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Thought last won the day on December 6 2012

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  1. The nice thing about SoS is that I actually want Wax and Steris to end up together, now. Not exactly a ship, since they're betrothed in the books, but close enough.
  2. KC, the blood coating bit was in SoS.
  3. Beard, the problem there is that Harmony does seem to be disturbed by his inabiluity to track down Paalm (and Wax downright has the heebie jeebies). To wit, from Chapter 7: Sazed seems genuinely confounded by his inability to track Paalm. Argent, I would note that Sazed separates his inability to track Paalm from the fact that she has only one spike. He doesn't attribute the former to the latter. If it was just the lack of two spikes that was making it difficult, shouldn't Sazed at least be able to realize that that was the cause? Additionally, Sazed isn't just having trouble finding her: he is having trouble keeping track of her once found. He can spot her, occasionally, but then she is able to slip away from his attention/gaze/knowledge. It seems like if the one-spike just made her hard to find, Sazed should still be able to follow her once found. Since he can, it appears that there is more at work.
  4. Ah, quite right. Apparently when I was reviewing that section, I just hadn't read far enough into the aftermath. Looks like "trellium" spikes, specifically (seeing as they appeared to be red).
  5. Only sort of. It was heavily implied that, as the governor, Paalm had been intentionally destabilizing society: all those months of corruption were her, not the human. That was never definitively proven, though, so it's possible that the governor was still human at that point. There is a further problem with Paalm only having one spike the entire time (but merely switching it out): that gives us three oddities that we have to use Trellium to explain: 1) Paalm is able to hide from Harmony (unusually so) 2) Paalm can utilize telepathy via hemalurgic spike. 3) Paalm is notably not totes cray-cray. Hiding from Harmony seems like a reasonable side effect of using a non-Atium, non-Lerasium, non-Sazedium godmetal: it's a power he has no control over, and a substance he doesn't understand. It'd be like Preservation trying to find someone through atium. (though I have a suggestion about this that I'll discuss at the end). Telepathy, however, doesn't seem like a side effect, but rather a primary effect: it is the power that the spike grants (given that Spikes themselves don't grant powers, only those with a charge stolen from someone else, I would wager this means that the telepathy was stolen from something else, possibly meaning that we know an allomantic power that burning Trellium produces). However, MeLaan and Harmony act like Paalm must be crazy as an inherent and unavoidable side effect of having just one spike. To them, one-spike = crazy. Yet, everything we see indicates that Paalm is perfectly rational (her plan is incredibly meticulous and well-thoughtout). Indeed, is has one spike and is thus crazy, wouldn't giving her another spike (such as at the end) make her sane? As there is no indication at the end that she suddenly became sane, the indication there is that she always was. So if Paalm only had one, Trellium, spike, then that spike is hiding her from Sazed, giving her telepathy, AND making her sane. That is a lot more than we've seen any other metal do, so much more that I am dubious of it. But in contrast, if she had two spikes, then the Trellium spike is only doing two things (hiding her and giving her telepathy). Still a stretch compared to what we've see otherwise, but not so far of a stretch. I would like to briefly mention two additional possibilities related to trellium and communication. The first is that the Trellium spike may actually be a trellium/atium alloy. Why? Paalm displays severaI Ruin-like powers: an innate knowledge of hemalurgy, hemalurgic communication, and the ability to control others with hemalurgic spikes (a necessity for all the other people who had to help her for her plan to succeed). It might be simplest to group all those together under a single power. In turn, a trellium/lerasium alloy would have given one an innate knowledge of allomancy, the ability to hear thoughts, etc. The second (and at odds with the one above) is that we may have actually seen trellium interact with all three of the metalic arts. In Hemalurgy, it allows a construct to use allomantic powers, which is a new thing to the system. In allomancy, it allows one to project one's thoughts (hence, Paalm was actually using a hemalurgic spike of a trelliumm misting), which is also a new thing. And in feruchemy, it allows one to store whatever attribute that allows a Shard to see/find you, hencea third new thing. The nice thing here is that the trellium hemalurgic spike could have been doing all the unusual things we see it doing based on the magic systems we already know about. Anywho, just a thought.
