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I'm retiring this mirror blog, after the launch of my new website. I'm pretty sure very few people actually followed this mirror. My new blog is right on my new site's front page, and it has a new RSS feed. You can also get more frequent updates from me on Twitter and Facebook.
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Mac walked his way through several alleys, his shredded soul giving him constant sight into the alleys and their horrors. Admittedly, being able to see all the alleys was nice when actively alley traveling, it was just that being able to turn it off was also very nice as well. Thats why he needed the monocle. While generally they helped restore stability, mental stability spikes were ineffective once a soul was too damaged. He had figured out however, that a single spike, hooked up to a monocle or set of glasses, at least stopped the hallucinations when he looked through them. Same thing with his aluminum lined bowler hats, they were all to enable him to focus on the real world when he couldn't indulge in the alleys.
However, he had lost both of them, and so he needed to head to the place where they were made, his old hideaway.
It had been stashed in an old gothic alley, buried under a street. The only way to enter was to stand in one specific spot, and look for an alley thats entrance was smaller then an axi. Once found, the alleymancer would need to shrink themselves down, and follow the path carefully to the end, which placed them in a repurposed jewelry box. This atom sized path was the only entrance, as well as the only exit. Which was also the reason that this sorry attempt at a hideaway lay abandoned.
The place lay in ruins. Instead of a pristine front yard covered with beautiful murals of nature, it was more reminiscent of a cheap movie set. Plywood walls were spray painted with light blue, and the flood with a grass-ish green. In the corner, there was a slag heap, consisting of what appeared to be picture frames or paintings, and mirrors, all crudely melted together in a heap. The walls were scorched where a fire had raged years before.
The front façade of the house was much the same. Each window was smashed and emptied, the glass littering the wooden "lawn". Any shards big enough to see a reflection in were also crushed to bits.
Notably, the inside of the house was missing each and every reflective surface. Every metal door handle and brass finish was scratched, bent, or torn out so that there was no way to see any reflection. The mahogany walls were conspicuously lacking any décor, and their glossy finish was again scrubbed and scratched away. What little remained of the furniture looked like it had been through a hurricane. Tables were broken in too. Sofa's barricaded doors, or were in pieces across the room. The only sign of life was the basement door, which constant rattled, and a punching bag, that sat conspicuously in the living room as if it were the only thing that had been moved since all this destruction happened.
Mac carefully made his way up to his bedroom. Like the rest of the house, it was in disarray. However, unlike the rest of the house, there was one nice spot. on the wall, there was a cabinet, in the cabinet a covered mirror. The only place for a reflection to be seen in the entire house. Beneath the cabinet, there was a chest containing bowler hats and monocles, as well as a small box of necessities, lint rollers, a razor, etc.
Carefully, he opened the box and the cabinet, setting up all the items for personal hygiene needed, then he placed a revolver, easily within arms reach. Ready to shoot the mirror should anything unwanted come out. Then with a final swoop, he lowered the cover and began to prepare to return to the alleys.
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As discussed prior, the energy of the multiverse can be divided into four quadrants. Each quadrant has its own mechanics associated with it, including a solid form of that energy. These solids are known as fundamental substances, for it is from them that the worlds are made.
Unlike other forms of chaotic-dark essence, mordite does not destroy things it comes in contact with. Under most circumstances, it is inert. It can even be alloyed with other materials.This does not mean it is not dangerous, however; in fact, due to one simple property, mordite is perhaps the most dangerous thing in all of existence. This property of mordite is its ability to kill anything. No being is safe; not humans, not robots, not gods. Even the Witherlord could be slain with a mordite blade (that is, barring his ability to simply control any mordite that might be wielded against him). Just because a mordite blade can kill doesn't mean it always will - a glancing blow, one that does not strike the core of a being, will only gravely wound. But it will wound, resisting whatever magical healing factor the creature might have.
Not much is known about the nullite: it is only the ennullers that have access to it, and they are notoriously secretive. Nullite is used to power the magic system of Silence, including the barriers that keep the most powerful entities in the universe trapped.
Chaotic-Light: Prismite (commonly known as Narrativium)
Prismite is by far the most common of the fundamental substances, especially within the confines of the Wall. Pieces of it are known as dream crystals and are used by various dream artists as a source of power for innumerable magic systems. Dream crystals are also used by dyrlings in a similar fashion to power their wild magic.
Prismite is the substance that forms the matter of the world. Each dream crystal contains within it its own world, known as a dreamscape. Dream artists manipulate this dreamscape- consciously or unconsciously - and then project it onto the prismite of reality. The most powerful examples of this are the Narrators, who dictate whatever they desire.
Luxite has been almost completely eradicated from reality in the present day. It specializes in the manipulation and the control of energy. Its best-known use is as a weapon against chaotic-dark entities, but it is also critical in maintaining the structure of the universe. Luxite forms the foundation upon which everything else is built, and without it all of reality would be subject to the ravages of the Void.
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It is absolutely no secret that the imperial system is kinda dumb. Like, did you know that the foot was divided into ten "thumb-lengths" back in ye olden dayse? Heck, there are records showing that inches were defined by the width of a man's thumb rather than the length of it (that are presumably incredibly precise for the time!). And all in all, it turns out that feet are defined by twelve times an inch, not the other way around.
And the mile? Five thousand two hundred and eighty feet??? What kinda number is that? Y'know, the word "mile" comes from latin "mille," meaning thousand. The mile was "a thousand paces" as the Romans defined it. Apparently it was five thousand feet back in the British 1500s, based on the furlong measurement, which itself was defined by the German foot! We can all blame Queen Elizabeth for taking our clean and easy 5K and ruining it, as she decided (for no apparent reason) that a furlong just had to be 660 feet instead of 625, so they had to make the foot an even shorter measurement, tacking 280 onto the mile.
Shoutouts to nautical miles, though. In feet they make no sense (6,076.11549), but it's supposed to be based on one arcminute of the Earth's circumference, meaning 1/60th of a degree: much cleaner!
But anyways, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's get back to the kings of the world of measurements: the Metric System.
Currently, the Meter is an SI unit, meaning Standard International or International System. There are seven of these units (Meter, Kilogram, Ampere, Kelvin, Mole, and Candela), all of which are based on a bunch of really confusing numbers (Speed of Light, Planck Constant, Elementary Charge, Boltzmann Constant, Avagadro Constant, Luminous Efficacy [of 540 THz radiation], and the... uh.... "hyperfine transition frequency of Cs"). I'm not gonna go into all of them, because frankly I couldn't care less about the definition of luminocity of exactly 540 THz in comparison to that one dysfunctional fluorescent bulb that likes to flicker on and off in my dining room.
The Meter was originally (in practical settings) defined by a standardized pendulum's swing (with a period of two seconds), but then gravity and atmospheric pressure and other nasty stuff got in the way of that working, so the definition was swapped. I was actually pleasantly surprised to learn that the new original definition of a meter was - no joke - one ten-millionth of the distance between the Equator and the North Pole assuming a flat surface of a sphere.
It's like - what??? That number is SO CLEAN. To scud if it doesn't work 'cause Earth isn't a perfect sphere in any direction or because there's a slight stretch and compression force based on the tiniest fractions of gravitation between the planet and the sun over the course of our orbit due to the tilt on the axis - I LOVE that. It's such a CLEAN. SCUDDING. NUMBER.
Practical representations, of course, were created. Turns out everything mathematically important is kept in Paris, so the original physical standard of a meter was a platinum bar held there. It was eventually replaced by a series of bars (each made of platinum-iridium: the same stuff still used for physical models today).
