Lumar

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Lumar
Shards None
Investitures Aethers
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Tress of the Emerald Sea
This page or section contains spoilers for Tress of the Emerald Sea!
This information has the ability to potentially ruin elements of the plot for the reader. Proceed with caution if you have not read this book.

I don't think I gave proper attention to just how beautiful Tress’s world was. To me, it was a backwater planet drowning in the dross of the aethers, which are more useful in other incarnations—and far easier to harvest on the moons themselves anyway. And yet, nowhere else in my travels have I witnessed anything like those spores.

Lumar is a planet in the cosmere whose twelve moons are home to a unique strain of aethers.[2] Only outsiders call it such, though the word "Lumar" is roughly similar in meaning to names given to the planet by some local cultures.[3]

Geography and Ecology[edit]

A ship sporelocked on the Emerald Sea, with the Emerald Moon visible. Outside of the seethe, the seas are solid enough for people to walk on the surface.

Moons and Spore Oceans[edit]

Lumar is located in an unknown star system considered a backwater of the cosmere.[4] The planet is surrounded by a set of twelve moons, each hanging in equidistant, geostationary orbits oppressively close to the surface.[5] Each day, the sun passes behind one of the twelve moons, leading to the shadow cast from it cooling the land by a few degrees.[6] This is is called a moonshadow, and is different from a total eclipse.[7]

Each moon is home to one of the twelve aethers; those aethers produce spores, which rain down on Lumar's surface in great, perpetual falls known as lunagrees. As a result, the entire planet is covered by oceans of aether spores.[2][5] The seas and moons figure heavily in the local language, with many people swearing by the moons or using phrases like "how on the seas".[7]

Owing to the moons being of equal distance to one another, each sea is of the same size, and roughly the same pentagonal shape.[1] This functions geometrically as twelve pentagons can tesselate the sphere, and due to the shape of the seas and the planet, each sea would border five others, with three around each vertex. The surface is uneven -- each sea is effectively a pile of sand, highest at the lunagree and lower on the border, where spores of the neighboring seas intermingle. However, the sheer size of the seas makes the incline imperceptible unless one is extremely close to the peak.[8] Far below the surface, the seafloor is full of thermal vents that pump out great amounts of air bubbles. This leads to the spores fluidizing, which makes the oceans behave akin to liquid. The locals call this process the seethe. The seethe usually lasts days; however, it will commonly pause for varying periods of time, known as stillings leaving all ships sailing across it sporelocked until it picks up again.[9][10] During those periods of calm, the ocean is solid enough to walk on, though one must exercise great care when doing so.[10]

Ships on the seas tend to have reinforced bow in order to protect the ship from the thick spores.[11]

The seas are not especially deep, measuring only a few hundred yards at their deepest.[12] There is an entire complex ecosystem of its own at the bottom; however, nothing is known about it.[12] It is a matter of research by Xisisrefliel and his servants.

The maps of Lumar keep the pentagonal shape of the seas, but it is not known what sort of projection these use in order to retain the shape despite regular pentagons being unable to tile the plane.[1]

Known oceans[edit]

Of those five, only Emerald, Sapphire and Rose Seas are commonly known to be inhabited. People can be found on the other oceans, however -- Xisis and his servants live at the bottom of the Crimson Sea, while the Midnight Sea is home to the Sorceress and her Midnight Essence creatures.[12][8] It can be further assumed that a Sunlight Sea exists, due to the existence of Sunlight Aether.[18] While no such sea is explicitly named, there is an unnamed ocean on the planet that has gold-colored spores.[6]

Aethers and Spore Eaters[edit]

Your moons are home to a group of voracious entities known as aethers. Though the true aethers on other worlds have a symbiosis with people, the ones on your moons have become insatiable, aggressive, and fecund.

