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Sigzil

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Sigzil
Sigzil Portrait by Marie Seeberger.jpg
Abilities Windrunner, Shardbearer[1]
Groups Knights Radiant (Windrunner), Bridge Four, Worldsingers, Sadeas army (formerly), Kholin army
Residence Urithiru
Ethnicity Makabaki
Nationality Azish
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
This page or section contains spoilers for Dawnshard and Rhythm of War!
This information has the ability to potentially ruin elements of the plot for the reader. Proceed with caution if you have not read these books.

Sigzil is an Azish member of Bridge Four on Roshar and a companylord of the Radiant Order of Windrunners.[2][3] He was previously apprenticed to Hoid and is now a full Worldsinger.[4]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

My master trained me to ask questions, so I’m asking them.

—Sigzil[5]

Sigzil is clean-shaven with dark brown skin and thick, curly black hair.[2][6] He is considered average height in Azir, which makes him short compared to most Alethi. He has a Bridge Four tattoo on his forehead covering the place where he used to be branded with a slave mark.[7]

Sigzil tends to be quiet and close-mouthed,[6] though when he embraces his role as a Worldsinger, he displays deep knowledge of a variety of cultures and speaks openly and volubly.[8] He seems to enjoy deep conversations, especially when conducted one-on-one, and has a formal way of speaking.[6] He also has a judgmental streak, particularly around disorderly people or when faced with other cultures' less organized and bureaucratic methods. Taking Hoid's teachings to heart, however, he does attempt to be more open-minded.[7]

Despite being incredibly organized and studious, Sigzil thinks less of himself for failing the governmental service exams in Azir. Likely as a result of growing up in a country where everything is well-organized, he prefers a clear relationship between himself and whomever he works for. He also expresses the need to figure out exactly what Bridge Four's chain of command is in regards to Alethi affairs after the beginning of the True Desolation.[7]

Despite his penchant for keeping this organized, Sigzil is not content with only being a clerk, and wants to be the "first into the sky," rather than spending all his time poring over ledgers.[7] He is encouraging and optimistic to his friends.[9][10]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Sigzil has been trained with the spear and spearman tactics by Kaladin, and he uses the weapon "acceptably."[11] He can read and write the Azish script, though out of deference to Alethi ideals he sticks with using glyphs to record written reports as Bridge Four's clerk.[7] His understanding of other cultures, ability to work easily with numbers, and his level-headedness are all assets to the Order of Windrunners.[12]

He has bonded an honorspren[13] and has sworn at least the Third Ideal of the Order of Windrunners,[1] which allows him to draw in Stormlight and use the Surges of Gravitation and Adhesion.[7][14]

History[edit]

Worldsinger[edit]

Sigzil was the first person in his family in generations to have a chance at passing the governmental service tests in Azir, which would have given him the opportunity to attend a "real" school, though he later came to consider that a "silly dream," since, as the son of a laborer, he had little time to study. Before taking the tests, however, he got into some sort of trouble and had to be rescued by Hoid, who took him on as an apprentice Worldsinger.[7]

Hoid and Sigzil traveled to many places on Roshar together, including to Babatharnam, where Hoid had to pay to have Sigzil freed from prison on three separate occasions.[15] While they were on the Shattered Plains, he attempted to kill someone and thought he was successful, though his victim actually survived. This event appears to be what caused him to be made a bridgeman.[6] Sometime after Kaladin joined Bridge Four, he believed that Hoid thought he was dead.[8]

Bridge Four[edit]

With other bridgemen

After Kaladin started trying to rehabilitate Bridge Four, Sigzil was abrasive and scornful of his efforts at first, among the loudest critics.[16] He was also shy about his knowledge as a Worldsinger and walked off when Rock mentioned his being one.[15] Over time, however, he began to warm up and tell stories about far-off places like Marabethia,[6] Yulay,[17] Babatharnam,[15] and Shinovar.[8]

After Kaladin was healed enough from being strung up in a highstorm to go on bridge runs again, he, Rock, and Sigzil observed a battle and discussed the tactics behind putting the bridgemen's lives in such danger. That evening, impressed by Sigzil's earlier analysis, Kaladin discussed with him the education in each of their pasts while the others got their stew.[6] In the chasms one time while on duty, Sigzil happened on Teft's conversation with Kaladin and expanded on the First Ideal of the Lost Radiants. Those words stuck in Kaladin's head and gave him the courage to suggest training the men with spears in preparation for an escape attempt; Sigzil wholeheartedly agreed to the plan, as did the rest.[17]

I do not ‘give tales.’ I spread knowledge of cultures, peoples, thoughts, and dreams. I bring peace through understanding.

