Nashan’Elin

[OB] Why is Axies not in Shadesmar?

23 posts in this topic

What it says on the topic. Given what we’ve learned about spren, how they partially manifest in the Physical Realm, and what they are like in Shadesmar, why does good old Axies the Collector do his spren research in the Physical Realm? 

Do we think he’s researching which spren manifest, and how they do it? Is there something going on with Siah Aimians where they can’t enter Shadesmar? I find it unlikely that he doesn’t know how to get there, even with some difficulty. 

Edited by Greywatch
Added [OB] because it was missing.
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Don't Siah Aimians cast their shadows in the wrong direction?

That indicates he already has something going on with Shadesmar, so it's possible that he's more interested in how spren cross over to the physical realm.

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I think Axies is more concerned with what conditions cause a spren to appear/ what attracts them to the physical realm. Also, remember that some spren are rarer in Shadesmar. Syl said that they almost never see windspren there. So, if Axies is doing it out of scientific interest/boredom, the Physical Realm is the place to be.

Edited by Ravioli
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Yeah, he seems mostly if not exclusively interested in spren manifesting in the Physical. His quest for intoxication/alespren for example only makes sense in the physical where there's alcohol to drink; everything drinkable in the Cognitive would have to come from the Physical anyways. If it's of interest to him he might eventually hop over to the other side and see what all the spren look like in the Cognitive but it doesn't seem to be a pressing concern for him at present. And given all the new cataloguing he can do of how spren change when Sja-anat corrupts them, he's got lots more potential research fodder to keep him in the Physical for the time being.

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Also Shadesmar is somewhat more dangerous than the Physical Realm, at least for those not native to it. Admittedly Axies doesn't seem to be terribly concerned about danger in general but still.

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Yeah he casts his shadow the wrong way so there's definitely something going on.

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Attracting the wrong kind of spren in Shadesmar would be fatal, but all are harmless in the Physical Realm.

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I have always wondered if his goal in not so much to study, but to quantify. If he takes measurements and notes, does that bind each spren he studies? Can he limit their capacity in some way if he takes tatooed notes? Is this an attack and not an academic interest. Seems to me Amians have an ax to grind according to the coversheets about who used to have the surges...

I could be wrong.

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The biggest question about Axies right now is why he hasn't gone to Urithiru yet? Seems like the place to be if you want to study spren.

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8 hours ago, Toaster Retribution said:

The biggest question about Axies right now is why he hasn't gone to Urithiru yet? Seems like the place to be if you want to study spren.

Well, last we saw him, he was hanging upside down from a shell in the Reshi Isles, correct? Depending on where he was, the closest Oathgate would be Kholinar(which is a no-go) or Kurth/Rall Elorim, neither of which are unlocked yet. That leaves the manual method of travel: sailing the Reshi Sea, crossing the Purelake, and traversing a mountain range, all while dealing with both High- and Ever-storms.

You can forgive me for assuming that it's a long trip. :)

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3 hours ago, The One Who Connects said:

Well, last we saw him, he was hanging upside down from a shell in the Reshi Isles, correct? Depending on where he was, the closest Oathgate would be Kholinar(which is a no-go) or Kurth/Rall Elorim, neither of which are unlocked yet. That leaves the manual method of travel: sailing the Reshi Sea, crossing the Purelake, and traversing a mountain range, all while dealing with both High- and Ever-storms.

You can forgive me for assuming that it's a long trip. :)

Or he just went through Shadesmar :-)

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Just now, Toaster Retribution said:

Or he just went through Shadesmar :-)

So he can probably skip the sea, but he'll still have to "climb" the Purelake and swim through part of the mountain range?
It's still a moderately lengthy trip, and both -Storms should still exist in the CR.

Knowing Brandon, he probably got there right after the book ended, and that's gonna be our "thing that happened" during that 1 year gap :P

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On 2/10/2018 at 8:58 PM, The One Who Connects said:

So he can probably skip the sea, but he'll still have to "climb" the Purelake and swim through part of the mountain range?
It's still a moderately lengthy trip, and both -Storms should still exist in the CR.

