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The Coppermind has spoilers for all of Brandon's published works, now including The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England and Yumi and the Nightmare Painter (Secret Projects Two and Three). Information about books that have not yet been released, like the other secret novels releasing in 2023 and Stormlight 5, is allowed only on meta-pages for the books themselves. For more details, see our spoiler policy. To view an earlier version of the wiki without spoilers for a book, go to the Time Machine!

Participants Pahn Unity, Hanald, Five Scholars
Effects Destruction of Huth and Kuth
Foundation of Hallandren and Idris
World Nalthis
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Warbreaker

What some are calling a 'simple quelling of rebel factions' could easily spin into another Manywar. Do you want that? Thousands upon thousands dead? Kingdoms falling to never rise again?

Bebid, a priest of Brightvision[1]

The Manywar was a global conflict on Nalthis that involved the nations of Hanald (the original name of Hallandren), Kuth, Huth, Pahn Kahl, Tedradel, and Gys.[2] It occurred about three hundred years before the Pahn Kahl rebellion.[3]

Roots of the Conflict[edit]

The Tears of Edgli[edit]

The Tears of Edgli had made Hanald an economic powerhouse.[4] The dyes that they produced were vibrant and prized throughout Nalthis. However, the Tears could only grow in Hanald's climate. Other nations were jealous and wished to take control of Hanald so they could profit from the dyes.[2]

Awakening Developments[edit]

The process of Awakening Lifeless had already been developed before the Manywar. However, the Commands that had been known previously required fifty Breaths to create a single Lifeless. This stymied nations' ability to create a large Lifeless army, as it was simply too costly.[2]

However, one of the Five Scholars, Shashara, invented a Command that allowed for the creation of a Lifeless with a single Breath.[2] Alongside Yesteel's development of ichor-alcohol, these discoveries allowed rulers to effectively double the size of their armies;[5] along with the fact that the new troops did not eat, take pay, or feel pain and fear.[2] Larger standing armies could be created. This made the Manywar the first conflict on Nalthis to utilize Lifeless in great numbers.[6] Powerful Awakeners fought, and ropes were used as siege engines, Awakened to throw boulders.[7][8] The power disparity between those with the new Lifeless Command and those without was another cause of the Manywar.[9]

New Commands were also being discovered rapidly, and a golden age of Awakening took place, due in large part to the Five Scholars.[2] These new discoveries helped further learning and knowledge, but they also provided dangerous weapons. The House of Idris, ruling family of Hanald, was particularly interested in Awakening, and gained powerful Awakeners and Lifeless.

The Returned's Prophecy[edit]

At that point, one of the Returned had a vision of war.[2] This ended up being the catalyst for the war, as it prompted Vasher, then called Strifelover, to strike preemptively against the other nations before they attacked.

Early Events[edit]

Seizure of Hanald[edit]

After his fellow Returned had a vision of war, Vasher, then known as Talaxin or Kalad, used his knowledge of BioChroma and Awakening to raise up a vast army.[10] In the beginning, it seems the House of Idris made Vasher their general.[2] However, he used this army, and the Royal family's own Awakeners and Lifeless, as well as a revolt of the people, to seize control of Hanald from them. The family promptly fled T'Telir. Vasher also began developing a new type of Lifeless, later known as Kalad's Phantoms,[11] made from bone encased in stone. These troops were among the most powerful of Lifeless and formed the core of his army.[2] At some point, a few other nations including Pahn Kahl and likely Tedradel united to form the Pahn Unity, to oppose Hanald and Vasher.[6]

The Split of Five Scholars[edit]

As the Manywar began, the Five Scholars each seemed to go their own way.[2] It appears likely that Vasher and Shashara, as husband and wife, remained on the same side. It is also likely that the brothers, Arsteel and Yesteel, stayed together. Denth began the war attempting to make peace, but eventually joined Vasher's side.[12] The split of the Five Scholars gave the various nations in the Manywar access to different Awakening knowledge and techniques that the other nations did not have access to.[2]

Creation of Nightblood[edit]

Working together, Vasher and Shashara successfully managed to develop Nightblood, a Type IV BioChromatic Entity.[7] Patterned after Shardblades that Vasher had seen on a visit to the planet Roshar, Nightblood was designed to be a similarly destructive weapon.[13][14] Through a complex and experimental process they created a sentient sword with a Command to destroy evil. Unfortunately, as a sword, Nightblood had no concept of the difference between good and evil, and so could be used to wreak great destruction.

Late Events[edit]

The Battle of Twilight Falls[edit]

The Battle of Twilight Falls was the final engagement of the Manywar.[6] It was the only battle of the Manywar where Nightblood was used in the battle.[15] The sheer number of casualties caused by Shashara wielding Nightblood was devastating. Over the course of the battle, the leader of the Pahn Unity, the coalition of nations against Hanald, was killed.[6]

Death of Shashara[edit]

Vasher was horrified by the destruction caused by the use of Nightblood.[15] Shashara planned on revealing the secrets of how to create Type IV BioChromatic Entities to the rest of Nalthis. Vasher disagreed, believing that he couldn't allow such powerful weapons to become widely available. He and Shashara argued about it, and he ended up murdering her with Nightblood to stop her.[16] Furious at the death of his sister, Denth defected from Vasher's side and never forgave him for it.[12]


Return of Kalad's Phantoms[edit]

At some point during the war, Vasher grew sick of battle and war, possibly due to what he saw Nightblood do in battle. He decided to end the Manywar by returning his Phantoms from battle to Hallandren. He took control of his own nation in an effort to end the fighting, which ended up being successful.[17] The threat of his armies was enough to frighten all of the nations into ending the war.[18] He was then called Peacegiver by the Hallandren who could not understand why he had ended the war.[17] Vasher then Commanded the Lifeless to stay put like statues, a gift for the city,[18] leaving them Invested with enough Breath to hold their shape, but not to move.[19] While the end of the war came soon enough to save most of the nations involved, Kuth and Huth, main enemies of Hanald in the Manywar,[17] were not so lucky and collapsed.[2]

