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|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”Humans are a fire that must be contained.—Yelamaiszin
Appearance and Personality
While Yelamaiszin's precise appearance is unknown, it communicates with the other Sleepless in a smooth, calming buzz. It is calm and makes rational arguments in discussion with other Sleepless. It is also very confident in its knowledge and opinions.
During the True Desolation, Yelamaiszin considers humans to be dangerous and believes that they must be controlled. It retains compassion for them, but will cull them if necessary. It believes that Dalinar will destroy Roshar, alluding to a short piece written by a Sleepless that claims "One of them may redeem us. / And one of them will destroy us." These opinions are presented in its characteristic matter-of-fact way.
Yelamaiszin holds a leadership position among twenty allied Sleepless on Roshar. Despite speaking emphatically to its colleagues, it leaves important decisions up to a vote between all twenty loyal swarms.
Abilities and Attributes
Yelamaiszin is a Sleepless, a hive mind of hordelings also known as a Dysian Aimian. As its cognitive functions are spread across multiple hordelings, this makes it effectively immortal. It has existed for at least 4,500 years and possibly much longer. It retains memories from its entire lifespan, making it exceptionally knowledgeable but also leaving "scars" from past conflicts.
It can breed its hordelings to fulfill specific purposes. However, Yelamaiszin is worse than Nikli at imitating humans, in part because it is older; younger swarms have the advantage of beginning life with hordelings that already have the genetic enhancements added by their predecessors.
Yelamaiszin was the first swarm to come to Roshar; as such, the Sleepless refer to it as First. It came to Roshar from an unknown location. How and when it arrived is unclear, but it seems to have settled on the planet well before the Last Desolation. Its hordelings were more spider-like when it first arrived on Roshar, but it has since evolved them to resemble cremlings.
Since its arrival on Roshar, twenty-three additional swarms were created through Separation, for a total of twenty-four swarms active on Roshar by the time of the True Desolation. It is implied that Yelamaiszin was relatively young when it arrived on Roshar, as the Third swarm that Separated (Alalhawithador) was almost as old as Yelamaiszin itself. Of Yelamaiszin's twenty-three "descendants", nineteen were loyal to it, and four went against its wishes. One of the swarms that defied Yelamaiszin was Arclomedarian, and there were multiple conflicts between them. Yelamaiszin considered Arclo to be truly dangerous.
At least some Sleepless were allies of the Knights Radiant during the Heraldic Epochs. Yelamaiszin's allegiance during this time is unclear, but despite its general distrust of humans, it still held Radiants in high esteem during the True Desolation. It also respected the Sighted.
Yelamaiszin was among the Sleepless that worked to protect Akinah after the Scouring of Aimia. When the Wandersail set sail on the expedition to Akinah, Yelamaiszin was adamant that the crew not be allowed to breach the storm, but instead be driven away. Nikli was sent to accomplish this, and after a few attempts failed, Yelamaiszin said that Nikli had to be willing to take more drastic measures to prevent the crew from reaching the island. Yelamaiszin suggested sinking the ship, but was narrowly outvoted in favor of giving Nikli one more try. After Nikli failed and Rysn bargained with it regarding the fate of the Change Dawnshard, Yelamaiszin participated in the discussion over the treaty, which was ratified.