Telcontar

Heralds in the Prologue

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In the Prologue of WoR, Jasnah meets an Azish man with a white birthmark/scar on his cheek, dressed in black and silver. While it is revealed at the end of WoR that that guy is actually the Herald Nalan/Nin, Herald of Justice, we don't know yet who is his companion (or do we? I don't know at least).

Those two have two topics: first topic is Ash, the second is someone carrying a Blade.

 

Ash

I believe Ash refers to Shallash, who is the 6th Herald. The wiki says her nickname is Ash. Also, the second guy is worrying about her, because she's getting worse. I believe he is referring to Shallash destroying art all over everywhere.

There have been people pointing out that Shallash is probably Baxil's mistress who is destroying art. From the prologue in TWoK we know that the Shallash-statue is missing in the Kholin palace. I suppose Nalan and his companion were strolling around the palace, passing by the statues, noting that the Shallash-statue is missing and that's what made the companion worry about her.

 

The person carrying a Blade

The spelling being 'Blade' instead of 'blade' indicates that they were talking about a Shardblade or an Honorblade. The companion states, that that Blade belonged to 'his Lord':

I don't like this. What we've done was wrong. That creature carries my lord's own Blade. We shouldn't have let him keep it. He-

I suppose they were talking about Szeth. From the prologue of TWoK we know that Szeth saw those two talking to Elhokar, the companion looking nervously around. Also those two were in the corridors when Szeth started his attack. The screaming starts just after Jasnah met them.

 

The identity of the companion

We know by now that Szeth was carrying Jezrien's Honorblade, the Blade giving him the Windrunner-powers. So if the companion was really referring to Szeth, then this would imply that the companion sees Jezrien as his lord. From the Prelude to the SA we know that Jezrien had been a king in his time before becoming a Herald.

This would indicate that Nalan's companion was either a subject of Jezrien back then or that he is another Herald, recognizing Jezrien as their leader.
I'm thinking that the companion is another Herald. He's referring to Ash:

 

She's getting worse. We weren't supposed to go worse. Am I getting worse? I think I feel worse.

So, if Ash is indeed Shallash, a Herald, then the companion, using "we" might be a Herald too. He could just be another survivor of that time, but I think that's highly unlikely. Also the use of Shallash's nickname indicates a familiarity.

 

So, conclusion: those few lines show us three different Heralds. Nalan, Shallash, and a third one. Male, not Nalan, probably not Jezrien, not Taln, so either Kalak or Ishar.

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Their are alot of topics about this but youve pretty much sumed up all the accpeted ideas. I think WoB has confirmed baxils mistress is shalash and scarface is nalan.

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Thanks Garlick, suppose that's what happens when you stay away from the forums for a while.

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WoK is also speculated to have a few more Heralds hidden in the scene as well. During Lifts scene  Darkness makes a reference to Jezrien drooling all over himself. This could easily lead to him being the drunkard that Szeth runs into during the prologue.

 

I can't recall any others off the top of my head at the moment, but i'm willing to bet that throughout the first 5 book prologues we'll get glimpses of the 9 Heralds still around.

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I think it is pretty commonly accepted at this point that Darkness is Nale, his companion is Kalak, and Baxil's mistress is Shalash.  There is reason to believe (but scant hard evidence) that the drunken man is Jezrien.  Talenel was otherwise occupied (i.e. being tortured) and was then released.  The remaining five Heralds (Chanarach, Paliah, Vedel, Battar, and Ishar) have yet to been even tenuously identified in the books, as far as I am aware.

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Kalak for Nale's companion is not as commonly accepted as you make it sound - we are far more confident in Nale and Shalash than in him. But it's still a popular theory.

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Also, Taln is up in the air. Brandon keeps eluding that it may not actually be Taln.

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I thought the assumption was that the drunk in WoK is Ishar because he has such a long beard. Some contend that Kalak was potentially a bridgeman.

I agree that this guy is probably a herald though since he says "we" weren't supposed to get worse. But I wonder, why this assumption of getting worse. Does this imply they were previously going bad and something intervened? Did they make a deal with the Nightmother?

