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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/03/2016 in all areas

  1. 161 points
    We have some exciting news to announce today. So far in order to obtain some unpublished works of Brandon's, you'd have to email him through his sites, and his assistants would distribute them. Well now you won't need to wait for that, because now we will be in charge of distributing out Aether of Night! All you have to do is post in this topic (you'll need a 17S account, but that's it), and our staff will PM you the document. Once we do this, we'll remove your post here. We'll be using this topic as a to-do list for requests. Ideally since we have lots of staff members, we will get this out to you soon, within a week or two. With this change we are unpasswording the Aether of Night board, as now all of you will have access to it if you want it. You may discuss Aether of Night in the Cosmere Theories board, but tag your topic title with [Aether]. We hope you're excited about this, so many of you will be able to get this text in a much more obvious way now! You will receive a .docx file, and if you need to convert it into a .pdf or .epub, there are many converters to do that for you. (We are not distributing the prose version of White Sand, as that will continue to be distributed in Brandon's newsletters.) Thank you Team Sanderson for letting 17S do this!
  2. 158 points
    Okay so I saw a few of the Explain a Film Plot badly things earlier and thought they were funny, so I decided to do them for the cosmere books. I think some of them are funny, so I decided to share them. Hopefully it'll at least get a few laughs. If anyone has any more or any different ones, please post them. Spoilers for the cosmere, obviously. I'll label each one just in case though. The Final Empire: Well of Ascension: Hero of Ages: Alloy of Law: Shadows of Self: Bands of Morning: Warbreaker: Elantris: I couldn't think of any for Stormlight, hopefully someone else can
  3. 120 points
    Important note: This list would be far less complete if not for the efforts of everyone who helped me compile it. Specifically thankyou to: Awesomeness Summoned, Delightful, Argent, PorridgeBrick, Kurkistan, Quiver, Green Hoodie Mistborn, Senor Feesh, Observer, ccstat, Swimmingly, Alvron, Metacognition, The Only Joe, GreyPilgrim, Aether, jasonpenguin, Mailliw73, Moodle, Tempus, Baine, Kobold King, LeftInch, Sir Jerric, Tensoon, Ashiok, Theorymaker, Seonid, Shaggai, TheYoungBard, Curiosity, Snoopy, Voidus, Frosted Flakes, Kasimir, Shallan. (Let me know if I missed you.) Hokay, for those who want to know the ranks, I looked through everyone who had at least 10 posts. Here are my findings. 10000+ God Beyond 9000 9999 Adonalsium 8500 8999 Hero of Ages 8192 8499 The Broken One 7800 8191 Shard 7500 7799 Splintered Shard 7200 7499 Splinter 6800 7199 Dragon 6400 6799 Stormfather 6000 6399 Herald 5700 5999 Sliver 5350 5699 Nightwatcher 5000 5349 Worldhopper 4750 4999 God of Color 4500 4749 Lord Ruler 4250 4499 Unmade 4096 4249 Dawnshard 3761 4095 Prime 3500 3760 Lerasium Mistborn 3250 3499 Bondsmith 3000 3249 Voidbringer 2750 2999 Knight Radiant 2500 2749 Most Ancient 2250 2499 Steel Inquisitor 2048 2249 Mistborn 1900 2047 Taracin Superstar 1800 1899 Dawnsinger 1700 1799 Rambleman 1600 1699 Savant 1550 1599 Gerontarch 1500 1549 Midnight Essence 1450 1499 Listener 1400 1449 Enefel 1370 1399 Kalad's Phantom 1338 1369 Compounder 1337 So l337 Hoid Can't Compete 1300 1336 Surgebinder 1260 1299 Radiant Squire 1220 1259 Kandra 1180 1219 Twinborn 1145 1179 Returned 1111 1144 Scadrian Waffle Cook 1080 1110 Stone Shaman 1050 1079 Cryptic 1024 1049 HonorSpren 1000 1023 Sentient Awakened Object 980 999 Truthless 950 979 Highprince 920 949 Worldbringer 890 919 Full Feruchemist 860 889 Full Shardbearer 830 859 Shardbearer 800 829 Seer 777 799 Spinner 760 776 Wyrn the King 730 759 Elantrian 700 729 Originator 667 699 Svrakiss 666 Torturer of Heralds 650 665 Shade 625 649 Soulcaster 600 624 Forger 575 599 Dakhor Monk 550 574 lord Prelan 512 549 King's Wit 496 511 Son of Honor 475 495 Vanisher 450 474 King's Tester 425 449 Ghostblood 400 424 Envisager 375 399 Artifabrian 350 374 Ferring 325 349 Stormwarden 300 324 Bloodsealer 278 299 Silent Gatherer 256 277 Misting 225 255 Arbiter 200 224 Gyorn 180 199 High prelan 160 179 Oldblood 145 159 Cobalt Guard 128 144 Hazekiller 110 127 Forescout 100 109 Houselord 90 99 Babsk 80 89 Prelan 75 79 Arteth 70 74 Idrian Monk 64 69 Obligator 56 63 Lighteyes 50 55 Grand 45 49 Noble 40 44 Crew Leader 32 39 Ardent 25 31 Pahn Kahl 20 24 Awakened Object 16 19 Noble-Blooded 10 15 Bridgeman 7 9 Spearman 5 6 Darkeyes 2 4 Skaa 0 1 Spren -1 -2 Negaspren -3 -5 Lifeless -6 -10 Hoed -15 -19 ? Beheaded Inquisitor -20 -24 ? Rotting Chull Carcass -24 -25 Lamespren -32 -91 Zucchini -117 -118 Chasmfiend Corpse I'll update this as we learn more We now know them all! I like the new levels. Good work Chaos Please don't ask me how long that took. Current lowest Unknown rep: nonexistant. We're so close to getting them all =D Edit: Wooohooo first popular post Later edit: For the record, at the time I added that comment 10 rep was a little more exciting Another edit: The lower rep ranks have changed at some point, I don't know where all of the new boundaries are yet.
  4. 99 points
    So, I know there's a gallery, but it only allows you to post one picture at a time, and I thought it would be a cool idea to share fanart illustrations I've done. SA is really colourful and reads like a graphic novel in my head sometimes, and I like creating character designs after finishing a book. Inspired by many many years of watching cartoons, as you can probably tell. Feel free to ask questions, give feedback, or whatever. This is just my take on SA, so artistic license disclaimer. Click to open spoilers, click picture to open up full size. Illustrated scenes "Visions from God" "Honor is Dead" "Lashed to the Ceiling" "Blossoms and Cake" "The Chasms are Mine" Character portraits "Kaladin" "Dalinar" "Navani" "Jasnah" "Shallan" "Adolin" "Renarin" Character designs "The Kholins" "Shardplate Proportions" "Dalinar and Navani" "Eshonai and Szeth" "PoV Portraits" "Frenemies" Shallan's sketchbook pages "AK + SD" "Stormfather" "Unconscious Brother" "Oathgate" "Adolin" "More Adolin" Silly stuff "Arena Groupies" "Eshonai the Explorer" "Mornings" "Kaladin Valentine" "Adolin Valentine" The end!
  5. 89 points
    I went to my first signing ever on the Arcanum Unbounded tour, and when I went through the personalization line, Brandon and I had a nice conversation about the physical properties of ettmetal, otherwise known as harmonium, and how they were impacted by Realmatics. (Influenced in part, I assume, because when he was going through his opening talk, I fist-pumped when he said he was originally a chemistry major. He saw, and asked if I was a chemist, to which I replied I was a chemical engineer. So, I think he took the chance to share some details with someone who’d be able to fully comprehend them.) I’m still waiting to get the recording of the signing line, but I’ll paraphrase what I got out of it. Brandon said that it makes sense for ettmetal to be so volatile, because it has the power of both Shards in it, and the conflict associated with them. He also clarified that it’s not a nuclear reaction; it’s chemically reactive, it’s the properties of the electrons in Harmonium that make it so reactive. It’s like ‘super-cesium,’ reacting very quickly with water. I wasn't quite ready prepared to deal with the implications (I was there as a cosmere fan, not a scientist), but I've spent some time thinking it over, and I think I understand a little more exactly how the physics and the realmatics are interacting. I've come to several major conclusions, which are reliant on a college-level understanding of chemistry. If you’re not at that level, skip ahead to the next section, where I’ll try to build it up in layman’s terms. For those who feel knowledgeable, though: Overview of the Theory · I propose that the subatomic particles of harmonium (protons, electrons, and neutrons) are comprised of pure Investiture, but still functioning as normal subatomic particles. This Investiture would be still of each individual Shard, even though the atom as a whole would be of Harmony. · The reactivity of harmonium follows the trend of alkali metals, but would be enhanced due to an additional electron shielding factor that would come from the repulsion of Ruin particles and Preservation particles, lowering the ionization energy and increasing reaction rates. · The alkali-metal behavior of Harmonium would come from the imbalance between the two Shards, the extra piece of Ruin. It would follow the orbital structure of cesium (atomic number 55), with one electron in each filled orbital from each Shard. The single valence electron would be an extra Ruin electron. · I’d like to say that each harmonium atom (cesium-133, the only stable isotope) is a combination of a lerasium atom and an atium atom, which would make atium = nickel (28) and lerasium = cobalt (27). However, I can’t get the neutron math to add up. It’s possible that the nucleus looks different, that the stability of harmonium is different because of the competing Investiture in the nucleus. This gets into physics, not chemistry, so I’m not equipped to dig deeper into this idea. So, if you understand that, great. Head on down the page to my conclusions, to see what I’ve thought of as implications of this. If you didn’t (which I assume is the majority), let’s do a quick* chemistry lesson. (For those who have actually studied chemistry, be aware this explanation will be pop science. Like one of my professors used to say, all explanations of chemistry are lies, and we just learn slightly smaller lies the farther and farther we go.) Chemistry of Alkali Metals What are atoms? Elements (like copper, oxygen, or chlorine) are made of fundamental particles called "atoms." These atoms interact with one another, bonding together to form more complicated substances (from water to gasoline to medicinal compounds). Different atoms will behave in different ways, based on the number of subatomic particles they’re comprised of. All atoms have dense nucleus, made of protons and neutrons, surrounded by a cloud of electrons. The number of protons defines the element: any atom with one proton is hydrogen, any one with six protons is oxygen, any one with 55 protons is cesium. Chemical reactions are largely driven by the transfer of electrons from one atom or group of atoms to another. How do electrons behave? Electrons are attracted to the nucleus through the electromagnetic force, pulling together the negative charge of an electron and the positive charge of the protons. But electrons aren't like planets in a solar system, just floating wherever they feel like. When they surround a nucleus, they order themselves into levels, filling from the lowest level (closest to the nucleus) and going up. For chemical reactions, only electrons in the outermost level will be involved; anything in a lower level that has been completely filled will not react. In chemical reactions, atoms will trade or share electrons until every atom involved has a filled outermost shell (either by getting more electrons or getting rid of some of theirs), since a filled shell is the most thermodynamically stable. That's how the periodic table of elements is arranged; elements in a column all have the same number of electrons in their outermost level (called 'valence electrons'), so they will all behave in a similar fashion. If they have an almost-full shell, they will be very reactive, like chlorine and oxygen. If their shell is filled, they will be nonreactive, like helium. The reactive properties of ettmetal match the first column of the periodic table, the 'alkali metals.' They all have a single valence electron, and they want to get rid of it like none other, so they'll take any opportunity to do so. They are metals, but they will react very violently with water. Other alkali metals you may have heard of are sodium, lithium, potassium, which are not found in nature in their pure forms because of how reactive they are. How can we free up that electron? Pure alkali metals would like to pass off their single valence electron to another molecule or atom, which would be more thermodynamically stable with it. However, to get rid of this electron in the first place, there is some energy required to ‘knock it loose.’ It's sort of like trying to launch a rocket from earth; you need a bunch of energy to overcome gravity, but once you're out in space, you can go wherever you want. Unlike that rocket, though, there are many different forces acting on an electron. Each proton is pulling on that valence electron, trying to keep it there. But, believe it or not, as you take alkali metals with more protons, the total force on a valence electron electron goes down, and they get easier to remove. Why is this? Two reasons: first, the electron is farther away from the nucleus. But, more relevant to this discussion, the lower shells filled with electrons are also pushing the valence electron out. This concept is called "electron shielding.” Negative charges repulse other negative charges, so when there are a ton of electrons between the valence electron and the nucleus, they will cancel out some of the pull of the protons. Since the electrons in heavier alkali metals aren’t held as strongly, reactions happen faster, and release their energy much quicker. Harmonium reacts even quicker than cesium, the highest alkali metal that's not a pretend element (another of my old professor's fun sayings about transuranic elements). That means its electron is even easier to remove, and it reacts even faster. Realmatics of God Metals How does this play with Realmatics? Finally, we get back to what Brandon said about the opposite forces within the same atom. An atom with protons and electrons comprised of Ruin would behave like a normal atom; no unusual interactions. Same for an atom completely of Preservation. But mix and match, and Preservation electrons would push on the Ruin electrons, giving extra electron shielding. And the Preservation protons would also push on the Ruin electrons (partially countering their normal electromagnetic attraction), reducing the force holding them in. By making it easier to remove harmonium’s valence electron, the rate at which it reacts with other atoms will increase. Which is what we’ve seen. Why does Harmonium have 1 valence electron in the first place? Lastly, I think that harmonium needs to be an alkali metal and have that 1 extra valence electron because of the balance between Ruin and Preservation. In a filled electron shell, each electron has a pair. I think each electron pair contains one Preservation electron and 1 Ruin electron. But, here's the problem: there's extra Ruin. Some of Preservation is in mankind, so if he doesn't physically manifest this extra Ruin somewhere, he won't be in balance. So, he throws in an extra Ruin proton and Ruin electron; this very reactive valence electron. As long as he manifests enough harmonium, the extra Ruin is there in the environment. Brandon has referred to ettmetal as super-cesium. That could be interpreted as a magically stabilized francium (which isn't stable, and doesn't exist outside of a few moments in a laboratory), but I think he means it's a super-reactive cesiuim. Cesium has 55 protons and 55 electrons; harmonium would have 27 of Preservation and 28 of Ruin. The Invested protons, neutrons, and electrons change the atomic behavior of Harmonium, which is why it isn’t exactly cesium. In Conclusion So, I learned in my discussion with Brandon that 1) the pieces of Ruin and Preservation are distinct in harmonium and 2) the battle between them causes ettmetal to be highly reactive. I think I’ve identified the specific mechanism by which this happens. It does, however, carry some interesting implications that I’m still working out. Let me share some of them with you; feel free to comment. · If there’s a repulsion between electrons, there must also be one for protons and neutrons. This would make Harmonium’s nucleus more unstable. Although Brandon said it is not a nuclear reaction that we’ve seen, it may just require the proper catalyst, so I would not be surprised to see an ettmetal nuclear bomb at some point. · If harmonium is cesium made out of Investiture, then maybe it is a fusion (the scientific term, combining the nuclei) of a lerasium atom and an atium atom. That would mean that lerasium would have 27 Preservation protons, and behave like cobalt. Atium would have 28 Ruin protons, and behave like nickel. However, although the electrons add up, the neutrons will not. (The number of neutrons doesn’t affect how an atom behaves chemically, but it can make it radioactive, which will change it into a different element.) There’s only one stable isotope of cesium, and one of cobalt, and doing the math doesn’t yield one of nickel’s stable isotopes. It’s possible the stability of harmonium is different, because of the extra forces between Ruin’s and Preservation’s protons and neutrons, somehow requiring fewer neutrons for stability. But, this isn’t anything I’ve studied as a chemist; it’s in the realm of physicists. · Because there are individual elements of Ruin and Preservation, this doesn’t bode well for Harmony as a whole. Sure, on a macroscopic scale, there’s balance. But it could mean that, in each of his individual interactions with people, he might go back and forth between two extremes. It also makes me wonder how easily Harmony could Splinter back into two Shards (although we do know that at this point, if Sazed died, he would drop a single powerful Shard.) · Ettmetal reacts, which means its transferring part of itself to water. Once the electrons are gone, they ain’t coming back. Atium burns and regenerates; how would a harmonium oxide make its way back to continue the cycle? It seems like Investiture is lost to the environment when ettmetal reacts with water. · People have extra Preservation, but if ettmetal is Harmony’s way of sequestering his extra Ruin, then as it continues to react with water, the extra Ruin could end up transferring to the environment. Man vs Nature is a very big concept in sci-fi, so maybe it could come up in Mistborn Era 4, that the planet itself is of Ruin while its inhabitants are of Preservation. Just spitballing here. · How do other god metals work? If they’re elements made out of Investiture particles, then can Shardblades rust? Or maybe are they silver made out of Honor’s Investiture, which is why they won’t react? (Unfortunately, Element 10 is neon, which is not a metal.) But that wouldn’t give them the structural integrity they need (even if they don’t physically do the cutting, a pure silver sword would be deformed in a duel). Does each Shard make a different metal for its god metal, or could it make any metal it wanted? · Are all physical forms of Investiture (the mists, the liquid Shardpools, Stormlight) similarly constructed? Maybe the mists were composed of two Preservation hydrogens and one Preservation oxygen? Are Perpendicularities just Invested mercury? The reactivity of ettmetal shows that, at the very least, the solid form of one Shard’s power manifests below the atomic level; does every solid form of Investiture do so, as well? Uh… In Conclusion, Again Okay, I’m done for real this time. I know people have proposed similar things (like atium is Ruin’s electrum) based on allomantic behavior, and I didn’t like them at the time (the ideas and logic behind them, not the people), but the way Brandon spoke of Harmonium makes me think that approach was on the right track. However, it’s on a more fundamental level: the very protons and electrons are either of Ruin or Preservation, and when you combine the two, you get a very reactive metal. I’ve tried to completely explain the chemistry of the situation, but it does dive pretty deep at times. If you’d like to know more about that, please just let me know. I didn’t bring out any graphs to show exactly why electron shielding increases reaction rate, but I can if anyone’s interested. I will also try to get the actual transcript to post it. I’m confident in the broad strokes of my conversation with Brandon, that Harmonium is extra reactive because of the opposing Shards it’s made up of, but I do think that having his exact words would have preempted some objections that I’m sure are coming. I’m just not patient enough. 07/19/17 - Made slight changes to the text to (hopefully) clarify what is canon and what is supposition on my part. To emphasize, it is not confirmed that harmonium is unbalanced towards Ruin. What is canon is it behaves like an alkali metal. If my supposition is true, that each electron is either of Ruin or Preservation, then the idea of unbalanced harmonium naturally follows.
