|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”Enjoy the moment. Close your eyes and contemplate what the One has given you. Seek the peace of oblivion, and bask in the joy of your own sensation.— Evi
Appearance and Personality
”Must everything be fighting to you?— Evi
Evi was an exceptionally tall woman, almost as tall as an Alethi. She was willowy and somewhat frail, with a small chest. Her hair were pale blonde, though not true Iriali gold, and she had matching light yellow eyes.
Evi was a calm woman, often shying away from conflict. She was dedicated to pacifism, and often strove to convince her husband to behave more peacefully and reject the warlike ways of his kinsmen. She enjoyed the moments of calm between the two of them, and could be truly happy then. Though peaceful, Evi was dedicated to her convictions. Even shortly before the end of her life, she was still dedicated to convincing Dalinar that violence doesn't always need to be the answer.
Evi's time among the Alethi left her largely jaded and critical. The contest of wittiness betwen the women made her feel stupid; she critiqued the Alethi's supposed piety, noting that they were only ever devout when it suited their desire to wage war. After her death, Navani would claim that everyone loved her, but Evi's own experiences run contrary to that.
Although she and Dalinar were poorly matched, she nonetheless strove to make their relationship work. She tried to assimilate into the Vorin culture, if with mixed results, and endured anything life could throw at her, but did not let herself forget where she came from. She also refused to let her frustration with Dalinar's darker nature show to her children, having told them that their father was an excellent man and officer. Eventually, she seems to have come to truly care for him, although she was keenly aware that he did not reciprocate her feelings to the same extent. Adolin likely got his emotional sensibility from her.
She was a devout follower of Iri religion, the belief in the One. Though she absorbed many Vorin customs upon her marriage, including the worship of the Heralds, she continued to treat the One as the highest deity. She also respected the Nightwatcher as an aspect of the One, considering it the entity that should be visited to petition him.
Early life and marriage
Evi was born in Rira sometime around the year 1124. She grew up there with her brother, Toh. At some point, possibly at birth, she was given a set of Shardplate, although she would never use it herself.
When she was roughly nineteen years old, Evi and Toh fled Rira to Alethkar and pursued an alliance with the Alethi, offering a set of Shardplate in exchange for their protection from their own people. It was Sadeas who suggested that Dalinar marry Evi; Dalinar agreed, knowing that Navani was now beyond his reach. The two were betrothed soon thereafter, but only formally married three years later, as Evi's culture required prolonged courtship. However, she accompanied him to his military campaigns throughout her betrothal. Even back then, she would often plead with Dalinar to be more peaceful.
By the year 1150, she and Dalinar were no longer at war, but rather at their home in Kholin lands. It was in 1150 that she gave birth to her first son, Adolin. Shortly thereafter, Dalinar would depart for the border wars with Herdaz and Jah Keved, leaving Evi to raise the boy on her own for the next five years. Dalinar would visit several times; it was after one of those visits that Evi gave birth to another child. As Dalinar didn't answer her letters asking for a name, she eventually called the boy Renarin, composing his name in an attempt to mimic Alethi patterns. Her intent was for it to mean "Re, born unto Nar" (as in Dalinar), although it came out as "one who is born unto himself".
War and death
”No one actually cares about religion here. Oh, they make sure to point out how superior their beliefs are to mine. But who actually ever worries about the Heralds, other than to swear by their names? You bring ardents to battle merely to Soulcast rocks into grain. That way, you don't have to stop killing each other long enough to find something to eat.— Evi's frustration with the Alethi
When Adolin was five years old, Evi decided to join Dalinar on his campaigns. This was motivated by several factors, chief among them the fact that all other Alethi wives joined their husbands on the campaign trail, and that Dalinar spent too little time with his children. Although he tried to convince her that the battlefield was no place for her, she insisted on staying. From then on out, she would spend half of every year with Dalinar -- and, later, Adolin -- in his war camps, and the other half in Kholinar with Renarin, who was too sickly to take on the road. Her Riran accent began to fade at the time, though she would sometimes switch back to her native language.
Although outwardly, it appeared that she and Dalinar were a loving couple, by 1163 the two of them were more at odds than ever. Evi wanted the killing to end, and for the family to return to Alethkar and rest; Dalinar sought to continue making war. This culminated in a major fight between them, which ended with Evi breaking into tears. In an attempt to console her, Dalinar promised that after quelling the new rebellion in Rathalas, they would return to Kholinar for at least a year. Moreover, to respect her wishes to be more peaceful, he initially tried bargaining with Tanalan.
Unfortunately, this was not to be. Tanalan betrayed Dalinar, burying him under a pile of rubble. When Dalinar returned, Evi was already beginning to mourn him, and grew even more distressed when he began his plan to take revenge, leading to him ordering his men to escort her out of the command tent and somewhere safe. Unbeknowst to him, she snuck out and came to the city to plead with Tanalan for peace. The young highprince arrested her in his former safehouse, now turned city prison. When Dalinar set flame to the Rift, Evi died in the flames, with Dalinar finding out far too late to even attempt saving her.
”Evi… He had never deserved her.— Dalinar
Evi's body was recovered from the rubble, to be given a proper burial. Dalinar created a story to mitigate everyone's actions, claiming that she was kidnapped by Tanalan's men and that the Rift was burned in retribution for this. The story would later change, with Sadeas, who was fighting alongside Dalinar at the time, taking the blame for burning the city. Both Dalinar and Sadeas were publicly censured by king Gavilar for the loss of Rathalas.
Dalinar would later begin to hear voices of all those he's killed, with Evi loudest among them. This drove him to drink heavily, withdrawing from public life. Eventually, he visited the Nightwatcher, following Evi's stories of her, and asked her for forgiveness for his part in Evi's death. As the Nightwatcher was incapable of understanding his request, Cultivation intervened, and took away all of Dalinar's memories of his wife.
From then on out, Dalinar remembered nothing of Evi, even her name -- whenever someone else says it, he heard only the rushing of the wind, and sometimes he had trouble remembering that he had ever been married in the first place. Those memories began to return shortly after the beginning of the True Desolation. Eventually, Dalinar remembered Rathalas as well, leading him back into alcoholism as Evi's voice returned to haunt him. Odium tried to use this to tempt him into becoming his champion, although Dalinar failed to give in. At that point, he heard a voice that might belong to Evi, telling him that she forgives him. This was the final push he needed to open Honor's Perpendicularity.
Adolin, in contrast, had warm memories of his mother. He got his "western sensibilities", including his penchant for snuggling and more emotional intelligence, from her. He also kept a memento of her, her chain, which he considered to be his lucky charm, always making sure to keep it in his pocket for an important duel.
Attributes and Abilities
Evi was a fluent speaker of Alethi language, although she had a habit of literally translating her native idioms into Alethi, which sometimes led to them losing their context. She's implied to have been left-handed, although she re-trained herself to use her right upon marrying Dalinar. She had some measure of artistic skill, having created the sketches of Adolin's Shardplate for the royal record.
Said Shardplate was originally hers; it was the reason why Dalinar married her in the first place. The queen of Iri claims that the set belongs to her, although her claim appears weak, as she and Evi aren't related.
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