Jofwu

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Jofwu last won the day on March 5 2018

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    The Cosmere, Wheel of Time, The Expanse, Kerbal Space Program, Mass Effect, Civilization, Zelda, Elder Scrolls, space, physics, math, soccer

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  1. A Teft PoV in chapter 115 heavily implies it was Kholinar's. Seems like there might be another, but I can't remember where.
  2. Tor Reread for chapter 110 came out today and confirmed a timeline issue I was afraid of... It appears Karen has the following dates: Chapter 97 (Shadesmar group leaves the lighthouse on the lightspren ship) = 1174.2.4.1 Chapter 101/102 (group arrives in Celebrant and leaves on the honorspren ship) = 1174.2.4.4 Chapter 110 (group abandons Honor's Path and begins making their way to Thaylen City) = 1174.2.7.4 That's 3 days from lighthouse to Celebrant and 20 days from Celebrant to wherever they jumped off. Map, to the right, for reference. This just doesn't really make sense to me. We don't know exactly where the lighthouse is or exactly where the group abandoned ship. But with reasonable approximations... The second leg is definitely a longer journey, but it's NOT 6-7 times further. Even if they didn't go through channels--if they circled all the way around the isthmuses (isthmi?) to the east--it wouldn't be that much of a difference. And this is on top of the fact that Honor's Path is explicitly stated as being faster than Ico's merchant ship. (2nd paragraph of chapter 108) The dates for Chater 97 and 110 are set pretty hard, I believe. Might be able to shift them a day or two. To make this work, I think the two Celebrant chapters need to shift much later. More time on Ico's ship and less time on Honor's Path. I don't think there's anything that would prevent making that change... Nothing that ties chapter 101/102 to some other event happening elsewhere. There are references to time passing that would need to be adjusted. (e.g. 99 says they will arrive in Celebrant after 2 days) There are references to how much Stormlight they have in their spheres that would need to be adjusted. (their chips would be long dead when they reach Celebrant, and their marks too probably) I'm not sure what it implies about ship speeds. If you go pull the actual distances, what are the average speeds of the ships? This might make Ico's ship really slow... But then, if that's the case, Honor's Path is currently depicted as moving at a snail's pace so... It is what it is. Maybe worth considering whether it's possible to shift 97 and 110 as much as possible though, if it appears the ships are moving very slow. Relevant chapters: 99, 101, 102, 108, 110
  3. This topic is reeeeeealy out of date, so I've made an updated version.
  4. Intro to the Cosmere So, you've read some of Brandon Sanderson's books, and you liked them enough that you want to talk about it with other fans online. But then it doesn't take you long to realize that you have no idea what everyone's talking about. Shards of Adonalsium? Realmatic theory? Worldhoppers? "I don't remember any of this in the books I read!" Fear not! This page is for you! What is the Cosmere? The Cosmere is the fictional universe in which many of Brandon Sanderson's novels take place. Stories set in the Cosmere share an underlying theorem of magic, a creation myth, a cosmology, and a few other key concepts. Characters and cultures can (and do) cross over between worlds. While early connections merely consist of a few scattered Easter eggs, they become more obvious and meaningful with time. Seeing and understanding it can greatly enhance your experience with his books -- there's a reason we can't stop talking about it! We've designed this page to point out all of the main things you may have missed, or that Brandon has said in interviews with fans, so that you can discover the secret world hidden in Brandon's books and be ready to participate in the discussion as quickly and as effortlessly as possible. For a more in-depth answer to this question, keep scrolling. For Brandon's own short answer to this question, see the FAQ on his website. For the complete list of works set in the Cosmere, see here. A note on spoilers: This post may contain minor spoilers for some Cosmere books--particularly Mistborn and Stormlight Archive. Links to the Coppermind wiki often contain many spoilers. If you haven't read all the books, we would encourage you not to read beyond the reading order recommendations! Does it matter? Knowledge of the Cosmere is generally non-essential to understand and enjoy Sanderson's work as each story/series stands on its own. That said, understanding the Cosmere can enhance your experience and give you something extra to chew on if you'd like to dive deeper into Sanderson's universe. So if you start looking into the Cosmere and find all of this to be overwhelming or uninteresting, that's totally okay. Take your time, or just don't even worry about it! Sanderson ultimately has plans for some books that will involve the overarching story of the Cosmere more directly. At this time, experiencing the Cosmere primarily involves connecting the universe's basic concepts and identifying characters who show up in unexpected places and seem to know more than they let on. Reading Order There is no “right order” to read the Cosmere in. Publication order is a common suggestion, which allows you to experience the books as if reading them from the start, but you should