|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
The Sighted are Rosharans with the ability to see spren that are otherwise partially or completely invisible in the Physical Realm. The few known Sighted are Unkalaki, including Lunamor and Cord. The Unkalaki name for the Sighted is alaii'iku.
Sighted can see spren in the Physical Realm even when the spren does not want to be seen. They can see both lesser spren and (sapient) true spren. The spren are generally unaware that they are being observed unless the Sighted person acknowledges them. The Sighted do not have to activate this ability and it does not require Stormlight or other forms of Investiture. Therefore, they tend to see spren everywhere; they do not know if other people can or can't see them. They consider spren to be gods; true spren are considered to be more important than lesser spren, and other beings such as Hoid and the Sleepless are even higher on their hierarchy of gods.
A Sighted person sees spren as if they were visible in the Physical Realm. For example, anticipationspren and luckspren are known to have relatively large bodies in the Cognitive Realm, but the Sighted see the partial manifestations that typically appear in the Physical Realm. The same is true of sapient spren; Sylphrena usually appears in the Physical Realm at about a handspan tall while Phendorana appears human-sized, and this is how Lunamor sees each of them.
Sighted people have a limited ability to see "shadows" of a spren's true form, but they cannot look directly into the Cognitive Realm like Radiants or Fused who use the Surges of Transportation or Transformation. Sighted may not be able to see spren that are corrupted by Sja-anat since Lunamor was not able to see Glys despite actively looking for him. Additionally, certain Voidspren such as chaosspren are thought to be completely invisible, and it is unclear if a Sighted could see them.
”Oh! You did not know? I see spren, even those that do not want to be seen. He is a gift, to my family, and others of my kin.—Cord, to Rysn
The abilities of the Sighted have a genetic component that is related to the partial singer ancestry of the Unkalaki. Singers seem to be innately capable of seeing the true Physical Realm forms of lesser spren, although their abilities may not extend to true spren. Lunamor has implied that he was born with his abilities, although he also hints at the Horneater Oceans being somehow involved. It may be possible for other people with singer ancestry (such as Herdazians) to be Sighted, but this has not been observed. The ability seems quite rare, as it is not well-known to most Rosharans, and may be limited to Lunamor's extended family.
Cultivation's Perpendicularity, which is located in the Horneater Oceans, does seem to have some relationship to the Sighted. The Sleepless refer to the Sighted as the longtime guardians of the perpendicularity and do not wish to cause them any harm, holding them in even higher esteem than Radiants. Cord mentions that her people are the guardians of the pool (an Unkalaki name for the perpendicularity), noting that her grandmother held the position of "watcher of the pool". Lunamor has noted that the Unkalaki can commune with gods in the pool, but he refuses to elaborate on how it relates to his abilities.
The most prominent Sighted during the True Desolation were Lunamor and his daughter Cord. They knew that they had been given a rare gift, but it was part of their everyday life. They tended to forget that most "lowlanders" had never met anyone who could see invisible spren and would typically be amazed to learn that this was possible. They generally did not attempt to hide the fact that they were alaii'iku, although they were not very forthcoming regarding the Unkalaki history and traditions related to their abilities.
- Lunamor (Rock)
- Other members of Cord and Lunamor's family, presumably including Gift and Cord's grandmother
- Zahel is able to see spren, but this is presumably due to his high level of Heightening.
- Lift is able to both see and touch spren, but she is not known to have Unkalaki ancestry; her ability likely comes from the Old Magic.
- The planned novella Horneater will explore several Unkalaki traditions, including the Sighted.
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- Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A
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- /r/books AMA 2015
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— Arcanum - 2020-07-02#