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  1. 95 points
    This is why my ears aren't pierced. Just sayin'...
  2. 62 points
    When you never skip prologues anymore. Ever.
  3. 51 points
    A Rosharan Political Analysis: Secret Societies Ghostbloods, Diagramists, Skybreakers, Sons of Honor, Envisagers, Stone Shamans, Ardentia The following is intended to be a comprehensive guide on known secret societies on Roshar, especially ones interfering in The Stormlight Archive. Due to the complexity and excessive number of such societies, this will hopefully be a useful reference for newcomers, confused fans, and those that want to double check or reference any information. If you note any inaccuracies or things that I missed, feel free to let me know so that I can update the information to be as accurate as possible. The Ghostbloods: The Ghostbloods are the most encountered secret society with the least information given. As Mraize told Shallan at the end of Words of Radiance, we know next to nothing about the Ghostbloods or their purpose. We can, however, make some educated approximations, and codify the information we have been given. · Jasnah Kholin: She and the Ghostbloods seem to be engaged in a policy of mutual assassination; but unfortunately we don’t know the history or reasons behind this. · Sons of Honor: There seems to be a specific rivalry between the Ghostbloods and the Sons of Honor. The Ghostbloods have a keen interest in Amaram at the Shattered Plains, and Iyatil tried to assassinate him at the end of Words of Radiance (most likely, she has at least one nonlethal poison); Amaram also suspected the Ghostbloods of sending Helaran as the Shardbearer to kill him, though later evidence indicates that it was really the Skybreakers. Gavilar’s two suspects for his assassination were Thaidakar (probable leader of the Ghostbloods) and Restares (probable leader of the Sons of Honor). Both are also seeking maps and Urithiru. · Maps and Urithiru: The Ghostbloods have an uncanny interest in maps. (This is not singular to the Ghostbloods; the Sons of Honor, Parshendi, and others seem to have the same interest.) Either they (as well as the others) are putting plenty of effort into the search for Urithiru (as seems likely), or the maps have something else of interest. · Taravangian and Tukar: Mraize, in his conversation with Raspy Voice, seemed to indicate that he thinks Taravangian and the Diagram of little importance. Either he is unaware of the Diagram or its extent, or the Diagram is of less importance than we are led to believe. In the same conversation, he speaks of a “creature in Tukar” that is either not human or not of the local species. As pointed out, this is likely the "god-priest, Tezim," leading the Tukari in the conflict over Sesemalex Dar. · Worldhoppers: Secret conversations, key props, the Diagram, and Words of Brandon confirm that Mraize and Iyatil are worldhoppers. The conversation Shallan overheard in Chapter 54 of Words of Radiance seems to indicate that there may be at least one other. A person with a raspy voice. Conspiracy theory! Dreok Crushthroat! The Ghostbloods could, therefore, be a Cosmere-wide organization in either membership, expanse, or at least information. Significant Members: · Mraize: A man who, on first sight, reminds Shallan of Hoid. He is twisted an scarred, fixates on courage (in his first conversation with Shallan), and likes to use local weapons to learn of different cultures. He is the ward of Iyatil, and a worldhopper. In fact, Adrotagia wondered (in her annotations to the Diagram) if he was the “wanderer Taravangian spoke of. · Iyatil: She is considered the “babsk” of Mraize. The only other babsk we see is Vstim, and from Rysn we learn that the babsk is considered the parent of the apprentice, in charge of “rearing” them to be a full trader. I am not sure how this relationship works with the Ghostbloods. She has an orange carapace mask she refuses to remove, is a skilled actress, and is also a worldhopper. · Tyn: An expert con artist that took Shallan under her wing. She was in league with the Ghostbloods but may not have been an actual member. She was in charge of the operation to assassinate Jasnah Kholin. Shallan killed her with her Shardblade when Tyn discovered her identity and tried to kill her. · Thaidakar: This appears to be a leader or high ranking member of the Ghostbloods (he is spoken of in conjunction with the Ghostbloods in a way that implies he is the head of the organization by Amaram in The Way of Kings, and Words of Radiance reaffirms a Ghostblood position, with the term “Master Thaidakar” used by Mraize. Gavilar suspected Thaidakar for his assassination, telling him that he was “too late;” though Restares (a Son of Honor) and Sadeas were also suspects. We have no other information at the moment. Lin Davar: Father of Shallan and Helaran (along with three other siblings). He assumed the blame for the deaths of Shallan's mother and her friend in order to preserve the secret of Shallan's Radiancy and the fact that Shallan had killed them (albeit in self-defense). He grew politically ambitious, increasing House Davar's importance and preparing to make a bid for Highprince, but making enemies and alienating allies. His steward, Luesh, was his intermediary with the rest of the Ghostblood organization, which had been backing his bid for the Highprince succession and had loaned him the Soulcaster. He was killed by Shallan when he tried to kill Nan Balat during one of his rages. Luesh: Steward to Lin Davar and his intermediary with the Ghostbloods as they backed him politically. He was trained to use a Soulcaster. He (purportedly) died in his sleep after Lin's death, while Shallan was in Kharbranth. Kabsal: A Ghostblood posting as a Kharbranthian Ardent. He befriended and fell in love with Shallan, but his main purpose was to assassinate Jasnah Kholin. He died from poisoned bread during the assassination attempt after Jasnah inadvertently Soulcast the antidote. Shallan: Following Jasnah's "death," Shallan's encounter with Tyn, and her arrival at the Shattered Plains, Shallan infiltrated the Ghostblood organization under the alias Veil. She was ultimately admitted as a full Ghostblood member, but her true identity was ultimately discovered. Despite this, Mraize still offered her the membership. "Let Shallan Davar be a Radiant, conformist and noble. Let Veil come to us. And let her find truth." Interesting quote (from Mraize's conversation with Shallan at the end of Words of Radiance): "Your family [the Davar's] has a long history of involvement in these events." The Sons of Honor: The Sons of Honor are a group of Vorin extremists. Fortunately (or unfortunately), we see a lot of them through the interactions and investigations of Amaram, especially from Words of Radiance. (Ironically, the English singular – Son of Honor – is only one letter away from perfect Rosharan symmetry, a good Vorin name.) Their purpose is to return the Desolations in order to bring back the Heralds and restore the Heirocratic dominance of Old Vorinism. While obviously misguided and misinformed, and seemingly unimportant, they still manage to kick up quite the storm. Restares: We know little more of Restares than we do of Thaidakar. The apparent leader of the Sons of Honor, all we truly know is that he is Amaram’s superior, one of Gavilar’s murder suspects, and that his cronies were “close,” according to Mraize, presumably to finding Urithiru. He is usually mentioned in context with Thaidakar. He is the individual to whom Amaram sent his progress report at the end of Words of Radiance. Amaram: A devout Son of Honor, he has been seeking Heralds (namely the “person who calls himself Taln), gathering maps (presumably seeking Urithiru), and trying to get the Parshendi to transform into Voidbringers. While he has garnered much dislike in the novels and among fans for murdering Kaladin’s men and being generally dishonorable, I feel he is no worse (and absolutely no better) than many of the other misguided, semi-antagonistic members of such secret societies; while he is more misguided than most, he honestly feels he is doing what is best for Roshar, without regard to himself, but has a very destination-before-journey mindset that is common in similar individuals (Taravangian, Mraize, and even Hoid to an extent). The Diagramists: The most appreciated and generally understood secret organization, the society of the Diagram is the prime example of “Destination before Journey,” summarized by the Catechism of the Back of the Flowered Painting: Q: What cost must we bear? A: The cost is irrelevant. Mankind must survive. Our burden is that of the species, and all other considerations are but dust by comparison On the night of his death, Gavilar confided in King Taravangian of Kharbranth, telling him of his visions of the Almighty. Following this, Taravangian sought out the Nightwatcher, asking for the capacity to save humankind. The result? Daily intelligence fluctuations, inversely connected with compassion levels. Then came one “singular day of unparalleled brilliance,” “making connections no man had ever before made”: The Diagram. Information written in an alien script (devised by Taravangian that day to express information more clearly) all over Taravangian’s bedroom, with a key fortunately carved into his table; now codified (in its original form) for more practical use. Although Taravangian’s Interlude maintains that he did not truly see into the future, the Diagram has made “eerily accurate” (though not entirely infallible) predictions of the results of specific actions necessary to unite the world (under Taravangian) to resist the Desolation, as his interpretation of Gavilar’s visions required: “You must become king. Of everything.” Quotes: · Inaccuracies: The Diagram, while startlingly accurate, has been off about a few things, more so the farther into the future it goes. Taravangian hopes for another day of equivalent intelligence to revamp the Diagram, but Adrotagia’s calculations declare this to be unlikely. Therefore, the current method is to use Death Rattles, little precognitive phrases uttered by the dying, created by Moelach (according to the Diagram, one of the Unmade) and powered by the “spark of life itself.” Two problems thus arise: First, that the Diagram is gradually decreasing in accuracy; Second, that the method of updating the Diagram is controlled by an evil, powerful being most likely a Splinter of Odium. These could have interesting future ramifications. · Death Rattles: · Sleepers: These are members of the Diagramist group, likely a term for a specific type of undercover agent. “Wake every Alethi sleeper we have; send every agent in the area.” These may include Graves and his men. · Silent Gatherers: These Diagramists are headed by Joshor and are in charge of murdering the