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Roshar

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Roshar
Roshar.jpg
by Isaac Stewart
Shards Honor, Cultivation
Perpendicularities Honor's Perpendicularity, Cultivation's Perpendicularity
Investitures Surgebinding, Old Magic, Voidbinding
System Rosharan system[1]
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive

It is difficult not to feel very small, at times, on this domineering, majestic tempest of a planet.

Roshar is the native name for the planet on which The Stormlight Archive is set. It is also the name of the supercontinent on which the main events of the series take place[3]. People from Roshar are called Rosharans.[4]

Geography and Ecology[edit]

At one point in Roshar's past there were no large landmasses.[5] The supercontinent was designed by Adonalsium, following the shape of a Julia set (a mathematical formula that gives a geometrical pattern when given a seed number).[6]

Gravitational acceleration on Roshar is notably lower than usual, at 6.87 m/s2, or 70% of the cosmere standard.[7] This is due, in part, to the planet's small size; Roshar has a circumference of approximately 22110 miles (35583 km), giving a radius of 3519 miles (5663 km), and comes in just under 90% of the cosmere standard size.[7][8] These yield a planetary mass of 3.387×1024 kilograms. The main continent lies primarily in the southern hemisphere, spanning from just a few degrees north of the equator to about 55° south of the equator, and extends approximately 120° longitude.[9] It covers roughly 4×107 square kilometers.

The percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere of Roshar is higher than standard cosmere.[10]

The rainwater in highstorms is laced with a sort of slurry called crem. When crem dries, it hardens into rock. Since the highstorms always sweep from east to west, crem builds up on the eastern side of anything that stays still and isn't regularly cleaned. Over time, the continent is very slowly shifting across the planet as the highstorms cause erosion of the eastern part and a build up on the western part.[11]

Map of Roshar by Isaac Stewart

Climate[edit]

With the exception of Shinovar and the occasional well-sheltered lait, all of Roshar is frequently ravaged by powerful highstorms, massive hurricanes travelling from east to west. These storms come frequently and, though they do not appear to follow a simple pattern, stormwardens are able to accurately predict their schedule through complex mathematics.[12] As a result, Shinovar is the only place on Roshar that has soil.[13]

The one consistent aspect of the Rosharan climate is the Weeping. The Weeping occurs every 500 days and consists of four weeks of steady crem-free rain. The middle day of those four weeks is known as the Lightday and alternates between being one clear day in the midst of the rain and being a high storm.[14] There are typically fewer highstorms in the weeks leading up to the Weeping. [15] The seasons following the weeping typically have weaker storms, making them good for farming.[16] Beyond this, the seasons are about as random as the highstorms. They can be roughly predicted by stormwardens, but only tend to last a few weeks and don't follow any obvious pattern. The characteristics of winter, spring, summer and autumn line up fairly well with what we expect from those seasons on Earth.[17][16][15][18]

Spren[edit]

By Sheep An Honorspren in the Physical Realm.

Among many factors that make Roshar unique among other Cosmere worlds is the overabundance of spren. Spren are small pieces of Investiture that have aquired sentience - and, in some cases, sapience - through the influence of Roshar's living creatures.[19] They are a mix of different Shardic investiture, mainly Honor and Cultivation, and exist mostly in the Cognitive Realm.[20][21] However, they can and will often become partially visible in the Physical Realm, and some transition there entirely.

Three main groups of spren can be recognized. The nature spren correspond to various natural phenomena, such as windspren or flamespren, which appear in the presence of wind and fire respectively. Emotion spren are attracted to emotions, such as fearspren appearing when one is afraid or gloryspren for people who feel intense pride.[21] However, a natural phenomenon or an emotion will not necessarily summon a spren, as they may not be present in the physical place's Cognitive equivalent.

The third group of spren are so-called true spren. Those spren are all sentient, and have an organized society in the Cognitive Realm.[21] They transition to the Physical Realm only when searching for a prospective Knight Radiant to bond, as the shift robs them of most of their higher functions, which they reclaim through forming a Nahel bond.[16] The Radiant spren seem to represent higher concepts, such as honor for the honorspren or truth and lies for Cryptics. This being said, only some true spren are Radiant spren.[22]

In addition to those, there is a number of unique spren who are far more powerful than others. Among those is the Nightwatcher, who can grant boons and curses; Stormfather, who controls the highstorms; and Cusicesh and Sibling, whose exact nature is currently unclear.

Ecology[edit]

The shape and form of Rosharan ecology is influenced by four major factors: lower gravity, higher oxygen content, highstorms and spren. The higher oxygen content and the lower gravity permit the existence of megafauna comparable only to the largest sandlings on Taldain, while several species of animals are capable of forming spren bonds, further augmenting their capabilities.[23] However, the most visually notable feature of Rosharan ecology is the way vast majority of them adapted to highstorms. Multiple species of both flora and fauna have developed shells to protect themselves from extreme weather, withdrawing into them whenever any danger approaches.

