Summary:Rhythm of War
This page contains a chapter by chapter summary of Rhythm of War. We hope this summary will make it easier to find specific areas of the book, as well as providing a quick plot refresher for anyone who doesn't want to take the time to reread the entire book.
- 1 Prologue: To Pretend
- 2 Part 1: Burdens
- 2.1 Chapter 1: Calluses
- 2.2 Chapter 2: Severed Cords
- 2.3 Chapter 3: The Fourth Bridge
- 2.4 Chapter 4: Architects of the Future
- 2.5 Chapter 5: Broken Spears
- 2.6 Chapter 6: A Loose Thread
- 2.7 Chapter 7: The Rarest Vintage
- 2.8 Chapter 8: Surrender
- 2.9 Chapter 9: Contradictions
- 2.10 Chapter 10: A Single Casualty
- 2.11 Chapter 11: Passion and Courage
- 2.12 Chapter 12: A Way to Help
- 2.13 Chapter 13: Another Hunt
- 2.14 Chapter 14: Voice
- 2.15 Chapter 15: The Light and the Music
- 2.16 Chapter 16: An Unknown Song
- 2.17 Chapter 17: A Proposal
- 2.18 Chapter 18: Surgeon
- 2.19 Chapter 19: Garnets
- 3 Interludes
- 4 Part 2: Our Calling
- 4.1 Chapter 20: The Unseen Court
- 4.2 Chapter 21: The Seething Knot
- 4.3 Chapter 22: No Use Talking
- 4.4 Chapter 23: Binding Wounds
- 4.5 Chapter 24: Full of Awe
- 4.6 Chapter 25: Devotary of Mercy
- 4.7 Chapter 26: A Little Espionage
- 4.8 Chapter 27: Banners
- 4.9 Chapter 28: Heresies
- 4.10 Chapter 29: A Cage Without Bars
- 4.11 Chapter 30: The Betrayal
- 4.12 Chapter 31: Daughter of Traitors
- 4.13 Chapter 32: Of Three Minds
- 4.14 Chapter 33: Understanding
- 4.15 Chapter 34: A Flame Never Extinguished
- 4.16 Chapter 35: The Strength of a Soldier
- 4.17 Chapter 36: The Price of Honor
- 4.18 Chapter 37: Silence From the Dead
- 4.19 Chapter 38: Rhythm of the Terrors
- 4.20 Chapter 39: Invasion
- 4.21 Chapter 40: In for All
- 4.22 Chapter 41: The Most Dangerous
- 4.23 Chapter 42: Armor and Teeth
- 4.24 Chapter 43: Men and Monsters
- 5 Interludes
- 6 Part 3: Songs of Home
- 6.1 Chapter 44: Tinder Waiting for the Spark
- 6.2 Chapter 45: A Bold Heart, a Keen and Crafty Mind
- 6.3 Chapter 46: The Weight of the Tower
- 6.4 Chapter 47: A Cage Forged of Spirits
- 6.5 Chapter 48: Scent of Death, Scent of Life
- 6.6 Chapter 49: Soul of Discovery
- 6.7 Chapter 50: Queen
- 6.8 Chapter 51: To Sing Hopeless Songs
- 6.9 Chapter 52: A Path Toward Saving
- 6.10 Chapter 53: Compassion
- 6.11 Chapter 54: The Future Become Dust
- 6.12 Chapter 55: Kinship with the Open Sky
- 6.13 Chapter 56: Nodes
- 6.14 Chapter 57: Child of Odium
- 6.15 Chapter 58: Spanreeds
- 6.16 Chapter 59: The Lattice of a Growing Crystal
- 6.17 Chapter 60: Essai
- 6.18 Chapter 61: Oil and Water
- 6.19 Chapter 62: Keeper of Forms
- 6.20 Chapter 63: Practice
- 6.21 Chapter 64: Personal Reminder
- 6.22 Chapter 65: Hypothesis
- 6.23 Chapter 66: Bearer of Agonies
- 6.24 Chapter 67: Song of Stones
- 6.25 Chapter 68: One Family
- 6.26 Chapter 69: Pure Tones of Roshar
- 6.27 Chapter 70: Well
- 6.28 Chapter 71: Rider of Storms
- 6.29 Chapter 72: Outmatched
- 7 Interludes
- 8 Part 4: A Knowledge
- 8.1 Chapter 73: Which Master to Follow
- 8.2 Chapter 74: A Symbol
- 8.3 Chapter 75: The Middle Step
- 8.4 Chapter 76: Harmony
- 8.5 Chapter 77: The Proper Legality
- 8.6 Chapter 78: The High Judge
- 8.7 Chapter 79: Open Wound
- 8.8 Chapter 80: The Dog and the Dragon
- 8.9 Chapter 81: Trapped
- 8.10 Chapter 82: Knife
- 8.11 Chapter 83: The Games of Men and Singers
- 8.12 Chapter 84: Scholar
- 8.13 Chapter 85: Dabbid
- 8.14 Chapter 86: The Song of Mornings
- 8.15 Chapter 87: Trial by Witness
- 8.16 Chapter 88: Falling Star
- 8.17 Chapter 89: Voice of Lights
- 8.18 Chapter 90: One Chance
- 8.19 Chapter 91: Worth Saving
- 8.20 Chapter 92: A Gift
- 8.21 Chapter 93: Strong Enough
- 8.22 Chapter 94: Sacrifice
- 8.23 Chapter 95: What She Truly Was
- 8.24 Chapter 96: A Thousand Lies
- 8.25 Chapter 97: Freedom
- 9 Interludes
- 10 Part 5: Knowing a Home of Songs, Called Our Burden
- 10.1 Chapter 98: An Unwholesome Shade
- 10.2 Chapter 99: Not Bound
- 10.3 Chapter 100: Watchers at the Rim
- 10.4 Chapter 101: Undertext
- 10.5 Chapter 102: Highstorm Coming
- 10.6 Chapter 103: The Legend You Live
- 10.7 Chapter 104: Full of Hope
- 10.8 Chapter 105: Children of Passions
- 10.9 Chapter 106: A Hundred Discordant Rhythms
- 10.10 Chapter 107: Uniting
- 10.11 Chapter 108: Moments
- 10.12 Chapter 109: Emulsifier
- 10.13 Chapter 110: Reborn
- 10.14 Chapter 111: Unchained
- 10.15 Chapter 112: Terms
- 10.16 Chapter 113: Emotion
- 10.17 Chapter 114: Broken Gods
- 10.18 Chapter 115: Testament
- 10.19 Chapter 116: Mercy
