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Found 7 results

  1. This idea is probably way out there: but what if? What if Hoid has given up on instant noodles? I know he's just messing with us, but what if he's giving a clue? I dunno, let me know what you think about this idea.
  2. If you have ever been confused about what Shardpools are, this is the Letter for you! This may be once of the fundamental aspects of the Cosmere, and something all of us need to be familiar with. If you would like the physical transcript, here it is: I wish life never prompted me to violence. If a situation has degraded into an all-out brawl, then I believe that all attending parties have failed. Forget achieving a positive result, at that point survival is about the only victory possible. Diplomacy, economics, and policy crumble in the face of open warfare. Sure people will cling to these things, convinced they are protecting their way of life. Yet this is a deception, a lie that one can profit off of fighting. The only victory in war goes to those who win, and those who get on the good side of the winner. I detest the boot licking that follows a powerful military leader. Besides death is a hefty price no matter what is gained. There are far better ways to fight an enemy or shape one’s fortunes. And often the poor or unnoticed are the ones who suffer the most from the wars of nations. I have learned that the keys to victory fit into three distinct locks. First, knowledge is power. Secrets and whispers can be bought from the right ears. In a world of subtly and misdirection, knowing your opponents mind is the single greatest weapon in an arsenal. I always find my sources, and am not afraid of doing my own listening. Next a weapon should never be apparent, but hidden in plain sight. I was trained in the art of the knife, a messy if effective tool. I prefer the quarterstaff or cane. Many will overlook a stick of hardened wood over a sword or knife, yet in my hands I find the hardwood to be more than adequate in a pinch. I believe people should be like that, effective, efficient, and unobtrusive. Subtly is an art, and a deadly one at that. Finally, always have a bolt hole. All plans can fail no matter how well crafted. From Slum Lords to Emperors, the ones who last are the ones who always have a backup plan to their backup plan. A bolt hole or a getaway carriage. This is the greatest advantage to being a… traveler, and might be the reason why we are so hard to kill. We all know there is a way out that practically no one can follow us through. Shard Pools. Obviously you are aware of what I speak about, but I feel a need to clarify my own thoughts. I still know so little beyond speculation. For instance, I know I can use these Shard Pools safely with the proper care, but could never explain how I do this, nor would I dare take another with me. The Cognitive Realm is a very dangerous place, and I don’t know how many can survive the process of traveling there. Shard Pools, as I like to call them, are more commonly known as Perpendicularities. This is the realmatic term most often used to describe the strange phenomena that occurs in these pools. It is apparent that Shard Pools are not lakes of water, but of raw Shardic Investiture in a liquid form. These pools are present on worlds where a shard resides and are a collection point for their power. Why these Pools appear is beyond recorded history, and why they reside where they are physically being yet another enigma. Perpendicularities contain so much raw power that they tear a hole in the universal fabric that usually separates the three realms. The Cognitive and physical realms bleed into one another, and I believe the Spiritual realms is also broken into. I have not ever stepped into that relm, so I can’t be sure. But I am in no hurry. Without knowing what makes up the Spiritual Realm in great detail, I dare not risk it. Perhaps someday, but for now I have a lot more to learn before I attempt such a journey. Shard pools are often caught up in the lore of a people or nation. Surprisingly most cultures that I have discovered don’t seem preoccupied with these strange wellsprings. I wonder if anyone ever notices travelers like me climbing in and out of them from time to time. I try my best to avoid all contact when I emerge. Naturally my lack of language will only hinder me. On that note, I will forever be grateful for my father’s tutelage and my quick wits. I know how to learn and can do so quickly. While I feel I’ll never keep up with a fraction of the languages that I’ve encountered, I make it work where I can. That might be the most difficult aspect of my travels, perhaps only surpassed by the strange foods I have to try. Can you believe that there are people who eat the horns and shells of animals? I was flabbergasted when I first tried the food of the Unkalaki. These pools seem, for the most part, to be locked into a location physically. We know that on Scadreal the Lord Ruler shaped the world, but upon reflection it seems that civilization was moved to the pools, rather than the pools themselves moving. However, this is only conjecture, and I highly doubt we could know for sure ourselves. The only other fact I know for sure is that Shard Pools are not on every world. In the Cognitive Realm you can see that there are other worlds out there. I’ve glanced through the fog of thoughts into their worlds, and yet there was no way to pass into their worlds physically. These Shard Pools, as they are named, seem to be a consequence of a Shard’s presence on a particular planet. It makes me wonder how these other worlds became populated by humans. Is there so form of travel that has been lost to time? Are there ways to reach out and escape our worlds in the physical realm? More importantly I think is the question, if all these worlds have people who are so similar, did they all come from some original home? Why did they have to leave? Ah but I tread into the obscure, more of my personal musing rather than theories based on observation. I just note how odd it is that while each planet has diverse cultures and histories, yet we are still so similar. Perhaps there is something to these thoughts. For now, I will continue to establish myself here. The current state of events on this continent is appalling. Normally integrating myself is a lengthy process, but the current chaos in the nation of Jah Keved has made assimilation almost unnecessary. War is ripping this people apart and there are so many forgotten refugees. It’s the most I can do to organize some few of these people into something productive. Their rulers are off fighting for succession, and those whom I find simply need a little guidance. I will not draw attention to myself, but I cannot leave them to be trampled and forgotten. Despite all of that, there is a breathtaking beauty to this world. I wish I could put into words the sights and smells of Roshar. The crisp air and large open skies are the superlative aspect of this world. Everything here is rock, the massive High Storms blasting away anything that is not protected. These violent storms are dangerous, and somehow majestic. They fling boulders and scatter life into hiding among the rocks. But when the storm passes there is a refreshing scenes of clean renewal. I find myself stopping often to admire the alien beauty. And don’t even get me started on the moons. The three crystalline orbs that arch through the sky at night are impossible to forget. I cannot help but watch them as they glide across a starry canvas. This journey, these years spent away from home, have been filled with wonder and beauty beyond anything I could have imagined. Perhaps the paths through the Shard Pools have been filled with sorrow and failure, but I cannot regret the things I’ve seen. I may never wish to leave Roshar save for the knowledge that there are more wonders to explore, and new peoples to learn about. For now, there is a work to do upon these stones.