terminally ill in the Kharbranthian hospitals in order to find and record as many Death Rattles as possible to augment the Diagram. Members: · Taravangian: King of Kharbranth and now Jah Keved, Taravangian was the confidante of Gavilar Kholin on his final night. After seeking out the Nightwatcher, he received the boon of intelligence fluctuation and created the Diagram on a day of unparalleled genius (as explained above). Through his occasional brilliance, he is able to interpret the Diagram and is the leader of the society. “Besides, in dealing with the Diagram, he might not remember what he had written or why – but there were echoes sometimes.” · Adrotagia: Head of Taravangian’s scholars and his boyhood friend. Following Taravangian, she probably knows the most about the Diagram. · Mrall: Taravangian’s bodyguard, in charge of determining his capacity to serve in public on a daily basis. A peculiar figure, he claims to be able to “change emotions on a whim,” such as ceasing to take pleasure in suffering. · Graves: A self-styled Alethi patriot and a Shardbearer, he was in charge of the group trying to assassinate King Elhokar. He is now fleeing the Shattered Plains. Through the assassination attempt, he recruited Moash to their cause. · Szeth-son-son-Vallano: Truthless of Shinovar, the Assassin in White. An explanation should be unnecessary. From the middle of The Way of Kings to the end of Words of Radiance, he is under the control of Taravangian and acts on his orders. The Skybreakers: The name originally applied to an order of the Knights Radiant. Whether they remain so, are the organizational remnant of what used to be Radiants, are Radiants ("This act of great villainy went beyond the impudence which had hitherto been ascribed to the orders; as the fighting was particularly intense at the time, many attributed this act to a sense of inherent betrayal; and after they withdrew, about two thousand made assault upon them, destroying much of the membership; but this was only nine of the ten, as one said they would not abandon their arms and flee, but instead entertained great subterfuge at the expense of the other nine."), or merely share the same name and Heraldic leader remains unknown. In any case, they are a group headed by Nalan, Herald of Justice. They do seem to “put the law above all else,” though laws are twisted to suit their needs, and they certainly have a proliferation of Shardblades; however, their actions do not seem Radiant-worthy and they seem to be trying to assassinate – pseudolegally, of course – Surgebinders along the path to Radianthood, all in the name of preventing another Desolation. The best knowledge comes from the Interludes of Ym and Lift, along with Szeth’s portion of chapter 88 of Words of Radiance. I hope for a vast increase of information with the release of the next book (such as the information and references in The Way of Kings versus those in Words of Radiance.) · Nalan’elin: “Nin” to Szeth, almost certainly Darkness to Lift and the man in Ym’s story; Herald of Justice, Divine Attributes of Just and Confident. We don’t know what the years since Aharietiam have truly done to the Heralds, though they seem to be “doing worse.” This one has gained a penchant for assassinating Surgebinders and (Jezerezah only knows what else he’s been up to! I’ll leave it up to your imagination). · Szeth-son-Neturo: Once again, the Assassin in White needs little introduction. Now he has and a mission to bring justice to the leaders of the Shin, and he is learning at the feet of a dangerous Herald who may or may not be just as unstable as Szeth. · Helaran: Shallan’s oldest brother apparently “sought out the Skybreakers,” presumably where he received his Shardblade and Plate. Taravangian and Adrotagia considered him a possible tutor of Shallan in her Surgebinding. Nothing else is known, despite Shallan’s flashbacks (I am beginning to tire of saying that. I expect some good information from the third book!) The Envisagers: A cult, as Teft called them, that “believed in the Radiants, Heralds, and Old Vorinism; especially Old Vorinism.” They believed that if they could return the Voidbringers, it would bring back the Knights Radiant (comparable to the Sons of Honor in the preceding respects). They believed that if they put their members in mortal danger, they would manifest Surgebinding powers – a Snapping concept, of sorts. None did, but many (including Teft’s mother) died trying. Teft turned the Envisagers in to his citylord, who executed them all. If other groups exist, he (and we) is unaware. NOTE: This concludes the section on all known secret societies – at least, those known to be secret societies. The two following are potential candidates once more information is known; as things stand, any accusations of ulterior goals remain theorization. I hope the information is helpful, regardless. The Ardentia: The Vorin ardentia are the religious officials that remain after the Sunmaker destroyed the Heirocracy and Old Vorinism. While they lack the overwhelming political power they had previously, they are extraordinarily well placed to be a massive secret society in the Vorin nations of the East: ardents include cutting-edge scientists, scholars with access to practically all of the Eastern world’s knowledge (especially the Palanaeum), politicians (though they technically aren’t supposed to be), religious authorities and advisors, fighters, Shard-trained soldiers, and Soulcasters – in fact, they control all known Soulcasting fabrials. They seem too suspicious and well-positioned, especially with the fact that they once controlled the major Vorin nations. Stone Shamans and the Shin: I hesitated to include these, but the information, while mildly speculative and not truly a secret society, could still be of use. Stone Shamans seem to be the leaders of the Shin – certainly of their religion, which worships the spren of stone. They have the Honorblades and have kept them safe “for millennia” – likely since the Last Desolation. Szeth mentions eight of the nine, specifically (though he wasn’t terribly surprised with the fabricated news that one was stolen), and we have WOB that a Herald came back for his. Unfortunately, insofar as I know, we lack a time indicator – whether it was immediately following the Desolation, before Szeth’s expulsion, or afterwards is unknown, and the latter would mean that there is another unaccounted Honorblade. Presumably, the Stone Shamans use them, for they would have been able to retrieve the Honorblade following Szeth’s death in normal circumstances (whether they will try or succeed to regain the Honorblade from the new Knights Radiant remains to be seen) – though how this reconciles with the societal abhorrence of weapons and soldiery is unknown. Regardless, we know Szeth plans to “face enemies with Shards and with power.” Besides the ownership of the Honorblades (and potentially other Shards), however, is the potential knowledge, both generally held and that discovered by Szeth, leading to his naming as Truthless. Unfortunately, all that we know is very vague and will likely remain so until Szeth visits Shinovar or we see his flashbacks. Regardless, we can extrapolate from the few glimpses Szeth does give us, namely in Interlude 9 of The Way of Kings and phrases screamed while fighting Kaladin. Something made Szeth believe that the Radiants and Voidbringers had returned. He told others, probably the Stone Shamans, but was convinced or forced - despite what he claims his honor demanded - to become Truthless. (I am of the opinion that he was forced religiously, and he complied in the name of law and order, which Nalan claimed Szeth worshipped - “They told me I was Truthless,” emphasis added, and “There was no place for him in the Valley of Truth,” a name that seems to imply religious significance. There is also an interesting dichotomy following his acceptance of his station; while “his honor demanded” that the Voidbringers existed despite the fact that “his punishment declared that they did not,” the appearance of Kaladin as a budding Radiant made Szeth question his nature as Truthless until Taravangian’s explanation forced him to remain in his place.) Along with a possible knowledge of Radiants and Voidbringers, Szeth recognizes a Herald on sight (albeit by a different name than they are called in Vorin nations), and he knows more about Surgebinding than the Ars Arcanum from The Way of Kings and arguably that of Words of Radiance, despite Shinovar’s lack of access to Stormlight. They also had a knowledge of Urithiru. It will be very interesting to learn more of the Shin in future novels. Honorable mention: These are groups that deserve notice but lack requisite information for full consideration. Worldsingers: An order that travels across Roshar, "spreading knowledge of cultures, peoples, thoughts, and dreams; bringing peace through understanding." They claim that their charge to do so came directly from the Heralds. Related to the Worldbringers of Terris and probably founded by Hoid, Hoid is a member and was the mentor to Sigzil, graduating him during The Way of Kings. Veristitalians: A group of scholars that seeks to find the truth of what has happened in the past, such as finding natural explanations for supernatural phenomena and discovering unbiased history. Jasnah is a prominent member. Stormwardens: A group of make scholars finding loopholes in Vorin restrictions. They mathematically predict highstorms, use glyphs as a written phonetic script, etc. Several stormwardens have been involved with secret societies, but nothing indicates that the organization as a whole is. Vanrial: Am order of artists at Silent Mount in Jah Keved, responsible for preserving the full text of The Way of Kings throughout the Hierocracy. Each year they sing songs believed to be in the Dawnchant, of which Dalinar's visions seem to be giving a translation. Oldbloods: The descendants of the dynasty that once, long ago, ruled Alethkar. They mark themselves with blue tattoos on the cheek. Teleb, a Kholin highofficer and ultimately a Shardbearer, is an Oldblood. "In Yulay, there are groups of people who talk of the Radiants. And wish for their return." This quote from Sigzil may refer to the Envisagers or a separate group. I hope that this compilation is helpful. If you note any inaccuracies or know of anything I overlooked, any and all help is appreciated – I mean this to be a full, complete resource for anyone that could use it. Thank you! Edit 1: Updated the Ghostblood information, switching Iyatil for Mraize (as the assassin fit Amaram), added nonlethal poison as an option, fixed ambiguity of worldhopper status for Mraize and Iyatil, fixed "creature in Tukar," and added Lin Davar, Luesh, Kabsal, and Shallan/Veil. Edit 2: Added Worldsingers, Veristitalians, Stormwardens, Vanrial, Oldbloods, and Yulay groups.
