|Featured In||White Sand|
”Taldain is one of the most bizarre planets in the cosmere, a fact that, in turn, feels bizarre to me.
Geography and Ecology
Taldain is located in the Taldain system. It is a tidally locked planet--one side experiencing perpetual day and the other locked in endless night. It was purposely placed in its current location. An hour on Taldain is 100 minutes long. There is a temperature difference between the two halves but it does not snow on Darkside.
Taldain is home to two prominent cultures; Dayside and Darkside.
The Dayside has one roughly circular landmass, surrounded on all sides by ocean. People from Dayside are called Daysiders. There are six nations on the Dayside of Taldain; Kerzta, Lossand, Denka, Seevis, Nor'Tallon and Tallon. There is a mountain range on the eastern side of the landmass, which runs through Nor'Tallon and borders Seevis and Tallon. A mountain named KraeDa lies at the center of Dayside. Most of the planets Investiture is found on Dayside. The sand on Dayside is all covered by lichen. This lichen is where the striking color of the sand comes from as well as its change in color.
Much of Dayside is covered in sand and rock. Most of its flora and fauna live beneath the surface of the sand. Fauna such as sandlings and other sand animals inhabit the areas known as the deep sands. Some of these creatures such as Karaks are hunted for sport. It is rare for these creatures to venture far from the deepsands. Thousands of small sandlings tend to stick together in the Deep sands, when they move they agitate the sand causing people to mistake them for a larger creature causing them to retreat. Sandlings go to the surface to feed by eating the top layer of sand, after digestion the sand loses its properties until it recharges in the sun. This is similar to how sand has to recharge after being used for Sand Mastery. Delrak Naisha also are found in the deep sands. They are creatures that wait just beneath the sand, if the sand above them are disturbed they emerge and consume whatever creature is above it.
Tonks are a type of domesticated animal on Dayside, used as mounts. They however are limited in that they are scared of water and refuse to cross it. Tonks bury themselves underneath the sand in response to sandstorms. They are also easily confused and mistake many things for a sandstorm.
The Dorim vine is a plant used as a water source on Dayside, and areas where they grow are not considered to be desert. The plant stores water primarily as a defensive measure against other creatures. Its water dissolves the shells of many sand creatures, any attempting to eat the plant their mouths would begin to melt. The growth of Dorim vines as a result limits how large sandlings can grow.
Not all of the ecology of Dayside is uniform however. The city of Kezare is cultivated for farming and is more fertile than the low sands regions. The Darkside quarter of the city also has flowers native to Darkside growing within it.
The sun does not move in the sky on Dayside. As a result Daysiders find it easy to navigate by using the sun as a reference point. Many Daysiders feel a spiritual bond with their sun, and some, such as the Kerztians, worship it.
Most Daysiders are afraid of the dark.
The Dynasty is the most powerful and influential economic and political force on Darkside. It is ruled by Skathan. The Dynasty wishes to grow and expand its influence, though it is opposed by other minor nations such as Elis. Despite this opposition, however, the power of Skathan runs deep within Darkside, with him being able to send agents of his into different groups within the continent.
Darkside is illuminated primarily by UV light, the flora having adapted to utilize this section of the electromagnetic spectrum. This causes Darksiders to have illuminated teeth, eyes, and nails. The plant and animal life also glows under UV light. Visitors to the region often describe it as looking somewhere between striking and garish. It also accounts for why Darksiders have dark skin when they don't live in a traditional climate for high melanin content. Most of Darkside is covered in a lichen. When visiting Dayside, Darksiders must wear dark lenses to protect their eyes. They can go without, however, if the angle of the sun is not directly above them. 
The Kerztian word for Darksider is Lonsha.
The planet was placed in its current location purposefully. It is unknown whether it existed before being put in its current location. Autonomy also settled in the star system as the sole Shard present. At some point, the planet was settled by humans. Due to how the genetics of the settlers played out, Daysiders ended up with pale skin.
At some stage, an avatar of Autonomy began to be noticed by people from Dayside and became known as the Sand Lord. This being eventually became important to Ker'Reen Philosophy, and the dominant object of worship for the people of Kerzta. Different religious belief was formed in the Diem, an important part of the government of Lossand. This difference of faith led to frequent war between Lossand and Kerzta. Peace was eventually gained when the high priest government of Kerzta was replaced by a merchant nobility.
After 200 years, there was a push again by the A’kar, the head priest of Ker’Reen Philosophy, to take control by diplomatic means. In an attempt to win favour with the public, they wiped out the Diem, their long-standing rivals, and claimed it was done to please the Sand Lord.  This failed, however, and the Diem managed to recover. As a result, support for the A’kar crumbled and they failed to take control of the Kerzta government.
For unknown reasons, the planet became closed off to visitors. This change in behaviour is usually attributed to Autonomy. Around the same time, Taldain stopped progressing technologically, where once it was the most advanced of all the planets. Later, it became possible to visit Taldain again.
