<< TWoK Chapter 72: Veristitalian / TWoK Chapter 74: Ghostblood >>

Point of view: Kaladin
Setting: The Shattered Plains; Dalinar's Warcamp

Kaladin considers his emancipation, and asks Sylphrena whether he should trust Dalinar. Syl says that Dalinar is a good man, despite having carried a Shardblade. She can’t say why, but Blades feel wrong to her, and his getting rid of one has made him a better man. Kaladin wonders about his own morals. He attacked the Parshendi Shardbearer from behind, which bothers him. Even though he knows a warrior should only worry about survival, he knows he follows a number of personal tenets that detract from that goal.

Syl found the killing in the battle hurtful, and Kaladin asks her how he can hold to the Radiants' ideals. He had to kill to save Dalinar, but the rules say he “shouldn’t do terrible things to accomplish great ones.” Syl doesn’t have any answers for him.

Dalinar approaches, and they hash out the terms of his employment. He and the men of Bridge Four will become Dalinar and Elhokar's bodyguards, to protect them from all the angry lighteyes they’re about to incite. Kaladin will train the rest of the bridgemen who agree to stay as soldiers, who will only be assigned to patrolling and keeping the peace, not plateau runs, since Kaladin finds himself regretting all the dead Parshendi. Kaladin himself will be promoted to captain, and will be entirely outside the normal chain of command, reporting only to Dalinar.

Once all this is settled, Dalinar gives Kaladin the cloak he wore into battle.

“Every man who wears my colors,” Dalinar said, “is of my family, in a way. The cloak is a simple gift, but it is one of the few things I can offer that has any meaning. Accept it with my gratitude, Kaladin Stormblessed.”

Kaladin heads back to Bridge Four’s new barrack, but finds it empty. Smelling smoke, he tracks down his men, sat around a campfire. They’re listening to Teft's stories while Rock cooks them a stew. When Kaladin asks why they aren’t inside resting, they say it didn’t feel right to go to bed before taking part in their traditions.

Bridge Four piles questions on Kaladin, and despite his fears, they seem totally enamored of his new and magical powers. Sigzil immediately demands a scientific method, while Lopen focuses on the capacity to use these new powers to impress women. Many want to learn from him how to inhale Stormlight, and they demand a demonstration.

Kaladin looks around his men, all twenty seven of those who’ve survived, and feels some relax inside of him. He has saved his friends.

- by Carl Engle-Laird[1]

Quote of the Chapter:

It kept you alive, gancho, Lopen said. The only thing I’d be alarmed about is how irresistible the women would find it. ‘Lopen,’ they’d say, ‘you only have one arm, but I see that you can glow. I think that you should kiss me now.’
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