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ccstat last won the day on February 18 2017

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About ccstat

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  1. Absolutely! You've been removed. Other requested additions/updates also completed to this point.
  2. All updates completed to this point! Sorry for any delays. In case you haven't found it yet, the map can be found here. I've placed a new marker for you in Missouri, since I didn't find a prior marker for you on the map. Has your username changed? If so, I'll correct the out of date entry.
  3. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Endnote I’ll admit I don’t really get this ketek. I’m going to have to think about it for a bit. It’s disturbing that it’s written by El, who in this case is noted to be a/the “Fused scholar of human art forms.” Is this endnote by Nazh? Who else would be collecting the keteks and writing commentary about singer interpretation of Alethi poetic styles? The typeface isn’t different, so we can’t positively identify it as Nazh by handwriting, like we can on the maps etc. Ars Arcanum There is a disappointing absence of new information about fabrials in the Ars Arcanum. This being Navani’s book to shine and demonstrate her engineering, not to mention the discoveries regarding tuning investiture to different tones or rhythms, I would have expected an expansion of that section. Everything else looks the same, with the exception of Stoneshaping. Even the Soulcasting entry looks identical to past versions, if my memory holds. I’ll need to do a careful comparison to actually be sure. As for Stoneshaping, Khriss makes comparisons to microkinesis from Yolen (which we only know of through WoB, none of it canon yet) and discusses Intent. Nothing that really stands out to me, honestly, except for the contrast between Soulcasting and Stoneshaping in their ease of manipulating stone. That part’s got to come down to spren, though. The discussion of willingness, connection, and command feel basic, and I’ll need to think about how they apply (or not) to other systems if I’m going to figure out what Brandon is trying to convey here. She does note that Nazh is being embedded with the Stonwards. I wonder if I missed a cameo from him in this book. And “Foil, deep within his ocean,” is apparently a scholar with competing hypotheses to Khriss. He is seeking control of the aethers, so there’s our Aether of Night connection. I don’t recall if we’ve encountered this name before. And that's the end! Thank you for joining me. I'll make a retrospective post soon to wrap up the whole liveblog experience.
  4. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Epilogue (Dirty Tricks) Icons: Jester and Ash (mirrored) –Wit the lightweaver, naturally Design is the sort of audience member Wit needs: unimpressed and… I want to say snarky but she’s more genuine than that. Willing to object. Wit, on considering Sja-Anat’s expanding influence. This is striking because Sja-Anat has been shown to be working for the benefit of Roshar and against Odium. Is there something about her “corruption” of spren that Hoid would consider horrifying? Surely he’s encountered things like this in the past, and the context makes it seem like it’s the scale of the thing that worries him. Wit makes a good and interesting point about how the audience’s willing suspension of disbelief is what makes them participants in the experience of storytelling or magic or theater. I hadn’t thought of it in that specific a breakdown before. That series of “sense” puns are quite fun when read in text, but I would have been utterly lost in the audiobook. I can’t decide if I love it or hate it. Taravangian is too competent, even when pretending to be as mindless as Rayse, and Wit clues in that something is wrong… but he keeps his memories in Breath rather than in his brain, which makes them vulnerable. But Odium doesn’t take everything, he merely erases the last few minutes and repeats his performance. There are far more holes in it the second time, but it’s in the direction that Wit expects, so he doesn’t question it. Even when his reduced Breath reserve means he’s lost perfect pitch, he pushes past it all and ignores the discontinuities. –new swear from Wit! Onto the list it goes. Honestly, I’m a little shocked that Brandon let Wit be bested here. It’s a good technique for upping the stakes, to show Wit being bamboozled and harmed. Brandon is fond enough of Wit and especially these epilogue ruminations on storytelling that I never anticipated this being such a complete win for neo-Odium. It hammers home the threat that an ascended Taravangian poses, but I still like Mr. T a lot and know that Hoid is not always working toward ends that the other protagonists would agree with, so I’m withholding judgement on whether this is a good or a bad thing. I am incredibly intrigued by the question of what Renarin knows. His visions let him see the confrontation with Szeth ahead of time, and I have a suspicion that Renarin knows about the ascension. If I’m right, that makes it fascinating that he hasn’t told Dalinar anything about it (yet). I wonder what end he’s working toward, and how that aligns with Cultivation’s desires. Going the other direction, Taravangian knows that Renarin is a blind spot and a fulcrum for events, and I wonder how he’s going to try to remedy/exploit that.
