Confused

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Confused last won the day on February 22 2014

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  1. Thanks, @Ubeka, for your kind words! Though the “pathways to power” concept is speculative, I believe there’s something to it. I’m just uncertain how far it extends and in what contexts. My theory analogizes pathways to “inter-Realmic power lines,” but that description misleads. Mechanically, kinetic Investiture runs through the Spiritual aspects of metal, EMR and water to the magic user’s Spiritual aspect. All magic happens in the Spiritual Realm. Mortals perceive the Physical Realm results of magically reprogramming reality. With that understanding, I will continue to use my inter-Realmic analogy/metaphor. As you asked, here are my “thoughts on these discrepancies” you note. First, each Shard has a pathway to power, not each magic system. A pathway is a substance that delivers a Shard’s kinetic Investiture anywhere in the Physical and/or Cognitive Realms regardless of the Intended magical effect. Focuses OTOH arise from the interactions of a planet and its culture with the Shard that Invests that planet. Focuses shape the magic to cause some Intended magical effect. Some Focuses exist solely as mental commands. Pathways are hoses; Focuses are “nozzles.” You seem to believe once a Shard Invests a planet the Focus that develops there applies everywhere: “The effects and focus are decided by the planet the magic originated on....” This common theory doesn’t explain how Ruin Invests Nightblood. Nightblood is made from steel, yet that steel doesn’t Focus any Allomantic, Feruchemical, or Hemalurgic abilities (Steelpushing, physical speed, and theft of physical Allomantic abilities). The Metallic Arts seem the only magic systems in which Shard pathways and planetary Focuses coincide. “Color” (IMO, Investiture-carrying photons) is Endowment’s pathway to power. Yet Awakening’s Focus is visualized commands, not color or photons. Khriss confirms Autonomy forges a Cognitive bond between Sand Master and microflora through water, but I believe Sand Mastery’s Focus is a visualized command the Master sends down this water pathway to shape the microflora’s growth. I agree not all pathways to power work the same way, just as Focuses differ. As you point out, Ruin magic users do not consume metal like Allomancers do. But IMO a substance that carries all of a Shard’s kinetic Investiture (a pathway) differs from something that shapes Investiture into a single magical effect (a Focus). Bind points matter for Hemalurgy (and maybe other magic systems), but they are not Ruin’s pathway to power. Bind points dictate spike placement, but the Investiture that transfers sDNA flows through the metal. Blood slows Hemalurgical decay and is in some way necessary for an effective attribute transfer. But Ruin Invests Nightblood without blood; and Feruchemy likewise is bloodless. Hemalurgy may need blood, but Ruin doesn’t. To review my theory’s elements: 1. Each Shard is a unique primal force/fundamental law/something natural combined with personality/culture. 2. Magic users access a Shard’s Investiture through that Shard’s unique primal force. 3. Once “released,” each Shard’s Investiture travels some pathway to the magic user or an object the magic user wishes to Invest. Bonds are Honor’s primal force, not Honor’s pathway. Surgebinders access Honor’s magic through the Nahel bond. I don’t know what Honor’s pathway is, though I speculate “Honor” would use some Cognitive pathway for its Investiture. Shard “spin” IMO relates to a Shard’s primal force and not its pathway. Spin (like entropy, stasis, and bonds) is unique to a Shard. Some Shards share pathways like I believe Ruin and Preservation share metal. Regardless, pathways seem unrelated to planets. I agree PR location doesn’t generally matter except on Sel. @A Radiant In Shiny Armor, Brandon does state color is fundamental to the cosmere. But he also says he’s not changing Awakening to make specific hues relevant. Color may be a “Spiritual attribute,” but its importance to Soulcasting (where hue matters) differs from its importance to Awakening (where hue doesn’t matter). Check out this thread where I go further into Awakening. Yes, Awakening can be performed everywhere in the cosmere; and Awakeners can use any Investiture to program Breaths for animation. But IMO that Investiture must be in quantum form to travel Endowment’s EMR pathway. Stormlight, for example, must be quantized before Vasher can use it. I believe he drains gemstones of their color to access Investiture. Breaths are indivisible quanta of Endowment’s Investiture that IMO can only process Investiture in quantum form. I believe Endowment's primal force – how that Shard gives access to its Investiture – is quantum physics. Lifeforms do live off Investiture; and Taldain’s Dayside sun does Invest the sand’s microflora. Any Investiture (not just Autonomy’s) will turn the microflora white. Add water to the microflora, they grow explosively. These phenomena (IMO) are part of Taldain’s pre-Shattering ecology. Brandon says, however, these phenomena “are not really using the magic, it's just charging it with other Investiture.” Khriss describes “the magic” as the ability to control microflora growth to shape the sand. This control comes through an Investiture-created Cognitive bond forged through water. (AU, “The Taldain System,” Kindle p. 369.) Thanks again to all for the questions. Regards! C.
  2. Thank you all for an excellent discussion! Especial thanks to @Brgst13 for providing a step-by-step quantum explanation for how Nalthis objects absorb Investiture (and for agreeing with me!) Electrons like photons are subatomic particles, the subject of quantum physics. RShara, I agree with this. My theory posits EMR is Endowment’s Investiture carrier, like metal is for Preservation and water is for Autonomy. EMR can carry any Shard’s Investiture as Awakening’s fuel if that Investiture is in quantum form. I think Breaths (Endowment’s quanta) can only process that Investiture in quantum form. Awakening drains “color” cosmere-wide IMO because Awakeners pull Investiture from an object along this EMR pathway. It is the same mechanic as burning metals and dehydrating, both of which also pull Investiture into a magic user. Among known planets, “EMR exposure” only explains Nalthis’ and Taldain’s Investiture. I speculate Nalthis’ sun spews Investiture because I can’t find another ambient Investiture source available both on Susebron’s rooftop and in Vasher’s cloak. Not much evidence, but there it is. Master_Moridin, agreed. My point is that the energy (Investiture) transfers into the object through absorbed photons, not the ones that bounce off. That’s why “color” can’t be fuel. You and Brgst13 explain that process well. RJ, I’ve always read that WoB as referring to the Heightenings. Each Breath lost or gained affects a holder’s color. Divine Breath loss should have the same effect. And thank you and @Subvisual Haze for recognizing how black’s Awakening superiority over white favors my theory! Thermodynamics Challenge Alas, no one took the challenge. I'm curious how many people share the Discord view that diminishes thermodynamics’ role in magic systems. FWIW, here’s how I read the WoB I quote in the OP. WoB’s Backdrop: Cosmere thermodynamics first law says the sum of energy, matter, and Investiture is constant (assuming a closed system). Matter, energy, and Investiture cannot be created or destroyed but merely change form into one another. My Interpretation: Even “end-neutral” Feruchemy really isn’t end-neutral. It requires external Investiture to “facilitate the magic.” I read this to mean external investiture runs Feruchemy’s “operating system.” Without that facilitating Investiture, some of the Investiture created from attribute conversion would have to be diverted to “facilitate” Feruchemy. Here’s what I consider the most relevant passages, which say the same thing: Brandon acknowledges end-neutral Feruchemy needs external Investiture. That argues strongly in favor of thermodynamics’ cosmere importance. To make this point Brandon overrides the earlier WoB that coins the end-neutral concept. Brandon elsewhere describes Investiture as his "get out" for thermodynamics, the thing that allows the cosmere to break our universe's thermodynamic rules. He does sometimes break the cosmere's version of those rules, as with speed bubbles and FTL. Flawed or not, thermodynamics IMO is the essential guide to magic system mechanics that theorists ignore at their peril.
