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au spoilers
The Great Domains [AU spoiler]

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From Khriss' essay about the Selish System:

Quote

Central to this system is the planet of Sel—home to multiple empires that, uniquely, have remained somewhat ignorant of one another. It is a willful kind of ignorance, with each of the three great domains pretending that the others are mere blips on the map, barely worth notice.

The planet itself facilitates this, as it is larger than most, with its size at around 1.5 cosmere standard, and gravity at 1.2 cosmere standard. Vast continents and sweeping oceans create a diverse landscape, with an extreme amount of variation on this one planet.

I concluded from this that there must be at least three empires on Sel, which correspond to the "three great domains". Let me explain why.

The Three Great Domains

The only nations we know that isn't part of an empire are Arelon and Teod. Even when combined, those two are hardly big enough to be called a "great domain" on par with its neighboring empires. Also, neither the Arelene nor the Teo pretend that Fjorden is a "mere blip on the map, barely worth notice"; Wyrm and his followers are too much of a danger for the Aonic kingdoms to ignore.

The third "great domain" therefore must be somewhere else, perhaps in a continent on the other side of Sel, separated from the known continents by "sweeping oceans" on both sides (the same way the Americas are separated from the Old World by the Atlantic and the Pacific).

Multiple Empires

So far we've seen two Selish empires: Fjordell and Rose. I think that using the word "multiple" to refer to just two things, while valid, is a bit odd, so I think it's more likely that "multiple empires" means at least one more empire on Sel, which is probably located on the third "great domain".

Another Short Story?

Three great domains, three continents, three empires. I believe Brandon's Elantris sequels will still be set mostly on Opelon/Sycla, but I'm excited for another possible spin-off short story exploring the third empire on the other side of Sel. I wish Brandon would write it after the Elantris sequels, though. What do you guys think?

Edited by Ookla the Insipid
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First of all I think you have to put [AU spoiler] in the title

Anyway depending on the time the essay was written, is possible that Elantris gained a strong political and actual power on Sel....It may be the third empire (but I don't actually think).

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58 minutes ago, Yata said:

First of all I think you have to put [AU spoiler] in the title

Oh. I thought the tag was sufficient. I'll do that then.

58 minutes ago, Yata said:

Anyway depending on the time the essay was written, is possible that Elantris gained a strong political and actual power on Sel....It may be the third empire (but I don't actually think).

Even if Elantris becomes an empire, conquering some lands that were once under the rule of Wyrn, we still need to account for the third "great domain" because, remember, Khriss claims that all three more or less dismiss each other. Elantrians definitely take the Fjordell Empire very seriously, especially after what happened in the book. Because of that, I think the third great domain must be something else.

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Well, Rose Empire is pretty much ignored in Opelon/Sycla (see the Wyrn map for reference. Sarene comments on the Rose Empire as foreign lands) and Rose Empire cares not much for the Opelon (see Shai's comment about southern mountain passage to the distant Teod - and Teod is the closest to them).

While 'Rose barbarians' seem very small on the map, we have to take into account that the map isn't and couldn't be very much trustworthy when it comes to these regions.

Anyway, after I read Secret History I believe that Elantrians may have much more influence and power than we could conclude from seeing their geographical situation - they may already have large groups of Elantrians claiming Cognitive Realm with Ire being just one of them. For all we know they could have already have fortresses build all around Sel's subastral.

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So, I think a point is being missed. Allow me to restate it. First let me quote the most relevant part of the essay, highlighting important words:

Quote

It is a willful kind of ignorance, with each of the three great domains pretending that the others are mere blips on the map, barely worth notice.

That statement contains an obvious test that we can use to check if a region is a great domain in itself. Let us apply that test to the continents we know so far.

Does Opelon more or less ignore the continent above it? Yes, with the exception of the small Teod peninsula which is an Aonic kingdom.

Does the northern continent more or less ignore Opelon? Yes, though again Teod (which is separated from the rest of the continent by a mountain range) is more culturally connected to Opelon.

So far so good. We now have two big areas that dismiss each other. We probably need to include Teod in the Opelon "great domain". Anyway, we just need to find the third big area.

Then we hear the suggestion that Opelon actually contains two of the three great domains, and that these two great domains are The Fjordell Empire and Elantris. Well then, let's apply the test again:

Does the Fjordell Empire more or less ignore Elantris? Most definitely not, as it actively tried to destroy Elantris as part of its goal of subjugating the Aonic kingdoms.

Does Elantris more or less ignore the Fjordell Empire? Most definitely not, as it has suffered heavily from and continues to deal with the threat of that empire.

Because they failed the test, I believe that the Fjordell Empire and Elantris (and Teod) must be part of the same "great domain", with the Rose Empire being part of another. Hence my conclusion that the third great domain is somewhere else.

