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  1. 21 points
    Finally finished shading these guys. Featuring Lord Hesho, a bodyguard, and some other sketches, including a senator asking how to vote.
  2. 21 points

    From the album Cosmeme & Crossmere

    Happy New Year, folks! Let's get hyped about Stormlight 4!
  3. 15 points
    I was doing a re-listen of Oathbringer and noticed something I haven’t seen spoken of on the forums yet. When the special ops team storms the palace of Kholinar, they free some guards who had been locked away in a room. The guard claim that only a few days had passed and that they had only been fed around three times. However, the guards had been in there for weeks, had grown large beards, and by all accounts should have starved to death or become sick from their living conditions. The guards were in fighting condition, seemed lucid and sane, and were shocked to discover how much time had passed. So what gives? The weirdest thing is that the men reached down and were shocked to discover that they now had long beards (proving how much time had occurred). What isn't clear is if these men were simply unaware of their beard while in the dark room (seems odd but okay), or if those beard grew quickly once the door was opened. A connected oddity is Shallan seeing healthy looking food swarming in rot spren. The food should have wasted away but it had remained in tact. I assumed the food was tainted in some other way, but what if time was acting oddly and the food had not yet realized it was rotten in the physical realm quite yet? Similar to how the men hadn't realized they'd grown beards while trapped in the room? I wonder if the Heart of the Revel has the ability to preserve and protect anything within a certain radius. It might accomplish this by slowing down time in a unique way, or at least the perception of time in the cognitive realm? I am not sure how to consolidate the experience of 3 days with the growth of a beard for three weeks. Anyone have any thoughts?
  4. 15 points
    Shallan and Jasnah in Way of Kings:
  5. 14 points
  6. 14 points
  7. 14 points
    Next: Truths and Secrets; Of Watching and Taking Moelach and the Silent Gatherers have some interesting parallels and relationships to what we know of the Edgedancers. Parallel 1: By Inversion of Ideals Lift gives us two of the Edgedancer Ideals: 2. I will remember those who have been forgotten. 3. I will listen to those who have been ignored. This is who Taravangian says the silent gatherers kill, to get Death Rattles: Parallel 2: By Inversion of Attributes Edgedancer attributes: Loving, Healing Inference - Edgedancer Radiants usually serve as Healers, backed by having access to Growth and Regrowth by means of Progression. Their two known ideals make it seem like they care for those that don’t have anyone else to look after - to them, the ignored and the forgotten are an opportunity to help make things better. Relevant Epigraph: Inverted attributes: Apathetic, Killing (not sure about this, because the Silent Gatherers are also supposed to be Healers in their own right) The Silent Gatherers are literally Healers in a hospital, who kill apathetically because those deaths might give them more Death Rattles. From a certain perspective, one could say that for them, the ignored and the forgotten are an opportunity - people who can be safely killed to get more Death Rattles. Parallel 3: By Surges Edgedancer surges: Abrasion + Progression. What about Moelach and his effects backs this? I’m basing my answer to this question entirely on specific interpretations of certain quotes. These are informed interpretations, but it does mean I could be way off. First, here is a quote by the Stormfather: This is relevant, because this introduces the idea of “the movement of time” being a “fundamental force” on the Double Eye, alongside “pressure” and “gravitation.” However, "pressure" and "gravitation" are accounted for on the list of the known 10 Surges. This implies that some other surge fundamentally represents this "movement of time" But which one? Here's a definition of the word Progression, from Merriam Webster: 1 a: sequence of numbers in which each term is related to its predecessor by a uniform law 2 a: the action or process of progressing : ADVANCE b: a continuous and connected series : SEQUENCE 3 a: succession of musical tones or chords b: the movement of musical parts in harmony c: SEQUENCE sense 2c A quick google search brings up this, presumably from Oxford Dictionary: noun: the process of developing or moving gradually towards a more advanced state. • a succession; a series music • a passage or movement from one note or chord to another. math • short for arithmetic progression, geometric progression, or harmonic progression. astrology • a predictive technique in which the daily movement of the planets, starting from the day of birth, represents a year in the subject's life. So, yes. This could be very easily interpreted as the movement of time. Linear time can be interpreted as a progression, or a sequence... a string of moments, each moment coming after the previous one and leading to the next. Or call it a continous line, whichever works for your imagination. But time... progresses, it keeps on ticking. It moves on, marches forward. Constantly. Forward movement along such a progression of time can explain what little we know of Growth. In the absence of true backward time travel, Regrowth can be explained as a form of backward movement of time - going back to a previous state/moment, to before you were wounded. Now, in practice and effect, this can get a little wonky, because of how this actually takes place by looking at ideals and such, but even then, this interpretation holds semantically. The second surge of relevance is Abrasion. From the Merriam Webster website, this is the definition of Abrasion: 1 a: a wearing, grinding, or rubbing away by friction b: Irritation 2: an abraded area of the skin or mucous membrane A quick google search brings up this, likely from Oxford Dictionary: noun: the process of scraping or wearing something away. • an area damaged by scraping or wearing away. With these interpretations of Abrasion and Progression in mind, read what Jezrien has to say about Moelach:
  8. 13 points
    There is a Stormlight 4 hopes thread, so I decided to make a Stormlight 4 fears thread. The question is simple: what don't you want to see in Stormlight four? I will start with three things: 1. Kaladin failing to say the fourth ideal again, and being killed while struggling to say the words. 2. Moash killing members of bridge four. 3. Love triangles of any kind.
  9. 13 points
    Alien page for the Varvax! To the bottom right are designs for Winzek and the Cleaning Lady, and some interaction shots of the Krell in their exo-suits. I heard some feedback that the exo-suits might not be completely accurate, so... my bad!
  10. 13 points
  11. 13 points
    Hmmmm... things I don’t want to see. Shallan turns into a stack of pancakes and the team has to try and turn her back before Lift tries to eat her. Ok, serious answers. Adolin becoming an edgedancer. I’m all in favor of him resurrecting Maya, but I really want him to stay as a normal person. I think that in between all of the crazily-powerful radiants we need just one non-magical person perspective. Aaaaaand that’s all I can think of right now. I try not to think too much about what’s going to happen, because I’ve had experiences in the past where I’ve not enjoyed a perfectly good story because I initially expected something different.
  12. 13 points
    So ... this is it then. Storms!
  13. 11 points
    Moash to continue breathing. Hoid to swear truths off screen.
  14. 11 points
    On the fourth day of Christmas The AG gave to me Four hours of sleep Three vote counts Two NPC deaths And a penguin in a pool of blood Brightness Kareana, Captain and Radiant, surveyed the scouts trickling in a few at a time and worried. She kept track of the numbers in her head - almost everyone was back, now, thank the Almighty. She’d spent the entire afternoon pacing and wondering how many would end up returning at all. This had been a simple scouting mission, to get the proto-Radiants to make ties and work as a team in preparation for more difficult tasks. When she put the group together, she hadn’t anticipated any issues - she hadn’t even brought more than a few guards, since twenty-odd Radiants was quite the force in itself and the Highprinces hadn’t the troops to spare. She’d sent for more, but they’d take a while to get here even if politicking didn’t tie them up, and she wasn’t sure they’d even be useful. It had been a simple scouting mission, and then there had been three deaths in the span of a day and a half. Two Sympathisers already known and taken care of, but... there might be more. She didn’t know how many more. And given Locke’s death, she knew this was probably just the beginning unless they were found, and fast. Mentally, she again thanked whoever had killed Naihar, much as she hated to be grateful for any death. Had he not died, had the killings just started without warning... well. At least this way they had some chance. If they were very, very careful. She sipped her steaming soup, frowning over at Brana. The girl was shell-shocked, clearly - and though it wasn’t quite as obvious, she suspected Purrl or Merinira might be too. Taladir, well... she glanced over at the fire where Taladir was telling his tall tales. Taladir was coping just fine, it seemed. Taladir sat near the small cooking fire, telling his tale - with a few grandiose touches, of course. “And then I told ‘er I wasn’t scared of no Odium whatever, come at me!” There were suitably awed gasps, from all but... one man was frowning and squinting at him. “Oi, what’s your problem?” Taladir challenged. The man narrowed his eyes. “I happen to know,” he said as if imparting a great secret, “that the area in which you were scouting is continually filled with the most noxious fumes, poisoned air rising from the depths of the city to take us all. It hasn’t reached here yet, but when it does, oh, when it does...” Taladir blinked. “Uh... what kinda fumes? I didn’t smell nothin’.” “The most vile kind! For they cause fever-dreams in the brain, hallucinations, of whatever you most want to see. Something the city makes to try in its twisted way to keep its citizens happy, of course. And so you saw what you most wanted - Arauna, Odious and dead.” “But... we brought her back here,” Taladir said. “Still dead. And we all saw that blast of dark magic, not just me!” “Bah,” the man scoffed, but was cut short by a few boos. “None of your nonsense tonight, Krask!” someone else called out. “Taladir, go on, we want to hear your story! What happened next?” Taladir grinned, back on familiar ground. “Well, you see, next that girl’s eyes just widen in fear, and she turns to run - she’s heard of me, scared to even face me...” Later that night, Taladir ran into Krask as he was heading to the latrine. Literally - the man bumped into him, clearly paying no attention to his surroundings, and Taladir could hear him... counting, under his breath? He didn’t even stop looking up at the ceiling when Taladir ran into him, either. “Hey, what’s your problem?” Taladir said. Krask jumped and looked at him. “What? Don’t go startling me like that! I was trying to check whether the number of ceiling rings was perfect, and you interrupted me. Now I’ll have to start all over again!” “You didn’t believe that Arauna was a Sympathiser. You thought I was breathing some kind of gas. What’s your problem?” Taladir repeated, ignoring the man’s nonsense. “Oh, I believe she was a Sympathiser,” Krask replied. “As for the rest...” he looked around, as if to make sure no one was looking, then leaned closer. “I’ll tell you, but not here. Too many listening walls.” Taladir rolled his eyes. “Fine.” It wasn’t like he couldn’t take the spindly man in a fight if it came to that, and he doubted it would. Krask was just a bit... off his rocker. Besides, what was life without a bit of a risk? Krask led him into a nearby corridor, then around a few sharp turns, looking nervously right and left each time he did so. Finally, they came to a stop in what looked like a perfectly ordinary stretch of hallway to Taladir. Krask knocked on one wall, then the other, listening afterwards each time, then nodded in satisfaction. Even so, he beckoned Taladir especially close and was nearly whispering when he spoke. “You see, I know she was a Sympathiser, I just don’t believe she died. She couldn’t have - she’s out there somehow, she faked her own death and is just waiting to come back and kill you when you’re least expecting it!” “...Nah, she’s really dead,” Taladir responded after a moment. “I saw her bleed out and everything, and her corpse is even in the camp for you to look at.” Krask squinted. “I don’t believe you. Noxious fumes, remember? But... just in case you are right... I guess I might as well do the job myself.” “What?” Taladir asked. His only answer was Krask whipping out a knife, impossibly fast, and driving it up into his chest, where it slipped underneath his ribcage to hit his heart. The man smiled in response. “Don’t worry! You’ll have a fantastic life, I’m sure - the Tranquiline Halls even have chickens!” What. With Taladir dead, Krask felt it was high time to investigate the rumours he’d heard from various credible sources about a spren which lived at the heart of Urithiru. The ceiling rings confirmed it, if that fool hadn’t messed up his count—it coincided precisely with the floor he’d need to start his search on, and if he was right, the lift system on the thirty-eighth floor was an excellent starting point for quickly getting to the heart of the tower. When he arrived and found that the lift itself had disappeared, Krask knew it was no coincidence. It was simply