  6. 89 points
    It's finished! Or, as finished as it will get for a while. I printed a physical copy to give to Brandon at Boskone, and he seemed to enjoy it a lot. I wish that I had been able to put more illustrations in it, but there simply wasn't time. I am inordinately fond of my Thaylen eyebrows illustration, though. I feel like it really captures the spirit of the mashup. I'm also quite pleased with the Unkalaki tongue twisters. If only I had figured out a way to stick "Airsick lowlanders!" in somewhere. Anyway, here is the book! (Spoilered for size) I hope you like it! I also had some partial drafts for Stormlight versions of other Seuss books that I didn't make the cut for inclusion. So there may eventually be a sequel or improved draft that includes The Bitter Battle Book (about the war on the shattered plains) and a version of Green Eggs and Ham ("Amaram, Lord Amaram, I do not like the Diagram").
  7. 88 points
    This pre-release review is specially approved, and contains no Oathbringer spoilers for any of its pre-release materials. It does contain some Words of Radiance spoilers that are also mentioned in the Oathbringer synopsis. Oathbringer is my favorite book. I know this will seem like an empty statement. We are on 17th Shard, after all. Loving a new Brandon book--especially a new Brandon cosmere book--is par for the course. But, with that said, I've thought about this for a long time, and I truly cannot think of a book I've read that has made me feel the things Oathbringer has. It has the highest highs, the lowest lows, and moments where your eyes go wide in amazement. "Is this really happening right now?" you'll say. Yup. It is. This is the third book of the Stormlight Archive, Oathbringer. I don't think I can overhype this for you. This is the best thing Brandon has written. It isn't even close. I imagine it might just be your favorite book, too. Expert Craftsmanship Oathbringer is a colossal 450,000-word book, longer than Words of Radiance. (Remember when Brandon said Way of Kings was long because it needed to be long, and the next books would be shorter? Bwahaha.) Is it too long? No, there's absolutely no fluff in this book. It's jam packed with so many things. Oathbringer is all killer and no filler. Every scene feels like it belongs. I'm a guy who loves a tight plot--even more than I love worldbuilding--and this book is beautifully crafted. You won't be bored at all. Brandon walks a fine line of things of having events feel natural, but also doing some very unexpected things. There are things that happen in Oathbringer that I didn't expect we'd get until the back half of this ten book series. It's shocking what all happens in this book. Things vaguely referenced that many casual readers probably missed become absolutely central. Brandon explains these elements carefully, so even if you aren't up to speed on the craziness of Stormlight speculation, you won't feel lost here. There's still a depth to the book if you are heavily invested (get it?), and it holds up on a reread. It's astonishing that Brandon crafts something that feels so natural and effortless, because there are a ton of characters in Stormlight. Brandon juggles viewpoints really effectively and we see new viewpoints that add to the world a lot, but we never forget about our main characters. It's probably for this reason that this book feels so tight, because you'd think there's so much space in a book this big, but there's so much to do. Every viewpoint is precious and there's a huge amount to explore. You might even say it is almost too fast, maybe! This book is Dalinar's book, and we get a large flashback sequence from him. It has a lot more flashbacks than Kaladin and Shallan, and honestly I feel like we could have had more than we got, but Oathbringer is a lean story and everything has its piece in the grand story arc. Even though it's huge, when you read this book you'll see it really is one book. Everything is connected. Even though this could really be three shorter books, it's one connected whole. It cannot truly be split. It's one glorious, beautiful whole. Worldbuilding Of course, Brandon has always been known for his worldbuilding. He's been introducing us to the world of Roshar slowly, which sounds hilarious to say considering The Way of Kings had a big learning curve. But seriously, Roshar really has insane depth. Ten Orders of Knights Radiant, Ten Heralds, Ten Oathgates, who knows how many Desolations that happened millennia ago, the Recreance, the Voidbringers, and three Shards on Roshar. There's so much, and those are just the highlights. That alone is enough to keep us going for ten books, but wait there's so much more. How foolish of us. Oathbringer changes so much about Stormlight Archive. We get killer lore in Oathbringer. Things you've wondered for many, many years will be answered. You can really tell Brandon has been worldbuilding this for a long, long time. Things are insanely complex, but also, everything makes sense. There's so much clever, subtle foreshadowing that few have picked up on. Roshar is huge, deep, and you really can get lost in it forever, now more than ever. The beautiful thing is even though we get crazy lore in this book, there's new, absolutely freaking insane puzzles that we never could have expected. Seriously. You all have no idea. It's bonkers. How deep will the lore be just by book five? Words of Radiance ended with the summoning of the Everstorm, which would bring back the ancient enemy of Roshar, the Voidbringers. If you were worried about the Voidbringers being boring or one-dimensional villains, worry not. There's a huge amount of depth to everything with the Voidbringers. Nothing is quite as it seems. It's hard to explain how crazy Roshar is after everything we learn and everything that happens in Oathbringer. Simply put: it's bigger, more epic, and crazier than ever. But Oathbringer never is self-congratulatory on its lore; it is all in the service of this amazing story. Speaking of amazingness... The Avalanche One of Brandon's signatures in his writing is the Brandon Avalanche at the end of his books, where pacing gets very fast, and everything happens all at once. It makes for some amazing endings. You might thinking that you know Brandon's tricks. You'll know how this book goes down. Hah. That's funny. No, you haven't seen an ending like this one. If you were to compare Words of Radiance and Oathbringer's endings, it's not even remotely close which is more awesome: Oathbringer by a mile. The crazy thing is that this book has three separate climaxes. Part One alone has a completely satisfactory conclusion that you could read and say, "Yes, I got my fill, that was awesome." It has another. And then it has the grand finale. Let me try to explain: It starts with us finally seeing [REDACTED] go [REDACTED] the [REDACTED]. Then it turns out [REDACTED] didn't [REDACTED] [REDACTED] the [REDACTED], but [REDACTED], and [REDACTED]. You get [REDACTED] and it's immediately time for [REDACTED], and it's this epic [REDACTED] right away. Oh, and not only is it [REDACTED] [REDACTED], but just [redacted for swearing] [REDACTED] is [REDACTED]. It turns out [REDACTED] was the [REDACTED] [REDACTED] was [REDACTED] to be [REDACTED], and for a moment you [REDACTED]. All in [REDACTED] [REDACTED] was so [REDACTED], and [REDACTED]. [REDACTED] makes [REDACTED] [REDACTED] the [REDACTED]. All the while, [REDACTED], [REDACTED], and [REDACTED] are in [REDACTED] (because of [REDACTED]) at [REDACTED], fighting [REDACTED] and trying to get [REDACTED], but the [REDACTED] refuses to [REDACTED]. [REDACTED] tries to get [REDACTED] to [REDACTED], but [REDACTED] keeps [REDACTED]. All the while there's [REDACTED] [REDACTED] the [REDACTED]. Oh also there are [REDACTED], because why not, clearly more needed to be happening. But then, [REDACTED] (the actual chapter title), [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [redacted for swearing] [REDACTED]. [REDACTED] just [redacted for swearing] [REDACTED], or [REDACTED]. [REDACTED] faces [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] and [REDACTED], and it is so [redacted for swearing] [REDACTED]. [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED], reaches [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED] to [REDACTED], [REDACTED], and [REDACTED], and they are [REDACTED] into the [REDACTED] and it's so freaking amazingly awesome. You see [REDACTED] and [REDACTED]. Oh, and that's just the first half of the avalanche because then [redacted for swearing] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] with [REDACTED] and it's just insane. The most intense thing ever. Hmmm... something tells me that isn't going to come across well with me needing to redact all of that. I did actually write that paragraph, but there was so much happening that it's just a small snippet of how crazy it actually is. Despair. Triumph. The feels are so real in so many ways. It's amazing and perfect and ties everything together brilliantly. Get Hyped This is by far the best Stormlight book and the best book Brandon has ever written. I'm sure there will be some characters’ paths that some will not exactly love, and stuff will definitely break your heart, but I think all of it is necessary and fit perfectly. Brandon's learned so much since Mistborn and The Way of Kings, and it shows. Was it worth the wait? Damnation, yes. I know it's so painful to wait, but given how ludicrously complex this book is, I think Brandon should take his time to outline these. (He's said recently he's outlining Stormlight 4, which he said could take a year and a half, and I do not doubt that.) These are colossal undertakings and I can definitely see why Brandon would get exhausted writing them, even if he loves what he does. I have some worries about the Stormlight Archive as a whole, but they are good problems to have. With Words of Radiance improving on The Way of Kings, with so much more happening, and Oathbringer bringing it to a whole new scale, will the next book be even better? Well, I didn't think it was possible to top Words of Radiance, and that was totally foolish thinking about it now. So, let's consider the alternative: what if the next books are so amazing that the first book is the weakest one? All in all, many of you are here because you loved The Way of Kings, but I imagine some were turned off from that one, and it could be hard to introduce our friends to this amazing series with The Way of Kings. Still, I suppose if our biggest problem is that the later books are so incredible that the earlier ones pale a bit in comparison, that's a pretty good problem to have. I'd happily take that over a beginning that has all the good stuff there, and then have pointless sequels afterwards. Things are looking really great here, both this book and the series as a whole. Oathbringer is, I daresay, a masterpiece and I can't wait for you to read it.
  8. 86 points
  9. 86 points
  10. 85 points
    (Note: an updated version can be found here.) Dr. Seuss One spren, two spren, Lie spren, truth spren. Are the blue spren truly glue spren? This one makes a skyeel fly, That one shows up when you die. Oh what a lot of spren I spy! You have light in your spheres, You have shards in your hand, You have surges to help you to fly and to land! So where will you go? Somewhere high? Somewhere low? To the great Reshi Isles, or somewhere with snow? Perhaps you will dine on some Horneater Stew, Delivered directly through Urithiru. Or maybe the Shin will sell you a chicken (eating it helps Thaylen eyebrows to thicken). There’s so many places and people and spren, It’s easy to wonder just where your path ends. But please, don’t forget, it’s the way that you walk that matters much more than the place that you stop. Yes, the road that you take, whether straight, curved, or bendy always matters the most—just ask the Parshendi.
  11. 82 points
    I managed to get my copy of Oathbringer a bit early and have been thinking and trying to make sense of Dalinar's awesome transformation at the end. In crafting a theory to explain this, I made a list of some important details and thought I would share those with y'all in the hope of a good discussion: Important Details: UNITE THEM! - Chapter 119 - I'll start off with the obvious detail, when Dalinar freaking grabs the fabric of reality with his hands and merges the Physical, Cognitive, and Spiritual realms together into a perpendicularity. We've had tidbits of perpendicularities in Arcanum Unbound and different things but to my knowledge, we've never seen anyone short of a Shard or splinter do something this powerful in the Cosmere as of yet. According to the Arcanum Unbounded, this generally requires "concentration of so much Investiture" that "creates points of ... friction, where a kind of tunneling exists". As far as I know, only Shards themselves have caused this in the past and it seems well outside the powers of a bondsmith so the question is how is Dalinar doing this? Syl says its Honor's perpendicularity so we at least know that it is Honor's power that Dalinar is wielding somehow. Whatever this power is, Dalinar seems to be able to do it on command now since he overcharged Kaladin with Stormlight in Chapter 122 before Kaladin takes off to find his missing bridgemen. I am Unity - Chapter 119 - When asked what he is by Venli, Dalinar responds with the awesome phrase "I am Unity", which could have many interpretations. Is this referring to his overall goal of unifying? Is it simply a cool way of leading into his unifying the Realms? Or is the capitalization of Unity important and does that signify that Dalinar has become something far more? WE KILLED YOU! - Chapter 119 - Perhaps my favorite detail is Odium's reaction to Dalinar's epiphany. Not only is Odium shocked by Dalinar's resistance, he seems to be downright scared here. And most interesting is the choice of pronouns here. In their previous discussion regarding Dalinar's sins, Odium always said "I" as in "I was there, influencing you", so this doesn't seem to be a royal "we". With the available information, I can see two possible explanations. One, Honor's death was a cooperative effort between Odium and some other party such as Autonomy though this seems unlikely since all of our evidence so far indicates that Odium killed Tanavast by himself. Second, and more intriguing, is the shattering of Adonalsium, which seems to better explain the anger, outrage, and fear in Odium's statements. What about Dalinar's Unity frightens Odium so much? What does Dalinar look like to Odium's eyes? How? What have you done? - Chapter 119 - Despite being the Cognitive shadow of a god, the Stormfather has no clue what or how Dalinar just accomplished. Is this just the typical Spren forgetfulness since he hasn't been bonded in millennia? Their later conversation seems to indicate that this really hasn't been done before... We are something different - Chapter 119 - Dalinar's own words to describe this event are "We are something different. His remnants, your soul, my will". This is interesting to me since it could be interpreted in a realmatic context as the combination of Physical (his remnants), Cognitive (my will), and Spiritual (your soul) components though the remnants seems like it should really be of all three and not just Physical. Dalinar was not supposed to Ascend - Chapter 122 - Another Odium line that stands out since the topic of Ascension has a known definition within the Cosmere: a vessel taking up a Shard of Adonalsium like in the Mistborn series. The context of this phrase is a bit murky though since Odium and Mr. T are talking about events in the past, present, and future so it's a bit unclear whether this is directly referring to Dalinar's display or if it is some future event that both Odium and Mr. T have foreseen. Still, this clearly indicates to me that something major is going on with Dalinar and it seems like Odium thinks that this is not a one-hit wonder use of power on his part. Interesting side note is how the heck do y'all think the "Renarin Kholin" reference fits into this conversation? Was he the one who should have Ascended or was he the catalyst that caused Dalinar's Ascension (perhaps in that one flashback where Renarin breaks Dalinar out of his drinking and makes him realize a bit how awful he is being)? A warmth that he had known once before - Chapter 119 - Right before Dalinar Unites, he feels this weird warmth. As far as I can tell, this seems to refer to Dalinar's curious dream/vision in Ch 89 of WoR, where he seemingly relives a childhood moment before stepping outside where "warm light bathed him. A deep, enveloping, piercing warmth. A warmth that soaked down deep through his skin, into his very self. He stared at that light, and was not blinded. The source was distant, but he knew it. Knew it well. He smiled". Still don't have a good explanation for what's going on here but we do have confirmation a few pages later that the Stormfather did not send this. Since all of Dalinar's previous interactions with Honor have been mediated by the Stormfather, what could this warmth be? Unite them - Throughout all books, Dalinar's thoughts are almost always drawn to a single phrase "Unite them" that has driven a lot of his actions so far. Presumably, the first instance of this was the vision that Honor/Stormfather gave him but it continues to be repeated time and time again in Dalinar's viewpoints. It's a phrase that has been interpreted to mean many things over the books like "unite the highprinces", "unite the world", and "unite the radiants" but here we see it once again in probably the most spectacular fashion as he physically unites the realms. Are these words just Dalinar's continual introspection on these words or is this an external voice speaking to him? The Stormfather said it wasn't him in Chapter 111 and Dalinar definitely perceived it to be an external voice. Was it always an external voice or just this time? Who or what could this be? Theories: Looking at the available evidence, I have come up with three possible explanations for the power that Dalinar is wielding now: Dalinar has, or is in the process of, reforming Honor and is its new vessel - I believe we have some WoB that this is possible but very difficult. The "something different" and "we killed you" details seem like they dispute this but either one could be interpreted to support it. Syl claiming that the perpendicularity is Honor's does seem to support this however. Another possibility is that he has somehow accumulated enough of Honor's Investiture to become something like a mini-sliver like a Herald or above. Dalinar has somehow accumulated enough Investiture to become something new, Unity - Perhaps not a full Shard but something akin to or above a Herald in power and not necessarily linked with Honor alone. At this point, he's had direct interactions with three Shards/remnants of Shards, which seems unique, and could somehow have taken some measure of power from each. To be specific, Odium has been shaping him into a Champion for what seems like his entire life and likely had to sink some Investiture in him to do so. Cultivation took a piece of him and perhaps gave something in its place when he visited. And we all know that he has a big piece of Honor in his pocket in the form of the Stormfather. Syl's claim that the perpendicularity was Honor's could just be her best guess or it could be that the bulk of Dalinar's new power is of Honor and that's what she's sensing. Has the combination of all of this Investiture made him into something unique? I think this is the most likely theory though the "we killed you" detail doesn't seem to quite fit. Dalinar is, in some way, connected to Adonalsium on a deeper level than we thought - This is a bit more out-there than the other two theories and is predicated mostly on the "we killed you" detail. I think there's a WoB out there somewhere that Dalinar was one of the first characters of the SA that Brandon came up with (number 17 here) and this makes me curious. I'm probably reading too much into this random detail but could Dalinar be something like the reincarnation of Adonalsium? We've had absolutely no evidence of this before now but it kinda fits the fear in Odium's reaction to Dalinar's Ascension. Of course, I would expect a god to pick up on that fact if he's been watching and influencing a dude for most of his life but maybe there's more going on than we know? There was also that curious exchange between Wit and Dalinar in WoK regarding Adonalsium (Chapter 54) that could support this theory but there's a WoB (number 1 here) saying that was probably not that significant. Building off the previous theory, perhaps Odium interprets Dalinar's combination of the three Shard's Investiture as a preliminary attempt to reforge Adonalsium.
