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  1. Welcome to the second Episode of "Letters from the Cosmere!" Today we talk about the origins of the current Cosmere system and the implications of the Shattering of Adonalsium. You may notice a few changes to the series, most noticeably the name change. Yes, I have read White Sand (now) and yes the name correlation was literally happenstance. However, despite this I do not want to cause confusion about who is who in the Cosmere so I made the change to my character. It is slight, but it made the most sense. I look forward to hearing your thoughts about this episode. Hope you enjoy! I will put the transcript in text below: Adonalsium. Such a strange word. I remember when I first found it as I studied the Words of Founding. In that moment, I thought little of it. Of all the incredible revelations that came in the wake of the Destruction of “The World of Ash” I was distracted. Now all these years later, I discovered that it was all connected. If you, dear reader, think for a second that I have been fooled into quiet worship and submission you are woefully mistaken. If there ever was a God, he is long since dead. There are merely scraps to pull this knowledge from. Yet just as scraps of a tapestry can yield a pattern, the grand machine that is the Cosmere is starting to become apparent. No one seems to know what Adonalsium was, except that it was incredibly powerful. It stood above all, and held the creative and destructive powers of the Universe. I say it because there is no indication if this entity had an intelligence like a sentient man. The Scholar seems to think so, but she thinks a great many things that seem to convoluted, and they cannot all be true. She seems content to sit back and learn, content to watch worlds crumble and die rather than using the knowledge she has. However, I am indebted to her, for each of the two times I have crossed paths with her she seemed pleased to answer my questions. Unlike you. However, The Scholar was not who first told me of the Shattering, but The Wanderer. I met him just before I was called back to start these letters. I never learned his name but like me, he seemed to Wander from place to place. Something about him was off, and he seemed so focused on striding deeper into Roshar I almost escaped his notice. Yet when he did notice me he seemed adamant that I listen to his story. I mostly had no idea what he was talking about until he brought up the death of Scadrial. He spoke of the powers Preservation and Ruin, and called them by names I had never heard. Then he told me quite frankly about how these powers, these so-called Gods, were once men. Men who had risen up against Adonalsium. They rebelled against It, and shattered it into 16 primal powers. Wanderer didn’t say much more than this, except to tell me that these people slowly were changed by this power. He spoke of Ati, who had once been a good man, who later manifested as Ruin and sought to destroy all life in the Universe by braking it. His parting words were the only words he seemed to take seriously. He told me that history would be repeating itself before long, and that I would have to make a choice. Almost as if his words heralded some great tragedy, I could feel something change. Odium had come. At the time I didn’t know Odium or what he brought with his influence. But for the first time I wondered if watching would be enough. It wasn’t. As you know, I would eventually dedicate my very existence to fighting for the lives left behind on Roshar. The Desolation that Odium began and the destruction caused by his Everstorm left hundreds of thousands cowering in the dark. I left my life of grieving solitude, and took upon myself a mantle of leadership. Wanderer was also there; I assume fighting in his own way. And all this time, I was thinking about the 16 who took upon themselves such great power. Apparently they dispersed, moving through the cosmere and building up peoples and cultures across the stars. The worlds I have touched have been both crafted and scared by their fumbling hands, hands of men ascended. They created many great and incredible peoples, and gifted unto them the investitures that allow men to touch the divine. But at what cost? For it seems they see fit to destroy what they create. That their Shards have twisted them into intelligent agents of the Shard’s will and Purpose. I do not understand it, but the nature of each Shard eventually bleeds through these ascended men and overcomes their personalities, twisting them into dangerous servants bound by their instincts. And now we suffer the consequences of their lack of restraint. Who were these people? What right did they have to become Gods in the place of the Thing they had killed? Apparently this Odium has murdered several of his fellow Shards, dispersing their power so as to continue his rise to domination. All along this path of Power and Control, Millions have died. To these ascended beings, our lives must seem as the ants of the dirt. When I see the destruction that Ruin and Odium have been allowed to cause, I am resolved by one simple truth. These flawed Gods should never have been. Tell our Friend that I intend to fight until the lives of men can continue under their own wills. Tell Him that this war is far from over, and that I will struggle against Odium and all other Shards who fall. I do not feel that I can do much else than be a knife in the dark. I will gather the precious few I can save and set them up as a banner, to fight back however we can. I am unsure how to fight a God, but that won’t stop me from trying. Be wary of this Wanderer, a man who is far more removed from