  3. Despite Brandon’s statement, I find no obvious Nalthian Investiture source to fuel Awakening. Please help me solve this mystery. AWAKENING’S FUEL I see Awakening’s color drain the same as Allomancy’s metal burning and Sand Mastery’s dehydration. Magic lasts in those systems only while color, metal, and water last. Yet none of these substances is Investiture or otherwise serves as the magic system’s fuel. I view color (electromagnetic radiation really), metal, and water as the kinetic Investiture carriers for their respective Shards, substances that transport kinetic Investiture to magic users. Here are Nalthian Awakening’s fuel possibilities: Color as “Spiritual Attribute” Many believe color is a “Spiritual attribute.” I agree, but that doesn’t tell us how color could act as fuel. Most (all?) Spiritual attributes are Connections. A Spiritual aspect is raw Investiture mixed with Connections. Connections IMO carry the data that turns raw Investiture into a unique lifeform or object. An object’s color is unique data like its weight and dimensions. Because Connections are not Investiture, I think color couldn’t fuel Awakening even if color is a Spiritual attribute. Specific colors are magically significant in the cosmere. Color affects Soulcasting, for example. But Brandon says in that WoB, “I didn't work that into the Warbreaker magic,” and he chooses not to “retcon the magic.” He confirms specific colors don’t matter for Awakening in this 2019 WoB. Pigment @RShara opines an object’s “pigment” is fuel. Pigments are substances that selectively absorb visible light wavelengths. Selective absorption causes the object to reflect the other wavelengths, which our eyes perceive as color. RShara says breaking the pigment’s bonds yields the energy Awakening needs. This is a neat solution, but I have questions. What happens to the object’s Spiritual aspect when those Physical Realm bonds break? Why and how does that fuel Awakening? In our world, to break molecular bonds requires external energy; otherwise, stable molecules like pigments remain intact. What supplies this external energy in the cosmere? How does Awakening work if the object holds no pigment? Pigments are separate molecules from the objects they color. Brandon says an Awakener can drain color from gemstones. Gemstone color depends on internal impurities that affect light absorption, not pigments. How is that consistent with the pigment theory? If an Awakener can drain color from an object without pigment, then pigment’s bonds seem unnecessary as fuel. Something Else Because of my questions, I look elsewhere for Nalthian Investiture. No obvious source jumps out at me. Breath can be used as fuel but generally isn’t. Dyes made from the Tears of Edgli are best for Awakening and contain Endowment’s Investiture. But Awakeners can Awaken from other color sources too. That leads me to ask, Why does Awakening drain color? Color is the perception of reflected light. Objects absorb the other light wavelengths in the form of photons. Absorbed photons – the ones that don’t give off color – are all that’s left in the object. Why should draining the absorbed photons turn an object gray when the absorbed photons are not responsible for color? Best Guess My best guess: Draining those photons drains Investiture the photons hold. Like a Shardblade severs a limb from its Spiritual aspect and turns the limb gray, draining Investiture-laden photons IMO causes the object to turn gray. Endowment Investiture “sticks” to the object that absorbs the photons. My limited imagination can’t see another explanation that both grays an object and sources Investiture. The following vague WoB supports the possibility but with caveats. “A connection” can mean most anything. It’s also unclear which “two things” from among drained objects, Shardblades, and gemstone color Brandon refers to. Here’s the WoB despite these flaws: Investiture Source? Where might Investiture-laden photons come from? As quanta of electromagnetic radiation (EMR), the Invested photons’ most likely source is Nalthis’ sun. On Taldain, Autonomy’s Investiture “beats down” from its sun onto that planet. Nalthis’ sun could function similarly. I speculate Nalthis’ sun has always radiated Investiture onto Nalthis as part of that planet’s pre-Shattering ambient Investiture cycle. I do not suggest the sun’s Investiture necessarily comes from Endowment. It might be Autonomy’s or some other Shard’s Investiture. I think Awakening can use any Investiture as fuel IF the Investiture is in a form Breaths can process (discussed below). Breath holders can theoretically Awaken objects on any planet. But on Nalthis, Investiture stuck to the photons an object absorbs is the only fuel I can find that relates to color draining. Awakening on Roshar Comparing Nalthian with Rosharan Awakening is instructive despite how inconclusive the relevant WoBs are. It’s hard to know if Brandon means Stormlight can substitute as Awakening’s fuel or substitute for Breaths. When asked, “could you fuel Awakening using Stormlight, or do you have to bring Breaths?,” Brandon answered, “Yes, you could.... there are tricks to making it happen on each world. Some are easier than others, but yes you can.” [Calamity Release Party (Feb. 16, 2016).] Since the questioner asked if you can fuel Awakening with Stormlight, I believe Brandon assumes the Awakener has Breath, though that’s unclear. [Hint: Don’t ask Brandon compound questions! We can’t tell what “yes” means.] Brandon also says, “You can make a Returned feed off of Stormlight very easily. You can't use Stormlight to power Awakening very easily, but if you still have those Breaths, you can use them and reclaim them.” [Starsight Release Party (Nov 26, 2019).] This also sounds like Stormlight can fuel Awakening “if you still have those Breaths.” And Brandon says you can convert Stormlight into Breath by “Refining the power somehow into a more pure form.” [General Reddit (April 25, 2019).] Neither Hoid nor Vivenna knows how to do this, “so it’s not like a simple thing to achieve.” With limited confidence, I interpret these WoBs to mean Rosharan Awakeners need Breaths to Awaken. Otherwise a Rosharan Awakener would have to convert Stormlight into Breaths, which no one knows how to do yet. That suggests, for now, Rosharan Awakening relies on Breaths and some Rosharan fuel. Rosharan Fuel for Awakening I see two possible Rosharan fuels for Awakening: Stormlight and gemhearts. Brandon says here, here and here that Awakening drains Rosharan gemstones of color and ruins their Soulcasting properties. Gemhearts are made from Investiture leaking into the Physical Realm. That supports but doesn’t prove that Awakening drains Investiture, not color. When @RShara asks, can you Awaken using an underground gemstone that’s never been exposed to light and doesn’t hold Stormlight, the answer is “Yes,” if that gemstone is made from a gemheart. The more interesting question is whether mined gemstones can substitute. Most