  12. 81 points
    My guess would be: "I cannot save everyone, but I will save those I can".
  13. 79 points
    All right guys. We can finally tell you about the WoB Archive we have been working on for a long, long time. It has a name, too! It's Arcanum: the Brandon Sanderson Archive. We've been very hard at work with Arcanum. Our team of Arcanists have done great work on it, and we will have things from the Words of Radiance tour to the present day in our system in our launch. In addition we have annotations and a variety of things prior to 2014 (though that stuff isn't finished). It's been much more time consuming than you'd expect, as we've painstakingly gone through the Shadowdays of WoBs to find all sorts of audio files, and then transcribe them in our system. There's a bunch of new stuff we've acquired that's never been seen before, too! As the Ideals of the Edgedancers say: I will remember WoBs that have been forgotten I will listen to audio that has been ignored I think that's how they went, I'm pretty sure... Of course, you all want to know when Arcanum launches. That will be November 8th, 2017. We said it was going to be before Oathbringer release, and it is! You'll be able to upload all your audio from the Oathbringer tour into Arcanum. It works, and it is glorious. Stay tuned, and we'll finally get to show it all to you on November 8th.
  14. 74 points
    Hey everyone! For the past few years there has been a lot of discussion on the Words of Brandon situation. The Theoryland Interview Database served our fandom well but it has always been more a part of the Wheel of Time fandom and has grown harder to keep up-to-date as our fandom has grown and aged. The subject of a new database has been brought up a number of times but myself and the other admins have either remained quiet in those discussions or been unhelpfully vague. And there is a reason for that. We have been working on something. In fact, we've been working on a replacement for a long time, and we've iterated our implementation for a while. We've scrapped a few bad implementations, so we did not want to prematurely announce something that wasn't good. But, we have a system now. It's real, and it's pretty cool, so it's time to start talking about this with you all. The software is codenamed Palanaeum (though that won't be the name of this database; it's the software's name), and it's been made by coder extraordinaire Mestiv, who you may have noticed has a new rank on the site due to his tireless work on it. Our goals with a new WoB Archive have been to not just replicate the Theoryland Interview Database, but add new features and improve upon Theoryland. Let's talk about what Palanaeum does. Submitting interviews open to everyone A core problem with the Theoryland DB is that only a select few input things, which means it is almost always outdated. (Turns out, Brandon talks a lot.) The solution is obvious: we need a system that allows the many awesome and enterprising members of the community to contribute. Palanaeum does this. Anyone can contribute, input new events and entries, and suggest changes to old things. Transcribing audio The workflow for transcribing audio has been clunky. The audio has to be uploaded and then there's a Google doc where transcribers work at it, with the link to the Google doc being buried in an Event topic somewhere. We can imagine that in a year or two it can be very hard to find the original audios and the transcription Google doc. This is not sustainable. Palanaeum puts that entire process in-house. You can upload audio and transcribe it within the system. You can create "snippets" of audio that links the timestamp of the audio to the question/answer you are writing. Since the audio and transcription are connected in the system, this means for new interviews inputted this way, you'll have a Play button next to an entry which will just play the audio source of that exact question. We intend to host all this audio forever, so it won't be lost to the aether. It will be in our system and you'll always be able to find it. We also intend to allow people to do similar things with video sources, but video is significantly more costly to host, so you'll have to upload videos--or link to videos--on YouTube, then transcribe them similarly. Huge props to Mestiv for creating this crazy feature. I wasn't sure this would be possible, but it absolutely works. It's hard for me to describe to you how awesome this actually is. Search that doesn't suck Lastly, there's another problem with Theoryland: it's really hard to actually find the thing you want, so obviously we want to have a search feature that works well. (This is one of the core reasons we wanted to build a new system in the first place.) Search is complicated but we have an implementation we like. It will have a lot of search filters as well to narrow down your search, too. A big benefit to us doing this in-house is that the search algorithm can be iterated on. If we launch and you think it's being weird and not giving you reasonable results, we will work on it. We don't have to say, "well, that's how it works. Sorry about that." Since there's an account system on Palanaeum, we want you to be able to favorite particular quotes for later. We think that will really help research for theories or writing wiki articles. That's an area we intend to work on. Oh, and one more thing: this software will have a responsive design, which means you can find all the quotes you want on your phone. The software will be open source, too. If you're an enterprising coder, you can contribute to the project. If you're a different fandom, you can install it for your use, too! The software probably won't be open source immediately, as Mestiv wants to clean up his code a bit before opening it up. But soon after launch, it will be open source. Where we go from here We plan to show the WoB Archive to many awesome individuals in the community who already transcribe stuff so they can test and give feedback on things. This will be our beta period. We're just about there, so very soon this will be out there in June. We have a list of people we are inviting, so hang tight! We want to show you this ASAP. We're starting small for now (especially compared to the fandom at large), but you'll all see this soon! Overall, our goal is to have the software done--with the core functionality listed above, at least, completed and well-tested--by the Oathbringer release. Obviously, that's where there will be a massive spike in new interviews, so all our transcribing stuff needs to be very good there. So, Oathbringer is our deadline. But our progress is going very well, so we may end the beta period early and have our official launch earlier. We'll see. Lots can happen in software development. You'll notice that we didn't include any screenshots of the system for now. That's not to conceal anything--it does work, and it's pretty cool--but right now our design team hasn't begun work on making it pretty. Function comes first. The usual 17S design team will work on making it look and feel good this summer, and then we can show more off We intend to import all Brandon-related interviews from Theoryland to this new system. We're hoping we don't need to manually input things and we can do a software-based conversion of the data, but we are committed to a system that is complete and will be up-to-date. We hope you will join us on this quest to archive everything Brandon has said in this difficult time of transition from Theoryland to this system. But, I think this system will finally be the interview archive we all need. With your help, we will be able to keep things up-to-date for years to come. The era of long lag on things being inputted into the database will be over. (Of course, we will be working hard too.) We're sorry it's taken so long. Big thanks to Weiry, who tirelessly works to make sure everything is perfect. Even bigger thanks to Mestiv who is finally making this a reality. Also major thanks to Joe who coded an implementation of a database as well and is always awesome. He helped us move towards a custom coded solution, which I always worried would be too difficult. But it's real now, and I'm insanely excited to show you all this.
  15. 73 points
    George Lucas Open on Kaladin, staring out at the battlefield. It is littered with both soldiers and Parshendi corpses. He stands alone in his vest and trousers, an unreadable expression on his face. KALADIN: Dead. All of them….dead. Half of Bridge Four is gone, because of me. Sylphrena floats up to him, a ribbon of light, before assuming the form of a young girl. SYL: Not-so, Mistah Kaladeen, sah! You-sa still have meesa! KALADIN: Uh, Syl? Why are you talking like that? You didn't talk like that in the last book. SYL: Mistah Lucas thought it'd be better for the KIDS! You-sa knows he loves dee children! KALADIN: Excuse me, Syl. SYL: Where-sa you-sa going, Kaladeen? KALADIN: To find the nearest chasm. J.K. Rowling Dalinarbledore gripped Kaladin's shoulders, meeting his eyes. "Don't you see, Kaladin? You are the Chosen One. Of all the Radiants at this school, you alone can unite the Sprenly Hallows and defeat Voidemort!" Kaladin looked away from Dalinarbledore's eyes, which always made him feel as though he were being X-rayed. "But….this doesn't make sense." "Of course it does. Voidemort chose you as his equal, which is why you can fly and do all of those amazing things." "But wouldn't I have been able to do that anyway, being a Windrunner and all? And while we're at it, why did I get Windrunning while Shalmione got Lightweaving? I mean, seriously, why are there differences in our magic, anyway?" "Because it's magic. Duh." Just then, Professor Sadeas walked by, scowling at Dalinarbledore. "You're smiling, Professor. Ten points from Gryffindor." "I outrank you, Sadeas." "Fine. Ten points to Slytherin, because I have better fashion sense." George R. R. Martin Sigzil stood alone on the battlefield. Around him lay the broken bodies of Bridge Four, Dalinar's warcamp, Sebarial's warcamp, and the entire customer base of a random tavern. "Looks like it falls upon me, then," he sighed. "I alone must carry this narrative to the end. And I shall. I shall." The arrow struck his heart from an unknown source, and there he died. Stephanie Meyer Pattern buzzed in deep chagrin. "Shallan?" "What?" "I know that your sketches are important….but shouldn't you be working on keeping the parshmen from destroying the world?" "In a minute," she said, chagrined. "Shallan, you have already made 499 sketches of Adolin Kholin's abdominal muscles." "And this will be an even 500." Just as she finished the sketch and held it to the light for a moment's admiration, the door swung open. Her chagrin was quickly replaced by delight. "Shallan," Kaladin breathed. "I'm sorry for intruding on you like this, but I had to see you. I didn't have time to put on a shirt. I hope you don't mind." Pattern's chagrined buzzing began anew, but Shallan ignored it. When the Almighty sent you a shirtless Captain, you didn't ask for details.
  16. 72 points
    Warbreaker: Slight edit to OPs The Final Empire: Well of Ascension: Hero of Ages: TWoK:
  17. 71 points
    EDIT: Okay, kids. I'm super pumped to see you all using this database and finding good stuff. But please don't tag me whenever you post something from it. Instead, link to the Excel sheet itself, or to this post with instructions on how to filter. Or just link straight to the reddit comment in question. It's my 1000th post, so I figured I'd do something special. Like many of us, I've been concerned with notable info from Reddit that is difficult to find. So I decided to go on the hunt and pull together as much as I can. The following link is to an Excel sheet (you don't need Excel, it will work completely in the browser) with 749 WoBs, some of which were quite hard to find. https://1drv.ms/x/s!AplGxH8o0rfpnV1bJxqsi4NxrKMC I know there are some mistakes in my data; I have a couple WoBs without dates, a few where I mistyped dates and have a WoB from the future, apparently. If you see any of them, feel free to point them out to me in this thread. Also, I only concerned myself with cosmere-relevant stuff, no Reckoners, no WoT, no general writing advice, none of Brandon's terrible jokes. Many of the quotes from the AMAs will already be in Theoryland, but I haven't done a cross-reference to check on the exact extent. Brandon has a habit of returning to an old AMA to keep on answering stuff after people have stopped watching to catalogue it, so the 2015 AMA especially has a lot of stuff that didn't make it to Theoryland. The earlier ones, maybe not so much. I don't have any tags in here. I am working on tagging them in my own database, but that doesn't carry over well to a simple Excel sheet. So, the best way to find something is using a keyword search. If you click the arrow on the right of the first column header, you can use text filters to search for particular words or phrases. Oh, and I did break up any comment that had multiple questions, which should make it easier to skim through stuff when you've run a search. You can also look by specific thread. If you go to the right, you will see many columns for events: 5 AMAs, 6 Oathbringer updates, one Secret History update, and a single column to capture anything that isn't in one of the threads Brandon started. To select all from a particular event, click on the arrow, select "Filter..." and unselect Blanks. (If there's an "x" in that column, it means it was from that event.) This is useful for two reasons: first of all, I think the best way to become familiar with WoBs is to look through an event report, rather than look by subject. And second, this should make it easy to add to Theoryland. (Heyo, @WeiryWriter and @Ted aka WinespringBrother.) It's a little scrappy, but it's functional. Hopefully this will all make it into Theoryland, in which case it doesn't need to look nice here. And anyone else can feel free to download a copy or take this data to use in your own WoB catalogue. But, for now, it's not too complicated to search through here. That being said, I waited way too long to start doing this, and I am missing a good chunk of stuff. Theoryland did a good job cataloguing Brandon's WoBs up through 2013. Due to how Reddit lets you view past comments, I can only look back to April 2016 for anything that isn't a topic Brandon himself started. So, there are just over two years of Brandon's random comments on other peoples' threads that we're missing. I hope he was doing most of his WoB-dropping in the 2015 AMA and in his various Oathbringer updates. But, if you have anything that I am missing from that time period (looking at you, @Kurkistan), please send me links, so I can include them. So, there you have it. Happy 1000th post to me, and good hunting to all of you.
  18. 70 points
    This is a fork of a hastily-posted and incorrect previous theory that had some very interesting replies. I wanted to write up everything in a new thread with references; special thanks to CaptainRyan, Wandering Investor, lookingglass, Subvisual Haze, and ROSHtaFARian2.0. THEORY: The third Bondsmith is bonded to a large and powerful spren that powers the Urithiru fabrial network. For simplicity, we will refer to this spren as "the Sibling." Three Siblings and Three Bondsmiths In OB Ch 64, Dalinar talks to the Stormfather about the other Bondsmiths: Later, in OB Ch 111, they discuss the three siblings again: It has long been suspected that there are three Bondsmiths because there are three Shards on Roshar. We have long assumed that the Nightwatcher was the second spren, which the Stormfather seems to be confirming in this quote. Following this logic, the conclusion would be that Odium also has a "giant" spren and that the third Bondsmith has the job of wrangling them. I assumed this in my original post, and assumed that the Sibling referenced by the Radiants (see below) was clearly not a voidspren and thus must be the Nightwatcher. However, thanks to the clever people in that thread, I think this must be false. As an aside, in the WoR Ch 44 epigraph we learn that one Bondsmith "was in continual accompaniment of Urithiru." Honor and Cultivation When thinking about Honor and Cultivation, it's important to remember that their Vessels were lovers, so it seems reasonable that they would have children. It would be totally reasonable for the children of Shards to be spren, I think. Based on the Stormfather's language, I think now that the Sibling is a combination of Honor and Cultivation. In retrospect, this makes much more sense than having the Bondsmith be Connected to a big, nasty voidspren. There is no reason to believe it is impossible, but I don't think that Odium would allow a particularly powerful Spren to lend its aid to the enemy. In fact, as the Bondsmiths are the most powerful individuals in Honor's magic system, I find it unnatural that they would be Connected to Odium. The Radiant's thoughts on the Sibling We know much about the Sibling from the gemstones left by the Radiants. They are generically supportive of the entity, which suggests that it is not of Odium or the Unmade. We can also draw some conclusions: I think it safe to assume that the Sibling was a large spren, and either withdrew from men or was forced away (Ch 68 and 70 epigraphs, respectively). Note that zircon is the stone for the Elsecallers, experts on spren and Shadesmar. The Sibling leaving was at least correlated in time with the abandonment of Urithiru and possibly of the Knights themselves (Ch 87 epigraph): The Urithiru fabrial I'm presenting this theory a bit backwards - the original impetus came from my earlier thread and the many good replies therein. Nevertheless, I think much of the logic still hangs together. Urithiru is an interesting place for many reasons. Even in the book, Shallan, Renarin, and Navani have already realized the tower is huge fabrial (Ch 44, 44, and 109): However, they can't simply turn it back on by re-infusing the pillar (Ch 44): This seems to imply that the spren that powered the fabrial is no longer present. It's important to note that the pillar would hold an almost unimaginable amount of Investiture. In fact, if we wanted to store a spren with power on order of the Stormfather, I think we would need something like that pillar. Lastly, the tower provides magical defenses against the Unmade (Ch 73): Cultivation's influence on the tower My original idea had the Nightwatcher pegged as the inhabitant because of the following quotes (Ch 69 and 107): The first seems to imply that growing things in Urithiru was relatively easy up until something went wrong, and the second seems to imply that the issues persist. Urithiru is supposed to be the Knight's stronghold on Roshar, and having a good food source is part of outlasting a siege. As Urithiru was almost certainly created by Honor and probably Cultivation for humans, it would be not very logical to fail to provide a source of food for the tower. But given the climate, plants would ordinarily struggle to grow. A major Splinter of Cultivation living nearby would probably be more than enough to compensate, allowing for plant life. It is entirely possible that the plants growing are just another part of the fabrial network, but this does not change the conclusion if we believe the captured spren would still need to be significantly related to Cultivation. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER If we take the Stormfather's words literally and keep in mind Honor and Cultivation's romantic relationship, it seems entirely reasonable that the third Sibling is mix of their two powers. This Sibling is mentioned multiple times in reference to Urithiru, which has been established as an enormous fabrial. Putting these together, we can reason that this third Sibling powers the Urithiru fabrial and encourages plant growth. The third Bondsmith bonds this Sibling, which prompts them to stay in Urithiru. When this Sibling leaves Urithiru (either willingly or not), the tower's defenses fail and the Unmade can move in. How and why this occurs, how it is related to the Recreance, and the current status of the Sibling (apart from hurt and asleep) are all up for debate. The importance of Urithiru suggests that someone will need to find the Sibling and convince them to come back. Final thoughts My sincere thanks to everyone in the prior thread who contributed to these ideas. I welcome all commentary, and look forward to learning more. As a postscript, in my mind I imagine the Sibling as a huge warrior in Shadesmar, fighting off the influence of the Unmade.
