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  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.”
  6. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 108 (Moments) Icons: Mirrored triad: Taln, Vev, with Jez doubled. Windrunner moments, plus endurance and healing? Epigraph: Confused but brilliant? Sure, I’ll take that compliment, El. On a tent in Amaram’s colors. Is this Tien, and he doesn’t recognize him? I am not sure how this vision will be helpful, Dalinar. Kaladin hasn’t learned that in living the vision he inhabits memories of the one he replaces. It took a while for Dalinar to learn to go with the flow on that. Kal is just being himself. And suddenly Kal recognizes where and when this is. “Work with what you have.” Oh, that’s why he didn’t see it at first. Tien came in later to protect these two. Aww, Tien recognizes him in the vision, somehow. Kal and Tien are more alike than we’ve had a chance to see. This is touching. I am frequently emotional in books, so this isn’t out of the norm by any stretch for me, but this little exchange is definitely making me tear up a bit. Well done Brandon/Tien. And Tien gives him a wooden carving to carry out of the vision to show it was real. Alright, Dalinar, I take it back. This was a good idea after all. (Though only because there was more to it than just watching Tien die again.) He grasps Syl, somehow recognizing her from only a pinprick of light. Oh, the horse dissolved. Not sure how that will go over. He hears Tien and Teft’s voices egging him on to say his Fourth Oath. And more shockingly, the voice that says “These Words Are Accepted” isn’t the Stormfather’s. I want to say it’s Tien’s but they’ve already left the time-agnostic realm of the Spiritual, so it seems like Teft is the only one who could stick around long enough for it. I’m not sure, though, because Tien was definitely implied. And all the windspren congregate from across the sky to (presumably) form his Plate.
  7. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 107 (Uniting) Icons: Four: Kek, Chach, Jez, Ishi. I got nothing. Epigraph: These short snippets are infuriatingly meaningless on their own. Clump them into a single epigraph so that there’s room for more meat. Or, alternatively, just tell us who El is! Is it significant that the mural navani smears blood on is the one of a willshaper spren? I don’t think so–it seems like it’s probably just added color, but it’s a weird place for that sort of detail. Taunting Navani with Elhokar’s murder is not going to make her give up. You say you feel nothing, but I’m sensing a lot of residual spite in you, Vyre. As expected, he gets a Raboniel to the face. I’m imagining all those shows where a cat jumps up at someone out of nowhere, though I suspect it’s a bit more terrifying to have that happen with a full-sized Fuzed. She’s weak enough it will only delay, but it’s super satisfying to see her fondness and belief in Navani motivate her like this. Nice, Raboniel is using the stormlight siphon version of the knife to hinder Moash, sucking away his strength. She reaches the pillar and only hears the Rhythm of War. So the Unmaking is complete, but as anticipated the Sibling is not like the other Unmade. Those are fully Odium, while the Sibling is powered by Warlight. Actually, wait. If previously the Sibling worked on Towerlight, generating Towerlight, a.k.a. fusion of Honor and Cultivation, why are they working on Warlight now? Shouldn’t there be some Cultivation in the mix? Or did all of the Voidlight replace the Lifelight half? That might explain the severe weakening that the Sibling experienced, especially towards the end. *** The Stormfather manifests next to Dalinar in the air, outside of a storm. That’s unprecedented. Also, it’s weird to me again to think about the timescales involved for the highstorm to travel across the continent. They are blithely flying toward the enemy camp, while a highstorm is bearing down on them to arrive within hours at most. Surely they should be waiting until after it passes to do this? Also, with Dalinar getting pulled into a vision, that’s gotta be awkward for Lyn the Windrunner who is carrying him. Kaladin taking Syl’s hand, then letting her go… definitely a sad moment. Dalinar convinces the Stormfather to pull Kal into the timestop at the center of the Storm. Giving someone a little more time to process their grief is the sort of magical intervention that feels relevant to real life concerns. I like this part of the solution. *** The civilians in the tower are trying to protect the Radiants, and Venli specifically notices the one-armed soldier that took Kaladin as inspiration against depression. I hope not too many of them die. Venli reveals the wrong rhythms in her speech, getting Leshwi’s attention. Timbre is shouting her little head off inside, "Show her, show her!" All this buildup to Leshwi being accepting of Venli’s radiance, and LOLnope–she immediately attunes Destruction. Definitely not an automatic alliance. Here’s a reminder that as much as we like Leshwi, and