by User: Emmy
|Magic||Surgebinding, Fabrials, Voidbinding|
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”Spren appear when something changes—when fear appears, or when it begins to rain. They are the heart of change, and therefore the heart of all things.
Spren are fragments of the powers of creation that have since then gained sentience through the influence of sapient beings on Roshar. They are vastly varied in their appearances, characteristics, and levels of intelligence. Most spren consist of the essences of Honor and Cultivation, or a mixture of both that leans towards either one Shard or the other. Spren that are attracted to emotions, like angerspren or fearspren, have more of Honor than Cultivation, and the spren that are attracted to natural phenomena, like decayspren or windspren, vice versa. Emotion spren will react to emotional Allomancy. There is also another spectrum of spren known as Voidspren that presumably consist of only Odium's essence. Some spren predate the arrival of Honor and Cultivation to Roshar, and perhaps even the Shattering. These are Splinters of Adonalsium itself that it left behind intentionally and that have attained sentience on their own since then.
They dwell mostly in the Cognitive Realm. It is where the powers of creation come alive, shaped and given cognizance by the ideas and concepts of collective experience of sentient creatures being personified as an external entity over time into spren. They have their own societies, politics and cities there. Though Shadesmar was created by humans and other sentient species, the spren shape, rule, and live there. The transition of spren into the Physical Realm leaves holes in their memories, impairs their cognitive functions in some ways, and even alter their appearance. Once they make the transition, they cannot affect the Physical Realm except in very minor ways.
Spren being far more extensive and numerous than the seons and the skaze, Splinters of Devotion and Dominion respectively, is one of the reasons Roshar does not have the same problem with travelling to the Cognitive Realm as Sel, even though Honor is Splintered just like the other two Shards. On Roshar, spren act as a "release valve" for the uncontrolled power of Honor.
- 1 Characteristics
- 2 Symbiotic Relationships
- 3 Surgebinders' spren
- 4 Known Subtypes
- 4.1 Alespren
- 4.2 Angerspren
- 4.3 Anticipationspren
- 4.4 Ashspren
- 4.5 Awespren
- 4.6 Bindspren
- 4.7 Captivityspren
- 4.8 Coldspren
- 4.9 Concentrationspren
- 4.10 Creationspren
- 4.11 Cryptics
- 4.12 Cultivationspren
- 4.13 Deathspren
- 4.14 Decayspren
- 4.15 Exhaustionspren
- 4.16 Fearspren
- 4.17 Flamespren
- 4.18 Gloomspren
- 4.19 Gloryspren
- 4.20 Gravityspren
- 4.21 Greatshell Spren
- 4.22 Groundspren
- 4.23 Heatspren
- 4.24 Highspren
- 4.25 Honorspren
- 4.26 Hungerspren
- 4.27 Inkspren
- 4.28 Joyspren
- 4.29 Keenspren
- 4.30 Laughterspren
- 4.31 Liespren
- 4.32 Lifespren
- 4.33 Lightspren
- 4.34 Logicspren
- 4.35 Luckspren
- 4.36 Mistspren
- 4.37 Musicspren
- 4.38 Painspren
- 4.39 Passionspren
- 4.40 Rainspren
- 4.41 Riverspren
- 4.42 Rotspren
- 4.43 Santhid spren
- 4.44 Shamespren
- 4.45 Shockspren
- 4.46 Starspren
- 4.47 Stormspren
- 4.48 Windspren
- 5 Corrupted Spren
- 6 Unique Spren
- 7 Myths and Lore
- 8 Theories and Speculation
- 9 Trivia
- 10 Notes
”We don’t sleep; we don’t eat. I think we might feed off humans, actually. Your emotions. Or you thinking about us, maybe. It all seems very complicated. In Shadesmar, we can think on our own, but if we go to your realm, we need a human bond. Otherwise, we’re practically as mindless as those gloryspren.
There are said to be thousands of different kinds of spren, each named for a different type of phenomenon. There are actually several different varieties of spren. Everything has a "spren" based on how it is viewed cognitively and how long it has been viewed that way. These spren are the cognitive aspects of objects in the Physical Realm and can be "spoken to" in the Cognitive Realm. Soulcasting works by "bribing" this type of spren with Stormlight. The other main variety of spren are those that manifest in the Physical Realm and are the ones people most often interact with. They are the personification of certain cognitive ideals and concepts, such as natural forces or emotions. These cognitive ideals are similar to those that determine the appearances of the Returned on Nalthis and the plausibility of Forgeries on Sel and are based off of human perception.
