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Everything posted by Confused

  1. Cal, I don’t begrudge your hesitance to speculate, though IMO you apply it selectively – (cough) Avatars. But you’ve never addressed the substance of my FACT-BASED theory. Unlike some things we quibble about, I think THIS THEORY IS IMPORTANT to understanding Shard nature and behavior. Please review it on its merits. If I didn’t value your input, I wouldn’t ask. Let me summarize the KNOWN FACTS again: 1. Shards combine personality and fundamental law/primal force. 2. Brandon TELLS us Ruin’s, Preservation’s, and Honor’s fundamental laws are entropy, stasis, and bonds, respectively. 3. Brandon SHOWS us how Honor grants his magic through bonds each time a Surgebinder uses his Honor-centric powers. 4. Brandon twice says the only difference between Shards is “the WAY they obtain their magic [capitalization in original],” confirmed a third time by the 2017 “Honor bonds” WoB. 5. These three Shards’ magic systems show us that a magic user’s Intended (capital “I”) performance of an act of entropy, stasis, or bonding summons that Shard’s Investiture. From these facts, I THEORIZE Shards obtain their magic through their fundamental law/primal force. This fact-based theory explains the behavior of one-third of the known Shards. (I exclude Ambition who has no known magic system.) I do speculate about the other six known Shards (but not Ambition) and always say so. (Look, for example, at this post.) I extrapolate the theory to these Shards based on text and WoBs about their magic systems. I associate Endowment with EMR, for example, because Awakening drains “color” – reflections of visible light, a form of EMR. Regardless, if my guesses about these Shards’ fundamental laws/primal forces turn out wrong, the theory would remain valid based solely on the known facts. I do believe Odium inherently breaks Connections. My previous post cites lots of text evidence for my belief. As I say in the earlier post, OB’s moral polarity, the novel’s conflict, is Unity (bonding) vs. Division (breaking). OB’s first chapter is entitled “Broken and Divided.” Breaking Connections is how Hate translates into cosmere force. On Voidbinding: IMO the three referenced WoBs show Brandon classifies magic systems by how they give magic to mortals, not what magical abilities they grant. The 2017 “Honor bonds” WoB shows the Nahel bond defines Surgebinding. Surgebinding’s transformative magic comes from Cultivation, but the magic system is still Surgebinding. Reason: Only Surgebinders get their magic through Honor’s Nahel bond. Glys may give Renarin future sight, nominally a Voidbinding ability, but Renarin is still Surgebinding. He too gets his magic through the Nahel bond. This is no different than Lift, Jasnah, and Shallan using Cultivation’s transformative abilities while Surgebinding. Breaking Connections to access Odium’s Investiture should “be able to act on anything” (or mostly anything). Brandon describes how this works in the 2008 WoB: Certain abilities are more naturally Voidbinding (like future sight), and other abilities are more naturally Surgebinding (like flying). But any Shard can theoretically grant any ability. Breaking a Connection to use an ability IMO doesn’t permanently break the Connection. Windrunners make multiple lashings (bonds), but when they release their lashings, normal reality and physics kick in. I believe the same is true of Voidbinders. They can allow their Connection to gravity (for example) to reassert itself in whole or part (up to one-G). Glys IMO allows Renarin to break his Connection to time. This allows Renarin to see the Spiritual Realm’s multiple future possibilities, some of which (Renarin now knows) can be wrong. Nor do I make such assumptions. I know you and others often tar my theories as unfounded, but it’s untrue. You cannot point to a single of my theories that isn’t based on substantial text and WoB evidence. Even my speculations (which I always identify as such) stem from Brandon’s words. If I look outside Brandon’s words – as I do with scientific principles like quantum physics or resonance – it is only to understand his use of those principles. As a reminder, I looked at more than fifty WoBs where Brandon uses the term resonance before concluding he meant the technical meaning in the one about Allomancy’s Focus. That’s not assumption; that’s hard analytical work. 1. I take no offense and hope my words give you none. 2. You should NOT “expect to be called out on” your assumptions. You should state them, and we can assess their reasonableness. But there’s nothing wrong with pre-conceived notions per se. Whether an assumption proves valid partly depends on how well the resulting theory explains known facts. 3. Different conclusions are understandable; different methods to reach those conclusions are not, at least when seeking cosmere “truth.” Your stated methods seem the same as mine, you just don’t take them as far as I do. I ask a lot of “why” and “how” questions. They lead me to answers that logically flow from the known facts, and I’m unafraid to state those answers. A theory’s best proof is how well it integrates our knowledge to explain a wide array of phenomena. My theory, I believe, fully explains Shards and their magic systems, even if some details about particular Shards may be off. 4. The real pitfall, I think, is how willing we are to modify our views in the face of contrary information. I’ve refined my theories many times based on new (to me) information. Many here are locked into their paradigms and never waver. I can launch into social commentary about this, but… Reflexive disagreement seems endemic to life and the Forum.
  2. @Calderis: We Don’t “Fundamentally Disagree” on this Issue No, Cal, I don’t know where we “fundamentally disagree” on this issue. Brandon SAYS Shards combine personality and fundamental law/primal force. You previously said you didn’t think we knew enough to identify each Shard’s fundamental law or to guess how such law affects the Shard. Those views don’t conflict with this post. You’re just unwilling yet to speculate about these subordinate issues. I OTOH am perfectly willing to do so – hardly a “fundamental disagreement” – and I have firm bases for my speculations. Fact-Based Theory on the Difference Between Shards The 2018 WoB gives three examples of fundamental laws: Ruin (entropy), Preservation (stasis), and Honor (bonds). This 2017 WoB SHOWS how fundamental laws work in practice (quoted in part, bold added): Honor grants magic through bonds: The Nahel bond (to make one a Surgebinder) and each time the Surgebinder uses an Honor-centric ability. Brandon says Windrunners and Skybreakers forge a bond between themselves and their desired direction to access gravity. The 2017 WoB amplifies two earlier WoBs I often reference: These three WoBs show Shards magically differ only in their unique filter to Spiritual Realm power – “the WAY the magic is obtained.” The 2018 WoB says Shards combine personality and fundamental law/primal force. I think it’s SOUND THEORY to conclude each Shard’s unique filter IS their fundamental law/primal force. This theory explains a lot about Shard behavior including Shard Wars. For example, IMO magic users perform Intended (capital “I”) acts of entropy, stasis, or bonding each time they summon Ruin’s, Preservation’s, or Honor’s Investiture: Ruin – Spiking sDNA, destroying evil, and converting attributes into Investiture are all Intended acts of entropy. Preservation – Feruchemists Intend to return to their prior condition (the status quo) when they re-convert Investiture into attributes. The fixed (static) supply of lerasium and the Feruchemical gene limits the number of magic users and the strength of their powers. “Burning” metal allows Allomancers to draw Investiture through that metal’s static molecular structure. Honor – The Nahel bond grants Surgebinding; yet the 2017 WoB quoted above says, “some of the [Surgebinding] magics lean more Honor and some [of] them lean more Cultivation.” Surgebinders exercise their Honor-centric abilities like Windrunning/Skybreaking through bonding. Cultivation – Though the Nahel bond grants Surgebinding to all Knights Radiant, the 2017 WoB implies transformative magical abilities like Soulcasting and Progression come from Cultivation. I’ve yet to see a cogent counter-argument from you or anyone else. You instead say you choose not to speculate on these issues. You apparently don’t find these WoBs as compelling as I do. Theory-Making Approach Cal, you’re imaginative, quick-on-your-feet, and my favorite debate partner. But I still don’t understand your analytic approach to theory-making. Our last exchange four months ago, on Allomancy’s thermodynamics and the meaning of “resonance,” ended with you claiming WoBs are as likely wrong as right (bold added): And I don't. Brandon has a team for a reason. He can't be an expert on everything. The vast majority of the time that he's at a signing he does not have his team with him. There's a reason we have conflicting WoBs, and ones where he states things that obviously conflict with the books. Brandon is amazing but he's not perfect. He makes mistakes in addition to not being perfect. Part of the issue, I agree, is that the rules have been refined as the story progresses. But taking the underlying mechanics to the literal definition of Brandon's word choices, when many things are done to serve the story first and foremost, is a good way to be disappointed in my opinion. These are valid points, but Brandon’s words are our only cosmere guide. Text foremost, but we shouldn’t belittle his commentary. The cosmere is Brandon’s invention. What he says goes unless there’s an obvious error. To do otherwise leads to an ad hoc approach inconsistent with Brandon’s self-description as an author-architect. I think we should presume Brandon’s words are right and try to square his words with text and other WoBs. We should ignore his words only if we can’t place them in that broader tapestry. Context and subtext are vital. I looked at more than fifty WoBs before concluding Brandon intends the technical meaning of “resonance” in his 2011 WoB that first describes Focus. Those WoBs show Brandon knows what a resonance is both technically and metaphorically. If you’re a puzzle-solver like me, you seek cosmere truth wherever you find it and don’t reflexively reject potential solutions. Specific Responses Now, to your specific comments. Possibly... But it's also possible that, as Leras' betrayal of Ruin, and his description of that betrayal as a loophole in the agreement, that shards are only bound to what they believe they were agreeing to. And With Honor at least, we know he does not believe settlement with Cultivation was a violation of what he agreed to. Endowment says the Vessels agreed not to interfere with one another. She interprets their pact to mean no multi-Shard planets. Ati, Leras, and Tanavast disagree. But murder is “interference” beyond any interpretation. Endowment sniffs her nose while the other Shards do nothing. We can only conclude Shard interference bears no consequence. If we believe Taravangian, once Odium chooses to accept the challenger’s request for a champion, he is bound by his choice. Is there a cosmere Unbreakable Vow? But a deal with Odium is like a deal with the devil. Rayse will twist every circumstance and word to his advantage: Rayse refuses to write his word down. He comes to Taravangian only on Mr. T’s befuddled days. This allows Rayse to fudge or outright lie about his unwritten word. His word itself is ambiguous: “The city itself, and any humans who have been born into it, along with their spouses.” The words “have been born” mean those who were born in the city, those to be born before Odium kills all other humans, and MAYBE, but not necessarily, those born to Kharbranth-born after that: IMO, Odium will interpret his “word” to allow him to kill everyone not born into Kharbranth as of when he kills Roshar’s other humans. When that generation dies, so does the city. In exchange for that nanosecond of human life, Odium gets to avoid direct war with Dalinar. Why risk himself if Taravangian can neutralize the mortal Bondsmith for him? Good point. Maybe Hoid doesn’t have to “harm” another champion to defeat them? He can, for example, neutralize his opponent without causing “harm” (whatever that means). Maybe Hoid will adopt Preservation’s tactic and separate Odium’s consciousness from his Physical Realm Investiture? Your point's well taken. @Karger: Odium Break Connections I think broken “people” Connections cause the emotional Void, not the other way around. Hate divides people and breaks the Connections between them. Ultimately, a hateful person cuts themselves off from everyone and falls into an emotional void. Magic systems reflect both their Shard and their planet. On Roshar Odium breaks “people” Connections, but IMO his fundamental law/primal force can break any Connection. Dalinar’s last WoK vision and the OB Venli-Dalinar vision both show this, land and city disintegrating into a physical void. Only around Dalinar does physical reality reknit itself, as Honor’s Investiture bonds things together. There’s tons of text evidence that Odium breaks Connections. As imagery, he is the Broken One. He tells Taravangian, “I don’t need anyone,” highlighting his lack of people Connection. Moash and others say, “I’m not to blame,” as they seek to shed the guilt, shame, and pain their people Connections cause. When Dalinar nearly succumbs to Odium in Thaylen City, he says, “Alone…So alone,” because his memories of murder extinguish his people Connections. Other examples include SLA’s central theme – Unity vs. Division. I think Voidbinders break Connections to access Odium’s magic. Flying Fused, for example, by degree break or reinstate their Connection to gravity (up to one-G). They move in wider arcs than Windrunners who veer with sharp lashings. Their main tactic is to fall upon a target using normal gravity to accelerate. I imagine the flying Fused as gliders compared to engine-flying Windrunners. That partly explains the fuel usage differential. FWIW, as metaphor I also imagine Odium as Freud’s id, Roshar’s unrestrained primal urges. (Think of the Unmade.) My “Roshar’s Freudian Mind” post asserts Odium’s id conflicts with Honor’s superego, society’s binding rules. Cultivation as ego tries to reconcile (transform) their conflict. Questions About Champions 1. Does a champion have access to the full power of its Shard? 2. What happens to the Vessel whose champion loses? 3. What happens to the Shard whose champion loses? What do you think?
