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Found 10 results

  1. I have a question about the field around Hearthstone. It's mentioned that they aren't producing like they used to. How? They don't farm in soil but instead their plants sit upon rock. It seems like all of the nutrients would be drawn from the air and from the stormwater. What is changing to cause the field to produce less?
  2. So this is a tidbit that I haven't seen discussed yet. We've known they exist on other planets, but this is confirmation that they're not Roshar natives: At the same time, we learned something new about their biology; the really big centipede-like hordlings that Lopen fights have violet blood. In addition, hordlings are often distinguishable from cremlings by an external violet coloring. The first time we ever saw one was that purple "cremling" that Kaladin noticed while he was enslaved. Here's the quotes: Who else has violet carapace? Chiri-chiri: Now, I can't prove definitely that violet carapace corresponds with violet blood, but I have another reason to believe that larkin blood is violet: chasmfiend blood is also violet. Given the descriptions of Chiri-chiri "trumping" I don't think it's a stretch to say that they might be related. Why am I hung up over the violet blood? Because of what it might imply about which life is native to Roshar. The Listeners have orange blood, and they are the only known native Rosharans. Are all the creatures with violet blood invasive? Are they from the same planet as the Sleepless? However, I have reasons to believe that creatures with violet blood are native. First of all comes anatomy. Creatures from off-world would not have gemhearts with which they can bond spren. The very fact that they're large crustaceans who require Roshar's higher oxygen level, lighter gravity, and spren bonds to survive seems to indicate that they are native to the planet. In addition, violet blood is found in axehounds, who don't really have any ties to the Larkin or Sleepless as far as I can tell: The largest reason I think these creatures are native, however, is coevolution. Spren bonds on Roshar are a form of mutualistic symbiosis—when organisms of different species interact closely for mutual benefit. The most well-known example of this in our world is pollinating insects. Many of these insects are fairly indiscriminate. European honeybees happily pollinate flowers found in North America, even though those species did not evolve together. The same seems to be true for most of the Mandra on Roshar, who bond with all sorts of creatures from skyeels to chasmfiends to santhids. Some of these creatures did not necessarily need to evolve alongside the Mandra in order to interact with them now. Theoretically, you could drop a brand-new massive creature into Roshar, and if it had a gemheart, these Mandra might be able to bond it. However, symbiosis can be much, much more specific. There's a lot of bacteria that are specific to the digestive tracts of different animals species, but there's also examples of specific pollinators. Perhaps the coolest is the Darwin's moth: Look at that tongue! This moth is the result of coevolution, and it can only pollinate a specific flower in the Galapagos. Likewise, the flower can only be pollinated by this moth. Such a specific interaction is a clear indicator that these two species evolved together. In fact, Darwin first predicted the existence of this moth when he examined the flower which it pollinates. The first specimen of the moth wasn't found until years after his death. Now let's look at the Larkin. They can't just bond with any Mandras, but with a subspecies found only in Akinah. Chiri-chiri hasn't reached a size yet where the greater potency of the Akinah Mandra should be necessary for her survival. Normal Mandra can hold up chasmfiends, for goodness sake. Instead, by some biological or magical mechanism, I think Chiri-chiri is incapable of bonding other Mandra. Part of the definition of coevolution is that it must be reciprocal. Both species must be evolving in response to the other. Why would Mandras exist on Roshar which meet the exact needs of the Larkin/Laceryn? How could the Larkin/Laceryn ever exist before these Mandra did, or vice versa? The answer is that they didn't. This was, undoubtedly, coevolution taking place. It is a clear sign that these species are native to Roshar. Either they've lived on Roshar for thousands of generations, or they were created by Adonalsium in this state (in which case they would also be native). Therefore, I think that the purple-ness of the hordelings is from interbreeding with native Rosharan life. Nikli mentions that their hordelings can breed with the Larkin. And we also know that Adonalsium made species like Humans and Parshendi biologically compatible. Interbreeding like this would likely be the quickest way for the Sleepless to have blended in to Roshar when they first arrived. The weird purple hordelings probably look different from cremlings because they're part-Larkin. I don't have much of a theory here, I guess. TL;DR: I got hung up over the color of some blood and carapace, but in the end I'm concluding that the Sleepless are the only invasive species and they've blended in by breeding hordelings with native Rosharan life. EDIT: Well, somehow I wrote this whole thing without realizing there was an extremely pertinent WoB: I think this generally supports my interpretation, although it doesn't specifically address the origins of the Larkin. Also this WoB, which is mostly tangential to my theory but is still cool:
  3. Given that Roshar has no bees or butterflies, I need to ask about the means of reproduction. How do Rosharan plants exchange genetic information? And what does that imply for the existence of flowers?