- 10.20 Chapter 117: One Final Gift
- 11 Epilogue: Dirty Tricks
- 12 Notes
Prologue: To Pretend
- Plot Summary
- Seven years ago
Navani is occupied with logistics for Gavilar's feast. While managing preparations, she interacts with Aesudan, who is speaking with Rushur Kris, a master artifabrian. She passes through the feast, but leaves quickly after seeing Dalinar. Looking for the king, she finds herself outside her study and overhears voices. Her husband is speaking to two men - a Makabaki and a Vorin man, supposedly ambassadors from the West. On the table between them, she sees strange spheres, which she assumes are meant for fabrials. Gavilar notices her and excuses himself. Navani presses him for answers about the spheres and questions him about missing appointments and responsibilities related to the feast. He, in turn, berates her for rumors of unfaithfulness that have been spreading around the court. They fight about Jasnah's refusal to court Amaram, which becomes a fight about Gavilar's legacy as king. He insults his wife's notion that she is a scholar and says she chose him over Dalinar for power, then leaves. Furious, Navani burns a glyphward which reads, Death. Gift. Death.
After the feast, Navani hears of the assassination. She does not believe that her husband is dead until she personally sees his body. She is stunned, hoping her glyphward did not lead to this outcome. She also feels pity, seeing her husband, who thought he was eternal, dead before her. Remembering the strange spheres from his meeting, she checks his pockets. Finding nothing, she conceals her actions. Navani composes herself, and begins the process of picking up the pieces among the chaos of Gavilar's death.
Part 1: Burdens
Chapter 1: Calluses
First, you must get a spren to approach.
The type of gemstone is relevant; some spren are naturally more intrigued by certain gemstones. In addition, it is essential to calm the spren with something it knows and loves. A good fire for a flamespren, for example, is a must.
- Plot Summary
In occupied Hearthstone, Lirin provides medical treatment to Herdazian and Alethi refugees. Since the coming of the Everstorm over a year ago, Herdaz had been fighting Odium's armies, only to fall two months ago. Lirin treats a traumatized Alethi man - Noril, who is missing an arm. The surgeon directs him to a tent for refugees on suicide watch. Abiajan, the Singer citylady, oversees his work, ensuring that each refugee is checked for signs of the plague. Laral, while delivering water, tells Lirin that the man he is watching for, Dieno enne Calah - a Herdazian general known as "the Mink", is near. Lirin intends to connect the man to Kaladin, who will extract him from behind enemy lines. After inspecting the general and his men, Lirin claims that one of them needs surgery in order to get him away from the watchful Parshendi. Roshone provides a distraction with drunken antics. They are nearly at the surgery room when Abiajan interrupts them and demands that Lirin attend her. A visiting Fused has arrived. She is searching for a man, a spy, bearing slave brands on his forehead. A soldier removes the hood of a refugee in line revealing Kaladin.
Chapter 2: Severed Cords
Next, let the spren inspect your trap. The gemstone must not be fully infused, but also cannot be fully dun. Experiments have concluded that seventy percent of maximum Stormlight capacity works best.
If you have done your work correctly, the spren will become fascinated by its soon-to-be prison. It will dance around the stone, peek at it, float around it.
- Plot Summary
Kaladin, having been spotted, challenges the Fused to single combat with a gesture of his sword. The Fused waves at others to attack, so Kaladin draws him away by lashing himself upward. The Fused is not like others Kaladin has previously fought, he is able to leave his physical body, appear as a line of light, and manifest himself a new body made out of Voidlight. The enormous opponent appears experienced at fighting Surgebinders, severing Kaladin's spine and throat repeatedly. He fights with an unusual style - grappling and wrestling. Kaladin realizes that he can teleport three times before needing to rest or recharge. Kal and Syl challenge him after he discards his third body, but the Fused refuses to engage, leaving them with a threat. Kaladin is exhausted because of the fight and many sleepless nights. He admits to Syl that her suggested approach to Hearthstone would have been more effective.
