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Cultivation and the Nightwatcher 2.jpg
Vessel Unknown
Slivers None
Splinters Spren
Status Alive and whole[1][2]
Perpendicularity Cultivation's Perpendicularity
Magics Surgebinding[3], Old Magic
Residence Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive

I control all things that can be grown, nurtured.
That includes the thorns.

—Cultivation to Dalinar[4]

Cultivation is one of the sixteen Shards of Adonalsium.[5] She resides on Roshar, having originally come there with Honor before Odium's arrival.[6] Its Vessel's name is unknown, although Hoid calls her Slammer.[7] Cultivation’s Investiture is typically associated with the color green.[8]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Cultivation and the Nightwatcher

This woman extended into eternity.

Cultivation's Vessel's true appearance is unknown. When speaking with Dalinar, she creates a "puppet" shaped like a dark-skinned woman with a matronly build. She wears a sweeping brown dress that seems to meld into the undergrowth, and has a voice described as sounding like tumbling stones.[4]

She appears to be rather calculating and cautious, preferring to set things up from the background than taking action directly, likely thanks to having front-row view of what happens to Shards that do fight Odium head-on.[4] She is deeply private and secretive, retreating from people and hiding her plans and thoughts from them. This leads to many thinking that she has given up on humanity at large, while in reality she is hiding and planning.[9][10] When she does interact with people, she is rather curt and self-assured, leaving no room for discussion or doubts, though she can be considerate when need be.[4]

She and Tanavast were once romantically involved, and she seems to feel similarly about Stormfather, likely due to his nature as Honor's Cognitive Shadow. Whether what she feels is still love is unknown.[11][12]

Her intent as a Shard appears to be related to transformation. According to Odium, all she wishes to see is change, regardless of where it leads.[13] In her own view, on the other hand, she wishes to grow things and people, and prune them if need be, to shape them in a desired form, even if she accepts that there will always be a degree of uncertainty.[4]

Associated Magics[edit]


Surgebinding is a magic system derived from both Cultivation and Honor.[3] To Surgebind, a person must bond a spren, which grants them the ability to inhale Stormlight and use it for various purposes, chief among them self-healing and manipulating Surges, the fundamental forces of Roshar.[14] Some Surges are more inclined towards Cultivation, while others are closer to Honor. Additionally, some of the Radiant spren appear to be closer to Cultivation than others.[15]

The spren capable of forming the Radiant bonds are likewise a mix of Cultivation and Honor's Investitures; as such, a Shardblade is a mix of her and his metals.[16]

Old Magic[edit]

Old Magic is a magic "system" that appears to be usable only by Cultivation and Nightwatcher.[4] It allows for granting another person a boon and a bane based on their request. The boons and banes can range from physical objects, such as money or swords, to mental alterations, such as making a person see upside-down for the rest of their life, or erasing memories.[4][17] It even permits Realmatic changes, such as granting a new and unique way of acquiring Investiture.[9]

There is more to Old Magic than just boons and banes; however, there is no person currently known to make use of that.[18]


Cultivation has her own form of gaseous Investiture, comparable to the Scadrian Mists[19] and likely equivalent to Stormlight and Voidlight.[20] When visiting the Nightwatcher, Dalinar sees Cultivation surrounded by green mist,[4] which is likely that.[19] It is unknown if "Cultivationlight" can fuel any magic system or power.


Cultivation is capable of seeing the future, with Honor mentioning that she is much better at it than he ever was.[5] While certainly one of the better users of futuresight in cosmere, she herself admits that she cannot truly predict everything.[4]

She is capable of creating spren of herself, the chief example of this being the Nightwatcher.[21] This being said, Nightwatcher is not very humanlike, and so Cultivation keeps her in the Valley to hold court, and grants her the use of Old Magic.[4] Cultivationspren are also likely tied to Cultivation herself, as they refer to her as "Mother".[9][22]

Something about her presence on Roshar, whether intentional or otherwise, makes it easier for animal life there to attain a degree of sentience, with both Ryshadium and santhids being far more intelligent than their peers for this reason.[23]

Cultivation's Perpendicularity is located in the Horneater Peaks, and forms either one or all of the Horneater Oceans, the giant lakes at the top of the mountains. Until the True Desolation, where it was overtaken by the Fused, it was the main way for worldhoppers to travel to and from Roshar.[24][25]

Cultivation appears to have the ability to kill or at least seriously wound Odium, as he refrained from killing Stormfather out of fear of what she could do to him.[26]