  4. 48 points
    Could you imagine... "Bureaucracy", the middle management shard? The focus of the magic system would be filling out forms...
  5. 35 points
    Shard of Indifference Intent. -"Hey Shard, can we have powers?" -"Meh"
  6. 31 points
    No, that would end up like Halandren. Everyone is given an equal share to start with (one Breath), but in the end it's all in the hands of the government.
  7. 30 points
    The shard of procrastination, the longer you put off using your powers the stronger you would become. Then again it probably hasn't got round to creating people yet so that's not really much of an issue.
  8. 29 points
    EDIT: There's been a lot of discussion and revision to my original ideas, and I would recommend basically skipping this first post for the most part. It is, however, important to read the first two sections ("Observations" & "Related Information") as they set up some of the information given in the books and by Peter which is used to support the rest of the findings. Here are links to my most recent analysis: The orbits of the moons precess as the planet orbits the sun: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/6334-the-moons-of-roshar/?p=103069 (I've since dropped the notion that they share exactly the same orbit, better language would be to say the moons share the same period and have very similar orbits....more on this in the posts below.) The orbit of the moons is in the opposite direction compared to Roshar's rotation: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/6334-the-moons-of-roshar/?p=103135 (more details in the next link...) More about the orbits being in the opposite direction & how the orbits must be inclined when compared to the plane of the Roshar's orbit around its sun: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/6334-the-moons-of-roshar/?p=103175 Preliminary calculations for the orbits: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/6334-the-moons-of-roshar/?p=103350 There is, of course, a lot of good discussion and contributions between all these posts that I would recommend! I'm in the processes of re-organizing all of the information that has been deduced into a single document, so it can be read without the need to jump between posts and it would skip past the incorrect hypotheses. ----Orignal Opening Post (read the first two sections, the rest is now discarded)---- All this talk about the moons of Roshar in the other two threads got me thinking… Based on the "observations" provided in the book and the comments from Peter, I’ve come up with some speculations about the moons of Roshar. First…the data! Observations: “The sun set in the west, but the wagons kept rolling. Violet Salas peeked over the horizon to the east, seeming hesitant at first, as if making sure the sun had vanished.” WoK Chpt 2 “Nomon—the middle moon—had begun to rise, bathing the city in pale blue light. Staying up this late had been a rare privilege for her in her father’s house…” WoK Chpt 8 “Szeth looked over his shoulder, wishing that the Second Sister—known as Nomon to these Easterners—had risen to give a little more light.” WoK I-3 “Salas’s violet light shone in the sky outside, but the small moon wasn’t bright enough to illuminate the barn’s interior, and the creature had moved into a shadowed recess.” WoK Chpt 19 “Nomon—the middle moon—shone with his pale, blue-white light.” WoK Chpt 23 “Nomon was setting in the west, and the small green disk of Mishim—the final moon—was rising in the east.” WoK Chpt 23 “Two hours later, at Salas’s first violet light, Rock and Kaladin walked back into the lumberyard. It was just past sunset, and many of the bridgemen would soon be going to sleep.” WoK Chpt 27 “Kaladin smiled, leaning back, looking upward toward the dark sky and the large sapphire moon.” WoK Chpt 73 Related Information: PeterAhlstrom, on 06 Feb 2014 - 2:06 PM, said: Each moon is in the sky only once per day and moves across the sky in a couple to a few hours. What does that tell us about their orbits? http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/5854-setting-limits-on-the-size-of-roshar-the-planet-and-roshar-the-continent/?p=94890 PeterAhlstrom, on 06 Feb 2014 - 5:15 PM, said: I expect the moons were put in their current orbits artificially, but by whom or what I do not know. On astronomical terms, these are not stable orbits, but astronomical terms means millions of years. A few thousand or even a few hundred thousand years are no problem. http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/5854-setting-limits-on-the-size-of-roshar-the-planet-and-roshar-the-continent/?p=94976 PeterAhlstrom, on 27 Feb 2014 - 11:37 PM, said: They are very small. Think Phobos and you'll be in the ballpark. http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/6249-will-we-see-interplanetarlunar-travel-in-future-books/?p=102426 ------ Here are the “facts” based on the observations: Salas and Mishim are both described as “small” moons. (WoK Chpt 19 & 23) Nomon is described as a “large” moon. (WoK Chpt 73) Salas always rises first, Nomon always rises second, and Mishim always rises third. [szeth refers to Nomon as the Second Sister (WoK 1-3), Nomon is refered to as the “middle moon” (WoK Chpt 8 & 23), and Mishim is called the “final moon” (WoK Chpt 23), by process of elimination Salas is first.] Orbital Locations of the Moons: Since the moons always rise in the same order (Salas, Nomon, Mishim), all three moons have to be the same distance away from Roshar. They all have to be in the same orbit. Otherwise they would appear in a different order on various nights over time. And this means… the moons are at Lagrangian points! The Lagrangian points are stable locations where objects can share the same orbit. Jupiter, for example, shares its orbit with asteroids at Lagrangian points 4 and 5. Using the above image to describe the Sun-Jupiter system, the Sun is at the center, Jupiter is the purple body to the right (between L1 and L2) and the Jupiter Trojan asteroids are found around L4 and L5. Lagrangian points 4 and 5 are always about 60 degrees from the body on the right (Jupiter, in this example). In the case of these moons, Roshar would be the central body, while the most massive moon (based on the size, this would presumably be Nomon) would take the purple point near L1L2 (where Jupiter was), and the other two would have to sit at the other Lagrangian points. There is one final piece of information that helps us lock down the locations of the moons: from WoK Chpt 23 it’s clearly states that Nomon is setting just as Mishim is rising, i.e. they are 180 degrees apart…on opposite sides of their orbit. For the Roshar-Nomon system I propose that Salas is at Lagrangian point 4 and Mishim is at Lagrangian point 3. In regards to the orbits of the moons not being perfect circles… Jupiter has an orbital eccentricity of about 0.049. The Earth’s eccentricity is only 0.016. Even Mars, with an eccentricity of 0.093(!!), still has trojan asteroids at its Lagrangian points. I think it’s safe to say the Roshar-Nomon system has Lagrangian points. It is, however, notable that L3 is typically a very specific point and it can be unstable…I’m hoping the “artificial placement” of these moons helps to explain how Mishim ended up in such a perfect placement. Size Approximations: Since Peter suggested Phobos was a ballpark, I’m going to go ahead and copy it as a template for the moons of Roshar. First, Phobos orbits at approximately 9000 km from Mars, so I’m going to put the Three Sisters at that distance from Roshar. Because Nomon seems to reflect enough light to see by at night (WoK Chpt 8), which our Moon does as well, and I don’t have anything better to go on, I’m going to assume that Nomon looks to be visibly the same size as our Moon. Our Moon is about .5 degrees in diameter on the night sky. An object at 9000 km away would have to be 80 km in diameter to appear as .5 degrees in diameter on the night sky. As for the small moons, I’ll look to Phobos as an example again. Phobos is 22 km in diameter. From the surface of Mars, Phobos would appear to be about .14 degrees big on the night sky. In other words, a moon the size and distance of Phobos would appear to be a little under the diameter of the Moon as seen it from Earth. Assuming that the small moons, Salas and Mishim, have relatively the same diameter and mass, and that Nomon is significantly larger, these numbers seem decently reasonable to me. It would make the two “small” moons appear to be about 1/3 the size of the “large” moon, and the “large” moon would appear similar in size to our Moon. Closing Thoughts & Questions: It’s after midnight, so I don’t want to try and figure this out now, but I think we can get some more solid information on the orbital period of the moons based on what is presented in the Observations and Information sections. Peter said the moons were in the sky “only once per day,” which is interesting.... Especially considering that all observations of the moons only seem to take place at night (anyone have any daytime references?) There are two comparisons between sunset and Salas moonrise that I can recall; WoK Chpts 2 and 27. In both chapters, Kaladin observes Salas rising just after the sun had set. I don’t recall any mention of Salas and Nomon being in the sky together, but if my Lagrangian point theory holds I would keep an eye out for it in the upcoming books. It is, however, clear that Noman is setting when Mishim is rising (WoK Chpt 23). If the moons are only in the sky at night (as visible from Alethkar at least), does Salas always rise just after sunset? I’d love some lunar observations from Shinovar to see if the moons are visible during the day over on that side of the world! It is also possible that the two small moons are simply too small to reflect enough light, and the large moon, being blue, might just blend in with the sky. Still it seems really really weird to me that we only have nighttime lunar observations. Something to consider! I can’t wait to read of additional lunar observations in Words of Radiance!!!!!! ((edited for ugly formatting error I didn't notice in the previews))
  9. 23 points
    A piece of utter insanity inspired by a private conversation and by Disney's Frozen. Major spoilers for Firefight follow. Starring Megan as the singer during the climax of the book. * opening music plays * The flames burn bright 'round my body tonight I'm being burned alive. Prof's gone way off the deep end And it's doubtful I'll survive. Regalia planned this, though I'm not sure how or why If I'd been shot instead, I wouldn't have to die... Adjust the aim, point the gun at me David's rifle will let me beat this heat I'm really glad it's remote con-trolled... Well here I gooooo! Let it go! Let it go! Not burning up in that smog! Let it go! Let it go! I'm dead but not for long! I don't care If I go insane The assassination failed... Death never stopped me long anyway. It's funny how some distance Makes everything seem small And the fear that nearly killed me Can't get to me at all! It's time I went on the attack To defeat Phaedrus and turn him back David won't get squished tonight... Time to fight! Let it go! Let it go! I am one with Time and Light! Let it go! Let it go! I rise as Firefight! Prof can't fight My time-changing light Let his force fields fall! My power twists the very laws of time and space! My soul shines outwards, lighting up the terror on Prof's face! And one thought shines through me, this one thought is clear I'm never going back; Tonight I feel no fear! Let it go! Let it go! Phaedrus lifts off and flies Let it go! Let it go! David hasn't died! Here we are Safe in Babilar I will feel no fear... Death can't stop Firefight anyway.
