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|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
Rysn Ftori bah-Vstim is a young woman from Thaylenah on Roshar. She is a tradesmaster and the rebsk of the Wandersail. Previously she was an apprentice merchant under her babsk Vstim. During her apprenticeship, she lost the use of her legs in an accident on the Reshi Isles. Afterwards, she worked in the Thaylen Gemstone Reserve for some time, managing Queen Fen's personal finances, before becoming a merchant in her own right. Rysn has a pet larkin, which she calls Chiri-Chiri. She is a Dawnshard.
Appearance and Personality
Rysn has the long, white eyebrows typical of Thaylens that she tucks behind her ears. She wears a glove on her safehand, although she finds the practice of covering safehands a silly tradition resulting from Vorin cultural dominance. She usually prefers to wear vests over long-sleeved shirts and ankle-length skirts.
Attributes and Abilities
Rysn was trained as a merchant by her babsk Vstim. She is a good observer of character and determined when she bargains. Her biggest fault, as defined by Vstim, is her prejudice against other nations and cultures. She is seen making great strides in addressing this fault during her time in the Reshi isles and Aimia.
Following an accident during a trade in the Reshi Isles, Rysn no longer has the use of her legs. She furnished her office with long benches on which she can slide as a mobility aid. In public, she moves by wheelchair, porter, or palanquin and, later, by a fabrial-enhanced levitating chair designed by the Ardent Rushu with assistance from Huio.
Rysn gains certain abilities after becoming a Dawnshard, but the exact extent of these abilities is not yet known. She begins to hear a voice in her head that appears to provide information and suggestions directly to her (presumably the Dawnshard itself). She also appears to become more attuned to color and musical tone in the world around her, similar to someone who holds many Breaths. It is expected that these passive effects will grow over time if Rysn remains the Dawnshard, although she is incapable of actively using the Dawnshard.
”I've heard of the grass. But it's just so odd.—Rysn to Vstim
Five months into her apprenticeship, Rysn traveled with her babsk to Shinovar. There, they offered Soulcast metal, which the Shin valued highly because no stone was broken in the process of acquiring it, in exchange for chickens, cloths, and exotic dried meats. Rysn thought Shinovar very strange because of its different plant life, lack of spren and strange culture. She called the Shin grass imbecilic, and couldn't understand how it survived Highstorms. Her babsk made her take a pot of it and told her to care for it until she no longer found it odd, claiming that it would make her a better trader. After setting up an Alerter fabrial, they met with their contact Thresh-son-Esan. Rysn was surprised to learn that soldiers were considered the lowliest of men among the Shin, while farmers were the most respectable, akin to craftsmen or tradesmen in her own culture. Rysn watched as Vstim and Thresh bargained, each one taking pains to explain how worthless their wares were. Rysn, puzzled, found this very uncharacteristic of her babsk. After Vstim and Thresh came to an agreement, Vstim asked Rysn what she learned. Rysn realized that the Shin are a humble people, and in their culture, it was viewed as more honest -- and therefore more moral -- to devalue your products than to overstate their worth.
Despite Rysn's initial concerns, the goods they bought from the Shin proved to be very profitable. Rysn ended up naming her pot of grass Tyvnk -- meaning "sullen" in Thaylen -- because, rather than being sullen at being so overtly wrong while Vstim was right, she let her grass be so.
Rysn: " You will take the trade. You will trade with me. "
Talik: " Oh? And what makes you say this? "
Rysn: " Because Relu-na approves of boldness. "
Rysn and Vstim's next adventure was in the Reshi Sea. They made their way with a caravan of sixteen longboats laden with people and goods purchased cheaply in lands rimming the Purelake, guided by a Purelaker named Gu. Rysn acted as the trademaster because of Vstim's sickness. Rysn was astonished to learn that the "islands" the Reshi lived on were really the backs of gargantuan greatshells called Tai-na. Like in Shinovar, she viewed local customs as primitive and was dismissive of them. Once they landed, Vstim told Rysn that she would have to trade with the Reshi. Vstim's illness made him weak, and that would ruin the deal. He told Rysn that the Reshi appreciated strength and boldness. On her way with Kylrm and Nlent to the meeting with the Reshi trademaster, she saw people jumping from the shell of the Tai-na to the sea. An Aimian named Axies the Collector, who was hanging upside down and tied by his feet to a shell nearby as a punishment for asking the king about the soul of his god, informed her that the Reshi did this to show their courage. Rysn continued climbing all the way up to the head of the Tai-na to meet the King, who, to Rysn's surprise, turned out to be, in her eyes, a woman. A man named Talik spoke for the King and introduced their island's god as Relu-na, then asked why Vstim was not attending. Rysn informed him she was authorized to handle the trade, but Talik told her that the deal was off. Rysn continued trying to convince Talik to take the deal, and managed to impress the king enough to speak with him directly, although all he did was inform Rysn that he would not complete the trade, choosing instead to wait for Vstim to recover from his illness. Rysn, believing that Vstim's illness was fatal, was desperate to close the deal. Deciding there was only one way to show her boldness, she climbed down the rope used to feed the Tai-na and pleaded her case directly to the island's god. She hung there for a time in direct disobedience with the King's orders, but Relu-na's motions to catch the rope snapped it in two, leaving Rysn to fall. For a split second she saw the greatshell's eye, then felt a rush of wind as she crashed into the sea, then fell unconscious.
