Author Topic: WOK: Horses  (Read 2721 times)

Harakeke

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WOK: Horses
« on: October 05, 2010, 06:34:05 AM »
Okay, this is something that's been bugging me...

Are the "horses" that everyone rides around on in Roshar *actual* horses, or are they weird alien hermit-crab beasts that vaguely resemble horses (in the way axehounds resemble dogs)? 

We eventually get a good description (and sketches) of the "hounds", but the only horses I recall being described in any detail in WOK are the special breed from Shinovar.  Are they special because they're just really awesome warhorses (like Arabians here on Earth), or because they're freaky furred mammals instead of normal crustaceans like most people have?

CabbyHat

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Re: WOK: Horses
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2010, 07:13:44 AM »
This bothered me too. I love everything about the world of Roshar, but I just couldn't see how it could be a place where horses - or any other similar grazing animal from Earth - could be practical, unless they were ambush predators that had learned how to sneak up on grass or had freakishly strong jaws to break open lavis polyps for their grain. (My sister can attest to this; she sat very patiently while I ranted at her for several minutes about it ^^; ) The description of Shinovar put my mind somewhat at ease, but I still can't accept that horses as a widely used mount would be practical. I'm sure Brandon is a better author than that and has some sort of explanation, but until we get it it's going to bug me.
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Stormblessed

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Re: WOK: Horses
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2010, 08:01:44 AM »
Brandon really doesn't describe the horses as being 'different' or alien, so I just assumed that they looked alike to normal horses. With so many alien things, maybe he felt that having horses would allow for some stability, and lessen any confusion. Maybe the horses are different, just not really different, so he didn't bother describing it here.
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zebobes

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Re: WOK: Horses
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2010, 08:17:19 AM »
There were the special Ryshadium horses, though. Those weren't really described either, except that the rider doesn't choose his Ryshadium, the Ryshadium chooses you. That bonding process seems to be kind of interesting... We probably will find out more about it later either in a Dalinar flashback in a future book, or else one of the other characters gets a Ryshadium too.

I do wonder why Adolin and Dalinar BOTH had Shardplate, Shardblade, AND a Ryshadium at the beginning of WOK. Seems like their family was VERY well off in their fighting gear....

Stormblessed

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Re: WOK: Horses
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2010, 08:27:44 AM »
Obviously Dalinar's house is very powerful. Galvinar and Dalinar were able to reunite the Alethi Highprinces, which hadn't been done in a long time.

But Adolin's gear came from his mother, so obviously his mother's family is also powerful (I hope we get more information on her, she is very mysterious at the moment. There is obviously more here than meets the eye).
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Inkthinker

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Re: WOK: Horses
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2010, 09:52:04 AM »
If the horse exists only in domesticated environments owned by nobles, it's probably been imported. There are other animals not native to Roshar which are imported from Shin (chickens), so perhaps that's where horses come from. Once you've got a few, you can breed them independently.

A horse can be fed on fruits and grains (I presume, I don't know much about horses), which are harvested by people. There are other plants in the Roshar ecology which have not been detailed, and presumably some of them would serve to fill out the diet.

They are probably horribly, prohibitively expensive, but that's never stopped people in the past.

zarepath

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Re: WOK: Horses
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2010, 03:03:43 PM »
You've all got it completely wrong.

Hoid was obviously sick of walking around on foot, so he manipulated the Shadesmar to his own ends so as to create an alternate-universe paradox shift wormhole rip, wherein he stole a buncha horses from old Europe and plunkedem down on Roshar DUH

Stormblessed

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Re: WOK: Horses
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2010, 03:36:18 PM »
You've all got it completely wrong.

Hoid was obviously sick of walking around on foot, so he manipulated the Shadesmar to his own ends so as to create an alternate-universe paradox shift wormhole rip, wherein he stole a buncha horses from old Europe and plunkedem down on Roshar DUH

How obvious!  :o Why didn't we see that!
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Erunion

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Re: WOK: Horses
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2010, 05:25:47 PM »
With the horses, I know they're imported from Shinovar en masse (read the interlude with the Thaylen merchant in Shinovar. The merchant comments on how most other merchant's purchase horses and take them back to Roshar to sell at very high costs, but her master doesn't.).
Likely they are fed and sheltered by the nobility who purchase them for warfare.
The rhyshadium, on the other hand, seems different. They are bigger, stronger and more intelligent. For some reason (can't remember why), I don't think they come from Shinovar, so these are probably your sneaky-hunter horses...  ;) Likely have strong jaws. (Or strong hooves to smash open the shells then eat the innards)

calvin

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Re: WOK: Horses
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2010, 07:48:57 PM »
Don't forget that they can soulcast food from air/stone/etc.  Why not grain/hay for the horses in similar manner (but they'd be expensive and reserved for noblemen/lighteyes).
« Last Edit: October 06, 2010, 01:47:49 PM by calvin »
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Harakeke

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Re: WOK: Horses
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2010, 08:24:49 PM »
Assuming you're good enough with soulcasting organic compounds... could you just make the horse?

ryos

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Re: WOK: Horses
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2010, 09:24:25 PM »
I very much doubt anyone is *that* good at soulcasting. I sorta doubt it's within human capacity, actually. You'd probably need to hold a shard to have that much capacity.

As for the question at hand, I think it's reasonably clear in the text that horses come from Shinovar, are rare and expensive to maintain outside their native land, and are used only for war or as an extravagant luxury for rich low-numbered-dahn lighteyes. Chulls are the beast of burden of choice most of the time, and even those seem to be imported from Reshi.
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CabbyHat

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Re: WOK: Horses
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2010, 02:12:34 AM »
The rhyshadium, on the other hand, seems different. They are bigger, stronger and more intelligent. For some reason (can't remember why), I don't think they come from Shinovar, so these are probably your sneaky-hunter horses...  ;) Likely have strong jaws. (Or strong hooves to smash open the shells then eat the innards)

Lol, I was mostly kidding about that. It`s a funny mental picture, though, isn`t it.
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Pechvarry

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Re: WOK: Horses
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2010, 06:55:41 PM »
If you start tumbling down the rabbit hole too far, you'll start asking yourself "do the humans of Roshar have exoskeletons like a crustacean?  Why wouldn't they have evolved like everything else?"  In the bridge thread, it was mentioned that Roshar doesn't have birds.  Do we actually know that?  Or did the book just never explicitly mention birds?

ryos

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Re: WOK: Horses
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2010, 07:45:14 PM »
If you start tumbling down the rabbit hole too far, you'll start asking yourself "do the humans of Roshar have exoskeletons like a crustacean?  Why wouldn't they have evolved like everything else?"  In the bridge thread, it was mentioned that Roshar doesn't have birds.  Do we actually know that?  Or did the book just never explicitly mention birds?

We know that chickens come from Shinovar. That's the only hint we get that there might not be birds on Roshar. We know there are Skyeels, so clearly not everything is crustacean. I think the bottleneck is actually the nesting; the birds themselves could probably find shelter in a highstorm, but where are they going to nest? Even birds that build nests out of mud would be out—where would they find mud? (Crem, maybe?)
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