  10. 23 points
    Lots of good points above…thanks for helping me to keep thinking about the problem… I want to get this right. =D --- So I took a closer look at Jupiter and its trojans…What I should say is that they share the same orbital period, and they share one focus (the sun), but they have different eccentricities, and thus, yes, different orbits. Here's an example gif of 624 Hektor (in blue), orbiting the sun, with Jupiter’s orbit visualized as the large red circle. (img source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AnimatedOrbitOf624Hektor.gif) Both Jupiter and Hektor take 4330 Earth days to orbit the Sun, but their orbits are slightly differently shaped ellipses, because of their eccentricities. It's very likely the same thing is occurring with the moons of Roshar in their orbits. --- The amount of time something needs to complete an orbit is basically determined by the distance it is from the object it is orbiting. This is given in Kepler's Third Law of Planetary Motion: (M1 + M2)P^2 = k * a^3 M1 = the mass of the large object that is being orbited (the planet). M2 = the mass of the orbiting object (a moon). P = the period, the time the orbiting object takes to orbit the central mass. k = a constant number equal to (4(pi)^2)/G [G is Newton’s constant]. a = the distance the orbiting object is from the central point of its orbit; in the case of an ellipse it is the semi-major axis. In the case of Roshar the planet, we can determine an approximate mass from its approximate density and radius. As for the moons, we don’t really have anything to go on other than the example of Phobos, in which case the mass of each moon is negligible when compared with the mass of Roshar and can be pretty much ignored in the equation. This leaves us with only two variables: P & a. Because of this, we know that P^2 is proportional to a^3. Since we actually know what P is (1 Rosharn day, or 19 Earth hours), we can solve for a. So let’s determine the mass of Roshar… As I mentioned, we can determine this based on what we know of the density and gravity of Roshar, similar to the work done here: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/5854-setting-limits-on-the-size-of-roshar-the-planet-and-roshar-the-continent/ I hate doing math in a text editor, so here’s a picture of the math where we find the mass. Please keep in mind that all units are in Earth units. End result, mass of Roshar is about 2.1x10^24 kg. For comparison the mass of Mars is much much smaller at 0.64x10^24 kg, and the mass of Earth is about three times greater at 5.97 x 10 ^24 kg. Using the mass of Roshar in Kepler’s Third Law, assuming negligible moon masses and an orbital period of 19 Earth hours, we can solve for the semi-major axis. The semi-major axis for an orbit around Roshar that takes 19 Earth hours to complete is: 25,500 km. The semi-major axis is the measurement of the distance from the center of an ellipse to one of its furthest edges. The more eccentric an orbit, the flatter and more elliptical it will be. Also, a more elliptical orbit has its focal points further from the center when compared with a less eccentric orbit. To illustrate, here is a not-to-scale computer drawing(!) of three exaggerated elliptical orbits: (eccentricities are greatly exaggerated!) As I hope you can tell from the drawing, it is intended that all three orbits share Roshar as one focal point, but their second focal points are in different locations. More importantly the center of each ellipse (shown by the vertical lines) is at a different place as well. It’s not drawn with any precision, but the distances between an ellipses’ center and the long side of that ellipse, aka the semi-major axis (shown by the horizontal grey lines) should be equal with the other two ellipses. 25,500 km each. The semi-minor axis (the distance from the center to the short side of the ellipse) varies depending on the eccentricity. If we can get information on the eccentricity or the semi-minor axis of a moon, we can solve for the elliptical orbit of that moon.
  11. 22 points
    via Imgflip Meme Maker Stormlight spoilers via Imgflip Meme Maker And some shameless advertising via Imgflip Meme Maker
  12. 21 points
    I was searching around online about Stormlight archive stuff and i found this quiz that tells you that Order you are of the Knights Radiant. Of course, Because i love the Stormlight Archive, i took the quiz. I was a Skybreaker, which actually surprised me. I wondering what you guys are, so I'm gonna put a link here in this post and i would like you guys to tell me what Order you are in the replies! Just copy and paste this Url and it should come up! https://www.onlineassessmenttool.com/which-radiant-order-are-you/assessment-10383
  13. 21 points
    “And Adonalsium said, ‘Let there be [storm]light…’” SUMMARY 1. The Cosmere originally existed as only Consciousness. As that Consciousness began to conceive ideas, those ideas reified into Spiritual Realm ideals; Spiritual connections began to form among the ideals. Only then could Consciousness’ power begin to manifest in the Physical Realm. Investiture comprises the Cosmere, the result of the creation process. 2. Changes within the Cosmere commence in the Cognitive Realm. This primacy means that restrictions on a Shard’s Consciousness impair the Shard’s ability to exercise its power. Unanswered is the converse, whether an increase in a Shard’s power in the Cognitive Realm – an “expansion of its Consciousness” – increases its power in all Realms; but I believe that to be true also and the source of Odium’s growing power. 3. Cosmere magic involves manipulation of an object’s Spiritual Realm connections. The people who live on each planet with sentient life have unique thoughts and ideas. Each planet, therefore, has its own version of both the Cognitive and Spiritual Realms and its own Spiritual Realm connections. Because of this Realmatic uniqueness and Shard-planet interactions, related but different Physical Realm effects appear on each planet with sentient life. Each Shardworld requires a different cognitive means of manipulating Spiritual Realm connections. ARGUMENT I believe Brandon’s Realmatic system works as follows: FIRST, a mind conceives, creating a fixed and separate idea about something in the Cognitive Realm. Typically the collective mind on a planet with sentient life jointly develops and agrees on the conception, allowing it to become idealized; but even a single mind can develop a new idea, as with any innovation, if it is sufficiently distinctive and separate from other ideas. SECOND, the concreteness and separateness of that idea causes it to reify in the Spiritual Realm as an ideal – an “essence” or “soul” – formalizing the idea’s relationships and connections with other ideals. This is the moment the idea becomes “truly invested,” causing an adjustment in the Spiritual Realm’s connections to accommodate the new idea. LAST, the idea manifests in the Physical Realm in tangible form. This algorithm is true for all magic systems in the Cosmere and implies that the First Mind (Adonalsium? the “God Beyond?” Brandon?) pre-existed both the Spiritual and Physical Realms. The mind must have an idea before the idea can take the form of a Spiritual Realm “ideal.” And until the Spiritual Realm ideal has established its connections with other ideals, the original idea cannot take tangible form in the Physical Realm. Thus, the Cosmere began as a void, occupied only by a Divine Consciousness – God’s “mind.” Creation of the Spiritual and Physical Realms may have taken only an instant. Just as humans conceive an idea, invest that idea with physical, mental and spiritual resources, and make that idea tangible, so do Gods. They invest their ideas with spiritual energy – God’s “spirit” – to make their ideas tangible. That’s what the Physical Realm is, the tangible expression of Divine Power – God’s “body.” Power – whether embodied in Adonalsium, Shards, or splinters – has “three aspects”: physical, cognitive and spiritual – body, mind and spirit. Power nonetheless is single and unitary. Restricting a Shard’s Consciousness – its ability to control its power — will restrict the Shard’s ability to exercise its power. While there is no textual support for the converse conclusion, I believe that enhancing a Shard’s Consciousness likewise enhances Spiritual and Physical Realm power output. Magic is the manipulation of Spiritual Realm connections. That is the only “magic” in the Cosmere and is why, I believe, Brandon says each magic system is theoretically “hack-able.” Spiritual investiture “powers” Physical Realm changes by re-arranging the affected object’s Spiritual Realm connections with other objects. That’s what Forgery does. “Plausibility” refers to the strength or weakness of the object’s connections with other objects. Surgebinding is the same: changing the direction of falling, for example, is simply altering your Spiritual Realm connection to the planet. In some sense it is a misnomer to speak of a God/Shard “investing” or “using” or “exercising” power in a Realm. Rather, a Shard’s mind conceives, its spirit rearranges itself to accommodate the new idea, and its body conforms to its new spiritual structure. EVIDENCE AND ANALYSIS The main textual evidence for these conclusions comes from The Hero of Ages (“HoA”) and The Emperor’s Soul (“TES”), plus one scene from The Way of Kings. Most of these passages have been cited ad nauseum, so please excuse their regurgitation here. I just think it’s useful to have the text in front of you as you consider the theory and its evidence. The Hero of Ages – How Investiture Manifests in the Three Realms HoA is when we first hear of the three Realms. In each of the following quotes, Sazed/Harmony speaks only about investiture, not about the Realms generally. “I have come to see that each power has three aspects: a physical one, which can be seen in the creations made by Ruin and Preservation; a spiritual one in the unseen energy that permeates all of the world; and a cognitive one in the minds that controlled that energy.” HoA, Epigraph to Chapter 57 (emphasis added). That statement is the clearest explanation in the published Cosmere novels of how investiture manifests in the three Realms. The following quotes add to our understanding: “The power needed a consciousness to direct it. In this matter, I am still rather confused. Why would power used to create and destroy need a mind to oversee it? And yet, it seems to have only a vague will of its own, tied in to the mandate of its abilities. Without a consciousness to direct it, nothing could actually be created or destroyed… HoA, Epigraph to Chapter 79 (emphasis added). “It may seem odd to those reading this that atium was part of the body of a god. However, it is necessary to understand that when we said ‘body’ we generally meant ‘power.’ As my mind has expanded, I've come to realize that objects and energy are actually composed of the very same things, and can change state from one to another. It makes perfect sense to me that the power of godhood would be manifest within the world in physical form…In a way, every object that existed in the world was composed of their power.” HoA, Epigraph to Chapter 78 (emphasis added). Observations and conclusions: Power has three “aspects” – mind, body and spirit. (Draw your own “Trinity” analogies here.) But each “aspect” is not a different power. Thus, conditions in one Realm can influence the amount of power available in other Realms, even though the nature of the power in each Realm is different. “Body” = “physical investiture.” Atium and lerasium are the solid form of the bodies of Ruin and Preservation. Shardpools are the liquid form of physical investiture. The mist, the black smoke at the Well of Ascension and Stormlight are each gaseous forms of physical investiture: HoA expressly identifies the mists as Preservation’s body. Sazed/Harmony says that the physical aspect of investiture – ”can be seen” in the Shards’ “creations.” His statements that (i) every object in the world was “composed of [the Shards’] power,” and (ii) matter and energy are just different forms of the same thing in the Cosmere, reveals the acknowledged influence of both quantum mechanics and Baruch Spinoza on Brandon. “Energy” = “spiritual investiture.” The “unseen energy” that animates the magic system – what Brandon calls “True Investiture” – exists in the Spiritual Realm. “Consciousness” = “cognitive investiture.” The mind that controls that energy – what Sazed/Harmony calls “Consciousness” in HoA – resides in the Cognitive Realm. * * * * * HoA confirms how the impairment of Consciousness reduces the Shard’s ability to exercise power in the other two Realms. Says Sazed/Harmony: “By sacrificing most of his consciousness, Preservation created Ruin’s prison, breaking their deal and trying to keep Ruin from destroying what they had created. This event again left their powers nearly balanced – Ruin imprisoned, only a trace of himself capable of leaking out. Preservation reduced to a mere wisp of what he once was, barely capable of thought and action. “These two minds were, of course, independent of the raw force of their powers. Actually, I am uncertain of how thoughts and personalities came to be attached to the powers in the first place – but I believe they were not there originally. For both powers could be detached from the minds that ruled them.” HoA, Epigraph to Chapter 55 (emphasis added). “Once you begin to understand these things [the three Realms], you can see how Ruin was trapped even though Preservation’s mind was gone, expended to create the prison. Though Preservation’s consciousness was mostly destroyed, his spirit and body were still in force. And, as an opposite force of Ruin, these could still prevent Ruin from destroying. “Or, at least, keep him from destroying things too quickly. Once his mind was ‘freed’ from its prison the destruction accelerated quickly.” HoA, Epigraph to Chapter 58, (emphasis added). Observations and Conclusions: Preservation confined Ruin’s power by limiting its ability to control that power. As the second paragraph of the first quoted passage states, each of the two powers retained their “raw force.” Note the following language in the first paragraph above: “again…nearly balanced [emphasis added].” These words imply that by the time of Ruin’s imprisonment Ruin’s power already exceeded Preservation’s. Yet Preservation’s confinement of Ruin’s mind precluded Ruin from using that greater power. This was a cognitive prison.The last quoted paragraph confirms that the mind’s control can be a chokepoint on the Shard’s ability to exercise power in the Physical Realm. The only reason Ruin was able to destroy anything before Vin freed his mind was the “trace of himself capable of leaking out” of his cognitive prison. That trace influenced events through whispers and hints in the minds of the Lord Ruler, Zane, Vin and many others.HoA also proves it is possible to reduce a Shard’s power within a Realm (as Preservation did by hiding the atium – Ruin’s “body” – and as Elend and his army did by burning atium outside the Pits.)There’s also this WoB from the March 2015 Reddit AMA (Question 27): “too many spikes can be dangerous to the psyche, even with Ati not messing things up.” That suggests that interfering with the SpiritWeb can have greater Cognitive Realm repercussions than Physical Realm repercussions. (Think Zane.)Preservation’s “spirit and body” were undiminished and could continue to oppose Ruin’s destructive efforts though Preservation had sacrificed most of his mind. The mists continued to function based on their “vague will…tied to the mandate of their abilities. “Finally, I note Sazed/Harmony’s observation that “thoughts and personalities” were not originally attached to the powers. That suggests that “thoughts and personalities” are unnecessary to the exercise of the powers. Cognitively, power exercise requires only direction, not consideration or introspection. Whatever Adonalsium was had no personality. Perhaps it wasn’t ever human or even sentient (e.g., a computer-driven power)? If he/she/it did have a personality, it was so perfectly balanced as to have no discernible features.The Way of Kings – “Growing” Investiture While restricting Consciousness can reduce power, can “expanding Consciousness” increase it? I believe the answer is “yes.” Once humans and other sentient life began adding their ideas to the Cognitive Realm, God’s Consciousness had company. Human ideas grew both the Cognitive and Spiritual Realms simply by their conception and idealization. Since investiture comprises all things, then the addition of human thought should expand God’s own Consciousness. There’s a word to describe human thought dedicated to a God’s Consciousness. It’s called “worship,” and the means of communicating with God include prayer. The scene where Navani draws Thath, the glyph for justice, following the Battle at the Tower affords a great example: “What was a prayer, if not creation? Making something where nothing existed. Creating a wish out of despair, a plea out of anguish. Bowing one’s back before the Almighty, and forming humility from the empty pride of a human life. Something from nothing. True creation.” WoK, Kindle p. 948 (emphasis added). Observations and Conclusions: When people have ideas about honor or hatred or sacrifice or whatever, those ideas form in the Cognitive Realm. Following the process outlined in this post, some of those ideas will eventually reify into Spiritual Realm ideals, connected to other ideals. Growing a Shard’s Consciousness thus grows the Shard’s Spirit, giving the Shard more capacity to exercise power in the Physical Realm. True creation.Odium’s influence may be the most pervasive of all Shards, since hatred is so universal (unlike, say, honor). The many hate-filled ideas spawning in the Cognitive Realm increase Odium’s Consciousness. Odium is the “most dangerous” of the Shards for a reason, and his ability to grow his power over time is a big part of that reason.This passage also tends to confirm the idea that the First Mind existed before its Spirit and Body. “True creation” is making something from nothing. (As opposed to King Lear, who told poor Cordelia that “Nothing can come from nothing.”)The Emperor’s Soul – How Magic Works Brandon best expresses his views on how magic works Realmatically in TES. “All things exist in three Realms, Gaotona. Physical, Cognitive, Spiritual. The Physical is what we feel, what is before us. The Cognitive is how an object is viewed and how it views itself. The Spiritual Realm contains an object’s soul— its essence— as well as the ways it is connected to the things and people around it.” TES, Kindle, p. 53, (emphasis added). “‘These things exist beyond us…We think about windows, we know about windows; what is and isn’t a window takes on…meaning in the Spiritual Realm. Takes on life, after a fashion.’” TES, Kindle, p. 