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Everything posted by 11thorderknight

  1. We know that gemstones encased in glass spheres form the currency on Roshar, and we get a few bits of info regarding their relative worth. I thought it might be interesting to put that together and try to figure out as much of the currency system as we can. What we know for certain: 1. There are three denominations of each gem: chips, marks and broams. 2. Diamonds are the least valuable. 3. Emeralds are the most valuable. 4. 5 chips make a mark. 5. The relative value of gems, at least theoretically, is related to their use in Soulcasting, since we're told in the first Shallan PoV that emeralds are most valuable because they can be used to make food. 6. A clearchip (diamond chip) is the price of one loaf of bread; this is the smallest denomination of money. 7. An emerald broam, the largest denomination, is worth 1,000 diamond chips. 8. A bridgeman is paid 2 diamond marks a day. The slaves, like Kaladin, get half of that. 9. A sailor earns one firemark (ruby) a week, i.e. every 5 days. 10. There are 5 diamonds to a garnet 11. A garnet is worth less than a sapphire What we can guess: 1. Sapphires are relatively cheap, since we see them a lot in the bridgemen scenes, and also because, when Shallan buys her books, the final price is "three emerald broams and two sapphire". This implies that two sapphires are still worth less than one emerald. 2. If bridgemen (non-slaves) get 2 diamond marks a day, then they get 10 per week. Sailors get one ruby mark per week. This means that rubies are at least 10 times more valuable than diamonds, and probably more, since I can't imagine sailors being paid less than bridgemen. This implies that rubies are among the more valuable gems. 3. We hear a lot about Soulcast stone barracks as a means of defending against highstorms. This seems to be a core function of the ardents with the army, and therefore implies that topaz would be pretty valuable. What we have questions about: 1. If the value of gems were only affected by Soulcasting use, why is diamond the least valuable? Crystal/glass seems more useful than air, or smoke, or oil. Why are rubies valuable? Incinerating thieves is certainly badass, but is that really what the ardents use them for? 2. In a flashback, Dalinar sees a Radiant heal a woman using a topaz and a heliodor, corresponding to flesh and bone. If the ardents have healing fabrials, why wouldn't heliodor be among the most valuable gems? One would think the wealthy would pay out the wazoo for miraculous healing. 3. How much more valuable are infused gems than dun ones? At one point, Shallan says they're just as valuable, and the apothecary Kaladin goes to accepts them (after verifying they're real), but at another point we hear about moneychangers charging fees to infuse spheres. 4. On a related note, how long do spheres keep their charge? Do larger ones hold their charge longer? Do they hold more stormlight? Please post what you can to this, I'd love to see an accurate "exchange rate" chart!
  2. With regard to Jasnah's Soulcasting in tWoK - remember, the fact that she isn't using a device is part of the Big Reveal of the book. Ergo, BS didn't have a choice; he had to write the Soulcasting scenes as conforming to the general expectation of mechanical Soulcasting, strictly from a meta perspective. He sort of had to work backwards here. The In-World explanation that makes the most sense, to me, is the fact that Jasnah is trying very hard to keep a secret. Shallan Soulcasting blood happens too early in the book to allow the secret to be given away; hence, it doesn't really matter what handwaving we have to do in order to justify it - it simply had to be written that way. My explanation would be that Shallan knows that garnet = blood, and subconsciously knew the "flavor" of Stormlight she inhaled; therefore, she gets blood. Also makes for a great segue to the suicide attempt. Alternatively, it could be that the associated Essence is the default state for Radiant Soulcasting, and Shallan doesn't know how do change the default. Might require more Stormlight to do so, or might just require a mental trick. Ether way, Shallan can't do it yet at that point. Regarding Jasnah calling for a garnet - if you think about it, the jig's already up at that point. Jasnah's not going to let Shallan die, so she makes an attempt to stick to the story, but in reality, a sphere could never fuel a mechanical Soulcaster - we're shown many times that the real devices require a large stone of a specific cut, installed into the device. She might manage to fool a poisoned Shallan (until she's feeling better) or the common people in the room, but to the eyes of a knowledgeable observer, the cover's blown at that point. With regard to cracking gemstones - mechanical Soulcasters do this, so Jasnah feels the need to periodically do so as well - publicly. Maybe she's learned to "suck" on a stone so hard that it snaps, or whatever. Anyway, she "knows", prior to Soulcasting the boulder, that she's "very likely" going to lose a valuable stone - why not take 2 seconds to swap out one or both of the other gems for another smokestone? It's implausible to believe that one of the three wealthiest women in the wealthiest kingdom on the planet wouldn't have a spare or two with her. And yet, the gemstone that's cracked from being over-drained still somehow has just enough juice to disappear the entire boulder? A bit on the coincidental side. Ditto for the street thugs; she's got enough Light in the smokestone for two of them, but just barely? And finally - what's the In-World reason that Jasnah "discovers" the "Soulcaster"? She obviously doesn't need the money, or the assassination attempts, and having been digging into records of the Recreance and the Desolations she must have come across hints of the various secret societies. The meta reason is obviously that Shallan needs to have a reason to seek her out, but the In-World reason, imho, is the reverse: Jasnah wants other potential Radiants to seek her out also. It's like a dog whistle to anyone else who has discovered Surgebinding abilities. Unfortunately, it's a dog whistle the Ghostbloods can hear as well.