Of course, however, no unit gets itself a perfectly clean slate. For a brief period of just over a couple decades, some loser decided to define a meter as wavelength of a specific transition in Krypton-86. What on earth does that mean? That sounds like there're at least, like, twenty prerequisites for measuring that sort of thing! We can thank Einstein for saving our sorry hides (again), though, as it was redefined to be 1/c (speed of light) in 1983. It's stayed that way since, and remains to this day one of the essential units of measurement across the entire world.
That begs the question... how is the speed of light defined?
First of all, let's ignore the whole "we have no clue what the one-way speed of light is" thing. So long as we can arbitrarily decide that 2c/2 = c, then reality as we know it actually works. Y'alls do not want me to get into skepticistic nihilism and start digging through the rabbit hole of universal methodic doubt and cogito ergo sum. The speed of light was originally measured by a pair of scientists' efforts - Ole Roemer and Christiaan Huygens.
Roemer was observing the orbital period of the moon Io around Jupiter, attempting to better discern its period. He was studying it over the course of several years and came across an anomaly: there was a solid delay in the time between eclipse emergence (When Io came out from behind Jupiter, making itself observable) depending on the time of year. The delay could be equated to about eleven minutes overall depending on where Earth was during its orbit. In a stroke of genius, Roemer realized that the only explanation was that there must be a finite speed of light, and the distance between Earth and Jupiter changing throughout the year was delaying the light coming from the moon.
Huygens took Roemer's measurements and did the math, finding the speed of light to be approximately 2.10E8 meters per second. The correct measurement is 2.99E8 m/s (the difference came from an inaccuracy in the measurements themselves). Even with all the limitations of the era (it was the late 1600s), they were quite close to the actual standard. It was quite impressive, actually.
The first most precise calculations were by Simon Newcomb and his prodege Albert Michelson. They took measurements by lattices of mirrors and such, constantly zoning in closer and closer to the actual speed. Michelson first found the speed to be 299,910 ± 50 km/s before joining Newcomb, who narrowed it down to 299,860 ± 30 km/s. The most accurate of Michelson's experiements came out to be about 299,774 ± 11 km/s: a measurement found after his death.
While all those numbers are great and all, they're all based on the day's definition of a meter: one ten-millionth of the Earth's distance between the equator and the North Pole, or one of those platinum-iridium bars that they've probably still got locked up in Paris somewhere. Of course, the speed of light was narrowed on down and down, and eventually fixed to be 299,792,458 m/s at one of those big conferences where people that people decided get to decide stuff decide what stuff is.
But here's the problem:
299,792,458 m/s is defined by the meter, yes?
Do you want to know how it was fixed to that number?
By arbitrarily fixing it to that number...
...and then defining a meter by one over it.
Do you SEE THE PROBLEM???
The speed of light was defined by a meter, but then it suddenly swapped so that the meter became defined by the speed of light! I guess that equals signs go both ways, but that is THE MOST RECURSIVE mathematical phenonema to ever exist! You can't just decide that because one thing is one thing, that the other thing is that one thing too! If socrates is man and man is mortal, then Socrates is mortal... but that doesn't mean that because I'm man and I'm mortal that I'm Socrates! Socrates was a butt-ugly genius who talked too much and--
--kay, actually. Maybe I am Socrates. BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT.
The point, I think, is that these things really don't matter all that much. At the end of the day, it couldn't matter less to you or me how incredibly precise a meter is in relation to how wide your flatscreen television is. What matters is that your tape measure spans the distance and that the TV fits on your wall. I think it's important to remember that, regardless of how science has been honed to a razor-sharp edge of precision, all these measurements and definitions and units are all arbitrary anyways. People will never be perfect, and while the nanoscopic scale of what the heck a meter is or isn't works great on the papers signed by those folks voting about these thigns, but really couldn't matter less to you or me.
So with all that said, if you're going to come away with one thing, it must be this:Spoiler
The imperial system is defined in relation to metric.Spoiler
I hope you remember this destructive act of undoing the next time you convert feet to meters over google.
Hello frens! I have returned with some random ponderings, a life update, and some cute doggo pictures.
Life update first! I turned in my research paper Thursday, and now I have free time! It feels slightly weird. I’ve been able to spend more time on discord, as well as more time writing and editing cytoverse articles on the coppermind. It’s been a crazy week, what with Brandon’s video.
Spoilers for Brandon’s announcement video, just in caseSpoiler
I’m debating wether or not to read the pre-readings and such and engage in discussion. (I’ve already read the first book’s first five chapters) On one hand, it would be fun to be surprised, (though I’d see the title anyway, from working on the coppermind). But on the other hand, I’d enjoy filling up the long wait with fun discussion and theorizing. I think I may just read all the pre-release stuff for SP 1, 3, and 4, since the spoiler discussion for #2 will be kept seperate.
I also have this random poem that I found and enjoyed
So now for some random thoughts:
1) It’s better to puke in the sink than to sink in the puke.
2) I find it strange how my opinion on sleep has changed as I’ve grown older. When I was a lil kid, I had plenty of opportunity to sleep, with an early bed time, but I didn’t want to sleep. When I was around 14 ish, I had time to sleep, and the desire to sleep a bunch, and was a typical early teen who slept a bunch. Nowadays, I’m 16, and I kind of want to sleep. However, I don’t have a bunch of time to sleep. Sometimes it’s that, or sometimes I just have a bunch of stuff I want to get done. (Like editing on the coppermind, or writing, or reading). I kind of wish I did more with my time when I was like 10-14, and had a bunch more free time. Now I have tons of stuff I want to do, and not enough time to do it.
3) Gouda cheese is delicious, and goes good on ritz crackers
4) Sardines are also delicious, and go amazingly with saltines. They may look gross, but they are delicious.
Thanks for reading, and have a fantastic day!
Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers.
Chapter 112 (Terms)
Title: Are we really going to try making a contract with Odium now? I sure hope not. It doesn’t feel earned. Hopefully this is about the terms they will set with their allied Fused in the Tower.
Icons: Betab. Patron of Elsecallers, also Wise and Careful. I’m going to hope it’s something to do with Rlain’s new Elsecaller status.
Epigraph: This might be the first in-text confirmation that Odium is waging (or preparing to wage) a war beyond Greater Roshar. We’ve had Wit’s comments about preventing Rayse’s escape and limiting his ability to harm others, but nothing from Odium’s side to confirm that he actually has designs on the greater Cosmere. Obviously we know something about his plans due to WoBs over the years, but in-text citations are always better.
Dalinar’s exhaustion is greater than expected, and leaves him vulnerable. I think Odium is going to approach him in a vision while he’s down for a rest.
Odium didn’t even wait for him to lay down. As soon as he stepped through the door, it was all business. Will there even be small talk?Quote
Another addition to the list of swears! Thanks, Dalinar!
It does seem as though Rayse’s self control is lacking. He barely keeps his anger at bay, and his image seems to match Wit’s description of his power and mind working at odds with each other.
Odium thinks Dalinar has been getting coaching from Ishar. He can’t see Dalinar’s future, but this means he can’t really examine his past either.
That’s a pretty skillful lie that Dalinar just came up with on the spot. Good work.
Going to see Ishar wasn’t useful in itself, but it did let Dalinar bluff really well and provided great misdirection for Odium’s paranoia.
Wait, when did Dalinar learn that Renarin was a blindspot? Looking back… it was in chapter 54 when Renarin apparently deduced it for himself and shared, plus in interlude 9 Taravangian told Szeth…though that meeting may not have been reported to Dalinar. I totally forgot that Renarin had figured it out and told Dalinar. I guess that’s what I get for taking so long to read this book.
He immediately knows that Wit wrote the contract. He doesn’t seem to have much affection for the man, to put it gently.
