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Found 24 results

  1. So first Szeth believes that the radiants are coming back. This somehow leads to him being exiled, deemed "Truthless" which, according to societal convention, binds him as a slave to the wielder of a rock. But then why would he be given the Honorblade for the Windrunners if he was being punished or removed from society. Either something is missing/wrong with Szeth's recollection or the Shin are extremely odd.
  2. [Originally posted on r/stormlightarchive, and figured that I'd bring it over here. The more I think about it, the more interested I am in Shinovar. I think they've got some serious secrets. A poster pointed out a WoB that confirms Rosharan humans originated on Ashyn] Another random observation that's probably been noticed, but I haven't seen on here. (That kinda spiraled into a general post about the Shin) The going theory at the moment is that Humans in the Roshar system originated on Ashyn - WoB states that there was a cataclysm there, with small pockets of civilisation living in cloud cities as a result. Hence, the idea that humans caused said cataclysm and jumped ship to Roshar (planet) with their advanced tech/powers. We know that when humans first arrived on Roshar, they were given the Shin lands in the West because it was most like their natural habitat and they could raise horses, chickens etc. I just noted that the word Shin is very similar to the back end of Ashyn. If humans were introducing themselves on another planet, they would likely introduce themselves as the 'Ashyn' people. Over millennia, that would boil down to Shin. This also ties back to the Shin culture and the amount of control they (likely) secretly hold over the cosmic Shard war raging in the background, implying that their histories passed down hold a lot more accurate knowledge that the rest of Roshar had available. The aversion to walking on stone has been noted previously as a possible link to the fact that the Dawnsingers owned the rocky portions of the continent, and might actually have developed as a belief due to the guilt surrounding the original voidbringers' actions. Another interesting point is the circumstances of Szeth's Truthless stamp. He claimed that the voidbringers were returning. If the Shin hold a better history than the rest of humanity, then Szeth's original claim might be interpreted oddly. If he was referring to the 'modern' voidbringers (the Fused), then his story plays out unchanged - he saw a crisis coming and was ignored. Now, if we look at the ancient use of the word voidbringer, then he may have been referring directly to Radiants or any forms of power. I'm having trouble putting this one together in my head, because I might have been missing some nuances in Szeth's lines. He flips out when there's a possibility of Kal being Radiant, as this would confirm his suspicion of the return of voidbringers. Without the revelations of Oathbringer, this was read as Radiants returning providing indirect proof that modern voidbringers were going to be stomping about soon. Going by the ancient definition, he may have predicted the return of ancient voidbringers with Kaladin as direct proof of their return. All of this has to go through a few layers of culture and Shin development. If the Ashyn histories were preserved to the point that knowledge of the first desolation remains, then we would have to wonder how pervasive this knowledge would be. The way that Sanderson writes religion, I would assume that the general populace is completely unaware of this information and holds to their devout beliefs as a matter of culture. In this scenario, the higher up members of Shin culture (the council who exiled Szeth) would have more context to their religion - possibly holding knowledge from before the move to Roshar, but more likely having gaps in their knowledge due to the sheer time passed since then (and repeat Desolations). I can't speculate on whether Szeth would have been privy to this information, but don't recall any great surprise when Nale drops the voidbringer revelation on him. Szeth just doesn't seem to react to much with surprise though. In terms of how Szeth gained his knowledge in the first place without leaving Shinovar - I think that comes down to his training with the Honorblades. Discounting the possibility of seeing the future (just because Odium influencing him here seems a little off to me) multiple Radiant orders have experienced visions of the present day (scrying?). Kaladin's storm riding visions showed him Ash scratching eyes. Shallan had an instance where she accidentally drew the sailors washing up on a shore, but in Oathbringer she did another drawing that seemed to confirm this ability (can't remember exactly when - maybe while she was still in Urithiru?). These seem like Order-specific perks that we don't know transfer with Honorblades. Another option is that Szeth did something unusual regarding the Honorblades and gained knowledge that way, something along the lines of wielding multiple blades at once during his training. Questions that would help guide this thinking: 1. How open is the Shin religion among its members with its information/history? Does even the lowest warrior know as much as the highest councilmember? 2. Does every Shin train with the Honorblades, just the warriors, or a select subset of warriors? 3. Have the Shin been known to use parshmen slaves? I don't recall any being mentioned in Vstim's trade in WoK, but Rysn was focused on the warriors being dressed so poorly. TL;DR - The Shin know things, man, and they're not sharing. And Ashyn=Shin over time. Edit: A quote from Szeth's interlude in WoR (I-10) - This is immediately post his first clash with Kaladin, and he is standing atop Urithiru contemplating the fact that his Truthless status might be in error: "He had fought an impossibility. A man with Stormlight, a man who knew the storm within. That meant... problems. Years ago, Szeth had been banished for raising the alarm. The false alarm, it had been said. The Voidbringers are no more, they had told him. The spirits of the stones themselves promised it. The powers of old are no more. The Knights Radiant are fallen. We are all that remains. All that remains... Truthless." Later, on contemplating his inefficiency with Stormlight: "Too imperfect a body. The Knights Radiant... they'd been said... they'd been said to be better at this... like the Voidbringers." Time to re-read Nale's discussion with him over the Battle of Thaylenar. (To be continued!) Edit 2: Nale/Nin/aboshi fills Szeth in on the Voidbringer revelation off-screen. When we return to them, they hover over the battlefield observing Amaram's forces go Thrilltastic. (Ch 116, Alone) (beginning of the Sanderson Avalanche): {Throughout this passage, there are no emotional qualifiers used to describe Szeth's speech. It reads as a purely logical discussion of lawyers deciding which code is relevant based on the parshmen being the original owners of the land.} "All along," Szeth said, "this world belonged to the parshmen. My people watched not for the return of an invading enemy, but for the masters of the house." (I read that as a surprised statement, but it is difficult to draw conclusions) {Jumping ahead, Nale asks Szeth to join him in backing the singers. Szeth's inner monologue is as follows:} "Wind rippled Szeth's clothing. All those years ago, he'd been correct. The Voidbringers had returned. Now... now he was to simple accept their rule?" Later in the fighting, Szeth continues to refer to Fused combatants as Voidbringers. I think I've pulled apart a bit of my theory a little too well. I've placed myself in the camp that Szeth was unaware of the revelations of the First Desolation prior to being informed by Nale. This still leaves the question of how much the religious leaders of Shinovar (the Shamanate) know/knew prior to the Battle of Thaylenar. Regardless, the implications of having a culture on Shinovar with very direct/lasting Ashyn influences is very interesting. I'm going to have to go through and look closely at references to the Shin so far.
  3. The Shin people of Roshar are always described as having "large eyes, like a baby." I have always taken this to mean that their eyes are unnaturally large - a quality we don't see on Earth, like Herdazian fingernails or the blue skin of Natanatan. However, I have started to think that Brandon actually might intend for Shin people to have typical, round, Caucasian eyes, while everyone else on Roshar has smaller, narrow eyes - like Asian people (I hope that's not racist somehow, it's just something I've honestly wondered while reading the book). There are two moments in OB that made me come up with this idea. First, when Dalinar encounters Odium for the first time, in Chapter 56, on page 547 in the hardcover version. And then later, when Kaladin encounters the Elantrian in Shademsar, in Chapter 97 on page 908. Now, having both Odium and an Elantrian described as "Shin" makes me immediately question that the Shin people have abnormally large eyes - because then I imagine Odium with big, baby eyes, and that really doesn't fit the image for me. I also think it's very unlikely that Rayse/Odium and this random guy from Sel have any sort of common ancestry that would account for them both looking Shin. Instead it makes me wonder if the majority of people in the cosmere have round, Caucasian eyes, except for the people on Roshar, who have smaller, East Asian eyes, so that whenever they see a non-Rosharan they immediately label them as Shin because of their eyes. This theory doesn't totally make sense, because there have been several worldhoppers - Hoid, Vivenna, Vasher - who are not mentioned as having Shin eyes. However, I think it's still definitely something to consider, and it might be a clue about the lineage of the Rosharan people and how their bloodlines changed after they expanded from Shinovar.