So basically this guy is either Kalak or Jezrien if you believe that Ishar is the bearded drunk. Perhaps it is Jezrien, and Nale considers him crazy, and therefore the comment about drooling. If it's Jezrien he doesn't even know who he is at all.

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Also, Taln is up in the air. Brandon keeps eluding that it may not actually be Taln.

 

Except he also has said since the voidbringers are here Taln has to be here as well.  So the question is then if "Taln" isn't Taln, then where is he, because he has to be here in order for the desolation to occur.

 

I think Taln is just so broken by the torture that he doesn't even know who he really is.  It's been 4500 years, weren't the previous desolations like 500-1000 years in between?  I assume it probably worked as whoever broke first is when the desolation would happen and they all arrived.  

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Very possible. I just wanted to make sure to add in that Taln may very well not be Taln. Brandon is making it too obscure to be sure though. I personally agree with you, but I can't be sure.

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When posting the OP I came upon that drunkard again, the one who might be either Jezrien or Ishar.

About the beard. Ishar ist not the only one having a beard. Jezrien has one. He's described in the Prelude to the SA and his chapter icon represents him with a beard as well. So I'd go with the drooling person in the prologue to WoK as being Jezrien rather than Ishar.

 

As to Taln, remember that the prologues take place 6 years before the apearing of Taln or whoever that is in the Epilogue of WoK. So at the time of the prologue Taln probably was still being tortured. I say probably because you never know of course.

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I once saw a suggestion that Liss the Assassin could be a Herald, possibly Vedel. Very little evidence to back it up, but potentially something to keep an eye out for, kolo?

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I feel the most compelling evidence that the drunk is Jezrien is what the drunk says.

 

"Have you seen me?"

 

Really, Brandon? That's some serious trolling there, if it is Jezrien.

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When posting the OP I came upon that drunkard again, the one who might be either Jezrien or Ishar.

About the beard. Ishar ist not the only one having a beard. Jezrien has one. He's described in the Prelude to the SA and his chapter icon represents him with a beard as well. So I'd go with the drooling person in the prologue to WoK as being Jezrien rather than Ishar.

 

As to Taln, remember that the prologues take place 6 years before the apearing of Taln or whoever that is in the Epilogue of WoK. So at the time of the prologue Taln probably was still being tortured. I say probably because you never know of course.

Taln was almost certainly still being tortured in the prologue. Even if it's not Taln in the warcamps in WoR, we know that the Voidbringers can return once Taln escapes. We may not know where he is in WoR, but if he had escaped back in the prologue why would the Voidbringers wait ten years to show up?
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I get a feeling that the "getting worse" line that's pulled out in the prologue of WoR is hinting at something going wrong with the mentality with the Heralds, and them (minus Taln) becoming the Big Bad of the first half of this series, with Odium showing up (on world, in an epilogue) at the very end of the 5-5 split to take his place as the "ohf*ckohf*ckthisisn'tgood" Super Big Bad Guy of the Stormlight Archive.

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Perhaps I should have been a bit more clear, but I don't think anyone disagrees that Nale's companion is Herald.  Given the three choices (Jezrien, Kalak, Ishar) and the apparent trend of "corruption" of the divine traits, Kalak fits best.  I would be very interested to see any theory which attempts to name the companion other than Kalak, as I think there is a great deal to be learned from Ishar and Jezrien.

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Um, it's Nale, who says "my lord's own Blade", not his companion. Also, "my lord's", not "our lord's", so the other guy isn't a Herald, I think. But he tells Nale to shut up, knowing (I assume that from the dialogue) who he is. Pretty sure of himself, that guy.

 

Looking at what Nale ends up with, I think it may be Vasher. But shouldn't Jasnah recognize him? I'm not sure about the timing. When did Zahel start being a swordmaster for Adolin and generally living in Alethkar?

 

I'm pretty sure Nale's companion is a worldhopper anyway.

 

Edit: OK, sorry, I misread.

Edited by Eri
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Um, it's Nale, who says "my lord's own Blade", not his companion. Also, "mt lord's", not "our lord's", so the other guy isn't a Herald, I think. But he tells Nale to shut up, knowing (I assume that from the dialogue) who he is. Pretty sure of himself, that guy. Looking at what Nale ends up with, I think it may be Vasher. But shouldn't Jasnah recognize him? I'm not sure about the timing. I'm pretty sure he's a worldhopper anyway.