The Lumaran strain of aether is aggressively hungry for water; the slightest contact with it, or any liquid containing it (such as sweat or blood) will cause the aether spores to burst into their element. This presents immense danger to all living creatures on the planet, as inhaling even a single spore can cause an explosion of growing vines, massive spikes or simply bursts of air in a person's body -- an event that is almost always deadly. Silver and salt both kill the spores, however, which the people of Lumar exploit to stay safe.[5]

The main aethers on the moons themselves seem to exhibit some level of sentience, although they are irrational and rabid. Occasionally, a human down on the planet's surface will become infected by the more sentient aether -- such people are known as spore eaters. It is unclear how one becomes infected with aether; theories range from people falling into the seas and somehow surviving, to consuming a special spore. Whatever the cause, as a result, the aether forms a parasitic relationship with the spore eater, demanding that the host feed it increasing amounts of water. The water provided by the spore eaters is somehow used to feed the main aethers on the moons.[2]

In exchange, the aether protects the spore eater from harm. As such, spore eaters are incredibly difficult to kill -- so long as they can keep their aether fed. Over time, the aether demands more and more water, and lacking it, begins to consume its host. As such, the affliction is both incredibly painful and always fatal, with most spore eaters lasting no more than a few years before their parasite consumes them.[2] It is generally incurable; only the dragon Xisis can heal the infection, and he claims that the cure must be continuously reapplied, or else the parasite will return within a year or two.[19]

While twelve varieties of aether can be found on Lumar, there is also a local legend of a thirteenth type of spore called "bone spores", whose color is debated to be white, black, or both. It is unknown where the story might have come from.[20] This description is similar to sand on Taldain, whose organisms react to Investiture by turning from black to white.

Rainfall[edit]

Yes, the spores are dangerous—they create red spines, sharp as a needle. But the real danger is the rain.

Though Lumar's water cycle does exist, it is poorly understood. Clouds take the form of narrow ribbons that weave swiftly along the sky, creating curtains of rain known as rainlines. As the water energizes the spores, squalls cause massive manifestations of the aethers' elements, making them further danger to living beings. However, over most oceans, squalls are predictable; a ribbon of rain will always follow the same pathway, enough so that the Lumarans create rain maps that can accurately predict their locations for centuries.[21]

The only exceptions to this is the Crimson Sea, infamous for its unpredictable squall patterns. Rainfall there comes unexpectedly and follows random paths, which can be particularly dangerous to sporelocked ships. As such, this ocean remains uninhabited, with few vessels surviving the journey there.[21]

Land and Fauna[edit]

The Emerald Sea and its moon as seen from the island of Diggen's Point

Although most of the planet is covered in spore oceans, Lumar does have numerous islands inhabited by humans. Some islands have enough soil to grow ordinary crops; others are barren rocks. Little is known about planetary flora, save that flowers and trees of unspecified species can both be found.[22][5]

The largest known land feature of Lumar are multiple mountain ranges that border the Crimson Sea. They are largely considered impassable for ships; as such, the only way to cross to the other side of the planet, at least in that direction, is through Crimson and the bordering Midnight Sea.[20]

Humans are the only known sapient inhabitants of Lumar, barring rare offworlders such as Ulaam or Xisis. There is no coral, or any other sea life on the planet, owing to the oceans being deadly to any water-based living creature. Fish, however, can be found in lakes on some of the islands.[23][6] Rats, cats, pigeons and butterflies are common, as are seagulls; despite the dangers of the spore oceans, the birds can often be found far from the island shores.[24][9][10]

Known islands[edit]

History[edit]

It is unknown how Lumar came to be inhabited by people, or whether the planet was always home to aether spores. It is known that for a time, it was home to the Iriali people; however, one day the Iriali simply disappeared, seemingly without a trace and leaving all their possessions behind.[6] At around the same time, the people of Lumar became aware that a dragon, Xisis, has been living beneath the Crimson Sea.[26] It is unknown when exactly Xisis arrived on the planet, though he was likely already there during the True Desolation of Roshar.[27]

Over the centuries, Lumar became better-known to the people of the wider cosmere, enough so for rare visitors to begin appearing. Around three hundred years after the Iriali's disappearance, stories of people from the stars became grew popular among sailors, and common folk could trade with the "wizards" from outer space, leading to some proliferation of Invested technology.[15] At some point, an Elantrian named Riina moved to the planet; landing her ship on an island in the Midnight Sea, she took control of the Midnight Essence there and dubbed herself the Sorceress. The Sorceress soon attained fearsome reputation with the locals, due to both her Awakened guards, and the curses she would put on people who inconvenienced her.[28][13] She also imposed tariffs on all trade going through the Midnight Sea, which eventually led to conflict with the king of the nearby Verdant.[20]

