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Everything posted by Confused

  1. Not exactly. From what I understand, what the people of Roshar call "surges" are just their way of referring to what they believe are fundamental forces in the Cosmere. They don't see them as belonging to a shard, and them defining the surges seems to predate the appearance of surgebinding, according to the Stele. All variations of powers on Roshar seem to follow the pattern of manipulating one of the surges, regardless of cultural definition. Here’s what Khriss says in the OB Ars Arcanum (Kindle p. 1238, emphasis added) and the other SLA AAs: I read this to mean the “Ten Surges” represent the Honorblade powers. Roshar’s humans “think” they’re fundamental forces, but they’re not. These Surges do come from a Shard – Honor, the Almighty – whether acknowledged as such. Vorin culture, at least, doesn’t acknowledge other deities. I think humans associated the Honorblade powers with each Herald’s Divine Attributes. They personified Radiant spren to represent the Ten Surges and Divine Attributes. To me, that’s “a cultural interpretation of a Rosharan Shard’s power.” I think Singers personify the same idea differently from humans. Yixli, the yellow-white spren that discovers and then speaks for Kaladin, is IMO a “protection” spren. I believe Syl is also a “protection” spren, her Primary Divine Attribute. Yet Yixli offers no powers and seems grounded in stone: Singers apparently personify stone as protection. This at least suggests the possibility that Singers might personify different powers as “Surges.” Renarin's future sight IMO is an example, as I explain in one of my posts above. I do agree all of Roshar's magic systems bind Surges. I don’t yet put much credence in the Eila Stele. It’s too convenient a plot device and too self-serving for one side. Brandon revels in reversals, and I feel there’s one lurking there. (I’m not suggesting anything by this, but I do note how Ahu/Jezrien’s drunken words to Dalinar mirror the Eila Stele (OB, Chapter 88, Kindle p. 853)): Take your time. I aim to be “interesting” if nothing else… Would the “Pathways” post be a better thread to put your response?
  2. In my recent “Pathways to Power” post, I address how and why Investiture is “assigned” to each Shard. To summarize: 1. Each Shard has its own “pathway to power.” (That’s how Marasi describes metal in BoM.) Each pathway is a unique medium for the transmission of magical energy. Water IMO is Autonomy’s pathway. 2. I suggest these pathways are slices of Adonalsium’s mind-soul Connection that “broke off” at the Shattering. My “Pathways” post says, “Adonalsium used these pathways when he made water, EMR, etc. The Shards inherit the Investiture in all three Realms that relates to their pathway.” 3. I compare Roshar and First of the Sun, two ocean planets: This is why “Autonomy never ‘invested’ on First of the Sun.” That Shardworld’s oceans already give Autonomy the pathway it needs to raise the Pantheon. I believe this explains Brandon’s statement about Roshar: I think Autonomy accesses “a gathering of Investiture” on First of the Sun through its water pathway. I also think Brandon refers to water on Roshar as the “parts of what were Adonalsium [that] still exist that are associated with you (in the very fabric of matter and existence).” 4. FWIW, @Oversleep, an “avatar” is a Sanskrit word for the incarnation of a god in mortal form. Neal Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash was the first to use “avatar” to describe a human’s online digital representation. I think Brandon refers to the Hindu definition, and Patji is Autonomy’s First of the Sun avatar.
  3. Thanks so much, @Calderis and @Spoolofwhool, for your responses! They help move the conversation, and I enjoy discussing this stuff with you. What Defines Magic Systems And that's where I disagree. Hemalurgy is the actual magic involved in the spikes itself. It gives no abilities. It is only the theft. It can steal from any system by stealing the ability to use other systems. When an inquisitor uses Allomancy granted by a spike they are literally using the power granted to someone else by Preservation. Ruin magic only allows the theft. Preservation is still the one pouring investiture through the metal. I agree Hemalurgy as a magic system steals the innate Investiture that grants use of the powers, though I stand by my quoted statement. Again, Brandon defines a Shard’s “role” by “the WAY the magic is obtained, not what it can do.” IMO, increasing net entropy is how Ruin’s magic users gain their powers (through metal spiking). I believe that’s true of every Shard’s magic system – they all give power by a unique means: endowing life, transforming life, making or breaking Connections. But Brandon says twice that Shards all use the same powers: in the just cited WoB and here. If you mean different magic systems do things differently, I agree there too. Magic systems conform to the constraints of cultural perception; their Shardworld’s inherent Investiture; the fact Shardworlds (other than Scadrial) are made from Adonalsium’s essence; and the Shard’s internal constraints (its “role,” personality, Mandate/intent, whatever…) But the one constant is each Shard grants its powers in a unique and defining way – even on worlds like Sel and Roshar that share Shards. You interpret the first WoB to mean, “the individual powers are not shaped or constrained by Preservation's intent” and “Voidbinding will be accessed through some means of Odium, but its powers will not be limited to Odium's intent in application.” Fair enough, but I don’t see the difference between our interpretations. If you strip “intent” from power, isn’t all power the same, as held by Adonalsium? IMO, Spiritual Realm power changes only when a Shard or magic user Focuses it into some form of matter, energy or other Investiture. Focus I think our definitions agree that Focuses filter power: “the thing that shapes the investiture” = the thing “that chooses the power necessary for some magical effect”? If so, I don’t understand why you believe water is Taldain’s Focus. How do you see water “shaping” Autonomy’s Investiture to make the sand microflora do different things? Khriss says water creates the bond, but Spiritual Realm Investiture controls the sand. Maybe you can say water carries the Sand Master’s commands to the microflora; but is the Focus then water or the commands? FWIW, I think Sand Mastery resembles Awakening. Brandon says Awakening’s Focus is its visualized commands. I think Sand Masters also visualize commands to the Invested microflora through their temporary Cognitive bond. Magic Mechanics I agree with your descriptions except for the Roshar Focus. In my “Pathways to Power” post, I lay out a uniform magic-making model. I agree the magical steps occur “fast enough to be indistinguishable.” Here’s how Allomancy and Surgebinding fit my model, for comparison. 1. A magic user consumes a Catalyst. Allomancers burn metals. Surgebinders infuse Stormlight. I think Khriss uses the word “Catalyst” because consuming the Catalyst starts the magic. Yes, I know it’s chemically incorrect. 2. The Catalyst activates each Shard’s unique pathway to the Spiritual Realm. Burning metal “causes a resonance” in what Marasi calls metal’s “pathway to power.” (BoM, Chapter 28, Kindle p. 359.) Metal is Preservation’s pathway IMO because of its static molecular structure. I think each Shard’s “pathway to power” is its unique medium for transmitting magical energy between a magic user and Spiritual Realm power – metal, water, electromagnetic radiation, etc. Consuming infused Stormlight gives Surgebinders access to the Surges. My “Pathways” post says Honor’s pathway is the Surgebinder’s neural synapses. IMO, Honor gives his power by making a Cognitive Connection between a Radiant spren and the Surgebinder – the Nahel bond. Reinforcing Connections (like through oaths) strengthens the synaptic connections between the Surgebinder and his ideals (the Radiant spren), increasing his power. 3. The Spiritual Realm releases power down the pathway. “The power would pour in from Preservation,” or (for Surgebinders) Honor and/or Cultivation. 4. Each magic system’s Focus shapes the pathway to choose which power is released. Vin’s metal filters which power will Invest her. Radiant spren (IMO) filter which power Invests the Surgebinder. Not to re-open the debate, but to express my reason: Spren are power that personify an idea. Through them (as a Focus), the idea they personify manifests in the Physical Realm – fire, gravity, life, wind, etc. Just add a little Stormlight… 5. The Focused power Invests the magic user. 6. The magic user directs the Invested power for some magical effect. Another Wall Bump There are two issues with this statement, in my opinion. The first is more a matter of imprecise wording, but I think that voidbinding uses the same ten surges that surgebinding does, it just manipulates the surges in a different way. Second I don't think that Venli's envoyform, a Regal form, is voidbinding. The reason why I think this is that by the end of WoR, we had not yet seen voidbinding occur directly. Therefore, this means that the lightning abilities that stormform were using was not voidbinding, and I think it's unlikely that there would be a mismatch between Regal forms with some voidbinding and others not, so it seems likely that none are voidbinding. You’re right, @Spool, my statement was “imprecise” (spelled “W-R-O-N-G”). @Calderis said, “I don't believe for a moment though that [Voidbinding} is the exact same powers” as other Rosharan magic systems. I responded that a “Surge” is just a cultural interpretation of a Rosharan Shard’s power (which is true). I used Venli to show how a different culture would personify spren differently, resulting in different powers. I went off the tracks when I called the powers such spren personify “Surges” and gave envoyform as a Voidbinding example. Good catch! I agree too: Non-magic Singers transform through their bond with pre-Shattering spren. Regals transform through their bond with voidspren (which does give them some forms of power like envoyform, but not access to the Surges). I believe these transformations, like fabrials, are Cultivation’s magic. But art imitates nature – Singer transformations precede fabrials, not the other way around. OTOH, the Fused (IMO) do Voidbind. They break their Connections to others to gain the ability to bind Surges. Breaking Cognitive Connections (as I repeatedly say) is how Odium’s magic users gain his magic. I think Odium’s pathway is neuron death, killing Cognitive Connections. That’s why he holds the “most terrible” power and is best at Shard-killing (IMO). I think many Fused are imbecilic because of the brain damage they suffer to regain their powers each time they return. I’ll end on that note…Again, thanks much for your comments!
  4. A Personal Note When I question other posters’ opinions, it’s to TEST both my opinions and theirs. I’m trying to find “cosmere truth.” To me, how the cosmere works is knowable; it has “unified laws.” Those laws underlie and inform Brandon’s grand narrative. I change my theories often to incorporate new or overlooked information and your many good ideas. I theorize like a windup bumper toy moves – I hit a wall and change direction. If I first try to ram through the wall and test its hardness, I hope you don’t take it personally. And I hope you continue to justify your views, even if I continue to debate your reasoning. What Distinguishes Magic Systems? @Calderis, your post concludes magic systems differ not only in how magic users gain their magic, but also how they express Shard power. ( I also once thought this.) I now believe magic systems differ only in “the WAY the magic is obtained.” I think your Metallic Arts example supports this view: IMO, Marsh (or any Inquisitor) does exactly what Kelsier and Sazed do and uses the exact same powers. The only difference is how Marsh gets his powers – by Hemalurgy, not inheritance. Isn’t that an example of “two identical sets of powers just accessed in different means”? “Surges” are a cultural interpretation of Shard power (Khriss). Roshar’s humans limit the Surges to the Honorblade powers, and Radiant spren personify those powers. Singers personify emotions and natural forces as pre-Shattering spren like lifespren, firespren, and gravityspren; and personify “forms of power” as voidspren. I think a skyeel, a Fused, and a Windrunner all “fly” by binding the gravity Surge to change gravity’s direction. I think the only difference among them is how each gains their “Surge-binding” ability: Cultivation gives power through the spren themselves – “transformative cognitive entities” (Khriss) that change their host (the skyeel). Odium gives power to fill the void mortals feel who break their Connections to others (like he tries to do with Dalinar). And Honor gives power by making a Cognitive Connection – the Nahel bond. IOW, all three major Rosharan magic systems “bind Surges” – meaning these systems change the way Surges normally work. I agree Voidbinding uses Surges unavailable to Surgebinders (like Venli’s “envoyform”). But the reason IMO is that Singer culture (as influenced by Odium) personifies “forms of power” beyond the Honorblade powers. IOW, humans culturally limit KR powers, but the Singers do not. I also agree fabrials can bind voidspren and use their powers. I suspect, though, voidspren fabrials will run on Voidlight, not Stormlight. “Focus” Definition? @Calderis, how do you define a Focus? It’s not clear to me. I hesitate to discuss examples when I’m unsure we’re talking the same language. In my “Focus” post, I highlight posters’ diverse definitions: a Focus “shapes” the magic; Focus is an “interface,” the “man in the middle”; and a Focus “determines the outcome of the magic.” Brandon says, “the powers…are not themselves of [any] Shard. They are simply tools.” From this, I conclude a Focus chooses the magical “tool,” the power needed for the desired magical effect. My “power selection” definition distinguishes Focus from the magic user’s decision-making – how to direct the Focused power that Invests the magic user. IOW, Vin chooses brass to Focus Preservation into the soothing power. Once Invested with that power, she decides how best to direct it. Her decision, not the Focus, determines the “outcome of the magic.” Is this how you see things? Because when you say, “water is Taldain’s Focus” and first bonds and now the Surges are Roshar’s Focus, I’m unsure. Would you please clarify your Focus definition? Thanks!
