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  1. 26 points
    Buckle up. It's graph time. Brandon made a comment recently at a convention that his writing career is now almost as long as Robert Jordan's was while he was writing the Wheel of Time. The first Wheel of Time book was published in 1990, and the last one before Jordan's death was in 2005. Brandon's first book was in 2005; by 2020, he'll eclipse Jordan's tenure. So, I decided to crunch some numbers and compare them. (I'm including projections for Skyward 2, assuming it's the same wordcount as the first book, and Stormlight 4 at 400,000 words for a November 2020 release.) Brandon has essentially had three writing careers in this time: 1) the Cosmere, 2) his non-Cosmere stuff, and 3) writing the final Wheel of Time Trilogy. Here's a comparison of Robert Jordan's writing speed to each of Brandon's careers, and Brandon's total speed. Notice that each line has a dashed average. This represents the average writing speed for that career. A couple things I found interesting: Robert Jordan had a significant drop off. You can see that sharp angle about five years in, between WoT books 6 and 7. He maintained that later speed fairly well, up til the end. I suspect you'll see that with many other successful authors, for reasons creative or personal, but... Brandon's total writing speed has remain essentially unchanged. He has matched Jordan's initial pace fairly well, and his total wordcount (solid line) stays pretty true to the average (dashed line). There's some funky stuff going on around WoT, where Brandon was working harder than usual, but that was making up for a bit of a slower start. (More on that later.) After WoT, his total writing speed and each of his career writing speeds have tracked their average very closely. Brandon's Cosmere career has remained remarkably consistent. Even though there was that huge slowdown with Cosmere books during WoT, the initial post-Mistborn push, with Warbreaker and Way of Kings releasing, was enough to keep things averaged out until Brandon could finish up WoT and write Words of Radiance. (The solid blue line gets well above the average at the 5-year mark, but stays pretty flat until the WoR release.) As he's settled in to his groove after WoT, it gets a little choppier, but that's an effect of writing bigger books. He's still writing the same amount of words. Brandon's non-Cosmere career has.... remained remarkably consistent. This career actually has two regimes, which is why I included multiple averages. The uppermost red dashed line is the total non-Cosmere average, and it rides well above the solid red line. This indicates that the trend is concave up; Brandon is writing more and more non-Cosmere than he used to. But it's not a gradual process; after WoT, he started working on stuff like Reckoners and Skyward. So I gave non-Cosmere another average trendline with two segments; you'll see the inflection point right around 3000 days, with the release of Rithmatist. Since then, he's been pretty consistent in the amount of non-Cosmere he wrote. Brandon's Wheel of Time career is pretty obscene. The green dashed line is essentially the same slope as the blue dashed line. Brandon wrote twice as hard as he used to when he started working on Wheel of Time. My man. I crunched the numbers. I can't deny them. Brandon's pumping out Cosmere books just as fast as he used to. But 2019 is the second year ever we have had no Cosmere stories published. (Not counting White Sand, since Brandon didn't write anything for those.) The first time it happened... 2018. It feels like we haven't been getting as much Cosmere, and so many stories have been waiting years for their resolutions. (The gap between Bands of Mourning and Lost Metal will be larger than between Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self. Rithmatist and Alcatraz have been hanging out forever, with the end always just around the corner. Even Legion, a novella trilogy, took seven years to complete.) I think the answer to this is scope creep. Brandon's not writing any slower, but his plans are getting bigger and bigger. Each Stormlight book is larger than the last. Plans are changing - Skyward was a secret project, followed up by Children of the Nameless as another Secret Project. We'll still get as many words; but waiting a long time for 1 Stormlight book book feels more painful than 3 Mistborn books totaling the a similar amount of words. Same thing for the non-Cosmere projects waiting for their finales; it's not that Brandon doesn't have time, it's that he devotes his time to a different project, instead. If we take Brandon's average writing rates (Cosmere: 191K words/year; non-Cosmere: 134K words/year), and we assume he's gonna be writing Stormlight (400K ea), Mistborn/Elantris (250K ea), and W&W/YA (120K ea), that gets us projected release dates of: This is all assuming he sticks to the average. Which, so far, has been a good long-term bet, but not a good short-term bet. So I'd expect these releases to be more clumped together, as he'll alternate what's getting focused time. My final projected Cosmere completion date is 2055. A nice, round 50 years. (My last estimate I put together, back when Brandon was working on Oathbringer, was in 2052. Over three years, the projection has moved back three years. Uh oh... let's not focus too much on that. I was much less rigorous in my analysis.) What we've seen from the Wheel of Time excursion, though, is that Brandon is not writing at his maximum capacity. About one-third of his WoT writing speed was transferred over to his current non-Cosmere work. (I'd guess the remaining two-thirds turned into family time, since he started having kids right around then. [Well, his wife started having kids. You know what I mean.]) If push comes to shove and Brandon decides to make a focused effort to knock out more Cosmere books, his pace can increase considerably, even without cutting back on his non-Cosmere writing hours. If he were to go full-speed ahead, nothing but Cosmere, I'd project a 2037 completion date; 32 years from start to finish. Obviously, it won't be that. (At the very least, he'd have to fit Rithmatist 2 in there, which would push the whole thing to 2039, somehow.) But based on Brandon's 15-year career so far, it looks like the Cosmere will last between 32 and 50 years. Which doesn't seem terribly unreasonable. In conclusion, please don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to say anything about what Brandon should or shouldn't be writing. I just like the data, and I think we can learn a lot based on what Brandon has accomplished so far. He prides himself on his consistency. (That's his canned answer about how he writes so much; he's not fast, he's just consistent.) And that's exactly what the data shows.
  2. 22 points
    The first book Mistborn Era 3 will open with a bank robbery. A coinshot bank robber will be flying over the city with a sack of money under one arm, raining bills down on the people below. The actual first line of narration will be: "Cash fell from the sky."
  3. 19 points
    This meme basically made itself
  4. 17 points
    Update #6 just dropped! No new plot information, but it looks like we can be cautiously optimistic about a 2020 release!!
  5. 16 points
    Edit: under reconstruction To try and intuit what Voidbinding can do, let's first look at it's place in the framework of Rosharan magic. Others are more suited to answer on the history and realmatics of why this framework exists; I'm only looking at WoBs that tell us what sort of magic systems do exist on Roshar quantitatively. So, here, Brandon says: From here, and remember, this is before Oathbringer, and so this is before we saw most of the examples I'm gonna use in this post: There's also this, where Brandon is explicitly asked about the magic count on Roshar, and this is a paraphrased description given by Brandon about the Way of Kings in 2009. Basically, the framework we get looks something like this: All we know of Surgebinding can easily fit in this diagram - the entire middle row is essentially a flattened version of the Surgebinding Double Eye chart. Each cell represents one Surge symbol, and the colored boxes spanning two cells represent each of the Knight Radiant orders. This gives us one set of 10 powers or magic systems. The Voidbinding chart fits just as easily - just take the mapping we just did for the middle row, and apply it to the top row. Thus, each cell in the top row represents the Voidish variants, the twisted surge symbols of the 10 "fundamental forces," "themes" or Surges. This gives us another set of 10 powers/magic systems, bringing our total up to 20. There is an unknown third set that deals with Fabrials, and potentially more, and that is represented by the lowest row in the diagram. We do not know anything else about this really, except that it is also likely to follow the "10 themes" paradigm, because then that gives us the remaining 10 magic systems to make the full 30. This leaves us with the Old Magic. There are two primary camps on this that I am aware of - one says that the Old Magic is the old Ashynite magic system of the Humans, and the other says that Cultivation/Nightwatcher's Boon-Curse magic is the Old Magic. To me, this WoB is a pretty strong indication towards saying that the Boon-Curse magic of Cultivation and the Nightwatcher is the Old Magic. So finally, we come to the actual question. Now that we've got Voidbinding, Surgebinding, Fabrials, and even the Old Magic mapped out on the framework given to us by Brandon in WoBs, what sort of magic is Voidbinding? What are the 10 twisted Surge symbols? What could you do with it if you could use it? Combining all the concrete information we have on it, any theory on Voidbinding must explain/incorporate these factors into itself: The Voidbinding Chart, with 10 Orders and 10 Surges between them The Khriss quote from the Ars Arcanum - "10 levels of Voidbinding and it's cousin, the Old Magic" Brandon's statement in this WoB: Voidbinding originates with the Unmade, not always but usually. Incorporating some of these and reshuffling the framework we had from before, and putting Voidbinding in contrast to Surgebinding, we can get: (click to embiggen) Anything on the Surgebinding side that is in lighter tones is a guess, because we do not actually know what it does, though we have hints in the text and WoBs to theorise upon. The first roots of this theory grow from a simple question - What sort of magic is driving the powers of the Unmade? The Old Magic is at the Valley, so that's not it. They definitely aren't Surgebinding. That leaves us with two options: either their powers are effects in Voidbinding, or their effects lie in the third set. Combine this with the fact that Voidbinding really starts with the Unmade, and that there is some manifestation of Voidbinding that makes the Old Magic a cousin to it, and we can safely say that the Unmade powers are in some way expressions of Voidish powers. This means that if we want to figure out what sort of powers fall under Voidbinding, looking at what the Unmade can do is a pretty good place to start. Then... There was an idea. Now, fine. We have established that the Unmade are Voidbinding. Not like the Knights Radiant do, but closer to a Windspren using Adhesion. But now we still have a mystery to solve - how do you go from the Unmade powers to the Voidbinding chart? The first clue to the mystery comes from Taravangian, and a WoB. This WoB says that Taravangian calls them a phrase in this WoR Chapter 81 epigraph. Well, he does. But he calls them several things. I speculate that the relevant phrase is not “a conundrum, a flair” or a “waste of time”, but rather “Like the spren of human emotions, only much more nasty.” Why? Consider this WoB. Brandon says the Gravitation works in the way it does because it is filtered through the visual of Honor. This is why lashings are like bonds - you make a bond between a thing and other things or directions, and the influence of gravity changes according to these bonds. And this doesn’t just hold for Gravitation; there are four Surges which have a dominant influence of Honor - going anticlockwise: Gravitation, Adhesion, Tension and Cohesion. All of these deal with bonds in some form or another. Similarly, there are four Surges which should have a dominant influence of Cultivation - going clockwise: Abrasion, Progression, Illumination and Transformation. I don’t quite understand what the visual of Cultivation is to be able to say how it applies to these four. I think it is about serving change, or… well, cultivating. Two more Surges: Division and Transportation, are right on the line, and should have been influenced by both Honor and Cultivation. Butt. And perhaps more interestingly, in Surgebinding, holistically, all of these powers seem to focus largely on the physical realm. Now this is not obvious, because the mechanics of certain powers obfuscate matters greatly. Consider though, that because there are three whole realms in the Cosmere - and each would have their own sort of "laws" and equivalents to what is "Physics" in the physical realm. In lieu of that, most of what Surgebinding powers accomplish is accomplished with the subject being the Physical Realm. Going clockwise, the descriptions of Cohesion and Tension we do have make them able to harden or liquidise physical matter. Adhesion largely works on the winds, with an exception for Bondsmiths, but table Bondsmiths for now, there's weirdness there. Gravitation is about manipulating physical gravity. Division seems to be about burning physical matter, and Abrasion seems to allow you to reduce friction between physical surfaces. Progression heals or promotes growth in the physical flesh of things, even if it is reaching out through other realms. Illumination is manipulating Light and other waveforms of the physical realm, though to do so it seems to have a small cognitive and spiritual component to it. Even Transformation only really changes the physical matter of something into some other kind of physical matter. For example the flesh of a person into stone, or fire. Similarly, Transportation seems to allow you to transport your own physical body across realms, or induce physical motion into things. The powers of Surgebinding may work through the other realms, but their primary area of focus seems to be the physical realm. But if this holds, then Voidbinding may largely focus on another realm. And here, the phrasing from Taravangian becomes relevant, because it seems to push forth the idea that Voidbinding may focus more on the Cognitive realm. Which also works from another angle - if Honor and Cultivation's filters apply to Surgebinding powers, then Voidbinding should have the filter of Odium. And if the Unmade are truly showing us the effects of Voidbinding, then his filter of “all emotion and passion” should apply to their powers, even if he is not completely right about it. Because Hatred is primarily a force/construct of thought. So, in Voidbinding, all 10 of these Surges should still have the same core theme, the same core idea, but now they will have a Cognitive twist to them - they will be filtered through this “emotional” visual of Odium. In other words, the Voidish manifestation of… say Transformation, will still be dealing with permanent change brought forth by the interaction between realms, but instead of Soulcasting, where the constituent matter of something changes form (preserving mass), it will now do something Odious, something self-serving, hatefully destructive, and not restricted to affecting only the physical matter of things. There was another idea. The second clue comes from looking at Sja-anat, and her Enlightening. The question is simple in nature - if all magic on Roshar has to be either following one of 10 “themes” or fall into the category of the old magic, and Sja-anat is decidedly not at the Valley, then what is Enlightening? From what we know, Enlightening is the process by which Sja-anat corrupts spren and men. With all of the above context in mind, one could say that Enlightening is Transformation as Odium sees realmatic change; i.e. causing permanent change in the nature of something, through corruption. In effect, if Soulcasting is Transformation applied to change the substance of things via their soul, then Enlightening is Transformation applied to (hatefully) change the nature of living beings, potentially also through their Cognitive aspects. One works on things, and on the substance of those things, through the filter of Honor and Cultivation; the other covers the changing of minds through the filter of Odium. If this is true, then the backbone of Sja-anat’s effects could be Voidish Transformation. This checks another tick-box: Any explanation of Voidbinding must also cover Khriss's comment in Arcanum Unbounded. There, she says that Voidbinding is a cousin to the old magic. The Unmade powers using Voidbinding as a backbone makes at least one manifestation of Voidbinding a cousin to, or similar to, the Boon-Curse magic of the Nightwatcher - both are not given