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OK, this power is a bit weird. Apparently sand mastery works through lichen or something in the sand that feeds on sunlight (recharging it between uses) and water from the Sand Master (at the time of Sand Mastery being used). This lets the Sand Master manipulate the white sand physically. So far this seems like a very biological, ecological, "cycle of nature" kind of magic system.

But then there's Slatrification. Really powerful sand masters can turn white sand into water. How does that work? Does the lichen die upon transformation? I suppose that in itself wouldn't be problematic, since as a living thing presumably it can multiply and spread back into areas it's been killed out of. But... does the water ever turn back to sand? If not, will the Dayside eventually run out of white sand, or sink into the ocean as its land is slowly transformed into water?

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I've been of the impression that it might be similar to Paolini's Inheritance saga (Eragon). He calls up the water from the deep sand.

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1 hour ago, AnanasSpren said:

I've been of the impression that it might be similar to Paolini's Inheritance saga (Eragon). He calls up the water from the deep sand.

Actually this is impossible, the ability to Slatrification is something usable everywhere with the White Sand...Not only in the Deep Sand.

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1 hour ago, Yata said:

Actually this is impossible, the ability to Slatrification is something usable everywhere with the White Sand...Not only in the Deep Sand.

By deep sand, I actually meant deep under the sand, beyond the arid surface layers, not the actual place. By brain farted on the actual phrasing x)

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ooooh understood. I still think it not work in that way, but now at least as more sense.

Notice that almost everywhere (except of course the Deep Sand) there is a net of water just above your feet...But I really don't think you tap from that net or the net's source when you Slatrify. It's something too hallow to be something so simply (sure Sand Masters are quite arrogant jerks therefore I will not rule it out).

It seems that a Mastrell may actually take some Sand (I don't remember if Black or White sorry) and turn it into water (probably killing the lichen and release the water in them)

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Maybe the lichen becomes water, and because of the power released the sand goes elsewhere?

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No clue what the mechanics are supposed to be, but I'd like to point out that there is plenty of precedence in the Cosmere for substances being dramatically changed in very unnatural ways. I assume that's what's going on. I wouldn't be surprised if there's more to sand mastery (or to Slatrification) than even they realize.

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Or perhaps they draw the water out of the lichen

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17 hours ago, AnanasSpren said:

Or perhaps they draw the water out of the lichen

So they put the water in the lichen (that's why they lose water when they Master) to later draw it out of the lichen? I'm not saying it's a bad idea, but it does seem rather uneffective, seeing how you're basically getting back the same amount you've lost. Unless you can squeeze a bit more out of the lichen than you give it, in which case this would make sense.

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But the way it's described Slatrification involves turning the sand into water. To me it sounds like they can take a pile of sand and literally turn it into water. If they were pulling water out of the lichen and leaving sand behind, I'd expect it to be described more as "pulling water from the sand" or something like that. Something that suggests the sand didn't disappear.

Edited by jofwu
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27 minutes ago, jofwu said:

But the way it's described Slatrification involves turning the sand into water. To me it sounds like they can take a pile of sand and literally turn it into water. If they were pulling water out of the lichen and leaving sand behind, I'd expect it to be described more as "pulling water from the sand" or something like that. Something that suggests the sand didn't disappear.

Actually we don't know how much of white sand is "sand" and how much is "lichen"...if the Sand's mass is most lichen the Slatrification may works in that way

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6 minutes ago, Yata said:

Actually we don't know how much of white sand is "sand" and how much is "lichen"...if the Sand's mass is most lichen the Slatrification may works in that way

This is true, though I personally feel like we should assume it's mostly sand without proof to the contrary. Khriss describes the lichen as being on the surface of the sand particles, if I'm not mistaken. Feels awkward to me to assume that the sand particle is more like a piece of dust covered in a thick layer of lichen.

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And how does soulcasting work? I guess in a more or less the same way. 

I have an idea what the actual mechanics might be, but my reasoning involves the prose spoilers, so read only if you've read it. And if admin thinks I should not discuss it here at all, please tell me, I'll hide it. 

Spoiler

The sand lichen life is, like all of the sandlings, not based on water. Not sure how is that supposed to work because we don't have that on Earth, but they don't have water in their cells. That is why sandlings can only eat the sand else their carapace would just melt and kill them. So Slatrification is not pulling water out of the lichen at all. 
In the prose, Khriss is doing some experiments on the sand. She observes that when you pour water on it, it releases a quick flash of mother-of-pearl coloured light, very much like the sand being mastered. And my own conclusions are: Well, that is the investiture that was not used and is released from the lichen to the, ehm, ecosystem. Or back to the sun if you will. When a sand master masters the sand, they use that investiture to move it, water from their bodies being the focus to relese investiture from the lichen pretty much just the way free water does it, only a master is able to hold that investiture for a while. So, if they can hold it, they might as well use it for something else than just moving sand around. Transform the sand into a water just as a soulcaster transforms things using stormlight. That could mean transforming only grains of sand or both sand and lichen
Roshar spoiler

Spoiler

I mean, Jasnah is able to soulcast an entire human with clothing and stuff

Hard to guess. So does that mean the entire sand could eventually be transformed into water? If you had like bilion of mastrells for a bilion years, maybe. Or maybe natural proces of erosion would bring new sand, and lichen would just reproduce (it does that all the time, it grows on the sand excreted by sandlings). 

