by Petar Penev
|Magic||Splinters of Odium|
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”The Unmade are a deviation, a flair, a conundrum that may not be worth your time. You cannot help but think of them. They are fascinating. Many are mindless. Like the spren of human emotions, only much more nasty. I do believe a few can think, however.
The Unmade are a group of nine ancient and twisted spren on Roshar comprised of Splinters of Odium. They are minions of Odium, doing his bidding. While they are traditionally depicted as personifications of destruction or forces, some of them are cognizant individuals. Each Unmade is endowed with vast and terrible powers, although the intelligence of the Unmade vary drastically. An Unmade may be captured in a polestone like other spren, but to do so seems to require both someone who deeply understands them and a perfect gemstone.
During the Desolations
The origin of the Unmade is uncertain, but they are believed to have come into existence before the start of human civilization on Roshar. They have been implied to have once been something else before being made into the Unmade, but for now there is no indication what they once were. They were active in the Desolations, aiding Odium's troops in the conflict with their various skills. Urithiru was equipped with some sort of protection against the Unmade. Since Aharietiam, they have remained subtly active on Roshar.  They may also have slumbered at times, or entered a period of inactivity . Ba-Ado-Mishram likely helped the singers fight during the False Desolation and has not been seen since, having been captured by Melishi. At some point Re-Shephir was also imprisoned by a Lightweaver, but she later escaped capture.
With the arrival of the Everstorm and the return of the Fused and the True Desolation, the Unmade returned to their previous activity. Re-Shephir was discovered to be hiding in the core of Urithiru by the Alethi and was driven out by Shallan Davar. In the besieged city of Kholinar, Ashertmarn's influence disrupted the leadership in the city while Sja-anat corrupted the Oathgate spren, turning it into a trap for Elhokar's rescue party. Queen Aesudan Kholin consumed a gemstone and worked with Yelig-nar, but was eventually consumed by it. In the Battle of Thaylen Field, Yelig-nar joined with Meridas Amaram for the fighting and Nergaoul's influence helped Voidspren bond with Sadeas's soliders, turning them into warriors for Odium. Kaladin and his men defeated Yelig-nar, while Dalinar Kholin successfully managed to capture Nergaoul in a perfect gem. Navani has been researching the Unmade, but little factual information was found on them aside from in Hessi's Mythica.
In Rosharan culture, by the time of the Era of Solitude, the Unmade have become mythologized heavily. In fact there are disagreements about the number of Unmade; some stories claim there were ten. In Vorin theology they are spoken of vaguely and are typically combined into one entity. Even still, ardents tell old folktales and stories of the Unmade. The Unmade are often referred to as spirits of the void or nine shadows that moved in the night. They are considered to be princes of the Voidbringers in story, and feature in elaborate songs, poetry, and epics. People ascribe dozens of names and powers to each Unmade, making it difficult to determine truth from falsehood centuries later. There are tales of them corrupting spren and people both. Some people fear that things like talking chickens will bring the eyes of the Unmade upon them. However, many in the modern day consider them to be nothing more than simple folklore. Scholarly works that involve the Unmade are often mocked and dismissed.
Members of the Unmade
”Ashertmarn, the Heart of the Revel, is the final of the three great Mindless Unmade. His gift to men is not prophecy or battle focus, but a lust for indulgence.
Ashertmarn is a mindless Unmade that is also known as the Heart of the Revel. He takes the form of an enormous, black, inhuman heart that grows veins into the ground. Those who fall under Ashertmarn's influence are driven to debauchery and excess, in extreme cases to the point of total mindless indulgence. Ashertmarn was most recently seen in Kholinar, grown over the Oathgate there, where he managed to influence many of the Alethi elite to abandon their lives and responsibilities in favor of the revel. His location is unknown after he left the Oathgate platform.
”I find Ba-Ado-Mishram to be the most interesting of the Unmade. She is said to have been keen of mind, a highprincess among the enemy forces, their commander during some of the Desolations. I do not know how this relates to the ancient god of the enemy, named Odium.— From Hessi's Mythica, page 203
Ba-Ado-Mishram is one of the most intelligent Unmade. She has not been seen recently in the Era of Solitude, but was likely responsible for the False Desolation. She has the ability to grant Voidlight to the singers and often served as one of Odium's generals during the Desolations. She was most likely captured by Melishi in a perfect gemstone.
Little is known of the Unmade Chemoarish. By the modern Era of Solitude, she is known as the Dustmother and often is conflated with the Nightwatcher. There is a variety of lore associated with her, but all of it is currently unknown.
”Let me no longer hurt! Let me no longer weep! Dai-gonarthis! The Black Fisher holds my sorrow and consumes it!— Tanatesach 1173, 28 seconds pre-death. A darkeyed female street juggler. Note similarity to sample 1172-89.
Dai-gonarthis is also known as the Black Fisher. He has not been recorded as active on Roshar recently, but may have been involved in the Scouring of Aimia. There is still some uncertainty in the mythology if Dai-Gonarthis is truly one of the Unmade, but some scholars are convinced.
”Moelach is close. I can hear his wheezing, his scratching, his scraping at time like a rat breaking through walls.