as much as we trust her morals, she’s still fighting for the forces of Odium. *** Kaladin buys into Moash’s dichotomy of Odium or oblivion. The Stormfather tells him there are more choices, and there is still more journey worth taking. Actually, until I wrote that I didn’t recognize this as a journey vs. destination point. Odium or oblivion is a pondering of consequences and outcomes, forcing Kaladin to choose to end his journey. The Stormfather instead tells him there’s more to do right now, which is more important than the false choice of destination he’s been presented. The thought of Syl being left alone to grieve is enough to make Kaladin try again, but he still has exhausted his strength. I’m glad he loves Syl enough to try. *** A reminder that for all the Bondsmith’s powers, he is still bound by the constraints of the nahel system of oaths, and that pushing those limits is done at everyone’s peril. We do not want a deadeye Stormfather, or one broken in other soul-destroying ways. Dalinar is in the spiritual realm and he senses a warmth. Is this the anomalous light from his visions? In the past he attributed it to the God Beyond, but we don’t really know what it is or where it came from. Does this mean we’ll get an actual explanation? Dalinar connects Kaladin to the warmth and sends him a vision. What is the connection to? What will the vision be of, and how much of it will Dalinar be influencing? Any? I sort of think that his contribution is done after forging the connection.
  8. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 106 (A Hundred Discordant Rhythms) Icons: Offset triad of Taln, Jez, and doubled Nale. Epigraph: I don’t get it. How are varied and intense being used as antonyms? Or at least exclusive? Kaladin reflects on his argument with Lirin about killing to protect, and how that may be an inherent contradiction. But unbeknownst to him, Lirin is mere feet away being held hostage against Kaladin doing anything. So when he does finally look up, will he kill in order to protect his father? Or will he accept Lirin’s morals and let his father suffer the fate the enemy has planned? *** Navani jumps into the pain field to grab the knife, and stabs Raboniel with it. Way to be awesome, Navani! Sometimes it’s easy to forget that she’s married to the Blackthorn. I doubt there’s enough light in there to actually kill Raboniel, though. I really like that she takes time to have pride in the range of her pain field, while being bombarded with its effect. Definitely a scholar. Oh. Raboniel is almost dead. She’s cut off from the rhythms and in excruciating pain. Navani succeeded, but Raboniel has enough time for some last words. And what words does she choose? Affirmation of Navani, and encouraging her to escape. Awesome. Raboniel esteems the Voice of Lights highly enough to think she is the best chance now of ending the war. Wonderful culmination of this relationship! And Moash ruins the moment. At least he did it dramatically (by throwing a knife into Navani’s chest from across the room). *** Timbre really has no fear, telling Venli to reveal herself in front of everyone. That’s far gutsier than I would expect. Leshwi frees Lirin! Kaladin doesn’t have to face the decision I thought would come. Oh, Leshwi is definitely going to capitalize on the Defeated One title. She’s going to get a lot of mileage out of that. Well, that’s even more dramatic. The Pursuer teleports past Leshwi to kill Stormblessed, and now Venli will have to save him with her stone shaping. That’s a sweet setup right there. Oh, that’s not what happened. It just broke Kal out of his funk and forced him to fight back. Ah, maybe that’s not a good thing? Kaladin with eyes that are starting to glow red is not an auspicious sign. Uh oh. Using the wrong color of light to lash the Pursuer’s head off of his body…that’s not the Windrunner ideals I’m used to. Has Brandon been running a long con? Is Moash right? What if Dalinar does get his contract signed, only to find out that Kaladin has taken up the role of Odium’s champion? I don’t actually think that’s what’s going to happen, but sequences like this are doing a seriously impressive job of convincing me it’s a possibility. No, don’t run away with the hostage! That’s how you make him follow you! Seriously, folks. If you aren’t going to fight him, just give him what he wants. So now Venli just has to reveal herself by fighting against the Pursuer’s personal guard and protecting the Radiants. I’m not sure that’s an improvement over the previous scene. *** No! Syl is forgetting. This is not good. Kaladin, please don’t kill Syl or abandon her! Um, is Syl forgetting the Words he said or the ones he was getting ready to say? Because that’s an important distinction. When Lirin is thrown off, Kaladin jumps off the tower into the storm, while remembering honor chasm. This took an even darker turn than I thought it would. For the moment I think I still prefer my hypothetical hostage negotiation for the character arc, but I’ll wait and see where Brandon is going with this.