gemstones come from gemhearts: “Some are mined. Mining is not easy on Roshar.” Mined gemstones are “very similar. Not 100% chemically identical” to gemhearts because they contain more mineral impurities. Brandon hasn't said whether Rosharan Awakeners can use mined or artificial gems as color sources (though the latter can be used for fabrials). I believe if the gemstone holds Stormlight the Awakener could remove that Investiture to fuel Awakening, which will drain the gemstone's color. Endowment’s Magic Brandon (IMO) says Shards grant magic users access to Investiture through the Shard’s unique “primal force/fundamental law/something natural.” Ruin magic users Intend an act of entropy (spiking, converting attributes into Investiture, destroying evil). Windrunners Intend a bond to change gravity’s vector (lashing). I believe Endowment gives Awakeners access to Investiture through quanta. Breaths are quanta of Endowment’s Investiture. The Heightenings are the quantization of Breaths, since Breaths vary due to age, illness, and other factors. Photons are quanta of electromagnetic radiation (EMR), which includes visible light. Endowment IMO gives Awakeners access to Investiture through quanta (Breaths), fueled by any Investiture carried in quantum form. Conclusion: Breath Can Use Any Quantized Fuel This post’s opening WoB says Awakening “is just looking for any available Investiture to power itself.” I don’t think Awakeners can use Investiture in any form. A Rosharan Awakener cannot simply inhale Stormlight and Awaken an object with that fuel even if they do hold Breaths. The reason IMO is Endowment’s “quantum” primal force. I think Breaths need to process Investiture in quantum form. Like metal and water carry their Shard’s kinetic Investiture, I believe photons carry Endowment’s kinetic investiture. You can Awaken anywhere in the cosmere with any Investiture, but you must access that Investiture by draining the “color” from an Invested object. That Investiture reaches the Awakener down an EMR pathway. I speculate on Nalthis that Investiture radiates from its sun, like on Taldain. And for those who think draining “color” by itself suffices to fuel Awakening, this “Poster Challenge” is for you. POSTER CHALLENGE – “HAND WAVIUM” OR COSMERE THERMODYNAMICS? Folks on Discord surprised me the other day by rejecting the idea cosmere thermodynamics helps explain magic. They feel cosmere thermodynamics itself is broken or has so many exceptions as to limit its value as an analytical tool. Many think Awakening and other magic systems don’t need fuel and don’t have to comply with thermodynamics’ rules. They accept magical solutions that I think involve too much “hand wavium.” I therefore offer this POSTER CHALLENGE: Read this WoB carefully and summarize its main conclusion. What do YOU think Brandon says here? Thanks for playing! And for my Discord friends, I offer this quote: Brandon violates his own rules more often than one would like. But those rules exist and IMHO should guide the development of our magic system theories. All the best! C.
  4. Thanks, @Dreamer, for the kind words. To be clear, I describe pre-Shattering Investiture cycles that IMO largely remain in place. These pre-Shattering cycles circulate a planet’s ambient Investiture and are part of the planetary ecosystem. Breaths and the Tears arose post-Shattering. Breaths recycle as Nalthians are born and die. The Tears’ Investiture recycles through the Tears, Endowment’s perpendicularity. My preceding post speculates, “Nalthis’ sun always radiated Investiture onto that planet” as part of its Investiture cycle. Solar radiation is the EMR part. I don’t identify the radiated Investiture as Endowment’s and I don’t think it matters which Shard’s it is. Awakening can use any Investiture as fuel on any planet. My focus instead has been on EMR as Endowment’s energy carrier. EMR is to Endowment what metal is to Preservation and water (IMO) is to Autonomy. These substances each bring Investiture to their Shard’s magic users. Breath has to process Awakening's Investiture. IMO, the Investiture must first be quantized before photons can carry them. Rosharan Awakeners can’t simply inhale Stormlight. They must drain the gemstone’s color to capture the Stormlight. Stormlight moves along an EMR pathway to the Awakener. The commonality between Breaths and photons is that both are quanta. I believe Endowment is the “quantum” Shard, the way Ruin is entropy and Honor is bonds. Endowment gives the ability to Awaken through quanta (Breaths) and fuels that ability through quanta (Investiture-laden photons). FWIW, I think Nightblood is so destructive (in part) because he disassembles matter into its subatomic particles (quanta). Poof! @Eternal Khol, the most maddening part of cosmere theorizing is Brandon’s inconsistency. I interpret the 2015 WoB to say microkinesis is a post-Shattering magic. The transcript itself can be read either way, but the WoB’s recording includes more dialogue. The questioner assumes Dragonsteel takes place after the Shattering and that microkinesis is a post-Shattering magic system. Brandon corrects him to make clear microkinesis is possible, but not at the time of Dragonsteel. That’s how I hear it anyway. The 2016 WoB says nothing of when such a magic system existed or might exist, only that it was one of the first systems Brandon conceived and is still canon. I interpret “canon” to mean the system still fits Brandon’s cosmere rules. I don’t think he’s trotted that system out yet. There’s also this WoB that references the cosmere term for atom as “coming from one of the original magics used on Yolen pre-Shattering.” A magic that manipulates atoms can take many forms including Yolen Lightweaving. I’m unsure we can conclude much from that WoB. I mention it for completeness’ sake. Having said all that, we’re left with uncertainty. You think there were pre-Shattering perpendicularities (other than Adonalsium’s). I don’t but acknowledge the possibility. I prefer Brandon’s two thoughtful, unambiguous WoBs about pre- vs. post-Shattering magic systems over ones that seem more off-the-cuff and confusing. But who knows. Regardless, I still believe my association of perpendicularities with magic systems and Major Shardworlds is correct even if small exceptions may exist here or there. I am curious on one point: Do you deliberately distinguish between “people with magic” and “humans with magic” systems? As you know, Brandon defines “people” as any sapient entity. They don’t have to be human. Do you think the dragons and Sho Del had pre-Shattering magic systems like the human post-Shattering types? Finally, FWIW and without meaning to be patronizing, I’d like to praise you two. You always have interesting things to say and think them through. I appreciate your good questions and analysis. I’ve changed many theories on my journey to solving the cosmere puzzle. Folks like you make me refine and focus my approaches. I just wanted to say, “Thanks!”
