Leaderboard


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/26/2017 in all areas

  1. 28 points
    If an author is uncomfortable writing graphic violence, they shouldn't be pressured to add more graphic violence to their work. If an author is uncomfortable writing about religion, they shouldn't be pressured to add a religious character to their next book. If an author is uncomfortable writing sex scenes, they shouldn't be pressured into writing sex scenes. End of discussion.
  2. 27 points
    you expressed your persnal opinions, which are different from those of most others here. not because we are mindless fans who like everything their idol does, but because liking what sanderson does made us fans. it is strange to find on this site one with so much disagreement with the writer because one with so much disagreement generally does not become involved enough to post on a fan forum. preamble said, I disagree with most all of your opinions. - sexuality. I like it as it is, or at most hinted a bit more. not because I am prude or shy, in fact I have quite a lot of experience with erotic literature, but simply because I don't think the books would gain anything from more sex. ok, we know those two guys are having sex. do we really need a description? Not me. It would feel like a bit of the aforementioned erotic literature just got teleported into the middle of a fantasy book. It just doesn't work for me. I've read books with more explicit sexuality, and I never enjoied it. While I don't mind hints that characters have a sexual life (since you mentioned wot, I appreciated the references to the white tower being ripe with lesbism, which is a realistic consequence of segregating so many pubescent girls together away from boys) I would rather the details remained private among the characters. - religion. You are wrong in saying that in sanderson's books religious characters are good characters. There are plenty of religious negative characters (dilaf and his dakor monks come first, hraten at least has good intentions, but there is also vivenna's judgmental attitude) and plenty of not-religious good characters (jasnah takes the cake here, but kelsier is also another shining example). heck, brandon is regularly praised by atheistic people telling him how well he represented one of them and how amazed they were at fidning a strongly religious person who could portray and atheist so well. he takes effort in giving justice to any ideological view different from his own, and he does a really good job of it. I think you cherry-picked a couple of examples that are not representative of brandon's general writing. - death. yes, most times his characters die at the end of the story arc. but then, brandon always kills his characters when he feels it's appropriate for the story. most times it's at the end, which makes sense because it's the climax, the time when the characters take more risks. ok, it would be a bit more realistic to have, say, adolin randomly killed by a stray arrow through the eyeslit in a meaningless plateau run, but again, i don't see the story gaining much from it. in fact, the story follows the main characters because they are main characters. if they get killed before accomplishing much, then clearly they didn't add much to the story, and they are not worthy of being followed closely, they are not main characters. giving lots of space to someone who will just get killed may not be the best storytelling. - genre. I don't consider myself a fan of fantasy. in fact, most standard fantasy just feels to me like a cheap lord of the rings ripoff. what i actually like about fantasy in interesting worldbuilding. if a world was sketched well enough, I could read about it without even a story happening. And so i strongly apppreciate that brandon is carrying his worlds in different directions. I absolutely love what he's doing with scadrial, and I absolutely love the way he's mixing magic and technology. I never appreciated how the two didn't mix in the wot. I am a scientist and a strong believer in progress, and the general attitude of traditional fantasy of progress=bad, ancient=good, things get worse with time, was always veery unsatisfying to me. anyway, i love the exploration part of fantasy, and so exploring what happens to a world with the passing of time is very interesting to me.
  3. 26 points
    Well, hello. I'm fairly new, as obvious as that may be. I just wanted to come have a look see at some fellow fan creators and share some of my own as well. I don't have oodles, but please accept my humble offerings to these majestic worlds. I've probably spent the most time doodling out Szeth...so, I guess, for now we can start with him? It's all trial and error. We will see how this all goes as the addiction grows.
  4. 22 points
  5. 21 points

    From the album Cosmere Crossover

    Prompt is what Nazh wrote about during his mission in Words of Radiance: (Poor Nazh. Let's just give him a new coat XD)
  6. 20 points
  7. 20 points
    I have a non downvote policy. I have made my non downvote policy public on numerous occasions and I am sure I have caused the Mods quite a few headaches about my antics concerning the downvotes and yet I almost nearly did downvote this post. Why? Certainly not because he is expressing an unpopular opinion. I have expressed unpopular opinions more often than most regular posters. There is however a way to phrase one's thoughts and when you are purposefully going against the masses, you have to be clever enough to use the right words. It is an intrinsically difficult task to form up a decent criticism of a beloved author in a non-confrontational way, open-minded to discourse. Thus, the problem with this post aren't the thoughts being expressed, it is how they were expressed combined with the sick feeling the OP is shoving down his own opinion as the One Absolute Truth which basically is Mistake Number One of What Not to Write into an Unpopular post. I am absolutely not surprised by the downvotes, worst I am surprised it hasn't gotten more, yet. @Rockobar, yes, we could essentially discuss the sexual content within Brandon Sanderson's books, we could discuss as to whether or not Shallan and Jasnah should a homosexual relationship, we could discuss the religious content within Brandon Sanderson's books, we could discuss every one of the points raised into appropriate threads and guess what? We did. We did have those discussions and while we do not all agree with each other, we all agree Brandon Sanderson has the write to write his story how he sees fit. His prerogative as a writer to craft his characters as he feels are required by his story, our prerogative as readers is to decide whether or not his story is one we wish to read. Brandon is a swell guy, if you say you don't like his books because their content is not up to your personal preferences, he would be totally fine with it. Even better, I have seen him NOT recommend his own books onto Reddit to a few readers because, based on their tastes, he didn't feel they would enjoy them. We can express thoughts as to what we wish to read within future books, we can say we feel this or that would make a very good story arc, we can even be sadden if the author doesn't share our views and/or retain our favorite idea, but we can't barge in there saying it is his duty to write his story as we wish it to be. I understand wanting a story to unfold into a particular way, I do, I really do, nobody understands this better than I, but I fear a line has been crossed here. Your opinion isn't the only opinion nor is it the only valuable opinion. It is one opinion and we can discuss it, but it doesn't have precedence over other people's opinion and yes, this is hard, at times, to swallow it up. This too, I know all too well. For my part, I love the fact Brandon is actually writing low sexual content books, I love how he has dared, in the 21st century, to write mature characters whom are waiting before having their first sexual relationship. I love how Adolin is a virgin and somewhat ill-at-ease with the whole intimacy concept despite being in his twenties, loud and naturally bragging. Why do I love it? Because in a world where medias and mass entertainment promote to our kids the idea sexual relationships should happen during the first half of their teen years if they are so much as to claim to normality, I find it refreshing to read characters whom aren't following those unseen rules, whom are showing the young readers it is alright to be 23 years old and not having had an intimate relationship yet. It is all right if you haven't really had any serious relationship by the time you are in your twenties. It is alright if you haven't have sex and guess what? There are a great deal lot of people whom are within the same position. So while yes, Brandon could have written Adolin as a pure Casanova moving half-dress from one room to the next answering to the sole call of his male parts, he would have missed the chance to write a much better character, IMHO. So while yes, Brandon could have written Jasnah and Shallan having torrid sex, but it might have read more like heterosexual male dream fantasy than a real genuine relationship. So yes, there are numerous ways Brandon could have written the story differently, when it comes to sex/religion/whatsoever, but in the end what he has to offer does hold itself pretty well. This being said, I wouldn't fear too much about Brandon reading the letter. He might not answer, but Brandon is a swell guy, he won't be offended. He'd just think perhaps you should not read his books if you find them not to your personal tastes, he might even send you a list of books he feels you would prefer. That's just how swell Brandon is. Edit: Typos. Edit 2: I forgot to mention the fact Brandon chose Adolin to be the virgin shy about relationship character is incredibly amazing because he is exactly the kind of character people would take for the exact opposite. Young people can be social, outgoing, friendly. They can date numerous people, but it doesn't mean they have to have sex, right away with everyone. They can even be a bit scared about it, just like Adolin. I feel this message is increasingly important to send in today's world and no it has nothing to do with religion: I am atheist. I just think sex, as a whole, is taken up too much place within nowadays relationships, too much emphasis in put on sex, especially on young people.