  9. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 105 (Children of Passions) Icons: Another offset triad: Jez and Chach, plus Vev twice but not mirrored. Maybe that’s Lift getting pride of place? I’m beginning to think the lack of symmetry is intentional to evoke the chaos of the current situation. Epigraph: Are you making fun of our skin, now? Just because we humans don’t have cool crab shells doesn’t mean… yeah, who am I kidding. I’m sure we’re funny looking to you. Smashing the Pursuer against the giant window against the backdrop of highstorm lightning is a cool move. Following it up by scaring him away, that’s how you win with panache. *** Of note is that this whole section identifies Moash by his former name, not by Vyre. Not sure if that’s a change based on his proximity to Bridge Four, or something else, but he’s thinking of himself that way. Kaladin is going to take some time to get over Teft’s murder, but it’s definitely not going to break him the way Moash expects. It might have, earlier, but he has already accepted that he’s not Bridgeleader or Highmarshal any longer, and he has the beginnings of a new identity in place. Oh, stink. Odium is interested in Lift for obvious reasons. I really hope she doesn’t get taken captive again at the end of all this. Going from Mraize to Raboniel to Odium in a series of cages is not what I want for our little Edgedancer. Moash, that is where your narrowmindedness betrays you. Kaladin’s only two options are suicide or surrender of self? You don’t know him as well as you think you do. And now he’s headed for Navani. Is he going to get hit by her fabrial mines, or is he going to have Odium ejected from his heart by her anti-Voidlight dagger, forcing him to face his own emotions again? My money is on the second one. *** The shield is down. This is your chance, Navani. Two more Fused titles we haven’t heard before: Word of Deeds and Night Known. Not sure what their role is in the final Unmaking of the Sibling. Hm. She only arms one of her traps (for now). I love that Raboniel prepared the notebook and plate for Navani to escape with. There’s lots of potential manipulative reasons for it, but I like to think there is true fondness and gratitude there. Nice, Navani. You did outthink Raboniel at this juncture, at least. “Here, have my knife and we’ll talk it out.” And she takes the bait. Walking into the prepared painrial. Let’s see how this plays out.
  10. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 104 (Full of Hope) Icons: Three, and in a different configuration than before. We have Chach, Vev, and two Nale… but the Nale icons aren’t mirrored. What’s going on?! Epigraph: “Humans are a poem. A song.” I’mma need some more context to see where he’s going with this one. Rlain is reprimanded for carrying water to the basement…but it’s the carrying water part that he’s doing wrong. Make the humans do that menial labor. Nice subversion there. Oh, wait. He was recognized. He and Dabbid are both detained. Not sure how they’ll get to Navani or the Sibling now. *** Now that he’s set the stakes, Kal is smack talking loud enough to put on a show. This fight became about the audience and reputation in their eyes, more than the contest itself. Nice move. And it works. The Pursuer (now a.k.a. Defeated One, apparently) is psyched out and starts to retreat to fight more cautiously. *** I love that Leshwi is cheering for Kaladin. And she may be speaking softly, but she’s doing it to Exultation. It’s definitely cheering. *** I’m disappointed that Moash misinterpreted Teft here. I was expecting him to say, “We both know who the better man is. If I were a better man I wouldn’t win this.” Nice, Teft. Advancing to the next oath in dramatic fashion, manifesting a blade. Well, spear really. Is he going to get a glyph of power when he actually says the oath? Will that make it through the tower’s suppression, and if it does will it make a difference? Oh, nope. He was just forcing the connection to bring Phendorana through a little bit. I was expecting Teft to get killed directly, rather than tortured with the loss of Phendorana. Her death is a gut punch. There’s a reason we all hate you, Vyre. Oh, Teft is getting killed too. I’m rather surprised that Vyre didn’t leave him as evidence of what had been done to his bound spren. Especially since the wound he received at her death sounded like it would preclude forming another bond for a long time at least. Lift’s not gonna be happy about this, though, which is going to matter to Moash in a minute. The "full of hope" line and title are interesting in context of Jasnah's vehement denouncement of the topic. Is hope worth anything here? Did it do more harm than good? It's constructed as a rebuttal, but in a form that her arguments are still potentially valid.
