The Greatshell is a type of large crustacean-like creature, occupying many different environments on Roshar.


Greatshells have antennae, shells, and violet blood that smells like mold. Many Greatshells are far larger than any crustacean should be able to grow. This, in part, is due to Roshar's gravity being significantly weaker than that of Earth (greater amounts of oxygen in the atmosphere could also be a contributing factor).


Greatshells possess some sort of connection with a special kind of spren. In order to survive with the science that Brandon built, almost all greatshells require some sort of spren to keep them from collapsing. At the center of every greatshell is a massive, uncut gemstone called a gemheart. It is not clear whether the gemhearts actually function analogously to hearts.


  • Chasmfiends live inland, in the chasms of the Shattered Plains. They can grow as large as fifty feet tall, have massive claws, an incredibly thick, stone-like carapace, and mouths full of barbed mandibles. They have large gemhearts.
  • Lanceryn were the only known source of large gemhearts to the Alethi, before the discovery of chasmfiends. They are presumed to have died off during the scouring of Aimia.
  • Chulls are common small shells.

Additionally, off the coast of Marabethia, in the depths, live aquatic greatshells known for their succulent flavor. Many of the Reshi Isles are not actually islands, but island-sized greatshells.[1]


  1. Revealed by Brandon in his YouTube previews for Words of Radiance

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