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  1. 17 points
  2. 14 points
    SA spoilers ahead. I have randomly drawn a picture of the scene where Kaladin fights the chasmfiend, and have decided to share it. Enjoy! Edit: Please give me any helpful criticism or ideas that you have so that I can make it as accurate and good looking as possible!
  3. 14 points
    I saw this and immediately thought "That wouldn't even include the entire Cosmere. That's blasphemy."
  4. 12 points
    A few years ago, before Towers of Midnight was announced people were guessing what the title would be on Reddit. Here's my favorite.
  5. 12 points
    Curiously that's what I thought in the beginning as well when I heard Maya was an Edgedancer's blade, but the more I think about it, the more I believe he'd be perfect Edgedancer material. I don't have much info about them at hand, but from what I can remember they're the most graceful of the Orders - and that's an attribute Adolin definitely has. Healing is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think about him, but neither was it with Lift in her first chapter in WoR. But: Adolin playes a part in healing/helping heal Shallan and Kaladin. Remember how much Kaladin hated lighteyes? Adolin (as well as Shallan) played a huge part in changing that. Also, their Oaths are about remembering the forgotten and listening to those who are ignored. The remembering part fits his family's background - where Dalinar forgot about Evi for a long time, Adolin always remembered her. He kept carrying her necklace as a good luck charm. And the listening part: Adolin was the first one to actually believe Kaladin about Amaram. (The first lighteyes, that is.) I think that somehow fits.
  6. 11 points
    When you discover another sanderfan by referring to your ruler (the measuring instrument) as Rashek.
  7. 11 points
    A bit late, but when Bit first changed his profile picture:
  8. 11 points
    Okay, finally done with this. I decided to go with a Shakespearian Tragedy spin on things, and I'm afraid into turned into more of Galladon moping than spending time roasting his opponents, but I guess that fits Galladon. Edit: thanks to @Paranoid King for helping me with the fonts!
  9. 10 points
    The "Adolin shouldn't be a KR because not everyone needs to be a KR argument" has always read to me like "you know what Harry Potter needed? a Muggle main character." To attempt to quote Vasher without WoR in front of me, Roshar is "invested to the hilt and looking for a place to stuff it all." Sort of intrinsically its a story with a ton of magic in it, and I think anyone who's a main character is going to have to interact with it in some way, whether it be as a KR, Navani and her fabrials, or on the weird frontier like Adolin and Renarin are in their own ways. Yes, there are going to be characters who aren't interacting with magic but I think by necessity they'll be increasingly sidelined. And I'm okay with that. In fact I'd find it increasingly difficult to believe that Adolin would be able to contribute much of anything moving forward if he doesn't end up going Edgedancer other than just some background moral support for Shallan and I think he deserves more than that as a character
  10. 9 points
    Chaos is hard to turn into a meme because his resting face is an annoyingly charismatic smile. But I did it, so expect me to get banhammered in the near future. This is a niche joke, made mostly for my own enjoyment, so I'm also using it as an opportunity to remind people not to put spoiler tags in their signatures (the text under your post). *cue the 'you were expecting a meme, but it was me, a signature restrictions reminder' meme.*
  11. 9 points
    I sometimes get the feeling, that Adolin presents himself more "simple" than he really is. On the outside, he shows the cool prince in fancy clothes, but he can be quite thoughtful and smart. He brings books to Shallan to help her getting a grasp in politics, he has a keen mind for tactics in battles... He is like this kid in school that is part of the cool in-group that doesn't want to show his intelligence to his peers. BUT: He also avoids responsibilities sometimes. He needs to overcome this if he wants to proceed with Edgedancer oaths. But the same applies to Lift... All in all, we are not often enough in his head to really understand him.
  12. 9 points
    Guys, i'm finished and quite frankly i think Raoden is a perfect fit for this song, so without further ado A million dreams as sung by prince Raoden
  13. 9 points
    I want Maya to be revived (mostly at least), and would be disappointed if she isn't. I don't feel as strongly about Adolin. I was hesitant for this at the end of Words of Radiance, but I think I'd be okay with it now. Something I've noticed is that lots of main characters are VERY non-traditional Radiants. We've got a lot of oddballs in the mix. Lots of stuff that hasn't been seen before... First is Renarin, bonded to a spren corrupted by Sja-Anat. (maybe it's happened before, but at the very least it isn't normal) We've got Lift with a bizarre condition allowing her to get Investiture from food instead of Stormlight. We've got Dalinar who somehow managed this whole "Unity" thing, which Stormfather has never seen. We've got a few Heralds who seem like they'll be Radiants. Seems like at least one other major oddity that I'm forgetting. This Desolation is weird. So that said, what I'd like to see most of all is something weird between Maya and Adolin. They've certainly begun that way, considering a deadeye has never been revived. (so far as we know at least) Like maybe Maya is mostly revived by has some really unique quirks and/or limitations. Maybe Adolin only gets one Surge. Maybe he gets no Surges but he can hold Stormlight. You know what I mean. Just some kind of weird, broken state that's never been seen before. I will say that I think it would just be weird to have Maya bond with anyone besides Adolin. Narratively, that just feels awkward. I think we place way too much emphasis on the importance of someone "fitting in" to a given Order. There's no rule saying spren can only bond with someone who doesn't "fit" their order. They might face disapproval from other spren. The human might have a more difficult time advancing through the Ideals. There's certainly obstacles in this. But Maya can bond Moash if she feels so inclined. Even if she can be revived without needing a bond (which Adolin is the only one in a position to provide), I just can't see her latching on to anyone else. Particularly just because Adolin isn't some picture-perfect Edgedancer.
  14. 9 points
    Thingy (DA version)
  15. 8 points
    Day 1 - A Shadow of the Past The wind blew across what passed for plains, here in the Spiritual Realm. The man who had called himself Sheon Idris in life turned his face from his contemplation of a steel and gold crown, now worn with the use of many years. The single word etched into the metal was practically worn away now, though his eyes could see it as clearly as the day he had carved it himself. Unforgiven. He looked to his left, expecting a visitor to appear, as had often come when moods like this came upon him. But that was right, she had moved on. Or had she? He couldn't remember. With a flicker of his will, his attention turned back to the Physical Realm. The Shards were preparing for war again. Incredible devastation. Incalculable destruction. All because of him and his meddling. A universe torn apart, just like its god. And every time he had attempted to put things right, things had only gotten worse. The Shardic Coalition and the wars against Odium, the great Civil War, where his own followers had torn the power of the Shards from his grasp and held them in containment. And then the Silverlight War, which had ended with Autonomy ruling the entire Cosmere for...how long had it been now? Time passed slowly here, or at least the perception of it did. And he was so old now, and so tired. Was it time to give up? Time to admit that he could not put back together what had been broken, and each time he tried it only broke things further? Time to go on into forever, and...well, whatever came after? Maybe. After all, how long had it been since he'd actually tried to pull the strings of the cosmos? Longer than it should have been, for sure. But the thought of just giving up and giving in awoke his old stubbornness to something like a sullen fire, deep within. He had failed many times, seen death and destruction and pain and loss and hate and horror so many times. And he would not sit back and let that win. He had a job to do, tired or not. Old or not. Once more into the breach, this time counting for all of them. He called up his avatar, the body he used to walk the realms. It had a name, didn't it? Something...stirring. Something that reminded him of...of colors on the flags of Hallandren, or electric lights in the night of Scadrial, or the smell of freshly fallen rain after a Highstorm. What was it, again? Ah, that was it. Hoid. The Wanderer. King's Wit, once, if he recalled right. He had probably been a storming good one. And with another little flicker of will, he stepped into Silverlight. The Shards were about to go to war again, for whatever reason. It would be chaos, and he could use chaos. Khriss was still out there, and she would try and stop him, and he would use that too. With a little laugh, he went off to play with their war, one last time. Unforgiven. But not yet broken. - - - - - - - - - - - - Welcome to AG 5: One Final Blaze of Light! As a reminder, Day 1 will not have a lynch, but you may otherwise use any Day Turn actions freely. You should all have received role PMs by now - if you haven't, please contact @A Joe in the Bush or myself immediately. Player List: 1. Amethyst Scorpion 2. Azure Mouse 3. Amber Vulture 4. Charcoal Hyena 5. Chartreuse Penguin 6. Coral Swan 7. Cream Tuatara 8. Emerald Falcon 9. Fuschia Ostrich 10. Indigo Weasel 11. Ivory Dragonfly 12. Magenta Albatross 13. Mauve Crocodile 14. Melon Dingo 15. Mint Heron 16. Onyx Flamingo 17. Opal Lion 18. Oxblood Beagle 19. Pearl Chameleon 20. Plum Rhinoceros 21. Quartz Zebra 22. Saffron Iguana 23. Sage Kangaroo 24. Salmon Meerkat 25. Sapphire Elephant 26. Scarlet Octopus 27. Sunburst Toucan 28. Taupe Gecko 29. Turquoise Gorilla 30. Violet Axolotl The day will last until Wednesday, January 16th, 1:00 AM, Mountain Time
  16. 8 points
    I'd love to see Maya revived, both because of the spren resurrection and potential Radiant powers for Adolin. He and Lift would make a great Edgedancer team, especially as Lift is not a warrior (and has a pacifist for a spren :D). I wouldn't be bothered by Adolin becoming a full KR. He works as he is now, but there are a lot of books to come (and hopefully, he'll be in all of them and not die off) and since he's been so awesome with Maya from the beginning I beieve he deserves this "reward". I'd also be fine with him only getting part Radiant powers, like Maya as a Shardblade any maybe the healing factor of Stormlight. But in the end I'd much prefer Adolin becoming a full Edgedancer, just because it would be incredibly entertaining and because of the potential figure skating AU: Adolin would LOVE the glittery costumes ... Oh, and I want to see Syl's face when a corpse-wielding Shardbearer just ... revives the corpse. Something definitely is going to happen with Maya. I can't imagine Brandon just giving us her name and Adolin summoning her in less than ten heartbeats without anything more coming from it.