  3. This might be the most important of Cosmere topics. Now we understand that the different magics and peoples of the Cosmere are fascinating and amazing. But even more so are the entities that were never alive, yet have a personality and drive of their own. These Splinters are pockets of Shardic Power that develop a type of intelligence. It is apparent that these beings are critical to the overall narrative of the Cosmere, while some are likely the perpetrators of some of the greatest evils seen so far. What are these Splinters and how do you recognize one? Transcripts: I wish my father could have come to Roshar. Things that seemed mundane to others fascinated him to no end. The rocky hills and the crustaceous life that seems to make up this entire world are so different from the home I once knew. He would have written enough dissertations and filled enough sketchbooks to drown a man in the first week alone. He was odd, but he had a love of discovery, and visiting other worlds would have been a dream come true for him. And my brother…. He would have loved seeing all the different shapes spren come in. The spren are small spirit looking entities that appear around the planet. Forces and states of mind that normally too subtle to observe clearly are manifested visually making their study far easier to perform empirically. I believe that a spren is a physical representation of a cognitive entity. They are not physical in the sense that you can touch them, or that they have any sort of measurable mass. But they remind me of the simple minds that exist, attached to the objects in the Cognitive realm. However, these are not attached to any one object, rather they are bound to a purpose or intent. For instance, if one is provoked into anger, anger spren seem to be drawn out, and serve as a secondary indicator of the being’s intent. There are also Spren tied to more ecological forces, such as flame spren and river spren. I’ve even observed spren that seem to account for things unseen, such as wind spren and life spren. This aspect of spren and their natures yields promising potential in the fields of science and sociology. It must be far easier to consult or comfort someone when fear spren manifest their anxiety. In my personal journals I have been writing up my observations of the spren and their forms. My notes are far from professional and I doubt anyone but myself would be interested in these notations. I feel there must be some connection between the existence of spren and the High Storms which bring great rushing surges of Investiture. These cataclysmic storms occur most weeks if not multiple times a week. Such a rush of raging power must have metaphysical effects along with the violent weather phenomena that is the storm wall. Now while I would love to chat about spren all day, this letter is a particular note because I have a theory about what these spren actually are. You see they take up a form that is far too intelligent to be just a stray consciousness. Some of the larger spren are able to interact and mimic people, such as wind spren. They have an almost playful attitude towards life and have been known to play pranks on humans they encounter. No, there is something far greater at work here. As you know from my previous letter, I am now aware of the former existence of Adonalsium and of the shattering. These fractured Shards left and later developed a drive or fundamental nature to themselves. Shards are immense in scope and power. This power yields abilities that seem only limited to the imagination. In fact, we know from the “Words of Founding” that Shards have created life from their power. Now getting back to the topic at hand, these spren do not act like any animal I have ever come across. They seem to thrive on ideas and concepts of the human mind. By observing and often mimicking what they interact with, spren reveal that they have a core nature. They are drawn to some kid of theme or purpose. This tendency, to have and hold true to an idea or states of environment that reflects what they themselves are. In this way they remind me of matured Shards. As you recall, the Shards seem to have a compulsion to see out a particular ideal, usually summarized by the name they adopt. The spren seem to mimic this type of behavior and single-mindedness. I postulate, based on these observations that spren are little pockets of Shardic power. Unlike raw Investiture, which is simply harness-able energy, spren are power with a measured intelligence and will. They are like Splinters of a soul. It is easier to understand this position when you visit the Cognitive Realm. There the Spren seem far more complex, and even dangerous. There are whispers of larger spren that have intelligence and memories who live there. I hope to do more direct observing as soon as I have established myself with the peoples here. I have seen enough to recognizes that there is something nearly supernatural about these beings. It seems reasonable to assume that these spren are pieces of a greater whole. Splinters are entities of power that were never alive as a humanoid, but attain a level of… consciousness. This is where things are still a bit fuzzy. It cannot be denied that the spren are intelligent, at least in a broad sense. By contrast the Returned on Nalthis also carry with them a Splinter in the form of a divine breath. In fact, all breath might be considered a splinter since they are portions of a Shards power, but