Syl speaks with Kal about his ongoing difficulty sleeping. Kaladin muses on his feeling of disconnect from others, while Syl attempts to cheer him up with impressions of Teft and jokes about toes. They approach Hearthstone again and threaten the Singer guards - telling them to retreat until sunset. They engage in a fight, and one Singer is killed. The rest retreat. Kaladin reunites with his mother, father, and brother. He goes to meet the Mink but does not find him; the man slipped away, leaving behind a cloak stuffed with rags. The Herdazian general's men explain that he frequently sneaks off. Kal lets them know that he is evacuating the town. He briefly argues with his father, who is displeased that his son caused a violent disruption, but they are interrupted by the arrival of a gigantic floating platform. Navani's newest creation has come to evacuate the people of Hearthstone.
Veil is posing as Chanasha, a lowborn lighteyed merchant, in the warcamp market on the Shattered Plains. She negotiates a deal with a shoe merchant and loudly and publicly denounces Dalinar Kholin as king. Shallan, with Veil and Radiant, are attempting to be kidnapped and initiated into the Sons of Honor, but have long been unsuccessful. Adolin's troops are covertly following her for protection. After her business with the merchant, she stops at a winehouse to reconcile her fictional accounts and orders a drink. As she relaxes, Veil encourages her to remember everything from her past. Shallan protests and soon finds her mind becoming unfocused - the wine was drugged and her ruse has proven successful. She is finally being kidnaped.
Chapter 3: The Fourth Bridge
The final step in capturing spren is the most tricky, as you must remove the Stormlight from the gemstone. The specific techniques employed by each artifabrian guild are closely guarded secrets, entrusted only to their most senior members.
The easiest method would be to use a larkin—a type of cremling that feasts on Stormlight. That would be wonderful and convenient if the creatures weren’t now almost entirely extinct. The wars in Aimia were in part over these seemingly innocent little creatures.
Chapter 4: Architects of the Future
To draw Stormlight out of a gemstone, I use the Arnist Method. Several large empty gemstones are brought close to the infused one while the spren is inspecting it. Stormlight is slowly absorbed from a small gemstone by a very large gemstone of the same type—and several together can draw the Light out quickly. The method’s limitation is, of course, the fact that you need not merely acquire one gemstone for your fabrial, but several larger ones to withdraw the Stormlight.
Other methods must exist, as proven by the extremely large gemstone fabrials created by the Vriztl Guild out of Thaylenah. If Her Majesty would please repeat my request to the guild, this secret is of vital importance to the war effort.
Chapter 5: Broken Spears
If the Stormlight in a gemstone is withdrawn quickly enough, a nearby spren can be sucked into the gemstone. This is caused by a similar effect to a pressure differential, created by the sudden withdrawal of Stormlight, though the science of the two phenomena are not identical.
You will be left with a captured spren, to be manipulated as you see fit.
Chapter 6: A Loose Thread
With a captured spren, you may begin designing a proper fabrial. It is a closely guarded secret of artifabrians that spren, when trapped, respond to different types of metals in different ways. A wire housing for the fabrial, called a “cage,” is essential to controlling the device.
Chapter 7: The Rarest Vintage
The two metals of primary significance are zinc and brass, which allow you to control expression strength. Zinc wires touching the gemstone will cause the spren inside to more strongly manifest, while brass will cause the spren to withdraw and its power to dim.
Remember that a gemstone must be properly infused following the spren’s capture. Drilled holes in the gemstone are ideal for proper use of the cage wires, so long as you don’t crack the structure and risk releasing the spren.
Chapter 8: Surrender
A bronze cage can create a warning fabrial, alerting one to objects or entities nearby. Heliodors are being used for this currently, and there is some good reasoning for this—but other gemstones should be viable.
Chapter 9: Contradictions
A pewter cage will cause the spren of your fabrial to express its attribute in force—a flamespren, for example, will create heat. We call these augmenters. They tend to use Stormlight more quickly than other fabrials.
Chapter 10: A Single Casualty
A tin cage will cause the fabrial to diminish nearby attributes. A painrial, for example, can numb pain. Note that advanced designs of cages can use both steel and iron as well, changing the fabrial’s polarity depending on which metals are pushed to touch the gemstone.
Chapter 11: Passion and Courage
An iron cage will create an attractor—a fabrial that draws specific elements to itself. A properly created smoke fabrial, for example, can gather the smoke of a fire and hold it close.
New discoveries lead us to believe it is possible to create a repeller fabrial, but we don’t yet know the metal to use to achieve this feat.
Chapter 12: A Way to Help
One of my pleas is for artifabrians to stop shrouding fabrial techniques with so much mystery. Many decoy metals are used in cages, and wires are often plated to look like a different metal, with the express intent of confusing those who might try to learn the process through personal study. This might enrich the artifabrian, but it impoverishes us all.
