Calderis

[All Cosmere, OB] Intent: Origin and interpretation.

20 posts in this topic

I think this is a very well constructed theory which fits in perfectly with Odium being Rayse's interpretation of the shard of passion.

One thing I don't believe we know yet however is whether the original vessels knew which shards they were going to hold, or really anything about their ascensions at all. Rather than his interpretation of the shard's intent making it a monster, I would argue that Ruin started out with more of Ati's intent (creating Scadrial with Preservation) but over time, was overcome by the shardic intent of Ruin.

We know a lot less of Rayse, but if he does indeed hold the shard of Passion, his original hatred could have been prevalent enough at the beginning of his time as a vessel to become known as Odium. He could even have named himself as such like Sazed named himself Harmony. Now, having been trapped for thousands of years, we could be seeing more of the Passion coming through as the shardic intent takes over.

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@powerfulmoss I will try to find WoBs to support this, but it's heavily implied that the Vessels knew what they were getting, if not before hand, then at least during the process of the Shattering.

The letter from Frost adds to this implication. 

Quote

He bears the weight of God's own divine hatred, separated from the virtues that gave it context. He is what we made him to be, old friend. And that is what he, unfortunately, wished to become

"what he wished to become." Rayse chose his Shard. 

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It's highly probable that the original vessels knew what they were taking. I imagine that the shards first dropped similar to how they dropped when Leras and Vin died in HoA, and Sazed could sense a general feeling of what concept they represented before taking them.

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I like it. I'm not fully behind it - I still think Odium is genuinely Hatred - but I like it.

You laid out many of the points I believe in - but I think that Ruin's Intent is not that far off from "Ruin":

Quote

Ruin's 'theme' so to speak is that all things must age and pass. An embodiment of entropy.
source

It's just that you can express "Ruin" in different ways.

13 hours ago, Ookla, the Incalculable said:

So while his interpretation of Ruin subsumed his personality, it was still shaped by the belief that caused it to be so violent and sadistic

There's a WoB I can't find that Scadrial ended up with one of the better versions of Ruin there could be.

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4 minutes ago, Ookla the Indefatigable said:

I like it. I'm not fully behind it - I still think Odium is genuinely Hatred - but I like it.

I believe the same, and that Odium is just a lying sack of crem. The "Passion" argument is part of what spawned this thread though. If, by some freak chance Rayse isn't lying, he's still Odium. 

6 minutes ago, Ookla the Indefatigable said:

There's a WoB I can't find that Scadrial ended up with one of the better versions of Ruin there could be.

I'm aware of it, and while I don't think it's untruein that Ati could have been much worse,  the WoB about Harmony shows that he's no where near the best possible outcome. 

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14 hours ago, Ookla, the Incalculable said:

I'm aware of it

Please help. I can't find it.

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1 hour ago, Ookla the Indefatigable said:

Please help. I can't find it.

I've searched Arcanum and theoryland for every possible combination I remember from that sentence and have found nothing. 

I am annoyed. 

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 Do you mean this?

Ati (Ruin's Vessel) was apparently kind and generous as a person, and so was probably one of the least destructive possible manifestations of Ruin. 

Or this?

Ati didn't have the willpower to resist its Intent affecting him, so hypothetically we could get someone who similarly expressed it as inevitable entropy but without going nuts and enjoying the process of destruction. Or we could have gotten something much worse...

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Nice wrap-up Cal. You know i agree with this generally as we've had dozens of conversations about intent. I don't believe its quite as malleable as you seem to think, particularly from the Vin example. I think Preservation will always resist change of any sort, for example. I also think Ati and Leras were good people who cooperated to limit the damage of ruin. I like the idea that Ati had Ruin become what he feared but again I'm not at all convinced that any vessel could've filtered the intent enough for Ruin to be about anything other than decay, the inevitable breaking down of things.

But i agree with the basic principles and its a good summary of why we think that. 

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My thought is that Ruin would be the force of Change/creation. If you saw someone with this mentality picked up Ruin, they would create amazing things, but they would destroy them eventually. Similar to Ookla, the incalculable I think that Ati viewed Ruin solely as the force of decay, and not with the mindset that bad things could be ruined to create better things.

