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Type Animal
World of Origin Roshar
Universe Cosmere
This page or section needs to be updated with new information for Oathbringer and Rhythm of War!
Be aware that in its current state, it may not include all additional content yet.

The chull is a species of domesticated Rosharan animal. There are differing breeds of chulls with a vast array of phenotypes. They are found all across Roshar.[1]


The chull is considered to be a cousin to the greatshell grouping, in particular compared to the Tai-na.[citation needed]

Appearance and Anatomy[edit]

A depiction of the five stages of life for a chull: Larva (chull cremling), first Pupation, Adult, second Pupation, and Senescence.

Mature chulls are massive hexapodal crustaceans with thick legs with large claws and a stone-like shell. Their carapaces are typically red.[2] Chulls have whip-like antennae that grow in pace with their shell as they age, so that the chull can sense out spaces to determine if they're large enough to pass through,[3] and beady fist-size black eyes.[4]

They are known to excrete undigested matter as feces, colloquially referred to as "chull dung."[5][6][7]

Their mouth opens horizontally, and is strong enough to crush rockbuds and other such plants.[1][2]


Chull shells are a light, porous stone created from minerals the chull consumes in its food and water and then excretes through channels in the back and legs, particularly rock and crem.[8][9] Since the shell is not alive, and contains no known nerves, chulls are not hurt when their shells are cracked, shaped, or smoothed.[10][9] These shells are hard, enough so to deflect arrows, thus they provide the chull with efficient protection.[11]

Their shell naturally grows in clusters of Fibonacci spirals, comparable to Romanesco broccoli. This creates spaces for various plants to take root and cremlings to find homes, allowing for the creation of complex symbiotic ecosystems to form on the backs of wild chulls.[1][12] The smooth shells of domestic chulls are due to domestic care, with owners sanding down and shaping the shell for whatever purpose they are needed for, be it practical or decorative.[12]

The shell of a Chull is not only used for protection, but also as a means of camouflage.[5][citation needed]

Chulls pull their legs and head into their shell when they sleep, and as a result sleeping chulls look like large boulders or small hills.[5]

The Reshi, and likely others, paint their chulls' shells. One can identify what island a Reshi chull handler is from by the colors and patterns on their chulls' shells.[4]


They reproduce in a similar manner to chasmfiends,[13] and are known to, in some manner, produce eggs.[14] They are known to breed with other chulls, therefore they engage in sexual reproduction, with the breeding cycle on the southern slopes of the Horneater Peaks being considered especially important.[15] Outside of chull reproduction in the natural world, humans are known to breed chulls in batches for their use as beasts of burden.[16]

Life Cycle[edit]

Chulls begin life as an egg,[14] which eventually hatches into larvae known as a chull cremling before eventually undergoing a process known as the First Pupation, in which they surround themselves with a shell and metamorphize into an adult chull. First Pupation can be encouraged by feeding the chull cremling a consistent diet of rocklily leaves.[17] The chull loses its memory of its larval state after its metamorphosis, and training must resume as if with a new chull. Their behaviour can also potentially change after pupation.[17]

Their Second Pupation has some correlation with highstorms, and one can help prevent it by keeping a chull sheltered during highstorms. Second Pupation can also be delayed by feeding a chull crushed shelltick and mixing shalebark oil into their water.[17]


Chulls are generally docile creatures. They have claws that are said to be strong enough to break a man's arm, but it is very unusual for them to behave aggressively.[2] They tend to move with a slow, lumbering gait and are generally slower than humans.[18][19] Chulls are considered slow to react.[20]

The behavior of an individual chull can change dramatically following First Pupation.[17]

They sometimes clack their mandibles and look about their surroundings, they also often twitch their antennae. What these behaviors mean is as of yet unknown.[4] They are also known to engage in behavior referred to as fidgeting, this is observed when they are stopped after pulling a wagon for a prolonged period.[2]

In some cases, they are considered stubborn.[21]


Chulls are omnivorous creatures with a varied diet. They eat everything from rockbuds to slugs to smaller crustaceans.[2][9][12][22][23] Domestic chulls are often fed lavis grain;[24] chulls are also often fed rocklily leaves, or crushed shelltick and shalebark oil mixed into their water, which are all used in order to prevent metamorphosis at various stages of the chull lifecycle.[17]


Chulls are known to groom one another, removing various rockbuds that grow upon their shell.[12]


Chulls are often herded in large groups by their owners.[25]


Chulls are considered less intelligent than horses,[26] they are able to memorize various rhythms and associate them with commands and actions, allowing them to be effective beasts of burden.[27] However, this requires training.[17][28] Comparing someone's intelligence to a chull is sometimes used as an insult.[29][30]

Pack Behavior[edit]

Wild chulls are known to gather together in packs, indicating that they are social animals.[31][32] They are known to groom each other, likely other members of their pack.[12]


They are known to be prey to Chasmfiends, these larges creatures are able to crush a chull's shell in their strong jaws, making for easy consumption.[33][34]


Chulls appear to be diurnal creatures, sleeping during the night and spending the day awake.[citation needed] When they sleep, they pull their legs into grooves the shell, disguising themselves as boulders in order to protect themselves while they sleep.[5][3]


They are capable of making a wide range of noises, including a gravelly bleating,[35][33][36] trumpeting,[37] and snorting.[38]


In order for chulls to learn to how follow human orders, and thus serve as beasts of burden, they must be trained by a professional trainer. Chulls must be trained twice, once as a chull cremling, and once as a mature chull following the memory loss after First Pupation.[17][28]

There are several different methods of training chull.

