Xtafa

Speculation: What would happen if Dalinar broke his oath.

13 posts in this topic

As above,

What would the consequences be for Roshar if this occurred? Be it Physically, Realmatically or even just on events. 

Would stormdaddy leave a sword behind?

What are your thoughts?

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, Xtafa said:

As above,

What would the consequences be for Roshar if this occurred? Be it Physically, Realmatically or even just on events. 

Would stormdaddy leave a sword behind?

What are your thoughts?

From what the Stormfather said at the end of book 2, it sounds like he isn't as vulnerable to breaking completely. That said, I'm sure it would hurt him pretty severely, whatever that means for him.

Edited by Pagerunner
Removed OB Spoilers
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14 hours ago, Xtafa said:

What would the consequences be for Roshar if this occurred? Be it Physically, Realmatically or even just on events. 

The Stormfather is the conduit from the Spiritual Realm to the Physical Realm for infusing Highstorms. If the Stormfather properly died, and that conduit doesn't get replaced, Roshar ends, plain and simple.

On 7/18/2017 at 8:14 PM, The One Who Connects said:

Highstorms are the source of Crem and Stormlight. Without those two things, Roshar grinds to a halt. I could make a flow-chart of just how ruined Roshar would be.

No Stormlight, no Gemstones. No gemstones, no Fabrials. No Fabrials, no Soulcast grain. Malnutrition, Mass Depopulation, Societal Collapse.
No Infused Gemstones, their use as currency goes out the window b/c counterfeits. Economic Collapse.
No Stormlight, no ambient Investiture. No ambient Investiture, no high healthiness. Medical Pandemics out the wazoo, Societal Collapse x2.
No Infused Gems, no Soulcasters, old-fashioned way only. You think the Desolations sent them back to the Stone Age? Just you wait.
No Stormlight, no Gemhearts. Greatshells as a whole could go extinct because they can't pupate anymore. No Lanceryns, no Chasmfiends, the Reshi Isles sink to the bottom of the sea(depending on how long the Tai-Na's bodies are)
If the Apex predators go, their food source grows in population, and then overconsumes it's own food source, they go extinct from lack of food, and the cycle continues with a lower predator. It's a ripple effect, leading to multiple extinctions, since there's hardly any grass to support a herbivorous population boom if they lose their predators.
No Stormlight, no Listener Forms(they need a Storm to change their Spren bond). Entire way of life gone in a flash.
We have a WoB that Stormlight helps plants grow. I can't imagine what slower plant growth would do to the animal ecology, much less the human one.

So that's humanity collapsing economically, medically, technologically, and societally. The Parshendi way of life falls apart, as they'd be locked in birthform. If they aren't born in Mateform/Slaveform, they'd go extinct. Greatshells go extinct, potentially causing trickle-down extinction of the animal kingdom itself. Forget the conflict with Odium. Odium's entire existence becomes irrelevant if Stormlight disappears.

For the above reasons, I am fairly confidant that Brandon will not allow this to happen. Which means that in your speculative "bond breaking," the Stormfather has to have some way of surviving.

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4 minutes ago, Xtafa said:

@The One Who Connects

Good feedback on that. Do you believe Shinovar would survive, as they are fairly cut off.

I know I'm not the comprehensive guy, but probably not. Sheer blowback from the rest of the collapses. If word got out they were whole in any way, they'd be flooded with refugees, enough to send them spiraling beyond repair as well, not to mention the plagues what might develop or cross the borders.

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49 minutes ago, Xtafa said:

Do you believe Shinovar would survive, as they are fairly cut off.

They could probably last longer, but I don't think it'd be the way they are now. The Highstorms might be weaker, but the ambient stormlight still affects them.

That would make them more susceptible to disease as time went on, and plantlife would grow slower, both of which could limit population growth. They'd be tribal while everyone else went feral/extinct, so I agree with Invocation. The Shin would be knocked low enough that if one of the other collapses hit them, recovery might not be possible.