  3. So, the mystery of the Recreance has supposedly been revealed...and it's kind of a letdown. I mean, sure, the characters might be surprised that they're not native to Roshar (although they shouldn't be, their own religion talks about them being "cast out" of the Tranquiline Halls) but the readers definitely aren't. And on top of that, most of the characters greet the news with a pretty "meh" response. Sure, some of the Windrunner squires are talking it through, but none of the main characters seem to really care much. Certainly, none are running out to throw down their Blades. On top of that, the details of why humans fled to Roshar are still very unclear, as is the reason Nale thought that new surgebinders could bring about another Desolation. Am I missing something here, or is a big piece of the puzzle still missing?
  4. I agree with all the above posts - there's something about the Recreance that we still don't understand fully. My point is that, the way the info was revealed by Mr. T, it seems like he expects it to break the new Radiants; that's the part that's a little hard to grasp. Here's a thought - what if the Surgebinding that caused the cataclysm on Ashyn wasn't a direct result, but rather somehow empowered Odium to Desolate Ashyn and forced the humans to flee? Odium then followed then, and the singers thought he was their god? In other words - what if Nale has been correct somehow, all along?
  5. I might be slow on the pickup here, but why are we all assuming that Azure is Vivenna? I mean, sure, Vivenna is certainly a possible candidate, but that's just because she's our only other known character from Nalthis. And before someone mentions her hair changing color, I'd like to point out that any Returned with practice would be able to do the same thing.
  6. ...the Knights Radiant themselves. Evidence: 1. Jasnah's research, which led her to conclude that the parshmen were Voidbringers, was both correct and incomplete - they have capacity to undergo the transformation into various Voidforms, but do not necessarily have to. And in fact, we're now finding out that most of them are "regular people". It's even highly foreshadowed that one of them, Eshonai, is likely to become a Radiant herself. 2. The very first mention of the Voidbringers, in Szeth's POV prologue to WoK, references how briefly he can hold Stormlight, then states "it was said the Voidbringers could hold it in perfectly". 3. With each additional Oath, we see Radiants become more and more efficient in their use of Stormlight. Shallan, who is currently the farthest in her progression, is able to maintain a complex illusion for hours using "just a smidgen". The Radiants in Dalinar's flashbacks never leaked Stormlight. 4. Nale believes that surgebinders have the capacity to bring about the return of Desolations. 5. Some secret exists that caused nearly every Radiant to participate in a mass suicide/sprenocide when they discovered it. That secret still exists, and Taravangian believes that it would cause the new Radiants to act in much the same way as the old ones did. My conclusion: Nale is at least partly right; there is a direct link between surgebinders and Desolations, which the Radiants did not understand even during the height of their civilization. When this was discovered, they not only felt guilty, but betrayed by their spren, which caused them to participate in the Recreance.
  7. I’m certain some will feel threatened by this record. Some few may feel liberated. Most will simply feel that it should not exist. I needed to write it anyway. I know that many women who read this will see it only as further proof that I am the godless heretic everyone claims. I can point to the moment when I decided for certain this record had to be written. I hung between realms, seeing into Shadesmar—the realm of the spren—and beyond. I thought that I was surely dead. Certainly, some who saw further than I did thought I had fallen. Oathbringer (in-world) - preface Note how the author states that "many women who read this", rather than "many people who read this". That distinction tells us the writer is a Vorin woman. The mention of Shadesmar and being a heretic certainly make Jasnah a prime candidate, but I think there's another very interesting possibility. Dalinar notices how Navani is writing her memoirs - what if they're not her memoirs, but a biography/history of Dalinar? For now, my money's on Navani.
