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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/19/2018 in all areas

  1. 33 points
    Hey everyone! After some much needed distance from the books and world of Roshar, I am diving back in from the very beginning and reading through to the end of Oathbringer. Unlike the 7 or 8 times I’ve read the first two books, where I did so for the pure pleasure of it, this time I am rereading with a specific purpose in mind: an in-depth analysis of one of the most confusing and unreliable characters in Stormlight, also known as Shallan Davar. Before I get started, I want to thank those of you who have welcomed me onto the Shard and liked my posts up until now. I have really come to enjoy the Shard, and it's nice to talk about the Cosmere with those who care about it as much as, or more, than I do. Special thanks go to @SLNC, who frequently is able to phrase things I am trying to say in a more concise and direct way, especially when my posts are nearly half a page (on here) long. I'd also like to thank @Fifth of Daybreak, who helped me immensely in developing my "forum voice" and was willing to carry on a rather lengthy debate and call me out when I was getting too heated, without ever making me feel like my thoughts were insignificant. @maxal has also frequently been a rational and contrary voice that explains the opposite side of the fence from me in coherent and well-thought out replies, which is crucial in any effective discussion. Let me preface this analysis by saying that this is a project I have wanted to tackle for a long time. Originally, I intended to do this as a set-up for Oathbringer, but with the birth of my second daughter and complications after, I ran out of time. Then, I planned on doing this immediately after my first read-through of Oathbringer, but other things in life and my own mental state after reading the book forced it to be put on hold until I could be at a place where I could approach this from a more neutral ground. As a little bit of background, when I first read through The Way of Kings, I fell in love with the character of Shallan almost instantly. As an artist myself who has often lived on the side of the fence where I never seem to fit in, no matter how I changed myself or what I did, she resonated with me and spoke to me in a way that almost no other character in any fiction has ever done. Her sense of humor is right up my alley, and having been raised in a somewhat sheltered environment, I see a lot of myself in this character, and the more I read The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, the more I grew fascinated with her story and how she came to be. Then I read Oathbringer, and her story was hard for me to read, but not because it was tedious or boring, but rather because in a small way, it mirrored something I went through in high school. I love the character--in fact, I believe I actually love her more now than before--but with the chaotic mess that was Shallan in Oathbringer, I believe this is now the right time for this analysis to occur. In some part, this analysis was inspired by @maxal, whose analysis of Adolin pre-Oathbringer was one of the motivating factors in my joining the Shard in the first place. I’ve also observed, as I’ve seen many people comment on the character, that a large majority of readers have a difficult time liking or understanding the character, and some skip her chapters entirely. As Shallan is by far my most favorite character in the entire Cosmere, my hope is that through this analysis I can bring some of what I find intriguing and fun about this character to everyone else. The inconsistency and unreliability of the narrator are only part of the fun. As I progress through this read-through, I will be making a bunch of notes privately, that will probably be completely incomprehensible to anyone else. If you really want to see them, ask and I will post them; however, I will revise those notes into a coherent document that will be updated as I read. During my analysis, I will focus on a few things about the character. Yes, there will be a little bit of analysis of the shipping involved (be warned), but I will strive my hardest to approach it from a neutral ground and point out the good and the bad, as I see it, on both sides. Other aspects of Shallan’s character that I will focus on and try to analyze and explain are: How her past (as it is mentioned in the text) has influenced the narrator we’re reading. Modern influences on the character of Shallan and how that affects the narrator we're reading. Mental jiggery-pokery, or in other words, her mental side-stepping habits, and the immediate and long-lasting ramifications of it. Contradictions in the narrator’s voice, and why those contradictions are occurring. Comparisons between Shallan and Kaladin, with respects to interests, mannerisms, interactions, and mental states Comparisons between Shallan and Adolin, with respects to interests, mannerisms, interactions, and mental states I should note that comparisons between Shallan and the two boys will occur primarily from Shallan's standing. My reasons for the view I have comes entirely from the standpoint of Shallan as a character, not from whether or not I think Kaladin is a better match or Adolin is. As I said, I will try hard to be impartial in my analysis here, and will try to stay away from my opinions on Kaladin or Adolin, generally. SIDE NOTE: I like both of them and I like both of them for her, and for different reasons. I just happen to think one is better than the other, but that is neither here nor there. Comparisons between Shallan and Wayne (from Mistborn Era 2) There are some similarities between what Wayne and Shallan do, and also some stark differences on how those actions affect their mental states. And I’m sure there are other topics that will come up as I read. If there’s something about the character that you feel I haven’t mentioned that you would like included in the analysis, please let me know and I will do my best to incorporate it. If you have thoughts on something I've written, tell me. Discussion is encouraged--I merely am hoping that this will help to make Shallan a more enjoyable character for everyone. One thing I do ask, however, is to stay away from flippant and antagonistic comments--to disagree with me is okay, and it doesn't matter to me if we never agree. On that note…here we go. Let's start The Way of Kings again. EDIT: At @Jofwu's suggestion, I'm including the text from the document below the chapters for ease of discussion (also for indexing, as @Vissy recommended), but I will also have a comprehensive document that keeps track of changes to Shallan over the course of the books. The big document: WayofKings Shallan Character Analysis.docx Chapter 3 - City of Bells: Chapter 5 - Heretic:
  2. 26 points
    Disagree on pretty much everything. Kaladin is one of many "main characters" and it was nice to not have this book boiled down to Kaladin saves the day. And without digging into every point... There was a lot of character development in this book. Just because it didn't go in a direction you expected/wanted doesn't mean it wasn't there. Dalinar and Shallan both had major development. Dalinar is a more complete character and had to fight to maintain who he is in his own eyes because of it. Shallan is arguably not the same character as she was at the start of the book. Those kind of changes are character development. Edit: and no, Oathbringer isn't the story I thought it would be. And that's a fantastic thing. If a writer only gives me the story I expect what's the point?
  3. 25 points
    Hello everyone, I do not expect this to be a popular post. My apologies in advance. But I have to step in here. We have deliberated and we have decided to close this topic. This post will be explaining exactly why that is. I'd like to state for the record that we are not out to get anyone. What is a forum if you can't post your opinions? That's obviously very important. People are allowed to dislike books. People are allowed to dislike things in books. This forum should be a safe place for everyone. That's the thing, though. Forums should be a place where people feel comfortable discussing things. We had this occur last month, for instance, the classic distinction in our community where some hardcore theorizers shot down some theories from newer, less hardcore members. We can do better as a community to balance, as always. So that leads us into this thread. We have seen many, many reports on this thread, with many people on all sides saying things like, "this is allowed? Seriously?" That's basically everyone. This thread has been described to us privately as "toxic" and "a cesspool." Many have told us that they never want to join in the thread again. They feel unsafe in the thread. Opinions would be attacked immediately. That's absolutely terrible and unacceptable, full stop, and we should not be okay with this being the status quo of discourse here. We on the mod team wanted to keep this open, because we know this is a contentious issue. Some will always think we're just doing this to silence criticism of Oathbringer, because I don't know, they think all the mods are yes-men who love everything Brandon written. (Never mind that that is completely false, and any day of the week you can chat with us on works some staff didn't like, some things very aggressively so.) Just know, we have let this sit for a very long time to see how things panned out, and as you can plainly see, plenty of threads that are critical of Oathbringer are visible and active right now. It's clear that this thread is causing people to feel unsafe, and that, as moderators, makes us very nervous. It really worries us that this might be the thread people see and it's one of the first they participate in, and they get into something that's very heated and they immediately nope out of the thread. You can very clearly see that members who briefly join the thread don't continue pages later. Generally discourse has been very poor in this thread, with all involved thinking they are excellent at arguing, and of course, you are definitely accepting the other side, but everyone else isn't listening to your amazing arguments. Is this you? Then you should think about that. People are making others feel unwelcome, and this is a major issue. Have rules been broken? There have definitely been attacks, and we've tried to tone things down, but the discourse hasn't really improved. I'm personally not sure what we should do as a moderator team to make better rules on things so we foster good discussion. This is a case where a thread hurts the spirit of the community while (for the most part) being within the letter of its rules. Here are some musings: A Reddit thread generally has a limited shelf life. Comments in a YouTube video die off after a while. But forums are somewhat perfectly designed for this sort of thing to evolve, where people have intense opinions and through sustained effort, drive away reasonable discourse. It's worse in this case because so much of Adolin/Shallan/Kaladin controversy has been in this thread, and so it's continually gotten more extreme as things progress. Forum topics don't close so this could literally progress ad infinitum, years from now, and that's very concerning. I think opinions have been said at this stage, in extensive detail, and don't need to be continued. When the cost to the community is the impression that the site is overall toxic, we need to act, so we have decided to close the thread, and hopefully things should cool down. Just to be clear: if you like Adolin, that is not an inherently bad thing and is not a thing that is to be said dismissively. (As in, "oh, you just like Adolin, so I'm disregarding what you say.") Similarly, critique of Adolin and saying that Kaladin and Shallan are way better for each other is a completely valid opinion to have, and we expect people to (obviously) continue to have that opinion. But we can treat people way more respectfully than has occurred in this thread. Please remember that as we move forward. People are entitled to their opinions, but at some point people are just talking over each other and it hasn't been productive for anyone. Please feel free to discuss this with me. We are always willing to listen if you have a concern, and are looking for ways to improve.
  4. 24 points
    Wow, this thread is hot. I have been composing a post since I got home today and have not been able to keep up. To start off (and at the risk of being so meta as to moderate a thread about thread moderation) I would like to remind everyone that the focus of this thread is recognizing and responding to concerns about site moderation. Concerns about individual members who are not staff can be addressed through private discussions if the members are comfortable, or through the usual PM/Report process with staff that we are currently discussing. I understand that people got on to this subject organically, but think there are better ways to resolve issues with personal behavior than here. Now on to the subject of the thread. Thank-you everyone for the time and effort that has been put into these posts, and for taking the plunge to bring these criticisms to light. I know that some of this conversation has been uncomfortable and frustrating, but I think that only highlights how necessary it is, and thank people for being vulnerable here. I think it’s really cool and all of these posts have made me feel very lucky to be a part of this community, even though I do not post much. In the interests of moving this discussion forward I thought I would take a brief moment to summarize some of the key points. I will be omitting items I feel like have been sufficiently discussed/dealt with and will be focusing on the discussion going forward, but that should not be the end of things, and discussions I would love for points not in this summary to continue to be discussed. Please note that my intent is as stated: to summarize, and so if I leave your point out it is not an intentional move on my part to discourage you to continue to raise it. Please feel free to highlight any important omissions. One of the breakdowns in communication I’ve been witnessing is the ever tricky distinction between explanations and excuses. Party A offers concern. Party B feels they need to explain where they are coming from to give context and offers explanation. Party A then feels like their concern is not heard and that Party B is offering excuses. In what I hope is a helpful way, I’ve tried to highlight concerns raised by members, explanations offered by staff, and suggestions for further discussion. To be clear, the explanations are not meant to excuse staff conduct or to dismiss concerns, but to provide context. My hope is that, in light of context, our suggested steps forward can help address those concerns which up until now have been felt to be unheard. Shardcast Concern - The panel failed to provide adequate coverage and support for the positives of Kaladin and Shallan’s romantic pairing and adequate critique of Adolin and Shallan’s relationship, leading to supporters of Kaladin and Shallan feeling like the ‘official Shard view” was against them and that their voice was less legitimate. Context/Explanation - Some may have noticed, but in order to provide more regular content, we are shaking things up by rotating through different casters based on availability and interest. The ASK Shardcast was my first one, and I did a lot of outlining on it, so flaws are probably my fault and I take full responsibility. As Chaos said, the fact that the panel was biased came about because of a mixture of who was interested and who was available. I think as a group we did not recognize how much strong discourse on all sides was needed for this discussion. The circumstances surrounding the creation of the cast is definitely not an excuse. I know we all appreciate the opportunity to make the content we are providing better, so thank-you for the feedback. Points For Further Discussion - In the future, we need to do better than just identifying bias when discussing divisive issue like this one. We as content providers obviously failed to recognize the importance of this debate for our audience, and in the future we should make efforts to make sure differing views are better represented on contentious issues. Note - One small aside: @insert_anagram_here , I wanted to offer a personal apology to you. In an effort to add some substance to our discussion of Kaladin and Shallan’s relationship, I quoted your post from the thread. I thought the points you raised were really interesting and thought-provoking, and was hoping to use them to provide some support for the Kaladin and Shallan pairing. I hindsight, I realize that having your words used, and then remarked upon, without an opportunity to immediately respond, would have been very frustrating, and I’m sorry I put you through that, especially without consulting you first. Closing ASK Thread Concern - Closing the ASK Thread (a) sent a message that certain opinions and interests were not welcome on the shard and (b) destroyed a space that a subset of the larger fan community used as their primary place for communicating. Context/Explanation - As others have stated, this was not intended to have the effect that it did. We as a staff deliberated extensively for a long period of time on what to do about this thread and the large volume of reports that were generated as a result of it. In the end, our concern over members who said things about the thread made them feel unsafe or that it made them feel the Shard was ‘toxic,’ as well as the burgeoning of a too-busy thread with too many topics for really productive discussion were the contributing factors in our choice to close it. While we came to a decision, the group was very much divided, and it was not easy for any of us. Dealing with conflict is tough, and every staff who has posted thus far has admitted this one could have gone better. We are definitely committed to improving how we handle similar issues in the future. Points for Further Discussion - We have talked a little about options for keeping quality character discussions going (character subforums / topic specific threads), and I hope that conversation continues, but from my read of things the point that has not been addressed is how the ASK became an important community space, and that (if I’m understanding correctly) members feel displaced now that it is closed. I understand that opening new threads will not necessarily assist in the community concern, so I’m curious about what the users who were/are members of the ‘ASK Community’ for lack of a better term feel would be a suitable replacement/solution? Subcultures and new relationships are an exciting part of forum communities, and are absolutely something the staff want to facilitate. One thought I had was using the “Social Groups, Clans, And Guilds” sub forum to continue the community aspect of the ASK thread, and then allow discussions to continue in more specific topics (the more character topics the better in my opinion!), but since I was not a member of the community, that suggestion is obviously only as good as the endorsements it receives so I’d like to hear what people have to say. Moderation Practices Generally Concerns - From reading this thread, my understanding is that the two major concerns being raised about moderation practices generally are (a) that the Staff is heavy handed when moderating certain less familiar members, and unfairly lax or informal with older users and friends, and (b) that Staff opinions in regular discussions receive preferential treatment (either through excessive moderation of opposing views, or through discouraging debate through sheer force of reputation). Explanation/Context - Previous posters have done a pretty good job of providing their opinions and background information on this one, and since it is fairly person specific, I will try to do my best to pull out general points. Generally, silencing debate has never been the intent of the staff. However, that does not mean that certain actions we take do not unintentionally give that impression, so I am glad that members had the courage to raise the issue and generate discussion. I think we as staff take a lot of pride in what we do here, and so it is difficult not to take critiques of this kind personally. Critiquing the job we are doing as moderators, for better or worse, is personal for us. The best we can do is deal with the discomfort, communicate our emotions in positive or useful ways, and try to come up with effective solutions. We should focus on those that try to limit character discussion by others, rather than those that were trying to discuss characters, got offended and reacted badly. In too many cases we dealt the results and not cause of problems. One the point of further moderation - we already do a great deal of moderation that likely isn’t noticed because, for better or worse, we do it privately. There is always room to improve. It is also important to acknowledge that we are only human and we only have so much time in a day. We are not omniscient and omnipresent, and we cannot micromanage every aspect of the forums. Reports are a way of directing our attention to areas that need it. If you have other suggestions for how we can make it easier to report or to PM staff, please let us know. We do strive to being active with our moderation, but we can only do so much (I know this is getting excuse-ish, but my intention is just to recognize the reality). It is important to remember that as a staff we have a responsibility to the entire community. That means engaging in a balancing act when interests of different segments of the community come into conflict. We are always open to discuss new and better ways to handle things, but things must continued to be balanced and handled. As part of their participation in a wider community, it is important that members accept that things might not always be done to their liking. It is equally important that we as staff strive to make sure people feel heard and acknowledged, even when their suggestions or desires are not acted upon in the way they wished. Points for Further Discussion - We need to find balance between public scolding and dealing with people via PM. Some public guidelines about it would be nice. Public statements about conduct are useful for educating the community on standards, and to be transparent, but we all agree they should be handled with care. Not mentioning names in public warnings is a good idea that we can work with. Staff have always and will continue to be careful about how we present ourselves and the words we choose. We acknowledge and recognize that we do not always meet this standard, but I want to assure you guys that this is definitely a standard we hold ourselves to. Staff members participating in regular discussions need to be aware, that their staff badge acts as a megaphone. Everything they write is just “louder” than what others say. _______________ This discussion is going to be difficult no matter how we deal with it, but I do think it is a useful conversation and hope it continues. By virtue of our power and position, I understand that members are going to be intimidated to bring this kind of critique forward. From the staff perspective, answering these critiques is going to require us to be vulnerable and acknowledge some shortcomings that are uncomfortable. I do not have specific points for this discussion, but I would just like to encourage everyone to remember that we are all here out of a mutual desire to talk about Brandon’s books, that we are all human, and that wrongness can be identified and addressed with kindness. With the goal of finding a resolution that people can live with, we are, hopefully, all on the same side. I know a lot of staff have already weighed in on this, so I hope that the usefulness at this post will outweigh the negative impact of me adding yet another staff voice. To conclude, continuing to point out problems or issues is useful to a point, but it can also get in the way of resolution and outcomes. I hope that was helpful and not a total waste of text. Thank you again to everyone who is participating, and please remember to try to focus on what we can do to resolve the issues.
