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Summary:Dawnshard

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Summary pages have spoilers through the end of the book they summarize. However, they also have links to the rest of the Coppermind, which has full spoilers. To safely browse non-summary pages, consider using the Time Machine.

This page contains a chapter by chapter summary of Dawnshard. We hope this summary will make it easier to find specific areas of the novella, as well as providing a quick plot refresher for anyone who doesn't want to take the time to reread the entire novella.

Prologue[edit]

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Having survived the sinking of the Wind's Pleasure, Yalb serves on a ship led by Captain Smta. Yalb and the new crewmember Dok discuss Thaylen naval traditions and the Wind's Pleasure before spotting a the abandoned First Dreams sailing over the horizon. Yalb and a group board and find the ship to be empty of crew and floating with no direction.

Chapter 1[edit]

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Rysn sits in her office and notes how much Chiri-Chiri has grown and how sickly she appears. She also takes note of how her office and the Wandersail have been customized to facilitate her mobility, including the arrival of a new porter Nikli. Talik, with whom Rysn has been in contact regarding Chiri-Chiri, arrives to assess the larkin and recommends that she be taken to the ancestral home of the larkin at the Aimian city Akinah--long thought to be lost. Rysn recalls that Navani had put out a call for vessels to sail to Aimia to investigate the return of the First Dreams.

Chapter 2[edit]

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Rysn travels to Urithiru in the company of Nikli and Chiri-Chiri to discuss terms of an expedition with Navani. She admires the fabrial lifts created by the Alethi artifabrians. They negotiate and agree to terms including: generous monetary compensation for the crew, Queen Fen providing a royal mandate to motivate the crew, two Windrunners (Lopen and Huio) ordered to accompany the mission, and that the scribe (Rushu) to accompany the mission would be one familiar with fabrial lift technology.

Chapter 3[edit]

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Lopen and Rua fly through Urithiru to meet with a Reshi delegation that has arrived to meet with Dalinar. Talik greets him and is immediately lashed upward to the peak of the atrium, where Lopen shows him the view of mountains surrounding Urithiru. The two hold an impromptu summit in the air before returning to the ground to find Ral-na (a newly bonded Dustbringer) and Kaladin, who is irritated at Lopen's lack of decorum. Kaladin assigns Lopen and Huio to Rysn's expedition, and they decide to take along Cord, who can see spren.

Chapter 4[edit]

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Rysn admires the Wandersail and explains the command structure since being given the ship by Vstim. Captain Drlwan curtly suggests that Rysn remain ashore for the voyage. They discuss the role of superstition and Passions among Thaylen naval crews after learning that the crew had found the ship's pet skyeel, Screech, dead that morning. The crew is offered a chance to remain ashore for the duration of the expedition. After getting confirmation of her sudden suspicion that Drlwan had expected to inherit the ship herself, Rysn confides in Nikli that she suspects the crew resents her being assigned as rebsk. They brainstorm methods to garner favor with both crew and captain, and she suggests to Nikli that he take part in the crew's hazing ritual as a way to feel more like one of them.

Chapter 5[edit]

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The Wandersail begins its voyage toward Aimia. Rysn and Lopen bond over shared experience with disability. Rushu demonstrates conjoiner fabrial technology as it relates to Rysn's mobility, and the group discusses Rushu's separate mission to understand the impact of aluminum on fabrials.

Chapter 6[edit]

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Rysn

Cord, filling in for the chef Nlan who stayed ashore, discovers that the ship's grain stores have been infested by grubs. Once again, the crew assumes that this is a bad omen and that the voyage is cursed. Using notes she took while studying under Vstim, Rysn averts the crisis by directing Drlwan to dock and initiate trade with a group of Hexi nomads. Since the Hexi are strict vegetarians (but consider grubs to be plants), they are willing to trade the bad grain for jerky made from the nomad's dead animals. Nikli recounts his success warming up to the crew and converses with Rysn about how he ended up among the Thaylen people.

Nikliasorm

Separately, Nikli finds a private moment to contact the other Sleepless without revealing his true form to Rysn. He reports on the status of his efforts to dissuade the expedition. Although working to maintain the secrecy of Aimia, Nikli argues that he should be allowed a last attempt to dissuade the crew, before being forced to kill everyone aboard--as had happened on the First Dreams.

