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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 78 points
    My guess would be: "I cannot save everyone, but I will save those I can".
  5. 69 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 61 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
  10. 57 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!
  11. 57 points
    "I will not let those I can't save prevent me from saving those I can" was what I was thinking
  12. 57 points
    Boys, find yourselves a spren like Syl.
  13. 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!
  14. 55 points
  15. 54 points
  16. 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?
  17. 47 points
    Ok, one more because I'm particularly proud of it.
  18. 47 points
    Silly humans, that's just the pile of loot you get when you beat the boss monster.
  19. 46 points
    Something strange is going on with Nohadon. I trust Dalinar when he says that it's a vision and it's unlike the rest. Nohadon, inside that vision, speaks to Dalinar with familiarity, and directly addressed the manifestation of the thunderclast. The Stormfather also says that Dalinar was shown all the visions of Nohadon. And yet, in the vision, Nohadon addresses Dalinar directly: This is something that has not happened before. This is also the first time we see the question "what is the most important step a man can take," which will have great significance later on. Before I go any further, I want to extend some thank yous to the folks who beat into my head the possibility of this being a thing over on this thread. It took a lot of hard convincing but they finally won me over, so thanks for sticking with it everyone, especially @hoser and @Paragrin So the essence of that thread was trying to figure out who Odium was referencing when Dalinar Ascended and he said "No, we killed you." While I'm supposing that person is Nohadon, I don't want to get into that discussion per se, but rather, the proofs behind whether it's possible and what people think about him on a broader level, as a quick search didn't show a Nohadon topic. To boil things down, I think that Nohadon was a Bondsmith, and he was bonded to the Sibling. I think that after he died, he bound his cognitive shadow to the spren in a similar way to what Honor did, preserving him for the future and allowing him to connect with Dalinar. There is some textual evidence to support this theory. First off, of any order, the Bondsmiths would be the ones who would be able to accomplish something like this. The Way of Kings is also very much about unifying people. It's the book that inspired Dalinar to become a Bondsmith. Nohadon exhibits those traits of uniting instead of dividing. But let's continue on past this point. The evidence is not hard, but plausible, that Nohadon could both be a Bondsmith and accomplish such a task. We know there are only three Bondsmiths. In Oathbringer, we learned a few more things. So one Bondsmith that generation. They fear it's because Honor is changing. I put forth that it because this is when Honor intentionally splintered himself into the Stormfather. I say this because we know that Dalinar is the first to bond the Stormfather since the change. This means we can infer they had been previously bonding the Stormfather and one other spren since they were aware of their concerns with Honor. We have this information from an Elsecaller, saying that one Sibling had withdrawn. I put forth that this Sibling was bonded to Nohadon, and she discovered that Nohadon had preserved his cognitive shadow inside of it. Paragrin has solid evidence that with Connection, you can interact with people from the spiritual realm, even without it having a direct influence on the way the text formatting is displayed, or the internal voice is distinguished in the character's mind. I'm still going through my reread, but, in the chapter 'Bondsmith,' I found another little piece that made me think Nohadon was nudging Dalinar along. Dalinar has his reaction, the Stormfather rumbles around, as he is want to do, and then there is a disappointment beyond that. Which is what I am putting forth to be Nohadon's Cognitive Shadow bonded to a spren, using Connection to interact with Dalinar. He does this again later, answering the question he gave Dalinar earlier as Dalinar struggles for meaning against the pain of his past and questions the answer he came to so easily. On a more personal note, the way Brandon answers this question makes me feel like he wanted to see if they had picked up on some foreshadowing he had put into place, but I haven't scrutinized WoK or WoR, and this is from when WoR was published. He's reacting similarly to the when I asked about Helaran not being bonded to a spren during the WoR signing. So, brief wrap up, plausible evidence that it could be possible using a Bondsmith's power, Nohadon displays the right temperament to be a Bondsmith, Nohadon interacts with Dalinar in a way that could not be a vision and Dalinar recognizes to not be a dream, we have evidence that using Connection a character can interact with another in a way that doesn't alter book script, and the italics during Dalinar's Ascension pick up right where they left off conversing in the dream, where Nohadon answers the question he posed to Dalinar.
  20. 46 points
    Yesterday, at a signing at JordanCon, Brandon read out something that was very old, which he said we had been waiting for "for a long time". He thought it was about eight or nine years old. It is crazy, and very exciting. It's a piece called The Traveler which is quite cosmere-aware, which Brandon thought he could now reveal. We recommend you just read it with no further introduction, but if you want some analysis, scroll on down. Get hyped. All of this is transcribed on Arcanum, and you can listen to the audio from the man himself at the links below. Here is Brandon's introduction to this piece: And so, here it is. Note, again, this is a very early draft from a long time ago. The Traveler A focused southern breeze made the trees sound like they were chattering. Tiny crisp leaves spreading the news of the Traveler’s return. Pure white leaves, clustered along branches like skeletal limbs. Even the bark clinging to the trees was white. In some lands, white meant purity; in others, it meant death. Here, it didn’t mean a thing. It was simply, normal. The Traveler sat on the mossy white ground, back to the tree, legs crossed idly as he picked at a pomegranate, eating the seeds one by one then spitting out the pits. They fell on the stark moss-covered ground, leaving red juice like blood running across a sterile white floor. To say he wore rags would have be an insult to many a goodwife who kept her washing rags in much better shape than the Traveler's costume. Ragged brown and black canvas, tattered cloak, and scruffy beard, rubbed dark with a black material that might have been soot — or ash. The leaves suddenly fluttered excitedly behind him, and a strange puff of wind blew across the trunks. A moment later, a figure in simple gray robes walked into the clearing. Clean-shaven and silver-haired, he had the look of an aged scribe, not haughty, but tired. “So, you’re back,” the elderly visitor said. “Did I leave? I am the lingering odor you can never quite locate, my friend. Just when you think I've faded you open your cupboard and find, in an overpowering reveal, that I've merely been… ripening.” “Hmph, that’s a new look for you.” The Traveler looked down at his ragged clothing. “I’ve been learning to blend in. Hard to do that in one of my normal costumes.” “I doubt you’ll ever be the type to blend in.” “You’d be surprised!” “Is that soot in your hair?” “Maybe.” The elderly man sighed, walking across the short clearing and settling himself down on a large protruding tree root. “You can’t keep doing this.” The Traveler continued to eat his seeds, though he had started to chew them up rather than spitting out the pits. “You will just make things worse.” “Ati and Leras are dead,” the Traveler said, picking a piece of seed out from between his teeth. The elderly visitor said nothing, and the Traveler eyed him, leaning in closely, studying the man's eyes. The pupils were rimmed with a silver far too metallic to be natural, at least for a human. “You sly old lizard!” the Traveler said, pointing. “You already knew! You were watching! And here you were chastising me.” “I did NOT interfere,” the elderly man said. ”You meddle in things we promised to leave alone. Things that we—” Traveler held up a finger, interrupting him, then slowly he pointed at the older man. ”I. Made. No. Promise.” “You made your choice. Why now seek for things you so eagerly denied? My friend, it’s the dangerous desire, the lust for power best untouched, that created the situation in the first place.” The Traveler did not reply. The two sat for a time, listening to the winds through the garrulous trees. “Did you… find what you were seeking?” the elder man finally asked. The Traveler shrugged, picking at another seed and nibbling on it. “You will not find a way to restore what you have lost, old friend,” the aged man said softly. ”It is impossible.” “You don’t know that. The old rules no longer hold.” The Traveler turned the pomegranate over in his fingers. ”Besides, I’ve heard of a place… It doesn’t matter. I don’t care. This isn’t about the dead… or it’s not JUST about the dead, at least.” He dropped the fruit to the ground, wiping his fingers on his riding coat. “So it’s a simple vendetta, then,” the aged man said, sighing. “How many years have you lived, and you still can’t learn the wisdom of just letting go?” “A simple vendetta?” the Traveler said. He rose, stalking up to the older man, holding out a finger and touching the man's chest. “You saw what Ati nearly did.” The Traveler leaned down, face even with that of his older companion. “I would not think it MY vendetta that should worry you, old friend.” Isn't that crazy? It's obviously set right after Mistborn Era 1, right after Hero of Ages, with Hoid (the Traveler) talking to Frost. Not only that but it really sounds like they are on Yolen as well. Remember in The Way of Kings, the part two epigraphs were a mysterious letter of cosmere significance? That was sent to Hoid, from Frost. Then, in Words of Radiance, Frost sent a reply. This is crazy. What do you think? Also note, there's lots more JordanCon to transcribe in the JordanCon event in Arcanum. Come help out by signing up for an account, going to the Sources page, and hitting Edit. Come into our Discord in the #arcanum channel and we can help you out, or go here for a guide on how to do that.
  21. 46 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?
  22. 45 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.
  23. 45 points
    Oathbringer has given us a much more in-depth look at Odium's forces, particularly the Unmade. Unquestionably, one of the most interesting of the Unmade is Ba-Ado-Mishram. This is a promising villain. The mindless Unmade are terrifying enough, let alone an Unmade that commanded Odium's troops. Surely she has to be a major villain in this book series. However, a question remains. Where is she? Both of these are possibilities. However, returning to Damnation seems unlikely, the rest of the Unmade seem fairly active. We've seen evidence that Nergaoul, Moelach, and Chemoarish have remained active, if subtle during the Era of Solitude. In fact, we know that it is impossible that Ba-Ado-Mishram was destroyed during Aharietiam or returned to Braize afterward. These epigraphs are from the gemstones left behind in Urithiru, from around the time of its abandonment before the Recreance. So Ba-Ado-Mishram was still alive around the time of the False Desolation, allowing the singers to take on the forms of power and providing Voidlight. A strike team went to go to imprison her, and nothing has been heard of her since. Since the arrival of the Everstorm, she has made no appearance at either Kholinar or the Battle of Thaylen Fields, the two largest direct conflicts so far. So it seems possible that they succeeded. So, if she is imprisoned, where could she be? We know that she is crafty and that she provides Voidlight, which seems to have been entirely absent in Roshar since her imprisonment. With one notable exception. Gavilar's dark spheres have long been a subject of discussion. Some have considered the possibility that those spheres contain Unmade. Given what we've seen this book, I consider that to be unlikely. We have at least six of the Unmade accounted for, with only Dai-gonarthis, Chemoarish, and Ba-Ado-Mishram absent. What are the odds that Gavilar happens to have two perfect gems each containing an Unmade and that he values them so little that he's willing to give them away? The most simple explanation is that these spheres are charged with Voidlight. Where could Gavilar have gotten it from? The easiest answer prior to the Everstorm and the new Desolation is that he got it from Ba-Ado-Mishram. Gavilar seems to give additional credence to that idea. The spren he refers to must be Ba-Ado-Mishram. How does he know about this? He's presumably seeing the same visions that Dalinar did (I'm making the assumption that he bonded the Stormfather because there is no evidence so far of a connection between Gavilar and the Nightwatcher and the Sibling remains elusive). Dalinar knows nothing about the capture of Ba-Ado-Mishram from his visions, so how does Gavilar? Gavilar has long seemed to know things he shouldn't. He even mentions a new storm here, something that did not appear in Dalinar's visions (one may make an argument about the destruction of Kholinar vision, but that doesn't match the description of the Everstorm, more like a metaphorical wave of destruction in my opinion). Gavilar has also taken the Stormfather's visions in a much darker direction than Dalinar, trying to trigger the Desolation to unite Roshar rather than prevent it in the first place. It has long seemed to me that he may have been in contact with some sort of nefarious force that was manipulating him to its own ends. The fact that Gavilar has Voidlight, implies that he was at some point in contact with Ba-Ado-Mishram, who has the ability to provide Voidlight. Even if Gavilar was not being manipulated, he must have come in contact with Ba-Ado-Mishram to gain the Voidlight and perhaps learn about how she was imprisoned. So the question remains, where is she? The Fused are destroying a portion of the palace for a specific reason. I believe that the reason is that Ba-Ado-Mishram is imprisoned somewhere within or below the palace in Kholinar. Gavilar as a budding Bondsmith came into contact with her somehow and she spoke to him and gave him Voidlight. Gavilar may have intended to release her to trigger the Desolation or he may have been following her instructions to start it some other way. The question remains, why was she imprisoned beneath the palace? Well, when the ancient Radiants captured her, they needed to put her somewhere. Urirthiru is the obvious choice, however the city was failing by that point. The Radiants were abandoning it in droves. Where else could they put the prison? Perhaps in the capital city of Alethela, the ancestral homeland of the Radiants? Where else could have been better defended? When the Radiants fell, this knowledge was lost and the location of Ba-Ado-Mishram's prison was forgotten. The Fused focused on taking Kholinar first to ensure the return of their finest leader, who will become a real problem for humankind in the next few books.