75, (emphasis added; ellipsis in original). Observations and Conclusions: The second quote confirms that only through conceptualization of a window AS a window can the soul/essence of a window “take[] on…meaning” – that is, manifest – in the Spiritual Realm. The idea precedes the ideal. Formalization of the idea creates the ideal. (My personal metaphor for this process is the brain – repetitive usage creating neuron pathways.)The first quote confirms that the window’s “meaning” in large measure arises through the connections the “window” ideal now has with other ideals. I would argue that, conceptually, almost all of an object’s meaning arises from its connections, since nothing exists in isolation. Every Spiritual Realm “soul/essence” can be defined by where it is plotted on the multi-dimensional graph that is the Spiritual Realm. In this way, a Spiritual Realm “ideal” is like a mathematical “function” compared with a Cognitive Realm “relation,” which may have many correspondences with ideals based on the controlling mind’s perceptions. Skaa discusses this quantitative aspect of Realmatic theory in far greater detail and with far greater perspicacity in his String Theory posts.The part of the Cognitive and Spiritual Realms corresponding to each planet with sentient life is unique. (Though Brandon says the Spiritual Realm is not location-based, the ideals formed in the Spiritual Realm corresponding to each unique magic system will be different from one another, since the underlying ideas are different.) Local populations decide for themselves “what is and isn’t a window.” Since local populations may have different ideas, and different ideas reify into different ideals, each planet will have its own version of both the Cognitive and Spiritual Realms. On Sel, planetary isolation seems fragmented into territorial isolation.TES’s lesson? All magic we’ve seen so far in the Cosmere involves the manipulation of Spiritual Realm connections, specifically in the relationship between objects and the Powers of Creation, what Rosharians call “Surges” – Gravitation, Transportation, Progression, etc. Shai’s descriptions of the Forgery process throughout TES make this clear. These Powers of Creation exist on every Cosmere world we’ve seen. Despite Cognitive and Spiritual Realm differences from world to world – differences that affect the means of accessing the Spiritual Realm and the ways the Powers of Creation manifest in the Physical Realm – the essence of the magic is identical: a change in the Powers of Creations’ Spiritual Realm connections between two objectsConclusion That’s it! Are you still awake? Hello? Hello? Oh well…
  14. 21 points
    So I got a nice little bowl to paint, and so I painted it - Mistborn style! Basically, what I did is but on the grey/black background, then I added the mists, which were two layers of gray, and lastly, I put on either 3 or 4 (I think it was 4) layers of some type of red or orange for the iron symbol. I have some pics here! Tell me if you like it!
  15. 19 points
    Bring this thread back! Got a new one: The Shard of Banking: It doesn't actually have any powers until you Invest into it Edit: ooh nice, 4 upvotes. Let's see if I can expand. So after you've Invested your Power into the Banking Shard, it will Squander your Investments into Risky Cosmere Loans. I knew I shouldn't of let Banking invest into Sel!
  16. 18 points
    When you are sad to be drawing blank on ideas for telling whether someone is a Sanderfan.
  17. 18 points
    After a few weeks of working on this, here's my fan piece following the events in Shallan Davar's life Starting with the lullaby and ending... well. Just listen to it: So, I've uploaded it on YouTube. You can read a little more about it in the description there, but I'll put something here that I didn't put there: a timeline of the events happening at certain parts of the song. And yeah, it'll have to be in spoilers. Note: Major spoilers... Only read this if you've read both the current Stormlight Archive books. Though I did this in the video description, I'd also like to thank the two artists whose work I used in the video, Grant M Hansen and Johanna Ruprecht. They have websites here and here respectively. Anyway, hope you enjoy. It turned out much differently than I imagined, but I think it still captures what I was trying to convey in most ways.
  18. 17 points
    Humiliation. The more you're mocked, the stronger you are. Masters of the art would employ crowds of people to belittle them, and the weakest people would have good self-esteem and stable relationships with their peers. Saboteurs would send in ninjas to whisper compliments to people as they slept, and the best thing a friend could do for you would be to make you think you were truly useless.
  19. 16 points
    So, If you looked at the twitter, Dalinars flashbacks are done, and the first draft is at 13% I've been trying to chart the progress, it seems to be about 1% per day. So.... first draft done October 11th? I thinking there will be a summer 2016 release. I there any date Brandon said?' You know your a Sanderfan when you get more excited about a book release than your vacation.... :/
  20. 16 points
    So you only get powers if you don't want to use them? Now I want this to be canon.
  21. 15 points
  22. 15 points
    I am now imagining you as the star of an awkward Reckoners skit. "Sparks!" "Yes sir?" "I stubbed my toe!" "Well I'm sorry, but what am I supposed to do about that?"
  23. 14 points
    Shard of Anime. In order to activate its magic you have to go through a long transformation sequence and loudly call your attack while striking cheesy poses. Shard of Plot-device Your power activates only when its needed in order for the plot to proceed causing maximum frustration to everyone. @king of nowhere: nice to see an other Italian!
  24. 13 points
    Granted, the price of everything is now triple. I wish for every person that reads this to give me an up vote.
  25. 13 points
    Ahh. So that's what happened when dominion and devotion merged. You have to admit, Sel magic is basically a bunch of homework. Rap Music would be a pretty crappy shard. "Barely able to stand, Vasier burned his last Limerick to Invest in his Producer. 'One more time' he declared. And so the Last Rap Battle began."
  26. 12 points
    Welcome to 17th shard, where the timelines are made up, and the points don't matter!
  27. 12 points
    Well, even if it's not what Brandon was aiming for down here in germany we have the word schlotzig or schlontzig. (although it may not be an "offical" word) It's used to describe food, like risotto were the individual grains of rice (it could also be used for noodles ect) started to become somewhat slimy, so you can't tell the individual grains apart from each other anymore. It always made me think a Slontze is someone with mush for brains.
  28. 11 points
    My 17th Shard behavior, explained via ponies and Pixar's Inside Out. Joy's a wacky one, but I owe most of Upvote Island to him.
  29. 11 points
    "What do you think you're doing?" That question, when barked or shouted, had brought Vondra success in dealing with City Guard Epics. Deathwish and Arsenal rolled their eyes, Edgerunner snapped to attention with a smirk and a mock salute, Florist blinked and stared. Obliteration merely looked bemused. "I thought it was obvious, dear shepherd." Vondra winced as a sudden headache formed behind his eyes. "All right, let me rephrase that: Why are you taking off your shirt, and why must you do it here?" Obliteration folded his shirt neatly and set it on the ground, then lay flat on his back. The Minions cheered. Vondra's instincts kicked in as a cold wave of terror consumed him. Houston. Albuquerque. San Diego. Now The Dalles. He drew his pistol and aimed for the Epic's heart…. ….as a little yellow Minion covered it with a sirloin. About eight ounces, rubbed with spices. And it sizzled. Vondra could only stare. Blinking. Not thinking. Not processing. Just absorbing the sight of a muscular, weatherbeaten fire Epic grilling cuts of steak on his bare chest. "I—is this sanitary?" Obliteration smiled, arms crossed behind his head, eyes closed. "I thought you'd be more concerned with how you prefer yours cooked." The headache spread. "I like mine on a grill, thanks." A Minion turned to him and spouted gibberish, causing Obliteration to chuckle but say nothing. "You're not going to translate?" He smiled again, opening one eye as the Minion placed a pineapple ring over his belly button. "Words of wisdom are best left be." Vondra turned away, futilely rubbing his temples. This would have been much less difficult, he thought, ​if Obliteration had just tried to kill us.
  30. 11 points
    "Do You Wanna be an Epic" (sung by Regalia) Do you wanna be an Epic? It would be so very fun to have powers that put you on top, in charge of everyone! I used to be quite normal, and now I'm not. You can be awesome too! Do you want to be an Epic? I'll make you into an Epic. [David] No thanks, Regalia. Do you want to be an Epic? Abuse power all day long, kill and maim and cheat your underlings; you can do anything and feel no moral qualms! Yes the initial Rending can be a bit traumatic for everyone. ........ David, tell me what just happened. Why don't you have powers now? This process always worked before. No stupid metaphors! Just let it in! Calamity was right here empowering you. Why aren't you killing things? Don't you wanna be an Epic?