Autonomy, a Shard of Adonalsium, resides on Taldain, primarily in the atmosphere. It is the only Shard in the system. Autonomy has made Taldain inaccessible from the Cognitive Realm. However, at some point it became possible to enter Taldain again.
Contrary to belief on-world, both sides of the planet are invested. The majority of Autonomy's Investiture, however, is on Dayside. Investiture is abundant enough there that a Returned could live there easily. One could also theoretically access the Investiture of Taldain off-world if they can see the sun. The Dayside of Taldain has access to sand mastery, the most dramatic form of magic on the planet. Despite this, the magic uses little Investiture. Darkside has its own form of magic, but the effects are not nearly as noticeable. Darkside magic involves tattoos.
Kerzta is a powerful nation in the western portion of the Dayside continent. Its people worship the Sand Lord and abide by the Ker'Reen Philosophy. It has a deep enmity with its neighbor, Lossand, due to its acceptance of Sand mastery although they have not been in direct conflict in centuries.
Lossand is a country that stretches in a wedge from KraeDa in the center of the continent to the southern coast around the Ry'Do Ali River. It is ruled by the Council of Taishin, the heads of the eight Professions vital to their life and culture.
The Rim Kingdoms are a series of smaller nations on the eastern and north-eastern coast of the Dayside continent. They consist of:
Darkside is more technologically and scientifically advanced than the Dayside, having invented weapons such as guns and explosives. They also had instant noodles, which Hoid enjoyed, and wants Scadrial to replicate.
The people on Darkside speak a language known as Dynastic. The language comes from the Dynasty, the dominant economic and political force on the continent. However, Darkside is home to more states, including Elis and Iiaria.
- Map of Taldain system
- Arcanum Unbounded - The Taldain System#
- Leipzig Book Fair
— Arcanum - 2017-03-24#
- White Sand Volume 1 chapter 1#
- Manchester signing
— Arcanum - 2014-08-06#
- White Sand Volume 1 chapter 5#
- Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing
— Arcanum - 2016-12-06#
- White Sand Volume 2 chapter 5#
- White Sand Volume 2 chapter 3#
- White Sand Volume 1 chapter 2#
- White Sand Volume 1 chapter 3#
- White Sand Volume 1 chapter 4#
- General Reddit 2016
— Arcanum - 2016-10-12#
- White Sand Volume 3 chapter 4#
- White Sand Volume 3 chapter 2#
- Manchester signing
— Arcanum - 2014-08-06#
- White Sand vol.1 release party
— Arcanum - 2016-06-28#
- White Sand Volume 2 chapter 6#
- White Sand Volume 3 chapter 3#
- Shadows of Self release party
— Arcanum - 2015-10-05#
- /r/fantasy AMA 2011
— Arcanum - 2011-08-31#
- Words of Radiance San Francisco signing
— Arcanum - 2014-03-06#
- Warsaw signing
— Arcanum - 2017-03-18#
- White Sand Volume 3 chapter 6#
- DrogaKrolow.pl interview
— Arcanum - 2017-03-17#
- Salt Lake ComicCon FanX 2016
— Arcanum - 2016-03-26#
- Shadows of Self release party
— Arcanum - 2015-10-05#
- Kraków signing
— Arcanum - 2017-03-21#
- FanX 2021
— Arcanum - 2021-09-16#
- Oathbringer release party
— Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
- Shadows of Self Chicago signing
— Arcanum - 2015-10-12#
|White Sand (Taldain)|
Volume 1 · Volume 2 · Volume 3
|Characters||Kenton · Khrissalla · Baon · Ais · Drile · Aarik · Praxton · Jon Acron · Cynder · Nilto · Dirin · Gevalden · Heelis · Delius · Vey · N'Teese · Sharezan|
|Places||Lossand · Kezare · Kerzta · Elis · Dynasty · Lraezare · Kerla|
|Lifeforms||Sandling · Dorim vine · Tonk|
|Groups||Taishin · Diem · DaiKeen|
|Magic||Sand mastery · Sand|
|Mythology and Lore||Autonomy · Ker'Reen Philosophy · Sand Lord|
|Shards||Ambition · Autonomy · Cultivation · Devotion · Dominion · Endowment · Harmony · Honor · Invention · Mercy · Odium · Preservation · Ruin · Valor · Whimsy · Survival Shard|
|Planets||Ashyn · Braize · First of the Sun · Nalthis · Obrodai · Roshar · Scadrial · Sel · Taldain · Threnody · Vax · Yolen|
|Terms||Adonalsium · Sliver · Splinter · Realmatic Theory · Investiture · Connection · Identity · Fortune · Intention · Initiation · Perpendicularity · Worldhopper · Spiritweb · Resonance · Axon|
|Other||Hoid · Khriss · Seventeenth Shard · Ire · Shattering · Letters · Silverlight|