Eventually, the king attempted to send Charlie, a son of one of his dukes, to marry the Sorceress, which only led to her capturing him and transforming him into a rat.[3] However, Tress, chasing after Charlie, found her way to the sorceress, and, with the assistance of Hoid and the crew of Crow's Song, managed to force Riina to abandon the planet. This led to Tress and her crew taking charge of the Midnight Sea and the creatures within.[29]

Nations[edit]

As Lumar is a planet of islands, there are no solid borders between various states; islands declare their allegiance by flying the flag of the local king or queen. Each ocean appears to be its own state, with the Sorceress controlling whole of the Midnight Sea, and an unnamed king theoretically ruling over every island on the Verdant Sea.[22]

Verdant Sea[edit]

The Verdant Sea is ruled by a feudal system, with dukes, reigning over individual islands, answering to a king.[30][5] The king controls all ships that sail between the islands, and can press them into service as needed for his own purposes.[31] He has several groups that can enforce his will; those include both the standing army and the marshalls who keep the peace, as well as the tax collectors and inspectors who control the coming and going of ships and cargo.[6][32] Additionally, the king is rumoured to have a team of assassins and special agents known as the King's Masks. However, it is unclear whether they are real or made up as propaganda.[16]

Pirates act as an important part to the economy, taking it from the wealthy who hoard money that they gather from the people, and inject it back into the system. Due to this, they exist in a sort of quasi-legal state.[33]

The Verdant Sea feuds with the Midnight Sea; as all trade to the other side of the planet must go through Midnight, the Sorceress has imposed high tariffs. The king eventually refused to pay them and began to prepare for war until Tress and her crew banished the sorceress.[20]

The Verdant Sea borders the Crimson Sea,[34] the Rose Sea,[17] and the Sapphire Sea.[15]

Known settlements[edit]

Sapphire Sea[edit]

The Sapphire Sea borders the Verdant Sea.[15]

Islands of Lobu[edit]

It is a mark of pride among my people, and my family in particular, to execute an excellent hunt.

The other known society on Lumar are the people of Islands of Lobu, who have dark skin and black, curly hair.[15][10][38] The people of Lobu are a society of hunters who take pride in the prey they catch. Tales of the greatest hunts are written down with great embellishments and a lot of bragging; such letters are then hung on the walls of their family halls.[18]

Over the generations, what constitutes a hunt has been stretched to include many seemingly-unrelated professions, such as trade or shoemaking, to allow the society to develop without losing their culture. However, no matter the shape the hunt takes, the pride remains. A person chooses their hunt as they come of age, and then pursues it to the best of their ability; for example, a person who chose trade may become an excellent haggler.[18]

Rose Sea[edit]

The Rose Sea is known to be inhabited, though nothing is known of its government or culture.[17]

Iriali[edit]

They vanished, you know. The entire people: poof. There one day, gone the next, their island left uninhabited.

At one point, there was an island on Lumar inhabited by the Iriali. However, roughly three hundred years before Tress and Charlie were born, the entire population vanished seemingly overnight. While it's possible that they simply departed the planet, their fate is unknown to the locals, with some claiming that they were "taken" by the gods. Today, only some of the Iriali's possessions, as well as cultural memory of their golden hair, remain on the planet.[6] Notably, the Iriali's departure occurred at roughly the same time that Xisis become a known presence on Lumar. There is, however, no evidence that those two events are at all related.[26]

It's unknown what, if any relation there is between the Iriali of Lumar and the Iriali of the Rosharan kingdom of Iri. The timing of the Lumarans' departure from their planet makes it impossible for them to be the Rosharans' ancestors,[fn 1] but it is impossible to determine if the Lumarans were descended from the inhabitants of Roshar, or if they were a different, separate group within the same cosmere-wide culture.

Culture and Society[edit]

The human civilization on Lumar is pre-industrial; they do, however, possess some particular technologies to assist them in surviving the planet's unforgiving oceans. Ships use the seethe to sail between the inhabited islands, leading to well-developed trade. Silver is common, with every ship having plenty of it in its deck and railing to help kill the spores.[9]

Salted masks are sometimes used as means of personal protection from the spores, although it is possible to travel semi-safely without them.[9] As salt is a secondary way of dealing with spores, salt mining is an important industry on the planet.[5] The people of Lumar have found ways to live on many of the islands; where farming is impossible, they grow food in compost vats, and even ferry soil from other lands.[5] Lumarans have even attempted to fly to the moons, though it's unknown if they succeeded.[39]

Religion[edit]

I follow the path of the gods themselves by delivering death indiscriminately. To do otherwise would presume I am greater than they.

