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Dayside map.jpg
Shards Autonomy
Investitures Sand mastery, Starmarks
System Taldain system[1]
Universe Cosmere
Featured In White Sand
This page or section needs to be updated with new information for White Sand!
Be aware that in its current state, it may not include all additional content yet.

Taldain is one of the most bizarre planets in the cosmere, a fact that, in turn, feels bizarre to me.

Taldain is a planet in the cosmere located within the Taldain system and is the current residence of the Shard Autonomy.[3][4] It is the home world of Khriss, and is the world upon which the story of White Sand is set.

Geography and Ecology[edit]

Taldain is a tidally locked planet, one side of the world experiences perpetual day while the other side is locked in a type of endless night. This caused the ecology and culture on both sides of the planet to develop separately from one another. The two prominent cultures on Taldain are known as Dayside and Darkside.[2] The individuals pertaining to each culture are known as 'Daysiders' and 'Darksiders' respectively. There is a temperature difference between the two halves, though not enough for it to snow on Darkside.[5]

The area between both sides is known as the Terminal Storm, where storms rage violently on the seas, making it dangerous to cross.[6][7]


Most of the planets Investiture is found on Dayside.[8] Much of Dayside is covered in sand and rock, the sand itself being covered by lichen. This lichen is where the sand's striking white color comes from as well as the reason it changes from white to black in the process of sand mastery and other forms of investiture.[9]

Dayside is home to one large circular landmass that is surrounded by ocean on all sides. On this landmass there are six nations; 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.[10] A wide variety of Flora and Fauna make their home on this part of the planet. But due to the harshness of the sunlight, most of the flora and fauna live beneath the surface of the sand, where it is cooler.[2]


The Dorim vine is a plant used as a water source on Dayside by its inhabitants, areas where they grow are not considered to be desert. The plant stores water primarily as a defensive measure against other creatures as its water dissolves the shells of many sand creatures. Because of this any creature attempting to eat the plant would find their mouths beginning to melt.[11] As a result, the growth of Dorim vines limits how large sandlings can grow.[12]

The city of Kezare someis cultivated for farming and is more fertile than the low sand regions, as a result of this it has more varied flora.[13][14] The Darkside quarter of the city also has flowers native to Darkside growing within it.[10]


Sandlings inhabit the areas known as the deep sands on the continent, and it is rare for them to venture far from the deepsands.[15] Sandlings live by eating the layer of sand exposed to the surface. Similar to what happens when it is used for Sand Mastery, the sand turns dull after being digested and needs to recharge.[12]

There are multiple breeds of this type of creature. Some of them, such as Karaks, are hunted for sport.[12] Another breed consists of thousands of small sandlings which stick together in the Deep sands; when they move they agitate the sand above them causing them to be mistaken for a much larger creature forcing wanderers to retreat.[12] Delrak Naisha are another breed found in the deep sands. They are creatures that wait just beneath the sand; if the sand above them is disturbed, they emerge and consume whatever is above them.[12]

Tonks are a type of domesticated animal on Dayside unrelated to Sandlings, they are primarily used as mounts.[11] They are scared of water, however, and refuse to cross it, limiting where they can be taken to.[13] Travelling with Tonks is also frustrating because of their natural instinct to bury themselves underneath sand during a sandstorm and their tendency to mistake many things for sandstorms.[13]


Darkside, also known as Starside,[7] is illuminated primarily by UV light, the flora having adapted to utilize this section of the electromagnetic spectrum.[16] This causes Darksiders to have illuminated teeth, eyes, and nails.[17] The plant and animal life also glows under UV light.[5][2] Visitors to the region often describe it as looking somewhere between striking and garish.[2] It also accounts for why Darksiders have dark skin when they don't live in a traditional climate where a high melanin content is common. Most of Darkside is covered in a lichen.[18] 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.[19]

Unlike what was once assumed, Darkside is invested by Autonomy, though the effects of this aren't as noticeable.[2][20][8]


At an unknown date the planet was created and purposefully placed in its current location in the Taldain System.[21] Following the Shattering, Autonomy settled into the system as the sole Shard present.[3][4] At another stage in its early history the planet was settled by humans, due to how the genetics of the settles played out, Daysiders ended up with paler skin.[22]

Overtime those on Dayside began to notice the influence of one of Autonomy's Avatars which became known as the Sand Lord.[20] This entity eventually would form the basis to Ker'Reen Philosophy and became the dominant object of worship for the people of Kerzta. Differing religious beliefs 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. Permanent peace was eventually gained when the high priest government of Kerzta was replaced by a merchant nobility.[15]

After 200 years, there was a push again by the A'kar, the head priest of Ker'Reen Philosophy, to take control by democratic means. They made contact with a recent convert to Ker'Reen Philosophy within the Diems ranks and persuaded them to remain a member of the Diem and assist with a plan to wipe the organisation out. It was hoped that by doing so the A'kar would win favour with the public, under the pretence that the destruction of the Diem was the Sandlords whim.[15] Their efforts nearly succeeded but ultimately the remnants of the Diem managed to organise themselves and the new Lord Mastrell succeeded in persuading the Lossand government to maintain the Diem. This allowed the Diem to grow more powerful than before, as a result support for the A'kar crumbled and they failed to take control of the Kerzta government.[23]

At a later point, for reasons unknown, the planet became closed off to visitors.[24][2][25] Around this time the planet also stopped progressing technologically, this was a sudden shift as the world used to be one of the most advanced planets in the Cosmere.[24][25] At a later date it became easy to visit Taldain again.[26]