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Didn't the Stormfather said when he bonded Dalinar that he won't let himself be killed and that why he will not grant him shards? (That saying I haven't finished Oathbringer yet. If that happens later in the book I apologize)

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On 4/19/2018 at 1:42 AM, Xelian said:

Didn't the Stormfather said when he bonded Dalinar that he won't let himself be killed and that why he will not grant him shards?

His words were "I will not be bound in such a way as to kill me" or something very similar.

But I also think he says this before Dalinar says his Oaths, so I don't know if that was in response to the Bond itself or just general sentiment.

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On 4/16/2018 at 3:52 PM, The One Who Connects said:

The Stormfather is the conduit from the Spiritual Realm to the Physical Realm for infusing Highstorms. If the Stormfather properly died, and that conduit doesn't get replaced, Roshar ends, plain and simple.

For the above reasons, I am fairly confidant that Brandon will not allow this to happen. Which means that in your speculative "bond breaking," the Stormfather has to have some way of surviving.

I'm not sure things are nearly this bad.  Let's look at these reasons one by one:

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No Stormlight, no Gemstones. No gemstones, no Fabrials. No Fabrials, no Soulcast grain. Malnutrition, Mass Depopulation, Societal Collapse.

This just isn't true.  It's repeatedly stated that to wage war in the manner that the Alethi do, Soulcast food is required.  But this is by no means true for the general population.  Hearthstone, for instance, gets along perfectly fine without any Soulcasters at all, food or otherwise.  It's unclear whether the bigger cities such as Alethkar absolutely require soulcast food, but it's unlikely.  The outlying regions seem to be taxed in a manner similar to middle-age fiefs, so it's likely that larger cities could subsist on grown grain, just like Earth-analogue cities did.

The loss of soulcasters would no doubt mean a decrease in the quality of life, but hardly on an epic scale.  Most of Roshar doesn't seem to have access to Soulcasters at all.
 

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No Infused Gemstones, their use as currency goes out the window b/c counterfeits. Economic Collapse.

This is maybe true, but honestly counterfeits existed on Earth as well throughout history, and they didn't bring anything near economic collapse.  Moneychangers are already willing to accept dun stones for fresh ones, so clearly there's a large segment of the population perfectly able to detect counterfeit gems without Stormlight.  If anything, flooding the market with gemstones (such as is happening now as a result of the Vengeance Pact on the Shattered Plains) is much more likely to have an effect than any number of counterfeit gemstones.  See, for instance, what happened to Spain's economy after discovering the New World.

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No Stormlight, no ambient Investiture. No ambient Investiture, no high healthiness. Medical Pandemics out the wazoo, Societal Collapse x2.

Again doubtful.  Thanks to the "wisdom of the Heralds" the average Rosharan knows to behave in a sanitary manner, e.g., by washing their hands before performing surgery.  They might not know why they ought to do as they do, but they know the right things to do.  In fact, due to the presence of rotspren and the like, even without Stormlight Roshar would be miles ahead of Middle-Age Earth.  How easy is it to avoid the infected guy when there are literally a swarm of spren effectively screaming "Hey, this guy's sick!  Stay clear!"

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No Infused Gems, no Soulcasters, old-fashioned way only. You think the Desolations sent them back to the Stone Age? Just you wait.

Not sure what you're saying here.  If you're saying that the Desolations would be worse, then yes, that's definitely true.  But then, that's kind of the point.  This is the True Desolation, after all.  Things are supposed to get worse.

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No Stormlight, no Gemhearts. Greatshells as a whole could go extinct because they can't pupate anymore. No Lanceryns, no Chasmfiends, the Reshi Isles sink to the bottom of the sea(depending on how long the Tai-Na's bodies are)
 

Yeah, the Reshi are totally screwed on this one -- if the greatshells require Stormlight to survive.  This isn't totally clear.  They certainly require a spren bond, but it's not clear that they require Stormlight after the bond is formed.  In fact I'd say it's unlikely, since the Listeners don't seem to require Stormlight to maintain their bond.  But regardless the Reshi Isles are a very small part of Roshar, judging by the map.  Sucks for them, and in the worst-case scenario where all the islands suddenly sink, there would quite possibly be a huge refugee crisis in the nearby countries, but that's not exactly catastrophic for anyone except the Reshi themselves.