  5. 24 points
    I have read the full two page of conversation and I feel the need to step in, for a moment, to share my personal experience with the moderation team and the 17th Shard. I have been a member of the 17th Shard for nearly four years now: what started up as an innocent account to voice a few thoughts on my favorite topic, turned to be a pass-time hobby. Discussing the Stormlight Archive has been a way to communicate with people sharing similar-like interest and also a way to vent out from real-life induced stress. No matter how many brick work dropped on me, I always knew I could go back to my safe haven of character related discussion and rehearse, once again, a given aspect or another of my favorite narratives. I am a strongly opinionated individual who tends to stick with her opinion unless proven utterly wrong or until someone is brave enough, persevere enough to change my mind. And yes, it did happen. More times then people are aware of: ask anytime for the story of how I went from being a firm believe Adolin as a Dustbringer was the absolute best possible narrative to the Adolin as an Edgedancer one, which I have been strongly promoting for the past two years. I love telling stories... This being said, being a highly opinionated individual, sometimes having as much tack as an elephant walking into a glass store combined to being a tad too passionate about one given story aspect or another has not made me the 17th Shard most popular poster. I have often been heavily criticized, shunned upon, bullied on Discord, massively downvoted and oh how I have publicly pestered against the downvote system. I never liked it and I never missed an occasion to make my thoughts on the matter being heard, loud and clear. Now you get none of this made me the moderation team's favorite poster... I clashed with some of them, on occasions, I have entertained the thought they were being unfair towards my person and despite being here for four years, I never really felt I was part of the "older crew". My reputation never really was something I felt was solid enough to sit on. So where's my point in telling all of this? I have read others argue there is a preferential treatment onto the 17th Shard, I have read others state they feel older posters were treated differently than newer ones and they felt there was a double standard into the community. I have been this newer abrasive controversial poster. My trajectory onto this community has not been straight-forward, it was made of bumps and lumps, but despite all of this, despite my quite spectacularly obnoxious start into the community, despite myself thinking moderation hated me, I have to now state they always, always, always took the time they needed to pass the message they needed to pass into the best possible way. I have had mods take their personal time to answer to my pesky antics, to stop their car at gaze stations in a panic to answer to my frantic antics, to write long replies, to address the points I was trying to raise and to explain why a handful of given posts have been received so badly. I have had mods try to explain to me why I seem to come off as so controversial, why I seem to be so heavily downvoted. I have literally been on both side of conflicts: I have probably been reported many times, I have occasionally reported other posters when I felt they trespass and started indulging into personal attacks. Each and every single time an event happened, the moderation addressed it and did their best to solve it. They listened to me. The empathized with me after the Discord incident and they also told me when I went too far. They hid some of my posts because they felt they weren't helping improve the mood and I fully support their decision. I have not always agreed with the moderation team, but I do think they did the best they could with the task at hand. Would I have done better? Me? Hell, no. I'd be about 10 times worst. Mind, I'm generous, I'd be about 100 times worst. The moderation team are just human beings and they often are stuck in between the anvil and the hammer. They have however always did their best to be as impartial as possible, to treat each forumer with respect and yes, they even did it when I didn't deserve to receive it. I sincerely do not believe one minute in preferential treatment. I sincerely believe the moderation team is allowing all posters to grow into this community, even the ones which start off wrong, even the ones having sometimes been an offender. The situation, since OB's release, has been difficult to manage for everyone. The book wasn't received as enthusiastically as the previous ones: some readers are disappointed with some aspects of its narrative. It has been hard for all of us to hear so many dissenting opinions. I has been hard for myself to see how liking Adolin suddenly become something I should be ashamed of as posters started to use it as an argument to dispel my own argumentation. Character related discussion had been confined to this one thread which was supposed to house the Kaladin/Shallan supporters while making a bit of room for the Adolin/Shallan ones while discussing Shallan's character mostly from the angle of one preferred ship while offering a bit of space to discuss Adolin and.... it was a mess. Too many discussions were going on at once, too many conflicting opinions and it created bad karma for many posters. Character discussion is my favorite discussion, but ever since OB, there hasn't been many threads to do so besides The Thread and well, one single thread cannot discuss ALL opinions in a peaceful way when the subject is one which raises passion. More threads were needed, but the existence of the massive one prevented those from coming into life. It didn't help any poster making a comment on shipping was bluntly told, at times, to keep it to The Thread. The Thread has been great: I have a love/hate relationship with it. I have thoroughly enjoyed parts of it, but I have also called it "toxic" and negative for the community. The moderation were given a very hard task and I firmly believe they made the right move. I do hope closing the massive thread will help several smaller ones to come to life so other character readers can find themselves a few threads to discuss, peacefully, the subjects they enjoy, be it shipping or Shallan's mental's health or Adolin's sense of fashion (seriously this discussion was interesting and the thread was closed before I had time to respond ). Lastly, I would never want the moderators to lose the right to post their own opinions. Of course, the moderation badge will always feel a little scary to see pop into a topic, whenever I see one, I tend to think I've written something bad, but I do maintain they have the right to their opinion. I love reading their opinion and I think we all are smart enough and old enough to make the distinction in between an opinion post and one having moderation purposes. So that's what I wanted to share. I hope it helps newer members having a greater confidence into the moderation team.
  6. 23 points
    (I swear, after this I will vanish once more into my crystal cave and sleep for another century.) So, here's the thing: I am not really a Sharder, but I have made observations thereof intermittently for several years, and that combined with a tangential discussion in this thread about shipping vs character discussion and how people react to each has... led me to a theory. You can take this with a grain of salt or a heap; heck, you're welcome to collectively ignore this post if you would like. As a member of the more transformative-works-centric part of the fandom, I offer this mostly from the suggestion of making the Shard more friendly to similarly minded people, who will probably find you all before they stumble across the Tumblr rabbit hole. I think some of the problem in the ASK thread, and in other discussions of potential relationships, is a lack of clarity in the purpose of the discussion at all. Let me elaborate. The way I see it, there are... basically three major categories of conversation that come into play: just-for-fun shipping, predicting future relationships, and analysis of relationships as part of characterization. (Obviously, these exist on a spectrum, not sharply delineated groups.) Conflict happens when someone mistakes which type of conversation they are entering. For example: in a ship thread which is focused on predicting future relationships, some things probably won't ever be brought up, because they're just not plausible based on canon so far. But if a just-for-fun shipper sticks their head in and mentions their ship and gets shot down, they may well feel defensive and snap back, and... voila, conflict. Similarly, someone who's not interested in the romantic ~drama of it all but genuinely enjoys character analysis may be annoyed that their contributions get derailed into who might sleep with whom. The solution, it seems to me, would be to clearly outline the intended nature of the discussion in the OP. This sets the intended tone for the rest of the conversation, and gives participants shared expectations/norms from the very beginning, and allows people to engage in different threads with whichever or as many types of discussion as they wish. (I also think 17S as a whole would benefit greatly from some just-for-fun ship positivity threads - let the people who feel strongly about a given pairing talk about it in a positive, sometimes silly way with others. Plus, generating content like headcanons, fic, etc is the best way to get other people invested, in my experience.) ....anyway. Like I said, take it or leave it, but I wanted to throw this out in case it could help. (p.s. for those of you not familiar with fandom shipping subculture, please note that adding a / between character names conventionally connotes a romantic/sexual relationship - hence the slang term 'slash'. so unless you actually want to talk about Adolin/Renarin in that regard... maybe use a + instead?)
  7. 21 points
    LG43: Under the Banner of Adonalsium Actions and Turns: Each Cycle will consist of a Day Turn and a Night Turn. Day Turns will last roughly 48 hours, while Night Turns will last approximately 24 hours. Every player may use only one action during each Turn. In addition to any actions made available by Roles, Shards, or Shardworlds, each player may use their action during the Day turn to worldhop from one location to another, and may use an action during either Turn to pass one or more charges of investiture they possess to another player. Unless otherwise specified, actions can only affect players on the same world as you! Unless otherwise specified, actions can only affect living players! Death and the Cognitive Realm: When a player loses their last life, they pass to the Cognitive Realm - a doc for dead players to talk together. Their Roles and Faction are revealed, and they are no longer considered to be living players. However, they are still part of the game, and can be targeted by some abilities. Players in the Cognitive Realm cannot post in the thread or in PMs with other players, or take actions. However, they retain any investiture or roles they had in life. Shardworlds: There will be 6 worlds available: Silverlight, Roshar, Scadrial, Nalthis, Taldain, and Braize. Each world except for Silverlight will have it’s own Doc that players can use to communicate privately. Each player will start in Silverlight. In addition to private communications, each Shardworld other than Silverlight gives access to a special action or passive ability to the players that worldhop to it. Roshar - A player on Roshar may use an action during either Turn to exchange one charge of investiture for another charge of investiture from any Shard. Scadrial - A player on Scadrial may use an action during either Turn to exchange one charge of investiture for an extra life that lasts until the end of the Turn. Nalthis - A player on Nalthis may use an action during the Day Turn to exchange one charge of investiture to count their vote double. Taldain - A player on Taldain does not gain any special ability, but their actions may affect any player, regardless of the world they are on. Braize - A player on Braize may use an action during the Night Turn to exchange 2 charges of investiture to attack a player on any Shardworld. Factions: Adonalsium’s Chosen - After losing control of the 17th Shard, Hoid has fled to the farthest reaches of the Cognitive Realm to plot how to reforge Adonalsium under the very noses of the researchers he once led. You are one of his loyal followers, ready to steal the Shards and combine their power again. You win the game if your faction outnumbers all living players. Sudden Death Win Condition - If all 11 Shards are fused into a single Shard, Adonalsium’s Chosen win the game. Standard of Harmony - For a long while, Khrissala has hidden in the shadows, waiting for the opportunity to restore the state of the Cosmere to its former stability. Now, with Hoid out of the way, you stand with her as she acts to release the Shards again. You win the game if your faction outnumbers all living players. Sudden Death Win Condition - If all 10 shards other than Survival are invested in a Shardworld, the Standard of Harmony wins the game. 17th Shard - With the dangerous machinations of the madman who once led you taken care of, you are free to study the power of the shards however you like. And if you keep their power to yourselves, who could blame you? It’s not everyday you get offered a chance at Shardic power. You win the game if all members of the Standard of Harmony and Adonalsium’s Chosen are killed. Sudden Death Win Condition - If Hoid and Khrissala are killed and all 11 Shards are in containment, the 17th Shard wins the game. Standard Roles: Researcher - You are a worker in the vast Silverlight labs, studying the Shards and their power. With the recent unrest, you have found it prudent to siphon some of the Investiture off for your own protection. Surely that can’t have any side effects, right? While in Silverlight, each Night Turn, you may use your action to target a contained Shard and steal a charge of Investiture from it. In addition, if you hold a Shard of Adonalsium, you may use one actions during both the Day Turn and the Night Turn of a single Cycle to put the Shard back into containment. If you hold a shattered Shard of Adonalsium, you may use a single action on any Turn to put it into containment. Every player except for Hoid and Khrissala starts out with this Role. Hoid - You are the leader of Adonalsium’s Chosen, and a worldhopper of vast experience. You may carry any number of Investiture charges from any number of Shards and begin the game with one charge of investiture from each of them. As the leader of your faction, you are immune to alignment or win condition change, and may use your action during the Night Turn to target a player on the same world as you and convert them to your team. This conversion fails if you target a player who holds a Shard or if you target a member of the Standard of Harmony. You may convert up to X players over the course of the game. Alternatively, if you are in Silverlight, you may use your action during the Night Turn to target a Shard in containment. That Shard requires one fewer charges of stolen investiture to be released that Night. If you ever hold two Shards, you may use your action during either Turn to fuse the two Shards together into a new Shard. You may not take any attack actions. Also, any time a Shard attempts to invest in you, the investment fails as if they had tried to invest in another Shard. In addition, each time this happens, you steal a charge of investiture from that Shard. Khrissala - You are the leader of the Standard of Harmony, and a worldhopper of vast experience. You may carry any number of Investiture charges from any number of Shards. As the leader of your faction, you are immune to alignment or win condition change, and may use your action during the Night Turn to target a player on the same world as you and convert them to your team. This conversion fails if you target a player who holds a Shard or if you target a member of Adonalsium’s Chosen. You may convert up to X players over the course of the game. Alternatively, if you are in Silverlight, you may use your action during the Night Turn to target up to two Shards. You steal one charge of investiture from each Shard. If you are on any other world and you hold a Shard of Adonalsium, you may instead use an action during either Turn to invest that shard in the world. Shards of Adonalsium: List of Shards and Their Abilities: Cognitive Realm Roles: Returned: You return to the Physical Realm, losing any Roles or Investiture you had in your previous life. However, you may use your action during the Night Turn to do one of the following: roleblock a player on any world, protect a player from all attacks during a Cycle, or give another player two charges of investiture from any Shard or Shards. Using any of these actions will cause you to lose a life. If you lose all of your remaining lives again, you will be removed from the game and go straight to the Spiritual Realm (the spectator doc). Shade: You may burn any charges of investiture you still possess and use the actions gained to target living players on any Shardworld. You may not use any other actions. Signups are open now, and will last until: Quick links:
  8. 21 points
  9. 21 points
