sh3nahz

shallan (maybe all lightweavers/soulcasters ) can transform a persons identity/investiture

14 posts in this topic

 

 

 

***contains some spoilers for band of mourning, the emperors soul*** 

hello all i think this topic has been talked about before in terms of the link between soulcasting and forgery. however after i read the bands of mourning another peice of the puzzle slotted into place. My theory is that shallan being completely unaware can use her soul casting and connection to cryptic spren with her drawing ability to change a persons identity. For this im using Gaz and maybe Yalb as a example.

 

Shallans Memory skill might come from her bond with the cryptic spren. They are described as being a infinite spren trying to see the truth of things (whenever i imagine pattern i always think of some ever changing fractal pattern), when i think of truth i think less of 'truth and lies' but more the mathematical, spiritual, cognatve and realistic truth of the cosmere. I think her Memory ability is  part of this glimpsing the truth of a object's/person's reality in all three realms. i think she is able to hack into an object or persons idenity and seperate it and modify it. 

 

(WOK) shallan ' when  she drew, she didn't  feel as if she worked only with charcoal and paper, in drawing a portrait her medium was the soul ...when she collected a Memory  of a person, she was snipping free a bud of their soul , and she cultivated and grew it on a page. 

 When she draws she is able to use the physical action of drawing to manifest this change. In this section she describes the charcol,page,and other tools as blood,sinew,skin. interestingly enough these terms are in the ars arcanum besides the heralds. Therefore important to all magic systems in the cosmere. As shallan is activley thinking of these in those terms it is having a reaction to her drawing in the cognative,spiritual realms as well. 

 

In Bands of Mourning we find out that a object/persons identity can be manipluated and changed when the Kandra are talking to the wax and wayne gang. Although they are talking in terms of investiture changing its not a long stretch to think of the process as working bidirectionaly, investiture could be used to change a persons identity. we see this with Hemalurgy and forgery for instance. 

 

 

(BOM) Vendell " each man or women has a spiritual aspect a piece of themselves that exists in another realm entirely. You might call it  your soul. your investiture is keyed to your soul -indeed it might be a part of your soul. Much as your blood is a part of your body"

 

In The emperors soul Shai tells us how Forgery works. Using a phsyical object (marks) and having to know the memoryand history of a object/person to change its identity.

 

 

(TES) Shai to Gaotona explaining forgery " all things exist in three realms,Physical, Cognitive, Spiritual,  The phsyical is what we feel, what is before us. The Cognitive is how an object is viewed and how it views itself. The Spiritual Realm contains an object's soul - Its essence-as well as the ways it is connected to the things and people around it ... The longer an object exists as a whole, and the longer it is seen in that state, the stronger its sense of complete identity becomes....each object sees itself as something. Connection and intent are vital"

 

I believe when Shallan uses her drawings she literally is able to trim of a part of a persons identity and modify it. whenever she draws a person she has come in contact with she draws a positive aspect reaffirming and strengthening part of the person which was always there and undeveloped.In Yalb, Talakv and Gaz and her other guards (cant remember their names now ) she was drawing braveness and confidence and in likenesses that where different from the people that they had become. I believe when she shows these pictures and drawing to the people themselves, the idenitity within the drawing that shallan had cut and augmented and transformed instantly reaches out and rebinds with the orginal person. As Shai says when forging an object in the cognitive realm is how it is viewd and how it views itself and will always try an exist as a whole. In the novels whenever these peoples glance upon their drawings of themselves they always take a while like Gaz, Jasnah ect, this isnt them admiring the artwork this is the time which their souls are being repaired and changed with shallans transformation ability.

 

when we last see Gaz in words of radiance he seems different and changed this could be due to shallans transformation seeping through his spiritual and cognative self and changing his outlook and self perspective. However i could be wrong as other theorys go and this could be a kandra in disguise. 

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That is a very interesting idea, and could explain how all of the characters that see her pictures of them act unnaturally, or at least unexpectedly - using the examples of her first two that we see, Yalb and Jasnah, Jasnah is convinced to do something she says she wouldn't do before, and Yalb is incredibly happy. I can't quite remember Gaz, although IIRC she draws him in a positive light and he actually starts acting like it, as opposed to the Gaz that Kaladin originally sees: a sergeant with no hopes for promotion, who doesn't take lightly to insults, etc.