  6. Random question, but do we know for sure that they even have a spike? From what TenSoon had said (Paalm doesn't just murder, she Ruins), I had assumed that these were what happened when someone was spiked in such a way that they were able to survive. That is, these were the people Paalm had stolen all her various powers from.
  7. Since aluminum doesn't interfer with feruchemy (it stores Identity), I doubt it would interfer with hemalurgy. However, just as an allomancer shouldn't be able to push or pull on an aluminum metal mind (since we already know that they can't with non-metalmind aluminum), I doubt that an allomancer could push or pull on an aluminum hemalurgic spike. The spike wouldn't grant emotional allomancy defense, since it seems that the user needs to... well, they need to have a tinfoil hat, and a spike is not a hat. As for if duralumin is immune to pushes and pulls, why should it be? We know that not all alloys are, and that without evidence to the contrary, it seems most reasonable to treat it like any other random alloy (that is, not immune to pushes and pulls). If anything, I'd guess that it would make pushes and pulls stronger (though I am dubious that Sanderson would make things quite so symetrical). The real question is: is the aluminum that the Vanishers use burnable by a mistborn/aluminum gnat (my guess is yes)? And also, does chromium block allomancy as well?
  8. Two points: The fibonacci sequence is closely related to music. Not only does it form the foundation of how we separate musical notes (13 notes in a span of an octative, scales are composes of 8 notes, the 5th and 3rd of which create the foundation of chords, etc), but also in how we arrange musical (and actual) time. There have been composers who have specifically included these concepts in their art, and even those who have not have often produced works in which this sequence (and the golden ratio) are important. Supposedly, many insruments are also constructed with the Golden Ratio in mind. So, yes, it makes sense that a shape related to the fibonacci spiral would affect sound. Second, there may also be a connection to the Quadrivium. These are part of the old classification of the Liberal Arts. It comprised arithmatics, geometry, astronomy, and music. The first three have already been displayed as being important to rithmatics: it would make sense for the 4th to have a greater role than had previously been known. Of course, none of that means that the Line of Silence is actually related to a fibonacci spiral, but a closer look at the later makes a good argument for it. Based on what we know about the other Rithmatic Lines (save those of Making), they are closely tied to geometry, so we should expect the Line of Silence (and Revocation) to do likewise. The Golden Ratio in turn produces the Golden Triangle, which looks to be important for Lines of Warding and bind point. The same Golden Ratio produces a Golden Spiral, which may be the basis of the Line of Silence. The conundrum comes, though, from the two spirals per segment of the Line of Silence. For that, I have no idea.
  9. A good shot, but chapter 1 seems to disprove this theory. In it, even Joel is surprised that the lines he drew don't come to life: yes, he "knows" he's not a Rithmatist, but in that moment he was so drawn up into his own story that he forgot, and then felt foolish for forgetting afterwards. If the above theory was correct, then he should have been able to accidentally draw a Rithmatic line.