time than I am. He moves with a purpose that I cannot comprehend. I am grateful to him and see him as a mentor of sorts. Yet I cannot help but be cautious of his intent. Even now I wonder if he hinted to me of The Shattering simply to recruit me for his side. Because of my choice I am actively being pursued by the members of the 17th Shard. I do not know what will happen if they catch me, but as of yet I have not let them get too close. However, as I cast my thoughts back to the Shattering, back where this all began, there is one thought that chills me to my very core. These 16 usurpers struck down a God. Something with, for all intents and purposes, unlimited power. Yet these men shattered Adonalsium. What could mere men wield that could kill a God? And worse, where is this weapon that can lay waste to the powers of Creation? This weapon could be more threatening than even Odium, for he is only a part of what the Weapon destroyed. Odium is the most prevalent of threats, but I fear more for the resurgence of this fiendish secret. For if the Weapon can destroy a God, what unspeakable things could it do to the peoples of the Cosmere? {Sigh] This fight, what it represents… it has taken a toll on me. Perhaps I can learn to trust, to believe that such power can be wielded for the good. Preservation did try to lock away Ruin, and even restored hope to a failing Emperor. And Honor left some of his will behind, granting visions and Nahel bonds to his people. I am uncertain if what they offered us will be enough to stop the destructive Shards, but perhaps what they did will give us a chance. Regardless I have a work to do, for I am determined to keep my people alive if at all possible. Until the next time, Elsric
  2. A massive thank you to all the fantastic artists for the creative works and to The Darkeyed Musician for her musical composition! Please make sure to check out their links and support them in their work. Kaladin - Words of Radience by emann29: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Kaladin-Words-of-Radience-462831658 Beneath the Shattered Plains by woutart http://woutart.deviantart.com/art/Beneath-the-Shattered-Plains-607677436 Breath by Emerald-Depths http://emerald-depths.deviantart.com/art/Breath-426869221 TWoK - The King's Wit by BotanicaXu http://botanicaxu.deviantart.com/art/TWoK-The-King-s-Wit-409756211 The Survivor by The-demons-heart http://the-demons-heart.deviantart.com/art/The-Survivor-483045604 Wit vs Hoid by BotanicaXu http://botanicaxu.deviantart.com/art/Wit-vs-Hoid-417088327 Raodin by Esamitch http://esamitch.tumblr.com/ Parshendi by Esamitch http://esamitch.tumblr.com/ This episode focuses on the Worldhopper Hoid, who is a persistent character through the Brandon Sanderson Cosmere books. Hoid could be labeled the first Worldhopper. He has appeared and been documented in nearly every story arc in the Cosmere including Mistborn, The Stormlight Archive, and Warbreaker. In this episode Elsric talks about his observations of Hoid and commits to keep an eye on the elusive man. There is a greater plan to his motions and all the readers of the Cosmere accounts should keep their eyes peeled for sightings of him. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Please leave a comment or ask any questions that you have so that I can address them at a future date. If you would like to share your art in a future "Letters from the Cosmere" please contact me at my channel E-mail: [email protected] Want to hear the story about how this series was started by Brandon Sanderson and myself? Here is a link to the story on 17th Shard: Script for Episode 4 - "Who is Hoid?" I am not sure how many men or women I have met who have lived as long as I have. Part of me can hardly believe how much it cost me both spiritually and monetarily to achieve this timelessness. Yet it doesn’t feel unnatural. On the contrary, I have been able to hone and master my skills far beyond what they were when my journey began. I was always skilled in the art of politics and playing the games of the nobility. However due to my longevity, I feel that even my subpar combat skills have improved greatly. When I found myself with more time than I could fathom, I took to the ways of the Cosmere and walked the paths between worlds. And I am far from alone in my exploration. I am not sure if it is my newfound abilities or a consequence of my long life, but there are “old souls” of whom I have recognized at a mere glance. Perhaps it is the vestige in their eyes, eyes that have seen too many wonders to be contained. Souls that have aged and flourished. As I sit at the edge of these chasms, awaiting my first walk into the mystery that is Urithiru, I seem able to see far into the night. Somewhere on this world, is another Wanderer, one who has lived far longer than I. You know of him as well, for he was to be found walking my homeland before I lost everything. Your response was cryptic when I inquired about the Wanderer whom I encountered, but I have more or less filled in the gaps you left bare. Oddly he looks nothing like he did back then, and your description of the man reminded me of yet another time we might have crossed paths. His eyes, the eyes of this Hoid, if that is his real name, look familiar to me for a reason. I met him in Hallandren itself. At that time, he was a master story weaver, a man who was often called before the court of gods and was very expensive. I assumed him to be an informant and never hired him personally. Yet those eyes struck me that day, although I didn’t realize why. He happened to be called to a party I had attended. He never said a word to me, but as he moved through the colorful attendees we