  5. @Calderis, I’ve been curious why you think the Fused don’t Voidbind. Now that I see your reasons, I (unsurprisingly) have a few questions. Argent’s WoB: You conclude, I read the WoB the opposite way: 1. Argent’s question assumes Renarin Voidbinds. Brandon doesn’t confirm this. Instead, he confirms that Renarin “us[es] Stormlight to power abilities different from the Surgebindings we've seen.” I think we can all agree with this. 2. When Argent asks, “Is that what Voidbinding is?” Brandon answers “No.” Putting these statements together, Brandon says Voidbinding is NOT “using Stormlight to power abilities different from the Surgebindings we've seen.” IOW, Renarin doesn’t Voidbind. Voidbinding Chart As you know, I believe Surgebinders and Voidbinders access Shard power differently. Surgebinders get Honor’s power from the Nahel bond, a Cognitive Connection between the KR and its spren. IMO, Voidbinders get Odium’s power by breaking Cognitive Connections, separating themselves from their feelings towards others – Odium’s power fills that void. I think this difference explains the two charts’ “inverted rotational symmetry.” The “normal” glyph half represents the Surge itself. The inverted half represents the different access means. I understand why others may conclude differently on this. Should Voidbinding and Surgebinding Have Different Surges? Why do you think the Surges themselves should be different? Brandon says, “the ‘role’ of a Shard has to do with “the WAY the magic is obtained, not what it can do.” Khriss tells us Rosharan Surges are the powers Honor grants the Heralds through their Honorblades. IOW, Surges are a cultural interpretation of Honor’s power. Radiant spren embody that interpretation. Humans and Singers mostly share that interpretation. I think this is because both cultures personify the same emotions and physical phenomena. The Fused get their Surges from gravityspren, firespren, and adhesionspren – powers that pre-exist the Shattering. But they are the same Surges. Renarin and Glys I agree with most of this, except I think Renarin only Surgebinds. Glys enables Renarin to use “Stormlight to power abilities different from the Surgebindings we've seen.” IOW, Renarin uses new powers other Surgebinders don’t have. That doesn’t mean he’s Voidbinding; he just has access to a different Surge. The way he gets the power – through the Nahel bond – proves he’s Surgebinding. I believe Cultivation transforms the voidspren Glys into a Radiant spren specifically for Renarin. Renarin’s name means, “Like one who was born unto himself.” Glys represents the Truthwatcher ideals as much as other Truthwatcher spren. Otherwise, Renarin’s oaths would not grant him powers through the Nahel bond. Cultivation needs Glys because humans personify future sight as a Voidbringer power. Response to the OP @LopenTheTwoArmedHerdazian, it’s a good thought, but I think the relationship is backwards. Pre-Shattering spren bond with Singers and other sentient fauna. “Investiture leaking into the Physical Realm in a similar kind of process to atium” composes natural gemhearts. These symbiotic relationships pre-exist fabrials. IOW, I think humans based fabrials on the natural relationship. They “tricked” the spren into a gemheart to enslave it, as Taravangian describes. When Stormlight-infused, the spren produces the power it personifies, functioning like a magical heart inside a machine that replicates the spren’s normal host. An Unrelated Question @Calderis, I hoped you might have some response to my latest Shard/magic system theory. I thought you might say, “water is Autonomy’s Focus,” not its pathway to power. I wanted to hear your thoughts on that. I may misunderstand your Focus definition. If this interests you, would you place your Focus post on that thread? Thanks!
  6. “[T]here shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been before and such as shall never be again.” - Exodus 11:6 The Wandersail story (WoK, Chapter 57) has a lot to teach us. To recap, Derethil goes looking for the “Origin of Voidbringers.” He finds the Uvara, “People of the Great Abyss,” who live on some islands surrounding a whirlpool. The Uvara brutally murder anyone who makes the slightest mistake, as they believe their emperor commands. When they discover that the emperor had been dead for years, the Uvara riot, committing even more atrocities, enraged and mortified that they themselves are responsible for their cruelty. Kaladin interprets the story as meaning he must take personal responsibility for his life and not blame circumstances or others. As Wit says, that’s one way to look at it. But there are other interpretations that have meaning for SLA: The Voidbringers are the Uvara. This view concludes that Odium’s influence leads people to do horrific things if they can avoid taking responsibility for them. “I was just following orders…” The Voidbringers are also Derethil and his crew. This view looks at Derethil like the serpent in Eden: he brings knowledge of good and evil to the Uvara, showing them their emperor is dead and the murders are their own. Could the “Origin” of Highstorms actually be the “origin of Voidbringers”? Very possibly (for reasons explained in another post I’m working on). The “Great Abyss” sounds like the “Void.” These are the People of the Great Abyss – people of the Void. Could the Great Abyss be Odium’s Shardpool (assuming he even has one on Roshar)? Shardpools are speculated to be associated with the Cognitive Realm according to the Coppermind. They are also believed to be worldhopping conduits like the Cognitive Realm. I and many others think Hoid periodically emerges from Cultivation’s Shardpool in the Horneater Peaks. If the Great Abyss is Odium’s Shardpool, that would explain one way his investiture circulates into Roshar.
  7. Cosmere magic is a lot to take in. There are almost as many theories as there are Shard posters. Most folks here disagree with my Cosmere Magic Theory. That disagreement on magic fundamentals underlies this discussion. My best advice? Read the books and the WoBs, read other people’s theories, and then develop your own theory. Just make sure your theory’s internally consistent and explains most cosmere phenomena – and revise it often when fellow theorists point out your (too many) mistakes. (Sighs.). Thanks, @Spoolofwhool, for saying this. This thread makes it appear easy to use local Investiture to fuel an off-world magic system. Except for Breath transfers, it is not. The main reason IMO is Identity, which is encoded into each mortal’s Spiritual DNA. I define Identity as the relationship between a mortal and a Shardworld that permits the mortal to use that Shardworld’s Investiture. I think most “hacks” involve changes to the magic user’s Identity. IIRC, Hoid, Zahel and Azure are the cosmere’s only known “hackers.” IMO, “color drain” refers to the withdrawal of Investiture from a person or object. Szeth and Lift develop gray streaks when Nightblood draws Investiture from them. Shardblade-severed limbs turn gray, when they lose Connection to the soul and its Investiture. “Color-drained” objects like Wit’s coat also turn gray. That suggests “color drained” objects turn gray because of Investiture withdrawal. The withdrawn Investiture can’t be in color itself, because color is the reflected portion of the EMR spectrum. Color is how the eye perceives that reflected EMR. Color never actually attaches to the colored object. Rather, color is the part of the EMR spectrum that the object doesn’t absorb. If the object turns gray from Investiture withdrawal, that Investiture must be in the object itself. Only the absorbed EMR spectrum could hold that Investiture in a colored object. It might be “simpler…to say that awakening doesn't draw investiture from the objects which it drains the colour from.” Why then drain color from objects at all? I’m unaware of an alternative explanation. I’ve not seen the statement @Llarimar refers to that “the draining of color on Nalthis is merely a byproduct of performing an Awakening, rather than an actual source of energy.” If confirmed, that would change my view. Good point about Vivenna. Maybe she didn’t dye her hair, but I don’t believe she could drain her Royal Locks to Awaken or they’d be permanently gray. It’s possible in Shadesmar she considers how old and/or tired she is, and her hair briefly changes color to reflect her mood. (Just a guess…) Not “Nalthian Color,” but Endowment’s Investiture. IMO, every Shardworld’s Catalyst is the resident Shard’s Physical Realm Investiture. A recent WoB (“the essence of the Shard is in the Physical Realm”) confirms an older one that a Shard’s Physical Realm Investiture is its “essence.” While empowered by the Bands, Marasi in BoM sees metal as Preservation’s “Concentrated essence, providing a pathway to power.” (Chapter 28, Kindle p. 359.) Unlike some other Catalysts, Preservation’s essence exists cosmere-wide. I do believe that Awakening requires Endowment’s Investiture as its Catalyst. Why should a different Shard’s essence be used to access Endowment’s power? @RShara, would you please show me where Brandon says gemstone “color” can fuel Awakening? If the gemstones absorbed light on Nalthis, I would absolutely agree. They’d then hold Endowment’s Investiture. That’s not the same thing as using Stormlight in gemstones to fuel Awakening. My guess is those WoBs are unclear. Azure in Shadesmar doesn’t need to dye the new human-shaped pieces. Those become the Awakened objects. Other colored objects supply the Investiture to Awaken the new human-shaped pieces. Azure would have brought lots of dyed clothing with her or dyed the cloth on Roshar before her Shadesmar adventure. Or, as you suggest, maybe she carried gemstones she filled with Nalthian light before visiting Roshar. @Calderis, my friend, so many issues we disagree on… I did think your “Intent: Origin and Intepretation” post was outstanding. IIRC, Brandon has made contradictory statements about Awakening. We had some discussion of this last fall, and disagreed then whether his most recent statement resolves the contradictions. OB confirms Awakening on Roshar is possible, but says little about who or how. You and I agree anyone can acquire and transfer Breaths anywhere. We agree anyone holding Breaths anywhere will Heighten. I think we agree that Breath transfers by themselves are not Awakening, that Awakening is the animation of the object to which Breath transfers. Awakening somehow involves color draining, though simple Breath transfers don’t. My model tries to explain what “color draining” means and how it fits the structure of other Catalytic magic systems. But there’s also the issue of Identity. Anyone can use Breaths, a form of Spiritual matter (innate Investiture). IMO, without hacking, only Nalthians (and Hoid, who breaks most rules) have the Identity to use Nalthis’ inherent Investiture, the Spiritual energy that first Adonalsium and then Endowment placed in Nalthis’ EMR. We agree: like other magic systems, Surgebinding needs a “hack” to work off-World. The issue isn’t just the difficulty of “getting your spren away,” though that is an important factor. Spren “can travel elsewhere.” The issue is how functional spren will be when they arrive. This WoB suggests spren’s “Cognitive sense” may suffer outside Roshar’s subastral. @The One Who Connects quotes a WoB that “Surgebinding will work off-world.” This is a true statement because OB tells us human Surgebinding destroyed their prior world. But we don’t know whether off-world Surgebinding would use spren and the same mechanics as Roshar’s Surgebinding. Lift is interesting. Can she metabolize off-Roshar food into Stormlight? Is Wyndle necessary to this process? Will he function properly off-World? Yes, but Brandon says charging the microflora “isn’t really the magic.” Sand Mastery involves shaping the sand. Khriss tells us Sand Masters use their body water to summon Autonomy’s Spiritual Realm power. That power enables Sand Masters to direct the microflora’s Investiture to shape the sand. In my model, that makes the body water Sand Mastery’s Catalyst. IMO, Autonomy’s solar radiation Invests Taldain’s oceans. Through the natural evaporation-condensation-precipitation Water Cycle, Autonomy’s Physical Realm Investiture (the Shard’s essence), is absorbed into mortal bodies. When a Sand Master dehydrates with “Intent,” Autonomy’s Spiritual Realm power Invests the Sand Master. I suspect Autonomy splinters attach as innate Investiture to worthy Sand Master candidates. This structure is just like Awakening and Surgebinding. The Catalyst is the Shardworld’s inherent Investiture (Invested EMR, Stormlight, and Invested water). The Catalyst causes the Shard’s Spiritual Realm power to Invest the magic user. And all metal is Preservation’s “essence.” We have seen an Aviar on Roshar, but we haven’t seen Aviar magic there. The bird may be Invested, but we don’t know whether an Aviar’s Cognitive bond will work off-First of the Sun. We don’t even know if Aviar bonds work off-Patji. We agree: the issue is a magic user’s ability to use local Physical Realm Investiture (the “fuel source”). Again, Nalthian color isn’t different. Color everywhere is just visible light an object reflects. Endowment’s Investiture, IMO held in the EMR Nalthian objects absorb, is different from other Shardworld Investitures. Without Endowment’s Investiture as a Catalyst or a suitable hack, I don’t believe off-World Awakening is possible. Of course, all of this is probably wrong...
