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The Diagram is a text King Taravangian has created on various surfaces within his confines (i.e., ceilings, walls, floors, etc., due to his 'curse' given him by the Nightwatcher) during an unparalleled bout of his brilliance - twenty hours of lucid insanity that he didn't remember - which includes instructions for him on how to proceed toward uniting humankind on Roshar.[1] This 'volume' is written in a language he devised, yet doesn't quite understand.

He'd written on it. Babbling the whole time, making connections no man ever made before, he had scribbled all over his walls, floor, even parts of the ceiling he could reach. Most of it had been written in an alien script - a language he himself had devised, for the scripts he had known had been unable to convey ideas precisely enough.[1]

Adrotagia and her scholars had made notations throughout the document, offering theories on what various drawings and lists might mean, but still could make little sense of it.[1]

The Diagram is not perfect; errors, or rather missed guesses ... for however educated, have been caught within it.[1]

According to Taravangian, the Diagram warned that the personalities of the Radiants would introduce great uncertainty to the plans of those committed to it.[2]

According to Brandon, followers of the Diagram have a similar origin as the Sons of Honor, but a different agenda.[3]

Reverently leafing through the pages of the book that is a copy of the Diagram, Taravangian then slips out his belt knife, and begins to cut it up. The Diagram had not been written on paper, and interacting with its transcription bound into codex form must necessarily have influenced the thinking of others. So, to obtain true perspective, he decides he needs the flexibility of seeing the pieces, then arranging them in new ways.[4]

He arranges the cut-out pages, and finds numerous new connections simply by how the sheets are placed next to each other. He then cuts pages down the middle, dividing sentences. When he puts the halves of separate pages beside one another, they make a more complete whole. Ideas he'd missed before seemed to rise from the pages like spren.[4]

Having called for it, upon receiving it, Taravangian uses gum paste to begin sticking fragments of the Diagram to his bedroom walls.[4]

He soon realizes that the document is written in a kind of shorthand. He'd been too impatient to write the actual words. He'd numbered them in his head - alphabetically perhaps - so he could write quickly.[4]

Further, he realizes that the Diagram is a reinforcement of the Dalinar paradigm (i.e., kill Dalinar, or he will resist Taravangian's attempts to take over Alethkar), which had failed.[4]

Another section had been written in meter, as a poem, and presaged that Dalinar would attempt to unite the world. However, the Diagram hadn't seen the effect Renarin would have - he's a completely wild element.[4]

After having worked for hours, pinning up more portions of the Diagram, then scribbling on them as connections came to him, Taravangian determines that Dalinar must not be assassinated. That instead, his coalition must be supported.[4]

Adrotagia concurs, indicating that the Diagram is clear. That the purpose of its creation - since they cannot beat the enemy - is to instead save whatever they can.[4]


The book is a thick one bound in hogshide.[4]


The Diagram is the name for both the book and the organization that studies it.[4]

In the book are pages packed with tiny scrawls, copied - spots, scratches, and all - from the original Diagram room.[4]

List of Epigraphs[]