Okay, here’s clarification of sorts: Honor chained Odium to the Rosharan system and prevented him from using his power on most people. And if he breaks his word, he’ll be open to attack from Cultivation.
The Everstorm somehow is beyond Rayse’s control, and he can’t agree to withdraw it. That’s weird. But let’s see where he’s going with it.Quote
Do you know why I make men fight? [...] I need soldiers. For the true battle that is coming, not for one people or one miserable windswept continent. A battle of the gods. A battle for everything.
Roshar is a training ground. The time will come that I unleash you upon the others who are not nearly as well trained.
This is remarkably similar to the Alethi concept of the Tranquiline Halls and the fate of those worthy warriors who die in battle. I wonder if that belief was directly engendered by the thrill or by Odium’s whispers. Or is it the case of glorifying something that used to be warned against?
Odium’s proposal is exactly opposite to what Wit wants. “If I win, I go free of Roshar and leave you all here to rot.” That’s not great for the wider Cosmere.
Good. Dalinar doesn’t trust Wit, but he also knows that Tanavast died to trap Odium here. He’s not going to just undo that.
Woah, wait. This is a huge hint:
If I win, I want the Knights Radiant. [...] Your people and mine will begin preparing for the true war: the one that will begin when the gods of other worlds discover the strength of Surgebinding.
So Odium has been playing a serious game from the start. He discovered Surgebinding on Ashyn, tricked the people there into exploiting it until the planet suffered the consequences, and proceeded to begin the same here on Roshar.
The spren copied this, and Ishar saw the danger of history repeating, so he limited surgebinding under some formalized ruleset. But surgebinding isn’t just the magic of Roshar or the Rosharan system, it is apparently an exploit of investiture at a fundamental level. It’s something that can be done on all shardworlds, as an enhancement of or as a distinct system from the magic that already exists there. And it’s powerful enough to kick off full-scale inter-system war.
Ah. Odium is scared because the Fused and the Radiant spren can now kill each other, and each death reduces the forces he will be able to bring to bear when he does eventually break free. He is in a hurry to settle this while both sides are at full power so as not to lose the one advantage he’s been banking on. Sadly, Dalinar doesn’t see this, not being aware of what happened at Urithiru.
Ten days until Odium’s proposed contest of champions. I guess the epigraphs make sense: “Musings of El, on the first of the Final Ten Days.”
The terms if he loses are that Odium will keep his conquered lands and enforce an end to the war. I guess that explains how we get a timeskip between books 5 and 6. This will also let him send his agents through the cosmere.
And if Dalinar loses he joins the Fused, immortal and subservient to Odium in all things. But at the same time, the end of the war is still enforced, with the difference that Alethkar and Herdaz are not returned. It’s clear that while Odium covets Dalinar, what he needs is to preserve his army of Fused and Radiants before they can destroy each other.
Dalinar accepts, on the sound logic that if they lose the contest of champions then he’ll have to surrender anyway and the terms of that surrender will be no less restrictive than this win condition he’s negotiated.
Wow. That is a very different set of terms than I would have ever expected Odium to agree to, and a lot more information about Odium’s past and plans than I thought we would be getting. Brandon does love his end-of-book reveals, doesn’t he?
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***** Warning: Rhythm of War spoilers below *****
While working on some updates to our "Interactive Map and Timeline of Roshar" I came across something that intrigued me regarding Rosharan units for distance.
EDIT: I'm coming back to this a few months later because I've just received my 2021 TWoK leatherbound and, to my surprise, the scale on the Alethkar map (referenced below) is gone. That's right. The original Alethkar map had a north arrow and a scale. The 2020 TWoK leatherbounds have the north arrow removed but the scale remains. Apparently they made some kind of last minute change that wasn't included in the 2020 printings because in the 2021 TWoK leatherbounds both the north arrow and the scale have been removed. Weird! (there's also a white shadow behind the text on the map, making the blue font stand out much brighter--that's actually the more noticeable difference)
I'm leaving this entire post as-is. That scale was really the heart of my speculation below, but I'm not surprised it was apparently wrong. Turns out my first "final thought" below (I think the scale on the Alethkar map is probably just an oversight, and that it's wrong...) was dead on. The scale was our best reference to what a Rosharan mile might be, without that there's much less substance here.
That said, I quoted a lot of references to miles in the text. So perhaps when I have some time I'll circle back and make some fresh guesses!
Some background info first
@Paleo was working on a tool to measure distance on the map by clicking two points. In the process, we realized that the grid overlay we were using was not correct. @Otto Didact was the first to realize that our world map of Roshar is a "azimuthal equidistant projection", which is an interesting globe projection where all points are at a consistently proportional distance from a chosen center point. It is perhaps best well known for it's use in the United Nations emblem, where the North Pole is used as the center point. You don't have to use one of the poles as your center point, though that's the most common use. For example, the one on the right, centered on Taipei. It's a great projection to use for Roshar because the the central area of the map looks accurate, as if seen from space. The distortion is worse along the edges. Roshar conveniently has all of it's land in one corner of the globe, so the distorted parts (of the full map) are off in the middle of the sea on the other side of the planet. The map we get in the books of course is just a cropped portion of the full projection.
Anyways... We were looking into this distance measurement tool and realized the calculated coordinates for points toward the edges of the map didn't match up with the grid we were using. Oops! Conveniently, Oathbringer came with a beautiful map of Roshar that included the planet's grid. We just need to adjust things to match this map. And come to find out not only was our grid wrong, but the calculations weren't quite matching the Oathbringer grid either. We never did figure out what was wrong with the grid, so we'll have to make a new one from scratch. As for the calculations, it turns out we needed to pick a better center point. It's hard to say precisely what the center point of the projection should be. The IDEA behind the projection, is that a great circle passing through the center coordinate will appear on the projection as a straight line. We know the center point must be on the "prime meridian" of the map, because it's the meridian that appears as a straight line, but we don't know the right latitude. I used my globe of Roshar to draw great circles through different latitudes on the "prime meridian", and then sketched horizontal lines across the map looking for a match. Through this I found that the center point must be somewhere around 16 or 17 Rosharan degrees south of the equator. Paleo realized that 16 Rosharan degrees is the center point of the image file, so we went with that.
I've used my globe, linked above, to measure distances in the past... But I was never entirely sure of how accurate my projection for the globe was. (plus we realized the globe website wasn't quite calculating distance right through this) After working through everything above, I was quite confident with what we had. Our new grid, calculated mathematically was a pretty solid match to the one used on the Oathbringer map. We know the circumference of the planet is about 22,110 miles. So we should have distance measurements that are as accurate as possible.
With that done, I wanted to check something that I've always wondered about.... The Map of Alethkar in The Way of Kings has a scale on it. So I was curious if our measurements would match this scale. I wasn't expecting it to match actually, because I've been under the impression that the scale was wrong. There is a new version of this same map in Oathbringer, and it has the scale removed. That has given me the impression the last few years that they were retconning some map details. Indeed, the TWoK version also includes a "North" compass heading that conflicts with the Oathbringer world map, and which the OB Alethkar map also removed. Curiously, however, the 10th Anniversary TWoK leatherbounds DID remove the compass but DID NOT remove the scale. So I was curious about what's going on there... Is it right or wrong? An oversight? Something else?