  8. @Llarimar, I agree with @Andy92’s comments about Mistborn. I don’t think finding metals is a problem. Ensuring purity and the proper alloy mix could be, but a Worldhopping Mistborn really should know basic metallurgy… Imagine a Full Twinborn like Marsh with an adequate metal supply! Off-Roshar Surgebinding might not work even with Stormlight. Brandon says spren themselves lose capacity if they move beyond Roshar. Awakening is interesting: My opinion: 1. If a Nalthian Worldhops with vats of Nalthian dye and huge numbers of Breaths, they would be formidable. 2. If spren could travel, Surgebinders might be scary. 3. But I’d bet on the Metalborn. Preservation gives Metalborn the ability to preserve themselves anywhere. If the cosmere resembles our universe, metals are its most common substance. A Worldhopping Metalborn has ample fuel for a serious ruckus whosever gin joint she walks into.
  9. Happy New Year, everyone! Best wishes for peace, health, and prosperity! @Calderis’ excellent post concludes “the names of the Shards that we know is not the pure intent of the Shards themselves, but the interpretation of that core concept by their Vessel.” I agree with his insight. This post tries to describe those “pure intents” (what I call Mandates) and suggests Mandates together may form a specific pattern. Theory IMO, Mandates are each Shard’s thematic mechanic, the way mortals get magic from their Shard: “The means of getting powers…are related to the Shard, but not the powers themselves”; and “The 'role' of the Shard has to do with the WAY the magic is obtained, not what it can do.” As thematic mechanics, “pure” Mandates seem to associate with different stages of life – birth, growth, plateau, decline, and death. I think Mandates together may form a “Wheel of Life” (really), but I’m unsure what that means, if anything. Maybe it’s Brandon’s paean to Jordan? Brandon says Adonalsium could have Shattered differently. At minimum, the allocation of Adonalsium’s power by life stage seems to ensure the Shards don’t overlap. As Evi says, “We are all different aspects of the One.” (OB, Chapter 36, Kindle p. 372.) Mandates divide the One’s magical aspects into different gods. Each Shard’s Mandate I list the Mandates – how IMO a Shard gives its magic to mortals – in order of placement on the Wheel of Life. Grants Life (Endowment) Conception/Birth: Endowment’s Mandate gives life (Breaths). Breaths attach to new souls. Each later-acquired Breath gives more life to souls (the Heightenings). Divine Breath gives life to souls by healing them. Awakening’s Breath transfer gives objects life. Sustains Life (Devotion) Newborn: Devotion uses the Dor like mother’s milk to sustain Elantrians without other nourishment. Elantrians get the Dor through Aon Rao’s infusion of Elantris. Elantrians lose power as they travel from Elantris and their mother’s Spirit. Makes Cognitive Connections (Honor) Infant: Infants begin to form emotional attachments. Surgebinders get Honor’s magic through the Cognitive Connection of the Nahel bond. Sets Rules (Dominion) Toddler/Child: As the child’s world expands, authority begins to set rules and boundaries. Dominion’s programmatic forms set the rules by which Sel’s mortals get the Dor. Transforms (Cultivation) Teenager: The child transforms to an adult. IMO, Cultivation transforms native spren into potential Radiantspren. I think honorspren are Nahel-bondable windspren; Cryptics are Nahel-bondable creationspren; etc. Surgebinders get their power through these transformed spren. Grants Self-Sufficiency (Autonomy) Young Adult: The adult goes out on his/her own. IMO, Autonomy’s users get their magic “living off the land.” The Sand Mastery and Aviar systems give magic through local lifeforms. These systems enable Connected humans to survive hostile environments on their own. Maintains Stasis (Preservation) Middle Age: Life plateaus in the middle years. Brandon says, “in Preservation's case, the magic is a gift—allowing a person to preserve their own strength, and rely upon the strength granted by the magic.” Allomancy is a magical prosthesis. Breaks Cognitive Connections (Odium) Old Age: Adults age, and their Connections to others break down. Odium tries to give Dalinar power, and make Dalinar his Champion, by breaking Dalinar’s human Connections. Dalinar is left “Alone. So Alone.” The Thrill gives power by stripping a mortal’s morality, mercy, and remorse. The Fused have no qualms killing Singers, their own race, for whom they’re supposedly fighting. Decays (Ruin) Death: Life ends with death and decomposition, the return of matter and energy to the system. Hemalurgy is a decaying process – what Brandon calls a “net negative” system. Preservation tells Kelsier, “Everything passes, nothing is eternal. That is what Ati always claimed....” Other Shards I don’t include Ambition and the unknown Shards. We don’t know how they give their magic to mortals, except for the unplanned magic of Threnody’s Shades. Since the “Wheel” incorporates only 9 of the 16 Shards, there’s ample room for more life stages, particularly between young adult and middle age. Mandates and Personality – Are Mandates Intrinsic to Power? Read this section if you like “deep theory.” I believe equally valid theories can explain Mandates without affecting the way cosmere magic works – Mandates exist, regardless of why. These are just some stray thoughts. Conclusion I’ve tried to define Mandates in terms of mechanics – how Shards give their magic to mortals. It would be cool if Mandates do form a “Wheel of Life,” but that’s more “let’s keep an eye on this” than “theory” at this point. What do you all think?
  10. PART ONE - Statement of Theory This and the following two posts in this thread present my revised theory of cosmere magic. I made major changes from prior theory versions to account for poster comments. Thank you all for helping refine my thoughts. I hope @Yata, @Calderis, @Extesian, @Blightsong, @Spoolofwhool, @Weltall, @Pagerunner and others who responded to the earlier versions will take another look at this one. I try to understand magic because to me it’s the most “knowable” cosmere element. Understanding magic makes plot and character easier to figure out. This post describes my pre-Oathbringer conclusions. The other two posts on this thread complete my cosmere magic analysis: Glossary of Important Cosmere Terms and The Mechanics of Every Magic System (Alphabetically by Planet). In the Beginning – The Cosmere’s Origin I believe “power” is the “one substance” that predates and forms the cosmere. Brandon calls power "the godly powers," the "powers of creation," a "Shard's energy," the "energy of a Shard's being," and "true Investiture." I think power is “Spiritual energy,” the capacity to create – to form or change any Spiritweb. IMO, it’s the source of all cosmere substances and can convert into any other substance. Brandon tells us power needs a mind to direct it or it may become self-directing. I believe Adonalsium (or some unknown predecessor) becomes the self-directing mind of the original chaotic power. Adonalsium then grows himself a body by converting his power (his soul) into the cosmere. Adonalsium is an anagram for “A mind, a soul.” Basic Realmic Theory Adonalsium’s cosmere has three Realms: Spiritual, Cognitive and Physical. Everything created has aspects in all three Realms. The Spiritual Realm IMO has two components: Spiritual matter (souls and their Connections - "Spiritwebs") and Spiritual energy (power). The Cognitive Realm is the Realm of the mind – of ideas and perception, of the conscious and unconscious. The Physical Realm consists of mundane matter and energy, plus magical matter and energy (what I call “manifestations of Investiture,” though many limit that term to magic systems). Pre-Shattering Magic Adonalsium leaves inherent Investiture on “every world created” other than Scadrial. I believe he Invests Roshar’s highstorms, Nalthis’ electromagnetic radiation, Sel’s ground, and Taldain’s oceans. Adonalsium's inherent Investiture creates “interaction with nature” magic systems that lend “magical aspects to the setting,” “ambient magic.” Mortals can expose themselves to that magic, but they cannot direct the magic’s effect. Notes: The Shattering To me, the Shattering’s mystery is how the Vessels could divide Adonalsium’s power into sixteen equal pieces. My answer: Adonalsium creates the cosmere and leaves a single “Godpool” at the place he chooses to reside: Yolen. Because Adonalsium is the mind that directs his power, the Vessels “kill” him by destroying his mind. I speculate they drop an “aluminum bomb” into the Cognitive Realm through his Godpool. Aluminum neutralizes Adonalsium’s brain function. His power becomes undirected. The Vessels then sluice his Godpool into sixteen equal Shardpools of liquid Investiture, the “most potent” form of Physical Realm Investiture. The Vessels enter their Shardpools and Ascend with one-sixteenth of Adonalsium’s power. Shard Mandates I believe Shard Mandates (intents) are Cognitive Realm filters on their power. Mandates IMO are not built into Spiritual Realm power as some posters theorize. Brandon says the powers are "not themselves of [any] Shard. They are simply tools.” Mandates have magical meaning and I believe should not be interpreted by their dictionary meaning. Shards are not good or evil. Honor and Preservation are not good, and Odium and Ruin are not evil. I think Mandates arise because mortals do not hold or direct pre-Shattering power. When power rushes into the Vessels, it permanently adapts to each Vessel’s Cognitive DNA. (Perhaps it’s coincidental there are sixteen Jung/Briggs-Meyers personality types?) Each Vessel’s 1/16th power portion becomes attuned to the mind that wields it. Successors must share similar Cognitive DNA. Notes: Classification of Magic Systems I believe Shards create magic systems by mutating their Shardworld’s Spiritual DNA to change Adonalsium’s inherent Investiture. (“Goofy” Shard-made Scadrial is the exception.) IMO, Brandon’s phrase “Shard-Shardworld” interactions refers to this Shard mutation of Adonalsium’s inherent Investiture. I think there are two types of magic systems. Adonalsium leaves “interaction with nature” systems, where mortals interact with the magic. Shards create “people with magic” systems, where mortals direct the magic. “People with magic” systems appear only on Major Shardworlds. I observe two kinds of “people with magic” systems: Catalytic and Non-Catalytic. In the Catalytic systems, magic users use Catalysts to Invest themselves or other objects with power. They then direct that power for magical effect. In Non-Catalytic systems, mortals can direct local Shardworld Investiture, but not power. Magic System Components I think there are four magic system components. Fuel is the Investiture that causes a magical effect. All magic systems use Fuel and have some means to Focus power. Magic Users are the “people with magic” in their systems. In Catalytic systems, Magic Users use a Catalyst to summon the power their Focus selects. The Magic User then directs the Focused power to make magic. IMO, every Catalyst is a form of Shard “essence” – either metals (Preservation’s “concentrated essence”) or the Investiture Shards mutated Adonalsium’s inherent Investiture into. I think Shard essence appears in Roshar’s highstorms (Stormlight), Nalthis’ electromagnetic radiation (the absorbed spectrum, not the reflected color spectrum), Sel’s ground (Raoden draws Aon Rao on the ground), and Taldain’s solar-irradiated oceans (Sand Masters consume their body water). Part 3 of this Cosmere Magic Theory, The Mechanics of Every Magic System (Alphabetically by Planet), describes each known magic system by type and component.
