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Raboniel

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Raboniel
Raboniel by Caio Santos.jpeg
Children Essu
Died 1175[1]
Abilities Fused
Titles Lady of Wishes, Lady of Pains
Species Singer
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive

Raboniel does not think like other Fused, Venli. She hears a much grander song. A skewed and twisted one, but one she seeks to sing without traditional regard for Odium's plans.

—Lady Leshwi to Venli[2]

Raboniel is one of the Fused scholars on Roshar.[3] She organizes the operation for the Fused occupation of Urithiru, and with the help of Navani Kholin develops Warlight, as well the method to create Anti-Stormlight and Anti-Voidlight.

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Humans never use what is around them to its fullest. They always impose their will far too strongly.

—Raboniel[4]

Raboniel is a very tall, narrow-figured femalen Fused, with a topknot of red-orange hairstrands, carapace like a helmet and very long arms and fingers.[3][5] She also has carapace along her arms and chest, and is broad-shouldered with the small breasts common for most femalen singers.[6] She wears a variety of different fashions, including ornate robes, travel leathers for battle[7], garments similar to havahs[8], and Thaylen clothing, without regard for gender.[9]

Raboniel is a scholar, but not the kind you would wish to work beneath.

—Lady Leshwi[3]

Raboniel is scholarly and curious, and one of her interests is in the Radiants, their powers, and their connection to Urithiru.[3] Instead of being angry when the Sibling's node defenses activate, she is fascinated by the defenses and excited by the prospect of discovering the tower's secrets. She enjoys matching wits with Navani and, to a lesser extent, Leshwi. She is very skilled in manipulation, as shown in how she persuades Navani into doing research under her. She has remained reasonably sane even after seven thousand years. However, she is exhausted from the unending war in which both the Fused and Radiant spren cannot be killed permanently. She is obsessed with ending the war to the point that nothing else matters to her. She is ruthless in the pursuit of her desires, but is not emotionless like many believe. For example, she shows immense grief upon her daughter's death[10] and cares about Navani, giving her a chance to escape Moash.

Raboniel looks down on the humans, but at the same time admires their fabrial innovations, and her work with Navani leads her to realize that she may have underestimated them.[11] However, she disdains many aspects of human culture, including their art and gender roles.[12] Although she covers her safehand to make Navani and the other humans more comfortable, she finds it annoying.

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Like other Fused, Raboniel cannot be killed by conventional means and she can heal using Voidlight. She is a type of Fused called the fannahn-im or "Ones of Alteration," meaning she can use the Surge of Transformation.[3] She is able to turn weapons into dust and can breathe out an apparently toxic compound. She carries a small thin blade with her.[13] Raboniel is able to attune unique Rhythms given to her by Odium. As a Fused, her soul is bound to Braize and she is unable to leave the Rosharan system.

As a scholar, Raboniel is perhaps the most knowledgeable of any Fused regarding fabrials and Lights.[3][14] She also has a degree of cosmere awareness, including knowledge of arcane items from other planets as well as Adonalsium's name.[15][16] She is talented at picking up languages, and can speak Alethi as well as write in the women's script.

History[edit]

Heraldic Epochs[edit]

Raboniel had a daughter, Essu, and theorized that she and Essu working together might help them stay sane, but Essu went mad. Raboniel used to have the title Lady of Pains, but decided she did not like that title, and was then referred to as Lady of Wishes instead.[3] During the last Return, she developed a disease intended to kill all humans on the planet; although it turned out to affect singers as well, she still chose to release it. However, it did not work as expected, as fewer than one in ten humans was killed, and one in a hundred singers.[3]

Leading the attack on Urithiru, flanked by the makay-im

Occupation of Urithiru[edit]

We will end this war, Pursuer. Forever. We have spent far, far too long in an endless cycle. I will break it - and once I am finished in this tower, there will be no turning back, ever.

—Raboniel to the Pursuer[4]

Raboniel was the one to suggest the Urithiru invasion to the Nine, saying that she could use her abilities to turn the tower's defenses against the Radiants and suppress their powers.[3] She led a group, including Venli, Rothan, stormform Singers, and a group of Deepest Ones, in the invasion.