Larger spren have the ability to shape-shift, often mimicking faces, as well as being able to mimic voices. Apart from a few sentient sub-types, spren are not intelligent and therefore speaking with them is an exercise in futility; a fact often learned as a child. Spren are often ignored because of this. Larger spren also have the ability to pick up small objects and give small pinches of energy.
The causal link between spren and their namesake is not fully understood on Roshar. Some spren, such as rotspren, are said to cause their namesake, whereas others, such as windspren, are merely attracted to it.
While spren are often invisible, they are said to be ever present and will appear around the phenomenon they are named for. The exception is in Shinovar, where spren rarely appear. Some spren are easier to find than others, however even the most common will, at times, fail to appear. Larger spren will often appear to a singular person, who they will taunt and play with. Some humans, such as Rock, have the ability to see these spren, even if the spren in question does not explicitly reveal itself to the viewer. These people are called alaii'iku by the Unkalaki.
As creatures of nature, spren are not particularly concerned with good and evil.
Many types of manifested spren dwell in Shadesmar.
Lesser spren can also be capable of forming a bond with humans, though it is different from the Nahel bond of true spren.
Spren of the same sub-type are "essentially the same individual."
Some types of spren live in symbiotic relationships with various other creatures extant on Roshar. Perhaps the best known examples of this are greatshells. There is a type of spren that lives in their bodies which contribute to their ability to grow to such large sizes.
Each Order of the Knights Radiant formed a Nahel Bond with a different type of spren. This bond is similar in nature to the bond between a seon and its master. The bond between a knight and their spren could be strengthened by verbally or mentally stating certain Ideals or ideas related to their Order. Once the bond has strengthened to a certain point, the spren gains the ability to become a Shardblade when needed. A sword was the base form for a shardblade since they were fashioned after the Honorblades but they could become any shape their knight needed such as a spear, hammer, or shield.
Each order of the Knights Radiant bonds to a different spren, and they may each attract a different spren based on their powers. This may be a coincidence, or it may mean something. For example, Kaladin is followed by a large number of windspren when he fights Szeth during the summoning of the Everstorm. That may be because of the storm, but windspren have also followed Kaladin on other occasions. Kaladin also commands hundred of windspren to form a blockade in front of a highstorm.
Also, Shallan has been known to gather a large number of creationspren when making illusions. Although this seems obvious, with someone so acquainted with art, Renarin, who also has the surge of Illumination, hasn't ever had any significant number of creationspren nearby. He hasn't made any complex illusions, though. But maybe only Lightweavers attract the creationspren, and Truthwatchers attract a different spren.
Dalinar Kholin, during the Battle of Thaylen Field, brought together an amazing amount of gloryspren, enough to make a pillar of them that pierced all three realms. Nobody else has been recorded to do that, but Dalinar is also the only Bondsmith in several thousand years. So, maybe that was commonplace during the cycle of Desolations.
- Honorspren of Kaladin
- Cryptic of Shallan
- Inkspren of Jasnah
- Dalinar's spren
- Cultivationspren of Lift
- Honorspren of Lopen
- Ashspren of Malata
- Renarin's spren
- Lightspren of Venli 
- Highspren of Ki
- Deadeye cultivationspren of Adolin's Shardblade
- Unnamed Honorspren
- Honorspren of Teft 
- Unnamed Honorspren
- Honorspren of Drehy 
- Unnamed Cryptic
- Cryptic of Tien
- Unnamed Cryptic
- Cryptic of Hoid
- Unnamed Highspren
- Highspren of Szeth
- Unnamed Highspren
- Highspren of Nale
- Unnamed Highspren
- Highspren of Warren
- Unnamed Truthwatcher spren
- Spren of Stump
”Test successful. Have noted spren who appear only when one is severely intoxicated. Appear as small brown bubbles clinging to objects nearby. Further testing may be needed to prove they were more than a drunken hallucination.
A rare type of spren that appear only in Iri. They appear occasionally to people who are under the influence of alcohol. They appear as "small brown bubbles" that cling to objects close to the observer. They were given the name "alespren" by Axies the Collector, a scholar who studies spren, after considering the name "intoxicationspren". The locals refer to them as sudspren.
