Five Scholars

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Five Scholars
World Nalthis
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Warbreaker

The Five Scholars are a group of Returned[1] who made major breakthroughs in Awakening and BioChroma.[2] Their most notable discoveries are the ability to create Lifeless with only one Breath, the formulation of the Ichor-alcohol necessary to ensure their continued and efficient operation, and the ability to Awaken inorganic materials like steel. At least some of the scholars are worldhoppers.[3]



One of the Five Scholars discovered a Command for creating Lifeless with one Breath. Before this, Lifeless required fifty Breaths to create, and so were expensive to make.[2] This Command was leaked to the world by Shashara. [4]


Yesteel discovered Ichor-alcohol, which allowed a Lifeless to continue functioning for a much longer period of time without maintenance.[5][6]

Awakening Steel[edit]

Shashara discovers how to Awaken steel with a thousand Breaths, and, with Vasher's help, created Nightblood.[7]


The Five Scholars' discoveries were massive breakthroughs in the usage of BioChroma and Awakening that would forever change Nalthis.

Creation of Nightblood[edit]

Shashara, also known as Glorysinger by the Cult of the Returned, was fueled by a desire to not be outdone by Yesteel's discovery of Ichor-alcohol. She creates Nightblood together with Vasher in the days that they were in love.

During the Manywar[edit]

The ability to create Lifeless with greatly increased longevity so cheaply was one of the reasons for the Manywar.[2] When the Manywar started, the Five Scholars split among the various factions, with lovers Vasher and Shashara on the side of Hallandren, then known as Hanald. This caused the different sides of the Manywar to have access to different Awakening knowledge and techniques.[2] Vasher created powerful Lifeless from Awakened bones encased in stone,[8] and used them to seize power away from the royal family, who fled to the mountains.[2] Denth tried to keep the peace between the various factions and stop the Manywar, but eventually joined his sister, Shashara, and Vasher.[9]

End of the Manywar[edit]

Shortly after Shashara and Vasher's marriage, Shashara draws Nightblood in battle for the first and last time in the final battle of the Manywar: The Battle of Twilight Falls. Shashara is impressed by the power of the blade and insists on using the sword in battle, and on giving away the secret to creating more, similar to how she leaked the ability to Awaken Lifeless with a single breath.[4] Vasher is disgusted by the trail of death it leaves behind. This causes a falling out between her and Vasher that ultimately leads him to kill her, using Nightblood, to prevent more weapons of Nightblood's caliber from being created.[10]


Denth was furious, and wants Vasher to pay for killing his sister.[11] Vasher ended the Manywar by calling back his Lifeless.[2] Arsteel attempted to reconcile them, only for Vasher to kill him due to a misunderstanding.[12] Vasher eventually kills Denth as well.[13] After the events of Warbreaker, Vasher moves to Roshar, the only planet he had been to besides Nalthis.[14]


Relationships between the Five Scholars


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