  11. Hi, @Weltall! Finally getting back to you…Check out @Calderis' excellent “Intents: Origin and Interpretation” post. You and he convince me the Shards did inherit their Mandates from Adonalsium. But Calderis also convinces me Mandate names are how each Vessel interprets the Mandate and not the “pure intent,” as he calls it. I posted a theory that “pure intent” – the Shard’s true Mandate – is the magical means by which Shards give their power to mortals. Each Shard has its own thematic mechanic. That thread might be the best place to continue our discussion of Mandates. I address the “broken off” WoB there. So far, no one on this thread has questioned what I think are the more controversial parts of my Cosmere Magic Theory – classification of magic systems, their mechanics, and the role of Catalysts. Also, no one’s commented on my definitions. When you’re otherwise bored, maybe you might look at some of this stuff? Again, thanks for the discussion. Regards!
  12. Outstanding post, @Calderis! You’ve clarified (for me at least) an important part of cosmere magic. Mandates (Intent) vs. Personality Here’s more support for your theory: Honor’s Mandate (intent) IMO makes Cognitive Connections. Tanavast interprets this Mandate as binding through oaths (“On my honor…”). If we believe the Stormfather, Honor comes to care more about oath form than he does about oath meaning. Dalinar interprets the Shard’s “Connection-making” Mandate as “Unity,” not Honor. I suspect Dalinar’s Unity magic will have different mechanics than oaths alone. A recent WoB addresses this (emphasis added), though Brandon blunts it with ambiguity: Your Rayse example is also apt. IMO, Odium’s Mandate breaks Cognitive Connections. He styles himself the Passion Shard because passion breaks Connections between people. The Thrill causes Dalinar to kill his wife and soldiers. Odium leaves Dalinar weeping, “Alone. So alone” – un-Connected, except for the single gloryspren that thwarts Odium and keeps Dalinar’s Connection to Honor. Rayse’s “loathsome” personality makes him murder other Vessels. That’s not a necessary use of his power. You note the same thing about Ruin. Sazed says Ruin’s Mandate is “intelligent decay,” entropy. Leras tells Kelsier in M:SH that “ “Everything passes, nothing is eternal. That is what Ati always claimed....” This Mandate overwhelms – decays – Ati’s “kind and generous” personality. Mandates’ Origin I agree, but I think the Shattering occurred after Adonalsium’s death (probably immediately after). Brandon says “Adonalsium Shattered because he was killed.” IMO, the Shattering is the post-death division of Adonalsium’s power. You've convinced me the Vessels could and did choose how to allocate the power. Frost tells Hoid that Rayse “is what we made him to be, old friend. And that is what he, unfortunately, wished to become.” Frost himself distinguishes between Mandate – “what we made him to be” – and personality – “what he…wished to become.” I like how your theory gives new meaning to old evidence. The Vessels’ bodies are long vaporized. To me, Adonalsium, Shards, splinters, and Cognitive Shadows are all minds imprinted on power. I think death to these entities means “mind-death,” loss of the ability to direct their power. Undirected power may Shatter or splinter, but that occurs after mind-death. We may just have a different understanding of the Cognitive Realm. (Every time I think I understand it, something new or weird pops up…) To me, power that develops consciousness automatically “drops into” the CR like Roshar’s bodiless spren do. The Vessels’ minds differ from Adonalsium’s in their capacity only – finite versus omniscient. The minds welded to power all still reside in the CR. This recent WoB (emphasis added) states the Vessels’ finite minds (unlike Adonalsium’s omniscient mind) cannot tap into “infinite power.” I think this WoB promises some interesting twists, like a Shard battle where the more imaginative Vessel beats the nominally more powerful one. Thanks, Calderis! This is among the best theories I’ve read in a while. Nice job! You inspired me to figure out what the “pure intents” are.
  13. Brandon’s explanation for “corrupted” Investiture – a “mixing of different Shards” – raises a question about Nightblood’s history. How could Nightblood acquire another Shard’s Investiture before he left Nalthis? Warbreaker occurs before WoK. Following is speculation built on “black smoke.” I think Nightblood isn’t some piece of “steel” shaped like a sword. I think Shashara took a “dead” spren Shardblade from Roshar when the Five Scholars visited. Honor and Cultivation are the other Investitures comprising Nightblood. Here’s the text description of Nightblood’s creation from Vasher’s point of view (Warbreaker, Kindle p. 569-70, emphasis added): Brandon further addresses this last bolded statement in his Warbreaker Annotations (emphasis added): Analysis Vasher suggests Shashara competed with Yesteel for scholarly preeminence. I think she borrowed one of Vasher’s “tricks” – she took a Shardblade home from Roshar to experiment on and told the other Scholars it was “steel.” The Scholars were among the earliest Worldhoppers. They may have heard stories of Shardblades, but didn’t know what Shardblades actually were: “Nightblood is an attempt by someone who didn’t know how Shardblades were made to create a Shardblade using a different magic system.” The other Scholars wouldn’t recognize Nightblood as a “god metal” made from a spren of Honor and/or Cultivation. They’d just accept that an unrustable hard metal is “steel.” (Or maybe Shashara shouted to her colleague, “Yes – steel!” and they misunderstood her? Da-dum…) Every other source stating Nightblood is Awakened “steel” derives from the quoted text, including fan questions and Brandon’s responses. If Nightblood really is steel, that forecloses my speculation. But maybe Shashara felt shamed Yesteel had “shown her up.” Maybe she found her own “trick” to prove herself. Consider the following evidence. 1. Brandon says Nightblood needs to feed on Investiture because he is “leaky.” But Endowment’s Investiture “sticks.” Stormlight “leaks.” Nightblood’s “black smoke” looks like the black smoke streaming from the eyes of those killed by a Shardblade. 2. 1,000 Breaths seems too few to Awaken and give consciousness to “steel.” “This process shouldn’t have worked…. Nightblood should not be alive.” Maybe 1,000 Breaths IS enough to Awaken the “dead” – unconscious – spren that comprises the Shardblade. There are two paraphrased WoBs about this that may refer to the same conversation. One says “a piece of stone or wood or cloth or plain metal” with 1,000 Breaths “needs more” to be as Invested as Nightblood. The other RAFOs a similar question. 3. “Nightblood is one of the most heavily Invested things in the cosmere that is not a Shard.” If I am right, Nightblood permanently holds the Investiture of a full Radiantspren plus Breaths equivalent to half a Returned. Radiantspren themselves constitute a large amount of Investiture: “The Investiture in a Shardblade is much greater than your average Allomancer.” Shardblades also exceed the Investiture in the Bands of Mourning. Radiantspren and Breaths both naturally bond with humans and should have no problem bonding with one another. Breaths adjust to their holder’s Identity, even when the holder is a barely Awakened spren from Roshar. Brandon says he can’t accurately compare Nightblood’s power with a Shardblade’s power, but “when he is fully consuming Investiture he can do some really freaky things.” A footnote to that WoB says, “In the past Brandon has described Nightblood as being ‘magnitudes more invested than a shardblade’.” I’ve not seen that description. “Magnitudes” implies logarithmic orders of ten. That seems unlikely unless some of the Investiture Nightblood consumes adheres to him – making him “fatter” as one poster puts it. Without seeing Brandon’s description, I’m inclined to discount the footnote. Even without absorbing new Investiture, holding a Radiantspren and half a Returned would still make Nightblood “one of the most heavily Invested things in the cosmere….” Brandon RAFOs questions about what happens to the consumed Investiture. 4. Nale treats Nightblood as the equivalent of a highspren Shardblade. Nightblood might have started as a highspren, a Skybreaker’s spren. But Shashara’s Awakening command to “Destroy Evil” permanently overwrites the spren’s original “ideal.” Discerning “evil” is Nale’s primary Divine Attribute – “Just.” “Justice” is a moral judgment, the weighing of good and evil. Nale attunes to an Investiture that wants to “Destroy Evil.” He wouldn’t have kept or given Szeth the sword if he didn’t sense the spren – and not just the Breaths or Awakened “steel” – inside Nightblood. Taln recognized Pattern inside Shallan when she visited him in the ardent hospital. 5. Nightblood “speaks” like a child, much like Syl did before her bond with Kaladin developed more fully. Vasher notices incipient maturity in Nightblood, as if Nightblood’s bond were also developing. I speculate below that Nightblood and Szeth will bond fully now that Nightblood’s back on Roshar. 6. The Frankenstein image of Nightblood as a patchwork of magics fits nicely. The full WoB is ambiguous. “A bunch of souls” might refer only to Breaths, but the "something" they are stuffed into could be a "dead" Shardblade - a spren. Szeth Will Bond Nightblood-Spren The spren constituting Nightblood is sufficiently Awake as to bond with its holders. Szeth’s soul is more broken than most – he’s been wrongfully made Truthless and then killed. Lift sees his soul’s “after-image.” This opens opportunities for Nightblood to begin a more intrusive bonding process. I believe he will learn morality from Szeth – a warrior-priest turned unwilling assassin. Szeth has lived evil. He will know how to direct Nightblood to destroy it. In Szeth’s hand, Nightblood will become the “Sword of Retribution” pictured in WoR. Can he direct Nightblood to consume only the voidspren inside the listeners? Nightblood will tell Szeth his spren-name. On Roshar he can form a Nahel bond with Szeth and give him the Skybreaker power to bind the Gravitation and Division Surges. Szeth will become a Knight Radiant, and Nightblood will be his Shardblade. “Nightblood can feed off Stormlight, but Szeth can't draw in Stormlight right now. So Szeth better not draw that sword, for a while at least. [Emphasis added.]” * * * * * That’s a lot of speculation to build from “black smoke.” Is there any fire there?
  14. Why Odium needs to kill all humans to leave Greater Roshar has bugged me since I joined the Shard in 2014. This is my third or fourth attempt to answer that question. Theory Honor has bound Odium’s Investiture into the “hearts of men.” Odium must destroy Roshar’s human population to free himself from Greater Roshar and recapture his trapped Investiture. Analysis 1. I begin with @ROSHtaFARian2.0's interesting post about Ashyn and its bacteria-based magic. ROSHtaFARian2.0 concludes that magic comes from Honor and Cultivation, but others in that thread rightly (IMO) point out Odium was the god who came with humans to Roshar. This also fits the WoB that Odium came to Roshar after Honor and Cultivation. 2. A bacteria-based magic system comports with my theory of Odium’s magic. IMO, Odium breaks bonds to power his magic. Bacteria breaks down the human body. I think Odium Invested Ashyn’s bacteria to grant magic to Ashyn humans. 3. As ROSHtaFARian2.0 says, bacteria-based magic wouldn’t work on Roshar. Humans came there without magic. But they did come with Odium-Invested bacteria infecting their bodies. 4. I think Honor bound Odium’s Investiture to humans at some point, perhaps immediately on their arrival? Maybe he integrated the Invested bacteria into their bodies? Unclear. 5. This may explain why there are no Honor/Cultivation “Hatespren.” Human emotions spawn all kinds of spren, but we never see Hatespren, only Voidspren that personify Singer emotions. This seems odd to me. Perhaps human hate is internalized into Odium’s Investiture? That bit of Odium Investiture may also explain why Roshar’s humans are incorrigibly fractious.
