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The burdens of nine becomes mine. Why must I carry the madness of them all? Oh, Almighty, release me.

Point of view: Dalinar
Setting: The King's feasting island on the Shattered Plains

Dalinar is late to a dinner on the king's feasting island. Upon arrival, he notices a new type of fabrial that gives off heat. He passes by Navani, who turns away when he looks her way. Wit is missing from his usual station on a pedestal to greet incomers. All of the other highprinces are accounted for on the island; they give Dalinar a wide berth ever since he asked each of them to join him on plateau runs.

Dalinar sits at a table and orders food. Most others have already finished and are mingling. Dalinar has been waiting to hear Jasnah's thoughts on his visions and Navani's plan to verify some of the facts from them, but thus far his niece has been silent. He worried that Navani would use his visions against him some way, but realizes she cares for him. However, he doesn't think her affections are properly placed. He doesn't have many friends after inadvertently alienating all the highprinces with his talk of the Codes and banding together. With Sadeas taking over and investigating Dalinar regarding the King's saddle, he has even a wider gap between himself and everyone else.

A hooded Wit sits down next to Dalinar silently. Wit starts speaking about a whirlwind and how they are all a part of it, but don’t notice it. Dalinar doesn't know what he is getting on about and says as much. Wit then asks him if he has heard of the term Adonalsium, which he had not. Wit goes on to say it was a nonsense word and then goes on a tear about pulling a man apart bit-by-bit and then putting him back together like a Dysian Aimian. Wit says you should call such a man like that Gibletish.

Dalinar wonders aloud if that is Wit's real name, but Wit says he has given up his real name, though he can be called Wit or Hoid. He also mentions that Sadeas is planning on some sort of revelation tonight. Wit then tells Dalinar he's leaving and he'll be back if he lives, and maybe even if he doesn't. He leaves Dalinar with these words:

"Watch yourself, Dalinar. Life becomes dangerous, and you're at the center of it."

Dalinar sends an order for Adolin to join him. When Dalinar tells him the news about Sadeas, Adolin wants him to leave immediately, but Dalinar says to instead prepare for the worst and get some of his guards on the island. Adolin does so while also mentioning many of the King's Guard are also loyal to Dalinar. Dalinar passes the time by joining a group speaking with Highprince Hatham. With him are some lesser lighteyes as well as an ardent and a Natan man named Au-nak. Hatham brings up the conflict between the Tukari and Emuli. Dalinar describes it as a religious conflict, but Au-nak said it's more economically motivated and, if anything, religion was a justification, but it was related to money all the same. Au-nak says the was really about Sesemalex Dar, as it is a trade city controlled by the Emuli that the Tukari want. He also adds that Sesemalex Dar must be one of the Dawncities. Dalinar asks if any had heard of Feverstone Keep, which none had. Hatham asks what Devotary Dalinar was part of. The Order of Talenelat is his answer, which Hatham thinks fitting given Dalinar’s dislike of talk of religion. This leads to the ardent questioning the vehemence of Au-nak's devotion to the Vorin religion, if he only follows it when around his Alethi friends for trade reasons. Au-nak takes offense and leaves. Hatham quickly follows and the ardent reveals Hatham asked him to offend the Natan in order to get a trade agreement done quickly. The Ardent tells this to Dalinar to show that he has goodwill towards Dalinar and that they will speak again in the future.

The ardent leaves and Dalinar is joined by Adolin who confirms that their soldiers are in place in case anything should happen. Dalinar decides to confront Sadeas. He walks up to King Elhokar and Sadeas and asks for an update on the investigation into the king's saddle and cut girth. Sadeas at first hesitates, but with the king's urging he reveals his findings as the Highprince of Information. The separate leather workers said it had been cut, and not by accident. Sadeas then brings forth Fin, a groom who works for the king. Sadeas brings up that eight of the infused sapphires in the king's Shardplate had broken during the battle, which was very unusual. It is common to lose a few gemstones during a battle, but not eight. Fin explains that he had prepared the saddle the day of the hunt, but when he saw the horse later it was wearing a different saddle, which could have only been done in the king's complex. That should rule out Dalinar and his men as suspects.

Sadeas concludes that someone was trying to frame Dalinar for attempting to kill the king, and may also have been responsible for putting flawed gemstones in the king's Shardplate. Sadeas reaffirms his belief that Dalinar could not have done any of this, though the real culprit may be someone Dalinar has offended.

Dalinar thanks Sadeas for his findings. Sadeas says he was trying to prove him innocent all along and no matter what people would still talk about Dalinar as a suspect. Sadeas says he still thinks there is someone trying to kill Elhokar and that the same people might be responsible for the chasmfiend showing up when it did. He can't accept eight gems breaking during one battle as a coincidence. Dalinar again says he owes Sadeas and that he was sorry how he treated him the last six years. Sadeas asks if he is still trying to abandon the Vengeance Pact. Dalinar says he had given that up, but that he is tired of fighting and wants to beat the Parshendi for good. Dalinar asks Sadeas to join him on a plateau run. Sadeas isn't interested at first, but Dalinar promises the first Shardblade to him with the first Shardplate to go to Renarin, but that any gemhearts would be split with two-thirds going to Sadeas. Sadeas eventually agrees and tells him to send details by a messenger.

- by Michael Pye[1]

Quote of the Chapter:

"Ally with me," Dalinar said after him.

Sadeas froze.

"You know I’m not going to betray you, Sadeas," Dalinar said. "You trust me as the others never can. Try what I’ve been trying to get the other highprinces to agree to. Jointly assault plateaus with me."

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