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Roion

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Roion
Glyph-Roion.svg
Children Son
Ancestors Sadees[1]
Died Battle of Narak - Ishishach 1173[2]
Titles Highprince of Alethkar
Groups Roion army
Nationality Alethi
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
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Roion is a highprince of Alethkar on Roshar.

Appearance & Personality[edit]

Highprince Roion is a tall light-skinned man with a dark, well trimmed beard. His princedom is the smallest and is located on Alethkar's north-eastern border.

Roion's army is known for having the best archers.[3]

History[edit]

Contesting Gemhearts on the Plains[edit]

Little is known of Roion's early life or what role, if any, he played in the Alethi unification wars. At some point he fathered at least one child, a son who was his heir.[4] In 1167, following the assassination of his king Gavilar Kholin, Roion swore the Vengeance Pact with the other highprinces, beginning the War of Reckoning against the listeners.[5] He brought his armies to the craters on the western margin of the Shattered Plains and set up a warcamp in in the northernmost crater, next to the Sadeas camp.[6] Over the course of the next six years, Roion competed with the other highprinces and the listeners for the gemhearts of pupating chasmfiends.[7] His army was particularly unsuccessful, he won the fewest gemhearts of any highprince during the early years of the war.[8] He often attended the feasts held by King Elhokar Kholin and was badly insulted by Wit at one such occasion.[9]

In 1173, he met with Dalinar Kholin to discuss the possibility of a joint plateau assault.[8] Roion needled Dalinar several times during the conversation, asking questions about the fits he experienced during highstorms, questioning whether the Blackthorn was losing his touch. Dalinar tried to convince Roion that a more direct approach to the war was necessary for victory, offering to split any gemhearts won on joint assaults. He hoped to use Roion's superior archers to supplement his heavy infantry. Dalinar hoped Roion's position as the least successful highprince would lead him to agree to a chance at greater spoils. Roion expressed uncertainty over who would keep any captured Shardbearer. Dalinar offered Roion the first full set of Shards if he could keep the second to himself. Ultimately Roion became concerned that Dalinar was attempting to manipulate him to seize his lands, and Dalinar was unable to persuade him otherwise They ended the conversation on uncertain terms, and Roion ultimately declined Dalinar's initial offer soon after.

Late Stages of War of Reckoning[edit]

When Dalinar began actively coordinating the plateau run as Highprince of War later that year, Roion was obedient to Dalinar's orders. He would stay behind when Dalinar commanded another highprince to carry out a run, even if the plateau in question was closest to Roion's territory.[10] He also would work in coordination with other highprinces on Dalinar's orders,[11] although occasionally he had gemhearts stolen from him by Sadeas, who defied Dalinar's orders.[11] Following the attempt on Dalinar's life by Szeth, Roion attended the meeting of the highprinces.[12] He was particularly interested in the newly-arrived Shallan Davar, offering her an invitation to stay in his palace in exchange for news from Jah Keved. Roion suspected that the assassination attempt had been ordered by the listeners because they had grown desperate and indecisive about the direction of the war, uncertain whether to sue for peace or pursue the conflict further. During this time, Roion was asked by Dalinar to join the expedition to the center of the Shattered Plains and agreed to participate, although he was frightened of the idea.[13] He was slated to go on a plateau run before the final highstorm of the year, but Dalinar called it off because of the impending expedition.

Expedition and Death[edit]

What of those red eyes? And the flashes of light they cause when they fight? Storms, when I spoke earlier, I didn't mean that I wanted us to go farther. I was just worried at what the Parshendi would do. I . . . there's no easy way to do this, is there?

—Roion to the other highprinces[14]

Roion was initially the only highprince to muster his army to join Dalinar's expedition to the Shattered Plains.[15] Roion was nervous about Sebarial joining them and did not understand why he had done it, but was grateful for the aid. When Sebarial joined them, the two traded light insults, calling one another cowards. Roion and Amaram followed Dalinar over to greet Aladar when the highprince joined them, and Roion witnessed the revelation of Amaram's treachery before they departed. As they approached the encampment at Narak, Roion spent his time discussing strategy with Aladar.[16] As they neared the plateau, he debated with the other highprinces on their next move. Initially, Roion spoke in favor of striking the listeners first, as he believed the enemy had no incentive to attack them.[14] Sebarial called him a coward again, but Shallan Davar agreed with Roion that they should move forward. Once the decision had been made though, Roion changed his mind, fearful of the red eyes and strange powers of stormforms. He claimed he had only spoken in favor of an attack because he was uncertain of the listener's next moves, and realized that the expedition had few remaining options.

Just before the Battle of Narak, when the Alethi were surrounded by the listeners, Roion joined Dalinar and the other highprinces in the rain for a strategy session.[17] He was panicked at the sight of the red eyes on the nearby plateaus and spent some time staring out at them, unable to believe what he was seeing. Dalinar reassured Roion, asking him to go to his men and show confidence, to give them strength. Roion asked Dalinar if he would save them, and Dalinar replied to him that they would save themselves. This inspired Roion and he and Captain Halam Khal[17] led the attack on the listener-occupied plateau to the north.[18] Roion's troops were not well-trained[17] and so the fighting went poorly, despite the aid of the Shardbearer Teleb and some of Sebarial's men.[17] Ultimately, Roion's lines broke, Teleb fell to the listeners, and Roion himself was trapped on the northern plateau and nearly overwhelmed.[3] Fortunately for Roion, Halam Khal rescued Teleb's Blade[19] and Navani's fabrials allowed Roion's archers to fire in the rain.[3] These advantages along with reinforcements from Dalinar allowed Roion and his army to hastily retreat onto the central plateau.[19] Roion returned to the command tent in hysterics about the battle, requiring Dalinar to calm him. Roion watched as Dalinar spoke to the Stormfather about the impending highstorm.

As the battle ended, he accompanied Dalinar and Navani to the command tent discussing Shallan's news of a path to Urithiru.[2] Dalinar had ordered Roion to lead his army to the Oathgate plateau when they were attacked suddenly by Szeth. Roion initially panicked again, running away from the assassin and raising the alarm. Roion gathered his courage and returned with a small force of soldiers. He attacked Szeth with his sidesword just as the Assassin was about to kill Dalinar. Roion failed to surprise Szeth, who cut the blade from Roion's sword and lashed the highprince upward. Roion flew into the sky screaming, while Szeth slaughtered his soldiers. Roion was killed when the Stormlight ran out and he fell back to the ground.

Legacy[edit]

Roion's death was defined by an action that refuted the criticism of cowardice he often faced in life. Despite failing to injure Szeth at all with his attack, he distracted the Assassin and saved Dalinar's life.[2] His second-most impactful decision was allying with Dalinar in the first place. Bringing his armies on the expedition were helpful, even if they were not the best trained. Roion's army survived the day, organized by Sebarial and safely directed to the Oathgate.[20] They would continue to serve as a part of the Alethi troops in Urithiru, under the command of Roion's son.[4]

Trivia[edit]

  • Roion was once insulted so severely by Wit that Dalinar thought Roion might be a suspect in the attempt to assassinate Elhokar.[9]
  • Lopen's cousin Punio was originally a member of Roion's army.[21]

Notes[edit]

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