  17. 8 points
    It's an absolute travesty that he was not allowed to keep that name. And I have another episode for you fine folks. Before we start, I'd like to thank @Snipexe for providing the initial idea for an Enforcement core in the catacombs, and @Voidus for providing me with Wisp's profile. Episode Four: First Dates Club
  18. 7 points
    Two event to consider together: 1) Jasnah discovered that Renarin's spren is corrupted by Sja-anat. She initially resolves to kill him then changes her mind and chooses compassion. Her spren indicates that this is right. 2) During the final battle of Oathbringer, Adolin sees men being tossed out of building with great force. When he goes to investigate, he finds Jasnah surrounded by glowing geometric shapes. The current theory is that this is Jasnah dismissing her Shardplate, which I am inclined to agree with. When taken together, it seems to me that Jasnah swore her fourth Oath soon after sparing Renarin. While it is possible that Jasnah had obtained Shardplate prior to this, the scene with Renarin is just too much of a game-changing decision on Jasnah's part for me to think that there wasn't an oath involved. This also would imply that the Elsecaller fourth Oath revolves around not letting logic rule 100% of the time. Furthermore, it also fits Jasnah's personality. With Kaladin, the two oaths we've seen have been sworn in the heat of the moment (I'm about to die, so I'm going to be dramatic and swear another oath and EXPLODE WITH POWER!). With Jasnah, she makes the right decision (spares Renarin), ponders on it while she's traveling to the building mentioned above, swears the oath, then uses her shiny new Shardplate to own these voidspren corrupted noobs. Any thoughts?
  19. 7 points
    My completely unbiased poll for no apparent reason. Do you want Adolin to resurrect Maya and become an Edgedancer? Me personally I want him to resurrect Maya but I don't want Maya capable of a bond. A shardblade yes, a KR no. Part of my desire is to have fewer KR PoVs, and part of it is that I'd like to see some consequences attached to what happened to Maya in the first place. She can be brought back from certain doom but some things just can't be fixed, and I find magic in worlds tend to devalue consequences like that.
  20. 7 points
  21. 7 points
    I was bored, so I memefied a couple more quotes.
  22. 7 points
    On Saturday, I auditioned at the All-Area contest. I got first chair, which means I get to go to All-State!
  23. 7 points
    ... but they looked like a Vorin ardent, a Fjordish evangelist, and a Hallandren priest, so we never knew.
  24. 7 points
    From WoR Epigraphs. "When Simol was informed of the arrival of the Edgedancers, a concealed consternation and terror, as is common in such cases, fell upon him; although they were not the most demanding of orders, their graceful, limber movements hid a deadliness that was, by this time, quite renowned; also, they were the most articulate and refined of the Radiants." I think Adolin checks the boxes for what we know about Edgedancers. I like that Lift is basically the antithesis of this too, nothing like subverting expectation.
  25. 7 points
    TBH I'd really enjoy giving Pippin a staff and telling him "Yer a wizard now Pip!" and see where it goes.
  26. 7 points
    Today is my birthday. I only joined about two weeks ago and i love this place. I'm so happy to be able to share something i love with other people who are incredibly passionate about it. Thanks to everyone in this forum, you make me happy.
  27. 7 points
    I feel like this song could fit somewhere in WoR. It fits really well for Shallan and how they have the countdown to worry about. Also, I admit to having made a Let it Go for Kelsier. The mists sweep wide through the city tonight Not a footfall to be heard A kingdom of broken memory And it looks like I'm the king The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside Couldn't keep it in, Mare knows I've tried Let them in, but don't let them see Be the Mistborn you always have to be Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know They'll never know Let it go, let it go Can't hold it back anymore Let it go, let it go Anything to avenge her death! I don't care what they're going to say Let the storm rage on Hathsin couldn't break me anyway. It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small And the limits that once controlled me can't get to me at all It's time to see what I can do To test the limits and break through No right, no wrong, no rules for me I'm free! Let it go, let it go I am one with the mists at night Let it go, let it go You'll never see me cry Here I stand and here I'll stay Let the storm rage on My metals burn within me stirring up my wrath My knife is deadly spilling noble blood on the ground And one coin flies into a blackened noble heart I'm never going back, the past is in the past Let it go, let it go And I'll rise like the break of dawn Let it go, let it go That broken man is gone Here I stand in the light of day Let the storm rage on! The scars never bothered me anyway.
  28. 6 points
    Do you always talk like that about people with clinical depression? Because that's what Kaladin has. Maybe his depression wouldn't be as bad at times without all the crem he's been through, but it would still be there, just as it was already there when he was twelve years old. Besides, he not only lost his brother, he had his whole squad killed in front of him by a person he served and trusted, he has been a slave for more than year (living through that and still be the same as before? I don't think so) and then was thrown into Bridge Four, which is one of the worst things than can happen to you in the Cosmere. So yeah, Kaladin has absolutely no reason to be who he is. (That last sentence was sarcasm btw.)
  29. 6 points
    Inspired by a conversation/rant in the Discord a few nights ago:
  30. 6 points
    I'll use some of @Artemos 's gifs from the Impossible Physics of Allomancy thread to describe my emotions in on the subject. Quite appropriate, I know. HOW MY BRAIN REACTS When someone says "These characters don't make any sense." When someone says "these plot points don't make any sense." When someone says "these physics don't make any sense." But when you take the equation and you and then all the math works out perfectly. Mind blown.
  31. 6 points
    Dalinar and Jasnah. Dalinar because he's an all around bad chull. Jasnah because she is too. Can't stand Kaladin. Every scene is a pity party for him. The worst part is he doesn't even have the most tormented back story. Dalinar killed his wife and butchered countless innocents. Now he has to live with it. Shallan murdered both of her parents, one in self defense the other basically in cold blood. She's also struggling with DID apparently brought on by said murder spree. Kaladin's brother died and now he's a demigod. Poor poor him. It's also worth pointing out that pretty much every viewpoint character has lost someone from their nuclear family and none of them act like Kal.
