Regal

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Regal
Stormform singer by Caio Santos.jpg
Sapient Yes
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
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Forms of power, yes, but also forms of obedience. The gods commanded, and we did obey, always. Always.

Regals are singers who bond with Voidspren, granting them a transformation called a form of power. In the Voidbringer hierarchy, they are ranked above common singers, and below the Fused.[2] Singers sometimes formally refer to Regals as Chosen.[3]

Mechanics[edit]

Formation and Appearance[edit]

To become a Regal, a singer has to bond a Voidspren; a non-sapient variety is used for this purpose.[4] The form is assumed much like any other, by stepping into the storm with the mindset to bond an appropriate spren. Unlike a Fused possession, a form of power can be taken on both in highstorm and the Everstorm.[5][6] In some cases, Odium may force a Regal form upon a singer personally while the latter is in the Everstorm.[6]

During the False Desolation, Ba-Ado-Mishram was able to Connect to all singers on Roshar and grant a large portion of them forms of power as well as Voidlight. This is no longer possible since that Unmade is now imprisoned in a gemstone.[7]

The forms of power come in many different shapes; their precise number is unknown, though higher than ten.[8] Regardless, they can always be recognized by having red eyes, as opposed to typical singer black.[9][10] Historically, they were associated with Voidlight and Ba-Ado-Mishram, though neither is necessary for their functioning.[11][12]

Abilities[edit]

Unlike ordinary forms, Regals possess powers that are explicitly supernatural, from shooting lightning from one's hands to understanding and speaking every language in the world (as such, a kandra wouldn't be able to mimic a Regal).[13] These powers do not seem to require any sort of external Investiture input, but at least some are powered by Voidlight.[14][2][15] They are also generally stronger than normal singers or humans, including forms not intended for fighting.[16] Moreover, in contrast to Fused possession, taking on a form of power does not strip the host of their personality, though it can alter their way of thinking.[17]

On the other hand, the Regal form can be directly spoken to by Odium, though this seems to only occur if the singer is caught in the Everstorm.[18] Odium is also able to exert a significant amount of control over Regals, in a manner similar to the influence Ruin has over those with Hemalurgic spikes.[19] Most notably, they tend to become more aggressive[14] and have an exceptionally difficult time hearing ordinary Rhythms, instead hearing those related to Odium.[9][2][20] It is possible that Odium can force Regals to obey him.[1] Despite their ties to Odium, Regals are not immune to effects tied to another Shard, such as being pulled into one of Honor's visions by the Stormfather.[9]

Known Forms of Power[edit]

Most forms of power are only known through listener songs; several were recorded in the Song of Secrets, the Song of Histories, and the Song of Winds. There are more than ten total.[8]

A singer in stormform

Stormform[edit]

Stormform is said to cause / A tempest of winds and showers, / Beware its powers, beware its powers. / Though its coming brings the gods their night, / It obliges a bloodred spren. / Beware its end, beware its end.

—4th stanza of the Song of Winds[21]

A singer bonded to a stormspren is granted stormform,[22] a form of power that is commonly used for frontline soldiers and a fearsome foe on the battlefield. This form was the first used by the listeners, allowing them to call the Everstorm into the Physical Realm[23] and freeing the other singers from their captivity.[24] With the return of the Everstorms, stormforms are often used as elite troops, capable of reinforcing standard soldiers or serving in special units that carry out important tasks, such as the company that seized the Sibling's crystal pillar in Urithiru.[25]

Appearance

Instead of the bulky external carapace armor granted by warform, a singer in stormform is protected by a more subtle armor that is nearly as effective.[26] The singer's skin is covered in rows of durable protective ridges that poke out through the skin, which stretches tightly in some places. Stormforms also have hairstrands are often absent in more martial forms,[26] more prominent physical differences between the sexes than other forms,[27] and barbed carapace on the backs of their hands.[28] Their face is protected by a carapace mask beneath the stormform's skin[4] with ridges on the nose and cheeks, capable of deflecting a blade away from the face without causing too much damage.[29] The ridged carapace breaks the skin above the cheeks and along the sides of the head,[30] with a carapace gorget at the neck.[28] The spiking armor plates[31] present under their skin elsewhere on their bodies[4] makes grappling with them difficult, jabbing attackers and preventing them from getting a decent hold.[28] A stormform often has flashes of energy appear around them, such as sometimes flashing across their eyes[32] or tiny nearly invisible lines of lighting flaring from their hands when they form a fist quickly.[14] When they are preparing to summon their lightning their skin begins to crackle with energy.[28] As they fight they cause flashes of light, [33] sometimes emanating from their weapons when they connect with enemies.[34]