  10. Oh look, someone recently reread the Rithmatist and is now going around necroing old threads to talk about ideas... Now that I've hung a lantern on what I'm doing, let's get down to prognosticating. Insofar as we accept that some entity consciously decides if a child should become a Rithmatist or not, it seems that Joel was not selected for the same reason that Fitch gave him a talking to: he's a bully. He's a good kid, don't get me wrong, but his character flaw is still that, if given a bit of power, he's going to be tempted to flaunt it and abuse others. Why, then, did an entity appear to him at all? (I think we're all agreed that the entity doesn't appear to every child). Because he's highly talented, and good, but simply not good enough. This is what Nalizar was confused about: Joel clearly would have been a very powerful Rithmatist, so why didn't he get chosen? The reason being that where a Forbidden sees ability, the entity saw liability, just as Fitch saw liability in Joel. The advantage here is that, just as Fitch said that Joel still has the opportunity to become a good man, Joel still has the opportunity to become good enough to become a Rithmatist. This also explains why Inception occurs at the age of 8. Children that age are fairly dichotomic (well, trichotomic): they're either spoiled, neutral (the vast majority), or good, but there is very little middle ground between those categories, so the entity will usually only appear to children that are thought to be good enough (rather than those in an awkward middle). And the rare ones who see something but don't become a rithmatist? Aesthetics, visionaries, indigo children, daydreamers, spiritual people! Certainly, respectable adults wouldn't listen to the ramblings of a few odd children, and as those children grow up being told that their experiences were imaginary, they'd start to believe it. Notably, this can also explain the curious case of the Muns family: there's no genetic (aka "nature") component to becoming a rithmatist, but her parents may be raising consistently good children (aka, "nurture"). Although she doesn't like her family, the main charge against them seems to be that they are too awesome and Melody feels overshadowed. Of course, the problem with specifically choosing children at age 8 to become Rithmatists, based on their character, is that character can change a lot over childhood. It's easier to keep Inception a secret, sure, as the selection process can be more cut and dry, but it's harder to ensure that truly good people will become Rithmatists. *** On a slightly different, but still related topic, I would also like to propose that the entity that Joel encountered is not a Shadowblaze. I think that the entity is likely still related to becoming a Rithmatist, but that Shadowblazes are themselves something completely different. First, since no one has mentioned it, The Narrative of the Captivity and the Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (in ch 21) has relevant sections of text: "It did watch. That deep, terrible blackness. Something from the Depths themselves. The shape wiggling, shaking, like a pitch-black fire sketched in charcoal." Compare this to what we see later, when Harding is cornered (ch 24): "Joel could see the creature's shadow begin to shake and twist. The shadow fuzzed, coming to look as if it were drawn in charcoal." These two passages, for all appearances, are describing the same creatures. In contrast, the creature that Joel saw (ch 22) was described as: "The thing behind him was brilliant white. It stood as high as Joel did, and was in the shape of a man--but a very thin one, with spindly arms and only a curved line for a head. It held was appeared to be a crude bow in one hand." Of these clearly different creatures, which ones sound most like a blaze of shadows? Keep in mind that the only person who called the white-chalk-man a Shadowblaze is Joel himself, and he by his own admission doesn't know much about the topic. He believes that it was a shadowblaze because that is the name of chalk entities he found in a book. However, there's no clear indicator that the book was only talking about the Inception Chamber or the ceremony itself. Joel, like most people, believes that becoming a Rithmatist requires those things, but then, we know that King George didn't have them and became a Rithmatist regardless. If we know this, certainly Rithmatists themselves know this, and so a scholar would likely talk about the process apart from the temporal trappings. There is a slight issue with this interpretation, however. Fitch, upon seeing the Scribbler, recognizes it as a Forgotten but says "And attached to Harding! I wasn't aware that was possible." Fitch is a scholar of rithmatics, so if a Forgotten is the same as a Shadowblaze, and a Shadowblaze can be bound to a vessel, then Fitch should have known that it was possible for a Forgotten to attach to a human. There are several possible explanations, though. The first, and most simple, is that scholars don't know everything. In fact, they usually know their narrow field very well, but are quite ignorant on the rest. Fitch's specialty is the history of rithmatics, not theoretical classifications of rithmatic creatures or now Inception occurs. The second is that Fitch wasn't aware that a wild shadowblaze/Forgotten could bind itself to a human: the book indicates that a bindagent is involved, so Fitch might well have assumed that creatures of Nebrask lacked such a thing. The third, of course, being that Forgotten are not actually Shadowblazes. As a final note in this topic before moving on, the White Chalk Man Thing (or chalklord, if you will) seems to