|Abilities||Splinter of Honor|
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”Honor is not dead so long as he lives in the hearts of men!—Notum
Notum is an honorspren who serves as the captain of the ship Honor's Path. After he agrees to help Syl flee the Fused, he is exiled and sent to patrol the area surrounding Lasting Integrity. He abandons his prepared speech to defend Adolin at his trial, risking personal harm and a return to exile.
Appearance and Personality
”I've sworn an oath myself. To Honor, and to the truths we follow.
Notum is a tall honorspren who appears physically similar to an Alethi and dresses in sharp clothing that is a part of his substance. He has a shaved chin but sports a beard and a thin mustache that connect to prominent sideburns, almost like the Horneater style of wearing facial hair. Like all honorspren, Notum stands with an imperious bearing and glows with a soft blue-white color.
Notum is the epitome of what it means to be an honorspren. He has sworn an oath to Honor and tries his best to live by that, believing that oaths and promises are crucial. He is a loyal servant of the Stormfather, and unwilling to compromise his beliefs, but can be swayed by arguments that involve oaths other people have made. Notum is a cautious spren; he understands that the strength of humankind is their dynamic personalities, although he still believes that the Nahel bond risks disaster. He speaks formally but, in his own way, compassionately.
Notum strongly cares for his crew and is very defensive of them. He struggles with the fact that by allowing Syl escape, he is putting his crew in harm's way. He is willing to consider that he is wrong when presented with evidence; after Adolin saves him, he realizes humans are not all despicable and defends him, even at great personal cost, at his trial.
Notum was born after the Recreance, four generations after the Stormfather was moved to recreate the honorspren. At some point in his past, he swore an oath to Honor and the truths that the honorspren follow. Notum spent at least some time in the honorspren capital, Lasting Integrity, doing the Stormfather's bidding, during which time he got to know Sylphrena. His father took up residence there as a deadeye at some point.
Captain of Honor's Path
Notum at some point became the captain of Honor's Path. In early 1174, Notum and his crew took port in Celebrant. After a disturbance in the city, the ship was preparing to flee, but after Syl called out to his ship, revealing her identity, he took her and her companions aboard the ship. Notum initially confined the Radiants and their spren to their quarters; however, after a week's travel, he released all of them but Syl because he claimed that it was dishonorable to hold people who were not prisoners against their will. He kept Syl in captivity, though, intending to deliver her to the honorspren capital. Upon her release to the deck, Notum gave Shallan permission to bring the Cognitive aspect beads on the deck and practice visualizing them. He briefly explained to her how the beads work in Shadesmar.
”I’m no highspren. I can see that the variety of humankind is what gives you strength. Your ability to change your minds, to go against what you once thought, can be a great advantage. But your bond is dangerous, without Honor. There will not be enough checks upon your power—you risk disaster.
Days later, Notum attempted to remove Kaladin from the upper deck of his ship. Kaladin again tried to convince him to release Syl from her quarters. Notum threatened to lock Kaladin up again or throw him overboard. Notum explained to Kaladin that he considered Kaldin's relationship with Syl to be inappropriate and dangerous. He also explained to Kaladin that Syl was one of the Stormfather's first children and the only honorspren survivor of the Recreance, which was why the Stormfather was so protective of her. Notum also believed that the Nahel bond was dangerous without Honor and that Kaladin and Syl should separate. Kaladin tried again to convince Notum to free Syl, and he walked away but allowed Kaladin to remain on deck. When windspren took an interest in Kaladin, Notum watched them and exclaimed that he had never seen windspren in person before. Kaladin used this opportunity to again ask Notum to help them reach Dalinar Kholin in time, explaining that he had sworn an oath to protect the Bondsmith. Notum was shocked to hear that Dalinar had bonded the Stormfather and agreed to consider helping them. Shortly afterward, a member of the crew spotted eight Fused in pursuit of the ship.
After several hours spent trying to outrun the Fused, Notum agreed to help. He freed Syl and had his crew unlatch a section of the hull for the Radiants and their spren to escape through. Azure asked him to have his crew cut bales of cloth into specific shapes, and Notum gave the order even though he did not understand the reason. Notum allowed them to escape the ship, despite the danger it posed to his crew, so that Syl could escape the Fused. He believed that his crew would be captured and tortured shortly thereafter; in fact, he spent five months in prison before being demoted to the lowest rank possible, exiled from Lasting Integrity, and assigned two centuries' time patrolling the empty land surrounding Lasting Integrity. He wandered the area with a small group that included a few armed Reachers, able to see Lasting Integrity but unable to visit it.