 

No, it's the other one talking.

 

The shorter of the two men--he could have been Alethi--cut off when he noticed Jasnah. He let out a squeak, then hurried on his way. 

The Azish man, the one dressed in black and silver, stopped and looked her up and down. He frowned.

 

If it was Nalan who had been talking, then he would have been the one to walk away, but he didn't. He then sizes up Jasnah and (IMO) notices her surgebinding using the Rosharian equivalent of burning bronze.

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On ‎10‎.‎04‎.‎2014 at 2:03 AM, Kobold King said:

I once saw a suggestion that Liss the Assassin could be a Herald, possibly Vedel. Very little evidence to back it up, but potentially something to keep an eye out for, kolo?

I just read the WoR Prologue again and I'd like to come back to Liss as possibly being Vedel. There may be 'little evidence' but not none, no less I think then for the beggar being Jezrien.

Vedel is known traditionally as 'loving and healing'. Her being an assassin would be the perfect corruption of both.

She definitely has some kind of shardblade. Maybe an honorblade?

Supposing the theory that all Heralds except Taln were at the party is true, we can expect to see her there somewhere. I don't think we'll meet a more likely candidate.

Then there's her ease with different accents:

Quote

She wore a maid's dress - low cut, of course - and could have been Alethi. Or Veden. Or Bav. Depending on which part of her accent she chose to emphasize.
WoR Prologue To Kill p. 23 kindle edition

Like Taln speaking perfect Alethi in spite of looking Makabaki (iirc).

And her words:
 

Quote

"An odd night, brightness," the woman said, "to be engaging in treason."
WoR Prologue To Kill p. 24 kindle edition

What does the run-of-the-mill assassin know about the meaning of that night?

 

Even the 'long dark hair worn loose' (p 23) would fit her picture.
 
One caveat is the fact that Jasnah as employer probably set the meeting. However it's possible to assume Jasnah just asked for a meeting soon and Liss / Vedel suggested treaty night. 

Slightly beside the point: I wonder what Liss is doing at the time of WoK / WoR? Is she still shadowing the queen? Is Jasnah paying her all that time, and has she been willing to do maid's duty for so long?

Anyway: does anyone else think Liss is Vedel, or are there reasons against this?

[Edit: I couldn' find 'Vedeledev's golden keys' (an exclamation made by Kabsal in WoK ch.7 'Anything Reasonable' p. 122 kindle edition) in the Prologue scene, but then, that would be asking too much, wouldn't it? :blink: ]

[Edit 2: I just remembered the Honorblades are accounted for. But then I remembered something else: Taravangian claims one Honorblade granting Regrowth had been stolen. So far I thought he was simply lying to keep Szeth in line. But maybe he wasn't, and Vedel retrieved her blade? However, I'm aware the timeline is fishy. For Vedel to have used her honorblade for assassinations, she'd have to have it retrieved long before Gavilar's murder, and T seems to speak about a recent event. So I guess this theory only works under the assumption that Vedel is using some random shardblade, not her honorblade. One point down. But I still think the theory has merit.]

Edited by Erklitt
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I always thought Taln speaking perfect Alethi was an indicator of the prejudices that have developed over the millenniums.  Just like when Dalinar assumes something is wrong when he sees a leader with dark eyes in the visions.

And there is no regrowth honor blade missing that we know of.  Taravangian made that story up so that Szeth would still believe he was Truthless and not kill them (Taravangian and accomplices) on the spot.

A lot of people seem to remember the "missing" honor blade but not the transparent lie. It's like we want to believe everything Taravangian says is true. :huh:

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On 4/8/2014 at 7:28 PM, garlick said:

Their are alot of topics about this but youve pretty much sumed up all the accpeted ideas. I think WoB has confirmed baxils mistress is shalash and scarface is nalan.

I'm totally calling Nalan that now.  Thanks for the laugh.

Anyways, I remember seeing some speculation that Paliah (I think?) was working in Mr.T's hospital/death factory/soylent green processing plant.  Very scant (if any) evidence, though it would fit with the heralds becoming corrupted.