to dissuade the faint of heart. He got to work with a vengeance. He set his sack at the top of the lift, trusting that nobody would be on watch in this remote section of the abandoned city to see anything incriminating in it—however, he would have to be quick to make it back to the meeting point by dawn, even if there weren’t typically nighttime sentinels in this area—the walls could be telling Kareana of his whereabouts any minute. Quickly tying a support system around himself with the rope from his bag, and fastening it securely to the column above the shaft of the lift, he jumped off into darkness, feeling himself fall and be caught in a buoyant net by the rope tied around him. The rope was tight, but still allowed him movement, and hadn’t cut his circulation either. Krask grinned—an almost perfect beginning. He slowly felt his way down the shaft, which ran the closest to the center of the tower as he could find. If the spren wouldn’t kill him on the spot, it would be here that he would make his great discovery. Imagine Odium’s pleasure at delivering a spren of that size into his hands! His special knowledge would finally be validated, and those fellow Sympathisers of his who mocked him behind his back for his supposed insanity would learn their lesson. As he descended, he could almost fancy he saw a faint light towards the bottom of the shaft, barely a speck, but there nonetheless. The spren was there! His hands worked faster on the rope. He had to reach it before daybreak, or all his work would ruined. A sudden gust of fire and wind came from high above, roaring down the shaft at high speed. I knew those storming walls were out to get me! Krask thought, with a healthy degree of indignation. Further thoughts of the walls or the spren were driven out of his head as the front end of the fiery blast struck his rope at full force. Krask watched in horror as the threads were burned away in an instant, the pressure on his body being relieved as he fell freely into the empty shaft below the lift, gravity working strongly enough that the odd storm of fire and dust failed to catch him before he was hurled into oblivion. Glancing down and seeing nothing but darkness and that pinprick of light growing ever larger, Krask reasoned it would be a very long fall and an even shorter landing on top of a hostile deity, and resigned himself to his fate. Perhaps the spren had got the better of him in the end, but the Mother’s work would be completed by those who survived him. Let the Lord of Chaos rule, he prayed, and opened his eyes. The pinprick of light...was a square? And it was rapidly growing, too. Krask flew out of the shaft into open air, striking bottom in the peaks of the mountains below the tower city as the first sunlight stretched over the horizon, and the third servant of Odium in Urithiru was no more. A particularly curving and uneven section of passageways on the thirty-seventh floor forced Nolan to his hands and knees after falling for the third time on an uneven ledge of rock or a sharp turn which left some area of the floor four feet lower than its surroundings. Among the designs the ancient Radiants had used in the city’s construction, this was one of the most baffling to him—there was no reason for these inconsistencies in an area which they would be using. Unless, of course, you put Skybreakers and Windrunners on this level, who use Lashings to get everywhere. Then the joke’s on an invading army—like you. The wry thought put a smile on his lips, which was quickly erased upon remembering the corpses of Naihar and Locke. Regardless of one’s loyalty to Odium, the city was dangerous, and though he was not a one-man army, that didn’t mean he shouldn’t be careful on these scouting trips. He had no desire to see his throat slit in the middle of a more important mission, and if that meant crawling on his belly to get around while he was mapping the area for Brightness Kareana, so be it. Footsteps—normal footsteps—echoed in the passage above him. Nolan froze, then quickly rolled to one side of the wall, hoping he had been as quiet as possible in doing so. He was supposed to be the only scout in this section of the city for the day! Perhaps someone had gone to fetch him? But it was too early in the day for that, if his stomach wasn’t lying to him; he’d not even felt the need for lunch yet. Swallowing, he chanced a glance up the passageway, and came face to face with a grinning Radler. Relief flooded him. “Thank Adonalsium!” Nolan cried, springing to his feet and embracing his partner. “I’m not sure how in the Almighty’s tenth name you got back here, but I thought I was getting killed. You should really stop doing that to me.” The silly grin was still pasted on Radler’s face as he replied. “Well, it was your decision to crawl like a slug through here so you couldn’t tell a hawk from a handsaw in the distance, though you’re correct about it being a storming impossible job to get over here. It took me the better part of two days to find you, so let’s walk. The path evens out ahead, and I may have found something important.” “For...Domand?” Nolan replied uneasily, and received a grim nod. “One of his fancies, or something actually important?” Radler’s face had definitely lost its grin. “The latter. Come on, you’ll see.” Without further comment he strode up the passageway, his Stormlight illuminating the way ahead, and casting strange shapes into the wall—red and purple marbled veins. Nolan frowned. They had been green further back in the passage, no? He swung his light around, and felt, rather than saw, a shadowy dot flit by him on his right as he did so. Was he going insane? Peering, he saw the veins behind him bleeding to a blotched violet or stark crimson, the green receding rapidly. Something was definitely wrong now. He spun back around to call to Radler, who was about twenty paces ahead of him, when he glanced backwards and saw the same shadowy material coalesce into a figure wielding a knife, and a host of its fellow shadows emerge from the twisted walls. With a yell, he began to sprint up the passageway, away from his assailant, when he felt an impact in the small of his back. Pain flared, then was abruptly cut off; instead, a torpor seized his muscles, and he fell onto the stone floor for the fourth time that day. Dimly, he could see Radler wielding Stormlight ahead, the other shadowy figures retreating, or being torn apart by rays of light. Or was that another light he saw? He was so tired. It would be so much easier if he just drifted off to sleep. A short rest...that sounded excellent. The din of conflict in his ears receded, and Nolan, scholar, Bondsmith, and Worldhopper, dozed off for the last time. Chartreuse Penguin (Taladir) was a Loyal Knight Radiant Worldhopper! Ivory Dragonfly (Krask) was a Odium Sympathiser Worldhopper! Nolan was a Loyal Knight Radiant Bondsmith! Edgedancer Messages “You are sneaky, little bird. The reptiles are scaly and the frogs are slimy. Kill Odium, my friends.” “GREETINGS CITIZENS I AM THE STORMFATHER AND I HAVE AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR YOU %96C6 2C6 D64C6ED :? E9:D 82>6] z:== E96 v|D]” Day 2 has begun! It will last 46 hours, until 4 AM Eastern Standard Time (or Fifth Mean Time, if you prefer) on 31 December 2019. PMs are open. There is a lynch today with no vote minimum to kill. Please thank and/or upvote El did her help with the writeup. (She did Taladir’s death.) Player List Amber Vulture: Jashi, Stormwarden 2. Amethyst Scorpion: Jesh, Lost Axehound 3. Chartreuse Penguin: Taladir, Gambler Radiant Worldhopper 4. Coral Swan: Germaine, Scholar 5. Cream Tuatara: Dfyan, Scholar 6. Emerald Falcon: Sein, Inquisitive 7. Indigo Weasel: Adhom Inem, Ardent 8. Ivory Dragonfly: Krask, Conspiracy Theorist Sympathiser Worldhopper 9. Magenta Albatross: Jonan Wikim, Lost Axehound (Gren) 10. Mauve Crocodile: Sernes, Paranoid Scout 11. Mint Heron: Sam, Once a Darkeyes 12. Onyx Flamingo: Kir, Kleptomaniac Scout 13. Opal Lion: Tnaidar, Scout 14. Pearl Chameleon: Purrl, Adolin’s Former Girlfriend 15. Plum Rhinoceros: Logalog, Scholar 16. Quartz Zebra: Arauna Khadal, Adolin’s Former Girlfriend Sympathiser Worldhopper 17. Saffron Iguana: Merinira, Scout 18. Sage Kangaroo: Gilglin, Ardent (Devotary of the Mind) 19. Salmon Meerkat: Cadamum, Ghostblood Recruit 20. Scarlet Octopus: Max Mercury, Past Lives 21. Sunburst Toucan: Tafud, Slightly Crazy 22. Taupe Gecko: Brana, Scholar 23. Turqoise Gorilla: Bomer, Gambler 24. Violet Axolotl: Adi, Anxious
  15. 11 points
    I think the reason why so many dislike Shallan is that we get to follow her through her every struggle without seeing what she will become yet. It's always painful to struggle when you have the kind of background, disorders and at the same time responsibilities as she has. At the age of 17. If we had to go through everything that Dalinar did as a young man, through three huge books before we got to learn how all his struggles ended up in a complex, powerful and wise leader, we would have hated him as well. I just love how Sanderson forces us to live through some of the pain his characters have to go through, feeling the awkwardness, uncertainty, stupid choices and even how they at times are influenced by evil forces. And he often tells their story seen through unreliable eyes. Even Shallan's point of view is unreliable. She is a very harsh judge of herself. I think that Wit is the most reliable judge of her character. He is also a lightweaver, and understands the mind of an artist. Also, he is able to let her see her worth. For the first time. In the chapter "The girl who stood up". Shallan is the one who is subtly pushing everybody around her to become better persons, even though they don't realize it themselves. Even most readers fail to recognize her huge impact on the morale of the protagonists, and even on some of the villains that she fails to save. She does it through her art, or her "Lies" as more Honor influenced persons will call them. But she does not lie. She changes reality, just like good art sometimes does. I find it extremely interesting how she influences so many people and helps them become better persons. She even tries to influence Kaladin by pushing on his self centredness (if that is a word). I don't think she can help it, it is in her nature to be a mirror, one people can see themselves in, for better of for worse. Often, she lets them see a glorified version, like Elhokar, Bluth, Gaz or Vatha. Because they need it to see that they can change to the better. Kaladin does not need to see a glorified version of himself. He needs to see that he is extremely self centered, and that is causing a whole lot of trouble for him. Yes, he is a protector, and he is a very good person. But his self centeredness is in my opinion what is holding him back from swearing his next ideal. And Shallan is the only one who is instinctly seeing that, and trying to poke him out of it. She actually manages a little bit while in the chasms. He then sometimes shows a tiny little bit of self irony, which would be very healthy for him if he had managed to continue. It would in fact also help him when his depression tries to crush him. In order to change, one must first see that the image one has of oneself might be wrong. And that it is possible to change. Shallan is a powerful catalyst, and she is not aware of it herself. And we, as readers, only get her story told by her, which is not very reliable. Because her image of herself is wrong. She needs another lightweaver to see it. Wit. Here is a list of other characters Shallan influences for the better, and possibly saves: Adolin : gets to value his self more, and stops seeing himself as just a fop and a ladies man, but as a person with wits, heart and wisdom. Jasnah: is forced to see the world in a less absolute way. This might help her becoming more relaxed and obtain a little more inner peace. Tvlakv: He is still a jerk, but he became a more decent jerk for a short time at least. Who knows, perhaps it had some permanent effects? Bluth: Bluth actually redeemed himself before he died, because of Shallan's influence. Her "slaves": She saved them from slavery, and employed them, with the intent of helping them to become free men if they wish to. Vatha: He was a harsh leader of a deserter gang, possibly rapist and murderer, and she influences him to become a knight radiant. Gaz: He used to be a mean jerk, now he is trying all his best to be a good guy. Vatha's other gang members: A gang of strange low status weirdos that she never gives up. I wonder what they will become? Hopefully her squires. Artists may seem a bit weird to others. VERY weird to many, it seems. The members of Tyn's caravan: Well, she basically saves their lives. She literally saves lives all the time, and it is seldom appreciated by readers. I find it so strange. Her brothers: She saves their positions, their lives and their sanity on several occations. Often by subtly making them realize their own potential. Elhokar: He holds her drawing of him in his hand when he finally gets around to try to swear his first ideal. Kaladin never agreed to try to help Elhokar to become a better person, even when he was asked. Inadvertently he did anyway, by telling Elhokar that he was a bad king. Honesty was perhaps what the king first needed. But then he needed some inspiration. He got it from the artist. Kaladin: She saves Kaladin's life many times, often literally, but she also takes away some of his darkness when he his depressed, just like his brother the lightweaver also did. And she tries to poke him out of his self centered vicious circle, although it seems to not work. At least not yet. I must say that I very much look forward to see what Shallan will end up as, Might be awesome. And then we will have lived through the whole mess of becoming awesome. Because it always is a mess becoming larger than life.