  5. @Eternal Khol, I know there were magic systems before the Shattering. But they were a different kind of system, involving interactions with nature: Brandon later confirmed this distinction in the WoB about assigned Investiture, Autonomy, and their Avatars, excerpted for relevance: I read these WoBs to mean people pre-Shattering could interact with magical settings. Yolen Lightweaving, for example, allows Hoid to create realistic and captivating illusions. His illusions cannot create a new audiovisual identity that sticks to him. (He has other ways of doing that.) Pre-Shattering magic does not give people access to large enough amounts of Investiture for Hoid’s Lightweaving (pre-Cryptic) to emulate Shallan’s. Shards created “people with magic” systems when they massively Invested planets. We agree the perpendicularity “is nothing compared to the actual shard who powers the magic.” But perpendicularities show where Shards placed their massive Investiture concentrations. That’s why I associate “people with magic” systems with perpendicularities. Examples of each magic system type on the Major Shardworlds: “Interactions with Nature” (my best guess) Nalthis - Heightenings Roshar – Pre-Shattering ecosystem; “Old Magic” (through Nightwatcher) Scadrial – Mists Sel – Don’t know enough First of the Sun - Aviar Taldain – Darkside magic (IMO) “People with Magic” Nalthis – Awakening Roshar – Surgebinding, Voidbinding, Fabrials Scadrial – Allomancy, Feruchemy, Hemalurgy Sel – AonDor, Bloodsealing, Dakhor Dor, Forgery First of the Sun - None Taldain – Sand Mastery Even if Autonomy does Invest the full spectrum, they might still choose to concentrate their Investiture in the infrared frequencies. Based on text, WoB, and logic, I believe Autonomy distributes Investiture through heat. The microflora can gain that Investiture through heat just as easily as light. Khriss says Autonomy's Investiture "beats down" on Taldain. An Internet search found multiple references to "heat beating down" but none to light. Khriss says Darkside’s UV light emanates from Darkside’s white dwarf star: “The ultraviolet light that shines through the [particulate] ring causes a certain reflective luminescence in much of the plant and animal life.” (AU, “The Taldain System,” Kindle p. 369.) I don’t think that star is the source of Darkside’s Investiture. I believe instead it flows from Autonomy, distributed to Darkside through Taldain’s water cycle. Of course Endowment’s Investiture is Breath. But Breath may not be her Investiture’s only manifestation, just as honorspren and Stormlight both manifest Honor’s Investiture. Even if Nalthis’ sun Invests photons with, say, Autonomy’s assigned Investiture, Awakening can still use that for fuel. Endowment’s magic IMO uses quanta – Breaths and photons. I believe Awakening can use any Investiture in quantum form that photons can carry. Hence the need to “drain color.” FWIW, I believe all planets have their own Investiture cycle, some means to circulate their inherent Investiture. IMO: Roshar’s highstorms always blew Investiture. Taldain’s Dayside sun always radiated Investiture onto Dayside, circulated through Taldain’s water cycle. Nalthis’ sun always radiated Investiture onto that planet. I suspect the Vessels chose their Shardworlds knowing how their Shards would fit in there and the changes they could make.
  6. Pre-Shattering Perpendicularities I can see this going either way. Your cited WoB makes clear Worldhopping may not have happened pre-Shattering (“it’s possible...I don’t know if there [were]”) and in only “very very very few instances” if it did. I still think the safer bet is that pre-Shattering perpendicularities didn’t exist. Logic supports that tenuous conclusion. All planets have inherent Investiture, but pre-Shattering the planets had much less. Magic then involved “interactions with nature” using the planets' ambient Investiture. “People with magic” systems like Surgebinding and Awakening arose after the Shards Invested their Major Shardworlds through their perpendicularities. Few if any planets pre-Shattering held the “massive collection of Investiture” that pulls a perpendicularity from the Spiritual Realm. Otherwise “people with magic” systems would have existed before the Shattering. Such systems need perpendicularities’ massive Investiture. It’s possible one or more Vessels explored the Cognitive Realm through the Yolen perpendicularity to prepare for the Shattering. They could have gone in and out the one entrance. FWIW, I think the Vessels killed Adonalsium by killing his mind, his personhood, leaving his unattended raw power behind for the Vessels to Connect to. I once posted the Vessels killed Adonalsium’s mind with an aluminum “bomb”: And it may be worth a chuckle to look at my short parody of the Shattering. Taldain’s Perpendicularity I agree with you, but there’s strong evidence of a Taldain perpendicularity. Taldain wasn’t always isolated. Khriss got off-world somehow. I distinguish between this perpendicularity (whichever Avatar’s it is) and Autonomy’s own perpendicularity because the latter is clearly not on Taldain. Khriss says, “The Investiture beats down from the sky.” Autonomy and Endowment I would never argue physics with you or anyone else, Dreamer! I was an English major whose last college science class was almost half-a-century ago. But despite Emerson’s admonition, my little mind still insists on a foolish consistency when it comes to cosmere theorizing. That means periodically updating my stale science knowledge with the Internet’s fake news. That venerable source tells me you are correct. Before getting to my lay understanding of Shard science, here’s context for the heat-light distinction. I theorize at least some Shards move their Investiture to magic users through some substance magic users consume. Sand Masters dehydrate (burn water) to draw Investiture, Awakeners drain “color,” and Allomancers burn metal. Marasi calls Allomantic metal a “pathway to power,” and Khriss describes it as a “catalyst.” When the pathway/catalyst is gone, the magic stops. Yet none of these substances is fuel or Investiture. Heat and Light I speculate heat and light are how Autonomy and Endowment each disperse their Investiture. I think both Shards flare Invested photons onto their planets from their suns. Photons, as you know, are quanta of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and carry both light and heat energy depending on the photon’s frequency. I think Brandon calls photons “light particles” because that’s how most people view photons. But I interpret him to mean if you can see starlight, you will get the energy its photons carry regardless of that energy’s form. I theorize Autonomy Invests photons mostly in the infrared frequencies and Endowment Invests photons mostly in the visible light frequencies. Autonomy’s photons cause irradiated objects to heat. Endowment’s photons cause irradiated objects to absorb some light frequencies and reflect the frequencies our eye perceives as “color.” Autonomy Uses Heat Heating water seems important to Autonomy’s magic