  5. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 117 (One Final Gift) Icons: Kalak and Jez, mirrored. Okay, I’m a little conflicted here. I need to admit that I read this chapter twice, since I mostly neglected to take notes on it the first time through. The strange thing is, the first read-through I was annoyed at the placement of the chapter. I thought, “why wait until now to show us Eshonai’s death? Wouldn’t it have been better at the end of Words of Radiance, so that it’s a continuation/conclusion of her story there, and then we know ahead of time to expect Venli’s protagonist?” It seemed odd to wait two books to give us this scene. However, on my second read through I distinctly thought, “I like this framing. Eshonai survives the fall, but we know Venli finds her corpse, so there’s a tension and anticipation about how she’ll meet her demise.” I think I mostly agree with my second opinion, especially as this whole book of Rhythm of War has given us a look into Eshonai and Venli’s past, so this intersection between the flashbacks and the on-screen events of the books is an appropriate ending. It’s also a good way to tie it together, given it’s also the Stormfather’s answer to Dalinar about mercy. At the same time, though, the triumphant feeling of Eshonai finding the Rhythm of War and freeing herself from her servitude to Odium is undercut by the knowledge that it will be two years in-world before that feat is repeated, and Eshonai’s success won’t contribute to that at all. Her escape is personal and sadly divorced from any direct impact on events.The overt contrast between her fight for survival and her fight for her freedom is well done, and that she finds it a victory to win one but not the other is touching. I’m not clear on whether this is something that could be the case for all Radiants or if Eshonai’s transition to Radianthood is important. We see a burst of investiture each time Kaladin progresses to a new oath or ideal, so it’s certainly plausible that if Eshonai had died twenty minutes later she wouldn’t have lingered as much. On the other hand, simply being connected to a nahel bond is fairly investiture intensive, so the transition points might not matter so much for this. Eshonai and the Stormfather have a nice Life Before Death sort of discussion, though the flip-flop of their positions in this philosophical dialectic is a little odd. Stormfather doesn’t take the same perspective for the whole thing, almost arguing in a devil’s advocate sort of way. Eshonai, as the first listener Willshaper, getting to ride the storm and explore the whole of Roshar is definitely a fitting a merciful gift. Good job, Stormfather! And tying the movement Beyond to her exploratory nature gives the ending an even more hopeful tone. Nicely done.
  6. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 116 (Mercy) Icons: Shash, Jez, and double Ishar (not mirrored) I’m about to give up on interpreting these odd arrangements. What is up with the mirroring/not-mirroring thing? Why 3? Epigraph: El is aware of the change in Odium’s vessel, and has been “waiting to worship” the new one. I’m not any more enamored of this guy than I was from the previous musings. Good, Kaladin is intentionally taking a step back. He acknowledges that the mental health work he’s doing is valuable both for its own sake and for the healing he gets from it. Not a big moment, but it’s the right note to end his arc. They have ten days to capture territory before the borders are finalized. That’s going to make it hard for Dalinar to keep his promise to the Mink. “Oh, you want to be a mental health expert? Perfect timing. You have ten days to up your game and perfect your techniques, abduct Ishar for an intervention, and have him train me to fight Odium. Time to get good, soldier.” And here I was thinking that Kaladin’s focus on healing would take him out of the front lines. Silly me. The flute is back! After Brandon’s exasperated answers to the many times we asked about it, I figured it was going to stay lost. I love it. Oh, and she kept the chicken? Nice! Wait, no, Wyndle kept the chicken? How is that going to work? You garden chairs, you defective voidbringer. You’re not ready for an exotic chicken as a pet! *** Here we’re meeting El. I have to say I’m a little disturbed by this description. He rips off his natural carapace every time he possesses a new body, and replaces it with metal. He speaks with no rhythms. He is “The one with no title.” None of these are good signs. El was forbidden rhythms. Good grief, what did he do to earn that punishment? Navani stole El’s title. Go Navani! Welp, the Pursuer is toast now. It really makes me curious what New!Odium and El felt the need to test this. I mean, it makes sense that Taravangian would want to see it for himself, since he missed the whole development series Navani and Raboniel did, but what’s the goal? What is he so eager to purge from his forces/his self to reshape his new divinity? There are lots of options, and few of them are good. *** Urithiru is finally alive. Hooray! Aww, Kaladin found the wooden horse. More mysteries! *** Oh, the irony is delicious! Interesting take on the agreement: “Wit thinks we’ve already won, but he got what he wanted.” Dalinar is right to be worried, even if Taravangian hadn’t pulled off that switcheroo. With that change, everything is much more in flux than anyone knows. Stormfather’s mercy is… the final Eshonai flashback! Nice. Excited to see how that manifests.