  4. Hello, This is an update on a theory I built in a previous post. The goal of this theory is to analyze the Shin society, based on their relation to Stone or their inherent pacifism. For those not willing to click the link I posted, I will just quote the theory into spoilers. The first part of the update is the most obvious, as we get new shiny text evidence that establishes a link between the Heralds and the Shin, which is a pretty nice confirmation that there was at least relation of worship between the Honorblades as a symbol and the Shin. Note that the Shin walking up to the Honorblades and kneeling happens after Jezrien announces that the Desolation is over. The second part is more tenuous. With Oathbringuer, we didn't get many insights into the Shin society. There was a post postuling that Stone was holy for the Shin, because it was a reliquat of the era when Parshendi forbid the Shin to walk out of the mountains. I like this a lot, as it is a phenomen that exist in our world. For exemple, the prohibition to eat pork stemed from the fact that pork spoils very fast when you can not refrigerate it. Other reasons may include the fact that unlike many other forms of livestok, pigs are omnivorous scavengers, eating virtually anything they come across, including carrion and trash. This restriction on pork carries still into our modern day, when most Muslim and Jews don't eat pork. Even in countries where the sanitory reasons are moot, the religious tabou is still strong, and the rule is still obeyed as an absolute unbreakable rule. What is the link with the Shin ? Well it is simple. Being prohibited to walk out of the mountain, they decided that the most effective and simple way to respect the agreement with the Parshendi was to create a religious interdiction to walk out of the mountains. With time, this degraded to an interdiction to walk into the mountains, and as the mountains are pretty much the only thing made of stone in Shinovar, it soon began to be seen as forbidden to walk on stone. Now, the initial reason of the prohibition has disapeared, as humanity is all over Roshar, but the tabou and religious beliefs are still present in the Shin society. As an aside, I wonder if the propention of the Shin to keep to their agreement flawlessly is what drove Honor to the humans.
  5. I looked around and I really didn't see this theory so here goes. I really believe that the reason that stone is holy for Shin was a religious way to keep the humans in their spot and not spread to take over Roshar. As on page 1043 the parshmen originally took them in willingly. I am saying they confined them to Shin by telling them not to walk on stone and it became a religious precept. I don't know why they must use soulcast metal. Maybe it was a trade embargo? Thoughts?
  6. Ok, this might take a little bit of time, but it's worth the preamble I think. Known facts: The Eile stella, written in dawn chant tells of the advent of the voidbringers, a people from a different planet whom the Gods of Roshar commanded the sentient beings who wrote the stella to take in. These voidbringers destroyed there home planet (most likely Ashyn) somehow through the use of the surges These people brought their god (Odium) with them. Humans are referred to by the stormfather as Sons of Honor (Kaladin, Dalinar, all very Alethi) There is an inworld myth told by Hoid about the origin of the Natan people's blue skin where a princess begets a child with Nomon, the blue moon associated with Honor. The yellow void spren have shin like eyes or have strange eyes. (Yellow also being the trademarked color of Odium) The void spren that Kaladin talks to, Yixli, is always walking on stone. When she wants to get up to eye-level with Kaladin she pushes herself up on a column of stone. The shin are a peaceful people that keep to there own section of Roshar, and use humility like Herdazians use bragging. The most revered citizens in Shinovar are the farmers, the least revered are those who pick up weapons (pretty interesting taboo, this). Mentioned in the same breath by Gavilar at the feast where Dalinar meets Evi for the first time are Sadees the Sunmaker, hopeful Alethi uniter of all Roshar and Shubreth-son-Mashalan, which I am pretty sure is a shin name. Now to add the suppositional meat to the known skeleton of the theory (the following is all total speculation): Suppose that when Honor and Cultivation invested Roshar, each brought their favorite form of life to this planet. Honor brought humans from Yolen, and maybe Cultivation used her investiture to create divergent forms of life (based loosely on humans) for Roshar. Honor is father to the humans and Cultivation created the Aimians, modified the human stock slightly to produce the Thaylens (might have a thing for long eyebrows) and the blue skinned Natans. The Singers were already on Roshar, they had been since the planet was created/formed by Adonalsium, but after the first influx of sapient higher forms of life, they interbred with the humans, resulting in Horneaters and Herdazians. The horneaters interbred with the original sons of honor (the alethi lets say) and you get the variety of life as it currently exists on Roshar. So, the humans and the Singers shared Roshar before the Voidbringers came, before the people of Odium who destroyed their own planet with powers they were unable to control, before the Shin came to Roshar. To accommodate the refuges from a broken planet, Cultivation carved out a special section of Roshar, and made it more like the planet that they fled, causing the Misted mountains to rise to block the force of the Highstorm, creating Shinovar. After resettling on Roshar, the Shin realized what their previous actions had done to their home planet and renounced the power of surges and instead developed a Pacifist religion, honoring mostly the shard of Cultivation, because her actions of Terra forming roshar (and creating Shinovar) saved her people. The shin, though, brought their god with them, and over time void spren began to develop as all cognitive thought on Roshar manifests as sentient beings. The voidspren realized that they could use the Gemhearts of the Singers to allow their god Odium to once again influence the world. Conflict always happens, borders are always disputed, ethnic diversity leads to ethnic clashing. War began to stir, and in this new war the Singers were granted forms of power by the now sapient voidspren. Honor saw what was at stake and splintered his power to create the honorblades for the heralds to marshal the forces of Roshar to stop the forces of Odium (at this point these would have probably been the Ancients of the Listeners and some secret Sect of Shin Odium worshipers, and maybe some secret Thaylen sect heavily into the Passions religion). Desolations come and Desolations go, the shin continue on in their pacifist non-interventionist mode (like switzerland, I wonder if there are nice places to ski in Shinovar), and the further removed they are from the initial planetary exodus, the more they begin to believe the lie that they are truly the peace loving people that tried to reforge themselves to be. What if Dai-Gonarthis, mentioned in the quote below: Is really head of the supreme council of the shin? The plural their implies a group, but Dai-Gonarthis is probably a god spren, one of the 3 god sprens perhaps, and possibly this Odium god spren can only bond to a shin. This might be the possible positive side to what otherwise seems like a HORRIBLE 5th ideal for Szeth (his crusade ideal) to cleanse the Shin of their false leaders as long as Dalinar Kholin agrees. There are a ton of unanswered questions after OB, but the shin have always struck me as, as Aragorn would say paraphrased a little, a people that look fair and feel foul. I have some ideas about how this all ties into the recreance, but want to see what you all think about this first.
  7. Just asked Brandon “Are the Shin originally from Roshar” I was given a RAFO card. A follow up was is the Stone Shamanism/soulcast metal thing related to Scadrial in any way and the answer was yes. So that throws something I saw here before where Shinovar is originally part of Roshar into a slightly saner place. Also first time posting here so if this belong in general cosmetics theories, please move it there
  8. Simple theory, but profound historical Rosharan implications. The girl who looked up tells the story of a girl who climbed a wall forbidden wall only to find on the other side that she was the monster all along. On the other side they also had Stormlight, and Storms. After she climbed her people experienced these things as well. (Ostensibly). Meanwhile, we have some interesting facts. Shinovar is behind a giant wall of mountains. The storms have no power there. There are few (or no?) Spren. There may not be any Stormlight (unconfirmed). Shinovar has a typical ‘human’, Yolish environment, whereas the rest of Roshar is profoundly alien. The Shin religion holds walking on stone to be profane, meaning religious shin can never leave their valley. The Shin also see using Stormlight as illumination to be profoundly disturbing, implying it’s too holy to use like that and that they don’t have/use Stormlight. Meanwhile, the Listeners were the native rulers of Roshar, who have since been delegated to a slave species. THEORYTIME: The stone shamans prohibition against walking on stone wasn’t originally strictly religious; it was part of a deal, a treaty. Humans settled on Roshar in the Shinovar valley, likely with shardic or other magical help (dawnsingers?), but either way some serious terraforming was done to create a ‘wall’ and to give the valley soil. A deal was made with the Listeners (possibly by the humans, possibly by the shard or dawnsingers that helped set up Shinovar) that the Humans wouldn’t cross over the wall; that it would be illegal for them to walk on the bare rock or Roshar. Thus the humans (likely refugees?) were able to settle an enclave of Roshar in peace. Generations pass, and reasons may have been forgotten (or simply prohibitions and restrictions ignored). It’s possible too that new humans came to the valley of truth or any number of things. But what happened was that someone climbed the wall, and broke the treaty. After that, or as part of that, more humans came over the wall from Shinovar and began to colonize Roshar. Were they adventurers and colonists? Were they refugees fleeing ethnic discrimination by the Shin? Were they ‘truthless’, banished from the valley? Or did they just want new lands to settle? Either way, significant populations of humans crossed the mountains and began to spread throughout Roshar, stealing the fire from the gods and opening Pandora’s box, all at once. This began the millennia long struggle between Humans and Listeners (although it may have had long stretches of peace, commingling and cooperation - see the herdazians and horneaters). Likely, it is the human/listener tensions that Odium was attracted to/fanned into the flames of war and hatred, leading to the cycle of desolations where Odium would infiltrate both sides and seed them with voidbringers. Eventually, the Listeners being more naturally susceptible to Spren bonds and having more righteous anger against the humans were suborned en masse by Odium. (Alethi and Iriali are both ethnically interesting with their hair - likely they arrived on Roshar later). Tl;dr - Stone shamanism is a memory of early humanities treaties with the Listeners, and The Girl Who Looked Up is about those treaties starting to fall apart/early human forays from the valley of Truth.