  15. Thank you all for your kind comments. I do hope folks will also look at the “Cosmere Glossary” and “Every Magic System Analyzed” posts that immediately follow the OP. Additional fodder for discussion… @Weltall, I appreciate the shout-out on the Adonalsium anagram, but this comes from a 2015 or -16 Reddit post. I think Brandon did intend the anagram, even if he wanted the “Adonai” reference. He added the letters to “Adonai” to make the anagram work. Many people agree with you that Shards inherited their Mandates (intents) from Adonalsium. It’s a valid interpretation of ambiguous “facts.” I prefer my equally valid interpretation for these reasons: 1. Here’s another sentence from the OP’s “powers are simply tools” WoB (emphasis added): “The means of getting powers…are related to the Shards, but not the powers themselves.” Another WoB says (emphasis added), “The 'role' of the Shard has to do with the WAY the magic is obtained, not what it can do.” I conclude from this the powers are the same for all Shards; and Mandates are not intrinsic to power. 2. As you say, a different group of Vessels would have different Mandates. That suggests Mandates’ source is the Vessels themselves. 3. We’re parsing the words of a paraphrased WoB; but to me, the “permanent imprint” WoB doesn’t address the source of Mandates. Brandon says, “Holding a Shard is a contest of willpower…over time.” I think he refers to Mandate compulsion. IMO, to maximize power’s efficient flow, power permanently adapts to the first Vessel’s mind and compels each Vessel to align with that Mandate. Mandate permanence and compulsion keep wide a Vessel’s internal “mind-spirit” Connection that directs power. 4. Preservation tells Kelsier in M:SH that "Everything passes, nothing is eternal. That is what Ati always claimed. [Emphasis added.]” IMO, Ati “always” identified with Ruin (Mandate) despite being a “kind and generous man” (personality). 5. As gods, each Shard’s Mandate is “divine” and “separated from the virtues that gave it context.” That doesn’t mean Shards inherit their Mandate from Adonalsium, just that each Mandate is unsullied by the others. 6. “And in the end, it doesn’t even matter” (Linkin Park) whether Mandates are intrinsic to Spiritual Realm power or are imposed in the Cognitive Realm. Power and magic systems IMO would still work the same way. Aluminum and the Shattering: I theorize aluminum makes Adonalsium brain dead. Your cited WoB says aluminum renders Investiture inert and blocks Investiture’s effects. Aluminum does not have to “actively drain or damage Investiture” to make it inert. The Investiture simply becomes non-reactive. When your mind is Investiture and becomes non-reactive, like Adonalsium’s, aluminum kills you. In the cited WoB, aluminum doesn’t prevent a Returned from Returning because the Divine Breath causes the Return, not the Returned’s former body. When the Returned does Return, the aluminum sword prevents the Divine Breath from healing the Returned’s body at the point of contact. Aluminum renders the Divine Breath inert – non-reactive – where body meets sword. Hence, the hole. The Shardblade example’s the same. The aluminum safety guard makes the Shardblade inert where it contacts the Blade – the Blade can’t cut the soul with the guard on. Shardblades suggest if the Returned removes the aluminum sword, the Divine Breath would activate and heal the hole. I look forward to your further thoughts. Thanks again for your comments.
  16. Some pre-publication observations and predictions: Spren Wars I think Syl and the yellow-white spren Yixli both personify the “protection” ideal. Yixli shepherds the listeners to Revolar, warns them of Kaladin, and then recommends Kaladin (Mr. Protection himself) to other listeners. Yixli’s spren type overflies the crowds and inspects buildings, like a police force. But Yixli appears to be a stone spren. I interpret this to mean listeners personify stone as “protection,” not the wind like humans do. This represents a different cultural perspective and relationship with their environment. Just as humans enslaved the listeners, I think human ideas (personified as spren) banished listener ideas (also personified as spren) from Roshar’s subastral (its place in the Cognitive Realm) to Braize’s. Brandon’s message: Colonization eradicates native cultures. Brandon says Braize is “like a prison.” Odium’s Invested and “captive” there. I think Braize is also a prison for the listener spren. IMO, the Oathpact bars the Cognitive Realm bridge between Roshar and Braize. When the Herald’s “break,” listener spren pour across the bridge; then into Roshar’s Physical Realm as listeners (and other lifeforms) assume their symbiotic forms. I bet Braize’s subastral holds gemstones instead of glass beads. IMO, that’s how listeners perceive ideas. Re-Shephir and Taln This reminds me of Taln left behind in Damnation while the other Heralds escaped. (I may have missed someone else first suggesting this.) It parallels the WoK Chapter 54 Epigraph’s death rattle: Posters think this epigraph refers to Taln (and it may). But what if it refers to Re-Shephir? It says the burdens of nine, not ten. Taln bears the burdens of ten, since he’s part of the Oathpact. Maybe Re-Shephir says, “Almighty, release me,” because she was glued to Urithiru’s Stormlightning Rod by massive amounts of Stormlight? Other questions: What were the Unmade doing in Urithiru’s basement when Desolation ended? Could this be the same moment as the Heralds’ Aharietiam “triumph?” Why weren’t the Heralds and Unmade fighting each other? Was Re-Shephir abandoned because Taln was abandoned? The Fused I’ve said for a long time that Odium’s magic can’t form bonds. Instead, Odium severs Connections. I think the Fused prove this. IMO, voidspren act like viruses and change the Spiritual DNA of a target spren. The “infused” voidspren mutates the “natural” spren, giving Odium control of the natural spren’s bonded host. The voidspren itself doesn’t bond the host. I think Syl hissed at the Fused-Spren because she sensed the corrupted natural spren that’s part of it. If the Fused can direct Odium’s power without a bond, then bonds can’t be Roshar’s Focus. (Sorry, @Calderis.) “Fusion” may turn out to be a form of bond, but the word implies a full joining, a union, not merely a symbiotic Connection. Gavilar’s Sphere @Pagerunner and others view Chapter 31 as proving Gavilar’s Sphere holds only Voidlight and not an Unmade. I think the Sphere holds both. Fabrial gemstones hold both Stormlight and a spren. I think this type of parallelism is important and intentional. I continue to believe there must be an “Everstormfather.” Just as the Stormfather personifies the highstorms and distributes Stormlight, the Everstormfather is a giant Odium spren that personifies the Everstorm and distributes Voidlight. (I agree the Everstorm is Odium’s Rosharan perpendicularity.) The Fused infuse themselves with (IMO) bond-breaking Voidlight. The Fused use the energy from their internal broken bonds to summon the Surges. I think the Urithiru Fused looks wasted and incomplete because his body breaks down to make his magic. The Origin As a total guess, I think the Origin may be the entrance to the Cognitive Realm bridge between Roshar and Yolen. Yolen is the “origin.” I’m unsure how this squares with our knowledge of perpendicularities, but I’ll throw this possibility out there…
  17. Online dictionaries define bond as "a thing used to tie something or to fasten things together." To fuse is to "join or blend to form a single entity." I see this as the difference between the magics. The Nahel bond "fastens" Syl to Kaladin. "Fusing" causes the Fused-Spren to "form a single entity" with the Fused. That's not a bond. Also, "cosmere bond" (to me) is symbiotic and connotes mutual benefit. A "parasitic" bond seems contrary to mutual benefit. To my mind, parasitic bonds "shouldn't" be a form of cosmere bond, even for Odium or more appropriately Ruin (FWIW). I can see it either way and raise the question rather than answer it. Posters have debated this epigraph before, and many agree with you. The debate seems to pivot on the meaning of "become." One side equates "become" with "assume" the burdens. I don't think the words are synonyms, but people can differ.
  18. Part 3 - The Mechanics of Every Magic System This post accompanies My Revised Cosmere Magic Theory and Glossary of Cosmere Terms. My theory’s framework rests on the difference between “power” and other forms of Investiture. I believe Spiritual Realm power is raw and undifferentiated – the same everywhere – but converts into unique forms of Investiture on each planet. I call each planet’s Investiture “local,” meaning found only on that planet, to distinguish it from power. This WoB and the BoM Ars Arcanum (“On the Three Metallic Arts – Allomancy”) suggest there are three types of cosmere magic systems: “Interaction with nature” systems – People interact with local Investiture, but cannot direct magic of any kind. Non-Catalytic “people with magic” systems – People can direct local Investiture. Catalytic “people with magic” systems – People use Catalysts to direct power. In most cases, people consume the Catalyst to Invest themselves with power. In a few Catalytic systems, the Catalyst causes power to Invest an object. Every magic system uses power or local Investiture as the Fuel that causes magic. Every system also includes a means to Focus power. Magic Users are the “people with magic” in their systems. Some “people with magic” systems add the Catalyst component to summon power. IMO, Adonalsium and the Shards Focus their power by command. Gods think, and magic happens. I think divine command is the Focus of every planet’s inherent Investiture and most of the “interaction with nature” systems. Once power has been Focused into local Investiture (a process Khriss calls “an Investiture”), I believe local Investiture is not further Focused – it already does what it’s intended to do. This post presents my best guess of how each known magic system works on each planet (in alphabetical order). First of The Sun Aviar (“Interaction with nature” system): Fuel: Patji’s Eye Investiture Focus: Adonalsium/Shard command Brandon calls the Patji’s Eye ecosystem an “interaction with nature” system. IMO, mortals cannot direct Aviar, which choose whom they bond to. Dusk doesn’t direct the Aviar’s magic; he interacts with and benefits from his Aviar. When asked whether the pool is a “natural manifestation” or a perpendicularity, Brandon opts for the former. I think he means the pool holds Adonalsium’s inherent Investiture. I suspect a Shard later added its Investiture to the pool, but doesn’t “reside” there; hence, no perpendicularity. I believe the Aviar choose “bond-buddies” only if those mortals show a self-reliant, independent temperament, like Taldain Sand Masters. Even if Autonomy didn’t lay a “dragon egg” in Patji’s Eye, the magic system still seems to reward certain behaviors. To me, that selectivity smacks of some Shard’s Mandated Investiture (Investiture subject to an intent), not Adonalsium’s Investiture. Because Patji’s Eye is ‘natural,” I don’t consider Aviar a Focus even though island and mainland species produce different magical effects. Every Patji lifeform has some Investiture-granted cognitive ability. The Patji Investiture seems to interact differently with each species’ Spiritual DNA. IOW, I think the Investiture itself is always the same, already Focused by Adonalsium’s and/or a Shard’s command. I think Patji’s Eye is like the Old Magic, which also uses its Investiture to grant different magical effects – unique boons and curses. Nalthis Non-Awakening Breath Transfers (Non-Catalytic “people with magic” system): Fuel: Breath Focus: Command (“My Breath is yours”) Magic User: Breath transferor Like with Feruchemy, another “end-neutral” system, some “facilitating power” probably lends Spiritual energy to Breath transfers (its “fuel”). IMO, the Investiture that causes Breath transfer – its Fuel – is Breath itself. As innate Investiture that acts as Fuel in an end-neutral system, I think Breath resembles the Feruchemical gene. IMO, color loss from Breath transfers comes from the