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Shalash

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Shalash
Shalash Endsheet.jpg
by Dan dos Santos
Family
Parents Jezrien
Abilities Cognitive Shadow, Shardbearer (formerly)
Titles Herald of the Almighty, Herald of Beauty, Lady of Dreams, Patron of the Lightweavers
Aliases Shush-daughter-God[1], Ash, Epan, Pom
World Roshar
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
This page or section contains spoilers for Oathbringer!
This information has the ability to potentially ruin elements of the plot for the reader. Proceed with caution if you have not read this book.
A woman sits and scratches out her own eyes. Daughter of kings and winds, the vandal.
— A death rattle collected on Palahevan 1173, 73 seconds pre-death, by the Silent Gatherers.
Subject was a beggar of some renown, known for his elegant songs.[2]

Shalash, (Alethi pronounciation: [ʃəˈlɑʃ] SHə-lash[3]) also known as Ash, is one of the ten Heralds of The Almighty on Roshar.[4] She is called the Herald of Beauty[5] in Vorin cultures and is known as Epan, Lady of Dreams, in Emul.[6] She serves as the patron of the Order of Lightweavers and is associated with the divine attributes of "Creative" and "Honest".[7] The Shin call her Shush-daughter-God.[1]

She is the daughter of the Herald Jezrien.[8]

She is Baxil's mistress.[9]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

She 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.[6]

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.[6]

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.[6]

History[edit]

Heraldic Epochs[edit]

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.[10][11] 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.[12]

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.[13][14] 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.[15]

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.[16]

Some time later the Knights Radiant were founded to help preserve knowledge between Desolations.[13][17] Shalash served as the Patron for the Order of Lightweavers.

Era of Solitude[edit]

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.[18] They lied to the the people of Roshar, telling them they had "won" and went their separate ways.[16]

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.[19] At the feast the night of the assassination Shalash's fellow Herald, Nale, and an unidentified man remark that she is getting "worse".[20]

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.[6]

Sometime prior to Gawx becoming Prime of Azir, she also infiltrates the Bronze Palace in Azimir where she defaces a mural of the Heralds, scratching out her face.[21]

Mraize attracts Ash with a painting of her, in order to tell her where Taln is.[22] She then travels to Thaylenah, where she finds Taln.[23] They join Dalinar in the Battle of Thaylen Field.[24] 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.[25]

Abilities and Attributes[edit]

A stylized depiction of Shalash's honorblade

Surgebinding[edit]

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.

Illumination

The Surge of Illumination allows Shalash to create illusions through Lightweaving.

Transformation

The Surge of Transformation allows Shalash to transmute material into one of the Ten Essences through Soulcasting.

Longevity[edit]

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.

Other Attributes[edit]

She has unusually good hearing.[6]

Trivia[edit]

  • Shalash is currently planned to be one of the focus characters in the "back five" of The Stormlight Archive.[26]
  • Torol Sadeas mentions himself to have a "Shalashian temperament", which could just refer to creativity or honesty.[27]
  • Shalash's name is originally/naturally symmetric.[3]
  • Shallan Davar is named after Shalash[28], and is specifically asymmetric because of Vorinism[29]
  • 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.[30]

Notes[edit]

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