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Nale by Adurna0.png
by Adurna0
Abilities Cognitive Shadow, Skybreaker, Shardbearer
Titles Herald of the Almighty, Herald of Justice, Patron of the Skybreakers
Aliases Nalan, Nin, Nin-son-God, Darkness, Nakku, The Illuminator, The Judge
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
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Without the law, there is nothing. You will subject yourself to their rules, and accept the dictates of justice. It is all we have, the only sure thing in this world

— Nale disciplining one of his students[1]

Nale is one of the ten Heralds of The Almighty on Roshar. In the Vorin tradition he is referred to as "Nalan". He was associated with the number Nan, the essence Vapor, and the attributes Just and Confident.[2] To the Shin he is known as "Nin".[3] He was the Patron of the Order of Skybreakers of the Knights Radiant. He was also the last of any of the Heralds to accept the patronage of their Order.[4]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Nale has dark brown skin and a pale, crescent-shaped birthmark on his right cheek. He appears to be the man who killed Ym[5] and the one who hunted Lift, who referred to him as "Darkness." He wears dark clothing with polished silver buttons which gleam in the streetlight.[6]

The tall Azish man with the white mark on his cheek, like a crescent. Black uniform with a double row of silver buttons down the coat’s front, a stiff silver collar poking up from a shirt underneath. His thick gloves had collars of their own that extended halfway back around his forearms.
Dead eyes. This was Darkness himself.

Lifts thoughts upon recognising Nale.[1]

He has some sort of connection or obsession with order and will go to extreme lengths to ensure he doesn't break any laws of the land he is in. He also hunts down new surgebinders, believing that they were responsible for the return of the Voidbringers. He tried to kill both Lift and Ym, but only within the boundaries of the law. Thus, in order to kill Ym, he first found him guilty of a murder he committed in his youth. Similarly, with Lift, he appointed himself a lawman under Azir law and filled out the paperwork required to execute her for her crimes of thievery. After she was pardoned by the new Prime Aqasix of Azir, Gawx, Nale was frustrated as he was forced to release her and could not pursue her any longer.

When one of his underlings slit Gawx's throat he was annoyed with him purely due to the fact that he had not yet first filled out the relevant paperwork to kill the child. The underlings assertion that they are above the law is then rebuffed by Nale, who claims that nobody will ever be above the law and that he will be punished for killing Gawx.[1]

He was seemingly impressed with Szeth's steadfast adherence to his Shin traditions, despite knowing that his Truthlessness is in error, and so gave Szeth a new blade and mission.[3]


Lift hugging Nale in the Everstorm by LittleGreyDragon

At an unspecified time before the beginning of the Stormlight Archive, Nalan had met with The Almighty and agreed to take part in the Oathpact. 99 desolations later[7] he, along with 8 other Heralds, abandoned their oaths, instead leaving their Honorblades at their meeting place after Aharietiam.[8]

Nale was present during the feast to celebrate the signing of a treaty with the Parshendi.[9][10] He was seen by Szeth on his way out of the feasting hall, speaking with the heir Elhokar Kholin and another man.[9] Afterwards he left the feasting hall, walking along the corridor with his shorter companion, possibly Kelek, who mentions being worried about "Ash" (Shalash). Jasnah questions him about the feast, and he coldly tells her it is over before moving on.[10]

Some time later, Nalan succeeded in hunting down and killing Ym. He did this in accordance with the law, claiming to be executing the cobbler on the charge of a minor crime he had committed many decades prior, while he was actually specifically targeting certain individuals in order to stop what he thought would be the return of the desolations.[11][1]

After Ym, Nalan next focused his efforts on Lift. He had tracked her down for some time until finally cornering her in the Royal Palace in Azimir, at a time when Lift had snuck in using the viziers' debates as a cover. He went to great lengths to act only in accordance with the local law, having filled out all relevant paperwork in order to act as a magistrate and execute her for her thievery. He managed to catch Lift with the help of several men acting under his command until she is helped by one of the viziers, who remarked that his intent to kill a child thief was rather extreme.