transferor’s reduced Breaths, lowering his Heightening. I think color loss from simple Breath Transfers doesn’t cause the transferor to become Invested with Endowment’s power. The Returned (Non-Catalytic “people with magic” system): Fuel: Divine Breath Focus: Command (“My Life is yours. My Breath becomes yours.” Warbreaker, Chapter 57, Kindle p. 629.) Magic User: Returned The Returned are Cognitive Shadows bound to the ideal their Divine Breath represents. Brandon says the Honorblades/Heralds are essentially the same magic system. The Returned’s magic is a specialized form of Breath transfer. The Returned transfers its Divine Breath to heal the recipient. The equivalent Fifth Heightening of 2,000 Breaths grants the recipient perfect health, which is what Divine Breath does. Awakening (Catalytic system): Fuel: Endowment’s power Focus: Visualized commands Magic User: Awakener Catalyst: Invested electromagnetic radiation (EMR) I think Awakening’s Catalyst is the Invested EMR colored objects absorb. “Draining color” withdraws the absorbed Investiture from the colored object. Awakeners can easily “drain” black (fully absorbed EMR), but cannot drain white (fully reflected EMR). Investiture withdrawal causes colored objects to turn gray, just like a Shardblade-severed limb that’s loses its Connection to the soul. I theorize Endowment Invested the Tears of Edgli with vivid color because that narrows the reflected light EMR spectrum. The broader absorbed EMR spectrum remains, leaving more Investiture for an Awakener to withdraw. The “sticky” dyes the Tears create mark where an Awakener can find Investiture. Roshar The “Old Magic” (“Interaction with nature” system) Fuel: Cultivation’s power Focus: Adonalsium/Cultivation command I think the Old Magic is an Adonalsium-created “interaction with nature” system that Shard Investiture changed. I speculate the Nightwatcher (by some other name) began as a large splinter that native Rosharans personified into a sapient spren. We don’t know its original magic. I think Cultivation’s Investiture and human personification of Cultivation morphed that spren into the Nightwatcher. IMO, the Old Magic remains an “interaction with nature” system, though Shard Invested, because mortals don’t direct its magic. They can ask the Nightwatcher for a boon; but as Av tells Baxil, she “gives [the boon] she feels you deserve, then gives you a curse to go along with it.” (WoK, Interlude I-7, Kindle p. 709.) Like Aviar, the Nightwatcher’s magic makes only Cognitive changes. Surgebinding (Catalytic system): Fuel: Honor/Cultivation’s power Focus: Radiantspren Magic User: Knights Radiant Catalyst: Stormlight I believe Radiantspren’s mixed Investitures make them dual Focuses, giving each Surgebinder access to two powers. Some posters think Roshar’s bonds are its Focus. IMO, Surgebinders consume Stormlight as their Catalyst to cause power to Invest them. The Radiantspren as Focus determines which power Invests the Surgebinder. I think the Surgebinder “binds” the Surges by directing the Invested power to create the magical effect – choosing gravity’s vector or drawing a new persona. Fabrials (Catalytic system): Fuel: Honor/Cultivation’s power Focus: Adonalsium spren Magic User: Fabrial user Catalyst: Stormlight Fabrials seem to rely on pre-Shattering Adonalsium spren, which Focus a single power like fire, life or gravity. Though these are Adonalsium spren, the power they draw comes from Honor or Cultivation. IMO, the fabrial gemstone filters Stormlight to replicate the symbiotic conditions of a gemheart. Spren consume the Stormlight and Focus the power that Invests them on the machine they think is a lifeform. The spren-Focused power animates the machine for the desired magical effect. Voidbringing (May not be a magic system): Fuel: Odium’s power Focus: Voidspren Magic User: Unclear Voidbringing may be something Odium alone does and may not be a magic system. It’s like calling the Nahel bond a magic system. Here’s what I think Voidbringing is. I believe the listener spren are “Voidbringers.” “Listener spren” are spren the listeners personify and bond with to create listener forms. These spren differ from the spren humans personify. IMO, listener spren reside on Braize between Desolations. Voidbringing to me means bringing listener spren into Roshar’s Physical Realm. Listener spren are Voidbringers because they easily succumb to Odium’s influence. I believe Odium’s voidspren invade listener spren like a virus and mutate the target spren’s Spiritual DNA. Odium then controls the target spren’s host. I believe Odium Invests each voidspren with the power to change innate Investiture – Voidbringing’s Fuel. Like a mini-Hemalurgical spike, the voidspren then merges its Investiture with the target spren’s Investiture. IMO, stormspren are a fusion of windspren and voidspren that causes listener stormform. Voidbinding (Catalytic system): Fuel: Odium’s power Focus: Voidspren Magic User: Voidbinders Catalyst: Voidlight I believe Voidbinding is Odium’s form of Surgebinding. IMO, Odium’s power severs bonds but can’t make them. That’s why there are Nine Unmade – no Bondsmith analog. I speculate Voidbinding breaks bonds to bind the same Surges as Surgebinding. Just as Stormlight “makes things grow,” I believe Voidbinders infuse themselves with Voidlight as their Catalyst to sever their body’s bonds. Scadrial Allomancy (Catalytic system): Fuel: Preservation’s power Focus: Metal Magic User: Allomancer Catalyst: Metal I think the metal Allomancers burn is both Catalyst and Focus. Any Allomantic metal is a Catalyst that causes the Allomancer to Invest himself with Preservation’s power. The specific metal chosen acts as a Focus to determine the specific power the Allomancer Invests himself with – rioting, soothing, leeching, etc. IMO, the Allomancer then directs the Focused power that Invests him to make magic: how and when to use the power to riot, soothe or leech. While metal Catalysts are consumed in Allomancy (its fuel), its Fuel is Preservation’s power. Feruchemy (Non-Catalytic “people with magic” system): Fuel: Feruchemical gene Focus: Metal Magic User: Feruchemist While the Feruchemist’s “end-neutral” internal Investiture - the Feruchemical gene – causes attribute time-shifting and is its Fuel, I believe Feruchemy consumes a “fuel” to make the magic. Brandon says “end-neutral” systems rely on a “facilitating power.” This “facilitating power” keeps the Feruchemist’s internal Investiture “end-neutral” and thermodynamically sound. I think each Feruchemical metal is a Focus for the specific power that “facilitates” time-shifting the corresponding attribute. Hemalurgy (Catalytic “people with magic” system): Fuel: Ruin’s power Focus: Metal Magic User: Hemalurgist (the “spiker”) Catalyst: Metal I believe Hemalurgy’s Fuel is the power to transfer innate Investiture. The metal Focus/Catalyst causes this power to Invest the spike, but not the Hemalurgist. Sel AonDor (Catalytic system): Fuel: The Dor (mix of Devotion and Dominion’s power) Focus: Aons Magic User: Elantrian Catalyst: Ground Investiture I believe Sel’s ground holds the Investiture that Catalyzes AonDor. Khriss says “early on…the powers…permeated the landscape.” After Odium splinters Sel’s Shards, “the very landscape itself has become Invested to the point that it has a growing self-awareness.” (AU, “The Selish System,” Kindle pp. 17, 18.) This suggests Sel’s ground holds Investiture, like Roshar’s highstorms hold Stormlight. While a Reod Elantrian, Raoden must draw Aon Rao on the ground for power to pour through that Focus; air drawing Aons doesn’t work. Once Aon Rao Focuses the Dor into Elantris, I believe the “mostly Spiritual” Elantrians can draw any Aon without further catalysis. Distance from Aon Rao proportionally weakens an Elantrian’s ability to make magic. We know little of Sel’s other magic systems. The following summaries are (even more) speculative. Dakhor Dor (Catalytic system): Fuel: The Dor (mix of Devotion and Dominion’s power) Focus: Symbols inscribed on bones Magic User: Dakhor monk Catalyst: Ground Investiture Hrathen’s arm glows when he summons the Dor. That suggests Dakhor Dor is a Catalytic system where power Invests the monk itself. I believe Sel’s ground Investiture Catalyst leaches through the ecosystem like Patji’s Eye Investiture does and enters Sel’s lifeforms, including the monks’ bodies (bones). IMO, Dilaf sacrifices monks to Catalyze teleportation with the investiture the monks have absorbed. The bone-inscribed symbols and chanting twist the monks’ bones and bodies, which Brandon says reflects the twisting of their souls. In this, they resemble Elantrians, whose bodies the Dor also changes. Dilaf and Hrathen use Dakhor Dor in Elantris and Teod, far from Fjordell. It’s unclear (to me) how they do this. My best guess is the Dakhor monastery holds some power-amplifying form like Aon Rao that transmits Dakhor Dor power to them through their bone-inscribed symbols. Forgery and Bloodsealing (Catalytic systems): Fuel: The Dor (mix of Devotion and Dominion’s power) Focus: Essence stamp forms Magic User: Forger Catalyst: Ground Investiture Fuel: The Dor (mix of Devotion and Dominion’s power) Focus: Bone stamp forms Magic User: Bloodsealer Catalyst: Ground Investiture These systems have identical mechanics. Their Catalyst summons the Dor to Invest each systems’ soulstamps to change or mark the target’s Spiritual DNA. IMO, Shai’s squid ink Catalyzes her stamps, and her blood Catalyzes the Bloodsealer’s stamps. As with the Dakhor monks, I think these organic compounds hold Sel’s ground Investiture. ChayShan (Non-Catalytic “people with magic” system): Fuel: Ground Investiture Focus: Dance forms Magic User: JinDo ChayShan practitioner ChayShan practitioners can use their magic far from JinDo. That’s why I believe the Dor doesn’t Fuel ChayShan, and it is a Non-Catalytic system. IMO, ChayShan gives JinDo the ability to redistribute their body’s energy. Forton’s Potion (Non-Catalytic “people with magic” system): Fuel: Ground Investiture Focus: Unknown form Magic User: Hrovell potion maker Like ChayShan, Forton’s potion creates magical effects outside Hrovell, suggesting it’s a Non-Catalytic system that doesn’t use the Dor. I speculate the system’s Fuel is the ground Investiture held in each potion’s ingredients. Their Focus should be a form, but we’ve not seen a potion maker on-screen. Some posters suggest the potion stirring form is the Focus. I think the mix of ingredients also determines the potion’s effect. Maybe there’s a “hand-dance” as the potion maker adds his ingredients, plus the stirring forms? Taldain Sand Mastery (Catalytic system): Fuel: Autonomy’s power Focus: Unknown, but I believe it’s an Autonomy splinter Magic User: Sand Master Catalyst: Body water I speculate Sand Mastery’s Focus may be an Autonomy splinter that attaches itself as innate Investiture to the Sand Master’s soul. This splinter resembles Radiantspren, since it appears attracted to a “self-reliant,” autonomous temperament. I believe Taldain’s oceans hold the planet’s inherent Investiture left by Adonalsium. Autonomy Invests the oceans through solar radiation, combining her Investiture with Adonalsium’s. Taldain’s Water Cycle – evaporation, condensation, precipitation – spreads the combined Investiture to the lungs and stomachs of Sand Masters. Sand Masters consume this Investiture, now held in their body, to Catalyze their magic and summon Autonomy’s power to direct the sand’s microflora. Threnody Shades (“Interaction with nature” system): Fuel: Ambition’s Investiture Focus: Unknown Brandon calls Threnody’s Shades an “interaction with nature” system. Khriss says “ripped off chunks of Ambition’s power twisted…both the people and the planet of Threnody.” (AU, The Threnodite System, Kindle p. 417.) Because power Invested both people and the planet, some people turn into Cognitive Shadows at death, their consciousness “imprinting” on their “extra Investiture.” Khriss says Shades are “barely self-aware.” That suggests there probably isn’t much “extra Investiture” added to people who become Shades or that there’s a long time between death and Shade-dom that causes Shades to lose most of their consciousness.
