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Teft

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Teft
Teft.png
Abilities Windrunner, Shardbearer
Groups Knights Radiant (Windrunner), Bridge Four, Envisagers (formerly), Sadeas army (formerly), Kholin army
Residence Urithiru
Nationality Alethi
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive

Teft is a darkeyed soldier and a Windrunner from Alethkar on Roshar.[1] He is addicted to firemoss.

Appearance and Personality[edit]

I ain’t grouchy, I just have a low threshold for stupidity.

—Teft[2]

Teft is an older man with tan skin and drooping cheeks. He has brown eyes with an epicanthic fold and close-cropped, grizzled white-salted hair.[3] He keeps a neat, short and square beard that is light brown mixed with patches of gray. Teft is often blunt and speaks in a matter-of-fact tone. He nurses a deep-seated grudge against lighteyes[4] but is observant and thoughtful towards the other members of Bridge Four[5][6] and is also a natural leader.[7]

Teft has harbored a firemoss addiction since his time in Sadeas' army,[8] which is a deep cause of personal shame and grief; during his many conversations with Kaladin, Teft repeatedly states that he isn't trustworthy.[9] Even after bonding an Honorspren, he harbors feelings of inadequacy and shame, believing that he is incapable of upholding the ideals of a Radiant due his past actions.[8]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Surgebinding[edit]

As a Windrunner, Teft has the ability to manipulate the Surges of Adhesion and Gravitation through his Nahel bond with his honorspren.[10] By breathing in Stormlight, he gains superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability, stamina, and healing for the duration of his access to Stormlight.[11] While his honorspren is present with him, his movements are enhanced by her. This gives Teft a superior natural fighting talent, although it does not replace skill by itself.[12] After Teft swears the third Ideal of the Windrunners, his honorspren gains the ability to become a Shardblade. Unlike the dead Blades left after the Recreance, he can summon it in the form of any weapon he chooses, as well as a shield, and transform it from one to another almost instantaneously.[13]

Adhesion[edit]

Teft can manipulate the Surge of Adhesion, also known as the Full Lashing, to bind objects or creatures together using Stormlight.[14]

Gravitation[edit]

Teft can manipulate the Surge of Gravitation to change the direction and strength of an object's gravitational attraction. This enables him to achieve a form of flight.[15]

Resonance[edit]

As a Knight Radiant who has access to two Surges, Teft also has a resonance.[16] Windrunners have an increased number of squires, more than any other order, as their resonance.[17] Teft's squires include the entire crew of Bridge Thirteen.[18]

History[edit]

Early Life[edit]

Teft was born in Alethkar to a family that belonged to a cult known as the Envisagers. They believed if they could find a way to return the Voidbringers, the Knights Radiant would return as well. Envisagers purposefully put their lives in danger, hoping that they would manifest Surgebinding powers. Teft's mother died in one of these attempts. Teft reported the Envisagers to the citylord, after which a trial was held for them; all of them were executed, including Teft's father, whom he watched being hanged.[19]

At some point Teft got married, though when and to whom is not clear; his wife had already died by the time he was a bridgeman.[20]

Bridge Four[edit]

Eventually, Teft joined Sadeas' army as a spearman. His squadmembers there convinced him to try firemoss, which began a life-long addiction.[8] He became a sergeant and made his way to the Shattered Plains, where he was sent to the bridge crews as a punishment. After some other camp infraction, Teft was transferred to Bridge Four,[3] where Kaladin befriended him.[21] He ended up in Kaladin's inner circle along with Rock, actively helping him in his plans.[22][23]