to men to use as they see fit, but are manifest through powerful spren. And perhaps - and more importantly - it is one more clue in the bigger mystery of fitting Unmade magic in the greater framework of Rosharan magic - perhaps, they each use one Voidish “Surge” as the basis of their effects. Then there were like, five more ideas. Or alternatively, Exploring Unmade Powers. With all of this, let’s take a look at all the known Unmade, and try and see which core idea seems to fit their effects the most, and why. 1. Voidish Transformation I covered Transformation extremely quickly up above, and since this was the one of the roots of this theory, it is only fitting that I start here. My original pitch for the distinction between Soulcasting and Enlightening was that one works on things, and the other works on beings. Now of course, the flaw in this seems to be that Soulcasting also works on people. Well, yes. But also no. Soulcasting has always been shown to work on the constituent Physical matter, and it does so by going through the Cognitive aspect of said matter and convincing it to be something else. When it works on people, it works on the Physical substance of those people, by changing their flesh and bones into something else. Not their minds or souls - it always changes a physical thing into a different thing. Enlightening, however, seems like it is the exact opposite - it works on people, and it changes people into different people. It doesn’t focus on changing their constituent physical matter into different matter, but rather, it focuses on changing their minds, and turning them into corrupted versions of themselves. Now, this is a simplification. Transformation, whether in Soulcasting or in Enlightening form, will change body, mind and spirit wherever necessary. For example, when Jasnah soulcasts one of those thieves to diamond, the changes had to have happened in / echoed across all three realms - Physically, the flesh and bones of the person transformed into mineral matter. Cognitively, a person is different from an object - people's minds appear as flames in Shadesmar, not beads. When those people die, the flames are extinguished. So when Jasnah soulcasts the thief, the flame of his soul is also likely to have been extinguished, as the person was dead and gone as soon as the soulcasting took effect. There may even pop up a replacement bead in place of the flame. So there were significant Cognitive changes too. Spiritually, a person's soul has all kinds of connections and information stored in it, like age, or identity/connection etc. But the soul of diamond has no such information - stone has no birthdate, and it doesn't have any connection to other people or places, not like a person's soul does. So Jasnah's soulcasting did change that too. So yes, Soulcasting can have effects across all three realms. But what matters for us is the subject of the change - soulcasting divides all kinds of physical matter into 10 broad categories or classes, and you can only change things to a class. Any other changes are to either cause this physical change, or stem from this physical change. You cannot take a person, and only change their mind to make them a different person via soulcasting - that is not how it works. In a manner of speaking, there are 10 extremely broad "molds" which you can cast any soul into, but all 10 of these molds are meant to reflect 10 classes of physical matter. I posit that Enlightening is then Transformation from Odium's perspective, so there is a corruption element to it. But I suspect it is actually Transformation with a Cognitive Focus, just like Surgebinding Transformation has a physical focus. This may make spren uniquely vulnerable to Voidish Transformation - having little physical presence, Soulcasting is ill-suited to affect them. But if Voidish Transformation is Cognitive, then that may have an easier time affecting Cognitive entities. Another idea of import with Enlightening is that Sja-anat is still learning its use; it has now been shown to corrupt and affect Radiant Truespren, over just any Subspren. So it then isn't going to far to say that it may also be capable of affecting the minds of actual, living people. 2. Voidish Illumination Old pitch: It took me a long time to figure out what Midnight Essence is all about, but I think I've finally been able to intuit the idea behind it. To understand it, however, it is best put in contrast to the Surgebinding version of Illumination. Surgebinding Illumination seems like it is all about manipulating light and sound and other waveforms, and while I don't think it's wrong to put it like that, it is certainly an incomplete way of looking at it. See, the soul (non-realmatic term) of Surgebinding Illumination isn't manipulating light or sound, or whatever else you need in minute, specific ways to create Illusions. It's not like you start with creating just a monotone humming in the air, and then try and learn to modulate it to create different kinds of sounds. It is not like you learn how to create a flashlight, and then learn how to manipulate light in more and more subtle ways to create images and moving persons. Instead, because of the way the three realms interact in the Cosmere, you create a small spiritual connection to something, and then imprint a kind of true cognitive understanding of that thing onto it, and this allows you to create a physical Illusion that looks and behaves like the real thing - any light, sound or other waveform manipulation happens automatically for you along the way. This is why Lightweavers tend to be in some form artistic - it is the artist's understanding of the nature of things that allow them to impart the right Cognitive and Spiritual foundations to their physical illusions. This can also explain why Illumination is - to an extent - focused on seeing things as they are, because when you see a thing truly, you can then understand and interpret it, and this understanding and interpretation of the truth allows you to create lies that are true, but also not. You can also see hints of this in the way Hoid Lightweaves. In the chapter where he creates the two illusory Shallans, they are both actual illusions - physically insubstantial copies of the real deal. But they are both seeded with an understanding and interpretation of who Shallan is, and then adding on two different true emotional/cognitive/self-perception components to them to get to two different "lies". Both of these are immaterial and non-existent, but both of them are completely grounded in truth. And to me, this is what Lightweaving is all about. It's the power of lying at its peak. It's the same thing as good fantasy storytelling - the ability to explore true ideas in made up stories. But philosophical discussion apart, Surgebinding Illumination creates false, immaterial physical illusions of Physical manifestations of things. An illusion of a table may look like the table, but there is no actual Physical substance to it. And I suspect Midnight Essence is the exact inversion of this. It is like... a substrate, a canvas, on which cognitive illusions can be made. So when Midnight Essence tries to copy things around it, it doesn't actually copy the physical manifestation of them, but rather it tries to copy their cognitive state - drawing it's physical form from their self perception, and it's actions from the way they perceive and feel the very state of act-ing. The amorphous physical manifestation of Midnight Essence then responds to this Cognitive copy and reshapes itself and acts accordingly. The nature of illusions is what is relevant here - an illusion is an incorporeal copy of something. Surgebinding Illumination is easiest to grasp - it manipulates light and sound to create an incorporeal illusion of the physical manifestation of something. But this copy is physically incorporeal - as in it has no actual physical substance to it, even if it looks like the real deal. Take Midnight Essence in contrast to this - it is a medium to create cognitive illusions, which are cognitively incorporeal - they have no real cognitive substance beyond being a surface level copy. This does not mean that the Cognitive aspect of Midnight Essence is an illusory bead that your hand would pass through if you were in the Cognitive realm. What this means is that it copies minds without the substance that makes up minds. It can learn to stab something by copying the way the stabbing motion feels to an actual person doing the stabbing, but it can't think for itself and understanding anything beyond it. It can copy the mind of a person feeling love, or hate, or joy, and act just like they do in those situation, but it can't actually feel that love, hate, joy, etc. So midnight essence could learn to use a spear by taking a snapshot of the state-of-mind of a master spearman in the act of using said spear, but this cognitive copy will be an image of that master's mind, an illusion of it. In the same way that a physical illusion of something outwardly looks like that thing but is physically insubstantial, a cognitive illusion looks like the mind of something from the outside, but is cognitively insubstantial. From a certain dark perspective, this makes Odium's particular unmaking of Re-Shephir a genius move. Her ability to truly understand things has been ripped out of her, so she tries to copy powerful emotional states in a very broken way - a primal fake-it-till-you-make-it approach, except she has been made incapable of ever actually making it, so she's just doomed to keep faking it. This makes her this almost Sisyphean creature who wants to understand people but is cognitively incapable of doing so - think of her as trying to understand by way of imitation (a quest doomed to fail), and you get the Midnight Mother as she is presented in the book. This may also tie into why Shallan couldn't teach Renarin to use Illumination - if he has Voidish Illumination, then the philosophy behind it is almost an exact inversion of Shallan's Surge Illumination. 3. Voidish Cohesion Old pitch: I've grown more confident in my interpretation of this once I made the Surgebinding-Physical and Voidbinding-Cognitive connection. This is again easier to grasp in contrast to Surgebinding Cohesion. To the best of my understanding, Cohesion in physics or chemistry is a term that's used to refer to attraction between similar molecules/particles/surfaces. Which goes a long way in explaining what it does - a simple explanation is that it simply loosens the intermolecular attractive bonds between the molecules of something, though Pagerunner's thread does a better job of analysing the exact physical nature of the changes it makes. However, when this same concept is applied Cognitively, where each person is one molecule, then Voidish cohesion is about attractive forces between the cognitive aspects of people. Add to this a mindless Unmade that only has the ability to conceive of and think in over-indulgence, and you get the Revel. I'll put a better explanation here later. 4. Voidish Transportation Old pitch: I've grown more confident in this as well, because now it takes less effort to explain this. Following the Surgebinding-Physical Voidbinding-Cognitive paradigm, this gets pretty easy to explain. In essence, if Surgebinding Transportation is about bodily travel, then Voidbinding Transportation should be about travel of the mind. It should allow you to transport your mind across realms, allowing you access to perception shenanigans. Like farsight perhaps - an ability where you transport your mind elsewhere and perceive that elsewhere. Or precognition/clairvoyance like abilities - sending your mind into the spiritual, allowing you to perceive properties related to that realm, like glimpsing information across time. Unlike the Surges like Tension, Cohesion, Adhesion, or Division, which explicitly rely on types of bonds between things, Transportation is about manipulating an individual's "bond" to each of the realms. This makes Moelach's field-wide effect stand out - Transportation doesn't have an explicit fieldwide effect built into it. I'll put a better explanation here later. 5. Voidish Abrasion Surge Abrasion lies on the Cultivation half of the Double Eye charts, though I do not know the rationale behind how its powers match up with the perspective of Cultivation. Though the fact that we’ve only seen this from the perspective of Lift, and that when she wasn’t aspiring to understand it at the time probably means we may have seen very little of its actual capabilities. Surgebinding Abrasion, also called termed “slicking”, allows one to control friction between two surfaces, to the point of completely negating it. I think Voidish Abrasion is manifest through Nergaoul, in the Thrill. Many people over on the Discord have likened Nergaoul and Ashertmarn’s effects to Allomantic Rioting and Soothing (but not respectively), and while I think the comparison has merit, I think it’s also not completely accurate. See, Rioting and Soothing are manifestations of Preservation’s system, and so while they may work by inflaming or suppressing parts of one’s psyche, they do not cause any permanent harm to it. Preservation protects, and so its magic system tends towards not having the capability to directly cause harm to another - any harm done must come indirectly, and by the choice of the user. Odium however, is all kinds of Hatred compounded in one - his magic will tend towards destructive means to achieve its ends. So, with the Thrill, Odium seems to be doing something similar to Rioting, but I speculate that this is not how Odium works. Odium would much rather burn then influence - and if he wants one thing to dominate over others, he would rather destroy every other thing than build that one thing up. So this is what I speculate - Voidish Abrasion is targeted mental abrasion of one’s psyche. In much the same way as friction causes its own kind of wound on one’s skin (Google tells me those are called abrasions), Voidish Abrasion can be used to scratch out the outer layers of one’s mind and expose the insides, even if it’s effects can be temporary. Nergaoul for example, could be eroding away the human mind to expose the more primal, feral, animal mind behind it - in some, exposing the thrill of physical challenge; in others, exposing a primal lust to hunt and fight and kill. Skillful use by an actual Knight may also allow this to expose fear, or other primal attributes. If this is true, prolonged exposure to the Thrill should also have the effect of actually damaging your psyche - the kind of abrasions it puts on your Cognitive aspect should eventually turn into real holes and cracks, more serious wounds. And this is something we actually get to see happen with Sadeas troops - for them to (forcefully) be bonded to voidspren must have required some kind of hole in their souls. P.S.: This may also have played a role in some questions with what happened to Dalinar. With this, Odium left his mind broken and exposed, knowing that even as it heals over time, the scars will remain. Cultivation, on seeing this, may have cleaned and made certain precise cuts to change the course of such natural healing, and affect the final product. Perhaps this is why Odium never noticed her manipulations - he was looking at only the presence of such residual mental scar tissue in a healed Dalinar’s mind, which he was expecting to see. So he was content in merely seeing it present, whereas Cultivation’s work was hidden in the shape of it. 6. Voidish Division Division is one of two Surges that lies exactly in between Honor and Cultivation on the Double Eye Charts. While we haven’t seen any first person uses, I subscribe to @Pagerunner's excellent ideas outlined in this thread, of it being capable of releasing chemical energy by breaking molecular bonds. This is thematically on point, as Division would then involve the breaking of bonds, which is a line right between Honor and Cultivation - using bonds to affect change. It is also perhaps relevant to note that in an older version of the Double Eye, there were two seperate powers - Entropy and Decay, which seem to have been folded into one in the published books. Coming back to Yelig-nar, there are two primary effects ascribed to him: the first and most spectacular is that it’s host is granted the ability to channel all 10 Surges, and the second is that the host’s body is consumed and crystals start growing out of their bodies. I suspect that this second effect is the primary use of Voidish Division; to cannibalise souls for power. In much the same way as Surge Division breaks bonds in physical matter and releases energy in the physical world, the Voidish variant, maybe, burns or breaks apart spirit-webs and releases the investiture contained therein. People who cannot control him start having their souls uncontrollably consumed (read: burned like dry firewood) to release all the investiture they contain. In this case, the violet crystals we see growing on Amaram in the climax of OB could be crystalised or solidified investiture (a solid form of what is normally gaseous Voidlight), because