read the Cosmere in whichever order you most enjoy. If you want to try something new, branch off to a different world or series. If you really like the series/world you've been reading, then keep going down that road. Most reading orders will point out a few books that can be considered “starter” books. From these you can dive deeper into a particular series or branch off to something new. Some commonly recommended starting points include: Elantris -- If you like the idea of reading in publication order, this is where you should begin. This is the first book Brandon published. Mistborn: The Final Empire -- The original Mistborn trilogy (Era 1) is the most frequently recommended place to start. Warbreaker -- This is a standalone book that's available for free on Brandon's website. The Emperor's Soul -- This Hugo Award-winning novella is a great way to experience Sanderson's strengths with very minimal commitment. The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive) -- This epic is far from complete and requires the reader to place a lot of trust in Sanderson--it opens with a lot of worldbuilding and a slow start. But if truly epic fantasy is your thing and incomplete series don't give you pause, this is perhaps Brandon's finest work. For an interactive reading guide, see this page. Brandon's own recommendations can be found on his website. Two final notes on reading order: We highly encourage reading Warbreaker sometime before Words of Radiance. We highly encourage reading Mistborn: Secret History after The Bands of Mourning. Adonalsium, Shards, and Investiture Adonalsium and the Cosmere A long time ago, there existed an entity called Adonalsium. Very little is known about who or what Adonalsium truly was. Adonalsium's touch suffused the Cosmere, and many worlds, such as Roshar, were grown by it and bear its design. It was the source of all of the Cosmere's magic and was said to control the powers of creation. One day, Adonalsium broke into sixteen fragments in an event that became known as the Shattering of Adonalsium. Why or how Adonalsium was shattered remains a mystery. The Shards of Adonalsium Sixteen of those who were present at the Shattering took up these fragments, or Shards, and became godlike themselves. They went their separate ways, (well, some did) creating worlds and seeding the Cosmere with more life. The magic of the Cosmere continues to stem from these Shards. Each Shard has an "intent" that it strives to fulfill, which gradually molds and warps the holder of the Shard, the Vessel, until they are absolutely incapable of acting against it. This nature is so dominating that both the Shards and the Vessels are usually referred to simply by the Shard's intent. Note, however, that the intent of a Shard cannot be precisely conveyed in a single word, and there is some room for interpretation as to what each Shard's intent incorporates. Some Shards include Ambition, Autonomy, Honor, Ruin, and Devotion. Though these demigods may appear godlike to mortals, they are neither all-powerful nor all-knowing. Shards may be Splintered--a process which leaves the Vessel dead and the power of the Shard dispersed. Shards are also able to subdivide themselves into avatars, each with a distinct identity, though the exact nature of these entities and how they relate to the Shard and its Vessel is unclear. Investiture, Splinters, and Slivers Investiture is the catch-all term for magical energy in the Cosmere. Investiture, which comes from the Shards, is the power source for all of the Cosmere's magic systems. Most humans in the Cosmere have some innate Investiture, which makes up their soul. Humans generally obtain magical powers when their spirit (sometimes called a spirit web) becomes suffused with Investiture. A Splinter is a portion of a Shard's Investiture that has been severed from it, either willingly or unwillingly. Sometimes, these Splinters will develop sentience and sapience, and they can become highly intelligent beings. (Note that non-Splintered Shards can still have Splinters.) A Sliver, on the other hand, is a person who once held a significant portion of a Shard's power. Holding that much power stretched and expanded their soul. The Worlds There was an original world named Yolen. Yolen was home to three intelligent races (human, dragon, and Sho Del), and is the planet that the original sixteen Vessels came from. All human life in the Cosmere either came from Yolen or was modeled after it. After the Shattering, the Shards spread and settled down on many different worlds throughout the Cosmere. Planets where one or more of the Shards settled down are sometimes known as "major Shardworlds." Other planets, where there is still life and some magic, but no Shards, are "minor Shardworlds." Major and minor Shardworlds include the following: World Stories First of the Sun Sixth of the Dusk Nalthis Warbreaker Roshar The Stormlight Archive Scadrial Mistborn Sel Elantris, The Emperor's Soul Taldain White Sand Threnody Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell Worldhoppers and Notable Characters A small number of enterprising individuals in the Cosmere have learned how to travel between these worlds. These worldhoppers have a huge variety of backgrounds and motivations. Some worldhoppers are acting individually while others are part of an organization, like the Seventeenth Shard. Hoid Among the Cosmere's worldhoppers, there is none so prominent as the ever-mysterious Hoid, originally of Yolen. Hoid, which isn't even his real name, is thousands