Biographical information
Race Parsh
Gender Male
Status Alive
Physical Description
Hair Color Bald
Eye Color Black
Social Information
Aliases Rlain
Occupation Bridgeman, Spy
Appears in The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance

Shen is a parshman amongst Kaladin's group of bridgemen in Bridge Four. He was placed there by Brightness Hashal as an experiment.[1]


Shen has black and red marbled skin. He is a sturdy, bald man. He has a thickness about him. His fingers are thicker than those of human men, his arms stouter, his thighs wider. He is a little taller than most parshmen, his face a little wider.[1]

The Way of KingsEdit

Shen was placed within a bridge crew to see if parshmen could be trusted to run bridges. The members of Kaladin's crew violently distrusted him, wanting to place him up at the front of the bridge to be hit with an arrow instead of a human. Kaladin refused to allow it, giving the parshman a name and insisting that he was to be treated as a member of the crew.[1]

Shen was upset when the squad scavenged from dead Parshendi, and even more upset when Kaladin used Parshendi carapace as armor during a bridge run to the point where he ended up being left behind on subsequent runs as he would've been catatonic at the sight of it.[2] He was retrieved from Sadeas's camp and brought with the rest of the bridgemen to Dalinar's camp following Sadeas's betrayal and Bridge Four's rescue of Dalinar.[3][4]

Words of RadianceEdit

Shen was asked by the Parshendi to leave Bridge Four and rejoin them.

Before leaving, he told Kaladin his true name, Rlain.

"You are a good man, Captain. I have learned much. My name is not Shen. It is Rlain."

–Shen/Rlain to Kaladin[5]

He eventually returns to the Parshendi, but upon seeing his countrymen (and women) in Stormform, he lingers to warn the Alethi army about the transformation that had occured amongst his fellows. At this point, he had changed to Warform, and is more capable of communication and thought. He was later seen waiting for Kaladin's return at the Oathgate.


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