systems. Sand Masters dehydrate to forge a Cognitive bond with Invested microflora. They literally burn water to shape the sand. I believe Patji’s land predators form Cognitive bonds with their prey through the island’s “dense humidity.” Ocean predators are more dangerous than land predators IMO because the Cognitive bond is stronger in water. By placing their Investiture in the infrared frequencies, Autonomy ensures their Investiture will release into the atmosphere through evaporation and the planet’s water cycle. Autonomy chooses to Invest in hot climates like deserts and jungles. Endowment Uses Light Brandon says any Investiture can fuel Awakening including Stormlight. I think the photons an object absorbs carry Awakening’s Investiture. IMO, “color draining” turns objects gray because, like with Shardblade wounds, the drained object no longer holds Investiture. This has been a controversial view, but I’ve not seen another explanation for how Awakeners fuel their magic. Breath is not fuel since all the Breath is returned after Awakening. Like Feruchemy, Intent alone works for non-animating Breath transfers to a person or object; but Brandon says Awakening an object needs Investiture as fuel. I think Rosharan Awakeners access Stormlight through color, or more accurately through Investiture-carrying photons. Awakeners can drain a gemstone of its Stormlight until the gemstone’s color turns gray and it disfigures. Photons absorbed by the gemstone somehow carry Stormlight to the Awakener. I suspect this is how Vasher gets his Stormlight. His colored rocks may be drained gemstones. IMO, photons must always carry Endowment’s Investiture to the Awakener. Inhaling Stormlight like a Surgebinder won’t work for a Rosharan Awakener. The Awakener uses Breath, not Radiant spren, to process Investiture. I theorize Endowment gives Awakeners access to her Investiture through a quantum physics “primal force.” Breaths are quanta of Endowment’s Investiture, and photons are EMR quanta. I think Stormlight somehow has to be quantized before the Awakener’s Breath can use it as fuel.
  7. Yes, I know. My question is, why should that have happened? It seems odd to me for the reasons stated. Yes, but I read that WoB to refer specifically to the mists pulling away. Nightblood is filled with Ruin. Just like the mists pulled away from Vin when she wore Ruin’s earring, they'll pull away from any Ruin manifestation including Nightblood. Diametrical opposites. When and where was this discussion? I know some of these questions have come up before, but I didn’t see this one. I’ll quote Khriss’ language and then give my reading: First, I distinguish between Autonomy and their (likely) Avatar the Sand Lord. The Sand Lord will have their own perpendicularity on Taldain. My guess is that’s the blocked perpendicularity. But if Autonomy themselves “resides” anywhere, it is in the Dayside sun or someplace in a direct line with the sun. Khriss is definitive in saying the Investiture comes from the sky. When Khriss says, “it is not as simple as this,” I think she means Autonomy Invests more than Dayside. I believe Autonomy’s Investiture falls into its oceans. Taldain’s water cycle causes that Investiture to circulate throughout Taldain, including Darkside. If you’ve read my Autonomy theories, you’ll know how important I think water is to Autonomy’s magic. Darkside may look lit by blacklight, but IMO its magic comes from Autonomy’s Investiture. “The mechanism is best explained under those assumptions” because sunlight does carry the Investiture. Khriss’ initial mistake was not seeing how Investiture beating from the sky hits water as well as land. Having said all this, I agree it’s still conjecture. Also, @Dreamer, why do you believe light carries Autonomy’s Investiture? I think heat carries it, not light. I think light carries Endowment’s Investiture to Nalthis. And to anyone who may read this, my purpose in writing the OP was to spark discussion, not assert conclusions. Perpendicularities are very puzzling to me. I still hope you might find something new in my observations to comment on or lead you to your own ideas. If not, I’ll keep looking for other stuff to excite and entertain you! Stay safe and healthy, everyone.
  8. Perpendicularities IMO are the cosmere’s most important post-Shattering structural element. They spike the Realms together. They are the conduits through which massive amounts of Investiture pass. They are a critical part of a Major Shardworld’s system of recycling Investiture. They make Worldhopping possible. Here I analyze and interpret some perpendicularity WoBs. (I edited these WoBs to focus on the relevant parts). I start with perpendicularity basics. I then ask (and try to answer) about a dozen questions on perpendicularities, their properties, and their role in the cosmere. PERPENDICULARITY BASICS What a Perpendicularity Is To confirm what you all know, here’s a few WoBs defining what a perpendicularity is: I believe “perpendicularity” refers to the conduit a massive Investiture concentration creates. IMO, the word does not refer to the Investiture that flows through the conduit. Perpendicularities need not be permanent. If Investiture continues to flow through the conduit, the perpendicularity remains even if the Vessel dies. But “there are ways that a perpendicularity could vanish.” Brandon doesn’t describe those ways. Perpendicularity Formation Relevant WoBs: These WoBs show a slow way and a fast way to make a perpendicularity: 1. A Shard can “stay” on a planet and start to seep Investiture onto that planet’s Physical Realm location. This stalactite perpendicularity allows the Investiture to integrate slowly into the Physical Realm as matter or energy. I speculate “stay” means the Vessel’s mind is focused on that Physical Realm location. I also speculate some minimum amount of Investiture, a critical mass slowly collecting in the Physical Realm, causes the Spiritual Realm to puncture. Does every Shard’s Investiture have the same critical mass before a perpendicularity forms? If Investiture is the same except for each Shard’s “spin or magnetism,” the critical mass for “seeping” perpendicularities should be a constant. But who knows... This assumes, of course, we can measure Investiture, something Brandon’s team has supposedly been working on but has yet to share. 2. Or a Shard can instantaneously Invest a Physical Realm location. The Shard must use this massive Investiture infusion “to start making some stuff.” Presumably any unused Investiture would find its way back to the Spiritual Realm rather than integrating with the Physical Realm as matter or energy. Some of this Investiture could also stay manifest in the Physical Realm. Realmic Compression Perpendicularities push the Realms closer to one another: You can see into the Spiritual Realm through a perpendicularity. The Cognitive emptiness of space makes Worldhopping possible, but the Cognitive Realm’s proximity at perpendicularities gives Worldhoppers easy access. I suggest possible explanations for Realmic compression after quoting the relevant portions of these WoBs: Two possible (and not mutually exclusive) causes of Realmic compression: 1. “Puncturing” or “spiking” will draw the punctured barrier after it. Imagine a tack going through paper. You see the perforated edges of the paper following the tack through to the other side. In this way the Spiritual and Cognitive Realms move closer to the Physical Realm, the repository of that Investiture. 