  19. 70 points
    A little while ago I noticed that the map of the Rosharan supercontinent had latitude lines called out along the sides, so I decided to digitize it and make a "modern-style" map of Roshar. The map I ended up making is reprojected into an orthographic projection (meaning the map seems like we're looking at the planet from space). I really had a good time making it and wanted to share with the community. Enjoy! PS - I checked with the Inestimable Peter Ahlstrom and he said my placement of the landmass on the latitude/longitude lines was "very close to spot-on."
  20. 69 points
    Hey everyone! It’s finally the day we have all been waiting fo-- Oh wait. No, not that day. You still have to wait a week for Oathbringer. But it is the day that I have been working towards for a couple years now. The idea that it is finally out is a tiny bit terrifying, but Harmony is it exciting as well. Before we get into it, we should all thank Theoryland and all those who contributed to their database. They have done a great service to our fandom. We just wanted something more tailored to us, with more features and active development. Here it is. Arcanum, the Brandon Sanderson Archive: https://wob.coppermind.net Take a look. There are over 7,700 entries in there. We did not simply copy and paste a bunch of text from the old Theoryland database. We hunted down audio from many years back and put it into our new system. The result is this for any audio we have found: You can press play on any entry and get the audio of that exact moment. No longer will you have to take it on someone's word on what Brandon said; you can just press play and listen to it! In the process of getting all these audio sources into Arcanum, we found that there were mistakes in some old transcriptions, or things that were never transcribed at all, existing only in heavily paraphrased form. As such we have worked hard to ensure the accuracy of everything that has been inputted into Arcanum. This is trickier than it may sound, as while our brains are good at registering the meaning of what someone is saying, they aren’t always so good at remembering the exact phrasing. If the transcriber is not careful, those mistakes can add up to the opposite of whatever was intended. Our goal is to have a centralized place where everyone can reliably find all audio and all quotes for many years to come, and do so in such a way that we can have these quotes be as accurate as we can get. WoBs for which we don't have audio (or are directly written by Brandon) are always marked as paraphrased, so you won't have to guess which things are accurate and which are not. Audio is the best way we can ensure accuracy, and so we put it front and center. (One note on Words of Brandon: signing lines can be very long, and Brandon's memory is not perfect. Brandon can make mistakes. Brandon can also change his mind when actually writing a book, instead of just talking about it. We do try to denote things like this whenever we catch them, but, at the end of the day, the books are the true sources.) What's in Arcanum right now? It has been a massive undertaking for our small team to import every WoB ever and update things to our new standards with transcriptions. We have a ton of WoBs--over 7,700 of them. A lot of this is from Theoryland, but there’s a good chunk that is brand-new stuff which is not. We have: Every annotation for the main books, including those for The Way of Kings Every relevant quote from Reddit and Twitter we could find Everything from 2014 to the present is fully imported* That includes several events where the full transcriptions were never made available, which include some never-seen-before WoBs: Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing White Sand vol. 1 Orem signing White Sand vol. 1 release party Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 Calamity release party Bands of Mourning release party Shadows of Self Portland signing Shadows of Self release party Firefight release party We are not yet finished importing everything from Theoryland, but we wanted to make sure that Arcanum was live and ready to go for the release of Oathbringer. We focused on events 2014 and forward as that was the point where the WoB situation began to deteriorate and things started to become harder to find. We do have various things from before 2014, most notably the annotations. We also have the A Memory of Light tour in (the Brandon related stuff, not the Wheel of Time stuff, which we are not importing), much of the Steelheart tour, and much of the Alloy of Law tour. We also have some very old, yet foundational events like the Hero of Ages TWG Q&A (where we learned about Shards for the first time), the Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A, and other text events. All said, we needed our Arcanists to transcribe things and we decided to spend our efforts on new things. After the Oathbringer tour we will get these older years inputted, and when there is audio, get it into our new format. If you're wondering whether Arcanum replaces Theoryland, the answer is yes, but on some very old things, we aren't going to do it just like Theoryland did. Theoryland made an event for every one of Brandon's blogs in the beginning, and we are not doing this. Many of Brandon's blogs are updates, announcements, and other things that are not important to search. We are just grabbing the parts of Brandon's blogs that are relevant. There are also a lot of interviews that Brandon did with media outlets that is more of a promotional nature and aren't important for Arcanum. Long story short, we will finish the project of getting everything relevant from Theoryland to Arcanum, but we felt you still should get Arcanum now, because we can wait a bit on some of the older Theoryland stuff being imported. (*There are some events that have general Q&As which are not transcribed yet, but those contain very little relevant information. We will get them in soon.) Other Big Improvements on Theoryland Arcanum has made big strides over Theoryland in usability. Arcanum has a totally responsive design, so it works great on your phone or desktop. Search Searching functionally on Theoryland, or rather the lack thereof, has become an unfortunate meme in the fandom in recent years. As such we’ve made sure our search works. We’ve also made sure to include options to give you more control to fine-tune the results you get. Citations In Theoryland it’s not immediately obvious how to link directly to an entry. For Arcanum we’ve made sure that it's easy to grab a citation, just click that Share link for the direct URL for the entry. You also get this link even in the search results page. How to help One of our primary goals with Arcanum is to make the transcribing process and input process are transparent, rather than be a mysterious cabal of people who input stuff into Theoryland at a very slow pace. And we need your help, too. The biggest help you can be is if you have a recording of a signing or something Brandon said, upload it! This was why we worked so hard to get Arcanum ready for the Oathbringer tour, so we are no longer in the Shadowdays where audio was hidden in random places. We can now have audio in one centralized location where we can transcribe it. Do you have audio? Adding it is easy! Go find the relevant event--we have most events made except very old one; Oathbringer tour events are already added--and on the upper right of the event, click "Upload Sources". Easy! If you get new audio on the Oathbringer tour, don't delay, let's get it into Arcanum so we can transcribe it immediately. If you have old audio from years past, we'd also love to see get that, too! Right now our Arcanist team has done transcribing efforts, and they are awesome and fast. But our plan was always to let the general public assist in transcribing too. This functionality is currently been the top programming priority, but it isn't ready right now. At the very least, you can upload audio. Stay tuned in our Arcanum forum or our Arcanum channel in Discord, and help coordinate event audio and transcription efforts there! Arcanum is a community effort. We can't do this without you. We hope with your help the Oathbringer tour will go smoothly and we'll get new information to you sooner than ever. In 2018, our software will go open source and if you're a web developer, you can go contribute there! If you're in another fandom and you'd like a system like this, you'll be able to make your own installation of it. Credits Arcanum has been in the works, in one form or another, for over two and a half years now. We're thrilled (and terrified) that you all finally get to see it, and we hope it will be everything you wanted it to be. We want to tell you everyone on the team. Our administrative consists of me, Mestiv, and Chaos. I suppose I'm ultimately in charge of this project, and I've transcribed a ton of things. Mestiv is our amazing coder who suggested all of this audio stuff, which changed everything. He's a rock star, and is the real hero. Chaos does a lot of the managerial work keeping everything organized. He also headed up the design team, and helped whip our Arcanists in the right direction to get things ready for launch. Special thanks to Joe_ST, who coded a previous incarnation of our WoB archive and always has sensible suggestions to improve things. Without Joe, we never could have gotten here. Our Arcanists: We invited a bunch of people who provided input, bug testing, and most importantly, worked their butts off inputting and transcribing things. Argent Blightsong Calderis Comatose Dragon13 Extesian jofwu Kandra Kurkistan Oversleep Pagerunner Windrunner Some special thanks: jofwu is a god at transcribing difficult audio (don't listen to the Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken audio unless you want to cry), Argent is an absolute machine of work-ethic and did so much, and somehow Calderis did all his Arcanum work on his phone. Last, but not least, thank you KChan for the beautiful logo, and moru for design help! We really hope you love Arcanum. There's still plenty of work to do on it, but it's amazing. Best, The Arcanum Team
  21. 67 points
    Hold the secret that broke the Knights Radiant. You may need it to destroy the new orders when they return. - WOR Chapter 84 epigraph (decoded) Now, as the Windrunners were thus engaged, arose the event which has hitherto been referenced: namely, that discovery of some wicked thing of eminence -- WOR Chapter 38 epigraph These epigraphs strongly imply that the Recreance was precipitated by the KR discovering some terrible fact. It doesn't seem to have been tied to any corruption that may have crept in to the Orders (the taxes for travel through Urithiru, etc.) Now, here's something anomalous. The Desolations devastated Roshar, killing something like 90 percent of the human population and knocking technology back to the stone age, at least sometimes. Yet when Honor was Splintered (after the Recreance -- he remembers it in the visions) there seems to have been no such cataclysm. Aharietiam is still seen as "the Last Desolation", which it wouldn't be if another apocalyptic event had occurred since the Recreance. Similarly, Odium Splintered Devotion and Dominion on Sel. But humanity on that planet survived; he didn't destroy the planet, depopulate it, or warp it into some kind of a hellscape. So why the devastating, lethal Desolations on Roshar before the Recreance? Because humans were fighting on Honor's side. Odium doesn't really care about killing humans, except incidentally to getting at the Shards; nothing much below the power-level of a Herald registers on his "radar screen" Therefore, my proposal for the Secret That Broke The KR is: Honor's been feeding us into a meat grinder for thousands of years to protect Cultivation and a couple of alien gods we'll never see. If we let Odium win, nothing bad really happens to humanity. Honor betrayed us. Our spren have been in on it, all along - they're pieces of Honor. So let him die.
  22. 66 points

    From the album The Knight Radiant

    Hello all, I`ve been planning to draw miss Shallan for some time now, but alas time is never on my side. I`m not sure now most of you imagined a cryptic, but I`ve always had this image of light bend in different shades in our world. I took some liberty with the design as every artist would, but still tried to be as faithful to the book as possible. Hope you enjoy my take on this red haired master of illusion.
  23. 66 points
    Hello all, As we all know, until recently, the Shin had possession of nine out of ten Honorblades. They Lost Nale's when he stole it back (breaking the oath to leave them behind. Shame Nale, shame) and they lost Jezrien's when Szeth got taken out. We get an inkling as to how they find them in the first place during Dalinar's visions. When he brings Jasnah and Navani into the vision of the "final" battle, and they see Jezrien declare that it is over, the desolations have ended forever, they see the ring of nine blades, and they see a Shin scout find the blades first. It is not a huge leap to see the Shin declaring themselves the guardians of these blades and spiriting them off quietly. Especially seeing as we have direct confirmation from Szeth that they have them all, and he has trained with all of the surges. Then the Shin go on to become one of the most peaceful societies on Roshar, valuing those that add over those that take away. While they train warriors with the blades, they consider them to be the lowest rank in society. But they still train them. As a whole, they are isolationist, and rarely venture outside of their lands. I assume mostly to avoid violating the prohibition against walking on stone or interacting with the more other societies on Roshar. Except that one time they invaded. At some point in the past, the Shin invaded the rest of Roshar, for some reason. This was mentioned a few times in Oathbringer, the first instance I believe was in chapter 2. Why would they do this? Why would an isolationist culture that elevates farmers and artisans above all else decide to go to war with the rest of the world? Because the core of their society decided 4500 years ago that they, the Shin, would self appoint themselves the sole guardians and protectors of the Honorblades. Keeping them safe and out of circulation, not being used, until the Herald's ostensibly return to reclaim them. Who knows how much death and destruction they avoided by hiding them away from the world. They managed this secret for hundreds of years, peacefully. Until something changed that forced them to invade. I think that something was the Recreance. Dalinar saw in his vision of Feverstone Keep that hundreds of sets of Plate and Blade were dropped that day, far more than is currently in circulation. Enough to plunge the world into endless war over them. And most of them disappeared, so only a handful remain. Those that remain are high profile items, with detailed histories. But only recently (the last few hundred years) did scholars discover that they could add a gem to the hilt to allow a bearer to bond the blade, allowing them to summon and dismiss them at will. I think that the Shin invasion happened after the Recreance, but before bearers could bond their blades. I think the purpose of the invasion was that the Shin view themselves as the guardians of the Herald's blades and the Radiant's blades, and they invaded to take the blades and plate out of circulation. I think they are sitting on a stockpile that they will never use, to keep the rest of the world from destroying themselves. I think they stole as much as they could, and killed where they had to to get these. And then they retreated to their lands with their hidden stockpile, to wait for the return of the Heralds and Radiants, to keep the weapons safe. And they bunkered down. Complete Isolation. They don't leave, and let no one in. During Rysn's Interlude in WoK, it is mentioned that no outsider may progress beyond a certain point by either her or Vstim (I think, I will look for confirmation of that in that interlude). The rest of the world does not suspect they have them, because anyone else would have used them with pride, but the Shin view it as a shame, so they hid the blades and they disappeared from history. Then Szeth being declared Truthless takes on another light. If they are guarding that large a stockpile, thousands of weapons worth kingdoms, against the return of the Herald's and Radiants, having someone start saying they are back is a Big Deal. They don't want to flood the world with that much destructive power. They are afraid to. Far easier to outcast the single voice out of fear and keep their heads buried. They are watching for the return of Radiance, and terrified by what it would mean. The Shin have been preparing for this Desolation since the last one, but they don't want it to be true. They have been on high alert for thousands of years hoping this would never come, and are trying to find any valid reason to deny that it is hear, because it would mean they have to unleash death upon the world, when they value life. They are terrified, and they have all the shardblades. What do you think? Are the Shin a good candidate for possessing the missing blades? Was the Shin Invasions a cover for recovering the blades and plate left by the Recreance? Or am I off base? And I apologize if someone else already thought of and mentioned this elsewhere. I have not seen it posted, so I hope I'm original, but it would not surprise me if someone else got there first.
  24. 64 points
    Trailer for the Way of Kings. Wit's voice: When you beat an iron sword relentlessly, it hardens. When you leave it alone, it rusts away. Let me tell you a story. =o=o=o=o=o The party, camera panning around the revellers. We see spren floating around, we see Jasnah looking disapproving and Dalinar dead drunk, but only briefly. We see a flash of White as the Assassin stalks down a corridor. Two guards notice him and charge. The Assassin bursts into light. Cut to Szeth by the dead body of the King, kneeling. "I'm sorry." =o=o=o=o=o= "We came here for Vengeance, but all I see if frivolity and competition." Dalinar from behind, looking over the Shattered Plains and the arrayed warcamps.Adolin averts his eyes. Sadeas snorts. "Why can't you just relax? Why can't you be just like everyone else?" "I cannot be like everyone else." Sadeas leaves, laughing. "That honor of yours is going to get you killed some day." =o=o=o=o=o=o=o Voiceover: There are two kinds of people in this world, son. Those who save lives, and those who take lives. A young Kal, working in the surgery with his father: "What about those who kill to protect?" A battlefield on a rocky landscape, from the eyes of Cenn. Kaladin leading them into battle. The Shardbearer. White flash, cut to Kaladin shivering in a cage. Kaladin looks up to see Syl floating over, a tiny translucent girl. Her light shines on his face. Her voice: Why do men cry? =o=o=o=o=o=o=o Shallan's voice: “Expectation wasn't just about what people expected of you. It was about what you expected of yourself.” Shallan clutching a sketchbook, following Jasnah. Her eyes are fixed on the Soulcaster. She is smiling, cut to her in her room alone scheming and drawing plans. A cryptic voice: Let go of your lies. (fade to black) (pause) (bass drop) Szeth lashing himself to the ceiling, running towards two Shardbearers. His Blade appears in his hands. Dalinar sitting alone in a tent, screaming and writhing. Kaladin on a bridge run, screaming as blood trickles down his shoulders and arrows kill those around him Shallan in a room in a pool of blood. (fade to black) (pause) Words against A black screen as music builds to a crescendo. Speak again the Ancient oaths. "Life before Death." Lightning illuminates Kaladin before the Honor Chasm, tears mingling with rain. "Strength before Weakness." Dalinar charging at the Chasmfiend in full Shardplate to protect Elhokar "Journey before Destination." Shallan turning from a ship and running back to Khabaranth. (pause) "The Knights Radiant shall rise again." Music climaxes A shot of Szeth running among people, lashing them left and right. A shot of Shallan entering Shadesmar. A shot of Dalinar and Adolin surrounded on the Tower, shouting their final battlecries. A shot of Kaladin's boots thumping on the bridge, clearing the chasm onto the awaiting Parshendi. Syl screaming "Speak the Words!" THE STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE: THE WAY OF KINGS =o=o=o=o=o=o Wit's voice, chattily: “Can you feel it? Something just changed. I believe that’s the sound the world makes when it pisses itself.”