  9. Hello everyone! This is my first theory post, and I will try my best to make the progress of my arguments clear. The goal of this post will be to analyze the Shin society, its relation to stone and its inherent pacifism. First let's lay out the basics that everyone knows: The Shin are extremely pacifists. Drawing blood, fighting, and worse, killing is seen as extremely tabou and if someone commits such an act, he abandons his right as a Shin "citizen"and is seen by his prior peers as someone who is less than a Shin. Stone is sacred for them. So sacred that even walking on Stone is considered a blasphemy (the first one that Szeth tells us in his narrative). Declaring that a New Desolation is on the way is totally blasphemous. These two facts will be the key of the timeline and analysis I will propose to explain them. To start the analysis, we have to go back very far. So far, that we go back to the prologue of the Stormlight Archive. The day Kalak walks a desolated battlefield, to arrive upon 7 honorblades cast out into the rock and to Jezrien. Thus, they talk, and thus a decision is made: to fade away, letting Taln to his fate. Kalak and Jezrien abandon their honorblades alongside the other, and announce to mankind that the greatest victory has been made: the cycle of Desolation is over. And so it was said that peace everlasting had been won. Let’s abandon the Heralds Point of View now, and focus on Mankind. Their gods disappeared, announcing an eternal peace. As a testament of the truth, they let their most precious tools encased in Stone. The Heralds will never need these weapons again, and therefore discarded them as useless. The very Heralds of War, that had been protecting mankind left their weapons behind, as a testament to the futility of killing now that Voidbringers are gone. My theory is that what would become the Shin society originated from there. After all, if the gods declared warring and fighting as utterly pointless, and as a testament to that left their weapons behind, what greater calling left to Man that to follow them? And thus, killing another human became seen as one of the greatest sacrilege that can be committed in the proto-Shin society. What more sacred than a life, when even the gods turned away from killing to live in anonymity? What more sacrilege that to doubt that the gods themselves bought peace, by thrusting their weapons into stone? And thus Stone is made sacred, by holding the Covenant of Everlasting Peace. Walking on Stone in Shinovar is walking on the most sacred element, that hold the peace promised by the gods. Before continuing, and to make clearer the worship of Stone in the Shin religion, let me quote Steven Erikson (yeah I’m a fanboy like that): So the proto-Shin saw Eternal Peace as the most worthy path shown by the gods. And the symbol of that peace was kept by stone. As ages came and passed, the two became slightly separated: The ritual becomes what is sacred, and most Shin may not be able to tell you why Stone is sacred. Nalan say that Szeth’s people revere the spirits of Stone, but that Him, as a Herald (of Justice) is Szeth’s god. He is even surprised that Szeth does not recognize him. That would not be the case if Nalan only appointed himself as a patron and personal god of Szeth, but it reveals us that Szeth should have made the link by himself and recognized one of his gods, that participated in the Covenant of Eternal Peace. And there we are, at the moment we have a society which revers peace to the point of extremism (which is not a bad thing is itself, mind you), would rather die than to walk on stone, and for whom announcing a Next Desolation is betraying the Greatest Gift the Gods ever left to mankind. The Shins are a model from our modern point of view: they are one of the only society known to man to have (nearly) eradicated all violence within itself. And to think that all of this is based on a lie is something that I find very tragic. They trusted their gods who told them that they were forever safe from Voidbringuers, and thus followed their deities closely by forsaking violence. But they have been deceived, for the True Last Desolation is coming.
  10. Before reading this theory, I recommend you read this one, as my theory is strongly based off it. The gist that theory it is that there is something wrong with Roshar's afterlife, and souls are unable to go to the Beyond, and instead stay in the Cognitive Realm. Anyways, here's my idea. What we know 1) Stone is important in the Shin religion. Shin will not break it, step on it, or mar it in any way. 2) When Parshmen die, other Parshmen "wrap them in linin and carry them out into the wilderness and leave them on slabs of stone". This is one of the only sapient actions they are seen doing. 3) Talenel is the Herald of war, and his essence is stone. 4) Living things are represented by flames when alive, and become like ordinary objects when dead. What I think When a sapient being dies on Roshar, their physical aspect becomes their corpse, and their cognitive and spiritual aspects go into stone. The Shin feel that breaking stone would harm the dead people, and the Parshmen want their dead to be near stone so they can move easily to it. Talanel probably isn't leading the current fight to reclaim the Tranquline Halls or their equivalent at the moment, but if he had been in the past, stone is his element and he would probably have an easy time accessing souls who are in stone. When Shallan went into Shadesmar, she was unable to tell the difference between something that had never been alive and something dead. If stone contained the cognitive and spiritual aspects of the dead, it wouldn't be bright or anything like that. Ideas?
  11. In shinovar the shin worship the gods of stone and such (source: Nale) and that got me thinking. What effect does this have on the cognitive realm for shinovar? We do know that belief is important to the creatipn of spren and that the spren are actually shaped by it (source: the interlude with the two monks measuring the flame spren) so what does this mean for shinovar? My theory is that due to the dogmatic religious nature of the shin that the "rock gods" have become extremely powerful spren and as a result the shinovar region may be more resistant to odiums influence as a result. FIN
  12. So I was thinking it over, what if all of the people and races on Roshar were once like the Shin? At some point the highstorms came, (it's possibly a perpendicularity, which means it may have come post shattering with Honor); the highstorms changed the world enough that the other races had to adapt (maybe were helped along with this process by the shards or some other powers). The Shin and their land was protected from the storms via the mountains, and didn't have to change like the rest of Roshar.
  13. Do we know where the honor blades were left by the heralds? I was under the impression that they were on a different world, so how did the Shin recover the blades? Are they world-hoppers? Is there a perpendicularity in west that only they have access to? Is it made of stone? =)
  14. I hope this isn't some already pointed. But as far as I remember Szeth didn't never attract a Spren (regular Spren like angerspren, painspren,ecc...). I know that Shinovar is a place without Spren (indeed is hard to understand if there are no spren or simply the spren are invisible there) but is it possible that its popolation is also uncapable of attracting Spren (as Connection to her homeland) ? The problem here is the only Shin out of his country (as far as I remember) is Szeth and he has some oddity with him....Therefore is not really "standard Shin". If this is true, it's possible that many Shin choose to not leave Shinovar as defence aganist expose this strange features of their people. PS: As side, enigma....Do WorldHoppers on Roshar, attract Spren ?