Upon arriving at Urithiru, Raboniel began to corrupt the Sibling with Voidlight. This caused her great physical strain, but she managed to activate the tower's defenses as planned.[17] In the process, she also realized that the Sibling was not dead, only pretending to be, and began secretly listening in when the Sibling communicated with others, including Navani.[9] She ordered her team to only kill people who resisted and to gather the unconscious Radiants, and gave the Pursuer permission to kill Kaladin. When Ulim found Navani, Raboniel directed him to keep her alive, seeing her as a useful resource.

Raboniel met with Navani and laid out her plans for Urithiru - Raboniel would allow the humans to live in the tower, although they were all demoted to darkeyed status. She allowed the humans to continue trade, unlike most of the humans under singer rule in Alethkar, but not to carry weapons. Navani agreed to these terms when Raboniel said that if she did not, the singers would kill all the Radiants and be less accommodating in their rule.[18] During the occupation, she used fabrials with corrupted spren that were not suppressed by the Sibling.[8]

After the initial negotiations, Raboniel largely focused on research and let the Pursuer make decisions. She was determined to discover the secret of anti-Voidlight, and directed and aided Navani in achieving this. Under Raboniel, Navani had access to a full lab and her group of ardents and scholars, although she was not given any servants.[19] At the start of their partnership, Navani told Raboniel about the fabrial mechanics involved in the flying ship, including the use of aluminum to isolate planes of movement, and Raboniel explained to Navani that some spren manifested as Soulcasters.[19]

Holding a raysium dagger

Raboniel encountered Kaladin while continuing her corruption of the Sibling - they had a short conversation, but were interrupted by the Pursuer. When he defeated the Pursuer, Raboniel stabbed him to observe his Radiant healing and asked him questions about how his Surges were affected by the tower's corruption.[20] She also met with Mraize, who presented her with a captured but still awake Lift in exchange for use of the Oathgates. Venli approached her after this conversation and asked to have Rlain released into her care, and Raboniel agreed reluctantly.

When Navani continued to stall instead of agreeing fully to work with her, Raboniel showed her a singer attempting to break the Sibling's shield with Elhokar's Shardblade, seemingly unaware that the blade had belonged to Navani's deceased son. Raboniel then ordered Navani to work on her own from then on and send messages through Raboniel to her scholars. She showed Navani a replica of the crystal pillar shield and explains the mechanics - a type of Soulcasting where the fabrial convinces the air around the pillar that it is glass. She also told Navani about Lifelight and Towerlight, explaining that the latter is why Urithiru is so interesting to her. She wanted to combine Stormlight and Voidlight but was unsure if it would be possible, comparing them to oil and water in their inability to mix. Navani corrected her, showing that with an emulsifier oil and water can be combined, which made Raboniel realize that she should not accept ancient teachings without question. She tasked Navani with experimenting with Light and gave her access to all the scholarly texts she requested, including those from Kholinar, and experimented on her own as well to no avail. She told Navani that if she was able to combine Stormlight and Voidlight, Raboniel would free Urithiru from singer rule, although Navani did not believe her. She also confided in Navani about her daughter, Essu, as a way to gain Navani's trust.

I don't think you can comprehend how tired I am of this war, Navani. How tired all of us are. Your Heralds too.

—Raboniel to Navani[6]
Attuning the Rhythm of War

Raboniel found the location to the node in the well by listening to Navani's conversations with the Sibling and attempted to corrupt it, but Kaladin managed to escape both the Pursuer and Leshwi to destroy it. She brought Navani food and wine and told her about the past, and the origins of the human-singer conflict, mentioning that her grandmother had told her about the arrival of the humans to Roshar. Navani mentioned no longer being interested in doing research, but Raboniel convinced her to continue. They began to work together - at Navani's request, Raboniel sang the rhythms of Honor and Odium, and Navani learned Honor's rhythm with the help of a fabrial. With Raboniel singing Odium's rhythm and Navani singing Honor's, they were able to combine Stormlight and Voidlight for the first time. Raboniel entitled the rhythm they created the Rhythm of War, then revealed her true purpose to Navani - creating Light that could act as anti-Investiture.[6] They began to collaborate and co-authored a lab notebook called Rhythm of War in which they recorded their experimentation.

