Stormlight Archive Wiki
Khriss Bota

Fan art by botanicaxu[1]

Biographical information
Ethnicity Taldainian
Nationality Taldainian
Gender Female
Status Alive
Abilities Worldhopper
Appears in The Bands of Mourning, Mistborn: Secret History, White Sand, Arcanum Unbounded

Khriss is one of the lead characters in the original, unpublished White Sand. She's a scholar who stumbles upon a much larger universe than she had bargained for. She is the most knowledgeable individual about just what is going on in the cosmere; more than Hoid, more than Nazh.[1] Khriss concerns herself only with the workings of Investiture and the finer details of each world's magic system.

Khriss is also the employer of Nazh.[2] She is from the world Taldain,[3] and has spent a good portion of her life on the Dayside there,[4] although she's from the Darkside.[5].


On Roshar, Khriss would mistakenly be taken to be of Makabaki origin because she is dark-skinned.[6] She has brown eyes and wears her hair in braids.[7]

While on Dayside of Taldain, Khriss wears a pair of dark, heavy sunglasses as she is unused to the sunlight there. She also wears a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun from her face.[8]

Kelsier observed her in the Cognitive Realm of Scadrial and thought she might've been Terris. He based this on her skin tone, though she certainly wasn't wearing Terris clothing. She wore a sturdy brown dress, with a large leather girdle around the waist, and wore her hair woven into tiny braids.[9]


Khriss is a university-educated scholar and is extremely inquisitive. She seeks to understand and find scientific explanations for all that she can.*


According to Brandon, Khriss doesn't have a lot of reasons to hide. She doesn't mind the attention, usually.[10]


Khriss is a very detail oriented person and takes the time to research very deeply into things, whereas Hoid will often research enough as he needs to know to sound really smart and get what he wants. Again, according to Brandon, it's a matter of depth.[11]

In addition to all Rosharans, Khriss calls what the Fused do Surgebinding.[12]

To Khriss, all magic systems are just science.[13]

Brandon thinks that Khriss is really fascinated by all aspects of Investiture, but that she's more recently been most into the weirdness of Allomancy, for instance things like how speed bubbles work, how weight manipulation works - and how that interacts with mass, and the weird science of all of that that drives the arcanists mad.[14]


Khriss believes that Taldain is one of the most bizarre worlds in the cosmere, a fact that, in turn, feels bizarre to her. She asserts that her world is not grim, and that assumptions otherwise are simple ignorance.[15]



Duchess Khrissalla is from the country of Elis on the Darkside of the Shardworld Taldain.

She was betrothed to Gevaldin - or Gevin, as he tells people to call him in informal settings[16] - who was Prince of Elis, now deceased. Ultimately, she came to Dayside because of him and his beliefs in the supposed Sand Mages there.

Initially unaware of the world beyond her native Darkside, she embarked upon a journey to the Dayside to find those mythical Sand Mages purported to exist by her formerly betrothed.[17]

She discovers on the Lightside that Kenton, whom she'd met previously,[18] is now the Lord Mastrell of the Sand Masters (or Mages, as she's previously referred to them).[19]


Khriss and Nazh were discovered by Kelsier in the Cognitive Realm of Scadrial. Though initially startled by him, the pair enlightened Kelsier on how the events on Scadrial had an effect on the cosmere. They remained quite vague as to why they were there, or about other events elsewhere in the cosmere that are unrelated to the current conflict, which is the demise of Scadrial through its Shards.[20]

Khriss is very curious to see said demise, stating that she'd never seen such in person, but that past deaths were different. That they were each a single, stunning event, the god's power shattered and dispersed. Further, she states that this is more like a strangulation, whereas the others were more like a beheading. She thinks it should be very instructive, but that as much as she would like to witness the death of a Shard, she doesn't dare risk doing so from up close.[21]

She and Nazh left abruptly after Kelsier told them of his meeting with Drifter.[22]

Khriss and Kelsier (as Thaidakar) have since worked together at least once like research partners on paper.[23]


Khriss - along with Nazh and Guyn - is a Worldhopper who resides in this place within the Cognitive Realm.[24] It is possible that Silverlight is the place that is not a cosmere world where many other Worldhoppers reside where there also is a Shard.[25]

Additionally, Khriss was responsible, in part, for the founding of Silverlight University there.[26]