One problem right off the bat is that it's not clear how the scale is meant to be used. Alethkar covers a sizeable chunk of the planet's surface, so a single linear scale can't really be highly accurate for the entire map. So we have to realize there's some margin of error built in. But I did find that the map of Alethkar overlays quite nicely onto the Oathbringer map of Roshar. From there, it was very easy to count pixels on the world map and compare them to known distances. For the azimuthal equidistant projection that we have, any line radiating from the center point as a constant scale. So given the circumference of the planet, we know the distance from the center point at 16 Rdeg South to the intersection of the prime meridian and the equator. If we count the number of pixels on the image, we have our distance/pixel relationship. Now I can draw a straight line (or line segment) at any angle through the center point, count the number of pixels to figure what the distance is. Meanwhile I can overlay the Alethkar map and count the number of pixels for the scale (in the same map). Here's what I got:
So the Alethkar map's scale was for a total distance of 300 units. Presumably miles. Presumably Rosharan miles I should say, because it's an in-world document, which I'll refer to as "Rmiles" from here on out for clarity. Note also my use off Rdeg for Rosharan degrees--they use 200 Rdeg in a circle.I should also note that the "22,110 mile circumference" that we have is NOT entirely clear whether that's Rosharan miles or "real" miles. I tend to get the feeling that they use real miles, internally, and so it's probably that. But we don't know. For all we know, the two are equivalent.
Anyways, what I've done in the image above is mark 300 mile long line segments. We know these are accurate because that's simply how the projection works. And they DO NOT match the scale on the Alethkar map by a significant margin. In fact, I found the scale to be 95% longer. Almost double in length. So what do we make of this?
The very first thing I should say is that this could simply be an error. There are WoBs which clearly indicate that Brandon and his team had NOT entirely nailed down the details of the world map at the time The Way of Kings was written. Isaac notes in that particular one that the continent is 4000 miles across. It's currently at ~6400 miles across if measured through the center point. Depends where you measure from exactly, but it's definitely more than 4000 miles now. The scale WAS included in the leatherbound... but this could simply be an oversight. An error seems highly plausible to me.
Rosharan Units of Distance
But what if it's not an error? Then what do we make of this? You COULD take it as the discrepancy between "real" miles and Rosharan miles. What if the Alethkar map approximates 300 Rmiles while the segments I've drawn are just 300 real miles? Remember that the scale is... a bit ambiguous... The trick of measuring pixels like I did only works along lines radiating from the map's center point. The scale's pixel measurement that I did is not quite a radial line segment, and any measurements on the Alethkar map that are perpendicular to these radial lines will vary in consistency from left to right. That is to say, the scale of vertical measurements distorts as you move across the page from left to right. Where does the 300 mile scale apply? Unclear. But the margin of error shouldn't be SO far off. I'd be surprised if it's more than +/- 5%.
So let's run with this notion that Rosharan miles are about 1.95 times the length of a real mile...
1 Rmile = 1.95 miles = 1.95 x 5280 feet = 10,296 feet.
I can't help but notice how close this is to a metric-like multiple of 10 as we would expect from Rosharans. Indeed, we know that they use ten inches per foot. Or rather, I should say they use 10 Rinches per Rfoot. And for the number of feet per mile we're really more interested in Rfeet per Rmile. BUT we know that Rosharan feet are just a BIT longer than real feet, and Brandon's use of the word isn't meant to imply something highly unintuitive. This is pretty straight forward though. If we imagine 10,000 Rfeet per Rmile we get:
1 Rmile = 1.95 miles = 1.95 x 5280 feet = 10,296 feet = 10,000 Rfeet
1 Rfoot = 1.03 feet = 12.36 inches = 10 Rinches
1 Rinch = 1.24 inches
In Khriss's essay on Roshar she DOES say that their units of measurement are larger than the cosmere standard equivalent units. And with these assumptions it's precisely what we get. Miles that are about twice as long as "normal". Feet that are perhaps something like 5% longer than "normal". (which matches this WoB--5% on top of 6'-4" adds 4 inches) Inches that are ~25% longer than "normal". (emphasizing once again that this is all very approximate, based on me measuring pixels on a world map... There's room for some variance.
Unfortunately, there are a few references in the text that conflict a bit with this interpretation. BUT there is one that, in my opinion, affirms it. And it's possible that these references could be adjusted in future leatherbound versions as none of them are in TWoK.Quote
TWoK Interlude I-1
The Purelake extended in all directions, hundreds of miles wide, its glassy surface perfectly transparent.
The Purelake is a little over 1000 miles across and 400 miles wide. For 2X long Rmiles, that would be 500 and 200, so this fits nicely.Quote
“Actually, I’m wondering how the trunk of a stumpweight tree got here,” she confessed. “They can’t possibly be native to this area of the Shattered Plains. Too cold out here. It might have grown along the coast, but a highstorm really carried it that far? Four hundred miles?”
For 2X Rmiles, it looks like the eastern coast is only 150 Rmiles away. Could say Shallan's sense of geography is off... but with her photographic memory I think this is pretty unlikely.Quote
Perhaps he could have flown all the way to Hearthstone if he'd been more practiced with his powers. As it was, he’d traveled over a thousand miles in half a day, but this last bit—ninety or so miles—had taken an excruciating three days.
The distance from Narak to "not quite Hearthstone" looks to be about 1700 miles. That would only be about 850 Rmiles. Though maybe Kaladin's judge of distance just isn't quite right. Or maybe with error it's just barely over 1000 Rmiles.Quote
Soon after he left through the Oathgate, everyone would slowly start to lose their powers. They’d be gone in an hour or two. Kaladin had to be relatively near—Sigzil had placed their maximum distance from him at around fifty miles, though their abilities started to fade somewhere around thirty miles.
This one actually AFFIRMS the idea of 2X Rmiles in my opinion.
I'm measuring the diameter of the Shattered Plains as about 170... The exact edges aren't clear, so it depends where you measure from. But it's definitely over 150 miles. That means the radius is 75 miles minimum. In the Words of Radiance finale, we see Lopen's arm heal back in the warcamps while Kaladin is presumably somewhere around Narak. Lopen was easily more than 50 miles away, and certainly more than the 30-mile limit where their powers supposedly diminish.
But for 2X Rmiles, the Shattered Plains has a radius of perhaps about 40 Rmiles, give or take. That fits MUCH better with Lopen's healing. I'd go so far as to say that if this "theory" about Rosharan miles is wrong, this reference is an error.Quote
“If you’ll all excuse me, I have to prepare for an appointment with an emperor a thousand miles away.”
This is Dalinar going to visit Azir.
Azir is less than 800 miles from Urithiru, so he's just plain wrong about that distance regardless. Though I suppose overestimating 800 miles would be more reasonable than for him to say "a thousand" when it's only ~400.Quote
“The Shattered Plains ?” Yokska asked, aghast. “But Brightlord, that’s hundreds and hundreds of miles!”
This is correct either way.Quote
“I didn’t know of those until Kal told me about them. I used a portal between realms. Cultivation’s Perpendicularity, they call it. On your side, it’s in the Horneater Peaks.”
“That’s hundreds of miles from here,” Adolin said.
This is correct either way. (spoken from Shadesmar in the vicinity of Kholinar)Quote
He looked back at her map and pointed. “Thaylen City,” he said. “If we continue this direction, we’ll eventually pass just north of it.”
“ ‘Just north’ in this case meaning more than three hundred miles away from it, in the middle of a bead ocean.”
And the fact that they had to somehow escape from a ship in the middle of a sea of beads, reach the shore, then hike two hundred miles to reach Thaylen City.
These distances seem to refer to real miles. The distance from Thaylen City to the coast of the bead ocean where they landed is about 200-300 miles. So this doesn't jive with 2X Rmiles.Quote
Seeing him left her speechless. He lived thousands of miles away from her. How was he here? She stammered, searching for what to say.
Reshi Isles is thousands of miles either way... Well, for 2X Rmiles it's not quite 2000 miles I think, but seems reasonable enough for her to say.Quote
Flying. It had worked. Not just in maneuvers and tests on the Shattered Plains, but on a real mission, flying hundreds of miles.