  15. Are the Shin Stone Shamans the descendants/remnants/legacy of an Order of Knights Radiant that did not fall at the Recreance? Is that why they have all the Honorblades? As a slightly separate but related point: Was the only Order of Radiants that didn't feel betrayed, and so renounce their oaths, the one Order whose Heraldic Patron didn't lie to them about the desolations, i.e. Taln and the Stonewards? In which case, does this tie back to the theory that the Stone Shamans (the organisation that teaches that Stone is sacred and ward against its being walked upon) are the legacy of the Stonewards? Or is that a bit too much of a stretch? :-P
  16. A Rosharan Political Analysis: Secret Societies Ghostbloods, Diagramists, Skybreakers, Sons of Honor, Envisagers, Stone Shamans, Ardentia The following is intended to be a comprehensive guide on known secret societies on Roshar, especially ones interfering in The Stormlight Archive. Due to the complexity and excessive number of such societies, this will hopefully be a useful reference for newcomers, confused fans, and those that want to double check or reference any information. If you note any inaccuracies or things that I missed, feel free to let me know so that I can update the information to be as accurate as possible. The Ghostbloods: The Ghostbloods are the most encountered secret society with the least information given. As Mraize told Shallan at the end of Words of Radiance, we know next to nothing about the Ghostbloods or their purpose. We can, however, make some educated approximations, and codify the information we have been given. · Jasnah Kholin: She and the Ghostbloods seem to be engaged in a policy of mutual assassination; but unfortunately we don’t know the history or reasons behind this. · Sons of Honor: There seems to be a specific rivalry between the Ghostbloods and the Sons of Honor. The Ghostbloods have a keen interest in Amaram at the Shattered Plains, and Iyatil tried to assassinate him at the end of Words of Radiance (most likely, she has at least one nonlethal poison); Amaram also suspected the Ghostbloods of sending Helaran as the Shardbearer to kill him, though later evidence indicates that it was really the Skybreakers. Gavilar’s two suspects for his assassination were Thaidakar (probable leader of the Ghostbloods) and Restares (probable leader of the Sons of Honor). Both are also seeking maps and Urithiru. · Maps and Urithiru: The Ghostbloods have an uncanny interest in maps. (This is not singular to the Ghostbloods; the Sons of Honor, Parshendi, and others seem to have the same interest.) Either they (as well as the others) are putting plenty of effort into the search for Urithiru (as seems likely), or the maps have something else of interest. · Taravangian and Tukar: Mraize, in his conversation with Raspy Voice, seemed to indicate that he thinks Taravangian and the Diagram of little importance. Either he is unaware of the Diagram or its extent, or the Diagram is of less importance than we are led to believe. In the same conversation, he speaks of a “creature in Tukar” that is either not human or not of the local species. As pointed out, this is likely the "god-priest, Tezim," leading the Tukari in the conflict over Sesemalex Dar. · Worldhoppers: Secret conversations, key props, the Diagram, and Words of Brandon confirm that Mraize and Iyatil are worldhoppers. The conversation Shallan overheard in Chapter 54 of Words of Radiance seems to indicate that there may be at least one other. A person with a raspy voice. Conspiracy theory! Dreok Crushthroat! The Ghostbloods could, therefore, be a Cosmere-wide organization in either membership, expanse, or at least information. Significant Members: · Mraize: A man who, on first sight, reminds Shallan of Hoid. He is twisted an scarred, fixates on courage (in his first conversation with Shallan), and likes to use local weapons to learn of different cultures. He is the ward of Iyatil, and a worldhopper. In fact, Adrotagia wondered (in her annotations to the Diagram) if he was the “wanderer Taravangian spoke of. · Iyatil: She is considered the “babsk” of Mraize. The only other babsk we see is Vstim, and from Rysn we learn that the babsk is considered the parent of the apprentice, in charge of “rearing” them to be a full trader. I am not sure how this relationship works with the Ghostbloods. She has an orange carapace mask she refuses to remove, is a skilled actress, and is also a worldhopper. · Tyn: An expert con artist that took Shallan under her wing. She was in league with the Ghostbloods but may not have been an actual member. She was in charge of the operation to assassinate Jasnah Kholin. Shallan killed her with her Shardblade when Tyn discovered her identity and tried to kill her. · Thaidakar: This appears to be a leader or high ranking member of the Ghostbloods (he is spoken of in conjunction with the Ghostbloods in a way that implies he is the head of the organization by Amaram in The Way of Kings, and Words of Radiance reaffirms a Ghostblood position, with the term “Master Thaidakar” used by Mraize. Gavilar suspected Thaidakar for his assassination, telling him that he was “too late;” though Restares (a Son of Honor) and Sadeas were also suspects. We have no other information at the moment. Lin Davar: Father of Shallan and Helaran (along with three other siblings). He assumed the blame for the deaths of Shallan's mother and her friend in order to preserve the secret of Shallan's Radiancy and the fact that Shallan had killed them (albeit in self-defense). He grew politically ambitious, increasing House Davar's importance and preparing to make a bid for Highprince, but making enemies and alienating allies. His steward, Luesh, was his intermediary with the rest of the Ghostblood organization, which had been backing his bid for the Highprince succession and had loaned him the Soulcaster. He was killed by Shallan when he tried to kill Nan Balat during one of his rages. Luesh: Steward to Lin Davar and his intermediary with the Ghostbloods as they backed him politically. He was trained to use a Soulcaster. He (purportedly) died in his sleep after Lin's death, while Shallan was in Kharbranth. Kabsal: A Ghostblood posting as a Kharbranthian Ardent. He befriended and fell in love with Shallan, but his main purpose was to assassinate Jasnah Kholin. He died from poisoned bread during the assassination attempt after Jasnah inadvertently Soulcast the antidote. Shallan: Following Jasnah's "death," Shallan's encounter with Tyn, and her arrival at the Shattered Plains, Shallan infiltrated the Ghostblood organization under the alias Veil. She was ultimately admitted as a full Ghostblood member, but her true identity was ultimately discovered. Despite this, Mraize still offered her the membership. "Let Shallan Davar be a Radiant, conformist and noble. Let Veil come to us. And let her find truth." Interesting quote (from Mraize's conversation with Shallan at the end of Words of Radiance): "Your family [the Davar's] has a long history of involvement in these events." The Sons of Honor: The Sons of Honor are a group of Vorin extremists. Fortunately (or unfortunately), we see a lot of them through the interactions and investigations of Amaram, especially from Words of Radiance. (Ironically, the English singular – Son of Honor – is only one letter away from perfect Rosharan symmetry, a good Vorin name.) Their purpose is to return the Desolations in order to bring back the Heralds and restore the Heirocratic dominance of Old Vorinism. While obviously misguided and misinformed, and seemingly unimportant, they still manage to kick up quite the storm. Restares: We know little more of Restares than we do of Thaidakar. The apparent leader of the Sons of Honor, all we truly know is that he is Amaram’s superior, one of Gavilar’s murder suspects, and that his cronies were “close,” according to Mraize, presumably to finding Urithiru. He is usually mentioned in context with Thaidakar. He is the individual to whom Amaram sent his progress report at the end of Words of Radiance. Amaram: A devout Son of Honor, he has been seeking Heralds (namely the “person who calls himself Taln), gathering maps (presumably seeking Urithiru), and trying to get the Parshendi to transform into Voidbringers. While he has garnered much dislike in the novels and among fans for murdering Kaladin’s men and being generally dishonorable, I feel he is no worse (and absolutely no better) than many of the other misguided, semi-antagonistic members of such secret societies; while he is more misguided than most, he honestly feels he is doing what is best for Roshar, without regard to himself, but has a very destination-before-journey mindset that is common in similar individuals (Taravangian, Mraize, and even Hoid to an extent). The Diagramists: The most appreciated and generally understood secret organization, the society of the Diagram is the prime example of “Destination before Journey,” summarized by the Catechism of the Back of the Flowered Painting: Q: What cost must we bear? A: The cost is irrelevant. Mankind must survive. Our burden is that of the species, and all other considerations are but dust by comparison On the night of his death, Gavilar confided in King Taravangian of Kharbranth, telling him of his visions of the Almighty. Following this, Taravangian sought out the Nightwatcher, asking for the capacity to save humankind. The result? Daily intelligence fluctuations, inversely connected with compassion levels. Then came one “singular day of unparalleled brilliance,” “making connections no man had ever before made”: The Diagram. Information written in an alien script (devised by Taravangian that day to express information more clearly) all over Taravangian’s bedroom, with a key fortunately carved into his table; now codified (in its original form) for more practical use. Although Taravangian’s Interlude maintains that he did not truly see into the future, the Diagram has made “eerily accurate” (though not entirely infallible) predictions of the results of specific actions necessary to unite the world (under Taravangian) to resist the Desolation, as his interpretation of Gavilar’s visions required: “You must become king. Of everything.” Quotes: · Inaccuracies: The Diagram, while startlingly accurate, has been off about a few things, more so the farther into the future it goes. Taravangian hopes for another day of equivalent intelligence to revamp the Diagram, but Adrotagia’s calculations declare this to be unlikely. Therefore, the current method is to use Death Rattles, little precognitive phrases uttered by the dying, created by Moelach (according to the Diagram, one of the Unmade) and powered by the “spark of life itself.” Two problems thus arise: First, that the Diagram is gradually decreasing in accuracy; Second, that the method of updating the Diagram is controlled by an evil, powerful being most likely a Splinter of Odium. These could have interesting future ramifications. · Death Rattles: · Sleepers: These are members of the Diagramist group, likely a term for a specific type of undercover agent. “Wake every Alethi sleeper we have; send every agent in the area.” These may include Graves and his men. · Silent Gatherers: These Diagramists are headed by Joshor and are in charge of murdering the terminally ill in the Kharbranthian hospitals in order to find and record as many Death Rattles as possible to augment the Diagram. Members: · Taravangian: King of Kharbranth and now Jah Keved, Taravangian was the confidante of Gavilar Kholin on his final night. After seeking out the Nightwatcher, he received the boon of intelligence fluctuation and created the Diagram on a day of unparalleled genius (as explained above). Through his occasional brilliance, he is able to interpret the Diagram and is the leader of the society. “Besides, in dealing with the Diagram, he might not remember what he had written or why – but there were echoes sometimes.” · Adrotagia: Head of Taravangian’s scholars and his boyhood friend. Following Taravangian, she