  7. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 115 (Testament) Icons: Kalak and Ash, mirrored as per usual. My guess about the symmetry being broken is wrong, or only applies to chapters with the new Odium. Epigraph: This El seems like a jolly fellow. Let’s support his candidacy for overlord. Shallan is trying to rehabilitate her first spren, now named Testament. This is going to be a long, laborious process. Props to Shallan for embarking on it essentially without hesitation (once the decade of repressed memories finally resurfaced, at least). Huh. Mraize’s radio is a seon. Looks sadly abused :-( I don’t know Aons at all, so no clue what Ala means. I’m sure it’s on the wiki by now, though. So Radiant has stuck around. That’s interesting. I’m not sure how that dynamic is going to work without Veil. Nor am I quite certain why Veil is the one who was reabsorbed for this set of memories. I’m going to have to review my notes and see how the developing personas interacted with those forgotten parts of Shallan. This is a cool speech you’re giving Mraize, but it feels a little bit like you’re giving up way more information than you need to. Why tell him you’re coming after him? That’s way more warning than you should offer. Thaidakar. The Lord of Scars. Someone Wit threatens to slap around. Again. Gah! This is where I facepalm. Thaidakar is Kelsier. Kelsier is leading the Ghostbloods. Let the record show that I was the one who asked this question years ago, allowing Brandon to troll us on this: ccstat If Kelsier (when Vin knew him) were to join one of the Rosharan secret societies, which one would he choose? Brandon Sanderson He would become part of the Ghostbloods, most likely, and would be in charge of them within a year. So close, and yet so blindly, stupidly far. Okay, that’s a cool line. Good work, Shallan. *** Yeah, that’s a pretty quick turnaround to let Venli do strange things with strange spren. I can see why she got away with it the first time. I mean, I get that we’re in the epilogue and can’t belabor the point much, but really? You just let her waltz into the camp and talk about bonding new spren again? It’s convenient that she’s right this time, and we the readers want you to listen, because otherwise I’d be pretty cross. “Hundreds.” She’s going to turn the whole listener encampment into a band of Willshapers? That’s pretty awesome, and that would be a significant deterrent to summary destruction by a handful of Fused. Good move. Venli singing the old songs for her mother is very sweet. And the listeners have allied with the chasmfiends. That’s pretty awesome, and another strong deterrent. I guess I’m not too upset after all. You had good reason to allow her into the camp. If she tried something, there was a defense available. Aww, Jaxlim wakes up, her senility cured (? at least partially) by radiance, and she gets to reunite with Venli. And that’s the moment that Venli’s words are accepted, because she’s made enough of an effort to make them real. …but we don’t get to see her second-ideal power up. Too bad.
  8. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 114 (Broken Gods) Icons: Betab and Palliah, doubled but not mirrored, similar to last chapter. Hm. Has the symmetry been broken by the ascension of a new Odium? Is that what’s going on here? I guess I’ll have to see if the pattern holds. Chapter icon is intelligent Taravangian. Epigraph: Speaking as a human, I’m not too keen on being helped to my “final Passion,” thanks. Sorry, El. Not a fan of this approach. Rlain’s spren is named Tumi, and it’s the one they kept thinking was a voidspren. I like the title “Bridger of Minds” for Rlain, and I’m glad that he got a spren, but I’m not really enthused by him being one of the aberrant Radiants via Sja-Anat, or being a Truthwatcher. Neither feel right to me, and I’m still salty that he didn’t end up as the Bondsmith with the Sibling. I suppose that would have undercut Venli’s first-listener-Radiant accomplishment, and Rlain’s not really the strong personality type to negotiate with Dalinar, so it’s probably for the best. But still, why have his spren be the special-flavor kind? It sets him apart as different yet again. Also, why have another truthwatcher spren be the sja-anat touched one? Leshwi and company have become listeners and are following Venli into the hills to find the lost legion. Nice, and it’s great to see Kaladin and Leshwi parting on mutually acknowledged positive terms. Still, it’s kind of sad that they won’t be best frenemies any more. That dynamic was ship-tastic. And Teft gets a funeral. *** Well, that answers the question of Szeth. He figures that the burned-out corpse is Taravangian. Taravangian is struggling against the overwhelming Passion of Odium’s mantle, but he’s been prepared for this. He was given the capacity to stop what was coming, not only by being attuned to pick up the power, but also by being trained to handle overwhelming emotion and overflowing intellect. He is uniquely able to remain himself under its weight. And he’s about to talk to Cultivation, but of course we don’t get to see any of that. *** Teft and Phendorana get memorials in Urithiru. Everyone is there except Rock. And things are ambiguously worded again to try to convince us Rock is dead. “Kaladin wouldn’t be seeing Rock again.” Right, we believe that, definitely. It’s not as though he’s obviously passed through into Shadesmar for a reappearance down the line. *eyeroll* Nice moment with Kaladin and Syl, here. I still find it weird that she gets to be human sized sometimes, though. Spren should always be chibi-sized, imo *** Oh, we do get to see Cultivation! Description: black hair, dark skin, and “another shape as well, deeper and truer than the others.” Welp, I guess she’s one of our dragon Vessels. I don’t know if we’ve established how many of those there are, but here’s one accounted for. And Taravangian explains the whole training/attuning thing better than I did. That “with honor” is a loaded phrase, given the other dead god in the room. Oh dear, Taravangian is very spookily thinking of all the loopholes he can use to win that Rayse was too blinded to see. He’s thinking of ways to get around what Cultivation is asking him to do. He has a lot of agency here, and we have no idea what he actually wants. Well, crap. Looks like we have an antagonist, folks. I have to say, though, this is a much more interesting antagonist than Rayse ever could have been. If this gives us another complex character and relationship like Raboniel, I am all in favor.
