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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's 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 a Cognitive Shadow, and every time she dies, she travels to Braize. There, she's tortured until she or one of the other Heralds break, returning them to life on Roshar.[2] While alive, she's ageless, making her effectively immortal so long as she avoids conflict.[3]

Back when Pailiah wielded her Honorblade, she had the ability to use 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 would also have 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.[4] Whether she has any supernatural abilities other than longevity 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.[5] She was likely a scholar of some sort -- at the very least, she was an important figure in the 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 Heralds but Taln, Pailiah abandoned the Oathpact at the end of the Aharietiam.[4] Her current whereabouts are uncertain. It's highly likely she's in the Palanaeum of Kharbranth, posing as an ardent from the Devotary of Insight, although she does not belong to Taravangian's inner circle of advisors.[6][7][8] If so, Shallan may have crossed paths with her while studying under Jasnah.[9]


In the Vorin culture, Pailiah is associated with number 5 (Palah), the essence Pulp, and the attributes of Learned and Giving.[10] The grand library in Kharbranth, Palanaeum, is named after her.[11]

Pailiah features in several Rosharan idioms, such as "Pali's mind" and "Pailiah knew...", referencing her nature as Learned.[12][13] There are temples to her in major cities on Roshar, like Kholinar and Thaylen.[14][15]


  • 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.[6] 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.[16]


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