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Duxredux last won the day on June 4

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345 Stormwarden


About Duxredux

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    Reading, crafts, running, puzzles, games, spending time with family. I work early mornings and have lots of time to listen to audio books, so I quite often will pull out a Cosmere audio book to listen to. I enjoy theorizing, making connections, and in general thinking about the worlds Brandon has created.
  1. I'll pitch in with a thought on the Heralds' insanity. I think we may be looking too much at the mechanics of Cognitive Shadows and not enough at what is unique to the Heralds, the Oathpact. As we learn from Jezrien's death and Kalak's explanation, it is specifically the Oathpact's Connection that sustains the Heralds as Cognitive Shadows. From the Stormfather we also learn that they could share pain through their bond on Braize. There may be a small disparity between Kalak and the Stormfather's description of the Oathpact, one calls it broken and severed, the other calls it (I think) weakened nearly to annihilation. So from this a few things that I could see a few possibilities, not sure if any could be confirmed: Idea 1: the effects of Taln's torture was to a lesser extent transferred to the other nine, and while Taln suffered most, the others' minds were still affected by the Connection that sustained them. Idea 2: perhaps there are more consequences to the Heralds for shirking the Oathpact than we've seen and that Honor's Light cannot sustain their minds. We see what near broken Oaths did to Kaladin and Syl, I'd be surprised if there wasn't a similar consequence to the Heralds. Idea 3: Taln may have unique strain on his mind and soul as the entire Oathpact that was designed to be upheld by ten became the burden of one. We know that the Heralds were captured and tortured on Braize and that all but Taln eventually let the Fused escape, so it's not a physical location to be defended, nor a targetting of the Heralds with access to Transportation, but some aspect of how any and all Heralds could enforce the binding that kept the Fused on Braize, but only Taln was there to hold it this last time. There's probably some components to the insanity related to their nature as Cognitive Shadows who got tortured, but I suspect the solution will be centered on the Oathpact and possible BAM. I think the why Brandon is trying to indicate what components of the Heralds' insanity is magical in nature is so that he can give a magical solution. I think he's been careful that people who read his books don't come away just wishing that they had a magical solution to their depression/PTSD/anxiety/etc., but if he needs these tortured functionally immortal beings to become lucid contributors to the story, he needs a magical circumstance that no one has experienced to get away with a magic fix. I'd be fine if Brandon gives a magic solution to Cognitive Shadow torture with sufficient jargon-jargon-realmatic-theory explanation for why it doesn't work for Physical Realm torture if it lets him tell the story he wants to tell. Also, considering how hyped up Brandon is making Taln, how he is a viewpoint in the second half, how he was the undisputed greatest fighter of all the Heralds, how he was the one that never broke, there would be soooooo much disappointment if we never get to see him in action in full fighting capacity. Sure we could see that in a flashback, but it wouldn't be nearly as cool to see Taln thrashing an army and I'd bet that Brandon would err on the side of what is most awesome.
  2. A few thoughts. First, the Listeners definitely had a taboo on moving the dead. Do the Fused have the same qualm? I know Ulim doesn't, and Raboniel's actions with the dead body of Essu seemed to be more concerned with the parents of the former Singer than some sanctity for the body. Second, do we think that the gemheart of the Singer body that is inhabited by the Fused changes with the transformation or do all Singers have this ability to near perfectly retain Light? It doesn't necessarily have to but it could. Does the gemheart itself change with each new form to accommodate the spren, and perhaps it reverts to the cloudy variety upon death and release of the spren? Third, I'm guessing that Radiants become better containers for Stormlight as they swear higher and higher Ideals, despite the lack of gemheart. Do we think this level of... devotion(?) to an ideology or Passion is at all related to Fused being able to retain Voidlight so effectively? Fourth, Venli seemed to have Stormlight rise off of her skin just like a human as a first Oath proto-Radiant. She did not seem to be a perfect Stormlight container. Is this to do with the difference in Light, attunement (bot sure if there is a better word) to the Investiture, or by nature of being in a Regal form provided by Odium?