Teft was the first to suspect Kaladin might be able to use Stormlight. He confirmed this suspicion by (amongst other things) pushing a dun sphere into Kaladin's hand, claiming it to be "for luck," just before Kaladin was to be left outside alone to face "the judgement of the Stormfather" by way of the highstorm.[24] After the storm, the sphere in Kaladin's hand appeared to be dun, even though it should have been infused with light by the highstorm.[25] Teft was almost certain that this meant Kaladin had the ability to use Stormlight. While Kaladin was recovering from his wounds and fever after the highstorm, Teft brought three small infused diamond spheres and pressed them into Kaladin's hand, waiting anxiously to see what would happen. When Teft had nearly lost hope of being right about the events and their meaning, Kaladin drew in a short powerful breath, infusing himself with Stormlight, and began to glow from the leaking Stormlight.[26] Teft, knowing there was a healing effect to Stormlight, repeated this treatment enough to save Kaladin's life but not to draw suspicion from the other bridgemen. Ten days after surviving the highstorm, Kaladin was well enough to get up.[27]

An empty sphere after a storm, he thought. And a man who's still alive when he should be dead. Two impossibilities.

—Teft musing on Kaladin's survival[25]

These revelations sparked a heavy curiosity in Teft, and he began asking leading questions to see if Kaladin was willing to discuss his use of Stormlight, or if he was even aware of his abilities. At one point, Kaladin was handed a bag of infused spheres. Teft then threw a surprise punch at Kaladin, causing him to inhale reflexively; Kaladin noticed his familiar surge of strength and focus, and both Teft and Lopen noticed the soft glow coming from Kaladin's skin.[10] After time passed and they were certain of Kaladin's abilities, Teft, Lopen, and Syl worked with Kaladin to help him understand and trigger his newfound powers. Teft shared with Kaladin what he knew about the Radiants and their ways from his youth in the Envisagers. He was also the one to divulge the words of the First Ideal to Kaladin, who seemed almost (whether by instinct or experience is not clear) to understand the meaning and reasoning behind the words.[28]

Kaladin discovered Teft had military experience and was a sergeant before becoming a bridgeman.[29] He became invaluable to Kaladin's leadership by acting as sergeant to Kaladin's captain and by taking command when asked, when ordered, or during times when Kaladin was indisposed. His military experience was never divulged in great detail, as the history of bridgemen's personal lives seemed to be their most guarded secret, although it was sufficient to convince Kaladin that Teft was able to conduct the daily training in the chasms. Teft tried to convince Kaladin to join in, but he refused to hold a spear.[5]

After the disaster of the side-carry that lead to Kaladin being strung up in a highstorm, he devised a new way to protect Bridge Four: wearing armor made from the corpses of the Parshendi, scavenged in the chasms, to draw the enemy's attention to himself. The first time he tried this, he gave Teft orders to lead the group on an escape attempt that night if his idea failed.[11] Because the idea worked well, they bided their time until the assault on the Tower to attempt an escape. Teft was wounded on the initial approach,[30] and after Kaladin patched him up, Rock and Peet helped him walk as they retreated with the rest of Sadeas' army.[31] After Bridge Four abandoned their chance to escape by returning to the Tower in aid of Dalinar's army, Teft was able to return the favor by pulling arrows out of Kaladin's arm and settling him in a safe place.[32] He helped push the bridge into place, then took charge of the crew while a freshly healed Kaladin, who had just sworn the Second Ideal, went after Dalinar.[33]

That evening, after Dalinar secured the lives of Sadeas' bridgemen, Teft spoke with the rest of Bridge Four about the Radiants and Kaladin's abilities.[34]

Dalinar's Honor Guard[edit]

Teft and Bridge Four standing behind Dalinar as he trades Oathbringer for them

After Dalinar traded Oathbringer for the lives of Sadeas' bridgemen, Teft joined with the rest of Bridge Four as his personal guard.[34] Kaladin created a command structure among the former bridge crews he was going to train into guards, making Teft a lieutenant and putting him in overall charge of training. He directed Teft to begin by organizing the bridgemen into groups of forty, then training two from each group to act as sergeants to the rest of their men. Not long after, Bridge Four went to get tattoos to cover up the slave brands that most of them had on their foreheads, and Teft got one too, despite the fact that he never had a slave brand. He was the first to speak up for Shen when the tattooist objected to serving him. As the group outfitted themselves in their new Cobalt Guard uniforms, Teft tried to talk Kaladin into showing Dalinar what he could do, but Kaladin refused outright. When the others cut the old guard's insignia out of the uniforms, Teft agreed with them that they weren't just replacements, they were their own crew: Bridge Four.[35]