  32. 6 points
    Granted, unfortunately you don't get to decide which laws of physics no longer apply to you. You realize your dilemma when you try to walk away from the Nightwatcher. Unfortunately for you, for every action of yours there is not an equal and opposite reaction against the force you exert. Your foot pushes against the earth in your effort to propel yourself forward, but the earth does not push against your foot and you slip and fall on your arse. You now live in a world without friction. Your vocal chords no longer are able to vibrate against each other, you have to communicate using Morse code conveyed by eye blinks. Fortunately you have a family that loves you very much, and carts your atrophied, gelatinous body around in a high walled radio flyer wagon. You have to be fed intravenously because, guess what, you can't exert force on the things you are trying to chew, and the big un-masticated chunks of food slide frictionlessly down your throat and get clogged in your plumbing, because the normal peristalsis of your digestive tract is broken as well. But due to the fact that you are basically confined to a world of pure thought and no action, you figure out the grand unifying theory of all physics, and using your enhanced understanding of Quantum mechanics and n-dimensional strings, you are able to travel back in time in your puddled slippery gelatinous state and warn yourself not to make that accursed wish. Then you wake up in your bed, and as you lever yourself out of your bed using your arms to push off from your mattress, you look towards the sky and say "Thank God for Newton's Third Law of Motion". The Nightwatcher says "Umm, Ok", and as the words leave her lips you hear her think to herself "Man, that boon is it's own bane, poor kid". As you are riding the bus back from the Nightwatcher's Valley, you spy a cute girl/boy sitting on the seat across the aisle, chuckling to yourself you use your new found power to spy on their thoughts. You hear the following "I don't think anyone is looking, it's probably an ok time to pick my nose..." then you watch horrified as he/she stealthily picks their nose, pretending that he/she is really just scratching their nostril. Then you hear in horror as he/she thinks "That went pretty well, don't think anyone even saw that. Now I am feeling a bit peckish...". Unable to turn away you see him/her put the boogey in their mouth and you hear him/her think "Umm...delicious". You turn away in disgust and instead focus on the thoughts of an elderly gentleman reading the paper, thinking this will be a safe target for your newly acquired powers. Unfortunately you hear him think "Why does my back hurt so much, I think I wet myself when we went over that last bump. I wonder if I can eat tuna fish, have I had too much salt. What's the deal with salt anyway, how come it's bad for you when it tastes so good. That reminds me of the time I was in the war....etc, etc." It only gets worse from there. You hear every unfiltered, half formed, nonsensical thought emanating from every person around you, and realize that the conscious barrier between thought and speech exists for a reason. Not every thought should be expressed, not every thought is what the person intended to say. There are walls between the Id, the Ego and the Super Ego for a reason, thoughts should be private because intention can only be expressed through filtration of thought. Doh, Ninja'd by @Atium The Nightwatcher looks at you with pity in her green glowing eyes and says "Granted!" Ewe R know a sapeent, self-awar spel cheker (could you check that last line I think you have some work to do Mr. AI). I wish @Atium, the sapient spell checking AI would give @Inklingspren spell checker advice on my spell checker advice thread: *EDIT* Just realized that my last wish was prohibitively restrictive, and that it required a specific person to do one specific thing. So I'm going to open this up with a different alternate wish (don't care which is granted): I wish that I had realistic tattoos on my eyelids that looked like open eyes. And since this is a magical wish, I wish that these were animated tattoos, capable of movement and were able to respond to environmental stimulus. Further I wish that these animate tattoos would maintain the perfect illusion that I am awake and paying complete attention to anyone who happens to be talking to me, while in reality my eyes are really closed and I am most likely sleeping.
  33. 6 points
    Can your Returned name be whatever? As long as it sounds Returned-y? In that case my name is Toasted the Roasted.
  34. 6 points
    A busy alleyway. One hour ago. Mace watched his son amble along the path on his bright red tricycle. The boy hit a bump and briefly wobbled before correcting his course. For reasons he did not fully understand, Mace felt a rush of emotions. His eyes were transfixed on the scene, which was good. If he had decided to focus too hard on the background of the vignette he would have found the supporting details were fuzzy. The child turned back towards Mace, giving him a better look at his face. He almost laughed as he searched the boy’s features, looking for some resemblance to latch onto. There was none. The memory laid bare the lie in excruciating detail, remarkably so. Mace had not been expecting to receive such a clear vision. With a growing sense of dread, Mace watched the youngster begin to move his lips. He knew what was coming. “Dad! Hey Dad! Can-” Mace stopped tapping the coppermind. He blinked, and his vision re-focused to show him the elderly man standing in front of him. A table of polished brown bands sat between them. “Did you get what you came for?” the man asked politely. Mace nodded distractedly. He was never sure what he wanted when he visited the man’s stall in the marketplace, so he always left with mixed feelings about the experience. He had friends who swore by Soothing parlors, but those seemed even more artificial to him. At least when he rented copperminds his emotions were genuine. He placed some coins on the table and thanked the gentlemen for his time. Then he reached behind his left ear and unclipped one of his own copperminds. “It’s got a couple of musicals in it. Mostly from bad dates I went on. I think there’s an Earth movie on there too. The tenth sequel to that one about angry people speeding." He passed it over and the man palmed it quickly. He would send it away to be unsealed or keep it to sell to any copper ferrings that came by. Mace did not care. The sounds of battle had been steadily increasing in volume and intensity during the time he had been reminiscing. The fight those sounds advertised was the reason he had come to the Alleycity. Without another word, Mace stepped confidently into a side-passageway he knew would take him where he wanted to go. It was time for him to kill again. ***** Near the worldspike. Seconds before the barrier is due to drop. Inexplicably, Mace fell upwards, propelled out of a circular sewer entrance. He could tell some sort of teleportation had been involved since his stomach felt queasy. As he tried to re-orient himself, a trio of energy blasts smashed into his torso. He heard his ribs snap, followed by his spine. He tasted blood, which was never a good sign. Fortunately, almost immediately, he felt his body repair itself. He’d been ready for this kind of thing to happen when he stepped into the battlefield. As his goldminds quickly began draining, he switched to compounding the one he had swallowed earlier. That made him feel even better. He realized that he had slid across the ground at some point, leaving a lengthy skid mark in the ground. He could see the back of Fred, who was standing close to where he had been hit. Nearby, some people were fighting each other. There also seemed to be a concerning amount of dead bodies without obvious signs of injury. As he began struggling to breathe, he realized why. Guess I’ll be burning cadmium too then, he thought, popping his only metalmind of that kind he had into his mouth. As he sat there, an aggrieve looking warrior charged in his direction. Mace instinctively tapped speed, getting to his feet and off to the side of the woman in a second. He stuck out his foot, tripping her, then slammed his hand down on her skull. He was about to follow the hit up with a flurry of punches when he felt his reserve dry up. Cursing, he ran her through with a hastily grown aether spike instead. In the time it took him to do that, another three assailants, also female, had approached him. They were armed with knives, short glass ones, the kind used by hazekillers on a budget. “Can’t we talk about this first?” Mace asked, stalling for time. But he only got as far as making an aether gauntlet when the ladies began advancing. He had to admit that they did a good job of it. They made a quickly shrinking equilateral triangle, keeping him surrounded. Unfortunately for them, Mace was not planning on running away. He lashed out at the tallest one. They had obviously trained for that scenario because she raised her weapons defensively while the others lashed out with theirs. As their blades sliced the back of his legs, Mace grabbed the hand of his target and squeezed. Increasing his weight and strength, he then swung her by the arm off her feet and into the person on his left. The two of them tumbled at an awkward angle to the street and did not get back up again. Mace’s eyes teared up as he felt something cut into the small of his back and twist. “Ma’am,” Mace said, clenching his teeth, “Kindly remove-” He jammed his elbow backwards, catching her off-guard. He then spun to face her. She punched him in the nose. He blocked the next punch with his armored hand, using the opportunity to simultaneously pull the knife out of his back. With interest, he noted that the one he held was not glass like the others. It appeared to be made of crystal. Confirming his suspicions, the woman used the momentary lull to pull a large sword from the bag on her back. It too was made of crystal. “You better not have killed them,” she growled, then sliced downward with the blade, aiming to cleave him down the middle. Mace jerked his head to the side, catching it on his shoulder. It cut deeper than he had thought it would. “No,” he said as he pinched the blade with his hands, holding it still despite her attempts to out-muscle him and wrest it from his grasp. “No. They’re not dead.” He suddenly pushed the blade forward, knocking the woman off-balance. He flicked his hands, moving the sword so the hilt caught her in the jaw. He lumbered towards his attacker, grabbing her by the neck and raising her into the air, with the dramatic flair of a classical evil villain. “I hate killing when I don’t know why I’m doing it. So they will live. But you... you I have a reason to harm.” He probed the back of her neck until he found what he was looking for. The woman’s struggles became increasingly frantic as she realized what he was about to do. For the first time, Mace saw fear in her eyes as she squirmed, scratching at his arm and flailing her legs. With resolve, he met her gaze. Slowly, he began to tap his index finger on her fleshstone. His beats fell harder and harder each time. Fueled by magical strength and natural adrenaline, it only took a moment for the crystal to begin to yield. Just a hairline crack at first, but after another hit the break doubled in size. Then Mace drew a Tia card from his pocket and slammed it into her chest. The woman disappeared. When he turned around, he noted with satisfaction that the assailants he had dropped earlier had wisely decided to run away. “Anyone else?” he shouted, startling an assassin who had been trying to sneak up on him. “And is there anyone here from TUBA? I’m having trouble deciding who to punch.”
