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Syl offered to cut off their bond, but it would leave them both crippled. However, Kaladin decided to accept the responsibility that Surgebinding represented and use the power to help others. Their training was interrupted when Hashal came to visit. They would no longer get the normal break between runs, a further reprisal for the side carry incident, and would now do chasm duty at night. Responding to the increased danger this change brought, Kaladin came up with a plan to use the skins of dead Parshendi found in the chasms as armor. In order to bring the armor out of the chasms, Kaladin successfully managed to use his powers to run up a wall and attach the armor to the underside of the permanent bridge they originally used to hide the spheres.
During one of the next bridge runs, Kaladin donned the carapace armor and ran ahead of the bridge crews, drawing the attention of the Parshendi. The desecration of a Parshendi corpse enraged the warriors who focused all of their efforts on Kaladin, ignoring everyone else on the battlefield. Drawing in Stormlight , Kaladin dodged arrows, his muscles reacting quickly. While Bridge Four was resting and watching Kaladin treat a Thaylen man, a group of Parshendi soldiers attempted to ambush them. However, Dalinar Kholin came to their rescue and saluted them as he left.
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Given the success of the carapace armor, Matal gave Kaladin permission to outfit all of Bridge Four in the armor, with his wife Hashal claiming it was her idea the entire time. He set Leyten , an apprentice armorer, to work on making the sets of carapace armor with the help of the wounded men. Ten days later, on Tanatashev , Bridge Four participated in the Battle of the Tower , where the combined armies of Highprinces Sadeas and Dalinar assaulted the Tower.
By this time, they had not only perfected using the carapace armor and large wooden shields, but they had made enough sets to outfit the entire unit. Kaladin led the charge, staying in front of the other decoys, trying to distract the Parshendi forces as best he could.
Five bridge crews dropped, slaughtered right where they ran. Skar and Teft both suffered injuries, which Kaladin tended to once they reached the Tower. Once Kaladin finished, he surveyed the battlefield and to his surprise, Sadeas was retreating.
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At first, he thought something must be wrong, but then he quickly realized that Sadeas had set up a trap, abandoning Dalinar and his men on the Tower with no means of escape. As Kaladin carried the bridge, he had the idea of using the battle to escape, allowing the army to think that his men had been killed. Once Matal agreed to leave them behind, Kaladin explained the details of the escape to the men and offered to stay behind with the wounded men.
Bridge Four protested, but Kaladin commanded them to stick to the plan. However, there was more than just the wounded men plaguing him. Looking back to the Tower , he watched as Dalinar and his men continued fighting. The men of Bridge Four asked if there was anything they could do, but Kaladin refused, claiming it would be suicide. Syl , who had taken up the form of a full-sized person, spoke up and revealed that she remembered being an honorspren , a spirit of oaths, promises, and nobility.
He was filled with one purpose only and that was to protect. He ran ahead, dodging arrows, but he quickly realized something was wrong. Syl drew his attention back to Bridge Four and the many arrows pointed at their unshielded flank. Reaching his crew, he turned just in time to see more archers behind them drawing for a large volley. He screamed and threw every bit of Stormlight he could into his shield, pulling over a hundred arrows into it. Seeing what Kaladin had done, both groups of Parshendi that had released volleys turned and fled. Knowing that Kaladin was in no condition to run the bridge, Moash led the rest of the men onwards to help Dalinar.
Kaladin crawled to the edge of the chasm and asked Syl if she could help make him stronger, who shook her head. As he listened to the sounds of war and death around him, he was transported back to the most horrible of days, the day Tien died. When he snapped out of his trance, Syl asked him if he knew the Words. Wanting to save his men, Kaladin took up a spear and spoke the Second Ideal of the Windrunners , progressing his path to becoming a member of the Knights Radiant.