”I needed to do something. To prove courage. I thought... I needed to be bold...—Rysn to Vstim
Rysn woke up back on a longboat, where Vstim told her Relu-na had slowed her fall and saved her life. Rysn's legs were shattered in the fall, however, and she would never walk again. Rysn soon figured out that Talik was a former apprentice of Vstim, that Vstim wasn't as sick as he appeared, that the trade had been finalized long before their arrival, and that Vstim had set up the meeting with the Reshi so that Rysn could practice negotiating in a controlled environment, but that now the Reshi would definitely trade with her again, and so would all the other isles. They had come to the island to trade for the corpse of a larkin, a species believed to be extinct by the rest of the world, but Relu-na gifted Rysn a live one in acknowledgment of her bravery.
Thaylen Gemstone Reserve
”This is my consequence—payment for a contract I entered into willingly the moment I climbed down the side of that greatshell.—Rysn to Vstim
Rysn, embarrassed about her shattered legs and thinking her freedom and career as a trader was over, took the job Vstim offered her at the Thaylen Gemstone Reserves once she graduated from his tutelage. She'd taken down most of the relics from her travels because they reminded her too much of what she’d lost. However, she still kept the pot of Shin grass from her first expedition and looked after Chiri-Chiri the Larkin, which was now slightly longer than Rysn’s palm. Rysn was preparing for a visit from an important auditor when Vstim, who turned out to be the man she was waiting for, was brought into her office by a guard. He offered her the captain’s cord to an expensive ship called Wandersail. Rysn mentioned that she had approached a Radiant and was going to ask him to heal her legs, but by the time she'd gotten to him, it had been too long and they had become a part of her identity.
After Rysn opened the Gemstone vault for Vstim, she had the guards carry her to Vault Thirteen, which held the King’s Drop, but the guard holding her chair was killed by a queen’s guard. Rysn pulled herself along the floor, tying the King’s Drop to her leg using the captain’s cord after the traitor dropped it fighting with other guards. Rysn made her way toward the door, grabbing the crossbow of a fallen guard as she went. She then realized that she couldn't cock it as long as she couldn't stand, so she tied the crossbow to her chair using the captain's cord in a makeshift pulley. She watched as Chiri-Chiri fed on the Voidlight the traitor was holding, then shot the Singer through the chin. Rysn was later found lying next to Vstim's injured body by Dalinar after the Gemstone Reserve had come under further attack. She informed Dalinar that the enemy had stolen the King's Drop.
Expedition to Aimia
”There will be smaller details to arrange at a later date. But we give our agreement to your terms, Rysn Ftori bah-Vstim. Your life for being honorable. These Soulcasters and Plate for the promise to train and help us.
A few months after the Battle of Thaylen Field, Rysn was visited by Talik, whose assistance she had requested due to Chiri-Chiri's apparent illness. He counseled Rysn that the larkin must return to its home in Aimia (specifically the lost city of Akinah) in order for its condition to improve. Concurrently, Navani has put out a call for a ship to mount an expedition to Aimia, following the return of the First Dreams without its crew. Rysn traveled to Urithiru with her new porter Nikli to discuss the terms under which she would commit the Wandersail and her crew to such a dangerous mission. An agreement was reached with Navani sending Windrunners Lopen and Huio for protection; the Ardent Rushu to discuss the possibility of a fabrial mobility device for Rysn; and having Queen Fen provide a royal mandate to motivate the Thaylen crew.
At sea, Rysn struggled with her relationship to the crew - realizing that the captain Drlwan and her crew resented that Vstim chose Rysn as the rebsk rather than Drlwan herself. She recommended that Nikli entice the sailors to begin a playful hazing ritual in order to earn their favor; while bonding with Lopen over shared experience with disability and Rushu over interest in fabrial motion devices.
