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Clod Jove.jpg
Siblings Yesteel
Died Duel with Vasher[1]
Abilities Returned, Lifeless, Cognitive Shadow
Aliases Clod
Profession Scholar
Groups Five Scholars, Denth's crew
Homeworld Nalthis
Universe Cosmere
Introduced In Warbreaker

Arsteel is a Returned and one of the Five Scholars on Nalthis.[2] He is the brother of Yesteel. After his death he was made into a Lifeless named Clod.[1]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Arsteel was a brilliant duelist-- almost as good as Denth. Vasher's never been able to beat either of them.

Jewels about Arsteel[3]

As a Returned, Arsteel can have the Fifth Heightening whenever he desires, and all the effects that implies, such as agelessness.[4][5]

As one of the Five Scholars, Arsteel is extremely knowledgable about Awakening. It is likely he knows how to manipulate his appearance using his divine breath because as a lifeless (and likely before dying) he has the body of a normal man, and not a Returned.[3]

Arsteel is an incredibly skilled swordsman.[3] Since Lifeless retain some of the skills they had in life, Clod is a significantly more skilled swordfighter than other Lifeless.[1] Additionally, as a result of the Breaths Vasher gave Arsteel right before killing him, Clod is more self-aware than most Lifeless.[6]


Returned and Manywar[edit]

Arsteel was born on Nalthis, very little is known about his life during this time, it is known however that he had a brother, who would return as Yesteel. He eventually died and Returned. Like other Returned, he cannot remember anything of his life from before his Return. After he Returned, the Cult of the Returned gave him an unknown name and kept him alive by giving him Breath.[citation needed]

He formed the Five Scholars, along with the other Returned Denth, Talaxin, Shashara, and Yesteel. During this time he probably studied awakening and gained an understanding of its mechanics.[citation needed]

After the Manywar began Arsteel and his brother Yesteel joined the Pahn Unity and began aiding them using their knowledge of awakening.[7]

Denth’s Crew and Yarn Dred[edit]

Three hundred years later Arsteel joined Denth's crew in the hopes of bringing Denth around and orchestrating a reconciliation between him and Vasher.[1]

Though Arsteel was the better swordsman, he was killed in a duel with Vasher several months before the events of the Pahn Kahl rebellion in Yarn Dred.[3] Arsteel never intended to kill Vasher, instead wanting to beat some sense into him, Vasher misinterpreted him however. Vasher defeated him by suddenly giving him a large quantity of Breath. The arrival of that Breath sent Arsteel into a brief moment of deep pleasure, which distracted him long enough for Vasher to kill him.[8]

After a time he was found by Denth. Denth, still interested in awakening, wondered how a Returned would make as a lifeless. They took the body to an awakener and paid to have Arsteel awakened. After this he received the name “Clod”. Denth gave Jewels the task to care for Clod.[9]

As Clod[edit]

When during an unsuccessful meeting with some Idrian slumlords, the city watch attacked, Clod intervened as he had been Commanded to.[10] He found Vivenna in an alleyway and fought and killed four lifeless.[10] Though he was wounded, his nature as Lifeless allowed for Jewels to repair him.[11] After his muscles were sufficiently functional for him to sit up, he attempted to do so, forcing Jewels to Command him to go inactive.[11] In her fear for his life, she slipped up, allowing Vivenna to hear the Command phrase: "Howl of the sun."

After Vivenna escaped from Vasher, she ran into Denth, Tonk Fah, Jewels, and Clod. Upon seeing the corpses of Parlin and Tonk Fah's various pets she realized the group's true nature and, in a desperate bid to escape, Commanded Clod to attack Denth, which allowed her to run away in the confusion.[12]



Jewels originally joined Denth's team to be near Arsteel, with whom she was in love.[1] His death 'unhinged' her a little, and after they turned Arsteel's corpse into a Lifeless, she took over his care and still regularly talked to him, occasionally going so far as to sleep with the Lifeless.[1]


Arsteel and Denth are friends, despite fighting on different sides during the manywar. Arsteel joined Denth's team because he wanted to try to redeem Denth. He felt that a reconciliation between Denth and Vasher was possible, and as a peacemaker, he thought he might be able to make it happen.[1]


Arsteel wants to reconcile Denth and Vasher. Arsteel fights Vasher in Yarn Dred to beat some sense into him, though he was not necessarily right. This went wrong however, as Vasher killed Arsteel.[3]


  • Brandon has said that the reason Vasher dueled and killed Arsteel might be covered in the Warbreaker sequel.[1]
  • Jewels and Clod may return in the sequel, since they went to see if Yesteel could restore some of Arsteel's memory or personality to his Lifeless form.[13]


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