Kaladin fought with amazing prowess, his natural talents enhanced to unnatural levels by Stormlight. He single-handedly engaged and defeated dozens of Parshendi. During the brief respite, the bridgeleader checked on his men, learning they had suffered three casualties and several injuries. Kaladin organized the retreat, putting Teft in charge of the bridgemen and keeping Moash by his side. Upon closer inspection of the Alethi soldiers, Kaladin realized that neither Highprince Dalinar nor Adolin were with them.
Heading back to the front lines, Kaladin found the Cobalt Guard , the group sworn to protect Adolin, still fighting. However, Adolin refused to leave without his father. Kaladin convinced him to go with Moash while he went to retrieve Dalinar. He leapt over the chasm to where Dalinar was fighting with Eshonai , both of whom were utilizing a full set of Shards. Fighting a Shardbearer for a second time, Kaladin rescued Dalinar and retreated with what remained of his army.
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Dalinar commended Kaladin for his actions and promised that he would ensure their safety from Sadeas. When they arrived back at the warcamps, Kaladin and the rest of Bridge Four accompanied Dalinar to confront Sadeas. Dalinar offered to pay an exorbitant sum of money, sixty emerald broams each, for the freedom of the bridgemen, but Sadeas refused. With the deal made, Dalinar walked up to a shocked Kaladin and instructed him to gather the men he left behind and return to his warcamp.
Later that night, Dalinar offered to make the bridgemen soldiers in his army, with Bridge Four becoming his personal guard. Kaladin accepted an appointment to the rank of captain, agreeing after Dalinar promised him an extraordinary amount of authority and autonomy for a darkeyes. After the massive casualties at the Battle of the Tower , Kaladin was tasked with turning the remaining bridgemen into a standing army.
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He promoted Teft , Moash , Skar , Rock and Sigzil to lieutenants, a rank between captain and sergeant, to form a command structure for a thousand men. More specifically, Kaladin named Rock quartermaster, with Lopen as his second, and appointed Sigzil to be their clerk as he was the only one who could read glyphs.
He put Teft in charge of training, suggesting that he combine the remaining bridgemen into twenty crews and train two members in each to go back and train the others. Kaladin promised a few men to assist Teft, but explained that would have to do as most of Bridge Four , including Moash and Skar, would be needed to keep Dalinar alive. Without the highprince, Kaladin feared that the bridgemen would just be sold back to Sadeas by his successor. With word spreading that the emperor of Azir was dead at the hands of the Assassin in White , Kaladin reminded Teft that the assassin had already killed Gavilar and they just had to hope he was done.
Regardless, they had to protect Dalinar at all costs. Once in agreement, they rounded up the rest of the men in Bridge Four and went to get their slave brands covered with tattoos. Kaladin sighed, realizing he was unconsciously holding Stormlight in his veins. He banished the Stormlight and she tried again, the ink taking this time. He looked in the mirror, seeing his slave brands covered up for a moment.
Syl landed on his shoulder and he unconsciously sucked in Stormlight which melted the tattoo. The tattooist cursed again and picked up her rag, preparing to try again.
However, Kaladin insisted that it was fine and tossed a small bag of spheres to the tattooist. While the men eagerly tried on their uniforms, Teft hesitated, unsure if he deserved to wear something like this again. Kaladin objected, saying the uniform was what he was and not to let the slave rule him. Teft countered, asking Kaladin when he was going to admit he was doing the same thing. Teft tried to convince him that he needed to show Dalinar that he was a Surgebinder and a lighteyes. Dropping the subject, Teft put on his uniform and joined the others.
With the uniforms sorted out, the men cut off the insignia of the Cobalt Guard, declaring themselves Bridge Four. Kaladin set up rotations to protect Dalinar , always assigning himself, Moash , or Skar for the Blackthorn. After a small council, Dalinar wished for Kaladin and his best men to take on more duties extending to protecting Navani , his sons and eventually King Elhokar himself. Kaladin worried that his men were stretched thin, but Dalinar said he was not alone in that problem. She exclaimed that not only was it a wonderful idea, but she was jealous that he thought of it first.