Aether spores

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Aether spores
Related to Luhel bond, Aether
World of Origin Lumar
Universe Cosmere
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Aether spores are a type of entity that is formed by aethers on Lumar.


Each aether spore is associated with one of the 12 Lumaran aethers. When exposed to water they immediately transform into the associated aether, this is because of the unstable nature of the Lumaran aethers. The water serves as a catalyst and begins a process where in it draws Investiture from the Spiritual Realm in order to allow the transformation to take place.[1] This expansion is very rapid, comparable to lightning.[2] Despite expanding even more when put into contact with more water, they do have a maximum extent to which they are able to grow. When they reach this maximum growth potential, they stop reacting with water.[3] The direction and speed of this expansion can be changed by various factors, such as the cognitive phenomena surrounding it, shaped by thoughts and commands.[4][5] It is also pushed away by steel and attracted by iron.[6]

Aether spores can be killed by silver and salt, turning grey and losing their reactivity when they touch it.[7][2] The substance they produce upon expanding also grows grey and dies when coming into contact with silver.[8] Dead aether spores will stick to almost anything and can be washed away with soap.[9]

Aether spores at the bottom of the spore seas undergo a certain method of decomposition which contributes to the seethe and the water cycle. The exact details of this decomposition are unknown, and are a source of confusion and curiosity by in-world scholars such as Xisis.[10][11][12]


Aether spores are found on the planet Lumar, where they rain down in lunagrees from the twelve moons, forming seas on the planet.[7]

Spore name Sea of Origin On contact with water forms Uses
Crimson Crimson Sea Bright red spines that are needle sharp and deadly.[13]
Zephyr Sapphire Sea Air,[9] and dioxygen[14] Propel and detonate cannonballs, launch flares,[3] and is used as emergency propellent in space.[14] Production of breathable air.[14]
Verdant Emerald Sea Vines[7] As fuses in cannonballs,[3] immobilize opponents,[15] and as an emergency food source.[16]
Sunlight Light and heat[4] Flares,[4] and cooking.[17]
Roseite Rose Sea[18] Crystals[2] Patch holes on a ship hull,[2] and in the detonation component of cannonballs.
Midnight Midnight Sea Midnight Essence[19] The creatures made of Midnight Essence can be used for spying[19] and by the sorceress to control the Midnight Sea,[20] using the Luhel bond.[19]


One moment you’re enjoying a nice book. The next, you take in an unfortunate breath, get a few crimson spores in your system, and suddenly you’ve turned your skull into a colander.

—Hoid on crimson aether[21]

Crimson aether takes the form of bright red spines or spears that are sharp as a needle and can be deadly on contact.[13] The spines are made of coral, meaning that crimson aether corresponds roughly to the Rosharan Essence of Sinew and the Heliodor Polestone.[22] Nothing is known of crimson aetherbound or their associated bud. On the planet Lumar, the local crimson spores rain down from the moon into the Crimson Sea, one of the deadliest of the spore oceans on the planet.[23] When crimson spores are wet and express their aether, the spines of crimson aether are often the bane of ships, forming impenetrable walls of spines or simply tearing ships apart directly.[21] This danger, in addition to the random patterns of the rainlines in the Crimson Sea,[13] makes the area uninhabitable[23] and made it nearly impossible to travel[24] or trade across the sea without additional precautions.[25] Inadvertently inhaling crimson spores can pierce a person's head with spines, killing them instantly.[21]


Zephyr aether comes from the Sapphire Sea and releases a burst of air when watered.[9] They are a sapphire blue and appear crystalline.[26] It seems to be a more harmless type of aether unless harnessed properly.[9]

These spores are used for a variety of purposes on Lumar. It seems to replace gunpowder for their explosives. It is used in the cannons to launch the cannonballs.[9] When these cannons are fired it releases a blue puff of spores.[27] They are also used inside the cannonballs, to shatter the ball when a Rosite and wax canister of water is pierced, activating the spores under enemy ships.[3] Tress also uses them in her modified flare gun charges, allowing for firing the flare as well as depositing Verdant spores to entrap the target.[5]

