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*EDITED* See bottom of OP for Potential Problems with this theory. Grab some popcorn, this is a long one, but well worth the read. The primary thesis of this theory is that 3 primary modes of distribution of Investiture existed on Roshar prior to the shattering of Adonalsium, and that Voidlight as it is used to power the voidbinding of the Fused is a hacked magic system and is not Odium's actual manifestation of Investiture. An extension of this thesis is that the 3 pre-shattering modes of distribution of investiture (previously splinters of Adonalsium) translate to the post-shattering 3 primary god spren that the Bondsmiths are able to bond. 2 of these splinters have been absorbed into the intents of Cultivation and Honor, while the 3rd god spren is separate and is possibly still a composite of different shardic investiture, but is not of Odium. All WoBs are going to be in spoiler tags so you can read them if you want to or not. We know from a couple WoB's that after Adonalsium was shattered, all pre-existing investiture was assigned to a shard but also there wasn't a 1 to 1 correspondence, rather the investiture was proportionally assigned to different shards based on the nature of the pre-existing investiture and the intent of the shard. Also what has been previoulsy referred to as Voidlight I will be calling violet light, because I think voidlight implies a causal link that is not there. You can see by this WoB that Brandon is somewhat cagey about linking this violet light to Voidbinding: I believe these were the 3 means of distributing Investiture that existed before Adonalsium was shattered: The highstorm (distributes storm light, post-shattering was invested by Honor) The ecological system for maintaining life on a rocky soil-less system and general distribution of life based magic across Roshar (distributes crem, minerals, etc to plants, helps life-based spren become sentient and creates magic purelake fish. I believe the vehicle for distribution of this investiture is the high storm as well and is invested by Cultivation. Further I think this god spren is the gigantic spindly legged glowing form seen walking in the highstorm) The force that allows gemhearts to be created, and allows gemhearted life to bond with spren by creating an invested focal point for the other two forms of investiture (this is the shardicly unaligned force, and the conversion of stored investiture to energy (i.e. the burning away of the gemheart), presents as violet light, while the natural coalescing of this investiture results in the creation of the gemheart itself). FOUNDATIONAL FACTS (Rosharan Ecology and Investiture Pre-shattering) We know from this WoB that the Highstorms are a pre-shattering phenomena on Roshar: And further we know that the Parshendi were created pre-shattering from this WoB: And that they bonded spren pre-shattering as well from this WoB: We also know, post shattering, that the Parshendi can only change forms during a Highstorm (prior to the Everstorm), this implies that Stormlight investiture is necessary for the transformation and further that Stormlight investiture was distributed by the Highstorm pre-shattering. From these data points we know the following: Highstorms and the means of distributing stormlight existed pre-shattering Investiture was used to faciliate life on Roshar pre-shattering Gemhearts and mechanisms to affect life (physical transformation) existed pre-shattering. SUPPORTING DETAILS The three moons are highly symbolic, and we know that Adonalsium created the Rosharan system before the arrival of Honor, Cultivation and Odium, so it seems somewhat safe to assume that the Rosharan moons existed pre-shattering as well. Salas the violet moon which rises first in the night time sky (possibly representing the force of investiture that allows the growth of the gemheart vessel that can house the renewable form of investiture, i.e. stormlight) Nomon the blue moon which rises second and is, according to the Natan origin myth story, the most powerful of the moons (makes sense because it is possibly the most active vehicle for distribution of investiture in the form of Stormlight) Mishim the green moon that according to the same myth is the cleverest of the moons. The color associated with Honor and the direct investiture of the Highstorm is blue (Honorspren are blue, stormlight breathed out or leaking out of skin manifests as blue light as well). The color associated with Cultivation is Green (the color of lifespren, the color of the Nightwatcher) The color associated with Odium is