  35. 6 points
    Introduction Thus far, we've gotten pretty good glimpses of seven of the ten Surges, by at least one of the Orders that uses them. There are some Order-specific applications (like Dalinar's Spiritual Adhesion), but for the most part we've seen a lot of similarities across orders – Jasnah and Shallan both Soulcast, Szeth's Gravitation looks much the same as it did when he had an Honorblade, and Dalinar and Kaladin can both stick things together using Adhesion. Illumination has been a little funky, but that's part of the ongoing mystery surrounding Renarin. But there are three Surges that we have only seen, at most, glimpses of: Division, Cohesion, and Tension. There are legends of them in the books, we've seen the effects of their application, and Brandon has been a little forthcoming in WoBs, so we do have enough to piece together what these three Surges do. But the collective knowledge of the community is a little lax, so in this thread I’m going to collect all the information we have on these Surges, and then do some exploration and theorizing on them. Here’s my gameplan: · I’ll start off with a survey of sources about the Surge, both book references and WoBs. Then I’ll explain how I see the ‘real-life science’ would work to accomplish that. One section each for Division, Cohesion, and Tension. · The fourth section will explain a Tension/Cohesion continuity error. I’m having a chicken-or-the-egg problem trying to write this whole thing up, so you may get very confused with one of my Cohesion examples. I don’t want to break the flow of the explanation; you can jump down to the section called “Stormfather’s Error,” after the OB chapter 38 example, if it really bothers you. · In the fifth section, I’ll give a potential in-universe Rosharan explanation for these Surges, and why they’re guided by perception to behave the way they do. · In the last section, I’ll talk about Dalinar’s Unity abilities, and why I can’t figure out if they’re a Surge or not. Division Of the three, this is the one we’ve seen in action the most, although it can be a little hard to understand because it is never completely explained. The high-level overview: Division burns things. The first hint is in the very first scene in WoK: No other references in the first book. But we do get some more in the second. Jasnah references Division in WoR chapter 1: Kaladin thinks of it in WoR chapter 41. A WoB from March 14, 2017. We actually get it on-screen from a Dustbringer in OB chapter 107. “ And again, from Yelig-Nar-powered Amaram in OB chapter 120. This Surge works by breaking molecular bonds. A quick chemistry rundown: you’ve got atoms, which are the fundamental building blocks of chemistry. Carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, all those good suckers. (You can divide atoms into with protons and electrons and neutrons, and divide those in turn to smaller particles, but that’s gonna be more the realm of physicists. And because Division doesn’t split atoms, it is a purely chemical Surge.) Atoms will form bonds with one another, attaching in arrangements simple or complex to form molecules. (Think of sticking balls of clay together with toothpicks.) The oxygen molecules we breathe are made of two oxygen atoms stuck together (or bonded); nitrogen molecules are similarly two nitrogen atoms. A water molecule is an oxygen molecule bonded to two hydrogen molecules (H2O). Pure carbon doesn’t form molecules; it forms a big lattice of carbon atoms, each atom bonded to multiple other atoms. Why do atoms form bonds? Because doing so releases energy. An atom on its own is like a ball, balanced on the top of a hill. (This is called a radical.) Rolling down the hill releases energy; the ball moves faster. That’s the same principle as creating bonds; two or more radicals combining into a molecule releases energy. And then it would take energy to remove the bonds; that’s like doing work to carry the ball back up the hill. When you burn something, you break some weak bonds and create stronger bonds (with oxygen atoms). It takes a little energy to break a weak bond (called the activation energy), and a lot of energy is released over what you put in when you form a strong bond (called the heat of reaction). You carry a ball up a small hill, so you can roll it down the other side which has a much deeper valley. You release energy by burning things, even though it takes energy to get it started. So, what Dustbringers do, is they break the bonds between atoms. They can burn things without making them hot first; which is how Malata caused the table to burn. To go back to the ball-and-hill analogy, using Division bores a tunnel through the hill, letting the ball roll straight from one spot to the other without having to be carried up the intermediary height. If something crumbles to dust (one of the other stated applications of Division), it’s stuff that wouldn’t really burn well. You rearrange the atoms, it breaks up so you get a bunch of tiny pieces instead of a large whole. But the new bonds are the same energy as the old bonds, so no energy is released. It just crumbles. But what about burning stone? I’ll just take the chemical composition of granite, for example, from Wikipedia: SiO2 72.04% (silica) Al2O3 14.42% (alumina) K2O 4.12% Na2O 3.69% CaO 1.82% FeO 1.68% Fe2O3 1.22% MgO 0.71% TiO2 0.30% P2O5 0.12% MnO 0.05% That’s already all got oxygen in it. So, if you break those bonds up, and then they reform, where’s the energy come from? Using Division doesn’t just bypass the activation energy; it can add the activation energy to the system. The reverse for something “degrading.” Metal rusting releases energy; it just does it so slowly that there’s nothing noticeable. If you rust metal quickly, that’s called “oxidizing,” and my buddies used to call that “Thermite Thursdays.” So, if you’re going to make metal rust in an instant, Division needs to absorb the heat of reaction. At the end of the day, using Division appears to encompass two sub-abilities, from a chemistry perspective. It breaks chemical bonds (changing the chemical composition of the target substance). And it also can add or remove energy from the system, depending on the intent of the Surgebinder; if they want it hot, they get it hot. If they want it room-temperature, the Surge balances out the heat that would be released. I don’t see an issue with these two abilities working in tandem; unlike some of the issues I had with steelpushing in another thread (where a single variable was needed to constrain many different scenarios), a Division user isn’t inherently limited to only a single kind of application. I think they could have metal rust or burn, depending on what they felt like at that moment. Cohesion Cohesion make things moldable, remove lattices and makes something more of a liquid. The first legend is in WoK chapter 59. The second legend is from Shallan, in WoR chapter 63. (I'm going to say Cohesion, because of the "command." Division is always touch; Cohesion can be at range.) Another legend in WoR chapter 77. “ After WoR, there was a single Cohesion WoB. March 8, 2014. In the third book, we actually begin to see it in action. OB chapter 38. (If you are not satisfied that this is an application of Cohesion, feel free to jump down to Section 4, and then come back here.) And again, this time another Surge from Amaram. OB chapter 120. This Surge is partially a step above the bonds within atoms. Molecules will also form bonds; weaker bonds, but bonds nonetheless, that can hold groups of molecules together. In the liquid state, water molecules are attracted enough to one another that they stick together loosely. When you cool them down, they’ll arrange themselves into a lattice structure, and you get solid ice. The bonds between hydrogen and oxygen within the molecule are unchanged; but the molecules are interacting differently. But this Surge also overlaps a lot with Division, because not all substances have distinct molecules. It’s like I said with carbon up above; you have atoms bonded to atoms bonded to more atoms. So if you melt a diamond, you’re breaking atom-to-atom bonds. You have to be; otherwise it would remain solid. Cohesion, therefore, is a little fuzzier in what it does from a nitty-gritty analysis point of view. · It will negate electromagnetic chemical bonding (sometimes intermolecular, sometimes molecular, depending on the substance). · It will absorb energy released by breaking those bonds. · It will apply a brand new attractive force between each and every molecule or atom affected. This is weaker than what was overcome, so the substance now behaves as a liquid. · It will apply a brand new set of forces to various molecules to move them around as desired. · When it is time to resolidify, the first three effects will all be simultaneously done in reverse, reverting the substance back to its original state with no release of energy. It can’t just melt the stone, because that would require the molecules to be at a high temperature. There’s no temperature change; so it has to be a fundamental change in the nature of the chemical bonding, with associated energy balancing measures that I laid out in Division. There’s no way for Cohesion users to release energy, though, so they are more constrained in that particular sub-power. Tension The last Surge, and one that is much harder to find in the books. There are no mythological references, and no instances it is used (at least that I am confident in). But this has been a popular concept in WoBs, even with one before WoK came out. July 24, 2010. October 14, 2013. March 13, 2014. March 24, 2017. So Tension makes things rigid. This cloth example is going to make us take another step up in chemistry; large molecules, with hundreds or thousands of atoms, that form huge chains. That’s what you get with organic molecules; and these molecules can move around. Think back to our clay-ball-and-toothpick model. The balls can rotate on the toothpicks; so if you build something big enough and unsupported enough, you can move it around like an action figure. That’s what cloth does; none of its chemical bonds are breaking when it moves, but there are rotations happening within the molecules. Surface tension is a concept