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Extesian last won the day on September 6 2018

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About Extesian

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  1. Thanks @Elegy that's a really nice summary of Asimov. I'm looking forward to the rest, but read Foundation first as I always heard it was best and figured if the others aren't quite as good at least I'm treating them as prequels. But I'll certainly temper my expectations of Empire! Oh as a small update, I've since read the last Gods of Blood and Powder book and it was great. Brought back the series for me very well and I'm now looking forward to the next McClellan book more than I was after the end of Powdermage I think (not that the trilogy is better, but that it finished better and I think his writing is improving). Also read Ann Lecie's Raven Tower. Loved it. Really loved it. Strange book. I was quite sceptical of loving it, but i really did. The voice, the combination of fast and slow pacing, the PoV, the chronology, the worldbuilding. Such a simple magical premise (gods can only speak truth and must have the power to make their words true if not) taken to such interesting extremes. Interwining timelines. No chapters. Just an ancient, unmoving god recounting their history in between narrating events in the present day. It's stuck with me more than I expected. Started Black Leopard Red Wolf last night, enjoying the voice and worldbuilding and really enjoying the writing. Its showing promise.
  2. I put together my top 10 books I read during 2019, a way to remind myself of everything and relive some, and thought I'd share them. Note that it is a pretty artificial top 10, some are entire series, and not also it is read, not published, in 2019. The first book there is almost 70 years old... Feel free to post your top 10 from the last year! Foundation - Isaac Asimov (Original trilogy plus two sequels - yet to read two prequels, or the Robot or Empire series) There's a reason I've heard about it all my life, when it's from the 1950's, and why even though so many movies are made about his robot books, the Foundation books are still so well known. I haven't read scifi like it despite its age. Assuming you haven't read the Robot or Empire series (I haven't) it's just straight into a galaxy-spanning human empire some 30,000 years in the future that, unbeknownst to all but one mathematical genius, will soon collapse. He comes up with a secret plan to ensure that the time of chaos following that disintegration is minimized. It's epic, it's wonderfully written (it's not all about big battles but about the internal motivations of key individuals) and it's utter genius for something 60 years old. It's Asimov, right? Gotta read eventually, as I finally did. 10/10 Broken Earth trilogy - N K Jemisin Best known for being written in the second person perspective, like a Choose Your Own Adventure - "you" instead of "they" or "I". (FYI it's also in the first and third persons). A post-apocalyptic world (maybe Earth) with catastrophic tectonic activity. The magic is geological, which I've never heard of, and involves interacting with the planet. The lead characters are female and grippingly written. It's grim, but not grimdark (things are physically tough and emotionally brutal but it's not a story devoid of hope). And it is easily the finest written fantasy I've read outside of Gene Wolfe and Patrick Rothfuss (and even then Rothfuss writes more beautifully but maybe not with as amazing a literary style). Not everyone seems to like it but I think it's extraordinary, and I think once you finish the first book it reveals so much you want more. Oh and the author is an African-American woman, which is so unusual in fantasy but so great to be seeing. Read it if you love fantasy. Try it even if you don't. 10/10 Bobiverse trilogy - Dennis Taylor This came out of nowhere for me (or more accurately, from a youtube reviewer) and has a claim to be one of the most enjoyable set of books I've ever read. It's one of the most fun stories you've never heard of (and two sequels should come out in 2020). A dude, Bob, pays a company to freeze his brain when he dies, and he ends up as an Artificial Intelligence implanted into a spaceship designed to explore the galaxy, which has 3D printers and can self-replicate (a von Neumann probe). It's all written in first person, including when he clones himself...then his clones clone themselves etc until you end up with a few dozen first person perspectives from different Bobs. It's written in such an easy, humorous, optimistic and believable way that I was utterly immersed. All the science and technology is just so believable that you feel it's realistic - even down to not cheating with faster than light travel, but actually dealing in relativistic time scales - as they're AIs, they are immortal and the story takes place over centuries. And Bob is just a delightfully rational, selfless and positive guy that he carries the story even if you don't love the science. Not many battles, just a dude and his clones exploring the galaxy, coming across new planets and finding ways to make places habitable for humans. Read it. 10/10 The Body - Bill Bryson Bill Bryson was initially a travel writer and one of the funniest writers I've read. Years back he spent years writing A Short History of Nearly Everything, one of the best books I've ever read, exploring every branch of science, largely from the perspective of little biographical stories of the people who made breakthoughs. He