Chapter 13: Another Hunt
Advanced fabrials are created using several different techniques. Conjoined fabrials require a careful division of the gemstone—and the spren inside. If performed correctly, the two halves will continue to behave as a single gemstone.
Note that rubies and flamespren are traditional for this purpose— as they have proven the easiest to divide, and the quickest in response times. Other types of spren do not split as evenly, as easily, or at all.
Chapter 14: Voice
All gemstones leak Stormlight at a slow rate—but so long as the crystal structure remains mostly intact, the spren cannot escape. Managing this leakage is important, as many fabrials also lose Stormlight through operation. All of this is tied up in the intricacies of the art. As is understanding one last vital kind of spren: logicspren.
Chapter 15: The Light and the Music
Logicspren react curiously to imprisonment. Unlike other spren, they do not manifest some attribute—you cannot use them to make heat, or to warn of nearby danger, or conjoin gemstones. For years, artifabrians considered them useless—indeed, experimenting with them was uncommon, since logicspren are rare and difficult to capture.
A breakthrough has come in discovering that logicspren will vary the light they radiate based on certain stimuli. For example, if you make the Light leak from the gemstone at a controlled rate, the spren will alternate dimming and brightening in a regular pattern. This has led to fabrial clocks. When the gemstone is tapped with certain metals, the light will also change states from bright to dim. This is leading to some very interesting and complex mechanisms.
Chapter 16: An Unknown Song
My final point of the evening is a discussion of Fused weapons. The Fused use a variety of fabrial devices to fight Radiants. It is obvious from how quickly they’ve fabricated and employed these countermeasures that they have used these in the past.
Chapter 17: A Proposal
The simplest Fused weapon against us isn’t truly a fabrial, but instead a metal that is extremely light and can withstand the blows of a Shardblade. This metal resists being Soulcast as well; it interferes with a great number of Radiant powers.
Fortunately, the Fused seem unable to create it in great quantities—for they equip only themselves, and not their average soldiers, with these wonders.
Chapter 18: Surgeon
The Fused have a second metal I find fascinating—a metal that conducts Stormlight. The implications for this in the creation of fabrials are astounding. The Fused use this metal in conjunction with a rudimentary fabrial—a simple gemstone, but without a spren trapped inside.
How they pull Stormlight out of a Radiant and into this sphere remains baffling. My scholars think they must be employing an Investiture differential. If a gemstone is full of Stormlight—or, I assume, Voidlight—and that Light is removed quickly, it creates a pressure differential (or a kind of vacuum) in the gemstone. This remains merely a theory.
Chapter 19: Garnets
The world becomes an increasingly dangerous place, and so I come to the crux of my argument. We cannot afford to keep secrets from one another any longer. The Thaylen artifabrians have private techniques relating to how they remove Stormlight from gems and create fabrials around extremely large stones.
I beg the coalition and the good people of Thaylenah to acknowledge our collective need. I have taken the first step by opening my research to all scholars. I pray you will see the wisdom in doing the same.
Interlude I-1: Sylphrena
Interlude I-2: Sja-anat
Interlude I-3: Into the Fire
Part 2: Our Calling
Chapter 20: The Unseen Court
I did receive your latest communication. Please forgive formality on my part, as we have not met in person. I feel new to this role, despite my years holding it. You will admit to my relative youth, I think.
Chapter 21: The Seething Knot
I have been fascinated to discover how much you’ve accomplished on Scadrial without me noticing your presence. How is it that you hide from Shards so well?
Chapter 22: No Use Talking
I have reached out to the others as you requested, and have received a variety of responses.
Chapter 23: Binding Wounds
Much as you indicate, there is a division among the other Shards I would not have anticipated.
Chapter 24: Full of Awe
Endowment at least responded to my overtures, though I have not been able to locate Invention again following our initial contact.
Chapter 25: Devotary of Mercy
Whimsy was not terribly useful, and Mercy worries me. I do think that Valor is reasonable, and suggest you approach her again. It has been too long, in her estimation, since your last conversation.
Chapter 26: A Little Espionage
The deaths of both Devotion and Dominion trouble me greatly, as I had not realized this immense power we held was something that could be broken in such a way. On my world, the power always gathered and sought a new Vessel.
Chapter 27: Banners
That said, the most worrying thing I discovered in this was the wound upon the Spiritual Realm where Ambition, Mercy, and Odium clashed—and Ambition was destroyed. The effects on the planet Threnody have been … disturbing.
Chapter 28: Heresies
Other Shards I cannot identify, and are hidden to me. I fear that their influence encroaches upon my world, yet I am locked into a strange inability because of the opposed powers I hold.
Chapter 29: A Cage Without Bars
I have begun searching for a pathway out of this conundrum by seeking the ideal person to act on my behalf. Someone who embodies both Preservation and Ruin. A … sword, you might say, who can both protect and kill.