  8. 20 points
    There's nothing inherently wrong about disagreeing with some of Brandon's choices but as a first post on a fansite, a long wall of text that smacks of 'I think you should write differently and here's how you should do it' isn't the best way to make a first impression. And with some of the content... I'm going to preface this response by pointing out that I am one of those readers who is both a fan of Brandon Sanderson's work and an atheist. I don't see why the two should be in any way mutually exclusive or why I should find an author whose religious views inform their work to be an inherently bad thing, especially when it's done as well as Brandon handles it. Jasnah's already been mentioned so I won't belabor the point but it was really a treat to see a character like that with a well thought-out worldview and an openness to other perspectives (which I think I am too, 'lack belief' versus 'don't believe in' and all that). Which doesn't in any way imply that I don't like any characters who do have strong religious convictions. It's all part of the Cosmere's worldbuilding and Brandon always tries to explore different facets of religion in his works. Elantris has Hrathen with his religion where everything fits into a neat and tidy order and some exploration of what it would mean in a world where anyone could become godlike, Mistborn runs the entire range of options, Warbreaker has a god who doesn't believe his own religion and the ways that different cultures have reacted to the existence of the Returned and Awakening, SA has Dalinar trying to decide how to react when a major pillar of his faith is knocked down... it's all part of what makes the characters and settings fascinating. I love reading that sort of thing even if I'm not religious myself. Fantasy is a global phenomenon. Fiction as a literary genre is a far newer thing but its antecedents are everywhere. What are the Thousand and One Nights if not fantasies within a framing story? Journey to the West may have been based (very loosely) on a historical event but it's effectively an adventure story with gods and monsters and a party of travellers on A Quest. That the European and American tradition of fantasy was heavily influenced by Renaissance literature doesn't mean that all fantasy must follow all its elements. One might also point out that the granddaddy of modern English-language fantasy literature is every bit as influenced by its authors religious views as anything Brandon has written. Dalinar and Navani spring immediately to mind. Yes, they courted in the past and both have been married to other people but they weren't married when they started up their relationship. Kaladin from the same books is implied to have had at least one offscreen relationship. Wayne and MeLaan certainly weren't married when they got 'distracted' during a gunfight in Bands of Mourning... yes, I know you mention this one later, I just want to point out that it contradicts your above absolute statement. I for one am perfectly content to see 'Kiss, fade to the aftermath' rather than Brandon try to write a sex scene just because some readers wanted to see it. That would feel awkward and gratuitious and it's extremely unlikely it would add anything to the characters or the setting that we can't get from the before and after aspects.. Does the name Calmseer ring any bells? You know that Brandon has been up-front about his plans for Mistborn since practically the beginning of his published career, yes? Just because you don't like Fantasy that shades into other genres (never mind that it's all part of the greater speculative fiction umbrella) doesn't mean the concept isn't worth writing about. Brandon specifically wanted to show a dynamic world that changes over the course of the series and Scadrial just happens to be that world. It being the closest analogue to Earth, it's not a surprising pick either. Basically what I'm getting is that you want Brandon to write how you want him to (trodding well-worn paths) instead of experimenting with the genre and finding new things to do, or new ways to explore old ideas. You may like one take on the fantasy genre more than others but that doesn't mean that you can demand an author only write stories in that particular mold. I'll take the dynamic Brandon Sanderson who can write things as diverse as Reckoners or the planned Era 4 Mistborn as well as something more traditional in feel (relatively speaking) like Stormlight Archive. I'll end this with a single word that I think sums up the tone of your letter: Errorgant.
  9. 20 points
    tl;dr: Now that I saved everyone's time on reading that wall of text you can decide whether you want to downvote him or let it be.
  10. 19 points
    Just a Veden girl! Livin’ in a lonely world! She took the midnight chull Going anywhere! Just a Kholin boy! Born and raised in Kholinar! He took the midnight chull Going anywhere! A bridgeman in a smoky room, The smell of ale and heaped refuse! For a smile they can share the night, It goes on and on and on and on! (Chorus) Brightlords waiting up and down the palace halls! Their shadows searching in the night! Sphere lights, people, Living just to find emotion! Hiding, somewhere in the night! (Verse 2) Working hard to get my way Everybody wants a day! Payin’ anything to roll the dice Just one last time. Some will win, some will lose Some were born to wear the blues! Oh, the radiance never ends It goes on and on and on and on (Chorus) (Rock out, people!) Don’t stop the Weavin’ Hold on to that feelin’ Sphere lights, people, Woaahhhh! Don’t stop the Weavin’ Hold on…. Sphere lights, people, OHHHH! Don’t stop the Weavin’ Hold on to that feelin’ Stormlight, people. (Fade out)
  11. 18 points
    I suspect that when Radiants who have reached a certain degree of progress in the Nahel bond die, they go to Braize. Several points of evidence have led me to to suspect this: The Nahel bond was not designed by Honor, but was an attempt by the spren to imitate what Honor had given to the Heralds. In WoR chapter 87, Syl clarifies to Kaladin that the Nahel bond was specifically based on the Honorblades. The Prelude to the Stormlight Archive tells us that one of the conditions of the Oathpact is that the Heralds would return to Braize to be tortured if they died, and were expected to return willingly if they did not die during a Desolation. To abandon the Oathpact, they had to leave their Honorblades behind, willingly and intentionally giving them up. They did so by slamming the Blades into the stone ground. This suggests that the Honorblades was the basis of their connection to the Oathpact, and thereby to Braize. The coded passage from the Diagram found in the WoR Chapter 84 epigraph references "the secret that broke the Knights Radiant". Apparently there is such a secret, and obviously it would need to be a very significant one. When Dalinar observes the Recreance in his vision (WoK Chapter 52), he sees the Radiants slam their Blades into the stone ground, as the Heralds did, and as Dalinar does when he relinquishes Oathbringer to Sadeas. This is clearly how the Bond is broken, though why they needed to leave the Plate behind as well is unclear, mostly because we know so little about what Shardplate actually is and whether it has any connection at all to the Heralds (whom so far have never been shown wearing Plate of any kind). Nale believes, following Ishar, that when the proto-Radiants "naturally discover the greater power of the Oaths"..."without Honor to regulate this, there is a small chance that what comes next will allow the Voidbringers to again make the jump between worlds." (Edgedancer, Chapter 9) This suggests that the Radiants are connected in some way we do not yet understand to Braize, and could potentially (though by no means certainly) bring a Desolation the same way the Heralds do. Whether Ishar is correct in this belief or not is not yet known to us. To bring these points together, the Nahel bond is based on the Honorblades, and severed by the same means that the Heralds severed their ties to the Oathpact. Is it possible, then, that by copying the Honorblades, the Nahel spren inadvertently recreated the not-so-desirable aspect of the Honorblades that connects the Heralds to Braize? If so, it is possible that when Radiants die, their soul(?)/Cognitive shadow/non-material aspect goes to Braize, as the Heralds do, instead of going through the usual afterlife? This would be an extremely serious side-effect for the Nahel bond to have, and it's hard to imagine anyone, least of all the Radiants who were all broken people in some way, stoically accepting more-or-less-eternal torment after their death. As others have theorized, we already have reason to believe that the afterlife is messed up in some way on Roshar, but if the Radiants suddenly found out that they were more or less guaranteed to go to Damnation, that would go a long way toward explaining the Recreance.
  12. 18 points
    Just made these a few minutes ago...
  13. 18 points
    Edit: re-reading HoA and it occurred to me that Vin and Elend are the most epic party crashers. (Yomen's ball in Fadrex)
  14. 18 points
    Man, if I started a second date with: I really like you, but have you ever considered changing your appearance, personality, friends, clothes, hobbies, and profession?
  15. 18 points
    Lo, I have been summoned. I'm not entirely sure that it's appropriate for me to make any sort of official judgments here. I'll leave that for the Admins. So, setting aside my Moderator hat for a moment... It is OK to have personal opinions about an author's works. It is OK to wish that they would cater more to your tastes. It is of somewhat questionable taste to post a long, drawn-out diatribe on that author's supposed failings on his official fansite. I'm not going to bother dissecting the merits of the arguments as I see little point. But I find the fact that this letter was actually sent to Brandon to be staggeringly, mind-bogglingly rude. Seriously. This man spends hundreds upon hundreds of hours pouring time, energy, and care into everything he writes. Writing is work. To actually submit to him a treatise that tears his work into little pieces, showcasing every alleged flaw for your own self-aggrandizement is just beyond the pale. The things you laid out, if actually implemented, would completely change the tone and timbre of his works. If these elements are really that important to you, go write your own stories. (Learn just how much work it is!) You are not entitled to tailor other people's work to suit your own preferences. The closest anyone gets to come to that is writing fanfic.
  16. 16 points
    What, is OP not allowed to have an opinion on what would improve Brandon's books in their mind? Or just not allowed to mention it around you guys? Many of their points (religious views of characters, hidden sexuality, and overuse of resurrection) are all things Brandon has engaged with in detail on Reddit when people have posted similar complaints. Nothing here that deserves downvotes. They're well-considered ideas, backed up with plenty of explanation and comparisons that are designed to give concrete examples. I'll disagree with the fundamentals of the opinions, and honestly I wouldn't enjoy if Brandon followed the advice given. My preferences for discussion range more towards in-universe theories than these sorts of metatextual analyses, so I'm not particularly interested in engaging with the topic at hand. But let's not flame a brand new user for sharing thoughts. Welcome to the Shard, @Rockobar. Normally, the level of detail you put into your post would get a much better reception around these parts. I guess you've just managed to find a sensitive topic to make an entrance on; by all means, don't let it stop you from visiting other parts of the forum.