  16. 10 points
    (To the old-timers out there: I'm back!) Part I: Elevations Here is what we know about Dawnshards as of OB: They were ancient weapons used to destroy the Tranquiline Halls. They can bind any creature voidish or mortal. Tanavast thought they can be used against Odium. We know that "Tranquiline Halls" is just another name for the previous home of the Rosharan humans, which was on Ashyn. We also know that the tragedy on Ashyn that led to mass migration were at least in part caused by the use of Surges, and that Odium was involved somehow. Based on that, I think it stands to reason that the Dawnshards must have granted Surges. And because of the way Tanavast talks about them almost fondly, I also think they must have existed before Rayse invaded Ashyn. In other words, Rayse merely corrupted them. Since the Oathpact and the Immortal Words are of Honor, it's not that far-fetched to speculate that Dawnshards were originally from Cultivation. (Here's a more thorough justification of that claim.) Unlike Honor, Cultivation wasn't interested in oaths. Her manifestation of Investiture would instead require "growth" of some sort. So here's the first part of my theory: I think Dawnshards were Cultivation-based Cognitive entities that granted Surges based on excellence. This is how it would work: When a person reaches a given threshold of proficiency in an appropriate skill or profession, being bound to a Dawnshard for that profession would grant him a Surge. When he reaches an even higher level, he gains another Surge from the Dawnshard. This is akin to how Vorin ardents grant Elevations (whatever those are) to those who excelled in their Calling: For example, there could be a Dawnshard that grants Surges (one of which is probably Gravitation) to leaders with the greatest domain and influence. So, ambitious people who wish to gain power from that kind of Dawnshard would try to gain more followers, etc. In the same way, the best physicians might gain Regrowth as an Elevation. The best artists might gain Lightweaving. So on and so forth. Conversely, failing to sustain a certain level of excellence means losing the bond with the Dawnshard. That could be how this particular manifestation of Investiture prevented abuse. Then Odium came and corrupted the Dawnshards. Perhaps the "Passions" had something to do with this. Perhaps Odium's corruption made the Dawnshards search for passion rather than excellence. So anyone with intense ambition could attain power just by wanting so bad to be great at a Calling. Imagine how well that would go. As we know, the cataclysmic events on Ashyn forced many of the survivors to move to Roshar and for the rest to live on the floating cities that the planet has now. It was presumably around that point as well that Ashyn's magic started relying on disease, instead of the Dawnshards. Thus the era of the Dawnshards ended. Part II: Callings This second part is just pure speculation through and through. I just wanted to see if I could come up with a list of professions, all medieval or ancient in origin, that could have been associated with Dawnshards. Let's call these professions "Callings" after the similar Vorin term, just for convenience. In the list I'll also include the following: - Divine Attributes best suited for each Calling - Surges that would be thematically fitting for each Calling's Elevations Unlike Honor's system, where the Radiants often experienced tension between their Attributes (creativity versus honesty, bravery versus obedience, etc.), I believe Cultivation's old system instead promoted complementary attributes to better cultivate the Calling. Take Note: Obviously, in both real life and good fantasy, nobody within any profession will consistently exhibit the stereotypical traits of their profession. As Shallan said, "we’re more complex than mere bundles of personality traits." I think Brandon makes pretty complex characters, but that won't stop others, like the Dawnshards and the spren, from seeing the patterns they want to see. Remember, this is all completely speculative, just like any Skaa Theory(TM). Feel free to post your own list of Callings if you wish. Let's start with the only Calling in my list that was mentioned in-book in a context that involves a Dawnshard: Herald. Calling: Herald Attributes: Careful and Obedient Surges: Transportation and Abrasion In medieval times, heralds were messengers hired by nobles and monarchs to communicate with others on their behalf. The Surge of Transportation would have been a god-send for that task: Imagine messengers who can move between two correspondents in no time at all. The Surge of Abrasion also fits this idea of speed, but I'm more interested in the idea of "spiritual abrasion", wherein one "smoothens" relationships between parties. Heralds were the precursors of diplomats, and endeavored for peace and understanding to prevail between their lord and others. As diplomats, they needed to be careful and logical as they forge agreements between parties, but still obedient to the will of the lord they represent. By the way, using Abrasion would allow one to crawl up gigantic steps, as in the Poem of Ista. I bet the character in the poem was supposed to be a Herald on Ashyn. The steps were, after all, made for Heralds. (The descriptions for the rest of the Callings below are placed in spoiler tags for length.) Calling: Knight Attributes: Just and Resolute Surges: Gravitation and Transportation Calling: King Attributes: Guiding and Leading Surges: Tension and Gravitation Calling: Scribe Attributes: Wise and Dependable Surges: Transformation and Tension Calling: Scholar Attributes: Learned and Honest Surges: Illumination and Transformation Calling: Artist Attributes: Resourceful and Creative Surges: Cohesion and Illumination Calling: Priest Attributes: Pious and Builder Surges: Adhesion and Cohesion Calling: Squire Attributes: Protecting and Giving Surges: Adhesion and Progression Calling: Herbalist Attributes: Healing and Confident Surges: Progression and Division Calling: Surgeon Attributes: Brave and Loving Surges: Division and Abrasion So, do you guys like my list? By the way, did you notice how Division, the Surge of destruction and decay, is in the hands of medical Callings in my list? I believe this is how Cultivation would choose to do things. What do you think? If you noticed my little hints here and there, you'll realize that there is way more to this theory. But I'm stopping here for now to avoid bloating up this post any further.
  17. 10 points
  18. 10 points
    "I'm terribly sorry to see you here."
  19. 10 points
    Lord Hesho and a member of his constituency

    © Brent Donoho

  20. 10 points
    It's interesting to me that the Rysn Novella is apparently a higher priority to him than the Rock one. Like Aimia is real interesting and I'd love to learn more about, but I don't see it being as directly relevant to current storyline as Rock and the Horneater Peaks, and thus I would think that one would be the priority. Which suggests that maybe I'm wrong about Aimia not being directly relevant to RoW's storyline, which is exciting in it's own way.
  21. 10 points
    Guys. It’s been a year. An entire year since my friend finally convinced me to join Discord and then, feeling a little crazy, I decided to join the Shard too. Best. Decision. Ever. I would not be who I am right now had it not been for this glorious little community. My identity has gotten a whole lot stronger because of my time here. AND SO HAS MY ART. I know I’ve said this a ton, but I would not be as good of an artist had not joined the Shard. You guys inspire me to keep drawing and it is insane how much better I’ve gotten since I joined. Seriously insane. Like, Astral kind of insane. I really hoped I would have had my Sharders drawings ready to post today… but y’all know I’m terrible at deadlines. (Stick, I’m so sorry I haven’t drawn Dalinar. In all honesty, it’ll probably never happen. ) So I’m sorry. I will get it posted eventually though, I promise. However, I do have something really cool for you. 115. That’s how many posts to the Gallery I have. AGH!!! You guys, that is crazy! I have posted more art than any other user on the Shard. And I’ve only been here for a year! I’ve drawn the faces of several of my favorite RP characters to celebrate!! The reason why I’m able to do these a lot faster than the Sharder faces is because I actually know what I’m drawing and I don’t have to make up a new face every time. You will notice two new faces on here though; Granite is between Astral and Sophie and Rose is on the far left of the third row. I had a lot of fun working on this project. I drew five of the faces today, actually. It was so hard to draw Tom, ‘cause by that point I was just done with all of it. Anyway, enjoy! And onto the next section of this massive post. (sorry, not sorry ) Even though I’ve never really met any of you guys in person, I feel like I could spend a whole day with any of you and feel right at home because you are seriously the best. I don’t have near enough time to cover all of you, but here I go pointing fingers and throwing love all over the place. First of all, @xinoehp512. I seriously don’t think anything I have to say will ever fully express just how much I love you and your marvelous ability to imagine. I swear you live on three different planets at once. It’s amazing and I can only dream of having that level of immense creativity. I want to give you and every single one of your characters a hug. Especially Tom. Tom is the best. But seriously, I live for your posts on CBST. You make it come to life in such a beautiful way. It is truly wonderful to write with you. I can never thank you enough for your stories; they make the impossible seem simple, the grey seem colorful, and reality seem far away. That’s something I really need sometimes. Good ol’ @BringerofShadows! I’ve said it so many times, so many ways, but straight up, Heather is awesome. It’s so crazy to me that she went from being one of Star’s main adversaries to her dear friend, daughter in all but blood. You have a very unique and spunky personality and I truly enjoy talking with you. And @Butt Ad Venture! I’m sure you already know what you mean to me, but it has been a joy to get to know you. You are a wonderful friend and sometimes you are the only thing that keeps me sane. I don’t know what I’d do without you. To the whole CBST crew though, cheers to making a wonderful story. You are among my favorite people ever and I love each of you so STORMING MUCH!!!! Speaking of CBST (kinda) what would Star be without @Jaywalk? I know you aren’t officially a part of CBST (but you should be) but your hand in the stories of Star, Astral, Sophie, and Max are quite invaluable and Jay’s own vein of plot is quite touching to me. It’s so cool to see your own personality hidden in the facets of your characters and the way you write. Keep being nerdy, keep being awesome. I love you! @Lunamor!!!! You joined the day after I did and we’ve been neck and neck for posts and upvotes ever since. Your wit and energy are nearly unmatched and your impact on the Forum Games section is legendary. You make everything and everyone around you bright and happy and that is truly a gift to be proud of. @AonEne, you have such a sweet spirit. I remember when I first joined, you were like this super popular cool person and I was honestly kind of scared of you, but now that seems absolutely ridiculous because you are so incredibly understanding of literally everything which I’m sure any other Sharder would agree with. @DoomStick you are such an easygoing, creative and fun person. All your hobbies are so cool - I wish I could fence and cook and the bass is like the coolest instrument ever. And seriously, to each and every one reading this, you are all amazing. Thanks for a great year! Looking forward to another one.
  22. 10 points
    Happy 2020! Had to start the year with some Cosmere art. Skyeel! I had no idea how to use these colors on *black* watercolor paper, so it came out really chalky and streaky. I kind of like the effect though, because of the interesting contrast. Cotman Lemon Yellow Hue and Phthalo blue, m. Graham titanium hwhite opaque, Fine Tec limited edition dark teal, Reminisce white gel pen, Stonehenge black cold press cotton watercolor paper There is a little video clip showing the iridescent watercolor on my instagram.
  23. 10 points
    (Spoiler because this ended up being pretty long)
  24. 10 points
    Sounds like maybe you're burning out? Did you just binge the Cosmere? My advice to you is to take a break and read something light and relaxing, whatever you feel will best get you to unwind. Take as much time as you need to, but definitely give Oathbringer another shot once you feel like it. Don't let anyone pressure you into reading at a pace that is wrong for you, as the old adage goes, 'journey before destination'. Good luck and may your passion for stormlight rekindle!
  25. 10 points
    I know she isnt supposed to have eyes but its too cute to draw that widdle face! I just pretend she has the face but the features don't actually work, they're just cute-factor. So I got a wacom intuos pro tablet for Christmas and this is my first cosmere doodle with it. Vin sitting in her window sill, enjoying the ashfall like the edgelord she is. This 2020 I plan on focusing a lot on learning digital art and getting better at this medium. (I won't give up on traditional art, though, I promise. I still have a bunch of sketches I need to upload, too!) Also thanks everyone, for the instagram follows! I post all my art there, cosmere and non-cosmere, fanart and studies. I appreciate your support and kind words. I hope you all have a lovely New Year!