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23 minutes ago, Ookla the Capricious said:

My thought is that Ruin would be the force of Change/creation. If you saw someone with this mentality picked up Ruin, they would create amazing things, but they would destroy them eventually. Similar to Ookla, the incalculable I think that Ati viewed Ruin solely as the force of decay, and not with the mindset that bad things could be ruined to create better things.

On the contrary, I think that Ruin is a force for change, but intrinsically negative. It doesn't need to be monstrous though. I'm not sure what the core concept would be, but for alternative interpretations, I could see the name becoming Loss, Entropy, or Excision. 

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46 minutes ago, Ookla, the Incalculable said:

On the contrary, I think that Ruin is a force for change, but intrinsically negative. It doesn't need to be monstrous though. I'm not sure what the core concept would be, but for alternative interpretations, I could see the name becoming Loss, Entropy, or Excision. 

Or Decay, as it was first called in - IIRC - Aether.

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1 hour ago, Ookla, the Incalculable said:

On the contrary, I think that Ruin is a force for change, but intrinsically negative. It doesn't need to be monstrous though. I'm not sure what the core concept would be, but for alternative interpretations, I could see the name becoming Loss, Entropy, or Excision. 

Out of curiosity why would it have to be negative? My reasoning is that if Ruin were solely negative, there would need to be another shard, something similar to creation, which would represent the positive side of change.

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18 minutes ago, Ookla the Capricious said:

Out of curiosity why would it have to be negative? My reasoning is that if Ruin were solely negative, there would need to be another shard, something similar to creation, which would represent the positive side of change.

That is encompassed within Cultivation in my view, and partially in ambition. 

I don't believe that the positive aspect of growth/change was split unto itself, but is a part of both of those shards. 

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23 minutes ago, Ookla, the Incalculable said:

That is encompassed within Cultivation in my view, and partially in ambition. 

I don't believe that the positive aspect of growth/change was split unto itself, but is a part of both of those shards. 

ok.

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Posted (edited)

Outstanding post, @Calderis! You’ve clarified (for me at least) an important part of cosmere magic.

Mandates (Intent) vs. Personality

On 12/7/2017 at 6:51 AM, Calderis said:

The intents of the shard are, by this idea, far more malleable than is often stated. This is speculation, and I base it largely on Ati, and I see no real way to confirm or deny this until we see a single shard change hands and be held long enough to express its intent.

Here’s more support for your theory:

Honor’s Mandate (intent) IMO makes Cognitive Connections. Tanavast interprets this Mandate as binding through oaths (“On my honor…”). If we believe the Stormfather, Honor comes to care more about oath form than he does about oath meaning. Dalinar interprets the Shard’s “Connection-making” Mandate as “Unity,” not Honor. I suspect Dalinar’s Unity magic will have different mechanics than oaths alone. A recent WoB addresses this (emphasis added), though Brandon blunts it with ambiguity:

Quote

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

We know Ati chose how Ruin was interpreted, in that he was a card-cackling maniac. Could someone so differently interpret a Shard as to change its name to be something different? Could someone pick up the Shard of Ruin and think I'm the Shard of Change?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes. To an extent. The interpretation, what you call a thing... I think it would be arguable either way in-world, regardless of what they call themselves. There are those who would say the core intent is still there and you can't shift it that far, and others would argue you can shift it far enough to change the definition to a synonym. You see evidence of someone claiming this in the books. I'm not gonna confirm or deny for you whether that is actually a thing or not.

Your Rayse example is also apt. IMO, Odium’s Mandate breaks Cognitive Connections. He styles himself the Passion Shard because passion breaks Connections between people. The Thrill causes Dalinar to kill his wife and soldiers. Odium leaves Dalinar weeping, “Alone. So alone” – un-Connected, except for the single gloryspren that thwarts Odium and keeps Dalinar’s Connection to Honor.

Rayse’s “loathsome” personality makes him murder other Vessels. That’s not a necessary use of his power. You note the same thing about Ruin. Sazed says Ruin’s Mandate is “intelligent decay,” entropy. Leras tells Kelsier in M:SH that “ “Everything passes, nothing is eternal. That is what Ati always claimed....” This Mandate overwhelms – decays – Ati’s “kind and generous” personality.