  17. 15 points
  18. 15 points
    I have stolen techniques from unwary fantasy authors. I wrote the Black Symphony. I cheated in the english exam and left with both my sanity and my life (albeit grouchy and full of Adrenalin). I started writing novels at a younger age than most people begin to read epic fantasy. I write words by moonlight that others praise during the day (I hope). I have talked to novelists, loved books, and written assignments that make the teachers weep. I am a dynamic figure, often seen crushing stone and scaling mountains. I have been known to remodel the school building in my lunch break, making it more efficient in heat retention. I manage my time perfectly. On one occasion, I was reported to float three metres in the air. I amaze teachers by teaching concepts which they struggle to understand. I cook five-minutes noodles in two minutes. I am a I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru. Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I have climbed mountains, dammed rivers, and trekked to places all those that have ever touched upon their soil have been taken by the rift of time. I play the piano with one foot, I play the guitar with no hands, and the saxophone with my mouth closed. I enjoy parkour every Wednesday and Thursday, and on Tuesday I spend my time remodelling famous bridges and towers. Once a week, to let off steam, I compose top-grossing songs while participating in full-contact origami. I ahve spoken with Trump, Elvis and Ramses the Second. I read The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance in one afternoon and spent the rest of the day starring on a inter-planetary gameshow, which I won with exceeding grace. I have seen the Twin Towers erupt in a blazing flame, and saved thirty people from its fires. I am a ruthless artist, a sharp-witted book analyst, and a NASA space flight program graduate. The laws of physics do not apply to me. But I have not yet posted on the 17th Shard. My name is NamelessThirteenth. You may have heard of me.
  19. 15 points
    I listened to the audio again and fixed some small mistakes. Seems like I overheard a he'd or confused it with he's. Sorry And I finally finished the the transcription of the third signing in Leipzig (the first at the book fair). Here you go:
  20. 15 points
    Found this old ad from the 1930s and of course it immediately reminded me of a certain hat-obsessed Twinborn...
  21. 14 points
    You guys make it seem like Hemalurgy is a bad thing. You get magical powers! How awesome. Sure there's a price, but hey, that guy had it coming. Hemalurgy is the solution to all problems. A person cuts you off in driving? Well he will never make that mistake again when you cut into him with a Hemalurgic spike. Problem solved. Police coming after you because of your spiking rampages? Good thing you have magical abilities to stop them. Unlimited power, for the low, low cost of some metal of the correct alloys! Try Hemalurgy today! (17th Shard is not responsible for your actions. We just give you the spikes. What you do with them is your business. We respect privacy! Also, we legally don't want to know what you do with them.)
  22. 14 points
    So... a little while ago, I posted an essay in the Random Stuff thread. It was about Warbreaker, and is kind of meant as a trial run for something. Ive been wanting to do a blog analysing topics for a while, so i thought starting with one of the reasons why Warbreaker is my favorite Cosmere book would be a good start. And... I was thinking, maybe it would bare re-posting it here in a seperate topic? I hope that doens't count as "double-posting". Honestly, it maybe should have been here to begin with... So... um, yeah. For anyone who is interested: some disconnected ramblings on Warbreaker. Enjoy?
  23. 14 points

    From the album Doodles of Roshar

    Prep for a full painting
  24. 14 points
  25. 14 points
    I've made it a point to get new tattoos for book series I hold in a truly high regard. Having just completed book one and making it to section 2 of the second book, I found what I wanted for this series, and ran off for it. Completely satisfied. Hope you all share my joy - USNVox, Bridge Four
  26. 14 points

    From the album Doodles of Roshar

    Just the first initial sketch of Dalinar. I plan to do much more with him in the future
  27. 14 points
  28. 14 points
    Well, hello everybody, nice to meet you all, Surgebinders, Allomancers, and Voidbringers alike. I'm a relatively recent Brandon Sanderson/ Cosmere fan. By relatively recent, I mean for over a year now, and by 'fan' I mean I'm freaking in love with the man, his magnificently imaginative mind, and the masterpieces of fantasy that he's created. The Mistborn Series was my introduction to him and to the Cosmere and boy did I love every bit of it. I've since read all the six book in the series (the trilogy and the Era 2 books) along with the Secret History novella. I dived into Stormlight Archive because I needed something to hold me over until the next Mistborn books comes out, and also I needed more Sanderson goodness in my life in general and had heard really good things about the series. I had high expectations but storms I never thought it could ever surpass Mistborn for me. I was pulled into the story and the world by the very first page of WOK, by the end of the book I'd already fallen in love with the world; and now, having just finished WOR this morning, I...well, the 'impossible' has happened. The Stormlight Archive has surpassed Mistborn , oh the latter is still - and will be always - among my all time favorite works of fiction, but Stormlight Archive...it's just breathtakingly epic, and we're only 2 books in! Which is why I'm here. I needed a venue where I could share my sheer awe and love for the series and the Cosmere and just the genius that is Brandon Sanderson as a whole. I'm still riding the high of the epicness of WOR, so much pent-up fanboy energy to release, lest I explode. It's so great to have others to discuss, admire and just generally geek over this amazing books with. I'm so excited to be a part of this community.
  29. 13 points
    I just started reading the Stormlight Archive to my wife. We've just made it to the Shattered Plains, and I had to clarify the known differences between Parshmen and Parshendi. Summarized for her current knowledge, Parshmen are a low-intelligence slave class, and the Parshendi look like them, kinda, but are a developed, intelligent society. Parshendi translates to "Parshmen who can think." Kaladin was surprised at their presence in the camps, then shrugged it off. Wife: "They're totally gonna be the Ood." Me: "Huh?" Wife: "All docile until they get their minds taken over and turn on their masters." I then went to the Internet and found this gem: "The Ood were originally a hive mind led by the Ood Brain, using their hindbrain to "sing" with each other. The colour of an Ood's eyes changed with the level of telepathic activity, normally glowing bright-red but turning to white when not connected to a hive mind. Humans, who only knew the Ood in their telepathy-disabled form, misinterpreted the presence of red eyes as a disease, known as "red-eye". (TV: Planet of the Ood) Under the control of House, one Ood's eyes glowed green. (TV: The Doctor's Wife)" Wow. She is really good. I repeat. We are on chapter 8 of WoK.
  30. 13 points
    @The Honor Spren @Darkness Ascendant @bleeder @Quiver
  31. 13 points
    So Hoid has been dropping some nice pearls of wisdom at the end of each Stormlight Archive book to date, with the WoB that he'll have another monologue in Oathbringer. I've decided to make a small post of the essence of each one, dubbing the list "Hoid's Ten Commandments," with the hope that by the end of SA we'll have ten. Currently have it in English and High Imperial. It would be really cool if someone could make Women Script versions as well. Hoid's Ten Commandments (English) Thou shall value timeliness above all else. (The Way of Kings) Thou shall find God within thy hearts. (Words of Radiance) (Oathbringer) (Unknown) (Unknown) (Unknown) (Unknown) (Unknown) (Unknown) (Unknown) Wasing Commanding the Ten of Hoid (Scandrian High Imperial) Ising needing of time the first. (The Way of Kings) Ising with heart the finding of God. (Words of Radiance) (Oathbringer) (Unknown) (Unknown) (Unknown) (Unknown) (Unknown) (Unknown) (Unknown)
  32. 13 points

    From the album A Graphic Guide to Roshar

    Rosharan Culture Explained: Herdazian Sparkflicker When I was reading SA books, those sparkflicker things really bugged me. Till now, the word appeared twice (Emphasis is mine.): At first, I assumed it’s a kind of ornament worn by the Herdazians. And we have an entire topic about it, with the conclusion that sparkflickers are Rosharan fire starters. Then, fortunately, someone asked this during a signing: It seems that the problem is solved. Just to be sure, I asked Peter for further confirmation: Ah! Here comes the ultimate definition: Sparkflickers are a kind of practical Herdazian ornament without real martial application. It’s like the steel part of flint-and-steel. Herdazians use sparkflickers to start fires with their own dark, crystalline (stone) fingernails. Lopen’s saying “flick my sparks” comes from sparkflickers. So… Herdazians are actually modern “Dustbringers”! (Yay for Lopen in Herdazian outfit!)
  33. 13 points
    So I and @Kanrei did the transcript (don't forget to upvote him too!). Up there ^ is an audio file and here's a film: And here's transcript: Tons of dead dogs all over. Link to TVTtopes, beware.
