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  1. For sure, I’m not arguing that this isn’t a window into Hoid’s mindset. He definitely is acknowledging his own hubris (and the hubris of the 16 original vessels). I just think that extrapolating any further than that is iffy.
  2. I don’t think we can read too much into Hoid’s ‘for your own good’ comments. It could mean that he regrets the Shattering and his decisions surrounding it. Or it could just mean that he recognises his own arrogance, but still thinks he did the right thing. And I don’t think it’s necessarily the case that the ‘for your own good’ line was spoken to Adonalsium. We still don’t know if Adonalsium was a person you could have a conversation with. Hoid +16 could have been speaking to a different faction of humans/dragons/others who wouldn’t have wanted the Shattering to happen.
  3. When I said ‘cultural artefacts’, I don’t mean worldhoppers, I mean beliefs or practices taken from Scadrial. Lumar natives have their own religion, which involves worshipping the moons, and other than the one weirdly random Death reference, they don’t seem to have been influenced by Scadrian beliefs.
  4. I mentioned it in another thread, but I don’t think Tress has actually heard of Marsh or Death. think the line about Death is an example of Hoid localising the story for his audience. Lumar doesn’t seem to have any other Scadrian cultural artefacts. Their religion involves worshipping the moons. So the random Ironeyes reference feels like it’s coming out of nowhere if we take it literally. That’s why I think Tress ‘really’ used some equivalent phrase in her language that the audience wouldn’t have understood, and Hoid ‘translated’ it into a Death reference to keep the effect.
  5. I would find it very odd if Aviar’s usefulness in navigation weren’t widely known. Other cultures need to navigate dangerous areas too, and if Aviar are a major export of First of the Sun, you can bet it’s common for navigators everywhere to use Aviar. Besides, you could make this argument for Scadrial (Hoid namedrops Sazed) and Roshar (Nahel bonds) as much as for First of the Sun. Also, if he is telling the story to a bunch of First of the Sun natives, you have to explain why (other than the Aviar) he references Scadrian animals throughout the story instead of First of the Sun animals.
  6. 2) I’m pretty sure turning someone into a rat is really advanced, but technically possible for anyone with the ability to use Aons, access to enough Investiture, knowledge, and skill. From what we’ve seen of Elantrian abilities, they can use Aons as a kind of programming language. I assume Riina’s ‘curses’ were just really, really complex ‘programs’ written with Aons. I would be interested to find out where the Investiture was coming from. 8) I got the impression that Xisis let Tress go because she was both competent and determined to escape. Even if she didn’t stand a real chance, escape attempts would be a bother for him to deal with. Crow would be less disruptive to his work. (It’s unclear why he needed an ‘excuse’.) 9) I think the mention of Death was a ‘localisation’. Hoid is translating the characters’ dialogue into the language his audience speaks, and most translators will switch out culturally loaded phrases to equivalent phrases in the target audience’s culture. So here, Tress really made a reference to some local belief, but Hoid changed it to an Ironeyes reference so he wouldn’t have to stop and explain. That makes more sense to me than a fragment of Scadrian religion winding up on Lumar, stripped of all other context.
  7. I gotta say, it’s really cool how Brandon was able to write a whole book unplanned, have it be fun and make sense as a self-contained story, and make it feel relevant to the wider cosmere, and experiment with a new narrative voice, all without making any part of the book feel strained or shoehorned. I was not expecting this book to be the story of how Hoid got Elantrian powers, and I’m still gobsmacked that it worked so well.
  8. Given the spaceship and various other tech, I think most of us are assuming the story takes place in space age cosmere, after TLM and Stormlight.
  9. Re: Xisis’ research — thinking about it, it’s probable that studying spore sea ecology and studying aethers/spores amount to the same thing. If there’s anything alive down there, it must interact closely with the spores. Studying the ecosystem could easily lead to breakthroughs about the spores, and vice versa. Maybe there’s some animal or plant down there that can control the spores in some way, and Xisis planned to learn to mimic it. Alternatively, controlling the aethers/spores might have been a subgoal, to enable him to better study the ecosystem.
  10. They haven’t been explained in a published work yet. We expect them to be a thing in Dragonsteel (Hoid’s backstory novel).
  11. I was suspicious when a talking rat turned up, because animals acting oddly is generally a sign of shenanigans in cosmere books. I suspected Huck wasn’t a rat in Chapter 12 when Tress was walking over the spores to the Crow’s Song, and Huck commented that the crew didn’t look like the king’s people. I thought it was an odd thing for a rat to know at a glance. Then, I paged back a bit to take another look at his meeting with Tress, and I thought … yeah, this rat is definitely Charlie.
  12. Good catch, @StormingTexan. It does look like Foil is Xisis. It seems like he did manage to find a way to control the aethers, though how he’s doing it and the limitations are still anybody’s guess.
  13. Traffic shouldn’t be an issue. Ships sail on top of the spores, while Xisis is a good distance under the surface. Keeping away from the Midnight Sea makes sense, but you’d think an ecology researcher would want to move around a bit more over 300+ years. I don’t remember a Foil being mentioned. Is this from White Sand?
  14. Yeah, the dragon’s ability to move stuff around could well be a Yolish ability we don’t know about yet. I’m leaning towards the idea that Xisis is not that proficient at real combat. He seems like more of a scholar than a fighter. (He does use the word fear, which doesn’t sound like a ‘conflict would be inconvenient’ situation.) No, the text (chapter 51) specifically says that Xisis is researching the ecosystem at the bottom of the spore sea: The Aethers are more important to the cosmere, I am sure, but Xisis is here to research the planet. It seems he has very different priorities than everyone else. I left out the undersea spore palace and tunnel because honestly I do not know what to make of it. I’m not convinced that Xisis made or is actively maintaining it; we don’t see him interact with the spores the way we do with the cloth. My best guess for how it works is that maybe Xisis made some kind of deal with the Crimson Aether Moon to make the palace stay in place and the tunnel appear when he needs it. That would explain why he’s restricted to the Crimson Sea. If that’s the case, it doesn’t explain how he can move the cloth. Or there could be something completely different going on with the palace. For all we know, someone else built it or a device that maintains it, and Xisis bought or took it. If Xisis can move all that weight in spores at will and hold them in place continually, that’s crazy OP.
  15. Good analysis, @robardin. One correction: it wasn’t Fort’s idea to get Hoid. Chapter 24: It was Captain Crow’s idea to get Hoid on the ship. My guess is: Crow has been doing research into cosmere stuff for a while, as we know, looking for a cure. At some point, she dug up some info about Hoid — now she has at least a little idea who and what he is. She thinks he’ll be a valuable resource in getting to the dragon. Maybe she even thinks she might trade him to the dragon. So, Crow asks Fort to strike a bargain with the crew of the Whistlebow to take Hoid as a cabin boy. The Whistlebow crew notices that Crow is oddly keen, and drive a hard bargain, even though Hoid is objectively not worth much as a cabin boy. When Crow realises that the ‘madness’ is neither feigned nor fixable, she keeps him around anyway, just in case. Having a worldhopper with you can come in handy. I don’t think Fort traded anything notable to get Hoid; it was just that he perceived Hoid’s value as a cabin boy to be very low (for the obvious reasons).