Note that this argument has nothing to do with whether or not Elantris will become an empire in the future. There could very well be four (or forty two, or more) empires on Sel including such a hypothetical Elantrian empire. I'm just saying there's probably another continent with its own empire/s somewhere on the planet constituting the third "great domain" that Khriss was referring to.

Of course, I may simply be looking too much into Khriss' words. Nothing's proven or confirmed yet. It's just a theory. :)

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And if the essay was written before the fall of Elantris ?

Elantris was a powerful country, at that time Fjordel wasn't very relevant to them, and before the last years...Fjordel itself wasn't interested in Elantris (I talk before the religious change of the empire)

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17 minutes ago, Yata said:

And if the essay was written before the fall of Elantris ?

It can't have been.

Elantris is set before White Sand, and thus Khriss would not have been in a position where she could have written it before Elantris fell (assuming she'd even been born at that point).

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Here's another thing. Again let me quote part of what I've already quoted above:

Quote

The planet itself facilitates this, as it is larger than most, with its size at around 1.5 cosmere standard, and gravity at 1.2 cosmere standard. Vast continents and sweeping oceans create a diverse landscape, with an extreme amount of variation on this one planet.

Why would Khriss mention the sweeping oceans in the context of the planet facilitating the relative ignorance of the great domains from each other if none of the great domains are separated by an ocean? Remember, Opelon and the continent above it are separated only by a sea, hardly the "sweeping oceans" described by Khriss. So I think it's likely that the third great domain is to the known Selish continents as the Americas are to Europe, Asia, and Africa: separated by oceans.

Edited by Ookla the Insipid
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14 minutes ago, BlackYeti said:

It can't have been.

Elantris is set before White Sand, and thus Khriss would not have been in a position where she could have written it before Elantris fell (assuming she'd even been born at that point).

Can you cite a source? I've yet to see any official confirmation of where White Sand set with respect to the other books other than 'it's early,' and White Sand is excluded from the chronology in the new FAQ.

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2 minutes ago, Pagerunner said:

Can you cite a source? I've yet to see any official confirmation of where White Sand set with respect to the other books other than 'it's early,' and White Sand is excluded from the chronology in the new FAQ.

He is right, I can't find it the reference but Elantris is before White Sand, I forgot it when i wrote my previous post.

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50 minutes ago, BlackYeti said:

Elantris is set before White Sand, and thus Khriss would not have been in a position where she could have written it before Elantris fell (assuming she'd even been born at that point).

I join the choir of people asking for a source.

32 minutes ago, Yata said:

He is right, I can't find it the reference but Elantris is before White Sand, I forgot it when i wrote my previous post.

It is? I'd really want a source on this.

Anyway, we don't really know when the essays were written. If they all were written after Final Ascension then it means that it's thousands of years after the restoration of Elantris - IIRC between Elantris and Mistborn there is a significant time-gap around/at least two thousand years.

In that time Elantris could have became an Empire. But it's still hard to believe that them and Fjordell could and would ignore each other - they would have been two significant powers sharing borders - they couldn't ignore each other more than USA and USSR could during Cold War.

But my theory is that Elantrians set up their empire in Cognitive and are pretty much ignoring those in Physical Realm as "those backwards who are still on the planet". While their counterpart in Physical - post-Reod Elantris - is ignored as insignificant; there's a WoB that Fjordell would not consider Teod and Arelon part of Jaddeth Empire so they could drop attempts to conquer them and their religion would check out fine.

Edited by Ookla the Sunrise Watcher
fixed comparision with Cold War - wrong wording gave an entirely opposite meaning
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8 minutes ago, Yata said:

He is right, I can't find it the reference but Elantris is before White Sand, I forgot it when i wrote my previous post.

Last time I had this conversation, after the graphic novel release, we weren't able to come up with anything definitive. The most used quote isn't necessarily referring to chronological order, but possibly the order in which Brandon wrote his books. Peter also suspects it's after White Sand. As recently as April, the final chronological placement of White Sand hadn't been determined, so unless there's something new, I don't think we can say whether or not White Sand precedes Elantris.

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I know BlackYeti brought up the chronology (apparently in support for my theory; thanks man!) but it really has nothing to do with my arguments. Let me repeat myself once more (I've said this in replies to @Yata and @Ookla the Sunrise Watcher above): Elantris becoming an empire in the future would not make it the third great domain that Khriss spoke of.

As for the Ire... well, okay. Depending on what Wyrn knows of the Ire and how big its Cognitive Realm domain is, I guess it could be the third great domain. The Ire theory might even answer my argument regarding the "sweeping oceans" line since the Ire is located on the Cognitive aspect of what is possibly Selish ocean.

I'll think about it.

Edited by Ookla the Insipid
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35 minutes ago, Pagerunner said:

Can you cite a source? I've yet to see any official confirmation of where White Sand set with respect to the other books other than 'it's early,' and White Sand is excluded from the chronology in the new FAQ.