  3. I have not finished a book, so I'm not qualified to give you advice. Here's the 2 episodes of Writing Excuses that have the "writer's block" tag. Writer’s Block | Writing Excuses Just be careful that if you start searching the internet for solutions for writer's block that you don't go down the internet rabbit hole for hours, burning away your writing time. Finding something to motivate you, maybe take a 15-30 minute breather, maybe take a lunch break, but be intentional in how you take your break. That's pretty much the advice that I have from writing college papers that I don't really want to write, even though I want the degree.
  4. Here's a thought. Maybe Hoid like everyone else was looking for the TLR's fabled Atium stash? Either to be a Mistborn with access to huge amounts of Atium, or just to have Atium as another Godmetal to add to his collection. I have to assume that Hoid is wily enough to get his hands on at least one bead of Atium, considering he probably used to use the Pits of Hathsin to get to Scadrial in previous times, but maybe he would be tempted by so much Godmetal. I could see his presence in Fadrex as an attempt to lift the treasure before Vin and friends could get there (funnily enough, if Hoid had managed to actually steal the Trust and get off world with it, that probably would have worked for Preservation's plan). I think it's also possible that he didn't intend to get stranded on Scadrial, and had meant to get off before yet another Perpendicularity was destroyed by Kelsier's crew. Maybe he also didn't want to give Kelsier any more information, as Kelsier had more or less become a guard of the Well. By HoA, it could be like "welp, I'm stuck here and Ati's loose. Maybe I should mess him up before he blows up the planet with me on it, and moves on to cause problems on other planets that have stuff I want. Some perhaps boring or mundane reasons, but Hoid has made mistakes in the past.
  5. I'm with Invocation on this one. I doubt that people's perceptions of a Cognitive Shadow increase the amount of Investiture in their being, but as seen in Secret History, Connections formed from belief and relationships can give opportunities unavailable to someone with just raw Investiture. It was Kelsier's ability to understand and nudge his friends that gave him the edge when he held Preservation, more than the raw Investiture at his disposal I would say. He may have a greater than average ability to manipulate Survivorists when compared with other Scadrians I would say. So yes, Kelsier would have more power, but not in the way described in the original post. With regards to Shards, I'd say it's the same thing. Ruin over time excised information about Preservation from the the religions of Scadrial, altering the religious texts to nudge different peoples into releasing him from the Well of Ascension. This gave Ruin influence over the events that lead to his release, but the fact that Preservation was largely forgotten by the world was never cited as a factor in the imbalance of raw Investiture available to Ruin and Preservation. It was instead first Preservation putting more of his essence into humanity, then both Ruin and Preservation were weakened by Preservation sacrificing his mind to trap Ruin. After Ruin's escape, there was again some imbalance of power as the Mists were left to Snap the Scadrians and the Atium had been hidden from Ruin. Belief or disbelief in these forces didn't seem to give them more or less power.
  6. Well... writerly reason one is so that the reader thinks Vasher is the bad guy. Vasher has a pretty troubled history and while he's very loyal once you've gained his trust, he's also had to kill some of his oldest and closest friends, including his wife when they started things that would cause widespread slaughter. Vasher does not deal with betrayal well, and leaving someone like Vahr alive, someone who convinced hundreds of people to become Drabs and give him power, that's dangerous. That kind of persuasion was probably part of the Manywar, considering someone had to give the Awakeners that much power in the war, and like Treamayne said, Vahr had been warned by Vasher against starting a war. Yeah, Vasher had other choices with how he could have dealt with Vahr, but his decision is consistent with his history. He didn't take Nanrovah's supposed betrayal well, was considering just going and killing Lightsong the fool god who had control of 20,000 Lifeless, and was about ready to kill Vivenna until she proved that she hadn't intended to incite war. Basically, as Vasher is someone who accidentally helped kick off the Manywar, he has a really twitchy trigger finger regarding anyone else who looks like they are trying to start a war, including (maybe especially) friends. Vahr is the kind of person that Vasher probably would hunt down and assassinate anyway.