  26. 9 points
    In Vorin cultures music is seen as feminine. Not as exclusively so as reading and writing, people aren't excessively scandalized to see Hoid with his flute after all. But the vast majority of musicians in Vorin lands are female. This does fit with the general feel of what arts are supposed to be masculine and feminine but it presents a problem. Most musical instruments require two hands to play, I cannot picture anyone being able to play a harp for instance with one hand covered in cloth, even if they are simply wearing a glove. Some instruments one could manage to play gloved if one practiced that way, for instance the Organ, Piano, Harpsichord and the like. A Hurdy Gurdy is an instrument operated by pressing keys with one hand and working a crank with the other, I could see a Vorin woman playing one of those. One could play a bowed instrument such as a Violin, Viola, or Cello left handed, that is, operating the bow with the covered left hand and the strings with the right, but this would take a lot of extra practice.I am not familiar enough with the woodwind family to say how practical playing a flute while gloved would be, if anyone can shed light of this then by all means do so. I could also see special musical gloves being made for female musicians, designed to make it easier to play certain instruments. One other solution to the modesty problem is to have the musicians obscured behind a curtain while they play, invisible to onlookers. I could also see Vorin instruments being made with special vales attached to obscure the left hand while playing. Does anyone have any more ideas for what kinds of instruments would be practical for Vorin women to play?
  27. 9 points
  28. 9 points
    Spoilers for Mistborn (both era one and two)
  29. 9 points
    Khriss: *idly exploring Scadrial* *glances up at a street sign as Nazh hasn't arrived with her map yet* Kenton Street: *exists* Khriss: surprised Pikachu face
  30. 9 points
  31. 9 points
    How about Chaotic Awesome? As evidence: For bonus points, the word is morality-neutral since 'Awesome' in its original meaning described something that inspires wonder or terror. Either can work for Kelsier depending on what he's doing and who's describing it.
  32. 9 points
    The recent Horneater Shardcast talks about how Horneaters could have gemhearts. I'm fairly certain Rock has a gemheart and a spren inside it. It is the simplest explanation for his unusual characteristics. We know other mammals like horses have been come to Roshar and a group of them split off developing the ability to bond spren which make them MUCH bigger and stronger than a normal horse. https://coppermind.net/wiki/Ryshadium We don't know if Ryshadium have gemhearts or if they are bonding spren a different way. Rock is incredibly strong. He swings the trunk of a tree at Kaladin during a sparing session. An entire log. How had Rock lifted that thing? ... "Didn't stop you from throwing a tree at my head." WoR Ch. 12 He uses Sadeas' Shardbow without the aid of Shardplate at the end of OB. He can also see spren when most people can't. This implies he has some connection to the cognitive realm. I think having a spren in his gemheart. Not all horneaters can see spren and they aren't all as strong as Rock. This difference may be because not all horneaters have gemhearts, they are distantly descended from a mix of Singers and humans they may not all get that trait. Or maybe horneaters all have one, but the knowledge of how to intentionally bond with a spren has been lost, so most just don't get a spren. Rock may have gotten one by accident. I also think the Horneater caste system based on order of birth makes more sense if, long ago, the Horneaters could change forms. Cook son died? Well have the son that's in Warrior Form shift into Baking Form or whatever. Jobs are not assigned by aptitude because they used to be able to change their aptitude greatly via spren-enabled Forms.
  33. 9 points
    Intro to the Cosmere So, you've read some of Brandon Sanderson's books, and you liked them enough that you want to talk about it with other fans online. But then it doesn't take you long to realize that you have no idea what everyone's talking about. Shards of Adonalsium? Realmatic theory? Worldhoppers? "I don't remember any of this in the books I read!" Fear not! This page is for you! What is the Cosmere? The Cosmere is the fictional universe in which many of Brandon Sanderson's novels take place. Stories set in the Cosmere share an underlying theorem of magic, a creation myth, a cosmology, and a few other key concepts. Characters and cultures can (and do) cross over between worlds. While early connections merely consist of a few scattered Easter eggs, they become more obvious and meaningful with time. Seeing and understanding it can greatly enhance your experience with his books -- there's a reason we can't stop talking about it! We've designed this page to point out all of the main things you may have missed, or that Brandon has said in interviews with fans, so that you can discover the secret world hidden in Brandon's books and be ready to participate in the discussion as quickly and as effortlessly as possible. For a more in-depth answer to this question, keep scrolling. For Brandon's own short answer to this question, see the FAQ on his website. For the complete list of works set in the Cosmere, see here. A note on spoilers: This post may contain minor spoilers for some Cosmere books--particularly Mistborn and Stormlight Archive. Links to the Coppermind wiki often contain many spoilers. If you haven't read all the books, we would encourage you not to read beyond the reading order recommendations! Does it matter? Knowledge of the Cosmere is generally non-essential to understand and enjoy Sanderson's work as each story/series stands on its own. That said, understanding the Cosmere can enhance your experience and give you something extra to chew on if you'd like to dive deeper into Sanderson's universe. So if you start looking into the Cosmere and find all of this to be overwhelming or uninteresting, that's totally okay. Take your time, or just don't even worry about it! Sanderson ultimately has plans for some books that will involve the overarching story of the Cosmere more directly. At this time, experiencing the Cosmere primarily involves connecting the universe's basic concepts and identifying characters who show up in unexpected places and seem to know more than they let on. Reading Order There is no “right order” to read the Cosmere in. Publication order is a common suggestion, which allows you to experience the books as if reading them from the start, but you should read the Cosmere in whichever order you most enjoy. If you want to try something new, branch off to a different world or series. If you really like the series/world you've been reading, then keep going down that road. Most reading orders will point out a few books that can be considered “starter” books. From these you can dive deeper into a particular series or branch off to something new. Some commonly recommended starting points include: Elantris -- If you like the idea of reading in publication order, this is where you should begin. This is the first book Brandon published. Mistborn: The Final Empire -- The original Mistborn trilogy (Era 1) is the most frequently recommended place to start. Warbreaker -- This is a standalone book that's available for free on Brandon's website. The Emperor's Soul -- This Hugo Award-winning novella is a great way to experience Sanderson's strengths with very minimal commitment. The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive) -- This epic is far from complete and requires the reader to place a lot of trust in Sanderson--it opens with a lot of worldbuilding and a slow start. But if truly epic fantasy is your thing and incomplete series don't give you pause, this is perhaps Brandon's finest work. For an interactive reading guide, see this page. Brandon's own recommendations can be found on his website. Two final notes on reading order: We highly encourage reading Warbreaker sometime before Words of Radiance. We highly encourage reading Mistborn: Secret History after The Bands of Mourning. Adonalsium, Shards, and Investiture Adonalsium and the Cosmere A long time ago, there existed an entity called Adonalsium. Very little is known about who or what Adonalsium truly was. Adonalsium's touch suffused the Cosmere, and many worlds, such as Roshar, were grown by it and bear its design. It was the source of all of the Cosmere's magic and was said to control the powers of creation. One day, Adonalsium broke into sixteen fragments in an event that became known as the Shattering of Adonalsium. Why or how Adonalsium was shattered remains a mystery. The Shards of Adonalsium Sixteen of those who were present at the Shattering took up these fragments, or Shards, and became godlike themselves. They went their separate ways, (well, some did) creating worlds and seeding the Cosmere with more life. The magic of the Cosmere continues to stem from these Shards. Each Shard has an "intent" that it strives to fulfill, which gradually molds and warps the holder of the Shard, the Vessel, until they are absolutely incapable of acting against it. This nature is so dominating that both the Shards and the Vessels are usually referred to simply by the Shard's intent. Note, however, that the intent of a Shard cannot be precisely conveyed in a single word, and there is some room for interpretation as to what each Shard's intent incorporates. Some Shards include Ambition, Autonomy, Honor, Ruin, and Devotion. Though these demigods may appear godlike to mortals, they are neither all-powerful nor all-knowing. Shards may be Splintered--a process which leaves the Vessel dead and the power of the Shard dispersed. Shards are also able to subdivide themselves into avatars, each with a distinct identity, though the exact nature of these entities and how they relate to the Shard and its Vessel is unclear. Investiture, Splinters, and Slivers Investiture is the catch-all term for magical energy in the Cosmere. Investiture, which comes from the Shards, is the power source for all of the Cosmere's magic systems. Most humans in the Cosmere have some innate Investiture, which makes up their soul. Humans generally obtain magical powers when their spirit (sometimes called a spirit web) becomes suffused with Investiture. A Splinter is a portion of a Shard's Investiture that has been severed from it, either willingly or unwillingly. Sometimes, these Splinters will develop sentience and sapience, and they can become highly intelligent beings. (Note that non-Splintered Shards can still have Splinters.) A Sliver, on the other hand, is a person who once held a significant portion of a Shard's power. Holding that much power stretched and expanded their soul. The Worlds There was an original world named Yolen. Yolen was home to three intelligent races (human, dragon, and Sho Del), and is the planet that the original sixteen Vessels came from. All human life in the Cosmere either came from Yolen or was modeled after it. After the Shattering, the Shards spread and settled down on many different worlds throughout the Cosmere. Planets where one or more of the Shards settled down are sometimes known as "major Shardworlds." Other planets, where there is still life and some magic, but no Shards, are "minor Shardworlds." Major and minor Shardworlds include the following: World Stories First of the Sun Sixth of the Dusk Nalthis Warbreaker Roshar The Stormlight Archive Scadrial Mistborn Sel Elantris, The Emperor's Soul Taldain White Sand Threnody Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell Worldhoppers and Notable Characters A small number of enterprising individuals in the Cosmere have learned how to travel between these worlds. These worldhoppers have a huge variety of backgrounds and motivations. Some worldhoppers are acting individually while others are part of an organization, like the Seventeenth Shard. Hoid Among the Cosmere's worldhoppers, there is none so prominent as the ever-mysterious Hoid, originally of Yolen. Hoid, which isn't even his real name, is thousands of years old, having been present at the Shattering of Adonalsium. Whatever happened to Hoid in his past, he's no longer exactly human, at least in the traditional sense. He has a way of knowing where he needs to be at the right time, and he uses this to subtly influence events behind the scenes. Hoid's true motives and goals are as hidden as his real name. Hoid has appeared in every Cosmere novel so far, though he is often in disguise and will occasionally use pseudonyms, such as Dust, Topaz, Cephandrius, and Wit. Trying to spot him in every book is part of the fun of the Cosmere. He seems to prefer disguising himself as a beggar, an informant, a storyteller, or a jester, so look for him to be playing one of these roles. He is also often, though not always, described as having white hair and an angular, hawklike or arrowlike face. Among many other things, Hoid has the ability to Lightweave (create illusions), he can heal from extreme injuries, he doesn't age, and he has a way to dilate time so that he doesn't have to wait as long for important moments. The planned series Dragonsteel will tell the story of Hoid's origin and the Shattering of Adonalsium, and Hoid is planned to be a main character in the final Mistborn trilogy. Khriss and Nazh Khriss, from Taldain, is the worldhopper who writes the Ars Arcanum at the end of each book, and she's the most knowledgeable of anyone—including Hoid—about the Cosmere as a whole. Khriss has been described as dark-skinned, with her hair woven into tight braids. Nazh is her assistant, a worldhopper from Threnody, tasked with collecting various maps and drawings from throughout the Cosmere. They are often included in the books with his personal notes to Khriss in his distinctive handwriting. One of his most identifying characteristics is his tendency to use Threnodite swears, such as "shadows". He has also been described as lanky, with a narrow face and sand-colored hair. The Three Realms Almost everything in the Cosmere has a body, a mind, and a soul, and each exists in one of three Realms. The Physical Realm is world of the body, where physical objects exist. This Realm is the only one that normal human beings consciously perceive. The Cognitive Realm, also known as Shadesmar, is the world of the mind. The Cognitive Realm is strange and alien: Water is solid, land is fluid, and shadows point backwards. Thoughts and ideas take on real form in this Realm. After a person dies, a leftover impression of their mind, their Cognitive Shadow, will linger shortly in the Cognitive Realm before passing on. The Cognitive Shadow can sometimes persist for longer periods of time, however, by various magical means. Worldhoppers have learned to use junctions between the Physical Realm and the Cognitive Realm called perpendicularities to cross between them. Often, these perpendicularities can be found where the power of a Shard is concentrated into a pool of liquid that fans call "Shardpools." The Cognitive Realm is of particular interest to worldhoppers because distances are compressed there in places where there is little or no mental activity (such as outer space), meaning worldhoppers can use the Cognitive Realm to actually walk from one planet to another. Depending on the Shardworld, the Cognitive Realm can be an extremely dangerous place. The Spiritual Realm is the world of the soul. Once you reach the Spiritual Realm, there's no such thing as space or distance anymore, just Connection between people and places. Those who peer into the Spiritual Realm can see all the branching possibilities of the future. The power of the Shards resides mostly (usually) in the Spiritual Realm. Chronology While in most cases we don't know how many years take place between books in different series, we do know the chronological order of most of them. In order, they are: White Sand Elantris The Emperor's Soul Mistborn Era 1 Warbreaker Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell Stormlight 1-5 Mistborn Era 2 Stormlight 6-10 Mistborn Era 3 Sixth of Dusk Mistborn Era 4 For more information, see this post. More Resources The best way to dive into the Cosmere is to find a fan community to interact with. While you may see a lot of confusing conversations going on, just ask questions and you'll be caught up before you know it. The 17th Shard offers both forums and a Discord chat server to this end. The other two important resources to be aware of are the Coppermind wiki and Arcanum, both operated by the 17th Shard. But beware that BOTH of these resources include heavy spoilers for all of Brandon's books! The Coppermind is a wiki covering all of Brandon Sanderson's works, with an emphasis on the Cosmere. Just dive right in by searching for pages that interest you, or by browsing through the page categories. Arcanum is an archive of everything Brandon has said publicly about his stories, drawing from interviews, social media, book signings, and more. There's a LOT to learn about the Cosmere just by hearing directly from the man himself! Search for specific terms or browse entries by tags. We could always use help adding more information to the Coppermind or transcribing audio on Arcanum, and you don't need to be an expert to help. Stop by the #coppermind and #arcanum channels in our Discord server to help out. There's no better way to learn more about the Cosmere than by helping improve these resources! Note: This is an update to the original Cosmere 101 topic by @Zas678. Feel free to recommend additional content, but please avoid major spoilers!