Knowing Brandon, he probably got there right after the book ended, and that's gonna be our "thing that happened" during that 1 year gap :P

Or he could alter his body for the shadesmar trip (get rid of his nose and mouth) and walk all the way to Urithiru, ignoring the sea of glass beads.

Or, since he knows a lot about spren, he might be able to catch a ride on a Mandra.

On 2/9/2018 at 3:05 PM, 1stBondsmith said:

I have always wondered if his goal in not so much to study, but to quantify. If he takes measurements and notes, does that bind each spren he studies? Can he limit their capacity in some way if he takes tatooed notes? Is this an attack and not an academic interest. Seems to me Amians have an ax to grind according to the coversheets about who used to have the surges...

In the WoR interlude with the two Ardents studying spren, this quantum effect was limited to the individual spren that were measured. Only the flame spren whose height was quantified exhibited the freezing in place phenomena, so I don't think that Axies' studies would be having a generalized effect on a whole class of spren. I think he's just functionally immortal and trying to fill his time up with something diverting, but that is an interesting idea.

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3 hours ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

Or he could alter his body for the shadesmar trip (get rid of his nose and mouth) and walk all the way to Urithiru, ignoring the sea of glass beads.

Ah yes, the nose and mouth, commonly understood by science to be the only reason we need to breathe....

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4 hours ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

Or he could alter his body for the shadesmar trip (get rid of his nose and mouth) and walk all the way to Urithiru, ignoring the sea of glass beads.

Can he though? He's Siah, and we don't know where the line for Dysian's "more extreme" modifications is drawn. Suppressing the senses doesn't exactly seem like the same level as removing his nose, to me at least.

Also, I must be missing what removing his nose/mouth has to do with land/liquid being inverted in the CR. What am I missing here?

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14 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

Can he though? He's Siah, and we don't know where the line for Dysian's "more extreme" modifications is drawn. Suppressing the senses doesn't exactly seem like the same level as removing his nose, to me at least.

Siah Aimians' shadows always point towards the light, this also happens to Jasnah in the WoR prologue when she in the corridor and transitions to Shadesmar to confront Ivory. Also Siah Aimians can through thought alone change their skin so that tattoos of thoughts show up on their bodies, this implies cognitive level control of their physical aspect and also possibly that they are perpetually straddling both the physical and cognitive realms. It probably is too much to conjecture that they can slip into Shadesmar whenever they want, but this also could be a possibility.

1 hour ago, digitalbusker said:

Ah yes, the nose and mouth, commonly understood by science to be the only reason we need to breathe....

It seems to me from the descriptions of near drowning in the see of glass beads in Shadesmar, that this doesn't have anything to do with inability to get oxygen, it's more of a function of aspirating glass beads. Having noses, mouths, lungs etc filled with glass beads is not conducive to respiration.

Given that the Siah Aimians can rejigger their physiology, they should be able to create a breathing structure that eliminates the inhalation of the bean sized glass beads. The WoB where Brandon explains the glass beads definite size is spoilered below:

Spoiler

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

How big are the beads from Shadesmar?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...Bean-size, not as big as spheres.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Spheres are the size of your thumbnail, right?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Spheres are a little bigger than that. They're like a big marble. Not quite as big as a shooter.

source

Whether the created filtration system is a semi porous membrane with holes that are 1/4 the size of the bean sized shadesmar bead or the creation of a biological one way valve, like the blow hole of whale, is moot. This is something that the Siah Aimians could do rather easily I believe.

25 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

Also, I must be missing what removing his nose/mouth has to do with land/liquid being inverted in the CR. What am I missing here?

Umm, yeah, good point. The distance traveled in both the PR and the CR would be approximately the same, and if Axies understands how fish breathe, he might be able to create gills along with creating webbed fingers and hands. So he would probably be better off swimming his way through the Physical Realm's real waters than walking through the unswimmable sea of glass beads in Shadesmar.