Chapter 30: The Betrayal
But this does not get to the core of your letter. I have encouraged those who would speak to me to heed your warnings, but all seem content to ignore Odium for the time being. In their opinion, he is no threat as long as he remains confined in the Rosharan system.
Chapter 31: Daughter of Traitors
I do not share their attitude. If you can, as you suppose, maintain Odium’s prison for now, it would give us necessary time to plan. This is a threat beyond the capacity of one Shard to face.
Chapter 32: Of Three Minds
Unfortunately, as proven by my own situation, the combination of Shards is not always a path to greater power.
Chapter 33: Understanding
We must assume that Odium has realized this, and is seeking a singular, terrible goal: the destruction—and somehow Splintering or otherwise making impotent—of all Shards other than him.
Chapter 34: A Flame Never Extinguished
To combine powers would change and distort who Odium is. So instead of absorbing others, he destroys them. Since we are all essentially infinite, he needs no more power. Destroying and Splintering the other Shards would leave Odium as the sole god, unchanged and uncorrupted by other influences.
Chapter 35: The Strength of a Soldier
You say that the power itself must be treated as separate in our minds from the Vessel who controls it.
Chapter 36: The Price of Honor
I find this difficult to do on an intrinsic level, as although I am neither Ruin nor Preservation, they make up me.
Chapter 37: Silence From the Dead
Regardless, I will try to do as you suggest. However, you seem more afraid of the Vessel. I warn you that this is a flaw in your understanding.
Chapter 38: Rhythm of the Terrors
You have not felt what I have. You have not known what I have. You rejected that chance—and wisely, I think.
Chapter 39: Invasion
However, though you think not as a mortal, you are their kin. The power of Odium’s Shard is more dangerous than the mind behind it. Particularly since any Investiture seems to gain a will of its own when not controlled.
Chapter 40: In for All
My instincts say that the power of Odium is not being controlled well. The Vessel will be adapted to the power’s will. And after this long, if Odium is still seeking to destroy, then it is because of the power.
Chapter 41: The Most Dangerous
Of course, I admit this is a small quibble. A difference of semantics more than anything.
Chapter 42: Armor and Teeth
In truth, it would be a combination of a Vessel’s craftiness and the power’s Intent that we should fear most.
Chapter 43: Men and Monsters
Regardless, please make yourself known to me when you travel my lands. It is distressing that you think you need to move in the shadows.
Interlude I-4: Vyre
Interlude I-5: Lift
Interlude I-6: A Boon and a Curse
Part 3: Songs of Home
Chapter 44: Tinder Waiting for the Spark
I find this format most comfortable, as it is how I’ve collaborated in the past. I have never done it in this way, and with this kind of partner.
Chapter 45: A Bold Heart, a Keen and Crafty Mind
- Plot Summary
- Nine years ago
Chapter 46: The Weight of the Tower
I approach this project with an equal mixture of trepidation and hope. And I know not which should rule.
Chapter 47: A Cage Forged of Spirits
I approach this project with inspiration renewed; the answers are all that should matter.
Chapter 48: Scent of Death, Scent of Life
- Plot Summary
- Nine years ago
Chapter 49: Soul of Discovery
In my fevered state, I worry I’m unable to focus on what is important.
- Plot Summary
Chapter 50: Queen
When in such a state, detachment is enviable. I have learned that my greatest discoveries come when I abandon lesser connections.
Chapter 51: To Sing Hopeless Songs
This song—this tone, this rhythm—sounds so familiar, in ways I cannot explain or express.
Chapter 52: A Path Toward Saving
Chapter 53: Compassion
I am led to wonder, from experiences such as this, if we have been wrong. We call humans alien to Roshar, yet they have lived here for thousands of years now. Perhaps it is time to acknowledge there are no aliens or interlopers. Only cousins.
Chapter 54: The Future Become Dust
It would have been so easy if Voidlight and Stormlight destroyed one another. Such a simple answer.
Chapter 55: Kinship with the Open Sky
We must not let our desires for a specific result cloud our perceptions.
Chapter 56: Nodes
But how can we not, in searching, wish for a specific result? What scientist goes into a project without a hope for what they will find?
Chapter 57: Child of Odium
Chapter 58: Spanreeds
I find this experience so odd. I work with a scholar from the ancient days, before modern scientific theory was developed. I keep forgetting all the thousands of years of tradition you completely missed.
Chapter 59: The Lattice of a Growing Crystal
This point regarding the Rhythm of War’s emotional influence will be of particular interest to El.
Chapter 60: Essai
Who is this person? You used no title, so I assume they are not a Fused. Who, then, is El?
Chapter 61: Oil and Water
In other circumstances, I would be fascinated by this sand to the point of abandoning all other rational pursuits. What is it? Where did it come from?
Chapter 62: Keeper of Forms
Chapter 63: Practice
I am told that it is not the sand itself, but something that grows upon it, that exhibits the strange properties. One can make more, with proper materials and a seed of the original.
Chapter 64: Personal Reminder
The sand originated offworld. It is only one of such amazing wonders that come from other lands—I have recently obtained a chain from the lands of the dead, said to be able to anchor a person through Cognitive anomalies. I fail to see what use it could be to me, as I am unable to leave the Rosharan system. But it is a priceless object nonetheless.