The culture of Taldain is split between the Dayside and Darkside due to the planets unique geography.[2]


Because the sun does not set on Dayside individuals living there have a variety of issues that needed to be resolved. In regards to keeping time, an hour on Taldain is 100 minutes long.[27] Because of its stationary nature many Daysiders find it easy to navigate by using the sun as a reference point.[11] Due to its ever present nature many Daysiders feel a spiritual bond with their sun, and some, such as the Kerztians, worship it.[11] Most Daysiders are afraid of the dark as well being unused to it.[28]

On Dayside there is a large circular continent that can be found, on this landmass there are a variety of countries. The largest and most powerful nations is Kerzta which is located on the western portion of the Dayside continent. Its people worship the Sand Lord and abide by the Ker'Reen Philosophy. Lossand is a country that is immediately next to it and 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. Both of these nations have an enmity with one another due to Kerzta accepting Sand mastery, althought they have not been in direct conflict in centuries.

In addition to these countries are the Rim Kingdoms which are a series of smaller nations on the eastern and north-eastern coast of the Dayside continent. They consist of; Denka, Seevis, Nor'Tallon and Tallon.


On Darkside or Starside, the most powerful and influential force in regards to culture, economics and politics is the Dynasty. This force is ruled by Skathan.[13] Its dominance is so strong that the language Darksiders speak is called Dynastic after the country.[11] It also is the most technologically advanced country in the planet with weapons such as guns and explosives being common creations within its borders.[13] They also had instant noodles, which Hoid enjoyed, and wants Scadrial to replicate.[29][30] Despite its dominance some minor nations such as Elis and Iiaria resists the Dynasty's push to grow and expand its influence even further.[31] Despite this however the nations power runs deep within Darkside with them being able to send their agents to infiltrate different groups throughout the continent.[31]

The Kerztian word for Darksider is Lonsha.[11]


Taldain is tidally locked around two suns, this makes it unique among other planets in the Cosmere.[2] It is located between the two suns in the system which orbit one another, because of a layer of dust around one of these suns one half of the world is trapped in endless sunlight and the other half in night.[2] This placement was done purposefully by its creator.[6][21] It is the only planet within the system and a single moon, Nizh Da, has a polar orbit around the world.[2]

An hour on Dayside is ninety minutes long and each day is separated into fifteen hours. On Darkside, an hour is sixty minutes long, and a day is separated into twenty-four hours.[7][6] Due to this, ninety Dayside minutes are equal to ninety-six Darkside minutes.[6]

It is kept in an unstable orbit around AisDa by the gravitational pull of Ridos, and by some other, unknown force, presumably Autonomy. This astronomically unstable orbit is known as "Wombear's Saddle".[6]

Magic System[edit]

The world of Taldain has been settled by Autonomy and as a result her investure can be found throughout the planet, primarily in the atmosphere.[20] Autonomy has allowed it to spread unusually; making it in theory easy to access, a Returned for instance would have little difficulty living on Taldain[25] and one could also theoretically access the worlds investure on another planet so long as they can see the star system.[32] For a time this was the only way to access its magic system as the world was shut off from the Cognitive Realm[20] but eventually it became possible to visit the world again.[26]

The most dramatic form of investure that can be found on the planet is Sand Mastery which is located on Dayside, despite its flashy appearance it uses very little investure however and primarily works through subtle manipulations with Connection between the user, Shard and White Sand. It is believed by residents of Taldain that only Dayside was invested by the Shard however this is incorrect and in fact both parts of the world are invested with the majority of it falling on Dayside.[2]

Darkside magic primarily functions through tattoos[33] but its effects are not nearly as noticeable.[8][20] This is seemingly the system referred to as Starmarks.[6][7]


  1. Map of Taldain system
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l Arcanum Unbounded - The Taldain System#
  3. a b /r/fantasy AMA 2011
    Arcanum - 2011-08-31#
  4. a b Words of Radiance San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-06#
  5. a b Manchester signing
    Arcanum - 2014-08-06#
  6. a b c d e f White Sand Ars Arcanum#
  7. a b c d White Sand prologue#
  8. a b c Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2016-12-06#
  9. White Sand chapter 11#
  10. a b White Sand chapter 5#
  11. a b c d e f White Sand chapter 3#
  12. a b c d e White Sand chapter 9#
  13. a b c d e White Sand chapter 4#
  14. General Reddit 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-10-12#
  15. a b c White Sand chapter 2#
  16. Manchester signing
    Arcanum - 2014-08-06#
  17. White Sand vol.1 release party
    Arcanum - 2016-06-28#
  18. White Sand chapter 12#
  19. White Sand chapter 15#
  20. a b c d e Shadows of Self release party
    Arcanum - 2015-10-05#
  21. a b Leipzig Book Fair
    Arcanum - 2017-03-24#
  22. Warsaw signing
    Arcanum - 2017-03-18#
  23. White Sand chapter 18#
  24. a b DrogaKrolow.pl interview
    Arcanum - 2017-03-17#
  25. a b c Salt Lake ComicCon FanX 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-03-26#
  26. a b Shadows of Self release party
    Arcanum - 2015-10-05#
  27. White Sand chapter 1#
  28. White Sand chapter 16#
  29. Oathbringer release party
    Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
  30. Shadows of Self Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-12#
  31. a b White Sand chapter 14#
  32. Kraków signing
    Arcanum - 2017-03-21#
  33. FanX 2021
    Arcanum - 2021-09-16#
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