 

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4 minutes ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

Siah Aimians' shadows always point towards the light, this also happens to Jasnah in the WoR prologue when she in the corridor and transitions to Shadesmar to confront Ivory. Also Siah Aimians can through thought alone change their skin so that tattoos of thoughts show up on their bodies, this implies cognitive level control of their physical aspect and also possibly that they are perpetually straddling both the physical and cognitive realms. It probably is too much to conjecture that they can slip into Shadesmar whenever they want, but this also could be a possibility.

I feel like you aren't seeing the same question as I tried to write. We know that Dysian Aimians can modify their body to a more extreme level, and we know that Siah Aimians are not composed of Hordelings. I'm wondering how limited that makes the Siah in terms of body mods, and I think it prevents them from doing what you were/are suggesting.

The shadow might be something else, since it happens to Jasnah too, and I don't think she can do body modifications of any sort.
Tattooing the skin, via magic or mundane methods, is something I'd consider on the very mild side of body modification. Look up some of the IRL people giving themselves horns, and you'll see why.

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In the WoR Rysn interlude the guard tells Rysn that Axies who hands are bound and who is hung upside down by his feet could escape at anytime. Also in the Axies interlude in TWOK Axies gets rid of his bruising from the previous night's thrashing and clears his headache. Both of these imply a high level of Cognitive control over his body, the creation of a different organ system for respiration might be stretching this ability quite a bit, but I thinks it's safe to infer that he could craft webbed hands and feet to aid with swimming.

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2 minutes ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

TWOK Axies gets rid of his bruising from the previous night's thrashing and clears his headache. Both of these imply a high level of Cognitive control over his body, the creation of a different organ system for respiration might be stretching this ability quite a bit, but I thinks it's safe to infer that he could craft webbed hands and feet to aid with swimming.

Cognitive Control they may be, but dulling senses, removing bruising, clearing headaches? These feel like magical abilities with similarities to Tin,Gold&Pewter.

Due to this comparison, I just don't see the lines connecting these things to webbed feet, removing noses, or the like. Your assumptions are jumping up a level of intensity in what the power can do, and I'm hesitant to agree.

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6 hours ago, The One Who Connects said:

We know that Dysian Aimians can modify their body to a more extreme level, and we know that Siah Aimians are not composed of Hordelings. I'm wondering how limited that makes the Siah in terms of body mods, and I think it prevents them from doing what you were/are suggesting.

This is from TWoK I- 5 Axies interlude and it shows that it's a biological modification not the suppression of sensory information that allows Axies to not smell unpleasant odors:

Quote

"Well, that's something," he said, dropping his head back to the ground. It made a squishing sound as it touched something soft, likely a bit of rotting garbage.

Yes, that was what it was. He could smell it now, pungent and rank. He focused on his nose, sculpting his body so that he could no longer smell. Ah, he thought. Much better.

Now if he could only banish the pounding of his head. Really, did the sun have to be so garish overhead? He closed his eyes.

...(interaction with crazy herald)...

A few heartbeats of mental focus finally banished the headache.

In both of these instances Axies uses mental focus to alter some tangible aspect of his body, the most major modification would be the "scultping" he does to his nose to keep from smelling. It's not explicitly stated that he makes his nose disappear, he might just seal up his nostrils, but there is some form of biological change to his body that he is instigating by pure thought alone.

In the Rysn interlude in WoR, the guards (who are admittedly dense and superstitious) have this to say about everyone's favorite upside down Collector:

Quote

"Do not feel for him, trademaster," Krylm said softly to her away from the dangling prisoner. "He could escape if he wished."

Nlent (awesome name by the way, sounds like his Dad came up with his name after choking on some porridge), the other guard nodded. "They can take off their limbs. Take off their skin too. No real body to them. Just something evil, taking human form."