  34. 13 points

    From the album Doodles of Roshar

    Szeth-son-son Vallano, Truthless of Shinovar, rode a dope mini bike on his way to kill the king.
  35. 13 points
    Since I didn't want to sleep right now, I already did the transcription of the Q&A and signing of this afternoon. There were a lot of questions about writing and general stuff, we already know about, but here is the rest. There are a few things I didn't totally understand, but nothing so important (wrote what I understood or left three dots in [ ] ) @She Who Cannot Be Named will do the transcriptions of the event earlier today and yesterday evening. Note: At the end of his answer to the question about unsealed metalminds, he said "unkeyed" but I think he actually meant "unsealed". He was just talking fast and you know...^^
  36. 12 points
    Brandon’s explanation for “corrupted” Investiture – a “mixing of different Shards” – raises a question about Nightblood’s history. How could Nightblood acquire another Shard’s Investiture before he left Nalthis? Warbreaker occurs before WoK. Following is speculation built on “black smoke.” I think Nightblood isn’t some piece of “steel” shaped like a sword. I think Shashara took a “dead” spren Shardblade from Roshar when the Five Scholars visited. Honor and Cultivation are the other Investitures comprising Nightblood. Here’s the text description of Nightblood’s creation from Vasher’s point of view (Warbreaker, Kindle p. 569-70, emphasis added): Brandon further addresses this last bolded statement in his Warbreaker Annotations (emphasis added): Analysis Vasher suggests Shashara competed with Yesteel for scholarly preeminence. I think she borrowed one of Vasher’s “tricks” – she took a Shardblade home from Roshar to experiment on and told the other Scholars it was “steel.” The Scholars were among the earliest Worldhoppers. They may have heard stories of Shardblades, but didn’t know what Shardblades actually were: “Nightblood is an attempt by someone who didn’t know how Shardblades were made to create a Shardblade using a different magic system.” The other Scholars wouldn’t recognize Nightblood as a “god metal” made from a spren of Honor and/or Cultivation. They’d just accept that an unrustable hard metal is “steel.” (Or maybe Shashara shouted to her colleague, “Yes – steel!” and they misunderstood her? Da-dum…) Every other source stating Nightblood is Awakened “steel” derives from the quoted text, including fan questions and Brandon’s responses. If Nightblood really is steel, that forecloses my speculation. But maybe Shashara felt shamed Yesteel had “shown her up.” Maybe she found her own “trick” to prove herself. Consider the following evidence. 1. Brandon says Nightblood needs to feed on Investiture because he is “leaky.” But Endowment’s Investiture “sticks.” Stormlight “leaks.” Nightblood’s “black smoke” looks like the black smoke streaming from the eyes of those killed by a Shardblade. 2. 1,000 Breaths seems too few to Awaken and give consciousness to “steel.” “This process shouldn’t have worked…. Nightblood should not be alive.” Maybe 1,000 Breaths IS enough to Awaken the “dead” – unconscious – spren that comprises the Shardblade. There are two paraphrased WoBs about this that may refer to the same conversation. One says “a piece of stone or wood or cloth or plain metal” with 1,000 Breaths “needs more” to be as Invested as Nightblood. The other RAFOs a similar question. 3. “Nightblood is one of the most heavily Invested things in the cosmere that is not a Shard.” If I am right, Nightblood permanently holds the Investiture of a full Radiantspren plus Breaths equivalent to half a Returned. Radiantspren themselves constitute a large amount of Investiture: “The Investiture in a Shardblade is much greater than your average Allomancer.” Shardblades also exceed the Investiture in the Bands of Mourning. Radiantspren and Breaths both naturally bond with humans and should have no problem bonding with one another. Breaths adjust to their holder’s Identity, even when the holder is a barely Awakened spren from Roshar. Brandon says he can’t accurately compare Nightblood’s power with a Shardblade’s power, but “when he is fully consuming Investiture he can do some really freaky things.” A footnote to that WoB says, “In the past Brandon has described Nightblood as being ‘magnitudes more invested than a shardblade’.” I’ve not seen that description. “Magnitudes” implies logarithmic orders of ten. That seems unlikely unless some of the Investiture Nightblood consumes adheres to him – making him “fatter” as one poster puts it. Without seeing Brandon’s description, I’m inclined to discount the footnote. Even without absorbing new Investiture, holding a Radiantspren and half a Returned would still make Nightblood “one of the most heavily Invested things in the cosmere….” Brandon RAFOs questions about what happens to the consumed Investiture. 4. Nale treats Nightblood as the equivalent of a highspren Shardblade. Nightblood might have started as a highspren, a Skybreaker’s spren. But Shashara’s Awakening command to “Destroy Evil” permanently overwrites the spren’s original “ideal.” Discerning “evil” is Nale’s primary Divine Attribute – “Just.” “Justice” is a moral judgment, the weighing of good and evil. Nale attunes to an Investiture that wants to “Destroy Evil.” He wouldn’t have kept or given Szeth the sword if he didn’t sense the spren – and not just the Breaths or Awakened “steel” – inside Nightblood. Taln recognized Pattern inside Shallan when she visited him in the ardent hospital. 5. Nightblood “speaks” like a child, much like Syl did before her bond with Kaladin developed more fully. Vasher notices incipient maturity in Nightblood, as if Nightblood’s bond were also developing. I speculate below that Nightblood and Szeth will bond fully now that Nightblood’s back on Roshar. 6. The Frankenstein image of Nightblood as a patchwork of magics fits nicely. The full WoB is ambiguous. “A bunch of souls” might refer only to Breaths, but the "something" they are stuffed into could be a "dead" Shardblade - a spren. Szeth Will Bond Nightblood-Spren The spren constituting Nightblood is sufficiently Awake as to bond with its holders. Szeth’s soul is more broken than most – he’s been wrongfully made Truthless and then killed. Lift sees his soul’s “after-image.” This opens opportunities for Nightblood to begin a more intrusive bonding process. I believe he will learn morality from Szeth – a warrior-priest turned unwilling assassin. Szeth has lived evil. He will know how to direct Nightblood to destroy it. In Szeth’s hand, Nightblood will become the “Sword of Retribution” pictured in WoR. Can he direct Nightblood to consume only the voidspren inside the listeners? Nightblood will tell Szeth his spren-name. On Roshar he can form a Nahel bond with Szeth and give him the Skybreaker power to bind the Gravitation and Division Surges. Szeth will become a Knight Radiant, and Nightblood will be his Shardblade. “Nightblood can feed off Stormlight, but Szeth can't draw in Stormlight right now. So Szeth better not draw that sword, for a while at least. [Emphasis added.]” * * * * * That’s a lot of speculation to build from “black smoke.” Is there any fire there?
  37. 12 points
    I've lived with moderate anxiety most of my life, in recent years it has scaled up somewhat and led into bouts of depression. It hasn't been too serious, but although I can live with it, it definitely interferes in my day-to-day ability to do the stuff I need to do. I only recently sought professional help and began seeing a therapist. She asked me to talk about how I cope with these feelings when they get bad, and I was honest with her and told her that I essentially just distract myself from them, usually by reading. I've found that reading fiction, particularly fantasy, transports me from whatever is giving me anxiety and lets the feeling pass. It lets me feel intense emotions when depression is keeping me from feeling them in my own life. I fully expected to be advised against this, to be told that distracting myself from my feelings wasn't a legitimate strategy, that I needed to face reality. But my therapist actually said she thought that was a good, and common strategy that she hears all the time. And that if its working, keep doing it! I'm not saying reading fantasy is a cure-all for these problems, but I really like the idea that it can be an effective coping strategy (among other efforts I'm making toward being mentally well). Stories have been such a huge component of my inner life ever since I was a kid, and the fact that they are so healing for me now makes me smile. Anyways, just felt like tossing this into the internet void in case anyone else has had the same experience and wants to share about it. And love and well wishes to anyone who is dealing with these issues
  38. 12 points
    Here, enjoy some pretty springtime flowers I photographed this morning
  39. 12 points
    Getting back to the Shard like WHAT
  40. 12 points
    So while reading through Way of Kings again, I devised two theories, and would love some input: Thought number 1: Spren make up shardblades once the surgebinders have said the right words. In Dalinar's visions, the Radiants also have plate, but Szeth has said he can't wear plate or it will effect his powers. I believe, once more words have been said, the Spren will also be able to make up plate, eventually uniting man with Spren. Thought number 2: During an interlude chapter in The Way of Kings, we find out that spren, once measured and written down, cannot change that measurement. What if, someone, during the day of Recreance, the spren that made up the knghts Radiants Plate and Blades were somehow measured, freezing them in their current state. The Knights Radiants could no longer hear or interact with their spren, probably even suffering from touching them, as Kaladin would suffer touching a shardblade, and this is why the abandoned them. Also, now frozen, regular men could use them. If this is true, I am thinking a major plot of the series will be to rescue these spren. To find where they have been recorded, and erase that, freeing all trapped spren in the Plates and Blades, perhaps allowing even more members to join the Knights Radiant.