  24. 44 points
    A bit of background for those who have remained blissfully unaware of this meme (such as @Kurkistan, apparently). Early in 2015, after Brandon's Firefight tour, he came to Chicago and did an impromptu signing where I asked him about Renarin and his Words of Radiance visions, mostly because they didn't feel explainable with either one of the Truthwatcher Surges. The exchange in question (behind a spoiler tag, for brevity): https://wob.coppermind.net/events/3-firefight-chicago-signing/#e64 What you don't see in this exchange is my commentary where I explain that I can share as much as another eventgoer would've been able to glimpse - that Brandon asked me for my copy of The Way of Kings, the US hardcover, and pointed me to a specific page in it. A page that supposedly explained the visions. And a page that would come up in both public discourse and private messages every few weeks to few months. Well, Oathbringer is out, I've gotten a chance to check in with Brandon and make sure it's okay to do a reveal, and he said that it was. So, since I am running out of ways to tease - or troll - you all, I'll just drop it here, without my 2 years worth of speculations, and see what you do with it. A wiser man might've prepared a proper theory to go with this, to catch you up on my thoughts, but I am honestly too tired (and, to be honest, busy) to this right now. So. The Page
  25. 44 points
  26. 44 points
    EDIT: A summary of this thread in a Google doc can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VqLjiUojkPqIfLJLyu7OnykTP3i-LG0f5f1KjRSJE6A/edit I was extremely disappointed. Not because of the result (well, the reasoning is iffy, but more to that later), but because the Kaladin/Shallan angle isn't even remotely explored. All this teasing - for nothing. And that continues right through Oathbringer... Kaladin has his thoughts, Shallan has her thoughts, Adolin has his thoughts. Nobody talks. I think, that it could just have been left out to be honest... nothing would have changed. There was 1 (one) meaningful conversation between Shallan and Kaladin, which then was misinterpreted by Shallan as Kaladin actually encouraging her to use Veil and Radiant, while he was actually referring to her ability to just "push" stuff away into her mind. And he didn't even encourage her, but rather him just saying, that he would like to be able to do that. And that was it. Great. The reasoning: Adolin knows her? Christ, he maybe recognizes her, but doesn't really know her. Ironically, he actually encourages her usage of Veil by being the accepting fiancee, now husband. Something that Shallan seemingly criticized about Kaladin... I think, Shallan just took the easy way out. Like always. Pushing her attraction to Kaladin on Veil was the icing on the cake. Basically another big fat lie. And don't tell me, that Adolin recognizing her was the catalyst that helped her with her problem. No, that was Hoid. Personal matter/opinion: Shadolin is cheesy, boring and bland. I really hope Book Four adds some spice into that. You know, something interesting? That one conversation on the boat between Kaladin and Shallan had more meaning and chemistry than every single interaction between Adolin and Shallan in Oathbringer. Not to talk about Adolin's observations about Shallan watching Kaladin and her own subconscious actions (drawing etc.) In my eyes, Kaladin is able to connect with Shallan on a level, that Adolin will never be able to achieve. Because he isn't even interested in it. Not unless something happens to Adolin... And I think that is something we all don't want. Maybe something through Veil... I don't know.
  27. 44 points
  28. 44 points
  29. 44 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").
  30. 44 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.
  31. 43 points
    I've mentioned all of the parts of this "theory" (and it's tough to call it that as it's so speculative) in other places, but I figured after a discord discussion that I would consolidate it all in one place. Part one: Szeth's History In The Way of Kings, Szeth makes this comment in his internal monologue Szeth believes that in the event of his death, the shamanate will know that the blade has moved on and they will recover the blade and bring it back to Shinovar. I believe that Szeth is correct. Primarily, because I believe that Szeth was a part of the Shamanate before he was made Truthless. https://wob.coppermind.net/events/189/#e4040 https://wob.coppermind.net/events/127/#e5089 So Szeth was a very respected member of his society before his sentence, and Truthless do not normally have Honorblades. Add that the Shamanate have all of the blades save Nale's and Taln's (at the start of the books) and that from Szeth's PoVs we know that Szeth has both trained in all the surges, and enjoyed the ability to use his Blade to fly without needing to kill prior to becoming Truthless, and I believe the evidence points towards him being a member of the shamanate, and the chosen guardian of Jezrien's blade. Part Two: Taln's Blade So, assuming that Szeth is correct, and the shamans can indeed track the Honorblades by some means, here is what I believe happened. Taln appeared outside of Kholinar, and cut his way through the gates. He stumbles inside, and drops his Blade... And in so doing he breaks the bond to his Blade, either immediately, or as soon as someone else picks it up. The Honorblades function differently then Shardblades. They have a shallow bond. They also do not dissapate when dropped. So whether dropping the blade is enough to break the bond or not, the moment another person picks up the blade, and through touch it bonds to them... The bond is broken. At this moment, whether it's the breaking of the bond, or a new bond being forged, I think that this is what the shamanate can detect. So the shamans take flight (figuratively, most likely through the surge of transportation with the Elsecaller and Willshaper blades) shortly after to where the blade fell, and make the swap. They return to Shinovar, and are obviously aware that the newfound blade in their possession is one they've never had before. They've historically held all of the blades until Nale reclaimed his, and most likely have representations of what they look like. They would immediately know that this is the tenth blade that they have never held, and what precisely it means. Panic ensues, their entire belief structure falls into turmoil, and so when Szeth dies they don't even bother to try and retrieve Jezrien's blade. Part Three: Szeth's Crusade Finally, we come to Szeth's future, and the his fourth oath. Szeth has made it clear, that his goal will be to bring justice to the Shin. He believes that he will be on a mission of retribution. He is unaware that to the Shamanate he has been vindicated. He should never have been Truthless. He will arrive, and the Shamanate as a whole will throw themselves at his feet and swear to him. They will attempt to make him their king, and proclaim him the only one to have recognized truth. Szeth's crusade will be thrown completely off track. It will appear that the crusade he swore cannot be completed. This is only true though, if Nale's letter of the law mentality is true. This chain of events will act as the vehicle for Szeth to find the balance of letter and spirit of what he is sworn to that will allow him to act as an example of what the Skybreakers should be, instead of the twisted mockery of Justice that they play at under Nale's guidance. I'm most likely wrong, and a number of things could occur that will tumble this fragile chain of events. I find the idea compelling though, and I strongly doubt Brandon will give us a straightforward "Szeth slaughters the Shin" storyline.
  32. 43 points

    From the album Stormlight fan art

    Hey, here's some fan art I've done. I'd love to hear your thoughts and complaints -Shallan Davar taking a tour around Shattered Plains (No Pattern included, sorry)
  33. 43 points
    Preface: The most part of it is solidly grounded in facts and WoBs. You can rely on it. Some part of it is reasonable speculation, so you should not treat is as a fact, but like a theory. Sorry it's so long. The Letters. The one in The Way of Kings was written by Hoid to Frost (WoB), and the one in Words of Radiance was Frost's response to Hoid. The Letters are written after events of First Mistborn Era (WoB). In Oathbringer we got three: https://coppermind.net/wiki/Letters#Oathbringer_Letters What can we conclude about the identities of the writers and recipient? Well, the first thing is that two of them are adressed to Cephandrius - known as Hoid's alias - and the Third to "Dear Friend", but it's commonly assumed it's also adressed to Hoid. The Third writer almost certainly is Harmony. But my interests are in the First and Second. First, some WoBs on the topic: What are the Shards we have seen or know of? Autonomy (Vessel: Bavadin) Ambition (Vessel: Uli Da - WoBs: #1 #2) Devotion (Vessel: Aona) Dominion (Vessel: Skai) Harmony - Ruin & Preservation (Vessel: Sazed) Endowment (Vessel: Edgli) Honor (Vessel: Tanavast) Cultivation Odium (Vessel: Rayse) Survival Shard - unknown Shard that just wants to hide and survive the Shard not on a planet (NOT the Survival Shard - although take note that it's not impossible for the Survival Shard to be not on a planet) The last two are questionable, as Brandon may be refering to the knowledge from books and not necessarily from WoBs. But then we have another WoB that will help us narrow down the identity of the first writer: What are the worlds we have seen? Taldain Sel Scadrial Nalthis Roshar (depending on how you understand "have seen" - also Ashyn and Braize) Threnody First of the Sun Well, this excludes Shard not on a planet and possibly Ambition, as Ambition is not on Threnody. I also doubt the Shard that is hiding is on the First of the Sun, but we'll get to that later. With Harmony having written the Third and the First Letter mentioning Rayse, Aona, Skai and Uli Da by name, we're left with: Autonomy Endowment Honor (dead and Splintered) Cultivation Judging by the fact that the Letter is supposedly a response for Hoid's plea for help against Rayse and that the writer is dissapointed that so few of the Shards kept to the agreement of not interfering with each other, we can also remove Cultivation. Which leaves us with two possible candidates: Autonomy Endowment If we believe Khriss words in Taldain essay about Autonomy's interference with other planets, it leaves us with Endowment as having written the First Letter. The Third Letter is written almost certainly by Harmony (I say that just because Brandon did not outright confirm that in a WoB but I doubt it's not Harmony). Second Letter [edit] Brandon has confirmed on 16th December that the Second Letter was written by Autonomy So we need to update our list of who might have written the Second Letter. It also mentions Rayse, so we can cross out Odium: Autonomy (Vessel: Bavadin) Ambition (Vessel: Uli Da - WoBs: #1 #2) Devotion (Vessel: Aona) Dominion (Vessel: Skai) Honor (Vessel: Tanavast) Cultivation Survival Shard - unknown Shard that just wants to hide and survive the Shard not on a planet (NOT the Survival Shard - although take note that it's not impossible for the Survival Shard to be not on a planet) Well, that's still a lot, isn't it? Well, let's assume that these Letters are really responses to Hoid's plea for help against Odium. It doesn't make sense then that he'd write to Rosharan Shards. We can cross out Cultivation and Honor (who is also very, very, very dead at the time of Oathbringer). The Letter in The Way of Kings also mentions Aona and Skai being dead and their Shards Splintered, so I think we can reasonably assume nobody has Ascended to them since. Which leaves us with... Autonomy (Vessel: Bavadin) Ambition (Vessel: Uli Da - WoBs: #1 #2) Survival Shard - unknown Shard that just wants to hide and survive the Shard not on a planet (NOT the Survival Shard - although take note that it's not impossible