  11. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 103 (The Legend You Live) Icons: Jez and Vev=windrunners and edgedancers. Teft and Lift gonna be doin’ stuff. Epigraph: El also thinks human tenacity appears appropriately Rosharan. Teft is right that Kaladin does have a flair for the dramatic, but having just seen inside his head I don’t know I’d go so far as to say he’s intentionally grandstanding. Teft, that was pretty ballsy but I don’t think putting them in a headlock is the preferred method to deal with opponents who have electrokinesis. I guess it works, though, when you’ve got a healer on tap and Stormlight for strength. Too bad Moash is on his way or this might actually work as planned. Yes, Phenodrana. Go out the east-facing window into the coming highstorm. Briliant plan. Oh no! Moash wasn’t on his way, he was already here and ready to ambush the rescue party! As he takes down lift, I can’t help but think: He’s come to steal Kaladin’s dinner. *** Kaladin is doing a good job of getting into the Pursuer’s head. But pulling out a scalpel as his weapon of choice was not what I expected him to do. Neat statement about fusing his soldier and surgeon identities, but could probably have been built up more to make that moment really shine. *** What is Moash using that sand for? It’s already black, so it’s got to be intended as a sensor. Is he detecting spren? Teft, you are facing down an honorblade-wielding agent of odium with only a dagger. I think Kaladin is rubbing off on you.
  12. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 102 (Highstorm Coming) Icons: Jez and Chach. Either brave windrunners, or destructive highstorm. Epigraph: This one is quotable: Is…is this talking about the infamous “voidbinding chart” from the endpapers? Are those shapes intended to be singer faces? Also, am I correct in assuming “this Return” to mean the current one in the story, or would these Musings on the first of the FInal Ten Days be a more ancient document? *** Venli is lined up for the Oathgate, in a position that will make it awkward and very visible to change plans. This means it will be the optimal time narrative-wise for her oaths about freedom to kick in and force her to back out of the “run for the hills” plan. Venli’s got 15 friends/minions at this point. I don’t think I knew before this how large her recruitment had gotten. Honestly, it’s a bit smaller than I expected, if only slightly. Venli’s envoyform carapace is “ornamentation, not true armor,” which somehow means it doesn’t shield her from the cold wind? I think I have a different understanding of armor than they do, but I suppose this is just saying that there is a lot of exposed skin to that form. Which, going by the folio page, is hardly a surprise. Just an odd way of saying it. Venli knows she’s being manipulated, but she doesn’t care. She sees what she wants to grasp. Yup, Timbre is disappointed in her choice. Aww, she tells Timbre to leave, find another host, but Timbre wants her. Ah, so there’s a deadline of sorts as well. Highstorm inbound, probably to the Kharbranth end. I doubt they'd be trying to organize transfers in the time between one leaving Kharbranth and striking Urithiru. Vyre has run off, somehow sensing that Kal is on his way. Or maybe Leshwi told him that the Pursuer was trying to kill steal? Anyway, it’s funny to me because I only just realized that Vyre is the sole conduit they have at the moment for running the Oathgates. That means he’s been stuck as the elevator operator or revolving door attendant for the entirety of this occupation. He has got to be so bored. Ah, nope. The highstorm is about to strike Urithiru, so they appear to have been transferring personnel and supplies in that brief lull. Weird, but okay. I mean, the Kharbranth Oathgate is inside the palace and wouldn’t really be exposed to the storm anyway. I guess that end of the transit is not particularly affected one way or another. I guess getting rained out thanks to Vyre’s absence means that Venli doesn’t have to make a scene (here) when she changes her mind. And it forces her to reconsider when she sees things start to go down. Timbre knows what this means. The coming storm is supposedly going to be big enough to cover the entire tower. Sounds like a big’un. Her friends like the idea of saving