Several species are noted as having body parts made of stone, such as the bark of dalewillow or hooves of Ryshadiums.[24] As stone doesn't grow naturally, three possibilities must be considered:

  • The substance is actually stone, somehow either grown or gathered by the creatures,
  • The substance is organic, but highly similar in appearance to stone,
  • The substance is hardened crem, deliberately cultivated by those creatures.

Flora[edit]

Rosharan flora had to adapt to several conditions not found on Earth or Earth-like worlds, such as the severe weather and scarcity of soil.

In highstorm-heavy regions, laits like this are the oases of plant life.

The largest family of plants on Roshar are the rockbuds. They are characterized by having a thick outer shell from which they take their name, and tendrils, which retract into the shell upon detecting danger. The Rosharan grass, which acts in this way, is likely another subspecies of rockbud, albeit close enough in appearance to Shin grass to retain the name. Similar mechanism has been developed by vinebuds, which grow from a sturdy, yet elastic stem and, rather than spreading their tendrils along the ground, waft them in the air, akin to anemones.[25]

Further to the east, where the highstorms are the strongest, even such measures are not enough. There, plants grow mostly in sheltered areas, such as the chasms and laits, while remaining sparse in the open air.[26] More fragile flora, such as vines and weeds, grow and flourish in such terrain, though some, like knobweed, seem to prefer flatlands, utilizing highstorms deliberately to spread.

Contrarily, in the west where highstorms are weakened by the mountain ranges, plants are much less sensitive to stimulation and retract their leaves more slowly.

Roshar does have larger flora. Some trees, including the aforementioned dalewillow, have trunks made of stone while others, such as the jella, augment their wooden bark by accumulating crem. Like rockbuds, they withdraw their fronds into the trunks when sensing danger. There are also species such as makam and cobwood, which appear to be sturdy enough to sustain highstorms without added protection.[27][28]

Human uses

Some species of native Rosharan flora are edible for humans. This includes a number of fruits as well as a rice-like plant called tallew, and lavis, a type of rockbud that produces grain. Tallew and lavis appear to be the major ingredients of Rosharan diet, with massive farmlands devoted to them throughout the continent.[16] In the West, the same niche appears to be filled by clema[29]

Additionally, there exist a number of plants with known healing properties. This includes antiseptics, such as the sap of knobweed and fourleaf, as well as lister's oil; treatments for specific diseases, such as bitterleaf for epilepsy and bloodivy for grindings; anesthetics like winterwort and firemoss; and other, more specific medicines, such as denocax, which encourages skin healing.

By contrast, several species of plant are noted to have detrimental effect on humans. Firemoss is known to be highly addictive, and blackbane's leaves, once dried, are extremely poisonous. Eating shells of rockbuds is similarly known to be unhealthy, although the Unkalaki are capable of eating them without problems, likely thanks to their singer ancestry.[30] While not all plants are edible, some, like breachtree and narbin, are grown to make fabrics.[15][31]

A Chasmfiend, with gleaming mandras surrounding it. They allow the greatshell to exist despite its enormous size.

Fauna[edit]

Roshar contains a wide variety of fauna, most of which appears to be shelled. While most creatures are native to the world, some have been introduced into Roshar during human exodus from Ashyn, among them mammals and birds.

Like Rosharan flora, the animals of Roshar have also adapted to their unusual circumstances. Several species, including the largest, grow massive shells which can protect them from highstorms. Others hide in dens or, in case of small sarpenthyn, ooze between the cracks in the rock.

Spren symbiosis

Multiple native species, as well as at least one imported animal, have formed symbiotic relationships with spren. This appears to be faciliated by gemhearts, crystals that grow naturally within the bodies of those creatures.

  • Larger animals on Roshar utilize bonds with Mandras, or luckspren, to decrease the pull of gravity on them, allowing creatures such as Chasmfiends to exist without collapsing upon themselves. In the case of Skyeels, the same bond, coupled with smaller size, permits them to fly.
  • The native sentient species, the Singers, bond with a variety of spren to attain a number of forms, which alter their mental state, biological functions and appearance. While bonded, the spren remain within the gemheart.
  • Ryshadiums bond with what appears to be musicspren, attaining higher intelligence and physical strength. It is, however, unclear so far whether or not they have gemhearts.[32]
  • The fish in the Purelake gain various medicinal benefits through spren bonds.[33]
Non-shelled animals

Mammals dwell mostly in Shinovar, though a few species have been successfully exported East. Those include horses, which are widely used as far east as Alethkar, and hogs, which are the primary source of non-soulcast meat. While most mammals are domesticated, hogs, as well as minks and rats,[34] can be found in the wild. Several species of birds are known to exist, although they are all known as "chickens" among Rosharans. This includes actual chickens as well as more colourful birds, such as parrots. In contrast to mammals, they do not seem to do well in the wild, as all examples observed so far are domesticated. Amphibians, such as the lurg can also be found, as well as wide variety of fish, including both salt- and seawater ones. Cephalopods also exist, albeit with unusual properties - zatalef, for example, is described as bat-like, implying the ability to fly.[35] A category without a clear Earth analogue are sarpenthyn, which appear to be similar to both mollusks and cephalopods, albeit without shells and with smaller number of arms.[36]

Shelled animals

The largest known group of animals on Roshar are crustaceans. Those can be of various sizes, from finger-long to four-stories-high. They are all noted as having purple blood and multiple stages of life, with the initial stage being called a larva and the process of switching between stages called pupation.[37] The creation of shells is aided by the presence of crem in the rain, which the creatures can process into minerals.

