by Matthew Johnson
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”Those aren’t stones. They’re creatures.
Appearance and Nature
”Even after all these centuries, seeing a thunderclast up close made Kalak shiver.
Thunderclasts are enormous stone beasts, easily five or six times larger than a person, with their hands alone being six feet long. They take a skeletal, humanoid form, with long limbs that end with spiky, clawed fingers. On their chests, they have rib-like protrusions, and there are ridges running along their backs. Their heads are narrow and arrow-like, with glowing red eyes.
The thunderclast proper, however, is a singer soul. The potential thunderclasts are far more powerful than their Fused kinsmen, and much more twisted, to the point where they barely resemble their species. When they desire to take on a human form, they sink into the stone and animate it, ripping themselves out in the humanoid form. As such, they retain some qualities of the material they take on, like the color or a covering of moss or fungus.
It's possible that there are other types of Cognitive entities that can create thunderclasts, as a spren is also seen at one point plunging into the ground right before a thunderclast rips itself out.
by Matthew JohnsonRising from the ground
Abilities and Attributes
”Thunderclast! Hammers! Ready hammers!
Despite their enormous size, thunderclasts have no problems staying upright, and can swing their body around with incredible force, easily toppling regular fortifications. Though brute force is their greatest strength, they're also capable of precise actions such as throwing boulders, or carrying regular Fused in their hands without crushing them.
Although warped and twisted, thundercasts seem to retain some level of personality, enough so to answer to names and have a concrete sense of their gender. While they can obey commands, however, they do not seem capable of communicating themselves. They are capable of making earth-shaking roars and trumpeting sounds to express their emotions, though.
Despite being made of the same material as their targets, they do not crack, and it seems they cannot be destroyed by ordinary means, although hammers are given as a viable option for combating them. There are a few known ways to defeat thunderclasts for certain, though. One is to cut them up with Shardblades to the point where they're no longer mobile, although this carries significant risk to both people and their surroundings. A Truthwatcher can also use Illumination to banish a thunderclast, although whether this is deadly for the spirit within is unknown. Nightblood, on the other hand, can kill them for good.
While it's unknown for how long they've been in Odium's service, thunderclasts date back to the Desolations of old, even back to Nohadon's times. People back then knew to look out for them, and sent out hunting parties, although only Knights Radiant were capable of fighting them. They were powerful enough to pose dangers even to the Heralds, with Kelek in particular dying to them several times. After the Aharietiam, however, thunderclasts passed on into myths. By the Era of Solitude, there were numerous stories about Voidbringers with bodies of stone, likely as a cultural memory of the thunderclasts.
Thunderclasts appeared a few times in Dalinar's visions. When he meets Nohadon, he saw numerous corpses of them littering the battlefield and, in a separate vision in which he participated in a hunt for a corrupted spren on the Purelake, he witnessed one rip itself out of the ground. However, they didn't make their proper debut in the modern era until the Siege of Kholinar, when at least one thunderclast participated in the main attack, easily breaking down the city wall and decimating numerous buildings in its wake.
In the Battle of Thaylen Field, Odium called two singer souls -- Kai-garnis and Yushah -- to create thunderclasts. After Yushah broke through the wall, he sent her after the Thaylen Gemstone Reserve while Kai-garnis went assist the Fused in taking the Thaylen City Oathgate. Both were eventually taken down; Yushah is killed by Szeth and Nightblood, while Kai-garnis is banished by Renarin, with Adolin's and Hrdalm's assistance.
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