—Sigzil, to Bridge Four in the chasms[8]

One day after Kaladin had his beard shaved off for the first time since his time in Amaram's army, Sigzil discussed with him whether or not he would like to take the lighteyes' place and rule Alethkar. He brought up Babatharnam to illustrate the point that eye color was not the problem so much as people with power abusing their positions, then stalked off when Rock pointed out that he sounded like a Worldsinger.[15]

Another time on chasm duty, Sigzil reluctantly agreed to fill his role as a Worldsinger and confirmed that what Kaladin had seen in his vision during a highstorm was real by telling about Sesemalex Dar, though he protested at the group's requests for "stories." He was the one to tell Kaladin about the Parshendi's reverence for their dead, planting the seeds for Kaladin's later idea about crafting armor from their corpses.[8]

One night, when Kaladin went out wandering on the plains, he crossed paths with Hoid, who was playing his flute. Hoid told Kaladin the story of the Wandersail before telling Kaladin to take good care of Sigzil and to inform him that he had been graduated and was now a full Worldsinger.[4] When Kaladin tried to ask Sigzil about Hoid, he refused to discuss his former master.[18]

Sigzil's change of attitude towards Kaladin was made very apparent during the Battle of the Tower when Kaladin told the bridge crew to run away but to leave him behind; Sigzil was the first to speak up, flatly refusing to leave him.[19] He was overawed by Kaladin's skill with the spear as Kaladin defended the bridge against the Parshendi just after he spoke the words of the Second Ideal[20] and talked him into giving them a demonstration of drawing in Stormlight while they sat around the fire that evening in Dalinar Kholin's warcamp. He immediately began thinking analytically about Kaladin's powers, plying him with questions to see how much he could quantify the powers he had experienced, and devising experiments to be able to do just that.[21]

Lieutenant[edit]

Testing Kaladin's powers on Lopen

After Dalinar secured the lives of the bridgemen and Bridge Four transfered to Dalinar's army, Kaladin promoted Sigzil to the rank of lieutenant and appointed him the bridge crew's clerk, since he was the only member of Bridge Four who could read glyphs. He joined with the rest of the crew when they got "freedom" and "Bridge Four" glyphs tattooed on their foreheads over their slave brands.[22]

Sigzil devised experiments to measure and document the extent of Kaladin's Windrunner abilities and finally put them into practice the day Kaladin, Teft, Rock, Lopen, and he led the first group of forty bridgemen into the chasms to train them.[23] When he realized there were too many variables for his experiments to be meaningful, however, they changed tactics and practiced fighting against Kaladin to give him an opportunity to put his abilities to practical use.[11]

Sigzil sent regular reports to Kaladin detailing the status of their troops and supplies, as well as creating routes for Kaladin and Teft to take the trainees on patrol beyond the warcamps.[24] He also continued meeting with Rock and Lopen in the chasms to help Kaladin gain control over his powers, during those times using his own former master's training to ask pointed and analytical questions about how the Parshendi gained control over a Shin assassin and who might have sabotaged Elhokar's railing.[5]

He, Lopen, and Peet sometimes went to the market on nights off, accompanied at times by Teft or Moash.[5][25] Sigzil, who liked to be informed, listened to the criers' news and bought some chouta on the way to the tavern one night when Kaladin was with the group. He brought up the topic of housing the married men of Bridge Four as they watched Peet conversing with Ka. When the Horneater Peaks came up in conversation, he started telling the others about them until Rock took over and told them the Horneaters' version of their creation. Sigzil recognized Hoid when Rock mentioned meeting a white-haired god coming up from the peak ocean.[25]