the massive amounts of investiture contained in his soul (as a sentient being) are being released at an exorbitant rate, with nowhere to go. There is precedent for this elsewhere in the Cosmere; the pits of Hathsin also grow crystals from a spiritual leak. Atium can only grow in Hathsin once this crystal formation is complete. This and this WoB are also relevant. Credit to @Master_Moridin for pointing them out, and for @Extesian for helping out with looking up descriptions of the Pits of Hathsin. There is also an indication that those who can control Yelig-nar aren’t thoroughly consumed. This “control the power” aspect could be that with enough will, one may be able to “suppress the flames,” in a manner of speaking. To sort of control this consumption process to only burn as much of themselves and release as much investiture from said burning as they need, instead of the alternative; uncontrollably burning all of their soul and releasing all of the investiture inside. The crystals are a hazard - a sign that the rate of burning is too high. You’re literally producing more investiture, and faster, than you can hold and expend, so it’s finding its own way out of your soul - by overloading the same channel using which the violet-black mist of Voidlight was coming through. With this said, I don’t think Yelig-nar’s other effect - the granting of access to all 10 Surges - has anything to do with Voidbinding. That seems to be a unique ability given to Yelig-nar by Odium. This makes sense, as the only use of Odium’s manifestation of Division is to generate power at one’s own cost. Voidish Knights may have another surge where they can channel it, but Yelig-nar, by default, has only one. So Yelig-nar can generate power, but has nowhere to put it. Voidlight isn’t a part of any investiture cycle, so there’s no point to it leaking. So, instead, Yelig-nar gets to be an expression of ambition and greed and hunger for power; he gets his own unique twist, one where the massive amounts of power he allows for the generation of can be channelled into something. The fact that he grants all 10 surges creates a big temptation to try and bond him, which is a very insidious, Odium-like manipulation to do. Most people who give into their greed and ingest a gem will probably not have the willpower or “passion” to control him (because of that very flaw of giving in to one's desires), and consequently go on to fail, die, and do damage in their dying throes, and that serves Odium. Those that do control him may be more susceptible to Odium, by having a splinter of Odium bonded to their soul, and that may serve him too. P.S.: Perhaps this is also how the Fused get Voidlight, and is also perhaps another factor contributing to their souls being so battered. P.P.S.: This might be a clue to how gemhearts are made in the natural ecology of Roshar - crystalised investiture (stormlight?) that gently, gradually accumulates over a creature’s lifetime. Conclusion At the end of these, we're left with four Surges: Gravitation, Adhesion, Tension and Progression; and three Unmade: Ba-Ado-Mishram, Dai-Gonarthis, and Chemoarish. This means that one of these Surges does not have a Voidish manifestation in any of the Unmade, and there are arguments for why this left-out surge could be Adhesion or Progression. This WoB says that among the Unmade, there isn't an equivalent to Bondsmiths. Which is fair, Bondsmiths are weird. But one could take that to mean that Adhesion is missing among the Unmade, because Bondsmiths primarily focus on Adhesion. Or it could be talking about the Divine Attributes. However, while we don't have much to go on, I would speculate that Ba-Ado-Mishram channels Voidish Adhesion, if only because the one bit about her tells us that she was "able to connect to the Parsh and supply them with Voidlight, like Odium once did." Another option is Progression, which, I think is the more likely of the two to not get corrupted. If Adhesion and Progression are expressions of Honor and Cultivation, then Cultivation is alive, Honor isn't. If one of these two should still be uncorrupted, it should be Progression. Besides, the fact that Renarin has normal-ish Progression could be attributed to there not being a proper Voidish manifestation of Progression yet. Another important aspect of Odium having any of his own magic on Roshar comes from this WoB. It implies that Odium had to take certain steps for Voidbinding to even exist. This leads directly into... The Unmade are Dawnshards This is not something that occurred to me. I do not know if this is true. But, it is something worth considering. There are several things that make this more likely. For one, there is this WoB, which says that one Dawnshard is not like the others. Then there is the name itself; this WoB has things to say. And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the Fused most certainly don't Voidbind. This may deal with the history of Roshar a bit, but the reason most Fused don't voidbind may be tied to the fact that Odium hadn't Unmade any of the Dawnshards yet, there was no Voidbinding at the time. Perhaps, it was only through the corruption of each individual Dawnshard that each seperate manifestation of Voidbinding came to be. In this sense, Yelig-nar is certainly one of the first - he grants regular Surges, and he is present during Nohadon's time, which is before the formation of the Knights Radiant. There is also the line that Dawnshards were used to destroy Ashyn, and I don't know how to interpret that, because a.) it breaks the "dawn" naming convention, and b.) how do you get a Shard to Ashyn without going through the intervening space, when spren are still bound to Roshar in modern day? I think Brandon is being really coy with the name Unmade. It evokes the idea of the antonym of "made," but I don't think that is the case. I think Brandon intentionally chose the name to give that impression, whereas the real in-world meaning could easily be more along the lines of "made by His unholy hands", as in corrupted, or remade, into a fundamentally wrong form, or in a fundamentally wrong manner. Ten Deaths The last thing of any import that I want to talk about, is the concept of the Ten Deaths. This is something that one Knight Radiant mentions in one of Dalinar's visions, in respect to Midnight Essence. I think these are something that was part of Knight Radiant culture and teaching, and had roots in actual dangers they faced on the field. Specifically, I think the Ten Deaths were meant to reflect Radiant lore on the effects of Voidbinding. Because it makes sense, right? Every effect of Voidbinding is basically focused on user gaining at the cost of both their allies and enemies. In the case of Yelig-nar, which any Radiant could potentially have ingested and used (and they even had greater temptation, because of their greater power), the cost comes from themselves too. All of these effects are insidiously dangerous to the Radiants on the field, being caught off guard by Nergaoul or Ashertmarn sounds like a bad idea. So... yeah. The End In conclusion, there is something I want to point out. The Knights Radiant are Brandon’s take on White Paladins - they are driven by Honor, channel divine power, have a selflessness about them, get heavy armor, fall into different categories where some heal, some fanatically seek justice, and they even have Oaths that primarily drive them to do good. In contrast, Voidish Knights should then be the quintessential evil, Black Paladin archetype - one that is primarily driven by hatred and selfishness. Sith to the Knight Radiant Jedi. Renarin is a good egg, but he’s one. And we don’t even know much about his powers. The Voidish powers I outline here seem to be much more suited to dark paladins - being able to burn or consume souls for power; to torture people or manipulate people with lies to get in their heads and corrupt them; to be able to mind control a group of people, making them lose themselves into a greater mob directed by the paladin at it's heart; of being able to bring out the base, feral, primal instincts of your allies to aid them in battle, or enhance the fear your enemies feel and break their morale; of being able to twist shadow to their will; all of it. So, have I succeeded in finding Voidbinding? I don’t know. I’m certain that my specific descriptions of what each Voidish ability does aren’t right on target every time. But I do think that I’m looking in the right place for it. This is also my first proper theory on the forums, and I hope I haven’t managed to get too many details wrong. Thanks for reading! Edit Corner: This is going to be an ongoing part of edits to this to make this more readable and improve the clarity of this post: Other Useful tidbits: This WoB: Odium had to do something specific for people to be able to use his magic on Roshar
  6. 16 points
    This is something I came up with at 3 am, so let me know if it gets too crazy Here it goes: We know that Ashyn doesn't currently have any Shard (WoB), but a question if there was ever a Shard there is considered a spoiler (WoB). Ashyn magic wasn't always disease-based (WoB), but used to similar to surgebinding (WoB). Given that Ashyn people used Dawnshards “known to bind any creature voidish or mortal” (Poem of Ista) to destroy their planet and were able to escape it using powers “of spren and Surges” (Eila Stele), it seems certain that there were spren (and therefore probably a Shard) there. Could that Shard be Odium? That seems very unlikely – it would mean that sometime during his Shard killing spree he decided to make a stop (next to a dishardic planet!), Invest there and give people weapons potentially able to harm him (Dawnshards). No, Odium would make a detour to Ashyn only if there was a real threat to him there that needed to be neutralized before taking care of Roshar. That leaves Cultivation and Honor, but as far as we know they've Invested in Roshar before the arrival of humans, so it's unlikely that any of them is responsible for Ashyn magic. My theory is that this Shard was a child of Cultivation and Honor – Unity. It was confirmed that Shards Vessels could have children (WoB) and that being a Shard affects pregnancy (WoB). I assume here that a Shardic child would be considered a Shard with a big asterisk (using terminology from this WoB on Patji), but would still count as two Shards together with their parents (Tanavast + Slammer + Unity = Honor + Cultivation). This way, we still have three Shards overall in the Rosharan system, even though the number of Vessels may not match. Unity would probably have a very atypical childhood (to say the least), so many human concepts (such as gender) could be foreign to them – and this attitude would be shared with their godspren, the Sibling (WoB). It's hard to say if Unity would have their own type of Investiture, but if they used Cultivationlight (WoB) instead, it would explain why we see so little of it compared to Stormlight. Finally, Unity would explain why we see two mixed (Cultivation + Honor) magic systems – Surgebinding was created directly by their Investment in Roshar and fabrials (part of the another magic system per this WoB) were originally developed on Ashyn by Unity and then brought to Roshar by humans. The latter is corroborated by the fact that humans left Ashyn using a type of Oathgate before there were any fabrials on Roshar at all (this WoB, though it's technically not canonized yet due to Spiritual Realm mechanics issues). At the beginning Unity would be underpowered as a Shard, but nothing stops them from travelling across Cosmere. gathering unclaimed Honor/Cultivation Investiture and growing stronger. This would also explain Unity's apparent effect on some of Cosmere's religions (Shu-Keseg concept of unity on Sel, “The One” worshipped by Iriali who later travel to Roshar). This sounds a lot like Autonomy, doesn't it? I think this might set up a future (post–Stormlight) conflict between both Shards, which can be seen as opposing forces. I also believe that at some point during their Cosmere journey, Unity recruited Dysian Aimians (whom we know to be worldhoppers present on many worlds: WoB here and here) as their agents, possibly because of their nature being an actual embodiment of Unity's intent. Anyway, Unity finally brings some humans to the Rosharan system, settles on Ashyn and Invests there, creating a fabrial–based magic system using Dawnshards (probably Unity's splinters, analogically to Honor and Honorblades). What are Dawnshards? I think they're tools for capturing, storing and transforming spren of any kind. The first two are kind of obvious, but what about transformation? We know that in many ways spren behave like wave–functions in quantum mechanics (flamespren study in one of interludes in The Way Of Kings). If so, we should theoretically see things like quantum superposition or Bose–Einstein condensates. In Cosmere terms, it would mean that spren could be merged with each other to create something new. Merging lesser spren associated with a given order of Knights Radiant is already believed by many to be the source of Shardplates. I believe that a similar process, merging of one or many inkspren and lighspren, leads to the creation of unique Oathgate spren (the same mechanism applies to other Surge fabrial spren as well). This could also explain the origin of the Unmade, who were “made, then unmade”. Not created or born. Made – created from other spren by Dawnshards, only to be later corrupted by Odium. For example, Yelig–nar might have originally been an attempt to create a spren able to form Nahel Bond giving all the surges (Rosharan version of lerasium, basically). Re–Shephir seems like a supercharged version of creationspren, Chemoarish – ashspren etc. We know that one Dawnshard is different from the rest (WoB) and that at least one of them is “known to bind any creature voidish or mortal” (Poem of Ista). I believe they're one and the same, and that binding a mortal creature means creating a Cognitive Shadow copy of a person, providing exactly the same form of immortality that the Heralds and the Fused would later use. What is more, this particular Dawnshard seems to be still active on Roshar. That's why Dalinar can be forgiven by Evi during the Battle of Thaylen Field and that's why his second vision of Nohadon is so strange – they are both Cognitive Shadows. The Tranquiline Halls myth in Vorinism is not just a tale of how people left Ashyn – it has additional hidden meaning. Some chosen people don't just go Beyond, they are given some sort of immortality to join the fight with Odium (or be useful to Unity in other ways). I think that's the reason Odium created Moelach. His power seems useless to Odium at first, but he can “seeps into a soul as it breaks apart from the body” (Diagram) and works “at the transition point between realms. When a soul was nearing the Tranquiline Halls” (Hessi's Mythica). He can prevent a person from being captured by a Dawnshard and extract information from them (something the Sleepless of Aimia are afraid in Kaza's interlude in Oathbringer). Moelach's purpose is to search for Dawnshards and interfere with their activity. It's hard to tell if Cognitive Shadows can be merged just as spren, but if they do, that might potentially explain the weird nature of Cusicesh the Protector with it's multitude of rapidly changing human faces. The special Dawnshard also provides an explanation for another question – how Unity could survive their fight with Odium. Before Ashyn was destroyed, Unity's followers (the Sleepless) escaped to Roshar with two Dawnshards. One of them, used for creating Surge fabrials, ended up in Aimia (WoB). The other one, storing a copy of Unity's mind, was hidden by Cultivation (we know that her magic can hide things from Odium – Lift hides from Odium in one of Dalinar's visions). Where such a thing could be stored? My best bet is the Origin of Storms. This place is clearly important, as indicated by Puuli's interlude and Wandersail story (also, Cusicesh always looks in that direction). If the Highstorm really originates there (or, more likely, simply recharges there), the place must be full of Investiture to power a device storing Cognitive Shadows of a Shard and a great number of people. Also, as Investiture resists Investiture, the Origin would be very hard to spy on by Odium's forces. As a result, Odium isn't aware that Unity is alive until the Thaylen Field (his future sight is useless here, as Cultivation and Unity are together equally good at it, or even better) and ends up screaming "No, we killed you. We killed you!". tl;dr version: Unity is the child of Cultivation of Honor and the original Shard on Ashyn. They created the first fabrial–based magic system utilizing Dawnshards that can (A) bind and merge spren into more powerful, unique spren (e.g. Surge fabrial spren) and (B) create Cognitive Shadow copies of people. Using the latter, a Cognitive Shadow of Unity survived the fight with Odium and was hiding with Cultivation's help, planning to strike Odium and finally revealing themselves during the Battle of Thaylen Field.