Kaladin and family, because they see him as a potential ally/asset. I wasn’t expecting Venli’s honesty here, or their support. A lot of unspoken trust going on. *** Navani isn’t even getting food? That’s not how you are supposed to treat the Voice of Lights. Something has fallen through the cracks. Surely Raboniel doesn’t think Navani’s usefulness is at an end, after what she accomplished so far. Raboniel managed to reverse-engineer Anti-Stormlight in less than a day from Navani’s notes. That’s impressive. That’s a ludicrously high standard to hold scholars to, Navani. Take a look at your own scholars and ask how much they have missed of the wider picture. Navani painting prayers now is reminiscent of her Thath glyph after the betrayal at the Tower, and I love that this moment mirrors that one. Navani’s reflection on faith here is powerful and salient. How do you respond when you know that the god you pray to is in fact dead? Does that make the prayers worthless? Or is it an act of devotion to rely on their foresight reaching beyond even that death? As readers, we know that there is another deity on Roshar known for her future sight. So it is entirely possible that Cultivation did in fact seed this possibility into being. But it is equally possible that with blindspots and competing manipulations, this outcome was random and unforeseen. It is an act of faith to choose what Navani should believe, and though the stakes for us readers are as close to zero as to make no difference, it’s still an instructive situation to examine for how we ourselves approach faith in such a hypothetical. It’s a situation that could easily be compared to our own universe. Someone says he’s here to kill Navani in order to distract Dalinar. I’m guessing that Rlain is failing to come up with a natural cover story. Oh, nope. It’s Moash/Vyre. (Reminder: Moash was a better name and it shouldn’t have been changed.) Woah. He’s directly arguing with Raboniel, and says the order comes straight from Odium…but Raboniel somehow pulls rank and says her orders take precedent? I’d like to see the rules lawyering that makes that viable. Moash promises to not kill Kaladin, but ruin him somehow. In exchange, he gets Navani. I’m not sure what Moash is going to do, but I’m concerned about Syl’s continued absence. I think he’s going to do something creatively sadistic, rather than any of the straightforward attacks on Kal’s loved ones. But I’m not sure what. It was implied earlier, but explicitly noted again: the Honorblades are perfectly viable under the tower’s suppressive field, and stormlight functions normally for them. Therefore, it is the spren and the nahel bond specifically that are being smothered. The honorblades are aligned to Honor’s investiture just as much, so either they are simply powerful enough to shrug off everything the tower does–a distinct possibility, since we know more advanced Radiants gain greater immunity to the inhibitor–or the suppression targets something much more specific than the Intent of kinetic investiture. Actually, having typed that out, it’s got to be the strength of the artifact that matters here. Fabrials are suppressed too, but it depends on the light they are infused with, not the spren that powers them. So the Honorblades can overpower the suppression, not escape it through a difference of attunement. With all of his Passion consumed by Odium, it’s an apt term. She found a sliver of Raysium… no wait. There is a second dagger, whole and unexploded. That is a useful piece of equipment. An answer to prayers, one might say. And it’s slightly charged with anti-Voidlight. *** Kaladin sees everyone wearing the Shash glyph. This is the most overtly messianic symbology we’ve had associated with Kaladin, and the most direct analogy to Christian symbols since the Well of Ascension when the Church of the Survivor took up the spear that slew Kelsier. I’m surprised that Kaladin’s thoughts about the end of his life as Highmarshal are so much more focused on what he might embody next rather than on martyrdom and endings. He’s come a long way since honor chasm, and suicide is not something he is looking for. He found Syl! He’s wearing the gauntlet on his belt, aimed at his back. My only guess is it will let him ram the Pursuer when he does his “I’m behind you” trick?