Mandates’ Origin

On 12/7/2017 at 6:51 AM, Calderis said:

I believe that these intents are quite literally Adonalsium torn asunder. 

I agree, but I think the Shattering occurred after Adonalsium’s death (probably immediately after). Brandon says “Adonalsium Shattered because he was killed.” IMO, the Shattering is the post-death division of Adonalsium’s power.

You've convinced me the Vessels could and did choose how to allocate the power. Frost tells Hoid that Rayse “is what we made him to be, old friend. And that is what he, unfortunately, wished to become.” Frost himself distinguishes between Mandate – “what we made him to be” – and personality – “what he…wished to become.” I like how your theory gives new meaning to old evidence.

On 12/7/2017 at 6:51 AM, Calderis said:

I believe that Adonalsium had no Vessel. The sheer amount of investiture that comprised the sum of all shards means that when it developed a mind it easily surpassed sentience, and became a sapient being. 

When a Shard is splintered, the Vessel is no longer holding the power and it is separated from the mind that guided it, whether that Vessel was killed or merely gave up the power. This was not an option for Adonalsium. It was the power. When it was Shattered, the mind was shattered with it, and the remnants of that mind became the intents that drive the Shards we know. 

The Vessels’ bodies are long vaporized. To me, Adonalsium, Shards, splinters, and Cognitive Shadows are all minds imprinted on power. I think death to these entities means “mind-death,” loss of the ability to direct their power. Undirected power may Shatter or splinter, but that occurs after mind-death.

We may just have a different understanding of the Cognitive Realm. (Every time I think I understand it, something new or weird pops up…) To me, power that develops consciousness automatically “drops into” the CR like Roshar’s bodiless spren do. The Vessels’ minds differ from Adonalsium’s in their capacity only – finite versus omniscient. The minds welded to power all still reside in the CR.

This recent WoB (emphasis added) states the Vessels’ finite minds (unlike Adonalsium’s omniscient mind) cannot tap into “infinite power.” I think this WoB promises some interesting twists, like a Shard battle where the more imaginative Vessel beats the nominally more powerful one.

Quote

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

For Adonalsium to create the universe, therefore he must have infinite power to create an infinitely sized universe. Therefore, infinity divided by sixteen is equal to infinity. Therefore, why don't the Shards have infinite power, which they clearly don't, because they can be killed?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The power can't be killed. The entity controlling the power can. Infinite power existing and being able to access the infinite power are different things, and a finite mind, even added to a very powerful sense of power, isn't necessarily able to tap all of that.

Thanks, Calderis! This is among the best theories I’ve read in a while. Nice job! You inspired me to figure out what the “pure intents” are.

Edited by Confused
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On 5/1/2018 at 1:15 AM, Confused said:

The Vessels’ bodies are long vaporized. To me, Adonalsium, Shards, splinters, and Cognitive Shadows are all minds imprinted on power. I think death to these entities means “mind-death,” loss of the ability to direct their power. Undirected power may Shatter or splinter, but that occurs after mind-death.

Except the body isn't really gone as it will reform when the Vessel is no more a Vessel (example if he die or give away the Shard) so the body is probably integrated into the Shard itself rather than destroyed.

We know also that the power could be splintered also with the Vessel alive (there is a WoB about that I will add later because I can't now) and we saw it at least in one case, with Ruin's stolen power. What Preservation did is to Splinter a portion of Ruin in that circumstance. Probably it's also what happened during the Odium VS Ambition's fight as something of them remained into the Theredody's system in the battle's aftermath.

 

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On 8-12-2017 at 5:01 AM, Oversleep said:

You laid out many of the points I believe in - but I think that Ruin's Intent is not that far off from "Ruin":

On 8-12-2017 at 5:01 AM, Oversleep said:
  Quote

Ruin's 'theme' so to speak is that all things must age and pass. An embodiment of entropy.
source

It's just that you can express "Ruin" in different ways.

That makes me think... All things that happen increase entropy, but they may locally reduce entropy. Would it be possible to interpret Ruin in such a way that it makes things like "entropy machines", so to say, that continuously create entropy? Because that's really what your average engine does... Similarly, would it be possible to interpret Ruin to create life, as all beings also continuously increase entropy? Things like that... Depending on how much you can interpret a Shard's intent, sufficient creativity might allow you to do something like this.

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