  7. 15 points
    Oathbringer: BoM
  8. 14 points
  9. 14 points
    After seeing FelCandy's thread about their Inktober drawings ( https://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/74435-fels-sketchbook-spoilers/?page=4#comment-931178 ) I decided to make my own, though probably not as amazing. 31 days full of drawing. . . I figured I ought to commemorate it somehow. I hope you guys enjoy them all! Day One: Shadow - Kelsier staring out into the sky, as ash falls Day Two: Unforeseeable - Kaladin, his whole character arc was unforeseeable to me through my first read-through Day Three: Embarrassing - [obligatory not Cosmere, but I decided doing all Sanderson added an interesting variety] it's a young Alcatraz, embarrassed for breaking something. . . . Inktober Day 4: Portal - The Well of Ascension (Not quite how I wanted it, but it was at least fun to draw) I don't have time to post everything now, but I'll update this whenever I get the chance
  10. 14 points
    edit: @FictionSpren2019 Could you please stop with the plagiarism
  11. 14 points
  12. 13 points
  13. 12 points
    Domand had not come to the Shattered Plains, for once, to stop chaos, but to begin it. It would please neither his inferiors nor himself—which was, of course, why he had to do it. The ASWA was highly selective with its field agents, in the general case, but to the bewilderment of all, an exception had been made for him. An untried initiate, sent to the Shattered Plains to preserve order in a situation which hung on a knife’s edge? Who could count on such a one to uphold the integrity of this crucial mission, in the most probable vortex for a Shardic conflict since the...unfortunate… levelling of Scadrial? Nobody in the Council of Seven expected him to succeed. Darrel’s wisdom had been called into question, and only his invocation of the sole privilege to send out field agents except by unanimous consent of the Council had stifled the staunch opposition of Lerdal and Radler. Funny, how the vote had failed by one member. It always did, when matters were important. Dominion purred, pleased with Darrel’s expansion of authority, but Domand quickly shoved the Shard down and away from his mind. It was a tool. He could not afford to be borne away by the Intent, especially with so much work left to do. The Council was subdued; that was the important part. With Domand safely on Roshar, the real work could now begin. Beginning to count to ten already in his head, he moved through the still night air, weaving towards the bunk of Highprince Sebarial. Shrouded in darkness as he was, he would be hard to spot, and those who saw him should take little notice anyway—it was part of the magic of the cloak, but also partly human nature. Who cares about a nighttime wanderer, when you yourself were one if you were out to notice him? Rounding the last corner and finding himself immersed in pitch blackness, Domand summoned his Shardblade, weaving it experimentally through the air in front of Sebarial’s bunk. It would take all his willpower to take this next step. He hated being obtrusive, hated overt violence, yet certainly did not hate Sebarial. He lifted the Blade, arm trembling slightly as the point was raised, quivering, into the air. God Beyond save us, he thought. And then plunged the Shard through the stone wall. Kay watched with narrowed eyes as a man shrouded in darkness walked past her hiding spot, looking both determined and rushed. A poor combination, that. At least, for whoever the Almighty willed that the man should meet. She chided herself inwardly for attempting to reason out the result of the man’s visit. Nothing is knowable apart from the Almighty and his Heralds, she thought, reciting the first article of the faith of the Devotary she had always been a part of. It was her job to carry out the will of the Almighty and his Heralds—which, incidentally, involved a removal of the king (at this time; who knows what the Almighty may require of you tomorrow?). His embrace of practices such as a hierarchy based on eye colour and the maintenance of ardents who invented Callings and Glories at random had destroyed the kingdom and brought the Almighty’s disapproval. Worse, he sought no guidance from the Almighty or from the Heralds in this troubled time, but rather forged ahead as if not to bother with such “myths.” They would see how mythical they were, if the Almighty did not continually will that their existence be maintained. Heretics these days weren’t just outside the devotaries. Except when they were, like that detestable woman Jasnah Kholin... Her thoughts abruptly snapped back to the walking man, who she had lost track of. Moash would be disappointed in her; how was she supposed to discover who shadowy visitors to highprinces were if she could not even keep track of them for three feet? Kay could not let herself be seen, however, so she crouched further down behind a crem-coated boulder, peering intently at the wall behind which the man had vanished. And screamed as a thin line of light appeared in it, and a hole gradually widened. Sebarial was under attack. And the man she had seen wrapped in shadow was none other than a Shardbearer. Highprince Sebarial, It is with exceeding joy that I write to you, knowing that the dastardly attempt against your life last night was a failure, and that you are in good health, if somewhat shaken (like us all). I do not know who the Shardbearer was or why they had occasion to attack you, but it should rightfully make us all fear for our safety. I understand your concerns that the assassin could have killed you but chose not to, but such conversations are not for the public ear. We will have speech together at the next banquet regarding this. Until then, I will instruct my Cobalt Guard to double their watch against any hint of an attempt against any life in these warcamps. With your aid and vigilance, I am confident we can crush this threat beneath our heels. Elhokar, King of Alethkar My apologies for a shortened writeup; I will hopefully get the chance to fix that tomorrow. Regardless, welcome to LG61: A Radiant Light! The rules are in this doc, and are nicely formatted. If you want immediate formatting-free access, use the spoiler below: Yeah, it’s a lot. I suggest you read over it a few times before the game starts, and send me rule clarifications before the game starts in earnest. Please? It makes me a happier GM. Signups will last a week, and will close Saturday 2 November at 9:00 PM EDT (-5:00 UTC), unless an extension is required. Please sign up if you are able, as the game will be much more fun with a lot of people, as I can do cooler things with item and role distribution. Also, the way the faction system works means that you’re almost guaranteed to be in a doc, and with a team who will help you understand the rules and collaborate with you on them, which always makes SE more fun. (And will probably alleviate some of the stress from looking at that giant ruleset. ) My wonderful co-GMs are @Devotary of Spontaneity and @Snipexe. Don’t be surprised to see them in your PMs, in thread issuing clarifications, etc. And be sure to upvote them both for agreeing to work with me on such a crazy game. Player List: Rule Clarifications and Modifications: Quicklinks:
  14. 12 points
  15. 12 points
    Today’s prompt is: 31. Alleycity So I know that it's not the 31st for everybody yet, but as I'm not sure if I can post once it is, I decided to do it now. I have to admit it's a work in progress, to finish the whole blanket will keep me occupied till spring I suppose, but the patchwork is (nearly) done.
  16. 12 points
  17. 12 points
    Aftermath Aphelion Kavela drifted through the small, self-contained world of the Frozen Moon like a ghost. Conversation was a constant murmur about her ears, but she could not quite bring herself to intrude. She hesitated, a hand going to the unmarked skin of her throat. Nothing at all. How was this possible? Things had seemed eerily familiar before: Asterion running out into the dark, Asterion’s body turning up in the pavillion, and she couldn’t remember seeing Joon or Wai ZhierSen, and yet they were here all the same, their presence indubitable. She brushed past a MaiPon server, and for a moment, saw him carrying both a large metallic sword balanced on a shoulder as if it weighed no more than a feather, and a repeating crossbow in the other hand. It felt so real. All of it. The hunger and the thirst. The Strikers waiting for them outside, in the dark. The terror, the long, slow death. Joon pressing the strangler’s wire into her throat, leaning into the movement with practised ease. His hands had brushed past her at some point, and they were callused and Kavela could not remember when he’d acquired those calluses. They should be soft, she found herself thinking. A spoiled pretty-boy’s hands. She could still leave now, couldn’t she? She flung open the door and strode out into the courtyard, with the peach tree. She’d climbed it, days ago. It felt like it had been forever. The MaiPon man was there, still, scratching at the fallen leaves with his broom. Their eyes met, and for a moment, Kavela saw him, curled up on the ground, blood oozing from a crossbow bolt that had punctured his thigh. Could she do this? Could any of them be saved? Impulsively, Kavela said, “Gamman’s coming. You must leave, get out of here, go somewhere safe.” “I know,” said Shi KwaiRan. ㄢㄋㄌ Ableah watched as Arbiter Urskevan left, ostensibly to search for more of the Frozen Moon’s excellent buns, and waited. No one noticed as first Marzia, then Somi, and then finally, Asterion himself, made various excuses and left after the arbiter of the Glory Faction. He felt his hands clench into fists by his side. No. He had no love for the Glory Faction, not when Arbiter Urskevan had championed mercilessly hunting Ableah Edr and his fellow scholars of the Discovery Faction down, five years ago in the Succession Riots. Meeting Asterion again had been a shock, the sudden jolt of thin ice giving way beneath his feet. He thought they were all dead. The Strikers had left him for dead, shooting him full of crossbow bolts after he’d killed enough of them with his halberd. Discord had been a good weapon, if chatty. Ableah wondered what had happened to it now. Without particularly appearing to do so, Ableah trailed the hidden members of the Discovery Faction, scooping up an empty platter so he looked appropriately busy. He might have felt something, once: relief, or a sense of kinship, almost. He owed Discovery nothing now. They had not come for him when he lay among the dead, and he would not come to heel now. Ableah reached for the repeating crossbow hidden within his armoured jacket, and felt the cracks in his soul and mind widen, just a little. ㄢㄋㄌ “Surrender in the name of the Emperor!” Joon Banyung smiled, and reached for his bowl of powdered tea. He’d asked for it to be shaken, not stirred, so there was a pleasant layer of froth at the very top of the drink. Actions and consequences, or if you preferred: action, and then reaction. It was eminently foreseeable that Gamman might lash out at those who had gathered to plot against him. There were several questions to be asked: how Gamman had realised this, and what Gamman’s plans were, and how the Discovery Faction had been involved in the first place. When Joon had seen the recall phrase scrawled on a tiny slip of rice paper and concealed in a jar of tea leaves, he had barely believed it. Had eaten the paper, out of sheer force of habit, even as he tried to work out the situation. It had been five years. He was certain they’d forgotten about him. Evidently, not any more. Ellira shivered. She was good, Joon Banyung thought, even as she let him put his arm around her to comfort her. She was slight, but packed with wiry muscle, and he thought he felt at least three knives and a slender garotte hidden about on her. Then there was that hairpin, which was very likely poisoned. He thought he noticed that the ornamental fan tucked into her sash was a little too heavy, which pointed to steel ribbing, perhaps. Even more concealed blades. That was part of the fun, wasn’t it? Flirting with danger. It had been five years. Joon Banyung deserved to live a little. He raised his tea bowl in an ironic salute to Gamman, and drank deep. ㄢㄋㄌ It began with a Striker’s shouted command in the cool night air. Ellira shivered, allowed her expression to show fear, and blinked until her eyes filled with tears. “I don’t want to die,” she whispered, rolling her eyes inwardly as Joon whispered sweet nothings to her. She was trying to work out what she should do next. Strikers meant a picket line with crossbows, and Ellira could take a Striker in a fight but she didn’t fancy her chances against several bolts from a repeating crossbow. Watch and report, her Master had told her. She did not know if this was what Arbiter Raishin had in mind. For all Arbiter Raishin was of the Reform Faction and Ellira worked for him, managing one or two agents in the Reform Faction’s eyes and ears, he had started putting her out into the field more and more. Ellira didn’t mind. There was a sharp mind beneath the soft-spoken exterior, and for all people spoke disparagingly of Arbiter Raishin, Ellira simply laughed. They were both playing a role, and if others could not see that, then they were fools. She did not know what game Raishin played. It did not matter to her. Last week, she’d killed a soybean merchant on his orders. The week before that, she’d infiltrated a local gang leader’s home and stolen his ledger. That kill had been hers, because it amused her. She’d forced his head down beneath the surface as they shared a heated bath with fragrant oils. There was still a whiff of jasmine on her wrists, and she had felt it, the moment he stopped thrashing about and became dead weight in the water. He hadn’t expected her to be so strong. Most men did not, especially if you’d honed smiles and tears into weapons. Raishin, at least, allowed her the occasional diversion. He did not brook disobedience but he enjoyed giving assets the creativity to interpret and follow his orders as he saw fit, and Ellira in turn would have chafed at a tight leash. She wanted, so badly, to lead Joon on a merry chase. He thought she was simple, falling for pretty words and a lovely smile, but Ellira hadn’t gotten to where she was by fluttering her lashes and falling hard the moment a pretty boy turned on the charm. Two could play at this game, but her orders were clear: watch and report. Joon would live. For now. Somi ignored the jar of dream honey and focused on the third object on the shelf: a jar of dried tea leaves. The scrawled label indicated it was Duck Vomit Oolong, aged for at least ten years. Somi raised an eyebrow. “Duck Vomit?” she wondered aloud, both impressed and taken aback. She scrabbled through the jar of tea leaves until she found a tiny slip of rice paper, which she unfolded. The message had been written in an unfamiliar hand, and displayed one or two smudges and blotches, as though the writer was not well-versed in the codes commonly employed by the agents of the Discovery Faction. Cover away, it read. Gamman spy here, which Somi supposed meant that their cover had been blown. The writer had probably swapped the code words around on accident. Kan had made no mention of a spy, though the MaiPon who had contacted them had once worked in such a capacity for the Reform Faction. But she trusted Kan. It was fair to say they all did. It was Shuos KanSeun who had brought the Discovery Faction to prominence during his brief tenure as arbiter. It was Shuos KanSeun who had led to that first fall from grace, the beginning of the gradual decline that had become an abrupt descent during the Succession Riots, five years ago. Even in failure, he was still the paragon; the proof that even the smallest of Factions could produce greatness. A chance to strike at Gamman. She thought of Urskevan. Had they thrown away this chance by leaving him to die? But how could they continue as though nothing had happened while Urskevan plotted with the conspirators? I don’t care if we’re doing Gamman’s dirty work for him, Marzia had said, slipping a short, heavy cosh into her fist. He hunted us down like animals during the Succession Riots. I’m not keeping my head down and pretending that everything’s alright. If Gamman had a spy here, though, that changed everything. The spy wouldn’t be able to reveal their identity, for fear of the conspirators turning on them. But Gamman had no love for the Discovery Faction. They were in danger as long as the spy lived. “We need to find the spy,” Marzia said, now. “We do,” agreed Somi. Asterion merely nodded. He had not spoken, since the vicious attack that had almost cost him his life, five years ago. There were several candidates for the spy. Somi scanned the crowded room of the teahouse, letting her gaze flick from person to person without particularly focusing on any one of them. There were a few outlanders who might have been coaxed into spying for Gamman—the man who named himself Stefan Trent Isle Nathan Kilkreath was one of them. There was the arbiter, Yesterday Jones. Marzia dismissed her. “She’s an arbiter,” Marzia said. “Gamman probably learns more from what she says to her fellow arbiters than anything else. She can’t be our spy.” There was the quiet and unremarkable Itiah, sitting at a corner of the table, nursing a cup of hot tea and ignoring the pastries. Asterion indicated him. Perhaps there was something more; some hidden depths to the man that were yet to be revealed. Somi considered, briefly, the legendary Wai ZhierSen, who had been seen on a few tasks for the Glory Faction before she’d vanished, presumed dead, after the incident with the glitter and the syrup and the sweetbreads. There was a story there, but Asterion would not tell it to her, and