”Your people are criminals. The sole reason there was no swift retribution was because you killed every spren who could have acted against you.
Notum and his caravan happened to patrol through Nameless at the same time as the arrival of Unativi's barge with the coalition's emissary. He spoke with Unativi as Adolin was returning from town, then confronted Adolin with condescension and displeasure. Adolin surprised Notum by describing the diplomatic goals of their trip, but the spren immediately dismissed any chance of their success and tried to explain the hopelessness of the mission by illustrating a hypothetical situation that compared the Radiants to thieves. He sincerely wished to convey to Adolin that they had no chance with the honorspren so long as the spren felt as they did about the Recreance, but got riled up so that he stalked away towards his caravan. Adolin called after him, mentioning his ship, so Notum explained to him about his punishment. When he asked whether they had at least been able to save Dalinar, Adolin was forced to admit that really it had been the other way around. Notum left, intending to try again to dissuade Adolin from visiting Lasting Integrity if they met again on the road.
As Notum and his group traveled on the road towards Lasting Integrity, the diplomatic group followed behind a little ways. The other group noticed that there was a caravan of Tukari trailing them, so Adolin sent a messenger forward to Notum to ask about them. Despite Adolin's worry, Notum had to tell Adolin that there was nothing wrong with the Tukari using the road; he did ask to be informed if they did anything threatening. At a certain point, Notum could go no farther west lest he get too close to Lasting Integrity, so he rode over on a magnificent glowing white horse-like spren to tell Adolin and Shallan that he would instead turn to go south. He tried again to tell them not to go to the capital and told them to give his best to Syl; before going, he explained, in answer to their questions about his ride, that not all spren were imagined by humans.
As Notum and his caravan turned south, the Tukari group pursued them. When they caught up, they captured and bound Notum and three Reachers, then began stabbing Notum over and over faster than he could heal. Adolin tumbled to their plan and came to his rescue, managing to drive off the Tukari soldiers with Maya's and Gallant's help. When he awoke, Notum expressed his utter shock that humans would attack a spren in such a manner. He didn't want to go with the group to receive aid at Lasting Integrity, no matter Adolin's urging, but the delegation from Urithiru put him on a horse and took the rest of his group back to their camp, where they immediately packed and left for the honorspren capital. On the way, Notum asked Adolin how he had trained Maya to fight alongside him and simply could not accept that Maya had jumped into the fray of her own volition. Despite their efforts to keep the honorspren from noticing Notum, the three who approached the party from the capital saw him and implacable stated that not only was he not welcome, his presence in the group further degraded his reputation in their eyes. As Adolin, Maya, Shallan, and Pattern entered the fortress, the rest of the group made camp nearby and tended to Notum.
Return to Lasting Integrity
”Offered to end your exile, did they, Notum? In exchange for a little backstabbing?
The honorspren sent Stormlight to the camp so Notum could be healed, after which the party there assumed he returned to patrol. In reality, the honorspren approached Notum with an offer to testify against Adolin at his trial, promising to end his exile and return him to a higher rank. They called him in as their third witness, gave him back his uniform, and provided him with a prepared speech that he began to read after refusing to meet Adolin's eyes. Notum trailed off after a couple of sentences, giving Adolin the opportunity to admit quietly to him that the humans had gotten the spren in trouble and to encourage him to be honest. After finally meeting Adolin's eyes, Notum declared in a carrying voice that "Honor was not dead so long as he lived in the hearts of men."
Notum repeated the words as several honorspren officials ran at him, dragging him out of the forum. As he left, however, quite a few in the crowd were chanting the phrase as well. Neither Notum nor those sympathetic to his cause were allowed to return to the forum the following day, though several of them crowded the top of the wall to watch.
”Go ahead. We got you in trouble, Notum. It's only fair that you get a chance to tell your side. I can’t ask anything of you other than honesty.
Notum, as an honorspren, tends to form an opinion and then not deviate from it. He is open enough to realize that it is a strength of humans to be able to be convinced of a different truth, but does not claim that ability for himself. This changes when Adolin rushes to his rescue and saves him from a group of Tukari. Notum struggles with the idea that men are still honorable, having dismissed the idea his whole life; however, his own innate sense of honor forces him to admit the fact, especially after the honorspren subsequently bribe him to slander Adolin and his Radiant and spren companions. This internal struggle culminates in his publicly defending Adolin during his trial at Lasting Integrity.
- Notum's name, like that of a number of other honorspren, is derived from real-world linguistics related to the wind. Specifically, he is named for Notus, the Ancient Greek god of the South Wind.
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— Arcanum - 2018-02-19#
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