by Marie Seeberger
|Residence||Unknown, formerly Kholinar and Urithiru|
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
Appearance and Personality
She is short and curvaceous, with a large bust and a slender neck. She has a wide mouth, thick lips, and green eyes. She has black hair, although she reportedly dyes it to appear fully Alethi. Alethi hair that is not completely black indicates partial foreign ancestry, which is undesirable although relatively common among lighteyes. Her husband notes that she has never been considered a beauty and is not aging particularly gracefully, but he has always been attracted to her "dangerous" personality. Her name is considered mildly blasphemous by the Vorin church, which holds perfect symmetry holy; this intrigued Torol when he first met her. The couple often fondly scratch each other's backs. Generally, she is a perfect Alethi woman in public, but likes to lounge in private.
Ialai has been known to be underhanded since her youth. She is constantly assessing every person and situation, looking for weaknesses to exploit. Jasnah Kholin believes that Ialai is as shrewd as Torol. Adolin Kholin notes that his mother Evi thought Ialai was clever and admired her wit. Unlike most Brightladies, she enjoys food typically served to men.
Ialai married Torol Sadeas prior to the unification of Alethkar. It is likely that she and Torol were very young when they were married; at a feast around the year 1143 when Torol is approximately twenty years old, he and Ialai are married at that time. At this feast, Dalinar first sees Evi; Ialai tries to persuade him to enter into a political marriage. After Dalinar and Evi are married, Ialai and Navani often try to convince Evi to be more assertive. As the wives of two influential Highprinces who are often away in battle, Ialai and Navani often worked together during this time in order to maintain a stable kingdom.
The Shattered Plains
During the War of Reckoning, Ialai lives in the Sadeas warcamp on the Shattered Plains. She is present when Shallan Davar arrives to the warcamps with news of Jasnah's presumed death and asks Shallan about the succession in Jah Keved.
Ialai and Torol spend much of their time on the Shattered Plains conspiring against the other highprinces and currying the King's favor while simultaneously defying the authority of the throne. Dalinar Kholin is a longtime rival of Torol's, and he and his son Adolin are often the target of their plots. They become uneasy when Dalinar nearly executes a plan that would have allowed Adolin to challenge Torol to a duel, and they vow to destroy Dalinar by any means necessary.
Using her spy network, Ialai uncovers Navani's notes on Dalinar's visions. She alters the notes in a way that is intended to defame Dalinar and releases them at a lighteyed feast. However, Dalinar embraces the release of the visions and is able to maintain his credibility. An unsuccessful attempt is then made on Dalinar's life when a carpenter in the Sadeas' employ intentionally collapses a bridge while Dalinar is crossing it. Ialai feels she has failed when Dalinar survives.
The pair then consider a coup, but decide it is not necessary as Dalinar will likely be killed during his assault on the Parshendi. However, they do not anticipate Aladar shifting his allegiance to Dalinar's cause. The addition of Aladar's army to the combined Alethi forces during the Battle of Narak allows Dalinar to hold off the Parshendi long enough to unlock the Oathgate to Urithiru.
Ialai moves to Urithiru after the Battle of Narak and the advent of the Everstorm. Torol is murdered a few days after their arrival to Urithiru. Ialai initially threatens to move back to the warcamps, although in reality she will not leave the seat of power. She appears to be genuinely upset by Torol's death, and believes that someone in the Kholin army killed him. She is angry at Dalinar, although she does not think he is the killer. She enlists Meridas Amaram to investigate the murder. Amaram is not able to discover that Adolin killed Torol.
After Torol's death, Ialai is no longer openly adversarial with Dalinar, which worries him since it means she is likely undermining him behind his back instead. She names Amaram the new Highprince of House Sadeas, in an affront to Dalinar's authority. She attends the meeting of monarchs when Dalinar is trying to unite Roshar, defying tradition by refusing to carry her own chair. She tries to sabotage the Kholin's efforts by suggesting an invasion of Shinovar and insulting Queen Fen. At a later meeting of the remaining coalition, she and Ruthar verbally spar with Jasnah, indirectly causing Dalinar to have a revelation that the Voidbringers were likely to attack Thaylen City instead of Jah Keved.
Attributes and Abilities
Ialai runs the best network of spies and informants in the warcamps at the Shattered Plains, and is able to keep it a closely-guarded secret. Her network also includes assassins. As the wife of a Highprince, she regularly attends notable events in Alethkar such as duels, feasts, and even military meetings, giving her personal access to a wide range of information and members of the nobility. She can write using women's script.
She and Torol are like-minded and regularly share information about the politics, personalities, and happenings of Alethkar. They collaborate on schemes to increase their personal wealth and influence, typically with little regard for the welfare of others.
- Brandon saying “Ialai Sadeas” at a reading
— YouTube - 2018-11-25#
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