  31. 10 points
    I can't speak for anyone else, but personally, I've always loved the cursing in Brandon Sanderson's works. ...Which is strange, because I myself never use any curse heavier than "drat," and I've been known to gasp and dramatically faint if even the mildest obscenities are uttered in my presence. But that is all beside the point. What I'd like to draw attention to is the fact that most of the curses found in the Bandersnatch's worlds are clearly connected to an element of the setting. People on Roshar say "storm it," people on Scadrial say "rust" or "Lord Ruler," and people on Nalthis will exclaim "colors!" In the Fractured States you can find many people cursing by the name of Calamity, but two other profanities we find in the setting are "slontze" and "sparks," which bear no obvious connection to the world or its quirks. So where did these words come from? In the case of "slontze" in particular, what is it's in-universe etymology, and how did Brandon come up with the word?
  32. 10 points
    Also, when you have gotten someone new into the Cosmere and they ask you a question and the only reply you can give them without ruining something is ...RAFO
  33. 10 points
    Glad you liked Transcendence; I fully intend to make a book with that being a big part of it. I'm going to say probably not. I might change my avatar someday, but it would have to be something I really liked. Yep! You know how to make the best mac and cheese? Get some bowtie pasta, boil those. Then when it is done, add milk, butter, and like a pound of cheese. Stir like mad and you have the cheesiest, best mac and cheese. It's really easy and you can make six meals from one prep. It's great. You know you're talking to a collegiate math professor, right? I dunno, calculus is easier than precalculus. Calculus has well-defined rules that you apply, and is narrow in focus. You're really just doing three things: limits, differentiation, and integration. That successfully sums up all lower level calculus. Really people just have a difficult time due to lack of algebra proficiency. Calculus requires you to be skilled at that level of abstraction and pushing symbols around. But, again, algebra is intensely logical and has a small, finite number of possible things you can even do. Calculus I and II are my favorite courses to teach. Anyway, onto that arrow paradox. Wikipedia answers that one itself. It's a pretty dumb paradox, honestly. Your matter regards what it means for points to be "infinitely close" to one another. This is one of those things that regular language has difficulty in dealing with. It really requires the precision of mathematics, or else people get it wrong. (If any of you were reading the Religions topic, this is why I told Twilight that some truths do require math to explain, and this is one of those. The razor-sharp precision of mathematics is essential for these purposes, and other languages pale in comparison.) All of these paradoxes are solved with modern calculus, which perhaps to your dismay is very rigorously proven, and is true forever. Hell, I can derive for you all the results. Mathematical proof makes the matter done. However, in the 1600s, when calculus first was developed, they did not have our level of rigor, and didn't prove things. They merely used it for the results. And the results are amazingly powerful: what's the rate of change of the volume of a sphere with respect to its radius? It is exactly the formula for a sphere's surface area. That is not coincidental, and describes the deep relationships of rates of change in the universe. Anyway, I'm being philosophical, when what you really need is to know what it means by "infinitely close." The answer really comes down to the definition of a limit, which makes this meaning precise. The definition of a limit doesn't involve points, though. Let's consider just the real number line, so all points will just be x-values. If you have two points that are not equal, they are not "infinitely close"--there is distance between them. It's easy to describe the distance between two points: you subtract them and take the absolute value. So the distance between 2 and 3 would be 2 - 3 = -1, so take the absolute value, you get 1. |2 - 3| = 1. Even if you pick two ridiculously close numbers, like .0001 and .0002, there is a nonzero distance between them. So just points by themselves can't be infinitely close. They are either equal or not equal. Instead, consider points given by a function, which let's assume to be defined on the real line. This function draws a path, and what we really want is to know how points along that path approaches other points. The definition of the limit, though it looks complicated, has very simple origins. If you want a point "really close" to another, you want the distance between them small. How small? Really small. This is accomplished with defining an arbitrary variable epsilon (used because the e stands for "error" here), and I want the distance between the height of the function, f(x), to be really close to a limiting value L. In other words, we want |f(x) - L| < epsilon. But I don't want it for just one epsilon, I want it for every epsilon, so we'll just say that epsilon > 0. Any will do. Since we are now in 2D, epsilon dealt with the y-values, but we also need to restrict the x-values that correspond to where we are going to (let's say we are approaching in x to a point a). So let's say we have a delta > 0, and we want | x - a | < delta. What's happening here is really this image: We're drawing a little box around this function. Epsilon can be really small, like a billionth, trillionth, or quadrillionth, so we can effectively zoom in this box as close as we want. That's the essence of the definition. "Infinitely close" means "we can get this function arbitrarily close to this single value." Interestingly, the function doesn't even need to be defined at x = a. The function can still be approaching a value, even if it isn't defined anywhere. (This is actually the whole point of the definition, because we want to eventually deal with derivatives, where the thing we are taking the limit of is not defined at this a value.) There's some important logic in defining this, though. The formal definition is: Ta-da, you now have the power to do all derivatives, and do a ton of calculus. But all the definition really requires is the distance between the x values and the y values to be small. How small? As small as you want it to be. In practice, when you use this definition, you let epsilon be arbitrary, then delta depends on epsilon. That way your proof works for every possible epsilon value, so you are done. Limits have all the properties of real numbers that you would like. Arithmetic works as you'd expect, and basically, they are extremely nice to deal with. Limits also let you deal with the dumb Zeno paradox about infinite sums. Precision, it helps!
  34. 10 points
    "Hey, Steelheart, Firefight won't be coming in to work today." "Did she call in dead again?" "Yeah. Should be feeling better in a couple days." "This wouldn't have anything to do with that tiny grenade sale, would it?" "Uh….maybe?"
  35. 9 points
    Some spoilers for Perfect State follow. This morning I finished reading Perfect State, another good novella by our beloved Bandersnatch. There were things I liked about it and things I felt were kind of meh, but all in all I greatly enjoyed it. In particular I adored the central concept of the story: the concept of a world where brains are removed from fetuses and plugged into elaborate virtual realities specially formulated to match their personalities and desires. Which brings us to this simple thread. Assuming that Perfect States match the idealistic fantasies that we all daydream from time to time, what would your personal State be like? Personally, I think that my State would basically enable me to be the Doctor from Doctor Who. I would live in a vast and procedurally generated setting with joint fantasy and science fiction elements, which I would explore with some kind of magical ship that enables me to traverse through time and space. I'd arrive on planets just on the cusp of war or some natural disaster, and using only my wits and inexplicable charisma would save the day, earning the praise and admiration of the masses before running back to my ship and setting sail for another distant part of the cosmos. ... Ahem. What would your Perfect State be like? If there were a world programmed entirely to enable you to be the hero of your daydreams, what would it look like?
  36. 9 points
  37. 9 points
    Can you imagine a disembodied mind? Good. Now try to imagine a disembodied headache...
  38. 9 points
    What about a Shard of Taxation? In order to retain your powers you need to pay it a proportion of your income...
  39. 8 points
    So I was just checking twitter and saw this twitter exchange: I'm assuming this will be in conjunction with the 10th Anniversary edition (i.e. an "unlimited" trade paperback and a special leather-bound edition for collectors). I don't know about the rest of you but I'm definitely going to start setting money aside for this!
  40. 8 points
    Um like I said I have no idea whats going on or how this website works so if someone could give me some pointers it would be greatly appreciated
  41. 8 points
    “In position!” Vondra bellowed at the living corn kernels that appeared in the Dalles a rather short time ago. Whatever they were they seemed to be more trustworthy than the average Epic, not an impressive feat but hard to come by nowadays, what they did lack however was discipline. Before him they stood in a pitiful line, barely straight, elbows all over the place and randomly showing each other their tongues. They would truly need much more worked before they were in any shape to be called soldiers but once that moment arrived, well at least Dewhickey wouldn’t be able to complain about them anymore. Then their training got interrupted as the inevitable happen. In a flash of light ceramic shattered all over the floor. There stood Obliteration, holding a shopping bag and by the same strange twist of fate that brought him the Minions Vondra didn’t need to evacuate the city. Losing any sliver of discipline they may have had at the sight of him the Minions swarmed around him, using his arms as if he was a jungle bar. Those Minions that couldn’t find a part of him to hang on pillaged his shopping bag, pulling out different cuts of meat and sausages and then started to run around the room, holding them high over their heads and mimicking siren sounds. Through all of this Obliteration somehow looked as if they were imparting profound knowledge upon him. “Jim,” Vondra greeted Obliteration. “Ah, my shepherd, I have bought the meat,“ Obliteration replied. Something was very wrong with the world that this mass murdering monster showed him more respect than Deathwish ever would but he could hardly complain. Actually it almost seemed as if he revered him as some kind of holy figure. The fact that he wanted to grill together with him and the Minions however, still left him baffled. “Good work, I… suppose I should ready the grill.” “Such shall not be necessary, my shepherd.” And thus Obliteration began to strip.
  42. 8 points
    You know.... it's kinda funny.... my last name happens to be "Sparks" so when they first started saying it, I realized. . . "My name is now a curse word..."
