Wed
Apr 17 2013 1:00pm

The Complete Spren Catalogue

The complete spren catalogue

It may have become apparent that I have a lot of opinions about spren, and fully intend to share all of them with you. With the reread of Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings building up steam and all manner of Stormlight Archive coverage on the horizon, I thought that we might all benefit from a reference text. I have compiled a list of all the spren that have been seen or mentioned in The Way of Kings so far, with descriptions when available and commentary as I found interesting. The result is a kind of encyclopedia.

Alespren: “Test successful. Have noted spren who appear only when one is severely intoxicated. Appear as small brown bubbles clinging to objects nearby. Further testing may be needed to prove they were more than a drunken hallucination.” Oh, Axies the Collector, you are just my very favorite minor character. Since he only appears in a single scene, there may be some of you who don't remember Axies. He's an Aimian scholar, member of a devastated race with really strange traits: he can resculpt his body at will, a power which he uses to make writing appear on his body, and his shadow goes towards the light instead of away from it. Axies has made it his centuries-long mission to catalogue every single spren in a single work. This blog post is totally dedicated to him.

Anyway, the spren themselves appear to be extremely rare. They only appear in Iri, and even there very infrequently. Axies spent years drinking himself silly in the hope that he'd attract these drink-loving spirits, and even now he doesn't know for sure that they're real. Spren studies sounds like a terribly tricky field. The idea that spren are regional is fascinating and peculiar to me, as well. Is this because certain locations are more closely related to the concepts the spren love? I'd love to hear more theories on this subject, especially in relation to the fact that Shinovar has no spren at all.

The complete spren catalogueAngerspren: “His expression was as thunderous as a highstorm, angerspren boiling up from the ground around him like small pools of bubbling blood.” Gross. I'd love to track how emotion-based spren have shaped the cultures of Roshar. The Alethi have had the visual metaphor for anger handed to them, with all the context that brings. Anger is red, it bubbles, and it is linked with hot blood. I am reminded of nothing so much as the theory of the four humors. Finally, consider how hard it would be to hide your anger at a boss, friend, or enemy when if you get enough rage pumping through you blood bubbled up all around you. I bet that would make for a much more conflict-driven society.

Anticipationspren: “A few anticipationspren—like red streamers, growing from the ground and whipping in the wind—began to sprout from the rock and wave among the soldiers.” Anticipationspren appear around nervous people, people who are waiting for something. Like angerspren, they reveal deep emotions, and like gloryspren, they seem to appear much more frequently around battles. This could be because our understanding of spren is, so far, mostly an Alethi understanding, and to them everything is about battle.

Bindspren: “He thought he could faintly make out tiny spren, dark blue and shaped like splashes of ink, clustering around the place where the rock met the wall.” Syl and Kaladin argued about whether bindspren create Full Lashings, or are attracted to them. As far as I can remember, however, Szeth's Lashings didn't attract bindspren. This is just one of many oddities about Szeth's magic.

Captivityspren: Axies has postulated that there should be a spren attracted to those who have been imprisoned. Despite the countless times he's been thrown into jail, however, he's yet to confirm their existence. Poor Axies. Maybe you just haven't gotten arrested in the right precinct, yet!

Chasmfiend Spren: “Tiny, near-invisible spren were floating out of the beast's body, vanishing into the air. They looked like the tongues of smoke that might come off a candle after being snuffed.” I have no idea what these spren represent yet, but Sanderson has confirmed that they exist in symbiosis with the chasmfiends.

Coldspren: Only mentioned so far in Navani's notebook (usefully translated from Alethi into english by enterprising fans), where she comments that they can be bound to gems to create cold-producing fabrials.