Chapter 7[edit]

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Cord and Lopen converse about the expedition so far and Cord's motivation for joining it. They are interrupted for a bit when Huio comes to deliver a letter to Cord. Huio, next going to Rushu's cabin to deliver some aluminum, tinkers with one of her spanreeds and remarks to Lopen when he comes to find him about how aluminum appears to affect the spren captive inside the spanreed's ruby. They assume it broken when the paired spanreed only moves laterally, making unintelligible scribbles, and Huio says he will pay for it.

Chapter 8[edit]

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The crew of the Wandersail discover another bad omen: the floating corpse of a Santhid that has washed over to the hull. Rysn turns the mood and wins some approval from her crew by ordering that the ship tow the corpse to shore to give it a proper funeral. However, the corpse disintegrates into hordelings before they have a chance.

Chapter 9[edit]

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Despite not having a corpse to burn, the crew goes ashore for a bonfire and a night of rest. Rysn communicates via spanreed with Vstim, who reveals Navani's hidden agenda to find and possibly activate the Oathgate in Akinah. The two theorize that a Fused Lightweaver may be responsible for the Santhid corpse and the other omens; Jasnah agrees via another spanreed. Nikli shares an account of the scouring of Aimia with Rysn, and Cord shares her past, also explaining about her people's stories of the Sleepless. Building on Huio's accidental discovery of aluminum-modified spanreeds, Rushu demonstrates how she can turn Rysn's chair into a levitating mobility device.

Chapter 10[edit]

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Back on the Wandersail, Nikli attempts to frame Cord for the failed omens by going to search her room for evidence while she talks to Rysn on deck. He comes back with blackbane leaves, and Rysn immediately summons Kstled to arrest him--Rysn had found Nikli suspicious, so she had had Kstled search Cord's room first so that it became clear that Nikli's evidence was fabricated. Nikli pleads for Rysn to turn back from Aimia before he and Plamry are removed from the ship by Lopen and Huio.

Chapter 11[edit]

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The Wandersail breaches the storm surrounding Akinah. Rysn and Huio stay below while Lopen remains topside interacting with the crew. He dives into the water to rescue Turlm and adheres Drlwan's foot to the deck with Stormlight. Right as the ship breaks through the storm, Rua points out to Lopen large shadows in the sea that he thinks are the same creatures as the ones that drained Leyten and the others of Stormlight on their reconnaissance mission. Finally in the center of the storm, they get their first glimpse of Akinah.

Chapter 12[edit]

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Rysn first sights Akinah. Cord tells Rysn about the shadows Lopen saw underwater, though she thinks they are not what Rua determined them to be. The lookouts with spyglasses report seeing greatshell corpses with gemhearts lying on the shore. Rysn and Drlwan authorize a landing party to examine the beach--accompanied by the Windrunners and Rushu, who want to set out toward the city ruins at the island's center. Cord reports seeing luckspren heading toward the island, and Chiri-Chiri dives overboard, leaving Rysn's side to follow the mandras.

Chapter 13[edit]

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Lopen, Huio, and Rushu land on Akinah. Rushu speculates that the gemhearts on the beach are a result of an ancestral instinct in the greatshells coming to die in the same place. They and the rest of the disembarked crew begin to examine, sketch, and gather the gemhearts in order to ensure that the crew gets paid. Lopen notes how odd it is that there is no crem buildup on the beach, wondering if highstorms do not reach this island. Huio remains with the sailors on the beach while Rushu and Lopen go search for the Oathgate.

Chapter 14[edit]

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Cord and Rysn discuss Cord's desire for Shards and the political status of the Horneater Peaks in reference to the status of the war on Roshar. Cord acknowledges that Cultivation's Perpendicularity is going to become a major draw for forces both allied and malicious. Rysn realizes that the gemhearts on the beach might have been deliberately planted there as a distraction.

