by Dan dos Santos
|Abilities||Cognitive Shadow, Shardbearer (formerly)|
|Titles||Herald of the Almighty, Herald of Beauty, Lady of Dreams, Patron of the Lightweavers|
|Aliases||Shush-daughter-God, Ash, Epan, Pom|
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”A woman sits and scratches out her own eyes. Daughter of kings and winds, the vandal.
Shalash, (Alethi pronounciation: [ʃəˈlɑʃ] SHə-lash) also known as Ash, is one of the ten Heralds of The Almighty on Roshar. She is called the Herald of Beauty in Vorin cultures and is known as Epan, Lady of Dreams, in Emul. She serves as the patron of the Order of Lightweavers and is associated with the divine attributes of "Creative" and "Honest". The Shin call her Shush-daughter-God.
Appearance and Personality
Shalash has dark skin and long black hair. Her eyes are a faint violet, so faint as to be almost white, and lack epicanthic folds. She is also described as being tall and lean as well as being exceptionally beautiful.
During her time as Baxil's mistress she never wears traditionally female clothing, such as dresses or skirts, preferring instead sleek and tight trousers. She also wears a thin-bladed sword.
She dislikes thievery, however she has no issues with breaking into the dwellings of the rich to destroy art. Her destruction of said art appears to be a perversion of her divine attribute of "Creative" and may be a symptom of her forsaking of the Oathpact. She does not want the destruction to be "too easy". She is also very private and does not appreciate being asked "prying" questions. Her obsession with destruction is focused on depictions of herself - whenever she sees her own face, whether as a painting, statue or tapestry, she is compelled to destroy it. She seems unable to resist the urge even when pressed for time. She is, however, aware of this, and when doing something important, she actively avoids looking anywhere one may find artwork of the heralds.
Shalash appears to be highly regretful of abandoning the Oathpact. Upon meeting Taln again, she's extremely apologetic for leaving him behind, and expresses dismay that he doesn't hate her for it. She also seems to have periods of losing touch with reality, as she mentions missing decades, if not centuries of memories.
- Formation of the Oathpact
Shalash was chosen by the Shard Honor to be one of his Heralds. This relationship was the formation of the Oathpact and as part of it Shalash received one of the Honorblades in exchange for her service. The circumstances of how this came to be is unknown, but there are stories about Proving Day, during which the Heralds faced difficult, if not impossible, tasks to prove themselves.
- Cycle of Desolations
Following the formation of the Oathpact, Shalash and the other Heralds spent several thousand years helping the people of Roshar fight the Voidbringers in battles called Desolations. Preceding each Desolation the Heralds would return to Roshar and have a short time to prepare them for said Desolation, teaching them any necessary technology they may have lost in the intervening time. The level of technology the Heralds returned to varied with each Desolation, in some cases the Rosharans had not progressed past the Stone Age. At the end of each Desolation, if Shalash did not "die", she, along with any other surviving Heralds, was required to leave Roshar and return to what is believed to be Damnation or risk triggering another Desolation.
Between Desolations, Shalash, along with the other Heralds, was tortured in a fiery place that is believed to be Damnation or Braize. Presumably, the longer they are able to withstand the torture the longer the interval between Desolations will be.
Era of Solitude
- Breaking of the Oathpact
Following Aharietiam, the "Last" Desolation, Shalash and the other Heralds, excluding Talenel who had fallen in battle, decided to forsake the Oathpact and abandoned their Honorblades. They were less successful in breaking the Oathpact than they believe. They lied to the people of Roshar, telling them they had "won" and went their separate ways.
- The Vandal
Roughly four and a half thousand years after Aharietiam, Shalash is traveling the world destroying art, in particular depictions of herself. Sometime prior to the assassination of King Gavilar Kholin of Alethkar she infiltrated the royal palace in Kholinar and destroyed her statue. At the feast the night of the assassination Shalash's fellow Herald, Nale, and an unidentified man remark that she is getting "worse".
In the year 1173, five years after Gavilar's assassination, Shalash infiltrates the palace of Ashno of Sages in Emul, assisted by Baxil and Av, where she destroys a great deal of art depicting herself, including a canvas painting and a statue.
Mraize attracts Ash with a painting of her, in order to tell her where Taln is. She then travels to Thaylenah, where she finds Taln. They join Dalinar in the Battle of Thaylen Field. After the battle, she and Taln begin to leave the city. Shalash immediately feels a hole in herself when Moash kills Jezrien. While she is reacting to the loss of her father, Jasnah confronts her and Taln, comparing them to a picture of them. After wondering why Midius has been giving away pictures of them, she falls unconscious.
Abilities and Attributes
As part of the Oathpact, Shalash was given one of the Honorblades that grant access to Surgebinding for those who bond them. Her blade grants the Surges of Illumination and Transformation. However, as of the beginning of True Desolation, she does not appear to have it, as she considers acquiring a Shardblade to gain an equally sharp weapon.
The Surge of Illumination would allow Shalash to create illusions through Lightweaving.
Shalash has had her life extended far beyond that of an average human through unknown means. This has allowed her to live through thousands of years of Desolations as well as the 4,500 years between Aharietiam and the coming of the Everstorm and potentially beyond.
She has unusually good hearing.
- Shalash is currently planned to be one of the focus characters in the "back five" of The Stormlight Archive.
- Torol Sadeas mentions himself to have a "Shalashian temperament", which could just refer to creativity or honesty.
- Shalash's name is originally/naturally symmetric.
- Shallan Davar is named after Shalash, and is specifically asymmetric because of Vorinism
- Shalash's name bears a certain resemblance to Aons Shao (Transformation), Ala (Beauty), and Ashe (Light). When asked about this, Brandon implied that this is not a coincidence, though Shalash herself might not be aware of the linguistics of her name.
- There is no significance with Shalash's name bearing a close resemblance to Shashara's name.
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