Soulcasting is the art of changing one substance to another. It is a form of Surgebinding. Soulcaster is a colloquial name for both persons who possess soulcasting ability and a type of fabrial that allows anyone to soulcast.
Nine out of ten Soulcasters were capable of a few limited transformations: creating water or grain from stone, forming bland, single-roomed rock buildings out of air or cloth. A greater one ... could effectuate any transformation. Literally turn any substance into any other one.
Soulcasting is used for a variety of purposes including food production, construction and repair, healing, and killing. Soulcastings typically happen at night, and under strict guard to keep the holy rite from being witnessed by anyone other than ardents or very high-ranking lighteyes. Almost all Soulcasting individuals are members of the ardentia and need a fabrial to Soulcast. (This is just one reason why Kabsal sought to kill Jasnah, the heretic, in effort to remove her fabrial from her.)
King Elhokar charges his highprinces to use his Soulcasters to feed and house their soldiers. Most of the food and barracks at the Alethi warcamps on the Shattered Plains were Soulcast. Bridgemen often collect rocks outside of their warcamp so that Soulcasters can Soulcast them into food.
Soulcasting rock is quicker than working stone, which allows for more finesse in design. Still, while Soulcasting is quicker, it is also more expensive and less flexible.
Jasnah closed her eyes, pressing her hand against the fallen boulder. She raised her head, inhaling slowly. The stones on the back of her hand began to glow more fiercely, the smokestone in particular growing so bright it was difficult to look at.
Shallan held her breath. The only thing she dared do was blink, committing the scene to memory. For a long, extended moment, nothing happened.
And then, briefly, Shallan heard a sound. A low thrumming, like a distant group of voices, humming together a single, pure note.
Jasnah's hand sank into the rock.
The stone vanished. A burst of dense black smoke exploded into the hallway. Enough to blind Shallan; it seemed the output of a thousand fires, and smelled of burned wood.
Jasnah had transformed the boulder into smoke, and since smoke was far less dense than stone, the change had pushed the smoke away in an explosive outburst.
According to Brandon, Soulcasting is mass-conserving/preserving, but there are some strange things going on therein, which is why there aren't as many explosions occurring as there should be. For example, when Jasnah Soulcasts air, there are some little reactions, but they're not as strong they ought to be.
Individually, Soulcasting fabrials can be attuned to a particular essence, but they can theoretically work with all of the essences.
- It's harder to Soulcast a person than a rock.
Q&A with BrandonEdit
A. A lot of that will be explained as the series comes along. It is really the difference between Soulcasting and the other forms of Surgebinding. It's more a quirk of Soulcasting than it is something that is different about Kaladin. So you've kind of got it reversed a little bit though; Soulcasting has this additional restriction that the other ones don't.
If Stormlight for soulcasting need to be taken from specific gem, then I think dim garnet which Shallan had was enough, because Jasnah has always Stormlight with her, so she could just infuse garnet and then Soulcast Shallan's blood.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 The Way of Kings, 5. Heretic
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Words of Radiance, 35. The Multiplied Strain Of Simultaneous Infusion
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 17. A Bloody, Red Sunset
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 The Way of Kings, 48. Strawberry
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 70. Sea of Glass
- ↑ Words of Radiance, 2. Bridge Four
- ↑ Mass-conserving ...
- ↑ Explosions?
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 50. Backbreaker Powder
- ↑ The Way of Kings, 45. Shadesmar
- ↑ Oathbringer, Inter4.
- ↑ Person vs. Rock