so she’d had to put it all together. Yes, Wai ZhierSen fit the profile of the spy perfectly, but Somi could not see one such as her condescending to work for Gamman. It was probably one of the others. Wasn’t it? “I bet it’s Kilkreath,” Joon murmured. He had slipped away from the girl, at long last, and was currently lounging insouciantly on the chair. “He just seems like the sort.” But when eventually they ambushed Kilkreath with a cosh to the temple and searched him, they found nothing, only a hank of twine, a ball of dried noodles, and half a bottle of rice wine. If there was a spy, they had slipped through their grasp. “We don’t have time for this,” Marzia said, at last. More bravado than deliberate course of action. “We carry on with the plan.” Somi rubbed the carved duck lucky charm in her pocket and hoped this lapse would not come back to haunt them. ㄢㄋㄌ Some of the conspirators surrendered, walking shame-facedly out of the Frozen Moon, hands held high up. They were arrested by the waiting Strikers, and taken away from everyone’s sight. The rest of the conspirators, however, argued about the next course of action. “Gamman is not known for his mercy,” Yesterday “Yes” Jones said, “And we are ill-served by giving in to him.” As an arbiter of the Heritage Faction, her words carried some measure of weight, and put some steel into the conspirators backs. Shuos KanSeun laughed. “Of course Gamman is not known for his mercy,” he said, shaking his head. “He won the Rose Throne through cunning and subterfuge and he is terrified that the day he falls behind will be the day he is deposed by someone more ambitious. Someone like Arbiter Frava, perhaps. Or Arbiter Urskevan. It has always surprised me that Gamman let them live, when he first seized power.” “You said Gamman needed to be stopped!” Roashina screamed back at him. “Of course he does,” Kan said, with a raised eyebrow. “Did you really think we would get away scot-free in the process? One does not hunt a tiger and expect all the hunters to return home safe and sound. And make no mistake about that: Gamman has the soul of a tiger.” In the end, the conspirators held firm. They would not surrender. “In fact,” DeTess murmured, “Murdering a group of peaceful citizens, among whom are the arbiters of the Glory and Heritage—and Discovery Factions,” she added, with a reluctant nod to Kan, “Might provoke popular backlash. Even Gamman can’t risk that. He will need to wait.” “Former arbiter, I’m afraid,” Kan said, with a graceful bow. “A pleasure, Arbiter DeTess. History has come and gone, and left me behind in its wake, I’m afraid.” “You are not in your grave yet, Shuos,” DeTess replied. “And neither are we. We will look for opportunities and negotiate with the Strikers. To kill so many arbiters from Factions not his own would provoke an uproar within the Theatre of Address.” ㄢㄋㄌ Days of deprivation and hunger followed. Kavela kept hold of her orange, stolen all that while ago from the marketplace, sucking at each slice for just a trickle of sweet moisture. A few more broke, and surrendered. Lawrence Scholdei, arbiter of the Glory Faction, caused a stir as he surrendered and was pinned to the door of the teahouse by a flurry of crossbow bolts. Suddenly, the Strikers weren’t so peaceful any longer. They were ready to kill. The well was poisoned, and then they began to ration their water. Shuos KanSeun was nowhere to be seen. Kavela did not remark on that. And there was Itiah, brave Itiah, crossing the picket lines to bring back water. He lay sprawled in the dust, precious water trickling out of his pocket, his eyes burned out. How he had died, Kavela could not say. She only knew he had died terribly, and wished he had said something—anything at all. The debates about whether to surrender continued. Herat lay in a corner, unresponsive, her eyes glazed over and muttering on occasion. Her skin was flushed with fever, and Kavela could not bring herself to give Herat any of their precious water. She was done for, she told herself, one way or another. Woundrot was setting in, for all they’d tended to the wounds after Kan had removed the crossbow bolts lodged in Herat’s thigh. And then Herat died, and Kavela felt a shred of guilt, deep inside. She closed Herat’s staring eyes. At least Herat was no longer suffering. Kavela was far too tired, far too dehydrated, to cry. ㄢㄋㄌ Gamman arrived on the last day, clad in full war regalia. It was the infamous paranoia at work again, Kan thought, as he made certain to keep sufficiently distant from the Emperor to soothe the worries of the Strikers. Gamman was no coward, but he would not leave an opening for the conspirators to strike at him. And it was a clever move: the Emperor of the Eighty Suns was a striking, resplendent figure in the war regalia, and clearly meant to stand in contrast with the rest of the conspirators. “I will be interested to hear more about how you unmasked the conspiracy,” Gamman murmured, smirking. “I am especially interested in how you came to hear of it, in the first place, General.” Of course, he thought Kan didn’t know he’d ordered the letters sent. All the more fool, he. “Of course, your Majesty,” Kan smiled. He had been good at it as a child, this game of keeping a straight face. Letting people think what they wanted to. “I am grateful my efforts have won your Majesty’s approval and recognition.” Gamman nodded. “Of course,” he echoed, briskly. “Where is Commander Ki?” The gaunt-faced Striker rapped a fist against his chest in salute. “Orders, your Majesty?” “Flaming bolts,” Gamman said, casually. “I want this teahouse up and in flames yesterday.” “Your Majesty!” This was Arbiter Huzin now. For all she was a staunch supporter of Gamman, it seemed that this last order was a bridge too far. Even Arbiter Raishin looked disturbed, though he said nothing. At least Kan thought he looked disturbed. It was difficult to tell, with Raishin. People often mistook a chronic lack of principle and flexibility for a chronic lack of spine, but Raishin had a finely-honed sense for where the political winds were blowing. “There are people inside!” “I know,” Gamman smiled. “That’s the idea. Flaming bolts, Commander! I want to watch the Moon burn.” ㄢㄋㄌ The Strikers dipped crossbow bolts tied with rags into oil, and then set them ablaze and launched volleys of bolts. The first few hit the stones of the pathway and soon flared out completely. But a few bolts found their mark in the wooden walls of the teahouse, and then more and more struck home. Even the countless peach trees in the courtyard were ablaze. Gamman held his hands out to the fire, dark eyes intent, as though he could feel the warmth against his skin. So perished a part of history, Kan thought, and was surprised at the pang in his heart. Some of the conspirators struggled out of the inferno, as walls began to collapse. Too few of them did. A slight girl, with striking green eyes. He caught the brief flicker of recognition from Raishin, and noticed especially when Raishin concealed it in the next moment. Gamman accepted her surrender, and had her arrested and taken away without so much as a search. There was something going on there, Kan decided. The other was a familiar face: Yesterday Jones, arbiter of the Heritage Faction. “Tsk,” said Gamman, shaking his head sorrowfully. “Another arbiter plotting treason. Take her away,” he commanded, and the Strikers wrenched Yesterday’s hands behind her and marched her off. “What are you going to do with them, your Majesty?” Arbiter Huzin asked, uneasily. “Starve them for a few days,” Gamman said, easily. “They’ll have water, but not very much of it. On the fifth day, we’ll feed them, and take their surrender, and we’ll watch them carefully but let them go. They shouldn’t cause anymore trouble.” “Your Majesty, forgive me but...people like that don’t forget,” Arbiter Huzin said, eyebrows knit together in a worried frown. “People are animals,” Gamman said. “Put them somewhere uncomfortable for days, deny them food and water, and they grow weak. The mind answers to the body. Ideals become much less palatable when you’re dying, and once they eat, they’ll surrender. The shame will never let them conspire to remove me from power again.” “Not everyone surrenders, your Majesty,” Arbiter Huzin felt compelled to point out. “Some people regard ideals as more important than their lives.” “I know,” said Gamman softly, smiling. “Who do you think the people who died in that fire were?” Kan sucked in a long, astonished breath. “They were the ones who wouldn’t surrender, no matter what,” Gamman continued. “The ones to whom ideals mattered more than their own lives.” The flames of the burning teahouse seemed to be reflected in his eyes. “For the rest of their lives, the survivors will feel ashamed of themselves when they think of rebellion. They will tell themselves they should have died in the fire. And word of the fire will spread, and others will think twice about mobilising against the Security Act that Arbiter Huzin will pass in a few weeks.” He turned his head slightly. A shadow moved. Ableah Edr leaped out of the shadow of clustered tents, cutting down with inhuman grace and speed the first two Strikers that put themselves between the Emperor and him. And then— ㄢㄋㄌ Shi KwaiRan knelt on the roof of the dwelling, steadfastly ignoring the pain in his wounded thigh. He barely dared to breathe, as he watched Kan lure the Emperor every closer towards the fires of the burning Frozen Moon. The Frozen Moon, burning down. Goodbye. Goodbye, to a chapter of his life, goodbye to Wenshon, and Kwai felt a few tears prickle in his eyes as he saw the inferno. Perhaps it was better Wenshon was dead, and Kwai would likely be dead soon. He braced himself carefully and drew back the laminated horsebow, nocking the arrow and pulling the string back with thumb and forefinger, almost past his ear. He breathed, lining up where Gamman would be in physical space with the target in his mind’s eye, and felt the strain as he held the horsebow steady. He half-exhaled, and loosed. The arrow traveled in an arc, spinning about a little as it dropped towards where Gamman would be— ㄢㄋㄌ Ableah would have said he wanted vengeance, but each kill splintered his world a little more, shoving more cracks through the tattered canyons of his mind. He was breaking apart, dying in fire, by the sword, reigning over an empire of ashes and bone, and Ableah did not care. He had hidden himself well, and chosen his moment to strike. As he burst out from the shadows of the encampment and lunged at Gamman, two Strikers tried to stop him. He cut them down with the Shardblade, barely slowing down. Metal fared badly against Shardblades. Trading for this one had cost him dearly. He pulled back for a swing that would ram the point of the Blade through Gamman’s throat, and— And there was a flicker of movement. Then the arrow took him in the eye and Ableah screamed— ㄢㄋㄌ Kwai lowered the horsebow, stunned. He’d just saved Gamman’s life. What’s more, Gamman knew: their eyes met, and the Emperor inclined his head slightly, and motioned away the Strikers that were about to surge like hunting jackals in Kwai’s direction. Unexpected. Kwai’s arms shook as he lowered the bow, as the Soul Stamp dissolved into a puff of red smoke against his skin. He had set out to assassinate another Emperor. He had not expected to save Gamman’s life by sheer accident. Had not expected Gamman to acknowledge the gesture, and to call the Strikers off. That made them quits, didn’t it? Wenshon would not be avenged, not today. The eye shot had been a one in a million chance. The arrow was meant to go through armour but Kwai didn’t feel like rolling the dice a second time, not against imperial war regalia. He had lost. He felt so tired. He unstrung the bow, coiling the string about. Below, some distance away, the Frozen Moon continued to burn. ㄢㄋㄌ Raishin didn’t come for her, but there was a symbol scratched into the dirt of the tent. Three diamonds, overlapping. Ellira knew what was expected of her. She killed the Striker standing watch over her, by crying until the Striker came over to make her be quiet, and then she drove the poisoned, sharpened hairpin into the Striker’s eye and slipped away as the woman died, choking on her own blood. Pity about the hairpin, Ellira thought. She would have to get another. The Frozen Moon burned to the ground that night. It was said that the dying conspirators had remained defiant to the end. No one had cried out. No one had asked for mercy. Word of the Frozen Moon massacre spread throughout the Imperial Seat, and then the Rose Empire. It grew more and more exaggerated in the telling, until it was said that Gamman had played a flute and the bones of the dead had walked, even as the Frozen Moon, the former jewel of the Imperial Seat, had burned. Arbiters refused to comment about the Emperor’s actions. The gathering in the Theatre of Address proved to be subdued, with Arbiter Yesterday Jones of the Heritage Faction a silent figure at the back of the room. The Security Act was passed and approved, with little fanfare. Gamman’s grip on the reigns of power tightened ever further. And in the cellar at the base of the Frozen Moon, which had sheltered them both from the devouring flames and the searching Strikers, three surviving agents of the Discovery Faction parted ways, for the moment. They would return to their lives, return to hiding. And perhaps one day, they would strike as the lightning, and their enemies would never see them coming. ㄢㄋㄌ “The Frozen Moon Massacre was a turning point in Gamman’s domestic policy. While Gamman had previously arrested dissidents and had rebellious arbiters killed or cowed, he had never acted so openly before. Some believe that the Frozen Moon Massacre was carefully planned and orchestrated as a way of removing Gamman’s enemies and sending a strong message to the rest of the Empire. Others argue that Gamman had no way of knowing that the Frozen Moon Massacre would not become a propaganda victory for his enemies: he simply chose to take the risk, and to test how much he could get away with. The true answer, I think, lies between both these views. Either way, the Frozen Moon Massacre was a significant step in Gamman accumulating unchallenged power as an absolute emperor.” —Shuos KanSeun, When the Rose Blooms: The Lives of the Emperors ㄢㄋㄌ And that's a wrap! Thanks to everyone for playing! Once again, congratulations to Team Disco [Alvron, Burnt Spaghetti, Elandera, and Arraenae] for the victory, but you have been outfoxed and hoodwinked by the Village! Bragging rights and kudos goes to the Village for a magnificent display of trolling, as STINK was not the Reform Spy! Player List Dossier
  18. 11 points
    I'm not sure PR is the right word there. PR implies spin, manipulation, obfuscation. I'm not going to tell you how to feel, but you may have tricked yourself here. You dislike Shallan because of her character. Therefore when she does something you like, or find impressive, you have the impression that Sanderson is forcing you to like her. In reality, you like her (on this issue, not necessarily in general). This isn't a PR move, this is a change in character for Shallan, or a demonstration of what she could be. I have to tell you; mental illness does not give you a get out of jail free card. I'm not sure how much experience you have dealing with people who have mental illnesses, but the opposite is usually true. You get blamed for more things because you have a mental illness. Attributions of failings that people give to your illness. You aren't hated for these things, but you cannot grow beyond them. It is a horrible thing that society does. You also fundamentally misunderstand how her disorder works. It's not that she is the "real Shallan" only when doing good things. She is always the real Shallan. All of these things are her, and she is responsible in any form for the actions of any other. It's the internal struggle between the various aspects, the decision within herself to decide what she wants, and not to switch or be subsumed that defines her. Sympathy should be extended to those with disadvantaged backgrounds, but it doesn't stretch forever, and doesn't truly excuse actions. A savvy reader or observer is able to quickly determine whether a person's background is be used, or coming to the forefront naturally. As someone mentioned, Renarin is a back five person. He is a side character for the moment. I would be cautious in assuming that Shallan's disorder is anything similar to Renarin's. There will, and are, differences. She hasn't stolen anything from him. What you say could be read as, "People with autism are the same as people with multiple personalities." Having her interact and be reviewed positively by the Kholins isn't a manipulation. I haven't found any interaction between any Kholin and Shallan remotely unreasonable. They are based in the character traits of both. If you feel like any interaction is unearned by Shallan, that's your business, but I don't see any support for it. And the Kholins have been shown very publicly in book two to have not have good judgment on people. The last part I understand; lots of people dont like Shallan, and feel like OB should have had less of her. She should have given more space to Dalinar, or Kaladin, or anyone else. I wish there was less of her. That being said, much of her interaction with Adolin and the other characters made sense. It was logical that Shallan, who has ample experience dealing with expectations and internal demands, helps Adolin be who he wants to be. And ultimately, she just supports his decision; she says that he should do what he wants, that he doesnt have to be his father. But she also says he can be. She has no stake in his choice. I'm not here shilling for Shallan. I am against the sort of close-minded dismissal you presented.