Works either way.Quote
A thousand men at a time stood for their turn at the Oathgate, where Radiants transferred them to Azir. With a flash—a ring of light rising around the plateau—both men and banners were off, sent hundreds of miles in a heartbeat.
Works either way.Quote
He was flying. Covering a hundred miles in less than half an hour.
This is Dalinar flying from their base in Emul to Ishar. It's not entirely clear where teir base was (or precisely where Ishar was). I think this works either way though, eyeballing the area.
I think the scale on the Alethkar map is probably just an oversight, and that it's wrong...
BUT I really like this idea for the units. I think it's safe to assume that a Rosharan foot must be similar in length to a foot. If Rosharan miles are supposed to be closer in length to miles, there's not a great way for Rmiles to be a 10X power of Rfeet. Again, assuming feet are fairly similar, using 1000 Rfeet per Rmile gives an unreasonably short Rmile. I think the best alternative idea is that they use 5000 Rfeet per Rmile. That means you just need Rfeet at 6% longer than a real foot to give Rmiles the length of miles. Increasing the foot size a bit more gives Rmiles a bit longer as well. Using a multiple of 5 like this has precedence in their units. We know that there are 50 Rosharan minutes in a Rosharan hour, rather than 100. So this seems reasonable... But using 10,000 Rfeet per Rmile is a really nice alternative that seems to fit with the scale on the Alethkar map!
That said, there ARE definitely some quotes (mostly in Oathbringer) that would need some revisions if this is the intent. (and one that needs to be revised if it's not)
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“Feel better” is something we’ve gotten used to saying to sick people. The meaning is clear: you are sick, and I hope you feel better.
Let’s consider, for a moment, the implications of that phrase.
”Feel better” implies that one isn’t already feeling his best—and yet, aren’t we all feeling less than our best at all times? What would it even feel like to feel “best”? Would we even know? I don’t imagine such a thing is possible.
Knowing that nobody is feeling his or her best should really give us freedom to be more flexible with that phrase. If nobody is feeling “best”, then it stands to reason that “feel better” is a universally applicable phrase.
So I hope you feel better, friends—however you’re feeling now.
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Social Media Total: 100% (2211/2211)
Theoryland Review: 84% (997/1184)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)Quote
It'll be clear by September,
So, turns out it was not clear by September. And it's not really clear by October, either. Such is life. But do have enough free time to get back on top of WoBs; Arcanum is completely up to date on the latest stuff, Theoryland review is well on its way to being done (I expect it will be completely done by the time Rhythm of War comes out), and I'm planning to use some of my eventual downtime to churn through the Events and Signings review by the end of the calendar year, if not sooner.
In terms of the Theoryland review, I've got about fifteen WoBs so far I'm on the fence about; kinda vague or very slightly useful stuff that were initially excluded, and which I may or may not put into Miscellaneous events. They're mostly sentence-length excerpts from interviews that are mostly canned answers, and I need to do a little bit of work to see if we've got their topics covered sufficiently well. So you may see a little bump of really old stuff heading into Arcanum, soon.
I'm intrigued to see how the release party events will go, in terms of work required. Previous signing tours would have quite a bit of audio, like 30-40 hours worth in total, but a very small fraction of that would be actual WoBs. But this format will encourage questions more so than a live signing; it's not like half the livestream "questions" will be "wow it's such an honor to meet you" like a real signing line would be. So the actual transcription work may take a lot longer.
I'm excited to get this review completely done and be able to personally vouch for Arcanum to be comprehensive as possible. If you told me in 2017 that I'd still be working on this in 2020, I'd be like "wow what a slacker I turned out to be," which is kind of true. I'm looking forward to coming up with some new projects for myself once it's done, for sure. But for the time being, gotta finish up the old stuff, and the Rhythm of War release is a pretty good soft target for that. Don't think I'll make it, but that's okay. I'll have it done for sure by Stormlight Five.
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Here's a fun thing! On a whim, I decided to pull up my old Alleyverse scripts. They're.... baaaaaaad.
Well, I mean, they're not terrible. Some of them are downright better than they have any right to be. Most of them are just plain half-baked or full of exposition or slightly nonsensical. Given it was my first set of scripts that I ever attempted, though, I guess they're good?
They tend to get better over time, too, with the first three or so being really rough. Then 6 is actually pretty decent, though 7 lapses a bit into melodrama at a point. Don't ever get too cute, kids.
I didn't finish the series for a few reasons. One was some real-life obligations that ended up interrupting me; other projects became relatively more important, and I really didn't just have the time or mental energy. The series was also somewhat ballooning; my original plan of 10 episodes had already been extended to 12, and I was definitely thinking about needing to split it down further into 13. Given how I write, it probably would've just gotten longer and longer as I found my voice and the complexity of the whole thing had to be covered more and more.
The show was also coming head-on to some pretty thorny questions that were... rather beyond the scope of a sequence of 20-page scripts. (The question of theology is trivial and is therefore left as an exercise to the reader. No, probably not.) I wasn't comfortable talking about those, at least not without a lot more discussion and being a much better writer.
Finally, I knew the whole thing would need to get rewritten from the ground-up if I wanted it to be any good. So, bleh. The adaptation also significantly altered a few characters in a way that I later was less okay with; Drako in particular was significantly changed which I'm really no longer happy about. Mace was too, but Archer gave me the okay for that. (They're the best.) And Stenson was weird but I guess technically in the scope of creative liberty?
Still! There's some really good moments in here. I'm basically still a fan of all of Episode 6 (a slightly off-base reference notwithstanding... young me, you are an idiot). Plus some other moments... where Stenson gets taken to the center of the city... and some I never got round to writing, where Caer [spoilers]. So, not entirely unsalvageable if someone is pretty brave.
I'm going to try, at least, to find my plans for the future episodes. Or attempt to remember them. I remember some of it actually being pretty nice in my head.
The whole thing is, basically, a very very loose adaptation of the first era. Emphasis on very. And loose. And adaptation.
In addition, I took out all the explicitly fanfictiony stuff that is just 'here is thing from another work!' I always felt that the cool bits of the Alleyverse weren't the stolen magic systems or whatever, but the entirely original stuff; the 'lore', if you will. Some of it translated really well (some of the magic systems, for instance), and some of it didn't. The Warhammer issue kind of plagues Drako's character in a way that I still can't quite deal with in my head.
I'm linking the whole sequence, warts and all. I didn't do anything to correct any mistakes (of which there are several, some I'm pretty sure were added by other people). Spelling or vocab or otherwise. Plus there's an alternate version of the first episode that I think I wrote to send to someone.
I had plans for a second series, too, based on the second era, with a very weird structure to accommodate the... scattered source material. But that was always more tentative.
In the case you don't have time to read everything, here's a particularly interesting bit I found at the bottom of the very first doc. Modern comments in .
This is the bit where I talk about what I did, what’s been changed, etc.
My priorities for the adaptation go as follows (from most to least important):
- Take out anything derivative
- Tell a good story
- Be faithful to the original
Meta’s Three Laws of FFRP Adaptation.
As a result, things have been changed.
The most obvious: all the Sanderson stuff is taken out. Aons aren’t called aons, Elsecalling is a little different, all sorts of things. The Ghostbloods are called the Gilded Rose instead. Things like that. (Anything in bold still needs to be changed.)
- Rashan and Caer are actually two different characters. (Hopefully that was obvious.) [This was for Plot reasons, as I recall. The original character does feel like two people shoved into one.]