  7. Hum... @jamesbondsmith would you say that you are a discovery writer or an outliner? Are you just trying to get the heroes out of the town so they can have their adventure or are you trying to map out plot elements interwoven up to the ending? I might be giving bad advice because I think like an outliner. If none of the ideas suggested so far feel viable so far... here's a few ideas. Also, feel free to ditch, adapt, or tweak any of these suggestions. Have the townspeople be scared or disturbed instead of celebrating the mage duo. Maybe have some of them feel more threatened by the mage duo than the pirates. Think of it as realizing that you survived a dog attack because your neighbor turned into a fire-breathing dragon. This might work if the town had never seen the mage girl slaughtering pirates wholesale or if there was collateral damage done to the town by the magics used. "We appreciate what you did, but don't come back with those missile launchers until you really know what you're doing!" Saving the town was heroic, but you could probably spin magic as terrifying to people who haven't seen it used in war (Well of Ascension spoilers) Give something to the innate magic users that allows them to travel faster than anyone else, and maybe it's a long way to the capital? Maybe the route to the capital itself is really dangerous and they don't fully trust the merchant master and apprentice? You can expand or contract as much as you want how long the journey takes, so it can be a question of "lose our 2 mages and try to hold out for several weeks" compared to "keep the mages but it will take our runner the better part of half a year to get to the capital and then come back with reinforcements" or "hopefully our messenger doesn't get eaten by the thunder-wolves while going through the mountain pass". You also can make the daughter a poor choice to leave at the city instead of the father - a mage does not automatically make a good administrator. There could also be some sort of "noble boon of aid" that allows a lord to secure aid from the capitol. Maybe it requires sending the lord's signet ring or something and the lord doesn't trust anyone else with that much authority. Maybe the lord got injured in the raid and really shouldn't go on a long journey. There's some ideas. Hopefully this sparks something that helps.
  8. spoiler

    I'll note that the ending did not go as Brandon had wanted it to in the campaign, because the players did not cooperate. By nature of that, I wouldn't base anything off of the random tables Brandon made for Dan's character. What we do have was the circumstances of Dan's character who had been collecting the heads of all of their enemies and due to a randomly fired spell, revived all of the skulls of all of the major enemies that had been killed during the campaign. That may coincide with the Fused or Heralds but... not sure what else. Maybe... a bunch of people, far more than we expected, will get Fused or Herald level Immortality? Normally I would guess Immortality is something that would get dolled out sparingly, but the Shards on Roshar have given it out before. What if say, all of Kharbranth suddenly became immortal? All of Urithiru? Dalinar attempts to make everyone an immortal demigod? Is there anything that actually prevents this? I got thinking on an odd tangent.
  9. Interesting idea, let's look at the rest of the known Radiant Spren. Inkspren, at least in the case of Ivory, can't disappear from the Physical Realm, but they can change their own size at will. I think they appear as they do in Shadesmar. Related Radiant Surges are Transformation and Transportation. Did Jasnah get pulled into Shadesmar without her volition by Inkspren in her Prologue POV, or did I misread that? Lightspren, or Reachers, manifest a small orbs of light. Related Radiant Surges are Cohesion and Transportation. Have we seen Timbre using these abilities? Any relation to how she got in Venli's gemheart and bound the Voidspren fueling her Regal Form? Highspren, who knows. They float I think. So there's that. Related Radiant Surges are Division and Gravitation. In the Physical Realm, they take the form of black slits in the air, which can pull open to reveal stars shining within.[6] When they move, reality seems to bend around them.[7] Ashspren, In the Physical Realm, ashspren appear as cracks that appear to grow on surfaces or branch through the air.[4] When they move they seem to burn through the inside of objects in treelike patterns. Related Surges are Division and Abrasion. Mistspren: In the Physical Realm, mistspren resemble the shimmer light makes on a surface when it is reflected through a crystal.[4] When they stay still, light grows upwards from them in the shape of plants, which retreat when they start moving. Related Surges are Illumination and Progression. Most of these seem to fit in that they how they interact with the Physical Realm is directly related to the Surges they grant. With Cryptics moving along surfaces of an object, I suspect that may be related to Illumination rather than Cohesion, they travel along the surfaces of objects, like how I think non-enlightened Mistspren move. The odd one is Lightspren really, the rest seem to fit pretty well. Most do not ignore gravity or phase through solid objects, generally only the ones with related Surges can do so. Except Lightspren.