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If the Apex predators go, their food source grows in population, and then overconsumes it's own food source, they go extinct from lack of food, and the cycle continues with a lower predator. It's a ripple effect, leading to multiple extinctions, since there's hardly any grass to support a herbivorous population boom if they lose their predators.

This just doesn't make sense.  I agree that population dynamics are complex and do not always follow the trends our population models predict, but rarely if ever do large predators expand so quickly as to hunt themselves to extinction.  There's probably been a case where it's happened -- I'm almost certain there is, at least in isolated regions, since the scenario sounds vaguely familiar.  But it's certainly not the standard case.

That's not to say Roshar's ecosystem won't be wrecked.  It will be.  But the reason it'll be wrecked is that most "animals" on Roshar require Stormlight to pupate, so without Stormlight there's no reproduction and no second generation.  Most species of greatshell go extinct within a single generation without another way to get Investiture, and that would have an effect.  This is no doubt the greatest blow to Roshar in general, and depending on the extent to which these animals are harvested for food this could in fact trigger the famines discussed above.  We don't really have enough information to know to what extent the Rosharan food network relies on greatshells, however, so we can't really say how they'd react to its loss.  Is it like meat in the Middle Ages, where your average family might get some once or twice a year?  In that case, probably no big loss.  But we just don't know.

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No Stormlight, no Listener Forms(they need a Storm to change their Spren bond). Entire way of life gone in a flash.

Meh, the Listener society is pretty much gone anyway.  And much like with the Reshi, even if the entire society were to suddenly just disappear, well, sucks for them.  But Roshar proper would barely notice.

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We have a WoB that Stormlight helps plants grow. I can't imagine what slower plant growth would do to the animal ecology, much less the human one.

Clearly it doesn't help plants grow all that much, or else farmers would be putting infused spheres out in the morning and collecting them at night.  Since they don't, we can safely say that though Stormlight might have a beneficial effect, it's clearly not a significant one.

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For the above reasons, I am fairly confidant that Brandon will not allow this to happen. Which means that in your speculative "bond breaking," the Stormfather has to have some way of surviving.

For the above reasons, I'm nowhere near certain that this is the case.  In fact, I'm very strongly hoping that the Stormfather is splintered one way or another, and the sooner the better in my book.  It does seem that the Stormfather is sufficiently Invested that Dalinar breaking his Oaths wouldn't be enough by itself, but I'm strongly hoping that Odium might pitch in and lend a helping hand.

In fact, the story of Dalinar, onetime Bondsmith, seems interesting enough that I'd almost hope for him to survive the Stormfather's destruction.  I think I'm still slightly leaning toward having him go out in a blaze of glory, but the story of a Radiant who lost his bond without breaking his Oaths seems interesting in its own right, and probably more interesting with a Bondsmith than with another Order due to the difficulty of bonding another similar spren.  Though the struggles of a non-Bondsmith Radiant who keeps attracting the right spren but doesn't particularly want to replace his old friend with someone new could also be pretty good, so I'm not particularly tied to Dalinar being the one.  He takes up too much of the story as it is.

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Posted (edited)

The ecology of Roshar depends fully on Stormlight and spren bonds. No Stormlight means greatshells literally crush themselves. 

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LordXenu069

How tall would the average chasmfiend be, and how much would they weigh? On a scale from ant to Godzilla.

Brandon Sanderson

So, they're big. Not godzilla big, but larger than elephant big. On average, they're going to loom over you at about twenty feet high, which is deceptive to their size, as they're longer than tall. And some do get even bigger.

