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  1. I've been fiddling around with an attempt to place Warbreaker in the larger Cosmere timeline recently, and that led to me trying to figure this question out. We know for a fact that the Five Scholars were Worldhoppers and fairly Cosmere-aware, both via WoB and because they hacked Awakening to create a Shardblade. So at this point we know that there were Nalthian Worldhoppers at least before the Manywar, who most likely passed through Endowment's perpendicularity in Hallendren since that's the easiest known method for most people to reach the CR. If I remember correctly, there was also mention of Nalthian traders in RoW, which we know takes place after Warbreaker (though due to Vasher's immortal nature and the possibility of Vivenna extending her life with Breaths, we don't know how far after). The trouble comes in that we don't know how open the 5 Scholars were with their knowledge, like how the Ghostbloods existing doesn't translate to the Elendel government being especially Cosmere-aware. We also know for a fact that at least some of their legacy has been forgotten; i.e. people forgetting that the D'denir statues were Kalad's phantoms. My best guess is that in establishing the Court of Gods, Vasher entrusted the highest rung of authority with the knowledge that there's a gateway to other worlds out in the jungle so that they wouldn't be completely caught off-guard if another shardworld launched an invasion, unless he decided to withhold that info to lower the risk of more Nightbloods getting created. But even if he did tell them, then there's still the question of whether or not that knowledge survived the deaths of Susebron's predecessors and then the deaths of his priests during the Pahn Kahl revolt. The other option I can imagine is that some of the court is Cosmere-aware, but it's treated like the lifeless command codes; the knowledge is restricted to a handful of returned, so that they can shape policy with the larger Cosmere in mind without turning Nalthis into an expansionist force.
  2. Not for the most part, no, though I do concur with a few other people here that it's a bummer that the Shroud just up and vanished. Having a "then the sun emerges" moment was the right way to go for sure, but I think it'd have been cool if it had changed to start working a little like the mists. Without being specifically sustained by the Father Machine, the Shroud burns away in daylight, and then re-emerges at sundown. Nightmares become more docile and intelligent, but some of them still pose a risk, since "a person can still hurt you." Something like that, maybe.
  3. For the first big chunk of Yumi, I'd been imagining the Shroud as something more like Midnight Essence; not exactly the same, but there's some noteworthy similarities. But when I got to Hoid's explanation about what exactly the Father Machine was and did, I actually froze in my seat for a second and said, "Oh rust, they made a Nightblood," because an inky black haze of corrupted investiture suddenly comes off as eerily familiar when put in the context of a soul-devouring Awakened machine. Obviously there's some major differences in the Commands used, and Nightblood is still significantly more sapient and more invested, but I can't help but feel we're looking at the same class of object here. Did anyone else come to a similar conclusion, and if so, how can we use this to speculate about Nightblood's nature and capabilities, as well as the probability of other Awakenings of Mass Destruction cropping up in the future?
  4. I concur with all of this, but there's also one other thing worth considering: Elantris was the first published cosmere novel. Yes, Bandon was already tinkering with the rest of it by that time, but it's also quite possible that he just hadn't seized upon the idea of heightenings as a universal investiture effect yet, as opposed to being Biochroma-specific. With that in mind, the Elantrians failing to show signs of heightenings way back when could easily be just an oversight, much like how Brandon admits there's some weirdness surrounding Atium being able to be pushed and pulled despite being pure investiture, simply because he didn't have the rest of the Cosmere fleshed out yet when he put that detail down on paper.
  5. Those darn modern hijo, always glued to their screens. No appreciation for a good old-fashioned stack of rocks, I tell ya.
  6. I agree with you on the technical mechanics of everything, but I don't agree with your end conclusion that we're looking at a facsimile/that she didn't truly come back. It's the Theseus' Ship/Star Trek transporter issue. If you take a person all the way apart and then put the pieces back together, is it still them? And in the context of the Cosmere, I believe the answer is 'yes,' at least if you do it fast enough. A person's soul might be 'tangible' in the form of investiture, but there's also an intangible quality to their existence beyond that, I think. For example, we have this WOB regarding Phendorana's fate, and she was outright annihilated by anti-Stormlight: When you factor in that 'simple' dissolution is a lot less serious than that, then I think who we see at the end is in fact the 'real' Yumi, alive and well. If not the original flesh-and-blood one from seventeen hundred years ago, then at least the same one that we've been following throughout the novel. Of course, we're in deep deep metaphysics at this point. Vasher, for one, would almost certainly agree with you that we're essentially looking at a double-fossilized soul that mistakenly believes herself to be the original.
