Posts posted by JustOneMoreQuesiton
I suspect compounding is going to be one of the more busted things in the Cosmere. Obviously there's all sorts of nonsense roaming around, but especially after The Last Metal, I think Harmony is doing his best to make sure they don't get another full user like Rashek, or worse have it become common.
Sticking to non god metals, we already know it can make you functionally immortal with access to gold, but as Sanderson has been showing off his worlds diving deeper and deeper into the fundamental physics of what's actually going on, I think mere physical immortality is going to seem "quaint" by the end of all this.
Several other metals relate to the "immortality" side of things (Cadmium letting you go without breathing for example), or just the usual superhuman stuff (zinc) but i'm especially interested in the rest. Of Note-
Nicrosil - Lets you store Investiture. Given it's the magic mcguffin of the universe, I can see this being the catalyst for a lot of nonsense. Sure seems like "become god" in a can from what we know about using investiture on various things. Nightblood could be quaint in comparison.
Chromium- Lets you store "luck/fortune". Knowing sanderson there's rules on this, but this has the potential to blow past "harry potter" and go straight into "Ring World" territory (for those who haven't read the story, it is theorized that the entire universe is bending to the "luck" of a single individual).
Bendalloy- Lets you store "energy". Now in the examples given it's always just "you can eat lots of food and save it for later", so back in the immortal pile, but seeing as how "eating" is just chemically converting something to energy, I'm wondering if this is very very literal, and the only way they know to store it is eating. If there were a way to release that energy as something other than chemical energy for your body, this could be tremendously destructive (you'd also need a more efficient way to store energy, as I think downing nothing but nutella for a year still wouldn't do much converted into some kind of force).
Steel- Lets you store "speed". Compounding steel already has some really really interesting notes from Brandon about how you could kill yourself from air resistance approach FTL, so clearly you could go VERY fast. Important in just about every "and then it went nuclear" theorycraft in any system ever, but in a world where our fantasy realms are already screwing with nuclear fission and antimatter, I think it's extremely likely to become relevant. % of C doomsday weapons have been explored in all sorts of Sci Fi, so anything manipulating speed gets dangerous fast.
Iron - Lets you store mass. Oooh boy the best for last. The two "apply stupid physics and take this to the extreme" uses I can think of are functionally teleporting/FTL speeds (most wacky physics stuff revolves around massless particles, and it's unclear if they could actually lose all mass) and of course a black hole. Now i'm not sure Sanderson is going to have a Iron compounder with Duralumin and Nicrosil go full black hole somehow, but again given we've got anitmatter and fission going on, it seems within the realm of possible. Screwing with mass on a fundamental level seems like such a perfect thing for Sanderson to write about, because it would of course seem barely useful until you started getting a seriously strong understanding of physics, at which point it's potentially absurd.
Now with all of these there's some obvious speculation, and major limitations being that this stuff generally applies to your body, and can't say, be applied to another object, but I wouldn't be surprised if we saw that gotten around somehow, or just accepted.
Oh and all of this is before you consider someone going savant.
In short, I think someone with the powers of Rashek and the knowledge of the cutting edge science in the current Cosmere, and by extension access to metals and alloy's he would've never had, is potentially a walking doomsday weapon.
I also think that the biggest evidence there's something to all this nonsense is that Harmony likely made it harder for someone like that to exist, rather than make it easier. There might also be moral/long term strategy in making it harder for full Allomancers/Feruchemists to exist, but seeing as how that happened once he took the reigns, I think he's worried about the potential consequences of a developing society looking really close at what they could be doing with their powers. Less "oh i survived a bunch of spears, scared, everyone, and killed my enemies" and more "So what happens if i push these particles apart....or really really close together".
Edit- as a last second thought, you've also got all the parts needed for Hyperion style FTL. Use silly combo's from above to get something moving FTL, arrive as a paste. It's cool i'll just heal up. Beyond stretching at that point but another interesting little thought.
Edit 2- You know, thinking about it, you know what else has basically no mass for it's size? A shardblade. Realllly wondering if we're going to get a Rashek 2.0 who figures out how to apply their powers to other objects.0
I'm wondering if the 5th oath has to do with forgiveness, or perhaps recognizing when someone is too far gone?
Protecting those you hate is not the same as forgiving them, and the main thread left for Kal's character arc is Moash. We've pretty heavily plumbed the depths of Kal's revenge, so i'm hoping that's not the goal for yet another book, even though that's the clear setup with Moash. Either way i suspect whatever the words are will relate to that. Could somehow be "others can protect themselves" if moash starts going after bridge 4 instead of Kal, but he's almost certainly got to be pivotal to it.0
It struck me as lightly implied, by both Hoid (when one person can kill tens of thousands) and a few other things, that this is exactly what happened "pre roshar".
I'm reminded of an outer limits episode (1995) version where a student discovers the "trick" to cold fusion, and a major point of the episode is that its SO easy that basically anyone could make these things, and how insanely dangerous that would be.
Feels like the kind of ground Sanderson might love to tread, as his stories are quickly getting to the point where messing around with the primal forces of the universe not only grants insane power (and is getting closer to nuclear levels of destruction), but unlike the real world is centered on an individual (Nuclear fission for example isn't that hard to cause.....if you can get enough of the right kind of uranium, which is much harder). It seems that with enough knowledge and power seeking you can wind up with beings that can easily destroy entire nations in the blink of an eye, and how does a society handle that?