  10. I'm an armchair story helper, never done a NaNoWriMo successfully, so take a pinch of salt with my commentary. I've listened to a lot of Writing Excuses though. First question, is the lord's daughter the "heir" so to say of governance of this outlying town? The merchants probably don't need much reason to want to just continue their profession, but if the mage girl is looking to leave her her home, responsibility, and possibly inheritance, that will need more, and how she views leaving the town will affect things. If the story is to get them to go on this adventure to the capital and see all sorts of cool things on the way without worrying about getting back to the pirate-besieged town, then the premise for why they leave and if there is meant to be a looming threat over the town during the story will affect what you can do. Quantus gave good ideas for getting the town to support the duo leaving, but then you have to have a reason for why they keep going and whether or not the mage daughter feels like she really ought to be getting back home to help rebuild. If you want them to leave and come back with help, then maintaining some sort of pressure that is encouraging them to return to the town would probably be good - impending return of grumpy pirates maybe. If you want them to just go on their merry way, then there probably needs to be something that removes or otherwise eliminates the threat to the town so that there isn't as much of a pull to go back, because you don't want the reader to be wondering why they aren't going back to protect the town. Could be that another more pressing issue arises. Maybe the regional garrison arrives, promises that they'll improve patrols and the garrison commander declares mages of their caliber to be wasted in this backwater area, and sends them off to the Royal Mage Academy or something, particularly if mages are rare. I dunno, there's a few ideas.
  11. I just finished Aether of Night, and I enjoyed that barely edited book more than I enjoyed Rhythm of War. This might be an unpopular Stormlight Archive opinion but... How do I put this... It's been a long time since Brandon has done anything standalone in the Cosmere (which is why I'm really excited for the Secret Projects), and... I realized that I miss seeing happy endings for my Cosmere friends. If feels like it's been a long, long time since I've read anything from Brandon where I wasn't worried about someone trying to nuke the planet in the next book. Book 4 of a 10 book series, for obvious reasons I wasn't expecting a happy ending, but I don't think I really needed 3-4 years to have Todium hanging over my head. Yes, I know that this cast deals with mental health, and yes I know they are in a war, but I just want at least some of my Cosmere friends to actually be happy with their life without a sense of dread gnawing at them at the end of a book every once in a while (and yes there have been books like this, and I like them more. I'm more likely to reread them at least). Brandon's good enough that I'll still read every single new book that he comes out with, I'll even go back and read his "unpublishable" Cosmere works to get even a bit of a better glimpse into the Cosmere, so I really wish he would stop giving massive world/universe imperiling reveals at the end of his books when it will be years before we see the next installment. Brandon is good enough of a writer that I will suffer it and come back for more of his work, but... I've considered just stopping right after the main Sanderlanche at the end and just opting out of all of the doomsday theorizing regarding the last few chapters until the next book comes out. At least I'd put down the book with a smile. If Brandon didn't leave a killer cliffhanger at the end of every book, I will still come back and read his next one. Coming from him, it feels a bit cheap in that he doesn't need to write those cliffhangers to get people to read the next one, and I wonder if he takes just a bit too much delight in the torment of the fans. I wish Brandon would write more like one of his (and my) favorite authors, Terry Pratchett, who had a massive collection of books set in the Discworld, but you could pretty much pick up any book and read it and bask in Pratchett's genius, because Pratchett was just that good of a writer that nearly everything he put out was fantastic. There were large scale changes in the Discworld, and there were certain story arcs that progressed chronologically over several books that focused on specific casts, but each book was self-contained. I think originally Brandon intended for the Cosmere to function so that anyone who happened to stumble onto one of his series could read it and not get too lost, but it seems that has been becoming less and less of the case as well, we as fans have been pestering him to know what is going on at the big Cosmere-level story. I know Brandon's trying to finish his own Wheel of Time but... I've tried to finish Wheel of Time 3 different times, with physical, digital, and audio copies, and I just can't bring myself to care about the nth new viewpoint character that has no relation to the main cast that I can remember (though there probably is one). There is genius and a draw to the massive scale of the Cosmere and how interconnected the planets, peoples, and magic systems are, but... somewhere in me wonders if Brandon and many of his fans would actually be happier if we got more self-contained novels that exhibited Brandon's genius with magic system building in a bunch of different worlds over him trying to do a massive epic fantasy to rival the Wheel of Time, the ordeal that is the Stormlight Archive, considering I know that they are an ordeal for Dragonsteel and for Brandon himself. It's hard to recommend a series to someone by saying "the writer's fantastic, the characters are compelling, it's just going to be another 20 years before you get closure, that's all." Thanks for reading my rant. I loved the Dog and the Dragon, and I'm glad Brandon wrote Rhythm of War.