Chapter 15[edit]

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Lopen

Lopen flies above the city and confirms for Rushu that the layout of Akinah corresponds closely to the ancient map that she had used as a guide for their expedition. Based on that map, they are able to locate what appears to be the Oathgate. However, they begin to suspect foul play when they discover first that the gemheart they took was quartz and not diamond (i.e. not an actual gemheart) and next that the Oathgate mechanism in Akinah is in significantly worse repair than the ones in other cities despite being the same age. Searching around on Rushu's orders, the sailors find a hidden chamber beneath the city which they enter with the aid of a smoke-creating Soulcaster given to Rushu by Navani for just such a purpose. Lopen rushes back to the boat after recognizing that they have sprung a trap.

Rysn

Back on the Wandersail, Nikli rematerializes on deck from its hordelings. Cord recognizes him as a Sleepless from Horneater mythology. When Nikli makes clear that he intends to kill everyone involved in the expedition, Cord grabs Rysn and jumps overboard.

Chapter 16[edit]

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Rysn and Cord follow a swarm of luckspren underwater to a cave beneath the island surface. Contained in the cave are a set of Shardplate, eight Soulcasters, and a mural depicting the Shattering of Adonalsium. When Rysn examines the mural, she hears the voice of the Dawnshard contained within it; she accepts it, and it exits the mural and joins with her. Thus, Rysn becomes a Dawnshard just before hordelings begin entering the cavern.

Chapter 17[edit]

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Lopen

Lopen arrives back at the beach in time to rescue Huio from the jaws of a large hordeling. Lopen teases Huio about being the one to save his cousin, and as the two try to fight the hordeling off, Lopen complains to Rua that he can't turn into a Blade yet.

Rysn

In the cavern, Rysn falls back on her training from Vstim and attempts to open negotiations with the three Sleepless who have come to kill her. She points out their need of her, attempting to offer herself as a secret keeper regarding the treasures of Akinah.

Chapter 18[edit]

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Lopen

The Windrunners continue to fight the large hordeling, trying to buy time for the crew to escape back to the ship. However, specialized hordelings arrive and drain the Stormlight from Lopen, rendering him unable to use Lashings. Lopen falls to the ground and breaks his leg.

Rysn

Nikli refuses to negotiate with Rysn, instead explaining his previous deception and how the Sleepless had planned to entice her crew to leave before discovering the caverns. Cord attempts to bind Nikli to an oath grounded in Horneater mythology but is unsuccessful. After protracted discussion, Nikli agrees to attempt a negotiation, despite his claims that Rysn cannot provide anything that the Sleepless desire.

Lopen

In order to protect his cousin, Huio swears the Third Ideal and summons Caelinora as a Shardhammer.

Rysn

While explaining that the Sleepless guard Akinah in the place of the extinct lanceryn, Nikli discovers that the Dawnshard is now bonded to Rysn and is enraged. His hordelings begin swarming all over Rysn and Cord.

Chapter 19[edit]

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Lopen

Huio takes the hordeling down with a Shardspear through the head and, running low on Stormlight, escapes with Lopen.

Rysn

Nikli's outburst is cut short by the arrival of luckspren and Chiri-Chiri to the cavern. The larkin lands on the negotiating table and roars protectively. The revelation of the Dawnshard's bonding gives Rysn the leverage needed to turn the negotiation. The crew of the Wandersail is permitted safe return with information about Akinah in addition to the Shardplate and Soulcasters found in the cavern. In return for their safety, Rysn vows to be the protector of the Dawnshard so that it is not in Akinah when forces from the cosmere eventually come in search of it. The Sleepless agree to this plan under the condition that they be permitted to follow Rysn permanently. A two-layer cover story is created: it would be said publicly that the return of a larkin 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 for training on impersonating humanity.

Epilogue[edit]

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Lopen

As the ship begins its return journey to Thaylenah, Lopen and Huio discuss the implications of Huio swearing the Third Ideal with an oath to protect Lopen. The resulting introspection leads to Lopen swearing his own Third Ideal, and Rua becomes a Sharddagger.

Rysn

Drlwan approaches Rysn to thank her for standing by the crew and to request that she take the helm of the Wandersail at the beginning of their next expedition--a gesture of respect and recognition of Rysn as a worthy rebsk. Rysn notes that she seems to be suddenly more attuned to color and musical tone.