  8. I have a wild theory on this. We know that burning aluminum has the effect of "cleansing" the user of other investiture. We know that burning Duralumin flares the effect of the other metals way beyond what an allomancer would be able to otherwise achieve, thereby enhancing the effects. My theory is this: an individual who used Duralumin to enhance their aluminum will be able to burn away a hemalurgic spike - possibly without removing whatever attributes the spike provides. There's even an obvious plot point for this theory down the line: let's say a kandra obtains one spike that allows him to burn aluminum, and another to burn Duralumin. If he then burned both, he might be able to remove both spikes without losing his consciousness. He would still be a sentient kandra, but would no longer require spikes, and therefore not be subject to Harmony's direct influence. He also wouldn't have to have metal inside him, and since the world of Scadrial is rapidly approaching the modern era and the development of X-ray technology...this might soon become a very relevant plot point.
  9. Great thread. I've commented on this subject before, but I think the main concept underlying the Surgebinding system is that there is no one definition of honor or what is honorable. Hence, each order has their own definition, and their definitions may very well oppose each other in certain circumstances. The obvious example is Lift, who is the stereotypical "thief with a heart of gold" vs. the Skybreakers (even if Nale represents a corrupt version of their code, I doubt the original Skybreakers would have been cool with breaking and entering in order to steal people's dinner). The episode of Jasnah vs. the muggers is another example. As Shallan states afterwards, every legal and philosophical code she read justified Jasnah's actions that night (for that matter, so does every legal and ethical code IRL, and police routinely conduct sting operations). And yet, Shallan couldn't quite shake the "ick factor" of that night, and clearly doesn't feel that Jasnah acted morally. This is despite demonstrating later on, in Words of Radiance, that she has no problem with killing in self-defense. So something about the pre-meditated nature of the encounter conflicts with the morals of the Lightweavers (or at least with Shallan's - it may well be that the Lightweavers as an Order did not have any particular code other than "be true to yourself"). And then there's Kaladin. His code is clearly much stricter than either Shallan's or Jasnah's in terms of how he is allowed to achieve his goals - for instance, I don't think Jasnah would have had any issue at all in letting an incompetent leader be assassinated if she thought it best for the nation that he go. Kaladin however, clearly has to defend Elhokar even when he dislikes and disapproves of him. Similarly, Dalinar feels compelled to work with Sadeas in order to unite Alethkar even when he knows Sadeas is untrustworthy; his nature as a Bondsmith won't allow him to create discord among his people. My point here is that one of the central themes of Stormlight Archive is going to be the philosophical question of: what is Honor? How do we define it? How do we reconcile differing definitions?
  10. @Erunion - Yes, Rand tells Elayne that making an angreal from a seed takes months, and she will be weaker in the Power while doing so (he makes it sound like it's a gradual weakening, with a period at the end where she'll be either extremely weak or totally unable to channel) but he doesn't say whether she'll have any control of how long the process takes, or whether she can "partially" charge the seed, or whatnot. So, maybe it's possible that a channeler can make an angreal weaker than the max they could accomplish in order to speed up the process.