    Below is my case for why Kadolin (Kaladin and Adolin in case that wasn't clear) is the greatest ship of all time! (Disclaimer: I know this won't happen in the books, but I still absolutely love them together.) As an intro, I love gay romance, I read probably too many of them (bless you Kindle Unlimited), and when I finished WoR, the whole reason I found this forum in the first place was to see if anyone else had picked up on the obvious romantic vibe between Kaladin and Adolin. I mean, I may have had a bit of confirmation bias, but I think there is a lot of book evidence to support them. So, onward! Kaladin and Adolin: Would They Be in a Romantic Relationship? Although gay relationships are perceived with various levels of comfort on Roshar in general, in Vorinism such relationships are perceived as the same as heterosexual relationships, though subject to the same prohibitions about premarital sexual relations. Kaladin displays no issue with Drehy’s relationship with a man, and in general neither does anyone else in Bridge Four (although Sigzil has a level of discomfort for not having the proper paperwork.) Kaladin is described of a man of passion by many people. While we have only seen him on page have romantic feelings for a woman, he could very likely translate his passion into romantic feelings for a man. In fact, Adolin is one of the people (see below for relationship timeline) that Kaladin has felt the most passion about; half of WoR is about the strong feelings they have vis-à-vis one another. We have seen another passionate dislike (Shallan) where Kaladin’s strong negative feelings turn into romantic interest, so it is likely the same could happen with Adolin. While Adolin is often seen as an admirer of women’s physical beauty, he doesn’t seem eager to have a physically intimate relationship, and in fact we can take his “missteps” in these relationships as a way of avoiding physical intimacy; if he doesn’t let a relationship progress past the introductory stage, he won’t have to be physically intimate. His one relationship which progresses to a stage with any physical intimacy (Shallan) is a relationship where his partner is determined to make it work, even ignoring his glances at other women (a tactic Adolin has used in the past to escape early from relationships with women.) When Shallan initiates physical contact with Adolin, he is hesitant to respond to it, although eventually he does reciprocate, likely because he knows this is what is expected as him. I suspect while Adolin is not incapable of romantic feelings for a woman, he strongly would lean towards a relationship with a man. We can also take Adolin’s extreme love of fashion as a hint towards his sexual preference; though we do not want to reduce gay men to stereotypes, a love of and focus on fashion is something which in popular culture (and real life, though this obviously varies) is associated with gay men. Kadolin: The Relationship's Progression and the Literary Tropes Involved Kaladin and Adolin meet in a typical dramatic scenario, as you often see in fictional romances. Adolin and his father are surrounded by enemy soldiers and likely to die. Kaladin comes in to save the day, and in the process, aggressively tells Adolin (the battlefield commander at the time) what to do. We now have a setup where Adolin resents Kaladin’s asserting authority in such a manner (especially given Kaladin’s station, as we discuss below) but at the same time knowing that Kaladin saved his life, which sets up interpersonal tension in Adolin as well as external tension between the characters. The perfect setup to have them obsess over each other! We spend most of WoR with Adolin and Kaladin progressing through your typical “enemies to lovers” romance setup. They are involved in many cute antagonistic scenes in which they challenge each other but at the same time show a growing respect between the two. (Notable scenes include the horse riding scene which leaves Adolin in awe of Kaladin, and the dueling ground scene where Kaladin observes that Adolin is a master at the sword even though they get in a fight later.) We also get to see some physical interaction between the two (fighting). At the same time, we start to see how Kaladin and Adolin work extremely well together in difficult situations, including the attack by Szeth and most notably, the 4v1 duel. The latter is of course a huge turning point for Kadolin, as after that point we see Kaladin accepting that Adolin is pretty good for a lighteyes, and Adolin actively trying to befriend Kaladin. But that doesn’t mean their prior passion and obsession over each other should go to waste… In OB, we see a further strengthening of their bond. When Amaram is appointed highprince, Adolin’s first thought it for Kaladin. When they assemble the team for Kholinar, the number one person Kaladin wants to bring is Adolin. After Kaladin freezes in Kholinar, we see Adolin’s amazing tenderness in dealing with Kaladin’s shock and defending him to Shallan when she doubts Kaladin is up to the task in infiltrating the lighthouse; Adolin is incredibly insightful that what Kaladin needs the most is a task, and in fact we see that the task of getting to Dalinar is what helps pull Kaladin out of his depression. Before we get to a couple more literary tropes, I wanted to point out that we get a couple viewpoints at the end of OB where Adolin is a bit miffed that Shallan is acting interested in Kaladin. While you could take the obvious read here, another interpretation is that Adolin is also realizing the romantic attractiveness of Kaladin, and so these moments are a bit discomforting because he’s not sure he can deal with his own feelings for Kaladin. And these feelings then lead to him wanting to get out of the betrothal with Shallan; ostensibly he is stepping aside for Kaladin to be with Shallan, but could it really be that Adolin doesn’t want to be with Shallan because he himself is in love with Kaladin? To highlight a few more effective literary tropes, Adolin and Kaladin exemplify highborn/lowborn or prince/country girl (err boy). Adolin is the son of a highprince, literally at the top of Alethi society, whereas Kaladin is a darkeyes, the peasant class of Alethi society. As I will discuss below, this actually provides them both immense opportunities for growth, in addition to help provide some depth to the passionate conflict discussed above. Another trope which would be at play, if Kadolin came to fruition, is quirky individual reforming the playboy. Adolin is showing jumping from woman to woman, a notorious playboy with a bad reputation. Who better to reform him than our plucky darkeye who overcame horrible injustice and saved the day? Note that all of the tropes highlighted above are used in Shalladin and Shadolin, but are split between the two relationships. With Kadolin we have all these tropes combined in one! The more the merrier Kadolin: Why They Work Despite their obvious differences in social status, Kaladin and Adolin have many similarities. They are both extremely good fighters; Kaladin is presented as the best spearman in the books and Adolin as the best swordsman. They are both immensely loyal individuals who are surprised/hurt when others are disloyal to them (e.g. Jakamov for Adolin and Moash for Kaladin), because they could never imagine acting that way themselves. They are both very honest individuals, often portrayed as being too blunt, but which means they will always speak their minds to one another. Both have fathers who they deeply admire but are not sure if they can live up to; but both of them have moments when they doubt the quality of their father’s character (and Adolin may have more of this to come.) Both have younger brothers who society portrays as “weaker” than them that they want to protect, but both also know their brothers have hidden strengths which society cannot see. Both also can tend towards vengeance, while also have a strong moral compass in other respects, which will allow them to understand the other’s need for vengeance by also providing the perspective to push back on this. Kaladin and Adolin of course have many differences. The most obvious is their social standing, and in this respect they are good foils for one another with Adolin providing Kaladin an example of an honorable lighteyes and Kaladin providing Adolin with an example of a darkeyes who is every bit his equal. On a purely physical level, they are presented as opposites; Kaladin’s dark hair and dark eyes and Adolin’s light hair and light eyes are often mentioned. Their personalities mirror this dichotomy; Adolin is generally positive whereas Kaladin suffers from depression. From a metaphorical sense, Adolin’s name literally means “born into light” and that light is exactly what Kaladin needs in his life at times. Adolin is also associated with the “sun” in the books whereas Kaladin is the “storm”, an accurate summary of this light/dark dichotomy. Kaladin is also a more scholarly type with his background in surgery while Adolin is more practical, always focused on the action-items. While Kaladin can get into his own head, Adolin is better at focusing on what needs to be done. In any relationship, one of the most important things in how each person can help the other grow. I already highlighted above how Kaladin and Adolin help resolve each other’s classist prejudices. Adolin is also one of the most supportive characters in the book (and he actually is a supporting character ), and he displays this enumerable times towards Kaladin in the books, following Kaladin to jail after the 4v1 duel and being Kaladin’s main support when he’s in shock in Shadesmar are two notable instances. (I would argue Adolin’s main concern in Shadesmar is for Kaladin, which just shows the strength of his affection.) Kaladin is all too often shown supporting others, but he sorely needs support in his life as well, which Adolin can provide. Kaladin is also worried about protecting everyone, and Adolin is one of the characters we’ve seen who needs the least protection; Kaladin trusts Adolin can take care of himself! As far as how Kaladin can help Adolin, I think Kaladin’s scholarly side can help bring that out in Adolin. Because of the strict gender split on scholarship in Roshar, Adolin has been pushed by women to read their books and see scholarship from their perspective. As an action-oriented person, Adolin is more drawn to active pursuits. Kaladin can help provide Adolin a form of scholarship to which Adolin will be more inclined – taking action and relating what one has learned to real-world problems. In fact, one of Adolin’s more scholarly moments (cutting through the plateau structure at the end of WoR) is the result of this kind of melding of scholarship and action which Kaladin can help him achieve. Perhaps most instrumentally, Kaladin can help provide Adolin perspective on how the majority of Alethi live, which will help Adolin be the best ruler he can for his people (because, no matter what he wants, he is going to be a ruler.) As Kaladin has a strong sense of leadership (it is one of his order’s traits after all), he can help Adolin not lead out of duty but instead out of a desire to lead, as so far while Adolin is quite talented at leading, he has had to be pushed to take up the responsibility. Kaladin can help provide inspiration in that regard. And well, let’s be honest, Kadolin is just plain hot Conclusion Kaladin and Adolin's relationship is acceptable in-world and both would welcome/accept a romantic relationship with a man. Kadolin follows popular tropes for setting up a romantic relationship. Kaladin and Adolin have similarities which allow them to understand and support each other but enough differences to add spice to their relationship and provide each other avenues with which to grow. Kadolin is the best NB: If anyone would like citations for any of the above, I am happy to provide.
  10. 19 points
    (Spolier tag for length)
  11. 19 points
    He comes from the WoB, one dead man, a shoe in his mouth, and I know that I have seen true grief.
  12. 19 points
    Ok time for me to contribute because I'm on an island in the Great Barrier Reef and this is occupying my mind. First, some qualifying information. I am not a moderator or an admin. I have a pretty title for helping out a little with getting Arcanum set up. But my opinions mean no more than any other user. Secondly, I have been around longer than the post-OB entrants,sure, but still only 15 months. So I'm still relatively new. Thirdly, I do not care one iota about shipping conversations. I therefore do not contribute to them. My input here is regarding the comments on the staff. And I have to emphasise that this is not aimed at any one person or any one 'side' of the argument. It's a plea, not an attack. All I want to ask is that people be nice, pleasant and civilized. The staff here are not paid. They're not in it for popularity. They're not in it for reputation. They're not kids looking for power. They're people who love Brandon's works and spend a lot of their free time in service to the community. This is not some pop-up chatroom where people name their mates admin. This is the official Brandon Sanderson fansite where most of the staff have been serving this community for the better part of a decade. They're people with jobs, family and limited time to spend, and they spend much of that time building a place that is supposed to be welcoming and devoted to making the Sanderson experience more enjoyable. This thread is about commenting on the administration of this site. That is a worthwhile thing. I understand that no moderation action can please everyone. But please remember that not one staff member is on here for some petty power trip. They are wonderful, devoted people who are doing their best to deal with a level of tension here i haven't seen before. So please, be passionate about Brandon's stories, whether you're into realmatics and lore like me, or character development like the shippers. Both are equally legitimate ways to engage with this world. But don't let your passion turn into tribalism, judgement, anger or aggression. There is no us and them. We're all here for the same reason, to enjoy the worlds Brandon has created and forensically analyze them. But please, most of all, don't be cruel to the people that work hard to make this place happen. They need your feedback to help this place work. They don't need you to be aggressive, accuse them of bias and be cruel about the job they do without credit or benefit. They are good people, each and every one, and they deserve better. And please, they are moderators because of their experience and love of Brandon. Don't ask them not to contribute. Yes they must have a higher standard, but they have the right to contribute and express opinions as private Sharders. Having a moderator title doesn't mean everything they say they say as a mod. They have every right to contribute to discussions. If they don't then why would anyone ever choose to be one!
  13. 18 points
    I don't really understand the point of this thread. It seems to me, that people want to complain that Kaladin isn't perfect, and that it bothers them? As to the actual complaints on his actions in hiding his Radiant status, especially in Kholinar, I don't really understand that either. They hadn't had contact with Kholinar in months, obviously something is going on, but they have no idea what. Their goal was to open the oathgate, but after arriving they see that not only is something seriously wrong inside of Kholinar, but its also under siege by an army of Fused. Standard infiltration procedures dictate you do what they did. You sneak in, do reconnaissance to figure out what's going on, who is in power, so on and so forth. Then you formulate a plan on how to attempt to solve the problems. You most certainly do not storm in there, announcing the presence of two KR (one of which is a non-combatant), which will not only alert the enemies inside of Kholinar to their presence, but also the army of Fused just outside the gates. Then expect the part of the city that might be on your side, to just fall in line, while hoping you don't get hunted down and crushed by an enemy that could literally be anywhere, because you've done zero investigating into what's actually going on. I think people are expecting a little too much from Kal here, he's a KR, not Superman. And let's not forget Kaladin wasn't the leader of this operation, it was Elhokar, the king of Alethkar.
  14. 18 points
    To repeat what's already been said in different words, "character development" does not mean improvement. Yes, Shallan regressed. And? This isn't a power up anime. We aren't trying to see what the next super sayan level is.
  15. 17 points
    I've been rereading OB and noticed something that just struck me as... kind of obvious foreshadowing of something. Possible foreshadowing. Jasnah does not smile often. She only smiles when it feels most genuine to do so. From p. 482 of Oathbringer, in the chapter "Broken People": Why is that little fact important? Consider the very next chapter, Notes", p. 499. And of course there is the somewhat infamous low key flirting scene. But in addition to the flirting, there's also a flash of genuine positive emotion from Jasnah. Dalinar, who is one of the closest family members of Jasnah and knows her very well, states that she only smiles rarely - only when it feels most genuine to do so. And here we have Kaladin sparking that reaction from her in the span of a single conversation, which, if I am not mistaken, is also the first time they've talked to one another. It's hard not to draw the conclusion that they have some chemistry together.
  16. 17 points
  17. 17 points
    I COME BEARING NEWS THAT WE CAN STILL ASK QUESTIONS: As the people "in the know" are, well, us. @Ravioli please edit it in into the first post so that everyone can see!