  4. Brandon released a thoughtful and personal political statement about BLM which I appreciated. Nevertheless, I'm having too much fun posting my theories on here. This one ranges quite a bit so bear with me and as always I welcome disagreement and correction. Spoilers for Stormlight. Blackmail Theory: The Real Recreance A certain epigraph in WOR suggests that Taravangian has a secret that broke the knight's radiant in the Recreance. We then see him releasing a secret to attack Dalinar by decoding the Eila Stele. It is revealed that human's are not the original inhabitants of Roshar, they came, invaded, and displaced the singers. This causes Kaladin and others some moral guilt and we are led to believe that this is the secret that broke the Knight's Radiant. Except I don't buy it. The knights who abandoned their oaths, abandoned their fight against a mad god, gave up their super powers, and killed their best friends. I might have felt guilty if I was a knight during the Recreance, attempted to make peace with the Singers, find a way to co-exist, even some kind of reperations. I wouldn't abandon everything because my ancestors were guilty of a horrible crime. I don't really have to wonder about this. I'm a white man in the south. I think we should build a world that's good for all of us now (liberal socialism) and not hold people accountable for the sins of their ancestors. I also get that this is a self serving point of view. My own ethics aside, it is hard to imagine an ethical system that would require the Radiants to abandon their entire civilization and way of life because of their displacement of a native people in the distant past. Nor did the Radiants actually help the Singers during the Recreance they left them a broken enslaved people. Finally, the idea that humans aren't from Roshar (excluding Shinovar) can't have been that big a secret. Jasnah figured it out without help. Dalinar who though sometimes clever is not a scientist almost figures this out. Really anyone familiar with evolutionary biology would figure this out pretty quickly. Where is the human evolutionary branch? There are barely any other mammals. If that's not enough a quick examination of the fossil record would be. Scholars on Roshar had to think human's came from Shinovar at least. Perhaps this information was subsequently suppressed by Vorinism but I don't think it came as a surprise during the Recreance. Taravangian hasn't played his trump card. He was attacking Dalinar, trying to control the Knight's Radiant not destroy them. Indeed, destroying them completely would have removed his bargaining power with Odium. So what is the secret that broke the Radiants? Before we answer that, we need to pause and consider two seperate questions. First, what does the ecology of Roshar look like? We have seen that spren are deeply tied to several species of greatshells, but there are continual references to spren being involved intimately with other animals, Ryshadium, sky eels, fish in the pure lake. The spren involved with the greatshells seem to be exploiting something similar to a surge of gravitation. Can other species access other pseudosurges? Perhaps fish in the Purelake access regrowth through a spren, which explains why they can cure aches and pains. Grasses could access cohesion to help them burrow into rocks. Birds could use adhesion to glue their eggs in their nests during highstorms. Cremlings could access illumination to hide from predators. Rockbuds could use transformation instead of nitrogen fixing bacteria. The possibilities are endless. I believe that spren are tied far more deeply to the ecology on Roshar than we are aware of. Such an ecology would be far stranger than any we are familiar with on earth. Ecosystems on earth are rather strictly bounded by things like, amount of sunlight, available water, temperature, oxygen levels, and available nutrients. Answer a few basic questions about these types of things and I can predict a great deal about the kind of life you are likely to find in such an ecosystem. Not so on Roshar, spren and the surges they offer allow all kinds of work arounds to these limitations. We can expect life on Roshar to be stranger, more varied. Indeed, the spren have their own ecosystem. There are clear references to spren eating each other during the trip to Thaylen city. These sprensystems must overlap somehow with Rosharan ecosystems. We know so little about spren. What do they get out of their interactions in the physical realm? Are they immortal? Do they reform or reproduce in someway? What sustains them? What would a spren food chain look like? I don't have the answers here except to speculate that this deep connection to spren makes the Rosharan ecology almost 4 dimensional in nature. Second, how does Odium plan to kill Cultivation? He is not simply seeking to conquer Roshar. He is planning to cause the total ecological