Text Location Comment
"They will come you cannot stop their oaths look for those who survive when they should not that pattern will be your clue." Coda of the Northwest Bottom Corner: Paragraph 3.
"One danger in deploying such a potent weapon will be the potential encouragement of those exploring the Nahel bond. Care must be taken to avoid placing these subjects in situations of powerful stress unless you accept the consequences of their potential Investiture." Floorboard 27: Paragraph 6. Near the end of Words of Radiance, Graves says, "The Diagram spoke of this. We missed it. We missed it completely! We focused on making certain you were separated from Dalinar, and not on what our actions might push you to become!"[5] Just before this, Kaladin had stated the Third Ideal of the Windrunners, and gained a true Radiant Shardblade (a live spren) and apparently the ability to tap into the Stormlight of a highstorm without being dependent on spheres or gems. This is indeed Investiture.
"Ah​but​they​were​left​behind​It​is​obvious​from​then​ature​of​the​bond​But​where​where​where​where​Setoff​Obvious​Realization​like​a​pricity​They​are​with​the​Shin​We​must​find​one​Can​we​make​to​use​a​Truthless​Can​we​craft​a​weapon" Floorboard 17: Paragraph 2, every second letter starting with the first. "Ah ​but ​they ​were ​left ​behind. ​It ​is ​obvious ​from ​the nature ​of ​the ​bond. ​But ​where ​where ​where ​where? ​Set off. ​Obvious. ​Realization​ like apricity​. They​ are ​with ​the ​Shin. ​We ​must ​find ​one. ​Can ​we ​make ​to ​use ​a ​Truthless? ​Can ​we ​craft​ a ​weapon?"
"Q: For what essential must we strive? A: The essential of preservation, to shelter a seed of humanity through the coming storm. Q: What cost must we bear? A: The cost is irrelevant. Mankind must survive. Our burden is that of the species, and all other considerations are but dust by comparison." Catechism of the Back of the Flowered Painting: Paragraph 1.
"You must become king. Of Everything." Tenets of Instruction, Back of the Footboard: Paragraph 1.
"The Unmade are a deviation, a flair, a conundrum that may not be worth your time. You cannot help but think of them. They are fascinating. Many are mindless. Like the spren of human emotions, only much more nasty. I do believe a few can think, however." Book of the 2nd Desk Drawer: Paragraph 14.
"There is one you will watch. Though all of them have some relevance to precognition, Moelach is one of the most powerful in this regard. His touch seeps into a soul as it breaks apart from the body, creating manifestations powered by the spark of death itself. But no, this is a distraction. Deviation. Kingship. We must discuss the nature of kingship." Book of the 2nd Desk Drawer: Paragraph 15.
"Obviously they are fools The Desolation needs no usher It can and will sit where it wishes and the signs are obvious that the spren anticipate it doing so soon The Ancient of Stones must finally begin to crack It is a wonder that upon his will rested the prosperity and peace of a world for over four millennia" Book of the 2nd Ceiling Rotation: Pattern 1.
"111​825​101​112​712​491​512​101​011​141​021​511​711​210​111​217​134​483​111​071​514​254​143​410​916​149​149​341​212​254​101​012​512​710​151​910​111​234​125​511​525​121​575​511​123​410​111​291​512​106​153​4" Book of the 2nd Ceiling Rotation: Pattern 15. A code that decrypts to: "Hold the secret that broke the Knights Radiant. You may need it to destroy the new orders when they return."
"But who is the wanderer, the wild piece, the one who makes no sense? I glimpse at his implications, and the world opens to me. I shy back. Impossible. Is it?" West Wall Psalm of Wonders: Paragraph 8. "(Note by Adrotagia: Could this refer to Mraize?)"
"One is almost certainly a traitor to the others." Book of the 2nd Desk Drawer: Paragraph 27.
"Chaos in Alethkar is, of course, inevitable. Watch carefully, and do not let power in the kingdom solidify. The Blackthorn could become an ally or our greatest foe, depending on whether he takes the path of the warlord or not. If he seems likely to sue for peace, assassinate him expeditiously. The risk of competition is too great." Writings upon the Bedstand Lamp: Paragraph 4. "(Adrotagia’s 3rd translation from the original hieroglyphics.)"
"1173090605 1173090801 1173090901 1173091001 1173091004 1173100105 1173100205 1173100401 1173100603 1173100804" North Wall Coda, Windowsill region: Paragraph 2. "(This appears to be a sequence of dates, but their relevance is as yet unknown.)"
"There​has​to​be​an​answer​What​is​the​answer​Stop​The​Parshendi​One​of​them​Yes​they​are​the​missing​piece​Push​for​the​Alethi​to​destroy​them​outright​before​this​one​obtains​their​power​It​will​form​abridge" Floorboard 17: Paragraph 2, every second letter starting with the second. "There ​has ​to ​be ​an ​answer​. What​ is ​the ​answer? ​Stop. ​The ​Parshendi. One​ of ​them. ​Yes ​they ​are ​the ​missing​ piece. ​Push ​for ​the Alethi to destroy ​them ​outright ​before ​this ​one ​obtains ​their ​power. ​It ​will ​form ​a bridge."


Now that he is "Todium," and has a limited ability to see into the future, Taravangian can see what the Diagram was an inferior version of making. In other words, the physical Diagram, is no longer necessary to him.[6]