  41. 12 points
  42. 12 points
    Lesung Leipzig 24.3.2017 - Schille Theater - Signings
  43. 12 points
    Let's make this an even playing field: the armies of Roshar and the armies of Scadrial are somehow fighting over a third world (so no highstorms, and no ash or mists). TLR sends his full armies with a few inquisitors and Mistborn. Lots of allomancers join the fray for money and power (but no Feruchemists, as they are hiding). TLR is OP, and getting lazy in his old age, so he stays home to ensure the stability of his empire and to watch the Well of Ascension. The peoples of Roshar, seeing a chance at mutual advantage, put together a vast coalition expeditionary force under Alethi leadership. However, there are no radiants yet - just proto-radiants. All the shardbearers of Roshar go. The Heralds are in hiding, and choose to remain so. No Chasmfiends, whitespines or other terrifying creatures are tamed and sent to battle. NUMBERS: Scadrial: There are around 300k Koloss during HOA, so we'll assume that that's how many they have here. There are roughly 20 inquisitors. We'll assume that they send 15, as that seems reasonable (the other 5 would be back home doing their duties) Cett and Yomen between them raised some 100,000 in one dominance. Let's assume TLR can do the same in every dominance, and so he sends 500k footsoldiers. We don't know how many Allomancers there were in TFE era. However, I'd estimate that, assuming TLR advertises an opportunity for wealth and advancement, there will be a sizeable component of Mistings, and maybe 5-15 mistborn? Total: 500k Skaa soldiers, 300k Koloss, 15 Inquistors, 10 Mistborn, and an uncertain number of Noble mistings. Roshar: We know that the Alethi had an army of 100k deployed at all times on the shattered plains. Seeing how much fighting was going on at home, how they're surrounded by hostile kingdoms, we can assume the Alethi would be able to muster at least 50k more troops for an expedition. We can assume from in text references that Jah Keved has a similar force, so another 150k. Jah Keved and Alethkar make up around a third of Roshar, but they are also the most militaristic nations by far. Thus 300k between them, and another 400k from the rest of Roshar seems reasonable. There are around 100 shardbearers on Roshar at this time as well. MILITARY INFRASTRUCTURE AND TECHNOLOGY: Scadrial: TLR can get skaa to do whatever he wants in terms of raw labour. The final empire has canning, extremely useful for establishing a supply line. Scadrian military technology, however, is purposefully suppressed and simplified. The Scadrians are not militaristic, nor military innovators. This is due to the intentional pacifying influence of TLR. Scadrial has a decent number of horses. Ranged: Scadrial has simple bows, and that's about it. Possible they have composite bows, but seems unlikely. Why would they? Yomen has some trebuchets, so siege weapons are known. Longbows, crossbows, and etc all seem to have been suppressed. Melee: Basics. Spears, swords, hand axes. War staffs? Scadrial just doesn't seem to like weapons. You don't hear of any pikes, halberds, longswords, maces, anything. Shields don't appear to be widely deployed (only Hazekillers and a couple of soldiers in HOA are mentioned as having them. Medical technology: Not terrible, but not great either. Sazed has historical knowledge of medicine, and likely there's some basic field surgery, but no mention is made of antiseptics, antibiotics or proper sterilization. Roshar: Soulcasters. Soulcasters. Soul flipping casters. I'm a history geek, particularly a history of war geek, and frankly, SOULCASTERS. Those things are so insanely useful it's not even funny. Roshar can fight wars almost without a supply line at all, with no risk of running out of ANYTHING. They have as much food, water, metal, leather, EVERYTHING as they need. THIS IS HUGE. HUGE. If you're not a war geek, you have no idea how much of an advantage this is. The only supply line Roshar needs is a line supplying them with fresh gemstones/stormlight. This is a far simpler supply line then anything in history ever. Running gemstones with stormlight to the front is so much easier than running a complete military train it's mind-boggling. Horses, however, are rare on Roshar, and expensive. Ranged: While the Alethi aren't huge lovers of bows, they still have lots of seemingly excellent archers (especially that one highprince...). The Parshendi have composite bows, and the Alethi appear to have good bows of some different kinds. In Dalinars flashback that Brandon posted, there's an archer using what appears to be a heavy longbow. Some Rosharan cultures have a good mix of ranged weapons. Crossbows, however, do not seem to be used at all, AFAIK. Siege weapons are likely well known, but I can't remember them being explicitly mentioned. Melee: The Rosharans LOVE melee weapons and equipment. And they're good at it. They have everything, pikes, long spears, shortspears, halberds, short swords, long swords, maces, battleaxes. You name it, they got it. Furthermore, they also have good access to armour and shields: Alethi spearmen appear to be trained to fight in a manner similar to Grecian Hoplites, as well as later era Macedonian hoplite/pike mixed formations. Medical Technology: Wisdom of the Heralds indeed! Roshar has military medical surgery that's as good as what we had in WWII, if not better. Excellent antiseptics and a good understanding of infection and prevention of infection (if not the causes of infection), excellent sterilization practices. A large number of well trained and equipped field surgeons. MILITARY THEORY, TRAINING, EXPERIENCE AND LEADERSHIP: Scadrial: Not much, frankly. Scadrial has many things, but military experience, theory, and leadership on Scadrial SUCKS. Scadrial hasn't had a proper war in a millenium, and it shows. Military leadership is ineffectual at best. Military theory even worse. The Lord Ruler has done an excellent job of preventing real warfare, and real war experience, to affect his people. The most his armies do is crush the occasional rebellion, and that's usually done by letting the Koloss rampage. Well of Ascension really shows the absolute dearth of military leadership both on the platoon level, the battalion level, and the division level. The leaders and soldiers are completely unprepared for real war. With a core of troops from the old empire, and 'experienced' officers, the defenders of Luthadel are laughably undertrained after over a full year. The best armies of the Lord Ruler simply let the Koloss do 75% of the fighting. They never had to face a superior foe, or even an evenly matched fight. Likely they'd never been in a position where it seemed likely that they'd lose. The troops, even veterans like Clubs, haven't experienced real war. Roshar: Odium reigns. Which has had an interesting side-effect, Roshar is at war with itself ALL THE TIME. Large scale, small scale, everywhere in between scale. Roshar is filled with generals, captains, squadleaders. Thousands upon thousands of experienced Officers and NCO's, hardened veterans with battle training and excellent military theory. Roshar's armies are filled to the brim with highly trained, well prepared and well led veterans. At least half, if not more of their forces are disciplined troops who can follow orders, hold their ground, and have faced terrifying odds before. People who aren't at their first rodeo. With hardened, brilliant generals like Dalinar and Gavilar, the Rosharans know how to run a real campaign. MAGIC: Scadrial: Tons of it. Scadrial would have thousands of mistings for sure. Pewterarms who can lead a charge, Coinshots and lurchers who can protect formations against arrows and set enemies off balance, rioters and soothers who can maintain the composure of their forces while weakening their enemies resolve, Tineyes who can scout and spy extremely well, and most crucially the Inquisitors/Mistborn; fighters who can dominate small battlefields on their own, especially when they have Atium (Atium would have to be used sparingly though - likely saved for when fighting Shardbearers. In an extended conflict, even the full cache, in the unlikely case TLR let it be tapped, would run out quickly; there's not a lot of Atium and it burns fast). Duralumin would be useful, but AFAIK, TLR had concealed it at this point. Kandra provide a huge advantage in information warfare: TLR would certainly infiltrate Roshars ranks. Poisoning food/water supplies wouldn't be terribly effective (because of Soulcasters), and it's unlikely that they'd be able to effectively counteract soulcasters/fabrials (they might be able to steal a few, but once they started to steal them, security would tighten up significantly). But the Rosharans would have no secrets, and could be effectively screwed with at a few key points in combat. Roshar: Shardbearers. These guys are tanks, and their invested equipment is almost certainly immune to steelpushes and ironpulls. I'm not kidding when I call them Tanks: the tactics and opportunities they allow for are very much likely armoured warfare in WWI/WWII. They can pierce through enemy lines almost unmolested, shatter a hole allowing for the regulars to exploit the breach, hold a weakened position all on their own. Their uses in combat are manifold. Fabrials: instantaneous communication across the whole campaign is a fantastic advantage: again, something that wouldn't be seen on Earth until the first and second world wars. Navani's plethora of cool tools would be very helpful, but likely not game changing. Soulcasters are just, wow. Such useful, so soulcast, much supply line, very wow. CONCLUSIONS: Roshar has an incredibly advantage in military theory, experience and infrastructure. They're tactics, strategy, everything. Infinitely superior to Scadrials, due to their overwhelming weight of experience. Their battlefield leadership, and hardened soldiers, would make them far more efficient, flexible and effective a fighting force. Their military training, formations and equipment are all far superior to those we see on Scadrial. Scadrials magic advantage is huge. Mistborn and Inquisitors can both turn the tide of a smaller conflict, and are much more useful