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Pailiah Endsheet.png
Abilities Cognitive Shadow, Shardbearer (formerly)
Titles Herald of the Almighty, Patron of the Truthwatchers
Aliases Pali
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive

Pailiah, nicknamed Pali, is one of the ten Heralds of the Almighty on Roshar. She is the patron of the Order of Truthwatchers.[1]


The cultural references to Pailiah imply that she might've been a scholar prior to becoming a Herald. As a Herald, she's an immortal Cognitive Shadow, and every time she dies, she travels to Braize. There, she's tortured until she or one of the other Heralds breaks, returning them to Roshar.[2]

When Pailiah wielded her Honorblade, she had use of the Surges of Illumination, allowing her to create illusions of light and sound, and Progression, letting her grow plants and heal herself and others. She also had the ability to breathe in Stormlight, compounding her self-healing power. However, she has abandoned her Blade at the Aharietiam, losing her access to Stormlight and Surgebinding.[3] Whether she has Surgebinding abilities in the present day is uncertain.


Like most other Heralds, Pailiah was born on Ashyn and made the trip to Roshar when the former was destroyed by a man-made catastrophe.[4] She was likely a scholar of some sort—at the very least, she was an important figure in early Rosharan society. When the Desolations began, she was one of the ten people made Heralds by Honor and given a Honorblade.[2]

Along with all of the Heralds but Taln, Pailiah abandoned the Oathpact at the end of Aharietiam.[3] At some point, she may have joined the Ardentia and in particular, the Devotary of Insight, who act as caretakers for the Palanaeum in Kharbranth.[5][6] It is unclear if she was involved with Taravangian during this time,[7][8] and Pailiah may have briefly crossed paths with Shallan while the young scholar was studying under Jasnah.[6][fn 1][disputed]


In the Vorin culture, Pailiah is associated with number 5 (Palah), the essence Pulp, and the attributes of Learned and Giving.[9] The grand library in Kharbranth, Palanaeum, is named after her.[10]

Pailiah features in several Rosharan idioms, such as "Pali's mind" and "Pailiah knew...", referencing her nature as Learned.[11][12] There are temples to her in major cities on Roshar, like Kholinar and Thaylen.[13][14]


  • Under Vorin rules, where "h" can stand for any letter, Pailiah is a symmetrical name, making her one of the only three Heralds, alongside Shalash and Kalak, whose names weren't altered by the Vorin culture (although Kalak became Kelek due to linguistic drift).
  • Early on, Brandon readily confirmed that the old ardent in the Palanaeum is Pailiah.[5] Later, however, when questioned about it, he was a lot more ambiguous.[7][8]
  • Pailiah's portrait used in the chapter arches is called the Scholar by the Dragonsteel Entertainment staff.[15]


  1. In 2017 a Word of Brandon from a signed book confirmed that the ardent Shallan finds in the Palanaeum, while searching for the book Shadows Remembered, is the Herald Pailiah. No photo of this WoB is attach to the Arcanum entry and Brandon has been evasive when asked to confirm whether this information is true.[5][8][7][6]
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