Teft had a difficult time getting anywhere at first with training the former bridgemen,[36] prompting Kaladin, Rock, and Teft to take the group of trainees into the chasms; this helped the new recruits feel included and opened them up to show interest in the training.[7] On one of the regular trips to the chasms they began making, Teft left the trainees under Drehy's direction and came to speak with Kaladin, who asked him more about the Radiants and observed that Teft became much more dour when speaking about his past.[9]

As well as taking shifts guarding Dalinar and the King,[37][20] Teft kept training the former bridgemen, sending daily reports to Kaladin and assessing when they were ready to begin patrolling the area outside of the warcamps.[38] He went on a patrol with Kaladin and the group of forty, then disappeared right after; this was the first of many such disappearances.[39] Kaladin confronted him about his disappearance when he came to initiate Bridge Seventeen in the chasms, but Teft made it clear he didn't want to talk about it. After the two got back to Bridge Four's fire that evening, Teft went out again with a small group from Bridge Four.[40]

When Kaladin decided to take Zahel up on his offer to train him to fight with a Shardblade, he took Teft, Moash, and Yake with him; they handled a Blade and began training in the ten sword stances with wooden models. During a break in training, Teft mentioned to Kaladin that the circumstances around Shallan's arrival looked suspicious, prompting Kaladin to investigate her further.[2]

Some of the other members of Bridge Four wanted to break Kaladin out when Elhokar imprisoned him for asking a King's Boon, but Teft talked them out of it. He was with the crew when they witnessed Moash becoming a Shardbearer, then led them back to the barrack to allow Kaladin a moment alone with Moash.[41]

Well, Teft supposed that was all right, Dalinar not believing. He’d just be that much more surprised when Kaladin did return.

—Teft, when Dalinar visits him on his vigil[19]

Teft and Bridge Four carried their old bridge out onto the Shattered Plains on the expedition to allow Shallan to see a chasmfiend chrysalis.[42] After Kaladin and Shallan were lost into the chasms, Teft took shifts with the others watching for them, never doubting that they would return. On one of these watches he discussed his past among the Envisagers with Sigzil while they played michim. For the duration of Kaladin's absence, the crew made Teft their leader and looked to him for daily assignments, though he managed to be on nearly every shift out by the chasms.[19]

Battle of Narak[edit]

Immediately after Kaladin and Shallan's return, Dalinar, Roion, Sebarial, and Aladar left on the expedition that culminated in the Battle of Narak and the discovery of Urithiru. Teft and most of Bridge Four went with them, though he decided to leave Moash behind to watch over King Elhokar.[43] During the battle, Teft and the rest of Bridge Four kept close to Dalinar.[44] After Kaladin defeated Elhokar's assassins, he flew out to the army on the plains, saving Dalinar from Szeth's Lashing and encountering Bridge Four, who gave him infused gems to recharge his Stormlight at Teft's command.[13] After Kaladin defeated the Assassin in White, he returned to the plateau where the Oathgate was and found Teft and the rest of the crew looking for him. Teft told him that [Rod]] had died, then commented that he had noticed some of the men glowing faintly right before Kaladin had arrived on the plains; he had been listening to readings of some of Dalinar's visions and, based on that information, thought that they were becoming squires to Kaladin.[45] The crew had had to abandon their bridge in the conflict, but a salvage team later found the old Bridge Four in a chasm near Narak; at Teft's request, Dalinar had it hauled up, repaired, and put to use moving people between plateaus near the Oathgate.[46]