  34. 9 points
    . . . *whispers* moash redemption
  35. 9 points
    Let’s see... 1. I don’t want Shallan and Adolin’s relationship to be smooth sailing. I’m really hoping for some conflict there. 2. I really, really want Adolin’s/Renarin’s reaction to Dalinar’s book to be dived into. I don’t want it to happen like the repercussions of Adolin murdering Sadeas, which was quickly brushed aside. I’m not criticizing that arc, but I don’t want it to happen again in this particular case. 3. I don’t want to not see more Ghostbloods. Please Shallan, interact with them more, and tell Jasnah about them! I’m really hoping to see her relationship with Jasnah grow more than it did in OB.
  36. 9 points
    I’d spoiler these for length, but I’m not sure I can in this format, sorry.
  37. 8 points
    In Oathbringer, we learned about a new Realmatic concept called “avatars.” We don’t have a lot to go on, but I think there is a little we can piece together about them. I’ll begin with laying out all the sources we have on the subject, and follow with in-depth analyses of confirmed and speculated avatars to see what we can figure out. Unfortunately, won’t be able to skim the section headings and skip ahead; I’m going to be building concepts throughout the entire treatise. Stuff I casually assert in later headings, I spend a lot of time defining and defending in earlier ones. So you’ll need to read the whole thing top-down without skipping. Sources The first we learned about them was in Oathbringer, published on November 14, 2017, in a selection of the epigraphs forming a letter written to Hoid. And here’s a list of WoBs, numbered for easy reference. WoB 1. November 28th, 2017. https://wob.coppermind.net/events/256/#e8606 WoB 2. December 16, 2017. https://wob.coppermind.net/events/314/#e9082 WoB 3. Relevant excerpts from a much larger conversation. March 18, 2018. https://wob.coppermind.net/events/315/#e9385 WoB 4. October 26, 2019. https://wob.coppermind.net/events/398/#e13220 WoB 5. November 26, 2019 https://wob.coppermind.net/events/402/#e13323 WoB 6. Nov 26, 2019 https://wob.coppermind.net/events/402/#e13339 Lastly, before I get started on my conclusions, I want to present some Wikipedia quotations about the religious doctrine of avatars. Between things like forum avatars, the Last Airbender TV show, and the James Cameron movie, the word itself is fairly common, but our usage has drifted away from the theological definition, the original Hindu concepts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatar The big takeaway for me here is that the avatar is the opposite of something like the cosmere’s Ascension. It’s not a mortal attaining to something greater; it’s something greater manifesting in a limited, relatable fashion. Patji Let’s dive into specifics. We have two confirmed avatars; Patji on First of the Sun, and an unnamed female on Obrodai. We obviously don’t know much about the latter, but we’ve been given a few additional tantalizing clues about Patji in the WoBs I’ve shared above. But before discussing WoBs, I’ve got a few novel interpretations of the Oathbringer letter. You may have noticed that I split it into two sections. There’s no indication in the epigraphs themselves of this, but something has seemed off about this response ever since the first time I read it, and this split into an initial response and a later response was the only way I could finally get everything to click. There’s the question of authorship. There’s a presumption of “past relationship,” which, in my mind, immediately indicated a Vessel from Yolen. There’s also the line about Hoid having written to “one who cannot respond,” on the “insignificant” world of First of the Sun, as if Hoid wrote a letter addressed to Patji, but another, the Vessel Bavadin herself, is writing the response. But that never sat quite right with me. In Way of Kings, Hoid admits to having a grudge against Bavadin, one that guides his actions. “You have accused me of arrogance in my quest. You have accused me of perpetuating my grudge against Rayse and Bavadin. Both accusations are true.” So why is he relying on past relationship with Bavadin to convince her to help? Seems the past relationship would hurt his chances. And why are there oceanic metaphors throughout the epigraphs if the letter isn’t actually from Patji, the avatar on the ocean planet? And though we don’t have Hoid’s letter, I also couldn’t help but wonder, who had he actually addressed it to? Was it Bavadin (the past relationship), or Patji (the one who couldn’t respond)? These questions led me to develop an alternate interpretation: Hoid wrote the letter to Patji, with no intention of Bavadin receiving it at all. The “past relationship” indicates that Hoid knew Patji. The “one who cannot respond” epigraph isn’t saying that Patji is literally incapable of communicating; it’s Patji saying “I gotta ask my manager.” He does so, and then Bavadin says “box that fool out,” and then he writes the second portion of the letter with the denial. Approaching another one of Autonomy’s avatars may have been more successful, one more willing to say “Thumbs up, let’s do this!” without checking in with Bavadin. So, Patji was someone that Hoid knew before he became the avatar on First of the Sun. (Hoid couldn’t have met him on FotS; otherwise, Patji wouldn’t have been surprised he’d been found.” This meshes with one of Brandon’s phrases from WoB 3: “I didn't even get into what avatars are, what Patji was, and what happened to Patji the being--and how that relates to Patji the island.” There was a man named Patji, and something happened to him (something intentionally done by Autonomy, as we know per WoB 4, so something that occurred after the Shattering), and then we wound up with the island of Patji (which is the avatar). This leads me to believe that an avatar is a combination of two things. There is a Physicalmanifestation of Shardic power (something specific, like an island or an individual) using Cognitive residue from a deceased individual. A Mind Golem, of sorts. There are plenty of concepts, both in-Cosmere and otherwise, of something inhabiting a dead person’s body. Like a Lifeless. I think an avatar uses a dead person’s mind to guide its personality as it is created. This is somewhat discussed in WoB 5, about how it’s difficult to Ascend to an avatar because it already has a personality. It doesn’t already have a Vessel; the Investiture manifestation itself has an inherent personality, sort of like a spren. But it needs a real person for its formation; it’s not a personality that spontaneously manifests. So there was a real person named Patji who knew Hoid, and later died on First of the Sun and was made into an Avatar by Autonomy. Anything beyond that would be out of the realm of theorization and into speculation, but I’ll throw two possibilities out. First, he could have been a Yolish individual (he does use Rayse’s name) who could have died conveniently on First of the Sun or been sent there directly by Bavadin. Second, he could have been a Taldain native (like Trell, who’s next up) who was sent out by Bavadin, and Hoid met him either on Taldain or very early on in Patji’s worldhopping career. Trell Trell, from Mistborn, is widely considered to be an Avatar of Autonomy, in large part because of the presence of an individual named Trell in White Sand, the chronologically earliest post-Shattering story, and Autonomy’s “interference with other planets” mentioned in Khriss’s Taldain Essay. And these two clues could fit with the same vein as Patji: Trell was a dude on Taldain, Bavadin recruited him to go off-world and die, but in dying he lent his mind to the creation of an avatar. If he is indeed an avatar, I’m not quite sure how Trell manifests. (Remember, according to the Wikipedia quotes listed above, an avatar makes a “material appearance,” so not just chilling in the Spiritual Realm like a mini-Shard.) Patji manifests as an island. We do have the Thousand Eyes of Trell. And Harmony’s portrayal of him as a red mist. And the red stars forming The Scar in the constellation chart. So maybe Trell literally manifests in stars? But he appears to be Investing on Scadrial specifically, as evidenced by the function of his god metal in Hemalurgy, so I’d expect him to have a manifestation specific to Scadrial. I’m gonna hold off on trying to conclude anything about Trell until Wax and Wayne are finished, at least. [This comment has been removed.] Stormfather Now I’m gonna go a little deeper in the murky depths of theorization. The Stormfather has always been an odd cookie; is he a Sliver, is a Splinter, is he a Cognitive Shadow? He’s referred to himself as some variation of all three. There have been a lot of WoBs on the subject ([A], [ B], [C], [D], [E], [F], [G], [H], [ I], in no particular order, and maybe with an accidental repeat in there). I think an avatar, especially an avatar created from the Cognitive Shadow of a Vessel, can classify as all three, so the lines of terminology get muddled, which causes a lot of this confusion. There are two key WoBs from that list that lead me to suspect the Stormfather is an avatar. First is that the Stormfather has “absorbed” something that made him basically Honor’s Cognitive Shadow [ I]. Second, that the Stormfather was intentionally created by Honor [C]. So he’s a post-Shattering creation (even though the Highstorms themselves predate the Shattering [J]). This is what we see the Stormfather discuss in Oathbringer Chapter 113: So, we learn that Honor did something to create the modern Stormfather around the time of the Recreance; but we also know that some form of the Stormfather predated the First Desolation, at the very least, from Words of Radiance interlude 5 (appropriately called the Rider of Storms): So, we have a latter transformation, where it seems the Stormfather absorbed Honor’s Cognitive Shadow, consuming part of his mental framework (Mind Golem) into his personality. But by calling it a “latter transformation,” I’m implying that there was a former transformation, one where the highstorm absorbed a mind to become more than just a storm. I think the former transformation is told in the story of Fleet. It’s a passage I’ve tried to crack unsuccessfully before. I won’t post the entire song, but selections that seem significant. (In reverse chronological order, but that’s just what works best from a flow of thought.) The ending screams “Cognitive Shadow” to me, one tied to the Investiture of the highstorms. I’m thinking now that his mind was used to create an avatar with the physical manifestation of the Investiture that was the existing highstorm. The God of Storms is not mentioned against through the story. There’s no personification of the storm throughout the race itself. I think the God of Storms is Honor, and this is indicating he was active and aware, preparing to create an avatar during the sequence. This is Hoid singing, so the events of Fleet’s story happened during his lifetime. The timelines fit; Chan-a-rach came from Ashyn, which was destroyed after Odium’s arrival, so Hoid could definitely have been around for it. The end of the story refers to the land of “dirt and soil,” so another indication that it was after humans came from Ashyn. But, if the Stormfather betrayed the singers, then this must have been before the First Desolation. And, if that’s the case, Fleet might not even be a human; he might have been a singer! The song refers to Alethkar and Azir, nations that didn’t exist until recently (in the grand scheme of things), so of course those weren’t the literal names of the locations while the story of Fleet was occurring. But if it was before the human expansion and invasion, then maybe this was a singer who did all this through singer territory? That would add an additional note of betrayal to the Stormfather’s actions. But the singers should have known better than to approach him by relying upon presumption of past relationship. The avatar still needed guiding and shaping by Honor, and who knows what else may have occurred during the events of the First Desolation. I get the sense there are more secrets incoming in the next few books that informed a lot of actions throughout