yellow-white (the color of voidspren, the color of the metal of the Dagger Moash uses to kill Jezrien) I think, meaningfully, the color violet does appear but not with any specific association to any of the 3 shards. It's the color of greatshell blood and also is the color of the carapace of Chasmfiends. Also, I think that the one real clue that we've gotten about voidbinding, namely the Voidbinding chart in the endpapers of TWoK shows two different colors of connection between each order of Voidbinder and the surges that they access, yellow and violet, and I think this explains a lot. Here's the chart: Note the yellow lines in the chart connect the orders of Voidbinders together, but don't connect to the surges themselves, those are all violet connections. Also note how the two god's eyes orders of Voidbinders don't have any direct violet connections, they instead show violet energy radiating out from the gem that they are contained in. I think that this is the strongest proof that Voidbinding uses a separate investiture to access the surges, and that further, as we see voidbinding working with the Fused, they are converting the gemhearts of their Singer host's from stored material investiture into energy to access a particular surge. The energy comes from the conversion of the gemheart, the focus comes from the voidbinding. Also, interesting to note, the two god's eye surges suggest that their could be two Orders of Voidbinders that are able to convert and distribute violet light investiture to other Voidbinders. We know from a WoB that Renarin uses Stormlight to fuel voidbinding (specifically seeing into the future), so voidbinding isn't only fueled by violet light investiture: I think that if Renarin's eyes glowed red when he was seeing the future that it would have been mentioned in the scene where Jasnah almost kills him. The fact that his eyes don't glow red, shows that this use of Voidbinding is not a hacked implementaton (unlike for the Fused whose eyes glow red, or the storm form Parshendi who's eyes also glow red). This implies that the conversion of the stored (violet godspren) based investiture in the gemhearts of Singers is a hacked system and therefore the violet light based investiture IS NOT of Odium. If this is true, this would also explain why the Fused use violet light investiture so cavalierly, if they can convert the gemheart of their host into violet light investiture, they could use this perpetually until the gemheart was consumed. This would kill their current host, but they would just fuse a different host when the next Everstorm passes. I don't think that the Everstorm functions as distribution system for violet light investiture, I think rather it is a conduit from the Cognitive realm on Braize to Roshar to allow the Singers to bond either Voidspren or the Cognitive Shadows of ancient Singers. SPECULATIVE THEORIES BASED ON THE ABOVE: I speculated in the [OB] Third Bondsmith and Urithiru thread that Ba-Ado-Mishram might be the third godspren, and might be the Sibling that the Stormfather talks about in OB: The formulation is a little looser than this post, but I think the theory is actually quite sound. Especially looking at the Voidbinding chart, where one of the god's eyes order might be instrumental in controlling BAM to distribute non-destructive violet light to the armies of Odium. The other god's eye order of Voidbinder is likely Odium's Champion (with such a strong connection to Odium, it would be highly probable that this particular Voidbinder could channel and direct Odium's actual investiture and possibly convert gemhearts in the followers of Odium to violet investiture. It might have been one of the responsibilites of the 3rd bondsmith, keeping BAM from going over to the side of Odium and being bonded by a Voidbinder. Melishi might have made the determination after BAM was Unmade that it was safer to seal the Sibling away in a perfect gem prison than to try and fix BAM so that BAM could again be used to power Urithiru. I think we haven't really seen what Odium's investiture is capable of. I think we have seen it being used inefficiently to hack a separate magic system (that predates the shattering of Adonalsium) and that we really won't know what true voidbinding is until the Army that emerges from the Origin with light in pockets (mentioned in the Puuli interlude) arrives. @Wit Beyond Measure, @Varion, @MonsterMetroid put some really good work in building up evidence that Thuderclasts are formed by mindless fused bonding gemhearts embedded in stone in the [OB] Secrets to Parshendi Forms, Thunderclasts, & Urithiru thread. If