One of the largest crustacean family are cremlings, a group of tiny, multi-legged scavengers preying mostly on deceased animals, although they will also feed on uncovered plants after highstorms. Cremlings come in variety of colours, with different features, numbers of legs, and behaviours. While most are individuals, some are part of the Sleepless swarms, and as such share a sentient hivemind. The Sleepless cremlings are bred for particular purposes, such as imitating human body parts.

By Ashley Coad A Santhid. Roshar's greatest creatures are far larger than humans.

Other than the cremlings, Roshar also features a number of larger crustaceans that are nonetheless smaller than humans. This group includes predatory species, such as the Axehound, herbivores like Axehind, and near-cremling sized creatures like leggers and larkins, as well as species that can be found on Earth, like crabs.[38] The larkins in particular are unusual for their flight, as well as the ability to pull stormlight out of other creatures and absorb it.[39]

The largest family of animals on Roshar are known as Greatshells, which exist both on land and in the seas. All greatshells possess gemhearts and utilize them to attract Mandras to decrease their own weight. The land greatshells include domesticated herbivores known as chulls and two large predatory species, the chasmfiend and the extinct lanceryn. The marine greatshells include the Yu-nerig, which comes on land to pupate and is known to feed on humans,[40] and the Tai-na, the largest animals known to inhabit the Cosmere. Their legs are said to be sixty feet long, while the body itself stretches hundreds of feet tall. The back of Tai-na, which sticks out above water, is an ecosystem of its own, inhabited by multiple species of plants and animals, as well as humans.[41]

The Santhid, a massive marine species with large shell and a number of tendrils, might be considered a greatshell, and houses its own ecosystem, much like the Tai-na; however, as they were considered half-mythical until very recently, it's impossible to state so with any certainty.[21]

Domestication

Large number of domesticated creatures on Roshar are the imports from Ashyn. All forms of birds are domesticated; some for food, while others as pets. Hogs are kept for meat, minks, like birds, are pets, while horses are common riding mounts. Of the local wildlife, axehounds are often kept and bred, similar to dogs, while chulls are the primary mount for hauling cargo or for riders who cannot afford to keep a horse. Another greatshell species called a gumfrem is kept for its gemhearts, which can be used to Soulcast meat.[24]

Sapience

Due to the presence of the Shard Cultivation, the creatures on Roshar have higher chance of developing sapience.[42] So far, behaviour indicating sapience has been observed with three species, Ryshadium horses, Tai-na and Santhids, all of which appear to have above average understanding of humans.

Separately from this, Roshar is known to have developed two independent sentient species: Siah Aimians and Singers. Both of them are humanoid, and capable of breeding with humans.[43][30] Roshar's other sentient species are humans, who immigrated there from Ashyn, the Iriali, who have since fully integrated with the population of the planet,[44][45] and the Sleepless (known also as Dysian Aimians), who may not be native to the planet.[46][47]

History[edit]

Pre-Desolation Roshar[edit]

Creation and Early Inhabitants[edit]

The planet of Roshar predates the Shattering. The continent was specifically grown by Adonalsium.[48] Much of the ecology of the planet existed from this time, including the highstorms and the spren.[49][50] The singers were the primary inhabitants of Roshar at this time and are likely the Dawnsingers spoken of in modern times.[51] At some point after the Shattering, Honor and Cultivation settled on Roshar. They were equally Invested in the planet originally, though the balance shifted after Honor's death.[52]

The Expulsion and Early Interactions[edit]

Main article: Expulsion

They came from another world, using powers that we have been forbidden to touch. Dangerous powers, of spren and Surges. They destroyed their lands and have come to us begging

— From the Eila Stele[53]

Humans fled to Roshar from Ashyn, another planet in the Rosharan system.[46] They had destroyed the planet using what Honor implied to be the dawnshards.[54] Honor and Cultivation commanded the singers to take the humans in despite the forbidden powers they had relating to spren and Surges[53][55], and they were given Shinovar to live in since Shinovar could support the plants and animals they brought.[54] With the humans came Odium.[56] The humans, possibly with Odium's influence, grew dissatisfied with what they were given. The conflict between the invading humans and the singers living on Roshar became the First Desolation.[57]

A Vorin perspective on the history of mankind by Greg Call

The Heraldic Epochs[edit]

The Desolations[edit]