  • In the rural areas of Jah Keved, chulls are harnessed and controlled with complex leather bridles.[1]
  • In the coastal region around Kharbranth, chull drivers often sit directly on the chull's shell and direct them by tapping on their antennae with long poles.[1]
  • Some chulls are trained to respond to different rhythms tapped out on their shells with a guiding reed. These reeds are often as long as a person is tall and allow the driver to drive from the wagon or cart rather than riding on the chull itself.[27]


Chull are highly valued as work animals and are considered to be worth more than the average slave.[39] Some people maintain chull herds and rent their labor out on a contract basis.[40]They are slow but strong and are used to pull everything up to and including the large complex bridges Dalinar uses for chasm crossings.[40] Since their shells can be carved without harming the animal, some people sand flat places on top of a chull to ride and many carts are hooked to fittings drilled directly into their shells. Shelves and racks can also be carved into or attached directly to chull shells.[1]

Since it is lightweight and durable, chull shell is used as a crafting material. Shallan had a havah with chull-shell buttons.[41]

Chull meat is edible. It can be dried and stored as jerky.[31] In some cultures, including Herdazian and Unkalaki, chull head is considered a delicacy.[42]

During the War of Reckoning, Dalinar Kholin used them to pull his bridges, rather than put the lives of bridgemen at risk.[40]

Cultural References[edit]

There is a tavern in Dalinar's warcamp called the "Ornery Chull."[43]


You think I'm scared of a lumbering chull like you?

Teft's nervous retort.[5]

Jasnah is inordinately fond of dust, I believe she thrives on it, feeding off the particles like a chull crunching rockbuds.

Shallan Davar talking with Kabsal[22]

An army was like a massive chull at times, lumbering along, slow to react

Dalinar regarding his army.[20]

Everyone has a place. You're out of yours. Like a chull in a dining hall

Kaladin's impression of the lighteyes regard for him and his guards.[44]

Storms, he was like a rat gnawing on the toes of a chull

Adolin's inner monologue while battling a Thunderclast.[45]


  • Chull whiskers are similar to those of a cat.[3]
  • There are currently no chulls that are holding Shards.[46]


  1. a b c d e f Shallan's Sketchbook: Chulls
  2. a b c d e The Way of Kings chapter 4#
  3. a b c General Reddit 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-01-01#
  4. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 28#
  5. a b c d e The Way of Kings chapter 23#
  6. Words of Radiance chapter 48#
  7. Oathbringer chapter 116#
  8. Inkthinker's comments on the Chull page from Shallan's Sketchbook
    — Deviant Art #
  9. a b c General Reddit 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-12-17#
  10. Words of Radiance interlude I-3#
  11. The Way of Kings chapter 55#
  12. a b c d e Miscellaneous 2024
    Arcanum - 2024-04-09#
  13. Phoenix Comic-Con 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-06-02#
  14. a b Oathbringer chapter 68#
  15. Oathbringer chapter 104#
  16. Words of Radiance chapter 49#
  17. a b c d e f g The Life Cycle of a Chull
  18. Words of Radiance chapter 15#
  19. Words of Radiance chapter 28#
  20. a b The Way of Kings chapter 56#
  21. Oathbringer chapter 18#
  22. a b The Way of Kings chapter 33#
  23. Oathbringer chapter 2#
  24. The Way of Kings chapter 2#
  25. Oathbringer chapter 65#
  26. Oathbringer chapter 10#
  27. a b Words of Radiance chapter 17#
  28. a b The Way of Kings chapter 4 epigraph#
  29. Dawnshard chapter 18#
  30. Rhythm of War chapter 15#
  31. a b Words of Radiance chapter 70#
  32. Rhythm of War chapter 62#
  33. a b The Way of Kings chapter 13#
  34. Yumi and the Nightmare Painter chapter 33#
  35. The Way of Kings chapter 12#
  36. Oathbringer chapter 103#
  37. The Way of Kings chapter 21#
  38. The Way of Kings chapter 26#
  39. The Way of Kings chapter 46#
  40. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 15#
  41. The Way of Kings chapter 3#
  42. Words of Radiance chapter 12#
  43. Words of Radiance chapter 46#
  44. Words of Radiance chapter 44#
  45. Oathbringer chapter 120#
  46. JordanCon 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-07-17#
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