The only question is: what determines the strengh of a sand master? But that is a topic for discussion under prose, definitely. 

 

Edited by strumienpola
misspelled
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My  theory  is that slatrification changes the Identity of the sand into water, similar to what we see with Soulcasting.  The sandmaster  term uses the Investiture from the sands to cause this change.  I wonder if it is possible to slatrify the sand into other substances.

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Has anyone thought to ask whether one can slatrify on another planet? Is it just the sand on Taldain?

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On 2/28/2017 at 2:47 AM, Brgst13 said:

My  theory  is that slatrification changes the Identity of the sand into water, similar to what we see with Soulcasting.  The sandmaster  term uses the Investiture from the sands to cause this change.  I wonder if it is possible to slatrify the sand into other substances.

It is very possible; however with water being the rarest and most valuable thing to have on Taldain why would a Sandmaster try to "slatrify" a different substance. 

58 minutes ago, theuntaintedchild said:

Has anyone thought to ask whether one can slatrify on another planet? Is it just the sand on Taldain?

There is Investitures in the sand on Taldain which (regardless of your opinion of how slatrify's mechanism works) helps the transformation of the sand.

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11 hours ago, Sheridan_rd said:

It is very possible; however with water being the rarest and most valuable thing to have on Taldain why would a Sandmaster try to "slatrify" a different substance. 

There is Investitures in the sand on Taldain which (regardless of your opinion of how slatrify's mechanism works) helps the transformation of the sand.

I could see sandmasters in the future slatrifying to make trade goods or rare resources

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Posted (edited)

I honestly think Slatrification works very differently from Soulcasting. The Slatrification is something as reverse Sand Mastery...you usually feed Sand with water, with enough power you could reverse the process and tap water from everywhere it ends.

Edited by Yata
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There's a great WoB from the first Poland signing on slatrification not making sense but as @strumienpola asked it but I'll let her have the honors of posting it so we can discuss :)

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Thanks @Extesian :D 

So I asked Brandon if you could slatrify sand into other liquids (of blood essence) and he said that slatrification is a system he is least fond of, because it doesn't fit with cosmere very well and that if he'll ever publish the novel - and it is possible - he might end up changing it. So for now he is not even sure if you can slatrify sand into water at all and that it might be just an in-world legend in the end. He also said that the graphic novel was based on the prose he gave the publisher so they didn't change slatrification in it, but he still might change it in the future. 

TBH, I got more excited about the possibility of releasing White Sand the novel than about anything else, because I liked the prose SO much better :D 

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Yeah I'm pretty excited about the numerous implications of this answer. White Sand was always supposed to be a trilogy so I wonder if he'll release the novel fresh or if the graphic novels will serve as the first part with two subsequent canon novels on the time between the end of White Sand (prose) and Khriss becoming totally boss. Either way I'll be glad to see more of one of the most important Shardworlds in proper prose form :)

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I guess if it was ever released as a novel with slatrification changed they would release it from the book one. The whole mastrell path finale makes no sense if slatrification is not a thing, Traiben specifically says he did slatrify. 

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Posted (edited)

A question for all those who've read the prose: was slatrification ever explicitly stated to be part of the sandmastery magic system? I mean, yes, I've read mentions of people saying sand masters were able to slatrify but what I don't understand is that is slatrification supposed to be an off-shoot of sandmastery, a natural skill you learn to adapt the better you are at mastering, or is it a different but related system of magic to it (like allomancy is to feruchemy)?

For all we know, the two are different and the reason why the skill is so rare among sandmasters is because it's not actually possible to do so with just the one magic system. Also, just to put this out there: does anyone know the etymology of the world slatrify? We might get clues from there, so, yeah.

Edited by Mr. Staccato
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3 hours ago, Mr. Staccato said:

A question for all those who've read the prose: was slatrification ever explicitly stated to be part of the sandmastery magic system?

We're not supposed to talk about the prose version. That said, the excerpt published in Arcanum Unbounded contains material relevant to your question so it's okay to point you to that as it's publicly available. The Sand Masters consider it part of their craft and its ultimate art but it's noted to be 'wildly different' from their other powers. If Praxton's comment can be taken as accurate, almost everyone of mastrell rank can slatrify.

Quote

Also, just to put this out there: does anyone know the etymology of the world slatrify? We might get clues from there, so, yeah.

On the assumption that he didn't just pick the name because he liked the sound of it, the best I can come up with is that it might be derived from the Swedish word slåtter, referring to the time or act of harvesting. Maybe someone else can come up with something better.

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19 minutes ago, Weltall said:

We're not supposed to talk about the prose version. That said, the excerpt published in Arcanum Unbounded contains material relevant to your question so it's okay to point you to that as it's publicly available. The Sand Masters consider it part of their craft and its ultimate art but it's noted to be 'wildly different' from their other powers. If Praxton's comment can be taken as accurate, almost everyone of mastrell rank can slatrify.

Oh shoot I forgot about that rule. Thanks for flagging me down here. Anyway that little bit about slatrification being 'wildly different' from the rest of their powers is helpful enough for my theories I guess. Oh and slatter sounds like a plausible origin for the word slatrify which is cool too. Thanks @Weltall!

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