Summary:Words of Radiance/Chapter 38

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Now, as the Windrunners were thus engaged, arose the event which has hitherto been referenced: namely, that discovery of some wicked thing of eminence, though whether it be some rogueries among the Radiants' adherents or of some external origin, Avena would not suggest.
—From Words of Radiance, chapter 38, page 6

Plot Summary
Ishaches 1173

Shallan offers her condolences on Jasnah's loss to Dalinar and Navani, reflecting on her own grief but using her sketch to project strength and suppress her emotions, and Dalinar thanks her. Shallan mentions that she also brought some of Jasnah's belongings and has information on Jasnah's research, which Navani scoffs at. Shallan notices Adolin looking at her and feels some attraction toward him. Shallan gives a detailed account of the attack on the Wind's Pleasure at Navani's demand, and Navani berates Shallan for saying she set the ship on fire despite Jasnah's apparently already fatal wound but Dalinar defends Shallan's action and Navani apologizes and leaves. Shallan tells Dalinar an abbreviated version of her journey via caravan from the Frostlands to the warcamps and about being rescued by deserters to whom she pledged clemency in reward for their service, and Dalinar promises pardons from the king for them. Shallan then brings up the betrothal and Adolin joins them, smiling. Shallan and Adolin flirt awkwardly and Adolin offers to maintain the betrothal, but Dalinar asks Adolin to get some wine so he can talk privately with Shallan. Dalinar inquires about Shallan's family and her interest in Adolin, and she explains the situation as Jasnah described it to her. Dalinar allows the betrothal to stand temporarily based on Jasnah's implied endorsement of Shallan pending further developments, and offers her a position as a clerk, but Shallan declines so as to not be too dependent on the Kholins. Their discussion is abruptly interrupted by Highprince Sebarial who gets Dalinar to return to the conference table to resume the meeting.

Shallan mentally notes the attendees of the meeting, realizing that there are three primary factions with Elhokar and Dalinar opposing Sadeas, Ruthar and Aladar, and Hatham leading a group of mediators, and Sebarial as an outsider excluded from the factions. Shallan dissects the meaning behind the arguments until she is drawn into the discussion. Shallan says that she has little knowledge about the events in Jah Keved since she wasn't there at the time of the assassination and that she is there as Jasnah's ward and has personal business, and Aladar realizes she is Adolin's betrothed. Several highprinces want to get her own testimony about events in her home country but she doesn't want to be used, so she lies and says that she took a job to work for her supposed distant relative Sebarial and he plays along with her ploy. Shallan speaks privately with Sebarial, saying that their arrangement will be mutually beneficial. Dalinar disrupts the discussion and says that the war is failing and that they will change their strategy to either make peace with the Parshendi or march in full force and wipe them out. Hatham expresses disdain and Sadeas insults Dalinar, which upsets and provokes Adolin momentarily. Dalinar mentions the Parshendi envoy who offered an olive branch right before the assassination attempt and wonders at the coincidence and if the Parshendi are still controlling Szeth as they claimed to have when Gavilar was killed. Dalinar outlines his plans to scout the plains and outfit a major expedition to the center of the plains and choose and train new shardbearers to use the armor and weapons that he thinks Adolin will win through duels, then brings the meeting to a close.

Sebarial leaves and Shallan says she will meet him, and goes to speak to Elhokar personally about his sister. She then brings a writ of pardon to Vathah, which amazes him, and tells him that they all have a place to stay.


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