Roshar’s history. Oh, one last thought before I go, on the sense of physical manifestations. The Stormfather didn’t appear in the Cognitive Realm when a highstorm passed by in Oathbringer when the gang was in Shadesmar. He appears to be limited to the Physical Realm, although he is pretty omnipresent in a Spiritual Realm sense. That fits the definition of avatar I’ve been using, as a physical manifestation. Nightwatcher The Nightwatcher is referred to as an avatar by Evi. Is it the same technical cosmere term that’s applied to Patji and the being on Obrodai? Sure, why not! But in all seriousness, I think the Nightwatcher would fit the definition of an avatar, as well. She is also a physical manifestation, the creeping mist that lives in one spot. She’s still learning; Cultivation lets her hold court to “understand” humans. This fits with the Stormfather ‘growing up’ so to speak, and also with the avatar on Obrodai who is beginning to manifest and had her personality guided. That’s always struck me as odd, why the Nightwatcher has been around so long (it’s called the Old Magic, after all), but is still working on understanding people. Maybe she wasn’t guided as an avatar until recently, and she was just a less mindless manifestation. (More on that in the next section.) The Unmade Truth be told, the Unmade weren’t even on my mind as a candidate when I sat down to write this theory. But as I’ve been putting words to the page and pulling together sources, I have no choice but to consider them, and they do fit with a lot of the concepts I’ve been attributing to avatars. We know there’s a parallel between Stormfather, Nightwatcher, and the Unmade [ B]. If the first two are avatars, then so are the rest. Which is what, specifically, was Unmade – nine individuals whose minds were taken and used to create the Unmade, but were never properly developed to make them all fully sentient. Or maybe they had been developed as personalities, and then they were undone at some point. They also fit the physical manifestation element of an avatar – we haven’t seen them lurking in the Cognitive Realm (although we did see their presence there in Kholinar and Thaylen city), they’ve always been in the Physical Realm as well. Even Yelig-nar had a gemstone, which I think is his physical manifestation. This ties the Unmade to Roshar specifically, which is why I think they stayed behind on Roshar after the Last Desolation when the Fused and the Voidspren all returned to Braize. They are a different phenomenon that is tied to Odium’s Investiture on Roshar, not a Splinter tied to Braize like the rest. The Sibling And logic follows that the third Bondsmith spren would also be an avatar. But if an avatar is a manifestation of a Shard… then which Shard? Honor and Cultivation already have their big avatars, Odium has his smaller avatars. I don’t think that we can have an avatar of multiple Shards simultaneously – these are manifestations of the Shard, not an external Splinter like the spren. Maybe Honor or Cultivation has two? Maybe Re-shephir isn’t the first Unmade to switch sides (the mysterious Tenth Unmade that got hinted at in epigraphs)? Maybe there’s an off-world Shard that was like, “Sure, I’ll drop an avatar,” and we’ll get a Letter from that Shard in one of the next two books saying “I already gave you an avatar to help, how’d that turn out for you?” For the physical manifestation, I’m leaning towards the gemstone pillar as being the Sibling’s manifestation. It’s slumbering, so the gemstones are off. This also kind of fits the three kinds of gods in the Horneater myths (trees = Nightwatcher, waters = Stormfather, mountains = Sibling) and the three gods in the Elia Stele (spren = Nightwatcher, stone = Sibling, wind = Stormfather). The Sibling is physically manifested in the rocks, perhaps specifically in gemstones. Perpendicularities I’ll take a break from specific avatars because I need to introduce another concept before I get to the next one. Avatars have perpendicularities; we know there’s one on First of the Sun, and there must be one on Obrodai as well (since Hoid was told not to go back there, and as far as we’ve seen, he still needs to use perpendicularities to transition between realms). I’m wondering if Trell has a perpendicularity on Scadrial, which is how he gets his agents on-world. Trell is Invested enough on Scadrial for his metal to function in Hemalurgy, so maybe he’s Invested enough to have a perpendicularity, as well. The perpendicularity situation on Scadrial is a little puzzling, in and of itself; ettmetal manifests in the South, and god metals have been shown to manifest near perpendicularities (lerasium by the Well of Ascension and atium by the Pits of Hathsin). But the Shadows of Self broadsheets include a Southerner using a perpendicularity in the Northern mountains. Does Harmony have two perpendicularities? Is there no useable perp near the ettmetal source, so they have to use the one in the North? Is the mountain pool actually Trell’s perp, and the Masked Figure is one of Trell’s agents (ooh, one of Trell’s kandra) sneaking in so he can make his way to the South? Lots of possibilities. [This comment has been removed.] The Stormfather manfiests “Honor’s perpendicularity.” Cultivation’s is in the Horneater Peaks (which kind of throws off my assigning the Sibling to the mountains and Nightwatcher to the trees, especially when the perpendicularities lie in the waters that I’ve assigned to the Stormfather), which is pretty far from the Nightwatcher, but it’s possible the two are still associated. And I’ve long thought we had one in the Purelake, as well, and that Hoid’s “false trail” he laid out for the Seventeenth Shard was that he had managed to use the Purelake perp. There only appear to be two functioning perpendicularities during the events of Oathbringer (since they had to rely on either Honor’s perp or Cultivation’s perp), so… maybe the Sibling’s slumber has deactivated the perp? And Hoid tricked the Sharders into thinking he’d managed to use it somehow anyways? We’re getting pretty far afield here, especially since I don’t think an avatar needs a perpendicularity (or else Odium would have nine perpendicularities, one for each Unmade.) But that Purelake bit still sticks in my craw, so I’ll dig it back up every once in a while. Sand Lord Back to potential avatars. This is quite obviously a manifestation of Autonomy on Taldain; I think it may be an avatar, not the Shard herself. I’m tying this in to the perpendicularity logic above (which is why I had to throw it there awkwardly in the middle), and maybe the way she closed her perpendicularity on Taldain was by destroying, disabling, or doing something else nasty to this avatar. Austre Austre, the God of Colors, is who the Idrians believe created Nalthis and sends the Returned. It’s interesting that Brandon has confirmed that Austre is not Endowment [K]. One option is that Austre is Adonalsium, and they have enough holdover belief from that time. I don’t think that gels with the Idrian doctrine and Awakening being heresy, and also it has nothing to do with avatars, so I’m not gonna devote a ton of time here, even though it may very well be the more plausible of the options. I’m gonna instead make Sand Lord parallels; both of them wish to stop the use of magic. That’s making me think of Autonomy, and maybe Austre is another one of Bavadin’s avatars. Or maybe Austre is one of Endowment’s avatars? A specific agent who Returns? (But Brandon volunteers that Endowment is the one behind who Returns [L], so where would Austre even fit in?) I don’t have any clue of a physical manifestation for Austre. Warbreaker 2 is going to be even farther off than Wax and Wayne 4, and I’ve already made my thoughts clear on that. But Austre is one of the last candidates I can think of for being an avatar. Skathan Another kick-the-tires idea, the Emperor on Darkside. Autonomy could have another avatar working on Darkside. Working off the prose, he’s said to have powers to “speak and force people to obey him,” and he doesn’t age. Maybe he’s just a Lord Ruler-like individual who gained power. I don’t think we’ve seen him make a claim to deity. So, I’m not even convincing myself that he’s an avatar, but there’s no harm in mentioning him in the list of potentials. The Fell Twins Aether of Night spoilers below: Magic Systems I don’t have a ton of conclusions to make about how avatars interact with magic systems. Some, like Patji, manifest their own. Others, like the Rosharan avatars, interact with an existing Shard’s magic system. Which makes sense with an avatar as an extension of the Shard, and not a distinct being. Honor has already Invested in Roshar, so creating an avatar that’s also Invested in Roshar doesn’t change anything. I assume Obrodai has some new magic. (Kite magic, perhaps [M]? Although Brandon was developing that in 2019, so that may not have existed when Oathbringer was published.) Maybe the Sand Lord is responsible for sand mastery. We’ve seen the sand on Roshar, but have we actually seen anyone using sand mastery off of Taldain in the modern era? (Since there’s no real magic on Darkside, maybe that’s a sign there’s no avatar there). But if a world already has magic systems, perhaps a new avatar just fits into them, regardless of what Shard it’s of. So Trell joins the Metallic Arts (Brandon hasn’t even considered adding a fourth [N]). Austre, if he is an avatar of an off-world Shard, fits in with Breath somehow. And the Unmade can be bonded to form a Bondsmith, which is why going beyond three was seen as “seditious,” since it required one of Odium’s avatars. This makes sense more from a narrative sense than a realmatic sense; you only need new magic if there’s no old magic there to piggyback off of. But that’s how a lot of these things seem to go, and we’ll have a small enough sample size that I’m sure someone will be able to fit it into some sort of a framework in the end. In Conclusion. I’m pushing 5000 words, so I’ll summarize my main points: An avatar is a physical manifestation of a Shard that derives its personality from the mind of a deceased individual. Avatars can create new magic systems and new perpendicularities on the planets they are Invested on, but they do not have to if they Shard or another Shard has already Invested on that world. Patji was a being Hoid knew before he (Patji) became an avatar. Trell is an avatar of Autonomy who will be made from the individual appearing in White Sand. The three Bondsmith spren and the Unmade are avatars on Roshar. There are a couple other beings through the cosmere who may be avatars, but I don't have much confidence at all in that list, and am more presenting it for the sake of thoroughness.
  38. 8 points
  39. 8 points
    Some Burly Burls
  40. 8 points
    Hey guys, first post! Had a question, and couldn’t find the answer anywhere. We know Rock can see spren. Which implies he’s able to slip into the cognitive realm somewhat. Since he can see spren, does he recognize shardblades as dead spren?
  41. 8 points
    Shallan realizes when Jasnah makes her appearance that she did not actually see Jasnah's body during part of her escape. Additionally Shallan is somewhat naive and this hypothetical impostor had Jasnah's manner and intelligence down cold in a way that would be extraordinarily difficult to fake. Finally during their first meeting Jasnah references a conversation that they had in private quite some time ago. She is undergoing a period of depression and there is quite a bit of pressure on her. Under those circumstances I think curiosity is one of the first things to go. Dalinar is ascending at that moment. He is basically getting a massive power up on the spiritual level. His soul is expanded. Also it is not really like Odium was hitting him with less power. The actual damage to Dalinar's mind came just from viewing him for a second or so. It was less about power and more about how he approached that kind of information and the length of exposure. You cannot' have my pain! Dalinar going to fight an evil army with a book. Lift being rescued by Szeth. Elhokar trying to swear the oath. Gavinor with his little Kholin doll(excuse me action figure)...