probably knows the most about the Diagram. · Mrall: Taravangian’s bodyguard, in charge of determining his capacity to serve in public on a daily basis. A peculiar figure, he claims to be able to “change emotions on a whim,” such as ceasing to take pleasure in suffering. · Graves: A self-styled Alethi patriot and a Shardbearer, he was in charge of the group trying to assassinate King Elhokar. He is now fleeing the Shattered Plains. Through the assassination attempt, he recruited Moash to their cause. · Szeth-son-son-Vallano: Truthless of Shinovar, the Assassin in White. An explanation should be unnecessary. From the middle of The Way of Kings to the end of Words of Radiance, he is under the control of Taravangian and acts on his orders. The Skybreakers: The name originally applied to an order of the Knights Radiant. Whether they remain so, are the organizational remnant of what used to be Radiants, are Radiants ("This act of great villainy went beyond the impudence which had hitherto been ascribed to the orders; as the fighting was particularly intense at the time, many attributed this act to a sense of inherent betrayal; and after they withdrew, about two thousand made assault upon them, destroying much of the membership; but this was only nine of the ten, as one said they would not abandon their arms and flee, but instead entertained great subterfuge at the expense of the other nine."), or merely share the same name and Heraldic leader remains unknown. In any case, they are a group headed by Nalan, Herald of Justice. They do seem to “put the law above all else,” though laws are twisted to suit their needs, and they certainly have a proliferation of Shardblades; however, their actions do not seem Radiant-worthy and they seem to be trying to assassinate – pseudolegally, of course – Surgebinders along the path to Radianthood, all in the name of preventing another Desolation. The best knowledge comes from the Interludes of Ym and Lift, along with Szeth’s portion of chapter 88 of Words of Radiance. I hope for a vast increase of information with the release of the next book (such as the information and references in The Way of Kings versus those in Words of Radiance.) · Nalan’elin: “Nin” to Szeth, almost certainly Darkness to Lift and the man in Ym’s story; Herald of Justice, Divine Attributes of Just and Confident. We don’t know what the years since Aharietiam have truly done to the Heralds, though they seem to be “doing worse.” This one has gained a penchant for assassinating Surgebinders and (Jezerezah only knows what else he’s been up to! I’ll leave it up to your imagination). · Szeth-son-Neturo: Once again, the Assassin in White needs little introduction. Now he has and a mission to bring justice to the leaders of the Shin, and he is learning at the feet of a dangerous Herald who may or may not be just as unstable as Szeth. · Helaran: Shallan’s oldest brother apparently “sought out the Skybreakers,” presumably where he received his Shardblade and Plate. Taravangian and Adrotagia considered him a possible tutor of Shallan in her Surgebinding. Nothing else is known, despite Shallan’s flashbacks (I am beginning to tire of saying that. I expect some good information from the third book!) The Envisagers: A cult, as Teft called them, that “believed in the Radiants, Heralds, and Old Vorinism; especially Old Vorinism.” They believed that if they could return the Voidbringers, it would bring back the Knights Radiant (comparable to the Sons of Honor in the preceding respects). They believed that if they put their members in mortal danger, they would manifest Surgebinding powers – a Snapping concept, of sorts. None did, but many (including Teft’s mother) died trying. Teft turned the Envisagers in to his citylord, who executed them all. If other groups exist, he (and we) is unaware. NOTE: This concludes the section on all known secret societies – at least, those known to be secret societies. The two following are potential candidates once more information is known; as things stand, any accusations of ulterior goals remain theorization. I hope the information is helpful, regardless. The Ardentia: The Vorin ardentia are the religious officials that remain after the Sunmaker destroyed the Heirocracy and Old Vorinism. While they lack the overwhelming political power they had previously, they are extraordinarily well placed to be a massive secret society in the Vorin nations of the East: ardents include cutting-edge scientists, scholars with access to practically all of the Eastern world’s knowledge (especially the Palanaeum), politicians (though they technically aren’t supposed to be), religious authorities and advisors, fighters, Shard-trained soldiers, and Soulcasters – in fact, they control all known Soulcasting fabrials. They seem too suspicious and well-positioned, especially with the fact that they once controlled the major Vorin nations. Stone Shamans and the Shin: I hesitated to include these, but the information, while mildly speculative and not truly a secret society, could still be of use. Stone Shamans seem to be the leaders of the Shin – certainly of their religion, which worships the spren of stone. They have the Honorblades and have kept them safe “for millennia” – likely since the Last Desolation. Szeth mentions eight of the nine, specifically (though he wasn’t terribly surprised with the fabricated news that one was stolen), and we have WOB that a Herald came back for his. Unfortunately, insofar as I know, we lack a time indicator – whether it was immediately following the Desolation, before Szeth’s expulsion, or afterwards is unknown, and the latter would mean that there is another unaccounted Honorblade. Presumably, the Stone Shamans use them, for they would have been able to retrieve the Honorblade following Szeth’s death in normal circumstances (whether they will try or succeed to regain the Honorblade from the new Knights Radiant remains to be seen) – though how this reconciles with the societal abhorrence of weapons and soldiery is unknown. Regardless, we know Szeth plans to “face enemies with Shards and with power.” Besides the ownership of the Honorblades (and potentially other Shards), however, is the potential knowledge, both generally held and that discovered by Szeth, leading to his naming as Truthless. Unfortunately, all that we know is very vague and will likely remain so until Szeth visits Shinovar or we see his flashbacks. Regardless, we can extrapolate from the few glimpses Szeth does give us, namely in Interlude 9 of The Way of Kings and phrases screamed while fighting Kaladin. Something made Szeth believe that the Radiants and Voidbringers had returned. He told others, probably the Stone Shamans, but was convinced or forced - despite what he claims his honor demanded - to become Truthless. (I am of the opinion that he was forced religiously, and he complied in the name of law and order, which Nalan claimed Szeth worshipped - “They told me I was Truthless,” emphasis added, and “There was no place for him in the Valley of Truth,” a name that seems to imply religious significance. There is also an interesting dichotomy following his acceptance of his station; while “his honor demanded” that the Voidbringers existed despite the fact that “his punishment declared that they did not,” the appearance of Kaladin as a budding Radiant made Szeth question his nature as Truthless until Taravangian’s explanation forced him to remain in his place.) Along with a possible knowledge of Radiants and Voidbringers, Szeth recognizes a Herald on sight (albeit by a different name than they are called in Vorin nations), and he knows more about Surgebinding than the Ars Arcanum from The Way of Kings and arguably that of Words of Radiance, despite Shinovar’s lack of access to Stormlight. They also had a knowledge of Urithiru. It will be very interesting to learn more of the Shin in future novels. Honorable mention: These are groups that deserve notice but lack requisite information for full consideration. Worldsingers: An order that travels across Roshar, "spreading knowledge of cultures, peoples, thoughts, and dreams; bringing peace through understanding." They claim that their charge to do so came directly from the Heralds. Related to the Worldbringers of Terris and probably founded by Hoid, Hoid is a member and was the mentor to Sigzil, graduating him during The Way of Kings. Veristitalians: A group of scholars that seeks to find the truth of what has happened in the past, such as finding natural explanations for supernatural phenomena and discovering unbiased history. Jasnah is a prominent member. Stormwardens: A group of make scholars finding loopholes in Vorin restrictions. They mathematically predict highstorms, use glyphs as a written phonetic script, etc. Several stormwardens have been involved with secret societies, but nothing indicates that the organization as a whole is. Vanrial: Am order of artists at Silent Mount in Jah Keved, responsible for preserving the full text of The Way of Kings throughout the Hierocracy. Each year they sing songs believed to be in the Dawnchant, of which Dalinar's visions seem to be giving a translation. Oldbloods: The descendants of the dynasty that once, long ago, ruled Alethkar. They mark themselves with blue tattoos on the cheek. Teleb, a Kholin highofficer and ultimately a Shardbearer, is an Oldblood. "In Yulay, there are groups of people who talk of the Radiants. And wish for their return." This quote from Sigzil may refer to the Envisagers or a separate group. I hope that this compilation is helpful. If you note any inaccuracies or know of anything I overlooked, any and all help is appreciated – I mean this to be a full, complete resource for anyone that could use it. Thank you! Edit 1: Updated the Ghostblood information, switching Iyatil for Mraize (as the assassin fit Amaram), added nonlethal poison as an option, fixed ambiguity of worldhopper status for Mraize and Iyatil, fixed "creature in Tukar," and added Lin Davar, Luesh, Kabsal, and Shallan/Veil. Edit 2: Added Worldsingers, Veristitalians, Stormwardens, Vanrial, Oldbloods, and Yulay groups.
  17. Shin typically only experience the minor effects of a spent highstorm. The storm's power is used up for the most part while it is sweeping across the continent. Consequently, there is no reason for them to build buildings with highstorms in mind. We are told that the rest of the continent slopes their roofs to block the wind, but they presumably also use strong, heavy materials (like stone) and they have a near infinite foundation of stone to build on. Shin don't use stone in their usual buildings (I believe), they have soil instead of bedrock everywhere, and we don't have evidence that they have any reason to build particularly strong structures (such as frequent storms, earthquakes, etc). So with the everstorm sweeping from the west, can we conclude that most of their buildings were destroyed? Are the Shin left in the storm without protection, and therefore dead? There is a mountain range protecting them to the east and west, but I doubt tempers the storm enough to protect them. So here is my theory: The Shin as a people are nearly wiped out. The Stone Shamanate survived. This is because they use stone in their temple/religious building, which is OK for priests to walk on it because they are holy and for people participating in holy rites. There is a small cluster of people that gathered at the temple, but for the most part the Shin are wiped out. Depending on the number of stone buildings (if there are any) more or fewer people would have survived. Edit: I am also including caves in the "stone buildings" category. So when Szeth comes home to confront the Shamanate, they will be the leaders of a very small population (fewer than 500?) that survived the everstorm. He will then have to decide if he will kill even more of his people. It's possible that in the process he will become the last survivor (that he knows of) of the Shin which will make for an even more emotionally unstable character. Yay problems!