in fluids. Take water as an example. In the liquid state, water molecules like to be surrounded by other water molecules; they form those weak intermolecular bonds, which release a small amount of energy and are entropically favorited. So the fluid as a whole will minimize surface area, where water molecules are touching something that’s not water. But that’s not quite what happens here. This is more like armor plating; additional tension on the surface of an object. Imagine a knee brace or a cast for every molecular and intermolecular bond along the surface of an object. Using the outer layer of molecules to form a shell, the inner layers are then forced in place, and you have yourself a solid object. So that’s why I think tension is called surface tension – it acts on the surface of an object, applying an additional force to hold each atom or molecule stable in relation to the rest of the object. Unlike the other two Surges, there is nothing removed here, so there is no need for funky energy conservation loopholes. Now, I said there were no confirmed instances of Tension in the books. I know that this is a Surge Dalinar has, and he does indeed use quite a bit of magic in Oathbringer. But I’m pretty confused on which Surge it is (if it even is a Surge), so I gave that its own section at the end of the thread to discuss in-depth. But do I suspect we’ve seen this Surge applied by a modern fabrial in the half-Shard shields. They’re already solid, but the additional force applied to their surface makes them even stronger against normal attacks, and being Invested helps them out against Shardblades. OB 100. Some people believe that the spren they trapped was a spren the Radiant would bond, like a Stoneward spren. I hold to the idea of Surgespren; spren associated with each of the individual Surges. There are a couple of passages in Way of Kings that lead me down this path. The first is in WoK chapter 49. And the second is in WoK chapter 57. Bindspren for Adhesion, groundspren for Gravitation. And substancespren for tension. Whether they cause it, or are attracted to it, doesn’t much matter for the purpose of this argument; flamespren are used to produce heat, regardless of whether they cause it or not. So I think substancespren are used by this fabrial to apply Tension to the shields, making half-Shards. Stormfather’s Error I’m just presenting this as-is. I think it speaks for itself. From the OB signing tour: Fundamental Forces Now, you may find the chemistry explanations for these abilities a little underwhelming. They’re super fuzzy, tacking together a whole bunch of steps to get something that functions. To get what Brandon is shooting for, it's important to understand the distinction between real-life fundamental forces and Rosharan fundamental forces (what they call the Surges). Go back to the elemental inspiration of Surges and Essences. Essences aren't distinct elements – Tallow, Pulp, and Sinew are all organic compounds, Spark is energy (since fire is just hot air, and air is otherwise covered under Zephyr), and Talus and Lucentia are going to be structural differences, not compositional differences. But when I put it like that, you inherently know that I’m just thinking too hard about it. These things seem different – and to the Rosharan understanding, that is enough to make it significant in the Realmatic sense. It is driven by perception, not by physics. The same thing is going to be true for these final three Surges. They all operate using the electromagnetic force (just like Abrasion does) and the way molecules interact with one another or the way the components of a molecule interact. In real-life physics, there is a force that holds the atom together – the electromagnetic force that pulls protons and electrons together. That's the same force, generated by the same charges from the same subatomic particles, that is responsible for friction and for the lattice structures that many solids are composed out of. But, just like with the Essences, to line that up with strict physics is looking too closely. Rosharans aren't physicists, and their perceptions will not align with that interpretation. Here's the way they look at it: they think there is a force on the surface of an object that makes a thing rigid like a solid (Tension), a force on all an object’s components that pulls them together and makes it flow like liquid (Cohesion), and a force that spreads things apart like a gas (Division). Whichever of those forces is strongest will determine how a substance behaves, and Surgebinders increase one of those 'forces' to override the natural behavior of a substance. The magic of Surgebinding, in turn, provides specific alterations to the electromagnetic force in order to match the common perception of Roshar. This fuzzy chemistry happens with Soulcasting, too, as evidenced when Jasnah Soulcasts at Thaylen Field in OB chapter 120. We can attempt to interpret “axi” as a local word for “atom” or “molecule,” but that doesn’t pass rigor. There’s no such thing as a molecule of air; air is a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of a bunch of other things that I know because my company builds and operates air separation plants. Instead, an axi must a perception-driven way to interact with atoms and molecules, to conceptualize moving individual molecules even though the scale is unimaginably vast (one liter of air contains roughly 30,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules). Surges are also a perception-based way of performing complex interactions without needing to specifically consider all the steps required to accomplish a particular effect. Unity So, Dalinar has an ability. He Unites things. I see this power occur in three specific places: OB 59. Especially coming after the vision with the Stoneward, I understand why many people think this is Cohesion. That was my initial impression, too, before asking at that signing. But looking at it now, the stone isn’t melting. This is a Spiritual transformation; Dalinar’s not guiding the reliefs, but they are repaired nonetheless. OB 109. Here, he’s holding together the very substance of the Stormfather’s vision as Odium attempts to destroy it. These aren’t real things, but Surges have functioned before in visions, so I guess it’s real enough that Dalinar can use his powers. And lastly, in OB 119. Here’s the kicker, the climax of his abilities. This is not used on something physical; he’s grabbing the Realms. One thing I note about all three of these passages is that Dalinar has to touch things. This is another point against Cohesion being intended; that Surge has been referred to in legends as operating with a “command” or a “look.” Adhesion, on the other hand, always spreads out from physical contact with the Radiant. Most of the time, the hands, although Kaladin has done it with his feet before. One other thing I notice is that the warmth is present while he repairs the temple. This concept first appeared in the ending of Words of Radiance, a mysterious warmth and light that Dalinar felt, something the Stormfather knew nothing about. (Tying in with his mysterious Nohadon vision in Oathbringer, possibly.) Dalinar mentions this warmth several times in OB, and it stirs in him right before he says his third Oath and unites the Realms. And his last scene, when he is working on his book, he feels the warmth again. That makes me think his Unity power doesn’t come from his bond with the Stormfather at all, and has to do with Dalinar Ascending to the remnants of Honor. (I’m suspecting his mysterious Blade that he used to operate the Veden Oathgate was like an Honorblade; not a manifestation of a spren, but the raw essence of Honor’s power. As a refresher, OB chapter 16, the Stormfather confirms that Honorblades can operate Oathgates.) Lastly, his power feels like a direct opposite of a pre-Shattering magic that was revealed in the Dragonsteel chapters on Brandon’s website as SA deleted scenes: The Tzai warriors break the Spiritual, which has cascading effects on the Physical. Dalinar repairs the Spiritual, which has cascading effects on the Physical. This pre-Shattering magic appears end-neutral; the Tzai are doing direct Realmatic manipulations (which is also ascribed to the Sho Del and to the [REDACTED] magic of Jerick). At least to me, this feels very reminiscient of the sorts of things done by Shards or beings who are Ascending: the creation of the mistwraiths in Mistborn, the Returned of Warbreaker, or even the boons/curses of Nightwatcher or Cultivation. The interpretation that I’m growing fond of is that Dalinar was not Surgebinding in these scenes, he was tapping in to the greater power of Honor and using it to Unite things. That all being said, I can’t help but notice the similarities to Adhesion listed above, and Tension’s metaphysical relationship to rebuilding the whole (seeing as it acts on the surface of an object.) And when Dalinar repairs the temple, he does think that it’s because he’s a Bondsmith, which would imply that Dalinar is not the first to have these sorts of powers. The extent he uses them is greater (like summoning the perpendicularity), but that other Bondsmiths may have been able to accomplish his feats in the Thaylen temple without Ascending. I can see an Adhesion/Tension interplay going on; take two things, use Adhesion to stick them together, use Tension to redefine the boundaries as a single object. So, I’m not necessarily convinced either way. Putting the passages down on paper, his first two Unity scenes do seem much more like mundane Surgebinding than I had previously remembered. But the mysterious light, Dalinar’s Ascension, and “WE KILLED YOU” all make me think there’s something greater about Dalinar, something beyond what the Bondsmiths of the past were able to do. We’ll see if I can settle on something by the time Stormlight Four rolls around.
  36. 6 points
    How a Radiant robs a bank:
  37. 6 points
    I haven't commented in here in a while, but I think this deserves a mention. First weekend of April, Saturday afternoon, I'll be singing in General Conference! I've known for a while that it was a possibility that my choir could be doing that, but now I've finally had in confirmed and I am THRILLED!
