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Hydrator

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Hydrator
Type Survival aid
Abilities Collects potable water in Shadesmar
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive

Cold makes water. Water collects in that basin. You drink, and don't die.

— Captain Ico describing the function of a hydrator[1]

A hydrator is a device used to collect water in Shadesmar on Roshar.[2]

It's about three feet tall and made entirely out of steel. A number of prongs akin to tree branches surround a central column rising from a round basin at the bottom. There is a hole in the center, just large enough for one of Shadesmar beads to be inserted.[1]

To function, a hydrator requires a bead corresponding to ice that comes from a high place, high enough that it would never melt. When manifested in Shadesmar, the bead begins to emanate cold. It is then inserted into the hydrator. Eventually, mist begins to collect on the prongs and drip down into the basin, producing drinkable water. It takes about an hour to make a small cup.[1]

Kaladin speculates that the hydrator somehow pulls the water out of the ice through the bead.[1] It's more likely, however, that it simply collects moisture from the surrounding air through condensation, similar to how a glass of cold drink will start collecting droplets of water on its outside. If so, the ice bead serves only to cool the metal.

As spren do not require water, a working hydrator is a clear sign of human presence in Shadesmar.[2] Spren ships that expect to pick up human passengers will carry them on board.[1]

Notes

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