Main article: Desolations

The Desolations were conflicts between mankind and Voidbringers. The first Desolation occurred when humans invaded Roshar from the land they were given.[57] Some of the singers were infused with Odium's Investiture and became the Fused. The Fused did not pass into the Beyond and were instead reborn into the bodies of singers. To combat this, the Heralds made a deal with Honor called the Oathpact. This deal sealed away the Fused on Braize. However, there was a loophole. The Heralds could choose to allow the Fused to return to Roshar, so they were caught on Braize and tortured. The return of Heralds and Fused and the conflict that occurred became known as the Desolations.[58] The spren started to mimic the herald's Honorblades and the Knights Radiant were formed. They helped to fight and rebuild society after a Desolation.[59]

The Last Legion[edit]

See also: Listeners

At some point during the Desolations, a group of singers known as the Last Legion were sent to fight in the farthest plains, most likely the ruins of Natanatan on the Shattered Plains. They followed the commands of the Fused and took whatever forms were forced upon them. Seeking freedom, they fled during a highstorm and took on dullform to escape the Fused's control. In order to avoid forgetting their knowledge, they composed songs, including Song of Listing, Song of Secrets and Song of Histories. They didn't, however, know how to transform into any forms except dullform and mateform by themselves. They planned to remain living as tribes and refugees, unnoticed and forgotten, as they studied and rediscovered the forms.[60] Although it is not known exactly when this happened, it must have been prior to the Last Desolation as the Fused remained trapped on Braize from then until the True Desolation.

The Last Desolation[edit]

Main article: Last Desolation

A…a decision has been made. It is time for the Oathpact to end.

Jezrien's words to Kalak[61]

At the end of the Last Desolation, nine of the ten Heralds had survived the fighting. As usual, they were supposed to return to Braize to hold back the Fused. However, knowing they could not face more torture, they came up with an alternative plan. Taln, the only Herald never to have broken during the millennia of Desolations and the only Herald who died, would remain on Braize by himself.[58] They had been warned that lingering on Roshar could lead to the start off another Desolation, but Ishar claimed that Taln by himself would be enough to hold back the Desolations and maintain the Oathpact. Rather than tell mankind the truth, the Heralds proclaimed that they had finally won the war against the Voidbringers.[61] This deception lasted for four thousand five hundred years, until Taln finally broke under the torture.[58]

The Era of Solitude[edit]

The Voidbringers were cast back into the Tranquiline Halls. The Heralds followed to force them out of heaven as well, and Roshar’s Heraldic Epochs ended. Mankind entered the Era of Solitude. The modern era.

The False Desolation[edit]

Main article: False Desolation

Something must be done about the remnants of Odium’s forces. The parsh, as they are now called, continue their war with zeal, even without their masters from Damnation.

—Drawer 30-20, first emerald[62]

The False Desolation began when Ba-Ado-Mishram learned how to Connect with the majority of the singers, giving them forms of power and access to Voidlight.[63] The Radiants, unaware of how she did this, sought a way to end the fighting for good, as the Heralds had promised them.[64] The fighting became particularly intense at this time,[65] as the singers made a push towards Feverstone Keep, possibly as part of a plan to capture Rall Elorim.[66]

Working together, the scholars among the Radiants theorized that an Unmade could be imprisoned like a regular spren.[67] That devised a plan to trap Ba-Ado-Mishram and prevent her from Connecting with the singers and providing them with Voidlight.[68] This plan would require Melishi, the only Bondsmith of his generation,[69] and a special prison, likely a perfect gemstone.[67] Although Melishi was confident the plan would succeed in destroying the Voidbringers, Naze-daughter-Kuzodo warned of unintended side effects.[70] Although the plan seems to have succeeded, as Ba-Ado-Mishram has not been seen in modern times unlike other Unmade,[71] Naze-daughter-Kuzodo's warning was correct. Because she had been Connected to all the singers, their Connection and Identity was torn out of them, creating slaveform or parshmen.[72] The Radiants' horror for what happened likely contributed to the Recreance.

The Recreance[edit]

Main article: Day of Recreance

During the lead up to the Day of Recreance, many events occurred which demoralized the Knights Radiant. The Sibling, for some unknown reason, withdrew from Urithiru and forced the Knights to abandon their ancestral home. Many Radiants blamed this on a perceived unworthiness, including increased conflicts between the Windrunners and Skybreakers, but scholars of the time disagreed.[73][74] This concern extended to potential infiltration by Unmade.[75] While this was occurring, the False Desolation was coming to a close. The presumed success in imprisoning Ba-Ado-Mishram leading to the singers having their Connection and Identity ripped out of them likely influenced the Radiants.[76] In the midst of this turmoil, the Radiants discovered the truth about the origins of humans on Roshar. The singers had been the original inhabitants of Roshar. The humans came as refugees from their homeworld, which they had destroyed with surges. After being taken in by the singers and given Shinovar, they invaded Roshar and started the Desolations. While Honor had comforted previous generations who learned this, this time he was dying. He raved about the Dawnshards and promised the Radiants they would destroy Roshar like they had their homeworld.[54]