The day of Adolin's duel against four others, Sigzil was one of forty guards Kaladin brought to guard the Kholins during the duel, and he spent the time before the event trying and failing to convince Kaladin to reveal his powers.[26] After Kaladin was lost in the chasms on the expedition to take Shallan to see a chasmfiend chrysalis, Sigzil took shifts with the others awaiting his return. When he had a shift with Teft, he taught him to play michim. Teft revealed more about his past then than he had at any other time, feeling prompted to speak by Sigzil's quiet attentiveness; Sigzil listened in confidence and never revealed what he knew to the others.[27][28] Immediately after Kaladin's return, Sigzil and most of the rest of Bridge Four went with Dalinar's army on the expedition to discover Urithiru and end the War of Reckoning.[29]

During the Battle of Narak, Sigzil was one of the bridgemen who manifested the ability to use Stormlight.[30][7] He and the other members of Bridge Four who had survived the battle waited for Kaladin on the plateau that served as Narak's Oathgate; after Kaladin's return, Sigzil walked him through using Syl as a Shardblade to activate the platform, taking them to Urithiru.[30]

Windrunner Squire[edit]

I don’t want to be huddled over a ledger when Bridge Four takes to the air. I want to be first into the sky.

—Sigzil[7]

Bridge Four went on scouting trips to explore Urithiru, and Sigzil was part of the group on one of these missions when they found Torol Sadeas' body.[31] Later, he approached Kaladin about many administrative issues the crew was facing, such as the need for a real scribe, the problem of how to accommodate the bridgemen as they pursued relationships, and their place in the army as budding Windrunners. He attempted to convey the idea of why he felt some responsibility for the others' religious beliefs and social views by telling Kaladin Hoid's story about Mishim, but failed to get the point across. As they discussed the possibility of recruitment, Kaladin led him to the quartermaster's office to pick up the royal emerald reserve so Bridge Four could practice drawing in Stormlight. Kaladin told him he was glad Sigzil had failed the exams in Azir, and Sigzil realized he felt the same; the realization liberated him.[7]

Kaladin, after deciding to recruit more members to Bridge Four, gathered the potential Windrunner squires together and assigned Sigzil three squads of bridgemen to talk them through the process of drawing in Stormlight. After some time of working with the recruits, Rock noticed smoke on the horizon; Bridge Four went to investigate and discovered a caravan, including Rock's family, recovering from a Voidbringer attack.[32] Later, Sigzil organized experiments with all of Bridge Four to measure the effect of the Surge of Gravitation and to measure the distance away from Kaladin where their powers began to fade.[9][14] He practiced flying with Basic Lashings with the rest of the crew regularly. One practice session, Sigzil admitted to being one of the many members of Bridge Four who had come to Rock to discuss how they felt they didn't fit in with the rest.[14]

After Kaladin left on the expedition to Kholinar, Dalinar lent Jezrien's Honorblade to Bridge Four so they could continue to practice, albeit one at a time, with their Windrunner powers. Sigzil drew up a rotation for them, changing possession daily as an added measure of security.[33] He was among the group that accompanied Dalinar to Thaylen City to check on Amaram's progress helping rebuild the city and to meet with Queen Fen and the other monarchs who had joined their coalition.[34] After the theft of the Honorblade[35] and Teft's subsequent swearing of the Third Ideal, Bridge Four transferred to the middle of the Battle of Thaylen Field using Thaylen City's Oathgate and defended the platform until the close of the battle.[36] Afterwards, the group was tasked with flying wounded up to the Oathgate from the triage stations.[37]

Windrunner[edit]