  12. Since no one has picked Telsin, maybe switch her out for Ranette? I could Ranette getting a few favorites. I like each for different reasons, but what really works for me is the relationship dynamic between all of the main five. One of my favorite scenes is when Wax, Wayne, Marasi, Steris, and MeLaan all check into the hotel in BoM. Wax isn't nearly as funny when Wayne isn't around, Wayne gets more cringeworthy when Wax isn't there to rein him in, and I could go on how most change subtly when another member of the group is or isn't in the room. Most of them could make a fascinating main character if pulled out and made a main character in their own story (except maaaybe Steris, she's great, but Wax is one of the best things that's happened to her), but together, they're genius.
  13. Found the WoB. Just quoting what Brandon said he was doing, and in this case he's referring not to gender specifically, but to the death rattles. Don't ask me how that particular one worked out (okay, maybe it meant "men" as in "humans" rather than "Parshendi", I dunno).
  14. Brandon's mentioned this trick that was core to the prophecy of the Hero of Ages, that he won't do this sort of twist with translation error unless you also see the characters in-world also specifically addressing the translation error themselves. With the various languages that the books get translated into, the risk of IRL translation error increases. I think it's wise that if it's relevant, the characters will think it's relevant as well. It is possible that this isn't a big enough piece, but I think Brandon would have left a clue if we were supposed to distrust the information.
  15. When you say end-positive and end-neutral, you're referring to the classifications given in the Ars Arcanum for Mistborn, yes? If not then the rest of my response is way off. So... I'm going with potential writerly reasons on this one since in-world Khriss wrote all of the Ars Arcanum sections but hasn't used this terminology very often since. I think the terminology of end-positive, end-neutral, and end-negative was given to hint that there were multiple "gods" or Shards who were influencing the world, and maybe to give greater clarity as to what happens when you hack the end-neutral system to work like the end-positive system, which is Compounding. There were very good "sciencey" reasons to explain this, because it directly affected the story, but I don't think the question of if the ability is end-_______ will have such plot-heavy ramifications in SA as it did in Scadrial. I'm going to guess that all Stormlight fueled abilities are end-positive, because the power is not coming from the Radiants themselves. Without Stormlight they cannot use their Surges, and the distinction that I am making is that they are at more or less the same level of Invested after using Stormlight. Voidbinding is trickier for me and I end up breaking down Fused abilities into three components. Ability 1: Resurrection in a Singer's body I would guess is end-negative, as the original soul is lost and some Investiture has left the system. Ability 2: Passive Fused abilities may be end-neutral, such as indefinite flight for the Heavenly Ones. Not sure though, since technically the passive effects of a Kandra's Blessing would be considered end-negative. Ability 3: Active Fused abilities would be end-positive as the power comes from Odium. It gets trickier when you start looking at Shardblades and Regal forms, as the abilities seem to come from something like symbiosis rather than from power entering or leaving the system. At any rate, there's my thoughts.