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  1. Not quite true, there was also the one that Hoid rode on into the Well of Acsension in The Secret History. We don't know who they were and what happened to them, but still. Also, my understanding is that TLR as a Sliver could have chosen to hang around indefinitely after his death, he just didn't. Ditto Leras and Ati. But what about the chosen Heroes who took the power of the Well prior to Alendi/TLR? IIRC, Sanderson indicated that there were some.
  2. Late to the party, but here are my 2 clearchips : I think that for the people who have have bonded a spren of their own, which surge they learn first and are ultimately better at (which is not the same thing) is influenced as much or more by their personality and circumstances as by their Order. For instance, Jasnah was concealing her powers* and for a somewhat public person like her a rookie mistake when experimenting with Transportation couldn't have been as easily explained and obfuscated as the one involving Soulcasting, once she had her soulcaster prop. She also hasn't "mastered" Soulcasting despite probably being at her 4th Oath - her soulcasting of food still leaves much to be desired. Lift was a child thief, so of course the Friction surge was more immediately useful to her - OTOH, she hasn't "mastered" it either, far from it, as demonstrated at the Battle of Thaylenah, while she was able to cure a mortal wound/return a person who just died to life pretty much right off the bat. She also used Growth at her 1st Oath and Regrowth at her 2nd, so. Kaladin was using Gravitation even before his 1st Oath - and I think that the fact that he was using it subconsciously only empathises the fact that he was very much Gravitation-attuned from the start. After all, both Ym and Stump also started to use Regrowth subconsciously - and as they were both into charity works, it is easy to see that they needed it more than Illumination. etc. I am also fairly sure that if Ehlokar had lived, _he_ would have been better at Transformation than Lightweaving. He even said to Shallan something along the lines that "a good ? transforms himself" before setting out for the Palace. However! I think that "the Primary surge" does apply to the Radiant squires, in that all squires only have access to one Surge of their Order, with the Windrunner ones being the exception due to the "Strength of the Squires" Resonance. Which would be consistent with both Szeth's experiences in OB and the WoB provided by @Pathfinder. *Which is why I also expect that Venli is going to use Cohesion rather than Transportation early on despite being a Willshaper, as she is operating undercover. As to the Bondsmiths, I agree with @Calderis that they are a special case. In fact, didn't the Stormfather say as much in OB? IMHO, in exchange for their small numbers, lack of shardblades and IMHO, but yet unconfirmed, lack of squires, as well as a somewhat lackluster combination of surges, they get a really souped-up Resonance or possibly even more than one. "Yours is the power of Connection", etc.
  3. The same is true of Gravitation. In fact, I have been wondering if Ehlokar's first instinct couldn't have been right - if Kaladin and his guys attacking the Oathgate immediately - which was absolutely an option, wouldn't have been better than the extended reconaissance that they engaged in. It would depend on whether the corruption of the Oathgate spren was already complete when their group arrived at Kholinar, or not. Soulcasting (as demonstrated by that nameless diagrammist with the soulcaster who acquired Szeth for Taravangian), Cohesion and probably Division could do it as well. Fortifications just aren't much use against surge-binders. As seen in Dalinar's flashbacks, they didn't offer that much protection against skilled normal shardbearers either. As to your envisioned uses of Transportation in aerial battle, Skybreakers can do it so much easier by just filling the area with Division. no need for ridicoulous pin-point accuracy and lightning reflexes that your scenario requires. I also imagine that locations of the Oathgates are places easiest to Transport _to_ on Roschar for some reason, since judging by Jasnah's experience it looks likely that transporting _away_ is generally easier.
  4. Here is a recent WoB pertinent to this discussion: So, the situation is somewhat more complicated than Kaladin was aware of/anknowledged before his stint in Kholinar in OB. Though, of course iRL it was also possible to straight out buy into nobility or be rewarded with a title for service, which the eye-color system doesn't allow. And anyway, it seems like the military is where the caste herarchy is most rigidly maintained. Not that there aren't plenty of common soldiers who are light-eyed, or that the darkeyes don't serve in elite mixed companies like the Cobalt Guard or the Palace Guard, at least after the Kholin unification, but the darkeyes can never be in command over lighteyes. All of this is about to change, of course, and Renarin serving under Kaladin in Bridge 4 already made a precedent.