  3. @Ammanas, @Araris Valerian, @Azul, @Blessed peace, @Briar King, @Dashichka, @DSC01, @Extesian, @Fourth Of The Night, @Gigalemesh, @goody153, @Idealistic, @Jondesu, @Julio, @Khyrindor, @Onslaught, @robardin, @Severian4Scadrial, @Slimy_Slider, @Sorana, @Stampede, @Storming Radiant, @Vexmeister, @Wander89, and @Wit Beyond Measure: Each of you has expressed interest in Robin Hobb’s “Realm of the Elderings” books in the last two years. I thought this post might interest you. WARNING!!! This post contains MAJOR SPOILERS from Hobb’s latest trilogy. FA refers to Fool’s Assassin (Book 1), FQ refers to Fool’s Quest (Book 2), and AF refers to Assassin’s Fate (Book 3). FURTHER WARNING!!! This post is MY INTERPRETATION of text. It is my opinion only no matter how affirmatively I express those opinions. * * * * * * * I LOVE Bee Farseer. This character at age ten is already one of the most accomplished magicians in fantasy-dom. As the nexus of past, present, and future represented by her three fathers Fitz, Nighteyes, and Beloved, Bee holds the power to make her world’s future: PREDICTIONS Bee Is Her Own Catalyst Bee tells both Fitz and Beloved that “no one can tell me ‘no’ anymore.” I believe she is her own Catalyst, who both foresees the future and makes it happen. Bee’s own actions change her “true Path”: Bee’s “True Path” As her White Prophet mission, I think Bee chooses to change the memories that cause people to take vengeance against each other: Bee Becomes the Mountain Kingdom’s Sacrifice Kettricken is Bee’s Wolf-Mother, the mate Nighteyes would have chosen for Fitz. Under Kettricken’s guidance and attention, Bee prospers and endears herself to the Mountain Kingdom. Her hair and eye color matches that of its people. Bee becomes a skilled huntress, her arrows her sting. Many come to the Mountain Kingdom for Bee’s healing and to hear a White Prophet’s wisdom as they once did for Beloved. King Dutiful names Prince Integrity the Seventh Duchy’s Duke. When Kettricken dies, the Mountain Kingdom chooses Bee as its Sacrifice. Bee’s Friendship with Dragons and Elderlings I think Bee stays close with Vivacia and the Paragon dragons through the Skill and occasional visits. Vivacia becomes Bee’s “Dragon-mother.” Vivacia loves Bee for helping Vivacia’s family, and Bee reciprocates: Paragon’s dragons see Bee as Beloved’s daughter and the person who chooses their freedom over personal power when she gives the Silver to Kennitsson. Karrigvestrit and the green Queen dragon demand to see Bee in Kelsingra and thank her and Fitz as dragon vengeance-takers. (AF, Ch. 44, Kindle Loc. 14503.) I think Bee cements the alliance between Kelsingra and the Seven Duchies by healing the “touched” and saving the Elderings from famine. Reyn tells Fitz Kelsingra always needs more grain. Two Bee dreams presage this: Bee Dreams a New Silver Source Bee withholds from Dwalia This dream seems to refer to Rapskal and Heeby. I think Bee discovers the “new land” across the ice holds a lode of Silver unaffected by the catastrophe that destroys Kelsingra and reduces its Silver output to a single well. Maybe the new land holds the Silver river Verity dipped his hands in. Bee Hides Her Skill Strength Natural ability, Thick’s teachings, and the integration of serpent potion with her “family magic” make Bee the strongest of all Skill users. Bee withstands Vindeliar’s Skilled summons when Fitz himself succumbs. Bee even hides her thoughts from Nettle’s touch in the Stone Garden – “’Nice walls,’ [Nettle says to Bee]. ‘Thick taught you well.’” (AF, Chapter 49, Kindle Loc. 15690.) No one including Nettle knows Bee’s full strength. Raised by a man of secrets, Bee keeps hers close. This Bee dream foretells what she becomes. The “old tree” is Molly, who bears Bee. Bee’s silver crown IMO refers to her Skill-strength, a queen among Skill-users: Prilkop’s Whites Become True Servants to Bee In his letter to Beloved, Prilkop acknowledges the Servants slaughtered dragons. (AF, Chapter 41, Kindle Locs. 13695-13710.) His belated discovery of their treachery and his desire to reestablish the Servants as true helpers to the White Prophet lead Prilkop to journey his Whites to the Seven Duchies. I believe they do serve Bee there; yet I suspect one or more of them will try to retaliate against Bee the Destroyer. Prilkop tells Beloved that most of his Whites have stopped dreaming. Rosemary’s Coup IMO, Rosemary is Regal’s bastard daughter, the counterpart to Fitz as a royal assassin. Rosemary feels indebted to Kettricken, who rescues the child Rosemary after Regal’s fall. With Fitz, Chade, and Kettricken dead, Rosemary mounts her coup. Rosemary disbands Chade’s spy network and steals his sequestered scrolls. These scrolls include Fitz’s account of Verity in the Stone Garden. Rosemary KNOWS, from Fitz himself, that Fitz’s body sires Dutiful. None of the Dukes believe that Verity’s Skilled possession of Fitz’s body makes Dutiful Verity’s natural son. The Dukes attribute Dutiful’s Wit to Fitz. Without a Verity heir, Regal rightfully becomes king when Verity dies. Regal’s heir should now rule. I believe Violet is Regal’s heir, a grandchild who can “prove” her lineage. Violet’s name hints at her royal (purple) heritage. Her condescension towards Bee and Shine is Regal-esque. Even before the coup, Bee’s enmity with Violet grows. Dutiful brings his downfall on himself. Like his mother, Dutiful thinks the best of people and trusts Rosemary. Both he and Nettle naively believe the Realm needs fewer secrets. We glimpse Rosemary’s true attitude when as emissary to Kelsingra after Fitz’s visit she downplays the value of a potential alliance. (AF, Chapter 17 Epigraph.) Perhaps Dutiful’s downfall is inevitable. He keeps the figurine of Elliania he found on the Treasure Beach. (The Tawny Man Trilogy, Fool’s Errand, Chapter XXIV, Kindle Loc. 8354.) Those who take items from the Beach are forever cursed: SPECULATIONS Text supports the foregoing predictions. Now I venture into the deeper waters of speculation and invention. An Army of Vindeliars – Does the Pale Woman Return? The dragons may have killed most of the Others, but I wonder if some escaped hidden underground or in the ocean. I also wonder if the Others kept a large reserve of serpent potion. If they did, they might create an army of Vindeliars. Will Ilistore lead them? Ilistore is supposedly dead. Fitz finds her empty mortal shell. But Fitz’s dead body could yield his soul to Nighteyes for a time; and through his blood Beloved imparts his soul into a Rooster Crown feather made from memory stone. I wonder if the Pale Woman moves her soul into memory stone. She could have become the animating personality of the second stone dragon left in the shallow waters off Aslevjal. Or maybe she moves into a memory cube, and Chade inadvertently brings her to Buckkeep. Perhaps she later possesses the body of an untrained apprentice Skill-user assigned to classifying the cube. Or maybe Ilistore possesses Violet herself (who Bee says “has no walls at all”) and becomes the Seven Duchies Queen. Ilistore sees Bee as a junction to a future she wants destroyed. She seeks Bee’s death. I speculate Ilistore and/or the Others strike at a Seven Duchies weakened by Rosemary’s coup. As a powerful and potent group of Skill-users, they will destroy or coopt the Farseers and their coteries. Bee notes that Nettle has created too many coteries, some of which may turn traitor. At minimum, those coteries are a way into the minds of Dutiful, his sons, and Nettle. Chade feared this. (FA, Chapter 3, Kindle p. 78.) The Skill-pillar in Buckkeep’s dungeons may allow the Others or the “Vindeliar army” into Buckkeep. Bee, Shine, and Spark save Hope and Promise from murder. Lant and Per aid their escape. I think Rosemary and/or Ilistore kill or seal Dutiful, Nettle, and Prosper. Integrity survives, since he’s in the Mountain Kingdom as its Duke. Bee Becomes a Dragon I think this transformation is inevitable, though I can only guess at the circumstances. This cryptic dream may predict it: Butterflies are a symbol of transformation, from an earthbound caterpillar to a winged beauty. Bee falls but “comes back” like butterflies do “to change all.” My favorite possibility for Bee’s transformation has Ilistore’s forces finding and encircling the escaping Farseers in the Stone Garden. Dozens of people witness Fitz entering his wolf and now know where the Stone Garden is. I believe Ilistore uses hammers and Chade’s exploding powder to destroy Verity and the other stone dragons. Their aim is to ensure Bee can’t activate the Stone Garden’s dragons. This Bee dream may predict the Wolf of the West (Fitz, Nighteyes, and Beloved’s stone dragon) trying to rescue the embattled Farseers: The Wolf’s “dozens of unhealable wounds” seem as if Ilistore’s forces broke chunks of memory stone from him. Somehow, through blood and Wit (Bee's?), the Wolf arises. As Sacrifice, Bee offers herself in exchange for the other Farseer lives. Ilistore “kills” Bee atop the rubble left by the stone dragons’ destruction. Bee’s blood sinks into the Silver-threaded rubble. Like Beloved and Ilistore herself, Bee’s blood transfers her soul into the memory stone. Silver is the raw stuff of magic. Silver-splattered Fitz makes wood combust with a thought. (AF, Chapter 46, Kindle Loc. 14828.) The Silver-threaded rubble retains the memories of older Farseers and their coteries. I think Bee commands the Silver to transform her into a bee-shaped dragon filled with the ancestral Farseer memories: “When the bee to the earth does fall, the butterfly comes back to change all.” Queen Bee. Other possibilities: Maybe Ilistore uses Silver to drown Bee. Or maybe dragons give Bee Silver. Or maybe Bee falls into the Kelsingra Silver-well. Silver does not kill Bee because the serpent potion she stepped in has already mingled with her blood and inoculated her against Silver damage. Queen Bee IMO has Skill-strength equal to a dragon's and can undergo the same transformation. One way or another, I believe Queen Bee becomes a true dragon. A Dragon Coterie? I think Queen Bee will organize the liveship dragons into a Skill-coterie that supports her. She will need this powerful coterie to contend with the army of Vindeliars. Because of their human memories, the liveship dragons are more likely to help humans than the other dragons. Maybe her dragon coterie helps her change human memory to end vengeance-taking. HOBB’S THEMES – MEMORY AND THE “GREAT MAN THEORY” OF HISTORY I think Hobb’s books explore the “great man theory” of history, that “heroes” and other influential people propel history’s direction. A White Prophet – history’s chance element – shifts fate from its current track through his or her Catalyst, the hero. As Bee’s thoughts about vengeance show, Hobb views memory as the guiding force of both personal and collective history. Fitz says memory forms a person’s character: The Skill-current IMO is people’s collective memories. Collective memory identifies the “great men or women” whose deeds and reputations linger longest and strongest. Survival in the Skill-current involves the maintenance of “self,” defined by personal and collective memory. Elderings and Skill coteries fill stone dragons with memory to provide a physical platform to remember self. Bee says Verity remains a dragon in the Skill-current (FQ, Chapter 38 Epigraph, Kindle p. 752). Six Duchies and Out Island peoples still remember Verity and his dragons that save the Six Duchies and defeat the Outislanders. Six Duchies folk remember Fitz as a wolf. Hobb’s view of memory and fate compares with Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time and James Islington’s still unfinished Licanius Trilogy. Jordan views time as cyclical. Islington (to the extent we can tell after two books) focuses on time-loops and whether changing the past can change the future. (“Licanius” in “High Darecian” means “fate.”) Hobb thinks a hero can change the future. CONCLUSION Time will aptly tell how close to the mark these predictions and speculations are. I hope you Hobb fans at least enjoyed this post’s ride.
