|Type||Kholin army unit|
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”They weren't an honor guard. Dalinar didn’t need guards. These were simply the men he considered competent enough not to embarrass him.— Younger Dalinar on his elites
The unit is comprised of both lighteyes and darkeyes, with no regard for social rank between them. Rather, they're promoted based on competence. The recruits can come from strangest of places, including the enemy forces. They are marked by a distinctive armband. Rather than guards, but serve as additional manpower to support the Blackthorn when one man is not enough to affect the course of battle. In fact, they typically have an order to stay out of his way.
The composition of the elites is mixed, to make them as flexible as possible. They include spearmen, swordsmen, horseback riders and archers, as well as support personnel like cooks. They are structured like any other military unit, with several captains answering directly to Dalinar. In later years, they begin to receive specific training focused on improving their stamina; Dalinar eventually claims that they could outrun any other army. However, the soldiers trained in this way don't wear armor, foregoing protection for mobility.
Though their precise number fluctuates, generally, there are over a hundred members. However, as Dalinar tends to go where the fight's the thickest, they tend to suffer tremendous losses both at the hands of the enemy and their own highprince when he's in throes of the Thrill.
Despite this, the elites seem to have a good rapport with their commander. Dalinar has wrestled all of them, including the cook, and several of them remain friends with him even in times of peace. Moreover, those who survive the fighting have a high chance of rising in rank and status. Distinguished members can gain rank, and a high commission.
The elites have been with Dalinar since his early days of conquering Alethkar Although their activity is suspended for some time after the country is tentatively unified, they are recalled into service when Dalinar is sent to war against Herdaz, and continued to serve at least up to the second battle of the Rift. By the time of king Gavilar's death, they have been disbanded. Nonetheless, several former members remain close to Dalinar even years after -- Kadash is one of his ardents, and Teleb remains an officer in the Kholin army.