by Ben McSweeney
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
THEY ARE THE SPREN OF PARSHMEN LONG DEAD. THEY ARE THEIR KINGS, THEIR LIGHTEYES, THEIR VALIANT SOLDIERS FROM LONG, LONG AGO. THE PROCESS IS NOT EASY ON THEM. SOME OF THESE SPREN ARE MERE FORCES NOW, ANIMALISTIC, FRAGMENTS OF MINDS GIVEN POWER BY ODIUM. OTHERS ARE MORE … AWAKE. EACH REBIRTH FURTHER INJURES THEIR MINDS.
THEY ARE REBORN USING THE BODIES OF PARSHMEN TO BECOME THE FUSED.”
The Fused are ancient singers who survived their death and are able to possess living singers during the Form bonding in the Everstorm. They are the highest authority in the singer society. They have powers similar to Surgebinding. Moash mentions that they only have nine orders instead of ten.
Fused exist almost like spren until they Bond with a singer. This Bonding is different from a normal bond and apparently obliterates the original mind of the singers that they inhabit. Each singer has a Gemheart; this is where a Fused exists inside the singer. When the singer inhabited by a Fused dies, the Fused returns to the Cognitive Realm. In the past they were returned to the prison on Braize; now each passing of the Everstorm allows the Fused to bond with a new singer. A singer can resist the bond with a Fused. Due to their Invested nature, Fused do not require a spren to maintain a form and full sapience.
The Fused use powers in ways similar to the Knights Radiant, but with a few notable differences. Like all Surgebinders, the Fused gain their abilities through manipulation of Roshar's fundamental forces, the Surges, though unlike them, each one of the Fused's nine forms only grants access to a single Surge. It is unknown whether a specific Fused can change forms (and thus, powers) during their current incarnation, nor is it clear whether they can change forms between rebirths, when they posses a new singer body. The only Fused whose death and rebirth has been shown so far, Lady Leshwi, has retained her control over the Surge of Gravitation.
Another difference between the Fused and the Surgebinders lies in the fuel they use to power their abilities. Where Surgebinders use Stormlight, the Fused rely on Voidlight - a reserve of Investiture they don't appear to acquire from physical reservoirs, like gemstones, but is instead supplied directly to them. Counteracting this ease of access, however, is Voidlight's inability to heal the wounds of those Invested with it. This is slightly confusing, however, since the Illumination Fused who first tried to steal the perfect ruby in Thaylen City obviously did heal from wounds until his Voidlight was consumed by a larkin. Possibly, like people with honorblades, they can heal from mundane wounds, but not shardwounds. How Moash was then able to kill Leshwi with a spear and knife is unclear.
Not all Fused forms are known currently, and none of them are given names that would allow referencing them independently of the Surges they control, but a few make an appearance prior to the Battle of Thaylen Field.
Fused who can manipulate the Surge of Gravitation do so very similarly to how the Order of the Windrunners makes use of the Basic Lashing. Fused of this form are often seen manipulating the gravitation vector of both themselves and other bodies and objects, resulting in abilities such as flight, reduced weight, and sending their enemies flying off into the air.
Fused who interact with the Surge of Illumination appear to mimic the Lightweavers' ability to change their own appearance by creating illusions. The most notable example of this is seen during the attempt to steal the King's Drop (which is possibly Honor's Drop) from the Thaylen Gemstone Reserve.
Fused who control the Surge of Abrasion have the ability to change the force of friction between objects and bodies, resulting in effects not dissimilar to the skate-like gliding the Edgedancers can do.
There is at least one additional ability which has yet to be confirmed to any one Surge. A Fused in the siege around Kholinar was able to grow his carapace into a saw-blade at the lumberyard, while another at the Battle of Thaylen City grew weapons and armor. Fans speculate that this power is either Progression or Cohesion.