by Greg Call
|Native to||The Shattered Plains|
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”The beast filled the chasm. Long and narrow, it wasn't bulbous or bulky, like some small cremlings. It was sinuous, sleek, with that arrowlike face and sharp mandibles.—Chasmfiend in Words of Radiance
The chasmfiend killed by Dalinar and Elhokar had violet carapace and uniform green eyes. Like most greatshells, it had violet, moldy-smelling blood. Chasmfiends have a twisted, arrowhead-like face, with a mouth full of barbed mandibles. They are long and narrow, and have a flattened tail, somewhat resembling that of a crayfish. They have four foreclaws set into broad shoulders that are used as primary means of attack, and about fourteen smaller legs used for locomotion. They are capable of vocalization, and usually bellow with four overlapping voices at a time.
Each chasmfiend has a large gemstone growing inside of it, called a gemheart. The gemhearts are the primary reason they are hunted, although meat and carapace are also harvested. They also have a symbiotic bond with a spren. This bond is one of the factors allowing the chasmfiends to reach their enormous size. This spren can be observed when the chasmfiend is dead, leaving the body, looking like tongues of smoke.
Sometime during the strange life cycle of the chasmfiends, they each seek a large plateau, climb up onto the top of it and form a rocky chrysalis, waiting for the coming of a highstorm. They usually start pupating during the day - rarely in the evening or night - during which time they are extremely vulnerable. It is unknown what emerges from the chrysalis as it is during pupation that they are preferably harvested.
It has been speculated that the chasmfiends are somehow related to the Voidbringers after Jasnah Kholin found a picture of a Voidbringer very similar to a chasmfiend. However, as was noted by the participants in this discussion, this may be the result of an artist choosing the most terrifying thing she could think of, not actually having seen a Voidbringer herself. According to Adolin, the drawing lacks a set of foreclaws, and is drawn more menacing compared to the modern version.
However, in The Way of Kings prologue, Kalak notices violet blood on the ground. That is the same color blood as the chasmfiend. But, in light of axehounds also having violet blood, the strangely colored blood could be a different animal, maybe similar to the chasmfiend.