  4. This post addresses a mystery: In a world riven by race warfare, why does an Ascended being give Roshar’s deadliest killer the cosmere’s most dangerous object? Why link this scary duo when one doesn’t trust his moral code and the other doesn’t have one? One answer: Cultivation foresees Investiture growth will cause Nightblood to ascend as a Divine Object, the super-sapient Sword of Retribution. She chooses Szeth to teach Nightblood the meaning of evil – who deserves to die (“retribution”) and who doesn’t – before Nightblood ascends. The starting point: 1. Cultivation knows about Nightblood, since the Nightwatcher offers Nightblood to Dalinar: “A Blade that bleeds darkness and cannot be defeated.” (OB, Chapter 114, Kindle p. 1078.) 2. We don’t know how the Nightwatcher acquires Nightblood, but we do know Nale ends up with him. 3. Nale delivers Nightblood to Szeth. ANALYSIS The main sections outline my narrative. The Spoiler sections are more technical. Nightblood Basics and Mechanics I tucked these subjects in a Spoiler because most of you already know this stuff. Cultivation Fears Nightblood’s Growth Nightblood adds Investiture “over time” (I believe each time he destroys evil). The added Investiture causes Nightblood’s mind to grow: “The more investiture clumped together, the more likely – and the closer to human-level intelligence it is likely to obtain.” Brandon tells us, “Nightblood is capable of more change than Vasher assumes.” “The only clues I'm willing to give on [Nightblood’s growth] right now are the ones that are in Oathbringer.” Nightblood picks up Lift’s vocabulary quickly enough, curses and all. That suggests some growth. If Nightblood continues to be used, he will inevitably reach “human-level intelligence” and theoretically surpass it. Cultivation fears a super-sapient being of enormous destructive power with no moral compass. With or without a conscience, if used enough Nightblood will ascend. Cultivation decides Nightblood needs a moral tutor. He’s still a child who doesn’t understand abstractions like “evil.” She may believe, “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.” Cultivation implants Nightblood’s moral code while she can. How Nightblood Adds Investiture My best guess: Why Szeth? Szeth doesn’t trust his own moral judgment: “How was a twisted soul like his to decide who should die?” Impossible.” (OB, Chapter 118, Kindle p. 1124.) But the two Purelake scenes show exceptional discernment and judgment – when he assesses blame on the prison operator and when he “loopholes” himself to victory against other Skybreaker wannabes. Nale admires Szeth not for his combat skills but for his faithful adherence to an unforgiving moral code. Maybe Cultivation asked Nale to select Nightblood’s tutor; maybe she chose Szeth herself. Regardless, they chose well. But Szeth now navigates morality by Dalinar’s true north. As when bound by his oathstone, Szeth still avoids responsibility for his moral decisions. I believe this is unsustainable. Szeth himself must grow and learn to trust his own judgment before he can teach Nightblood who deserves to die. Cultivation Transforms Nightblood WoK describes a carved relief of “Nalan’Elin, emitting sunlight, the sword of retribution held over his head.” (Chapter 18, Kindle p. 286, bold added.) We don’t know what that sword is, maybe Nale’s Honorblade. Some posters note the idea of a “sword of retribution” fits Nightblood’s destructiveness. I think Cultivation/Nightwatcher transforms Nightblood into the Rosharan spren “Sword of Retribution.” The carved relief, still being worked on, shows the Sword’s cultural currency. “Retribution” means “deserved punishment.” I view Retribution as a subset of Just, the Skybreakers’ primary Divine Attribute. Nightblood might not technically be a highspren, because he was created differently and represents only a sliver of Justice. But I believe Cultivation/Nightwatcher gives Nightblood the ability to grant Skybreaking powers to Szeth. Nightblood does not Connect to Szeth through the Nahel bond: “Nightblood does not have the same spren bond, and so the renouncing of Oaths is not going to affect him.” As the Shard of transformation, Cultivation doesn’t need the Nahel bond (the “same spren bond”) to grant her magic to mortals. Nightblood’s existing Cognitive bond with Szeth communicates Szeth’s wishes. As a Rosharan spren (now), Nightblood can transform Stormlight into the Skybreaking powers. Why Not Another Highspren? Many posters believe Szeth does have a Nahel bond with a separate highspren. They may be right, but I think Nightblood himself is “the hidden spren who only rarely showed itself to” Szeth. (OB, Chapter 121, Kindle p. 1198.) I discuss this in the Spoiler. Conclusion Nightblood as the Sword of Retribution is not a new thought. I believe Nightblood as the living ideal of Retribution, a non-Nahel bond spren that grants Skybreaking powers and ultimately ascends, is. If this interpretation seems strained, it fits within SLA’s broader redemption arc. Why bring Szeth and Nightblood together if not to transform two mass murderers? They redeem the evil they’ve each done (like Dalinar tries to do) by destroying true evil here and now. Two predictions: EITHER – Szeth and Nightblood will ascend together. He will replace the broken Nale as Herald of Justice, wielding Nightblood the ascended Sword of Retribution. (Someone else must have predicted this by now.) OR – Instead, Szeth will achieve the Fifth Skybreaker Ideal and fully merge into Nightblood. He will become the Sword of Retribution’s Divine Conscience. (My personal vote goes to this one, if only for novelty.) Happy New Year’s, everyone! May it be a joyful, healthy, and prosperous year for all humankind! Confused
  5. I believe all “people with magic” systems – where mortals direct magic rather than just interact with it – follow the same basic steps. These steps reflect Brandon’s “unified cosmere laws.” A magic user: 1. Begins by infusing energy into the magical process. 2. Uses that energy to summon Shard power. 3. Focuses that power as it Invests the magic user or an object. 4. Directs the Focused Investiture for some magical effect. Energy Infusion Some energy infusion always begins the magical process. Magic users metabolize metal or Investiture, or they move, or they simply command Shard power to add “facilitating” energy (Feruchemy and maybe non-Awakening Breath transfers). Summoning Shard Power I theorize the initial energy summons the magic’s actual fuel – Shard power – from the Spiritual Realm (or from the Cognitive Realm for the Dor). The lone exceptions IMO are Roshar’s spren-based magics because spren transform Stormlight into power rather than summon it. Brandon says, “almost every magic in the cosmere [including Feruchemy] is end-positive, almost every magic is relying upon an external source of Investiture to power it [italics in original].” Focusing Power Every known magic system except Surgebinding grants a single ability through a single Focus. Radiant spren act as a dual Focus for Surgebinders. I believe Cultivation transformed two “natural” spren, each with their own Focus, into Radiant spren. Directing Focused Power The magic user in every system directs the Focused power to produce some magical effect. Application to Each System Following are MY INTERPRETATIONS of these magic systems. I feel text and WoB support these interpretations, but they are still MY OPINION ONLY, not canon. Allomancy – Body heat (or maybe stomach acid) “burns” metals to begin Allomancy. Preservation’s power, Focused by the metal, Invests the Allomancer. The Allomancer directs the Focused power to perform magic. Feruchemy – Brandon’s clear that Shard power “facilitates” attribute conversion. The Feruchemist lessens an attribute (increasing entropy) by summoning Ruin’s power and regains the attribute (returns to stasis) by summoning Preservation’s power. The Feruchemist’s metalmind Focuses both powers. Hemalurgy – Spiking is an act of entropy that summons Ruin’s power through the spike’s metal Focus. Ruin’s Hemalurgic power transfers a magic user’s sDNA to someone else. (Nightblood works the same way – killing is an act of entropy that summons Ruin’s power through Nightblood’s metal Focus. This power allows Nightblood to “destroy evil.”) Awakening – I believe Awakening drains Investiture from colored objects, not color itself. “Color” is the eye’s perception of reflected light. IMO, Nalthis' electromagnetic radiation (EMR) holds Investiture. Colored objects absorb the Invested photons that aren't reflected as color. The drained Investiture provides the energy to summon Endowment’s animating power. I believe absorbed photons are Invested because the drained objects turn gray – like from a Shardblade cut, Azure’s Shardblade, and Nightblood’s drain on his holders, all of which involve Investiture loss. Awakeners Focus the animating power with a visualized command to the object they give Breath to. Sand Mastery – Sand Masters begin by dehydrating. I believe Taldain’s water is Invested, as Autonomy’s Investiture radiates its oceans and circulates through the planet’s water cycle. IMO, Sand Masters consume this Investiture to summon Autonomy’s Spiritual Realm power. Khriss says this power forms a “brief Cognitive bond” between Sand Masters and the microflora that configure the sand. I believe the microflora detect and absorb Sand Master water as they dehydrate, and the bond is made through the water contact. Like Awakening, Sand Mastery’s Focus is the visualized command the Master sends the microflora through their bond. Surgebinding – Surgebinders begin by inhaling Stormlight. Radiant spren transform Stormlight into the power they personify. Spren IMO are Roshar’s Focus. Roshar is the only known planet where Investiture converts directly into power, and spren are the reason. Through the Nahel bond, Surgebinders direct the Radiant spren’s power. Fabrials – Fabrial magic also begins with Stormlight infusion. Like Radiant spren, the Fabrial’s captive spren are Focuses that transform Stormlight into the power the captive spren personifies – light, heat, gravity, etc. The Fabrial user directs that power (in the way artifabrians designed the Fabrial to be used) by turning the Fabrial on and off. Voidbinding – Voidlight consumption begins Voidbinding. As Cognitive Shadows imprinted on Odium’s Investiture, the Fused IMO are Voidbinding’s Focus, each splinter giving access to a single power. Voidlight consumption summons this power from the Spiritual Realm. The Fused then direct their Invested power. Sel’s Magic Systems – I lump these systems together because they were one system before Odium mashed Devotion and Dominion’s power into the Cognitive Realm. I believe Sel’s magic systems still follow the same steps despite their current diversity: 1. I think Sel’s ground holds Investiture like Roshar’s highstorms, Nalthis’ EMR, and Taldain’s oceans do. Evidence: (i) each system’s form is a map of the local topography; (ii) Khriss says, Sel’s “very landscape itself has become Invested to the point that it has a growing self-awareness,” (AU, “The Selish System,” Kindle p. 18); and (iii) Raoden needed to draw Aon Rao on the ground, not in the air, to make it effective. 2. Each Selish system begins with motion – drawing a form, or turning an essence stamp, or stirring a potion, or dancing. 3. Each Selish system summons the Dor with Investiture the food chain leaches from the ground. Shai’s essence stamp uses organic inks. Bloodsealers use their target’s blood. Dakhor monk bones hold this Investiture. Forton’s potions IMO use some organic ingredients. The “mostly Spiritual” Elantrians draw Aons from the Dor because Aon Rao amplifies the Dor in Elantris – but Aon Rao itself has to be drawn on the ground. 4. Each system’s topographic form Focuses the Dor into the desired power. Each magic user directs that power for some magical effect. Conclusion Not every magic system perfectly follows the predicted paradigm. Feruchemy and non-Awakening Breath transfers begin with commands for Shard power to fuel the magical transaction. Surgebinding and Fabrial spren transform Stormlight into power rather than summon it. But for the most part, the paradigm presents a uniform series of magical steps.
  6. Yes, Autonomy’s Investiture comes from the Dayside sun. Khriss confirms this in AU. But I think most of the Investiture ends up in the ocean. The planet’s water cycle circulates the Investiture throughout the planet including Darkside. Sand Masters (and everyone else on Taldain) IMO drink Invested water and Daysiders absorb Invested solar radiation. Nalthis’ sun does generate that planet’s EMR – though the lightbulb WoB confirms mechanical EMR sources. But would Brandon duplicate Taldain’s Invested solar radiation mechanic? My doubt leans me toward my previous post’s Theory 2: “Color draining” Spiritually drains an object’s capacity to hold EMR. As you all say, that capacity resides in the object’s pigment. I think Awakeners drain the Investiture that comprises a pigment’s Spiritual Realm aspect. That Investiture activates Awakening. “Color draining,” IOW, destroys pigment in all three Realms just like Nightblood destroys “evil” people. I omit Scadrial because it’s not a pre-Shattering world. I focus on the inherent Investiture Adonalsium left on planets. Quantus asks a similar question to yours: I agree with both of you: Awakening’s color, Allomancy’s metals, and Sand Mastery’s water share a magical function. IMO, each is their Shard’s “pathway to power” down which Investiture transitions Realms. (Unlike color and water, metal is also a Focus and, Khriss says in BoM, a “catalyst.”) A November 2018 WoB describes cosmere “natural pathways.” I think water is Autonomy’s pathway generally and not just for Sand Mastery: Autonomy built Patji from the ocean, like Adonalsium built the Roshan continent (with Autonomy’s “assigned Investiture” IMO). You ask a good question, why do Allomancers burn metals but not Feruchemists, when metal accesses Shard power in both cases. The “writerly” answer: Brandon wrote Mistborn before cosmere “laws” fully crystallized. He later regretted his end-positive, end-neutral, and end-negative distinction because it “doesn’t scale well” to other worlds and magics. That WoB says almost every magic is end-positive, including Feruchemy. I think Brandon’s refined the cosmere’s rules since MB. The in-world answer: The Allomantic gene just works differently from the Feruchemical gene. Allomancy requires activation energy like every known magic system except the two nominally end-neutral systems Feruchemy and non-Awakening Breath transfers. Allomantic Intent does “spark burning” (a plus for your metaphor and a minus for your analogy). That’s like saying your decision to strike the match starts the fire and not the match itself. You still need the match’s activation energy. Besides, it doesn’t take a lot of energy to get a metal’s static molecular structure resonating. Lift’s metabolism transforms food into Stormlight, which I suspect takes a lot more energy than vibration – she’s awfully skinny. You say, “And ‘Resonance’ in this instance could be a Spiritual thing described however Brandon chooses. [Italics added.]” I don’t believe Brandon would casually pick the very word that culminates his description: “the molecular structure of the metal…what’s going on there, the pattern, the resonance of that metal…filters the power.” A metal’s resonance is a unique vibrational frequency – the perfect Focus. Metal absorbs the most energy at its resonance frequency (uncoincidentally IMO). Here’s Brandon’s literal analogy: “Digestion is to Food” as “Burning is to Metal.” “Burning” food or metal lends the activation energy for a process that returns even more energy to the system. Just as digestion adds energy to us, “burning metal” adds Preservation’s power to the Allomancer. Cal, our analytical differences often come down to this: I’m more willing than you to take Brandon at his literal word. Whether it’s “resonance” or “unified cosmere rules” or the mists fueling Allomancy “like a metal” or “pathways to power” or “primal force,” I accept and try to reconcile Brandon’s statements and the concepts that underlie them. When in doubt, I think it’s the side to err on.
