Did Adonalsium create the Dysian Aimians? If not, were they created by a Shard?
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Did Adonalsium create the Dysian Aimians? If not, were they created by a Shard?
So White Sand [then Elantris] is earlier... Then how the heck old is Khriss then? Will we ever get an answer as to why every worldhopper is flippin' immortal?
There is some time-dilation going on. I'll explain it eventually; we're almost to the point where I can start talking about that. Suffice it to say that there's a mix of both actual slowing of the aging process and relative time going on, depending on the individual. Very few are actually immortal.
Implying that some are actually immortal? :D
Depends on which definition of immortal you mean.
Doesn't age, but can be killed by conventional means. (You've seen some of these in the cosmere, but I'll leave you to discuss who.)
Heals from wounds, but still ages. (Knights Radiant with Stormlight are like this.)
Reborn when killed. (The Heralds.)
Doesn't age and can heal, but dependent upon magic to stay this way, and so have distinct weakness to be exploited. (The Lord Ruler, among others.)
Hive beings who are constantly losing individual members, but maintaining a persistent personality spread across all of them, immortal in that as long as too much of the hive isn't wiped out, the personality can persist. (The Sleepless.)
Bits of sapient magic, eternal and endless, though the personality can be "destroyed" in specific ways. (Seons. Spren. Nightblood. Cognitive Shadows, like a certain character from Scadrial.)
Shards (Really just a supercharged version of the previous category.)
And then, of course, there's Hoid. I'm not going to say which category, if any, he's in.
Some of these blend together--the Heralds, for example, are technically a variety of Cognitive Shadow. I'm not saying each of these categories above are distinct, intended to be the end-all definitions. They're off the cuff groupings I made to explain a point: immortality is a theme of the cosmere works--which, at their core, are experiments on what happens when men are given the power of deity.
Heals from wounds, but still ages.
Would Bloodmaker Ferrings exist in this category as well? If not, what about someone Compounding Gold?
Yes, you are correct.
As a Bloodmaker ages, what keeps them from healing the damage and carrying on as a very old, but very healthy person? Do they come to a point where they can't store enough health to stave off the aches, pains, diseases, and other things that come with old age?
This makes sense for traditional Feruchemy as it is end-neutral, so storing health becomes a zero sum game - eventually, you're going to get sick and you're not going to be able to overcome it with your natural healing ability no matter how much you manipulate it with a goldmind.
...Unless you've got a supply of Identity-less goldminds lying around. Would a Bloodmaker with a sufficient source of Identity-less goldminds (or the ability to compound, thus bypassing the end-neutral part of Feruchemy) eventually just die from being too old?
Basically, yes. They can heal their body to match their spiritual ideal, but some things (like some genetic diseases, and age-related illnesses) are seen as part of the ideal. Depends on several factors.
So Sleepless have held Surges. Have they been Radiants before?
At the end of Words of Radiance, Hoid is sitting there talking to some cremlings. And I was wondering, is he talking to one of the Dysian Aimians?
*laughs and motions for Joel to hold up the RAFO sign*
There was a green cremling in the *inaudible* read today, is that like a natural, or is that...?
Any time a cremling shows up that is oddly colored or things, you should pay extra attention to it. They won't all be relevant, but it is a running theme that you should pay extra attention to them.
Do the Sleepless name themselves? Seems like they would since they spawn from "lost" swarms. Would they think of themselves as the original swarm at first? Would this would bring in all the scifi clone identity problems where the clone doesn't own it's identity?
RAFO for now. I'll get into their society some other time.
Wait - there are Sleepless on other worlds?
Have you seen them? RAFO. (Note that non-Rosharan ones can't imitate humans.)
Would the non-Roshar ones have hordelings that look similar to the Rosharan ones, or would they have bred completely differently?
Also, can the Sleepless communicate with the ones on other planets? Do they do so often?
They would look completely different.
RAFO on the second question.
I was wondering if you could clarify how The Sleepless communicate between all the members of their horde and each other? They are described as buzzing, so are they relaying messages from hordeling to hordeling across huge distances or do they have so kind of more specialized telepathy?
It's mostly telepathic; hordeling buzzings are more like emotional punctuation, like body language in humans.
Are there any Sleepless spies on other planets?
Sleepless are not confined to Roshar.