  9. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. NOTE: Many, many apologies for the delay. Yes, it's been six months since my last entry. Don't worry, we're in the home stretch now. The end is in sight! Chapter 113 (Emotion) Icons: Compassionate Taravangian at the top. Chach and Nale as dual herald icons, but not mirrored. Weird. What’s this intended to mean? Epigraph: Best guess is that El is going to be Odium’s champion. I don’t think we’ve met him yet, though. Navani having a sensory awareness of the tower’s mechanisms is a cool thing, even if I’m still a bit unhappy about how this whole Sibling bonding thing went down. At least their relationship is still explicitly a work in progress. Raboniel is alive? Woah. Aww, they get to say goodbye! And she asks Navani to perma-kill her so that she can finally rest (and also avoid the inevitable madness that would ensue from her injuries). I love this dynamic between the two scholars. And then they sing the Rhythm of War together again, to send Raboniel off to the Beyond. Ow, the feels! *** Vargo is having a very emotional day. It’s sweet that he still feels Dalinar is a true friend. A note from Renarin: “I’m sorry.” And it’s accompanied by two gems worth of stormlight. Vargo’s first thought is “What had the boy seen?” He’s right to be afraid. You never want to get an apology from a precog. (Admittedly, I’m also coming at this as a member of the Worm fandom, where the main character gets a similar note from a precog at a pivotal moment, so maybe I’m reading more into this than I should.) Oh, right. It’s been long enough since I was in this story that I forgot about the Sja-Anat spren that were being delivered. It’s not just stormlight in there. Szeth’s father is dead, Ishar having killed him to reclaim his Blade. And now he wants answers from Taragangian. Taravangian is too dumb to manipulate Szeth… but it’s okay, because he asks for the wrong thing, which becomes reverse psychology, so the right thing happens. That’s quite the coup. Taravangian is on his deathbed, injured again by Szeth, and Odium is arriving. Feels like a suitably dramatic moment for something. Wow. Go Taravangian! Nine parts dead, brain of the nine fools, and he still manages to slam Nightblood through Odium’s chest! What. WHAT?? What the what? Vargo’s plot worked so well that he ascended as the next Odium? I did not see this coming at all. I am trying to type out my thoughts and keep getting stuck with inarticulate screaming. Gah! Okay, so, here’s what we’ve got. Taravangian’s soul gets sucked into the vessel-shaped hole left by Nightblood eating Rayse. And it could only happen today, on his day of 100% passion, since that is what resonates with the Shard’s mandate. Taravangian is Odium. Gaaa! This could be very good or very, very bad, or more likely both at once, but this absolutely, fundamentally changes the game. And to think, two chapters ago I was feeling disappointed in the number of end-of-book reveals. Right now I’m wondering what Szeth noticed, if anything, from Nightblood suddenly devouring Rayse. We’ve seen before that Nightblood doesn’t retain memories from when it is drawn, so he won’t be able to learn what happened, but surely he noticed something going on.
  10. Sorry, I'm a little confused about these posts. Right now I've added @Emery the Steelrunnerto the map in Idaho Falls, and @EmulatonStromenkiin in West Virginia. If this is incorrect, please tell me how to fix it and I'll be happy to do so.
  11. Nice! Now you have reminders of this inclusive fandom everywhere you go! My best guess is that you've added the Sharders around the World map to your personal account, in which case it should show up as an available list in "Your Places" under the dropdown menu. If so, you can set that list to be hidden by default, or delete it entirely. Don't worry, it won't get rid of the master list.
  12. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 112 (Terms) Title: Are we really going to try making a contract with Odium now? I sure hope not. It doesn’t feel earned. Hopefully this is about the terms they will set with their allied Fused in the Tower. Icons: Betab. Patron of Elsecallers, also Wise and Careful. I’m going to hope it’s something to do with Rlain’s new Elsecaller status. Epigraph: This might be the first in-text confirmation that Odium is waging (or preparing to wage) a war beyond Greater Roshar. We’ve had Wit’s comments about preventing Rayse’s escape and limiting his ability to harm others, but nothing from Odium’s side to confirm that he actually has designs on the greater Cosmere. Obviously we know something about his plans due to WoBs over the years, but in-text citations are always better. *** Dalinar’s exhaustion is greater than expected, and leaves him vulnerable. I think Odium is going to approach him in a vision while he’s down for a rest. Odium didn’t even wait for him to lay down. As soon as he stepped through the door, it was all business. Will there even be small talk? Another addition to the list of swears! Thanks, Dalinar! It does seem as though Rayse’s self control is lacking. He barely keeps his anger at bay, and his image seems to match Wit’s description of his power and mind working at odds with each other. Odium thinks Dalinar has been getting coaching from Ishar. He can’t see Dalinar’s future, but this means he can’t really examine his past either. That’s a pretty skillful lie that Dalinar just came up with on the spot. Good work. Going to see Ishar wasn’t useful in itself, but it did let Dalinar bluff really well and provided great misdirection for Odium’s paranoia. Wait, when did Dalinar learn that Renarin was a blindspot? Looking back… it was in chapter 54 when Renarin apparently deduced it for himself and shared, plus in interlude 9 Taravangian told Szeth…though that meeting may not have been reported to Dalinar. I totally forgot that Renarin had figured it out and told Dalinar. I guess that’s