  18. 16 points
  19. 16 points
    Note: Going to start this from scratch. See the bottom for original post hidden in spoiler tag. Since the release of Oathbringer there's been a lot of talk about the nature of Shards, and with good reason. First we have Odium's suggestions that he represents the larger concept of "Passion". Then at the end of the book we see Dalinar temporarily Ascend by pulling together pieces of Honor and making the mysterious statement "I am Unity". Meanwhile, Harmony's continued emphasis that his powers are "in conflict", paired with other hints, has led many to think that he could (and indeed may one day) go by the name of Discord. Throughout all of these discussions has been interwoven new concepts of what these Shards mean, the usage of the word "intent" in these contexts, and the degree to which all of these can change over time. The result is a jumble of confusion. So I've been playing around with a few of these concepts, trying to piece them together in a useful way. I'm not trying to redefine any existing terms, and I want to avoid the baggage that those words may carry. But I'm not really trying to create new terminology either. So I will be using fresh words, but I'll try to keep them as descriptive and plain as possible. Concepts I want to identify three distinct concepts: The Shard's nature: The fundamental aspect(s) of Adonalsium's own personality/nature that composes the Shard. Though we might try our best, this cannot be captured by a single word. Most of us tend to think that a Shard's nature is unchanging/unchangeable, though some may disagree with this point. You could in a way combine one Shard (or pieces of it) with another Shard (or pieces of one). You could perhaps rip pieces off of a Shard in a permanent way. These of course would probably give you something different, but that would be different than directly changing the very nature of the Shard. Some may argue otherwise. Many people will connect this with the concept of "intent", but I'm avoiding the use of that term because it may pull in some history that I don't necessarily want to assume. The vessel's expression of the Shard: How the Shard's nature is expressed by a particular vessel. Many believe it is possible for a single Shard to be expressed in different ways, depending on the vessel who holds it (or perhaps other factors.) What determines this is a matter for debate. Is it a function of the vessel's subconscious perception of the Shard's nature? Can the vessel freely choose, within some bounds? The vessel's thoughts and actions: What the vessel thinks and does. We could maybe separate this in two... but what we do with it is the same for each, so I'm going to keep things simple. This is about pinpointing how a particular thought or action fits into the concepts of the Shard's nature and its expression. Does a particular action fit in line with the Shard's nature? Does some thought or desire reach outside of the expression? Some would argue that actions and thoughts outside of the bounds of the nature and/or expression are impossible. Or perhaps that they are possible, but only in limited and/or temporary ways. The length of time a vessel has held the Shard may also come into play here. Visualization With those concepts in place, let's talk about how they fit together. Warning: you may feel that some cases are impossible. That's fine. I'm not theorizing all of these are possible. Just trying to put together a framework that allows for different logical viewpoints to be expressed. First let's focus on the nature and the expression. Note that these images are highly abstract. Hopefully that's intuitive, given that we're representing incredibly complex ideas with boxes in 2D space. Don't get hung up on the exact sizes, locations, and things like that. We have 4 different general (theoretical) cases: The full nature of the Shard is being expressed. Some people may think this is the only logical case, especially after the vessel has had time to be warped by the Shard. Example: If you think that Ruin under the stewardship of Ati portrayed all aspects of the Shard's nature, you would say that it looked like case 1. Some subset of the Shard's nature is being expressed. There's an implication here that some other vessel might display some other subset of the Shard's nature. You may think that this happens because the expression cannot extend outside the boundary of the Shard's nature. Example: If you think that Odium is more accurately a Shard which represents all emotion (perhaps Rayse is simply giving it a more hateful bent), then you would argue it is a case 2 situation. The full nature of the Shard is being expressed, in addition to some aspects outside of the nature. Here there is perhaps a notion that the Shard's nature is more of a "core concept" that the vessel can build on, rather than a boundary that the vessel's expression is contained by. Example: If you think that Honor portrayed some ideals which are outside the bounds of your perception of what the Shard really means, you would say he demonstrates case 3. Some subset of the shard's nature is being expressed, in addition to some aspects outside of the nature. This is basically just a mashup of cases 2 and 3, but I thought it was distinct enough to include. I reference specific cases in these examples for simplicity, but the reality is far from clean (unless you think case 1 is the only valid possibility). And nothing is likely to be black and white. I've shown a very idealized "case 2" above. A more accurate (though still highly simplified abstraction) depiction would be the image below. I DON'T intend for people to take this and then run through a list of Shards and categorize them into these three cases. The goal is simply to recognize different ways that the Shard's nature can (arguably) be expressed. Now let's talk about how the third concept, the thoughts and actions of the vessel, fit into these ideas. I've taken those general cases and marked a few distinct locations on each of them. I'm supposing that every thought the vessel has or action that the vessel takes will fall into one of these regions. There are 4 possibilities, all demonstrated in case 4: (a) The thought/action is within both the Shard's nature and expression. (b) The thought/action is outside both the Shard's nature and expression. (c) The thought/action is within the Shard's nature but outside the expression. (d) The thought/action is outside the Shard's nature but within the expression. This is where we talk about things like Vin killing Ati while holding the Shard of Preservation. Was she out at some point (b)? Or perhaps point (d)? Is such an action totally within the Shard's nature--just not within the the expression of it that Leras gave us? These are the kinds of questions we can ask. There are a lot of interesting things wrapped up in here. We can talk about the level of free will which vessels have for example. Is it difficult for a vessel to take some action outside of its Shard's nature? Is it even possible? How about the expression? If Rayse holds something more accurately called "the Shard of emotion" and I assume his expression of it is "Odium"... Is it difficult for him to do something loving? That is, something outside the expression but inside the nature? How much of this is self imposed, relating to the vessel's own personality and how much is it a matter of the Shard changing him? We can also talk about the role of time. Are brief actions outside some boundary less difficult than prolonged actions? How long before the vessel is warped toward's the Shard's nature? Was Ati instantly constrained into being more Ruinous, or how long did it take before he was unable to fight that nature completely? Examples Let's talk about some examples of how this helps us think through different situations. Again, I'm not trying to directly theorize with this. I'm speaking towards how we would use this to help ourselves think through and explain a theory. Example 1: Odium and Passion As one possibility we have case 1, where the Shard's nature is accurately described as "Odium". We observe an intent which fits this and Rayse is fully molded by it. His claims to be something else (Passion) are mistakes or lies by him. Another possibility is that we have case 1 where the Shard's nature is indeed Passion. For it to be case 1, it would mean that we simply haven't seen the Shard at work enough (in my opinion) to fully see how the Shard and the vessel fit this definition. It does... we just maybe haven't observed it. We've seen a lot of actions which are perhaps in one corner of the box (the Odium corner), but he's totally capable (and probably does) take actions that fit other "passions". A similar situation would be described by cases 3 or 4, where Passion (or something else) is the true nature, but for whatever reason the Shard is acting only with the intent of Odium in the cosmere. This could be a function of Rayse's control over his power, or there could be other factors at play. Example 2: Honor and Unity Let's theorize that Dalinar will somehow assemble a Shard by the name of Unity. I see two fundamentally different ways for this to happen... Let me suppose that Tanavast-Honor looked something like case 2 with actions tending to fall within his own expression. Visually, let's say the blue expression area fits in the left 2/3 of the nature box. Later we have Dalinar come along and pick up the Splintered pieces of the Shard once called Honor. He puts them back together, but by his own will, personality, values, or whatever his expression fits more to the right 3/4 of Shard's nature box. So for the most part we have heavy overlap between Tanavast's Honor and Dalinar's Unity. But the slight difference in which aspects of the Shard's nature are being expressed lead us to ascribe two different names. Dalinar is expressing something with more emphasis on unity aspects of the Shard than Tanavast did, and perhaps putting less value on the notion of "doing things because he said he would." Another similar idea would be that either Tanavast's Honor was a case 1 situation while Dalinar's Unity is a case 2 situation. (or vice versa) So Tanavast expressed the Shard more fully, but Dalinar leaves part of that out and thus looks a little different. (or vice versa) The second, fundamentally different, way that Honor could become Unity is if we actually play around with the Shard's very nature. Something more difficult and rare. This is where we have the theories that Unity will be created by merging some combination of Honor, Cultivation, and Odium. You could also take a more complicated approach here and suppose that Honor will be combined with pieces of other Shards. Or go the other direction and suppose that Dalinar will leave out pieces that once made up Honor when he puts it back together, leaving something that looks more like Unity in nature. Or maybe it's some of both things here. And a different approach would involve the idea of the nature itself somehow changing and shifting. Either by Dalinar's will or by some other cause, the Shard that we called Honor has been "pushed" or "pulled" into something more like Unity. Example 3: Harmony and Discord I would think that this looks mostly like the first concept with Honor and Unity. The combined Shard (made up of what was once Ruin and Preservation) has some overarching nature. Harmony is in a case 2 situation shifted towards one aspect of this nature, but it's possible to fill up some other portion of that nature instead. The really interesting question here is wrapped up in how that change (if possible) could happen. It would seem to me that the vessel is actively working to maintain the expression of Harmony (if that's the best name for it). Is it possible for him to maintain this indefinitely or will he inevitably be pulled into an expression which better fits the Shard's full nature? What would that be? In his efforts to be Harmony, has he been bottling up Discord (or whatever you want to call the currently unexpressed portion of his nature) which must find its way out? I also see one of the biggest problems with this whole framework here: what do you do when combining two Shards or expressions which are contradictory? How does that mesh? (obviously not easily, but it's hard to really demonstrate that visually with this) So... Thoughts? Again, I'm not outright theorizing anything directly here of course, but I think maybe this is a useful way of considering the interactions between vessels and the powers they hold. Original post, for the record:
  20. 16 points
    AG4/AN1 - Finale: Legends Once upon a time, there was a village. Not Rennan, no - this was a different place, a happy place. Children ran about the town square, giggling and playing a game of who-knows-what. At the fire at the centre of the square, an old storyteller told tales of heroes of other times to the children who could sit still long enough to listen. “In the time of the last Desolation,” she began, “there was a town. Its name is gone - long lost on the winds of time. It fell prey to the wrath of Odium, and tore itself apart before anyone even noticed it was gone. But, somehow, a few tales of its heroes survived. “Legends tell of a magical chicken - you remember, like we saw when the merchant came through last year? All bizarre and fuzzy? Well, this chicken could talk. Her name was Squawk, and she was one of the great helpers of the villagers. She organised them, banded them together to search for the murderers. “But they say a strange thing happened, then. A highstorm came, a few days after the first murder, and Squawk stayed in with the livestock, as she was accustomed to doing. But one of the traitors, the sympathisers to Odium, snuck into the barn as well, intending to kill her as she’d been such a help to the village. “The traitor raised his knife over her sleeping body, and thrust it through her heart.” The children gasped. “But as she died, Squawk transformed into a beautiful, darkhaired woman, and that is who the villagers found dead the next morning, to their confusion. Now, some say that Squawk was merely a Lightweaver in disguise, but personally I’m of the opinion that she was a Herald or a god come to save the town, and indeed some legends tell of a magical knife in that town, which could kill even Heralds and gods. But she did die, and the village mourned her.” While a pair of children ran off pretending to have magical knives, the rest remained enraptured. The storyteller smiled. “Stories also tell of a scholar by the name of Nolan. While the town dissolved into chaos, he searched through ancient books in a desperate race to find something that would help. While the villagers killed each other in a search for the murderer, he studied and studied until finally... he found it.” The storyteller lowered her voice. “He found the Words.” “Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination!” piped a child in a single excited breath. “Yes, dear,” chuckled the storyteller. “Just like that. And he said those words, and he became exactly what the town needed: a Bondsmith. The one who would unite them all. “But the villagers were few, by then, and Odium’s will was too strong. Before he could finally unite the town and drive them off, the traitors brutally murdered Nolan in the night, and even his newfound powers were not enough to fend off all of them. And so the village fell further into darkness.” The children shivered. “Tell us a happier story? Please?” asked one child. The storyteller smiled sadly at them. “There are no happy stories from that time, child. But, one last story of a hero, at least: “Once upon a time, in that long-ago village, was a man named Kharsis. He survived almost to the end with his family, never giving up hope. At the end, when all had nearly been lost, he brought hope - he organised the last few townspeople, fought against the tyranny. With his help, the villagers nearly won. “But they didn’t. Odium was just barely too strong, and the sympathisers set fire to Kharsis’ house one night. He died saving his niece from the fire.” The storyteller looked around at the children. “We don’t tell these stories because they are happy ones. We tell these because they are important. We honour those fallen heroes who died in the struggle for civilisation. We remember them, in case times like those ever come again, and we pray desperately that they never will.” She smiled. “Go on, now, run off and do something happier than listening to an old woman tell tragedies. Your parents will want you home, soon, anyway.” The children scattered, a few thanking her, until she was left staring into the fire alone. The winners of the three activity-based passes you have voted for are Ivory Dragonfly, Mint Heron, and Onyx Flamingo. Player List 1. Amethyst Scorpion - Jondesu 2. Azure Mouse - Haelbarde 3. Amber Vulture - Bugsy 4. Charcoal Hyena - Devotary of Spontaneity - Cannoc 5. Chartreuse Penguin - Herowannabe - Peng Uinneas 6. Coral Swan - Araris Valerian - Elyle 7. Cream Tuatara - Straw 8. Emerald Falcon - Dalinar Kholin / Aonar Faileas - Aldrick 9. Fuchsia Ostrich - Shqueeves/Elenion 10. Indigo Weasel - Arinian 11. Ivory Dragonfly - Fifth Scholar - Nolan 12. Magenta Albatross - Megasif 13. Mauve Crocodile - Droughtbringer 14. Melon Dingo - Ornstein 15. Mint Heron - Doc12/Arraenae - Kharsis 16. Onyx Flamingo - MonsterMetroid - Squawk 17. Opal Lion - Eternum 18. Oxblood Beagle - Steeldancer - Jai 19. Pearl Chameleon - Frozen Mint 20. Plum Rhinoceros - Coop772/BrightnessRadiant 21. Quartz Zebra - The Young Bard/Kyndedath 22. Saffron Iguana - Sart - Emalia 23. Sage Kangaroo - Magestar 24. Salmon Meerkat - Hemalurgist Headshot 25. Sapphire Elephant - Seonid 26. Scarlet Octopus - A Joe in the Bush 27. Sunburst Toucan - Randuir - Vanna 28. Taupe Gecko - Drake Marshall 29. Turquoise Gorilla - Asterion/TheMightyLopen 30. Violet Axolotl - Ripplegylf/Alvron In addition to the activity passes from voting, we are able to announce the three most active players over the last year, as measured by posting each turn they were alive, in each game they played. These players will also each receive a pass to run a non-Sanderson game. In order of activity, the passes go to Randuir, Stick, and Lopen. Congratulations to all three of you. An honourable mention should be made of Jondesu, who played the most games last year. Thank you all, once again, for playing. I look forward to another incredible year of Sanderson Elimination!