Axies theorized their existence but was only able to observe them once, leading him to doubt their existence. As there are other stories of people seeing them, their existence is likely.
They may also be called winespren.
”Vamah was watching them stand there, and his expression was as thunderous as a highstorm, angerspren boiling up from the ground around him like small pools of bubbling blood.— The Way of Kings: Chapter Fifteen
A common type of spren that appear around people experiencing anger. They, generally, have the appearance of pools of boiling blood bubbling up from the ground around the feet of the angry individual.
Among the Parshendi, angerspren have the appearance of bolts of lightning that radiate out from the feet of the angry individual.
In Shadesmar, they have an unspecified appearance but made a loud screeching noise that is described as being "reminiscent of sheets of steel grinding against one another" when attracted by anger. Angerspren are said to be "nasty" and very dangerous even to other spren. The pools of boiling blood seen in the Physical Realm are actually saliva.
”A few anticipationspren—like red streamers, growing from the ground and whipping in the wind—began to sprout from the rock and wave among the soldiers.— The Way of Kings: Chapter Six
A common type of spren that appear around people looking forward to something. They appear as red streamers that grow out from the ground and blow in the wind. They often appear around soldiers directly before a battle. The streamer that appears in the Physical Realm is the tongue of the spren. The spren itself has a round bulbous body and is about the size of a human toddler. An anticipationspren will open its mouth and stick its tongue in the air when near feelings of anticipation.
- Main Article: Ashspren
They seem to be fond of destroying the things around them.
”A single awespren, like a ring of blue smoke, burst out above him, spreading like the ripple from a stone dropped in a pond. Shallan had seen such a spren only a handful of times in her life.— Words of Radiance: Chapter 78
A very rare type of spren that appear around people who are very awestruck.
”He thought he could faintly make out tiny spren, dark blue and shaped like little splashes of ink, clustering around the place where the rock met the wall.— The Way of Kings: Chapter Fifty-Seven
Spren that appear around objects bound with a Full Lashing. They appear as small splashes of dark blue ink. Their relationship to the Lashings is not fully understood. Kaladin believes they are what hold the objects together, while Sylphrena disagrees, saying they could be attracted to the Full Lashing Kaladin had created.
”It appears I'll have another chance to search for captivityspren.— Axies the Collector
A type of spren theorized to exist by Axies to appear around people in captivity. Despite being imprisoned numerous times he has never observed them, leading him to doubt their existence. While imprisoned, Kaladin sees strange spren like taut wires crossing before him. These are captivityspren.
A type of spren mentioned in Navani's notebook. They can be captured in gems of a certain cut and used in fabrial machines. They are described as looking like spikes growing from unspecified surfaces.
The towers of Urithiru are covered in coldspren.
”Concentrationspren rippled in the air like waves overhead.—Oathbringer: Chapter 53
”Her drawing gathered about a half-dozen of them, pulling them by her act of creation just as a bright fire would draw flamespren.— The Way of Kings: Chapter Seven
An uncommon type of spren that appear around creative acts such as painting or drawing. They are of medium-size, about finger-length, and glow with a silvery light. They take the form of objects they have recently seen exactly but move them in odd ways, such as a table that rolls like a wheel.
When drawing, the more skilled one is, the more likely creationspren are to appear.
- Main Article: Cryptics
A type of sentient spren that formed Nahel Bonds with the Knight Radiant Order of Lightweavers, granting them their powers. Cryptics grants the Surges of Transformation and Illumination to the bonded human. In the Cognitive Realm they have the appearance of figures in robes that hang "too stiffly" as if they were "made of glass" and instead of heads they have a floating symbol full of "impossible angles and geometries." In the Physical Realm they take the shape of a complex and constantly shifting geometric pattern slightly raised off a surface or object. They can also manifest as a floating three-dimensional mass of twisting lines.
- Main article: Cultivationspren
A type of sentient spren that formed Nahel Bonds with the Knight Radiant Order of Edgedancers, granting them their powers. Cultivationspren grant the Surges of Abrasion and Progression. They appear in the physical realm as a growing vine with crystals. Wyndle refers to himself as a cultivationspren.
”Only the dying could see deathspren. You saw them, then died. Only the very, very lucky few survived after that. Deathspren knew when the end was close.— The Way of Kings: Chapter Thirty-Eight
A type of spren that appears only to people near death. Very few people survive after seeing deathspren, and due to their rarity, some considered them to be a spren that actually did not exist. They have the appearance of many-legged fist-sized creatures, and are black with glowing red eyes that leave trails of light. They whisper with voices like paper being torn. Lirin said that deathspren are repelled by water.