Creationspren: “Creationspren were of medium size, as tall as one of her fingers, and they glowed with a faint silvery light. They transformed perpetually, taking new shapes. Usually the shapes were things they had seen recently...they imitated shapes exactly, but moved them in strange ways. A table would roll like a wheel, an urn would shatter and repair itself.” It's hard to argue against creationspren being attracted to acts of creation, rather than causing them. What could more fruitfully be discussed is which aspect of creation actually draws them. While Shallan understands them to be drawn to more skillful artwork, she of course is acting under the tautology that creationspren foster: Creationspren are drawn to skillful acts of creation, so art that attracts creationspren must be finer than art that does not. I think it's more likely that creationspren are drawn to realistic representations of shapes, which is why they are so frequently drawn to Shallan's detailed, exact sketches. This would push artwork towards ever more realistic styles, and would heavily discourage impressionism or, Almighty preserve us, abstract expressionism.

The complete spren catalogue

Cusicesh the Protector: “At precisely seven forty-six in the morning—the locals could use it to set their timepieces—an enormous, sea-blue spren surged from the waters of the bay. It was translucent, and though it appeared to throw out waves as it rose, that was illusory...They called it by name, Cusicesh the Protector. Some worshipped it as a god.” I wish so badly that I could explain to you what Cusicesh is. There are so many weird things going on here. Cusicesh has a face, or rather, a number of different human faces, that always looks towards the Origin, where the Highstorms come form. It seems to be unique, a spren of its own type. Axies feels drained while watching it, and this seems to be very common. So, is Cusicesh leeching some kind of emotion out of onlookers? Does it eat awe? Is it sucking at their souls? It's already at least a hundred feet tall, and could still be growing.

Cusicesh is a huge, huge outlier. I want to unravel this mystery, and I can only hope that we'll learn more about it soon.

Deathspren: “He saw the deathspren. They were fist-sized and black, with many legs and deep red eyes that glowed, leaving trails of burning light. They clustered around him, skittering this way and that. Their voices were whispers, scratchy sounds like paper being torn. They terrified him, but he couldn't escape them.” In the comments to my previous article a rousing discussion developed around whether rotspren cause disease or are attracted to disease, with the vast majority believing that they were only attracted to festering wounds. I largely agree with that instinct, but I think the question of whether deathspren cause death is much more up in the air. I want to discuss this, along with other theories of spren metaphysics, in a later post, so bear with me until then.

Decayspren: Syl makes an offhand refrence to a decayspren. How would a decayspren differ from a rotspren? Why would there need to be both? Does Syl know a different set of names for spren than humans do?

Exhaustionspren: These spren appear alongside painspren among the wounded after a battle on the Shattered Plains. No physical description has been given to date.

Fearspren: “Small fearspren—shaped like globs of purple goo—began to wriggle from the masonry, pointing toward the doorway. They were drawn by the terror being felt on the other side.” Two things of note: First, fearspren point towards sources of intense fear, and can potentially reveal a terrified person hiding from something. Second, it is noted at one point of Bridge Four that, “to their credit,” they were not attracting any fearspren, which indicates not that they are fearless, but that they are less afraid than other nearby people. Not attracting fearspren seems to be a sign of valor.

Flamespren: “Tiny flamespren danced around them, like insects made solely of congealed light.” The ardent Geranid discovers that, when one of their variable dimensions such as height, width, or luminosity is measured, that dimension becomes fixed. This demonstrates that flamespren have form that can be altered by human categorical imposition. We don't know yet if other spren share this quality.

The complete spren catalogue

Gloryspren: “Gloryspren—like tiny golden translucent globes of light—began to pop into existence around him, attracted by his sense of accomplishment.” I am almost entirely certain that gloryspren are misnamed. Glory is a quality that is generated through external consensus that your actions deserve praise and honor, and is not derived from a strong sense of accomplishment. Of course, that's just my puny Earth opinion. It's clearly not true on Roshar.

Groundspren: The Alethi believe that things fall towards the ground instead of floating away because groundspren pull them downwards. This sounds stupid, but is actually functionally interchangeable with a rudimentary theory of gravity. The main difference is that groundspren are a lot lazier than gravity, and only pull at about .7 g.

Heatspren: Like Coldspren, Heatspren only appear in Navani's notebook.

Honorspren: See Sylphrena.

Hungerspren: “They looked like brown flies that flitted around the man's head, almost too small to see.” Another in the class of spren that are attracted to definite emotions or sensations, like fearspren, angerspren, and painspren.