  25. 63 points
  26. 62 points
    Preface: Someone correct me if I'm breaking any rules here, as I just made my account a couple hours ago. I posted this theory on a King T discussion thread, but I'm thinking that it was a little off topic since that discussion was about T as a character and this is a theory about the Diagram. So pardon my ignorance if this is a breach of etiquette! Theory: The Diagram is Fake I think the Diagram itself is part of the subterfuge. As others have pointed out, the original concept of "make a deal to protect my kingdom, then become king of everything" is so simple, that I believe Odium was meant to see through it. In order for the bluff to work though, you have to make it look like you're trying, hence the takeover of JKeved. If T was so brilliant when he made the Diagram, then it stands to reason that he was smart enough to realize that Odium would be able to read/interpret it. That is the entire point. It is a classic misdirection, just on a grand scale. It's all meant to bait Odium into certain actions, presumably to put Him in a position to be vulnerable. It also stands to reason that genius T knew that Odium would never negotiate on one of T's smart days. So why put in the "negotiate from a position of strength" line? It's part of the misdirection. If Odium is confident that T and the Diagram are not a threat, then He is much more likely to let his guard down. T is playing the Severus Snape role. We are going to hate him for a long time and he is going to do some awful things. In the end though, it will be his actions that ultimately make Odium vulnerable to be defeated by someone else. Basically, I just don't accept the narrative of "Odium saw through the Diagram, therefore it is moot and T is now a traitor." Genius T knew that would happen and planned for it
  27. 61 points
    "I will not let those I can't save prevent me from saving those I can" was what I was thinking
  28. 61 points
  29. 60 points
    Greetings, friend. You may have noticed that many of the illustrations in the Stormlight Archives contain strange markings. I have determined that these markings are writing, and I have undertaken to decipher their messages. Crazy? Perhaps. But these markings are not simply decorative. They contain information about the Cosmere, hidden in plain sight. In The Way of Kings, we are introduced to the Alethi script. This is the writing system used by female scribes and scholars in Alethkar, understand? It shows up in the labels of Navani’s Notebook: Since the novel was first published in English, the labels were also “translated” into English, but Alethi letters were used to preserve the feel of the original diagrams. Each symbol stands for one letter – however Alethi has some letters that are not found in English (Th, Sh, Ch), and English has some letters that are not found in Alethi (C, Q, X, W). In Words of Radiance, we learn more about the languages of Roshar. Alethi script reappears, with greater variety. Navani’s Notebook again provides straightforward diagram labels directly transliterated from English into Alethi: (Translation credit goes to cris34b: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/6418-navanis-notebook-page-406-translation/?hl=navani) Shallan’s sketchbook provides more cryptic text, friend. First spotted and translated by jcoop513, the text here is hidden, and is written phonetically so that each letter is an approximation of how it sounds when spoken aloud. Based on the context, this is most likely a page of Jasnah's notes that Shallan appropriated to use as sketchpaper. Note that the transliteration of Jasnah's writing is very different from that of Navani's. Read aloud, the passage would be thus: Translation efforts are ongoing at http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/6619-shallans-drawing-page-354-alethi-script-translation-spoilers/. KalynaAnne traced over the partially-obscured letters by hand and was able to reconstruct several missing words: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/6487-thaylen-and-alethi-glyph-translation-glyph-key-revised-418/?p=233114 Alethi is not the only language spoken on Roshar. That would be crazy. The Map of the Southern Frostlands introduces us to the written language used in Thaylenah: As with Alethi script, the Thaylen in this illustration is simply transliterated English, and can be deciphered using the following key: Thaylen people are renown for smashing their consonants together when they speak, and this is reflected in their writing. Written Thaylen has no vowels and is written vertically, understand? Both the Alethi and Thaylen pages include numerals. Just as many different nations on Earth employ Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.) is quite possible that all Vorin peoples (indeed perhaps most inhabitants of Roshar!) use the same numerals, even if their written languages differ. The numbers are written as follows: And now we come to glyphs, friend. Glyphs are written in syllables, with each syllable corresponding to a certain subcomponent of the glyph. Glyphs can be written three ways: a “standard” blocky form with syllables somewhat similar to Thaylen consonants, a “radial” form in which the glyph is warped to form a circular shape, and a “calligraphic” form in which the glyph can be warped into any shape. Often, the shape of a calligraphic glyph is reminiscent of the word it contains. Extra lines that do not represent syllables can be added to enhance the effect. For instance, a bookseller might advertise the name of his shop with a glyph shaped to resemble a book, understand? Many men in Alethkar are illiterate, relying on their wives or sisters to read documents to them aloud, but most can recognize certain important glyphs based on their shape alone. Alethi glyphs are not simply transliterations of English, but represent words in the Alethi language. The esteemed jofwu has compiled images of all known glyphs in another thread. My efforts to decipher the Alethi glyphs are ongoing, friend, but I present here what I speculate thus far: Please refer to the further pages in this thread for the latest developments in the 17th Shard's ongoing efforts to decipher these glyphs. Original first post, for posterity:
  30. 57 points
    Boys, find yourselves a spren like Syl.
  31. 56 points
    So let’s talk Renarin, shall we? Now, if you fine folks are anything like myself, you might have found yourself confused by some of the reveals that Oathbringer brought about regarding Renarin and his powers. This was a twist that I saw coming a long way off, and so I was more than ready when we found out that Renarin had been affected by a voidish corruption and that this was the reason for his strange and ominous visions. If you’d like to see how WoR foreshadowed this moment, you can check out my theory Renarin’s Visions and Truthwatching and see all the reasoning for this twist. However, what I want to do here today is get into the nitty gritty of what’s really going on. Is Renarin a Voidbinder or a Surgebinder or both? Is Glys a Voidspren? How do the visions work? How did this happen? All those good questions are the ones that I’d like to try to tackle here. Theory Disclaimer: Most of these things have not been confirmed in canon and Brandon has been cagey about answering or confirming. However, this explanation is the one which seems most plausible to me based on the evidence at hand. So let me do a bullet point run-down of what I think is happening: Glys is actually a valid Truthwatcher spren, not a voidspren. Renarin is a valid Truthwatcher Radiant and therefore a Surgebinder with access to the surges of Progression and Illumination. Renarin uses Stormlight to power his surges, just like other Radiants. Glys has been corrupted by the Unmade Sja-anat. As a result of this corruption, in addition to his normal Truthwatcher powers, Renarin is afflicted by involuntary visions of the future which neither he nor Glys can control. The points above are those that I feel are fairly concrete, and I’ll go into the reasoning behind those ideas later below. However, upon this assumed situation, I believe that the following ideas are viable possibilities. The following points are less certain than those above, but these are the ideas that seem the most plausible to me, given the circumstances: The powers that the Fused display are expressions of Voidbinding. Renarin’s future visions are possibly also an expression of Voidbinding, but his other powers are not. If Renarin’s Voidbinding and Fused Voidbinding work in the same way, it is possible that all Voidbinding powers come from the influence of the Unmade, in that Sja-anat can grant Voidish future visions while other Unmade grant different powers, like illusions, frictionlessness, or gravity, as we see other Fused use. And upon these assumptions, we find several questions arise regarding the nature of the situation: If both Renarin and the Fused are Voidbinders, is a spren involved in the granting of Voidbinding powers to the Fused in the same way they were granted to Renarin? If Voidish powers are each affiliated with an Unmade, why are there seemingly 10 powers on the Voidbinding chart if there are only 9 Unmade? Does Odium grant a Bondsmith equivalent himself? If Voidbinding powers are not granted by the Unmade, how are they gained? In what way are Renarin and the Fused similar in situation that grants them the same powers? What caused the hypergraphia that accompanied the visions of the Everstorm, and why does that no longer happen when Renarin gets visions? All of which are fascinating, but unfortunately, more likely to get a RAFO than an answer in a signing line. The first I have already asked and been RAFO’d and I believe the others are going to be answered similarly, if attempted. If I had to guess, these are reveals that will happen in Renarin’s flashback book. Considering that book is in the back five, we’ve probably got a while to wait. Alas. Regardless, no use fretting over the information we don’t have when it’s so much more fun to dissect the information we do have. And Oathbringer certainly gave us plenty to dissect. So, let’s take the situation that I’ve outlined above and break it down with some textual evidence to help explain where these ideas come from. Glys the Truthwatcher spren and Renarin the Radiant This is one of the easiest points to guess, considering the wealth of information we have on the topic. A lot of this is due to the Renarin point of view chapters in Part 5. (Thank you, Brandon, I owe you my soul for those.) Renarin’s surges seem to work perfectly normally. He heals people with Regrowth at several points in the novel, fairly naturally. I believe we see a slight, unconscious use of Illumination in the scene with Adolin and Gallant, when Renarin makes a perfected vision of Adolin appear. Renarin also mentions trying to train with Shallan in using Illumination, but he has difficulty with it. Now, it could be assumed that Renarin’s failure to grasp Illumination is a sign that his surges are wrong, and yet I think this is simply another example of a Radiant finding one surge more easy to pick up than another. Shallan is naturally better at Illumination than Transformation. Lift is better at Abrasion than Progression. It seems common enough that Radiants have an affinity for one of their surges over the other. For Renarin, I believe this is that Progression is easier than Illumination. In addition to his surges, Renarin’s other expressions of Radiant abilities seem normal. Glys is able to form as a Shardblade, which no one deems as looking out of the ordinary. It also functions to open Oathgates. His healing factor works as the other Radiants’, albeit augmented by his power of Progression to make healing extremely rapid. Most tellingly, his powers use Stormlight, just as all the others do. Ivory says that there is a rightness to the bond between Renarin and Glys and that spren of Odium should not be able to bond with humans under normal circumstances. Through all of these things, one can assume that Renarin and Glys have a valid Nahel bond and are bonded as Radiant and spren, just as the others are. Sja-anat’s Corruption However, in addition to the normal suite of a Truthwatcher’s powers and the Nahel bond, there is another factor in the mix: Sja-anat. When Sja-anat speaks with Shallan she speaks of her son when telling Shallan that she is not an enemy, as though he would vouch for her. This is undoubtedly Glys. It’s interesting to note that this seems to indicate that Glys is working with Sja-anat, possibly willingly. Perhaps she approached a Radiant spren hoping that by giving changing one of them, she would have an ally who would help the Radiants trust her. Or perhaps it’s something else. Hard to say at this point. Regardless, it is because of this that Renarin can see the future, and why he is consumed with visions. Though it is possible that other Truthwatchers have a manner of foresight, I don’t believe it would manifest as Renarin’s does. Ivory states that future sight is a power of Odium, as the Vorins believe. I believe Sja-anat has been hoping to swap sides and is using Glys as a way to do it, as well as helping Shallan instead of killing them when they went through the Oathgate. Voidbinding So in the end, what is Voidbinding? Hard to say with certainty, since despite how often we see Voidbinders, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of answers about it. Working under the assumption that the Fused’s powers are Voidbinding we can see a few things, at least: Voidbinding seems to line up with surges in many cases, as we see Fused manipulating gravity and friction, just like Kaladin and Lift. It’s hard to tell if this means that Renarin’s corrupted sight is also a form of Voidbinding as well, since it doesn’t seem to line up with a Surge the way the others are. The Listener Song of Secrets speaks of Nightform, a form of power which can see the future, which seems as though it might be more similar to what Renarin can do than anything else we’ve seen. The question is, Renarin is getting his void-powers from a corrupted spren, but I don’t believe that the Fused have a corrupted spren giving them powers, which initially made me think that Renarin’s visions were not Voidbinding like the Fused. Now, I’m not so sure. For the moment, I think I will lean toward the idea that Renarin’s visions and the powers of the Fused are both Voidbinding somehow, even if we don’t have details to confirm anything either way. There’s just not enough answers for the moment. Time will tell. If anyone can get answers out of Brandon regarding this topic, I’d be greatly appreciative but I doubt he’s going to answer things. Conclusion There’s a lot that we just don’t know yet, but I’m excited to see where this goes in the future. For now, this is my best guess at what’s really going on until we get some more information on all of it. One thing that hasn’t changed is that I adore Renarin with all of my heart and somehow Brandon continues to write his plotline and character arc in ways which are intensely fascinating to me. Oathbringer has been a triumph and I can’t wait to see what’s in store!
  32. 55 points

    From the album The Knight Radiant

    As Always happens the minute I finish an image I think of a better way to do it. The battle with MM was incredible at least in my mind. I felt like the previous image didn't capture the hugeness of Re-Shephir enough and besides I wanted to make a few figures including Adolin in his Armor. LOved this scene from the moment I`ve read it! Finally it's done.
  33. 55 points
    Shallan: "Why are you sad, Kal?" Kaladin: "Someone killed my brother. What about you?" Shallan: "Someone killed MY brother. Jasnah, why are you queen now?" Jasnah: "Well, someone killed my brother. Someone remind me what we're all doing here." Dalinar: "Somebody killed my brother too." Vin pops in: "Did someone say dead brother?" Marsh: "My brother was also killed." Llarimar: "Wait, is this a dead brother club? Can I join?" Dalinar: "Also, I killed my significant other. With fire." Dilaf: "I also killed my significant other with fire." Wax: "I killed my significant other. Twice." Elend: "My wife killed my brother. Renarin and Adolin: *eye each other nervously*
  34. 55 points
    “They named it the Final Desolation, but they lied. Our gods lied. Oh, how they lied. The Everstorm comes. I hear its whispers, see its stormwall, know its heart.” "Do you mind, Kobold? I'm trying to watch the Weather Channel."
  35. 54 points
  36. 54 points
  37. 54 points
    I found Hoid. LOL. That must have been what started the event that Hoid referred to when he talked about spending "the better part of a year in a large stomach, being digested" back in WoR.
  38. 53 points
    I have recently been doing some re-reading of the Stormlight Archive, and some new clues stood out to me about the nature of the third Bondsmith spren. So, naturally, I wrote a whole essay about it. Proceed at your own risk! I don't think I've seen this theory discussed before, but my apologies if it has been. (Also, it's late, so I don't promise coherency.) My theory is that The Sibling is a spren that is somehow related to or representative of the moons of Roshar, particularly Nomon. Further, I think the destruction of New Natanan and the Shattered Plains may have been what harmed The Sibling and caused it to “slumber.” Still reading? Ok, here’s why I think these things: The main basis for this theory comes from the scene in which Shallan, Adolin, and Bridge Four confront the Midnight Mother. During that confrontation, Shallan notes the artwork: This seems to be a depiction of all the spren that are capable of forming bonds with Radiants. That means that the first three spren Shallan describe are actually depictions of the Bondsmith spren. So we have a cloud of energy; that seems to obviously be the Stormfather. We have a woman in the shape of the tree; this could be the Nightwatcher. That leaves us with a man hovering before a blue disc. This description is uncannily similar to the end paper art we have of Ishar. (Here) You’ll note that the discs in the background definitely look like the three moons of Roshar, with the smaller Salas and Mishim on either side of Nomon. So, why is there a picture of Ishar and the moons next to depictions of the Radiant spren? My thought is that the moons must somehow be related to The Sibling. (Of course, the other argument is that these are not depictions of the Bondsmith spren, but actually of Honor and Cultivation. But does that make Ishar some secret shard? Did people view him as on a level equal to Honor and Cultivation? He does seem pretty insistent that he is a god right now. But still, I’m going to stick with the Bondsmith spren depiction idea for now.) Additional support for the idea that the moons are related to the third Bondsmith spren: I find it interesting that the Stormfather always refers to this sibling in the plural. This could be purely to obscure the gender. Or it could be because the spren represents multiple things, rather like a collective noun. In this case, we have a spren that represents the moon, and Roshar just so happens to have three of them. And further, it’s understandable why the Stormfather refers to this spren as his sibling, but why does everybody else seem to call it The Sibling? Sibling to what? In the epigraphs, even a former Radiant, who should have more knowledge about who/what the third spren is, refers to it as the Sibling, as if that’s the only name it goes by. If it’s just because it’s the sibling Bondsmith spren, then why do Radiants refer to the Stormfather by his unique name, but not the Sibling? I find it interesting that the Shin refer to the moons as the three sisters. And Wit, in his story of Nomon, refers to the relationships among the moons as siblings. Speaking of that story that Wit told (and Sigzil attempted to tell, unsuccessfully) If my theory is in any way right, and if there is any truth at all in Wit’s story, then it brings some interesting implications about the relationship between Nomon’s spren and the Natanatan people, maybe even giving a clue as to what happened to the Sibling. The story tells about how Mishim traded places with Tsa, a mortal, and Tsa conceived a child with Nomon. We know that the story alludes to the fact that Natanatans had Aimian blood in them. But I think it may also be a hint about the Sibling (assuming I’m right about the connection with Nomon). Interestingly, this story is the only other mention of siblings, besides the Sibling in Oathbringer. Also, purely coincidentally I’m sure, I find it interesting that the epigraphs about the Sibling begin in the chapter following Wit’s story. The story clearly establishes a connection between the people of Natanatan and Nomon. This could also imply that there’s a connection between the people of Natanatan and the Sibling. Perhaps the Sibling even originated or lived in Natanatan. Before I go any further, let’s go back to those epigraphs for a second. In them, the Elsecaller who is recording the memory seems to believe that the Sibling is withdrawing from the Radiants, not because it intended to or because the Radiants are no longer worthy, but because the cognitive reflection has changed. In other words, people are thinking about the Sibling differently, and so the Sibling has itself changed. We know that the kingdom of Natanatan was destroyed, and the Shattered Plains (once Stormseat, the capital of Natanatan) was, well, shattered. Perhaps it was this shattering and the loss of Natanatan that caused the harm to the Sibling, which caused it to withdraw. Perhaps because the people were no longer there, they were no longer thinking of the Sibling, causing it to “slumber.” Also, Wit ends his story with, Perhaps this is a reflection, again, of what happened to the Sibling. It learned of loss, somehow. The loss of Natanatan? Other Interesting Tidbits: In Way of Kings, Dalinar refers to Natanatan as the Granite Kingdom. I don’t really know if this is relevant, but stone is important on Roshar. Additionally, they were a people apparently known for building towers. Again, I think this strengthens the idea that the people of Natanatan were perhaps involved in the creation of the tower in Urithiru and also had some connection to the Sibling, which we suspect powers Urithiru. And, I find it curious that Oathbringer mentions that New Natanan was working with Dalinar, but we hear literally nothing about them: This seems fishy to me. I think those New Natanans are going to become important. And lastly, we have this little bit from an interlude, which has some interesting mythology surround the people of Natanatan. Well, the night is darkest is just before the rising of Nomon. Also, an Everstorm really helps to make things dark. Perhaps we need the people of New Natanatan to come back, to restore the Sibling and thus restore the tower. And this lengthy essay doesn’t even begin to get into possible connections with Aimia. Or what on earth Roshar Ishar is doing in that depiction of the moons in Urithiru. And, is there any significance to the son Tsa had, the son born to be a god?