be a reference to the cliff drawings of "Zona Arida" that we hear about earlier in the book, and those in turn the petroglyphs found in real-world Arizona. Personally, I found the chalklord's description to be reminiscent of drawings of Kokopelli (a particular character found in those petroglyphs). *** This, though, finally gets us to the quote that was discussed so much in this thread: (Ch 12) "The chaining of a Shadowblaze, fourth entity removed, is an often indeterminable process, and the bindagent should consider wisely the situation before making any decision regarding the vessels to be indentured" There's been some disagreement over what this sentence means, but a simple grammatical examination makes it a little clearer. There are two independent clauses and a single dependent clause. That dependent clause -- fourth entity removed -- is what has given people a lot of befuddlement, however in the context the only type of dependent clause it could be is an adjectival one. That is, the entire dependent clause (not just part of it) describes what a shadowblaze is. So, "fourth entity removed" doesn't mean that the fourth entity has been removed from the shadowblaze, but that the shadowblaze IS the "fourth entity removed." As kinxer suggested above (but, alas, discarded), the meaning is most likely similar to the removedness of a relative. There seem to be a wide variety of entities involved in Rithmatics, so a shadowblaze is just a member of a category that is defined as being separated from some central object, person, or concept by a particular degree. To illustrate, let's imagine that Socrates is that central thing (a philosopher nonce removed, as it were). Plato, then, as his student, would be a philosopher once removed. However, Xenophon, as a student of Socrates, would also be a philosopher once removed, yet he's not the same at Plato. So we might say that Plato is a first philosopher removed, whereas Xenophon is a second philosopher removed. Aristotle, in such a situation and as the student of Plato, might be a first philosopher twice removed. And so on. So, the book may have been taking about all sorts of entities in all sorts of stages of removedness and how they relate to Inception. In such a case, Joel assumed that Shadowblazes were the things being bound in Inceptions, whereas the book was referring to the possibility (or past experiments) binding it. Or the 4th entity removed class may itself be comprised of subclasses (one of which including the Forgotten), only some of which are used in creating new Rithmatists. *** Moving on slightly, I find the last section of that quote to be of particular interest: "vessels to be indentured." This indicates that there is a contract between the shadowblaze and vessel (and possibly the bindagent). That certainly fits with the idea of Rithmatists being bound to serve in Nebrask (they are essentially indentured, a state that they pay off by serving in the military there). However, referring to a child as a vessel and something to be indentured indicates that Rithmatists are being controlled by something else (it could just be the professional field itself, though, not necessarily chalklings). Additionally, it's curious that others haven't latched onto the "indeterminable" aspect of the process. We have two Rithmatic examples of what, exactly, that means. Namely, Exton and Melody. Exton can't control his chalklings, while Melody has paranormally good control. The indeterminable aspect of the process seems to indicate that a poor match would result in an underpowered (and potentially dangerous) rithmatist, whereas a good match would result in a powerful pairing. This, then, also means that Exton is proof that anyone can be a rithmatist, but that not everyone can be a good rithmatist. Joel, then, could certainly be a Rithmatist. It's just a question of what sort of Rithmatist he'd be. *** Now for a few tangents that may be related: It is seems odd that no one noticed the Scribbler's activities before Joel. If there are a set number of rithmatists in the world, and one must die before a new one can be made, and the Church is the only organization in the world that can make new rithmatists, then the Church should have noticed what the Scribbler was doing by a decrease in the rates of new rithmatists being made. On average, the death rate of Rithmatists should be steady year to year, so in turn the rate of new rithmatists should be steady year to year. Assuming that the Scribbler was effective at trapping Rithmatists, the rates of new ones should have declined just as the death rate of Rithmatists was declining. Of course, it may have simply been that not enough Rithmatists had been captured at that point, or that not enough time had passed for a trend to be noticeable. Or, it might be that while there is a limit to the number of rithmatists, there might not be a steady limit (if Rithmatists must bind chalklords of shadowblazes, that would be a limit, but if those things reproduce, that limit in turn would increase each year). Finally, assuming that Shadowblazes are normally bound to humans to make them into Rithmatists, and Forgotten are a class of Shadowblazes that lead wild chalkings, the entire war may have actually started because of the rise of Rithmatists. If humans went in, bound Shadowblazes, that might have upset the other Shadowblazes who in turn led the Chalkings against humans. Alternately, the Shadowblazes and their ilk may hunt and feed off of the chalklords: humans binding with chalklords protests the latter, thereby depriving the Shadowblazes of food (or, at least, their preferred food, since it seems that they are quite happy to eat people, too).
