Rosharan Culture Explained: Herdazian Sparkflicker
When I was reading SA books, those sparkflicker things really bugged me.
Till now, the word appeared twice (Emphasis is mine.):
He was a short man, with some Herdazian blood in him as evidenced by his dark, crystalline fingernails, though he didn’t wear a spark-flicker. (WoK Ch. 26)
She stopped, grinning at a man performing a show with puppets and a box. Farther down the way, a Herdazian used a sparkflicker and some kind of oil to make bursts of flame in the air. If she could just stop off a little time and do a sketch of him… (WoR Ch. 43)
At first, I assumed it’s a kind of ornament worn by the Herdazians. And we have an entire topic about it, with the conclusion that sparkflickers are Rosharan fire starters.
Then, fortunately, someone asked this during a signing:
Q: What is a sparkflicker and what is it used for?
A: Herdazians, their fingernails are stone. A sparkflicker is so they can start fires. They’re actually flint-and-steel-ing. So it’s a fire-maker using their actual fingernails.
Q: So they don’t have a martial application?
A: Not really [… males yes if your fingernails are rough]. But there is a deep implication to that that I don’t think people have picked out yet.
It seems that the problem is solved. Just to be sure, I asked Peter for further confirmation:
Q: What is a sparkflicker?
A: It’s like the steel part of flint-and-steel.
Q: So a sparkflicker is a fire-maker? Herdazians use their stone fingernails to start fire?
Q: Do they wear sparkflickers as an ornament?
A: Yes, but it’s also practical.
Q: This “deep implication”, is it that Herdazians are related to the Parshendi (aka they have Listener blood)?
Ah! Here comes the ultimate definition: Sparkflickers are a kind of practical Herdazian ornament without real martial application. It’s like the steel part of flint-and-steel. Herdazians use sparkflickers to start fires with their own dark, crystalline (stone) fingernails. Lopen’s saying “flick my sparks” comes from sparkflickers.
So… Herdazians are actually modern “Dustbringers”!
(Yay for Lopen in Herdazian outfit!)