by Isaac Stewart
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
A fabrial is a type of mechanical device, powered by Stormlight that uses spren captured in gemstones to perform a variety of tasks. The types of spren that can be captured in a gem depend on the gem's type and color, implying that there are "thousands of possible combinations" of fabrials that can be made. A fabrial-gem's power can be determined by the invisible pattern of Stormlight that gets filtered through the gemstone. These fabrial-gems are encased in a wire frame, but it is not known whether this has an effect on the fabrial. Any surge can be replicated by fabrial science.
The term "fabrial" is often used colloquially to refer to the entire device. Artifabrians, however, use it to refer specifically to a gem with a captured spren, calling the entire device a machine.
Modern artifabrians divide the fabrials they design among five groups across three categories. The fabrials they create are all the result of scientific research.
Appropriately named, altering fabrials qualitatively alter the property or attribute they target. Well-known examples include altering the temperature of an object or an area and enhancing or dampening the sensation of pain, though artifabrians believe there is potential for even greater types of fabrials in this category.
- Altering fabrials that increase or enhance an attribute are known as augmenters. They work best with forces, emotions or sensations. Half-shards and Grandbows are examples of augmenters that increase durability. There are also heating fabrials that generate heat, sometimes called warmers or heatrials. Painrials that enhance the feeling of pain also fall under this category.
- Diminishers act as opposites of augmenters, decreasing the magnitude of their targeted trait. In general they operate in a similar manner to augmenters, with similar restrictions. Painrials that decrease pain are a type of diminisher, though the term can also be used to describe a pain augmenter.
Pairing fabrials are, as the name suggests, created in pairs that can move in parallel, or the opposite, over great distances. This category was a recent discovery during the War of Reckoning. Force is conserved between each pair of fabrials. The force required to move one is equivalent to moving both. Despite limitations in how far the fabrials can be separated and still work, which is affected by certain processes during their manufacture, conjectures about possible applications are being discussed.
- Conjoiners are created from infused rubies which are split in half. The two halves would then be able to exhibit parallel movements over large distances. Spanreeds are the most widespread example of conjoiner, linking two pens and allowing for long-distance comunications.
- Reversers are created in a similar manner to conjoiners, using an amethyst instead of a ruby. The two halves will then be able to exhibit equal but opposite reactions; lifting one would cause the other to be lowered.
Warning fabrials detect things and give notice to the user. Their range depends on the the amount of Stormlight infused into its fabrial-gem.
- Alerters are able to detect the presence of objects, feelings, sensations, or phenomenon and warn the user. Alerters utilize heliodors in their design. There are alerters which can detect approaching people, which are able to exclude certain people from detection. The Emotion bracelet is an alerter able to detect different emotions.
In addition to the various fabrials artifabrians have developed over the years, there are a few that originate from the Heraldic Epochs.
- These fabrials mimic the the Radiant ability of Soulcasting. A soulcaster-fabrial consists of two rings and a bracelet connected by chains which hold a group of three gemstones across the back of the hand. Most are only able to effect small, singular changes, such as turning stone into water. About one in ten can effect any change. They can be activated by tapping one of the three gemstones when holding the hand against what is to be changed. They manipulate the Surge of Transformation.
- A female Stoneward possessed what appears to be a fabrial constructed from a large topaz and heliodor that was able to "regrow" and repair injuries. It manipulated the Surge of Growth.
- These fabrials manipulate the Surge of Transportation. There are hints that the Oathgates were responsible for the near-instantaneous travel possible during the Heraldic Epochs and were one of the only ways to reach Urithiru. They could only be activated by living Shardblades, as wielded by the Knights Radiant. Transportation of more than one person through the gates required use of more Stormlight for the ten gemstone lanterns within.
- Shardplate is occasionally referred to as a fabrial, it is not known if this is accurate since Shardplate appears to operate in a different manner.
- It is possible for synthetic gemstones to be used in fabrials.
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