Ashyn is known as a burning world within the Rosharan system, which suffered a cataclysm long ago. People there live in very small pockets of survivability, including the famous floating cities.[27]


Farthest out of the three in the Rosharan system, despite being cold and inhospitable to men, Braize is home to an ecosystem of self-aware Splinters. (The local parlance would call them spren.) Khriss believes that it's possible some of these are actually Cognitive Shadows, but research on Braize is difficult and dangerous, so she'll hold back on theorizing for the moment.[28]

First of the Sun[]

First of the Sun is a member of the Drominad system, which is comprised of three remarkable worlds inhabited by fully developed human societies. (There is also a fourth world in the habitable zone.) All four of these worlds have water as a dominant feature, and the first of these, has a perpendicularity.[29]

Khriss has not been able to discover why, or how, this perpendicularity exists, because there is no Shard residing in the system. Further, she cannot say what is happening, only that this feature must hint at things that occurred in the past of the world. She believes that Investiture is likely somewhere there as well, though she's not yet had a chance to investigate First of the Sun herself. She states that the area around the perpendicularity is extremely dangerous, and that the few expeditions sent there from Silverlight have not returned.[30]


As empty as the Scadrian system has seemed to Khriss, the Rosharan system has always felt crowded to her.[31]

She will not speak on the relationship of Roshar's divergent ecology, as that topic is too large to address in a simple survey. However, she expresses that travelers to the world should be made aware of the storms there, which pose a danger that she believes cannot be overstated.[32]

She warns that not only Roshar, but that the entire Rosharan system, is the current habitation of the Shard Odium on the Physical and Cognitive Realms. Further, she states that this Shard undoubtedly caused the Splintering of Devotion, Dominion, Honor, and perhaps other Shards throughout the cosmere.[33]

Additionally, she states that it's difficult not to feel very small, at times, on this domineering, majestic tempest of a world.[34]

Thus far, she's had Nazh appear on Roshar, but she's been in Shadesmar at various points. So it's entirely possible that she'll appear on Roshar.[35]


As the author of multiple Ars Arcana, Khriss has expressed that Hemalurgy, being primarily concerned with things of the Spiritual Realm, is of great interest to her. She thinks it to be of great interest to the Cosmere as well. She also thinks that there are great possibilities for its use.[36]

Further, she expresses a specific interest in the ability of Metalborn on Scadrial - with the ability to access both Allomancy and Feruchemy - as the mixing of different types of Investiture has curious effects. She references what has happened on Roshar - two powers, combined, often have an almost chemical reaction - and instead of getting out what one put in, one gets something new. Still, she notes, the effects on Scadrial are more subtle than they are when mixing Surges on Roshar. Even so, she is convinced that each unique combination also creates something distinctive; not just two powers, but two powers ... and an effect.[37]

Khriss is convinced that without the Lord Ruler's oppression of technology on Scadrial, the world would have eclipsed all others in scientific learning and progress - all on its own, without the interaction between societies enjoyed by the inhabitants of Silverlight.[38]

Further, she is convinced from her studies that the world itself did not exist before its Shards arrived in the system. Also, that they picked a star with no relevant worlds in orbit, specifically choosing the location because it was empty, so they could place there whatever they wished.[39]

Khriss would challenge one to identify another world, save only Roshar, where one can find such strength of Investiture so commonly in the hands of mortals.[40]

She could fill volumes with her thoughts on Allomancy, Feruchemy, and Hemalurgy. However, she maintains that the one of these with the largest potential impact on the cosmere is Hemalurgy. Useable by anyone with the right knowledge, she says this dangerous creation has proven to warp sols regardless of world or Investiture, creating false Connections that no Shard designed or intended.[41]

From the adaptations (both forced and unforced) of the humans living on Scadrial, to the vast transformations of landscape during her different eras, Scadrial remains Khriss's favorite world for scholarly study in the cosmere. The interactions of her magics with natural physics are multitude, varied, and fascinating.[42]


Khriss believes that the very landscape itself on Sel has become Invested to the point that it has a growing self-awareness, in a way unseen on other worlds in the cosmere. She doesn't know how this happened, or what the ramifications will be.[43]

She's begun to wonder if something greater is happening on Sel than they, at Silverlight University, have guessed. Something with origins lost in time.[44]