  19. 11 points
  20. 11 points
  21. 11 points
    Made from Penguin Classics Cover Generator Inspired by [x] [x]
  22. 11 points
    Picture Credit - Ravens Ribbon on Tumblr
  23. 10 points
    We know from this WoB that crucial information about the plot of future books is hidden somewhere (probably in plain sight) in the first two books. Hoid's stories (Wandersail, The Girl Who Looked Up, his Adonalsium talk with Dalinar) are likely part of it, but what about the rest? I think that, unlike in Mistborn, in this case the clues are not only in in-universe events or documents, but in references to real life mythology (this WoB), namely Canaanite one (which provides most of the names for the Unmade). But which Canaanite mythology? Each Phoenician city-state had a slightly different version, with different chief god. The oldest and best understood though, is the mythology of Ugarit (some potential connection to Urithiru maybe?). The Wikipedia articles on Ugaritic versions of Baal Hadad and Anat turned out to be a goldmine of clues. Here is what I found: Baal Hadad, the god of storms and the chief god, also called the Rider on the Clouds, seems to be a clear basis for the Stormfather and Tanavast. His main enemy is Mot, the god of death who wants to feed upon other gods and break Hadad to pieces (Odium). He wins their confrontation, but Hadad finally comes back to life (it's not sure what happens here, due to gaps in the text) Baal Hadad is associated with west wind. In the Bible, when the Israelites escape Egypt and cross over the Red Sea, it's accompanied by strong east wind. They're freed from their slavery by the wind blowing in the other direction to reclaim the their land. Yeah, the Exodus foreshadows the Everstorm and the Eila Stele revelation! Baal Hadad and Anat also win a battle with Yam (sea god) and Lotan (sea dragon). The two may be one and the same, and many people (due to linguistic errors and Lovecraft's influence) falsely believe Dagon to be the sea god (he was a god of fertility and agriculture). The whole confusion about Dai-gonarthis in Hessi's Mythica seems to be Brandon's nod to this situation Mot is finally splintered by Anat, who avenges Baal Hadad's apparent death (she “splits him with a sword, winnows him with a sieve, burns him with fire, grinds him with millstones and scatters the remnants to the birds”). He comes back to life seven years later I believe the last point provides a clue about Odium's fate. Rayse will be killed and Odium splintered with Sja-anat's help at the end of Arc 1. This will probably put an end to the Everstorm and the Fused, even though some runaway Unmade and Voidspren will remain on Roshar. This will not be the end of Odium though – the Shard will somehow reform itself and search for a new Vessel (my bet is on Moash), probably with the help of one of the Unmade or some new splinter created exactly for this purpose. It'll take time, which explains the time gap between Arc 1 and Arc 2. This provides a new twist on what can happen to a Shard (besides splintering or merging, which we have already seen) – and if anyone can achieve this, it's Odium. He's relatively good at seeing the future, has a deep knowledge of how splintering works and his splinters can act very independently, even pulling off an entire False Desolation. The following part is even more speculative, but I would be glad to see it happen Part of Odium's return will be the birth of children with some connection to Odium, possibly certain Voidbinding abilities (some spiritweb modification? Similar to what the Nightwatcher or Sja-anat can do). This works well because: A. It's a great easter egg – it borrows from Baldur's Gate plot and the name of the god there was Bhaal B. It sets up an interesting conflict for Arc 2 I think these children may be referenced in this Death Rattle: The conflict is possibly foreshadowed in Arc 1. Dalinar, even at his lowest, can't kill an innocent child even it can cause problems later. Jasnah, despite her logic and pragmatism, is unable to kill Renarin, clearly affected by Odium. Other Radiants (like Malata), however, won't have any problem with this. This could be the source of a schism between the KR and lead to a new Recreance (breaking part of the most basic Oath – journey before destination). To avoid this, the protagonists will have to find a better way to contain Odium and stop it from regaining it's strength. That's way figuring out the Oathpact will be the major topic in Arc 2 (this WoB).
  24. 10 points
    Cognitive...Anomaly.... *Adds about fifty questions to Starsight Signing list*
  25. 10 points
    [Note: Reposted from older thread, which originally asked us to speculate about Odium's method of shattering shards.] My theory is that Odium's advantage and ability to shatter other shards is tied very tightly to his intent. Consider: 1. Odium's Intent Allows him to Perceive Evil and Flaws in Others Odium (at one point named “Anger”) appears to be an aspect of divine wrath. Divine wrath is not merely objectless anger or hatred, however, it is specifically hatred of evil (E.g. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, etc.) We know that Odium’s wrath is “separated from the virtues that gave it context” – so mercy, justice, and even the principles of “lex talionis” (“eye for an eye”) do not bar his anger. However, to be able to be wrathful about something, you must still have some conception of where it has gone wrong. Odium isn't just wrathful against anything and everything - his wrath has a focus. Whenever I think of Odium, I am reminded of the Demon’s Mirror from the “Snow Queen” fairy tale, described here: I think Odium’s intent makes him see both people and shards in their most negative, evil aspects. He compares them to perfection, and, in so doing, is filled with hatred towards their flaws and vices. It is this which makes him despise and hate the other shards, for he sees the ways in which they fail the people and cause misery and suffering. We see, I think, a hint of this in Odium’s conversation with Dalinar in chapter 57. Odium states that I think he is aware of how the other Shards are flawed and that this leads him to hate them. This explains both his desire to destroy them and his desire to remain unalloyed with their power, which from his perspective would be corrupting. We also see a little bit of Odium’s nature in his choice of allies: he fights with the party first injured in the desolation, the ancient Singers who were forced out of their land by humanity. He sees the evil the humans have done and he hates and despises it, but his hatred has no proportionality or mercy. He is willing to completely destroy even generations which have no knowledge of the crime and wipe them from the face of Roshar. I suspect, even should he succeed, Odium’s wrath would merely turn upon the victors (since they would have killed innocents in the process of victory). In fact, I suspect this has already happened once. I think Odium led the first desolation where the humans attacked the voidbringers, probably in response to some sort of wrong, then promptly switched sides to avenge the attacked party and punish the sins on the human side. In this way, his wrath is an example of the saying “an eye for an eye makes the world blind.” Evil begets evil and so Odium’s wrath is never satiated – he sees all the flaws and will always be supporting a twisted sort of vengeance till eternity end. 2. The Ability to See Flaws allows Odium to See Weaknesses in Shards Seeing the flaws of both mortal and Shard however, would provide Odium with a distinct advantage. It means he can see where a Shard is in conflict with their intent, or where their intent is flawed. He is aware of their Hamartia (fatal flaws). Since all of the Shards are pieces of a complete unity, they each have weaknesses that make them blind to their own particular evils – none of them are perfectly “good” or can act perfectly in align with their intent. My theory is that shattering specifically occurs when a shard is forced into a position where it acts against its own intent or else is forced to face the flaw in its own intent in a major way. In Honor’s case, I suspect he was shattered either upon breaking one of his own Oaths or upon realizing that Oaths were fundamentally flawed. (I think the Herald’s betrayal is strongly tied into this in some way and that it either forced him to go against one of his oaths or else made him realize that Odium was correct and oaths were imperfect.) Hypothetically then, any Shard forced into a position that goes against its own intent would be shattered. Preservation, for example, might be shattered by either getting its power to cause an act of great destruction, or else demonstrating that, by preserving things, it is in fact ruining them by making their natures fundamentally different. Cultivation might be shattered by either forcing it to “burn” its “gardens” or else revealing a flaw in its methods of “cultivation”. Ambition might have been shattered by forcing it into a position of subservience and so on and so forth. I don’t know enough about most of the other shards to speculate, but I think given enough information a flaw in each of their intents could be found.) If true, Odium could potentially be shattered in one of several ways: 1) Forcing him into a position where his wrath is turned inward to attack his own flaws.* 2) Forcing him to confront a being of perfect good which has no flaws. 3) Forcing him to confront one of the virtues which wrath is supposed to be associated with (i.e. mercy), something good which takes into account error/sin and forgives or heals it. * I can’t help but wonder if this hasn’t already happened to a certain degree. We know the Unmade are, at least in some respect, Shards of Odium. Perhaps he is confronting evil aspects inherent in all men (including himself) and intentionally removing these “flaws” from the Shard, spinning them off as separate evil entities and thus making himself “the Broken one”. Alternatively, they might be “distorted reflections” of the evil in either men or Shards that he uses to accomplish his attacks. Cultivation would probably be in a good position to pull something like this off, probably by guiding the people of Roshar, both Singer and human, to rally against him and reject their mutual hatred in a larger version of Dalinar’s refusal to let Odium “have his pain” (i.e. his flaw). However, if Odium were shattered, I think the result would likely be tragedy. Consider the above quote with the Demon’s Mirror. If he is shattered, Odium would become even worse, because his splinters would enter into the hearts of men, Singer, Spren, and (perhaps) Shard and begin to destroy them. Instead of one locus of hatred, there would be many. 3. Possible Objections: Objection 1: An enhanced ability to see flaws may in fact be part of Odium’s nature, but the shattering may still be done by corrupting investiture. Odium would probably be better at corrupting investiture under this theory than other Shards, because he would see the “flaws” in the magic be able to take advantage of this, twisting the investiture towards his own use. Response 1: This is likely true. However, to destroy a shard, Odium would most probably have to corrupt a large portion of their investiture (perhaps close to half) to be able to overpower them. It seems unlikely that he would be able to corrupt such a large portion of their nature, particularly if they found out and resisted. Response 2: In corrupting investiture, Odium must exert some of his power. He will thus weaken himself proportionally to how much he invests. He might, if clever, be able to use this to destroy one Shard if he outfought them. However, if he must use so much power, how can he possibly destroy two? (Which he has done once and is attempting to do again.) In attacking one Shard, Odium would leave himself vulnerable to the other, who has their investiture free and now knows how he shattered the first shard. I think the shattering must instead be something that can be swift and not readily accomplished by the other shard. Response 3: If the corrupted investiture is formed by the power of two shards, why can the other Shard not attack Odium through the same route? You say because the other shard has invested more in the world. But if Odium is investing some power in the other Shard’s magic, why can that Shard not turn the corruption against him? Response 4: Some of the suggested corruptions do not seem to be influenced by Honor. The unmade in particular do not appear to have anything honorable about them. I do not see any good reason to believe they are large chunks of Honor’s power that have been corrupted (at this time). The voidsurges DO seem to be corruptions of the Nahel bond, but this bond was first formed by Spren, who figured out how to mimic what Honor did with the Honorblades. Though I suppose it’s possible that the formation of the voidish surges was a corruption of Honor’s investiture, I’m not sure of this. Response 5: If Odium uses the corruption method, then Honor should have been unraveling ever since Odium first formed the corrupted voidlight. However, since they seem to have been around a long time and Honor seems to have shattered relatively abruptly, I do not see how they can be the weapon that did it. Objection 2: Odium names himself Passion and, although Brandon implies he is partially deceiving himself, his words and methods seem to imply that there is in fact some truth to this. Response 1: Odium does in fact feel emotion besides anger. Anger is powerful precisely in so far as it mourns the loss of what is good. He thus does experience the positive emotions he states – joy, happiness, etc. etc. – because he must first appreciate these things before he can be wrathful for their loss. He must first love innocence before he can hate evil for defiling it. His interpretation thus is in some ways closer to the truth than the interpretation that he is mere “anger,” but it also misses the mark in that he is not just raw emotion (else his emotion would not be weighted towards vengeance). Response 2: Odium is represented in Dalinar’s vision as a flame. This is similar, interestingly, to the Altar of the Saints described in Revelation, which is fed by the tears and mourning of the oppressed: “I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had upheld. And they cried out in a loud voice, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?” The altar is fueled by injustice – by passion, by weeping, by joys lost, by sorrows and fear – but it burns at the foot of the throne of God, bringing their prayers and mourning into his presence, and fuels his wrath towards the wicked. Metaphorically, I think Odium’s flame is similar. The weeping and prayers of the people, their emotions, feed his wrath. In fact, now that I think of it, the burning of glyph wards may in fact be an aspect of Vorinism that originated in the old world and once was (or perhaps still is) of Odium. Response 3: I believe Odium may be using the interpretation of himself as emotion to avoid his own fatal flaw -- the fact that he is wrath unbound by virtue. He thus interprets all the evil emotions inside himself as simply part of a vast "Passion," which of course must contain these negative emotions. In this way, he bears no guilt for anything he does that is evil and need not confront his own flaws. Response 4: Both Ruin and Odium discuss passion, and, we are told, so would other shards. I think "Passion" is probably something Brandon has used to divide shards into categories, much as with the metals in Allomancy. Ruin and Odium possess Passion as it is part of their intent (and apparently the intent of other shards), but they are not passion itself. This was originally posted in the Cosmere forum, but some people recommended that I make it into its own topic and I think it fits better in the Stormlight Forum since I am mostly discussing Odium. Original post: I welcome any criticism and particularly any insight into Brandon's comments that may be relevant to this conversation.