of years old, having been present at the Shattering of Adonalsium. Whatever happened to Hoid in his past, he's no longer exactly human, at least in the traditional sense. He has a way of knowing where he needs to be at the right time, and he uses this to subtly influence events behind the scenes. Hoid's true motives and goals are as hidden as his real name. Hoid has appeared in every Cosmere novel so far, though he is often in disguise and will occasionally use pseudonyms, such as Dust, Topaz, Cephandrius, and Wit. Trying to spot him in every book is part of the fun of the Cosmere. He seems to prefer disguising himself as a beggar, an informant, a storyteller, or a jester, so look for him to be playing one of these roles. He is also often, though not always, described as having white hair and an angular, hawklike or arrowlike face. Among many other things, Hoid has the ability to Lightweave (create illusions), he can heal from extreme injuries, he doesn't age, and he has a way to dilate time so that he doesn't have to wait as long for important moments. The planned series Dragonsteel will tell the story of Hoid's origin and the Shattering of Adonalsium, and Hoid is planned to be a main character in the final Mistborn trilogy. Khriss and Nazh Khriss, from Taldain, is the worldhopper who writes the Ars Arcanum at the end of each book, and she's the most knowledgeable of anyone—including Hoid—about the Cosmere as a whole. Khriss has been described as dark-skinned, with her hair woven into tight braids. Nazh is her assistant, a worldhopper from Threnody, tasked with collecting various maps and drawings from throughout the Cosmere. They are often included in the books with his personal notes to Khriss in his distinctive handwriting. One of his most identifying characteristics is his tendency to use Threnodite swears, such as "shadows". He has also been described as lanky, with a narrow face and sand-colored hair. The Three Realms Almost everything in the Cosmere has a body, a mind, and a soul, and each exists in one of three Realms. The Physical Realm is world of the body, where physical objects exist. This Realm is the only one that normal human beings consciously perceive. The Cognitive Realm, also known as Shadesmar, is the world of the mind. The Cognitive Realm is strange and alien: Water is solid, land is fluid, and shadows point backwards. Thoughts and ideas take on real form in this Realm. After a person dies, a leftover impression of their mind, their Cognitive Shadow, will linger shortly in the Cognitive Realm before passing on. The Cognitive Shadow can sometimes persist for longer periods of time, however, by various magical means. Worldhoppers have learned to use junctions between the Physical Realm and the Cognitive Realm called perpendicularities to cross between them. Often, these perpendicularities can be found where the power of a Shard is concentrated into a pool of liquid that fans call "Shardpools." The Cognitive Realm is of particular interest to worldhoppers because distances are compressed there in places where there is little or no mental activity (such as outer space), meaning worldhoppers can use the Cognitive Realm to actually walk from one planet to another. Depending on the Shardworld, the Cognitive Realm can be an extremely dangerous place. The Spiritual Realm is the world of the soul. Once you reach the Spiritual Realm, there's no such thing as space or distance anymore, just Connection between people and places. Those who peer into the Spiritual Realm can see all the branching possibilities of the future. The power of the Shards resides mostly (usually) in the Spiritual Realm. Chronology While in most cases we don't know how many years take place between books in different series, we do know the chronological order of most of them. In order, they are: White Sand Elantris The Emperor's Soul Mistborn Era 1 Warbreaker Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell Stormlight 1-5 Mistborn Era 2 Stormlight 6-10 Mistborn Era 3 Sixth of Dusk Mistborn Era 4 For more information, see this post. More Resources The best way to dive into the Cosmere is to find a fan community to interact with. While you may see a lot of confusing conversations going on, just ask questions and you'll be caught up before you know it. The 17th Shard offers both forums and a Discord chat server to this end. The other two important resources to be aware of are the Coppermind wiki and Arcanum, both operated by the 17th Shard. But beware that BOTH of these resources include heavy spoilers for all of Brandon's books! The Coppermind is a wiki covering all of Brandon Sanderson's works, with an emphasis on the Cosmere. Just dive right in by searching for pages that interest you, or by browsing through the page categories. Arcanum is an archive of everything Brandon has said publicly about his stories, drawing from interviews, social media, book signings, and more. There's a LOT to learn about the Cosmere just by hearing directly from the man himself! Search for specific terms or browse entries by tags. We could always use help adding more information to the Coppermind or transcribing audio on Arcanum, and you don't need to be an expert to help. Stop by the #coppermind and #arcanum channels in our Discord server to help out. There's no better way to learn more about the Cosmere than by helping improve these resources! Note: This is an update to the original Cosmere 101 topic by @Zas678. Feel free to recommend additional content, but please avoid major spoilers!