for the Survival Shard to be not on a planet) At that point there is no much to go off of - unless we assume Brandon in that first WoB up there at the beginning of this wall of text meant the Shards we know from books, not WoBs. Which leaves us with only two: Autonomy and Ambition. I'm gonna analyse each separately. But first, a WoB on the topic: The line "That one is even closer associated with a Shard, the actual Investiture of the magic." probably refers to an earlier WoB in that event which confirmed that all Investiture in Cosmere is associated with a Shard, even if it was not on Yolen on the time of the Shattering. It got assigned to Shards, but it's not part of what the Vessel of the Shard commands. Two important things that we can take from this WoB: First of the Sun has Investiture that is directly associated with a Shard and the island Patji is a Shard. With big asterisk. one of the letters in Oathbringer references First of the Sun Reading through the letters, the only one left that can reference any place is the Second Letter. (Unless we take " I noticed your many intrusions into my land " from the First Letter as reference to First of the Sun, but that's another can of worms, one I do not intend to open). It's either the place the writer is or the Obrodai that's being referenced. For now, let's analyse possibilities of Autonomy and Ambition. Autonomy Certainly a fan favorite, if I may say so. Many of us believe it's Autonomy, and there are certain clues that point to it, although some of that fierce conviction seems to be based on the assumption that the Shard assaulting Scadrial during the Second Mistborn Era is Autonomy. Not an unreasonable assumption, given what we know of Autonomy meddling with other worlds (if Khriss essay on Taldain is to be believed), having multiple religions or having entire pantheons where every worshipped god is actually Bavadin. Especially the last one seems to point in that direction, when you remember that the islands that Patji is part of are called Pantheon. Some people believe that Autonomy's modus operandi of creating personas is the reason for why the Letter is written by a collective. It's reasonable, but personally I doubt it - there's one thing in crafting personas and letting them attract attention, but it's not a reason for Autonomy to actually be a mind collective. Which leads us to... Ambition That is my favorite. Yes, Uli Da is dead, and Ambition is Splintered (WoB). But... Splintering can be a vague term sometimes. And we've seen Ambition's influence (which most of us ascribe to Shades of Threnody) and things that happened with Ambition have had ramifications across many places in the cosmere. Recently Brandon added that "this specific Splintering has had far-reaching effects" (WoB). From essay on First of the Sun we know Khriss is certain there is no Shard there... but her essays are more contemporary (sometime after Ascension of Harmony, and definitely long before Sixth of the Dusk happens: #1 #2) and she does not know what we know about First of the Sun: #1 #2. That is weird: ... since now Brandon has stated that Patji is a Shard. (With big asterisk). Hm... What if Ambition is not on a planet... what if it's on planets? What if Ambition's Splinters - maybe larger than the usual Splinters like spren or seons or skaze, but instead massive like Unmade, Nightwatcher or even Stormfather - have formed a collective mind? It would explain why the writer is speaking like a group. Let's see what is said in the Letter: It implies mutliple beings. They are hiding part of their being on a world and were surprised and are intrigued how Hoid has managed to locate them there. It would explain why Khriss is certain there is no Shard there - there is just a Splinter and it actively hides its presence. They have many realms. They wish to be alone. They do not believe in interfering with another Shards - does it fit the meddling Autonomy? I don't think so. Admiration of his initiative - it would be strange if it's Ambition, right? Since Odium has mortally wounded Ambition. But... Preservation admired Rashek just because he did not change. Even though he was a tyrant and responsible for many deaths, it was a quality to be admired. Why then cannot Ambition admire Odium's initiative and will to act? They have claimed a world - for me it fits Ambition to claim multiple worlds, to add it to their many realms. If it was Autonomy, why an avatar is beginning to manifest? Autonomy's personas are more of a masks Bavadin dons. And the new avatar was instilled with some preference - it suggests truly another mind, part of Ambition's collective, and not just a persona Autonomy uses. This reeks of Ambition to me - for Hoid to be deemed worthy of further communication, he must prove himself by overcoming tests (perhaps getting to Patji's eye?). It's only fitting that one can earn Ambition's respect by overcoming obstacles - it's a proof of your determination, will to act, drive... ambition. tl;dr: Harmony almost certainly wrote the Third Letter, the First one was written likely by Endowment and Second Letter was written either by Autonomy or Ambition (and I personally think the latter). Second Letter is confirmed to be written by Autonomy.
  34. 42 points
    As my friend and I read about Urithiru and learned it was the home of what were essentially a bunch of gods in human form, we realized how hard it would be to manage that many people. Therefore we created our patented: List of Urithiru PSAs That Must Have Happened: Original set: -To the lightweaver who put an illusion of a chasmfiend in the oathgate entrance, a foreign emissary was coming on a diplomatic mission, and suffice to say relations are now…strained. -Windrunners, while sticking someone to the ceiling might be an excellent way to stop a fight, please remember to let the participants down gently afterward, particularly in rooms with high ceilings. -We understand that the hallways might be twisted and confusing to many, but please refrain from soul casting the walls, even if you are quote “late for a meeting.” Particularly do not soulcast any walls into blood. What is wrong with you? There were children nearby! -Edgedancers, slicking the floor for a “fun prank” is not acceptable, particularly in public hallways. We have a laundress with a broken hip, and she’s threatening to sue. -This is a general reminder to those of you with a gravitation surge, please keep track of your altitude and stormlight. We’ve had three accidents already this month. -This is a general notice to all knights radiant. We ask that you use the stairs to get down from the top floor and refrain from jumping off the balcony. The ground is full of cracks and the bondsmith are getting irritated. -Please remember that there are people here who are not knights radiant and therefore possess no special abilities or healing factor. There are currently eight people in the hospital due to negligence in this area. -Since there are still many of you who refuse to refer to the Dustbringers by their preferred name, Releasers, mandatory sensitivity training will be held within the week. Please check the notice board for your order’s scheduled date and time. There it is. Feel free to add more. Some of the other good ones from my tumblr post on this: - Stonewards, please refrain from creating handholds and staircases in the walls. The city planning committee is in an uproar and the traffic congestion is immense. - Lightweavers, please remember to remove your illusions after you’re done practicing. We have multiple falling injuries from people assuming that the holes in the floor are illusions and not actually scheduled maintenance. - To whomever Lashed the barracks doorway shut, we understand you are not on speaking terms with other members of your order. However, they do have a right to be able to sleep in their own bed. And no, you can’t Lash them to the ceiling as a substitute. from aspiringwindrunner - Skybreakers, we know you’re all about the rules, but covertly rerolling a saving throw doesn’t warrant an out-of-character death penalty. - Windrunners, please stop going up to visiting dignitaries and offering to “show them the world”. - Stonewards, we know your herald is the best, please stop getting in shouting matches with the skybreakers in the hallways. - Edgedancers, please stop talking the skybreakers in circles. Their Highspren have filed complaints. - Lightweavers, while your practice is certainly important, please stop sending images screaming salacious rumors through the halls. On a similar note, please stop making fake dead ends, the ambassador was lost for nearly two days. from kyerinell
  35. 42 points
    Obviously, boots are well suited for running jokes.
  36. 42 points
    Simple theory, but profound historical Rosharan implications. The girl who looked up tells the story of a girl who climbed a wall forbidden wall only to find on the other side that she was the monster all along. On the other side they also had Stormlight, and Storms. After she climbed her people experienced these things as well. (Ostensibly). Meanwhile, we have some interesting facts. Shinovar is behind a giant wall of mountains. The storms have no power there. There are few (or no?) Spren. There may not be any Stormlight (unconfirmed). Shinovar has a typical ‘human’, Yolish environment, whereas the rest of Roshar is profoundly alien. The Shin religion holds walking on stone to be profane, meaning religious shin can never leave their valley. The Shin also see using Stormlight as illumination to be profoundly disturbing, implying it’s too holy to use like that and that they don’t have/use Stormlight. Meanwhile, the Listeners were the native rulers of Roshar, who have since been delegated to a slave species. THEORYTIME: The stone shamans prohibition against walking on stone wasn’t originally strictly religious; it was part of a deal, a treaty. Humans settled on Roshar in the Shinovar valley, likely with shardic or other magical help (dawnsingers?), but either way some serious terraforming was done to create a ‘wall’ and to give the valley soil. A deal was made with the Listeners (possibly by the humans, possibly by the shard or dawnsingers that helped set up Shinovar) that the Humans wouldn’t cross over the wall; that it would be illegal for them to walk on the bare rock or Roshar. Thus the humans (likely refugees?) were able to settle an enclave of Roshar in peace. Generations pass, and reasons may have been forgotten (or simply prohibitions and restrictions ignored). It’s possible too that new humans came to the valley of truth or any number of things. But what happened was that someone climbed the wall, and broke the treaty. After that, or as part of that, more humans came over the wall from Shinovar and began to colonize Roshar. Were they adventurers and colonists? Were they refugees fleeing ethnic discrimination by the Shin? Were they ‘truthless’, banished from the valley? Or did they just want new lands to settle? Either way, significant populations of humans crossed the mountains and began to spread throughout Roshar, stealing the fire from the gods and opening Pandora’s box, all at once. This began the millennia long struggle between Humans and Listeners (although it may have had long stretches of peace, commingling and cooperation - see the herdazians and horneaters). Likely, it is the human/listener tensions that Odium was attracted to/fanned into the flames of war and hatred, leading to the cycle of desolations where Odium would infiltrate both sides and seed them with voidbringers. Eventually, the Listeners being more naturally susceptible to Spren bonds and having more righteous anger against the humans were suborned en masse by Odium. (Alethi and Iriali are both ethnically interesting with their hair - likely they arrived on Roshar later). Tl;dr - Stone shamanism is a memory of early humanities treaties with the Listeners, and The Girl Who Looked Up is about those treaties starting to fall apart/early human forays from the valley of Truth.