collapse of all life on the continent. This is how Odium killed Honor, he caused Honor to invest himself in humans and then he caused those humans to act dishonorably breaking that investiture away from Honor leading to his madness and death. Similarly, Odium observes Cultivation causing life to florish all across Roshar. When Odium kills all of that life he will cause her investiture to act against her intent. This is foreshadowed by the fate Ashyn, the scowering of Aimia, and Honor's ravings about the Radiants and the danger of their Shards. It is also a not uncommon theme in Brandon's other books. How does Odium intend to end all life on Roshar? This is the secret that broke the Knight's Radiant. Humans and especially surge binders are destroying and are fundamentally destructive to the ecology of Roshar outside of Shinovar. The human presence outside of Shinovar is causing a slow but inevitable environmental catastophy, not unlike global warming. Humans with their mere presence and emotions are attracting Spren and interacting with them, surgebinders even more so. They are disturbing the key element that makes the Rosharan ecology work. There are limited numbers of spren in each area, many of whom are drawn preferentially to humans. Even in victory the Radiants are destorying Roshar and Cultivation. That's why the humans were originally confined to Shinovar. That's why the Shin refuse to leave the valley of truth. That's how humans ended up harming the sibling. That's why so many parts of Roshar are barren and empty, unclaimed hills, frostlands, Aimia, etc... That's why the Radiants betrayed humanity. It was a noble gesture to save Roshar or at least forstall the end. Odium is confident in victory not because of his past record of success but because there is no path to victory. Fall before Odium's armies and he will orchestrate the systematic destruction of Roshar's ecology unopposed. Defeat Odium by using surgebinding and the ecosystem will collapse everyone will starve, Cultivation will die, and Odium be set free. (Not really, I think Stormlight will have a happy ending where everyone lives) Thanks for reading my theory.
  5. I love Chulls! Chulls are my favorite! Who else loves chulls? Seeing realistic Chulls who actually move and live is one of the things I am looking forward to most about a posable Stormlight Archive adaptation. And so, I propose that we proactively name the first ever Chull to appear on screen. My suggestion is Charley Chullington. What are your ideas? P.S. An honorable mention to Chully McChullface, the first ever Chull to appear in Escape from the Shatterd Planes, the V.R. Experience. But this Thread is specifically in honor of the first Chull of the hypothetical show or movie.
  6. Hey all! Some of you know me from the discord server the 'writers guild' and my frankly unsettling escapades there, others are unfamiliar with me and my talents. Here, I hope to take requests from people who need plants and animals and monsters and humanoids to populate their various worlds, and hopefully also have fun discussions with people who come here to talk about their creations. I'll give and ask for advice, and hopefully we all can enjoy or have with this thing. I hope it goes somewhere, but that's up to you all. I also hope that this keeps on going when I eventually have to shift my attention elsewhere, so... I hope you all enjoy it. Let's try to make this something interesting, alright? @Sherlock Holmes @AonEne @bees? @Blessing of Potency
  7. gemhearts

    Has anybody thought about the ecology of Roshar? I notice we have a number of new species . From chasm fiends , axehounds, chull, great shells of the Reshin, and even the Rashadium. I notice the lack of avians, bears,great cats, etc of course but that’s not what interest me. In real life we have 5 creatures we can’t live without earthworms , ants , plankton, bats and lastly bees. All play a part In fertilizing the ground , to increasing the yeald of plantlife, to spreading air and spreading seeds. Without these creatures human beings would die off. The ecology of Roshar seems to revolve. Around Gemhearts. How I can’t seem to workout. Just think about it , what do the Parshendi need with gemhearts ? They don’t sell them, they don’t need them stormlight because they haven’t been Radiants . The only use I can see is a type of lantern. But they sure fought the Alethi for them . what creatures would cause life on Roshar to end if they were not present ? Therre is not much plant life described yet other than Rockbuds. The strange grass that can move and hide under the ground. Like what is the constant that life on Roshar ? Using our blueprint earth , water, plants, air , carbon monoxide . Do we have enough to posit what Roshar system is ? I’m interested to hear what @Calderis and @RShara and some of you other sages have to say ? I hope u find this as interesting as I do !