Peacegiver's Treasure[edit]

Vasher also gave up the majority of his Breaths, around fifty thousand or so[20] that he had collected during the course of the Manywar.[11] Vasher endowed them on a priest, likely of the Cult of the Returned, and told him to keep them safe for him, in the event they should ever be needed.[18] This man became the first God King.[2]

Shattering of Hanald[edit]

Formation of Idris[edit]

For reasons unknown to the modern world, the House of Idris fled T'Telir.[2] They traveled to the northern highlands of Hanald, bringing the religion of Austrism with them, and established the kindgom of Idris.[21] Though they had previously experimented with Awakening, they turned their backs on it as a result of their recent experiences, and used the tenets of Austrism to make Awakening sound immoral and evil.[9] This fear of Awakening had a deep impact on Idrian culture, and many superstitions grew up around Awakening.[22] For example, Idrians always wear drab colors, such as black, greys, or tans, so Awakeners can not use that color.[23] However, this is based on misconception, as an Awakener could use those colors anyway. As a result of this isolation and distrust, Idrians are, for the most part, totally ignorant about how Awakening works.

Formation of Hallandren[edit]

In the wake of the Idrian Royal family's departure, and Vasher's step down from military dictatorship, the Cult of the Returned took control of the new nation, naming it Hallandren.[2] Their religion eventually evolved into the Iridescent Tones and became the norm within Hallandren's territory. The only notable exception was Pahn Kahl, which was absorbed into the new nation of Hallandren as a province,[24] where the people retained their own religion and culture.[25] The conclusion of the Manywar was also the foundation for Hallandren's power in the region of the Bright Sea in the modern post-war era.[26]


Kalad's Phantoms[edit]

Over time, the specifics of Kalad's Phantoms were forgotten and they became known as the D'Denir,[18] statues that had been a gift from Peacegiver as a memorial to the thousands killed[1] in the Manywar,[27] as well as a reminder to avoid going to war.[17] The memory of the monstrous Lifeless remained, though, as both a curse[28] and a myth.[2] Sometimes youths would search the jungles trying to find the Phantoms, to no avail.[29]

Lingering Tensions Between Nations[edit]

While the war itself was over, the tensions between the nations never fully vanished. Tedradel's hatred of Hallandren, in particular, would remain strong well over three centuries later.[21] Pahn Kahl, too, hated Hallandren and wished to regain their status as an autonomous power.[24] They hatched a plan, later known as the Pahn Kahl rebellion, to get Idris and Hallandren to go to war with one another, so Pahn Kahl could declare its independence in the confusion. This obsession with revenge eventually ended up destroying what remained of Pahn Kahl's culture.[25]

Poor Relations Between Idris & Hallandren[edit]

Idris and Hallandren would keep an uneasy peace for the next three hundred years. Since the Royals took the blood of Vo, the first Returned, with them, they had a legitimate claim to the throne of T'Telir, a worry to many Hallandren.[2] Hallandren still considered the Idrians to be rebel province within the borders of their nation.[30] In addition to old hatreds, Idris controlled mountain passes that allowed trade routes to nations in the north, as well as copper mines. Hallandren was enraged by this, and often felt that the tariffs charged by the Idrians were too high.[1]

Eventually, about twenty years before the Pahn Kahl rebellion, King Dedelin of Idris and Susebron of Hallandren arranged a treaty where Dedelin would send one of his daughters to marry the God King, in hopes of forestalling war and easing the rising tensions between the two nations.[21] The daughter would reintroduce the blood of the First Returned to the lineage of Hallandren, reinforcing the God King's claim on the throne. The promise of this daughter kept Hallandren aggression towards Idris at a minimum, at least until they got their bride.


History of Nalthis
Five Scholars Manywar Founding of Hallandren
  1. a b c Warbreaker chapter 5#
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Warbreaker chapter 32#
  3. Warbreaker chapter 57#
  4. Warbreaker chapter 9#
  5. Warbreaker chapter 33#
  6. a b c d Warbreaker chapter 26#
  7. a b Warbreaker chapter 51#
  8. Warbreaker Annotations
    Arcanum - 2011-04-25#
  9. a b Warbreaker chapter 46#
  10. Warbreaker chapter 7#
  11. a b Warbreaker chapter 15#
  12. a b Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A
    Arcanum - 2009-07-08#
  13. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-07-25#
  14. Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017
    Arcanum - 2017-09-22#
  15. a b Warbreaker Annotations
    Arcanum - 2010-11-16#
  16. Warbreaker chapter 53#
  17. a b c d Warbreaker epilogue#
  18. a b c d Warbreaker chapter 58#
  19. Goodreads Fantasy Book Discussion Warbreaker Q&A
    Arcanum - 2010-01-18#
  20. Warbreaker chapter 40#
  21. a b c Warbreaker chapter 1#
  22. Warbreaker Annotations
    Arcanum - 2010-11-11#
  23. Warbreaker Annotations
    Arcanum - 2010-07-20#
  24. a b Warbreaker chapter 54#
  25. a b Goodreads Fantasy Book Discussion Warbreaker Q&A
    Arcanum - 2010-01-18#
  26. Warbreaker chapter 52#
  27. Warbreaker chapter 28#
  28. Warbreaker chapter 50#
  29. Warbreaker chapter 43#
  30. Warbreaker chapter 16#
This page is complete!
This page contains all the knowledge we have on the subject at this time.
Windrunner (talk) 23:27, 4 June 2016 (MST)