  37. 41 points
    I am of a different opinion. People have read me criticize several aspects of the books, but this honestly wasn't a story arc which left me disappointed. I thought Evi's death was both heart-breaking, disastrous, gut-wrenching, incredibly terrifying and totally Dalinar's fault. Had he run her through with Oathbringer while being locked into blood rage, it wouldn't have had the same impact as knowing she died, screaming, burning while being locked into a small cell knowing for a fact her husband had turned down Tanalan's messengers as it boils down to this. Tanalan sent messengers. Dalinar killed them without hearing what they had to say. He is 100% guilty of having burned Evi: his need for personal revenge was so strong he refused to hear other people's advise telling him his plan as too awful. He refused to hear out what messengers from the offending party had to say. What kind of man does not listen to messengers? What kind of man kills them without hearing them out? Evi died because of Dalinar's selfishness, madness and bestial instincts: she died because she was wrong about her husband. There was no man within the beast, there was just a cold-heart monster whom once awaken would destroy everything standing in front of him: women, children, civilians. The horror of what Dalinar planned was purely terrifying: he set himself to burn a town because they dare resist to Gavilar's bloody conquest, because they dare attempt to fool him and, more importantly, because they bested him. Little Evi was a very courageous woman. Here is a girl whom, at 18 years of age, ran away from her sunny and warm Rira, half-way across the known world to seek refuge within the household of the world's worst warlords. Gavilar Kholin praised himself into thinking the Rirans were seeking his protection because they had come to see him as Alethkar's real king. He was wrong. The kids seek his protection because the Kholins were known to be terrible, foes no one crosses twice. Unbeatable. Unbreakable. They gave themselves away to barbarous arrogant monsters whom, in their superiority, never considered the possibility they played by their rules only because whomever they were running away from must have been worst. Evi gave herself away to the Kholins. She married a monster and yet she did not despair. She tried her best to try to tame the wild beast he was, she tried to encourage him to be a man, not a monster. She sacrificed everything she ever held dear: her life, her happiness, his firstborn son. She gave Adolin away to his blood-thirsty father, she made the boy hero-worship his father. she made him love Dalinar so much he would never second-guess him even when daddy turned into an abusive drunk. Evi did everything she could to be a perfect Alethi wife: she managed to get rid of her accent, she braided her hair like the Alethi women, she learned to scribe like them (despite being left-handed, how hard must it have been!). She put up so much effort and... she was utterly unhappy, sad and miserable the whole time. She bore her husband's warrior ways, but she hoped, she always hoped he would give them away, he would put the Blade away and come home. He never did. Instead, he told her he would torch the Rift, he would burn down women, children and innocent people just because he was angered. And she did one of the most courageous action we have ever seen within those books. She stood up to the Blackthorn. No one else would. No one dared trying to stop Dalinar. Gavilar had to cover the affair and to keep Dalinar away from battle afterwards because of how awful his actions were. What was little insignificant Evi going to do? She ran away to the enemy. Unlike others, I didn't think it makes her an idiot, I think it makes her a desperate courageous woman whom faced with the knowledge of thousand of people being soon burned down to ashes, being soon forced to die in a horrible terrifying manner, tried to do something to prevent it from happening. She might not have known what to expect, she might have thought becoming a hostage would have been enough to stop Dalinar. She however had to know her action would have put her against her husband, would have labelled her a traitor. She had to know her life would become even more miserable afterwards. But she was willing to sacrifice it. She sacrificed everything just to warn the Rift, just with the hope of perhaps, perhaps stopping one of the worst war atrocities warlords are able tp produce: mass killing of innocents in horrific pains. Think the World Trade Center, but think it filled with children. This is what Dalinar did. And Evi is the one person, the only person whom try to do something to stop him. She died for her actions. She died because she couldn't have known her husband would kill the messengers. Or maybe she knew, but she refused to believe the man she always saw in him wouldn't prevail. She believed in him, up until he burned her. So no, I didn't think it was under-whelming. I thought it was perfectly terrifying and horrific, so horrific I am dying for Adolin to find out about it. If Renarin will probably find a way to excuse his father, I cannot see Adolin not being touched by this knowledge: I hope he will be touched. This would wrap up this arc into such a nice way, but he may never give us the answer we never got... Whom were Evi and Toh running away from which made them agree to waste their life away with the Kholins? And whom does this Plate belong to?
  38. 41 points
    Shout out to all the Sharders who made these past Tuesday's something extraordinary. As much as I plan on burning through Oathbringer once released, I'm going to miss these weekly discussions. Journey before destination indeed.
  39. 41 points
    The number of babies screeching into recording devices and fire alarms going off I've listened to for this archive... I swear, you better be all happy with it, or the ghosts of my bleeding ears will haunt you for eternity!
  40. 40 points
    So we know that Renarin seems to have a special place in the Diagram, and Odium is unable to see his part in it. I can see two possible reasons for this, that might be inter-related. 1. His ability to see the future as Odium sees it changes the future. We know that Renarin seems to have his future seeing ability through Glys' corruption. Presumably (given that both Renarin and Odium incorrectly see Dalinar fall) the future he sees is the same future that Odium has predicted. But this knowledge changes things. For example, Jasnah is set to kill Renarin when he turns around and nods, knowing what she will do and accepting it. That act prompts her to stop. By knowing a future he ended up preventing it. It will be interesting to see if he will start using this information consciously, working against Odium by using his own assumptions about the future against him. 2. He is Like an anti-Odium In the scene "A small bottle" Dalinar reflects that he can't understand why his sons don't hate him. This is particularly striking for Renarin given that we have seen ample evidence of Dalinar' lack of love towards his youngest up to this point. Yet he doesn't hate him, instead he shows extrodinary love and empathy. It may be that Renarin is so different from Odium that he either slips under the radar or Odium simply can't predict his actions because they are so alien to his nature. Curious to hear other theories.
  41. 39 points
    Keep in mind that this is all speculation. Below are some relevant WoB's which I will dive into later 1. Questioner [PENDING REVIEW] The Ghostbloods. Are they Kelsier's new crew? Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW] Oh, good question. Do I wanna answer this or not? I'm gonna RAFO this one. Yeah, we're gonna RAFO this one. Billy Todd [PENDING REVIEW] Have there been interactions between Kelsier and the Ghostbloods? Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW] I will RAFO that. 2. ccstat If Kelsier (when Vin knew him) were to join one of the Rosharan secret societies, which one would he choose? Brandon Sanderson He would become part of the Ghostbloods, most likely, and would be in charge of them within a year. source source 3. Questioner [PENDING REVIEW] Yes, or no. With all of the cosmere books that have been put out, do we have enough information to deduce the Ghostbloods' motives? Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW] Ummm... *laugher* I would say yes, but it's not like you are a fool if you haven't gotten it. Robert Jordan once answered a question like this saying, "Well, the answer should be intuitively obvious to the casual observer." Which I never thought was fair. Like, no, it was not. Szeth, some people guessed it. And some people will guess this. A lot of the foreshadowing in my books, it's this weird thing where, when you do proper foreshadowing, and then people have three years between books, they're gonna figure some things out. Which presents a really interesting challenge to me as a writer, because, like, there are big things that get revealed in Oathbringer, that people who have been steeped in the world for the last seven years... they kinda knew this would happen. We get the beta readers, and they're like, "So? Doesn't everyone know that?" But at the same time, the casual reader, beta readers were like "Holy cow! This is a huge revelation!" And books need to work both for the person who has been really steeped in it, and the person who's reading along that maybe doesn't want to go get all the spoilers from all the fan guessing. So it is this weird balancing act that, as a writer, you have to perform, particularly with the longer books in the longer series, where you want to make sure they're engaging to the hardcore fan, but not overwhelming to the person who maybe hasn't reread the books since the last one came out. And I don't know that I have that balance figured out, but it is something I think about a lot... source Kelsier's motivations post Secret History: After his interactions with Khriss and Nazh in Secret History, Kelsier realises just how little he really knows. Kelsier would see this ignorance as a weakness he must overcome, as to rise to the top he must acquire knowledge. Kelsier's conversation with Spook at the end of Secret History illustrate his quest to pursue knowledge of the cosmere. “Now, don’t be like that,” Kelsier said. “Our work is important. Vital. We’re going to unravel the mysteries of the universe. The cosmere, as it is called.” “It’s a big, big place out there, kid,” Kelsier said. “Bigger than I ever knew. Ignorance almost lost us everything. I’m not going to let that happen again.” He tapped at Spook’s ear. “While dead, I had an opportunity. My mind expanded, and I learned some things. My focus wasn’t on these spikes; I think I could have worked it all out, if it had been. I still learned enough to be dangerous, and the two of us are going to figure the rest out.” If there is one thing we know about Kelsier, it is that he compulsively meddles. He would not be content to swear an oath of non-interference like the 17th shard members. We know from a WoB that the 17th shard and ghostbloods do not work together. Furthermore, Iyatil has South Scadrian ancestry and was a former member of the 17th shard. It is plausible that she converted to the ghostbloods after a little persuasion from the god figure of her ancestors. So the 17th shard does not fit Kelsier, leaving the ghostbloods as the only known worldhopper organisation with a similar agenda. We know that Kelsier always feels the need to operate a crew. This is a constant between pre-Final Empire and post-Final Empire Kelsier, as shown when he treats Preservation/Fuzz as a crew member after determining his goal was to stop ruin and also at the end of Secret History when he recruits Spook. It is highly probable, then, that Kelsier post-Secret History has founded a new crew which is the ghostbloods. So what exactly are the ghostbloods up to? First of all, a minor piece of evidence linking the ghostbloods to Kelsier is the name of the organisation. Ghost= cognitive shadow, Blood= hemallurgy Now, as shown above, Kelsier appears to be on a quest to gather cosmere knowledge. In Mraize's basement we see artifacts from many worlds, including a knife from Threnody (possibly the knife which Nazh gave to Kelsier in Secret History), a vial of white sand, a dye flower from Nalthis (tears of Edgli), possibly Royal Idrian locks and in a later scene we see Mraize with an aviar. This shows that the ghostbloods are collecting investiture related artifacts from numerous shardworlds. The collection of these artifacts would tie into Kelsier's pursuit of cosmeric knowledge. Here's where things get a little crazy. I believe that Sja Anat has known Shallan since she was a child and is responsible for her forming a nahel bond so early in life before everything fell apart. 4. Questioner [PENDING REVIEW] Was Shallan's family, during her childhood, being influenced by an Unmade? Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW] Um, yes. Questioner [PENDING REVIEW] Was it <the corrupt...>? Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW] I'll RAFO that, but yes, there is some external influence there. source 5. Questioner [PENDING REVIEW] Why don't you have to say the words if you're just bonding a Cryptic? Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW] Every Order's First Oath is the same. Then the Second Oaths for the Cryptics go into truths, but everybody says the First Oath the same regardless of Order. Which should raise the question of... Questioner [PENDING REVIEW] Did [Shallan] say it when she was a teeny-weeny, like in the cradle? Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW] That should raise a question. She wasn't teeny-weeny, but it should raise a question there. source This would tie in with the ghostbloods interest in Sja Anat, as she may be able to grant them nahel bonds in a similar fashion. This would add to their investiture collection. I see the situation as being similar to Hoid collecting investiture from different sources, though the end goals likely differ drastically. 6. Questioner How would - just really generally - the Ghostbloods react if they found or met Hoid? Brandon Sanderson (laughs) They... Some people among them know of him. Questioner So they know he's around. Brandon Sanderson Some of them do, not everybody. But they are aware of his existence. At least in lore, they don't always... Not all of them have connected the King's Wit to this person's lore, does that make sense? So what would they know? They'd probably want to get him and interrogate him. They would want to know what he knows, but he is really slippery and it's hard to get out of him what he knows. source Conclusion: There is a realistic possibility that Kelsier has at least had involvement with the ghostbloods. This could potentially set up conflict between Hoid and Kelsier as they would have similar pursuits and really don't get along very well. We know that Secret History was in the works from as early as 2006 so Brandon clearly felt like he had not finished telling Kelsier's story. Maybe Shallan will finally meet the mysterious Thaidakar with heavily scarred arms.