locked eyes for the briefest moment and I nearly tripped. His eyes had such an intensity, like a fire burning too bright to look at directly. Those eyes drilling right through me seemed to strip me of my façade and examine my very soul. And then the moment passed and he was gone. Until now I had put aside this memory, but I am sure that it was him. Now the rest of my knowledge is distilled from speculation and guesswork. However, I understand that you are curious about this man and his intentions. Quite honestly, if I hadn’t seen the pure steele behind those eyes, I would say he makes things up as he goes. When he confronted me in the Cognitive Realm he seemed driven by a compulsion to stand before me and encourage my passions. He whispered his talk of the 16 shards and the coming deaths that a fallen shard would soon be bringing. It seemed so important, so well timed to catch me right before my mission began. And now I am here, directly interfering in the plans of Gods and men alike. He moves with a purpose, following a plan that I feel I have only glimpsed a drops worth in an ocean of mysterious intent. It is safe to say that this Hoid has traveled all over the Cosmere. He steps in right when a critical nudge is needed. I have observed him doing this, as well as confirmed some of the strange whispers of the King of Alethkar’s servant, someone called Wit. If there are important events happening in the Cosmere, a tipping point or critical juncture, Hoid will be there I can guarantee it. Each time I have seen him he has worn a completely different appearance. From age to hairstyles he all but reinvents himself from place to place. But you can be sure it is him. In fact, I would guess that his compulsion to throw out witticisms and sarcastic remarks might be the only way to truly know who he is for sure. That level of self-confident mockery cannot be faked. How he knows where to be is a mystery of the ages. However, I have seen many strange and impossible things these past centuries. Perhaps he sees where he needs to be before he gets there. This is a comforting theory, because I wonder if I am making a difference. If this “appointed path” idea is real, then I have been swept along with him. I also must impress upon you the age of Hoid, or more accurately the vast age of Hoid. To him I felt as but a child. He seemed to see patterns in the very fabric of creation itself. He might even be as old as creation itself. Hoid spoke of the ascended men and women who are now Gods as if he knew them personally. He whispered of the machinations that had been turning for thousands of years, and he said all this without batting an eye. To hear him speak was akin to hearing the stones tell tales of all they have seen. Entire nations have risen and fallen before his eyes, including my own. And yet there seems more. This is more of a feeling, but it seems he has seen the beginning of all that the Cosmere is, and that he plans to see the end as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if he out lives us all, and that is saying something. It would be folly to look for him. He knows how to hide, and I suspect he understands your abilities all too well. A man such as he must carry powers beyond what I have seen or imagined. Perhaps he seeks to chronicle all the powers of the Cosmere itself? His motivations are unclear, and that troubles me. I believe he is working to save lives, that much was clear when he spoke about the desolation that was coming to Roshar. No, what worries me is what he plans to do with all this time. There are things in motion now. My instincts tell me that Hoid is playing two games at once. A game that has been set and played for a very long time, and we are all just pawns dancing our dance before his agile fingers. This is a game he plans on winning. I am an informant, and such games are nearly second nature to me. I am impressed by those who understand the power of subtlety, and Hoid might be a master, despite his powerful personality. Perhaps this is his source of strength. Regardless, informants and secret keepers learn quickly that the short term game always leads to an eventual loss. If you want to win, you make every victory and defeat a part of the true plan. Hoid is a crafty manipulator. For that alone, I intend to keep my eye on him as best I can. So you can count on future letters about his work, so long as I can keep him within earshot. Despite all that he has done for me, the ones who know the most are the most dangerous. If I’m not careful, I could be set up to fall. Perhaps I will eventually see the board he plays. If knowledge is power, then he shouldn’t be the only one wielding it. Until the next Letter, Elsric
  3. Hello fellow Shardlings! (Is that the word? Oh well, your my Shardlings anyway) So I am proud to announce that "Letters From the Cosmere" is officially out of production and live on YouTube! This is a YouTube series that I thought would be helpful as a resource for new community members who wished to learn about Brandon's Cosmere in manageable packets of information. I also wanted this to be entertaining for members of the community who were already well established. In this series the World Hopper Aarik writes letters to his acquaintances about the things he has observed as he has traversed the Cosmere. If you want to see it for yourself, follow the link here: Hello! If you want more info about why this exists, I have an explanation. So a couple years back I was first introduced to the Cosmere by a dear friend who handed me a copy of Mistborn. I devoured that book and proceeded to perchance every Brandon Sanderson Book I could. I remember my shock when I first suspected