  5. There are some details on Sanderson's page and I would be grateful if somebody translates what they mean: I was toying with the idea of going, but since there was zero information from the store until now(?) and I'd have to travel for hours, it is most probably too late for that.
  6. Actually, the newest reading (from Tel Aviv) proves the opposite: Neither Nale nor Kalak have been working with Gavilar - they were just learning about what he was doing concerning smuggling things from Braize in this scene. And while Kalak wants to know more and admits that he wants out, Nale cuts him off and broadly hints that Gavilar is not long for this world. That's not to say that Nale isn't a hypocrite, as he indeed is, just not about this. I don't know about that. Apparently, he needed Ishar's "guidance" to make this decision. Additionally, if he wanted to die for real, he had a perfect tool in his posession - Nightblood. In fact, it seems to me that he had been setting Szeth up to kill him eventually, but Nale could have also just suicided if his main goal was to escape more torture. Also, would the Heralds even be drawn back to Braize if they died after breaking the Oathpact? Is it feasible that none of them died in the 4.5 millenia, despite some of them, like Jezrien and Shalash, pursuing rather unsafe lifestyles? There were 2 women in the gathering that Eshonai stumbled on in OB prologue. The old one could have been Adrotagia, but the younger was somebody else, presumably brought in by Gavilar. It may or may not have been Aesudan, who was also involved in some way. So why her and not the brilliant, heretical Jasnah, who wouldn't have been too shocked by any of Gavilar's revelations? I mean, apart from everything else Aesudan was likely just 19-20 at the time. Also, I see no particular misogyny in Ehlokar being the heir - as far as we know there never were queens or ruling High Princesses in Alethkar and Jah Keved, and a conqueror's heir is always in a dangerous enough position that any sensible person would try to avoid the additional risk of them also being a wholly untraditional choice. OTOH, by the same logic it was customary for the Vorin women to be scholars and scientists - and Gavilar certainly was in need of those for his undertaking. Helaran got the shards for a reason. It isn't like every Skybreaker acolyte is provided with them. And why would he have targeted Amaram on his own, specifically? It suddenly occurs to me that poor Tien had extra bad luck to get conscripted in that particular army, because Skybreakers likely kept an eye on Amaram, at least through their agents, which led to his quick discovery. Not according to what we have seen from Shallan's and his own PoVs in WoR. He was tasked by the Sons of Honor with finding Urithiru and actually did some solid work in that direction, that later helped Shallan to accomplish it. Yes? The Heralds are also "trained soldiers" and highly Invested, but they didn't notice Navani. Nale's highspren must have been doing something else somewhere else, instead of guarding them from eavesdroppers. As to who gave Gavilar Breaths - the same people who made those trips to Braize for him. The worldhoppers that he had been working with. Who I strongly suspect to have been Ghostbloods. Their interest in Sja-Anat at the end of OB would fit well with it. And who is talking about the 5th Heightening? The 1st one gives you better health, an extra decade of life, increased life-sense and an aura so weak that it wouldn't be properly detected by a non-Nalthian, like in this very prologue! This is Nale's view of things in OB after he received Ishar's "guidance". However, it has recently occurred to me that Odium's agreement to the battle of champions "for the fate of Roshar" is the ultimate legal proof that he hasn't conquered _yet_. And it may be the very reason why the one-year lull between books 3 and 4 with Nale and the Skybreakers seemingly passive during all this time is even possible. Anyway, my current theory about Gavilar is that he was working with a number of different people and groups, none of which were privy to his plans in their entirety. At least some of them had to be worldhoppers and IMHO it is highly likely that they were Ghostbloods. Certainly, this would explain how Gavilar could have acquired so much Cosmere knowledge so quickly. He also knew the name of the Ghostblood leader in his assassination scene and judging by his words, he has done something that he knew Thaidakar didn't approve of. The last few sentences raise the question of where the rest of Gavilar's spheres from this scene are now. We only know about the 2. Did Nale steal the rest? Is it why Gavilar was so desperate that "_they_ must not get it" during his death scene? Certainly, it would be out of character for Nale to leave such dangerous stuff just lying around - and in Edgedancer he didn't connect the voidspren to Gavilar, so he must have believed that he got them all? There is also at least one unidentified person who was present in Gavilar's meeting with Taravangian that Eshonai blundered on - the other "soldier". We have good guesses as to who the 2 women are, but no confirmation. What happened to all the other bit characters in this prologue, I wonder? I really hope that some of them pop up in the present narrative. A couple of minor details: Oh, and we really should have seen peak fashionista Adolin here! The kingdom isn't at war - so why is he in uniform? This whole close connection to the tailor in Oathbringer and Adolin's general reputation as a clothershorse is one of the examples of "tell, don't show" plaguing SoA. The mere sight of Dalinar makes Navani all hot and bothered, heh.