During the following year, Sigzil bonded a spren of his own, becoming a fully-fledged Windrunner of the Third Ideal.[38] He continued to run experiments on stormlight and Lashings with Kaladin, discovering that Reverse Lashings require one to visualize the desired outcome to work.[39] He and others of the Windrunners acted as scouts for Dalinar, going on reconnaissance missions to various places. Sigzil, Lyn, and Leyten flew to Akinah, where Leyten was attacked from behind by strange shadows in the clouds that drained his stormlight.[40] Lyn and Sigzil were barely able to rescue Leyten after his ability to use surges failed.[41] Sigzil also took part in the expedition to evacuate Hearthstone, where he and the others engaged in a battle with the Heavenly Ones.[42] Sigzil paired off with Leshwi, who managed to stab him through the chest. The blow should have been fatal, but Leshwi had mercy on Sigzil out of deference to Kaladin, who had spared the life of another Fused earlier. Kaladin instructed Sigzil to drop his spear, bow to Leshwi, and retire from the battle to watch over the squires.[12]

We Windrunners … we're acting in defiance of honorspren law. We’d make the worst envoys, because of … well, they don’t much like Kaladin, to be honest.

—Sigzil to the coalition[13]

When they returned to Urithiru, Dalinar relieved Kaladin of duty and directed him to promote some of the other Windrunners.[38][3] After discussing Sigzil's new role with him, Kaladin announced to the others that Sigzil would be promoted to the rank of companylord and would oversee daily administrative matters such as supplies and recruitment.[3] It took some time for the monarchs in the coalition to get used to Sigzil as leader of and spokesman for the Windrunners, as they were used to looking to Kaladin. Sigzil affirmed at their next meeting that the Windrunners would offer support to the offensive in Emul, then suggested that the coalition send an envoy to the honorspren to address the discontinuance of honorspren seeking humans to bond as Radiants. He displayed a keen insight into their mindset, offering details on how the spren were likely to be thinking about humans, Nahel bonds, and the Recreance, but refused to go himself, explaining that the honorspren were unlikely to receive a Windrunner well.[13]

Emuli Offensive[edit]

Instead, Sigzil and most of the force of Windrunners and squires went to Emul. They were needed to fight against the Skybreakers, who almost took down one of the coalition's new flying platforms that granted Dalinar and the Mink an aerial view of the battle before Sigzil and several others flew over to chase away the attackers.[43] Dalinar looked to Sigzil, as companylord, to send groups back to Urithiru as scouts after the Fused invasion there disrupted communications. Despite finding that nothing was ostensibly wrong at the tower beyond supposed fabrial malfunctions, Dalinar remained suspicious because he knew the enemy's powers would be able to put up a good front of life as usual; he asked Sigzil to send a group in secret to spy out the situation.[44]

In the field, the Windrunners continued their tradition of having a nightly stew for the group in their camp, and Sigzil took a turn telling stories one evening when Dalinar came to visit the camp to speak with Renarin.[45] Later, when Dalinar determined the best way to learn about his abilities as a Bondsmith was to speak to the Herald Ishar, Sigzil took a small team, including the Lightweaver Stargyle, to scout Ishar's location. When they returned, Stargyle used his abilities to create an illusion that played out what they saw as they flew over Ishar's pavilion. Dalinar ordered Sigzil to do another scouting mission while he spoke with Jasnah, though he was already decided that they would fly over to Tukar to meet Ishar.[46]

I … don't think he’s altogether sane, despite what Shalash says.

—Sigzil to Dalinar, about Ishar[47]

Sigzil and four other Windrunners flew with Dalinar and Szeth to Tukar. Sigzil approached Ishar first, landing to speak with the Herald and to ensure that there was no trap set for them. He warned Dalinar against approaching the man, who seemed insane, and when Dalinar was determined to go through with it, Sigzil and the others who were of the Third Ideal summoned their Blades to better protect him. Ishar, convinced that Dalinar was Odium's champion come to fight him, summoned his Honorblade and attacked Dalinar; Sigzil deflected his attack and fought against Ishar with the other four, but they were no match for the Herald. Ishar used his abilities to Connect the Windrunners one by one to the ground and drain their stormlight into it, effectively disabling them. After Szeth used Nightblood to collapse the perpendicularity Dalinar had opened, the Windrunners' Connections to the ground had also vanished. When Sigzil drew in stormlight again, though, he found that it didn't do much to dull the pain and tiredness.[47]