Chapter 65: Hypothesis
As we dig further into this project, I am left questioning the very nature of God. How can a God exist in all things, yet have a substance that can be destroyed?
Chapter 66: Bearer of Agonies
I am not convinced any of the gods can be destroyed, so perhaps I misspoke. They can change state however, like a spren—or like the various Lights. This is what we seek.
Chapter 67: Song of Stones
Do not mourn for what has happened. This notebook was a dream we shared, which is itself a beautiful thing. Proof of the truth of my intent, even if the project was ultimately doomed.
Chapter 68: One Family
Chapter 69: Pure Tones of Roshar
I leave you now to your own company.
Chapter 70: Well
Opposites. Opposites of sounds. Sound has no opposite. It’s merely overlapped vibration, the same sound, but sound has meaning. This sound does, at least. These sounds. The voices of gods.
Chapter 71: Rider of Storms
Voice of Lights. Voice for Lights. If I speak for the Lights, then I must express their desires. If Light is Investiture, and all Investiture is deity, and deity has Intent, then Light must have Intent.
Chapter 72: Outmatched
Intent matters. Intent is king. You cannot do what I attempt by accident. You must mean it. This seems a much greater law than we’ve ever before understood.
Interlude I-7: Szeth
- Plot Summary
Szeth watches Dalinar play with Gavinor, attempting to slouch so as to appear as a normal guard. He reminisces on his past and converses with Nightblood about it. Szeth's highspren shows itself to him, and Szeth moves away from Nightblood to speak to it. It tells him he must being to progress in his Ideals, both by moving towards his crusade and beginning to rely on his own interpretation of justice rather than Dalinar's. Then he listens to a messenger read off a list of things Taravangian requested, and gets very angry upon hearing a request for a stone matching the description of his Oathstone. Thinking Taravangian plans to kill Dalinar, Szeth decides he needs to stop him.
Interlude I-8: Chiri-Chiri
- Plot summary
Chiri-Chiri listens to Vstim and Rysn having a conversation while musing on how much she has grown. Chiri-Chiri thinks the humans have wet and flappy mouths and strains to make out words, managing to overhear a short exchange about Dawnshards. Chiri-Chiri then senses an ancient rhythm signifying danger. Once Vstim leaves, Chiri-Chiri decides to attempt to communicate this danger to Rysn by talking. She only manages to form the words "Rysn eat food," but this surprises Rysn greatly, as she did not know Chiri-Chiri was capable of talking.
Interlude I-9: The Sword
- Plot Summary
Taravangian wakes up on a dumb day and moves around his prison. He reads instructions he left himself about what to say to Szeth, including "Don't talk to Dalinar," and copies them into a notebook. He eats stale bread before realizing fresh food has been left for him. Renarin visits and tries to convince Taravagian to work with them. Taravangian doesn't answer, overcome by emotion, and Renarin leaves. His next visitor is Szeth, who wants to know why Taravangian asked for an Oathstone. Taravangian tells Szeth several things: Odium fears Nightblood, Szeth's father is dead, and Szeth must give Nightblood to Dalinar. Szeth refuses to do it and leaves, thinking it's only more manipulation.
Part 4: A Knowledge
Chapter 73: Which Master to Follow
Chapter 74: A Symbol
I used to be good with words. I used to be good at a lot of things.
Chapter 75: The Middle Step
There was a time when others would approach me for help with a problem. A time when I was decisive. Capable. Even authoritative.
Chapter 76: Harmony
Such skills, like my honor itself, are now lost to time. Weathered away, crushed to dust, and scattered to the ends of the cosmere. I am a barren tree of a human being. I am the hollow that once was a mighty peak.
Chapter 77: The Proper Legality
Chapter 78: The High Judge
So, words. Why words, now? Why do I write?
Chapter 79: Open Wound
Jezrien is gone. Despite being all the way out here in Lasting Integrity, I felt him being ripped away. The Oathpact was broken already, but the Connection remained. Each of us can sense the others, to an extent. And with further investigation, I know the truth of what happened to him. It felt like death at first, and I think that is what it ultimately became.
Chapter 80: The Dog and the Dragon
The singers first put Jezrien into a gemstone. They think they are clever, discovering they can trap us in those. It only took them seven thousand years.
Chapter 81: Trapped
Chapter 82: Knife
Oh … Father … Seven thousand years.
Chapter 83: The Games of Men and Singers
I remember so few of those centuries. I am a blur. A smear on the page. A gaunt stretch of ink, made all the more insubstantial with each passing day.
Chapter 84: Scholar
Midius once told me … told me we could use Investiture … to enhance our minds, our memories, so we wouldn’t forget so much.
Chapter 85: Dabbid
Why would I want to remember?
Chapter 86: The Song of Mornings
Chapter 87: Trial by Witness
Maybe if I remembered my life, I’d be capable of being confident like I once was. Maybe I’d stop vacillating when even the most simple of decisions is presented to me.