followed it with At Home, a similar exploration of social development and invention through looking at the things in your house. His third such effort is The Body, about human biology. It's just as brilliant, going through every aspect of the human body and leaving you with wonderful nuggets of knowledge. Read it for human biology, At Home for inventions, Short History for science more generally. All 10/10. The Truth - Terry Pratchett I read a few Discworld books when I was young and never got around to the rest of them. But I tried The Truth. It's a discworld story but you don't need to have read any. It's barely even fantasy, it's a normal story set in a mystical world. It's about the development of the printing press, the realities of the media industry in terms of competition and changing editorials to make sales (or refusing to) and about the influence press publishers can have. It's all an incredibly insightful allegory for the real world (and history) but without ever being preachy. It's just a nice guy with a great invention trying to make his way. Brilliantly written of course, it's Pratchett. Great light read for soft fantasy with direct relevance to the real world. 9/10. Underlord - Will Wight (Book 6 of the Cradle series) I got into Will Wight last year after a recommendation from a friend. He has several series (one concluded) in an interconnected universe. This is the sixth book. It's progression fantasy (each story, as a general rule, the main character 'levels up' in power and the world gets correspondingly broader and more threatening), with an anime inspiration. I've loved the series since the third book, took some time to really get passionate. Now almost every book gets better (my order is 6, 5, 7, 4, 3, 1, 2). They're about a well meaning guy who wants to save his village from a future threat and so does what he can to get powerful enough to meet it. And I do mean what he can. You may know he'll keep progressing but ooohhh boy does he earn it. This is my favourite book of the series (his other great series, Elder Empire, involves each 'book' being two books from opposing protagonists' perspectives - one is a pirate, the other is a ninja, and it's amazing - but I didn't read it this year, so no more). And Will Wight is an amazing guy, one of the nicest in fantasy. Try him, 8.5/10 The Blood Mirror - Brent Weeks (Fifth and final book of the Lightbringer series - if I read the whole series this year, it would be number 2 on this list) The Lightbringer series is one of my favourite fantasy series. Books 3 and 4 were weak, and 5 (this one, the last) had its flaws, but books 1 and 2 were some of the most exhilarating fantasy I've read, and the final book at least does justice to the series, even if it's not the best. The series has one of the most wonderful magic systems I've ever read, one of my top 5 characters in all of fantasy, and is just so readable. Fitting, if not amazing, end to a spectacular if inconsistent series. 7.5/10 for the book but 9/10 for the series. Starsight - Brandan Sanderson (Book 2 of the Skyward series - not a Cosmere book - if it were any Cosmere book it would be number ) Brandon Sanderson is my obsession. I've read all his books multiple times, know the lore and magic systems intricately, engage in constant online theorizing - it's my thing. His adult books are mostly in a connect universe, the Cosmere, which is 10/10. This book is essentially scifi (though blending into fantasy - but its a scifi setting) and is not set in the Cosmere. It's actually Young Adult, but it's adult enough for adults. The worldbuilding in these books (the first is Skyward) is fantastic, and they're nicely written. The characters are a bit as you'd expect from YA (thought they're 16 or 17, not 13 or 14). But they're very enjoyable books. I recommend anything Cosmere first but these are a fun read - but would I read them if I didn't already love Brandon? Maybe not. Enjoyable, but not Cosmere - 7.5/10 The Rage of Dragons - Evan Winter Fantasy is all medieval castles and knights and such? This is African-inspired fantasy, the language, the dress, the weapons, the landscape, the culture. It's pretty fantastic, but moreover it's the dude's first novel and it's self-published (well, was, a publisher has now bought it), so for a debut self-published novel it's spectacular. Just wonderful worldbuilding, the whole setting and feel is so different from classic fantasy. Really looking forward to the next book, well worth a read if you're after non-typical fantasy or something with an African feel. 7.5/10 (but, for a debut self-published novel, 9.5/10). Books 1 and 2 of Gods of Blood and Powder - Brian McClellan (3 is out, next on my list) Brian McClellan's second series (the first is known as Powder Mage, and was really very interesting). Never grabbed me like the first one did, but the characters are compelling, the plot is quite good and you do get some interactions with certain characters from the first series that really lift it. Looking forward to the third book, which is out, but I delayed to read Foundation. Solid fantasy, read it if you've read everything else, 7/10 Uprooted - Naomi Novik This comes very highly recommended and well awarded. It's fantasy but in a very fairy tale manner. It's mystical and whimsical and the plot is very much like a fairy tale. I enjoyed it, and found some aspects of it very intriguing, but found it a bit forgettable. Very nicely written though. 6.5/10 for me (though note that that is for me - critically, I may give it more like 8, it was very nicely done).