  13. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 101 (Undertext) Icons: Palah. Matches the title for Learned, but I don’t have a guess about why that matters here. Epigraph: El likes that humans think he’s scary. Big surprise there. The Prime’s house full of furniture made me think first of that meeting of monarchs where everyone brought their own throne, and I had the facetious thought that maybe the Azish just kept all of them. Then I thought of Wyndle’s chair garden and wished that he could have come to see this. I’m sure it’s not quite as ridiculous as Dalinar thinks. New swear for the list! So, not only do the Azish have fewer Shardblades and Plate, they have fewer Soulcaster fabrials as well. Did the Alethi start with more, or did they take them by conquest with their abundance of Blades? This tradition of sharing the Emperor’s meal is very different when seen through Dalinar’s eyes compared to Lift’s. Dalinar’s extreme distaste of this pageantry is funny when wedded to his concept of effect leadership. He really can’t fathom someone like Yanagawn wielding actual power. Another for the list. It took me a minute to parse the way it was being used, though. Device in this case was literal rather than idiomatic, a reference to his watch fabrial. I didn’t read it correctly the first time. Jasnah handles the cultural business with aplomb, as expected. More interesting is the fact that Gawx/Yanagawn is doing remarkably well at handling his role. He’s relying on his advisers, but also making decisions for himself and acting with ever-greater confidence. I’m impressed. The argument about hope is appropriate to the characters and situation, but also feels a bit off thematically. I’m not sure how to articulate my reaction better, but it doesn’t feel like it arises organically from everything that’s been happening. Ishar is Tashi to the Azish. So why was Tashi the one who didn’t get a pancake? Is it a conflation or confusion about who was lost? Or something else entirely specific to the pancake festival? Dalinar: I’mma go talk to Ishar. Noura: But…isn’t he insane like the others? Dalinar: Yup. But maybe less than the others. Ash (who is definitely insane) says we can trust him. Noura: o.0 I’m actually with Dalinar on this next part, though. If you’re going to talk to him, do it peaceably if possible. Noura’s kidnapping idea is doomed to fail. Thanks Yanagawn! Not really a swear, but I’ll add it to the list. I remain very skeptical of this contract Jasnah and Wit are preparing. I feel like it is a trap that can be turned around on those who laid it, even if Wit is acting completely above board here–of which I have yet to be convinced. Aww, Gawx is worried about Lift. Good job being a friend! Dalinar has kept working on writing and editing his book this whole time. That’s dedication when so many other duties are pulling him in other directions. I’m impressed. Asking Jasnah to write the undertext is sweet. It’s a show of trust and approval that I think she needs, and demonstrates how far he’s come in regards to being paternal. Okay, I know that this is meant to be a sweet comment about trust and unity, and the value of working together. But good grief these people are self-assured. I want to say conceited and arrogant, but they have a lot of reason to think highly of themselves, so the attitude could be deserved. Still, this is what it sounds like: Dadlinar: “Hopefully you can add something to make my amazing autobiography even better. I trust that you’re smart enough to contribute. A bit.” Jasnah: “What are you talking about? It’s a foregone conclusion that it will be leagues better when I’m done with it. I’m the best scholar in the world, after all.”
  14. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 100 (Watchers at the Rim) Title: A repeat from previous books. While I recall the term and its meaning, I don’t remember at all what chapter previously bore this title so I don’t know if there’s any parallelism being set up. I assume not, and it’s just the conceptual callback. Icons: Jez and Shash. Jez for windrunners, not sure about Shash Epigraph: El refers to himself as a singer, so yes, Navani’s “no title” bit was definitely misdirection. Kal was woken by a distant song–the Sibling? The anti-Stormlight that was just created? Hard to say. Sibling is talking to him, but isn’t doing well. Not sure why the Sibling is being weakened by this. I’d have expected more scattered thoughts, altered emotions, not frailty. The Fused found the final node, and it’s in the same room where all the Radiants are being tended. This feels contrived. I’m all for confluent climaxes, but I’d have liked there to be a reason that the Radiants were placed in that particular room, so that’s it’s justified as a decision rather than just a coincidence. Oh no. Kaladin doesn’t know what the Sibling meant when it asked him to send Rlain. I hope the delay from that misunderstanding isn’t too costly. Dabbid brought them Bridge Four uniforms to wear. That’s unsubtle, but sure. Time to suit up for battle. Rlain is not at his best, due to Venli’s confession. That could help open him for the bond, or hurt by distracting and discouraging him. Hm. It makes sense to have Rlain and Dabbid hide, since they won’t be with the escaping party, but I was anticipating a larger breakout. This method trusts everyone to handle themselves and leaves fewer points of failure for getting some people out, but also leaves people to their own devices and the increased risk that entails. I know it’s just a backup plan, but Teft’s willingness to jump off a cliff in the hopes that his powers return in time to survive is uncomfortably reminiscent of the Envisagers. I guess that’s the point, but yeah. Not something I want to see him try. Teft made Kaladin swear to escape and not sacrifice himself. That’s going to make a big difference. He’s not going to risk another broken oath.