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22 hours ago, Erklitt said:

I just read the WoR Prologue again and I'd like to come back to Liss as possibly being Vedel. There may be 'little evidence' but not none, no less I think then for the beggar being Jezrien.

Vedel is known traditionally as 'loving and healing'. Her being an assassin would be the perfect corruption of both.

She definitely has some kind of shardblade. Maybe an honorblade?

Supposing the theory that all Heralds except Taln were at the party is true, we can expect to see her there somewhere. I don't think we'll meet a more likely candidate.

Then there's her ease with different accents:

Like Taln speaking perfect Alethi in spite of looking Makabaki (iirc).

And her words:
 

What does the run-of-the-mill assassin know about the meaning of that night?

 

Even the 'long dark hair worn loose' (p 23) would fit her picture.
 
One caveat is the fact that Jasnah as employer probably set the meeting. However it's possible to assume Jasnah just asked for a meeting soon and Liss / Vedel suggested treaty night. 

Slightly beside the point: I wonder what Liss is doing at the time of WoK / WoR? Is she still shadowing the queen? Is Jasnah paying her all that time, and has she been willing to do maid's duty for so long?

Anyway: does anyone else think Liss is Vedel, or are there reasons against this?

[Edit: I couldn' find 'Vedeledev's golden keys' (an exclamation made by Kabsal in WoK ch.7 'Anything Reasonable' p. 122 kindle edition) in the Prologue scene, but then, that would be asking too much, wouldn't it? :blink: ]

[Edit 2: I just remembered the Honorblades are accounted for. But then I remembered something else: Taravangian claims one Honorblade granting Regrowth had been stolen. So far I thought he was simply lying to keep Szeth in line. But maybe he wasn't, and Vedel retrieved her blade? However, I'm aware the timeline is fishy. For Vedel to have used her honorblade for assassinations, she'd have to have it retrieved long before Gavilar's murder, and T seems to speak about a recent event. So I guess this theory only works under the assumption that Vedel is using some random shardblade, not her honorblade. One point down. But I still think the theory has merit.]

Although this isn't conclusive evidence against your theory, these are the reasons I am personally leaning against it. The reason for the comment on the odd night to meet, was due to the successful signing of the treaty. Usually you assassinate someone prior to a treaty being signed as you are trying to prevent it. I believe that was also to highlight why everyone was so confused as to why the Parshendi had Gavilar killed right after the signing. Liss was known as the weeper because she gouged out the eyes of her victims. The revealed reason for this was to hide the burned out eyes of those she killed through use of a shardblade. Jasnah also comments asking where her last assistant is and Liss winces. In the convo it is revealed she sold the servant to a slaver for being too good a servant and creepy "that shin fellow was." and shivered. This implies to me that she had owned Szeth at one point and used him to kill her targets with his honorblade, hence the burned out eyes. If she was the Herald Vedel, then like Nale, she would know that was Jezerien's honor blade and I do not think would be so squeamish. Then again, I have no proof as to why a herald wouldn't be squeamish dealing with Szeth or she could be acting. Just doesn't fit right for me given those pieces of info. 

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4 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

Although this isn't conclusive evidence against your theory, these are the reasons I am personally leaning against it. The reason for the comment on the odd night to meet, was due to the successful signing of the treaty. Usually you assassinate someone prior to a treaty being signed as you are trying to prevent it. I believe that was also to highlight why everyone was so confused as to why the Parshendi had Gavilar killed right after the signing. Liss was known as the weeper because she gouged out the eyes of her victims. The revealed reason for this was to hide the burned out eyes of those she killed through use of a shardblade. Jasnah also comments asking where her last assistant is and Liss winces. In the convo it is revealed she sold the servant to a slaver for being too good a servant and creepy "that shin fellow was." and shivered. This implies to me that she had owned Szeth at one point and used him to kill her targets with his honorblade, hence the burned out eyes. If she was the Herald Vedel, then like Nale, she would know that was Jezerien's honor blade and I do not think would be so squeamish. Then again, I have no proof as to why a herald wouldn't be squeamish dealing with Szeth or she could be acting. Just doesn't fit right for me given those pieces of info. 