- Mace and Caer are friends. (Mace and Rashan will have a relationship closer to what happened during SDW.) [Don't quite remember why I worked it out like this but I'm pretty sure it was just so everything engineered together properly. Same as for previous.]
- Drako and Storm are very different to their original counterparts. [You don't say.]
- The Ghostblood split will be legitimate. [Because, uh, the plot literally makes no sense otherwise. I'm serious. What actually happened was mental.]
Beyond that, all the major events will still take place. (Some actually happened in the pilot, or at least [sic] referred to briefly.)
I’m thinking about moving Rhaizen’s assassination scene ahead of the meeting. It would start in media res, and all the other scenes would remain where they are.
Is the worldbuilding set up well? Is it accessible enough? Obviously there is still a big learning curve.
I still don’t think the characters are distinct enough. Not a problem for Traceria, or Kalmar - with 16 (!) speaking roles it’s impossible to have everyone distinct - but it is something that needs to be tooled. [Did I really think you couldn't write 16 distinct characters? Like, at all? Hmmm.]
The music reference is just a reference. Best-case scenario, someone would compose original music for the series. [Past me, you are an idiot.]
Anyway. This was fun-slash-painful-slash-interesting to look at. Hopefully you enjoy reading!
More content plausibly coming whenever, and implausibly coming soon.
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Here's less of a review of FMAB, but more of a character analysis on 3 of the show's most interesting protagonists. I would say, if you haven't watched this show, and want to go in entirely blind, there are some very mild general spoilers (Nothing specific). You have been forewarned.Spoiler
Wyn Talks Anime:
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and Unorthodox Character Motivations
When we discuss our favorite franchises or well beloved stories, we often point to things like good worldbuilding, streamlined plot, or powerful themes. But one thing that we consistently point to and continue to discuss even years after a story concludes are the characters. It would come as no surprise to anyone somewhat versed in fan discourse that two of the greatest contributors to these discussions are a character’s motivations and their character arcs. Within genre fiction, we often have archetypes for these sorts of things such as the ‘chosen one’ archetype common in early and middle era fantasy fiction. Now within manga, and to an extent anime, there is a genre called the Shonen manga, (literally meaning “Boy’s comic”) which often features a young male protagonist on a journey to ‘be the best/most powerful.’ Popular examples of typical modern shonen protagonists include Naruto, from the manga/anime of the same name; Deku, from My Hero Academia; and Goku, from Dragonball Z. However, within this world of shonen protagonists, a few stand out for their unorthodox motivations, Notably Edward Elric, Ling Yao, and Roy Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.
Edward Elric conforms to the Shonen Protagonist standards in many ways. He’s a young adolescent male with a unique affinity for his world’s magic system (alchemy), and a very single-minded goal. It is this goal and motivation that makes him so unique though- Edward Elric is attempting to atone. Edward Elric comes from somewhat standard anime origins, he has an absentee father (though at least, unlike some, he actually factors into the story), and has a somewhat idyllic childhood until the death of his mother. Ed, like any young child (age 11 at this point) is utterly distraught by this turn of events, and it leads him and his brother Alphonse on a dark path, where they break alchemy’s greatest rule. They attempt to resurrect their dead mother. This of course goes horribly wrong, and leads to Ed losing an arm and a leg, and his brother’s soul trapped inside an empty suit of armor. The events of this story begin several years after this point, with Ed and Al on a journey to discover the secrets of the Philosopher’s Stone, a legendary alchemic concoction that might allow them to return to their original forms.
Atonement is not a motivation one sees very often for a main protagonist, particularly in anime. But part of what makes Ed so fascinating, is more than just his motivation, but the arc his character undergoes. How do you balance your desire to atone, with your own moral sensibilities? Which one outweighs the other? How often do you see a protagonist, particularly in a shonen, have their goals and what they want to attain actually challenged, and for good reason? How often is a protagonist shown that they’re going about this the wrong way? Edward Elric gets his beliefs challenged at every turn, whether it be his distrust of religion, or his faith in science, even his faith in alchemy. Of course this ends up entangling the protagonists in a plot that they must fight their way through, as is standard in shonen. The growth Ed goes through both due to his own internal struggle, and his quest to unravel the mystery of the Homunculi are huge contributors to what makes his arc so excellent.
However, Edward Elric is not the only character with complex motivations in FMAB. He stands alongside perhaps one of my favorite characters in all anime- Roy Mustang. Roy Mustang is one of Fullmetal Alchemist’s primary side characters, and functions early in the show as a mentor for the Elrics as they navigate the intricacies of the “State Alchemists.” However he fairly quickly becomes a character in his own right, with one of the coolest alchemic abilities in the whole show (The ability to change air to fire). His motivations are a unique twist upon the shonen trope of ‘rising to the top’, by portraying Mustang as a jaded idealist, who has the desire to politically advance in order to once again, atone for past actions of both himself, and the whole military of Amestris. However, while a noble goal, Mustang is regularly shown to be willing to do more questionable things to achieve his aims than Edward. A point of reference for this would be the questionable morality/legality of his actions near the show’s conclusion. And it is a powerful heart wrenching moment once the protagonists and the viewers realize what achieving this goal will cost Mustang personally. Never before have I felt such sudden shifts in emotion regarding a character in a fictional work, as the audience can go from rooting for Mustang, to simply watching in horror in the space of a single episode. (Those of you who have seen the show will have some points of reference to what I’m referring to.) Yet despite all of this, Mustang remains a likeable character, with a noble goal.
Ling Yao, on the other hand, takes morally grey to an insane level. Ling is a foreigner, from the superpower country of Xing, which is noted to lie just east of Amestris. He is one of the Emperor’s many children, who have been dispatched with a single goal- to find a source of immortality for the Emperor- With a promise of heirship for whomever should succeed. Ling’s character is defined by this ambition, and this desire. From the start, Ling is portrayed as a character who will go to whichever side will help him achieve his goals, and he certainly does not disappoint in that regard. He fills the role of a character much like Hondo Ohnaka in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Ling Yao is never really on anyone’s side, except his own. In this way he defies many of the expectations of a ‘rival/sidekick’ character. To compare him to perhaps the most applicable modern example of this archetype, Katsuki Bakugou from My Hero Academia. Bakugou spends much of the early show as a rival/antagonist for the main protagonist, Deku, yet he never feels as morally unpredictable as Ling Yao. Ling flits between sides in a way that the viewer understands, yet is continually surprising. And yet, despite the greyness of his character, he never stops feeling like a protagonist.
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is full of characters with complex, unorthodox motivations compared to the standard for shonen manga, and for animated shows as a whole, whether they’re a 14 year old alchemist, a determined mechanic, an ambitious soldier, or two young heirs competing for the throne of a foreign land. There is a reason why Hiromu Arakawa’s manga and it’s 2nd adaptation are so well loved, and much of that can be attributed to characters who go above and beyond what the genre dictates, like Edward Elric, Ling Yao, and Roy Mustang
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Hey, so sometimes you post a theory and I comment on it, seemingly trying to dismantle it or saying I like it but then pointing out its faults.
I understand how it might look and why you might find it annoying but please remember that just because I'm commenting on it and not simply saying that I agree with it doesn't have to mean that I'm opposing the theory. Just because I'm against it doesn't mean I'm trying to dismantle it. And absolutely none of them mean I'm trying to attack you personally.
I will likely be putting your theory through the ringer but that doesn't mean I'm opposing it, otherwise I wouldn't also be providing corroborating evidences & support or put in my own observations to try to fill in the gaps, which you'll notice I often do. Most often, I'm just musing on the theories posted, commenting both on its strengths & weaknesses. If I'm commenting that's most likely because I'm enjoying thinking on your theory!