Weight, though, is a tricky matter with greatshells on Roshar. The symbiosis with spren is how they get around crushing themselves. (Even on a lower gravity planet like Roshar.)

LordXenu069

One last question though, symbiosis is a two way relationship. The chasmfiends get a huge benefit, the ability to not immediately die. So what do the spren get out of it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, the symbiosis is a two-way relationship. You'll find out more in future books, but suffice it to say, the spren DO get something out of the deal. (At least, when it happens naturally.)

source

This is also how skyeels fly... So it's a fairly safe assumption that this is just a normal part of the ecosystem. 

The One Who Connects is correct, no Stormlight in highstorms means at minimum an ecological collapse.

Edit: another aspect of this that I'd never considered before, is that chrysalis transformations happen in the same manner as listener form changes. Creatures pupate, and then use the storm to change. So chasmfiends, chulls, and anything else that uses this method of growth wouldn't even continue to reach maturity. 

Edited by Calderis
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On 4/24/2018 at 7:46 PM, galendo said:

Not sure what you're saying here.  If you're saying that the Desolations would be worse, then yes, that's definitely true.  But then, that's kind of the point.  This is the True Desolation, after all.  Things are supposed to get worse.

This point was little different from an apocalypse scenario on a future earth. Think of how much stuff will be created by machines in say.. the year 2,300, and think of how few people will know how to manually create that stuff by that time. Suddenly, a solar flare(or other situation) fries all the electronics. Humanity has to revert to the old fashion(and man-made) methods for everything. But who has the proper tools to do any of that, and more importantly, does anyone know how to do/use any of that? Progress on the Tech Tree would be sent back centuries, even millennia.

If there are no Soulcasters anymore, then you have to do things the old-fashioned way. Any technology, any practice, any anything..., that's been phased out/replaced by Soulcasters has to make a massive comeback, and that's assuming that some of these things are still known(given how many losses of knowledge Roshar's had) Soulcasters can literally just magic a material out of thin air if need be, skipping several steps of the process and more importantly, rendering many of the tools necessary for the process obsolete. You'd have cases of needing a tool that no longer exists, forcing them to "literally reinvent the wheel," so to speak.

To give one example: mining tools. They have to exist in order to mine for gems, but think of the sheer number of other things that would have to be mined that are shortcut by having Soulcasters, and how that changes the commonality of miners and mining tools. The Job Economy would be flipped sideways as the priority system rapidly changes, and that'd hit bigger cities the hardest. Smaller settlements would probably be able to adapt the easiest(like you mention for your grain counterpoint), but all of the points would theoretically be happening around the same time, so taking each of them separately doesn't always work. [I'd continue down that vein, but that's a potential rabbit hole of its own, and would take far too long.]

On 4/24/2018 at 7:46 PM, galendo said:

Clearly it doesn't help plants grow all that much, or else farmers would be putting infused spheres out in the morning and collecting them at night.  Since they don't, we can safely say that though Stormlight might have a beneficial effect, it's clearly not a significant one.

I only slightly disagree. Progression Fabrials don't exist(beyond maybe a couple in possession of the Secret Societies), so the concept of Surge of Growth isn't too well known in-world. Farmers probably wouldn't leave infused spheres in their fields for fear of thieves, and they wouldn't discover what it did if they don't do that. Additionally, they don't have a "without Stormlight" example to compare it too since there is always ambient Stormlight around. Heck, the only reason we know is because Brandon told us, so I'm willing to believe it's just something they haven't discovered. (There's also the potential that the plantlife has evolved to grow in Investiture-rich environments, like a reverse cactus, but I doubt Roshar's been around long enough for that to happen) I'm mainly just arguing for "we don't know" over "it's definitely not significant." Either way, slower plant growth would be more of a long-term issue than an immediate problem.

