Sand (Taldain)

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Sand (Taldain)
Sand Mastery Test.jpg
Related to Sand mastery, Investiture
World Taldain
Universe Cosmere
Featured In White Sand, The Stormlight Archive

I am told that it is not the sand itself, but something that grows upon it, that exhibits the strange properties.

Sand on Taldain appears in three forms. White Sand is the Invested sand found on the Dayside of Taldain that is used to perform Sand mastery. Black sand is white sand that has been mastered or exposed to moisture. Sand that is various shades of tan can be found on both Dayside and Darkside.[2]

Acquisition and Properties[edit]

How long does it take sand to recharge in the sun?
How long does it take sand to go stale when left in darkness?

White sand can be found on Taldain's Dayside. The whiteness of the sand is due to a microorganism (likely a form of lichen),[2] which lives on the surface of the sand particles,[1][3][4] that indicates the sand is Invested. White sand glows when used in sand mastery, and then turns black afterwards.[5] This is known as "going stale."[6][7][8] The glow is opalescent, appearing as a yellowish-white glow in the light but displaying many colors when seen in darkness.[2][5][8] The sand will also glow and turn black when touched by water or other liquids.[2]

Sand that has been digested by a sandling will be shades of translucent tan, and can be mistaken for sand from Darkside.[2] This is because the sandlings are digesting the lichen that covered the sand. It is theorized that adding white sand to sand that does not have the lichen will allow the lichen to spread and cover the normal sand.[2] It is unknown how long it takes for the lichen to regrow on the surface of normal sand.

The microorganism requires at least four hours of exposure to sun above Dayside in order to be fully re-Invested and turn white again.[8][3] The sand can also be recharged by other highly Invested things, such as highstorms, and will still be masterable.[9] If left without a source of Investiture for too long, approximately two days (24 Dayside Hours), the sand will turn black.[8]

The organisms can survive and spread on other planets, but would need Investiture to do so.[10] More organisms can be made with the proper materials and a seed of the original.[1]

Manifestations of Investiture[edit]

Sand mastery[edit]

Sand mastery makes use of white sand. Sand mastery allows for the manipulation of ribbons of sand, where the most powerful sand masters can utilize over two dozen.[5] There are many applications for sand ribbons in sand mastery, with three ribbons being the minimum for a sand master to lift thier own body at least one story above the ground.[11]

Mastered sand, that is actively being used, can be forced to go stale by being touched with another ribbon of mastered sand, or by being crossed with anything terken.[6][7][12] Two ribbons that meet head-on will cause both to fall stale, but hitting a ribbon of mastered sand edge-on with the head of another wibbon will only cause the former to fall stale.[7]

Detecting Investiture[edit]

The organisms in the sand react to Investiture; and, if allowed to go stale, will turn white again in the presence of kinetic Investiture.[1][3][13][14][15] This can be used, similarly to a Seeker, to tell when someone is using kinetic Investiture.[13][16][15] For example, a container of stale sand will begin turning white on the side closest to the investiture's source.[17] Sand can also be used to detect the location of an otherwise-invisible invested entities in the Physical Realm, such as spreading it across the ground and watching for where it begins to change color.[18] However, when in a highly invested environment, or with too many investiture sources, it may not be possible to locate any specific source of investiture.[19]

Sand can also be used to measure the strength of Investiture, because the speed at which the sand turns white increases based on the strength of the investiture, and if it is being stored or actively used.[20] The sand is therefore very useful and highly valued across the cosmere by those who are aware of its properties.[13][21]


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