  7. Thanks, @Wander89! Anyway, it suddenly occurred to me that this meeting happened _before_ Gavilar's talk with Eshonai, but the Parshendi had already acquired Szeth. Which only strengthens my conviction that Nale was the one who arranged that particular shopping trip through his spren and was fully expecting both that Gavilar would approach the Parshendi with his offer and their reaction. Kalak only knows of Shalash's presence, hm... Which still doesn't preclude Liss from also being a Herald, though. After all, he doesn't seem to know that Jezrien is also around. Of course, Nale could have also just blackmailed her into selling Szeth. In Jasnah's prologue Liss did seem very aware that something big was going to happen before it did, however. So, my money is still on Herald Liss! Eagle-eyed people on the stormlight reddit have also noticed that Gavilar being the one who somehow detected Navani, plus the "aura" that she so cavalierly dismisses as anything supernatural are indications of him having some Breath and I can only agree.
  8. So, thanks to @AviH we have a bit more of the prologue, revealing the identities of "ambassadors from the West": and it looks like some of my guesses here have been confirmed: I also take this: as confirmation that Nale was at the very least aware of the impending assassination. I only wonder why it took him so long to send somebody to take care of Amaram, after Gavilar name-dropped him here. After all, Amaram had been fighting in military skirmishes for years after Gavilar's death and before Helaran came for him and it is completely lawful to kill a person on the battlefield. Maybe it wasn't the first attempt and Amaram had been good enough to survive previous ones? Also, an interesting insight into Gavilar's motivations re: keeping Navani out of it. He didn't think that she could handle it, heh. Well, Sanderson did describe her as "orthodox Vorin" in his WoBs, though I'd argue that her nonchalance in the face of the news that the Almighty was dead kinda belies this description. But why did he exclude Jasnah? @Wander89: Would it be possible to edit the title of this thread in something more generally referring to book 4 prologue readings? We can start a new thread, of course, but there is a lot of good discussion already here.
  9. Filling gems with stormlight? While what happened at Thaylenah was unique, there is a WoB that the Bondsmiths of old had been able to do so as well, in a more limited way. I underlined the pertinent quotes: And it would make sense to me if only those bonded to the SF had this ability, given that Stormlight is pure Honor's investiture, so it would be inconsistent if the Nightwatcher or even the Sibling could channel it. I assume that they provide something else to their bondmates instead. I imagine that all Godspren are plugged into Rosharan ecosystem in some way, so that the other 2 could have produced a similar effect, but seen from a different perspective. there is also this concerning Bondsmith power interactions with other Orders:
  10. Yea, I don't see common people having domestic appliance fabrials in a near future. Things will develop similar to how they did iRL, IMHO - i.e. industrial and business use first. Heating fabrial require big rubies, which are both expensive and need to be guarded against theft, so I don't see them in homes, other than those of the powerful and the wealthy. But, in the public baths or in a large laundry establishment? Yes, absolutely. They won't. Railways or roads suitable for high-speed ground transport aren't feasible in eastern Roshar because of the highstorms. But Navani already has ideas about flying ships, which would allow them to circumvent this limitation. Yes, and flying ships - or to begin with even barges floating about a foot above the ground and towed by humans would replace and quickly exceed the use that they got out of parshmen as beasts of burden.