Laughterspren: “A few laughterspren—minnowlike silver spirits that darted through the air in circular patterns—began to zip about them.” While I've talked before about how restrictive it is for a society to have visualizations of their emotions, I do still love those visualizations. Everything about laughterspren, their silvery color, the way they dart and flit and play, is basically perfect.

The complete spren catalogue

Lifespren: “Tiny lights rose around the plants. Lifespren. They looked like motes of glowing green dust or swarms of tiny translucent insects.” Lifespren are most likely to appear in the blossoming stage directly after a highstorm, when plants hungrily drink in stormwater. This might highlight the fact that spren are tied to the storms, especially considering how both spren and storms are absent from Shinovar.

Logicspren: “There were said to be logicspren—in the form of tiny stormclouds—who were attracted to great arguments, but Shallan had never seen them.” Hmm. First, what aspects of great arguments attract logicspren? Consistency, correctness? How do the spren know? Second, why do they look like stormclouds?

Luckspren: Sailors call the little spren that cluster around skyeels in flight “luckspren.” Shallan doesn't think that's the right name for them, and I'm inclined to agree. However, they do have the honor of being the only spren we have a visual reference for so far.

Musicspren: Like creationspren and logicspren, musicspren are drawn to the “best” music. I think in this case “best” means “containing the purest tonal quality,” as evidenced by the single musicspren that appears when Kabsal demonstrates the symmetry of the Dawncities. Possibly there is a sub-musicspren for each distinct semitone.

Nightspren: As far as we know, nightspren are “superstition, fabrications of the Lost Radiants, who used tales of monsters to justify their domination of mankind.” On the one hand, most things strict Vorins say about the Knights Radiant are suspect. On the other hand, nightspren probably only “appear” when it's too dark to see them, so I am willing to doubt.

The complete spren catalogue

Painspren: “Painspren—like small orange hands with overly long fingers—were crawling around him, reacting to his agony.” That is incredibly creepy. As if the idea of pain wasn't worrisome enough, when its visualized as creeping hands with extenuated fingers... Well. Shudders have been induced.

Passionspren: “Passionspren, like tiny flakes of crystalline snow, floated down in the air around them.” So far we've only seen these attracted by romantic passion. If they aren't attracted to anything else, that would tell us a lot about the Alethi definition of passion.

Rainspren: “They passed some rainspren standing in puddles, glowing like ankle-high melting candles with no flame.” In most ways I find rainspren to be far less interesting than the other weather and elemental spren, but there is the fun tidbit that some people claim them to be “the souls of raindrops,” which puts a lot of pressure on what it means to have a soul if even a raindrop has one.

Riverspren: We see no riverspren in The Way of Kings, but we know that they are shaped like eels, are very large, and are capable of mimicking faces and expressions. It's claimed that they're not intelligent, but that's claimed of windspren, too.

Rotspren: Little red bugs that give you gangrene. I have discussed them at some length here.

Starspren: “There was a spray of stars in the sky above. Several of those moved about, the tiny pinpricks of light chasing after one another, zipping around like distant, glowing instincts. Starspren. They were rare.” So things that are not of Roshar get spren also? Do those same stars shine on Shinovar?

Sylphrena: “On a nearby mound, a small figure flitted around the plants, dancing like a fluttering insect. The figure was amorphous, vaguely translucent. Windspren were devious spirits who had a penchant for staying where they weren't wanted.” Oh Syl. There's a lot to be said about Sylphrena. In fact, she probably deserves her own article, and I do intend to say much more about her later. But for now I'll say this. Kaladin thinks that Syl is a windspren, a tricksy spren that loves to play with people like the wind plays with leaves. She bonds with Kaladin, becoming more and more of a person the longer she stays with him. She can speak, she has a name, she can stick things to other things and carry small burdens. Eventually she comes to believe she is an honorspren, a spirit of oaths that bind. She breaks every rule about spren that the people of Alethkar think they know, and whenever you find contradictions like that you know there's fertile ground for analysis.