Abilities and Weaknesses

Despite looking comparatively lithe,[31] a stormform Regal is in fact significantly stronger than a warform singer,[14] and even other forms of power.[25] They are able to leap across the chasms of the Shattered Plains without a running start[14] and posses a grip strength that allows them to easily hold the chasm walls when climbing them.[4]

The most overt power that stormform grants a singer is the ability to create and manipulate a red lightning in a variety of useful ways. Stormforms are capable of unleashing grand bolts of lightning that electrocute and burn their enemies, cooking them alive in their armor.[34] It is also capable of doing great damage to fortifications, with bolts used to destroy stone structures.[35] It takes a moment for a stormform to summon a bolt of lightning[27][36] and those nearby can sense the power building,[36] as the stormform's skin begins to crackle with the red lightning.[28] This ability to throw lightning is most deadly in close range. The lightning itself is difficult to control and moves unpredictably, sometimes moving the wrong direction or channeling directly into the ground.[34] The flash of lightning is blindingly bright and creates a loud clap of thunder that is sometimes used as a signal and intimidates enemies. [37] This thunderclap can be permanently deafening in close quarters, but as it is quieter than normal thunder, those shielded from the noise usually suffer no permanent hearing loss.[28] When a stormform is killed, if their power has not been expended it can escape from their corpse and kill those nearby, particularly those standing in puddles.[38]

Stormform Regals are also capable of directly channeling the lightning into another person directly through physical contact, sending constant jolts of power through them,[28] which creates an immensely painful burning sensation in the victim.[36] Their opponents are unable to withstand the power of this attack without Stormlight healing to aid them.[28] Unleashing lightning into a person still generates a great deal of heat, burning through clothes, with the shock causing the victim's hair to stand on end.[36] Even when they are not intending to do harm, touching a stormform may cause the feeling of a little jolt of power.[39] Stormforms have also experimented with their powers in less directly martial ways. They have discovered that they can rewrite the polarity of a magnet with their lightning[40] and use it to ignite the contents of pressurized vessels.[41]

This lightning power is not limitless though, subsequent blasts of lightning are often weaker[36] than the first and after their Voidlight has been expended, it is slow to renew and its absence may leave the stormform feeling limp.[29] Another weakness of stormform is ironically water, which makes their ability to throw bolts of lightning even less reliable.[35] If a stormform is sufficiently drenched in water their power will be ruined and unable to renew properly until they are dry, slipping away from the stormform every time it starts to return.[42] Their lightning may also be counteracted by intentionally placing lightning rods to draw the bolts of power themselves to protect soldiers fighting stormform Regals.[39] Their powers may also be fully dampened by a suppression fabrial, which causes their lightning to vanish.[37]

Another ability granted by stormform is some immunity to the effects of the storms,[31] allowing them to move through the winds and darknesss of a storm with relative ease,[34] although they are not immune to the dangers the storms present.[6] According to legend they were able to control and summon the storms themselves,[43] it is uncertain if this refers to the power to summon the Everstorm from Shadesmar. Prior to its arrival in the Physical Realm, a stormform Regal was capable of summoning a small portion of the Everstorm themselves.[31] They could cause a small tempest of wind, lightning and dark mist to appear briefly between their hands, although it is unknown if they maintain this power following the arrival of the Everstorm. It is uncertain whether summoning the Everstorm was a task only the stormforms could complete or whether they were simply chosen as the form best suited for the task.