  3. Happy Mutual Shardversary Hivemate 

  4. I like this. I agree Progression is probably a temporal thing, but more from the perspective of taking the Spritual Ideal of the object and using investiture to (in the case of growth) accelerate natural growth or (in the case of regrowth) provide accelerated spritual healing. So I don't think regrowth actually looks back in time, but looks at the spiritual ideal (which is timeless). But it's essentially accelerating time. I don't think it can decelerate or reverse time. I also think your tie with abrasion is a bit tenuous. Im also wondering if it fits a bit better with truthwatchers, illumination feels very death rattle-ish, pulling from futuresight in the spritual realm. But i like the connections with the silent gatherers. What you need is a convincing explanation for why those surges would result in using the spark of death to fuel futuresight. Again, i feel that's easier with illumination but maybe there's a way to tie it to abrasion. Coz yeah I'm pretty convinced generally that the Unmade do each achieve their powers through a distorted use of the normal surges. I'm not convinced that the Unmade represent two surges, I think it may just be one each. But this seems like a pretty reasonable guess. And a good analysis.
  5. For anyone interested in exploring the question of the previous lands i did a thread a while back where i tracked every instance in the cosmere i could find of golden eyes or golden hair (at least one appears in white sand, elantris and nalthis iirc) Anyway whether you agree with the theory or not it has potentially useful references you can find https://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/60048-iriali-and-the-long-trail/?do=findComment&comment=580775
  6. Silver. It's role in the Cosmere is uncertain, being a metal (pushable and pullable), allomantically inert and effective at warding off shades on Threnody. Well we got a tasty new WoB today, on another thing people have speculated about, what the silver chain being sold in Shadesmar during Oathbringer was. So that's rad. A reminder of the chain... We didn't know what the significance of the chain was, why it was so expensive, what that chain was made of (options like a silver alloy, aluminum, or even dragonsteel have been thrown around). We still don't know a lot for sure, but it being from Threnody is awesome as it largely confirms the chain is silver, given the importance of it there. And it says they use them in freaking Silverlight! A Cognitive Realm city. So the chain is obviously useful in the Cognitive Realm, and in a place where you get attacked by Cognitive Shadows. In other words, silver is significant to the Cognitive Realm, blocking and damaging corrupted Cognitive Shadows and being expensive and valuable in the Cognitive Realm. This fits with some WoBs we have, about its general significance. So given the chain is so expensive, what could it be made out of? Is it just silver, and silver is so important in the Cognitive Realm and so hard to get there that it's expensive? Is silver not enough, and it needs to be alloyed with a godmetal? Maybe, but then you'd think they'd be exceedingly rare. Is it a magical device, like a fabrial, that does something with silver? I doubt it, it's a simple chain, unless it's some woven form-based magic. I personally think it's most likely to create a barrier in the cognitive realm that purely cognitive entities can't pass without a physical body, essentially the Cognitive equivalent of what aluminum does in the Spiritual Realm (and credit to First_Midnight for putting in that way). It basically stops investiture in the Cognitive Realm from affecting things in the physical realm. That's why shades can't pass it without attacking and weakening the silver - they are actually destroying the silver's cognitive aspect, and then the silver in the Physical Realm is useless in stopping the shade from injecting its investiture into you and it transforming your physical aspect. That's why silver will stop the withering - under this theory, the shade attacks you with its corrupted investiture in the Cognitive Realm, and putting silver on it prevents that investiture from affecting you in the Physical Realm. The investiture that's been attacking you is returned to the CR and blocked from affecting you again. That could be why people in Silverlight would use them, they're safe as they have a physical aspect, but Cognitive-only beings couldn't penetrate the barrier and any investiture being used on you not work. And maybe that's why the necklace is so expensive, because that could make it hard to get silver into the Cognitive Realm through a perpendicularity. But so how useful can it be if shades just burn through it? Well, the answer is, I think, that the chain is not the cognitive aspect of silver in the Physical Realm, but is actually silver brought into the Cognitive Realm, And would actually be impassable by investiture, unlike silver in the Physical Realm, which just puts up a temporary cognitive barrier. Which is why it's rare and expensive, answering the chain question. I'm still not entirely sure I have the mechanics right, in terms of how a necklace may protect you entirely, or in terms of silver's effect in the Cognitive Realm. Love your views. Especially as I got tired of writing this and burned through the last but important parts And I'll leave you with some ridiculousness. The name Silverlight? What if it's actually silver, to keep Cognitive incursions out. The city's walls are made of silver that is fully in the Cognitive Realm.
  7. He really could've. It was a fascinating form of honor and telling of his original character that he simply didn't think he deserved it. Now we only need Vasher to teach Ash, heal her guilt Though does make me wonder why vasher, who killed his wife to stop knowledge of awakened sapient blades getting out only to (already or soon) find out Vivenna has one that isn't a Nightmare, doesn't remove his memory of killing her. Maybe because he would have to remove all memory of her and doesnt want to.
