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Sand mastery

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Sand mastery
Related to Autonomy
Focus Unknown
Prerequisites Unknown
Type End-Positive[citation needed]
World Taldain
Featured In White Sand
But now I see it, I feel it inside me like a childhood song I thought I had forgotten. And the sand is beautiful--alive.
Kenton[1]

Sand mastery is a manifestation of Investiture on the Dayside of Taldain, where the Diem recruits and trains sand masters. It involves manipulation of white sand at the cost of the user's internal water supply. In addition, white sand that has been manipulated will turn black, becoming unresponsive. Black sand turns white again after four hours of sun exposure.[2]

Prerequisites[edit]

...sand mastery is taught--it’s nurtured. It’s not simply there, it has to be encouraged.
—Kenton[3]

Initiation[edit]

Sand mastery must be taught and does not appear spontaneously. It can takes weeks to decide if a person has the ability or not. The ability must be nurtured and encouraged properly in order to appear.[4] The ability to master sand comes more naturally to some than others, but a sand master's strength may grow--or even vanish completely--over time for unknown reasons.[1] Training is required to develop strength and skill. Some believe that strength potential in sand mastery may be genetic.[2] The form of initiation is unknown, however it is different from initiation on Sel.[5]

White Sand[edit]

Sand mastery makes use of the white sand found on Taldain's Dayside. The whiteness of the sand, due to a microorganism which lives on the surface of the sand particles, indicates that the sand is Invested. White sand glows when used in sand mastery, and then turns black afterwards. The glow is colored like a rainbow, with bright colors that can only be seen in darkness and is seen as a white glow in the light.[6][2] The sand will also glow and turn black when touched by water or other liquids.[6] The microorganism requires four hours of exposure to sun above Dayside in order to be Reinvested and turn white again.[7] The organisms in the sand react to Investiture, and if allowed to fade, will turn white again in the presence of kinetic Investiture.[8] This can be used similar to a Seeker to tell when someone is using kinetic Investiture.[8]

Water[edit]

Water plays an important role in utilizing the Investiture in white sand. Water is drawn directly from the sand master's body as they work, which can lead to dehydration. The first thing sand masters learn is to keep track of their water supply, and they typically carry a qido at all times.[2] Overmastery occurs when a sand master uses too much of their water supply and suffers from dehydration. If moderating themselves correctly, a sand master can last over a half hour without a drink.[2] If a sand master is not careful, overmastery can even lead to death.[9]

Abilities and Weaknesses[edit]

Sand mastery allows for the manipulation of ribbons of sand. The number of ribbons someone can control indicates their level of power. Young or weak sand masters may only have strength for a single ribbon, while the most powerful sand masters can utilize over two dozen.[2] The power of a ribbon can increase the more sand is put into it, and a ribbon's precision and speed can be increased with training and practice.[2] The tip of a ribbon contains the concentration of its energy. Attacking a ribbon from the side will make it collapse. Having two ribbons collide directly will make both ribbons collapse.[10] The more ribbons a sand master is controlling, the faster they will lose water.[9]

There are many uses of sand mastery. Sand masters often use whirlwinds of sand to lift themselves and fly, which typically requires at least three ribbons.[2][4] Sand can be used to make platforms to walk on and can be used to temporally construct things like staffs or poles.[11] Their powers can also be used in battle. Sand can be used to hurl powerful ribbons or sheets of sand at their enemies or to hurl heavy objects.[12] The ribbons of sand can be powerful enough to go through a human skull[9] or the shell of a Karak.[11] Some powerful sand masters can unleash a massive wave of sand across an entire battlefield and can have the precision of only harming those the sand master wants to harm. The sand can also be used as a shield, creating a bubble around the sand master.[9]

Sand mastery can also be used to construct buildings, though this has not been performed by members of the Diem in quite some time.[4] If something goes through a sand master's stream of sand, it can throw off the entire creation of the sand mastery.[13] Alcohol does strange things to a sand master.[14]

Slatrification[edit]

Wildly different from sand mastery’s other abilities and something no amount of ingenuity can replicate...
— Kenton[2]

Most powerful sand masters are able to slatrify--to turn white sand into water. The skill is particularly valuable to sand masters as they need extra water for their mastery. In addition, some dangerous Dayside creatures, such as sandlings, have terken shells that can be dissolved by water.[2]

Overmastery[edit]

Overmastery occurs when a sand master overexerts themselves and uses too much of their water supply and suffers from dehydration. When overmastering, a sand masters mouth will go dry and their eyes will burn.[2] After overmastering, a sand masters powers will temporally disappear, which can last as long as a week.[3] During this time, when they attempt to sand master, the sand will immediately turn black.[1] Once they recover, a sand master's power will increase, similar to how excising muscles until they are sore will make a person stronger.[1][10] If a sand master is not careful, overmastery can lead to death.[9] If a sand master dies from overmastering their skin and eyes will dry up as the water is sucked out of their body and they will die from dehydration.[9]

Terken[edit]

Some creatures on Dayside have carapace that is "terken," meaning that it is completely impervious to sand mastery.[2] Kerztian assassins sent specifically to kill sand masters have taken advantage of this weakness by either wearing terken carapace as armor or dissolving the carapace into a paste, which is then applied to their bodies.[12]

Known Sand Masters[edit]

Notes[edit]

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