Cultivation, Honor and Odium

Shattering and ancient Roshar[edit]

It's unknown who Cultivation's Vessel is, only that she dates back to the Shattering of Adonalsium and that she greatly dislikes Hoid.[27] The Shard itself was created during the Shattering, and was subsequently taken up by the Vessel. She and Honor, with whom she was romantically involved, departed the site of the Shattering, Yolen, and ended up on Roshar.[11] There, they became the gods of a local sentient species known as the singers. However, following Odium's arrival in the Rosharan system, the two Shards ended up siding with human newcomers instead.[26]

Although Cultivation assisted Honor in fighting Odium, Honor still perished.[28] Following his death, Cultivation withdrew in grief, and appeared to have lost all interest in aiding mankind any longer.[9] This was not entirely correct, however -- rather than hiding, she was planning.[10]

Era of Solitude[edit]

In the late Era of Solitude, Cultivation used the Old Magic at least twice. She granted Taravangian the compassion and the capacity to save the world, while also making it so that the proportion of one to the other changes daily, though the exact reason why is uncertain.[29] She also intervened when Dalinar Kholin came to see the Nightwatcher and beg for forgiveness. Instead of this, she made him forget his wife, which served as both a boon and a bane.[4]

Unlike with all other boons and banes, Dalinar's memories gradually returned after the arrival of the Everstorm.[30] This was deliberately engineered by Cultivation to give him time to come to terms with his past before Odium would try to use it to turn Dalinar into his champion.[31]


Storming Mother of the World and Father of Storms above!

Cultivation has been honored on Roshar for a long time, at least since the era of the Knights Radiant.[33] In the present day, however, her worship is limited to the western part of the continent, where she is considered an embodiment of nature and nature spren.[34] There, she is sometimes referred to as Mother of the World.[32] Even in the east, people sometimes make references to Mother Cultivation, though typically as a joke.[35] In Vorinism, belief in her and her cohorts, such as the Nightwatcher, is considered pagan superstition and usually dismissed.[4][33]

Cultivation is also highly revered by cultivationspren. Though the precise relation between them and her is unclear, they often call her Mother or Blessed Mother, and only sometimes by her proper name.[22][36][37] "Mother's vines" appears to be a particular curse related to Cultivation.[38]



  1. Rithmatist Albuquerque signing
    Arcanum - 2013-05-22#
  2. Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2016-12-06#
  3. a b Boskone 54
    Arcanum - 2017-02-18#
  4. a b c d e f g h i j k l m Oathbringer chapter 114 #
  5. a b The Way of Kings chapter 75 #
  6. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-26#
  7. General Signed Books 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-01-01#
  8. ICon 2019
    Arcanum - 2019-10-15#
  9. a b c d Words of Radiance interlude I-9 #
  10. a b Oathbringer London signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-28#
  11. a b Rithmatist Albuquerque signing
    Arcanum - 2013-05-22#
  12. JordanCon 2014
    Arcanum - 2014-04-11#
  13. Oathbringer chapter 57 #
  14. interview with Brandon Sanderson
    Arcanum - 2010-12-25#
  15. FanX 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-09-06#
  16. Skyward Denver signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-15#
  17. The Way of Kings interlude I-7 #
  18. Legion Release Party
    Arcanum - 2018-09-19#
  19. a b Idaho Falls signing
    Arcanum - 2018-12-29#
  20. Read For Pixels 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-09-01#
  21. JordanCon 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-04-23#
  22. a b Oathbringer chapter 118 #
  23. Shadows of Self Denver signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-06#
  24. Oathbringer chapter 93 #
  25. Oathbringer chapter 102 #
  26. a b Oathbringer chapter 111 #
  27. Words of Radiance chapter 55 #
  28. Idaho Falls Signing
    Arcanum - 2015-11-28#
  29. Tel Aviv Signing
    Arcanum - 2019-10-18#
  30. Oathbringer chapter 24 #
  31. Oathbringer chapter 121 #
  32. a b Edgedancer chapter 15 #
  33. a b Oathbringer chapter 29 #
  34. Words of Radiance chapter 3 #
  35. Oathbringer chapter 21 #
  36. Edgedancer chapter 4 #
  37. Edgedancer chapter 13 #
  38. Edgedancer chapter 11 #
  39. General Signed Books 2014
    Arcanum - 2014-01-01#
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