Shortly after, Ishar fled through another perpendicularity into Shadesmar. Sigzil and the others waited in the sky above the camp, then descended again when it seemed obvious that Ishar was not immediately coming back. They poked through the Herald's tent among several odd corpses covered in sheets, and Sigzil found a ledger detailing his experiments: records recounting how long each spren had lived in the body the Herald had created for it in the Physical Realm. Appalled, the group fled back their camp in Emul.[47]

Relationships[edit]

Kaladin[edit]

At first, Sigzil despises what Kaladin tries to do to help Bridge Four, but he slowly warms up to his efforts.[16][6] Eventually Sigzil looks up to Kaladin and is glad to help him with the administrative side of training the bridgemen and later the Windrunners, though he wishes his relationship with Kaladin were more clear cut. Kaladin helps Sigzil see that failing the exams in Azir isn't such a bad thing, as he is now with a group of people who really appreciate him; Sigzil realizes that he is glad he found his way to Bridge Four.[7] Kaladin listens when Sigzil speaks, finding himself remembering later things that Sigzil had told him about different parts of the world.[48] Kaladin feels confident enough in Sigzil to name him one of the first lieutenants and later to transfer command of the Windrunners to him after his retirement.[22][3] Odium exploits Kaladin's care for Sigzil by showing him visions of Sigzil fighting other members of Bridge Four and telling him with his dying breaths that he should have let the rest of them just die on the Shattered Plains.[49]

Trivia[edit]

  • Sigzil has not been off Roshar, despite being Hoid's apprentice.[50]

Notes[edit]

  1. a b Dawnshard epilogue #
  2. a b The Way of Kings chapter 14 #
  3. a b c d Rhythm of War chapter 15 #
  4. a b The Way of Kings chapter 57 #
  5. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 41 #
  6. a b c d e f g The Way of Kings chapter 40 #
  7. a b c d e f g h i j k Oathbringer chapter 35 #
  8. a b c d e The Way of Kings chapter 55 #
  9. a b Oathbringer chapter 46 #
  10. Rhythm of War chapter 79 #
  11. a b Words of Radiance chapter 12 #
  12. a b Rhythm of War chapter 6 #
  13. a b c Rhythm of War chapter 19 #
  14. a b c Oathbringer chapter 55 #
  15. a b c d The Way of Kings chapter 46 #
  16. a b The Way of Kings chapter 27 #
  17. a b The Way of Kings chapter 43 #
  18. The Way of Kings chapter 63 #
  19. The Way of Kings chapter 67 #
  20. The Way of Kings chapter 68 #
  21. The Way of Kings chapter 73 #
  22. a b Words of Radiance chapter 2 #
  23. Words of Radiance chapter 10 #
  24. Words of Radiance chapter 18 #
  25. a b Words of Radiance chapter 46 #
  26. Words of Radiance chapter 56 #
  27. Words of Radiance chapter 71 #
  28. Rhythm of War chapter 91 #
  29. Words of Radiance chapter 76 #
  30. a b Words of Radiance chapter 87 #
  31. Oathbringer chapter 2 #
  32. Oathbringer chapter 37 #
  33. Oathbringer chapter 64 #
  34. Oathbringer chapter 113 #
  35. Oathbringer interlude I-14 #
  36. Oathbringer chapter 120 #
  37. Oathbringer chapter 121 #
  38. a b Rhythm of War chapter 10 #
  39. Rhythm of War chapter 49 #
  40. Dawnshard chapter 11 #
  41. Dawnshard chapter 3 #
  42. Rhythm of War chapter 5 #
  43. Rhythm of War chapter 47 #
  44. Rhythm of War chapter 50 #
  45. Rhythm of War chapter 54 #
  46. Rhythm of War chapter 98 #
  47. a b c Rhythm of War chapter 111 #
  48. Rhythm of War chapter 80 #
  49. Rhythm of War chapter 46 #
  50. /r/fantasy AMA 2013
    Arcanum - 2013-04-15#
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