  11. Cool beans. So Brandon's almost certainly in a position to know these aspects of Nebraskan heritage.
  12. What is it with chalk? Nebraska, my dear two-year-old-question, Nebraska is what is with it. Nebraska (which I think we are all agreed largely correlates with Nebrask in the books) is famous for its fossils, and those fossils come from the Niobrara chalk. That is a North American only geological formation that was created back when most of the continent was covered in water (sound familiar?). In general, Nebraska has a lot of excellent chalk mines. Now, the Niobrara chalk covers most of North America, but its Type Locality (the place where it was first discovered) was Nebraska. Knox country, specifically. Know what else is in Nebraska? The Pawnee Amerindians, who were excellent astronomers, and astronomy itself is the basis of time keeping (which, as we've seen, is important to the Rithmatic world). What more, they believed in the nahurac, spirit animals created by the supreme being and which could grant magical powers to humans. Now I'm not saying that these are Shadowblazes, but I will imply it. Okay, some of this is oversimplification, and there's probably some random coincidence, but there seems to be a curious number of similarities between the real world Nebraska and the mythos of the Rithmatist.
  13. Who said it is immune to investiture? We know that Allomantic pushes and pulls don't work on it, nor do riots or soothings, but Feruchemists can still store "identity" in it, and an aluminum spike can still steal allomantic enhancement powers. Curiously, it seems that aluminum is resistant to external forms of allomancy, but not internal ones: that is probably just the result of sample bias, though if we expand the "principle," aluminum might not be able to be lashed, but perhaps it could be used in half-shards. Well, it's noted that the guards are brittle when they aren't attached to a shardblade: presumably, that means a shardblade can easily cut a guard that is not attached to another shardblade (and even if not, a normal sword would certainly do that in). Curiously, though, if the guards are brittle, then either there were a lot extra produced back in the day, or they are a more recent creation (brittle means they don't survive the long years of history overly well, especially if enough are breaking for people to realize that they break when off a blade but not on one).
  14. Given that Odium's name is Rayse, it is fairly unlikely that Cultivations name would be anything similar. Basic "rule" of writing: similar names get confusion, so it is best to avoid having character names start with the same letter or sound. Of course, writers have a tendency to break rules, but usually only when there is a purpose and reason behind it. Thus, if Cultivation's name is anything like Rysha, there would probably be significance in it being so close to Rayse (of course, this is also an argument that Ryshadium being similar to Rayse is intentional as well, although the difference between a horse-like-creature and a shard might be big enough on its own to render this meta-argument moot). As a side note, I'd like to point out that the ryshadium also have most of "Odium"'s name in them. But to propose a connection from that to Odium might be a bit like saying that wolfsbane is a canid. Now for my own baseless theory, if Ryshadium get their name from Cultivation's own name, I will thus conclude that Cultivation and Odium used to be brother and sister (hence the similar names).
  15. Perhaps it would be better to ask, what could scholarform possibly grant over dullform other than different mental capabilities? Or to put it another way, what doesnimble form offer that scholarform doesn't need? As each form is clearly related to the others, we can assume that they are variations on a basic parshendi shape. Nimbleform is one variation, as it scholarform, but it seems to be important to recognize that they are not variations on one another, but rather separate variations on that basic form. Nimbleform isn't just delicate hands (even workform has that) or a freer mind, so we might conclude that the nimble name refers to body as well and brain. In short, they probably look more like the parshendi equivalent of dancers, gymnasts, or the sort. They add tone and litheness to the base form. Scholarform probably has decent manual dexterity, and a freer mind, but what physical changes over a base form would they need? We might conclude that they would be scrawny (to reduce their metabolic needs), but they could just as easily be fat or soft. In short, there's a good chance that scholarform looks more like dullform (or whatever the "basic form" would be) than nimbleform.