  26. 10 points
  27. 10 points
    The final matchup of the first round deserves a suitably awesome rap Make way for the one-of-a-kind Teft! @Paranoid King @Ark1002
  28. 10 points
    Oh wow that looks so cool!! I have some "graphite" ink that has that really cool shimmery effect, I'll have to look into those powders! Realm: Sharp:
  29. 9 points
    Chullracing was a dangerous sport. As Salas hung low in the sky, and Nalakor gripped his saddle, it was all he could do to stop himself from shaking. He had trained for this, practicing everyday since his brother’s accident. He needed to win this race, needed to use the emerald sphere reward to pay for Valtor’s treatment. He slipped his saddle over Dusty’s shell, before leading the animal over to the starting line. Both had been a gift from King’s Wit, who’d taken a liking to him after he had stolen his flute. He claimed to have stolen them from a top racer, but from what Nalakor could tell, the beast was nothing more than a work animal. That said, he’d formed a bond with Dusty. She had been his only friend since the accident, his only friend since the fire that ripped through Roion’s warcamp, taking his parents and leaving his brother comatose. Dusty had helped him through his grief, and taken him farther than he could have ever imagined. He was in the final for the Grand Warcamp Prix. The last race of the season before the weeping began. He was the only here because of sheer luck more than anything else, hanging on by the skin of his teeth. But, now? He needed to win. He rubbed Dusty’s eyestalks, slipping the animal a stonebud. Around him, the top racers from around the warcamp’s chulls were being carefully rubbed and oiled, as their drivers stood by, talking strategy with their coaches. On the next plateau over, the spectators sat, making bets, or watching just for enjoyment. Despite Chullracing being illegal, it was still one of the most popular forms of entertainment, and betting on, while heresy, only added to the fun. Nalakor hopped up onto Dusty, adjusting the saddle as he did so. He carefully began warming her up, walking her forward and backward, getting her used to both his presence, and the way he nudged with her feet. His lead system was homegrown he knew, nothing a true pro would use, but it may have been the only thing that could give him an edge. For while others were restricted to using one hand to steer, and only leaving one free, Dusty could use both to swing the long pole he lifted from a strap on Dusty’s side. The bat was the reason Chullracing was illegal. While one’s chull was doing the actual running of the race, it was the jockey’s job to take as many of his opponents down as possible. Needless to say, it was not a sport without mortalities, and when everyone was needed to fight in the war, needless harm was seen as a waste. The officials walked out from the spectator plateau, and onto track in proper. They carefully walked the length of the string that bordered the track, making sure it was both up to standards, 1000 paces long, and there was no foul play. As they did so, Nalakor turned to watch his neighboring racers, as they mounted their chulls. One was a young woman seemingly from the Reshi isles. He dropped his gaze and blushed when he realized her safehand wasn’t covered. On his other side was a tall and dark figure in a mask, some of the more prominent racers did such things to hide their identities. His chull was skinny and sharp, less like a chull, and more like the fin of a Skyeel. A whistle sounded, and the twenty-four racers lead their chulls to the starting line. An official walked down, checking to ensure that they were all in fact behind the line. The man, stepped back to the edge of the line, pulling out a simple whistle. He blew once, signalling the racers to ready. The audience drew to hush, eyes watching the main event of the evening. Nalakor felt himself tense in anticipation. In the distance, Salas was making its final descent, a small crescent hanging over the finish line. A long whistle sounded, cutting through the air like a shardblade. Nalakor kicked Dusty into motion, rocking as the chull began to move forward. Around him everyone was doing the same. A bat slammed into his back, knocking the breath out of him, and nearly knocking him from his saddle. He whirled with both his body and his back, and met the eyes of the Reshi woman, even as her pole met his own. He flipped it around trying to do one of the simple patterns he’d taught himself from his father’s spear training. She was too fast, blocking him at everymove, even as her other hand pushed her chull faster. Dusty let out a trumpet responding to his desperate attempts to simply run away from her, even as Nalakor took another hit from a different racer, the sound matching his own. The man was taken down quickly, but by then the woman had taken advantage of Nalakor’s distraction to land a punishing blow. He slipped, feeling himself begin to tumble from the saddle, his leg hanging over space, held on by his arm on Dusty, and his left. Storms it hurt. They were matching the leaders of the pack now, though whether Nalakor would even make it the next 5 paces was yet to be seen. He let out a prayer to the Almighty, begging for strength. The Reshi woman lifted her bat to finish him. And was taken out from behind, the masked figure capitalizing on her distraction. Nalakor wrenched himself up, his arm screaming from the pain, and looked around him. 500 paces to go, and he was. He was in the lead! It was only pure instinct that saved him. The masked figure’s bat was swinging towards his head, and only a flick of his bat saved from a near instant knock out. His arm rang with the blow, and he grunted. The masked figure bat whirled then came into strike again, and again, Nalakor barely blocked it, batting it away, this time using both of his hands. He still winced, but it seemed that both arms could take the impact. In his peripheral vision he could see, 400 paces. The masked man’s chull had caught up to Dusty, and it trumpeted, sounding like the grinding of metal. Dusty hissed in return. The bat came in again, then again and again. Nalakor’s arms were beginning to ache with the sheer stress of blocking the thrice cursed blows. 300 paces. He let out a sob, the two chulls were neck and neck, even as their riders fought. He was squeezing with his legs as hard as possible, wishing there was someway to tell Dusty just to go a little bit faster, but nevertheless the two animals continued to match each other’s pace, seeming to almost to want their jockeys to fight, seeming to want Nalarok to lose. An especially powerful blow rattled his already numb hands, and then another knocked the bat from his hands. It tumbled to the ground and was lost. The race was lost. The audience screamed. Desperation filled Nalarok’s mind as he realized there was only seconds until it was over. Until his brother was dead. In that brief moment, he flashbacked to the night of the fire, when Voriav had saved him, leaping to push him out of the way of a doorway, and hurting himself in the process. And Nalakor knew what he had to do. He leaned right, towards the figure, then leapt directly at him. He seemed to hang in the air forever, time slowing down as he saw the masked figure’s shock. He slammed into the figure with all of his body weight. They never stood a chance. They slipped off of the back of their mount like a bag of lavis grain, dropping their bat to grab the side of the saddle, hanging on with only a hand. Nalakor himself began to lose balance, standing on a chull was nearly impossible when they were walking. Next him, Dusty still ran. Good faithful Dusty. He took a breath, then leapt back to his mount. A hand gripped his ankle pulling him down. The figure had pulled themselves enough to grab him as he leapt. He felt himself swing in the air, hand grasping for something, anything. They felt the saddle strap and clutched them tight. He lay, stretched across the abyss between the two chulls, the figure pulling at his ankle with all their might even as he held on with his. He kicked with his other leg, slamming the foot into the figure’s hand. It hand slipped, and it was enough. Nalakor pulled himself, exhausted. He looked up to check how close they were to the finish line. They crossed. First. The audience roared, and he sagged. He had done. He could save Voriav. He could see his brother again. Brightlord Nalakor smiled as his chosen chull barrelled across the line, earning him one of the largest returns he’d had in a while—all from a shadowed man who still did not identify himself. But his spheres were on the table in front of the finish line, so despite his weakened state Nalakor wasted no time in nodding to the arbiter and sweeping his winnings into his purse. “Sorry, friend, and thank you for playing the game,” he offered the shadowed figure, who had shown no reaction. He did mean it—he got little enough business, having to bribe officials into looking the other way when he did conduct it, and any participants were appreciated in such a violent and bloody sport as this. “Better luck another time.” The man’s lips were drawn in a thin line, dramatised by the light of the red sphere by which Nalakor was seeing, but he nodded and began collecting his things, heading away from the pens. Eyeing the retreating figure, Nalakor backed up himself, pretending to fumble with one of the chull’s straps as he waited for the visitor to fade into darkness. You didn’t survive as long as he did in this sort of business without some underlying mistrust, unfortunately, and the bruises he had would take long enough to heal without his accruing new ones. Nalakor sighed, moving the exhausted beasts back to their pens, to lie down with their other companions who were lowing quietly. Tending to the beasts, in the end, was remarkably simple—not much could be required by normally docile and tempered animals—but it was his only trade, so he kept to it with a vigour which infused even the changing of water and food for the pens with meaning akin to a sacred ritual, a way of giving the ordinary importance. His chulls were perhaps the best cared for in the kingdom, and he intended to keep it that way to keep bringing in the lighteyes who enjoyed such sport. Keeping it that way also involved another precaution. Over the door to the pen, a heavy razor blade, attached to a rope pulled taut, lurked. Hidden behind a design in the ceiling, and further concealed by virtue of nobody having ventured inside his pens except him, it was the perfect security measure—if the rope was placed across the doorway from the inside, an opening of the door would send that blade falling to cleave in two the one who opened it. He armed the trap, yawning already, and went to his mattress in the middle of the pen. He did not often sleep in here, but would tonight—with the spheres he had on hand. a trapped door looked increasingly appealing to guard against intruders, and he doubted he retained the strength to make it back to the warcamps after his drubbing from the masked man. He yawned contentedly, and was asleep in seconds. Nalakor stirred, started out of his sleep by a noise near the wall of the pen. A...hammering? It was lighter than that, he thought, but certainly he had heard the stone being worked at. Someone was trying to enter the pen through the wall! No doubt it was the masked figure, seeking to recover the spheres lost in the race. His body on fire, Nalakor managed to stand, feeling a vague dread as light filtered into the dark pens through a hole in the wall. Around him, chulls snorted, shifting in their sleep, but mostly too dumb to rouse themselves fully. Peering from the curtained corner he was in, Nalakor could see a man’s silhouette block off the light, and enter the building, sword out in the dark of the pens, looking for him. He bit back a scream. There would be only one way to evade him—getting out the door quietly enough and then shouting for help before he was murdered, to apprehend the intruder. He might lose his spheres, but he’d keep his life. Masked by the bleating of chulls, the beasts themselves, and the pitch darkness of the far side of the pens, Nalakor edged along the side of the pen, feeling frantically for the panels of the door. The intruder was now in his corner, searching in vain among his sheets, and Nalakor’s hand grasped the doorknob. A rush of delirium came upon him—he had escaped—and he threw open the door. The sweeping motion would be his last. Even as he opened his mouth to cry for help, Nalakor’s eyes bulged at the sound of a catch being released and a rope suddenly recoiling, losing its taut arrangement; after all his escape plan, he had forgotten to disarm his own trap. The heavy blade above the door fell like thunder, cutting off the last scream of its victim, and Nalakor was no more. There had been a lot of deaths taking place at night recently. That didn’t stop Kay from wandering outside on a whim on this third night since Sebarial was attacked. Precedent was no predictor of future occurrences, after all. The moons were dim, but light was not needed to carry the sound of bellowing chulls through the unight. Kay found herself walking towards the noise. Chulls were usually quiet at night, and so the increased volume was unusual. The cause of the chulls’ alarm was immediately apparent. A clustered mass of the giant crustaceans were entangled at the end of a flat expanse of stone marked off vertically with string on either side. The Almighty had selected one empty-saddled chull to trumpet aggressively and snap out at the other chulls, none of which were sure how to proceed. Confused, the herd, all of which still had riders, shuffled around awkwardly and bellowed questioningly. Furious, the riderless chull charged forwards at an impressive 2 meters per second. This time, the other chull were able to scuttle out of the way as the rogue chull in the direction of a nearby plateau. Kay turned to follow the chull’s trajectory and saw that the spectators did not look concerned at the animal’s behaviour. Kay’s jaw tightened as she saw some of them were exchanging spheres. Racing by itself could be an honourable way to invite the Almighty’s judgement. Attempting to predict the outcome of a race was blasphemy of the highest order. Even the other Devotaries could see that much. Angrily, Kay headed after the chull, easily overtaking the lumbering beast. Her journey to the plateau was interrupted when the enraged chull reached out one of her giant claws and grabbed Kay by the waist. Though surprised, Kay remained calm as the chull led her not to the heretics flaunting their disrespect for the Almighty but to a fresh corpse still bleeding on the ground. Undoubtedly the man, Kay recognised him as Brightlord Nalakor, had been murdered by someone who valued money over the Divine. With far greater care than she had been shown, the chull picked the dead man up with her other claw and began the journey back towards the camp. Kay made no attempt to resist what must be the Almighty’s design as the three of them returned to safety. Striker has been killed! He was a Noble Spy with a half-shard! Drake has posted, and so will not be killed. Rath has been replaced by Young Bard. Day 4 has begun! It will end in approximately 46 hours, on Thursday 21 November at 9 PM EST. Please upvote Snipexe for the thrilling account of Nalakor's last race. (Fifth speaking: Please upvote both Devotary and Snip for coping marvellously after I dropped the ball unexpectedly.) Player List:
  30. 9 points
    This theory is a slight sketch of what I think might have happened to cause the initial desolation. If anyone can spot any issues or areas whcih require correction, please let me know. Humans are refugees on Roshar, with Odium arriving around this time, either from Ashyn or just joining the system after being involved in what happened to Ashyn at a distance. Some, but not all, humans begin to follow Odium Human colony grows in strength, and at least a few members who were from Ashyn gain prominence and have a good relationship with the Singers. It was during this period that Hoid, technically a human, danced with Vatwha when visiting the planet (and side note, but I hope we see that doll he made again, and see it protecting the girl). At this point Singers follow Cultivation and possibly Honour, some humans follow Odium, and other humans - including some or all of those who would become Heralds - either follow Honour or have a respect for that shard Spren notice that human minds are better suited for benefiting them than humans, and so more and more spren favour trying to spend time with humans than Singers, and this results in Singers having a drought in some of their forms. Shinovar might be modified to prevent spren from properly manifesting their as a result Some humans, probably lead by Odium, start an altercation with the Singers, possibly trying to expand beyond the land given to them (this would in a sense be a little like in Peralandra by C.S. Lewis with them wanting to experience that which was forbidden even though it is dangerous and unpleasant, and ultimately costs you what you did have, which was better) This group of humans brutalises many Singers, and while other humans try to help the Singers, and condemn the actions of the Odium-influenced humans, many Singers become angry. Humans use powers from Odium during this time Singers begin attacking humans. Initially mainly the Odium following humans, but eventually civilian humans also. This might also involve attacking humans who haven't harmed any Singers but who are outside of Shinovar, and then moving up to attack humans everywhere Odium approves of all this, and when Honour and Cultivation won't help them against the humans, and might even forbid certain spren from giving forms to Singers which could help them fight, Odium offers power to those Singers. Their beef is mainly with humans, not the person who set them off, so they accept The Heralds appeal to Honour to help them protect the other humans, who are innocent, and Honour provides for them Honourblades The fighting continues as more and more Singers become embittered towards Cultivation and Honour, and hate the humans rightly who have attacked them, and wrongly those who are innocent, and so turn to Odium. Eventually all the Odium influenced humans are dead, but the Singers won't stop The Desolation begins in full, as it is now humans against Singers, with Honour and perhaps Cultivation aiding the humans, and spren now copy what Honour did and provide surgebinding to the humans, and now almost all Singers are against humans and almost all humans are against Singers, but even those who aren't against the other are caught in the crossfire Based on this, I also wonder if the Aimians were likewise refugees, Roshar being a place for aliens of all types to flock to. In this sense then they would probably have been dragged into the fight as well, sympathising with both groups. The Singers because they likewise took them in (and the west of Roshar probably is where they stick all the peoples non-native due to the reduced strength of the Highstorms as well as them not needing Stormlight for their ecologies), and humans because like them they are refugees. Thus Aimian might be Rosharan for alien, explaining why they are both so different from each other.