Teft and the rest of the bridgemen took shifts scouting and exploring Urithiru. He was with some of Bridge Four when they discovered Sadeas' body in the tunnels of Urithiru, and he vehemently denied killing the man when a group of Sadeas' own soldiers finally found the scene, though he did tacitly agree with Palona's opinion that his death solved one problem they had been facing.[47] He and Lyn at some point scouted past a hidden room that Shallan later discovered while following Re-Shephir from the site of her latest murder. When Shallan called Adolin to the room, Lyn, Teft, Renarin, and other members of Bridge Four arrived with him and accompanied them down to the Midnight Mother's lair, where they helped her dispel the spren's presence.[48][49]

Windrunner[edit]

Teft mossing

Teft continued to disappear from time to time without explanation of where he was going, though the other members of Bridge Four figured out about his addiction anyway.[50] Teft was driven to give in to his craving more and more the more money he earned from Dalinar. He at some point spoke the first two oaths of a Windrunner, hoping it would take away his addiction, but quickly realized that it would not; because of his deep-rooted shame, he then hoped to drive away his spren.[8] After he missed the first training session when Kaladin borrowed the royal emerald reserve[46] because he had binged on firemoss the night before, Kaladin and Rock found him in a moss den, paid his tab, and brought him back to the barracks.[8] After that incident, Teft laid off firemoss use for a while and made sure his behavior seemed more normal to the others. He helped out at recruitment and training events, bringing Lyn over to Kaladin after she drew in Stormlight for the first time[4] and leading a group of Bridge Four members in aerial exercises.[6]

After Kaladin left for the expedition to Kholinar, Dalinar delivered the honorblade Kaladin had recovered from Szeth to Bridge Four. This allowed them, albeit one at a time, to gain and practice with the powers of a Windrunner even without Kaladin's presence.[51] Teft let Rock take the honorblade first, but during the time they had possession of the sword they randomly switched around who carried it so that no one trying to steal it could know whom to target. They continued acting as guards to the Kholins among their other duties; Navani got news of Kholinar's fall and the likely demise of Kaladin's group, but when she informed Bridge Four of the group's trouble, Teft laughed at the suggestion that Kaladin might be dead. They, as representatives of the Radiants, attended the first 'meeting of monarchs' at Urithiru.[52]

During that time, Teft continued to struggle with his addiction. At one point he was arrested and brought before Aladar's magistrates on the charge of public intoxication; Navani used her seal, at Aladar's quiet request, to free him.[53]

Teft and some other squires accompanied Dalinar as his guards when he went to Thaylen City to check on Amaram's progress helping rebuild the city; Teft was irritated enough by Amaram that he wanted to 'stab him a little.' There was another conference of several Rosharan nations in the city, and during the course of the gathering someone leaked information to each group in attendance that was calculated to undermine their trust in Dalinar.[54] Bridge Four was heavily affected by the news that the first Radiants destroyed their old world before coming to Roshar and that humans were in fact the Voidbringers; they were dispirited enough to leave Thaylen City for Urithiru to discuss the news with those of their members who hadn't come, leaving Dalinar behind.[55] Upon their return to Urithiru, Teft's spren appeared to him and alerted him to danger. They discovered Rock and Bisig injured and unconscious in the barracks while Eth, the one who had the Honorblade that day, was dead. Bisig woke up enough to tell them that the reason they had been taken by surprise was that the perpetrator had been wearing a Bridge Four coat with lieutenant's knots. Teft realized that must have been the coat he had sold to afford a little more firemoss, and he ran from the barracks in shame.[56]

I will protect those I hate. Even ... even if the one I hate most ... is ... myself.