  7. Serious answer: His Intent to paint and drive off the nightmare was strong enough that he momentarily reshaped/extended his cognitive aspect to include the brush. Joke answer: He used the rouge hijo that first talked to Yumi as a Shardbrush.
  8. That's the implication, yes. I suspect as much myself, but I don't think it's a sure thing. Hoid and Saze seem to get on reasonably well in their letters, Hoid's casually referred to Shardholders by their pre-ascension names before, and I believe Kelsier and Marsh have simply referred to him as "Sazed/Saze" a few times as well.
  9. I'll keep my official answer as "1st heightening Human Elantrian Lerasium Fullborn with primer cubes who's bonded a cryptic and sworn the 4th ideal (998 points)," I think. Compounding the dawnshard cost just nerfs my unofficial "here's what I'd do if I were minmaxing to ludicrous extremes" answer XD
  10. Different process, same result. I think the key idea being put forth was that somewhere along the line, Shu-Dereth did become an Autonomy plant, whether she was the originator or just co-opted it somewhere down the line. And if either of those was the case, then it might provide an origin for the MoGaR, assuming they're Selish. Codenames Are Stupid is Kaise from Elantris, so enough time has passed between that boot and TLM for her to grow up and integrate into not just the Ghostbloods, but Kell's personal cell. If Theoretical up there is right about the MoGaR being knockoff Elantrians, then maybe their creation is what the Elantris sequel will be building up to.
  11. My actual answer is Lerasium Mistborn + Elantrian + Dawnshard, just going for raw combat ability. However, the dawnshards broke Ashyn somehow in conjunction with the invested arts, so to make things sporting I'm going to not do that. Human (0 pt) + Lerasium Mistborn (300 pt) + Feruchemist (192 pt) + Elantrian (200 pt) + 4th ideal Lightweaver (300 pt) brings me up to 992 points in total, with 8 possible points remaining. Lerasium Mistborn already means I'm essentially a one-man army, which is them made worse by the fact that I'm also a fullborn capable of compounding every metal. I have photographic memory for Aons from both my Lightweaver resonance (assuming that's not drowned out by having so many powers) and my copperminds, and virtually limitless speed and acuity with which to plan them out and draw them. Aon Dor is one of the single most versatile invested arts that we've seen in the entire cosmere, and should nicely cover most remaining blind spots that the metallic arts don't get to. And then I'm also a 4th ideal lightweaver, which means we're looking at radiant healing, lightweaving, soulcasting, a living blade and plate, and being heavily invested enough to power through certain effects like Urithiru's suppression defenses. A cryptic might also prove helpful at identifying the patterns of Aons, potentially making me better at using those as well. With my eight remaining points, lets go with primer cubes (5 pt) and, what the heck, First Heightening (1 pt). The former gives me all sorts of extra tricks to use with my metallic arts, and while I don't technically need the latter, being just a little bit more invested can't hurt. Edit: Actually, if we're going for raw, Cosemere-shattering power, I can do one better than my original plan. First, I'm a Returned (5 pts) Then, I acquire a few extra breaths, enough to raise a non-Returned to 2nd heightening (9 pts) Then I bind a spren and swear the 2nd ideal. (59 pts) Let's say I'm a Dustbringer. And then I take up a Dawnshard (118 pts) And then another (236 pts) And another (472 pts) And another (944 pts) I am now in possession of all four primal divine Commands, a pool of raw investiture attuned to a system that thrives on Commands, radiant healing, and two Surges. Assuming I don't disintegrate just by virtue of existing, I am feeling very confident.