  15. Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers. Chapter 99 (Not Bound) Icons: Betab and Jester–caution and an offworlder. Possibly consulting with Wit via the radio, possibly just learning about wider cosmere events, or maybe Azure returns? Oh, wait. This is Jasnah’s chapter header. Betab for Elsecaller, Jester for Wit. It’s just a cast list. Epigraph: Okay, three big things here. First, identity of El: he had his title stripped from him so he probably is/was a Fused, and Navani’s confusion was just lack of context. Second, in addition to the title, he had his rhythms stripped away. HOW? What does that mean? I am terrified at some of the possibilities. Third, he seems to have floated the idea that listeners and fused should enslave humans rather than exterminate them–the very outcome that was flipped around on the parshmen after the capture of Ba-Ado-Mishram. So it’s neither a new tactic nor one that is uniquely human, though admittedly nobody else went for it and El himself was shamed as a result. Jasnah’s security is pretty good for being on a campaign. Traps and alarms in all the surrounding rooms, including below, so she has sufficient warning of any attack. Plus Wit is there, so any assassins that make it past her fabrials probably won’t be entirely undetected. Yeah, I guess that first assassination attempt leaving her stranded in Shadesmar left a lasting impression. I can understand the frustration to a veristitalian of having to throw away her laborious reconstructions once an eye witness to the past is suddenly available. At the same time, I think they’ve already established that Ash, Taln, and the rest are hardly unassailable in their memories. But settling academic debates about history and motives is a pretty convenient use for immortals coming to the fore. I’m not sure the right answer to this quandary is that “relying on the past is flawed.” The conclusion is that “precognition is terrifying to compete with.” Don’t just give up on the tools you’ve learned to use so expertly. Wit, that is uncharacteristically intimate of you–both of you. Removing her glove and kissing her safehand? This is making me think there’s something besides Fortune behind the way you’ve lingered at Jasnah’s side for almost two years. Oh wow, yes. They are being entirely more familiar in their flirtations (Jasnah! Flirting!) than would have been expected. I didn’t know this was a legitimate ship. Honestly, I’m not sure I’m on board yet, since I was really expecting Jasnah to be ace and that’s been my headcanon of her character for a while. I guess I’ll watch and see how it develops. The way she’s describing Wit, though, maybe she’s ace but not aro? Not clear yet. Okay, I take it back. It’s teasing and flirtatious, yes, but apparently not intimate to any degree. I am sad that the Awakened card games never featured in our views of Nalthis. Maybe they are played outside Hallandren, or in a different time period? I’ll hope for an appearance in Warbreaker 2 when that book comes out…eventually. Good analogy, though. Rigging the games compared to manipulating the future. Odium can anticipate what is going to happen as well as someone who knows all the factors influencing an outcome, but there can still be surprises and other cheaters. Also, who won Hoid’s Breath from him? Hm. Sounds like maybe they are physically involved, but she is some degree of ace after all. So Wit is interested, but hasn’t revealed enough of himself to earn trust, and may run off at any moment. Not too surprising. Wit’s wordplay is all alliteration and only some degree of cleverness. I did like the soulless stars slumber line, even though jasnah didn’t get it. Wit really doesn’t have a Rosharan perspective here. “If we lose, it just turns your planet into hell. I find myself entirely skeptical of the idea that this sort of contract would be effective in forcing Rayse to comply with it. Except, just as I’m about to rant about that, Wit says this: It sounds like there were more strings attached at the beginning than are readily apparent, and that may be the primary reason Hoid turned down the opportunity. I’m confused about how that promise is actually efficacious, though. So, yes. The obligations that come with power are the problem. And, maybe this is something that was already known, but it sounds to me like this means Hoid was the only non-Vessel present at that time. All the others took one of the shards, with no other abstentions according to this.