She believes that there is a link between entities known as seons and skaze and the puzzle of Sel's nature.[45]


There is a part of her - even after all the intervening years - who instinctively feels that the way of her world is the normal, natural one.[46]

The few visitors to her world that she's met often find it somewhat between striking and garish.[47]

Those people originating from the Darkside of their world consider a uniform darkness (what most might consider a twilight similar to the sky just after a sun has set) to be the natural state.[48]

For years, citizens of Taldain assumed that their Shard, Autonomy, had Invested only the Dayside of their world. It is not as simple as this, though the mechanism is best explained under those assumptions. The Investiture beats down from the sky, and it is absorbed by a microflora that grows like a lichen on the surface of the sand, giving it it's brilliant white color (when fully Invested) or deep blackness (when that Investiture is depleted).[49]


Judging by the records with which Nazh has provided her, Khriss has concluded that some measure of Investiture must have existed on Threnody before the battle between Shards. However, the waves of destruction - carrying ripped-off chunks of Ambition's power - twisted both the people and the world itself.[50]

The larger of the two continents on Threnody has been abandoned to something known as "the Evil," a force that even Nazh can speak of only in vague terms. A creeping darkness, a terrible force that consumed the entirety of the continent, feasting upon the souls of men. I do not know how much of this is metaphoric, and how much literal.[51]

I have visited one of the largest bastions of civilization on the smaller of the two continents, and it feels unfinished - set up haphazardly by refugees fleeing across the ocean, lacking some basic necessities. They focused on making it a fortress first, a home second. This makes sense, as the people there live in constant fear that the Evil will find a way across the ocean.[52]

Or perhaps they fear the spirits of the dead. People on Threnody are afflicted with a particular ailment that - upon death - sometimes turns them into what we call a Cognitive Shadow. I will leave aside the nature of whether or not a Cognitive Shadow is actually the soul of the person - this is a question for a theologian or philosopher.[53]

I can, however, explain what is happening magically. A spirit infused with extra Investiture will often imprint upon that very power. Much as the spren of Roshar become self-aware over time because of people's focus on the Surges as being alive, this excess Investiture can attain the ability to remain sapient after being separated from its Physical form.[54]

Locally they think of these things as ghosts, though really they are instantiations of self-aware (well, in this case, barely self-aware) Investiture. This is an area deserving of more research. Unfortunately, visiting the world is difficult, as there is no stable perpendicularity - only very unstable ones that cannot be predicted easily, and have a somewhat morbid origin.[55]


As a Worldhopper, Khriss is able to be on Scadrial at the moment of Preservation's demise. She and Nazh claimed Preservation was dying a slow death, the first they'd seen without a shattering.[56]

"I’m very curious to see," Khriss said. "I’ve never viewed it in person, and the past deaths were different. They were each a single, stunning event, the god’s power shattered and dispersed. This is more like a strangulation, while those were like a beheading. This should be very instructive."

–Khriss to Kelsier[57]

She is well aware of the manner in which other Shards were shattered, but it seems she was not on each their Shardworlds at the time to witness each their demises.[58]



Khriss has been confirmed as the writer of the Ars Arcanum in each cosmere novel, and, within Arcanum Unbounded, Khriss has an introduction to several cosmere worlds, plus a map of several solar systems within the cosmere.[59]

While she is influential within the university on Silverlight, Khriss is not a member of the 17th Shard group.

Khriss wants to know what happens in the Beyond, followed secondly by, how can one get Stormlight off of Roshar.[60]


  • In The Bands of Mourning, Khriss is the woman who questions Wax on his abilities at the ball in New Seran on Scadrial. She stole a dance with him and asked him questions about his powers and how they related to physics. She was also mentioned in a broadsheet ad, which informed people who hear talking tools to contact Khriss and Nazh. [61]
  • In Secret History, and as indicated above, Khriss is on Scadrial with Nazh at the moment of Preservation's demise.[62]
  • In White Sand, on the world Taldain, Khriss is a mysterious Darksider who hides secrets of her own. The weak Sand Master, Kenton, forges an unlikely partnership with her.[63]



Nazh is in the employ of Khriss, to whom he delivers information on Shardworlds in the forms of cartography and glyphs. He is extremely knowledgable about the cosmere, though not as knowledgable as his employer.[64] Still, Khriss lets him do the hard jobs.[65]