  7. @Ookla, the Hivemind (Cal), in the Broadway musical 1776, John Adams says to the Continental Congress, “Consider yourselves fortunate that you have John Adams to abuse, for no sane man would tolerate it!” You may consider yourself fortunate (or not) that I’m insane… All Magic Has an Activation Cost Basic physics requires an outside force or energy to change a system in equilibrium. Brandon says the cosmere is our physics plus Investiture. (Do we agree on this or do I have to find the WoB?) In the real world, chemical reactions “will not occur unless a certain amount of activation energy is added first. In this sense, all reactions absorb energy before they begin…[bold in original].” Also, objects remain at rest or in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. (Newton’s First Law of Motion – Inertia.) Investiture can substitute for cosmere energy or matter, but it doesn’t change the need for some “activation” force or energy. In King Lear’s terms, “Nothing will come of nothing.” To me, this is bedrock principle, here and in the cosmere. Two Theories for Awakening’s Activation Cost Theory 1: My favored theory is that Nalthis’ inherent Investiture transmits through EMR. “Every world created” has inherent Investiture. I believe Nalthis’ electromagnetic field holds its inherent Investiture the way highstorms hold Stormlight, Taldain’s oceans hold Autonomy’s Investiture, etc. (Where do you think Nalthis’ inherent Investiture is in a world of color and light?) An object’s pigment absorbs the Invested EMR. Draining color drains this Investiture. Theory 2: Maybe “color draining” pulls in the Investiture that comprises a pigment’s Spiritual Realm aspect. Draining color seems to destroy an object’s ability to absorb EMR. Since pigment is Physical Realm matter, it has a Spiritual aspect. That Investiture may be enough to jump-start Awakening. Allomancy’s Activation Cost – The Science of Metal Burning These are NOT assumptions. Brandon says: Brandon equates metal burning with metabolism. While metabolism releases energy, it first adds energy to begin breaking food down. “Burning” metals releases Preservation’s power by adding the body’s energy. Brandon says a metal’s “resonance” makes it a Focus: “Resonance” in metal refers to vibrational frequency: IOW, Allomancers’ metabolic function causes metals to vibrate at unique frequencies. Each unique frequency makes that metal a Focus for a specific Preservation power. Awakening Needs More than “Breath, Command and Color” Where is the fuel? It’s not Breath or color. Awakeners recapture their indivisible Breaths, and “color” doesn’t exist. You seem to acknowledge Investiture’s role as fuel: Agreed. If a magic user has “access” and Investiture, “you have what you need.” For Awakening, Breath supplies “access,” the ability itself, but Breath is the Awakener’s sDNA. Breath can convert to energy, but we know Awakeners don’t do that, since they get back 100% of their Breaths undiminished. If Breath and color are not fuel, then the Awakener needs Investiture (or other energy) to activate the magic. Nightblood and Pigment Loss The Nightblood comment was for @Energy Surge, who apparently believes Szeth and Lift nearly died from pigment loss. A Shardblade-cut limb turns gray because the limb’s Connection to the person’s Spiritual Realm aspect severs. Investiture no longer extends into the Spiritually severed limb, just like blood no longer flows into a physically severed limb. The limb can’t be used again without Spiritual healing (like Kaladin’s arm after Szeth slices it). “Color draining” for Awakening is the same thing – an object loses its ability to absorb EMR when drained. Like a Shardblade cut, Investiture drain changes the object’s Spiritual Realm aspect. In both cases, “turning gray” associates with Investiture loss. I don’t recall if Nightblood’s holders recover their color. When Szeth gets his orders from Dalinar, after Nightblood drains Szeth, Szeth’s face is still “streaked with grey.” Maybe he can Spiritually heal his gray streaks with Stormlight, like Kaladin did. As a Returned, Vasher can cover up pigment loss and, with enough Breath, can maybe heal it too. Conclusion Cal, I will eat Overlord Jebus’ other shoe (by whatever name he now goes by) if you’re right and Awakening is just Breath and color with no other Investiture or activation cost. Will you, if you’re wrong? Also, I wouldn’t be too quick to tar others for “unfounded” theory based on “assumption.” I can point to a number of your theories that suffer that defect. Most theorizing is speculation built on incomplete information. As long as a theory works on its own terms and doesn’t contradict known “facts,” it’s as good as any other. (And if a theory fits with other theories to explain the broader cosmere, even better.)
  8. The question: What is Awakening’s fuel? It isn’t Breath or color. Can we agree Awakening drains the Investiture held in “pigment” as its fuel? Reasoning: A. Nalthis is the world of color and light – electromagnetic radiation. Its Cognitive Realm subastral mirrors that perception. Its magic system is based on indivisible BioChromatic Breaths, quanta of Investiture. Photons are quanta of EMR. The Heightenings are the quantization of Breaths. B. I infer Nalthis’ inherent Investiture resides in its electromagnetic field and disperses through EMR. This parallels how other pre-Shattering Shardworlds hold and distribute their inherent Investiture: Roshar’s highstorms, Taldain’s oceans (through its water cycle), and Sel’s ground. C. I believe EMR-transmitted Investiture stays in an object even as the photons’ energy dissipates as heat. This Investiture sticks to pigment because pigment absorbs more EMR than pure white, and the darker the pigment, the more absorbed EMR. The pigment-adhering Investiture IMO is Awakening's fuel. I don’t see how pigment molecules alone fuel Awakening. The “unstated rule” is basic cosmere physics (ours, plus Investiture). In our world, energy begins a process. In the cosmere, Investiture can substitute for energy to begin a magical process. Since neither Breath (sDNA) nor color is Awakening’s fuel, I agree Investiture must supply it. @Energy Surge: Draining Rosharan gemstones of color undercuts your pigment argument. Gemstone color stems from the gemstone’s impurities. That shows “draining color” is purely a phenomenon of light, not pigment. I read Brandon’s two WoBs differently from you. It is “possible” to Awaken in “total darkness” (under my theory) if the drained object already holds Investiture, and you Awaken using EMR other than visible light – for example, ultraviolet or infrared light, X-rays, or radio waves. The second WoB also works under my theory. “Leaching” the red bulb’s color means draining the Investiture the pigment absorbs and destroying the pigment’s ability to absorb EMR. You think loss of skin pigment, not Investiture, puts Szeth and Lift at the edge of death? Nale warns Szeth to make sure he has plenty of Stormlight for Nightblood. When Nightblood runs out of Stormlight, he drains his holder’s Investiture. The Investiture drain destroys the pigment’s ability to absorb EMR, which is why Szeth and Lift are permanently gray-streaked. Metals don’t fuel Allomancy. An Allomancer’s internal body function (“burning”) provides the energy to cause metals to vibrate. This “resonance” summons Preservation’s Spiritual Realm power, which Invests the Allomancer. Marasi describes metal as Preservation’s “pathway to power,” and I believe EMR is Endowment’s pathway to her power. Every magic needs some energy to start going. Even “end-neutral” Feruchemy gets energy from a “facilitating” Spiritual Realm power. @Scion of the Mists: 1. I did not say Azure used Stormlight in Shadesmar. I did say, intending a general rule, “Rosharan Awakening runs on Stormlight.” A better rule is “Awakening needs Physical Realm Investiture, from whatever source, as energy to summon Spiritual Realm power down Endowment’s EMR pathway.” 2. YOU’RE the one who says Nalthis’ sun refreshes color, not me. I say Awakening drains Investiture. If color is leached from a Rosharan gemstone, for example, the gemstone turns into “dusty quartz” and loses its function. It can still hold Stormlight because of its unchanged molecular structure. Since a gemstone has no “pigment” and gains color solely from light striking impurities, something fundamental and Spiritual happens to the gemstone beyond mere color loss. Siphoning off Investiture won’t permanently change an object? Szeth and Lift might disagree (as would the Rosharan gemstones). Conclusion I believe Nalthis’ electromagnetic field holds Investiture and transmits it through EMR. Pigment absorbs Investiture-carrying photons. That Investiture remains in the pigment even after the photons yield their energy as heat. “Draining color” means draining the Investiture now held in the pigment and permanently (Spiritually) changing the pigment’s capacity to absorb EMR.
  9. Magic Systems Off-World A cosmere with unified laws IMO should have uniform magical processes (with some variation). Just because the magics themselves differ doesn’t mean their processes differ. The OP looks only at magic systems on their native planets. IMO, these are the best exemplars of a uniform process. My focus on these exemplars has apparently caused confusion. To be clear, I believe 1. All magic systems except the Selish ones can theoretically make magic on any planet. 2. Mechanically, any Physical Realm investiture can convert to energy to start the magical process even if the Investiture is not from the Shard whose magic system it is. PR Investitures do not themselves make magic in the “people with magic” systems. Only Spiritual Realm Investiture (Shard power) IMO makes magic. 3, A magic user’s sDNA determines their ability to use an Investiture. The magic user generally must “hack” their sDNA to convert non-native PR Investiture into energy. With that said, I’ll respond to your individual comments. We agree: “There is nothing special about color on Nalthis.” How Awakeners make magic will be the same everywhere. But we disagree that “All it requires is breath, and available color.” I feel your view ignores magic’s need for initial energy. “Color” holds no energy: “The color of an object is not actually within the object itself. Rather, the color is in the light that shines upon it and is ultimately reflected or transmitted to our eyes.” If “color” is not within the object, then draining “color” from the object adds nothing to the magic. Awakening must require some fuel other than “Breath and available color” to work. The proof IMO is what Brandon says about using Rosharan gemstones to Awaken. Gemstones are made from Investiture (cut from animal gemhearts) or hold residual Stormlight like Rosharans themselves. When Awakeners drain “color” from the gemstone, they destroy the gemstone’s capacity to function. The gemstone turn “dusty gray.” Turning “gray” means the person or object has LOST INVESTITURE. If objects only lost color, they’d turn black. No light reflects from a black object because it absorbs all the light. Yet black is the best color for Awakening because light-absorbing black objects also absorb the most Investiture. Light-reflecting white objects absorb the least Investiture, and white is the worst Awakening color. Maybe there’s another explanation for these facts. But color ISN’T Awakening’s energy source. Which as I've stated many times, is one of the main reasons I do not believe we have seen Voidbinding used with Voidlight in a single instance yet. Again, the Investiture that STARTS the magical process can come from any Shard (if the magic user has the right inborn or hacked sDNA). When Glys uses Stormlight to “Voidbind” (if Renarin does Voidbind), Glys does what all spren do – he transforms (converts) the Stormlight into power, using some Stormlight to energize the transformation itself. The Fused are not spren and cannot transform PR Investiture directly into power. That means the Fused use Voidlight to summon Odium’s Spiritual Realm power – the same process as every non-spren magic system. The Fused are cloaked in Voidlight and IMO don’t use Stormlight even if they could. Honor’s Perpendicularity blows away the Fused attacking Kaladin, Shallan, and Adolin in Shadesmar: “Fused screamed as a wind blasted them away, though Kaladin felt nothing.” (OB, Chapter 119, Kindle p. 1136.) Spren ability to transform PR Investiture into Shard power is why Breath-fueled Windrunning should be “easy.” Magic users inhale both Breath and Stormlight. If a Breath holder can attract and bond a Radiant spren and speak the oaths, the Radiant spren could transform Breath into power, and off they go. (Expensive, though.) Yes, lichen can be charged with any Investiture, but Brandon says lichen-charging “isn’t the magic.” Sand Mastery’s magic is forming the Cognitive bond with the lichen to configure the sand. Khriss is clear Sand Mastery draws Spiritual Realm power to make this bond. A Sand Master could theoretically hack their sDNA to consume some other PR Investiture than Taldain’s to summon power. They would still have to transmit that power by water to the lichen to make their Cognitive bond. Which one of these systems’ described steps do you disagree with? They seem pretty straight-forward to me and follow book and WoB descriptions. 1. Awakening CAN be used off-world. It just requires draining some other PR Investiture than Endowment’s. Rosharan Awakening runs on Stormlight. Awakening IMO needs “color” because Endowment’s “primal force,” her “means of access” to Investiture, is EMR. It doesn’t matter what PR Investiture activates that pathway. 2. Interesting point. Do we know they can’t? (I don’t remember one way or other.) If a colored object can be re-charged and re-drained, that doesn’t tell us much. But if it can’t be, Investiture loss must permanently change the object (like Rosharan gemstones). Mere color loss wouldn’t do that. 3. Un-Invested objects can’t be used, IMO. How the object becomes Invested doesn’t matter as long as the object can transmit the energy down an EMR pathway. What Investiture burns the metals? The Allomantic gene is sDNA. That gives Allomancers their magical ability, but they don’t use the Allomantic gene as fuel. Are you referring to something else? I agree with this, as first stated in my (over-starched) “Classification of Magic Systems” post. The OP’s first sentence limits its scope to “people with magic” systems the Shards created, not the pre-Shattering “interaction with nature” systems. In my “Magic System Components – General Theory” post, I propose “interaction with nature” systems have only Fuel and Focus as components. I concluded from our discussion that any type of PR Investiture (not color) from any planet could fuel Awakening and most other magics (if you hack your sDNA). Again, IMO these PR Investitures are the fuel to summon Shard power. They do not directly make magic. That is Shard power’s role. For Movie and Music Buffs, Apropos of Nothing… I posted The Magnificent Seven theme in the “Cosmere Magic Game” thread as the soundtrack for Szeth and Lift stealing the King’s Drop. If you like truly rousing music, I urge you to listen to this theme. Its main melody sounds like Szeth flying. A staccato counterpoint (Lift scooting) supports the main melody. About halfway through (the 2:30 mark?), the theme’s slow bridge conjures Szeth and Lift healing from Nightblood’s damage and then walking up to Dalinar. The main melody triumphantly returns to send the pair racing off again. They recover the ruby and give it to Dalinar at theme’s end. The Magnificent Seven was a Hollywood remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. Before cigarette commercials were banned from TV, the theme played as background to the “Marlboro Man” commercials. Some of us are old enough to remember them. I loved the music before I found out it came from a movie. The power of advertising…
  10. @Ammanas, Ride of the Valkyries is too easy: the burning of Rathalas: “I love the smell of napalm in the morning…. It smells like victory.” From Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now: This first scene shows helicopter attack to the music, followed immediately by… – the napalm bombing of the village (and Robert Duvall’s famous quote above). Wagner was pompous, arrogant, anti-Semitic, and inspired Nazi propaganda. Woody Allen said if you listen to Wagner for 15 minutes, you want to invade Poland. Wagner stole his second wife (Cosima, the daughter of Franz Liszt) from his friend the conductor Hans von Bulow. Not a nice man…but the kind Odium could influence to burn down a city. Others: Battle of Thaylen City, especially Lift and Szeth. The main theme makes me see Lift scoot and Szeth fly after the King’s Drop. The theme ends with delivery to Dalinar. Inside Shallan’s mind - bittersweet overtones and child-like longing: This one’s for Pattern. Bach to me is the most mathematically pure of all composers. Pattern would have liked him.