and flexible than a shardbearer. However, this is a conflict on a truly immense scale. Absolutely immense - 25 people can only do so much before succumbing to exhaustion (a great example of the best large scale use of allomancy in combat is Elend in HOA - he could only do so much, and that was with a constant supply of Atium!). By the same token, there aren't enough Shardbearers to be everywhere. Enough to be useful, but not enough to change the course of the battle. There are, however, lots of mistings. Rioters and soothers would likely make up for a good chunk of Scadrials morale disadvantage (inexperienced soldiers, especially before modern training, are FAR less more likely to break and run than veteran soldiers. Even with veterans, most battles ended in a rout, not a slaughter. Inexperienced forces tended to get routed AND slaughtered). Coinshots and lurchers are helpful, but actually not that useful in a full-scale battle. Their offensive use of coins aren't really better than arrows or crossbow bolts. They'd certainly make a difference (especially in stopping arrows), but not that much of one. Thugs are super handy, and would definitely help shore up weak points. Koloss are interesting. They're big, no problems with infrastructure, hard to kill, and impossible to rout. They will make a significant difference. Roshar however has proper equipment, formations, tactics and leadership. Koloss function a bit like a mixture between heavy infantry and heavy cavalry - but they completely lack armour. What's the best way to stop a charge of heavy cavalry, OR of lightly armoured heavy infantry? A spearwall, or a pike wall. Roshar has both in spades: Spears and pikes would be extremely effective against Koloss, especially backed by archers who can shoot over their allies heads (as the most dangerous Koloss are tall!). Roshar's advantage in experience, training, equipment and infrastructure is HUGE. Absolutely huge. Those are the things that win real wars. However, Scadrial has a simply incredible advantage when it comes to magic (and Koloss!). What would likely happen? It would be a very, very even match. If the Scadrians were able to force major field conflicts early on, they'd likely win. A well-led rush of Koloss against troops who hadn't seen them before, backed by rioters, soothers and inquisitors, would have a good chance of breaking the Rosharan army right away. However, if Roshar was able to weather the initial conflicts against Koloss, they would likely win. Battles are won by experience, training and discipline (usually), and wars are won by infrastructure, medicine and food. Roshar has a huge advantage in those key fields. But Scadrial has Koloss. And Koloss don't follow normal rules. In the end, it would be very, very interesting. And make a ridiculously fun video game if done in the Total War series style: I can see it now! Total War: Cosmere. EDIT: Uhhh... Wow. I tend to geek out about these things. That's a long post. I'd be sorry, but it's just too interesting a topic for me! Cosmere AND military history? How can I resist! TL;DR - Roshar has a huge advantage in military training and experience. Scadrial has a huge advantage in magic. It would be a very even fight.
  44. 11 points
    Hey everyone! Yesterday I did some various updates. Let's talk about what happened, what's new, and what's coming up later this year. The first thing which I did was update some server architecture, which means things should perform better. Then, I also upped server resources so that our server so that it is now a beast. We had some bizarre crashes the past few months and this should fix it. In addition to that, I upped our software version for 17S. That update fixed a lot of bugs and should increase performance, too. But it also came out with some features! Activity Stream Menu In the original big update last summer, Activity Streams were a thing, but they didn't perform particularly well. Additionally, since I heavily modded the main navigation bar, I didn't know how to replicate the menu that the default skin used to generate Activity Streams. That meant I essentially gimped some functionality for a while, and made this more like "View Unread Content" on the prior version. In this version, though, Activity Streams perform much better than before, and I got the menu properly replicated, so here they are, at long last. So what are Activity Streams? It's a way to view activity on the site in a totally customizable way. Maybe you want to view Unread Content, but you only want to view things in the topics you follow. Or, maybe you want to view new content but you just want to see stuff in various Book Discussion boards--perhaps you don't care about the RP content, or, alternatively, maybe you really care about RP content and only want to see that. Activity Streams allow you to make custom feeds of basically whatever you want. You can look at all content of a type (topics or gallery images, etc.), sort by particular forum, sort content by individual member, and you can sort what date range you want for every stream. How do you access Streams? On desktop, click the newspaper icon next to the Search bar to see the Streams menu. (On mobile, the stream menu is in the sidebar.) There are a number of default streams: All Unread Content Content I Started Content I Follow Content I Posted In (I can create more default streams, if you find something useful. For example, I could make a "Members I Follow" stream, but I decided to cut that for now to make the menu smaller. Let me know what you'd like to see. Notably, I cannot create a stream that narrows Topics by a particular forum, but you can create a custom stream for that.) After the default streams, you will have all of your own streams, and by clicking the Create New Stream you have an abundance of options for things you'd like to do. Most options are self-explanatory. One thing I expect you'd like to do is to sort things by forum, so you only see something from a certain list of forums. To do this, select Content Type, and hit Topics, and you'll see a gear next to it. If you click that gear, you can click which forums you want to see in that stream. By going into each stream, you can rename it, make it your default stream, or delete it. Setting something as your default stream is primarily useful on mobile, when the newspaper icon takes you automatically to your default stream, rather than opening a menu. I'm really excited for you to have this customizability at last. Play around with it and let me know if you want any additional default streams. Leaderboard In this update, we restore a functionality we had in the old version of the site prior to 2016: a way to see who has the most reputation. But it's actually way more than that. There are now Reputation Leaderboards. (You can access this from the menu to the right of the Search bar, or the usual menu on mobile.) Every day, if you get top reputation, you'll get a trophy saying you "won" that day. This trophy is present on your profile, too!. On the Leaderboard page, there are three tabs, one for the current Leaderboard (and you can set who "won" in whatever date range you want), one for past daily winners, and one for Top Members. You can sort Top Members by not just Reputation, but by Post Count and more. It's awesome! Unfortunately, on Top Members, I can only display the top 100, but it's certainly much better than not having any way to see this. Maybe I'll figure out how to put these trophies on posts, but in the meantime, it's not only useful but a fun little game to see who got upvoted the most in a day. Other minor notable things There's a lot of minor fixes: Moving multiple PMs to different folders Can clear old data in the text editor Display name history is now on profiles (as it should be) The log out bug from multiple devices is (apparently) fixed Many bug fixes There were also some other things I did: I moved the Birthdays sidebar widget to the bottom. There is also now a widget for users online in the past 12 hours. I can set this to be whatever time frame you'd like. I did this because we had this on the old version of the site and thought you'd maybe like it back, but I worry it's too long. What do you guys think? Certain abilities that new accounts would need to manually enable are now automatically enabled for brand-new accounts. These include the ability to View Signatures, Enabling Status Updates, and having a Recent Profile Visitors block on your profile. Apparently these weren't enabled by default when you register, which is insane to me. Thankfully, that's resolved. What's next I have some other big goals for 17S. I'll be moving the Coppermind to its own device to further enhance server stability. That way if 17S is acting up, the Coppermind won't go down. This is not a significant extra expenditure, so don't worry. Though, speaking of expenses: ads are eventually coming, since we've spent a lot on hosting and software with nothing in return. We want to make ads very clean with nothing annoying. The first phase of this will be to include some Amazon affiliate links in natural places. I want to make it obvious when these are implemented, but hopefully you guys won't mind? My goal, always, is to make a clean interface for you all, so I think this will be a reasonable start... I also want to get HTTPS support on the whole site. There are some specifics on implementation that I need to sort out, though, so this will happen this summer, most likely. There will be a big feature update from our software, IPS, in moving from version 4.1 to 4.2. In 4.2, there are some very cool features that are pretty neat, and we'll be opening up some discussion talking about these features and we'd like your input. We might be changing some long time features, like the reputation system, so we'd love to hear your thoughts, when the time gets closer. Lastly, there are some minor things on my agenda that just haven't been a top priority in my limited time I have to spend this semester. (Being permanently overtime in my teaching assignment this semester is really fun! Not.) But these will happen: forum game subforum, Back to Top button, and more emoticons. Phew, I think that's it. What do you think of the new stuff?
