Aharietiam, also known as the Last Desolation or Final Desolation, occurred about 4,500 years before the late 12th century where The Way of Kings begins. This is the battle where the ten Heralds ended the Oathpact, beginning the Era of Solitude, or the modern era. It was judged to be one of the worst Desolations ever, as the enemy - presumably Odium - was 'growing increasingly tenacious'.
The name 'Aharietiam' comes from the Hebrew term Aharit hayamim, literally "the last of days." Aharietiam may be translated into "the last of the day." It is a known term in Judaism synonymous with 'the apocalypse'.
The battle - or perhaps the final battle of several - was fought on a plain of 'misshapen rock', sparse vegetation, and natural stone pillars. The battle left scars, and the descriptions make it seem as though the location of the battle might have been the Shattered Plains.
The enemy forces included thunderclasts. The Knights Radiant are also assumed to have participated (i.e., Surgebinders), and the work of the latter (specifically the Dustbringers) contributed to the damage that was done to the battlefield. The blood of the participants included red (like human blood), orange (like Parshendi blood), and violet (perhaps like the blood of chasmfiends). Some who fought were primitives with bronze-tipped spears, and some were advanced warriors with silver-plated armor.
Another indication that the Final Desolation might have been fought on the Shattered Plains is evidenced in Jasnah's research on the Parshendi. She believes that the Parshendi and the parshmen are descendants of the Voidbringers of legend.
The reader/contributor, Siibt, has theorized that it is likely that the Parshendi were forced to take on stormform in the time of the Desolation, the spren of Odium forcing their way into them. This is evidenced by Eshonai, during the highstorm where the Stormfather talks to her; she tries to abandon the process for taking on stormform but the spren still fights its way into her.
Further potential evidence of this forced enslavement can be noted by the following:
- Eshonai mentioned during Words of Radiance that Gavilar thought they would welcome the return of their gods, confirmed to be the spren of Odium.
- Eshonai mentions that they once had hundreds of forms but abandoned them for dullform to seek freedom, freedom through a dullment. This is likely a reference to the "Last Desolation" where the Parshendi managed, through unknown means, to free themselves of the spren from Odium, resulting in dullform Parshendi and sprenless parshmen.
- Also, in the Words of Radiance: Epigraphs, one of the Listener songs mentions that the [Parshendi] minds are naturally in the spren world and thereby can attain new forms, but the spren's choice of "meat" is men, likely because with men they gain thought, but with Parshendi they have limited actions. Odium likely used this ability of the Parshendi to try and destroy mankind by forcing his spren into them.
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