  11. This post spotlights perceived flaws in some widely held theories. I don’t necessarily have better answers, but IMO these theories don’t add up on their own terms. My analysis follows the statement of each theory. Theory: Breaths are Awakening’s Fuel Breaths are indivisible. Awakeners can’t use partial Breaths. If Breaths are the fuel, then Awakening should consume some portion of them, but it doesn’t. Something about “color draining” instead fuels Awakening. (“End-neutral” non-Awakening Breath transfers analogize to Feruchemy and are fueled by “facilitating” Spiritual Realm Investiture.) Theory: Water is Sand Mastery’s Focus Consensus defines Focus as the magic system component that “shapes” the magic. Many posters view water as Sand Mastery’s Focus. But Sand Masters dehydrate no matter how they manipulate the microflora that configures the sand. The water instead “forges a brief Cognitive bond” between the Sand Master and the microflora: Sand Masters use Spiritual Realm Investiture “to control the sand.” The “Cognitive bond” seems to give them this ability, suggesting Sand Masters’ thoughts “shape the magic” (much like Awakeners), not the water. Khriss says water causes uncontrolled growth. If it doesn’t “shape the magic,” water can’t be Sand Mastery’s Focus. Theory: “The Nahel bond is obviously of both Cultivation and Honor, but not all Surgebinding is the Nahel bond” I read this statement of common belief on Discord. It contradicts two WoBs that say HOW Shards access Spiritual Realm Investiture is the only magical difference among them: “The means of getting powers…are related to the Shards, but not the powers themselves.” “The 'role' of the Shard has to do with the WAY the magic is obtained, not what it can do.” A 2017 WoB confirms Honor – and only Honor – gives magic through bonds. “Bonds [are] an Honor thing”: “Surgebinding” is the Nahel bond – by definition. Fabrials and Voidbinding also bind Roshar’s Surges, but they are not “Surgebinding” because these systems “obtain [their] magic” through different means than bonds. The means of access defines the system, not what the magic does. This is true even though Cultivation’s spren are part of Surgebinding. “Bonds” on Roshar means a Spiritweb Connection between two people – mortal and Radiantspren. The Fused gain Voidbinding by replacing a Singer’s Spiritweb (filling that void). Fabrials use a captive spren to transform Stormlight into the power the spren personifies. All three bind Surges – manipulate Roshar’s fundamental forces – but they access their magic differently. Theory: Investiture is limitless This theory spins from Brandon’s frequent comment that Investiture is “Infinite.” “infinite” can mean either incomprehensibly vast OR endless. If there’s an endless amount of Investiture, then thermodynamics’ first law fails for want of a constant sum of Investiture, matter, and energy. Since Brandon says it does apply, Investiture can’t be limitless. There’s just an incomprehensibly large amount of it. Theory: The cosmere shares its Spiritual Realm Investiture with the larger universe of which it is a part The issue here is thermodynamics’ first law – the sum of cosmere Investiture, matter, and energy is constant. But that law applies only if the cosmere is a closed, self-contained system. Brandon says the law does apply. Therefore, the cosmere is a closed system. The Spiritual Realm and its Investiture cannot extend beyond the cosmere. Theory: Shard “intents” are divine personality traits Brandon says Shards combine personality with some “primal force” like entropy and stasis. Posters commonly ignore the primal force component to focus on personality. I recently posted my thoughts on this subject. I think a Shard’s primal force converts the personality metaphor into workable magic mechanics. Frost, for example, describes Odium as holding “God’s own divine hatred, separated from the virtues that gave it context.” To translate divine hatred into magic, I think we should look at what hate does. It corrodes relationships, divides people, and numbs feelings to justify bad behaviors. It makes sense to me Odium’s magic breaks people-to-people Connections as its mechanic, freeing a person’s basic instinctual drives from their cultural restraints. This idea might be completely wrong. But it is equally wrong to ignore a Shard’s primal force altogether as so many do. Until next time…
  12. In this post, I use “nature,” to describe Vessel-independent Shard behavior and “expression” to describe Vessel-influenced Shard behavior. @Jofwu first suggested this distinction and nomenclature. IMO, “intent” and “mandate” muddle this distinction, since their meaning varies with usage. Summary Brandon says each Shard combines personality with a “primal force.” Consensus agrees Vessel personality determines Shard expression: how the Vessels choose to direct their Shards’ Investiture. IMO, a Shard’s “primal force” defines its immutable nature. This primal force Connects the Vessel to its Shard. I believe magic system mechanics show us each Shard’s primal force Connection. Theory Spiritual Realm Investiture is the same for all Shards. Shards differ only in how they access this Investiture and how they grant it to mortals: “The 'role' of the Shard has to do with the WAY the magic is obtained, not what it can do,” and “The means of getting powers…are related to the Shards, but not the powers themselves.” Brandon tells us Connection is not Investiture: “Connection is, like, the equivalent of a quantum connection in our world, so it's more like a force than something comprised of something.” If Spiritual Realm Investiture is the same for all Shards, then Shards differ only in their Connection to their Vessel. I believe each Shard’s primal force IS this unique Connection. Magic users draw Investiture from the Spiritual Realm through their Shard’s primal force Connection. Magic systems IMO supply the best evidence of each Shard’s primal force Connection. Here are Brandon’s three examples from the WoB I quote in full below. Ruin – Primal Force Connection: Entropy. “Ruin is a charged term for” entropy. Ruin’s magic system gives Investiture to mortals through an act of entropy – spiking. Any Ruin Vessel IMO would deliver its Investiture via entropy. Personality: “Kind and generous” Ati chose decay to express entropy. He was the best Ruin possible. Another Vessel might have chosen cataclysm. Preservation - Primal Force Connection: Stasis. “Preservation is a charged term for stasis.” Any Preservation Vessel IMO would deliver Investiture to mortals through metal’s static molecular structure. Personality: Leras created the Terris Prophecies and imprisoned Ruin. Other Vessels might have acted differently. Honor - Primal Force Connection: Connects People. “Honor is the sense of being bound by rules, even when those rules, you wouldn't have to be bound by.” I think any Honor Vessel would deliver Investiture to mortals through a person-to-person Connection like the Nahel bond. Personality: Tanavast’s Honor chose oaths to create binding rules. Another Vessel (Dalinar’s Unity?) might favor other means to bind people. Tanavast’s personality gives “this sense that [‘honor’] is noble,” though “there's also something not honorable about Honor if taken from the other [primal force] direction.” I speculate about other Shards’ primal forces in other posts, but these are the only three Shard natures Brandon confirms. I believe, for example, Odium gives his Investiture through broken “people” Connections. When mortals eschew emotional pain (“I’m not to blame”), they isolate themselves from others. The resulting void lets hate in. Mechanically, Odium’s Investiture flows through the cracks in the soul left by the broken Connections. Breaking people Connections seems to be Odium’s nature, its primal force. A different Vessel than Rayse, who chose this repulsive force for his Shard, might break people Connections in a way that doesn’t generate violent passion. Shards eventually compel Vessels to conform to their Shard’s nature. Vessels succumb IMO because they draw all their power through their primal force Connection. Entropy made Ati more destructive. Stasis made Leras unable to harm Elend. The compulsion to Connect with others made Tanavast rely on bare oaths devoid of meaning. Analysis Two WoBs give guidance on Shard natures and Vessel expressions. Theorists have picked over the first the past year. The second WoB asks if Connection or “intent” attracts a Shard to its Vessel. I think at minimum this WoB says Shards reflect both personality and primal force. From his examples, I believe Brandon refers to Vessel personalities plus primal force. Here’s the second WoB about Connection and “intent”: This WoB distinguishes between “general intent/mindset” and Connection. I read “general intent/mindset” to mean Vessel temperament. Brandon says temperament alignment is unnecessary, though it makes ascension “easier.” Instead, the Vessels needed to “create Connection” to assume their Shards: “there was a lot going on with” Connection creation at the Shattering. Brandon’s answer shows personality is not part of Shard nature. Otherwise, temperament alignment would be necessary. Based on the first WoB, I believe the Vessels created a separate primal force Connection to each Shard. Sixteen different means to draw Investiture enabled the Vessels to divide Adonalsium’s power into sixteen equal parts. The “Adonalsium Personality Trait” Theory of Shard Natures @Calderis proposes the alternative “Adonalsium Personality Trait” theory of Shard origin. Because Shards are both personality and primal force, I don’t think it matters which origin theory is correct. The two quoted WoBs are mushy enough to allow either interpretation. But I know Cal will mention his theory if I don’t, so I summarize and respond to it in this Spoiler. Conclusion I think each Vessel Connects to its Shard by a different primal force. I believe that primal force Connection defines their Shard’s nature. Shards deliver their Investiture to magic users by the same primal force Connection. That mechanic appears immutable. Everything else IMO is the Vessel’s expression of its Shard’s nature, until nature ultimately overcomes expression.
  13. I mean some “primal force” IS the Connection between the Vessel’s mind and its Spiritual Realm Investiture. "Means of access" to Investiture might be a better term than "primal force." This mind-spirit Connection is how the Vessel accesses its magic: “The means of getting powers…are related to the Shards, but not the powers themselves.” “The 'role' of the Shard has to do with the WAY the magic is obtained, not what it can do.” A 2017 WoB confirms Honor – and only Honor – accesses magic through bonds: Each Vessel accesses its Investiture through a different primal force Connection: stasis, entropy, bonds, etc. Personality IMO informs how the Vessels choose to use their magic. Vessel minds and personality over time fully conform to their Connection’s compulsions. Ati should be the first Vessel to succumb – his Shard’s Connection is entropy. The OP follows Jofwu’s distinction between a Shard’s unchanging “nature” and the Vessel’s “expression” of that nature. I read the three WoBs cited above to mean all Spiritual Realm Investiture is the same, regardless of Shard. That leaves Connection as the distinguishing factor among Shards. Each Shard’s “immutable nature” – i.e., the part unaffected by Vessel – is its specific primal force Connection: stasis, entropy, bonds, etc. That distinctive mind-spirit Connection between Vessel and Spiritual Realm Investiture IMO determines the Shard’s nature. Following are some examples taken from a concurrent post: Don’t know if that helps, Tater, but thanks for asking! I agree with this. Since the Shattering could have happened differently, recombining Shards might produce something…interesting.