”I didn't know men got this old. You sure he's not decayspren wearing a man's skin?— Sylphrena to Kaladin
A type of spren referenced by Sylphrena. Very little is known about them, such as how they are different from rotspren. It appears that decayspren are attracted to things that have been abandoned or neglected. They are described as "huddled like barnacles on ancient doors".
”She noticed something sweeping through the air above her. She cringed, looking up to find large, birdlike creatures circling around her in Shadesmar. They were a dark grey and seemed to have no specific shape, their forms blurry.— Words of Radiance: Chapter Eleven
In Shadesmar they seem indistinct yet also large and birdlike.
”Fearspren—wiggling and violet—sprang up through the wood and wriggled in the air.— The Way of Kings: Chapter Six
A common type of spren that appear around people experiencing fear. They have the appearance of small, violet globs that crawl up from out of the ground and gather around the feet of the fearful. They seem to be attracted to the highest concentration of fear in an area; people experiencing less fear will fail to attract fearspren.
Among the Parshendi, fearspren look like long purple worms.. This is probably because they can see the entire antenna and not just the tip which humans see.
In Shadesmar, Fearspren appear as eel-like creatures with stumpy legs, ridges on their backs, and long purple antennae: the antennae appear to be the part that visually manifest in the Physical Realm. 
”Tiny flamespren danced around [the torches], like insects made solely of congealed light.— The Way of Kings: Prologue
A common type of spren that appear around fire. They appear as tiny insects made of congealed light. They will often dance around flames, constantly changing in size, shape, and luminosity like the flames themselves.
The ardent Geranid was studying flamespren when she discovered that if she measured them in someway the spren seemed to be "stuck" by that measurement. This is similar to the physical process of wave-function collapse in quantum mechanics.
”Long, grey, like a tattered streamer of cloth in the wind. It wound around him, fluttering.— Oathbringer: Chapter Five
”Below, his men cheered, sending up calls that rose above the Parshendi war chant. Gloryspren sprouted around him.— The Way of Kings: Chapter Sixty-Five
A type of spren that appear around people when they experience pride in their accomplishments. They appear as golden orbs of translucent light.
In the Cognitive Realm, gloryspren appear as avian-like creatures with "bulbous bodies, long wings, and flowing tails" with a golden ball for a head.
A type of spren that has a symbiotic relationship with greatshells, they, in part, enable them to grow to such large sizes. They look like tiny tongues of smoke, such as those from snuffed candles. They only appear leaving a greatshell's corpse after it has been killed.
The Tai-na of the Reshi Sea have an extraordinary variant of spren, referred to as the "soul" of the greatshell by the Reshi, that allow them to grow to truly gargantuan sizes. These "souls" will sometimes show themselves to people and do such things as slowing a person's fall.
A type of spren to which Rosharans attribute the pull of gravity.
- Main Article: Highspren
Highspren are described as looking like black slits in reality, with white glowing stars shining through.
- Main Article: Honorspren
A type of sentient spren that formed Nahel Bonds with the Knights Radiant Order of Windrunners, granting them their powers. Honorspren grant the Surges of Gravitation and Adhesion. They were said to be quite "discerning" in deciding who they would bond with. Sylphrena is a honorspren.
”As he spoke, he attracted a few hungerspren. They looked like brown flies that flitted around the man's head, almost too small to see.— The Way of Kings: Chapter Two
A type of spren that appears around people experiencing extreme hunger. They appear as tiny brown flies that flit around the hungry person.
- Main Article: Inkspren
A type of sentient spren that formed Nahel Bonds with the Knights Radiant Order of Elsecallers, granting them their powers. Inkspren grant the Surges of Transformation and Transportation. Inkspren appear as human-shaped figures dressed all in black. They have been described as being coated in what seems to be oil, and as having a mother-of-pearl or prismatic quality to their look. They are capable of blending into shadows.
”Joyspren rose around her, like blue leaves that started at her feet then moved up in a swirl before flaring out above her as if in a blast of wind.— Words of Radiance: Chapter Twenty-Eight
A relatively rare type of spren. Shallan experiences them at the end of the boots incident.