Chapter 88: Falling Star
Chapter 89: Voice of Lights
Instead I think, if I were to remember my life in detail, I would become even worse. Paralyzed by my terrible actions. I should not like to remember all those I have failed.
Chapter 90: One Chance
Regardless, I write now. Because I know they are coming for me. They got Jezrien. They’ll inevitably claim me, even here in the honorspren stronghold.
Chapter 91: Worth Saving
And so, I’ll die.
Yes, die. If you’re reading this and wondering what went wrong—why my soul evaporated soon after being claimed by the gemstone in your knife—then I name you idiot for playing with powers you only presume to understand.
Chapter 92: A Gift
The bond is what keeps us alive. You sever that, and we will slowly decompose into ordinary souls—with no valid Connection to the Physical or Spiritual Realms. Capture one of us with your knives, and you won’t be left with a spren in a jar, foolish ones. You’ll be left with a being that eventually fades away into the Beyond.
Chapter 93: Strong Enough
I felt it happen to Jezrien. You think you captured him, but our god is Splintered, our Oathpact severed. He faded over the weeks, and is gone now. Beyond your touch at long last.
I should welcome the same. I do not. I fear you.
Chapter 94: Sacrifice
Nevertheless, I’m writing answers for you here, because something glimmers deep within me. A fragment of a memory of what I once was.
I was there when Ba-Ado-Mishram was captured. I know the truth of the Radiants, the Recreance, and the Nahel spren.
Chapter 95: What She Truly Was
Chapter 96: A Thousand Lies
I tell you; I write it. You must release the captive Unmade. She will not fade as I will. If you leave her as she is, she will remain imprisoned for eternity.
Chapter 97: Freedom
As one who has suffered for so many centuries … as one whom it broke … please find Mishram and release her. Not just for her own good. For the good of all spren.
For I believe that in confining her, we have caused a greater wound to Roshar than any ever realized.
Interlude I-10: Hesina
Interlude I-11: Adin
Interlude I-12: Vulnerable
Part 5: Knowing a Home of Songs, Called Our Burden
Chapter 98: An Unwholesome Shade
I look forward to ruling the humans.
Chapter 99: Not Bound
I had my title and my rhythms stripped from me for daring insist they should not be killed, but should instead be reconditioned. Repurposed.
Chapter 100: Watchers at the Rim
Humans are weapons. We singers revere Passion, do we not? How can we throw away such an excellent channeling of it?
Chapter 101: Undertext
I love their art. The way they depict us is divine, all red shades and black lines. We appear demonic and fearsome; they project all fear and terror upon us.
Chapter 102: Highstorm Coming
To humans, our very visages become symbols. You find echoes of it even in the art from centuries before this Return.
Chapter 103: The Legend You Live
Watch them struggle. Witness their writhing, their refusal to surrender. Humans cling to the rocks with the vigor of any Rosharan vine.
Chapter 104: Full of Hope
Humans are a poem. A song.
Chapter 105: Children of Passions
For ones so soft, they are somehow strong.
Chapter 106: A Hundred Discordant Rhythms
For ones so varied, they are somehow intense.
Chapter 107: Uniting
For ones so lost, they are somehow determined.
Chapter 108: Moments
For ones so confused, they are somehow brilliant.
Chapter 109: Emulsifier
For ones so tarnished, they are somehow bright.
Chapter 110: Reborn
Chapter 111: Unchained
And so I am not at all dissatisfied with recent events.
Chapter 112: Terms
Roshar will be united in its service of the greater war.
Chapter 113: Emotion
And I will march proudly at the head of a human legion.
- Plot Summary
Navani leaves the pillar and walks back to Raboniel's body in the hallway. She discovers her still alive. Raboniel asks Navani to kill her with another dagger of anti-Voidlight, because her soul has been almost entirely burned away, and any more rebirths would make her insane. Navani does so, with a promise to end the war. She leaves a note on Raboniel's body to keep it from being moved. With the dagger and their notebook, Rhythm of War, Navani leaves to retake Urithiru.
Taravangian wakes up on a dumb day, the dumbest he's ever been. He begins to cry contemplating it. He leaves his bed only when his hunger gets to be too much, and finds a note and two gemstones containing corrupted spren from Renarin in his food basket. The note reads, "I'm sorry." Taravangian begins to eat, but hides in the corner as a highstorm approaches. Szeth breaks into his prison, scaring the guards away. He's there to ask about Taravangian's knowledge of his father and Ishar. As Taravangian pleads, Szeth switches subjects to the murders he committed under Taravangian's orders. Taravangian attempts to run but falls, and Szeth pins him to the wall. Odium approaches. Szeth resolves out loud to kill Taravangian according to his own choice, and pulls out a knife. Odium pulls Taravangian's mind into his realm to interrogate him about his recent failures, and Nightblood is pulled along. Szeth kills Taravangian's body as Taravangian kills Rayse with Nightblood and picks up the power, becoming Odium.
Chapter 114: Broken Gods
They should not be discarded, but helped to their potential. Their final Passions.