So now that we know at least one group of Rosharans are aware of the Sleepless (the Horneaters), are there other Rosharans who know of them as well?
By which I mean - have the existence of the Sleepless influenced Irialian religion and the belief in the One?
There have been Iriali who know about the Sleepless, though the Iriali religion predates their arrival on Roshar. (That said, it has evolved during their time here.)
So the idea of the One - a single entity breaking down into smaller, constituent parts in order to gain diverse and varied experiences - predates the Iriali's contact with the Sleepless?
And now that I think more about this theme of a single entity breaking down (splintering/fracturing?) into smaller parts... could the belief in the One and the Many be influenced by the fracturing of Adonalsium? Or is this general theme just a coincidence?
The general theme is not a coincidence, but the Iriali having this philosophy predates me bringing the Sleepless into the Cosmere from another science fiction book I'd written during my early unpublished years.
I was wondering if Sleepless-- the Dysian Aimians-- if they could hold a Shard?
Could the Sleepless hold a Shard? Could they be a Vessel? Is what you're asking?
*hems and haws* There is nothing innate about the Shards that prevents any one with a-- I have to phrase this very carefully...
Non-humans can be Vessels. Non-humans have been vessels. Certain sapient creatures in the cosmere, could not be. But that's an asterisk, not the rule.
The Sleepless. When Syl is talking to Kal, and Kal just crunched up the leaves, and she says, "Is it the heart of a beetle that you have hidden in your hand?" Is that what she's talking about?
...Oh, the Sleepless? No, that is coincidence. Good question. Not a Sleepless question.
Are all hordelings cremlings and vise versa?
Cremling is a synonym in Roshar for both, insect and small crustation, right? And so you would see one and you would see that's a little crayfish. Cremling is not an exact term if that makes sense. It's like bug. The word "bug" people can use to mean a lot of different things.[...] So, yes, they look like cremlings, because they've been bred to look like cremlings, so they will not be noticed on Roshar, but there are hordelings that do not look like cremlings. But they would still be called a cremling by the people on Roshar. The occasional people (?) used the word insect, 'cause that word does exist on Roshar. Usually make refers to like little flying bugs that you only find in the very far west of Roshar near the mountains, but yeah.
When the Sleepless communicate, are their words being transmitted to each other instantaneously or is the transfer of information limited in speed to the speed of light? Like if one Sleepless was on Ashyn and they communicated with one on Roshar, would they be able to converse normally or would there be a time lag while the information was being sent from one planet to another?
I have to RAFO this for now, as there are certain relativity related things I don't want to get into quite yet in the cosmere.
On the back of The Way of Kings, it says "I long for the days before the Last Desolation." Who's I?
That is one of the Sleepless. You have not...
And it ends in "One of them will destroy us." Okay. And I have it we don't know who the Sleepless is yet?
You know who the Sleepless... You don't know which one. It is not the one that you have met officially. I mean, you've met a couple of Sleepless, but it is not the one that Lift hung out with. He's a little odd, even for a Sleepless.
Would the Ghostbloods try to recruit [a Sleepless]?
Um, the Ghostbloods would not trust a Sleepless.
They wouldn't? So they wouldn't even try to get one?
They would not. They would expect a Sleepless to take over their organization or try to. And try to stay far away from the Sleepless.
What about the Seventeenth Shard?
There are members of the Seventeenth Shard who would be interested in recruiting one of the Sleepless. Generally they represent a wildcard faction that a lot of other people are wary of.
I guess Khriss and them just know about them?
Yes. The Sleepless are cosmere-aware.
Are they worldhoppers?
There are Sleepless on many planets. They have mostly settled on Roshar for various reasons.
If a Dysian Aimian had the Elsecaller honorblade, could just a single hordeling transition to the Cognitive Realm? 'Cause I think I've heard that a person couldn't just transition a single part of their body.
They could transition a single hordeling, but as it works right now, they would probably lose contact with the host and would become broken-off and no longer part of the hive. It's not truly a hive. But it would be like of your finger got cut off and sent to-- something like that. It would start acting independently.
So would you have to have the preponderance of the Dysian Aimian transition to the Cognitive Realm? And the ones that stayed in the Physical Realm would be cut off?
Yeah. It would be bad for half-and-half to go. Let's say that, one thing that they would love to be able to do is to have a little more versatility there. Let's just say that.
