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Type Animal
World Roshar
Featured In The Stormlight Archive

Greatshells are a group of large, crustacean-like animals native to Roshar. They include chasmfiends,[1] the yu-nerig[2], the extinct Lanceryn[3], and others.[Citation needed]

People from Kadrix are said to ride greatshell beasts.[3]

Appearance Anatomy[edit]

Larger species have a large gem inside of them, called a gemheart. Greatshells are usually wild and hunted for their gemhearts, edible meat and carapace, although some species are domesticated.

Their blood is violet, and has a musty, moldy smell.[4]

They have no tongue, and a complex set of jaws. Chasmfiends, for example, have some flat platelike teeth for crushing and destroying shells and other, smaller mandibles for ripping off flesh or shoving it deeper into the throat.

Greatshells live in symbiotic relationships with spren that allow them to grow as large as they do.[5] These spren only appear around the corpses of recently killed greatshells.[6]

Known Greatshell Species[edit]


  1. The Way of Kings chapter 12
  2. The Way of Kings chapter 40
  3. a b The Way of Kings chapter 36
  4. The Way of Kings chapter 26
  5. What are the smoke-y spren that appear around a dead chasmfiend?
    Theoryland - 2012-09
  6. The Way of Kings chapter 15
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