  11. A couple of points, and a theory, regarding angreal... 1. There is WoB that angreal are NOT multiplicative, but additive. I forget the exact signing, but he stated that this was very clear in RJ's notes, particularly with regard to one specific character. My money is on this character being Moiraine after her stay in Finnland, and the angreal in question is Lanfear's tied-up-gymnasts bracelet. According to Moiraine herself, she can barely light a fire unaided, which, given how long she spent in Finnland, implies that she's been drained to as low as you can be. I'm therefore going to designate Moiraine as Level 1. (Note: I'm deliberately not taking Morgase into account, since I believe there's a qualitative difference between her and other female channelers. Someone like Sorilea, for instance, is very weak, but she can still channel at will with the strength she has, and can even form complex weaves such as Traveling even though she doesn't have the strength to make them work. Morgase, on the other hand, can't even reliably sense the Source, and when she can, she can't reliably touch it. Therefore, I'm calling her Level 0). Anyway...Moiraine then states that despite her weakness, she is "very strong" with the bracelet, because it's such a strong angreal, that it's almost a sa'angreal. She explicitly states she is stronger with it than she had been before being weakened. And pre-weakened Moiraine was quite strong indeed, certainly at least 10x as strong as weak Moiraine. So...if the weakest female channeler using the strongest angreal is "very strong"....how strong would the strongest female channeler (Lanfear) have been when she was using that same angreal? If there was a multiplicative effect, she would have been at least 10x her normal strength, and would have overpowered Rand instantly. Therefore, I think it's pretty clear that angreal are additive, rather than multiplicative. Additionally, in aMoL we learn a bit about how angreal are made. They require a Seed ter'angreal, that is then somehow charged by a channeler over time, in a process that temporarily drains the channeler of their channeling ability. My guess, then, is that the strength of the resulting angreal is directly proportional to the strength of the channeler who charges it. So, when Elayne finishes making hers, it will give whoever uses it a strength boost equal to Elayne's native strength. In Elayne's case, it would double her strength. If Nynaeve were to use it, however, she would think it's rather weak - it would make her stronger, but not twice as strong. If Moiraine used it she would be many times as strong - but the angreal's strength remains the same in all three cases. So, when Moiraine states that the bracelet is "almost a sa'angreal", I'm guessing she can tell that it was charged by a Lanfear-level channeler; someone who's as strong as a woman can possibly be.
  12. I'm pretty sure it was stated somewhere that approximately 1% of the 3rd Age population could learn to channel, as opposed to the 2-3% during the Age of Legends. In terms of the number born with the spark though - the best guess we have is that in Seanchan, there were 3-4 sul'dam for every damane, meaning that between 20-25% of potential channelers were born with the spark.
  13. My understanding is that the amount of Feruchemical charge in a metalmind is completely irrelevant when using it for Compounding. The Feruchemical charge, no matter how small or large, changes the Identity of the metal being burned so that it's Allomantic burn now creates a different effect from what it otherwise would have been. So, the amount of "energy" derived from Compounding is governed by Allomantic principles, not Feruchemical ones. Meaning, the Allomantic strength of the Compounder and the amount of the metal (but NOT the metal's charge) determine how much power is released. Typically, the amount of power is so great that it is not useable all at once, and most Compounders immediately store it in other metalminds for later use.
  14. So...on Scadrial, we have two shards but three magic systems, one for each shard and one combo. What if we have the same thing on Roshar in terms of the God-spren: one for Honor, one for Cultivation, and one combo? I'm not including any of Odium's spren, because Surgebinding is not his magic system. This would give us maximum of three Bondsmiths, with each having a different spren but none tied to Odium.
  15. Here's the thing about Shardplate - it doesn't really do anything other than what the Radiant can already do by holding Stormlight. Think about it; a surgebinder gets increased strength, speed, toughness, and regrowth, which are all features of Shardplate. Not coincidentally, Sharplate requires Stormlight to function. So you could argue that physical Shardplate is simply a cognitive manifestation of a Radiant's ability to use Stormlight, perfected.
  16. This is exactly my theory on Shardplate.
  17. For all we know, an ardent that has lots of practice might have been able to do the same feat with a fabrial.
  18. I think people are being far too literal in their interpretation of two Surges working together. We have WoB that when two adjacent orders use their shared Surge, the Surge works the same way for both. The "effect" of the overlap seems to be something that is inherent to the character of the individuals of the Order in question - for instance, Windrunners have their unique fighting abilities (Kaladin several times remarks that he can almost feel the wind telling him what his opponents are doing), and Lightweavers have their individual cognitive abilities (in Shallan's case, her Memories). It's strongly implied that Jasnah, as an Elsecaller, has a supernatural sense of direction, and that Skybreakers (the original, not the new-age cult) have a supernatural ability to detect lying. None of these effects are a direct result of using a Surge, but they do define the Orders to which they belong. Regarding the alley - it's quite possible that any Lightweaver or Elsecaller would be able to Soulcast at a short distance with enough practice. We just don't know. Jasnah probably doesn't do it often because the fabrials don't give that ability, and throwing lightning bolts around would tip people off.