  42. 39 points
    The Spiritual Realm is probably the least understood piece of Realmatics within the Cosmere. As such, much of this is speculation upon how the Spirit works. However, I am pretty sure that I am at least onto something with this. To understand the Spiritual Realm, you first must understand Investiture. It is a third state of “Stuff”, like Matter or Energy. But Investiture is first and foremost the “stuff” that constructs the Soul of all things. As such, all things have an aspect in the Physical, Cognitive, and Spiritual realms. All things have a Soul, which is usually called sDNA, or a Spirit-Web. These terms are what define most of this speculation upon the Spiritual Realm. The Spirit Web may be defined as a web that is you, composed of structures that represent yourself, or it may be also explained as threads connecting various Spiritual Ideals, which are also represented in the Spiritual Realm, which come together to form the web that is you. In this, I will attempt to explain multiple functions of the Spirit, some mundane, others magical. This will help to outline how the Spirit actually is affected by daily life, rather than just the dramatic magical events that happen occasionally with our main characters. The Spiritual Realm itself is not a place, like the Cognitive Realm could be defined as being. One can visit the Cognitive Realm, but to our knowledge, the Spiritual Realm has no Where, and therefore you cannot truly be There. It is an infinite and yet an infinitesimal realm. Where and When have no real meaning there, besides some things that I will go into later. I will also go into basically every Cosmere novel to some degree, to address various things there. So, spoilers. Furthermore, this obviously is mainly speculation, even if it is (in my own mind) very educated speculation. If Brandon comes along and says I’m all wrong, then obviously I am wrong. But I don’t think I’m completely off my rocker, so bear with me. First, addressing normal functions of the Spirit Web. As stated before, investiture is the stuff that makes up a soul, and therefore the Spirit Web is made of investiture. The Spirit Web is our perfect ideal. This is reflected in the Light Filter Realmatics model, where the Spiritual Realm is the Light, and the Cognitive Realm filters our perception of the perfect ideal, and the Physical Realm is how that manifests. However, clearly things change. As I addressed in the Spiritual Digestion topic, even in eating things we are changing things. Furthermore, over time our ideals can change, not counting that where do these spiritual ideals even come from in the first place? Clearly, the Spiritual Realm does change, and therefore it is subject to Time. HOWEVER, it is NOT subject to time in the same way the Physical Realm is, or the Cognitive Realm. Instead of it being a 4th dimensional construct like in our own universe, it is more of a 3-dimensional object in the spiritual realm, as much as the Spiritual Realm can even be defined as “3 dimensional.” This is evident in the Spiritual aspect of Fortune, the ability to see the “webs” of the future. This is what Elend sees at the end of HoA, what Kelsier sees in SH, and what Renarin sees in OB. The Spiritual Realm is reminiscent of the “Flame on a String” model, where Time is the string and the present is the flame. The past is set in stone, but there is a myriad of possibilities in the future. Preservation comments on how hard it is to make sense of these futures in SH. Clearly, in this sense, time is represented in the Spiritual Realm, even if the Spiritual Realm itself does not experience Time. This is similar to how Location is represented in the Spiritual Realm, although Location is a bit easier to explain. Location is mainly explained by the Spiritual aspect of Connection. When one is in a location, you become Connected to it. When you are born and from a location, you become more heavily connected to it than if you merely visited a location. This Connection is expressed in the Spirit Web, so if you identify as a Scadrian because you were born on Scadrial, that would make itself manifest in your sDNA. This is particularly important for Sel, where magic systems are entirely dependent on where you are from. It is also how Worldhoppers can use native languages without having to learn each one. They do so by tapping into connection, although exactly how is not entirely clear. We do have a clear example of Connection in BoM, where the medallions of the Southerners allow Wax and Co to speak with Allik. So, while there are no actual locations in the Spiritual Realm, location is still represented. Clearly, all things, and all parts of an individual, are somehow represented in the Spiritual Realm. This entire shape, the key thing of it being a particular person is the Spiritual aspect of Identity. Your Identity means that it is you. No matter how much you change as a person, your core Identity does not change, as evidenced by the fact that Feruchemists are still able to use metalminds they filled a long time ago. A few things about general Spirit Web function before I move on to discussing how the various Magics utilize the Spirit. First, digestion and destruction. By eating things, you are destroying them and turning them into yourself. As such, the Web of the items you eat are changing. They are no longer meat or an apple, they have now partially integrated into your own Web, adding to your strength and general livelihood. This also gets into the key idea of a Spirit Web acting somewhat like an Enzyme, which I will address more later. Second, heritage. As per WoB and common sense, heritage is reflected in the Spirit Web. After all, who your parents are is part of who you are, and therefore part of your Identity. Also, Allomancy and Feruchemy are both inherited, which means parts of the Spirit Web are passed on. This is probably not a cut and paste method of inheritance, but more an adaptation of the Child’s Spirit Web to start forming an Identity. It seems reasonable to assume that at birth, one has very little Identity. But, one of the first things that truly Identifies you is your parents. At that age, there is not much more that really makes you you. As such, the Spirit would Connect to the parental Spirit, and as such take on some of its attributes. This would include genetics, looks, philosophies, and magical abilities, although clearly it is not a perfect copy. This is also not a perfect model of how the Spirit would develop from birth, because clearly orphans don’t develop ideas similar to the parents if they were never raised by them. However, certain Connections to things around them should explain how a child develops the way they do. Finally, beginning to move into the more magical side of things, there is Snapping. This is a matter of some debate on how it works. Clearly, trauma of some kind causes snapping. Harmony also made snapping easier in Era 2, which shows that it can be affected by a Shard. I will attempt to explain my own hypothesis on how snapping actually works. I believe it is simply a change in who you are. As mentioned before, your core identity never changes. You are always who you are. Bu who you identify as does change, and this should reflect in the Spiritual Realm. The thing about trauma is that it changes you. You are not the same before and after being beaten bloody. You are not the same after killing your mother. But you can change in smaller ways too. This change in who you are would “Snap” your spirit web. Perhaps the first time you see poverty. Or the first time you lose someone. Perhaps just breaking an arm, or getting a nasty illness. You don’t have to commit murder just to become Radiant. It is probable that virtually every individual in the Cosmere is Snapped, to some degree or another. And once a crack in your Spirit Web forms, it is possible for more Investiture to enter in. What kind depends on where and who you are, and it is not entirely evident how each of these magical systems work. But, I will do the best to explain how what we have seen might be reflective of the Spirit Web. I will start off with Allomancy. As we all well know, a typical allomancer ingests the metal they are able to utilize, and then “burns” it to gain access to the power associated with that particular metal. I will address two important Spiritual ideas in Allomancy. First, the idea of something being a “part of you.” From many WoB’s asking whether various metal things within the body would be burnable, it is evident that in order to burn a metal, you must consider it to be “inside” of you. As soon as this is the case, the Spirit Web of the metal is now part of your Spirit Web, although still as a metal. Here’s where the other idea enters in: the ability of a Spirit Web to interact with other webs in a particular web. This is why I explain it as being like an Enzyme. The Spirit Web (according to my speculation) has a particular part that is the “active site,” which has a particular shape to fit exactly to a particular metal. The metal has to be the correct alloy because it needs to have the exact spiritual shape to fit into the “active site”. Once this takes place, an allomancer can then burn the metal. At this point, the “active site” consumes the metal’s spirit web, also consuming the metal itself, which then takes power from Preservation to power the particular ability the metal provides. It is likely that this active site has some sort of connection to Preservation which allows this connect to take place. The reason there are no 2 metal Mistings is that a Mistborn, instead of having 16 separate “active sites,” has one active site that handles any allomantic metal. A Lerasium Alloy could be imagined as creating the active site for that specific metal, while straight Lerasium would create the complete active site. How aluminum fits into this is not entirely clear, although I suspect that when one burns Aluminum, it all goes away because it’s the power of Preservation destroying the metallic spirit web, turning it into (useless) investiture. Also, Allomancy’s abilities could be imagined as Connecting to a particular idea or object, and then pulling or pushing on that connection. This gives further evidence to the Time being a Spiritual Object idea, as this would suggest that Bendalloy and Cadmium connect, and the push or pull on Time. Next, Feruchemy. Again, the active site thing works the same, except this time you are putting investiture from your own spirit web into the metal you can store into. Yes, into the Spirit Web of the metal. So, you store part of your ideal Health, or Strength, leaving that part of the spirit web that identifies your Strength or Health weaker. Of particular interest is the Spiritual quadrant of Feruchemy. Unlike Allomancy, the abilities of Feruchemy are all ones you have naturally, just used at a different rate than one normally would. Investiture is particularly interesting, as it means you store the stuff that makes up your spirit web- therefore weakening it- to tap it and make it stronger at a later date. How this is useful is not quite clear, unless you have another ability to pair it with. Storing Identity is also interesting, as you can become more of a blank slate. This also has some regard to metalminds, although exactly how Unsealed metalminds, like the Medallions, work yet is not entirely clear. Connection stores your ability to make connections, which might have some very interesting implications on a developing child. But of most interest of me today is Fortune, or the ability to see the future. Atium worked with Fortune on a very small scale, allowing one to see slightly into the future. Only slightly, because when you look only slightly into the future, usually there are not a lot of branches. However, as Vin so dramatically illustrated, sometimes one can force branches of change. Fortune probably just is the ability to choose which path they want to take, at the cost of having no foresight whatsoever when storing. Fortune on a grander scale is something that needs to be addressed, as a complete topic. Fortune is an ability demonstrated by Shards and those who see significantly into the Spiritual Realm. The branching of possible futures is clearly quite frustrating, and not always easy to interpret. Hoid does have a way of manipulating fortune, but it is NOT through Feruchemy. He does not store and then tap fortune, he has another way of manipulating it. It allows him to know where to go where he is needed. Source The Spiritual Realm manifests all possible futures, with some being more likely than others. However, it only takes one path in the end. Shards who’s intents are better aligned with foresight are better at seeing into the future. The ability to see possible pasts is also there, as shown by Malatium. However, this ability is clearly less useful than being able to see possible futures. While on the topic of Shards, I might as well get in a little speculation before I move on to addressing the Surges and the other smaller magic systems. What we call a Shard’s intent, is more than just an arbitrary name, despite what Odium says to the contrary in OB. It is, to some degree or another, a Spiritual Ideal. A Shard is a massive soul, given that it has an immense amount of investiture composing it. It is no wonder that a Vessel’s identity would be warped by so much Investiture that composed an ideal of Ruin, or Honor. I have speculated before that what we call “Intents” are pieces of Adonalsium’s original identity. However, after some more thought, I think it is also possible that Adonalsium came about as a natural creation of the untapped Spiritual Realm that was birthed at the beginning of whatever universe the Cosmere takes place in. Without life, the Spiritual Realm would not be used much, because it is living things that have large amounts of investiture in their soul, compared to the soul of a potato or a table. This may have led to friction between the realms, where the untapped Investiture of the Spiritual Realm became a single entity. No, according to this theory, Adonalsium wasn’t ever a human. But it was a mind. A living being, with more soul energy than anything else will ever have. As such, it’s Spirit would be the perfect ideal Spirit- A God. As for why relative Infinity would shatter into 16, or why anyone would want to Shatter Adonalsium, it is not entirely clear, besides a WoB or two. Source However, it does seem clear that what we call the Intent is more or less how the Vessel interprets the Spiritual Ideal the Shard represents. Furthermore, I speculate that it is due to these ideals that make Shards subject to certain laws- they cannot easily violate ideals they represent. Moving back to magic systems, we address Surgebinding. Surgebinding, in Spiritual terms, seems to be harnessing what are considered to be the 10 elemental forces on Roshar, according to the part of real interest- Spren bonds. A Knight swears Ideals or Truths- things that bring them closer to a Spiritual ideal of the Honor that their Order represents. Furthermore, the Spren integrates itself into the person’s Spiritual cracks. As such, the spren become more human, and the human becomes more sprenlike. This symbiotic relationship takes place all over Roshar, with a myriad of species. Of spiritual interest, the most important surge would probably be Transformation, which uses Stormlight to change an object into another type of thing, which means it is changing the Spirit Web of an object into a different shape. Most dramatically, Jasnah is even able to do this to people, changing them from human into a person shaped crystal statue. Of other significant note are the Singers, who are able to bond with spren to alter their bodies- and therefore their Spirit Web- into different shapes and purposes. This probably also has something to do with Active Sites being able to take in a spren. The Rhythms are likely Spiritual pulses, ideals of particular emotions. This probably comes from making small emotional connections to these Ideals, which then have this “rhythm” of investiture flow. How this works is not entirely clear. Also of some Spiritual importance is the fact that Highstorms constantly drag a perpendicularity across Roshar, which I theorize to be why spren are able to appear, because that much being driven together would likely leave the realms closer than if a perpendicularity never moved over Roshar. In fact, I think it has something to do with the entire ecology of Roshar, although how Shinovar fits in is not clear, due to a recent non-answer from Brandon on the question. Also of some interest is that fabrials have no identity, so they can be used by anyone. This contrasts greatly with your standard metalmind, which requires all sorts of extra steps we don’t understand in order to be used by anyone. Of some importance to address at this point are resonances. While I have been describing them as webs, they still are not technically a web. The Spiritual Realm is still a non-dimensional thing. Therefore, one’s spirit is both a web and a point. And in a point, all parts of it are on top