A singer in envoyform

Envoyform[edit]

While not described in any known listener songs, envoyforms are an important non-combatant form of power available to the singers,[44] often employed by the Fused as Voices[44] or interpreters.[45]

Appearance

A singer in envoyform is extremely tall[2] but not particularly muscular,[6] with long arms and legs.[32] Envoyform Regals stand above tall Alethi humans,[9] common singers,[44] and even some forms of power such as stormform,[2] though still shorter than some brands of Fused.[32] The form grants no carapace armor,[44] but much in the way of decoration, inspiring awe among common singers and fear in humans that see an envoyform.[46]

An envoyform's body is not extensively covered in carapace, and the carapace that is present on their body is primarily ornamental and fragile.[44] It is present in places such as along the cheeks and in ridges on the back of an envoyform's hands. This light carapace is not as useful for insulating an envoyform from the wind or the cold as the more extensive carapace of other forms.[3] An envoyform also possesses long hairstrands and more pronounced sexual characteristics, such as small breasts for femalen singers.[6] An envoyform Voice is often dressed in striking fashions designed to augment their forms and skin patterns as well as inspire more attention in a crowded room.[47]

Abilities

Envoyform grants a host of supernatural abilities primarily related to translation and interpretation.[44] The most notable power is the ability to speak, read, and understand any language, whether human or singer.[2] The ability presumably involves some manipulation of the power of Connection. After hearing several sentences in an unknown language, an envoyform feels as though the words blur in their mind before shifting into something understandable and they gain the ability to speak and understand that language.[6] While this power is capable of allowing a envoyform to understand the meaning of a name, it cannot give them any context or additional information beyond that.[48] There are also times that this translation power may fail.[49] Odium himself may prevent an envoyform from interpreting certain conversations or songs, leaving envoyforms with a feeling that they can almost understand but that their powers shy back from comprehending,[48] and there are other times it seems to fail an envoyform.[39] In order to properly interpret the meaning of writing, an envoyform must first know that the symbols they look at are writing before their translation powers activate.[50]

Given more time and practice holding this form, its abilities grow even grander, allowing an envoyform to intuit instructions from merely a hum,[44] or a simple gesture,[39] a talent particularly useful when serving a Fused master. This makes serving as the Voice of an important Fused one possible position for an envoyform singer, because of its ability to speak the ancient Fused language.[44] Additionally, as many Fused do not bother to learn modern languages, envoyforms are necessary as interpreters, allowing Fused to communicate their will to common singers.[45] They are also useful as propagandists, such as when Venli is used by Odium to help craft a foundation myth for the common singers of the Voidbringer forces.[2] This form is somewhat fragile[9] and not as physically powerful or athletic as other forms of power,[16] but it an envoyform Regal is incredibly nimble[9] and remains noticeably stronger than the average human.[16]

Decayform[edit]

Decayform destroys the souls of dreams. / A form of gods, to avoid it seems. / Seek not its touch, nor beckon its screams, deny it. / Watch where you walk, your toes to tread. / O'er hill or rocky riverbed / Hold dear to fears that fill your head, defy it.

—27th stanza of the Song of Secrets[51]

Nothing is known of decayform beyond its mentions in the songs of the listeners. There are no known singers bearing this form in the True Desolation as of yet.

It is not attained using decayspren, as they are not Voidspren.[51]

Direform[edit]

Direform is a form of power that has a crest of spikes on its head and neck.[52] The abilities of this form are unknown. During the singer occupation of Urithiru, some Regals serving as the head jailer[52] or guards in the Tower[3] are in direform.

Nightform[edit]

Nightform predicting what will be, / The form of shadows, mind to foresee. / As the gods did leave, the nightform whispered. / A new storm will come, someday to break. / A new storm a new world to make. / A new storm a new path to take, the nightform listens.