  14. Voidbinding and Surgebinding are separate systems that grant similar abilities. Three WoBs state the means of accessing Investiture defines the magic system, not what the magic can do. I explain why Fused Voidbind in this post and this post. The OP includes this theory because many do agree with you. Most magic systems grant similar abilities. “Honor doesn’t belong to gravity…Honor accesses gravity [by making] a bond between yourself and either a thing or a direction.” Fused don’t accelerate or shift direction as well as Windrunners because (IMO) they don’t access the gravity Surge by lashing (a form of bond). Investiture may be elsewhere in the universe, but as @Quantus points out, those other “places” must be completely cut off from the cosmere. To comply with thermodynamics’ first law, the cosmere must be a closed system, with no ability to access any other matter, energy, or Investiture. (FWIW, I still fear the cosmere is a Perfect State computer simulation in which the virtual beings killed the one human – Adonalsium.) Though “location” isn’t an internal Spiritual Realm property, the cosmere’s SR – as a whole – may occupy a “place” with its own cosmere location. We know SR Investiture has mass and flow. Otherwise, it would not press down on Roshar’s CR and drip Investiture into it. Even if the SR is just a computer that keeps tabs on cosmere data, that computer must exist somewhere. The cosmere can be a self-contained, thermodynamic-compliant system within a larger universe whose stars you see. I did not say color is Awakening’s fuel. I said “something about color draining” fuels Awakening. (I was trying to avoid controversy.) I believe Awakening doesn’t drain “color” – visible electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Instead, Awakening drains absorbed EMR. Color doesn’t exist as such. Color is how the eye perceives reflected light. A colored object absorbs and holds the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) wavelengths that don’t reflect light. Two recent WoBs IMO confirm this theory. (Shout out to @RShara for bringing these to my attention - even though she still disagrees with my interpretation of them!) One says it’s possible to Awaken in “total darkness.” My theory predicts you should be able to Awaken in darkness – by draining unseen, previously absorbed EMR. Even when you can’t see color, the object’s absorbed EMR remains attached to it. Here’s the second WoB: The wall’s color is reflected light. Because the wall is white, there’s no absorbed EMR to drain from it (unless you’re Susebron). The bulb’s tint, however, means the glass absorbs wavelengths other than red. An Awakener should be able to “leach” the absorbed EMR, causing the bulb to stop making red. More on Awakening: On Sand Mastery's Focus: I agree all Sand Masters have the same power, the power to animate sand like Awakening animates objects. Like Awakening, I believe Sand Masters visualize commands to the lichen through their “brief Cognitive bond.” Those commands “shape” how the lichen configure the sand and, IMO, are Sand Mastery’s Focus. FWIW, Nalthis and Taldain are the only known single-Shard major Shardworlds, and (IMO) they share visualized commands as their Focus. More on Sand Mastery and Taldain: On Roshar's Magic Systems: Honor’s Nahel bond is the means of access that defines Surgebinding. Cultivation’s spren are the Surgebinding Focus that “shapes the magic.” Spren transform Stormlight into the power they personify. But the Surgebinder can’t access that power or touch spren at all until Honor’s Nahel bond is in place. My rough analogy: the Nahel bond is like a gun and the spren are like bullets. The Surgebinder holds the gun and pulls the trigger. But without the spren bullets, nothing happens. The gun provides access to the bullets, but it isn’t the bullets. And each Radiant’s spren bullet Focuses a different magical ability. Fabrials also rely on spren transforming Stormlight into the power they personify. But there’s no bond between a fabrial and its user. Nor is spren enslavement a voluntary bond: “Honor is the sense of being bound by rules, even when those rules, you wouldn't have to be bound by.” IOW, fabrials use the same “bullets” (spren) as Surgebinding but a different “gun” as its means of access. Brandon says the “gun” defines the magic system, not the bullets. [Cal, I now agree Stormlight directly fuels spren-based magic, but that’s because Cultivation’s primal force is Transformation (Brandon’s word for mass-energy-Investiture conversion). I still believe the mists and other PR Investitures summon Spiritual Realm power “like a metal” and don’t convert into power.] I agree we need to consider both personality and primal force and have argued that. I do think we can figure out a Shard’s primal force and make my best guesses in the following Spoiler. “Primal force” does seem a poor descriptor, unless you translate “primal force” into “means of access.” Taking the Primal Force Challenge on Honor, Ambition, Endowment, and Autonomy:
  15. SUMMARY Cultivation is the Growth Shard. Roshar has stopped growing. The Growth Shard feels compelled to change that. This post speculates what actions Cultivation might take to restore growth and how those actions overlay known Rosharan history. CULTIVATION'S NATURE Odium describes Cultivation’s nature as “transformation. Growth.” (OB, Chapter 57, p. 551.) Cultivation tells Dalinar: “ALL THINGS MUST BE CULTIVATED… I CONTROL ALL THINGS THAT CAN BE GROWN, NURTURED.” (OB, Chapter 114, Kindle p. 1079.) I read this to mean Cultivation controls all living things. FWIW, Brandon says Cultivation would be a mono-green M:tG deck. I think Cultivation doesn’t play favorites among lifeforms – she controls and cultivates “ALL THINGS THAT CAN BE GROWN.” That includes Singers, Aimians, and humans, other fauna plus flora, and each Shard’s spren. CULTIVATION’S PROBLEM IMO, Cultivation as a Shard cannot abide stagnation. Binding Odium led to Desolations that destroyed human civilization more than fifteen times and near-obliterated Singers and their culture. Catastrophe tends to focus mortal minds on survival, limiting the scope of ideas available to the spren “gene pool.” Blockading voidspren in Braize further reduces the spren “gene pool” and bars ideas from cross-fertilizing. The Recreance left spren “only now beginning to recover the culture and society they had lost…” (OB, Chapter 47, Kindle p. 479.) Roshar’s history hurt the growth of all mortal species and the spren that personify their ideas. Roshar’s Shards, IMO, should work well together – as “primal forces,” I believe Honor makes Connections, Odium breaks Connections, and Cultivation changes Connections. These three mechanics seem necessary for a smooth functioning planetary life cycle. Rayse’s ambition and “loathsomeness” means the Shards don’t work well together. I think Tanavast before his death succumbed to the Honor Shard, which also caused dysfunction. The Stormfather tells Dalinar, “HONOR LET THE POWER BLIND HIM TO THE TRUTH—THAT WHILE SPREN AND GODS CANNOT BREAK THEIR OATHS, MEN CAN AND WILL.” (OB, Chapter 38, Kindle p. 406, bold added.) Odium and the Stormfather agree Honor changed and relied on naked oaths at the end, not their meaning: Other passages acknowledge or hint at Honor’s rigidity. Contrary to Cultivation’s neutral view of lifeforms, the Stormfather intones oaths “are the mark of men and true spren over beasts and subspren.” (OB, Chapter 4, Kindle p. 60.) Dalinar elsewhere notes, “The Stormfather…didn’t like the idea of change.” (OB, Chapter 28, Kindle p. 292.) IMO, Tanavast imparted these attitudes to the Stormfather. CULTIVATION’S PLAN I believe Cultivation wants to end Desolations and “unite” Rosharan species to stimulate growth. I think her plan involves replacement of Tanavast, Rayse, and herself as Vessels. Tanavast is too rigid for growth, Rayse too dangerous, and she (like another cosmere heroine) will not want to live without her lover. Cultivation’s “Unite them” plan pushes species interactions and mutual understanding. Moash and Venli switch sides. Venli bonds with both Timbre and her voidspren. Kaladin sympathizes with the Singers. I think he’ll bond Yixli, the yellow voidspren who first found him. IMO, Yixli is a “protection” spren like Syl, and Syl will welcome her companionship. Syl’s growing friendship with Pattern shows her expanding tolerance, rare for an honorspren. (OB, Chapter 97, Kindle p. 908.) Her tolerance matches Kaladin’s. I believe Cultivation restores Sja-anat’s free will to create Glys and resist Odium. Sja-anat serves Cultivation’s transformative function when she “enlightens” spren. CULTIVATION’S IMPLEMENTATION OF PLAN Creation of Radiant Spren As the Shard of Transformation, I believe Cultivation created Radiant spren. Cultivation may have foreseen Aharietiam and needed a magical alternative to the Heralds that didn’t rely exclusively on Honor’s Investiture. Jasnah notes, “The difference between a higher spren like [Ivory] and a common emotion spren was in their ability to decide how to act.” (OB, Chapter 47, Kindle p. 479.) Free will seems important to Cultivation. Aharietiam With the Desolations’ pace quickening, civilization ground down. I’m sure far-seeing Cultivation knew Taln would endure torture millennia longer than other Heralds. Maybe Cultivation sought a healing respite and planted the seed of betrayal in the Heralds’ minds. Taln tells Ash, Recreance I still think there are more answers to the Recreance’s mystery. The Stormfather tells us, It’s plausible these fears caused the Recreance; but IMO Cultivation played a role. I can see a Shard who wants to transform Roshar preferring a new batch of spren and Radiants. Before he learns of the Eile Stele, Dalinar tells Yanagawn the Radiants “lost their vision [and] forgot their purpose: protecting Roshar for its people.” (OB, Chapter 56, Kindle p. 546.) The Stormfather says Honor “guarded against this [and] convinced the Radiants they were righteous…” (OB, Chapter 113, Kindle p. 1052.) As he lay dying, though, Honor “raved” and “promised that Surgebinders” would destroy Roshar. Maybe Cultivation wanted to kill the immortal witnesses to Honor’s raving. She silenced institutional memory until the Last Desolation, just as she pruned Dalinar’s memories. After the Battle of Thaylenah, Dalinar can remind the Radiants of their vision and purpose: “protecting Roshar for its people.” Dalinar does not distinguish among Roshar’s people. He knows the enemy is Odium, not the Singers. Dalinar will craft a war plan that focuses on the Fused. He will seek ways to separate Singers from their new masters. Venli and Rlain will help him. He will “unite them” – all Roshar’s people – to expunge Rayse’s ravages from Roshar. Odium Kills Tanavast I think Cultivation helped Odium kill Tanavast. He’d changed from the person Cultivation loved and was now more Honor than Tanavast. Under her own Shard’s Growth compulsion, I believe Cultivation felt she had no choice. There's two bits of textual evidence. First, Odium says “WE KILLED YOU.” (OB, Chapter 119, Kindle p. 1139.) I believe he needed an accomplice because he was "too shackled" to kill Tanavast on his own. (OB, Chapter 57, p. 550.) Second, the Stormfather says Odium avoids direct fighting since it “might coax out forces that could hurt him, as he has been hurt before.” (OB, Chapter 16, p. 167.) Odium must have known Cultivation would not intervene before he attempted Tanavast's murder. Maybe Cultivation warned Tanavast of his inevitable death. This may be why Honor delegated honorspren creation to the Stormfather. Kaladin says Honor “was setting up an heir.” (OB, Chapter 108, Kindle p. 1015.) Stormfather Becomes Tanavast’s Cognitive Shadow “ALL THINGS THAT CAN BE GROWN, NURTURED” includes the Stormfather, even if he is Honor’s godspren. Merging Tanavast into the Stormfather to await a new Vessel is what the Shard of Transformation might do. The Stormfather notes the change: I believe Cultivation wanted to preserve Tanavast’s mind and memories. She might be the author of Dalinar’s Stormfather-sent visions. Those don’t sound like the ravings of a dying god who fears Surgebinders will destroy Roshar. Illumination seems Cultivation’s specialty. Cultivation as much as Honor wishes to “unite them.” The merger prevented Honor’s power from splintering more than it did and infused that Investiture into the Stormfather: “We are something different. [Honor’s] remnants, your soul, my will.” (OB, Chapter 119, Kindle p. 1141.) Dalinar’s will and the Stormfather’s soul, fortified with Honor’s “remnants,” opened the Spiritual Realm to Dalinar’s command. The Stormfather by himself lacked the mental strength to renew spheres. (OB, Chapter 64, Kindle p. 639.) Cultivation has found a new Honor Vessel. Dalinar I think Cultivation’s touched Dalinar since his early days. The physician who attends him during the Battle of Narak seems shocked Dalinar can still move his scarred arm. (WoR, Chapter 83, Kindle p. 1003.) IMO, Cultivation’s Investiture healed Dalinar during his battle years. Dalinar’s Healing – Cultivation-light or Voidlight? @LerasiumMistborn lists “all the scenes where Dalinar feels this strange ‘warm light’ which comes from [an] unknown source.” I believe this is Cultivation-light. The first scene occurs at the end of WoR, Dalinar’s vision of his youthful home, “before…” (WoR, Chapter 89, p. 1065.) In a 2014 post, I note this scene foreshadows Dalinar’s Bondsmith role, as he transforms from violence to piety. The post mis-ascribes the source of the light as Honor, but it states Dalinar as Bondsmith will directly access the Spiritual Realm. I now believe Cultivation pushed Dalinar’s transformation by implanting memories (real or not) of his pre-Blackthorn days. I also now believe many of the “unite them” exhortations speak in Cultivation’s voice. Cultivation “prunes” Dalinar. She does not change him. She creates the conditions where he can change himself. Dalinar discovers, “When I fall, I will rise again a better man,” and “The most important step a man can take is the next step.” The Nightwatcher could not grant Dalinar forgiveness; Dalinar had to forgive himself. IMO, Cultivation gave him Evi’s last words when Dalinar was ready to hear them. Taravangian We don’t know if Cultivation or the Nightwatcher gave Taravangian his boon and curse, but I think Cultivation chose it. IMO, Cultivation foresaw Taravangian would serve Odium. Knowing Rayse, Cultivation anticipated he would meet Taravangian only on Taravangian’s “stupid” days. Odium doesn’t understand compassion – one of the strongest people Connections. At some future time, on a day of deepest compassion, I believe Taravangian will hurt Odium in some unforeseen way. I agree with consensus Cultivation helped Taravangian create the Diagram. Cultivation’s influence may be why Odium could not foresee Renarin, just as he cannot see Lift. The Diagram persuaded Odium that he could use Taravangian, a decision Odium IMO will regret. Confidence in the Diagram also causes its adherents to act predictably. That helps Cultivation grow Roshar to her desired future. Lift We don’t know the source of Lift’s boon and curse either, but again I think Cultivation chose it. Brandon says Lift hints at Cultivation’s non-boon/curse magic. I suspect soul transformation is at its core. Posters cite the value of food to produce Stormlight if the Everstorm were to blot out the highstorm and cause a Stormlight shortage. SUCCESSOR VESSELS Evidence supports many candidates who might become new Vessels. IMO, a Bondsmith is best positioned to ascend to their bonded godspren’s Shard. Cultivation If the current Vessel stands aside, I lean slightly toward Navani over Dalinar to become the Nightwatcher’s Bondsmith. In favor of Dalinar, Cultivation has already visited and transformed him. He sees Cultivation-light (IMO) when Navani does not. (OB, Chapter 122, Kindle p. 1228.) But Navani understands spren and their transformative power more deeply than Dalinar. Her problem: as a leading artifabrian, Navani heads the spren slave trade. IMO, she must learn the old fabrial method and repent her actions before the Nightwatcher would accept her as Bondsmith. I expect we’ll see this happen: Brandon wouldn’t have Dalinar wait years for Navani only to spend eternity alone if he ascends and she doesn’t. Some posters suggest Taravangian for the Nightwatcher’s Bondsmith. Aside from Cultivation’s help with the Diagram, I see little basis for this. If Cultivation did change Taravangian to oppose Odium, I suggest Odium wouldn’t leave much of him afterwards. Honor I do think Dalinar will ascend as Unity, if he hasn’t already. Will Unity be a new name for Honor, or will Unity include Odium? I can see Dalinar as Vessel for both Honor and Odium. A mind that deeply understands both could wield both. Brandon says, “Dalinar represents both the best and worst of both Honor and Odium” to Cultivation; and “young Dalinar is very Odium. Modern Dalinar is very Honor.” But Brandon might not want to repeat a plot device he uses elsewhere. Odium My favored candidate for Odium Vessel is Ba-Ado-MIshram. Hessi calls her “a highprincess among the enemy forces.” (OB, Chapter 106, p. 984.) Imitating Dalinar, BAM distributed Voidlight during the False Desolation as if she were an Odium Bondsmith. (OB, Chapter 80, p. 780.) A Singer Vessel makes sense if Cultivation wants to “unite them.” The problem with Odium is Rayse, not the Shard’s “primal force.” Like all Shards, there’s nothing inherently evil about Odium. Taln is another possibility. The Ancient of Stone is the Stoneward Order’s patron. I believe the Sibling is the Spren of Stone, and Taln may become the Sibling’s Bondsmith. Ulim and Yixli share human features. This suggests at least some Voidspren came with the Shin refugees from Ashyn. The Shin later revere the Great Spren of the Mountains, Szeth’s Aboshi. Is there some connection between Voidspren and the Spren of Stone? Yixli the protection voidspren moves on stone (OB, Chapter 23, Kindle p. 238), though maybe that’s just her spren group. If the Sibling is related to Voidspren, Taln might be a candidate for the Odium Vessel. CONCLUSION Lots of speculation on a small collection of facts. Even if wrong, I think the main idea is sound – Roshar’s divisions stall its growth, anathema to Cultivation. Her plan, whatever it is, must try to heal that. Final Thought: Dalinar tells Gawx/Yanagawn, “And maybe you are the leader Roshar needs, while I am just an emissary.” (OB, Chapter 56, Kindle p. 545.) Does that foreshadow Roshar’s leader after Dalinar ascends?