  21. 16 points
    AG4/AN1 - Aftermath: Ashes The sun rose red the following morning, bloody pools of sunlight spilling through a cloud of ash. Houses gutted by fire creaked and groaned a lament to the dead of Rennan. The village, a lone dark stain on the hillside, was still, the mountain as if holding a wake to the dead. A torn flag fluttered defiantly on a broken flagpole before being torn away, snatched by an angry wind, and lost. Embers died with the passing of the sun, and a new dawn broke over Rennan. Rain fell, and rivulets of water, dark with ash and blood, ran through the streets, the motion all that would separate the scene from a painting. Rennan remained a tomb and a monument to the dead, a macabre tableau of the last moments of life. Storms came, with time, but Rennan’s buildings stood guard, unaware that their charges lay sundered, strewn through them as discarded ragdolls, torn and broken. Seasons passed, and the quiet watch continued, the sentinels of the dead unmoving. Crem fell, and gathered, testimony to the solitude of the guardsmen. Unknown, unloved, now unnamed, they stood. The tomb on the mountain was to be eternal. Storms came, and seasons passed. It was a quiet day, with no rain or wind disturbing the silence, when the first one broke. The stillness, unwary, complacent, was shattered without a chance to retreat. It collapsed with the building, splintering, tearing, and twisting. Almost as if shocked, or broken in spirit, the rest fell over the coming months, beating a solemn rhythm to the passing of an age. AG4/AN1 is over. Fuchsia Ostrich was killed, and Odium’s Sympathisers have won. I very much hope you all enjoyed playing. I certainly enjoyed watching the impact of anonymity, but would love to hear about how it was for players. I’ll give my full thoughts on the game after voting for awards has concluded, both to give me time to formulate them, and to allow me to speak without concern. Voting: There are three Non-Sanderson game passes available to the winners of the vote. Both players and spectators are eligible to vote, and may list as many people as they’d like (but at least five) in order of preference for receiving an award. The STV voting method will be used to decide the three winners. Please use the PM you used to sign up for the game to vote. Voting will remain open for a week, or until every player has voted. Anonymity: Please do not give any indication of which Anonymous Account you were using until the results of the activity voting have been announced. This rule will be waived for those players on the evil team, allowing them to speak about the game from their perspective, and because I’m not going to trawl through 157 pages of evil doc to remove their references to their identities. Anonymous Accounts: Anonymous Account passwords have been changed, and you no longer have access to your accounts. Before the next Anonymous Game, all accounts will have had their PMs cleared, and so will not share personal information with future holders of the account. I’d like to thank Stink for helping with the game, and his excellent writeups in the initial cycles. Mint Heron deserves a great deal of credit for stepping in to help with writeups towards the end of the game. I wouldn’t have managed without them. I'd like to thank Wilson for helping with the balance calls we had to make at points in the game, and for her excellent judgement. Most of all, though, Elbereth deserves recognition for the massive investment she’s put into helping. Anonymous games take a great deal of effort to run, but her writeups and fantastic spreadsheet took a huge amount of stress out of GMing. Doc Links Servants of Odium The Watchers and the Weary Master Spreadsheet Final Player List 1. Amethyst Scorpion - Villager-turned-Bondsmith 2. Azure Mouse - Sympathiser Worldhopper 3. Amber Vulture - Villager 4. Charcoal Hyena - Cannoc - Villager 5. Chartreuse Penguin - Villager 6. Coral Swan - Elyle - Village Lightweaver 7. Cream Tuatara - Villager 8. Emerald Falcon - Aldrick - Villager 9. Fuschia Ostrich - Villager 10. Indigo Weasel - Village Elsecaller 11. Ivory Dragonfly - Nolan - Village Bondsmith 12. Magenta Albatross - Sympathiser Windrunner 13. Mauve Crocodile - Sympathiser Bondsmith 14. Melon Dingo - Quentisan - Village Edgedancer 15. Mint Heron - Kharsis - Villager 16. Onyx Flamingo - Squawk - Village Lightweaver 17. Opal Lion - Villager 18. Oxblood Beagle - Jai - Village Willshaper 19. Pearl Chameleon - Village Elsecaller 20. Plum Rhinoceros - Villager 21. Quartz Zebra - Villager 22. Saffron Iguana - Emalia - Village Lightweaver 23. Sage Kangaroo - Sympathiser Elsecaller 24. Salmon Meerkat - Village Bondsmith 25. Sapphire Elephant - Sympathiser Skybreaker 26. Scarlet Octopus - Village Edgedancer 27. Sunburst Toucan - Vanna - Village Windrunner 28. Taupe Gecko - Villager 29. Turquoise Gorilla - Village Dustbringer 30. Violet Axolotl - Villager Voting will close in seven days time, at 10pm GMT on the 1st March.
  22. 15 points
    Let me start by saying im not a new member to this forum, just been awhile since was on here, new phone etc and cant remember old log in details or even the email used. Just finished Oathbringer yesterday, had only started reading it on monday, had it for awhile but didnt have the time to read it. That said i will focus on the thread title now. I found this book to be underwhelming and a disapointment. Main reason being the book was mainly filler, (no doubt people will take exception to that point but nonetheless it is true imo) There was little to none story progression, for 1233 page count book there was very little of the actual story told, mostly just filler material to bulk out the book. Character progression was non existant, some characters actually regressed imo, Kaladin. Best character in the books imo. Basically has become relegated to a side note. Shallan After WoR, expected alot more from her character, instead she had identity crisis the entire book. She is annoying at this point and most her povs were pointless and she just makes me cringe, Dalinar Flashback sequence was good, why he went to the nightwatcher was rather pathetic though. Also the dalinar we knew from previous books was a lie and find it hard to believe a spren nevermind the stormfather would bond to the man he was or that people ie kaladin and bridge 4 also Szeth would follow him knowing the truth. Szeth Swearing the 3rd ideal of the skybreakers to follow dalinar when he doesnt know him is also rather odd, found this part to not make a great deal of sense. Adolin I remember after WoR this forum was full of theories about what killing sadeas would do to him, most of ye will also recall this, turns out he just didnt care lol Renarin Useless as ever and bonded to the bad spren, but thats ok.........yeah..... Jasnah Seems altogether to powerful compared to the others, maybe its just her experience but wish was more pov chapters from her. Taravangian Having seen the diagram was wrong so much should of realised even at his smartest he was still woefully inadequete to predict future events and turned from the diagram instead latched on to small bits were right and joined odium Venli Seems to of bonded a normal spren just as a counterpoint to renarin bonding a odium spren in my opinion, eshonai bonding that spren would of made some sense venli bonding it made none. Shadesmer The trip here served no point but to take kaladin/shallan etc out the way for awhile, the chapters about it could be taken out the book and would make no difference Lifr Should be more chapters about lift, interesting character Moash His story unlike most the others did progress and found the direction he went to be refreshing (mirrored kaladins to an extent, difference being he accepted something kaladin refused to), and would of liked more povs from him. Bridge 4 Very lightly involved this time around, teft suddenly being a crack head was a bit weird, and out the blue, everyone suddenly being able to be a squire and proto radiant was also a bit strange imo, bridge 4 understandable, all the other random people joining in hopes of being a squire was bit much and rlain was underused and the little we got was left hanging, Voidbringers Was obvious the humans were the real voidbringers since book 1, found this revelation to be kinda silly and it being the reason for the recreance a bit of a cop out. I realise this isnt going to be a popular train of thought on this forum but it is my opinion, that the book we got wasnt what it should of been, best characters and stories pushed to the side, no real progression in story or character arcs, for the story we got the book could of been cut to a 3rd, as alot was filler material for shake of it, shallan dominated the book and was just a repetive stroy arc all through the book at that, kaladin basically a sidenote and support act, The way of kings was a 5/5 star book Word of radiance was a 4.5/5 book Oathbringer is 3/5 star book at best. I hope the series doesn't keep going on the downward spirial it seems to be going. I realise this (most likely) is all going to probably be cut to pieces by a lot of people, but before ye do that, ask yourself this, is oathbringer really the story ye thought it would be? Or the story ye wanted ? If ye say yes that it is, then id be shocked. If spelling mistakes i apologise, using my phone
  23. 15 points
  24. 15 points
    When I was reading through Oathbringer, I made notes about some of the weird stuff that was mentioned. Stuff that's probably foreshadowing. Stuff that might be foreshadowing. Stuff that just seems a bit weird. Mysterious singing, ethereal smoky shapes...you get the idea. All page references refer to the hardcover page number. Anyway, here's my list of some weird things that were mentioned and what (if anything) I think they mean. Very often I don't have a clue, or at least not a good one. If I'd a clear explanation, it probably wouldn't have qualified as a curiosity in the first place! The following are roughly in the order that they appear throughout the book. Without further ado: 1) When talking to Kaladin about his family, Syl mentions a mysterious voice: Is this a reference to Tien? They're talking about his family, so it seems plausible, but I'm not sure why she'd mention it if so. Reminding Kaladin of things that depress him isn't something she generally does. But I don't know what other voice she'd be referring to. It's also another mention of music ("a song like tapped crystal, distant yet demanding"), which might mean nothing but which, as I note below, seems to play a pretty big background role in the Stormlight Archive. 2) Urithiru is weird: I think we can agree that Urithiru probably wasn't built along strange, twisted curves in order to fool invaders. It doesn't seem like the sort of place that would be attacked by anyone ever. How would you get your army there? It's not like Odium's forces could have used the Oathgates, and they don't have all that many Fused who can fly. There's also a line earlier about how there's more air circulating than there should be, though I didn't copy that one down because at the time I chalked it up to clever engineering. The second of the two quotes above indicate that more is going on than meets the eye, though -- no amount of clever engineering would make temperatures higher at Urithiru than on other similar peaks. The weird thing, though, is that this all seems to be happening without Stormlight. Urithiru's been uninhabited for ages, and it's too high up for most highstorms. If it were ancient fabrial tech...that still takes Stormlight, right? Soulcasting does, at least. So how is the place staying warm? Something weird is going on. 3) Dalinar sees a strange shadow-world: Later on the Stormfather claims that he made this in-between place, but the description sounds familiar to me. I can't place it, but I feel like we've seen this place somewhere before. Why would the Stormfather bother to create an in-between world, anyway? 4) Something is different about the Fused's lashings: So why didn't the Fused lash Moash? They can clearly lash people, since Moash himself got lashed upwards during the fight in the same scene and Kaladin later got lashed sideways. Seems strange that they'd choose to carry him rather than lash him. It's not like they're worried about running out of power, either. Later on, we see that the flying Fused use their lashings pretty profligately. I don't have a quote, but there's a scene where one of the Fused hovers while reading a book, apparently just because he/she can. Also, the Fused in Shadesmar are flying about willy-nilly despite Investiture apparently being more difficult to get there. In fact, I don't think we've ever seen a Fused run out of juice. Something's clearly different here. 5) Lopen looks under rocks for some strange reason: Now this could just be an instance of Lopen being weird, but it's hand-waved off a little too blithely for that to be the case. Lopen might be different, but he's not the sort of different that does things for no reason. Maybe he's supposed to be humoring his spren? Syl might want to look under rocks just to see what's beneath them, so that could be it. The scene in question is a pretty touching Bridge Four moment. It seems strange to call out Lopen for behaving bizarrely unless there's some ulterior motive behind it. He's never done anything that seemingly nonsensical before. 6) Odium and his spren appear Shin: Now supposedly Odium came to Roshar along with the humans, so it's not terribly surprising if he and his look like those original humans. But if that's the case, what happened to make everyone else appear non-Shin? We know a few races interbred with the Parshendi, but that shouldn't have given a homogeneous appearance to every non-Shin person on Roshar. Again, something is strange here, either with what happened or with what we've been told. It's also worth noting that stone is clearly associated with Odium and his spren. Where Syl flies about, Odium's spren clearly walk on stone, as seen in the quote above. The Thunderclasts rise up out of stone. This might give a new interpretation to the Shin refusal to walk on stone and Szeth's belief that Urithiru was formed of stone unhallowed. Do the Shin revere/worship Odium? It seems a bit weird -- they're basically pacifists, after all -- but not entirely implausible. Still, they can't really be directly allied with Odium, either. If they were, Odium could've had all the Honorblades by the time of the battle for Thaylen city, since Shinovar isn't all that distant when one's emissaries can fly. Then again, maybe he does have them already and just didn't want to risk them in the battle? 7) Some spren are changed by Sja-Anat, some are not: What explains this? Are hungerspren more of Odium so Sja-Anat doesn't feel the need to corrupt them? Were hungerspren corrupted en masse during some previous Desolation, so that all the present-day "normal" hungerspren are actually the corrupted form of some prior version? There probably isn't enough information to tell what's going on yet, but maybe someone has ideas. 8) Hoid. Strange as always: First, Pattern says Wit feels like "one of us." It's not clear whether "one of us" means a Lightweaver, a Radiant, a Cryptic, a spren, or something else. He also plays around with Shallan's lightweaving/Stormlight in a way that (if I understand correctly) shouldn't be possible: Maybe he's just drawing it from her spheres, but considering that he needed her help to get the lightweaving going in the first place, it seems a bit strange. He's piggybacking off of her somehow. I'm not going to try to guess how, but it's worth noting, perhaps, as a thing he can do. 9) More weirdness with Shallan's lightweaving. Kaladin's shash brand doesn't stay covered up like it's supposed to: Later, Kaladin checks to see that the gem Shallan tied the illusion to still has Stormlight, and it does, so it's not like he sucked it up without realizing it. Kaladin couldn't get rid of his brand in Words of Radiance, and now Shallan can't cover it up for long, either. I get that the WoR thing is due to Stormlight healing, but that shouldn't mess with Shallan's illusion, I wouldn't think. 10) There's some weird humming/singing going around in Alethkar: First, we've got one of the revelers humming in what I take to be a manner similar to Pattern, then later we've got the queen singing a song that Kaladin almost recognizes. I'm not really sure what to make of these, but given the apparent importance of music to the Stormlight Archives so far, I think it's worth noting. 11) Syl freaks out after killing a spren: I'm not sure why she's so upset about killing a spren, honestly. She doesn't have any problem killing humans or Parshendi. She was even protecting Elhokar's baby from the red spren, so she should be happy. Maybe it's because she's a spren herself? But then, she mentions that honorspren hunt at least some types of spren, so that doesn't seem like the answer, either. Again, something doesn't quite add up here. 12) Sja-Anat mentions a son that Shallan could apparently ask for advice: So at first I thought she might have Renarin's spren, but this doesn't work because Renarin isn't even anywhere near Shallan at the time, so she certainly can't stop and ask Glys for advice on whether to use the Oathgate even if she were likely to trust a corrupted Radiant spren anyway, which seems doubtful. So who or what could Sja-Anat be referring to? It has to be someone nearby and who Shallan would find trustworthy. 13) Winespren: sometimes rare, sometimes common: I know it's mentioned that some spren are more location-dependent than others, but why is this the case? I could see it if one country tended to drink a lot more alcohol than its neighbors, but from what I can tell, people all over Roshar are drinking a lot of alcohol. So why would the winespren only hang out in just one spot? 14) Syl's memory doesn't come back at all when she returns to the Cognitive Realm: Maybe I don't quite get what's going on, but since she had to leave most of her memory behind when she left the Shadesmar, I'd have thought that she'd have gotten her memory back when she returned to Shadesmar. Instead it looks like she's going to continue getting it back piece by piece, as Kaladin progresses with his Oaths. From a meta perspective, I get that there are probably narrative reasons to keep her (and thus the main characters) in the dark for a long while yet. But it's still not what I'd expected. 15) Syl doesn't want to enter the lighthouse: This might just be that she doesn't like to be confined, which is established more explicitly later, but I wonder if there isn't something more to it. Pattern goes in and happily starts poking around, so it can't be anything that repels spren in general. 16) Chapter 103: This is Dalinar's dream/vision of Nohadon where he goes grocery shopping. It's pretty weird. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be a dream or if it's supposed to be magical. It doesn't quite seem like either one -- too coherent for a dream, but too incoherent to be a vision. 17) Odium's word versus Preservation's: Mistborn original trilogy spoilers: So anyway, that's my big list of "weird Oathbringer stuff" that might or might not be worth talking about. If there's anything I missed -- and there almost certainly is -- feel free to point it out.