what I get for taking so long to read this book. He immediately knows that Wit wrote the contract. He doesn’t seem to have much affection for the man, to put it gently. Okay, here’s clarification of sorts: Honor chained Odium to the Rosharan system and prevented him from using his power on most people. And if he breaks his word, he’ll be open to attack from Cultivation. The Everstorm somehow is beyond Rayse’s control, and he can’t agree to withdraw it. That’s weird. But let’s see where he’s going with it. This is remarkably similar to the Alethi concept of the Tranquiline Halls and the fate of those worthy warriors who die in battle. I wonder if that belief was directly engendered by the thrill or by Odium’s whispers. Or is it the case of glorifying something that used to be warned against? Odium’s proposal is exactly opposite to what Wit wants. “If I win, I go free of Roshar and leave you all here to rot.” That’s not great for the wider Cosmere. Good. Dalinar doesn’t trust Wit, but he also knows that Tanavast died to trap Odium here. He’s not going to just undo that. Woah, wait. This is a huge hint: So Odium has been playing a serious game from the start. He discovered Surgebinding on Ashyn, tricked the people there into exploiting it until the planet suffered the consequences, and proceeded to begin the same here on Roshar. The spren copied this, and Ishar saw the danger of history repeating, so he limited surgebinding under some formalized ruleset. But surgebinding isn’t just the magic of Roshar or the Rosharan system, it is apparently an exploit of investiture at a fundamental level. It’s something that can be done on all shardworlds, as an enhancement of or as a distinct system from the magic that already exists there. And it’s powerful enough to kick off full-scale inter-system war. Ah. Odium is scared because the Fused and the Radiant spren can now kill each other, and each death reduces the forces he will be able to bring to bear when he does eventually break free. He is in a hurry to settle this while both sides are at full power so as not to lose the one advantage he’s been banking on. Sadly, Dalinar doesn’t see this, not being aware of what happened at Urithiru. Ten days until Odium’s proposed contest of champions. I guess the epigraphs make sense: “Musings of El, on the first of the Final Ten Days.” The terms if he loses are that Odium will keep his conquered lands and enforce an end to the war. I guess that explains how we get a timeskip between books 5 and 6. This will also let him send his agents through the cosmere. And if Dalinar loses he joins the Fused, immortal and subservient to Odium in all things. But at the same time, the end of the war is still enforced, with the difference that Alethkar and Herdaz are not returned. It’s clear that while Odium covets Dalinar, what he needs is to preserve his army of Fused and Radiants before they can destroy each other. Dalinar accepts, on the sound logic that if they lose the contest of champions then he’ll have to surrender anyway and the terms of that surrender will be no less restrictive than this win condition he’s negotiated. Wow. That is a very different set of terms than I would have ever expected Odium to agree to, and a lot more information about Odium’s past and plans than I thought we would be getting. Brandon does love his end-of-book reveals, doesn’t he?
  13. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 111 (Unchained) Title: Probably most intended as a reference to the Sibling, but I imagine it will be a broadly applicable theme. Icons: Quartet of Chach, Ishar, Palah, and Jez. Hard to speculate for Chach and Palah. Epigraph: How recent are we talking, here? I assume this is post-epilogue material, and El is aware that Urithiru was retaken and the Sibling revived. He really doesn’t think it matters, does he. I guess it’s a positive thing for him, since humans are resisting annihilation, and he was already arguing against exterminating the race. He doesn’t think there’s any chance at all that humans will come out the victors, though. *** Wait, before we get into this, does Navani’s revival of the Sibling and apparent healing of that whole Unmaking business mean that the tower’s suppression can immediately revert to blocking Void-powered abilities? That would make a dramatic and instant difference in the balance of power here. I almost hope that’s not the case, since it feels sort of like the frequently used “shoot the mothership to deactivate everything” trope in movies that often comes off as a cheap victory. Anyway, on to Dalinar, who is our first PoV. Oh. It was Dalinar who accepted Kaladin’s oath. I had that totally wrong. Makes sense, though. Bondsmith power! New swear construction for the list. Thanks, Dalinar! Dalinar immediately recognizes Ishar through their Connection. That’s the bondsmith’s domain, so it makes sense, but I also wonder if it’s partly to do with the way Ishar founded the nahel system. It’s more than any of the other Radiant orders have recognized of their own patron heralds. Well, that’s a bit of an info drop. That’s not how imagined Ishar either, mostly going by the closed-eyed icon, but that’s neither here nor there. He was the one who saved humanity from Ashyn by discovering the path through Shadesmar. That’s a remarkable achievement, and it means that events happened very rapidly on early Roshar for him to have become a member of the oathpact. How swiftly did it become necessary to lock away Odium and his Fused? Ishar thinks he’s Tanavast, and that he’s the one meant to fight Odium’s champion? That’s more delusional than I was expecting. Apparently he is “Herald of Heralds, sole bearer of the Oathpact.” Not only that, he’s going to absorb Odium’s power and become reborn into a new incarnation of Adonalsium. I’m not going to say that he’s harmless, since he obviously has plenty of power and ability, but I will say that recruiting this guy sounds dodgy. Ishar