As a result of these revelations, the nine of the ten orders decided to abandon their oaths and kill their spren. They believed that this would prevent the destruction of Roshar Honor warned them about.[54] At the locations they left their plate and blades, men quickly began fighting over the weapons, leading to much death and destruction.[77] The Radiants, other than the Skybreakers, were quickly turned on and killed because of the sense of betrayal felt.[65] Society for both spren and humans drastically changed in the aftermath. Those with shardblades quickly consolidated their power, including using Arts and Majesty to justify women not wielding them.[78] It is likely that this is when lighteyes truly came to power. The genocide decimated the populations of spren societies. Most of the survivors were children forced to spend centuries without nurture or guidance. Some societies took two thousand years to fully recover. [79]

The Hierocracy and the War of Loss[edit]

Main articles: Hierocracy and War of Loss

The Hierocracy began when the Vorin Church decided to conquer the world and run the government rather than just provide spiritual guidance.[80] They claimed their conquering was for the good of the people. Some of the most powerful ardents claimed to have visions from the Almighty, which they used to solidify their rule and obfuscate their religion. One of their main goals was to destroy knowledge of the failures of Vorinism, including Shadesmar, the Knights Radiant, and the Recreance.[19][31] They were primarily successful, as even the major libraries on Roshar are missing this information. Before the Hierocracy could spread to the west, Sadees, the Sunmaker, united the princedoms of Alethkar to drive out the HIerocracy.[81][82] They fought in many epic battles the likes of which have not been seen since in what came to be known as the War of Loss.[77] The Sunmaker successfully cast down the Hierocracy and stated the visions were a fraud.

Sadees's win in the War of Loss affected much of eastern Roshar. Sadees declared himself king of Alethkar and began a conquest of Roshar.[83] Although the extent of his empire is not exactly known, Herdaz and Azir were both included. He committed genocide in Azir and killed ten percent of the population.[84] His empire quickly collapsed after his death, however, as he did not choose an heir, and his ten sons divided the kingdom into princedoms and became highprinces.[85] The effects of the Hierocracy on Vorinism can still be felt in the modern time. The central leadership of the church was destroyed and split into mostly independent Devotaries.[27][80] The ardents became slaves who could not own land or property.[31][86] Their revisions to historical texts also perpetuate, and it is difficult to find information about pre-Hierocracy history or the Knights Radiant.[19]

The Scouring of Aimia[edit]

Main article: Scouring of Aimia

What exactly occurred during the Scouring of Aimia is unknown but it appears that the vast majority of Aimia's ecosystem collapsed, leading to the extinction of the lanceryn[80] and the near extinction of the larkin. Most creatures there are quite rare since the scouring.[87] The island of Akinah, however, was not destroyed and is still protected from outsiders by the Sleepless.[88] Hessi indicates in Mythica that Dai-Gonarthis may have been responsible for the scouring.[89]

Culture and Society[edit]

Nations[edit]

Roshar's population categorizes their history into a number of epochs. Most notable is the Silver Kingdoms Epoch, or the Heraldic Epoch, when the Knights Radiant kept the peace. They protected Roshar from their home, the great city of Urithiru. The ten Silver Kingdoms are:

In the the modern era, the Era of Solitude, the current division of twenty-six countries and regions in Roshar are:

Calendar[edit]

The Rosharan calendar is divided up into ten months, with ten weeks each. Both the months and the weeks are named after the numbers on the Ars Arcanum, and are sometimes combined into abbreviations. Such abbreviations have the full name of the month and two suffixes, for week and day. Each week is five days, so the year in Roshar is 500 days, ultimately defined by the time between two Weepings.[14] Although the Rosharan year is 500 days long, these days are shorter than on Earth - coming in at 20 standard hours [90] - and a Rosharan year is equivalent to 1.1 Earth years.[91][92] As an example Chachel means it's the third day of the week.[93] Interestingly, Kaladin, who gets paid once a week, refers to payday as "third pass"[94]. Presumably, this means that another way to talk about days of the week is by saying first, second, third, fourth or fifth pass.

Abbreviation Examples
Abbreviation Month Week Day
Chachanan Chach Nan Nan
Jesachev Jes Chach Vev
Kaktach Kak Tanat Chach

Currency[edit]

Main Article: Spheres

The primary form of currency found on Roshar are spheres, pieces of gemstone encased in a sphere of glass with one side flattened to prevent rolling.[95] The gemstones can be any of the ten Polestones and there are three denominations: chip, mark, and broam. The ten gemstones are organized into five value levels with some gem types having equivalent values.[96] These value levels are determined by Soulcasting properties, so diamonds, which can create quartz, crystal, and glass, have the lowest value, and emeralds, which can create grain, have the highest.[34] Spheres, like all gems on Roshar, have the ability to hold and leak stormlight. Spheres with light are referred to as infused and those without are referred to as dun. Although dun spheres can be used as currency, people are suspicious of them because light is the easiest way to determine a sphere is real.[97]

Because of their ability to hold stormlight, spheres are commonly used on Roshar as a source of light. The light from spheres is considered to be steadier and more consistent than traditional light sources such as candles.[98] It can be expensive, however, as spheres are also used for currency, so the use of spheres as a source of light is often a sign of wealth. Diamonds are considered the best light source because it is both the cheapest and the closest to natural light.[99]

The denomination of spheres in eastern Roshar is weaker than in the west, with some people drilling holes in spheres to carry them on strings or using chunks of gemstone instead.[29]

Food and Drink[edit]

A wide variety of alcoholic drinks can be found on Roshar.