The primary religion on Lumar appears to be lunar worship, which is disseminated by groups of priests gathered into various moonschools. The priesthood appears to be comprised of traveling preachers, who visit various islands to teach people their moonschool's philosophy about life and the gods. Such sermons typically happen on moondays, when the sun is eclipsed by one of the moons, at the highest point of the given island.[7] Another day of celebration for this religion is that of Twelveday.[34]

Little is known about the details of moon worship. There appear to be named figures tied to the moons, with the Midnight moon being referred to as "Thanasmia's own".[13] Gods seem to be considered callous, with no regards to whom they kill and what fate they bestow upon people, though that interpretation may be personal to Crow rather than generally-accepted.[21]

Sailing and Piracy[edit]

It was a mixed crew, with a variety of ethnicities and nearly as many women as men. That wasn't uncommon in the spore seas. You took whoever was willing. Sexism interfered with profits.

Ships are plentiful on Lumar; typically, they have a crew of around thirty or more, with sixty being considered particularly large.[40][41] A typical ship will have roughly the same proportion of male and female crew members; as very few people are willing to risk sailing the spores, a culture of gender equality has developed among the sailors.[40] However, not all who sail the seas are there willingly -- on Verdant Sea, and possibly others, people who fall into debt can be pressed into ship labor by the king's collectors.[42]

Piracy is a common and accepted part of sea travel on Lumar. Pirate ships chase down the merchant vessels and shoot only to disable, using water-filled cannonballs to activate the spores and trap the ships in them. A captured merchant ship then surrenders an agreed-upon sum of goods and money -- called a ransom price -- whereupon both ships part ways somewhat amicably. The king's marshals keep records of what ships prey on others and what was robbed and stolen; in the event that a pirate crew is captured, this avoiding of unnecessary killing ensures that they are imprisoned rather than executed.[33] Pirates are an important part of the economy, taking wealth from the rich, who simply hoard large amounts of wealth gathered from the people through the capitalistic systems in place on Lumar, therefore removing it from the system and keeping it from the people. They then inject it back into the system as a stimulus to help lower class merchants and other peoples.[33]

There is, however, a second type of pirates, called deadrunners. Unlike regular pirates, those crews kill those they steal from. Deadrunners are shunned even by other pirate crews, and face death in the event of capture.[33] However, deadrunners can easily never be discovered, should they leave no survivors of their massacres.[33]

Spore Use[edit]

While Lumar is pre-industrial in its technology, its people have figured out multiple ways to use spores of the twelve seas in their daily life, particularly as it pertains to sailing. Those who work with spores and create machinery utilizing them are known as sprouters.[17]

One of the more common applications of spores is in firearms. Lumar does not appear to have discovered gunpowder; instead, zephyr spores are used. Individual spores, or small sacks of them, are packed into the bottom of the gun barrel and the fuse is wetted rather than set aflame. This activates the zephyr, resulting in an explosion of air that launches the projectiles.[43] In larger guns, the cannonballs themselves utilize spore-based technology, combining verdant, roseite and zephyr to create an explosive charge of water and shrapnel.[44]

Outside of weapons, spores do have peaceable applications. Roseite is grown as a form of temporary bandage for ships, the crystal creating patches that temporarily fill in any gaps in the hull.[17] Sunlight spores are used as fuel in cooking ovens, and verdant vines can be eaten as emergency food.[18][45] A more advanced use of the spores can be found in the emergency flare guns. Much like cannonballs, flare guns utilize a combination of roseite, verdant and zephyr to create an explosive charge; additionally, sunlight spores serve as the source of the flare's light.[7] Riina claims that more types of advanced spore guns can be found elsewhere on the planet.[3]

External Influences[edit]

Worldhoppers on Lumar will freely use their powers in front of the locals.

She'd heard stories of visitors from the stars, but had thought them fancies. Even if there did seem to be more and more of them these days, talked of among sailors.

