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|The Stormlight Archive
Liss, who goes by the name of the Weeper, is one of the most skilled assassins on Roshar. As a female assassin operating in the area of Kholinar in the dominantly Vorin region of eastern Roshar, her gender is a closely guarded secret. At one point during her career, she was hired by Jasnah Kholin to spy on Jasnah's sister-in-law, Aesudan.
Appearance & Personality
”Spying on the wife of the heir to the throne? It will be more expensive this way. You sure you don’t simply want her dead?—Liss to Jasnah
Liss appears to be of Vorin heritage, although which region she is from is uncertain. Jasnah suspects that it could be Alethkar, Jah Keved, or Bavland. She can expertly shift her accent to make it difficult to identify, thus disguising her true accent. She has long dark hair, which she sometimes wears loose, and a plump, attractive figure.
Liss is a very clever woman, able to disguise both her gender and the fact that she is a Shardbearer from the world. She has an informal demeanor, speaking to Jasnah casually, as if Jasnah is her equal rather than her superior. Liss also appreciates being treated with respect. Many of her employers show disdain for Liss, acting as if they are doing something disgusting by associating with her. Jasnah does not do this, which makes Liss like her. Liss is also daring and cold-blooded; as a professional assassin she has no compunction about killing anyone, regardless of their importance. She is practical as well, seeing the financial benefits of betraying a contract on the royal family to Jasnah to gain a repeat customer in the process.
Attributes & Abilities
Liss's most crucial resource is her Shardblade. The type and origin of her Blade are unknown. Due to the masculine and feminine arts set out in Arts and Majesty, Vorin women do not typically participate in combat, particularly not with a Shardblade. As such, Liss is presumably able to get close to potential targets without raising their suspicions that she is a Shardbearer, and dispatch them quickly. It is unknown if she has any other combat training with a Shardblade or if it is merely used for assassinations. In order to disguise her use of a Blade in her killings, Liss gouges out the eyes of her targets after she kills them, so no one can tell that their eyes are burned out. After the coming of the True Desolation and the reformation of the Knights Radiant, female Shardbearers have become more common, but it is unclear if this has affected Liss's methods; Liss herself is not known to have any direct association with the Radiants.
Skills in Espionage
As one of the most skilled assassins in Alethkar, Liss has a variety of talents that help her excel at her profession. She has the ability to disguise herself in a many different ways in order to get close to her target, such as acting as a maid. She is also skilled at imitating various accents, including Alethi, Veden, and Bav. Another talent that Liss makes use of is her ability to make fakes of documents and other credentials so that she can gain access to places she normally would not be permitted to enter. She keeps at least one servant in her employ to serve as a guard or perform other tasks at her direction. Liss is also an expert at extended observation, able to spy on a target for weeks on end without blowing her cover. These skills along with the Shardblade allow Liss to charge a very high price for her services.
Nothing is known about Liss's early life or how long she has been active as an assassin. At some point in her past, Liss obtained a Shardblade, which she makes use of in her assassinations. As she gained notoriety, people began calling her the Weeper, claiming that she gouged out the eyes of her targets to show that she did not care whether her targets were lighteyed or darkeyed.
She and Highlady Jasnah Kholin knew one another by the year 1167. Liss was among several prominent assassins operating in the area of Kholinar that had a standing agreement with Jasnah. She would report any potential employers who expressed interest in assassination contracts involving the members of House Kholin to Jasnah, who would match the payment in exchange for the name of the individual. It is likely that Jasnah used Liss for several different assassinations to keep her family safe.
At some point, Liss purchased Szeth to be her servant. Initially she enjoyed him and believed that Szeth was was the best servant she had ever had, telling Jasnah that she wanted to show him off to her. However, Liss came to find that Szeth was almost too good of a servant and began to see him as creepy. She sold him to the slavers in Kholinar a few weeks before the assassination of King Gavilar Kholin. Liss replaced Szeth with a man named Talak who helped her with her contracts.
Contract on Aesudan
”“An odd night, Brightness, to be engaging in treason.—Liss to Jasnah
In late 1167 on the night of King Gavilar Kholin's assassination, Liss and Talak went to a guest room in Kholinar Palace to meet with Jasnah. Liss had Talak guard the door and, despite Jasnah's lateness, waited to meet with her. Jasnah had planned to have Liss assassinate Highlady Aesudan Kholin, wife of Highlord Elhokar Kholin, but had become concerned that her father was growing suspicious of her. Instead, Jasnah hired the Weeper to assume the role of a lady's maid to Aesudan. Jasnah planned to arrange for one of her sister-in-law's maids to be fired in one week's time, after which Liss was to apply for the job using falsified documents and Jasnah would ensure that she was hired. Liss's job was to watch Aesudan and report on her doings to Jasnah, until such a time that Jasnah either cancelled the contract or felt it was necessary to have Aesudan killed. Liss questioned this contract, stating that it was far more expensive to hire her for an extended observation rather than an assassination, but agreed to Jasnah's terms.
Immediately after the assassination of Gavilar, Jasnah briefly became suspicious of Liss, but she quickly realized that Liss would never have mentioned owning Szeth if she was behind Gavilar's death.
- Liss's only "on-screen" appearance to date was in the prologue of Words of Radiance; her mysterious origins and possession of a Shardblade have inspired many fan theories about her true identity. Brandon has consistently responded to questions about Liss with a RAFO.