  19. Very interesting theory - nice work! I'd like to make one point though regarding the gemstones and fabrials. From everything we've seen of fabrials, the gemstone type dictates the essence that is targeted by the effect, rather than the nature of the effect. For instance: the Detector fabrial uses Heliodor because it senses people (i.e. flesh). Navani's water-vacuum uses Garnet because it targets water. The linked-pen fabrials are a little more subtle, but they use Ruby, which is Spark (i.e. energy) - and they target the kinetic energy of the linked pens. The reverser fabrials, that replicate motion in the opposite direction, use Amethyst, which is Foil - could be reflection/mirroring. Augmenters, we're told, could use any of the 10 polestones, which makes sense because each polestone would cause it to augment something different. Now for the really interesting examples - Soulcaster fabrials have interchangeable gems, and the gems determine what the Soulcasting product is. Regrowth fabrials have topaz and heliodor, representing flesh and bone, which are the essences being regrown. To summarize, I think the shape/construction of the fabrial somehow determines the surge or surges used, and the effect that's generated, while the polestones provide the Stormlight as well as determine the Essence that is the subject of the effect.
  20. I would go with pewter allomancy and nicrosil feruchemy. A regular Thug has an upper limit on the benefits granted by pewter, but if you burn and store the Investiture when you don't need it, you could draw on a huge reserve of it when you do, and there's practically no limit on how much you can draw. You'd be getting enhanced strength, speed, durability and healing well beyond the limits of what even a really strong allomancer would be able to accomplish.
  21. Dominion does not necessarily mean "power over others", it also means "region in which one has authority". All the magics of Sel are geographically based, which is the contribution of the Dominion shard; they all, to some extent, require the user to show devotion to something.
  22. I think a Feruchemist could absolutely transfer Investiture from Stormlight or Breath into a metalmind. The catch though is that he would have to have access to that Investiture first. For instance, if a Feruchemist made his way to Roshar somehow, he wouldn't just be able to drain gemstones and use them to fuel Feruchemy, he would first have to form a Nahel Bond to allow him to access Stormlight. If he did that though, he would absolutely be able to use it to fill his other metal minds. Same for Breath - he would have to be given Breath by someone on Nalthis before being able to use it for Feruchemy.
  23. I think this is exactly right. The big question for me, though, is whether this is a complete explanation, or a partial one. We know that the term Investiture can refer to a specific "magic" phenomenon - for instance, a Feruchemical or Allomantic ability. However, it also seems to refer to the "raw" power that fuels the phenomenon as well; for example, Stormlight on Roshar, or Breath on Nalthis. We know that this raw power is universal, in that it is capable of fueling any magic in the cosmere, as long as it is properly directed. In BoM VenDell basically states as much when he describes Investiture as being part of someone's Spirit "the way blood is part of your body". So the question is this: can a Feruchemist store the raw Investiture of a metalmind, then transfer it to a different metalmind, thereby transforming one attribute into another? We know that they can in the RPG, but we're also told the RPG isn't canon, so that may not apply to the books. However, I'd be surprised if Brandon put something that big into the RPG that flatly contradicted what he planned on revealing in the books. So my guess is that, yes, storage of raw Investiture is possible. I'm guessing that the Southern Scadrians don't have access to this though, since it would require a medallion with at least 3 abilities: one for Nicrosil Feruchemy, and one each for the two attributes being transferred between. We know 3 is their absolute limit, and even these are very rare, so while it's possible they have it, it's certainly not something in widespread use.
  24. The thing about Tien and stones is that he was a proto-Lightweaver, with sculpting as his art form. There's an instance of him carving an incredibly realistic horse from a piece of wood, and he was probably doing something similar with stones in whatever scene that was from. Kaladin mentions over and over how Tien provided "the light" for their family, in much the same way that Shallan did with hers. It's somewhat subtle, but not that subtle. Brandon has even stated in a Q&A that "Kaladin has known two Lightweavers".
  25. I don't know about the specifics of why glass beads on Roshar, but it's very noteworthy that the Scadrian Cognitive Realm consists of mist, which is a reflection of the physical manifestation of Investiture on Scadrial. On Roshar, Investiture manifests as Light, which is contained in gems....kinda close to beads. More importantly - Shadesmar seems significantly more dangerous to hang out in than the Scadrian Cognitive Realm. Remember, Honor is Splintered. I don't think this is a coincidence. I bet that the more Splintered Shards there are on a planet, the more dangerous the Cognitive Realm there becomes. We don't know what exactly is going on on Sel, but we know it's very, very dangerous in the Cognitive Realm there.