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Battle of the Tower

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Battle of the Tower
Part of the War of Reckoning
Battle of the Tower.jpg
by Isaac Stewart
Date Tanatashev 1173[citation needed]
Participants Dalinar, Adolin, Kaladin, Torol Sadeas, & Eshonai
Effects Sadeas's treachery revealed, Kaladin joins Dalinar's guard
Region Shattered Plains
Location The Tower
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Way of Kings
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The Battle of the Tower is a major engagement during the War of Reckoning fought by the combined armies of the Alethi Highprinces Dalinar Kholin and Torol Sadeas against the Parshendi forces led by Eshonai. The engagement takes place on a plateau of the Shattered Plains called the Tower, the largest and most coveted of the plateaus.

The battle is actually a trap engineered by Sadeas to murder Dalinar, leading to a massive loss of life, resulting in a strategic and tactical defeat for the Alethi side. In particular, Dalinar's army is severely weakened while Sadeas's army is practically untouched.


In carrying out the War of Reckoning, all ten Alethi Highprinces gather on the Shattered Plains. They compete with the Parshendi and their fellow highprinces over killing the creatures known as chasmfiends, which contain gemhearts—very large and valuable gemstones.

Dalinar Kholin believes that this war of attrition is unsustainable as a war strategy, since they are not directly attacking the Parshendi forces. Moreover, the Alethi army is acting closer to ten separate armies rather than one unified army. Dalinar wishes for the highprinces to work together and to shift war strategy into directly attacking the Parshendi.

For a time, Dalinar and Sadeas cooperate, both of their armies attacking together. However, they still act as two separate armies, with Dalinar using slower, more protected bridges while Sadeas uses bridgemen, sacrificing the well-being of his men for speed. In a conversation with the king and Sadeas, the king suggests that they integrate tactics more, with Sadeas providing all of the bridge crews for both armies. Dalinar agrees to the plan.[1]

Soon after, a chasmfiend is sighted on the Tower. Dalinar sends out eight thousand men while Sadeas gathers seven thousand to assault the tower.[2]

The battle[edit]

Sadeas lends Dalinar eight of his bridge crews, and they gather before the Tower. Although the Tower is surrounded by plateaus, only a few can be used; Sadeas's men uses the northern one, and Dalinar uses the one just below it. Unwilling to risk lives unnecessarily, Dalinar only commits his forces after he sees that Sadeas has secured a landing zone for Dalinar's men. As Dalinar fights the Parshendi, Sadeas retreats without warning, pulling out all of the bridges, including the eight lent to Dalinar. Additionally, a second Parshendi army has arrived, trapping Dalinar with no means of escape and surrounded by enemies.[3]

Dalinar doesn't notice Sadeas's maneuvers until it is too late. Left with no choice, he and his men resolve to die and prepare to make a last stand.[4] However, they are saved when Kaladin and Bridge Four returns for them. Bridge Four sets down their bridge and holds it against a Parshendi assault, allowing Dalinar's army time to fight their way to the bridge.[5]

As Dalinar and his army reaches the bridge, Eshonai, a Shardbearer and the Parshendi commander, appears and draws Dalinar away, engaging him in battle. While Dalinar is engaged, Kaladin organizes a retreat for most of Dalinar's men, including Adolin and the Cobalt Guard. Finally, Kaladin goes to rescue Dalinar, incapacitating Eshonai in the process. With Dalinar safe, Bridge Four and Dalinar's army retreats back to the warcamps.[6]


Dalinar Kholin's army is decimated; of the eight thousand men that he brings with him, approximately six thousand are killed, leaving behind only 2,653 men.[7]

As a result of Bridge Four saving Dalinar's men, Dalinar offers to buy all the bridge crew from Sadeas's army with 60 emarald broams each. After being rejected, he gave up his Shardblade Oathbringer as price. Although some take an offer of money and freedom, most join Dalinar's army under the command of Kaladin, instantly creating a thousand-man battalion for Dalinar's army. Bridge Four becomes the Kholin family's personal guard, as well as the headquarters unit for this new battalion.

Kaladin rises to unheard-of heights for a darkeyes, becoming an officer at the rank of captain, in addition to commander of a lighteyes' personal guard. Additionally, Kaladin advances his Surgebinding powers and path to becoming a member of the Knights Radiant by swearing the Second Ideal of the Immortal Words during the battle.

Dalinar, as a direct result of Sadeas's betrayal, insists on becoming the Highprince of War to manage the war directly.

Characters present[edit]


Bridge Four
Kholin army
Sadeas army


Bridge Four
Kholin army


The War of Reckoning
Battle of the Side Carry Battle of the Tower Battle of Narak
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