Words of Radiance (in-world)

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Words of Radiance
Author Unknown
Language Alethi protoscript
Created in Era of Solitude
World of Origin Roshar
Universe Cosmere
This article contains intellectual property reproduced with permission
Please do not alter or reproduce without permission from the creator

Words of Radiance is a Rosharan book discussing the Knights Radiant.[1] It contains a chapter for each of their orders that discusses their traditions, their abilities, and their attitudes. It was written two hundred years after the Recreance in an old dialect of Alethi, using the protoscript, a precursor to the modern women's script. It is the only piece of literature that is mentioned as being written in this dialect. By the unknown author's own admission, a lot of the book's content is hearsay, incorporating facts, lore, and superstition. The book's overviews of each order have proved to be reasonably accurate; the reliability of the other information in the book (such as synopses of certain historical events) remains unclear.[1] According to Jasnah Kholin, it is the best extant source of information about the various orders in modern Roshar, although she wishes it was more comprehensive.[2]


Jasnah gave Shallan Davar a copy of Words of Radiance, but she lost it in the sinking of the Wind's Pleasure before she had a chance to read it.[3] As Shallan's Lightweaving powers continued to manifest, she searched for another copy at the warcamps on the Shattered Plains but had difficulty locating one.[4] Gaz eventually found a copy for Shallan, to her delight. Shallan enjoyed the book and learned a lot from it, but noted that the ancient dialect and sometimes cryptic prose made it frustrating to read.[1] She later mentioned to Adolin that Lightweavers were often artists, a fact she had learned from the book.[5]


Chapter 2[edit]

But as for Ishi'Elin, his was the part most important at their inception; he readily understood the implications of Surges being granted to men, and caused organization to be thrust upon them; as having too great power, he let it be known that he would destroy each and every one, unless they agreed to be bound by precepts and laws.

—Chapter 2, page 4[6]

Chapter 5[edit]

And thus were the disturbances in the Revv toparchy quieted, when, upon their ceasing to prosecute their civil dissensions, Nalan'Elin betook himself to finally accept the Skybreakers who had named him their master, when initially he had spurned their advances and, in his own interests, refused to countenance that which he deemed a pursuit of vanity and annoyance; this was the last of the Heralds to admit to such patronage.

—Chapter 5, page 17[7]

Chapter 6[edit]

As to the other orders that were inferior in this visiting of the far realm of spren, the Elsecallers were prodigiously benevolent, allowing others as auxiliary to their visits and interactions; though they did never relinquish their place as prime liaisons with the great ones of the spren; and the Lightweavers and Willshapers both also had an affinity to the same, though neither were the true masters of that realm.

—Chapter 6, page 2[8]

Chapter 7[edit]

And now, if there was an uncut gem among the Radiants, it was the Willshapers; for though enterprising, they were erratic, and Invia wrote of them, "capricious, frustrating, unreliable," as taking it for granted that others would agree; this may have been an intolerant view, as often Invia expressed, for this order was said to be most varied, inconsistent in temperament save for a general love of adventure, novelty, or oddity.

—Chapter 7, page 1[9]

Chapter 8[edit]

They also, when they had settled their rulings in the nature of each bond's placement, called the name of it the Nahel bond, with regard to its effect upon the souls of those caught in its grip; in this description, each was related to the bonds that drive Roshar itself, ten Surges, named in turn and two for each order; in this light, it can be seen that each order would be necessity share one Surge with each of its neighbors.

—Chapter 8, page 6[10]

Chapter 11[edit]

Now, as the Truthwatchers were esoteric in nature, their order being formed entirely of those who never spoke or wrote of what they did, in this lies frustration for those who would see their exceeding secrecy from the outside; they were not naturally inclined to explanation; and in the case of Corberon's disagreements, their silence was not a sign of an exceeding abundance of disdain, but rather an exceeding abundance of tact.

—Chapter 11, page 6[11]

Chapter 12[edit]

Malchin was stymied, for though he was inferior to none in the arts of war, he was not suitable for the Lightweavers; he wished for his oaths to be elementary and straightforward, and yet their spren were liberal, as to our comprehension, in definitions pertaining to this matter; the process included speaking truths as an approach to a threshold of self-awareness that Malchin could never attain.

—Chapter 12, page 12[12]

Chapter 13[edit]

Now, as each order was thus matched to the nature and temperament of the Herald it named patron, there was none more archetypal of this than the Stonewards, who followed after Talenelat'Elin, Stonesinew, Herald of War: they thought it a point of virtue to exemplify resolve, strength, and dependability. Alas, they took less care for imprudent practice of their stubbornness, even in the face of proven error.

—Chapter 13, page 1[13]

Chapter 16[edit]

But as for the Bondsmiths, they had members only three, which number was not uncommon for them; nor did they seek to increase this by great bounds, for during the times of Madasa, only one of their order was in continual accompaniment of Urithiru and its thrones. Their spren was understood to be specific, and to persuade them to grow to the magnitude of the other orders was seen as seditious.

