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Crem

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Crem
Type Substance
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Stormlight Archive

Crem is a type of sediment on Roshar carried by highstorm rains.[1]

Overview[edit]

Crem is a light brown, sediment-like substance. It falls along with the heavy rains during highstorms, while the lighter rainfall during the Weepings does not carry it.[2] It gives stormwater a metallic taste.[3] Consuming it can cause sickness, making highstorm water unsafe to drink; however, after about a day, it will settle on the bottom of the container, leaving clean water above.[4] When dried, it can turn into dust.[5][6] "Cremslime" - the mud formed of water mixed with crem - has an unpleasant stench.[7] Densely-packed, accumulated crem forms cremstone, which is tannish brown in color.[8]

Highstorms cause crem buildup on all structures, whether unnatural or natural, such as buildings, plateaus, and even corpses.[9][10] Unless cleaned regularly, everything on Roshar eventually becomes covered with crem, and any overhangs will grow crem stalagmites.[11][9] In fact, the entire continent is slowly "migrating" leeward, thanks to the highstorms depositing crem as they travel.[12]

Despite being above the storms, even Urithiru has some crem built up on the Oathgate platforms.[13] At this point, it's unclear how it got there, especially given that the parts of Horneater Peaks that lie above the storms do not accumulate it.[8]

Applications[edit]

Ecology[edit]

Crem is utilized by native Rosharan flora as source of nutrients, as well as structural reinforcement. Jella trees absorb crem to strengthen their wood against highstorms.[14] Shalebark feeds on crem, and lavis polyps grow from seed-crem (which can be presumed to be crem mixed with lavis seeds).[15][16]

Human uses[edit]

Crem is one of Roshar's most versatile materials. Historically, humans have used it in construction, in the form of bricks.[17] Crem-brick buildings can be found even in the present day, and some cities, such as Kharbranth, have walls plastered with crem for insulation.[18] Singers, too, utilize crem and stone as building materials.[19]

To filter crem out of rainwater, the people of Roshar use storm cisterns, which can do so automatically.[20][21] The crem filtered out of water is often used as clay.[4] Among others, the people of Sesemalex Dar are renowned for their expert crem pottery.[22]

Crem is also utilized in farming. When growing lavis, crem is added as fertilizer.[23] It's also used when deworming fields to close the holes after removing worms, so that no new pests can infest the field again.[4]

In scholarship, crem can be used for geological and archaeological dating, by measuring the strata and the crem buildup. However, this isn't practical in areas that experience strong winds, as crem pools unevenly there.[24]

In culture[edit]

Crem is a go-to derogatory term for most Rosharans, and features in a number of insults, such as "cremstained", "crem-crusted" or "the crem of something".[7][25][26] The small crustaceans of Roshar are collectively called cremlings; this, too, is used as an insult.[7] This being said, while it is generally considered a nuisance, Rysn finds crem superior to Shinovar soil, if only slightly.[27]

One of Roshar's "where babies come from" myths claims that they are crafted from crem clay.[28]

Trivia[edit]

  • The word "crem" is a transliteration, rather than translation, of the Rosharan word for it.[29]

Notes[edit]

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