by Rebecca Sorge
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
"I'm not some glorious knight of ancient days. I'm a broken man. Do you hear me, Syl? I'm broken."
She zipped up to him and whispered, "That’s what they all were, silly" ”
The Knights Radiant were an organization of Surgebinders on Roshar. Their Orders were centered at Urithiru, but they lived all across Alethela, the Silver Kingdom who had to maintain the arts of war. They considered it their duty and privilege to stay vigilant for Desolations. It is commonly believed that they betrayed mankind on the Day of Recreance, and were then referred to as the Lost Radiants. Their symbol was a golden hourglass shape, of eight spheres connected with two at the center. The Parshendi call them Neshua Kadal; Radiant Knight.
”They were a solution, a way to offset the destruction of the Desolations. Ten orders of knights, founded with the purpose of helping men fight, then rebuild.
The first Surgebinders came to be as a result of spren trying to imitate what Honor had given his Heralds. The spren formed bonds with the mankind to give them Surgebinding abilities. Honor was surprised by their coming, because he hadn't taught it to his Heralds. These Surgebinders were later formed into the ten orders of the Knights Radiant by the Herald Ishar'Elin, for the purpose of watching for the coming Desolations, and helping men fight, then rebuild the society from the destruction of the Desolations, and they adopted the city of Urithiru as their center of power. For a long time, they maintained their duty, until eventually they abandoned it on what is now known as the Day of Recreance, and possibly even turned against their wards, as some legends say. This betrayal caused many spren to die, their corpses becoming tools of destruction, and as a result they stopped granting humanity Surgebinding.
In recent times, sensing an impending danger, the spren started returning to mankind as an act of self-preservation. People all over Roshar started gaining Surgebinding powers by forming Nahel bonds with the spren in the following years. At the beginning of the year 1174, Urithiru was reclaimed, and the Knights Radiant were re-founded with initially four members; Kaladin, Shallan Davar, Dalinar Kholin, and Renarin Kholin.
Radiant Orders and Powers
The Knights Radiant comprised ten different Orders, some of which had several hundred members. Each Order had two Surges associated with it, and each Surge was used by two different Orders. Scholars associated the ten Orders with the Ten Essences as well.
- Order of Windrunners
- Windrunners bond with honorspren, which gives them the ability to use the Surges of Adhesion and Gravitation. The combination of these two Surges results in the powers known as the Three Lashings. Windrunners are associated with the sapphire polestone, the essence of Zephyr, and the Herald Jezrien.
- Order of Skybreakers
- Skybreakers bond with highspren, which gives them the ability to use the Surges of Gravitation and Division. Skybreakers are associated with the smokestone polestone, the essence of Vapor, and the Herald Nale.
- Order of Dustbringers
- Dustbringers bond with ashspren, which gives them the ability to use the Surges of Division and Abrasion. They can apparently destroy things. Dustbringers are associated with the ruby polestone, the essence of Spark, and the Herald Chanarach.
- Order of Edgedancers
- Edgedancers bond with cultivationspren, which gives them the ability to use the Surges of Abrasion and Progression. Edgedancers are associated with the diamond polestone, the essence of Lucentia, and the Herald Vedel.
- Order of Truthwatchers
- Truthwatchers bond with an as yet unknown type of spren, gaining the ability to use the Surges of Progression and Illumination. The surge of Progression grants the Truthwatchers the power of regrowth, which allows them to heal people, and at least two Truthwatchers have demonstrated the ability to foresee future events. Truthwatchers are associated with the emerald polestone, the essence of Pulp, and the Herald Pailiah.
- Order of Lightweavers
- Lightweavers bond with Cryptics, or liespren, which gives them the ability to use the Surges of Illumination and Transformation. They can create illusions and have the inherent ability to Soulcast. Lightweavers are associated with the garnet polestone, the essence of Blood, and the Herald Shalash.
- Order of Elsecallers
- Elsecallers bond with inkspren, which gives them the ability to use the Surges of Transformation and Transportation. They have the inherent ability to Soulcast. They have the closest affiliation with Shadesmar out of all the orders. Elsecallers are associated with the zircon polestone, the essence of Tallow, and the Herald Battar.
- Order of Willshapers
- Willshapers bond with lightspren, also known as Reachers, which gives them the ability to use the Surges of Transportation and Cohesion. Willshapers are associated with the amethyst polestone, the essence of Foil, and the Herald Kalak.
