordial relationship; Adrotagia is not dismissive of his opinion, and is willing to explain her interpretation of the Diagram to him if he does not understand.
Adrotagia attempts to take a mentor role with Malata since the Surgebinder quickly gains importance in the Diagram. Adrotagia oversees Malata's work as a spy and also talks to her about her spren, Spark. However, as Malata's power grows, she seems to become more confident; she has an independent streak and seems to get frustrated with Adrotagia and Taravangian.