  11. I am not sure what you are alluding to. Additionally, we know that "modern" artifabrians have already invented a number of impressive new fabrials, but still can't produce any functioning soulcasters. There is zero indications that the Ghostbloods can, though they'd be well placed to find any lost artifacts. But why the Davars? It isn't like Shallan was the only budding Lightweaver on Roshar. Why would Ghostbloods would have fixated on her and not, say, Tien, who would have been much easier for them to acquire. And why the Unmade? Cosmere is not WoT, after all - while some things can be foreseen, they are just likelyhoods, rather than something rigidly predetermined. Shallan is important, sure, but she is not one true savior of their world - if the Ghostbloods had managed to get to any other incipient surgebinder before the Skybreakers did, they could have had one at their disposal long before Shallan regained her powers. And I don't think that they needed to go so far into the left field to have a spy among the nobility - on the copntrary, it is likely that they have many. For instance, Highprince Hatham may be associated with Ghostbloods, and if not he personally, then his obviously outworlder ardent almost certainly is. I don't remember Mraize hinting that he was particularly interested in Helaran - the Diagrammists at some point theorised that Helaran may have trained Shallan, for some reason. But that was after Shallan burst into prominence at the Shattered Plains, IIRC. But still very weird, if the Ghostblood information about him was correct. Thank you! So, this is settled from the horse's mouth - soulcasters are _very rare_ in Jah Keved and marble sells _at a premium_ - i.e. it is economically profitable to produce it, even via soulcasting and with quarrying and transport costs added. How large a number? Given that soulcasters are _very rare_ in Jah Keved and even rarer the farther west you go. Didn't Toh mention that they have none in Rira? I don't understand what you arguing here. The fact is, that despite Roshar being a hub of lively inter-world activity, the firearms have not been replicated so far. And a Rosharan attacked with a firearm would not know what hit them. And offworlder certainly could use them to advantage, provided there weren't too many witnesses around. A lot of magics also work perfectly normally off-world - the Metallic Arts, the Awakening, etc. Conveniently, the former don't require any foreign investiture and with the latter you can recover all of it back after use, if you are careful and don't make any Lifeless or Type IV Biochromatic entities. And both have lots of interesting applications, both in and outside of combat.
  12. IMHO, it is fairly likely that the Rathalas revelation will cause conflict with his sons - not sure if they are "main" enough for the purpose of this discussion. I also think that Dalinar will butt heads with Jasnah and Kaladin, though not necessarily about this. It is important to realise that pretty much everybody already believed that Dalinar burned Rathalas on purpose. The whole "accidental fire" explanation was just a fig leaf that nobody took seriously. The additional wrinkle of Evi getting caught in the conflagration isn't going to significantly change most people's opinion of him. Nah, this wouldn't make sense. Windrunners can't lead the Radiants, too many Orders are at cross purposes to them. It takes the Bondsmiths to keep all the disparate Order philosophies from deadlocking the Radiants into uselessness and to get them pointed more or less in the same direction - as we saw during the all-Radiant discussion in OB, where Jasnah and Kaladin immediately locked horns. Not to mention that Kaladin himself is far too inexperienced, idealistic and prone to run off on missions to be a decent candidate for overall leadership. In fact, this last feature of his makes me wonder how good he'd be at leading the Windrunners, once their membership diversifies a bit. He was already neglecting a lot of necessary organizational work as a captain in WoR and OB, which Teft, Sigzil, etc. had to haphazardly make up for. I guess we'll see him learning to deal with all these new responsibilities and evolve beyond the "squad leader" mindset in the upcoming books.
  13. They couldn't afford to do it, because they couldn't publicly admit that their father was dead, not necessarily because they couldn't scrape together the money, IIRC. They also lived relatively close to some city, because Jushu was going there to gamble. So the soulcaster ardent didn't have that far to travel. Or maybe they were themselves supposed to bring the body to the temple? This last actually makes more sense to me than sending out ardents with valuable artefacts to tempt the robbers or sending them out under enough escort for security. Did we learn what happened with Rillir Roshone's body? Or Wistiow's? I don't remember. Lin Davar was one of the 4 most significant men after the Highprince in his princedom, while the Hearthstone nobles were less important, IIRC, so it would be interesting to learn where the cut-off for this funerary practice happens. For that matter, would it have been done for his spouses or children? I somehow doubt that late Lady Davar, with her burned-out eyes was paraded before strangers in this way. I very much disagree with this. Both technology and magic from other cosmere planets would give them a wide variety of applications, from spying and stealing to quickly amassing riches. And it seems to me that firearams would shatter shardplate quite nicely, if they hit the same section of it a couple of times. Nor how many of them still function at full capacity. Kaza's soulcaster, after all, was supposed to have 3 modes, of which only one worked. They did have a member in place to babysit him, but yes. Which is very interesting in itself, since unlike some other household staff, Shallan didn't think about Luesh as a newcomer. So, this tatooed Ghostblood member (not a freelancer like Tyn!) was apparently placed in the Davar household years ago, for some reason? Before Lin had gone on his spending spree and they managed to secure his cooperation as a result? OTOH, I don't think that a marble-producing soulcaster would have been quite as valuable to Ghostbloods as to it was to normal Rosharans. They certainly have better ways to get rich quick than to set up such an operation. Not only that, but according to a WoB, the Davars also somehow attracted the special attention of an Unmade, to whose influence Lin succumbed, while his children were still putting up a struggle - likely due to Shallan's interventions. Wouldn't we all like to know why this relatively insignificant family somehow became a confluence of all these disparate interests? Was it just their location? Is something hidden on their lands that all these parties wanted? Or what? You'd think that they'd be able to find more suitable people for this than Lin Davar. He really wasn't a hot prospect as a political figurehead. Here is to hoping that the Davar boys getting reunited with Shallan will give us an opportunity to learn WTH was going on with this family.