On 4/24/2018 at 7:46 PM, galendo said:

Again doubtful.  Thanks to the "wisdom of the Heralds" the average Rosharan knows to behave in a sanitary manner, e.g., by washing their hands before performing surgery.  They might not know why they ought to do as they do, but they know the right things to do.  In fact, due to the presence of rotspren and the like, even without Stormlight Roshar would be miles ahead of Middle-Age Earth.  How easy is it to avoid the infected guy when there are literally a swarm of spren effectively screaming "Hey, this guy's sick!  Stay clear!"

I'll admit that "out the wazoo" may have been overstating it, but people still get some pretty bad sicknesses in spite of the high healthiness and the "rotspren" thing. I can't think of any way to spin "greater health" beyond resistance to disease, so I still think having the entire population become more susceptible to everything around the same time would be a problem. There's also the possibility of having viruses like Wayne did, where his gold kept it at bay, but didn't cure him. (This is less likely, but with what happened in the Purelake, not impossible) Something else I just thought of is that not everywhere holds the Heralds in the same regard, which could have led to some places not having/not heeding that hygienic advice, which could potentially lead to problems in places that do. [I think we're both starting to notice that a lot of these are amounting to "maybes," but we are speculating...]

On 4/24/2018 at 7:46 PM, galendo said:

Meh, the Listener society is pretty much gone anyway.  And much like with the Reshi, even if the entire society were to suddenly just disappear, well, sucks for them.  But Roshar proper would barely notice.

This one was just for the sake of completeness(and, at the time, I don't think we knew whether or not their "birthform" was capable of reproduction)

On 4/24/2018 at 7:46 PM, galendo said:

I agree that population dynamics are complex and do not always follow the trends our population models predict, but rarely if ever do large predators expand so quickly as to hunt themselves to extinction.  There's probably been a case where it's happened -- I'm almost certain there is, at least in isolated regions, since the scenario sounds vaguely familiar.  But it's certainly not the standard case.

This is no doubt the greatest blow to Roshar in general, and depending on the extent to which these animals are harvested for food this could in fact trigger the famines discussed above.  We don't really have enough information to know to what extent the Rosharan food network relies on greatshells, however, so we can't really say how they'd react to its loss. Is it like meat in the Middle Ages, where your average family might get some once or twice a year?  In that case, probably no big loss.  But we just don't know.

If memory serves, the main reason an overconsume/extinct event happens is because the animals in question don't have (m)any other options to eat(compared to the sheer variance of the human diet, for example), which is why it's more common lower down the food chain, and harder to do in non-isolated areas, so you're probably right that it's probably unlikely to happen the way I described. But we really don't know how much variance there is to the average creature's diet on Roshar, so I'm not gonna discount it entirely, which leads to your other quoted paragraph. In areas where soulcast foods are vital to supporting the population, they could switch to hunting for meat to fill the gap, and that could help contribute to animal population loss(especially if they stick to a creature they can hunt, limiting total prey for the predator that normally hunts it). Without their natural predators, animals could spread out to other areas in search of other foods, which would screw with the local ecosystem. [I think the root problem of predicting something like this is that there's never one clear reason why something happens.]

On 4/24/2018 at 7:46 PM, galendo said:

Sucks for them, and in the worst-case scenario where all the islands suddenly sink, there would quite possibly be a huge refugee crisis in the nearby countries, but that's not exactly catastrophic for anyone except the Reshi themselves.

Brandon seems to think there is gonna be an ecological price to pay for losing Chasmfiends, and I'd imagine there would be similar for losing some of the other Greatshells.

On 4/24/2018 at 7:46 PM, galendo said:

This is maybe true, but honestly counterfeits existed on Earth as well throughout history, and they didn't bring anything near economic collapse.  Moneychangers are already willing to accept dun stones for fresh ones, so clearly there's a large segment of the population perfectly able to detect counterfeit gems without Stormlight.  If anything, flooding the market with gemstones (such as is happening now as a result of the Vengeance Pact on the Shattered Plains) is much more likely to have an effect than any number of counterfeit gemstones.  See, for instance, what happened to Spain's economy after discovering the New World.