  8. I apologize if this has been proposed before (my searches didn't find it), but I think that Shinovar is the last remnant of Roshar's original, Earthlike ecology. My theory is as follows: Once, the Rosharan super-continent was Earthlike, with Shinovar at its eastern end. Then Odium sent the Everstorms, which began to erode the western part of the continent. In response, Honor sent the Highstorms, which laid down crem, creating new lands to the east. Over the course of the millennia, the original continent was eroded away up to Shinovar, while a new continent was created. Meanwhile, sea creatures began to migrate onto the new land (possibly with help from Honor or Cultivation) and, with the help of magic, evolved into chulls, axehounds, skyeels, and the rest. Now Shinovar is all that remains of the planet's original ecology. In addition to geology and the storms, this theory is supported by the fact that most of the non-Shinovaran wildlife of Roshar does not seem physically possible without the help of magic. In real life, a large land invertebrate like a chull would be crushed by the weight of its own exoskeleton, even in a lower-gravity environment like Roshar's (remember the square-cube law). Brandon has confirmed that chasmfiends require spren to survive, and I suspect that something similar is going on with the more mundane greatshells. Thus, these life forms must postdate all of the ambient magic that currently exists on Roshar. Moreover, there's Hoid's comment about the orphaned etymology in the term "axehound", which seems to imply that hounds once existed on Roshar but have been forgotten.
  9. Hi all. Several people have already noted that the existence of chull and other large arthropods requires Roshar to have more atmospheric oxygen than Earth does (if you want to brush up on arthropod respiration, start here: However, it seems to me that Roshar's flora imposes additional atmospheric constraints. I have a theory which explains the following anomalies: 1: Rockbuds could not possibly be productive enough to support an ecosystem and a civilisation. 2: If crem is fertilizer, stormward waterbodies like Longbrow's Straits and the Steamwater ocean should have massive nitrogen and phosphate pollution, and should therefore be solid masses of algae. But Shallan's journey over Longbrow's Straits shows that this is not the case. 3: The atmosphere on the Horneater Peaks is different from, and healthier than, the atmosphere at lower elevations ("airsick lowlanders"). However, although temperatures on the peaks are similar to temperatures in the lowlands, agricultural productivity must be much lower--almost the entire population is devoted to food production, and the Horneaters are nevertheless still defined by having to eat parts of animals which other cultures shun. My solution to these problems is that Cultivation drains the Progression surge from the stormward waterbodies, and channels that Progression into terrestrial plants. Meanwhile, Honor (or, after his Shattering, some combination of his splinters and slivers) uses some combination of Adhesion (in its atmospheric pressure sense) and Gravitation to pull both oxygen and carbon dioxide towards sealevel. Thus, airsick lowlanders are suffering from both hyperoxia (too much oxygen, causing impired vision and seizures) and hypercapnia (too much carbon dioxide, causing a whole laundrylist of symptoms, including mental impairment (certainly the most common cause of the "airsick" comment) and irritability (contributing to their warlike culture)). A more detailed description is below. .......... First, photosynthesis on Roshar must be more efficient than it is on earth. Why? Well, it is obviously problematic that rockbuds and similar plants support the dietary needs of a reasonably densely populated nation like Alethkar. Rockbuds have to support their own relatively high metabolism (all that movement would mean that they would have to be at least as metabolically active as a sea urchin), and they produce energetically-expensive structures like shells. The drawings show that they have a relatively small leaf area to support all this. Obviously, some of these metbolic needs are met by crem, which seems to act as NPK fertilizer, but even massive fertilisation would only barely allow rockbuds to break even, much less support an ecosystem and a civilisation. How do I