  42. 8 points
    I was rereading OB and in the end Odium meets Taravangian and they make a deal in which the Diagram will work for Odium and in return Odium will spare anyone born in Kharbranth, their spouse and the city itself. I think this deal will be very important in the resolution of the first arc. 1 - There's the popular theory that Mr. T is a plant by Cultivation, i think the diagram was Cultivation way to bind Odium to an agreement which he, as a shard, has to follow as long as Taravangian keeps his word. 2 - This deal makes Odium ineffective against someone who was born in Kharbranth or their spouse. So i was trying to find some important character that was born in Kharbranth and was not Taravangian until i found one Hesina, Kaladin's mom. 3 - We know Hesina is not from Hearthstone and from some conversations in WoK we can assume she was born in a city, we also know Lirin lived in Kharbranth from a long time. So we can assumed they met there. 4 - We don't know when they returned to Hearthstone, i didn't find anything saying that Kaladin birth was in Hearthstone. And we know one of Kaladin grandparents is lighteyes, perhaps they were the ones who named him when they were still in Kharbranth. So in conclusion Cultivation plan was to force Odium to compromise with Taravangian, so that she could give an advantage to Kaladin, which might be Honor's champion.
  43. 8 points
    Thanks for the inspiration Sorana Raphael and Sloane talking by the fireplace:
  44. 8 points
    Am I the only person on this forum that WANTS Adolin to become an Edgedancer?
  45. 8 points
    So I'm not sure if this is the right sub forum to post this. There will be some spoilers about the Rosharan System. SO DONT READ AHEAD IF YOU DONT WANT SPOILERS. Anyway. I think I found a depiction of the immigration from Ashyn to Roshar. It's one of the illustrations in Oathbringer. When you start "Part 1" there will be a map of the "Locations of the Ten Oathgates" On the bottom half of the illustration, it depicts people running through a portal -of sorts-away from fire. The place they flee to is full of Soil, grass and from the looks of it, Spren. We know that Ashyn is nicknamed "the burning planet" because of whatever happened there. Shinovar is the only place on Roshar that has soil grass like we do. I think it has to be it. What do you guys think?
  46. 8 points
    Thank you, brave one for standing up for satisfying plot structure & character development instead of cheap instant gratification & stuff that is trending, in the face of all this Moash-bashing
  47. 8 points
    Thanks to this WoB We know that Spensa best fits in with other Dustbringers. From the gem archives and the in world WoR book we know that Dustbringers share many qualities with her. Chief among these qualities is an outward persona of reckless dangerous intensity. A "nice house lets burn it down for kicks" mentality that is easily apparent in Spensa when we first meet her as a seven year who wants to blow things up. Interestingly Dustbringers contrast this with a softer side of deep and devoted love and compassion to those that they chose to give their loyalty to. Jerkface is surprised that Spensa is actually the huggy type. Based on one of my older theories radiant oaths (with the exception of Lightweavers) follow a pattern. The first ideal is constant, the second is about service, the third is about fairness, the fourth is about trust and the fifth is about the ultimate goal. Spensa goes through character development that reflects some of this in both books. In Skyward as a child she wants to fly in order to prove to herself and her fellows that she is not a coward. The only qualities she really demonstrates at this point is an impressive amount of aggression, bravery, and unyielding willpower. Spensa at this point is forceful enough to get what she wants but what she wants is ultimately selfish. When she wins the training exercise against Jerkface it is for herself not for anyone else. Similarly the thing that holds her back (her fear of hurting others) is still ultimately selfish. She does not want to be the one to kill one of her friends but based on the way the DDF takes losses her friends are all doomed even without her. The pivotal moment for her is when she admits that she is going to die but states that she will win anyway(by saving them). As such I think the second ideal of a Dustbringer is "I will fight for others not for myself." However Spensa is not done here she has saved everyone but she has more to do. Her next move is to save to get answers. Instead holding a grudge against the DDF(and spesifically Ironsides) who have treated her extremely poorly she recognizes that these people need her and that she can't help them until she knows more. As such I think the third ideal for Dustbringers is "I will not turn my back on those who need me no matter who they are or what they have done." ===Starsight spoilers start here=== Starsight provides some excellent information on the fourth ideal. It is in fact a consistent theme. Everyone deserves a chance to be treated as human. Initially Spensa does not trust Culla because of the way he smiles. However she eventually overcomes her initially apprehension and lets her guard down around him giving him a chance to prove that he deserves her trust and loyalty. This is the fourth ideal. "I will allow anyone a chance to prove that they deserve my loyalty." I think it is telling that Malata does not have her armor. The ultimate goal of a Dustbringer is to create a world in which people are loyal to each other. Juggling competing loyalties is also likely a problem for this order(you have to give everyone a chance). I think the final ideal of a Dustbringer is "I will respect all loyalties no matter who is involved." If I am judging right this will be the end of Spensa's arc. She will have to except that some humans are going to be loyal to the superiority and that she herself will have to kill those people.
  48. 8 points
    Night 2: A Need for Exploration Right, left, right, left, rightleftrightleftrightleft... Someone was in the hallway with him. At least one person. There had been a red X a ways back, and then he’d glimpsed a shadowy figure, and now he was... running after them. Like an idiot. He had no idea where he was going, he’d probably get lost, and yet. He couldn’t just not know. That was why he was a Scout - exploring. Discovering new things. Running after them at high speed, even. Tnaidar could see the figure ahead of him a little more clearly - a long grayish cloak and dark hair was all he could make out, but he was catching up. He silently thanked all his long, tedious hours of exercising. That fitness could prove vital now. Speaking of vital... he grabbed a pouch on his belt as he ran. His escape plan - just in case. He’d nearly caught up when he found himself running into a round chamber - with each door blocked. On one side was a man and what looked like... some kind of strange spren that he didn’t recognize. Another, two women looking at him grimly. He recognized both from the camps, but he’d dismissed them as scholarly types. As he skidded to a halt, trying to understand what was going on, he heard Max Mercury’s voice from behind him, crying “Now!” Something went over his head, and his last glimpse was of the two women coming towards him. He wasn’t sticking around to find out any more. He broke the item inside the pouch he was still holding - And just like that, he was in Shadesmar. Thankfully. Still best to leave the area for a bit, in case anyone could travel here like he could, but... he sighed. He’d return eventually. He had to - surely just given a little time, they’d explain what was going on! And besides, his curiosity compelled him. He could always escape again, and until then... he needed to know. To learn. To understand. Tnaidar the Scout smiled. Someday, perhaps, he would understand every mystery in the Cosmere. “...with all due respect, Brightness, I will not allow this matter to rest. Nolan was killed by those...creatures...and even if you did not care for him personally (though that scarcely seems possible), you will surely recognise the wisdom of attempting to discover and neutralise a definite threat to our safety. I propose a thorough search of the thirty-eighth floor with enough Radiants that we can deal with the shadows if they show up. Perhaps Nolan was taken by surprise, but confronting these things head-on is far simpler—I was able to destroy their essence in the Cognitive Realm when they attacked. Give me a team of Elsecallers and we’ll return here with a far safer Urithiru.” Radler looked down at Kareana, who was sketching a glyphward in the accumulated dust underneath her. She looked up, feigning surprise. “Oh, are you done?” Radler sighed. “Brightness—” Kareana cut in. “I understand your arguments, Radler, as you’re quite fond of repeating them. I’m sorry about your friend, and understand that you want to avenge his death. It’s a noble sentiment. But you are letting your grief cloud your better judgement here. Answer me this: Why should I send a squad of Radiants whose loyalties are still untested (and which we can ill afford to lose) on a mission against a foe we know next to nothing of how to defeat? A foe, moreover, aligned with Odium?” “I could have been mistaken about—” “You’re fooling nobody; I trust your initial report of the events, and you said that these shadows were extensions of something whose Investiture is tied to Odium. Unless you want to tell me you lied about that?” He sighed again. “No.” “In that case, among a party we know has been infiltrated by those loyal to the Lord of Hate, you would have me bring some of its members into contact with one of his minions, that they might more efficiently coordinate to slaughter the rest of us? No, for the final time, Radler. I will not allow it until at least the reinforcing party has been sent up by Brightlord Kholin, and we are sure that this group remains uncompromised.” “Very well,” Radler acquiesced. “But I do hope you are aware that you cannot stop me from venturing there alone.” “I would call it folly of the highest order,” Kareana replied grimly, “but I indeed will not stop you, if only because you would rather martyr yourself than chafe under my restriction. You may go, but I will forbid the other Radiants from joining you, and I do not wish you luck, for it will not help you where you go. Return alive, if you can.” Radler inclined his head. “I will certainly try, Brightness.” Turning suddenly, he strode off, leaving Kareana with a crudely sketched glyphward in the sand. Mercy. It would be needed in the coming days, for all of them to live. She held out a finger, from which a spark flew, and the flame slowly kindled, spreading along the prayer like a snake and sending it up to the Almighty. He who has ears, let him hear. Radler narrowed his lips into a thin line, careful not to let Kareana see his fury. That cremling! Why was it so hard to see that shadowy creatures killing in the night were a danger? If he was a gambling man, like the dead Taladir, he would pin responsibility for Locke’s death on the odd shadows as well—it was a carbon copy of Naihar’s execution, the throat slit perfectly in the victim’s sleep, and Nolan had taken a knife to the back in the same manner as Aruana. If there were imitation murders, though, why hadn’t Taladir’s death inspired a copycat, or Krask? So much didn’t add up about the shadows, yet something needed to be done. He strode over to his satchel, heavy with fully lit spheres and cut gemstones, along with other, smaller quantities of foreign Investiture. He hadn’t had occasion to use it yet, but if anything was going to demand that he be a one-man Radiant army, this was it. Slinging the bag over his shoulder, he turned, avoiding Kareana’s gaze by keeping his eyes downcast as he walked. He strode quickly through the meeting ground, keeping to the sides of the wall, when he felt a small tap on his shoulder. Radler kept walking. He was not about to start chatting with Errdal about this decision, or anyone else, for that matter. “Oi!” came the reply, and the sound of jogging footsteps hurrying to catch up to him. “You’re not just ignoring me like that.” “Actually, I am, Errdal,” Radler said hotly, “and for once I’d like you to not intrude on what I’m doing. Your help has been invaluable, but this mission has to be undertaken alone.” “The same mission which earlier called for a team of Elsecallers to help you? You’re going to need every man you can against those shadows, Radler, and I’m also not going to stand by and let the leading member of the Council go on a suicide mission without at least being able to report your death with a clean conscience.” Radler suddenly smiled. “You know, Errdal, I’ve really had my share of arguing for this morning with Kareana. Fine, and your help will be appreciated. But I have one condition of us going together: if anyone’s not getting out of that floor alive, it’s me. Not you, not the person who’s been watching us while pretending to read who clearly wants to join, me. Clear?” Errdal nodded, a slight smile playing on his lips. “You’re observant as always, Radler, and clear enough, though I wish it were otherwise.” He turned to the young woman who had strode up to them. “Who are you?” “Ellira,” she said, with no small degree of haughtiness, “and I’m not helping for your friend who got killed. But I do agree that those