You make a valid point, but the moneychangers aren't the ones who'd need to be fooled. I don't think every merchant on Roshar knows the difference between a dun gemstone and a fake, and you've probably seen some of the wonky pathways physical money travels along in the real world. Make some deals with random people here and there, pay with a mix of fakes and real spheres, it could be a long time before any of the counterfeits hit a merchant who checks them, and at that point, lots of them could be in circulation, which could screw with business at all levels of the economy, not to mention at any place(if you can dupe some traveling vendors). Maybe "collapse" was too strong a word, but there are less fancy things that go into anti-counterfeiting on Roshar, and probably less checking for counterfeits too. All these things could add up, and that could have big repercussions down the line.

Something that I also forgot back in the day was that if you can't infuse spheres, their use as a light source goes out the window. Torches aren't exactly the best option on the Storm Capital of the Cosmere, so I'm not sure where that'd lead them, but it would be a problem that requires a solution.

On 4/24/2018 at 7:46 PM, galendo said:

This just isn't true.  It's repeatedly stated that to wage war in the manner that the Alethi do, Soulcast food is required.  But this is by no means true for the general population.  Hearthstone, for instance, gets along perfectly fine without any Soulcasters at all, food or otherwise.  It's unclear whether the bigger cities such as Alethkar absolutely require soulcast food, but it's unlikely.  The outlying regions seem to be taxed in a manner similar to middle-age fiefs, so it's likely that larger cities could subsist on grown grain, just like Earth-analogue cities did.

Found the WoB, and it looks like I overestimated. Without Soulcasters, Kholinar would have trouble, but it could learn to manage. I imagine that some of the other capital-esque cities would be in a similar boat. I think the big thing with this one is the Warcamps and the danger that they represent. Per the WoB, they would starve themselves out fast without Soulcasters. In that situation, they would have to head back to someplace with farmland, like say... Kholinar. Dalinar's troops would return to Kholin lands, but Kholinar is already over the sustainable limit. People would either starve to death or risk running elsewhere in search of food, which could push that place over the limit, thus repeating the process, etc... not to mention there'd probably be an increase in banditry between settlements, robbing people of food(and probably other supplies), it's just generally not good. It might not qualify as "mass depop," but it'd still be a decent number of deaths.

On 4/24/2018 at 7:46 PM, galendo said:

In fact, I'm very strongly hoping that the Stormfather is splintered one way or another, and the sooner the better in my book.

Well, I did mention that all this bad would only happen if that conduit didn't get fixed. If they could find some way of shortcutting the system, then the SF could die without much ecological consequence. I just don't have any idea how they would go about doing that shortcut, so I don't think he'll die.


I guess my main thing against Brandon going this route is that this would be a post-apocalyptic story in its own right, and I don't see the need to insert the apocalypse into the Desolation, when that'll do a good enough job of wrecking the planet on its own.

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On 4/26/2018 at 7:34 PM, The One Who Connects said:

Progress on the Tech Tree would be sent back centuries, even millennia.If there are no Soulcasters anymore, then you have to do things the old-fashioned way.
 


 

But the point is that they already do things the old fashioned way.  You mentioned mining tools, but remember that the Shin explicitly wanted soulcast metal rather than mined metal because it didn't require breaking rocks.  Also, Shallan's father specifically created mineral deposits which were presumably then extracted by conventional mining methods.  So it's not like mining is unknown or even all that uncommon on Roshar.

In every case we've seen them, soulcasters make life easier but are nowhere necessary other than for specific niche purposes like trading with the Shin or providing easy food for your army.  The common folk -- i.e., most of Roshar -- don't have access to them at all.  I don't foresee any sort of technological collapse if they suddenly vanish.

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[I think we're both starting to notice that a lot of these are amounting to "maybes," but we are speculating...

True enough.  I think I'm seeing Stormlight in general being much less vital to life on Roshar than you are, other than for the "animals" that require it to pupate.  I also see it as the next logical step of where to take the story, because in my opinion Dalinar's gotten too powerful too fast and needs to be put down.  Splintering the Stormfather -- which may or may not stop the highstorms themselves -- seems like the best way to do it, from a story perspective.