Symbolheads/Truthspren: “She had drawn something standing in the doorway behind the king. Two tall and willowy creatures with cloaks that split down the front and hung at the sides too stiffly, as if they were made of glass. Above the stiff, high collars, where the creatures' heads should be, each had a large, floating symbol of twisted design full of impossible angles and geometries.” Symbolhead is my personal term for these things. Truthspren is the name that Sanderson has called good enough to refer to them for now. Shallan discovers these things appearing in her drawings when she sketches without paying attention. This is obviously pretty unsettling. They show up more and more frequently, until eventually she hears a strange voice in her head: “What are you?” They offer her the power to soulcast without a soulcaster, and with that power access to the Shadesmar, but at a price:

You need to tell me something true, it replied. The more true, the stronger our bond.

Jasnah is using a fake Soulcaster, Shallan thought. I'm sure that's a truth.

That's not enough, the voice whispered. I must know something true about you. Tell me. The stronger the truth, the more hidden it is, the more powerful the bond. Tell me. Tell me. What are you?

Fascinating! I believe that this is some variant of the Radiants' bond with their spren, the one that gives them power, but based on truth instead of honor. And in this case, truth is obviously a much more value-neutral thing. We are definitely going to be learning more about these things in Words of Radiance, since that is going to be Shallan's book.

Windspren: See Sylphrena.


Carl Engle-Laird is the Production Assistant for Tor.com. He is currently surrounded by blogspren, which look like floating green cursors. You can find him on Twitter.

43 comments
Dylan Sprague
1. Ithilanor
Thanks for the good article! Definitely a good reference, and some interesting points of analysis. Sanderson's said we'll be learning a good bit more about Spren in WoR.
Also, they didn't show up in TWoK, but there are also poopspren!
(Yes, I'm incredibly immature)
William Carter
2. wcarter
There's an app Spren for that.

The more I read the more I think that Spren don't necessarily cause an event so much as feed off it and/or enhance it in a symbiotic manner.
If Sanderson said that the chasmfiend spren exist in symbiosis with the beasts, then it only makes me that much more certain.

I don't think Kaladin needs Syl to surgebind. I think she makes him stronger, and in return, his honor and growing power makes her more self-aware.

If it's true for all spren, then rot spren for instance are likely to make an infection worse rather than cause it. Music/Creation spren may give the artist the boost of ego he or she needs to get "in the zone" etc.

Alespren--Axies wanted to see Alespren. So he drank. A lot. and his one, semi-confirmed sighting has implanted in him the desire to drink again to 'confirm his scientific findings.' Yeah...these malevolent little brown bubbles may have created a future alcoholic.

If they play hard to get with the hard drinking crowd, games will be made up to see who can see them. Which means? Pour me another round bartender.
Flint Timmins
3. Giovanotto
Great piece! This will come in handy. Do you think there is any connection between riverspren imitating faces and Cusicesh the Protector collecting faces?
Trae Ashleigh
4. Trae
There is a similar listing akin to this, with quotes and page numbers, here.

Plus, the Coppermind Wiki here.

Also, there's a comprehensive Compendium of Key Terminology here.
Carl Engle-Laird
5. CarlEngle-Laird
@1 Now I have a title for the next time I do one of these: "Spren Catalogue 2: The Rise of Poopspren."

@2 So what are the rules of the alespren drinking game? If you don't see a spren, take a drink?

@3 Maybe! They're both water-related. Cusicesh might very possibly be related to the tides. I think that the face-imitating is much more sinister in the big guy's case, though.
McKay Bonham
6. McKay Bonham
Windspren probably deserve their own entry, separate from Sylphrena. Sanderson confirmed on Reddit on Monday that, while windspren and honorspren are related, they are in fact separate varieties. So most of the things Syl does that Kaladin doesn't seem to think are strange (mostly early on) can probably be inferred to be normal windspren behavior.
Carl Engle-Laird
7. CarlEngle-Laird
@6 I wasn't certain I could find references to windspren that weren't about Syl, but I may go back and edit them in.
David W
8. DavidW
One more thing about Truthspren is that the assassins that Elhokar thinks he sees are described very similar to Truthspren.
Carl Engle-Laird
9. CarlEngle-Laird
@8 and Jasnah may well have seen them, too, since she can do the same kind of soulcasting as Shallan. I am looking forward to her and Shallan meeting Elhokar in Words of Radiance.
Tili S.
10. venndiagram
I wonder how people even know that Cusicesh the Protector is a spren, given how different it is from other spren. Is "spren" just the word people use for it since they don't know what it is? Could it turn out to be a totally different species of creature?