that there were characters and a particular Black Sword that I had seen in other books appearing in the newer stories. I had assumed that these were all just different stories. That was when my friend informed me about the idea of the Cosmere. I was so excited I jumped online and did a quick search for the Forms. Holy Cow The amount of information was staggering. It was amazing, but staggering. I remember not knowing where to start or even what questions to ask. I think everyone starts off a little star struck. Hoping to find a good foundation I turned to YouTube. In the past I had researched the Star Wars EU by watching informational videos fans had made for YouTube so I thought there would be Cosmere videos as well. There were none. A few months latter when I staggered from 17th Shard a much wiser man, I started thinking about that first YouTube search. I had an active YouTube account where had started making serious weekly content. I decided that I wanted to make the videos that I had hoped to find when I had first joined. But I didn't want this to just be a boring list of facts, or a review of each book. I wanted to do something with more life and flavor. I wanted these letters to feel like they were a part of the Cosmere. I worked on the premise for months, crafting and re crafting the idea in my mind and in my notes. I was prepared when Brandon came to town on his recent 2016 Book Signing Tour. Our convention was small, and I was able not only to pitch my idea to Brandon, but we were able to talk about it in length for several hours. At first he was concerned, and who wouldn't be? I was wanting to create something using his intellectual property. However as the discussion continued, I could see the gears turning in his mind. Eventually I must have sold him on the idea because he tanked me for asking him in person and said, "I give you personal permission to make this YouTube series." We spent the next several hours having a stop and start conversation about this project. Naturally I was trying not to hog him from the other fans, but playing him in a game of magic helped. He also seemed excited to give me tips. He made several suggestions about paths I could take with the character, but left a lot up to me. I will be sending him a personal detailed report so as to make sure everything checks out, but I got the clear impression that he wanted me to own this project. Also, I need to say that this project would be far weaker without the fantastic artists who offered their support for the work. I contacted the artist of each painting that I used and asked their permission to use their work. I will NEVER steal a piece of art, even if it's easy to download. I want to work with the artists and I hope that more artists will be inspired by this project and share their talent with all of us in these Letters. Please make sure you send some love and thankful messages to the amazing artists. They deserve every bit of praise they get. And that now leads us here. I am so happy that this first episode is available. I have already received encouragement and support from the community members who have found it. I cannot wait to make more of these episodes. I honestly think this will be a series I will be making for years and years to come. I hope that you enjoyed this taste, and that you come back for more. If you are an artist and want to share your work with the world, I would love to work with you.I hope you all enjoy this series. If you have any thoughts I hope you will share them, just remember to be courteous with each other. Obviously I am not Brandon and will get things wrong from time to time. However I will do my best to only say what I know, or try to make it clear that the character is speculating. Hope you have a wonderful day and I'll see you around the Cosmere! -TheBlueShifting PS I have had a couple requests to see the text version of the episode. I have decided to post that here on my Forms in 17th Shard. There may be slight deviations, but overall the text is the same. I also reserve the right to edit the content in the future if Brandon points out any changes that need to be made, though I doubt that will happen with this episode. Here you go! I don’t quite know how to start this letter. Lines like dear friends or colleagues seem inconsistent with our perceived “relationship”. Needless to say, I have not decided to abandon our friend’s request that I chronical my travels. My father would be proud to see that after all this time I became a scholar after a fashion. But I suppose I should start with the fundamentals of what I have learned and work my way to the finer aspects. Although my knowledge is limited, I share what I know, and what I suspect to be true. But first, a foundation: Look around you. Everything you see, the walls of your house, the air you are breathing, even the light entering your eyes are all a part of the Cosmere. It is all that is, all that was, and all that will be. Everything is connected by the forces that shape the universe. Light and Gravity. Investiture and Cognition. Even the souls of men are manifestations of the cosmere itself. In my travels I have gained a unique perspective of what the cosmere is and what it contains. Our inheritance, our birthright, is to explore this vast Cosmere, our home. And in it, to see the divine attributes that shape it. When I was first educated by my father, I often contemplated my place in the world. I would look North to the dark peeks that stood just at the edge of sight and wonder what lay beyond them. I look back now and almost laugh at the wide eyed youth who couldn’t imagine a world larger than the town I grew up in. I who have set foot