  38. 6 points
    When I think of Adolin and Edgedancers, I always think about when Kaladin was sneaking through the camps and saw Adolin stand up to Sadeas' men to protect the prostitute. To me, that was a great example of 'remembering those who are forgotten.'
  39. 6 points
    That is the correct allomantic ratio, yes. However, there are two reasons the answer to your question is 'no'. First, if you want those metals to mix you're talking about drinking molten metal. That's going to kill you long before you can do anything with it allomantically. For the record, tin melts at 232 Celsius, which is about four times hotter than you'd generally want to drink your morning tea. Lead melts at around 327 Celsius. Second, the metal actually has to mix and alloy in order to stop being tin and lead and start being pewter, both physically and in Realmatic terms. That's not happening on the way down your esophagus into your stomach and even if you had some other power like F-Gold to keep you alive through the process, your body is not a crucible, the metals won't alloy properly in that environment and even if some of the molten tin and lead did stay molten long enough to meet somewhere inside you, they wouldn't be in the right ratios any longer. So basically, what you have is less 'poor man's pewter' and more 'a gruesome way to commit suicide'.
  40. 6 points
    I would have to dig for the WoB, but the moon scepter looks more like the chinese scepter, where it has a flat founded bulb on one hand, with a flat long piece, and then another bump on the other end. I think it was Jofwu who asked about it, but I could be messing up who the questioner was. Give me like 10 minutes and I will pull it up with coinciding picture edit: It was Botanica. WoB below Botanica How does the Moon Scepter actually look like? In what shape is it? Now we have two understandings of the word "scepter" based on different ways of translation: 1) 杖: It shapes like a common wand/staff/rod/cane/stick, usually seen in Western countries. [Mainland translation] 2) 笏: It's kind of a flat scepter of Chinese origin, shaped like a tablet, usually held before the breast by officials when received in audience by the emperor. (Very rarely, the emperor himself holds it.) The officials can take notes on it. [Taiwan translation (I believe the translator once showed you around the Taipei Palace Museum.)] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaku_(ritual_baton) Could you tell us which one is closer to the original design? Thanks! Brandon Sanderson It's not a Shaku, it's a Ruyi, actually. That's an excellent question, though. It does actually come from my visit to the museam, and while I'm aware of shakus, I hadn't heard them called scepters. But I guess they are! Either way, I imagined it as the wavy shape of a Ruyi. (如意) Botanica Whoa what an amazing answer! Thanks so much for the explanation! I once thought of Ruyi when flipping through some reference materials and now it becomes canon! Hooray! Another question if you don't mind: (Someone just asked this a moment ago.) Why is it called Moon Scepter? Does (perhaps) one side/end of it resemble moon? [Full moon or crescent?] Or is it colored like moon? Or does it contain some moon pattern? (Also a fan art question, sorry ;P) Brandon Sanderson It has to do with the differences in religion between Shai's people and the Rose Empire. It is colored like the moon, but there's a little more to it than that. Botanica Ah, I see. Thank you! So what color is Selish moon when we look at it? (I suppose there's only one moon?) Didn't find any specific descriptions about its color in books. Can we assume it is similar to our moon? Brandon Sanderson I didn't say it was the color of Sel's moon... Just kidding. It is, and there is only one. It's a pale white blue, a little more blue than ours, but similar.
  41. 6 points
    Sweet dreams are made of cheese Who am I to dis a Brie?
  42. 6 points
    I firmly believe that if Lift can be an Edgedancer, then Adolin can too. Not every member of one order is exactly the same. We have four spren-bonded Windrunners so far: Kaladin, Teft, Lopen and (presumably as he said the second Ideal at the end of OB) Drehy. They are different enough ... Adolin currently is arguably the best duelist in Alethkar, maybe on Roshar, having trained swordfighting (any maybe other weapons, I'm not sure) from a very young age. Being that good requires a lot of control over your own body and very good coordination, both of which enable a person to move very smoothly. If that's not enough to count Adolin as "graceful" in at least the physical aspect, I don't know what does.
  43. 6 points
    Yeah I'll just keep going with these
  44. 6 points
    David Charleston had a very stringent set of goals for his life. One: join the Reckoners. Check. Two: kill Steelheart. Check. Three: buy a Chicago style hot dog. Check. Four: ...cupcake. That last one wasn't necessarily something that had been planned out as precisely as the others. Honestly, it hadn't even been on the agenda until this morning. The smell of fresh baked goods after a lifetime without them, like an angry High Epic attack, had a way of reshaping your schedule. "The way I see it," David said, walking briskly with his rifle slung over his back, "Back before Calamity, companies would have breakrooms where people would, you know, take a break." "Your understanding of the world before your time never ceases to amaze me," Abraham said dryly. He said it with a smile. Since the Mitosis incident he'd normally been the one to accompany David on these occasional excursions into the city; after all, someone had to. "I'm going somewhere with this," David replied. "I'm saying that, in some of those breakrooms, you'd probably find cupcakes. So us making this detour is basically like any regular person with a cubicle job." "Except instead of a cubicle, there are murderers with superpowers waiting for us when we're done." "Well, yeah. That'd be the biggest difference." Abraham stroked his chin for a moment. "Truth be told, I am glad to have avoided the cubicle. Small victories, I suppose. This was still a terrible and rather pointless metaphor, David." "It's not a metaphor. It's more like a rationalization." "Why on Earth do you need a rationalization for buying a cupcake?" Honestly... he didn't have an answer for that one. That was sort of the thing you understood or you didn't. David didn't fully understand himself. Maybe it was the tension in the air; killing Steelheart had essentially declared all-out war against the Epics, and they were acting in turn. Just walking down the street he had to keep a constant eye out for anybody who looked like they might start shooting laser beams out of their eyes or summoning marshmallow golems, because, well, they might. And it wasn't even the ones who wanted to incinerate him on the spot he was most anxious to pick out of the crowd. Blonde hair and a thin figure still made him do a double take every time they walked by, and not for any of the normal reasons. In so far as having a dead but reincarnated almost girlfriend who might be evil wasn't normal. The long and short of it was, little distractions meant all the difference in the world right now. Even if they felt unearned, with how much the world at large still sucked. Then again... Newcago had changed, and it was hard not to appreciate the fresh new pace the city enjoyed even when you were constantly checking over your shoulder for lunatics with guns for hands or lightning in their fingertips. The city was already almost unrecognizable from the dark dystopia that Steelheart had ruled; even aside from the novel sensation of daylight, the buildings themselves were different. Paint was going up at a rapid pace. No longer was it a neverending labyrinth of drab stainless steel architecture; now pastel blues and the brightest of reds all blurred together like a clown in a washing machine. Abraham said the clashing colors gave him a headache. Prof, when asked, expressed indifference. But to David there was no better symbol of the change they'd brought to the city, except maybe the little businesses beginning to sprout up here and there. Back in normal days, hot dog stands or small home bakeries wouldn't be anything unusual. But here and now, they were the mark of people beginning to act like people again. A bell rang when they walked in the business door, which put a grin across David's face that Abraham only shook his head at. A bell on a door! He hadn't heard one of those in years! But even that little wonder was quickly overtaken by a fresh wave of incredible smells. There was a display case at the front of the shop that shielded tons of cupcakes. Every one of them was a tiny masterpiece; their forms were as cupcake-y as could be, and the frosting on top of them danced in all sorts of designs. Most had black and red roses delicately emblazoned across their tops. Others were plain except for a pretty shade of orange. A couple had somehow been decorated in a creative military camo motif. Still others swirled with the brightest, most flamboyant colors imaginable, topped with what he assumed was edible glitter. Just from looking at these he was briefly a kid again. A kid in a world where candy and pastries were just a trip to the store with Dad away. "Whoah, hey, real customers. Hang on and I'll be right out." A woman's voice snapped him out of it, and he straightened as she made her appearance. To his surprise she didn't actually seem that much older than him. She had the permanently widened eyes that most newcomers from the outside world had when they arrived in Newcago, and a couple of lines across her forehead that no teenager would have had in the world before Calamity. But setting those aside she looked like a normal young woman, maybe nineteen or in her very early twenties. With her vivid green eyes and smooth black hair she might even be pretty, if David noticed that sort of thing in women who weren't toting at least three guns. She poked her head out of the kitchen, evaluating them for a moment before recognition lit up in her eyes. He should have braced for that. As much as he'd tried to stay mediocre and unnoticeable his whole life, all of a sudden everyone