”A few laughterspren—minnow-like silver spirits that darted through the air in circular patterns—began to zip about them.— The Way of Kings: Chapter Fourteen
A type of spren that appears in the presence of laughter. They have the appearance of small, silver minnows that dart in circular motions around those who are laughing.
Another name for Cryptics. 
”A few lifespren—tiny, glowing green specks—floated around the shalebark mounds. Some danced amid the rifts in the bark, others in the air like dust motes zigzagging up, only to fall again.— The Way of Kings: Chapter Thirty-Nine
A common type of spren that appears around plant-life, particularly just after highstorms. They look like "motes of glowing green dust or swarms of tiny translucent insects." In the Cognitive Realm, "their glowing green motes had tufts of white hair that rippled as they danced and bobbed".
Rarely, lifespren may appear in particularly populated areas.
- Main Article: Lightspren
Lightspren are often guides in Shadesmar as they like to travel to different places, trading and selling goods. A type of sentient spren that formed Nahel Bonds with the Knights Radiant Order of Willshapers, granting them their powers. Lightspren grant the Surges of Transportation and Cohesion.
”There were said to be logicspren—in the form of tiny stormclouds—who were attracted to great arguments...— The Way of Kings: Chapter Seven
- Main Article: Mandras
A type of spren that flies around skyeels. They have the appearance of tiny, blue, arrowhead-like fish that dart around the skyeel in the general direction of its travel. It is commonly believed by Rosharans that they aid the skyeel to fly in some manner, but the accuracy of this belief is not known. They are referred to as "luckspren" by sailors, but it may not be their true name.
”Musicspren zipped through the air around [the drummers], the tiny spirits taking the form of spinning translucent ribbons.— The Way of Kings: Prologue
A type of spren that appear around musical performances. They have the appearance of "spinning, translucent ribbons." A single, pure note is enough to draw at least one musicspren, if only for a short time.
”Painspren swarmed the ground, like small orange hands or bits of sinew, reaching up from the ground amid the blood of the fallen.— The Way of Kings: Chapter Forty-Seven
A common type of spren that appear around those experiencing pain. They have the appearance of sinewy, orange hands. They crawl out of the ground and swarm the pained, latching on to the wounded areas.
”Passionspren, like tiny flakes of crystalline snow, floated down in the air around them.— The Way of Kings: Chapter Sixty-One
A type of spren that appears around those experiencing romantic passion. They look like small flakes of snow.Passionspren appear around those experiencing other kinds of passion as well, like the Alethi Thrill.
”[Rainspren] were said to be the souls of raindrops...— The Way of Kings: Chapter Forty-Four
A type of spren that appears most often during the Weeping. The have the appearance of glowing, ankle-height, blue candles that, despite seeming to melt, never grow shorter. They have a single eye at the top of their body. They often stand in puddles. Kaladin also finds these spren "creepy." 
”[The Purelake] was filled with tiny fish, colorful cremlings, and eel-like riverspren.— The Way of Kings: Interlude One
A common type of spren that appear in bodies of water such as rivers or the Purelake. They are often described as being "eel-like." They are among the larger varieties of spren and have the ability to mimic faces and expressions as well as voices, often choosing to torment people while doing so.
”Rest... and keep that wound clean. We don't want to attract any rotspren. Let me know if you see any. They are small and red, like tiny insects.— Kaladin
Unlike most spren, which most Rosharans believe are only attracted to their namesake, rotspren are said to be the cause of sickness and infection. They are seen to be repelled by water and antiseptics such as Lister's oil, Knobweed sap, and Larmic mucus.
”It was the time between moons, and so he was lit mostly by the firelight; there was a spray of stars in the sky above. Several of those moved about, the tiny pinpricks of light chasing after one another, zipping around like distant, glowing insects.— The Way of Kings: Chapter Forty
A rare type of spren that appear at night amongst the stars. They appear as small points of light that chase one another like insects.
Stormspren are a variety of Voidspren. They are small red spren that look like tiny lightning.
”Windspren were devious spirits who had a penchant for staying where they weren't wanted...— The Way of Kings: Chapter Two
A common type of spren that appear in the presence of wind. As one of the larger types of spren, windspren are able to change their appearance at will, though they often appear as "ribbons of light without form."
The leading edge of a highstorm is home to "thousands upon thousands" of windspren. Windspren are also a common sight at the tail of a highstorm "chasing after... the highstorm's last gusts."