  12. Dunno one way or another about the MoGaR* being Selish, but on the off-chance that they are, there's an interesting potential connection that I heard someone draw right after TLM came out. Autonomy's modus operandi is seeding the Cosmere with religions that she can later step in to assume direct control over using a suitable avatar, giving her a foothold on a planet. And so this person raised the question: what if Shu-Dereth is one of those puppet religions, and Wyrn and/or Jaddeth is a nascent avatar like Telsin/Trell was? *Huh, well that acronym rolls of the tongue surprisingly well. Mooooogaaarrr. Sounds like if you tried to name an android using the Black Speech.
  13. Got my hands on the ebook yesterday, stayed up to an inadvisable hour finishing it, etc., etc. The Bad & The Ugly I'm only putting my criticism up front because I have remarkably little of it for this book. I'm sure I could come up with some if I really marinated on it, but that seems like a silly use of my time. I was disappointed that by the end we didn't learn more about what spore eaters really are, how they form and why Crow was able to last for so long and such. Maybe it'll make itself apparent as the aethers make more appearances, but I wish we'd gotten more in this book. The humor dipped into juvenile territory a bit more often than was to my personal tastes, but, well. It's Wit. The Good (and assorted speculations and musings) First and foremost, I enjoyed it. That might be putting it simply, but I was engaged through the whole story and walked away feeling quite satisfied, and I think that deserves acknowledgement. The characters and plot and pacing and so on were good across the board, which is unfortunately only in that I have trouble picking anything specific to focus on and compliment. Instead I think I'll just go through the bits I really enjoyed as they pop into my head. I loved the various mental images the story conjured of the spore seas. I think Brandon did a good job of offering counterpoints for more "traditionally heroic/adventurous" tropes, even lightly ribbing them here and there, without being mean-spirited about it, as I've known some people to do when attempting a deconstruction. There's plenty of room in the world for stories about people who start the story off braver than anything and who want to get away from their small towns and who sneak away in the middle of the night without telling anyone. This is not one of those stories. On that note, Tress' parents supporting her quest (with some healthy apprehension) was incredibly sweet. "After she went upstairs, Lem retrieved his cane, put on his coat, and went out to do some advanced fathering." is going to live in my head rent-free for months. The comedic irony of Tress and co. going through that whole production to get her off the Rock as the Inspector, only for her to get locked up because she picked a smuggler ship, was fantastic. It was like watching someone execute an Olympic gymnastics routine perfectly, then slip on a banana peel. I felt very called out when Hoid got to talking about rain. very called out indeed. Mostly because, a dozen or so chapters earlier, I specifically paused to ask myself "Huh, I wonder how the seas react when rainstorms roll through." Hoid knows his audience and has no mercy. Dragon! I know we've seen Cultivation already, but her being a Shard overshadows most everything else, so this is our first time getting a look at "just" a dragon. Despite this being more of a fairy-tale-esque story than high fantasy, the sheer weight of this is an ancient and powerful creature, be afraid still manages to come through loud and clear. The trick with Tress trading Crow was a delight to read and just the sort of fairy-story cleverness I was hoping would play out at some point, and in that regard I certainly got my money's worth. Tangent, but there was a moment when Hoid mentioned dragons leaving behind metal when they die (coupled with the physical description) where I wondered if they were either a source of silver (possibly explaining its supernatural properties), or maybe if their bodies naturally produce silver to make use of its magic. And then I remembered the name of Brandon's elusive Master's thesis and also the entire Cosmere publishing company and suddenly felt very, very dumb. The reveal of Huck's true identity was, if not an obvious one, at least one that slid neatly into place. I didn't sniff it out right away when he first appeared, because hey, maybe there are talking rats on this world, but I made the connection about the time that they stopped to trade their captured goods and was watching him from the corner of my eye from that point onward. The endearingly boring (and I say this as a compliment) way he focused on the bells and the flowers and the paving stones was far too familiar to overlook, which I suppose says a lot about Brandon's grasp of character voice. Plus, we're talking about a story where the heroine is trying to rescue her captured love interest from a sorceress who curses people for