of each other. Therefore, different magical abilities interact with one another, in ways that have not been fully explained yet. However, I am pretty sure that resonances are a direct result of the Ideals that different Orders identify with. How Twinborn resonances work, I have no idea. Until we get some actual examples, it is really hard to speculate on how the feruchemy and allomancy interact with one another. Moving on to less important magic systems, I will address the Selish magics as a whole. Basically, it appears that due to the Dor being in the cognitive realm, that practicioners of them forge a connection (haha accidental pun) by creating the shapes of the land they are from, whether through Aons, in your Dakhor bones, a weird sword kata, or in a Soulstamp. The Soulstamp is probably the most interesting spiritually, as it basically uses investiture to rewrite a spirit web. The closer the stamp is to the ideal, the better the stamp works. Sand Mastery is odd. How it works spiritually is not entirely clear, but also doesn’t matter to me too much, because as Khriss says, it is a low investiture system. Threnody is mainly weird because everybody has been invested to the point that they can turn into shades if they die in the right way, but no actual magic is taking place, so I’ll leave it at it being interesting that the Investiture has the ability to completely corrupt the identity of a person into whatever a Shade is. Awakening is not entirely interesting from a Spiritual standpoint, besides the dramatic exceptions of Divine Breaths and Nightblood. Nightblood is interesting because they made a super-invested death sword that is now alive. Divine breaths allow a person to come back from the dead, highly invested, at the cost of consuming some investiture each week or so. Creating sentient entities from investiture is definitely the more unique ability of this world, although I would recommend not trying that at home. I’m going to be honest and say that First of the Sun might be realmatically interesting, but at this point, I’m kind of done theorizing. It also appears to be a low investiture system, however. Why the worms only cause abilities in birds, well, probably some Spiritual shape stuff. Until we see more of that world it is hard to determine why particular species demonstrate particular abilities when the eat the worms. Also, it is notable that Sak uses some sort of form of Fortune when she shows Dusk possible places where he could die. Finally, I kind of forgot about one of the most important Spiritual magic systems: Hemalurgy. Hemalurgy is a leaky, low investiture system. But most importantly it is able to rip off pieces of a spirit web and attatch it onto another one. This is absolutely fascinating, as Khriss expresses in the Ars Arcanum. The uses for Hemalurgy seem to be mostly up to the imagination of the user, as long as one is ok with the grisly work of spiking people. A couple more spiritual things I should probably mention. A spiritual corpse lasts for a while, probably due to connections to living people. Aluminum’s total spiritual aspect seems to resist investiture, and has an aura that can be overwhelmed with enough investiture, even if the actual aluminum itself is not overwhelmable. However, its Spirit web can still be accessed, because Feruchemy and Allomancy still work with it, however useless destroying your own metals may be. This is why I think that Allomancy is indirectly working with the investiture and the aluminum, compared to directly targeting aluminum with a steelpush or a soulcasting, which just has no chance of working. Finally, I realized today that in the Cosmere, a Frankenstein’s monster is downright likely to appear at some point. Not a Frankenstein’s spren, like Nightblood, or like whatever Kelsier is now. I speak of creating an entirely new person, which is indicated to be possible from this WoB about creating a sentient space ship from hemalurgy. Mark my words. Mistborn Era 3, Hemalurgic Mistborn Cyborgs and Frankenstein’s monsters are coming. Edit #1. The Law of Investiture Saturation. Basically, a spirit web can only hold so much investiture, accounting for things like mistpoint, or a full metalmind. The amount it can hold is directly related to how complex the spirit web is. As a spirit web comes closer to saturation, it becomes harder exponentially to apply more investiture to the spirit web. The reason a shard works is because it adds to the web, not just inflating it. Savants happen when this state happens too often, leaving the "Strands" of the Spirit web perpetually "dialated", thus warping the spirit web. Edit #2. Eyes are weird in the Cosmere. Between eyes turning red due to shards hacking other magic systems, and the fact that your eyes burn out when you get stabbed by a shardblade, it's pretty evident something weird is going on. I propose that eyes are somewhat a reflection of the Spiritual Realm. Not a perfect one. But think about it. When you look out of your eyes, that's *you*. Its you behind those eyes, more so than being behind your fingers, or your ears. So it kind of makes sense that eyes could be "windows to the soul." Eye color change appears to occur when a sentient spirit web overlays your own. Namely, spren on Roshar. I'm pretty sure eyes change permanently once you reach the 5th oath, and Nale seems to reflect that, because even when he summons both Blades, Szeth never mentioned any eye color change. However, this needs to be confirmed by WoB. The 5th oath thing would explain why bonding a dead blade changes your eyes as long as you are bonded to it, rather than only when you summon it, like the Sylblade or the Honorblades. Furthermore, Lighteye Radiant not changing colors makes sense, because they are descended from radiants. Rather than needing a Spren, when they were born, their spirit web imitated their parents- with Radiant eyes. From that point on, it would be genetic/spiritually genetic. This does lend some credence to my theory on how children's spirit webs develop. It needing to be a sentient spirit web explains why your eyes should not change color when you get spiked, or get a divine breath, or get a forging. The red eye thing makes sense, as a shard hacking the magics system would reflect in the spirit web. Although, I do wonder why red. Why not purple? In world, why does the red occur? I don't have any good ideas for explaining that, so I'll leave that alone. Oh, and I just had the idea that perhaps Radiant eye color reflects the color of their spren, but I would have to double check that to see if I'm just making that up. It certainly would work for Kaladin though. Also, Preservation has weird eyes, but this makes sense given that he literally has a SHARD on top of his once human spirit web. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, the eyes would definitely show something like that. One problem with the whole sentient spirit web idea is the Singers, but I think because the Singer's spirit webs are specifically made to adapt to spren, that unless you have a hacking thing (like Voidspren) the color of eyes won't change. Although, I will be VERY interested to see what color Venli's eyes will turn. Ok, now I get to the weird one. Shades. I *think* that the splinter of Ambition that hit Threnody is somewhat sentient, but usually doesn't actively control the shades it has invested. But when somebody breaks the rules (which I still don't have an explanation for), then the splinter takes over, turning their eyes from green to red. Also, I think the big chunk of the Splinter is the Evil, but that no longer pertains to the Spiritual Realm. Edit #3. Guess what, its time to discuss the Spiritual aspects of the Surges! This also is crop full of OB spoilers, because of how much spiritual stuff happens there. Some of them are more interesting than others, but here we go. Adhesion- stickiness. Also allows to make connection, which is very interesting use of that surge, Dalinar. Its also not a permanent change, apparently. Furthermore, I hypothesize that this surge is why the dramatic stuff occurs. The adhesion makes the realms stick together a little more, making big dramatic glowy lightshows when our MC swears their oaths. How the windrunners use this surge to control the winds... well I think this surge is one of the closest ones to Honor. Sticking things together, and atmospheric pressure... well essentially I think the winds are highly "adhesive", and kaladin is able to manipulate them through that. But thats not really important to the spiritual realm, so I'll move on. Gravitation- I'm not sure what spiritual aspects this has, besides how the surge actually is applied- lashings are just manipulations of one's connection to the planet. By connecting yourself in different directions, you create the basic lashing and stuff. Division- I guess this is just breaking spiritually stuff? We haven't seen this much on screen, but I imagine just like soulcasting you need enough Stormlight to overcome the spirit web of the thing you are targeting. Abrasion- The best thing I have for this is getting along well with people- or not. Again, we don't know much about this surge's other applications. Progression- finally something interesting. Regrowth works like all the other healing things, healing to one's cognitive ideal. It also accelerates growth of plants, which I imagine works by boosting their spirit webs or something or whatever. Illumination- This one is juicy. Shallan seems to almost create false spirit webs to coat her own. Her identity is becoming somewhat fragmented by her deicisions, but that is not a discussion for this thread. The important thing is that it is a lot like Forgery. I am very, VERY interested in seeing how Hoid puts this surge to use, along with his natural Yolish lightweaving. Also, her drawings- they seem to be connected to her, slightly invested. They are somewhat of a crutch for her, but I think the gist of it is that she is creating false spirit webs, temporary ones, very transient ones. But spirit webs nevertheless. Transformation- This is probably the most interesting of all the surges. It transforms one spirit web into another. It is also directly related to how complicated something is to make, in terms of how hard it is to soulcast. Soulcasting also seems to be a more spiritual thing- Shallan changes people. However, I'm not entirely sure how this works, or whether that is something that can even be actually harnessed. I think its most important spiritual aspect is being able to change a spirit web completely- while retaining a things shape. This is interesting, because that indicates that the "shape" is different from the identity of the object. The identity of the object is clearly changing, from rock to oil or whatever, but the volume and shape is still maintained. I imagine any differences in mass due to imperfect transformation of absolute mass (aka not every particle of mass adds up into the transformed product,) is just absorbed into the cost of the investiture. Transportation- I think Jasnah is using it wrong. She did something like what the corrupted oathgate did- the perpendicularity only went into the cognitive realm, NOT the spiritual. Essentially, I think she needs to figure out how to actually "bounce" off the spiritual realm, as I imagine it. In actuality, its basically just changing your spiritual aspect of "where I am right now" to a different where. I imagine once she figures this out, she will become even more OP than she already is. Also, I believe we will see more of this surge in book 4, especially as it will be Venli/Eshonai book, and her first surge she learns should be Transportation, not Cohesion. So hopefully we'll get some Roshar-hopping in whatever that book ends up being called. Cohesion- We basically haven't seen much of this surge, besides turning the ground to mush. I imagine it's just changing the fluidity of the object- not changing the objects identity, but making the shape part of the spirit web more moldable. Or something. Tension- We haven't seen this surge at all. It is probably similar to how Cohesion works, besides making things more stiff instead of making them into putty. Edit #4. Well it's been a while since I updated this post, but Oversleep got this awesome WoB that is begging me to unpack it. There's already a thread to discuss it, but I want to discuss some of the important pieces of it, and how it applies to my view of the Spirit Realm. There is also another WoB regarding my theory on Adonalsium that I'll talk about after this. Specifically, it talks about several things, the dichotomy of how things can be everywhere and yet somewhere at the same time. How can a Shard move? How does Autonomy create these odd Aspects? (Which his rambling seems to hint that I am right about Autonomy creating more minds to expand the amount of investiture that she can access). But what we really want to talk about is this Investiture spin. Which makes perfect sense, I'm pretty sure I've thought about it before, but this adds a whole new realm to how quantum investiture works. Ok, so essentially the spin is a state. A state of being. It's really weird in quantum physics. But let me put Brandon's words into my own, to see if I can better explain what I'm getting at. Adonalsium had all things under one spin, one mind, one soul. And when that mind was shattered along with its power, it split into different pieces, different ideal for different traits. These ideals are something that are hard to describe, leading to the interesting subject of naming the shards. But this idea of investiture having spin explains why the Shattering was so different from a splintering. Adonalsium was truly everything, and when it died, everything changed. When a shard dies, there isn't a fundamental change in the universe, that spin still exists. So, I am declaring Adonalsium officially and completely dead. I don't think it can come back. It would require all investiture to be tuned to a single spin again, which, frankly, seems impossible. Furthermore, this makes more sense than the spirit web explanation, although... I just had a brain wave of an idea regarding micro-spins, and that being how connection works, but I literally just thought of it, and so I'll move on and think about spin being related to connection and all that later. So, spin. I want to suggest that the corruption and mixing of investiture is simply a shard taking investiture thats one spin and forcing it to be another, and it not entirely working. It doesn't quite match, because the connection isn't there. Mixing investiture is weird, because you would have spins that don't sync up. But think of it this way- things that are similar are connected. So a similar spin would be connected to something else with a similar spin. These connections form the shard. And possibly, (micro spin) even human spirit webs. I feel like I'm riffing a bit, but this WoB is seriously huge. Entire books of talking about investiture? SIGN ME UP. I will eat that stuff like I eat nutella and cheezits (no, not at the same time). I understand why Sanderson struggles with explaining it quickly, because I think I understand what he's getting at, but its really hard to put it into words. I'll try one more time. With this explanation, the idea comes to mind a different way of explaining spirit webs- quantumly. Where the webs are made of Investits (the unit I just made up, don't judge), and that connection comes from being similar to one another. The more similar they are, the more connected they are. These connections make webs. Within the larger tunings, small adjustments are made that create different connections. This works in my head, and I don't still know how to describe it properly. It's like entangelment, but on a greater scale if that makes sense, where two particles are the same and so become entangled, except with connection its not just one pair but lots and lots of particles. And now I'm rambling again. Moving on, there was a WoB that essentially addressed the idea of Investiture and Adonalsium, as some people seem to think- in world- that investiture seeks sentience because it was a part of Adonalsium. I think this is a good idea, but doesn't work with the fundamental understanding of the origin of the universe (assuming it started like our own). I just don't see that Adonalsium was all investiture from the moment the Universe began. I think that that happened over time, that raw investiture compiled into Adonalsium, forming its infinite mind and soul. It makes more sense than instant formation, to me. Finally, because it came up on discord, relating to the shards intents- these things are spiritual ideals, aspects of Adonalsiums personality and of the forces of the universe. Of laws, of growth, of giving and change. These cannot be accurately described by a single word. The words that we use to call shards are approximations. Much like most of my explaining. Anyway, I hope my rambling explains something for you. Once again, most of it is speculation, but I think it is pretty on the nose as to how it works. TL;DR: Spirity Wirity Investy Webby Stuff.