My guess is that somehow that power escalation, and the danger it poses, is what led to the abandoning of the oaths by the radiants as well. A point where you've suddenly got all these 5th ideals running around able to nuke a city and the pure chaos and destruction that would cause, and I suspect its why navani is going to wind up even more dangerous because you don't even need oaths or spren. Just a decent amount of knowledge and some difficult to make, but not impossible, tools.
Its extra interesting because on some level Hoid must be aware of this. I've seen topics on these forums about Mistborn railguns and the like, and it begs two questions.
1. Just how powerful is Hoid or those like him should he let loose? He is clearly aware that the level of power we've seen demonstrated in these books is childsplay compared to what it could do, let alone combined with other stuff.
2. Just how much more dangerous is it to let a society get some % of that power WITHOUT millennia of world-hopping as a gate to it?0
It's hard for me to quickly present everything i'd like to ask about/discuss without writing my own novel here, but i'm going to attempt to be succinct. It doesn't help that a lot of this info is sorta haphazardly scattered over Q&A sessions. Hopefully not too much of this is already known info(didn't seem to be much discussion on it at the very least?)
Most of my information stems from the 2 letters, but to start, my very small understanding of the timeline:
First there was hoid and maybe dragons(i'm assuming one wrote the second letter) and Yolen
At some point there was Adonalsium, and then it/he/she split.
By this point at the very latest humans have spread from Yolen to other worlds(which are both physical planets and possible alternate dimensions? Can't really tell if all these places are just physically distant or dimensionally sepereate)
Sometime after this Odium visits Sel, and kils two shards.
Sometime after that, Odium attacks Roshar(from Braize?) for, what seems to be, several thousand years. He fights at least 2 more shards here, and at some point(after the Last Desolation) kills at least one of them. Odium becomes trapped here at some point.
By this point at the latest humans are kicked out of the Tranqualine halls(I suspect it's MUCH earlier).
4500 years after that WoK starts
Somewhere in the above Harmony becomes a thing and starts playing the shard/god game. Just before this is WoA where Hoid steals the metal, which implies his quest against Odium has been going on for at least this long(although likely much longer). The theft seems to be what prompts some other form of contact predating the first letter.
Also at some point the dragon either creates, or uses the 17th shard(which at the very least contains recent characters, but could fall anywhere in the timeline for creation), and given some of the wording in the first letter, the dragon becomes essentially immortal, rather than actually having always been that way.
So if my understanding is correct, this seems to confirm a few things so far:
Adonalsium, whatever it was, doesn't seem to be the "let there be light" level of god/creator. While it may have created worlds, the fact that worlds predate it(and possibly humanity itself) along with beings like Hoid implies there may actually be stronger entities out there. In fact it seems to heavily imply that Adonalsium was either created, or "occured" after humanity? This could all be misinterrpreting a quote though, as I know there's a short story of hoid from the early early early days planned, but I don't know if that actually takes place before the existance of Adonalsium, or just the shattering, or neither.
That said, a little bit of further evidence seems to be in the second letter with the quote "The worlds you now tread bear the touch and design of Adonalsium." Maybe it's just me but this seems to possibly imply that there are worlds out there that do NOT bear the touch and design of Adonalsium, and that Hoid has traveled those as well.
Either way it seems that Hoid's main goal is to stop Odium(although likely not for purely altruistic reasons). This is interesting because the main point of the second letter is that while Odium is certianly a threat, he should be left alone because he can't exit the system he currently inhabits(Braize). For whatever reason the Dragon seems to believe that Hoid is going to cause more damage than Odium can, and that Odium cannot escape.
This is especially interesting because we don't know much about shard travel, but i'm not sure if Odium made a planet hellish and got stuck on it, or was stuck in a hellish like planet. Heck the planet itself could be anything in the physical world, and it's the spiritual world of the planet that's hellish(as that's the only description we seem to have). Since we know shards exist in 3 forms, i'm assuming that at the very least Odium's physical form is trapped there. Seeing as how he's the one who is behind voidbringers, and they're the ones who threw humans out of the Tranqueline halls, I have to wonder if Odium's plan involves escaping through the spiritual realm to continue his slaughter, but the more important question is who trapped him in the first place. The obvious answer would be Honor, Cultivation, and a possible 3rd. The heralds being sent to damnation has some similarities to the whole Ruin/Persevation thing.
The final piece to all of this that's been bugging me is Hoid's reaction to shardblades. It's possible he's just so powerful he doesn't care, but I've always assumed they harm people on a spiritual level(given the whole severed soul thing), and perhaps this also relates to why Odium seems to somehow be heavily involved in the spiritual realm.
Other random questions:
Where are the tranqualine halls? The system Roshar is in seems to have only 3 planets, and while one is their actual world, and the other is literally their damnation, the 3rd planet doesn't seem to be related to the Roshar humans at all(setting for a seperate book). I find it odd that their hell physically exists but their heaven does not. Especially given that while there's vast differences between the cognitive and the physical world, there does still seem to be some similarity, and with Braize being right there showing that the spiritual world can line up, one would expect the 3rd planet to be the Halls.
Again i aplogoize for the rambling. There's so much to connect/go over, and it's difficult to throw it all together without getting horribly sidetracked and rambling off on tangents. To summarize some of the main ones:
Why does Hoid think Odium can still escape?
How is Odium trying to escape?
How long has he been stuck there?
Why is he stuck there?
Whats up with the spiritual world anyways?
in Cosmere Discussion
Posted · Edited by JustOneMoreQuesiton
[screwed up the spoilers so nuking this until i figure out a better way to word it]