  39. 53 points
  40. 52 points
    In the WoK, Hoid tells the story of a group of people who committed horrible things under the orders of a king only to discover that that king had been dead for years, and that they were responsible for their horrible actions. The dead king is discovered in the passage below: “Derethil and his men came out of the tower a short time later, carrying a desiccated corpse in fine robes and jewelry. ‘This is your emperor?’ Derethil demanded. ‘We found him in the top room, alone.’ It appeared that the man had been dead for years, but nobody had dared enter his tower. They were too frightened of him." In the final chapter Dalinar finally realizes that the Almighty hadn't been talking in response to him, that he hadn't been following orders but had been misinterpreting the visions. He then learns that the Almighty is dead. The title of this final chapter? In the Top Room.
  41. 52 points
    Next time on the Stormlight Archive! Adolin thinks "Don't let them see that I killed Sadeas." Shallan thinks "Don't let them see that I recognize Mraize." Mraize thinks "Dont let them see that I'm just here to freak out Shallan for the lulz." Ialai thinks "WHY IS EVERYONE ELSE MAKING POKERFACES?!"
  42. 52 points
    Probably more cheerful than people were thinking, but I thought it could be amusing. The Lord Ruler's "You're Welcome"
  43. 52 points
    J. R. R. Tolkien * Forty pages of info about the history of tobacco in Alethkar * (This was awesome. )
  44. 50 points
    Introduction Thus far, we've gotten pretty good glimpses of seven of the ten Surges, by at least one of the Orders that uses them. There are some Order-specific applications (like Dalinar's Spiritual Adhesion), but for the most part we've seen a lot of similarities across orders – Jasnah and Shallan both Soulcast, Szeth's Gravitation looks much the same as it did when he had an Honorblade, and Dalinar and Kaladin can both stick things together using Adhesion. Illumination has been a little funky, but that's part of the ongoing mystery surrounding Renarin. But there are three Surges that we have only seen, at most, glimpses of: Division, Cohesion, and Tension. There are legends of them in the books, we've seen the effects of their application, and Brandon has been a little forthcoming in WoBs, so we do have enough to piece together what these three Surges do. But the collective knowledge of the community is a little lax, so in this thread I’m going to collect all the information we have on these Surges, and then do some exploration and theorizing on them. Here’s my gameplan: · I’ll start off with a survey of sources about the Surge, both book references and WoBs. Then I’ll explain how I see the ‘real-life science’ would work to accomplish that. One section each for Division, Cohesion, and Tension. · The fourth section will explain a Tension/Cohesion continuity error. I’m having a chicken-or-the-egg problem trying to write this whole thing up, so you may get very confused with one of my Cohesion examples. I don’t want to break the flow of the explanation; you can jump down to the section called “Stormfather’s Error,” after the OB chapter 38 example, if it really bothers you. · In the fifth section, I’ll give a potential in-universe Rosharan explanation for these Surges, and why they’re guided by perception to behave the way they do. · In the last section, I’ll talk about Dalinar’s Unity abilities, and why I can’t figure out if they’re a Surge or not. Division Of the three, this is the one we’ve seen in action the most, although it can be a little hard to understand because it is never completely explained. The high-level overview: Division burns things. The first hint is in the very first scene in WoK: No other references in the first book. But we do get some more in the second. Jasnah references Division in WoR chapter 1: Kaladin thinks of it in WoR chapter 41. A WoB from March 14, 2017. We actually get it on-screen from a Dustbringer in OB chapter 107. “ And again, from Yelig-Nar-powered Amaram in OB chapter 120. This Surge works by breaking molecular bonds. A quick chemistry rundown: you’ve got atoms, which are the fundamental building blocks of chemistry. Carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, all those good suckers. (You can divide atoms into with protons and electrons and neutrons, and divide those in turn to smaller particles, but that’s gonna be more the realm of physicists. And because Division doesn’t split atoms, it is a purely chemical Surge.) Atoms will form bonds with one another, attaching in arrangements simple or complex to form molecules. (Think of sticking balls of clay together with toothpicks.) The oxygen molecules we breathe are made of two oxygen atoms stuck together (or bonded); nitrogen molecules are similarly two nitrogen atoms. A water molecule is an oxygen molecule bonded to two hydrogen molecules (H2O). Pure carbon doesn’t form molecules; it forms a big lattice of carbon atoms, each atom bonded to multiple other atoms. Why do atoms form bonds? Because doing so releases energy. An atom on its own is like a ball, balanced on the top of a hill. (This is called a radical.) Rolling down the hill releases energy; the ball moves faster. That’s the same principle as creating bonds; two or more radicals combining into a molecule releases energy. And then it would take energy to remove the bonds; that’s like doing work to carry the ball back up the hill. When you burn something, you break some weak bonds and create stronger bonds (with oxygen atoms). It takes a little energy to break a weak bond (called the activation energy), and a lot of energy is released over what you put in when you form a strong bond (called the heat of reaction). You carry a ball up a small hill, so you can roll it down the other side which has a much deeper valley. You release energy by burning things, even though it takes energy to get it started. So, what Dustbringers do, is they break the bonds between atoms. They can burn things without making them hot first; which is how Malata caused the table to burn. To go back to the ball-and-hill analogy, using Division bores a tunnel through the hill, letting the ball roll straight from one spot to the other without having to be carried up the intermediary height. If something crumbles to dust (one of the other stated applications of Division), it’s stuff that wouldn’t really burn well. You rearrange the atoms, it breaks up so you get a bunch of tiny pieces instead of a large whole. But the new bonds are the same energy as the old bonds, so no energy is released. It just crumbles. But what about burning stone? I’ll just take the chemical composition of granite, for example, from Wikipedia: SiO2 72.04% (silica) Al2O3 14.42% (alumina) K2O 4.12% Na2O 3.69% CaO 1.82% FeO 1.68% Fe2O3 1.22% MgO 0.71% TiO2 0.30% P2O5 0.12% MnO 0.05% That’s already all got oxygen in it. So, if you break those bonds up, and then they reform, where’s the energy come from? Using Division doesn’t just bypass the activation energy; it can add the activation energy to the system. The reverse for something “degrading.” Metal rusting releases energy; it just does it so slowly that there’s nothing noticeable. If you rust metal quickly, that’s called “oxidizing,” and my buddies used to call that “Thermite Thursdays.” So, if you’re going to make metal rust in an instant, Division needs to absorb the heat of reaction. At the end of the day, using Division appears to encompass two sub-abilities, from a chemistry perspective. It breaks chemical bonds (changing the chemical composition of the target substance). And it also can add or remove energy from the system, depending on the intent of the Surgebinder; if they want it hot, they get it hot. If they want it room-temperature, the Surge balances out the heat that would be released. I don’t see an issue with these two abilities working in tandem; unlike some of the issues I had with steelpushing in another thread (where a single variable was needed to constrain many different scenarios), a Division user isn’t inherently limited to only a single kind of application. I think they could have metal rust or burn, depending on what they felt like at that moment. Cohesion Cohesion make things moldable, remove lattices and makes something more of a liquid. The first legend is in WoK chapter 59. The second legend is from Shallan, in WoR chapter 63. (I'm going to say Cohesion, because of the "command." Division is always touch; Cohesion can be at range.) Another legend in WoR chapter 77. “ After WoR, there was a single Cohesion WoB. March 8, 2014. In the third book, we actually begin to see it in action. OB chapter 38. (If you are not satisfied that this is an application of Cohesion, feel free to jump down to Section 4, and then come back here.) And again, this time another Surge from Amaram. OB chapter 120. This Surge is partially a step above the bonds within atoms. Molecules will also form bonds; weaker bonds, but bonds nonetheless, that can hold groups of molecules together. In the liquid state, water molecules are attracted enough to one another that they stick together loosely. When you cool them down, they’ll arrange themselves into a lattice structure, and you get solid ice. The bonds between hydrogen and oxygen within the molecule are unchanged; but the molecules are interacting differently. But this Surge also overlaps a lot with Division, because not all substances have distinct molecules. It’s like I said with carbon up above; you have atoms bonded to atoms bonded to more atoms. So if you melt a diamond, you’re breaking atom-to-atom bonds. You have to be; otherwise it would remain solid. Cohesion, therefore, is a little fuzzier in what it does from a nitty-gritty analysis point of view. · It will negate electromagnetic chemical bonding (sometimes intermolecular, sometimes molecular, depending on the substance). · It will absorb energy released by breaking those bonds. · It will apply a brand new attractive force between each and every molecule or atom affected. This is weaker than what was overcome, so the substance now behaves as a liquid. · It will apply a brand new set of forces to various molecules to move them around as desired. · When it is time to resolidify, the first three effects will all be simultaneously done in reverse, reverting the substance back to its original state with no release of energy. It can’t just melt the stone, because that would require the molecules to be at a high temperature. There’s no temperature change; so it has to be a fundamental change in the nature of the chemical bonding, with associated energy balancing measures that I laid out in Division. There’s no way for Cohesion users to release energy, though, so they are more constrained in that particular sub-power. Tension The last Surge, and one that is much harder to find in the books. There are no mythological references, and no instances it is used (at least that I am confident in). But this has been a popular concept in WoBs, even with one before WoK came out. July 24, 2010. October 14, 2013. March 13, 2014. March 24, 2017. So Tension makes things rigid. This cloth example is going to make us take another step up in chemistry; large molecules, with hundreds or thousands of atoms, that form huge chains. That’s what you get with organic molecules; and these molecules can move around. Think back to our clay-ball-and-toothpick model. The balls can rotate on the toothpicks; so if you build something big enough and unsupported enough, you can move it around like an action figure. That’s what cloth does; none of its chemical bonds are breaking when it moves, but there are rotations happening within the molecules. Surface tension is a concept in fluids. Take water as an example. In the liquid state, water molecules like to be surrounded by other water molecules; they form those weak intermolecular bonds, which release a small amount of energy and are entropically favorited. So the fluid as a whole will minimize surface area, where water molecules are touching something that’s not water. But that’s not quite what happens here. This is more like armor plating; additional tension on the surface of an object. Imagine a knee brace or a cast for every molecular and intermolecular bond along the surface of an object. Using the outer layer of molecules to form a shell, the inner layers are then forced in place, and you have yourself a solid object. So that’s why I think tension is called surface tension – it acts on the surface of an object, applying an additional force to hold each atom or molecule stable in relation to the rest of the object. Unlike the other two Surges, there is nothing removed here, so there is no need for funky energy conservation loopholes. Now, I said there were no confirmed instances of Tension in the books. I know that this is a Surge Dalinar has, and he does indeed use quite a bit of magic in Oathbringer. But I’m pretty confused on which Surge it is (if it even is a Surge), so I gave that its own section at the end of the thread to discuss in-depth. But do I suspect we’ve seen this Surge applied by a modern fabrial in the half-Shard shields. They’re already solid, but the additional force applied to their surface makes them even stronger against normal attacks, and being Invested helps them out against Shardblades. OB 100. Some people believe that the spren they trapped was a spren the Radiant would bond, like a Stoneward spren. I hold to the idea of Surgespren; spren associated with each of the individual Surges. There are a couple of passages in Way of Kings that lead me down this path. The first is in WoK chapter 49. And the second is in WoK chapter 57. Bindspren for Adhesion, groundspren for Gravitation. And substancespren for tension. Whether they cause it, or are attracted to it, doesn’t much matter for the purpose of this argument; flamespren are used to produce heat, regardless of whether they cause it or not. So I think substancespren are used by this fabrial to apply Tension to the shields, making half-Shards. Stormfather’s Error I’m just presenting this as-is. I think it speaks for itself. From the OB signing tour: Fundamental Forces Now, you may find the chemistry explanations for these abilities a little underwhelming. They’re super fuzzy, tacking together a whole bunch of steps to get something that functions. To get what Brandon is shooting for, it's important to understand the distinction between real-life fundamental forces and Rosharan fundamental forces (what they call the Surges). Go back to the elemental inspiration of Surges and Essences. Essences aren't distinct elements – Tallow, Pulp, and Sinew are all organic compounds, Spark is energy (since fire is just hot air, and air is otherwise covered under Zephyr), and Talus and Lucentia are going to be structural differences, not compositional differences. But when I put it like that, you inherently know that I’m just thinking too hard about it. These things seem different – and to the Rosharan understanding, that is enough to make it significant in the Realmatic sense. It is driven by perception, not by physics. The same thing is going to be true for these final three Surges. They all operate using the electromagnetic force (just like Abrasion does) and the way molecules interact with one another or the way the components of a molecule interact. In real-life physics, there is a force that holds the atom together – the electromagnetic force that pulls protons and electrons together. That's the same force, generated by the same charges from the same subatomic particles, that is responsible for friction and for the lattice structures that many solids are composed out of. But, just like with the Essences, to line that up with strict physics is looking too closely. Rosharans aren't physicists, and their perceptions will not align with that interpretation. Here's the way they look at it: they think there is a force on the surface of an object that makes a thing rigid like a solid (Tension), a force on all an object’s components that pulls them together and makes it flow like liquid (Cohesion), and a force that spreads things apart like a gas (Division). Whichever of those forces is strongest will determine how a substance behaves, and Surgebinders increase one of those 'forces' to override the natural behavior of a substance. The magic of Surgebinding, in turn, provides specific alterations to the electromagnetic force in order to match the common perception of Roshar. This fuzzy chemistry happens with Soulcasting, too, as evidenced when Jasnah Soulcasts at Thaylen Field in OB chapter 120. We can attempt to interpret “axi” as a local word for “atom” or “molecule,” but that doesn’t pass rigor. There’s no such thing as a molecule of air; air is a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of a bunch of other things that I know because my company builds and operates air separation plants. Instead, an axi must a perception-driven way to interact with atoms and molecules, to conceptualize moving individual molecules even though the scale is unimaginably vast (one liter of air contains roughly 30,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules). Surges are also a perception-based way of performing complex interactions without needing to specifically consider all the steps required to accomplish a particular effect. Unity So, Dalinar has an ability. He Unites things. I see this power occur in three specific places: OB 59. Especially coming after the vision with the Stoneward, I understand why many people think this is Cohesion. That was my initial impression, too, before asking at that signing. But looking at it now, the stone isn’t melting. This is a Spiritual transformation; Dalinar’s not guiding the reliefs, but they are repaired nonetheless. OB 109. Here, he’s holding together the very substance of the Stormfather’s vision as Odium attempts to destroy it. These aren’t real things, but Surges have functioned before in visions, so I guess it’s real enough that Dalinar can use his powers. And lastly, in OB 119. Here’s the kicker, the climax of his abilities. This is not used on something physical; he’s grabbing the Realms. One thing I note about all three of these passages is that Dalinar has to touch things. This is another point against Cohesion being intended; that Surge has been referred to in legends as operating with a “command” or a “look.” Adhesion, on the other hand, always spreads out from physical contact with the Radiant. Most of the time, the hands, although Kaladin has done it with his feet before. One other thing I notice is that the warmth is present while he repairs the temple. This concept first appeared in the ending of Words of Radiance, a mysterious warmth and light that Dalinar felt, something the Stormfather knew nothing about. (Tying in with his mysterious Nohadon vision in Oathbringer, possibly.) Dalinar mentions this warmth several times in OB, and it stirs in him right before he says his third Oath and unites the Realms. And his last scene, when he is working on his book, he feels the warmth again. That makes me think his Unity power doesn’t come from his bond with the Stormfather at all, and has to do with Dalinar Ascending to the remnants of Honor. (I’m suspecting his mysterious Blade that he used to operate the Veden Oathgate was like an Honorblade; not a manifestation of a spren, but the raw essence of Honor’s power. As a refresher, OB chapter 16, the Stormfather confirms that Honorblades can operate Oathgates.) Lastly, his power feels like a direct opposite of a pre-Shattering magic that was revealed in the Dragonsteel chapters on Brandon’s website as SA deleted scenes: The Tzai warriors break the Spiritual, which has cascading effects on the Physical. Dalinar repairs the Spiritual, which has cascading effects on the Physical. This pre-Shattering magic appears end-neutral; the Tzai are doing direct Realmatic manipulations (which is also ascribed to the Sho Del and to the [REDACTED] magic of Jerick). At least to me, this feels very reminiscient of the sorts of things done by Shards or beings who are Ascending: the creation of the mistwraiths in Mistborn, the Returned of Warbreaker, or even the boons/curses of Nightwatcher or Cultivation. The interpretation that I’m growing fond of is that Dalinar was not Surgebinding in these scenes, he was tapping in to the greater power of Honor and using it to Unite things. That all being said, I can’t help but notice the similarities to Adhesion listed above, and Tension’s metaphysical relationship to rebuilding the whole (seeing as it acts on the surface of an object.) And when Dalinar repairs the temple, he does think that it’s because he’s a Bondsmith, which would imply that Dalinar is not the first to have these sorts of powers. The extent he uses them is greater (like summoning the perpendicularity), but that other Bondsmiths may have been able to accomplish his feats in the Thaylen temple without Ascending. I can see an Adhesion/Tension interplay going on; take two things, use Adhesion to stick them together, use Tension to redefine the boundaries as a single object. So, I’m not necessarily convinced either way. Putting the passages down on paper, his first two Unity scenes do seem much more like mundane Surgebinding than I had previously remembered. But the mysterious light, Dalinar’s Ascension, and “WE KILLED YOU” all make me think there’s something greater about Dalinar, something beyond what the Bondsmiths of the past were able to do. We’ll see if I can settle on something by the time Stormlight Four rolls around.
