|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
Vstim is a Thaylen merchant on Roshar. He is currently employed as the Minister of Trade for Queen Fen, the highest civil position in the Thaylen government. He was "Babsk" to Rysn, a position consisting of a master to an apprentice, and also her legal father until he pronounced her a merchant in her own right.
Appearance and Personality
Vstim is in his 70's and described by Rysn as "spry for his years." He prefers to wear Thaylen merchant's clothing consisting of stiffly starched robes and a conical hat. He is very wealthy and follows the Passions.
Vstim traveled to Shinovar with his apprentice Rysn to trade with Thresh-son-Esan. He brought Soulcast metal and traded in exchange for chicken. It is revealed that seven years before on another trade he received Szeth, whom he describes as the "best servant I ever had." Every time he comes back to Shinovar he asks Thresh to trade him another Shin soldier, which is denied by Thresh because Szeth had been Truthless.
A year later Vstim and Rysn traveled to the Reshi Isles. He feigned sickness in order to allow her to take charge of the trade for herself. Rysn met Talik and in attempting to prove her boldness to the natives, ended up falling off the top of the Tai-na and into the water below. The fall shattered her legs. Afterward Vstim reappeared and revealed he had feigned sickness in order to give her a chance to lead as trademaster to see how she would do. Rysn figured out that Vstim was previously Talik's Babsk. It was also revealed by the Reshi king that Vstim had gained the islanders' respect a long time ago by hunting down a coracot.
When Rysn was working in the Thaylen Gemstone Reserve, a job that Vstim arranged for her, he unexpectedly visited Rysn. He told her that Queen Fen offered him a job as Minister of Trade, "the highest civilian appointment in the kingdom". Then he handed Rysn a box, containing a wound-up cord of white rope and a deed of ownership to the Wandersail, so Rysn could still be a merchant even though she can't walk. He also offered to fund her first trade run.
Following that, Rysn gave Vstim a tour through the vault and shows him the King's Drop. As they begin to inventory the vault, they get attacked by one of the guards, a disguised Fused. The attacker slashed at Vstim and locked him in a smaller vault.
Rysn's Journey to Akinah
Prior to Rysn meeting with Navani Kholin, Vstim shared information with her about a secret Alethi fabrial project involving a set of conjoined fabrial lifts. Some of the details of the project were public, but Vstim's position as Thaylen Minister of Trade afforded him private information on the true purpose of the project.
Vstim accepted investment funds from several people for creation of the Wandersail. However, despite transferring ownership of the Wandersail to Rysn, he remained the primary investor. As such, he received a portion of the Wandersail's profits.
During the construction and test voyages of the Wandersail, Vstim kept his intention to gift the ship to Rysn private. This led to initial animosity towards Rysn on the part of the crew, who anticipated ownership being given to Drlwan, the captain.
On her voyage to Akinah, Rysn recalled a particular set of trades made by Vstim during an expedition to the wilderness of Hexi. While in Triax, Vstim purchased barrels of containing worms for mere chips. He later traded the wormy grain to Hexi nomads, as their priestly class took oaths not to eat flesh but considered grubs and insects to be plant, not animal.
When the Wandersail and its crew took shore leave, following the encounter with the Sleepless in the form of a dead santhid, Rysn communicated with Vstim via spanreed. He informed her of Queen Navani's secret goal to find an Oathgate on Akinah. Vstim also spoke via spanreed with Queen Jasnah Kholin on behalf of Rysn regarding the Sleepless and the Fused Lightweavers.
After Rysn returned from Aimia, Vstim met with her privately to hear her account of the journey. He learned the truth about the Sleepless, what they were really concealing on Aimia, and how Rysn joined with the Dawnshard. Despite some trepidation, he promised Rysn that he would keep everything secret, even from Queen Fen.