  25. 15 points
    Night 3: Am i a Stick? STICK /stik/ Noun A thin piece of wood that has fallen or been cut from a tree. A semi-regular player in Sanderson Elimination. Informal, derogatory, name for the country side. something resembling or likened to a stick, in particular. STICK /stik/ Verb Push a sharp or pointed object into or through something. Put somewhere, typically in a quick or careless way. be fixed in a particular position or unable to move or be moved. STICK was a STICK. The other players of SE did not appreciate this. So they went out and crafted a STICK in order to have a weapon to STICK through STICK. Most of the players of SE could easily dodge such lame attacks, but since STICK could only STICK to one position, her assailants could easily STICK their weaponized STICK through her body. But they knew that if they were discovered, they would be arrested, so they looked for a place to STICK her body. Eventually, they decided to just STICK her out in the STICKS, hidden among the other STICKs. Stick was lynched! Stick (4): Eternum, Fifth Scholar, Orlok, Steeldancer Mafia (3): Araris, livinglegend, Shanerockes The Night will end in Player List:
  26. 15 points
    I relate a lot to this:
  27. 14 points
    Warning: This post discusses romantic relationships, so do not proceed if that it not your thing At Brandon's signing last weekend, we got an interesting WoB where a fan asked about Kaladin's proficiency with the spear... and Brandon ended up taking the conversation around to a Connection (appears to be Cosmere capitalized Connection) between Syl and Shallan. I am specifically interested in the latter point. The link for the WoB is here and text below, with the part about Syl and Shallan in bold. I'll discuss my thoughts after the text. The scene Brandon is mentioning is in WoR, text copied below, and I personally had no idea this was supposed to be Shallan. At the very least, this is a specific reveal that Syl "knew" Shallan, in a similar way to the fact she "knew" Kaladin prior to actually meeting her. (With hopefully a different outcome though! Don't know how I'd feel about Syl bonding Shallan... ) The context for this is that Kaladin is training his men in the chasms, and Syl is discussing the danger she faced in coming to find Kaladin. On the face of it, she is encouraging Kaladin that he is not alone, that other spren are struggling against the prohibition for bonding humans, and there will be other Radiants. Syl of course doesn't actually know Shallan, when Shallan finally shows up at the Shattered Plains, Syl doesn't recognize her, know she is a Radiant, or even sense Pattern except maybe vaguely at the 4v1 duel (there's a number of spren she could have sensed then though.) But something about the Connection between Shallan and Syl in the Spiritual Realm allows Syl to "see" Shallan in that moment. Brandon analogizes that moment to Kaladin's affinity for his spear and Syl and Kaladin's own bond. In other words... "fun Cosmere connections" language aside, it seems pretty significant. One of the things we see in OB is that Syl really likes Shallan. She encourages Kaladin multiples times to pursue Shallan, pushing against his own wishes; I would argue Kaladin would not have made even the (small) overtures he did towards Shallan if it wasn't for Syl's insistence. Syl and Shallan hang out in Shadesmar without Kaladin, including the fact Syl wants to remain with Shallan in Celebrant. (This is of course partially due to Shallan's lightweaving skills, but Syl at that point already had a lightwoven disguise.) Syl is also skeptical of Shallan's choice of Adolin at the end of OB, encouraging Kaladin to continue his pursuit, and indicating she can't see Shallan's "choice is made". All in all, we know Syl has a Connection to Shallan through the Spiritual Realm (where everything is one), and that these types of connections are "echoes" of events that are forming, not something as strong as "destiny", but still a definite "something is there." And since Syl is constantly pushing Kaladin towards Shallan, I think there's a great inference to made that Syl is "knowing" something about Shallan which is not yet explicit in real time in the Physical Realm. While not for certain (as nothing is until confirmed as such), the fact Brandon spontaneously brought this up in a question that had literally nothing to do with romance or Shallan at all, seems to be him pointing towards yet another piece of foreshadowing for Shalladin, one which was not apparent from the text, but he obviously seeded a long time ago.
  28. 14 points
    I too dislike it when fictional characters do not preform at perfect logical consistency and have inner "flaws" which they need to strive against and overcome in a journey of personal growth which I the reader can emotionally identity with.
  29. 14 points
    Here is a throwback to everyone's favorite character....
  30. 14 points
    Heh, nice try, but that wasn't quite what I meant. See, I RPed as so much more than just Kharsis this game - A man with a spear slung over his back stood in the pouring rain, watching. Far off in the distance, a line of men and women crept solemnly towards him, bearing a dark casket on their backs. The rain beat down their backs and spilled onto the street below, creating large puddles that reflected the grey sky above. The man sighed and bowed his head. He had hoped...but no, it was not to be. Those of their nature rarely ever, ever survived. He’d been lucky to make it through, that time in the warcamps, but there were many others who hadn’t. Valens, Kassien, Kaian... He closed his single eye in remembrance. He thought back to a conversation he’d had, in a room with hot mugs of tea and biscuits fresh out of a tin. “Why do we bury the dead?” “Er, well, I guess…It’s our way of showing respect for, uh, our common humanity: us and theirs. We’re showing respect for who they used to be. And acknowledging that one day, we, too, will…uh, join them.” Ah, Sonder. His flame had been snuffed out too soon, before he had barely even begun to live. Just like so many others. The procession advanced closer. Slowly, gently, the villagers lowered the casket into the ground. A family stood near the hole where the casket had disappeared: a man, trying to stay stoic and miserably failing; a woman, tears carving pathways down her cheeks; a confused baby, uncharacteristically silent; a young girl, quietly sobbing as she rubbed the cast on her leg. Beside them stood two friends, a joking guardsman and a seasoned accomplice, blowing their noses into handkerchiefs. They tossed flowers into the grave, brilliant flashes of colour in the downpour. His single eye glistened in the light. “I can’t save the dead,” he murmured, walking forwards, echoing what he had said so long ago in that room. “But I can pay my dues. I can bury the dead. And I can show respect to each one of them, including you.” He tossed his bouquet of flowers and watched it fall into Kharsis’s grave, petals fluttering in splashes of pinks and blues and purples. A final goodbye. “Did you know him?” someone asked. The guardsman. “After a fashion,” Kaddar said with a sigh. His shoulders slumped, giving him a look of a much older man. “I’m sorry I couldn’t have gotten to know him better.” He turned and left, disappearing into the hazy rains. - Dedicated to Kasimir. Thank you for letting me pretend to be you and play with your characters. I enjoyed it a lot
  31. 14 points
    I want to believe you about this, and I partially do. I've twice brought to your attention posts that Calderis made in response to mine. The first time, you took action, said you spoke to him and he agreed the post was offensive, and took down the offending post. The second time, you ignored me. Maybe that was an anomaly. I would like to give you the benefit of the doubt. [Edit: I found out after this original post that action was taken on the second report just not communicated to me.] But I am finding it hard to believe the moderator treatment has been the same as it has been for less "favored" posters. I cannot know the answer to this, but have either of them been moderated (required moderator approval of posts prior to posting)? You admit they are repeat offenders. It would make sense that a repeat offender would be moderated at times, especially as I know others have been moderated for singular offenses. Given the extreme frequency of their posts, and the often slow speed at which I know others' moderated posts have been approved, I am doubtful this has been the case. I apologize if this is an incorrect assumption; maybe they have both been on moderated status a lot. What I do know is that you publicly chastise posters for bad behavior. This thread is an example, as it contains multiple posts of you chastising IronBars. This is not a bad tactic; public shaming is highly effective. However, I have never seen Calderis of RShara publicly chastised prior to the rather vague statement above. So even if I can take your word for that you are consistently responding to concerns about their posts and treating them the same as others behind closed doors, publicly the treatment is noticeably different. It's no secret that the moderators of this forum have a consistent bias, in general not liking criticism of the book and specifically having strong opinions on certain topics, as these views have been aired very publicly. From what I have seen, it is the posters whose opinions run contrary to the collective "moderator opinion" who are the ones publicly chastised. For instance, a moderator once brought in a friend as an "attack dog" to the shipping thread (the poster stated they were there to provide snarky comments), the moderator's friend got extremely heated and was reported. The moderator team on some level must have agreed on the offensiveness of the post, as it was deleted and then reinstated with revisions. No public chastisement was given. This is not an anomaly; it's been quite clear that biased treatment is to be expected. I disagree with almost every one a IronBars opinions. (I can't think of any I agree with actually?) But, I certainly understand and sympathize with his frustration over dealing with elitist, condescending posters and a moderating staff that appears to be blatantly biased. I give IronBars a lot of credit for sticking with their opinions on this thread. I wouldn't have been able to do it. I essentially stopped posting on threads other than the shipping thread in order to avoid interacting with many of the frequent posters here, who I saw were condescending of others and who treated me the same in my limited interactions with them. I had no faith the moderators here would respond to my reports even if I made them, let alone treat my concerns fairly. This forum is of course a private enterprise. You can censor certain views all you want. You have zero obligation to act in a manner that is not arbitrary and capricious. It is disappointing as someone who truly loves the author's work (and even more disappointing that this an official fan site, and thus carries with it the implication of being endorsed by the author), but people like myself and IronBars can choose not to participate, take our offending views elsewhere. And in the end, that may be the whole point.
  32. 14 points
    I just received my Well of Ascension Dragonsteel edition so I thought I'd share my Q &A. I was trying to leave as little wiggle room as I could, but I couldn't be as specific as I wanted due to the constraints on numbers of characters. But, it's still an answer : Q: "Can Stormlight give enough extra strength that a humanoid could use a Shardbow w/out Plate? A: "Not normally" This was basically me trying to hammer down what was going on with Rock and the Shardbow. There was a good conversation a while back about Rock and the Shardbow that can be found here:The Future for Rock. Don't want to type out all my thoughts again, so I'll just paste what I was saying then: So, if Stormlight doesn't vastly improve strength then I think Rock being able to shoot it accurately, twice, can only be explained by so many things: 1. Rock is not just strong, or unnaturally strong; he is the strongest man on Roshar. I find this hard to believe. 2. Rock is aided by something or someone unknown and unseen. Now, I think it has to be #2 but what is he aided by? I don't think he's bonded an honorspren, but I wouldn't be surprised if he is(and has been since we've seen him) already bonded to an unknown spren. But I actually think it is less of a 'traditional' bond but more of a symbiotic relationship that Horneaters have with spren, a la' greatshells, Ryshadiums, and the like that grants extra strength and other abilities. Maybe it's all Horneaters, or maybe Rock's bloodline makes him extra special(I'm inclined to the latter) but I think Rock has a deeper relationship with spren, then he wants to admit. Not because he's unnaturally secretive, but because if true, it's likely one of the great secrets of Horneaters..You know? The one you don't tell anyone. Ever. I think spren-symbiosis could go a long way towards explaining the weird 'spren-things' around Rock. And Rock is certainly a man of secrets: I think the lies he has been telling them, is everything he's ever told them about spren and his abilities with them. I can't wait to my next reread so I can go through Rock's parts, looking for lies So anyways, Brandon's answer isn't exactly a definitive one since there's a ton of wiggle room in "Not Normally",..But by using the powers of confirmation-bias I'm going to claim it as a point in my favor!
  33. 14 points
    Nightblood, Others,
  34. 13 points
  35. 13 points
    I'll freely admit to loving the hell out of Kaladin. I think it's a lot easier to understand what makes him tick if you've ever suffered from depression though. Even though he hasn't been in a full depressive episode since the earliest part of Way of Kings, he's always living in fear that he'll slide into another episode of "the wretch" at any moment. The remembered pain from his previous depressive episodes and traumatic past events is so vivid that he's terrified of doing anything that could disrupt his current relative happiness. He knows it isn't very logical that someone would steal Syl if he revealed his powers, but panic and anxiety by their very nature aren't rational processes. When you get annoyed at and frustrated at Kaladin for his failures, you can be 100% certain that he is even more annoyed and frustrated at himself. One of the hardest parts of living with depression is breaking this cycle of self-hatred/guilt and ruminating on your failures.
  36. 13 points
    After lurking for a year, I’m finally taking the leap and posting my first theory to the 17th Shard! (Also posted it to the r/Cosmere subreddit, in case anyone saw it over there.) I couldn’t find anything here (or there) covering this specific topic—apologies if this has already been discussed. Kelsier remains one of my favorite Cosmere characters, and I’m positive that his incredible story arc, irreverence for authority, and status as a Sliver of Preservation will make him a key source of knowledge and insight into the inner workings of Investiture and the Cosmere. In particular, I can’t stop wondering how he pulled off his latest “feat,” seen at the end of The Bands of Mourning—namely, returning to the Physical Realm after dying and turning into a Cognitive Shadow during the events of Mistborn: Secret History. Re-reading Secret History after reading Oathbringer has given me an idea for a theory that I find increasingly plausible: I believe that Kelsier returned to the Physical Realm in a very similar fashion to the creation of The Fused: I imagine that he used Hemalurgy to “staple” his Cognitive Shadow into a living person, much like the Fused are Ancient Listener Cognitive Shadows “inserted” into the gemhearts of living Listeners. (Possibly related to the spike going through his eye and brain?) Kelsier, The Survivor of Death The two passages above highlight Kelsier’s problem as a Cognitive Shadow: he’s missing the “string” (whatever that actually means) that connects him to the Physical Realm, enabling him to have a body. From the end of The Bands of Mourning, we can see that Kelsier succeeded! He’s back in the Physical Realm, able to physically interact with his surroundings and other people, and clearly inhabiting a body that looks a lot like his previous body (note the scarred arms). We know that Kelsier couldn’t possibly be inhabiting his original body, as it was eaten by OreSeur near the end of The Final Empire. Somehow, Kelsier has obtained a new body that looks like his original body (or… more likely, he’s managed to transform a different body to look like his own). The timing of events also gives us some clues in terms of just how quickly Kelsier managed to accomplish this: he’s down on the Southern Hemisphere while the people there are literally still in process of freezing to death—he walks by recently frozen corpses and comes upon the remnants of a people waiting to die. From this we can infer that Kelsier got his body back fast enough following the Catacendre that some of the Southerners were still alive. Given how quickly Allik and the other Southerners started experiencing hypothermia in “normal” temperatures, it’s hard to imagine that Kelsier had more than a few months (if not weeks) to figure out his Physical return. The Mechanics of “Fusing” These passages reiterate the mechanics of “fusing”: a living Listener opens him/herself to the Cognitive Shadow of an Ancient Listener, who then completely takes over the body of the living Listener, forcing out the original soul, and “fusing” to the body to create a new being. This passage seems to suggest that the “fusion” process fundamentally changes the physical appearance of the Listener body beyond that of form, as form changes don’t seem to correspond with a Listener’s marbling coloration (i.e., we’ve seen Listeners of the same form have different colorations, so we can infer that coloration is not form-specific). If we assume that marbling coloration is a more fundamental physical attribute of the individual listen related to his or her Identity (much like a fingerprint), this change in coloration would be suggest that the “fusion” process is directly changing the Identity of the Listener’s SpiritWeb. Conclusions In spite of the very limited information that we have thus far, it’s difficult not to see a parallel between Kelsier’s Physical return and the creation of the Fused: both are instances of a Cognitive Shadow returning to the Physical Realm by inhabiting a body of some sort (literally stated in the case of the Fused, strongly implied in Kelsier’s case). We know that the Fused require a gemheart of some sort to facilitate the process (the existence of Thunderclasts show that the it may not even need to be a Listener body or gemheart), and the “storage” of Investiture (spren) within a gemheart certainly evokes the “storage” of a Hemalurgic charge within a spike, in many ways. (Note: I’ve used the word “return” to describe Kelsier’s inhabiting a Physical body—Kelsier’s parallels to the Returned on Nalthis, who are also Cognitive Shadows AND Splinters, certainly exist as well, but the analogue seems a bit more oblique than that of the Fused? If anyone has thoughts on how this phenomena is also similar, I’d love to hear them!) Would love to hear feedback and thoughts on this theory! I couldn’t be more excited for The Lost Metal! Really hoping that it comes with some big answers around our favorite scarred Survivor.
  37. 13 points
    Buy. I mean, why not? It makes about as much sense as anything else we've seen yet in canon. *ahem* The Adolin/Shallan/Kaladin love triangle isn't over yet. Soon, Adolin and Kaladin will admit the truth of their deep, romantic feelings for each other. The tearful confessions that result will lead to a realization that, in fact, all three of each other are woefully in love with each other, and finally the entire thing will resolve into a perfect polyamorous triad and all three of them will live happily ever after. (Also, there's a scene where Adolin and Kaladin interlace their fingers together around Shallan's safehand, but that's far too naughty to recount in detail here.)