  45. 49 points
    While reading the Stormlight Archive books, I realized that spren are 'real life' emoticons. So naturally I made some emoticons involving spren. To use an emote, copy the link next to it in the parentheses and paste it into your post. It may be helpful to save a .txt file in notepad with all of the links you prefer to use in order to copy and paste elsewhere. Also, more cosmere-themed emoticons are under construction. Enjoy: Alespren (http://i.imgur.com/ktwO0cb.gif) Angerspren (http://i.imgur.com/D6J6xRU.gif) Anticipationspren (http://i.imgur.com/BM44BrV.gif) Awespren (http://i.imgur.com/3YfOz4J.gif) Fearspren (http://i.imgur.com/fwkGdLK.gif) Gloryspren (http://i.imgur.com/IiBDG5u.gif) (alternate version) (http://i.imgur.com/0rFKCWU.gif) Laughterspren (http://i.imgur.com/dk9SAg9.gif) (dark version) (http://i.imgur.com/twskx1S.gif) Shardblade (http://i.imgur.com/6tU3gRQ.gif) Creationspren (http://i.imgur.com/THDwKRq.gif)
  46. 49 points
    Since Brandon is Mormon, it only seems appropriate to write it in the style of the Book of Mormon. Chapter 1 1. It came to pass in the 5th year of the reign of Elhokar, King of Alethkar, that the Stormfather spake unto Dalinar saying, They must unite, or this people will be utterly destroyed. 2. And Dalinar raised up his voice unto the people of Alethkar, saying unto them that they must unite, and live by the Codes that their fathers has delivered to them. 3. And there rose up one Brightlord Sadeas, who said, What is this that thou sayest? Should we believe one man, though he should preach that the world should be destroyed? Behold, I say it is the effect of a frenzied mind. And that which ye say are ancient prophecies, are the foolish traditions of your fathers. For no man knoweth of things to come, but every man prospers according to his genius and conquers according to his strength. 4. And the people hearkened not unto Dalinar. Chapter 54 1 And the servant of Sadeas rose up and swore in his wrath that the army of Dalinar should not perish from Roshar. And his name was Kaladin. And the spirit of Honor was upon him, and her name was Sylphrenia, which being interpreted means the joyful wind. 2 He was a large and a mighty man and he sought for the covenants of his fathers, that he might receive the blessings of the Knight Radiant. 3 And He smote upon the army of the Parshendi insomuch that they did flee before him.
  47. 49 points
    [bands of Mourning and Secret History Update: Appended to the end of this post. I have not edited the original text of the post, so no one can infer anything about SH based on what I cut, add, or change.] I just finished re-reading the Mistborn trilogy (got the hardcovers for Christmas), and it really jumped out at me on this read-through just how good Vin is at everything. If it had been my first time through the series, it probably would have bothered me how quickly she picks up Allomancy and other tricks. (I read it several years ago, and I don’t recall it sticking out to me, then.) As she’s learning Allomancy, all the Crew members comment on how naturally it comes to her – Marsh, especially, thinks she has already been practicing. Even mundane things, like how influential she is on Camon’s crew or how quickly she adapts to the nobility, stuck out. However, having read (and re-read) everything in the Cosmere, it seemed more like a clue. Mentions of how Vin was a quick learner or trusted her instincts were slipped in about as often as mentions of her earring, Reen’s voice, or how Sazed wore his copperminds on his arms. It made me wonder… what was the secret behind how quickly Vin learned? In the last epigraph of Book 3, Sazed speculates on Vin: Sazed speculates was special because she was chosen by Preservation as a child and possibly drew in some mists. But he doesn’t stop there; he says that there is something else special about Vin, something he doesn’t understand. So, what could it be? Can we figure it out? I kept this thought in mind during my reread, and some thoughts began to coalesce. The crystallizing point for this theory came to me after Kelsier’s death in Book 1, when Vin went back to Kredik Shaw and fought two Inquisitors. She prepared two tricks: arrowheads with rings on them (basically, the same thing Ranette would invent as anti-Coinshot bullets), and pewter dust to blind the inquisitors. It’s one thing if Vin has an affinity to learning how to use Allomancy because she was chosen to take Preservation or because she drew in some mists as a child; but I didn’t see how that would give her these kind of tactics. So, it occurred to me that maybe Vin had these experiences from a previous life. I know reincarnation isn’t a common thing in the Cosmere, but there have been instances of the dead not staying dead (in Warbreaker, obviously, and Kelsier hangs around even if he doesn’t take on a new body). What if an experienced Allomancer who died during the Final Empire hung around like Kelsier did, but instead of sticking around and meddling, she (assuming it’s a lady Allomancer, as I will go into more detail below) bestowed her experiences upon Vin? Before I dive in to the specifics, I’ll include a brief Table of Contents of the theory. Vin’s Unearned Experience: the instances of Vin’s surprising aptitude Vin vs Valette: Vin views herself as a combination of two or more people Déjà vu: the pieces required for a reincarnation are already present in the series Guess Who?: speculation as to Vin’s previous identity Hoid: maybe this explains what warned her away from him Kelsier: the ramifications on the future of the series Part 1: Vin’s Unearned Experience So, Vin obviously picks up Allomancy very quickly in TFE. Not only does she burn pewter and zinc on instinct, but she learns all of the metals extremely quickly. Other areas of her training, like acting like a noble or even her time on Camon’s crew, come to her naturally, and her instincts guide her. Instincts became the keyword that I looked for; anywhere Vin trusted her instincts (or, even better, her instincts told her something, an active-voice sentence with “instincts” as the subject). I also looked for instances where the word “instincts” wasn’t expressly name-dropped, but people remarked how Vin learned very quickly. (Or I thought she learned too quickly.) Basically, any place that her past life could be manifesting. See the full list below. It’s roughly chronological order, not by importance. I’ve italicized the points that are more circumstantial; the good examples are all un-italicized. On the first mission Vin went on with Camon’s crew, this quote jumped out at me when Vin first became suspicious: Ooh, an internal voice. We haven’t seen those before. Later on, she thinks something along the same lines: Two active voice verbs, where Vin is the object, not the subject. As if something else is acting upon her. Is this Ruin’s influence? I don’t think so. Her earring isn’t in at this point in the novel; she starts wearing it after they get back to the lair, and she prepares to sneak out. These “instincts” can’t be Ruin’s influence. So, to summarize, Vin’s instincts tipped her off to the Ministry’s tactics, even when Camon, an experienced crewleader, was falling for the trap. Experience beyond her station. She responds surprisingly well to Kelsier using zinc on her when he first meets her. “Somehow” is a squirrely Sanderson word for when there’s something behind the scenes. (Okay, not every time, but it’s still a red flag.) Vin could have recognized this from her previous life experiences. When it’s just just her and Kell and Dox, she also resists his Soothing: After resisting his soothing, we see another interesting sentence: There’s that dang “instinct-as-a-subject” construction again. Pushing her to stick with Kelsier and learn Allomancy. That last point aside, the main takeaway from this point is that Vin has experience in recognizing and resisting emotional Allomancy. Vin picks up being a Noblewoman very quickly. She sums up her experience during the first planning meeting with the crew: However, when rubber meets the road, she knocks it out of the park. A sampling of praise: And she keeps getting better. According to Sazed, in Chapter 24 of TFE: Maybe because she’s a reincarnated noble? Vin acknowledges in Hero of Ages how she took to the nobility naturally, because it was a part of her. I won’t quote that in-depth at this point in the theory; see Section 2 for a more in-depth analysis of what this means for her character. Just a quote of interest from when Vin trains in steelpushing. Circumstantial evidence; doesn’t support reincarnation, but takes on new meaning. The coin pouch trick is more substantial. Vin teaches Kelsier a new trick after only a few months of training, the first (of many) times she displays her Allomatic tactical ability. In fact, in Kell’s words: “Fantastic progress”… maybe because she’s remembering skills she had in her past life. The push-match also struck me as uncharacteristic of Vin. She had always avoided direct confrontation, but here, she throws her weight directly at Kelsier, getting in a Push-match. Maybe that’s an instinct from her past life, where she may have been larger and it was an effective tactic. Again, not supporting evidence, but something that takes on new meaning. The evidence from this passage is how Vin learns super-fast. As she thinks to herself: Kelsier is speaking with Sazed later. That last line is Sazed. Sound familiar? (It’s because he calls her special in the HoA epilogue epigraph.) So, yes, her instincts (*cough* past life experience *cough*) make her special. When Sazed is quizzing her as she gets her hair cut, he says: Add another tally mark to the “Vin, you’re so good at everything” comments. Remember when Kelsier said Vin only was good at the physical metals? Soon after that, she sits in on one Breeze session where she realizes how to Soothe subtly. She follows Kell as he goes to find Camon, and sooths him. He catches on, but only barely. His thoughts: I know how! It’s her past life experience coming through! Learning the spikeway quickly was another example of her Allomantic tactics. I won’t do the full quote, but the narration does say “She got the hang of it quickly.” When Sazed rescues her from the Inquisitors, he gives her some of Ham’s pewter to heal. He says: Vin was unconsciously burning pewter when she was on Camon’s crew – she recognizes it when Kelsier gives it to her for the first time. Her body has been familiar with Allomancy for a long time. As Marsh says later: Again, we learn that… Vin is special. “Instincts” pops up again, but in an interesting context, after Vin has gone to a number of balls. An interesting take on her part, since it doesn’t seem she’s losing instincts, but gaining new ones. Also, “Valette” is natural because her previous life experience was a noblewoman. (See the next major section.) Training with Marsh. A huge clue. Marsh gives the spiel, gets her burning bronze, and asks her what she feels: What takes practice comes naturally to Vin… it’s been the story of her life as she learns Allomancy. Again, I suggest that this is because she actually does have prior experience. This doesn’t really have anything to do with anything, but I suspect Vin unconsciously burns gold in Chapter 24. She just came from a ball, where I suspect they had gold-plated utensils (I looked over the chapter, and I didn’t see any mention of anything), and she’s sitting with the crew, having a good time. She imagines she sees herself out in the shadows, as she was before she met the crew. Sounds a lot like the gold shadow she sees of herself later. Anyways, it’s of no substance to this theory, except maybe showing she can unconsciously burn more obscure metals. Allomantic tactics. When fighting Shan, she extinguishes her atium a few seconds early, tricking Shan into thinking that she had run out. When she turns it back on, she confuses Shan, and Vin kills her. A nice bit of trickery for someone who has thus far only burnt Atium against other Atium-burning Inquisitors (and she got subsequently steamrolled by them). Again, unearned experience; tactics she may have learned in her previous life. Kelsier notices how good she is: He goes on to tell her that directly: Allomancy is nothing but tricks, and Vin comes up with new tricks time and time again, things that Kelsier and even the Inquisitors (coming up in another bullet point) don’t have figured out. Ah, the Inquisitor fight in TFE Chapter 36. The place where this theory came together for me. I won’t quote the passage directly, but Vin uses rings on arrowheads to launch un-Steel-able projectiles to shred one Inquisitor, then uses a cloud of pewter dust to blind another. These don’t come from being strong in Allomancy; these are tactics, tricks. Vin comes up with these all the time. Why did she think of these when others didn’t? She even thinks that she wasn’t sure how their eyes worked, but she knew a perfect way to block out their senses. How did she know? Here, more than anywhere else, when her soul is damaged by Kelsier’s loss, her past life begins to creep in the cracks, giving her the training and experiences of her past life to help her with her battles. Oh my, I’ve got this many examples, and I’m only starting WoA. Hoo boy. Anyways, we start off with some more talk about Vin being “special,” this time from Elend as she spars with Ham. She winds up beating Ham, a good thug. Vin is a quick learner when it comes to fighting, too, not just when it comes to Allomancy. He also remarks on her strength in Allomancy; she might have her Allomatic strength determined by her previous life’s strength, during a time when Mistborn were more powerful (not as powerful as Elend, though). She gives OreSeur dog bones. That’s another new tactic – no kandra had used animal bones before, as we find out in Book 3. Vin really does come up with these all the time. I wonder how she does it… She instantly picks up Duralumin-Steelpushing herself. She first uses it to go rescue Breeze, and she lands at just the right spot. A brand new skill, and she does it perfectly the first time. I think she might have past-life experience with duralumin. She wasn’t the only one to discover it; the Lord Ruler mentioned it in one of the storage caverns. There’s another very powerful clue for me when Vin was researching the Deepness. She starts the chapter being barely trained in writing: A very clear picture: Vin has little experience writing, and is not good at it. But, apparently, she can write very well anyways. Vin, of course, brushes it off and starts talking about the Straff’s army. But it seems a little heavy-handed to me. Perfect penmanship? What an odd thing to mention. The only thing more Mary Sue-ish would be… …oh, no, she’s also the most graceful person in a dress. When Tindwyl takes her and Allrianne shopping: *gag* I certainly hope this is indicating she spent a long (previous) life as a Mistborn noblewoman. Because otherwise, this is getting out-of-hand with how good Vin is at everything. And then, we have The Big One. Taking down Zane. Beating someone burning atium without your own atium. And what word shows up in the narrative? Instinct: that word keeps popping up. She let her body do what it wanted to. This is a crazy technique, and, again, it’s one she does perfectly without practice. It reminds me of the way she resisted Kelsier’s Soothing when she first met him. She has experience resisting Allomancy; mental metals, and now atium. Techniques I think she learned in her past life. Vin doesn’t think she’s the first to figure it out: If it was a technique she had done in a prior life… then, yes, Vin, you were the first to think of it. And the second to think of it, as well. Maybe someone else can take bronze… (that’s a reference to Olympic metals, not Allomantic metals.) Oh, and don’t forget the flying horseshoes trick. The annotations say that she is the first one to pick up that particular trick. So, that’s not one tactic that’s definitely not from a previous life. Oh, good, things are going a lot quicker through the rest of the trilogy. I’m on to Hero of Ages, now, and I’m 30 chapters in before Vin does something surprisingly well. It’s when they crash Yomen’s party. She dives in from a position of power, something she had never had in her previous ball interactions, and she instantly takes to it. Elend notices: So, there are three main categories where these examples fall in to: Learning Allomancy quickly, learning Tactics and Fighting quickly, and learning Nobility quickly. If it were just Allomancy, I could believe it was enhanced intuition provided by Preservation. Even the anti-atium and anti-Inquisitor tactics, on a good day. But all three categories? It seems too much of a stretch that being chosen as Preservation’s hero would give her penmanship and the mindset of a noble. So, I think these experiences come from a past life as a noble. Part 2: Vin vs Valette One major theme of Vin’s character arc is reconciling her two different personas. She wonders, is she Vin the street urchin? Or is she Valette the noblewoman? Eventually, she determines that her true self is a combination of the two. She needs to incorporate both the experience gained on the street with the noblewoman who goes to balls. This conflict is presented from the beginning, from Kelsier’s first training session with her: When she was thinking of how “Lord Renoux” adopted his persona: She begins to realize that she isn’t actually either of them, but something else entirely. From WoA, Chapter 35: She tries to push the “Valette” persona off as an act, but her conversation with Tindwyl when they were dress-shopping begins to change that. Vin says she sees a problem with wearing dresses because it wasn’t really her; Tindwyl asks, “And these can’t dresses be part of who you really are?” More pointedly: This conflict continues, somewhat, into HoA, Chapter 27: She eventually realizes in Chapter 32 that being a noble is an essential part of her: Since I was thinking about the context of reincarnation, this took on a different meaning to me entirely. Vin isn’t just a combination of her two sets of experiences… what if she is a combination of two different people? Vin the street urchin represents her current life experiences. Valette the noblewoman (and Allomatic experience) comes from a previous life. As she struggles with these two halves of herself, she’s actually trying to merge her current and previous identities, to create who she truly is. Oddly enough, combining multiple people into one is a concept that is presented elsewhere in the Mistborn trilogy. Koloss and Steel Inquisitors are both described as being multiple people combined into one. Steel inquisitors first, by Noorden, the friendly obligator. Immediately afterwards, Elend realized how koloss were created: I thought it was an odd way of characterizing the change; Hemalurgy has been presented more as stealing someone else’s attributes, not combining multiple people. But it gave me some insight into how Vin could be the combination of two people. Marsh was still Marsh, even though he had other people “combined” into him. Same with Human the koloss; the annotations give his backstory, so he is a real person. The reincarnation isn’t a Wheel of Time kind of reincarnation (like the Heroes of the Horn being spun out into new identities), but someone who has already died giving up her experience to Vin. I don’t think I’m saying Vin is a Hemalurgic creation; the experiences of a past life spiked onto an orphan girl. But I think it’s a similar concept, not necessarily carried out using that magic system. Part 3: Déjà vu So, conceptually, it’s a bit of a stretch to say Vin’s experiences belonged to a dead