knew his face. "I know who you are," she said in a matter of fact tone. She put a tray of fresh cupcakes down on the counter, those green eyes drilling into him. "I've seen your face before." "Er, yeah," he replied awkwardly. He still wasn't sure what to say when the citizens singled him out like this. Abraham chuckled behind him, which was not cool given teammates were supposed to have each other's backs. "You," the woman went on, "are the dorky guy who was greeting newcomers last month." "Oh." He'd been doing that a lot here lately, always trying to make a good impression on those who'd come flooding into the city upon hearing the news. As many people had left fearing the inevitable Epic reprisal for Steelheart's death, it had been important to him that those who had braved the harsh roads of the Fractured States had met a friendly face. He put on a smile for the baker. "Yeah, that's me. Just trying to make everyone feel at home." "You were doing a pretty good job," the woman noted. "Then Instabam showed up like ten minutes after I got here. That was a little less comforting but I guess it turned out okay." He grinned awkwardly. "So you were part of that group. Sorry for the weird first impression." "Ha!" she actually grinned back, looking genuinely amused. "Instabam, weird? He was the bottom of the barrel. I know weird. I grew up in Portland." With that she turned around, working on something in the cabinets behind her as David's eyes widened. Abraham whistled softly beside him; not many people had made it out of Oregon in one piece. Megan had. She also had rarely talked about it, and he'd never pressed her. The chaos, the turf wars... they were all the stuff of legend even to the lorists, and those rare survivors who'd seen the happenings with their own eyes wouldn't often talk about it. Yet this woman had made it out. Not only had she survived, but she was also one of the only Newcago immigrants bold enough to start their own shop. "Anyway," she went on, turning around with even more of the brightly colored cupcakes, "I think you're eligible for this new policy I'm trying to start. People who've killed an Epic get a free cupcake. Instabam qualifies you. Barely." David blinked. He liked seeing the people of Newcago finally taking risks again, but this... "That is... bold," Abraham remarked. The woman shrugged. "If you're a target just for starting up a shop, you don't really have anything to gain from being subtle about it. Worse that could happen is I get murdered by an Epic, which, let's face it, would happen sooner or later anyway if you guys didn't catch them first." "I guess that's one way of looking at it," David admitted. "Look at you. Fighting the Epic establishment with cupcakes." "It's more profitable than just making fun of their fashion sense," she said with another little smirk. "Now. There's a scaling system to it. Instabam was only worth one free cupcake. But others are worth more." Abraham raised an eyebrow. "You've put thought into this?" "Yup. I call it the ATTD system. The cupcakes scale according to how happy you are to hear 'And Then They Died.' So hearing Instabam is dead is only worth one. But Nightweiner-" "Nightwielder." "-that's what I said—is worth two of my cupcakes because two equal the amount of happiness people have hearing 'And Then He Died.'" "I am not sure if you are ambivalent towards Epics or very confident in the quality of your baking," said Abraham. "Definitely the latter." With that she turned her eyes back to David. There was a twinkle in them; the same kind of twinkle that were in Cody's. Hurt, maybe even diminished, but still very much present even when everyone else had lost theirs. "So anway, what I'm getting at is that Steelheart is worth at least three. You might be able to talk me into four." Aaaaand suddenly that grin and that twinkle made sense. David kicked himself for considering otherwise. "You know exactly who I am." "Uh, obviously." She gave him a flat expression. "I'm not stupid. Well, that's arguable since I'm giving out free cupcakes for dead Epics in a city that still has Epics. But that just makes it worse that I could see through your ingenious disguise of..." She looked him up and down for a pointed moment. "...long Reckoners coat and combat rifle on the back, with no mask." "Alright, I get it," David replied, putting his hands in the air. "To be fair I'm not trying to disguise myself. I'm just... not announcing myself everywhere." "Probably smart," she noted. "So are you claiming the free cupcakes or not? Obliteration is worth five, if you take commissions." "I'm paying," David said firmly. "You're a new business. You need actual patronage." "You'd think that, wouldn't you?" She smiled widely. "My plan was to sign up for a cafeteria and work my way up, but the moment I said I wanted to start a shop they practically threw money and an empty building at me." "The mayor wants to make the city a place of commerce again," Abraham said. "But not many are seizing the opportunities just yet. You arrived at just the right time, if you aren't afraid of being annihilated by a random Epic." In spite of Abraham's comment, David found himself smiling. The city's efforts were working. This bakery was proof of it. "So your plan went further along than you expected," he said. "What's the next step?" "Well... I didn't think I'd get this far," she admitted. "So for now the plan is to sell cupcakes, to get plump from the leftover frosting, and to die at the ripe old age of thirty-five. I'd count that as a win." "Don't be so pessimistic! Things are looking up!" "Go kill some more Epics and I'll think about it." She waved a hand at the empty street outside the bakery. "Now hurry up and place an order, 'Steelslayer'! You're holding up the line!" So soon his plan came to fruition. He sat across from Abraham at the only table in the building, a platter of cupcakes laid out in front of him. He wanted to give this new business as much of his support as possible, so he'd bought one of everything; at least, that was his excuse to himself for not being able to choose just one. A full platter was in front of him. He picked up a rainbow-sprinkled, glittery treasure of a cupcake, letting its amazingness soak into him. From behind the counter he felt the baker's eyes watching him like a hawk, no doubt ready to gauge his reaction. Well if that's what she wanted, he'd give her one. He took a big bite, and- ... Bliss. Pure, unadulterated bliss. He chewed and he swallowed in stunned amazement, well aware of Abraham scarfing down his second already on the other end of the table. When he was done with the bite he turned to the baker with a smile. "That..." he said in awe, "...was like a unicorn commando." Her expectant face suddenly went blank with confusion. "...what." "It's like this," David explained. "A unicorn's something incredibly rare and amazing that you never thought you'd actually find. But then imagine finding one, and it's also a commando—it's more awesome than you'd ever even dreamed!" She stared at him, blinking slowly. "Uh... thanks! I guess." David didn't mind the questioning tone. He was already digging right back into the platter, which seemed to satisfy her more than his very eloquent praise had. He reveled in that afternoon of sugar and frosting. Occasionally chatting back and forth with Abraham, with Newcago's best baker adding her own remarks every now and again. Sparks, this was exactly the sort of afternoon the world had been missing. "One thing I'm still missing is a name," the woman remarked after a while, scrolling on a recently issued mobile. "Proper businesses have names." "You are currently the only functioning bakery on the overstreets," Abraham pointed out. "And I would not expect there to be any down underneath." "That won't always be the case," David said. "More will follow, and it won't be crazy to make yourself stand out from them." "That's what I'm thinking," she replied. "But coming up with names isn't easy. Thought about using mine, but if I call it Sam's Bakery people will think it's the hot dog guy." "He makes great hot dogs though," David said, ignoring Abraham's grimace. "Yeah, doesn't really help sell cupcakes," the woman—Sam—replied. "And 'Samantha's Bakery' sucks too. I want something with a little more pizzazz, but there aren't a ton of good names available that won't paint an even bigger target sign on you. Like if I called it Tasty Treats, I guarantee you some slontze with baking powers will show up because I violated his trademark." "It's not quite that bad," David said. "There was one called Treat-tastic, though." "See! Epics always pick the worst names. Except maybe-" She bit her lip, not carrying on. Abraham kept on wolfing down the cupcakes, but David found himself looking curiously at her. This was someone with stories. Maybe not stories she wanted to tell. But stories nonetheless. Every little thing she said or did made that clear. He started to open his mouth again, but was interrupted by his own mobile buzzing. He and Abraham checked them quickly, having learned not to delay with this sort of thing. Sam's eyes went wide. "Epic alert?" She was tense; as much bravado as she showed, like any sane human she was ready to get the Calamity out of dodge if an Epic was coming through. "It is very much worse," Abraham said with a grimace. "About a half hour from now the city council wants us to sit in on a meeting. Those are the worst." "And a long walk," David groaned. "We should get going." "Oh. I see." Sam had relaxed, but her shoulders had drooped. There was a fresh new anxiety on her face, and David had no clue what it might mean. "Here, let me just... get you a to-go box." "That'd be awesome. And you know, we'll be back sometime soon." "Pfft. You're Reckoners. You can't promise that." She set about dutifully pulling a box out for them, as the two Reckoners made themselves ready for travel. "Also I'm packing those free cupcakes in here. Don't care, so don't argue. You can feed them to the city council if you want. They're the ones who hooked me up with more flour than I know what to do with." "Business will start booming," David promised. "You'll do great." "Or I'll get burned alive or something. Either way it'll be a ride." She