  5. Hey everybody, After some extended discussions among the staff, we've decided to lock this thread and document for a few reasons. Brandon has been emphatic for years now that he strongly prefers for people to ask questions of personal interest. He can tell the difference between the question a fan is passionate about and the question a fan is reading from a a long list they found online. In this year's State of the Sanderson, Brandon explained that, due to his growing popularity, he will be scaling back on fan interactions at book signings. With this change, it's more important than ever that we encourage people to make the most of their time with Brandon. We at the 17th Shard want for Brandon and his fans to have good, meaningful interactions, and we no longer feel that facilitating an "ultimate list of questions" is conducive to that. That isn't to say this list was a bad idea from the start. The growing size of the fandom has simply changed how we are able to interact with Brandon, and that's okay. Brandon deserves more recognition, and we're always excited to see more people experiencing his books. Besides, the whole thing is a mess of uncurated, out-of-date questions at this point. People are always welcome to share their question ideas for feedback, or to ask for help formulating an interesting question. We do not mean to discourage this at all! You are more than welcome to do this elsewhere on the forums or on Discord! Feel free to contact the staff if you have any questions or concerns with this change, and thank you for your understanding.
  6. 2020 plans, hopefully.
  7. Happy Koloss Head-Munching Day! Yep, it's that time of year again folks. (Or will be, in a few hours, when the 19th rolls around.) The Christmas trees are decorated, the menorahs are polished, the koloss are looking for some heads to munch... And with birthday cake in one hand, Brandon Sanderson is using the other to type out his annual State of the Sanderson address! Stay tuned for more on that... Oh, and sorry of this post title got your heart thumping. No, nobody knows exactly when it will be posted. But you can bet, when it does, it will be all the buzz in every corner of the fandom. In the meantime, I've got something for you to do before resuming your furious CTRL+F5 mashing... STATE OF THE SANDERSON 2019 BINGO! Why just read State of the Sanderson 2019 when you can compete to be the 2019 State [of the Sanderson] Bingo Champ!? That's right folks. We've got bingo boards. If you want to play along, you can get your own board here. There are two options: Click the link under "Play Online" and then choose "Generate Card". It will open up a unique, interactive Bingo board for you to play with. Alternatively, click the "Print" button to print out a PDF copy of a unique board to play with. The center square is a free spot. As you're reading SotS and encounter one of the items in a box, cross it out. Get five in a row (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) and you win! There's not any awards for winning, but we'd love to see how you did! If you play, send us a screenshot/picture of your completed board, along with how far in to the blog post you were when you got Bingo! Have fun!
  8. Toyed with the image to make it a bit easier [for me] to read: Here I've highlighted all the letters that appear more than once with a clear match and they are nearly dead on: There's a few letters that are weirdly similar to one another despite being very different sounds. (like V and T for example) But I guess it's not that weird. Happens with several Roman characters after all. (like O/Q) The only thing bugging me is the STR in the middle... It looks like two characters at first glance, but as is the challenge with many of these I think some adjacent characters are just hard to separate in the photo. So the R must be that tiny little vertical character before the O... The S and T don't match the other Ss and Ts, which is odd. I started to wonder if maybe it is 2 characters after all and ST or TR could be a single character. Also wondered if maybe these instances are slightly different sounds than their other instances... But I'm pretty sure what we're seeing here is just a case of letters written differently in the middle of a word versus the beginning. (something that happens in Arabic and probably several other languages) Anyways, here's those three letters highlighted, plus other instances of the S and T: Aaaaan, stealing Pagerunner's alphabet image... As for Susebron's tablet from here... Yeah, really doubt we can do much with this even had a higher quality image.