Also, decay of food is often a totally different process from infection of wounds. Mold and bacteria are different things. So it could be that decayspren are attracted to decomposing things but rotspren are attracted to living infections?
McKay Bonham
11. lasantine
Regarding the difference between rotspren and decayspren, my instinct is that they are two distinct kinds of spren. It is quite possible for something to decay without rotting.

Enjoyable read. Thanks for posting!
William Carter
12. wcarter
@5 That'd probably be the first...

@8
Oh yeah, he did think that. And those things were totally creepin' on Shalan too. Can't really blame a guy or gal for going a little bugnuts when they're seeing horribly shapen monsters in mirrors, out of the corner of his vision or in her own sketches can you?

For that matter, is there any proof that Elhokar is wrong about their intentions towards him? Food for thought.
Tili S.
13. venndiagram
@11 Oh hey. Great minds think alike, apparently.
Carl Engle-Laird
14. CarlEngle-Laird
@10 I need to check to see if it's only Axies who calls Cusicesh a spren, or if the locals also refer to it as such. He has a vested interest in it being a spren, after all.

@10 and 11 Yes, I see how the two would be separated. Now that I think about it, it also makes sense that we'd know so much about rotspren and so little about decayspren, given that this book is set on a war footing. Everyone is very concerned about rotting flesh, and much less about food going bad. It seems from context like it might have something to do with old age, though. Or decayspren happen to look like incredibly ancient men, which would be so weird.
McKay Bonham
15. HathsinSurvivor
Considering that Brandon has stated that spren are primarily cognitive, I would say that logic/creation/glory/music spren appear when someone does something that they or society thinks is especially logical/creative/glorious/musical.
Tobias Wolter
16. towo
I'll just put this out here:

sprens are (some kind of) mimics.

The riverspren make an interesting case in that regard - they can do facial expressions. Kind of like people staring into a river and watching their reflection.

I'm still not quite sure how they tie together - if they're some kind of ambient avatar of stormlight energy, in the sense of imbuing life, or if they are actual creatures that are inspired by other living things surrounding them.

It's also kind of unprovable whether human interaction is to blame for the spren "expressing" themselves in their different forms (or for whatever extrudes spren as a form of expension, gaia mythos, etc. pp.), as the only observed spren are, of course, made by humans, and if we aren't cheating by using cameras, there's no real way to determine if they're "persistent".
Douglas Freer
17. Futurewriter1120
before I got to the quote for the Truthspren I immediately thought of the Silence from Doctor Who.
Carl Engle-Laird
18. CarlEngle-Laird
@15 I like the impulse, but we need to go deeper. Shallan thinks that her letter to Jasnah presents a pretty good argument, but logicspren don't appear. Does she lack confidence? Are logicspren only attracted to confidence, or do they have to recognize that the logician is confident in the soundness of her argument due to specifically "logical" thought processes? And if they're attracted to what society thinks is especially logical, how do they know that society will judge something logical before it's been judged so by society, or, indeed, before it's even been shown to anyone?
Tobias Wolter
19. towo
Thinking about it some more, the case for "mimics feeding of human emotive association" goes a bit stronger, especially when looking at decayspren.

Why?

Because decay is, entirely, a human concept. Nature does not have "decay" - it might have rot, but nothing as associated and loaded as decay, which symbolizes the waning away of a past, greater state. For a personified nature, this is just change (or natural order), only humans can see decay for its emotional content.
McKay Bonham
20. AlanH
Actually, "Glory" can refer to something other than the honor or praise that others give you. In some archaic English texts, such as the King James Bible, glory is used as a verb meaning to rejoice and exult (the psalmist says "I glory in The Lord", etc.) I'm fairly sure this is the usage that Brandon Sanderson intended, as he is no doubt familiar with classical English.
McKay Bonham
21. lasantine
@venndiagram: Haha, yes. You posted while I was trying to figure out how to log in. (Did they do away with the option to log in via facebook?)