In his capture of Lift, Nale is shown to be a very capable individual, bursting into the room she was in order to have her "escape" into a side-chamber where his associate was waiting. He then uses a Larkin to siphon all of the stormlight from Lift, rendering her powerless, and only moves through the palace with her after his men take out the spheres from their wall braziers (making sure they replace them afterwards). When Gawx is made the new Prime of Azir and pardons Lift, Nale lets her go without a hint of dissatisfaction or annoyance, which she finds odd due to the great lengths he took to track her down.[1]

During the events of the Stormlight Archive, Nalan revived Szeth after his confrontation with Kaladin above the Shattered Plains. Nalan recruited Szeth into the Skybreakers, as well as giving Szeth a new sword, one that is understood to be the Awakened Nalthian blade Nightblood.[12]

Nale later went to Yeddaw to track down a potential Radiant in the city, the Stump[13]. He was accompanied by two Skybreakers-in-training and Szeth. He succeeds in finding her, but is confronted by Lift about the return of the Voidbringers and abandons his plan to attempt to stop the formation of the Knights Radiant[14].

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Nalan's Symbol
by Isaac Stewart

It is confirmed by Lift that he is still capable of using his Surgebinding abilities, which she refers to as him "also being awesome".[1] As the patron of the Order of Skybreakers Nale has access to the Surges of Gravitation and Division, but chooses not to use his abilities blatantly in the presence of others, likely in order to keep a low profile.[citation needed]

Nahel Bond

Nale confides in Szeth that He may be the only Herald to have eventually joined his own order. As such His actions are guided by the law he chose to follow.[15]


Nale recovered his Honorblade from the Shin at some point, allowing him use of both his spren as a Shardblade, and his Honorblade granted by The Almighty.[15]


Nale is head of the Order of Skybreakers with several of the members swearing to follow Nale's law directly. This provides him with a small but powerful fighting force.[16]


Nale is one of the more resourceful characters shown in the series. He has been able to acquire a Larkin and is capable of tracking Lift over most of a continent[1] as well as track where Szeth fell after his fight with Kaladin and in doing so resuscitated him with precision, making sure he had died fully but not spent enough time dead to be incapable of revival. He uses a type of Fabrial to revive Szeth. In addition to being the patron of the order of Skybreakers, Nale is only Herald known to join his order and possess a shardblade. He also was in possession of Nightblood.[3]



He has apparently kept in some contact with the old king, as he seems to mention his current state to the viziers of Azir.[1]


Like Shalash Nale has a number of minions to help him in tracking down his quarries, however unlike her these appear to be genuine surgebinders which are being trained to become Skybreakers. They wear uniforms similar to his but of a lesser quality. He goes to great lengths to explain his motives to them, ensuring that one of them understands he should have only acted within the confines of the law with relation to Gawx.[1]

These trainees are disciplined, capable of taking care for a Larkin well, know how to keep a "dark" perimeter around Lift at all times[1] and are trusted with their own investigations into the surgebinder Nale was seeking in Yeddaw.[17] They have also been showing possessing their own shardblades[1] and using the surge of Gravitation to quickly track down their suspect[18], suggesting they have formed a Nahel bond, though they were not skilled enough to survive their encounter.[13]


Nale mentions that Szeth is perhaps the most deserving of any men who had ever joined the Order of Skybreakers. He is deeply impressed by his adherence to his Oath and had watched him on his path for at least a considerable part of his time as Truthless. He is impressed enough by him to not only revive him from death but also entrust him with Nightblood and the judgment of the Shin and the Stone Shamans.[3]

When Szeth openly challenges and questions Nale during their meeting in Yeddaw Nale was shown to be indifferent to his attitude besides pointing out it would lead Szeth to inactivity, which may mean he has a higher opinion of him compared to the other skybreakers.[17]


"It was forty years ago," Ym whispered.
"Justice does not expire."
The man shoved the Shardblade through Ym's chest.
Experience ended.

— Nale killing Ym, a nascent surgebinder, and his thoughts on doing so, for a crime committed in his youth.[11]


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