  38. 12 points
    It probably is a matter of expectations. I never believed Jasnah was dead. Szeth and Gawx were both dead for a short enough time frame to not have any real emotional effect. Death did not become "cheap" to me, but it did ramp up the stakes. If it's that difficult to keep someone dead and the desolations were still as devastating as we've been told, then the level of destruction coming must be truly terrifying. As to Venli, I find her more interesting than I ever found Eshonai, and I liked Eshonai. With Venli we have a character who is bitter and resentful of the sister who is allowed all of the freedoms that she's desired and rejected out of duty and responsibility. Whose desire for novelty and exploration drove her down paths of knowledge that she thought would save her people but in reality doomed them. She pushes and believes she's achieved her goals, only to find that the sister that she resented yet loved is dead as a result of her actions, and the people she thought she was saving are not only being subjugated but killed in order to house the spirits of their gods. She protected Timbre because of her love of Eshonai. She turned away from everything we saw her do in WoR because in achieving everything she attempted then, she learned it cost her and her people everything she held dear. I absolutely love Venli's arc at this point, and can't wait for the next book. So yeah, subjective media.
  39. 12 points
    Brandon just responded to a question on reddit from @Oversleep. One of the best WoBs we have on Investiture and its conceptual ideas; it's essay length and helps to point us in the right direction when it comes to the nuance of the relationship between Autonomy and Patji. Read here.
  40. 12 points
  41. 12 points
    It's... tangentially stormlight. What's the last thing Scadrial needs? Mo-Ash
  42. 12 points
    Hi - I wasn’t able to follow along with this discussion over the weekend, so apologies if I’m retreading old ground, and that this post is so long. I’m going to try and organize based on topic in an (unsuccessful) endeavor to make this a little shorter. Shipping and Character Discussion Like others have said, my perception is “shipping” is a bit of a dirty word around here. I think that is part of the attitude which led to ASK becoming what it became. In my mind, when people say someone is a “shipper”, that means your emotion is overriding your analytical ability and therefore your opinions and analysis is not as valid. I liked @Kogiopsis's post on the subject in another thread, as I think it helps lay out the various positions when it comes to “shipping”: the emotional side, the theorizing on where the author is heading, and the fact that any complete character discussion of almost every character (for better or for worse, depending on your position) will include a discussion of that person’s interactions with romance. Yes to this. I’m not artistic or creative (in the slightest), but I drafted an entire post on Kadolin (my emotional ship) after encouragement from a mod actually (@Greywatch), but around that time there was a lot of pushback against the idea of discussing even the canon romances, so I didn’t want to put myself in the line of fire for posting something which was 100% based on emotions. I can clean that up and post it though (tomorrow) if people would like? Does that even belong in the regular OB board though? Along the lines of new posts (but on a totally different bent), I don’t want to poach @maxal's work, but I can also tomorrow pull our posts on Adolin’s fashion into a new thread. I thought that was interesting as well and the shut down happened right after the discussion got started. I gulp at saying this, but I also had some thoughts on Adolin and why he is so divisive (which I put in a spoiler, in ASK, if you want to see how far I buried that) from right before the shut down that I can also post… I don’t know how far we want to go with this as that goes into an area which can be more contentious. It became an important space because it was the only place some of us felt like we could discuss the things we wanted to discuss, as there was an extreme amount of negativity towards discussing romance and especially anything love triangle related anywhere else. I think as long as there are rules against people rejecting the idea that such discussions can happen (see below), having new threads on character discussions could definitely work. As I said above, I also like the idea of delineating whether a discussion is pure fun shipping, theorizing on where the author is headed with a romance or discussing a character in which romance will be part of the discussion. I personally don’t feel like I need this as long as the changes below come to fruition. As long as I feel like I can talk about the things I want to talk about openly, that works for me. Others may have a different opinion though! Moderation Generally I like all of these ideas. I’m someone who likes knowing rules. I think if I had known I could (and was even encouraged to) report posts which made me not want to contribute character/romance posts it would have changed how I interacted on the forum. It seems like some of the people who I felt were hostile did not mean to be, and if it had been addressed as the beginning, perhaps a lot of the unpleasantness could have been avoided. I agree with this. I think there is definitely a time and a place for public scolding. One of the things which I think would be nice is if there was more transparency about actions taken, but to tell you the truth, I think that cuts against limiting public scolding to more intense situations. The other forum (about a sport) which I’m involved in notes when posts are removed by a moderator or edited by a moderator. (It seems like here usually the staff asks the poster to edit, so I’m not sure if moderator editing is possible.) I’m actually not sure how a staff post in a contentious debate would be received along the lines of “This discussion got out of hand. I talked to the users involved, and it was resolved” or something like that. Not sure about this idea myself, but just a thought. Sorry if I’m getting repetitive, but I like all of this. Moderators and their Opinions Honestly, yes? I think part of the problem is the perception, especially when it came to ASK and there seemed to be a cohesive mod opinion, and if you were against the opinion, you really had to watch yourself. (As others had stated, the Shardcast didn’t help with this perception.) I think I would have interpreted actions differently if I hadn’t known the opinions of the moderators. (I’m not saying this forum needs to go this way, and I don’t think it will, but since you asked…) I like these ideas, which counter a lot of my issues with moderator opinions. I will say in the other forum I’m involved in, mods just run “mod accounts.” There are two or three of them, so you don’t know which person behind the mod is doing which actions. The mods also have their own usernames, but when they are a “mod” that’s all they are doing. Other No worries. In retrospect, I maybe would have liked to be asked, but considering I expected the post to be deleted, to be put on mod status and to be told I could only discuss the issue in PM, I was completely fine with how it was handled. I remain impressed that this discussion is even happening, so thank you for that. Not related to any of the above, but thank you, and I agree. I’m guilty of it too, and given this is only online interaction without the benefit of other social cues, language becomes much more important than it would if there was other context involved. It's sometimes very hard to ascertain someone's tone!
  43. 12 points
    I am extremely tired today so will likely not be engaging much in this thread. To be honest, I did not get much sleep because I am so bothered by this thread. I know, in my heart of hearts, I do not censor opposing opinions, and neither does the staff. It really hurts to hear that. That doesn't mean that other people aren't hurt either of course, so I guess we have to do better, but at the core, I know we are not censoring dissenting opinion or trying to get people to shut up. It's just false. You know I have opinions too. You know I hate Sixth of Dusk. I hate Zane. If you like those things, cool. This situation is exactly the same. First, writing a post acknowledging that having discussion with staff in a contentious thread can be difficult, and new policy to counteract that (short version: staff don't converse in divisive or heated topics) Another post describing how moderation actually occurs and how it is determined moderation is necessar Short version: we discuss it, get people who aren't involved in the thread to help make a judgment. It actually self corrects for bias really well. Obviously we don't get everything right but the core premise that we are too biased to judge what is respectful vs. disrespectful is not true, and this will explain how things work in practice. ‎A follow up to the ASK closure post describing the plan for character discussion that I talked about earlier, as well as a list of various possible character topics to start with. But please if you want to discuss something, just make a topic now! Make a bunch of topics! ‎Lastly, a post somewhere describing the importance of character discussion, condescension towards a class of threads will not be tolerated, and that we will have people leave specific topics if they are causing things to get heated. We want to try and solve the issues ASK presented and leave members feeling like they can discuss what they want in a relaxed environment That's a lot for me to do and this next week is busy for me, so you might need to wait a bit...If you want to make some character topics, do that right now. The thing in that last bullet point is policy effective immediately. Be specific. I am not ashamed of what has occurred and I am happy to explain the course of action in every circumstance. Serious question, what actually do you want? We're here. We're talking. Tell us what you want and what we can do better. I do agree that there are posters who don't like discussing romantic storylines, and I agree that's a problem, but if you read my posts in this thread (and in the PM reply to you) you can see we are trying to make character discussion and romantic discussion more accessible to a wider variety of people. Just as a note: having contrary opinions are not bad, but there have been times where people were disrespectful and they were dealt with. I fully expect that someone will be upset when--undoubtedly--tensions run high and we will remove people who get heated in those discussions, but there are many, many aggressively levelheaded individuals on the staff. If we think something might be out of line, we discuss it. I'd like you to tell Mestiv, jofwu, Pagerunner, Argent, eerongal, Comatose, KChan, Shivertongue, firstRainbowRose to name a few, and more that they cannot see where the line is between good discourse and someone being way more aggressive than is positive for discussion. The group, collectively, but if a mod has a bias--for example, Feather--she obviously doesn't get the final say at all. Completely false. Plenty have personally said my theories suck, and that's great. And to claim that only staff make theories is ridiculous. That is the extreme minority of theoretical posts, as you can clearly see by looking at the forum indices of anything. There is a difference between respectfully disagreeing and being disrespectful. Shardcast was not to shut people down. I know you have a serious problem with that Shardcast episode, and we will do better in finding opposing viewpoints, but to say that we want to shut down opposing views is objectively false. Shardcast is a group of people just discussing their feelings. It's not to attack. I'm sorry if you felt attacked, but if an episode doesn't connect with you, feel free to not listen. Sorry about that. Shardcast listeners are not sheeple who will just agree with everything we say. In the specific instance of the love triangle, I'm pretty sure everyone who has read Oathbringer has already formed their opinion. On Shardcast, you'll get to know a small cast pretty well over the years and it's totally fine to disagree with them. For the love triangle podcast, we asked for people who cared a lot about character analysis who we could get a time scheduled. Josh, resident Shalladin shipper, doesn't usually come onto podcasts (generally because he knows too much). I'm sorry you felt aggressed by that Shardcast. I know exactly what you are responding to--he's responding to Josh's point in PM that we pick moderators with a certain rapport. Yes. We do select moderators who will have an intense zeal for the site, who are extremely passionate about it for a long time, who, in staff chat, can take heat and also bring new perspectives, too. I'm not sure if you've ran a staff of 20+, but you do need to self-select for insanely passionate people for the organization. That's how it works. If I'm the manager of a grocery store and a customer is upset, I don't just hire that person solely because they have contrary opinions. There are kind of other prerequisites there, right? We also select people who have been long time members. There's a lot in this thread who have very young accounts in the nearly eight year span, and yeah, we wouldn't likely make them into mods. Argent has been around in the fandom for longer than this site's existence, from the Time Waster's Guide era, and we modded him just a bit before Oathbringer. Our timescale is long. Did you know in our staff chat, things get heated and we argue with each other? It's true! We tell staff that what they say is confidential and we will make decisions as a team, and yeah, we get into long, heated arguments. But you won't see us make an official action where another staff member does something else. That's teamwork. You decide on the course of action and then you implement it. Call it a cabal or whatever, but yeah, that's how any management team would work. Would you rather us just not share opinions? If we just hid in holes and you knew nothing about it? We'd still have opinions. If there were posts that some find disrespectful, we'd still evaluate them in the same way. Or, would you rather like to know what some individuals on the staff think? I'm very up front with my own biases with everyone. I don't like Sixth of Dusk. I hate Zane. I like Venli. The word "intent" when referring to a Shard must be lowercase. Sure, you might not care about those things, and some will definitely disagree with me. That's fine. This situation is not different because Feather and Grey feel very strongly on a subject. We have never removed posts for stating a contrary opinion, ever. There is not an example of that being the case. I find the notion that, "because there's no staff member that espouses my opinion, staff can never effectively judge posts," to be a very ineffective argument. Are we supposed to mod people every time there is a controversy or argument purely so members feel the staff is unbiased? I can imagine in forty controversies later, that's not an effective way to run a team. That expectation is wildly unrealistic and impractical. We do realize that the moderator badge carries a lot of weight, and we don't want people to fear moderators. We will be instructing staff to not engage in heated discussions. We will also make it clearer which is Official Moderator Action, probably with boldface, when written in a post. We do wish to improve things and improve moderator communication, and make our disciplinary action more clear. We don't have a handbook and maybe we can codify things. The fact that people feel the staff has been biased in our moderator actions means there is work to do. We can work better. We are trying. Please, anyone, tell us what specifically you want, and we'll talk about it.
  44. 12 points
    Dealing with the crisis at Hearthstone mostly turns back into Brandon subverting the idea of the Voidbringers being rampaging monsters, which was basically already subverted in WoR. Personally, seeing Kaladin meeting his family, Laral and Roshone was more satisfying than anything else. Shallan did interact more with the Ghostbloods. We didn't learn too much more about them, but Brandon's playing the long game with them. Can't blame him for not giving up the game immediately. Jasnah did get information, but she mostly kept it to herself. What she did get has already come in handy, as seen in the last part of the book. She may even have some more nuggets tucked away. Again, your problem seems to be that Brandon has not given away the game in one book. This is a ten book epic. Everything can't be revealed at once. Adolin killing Sadeas directly led into House Sadeas' defection to Odium though. As for personal consequences to Adolin, it eroded his father's view of who he thought, or rather wanted Adolin to be. Moash joined odium instead, which makes him more significant. In fact, seeing as the Diagramists are, at least for now, Odium's side, he did end up joining them, in a way. One of the problems of reading a long running series like this are that people get entirely too comfortable with what they want to happen and mix it up with what the author foreshadows, or they end up being far too invested in their theories and aren't able to fully accept what the author actually writes.
  45. 12 points
    Hello all, As we all know, until recently, the Shin had possession of nine out of ten Honorblades. They Lost Nale's when he stole it back (breaking the oath to leave them behind. Shame Nale, shame) and they lost Jezrien's when Szeth got taken out. We get an inkling as to how they find them in the first place during Dalinar's visions. When he brings Jasnah and Navani into the vision of the "final" battle, and they see Jezrien declare that it is over, the desolations have ended forever, they see the ring of nine blades, and they see a Shin scout find the blades first. It is not a huge leap to see the Shin declaring themselves the guardians of these blades and spiriting them off quietly. Especially seeing as we have direct confirmation from Szeth that they have them all, and he has trained with all of the surges. Then the Shin go on to become one of the most peaceful societies on Roshar, valuing those that add over those that take away. While they train warriors with the blades, they consider them to be the lowest rank in society. But they still train them. As a whole, they are isolationist, and rarely venture outside of their lands. I assume mostly to avoid violating the prohibition against walking on stone or interacting with the more other societies on Roshar. Except that one time they invaded. At some point in the past, the Shin invaded the rest of Roshar, for some reason. This was mentioned a few times in Oathbringer, the first instance I believe was in chapter 2. Why would they do this? Why would an isolationist culture that elevates farmers and artisans above all else decide to go to war with the rest of the world? Because the core of their society decided 4500 years ago that they, the Shin, would self appoint themselves the sole guardians and protectors of the Honorblades. Keeping them safe and out of circulation, not being used, until the Herald's ostensibly return to reclaim them. Who knows how much death and destruction they avoided by hiding them away from the world. They managed this secret for hundreds of years, peacefully. Until something changed that forced them to invade. I think that something was the Recreance. Dalinar saw in his vision of Feverstone Keep that hundreds of sets of Plate and Blade were dropped that day, far more than is currently in circulation. Enough to plunge the world into endless war over them. And most of them disappeared, so only a handful remain. Those that remain are high profile items, with detailed histories. But only recently (the last few hundred years) did scholars discover that they could add a gem to the hilt to allow a bearer to bond the blade, allowing them to summon and dismiss them at will. I think that the Shin invasion happened after the Recreance, but before bearers could bond their blades. I think the purpose of the invasion was that the Shin view themselves as the guardians of the Herald's blades and the Radiant's blades, and they invaded to take the blades and plate out of circulation. I think they are sitting on a stockpile that they will never use, to keep the rest of the world from destroying themselves. I think they stole as much as they could, and killed where they had to to get these. And then they retreated to their lands with their hidden stockpile, to wait for the return of the Heralds and Radiants, to keep the weapons safe. And they bunkered down. Complete Isolation. They don't leave, and let no one in. During Rysn's Interlude in WoK, it is mentioned that no outsider may progress beyond a certain point by either her or Vstim (I think, I will look for confirmation of that in that interlude). The rest of the world does not suspect they have them, because anyone else would have used them with pride, but the Shin view it as a shame, so they hid the blades and they disappeared from history. Then Szeth being declared Truthless takes on another light. If they are guarding that large a stockpile, thousands of weapons worth kingdoms, against the return of the Herald's and Radiants, having someone start saying they are back is a Big Deal. They don't want to flood the world with that much destructive power. They are afraid to. Far easier to outcast the single voice out of fear and keep their heads buried. They are watching for the return of Radiance, and terrified by what it would mean. The Shin have been preparing for this Desolation since the last one, but they don't want it to be true. They have been on high alert for thousands of years hoping this would never come, and are trying to find any valid reason to deny that it is hear, because it would mean they have to unleash death upon the world, when they value life. They are terrified, and they have all the shardblades. What do you think? Are the Shin a good candidate for possessing the missing blades? Was the Shin Invasions a cover for recovering the blades and plate left by the Recreance? Or am I off base? And I apologize if someone else already thought of and mentioned this elsewhere. I have not seen it posted, so I hope I'm original, but it would not surprise me if someone else got there first.