The air produced by Zephyr aether is breathable, implying that it contains oxygen.[14] It is used as a low-tech and cheap emergency method of propulsion in space, and for various forms of pneumatic weaponry.[14]


Verdant aether spores grow into vines after contact with water.[7] The growth rate of expanding Verdant aether is extraordinary, being comparable to lightning.[2] Breathing in these spores is known to often lead to death, as they react with saliva and expand, clogging the throat and sinuses. However, they don't often reach the brain.[2] The vines can be given basic commands when fed water, such as grab but don't destroy.[28]

If the vines are fully grown, they can be eaten if soaked for a day.[16] They don't provide many calories or nutrients, and people can only survive off of them alone for a few weeks.[29]


Sunlight aether produces light and heat when watered. The spores are used to create signal flares,[4] as well as power ovens.[17]


Midnight aether spores create Midnight Essence, draining hydration from the sprouter through a Luhel bond after initial contact with water.[30][19] Feeding the bond more water increases the control the human has over the creature.[31] Therefore, under the right circumstances, a person can break another's Luhel bond by offering the Midnight Essence more water than the current host.[31][32] Midnight Essence are able to mentally communicate with those they have bonded with.[19][33]

Midnight aether, while a Midnight Essence, are highly resistant to silver.[19][34]


Roseite aether spores produce crystals when they interact with water, which makes them useful to sprouters, who use them to seal holes in hulls.[2] Although the spores can be deadly, they are not as dangerous as crimson or midnight spores, and the Rose Sea on Lumar is inhabited.[2]

Among the aethers, roseite is particularly good at resisting silver.[26][6] It has also been shown to be repelled by steel, and attracted by iron, this likely applies to all aethers.[6]

Bone spores[edit]

Bone spores are a rumored thirteenth variety of aether spores on Lumar. The stories are unclear whether they are black or white in coloration, or potentially both. Some consider bone spores to be a fanciful legend.[24]


Various forms of technology make use of aether spores.


Some cannonballs made use of aetheric internal mechanism in order to increase their usefulness in naval combat on the Aether seas.[3]

In the center of the cannonball was a sphere made out of roseite aether containing water, which was insulated from the water with wax, and therefore did not react with it. This sphere was surrounded by a charge of zephyr spores.[3]

In another part of the device was a small glass container of water adjacent to a clipping of verdant aether. This glass container shattered upon launch, soaking the clipping, thus causing it to expand down a short tube leading to the central mechanism. This pushed a silver-tipped plug towards the roseite sphere, and killed the roseite, leading to the release of the contained water, which reacted with the zephyr and caused a large explosion dousing the target with water and shrapnel.[3]


  1. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 28#
  2. a b c d e f g h Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 10#
  3. a b c d e f g Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 37#
  4. a b c d Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 41#
  5. a b Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 44#
  6. a b c Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 26#
  7. a b c d Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 1#
  8. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 11#
  9. a b c d e Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 16#
  10. Tress Spoiler Stream
    Arcanum - 2023-03-31#
  11. Tress Spoiler Stream
    Arcanum - 2023-03-31#
  12. Tress Spoiler Stream
    Arcanum - 2023-03-31#
  13. a b c Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 35#
  14. a b c d e Tress Spoiler Stream
    Arcanum - 2023-03-31#
  15. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 64#
  16. a b Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 22#
  17. a b Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 40#
  18. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 15#
  19. a b c d e f Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 31#
  20. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 46#
  21. a b c Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 38#
  22. Shardcast Interview
    Arcanum - 2023-07-30#
  23. a b Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 5#
  24. a b Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 23#
  25. Tress of the Emerald Sea epilogue#
  26. a b Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 17#
  27. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 25#
  28. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 48#
  29. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 56#
  30. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 30#
  31. a b Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 55#
  32. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 58#
  33. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 62#
  34. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 59#
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