  43. 39 points
    Probably my favorite was the description of all of the newly changed parshmens behaviors. Especially the Azish who decided to formally lodge a formal complaint as opposed to outright war.
  44. 38 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*
  45. 38 points
    “Beautiful destroyer. Blunt and effective. Of all those I've claimed over this brief thousand years, you are the only one I think just might be able to understand me.” -Ruin, Hero of Ages, ch. 57. [CONTAINS OATHBRINGER SPOILERS] I once listened to a speaker presenting on the story-telling potential of role-playing MMOs. The thesis was that, through the mechanics of the open-ended game play, the players became story-tellers, crafting unique collaborative narratives through the actions and interactions of their created characters. The presentation was very well done, and I was pleased to see alternative forms of story-telling (focusing on fantasy!) getting some of the spotlight. However, I wondered about the boundaries of this story-telling model: which stories were allowed in, and which were barred at the door? “What about stories of non-violence?” I asked. While there were options available for those stories, blacksmiths or farmers, the presenter admitted that it would be difficult to advance in the games without violence of some kind, and the story-telling potential would thus be limited. Violence is often a staple of fantasy. One of the escapist attractions of the genre is that feeling of power you feel when witnessing a character you identify with have a moment of awesome. While some of us may be martial arts experts or hardened soldiers in our daily lives, many of us are not, and reading about epic heroes laying waste to their evil enemies can be an empowering and gratifying experience for those of us with frustrations we are unable to take a fist or bolt of magical energy to. There's a reason The Emperor's Soul is about Shai, and not the simple life version of her that would be created if she used her final Essence Mark. One of the reasons we read fantasy is to see extraordinary characters doing amazing things. It is important, however, to question the violence we see when reading. Is it realistic? What do these moments of awesome cost the characters? In my opinion, the cosmere books do a good job of providing diverse moments of awesome, unlike the MMOs from that presentation: Raoden reviving Elantris in a burst of light by scraping the chasm line into the ground, Sazed ascending and recreating the world with the knowledge in his metalminds, or Shallan discovering the secret of the Oathgates through scholarship and ingenuity. On the other hand, many moments of awesome in the cosmere are moments of great violence. So where does this leave us as readers? Are we, like Re-Shephir, creatures “of instinct and curiosity, drawn to violence and pain like scavengers to the scent of blood” (Oathbringer, ch. 30)? I don't think so, and furthermore, I don't think Brandon wants his readers to be mere spectators of blood sport. In particular, Brandon's characterization of Vin and Dalinar, arguably the two most violent figures in the cosmere, displays a sensitive and nuanced approach to depicting violence, thrilling readers with incredible fights scenes, without glorifying killing and death. Awe and disgust may be opposites, but they are brought together in Vin and Dalinar: the beautiful destroyers. The Mistborn Trilogy is known for its gorgeous fight scenes. Mistborn possess a grace that few cosmere killers can match. When Vin sets out with Zane to attack Cett, she doesn’t just go to make a dent in Cett’s forces. The killing is secondary, while Vin’s primary purpose is to awe Cett with her power: While we see men screaming and falling in this scene, Vin captivates the majority of the reader’s attention. She is the “terrible weapon”, a Mistborn at the height of her power. Even without atium, in this scene, Vin demonstrates to Cett’s entire army that none can stand against her. In many ways, this should be a triumphant moment for Vin. After being trapped between two armies, fearful and paralyzed with indecision, in this scene she is unleashed and allowed to stretch her abilities to their full potential. And, after patiently waiting for this moment, it is difficult not to be in awe of her. But at what cost? After decimating Cett’s forces, Vin comes across Cett and his son, one of whom she is convinced is Mistborn. Vin seeks to solve her problems with Cett through violence, but when she finally reaches him, she finds she cannot. Though she commands him to fight her, neither Cett nor his son, Gneorndin, can respond to her challenge. Brandon excites us by setting Vin loose to use her powers, but even the incredible, dazzling violence Vin unleashes is not an answer to her problems. The next morning, when Elend finds Vin, she is consumed with regret, confessing that while her old crew leader, Camon, was brutal and terrible, she likely killed more people in a single night than he had in his entire life. She goes on to say: “My entire life has been death, Elend. Death of my sister, the death of Reen. Crewmembers dead around me, Kelsier falling to the Lord Ruler, then my own spear in the Lord Ruler’s chest. I try to protect, and tell myself that I’m escaping it all. And then…I do something like I did last night” (The Well of Ascension, ch. 44). Following her massacre, Vin struggles to come to terms with being both surviving and causing great violence. This personal conflict is eventually resolved in Hero of Ages, when Vin uses the power of Preservation to destroy herself and Ruin, but along the way Brandon is careful to remind his readers of the human cost associated with his awesome fight scenes, both for the victims, and for the destroyer herself. Brandon continues his discussion of the relationship between beauty and destruction in Oathbringer. Like Vin, violence gives Dalinar a sense of purpose: Dalinar, and the reader along with him, fall under the Nergaoul’’s seductive spell. This moment is one of many where Dalinar is described as being more than a man. Here, he is judgement, sent by the Almighty to test the skill and worthiness of his enemies. While fighting with Blade and Plate might lack some of the otherworldly elegance of Mistborn or Windrunners, Dalinar’s fight scenes in Oathbringer remain captivating, even in their brutality. After hearing about the might and power of the Blackthorn in his prime, the reader is encouraged here to indulge as they enjoy watching Dalinar be awesome (sorry Lift, but you can’t hog it all to yourself). The way Brandon describes Dalinar in these fight scenes resembles how he describes Vin: both come to think of themselves as concepts or roles, rather than as individual people: Vin as Mistborn, and Dalinar as judgement. And yet, even the Blackthorn, who, despite his later redemption is likely the most brutal character in the cosmere, retains enough humanity to recognize the horror of what he is doing: Dalinar’s Shards and incredible fighting skills give him great power to defeat his enemies, but Brandon is quick to point out that there is a cost to getting lost in the glory of battle by emphasizing the destruction Dalinar has caused, and by highlighting that some of Dalinar’s own men also fell to his onslaught. After defeating the enemy general, Kalanor, Dalinar struggles to feel satisfied with his victory: It is this voice which drives Dalinar to continue his killing spree beyond what is necessary to win the battle. He wonders, “Shouldn’t the strongest rule? Why should he sit back so often, listening to men chat instead of war?” (Oathbringer, ch. 26). It is only after the Thrill almost drives Dalinar to kill his brother Gavilar that Dalinar stops and realizes what he has done. Gavilar’s celebration of Dalinar’s great victory is undermined by Dalinar’s feelings of guilt and shame for almost killing his brother. Despite Dalinar’s aptitude for war and fighting, and his oft emphasized disdain for conversation and politics, his great skill and power are not enough to satisfy him. Like Vin, Dalinar’s power and might leave him unfulfilled and unable to solve his problems. When he finally remembers burning the Rift, the voices of Evi and the children he killed haunt him: “Hypocrite, they said. Murderer. Destroyer” (Oathbringer, ch. 100). As he remembers his past, the actions that made Dalinar a fearsome warrior are a source of torment, rather than triumph, for him. Throughout Oathbringer, Dalinar often remarks about how difficult it is to adjust his thinking and unify people with politics and persuasion rather than by brute force, and how ill suited he is to the task of brokering peace. Both Hero of Ages and Oathbringer end with their respective destroyers overcoming inner turmoil to find some measure of self-acceptance. Vin determines that she can destroy to protect and is able to use Preservation in a way Leras never could. In doing so, she overcomes destruction incarnate by defeating Ruin, arguably the greatest destroyer the in the cosmere. Faced with a seemingly unstoppable force in Odium and the Fused, Brandon makes the reader think Dalinar may succumb to his past of destruction and violence and become that which he set out to defeat: Odium’s Champion. Armed with a book and, more importantly, the convictions it has taught him, Dalinar refuses to be a destroyer any longer. While Vin conquers destruction, she does so through continued violence. With Dalinar, Brandon takes his examination of violence further. Despite all of the breath-taking fight scenes in Oathbringer, the most awe-inspiring scene in the novel, and the crux of the epic climax, is the moment Dalinar, surrounded by gloryspren, refuses to give Odium his pain and opens the perpendicularity. In that moment, Daliner bests Odium, not with force, but by taking responsibility for his actions. Similarly, Dalinar overcomes Nergaoul with understanding, rather than a contest of force: While his history of struggle and violence is what allows Dalinar to capture Nergaoul, the capture itself, and the subsequent defeat of Odium’s forces, does not come about through violence on Dalinar’s part. Instead, Dalinar embraces the Thrill, thanking it for what it did for him in the past, and drawing it in close. He convinces it to rest in the gemstone. Like Vin overcoming Ruin, in this scene Dalinar, the destroyer, overcomes a divine force of destruction in a captivating way, but he does it without resorting to violence himself. In both Vin and Dalinar, Brandon sets out heroes who struggle with their self definition in the face of the violence they have committed against others. Brandon juxtaposes the hauntingly beautiful action sequences against the emotional impact those acts of violence have on the human soul, allowing his readers to enjoy the display while still being critical of that enjoyment. In their greatest moments, Brandon shows Vin and Dalinar overcoming violence and destruction, despite their status as destroyers, demonstrating that the ‘moments of awesome’ fantasy is known for do not always need to be violent ones, and that the beauty of destruction comes at a cost. _________ Post Script: As it turns out, Brandon himself has commented on the concept of beautiful but terrible violence in the Well of Ascension Annotations. Unfortunately, I did not find this quote until after I finished the essay above, but it has probably been bouncing around in the back of my head since I originally read it way back when. Enjoy Brandon’s take on the violence in Well of Ascension: Image Credit: "Vin in the Mists" by Xenia de Vries. You can also find her work on Instagram! Used with permission.