  18. Contrary to the other theory about the Stone shaman here on these forums, I believe the people of Shinnovar descend from Stonewards. The correlation is pretty obvious, considering that the Shin people revere stone very highly. But I also believe that they may go as far as to worship Taln, the Herald of the Stonewards, almost as if he is their God (I’m using the term “God” very loosely). Because the Shin kept the remaining Honorblades after the Last Desolation, they must know that Taln was the only one of the Heralds who returned to Damnation to uphold the Oathpact, and this is why they worship him. Szeth was declared truthless because for him to claim that the voidbringers (and the next desolation) are returning, he is claiming that Taln must have failed them in Damnation, therefore speaking blasphemy toward their God. I think it may also be possible that the Stonewards still exist in Shinnovar, retaining their Surgebinding powers (and spren) even after the day of Recreance. I do not think the Knights Radiant themselves broke their Oaths, killing their spren. Instead, I think their spren were killed when the Heralds of their Order broke their own Oathpact by not returning to Damnation. This would explain why in Dalinar’s vison at Feverstone Keep, seemingly all of the Knights abandoned their blades at the same time. If it was up to the Knights to betray the Oaths on their own, it would be very unlikely for all of them to “betray” their oaths at the exact same time. If this is true, it may mean that because Taln did not abandon the Oathpact, that the spren of the Stonewards did not die. It is possible that the remaining Knights of the Stonewards then gathered the Honorblades and retreated to Shinnovar.
  19. Hi all I don't think there is enough stormlight archive fan-fic around so I might upload a few of my own. Typed this a while ago on my iphone whilst I was bored at work, thought I'd share it. I know it's VERY rough, but my writing has improved since. Hope you enjoy, or at least find it readable ------------ Interlude: Ruelle-daughter-Heshyn Ruelle-daughter-Heshyn rubbed her neck again, an attempt to soothe the tempest within her head and release the weariness that hung heavy on her shoulders. Thirty three days ago they had left the green pastures of Shinovar, but six high storms, seven cities and an insane Aimian had taken their toll on Ruelle. She had once dreamed of venturing beyond the mountains to see Desh and Azir and Alethkar but now she spent her nights reminiscing on the scent of strawberries, the feel of grass between her toes and the whistle of songbirds. Not that she could recall the sound of birdsong with the persistent clamour of bells. The air rang with the clash of metal, the stone itself rang in annoyance, her head even more so. She rubbed her neck again and turned to wait for her master. He blindly hobbled his way up the Ralinsa with the aid of a long wooden staff twice his height. Ruelle had short supply of patience, maybe that was the reason she was apprenticed with the blind old shaman, but Vallano-son-Razth took an age to do anything and was stubborn as stone. The journey to the top of Kharbranth had taken most of the day and Vallano had refused all offers of assistance, often blindly wandering in the wrong direction whilst tapping the base of the staff in an unusual rhythm. "Master" Ruelle called to the stooped old man as he almost past her. "There you are young one" the old man lent on his staff and turned his wrinkled face towards her "you shouldn't wander afar, a blind old man might worry in such a big city" his face screwed up in a smile. "Yes master" her long brown hair fell over her face as she bowed "I will be certain to remember" Vallano nodded his bald head in approval and pulled his baggy amber robe tighter to ward off the cool sea breeze. Older than stone itself that one. A stoop made his height laughable, even for Shin standards. He could look an axehound in the eyes if his own would allow. "I feel a storm approaching young one" Ruelle looked at the bells above, they rang from the sea breeze, but they always rang so she heard. She didn't enjoy the idea of hearing the clamour during a highstorm. "We are almost there master" Ruelle put a hand on his shoulder "I am blind, not stupid. I can find my way to the top of a hill quite fine young one" he shrugged off her hand and hobbled past an apothecary. "This way master" she called before he went too far down the alleyway. The wind blew more freely on the final part of the Ralinsa, whether it was due to the height of the city, the thinner crowds or the highstorm Vallano claimed to be approaching she could not say but she tied her robes tighter and her hair back to stop it blowing across her eyes. The palace loomed ahead, carved into the stone itself. Blasphemy, Ruelle thought. A set of guards stood at an archway leading in to palace grounds, another handful sat behind them on a rock, gambling for spheres. She stopped and waited for her master. “Master” she called his attention “the gate is guarded. Give me leave to stonestep into..” “There you are young one” Vallano said cutting her question short, “you shouldn’t wander afar, a blind old man might worry in such a big city” “Yes master but..” “Let us not linger, we have lingered too long already today” he hobbled off towards the gate “come along young one” Ruelle rubbed her neck and caught up the old man in a few short steps. “Kharbranth is a free city young daughter of Heshyn” continued Vallano “free of war, free of Alethi scheming, free of questions. Good evening goodmen, wrap those cloaks tighter there’s a storm coming” The guards grunted. “Not for another two days old man” said one with a mud brown mustache. Ruelle stiffly walked past them at Vallano’s side. She listened as the guards continued an argument on the accuracy of stormwardens pausing long enough to stop a thick limbed Horneater entering the palace grounds. “You see young one. Of what concern is a blind old Shin, when Kharbranth is full of more menacing figures, such as that unfortunate Horneater.” She frowned, how had he known the man was a Horneater, Ruelle had begun to doubt the old man was blind at all. She looked back the guards who were shouting and making angry gestures at the large red haired man. Something caught her attention as it slipped past the guard’s feet. A crack in the stone floor, it moved erratically dodging between the feet of people walking in the palace yard. It looked like the splintering of ice or as if the ground would split open, but the cracks vanished as it continued moving leaving a trail only an arm length long. “Master” Ruelle tapped him alarmed “the cracks. They are still following us” The old man gave her another wrinkled smile as he changed his rhythm of tapping to a faster beat and climbed the marble steps, “Good”. Vallano claimed the cracks were some sort of spren. Ruelle didn’t care what it was, but she had been trying to shake it off since Vedenar. She peeled her gaze away from the weird little spren and ran up the stone steps. The hall they entered was filled with the chatter of half a dozen languages. Servants scuttled between the visitors answering questions or leading them away down various tunnels. Vallano raised his arm and a young man with black and gold hair attended them almost immediately. “How can I be of assistance sir” he greeted with a bow. “Well you could start with closing the windows, there’s a storm coming, a bad one. My old bones can feel it shaking the ground” “Not for two days yet sir” he smirked and looked at Ruelle, she cringed away from his stare. “I’m down here boy” Vallano tapped the servants head with the end of his staff. The young man held a hand to his black and gold hair and looked at the blind man in bafflement. “I require an audience with the King” continued Vallano “I have travelled far to seek his wisdom” “Indeed” the servant replied still holding his head “King Taravangian has been in private meetings all day, he regrets that he cannot attend lesser matters this evening. Perhaps you could give me your name and purpose and I will pass the request on to his majesty. He might deem it important enough to see you immediately, perhaps” “No perhaps not. I think we will visit the Palanaeum whilst we await a day when the King is less busy” replied Vallano “perhaps” “Of course, if you would like to follow me” “No that will be quite fine thank you, I can find my own way to the Palanaeum. I am blind not stupid.” Ruelle kept close to Vallano as he hobbled away down a side tunnel, the rhythm his staff made on the polished stone floor echoed throughout the hall. The servant watched them go with a mixture a bewilderment and irritation painted across his face. “We really should have given him our names, the King may have met with you given recent events" sighed Ruelle. “I had just bashed the boy on the head with a large stick. Our names would have been torn up and forgotten if we had given them to that insolent brat” grumbled Vallano. They followed the curve of the tunnel that led them deeper into the palace and away from the last of the evening sunlight, infused spheres now lit their path, hanging from wall mounted lamps. The chatter soon died away though they occasionally crossed paths with other servants. The tunnel opened into a small chamber with four smaller tunnels snaking away. “This way” pointed Ruelle reading the neat writing above the largest and leftmost tunnel. It descended towards the Palanaeum. “Come along young one” called Vallano who had already hobbled off up a tunnel behind her. “Master” she called too late as he rounded a bend. She ran on light feet to catch up with him. “Master, this isn’t the way to the Palanaeum” “How many times must I tell people. I am…” “…blind not stupid” she sighed. “Precisely. If I were searching for a book, then I would go to the Palanaeum. But we are not searching for a book are we” “No master” they had reached a fork in the tunnel, Vallano paused to tap a new tune with his staff. “We search for a King, and I say the King is this way” he pointed with his staff to rightmost tunnel and hobbled off. Ruelle followed behind until he stopped suddenly and turned around. “I change my mind. I say the King is that way” Vallano used his staff to move Ruelle and hobbled up the other tunnel. How has he not got us killed already she thought with a sigh. “And you can stop that sighing nonsense. Anybody would think a blind old man can’t change his mind once in while” he muttered over his shoulder. They made their way through an endless labyrinth of tunnels. Turning right, then left, then right, then up steps. The tapping echoed around the stone and rang Ruelle's head just as much as the bells