person. I get that – there isn’t a single hint of this kind of previous lives in the trilogy (or even in Alloy or SoS). But I think all the pieces are there in the trilogy itself. Dead individuals stick around. Kelsier sticks around. Vin’s previous incarnation could have stuck around in a similar fashion. Combining multiple people into one. I discussed this in Part 2, so I won’t go into detail here. The gods made Vin special. According to Sazed, Preservation chose Vin after she was born, because she snapped so early. Ruin also made his mark on her when she was young, spiking her with her sister’s Bronze ability. A third individual, “meddling” like Kelsier, could have also imparted past life experiences onto her. Souls can return to bodies. Sazed says that he didn’t figure it out in time to resurrect Vin and Elend, but WoB says it’s possible. http://theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=727 Minds can be used to power magic. I’m not sure my Realmatics are quite right, but we saw Preservation turn his mind (soul?) into Investiture to imprison Ruin. It wasn’t his body, his Shard’s power; it was just his mind. The mind of Vin’s past life could be the power behind this reincarnation of its experiences. So, while the way I’ve assembled them may be novel, I think that it is a natural progression of what is presented in the novels. Part 4: Guess Who? I strained my eyes looking through the pages, trying to figure out who could have been Vin’s previous life. This person had to be dead before Vin was born (duh), and they had had to be born after Allomancy was discovered (because Vin knew tricks against both Steel Inquisitors and atium burners). And, lastly, this person had to be a Mistborn (since Vin had good instincts in all metals). I also think that her previous incarnation needed to be a noblewoman, because of how her internal conflict played out between orphan and noblewoman. I guess it could have been a nobleman, but Vin always sounds secure in her femininity. She’s a combination of Noble and Urchin, not a combination of Man and Woman. Now, gender and status aren’t deal-breakers; if I could find a character who met the previous three conditions who was a non-noble or a man, I would consider them a strong candidate. So, boil this all down, compare it to characters from the books… and I’ve got nothing. Gemmel is the only Mistborn who’s dead before the series begins, but he was still alive after Vin was born. (Also, not a girl.) Alendi crossed my mind, but he was only a Seeker, and he never fought Atium burners. Other than that, we don’t know much about the history of the world. So, I can’t point to an individual who I think was Vin’s previous life. But I can describe what I think she was like: a noblewoman Mistborn. Part 5: Hoid Now, the part where this really got fun was when Vin decided to avoid Hoid (hmm, that might be the Cosmere name for Tag. Avoid Hoid. It’s got a nice ring to it.) Uhh… let’s try this again. When Vin decided to avoid Hoid (stay on target), she trusted her instincts. Remember, Instincts = Past Life in this theory. So, something about her past life told her to stay away from Hoid. But what could it be? All Vin heard was humming. She didn’t even see Hoid. Just heard him. What was he humming, anyways? I wonder if Vin recognized it. Could it have been a song she knew in her past life. Has Hoid visited Scadrial before? Did he work with Vin’s past life, someone who knew that song? That’s a very Hoid thing to do; hum a song from a bygone era that no one living knows (except Vin has a vague memory of it because of her past life). And, hey, let’s go down the rabbit hole. Hoid was looking for the Well of Ascension to get a Lerasium bead. Vin’s previous life might have thought she was the Hero of Ages as well, looking for the Well of Ascension, even though the thousand years hadn’t passed. After she died, she stuck around, and saw who Preservation chose to take her power and use the Well of Ascension. And she (old Vin) decided to grant her experience and skill to the new Vin. Mad speculation, of course. We know precious little about what Hoid has been up to. I have no idea what Vin’s previous life was all about. So, please disregard the previous paragraph. (I’ll stand by the rest of this section, though.) Part 6: Kelsier So, this is a fairly complex undercurrent for Vin’s character. If Brandon was writing something like this into her arc, how is he going to get it across to the readers, now that the trilogy has been concluded? What are the ramifications on the future of the series? He doesn’t have plans for flashback books, so how would we ever learn about Vin’s past life? I’ve compared Vin’s previous life to Kelsier a number of times throughout the theory. That’s where I think it becomes relevant: not in learning about Vin, but as a key trait of a character in a future trilogy who Kelsier reincarnates into. He would grant his experiences, his motivations, to a new character, to aid them in… well, whatever a future Mistborn trilogies would be about. That way, we can learn about the circumstances of reincarnation, without going back to Vin. We learn it all through new eyes, and then someone like Harmony says, “I’ve seen this before. Although we didn’t realize it at the time, the Ascendant Warrior had the experiences of another to aid her. What you have is what remains of Kelsier, the Survivor. You can trust it.” Except, probably in much more epic language. That also would let us see some of that hinted-at Hoid/Kelsier animosity! Vin was known as the Heir to the Survivor. I don’t think she inherited anything from him, though; I think she was the Heir to someone else’s experiences. This hypothetical future incarnation of Kelsier, however… he would be the true Heir to the Survivor. Another mythical Hero who we thought was Vin this whole time, only to have the rug pulled out from under us. Again. Summary Okay, here’s the gist: Vin is so good at what she does because a dead person has passed along her experiences and skills. That is why Vin learn so quick and come up with her tricks, and it also contributes to her “identity crisis” between skaa and noblewoman. This might become relevant in the future if Kelsier reincarnates himself in the same fashion. Also, sorry for direct-quoting 30% of the text of the Mistborn trilogy throughout this post. Bands of Mourning/Secret History Update:
  48. 49 points
    I drew a suggestion out of a hat a little while back, and "Portrait of Adolin Kholin" was what came out, so here it is =) I had a lot of fun with this one, and man the black and blonde hair was tricky. Still not sure quite how I feel about the way that I solved it, but ah well. I'm thinking that next I'd like to create some scene with both Adolin and Kaladin. Would give me a chance to revisit Kaladin now that I've learned a thing or two more about portrait painting =) Let me know what you think!
  49. 48 points
    As we all know "There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead." On the topic of dead spren didn't anyone find it weird that the spren's eyes were scratched out and when you kill someone with a shardblade their eyes burn? Is it the spren imitating what happens to humans in the physical realm o something else? Eyes are windows to the soul after all, so does that mean the line between a spren's spiritual realm is broken?
  50. 48 points
    Hello everyone. I expect you’ve all forgotten who I am by now since I haven’t posted here for a couple of years now (save for the odd signing report), life unfortunately got in the way. But I’ve been meaning to come back for a little while now, and I thought: what could be better than doing so with a theory post? Some things have been simmering in the back of my mind for a while now and I need to get them out. Hopefully you don’t hate what follows, and don’t end up wanting nothing to do with me (or tracking me down and lynching me ). So without further ado, allow me to present my first (and hopefully not last) theory. For this theory we need to consider all four of the end pages of the Way of Kings. All of the images that I’ve found of them on the internet separate them out into four different images, however I feel that each chart/map pair is supposed to be taken as a single diagram for reasons that I’ll give below. I’m therefore presenting them both here as they were in the book, and as I think they should be viewed. Much of the speculation surrounding the second chart has been that it pertains to Voidbinding in the same way that the first chart pertains to Surgebinding. I’ve been thinking for a while that this would be a very strange inclusion in the book since we’ve yet to see Voidbinding: it would be much like including a chart for Haemalurgy in the first Mistborn book. Additionally, two of the larger glyphs are not connected to the smaller symbols, which would seem to imply that there would be Voidbinders without powers, which would be weird. It’s also been suggested that it relates to the fabrials in some way, but I don’t see any real similarity between them. There are five types of fabrial that we know of, and no grouping of five in the chart; the fabrials are known to utilize the surges, yet it hasn’t been suggested up until now that the smaller symbols are Surges (at least not that I’ve heard of), and if they are why then are the larger glyphs each connected to two of the smaller ones as with the Radiant Orders? And how do the myriad of spren types used in the fabrials relate to the diagram? In short, I don’t think either of these speculations are correct. I’ve been trying to figure out what this chart is by analysing the symmetry of both charts, starting with the symbols for the Surges in the first chart and their equivalent symbols in the second. The first thing of note here is that the two sets of symbols are distortions of each other: part of each pair is the same, but the other part is opposed. As a result of this, whilst each of the surges has a single axis of reflectional symmetry, the other symbols have no reflectional symmetry but instead have order 2 rotational symmetry. So what does this tell us? Well, by itself, not much; however it was then that I noticed the borders to these images. These are the same for each pair of images, however in the case of the Surgebinding chart the border has been reflected between the two, and in the case of the other chart it has instead been rotated by 180°. In other words: the transformation of the border matches the symmetry of the symbols in their respective charts. This is why I think that these images were placed together as they were in the book for a reason. If they were unrelated and hadn’t been created together (in world), then this pattern wouldn’t be observed, and I think that Brandon presented them to us like this for a reason. The fact that the two charts follow the same internal structure, with one juxtaposed by the map of Roshar in the Physical Realm and the other with the Cognitive version, suggests to me that these two charts are in fact the same chart but pertaining to different Realms. If I may reiterate, the symbols I was discussing earlier are the same but distorted from each other: I propose that they are both symbols for the surges, and that they are distorted because the surges themselves distort between the Realms. Or to put it another way, the powers behave differently in the Cognitive than they do in the Physical. This would mean that the larger set of Symbols in the Second chart also represent the Orders of the Radiants. I think this is supported by the fact that the glyphs in both charts share the same colouring and the same symmetry (1 axis of reflectional symmetry), thus suggesting that they are both representing the same thing (not distorted as with the Surges), but a different glyph is used because it’s a different aspect of the Orders. (It’s worth noting though that the Cognitive glyph for the Truthwatchers is unique in that the symmetry does change: it not only gains a second axis of reflectional symmetry, but it also gains order 2 rotational symmetry. I have no idea why this is the case, but with this in mind we should probably keep an eye on Renarin going forward: something is going on here.) The final thing to note with regard to the charts is that the connections between symbols are identical in both charts, save for one glaring difference. There are no connections from either the Bondsmiths or the Truthwatchers, to any of the Surges in the Cognitive chart. This would imply that if members of either Order were to end up in Shadesmar, then they would not gain other abilities related to the Cognitive, unlike for every other Order. But why would these two Orders be so much more limited? Well, I don’t think they are; I think instead that they are just aligned differently Realmatically. Consider what we’ve seen of Renarin and how it pertains to the Truthwatchers. We know that they have some capacity for future sight; however their Surges are Progression and Illumination, which (from what we have seen of those Surges elsewhere) have nothing to do with that ability. However we know that seeing the future is related to the Spiritual Realm, so it would follow that the Truthwatchers gain additional powers from their Surges, not in the Cognitive Realm like other Orders, but instead in the Spiritual Realm. Similarly, the Bondsmiths are speculated to have powers related to Bonds, which are a type of Connection. And we know that Connection is also related to the Spiritual Realm. So whilst the other Orders are aligned with the Physical and Cognitive Realms, Truthwatchers and Bondsmiths are instead aligned with the Physical and Spiritual Realms. And this means that Brandon must be hiding a third chart from us: the Spiritual Surgebinding chart. I was looking for textual evidence to support this theory when I remembered Jasnah’s plight from Words of Radiance. As we know she used the Transportation surge to escape into Shadesmar at which point she became trapped. But if the Surges behave identically in both Realms, why could she not just use it the exact same way to return to the Physical? We know from her unpublished scene that it’s not because she lacked the Stormlight to do so but rather because she needs a “junction”, such as Honour’s Perpendicularity, to do so. This sounds exactly like how someone without access to the Surge of Transportation would travel between the Realms, yet we saw that when she did rematerialize in the Physical she did not do so in a Shardpool, but rather in the middle of nowhere. This suggests to me that she did use Transportation, but it behaved differently, exactly as I proposed above. Which leads of course to the question of what the Surge is doing in the Cognitive, and I do have a suggestion for this. We know that the Cognitive Realm is far more malleable than the Physical in terms of its geometry; it is after all shaped by the level of cognition in a particular area. I suggest that the Transportation Surge is capable of distorting it even further to the point that two different locations can actually overlap one another. With this in mind, after arriving in Shadesmar, the Elsecaller (or Willshaper) could travel to either the nearest junction, or to their destination in Shadesmar (whichever is closest). Then they could overlap their destination with the junction and thereby leave via the junction, but arrive at their destination in the Physical. There is an apparent problem with this however: it would mean that you would be required to travel through Shadesmar without the aid of the Surge to an extent, and as such it doesn’t allow for instantaneous teleportation. The Oathgates on the other hand, which we theorize to be fabrials that utilize Transportation, appear to do exactly this, thus contradicting my speculation. But, looking at this more deeply, I think there’s a way that it doesn’t have to be a contradiction. We know that each Kingdom had one Oathgate, plus there was an Oathgate at Urithiru; moreover each of the Kingdoms' Oathgates connected to the one at Urithiru, but not to each other. Travel via the Oathgates therefore, necessitates travel through Urithiru. This seems like a bizarre limitation to intentionally build into the system, especially for an organization that put such an emphasis on freedom of travel. I know that it’s been suggested that it was set up this way for the purposes of taxation, or as a symbol of some kind, but I think otherwise. What if Urithiru was built upon a junction? If this were the case then it would instantly work with my theory: every time you use the Oathgate you are already at one of the two places that you would need to be at. It also means that the gates were set up this way out of necessity: it would have been impossible to connect every gate to every other gate. And at this point I remembered the epigraph from chapter 35 of The Way of Kings: “The place nearest to Honour” sounds to me exactly like Honour’s Perpendicularity, which we know from Ivory’s testimony to be a junction. The first sentence also takes on greater meaning if this theory is true. If Urithiru is to be the centre of the Oathgate system, then it has to be built on a Perpendicularity. If there isn’t a Perpendicularity in Alethela, then it cannot be built in Alethela. Problems With the Theory Why couldn’t Jasnah use this second method to leave Shadesmar immediately? This is a huge gaping hole in the theory, and my only possible explanation for it is that she was simply too inexperienced with the Surge, or that she wasn’t at a high enough level in the Elsecallers at that point to be able to manipulate the Surge in that fashion. Ivory knew this so stated it as impossible for her to leave without being at a junction. I’ve been assuming, based upon Ivory’s testimony that a Perpendicularity is a junction, that the two are equivalent; however this isn’t necessarily true. Even if all Perpendicularities are junctions, this does not necessarily imply that all junctions are Perpendicularities. Therefore, there could have been something special about that location in which Jasnah reappeared, that meant that it was a junction even though there was apparently no Perpendicularity there. Therefore, this is not necessarily evidence for my theory. Jasnah’s subsequent conversation with Wit makes me think that it is unlikely that the location was special though. In Jasnah’s unpublished scene, we see Jasnah perform Soulcasting within Shadesmar, and it appears to function exactly like every other Soulcasting we’ve seen performed in the books. The only thing that I can think to explain this is that, since we know that performing a magic will have some effect across all three Realms, we saw the results of the Soulcasting as it appeared in the Physical Realm only. Something else would have occurred in the Cognitive Realm when she did this; but since Brandon stopped the reading at the exact point that we would have found out what this was, we can only speculate on it. Conclusion/TL;DR The mystery chart from the back of The Way of Kings is a Surgebinding chart for the Cognitive Realm. Each Surge Functions differently between the Physical Realm, the Cognitive Realm, and the Spiritual Realm. All Orders have powers associated with both the Physical and Cognitive Realms, except for the Bondsmiths and Truthwatchers which instead have posers associated with both the Physical and Spiritual Realms. The Transportation Surge allows for both travel into the Cognitive Realm, and the distortion of the Cognitive Realm’s geometry. Each Oathgate is connected to the central Oathgate at Urithiru out of necessity, not choice. Urithiru is built upon Honour’s Perpendicularity.
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