  45. 11 points
    The Aon hung in the air, making her parents’ faces glow with divine light. Despite being almost the only tiny figures in the hall, their presences filled it, rather than being diminished. Liadan and El watched when everyone else left, when Kiireon tried to convince Edaan to renounce Odium under the sacred light. El had stayed past finding her parents for the first time. She hadn’t known exactly why, until now. A bundle was brought forward, that El hadn’t noticed until now. “This is your daughter-- our daughter,” Kiireon said. “And she needs her father.” El gasped. Back away, Liadan, she thought. She didn’t know what happened if she got too close to herself, and didn’t want to find out. They were close enough, though, to still hear them. “I…” Edaan said, staring at his daughter in a mixture of shock and the first hint of joy. “I have a child.” Kiireon laughed for the first time in too long, her clear voice chasing away some of the shadows lingering in Edaan’s face. “You have a child. Would you like to hold her?” “You aren’t afraid I might tear her apart, as I tore apart so much that you gave me?” Kiireon began untying one of his hands in response. Edaan couldn’t take his eyes from the baby. “A child,” he repeated softly. Kiireon placed her in his arms. “Come back, Edaan,” she implored. “For me and for her.” He looked up. “What’s her name?” Kiireon smiled. “Atiela.” “Atiela,” he repeated softly, while El quietly gasped. She’d forgotten. She’d thought she had remembered everything, but there had been one piece missing. Her full name. Atiela, she thought. Ati. Hope. Edaan looked up at Kiireon. El held her breath. “I love you,” he said simply. A red mist spiraled out of his chest and was sucked into the orb beside the altar, narrowly missing Liadan. Aon Omi glowed brighter and brighter until practically nothing else could be seen of the room. El and Liadan could feel the physical force pushing on their spirits. The last particle of Odium flowed out of Edaan into the orb, and Aon Omi exploded in a blaze of glory, wonder, joy, hope, and the world was set to rights. When El’s spirit recovered from the blast of pure love, everything was done. Ratel and Jonly were gone with the Odiums, the hall was clear, and Kiireon, Edaan, and Atiela were left. Kiireon and Edaan were holding hands. El was pretty sure they hadn’t let go since Kiireon first saw Edaan’s eyes clear of hatred again, and they probably weren’t going to let go for quite a while yet. El felt herself beginning to separate from Liadan. She nodded; it was time. She could find them again, now, even in her old body. And she had a few other errands to run. Liadan waved goodbye as they parted, smiling. She’d stay around for a while longer, El thought. Doing something or other. Liadan faded from view, regardless. El began to fade, too, returning to her body without a host to carry her. The last image burned into her mind before she faded completely was her parents and their child, reunited fully at last, walking together into the sunset. Happy Birthday, Wilson.
  46. 11 points
    Hello everyone! This is my first theory post, and I will try my best to make the progress of my arguments clear. The goal of this post will be to analyze the Shin society, its relation to stone and its inherent pacifism. First let's lay out the basics that everyone knows: The Shin are extremely pacifists. Drawing blood, fighting, and worse, killing is seen as extremely tabou and if someone commits such an act, he abandons his right as a Shin "citizen"and is seen by his prior peers as someone who is less than a Shin. Stone is sacred for them. So sacred that even walking on Stone is considered a blasphemy (the first one that Szeth tells us in his narrative). Declaring that a New Desolation is on the way is totally blasphemous. These two facts will be the key of the timeline and analysis I will propose to explain them. To start the analysis, we have to go back very far. So far, that we go back to the prologue of the Stormlight Archive. The day Kalak walks a desolated battlefield, to arrive upon 7 honorblades cast out into the rock and to Jezrien. Thus, they talk, and thus a decision is made: to fade away, letting Taln to his fate. Kalak and Jezrien abandon their honorblades alongside the other, and announce to mankind that the greatest victory has been made: the cycle of Desolation is over. And so it was said that peace everlasting had been won. Let’s abandon the Heralds Point of View now, and focus on Mankind. Their gods disappeared, announcing an eternal peace. As a testament of the truth, they let their most precious tools encased in Stone. The Heralds will never need these weapons again, and therefore discarded them as useless. The very Heralds of War, that had been protecting mankind left their weapons behind, as a testament to the futility of killing now that Voidbringers are gone. My theory is that what would become the Shin society originated from there. After all, if the gods declared warring and fighting as utterly pointless, and as a testament to that left their weapons behind, what greater calling left to Man that to follow them? And thus, killing another human became seen as one of the greatest sacrilege that can be committed in the proto-Shin society. What more sacred than a life, when even the gods turned away from killing to live in anonymity? What more sacrilege that to doubt that the gods themselves bought peace, by thrusting their weapons into stone? And thus Stone is made sacred, by holding the Covenant of Everlasting Peace. Walking on Stone in Shinovar is walking on the most sacred element, that hold the peace promised by the gods. Before continuing, and to make clearer the worship of Stone in the Shin religion, let me quote Steven Erikson (yeah I’m a fanboy like that): So the proto-Shin saw Eternal Peace as the most worthy path shown by the gods. And the symbol of that peace was kept by stone. As ages came and passed, the two became slightly separated: The ritual becomes what is sacred, and most Shin may not be able to tell you why Stone is sacred. Nalan say that Szeth’s people revere the spirits of Stone, but that Him, as a Herald (of Justice) is Szeth’s god. He is even surprised that Szeth does not recognize him. That would not be the case if Nalan only appointed himself as a patron and personal god of Szeth, but it reveals us that Szeth should have made the link by himself and recognized one of his gods, that participated in the Covenant of Eternal Peace. And there we are, at the moment we have a society which revers peace to the point of extremism (which is not a bad thing is itself, mind you), would rather die than to walk on stone, and for whom announcing a Next Desolation is betraying the Greatest Gift the Gods ever left to mankind. The Shins are a model from our modern point of view: they are one of the only society known to man to have (nearly) eradicated all violence within itself. And to think that all of this is based on a lie is something that I find very tragic. They trusted their gods who told them that they were forever safe from Voidbringuers, and thus followed their deities closely by forsaking violence. But they have been deceived, for the True Last Desolation is coming.
  47. 11 points

    From the album A Graphic Guide to Roshar

    VORIN HAVAH EXPLAINED! (Yay for Syl in havah!) FIRST STEP During Mr. Inkthinker (Ben)’s AMA in 2016, I asked him about how Vorin havah actually looks like and where Brandon’s inspiration came from. He’s really a super nice guy and here’s his detailed answer: (Example art by Michael Whelan) SECOND STEP New info about the replaceable hem! Here is what I got from Tumblr user polk1986: THIRD STEP This time we have a Ben original! The official havah design! Hooray! I also asked Ben about specifics of the high collar: So... Based on all the aforementioned resources, I rendered something new this year: (My new take on Shallan) (Young!Navani) OLD STUFF My old havah design (Ver. 1.0): Inspiration: Traditional costumes from China (Qipao / Cheongsam), Vietnam (Ao Dai), India (Sari), Pakistan (Shalwar Kameez) and Central Asia
  48. 11 points
    Introduction This theory is an attempt at solving several mysteries on Scadrial, most notably: What's with the Ice Death? I have actually posted a version of this theory last year as a comment in another person's Ice Death thread, But recently I've formulated several new arguments and found more evidence, and I want to reorganize my thoughts on the matter. Part I: The Lord Ruler To understand the need for my theory, let us first look at the issue of why the Southern Scadrians were put there by Rashek when he Ascended. Here's what Brandon said back in 2008 regarding them: There is one problem here: If Rashek found a way for people to survive extreme heat without genetic modification, why didn't he just use that method for everyone? Why go through all the hassle of creating the Ashmounts and changing people in the North to adapt to a world of ash when the people he moved to the South did not need those things anyway? In other words, if he was able to keep his genetically-unchanged control group alive, what was the point of his genetic experiments? One possibility that comes to mind is that whatever he did to the Southerners was not scalable planet-wide, meaning that whatever it was, it was only feasible to a limited region on the planet. But then, the same could be said of the Ash World solution. Another possibility is that in the event that Scadrial's orbit is fixed at some point in the future, it was much harder to revert the effects of this non-genetic method. It's very likely that Rashek intended to undo his damage on the world once the Well was refilled. It could be that he found the non-genetic solution (whatever it was) would be harder to undo when that happens, so he decided to use a method on the Northerners that was easier to undo when the orbit is eventually fixed. Except, he wasn't sure the Ash World solution would work long enough, so he still used the non-genetic solution on a select group of people as a "reserve". So we have these clues as to what Rashek did to the Southerners: It was definitely not genetic in nature. It may have been something that could only be applied to the southern continent. It may have effects that are difficult to undo even with Shardic power. Given this, can we figure out what the Southern Solution is? Part II: The Hero of Ages Here is another mystery. When Sazed obtained both Ruin and Preservation at the end of HoA, he used the knowledge of Scadrial's religions to both return the planet to its previous orbit, rearrange the continents back to their previous locations, and fix the genetic modifications that Rashek made to the Northerners: Afterwards, Sazed created the Elendel