  16. Thank you, Leyrann! What a nice thing to say! And I appreciate your sticking up for me with Cal – no easy task. He’s a tough, imaginative theorist. And it didn’t take me 3 years to write! Brandon says Cultivation’s magic is more than boons/curses, but “nobody on screen” has yet used this broader magic. Odium describes Cultivation’s nature as “transformation. Growth.” (OB, Chapter 57, p. 551.) As Dalinar’s life shows, transformation has a cost. The experience that teaches also hurts. I think this idea of growth at a cost lurks behind the boon/curse dynamic, and IMO does fit with Cultivation. I theorize Cultivation paid for Roshar’s transformation with Tanavast’s life. The OP states the Honor Shard overcame him. He’d changed from the person Cultivation loved. Under her own Shard’s Growth compulsion, I believe Cultivation felt she had no choice. Cal, your WoB does not say Cultivation helped Honor fight Odium. I think it’s clear she didn’t or we’d have heard of it. Odium says, “I’ll kill the other one [Cultivation] too, eventually. She’s hidden herself somewhere, and I’m too…shackled.” (OB, Chapter 57, p. 550.) If Odium is “too shackled” to kill Cultivation now, he likewise would be too shackled to kill Honor earlier. Odium needed someone’s help – “WE” killed Tanavast. Odium wanted certainty his attack wouldn’t “coax out” Cultivation. IMO, they colluded to kill Tanavast. As Leyrann says, Cultivation’s consent does not “make the WoB false.” It means Cultivation “helped” Honor in a different way. The OP speculates Cultivation oversaw Tanavast’s merger into the Stormfather. Perhaps Cultivation demanded this from Odium for her complicity. The merger preserved Tanavast’s memories and prevented Honor’s power from splintering more than it did. Dalinar’s will later commanded this extra Investiture – Honor’s “remnants” – to open up the Spiritual Realm. The Stormfather by himself lacked the mental strength to renew spheres. (OB, Chapter 64, Kindle p. 639.) I think Cultivation prepared the soil for a new Vessel who could replace Tanavast. An interesting point, Scion. It seems to me any sapient mind that can direct Investiture could ascend in the right circumstance. A Scadrial Cognitive Shadow partly ascended. Every person’s Spiritual aspect is imprinted on raw Investiture. As splinters, the Unmade are minds imprinted on Odium’s Investiture. Shallan says Re-Shephir and maybe Sja-anat once were human before becoming “unmade.” If anything, I think an Odium splinter is more likely to ascend because of the pre-existing Connection to Odium. But who knows. It’s a good question. To be clear, I only stand behind the OP’s premise: Cultivation is the Growth Shard. Roshar has stopped growing. The Growth Shard feels compelled to change that. From there, the post speculates what actions Cultivation might take given that goal and how those actions might overlay known Rosharan history. It’s reasonable speculation, but nothing more.
  17. Mind and magic mingle on Roshar, a world of living ideas. Roshar’s Shards IMO resemble pieces of the Freudian mind. Honor is Freud’s super-ego; Odium is Freud’s id; and Cultivation is Freud’s ego. I think the Freudian mind provides a useful metaphor for the Shards’ conflict. Hear me out. Brandon says Honor is “the sense of being bound by rules, even when those rules, you wouldn't have to be bound by.” Honor sounds like Freud’s super-ego: “The super-ego…reflects the internalization of cultural rules, mainly taught by parents applying their guidance and influence….” Think Szeth’s oathstone. Odium’s “passion” sounds like Freud’s id: “the disorganized part of the personality structure that contains a human's basic, instinctual drives.” Says Odium, “I am lust, joy, hatred, anger, and exultation. I am glory and I am vice.” (OB, Chapter 57, Kindle p. 551.) You see this interplay most clearly in the Heart of the Revel scene (OB, Chapter 78). Revelers embrace pleasure heedless of super-ego-imposed duty. Likewise, Odium as id blasts away Dalinar’s super-ego – the culturally iconic, rule-making Way of Kings. (OB, Chapter 118.) In Freud’s terms, Desolations are super-ego-repressed compulsions of the id that periodically resurface. Cultivation “prunes” for long-term growth. This is the ego’s role: Freud says the ego is like a rider seeking to guide and restrain a willful horse (the id): “The super-ego's demands often oppose the id’s, so the ego sometimes has a hard time in reconciling the two….” (Source.) IMO, Cultivation created Radiant spren (through the Nightwatcher) as super-ego-like cultural ideals to help bind society, the antidote to basic instinctual drives. I think the Freudian mind analogy is interesting even if Brandon doesn’t intend it. The words “fiery surge,” “red lightning and impetuous rage,” and “desolation, void of light,” appear within eight lines of each other in John Milton’s description of Hell. (Paradise Lost, Book 1, lines 173-181.) Does Brandon intend that allusion? You don’t always know with authors. @Bigmikey357 gave me the idea for this topic when he said, “So basically Odium was Adonalsium’s id before they split up.” If you like the idea, credit him.
  18. I believe Odium’s forces – led by Moash – will kidnap Shallan. I think Odium needs either a Lightweaver or a Cryptic for some reason – perhaps to “re-make” Re-Shephir, whose captivity seems to have diminished her. Kaladin and Adolin lead Shallan’s rescue attempt. Kaladin secures Shallan, and Adolin fights furiously to allow Kaladin and Shallan to escape. He demands Kaladin leave him and take Shallan to safety. With no other choice, Kaladin finally speaks the Fourth Oath – (IMO) “I will protect the one I can save.” That’s the summary; here are the details. There’s a bit of evidence here and there, but, needless to say, this post is mostly invention, a tale. Foreshadowing Kaladin’s faced this situation before, when the Fused wound Adolin in Shadesmar. “Leave me,” Adolin said, coughing.” (OB, Chapter 117, Kindle p. 1116.) But Kaladin couldn’t leave him and “couldn’t say those Words. He wasn’t strong enough.” (OB, Chapter 118, Kindle p. 1132.) I believe Kaladin will have a second chance. He will say the Fourth Oath this time. I do not predict Adolin will die (though that’s possible). Maybe he’ll be an Edgedancer by then and escape himself. But Kaladin IMO will leave Adolin to protect Shallan, the one he can save. Odium’s Need for Cryptic The best evidence Odium needs a Cryptic is the OB Epilogue, where Hoid bonds one. Hoid notices the Fused breaking down the palace, as if searching for something. The Fused are not keen on Radiant spren of any type. But to me this shows surprising dedication to find Elhokar's Cryptic. The Fuseds’ motivation is unclear, but I link it to Shallan’s encounter with Re-Shephir. Shallan and Re-Shephir Re-Shephir’s captivity traumatized it. When it meets Shallan, Re-Shephir wants to replace Pattern and bond Shallan: Re-Shephir now knows Shallan as well as Shallan knows it, the perfect environment for bonding. Shallan says Re-Shephir is like a “wrong” creationspren. I suspect Cryptics are like the “right” creationspren. IOW, creationspren form the base of both Re-Shephir and Cryptics, which is why Shallan attracts them. I speculate Re-Shephir needs to be “Re-Made” - it’s become too fearful. I envision two possibilities – start from scratch with a new Cryptic or bond Re-Shephir to a Lightweaver to stabilize it. Either way, Pattern and Shallan will be natural Odium targets. Moash Why Moash? Odium clearly has plans for him. His star rises among the Fused when he kills Jezrien and accepts the Honorblade and the name Vyre. (Will he form a relationship with Lady Leshwi?) The human Moash can scout and enter places Singers can’t readily go. Five Singers Moash helped and fought with “want to be near” him – Khen, Pal, Nam, and two others. (OB, Chapter 122, Kindle p. 1222.) I see them forming the rudiments of a Singer Bridge Four. They are a natural strike force to steal Shallan. If Moash (or Odium) noticed Kaladin’s agony at seeing his friends kill one another, this group will be hard for Kaladin to deal with. Adolin must take the larger role in the fight because Kaladin may not be able to kill his friends. I don’t think this will be the last Kaladin-Moash confrontation. I believe Moash retains his loyalty and friendship to Kaladin on simmer regardless of what he thinks of other humans and their society. In the end, I think this one Connection will be enough to cause Moash to waver. Only Brandon knows if Moash dies or changes sides again. Conclusion All of this is raw but, IMO, reasonable speculation. Something to ponder as a possibility, nothing more.
  19. @Toaster Retribution, Odium may also want a Lightweaver to replace Re-Shephir because she can’t imitate humans and he wants a Mother of Lies who can: Maybe Odium will try to turn Shallan as he tried with Dalinar and offer her a path from her pain. He’ll bombard her with visions of her early childhood. We’ll finally see what horrors attracted Pattern so early in her life. Re-Shephir may once have been human herself. Odium may seduce Shallan with grand visions of future fame: As Re-Shephir succumbed then, Shallan threatens to now. Her “boys” come to save her. Brandon just confirmed the Fused did seek Elhokar’s Cryptic at the palace. (Thanks, @RShara!) Further reason to think Odium wants a Lightweaver with a built-in Cryptic. Here’s still another reason Kaladin and Adolin rescue Shallan: Mraize knows Sja-anat wants out of the Odium den. (I still think Mraize is a Dysian.) In Mraize’s last letter to Shallan, he charges her to persuade Sja-anat to help the Ghostbloods or capture Sja-anat for them. (OB, Chapter 122, Kindle pp. 1225-1226.) Maybe Odium discovers Sja-anat’s treachery, and the Fused take Shallan. Moash and his marbled band guard her. Come Kaladin and Adolin, and the rest plays out as the OP describes.
  20. I went through my OB notes and came up with some ideas I’d like to let loose. Others may have anticipated them, but if so, I didn’t notice your posts. Please take your credit. IS MRAIZE A DYSIAN? Random reasons provoke this question: 1. Spy Network. Mraize and the Ghostbloods seem as informed as any group on Roshar. We know Dysians use their hordelings as spies. 2. Unseen Actions. Mraize delivers his messages to Shallan completely unnoticed. It’s as if he disassembles then reassembles in her room where he writes his notes. 3. Mraize’s Face. Mraize’s scarred face may mask his Dysian imperfections. Here’s how Shallan describes him at their first meeting: The second time Shallan meets Mraize, she observes “his scarred face, misaligned lip, and weathered hands… he looked like someone who had repeatedly had his bones broken….” (WoR, Chapter 54, Kindle p. 628.) 4. Mraize’s Age. Mraize calls Veil “child,” like Hoid calls Shallan and Jezrien (Ahu) calls Dalinar. This appellation surprises Shallan, since she made Veil appear older: This suggests (but doesn’t prove) Mraize may be pretty old himself. (He does call Shalash “Ancient One,” but that seems more respect than an indication of relative age.) Mraize as a Dysian also explains his contact with other Shardworlds – @Overlord Jebus theorizes (correctly IMO) that Dysian hordelings will foster inter-Shardworld communication. Of course, Mraize could also be a Hoid masquerade, but for now I’ll stick with a Dysian “from Thaylenah.” AN HONORSPREN OATH? Notum tells Kaladin, “’I’ve sworn an oath myself,’ the captain said. ‘To Honor, and to the truths we follow.’” (OB, Chapter 108, Kindle p. 1017.) This causes me to wonder: Must honorspren swear an oath to become an honorspren? Is it a rite of passage like confirmation? Do some “honorspren” refuse to vow? Are these the mistspren that sail the Honor’s Path? NALE’S FIFTH OATH Nale has spoken the Fifth Skybreaker Oath, which he says means he has become “the Law.” This seems wrong. Nale’s Divine Attribute is “Just,” which means he should embody Justice, not the Law. Instead, Nale derides Justice as inferior because mercy leads to recidivism: KR orders share their Herald’s Divine Attributes. Radiant spren IMO are attracted to people with the right Primary Divine Attribute – “protect” (Honorspren), “just” (Highspren), “brave” (Ashspren), “loving” (Cultivationspren), “learned” (Truthwatcher spren), “creative” (Cryptics), “wise” (Inkspren), “resolute” (Lightspren), “dependable” (Stoneward spren), and “pious” (the three Siblings). Radiant spren are living exemplars of these Attributes. I believe the Fifth Oath fully manifests Radiant spren in the Physical Realm. They merge Spiritwebs with their bonded mortal, who becomes the living exemplar of their Primary Divine Attribute. Nale should be Justice, not the Law. Since he thinks he’s the Law, I suspect Lift did not fully heal him. IS TIMBRE ICO’S DAUGHTER? Timbre may be Ico’s daughter. Ico is the captain of the spren ship that picks up Kaladin, Shallan, Adolin, etc. at Riino’s Shadesmar lighthouse. Ico is a Lightspren, the Willshaper spren. He tells Kaladin, “My daughter used to work [at the Celebrant moneychangers] before she ran off chasing stupid dreams.” (OB, Chapter 101, Kindle p. 948.) Something about that line sounds like Timbre is his daughter and ran off, like Syl did, to bond with a mortal. Maybe her “stupid dream” is to be first to bond a Singer. That’s something a Lightspren might want to explore. Timbre attunes to “Resolution” quite a bit, the Willshaper Primary Divine Attribute. HONOR AND ODIUM’S POWER I still believe Honor’s power “makes Connections” and Odium’s power “breaks Connections.” On Roshar that generally means “people” Connections. I think the Dalinar-Venli vision shows the full extent of the powers’ difference: Odium breaks. Honor binds. Threnody Spoiler That’s what I got for now.