  19. Part 2 - Glossary of Cosmere Terms This is a glossary of terms I deem important to understand cosmere magic. Most are MY DEFINITIONS, NOT CANON. This glossary accompanies "My Revised Cosmere Magic Theory" post above. I capitalize all defined terms. “Adonalsium” – Adonalsium is the mind that Directs the cosmere’s Power immediately before the Shattering. I speculate Power is the cosmere’s original “one substance” that at some point develops consciousness on its own and becomes Adonalsium. Adonalsium is an anagram for “a mind, a soul.” “Ambient Magic” – This is how Brandon describes the magic of “Interaction with Nature” Magic Systems, “magical aspects to the setting.” “Bond” – I think a Bond is a mutually beneficial Connection. Most Connections aren’t symbiotic and aren’t Bonds. On Roshar, spren materialize in the Physical Realm in exchange for granting magic to their hosts. Dictionary definitions highlight that a bond "fastens" objects together. “Catalyst” – Khriss says Magic Users consume a Catalyst to Invest themselves with Power. (BoM, Ars Arcanum, “On the Three Metallic Arts – Allomancy.”) Catalysts differ from chemical catalysts, which are not consumed in their reactions. I believe the cosmere’s Catalysts are made from a Shard’s Essence. I think Stormlight, Scadrial’s metals, Taldain’s body water, Nalthis’ absorbed electromagnetic radiation, and Sel’s Investiture-imbued ground are Catalysts. “Catalytic Magic Systems” – This is my term for Magic Systems that use a Catalyst. Catalytic Magic Systems enable Magic Users to Direct Power. The Catalyst acts as fuel to summon that Power. In Allomancy, AonDor, Awakening, Dakhor Dor, Sand Mastery, Surgebinding, and Voidbinding, I think Magic Users consume the Catalyst to Invest themselves with power. In other Catalytic Magic Systems (like Fabrials, Hemalurgy, Forgery, and Bloodsealing), the Catalyst will cause power to Invest an object. “Cognitive DNA” – Brandon states “people have three sets of DNA.” Cognitive DNA is one such set. I believe the term refers to a person’s unique psychological profile, his or her Cognitive Realm makeup. “Cognitive Realm” – The Realm of the mind, of ideas, feelings and perception. Jasnah says the Cognitive Realm is the place of the unconscious as well as the conscious. “Cognitive Shadow” – The Cognitive Realm remnant of a person who does not pass “beyond” and suffer a final Spiritual death. Cognitive Shadows differ from other forms of Invested consciousness (like spren) because the consciousness comes from a dead person. Examples are Kelsier, the Threnody Shades and the Stormfather (Tanavast’s Cognitive Shadow). IMO, Cognitive Shadows retain their Souls, but their Connection to the Physical Realm severs; and some, like the Shades, seem to suffer Cognitive Realm damage. “Connections” – These are the relationships among Souls (“external” Connections) and the relationships that span Realms (the “internal” Connections between an entity’s mind, body and Soul). Collectively, I call the Soul and its Connections a SpiritWeb. Connections are not an “on/off switch” – a person can be “more” or “less” Connected to something. “Direction” – Sazed says Power needs a mind to Direct it. IMO, the ability to Direct magic distinguishes “People with Magic” Systems from the cosmere’s original “Interaction with Nature” Magic Systems. “Essence” – Brandon gives this term multiple meanings. I prefer the Mistborn meaning, where he describes Essence as a “condensed” or “concentrated” form of Power that manifests in the Physical Realm. He calls the mists, for example, Preservation’s “concentrated essence.” Other meanings: In TES, Shai describes an object’s Soul as an “essence.” The SLA Ars Arcana refers to an “essence” as a substance related to a Surge. “Focus” – I define Focus as the Magic System component that determines which Power is available to perform magic. Focuses include Scadrial’s metals, Nalthis’ commands, Sel’s forms and IMO Roshar’s spren. (Some posters believe Bonds are Roshar’s Focus.) I believe Focuses only Focus Power; once Power has been Focused into Local Investiture, that Local Investiture already does what it’s intended to do. “Fuel” – I define Fuel as the Power or Local Investiture that causes a Magic System’s magical effect. “Fuel” differs from “fuel,” which is a substance consumed to provide energy to the Fuel. For example, a Catalyst IMO “fuels” Power’s Investiture of a Magic User, but the Power itself is the “Fuel” that causes the magical effect. Brandon says Power “fuels” Feruchemy, but the Feruchemical gene is Feruchemy’s Fuel. “Hacking” – IMO, Hacking describes the changes a non-native Magic User must make to their Spiritual DNA to use a non-native Magic System. I think Hacking always requires changes to the non-native’s Identity and may require additional changes to Connections or other magical attributes: “if you can find a way to rewrite your Spiritual DNA, you can do all kinds of funky things.” “Identity” – I define Identity as the relationship between a person and its Shardworld that permits that person to use its Shardworld’s Investiture. Breaths are the only known Investiture that adjust themselves to their holder’s Identity. Identity is encoded in a Magic User’s Spiritual DNA. “Inherent Investiture” – Brandon says Adonalsium left Inherent Investiture on each Planet. I think Inherent Investiture is a Planet’s “magical energy,” Brandon’s magical analog to mundane energy. I believe Inherent Investiture is part of a Planet’s Spiritual DNA, its Soul. Examples IMO include the Investiture Adonalsium placed in Roshar’s highstorms, Sel’s ground, Nalthis’ electromagnetic field, and Taldain’s oceans. I believe Shard Investiture later mutated the Inherent Investiture on these Shardworlds. As a Shard-made planet, Scadrial never held Adonalsium Investiture. “Innate Investiture” – I think Innate Investiture is the substance that makes a Magic User a Magic User. Because Innate Investiture attaches to a Spiritweb, IMO it is a form of “magical matter,” the magical analog to mundane matter. Brandon says, “innate Investiture is when a person is a conduit to/from the Spiritual Realm.” “Intent” – Intent is the non-canonical term Forum Head Administrator Chaos coined to explain the compulsive characteristics of each Shard. See “Mandate.” “’Interaction with Nature’ Magic Systems” – These are the cosmere’s original Magic Systems that rely on Inherent Investiture. IMO Shards later changed the investiture in some of these systems. Mortals cannot Direct the magic in “Interaction with Nature” Magic Systems – mortals can only “interact” with them. Examples include the Patji Eye ecosystem and pre-Shattering Roshar. “Investiture” – Investiture is the cosmere’s magical substance. I believe “an Investiture” is also the process by which Power becomes Invested into Magic Users and other objects. For example, Khriss says burning metals causes “an Investiture” of the Allomancer. (BoM, Ars Arcanum, “On the Three Metallic Arts – Allomancy.”) Brandon calls Investiture the “building blocks of the cosmere.” Each Realm has unique forms of Investiture. “Kinetic Investiture” – Brandon says, “Kinetic Investiture is energy/power that is being actively (currently) used.” Nightblood can “feed off that Kinetic Investiture” when an Allomancer burns metals. I define Kinetic Investiture as Power in transition between Realms. “Local Investiture” – This is my term for a planet’s unique forms of Investiture. I use this term to distinguish a planet’s unique Local Investiture (like Stormlight or Breath) from Spiritual Realm Power, which is always the same. “Magic System” – I define a Magic System as any cosmere phenomenon that enables lifeforms to participate in magic. I believe there are two kinds of Magic Systems: “People with Magic” Systems, where mortals can Direct magic, and “Interaction with Nature” Magic Systems, where mortals and other lifeforms only “interact” with magic. “People with Magic” Systems are further divided into Catalytic and Non-Catalytic systems. “Magic User” – I define a Magic User as a sapient mortal who Directs magic. “Mandate” – This non-canonical term refers to the compulsion that attaches to a Shard’s use of Power. The term derives from Sazed’s observation that, without a mind to Direct the Powers, they have “only a vague will of their own, tied in to the mandate of their abilities.” (HoA, Chapter 79 Epigraph.) IMO, Mandates reflect each Vessel’s Cognitive DNA at the time it ascended. “Manifestation of Investiture” – I define a Manifestation of Investiture as the way Investiture manifests in the Physical Realm. I don’t think the term refers to Magic Systems. Thus, spren and Stormlight are both “manifestations” of Roshar’s Investiture. Neither is a Magic System, though both IMO are components of the Surgebinding and Fabrial Magic Systems. “Major Shardworld” – This is a Planet a Shard currently resides on. The term includes a Planet on which a resident Shard has been Splintered. Examples are Nalthis, Roshar, Sel, Scadrial, and Taldain. “Minor Shardworld” – This is a Planet a Shard Invests but doesn’t reside on. Minor Shardworlds hold less Investiture than Major Shardworlds. Examples include First of the Sun and Threnody. “Non-Catalytic ‘People with Magic’ Systems” – This is my term for “People with Magic” Systems that use Local Investiture as Fuel. Feruchemy and non-Awakening Breath transfers are examples. “’People with Magic’ Systems” – Brandon says these are the Magic Systems Shards create that enable mortals to Direct a magical effect. I believe there are two kinds: Catalytic and Non-Catalytic. Mortals Direct Shard Power in the Catalytic Magic Systems, but not in the Non-Catalytic “People with Magic” Systems. These systems are found only on Major Shardworlds. “Perpendicularity” – A Perpendicularity is a conduit between the three Realms. A Shard’s residence on a planet creates a Perpendicularity, and they exist only on Major Shardworlds. The presence of a Perpendicularity makes it difficult for a Shard to divest itself from that planet. “Physical DNA” – This is the genetic makeup of the Physical Realm structure of lifeforms. It corresponds to Earth’s DNA. The term may also refer to the chemical structure of all things, whether or not alive, but Brandon has not clarified his meaning. “Physical Realm” – This term refers to the physical structure of the Cosmere, the “floor” in Preservation’s M:SH metaphor of the Realms. It corresponds to our own universe. “Planet” – I believe Planets Shards never Invest are just Planets and not Shardworlds. IMO, most Planets are not Shardworlds and hold only Adonalsium’s Inherent Investiture. I think both Major and Minor Shardworlds are Planets Shards Invest. “Power” – Power is my word for what Brandon alternately describes as the “godly powers,” the “powers of creation,” the “energy of Shards,” and similar formulations. Power is Spiritual Realm Investiture that’s not part of a Spiritweb. I think Power is the cosmere’s original “one substance” and predates Adonalsium’s consciousness. It is the Spiritual Realm’s “energy” (just as Spiritwebs are the Spiritual Realm’s “matter”). Power can convert into matter, energy or other forms of Investiture, but despite a directly contrary WoB, I believe matter, energy and other forms of Investiture cannot convert back into Power. I explain why in my Thermodynamics definition. “Realms” – The three aspects of cosmere reality: the Spiritual, Cognitive and Physical Realms. “Shard” – The “Shards of Adonalsium [are] pieces of the power of creation itself” that passed in equal parts to the sixteen Vessels that Shattered Adonalsium. The sixteen Shards originally were of equal Power, but at least four of the Shards have since been Splintered and two Shards are now held by the same Vessel (Sazed). Shards are “mostly Spiritual” but exist in all three Realms. “Shardpool” – This non-canonical term is commonly used to describe the liquid manifestation of a Shard on a Shardworld. The term is not a synonym for Perpendicularity, though many Shardpools are part of Perpendicularities. The Patji Shardpool, for example, is not a Perpendicularity while the Well of Ascension is. “Shardworld” – IMO, this term refers to Planets Shards Invest. “Shattering” – This is the event by which the Vessels “killed” Adonalsium and broke his Power into sixteen equal pieces. These people used some “weapon” to accomplish the Shattering. I speculate they dropped an aluminum “bomb” into what I believe was Adonalsium’s sole Perpendicularity, on Yolen where he resided. The aluminum bomb destroyed Adonalsium’s mind. Because Adonalsium Shattered equally, I further speculate these people drained Adonalsium’s liquid Investiture into 16 equal pools, which they entered to ascend. “Soul” – This term refers to the Spiritual Realm aspect of each cosmere lifeform or object. A Soul is an ideal Spiritual Realm form for that lifeform or object. Thus, human Souls are “aware” of a human’s natural life span and will age a person to their “normal” age in the absence of magic; that’s what killed the Lord Ruler when Vin removed the Bands of Mourning. “Spiritual DNA” – A person’s “Spiritual DNA is what encodes the Magic System into them…” As with Cognitive DNA and Physical DNA, Spiritual DNA comprises the unique Spiritual Realm characteristics of lifeforms and objects. “Spiritual Realm” – The Spiritual Realm is the Realm of ideals and perfect forms. IMO, the Spiritual Realm has two components: Spiritual matter (Spiritwebs) and Spiritual energy (Power). “SpiritWeb” – This term IMO refers to a Soul and its unique network of Connections. “Spren” – A Spren is a “living idea,” an idea that Power Invests and through interaction with people “comes alive.” Unlike other Splinters, which are merely self-aware, Spren have personality. They are found on Roshar. In that WoB, Brandon says Sel’s seons are also living ideas, though with a “different power…pushing them.” “Splinter” – “A Splinter is a term used by certain people in the cosmere for the power of Adonalsium which has no person caring for it, person holding it, which has attained self-awareness." Source. Confirmed examples of Splinters include Radiantspren (Honor and Cultivation), the Unmade (Odium), Divine Breath (Endowment), and Aons (Devotion). “Subastral” – A subastral is the Cognitive Realm region associated with each planet with a sentient population. Hoid uses the term in M:SH to describe Scadrial’s Cognitive Realm region. “Thermodynamics” – The cosmere’s laws of Thermodynamics resemble our universe’s laws of matter and energy conservation, but add Investiture as a third component. Brandon says the cosmere begins as “one substance” that converts into other substances. Matter, energy and Investiture are mutually inter-convertible, but must always add to a constant sum. Despite a WoB to the contrary, I believe matter, energy and other forms of Investiture are not convertible back into Power. Otherwise, the cosmere becomes a “perpetual motion machine” that violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics. “Vessel” – This term refers to the mortal consciousness that Directs a Shard. The Vessel’s mind and Soul remain after its ascension, but the Vessel’s mortal body is vaporized. “Worldhopping” – This term refers to a person’s movement between Shardworlds. Brandon has RAFO’d whether a person needs some magical ability to Worldhop. A person can Worldhop by travelling through the Cognitive Realm between Shardworlds and emerging through a Perpendicularity located on the destination Shardworld. We don’t know whether other means of Worldhopping are available.