I don't think she used Szeth to kill her targets with his Honorblade. She owned him only a short time: she had bragged to Jasnah about her new slave and now had already got rid of him. I don't think she even knew about his honorblade.But she must have used a shardblade for many years in her assassinations to build up that sort of reputation. I think that was her own shardblade which was (for reasons given in my edit2) not her old honorblade. I think she was creeped out by Szeth for the same reasons as his other masters: he was just too obedient, too perfect, too inhuman. I think even a herald could think him odd enough to want him gone, that doesn't necessarily imply squeamishness.

I also don't think Jasnah's wish to have Elhokar's  wife shadowed / assassinated had anything to do with the Parshendi treaty. I take Liss' 'odd night' comment rather as 'why on such a crowded and busy night', not 'why not sooner to prevent that treaty before it happened?'

The best point you make, in my opinion, is the one about the other heralds knowing that Szeth has Jezrien's blade. Why would they know and Vedel wouldn't? But then, I don't imagine the heralds as a nice close group sharing everything, even if they did all come to Kholinar on treaty night. So I think it's conceivable some know more than others. But I admit: Liss' ignorance points rather against this theory. 

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On 4/8/2014 at 7:14 PM, Telcontar said:

In the Prologue of WoR, Jasnah meets an Azish man with a white birthmark/scar on his cheek, dressed in black and silver. While it is revealed at the end of WoR that that guy is actually the Herald Nalan/Nin, Herald of Justice, we don't know yet who is his companion (or do we? I don't know at least).

Those two have two topics: first topic is Ash, the second is someone carrying a Blade.

 

Ash

I believe Ash refers to Shallash, who is the 6th Herald. The wiki says her nickname is Ash. Also, the second guy is worrying about her, because she's getting worse. I believe he is referring to Shallash destroying art all over everywhere.

There have been people pointing out that Shallash is probably Baxil's mistress who is destroying art. From the prologue in TWoK we know that the Shallash-statue is missing in the Kholin palace. I suppose Nalan and his companion were strolling around the palace, passing by the statues, noting that the Shallash-statue is missing and that's what made the companion worry about her.

 

The person carrying a Blade

The spelling being 'Blade' instead of 'blade' indicates that they were talking about a Shardblade or an Honorblade. The companion states, that that Blade belonged to 'his Lord':

I suppose they were talking about Szeth. From the prologue of TWoK we know that Szeth saw those two talking to Elhokar, the companion looking nervously around. Also those two were in the corridors when Szeth started his attack. The screaming starts just after Jasnah met them.

 

The identity of the companion

We know by now that Szeth was carrying Jezrien's Honorblade, the Blade giving him the Windrunner-powers. So if the companion was really referring to Szeth, then this would imply that the companion sees Jezrien as his lord. From the Prelude to the SA we know that Jezrien had been a king in his time before becoming a Herald.

This would indicate that Nalan's companion was either a subject of Jezrien back then or that he is another Herald, recognizing Jezrien as their leader.
I'm thinking that the companion is another Herald. He's referring to Ash:

So, if Ash is indeed Shallash, a Herald, then the companion, using "we" might be a Herald too. He could just be another survivor of that time, but I think that's highly unlikely. Also the use of Shallash's nickname indicates a familiarity.

 

So, conclusion: those few lines show us three different Heralds. Nalan, Shallash, and a third one. Male, not Nalan, probably not Jezrien, not Taln, so either Kalak or Ishar.

I also believe it was confirmed by Brandon that Jezrien is in TWoK, as well as some other Heralds (i.e. Shalash).  So Jezrien has already been shown somewhere, even if it was just in the background and not meant to be noticed.  Also, I agree that they were probably talking about Shalash, I need to reread the prologue because WoR is so long, I may have forgot the exact details of that scene but I can see what you are saying.  I think the Heralds, with the exception of Talenel, are all not what the people of Roshar to expect them to be just off of what Kalak says to Jezrien about how they see them as divinities as well as how they abandoned their pact so they would go back to that "place".  I apologize if I repeat any known theories, I'm new to the series.

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