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You make a valid point, but the moneychangers aren't the ones who'd need to be fooled. I don't think every merchant on Roshar knows the difference between a dun gemstone and a fake, and you've probably seen some of the wonky pathways physical money travels along in the real world. Make some deals with random people here and there, pay with a mix of fakes and real spheres, it could be a long time before any of the counterfeits hit a merchant who checks them, and at that point, lots of them could be in circulation, which could screw with business at all levels of the economy, not to mention at any place(if you can dupe some traveling vendors). Maybe "collapse" was too strong a word, but there are less fancy things that go into anti-counterfeiting on Roshar, and probably less checking for counterfeits too. All these things could add up, and that could have big repercussions down the line

Your average merchant may or may not be able to distinguish a dun sphere from a fake, though I suspect that many of them could since the old apothecary was willing to take Kaladin's dun spheres after checking them under a magnifying glass.  And up until recently, it wasn't as if your average merchant on Earth could easily detect the difference between, say, a real coin and a clever fake.  That's why counterfeiting was generally punished by death.  But society went on.

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Something that I also forgot back in the day was that if you can't infuse spheres, their use as a light source goes out the window. Torches aren't exactly the best option on the Storm Capital of the Cosmere, so I'm not sure where that'd lead them, but it would be a problem that requires a solution.

For most of human history, people rose with the sun and set with the sun.  Artificial light of any sort is a relatively modern invention (several thousand years, but that's still a drop in the bucket, comparatively), and affordable light only goes back a couple hundred years, and even then not to everyone or for casual purposes.  Candles and lamps were for rich people before that; and I don't think torches were ever as commonly used as modern pop culture makes them out to be.

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Well, I did mention that all this bad would only happen if that conduit didn't get fixed. If they could find some way of shortcutting the system, then the SF could die without much ecological consequence. I just don't have any idea how they would go about doing that shortcut, so I don't think he'll die.

I dunno.  It's not even clear whether the Stormfather is strictly necessary for either the highstorms or the associated Investiture dump.  Things would certainly be different if he were gone, but it's not clear by how much.

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I guess my main thing against Brandon going this route is that this would be a post-apocalyptic story in its own right, and I don't see the need to insert the apocalypse into the Desolation, when that'll do a good enough job of wrecking the planet on its own.

See, I guess I'm seeing that Brandon has to go somewhere after the first five books, and having Roshar be totally wrecked and Stormlight only a fond memory seem like a very plausible way to go.  There's a few reasons for me to think this:

First and foremost, Brandon's going to run out of Oaths real fast -- I'm guessing the end of book five.  All our on-screen Radiants have at most two Oaths left to go, and so far we've been going through them at a rate of about one a book, so...what happens then?  There needs to be something else for characters to strive toward, once their Oaths are sworn.  Yeah, there's a lot of Ideals we don't know from other Orders, but you only really get to write the "Radiant gets Shardplate" scene once, just like we only got the "Kaladin gets Shardblade" scene and not the Shallan/Jasnah/Renarin Shardblade scenes.

Second, there've been several hints that music might let you get at Investiture on Roshar.  Hoid tried to get Kaladin to learn to play the flute, Aramam has a collect of instruments despite music not being a masculine pursuit, humming makes Soulcasting more likely to work, etc.  Maybe you have a different interpretation, but I'm guessing/hoping that this is a long-term setup for the eventual removal of Stormlight from Roshar.  There's a Misborn analogue, where

Spoiler

Metals are the "easy" way of getting Investiture, but you can also get it the "hard" way by burning the mists themselves.

In the same sense, I think that Stormlight might be the "easy" way of getting Investiture, but that it's also possible to get it via music as well.

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the real question here is weather (he he) or not Cultivation would allow such a disastrous event occur without any help from her   

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