At Navani’s request, Raboniel gave her a raysium dagger and explained how it worked. She also told Navani that the dagger didn’t contain enough metal to trap a soul and would therefore not be dangerous if Navani tried to use it on her. Navani trapped half of a flamespren in the dagger, which led them to the realization that moving half the spren to a larger gemstone led to force multiplication.[21] Raboniel also gave Navani sand from Taldain that measured the strength of Investiture. She told Navani about Braize and planetary travel, revealing that travel to other worlds happened through Shadesmar. Navani tried to persuade Raboniel to make a treaty to end the war without Unmaking the Sibling, but the Fused replied that her best chance of winning the war was to control Urithiru, although they both expressed sorrow at the situation. She then, along with two nimbleform singers, played instruments - the nimbleforms using plates and bows that could replicate the tones of Honor and Odium, and Raboniel playing the drums - to create a musical version of the Rhythm of War, and gave Navani the title Voice of Lights.[14]

She conversed with Venli about regret and the reason for the war. She then released Venli from her service, as the Sibling's corruption was almost complete, and gave her the news of the surviving group of listeners who escaped through the chasms before the Everstorm, as well as a requisition writ for supplies.[22]

Haven't I led you to a weapon? Haven't I given you the secrets you needed to make it this far? Within reach of something that could kill a god? All because we worked together. Let's take this last step as one.

—Raboniel to Navani[23]

Navani, descending into feverish and obsessive research, was able to create a tone that repelled Voidlight using the bow and plate system. Although she tried to hide her breakthrough from Raboniel, the Regals could hear a difference in the tones and Raboniel came to investigate Navani's progress. Finding the new plate, Raboniel played it, realized what Navani had done, and convinced her to engage in collaboration again. Using a Thaylen vacuum tube and Navani's anti-Voidlight plate, they successfully created anti-Voidlight. When Raboniel touched the gemstone, she described it as a painful noise, but she was elated by the discovery, and as Navani left the room, Raboniel immediately tried to combine Voidlight and anti-Voidlight, which created an explosion in which she and her attendant were both injured, but survived. She then ordered Navani to fill another gemstone with anti-Voidlight, put the gem into a second raysium dagger, and altered the dagger so the anti-Voidlight would flow out of the blade. Using this blade, she stabbed her daughter in the chest, killing her. It was a painful death, and Raboniel expressed deep and genuine sorrow, cradling Essu's body and crying. She also revealed the true purpose of her experiments to Navani, which was not to find a way to kill Odium but instead to create a method of permanently killing spren. She gathered Navani's notebook and materials and used her work as a guide to create anti-Stormlight.[23] Unbeknownst to Raboniel, Navani picked up the dagger, which still had a small anti-Voidlight charge.

Moash suspected that Raboniel had known the location of the final node for a while, but had been stalling in order to continue researching with Navani. When Raboniel approached the pillar node to finish corrupting the Sibling, Navani primed her painrial trap with a magnet and planned to stab Raboniel with the Voidlight dagger. However, Raboniel gave Navani the chance to escape, which she did not take because her honor would not allow her to abandon the Sibling. Navani proposed a deal in order to lure Raboniel into her fabrial trap: they would wait in her rooms together, and if Moash defeated Kaladin, she would submit to him, and if not, then Raboniel would leave the Sibling alone. The plan succeeded, and Navani, who had felt the effects of the painrial before, was able to overpower Raboniel and stab her in the chest with the Voidlight dagger. She was weakened but was not enough Light to kill her, and she complimented Navani on the trick and urged her again to run and take the research with her. Navani realized that although Raboniel had wanted the singers to win, she would prefer Odium's forces to be defeated instead of allowing the war to continue on forever.[24]

When Navani was subsequently attacked by Moash, Raboniel latched onto his foot and clawed at him to buy time for Navani. She also reversed the dagger to drain his Stormlight when she stabbed him.[25] Navani later returned and thanked Raboniel, who told Navani to kill her because most of her soul was burned away, and if she returned she would be insane. Navani did so reverently, holding her hand and attuning the Rhythm of War with Raboniel one last time as she died. She left a note on Raboniel's body that called her a hero and said it was not to be disturbed.[1]

Relationships[edit]

Essu[edit]

No more rebirth. No more Returns. Free at last, my baby. Free.