We're all just trying to have some fun talking about the things we like here. Don't take it so seriously!
I also often point out typos, which I understand can be annoying but they just kinda bug me! But okay, okay I'll stop. But I would prefer it if you spell things correctly in the Title Posts. I'm not talking about normal English words, we're not all native English speakers, mistakes happen, it's fine. I'm talking about the fantasy terms, I know this seems really weird, but the thing is that if you use a misspelling in the title, that just makes it harder to find your topic in the future unless I remember exactly how you spelled it. That being said, I won't bug you about it.
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Ok so, this is being written as I'm listening to Revolver, which I must say is somewhat of a shift from their earlier work. Everything before it was somewhat similar, but not in a bad way. For some reason, certain songs reminded me of surf guitar instrumentals which I will occasionally listen to when I'm not in the mood for my usual playlist or my soundtrack music playlist. But I digress. Now, I've not listened to the Beatles much before this point (I know, I'm a heretic) but I definitely prefer Revolver over Rubber Soul. Both are good, but I like most songs on Revolver more so than on Rubber soul.
More to come (maybe)
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What's good! Well, I'm good at getting enough sleep and drinking water. My lunches and dinners were prepped, calorie counted, filling, and delicious, so yay.
What's...so-so! So some exercise has been accomplished. One strength workout and one yoga workout (yoga is crazy ya'll, I had sore muscles I didn't know existed). And went running!
What's not so good! There is junk food everywhere. Helped out at church Sunday night, they provided pizza for dinner. Only had one slice and no dessert, so I was okay with it. Went to work on Monday, they had a potluck lunch. I shouldn't have even gone to the room where it was, I had no reason to go there. I told myself I was only going to look (my own lies are so ridiculous, why do I believe them???). Didn't do too bad, had a few cheese cubes and veggies. Then today. Today there were boxes of free donuts at work. I broke bad, ate not one, but two. *mad at self *
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The Aquaman trailer that dropped a couple of days ago was great. I really, really, really look forward to this movie. The casting looks great, and I like a lot of the visuals (some of them feels unpolished though, so I hope James Wan uses the time he has got left before release to its fullest).
I wish we could see more of the villains though. I think both Orm and Black Manta has got potential and would love to see a bit more of them. I like what we have gotten on both Arthur and Mera though, so I have faith in that the movie will deliver on the other characters as well.
So, I think DC might have another good movie here, which hopefully makes them happy. Their universe won’t be in less of a mess though: what they need is good structure, and Aquaman, no matter how good, or how many sharks he throws, can help them there.
Linn to the trailer, if anyone missed it, or just wants to see it again:
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Prompt: A Genie offers you one wish, and you modestly wish to have a very productive 2017. The genie misunderstands, and for the rest of your life, every 20:17 you become impossibly productive for just 60 seconds.
“Well, it was a nice day.” You kiss your sweetheart gently on the forehead and sigh as the last remaining seconds of 20:16 tick away. “See you at 8:18,” you say.
Then it happens. Every ounce of fatigue or hunger leaves your body. The face of your beloved is perfectly still, their expression exactly the same. The ticking of the clock on the wall has stopped. Once again, it’s 20:17.
You stretch your arms and walk to the table with the homework for the three doctorates you’re working on. The work is mentally stimulating and enjoyable, but it’s finished far too quickly. You check your pocket watch and see that not even one hundredth of a second has passed.
You knew it was too soon to be able to see any movement on the watch, but you can never quite help yourself from looking early on every 20:17. Time to move on.
You clean your home, do your budget, then go outside and fix a noise that your car was making earlier that afternoon. (Oh how you already miss afternoons.) Then you go back inside, boot up your computer (which magically speeds up to keep pace with you as long as you’re in contact with it) and check for any new orders.
You’ve set up a website for the small business you started called “Magic Elf Services.” People in your area can pay a modest fee on your site to have different tasks and odd jobs done by “The Magic Elf” at 8:17pm every day. It was a little slow to get started, but word has spread and these days you have a steady stream of clients.
The money that comes in from the business is nice, but you’re mostly grateful that it gives you a clear list of things to do. You print off your updated list of clients, step outside, and start making your way through the neighborhood with your to-do list.
There’s the apartments down your street where several neighbors have hired you to tidy up, do the dishes, and mop the floors. You do the windows too, just to see if they notice. There’s the large house across town that paid the “Magic Elf” to clean out the gutters. After the first dozen jobs are done, you manage to stop looking at your pocket watch.
As near as you’ve been able to determine in the past, 20:17 seems to last for approximately one normal year. But it’s not exact. For one thing, it’s hard to keep track of “time” when everything but you has crawled to an almost total standstill. For another thing, time seems to move differently depending on how “productive” your behavior is. One time you tried to spend all of 20:17 sitting at home in your pajamas, but that was getting you nowhere, so you eventually gave up and got busy. (Though you defiantly stayed in your pajamas the whole time.)
During 20:17 your body doesn’t get tired, hungry, sick, or injured. You’re essentially tireless and immortal for the duration of the “minute.” So sleeping or eating away your boredom has never really worked for you.
One of the houses on your list forgot to follow the instructions and leave a key for you to get in. At first you figure you’ll just send them an email telling them to pay more attention and that you’ll do the job tomorrow. Then you decide to go home, get your locksmith tools, and come back.
After finishing up all the jobs on your list, you go into several other homes and small businesses in the area, performing tasks you hope they’ll find helpful, and leaving a hand-painted business card at each one. (The business cards don’t contain your real name just in case somebody thinks “The Magic Elf” should be subject to breaking and entering laws.)
Speaking of laws, you head down to the local police station to pick up your case file. You’ve been in contact with a detective who’s been investigating corruption within their department, and your ability to investigate unseen and get in almost anywhere between the ticks of the clock has proven invaluable. You see that they’ve also added five missing person cases to your file this evening, which certainly raises your interest in the job.
You make your way through town gathering evidence, and start making your way to the outskirts of town. Since you happen to be out that way (and you’ve already solved three of the five missing person cases) you decide to swing by the stone castle you’re building and do some more work there.
The castle walls stand about 20 feet right now, but you know they’ll be much higher when you’re done. You’re far from any roads and pretty safely tucked away, so for now it’s your little secret. You’ve been excavating and moving all the rock yourself, which has been much easier than you first expected since your body doesn’t get tired or sore. You’ve also got a nice system of tunnels going underneath the castle, and you dig and build more of that network for a while.
All that time spent underground has left you feeling rather lonely, so you walk back home to see the face of your sweetheart. Their facial expression has moved ever so slightly since you last saw them, which is a comfort to you. Looking at them gets your imagination going and makes you dream up a story you’d like to tell, so you sit on your couch, plug in your laptop, and write a book.
After you finish editing the last chapter for the third time, you finally allow yourself to look at your pocket watch again. Three seconds have officially passed so far.
It’s gonna be a long 20:17.
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I can really appreciate rainy days.
Sometimes the sun is too harsh
Or the snow too bitter.
Give me days where the clouds,
like my eyes,
Are overcast and the fog,
like my shoulders,
Something about bleak colors
Cold earth, speckled windshields,
That I embody.
Worms drowning in puddles
Lacking the energy to save them.
Empty bottles kicked beneath feet
Only to be forgotten and left
Sinking in the mud
Indifferent to life and death.
On days like these
I imagine Mother Nature as
A girl in a hoodie
Walking through puddles
Music too loud
And probably a coffee in hand
Not to warm or wake her
But because caffeine is a drug
Required to keep herself moving.
On days like these
Stillness is equal to death
Physical or mental
the lines blurred
Not unlike the horizon in the fog.
