by Ben McSweeney
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
Santhidyn are fairly intelligent gigantic marine animals native to Roshar. They are so reclusive that some books claim they are extinct. They sometimes follow ships, although all that can be seen from the surface is the top of their shells. Sailors consider hunting them very unlucky, and when one washes up on shore it is badly decomposed. Because of this, there were no known pictures or reliable accounts of them until a santhid was drawn by Shallan Davar.
Appearance and Anatomy
Santhidyn have a dome shaped brown-green shell, about the size of three rowboats tied together and at least six or eight feet in height, on their top. The shell is sometimes overgrown with seaweed, and small crystals jut up from it. Underneath the shell, they are a knotted gray-blue mass. Their skin are rippled and folded, gnarled like an ancient tree. They have an eye as big as a human head and three enormous fins on each of their flanks. They have long, drooping, and very thick blue tendrils, like those of a jellyfish that disappear down into the depths of the seas, trailing behind the santhid at a slant.
The waters around santhidyn are teeming with life. Small fish usually follow santhidyn around, picking at the underside of their shell, perhaps indicating a symbiotic relationship. Others move between a ship and a santhid, picking at the bottom of the vessel. This may have something to do with why santhidyn follow ships around. They are also surrounded by an unknown type of spren.
They are generally considered harmless, although the lack of reliable accounts on them makes it suspect.
Sailors consider santhidyn to be very good luck and a good omen, and even the thought of hunting one is enough to make most uncomfortable. There are stories claiming they sometimes follow a ship for days, wait out in the sea as the ship goes into port, and follow it again once it goes into open sea.
Shallan believes a santhid rescued her after the sinking of The Wind's Pleasure. She lost her original drawing during the sinking but redrew it after meeting Tvlakv. When she visits Mraize's basement, he has a santhid skull among his collection of trophies.