The Sleepless are one of the very first fantastical races I developed, and they made an appearance in Stars' End (my second--very bad--novel, which never was published.) I migrated them to the Cosmere after I started designing it, as I wanted some truly alien species. I was interested in an entity that could have "generations" within its own swarm of beings, breeding to evolve parts of its body, and spreading consciousness across a large number of individual pieces. I'd seen a lot of hive minds, and some group minds, in science fiction--and wanted to play with something that was a hybrid between the two.
However, in order to properly integrate them into the Stormlight story, I decided to make them be able to imitate humans. (And through these efforts, they are slightly more humanoid in the way they perceive the world.) That made them able to play in the events of Roshar more directly.
There are plenty of swarms in the cosmere who are not connected to those on Roshar, however.
I have a question about the Sleepless. So you have confirmed that distance does matter. Is there a limit or a factor affecting how many hordelings they control?
Can you elaborate?
No, but there is an upper limit on both mass and number.
Can a single Sleepless swarm (say, Nikli, or Arclo) form 2+ humanoid bodies and essentially pretend to be two people at the same time?
Possible, but difficult. Splitting their consciousness risks accidentally birthing another Sleepless, and splitting them into two people permanently. It's much easier if one of the bodies doesn't have to interact in an intelligent way.
Is this the only way for a Sleepless to create a new Sleepless? Splitting an existing one into two, where each of the two retain some personality/consciousness of the combined, but different enough to be two distinct individuals? Is the process extremely painful and hence prevents them from trying to create more?
That's all RAFO material indeed. I will get into it eventually.
Could you spike a hordeling?
Yes. Spike means getting something out, spike means get(ting?) something in? I think that both is viable. I think you can, yeah.
If you would spike something in, would the whole Aimian get maybe an Allomantic ability?
Mostly, this would probably change the hordeling. And they may lose contact to it. It could fiddle with the Connection to the point that they can no longer link. That's gonna be my answer right now, that spiking a hordeling would separate it from the group mind.
Is there a limit to hordeling size? Like what the size of one is?
Should I be worried about whitespines being a hordeling?
They are not a hordeling.
So what's the size limit?
Fist-sized is about how big they get.
And how many can you have? For one.
Lots. More than you have seen on screen.
Could you tell me anything about the other [Dysian] Aimians?
You'll be surprised when you see them, they're barely humanoid.
Regarding Dysian Aimians. The cremlings that make them up are spread about in a large area--
They can lose touch if the distance is too far. They can lose contact with the mind of the whole thing.
Would their Cognitive aspect be affected by that?
Yes it would be. I'll just leave it there, but yes.
You've said the Sleepless are inspired by the Tines in A Fire Upon the Deep. They were very relient on being close to each other to survive. Are the Sleepless under the same restriction?
I would say not nearly as strict.
Are the Dysian Aimians agents of Cultivation? If not, are they in league with another group (excluding the Knights Radiant) that we have seen?
Kind of yes to both – kind of
They are not native to Roshar and yet they fit among the Rosharan cremlings so perfectly... So was Rosharan fauna based off of another planet? Or are the crab species on Roshar invasive and from wherever the Sleepless are from? Or are only Rosharan sSleepless made up of crabs because they melded with the local species? Or do living things in the Cosmere evolve into crabs alarmingly often just like in our universe and its a coincidence?
The ones on other planets will look less like cremlings. Realize that a swarm is always evolving. The first swarm's hordelings were more spider-like when it first came to Roshar.
The theme of generations is also a thing we see with the Kandra, who can also disguise themselves. Were the Kandra perhaps modeled after the Sleepless? Or is there any relation at all between the two?
No direct relationship here.
Was Aimia originally terraformed to be more like their home ecosystem (just like how Shinovar is like the human home ecosystem)?
Are the Sleepless a race that predates the Shattering? And with the Big A namedrop by Nikli, does that mean we'll see them in the future with any future Yolen content?