  14. The problem here is that Sazed is opposed to hemalurgy even as of the 2nd Era, so why would he have done this? Also, the WoBs on whether spike-conferred Metallic Arts can be inherited are contradictory, with the newer ones leaning towards "no". And, of course, Sanderson always stresses in the WoBs how evil spiking somebody is and how it has bad consequences for the spikee's soul, which I personally find rather frustrating, because I don't see why with medallion or ettmetall-mediated healing spiking can't become something akin to donating a kidney or even the bone marrow. I.e. not something to be done casually, but still very worthwhile. Both to preserve and spread Metallic Arts and to allow the birth of new kandra. Frankly, I am somewhat perplexed why, when Harmony was remaking the surviving northeners anyway, he didn't make most of them into Ferrings. I mean, I see why making everybody an allomancer would have been frought, because it would have further unbalanced the Preservation-Ruin equation, but Feruchemy is neutral and it would have been very fitting for the Scadrians, created exclusively by these two Shards, to have it innately. And while Full Feruchemy is over-powerful and could have inhibited technological development, having just one power apiece not only wouldn't have had this effect, but likely would have jump-started the very line of inquiry that Harmony wanted them to follow. After all, the southeners also didn't arrive at their Metallic Arts magitech organically - Kelsier, who was a demigod at this point, just handed it's basic principles over to them. As to Allomancy, Sanderson could have just written that for people who have genes for both it and Feruchemy, Allomancy is normally dominant and supresses Feruchemy. Except for the rare flukes who become the Twinborn. Oh, well...
  15. It would depend on the circumstances - Kaza wasn't turning things into smoke 24/7. During Dalinar's campaign against the Herdazians he had only one soulcaster, which he held in reserve and actually mainly provisioned his army in conventional ways - which he specifically noted in his PoV. Veden kings may have wanted to keep prices on certain things high and demanded a healthy fee for the use of their soulcasters. Asking for a soulcaster to come to you may not have been all that feasible unless you lived in the capital - because they'd have needed to be payed for the inconveience, they'd have needed security escorts that also cost money, etc. And a king might not have agreed to it all, preferring the prestige of people coming to him. There is just one soulcaster in the whole of Azir, though, which can only make bronze, and as for Jah Keved, it is anybody's guess. IMHO, it is very likely that Alethkar has so many soulcasters because Sadees the Sunmaker looted them from the peoples he conquered - which would suggest that the Vedens have significantly fewer of them. It also fits well with the the fact that Jah Keved was a proper kingdom throughout, whereas Alethkar consisted of constantly warring princedoms since Sunmaker's day. Their many soulcasters were what allowed them to continue like that for so long without becoming brutally poor. We have no clue how many topaz-using soulcasters there are in Jah Keved and if any of them can produce marble. The fact that mining natural marble is profitable suggests to me that there is a healthy demand for it. I am sure that Veden king had healthy stockpiles for his soulcasters. There is little reason to think that this would have made topazes - which aren't even the most valuable gemstones, super-rare or super-expensive. It is about as "silly" as investing money into producing anything at all, by whatever means. Obviously, the quantity of marble that can be produced sells for more than the topazes expended, even after taking the actual quarrying and transportation into account. I am sure that no having to pay the royal soulcasting fee helps too. Supply and demand. We saw no evidence of the gem hoarding you suggest. And looking at the "ten essenses" table the topazes are only good for soulcasting something into "rock and stone". But the polestones themselves can't be made through soulcasting, so what is there that would be so much more worthwhile than marble to make with them?