Part of my thought on this is the fact that many things decay over time: books, paper, plaster, sandstone, etc. This is just the nature of the physical world.
Eric Lake
22. Chaos2651
Someone's been using the Coppermind! ;) I kid, I kid. This is great, Carl!

On the windspren thing, it's very convenient because it was just revealed in Brandon's AMA two days ago that windspren are cousins, but not exactly the same as Honorspren: http://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/comments/1ced7z/iamstilla_novelist_named_brandon_sanderson_ama/c9fs6dc

Brandon has also recently referred to the "truthspren" as cryptics: http://www.reddit.com/r/Stormlight_Archive/comments/1a3fj0/discussion_of_the_week_shadesmar_truthspren/c8vet5f
Sean Dowell
23. qbe_64
I feel bad for all the young lads in Roshar who have been cockblocked by the inopportune appearance of the combonation of anticipation and passion spren.
girl: "It's our third date, did you think you were going to get lucky?"
boy: "Of course not, I just wanted to cuddle"
girl: "Then why are there red streamers and snow flakes exploding in your pants?"
boy: "Um, there's a banana in my pocket?"
McKay Bonham
24. DashWatson
So, Axies the Collector is done already?
McKay Bonham
25. Ada
Groundspren as a way of understanding gravity is delightfully similar to the understanding Dante presents in his Inferno, in which objects are considered to be pulled downward by the force of their sin, and upward by their virtue, sin being attracted to Satan in the center of the Earth (the point farthest from God). In both cases, attributing the pull to spirits does make for a satisfying explanation, enough for a culture to call gravity a settled question.
Nadine L.
26. travyl
Somehow i never thought of the symbolheads as spren. I think theirappearance and behavior do not really fit. I thought they were wome kinds of "alien" from shadesmar.

Wcarter. I agree that spren don't cause an event - syl is not causing Kaladins honor but I think thanks to it she can affect him and is responsible for his superhuman powers.
Carl Engle-Laird
27. CarlEngle-Laird
@26 They are certainly much stranger than most spren, and I do think they're from the Shadesmar. But I think that all the other spren are from the Shadesmar as well.
Carl Engle-Laird
28. CarlEngle-Laird
@12 We don't KNOW that Elhokar is wrong about the symbolheads' intentions. I doubt he's, because he's a tiny bit crazypants, but those things did almost drive Shallan nuts.
William Carter
29. wcarter
@28 Carl

Rather they want to harm Elhokar or not, I'm thinking some serious blue and orange morality comes into play where the symbolheads are involved.
William Carter
31. wcarter
Blue and Orange Morality Fair warning, that links to tvtropes.
Basically it boils down to: "There might be a logic behind their actions, it's just that they operate with entirely different sets of values and premises with which to draw their conclusions."

The *Finns of the WoT series come to mind.
Carl Engle-Laird
32. CarlEngle-Laird
Ah, yes. I thought they might operate outside moral axes, although a third axis (Truth Untruth?) might be in effect.
McKay Bonham
33. PHubbard
@27 yes, I suppose it would make sense that spren come from Shadesmar as they are supposed to be largely cognitive and Shadesmar is the cognitive realm

all these postings have made me realise how much I'd missed before and given me lots to think about *curiosityspren pop into existence as he types*!
McKay Bonham
34. Timpenin
Great article! I have to pick on you about Musicspren, though. I would be very disappointed if there were sub-spren for each semitone because that is not at all how music works. We don't really know much about Rosharan music, but it could well use quarter-tones. And even in Western classical music, each of the 12 notes has a range of pitches at which it's correct, depending on context. The A you play in an A major chord is not the same as the A you play in an F major chord.