Finally here are some paraphrased and admittedly information poor WoBs about Siah Aimians that deal with the Siah's ability to control their biology:

Spoiler

WoB 1 - Strange Stuff with their biology

Joe ST (paraphrased)

I asked if Axies could regrow limbs, and he stated that he could do 'some interesting things', and that the two species of Aimian (whom Axies is of) each do different interesting things.

source

 

WoB 2 - Extended control of their biology like the Sleepless:

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Basic stuff about the 2 types of Aimians, both of which have extended control of their own biology, both of which more or less refugees. He also said that they have cosmere significance.

source

Sculpting your body to remove your sense of smell implies a certain plasticity of form, that I think gives enough basis for the speculation that Siah Aimians could probably create webbed hands and feet for increased maneuverability in the water.

Edited by hoiditthroughthegrapevine
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3 minutes ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

it shows that it's a biological modification not the suppression of sensory information

Well then that's on me misreading how the coppermind wrote it "Siah Aimians, who are characterized by deep blue nails and eyes, have been known to sculpt their bodies to temporarily suppress their senses (e.g. to avoid smelling foul odors), produce tattoo-like markings on their skin, or heal from injuries."

4 minutes ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

In the Rysn interlude in WoR, the guards (who are admittedly dense and superstitious) have this to say about everyone's favorite upside down Collector:

I wrote that off as legends of the Sleepless.

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I wonder how it would be for a regular human with some kind of filter mask to go bead diving. I would worry about bumping into dangerous submerged spren, but in a shark cage or something it could be interestingly trippy.

ETA: There's got to be some kind of maximum depth, where the accumulated weight of the beads above pack the beads below too tightly to penetrate. Although whenever people have fallen in, they seem to be getting into their orifices faster than you'd expect, so maybe we can't really treat them like beads.

Edited by digitalbusker
Thoughts on depth and pressure
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On 2/12/2018 at 2:13 PM, digitalbusker said:

ETA: There's got to be some kind of maximum depth, where the accumulated weight of the beads above pack the beads below too tightly to penetrate. Although whenever people have fallen in, they seem to be getting into their orifices faster than you'd expect, so maybe we can't really treat them like beads.

Hmm, I don't think the first part of your statement is correct, but I do agree with the qualifying follow up that we can't really treat them like beads.

Every person that falls into the sea of glass beads in Shadesmar invariably sinks without the ability to swim. This implies that the glass beads are not like a classic solid or a classic liquid. If they were like BB's or gravel, i.e. were rigid with a fairly high density, they would form what essentially is a large grain solid. If you tried to dive into a swimming pool filled with BB's you would get a broken neck, or likewise if you tried to dive from a sand dune into sand you would also get yourself a broken neck. But, if the beads have only a negligible mass, your weight will be able to disperse the beads, and their round shape would allow them to push past one another with minimum loss of energy in the form of friction. Like jumping into a ball crawl pit, the balls with negligible mass are displaced as your weight is applied to the composite solid and you sink in.

The greater the mass of the beads, the more force would be required to push the beads, and due to the conservation of momentum, the displacement of beads at a greater depth would require a much greater force because the push would essentially carry on through all of the beads until it reached the surface where the force of the push can be dissipated by displaced beads.

The beads aren't like a classical liquid either, as evidenced by the inability to swim.

The biggest danger inherent in dropping into the Shadesmar sea is aspirating beads.

I think that this shows us two things about the Shadesmar beads:

  1. They have a negligible mass (based on textual descriptions of how people fall through them, they probably even have less mass than a thin shelled hollow plastic ball crawl ball).
  2. That "glass bead" is just an analogous term, it's not a physical description. If they were in fact made of glass, then your supposition that you would be squished by the pressure of tons of beads on top of you would be correct. But similarly, you would only be able to penetrate to a certain depth, before the collective rigidity of composite solid stopped your downward progress. At best you would be able to wade into the glass bead sea.

 

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