Windspren are closely related to honorspren, such as Sylphrena. This perhaps evidenced by their ability to "stick things together", making use of a rudimentary version of the Surge of Adhesion. They generally use this ability to play pranks on people. For example, Kaladin describes sticking shoes to the stone (and causing the person to trip) as a "classic windspren trick".
Windspren are a rare sight in Shadesmar, as they spend almost all their time in the Physical Realm. A windspren in Shadesmar is described as "a line of light like a pinprick in the air that trailed a long, soft luminescence". Their movements in the Cognitive Realm are similar to those in the Physical Realm.
The Unmade Sja-Anat has the ability to corrupt spren, or Enlighten them, as she states. These corrupted spren are drawn to the same phenomena, but are different in appearance from the typical spren.
Instead of pools of blood, corrupted angerspren resemble bubbling pools of tar. Upon popping, the bubbles are "...burning red, like embers."
Corrupted awespren appear as "...soot-black puffs."
Corrupted flamespren are a vivid blue instead of the traditional flame colors of red/orange and appear more jagged than their non-corrupted counterparts. 
Corrupted gloryspren take the shape of a cube instead of the globe shape of normal gloryspren. In the Cognitive Realm, they are described as looking "bone-white and brown," with "wings extending to the sides and long tresses for a tail". Similar to their normal counterparts, corrupted gloryspren in the Cognitive Realm have golden cubes for heads. 
Corrupted hungerspren appear as black and resemble the flies seen on rotting plants. 
The corrupted oathgate spren at the Kholinar oathgate are described as looking like stretched-out versions of people, 30 feet tall. They hover in the air. One is pitch-black and the other is red. Syl thinks that the corruption is indicated by the red coloring one of the spren, but it is unknown how the corruption reflects in the black spren.
Corrupted painspren are a sickly green as compared to their normal orange, as well as deformed or distorted, no longer resembling human hands. Deliberately summoned by Shallan after she stabs herself with scissors to test her hypothesis.
Corrupted shamespren resemble pieces of broken glass. These were deliberately summoned by Shallan after she intentionally trips, showing her safehand to Elhokar, Adolin and Kaladin. 
The corrupted windspren are only described as "...trailing red light." Whether this means that the ribbons of light themselves were red is unclear.
- Main Article: Nightwatcher
- Main Article: Stormfather
- Main Article: Sibling
- Main Article: Cusicesh
A unique spren, the only known member of its sub-type, that appears in Kasitor Bay at the same time each day. It is one of the largest known spren. For ten minutes each day Cusicesh rises from the waters and forms a face that is constantly changing that faces the Origin. Nearby people report a sense of fatigue, which may or may not be because of expectation.
Oathgate Spren reside in the Oathgates and Provide the means of instant travel between Oathgates at a cost of Stormlight. In the past it may have been possible to use the Oathgates to travel to and from Shadesmar. Honor before His death commanded them to not allow travel from Shadesmar to the Physical realm.
Myths and Lore
According to the ardent Kabsal, the Dawnsingers were "kindly spren sent by the Almighty" to care for mankind after being expelled from the Tranquiline Halls. This is proven to be untrue as the Dawnsingers were the original inhabitants of Roshar that later became Parshendi.
A type of spren believed to exist by more traditional, rural followers of Vorinism. Those with more education believe they are simply fabrications of the Knights Radiant to support their dominance.
Theories and Speculation
It may be possible that there are larger categories of spren. When accused of being a Voidbringer Pattern retorts that "[he] is no voidspren..." From this it has been extrapolated that the divisions of spren may have two axes: their power level and their source. The power axis has been addressed above and has 3 main anchor points (though if graphed spren would likely form a spectrum). These points would be the common spren (those who embody/personify the effects of human consciousness) Bondspren (those capable of forming a Nahel Bond with a human and depend on this bond for sentience while outside of Shadesmar) and Godspren (also capable of forging a Nahel Bond, but who have great power in or influence over the physical realm even without it) A spren's other dimension, its source, refers to which shard ultimately caused its existence. Most spren would likely be the product of Honor or Cultivation (say honorspren and cultivation spren respectively), while Voidspren are of Odium.
It should be noted that so far a number of times spren have been called Gods or as Syl put it "a tiny part of one." And Sanderson has confirmed that spren are Splinters. If it is assumed that the Desolations began to occur before Odium killed Honor then it is likely that the Knights Radiant were formed before Honor shattered entirely. This would imply that spren, at least Bondspren, where present in the world before Honor shattered. If this was true of Honor than it was/is likely true of Cultivation as well. These protospren present before Honor's death would be the equivalent of the piece of Preservation within each Scadrian.
