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Skyward Seattle signing ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

Do the Dustbringers have a propensity toward evilness?

Brandon Sanderson

I would not call them evil, but certain members of the Knights Radiant would say they're on the edge, and did not get along with them. Let's just say Skybreakers have not gotten along with Dustbringers, even though they are very near each other in a lot of ways.

The Ten Orders of Knights Radiant ()
#3 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Dustbringer

I will seek self-mastery

Dustbringer oaths were themed toward responsibility. They were led to understand that the powers they used needed to be properly channeled, much as their own desires and wills needed proper form and shape. As a Dustbringer moved through the oaths, they were taught greater powers of destruction—and are one of the only orders where their abilities weren’t all available at the beginning, but instead were delivered slowly, as they made the proper oaths. Each oath led to a greater understanding of power, the nature of holding it, and the associated responsibility.

Dustbringers—though they sometimes objected to the common name for their order, preferring instead to be called Releasers—are living contradictions among the Knights Radiant. They believe great power requires a strong will to control it. They often attract tinkerers who like to dig down into the shape and soul of a thing, break it, and see what makes it work. However, their oaths are themed toward control—that they need to be able to control, contain, and channel the terrible power inside them. They tend to object to those who focus only on their destructive sides, as they argue that in order to create, one must understand the pieces of the thing they are trying to make. They don’t see themselves as being about destruction—though their powers are the most destructive of any order of Knights Radiant. They instead see their nature as being about control, precision, and understanding. In the Knights Radiant, they tend to act as the equivalent of artillery in a modern army. If you want a large swath of land destroyed or burned, you call in the Dustbringers. However, they were also often used as sappers, engineers, and strategists.

They attract anyone who likes to take things apart, who likes to know how things work. They also attract those who are a little foolhardy at times—brave soldiers who see themselves as containing and controlling terrible destruction so it won’t get out of hand and hurt innocents.