Edit: Now I'm wondering if the Rosharan Sleepless are able to communicate to Sleepless on the other side of the Cosmere
So the Sleepless kind of have me wondering about what sentience is in the cosmere. Like how would a Sleepless manifest on the Cognitive Realm--
That's a good question, you'll-- that I'll RAFO. But they are a single consciousness, but they would argue that all your cells are independent of you. So they are cells that can move around. They're really fun... they started in a non-cosmere book when I was 22. Obviously a bit inspired by Fire Upon the Deep, one of my favorite science fiction books. And I read that book and I'm like, "Group consciousnesses are cool!" what if you had a species that was made up of-- Not like one of these Ender's Game y'know, one, but each swarm was an individual and they could breed and evolve their own things to do different stuff. So each of these little bits, these hordelings is what I call them-- I might change because we've got cremling now. But each of these little bits is bred for a specific purpose, "Feed the swarm" and stuff like that. So they've got all kinds of cool stuff going on.
Are they slivers?
Oh slivers. Not quite like slivers. Slivers are a little more that whole Ender's Game thing, right? And this is actually an individual that's not a hivemind. This is an individual, single consciousness, and they've got a step between cell and body. We kind of do too, like mitochondria are kind of "What are these? Are these things we ingested somehow and got working for us?" It's all very cool.
So is it like Malazan Book of the Fallen, like the D'ivers?
Ehhh, there's little--
Okay, a little?
Chapter 4 Kaladin noted a legger with a deep purple carapace near Tvlakv's wagon. Would that be a suspicious legger?
That's a suspicious legger! (Later definitely confirmed it to be Aimian)
I'm curious - they said there's 20 Sleepless working together in this group. Can you give a (possibly rough) estimate of how many Sleepless are on Roshar, in that one group or not?
Nikli is the youngest (and the twenty-fourth) swarm on Roshar. Originally there was only one Swarm on Roshar. All the rest came from it.
Does that mean there are 3 rogue ones (the text mentions 20 still accept the authority of the First)? Or is the First counted in that 20 and there are 4 rogue?
Edit: the "true traitors", plural, are mentioned. So are the Sleepless factions on Roshar the 21 serving the First, 2 "traitors", and Arclo rogue on his own?
And why did Arclo tell Lift:
“If you ever encounter another of the Sleepless, tell them you’ve spoken with Arclo. I’m certain it will gain you sympathy.”
if he's rogue?
They like Arclo--he's not an "enemy." He just disagrees with them, but they don't hate him.
That's also a pun on his part. In that they'll be sympathetic that the person had to deal with Arclo.
I meant twenty including the first, though it's not clear the way I phrased it, is it?
So this means 4 that do not obey the First? Are all 4 still alive?
All four are still alive, and one is Arclo.
How many of the "true traitors" mentioned are there? (I'm assuming that means traitorous Sleepless.)
RAFO. Keep an eye out in Rhythm of War. (Actually, you don't have to keep too much an eye out. It's kind of obvious.)
I am wondering if Dysian Aimians are more resistant to Soulcasting?
Yeah, I would say, yes. I would say, in general for various reasons, but yes.
Who writes these perspectives?
Those are written from a group called the Sleepless. You'll find them referenced in Edgedancer. They are Aimians.
Do the hordelings of a single Sleepless share knowledge at all time (like a hivemind), or do they have to get back together ?
It's possible to separate off a hordeling, but normally, they are working as a single entity--sharing knowledge.
The Epilogue of Words of Radiance.
Hoid makes particular note of a cremling.
Hehehehe. You're starting to learn! You're starting to learn.
That epilogue just got so much--
Yes, he was speaking to one of the Sleepless there. He has spotted them and they--
So, he knows.
Oh, he knows!
Because he makes a comment about having “no intelligent audience.”
Yes, yes, yes. *laughter* Of course he doesn’t have an intelligent audience!
The Sleepless presumably do not want her to swear a Radiant oath because she would be able to use the Dawnshard in conjunction with Surgebinding, and we know that that combination already destroyed one planet in the system so it's pretty understandable.
But there were a bunch of Soulcasters lying around and they didn't seem bothered. So is this one of the differences between Radiant Soulcasting and Soulcasting via the fabrial? That the Dawnshard cannot be used alongside the fabrial?
So, the Sleepless ARE capable of Radiant bonds. (I believe the back jacket of the first book implies as much, if I remember correctly.) However, things they at first thought were great are making them increasingly worried, for reasons that will come up (not related to them specifically) in this book and the next.
Soulcasting via a fabrial is way, way less dangerous than Radiant Soulcasting--which is in turn far less dangerous than unbound Soulcasting (meaning without oaths.)