outside. Servants only gave them fleeting glances as they past by on errands for more important people. Just as she could no longer hold her tongue the tunnel ended with a heavy wooden door that depicted the Heralds. Jezrien sat a throne in the tempest of a highstorm. Talenel fought alone in a sea of dark voidbringers. Shallash, what was Shallash doing, the majority of her segment had been vigorously scratched out. Two guards cut off their conversation as they approached. "Think you've took a wrong turn sir" called one with a gentle smile, though he kept his hand tight on the shaft of his spear "These tunnels here are outa' bounds to visitors. The Kings quarters here" "Ah, really. This is not the Palanaeum" Vallano asked, making a show at looking around confused. Ruelle knew the act, and prepared herself to move. The guards laughed and relaxed again. "Palanaeum, no, thats back that..." The guards last words cut off as Vallano hopped forward and jabbed the staff into his gut with unnatural accuracy. He keeled over, gasping for air as the blind man spun the wooden staff at his head. Ruelle was already in motion. She darted past her master and the gasping guard as his comrade levelled a spear. She inhaled, just as Vallano had taught her and felt stormlight surge into her body from nearby lamps. She easily ducked under the guards thrust and landed a well placed kick at his throat before he could readjust his position. He slumped back against the wall and held his throat. Two punches to his head and he slid to the floor unconscious. Stormlight still raged inside her body, she felt invincible. A smile let a whisp escape her mouth. "Did you kill him" Vallano asked standing over the first guard who lay sprawled on the floor. "Unconscious" "Good. No killing. And if that is a grin i can sense, lose it, it's not a game" "Yes master" stormlight escaped from her mouth each time she spoke. Ruelle gingerly opened the door and peeked down the corridor, it was empty for the moment so she slipped inside and moved to the wall on light feet. She crept to the edge of the corridor and looked round the corner. Vallano entered the corridor tapping his staff against the marbled floor. Ruelle sighed and stood straighter, she doubted Vallano knew the meaning off stealth. "Three guards approaching to our right. Seven patrolling to the corridors on our left" he whispered almost inaudibly though Ruelle couldn't see why, the echoes of his staff on the marble probably woke the Heralds themselves. "Which way is the king" "Right one hundred paces then left. He should be in his chambers." "Do I have leave to surgebind master" "Granted. Come along, no use lingering" Ruelle followed. The corridor was decorated with statues, paintings and lamps with more ornate carvings than the lesser tunnels. She inhaled stormlight from each as she passed, leaving dun spheres in her wake. She could hear the approaching guards now. Their boots echoed on the marble near as much as Vallano's staff. "...god damnation tapping" said a deep voice. "I 'ear it to" said another. The patrol rounded the corner and stopped as they saw the two Shin. A man with dark hair and light blue eyes drew his sword in one fluid motion as his two companions fumbled with their spears in shock. "I think we've taken a wrong turn somewhere" Vallano feinted, looking around "is this not the Palanaeum" The swordsman kept his stance and a tight grip on his pommel. Ruelle could see a bead of sweat running down his brow. "Very wrong turn. It's hard to trust a Shin these days. How do we know one of you isn't the assassin in white" his two companions nodded either side of him and kept their spearheads lowered. "Am I wearing white." Vallano tugged at his robe. "Alas, I must be colourblind. After all these years of believing I was just ordinary blind" "Are you mocking me, assassin" Ruelle heard a shout from behind and turned to see a group of spearmen running down the corridor to their rear. She had heard enough, not even Vallano could talk his way out of this one. "Cap'n she's glowin'" blurted one of the guards. He fell first as a statue connected with his face from a stormlight enhanced throw. She glimpsed stormlight rushing into Vallano as he burst into action spinning between the captain and the remaining spearman. She turned to the group of guards who were rushing from behind. She forced stormlight to gather in her hands until it streamed from her fingertips. Crouching she slapped her palms against the cool marble and released a flood of stormlight. The floor rippled like water and the marble surged like an ocean wave down the corridor. The guards tripped as the wave hit their knees, some losing grip of their long spears. Ruelle was amongst them in five steps, she kicked away a spear as a man stretched for its shaft and broke his wrist with a stamp. He howled in agony but she had skipped over him to her text target, the guard had risen to his feet when her kick sent his helm flying away and he collapsed in a silent heap. One man scrambled away yelling for more guards, she let him go as two others had reclaimed their footing and spears. The stormlight still swirled through her body, she glowed with power and moved with speed and accuracy to evade the spear thrusts. She ducked as one swung a spear at her head and laid her hands on the marble floor again. Stormlight flowed into the marble and the guards shrieked as they sank knee deep into the ground. She released the flow of stormlight and let the stone revert to its usual solidity. The two men scrambled at the ground trying to prise themselves free. A hand clamped down on her shoulder in a stone like grip, she turned to find the captain gazing down at her with his piercing blue eyes a stark contrast to the blood that ran down his brow. Vallano had gone she realised in panic. He gritted his teeth as he swung his blade with all his strength. Ruelle had a heartbeat to react, she lent back instinctively as the sword blurred towards her face, her fingertip touched the marble floor and she forced all the remaining stormlight from her body. The marble once again liquified around Ruelle and the captain, they slid through floor and landed with a crash on a table in room below. Ruelle reacted first, she rolled from the table and found her feet, though the captain wasn't far behind. Her body felt sluggish now that she had extinguished the last of her stormlight and the room was dark. She put the table between herself and the swordsman whilst piecing together her next move. The man was faster and stronger than Ruelle without stormlight, of that she was certain. A door banged open to her left as a man in spectacles rushed in wielding a surgeons knife. "What...who...what's going on" he demanded, he held a large sphere above his head to illuminate the room. Thank the Almighty, thought Ruelle. She inhaled and the stormlight rushed into her body leaving the sphere dun. The surgeon watched in awe as she jumped atop the table and over the captains head. She used the jump to touch the ceiling and liquify the stone. The captain tried to turn but Ruelle kicked the sword easily from his grip, jumped again and kicked off his chest with all the stormlight strength she could muster. The last thing she saw was the captain crashing into the wooden table before she shot through the liquid stone ceiling back into the corridor above. The guards still knee deep in marble gave another shriek as she appeared from the floor. "Stormfather..." one cried, emptying his bladder across the floor. Where was her master. She took off down the corridor and around the corner. Two more spearmen lay unconscious on the floor. Vallano's work. She breathed more stormlight from the lamps she passed and flung a handful at the door to the Kings chambers creating a patch of liquified wood that glowed with stormlight. She dived through and landed with a roll. The room inside was well lit and furnished. The south wall was dominated by a window that gave views of Kharbranth as the last of days sunlight washed over the city and the sea beyond. White haired King Taravangian sat at a desk in front of the window, he looked at her with kind eyes and a tired smile. Vallano had taken a seat at the desk facing the King, he looked around when he heard Ruelle panting. "Ah, there you are young one. You shouldn't wander afar. A blind man might worry in such a big palace." he said with another wrinkled smile. She had decided the old man was indeed insane. "Forgive me master" "Well come along then. We travelled all the way to speak with the good King and your wasting time breathing." "Yes master." she said as she took position at Vallano's right shoulder. This trip had been even worse than Kasitor. "My apologies your majesty." "I will pass them on to my guards" he giggled "though I doubt they will accept, having being bested by a blind man and a young girl." "They say a mans body heals faster than his pride" agreed Vallano smiling. "But please continue your majesty." "Yes of course. As I have said, my guard has been doubled night and day and I cannot increase them anymore without cutting patrols along the port. Kharbranth makes surgeons not soldiers." continued Taravangian. "If the assassin in white comes for me, there's little I can do to stop him. As you have proved today." "I understand your majesty." said Vallano, "I apologise on behalf of Shinovar, we failed to truly understand what we released upon Roshar. You have my word I will find him." "Not too late, I hope." nodded the King. Vallano stood. "Come along, young one." Shouts were coming from the corridor now as more guards raced to the Kings chambers. Vallano beckoned her to the centre of the room. "Time for us to leave young one." held held open his hand full of green broams. Ruelle took three and inhaled the stormlight filling her body with energy. "Your majesty. We thank you for your time." said Vallano as Taravangian stood. "You must forgive me for the intrusion. I am blind after all" "Not at all, its been a honour to see a Shaman with my own eyes. Two Shaman's." the King gave another kind smile. "Where are you headed next?" "My old bones are telling me Kholinar." replied her master as he inhaled stormlight for himself. The heavy doors where flung open as spearmen piled into the room. Vallano ignored them and began to glow brighter. Ruelle closed her eyes and copied her master, as she had been taught. Her body vibrated as the stormlight raged within. "There's a storm coming your majesty." called Vallano. "Don't get caught in the winds." The stone under Ruelle's feet vibrated. From the highstorm or the surge of energy within her body she could not say. But she left Kharbranth and the clash of bells behind. Her eyes opened to darkness.