reclaimed his own blade, and apparently it was the one that Szeth’s dad was entrusted. I’m not convinced that Ishar would need to do anything at all to Szeth’s dad in order to get the blade back, since I doubt it was actually unbound from him in the first place. But the Ghostbloods lost track of some honorblades and their wielders, so something might be up. *** The cremling is following their group. I guess we’ll find out if it’s actually possessed by a voidspren rather than being part of a sleepless. However, Timbre taking a chasmfiend taxi to reach Eshonai in the flashbacks gives some credence to the idea that the voidspren really are hiding in these cremlings. The Rhythm of Executions. Why do they even have that rhythm? Rlain asks for a spren. Timbre says he’s “already spoken for.” Okay, there’s quite a bit to unpack here. Yes, he gets one of Sja-Anat’s children. I was hoping for Unmade Sibling, but I guess we’ll go with semi-Unmade nahel spren from another order instead. I do still like his association with Renarin here, and bonding one of Sja-Anat’s children fits. The titles are interesting. Son of Thorns I like because it acknowledges both Dalinar the Blackthorn but also Renarin’s mother. (Whether that refers to Evi or Navani or both, I’m not sure. Probably Navani due to recent events, but who knows?) As for Bridger of Minds, that’s a fascinating one because until the recent alliance of convenience against the Pursuer, Rlain really didn’t do much to act as a bridge, being too much an outcast of both worlds. That title also suggests a role in connecting people or in pursuit of knowledge, which brings us to the last point: The spren’s speaking patterns are reminiscent of Blended and Ivory, suggesting that prior to their corruption by Sja-Anat they were an Inkspren. That’s certainly not conclusive, and I could be wrong entirely. Current guess, though, is that Rlain will be a weird Elsecaller in the same way that Renarin is a weird Truthwatcher. *** There’s a new word. “Skepping” is the act of quickly dismissing and resummoning the blade so that it passes through blocks. Whatever else Ishar has lost, his fighting ability is still top notch. Ishar was average among the Heralds, Taln was the best. Ah, the Stormfather’s warning is important. WIth his honorblade, Ishar is “a bondsmith unchained” by the rules of the nahel system he instated. The perpendicularity brings Ishar to his senses…almost. But no, the conclusion must be that Odium has corrupted the Stormfather. He’s trying to steal the bond to the Stormfather, and Dalinar’s status as someone opposed to Odium? That can’t be good. It almost works, except that Szeth chops through the theft with Nightblood. Holding Nightblood drawn in the middle of a perpendicularity has got to be making sword-nimi really happy right now. Ishar went to the Shin and revealed himself in order to get his Honorblade back. What did that do to Stone Shamanism to have a herald tell them the conflict wasn’t over? Szeth doesn’t believe it, and Ishar elaborates: All of that is concerning. Given Ishar’s demonstrated grasp on reality I am not sure how much truth is in those statements, but it’s certain that Shinovar is worse off now than it was before Ishar and the Unmade visited. Nightblood chipped the Honorblade. That’s not surprising to those who know where it came from, but it’s a big shock to everyone here. Ishar has a brief moment of lucidity when Navani says her vow. He knows he’s insane, but he wants everyone to meet him in Shinovar to restore the Oathpact, provided they can restore his sanity at the time by having a whole bunch of Radiants swear their next oath in sequence to grant him lucidity. *** Okay, so the Voidlight is still present in the Sibling as a corrupting influence, but the Sibling’s nature and use of Towerlight has not changed. Navani is going to try to purge the Voidlight I guess? Okay, she can do it but she needs her scholars and the anti-Voidlight plate to make it work, and all of this will take time. Despite being driven back, Moash is not a solved problem, yet, that she can spend her focus elsewhere. Hm. I guess Moash fled and she really can focus on this problem now. *** Hm. So Ishar’s trick was to make their bodies and the ground Connected to the point that all their investiture flowed out to try to fill the ground. That’s a scarily effective ability. Apparently Ishar couldn’t do that before, because even without the restrictions of the nahel system he was limited by Tanavast. So how limited is Dalinar at this point? What enforces his restrictions? Well, that’s a whole can of worms we didn’t know about the Ashyn situation. Not only is Ishar the one who discovered how to escape, he seems to have precipitated the crisis that forced an escape to be necessary. It also appears that Odium was confined to Ashyn somehow, and trickery was necessary for him to escape to the wider Roshar system. This explains why the Oathpact was immediately recognized as a necessity. The survivors from Ashyn knew that Odium would cause the same destruction to Roshar if he wasn’t checked. So somehow they devised a way to consign him to Braize. I’m eager to learn the story of how that happened. Szeth is ready to graduate from following the Blackthorn to following his quest to the Shin. Set up for Stones Unhallowed? Storms, yes! Yes, sword-nimi, you destroyed a lot of evil this time. What does Szeth have to do before he leaves? Is it something to do with Taravangian, because otherwise the meeting with Odium may not be engineered appropriately. What was it Ishar knew that unnerved Szeth? The thing about the Unmade? Something about his father? I don’t know. Dalinar: “I don’t know if Szeth or Nightblood are more insane.” Stormfather: “Neither do I, but Ishar’s got them both beat.” I wonder what they’ll actually get from Ishar. I don’t know that much of his writings will be useful or relevant or accurate, even if he did leave things behind. *** Adin