Jump to content

Chasmfiend intelligence


Recommended Posts

So, I was thinking about those spren that we see whenever a chasmfiend dies, and I think I may have an idea what they are.

In Arcanum Unbounded, Khriss (the narrator) states that the chasmfiends are able to reach their incredible size due in part to a symbiotic relationship with a spren that controls one of the surges (presumably gravitation, although it may be some other fundamental force of nature like the square-cube law).

Anyway, the idea is that when the chasmfiend dies, the bond between it and these spren are broken, and the spren briefly become visible before disappearing into the cognitive realm.

Irrelevant tangent: these spren totally explain the gemhearts! In order for the chasmfiends not to collapse under their own weight, they need a reservoir of syormlight for their square-cube law spren to draw on, hence the giant organic crystal inside them. Neat!

The thing I find most fascinating about this relationship though, is this: we know that investiture has a natural tendency towards sentience. We can see it on other shardworlds, but more interestingly, it's confirmed that the reason the Ryshandium are more intelligent than normal horses is because they're slightly invested. Wouldn't it follow, then, that the chasmfiends are more intelligent than most animals, if not actually sentient?

If true, this totally recontextualizes the shattered plains; not only are the Alethi waging violent, destructive, futile war against the Parshendi. They're also casually comitting genocide off to the side. Way to go, Sadeas.

Finally, as a disclaimer, this theory probably isn't correct, seeing as Shallan has mentioned breeding captive chasmfiends. If they were sentient, that attempt could be pretty awkward. On the other hand, the Alethi presumably breed the Ryshandium, and we all know how much Brandon loves a good twist.

Thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In support of this theory: in The Chasm Scene, many comments are made by both Kaladin and Shallan about how intelligent the Chasmfiend looks/behaves. Furthermore, as this is the only prolonged stretch of time around a Chasmfiend that anyone on Roshar has survived (other than hunts, which are calculated to apply insurmountable force from the moment it appears until it is dead), it is reasonable to assume that this scene would, in fact, be the only primary source available in-world on which to make such a judgement.

I like it :-) what implications does this have about the Reshi and their Isles? Maybe they are right to follow Their will? :-P

Edited by Krandacth
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love this post. 

There is a simple reason I don't think chasmfiends are intelligent. Khriss, the most knowledgeable person in the Cosmere, says this in Arcaanum Unbounded

Quote

However, this pattern (the bonding of spren to human) is merely an expansion of what already exists in the nature of the planet. Gargantuan crustaceans grow to incredible size without collapsing under their own weight not just through the nature of the planet, but through symbiosis with spren. Certain animals obtain flight through similar means, and there is even a race of equines that—through the spren bond—have adapted to life on the planet and obtained a high enough level of self-awareness to nearly be named a sapient species.

She or Nazh would've studied chasmfiends. She mentions them. Yet it's just the Ryshadium (? no time to look up spelling) as the species that is approaching sapience. I feel like she would know, and say, if they were. I also suspect the type of spren that could grant intelligence wouldn't be a physical force spren.

My favorite bit of your post is the side-note. I think that's right, chasmfiends grow a giant stone to hold stormlight to feed to the spren during weepings, so they don't collapse. 

All in all, great post, I think you'll be a great presence on this site :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, DocHoliday said:

Doesn't the Santhid have the same Spren as the Chasmfiend floating around it? I seem to recall the illustrations in WoR depicting them both with those little arrow point spren in schools all around them.

The Chasmfiend artwork actually has the caption "Are these the same Spren as those I saw with the Skyeels in Kharbranth?" Top Left Corner.

That said, the Spren on the Santhid and Skyeel illustrations do look similar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

The Chasmfiend artwork actually has the caption "Are these the same Spren as those I saw with the Skyeels in Kharbranth?" Top Left Corner.

That said, the Spren on the Santhid and Skyeel illustrations do look similar.

Also correct, but I'm talking about the Chasmfiend, not the skyeels. I'm going to go look now lol

Edit: okay I see what you were saying about the caption on Chasmfiends. I must've misread your post. 

So all three creatures have the same tiny Spren floating like school's of fish around them.

Edited by DocHoliday
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, The One Who Connects said:

I know, but as Shallan thinks they were the same, comparing the other two seemed reasonable. They all look pretty similar. which seems odd.

Indeed. Makes me think they have more to do with buoyancy levels than intelligence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the suggestion of the OP is that they do both, with the primary function being not crushing themselves/flying, and the intelligence boost being a side-effect. Another example of this would be the extremely-simple minded parshmen compared to bonded Listeners of any form (even dullform is said to have greater capacity for thought than slaveform). This is, of course, assuming the Listener bond operates on a principle at least mildly related to the rest of the native fauna.

The flip side of that coin, however, is that the native hominids are only of comparable intelligence to humans when bonded, and only non-native "equines" are noted by Khriss for their heightened intelligence. From this we could infer that the fauna of Roshar has not had to evolve such sophisticated biological intelligence because whatever they had was augmented by Spren/environmental investiture. So bonded Chasmfiends are practically of similar intelligence to say, T-rex', but would be less intelligent still without their Spren (but no one could find that out because the spren-less Chasmfiend would crush itself almost immediately).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a bit late to the discussion, but in this thread I came to a lot of the same conclusions. I wholeheartedly agree that spren are the reason for the above average intelligence of many rosharan creatures. The thread also discusses how this may apply to Knights Radiant, hope this is interesting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, FiveLate said:

Now, Do Ryshadium have gem hearts

Wow. I never even considered that. I don't think they would have organic gemhearts like the chasmfiends, as if they did, I'm sure the Alethi would farm them for them. However, I could see Ryshadium being able to drain stormlight to increase their speed, or whatever, and that fact being kept secret by the few Alethi who actually own Ryshadium. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Chaos locked this topic
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...