2. OR maybe the Cognitive Realm collapses a bit at a perpendicularity, drawing the other two Realms closer together. My reasoning: Space and location are irrelevant in the Spiritual Realm. (Brandon applies this rule to Dalinar’s perpendicularity.) If space is irrelevant there, maybe the Spiritual Realm can’t be “moved” except right at the place the Investiture punctures it. And to human perception, the Physical Realm itself has defined limits. Maybe perpendicularities compress the Cognitive Realm alone, squeezing the Realmic sandwich at that spot? FWIW, when I first read Brandon I conceived the three Realms as alternate “phases” of the same reality, different aspects. The idea the Cognitive Realm comprises physical space people can walk through still boggles me. QUESTIONS AND SPECULATIONS Massive Investiture concentrations cause perpendicularities and Realmic compression, but that’s about all we know. The rest are questions and speculations. What Causes Investiture to Concentrate in the Physical Realm? IMO, the Spiritual Realm doesn’t spontaneously seep massive amounts of Investiture onto some Physical Realm location. There are no “accidental” perpendicularities (excluding the one near Threnody). Shards choose to “stay” or instantaneously Invest there. They either drip Investiture through the equivalent of an intravenous tube or inject the Investiture all at once. In both cases Shards willfully make their perpendicularities. Perpendicularities are why there are Major Shardworlds. They are the residue of the Shards’ massive post-Shattering Investiture in planets. This Investiture made the Major Shardworlds more magical – and more unbalanced. Adonalsium wove the cosmere tapestry with an eye towards the whole, but the Shards didn’t. They disrupted Adonalsium’s vision and remade the Major Shardworlds to suit themselves and their Investiture. Perpendicularities brought magic to mortals. Does Investiture Flow Only Through Perpendicularities? No. Perpendicularities are reserved for massive amounts of Investiture collecting in the Physical Realm (usually). Investiture also flows from the Spiritual Realm to fuel magic systems or to manifest in gaseous form. Perpendicularities are only one form of Investiture seepage into the Physical Realm. Cultivation’s perpendicularity, for example, is in the Horneater mountains. Yet the Nightwatcher’s Valley fills with gaseous Cultivation-light. Preservation’s mists permeate the Final Empire, though the Well of Ascension lies hidden beneath Kredik Shaw. These gaseous Investitures don’t appear to flow directly through a perpendicularity. Did Adonalsium Have a Perpendicularity? I think Adonalsium did have a perpendicularity – the one on Yolen that got him killed. I speculate Adonalsium created the entire Physical Realm through this perpendicularity. I do not believe he needed to create planets with their own perpendicularities. Adonalsium was the entire cosmere by himself, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. He could change his Physical Realm “body” at will without needing to inject massive amounts of a particular Investiture “flavor” like the Shards did. Example: Roshar’s pre-Shattering ecology already depended on Stormlight’s precursor to energize its life cycle. But lesser amounts of that Investiture filled the pre-Shattering highstorms – maybe not enough Investiture concentration to form a perpendicularity. The Parsh Rider of Storms pales in Investiture concentration compared with the Tanavast-fortified Stormfather. Even the metaphor of their names shows this: The Parsh great spren “rode” the storms. The human Stormfather commands them (though with still-limited powers). Even pre-Shattering planets have inherent Investiture. As with Cultivation-light and the mists, those Investitures somehow cycle through those planets’ systems without a perpendicularity. Otherwise every planet would have a perpendicularity, and Khriss says they don’t. What Happens to the Investiture that Makes the Perpendicularity? Brandon says the Shards that form “instantaneous” perpendicularities “just need to start making some stuff.” Thermodynamics’ first law applies to this Investiture. It must be converted into matter or energy or some other Physical Realm manifestation. The only difference between this and the “seeping” perpendicularities is the rate of thermodynamic conversion. Can Shards Change Their Perpendicularity? Yes, with difficulty. Brandon says, “Once you've got a Perpendicularity, you are starting – That's trouble for going other places.” Presumably the massive Physical Realm Investiture concentration ties the Shard to the planet. Maybe a Shard like Odium wouldn’t scruple to destroy a planet (Roshar) to recover his Investiture and leave. Most Shards I suspect have some appreciation for the people and things they’ve Invested in over the millennia. I also suspect Shard divestment from a planet requires vast amounts of Investiture to execute. Which Shards Have “Seeping” vs. “Instantaneous” Perpendicularities? Except for Ruin and Preservation, it’s hard to know. Investiture continues to flow through all perpendicularities including the “instantaneous” ones. Ruin and Preservation created Scadrial in a cosmere moment, but Investiture still condensed in the Pits of Hathsin and Well of Ascension afterwards. Investiture manifests in the Physical Realm through perpendicularities regardless of how they were created. They are an essential part of a Major Shardworld’s “Investiture cycle.” Without perpendicularities, pre-Shattering planetary plumbing might flood trying to handle the new Investiture infusion. Other than Scadrial (and Dalinar’s), I think the clearest examples of “instantaneous” perpendicularities are Autonomy’s Avatars. I believe Autonomy creates these perpendicularities when they Invest their Avatars including Patji. Autonomy’s assigned Investiture is already present (I believe in the form of matter with the same “spin”); and Autonomy further Invests this “gathering” of Investiture to give it consciousness. The additional Investiture IMO passes the “critical mass” threshold and creates the perpendicularity. But all of this is speculation. Is a Perpendicularity’s Size Related to How Much A Shard Invests There? I don’t think so. Kelsier and other prisoners had to crawl through narrow spaces in the Pits to find atium geodes. Yet through that perpendicularity Ruin created half a world. Why Do Different States of Investiture Collect in Different Perpendicularities? These differences seem to relate to the Shard, the planet, and the Vessel. Shards can manifest in the Physical Realm in any state and do. But these different Investiture states do not all flow from a perpendicularity, as we see with