  21. @Calderis, Kaladin’s speed and direction shifts are MORE than just the fuel, as the WoB itself says: Fuel does not give or prevent “access” to multiple lashings. Maybe speed is arguable (Stormlight is gasoline to Voidlight’s diesel), though I think multiple lashings also cause Kaladin’s superior acceleration. Fuel, however, should not improve Kaladin’s ability to change direction. I read this to mean the Fused lack Kaladin’s lashing abilities – a function of the magic system itself. Kaladin’s ability to lash over and over and over is IMO the reason for his better short-term speed and direction-changing. The Fused are NOT “doing the exact same things other than altered limitations from the fuel source.” Oops! You got me! My memory leaks away like Stormlight… I’m unsure what “natural pairings” have to do with any of this, though. If the Fused did “hack” Surgebinding, then maybe they should also benefit from these “natural pairings” and manifest two abilities. FWIW, I think these pairings relate to Roshar’s essences: earth, fire, water, air and “aether” (or life). I explain why in this post. Here’s a quote: On "smaller magic systems": As your cited (and later in time) WoB says, Roshar only has three “major” magic systems – Surgebinding, Voidbinding, and fabrials. Brandon acknowledges the Old Magic as “it’s own weird thing,” and Khriss suggests in the SLA Ars Arcanum that there may be another, more “esoteric” system. “Thirty magic systems” refers to the number of magical abilities available to Rosharans – essentially, three different flavors of the same ten abilities. I do wonder how he counts fabrials as having only ten abilities, but whatever… Spren power two of the three “major” systems. Because Roshar’s “natural” sentient spren are each capable of manifesting a single Surge, I theorize Radiant spren combine two lesser spren that each give one ability. For example, Highspren combine Windspren and Flamespren (or Abrasionspren), or something similar. I’ve always assumed the Nightwatcher did this, since the Shards weren’t involved, and she has the capacity to transform Cognitive Investiture like spren. I can easily imagine this not being the case, but that’s my working assumption until we see otherwise. Not a big deal, but this seems backwards. Spren bonding and its lifecycle changes are natural and predate the Shattering and Roshar’s major magic systems. IOW, fabrials are mechanical Surgebinders and Voidbinders, not the other way around. By the same logic, I suppose you could call Allomancers “organic medallions.” I agree Odium exploits Singer physiology to reincarnate the Fused. I disagree such possession limits Fused magic to Surgebinding (“Yet another hack”). Singers can’t naturally Surgebind. Why would Odium restrict the Fused to inferior “hacked” Surgebinding when he can grant them Voidbinding? I think I summarized the Argent WoBs accurately. I said Renarin uses Stormlight to fuel non-Truthwatcher Illumination-binding. When Argent asks whether Renarin is Voidbinding, Brandon says, “No, but close.” @LiquidBlue, I also have wondered about this. Voidbinding might be hierarchical, which is consistent with how Odium and the Fused behave, but who knows? This is my “prime” post – number 373, a prime number that's the sum of five consecutive prime numbers (67, 71, 73, 79, and 83). Pretty cool!
  22. I dissent. IMO, the Fused do Voidbind. Voidbinding uses both different fuel and different innate Investiture than Surgebinding. Both Investitures are Odium’s – it’s not a Surgebinding “hack.” Voidlight provides the fuel. and, as Cognitive Shadows, the Fused’s mind imprints on Odium’s Investiture, with a direct Connection to Odium. Here’s my reasoning: Initiation I think mortals gain Odium’s power when he “takes their pain” – Odium’s magic breaks the Connections to people that cause a mortal to feel guilt, shame, and responsibility. Odium’s Investiture fills the emotional Void the broken Connections leave, like spren fill other cracks in a broken soul. Metaphorically, Brandon seems to say an empty soul will fill with hate. Differences from Surgebinding Brandon says Shards differ only in “the means of getting power,” “the WAY the magic is obtained, not what it can do.” IOW, every magic system anywhere can theoretically grant the exact same abilities as every other magic system. Differences among systems arise from their Shard’s intent/mandate/expression, the planet, and the local population’s biology and culture. That suggests fewer differences when systems share a planet. Kaladin shifts speed and direction faster than the Fused because he does Surgebind. He can layer bindings to lash multiple G-force vectors. The Fused gain control over gravity (and other fundamental forces) by using an Investiture that IMO doesn’t bond. Voidbinding must rely on some other means of changing gravity. IOW, the Fuseds’ slower movements come from BOTH their magic system AND their different fuel. The “Surges” The fact Rosharans call Roshar’s fundamental forces “Surges” doesn’t make manipulation of those fundamental forces “Surgebinding.” Any Rosharan magic system – indeed, any magic system anywhere – will manipulate the same cosmere fundamental forces by whatever name locals call them. The Fused manifest only one ability because they don’t rely on Radiant spren, the only known Rosharan means of granting a magic user two abilities. Because Brandon says KR orders are “a combination of two of the ‘smaller’ magic systems in this world,” I believe each Radiant spren is a combination of two lesser spren. Odium, OTOH, is incapable of binding spren together – he can only corrupt spren. Fabrials The Fused are NOT “organic fabrials.” They don’t hold spren, which fabrials require. They substitute for gemheart spren when they possess a Singer’s body: Hariel tells Venli, “Unlike the witless Voidspren you bonded—which resides in your gemheart—my soul cannot share its dwelling.” (OB, Interlude I-6, Kindle p. 577.) Voidlight The Fused used Voidlight before both the False Desolation and the Everstorm. That suggests Voidlight may be an internal Investiture Odium feeds to the Fused through his Connection with them. Voidlight doesn’t automatically heal because its nature breaks Connections rather than re-binds them. Stormlight binds, Voidlight breaks – mirroring the difference between Honor and Odium. Comparison with Metallic Arts Just because Scadrial’s magic systems “differ functionally” doesn’t mean Rosharan magic systems need to. Shard-created Scadrial is unique. Ruin and Preservation are much more Invested there, with far greater influence, than are other Shards on their Shardworlds. Besides, I think I’ve shown Voidbinding IS “Manipulating the same surges, in a different manner.” FWIW, I also don’t think the Scadrian systems “use metal in drastically different ways.” Metal always acts the same way, as a magic system Focus: - Metal provides Allomancers a pathway to Preservation’s power and Focuses the power before it Invests the Allomancer. - Brandon says end-neutral Feruchemy also relies on a “facilitating power” from outside the Feruchemical gene. I believe metalminds’ metals are Focuses for drawing this power directly from Ruin and Preservation. This “facilitating power” fuels the Feruchemical gene’s magical effects. - I also think Ruin directly fuels Hemalurgy. Spiking (the “theft”) is an Intended act of entropy. IMO, that act of entropy draws Ruin’s power, which the metal spike then Focuses. Ruin’s Focused power enables the spike to transfer abilities. Glys and Renarin In the first Argent WoB, Brandon says Renarin is “close” to Voidbinding, but isn’t. I think Renarin is not Voidbinding only because he uses Stormlight as fuel rather than Voidlight. Glys’ Illumination-binding does seem to differ from a normal Truthwatcher spren’s. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet seen a normal spren use Illumination and can’t compare. Renarin and Glys are a true Surgebinding “hack” – a corrupted spren using Stormlight to Voidbind. That suggests pure Odium Fused who use Voidlight for their magic do not “hack” Surgebinding. Conclusion Voidbinding involves a different innate Investiture and fuel than Surgebinding. The magic systems initiate differently, and spren are not part of Voidbinding. Manipulating the planet’s same fundamental forces doesn’t turn Voidbinding into hacked Surgebinding. While it may be too early in SLA to conclude either way, IMO there’s strong reason to think the Fused do Voidbind. If not them, and not the Unmade, then who?
  23. Written while sitting in an airport: For @Gancho Libre, @Calderis, and @Ashspren, an appreciation... Gancho, your poetry’s fine. But you might consider a line With words not just sounds So the meaning redounds And we all could see your design. Cal, your limericks swallow All hope of having us follow Your excellent lead. The rest of us need Something else in which we might wallow. [And, therefore, I move on to a sonnet…] Oh, Ashspren! What a truly wondrous poem! A sonnet that the Bard himself would like. Not easy to epitomize a tome – So many stories…which ones do you strike? “The sound must seem an echo to the sense.” So says the well-known Alexander Pope. He also wrote “True wit is nature dressed.” (I shortened it to fit within our scope.)* For you, Ashspren, are Pope’s poetic heir, Creating verse that satisfies his rules. Elantris is the perfect place to air Your entertaining use of sonnets’ tools. But I, like Gancho, favor sounds to words. I do my best, but sometimes I’m absurd. * The full line goes, “True Wit is Nature to advantage dress'd. What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd…” And if you think sonnets are stupid, John Keats agrees with you: “…beauty was awake! Why were ye not awake? But ye were dead To things ye knew not of, - were closely wed To musty laws lined out with wretched rule And compass vile: so that ye taught a school Of dolts to smooth, inlay, and clip, and fit, Till, like the certain wands of Jacob’s wit, Their verses tallied.” From “Sleep and Poetry.” Dan Simmons’ fans will recognize the resurrected Keats as a central character in his novels. Simmons’ Hyperion and Endymion are named after Keats poems. In my junior year of college, “Sleep and Poetry,” flawed as it is, converted me from pre-med to an English major. So much math and science, so little to show for it…
  24. @Calderis and I recently discussed the nature of Avatars on Discord. We ended up agreeing on some points and disagreeing on others. I thought the discussion interesting enough to share and memorialize here. Autonomy creates Avatars like Patji on First of the Sun. She finds deposits of the assigned Investiture she inherits from Adonalsium and infuses them with consciousness. The Avatars become autonomous actors. We don't know the degree of each Avatar’s autonomy. I think Cal and I agree: 1. Avatars share Autonomy’s pool of Spiritual Realm Investiture with her. 2. Avatar creation doesn’t change the aggregate amount of Autonomy’s Spiritual Realm Investiture available for magic. 3. As a logical corollary to the first two points, each new Avatar proportionally reduces how much Spiritual Realm Investiture is theoretically available to each previous Avatar and to Autonomy herself. 4. Avatars seem more powerful than most splinters. We disagree on these points: 5. Cal and @Spoolofwhool think Autonomy grants consciousness by implanting a seed of her mind into her found Investiture. They believe this “mind-split” is what allocates Autonomy’s power (her capacity to make magic), since cosmere power tends to be proportionate to the mind that wields it. They say Autonomy deliberately weakens her own mind (in small increments) to install this power balance. I instead think Autonomy programs a consciousness for each Avatar from raw Spiritual Realm Investiture and leaves her mind intact. IMO, Bavadin has no reason to diminish her finite mental capacity when she can use her infinite raw Investiture for the same purpose. Knowing Odium is on the prowl, why would Bavadin weaken herself in favor of her Avatars, who are localized on their Shardworlds? 6. Cal says Autonomy has more Spiritual Realm Investiture “available for use” than any other Shard. He attributes this to the Avatars. I agree Autonomy and her Avatars can collectively drain their Spiritual Realm Investiture pool at a faster rate than other Shards can. That’s the benefit of multiple minds directing the Investiture – it’s like inserting more straws into a drink. But since the aggregate volume of the Investiture pool remains constant, I disagree more Investiture is “available for use.” (Cal tells me he does not think “available for use” and “faster draw rate” are the same thing.) 7. Cal believes Avatars share a single Spiritual aspect with Autonomy, though each Avatar has its own Cognitive aspect. He says Radiant spren have a different Cognitive aspect from their Knight, and the Nahel bond nonetheless merges their souls. Cal analogizes this “one soul – two minds” to Avatars. I think each Avatar has its own Spiritual aspect. I believe every mind that imprints Investiture has its own soul. Each Avatar’s separate soul is made from Autonomy. They're probably Connected to one another and Autonomy in other ways. But IMO these Connections don’t cause the Avatars to share a Spiritual aspect any more than an honorspren made from Honor’s Investiture is part of Honor’s soul. I also think the Avatar-Radiant spren analogy breaks down because KR-spren minds and souls don’t fully merge until the KR swears the Fifth Oath (IMO). 8. I think splinters and Avatars have different origins. (I’m not sure what Cal believes about this.) Splinters are bits of raw Spiritual Realm Investiture that develop sentience (sometimes on their own, sometimes granted by Shards). Avatars are deposits of Autonomy’s Investiture Adonalsium left on Shardworlds to which Autonomy grants consciousness. IOW, splinters descend from the Spiritual Realm while Avatars incorporate Investiture that already exists in all three Realms. * * * * * Please add your opinions. Cal, did I express your views accurately?
  25. Here’s my beef: Brandon’s inconsistency about thermodynamics. I’ve talked about this for years. He exalts unifying cosmere laws in which thermodynamics figures prominently. Yet he makes the cosmere a perpetual motion machine in violation of those laws. If matter and energy can truly convert back into the powers of creation (raw Spiritual Realm Investiture), then the cosmere will never run out of energy, and entropy can decrease as well as increase. It’s a major flaw that IMO undermines the cosmere’s construction. I hope the cosmere’s “fourth” thermodynamic law (about Adonalsium) will save us from the perpetual cosmere. Investiture, energy, and matter should not be able to convert back into the powers of creation. Those powers are Adonalsium’s Spiritual Realm corpse. Once raw magic’s gone, it should be gone forever, converted into some other form of matter, energy or Investiture. But I’ve beaten that drum so long, I'm now deaf…