Stormlight Archive Wiki
<< TWoK Chapter 54: Gibletish / TWoK Chapter 56: That Storming Book >>

A woman sits and scratches out her own eyes. Daughter of kings and winds, the vandal.

Point of view: Kaladin
Setting: The Shattered Plains

Kaladin stands on a plateau on the Shattered Plains, watching as Parshendi forces surround Sadeas's army. He’s sure this will “mean a miserable return trip.” Rock runs up to him and directs his attention to something unexpected: a second army approaching the plateau. The others identify it as the army of Dalinar Kholin, late to the assault because of their slow, mechanical bridges. Kaladin dismisses his bridgeman's talk of Dalinar’s honor, saying he should tell them the story of Amaram someday.

As they watch, Dalinar’s army joins the battle, and it slowly becomes clear that this is an intentional act of cooperation between the two armies. Kaladin briefly considers whether Adolin Kholin, who he saw defend a whore in Sadeas’s warcamp, could be “genuinely selfless in his defense of the woman,” but he pushes the thought aside. The battle won, the bridgemen lead the two armies back to the camps.

Later that day, having been assigned chasm duty due to how quickly the assault team returned to camp, Kaladin and his men scour the dead for weapons, boots, and spheres. His team has already made an amazing discovery: an emerald broam, the highest denomination of currency, in the pocket of a lighteyed officer. Also, in that corpse’s clothes was a bag of chips and marks worth even more than the one precious broam.

The bridgemen have found a fortune that, without serious ingenuity, they will never be able to spend. Many ideas for how to extract the spheres are brought up, including eating and then defecating them. Unfortunately, there are guards watching the latrines, thereby rendering this idea non-functional.

UK edition from Gollancz[]

As Kaladin wracks his brain for ideas, Maps pesters Sigzil to show off his skill as a Worldsinger. He grudgingly agrees, but most of the bridgemen want to hear folk tales, which is not in his job description. Kaladin asks about the city he saw in his dream vision, which Sigzil identifies as Sesemalex Dar. He tells them all about that city, in fascinating detail, but Kaladin is mostly interested in the fact that what he saw in his visions were real. Something magical is happening to him, and it’s growing more and more difficult to deny.

Sigzil begins talking about how different weapons are valued by the nobles of other cultures. Amongst the Emuli, for example, the most noble weapon is the bow and arrow, as it allows its wielder to remove himself as far as possible from the crass act of violence. Kaladin asks if Sigzil knows how to use a bow, and if any were found among the dead, but the answer to both questions is no. He sets the bridgemen to gathering spears, but Teft points out how useless spears will be down in the chasms when it comes time to fight up above.

Syl flies towards Kaladin and tells him that she found a group of Parshendi bodies, and she thinks they have bows among them. Bridge Four heads in that direction, but when Kaladin begins the scavenging, Shen, the parshman bridgeman, hurtles toward him. Teft puts him in a headlock, but Kaladin asks that he be let go. Apparently parshmen always react violently to humans handling their dead. Kaladin says that they have to scavenge anyway, but asks them to treat the dead with respect, as Shen is one of them and it’s going to make him upset.

Sigzil locates a horned Parshendi shortbow, and Maps, a string, and Kaladin reveals the next step of his plan. He wants to shoot an arrow into the bridge above, with a bag of spheres attached. The problem is, none of the bridgemen profess any skill with the bow. When Teft asks how hard it could be, Rock reveals a surprising amount of knowledge. Kaladin is suspicious, but lets the other bridgemen try to come up with ever worse plans until Rock is goaded into intervening. The Horneater takes the bow, shoots a test arrow, and declares that they will take only five spheres, because any more would be too heavy.

The jubilant mood of the bridgemen is interrupted when the idea comes over them that any one of them, especially Shen, might sell the rest out to Gaz. Kaladin quashes this line of thought, saying that they had enough to worry about without focusing on paranoia.

"We’ve faced death together. We have to trust each other. You can’t run into battle wondering if your companions are going to switch sides suddenly."

The men are placated. Syl lands on Kaladin’s shoulder and asks if he wants her to watch the others anyway. He nods.

Rock shoots the sphere-laden arrow directly towards the bridge, where it lodges and holds fast. The men cheer, and Kaladin claps him on the shoulder, but Rock insists once again that he will not use his skills to fight. Kaladin accepts this, and accepts Lopen's earlier offer to covertly buy rope from one of his near-infinite supply of cousins. His plan is beginning to come together.

- by Carl Engle-Laird[1]