- Order of Stonewards
- Stonewards bond with an as yet unknown spren, gaining the ability to use the Surges of Cohesion and Tension. Stonewards are associated with the topaz polestone, the essence of Talus, and the Herald Talenel.
- Order of Bondsmiths
- Bondsmiths bonded with unique spren including the Stormfather, which gives them the ability to use the Surges of Tension and Adhesion. Bondsmiths are associated with the heliodor polestone, the essence of Sinew, and the Herald Ishar.
The Knights Radiant also used Shardblades and Shardplate, which were etched with glyphs and glowed a different color according to the Order they were a part of. Not all Radiants have access to Shards and many Orders don't receive them until they have sworn the higher Ideals.
Many orders of the knights are able to grant the ability to use Stormlight and some of their Surges to people, possibly those capable of becoming knights themselves. It appears that potential squires must have a mindset that matches at least partly with the requirements of the order. For Windrunners this appears to be a mental state geared to protection. Many squires recite the First Ideal before gaining Surgebinding, but this is not required. Each order follows a path and with a Knight willing to help the first steps can be taken before Bonding a spren themselves. This shows the spren what people are good candidates for each order, and reducing the chance that a spren will die from failed oaths. Time as a Squire also allows a person to practice Surgebinding before gaining a Nahel Bond.
It is possible for a person to remain a squire their whole life, or to be a squire of one order and bond a spren from another. Using a mix of other Investiture (such as Feruchemy and Hemalurgy), a Surgebinder could hack the magic and be a squire of multiple Orders at once.
Squires seem to be "of" a particular Knight Radiant, and lose their ability to Surgebind if too far away from "their" Knight.
- Known Orders to have Squires
”Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination.— The First Ideal of the Knights Radiant
The Ideals of the Knights Radiant, known as The Immortal Words, serve as a guide to them for how they were to live their lives. Each order of Radiants have five Ideals, with the First Ideal being the same for every order. Sometimes called the Ideal of Radiance, it acts as a motto and guide for the entire organization of Knights Radiant, while the four later Ideals are different for every order. The Unique Ideals of Each order are part of a journey to progress them on their path and to keep the Surges from being used without restraint.
Vorinism taught that the Knights Radiant betrayed the people. It was taught that their powers were not real, but elaborate tricks, and that they only pretended to have a holy calling. The "evidence" for this was that the powers could not be reproduced.
Notable Knights Radiant
- Kaladin (Windrunner, bonded with Sylphrena)
- Lopen (Windrunner, bonded with Rua)
- Teft (Windrunner, bonded with unknown female spren)
- Nale (Skybreaker, bonded with unknown spren; also Skybreaker Herald)
- Szeth (Skybreaker, bonded with unknown spren)
- Renarin Kholin (Truthwatcher, bonded with Glys)
- Shallan Davar (Lightweaver, bonded with Pattern)
- Hoid (Lightweaver, bonded with Elhokar's would-be spren)
- Lift (Edgedancer, bonded with Wyndle)
- Dalinar Kholin (Bondsmith, bonded with the Stormfather)
- Jasnah Kholin (Elsecaller, bonded with Ivory)
- Venli (Willshaper, bonded with Timbre)
- Malata (Dustbringer, bonded with Spark)
- Words of Radiance chapter 68 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_68#
- The Way of Kings chapter 49 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_49#
- The Way of Kings chapter 67 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_67#
- The Way of Kings chapter 68 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_68#
- Words of Radiance chapter 4 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_4#
- The Way of Kings chapter 60 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_60#
- The Way of Kings chapter 52 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_52#
- The Way of Kings chapter 45 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_45#
- Words of Radiance chapter 3 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_3#
- Words of Radiance chapter 1 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_1#
- Words of Radiance chapter 89 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_89#
- Words of Radiance Ars Arcanum Summary: Words of Radiance/Ars Arcanum#
- The Way of Kings prologue Summary: The Way of Kings/Prologue#
- Prelude to the Stormlight Archive Summary: The Stormlight Archive/Prelude#
- Words of Radiance interlude I-2 Summary: Words of Radiance/Interlude_I-2#
- Oathbringer chapter 85 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_85#
- Words of Radiance chapter 85 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_85#
- The Way of Kings chapter 72 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_72#
- Miscellaneous 2018
— Arcanum - 2018-10-14#
- DragonCon 2019
— Arcanum - 2019-08-29#