  43. 8 points
    Part I: Atium Have you ever wondered about the strange similarity between Electrum Allomancy and Atium Allomancy? Both show "shadows" of the very near future. The only difference is that Electrum shows the user's own future-shadows while Atium shows the future-shadows of everything other than the user. Atium shows the shadows of others, Electrum shows the shadows of self. The Allomantic power of the Atium-Gold alloy ("Malatium") also has this same Self-Others inversion with Gold Allomancy. Gold shows the "past shadow" of the user, while Malatium shows the past shadow of other people. As we all know, electrum is the regular Allomantic alloy of gold. If the pattern suggested by Atium-Gold Allomancy holds for Atium-Electrum, then the Atium-Electrum alloy should also exhibit this Self-Others inversion. Do you see the problem, yet? Yes, the problem is that Electrum Allomancy with a Self-Others inversion sounds exactly the same thing as Atium Allomancy. So, in order to fit the pattern, we'll have to conclude that burning the Atium-Electrum alloy should show the future shadows of others. In other words, atium-electrum and pure atium behave identically. The implication is clear: Atium has the same molecular structure as electrum, with Ruin as its source of Investiture. That explains how mixing atium with electrum and burning the result would be the same as burning just atium. This is the Atium Theory I upheld in my old thread, though now my interpretation has changed slightly. Back then I believed that a bead of atium is simply a bead of electrum with a modified spiritual aspect aligned to Ruin. Now I realize that this isn't necessarily the case. Atium is a byproduct of Shardic interactions that affected the Physical aspect of the Shard Ruin, producing a solid substance with a specific molecular structure that just so happens to be the same as electrum's. Therefore, I now prefer to describe atium as "pseudo-electrum", instead of insisting that it is actually electrum.
  44. 8 points
    As the dinosaur finished off the friction manipulator, Lightwards gave Nathan a long, appraising look. He continued to clap and cheer, fighting panic. He had seen that look before. He had received that look before. It was the sign of an Epic who was trying to decide what to do with the human before them—draft him, chide him, or punish him? Maximus had stared at him that way before he tossed him through a window. City Girl had given him that look before sending him to the kitchen for all the empty glass bottles he could carry. Fortuity had looked at him that way for a good twenty minutes before summoning him to his table. Lightwards looked away. Nathan nearly collapsed with relief. Whatever thought had flitted through the necromancer's head had not been worth his consideration. He let Funtimes teleport them out of the turret and onto the floor, where Nighthound was learning about the various types of lizards present. A massive horned beast took the place of ancient bones and, at Lightwards' command, nuzzled the feral Epic. Then it was their turn. "And I suppose you'll want something too." His glare flicked Nathan's frayed nerves, but vanished quickly. "Though you lost the last Warrior I loaned you. Alice Regway is probably still waiting in the car back in that suburb. But then, I am suddenly a wealthy man, who worries not about returns on his loans." "So sorry," Nathan muttered with more than a trace of sarcasm as Lightwards turned to the dinosaur he seemed to have claimed for his own. A snap of his fingers, and the beast knocked three winged skeletons from the ceiling—skeletons that were soon covered in flesh and brightly colored skin. Doctor Funtimes put her hands to her cheeks and knelt beside them. "Aw, they're so cute!" She began mimicking the loud chirping and squawking noises they were making, drawing a smile to Nathan's face. "They're probably terrified, darling," he told her. "They've been dead for millions of years." The thought soothed his nerves, filling him with…not quite excitement, but wonder, at the least. These creatures were older than civilization, and they belonged to Funtimes—and him as well. Lightwards had called Nighthound the horned dinosaur's master, so it followed that the bright, crested, winged lizards were under a similar arrangement. The notion triggered something in his head—a connection he wanted to make, felt he ought to make, but something blocked it. Perhaps it was the blood, or the dinosaurs, or something else entirely. He turned to Lightwards with a cool smile, not because he wanted to, but because he needed to keep the appraising look from making an encore appearance. "I must say, Lightwards, I'm impressed. I wasn't expecting—" "Hello!" The wildest, longest, most impressive beard Nathan had ever seen stood in the doorway. He had no idea who the man attached to it was, but he wore a friendly smile. "Excellent fight by the way, hope you didn't mind that we joined in, I just thought the exercise would be a good way to wakeup. Purple Phoenix at your service." "What do you want?" Nathan asked. A glance at Funtimes showed her scowling at Purple Phoenix's hand, but when he followed her gaze, he saw nothing but a cupcake. Purple Phoenix tossed it aside. An explosion of purple followed. The Epic from the museum entrance. "You tried to kill us," Nathan began, but Funtimes had other concerns. She drew a long gasp, her hands fluttering beside her cheeks. "Your. Hat. Is. Amazing!" With a squeal of pleasure, she snapped her fingers. A display stand became a neat pile of bowler hats, each a different size and color. She scooped them up and danced back to her pterodactyls, placing one on each head, accompanying each hat with a name. "You are Trogdor, and you're Kajagugu, and you get to be Seamus." Lightwards' dinosaur was given a red bowler and the name Vincenzo. At Nighthound's dinosaur, she waited for it to lean its head down, then placed a yellow bowler between its horns. "You are Phteven." "Phteven?" Nathan echoed. "Yeah! It's Steven with a Ph!" He chuckled. "It fits." Lightwards was her last stop. She paused, dancing from foot to foot with the last bowler held behind her back. "Sorry you couldn't find the zombie in your neighborhood," she said. Nathan wondered if Lightwards caught the insult in her words—she was in your neighborhood, you should have found her, moron. With a flourish, she presented a forest green bowler with a colorfully embossed leather hatband. Bright gold stars were embedded in the band, and a daisy was balanced on the brim. "This is for you. It won't look good with your clothes all red, though. I can make them better."
  45. 8 points
    Steelheart renewed Firefly, ensuring a whole generation of sci-fi nerds would live in fear of him cancelling it again.
  46. 7 points
    I just saw a HONY post about setting goals and I misread it as selling goats.
  47. 7 points
  48. 7 points
    Lucentia undertook the tedious task of watching the sky for further intruders, while sitting on her temporary throne. A task like this wasn’t worth of someone as important as herself but she could hardly leave it to the imbecilic dinosaurs Lightwards kept as guards. She noticed the weird ensemble of one minor Epic, a zombie dinosaur and her brother’s second slave girl heading down from the museum. Although, the little blood Epic at least had enough sense to anchor herself on the diamond platform. There was a certain temptation to simply let the section she connected her rope to crumble and safe herself all the trouble she would without doubt cause in the future. However, the queen resisted the urge, in part because her brother would certainly complain far out of proportion to her about it afterwards. Hopefully they will at least show her an appropriate amount of gratitude for her mercy. One way or another the little one’s life would be forfeit, if she was to useless that she couldn’t even deal with one of these weaklings. Nighthound taking his sweet time with their new prisoner also didn’t escape her notice. Not that she cared either way, as long as they would eventually get information out of her. A gunshot drew her attention to a balloon approaching them. It was fairly hard to make out in the dark sky, if not for the brightly glowing patches attached to it. Fools indeed. Tendrils of diamond set themselves free from the flying museum and reached towards the balloon with more speed that one would suspect from their sheer mass. Just as they were about to swallow their target landed in front of her lacking any amount of grace to speak of, at this point it was a mystery to her how he could not see how much of an embarrassment he was to himself. Showing even further lack of understanding of the situation, he distracted her by asking with what intruders she had to deal. "I had the fortune to face two of the attackers by the entrance. "How many have you succeeded in killing or… neutralizing" In the short moment he managed to distract her explosions littered the sky around the balloon, in an attempt to destroy her tendrils. Further balloons descended towards them. Reacting quickly she pulled together a wall of diamond in front of them. As Lucentia rightly assumed these balloons exploded as well, once they hit the wall. They also showered the air with confetti, how she began to loathe such party utensil. Slightly annoyed she decided to ignore Lightwards for now and resumed her attack. However, a giant cloud of smoke now obscured the sky were the balloon was before. Still Lucentia stabbed her tendrils widely into the cloud, just for the chance that she might hit something. Indeed she did manage to find the balloon and crushed it as she encased it in the tendrils that found it. Whether or not the attack was still inside the vessel is something she was less certain about. Letting out an annoyed sight she turned back to the reason someone may have managed to get away from her, “I have dealt with at least three intruders trying to destroy our flying mechanism. I am terribly afraid that I let less pressing matters distract me from making sure if my service for your dear little empire was even greater.” Lucentia did nothing to disguise the sarcasm in her voice and, mocking a sincere gesture, laid a hand on her chest.
  49. 7 points
    What do you think happens to all those trolls we don't have?
  50. 7 points
    I like the idea of inventing etymology for a non-existent word! From the already-mentioned point of russian language, sOLntze (as the Sun) can be used as a form of address, like "honey" or "dear", and can be convincingly used sarcastically in a dialogue. The sLOn part, meanwhile, means "elephant", and as a possibly intentional mistype, it's part of a popular pun around "calling your girlfriend an elephant". So, in this setting, it can possibly get to mean something like "clumsy meddling bastard"
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