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Palona

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Palona
Palona sketch.jpg
by Sheep
Residence Urithiru
Nationality Herdazian
World Roshar
Featured In The Stormlight Archive

Palona is a Herdazian on Roshar. As the longtime mistress of Highprince Turinad Sebarial, she is effectively a member of the nobility of Alethkar.[1]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Palona is described as having dark eyes and the rocklike crystalline fingernails of a Herdazian.[1] She is short, middle-aged, and has dark, curly hair.[1][2] She speaks with a Herdazian accent[1] and presumably has the typical deep tan skin of her people.[3][4]

She is kind, although she is sometimes blunt.[1][5] Shallan Davar notes several instances when Palona helpfully anticipates her needs, and Palona often pays personal visits to her quarters.[6][2][7]

Palona enjoys luxury, spending money, and wearing fashionable clothing, yet she is not pretentious.[1][8] She sometimes appears to be detached from events occurring around her, as she is seen relaxing with a novel during the Battle of Narak[9] and reading gossip reports amidst the squabbling of Rosharan royalty.[10] Her contemporaries, including Shallan and Navani Kholin, tend to make light of her penchant for massages.[2][11]

Although she is not married to Turinad, she runs the household and appears to be familiar with the traditions of Alethi nobility.[1] However, she does not have the modesty of a typical Vorin woman, as she does not cover her back while being massaged, even when other people are present.[12] She covers her safehand, but is sometimes careless about showing it.[2]

History[edit]

Palona's origins have not been revealed. Lopen notes that there has been significant migration of Herdazian people to Alethkar and Jah Keved,[13] but Palona's birthplace is unknown. The Sebarial warcamp likely has the largest Herzadian population on the Shattered Plains since it contains a section called "Little Herdaz",[14] but this has not been directly linked to Palona's presence. She obliquely refers to herself as a "stray" that Turinad brought home.[1] The duration of Palona and Sebarial's relationship is unknown, but it seems to be well-established during the events of The Stormlight Archive; other nobles are never surprised by Palona's presence, nor do they comment on the nature of her arrangement with Sebarial.

Palona claims that Turinad wants to marry her,[1] while Turinad says that he pays more than three broams a week for Palona;[15] it is not clear if either of these statements are meant literally, as the two of them tend to playfully antagonize one another.[1]

Shattered Plains[edit]

Palona is first seen living in the Sebarial warcamp on the Shattered Plains.[1] The Sebarial warcamp is well-constructed and more similar to a city than other warcamps,[16] and Palona lives in a manor with Turinad.[1] Their home's interior is particularly opulent, with marble, silk, crystal, and gold among the materials used in the decor.[1] The residence also has numerous servants, running water, and gardens with ornamental shalebark.[1]

When Sebarial brings Shallan to the manor, Palona is very welcoming.[1] She ensures that Shallan receives a stipend that Turinad promised, her own room and servants, housing for her entourage, and the use of a horse-drawn carriage for transportation.[1][17][12] She also helps Shallan improve the Herdazian accent that she occasionally uses while disguised.[18] Palona reviews reports from Shallan regarding both House Sebarial's finances and updates on local events.[19]

As the mistress of a Highprince, Palona attends many events for the Alethi elite. She is present when Adolin and Renarin Kholin fight an ill-advised duel against multiple Shardbearers.[20] She "insists" on coming to the Shattered Plains when Sebarial agrees to join Dalinar Kholin's assault on the Parshendi.[8] Palona wears fashionable clothing while she and Sebarial lounge and eat sellafruit, even as the fighting escalates.[8][21] Dalinar is surprised to learn that Sebarial actually helped during the battle, indicating that the couple may be paying more attention than it would seem.[9]

Urithiru[edit]

Palona is among the many residents of the Shattered Plains who move to Urithiru after the activation of the Stormseat Oathgate. Sebarial's actions at the end of the War of Reckoning gained Dalinar's trust and he is named Highprince of Commmerce, giving House Sebarial additional influence in the displaced Alethi government.[5] Palona is among the first people to see the corpse of Torol Sadeas after his murder in the halls of Urithiru, and flippantly calls his death a "problem solved", as she was one of the many people who hated Sadeas.[5] She is present at Dalinar and Navani's small wedding ceremony,[22] as well as Dalinar's meetings when he attempts to form a multinational coalition as part of his plan to unite Roshar.[11] She is one of the first people to know that Jasnah Kholin has been crowned as Queen.[10]

Shallan continues to live with Sebarial and Palona in their section of Urithiru, and she sees Palona as something of a mother figure who often checks in on her.[23][2][7] Palona appears in Shallan's sketchbook,[24] and her face sometimes appears in Shallan's Lightweaving illusions.[25] Palona takes a interest in Shallan's interaction with Re-Shephir, and thinks that the other Unmade should be sought out to ensure that they are imprisoned.[25]

Notes[edit]

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