Kylar Stern
Kylar 'Thaddeus' Stern

Also Known As

Azoth (prior to apprenticing)

  • Kagé
  • The Night Angel
  • Kyle Blackson

First Appearance

Way of Shadows

Last Appearance

Beyond the Shadows


20 (or 21) (Shadows Edge)



Black Dragon Guild


Viridiana Sovari (wife)



  • Black Ka'kari

Kylar "Thaddeus" Stern, originally known as Azoth, was a wetboy from Cenaria City. Kylar was only given the middle name of Thaddeus during a rebuke from Elene Cromwyll for an offhanded comment in front of Ulyssandra Kirena.


Azoth was the jaded product of a childhood spent on the streets scrounging to survive. Originally he was part of the Black Dragon Guild, a poorly established group of adolescent thieves, divided into "Littles" and "Bigs" (young children and adolescents). During Azoth's youth, he was considered a Little, and was therefore frequently an easy target of and at odds with Rat, a Big who acted as the guild's Fist, an enforcer directly under the guild's leader.

Daily life under the circumstances Azoth was born into consisted largely of avoiding confrontation with Rat and similar thugs as best he could, scrounging the means to eat, and struggling to collect money for dues to pay off his questionable 'protection' as a guild member. He dreamed of being apprenticed by a wetboy -- specifically Durzo Blint, considered without argument the best Wetboy in Cenaria -- to escape the harsh life of the Warrens and make something of himself and his two closest friends, Jarl and Doll Girl, the former of whom suffered regular beatings for shortages on guild dues so that he could secretly save money on the side to try and fund Azoth's apprenticeship.

Early on Azoth displayed the characteristics of a just young man born to the wrong circumstances, a heroic soul reared in a world that demanded a thief for survival, but was marked by being too easily frightened by uneven odds and larger, stronger adversaries to do what was needed or what was right; Durzo challenged Azoth to take matters into his own hands but ultimately, Azoth's stalling and indecision cost his friends dearly. Though it was too little too late, the tragedies that befell those close to him finally galvanized Azoth into action, and he succeeded in completing his first kill by orders of Durzo, earning his apprenticeship. Eventually the perceived weakness of inaction was left behind with the name Azoth as the wetboy-in-training adopted his new persona of Kylar Stern.

"Azoth" is later revealed to mean quicksilver, and though his origins and the identities of his birth parents are never expounded upon, it is noted that this is an unusual name for a child of the Warrens. Guild rats such as himself usually tended to have 'slave names' such as Rat, or 'normal names' like Jarl, making a unique and meaningful monicker like Azoth stand out. Quicksilver, or mercury , is notable for its properties of being fluid and changing, and classically symbolizes creativity, elusiveness, movement, perception, and agility. In many of its forms, mercury is capable of causing disfigurement, madness, and lethal poisoning from exposure. In Western Astrology, the planet Mercury , which symbolizes similar concepts of fluidity, changeability, and free-thinking, rules over the two constellations Gemini and Virgo, both of which are associated with creative flexibility and receptiveness, and the latter additionally associated with eloquence and attention to detail. Mercury, represented frequently by the caduceus symbol of a staff wreathed by two intertwined snakes and often a pair of wings, is also the name of a Roman messenger-god of thieves, commerce and travel, the equivalent of the Greek Hermes. All of these traditional symbols and associations give rise to the term 'mercurial' which when used in reference to a person indicates an erratic, unpredictable, and volatile personality.[1]

Kylar SternEdit


Kylar Stern

Upon beginning training as a wetboy, Azoth adopted the new name Kylar Stern, given to him by his master to act as a convenient disguise. The surname Stern was the name of a noble family that made their home well outside Cenaria City, which provided Kylar a convenient pedigree to validate his association with nobles and get him into upper-class functions without risk of being outed as an imposter by the very family he supposedly belonged to. As Durzo's apprentice, he learned the ways of a wetboy, including stealth, disguise, impersonation, combat techniques, strategy, and the use of poisons, as well as the skill of reading his marks for weaknesses and openings.

He was reared largely by Count Drake and his family, educated in the intricacies of politics, presentation, and the manners and bearing of nobility, and was taught to read by Momma K, who also managed his income from his work as a wetboy and made investments on his behalf. During this time, he acted as Doll Girl's anonymous benefactor, watching over her from a distance and providing money to the Cromwyls to pay the expenses of raising the adopted child, whom they named Elene. Elene learned of her benefactor's existence at a young age despite the best efforts of her parents, and took to frequently writing him letters, later revealing that she had fallen in love with the mysterious man who was responsible for providing her a caring and happy home. These letters, however, were withheld from Kylar for years, as one of the stipulations of his apprenticeship to Durzo was that he cut off all ties to his childhood friends lest they become fatal weaknesses later in his career.

It was also during his time among the Drakes that Kylar met Logan Gyre, and at the insistance of Durzo, developed a close lifetime friendship with the young noble that eventually went beyond his original duty of gathering information.