the theory that violet light investiture is created by conversion of gemhearts to energy, then I think that this is one more point in favor of the Thunderclast theory. I also think that the gemstone that Eshonai got from Gavilar contained the unmade Sja-anat. We know from revelations at the end of WoR that Venli and her fellow scholar form listeners had all tried out stormform before Eshonai did, and the red color of the spren implies corrupted investiture. My guess is that Venli got the sphere from Eshonai and released Sja-anat, and Sja-anat created voidspren by corrupting windspren that allowed the Parshendi to assume stormform. There were a lot of Listeners that assumed storm form, and we know that windspren are plentiful, and before I was always wondering how they found so many of these stormform spren around the shattered plains and why they hadn't bonded them before. But thinking along the lines of this theory it's obvious, the corrupted windspren allowed the listeners to create the Everstorm, which acts like a functional bridge between Braize and Roshar. The reason no listener used violet light investiture before the Fused arrived is because it consumes the gemheart of the host. A cognitive shadow joined to a host wouldn't die as their gemhearts were slowly consumed, but a non-fused Parshendi probably wouldn't last long converting their heart into investiture. Another point in favor of this theory is that Renarin bonded a corrupted truthwatcher spren at the shattered plains, which wouldn't have been possible if Sja-anat wasn't also at the shattered plains. **************************************************************************** POTENTIAL PROBLEMS WITH THIS THEORY **************************************************************************** Thanks to @Darvys, @RShara, @Wit Beyond Measure and especially @StrikerEZ I know that some of the foundational principles of this theory have proven to be just plain wrong. This is the place that I will use to highlight all of the erroneous assumptions, and highlight compelling counter arguments to the main premises of the theory. As @StrikerEZ and @Darvys pointed out, reading too much into the significance of color is problematic, and it leads to oversimplifications that confuse the issue. The theory really hinges on the fact that the color associated with the shards is a compelling causal link, but Stormlight is NOT blue, it is in fact white. We haven't really seen enough of Cultivation to associate anything with her Investiture (other than an ability to manipulate the spirit web/minds of people who specifically sought her out) and Voidspren are not just yellow-gold, Ulim who helps Venli find Eshonai's corpse in the Part 1 interlude is a Red spren. Also there's a WoB that implies pretty strongly that no Spren is completely derivative of a single shard, but is more a proportional mixture of different Shardic investiture, so inferences based on the coloration of spren are most likely more complicated than stated in the OP, and don't prove a causal connection: As @StrikerEZ pointed out, Voidlight looks to be the proper term to use to refer to violet investiture. There is a reference in the Gem Archive that states that Ba-Ado-Mishram was able to provide Voidlight to Odium's followers: Gemhearts are most likely not consumed in order to provide voidlight, but there is a WoB that they are physically manifest Investiture: It's more likely that gemhearts are created from Investiture "leaking" from all the Invested shards on Roshar (given the fact that gems of all different types exist on Roshar and that they are keyed to different fabrials and correspond to the 10 essences in relation to soulcasting). This doesn't preclude the fact that there could be another loose source of Investiture on the Rosharan system, but it makes it less likely that gemhearts are solely composed a single type of Investiture. I still think the Voidbinding chart is information rich and worth scrutinizing. It still feels like there is something hiding in plain sight, something revelatory and amazing. If anyone has anything else to add to this Mia Culpa disclaimer, please let me know. Wild speculation is fun, but good information is better.
This is a far from common presentation of the flame that accompanies the Pharaoh's Serpent chemical reaction (ignited Mercury(II) thiocyanate), but this is a pretty amazing possible visualization of Voidlight (starting at about 20 seconds into the video, and especially at 56 seconds in): Anyone else have any videos that shows a real world analog for the wickedly creepy dark violet light that is Voidlight?