Basin, a fertile area where food and water was always plentiful and the climate was temperate, for the people of the North to live on. He also gave the Northerners copies of the contents of his Copperminds, and gave them hints regarding the Allomantic metals they haven't discovered yet. As he said in SoS, he made it very easy for his own people to live in the newly restored planet. Too easy: And that was our first hint of the troubles faced by the Southerners. In BoM we would learn that somehow, even after Sazed fixed the continents, the Southern Scadrians still experienced a climate catastrophe, the Ice Death, that would freeze many of them to death. Here's the mystery: Why didn't Sazed put as much effort in making the Southerners as comfortable and happy as the Northerners when he Ascended? Did he not care for them? Is Sazed racist? That doesn't sound like the wise and compassionate Terrisman that we know. Besides, we know for certain that the Southerners have a huge advantage over the Northerners: ettmetal. Or as Sazed apparently prefers to call it, harmonium. That's the god metal of Sazed, right? The god metal of Harmony. And it's all for the Southerners to exploit and use (once they figure it out). Why give harmonium to the South, when he can't even be bothered to remove the Ice Death phenomenon? Part III: The Sovereign Well, we do know someone who did bother to do something about it: Kelsier, who was known as the Sovereign in the South. Perhaps Harmony sent him there, but it's still weird how the god who directly created the blessed Elendel Basin could not directly solve the Ice Death problem. Anyway, Kelsier went there, taught the Southerners about the Metallic Arts, found a way to harness the Arts to create the medallions that the Southerners used to survive the intense coldness that they felt, and taught them how ettmetal can be used to harness Allomancy and Feruchemy. That's great and all, but there's still one problem: When Kelsier went to the South, it wasn't frozen at all. This is obviously not polar weather. There wasn't even any snow. Obviously Sazed succeeded in moving the southern continent towards a more temperate region of the planet, its original location pre-Rashek. Now, it's possible for people to experience hypothermia even in warmer climates. but one would think that the Southern Scadrians would have learned to adapt to the cold twelve years after it started. As someone who lives in a tropical country, I know full well how unpleasant it is to be suddenly faced with what people from temperate regions call "mildly cold weather", but every single person I know who's moved from my country to a non-tropical one managed to adapt to the new climate eventually. But that's not what happened to the Southern Scadrians. For more than a decade their population slowly dwindled as one by one people died from a coldness that they should have been used to at that point. And even after hundreds of years in that environment, they still depended on the Heat medallions, as proven by Allik needing to wrap thick blankets around himself just to ward off the coldness he felt in his prison at Dulsing. So, again, we go back to our previous question: Why didn't Sazed do anything? If the coldness that Southerners felt was merely biological, then Sazed could have restored them when he restored the Northerners. But we know it was not biological, because we've already established that Rashek did not touch their genes. I saw someone speculate that the constant use of Heat Feruchemy via the Heat medallions has been changing the Spiritual aspect of the Southern Scadrians, such that they now perceive heat differently than normal. That is an interesting idea, but suffice to say it can't be Kelsier's fault that the Southerners can't adapt to the heat, because they already couldn't adapt years before he taught them about the medallions. In other words, they've been perceiving heat abnormally before the Sovereign. But maybe Heat Feruchemy does have something to do with it... Part IV: The Jaggenmire A lot of people believe that since the term "harmonium" was coined by Sazed, the element could not have existed prior to his Ascension. I don't think that's necessarily true. The combination of Ruin and Preservation's powers has been happening long before Sazed was born. The very planet itself is Connected to both Shards, and the hybrid Metallic Art of Feruchemy (of which Sazed was a practitioner) is a testament that the two powers are complementary. The fact that Southern Scadrians have their own name for it could be a clue. Brandon used the term "ettmetal", likely from the Swedish word "ett", meaning "one", perhaps as a clue that the Southern Scadrians linked the metal to the Jaggenmire, the mysterious "two persons in one god" (a duonity?) concept that is the basis of their religion. "They were always one", said Allik. "And Always apart." Atium has always been different from lerasium, but perhaps there also has always been the One Metal that is both of them. Perhaps this is why Sazed doesn't like "sazedium" as an alternative name for ettmetal. It's not his modesty--at least, not just his modesty-- but rather his sense of truth. He does not want to name the metal after himself, the Vessel, because the metal was not his direct responsibility. Rather, he calls it "harmonium", because long before his time, long before even Rashek, the powers of Ruin and Preservation created the planet by harmoniously balancing their natures, as Herr and Frue were said to have done. Conclusion: The Lord Ruler Revisited Let me now put all those ideas together into a single theory. I believe that Sazed could not fix the Ice Death directly because its cause was very, very difficult to undo, even for a Shard. I believe the reason for the Ice Death is directly connected to what Rashek did to the Southerners to protect them from the extreme heat of the sun. And I believe it has something to do with ettmetal. So, how did Rashek use ettmetal, assuming it did exist during his time? Simple: In his Ascended state, he touched all the native ettmetal ores within the Southern continent and primed it with Feruchemical Heat storage. This allowed the whole continent to be colder than it should be, keeping temperatures at very comfortable levels for the population there. It's possible that all the ettmetal in the planet was concentrated in that continent, just as all the atium and all the lerasium can be found only in the North, in special areas connected to the Shards. In which case, this solution could only be implemented in the South. Rashek knew that a thousand years of region-wide Kinetic Investiture would affect those Connected to the region, similar to how the regional Investiture of Sel works, and somehow he knew that this effect on the Southern peoples could not be reverted easily. He knew exactly what would happen to the Southerners once the orbit is brought back to normal. Rashek foresaw the Ice Death, and found it an acceptable burden for a mere "reserve" to potentially bear. P.S. All this, of course, is just speculation on my part. Feel free to share your thoughts and offer constructive criticism.
  49. 11 points
    It's on a list. A loooong list. But it's up there. Near the top, actually. However, as a Christian and a History geek, I feel I must answer some of that comic you posted; on the whole though I definitely can see God facepalming a lot at what we do to each other. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment (Mark 12) was he said unequivocally that it was to love the lord your God, but he immediately followed it with 'love your neighbor as yourself'. We (the religious community), like most humans, find both of these to be terribly difficult standards to uphold so we like to pretend we're doing as we ought by following other, less important strictures. This often leads to Pride, a hard, judgmental attitude, a skewed perspective of morality and, indeed, of reality. Uncle Screwtape would be Proud. (Seriously, you guys, C.S. Lewis is brilliant. I recently purchased a collection of his signature classics. One of my top 10 purchases ever. Fantastic reads, highly recommend). Anyway, that was a rabbit trail. If you posit that the Bible was/is divinely inspired (an assumption I make based on certain evidences, but also on my own faith), then you must expect it to be timeless. As God (assuming the standard conception of the Judeo-Christian God) exists outside of time, then too anything he directly inspired would contain truth that is unaffected by time, hence why so many Christian's take the Bible so seriously (and why so many Jews take the Torah so seriously). It, like God, is the same yesterday, today and forever. That being said, what you'll find when a Christian is attacking another person for that persons behaviour (however 'sinful'), they are behaving contrary to the express command of Christ. We are commanded to love our neighbour as ourselves. Commanded. Not to be nice to people, or to be helpful, or to just get along with them, but to LOVE them. If a Christian's behaviour towards another is not loving, then that Christian is disobeying a fundamental tenant of the Christian faith. That being said, I personally break this almost daily. It is, quite intentionally, an impossible standard for an unaided and imperfect human to achieve - this is why God promises to help us towards it in this life, and to perfect us in the next. Also an important addendum, I don't have to agree with you to love you. In fact, if I see you doing something which I believe to be harmful to you, my love ought to compel me to act to correct that, as I would correct my brother or my friend. But, as with my brother or my friend, the correction must only be honest, loving and forthright. And it cannot be through compulsion, or else what good is it? God cares for the heart. If I compel you to obey my own standards, whether or not those standards are better or right is irrelevant (as long as you're not harming others, anyway) - if you are compelled then your heart remains unchanged and I have done no good, and perhaps a great deal of ill. Unfortunately, many of us take it upon ourselves to compel others to obey our own moral standards (which tend to bear a passing resemblance to God's, but are not truly His, only crude facsimiles). This is a tragic, deplorable and distressingly common practice. tl;dr - If God is constant then so too is His word. Thus respecting the Bible is paramount to the believer. However, Christian's are commanded to love our neighbor (that's you! And you! And you!). If our behavior isn't loving, then we're not doing as we ought and God will quite rightly facepalm at us, as he tries to steer us back to his path of love.
  50. 11 points
This leaderboard is set to Los Angeles/GMT-07:00