know? Well, let's use respiration as a proxy for metabolism. Each day, a sea urchin respires between 15 and 25 mmol O2 per gram dryweight ( page 51). Meanwhile, on earth, a perfectly fertilized leaf under perfect conditions produces at most 40 micromoles O2 per second per square meter ( ). Perform the necessary conversions, and we see that one gram drywieght of sea urchin would require 60 square centimeters of leaf to break even metabolically. Again, on earth, it would take absolutely ideal conditions for a rockbud to be able to support itself, much less grow. So, either rockbuds have access to more energy than earth-plants do, or they have access to more carbon dioxide, or both. First, energy. Maybe Roshar's sun is much brighter than Earth's. However, I've not seen any evidence of this, and skin cancer is never mentioned--it seems like skin cancer would be the chief cause of death on Roshar if this were the solution. So, maybe rockbuds use a more efficient pigment for photosynthesis than chlorophyll. But nope: When Shallan had her shipboard vision of her garden, her first impression was greenness, so we know that Roshar plants reflect green light just like earth-plants do, and thus almost certainly use chlorophyll. So if Roshar plants are getting extra energy, they're not getting it directly from their sun. However, one of Roshars two-and-a-half deities is Cultivation, who is closely linked to the Progression surge, which is closely tied to plant growth. Meanwhile, there are the Stormward oceans, which are well-fertilized with crem but strangely non-fertile. It makes sense that Cultivation is channelling Progression out of the oceans and onto land. This might or might not be sufficient to explain rockbud productivity, but it leaves Honor out of the loop, and it doesn't explain starving Horneaters and airsick lowlanders. So, we give half the burden to Honor. Let's assume Roshar's original atmosphere was similar to earth's: 80% nitrogen, 18% oxygen, 300 parts per million carbon dioxide. Honor uses Adhesion and/or Gravitation to Bind both oxygen and carbon dioxide downward. The upper atmosphere is now almost entirely nitrogen, the Horneater Peaks are still similar to Earth, and sealevel is something like 40% oxygen and a full 5 percent carbon dioxide, enough to induce symptoms. Chulls frolic in the high-oxygen environment, plants have much more CO2 to work with, and lowlanders get airsick. Meanwhile, without the elevated CO2 concentrations, agriculture on the Horneater Peaks suffers. This unnatural distribution of gasses might cause Roshar to appear to have an entirely-nitrogen atmosphere from a distance, explaining WoB that astronomers wouldn't think Roshar is habitable. Of course, this theory is significantly weakened if there are superlarge arthropods on the horneater peaks--I think I remember Rock talking about eating Chull heads, but I don't remember if he ever said if Unkalaki chull were as large as lowland chull, or if they were much smaller. Lemme know whacha think. Much respect to all y'all from this first-timer, ecohansen
  10. I recently read a quote from Brandon mentioning that the hunting on the Shattered Palins would have a serious ecological impact and that we should expect to see signs of this soon. I'm expecting to see at least the start of the impact in the next book. What do you think? So what do we know about Chasm Fiends? Chasm Fiends are massive, they're predatory, and they're carnivorous. We should also assume that they are active hunters since the Bridge Crews had no knowledge of safe times to scavenge, nor do we have any indication that the Alethi high command had such knowledge. We know they ate goats, chulls, and people during the hunt, but what do they eat the rest of the time? I'm of the opinion that we are about to see the regular Chasm Fiend diet consisted of something omnivorous that finds people tasty. That the population of this critter has exploded due to lack of hunting, and that both the Parshendi and the Alethi will soon begin to encounter these critters regularly as these critters spread westward through the canyons. I think these critters may be why the Parshendi can't retreat to the east. I could be totally wrong about how this over hunting will impact the area, so lets hear some other theories if you have them, or reasons why mine is a good or bad one. Edit: I'm directionally challenged