Wines[edit]

Types of Rosharan wine

Unlike Earth wines, on Roshar the term refers to a number of alcoholic drinks, only a small subset of which are made of fermented fruit. The use of the term "wine" is the result of linguistic shift, much in the same way that all birds became chicken and all small crustaceans became cremlings.[100] The alcohols that fall under the term "wine" are categorized by strength and colour, with different colours denoting different alcohol content.

In order from weakest to strongest, those are:

  • Pink, which typically has a distinct floral taste. It's said to assist alertness.
  • Orange, fruity and with notes of ginger, although apparently it's not made of fruit.
  • Yellow, which has a deep, "bold" taste while being weak enough to drink casually.
  • Auburn, spicy and with a tasty aroma - this could be closest to Earth's red wine, as it's made of fermented fruit.
  • Red, said to be "flavourful with a pleasant burn".
  • Sapphire, with a taste of nuts and honey, made of lavis grain. It's usually infused, and the closest equivalent to Earth whiskey.
  • Blue, tasting of berry and lemon.
  • Violet, the strongest, typically with an aroma of sandalwood.[101]

Within those colours, a number of different wines exist - for example, among sapphire varieties are kimik, vari and Veden saph.[102] While generally the wine colors are standardized, they gain their color by intentional colored infusions, and are occasionally made without them.

Other beverages[edit]

by Yen Shu Liao Rosharan drinks

Apart from wines, Roshar has a number of other alcoholic drinks. Among those is beer, of which the most popular variety appears to be mudbeer, often drank to warm up.[15] Another drink is a liquor called honu, which comes in several varieties that differ in strength.[103] Both beer and honu are made from lavis grain.[104]

The Unkalaki people have a numer of their own alcoholic beverages. This includes a brownish drink called shiki, which has to be chilled overnight, and the infamous Horneater lager, which is far stronger than regular beers, with one bartender claiming it melts their cups. Strongest among the Horneater beverages is the Horneater White. A clear, distilled moonshine, it is the strongest known alcohol on Roshar (with the possible exception of some violet wines). It is know to strip paint, and can apparently be deadly to non-Unkalaki.[105][102]

Other, unspecified alcohols drank across Roshar include a variety of ciders, juices and lagers.[101]

Drinking culture[edit]

Vorin parties typically involve wine of the weakest colours, watered down to prevent the participants from getting drunk too quickly.[102] Sapphire appears to be the strongest colour imbibed casually, and the phrase "to be in (someone)'s violets" refers to a person being heavily, perhaps dangerously drunk.

Beer and mudbeer are typical casual drinks, commonly served in taverns.[106] Among Unkalaki, mudbeer is also used for duels - the winner is decided by who can drink the most without passing out.[95]

Like most processes on Roshar, the act of drinking has its own dedicated spren. Winespren, or Alespren, appear near people who are heavily intoxicated, taking form of small bubbles clinging to nearby objects. They are considered quite rare, as they require a person to be deeply drunk before they appear; however, both Axies and Nazh attest to their existence.[107][101]

Singer society[edit]

Though once the planet's dominant species, in the Era of Solitude, the singers have been subdued by humans. Majority of their species are Parshmen, singers whose Identity and Connection have been stripped from them by the capture of Ba-Ado-Mishram, rendering them mostly docile and wordlessly obedient.[108][63] The singer culture of old has only been preserved by the Last Legion, or listeners, on the Shattered Plains - the last enclave of the non-Parshmen singers on Roshar - and the Fused, spirits of long-dead singers, on Braize.

Among the listeners, the Fused are considered gods - however, they are also highly dangerous to interact with, and the listeners have fled to what became the Shattered Plains to escape their influence. In the present day, they are ruled by the Five, a council composed of representatives of each form the listeners can assume. History and knowledge are passed down among them mostly in form of songs, set to the Rhythms that all singers can attune to.[60]

Following the Everstorm, the Parshmen's Identity and Connection were restored, returning them to full sentience.[24] The listeners, on the other hand, were all but decimated, first by the storm and then by becoming possessed by the Fused, with only a small group escaping west.[109] The current singer culture, such as it is, is mostly based around following the word of the Fused like gospel; however, the former Parshmen retain some of the culture of their states of origin - for example, in Azir they attempted to sue the government for backpay, while in Thaylenah, they took to the sea.[104][110]

A map showing some of the spren cities in Shadesmar.