Rysn began to gain respect by handling successive 'omens' which appeared and troubled her crew. First, when the ship's grain was found to be infested, she consulted her notes from Vstim and directed the captain to trade with nearby Hexi nomads. They accepted the bad grain in exchange for jerky, saving the expedition's food stores. Later, when a santhid corpse washed up to the ship, she spun the arrival as a good omen and offered the crew a chance to rest ashore to pay respects to the greatshell. During the rest stop, Rushu experimented with Rysn's chair and aluminum-modified fabrials discovered by Huio, leading to the creation of a prototype levitating chair. Rysn also received a spanreed communication from Vstim explaining that the Windrunners and Rushu had been instructed in secret to find the Oathgate at Akinah.
When both bad omens are revealed to have been Nikli plotting with the other Sleepless to scare the expedition away from Akinah, Rysn requested that Lopen and Huio remove Nikli from the ship. Wandersail continued to Aimia, and traveled the strange storm around Akinah before finding safe harbor. Rysn remained on-board, intending to set foot on the island once the landing became safe, although Chiri-Chiri dove overboard into the water and left her side. Rysn was the first to recognize that the gemhearts on the shore were fake and that a trap had been set, but is caught by surprise when Nikli returned to the ship. Cord grabbed Rysn and jumped into the water in an attempt to escape.
In the water, Luckspren led the pair into a set of caverns beneath the surface of the island. The cavern contained a set of shardplate, eight soulcasters, and a mural depicting the shattering of Adonalsium. Upon staring at the mural, the Dawnshard contained within left the mural and joined with Rysn. Still unaware of the existence of the Dawnshard, Rysn and Cord planned to negotiate for safe passage home with a promise of secrecy - an offer the Sleepless were not interested in considering.
At the conclusion of the negotiations, the crew of the Wandersail was permitted safe return with information about Akinah in addition to the shardplate and soulcasters found in the cavern. In return for their safety, Rysn had vowed to be the protector of the Dawnshard so that it was not in Akinah when cosmere forces eventually came in search of it. The Sleepless agreed to this plan under the condition that they be permitted to follow Rysn permanently. A two-layer cover story was created: it would be said publicly that the return of a larkin, Chiri-Chiri, had convinced the Sleepless to let the ship go; while the rulers of Roshar, particularly Navani and Queen Fen, would be told that the exchange included Sleepless remaining with Rysn as training on impersonating humanity.
As the Wandersail was pulling away from Aimia, Drlwan acknowledged that Rysn had put the crew before her own safety, and requested that she take the helm on their next voyage. Rysn also noticed that she saw colors better and thought that Drlwan's voice sounded more musical.
”But. . . Babsk. . . I had to tell someone. I need your wisdom, now more than ever.—Rysn to Vstim after returning from the Aimia expedition.
Following her expedition to Aimia, Rysn met with Vstim and recounted her interactions with the Sleepless to Vstim. She referenced his lessons and how she used them in her negotiations with Nikli. Despite her non-disclosure agreement with the Sleepless, she told Vstim she had to confide in someone about the truth. Vstim promised Rysn that he'd keep her secrets and bear them honorably. After he left, a tired Rysn told Chiri-Chiri that she needed something to eat. Chiri-Chiri then proceeded to say a few words in the human tongue, beginning with Rysn's name. Though Rysn believed her exhaustion was causing her to hallucinate, she dropped her cup of tea and gasped when she realized that Chiri-Chiri was speaking.
- The writing process of Rysn's interlude in Words of Radiance was recorded and released as a series of YouTube videos.
- Brandon wants to have an interlude with Rysn every book, though each book can only have so many interludes and there may not always be enough slots for her.
- Dawnshard epilogue#
- The Way of Kings interlude I-4#
- Words of Radiance interlude I-3#
- Dawnshard chapter 19#
- Dawnshard chapter 1#
- Dawnshard chapter 9#
- Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A
— Arcanum - 2020-11-06#
- Dawnshard chapter 18#
- Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A
— Arcanum - 2020-11-06#
- Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A
— Arcanum - 2020-11-06#
- Oathbringer interlude I-13#
- Oathbringer chapter 116#
- Dawnshard chapter 2#
- Dawnshard chapter 5#
- Dawnshard chapter 6#
- Dawnshard chapter 8#
- Dawnshard chapter 12#
- Dawnshard chapter 15#
- Rhythm of War interlude I-8#
- Brandon's livestream
— Youtube - 29 Jun 2014#
- Ad Astra 2017
— Arcanum - 2017-05-05#