On days like these
I can’t tell Mother Nature and myself
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This blog will have things that have already been explored by others but which I need to lay out for myself. Or potentially new ideas which I need to refine (and check if others have not yet theorised on) before posting on the forums.
TLR uses Lerasium for Feruchemy:
Conclusion: The Lord Ruler either uses Lerasium for Feruchemy or some other unclear purpose.
...what happened to that Lerasium bead?! Was it lost forever in the corpse of The Lord Ruler?
Hoid's use of Lerasium:
2. BS suggests Lerasium can grant the power of many shards (though he could also simply say that Hoid has the power of Preservation)
3. It rewrites your spiritual DNA, and there are ways to do really cool things with lerasium that I don't see how anyone would know. Were most Mistborn to just burn it, it would rewrite their genetic code to increase their power as an Allomancer.
5. "Let me first assure you that the element is quite safe. I have found a good home for it. I protect its safety like I protect my own skin, you might say." This suggests that Hoid keeps the Lerasium inside his body, either for Feruchemical purposes or as a spike. However, Hoid is very bad at hurting people, suggesting Feruchemy. Furthermore, this WoB says outright that Hoid does not have Hemalurgy.
Conclusion: Hoid seems to use the Lerasium for Feruchemy, but it's likely something more complicated is going on.
1. Allomancy is drawing Investiture into your (damaged) soul.
2. The metals are a filter. For example, burning Tin means drawing Investiture from Preservation or Ruin (in the case of Atium), and Tin turns the Investiture into sensory enhancement.
3. Compounding is drawing Investiture into your soul and turning it into a nonstandard (non-Allomantic) type of power, by changing a metal's "signature" via feruchemically charging it.
4. Feruchemy is a zero-sum internal magic, Allomancy is a net-gain external magic. Compounding is using the net-gain Allomancy, but turning Investiture into Feruchemical powers rather than standard Allomantic powers.
5. The final step of Compounding is (usually) storing the net-gain, superboosted attribute into another metalmind.
6. Standard Feruchemy stores an attribute given by the user into a metalmind. With this final step, Compounding stores an attribute provided by Preservation/Ruin into a metalmind.
7. The Lord Ruler turned Atium into an Atiummind, storing a small amount of youth in it, then used the Atiummind, drawing Investiture from Ruin's body and turning it into youth rather than foresight. A small bead used right can return someone to childhood. He stored the youth that he didn't have to provide into Atiumminds and then had to constantly draw from them in order not to die. When Vin deprived him of his atiumminds, he aged dramatically (1000 years old) and died.
When Allomancers burn Atium, they are not drawing power from Preservation (or are they...?) but from Ruin's body, i.e. the Atium itself. Does it suggest that Allomantic strength with regard to Atium is independent from how much Preservation is in your sDNA / how strong your connection to Preservation is / how much Lerasium you ate in your life? Does it have more to do with the volume of Atium you're burning? Does a stronger connection to Ruin increase how much power you can get from an Atium bead?
In other words: if you Hemalurgically steal someone's ability to burn Atium, is the ability really weakened? This has to do with whether Atium Allomancy is really end-positive and of Preservation in some way (in which case the ability would be weakened), or whether it's strictly of Ruin (and end-negative somehow), and more power is considered a "loss" (in which case the ability would be... strengthened?).
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Maybe 3 times a week I go to BrandonSanderson.com with nothing else in mind but checking on the progress bars in his site header. I think it's one of the coolest things an author can do (especially considering the genre's writing habits) to post on the progress of each book. Recognizing that their existence is a gift in itself - I think those progress bars should be updated more frequently and emphasized for the sake of marketing Brandon's talents.
For many authors, progress bars would be.... minimally helpful. Not many authors have as much in the works as Mr. Sanderson, and on top of the workload, Brandon has been writing series after series that just sink their hooks into my mind in a way that not many others accomplish. At the end of each book, I am left with a raw hunger for the next, and those progress bars are like the scent of a juicy steak grilling just for me.
What I really mean to be saying (instead of just making myself physically hungry) is that I think those progress bars have huge potential. How many times have I read someone online say, for example "A new Dresden Files book is out?! How did I not know that?!" By going to that site, I know exactly what's coming down the pipe and have a good idea of when to expect it. That keeps me excited throughout the dry period when I stop following other series until I see the cover in a B&N storefront window. Progress bars keep fans hyped! Knowledgeable fans have got to be good for book sales, right?
Brandon deserves that hype. He writes like a ravenous animal, or some kind of machine that just churns out fantasy brilliance. Whether he is a fearsome force of nature or a fantasy Awesome-o, his writing speed is well recognized at every update of those progress bars. He's got a good reputation because of that speed (which is really time spent) and could probably benefit from making that better known.
It might also help this fansite to post a reflection of those progress bars in a similar fashion. Members who frequent 17thShard can tell you that one of the most recurring topics/posts is along the lines of "when is the next ____ coming out?" or "Is Brandon writing ____ or ____ next?" I imagine some Google searches lead new fans here before they ever get to Brandonsanderson.com, so it could actually be doing Brandon a favor to have them represented here as well.
I recognize potential consequences though. The quality of writing should be considered first and foremost, and having to hit an unofficial "progress bar deadline" to meet fan expectations could cause some stress. Speaking from experience though, I know fans on this site at least are very patient and understanding (though hungry, as I noted).
TL;DR - The progress bars on Brandon's site, if updated more frequently and presented in the right places, could be an excellent marketing tool to keep fans excited and up to date while showcasing his particular, genre-defying talents.
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Please don't send your critiques by email--replying to all means that everybody gets a ton of email each week, while replying individually makes it impossible to have a group discussion about the submitter's work. Instead, come to the Reading Excuses forums here and post your critiques in the appropriate threads.How Often Do I Need to Critique?
We don't ask that you read every submission every week, or even that you read one submission every week. As a minimum, we request that you do one critique of another's work for every chapter you submit. Of course, the more critiques you can provide the better--but we realize that everyone is busy and that a good critique takes time.
If you want to critique a current submission but haven't read that person's previous submissions on the same project--for example, if you want to critique Chapter 3 of a novel and you haven't read Chapters 1 and 2--we don't require you to read those first two chapters first. That's why we ask people to provide the brief summary mentioned in the submission guidelines. A summary is no replacement for reading the actual chapters, though, so do keep that in mind when critiquing later chapters in a work.
If you want to read Chapters 1 and 2 but didn't join the group until the author submitted Chapter 3, just email that author and ask for the earlier chapters. Usually, people are pretty good about providing that (though of course no one should feel obligated to do so!), especially if it means they're getting a critique out of it.Critiquing Guidelines:
At some point in the future, I would like to get a more thorough guide to critiquing on here, one that will offer some tips both on critiquing others' work and dealing with critiques in your own work. I'm not sure when I'll be able to make that happen, though, so in the meantime I'll quote from the more general guidelines on the TWG archives:
Be fair (not nice). Don't be nasty, but do say what you think. And don't apologize every time you offer a criticism. Say what's working exceptionally well as well as what isn't working at all. If something isn't working, tell us why. Sometimes it's best to let the author figure out what to do. Sometimes specific suggestions help, but don't try to write someone's story for them. Don't spend too much time critiquing grammar, punctuation, etcetera (unless the author asks for it). Focus on the big things.
You get what you give. If you skimp on critiquing our stuff, we'll skimp on yours. We realize that not everyone will be able to critique everybody's submission every time. That's fine. We do think it's reasonable for everyone to critique at least one manuscript for every one they submit. Beyond that, do your level best to give as many critiques as you can without killing yourself over it.
Also, there's a great podcast you could listen to on the subject of writing groups. We heartily recommend it.Sharing Work From RE:
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