“I’m dying, aren’t I? Healer, why do you take my blood? Who is that beside you, with his head of lines? I can see a distant sun, dark and cold, shining in a black sky.”
Collected on the 3rd of Jesnan, 1172, 11 seconds pre-death. Subject was a Reshi chull trainer. Sample is of particular note.
The epigraph is correct when it states that this sample is of particular note. It is a clear link to the truthspren and also actively corrects the theory that they are the bridge to Shadesmar. Surely if a dying chull-trainer can perceive the symbolspren, then any and all who wish to gain access may be appropriately allowed. Perhaps what allowed him to see them was that he was indeed prone to 'honesty' as opposed to having the potential to give a great 'truth'.
This lead me to form this theory, and thanks to thoughts by Telcontar, so additional credit to him for this idea. Please help to correct me!
Ok, so my perception of the symbolspren's Intent is as follows. Symbolspren are known to have been near people, according by one of three (mutual) things.
- The potential to hold great knowledge/ perform great feats
- The grasp of a tantamount secret
- Having followed the path of honesty
This make me refer to the truthspren (symbolspren, a less common name)as almost scavengers of knowledge. They can perceive if one is in the line of business as to receive a secret, holds a secret and lies about it, or is prone to being honest with all information they handle.
However, this is not what I feel symbolspren are attracted by. Telcontar said that the truthspren was attracted to the dying chull trainer in the epigraph. It is my belief that it is because he is dying that he was able to see the symbolspren, similarly to how they can perceive the samples that Taravangian takes from them, not because they revealed themselves to him, but because dying people momentarily have access to all three planes.
This makes sense, because the chull trainer (the mundane job inferring that there is nothing special about him) was all at once able to see through the Physical, as everyone else can, in order to perceive the 'healer' that he mentions. He earns a glance at the Spiritual, in order to witness the symbolspren that was attracted to the 'healer'. And yet he gives a clear link to the Cognitive (Shadesmar) when he talks about a 'sun in a black sky', as we know Shadesmar to also have.
This is my theory about the dying over: they see all three planes for a short time. Now onto the reason symbolspren are attracted.
I believe it is through either being greatly Learned (primary attribute of Palah) or greatly Creative (primary attribute of Shash). This forms the initial bond, or interest. Now, Shallan does not appear to be 'bonded' to the spren, but, correct me if I'm wrong, she is because the one spren follows her around ever since the 'incident' with the vase and the blood. It is the only one she sees whenever she Sketches from that point onwards. Clearly, the moment the sympolspren because first attracted to her was during her work on the portrait of Taravangian, in which she describes intense bursts of creativity, saying it is her greater piece.
And we see that Jasnah is sought out by the symbolspren by her Learned attribute. This alludes to Telcontar mentioning she learned Soulcasting out of a book, but either way, nobody can dispute that she is rightly Learned.
Now I believe that the Nahel bond is strengthen by the secondary attribute, while the Nahel bond is activated by the primary. This is clear when we see Syl being attracted to Kaladin while he first protects Tien, and then his Squad in the Alethi Army, followed by Bridge Four. This maintains the bond. However, it is when he leads Bridge Four, when he is at the head of the bridge, or leading the charge, that he can give oaths/ strengthen his Nahel bond.
However for Jasnah or Shallan, Transformation (and thus Shadesmar access) only becomes available when Jasnah Gives, or when Shallan tells the Truth. Now, in this instance, it reinforces the links between Order 5 and Order 6 as the Soulcasting Orders, because the act of Giving a Truth and Truly Giving seem synonymous with each other, and so Jasnah recognises the process Shallan uses to enter Shadesmar. However, Jasnah's may vary, as in she may be able to give items of note, were Shallan can give only truth.
This is my theory. It sort of covers why all spren Feel free to comment, and please do respond and criticize.
EDIT: Instead of the secondary attribute being necessary to activate the Surge, it now instead strengthens the Nahel Bond.
Edited by Odium's_Shard, 09 March 2012 - 03:09 PM.