Um, well I was actually thinking of this, I'd forgotten that Peter had only said that he suspected.

I should really amend this to "probably".

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On the chronology, I remember Brandon saying that Elantris was set "hundreds but not thousands" of years before Mistborn or Warbreaker. Since Khriss wrote the essays after Scadrial's orbit moved, she wrote them at least 1000 years after the events of Elantris. 

I suppose that she didn't have to write all the essays at the same time, but I find it likely that she did, as she mentions Autonomy's current affairs, Odium's current whereabouts, etc.

Whether or not Elantris is before White Sand is therefore irrelevant, as it seems much time must have passed since she left and wrote these anyway. She's thoroughly explored most of the planets she writes about, and that exploration alone would have taken years. 

On the three great empires, I agree with @Ookla the Insipid that there must be a third empire out there, an I came to that conclusion on reading the essays myself. If that much time has passed, things could very well have changed, but I agree that it's Opelon (whoever is in control these days), the Rose Empire, and one other. Given the location of the Ire being near Scadrial, they probably aren't surrounding the border of their subastral, because Roshar and Nalthis are in the way (looking at their locations in the star map), and since they aren't really a Selish local empire, and more an intergalactic organization with Selish origins, I conclude that there is probably another Empire as of yet unknown to us on another continent of Sel.

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ok guys, I asked to Brandon and he said white sand is before than Elantris (here)

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16 minutes ago, Yata said:

ok guys, I asked to Brandon and he said white sand is before than Elantris (here)

Ha, it's almost like he was waiting for me to retract what I said earlier.

Well done on getting confirmation though, have an upvote :D.

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9 hours ago, BlackYeti said:

Ha, it's almost like he was waiting for me to retract what I said earlier.

Of course I asked this because I noticed here...that what I remeber as a confirm wasn't it. Not for disprove your idea

 

Edited by Yata
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On 11/28/2016 at 0:21 PM, Khyrindor said:

On the three great empires, I agree with @Ookla the Insipid that there must be a third empire out there, an I came to that conclusion on reading the essays myself. If that much time has passed, things could very well have changed, but I agree that it's Opelon (whoever is in control these days), the Rose Empire, and one other. Given the location of the Ire being near Scadrial, they probably aren't surrounding the border of their subastral, because Roshar and Nalthis are in the way (looking at their locations in the star map), and since they aren't really a Selish local empire, and more an intergalactic organization with Selish origins, I conclude that there is probably another Empire as of yet unknown to us on another continent of Sel.

Gosh, there's nothing like mult-quoting and researching for 10 minutes to craft a response on a thread, only to find that someone said exactly what you were going to say a few posts up! :-P

Upvote for you! =)

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On 11/28/2016 at 7:29 AM, Ookla the Sunrise Watcher said:

While 'Rose barbarians' seem very small on the map, we have to take into account that the map isn't and couldn't be very much trustworthy when it comes to these regions.

I recall reading somewhere (an annotation, I think) that the map is indeed drawn with the Rose Empire disproportionately small.

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On Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 0:33 AM, Ookthelion III said:

I recall reading somewhere (an annotation, I think) that the map is indeed drawn with the Rose Empire disproportionately small.

Nazh complains about Fjordell's dismissal of the Rose Empire on that very map.  Just before complaining about being left behind in Fjordell.  

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I err on the side of assuming/hoping there's a third great empire out there if only because that means there's another as-yet unseen Selish magic system out there. Given the regionalized nature of Selish magic, this third empire is unlikely to have access to Forgery or AonDor and has something specific to their region.

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5 minutes ago, ROSHtaFARian2.0 said:

I err on the side of assuming/hoping there's a third great empire out there if only because that means there's another as-yet unseen Selish magic system out there. Given the regionalized nature of Selish magic, this third empire is unlikely to have access to Forgery or AonDor and has something specific to their region.

This is true. Chances are that they even have more than one. Consider, the Rose Domain has at least two that we know of, and the Fjordell Domain has at least four. 

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On 12/3/2016 at 5:29 PM, Spoolofwhool said:

This is true. Chances are that they even have more than one. Consider, the Rose Domain has at least two that we know of, and the Fjordell Domain has at least four. 

4?  I count 3: ChayShan, Dakhor, and the potions.  Unless you're suggesting that Duladel had its own variant of Dor-coding, which is possible.  

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1 hour ago, Landis963 said:

4?  I count 3: ChayShan, Dakhor, and the potions.  Unless you're suggesting that Duladel had its own variant of Dor-coding, which is possible.  

Chaysan, Dakhor, AonDor, and Potions. I'm counting the Aonic continent as part of the Domain as it seems to be clearly part of it, as Fjordell and the other places are not ignorant of it.

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