I think it more likely that Musicspren are attracted to musicality, considering the subjectivity of many other kinds of spren. It's also possibly that they're attracted to the harmonics of a good note, like sympathetic string vibrations. But I'd love to see concert reviews on Roshar: "World-Famous Pianist Attracts Only TWO Spren!"
McKay Bonham
35. Ada
@34, Musicspren could also be attracted by the mathematical sequences and patterns in music, preferring certain chords or progressions, or music in which the wavelengths of the pitches are in very precise ratios, so that the two tones in a perfect fifth are very precisely 3:2 with minimal deviation. This could align with the way in which Truthspren respond to truth in the abstract independent of intent or personal knowledge.
Jeremy Guebert
36. jeremyguebert
Just one thought in regards to bindspren. I'm not convinced that they don't appear when Szeth is doing his lashings. Granted, they aren't described, but even Kaladin can only faintly make them out, and he's experimenting with his powers in a peaceful environment. You wouldn't exactly have the time to focus on minor details like that when in a room full of Sharbearers trying to kill you... Plus, I don't have the exact quote in front of me, but Brandon has said that Szeth and Kaladin have the same skill-set, which makes me assume that the results of their respective lashings would be the same.
Noah Stevens
37. nbslector
Maybe the logicspren is another misnomer- people saw them being attracted to great arguments and assumed that it was because of the logic used in the arguments, while in reality, they were attracted to the arguments themselves (which might be why they look like thunderclouds).
McKay Bonham
38. Oysgelt
Has anyone considered that pehaps Cusicesh the Protector is actually a Voidbringer, or some kind of cousin related to the Voidbringers? Cusicesh the Protector seems to suck energy from people (perhaps thereby acquiring faces), all the while looking to the Origin - to the destructive highstorms, and I have a suspicion that the highstorms are not caused by good things.

A side note: Cusicesh the Protector can be anticipated, and similarly so can the highstorms, with a certain degree of accuracy. The Desolations, were also described as "regular in their coming, yet always unexpected".
McKay Bonham
39. Lostish
Cusicesh the Protector: I remember Axies commenting on how quickly the Face changed and questioning the number and nature of the faces. If Shallan does not end up at that bay, taking her snapshots, and drawing like a champ.. I will be very disappointed.

Also, from the teasers for WoR, we know that the Parshendi have a deeper understanding of the Spren. If they attract a certain kind of Spren, It changes them fundamentaly. (Dont remember Her name, but the Parshendi that was encouraging the others to Draw. She wanted Creationspen for whatever benefit they woudl gain from that bond.)

I look forward to the parshendi becoming a wealth of info on Spren and the different benefits from bonding different types.
McKay Bonham
40. Kd7sov
Hang on, how do we know that groundspren only pull at .7G?

(Also, yesyesyes @39 re: Shallan speedsketching.)
McKay Bonham
41. Superben
Sorry for getting to the party late

@8: I’m thinking Gaz might see the truthspren as well. He mentions something always watching from the dark area he can’t see (due to his missing eye)

@19: Remember, this isn’t Earth. It’s a world created by gods to fit their view. The gods could see rot as being its own thing

@26: Sanderson said that spren are mostly cognitive, and shadesmar is the cognitive realm. I’m thinking truthspren (and probably deathspren) are ones that are stuck in the cognitive and can’t show up in the physical realm

@31: Love the parallel to the Finns

@36: But Szeth is Shin, and Shinovar doesn’t have spren. I’m not sure where I was going with this...

My 2 cents: I always figured spren were purely cognitive. Basically, they are how things view themselves. Whether that be physical things, like flamespren; or abstract, like logicspren. My primary evidence for this is the research done on flamespren, where they become what they are described as. The point being: spren don't actually have an effect either way, they are just there (or not there).
McKay Bonham
42. Xanhast
I've only read the book once, so forgive if this is stupid or obvious, but do we know if spren are generally visibile by everyone? (other than Syl, of course) Or, is it only the radient touched that can see them?
Brandt Boulden
43. navybrandt
I was wondering if an update to this article might be in order now that Words of Radience is out.

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