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by Ben McSweeney
Type Animal
World Roshar
Featured In The Stormlight Archive

A cremling was a type of scavenger crustacean on Roshar that was native to the Shattered Plains,[1] the Purelake,[2] Kharbranth,[3] and likely other areas, such as Alethkar.[4] The term "cremling" seems to be more of a generalized name for a whole group of small scavenger crustaceans.[1] They were reviled by humans, who often called others cremlings to degrade and insult them.[5]

Appearance and Anatomy[edit]

As there are many species of cremlings, their appearance is not uniform. They have claws[6] and a carapace[7] and tend to be tiny, multilegged, and thin,[3] with elongated bodies.[6] In the Purelake, at least, cremlings have a multitude of colors.[2] The cremlings in the chasms of the Shattered Plains had a reddish hue, but their carapace was semi-transparent, so their organs could be seen.[8] As a group, cremlings seem to share the trait of purple blood.[9] Some cremlings, most notably in Kharbranth, had carapaces that were shaded like the feelers of shalebark.[3]

It is possible that for an unknown reason cremlings may sometimes shed their carapace.[7]


Cremlings had two primary food sources. The first was scavenging. They drank blood,[10] as well as ate the flesh of the deceased humans,[8] Parshendi,[10] and other creatures, such as chasmfiends.[11] The other source of food came from plants. After highstorms, plants would often unfurl to drink in the nutrient rich rainwater. The cremlings would feed on the newly exposed parts of the plants.[12]

Cremlings lived in burrows often located in cracks in the rock.[6]

Some cremlings seem to have had a symbiotic relationship with shalebark.[3] The cleaned the shalebark by eating anything that had built up on the shalebark. The coloring of these cremlings helped them blend with the shalebark, disguising them from predators.

The cremlings grew from larvae, which matured in stagnant pools of water.[13]

The cremlings were preyed upon by graspers, who would swiftly seize cremlings and pull them into their lairs.[6]


  1. a b The Way of Kings chapter 4
  2. a b The Way of Kings interlude I-1
  3. a b c d The Way of Kings chapter 39
  4. The Way of Kings chapter 41
  5. The Way of Kings chapter 6
  6. a b c d The Way of Kings chapter 57
  7. a b The Way of Kings chapter 49
  8. a b The Way of Kings chapter 27
  9. The Way of Kings chapter 31
  10. a b The Way of Kings chapter 56
  11. The Way of Kings chapter 15
  12. The Way of Kings chapter 11
  13. The Way of Kings chapter 43
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