—Raboniel after killing Essu[23]

Essu is Raboniel's daughter, gone mad from the stresses of being a Fused. Raboniel loves her deeply. Essu tends to follow her mother around and sometimes mimics her actions.[23] Watching Essu's descent into madness over time was a very painful experience for Raboniel, and her first action with the anti-Voidlight is to kill her daughter as a mercy, and she truly grieves her daughter's death.[10]

Navani[edit]

Raboniel is impressed with the scholarly work that Navani has done, and she requests that Navani help her in developing Warlight. Originally, Navani resists and stalls, but Raboniel sees through her efforts. Venli remarks that Raboniel seems to enjoy the challenge of manipulating Navani.[26] With both their efforts, they manage to develop not only Warlight, but also Anti-Stormlight and Anti-Voidlight. Raboniel is appreciative of Navani's scholarship and compliments her often and genuinely, although Navani usually deflects the praise.

Raboniel demands that Navani address her with the title of "Ancient One" or "Lady of Wishes," but in the course of their research together, she drops the requirement, saying that Navani's scientific discoveries have made them equals. As they spend more time together, Navani gets better at understanding the rhythms and interpreting Raboniel's emotions through them. Eventually, Raboniel grants Navani the title "Voice of Lights" as a display of her respect for Navani and her achievements.

Navani was touched by Raboniel's relationship with her daughter Essu, as they were both mothers who had lost children, and Raboniel's grief over her daughter humanized her in Navani's mind. In Raboniel's final moments, she relied on Navani for comfort and they showed genuine care for each other. Although much of their relationship involved trying to manipulate or outsmart the other, they formed a true emotional connection and Navani mourned Raboniel after she died.

Leshwi[edit]

Leshwi had set up a method for Venli to clandestinely deliver notes about Raboniel. Venli found the whole thing a baffling part of Fused politics. Raboniel knew that Venli was spying, and Leshwi knew that Raboniel knew, yet they both pretended the subterfuge was unknown.

—Venli[27]

Raboniel believes Leshwi to be one of the cleverest and most capable Heavenly Ones, calling her dangerous, and Leshwi sees Raboniel similarly. She is afraid of Raboniel due to her intelligence, ability to manipulate others and the fact that she is more capable of creating long-term plans than many of the Fused. Raboniel, however, is "fond" of Leshwi, although she believes her to be softhearted. Leshwi offers Venli to Raboniel to act as Raboniel's Voice, with the motive of gaining information on Raboniel through Venli, and although Raboniel sees through this scheme, she accepts Venli for the position.[7]

Venli[edit]

Upon initially meeting Venli, Raboniel is curious about her, calling her a "traitor to her own kind." Venli acts as Raboniel's Voice, and Raboniel also gives Venli information on the Surges and the different types of Fused and Radiants. Raboniel recognizes Venli's ambition and curiosity and encourages those attributes as worthy Passions.[7] She mistakenly believes that Venli wishes to become a Fused, and advises her that no mortal has been granted that honor since the original Fused.[27] She also counsels Venli about regret and ambition and gifts her a scout report that informs her that the singers who escaped into the chasms before the Everstorm have survived.[22]

Trivia[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. a b Rhythm of War chapter 113#
  2. Rhythm of War chapter 83#
  3. a b c d e f g h i Rhythm of War chapter 14#
  4. a b Rhythm of War chapter 41#
  5. Rhythm of War chapter 65#
  6. a b c Rhythm of War chapter 76#
  7. a b c Rhythm of War chapter 31#
  8. a b Rhythm of War chapter 61#
  9. a b Rhythm of War chapter 72#
  10. a b Shardcast Interview
    Arcanum - 2021-01-23#
  11. Navani's Notebook - Experiments.jpg
  12. Rhythm of War chapter 51#
  13. Rhythm of War chapter 37#
  14. a b Rhythm of War chapter 89#
  15. Rhythm of War chapter 64#
  16. a b YouTube Livestream 39
    Arcanum - 2022-02-01#
  17. Rhythm of War chapter 38#
  18. Rhythm of War chapter 42#
  19. a b Rhythm of War chapter 46#
  20. Rhythm of War chapter 59#
  21. Rhythm of War chapter 84#
  22. a b Rhythm of War chapter 92#
  23. a b c d Rhythm of War chapter 97#
  24. Rhythm of War chapter 106#
  25. Rhythm of War chapter 107#
  26. Rhythm of War chapter 67#
  27. a b Rhythm of War chapter 53#
  28. Shardcast Interview
    Arcanum - 2021-01-23#
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