Thrand_Antharo

why does stormwater taste of metal

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I was finishing a reread of the way of kings today. In Dalinar's last vision the storm (presumably the everstorm but it is described as a dust storm with no mention of rain and red lightning, I suspect it could be "the true desolation" instead) is described as turning the rocks to dust; when reading that I remembered that stormwater is described as tasting metallic. Could part of Odium's body have been stolen and mixed into the stormwater/crem, this could be part of why Odium is bound to the Roshar system and why he is so focused on the desolation? Odium would need to destroy the entire surface of the continent to free himself.  

There isn't much evidence for this theory but I think it's worth considering.

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I don't think it would be Odium's body, if you're right. Surely it would be Honor's, since Stormlight is Honor's Investiture and all. 

But- this is the first plausible explanation I've read for what Crem actually is, and that's something that's always bothered me. So props for that.

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I believe it was designed that way from the beginning, before Odium even arrived. The highstorms are a natural part of the world, and in the water are the bits that rebuild what is worn away, so the continent doesn't disappear. As far as we know, it's quite by design.

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The taste could be from crem. It has been hypothesized that crem aligned with Cultivation, like Stormlight did with Honor upon the Shards' arrival on Roshar

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it's a helluva lot of cubic kilometers of water that rains down with storms. not sure the body of a god would have a taste so persistent when diluted so much.

could be perfectly natural due to the content of stormwater. we know stormwater has sediments in it, and those sediments harden to clay. Clay contains lots of stuff, but one major component is aluminium sulfate. it also has decent amounts of iron. and plenty of calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium ions, but those would not taste metallic in the first place.

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Quote

Questioner

Has stormwater tasted metallic always?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Even pre-Shattering?

Brandon Sanderson

Even pre-Shattering it would get a metallic taste, that's the crem. So. That is an indication of Investiture and things. But it was there-- it was in place first, before.

Oathbringer Chicago signing (Nov. 21, 2017)

 

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That's a WoB that tells us two important things:

  • Crem is the way is because how Adonalsium build Roshar; it has nothing directly to with Odium or Honor.
  • Crem is definitely supernatural, and we should probably be questioning what it is and how it gets into the storm. 

Really I feel like there's gotta be something going on the other side the planet that 'recharges' the Highstorm is some way; hence why it's always strong in the east and always weak in the west. Possibly whatever mechanism does that also fills it with Crem?

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something to do with the dawn shards though I can't see how.

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36 minutes ago, Gilphon said:

That's a WoB that tells us two important things:

  • Crem is the way is because how Adonalsium build Roshar; it has nothing directly to with Odium or Honor.
  • Crem is definitely supernatural, and we should probably be questioning what it is and how it gets into the storm. 

Really I feel like there's gotta be something going on the other side the planet that 'recharges' the Highstorm is some way; hence why it's always strong in the east and always weak in the west. Possibly whatever mechanism does that also fills it with Crem?

Highstorms are based on hurricanes, iirc? Hurricanes get stronger over water, and weaker as they travel over land. That might be what the highstorms are doing.

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on the other hand, hurricanes do not drop crem. highstorms certainly need something to refill it with solids.

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2 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

on the other hand, hurricanes do not drop crem. highstorms certainly need something to refill it with solids.

Dissolving and picking up sediment from the western side and depositing it along the rest of the continent, perhaps?

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38 minutes ago, RShara said:

Dissolving and picking up sediment from the western side and depositing it along the rest of the continent, perhaps?

no, it picks up more stuff when the winds are stronger. in shinovar it's just rain, it wouldn't be able to keep sediments flying. there's clearly some magical source for it; if not for the crem itself, then at least for the mechanism with which it goes up in the air

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^ agreed... whatever is going on with the crem though, the source producing it is slowly getting depleted. The built up crem on roshar is never returned to where it came from. 

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Well- yes and no on that front, I think. Because the reason Brandon (and presumably Adonalsium) made crem a thing was to make sure that the Highstorm will never erode the continent away. So the amount of sentiment being deposited as crem is gonna be roughly equal to the amount of sentiment the storms washes off the continent. So I feel like it's possible that whatever mechanism makes crem happen also recycles boulders and stuff from the bottom of the ocean. 

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Crem isn't necessarily "picked up" at all, it could be produced as solids within the Highstorm itself, either by a direct Investiture process similar to Shardblades "condensing from mist", or some kind of Stormfather-aided chemical process.

Even in the real world, atmospheric reactions can produce solid particles. For example sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides react in cloud droplets to produce sulfuric/nitric acids which then react with ammonia to produce ammonium sulfate/ammonium nitrate particles. This is much more common now due to pollution, but there are natural sources of all these chemicals as well (volcanoes emit sulfur oxides, lightning and fires turn nitrogen and oxygen in air into nitrogen oxides, nitrogen-fixing bacteria produce ammonia, etc.)

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The reason I'm pretty sure that's not the case is because if that was how it worked, the crem would be distributed evenly across the continent, like Stormlight is. And, since the purpose of crem is to counteract erosion, in the long-term we'd see larger crem-build-ups in the west, where the storm causes minimal erosion. But in fact Shinovar is covered in regular soil and regular grass and generally has an earth-like biome that doesn't seem to account for a bunch of sediment being dropped on top of it every two weeks. 

So that implies that the amount of Crem dropped is proportional to the strength of the storm- which makes makes sense if they're a finite amount of it in the storm and it's mostly run out by the time it reaches Shinovar, but is odd if it's supposed to be producing the stuff constantly. 

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