  20. @Yata, I think the Adonalsium predecessors to these spren are the Dawnshards, not these spren themselves. Honor and Cultivation’s Investiture mutated Adonalsium’s inherent Investiture when they Invested Roshar, and human personification of the Storms and the Earth changed these spren from how the listeners personified them. IMO, these spren no longer are Dawnshards or hold Adonalsium’s Investiture. They are not “fine and ready to fight” or capable of binding both mortal and Voidish. I do think the Water God was and is the third Dawnshard and remains Adonalsium’s Investiture. Perhaps it can still bind anything? A future participant in the fight? Thanks (and an upvote) for previously mentioning this idea. I do not mean to claim novelty. I recall this idea kicking around for several years. Just thought it deserved a shout-out here.
  21. I theorize the Heralds are humankind’s personification of the Divine Attributes. Those Ideals – the Heralds in Shadesmar spren form – IMO fend off Odium at the place Roshar’s and Braize’s subastrals meet. Judging by the Shadesmar map, I think Roshar is a major Shadesmar crossroads. I suspect Braize, the farthest planet of Greater Roshar, has only one Shadesmar passage back into the main channels – the planet Roshar. Somehow Odium is boxed in on Braize. The Oathpact binds the Heralds to stand at Roshar’s gates and keep Odium out. Like the Returned, which Brandon says is the same magic system, I think Honorblades are splinters bound to the Heraldic Ideals. On Roshar, alignment with an Ideal determines the strength of the bond that gives power. I think this must be true of Heralds, since spren modeled the KR on the Heralds. IMO, as humankind’s belief in the Heraldic Ideals strengthens, the bond between the Honorblades and Heralds also strengthens, increasing Heraldic power. As belief fades, the bond – and the Heralds’ power – weakens. This may explain the Sons of Honor’s actions (with reverse causation). I believe Odium attacks the Heralds’ strength in two ways. First, he seeks to undermine human belief in the Heraldic ideals. Second, he directly assaults those Ideals in their spren form. IMO, Odium’s power severs bonds. That what hate does – it generates power but consumes you. Odium’s power tries to sever the weakened Ideals from their bond with Honor. IMO, the Heralds’ torture is Odium’s bond-severing power melting through their bonds. Over time, Odium’s power breaks the Herald’s bonds. Desolation spills into Roshar. The Heralds cry havoc, and war comes to the Physical Realm.
  22. I think the three major mural spren are the Dawnshards – large splinters of Adonalsium’s power. The clouds and lightning are the Rider of Storms. The tree is the Nightwatcher’s pre-Shattering predecessor. The third figure encircling the blue disk is Cusicesh or another pre-Shattering predecessor. Shallan considers them pagan influences. IMO these are the pre-Shattering Gods of the Earth, Sky and Water.
  23. I mention this idea on another thread and flesh it out here. Many theories highlight the difference between Surgebinders and Knights Radiant. These theories look at these two quotes, the first from in-world Words of Radiance, the second from Dalinar’s Nohadon vision: Theorists conclude the original Surgebinders are not bound by the Knight Radiant oaths. I agree. Here’s my take on what Ishar and Nohadon do and what IMO the Herald's Oathpact's oath is. Ishar’s “was the most important part at their inception.” I think he imposes his “precepts and laws” when spren first grant Surges to men. He organizes the Orders, and I think he imposes the first oath: “Life Before Death. Strength Before Weakness. Journey Before Destination.” IMO, that oath creates the Nahel bond. Since Ishar requires no other oaths, oath makers instantly become full-powered Surgebinders. Nohadon later laments that Surgebinder Alkavish “brought us to war before the Desolation,” weakening humanity. (WoK, Chapter 60, Kindle p, 850.) The problem is the spren less discerning than honorspren; if they choose a bad bond-buddy, there’s no way to ratchet back the full power granted. I agree with posters who think Nohadon is a Bondsmith. I believe he founds the Knights Radiant and creates the Order oaths as a safety valve of phased-in bonding. Unlike “Ishar’s Knights,” as Taln calls them, Knights Radiant gain power as they align with their spren’s ideal. Now the fun and maybe (?) even novel part…Where does the first oath come from? I think it’s the oath the Heralds give to Honor when they join the Oathpact. The spren copy the Honorblades. Ishar organizes the Orders like the Heralds and substitutes the Nahel bond for an Honorblade. I think human Surgebinding requires the same oath the Heralds give. The first oath reads differently from a Herald’s perspective: “Life Before Death.” You will live and die over and over again. “Strength Before Weakness.” Your strength will weaken under torture. “Journey Before Destination.” Your torture will never end.
  24. @Pagerunner, while reading @Blightsong's interesting thread, I followed your link to this topic. I think your OP here is among the best analyses I’ve seen – insightful, thought-provoking, and convincing. Some questions and comments: Can’t “normal” people serve as the ideals of their callings or at least as a KR squire? In your “devotaries” quote, the spearman (thunder with his shield, lightning with his spear) reminds me of a Windrunner or Releaser squire. Maybe a farmer who idealizes farmer virtues merges into a lifespren? I think Khriss means the Nine Unmade. As you note, Rlain identifies them as listeners who so hated humans they sold their souls to Odium. As Odium splinters directed by the minds of dead listeners, I think they qualify as Cognitive Shadows on Braize. We don't need to seek KR there. I’ve not seen this debate, so I may be missing something. Unlike other forms of Invested consciousness, a Cognitive Shadow’s mind once Connected to a dead person’s body. Maybe the mechanics depend on the Shardworld and/or the circumstances, but must it happen only one way? IMO, any Physical Realm-severed consciousness merged with/imprinted on/anchored by Investiture is a Cognitive Shadow. I agree the mind of a fully oathed KR merges with its spren, reflecting union with the spren’s ideal. Upon a KR’s physical death, the spren survives with its merged mind. Doesn’t the Fleet story confirm this? (I like your thought Fleet becomes the Stormfather, but your post’s logic suggests he would have to be a Bondsmith to do so. You know I think Fleet instead foreshadows SLA’s ending, the Duel of Champions between Kaladin and the Rider of Storms.) Ironically, I think Honor’s and Odium’s magic both lead to a dead mortal’s mind directing a splinter whose ideal he embodies. Honor’s bond causes a KR to grow into his spren’s personified ideal. Odium’s magic IMO causes the Unmade to break his bonds, reducing him to his spren’s personified ideal. I agree Surgebinders were not originally KR, although I don’t think they existed before Ishar’s threat. That threat came “at their inception.” That suggests Ishar organized “them” – either men, spren or both – when spren first granted Surges to men. I speculate this gave rise to the first oath. Keeping with spren’s “copy-the-Honorblades” approach, maybe the first KR oath matches what the Heralds swore when they joined the Oathpact. Spren chose their targets then as they do now, but IMO lacked the safety valve of phased-in bonding through the oaths. Some spren, less discerning than honorspren, may have chosen poorly. Along comes Nohadon, who perhaps is a Bondsmith. He laments that Surgebinder Alkavish “brought us to war before the Desolation,” weakening humanity. (WoK, Chapter 60, Kindle p, 850.) I believe Nohadon founds the Knights Radiant and creates the oaths to ensure that only deserving Surgebinders become full KR. All Orders say the first (Heralds?) oath, but each Order has its own oaths for advancing in the bond. Where are the Tranquiline Halls? I don’t know, but I think “heaven’s battlefield” is the Cognitive Realm bridge between Roshar’s and Braize’s subastrals. The Heralds’ goal is to keep Odium from invading Roshar. The bridge between the subastrals is the “Unmade Forces’” natural route into Roshar. I would expect the Heraldic Forces to meet them there. I posted a topic asserting the KR abandoned their oaths when they discovered Odium can corrupt Radiantspren. That explains Nale’s concern about the absence of Honor’s “regulation” of the oaths’ “greater power.” It also explains why nine of the Orders acted immediately in unison. Your excellent analysis doesn’t persuade me fear of eternal war is the “wicked thing of eminence” that caused the Recreance.
  25. For my 300th post, I want to thank the administrators, moderators, and each of you who keep this place alive and interesting and fun. I think of Brandon as more of a mystery writer than a fantasy writer because of how he drops clues and maintains suspense. The Shard is the best place there is to puzzle through the cosmere’s mysteries. I’ll soon begin my “normal programming.” But I wanted to use this opportunity for something different. Best regards to all of you!