Mankind fears the Desolations. It is said there were 99 desolations, but there were actually much fewer than that, and the Last Desolation happened 4,500 years ago. Very little knowledge about these events has survived. It is known that the Heralds are sent during every desolation to aid mankind in their survival. During the aftermath of the last desolation, the Heralds abandoned their blades and broke the Oathpact. The prelude to the Stormlight Archive indicates that they abandoned the oathpact partly because they were tired of returning to what has been described as a place of torture and pain, and partly in the hope that if they didn't return it might stop the cycle of desolations and the wasting of lives. Though they left one of their order behind in order to stop Odium and the Voidbringers from once again shattering the world.
”Unite them. The sun approaches the horizon. The Everstorm comes. The True Desolation. The Night of Sorrows.
”I have said I that cannot be of much help to you. The Night of Sorrows will come, and the True Desolation. The Everstorm.— Honor during one of Dalinar's visions
Kaladin's ride on the storm
The True Desolation is mentioned in the Epigraph to Chapter 5 in The Way of Kings.
”I have seen the end, and have heard it named. The Night of Sorrows, the True Desolation. The Everstorm.— Collected on the 1st of Palahes, 1172, 15 seconds pre-death. Subject was a darkeyed youth of unknown origin.
Talenel was the only Herald that died during the Last Desolation, and was thus forced to return to Damnation. The other nine Heralds thought him enough to uphold the Oathpact and thus end the cycle of Desolations. He appears in Kholinar and claims that he has failed to uphold the Oathpact. He then falls to the ground, unconscious. Talenel is later brought to the Shattered Plains where he is widely viewed as a madman. He repeats the same mantra warning of the coming desolation.
”Who am I? I ... I am Talenel'Elin, Stonesinew, Herald of the Almighty. The Desolation has come. Oh, God ... it has come. And I have failed.— Talenel's reappearance
For more information, see Everstorm.
The Everstorm is similar to Highstorms, but has an opposite rotation and other possible differences. It appears to be referenced as being the same thing as the True Desolation by the Stormfather in Dalinar's visions, but it is possible the Everstorm is only a part of the True Desolation.
|History of Roshar|
|War of Reckoning||The Everstorm||Unknown|
- The Way of Kings chapter 75
- The Way of Kings chapter 52
- The Way of Kings chapter 46
- The Way of Kings chapter 5 epigraph
- The Way of Kings epilogue