  20. I am not sure this thought was posted elsewhere, hope I'm not repeating it. Some of this could be a stretch but theories nonetheless Is it possible that Szeth-son-son-Vallano's spren is bound or imprisoned in his oathstone? And is that why Shin consider stone sacred because spren are imprisoned in it. The fact that there is no stone in Shinovar could be the reason why there are no spren and this could imply that they have no access to Shadesmar, and hence no storms (besides the fact that they have a mountain range protecting them). Is this why they had to exile Szeth as they couldn't risk him exposing Shinovar to Shadesmar... Moreover, Szeth is the Truthless, is his truth bound in stone? is his spren TruthSpren? Does Szeth become free when he finds his words or his 'oath' as a Radiant?
  21. Thanks to the new WoR excerpt, we now know that "Cultivation, the god worshipped in the West, is a female deity that is an embodiment of nature and nature spren." There is not much further west than Shinnovar, and this immediately made me think of the Shin culture and religion, particularly how they revere farmers. So here's my thought. If Cultivation worship heavily influenced Shin Shamanism, maybe we can garner some hints about Cultivation's personality and intent by reverse-engineering what we know about the Shin culture and religious beliefs. Relevant Quotes from tWoK (I'm sure there are others): It's difficult to know how much of what the Shin believe has been warped or twisted over the years, but that doesn't mean we can't speculate. Here are some possibilities that were either already floating around that are strengthened by this, or that I came up with on my own: Cultivation really, really likes rocks for some reason. Any guesses why? Stormlight is directly related to Cultivation's shard in some way. This may sound obvious, but Cultivation's intent is similar to that of a farmers. Cultivation on a farm is all about production. It involves both the preparing/breaking the old ground, planting, and encouraging the plants to grow and produce. This can often involve pruning dead growth and clearing weeds. Sinister! There's something going on there with the food. It's possible that all edible plants on Roshar exist due to Cultivation's investiture. This may help explain how Lift metabolizes Stormlight from food. Cultivation hates war and killing. This is interesting. If cultivating people requires the metaphorical dead growth to be cleared and the ground to be broken but isn't willing to do any killing herself, this may be why she has/had a solid working relationship with Odium. "hey, could you clear these weeds out?" "why, certainly, my dear..." Desolations: Cultivation might need them. Woah.
  22. Or, I'd guess the Stone Shamans have some suits, even if they don't actually use them. My search fu is not strong, so I'm not really sure if this is something that's come up before. If so, will someone please share a link? Thanks. Anyway, in some of the recent threads a few of you have mentioned Szeth not using plate because it was problematc with his lashings. This prompted me to go back and read the prologue and prelude again to see exactly what he says about it. There were a couple of things that jumped out at me. Side note: even though I've read this a couple of times, I always thought the plate interfered with Szeth's lashings, not the other way around. But back to the point. So, there are three things here that Szeth knows: He couldn't lash and wear shardplate at the same time. How to take off the shardplate easily. He knew that all he had to do was tap. He knew where to tap. That shardplate was powered by gems. Or more specifically, where some of those gems would be. That's why he removed the breasplate, to get more stormlight. While #3 (powered by gems) may be more generally known, I have a hard time believing Szeth could know #1 and #2 without having previous experience with shardplate. Perhaps he gained that knowledge as a Truthless slave working and fighting for stonewalkers, but would they have given him shardplate to experiment with. If not, how would he know his lashings interfere with the gems? We know Szeth was trained in a fighting style known as kammar. Presumably, that was in Shinovar before he became Truthless. I speculate that it was during that time that he had exposure to shardplate. Which means the Shin have at least one set of shardplate. How did they get it? If they only have one set, then there are many plausible scenarios for obtaining plate. But what if they have more? This is where my speculation gets a little wild... Maybe the stone shamans have an ability to detect invested objects that have no connection to any people. They could retrieve any blades or plate that have been lost in circumstances where nobody was there to take them up. After thousands of years, they may have a stockpile.
  23. After reading the prelude again, I noticed we were given references to rocks and things coming from rocks and formations of rocks quite a bit. Thinking on this for a quick 20 seconds provided me with this theory that, right now, is still in rambling, bullet-point format: The Heralds left their Honorblades in the stone on the battlefield. Some Shin (or the people that would become the Shin) discovered the blades, and a select few set to keeping them a secret. The method for doing this was simply to tell the people around them that stone was sacred, and not to be walked upon. Maybe this rule turns into legend, myth, religion, whatever. Szeth is "Truthless" because he violated this law, walked on the stone, and took one of the Honorblades. That, or he is Truthless for some other reason, and thus considered hopeless enough to go take an Honorblade. Maybe the Honorblades cannot be bound to a person other than a Herald, or there is some other stipulation, and the means by which they are recovered is that they poof back over to that stone when the person dies. These ideas may be basic points of a complex system I can't guess, but the point was to find a relationship between rocks, the Shin, Truthless, and the Honorblades. Thoughts?
  24. I was just reading the Szeth/Shin Conspiracy thread, and it got me thinking. The basic speculation was that Shin discovered Honorblades, and built Shone Shamanism around hiding the secret. I've been doing a second read-through of tWoK, and I like many parts of this theory. However, I'd like to propose my own. I don't think sacredness of stone has to do with Honorblades, but rather thunderclasts. Let me explain. Part 1: Mistborn spoilers*: *If you skipped this spoiler, it simply contains some evidence that Sanderson is capable of this kind of conspiracy-laden writing We also know that Shin religion has other truths preserved in its religion, after others have forgotten. Note that the Shin still know about stormlight (and by the use of the word "sacred" in this quote, I do think it stems from Shin religion, and not just Shen's knowledge of surgebinding): So, in The Stormlight Archive, we see the present-day application of Shin religion: Shin do not walk on (or interact with) stone. I would suggest that this branches from the ancient knowledge of thunderclasts, and their relation to stone. We know, from the Prologue, that thunderclasts 1) are made of stone, and 2) come from stone: I would suggest that Shin culture has preserved the danger associated with stone by labeling it "sacred". End part 1 of my conspiracy theory. Part 2: Think about the geography of Shin in the world. Think about the geography of stone. Shin religion, and its application with regard to stone, has effectively secluded the Shin people to the west in Shinovar. Likewise, they remain somewhat protected from the events of the east. Shin religion could be protecting Shin from the area of the world where Odium has influence. Where are the parshendi and parshmen (who may or may not have some direct relation to voidbringers)? Should the thunderclasts 'return', where would they arise (i.e. where is the world's mass of stone)? In fact, what has the landscape looked like in EVERY one of Dalinar's visions (the supposedly significant moments in the evolution of the world)? All of the visions have been based in rocky, highstorm-afflicted areas (i.e. not Shinovar). Everything that is associated with instability, change, and danger is located in the east, where Shin religion effectively forbids its people to 'trod'. Part 3: In the same way that I feel Shin reverence of stone is related to something significant, I think there's a reason that parshendi leave bodies untouched and lying on stone. In the event that the bodies do not die on stone, they are carried there. The parshendi affinity for stone, juxtaposed with the Shin deference, is somewhat telling. I don't have a solid enough theory to elaborate on this, but I would speculate that it has something to do with thunderclasts, pupating (as seen with chasmfiends), and the parshmen/parshedi ability to change forms. On Honorblades: Here's why I think the Honorblade theory (of Shin discovering and hiding the Honorblades) is incorrect: Through the same reasoning contained in what I said above, the physical landscape of the place where the Honorblades were left does not match that of Shinovar. I haven't seen anything that points to Shinovar being the location of anything of historical/mythological significance. That said, the fact that Shinovar isn't prevalent in any historical analysis we've seen seems significant and possibly telling. Here's a reason I could be wrong: Shinovar has been speculated by many to be the home of, or at least under the influence of, Cultivation. Based on Argent's thought, Cultivation could very well be involved in an elaborate cover-up. Why, though? I've got no idea. Tangents: Because I've dealt so heavily in this post with geography, I'd just like to bring forward the relative influences of the different Shards on different parts of the world. I think it's pretty well-accepted that the vegetation differences in Shinovar are attributable to Cultivation, while the Highstorms are attributable to Honor. From a Brandon Sanderson Q&A: The highstorms are not arbitrary. What their function is, I do not know for sure. However, as for speculation: I would guess that Cultivation has similar functions somewhere in the world. This means a "conciousness" and a "body". I reject the hypothesis that Cultivation is the Night Watcher, because nothing we've seen about Shards in other books indicates they can have an anthropomorphic form in the world (the nature of the Night Watcher does not seem to fit that of Cultivation, either). There is some power bestowed by Cultivation within the world that we have yet to see or to recognize. I would suggest that this material or energy is contained within Shinovar.