again. I don’t know how I feel about returning to an interlude character in the main text (excepting the main throughline interlude, which in this case is Taravangian). The only reason to do so now would be to show off that Adin is actually getting a spren, or to do something with a commoner’s view. The former doesn’t feel worth taking space here, and the latter could be accomplished with someone else. This undercuts the use of the interlude chapters. Either take out Adin’s interlude, possibly pushing it into the main text (my preference) or skip this PoV now. A bright spot in Alethi sexism, and a reminder that as brutal as their culture is, war is formalized and has certain rules around it. So can Kaladin lend his plate to other people? That’s neat and unexpected. I’m going to guess that other orders can’t do this. But see, this would have been a much cooler thing if it were the Moment of Awesome for Kaladin, separate from our first sight of living Plate. We definitely should have had the introduction to that from Jasnah first so that this could be special. And yes, this PoV could have been anyone else rather than Adin. My vote would be Dabbid or Leshwi, personally. The superficial connection to Tien, where Kaladin gets to save a kid instead of watching them die, is only there in subtle reference and could be there just as much from another PoV. Huh. It didn’t take Navani long at all to purge the Voidlight and get everything functional. The Tower is alive again, and the suppression is working correctly. Ewww. Suppressing the Deepest Ones while they are halfway merged with the floor does not go well for them. I’m hopeful that the Sibling can be more selective in the future and allow allied Fused to function in their halls. I’m not confident, though. What will happen with Leshwi? Best guess right now is that she and her entourage will ferry Venli and Rlain to the Shattered Plains to find the lost listeners. *** Ishar is doing autopsies/dissections? Are they … not singers, it appears. Apparently humans, but possibly Siah if their bodies become depigmented upon death? No, it is pale blue so probably a Siah Aimian. Or maybe just a Natan like Dalinar thinks. This other body, though, is weird. Should I recognize this? Oh, wait. Is it a Cryptic brought into the physical? It totally is. That description matches and is disturbing, but it is definitely what we’re seeing. Yes, Stormfather agrees. It’s a Cryptic. And there are more. Cultivationspren… The first one must have been an honorspren, with the bluish skin. Yes, Stormfather agrees again. Not only that, he recognizes the body as an honorspren he knows. Storms. I thought the reveal at the end of Way of Kings, with Taravangian exsanguinating people to harvest death rattles, was bad. This has the same shock value and greater atrocity. Ishar’s madness is worse than anyone expected. *** Moash’s Honorblade-granted abilities are unhindered, but his connection to Odium is suppressed by the revived tower, and, as anticipated, his passion comes roaring back. His pain and guilt return with a vengeance. What did he run into and land on? The description makes me think he smacked into the cliff and then fell into a snowbank, but it could be something magical rather than physical. Why did the Towerlight burn him? Was he too steeped in Voidlight to survive? That’s bizarre, since nothing like that happened to the Fused. He gets rescued by Heavenly Ones, and begins to heal. Odium steals his guilt and pain again, and his body mends…except for his eyes. He’s permanently blind. What does that mean for him going forward?
  14. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 110 (Reborn) Icons: Jez and Ishar. We’re back to our regular mirrored doublet, so maybe things are calming down? Looks like windrunner and bondsmith shenanigans inbound. Epigraph: Really? Now you’re teasing us with one word at a time? This is getting silly. Okay, that is a lot more windspren than I expected. Kaladin is overachieving again, opening a glowing channel from the top of the storm to the bottom. No wonder the giant window was lighting up in the tower. Hm. This is a nice moment of earning his Plate, and it’s great to both see it and feel the significance of the windspren choosing that connection. HOWEVER! Why does Kaladin get this scene? Jasnah has had her plate for over a year, and she’s not the only one. We all knew where plate comes from by now, so this isn’t a reveal of any sort. Doesn’t Jasnah deserve some time in the spotlight? This isn’t just the Kaladin show. The other characters matter too. And the PoV cuts off right as he is about to grab Lirin, or they’re both going to smack into the ground. It’s cinematic, but does anyone actually think Brandon’s going to let Kaladin fail to save Lirin right here? I guess it would be a test of his new oath… *** Yes! Go Navani! Reject those internalized judgements of not being good enough. You are a scholar. You are a creator. You are enough, and you are worthy! We’ve been waiting for this culmination of your character journey. Take that, Gavilar. Navani is willing to compromise, to unite. It’s a different conception of unity than Dalinar encompases, but it’s an important one. Perhaps more important for that difference. Navani hums Odium’s tone, as the only one she can hear… but she can invert it in her own voice. This reclaims some of the Sibling and forces Moash to hesitate. This is what you’ve discovered, Navani, and a skill you’ve earned. Sibling can hear Cultivation’s tone, but not Honor’s. So the answer is no, cultivation’s investiture was not replaced by the infusion of Voidlight. Navani unknowingly echoes Notum and the other honorspren here, “Honor is not dead. He lives inside the hearts of his children.” And she makes it a reality, drawing on her own heart to bring forth Honor’s tone. All her practice jamming out with Raboniel means she can immediately and on the fly harmonize into the Rhythm of the