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Type Animal
Sapient Yes
Native to Aimia
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
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Larkin are small, highly-valued, flying crustacean animals native to Aimia on Roshar. They can consume Stormlight as well as other forms of Investiture. They have been a critically-endangered species since the scouring of Aimia.[1] They are known as the Ancient Guardians, or Guardians of Ancient Sins, and have traditionally guarded the Dawnshard on Aimia.[2]

The larkin are associated with the Knights Radiant, though the specifics of their connection remain a mystery.[3] One effect of this connection is possibly that Surgebinders can sense a larkin's mood.[4]

Appearance and Anatomy[edit]

Larkin are generally between a hand and a small melon in size.[1] They are somewhat similar to cremlings in appearance, although, unlike the cremlings' crabbish faces, the larkin have small faces, like those of axehounds, with a snout, mouth, and shimmering eyes of solid silver, as well as wings that fold out of their backs. Their wings are strong enough that they can fly, at least short distances.[1][5][4]

Larkin are capable of hearing rhythms, similar to singers.[6] They are also able to understand human languages, and can even crudely replicate it.

During their lifespan a larkin bonds a particularly large kind of luckspren only found on Aimia and must migrate there every few years to do so. Larkin can grow to great sizes but most now remain small, likely because they aren't bonding luckspren. It is unclear what the difference between larkin and lanceryn is but they are very closely related.[7] Of the few larkin that exist, Chiri-Chiri is the only known creature to travel and bond a mandra in a long time.[8]

Larkin may have some sort of special connection to the Tai-na; Vstim says that Chiri-Chiri is given to Rysn by Relu-na itself.[5] According to Talik, a family of Reshi gods, the Na-Alind, made an agreement to keep safe the few surviving larkin after Aimia fell.[9]

Feeding on Investiture[edit]

The most outstanding feature of larkin is their ability to feed on Investiture (commonly Stormlight, as they originate from Roshar). This ability is related to both Leechers and Nightblood, although they can't hold as much Investiture as the latter.[10][11] They can suck Stormlight out of Surgebinders and Shardplate at will, causing the Light to stream visibly through the air and into the larkin's mouth.[4][12] Larkin can also eat Stormlight that has been stored in gems and drain the Voidlight from a Fused. After absorbing a large amount of Stormlight from the King's Drop, Chiri-Chiri becomes noticeably bigger.[13] Since larkin feed on Investiture, they are incapable of pushing it into people.[14] Larkin cannot feed on the Investiture of a person clad in aluminum or Shardplate, though they can feed on the Shardplate itself.[12]

A larkin would be able to prevent someone from becoming Returned by ingesting the Divine Breath as it attempted to enter the person.[15] Larkin could also kill a Returned by feeding on all of their Investiture.[16]


In the past, larkin have guarded the Dawnshard on Aimia, giving them the title Ancient Guardians.[2] During this time, the larkin were given eight Soulcasters as an offering, though it is unclear as to why.[8] Since the scouring of Aimia, larkin have become extremely rare,[1] but are not totally unknown; Shallan thinks of the phrase "rare as a larkin" when she has a moment of freedom[17] and kings are willing to pay fortunes for their corpses.[5]

After the disappearance of the larkin from Aimia, the Sleepless took over the task of guarding the Dawnshard, although they still revere the original protectors.[8]

Notable Larkin[edit]

  • Elhokar Kholin has the corpse of a larkin trapped inside a block of crystal to use as a paperweight in his conference room in the Pinnacle.[18]
  • Vstim trades a considerable quantity of goods for the corpse of a larkin.[5]
  • Rysn is given a live larkin by Relu-na.[5] She names it Chiri-Chiri.[13]
  • Nale uses one to drain Lift of Lifelight while attempting to capture her.[4]
  • Kaza briefly encounters a creature that fits the description of a larkin in its native Aimia.[19]


  • Brandon Sanderson and Isaac Stewart sometimes refer to them as "dragon bugs".[20]
  • The Sleepless have crossbred their hordelings with larkin in order to gain the ability to drain Investiture.[8]


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