—Teft swearing the Third Ideal[1]

As Teft ran through Urithiru, trying to find a place to hide, his spren appeared to him again and he tried to run from her too. Accidentally, he ended up in a room that overlooked the Oathgate platforms in time to see an invasion of singers flooding in from the Kholinar platform.[57] Teft found a dark place to hide away for a while, trying to ignore the fighting but able to hear the sounds of it.[58] Hiding there, his spren appeared to him yet again and persuaded him to speak his Third Oath.[1]

After they defeated the invading force, Teft appeared in the middle of the Battle of Thaylen Field on Thaylen City's Oathgate with a division of Alethi soldiers and the rest of Bridge Four, whose Windrunner powers were restored thanks to Kaladin's proximity. They chased a group of Fused away from the Oathgate and kept the area secure until the conflict was over.[59] Kaladin sought out Teft after the battle, and they spoke together briefly about what it was like to swear the Ideals before Bridge Four began helping fly the wounded from the city's triage station to the Oathgate.[60] Bridge Thirteen became Teft's squires sometime during or shortly after the conflict.[18]

Trivia[edit]

  • Teft was originally Hine, a character in Mythwalker that did not make it past the revision to get written into Warbreaker. Brandon combined Hine with an aspect of Voko, another character from Mythwalker, and placed him in Bridge Four.[61]

Notes[edit]

  1. a b c Oathbringer chapter 119 #
  2. a b Words of Radiance chapter 44 #
  3. a b The Way of Kings chapter 11 #
  4. a b Oathbringer chapter 46 #
  5. a b The Way of Kings chapter 63 #
  6. a b Oathbringer chapter 55 #
  7. a b Words of Radiance chapter 9 #
  8. a b c d e Oathbringer chapter 41 #
  9. a b Words of Radiance chapter 12 #
  10. a b The Way of Kings chapter 57 #
  11. a b The Way of Kings chapter 62 #
  12. Words of Radiance chapter 52 #
  13. a b Words of Radiance chapter 86 #
  14. The Way of Kings prologue #
  15. Words of Radiance Ars Arcanum #
  16. Firefight Seattle UBooks signing
    Arcanum - 2015-01-06#
  17. Firefight Phoenix signing
    Arcanum - 2015-01-21#
  18. a b Oathbringer chapter 122 #
  19. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 71 #
  20. a b Words of Radiance chapter 46 #
  21. The Way of Kings chapter 21 #
  22. The Way of Kings chapter 23 #
  23. The Way of Kings chapter 27 #
  24. The Way of Kings chapter 34 #
  25. a b The Way of Kings chapter 35 #
  26. The Way of Kings chapter 38 #
  27. The Way of Kings chapter 40 #
  28. The Way of Kings chapter 59 #
  29. The Way of Kings chapter 46 #
  30. The Way of Kings chapter 65 #
  31. The Way of Kings chapter 66 #
  32. The Way of Kings chapter 67 #
  33. The Way of Kings chapter 68 #
  34. a b The Way of Kings chapter 73 #
  35. Words of Radiance chapter 2 #
  36. Words of Radiance chapter 5 #
  37. Words of Radiance chapter 16 #
  38. Words of Radiance chapter 18 #
  39. Words of Radiance chapter 31 #
  40. Words of Radiance chapter 41 #
  41. Words of Radiance chapter 66 #
  42. Words of Radiance chapter 68 #
  43. Words of Radiance chapter 76 #
  44. Words of Radiance chapter 81 #
  45. Words of Radiance chapter 87 #
  46. a b Oathbringer chapter 37 #
  47. Oathbringer chapter 2 #
  48. Oathbringer chapter 29 #
  49. Oathbringer chapter 30 #
  50. Oathbringer chapter 35 #
  51. Oathbringer chapter 64 #
  52. Oathbringer chapter 96 #
  53. Oathbringer chapter 104 #
  54. Oathbringer chapter 111 #
  55. Oathbringer chapter 113 #
  56. Oathbringer chapter i14 #
  57. Oathbringer chapter 115 #
  58. Oathbringer chapter 118 #
  59. Oathbringer chapter 120 #
  60. Oathbringer chapter 121 #
  61. The Way of Kings Annotations
    Arcanum - 2017-11-10#
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