  9. Thanks for the heads up. That's... weird. I need to put up some fresh ones really badly. Will fix that soon.
  10. Whooops. I kind of skimmed through first, but too fast apparently. And yeah it makes me really uncomfortable. Very weird world. It's not very popular among scientists, but this is precisely why I'm actually partial to Bohm's interpretation over the standard Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. The idea is that things aren't actually random--there are simply too many unknown variables involved.
  11. It sounds like (at least in the original post) you're breaking people down into [complex] machines that merely do what they are programmed to do. Stimuli as input, our brains do a calculation, our brains send out a message to do some action. "Intelligence" is just the idea that the programming changes and adapts over time. And all of this happens without any input from our "will." Personally, I think it's weird to think we can pick ourselves apart in this way. What IS a "will" separate from the sum of all the experiences that made you who you are? What is left of "you" at that point? Your brain doing all these things IS your will, in my opinion. It's not doing things without your control. It's doing what you will. That weird feeling when you do something that you wish you didn't do... That's not your brain doing something against your will. That's your will having competing interests and a lack of internal consensus. I would say that's actually, likely, not true. In human experience, the world appears deterministic like this. (If the object hit A then it was never going to hit B.) But on the quantum mechanical scale true probability is a very real thing according to current scientific consensus.
  12. True. But then Mass Effect isn't entirely original there either--just a very prominent and well-done take on the trope. If that's the way it goes, I think Brandon would differentiate himself well enough.
  13. In my mind, there's a few moving parts here that all fit very nicely with this idea. First, we have the fact that Brandon has rolled his unfinished story about the Fermi Paradox ("The Eyes") into the Skyward universe. The Fermi Paradox deals with the question of why we haven't found extraterrestrial life when it should be statistically very likely. Many of the proposed solutions to the paradox (e.g. "extraterrestrial life is exceedingly rare") are obviously incorrect in this universe. One common solution is that extraterrestrial life tends to wipe itself out. Another involves our inability to detect their communication for one reason or another. I think it's pretty clear that the delvers are Brandon's solution of choice, and they do both of these things. They are a threat to advanced civilizations (see humans) and they force civilizations to stay quiet (minimal cytonics and radio usage to avoid delver detection). And then we have this ongoing emphasis that "AI are dangerous", which is something that's been mostly glossed over. Just a dozen reminders that it's dangerous for reasons nobody alive is able/willing to explain, along with some small level of exploration around M-Bot's own journey. I think M-Bot's existence in the story means artificial intelligence is a major thing Brandon intends to explore, and he definitely stepped that up in Starsight. In fact, I think M-Bot is going to be a major antagonist moving forward. His relationship with Spensa is broken, he's confused, and he's clearly pushed beyond the "safe" limits for AI according to his programming. I don't think he's going to be the villain of the story, but I do very much expect that things will get worse before they get better. This ties everything together. Everyone thinks the AI are dangerous because that's how the delvers happened. They didn't show up in Defending Elysium because... maybe they were confined to some far corner of the galaxy at that point. Maybe they were just few in number at the time. Or maybe they hadn't gone rogue yet. Maybe they were created by a single race... Maybe they are some kind of "natural course of evolution" for artificial intelligence, and their existence is actually the result of many civilizations. The other main theory I've seen about the delvers is that they are human cytonics who went too far or lost some parts of themselves. And I guess there's a default (and uninteresting) possibility that they simply... Are just beings that exist like any other, without any notable backstory. Personally, I think the idea that they are ASIs is more interesting and more in line with where the story is headed.
  14. I don't quite see how the whole theory breaks down. You theorized they were of human origin, but they could have been created by some other race. Maybe you considered that fundamental to the theory, but I still think there's some good thoughts here regardless. If they were created by another race, it would explain the strange script.
  15. That was a hard decision... My gut answer was Skyward, but I picked Starsight. Skyward was easier to enjoy. The story was simple, the bad guys not complex, the action fresh. It was a fun story with some powerful moments. Starsight is a lot more complicated. There are things about it that I liked less, but I picked it for two reasons: First, I thought this book was a masterful exploration of... cultures clashing? There's this whole soup of prejudices, culture shock, misunderstandings... I don't know how to begin breaking it down. I just know that every other scene addressed this theme in beautiful ways. Second, the expanded world that Brandon built here is amazing. The diversity of alien species and cultures, the magic, the delvers... It feels like Skyward all happened in a small shack with the lights off, and Starsight opened the door to reveal a whole world out there.