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The love of men is a frigid thing, a mountain stream only three steps from the ice. We are his. Oh Stormfather ... we are his. It is but a thousand days, and the Everstorm comes.

–Collected on the first day of the week Palah of the month Shash of the year 1171, thirty-one seconds before death. Subject was a darkeyed pregnant woman of middle years. The child did not survive.

Point of view: Szeth
Setting: Kholinar, 5 years before Chapter 1

Szeth-son-son-Vallano, Truthless of Shinovar, is sent by the Parshendi to kill King Gavilar the day a treaty is being signed between the Kingdom of Alethkar and the Parshendi. He doesn't know why he is being sent to kill the king, or why the Parshendi wish to betray a treaty not even a day old, but he obeys his orders. He has been instructed to kill the king, and to make sure he is seen doing it in a very violent way. He uses his abilities as a Surgebinder (something that hasn't been seen in ages), as well as his Honorblade, to massacre dozens of soldiers and breach the king's chambers. Inside, he finds a Shardbearer in Shardplate and with a Blade ready to confront him, along with a multitude of soldiers. While Szeth is fighting the Shardbearer, he realizes that he is fighting the king himself, and eventually slays him with a powerful Lashing[1] from an outside balcony, causing Gavilar to fall and collapse. As he is dying, Szeth tells him that he was sent by the Parshendi. The king is surprised and confused, but asks that Szeth tell his brother, " ... he must find the most important words a man can say ... ", and gives him a small, and glowing black orb.[2] Gavilar then dies, and Szeth (who, through his heritage, regards dying requests as sacred) writes Gavilar's message in his own blood on a slab of wood before he escapes into the night.


Character Type Description
Szeth POV Assassinates King Gavilar.
Dalinar Appeared Slumped over drunk, refusing to go to bed.
Jasnah Mentioned Szeth wonders where she is.
Elhokar Appeared Is seated at the head of the table in the King's absence.
Jezerezeh Mentioned Szeth begins reciting the names of the ten Heralds.
Ishi Mentioned Szeth begins reciting the names of the ten Heralds.
Kelek Mentioned Szeth begins reciting the names of the ten Heralds.
Talenelat Mentioned Szeth begins reciting the names of the ten Heralds.
Shalash Mentioned Szeth wonders why her statue is missing.
Gavilar Appeared Is killed by Szeth.
Sadeas Appeared (unnamed) Decoy for the King. Mentioned as possible hirer of Szeth.
Thaidakar Mentioned Gavilar believes he has hired Szeth.
Restares Mentioned Gavilar's second guess at who hired Szeth.


  1. Ars Arcanum
  2. Szeth hides it later in Jah Keved