  46. 11 points
    I originally thought Timbre was maybe Eshoni's soul back when we saw the as of then unnamed Timbre in WoR, but when we saw more of Timbre in OB I abandoned that train of thought. Because of this, I found this WoB to be funny. Especially @Overlord Jebus's reaction to it.
  47. 11 points
    A calm night at home with a restless Dalinar..... "Navani, gemheart, where's my Shardplate?" "What?" "Where. Is. My. SHARDPLATE?" "I...mmmm.... put it away." "Where?" "Why do you need to know?" "I NEED it!" "Dalinar Kholin, don't you think about going out in that highstorm. I've been planning this fabrial experiment for two months!" "The world is in danger!" "My evening's in danger!" "Storms woman! We are talking about the greater unification of Roshar!" "Greater unification? I AM YOUR WIFE. We are the most unified thing you're ever gonna get!"
  48. 11 points
    Night 7: Haelbarde Straw and Hadrian Heatherlocke stared at each other from across the open hall, both surprised. It was rare for the two heirs to run into each other on accident these days. The Keep was empty of nobles, and all but the most trusted servants. Only the necessary staff were here. Straw nodded to his cousin. “Hadrian.” Hadrian nodded back. “What are you doing out and about?” Hadrian sighed. “I’m leaving the keep. Auden, Dbec, and Leets have proven that we are not safe here. I’m taking our guards with me.” Straw nodded. “Good idea. I’m glad I had the same one. I’ve had the Hazekillers assemble to escort me.” There was a pause, as the cousins considered each other. They had spent the last week worrying about who in the Keep they could trust, but with Auden’s death, and subsequent proof that he had been the one to poison Lord Rab, they could again trust each other. Hadrian moved first, and Straw moved to meet him. They grasped eacother’s hands, and shook. “Good luck Cousin.” “Hopefully we will meet again, some happier day.” Lord Hadrian Heatherlocke, surrounded by the House Guard, personally walked down the streets of Luthadel. Auden and Taswell had both died in their carriages, because they could not see their surroundings. He would not repeat their mistakes. He had a solid wall of steel and flesh around him, with a smaller, looser ring inside that. He had room to maneuver, scouts in side streets and ahead of him, and all the power of his own Iron Allomancy to keep himself safe. It would take nothing short of an army to take him down. There was a commotion at the front of the wall of troops, and one of his scouts slipped in. The man approached, then knelt several meters away. “Lord Hadrian, there are more guards ahead. An army, equal to us. They are currently attempting to barricade several streets, blocking us in. They are killing our scouts.” “Blast.” Hadrian looked up and down the streets. There was no easy way to fight in here. The alleyways and side streets provided too many opportunities for others to get ahead and around his troops. “We need to get through them before they can finish their defenses.” “A good strategy my lord.” Rumbled his Captain. “Shall we form up into a charge, or continue in our current formation?” “I’ve never lead warfare in a city Captain. I’ll let you give the orders. Keep me safe.” The Captain slammed a fist into his armor in a salute, and began to give orders. The guards compressed the perimeter around Lord Hadrian, and began to advance down the street, more Heatherlocke guards arriving from the side streets. Archers began to scale buildings around the street, jumping from roof to roof. And then the other army appeared. There was a call from the front, and an opposing wall of Steel and Flesh swung around the corner ahead. They slammed into the front rank of the Heatherlockes, and men began to scream as they died. “Lord Ruler.” The captain examined the scene. “They must have abandoned their ambush when they saw the scout escape.” “Is it safe to go around them?” “We’ve lost too many scouts sir. We don’t know where around them is. We have to hold this street, and wait for an opportunity to punch through. Once we can — Arrgh!” Hadrian jerked away from the captain, as a large man in a vest fell on him, slamming him into the ground. The man drew back one fist, and punched clean through the captain’s helmet, killing him. A Coinshot landed beside the Thug, panting. “damnation you’re heavy. I don’t want to do any more Combat drops.” Hadrian pulled the captain’s sword from his sheathe and into his hand. He jumped backward away from the pair as his guards began to turn towards the new threat. But then a spray of coins and nails shot down from above, mowing down a section of guards. Another Coinshot, with a Thug holding onto his back, fell from the sky. “We’ll deal with the guards, you two kill Hadrian.” He recognized the man. Zakhary Tormander. Hadrian pulled a shield from a nearby guard, and charged, not giving them time to reply. The first coinshot smirked and pushed against Hadrian. But Hadrian only grinned, and pulled on all the guards behind the coinshot. His sword, and all the metal on him rammed against him, but the force of his pull still gave him enough speed to get close. The Coinshot stepped back in shock as Hadrian rammed a sword through his belly. The Thug punched him in the head. Hadrian dropped the sword and shield as he sailed into the ranks of his guards, who quickly grabbed him and got him onto his feet. He gasped in pain as his vision flickered in and out of focus. The Thug charged forward, knocking aside guards like a Koloss. He tore through their ranks even as they formed more. Hadrian breathed in, trying to catch his breath and regain his mental capacities. The Thug reached him first. Straw Heatherlocke cracked his dueling cane against the Thug attacking him. The Ffnord noble dropped, out for the count. Straw stood as 1 point in a pentagon, his back to his last 4 hazekillers. Surrounding them were several dozen guards and another half dozen Allomancers. The Allomancers and the Guards didn’t seem to be working together, but they had attacked at the same time. Together, they had killed 20 of Straws expert Hazekillers. Together, Straw and his 24 Hazekillers had killed 100 guards, and a dozen allomancers. All the coinshots were dead, so now it was just melee combat. The allomancers all focused on him, and the guards focused on his Hazekillers. There would be no help coming, unless Hadrian somehow learned of his plight. So they fought. Straw deflected two Glass daggers, wielded by yet another Thug, and directed the man into one of his fellows. Seemed like the Ffnords had sent every Thug they had after him, learning from the last several attempts on his life. He grinned as he fought, deflecting blow after blow, with the best of the best at his back. There was no force in the kingdom stronger than his hazekillers. “Above!” Straw glanced up at the call from one of his men. He gasped, and nearly died from the distraction, but managed to block at the last minute. Above them, barely seeable through the thick steel bars of the Prison Cart, was a mistborn. He was floating a good 40 meters above them, Steelpushing presumably, and holding onto one of the Lord ruler’s Prison cart’s with a combination of Lurching and Pewter burning. Desperately, Staw looked for some way out, but they were surrounded, penned in. He glanced up again, only to see that the mistborn had dropped the cart. “I was so close—” the cart slammed down. ----- Staw was killed by the Ffnords! Araris was killed by the Tormanders! The Heatherlocke winner will be revealed at the end of the game. This cycle will be another night cycle, since we want the Ffnords to have some say in which one of them wins. Player list: (Jondesu) RemartFfnord (Fifth Scholar) Count Olaf Ffnord (Crimsn Wolf) Altea Meza Heron (Orlok Tsubodai) Locke Tormander
  49. 11 points
    If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss Round and 'round the soldiers went. Throw, tally, repeat. The game of craps was in full swing and the camp was bustling with activity. The snow had not let up, and the lifeless were still out there somewhere, but circled around a crackling fire indoors, it was easy enough to forget these things. As alchohol began to flow, so too did money. Jeo the Yellow was pleased to see his prediction come true. "Who'll be in on this round?" he asked. "I nominate Mac!" Vaati shouted, grabbing Mac's hand and putting it in the air. "Fine," said Mac, a half-eaten cookie dropping from his mouth and finding it's way to the table, where it was joined by a second cookie. "I bet one-an-a-half cookies. No money," he explained. The players amassed nodded in approval. Most of them, anyways. "Gambling in illicit substances??" Jaaver exclaimed, striding into the gambling ring, his face still muddy. "That is ILLEGAL! The long arm of Idrian justice shall apprehend you, crook!" Mac looked up at Jaaver quizzically, then glanced away, his eyes darting restlessly back to the cookies on the table. "Give me those!" Jaaver exclaimed. "I am hereby confiscating this as evi-" "You want them so bad, how 'bout you play me for them?" Mac said, snatching the cookies off the table. The crowd seemed to bunch behind Mac protectively, and Jaaver took one step back from them. "Fine!" He growled. "I'll play your little game, and then I'm taking these to the Marshall." He dropped his wallet on the table, generating a satisfying thud. Mac threw. "Four and a five." Jaaver threw. "Double six." "This match goes to Mac," Jeo said, presiding over the affairs. "What?!" Jaaver exclaimed, livid. "Ridiculous! I demand a rematch." Mac raised an eyebrow. "Are you raising the stakes?" Jaaver scowled, then removed his hat and coat and threw them upon the table next to the wallet. Mac quietly stacked six more cookies next to the original pile. "The new bet is accepted," said Jeo. "Would anybody else like to join?" "ROID NOMINATE SARCOLINE!" a hulking fellow bellowed, shoving a frightened looking player to the table and throwing their wallet on the table. Jeo nodded. "Very well then. That leaves us with one spare pair of dice, so I nominate Eilen." Everyone nodded, and the game continued. "Six and five," from Mac. "Three and three," from Sarcoline. "Three and two," from Eilen. "One and two," Jaaver growled. "Colors curse this game! Enough of this charade! GIVE ME THOSE!" he screamed. Mac stood in front of his cookies protectively. Hard to imagine life without his cookies. "No! Play for them or leave." "Fine!!" he roared. "I raise the stakes! I don't care by what, one of you choose." A collective muttering swept across the amassed players as they deliberated. "Life and death," a voice interjected, calmly, decisevely from the crowd. "If there's a traitor, somebody's gotta get the axe sooner or later." The game went dead silent. The players looked around, trying to discern the source of the suggestion. And yet the idea stuck in their minds. It made a horrible kind of sense. The Marshall had said he expected them to turn in the traitor, sooner than later. And the lots were such a fitting way to decide it, too. Wordlessly, the four picked up their dice, staring across the table at each other. One by one, they threw. "Double four," from Mac. "Three and four," from Sarcoline. "One and five," from Eilen. Jaaver only stood silently, staring down at his lot. Snake eyes. After a long delay, he looked up. "Well," he stated, toneless, "I am nothing if not a man of my word... Finish this." Hope the writeup came out alright. Things were a little in flux right before rollover but I hope I can be on top of things more the next cycle. Fun story. The bit about Randuir losing at dice three times in a row is rooted in fact. I had to re-roll the lynch outcome thrice in response to last-minute voting that changed the contenders, and Randuir came up every single time. Vote Tally MacThorstenson (2)- Elenion, TheMightyLopen Randuir (2)- Straw, MacThorstenson RippleGylf (2)- Ecthelion, MonsterMetroid Arinian (2)- Droughtbringer, A Joe in the Bush Straw (1)- Randuir MonsterMetroid (1)- Livinglegend TheMightyLopen (1)- Shqueeves Livinglegend (1)- Bort Elenion (1)- BrightnessRadiant Bort (1)- Devotary of Spontaneity Ecthelion (1)- Coop772 Droughtbringer (1)- RippleGylf Shqueeves (1)- Arinian Randuir has been lynched! Identity of the deceased: Also, friendly reminder that there is now an epidemic spreading throughout the camp! Failure to cast a vote from this point on will result in death by plague! That said, you all had full voter turnout on the one cycle that did not require you to vote, so you should probably be fine. Player List 1. A Joe in the Bush 2. Elenion 3. Randuir Idrian Captain 4. Livinglegend 5. Shqueeves 6. Bort 7. BrightnessRadiant 8. Straw 9. TheMightyLopen 10. MacThorstenson 11. Devotary of Spontaneity 12. Ecthelion 13. Coop772 14. MonsterMetroid 15. Droughtbringer 16. RippleGylf 17. Arinian Rollover
  50. 11 points
    I think, that Kaladin has actually come quite a long way in dealing with his depression. Sure, he still has severe depressive episodes, but in general he does seem to have a more positive perspective on his life (I remember him saying something along the lines, that he was quite happy with his new life). And even in his depressive episode after Kholinar and he gets those cynic, dark thoughts about how idiotic Adolin seems to be and what not, he chastises himself for that. He doesn't completely lose himself in his depression anymore. Maybe some of it is because of his drive to protect/be there for others, but I don't see that as a band-aid, but purpose in life. A direction. Something, that in the long-term definitely helps depressive persons, who like Kaladin started in a position only full of despair. Shallan's masks? Definitely a band-aid solution. I don't see her getting better in anyway at the moment and the downward spiral seems to be continuing. Sure, she decided to not make any more masks, but is that really a victory? I don't think so. The masks allow her to ignore her core problem. She hates herself, and tries to anchor herself to Adolin, so that she doesn't leave herself behind, but that doesn't solve the core problem. She needs to learn to love herself as a whole again. And not just parts of herself. I see it a bit differently. Yes, Adolin does the right things and Kaladin does the wrong things. From Shallan's perspective. What Adolin does confirms, what she wants to have confirmed. That Veil and Radiant are different entities from her. Kaladin... doesn't dífferentiate between Veil and Radiant. He doesn't notice changes, because he doesn't have expectations on how Shallan should behave. Of course, Adolin would recognize changes in Shallan's behavior, because she has been living wearing a mask for him since they first met. Kaladin knows more of her other aspects (Veil in particular), by how she acted in the chasms, so he doesn't pick up on her masking. That said, while Shallan might see Adolin as right and Kaladin as wrong in that aspect. I don't think, that her judgment is the best for that. I think, that Adolin is saying the right things and doing the wrong things, by keeping Veil, Radiant and Shallan as different persons and has different relationships with them, because it doesn't reflect reality. They are all Shallan, just not in her head. Kaladin is saying the wrong things and is doing the right things, by seeing Shallan as Shallan. Because that is what reflects reality. On the surface, I get you, Walkerxes. I think, that there is a lot more below it though.
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