gave a crisp grin as the two turned to leave, thanking her for the food. But right when they were starting to open the door she interrupted. "Wait." They both paused, David turning all the way back around. "Aww, sparks." She was staring straight at the ground, looking awkward for the first time since they'd walked in. She tapped her fingers together, as though trying to figure out the words to what she wanted to say. "Look, I don't want to keep you, but..." What was this? A last minute expression of gratitude? David steeled himself. Those always made him uncomfortable, but maybe he could take this one in stride. "I... I need to tell you about what happened in Oregon." Oh. Oh. "...you don't have to," David assured her. "There aren't many accounts left, but... we can put together the details. You don't have to relive any painful memories for us." "It's not the painful ones I'm offering you." She bit her lip, before blurting out her next sentence as though worried she might stop herself. "There—there was a good Epic." David froze. So did Abraham. They shared a look with one another, unsure of what to say. Before the last few hectic months, it would have been a laughable claim. Maybe not to Abraham—after all this time he was still one of the Faithful. But to David, the mere idea would have been anathema. But then he'd found out he was working for one. And then, if that wasn't enough, he'd fallen in love with one. "Yeah, yeah, I know it sounds crazy," Sam went on, an irritable edge in her voice. She had no way of knowing what Prof was, let alone Megan. "But Oregon was crazy. Maybe there was something in the air, but nothing at all happened like you'd expect there." She took another deep breath. "This one... well... have you ever heard of Doctor Funtimes?" "Matter manipulator. Teleporter." David spoke without thinking, years of Epic studies rushing to the front of his mind. Though in this case, he had nothing but a mere quarter of a notebook page entirely filled up with weird tall tales. Her stories were obscure and usually discounted even in the most serious of scholarly circles. Sometimes especially in the most serious of scholarly circles. "She's in some of the Oregon accounts, but lorists aren't really sure if she was real or not. A lot of weird stories came out of those. Weird even for Epics." "She was real," Sam said flatly. "You can trust me on that. And whatever you've read about her, she was weirder. The first time I saw her she made it rain pancakes." "...what." "It's true." Her expression was fierce, and somehow even the idea of doubting her was ridiculous. "And then she kidnapped me and carted me around Oregon with her for a while. Me and a few others. I got a front row seat to way more of that whole... thing than I ever wanted." "...I'm sorry," David said, unsure. "Don't be. Everyone has an Epic sob story. I'm not trying to tell you mine." Sam folded her arms, before looking up to meet his eyes. "I'm trying to tell you that... she let me go. At the end of it all. She released me, and never actually hurt me." "Not every Epic kills for no reason," Abraham said. "You don't get it. She didn't just let me go... she apologized to me." David and Abraham both stared at her blankly. Weak explanations came bubbling up in David's brain, though he didn't get a chance to voice any of them. "I know what you're thinking. Weird Epic was just being weird, right? But you don't get it. When she kidnapped me she was all... bubbly, with scariness underneath. But when she apologized... when she told me I could go... that all melted away." With another shaky breath she continued. "She just seemed like... an ashamed woman. Like she'd just... snapped out of whatever it was that came over her." This was all impossible. Not because a good Epic wasn't possible. Prof was proof of that. So was Megan—he knew it. But all accounts said Doctor Funtimes used her powers basically non-stop. There couldn't be any possible way... "I know how it sounds," Sam repeated, firmly. "But it's true. And what's more, without her getting me out of Portland I would probably be dead." "This is a lot to take in," Abraham said matter of factly. "Yeah? Try being there." She rubbed her shoulder, eyes drifting. "I... I don't know what it means. I don't know why she changed. I don't know if it's even something that could ever happen again, or if it was all part and parcel with just how... weird everything got there. Maybe it was a once-in-a-million-years sort of deal. But it's a story, and it's true. It happened to me. And I don't go around telling people that story, because they won't believe me, but..." "I believe you," David said softly. She stopped, looking at him askance. "...you do? 'Cause you don't have to say that." "I don't know what exactly happened," David admitted, "But I believe you when you say something happened." A look of what could only be described as relief went across her face. "I... thank you. Really." She shook her head, looking for a moment as though she were somewhere else entirely. "I don't know if it'll be helpful to you. But if there's even a chance that this is something you're looking into, or if this is a clue you need, then... I figured this was my one chance to tell it to someone who could actually do something with it." A weak smile crossed her lips. "You know. So maybe what happened in Oregon could lead to one good thing." David nodded slowly. "I think I get it." "I hoped you would. Most Epics are still slontzes, don't get me wrong. Most of them back in Oregon are buried there under all the dust they made, and I wouldn't have them any other way. But if you ever run into Doctor Funtimes..." She gave an uncertain shrug. "...maybe do some research before you put a bullet in her head. Assuming she doesn't just turn your gun into a hamster anyway." David smiled at her. "Thank you. I think... this was actually what I needed to hear right now." "Glad to hear it." "You know, it's actually kind of like-" "Oh don't you dare." "No no, this one's actually pretty good," he went on. "It's like a garbage daffodil." "I hate you and I hate that that one almost makes sense," Sam informed him. "It does," David explained. "Because the world's so full of garbage right now, you root through it and you only expect to find garbage. But your story's like a daffodil, somehow growing in it. Something beautiful and hope-inspiring." Sam rubbed her forehead. "I'm starting to think you didn't actually kill Steelheart. I think you just made bad comparisons at him until he went and blew himself up." "That's, uh... more accurate than it has any right to be." David's mobile gave yet another buzz, as did Abraham's. "Oh, that. We should actually get going this time." "Probably, yeah. Get out of here, you lazy bureaucrats. Don't you know you've got meetings and stuff to get to?" She said it and watched them leave with a smile. Looking over his shoulder, David could see her through the window watching them, before suddenly seeming to have an idea, typing it up on her mobile before heading to the back room. He was glad they stopped there, and made a note to be back soon. Maybe next time with Cody. ----------------------- David Charleston never again made it back to Sam's bakery. It wasn't long after this chance meeting that he fought and killed the Epic Sourcefield, soon finding himself traveling across the Fractured States to the city of Babylon Restored. Many events of import happened there. Even more happened when he left; he found himself far too busy to stop at the bakery he'd been to in Newcago for some time. But he and Sam both were right about something. Good Epics were possible; even with their powers. The woman he loved proved that. And in time, as Calamity retreated, a new age came forth; an age of retreating villains and of blossoming heroes. And in this new age, in the reclaimed city of Newcago, there stood a bakery. It had business day in and day out, such that the woman in charge had to hire quite a few employees just to keep it running. ("And I have to rule them with an iron fist," she'd say. "Isn't that ironic?") It was a simple business, but a powerful idea; she was a human, and she pursued her happiness like anyone had a right to. And as time went by, you would often hear citizens of Newcago giving a simple recommendation to their visiting friends from elsewhere in the Reunited States. "Oh man. You've got to stop by Funtimes Bakery."
  45. 6 points
    Well, as things are, they need a lot more Radiants to stand a chance against Odium and his army. Things are only going to become harder and despite all their powers it wasn't exactly easy to turn things around in OB. I personally don't care much about most POV characters being Radiants. Things like that rarely bother me, and the books are about Radiants and magic and stuff after all. Kinda ^^
  46. 6 points
  47. 6 points
    I think it interesting that Maya is the one who is broken, and Adolin is the one filling the cracks in her soul, sort of the opposite of how a Nahal bond usually works. So, even though I do want Adolin to resurrect her and become an Edgedancer, I voted "other", because I think it is possible for it to be something new and different instead. My big interest in Maya is that she was part of the Recreance, and if she gets her smarts back she can potentially explain what happened. I look forward to seeing Adolin and Maya's bond deepen. If at the end of it all Adolin gets to be an Edgedancer too, that's also cool.
  48. 6 points
    Thingy (TUBA version):
  49. 6 points
    Kelsiers rap. I apologize for my bad Shakespearian language. I tried :-D
  50. 6 points
    And now, on the 350th anniversary of Elendel's founding, we, the Ashmount Theaters, release a special production commemorating the life of The Survivor! Coming soon to theaters around Elendel, this play is based on the raising and training of The Survivor. Some of the accounts have been slightly adapted for release in theater, but the core of the story remains the same. A few scenes have been chosen to showcase this momentous play. We hope to see a full house on the release of the final performance. This is Ashmount. Ashmount hopes you have enjoyed this program.
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