 

EDIT: just read Kabsal's section, and although Shallan says that her hands were shaking as she drew him, he still looks at it as if he's just seen the most beautiful thing ever. 

Edited by GenericMastermindAnt
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i was thinking the other day there's another example how the ones identity in the cognitive realm can be transformed due to perspective in warbreaker. Lightsong was always thinking about the returned's apperance and how they seem close to their names, like the perspective of their own identity shaped their appearance. Vasher was able to suppress his returned apperence into a normal human form and denth must have been able to do this aswell Near the end Vasher is talking to Vivenna about her heritage in the royal bloodline being able to change her hair and she infers that it might be possible to change other things as well with practice. This could also be another example of identity and physical realm being mailable due to ones perspective of identity. It might even explain the Parsendi/ listeners ability to change to so many forms due to them being closer to the cognitive realm.

 

(although the vasher /royal bloodline thing, i wasnt entirely sure if  it wasnt already a trait from the region of nathalis that he arrived from on the boat that took him to the hallandren region, sort of how depending what area of sel you where born in you have different magic system and racial abilities. its mentioned that there are other regions and countires on nathalis and colour seems locked to that specific region so it wouldnt supprise me if there exists other magic systems in different areas of nathalis) 

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Here's a question -- does the effect wear off? In TES that metal plate is needed to keep the forgery working. Shallan draws herself a few times before she figures out how to use lightweaving for illusions (e.g. to get Vatah and the other deserters to help out, when meeting Dalinar, et. al. for the first time). Maybe it wears off faster for her because she's more aware of the "lie"?

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i think shallans ability might have different levels depending on intent and focus of her powers at the point of  transformation. the sketches are quick and rushed had she spent as long as forgers do on their investiture doing research and having alot of background knowledge then shallans ability might be longer lasting with a extra cost. shallans powers come from the cryptics and they exist in all things acording to pattern, it might be that the ability to transform identity lasts as long as it is intended to and the cost to produce it.

 

this is the thing i cant understand about forgery. its seems that it is a magic system created by the investiture granted by dominion, the metal plate or soul stamp could interperated as proof of domination over another, be it a person or artifact. Although the dominion shard is splintered the effects of the magic system should not have changed drastically. mayhaps had dominion been whole the effects might be stronger?. The surgebinder powers on the overhand are accidental, the spren wanted to recreate the powers of the heralds that honor gave them. the spren seem to be a splinter of powers between honor, cultivation and the void spren are odiums. Honor and cultivation did not intend for these powers to exist unlike the other shards such as endowment, ruin, preservation (harmony). so the lightweaver powers that shallan is able to show seems overpowered considering they were accidental. unless all the magic systems across the cosmere are accidental due to the shattering of adonalsium. this would make more sense as the powers are bleeding from the intent of the shards rather than being created specifically by the shardholders and are limited by the power of the shards intent. This might be why magic systems seem to overlap their ability ie transformation/forgery but have different strengths and weaknesses. all magic systems should have some level of access on the cognative world due to them being part of adonalsiums power. this might even explain why the shardworlds are linked to the cognative world together due to the shared power. Its probable that there are humans and planets not created by the shards or adonalsium that have no access at all to the spiritual or cognatitve world and they are cut off and mundane.

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Selish magic is essentially one large system that differs in behavior depending on the region with regards to symbols and how they are applied. They all share the same investiture source.

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Nice work. Reminds me of an old post of mine about the Essence of Blood and the Lightweavers' ability to change the hearts of men. The Order of Lightweavers does seem to have a reputation for this, as can be seen by this WoR epigraph:

 

Yet, were the orders not disheartened by so great a defeat, for the Lightweavers provided spiritual sustenance; they were enticed by those glorious creations to venture on a second assault.

 

 

As for Shallan, note that she doesn't even need to use her Memory ability to change people. She was able to convince Gaz and the other deserters to fight bandits without the need to draw them first.

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But that's because she enhanced herself instead.