fun. A small, lone animal who befriends her who has an inexplicable capacity for speech? Why he's almost contractually obligated to be the prince duke's son in disguise. As such, my reaction when it finally got confirmed was an excited and vindicated "I knew it!" In contrast, the reveal that the Sorceress was an Elantrian earned a self-deprecating "oh, duh." I'd spent the whole story trying so hard to work out how the aethers work that I'd completely skipped over the possibility that she was exploiting offworlder magic systems, even though we already knew about Ulaam and Fort's board. (I'm not counting Hoid as a point in favor of offworlder influence. Hoid is special. He's coarse and rough and irritating and gets everywhere.) Also, while we did know it was versatile, Aon Dor is terrifying in a way that never really hit home until just now, especially since Riina and Hoid at least apparently have access to a hack that gets around the geographical restriction. Riina cursed Hoid. She turned a person into a rat. And not only that, she was able to put conditional functions on the curse that took advantage of things like true love (presumably we're looking at a particular application of Intent, maybe Connection). These are the sorts of things I'd expect from the Old Magic, which is only a step down from direct Shardic intervention, and the fact that a "mortal" is able to toss them around in an almost casual-seeming way turns a lot of my understanding of the Cosmere's power balance on its head. Side note: spaceship. Are we looking at Era 4 here, or is there something else at play? I seem to remember that Sel is under the influence of heavy time dilation due to how Invested its cognitive realm is. Could they have reached the space age under their own power? Nalthian tech has certainly made leaps and bounds since Warbreaker, but it's place in the timeline has always been a bit nebulous, not helped by the fact that Vasher and Nightblood are immortal while Vivenna could easily become so with enough breath. What about "[the kandra have] all been getting weirder ever since Sazed released them."? Is this just about the Catacendre, or are we getting a sneak peak at a future event? If Sazed (and note his Shard name isn't used here) ever finally makes the split/flip to Discord, I can see him freeing the kandra from his service if controlling them goes against his new Intent. Oh, and "Fate" was capitalized and referred to as a "her" partway through the story. Could easily just be a narrative tool, personifying the abstract and all. But I wonder... I think that Brandon's done a better job of handling Cosmere elements in this book than in The Lost Metal. I actually quite enjoyed the fanservice we got in that book, but sadly, I also think that its identity as a Wax & Wayne novel suffered some for it. I'm not entirely certain what makes this one different. Maybe it's that a lot of the exposition is coming to us through Hoid, whereas the characters (rather sensibly, given their position) just lump all Investiture that's not the spores together as "magic." Maybe the most charming moment to me, out of the whole thing, was that Charlie did wind up making good on his promise to rescue his fare maiden if she was ever captured, not-so-shining armor and all. Even if that armor took the form of an old pewter tankard. Oh, pewter! I nearly forgot! Iron and steel attract and repel aether growth, right? I wonder if zinc and brass (or maybe pewter and tin) would cause aethers to grow more/less vigorously, like how they affect the responses of spren in fabrials. The more the Cosmere gets fleshed out, the more I notice that certain characters have shades of earlier ones worked into them. Fort is the proverbial lovechild of Rock and Rysn (though I can't say he inherited any of the former's cooking skills). Tress is a girl that Shallan could have been if the Davars hadn't been dysfunctional. The ship's crew are outlaws (though admittedly, less by their own choice) desperate for someone to tell them that there's a way back to the people they used to be, much like the shattered plains deserters. This repetition isn't a bad thing, though I'm not certain it really needs to be "good" either. Just a neutral-if-interesting observation on the repetition of stories and character traits, and the patterns that form when you look at the Cosmere on a large enough scale.
  14. The one thing that makes me hesitant to say those were Skybreakers at the end is the lack of characteristic surgebinder flashiness. The asking about legality and being able to use division to sink the ships makes sense, but if they were Skybreakers, then they're doing something different that hides their glow. Fueling their powers with the Mists, perhaps.
  15. I thought 'Horneaters' too when the red hair got mentioned. Though if that's the case, I'm actually quite a bit more worried, because of the implications for what Stormlight 5 has in store. After all, if we're looking at Rosharan Shadesmar, then why is the water a transparent black void instead of a sea of beads