We've seen that the interpretation of the oaths is largely up to each individual spren (to the point that we've seen an entire Order of Radiants change their allegiance). Would it be possible for there to be a "sociopathic spren" that has interpreted the oaths so radically differently from the rest of their kind that it appears, to an outsider, that they are unbound in the same way the wielder of an honorblade is unbound? Or is there something essential about the nature of spren that prevents this?
I think that spren could go further than we've seen so far, and indeed, many of the older Skybreakers might be horrified by how far their order has gone. However, there are SOME fundamentals that even a spren with a very different interpretation wouldn't be able to abandon.
Will there be a major part in the story for the Sleepless?
Yes, but much later on.
What means later on?
Well, they have a major role in the science fiction Mistborn trilogy, but that's pretty far off. So they will be very important very much later on.
Lots of people have transversed the worlds. Will the Sleepless ever do that?
The Sleepless have in the past.
Are the Sleepless Invested? And if so, is that in every hordeling or is it like the hive mind is an Investiture?
I will RAFO that. All things are Invested. So-
Un-Innate Investiture, like extra...
Extra? I will RAFO that.
How much have you thought about the evolution of the biology on Roshar? It seems like the creatures we saw in Dawnshard attacking the crew (Sleepless aside, they're a whole other can of cremlings) are basically amphibious chasmfiends? Or some descendent of larkin? Or even an offshoot of hordelings?
I imagine there's a lot of aquatic Rosharan megafauna, as many prey species on the planet have literal sources of energy inside of them that (with the right biological adaptations) can be turned into calories. Mix the low gravity, high oxygen, environment--and the possibility for bonding spren for other adaptations--and there's some real fun to be had.
Rosharan Sleepless, as a species who can self-evolve over internal generations, have managed to interbreed with some species of cremlings to come up with specialized hordelings to do some remarkable things.
In-universe, where did the Sleepless originate? Presumably not on Yolen?
RAFO, I'm afraid.
Why didn't the Sleepless have a guard watching the Dawnshard?
They did--but only a couple of hordelings to give warning. They never thought, in a million years, the intruders would absorb the Dawnshard. It wasn't seen as possible for a variety of reasons that, some day, might be clear.
Up until the moment realizing what had happened, they assumed they were in complete control, as the humans were locked into a place with no other exit and there were swarms blocking the way back out through the water.
Would Sleepless be the 3rd race native to Yolen? Man, Dragon, and Sleepless?
The Sho Del are the third race from Yolen.
I've heard you mention the Sho Del a few times, though only that they were the third race on Yolen. Is there anything else you could reveal about the Sho Del that's not too spoilery?
The big thing happening on Yolen (and major plot points of both Dragonsteel and The Liar of Partinel, neither of which I decided to publish) is two competing ecologies on one planet. An entire invasive ecology (called "fain") and the regular one, familiar to us. The Sho Del fill the niche in the fain ecosystem that humans fill in ours.
Then I was wondering about the Dysian Aimians or the Sleepless. Do they reproduce at all, and if so how does it work? Like is it that one... is it asexual if they do?
So they reproduce, yes. But reproduction for them has a variety of terms. They can breed specific cremlings for specific purposes over time if they want to. They can also exchange cremlings if they need to, in order to improve their genetic diversity. Creating a new one is a different experience but yes. In fact, they... I've written sections, not for the books yet but where I talk about them developing and over evolving one of their cremlings to do something new.
Okay. If they do reproduce does it require two of them or is it more like they breed enough and then they split one off.
That's a RAFO for now, but the individual's consciousness is an interesting thing for them.
The Sleepless. If they got enough hordelings, how big could they get?
There is a limit. It is larger than you've seen on-screen before.
About the Sleepless, if and when will I see them again?
You have seen them multiple times already, so you will see them multiple times again.
Okay, I'll have to re-read and look closely.
Watch for cremlings in places that--
In Edgedancer we see what I believe is a Dysian Aimian, Arclo, refer to the Sleepless. Is this the term the Dysians use to refer to their species or is it rather the name of a group of specific Dysians?
This is how they speak of themselves. Good question.
How hard would it be for a Sleepless to imitate the larkin powers in one of their hordelings?
Oh, they would take generations and generations of purposeful attempts at mutating that out.
Could they theoretically do it?
They could theoretically do it.