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Ryshadium

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Ryshadium
Type Horse
World Roshar
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
This page or section contains spoilers for Oathbringer!
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.

Ryshadium are a subspecies or breed of horse on Roshar. They are genetically distinct from other horses though they are still capable of mating with them.[1] The Ryshadium likely descended from horses that were brought to Roshar when humans first arrived.[2] They are often referred to as "the third shard" in addition to a Shardblade and Shardplate.[3]

Appearance[edit]

Ryshadium are larger than other breeds of horse. It is noted that Dalinar's Ryshadium Gallant is two hands taller than an ordinary horse.[4] Ryshadium have been seen to have multiple coat colors including black[4] and white[5]. Additionally they can have both light or dark eyes which have rectangular pupils.[3][6] Unlike ordinary horses Ryshadium have stone hooves and thus do not require shoes.[3] This is likely an adaptation they have developed for life on Roshar.

Abilities[edit]

Ryshadium are significantly stronger than other warhorses. They can carry a shardbearer in full plate demonstrating their enhanced strength and endurance. They are also faster than other horse breeds.[5][7] They are strong enough to withstand a shardbearer jumping into their saddle without any injury to themselves[5] an action that would break most ordinary horses backs.[8] Ryshadium also have a higher level of sentience than other animals (a benefit of their spren bond), nearing sapience.[9]

Behavior[edit]

Ryshadium exhibit many behaviors that are unique to the breed. They posses a certain level of sentience.[9] It is unclear the exact degree of sentience they posses however there are multiple times throughout the series when a Ryshadium appears to understand it’s rider.

In battle Ryshadium will hold their ground even in circumstances when other horses would flee, either through training or their natural abilities.[5] It is indicated that Ryshadium are difficult to train, when Dalinar laments this fact in The Way of Kings.[10] This is likely due to the fact that they cannot be ridden unless they choose a rider first.[3]

The intelligence and understanding of the Ryshadium can be seen in their relationships with their riders. Riders often carry on conversations with Ryshadium and the horses will seemingly answer either through body language or sounds such as snorts.[11][3][12]

Choosing a Rider[edit]

Ryshadium are known for choosing and obeying only a particular rider.[4] Dalinar describes the experience of having a Ryshadium accept him as a rider as “indescribable”.[11] It is indicated that one must be “worthy” to be chosen by a Ryshadium, what the measure of worthiness is however remains unclear.[6]

Riders often communicate with their Ryshadium as if they have full or partial understanding of what their rider is saying[11] furthermore they do respond with body language and sounds indicating that this is true.[11] While Ryshadium are useful in battle Shardbearers will sometimes fight unmounted so that they do not endanger their Ryshadium in close attacks.[7][13] Ryshadium are loyal to their riders, and will risk their lives to find and aid them. This is demonstrated when Dalinar's Ryshadium Gallant runs to look for him during the battle at the tower.[13]

Though Ryshadium choose their rider they will allow others to ride them as they are needed, in one instance Ryshadium were used to carry three wounded men from the battlefield.[13]

Known Riders

Spren Bond[edit]

In the Rosharan essay by Khriss it is stated that there is a symbiotic relationship between spren and Ryshadium.[9] Some of the benefits to Ryshadium are clear(strength, self awareness), it is unclear what the spren receive from the Ryshadium. Ryshadium are – like humans – a non-native species to Roshar that has developed a spren bond.[15]

Theories and speculation[edit]

It has been theorized that musicspren bond the Ryshadium, as they have been seen around the Ryshadium even when there is no music playing.[8]

Trivia[edit]

Quotes[edit]

They pick their rider son. We fixate on Shards, but any man -- courageous or coward -- can bond a Blade. Not so here, on this ground. Only the worthy win here . . .
—Dalinar to Adolin[6]

Notes[edit]

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