  31. 9 points
    Just imagine Nightblood learning about the Evil on Threnody. He's probably gonna burst a groove on his blade from excitement. NB : " Evilllllllllllllllllllllll " "Szeth, did you hear that ? Let's ditch this place , we need to go to Threnody " Szeth : " No , Sword Nimi , I have pledged my allegiance to Dalinar Kholin and intend to follow him till he releases me or till I die " NB : " Screw that Dalinar guy, didn't you try to murder him twice ? Come on , let's ditch this place . There's an ENTIRE CONTINENT FULL OF PURE ,PURE EVIL THERE . AN ENTIRE CONTINENT, SZETH . I think I know the route there , Vasher knew it better but I can manage. We probably won't be lost for long .Let's go " Szeth : " I'm afraid I can't do that , Sword Nimi . Nin-Son-God told me that you are to remain here until or unless your true master demands you back. " NB : " Oh come on , both of them are so boring . Please , pretty pleaseeeeee . Are you angry I accidentally tried to eat your soul ? I promise I won't do that ever again. " Szeth : " sigh "
  32. 9 points
    Okay, this is kind of a long story, so bear with me, it's funny. I have Show Choir in the mornings on Tuesday and Thursdays and we're singing Linus and Lucy - ya know, from Peanuts. (I know it doesn't have words, we're singing it on "dah'" and "dot" and stuff) And for some reason, my tired, morning brain made me picture a bunch of inquisitors walking through the ash and singing this song in four parts. But wait, it gets better. As I continued to explore the idea in my mind, I got something like this. It gets weirder as it goes on. Ruin: Marsh, you're on Soprano 1. Marsh: *groans* But Ruin! Ruin: We need your falsetto! Marsh: *grumbles* Ruin: WE DIDN'T SPIKE ADAM LEVINE SO YOU COULD WASTE THAT GIFT! So yeah, you know you're a Sanderfan when you think of something like that.
  33. 9 points
    I'm afraid you will find this outline fully operational when your friends arrive.
  34. 9 points
    Good evening! Have some art! Vivica & Bennington. Viv has two distinct modes: Crazy, and Very Crazy Rig and Allri from the "Into the Dark" thread: And some more DA Karaoke night this time featuring Voidus
  35. 9 points
  36. 9 points
  37. 9 points
    Day 5: Abandoned - A picture of little Vin, abandoned in an alleyway (note: i did a couple digital ones because I only had so many pages in my sketchbook) Day 6: Tenebrous - KANDRA!!!!(because kandra are so cool) Day 7: Spiked - A steel Inquisitor Day 8: Honor - Dalinar, in shardplate (I'm very proud of this, also shardplate is frustrating to draw but also very rewarding)
  38. 9 points
    so I kind of had this lotr frenzy...... Sorry How I always imagined the inquisitors/Ruin looked like This is about what I envisioned Shallan Vs. Stick went
  39. 9 points
    How the ten orders go trick-or-treating: Windrunners: Makes sure nobody in their group is targeted by pranks, and that everyone gets their fair share of candy. Skybreakers: Left the group a while ago to chase off the Dustbringer and hasn’t come back. Probably lost them when they ran across the street without waiting for a green light. Dustbringers: Stole a bunch of other people’s candy and pranked them in life-endangering ways. Edgedancers: Giving most of their candy to others who need it, and relishing what they keep. The only one who approved of the Bondsmith’s idea. Truthwatchers: Already knows which places have good candy and which don’t, only goes to the good ones. Has therefore hit up less houses than most but has the best candy selection of them all. Lightweavers: Has the absolute best costume - or rather costumes, as they put on new ones to go to houses they’ve already been to again. Elsecallers: Has made a science of which houses to go to and knows every family intimately. Willshapers: Scoffs at everyone else for not having made it past their neighborhood in the first hour. They’re on the other side of the city, still collecting. Stonewards: Stayed home to hand out candy because someone had to do it (but is secretly hoarding the leftovers). Bondsmiths: Trying to keep everyone from wandering off, very annoyed that they failed in this. Asked everyone to give up their candy to a communal supply, so they could all eat from it.
  40. 9 points
    Today’s prompt is: 29. Baking It’s amazing! It’s dazzling! Prepare to get your metaphorical minds blown by Itiahcomic Issue 2: Bakery Boogaloo
  41. 9 points
  42. 9 points
    Spoilers for Mistborn Era One
  43. 9 points
    i this is a meme in itself
  44. 9 points
    Given the focus on WoBs a short episode on how to ask Brandon questions would be helpful to fans. The episode could enumerate common pitfalls and provide examples of good and bad questions that have been asked in the past. In future anytime the hosts come across a poorly posed question they could refer listeners/viewers to that episode. I am guessing a good chunk of people who ask questions listen to Shardcast so in the long run this would result in better WoBs.
  45. 9 points
    Two days ago, in a timeline that may or may not exist. Joon stepped into the bathroom, and locked the door behind him. He changed into the clean pair of pants, tossing his old pair into a corner. Joon found a body length mirror behind the door and looked himself over in it. These new pants were unfortunately cut in a wide MaiPon style that was a decade out of fashion, and was so loose that it flared slightly when he spun. Joon frowned. How was he to impress anyone with his physique when no one could see it? At least he could enhance his other aspects. Joon brought out a comb and some hair gel. He gently brushed the front of his hair upwards, curling it in the way that he knew all the girls on the street liked it. It ought to work on Ellira too. Finally, Joon brought out his cosmetics kit. His trump card. Inside, a Soul Stamp waited. He threw a furtive glance over his shoulder, but of course, the door was locked. Then, and only then, did he take it out. He went through the motions with a practiced air, inking it and putting it on the bottom of his foot. It sank in just a quarter inch more than it should, like always. The memories came in a rush. Five years ago, instead of letting his father discourage his first forays into politics, he had doubled down. From there, he had found the Discovery faction. In this life, he had learned disguise along with fashion, covert action along with socializing, blackmail along with flirting. He was now Banyung. Joon Banyung. And he still had a girl to seduce.
  46. 9 points
  47. 9 points
    My thesis has finally come back and it has been accepted! Grader #2 extremely did not like it (lol, academic life 101, it's always grader #2/reviewer #2) but I passed! I am a Master of Philosophy now! AMA! (j/k please don't) I'm both visibly confused (as I might have to make some amendments despite the pass) because Grader #1 was so enthusiastic about it, but Grader #2 really hated it, but also extremely excited because after three years, my suffering has ended! I have graduated/passed, and I actually got the best possible grading outcome on a thesis, despite Grader #2, and despite losing my original supervisor due to a career move on his end! I'm just ridiculously excited right now, though a little apprehensive. And now my watch has ended.
  48. 9 points
  49. 8 points
    I’m dead tired and work is threatening to drown me, so this may be less coherent than usual: We were fortunate in having an extremely helpful IM, @Fifth Scholar. Much appreciation for his dealing with flailing, mistakes, and panicking, especially during the Strikergate incident of the first iteration. I will admit to some disappointment, although this is a QF, that both Striker Kalebane and Alvron were up for death early, just as they were in the past iteration. It is also somewhat sad that Wilson got shanked early, and this is from the perspective of returning players, rather than the issue of the Reform Spy. Getting killed early is often a point of frustration for players, particularly when they are killed repeatedly for reasons they are powerless to influence (or so they perceive.) We can do better. The Eliminator distribution was somewhat unusual: ultimately, we decided on a four Eliminator team. This was pushing the upper end of the safe Eliminator % boundary, at 26.6% of the player group. The mitigating factors, in our view, were as follows: first, we anticipated at least one early Eliminator casualty, due to Spy action. We therefore built the expectation that the Eliminators would be one member down from the start/early on into the team size. Second, we wanted some cover for the Embedded Operative. To this end, we knew we needed at least one Survivor in the game. We also expected the Spy to be able to mobilise a stronger voting coalition, due to the ‘ludicrous amount of arbiters.’ We did not anticipate a high arbiter mortality rate. Finally, in our view, giving the Eliminator team a Survivor rather than a fourth member had the advantage of providing them with the expected four bodies, but putting them at a vote disadvantage (they had four bodies but commanded three votes.) The Embedded Operative, as usual, remains tricky to balance for, and potentially swingy as a force for either side/faction. On the one hand, to some extent, the Embedded Operative should be swingy: as a role, they have the capacity to add more firepower to whichever Faction they declare for. We also deemed it more critical for Factions to be able to function in the absence of the Embedded Operative. In particular, Factions could take a variety of strategies towards the Embedded Operative: they could decide to try to enter a bidding war for the Operative, or to try to sway them to their side. They could decide to eliminate the Operative (especially as a non C3 Operative will be fragile), though this would potentially drive the Operative to Team Disco. Ultimately, I am divided about whether the C3!Disco Operative should get to know who Disco is. The lack of communication and imperfect information might help as a further check on the Operative’s abilities, by making them more cautious about killing, for fear of (un)friendly fire. In the first two cycles of the game, I experimented with sending players an RP prompt that could be generic, or customised to the RP they had already produced. The aim was to encourage more player activity, even in the form of a few lines of RP, and to produce more setting immersion. I later mostly abandoned it as work began to drown me, but I also think that it was in general a good idea but poorly-targeted. First, RP prompts should be around drabble-length. Second, this game has not been marketed as a RP-centric game. I think RP prompts are best integrated with games that have been indicated to have a significant amount of RP, and thus would hopefully appeal to such players. There is some doubt about whether 24 hour cycles are sufficient. Ultimately, as I prefer games to be more fast-paced, I think it was fine as a QF, though the Avalon format could also lend itself to 48 hour cycles. I also would tie this with how lynches turned out less useful than expected for the Village. I think the Village spent more time focusing on those who were thought to be evil, at the cost of informational lynches. As a result, when the lynch target turned out to be neither evil, nor informative, the Village was at a loss. Elandera, for instance, would have proven a good target for an informational lynch, in part because of how she became the ‘big agenda item’ of more than one cycle. The Reform Spy and the Assassination Cycle ended up being balanced well enough. Ultimately, I don’t think I can say much about whether the Reform Spy works well, as the Reform Spies in both iterations have had very short life expectancies. That being said, I like the Assassination Cycle solution better than the Assassination mechanic, and think it gives players both a chance to have some light-hearted fun, and to mess back with the Eliminators. It also restrains how obvious the Spy can be about identifying Eliminators, and creates a strategic trade-off on the part of the Eliminators: killing suspected Spies early removes the informational advantage the Village might enjoy, but at the cost of the Eliminators going fairly blind into an Assassination Cycle, should the game turn against them later anyway. I think the Embedded Operative is another decent check on the Reform Spy, but might consider employing more complex Avalon characters in future games, e.g. Mordred (is Evil, but is invisible to Merlin/Spy), and Morgana (is Evil but appears to be Merlin/Spy to Percival/Handler.) These might serve as better balances to the Spy and has the advantage of removing the Operative-associated considerations from game balance. That’s about it from me. Thanks to M’Hael for being an excellent co-GM, though we were both dead tired and out of it near the end as work took a significant toll on us. Thanks for playing, guys, and hope y’all had fun! Cheers and catch you all around sometime!
  50. 8 points
    I just asked my daughter what book she was going to read, and being delightfully oblivious in an Usagi from Sailor Moon kind of way she told me she was going to read that book I gave her, "You know that one by Brandon Samsung, We are the Kings".
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