In support of the above assumptions there is the fact that Odium is by no means dead, yet his Voidspren are still present on Roshar (and therefore likely inhabit Shadesmar as well). If he can send spren into the cosmere while alive but "imprisoned by the oathpact" (an act which would be necessary to create the Voidbringers and bring about each of the previous 99 desolations) it might be true that Honor and Cultivation can send spren while alive too.
- It is possible for someone to bond multiple spren
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- 17th Shard Forum Q&A
— Arcanum - 2012-09-27#
- Oathbringer chapter 26 #
- Words of Radiance interlude I-1 #
- Oathbringer Houston signing
— Arcanum - 2017-11-18#
- Words of Radiance Chicago signing
— Arcanum - 2014-03-22#
- Steelheart Chicago signing
— Arcanum - 2013-10-01#
- Words of Radiance chapter 84 #
- Words of Radiance chapter 86 #
- Oathbringer chapter 31 #
- Edgedancer chapter 8 #
- Words of Radiance prologue #
- Arcanum Unbounded Fort Collins signing
— Arcanum - 2016-11-29#
- Words of Radiance chapter 88 #
- Edgedancer chapter 2 #
- Oathbringer chapter 120 #
- Oathbringer chapter 27 #
- Words of Radiance chapter 89 #
- Oathbringer chapter 119 #
- Oathbringer chapter 122 #
- FanX 2018
— Arcanum - 2018-09-06#
- The Way of Kings chapter 15 #
- Oathbringer chapter 93 #
- Oathbringer chapter 95 #
- Oathbringer chapter 97 #
- Oathbringer chapter 107 #
- Words of Radiance chapter 78 #
- Words of Radiance chapter 62 #
- General Signed Books 2016
— Arcanum - 2016-07-31#
- Oathbringer chapter 8 #
- Oathbringer chapter 12 #
- Oathbringer chapter 53 #
- Oathbringer chapter 104 #
- Surgebinding Table
- The Way of Kings chapter 29 #
- Words of Radiance chapter 42 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 38 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 45 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 10 #
- Oathbringer chapter 25 #
- Words of Radiance chapter 11 #
- Oathbringer #
- Oathbringer chapter 38 #
- Oathbringer chapter 49 #
- The Way of Kings prologue #
- The Way of Kings chapter 32 #
- Words of Radiance interlude I-4 #
- Oathbringer chapter 89 #
- Oathbringer chapter 5 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 65 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 12 #
- Words of Radiance interlude I-3 #
- Oathbringer chapter 98 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 60 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 67 #
- Words of Radiance chapter 28 #
- Edgedancer chapter 6 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 39 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 3 #
- Edgedancer chapter 4 #
- Words of Radiance chapter 35 #
- Skyeel Illustration Description
— Inkthinker's DeviantArt #
- Shallan's Sketchbook: Skyeels
- Oathbringer chapter 108 #
- JordanCon 2018
— Arcanum - 2018-04-22#
- The Way of Kings chapter 33 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 47 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 1 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 16 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 61 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 44 #
- The Way of Kings interlude I-1 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 27 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 22 #
- Oathbringer chapter 9 #
- Oathbringer chapter 62 #
- Oathbringer chapter 6 #
- Oathbringer chapter 19 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 40 #
- Words of Radiance chapter 81 #
- Words of Radiance interlude I-5 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 34 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 4 #
- /r/fantasy AMA 2013
— Arcanum - 2013-04-15#
- Supanova 2017 - Sydney
— Arcanum - 2017-06-16#
- Oathbringer chapter 77 #
- Oathbringer chapter 67 #
- Oathbringer chapter 63 #
- Oathbringer chapter 72 #
- Oathbringer chapter 74 #
- Oathbringer chapter 78 #
- Oathbringer chapter 87 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 52 #
- Oathbringer chapter 113 #
- Oathbringer chapter 111 #
- The Way of Kings chapter 42 #
- JordanCon 2016
— Arcanum - 2016-04-23#
- Steelheart Chicago signing
— Arcanum - 2013-10-05#
- Words of Radiance signing Chicago
— Arcanum - 2014-03-22#
It has yet to be reviewed.