Cultivation-light and the mists. It’s unclear why Shards manifest in their perpendicularities as different Investiture states. Brandon describes the general causes of Investiture state differentiation: I find that WoB vague and unhelpful, but there it is. Most perpendicularities hold liquid Investiture. The known exceptions are Ruin, Honor, and Autonomy. Atium collects in the Pits of Hathsin as solid Investiture. Stormlight’s gaseous Investiture fills Honor’s “moving” perpendicularity. Autonomy’s perpendicularity sits in Taldain’s Dayside sun. It presumably holds gaseous Investiture. We don’t know anything about Odium’s or Dominion’s perpendicularities. Does Harmonium Condense in a New Perpendicularity? Harmonium (ettmetal) is a different substance than either atium or lerasium. The Shards are now combined. My guess is Sazed formed a new perpendicularity when he re-shaped Scadrial, and harmonium condenses in that perpendicularity. Brandon says Scadrial’s cycle of Investiture leaves the Well and Pits empty “for now,” suggesting there may still be some uncombined Ruin and Preservation about. ASIDE: Off topic, but why should Ruin and Preservation combine into Harmony with a new god metal just because the two Shards now have one Vessel? This is especially weird given the 180° difference between the Shards. I don’t think this is “resonance” given how opposite the Shards are. Just curious for your thoughts. What’s Different About Dalinar’s Perpendicularity? Brandon says Dalinar’s perpendicularity is “both the bug and the feature at the same time.” At least five things distinguish Dalinar’s from other perpendicularities: 1. It’s the only known perpendicularity to form without a massive Physical or Cognitive Realm collection of Investiture pulling it through the Realms. Dalinar plucked the Investiture directly from the Spiritual Realm by collapsing the Realms at Thaylen City. 2. It’s the only perpendicularity created by mortal action. (Dalinar’s still mortal even if he’s now a sliver. I ignore Elsecalling’s “mini-perpendicularity.”) 3. It’s the only “instantaneous” perpendicularity we’ve seen on-screen. 4. Dalinar’s is the only perpendicularity seen on-screen while filled with kinetic Investiture. 5. Dalinar’s and the Well of Ascension are the only two perpendicularities described from within the Cognitive Realm. Kaladin, Shallan, and Adolin see Dalinar’s. Kelsier sees the Well. I’m not sure what conclusions we should draw from any of this. “Seeing” a column of Investiture spike through the Realms is pretty cool though. Why Does Nightblood Collapse Some Perpendicularities But Not Others? A preliminary question: Is simply drawing Nightblood enough to start him eating Investiture? Doesn’t he feed on Investiture only to fulfill his command to “destroy evil”? What would Nightblood do if Vasher, for example, draws him and is the only person there? Maybe there’s a WoB I’m unaware of that addresses this. If there isn’t, I suggest Nightblood might not eat Investiture in any perpendicularity unless he first determines he must destroy evil. Moving past that, I think the Physical Realm outlet for the perpendicularity matters. I can see Nightblood collapsing Honor’s “moving” perpendicularity but not the Pits of Hathsin. Even if Nightblood ate the atium, the Pits as conduit would remain. If Nightblood ate all the Stormlight, there’s nothing left to Honor’s perpendicularity. CONCLUSION Perpendicularities are strange and perplexing. That’s all I’ve got to say. What do you folks think?
  9. I theorize each Shard gives access to its Investiture through a unique “primal force/fundamental law/something natural.” I believe the quoted WoB shows Cultivation’s primal force is the cosmere’s First Law of Thermodynamics: the inter-convertibility of mass, energy, and Investiture. Lift is a “hint” of Cultivation’s magic. Odium styles Cultivation’s primal force “transformation.” Roshar’s natural spren are an example of Cultivation’s transformative magic (from my magic theory post): Cultivation tells Dalinar, “I CONTROL ALL THINGS THAT CAN BE GROWN, NURTURED.” (OB, Chapter 114, Kindle p. 1079.) I believe Cultivation exercises her transformation magic through the pre-Shattering life “natural pathway”: Conclusion: Cultivation represents evolution – a Shard that’s primal force is mass-energy-Investiture conversion exercised through life’s natural pathway. Brandon says Cultivation would be a mono-green M:tG deck. TL;DR? Cultivation’s personally met with Taravangian, Lift, and Dalinar. Does that mean she’ll also meet with someone whose name begins with an R? Rlain? Idle thought. P.S. - All of you, wherever you live, please take care of yourselves and your loved ones during this plague. All the best, C.
  10. horror

    “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” “Odious” means “extremely unpleasant; repulsive.” I raise this (again) because my magic theory tries to match “primal forces” with Shards. Shards are “primal forces attached to certain aspects of personality.” Odium’s primal force, IMO, is a cosmere repulsive force that breaks Connections. “Repulsive” captures Odium as metaphor (Hoid calls Rayse “loathsome”) and the physics concept of repulsion: “the force that acts between bodies of like electric charge or magnetic polarity, tending to separate them.” I think Odium breaks Connections of every kind, not just electromagnetic ones. Two of Dalinar’s visions show this: Kholinar disappearing into dust (WoK, Chapter 75) and the second Nohadon vision breaking into bits (OB, Chapter 109). FWIW, the humans in the Nohadon vision wither into husks just like the Shade-touched on Threnody, another Odium-influenced planet. Only Dalinar exercising Honor’s bonding power holds the broken Connections together where he stands. IMO, a more precise name for Voidbinding is Surge-Breaking (and it is not a Surgebinding hack): Fantasy writer Robin Hobb also notes that giving up pain deadens one’s human connections: Mine may be a unique view. I keep raising it (as I do the “primal forces” approach to understanding Shards) because of my confidence in ultimate vindication and my hope someone may (at long last) agree with me. Thanks for reading. C. “Will you join in [my] crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me?”
  11. Many posters have analyzed the WoB that says this. Here is the WoB again. I highlight the critical language. My interpretation follows. IMO, Adonalsium was “infinite” because his mind inhabited his soul and was co-extensive with it. (Adonalsium is an anagram for “a mind, a soul.”) Adonalsium was both “transcendent” – occupying the Spiritual Realm – and “immanent” – pervading the Physical Realm. Adonalsium’s spirit, mind, and body were one. Shards are slices of Adonalsium. The Vessels’ minds Connect to those slices – “The Connection is all there in the Spiritual Realm.” Vessel minds are not co-extensive with their slices the way Adonalsium was with the entire cosmere. Vessels don’t know the Physical Realm location of their Shard’s “assigned Investiture” and instead must search for it. IMO, that is the sense Vessels are “not infinite.”