  46. 38 points
    My theory is that the spren were in agreement with their bondmates to die and cause the Recreance. Both the Knights and their spren decided that Honor was correct and that they would end up destroying the world if they were allowed to continue to surgebind. Without Honor, Notum and Ishar say there are fewer checks on their power, and we know they actually did destroy their previous planet. They deliberately allowed their Knights to break their Oaths, knowing that it would kill them, and alienate the remaining spren, so that no spren would be willing to seek out a bond for the foreseeable future. In this way, they save all of their fellow spren, friends, family, loved ones, as well as the humans and the Singers. We know that Honor was going mad and dying. He swore that the Knights would destroy the world. Whether that's true or not, he convinced the Knights and their spren that they were too dangerous to exist. 1. The spren are everywhere. It's nearly impossible to hide things from your own spren, and very difficult to hide things from others' spren. Most of them seem able to change size and some can change shape. Honorspren, at least, seem to be constantly curious, investigating anything interesting going on. Only the Knight they're bonded to can see them by default, so they can snoop around quite easily without being seen. An obviously coordinated effort like we see in Dalinar's vision of the Recreance would be impossible to plan without the spren finding out. 2. The spren can read thoughts. Syl can sometimes read Kaladin's thoughts, and definitely knows it on an instinctual level when he's not following his Oaths. Glys seems able to meld with Renarin, and definitely talks to him in his mind. We know that perception is important for whether a Nahel Bond is being kept or not. That it depends on the perception of the person and the spren. If the spren weren't in agreement that the Recreance needed to happen, then the Radiants who were planning on breaking their Oaths should have been losing their powers. 3. Honorspren are willing to let their Knights break Oaths if it's important enough. (WoB truncated for length). Honorspren are are willing to put the cause ahead of their own well-being. It's the nature of protecting. Kaladin is willing to die to save others, or at least put himself in harm's way. I think that this trait is not unique to honorspren, but to many of the Radiant spren. They're willing to die if it means a greater good--such as not destroying the planet. 4. Some spren don't see death the same way as humans do. Pattern is very nonchalant about dying. He fully expects, even encourages, Shallan to kill him, simply to spare her pain. Syl bounces back from being dead and doesn't really even give Kaladin grief over it. Ico doesn't seem particularly upset over his father being a dead-eye. He even is very understanding about why humans break Oaths. Other spren are downright friendly with humans. Even Wyndle, who is quite a fussy little voidbringer, mentions that they don't exactly die, though he is admittedly nervous about it happening to him. 5. The Radiants didn't lose their powers before the Recreance. As I mentioned in 1 (felt like it bore repeating), in Dalinar's vision of the Recreance, the Windrunners had their powers up to the point where they broke their Oaths. They flew to Feverstone Keep, their Blades and Plate were still glowing. 6. The other spren don't seem to know the reason for the Recreance. Ico thinks the reason for the Recreance was that humans couldn't honor Oaths. Notum just thinks Radiants are dangerous. Niether of them seem to care or mention much about the possibility of surgebinders destroying the planet. I think that the bonded spren at the time deliberately did not tell their friends and relatives what they were going to do, in order to enhance the shock factor, as well as the sense of betrayal by the humans. This would discourage just about all the spren from ever seeking a Radiant again, unless they were desperate. The best way to prevent future bonds was to shock and horrify all the other spren so much that the idea would be unthinkable for millennia. 7. The spren didn't leave or choose to have their Oath broken. Notum mentions there are "other ways" than killing the Knight, at least until the 5th Oath is sworn. Bui;ding on 6, if the spren didn't agree with their Knights, shouldn't some of them have tried to break their bond? It doesn't appear as if any of them did. 8. The skybreakers and highspren didn't break their Oaths. Highspren and Skybreakers hold the Law and Oaths as the highest possible Ideal, so to speak. The highspren would never have agreed to breaking the Oaths, and the Radiants likely wouldn't either, or weren't willing to kill their spren without their consent. They must have agreed to some degree though, because they've never told the other spren why all the other Orders foreswore their Oaths. 9. The spren didn't break their Oaths on their own (controversial). I believe that the spren can break the bond to their humans on their own. That they didn't also implies that they were complicit in the Recreance. This is a point of contention between me and some of the proponents of this theory, though, so I've marked it controversal. So, thoughts, opinions? Oh and thanks to @Calderis . Like Wit mentions, timeliness is important, and Calderis thought of this before me, although I came to it independently I posted this with his blessings.
  47. 37 points
    Hey everyone! After some much needed distance from the books and world of Roshar, I am diving back in from the very beginning and reading through to the end of Oathbringer. Unlike the 7 or 8 times I’ve read the first two books, where I did so for the pure pleasure of it, this time I am rereading with a specific purpose in mind: an in-depth analysis of one of the most confusing and unreliable characters in Stormlight, also known as Shallan Davar. Before I get started, I want to thank those of you who have welcomed me onto the Shard and liked my posts up until now. I have really come to enjoy the Shard, and it's nice to talk about the Cosmere with those who care about it as much as, or more, than I do. Special thanks go to @SLNC, who frequently is able to phrase things I am trying to say in a more concise and direct way, especially when my posts are nearly half a page (on here) long. I'd also like to thank @Fifth of Daybreak, who helped me immensely in developing my "forum voice" and was willing to carry on a rather lengthy debate and call me out when I was getting too heated, without ever making me feel like my thoughts were insignificant. @maxal has also frequently been a rational and contrary voice that explains the opposite side of the fence from me in coherent and well-thought out replies, which is crucial in any effective discussion. Let me preface this analysis by saying that this is a project I have wanted to tackle for a long time. Originally, I intended to do this as a set-up for Oathbringer, but with the birth of my second daughter and complications after, I ran out of time. Then, I planned on doing this immediately after my first read-through of Oathbringer, but other things in life and my own mental state after reading the book forced it to be put on hold until I could be at a place where I could approach this from a more neutral ground. As a little bit of background, when I first read through The Way of Kings, I fell in love with the character of Shallan almost instantly. As an artist myself who has often lived on the side of the fence where I never seem to fit in, no matter how I changed myself or what I did, she resonated with me and spoke to me in a way that almost no other character in any fiction has ever done. Her sense of humor is right up my alley, and having been raised in a somewhat sheltered environment, I see a lot of myself in this character, and the more I read The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, the more I grew fascinated with her story and how she came to be. Then I read Oathbringer, and her story was hard for me to read, but not because it was tedious or boring, but rather because in a small way, it mirrored something I went through in high school. I love the character--in fact, I believe I actually love her more now than before--but with the chaotic mess that was Shallan in Oathbringer, I believe this is now the right time for this analysis to occur. In some part, this analysis was inspired by @maxal, whose analysis of Adolin pre-Oathbringer was one of the motivating factors in my joining the Shard in the first place. I’ve also observed, as I’ve seen many people comment on the character, that a large majority of readers have a difficult time liking or understanding the character, and some skip her chapters entirely. As Shallan is by far my most favorite character in the entire Cosmere, my hope is that through this analysis I can bring some of what I find intriguing and fun about this character to everyone else. The inconsistency and unreliability of the narrator are only part of the fun. As I progress through this read-through, I will be making a bunch of notes privately, that will probably be completely incomprehensible to anyone else. If you really want to see them, ask and I will post them; however, I will revise those notes into a coherent document that will be updated as I read. During my analysis, I will focus on a few things about the character. Yes, there will be a little bit of analysis of the shipping involved (be warned), but I will strive my hardest to approach it from a neutral ground and point out the good and the bad, as I see it, on both sides. Other aspects of Shallan’s character that I will focus on and try to analyze and explain are: How her past (as it is mentioned in the text) has influenced the narrator we’re reading. Modern influences on the character of Shallan and how that affects the narrator we're reading. Mental jiggery-pokery, or in other words, her mental side-stepping habits, and the immediate and long-lasting ramifications of it. Contradictions in the narrator’s voice, and why those contradictions are occurring. Comparisons between Shallan and Kaladin, with respects to interests, mannerisms, interactions, and mental states Comparisons between Shallan and Adolin, with respects to interests, mannerisms, interactions, and mental states I should note that comparisons between Shallan and the two boys will occur primarily from Shallan's standing. My reasons for the view I have comes entirely from the standpoint of Shallan as a character, not from whether or not I think Kaladin is a better match or Adolin is. As I said, I will try hard to be impartial in my analysis here, and will try to stay away from my opinions on Kaladin or Adolin, generally. SIDE NOTE: I like both of them and I like both of them for her, and for different reasons. I just happen to think one is better than the other, but that is neither here nor there. Comparisons between Shallan and Wayne (from Mistborn Era 2) There are some similarities between what Wayne and Shallan do, and also some stark differences on how those actions affect their mental states. And I’m sure there are other topics that will come up as I read. If there’s something about the character that you feel I haven’t mentioned that you would like included in the analysis, please let me know and I will do my best to incorporate it. If you have thoughts on something I've written, tell me. Discussion is encouraged--I merely am hoping that this will help to make Shallan a more enjoyable character for everyone. One thing I do ask, however, is to stay away from flippant and antagonistic comments--to disagree with me is okay, and it doesn't matter to me if we never agree. On that note…here we go. Let's start The Way of Kings again. EDIT: At @Jofwu's suggestion, I'm including the text from the document below the chapters for ease of discussion (also for indexing, as @Vissy recommended), but I will also have a comprehensive document that keeps track of changes to Shallan over the course of the books. The big document: WayofKings Shallan Character Analysis.docx Chapter 3 - City of Bells: Chapter 5 - Heretic:
  48. 37 points
    Hey everyone, with Valentine's Day coming up, I thought it would be fun to post Stormlight Valentine's cards! All pairings and concepts allowed, but please no arguing. Text or images welcome! I'll start with some I came up with for OB. Have fun!!! (Hidden in spoilers because long)
  49. 37 points
  50. 36 points

    From the album Oathbringer Scenes

    I got inspired by the scene where Dalinar goes to face the Thrill alone...it created such a strong visual in my mind that I had to recreate it! I hope you guys enjoy!
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