Spren society[edit]

Within Shadesmar, the sentient spren have their own countries.[21] Among those is a Honorspren state, with its capital in the city of Lasting Integrity and a number of strongholds, as well as a Highspren country, and a city-state of the Cryptics.[111][112][19] There are also free cities, such as Celebrant, where various spren intermingle. This includes Cultivationspren, which, though ruled by a council called the Ring, do not have holdings of their own.[111][113][114] However, even the "ethnic" spren states do not appear to be strictly isolationist - for example, Honorspren military ships are partially crewed by mistspren.[115]

As the inversion of the Physical Realm and its supercontinent, Shadesmar is mostly composed of the sea of beads, with a number of narrow peninsulas and islands corresponding to Physical rivers and lakes.[116] As such, travel is done mostly by boat. Merchant and military ships, pulled by teams of harnessed Mandras, traverse the vast spaces between the cities, ferrying goods, news and travellers.[117] Trade with lands outside of Roshar isn't unusual - in Celebrant, one may buy canned food (presumably from Scadrial or some worldhopper settlement) and Nalthian artwork. The price of various items is largely based on their permanence in the Cognitive Realm, with the most persistent objects selling for thousands of broams.[111]

The relationship between various spren kinds appears to have its own share of political turmoil. Several years prior to the Everstorm, the Honorspren tried and failed to conquer the rest of Shadesmar, making the other spren unfriendly towards them. By contrast, Cryptics are generally understood to be unwilling to expand beyond their city; however, they are also widely considered to be uncomfortable company.[79]

After the events of the Recreance, spren have mixed opinions of humans. Honorspren, Reachers and Inkspren are generally opposed to any attempt to restore contact, while Cultivationspren and Cryptics are supportive of new Nahel bonds, albeit cautiously so.

Planetary System[edit]

Roshar and its surrounding celestial bodies

Roshar is the second planet from its sun[118]. It has several notable heavenly bodies, including three moons. The first and smallest moon is violet Salas. The middle moon is Nomon, which is a bright, pale blue. The final moon is Mishim, which is smaller than Nomon and green. The Shin refer to the moons as the Three Sisters, and call each moon by its order, with Salas being the First Sister, Nomon the Second Sister and Mishim the Third Sister, while in Natanatan, Nomon is considered to be male.[119] All three moons rise and fall in the same order every night and have highly unstable orbits, suggesting they were placed artificially.

Other notable features of Rosharan sky are Taln's Scar and Reya's Tear. The Scar is a great swath of red stars that stand out against the white ones.[120] It is important in Rosharan astrology, particularly its position on one's seventh birthday.[27] The Tear is a particularly bright star, named after a single tear shed by a woman named Reya from Rosharan mythology.[121]

There are two other telluric planets in the Rosharan system: Braize and Ashyn.[118] Both of them are currently inhabited. The remaining celestial bodies in the system are ten gas giants, named after Vorin numerals, which are separeted from the telluric planets by an asteroid belt.[118]

Notes[edit]