Early in his assocation with Durzo, the black ka'kari chose Kylar to be its new master, though Durzo refused to give up the artifact and Kylar did not learn of this selection or even the existence of the ka'kari for many years. When he finally came into possession of the ka'kari, in addition to allowing him to access his latent Talent it granted him a plethora of unique powers ranging from invisibility to the ability to absorb hostile magic and generate weaponry and tools made of the ka'kari itself. It also granted him a sort of immortality without invulnerability, in the sense that he could (and frequently did) die, but would be returned to life each time at the high cost of exchanging life with an apparently randomly-selected loved one who was doomed to die shortly thereafter to pay for Kylar's return.

Following Logan Gyre's ascension to King of Cenaria, Kylar was charged with treason for killing the previous ruler, Queen Terah Graesin, and died on the wheel for Logan to be crowned King of Cenaria. Once he came back to life, he fought at Black Barrow.

"Kylar" is first revealed to be an archaic word meaning 'to cleave,' which can mean to separate (as in 'cleaving an object in two') or to join (as in 'to cleave to one another in matrimony'), and later to also mean 'on who kills' and 'one who is killed,' in clear reference to the abilities granted to him by the black ka'kari, which exponentially increases his effectiveness as a wetboy and allows him to return from death. "Stern," a word meaning strict, severe, grim, and unyielding, is the name of a noble family outside of Cenaria City; Kylar adopted their surname to give himself some credibility among the nobles he was made to associate with, and a convenient pedigree to allow him into the functions of the upper-class of the city. He is later offered Count Drake's family name in an effort to adopt him into the family and give him a legitimate life outside of assassination, [2]

Romantic InterestsEdit

Elene CromwyllEdit

Elene Cromwyll, or Doll Girl, was Kylar's romantic interest. However, after Vi bonded him in an act of desperation,[3] Kylar could not even touch her without feeling sick and throwing up because it went against the bond with Vi. Vi, guilty at what she had done to Kylar and Elene, concentrated on releasing the bond so Kylar and Elene could touch. Elene became pregnant with Kylar's baby but did not tell him.

Elene left Kylar and went to join Logan's army so Kylar would fight in the upcoming war. After being given the chance to live forever and have a life with Kylar and their child, she was taken by Khali, an old ka'karifier. Khali confronted Kylar, using Elene's body and playing on Kylar's love for Elene to control him. However, Elene overcame Khali and told Kylar to kill her to destroy Khali, and therefore destroying the vir. Kylar was distraught at this, however, he did it and Elene died in Kylar's arms. The baby was thought by most to die with her. However, Vi noticed that Jenine was having twins. Dorian, now mad, grinned at her, confirming her suspicions as only he would be powerful enough to transport the unborn baby into another womb. She chose not to tell Kylar just yet.[2]

Viridiana SovariEdit

There was a mutual sexual attraction between them, and although Kylar found Vi beautiful he is in love with Elene and could not betray her. While unconscious, he was forcibly ringed or married to Vi in order for her to break the compulsion placed on her by her father the Godking. He finds out during the third book that Vi loves him and although Elene had asked Vi to take care of him after she died, it is implied that they might enter a romantic relationship at the last paragraph when Kylar holds Vi's hand at Elene's funeral.[2]

Black ka'kariEdit

The original ka'kari, found by Ezra. He tried to duplicate it but was only able to make inferior copies. Not much is known about it, but it is ancient and extremely powerful. It is sentient in nature, able to engage in small talk with Kylar and Durzo, as well as offer them advice. Furthermore, it also has a sarcastic sense of humor, similar to Durzo's, presumably from spending seven hundred years with him. The black ka'kari, like all ka'kari, chooses its user. The black ka'kari chose Acaleus Thorne and Kylar Stern because of their love of companionship, as the black ka'kari's abilities are based on love. It chose Acaelus Thorne over Ezra and Jorsin Alkestes, as Acaelus lived for the brotherhood shared in battle. After Durzo chose to let Vonda, a woman he was involved with die, the ka'kari abandoned him, as his ability to love was gone. It is known as the Devourer and the Sustainer; it devours everything it touches, including magic, items or clothing, except for the bearer (And certain rare magical items such as Iures the Staff of Law and Curoch the Sword of Power). The black ka'kari allows the bearer to become perfectly invisible to everyone except mages. It is also able to bring the bearer back to life after being killed. In doing so, the sacrifice of new life is ending another's, this person being someone the bearer loved, either as friend or loved one. This death is not immediate but it is imminent.

Behind the scenesEdit

It has been discussed that the theme of the night angel is introduced during the initial book in the first three characters: Azoth, who represents vengeance, Jarl, who represents justice, and Elene/Doll Girl, who represents Mercy. These two influential characters shape Azoth to be who he is.


Trivia Edit

  • Kylar's early life as Azoth in the Black Dragon Guild was based on aspects of the book Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, who Brent Weeks has acknowledged as a literary influence.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. The Way of Shadows
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named bts
  3. Shadow's Edge
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