in the shadows of other worlds and cultures across space and time. Although my introduction to the greater cosmere was a feat of happenstance, I find great pleasure in diving the nature of the universe in my own way. Before I write anything else I need to clarify what the comere is by the simplest definition. There are three major aspects of the Cosmere, these three realms or dimensions shape and in turn are shaped by each other. They are effectively inseparable, Each one with its own rules and capacities. Despair their alien nature, the fundamentals of these realms are fairly straightforward. First we have the tangible or Physical realm. This is the home of all the peoples of the Cosmere. Three dimensions ruled by gravity and light, physics is the language upon which we understand this dimension. Luckily I was educated in mathematics and physics, a far more useful education than I appreciated at the time. Although the worlds of men and sentient races are separated by vast oceans of distances, these worlds each share the common elements of mathematical proofs and similar ecosystems. Although the tree realms are intertwined, it is unclear if the physical realm is dependent on the other realms to exist. However, it is apparent that the physical world has a dramatic effect on the other two realms, especially in the cognitive realm. When you step outside, you will find that you are followed by a shadow. Although you are the source of the shadow and it’s movements, the shadow is not a part of you, but a type of warped reflection. The cognitive realm is a shadow of the physical realm. Everything that has a conception, a form, or a name, has a spark of cognition. By naming and defining the objects and forces of our physical world, we give them a life and mind of their own. Most of the time, calling these entities “intelligent” is a stretch of the truth. Each idea starts as a small, simple spark, so fleeting that it is lost in the sea of drifting minds that form the substance of the cognitive realm. Sometimes these ideas can grow, and take a form and intelligence all their own. I have heard tales of creations like the Ceons of Sel which are created as helpers for the Elantrians. I’ve even encountered some advanced cognitive minds that call themselves spren on the Shard world of Roshar. If you were to physically visit the cognitive realm, you would find that what we see as a physical land mass is instead a sea of cognitive thoughts. Traveling through this sea can be tricky, even dangerous to some. In contrast, large bodies of water in the physical world manifest as a solid mass obscuring the minds that dwell below. Distance and time mean little in the cognitive realm, and the thoughts of men are connected across the cosmere. The men and women who world hop use the cognitive realm which bind the various shard worlds together. Those who have learned the secrets of travel by investiture can traverse the cosmere by simply walking. The Spiritual Realm is the most mysterious of the three realms. In fact, I doubt that there is any being that still interacts with the cognitive and physical realms who truly knows what lies beyond its borders. All that is know is that there is a part of man, an essence of some kind that exists in this realm. What is very strange is that most of the powers and investitures that are used throughout the cosmere are manifestations of the spiritual realm in the physical world. Perhaps the soul forms a conduit for the power between the spiritual realm and the physical and cognitive. I feel that there is no limit to the breath and depth of the spiritual realm, and that mankind has only tapped into a miniscule sliver of the power that resides there. These three form the trinity of all life in the cosmere. However to separate these into different categories is almost counter intuitive. In order to examine the different aspects of the Physical, Cognitive, and Spiritual, we have to label and categorize them as individual places or planes of existence. However it is important to remember that these three occupy the same “space” or area. For instance, if you were to pass from the physical world into the Cognitive world, you would seem to appear in an alien and unstable land of darkness and mist. However in regards to traveling, you would remain in the same location and may find common recognizable landmarks on the other side. This connection is important, however the different realms do not seem to share the laws of physics and time as we understand it. Having been one of the few to set foot beyond the Physical realm, I have developed a deep appreciation of the complexity, depth, and scope of the universe. With all our study and expansive thought, with the literal power of the Gods in our fingertips, we still know so little about the ways and wisdoms of the cosmere. I am not a scholar, not truly, which you dear reader must find incredibly frustrating. Yet as I look upon the surface of another world, I am compelled to learn all I can. This shall be the first of many letters I’m sure. Despite my hesitation to agree to this arrangement, I understand the value of the things I have observed and continue to observe. Should I fall prey to the dangers of the cosmere I would hope that I could leave some kind of legacy. Be wary with these letters for there are forces and organizations who seek to stop meddlers like. I find that the more I learn and explore the closer I get to catastrophe. Currently I am returning to the shard world Roshar. Something is happening there that is sending ripples throughout the cognitive realm. There is a darkness coming and that is something I cannot ignore. Until the next time, Aarik