—17th stanza of the Song of Secrets[53]

Little is known of nightform beyond its mentions in the songs of the listeners. The Song of Secrets implies that nightform Regals have precognitive abilities, perhaps related to Fortune or the Spiritual Realm.[53][54] The songs indicate that at some point in the past the nightforms may have seen visions of the Everstorm[53] and the contest of champions.[54] During the singer occupation of Urithiru Lezian posted nightform Regals to guard Lirin and Hesina in Urithiru, likely at Raboniel's suggestion.[55]

Relayform[edit]

Relayform is a form of power with a sleek appearance that is often taken by scouts.[20] There are no other known details about this form's abilities. During the occuptation of Urithiru, some Regals in relayform served Raboniel, scouting the Tower and delivering reports to Venli, Raboniel's Voice.[49]

Smokeform[edit]

Smokeform for hiding and slipping between men. / A form of power, like human Surges. / Bring it 'round again. / Though crafted of gods, / It was by Unmade hand. / Leaves its force to be but one of foe or friend.

—127th stanza of the Song of Histories[56]

Smokeform for hiding and slipping 'tween men. / A form of power—like Surges of spren / Do we dare to wear this form again? It spies. / Crafted of gods, this form we fear. / By Unmade touch its curse to bear, / Formed from shadow—and death is near. It lies.

—51st stanza of the Song of Secrets[57]

Nothing is known of smokeform beyond its mentions in the songs of the listeners, which imply that this form may grant some sort of ability to hide or move nimbly.[56] There are no known singers bearing this form in the True Desolation as of yet.

Unknown[edit]

Axindweth suggests to Venli that there is an unknown form which grants healing.[58]

See Also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. a b Words of Radiance interlude I-4#
  2. a b c d e f g Oathbringer interlude I-7#
  3. a b c Rhythm of War chapter 102#
  4. a b c d Oathbringer interlude I-3#
  5. Words of Radiance interlude I-5#
  6. a b c d e f Oathbringer interlude I-6#
  7. Rhythm of War chapter 73#
  8. a b Words of Radiance Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-08#
  9. a b c d e f Oathbringer chapter 109#
  10. Words of Radiance chapter 11#
  11. Oathbringer prologue#
  12. Oathbringer chapter 80 epigraph#
  13. Oathbringer Portland signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-16#
  14. a b c d e Words of Radiance interlude I-8#
  15. Rhythm of War chapter 67#
  16. a b c Rhythm of War chapter 37#
  17. Skyward Pre-Release AMA
    Arcanum - 2018-10-27#
  18. Oathbringer interlude I-11#
  19. Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014
    Arcanum - 2014-09-04#
  20. a b Rhythm of War chapter 92#
  21. Words of Radiance chapter 22 epigraph#
  22. Rhythm of War chapter 86#
  23. Words of Radiance chapter 84#
  24. Oathbringer chapter 17#
  25. a b Rhythm of War chapter 38#
  26. a b Oathbringer interlude I-8#
  27. a b Words of Radiance chapter 83#
  28. a b c d e f g h Rhythm of War chapter 43#
  29. a b Rhythm of War chapter 95#
  30. Words of Radiance chapter 78#
  31. a b c d Words of Radiance interlude I-11#
  32. a b c Rhythm of War chapter 31#
  33. Words of Radiance chapter 80#
  34. a b c d Words of Radiance chapter 81#
  35. a b Rhythm of War chapter 42#
  36. a b c d e Rhythm of War chapter 103#
  37. a b Rhythm of War chapter 111#
  38. Words of Radiance chapter 82#
  39. a b c d Rhythm of War chapter 41#
  40. Rhythm of War chapter 89#
  41. Rhythm of War chapter 97#
  42. Rhythm of War chapter 117#
  43. Words of Radiance interlude I-1#
  44. a b c d e f g h Rhythm of War chapter 11#
  45. a b Oathbringer chapter 115#
  46. Rhythm of War chapter 56#
  47. Folio: Envoyform Fashion
  48. a b Rhythm of War chapter 14#
  49. a b Rhythm of War chapter 53#
  50. Rhythm of War chapter 74#
  51. a b Words of Radiance chapter 24 epigraph#
  52. a b Rhythm of War chapter 60#
  53. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 23 epigraph#
  54. a b Words of Radiance chapter 34 epigraph#
  55. Rhythm of War chapter 83#
  56. a b Words of Radiance chapter 25 epigraph#
  57. Words of Radiance chapter 31 epigraph#
  58. Rhythm of War chapter 52#
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