things up there need to be observed, at the very least, and I’m generally good at staying hidden.” She turned to Radler. “Using Tin to watch my eye movements is downright cheating, by the way.” Radler grinned. “I suppose it is, at that. Your safety isn’t guaranteed, though, and I hope you have a plan for fighting off those shadowed creatures.” Ellira rolled her eyes. “I’m aware.” “Good.” He paused awkwardly, surveying the small team. “Well, best not to waste any more time than we have to.” He turned and set off at a brisk walk to the intact eastern lift system, and the others tailed him, making their way down the tower. “No, I cannot open this door without using Stormlight, and I’m not announcing our presence boldly to whatever’s in there,” Errdal hissed. “If whatever you did with your Scadrian Investiture earlier didn’t work, I’m not sure anything is unjamming it.” “It’s not jammed, it’s locked, and has two thousand years of crem buildup to boot.” Radler kept his voice down, with some effort. “I’ve removed that, but unlike you seem to think, my line of work never involved lockpicking, and from the sound of it, neither did yours. We’re stuck, as your Shardblade is also, incidentally, a dead giveaway.” “Well, we aren’t giving up on secrecy now, or you wouldn’t have been so adamant about us entering from the thirty-ninth floor instead of the lift system directly. Is there another door?” “None that go into this side room, which is the only place on this floor not visible from the central chamber. The lift system would put us too close to the shadows, and the other lift is broken.” Radler threw his hands up, turning to Ellira. “Any insights?” “I don’t know about insights,” she replied, “but this door is magically locked?” “Not magically, no,” Radler said with a frown. “If that were the case, we’d have opened it already.” “So the lock is conventional?” she said with mock patience. “In that case—” she strode up to the door, thrusting a small, thin object into the keyhole and twisting it—“you really should have made that clearer ten minutes ago.” The door opened slowly under her watch, but surprisingly noiselessly. She bowed. “After you, of course.” Errdal shook his head, entering the room with the stealth he could manage. Radler did the same, but was surprised and impressed by Ellira, who was actually noiseless as she crept through the door into the musty chamber. “Now what?” Ellira breathed. “We observe,” Radler replied equally quietly, “and don’t move or make noise. I’m not rushing in.” Falling silent, he took his own advice, casting his eyes around. They looked to be in a closet or storeroom of sorts, which was not occupied by any inky shadows he could immediately see, thankfully. Or was it a mere storeroom? He almost fancied he could see, through the light filtering in from an open window, the outlines of decaying shelves around him—were those heaps of rot and decay old books? It was a library, or at least it had been one—Nolan would have gone insane thinking about all the knowledge that had been lost to time. Considering it, Radler wasn’t sure that he wasn’t going insane too. Another door to the library led out, presumably to the main structure or chamber—what that was, he still had no idea. It was fashioned almost purely of metal, and Ellira was already oiling its hinges. He took the liberty of trying the handle, and to his surprise found it unlocked. He hesitated for a brief moment. “Are we sure that we’re ready?” Two grim nods of assent. There was nothing more to be gained by staying still. Radler breathed deeply, and turned the handle, bracing for a rush of shadows at the very least. Nothing. Perhaps their secrecy had paid off, or the figures somehow needed rest? Either way, he was not about to complain. He motioned Errdal and Ellira to remain silent as they emerged into a...hallway? It was not the enormous round chamber he had expected from his initial glance into the structure when he had grabbed Krask’s bag down by the broken lift next to the main door and ran back to help Nolan—there, the shadows had barred his progress. But they were not down by the main door either. Radler felt his skin crawl. He felt something here, which was choosing to stay unseen. His heart throbbed, but he would not pass up the chance to look around while he could. Glancing left, the hallway continued for a while, and there looked to be tile mosaics of the ten Radiant spren as decoration, with more abstract images closer to a round, bowl-shaped chamber at the end of the hall. The broken lift system was more or less right in front of him, between him and another metal door which he assumed was the other library. So much for secrecy, though we did make less noise than just waltzing in the door. And how many times when going to another level did we pass through this very room quickly, without thinking, when danger lurked here all along? The thought made his skin crawl even more. Looking right, he saw little but the main set of gates he had tried to enter earlier, and another door which led to the other rooms on the level. He assumed the working lift was somewhere in them. The floor was of stone blocks, and the ceiling was far up and poorly lit, though he fancied there were designs painted on it. With no other choice, he looked left again, and swallowed. A Shadow was spreading from out of the chamber, splitting and coalescing into the humanoid figures which had attacked him and Nolan earlier. They were indeed not allowed to go further, it seemed. Beside him, Ellira gripped her daggers, and Errdal summoned his Blade, drawing an eyebrow from the young woman. For his own part, Radler drew his conventional sword and charged, though it was not ordinary steel he would fight with. The groups clashed, shadowed figures dissipating as Radler Lightwove challengers for them or destroyed them in the Cognitive Realm. They seemed more...potent...here, but were still defeatable. Errdal’s Shardblade clove a swath around him and Ellira, who he was essentially defending. The girl was quick with her daggers, though, Radler mused, even if they did little damage to the shadowed figures—she saved her own life, and Errdal’s, several times with her defences, though Radler suspected she only did the latter out of necessity; should Errdal fall, she would also in short order. For his own part, he was busy not dying, and quickly returned his focus to the shadows. He blocked a shadowed figure’s sword with his own, then Soulcast its essence—what little it had—out of existence. As he did so, he noticed the crowd of shadowed figures thinning, or perhaps consolidating, as he approached the chamber. He drove his sword into another figure, watching it writhe and fade away, and quickly ducked as Errdal’s Shardblade swung around, taking out a figure who had crept behind him. He nodded thanks, and decided it was high time to get at the heart of what was in the chamber. Drawing in about a quarter of his remaining Stormlight, he sent out a pulse of pure light and energy. Strangely, the shadows dissipated, melting away as they touched the blast of Investiture. In the Cognitive Realm, though, Radler saw them retreat instead, fusing with something much larger. He stepped into the bowl-shaped chamber with trepidation, the wrongness he felt in Shadesmar not gone. The shadows, after the initial assault, had not meant to kill them. Then what would? A twenty-foot column of oily black essence greeted him as he entered, seemingly rising out of the stones. WORLDHOPPER, a voice came. GHOSTBLOOD, SHARDBEARER. WELCOME TO MY CHAMBER. A pause. THOUGH YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE DISTURBED MY REST. NONE OF YOU MAY ESCAPE. The essence split, and the shadowy figures resurged, Errdal frantically throwing himself in front of Ellira to protect her. Radler stood dumb, feeling a great weight press down upon his mind. At last, however, he recognised his foe: Re-Shephir the Unmade, servant of Odium. Had he been alone, he could perhaps have dealt with her, defending himself while warring in the Cognitive Realm. But with her threatening his friends, he had no choice. He would hold to his word from before. “Errdal, Ellira, flee this spawn of Damnation! I will hold the exit by the stairs.” Errdal looked at him aghast, lowering his guard for a brief instant, through which a figure slipped, stabbing him in the side. He swore, chopping it in half with his Blade. “But we came here to—” “You’re being overwhelmed, you fool! Get out of here, take that fool girl, and let me hold the exit!” He speared another Shadow, desperately trying to keep the hostile presence away from his mind while retaliating against the figures. It was exhausting, and he could only keep it up for so long. “Remember what I told you earlier? What I made you swear?” Errdal nodded, tears streaming down his cheeks. “Then run!” Radler yelled, doing the same, throwing the Midnight Mother’s pressure off him at last and resuming engagement with her shadows. This time, there really seemed no end to them. Ellira and Errdal were sprinting for the metal door to the library, cutting down everything in their way. Radler back-pedalled slowly, careful not to let any shadows slip past him. His Stormlight was dangerously low, but if he was correct about the shadows being confined mostly to the chamber, there would be no need to save any—Ellira had made it through the door, and Errdal stood at the entrance, vaporising the last oiled black figure which had crept past Radler. Two other emaciated creatures crept past him, which he let by without thinking. Axehounds? He couldn’t waste time thinking about that. Errdal still held the door open, though, peering anxiously out at him. The sound of running footsteps told him Ellira had kept sprinting—she was clearly the one with more brains, out of the two. “Close the storming door!” Radler gasped. “I’ll make it out by the front, or not at all!” His last Lightweavings collapsed. He was out of Stormlight. “GO!” Drawing his sword, whose aluminum coating would still kill anything that went near him, he continued backing towards the front door. The shadows refused to engage, instead circling and advancing slowly. Radler gritted his teeth. He would just have to keep retreating towards the door, face towards his assailants. He stepped backwards one foot at a time, and still the shadows did not engage. But why? They could have easily rushed him by now. Suddenly his back foot stepped on nothing. The empty shaft, of course, how Krask died! He overbalanced, teetering forward, and now the shadows rushed. He tried to hold them back, but without Stormlight it was hopeless. Two of the figures locked swords with him, shoved, and he was weightless, falling into the abyss. A long fall, and a short ending, unless he broke it. Reaching into his belt, he downed the last vial of metals, then dropped his sword, Pushing it past him. He felt it hit ground below, falling through the rapidly growing square at the bottom of the shaft. Before he landed, he Pushed on it with all his might, slowing his descent to a manageable speed. He hit, cracking ribs against the rocky mountaintops. But he was alive—the corpse of Krask next to him wasn’t—and presumed dead. That could prove useful, if he survived the coming days. For now, though, he was without food in the barren mountaintops, and it was a long way down to find humanity. He would make it, though. He had to warn Darrel at the very least of the fresh danger which Odium posed to Roshar’s peace. Opal Lion (Tnaidar) was lynched, but survived! Radler is presumed dead! He was a Loyal Knight Radiant! Vote Count Opal Lion (6): Amber Vulture, Emerald Falcon, Magenta Albatross, Scarlet Octopus, Taupe Gecko Magenta Albatross (2): Coral Swan, Mauve Crocodile, Violet Axolotl Saffron Iguana (1): Amethyst Scorpion, Plum Rhinoceros Sunburst Toucan (0): Saffron Iguana Night 2 has begun and will end in 23 hours, at 1am Pacific on the first day of 2020. Player List 1. Amber Vulture: Jashi, Stormwarden 2. Amethyst Scorpion: Jesh, Lost Axehound 3. Chartreuse Penguin: Taladir, Gambler Radiant Worldhopper 4. Coral Swan: Germaine, Scholar 5. Cream Tuatara: Dfyan, Scholar 6. Emerald Falcon: Sein, Inquisitive 7. Indigo Weasel: Adhom Inem, Ardent 8. Ivory Dragonfly: Krask, Conspiracy Theorist Sympathizer Worldhopper 9. Magenta Albatross: Jonan Wikim, Lost Axehound (Gren) 10. Mauve Crocodile: Sernes, Paranoid Scout 11. Mint Heron: Sam, Once a Darkeyes 12. Onyx Flamingo: Kir, Kleptomaniac Scout 13. Opal Lion: Tnaidar, Scout 14. Pearl Chameleon: Purrl, Adolin’s Former Girlfriend 15. Plum Rhinoceros: Logalog, Scholar 16. Quartz Zebra: Arauna Khadal, Adolin’s Former Girlfriend Sympathizer Worldhopper 17. Saffron Iguana: Merinira, Scout 18. Sage Kangaroo: Gilglin, Ardent (Devotary of the Mind) 19. Salmon Meerkat: Cadamum, Ghostblood Recruit 20. Scarlet Octopus: Max Mercury, Past Lives 21. Sunburst Toucan: Tafud, Slightly Crazy 22. Taupe Gecko: Brana, Scholar 23. Turqoise Gorilla: Bomer, Gambler 24. Violet Axolotl: Adi, Anxious
  49. 8 points
    "I am" moments in the Cosmere: Spoilers for the Final Empire Spoilers for Hero of Ages as well as Mistborn Era 1 overall: Major Spoilers for Oathbringer: Major Spoiler for Words of Radiance: Do you have any others?
  50. 8 points
    Haha! Well Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, 17th Shard! Hope you all have a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!
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