- Rlain (point of view)
- Kaladin (point of view)
- Taravangian (point of view)
- Sylphrena (mentioned only)
- Renarin (mentioned only)
- Thude (mentioned only)
- Harvo (mentioned only)
- Rayse (mentioned only)
- Teft (mentioned only)
- Phendorana (mentioned only)
- Rock (mentioned only)
- Dalinar (mentioned only)
Rlain, newly bonded to a corrupted mistspren, Tumi, walks with Venli and the listeners she recruited to the Oathgate to the Shattered Plains. Kaladin activates the fabrial and they greet Leshwi and four other Fused who had been transferred earlier. Kaladin offers them asylum if they need it, or if they change their minds. The group of Fused and listeners, aside from Rlain, leave to find the new listeners. Watching them leave, Rlain contemplates the possibility of humans doing again what they did to the Parshendi in the past. He resolves to stay close in order to watch. Rlain and Kaladin leave for Teft's funeral.
Taravangian starts adjusting to the power of Odium. He discovers that Rayse had been weakening for a long time, starting with his battles in the past, then being wounded by Honor, and his failures with Dalinar, Kaladin, and Urithiru. In the Physical realm, Szeth finds Rayse's body in the prison, eaten away by Nightblood, and assumes it to be Taravangian. As Taravangian begins to struggle with his conflicting desires to both save the world and destroy it, he becomes aware of Cultivation approaching.
Teft's body is soulcasted to stone and placed in a room of ancient Radiants given the same treatment after death. All of Bridge Four attends the funeral, drinking and burning prayers to Teft. They go to a tavern afterwards. Kaladin and Syl remain at the statue as the members of Bridge Four drift away and discuss missing Teft and Syl's new feelings. Kaladin hugs the statue and thinks about moving forward and what he would do now.
Taravangian studies future possibilities as he grows more accustomed and capable with the power of Odium. He talks with Cultivation about her gamble in preparing him for this. Having knowledge of the Cosmere at large from Rayse's experiences, Taravangian begins planning to himself to intervene on other worlds, and how to beat Dalinar. He realizes that there are other possibilities Rayse missed. Cultivation offers to teach him to use their powers. Taravangian accepts and resolves to save them all.
Chapter 115: Testament
Yes, I look forward to ruling the humans.
Chapter 116: Mercy
Nearly as much as I look forward to serving you, newest Odium. Who was so recently one of them. You understand. And you are the one I’ve been waiting to worship.
Chapter 117: One Final Gift
- Plot Summary
Fourteen months ago
Eshonai hits the ground of the chasm after her battle with Adolin during the Battle of Narak. After a moment of disorientation, she attempts to climb the chasm wall and manages to get halfway up, but then fails to find proper handholds to continue. Shortly afterwards, the highstorm arrives and the flood rips her off the wall. After being carried in the current and nearly drowning, she manages to pull herself onto a boulder and out of the water.
Realizing that she would die here, Eshonai begins to fight against the influence of Odium and the rhythms of power. The boulder shifts and she falls back into the water, but she summons her Shardblade and rams it into the chasm wall to use as a handhold. While drowning, she hears the pure tones of Honor and Odium and discovers the Rhythm of War. At that moment, Timbre appears to her. She loses her grip and, attuning the Rhythm of War, is carried away. Eshonai continues fighting death until the water slows and she comes to rest at the bottom of the chasm, heavily wounded. She attunes the rhythms of her childhood and closes her eyes to the Rhythm of Victory, only to find herself drifting in the Cognitive Realm.
The Stormfather reveals to her that she had died, but that he accepted her struggle underwater as swearing the First Ideal of the Knights Radiant, and so she would continue to live on as a Cognitive Shadow for a few more minutes. He assures Eshonai that she had not failed in life and then, as a final gift, takes her with him as the highstorm passes over Roshar, so that she could see the world like she had always dreamed. Then the Stormfather wishes Eshonai farewell and she passes into the Beyond.
Epilogue: Dirty Tricks
- Plot summary
Wit has left the others and is now at the Pinnacle. He does tricks for an "audience", a group of spren corrupted by Sja-anat, and explains the importance of subtlety in magic tricks and storytelling. Design contemplates that Wit's tricks with coin don't work that much on Roshar because they don't use coin to trade. Wit eventually tells Design to go bother someone else and moves to Elhokar's sitting room. Soon after, Odium arrives, shows his rage at Wit's contract and threatens him. However, Odium also asks Wit what his choice of champion would be, which surprises Wit. As the latter leaves the room and walks in the hallways, he ponders whether or not Rayse is growing more thoughtful. Realizing that Wit might have doubts about his identity, Odium attacks Wit. Odium's voice is thoughtful and soft, and Wit feels true horror as he realizes his enemy isn't Rayse any longer. Odium then destroys some of Wit's memories, held in his Breaths, which isn't in violation of the contract. Wit regains consciousness in the hallway, unaware of what happened, and returns to Elhokar's sitting room where the scene happens once again, Odium playing the angry brute more convincingly this time. Wit leaves after saying a different quip than the previous time but has trouble whistling, something preventing him from using perfect pitch. He wonders if something is wrong as the inconsistencies linked to his memory loss piles up. However he considers that this encounter went exactly as planned.