Few worldhoppers visit Lumar, although enough that stories of "visitors from the stars" have began to spread across the planet.[45] As most Lumarans are not wholly cosmere-aware, a variety of folk beliefs about the visitors arose. Those outsiders are often referred to as wizards or sorcerers, while kandra are called zombies.[4] Their advanced technology is considered magical in and of itself, and has found its way into the hands of the locals. Tablets from Nalthis can be purchased and used for basic needs such as writing out text; however, it appears that the Lumarans are never actually taught the details of how the technology works.[15] Some Scadrian influences have also made their way to the planet, with death being said to have nails in his eyes -- presumably referring to Marsh.[37][46]

Notable outsiders to make their home on Lumar include the Sorceress, an Elantrian who took control of the Midnight Sea, and Xisis, a dragon who studies the aethers at the bottom of the Crimson Sea and trades wishes for local servants. Those two have integrated into the planet's culture well enough that they are not recognized as extraterrestrials.[26][28]

Unlike First of the Sun, there does not appear to be any major interstellar nation vying for control over Lumar; it's unknown if this is due to the deadly ecosystem, or the planet's relative unimportance on the galactic scene.

Notable Inhabitants of Lumar[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • The word "Lumar" was coined by Isaac Stewart, who came up with multiple names for the planet and presented them to Brandon. It was meant to evoke both fairy tales and the inspiration for Tress of the Emerald Sea, The Princess Bride.[47] It is most likely a portmanteau of the Latin words "luna" (moon) and "mare" (sea).
  • Lumar is not the origin world of the aethers, nor is it the planet that Aether of Night takes place on.[48]
  • The spore oceans came about due to Brandon's fascination with the process of fluidization, as well as his desire to properly introduce aethers into the published Cosmere.[49]
  • By the time Tress of the Emerald Sea was written, Lumar's location in the cosmere, and the layout of its star system, had not been established.[50]
  • After he began envisioning Lumar's fluidized oceans, Brandon watched YouTuber Mark Rober's video Liquid Sand Hot Tub- Fluidized air bed to confirm that the scientific concept was feasible.[11]

Notes[edit]

Footnotes
  1. Iriali departed Lumar three hundred years prior to the start of Tress of the Emerald Sea; Tress takes place after the events of The Stormlight Archive (as evidenced by Sazed having released the kandra and the technology on display), and on Roshar, the kingdom of Iri existed for thousands of years prior to the start of Stormlight; as such, it is mathematically impossible for the Lumaran Iriali to depart Lumar, travel to Roshar and start the Kingdom of Iri.
References
  1. a b c Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 42#
  2. a b c d e f Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 28#
  3. a b c Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 60#
  4. a b Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 18#
  5. a b c d e f g h Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 1#
  6. a b c d e f g h i Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 2#
  7. a b c d Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 41#
  8. a b Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 46#
  9. a b c d e Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 8#
  10. a b c d Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 12#
  11. a b The Science of Magic: Tress of the Emerald Sea
    — Brandon Sanderson on YouTube # Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Brandon Sanderson on YouTube-The Science of Magic: Tress of the Emerald Sea" defined multiple times with different content
  12. a b c Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 51#
  13. a b c d e Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 5#
  14. Secret Project #1 Reveal and Livestream
    Arcanum - 2022-03-08#
  15. a b c d e f g Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 15#
  16. a b Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 30#
  17. a b c d e Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 10#
  18. a b c d e Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 40#
  19. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 52#
  20. a b c d Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 23#
  21. a b c d e f Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 35#
  22. a b Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 36#
  23. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 58#
  24. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 20#
  25. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 29#
  26. a b c Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 31#
  27. Rhythm of War Ars Arcanum#
  28. a b Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 64#
  29. Tress of the Emerald Sea epilogue#
  30. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 57#
  31. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 9#
  32. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 6#
  33. a b c d e Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 17#
  34. a b Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 39#
  35. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 19#
  36. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 21#
  37. a b Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 53#
  38. Tress At The Wheel
  39. Secret Project #1 Reveal and Livestream
    Arcanum - 2022-03-08#
  40. a b c Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 13#
  41. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 14#
  42. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 45#
  43. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 16#
  44. Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 37#
  45. a b c Tress of the Emerald Sea chapter 22#
  46. The Lost Metal Ars Arcanum#
  47. Secret Project #1 Reveal and Livestream
    Arcanum - 2022-03-08#
  48. Secret Project #1 Reveal and Livestream
    Arcanum - 2022-03-08#
  49. Secret Project #1 Reveal and Livestream
    Arcanum - 2022-03-03#
  50. Secret Project #1 Reveal and Livestream
    Arcanum - 2022-03-08#
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