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Possible Worldhopper Sighting


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This forum allows spoilers, I believe, but just in case, possible spoilers below for Stormlight (through Oathbringer), Bands of Mourning, and Shadows for Silence.


I was going down a rabbit hole today trying to work on a theory about the Vanrial - the order of artists on Roshar who lived on the slopes of the Silent Mount in Jah Keved and kept the Dawnchant alive - when I instead stumbled upon and switched my focus to, our old friend Rial.

Rial, you may recall was a member of Bridge Thirteen, and one of Dalinar's guards in Oathbringer. He drew attention because of some idiosyncratic speech patterns and because he rolled a sphere across his knuckles (I think Wax does this with a coin at one point). Brandon has RAFO'd questions about whether he's a worldhopper. Here's a summary of the pertinent descriptions we get in OB:

  • He spoke with a slow drawl - a Koron accent from near the Sunmaker Mountains in central Alethkar (OB 16)
  • Clean-shaven, he was a little pale for an Alethi and had dark brown hair. (OB 16)
  • He liked to roll a sphere across his knuckles in what Dalinar found to be a distracting way (OB 16)
  • When telling Dalinar his name, he raised his hand and "gave a precise salute, so careful it could have been given by one of Dalinar's finest officers, except he maintained the same lazy expression." (OB 16)
  • He gives Dalinar a hard time about walking through Urithiru alone when Dalinar has said that no one should walk around Urithiru alone; Dalinar asks where he got this habit of questioning officers (OB 16)
  • Rial responds that it's not a habit if he only does it once; when pressed by Dalinar on whether he's ever questioned any officer more than once, Rial responds cheekily, saying the previous times don't count because "I'm a new man. Reborn in the bridge crews." (OB 16)
  • In a later scene, Rial salutes again and, curiously, this time he's described as a "leathery, dark-skinned man" (OB 58)
  • Dalinar tells him he doesn't have to salute every time; he also sniffs Rial's canteen checking for alcohol. It's implied that on some previous occasion Dalinar had chastised him for having alcohol in his canteen. It's clean this time but Rial admits to still having alcohol; just in a flask instead of his canteen (OB 58)
  • Navani responds to this situation by suggesting that Dalinar get someone else to guard him, saying "That greasy man is ... unfitting." But Dalinar likes him, says he reminds him some of his friends from the old days (drinking buddies?) (OB 58)

So, armed with these descriptions, I went hunting in my other cosmere books to see if I could find any other possible sightings. I came up with two.

1. Shadows for Silence

During the final framing sequence in the bar, Daggon is again talking to the guy who calls himself Earnest. They're discussing the "revelations" about the White Fox, and then there's this:


“They say that this Theopolis spent his last strength killing Chesterton,” Earnest said, “then dragging him into the hole. Theopolis withered before he could get to his silver powder. Very like the White Fox, always determined to get the bounty, no matter what. We won’t seen see a hunter like him again.”

“I suppose not,” Daggon said, though he’d much rather that the man had kept his skin. Now who would Daggon tell his tales about? He didn’t fancy paying for his own beer.

Nearby, a greasy-looking fellow rose from his meal and shuffled out of the front door, looking half drunk already, though it was only noon.

Some people. Daggon shook his head. “To the White Fox,” he said, raising his drink.

Why is the highlighted line in there? I can't figure out any relevance to the story. But we do have someone fond of drink and described as greasy-looking. Both matches for Rial. Not a lot to go on, for sure, and Threnody is of course notoriously hard to get to. But just wanted to make the connection and put it out there.

2. Bands of Mourning

In chapters 12-14 of BoM, while Wax is at a fancy party, Wayne and Marasi go on a side quest to a graveyard, hoping to find a piece of ReLuur's body containing a hemalurgic spike. This brings them into contact with a gravekeeper named Dechamp, who seemed to go for Wayne and Marasi's bribe, but also likely sold them out to the Set. Wayne and Marasi get attacked by hired goons during the attempted grave robbery. Here's the scene where they first meet Dechamp:


A greasy little man with a blond ponytail whistled to himself beside the hut, sharpening his shovel with a whetstone. Who sharpens a shovel? Marasi thought as Wayne presented himself, chest thrust out, improvised cane before him as if he were some grand attendee at a ball.

“And you are,” Wayne said, “bein’ the one call Dezchamp?”

“Dechamp,” the man said, looking up lazily. “Now, now. Did I leave the gate open again? I supposed to be closin’ the thing each night. I’ll have to be askin’ you to leave this premises, sir.”

Later, during their time with Dechamp, he pulls out a flask, which he refuses to share with Wayne. After the betrayal, Wayne finds Dechamp's stash of booze hidden in the floor of the hut at the entrance to the graveyard. So we've got another greasy fellow, rather fond of drink, who looks at Wayne lazily (Rial looked at Dalinar with a lazy expression). Obviously the hair color is not a match, but that's an easy thing to change. Again, it's not a lot to go on, but maybe there's something there? If they are the same person, it doesn't seem likely there'll be more world hopping in store after BoM, because Dechamp dies during the attack on Wayne and Marasi. (He did say he was "reborn" in the bridge crews, but that would have been before the events of BoM).

One last small thing I noticed that might show a connection to Roshar. At one point, while talking to Dechamp, Wayne adopts an accent similar to Dechamp's. Here's how Marasi describes it:


Wayne had exaggerated his accent to the point that Marasi had to pay strict attention to make out what he was saying. Beyond that, there was a more staccato sense to it. More stressed syllables, more of a rhythm to the sentences. It was, she realized, very similar to the accent the gravekeeper was using.

Again, could be pure coincidence, but I've been conditioned by Stormlight to perk up every time someone seems to be speaking rhythmically.

So that's it. That's what I found. Maybe something, maybe I'm grasping at straws, or maybe Brandon just has a thing about describing boozehounds as greasy (not a totally inaccurate description).

Interested in others' thoughts.

Edited by mdross81
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1 hour ago, Oltux72 said:

"A greasy little man" by Scadrian standards would be a dwarf on Roshar. Who would put a dwarf into Dalinar's guard and why does he nobody mention his stature?

That’s a really good point that I hadn’t considered; the relative stature of humans on Scadrial and Roshar. Certainly casts doubt on Dechamp and Rial being the same person.


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