Guyn is a scholar and celestial cartographer from Silverlight mentioned by Khriss in her essay on the Scadrian System.[66]


Khriss was engaged to this prince of Elis before she first left Darkside. They were close enough that she organized an expedition to find him after his disappearance on Dayside. She discovered his alter-ego, Nilto, and asked him to return to Darkside with her, but he refused. Gevalden said that he and she had both changed too much to do so.[67]


Hoid thinks well of Khriss.[68]


*Brandon has described her as a research scientist.[69]

Khriss is at least hundreds - if not thousands - of years old. (Worldhoppers have methods to prevent aging.) She likely benefits from relativistic effects.[70]

When asked in just what order of Knights Radiant Khriss would belong, Brandon responded that Khriss could fit into several different orders. That she's most obviously an Elsecaller, but he doesn't want Elsecallers to be the only scholar order. Further, that there could be a scholar in basically any order.[71]


Since spren are intimately tied to Surges on Roshar, Khriss and the ardent Geranid would likely get along.

Q&A with Brandon[]

Q. Is Khriss a reliable narrator?

A. Yes, Khriss is reliable. She doesn't know everything, so there are some things that she doesn't quite get right. But she usually will acknowledge, "I'm not sure about this." Okay?

Q. Okay, cool.

A. You can trust Khriss as much as you can trust most experts in their field.[72]

Q. Is Khriss planned to be a major character in the future of the cosmere, or will she be more of a behind-the-scenes source of knowledge?

A. I do plan some more - some actual Khriss stories. I mentioned I had a Silverlight story in the back of my head - she would have been one of the viewpoint characters of that if I ever get to write it. She will be in the background of most everything, but I do plan a few stories, that will have her. She will come the forefront the more the cosmere comes to the forefront, and more interaction between them.[73]


  1. Khriss
  2. Nazh
  3. Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 43,, 6/18/15
  4. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 18
  5. FanX 2021, 9/16/21
  6. Cosmere Discussion, 17th Shard, 3/13/14
  7. White Sand, Ch. 3
  8. White Sand, Ch. 3
  9. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 262
  10. GenCon 2017, Indianapolis, IN, 8/17/17
  11. Book signing, Manchester, UK, 8/6/14
  12. Shardcast Interview, 1/23/21
  13. YouTube Livestream 36, 10/7/21
  14. YouTube Spoiler Stream 3, 12/16/21
  15. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 369
  16. White Sand, Ch. 5
  17. White Sand, Ch. 3
  18. White Sand, Ch. 3
  19. White Sand, Ch. 6
  20. Arcanum Unbounded, pg.266
  21. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 266
  22. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 266-268
  23. JordanCon 2021, Atlanta, GA, 7/16/21
  24. Excerpt from Arcanum Unbounded
  25. Book signing, Huntington Beach, CA, 3/5/14
  26. Book signing, San Francisco, CA, 11/15/17
  27. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 535
  28. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 535
  29. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 477
  30. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 477-478
  31. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 535
  32. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 536
  33. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 536
  34. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 536
  35. FanX 2021, 9/16/21
  36. The Alloy of Law
  37. Shadows of Self
  38. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 151
  39. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 151
  40. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 152
  41. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 152
  42. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 152
  43. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 18
  44. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 18
  45. Arcanum Unbounded, pg.18
  46. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 369
  47. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 369
  48. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 369
  49. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 369
  50. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 417
  51. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 417-418
  52. Acanum Unbounded, pg. 418
  53. Arcanum Unbounded, pg.418
  54. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 418
  55. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 418
  56. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 266
  57. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 266
  58. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 266
  59. Ars Arcanum
  60. FanX 2021, 9/18/21
  61. The Bands of Mourning
  62. Secret History
  63. White Sand
  64. Book signing, 3/11/14
  65. FanX 2021, 9/18/21
  66. Arcanum Unbounded, pg. 152
  67. White Sand
  68. Arcanum Unbounded release party, Provo, UT, 11/22/16
  69. Book signing, London, UK, 8/4/14
  70. JordanCon 2016, Atlanta, GA
  71. YouTube Livestream 39, 2/1/22
  72. Book signing, Hoboken, NJ, 12/3/16
  73. DragonCon 2019, Atlanta, GA, 8/29/19