Confused posted a topic in Oathbringer Spoiler BoardI think the Everstorm brings Voidlight to Roshar. Just as Stormlight enables bonds and “makes things grow,” Voidlight IMO breaks bonds. Voidlight frees the Parshmen, but only Stormlight enables them to bond again. IIRC, @Calderis theorizes Melishi stripped out part of the Parshmen Spiritwebs, putting them into slaveform. He suggests the Everstorm causes the stripped-out part to regrow. I think the opposite is true, that Bondsmiths can make bonds but not break them. I think Melishi bonded Parshmen with a blank pseudo-spren to turn them into slaves. The Everstorm’s Voidlight breaks the bond with the pseudo-spren, rather than regrowing Parshmen Spiritwebs. I think Parshmen exposed to the Everstorm return to their natural sapient state. Parshmen still need Stormlight to bond with spren. Kaladin’s companions may not yet have been exposed to Stormlight and may be unbonded. I think Voidbringing changes the Spiritual DNA of the spren Parshmen (and other lifeforms/objects) bond with. We’ll see how Kaladin’s companions act when exposed to Stormlight. Some of them may bond corrupted spren; some of them may not bond at all; and some may bond uncorrupted spren. The yellow spren IMO is a Voidbinding spren, Odium’s version of a Radiantspren. Such spren are not necessarily evil, since the Shards themselves are not evil. Some Voidbinding spren may be cruel, just as some Radiantspren are. The difference between spren is magical – how they perform magic – not moral. This yellow spren does not appear evil (so far). I believe Voidbinders use the same Surges as Surgebinders, but Voidbinders access the Surges by breaking the internal bonds that make them who they are. I think the Unmade are “unmade” because using Odium’s magic over time reduces Voidbinders and their Spiritwebs. Voidbinders IMO catalyze their magic by consuming Voidlight to break their bonds. Hate gives you power, but you pay a price. Becoming “unmade” – having hate consume you – is Odium’s price for his power. The yellow spren sees Kaladin as a Voidbinding candidate. I suspect it notices Kaladin’s “protecting” character. The yellow spren itself first warned of Kaladin’s presence, a form of protection, and seems to be marshalling the Parshmen towards their rendezvous. I think the yellow spren is Odium’s version of honorspren – “protecting spren” - even if it does turn out to be a Shinovar stone spren. That may explain Syl’s ambivalence towards it. Just some thoughts before tomorrow’s chapters blow them apart…
Let's talk about spheres. (This post assumes you've read chapters 4 and 5 of the Oathbringer preview.) From the chasm scene in WoR, we know that spheres recharge during highstorms, specifically at the moment when the Stormfather appears with his odd timelessness. But we just saw the Stormfather appear like that at the wedding, and he doesn't bring stormlight so it isn't him causing the recharge. The evidence points to sphere infusion being a specific effect of Honor's perpendicularity, which we have good reason to think travels with the highstorm. In addition, we have confirmation now that the Everstorm doesn't charge spheres with either stormlight or voidlight. We can assume then that the Everstorm does not carry a perpendicularity with it. So now I have three questions: If you took a sphere to/through Cultivation's perpendicularity in the Horneater peaks, would it infuse? If so, would it contain regular stormlight or a different flavor of investiture? i.e. Does Cultivation's investiture manifest as stormlight? How confident are we that Gavilar's sphere contained investiture from Odium? The first Szeth interlude in WoK features a (very unreliable) tavern tale in which a similar sphere is stolen from the Nightwatcher. For the record, I still think it's 98% likely to be from Odium, but I want to float alternatives for discussion. Where did Gavilar's "voidlight" come from? Until shown evidence otherwise, I'm going to believe that Rayse doesn't have a perpendicularity on Roshar. But then we need an avenue to get his investiture into a sphere. Let's pull some hints together, getting us to my current theory: We've seen surgebinders infuse things (including gems) with the stormlight they held inside them. We've seen Lift get stormlight from a route other than inhaling. We also know from WoB that Honor powered the Heralds directly, without them needing to inhale stormlight. We've seen magically enhanced strength and speed from people feeling the Thrill (i.e. influenced by an Unmade), which mirrors some of the passive effects of holding stormlight. I propose that someone feeling the Thrill (or accessing another of the Unmade's powers) could learn to take that Odious investiture and infuse it into something else, and that is how Gavilar did it.