  12. My (unedited) Point 1 says Splinters “generally” are self-aware. I acknowledge there are exceptions. These are not “just” pieces of power. Brandon in your linked WoB describes Divine Breath and Honorblades as “special things”: These “special things” do lack self-awareness. The Shard instead programs the Investiture (“infuses the magic”) for some specific purpose and with specific powers. The Shard intends this pre-programmed Investiture to attach to a mind that can direct it. Divine Breath and Honorblades rely on Cognitive Shadows for direction. Szeth and other humans also temporarily bond an Honorblade to direct its magic. IMO, Shard pre-programming and Cognitive Shadow (or human) direction transform these “pieces of power” into Splinters. Instead of a Cognitive Shadow, Bavadin directs the non-sentient Avatars. Though these Avatars lack sentience, Bavadin may pre-program them for some purpose. Bavadin may be the only Vessel that personally directs free-floating gobs of Investiture. To amend my prior statement: I do not believe non-self-aware, unprogrammed, undirected gobs of Investiture are Splinters. Those are “just pieces of power.” Atium, for example, is not a Splinter. The “Is an Avatar a Splinter?” WoB concerns in-world definitions. Some in-world people may question whether Bavadin-directed Avatars are true Splinters. But this question doesn’t even arise in-world if all Avatars are self-aware as your WoB interpretation presupposes. I see that as a potential flaw in your interpretation, but reasonable minds can differ.
  13. horror

    Hey, @agrabes. Let’s recap how we got here: You and others questioned my comment that Kaladin as Windrunner head is a “leader of leaders.” Pathfinder focused on the Windrunner military role as scouts. I responded that the Windrunner Secondary Divine Attribute is Leading. Karger then said, “Divine attributes are what you want them to be. They [are] cultural not magical and based on hearsay.” I replied that on Roshar, a world of living ideas, culture makes the Divine Attributes magical. Radiant spren are Invested Primary Divine Attributes. You now say, I don’t think I imply either of your statements. Like you, I disagree with both of them. I view the Primary Divine Attributes as the ones that attract Radiant spren. For Windrunners, it is Protecting not Leading. Lopen in his way emotionally Protects people. Syl comes to Kaladin because he exudes the compulsive need to Protect. Other Windrunners share this Protecting trait at some level of intensity. I agree Protecting need not be their “greatest strength or primary character trait.” Brandon says proximity to Radiant spren helps; and Windrunners as a group attract honorspren. I view the Secondary Divine Attributes like Leading as the aspirational ones. IMO, as a Windrunner shows more Leading ability they progress through their oaths (and rise in the ranks) until, at the fifth oath, the Spiritual aspects of the Windrunner and honorspren merge. The Windrunner then fully embodies their Secondary Divine Attribute of Leading. I envision a five-tier pyramid of Windrunners, with the base consisting of 1st oath-ers and the top with maybe one 5th oath-er – likely Kaladin. That pyramid structure explains my comment, Kaladin is a “leader of leaders.”
  14. horror

    I feel many of you misinterpret my OP (and even I got sidetracked earlier). Kaladin becomes King because he engineers the Singer-human peace. Alethi don’t get to unilaterally choose him. I speculate Kaladin is the only person both Singers and humans trust and can agree on. Dalinar IMO will not be a candidate. That is not his role. You’re very gracious, thank you. @Karger and @agrabes agree with you. Kaladin so far has the most volatile arc of any SLA character. He enters adulthood a surgeon’s assistant. In turn he becomes a spearman, a leader of spearman; a slave, a leader of slaves; a bridgeman, a leader of bridgemen; a battalion captain, and now Windrunner leader. Kaladin already learns generalship from Adolin. We’re only in Book 3. Like Dalinar he rises and falls – and each time rises higher. That’s an important SLA theme. There are many reasons Kaladin may never become King. Lack of leadership talent or skill IMO won’t be one of them. He will have the next five to seven books of experience to learn how to rule. This debate reminds me of the line from Cool Hand Luke: “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” We agree there’s nothing “magical” about the Divine Attributes themselves. We agree they are not “100% binding on the radiants [nor] manifest in the exact same way every time.” We don’t know “who set up the ideals or how they connect.” I acknowledge the Divine Attributes are culturally determined and arbitrary. BUT – for whatever reason these are the ideals that become Invested. Radiant spren personify Primary Divine Attributes, and these Invested Attributes (the Radiant spren) are essential to Surgebinding. In that sense culture on Roshar does make the Invested Divine Attributes magical. If you don’t see this, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
  15. horror

    I share Tglassy’s speculation that Dalinar as Unity becomes the Vessel for all sixteen Shards. Vessels that hold more than one Shard unbalance the cosmere. Only Harmony can (barely) make it work. Once Vessels begin to bundle Shards, Unity becomes necessary. Plus I like the idea Vessels play a cosmere version of Survivor or Highlander. Here’s my narrative: Ending – “Unite Them” vs. “Survival of the Fittest” It ends with Dalinar and Autonomy. Autonomy’s Avatars cast her Physical Realm dominion across a wide swath of worlds. IMO, unlike other Vessels Bavadin controls all Autonomy’s Investiture including their Avatars and Splinters. (I explain why in this post.) I believe Bavadin is a shape-shifting Yolen dragon that, Khriss says, resides in Taldain’s Dayside sun. Taldain and First of the Sun both show Bavadin favors extreme “survival of the fittest” ecosystems. Their OB letter to Hoid confirms this attitude. Bavadin searches the cosmere for more and more Avatars. Bavadin’s extreme ecosystems on more and more worlds endangers life in ways “pious/guiding” Dalinar may not tolerate. I see this as the “final conflict.” Not of good and evil but of contrasting worldviews: “Unite Them” vs. “Survival of the Fittest.” Coda’s comment reminds me of this line from Shakespeare in Love, the 1999 Oscar winner for Best Picture: Poor Dalinar! Left all alone with no Navani. Beginning – Ascension as Vessel for the Three Rosharan Shards It starts on Roshar. Brandon has trolled Rayse may not survive SLA, but this may turn out true. Maybe Dalinar’s Challenge of Champions forces Odium into the open. Cultivation then smites Rayse, as the Stormfather foretells, revenge at last taken for Tanavast’s murder. I predicted in “Cultivation’s Long-Term Plan” that with Tanavast dead and Odium defeated Cultivation’s Vessel will relinquish her Shard. I thought Navani might pick it up because of her interest in fabrials. But now I think Dalinar will take all three. IMO, Honor’s “primal force” makes Connections (voluntary bonds), Odium’s “primal force” breaks Connections (some cosmere repulsive force), and Cultivation changes Connections (to convert matter, energy, and Investiture into one another). As Vessel for these three Shards Dalinar can make them all work together to bring Roshar renewed growth. Middle – Who Knows? This is beyond my ability to even guess at. I suspect some Vessels may try to pick up Splintered Shards; some may try to kill other Vessels; and some may voluntarily relinquish their Shard to another Vessel.