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Surge3 Ideal-Essence-3
The order's two Surges: Division (top left),

Abrasion (bottom left) and Ideal/Essence.

Dustbringers are one of the ten orders of Knights Radiant. Dustbringers share Surges with the orders of Skybreakers (Division) and Edgedancers (Abrasion). Chanarach is the patron of this order.

They were first mentioned by Kalak in the Prelude of The Way of Kings.[1]

Smoke curled from the occasional patches of growth or heaps of burning corpses. Even some sections of rock smoldered. The Dustbringers had done their work well.

–Kalak's thoughts in the wake of Aharietiam[1]

They refer to themselves as, and prefer to be called, the Releasers.[2]


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.

–From Words of Radiance, chapter 17, page 11[2]



Artwork by Steve Argyle[1]

As indicated above, the Dustbringers preferred to be called Releasers, and claimed as well to be misjudged because of the nature of their power. When they dealt with others, they were firm in their claim that other "epithets" (i.e., the title "Dustbringers," according to them), were unacceptable substitutions due to their similarity to the title, Voidbringers. They also exercised great anger in great prejudice regarding it.[2]

According to Taravangian, the Diagram explained that the Dustbringers would be the Radiants most likely to accept his and his compatriots' cause. At that realization, Taravangian felt proud, for having actually located one of their number who could bond a spren, because that - by any means - had not been an assured accomplishment.[3]

From Malata's conversation with Taravangian, it can be inferred that Dustbringers bond with ashspren.[4]

According to Pattern, Dustbringers destroy things. This is because their spren like to break what is around them because they want to know what is inside.[5]

Malata confirms this as she states that her spren, Spark, is game for whatever lets her break stuff.[4]

The Shardplate of Dustbringers is likely made up of lesser spren than ashspren.[6]

According to Brandon, Dustbringers have the most variety among Knights Radiant. They and the Willshapers have the most diversity in personalities. Dustbringers are famous for not agreeing with one another about almost anything.[7]

Dustbringers often have squires.[8]


The Surge of Division causes objects - or people - to degrade, burn, or turn to dust. Malata demonstrates this by pressing her safehand against a table. Marks spread out from the point of contact, little swirls of blackness etching themselves into the wood. The scent of burning fills the air, but the flames don't persist if she doesn't want them to.[4]

Known Dustbringers[]

  • Chanarach, (along with Nale of the Skybreakers)[9] is one of only two Heralds to be a member of the order to which they serve as patron.
  • Malata, through Spark, belongs to this order.[5]


Dust Motto


Dustbringer oaths were themed toward responsibility. They were led to understand that the powers they used needed to be properly channeled, much as their own desires and wills needed proper form and shape. As a Dustbringer moved through the oaths, they were taught greater powers of destruction - and are one of the only orders where their abilities weren't all available at the beginning, but instead were delivered slowly, as they made the proper oaths. Each oath led to a greater understanding of power, the nature of holding it, and the associated responsibility.

Dustbringer SA

Artwork by Steve Argyle[2]

Dustbringers - though they sometimes objected to the common name for their order, preferring instead to be called Releasers - are living contradictions among the Knights Radiant. They believe great power requires a strong will to control it. They often attract tinkerers who like to dig down into the shape and soul of a thing, break it, and see what makes it work. However, their oaths are themed toward control - that they need to be able to control, contain, and channel the terrible power inside them. They tend to object to those who focus only on their destructive sides, as they argue that in order to create, one must understand the pieces of the thing they are trying to make. They don't see themselves as being about destruction - though their powers are the most destructive of any order of Knights Radiant. They instead see their nature as being about control, precision, and understanding. In the Knights Radiant, they tend to act as the equivalent of artillery in a modern army. If one wants a large swath of land destroyed or burned, one calls in the Dustbringers. However, they were also often used as sappers, engineers, and strategists.

They attract anyone who likes to take things apart, who likes to know how things work. They also attract those who are a little foolhardy at times - brave soldiers who see themselves as containing and controlling terrible destruction so it won't get out of hand and hurt innocents.[10]

Immortal Words[]

All Dustbringers must speak the Immortal Words of the Knights Radiant, which are a set of rules by which Radiants live. The First Ideal, identical for all orders of Radiants, is used as their motto. Each of the Radiant orders then had an additional number of Ideals that were unique to each order. For the Dustbringers, these Ideals are as follows:

The First Ideal[]

Also known as the Ideal of Radiance.

"Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination."[11]

The Second Ideal[]


–Brandon Sanderson[12]

"I will seek self-mastery."[13]


Brandon has confirmed that the Dustbringers were the third order of Radiants.[citation needed]

When asked which was the hardest Radiant order to conceptualize in terms of virtual or Ideal and powers, Brandon responded with the following:

Cracking how I wanted the Dustbringers to work was probably the trickiest of them all, because I knew that we were going to have (not to give spoilers) some things happening with the Dustbringers that would predispose readers toward them in a certain way that I did not want the Radiant order to exemplify. And I wanted to be sure what I thought the distinction was and why it was possible that they could go in a different direction. (Trying to circumlocute all of these things to not spoil you.) They were the hardest, probably.

–Brandon Sanderson[14]