—Chapter 16, page 4[14]

Chapter 17[edit]

And when they were spoken of by the common folk, the Releasers claimed to be misjudged because of the dreadful nature of their power; and when they dealt with others, always were they firm in their claim that other epithets, notably "Dustbringers," often heard in the common speech, were unacceptable substitutions, in particular for their similarity to the word "Voidbringers." They did also exercise anger in great prejudice regarding it, though to many who speak, there was little difference between these two assemblies.

—Chapter 17, page 11[15]

Chapter 20[edit]

When Simol was informed of the arrival of the Edgedancers, a concealed consternation and terror, as is common in such cases, fell upon him; although they were not the most demanding of orders, their graceful, limber movements hid a deadliness that was, by this time, quite renowned; also, they were the most articulate and refined of the Radiants.

—Chapter 20, page 12[16]

Chapter 21[edit]

Yet, were the orders not disheartened by so great a defeat, for the Lightweavers provided spiritual sustenance; they were enticed by those glorious creations to venture on a second assault.

—Chapter 21, page 10[17]

These Lightweavers, by no coincidence, included many who pursued the arts; namely: writers, artists, musicians, painters, sculptors. Considering the order's general temperament, the tales of their strange and varied mnemonic abilities may have been embellished.

—Chapter 21, page 10[18]

Chapter 28[edit]

There came also sixteen of the order of Windrunners, and with them a considerable number of squires, and finding in that place the Skybreakers dividing the innocent from the guilty, there ensued a great debate.

—Chapter 28, page 3[19]

The considerable abilities of the Skybreakers for making such amounted to an almost divine skill, for which no specific Surge or spren grants capacity, but however the order came to such an aptitude, the fact of it was real and acknowledged even by their rivals.

—Chapter 28, page 3[20]

Chapter 30[edit]

So Melishi retired to his tent, and resolved to destroy the Voidbringers upon the next day, but that night did present a different stratagem, related to the unique abilities of the Bondsmiths; and being hurried, he could make no specific account of his process; it was related to the very nature of the Heralds and their divine duties, an attribute the Bondsmiths alone could address.

—Chapter 30, page 18[21]

Chapter 32[edit]

In short, if any presume Kazilah to be innocent, you must look at the facts and deny them in their entirety; to say that the Radiants were destitute of integrity for this execution of one their own, one who had obviously fraternized with the unwholesome elements, indicates the most slothful of reasoning; for the enemy's baleful influence demanded vigilance on all occasions, of war and of peace.

—Chapter 32, page 17[22]

Chapter 35[edit]

Twenty–three cohorts followed behind, that came from the contributions of the King of Makabakam, for though the bond between man and spren was at times inexplicable, the ability for bonded spren to manifest in our world rather than their own grew stronger through the course of the oaths given.

—Chapter 35, page 9[23]

Chapter 38[edit]

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.

— Chapter 38, page 6[24]

That they responded immediately and with great consternation is undeniable, as these were primary among those who would forswear and abandon their oaths. The term Recreance was not then applied, but has since become a popular title by which this event is named.

— Chapter 38, page 6[25]

This act of great villainy went beyond the impudence which had hitherto been ascribed to the orders; as the fighting was particularly intense at the time, many attributed this act to a sense of inherent betrayal; and after they withdrew, about two thousand made assault upon them, destroying much of the membership; but this was only nine of the ten, as one said they would not abandon their arms and flee, but instead entertained great subterfuge at the expense of the other nine.

— Chapter 38, page 20[26]


  • The epigraphs for Part Three of the out-of-world novel Words of Radiance are excerpts from the in-world book of the same name.


  1. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 77#
  2. Words of Radiance chapter 6#
  3. Words of Radiance chapter 17#
  4. Words of Radiance chapter 47#
  5. Oathbringer chapter 77#
  6. Words of Radiance chapter 42 epigraph#
  7. Words of Radiance chapter 43 epigraph#
  8. Words of Radiance chapter 53 epigraph#
  9. Words of Radiance chapter 50 epigraph#
  10. Words of Radiance chapter 35 epigraph#
  11. Words of Radiance chapter 52 epigraph#
  12. Words of Radiance chapter 57 epigraph#
  13. Words of Radiance chapter 37 epigraph#
  14. Words of Radiance chapter 44 epigraph#
  15. Words of Radiance chapter 36 epigraph#
  16. Words of Radiance chapter 46 epigraph#
  17. Words of Radiance chapter 47 epigraph#
  18. Words of Radiance chapter 49 epigraph#
  19. Words of Radiance chapter 54 epigraph#
  20. Words of Radiance chapter 55 epigraph#
  21. Words of Radiance chapter 58 epigraph#
  22. Words of Radiance chapter 51 epigraph#
  23. Words of Radiance chapter 56 epigraph#
  24. Words of Radiance chapter 38 epigraph#
  25. Words of Radiance chapter 40 epigraph#
  26. Words of Radiance chapter 41 epigraph#
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Big Smooth (talk) 23:46, 13 April 2023 (UTC)