  1. Map of Roshar system
  2. Arcanum Unbounded - The Rosharan System Summary: Arcanum Unbounded/The_Rosharan_System#
  3. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-26#
  4. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-25#
  5. /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-08-03#
  6. General Reddit 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-09-09#
  7. a b Arcanum Unbounded - The Rosharan System Summary: Arcanum Unbounded/The_Rosharan_System#
  8. JordanCon 2018
    Arcanum - 2009-04-21#
  9. Map of Roshar
  10. DrogaKrolow.pl interview
    Arcanum - 2017-03-17#
  11. Words of Radiance Washington, DC signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-20#
  12. Words of Radiance chapter 31 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_31#
  13. The Way of Kings interlude I-4 Summary: The Way of Kings/Interlude_I-4#
  14. a b Words of Radiance chapter 46 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_46#
  15. a b c d The Way of Kings chapter 25 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_25#
  16. a b c d The Way of Kings chapter 4 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_4#
  17. The Way of Kings chapter 18 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_ 18#
  18. The Way of Kings chapter 54 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_54#
  19. a b c d Words of Radiance chapter 3 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_3#
  20. Skyward Denver signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-15#
  21. a b c d e Words of Radiance chapter 1 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_1#
  22. JordanCon 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-04-22#
  23. Grasping for the Wind Interview
    Arcanum - 2010-09-16#
  24. a b c Oathbringer chapter 10 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_10#
  25. Shallan's sketchbook: Rockbuds
  26. Shallan's sketchbook: Lait
  27. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 33 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_33#
  28. Words of Radiance chapter 66 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_66#
  29. a b Edgedancer chapter 6 Summary: Edgedancer/Chapter_6#
  30. a b Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A
    Arcanum - 2014-08-13#
  31. a b c d The Way of Kings chapter 45 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_45#
  32. Arcanum Unbounded - The Rosharan System Summary: Arcanum Unbounded/The_Rosharan_System#
  33. General Signed Books 2013
    Arcanum - 2013-12-18#
  34. a b The Way of Kings chapter 3 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_3#
  35. Alethi_Glyphs_Page_1.jpg
  36. Words of Radiance chapter 55 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_55#
  37. Chull Life Cycle
  38. Oathbringer chapter 63 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_63#
  39. Words of Radiance interlude I-9 Summary: Words of Radiance/Interlude_I-9#
  40. The Way of Kings chapter 40 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_40#
  41. Words of Radiance interlude I-2 Summary: Words of Radiance/Interlude_I-2#
  42. Shadows of Self Denver signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-06#
  43. #SandersonChat Twitter Q&A with Audible.com
    Arcanum - 2016-02-04#
  44. JordanCon 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-04-22#
  45. Orem signing
    Arcanum - 2017-12-21#
  46. a b Well of Ascension signed copy
    Arcanum - 2018-03-08#
  47. FanX Spring 2019
    Arcanum - 2019-04-19#
  48. General Reddit 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-09-28#
  49. JordanCon 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-04-23#
  50. Calamity Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-22#
  51. General Reddit 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-11-16#
  52. Skyward Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-16#
  53. a b Oathbringer chapter 115 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_115#
  54. a b c d Oathbringer chapter 113 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_113#
  55. Oathbringer chapter 116 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_116#
  56. Oathbringer chapter 117 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_117#
  57. a b Oathbringer chapter 111 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_111#
  58. a b c Oathbringer chapter 38 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_38#
  59. Words of Radiance chapter 4 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_4#
  60. a b Words of Radiance interlude I-4 Summary: Words of Radiance/Interlude_I-4#
  61. a b The Way of Kings chapter prelude Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_prelude#
  62. Oathbringer chapter 77 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_77#
  63. a b Oathbringer chapter 80 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_80#
  64. Oathbringer chapter 82 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_82#
  65. a b Words of Radiance chapter 41 epigraph Summary: Words of Radiance/Epigraphs/Chapter_41#
  66. Oathbringer chapter 84 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_84#
  67. a b Oathbringer chapter 79 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_79#
  68. Oathbringer chapter 78 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_78#
  69. Oathbringer chapter 67 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_67#
  70. Oathbringer chapter 81 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_81#
  71. Oathbringer chapter 107 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_107#
  72. Oathbringer chapter 17 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_ 17#
  73. Oathbringer chapter 70 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_70#
  74. Oathbringer chapter 64 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_64#
  75. Oathbringer chapter 73 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_73#
  76. Oathbringer chapter 17 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_17#
  77. a b The Way of Kings chapter 52 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_52#
  78. Words of Radiance Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-08#
  79. a b Oathbringer chapter 47 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_47#
  80. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 36 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_36#
  81. The Way of Kings chapter 18 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_18#
  82. The Way of Kings chapter 24 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_24#
  83. Oathbringer chapter 34 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_34#
  84. Oathbringer chapter 42 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_42#
  85. Oathbringer chapter 19 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_19#
  86. The Way of Kings chapter 59 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_59#
  87. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-25#
  88. Oathbringer interlude I-4 Summary: Oathbringer/Interlude_I-4#
  89. Oathbringer chapter 113 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_113#
  90. Salt Lake City signing
    Arcanum - 2017-12-16#
  91. Stormlight Three Update #4
    Arcanum - 2016-10-04#
  92. Brandon's Blog 2017
    Arcanum - 2017-11-01#
  93. The Way of Kings chapter 46 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_46#
  94. The Way of Kings chapter 14 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_14#
  95. a b The Way of Kings chapter 27 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_27#
  96. Miscellaneous 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-01-01#
  97. The Way of Kings chapter 17 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_17#
  98. The Way of Kings chapter 23 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_23#
  99. The Way of Kings chapter 8 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_8#
  100. General Reddit 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-11-29#
  101. a b c Rosharan Wines
  102. a b c Oathbringer chapter 18 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_18#
  103. Words of Radiance chapter 81 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_81#
  104. a b Oathbringer chapter 121 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_121#
  105. Oathbringer chapter 37 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_37#
  106. The Way of Kings chapter 47 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_47#
  107. The Way of Kings interlude I-5 Summary: The Way of Kings/Interlude_I-5#
  108. The Way of Kings chapter 44 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_44#
  109. Oathbringer interlude I-7 Summary: Oathbringer/Interlude_I-7#
  110. Oathbringer chapter 12 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_12#
  111. a b c Oathbringer chapter 102 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_102#
  112. Words of Radiance epilogue Summary: Words of Radiance/Epilogue#
  113. Edgedancer chapter 2 Summary: Edgedancer/Chapter_2#
  114. Edgedancer chapter 1 Summary: Edgedancer/Chapter_1#
  115. Oathbringer chapter 108 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_108#
  116. Map of sea of lost lights
  117. Oathbringer chapter 99 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_99#
  118. a b c Arcanum Unbounded - The Rosharan System Summary: Arcanum Unbounded/The_Rosharan_System#
  119. Oathbringer chapter 67 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_67#
  120. The Way of Kings chapter 2 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_2#
  121. Words of Radiance chapter 31 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_31#
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