Moelach is an Unmade closely associated with precognition and visions of the future. His presence is what allows for the Death Rattles that King Taravangian has used to correct the Diagram. Moelach's appearance is unknown. Moelach took up residence in Kharbranth in the year 1167 then relocated seven years later to the Horneater Peaks. The reasoning behind this relocation is unknown.
”Nergaoul was known for driving forces into a battle rage, lending them great ferocity. Curiously, he did this to both sides of a conflict, Voidbringer and human. This seems common of the less self-aware spren.— From Hessi's Mythica, page 121
Nergaoul is a mindless Unmade that is closely associated with battle rage. Nergaoul is not very intelligent, taking an animalistic joy in death and killing. He takes the form of an enormous red mist roiling with the forms of men fighting and dying. Nergaoul causes the effect known as the Thrill, which drives men to fight far beyond when they should have given up and makes them enjoy the killing. He has recently been captured and trapped within a perfect gem by Dalinar.
”Re-Shephir, the Midnight Mother, giving birth to abominations with her essence so dark, so terrible, so consuming. She is here! She watches me die!— Dated Shashabev, 1173, 8 seconds pre-death. Subject: a darkeyed dock-worker in his forties, father of three.
Re-Shephir is also known as the Midnight Mother, and The Spawning Mother. She takes the form of a mass of black tarry substance that is capable of flowing over various surfaces and appears to have screaming faces bubbling to the surface. Her primary ability is to spawn the Midnight Essence, a type of spren that takes the form of creatures and people they see around them and try to understand humankind by mimicking them. She is a creature of instinct that is drawn to violence and pain. After fleeing from Urithiru, her current location is unknown.
”Of the Unmade, Sja-anat was most feared by the Radiants. They spoke extensively of her ability to corrupt spren, though only "lesser" spren - whatever that means.— From Hessi's Mythica, page 89
Sja-anat is known as the Taker of Secrets. She takes the form of a jet black shadow that points the wrong way with white holes for eyes that often appears in mirrors. Her primary ability is to corrupt spren, which she refers to as Enlightening. She is capable of corrupting both lesser spren and true spren, as well as larger spren, such as the spren of an Oathgate. These corrupted spren often act as her servants and messengers. Sja-anat has indicated that she is interested in defecting from Odium's forces, but the veracity of her claims is still uncertain.
”Yelig-nar, called Blightwind, was one that could speak like a man, though often his voice was accompanied by the wails of those he consumed.
Yelig-nar is also known as Blightwind, and differs from typical Unmade in a few ways. Instead of having a specific physical appearance, he is capable of joining with people or singers who swallow a gemstone, granting them the ability to make use of all ten Surges. Those he possesses have red eyes, grow crystals from their bodies, and appear to be wreathed in a black wind. It appears that those who join with Yelig-nar must control him if they do not wish to be consumed by him.
”You see, it can only be bested by someone who deeply, sincerely, understands it.
Prior to the Recreance, a Lightweaver managed to trap Re-Shephir, an act previously thought impossible. This event may have played a role in the Knights Radiants' plan to trap Ba-Ado-Mishram in a perfect gemstone, which they believed would require a Bondsmith.
Centuries before the True Desolation, Re-Shephir escaped her imprisonment by unknown means. After the Alethi arrived at Urithiru, she once again encountered a Lightweaver, Shallan Davar. Sensing the similarities between Shallan's powers and those of the Lightweaver who had trapped her in the past, Re-Shephir fled rather than risk being imprisoned again. During the Battle of Thaylen Field, Dalinar Kholin used his intimate knowledge about the Thrill's nature, and the method of capturing spren through coaxing them into a gemstone, to capture Nerogoul in the King's Drop. It is unclear whether this is the same method that the ancient Radiants used.
The names of the Unmade are derived from deities of Near Eastern pantheons and H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos; however, the powers and characteristics of the Unmade do not necessarily match those of their nominal inspirations. Suspected associations are:
- Anat, Semitic war goddess, for Sja-anat.
- Resheph, Canaanite plague deity, for Re-Shephir.
- Nergal, Mesopotamian god of war and death, for Nergaoul.
- Moloch, Canaanite god of fire and chaos associated with child sacrifice, for Moelach.
- Dagon, a Canaanite fisher god and sea-dwelling entity from the Cthulu Mythos, for Dai-gonarthis.
- Asherah, Sumerian sea goddess, for Ashertmarn.
- Chemosh, god of Moabites and Ammonites, for Chemoarish.
- Unknown Cthulhu Mythos deities for Ba-Ado-Mishram and Yelig-nar.
- Words of Radiance chapter 81 epigraph#
- Oathbringer chapter 1 #
- Oathbringer chapter 62 #
- /r/books AMA 2015
— Arcanum - 2015-03-12#
- The Way of Kings chapter 45 epigraph#
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- Words of Radiance interlude I-14 #
- Oathbringer chapter 80 epigraph#
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- Oathbringer chapter 29 #
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- Words of Radiance chapter 45 #
- Words of Radiance chapter 25 epigraph#
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- Words of Radiance interlude I-4 #
- Oathbringer chapter 106 epigraph#
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- Unmade Name Linguistic Origins
— 17th Shard #
- ICon 2019
— Arcanum - 2019-10-17#
Windrunner (talk) 16:29, 17 September 2018 (MST)