Tower, finding that common ground with the Sibling. Yep, she’s awesome. Also, I love that Navani is speaking to these Rhythms now. She’s going to be welcomed by Leshwi and friends. The Sibling says their initial creation was in order to create common ground between humans and spren. What does that mean for the founding of Urithiru, and the formalization of nahel structure by Ishar? I doubt we’ll find out soon. I find it significant that the Sibling accepts her oath. It’s not weird, since they are of equivalent stature/standing as the Stormfather and he’s the one who usually does it. But this is personal and the result of long negotiation. I approve. She’s somehow healed the Sibling’s ability to create Towerlight, and they do it together. I don’t have a problem with that, except that it appears to trivially revert all of the Unmaking that Raboniel has been doing for weeks. Sure, that was needlessly drawn out in order to push Raboniel’s other plans, but it was still a huge infusion of voidlight into the very being of the Sibling, to the point that their mind has been undergoing fundamental alteration. I don’t think you should be able to gloss over that with a single power-up sequence. In fact, I was looking forward to Rlain the Bondsmith in part because of the partial unmaking of the Sibling. It would be something new and interesting to work around. On top of that, I think it would have been better and more Significant for a listener/singer to be the second Bondsmith. That would recast the conflict significantly, and draw a lot more eyes than Venli’s bond. Maybe that’s why Brandon didn’t do it? Because he didn’t want Venli overshadowed? But then why give the job to the Kholin family? In fact, I’m a little irked that Navani’s “yes I matter, yes I’m good enough” moment leads directly into phenomenal cosmic powers. She was unique among the core cast as being someone without magical skills but still getting by through fabrial tech and family bonds and sheer gumption. Why undercut that role by giving her powers, right when she starts to accept her own contributions? I’m not fully happy with this development, as great as it is. Still, “Journey before destination, you bastard.” That’s a badass moment and something we’ve all been wanting to spit in Moash’s face for a while. You go, Navani! *** Lirin accepting the shash glyph is a nice touch to this reunion scene. Kaladin’s brand healing is nice and symbolic, but doesn’t make sense. Why would accepting his inability to save people negate his self identity as branded and enslaved? This doesn’t jive for me. It’s too sudden. Sure, elevations to another tier of Radiant Oaths are empowering, but he was accepting loss and weakness, not whatever this is.
  15. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 109 (Emulsifier) Icons: Four with Ishar, Kelek, Jez, and Palah. Best guess with the title is that Rlain is going to help emulsify the Warlight, hence Ishar for Bondsmith. Kelek for Venli as willshaper, and Jez for Kaladin doing stuff. Not sure about Palah, though. Epigraph: This is getting tedious. Lots of little backhanded compliments for the slaves El wants to rule. Get to the point, please. Leshwi is overjoyed at Venli’s radiance. The previous scene cut was a fakeout. Leshwi is asking after her honorspren friend? She’s humming to the old rhythms? I hope these are actual indicators of what is going to happen going forward, not death flags for a character we want to root for. Leshwi can’t become a Radiant with her soul steeped in Odium’s power, but maybe others can, and she can support them. I love the affirmation Leshwi shows. Venli is still her Voice, and she is content to lead when Venli is conflicted. And what does she do? She leads her forces against the Pursuer’s. *** Oh, the Sibling may not be entirely given over to the Rhythm of War. They hear it somewhere in the tower, but they aren’t producing it. Oh, is the Rhythm of War coming from Venli? (And possibly Leshwi) That would make her the emulsifier, especially since we’ve already seen she can use both Stormlight and Voidlight. Hm. From the vision it looks like Venli is indeed the emulsifier, but not the sole producer of the tone. She is bringing Leshwi and the humans together, binding the previously unmixable to work together as a single force. Navani makes the same conclusion. Nice. Moash is fighting Raboniel with his Blade, and he also has a dagger capable of killing fused. Is he going to take the blame for her permadeath? Will Navani be off the hook from Odium’s perspective and the Fused? Rlain is coming, but he’s too far away, and too late. And Navani is not worthy. Blunt, and devastating, but honest. *** Rlain is working to heal as a surgeon. Being a unifier as a bondsmith would be a great role for him, but maybe truthwatcher is in the cards instead, if the Sibling is out of reach? Reminder of the sky burial customs of the listeners. I appreciate that Rlain wants to give Teft that honor, leaving the body unmolested. Lift isn’t healing. Did anyone try feeding the girl? That alliance with Leshwi didn’t last long. She doesn’t seem to think she’s in rebellion, just acting with more compassion and honor while she serves the cause of her people. Rlain speaking with confidence, ordering Leshwi around, is gold. Telling her she absolutely committed treason here, so he needs to listen up, then placing himself and Venli as trustworthy listeners with experience in escaping Odium’s control, that’s brilliant. He doesn’t even know about Venli’s radiance yet. Ah, there it is. And Rlain’s response? Yes, that is definitely too much channeling of Teft, Rlain. You even swore like him. Yes, let’s all go out in the highstorm carrying unconscious Radiants. There’s no way that could leave you vulnerable. At least it got people moving. Venli is super impressed at Rlain ordering Leshwi around. “Hi Venli, please summon your blade to work the oathgate.” “What? I can’t do that.” “Well, crem.”