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But that's because she enhanced herself instead.

 

I don't remember claiming that she didn't. I don't quite see what your point is. Care to elaborate?

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I'm starting to think that drawings made from a Memory that alter someone have a longer/stronger effect than just a drawing. If the Lightweavers were able to boost morale in a meaningful way, then it could be tied to Memories?

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I noticed on my last reading of Words of Radiance some references that led me to this same conclusion. The following points may help back up your story, although I do not have specific quotes at the ready.

Pattern flat-out tells Shallan that she can change souls at one point. He elaborates saying that soulcasting is different for her because she can "...make lies into truths" instead of just changing physical objects because of the interplay between lightweaving and soulcasting.

Early in WoR, she draws Tvlakv's driver, Bluth, and he behaves very differently after that point, although we are led to believe that he was enamored of the version of himself from the picture she drew, it is likely she just re-wrote his personality. 

Later, she mentions that all of Vathah's men had a drawing made, and each becomes fiercely loyal to her, and even Gaz runs errands and does carpentry for her, which is out of character for the weasel-y little cyclops.

More interestingly to me, though, after her first meeting with The Ghostbloods, she marvels at how she was able to escape as Veil. She says she felt like another person, which leads me to believe she may have soulcast herself into a competent thief, for a time.

An apropos theory about how the Archive may conclude.

Spoiler

Lastly, and most worryingly, Kaladin seems much more interested in Shallan after the ordeal with the Highstorm in the Chasm. I admit that it is possible that they simply bonded over a traumatic experience, or possibly the Nahel bond drove them together, but it seems odd that Shallan's actions during the fight immediately before are absent. Her thoughts, spontaneous ability to lightweave sounds, (pattern was a blade at that time, but her illusion of herself called "hey" to the beast) and actions during that fight are known only to Mr. Sanderson. Did Shallan draw an idealized version of Kaladin when she distracted the Chasmfiend? Could that version of him been more inclined to be civil to her, and included a little bit of a crush as a way to make him more amiable? She must have drawn herself then, as well. Could she have soulcast herself into someone that he would like better? I'm not really sure how this works, but as it seems that Kaladin and Adolin are likely to feud over Shallan's affection, quite possibly coming to blows, and threatening the Knights refounding, I'd like to know that the feelings are genuine, and not merely a side effect of Shallan's art.

 

Edited by Proffejor
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As a counterpoint (and not to disprove this theory), is it not possible that Shallan's artistic ability and associated empathy are enough to show people a version of themselves that is both close enough to true and yet also closer to what they wish for themselves? And the idea that someone else can see that in them causes them to subconsciously start to strive for it in a way that they may have long given up? This would be similar to the way that, in the real world, people have claimed that their lives have been changed by a piece of art that resonates with them.

True, her artistic talent and even that level of empathy may be a product of her Bond, but could the effect on the person not be entirely mundane? I think we might be at risk of running into "everything can be explained by magic!" rather than a mix of magic and genuine humanity.

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One thing that frequently seems to be overlooked in the scene with Shallan and the deserters is that they did not convert to her side uniformly. Gaz was the first, then most of the rest followed. However, Vathah and two of his underlings did not convert and in fact Vathah was hostile to Shallan for quite some time afterwards. This is despite the fact that Shallan was focused on Vathah. Vathah did follow after "his men" but to try to keep them alive rather than because he believed in Shallan. This is something more in line with what I would expect from Emotional Allomancy - ie it's more like she was pushing on an open door.

In addition, if Soulcasting a single simple object is hard why should it be easy to "Soulcast" a whole group of people - people would be inherently harder to change because they have much more Investiture. I have a vague memory of reading a WoB that said that in general it's impossible even for Shards to control people - that the examples we saw in Mistborn are special cases depending on special circumstances within the books.

It's quite possible that Shallan was in fact using the Transformation Surge but not Soulcasting. I don't remember reading that they are one and the same. It might also be somewhat related to the "squire bond". There's also hints that Shallan was unusually capable of having a positive influence on people around her even when she had no active Nahel bond.

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My theory is that what she does to her little crew she accumulated is the Lightweaver's resonance.

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