  8. An often forgotten use of Awakening is to forget. The Shardcast discussed this on the Five Scholars episode but the confusion inspired me to post my theory on this. The commonly assumed answer is a type of self awakening that creates a copied portion of the soul with Breath, that overlays on the real soul (like Forgery) and effectively excludes that memory. Well at least that was my previous theory and I think others. Go with it if you will. But as always I like the out-of-the-box ideas. We know that Awakening is unusual in that it can be powered by any investiture. (Relevant part in italics) We also know this from Vasher keeping his Divine Breath secured with Stormlight. You may already see where I'm going. It will use any investiture, including your own soul. So I propose that the Command to forget is simply a Command that makes the awakening draw on the investiture that makes up that part of the spiritweb that contains that memory, as fuel. What the Awakening achieves is irrelevant. What's relevant is that you no longer have that memory because the investiture that comprised it is eaten. Kind of like...you guessed it...hemalurgy. Well And in case you wonder how memories could be investiture, a Keeper does just that, converts memories into investiture to put into a metalmind. TLDR Awakening can feed on any investiture so the command to awaken, like excising part of the spiritweb like hemalurgy does, is a command that fuels itself with the investiture that the part of the spiritweb that stores that memory is made from. Footnote If memories are cognitive not spritual, my backup argument is that even if they're cognitive the cognitive aspect is for now made of investiture so it would be that instead of using the investiture in the spirit web as fuel you use the investiture that comprises that part of the cognitive aspect that forms the memory. Either way you're removing the memory by removing the investiture
  9. @Argent i proposed a similar thing before OB but within a rambling theory about Honor being invested in Braize and having to essentially go back there when the heralds go to roshar. Rubbish in retrospect but the point your making i agree with relating to weakening the prison instead To quote my lesser self
  10. As foretold, I dig it. It echoes some things I've said, some things I've thought, some things that were in my head but i never actively thought about, and some things that hadn't occurred to me. I think your ashynite connection is the weakest as it really came down to an infusion of investiture, which other systems also have on other shardworlds. Most of them in fact. I would draw attention to Ishar being called Binder of Gods before he was a Herald as an example of why I agree the old Ashyn system was a form of voidbinding. But i don't have much more explanation than you anyway. All in all a great summary of what we know or can figure out alongside some great extra observations, even if I'm not entirely convinced of all aspects of your framework.
  11. Not a bad Crusade But seriously great update dude, must've been such a blast!
  12. My working theory had been that it happened close to, but after, the Recreance using either an honorblade or a skybreaker, but could be before with any radiant. But it would be a startling thing to get away with with radiants around.
  13. Kurth is in Rira where I think they stole the oathgate from. And yeah there are two oathgate spren which is the complication. But I figure maybe one was torn away and screaming back at its mate. Or both and they combine to form Cusicesh.
  14. Cusicesh fascinates me. A giant spren that appears at the same time every day with dozens of changing male and female faces. I've wondered if its a bondsmith spren that suffered an oathbreaking, or an unmade that got damaged, or an adonalsium spren that got messed up. But an idea I had recently that fits a surprising amount of evidence is that Cusicesh is an Oathgate spren. So I'll call it a hypothesis rather than full theory. "What are you raving about Extesian", I hear you ask, "the Oathgate in Iri is in Rall Elorim". It is. Which is why my hypothesis is that Cusicesh is the result of the Iri stealing the Rira Oathgate. Iri has often had a somewhat domineering relationship with Rira. Iri has two major cities, Rall Elorim and Kasitor. What a wonderful thing it would be to have Oathgates in your two major cities. So they stole the Riran one. Oathgates have oathgate spren in the corresponding Cognitive Realm location that control the gate. What may happen if you physical moved an Oathgate from one physical realm location to another? The spren would presumably not move in the Cognitive Realm. So what happens when you activate the gate then? I'm not sure but something that could happen is the gate malfunctions and traps the spren in some kind of limbo, or perhaps separates one from the other. Either way it causes some kind of short circuit. And say there are a few hundred people standing on that oathgate platform at the time it is activated. People that are about to effectively pop in and out of investiture to teleport. Perhaps they are trapped in some kind of limbo state. Where is the Rira Oathgate supposed to be? Kurth. And where does Cusicesh face? Origin, Axies says. Directly eastward. But what is also directly eastward of Kasitor? Yeah you guessed it. Kurth. TLDR Iri stole the Rira Oathgate and put it in Kasitor. As the spren remained in Kurth in the CR, when Iri activated the gate it short circuited, trapping one of the Kurth oathgate spren, and all the people being transported, in a hideous loop, like a ghost, looking out at the same time each day toward the place in the CR where the oathgate is supposed to be. I know it's a hypothesis looking for evidence, but I think there's some and I think its a fun idea.