a Divine Breath is unique. Yet it must be asked, are the Returned a person brought back from death by infusing their soul with a splinter, or does the Splinter itself inherit the body of a dead person? The answer to this might simply be both, and for this particular argument the distinction is not important. What matters is that there is an intent behind both a spren and Divine Breath. I would then also guess from my studies that Seons could be considered Splinters. They are far more than just a symbol of Aon-dor, and they exemplify obedient intelligence with a profound memory and distinct personality. In this way they might be the most advance form of documented Splinter to date. However, there is a potential in the spren, and if the Nightwatch and Stormfather can be confirmed as massive spren, they might be the most powerful Splinters known to man. I am particularly intrigued by this Nightwatycher. There are rumors that she can grant requests that come with an associated boon. If this is more than a myth, the implications are… staggering. Regardless I plan to make the journey to see this being. I also hope to find a good location to watch a High Storm, hopefully I will be able to observe this Storm Father for myself. As I’ve pondered these findings, my thoughts turned to Scadreal. At first I couldn’t think of any beings or entities there that would count as Splinters. In fact, I still feel that Scadreal has never seen a Splinter according to the historical records that we have. Yet I pause at the thought of the Kandra. The shapeshifters are intelligent beings that once were mindless creatures. They gained their intelligence via the powers of two hemalergic spikes. This was when I made the connection between spikes and Splinters. This may be an unrelated correlation, but the similarities are strong, and only separated by scope. Most hemalergic spikes are simply a form of spiritual surgery, ripping one soul apart and splicing pieces of that soul into another person. But with the kandra, they grant actual consciousness as if they were a Splinter themselves. Perhaps they are. However, I abhor the thought of anyone performing an investigation. Any testing with Hemallergy will be destructive beyond the point of rationality. What troubles me are the whispers of these Voidbringers. On Roshar there are tales of monsters built of stone and darkness that once sought the destruction of all sentient life on this world. The rumors are whispers at best, but I have made several well informed connections. If my discoveries here are accurate and these void spren are actually real, then we are dealing with splinters that are openly hostile. My guess is that these spren move with an intent and were created purposefully by a destructive Shard. I see now why I was sent here, for history seems ripe to repeat itself. I wish to be absolutely wrong about this, but my gut feeling is that there is a great destruction coming. To you, I suggest the following caution. Should I prove right, and find that there are evil spren sent to do the work of a destructive shard, be sure to look for the patterns. These splinters seem to be mimics or replicas of what already exists here. This goes against all that I have observed on other worlds where the Shards manifest uniquely when exerting their respective Investiture powers. If this Dark one seeks to mimic his fellows, then his touch may be subtle. Look for the signs of madness or corruption of what already exists. Red eyes… perhaps this is another sign to watch for. There are reports that the people who wage war here have recently been seen with glowing red eyes. This might be the only reliable way to recognize the servants of this being. Then again, it is possible that there are multiple Shards attempting to cause upheaval and destruction. That thought alone sends a shiver up my spine. I will continue to look into these Void bringers, and there are more reports coming in all the time. Something inside me feels as if there is a great bell just beginning to toll the final hours of this place. The air almost hums with tension and I fear that someday this world will break. I hope your messengers can find me amidst what is to come. Perhaps I am wrong, but this seems all too familiar. I wish I had more time, but I am afraid… afraid that I will once again watch innocent lives be snuffed out. I don’t want to watch another world die. Elsric
  4. What is a Worldhopper? They are select individuals who have learned how to travel between the different Shard worlds in the Cosmere. The most likely way that these individuals do is is by sinking into shard pools and emerging in the cognitive realm, where the minds of men connect across the vastness of space. This allows for people to walk from world to world, assuming they can do so in safety. Hoid is a perfect example of a worldhopper, although there are others. There are also other, less known ways of entering the Cognitive realm. Who know what will become of worldhoppers. Transcript: This letter is more of a journal entry than a field report. I had started to wonder if I would ever see another messenger. I know that travel across the Cosmere is difficult and dangerous, but it’s been years. Your call back is… troubling at best. However, I will not disguise the fact that your abrupt silence was causing me to consider returning anyway. Needless to say, the Cognitive Realm may be a home to dreams and ideas of men, but some of those dreams are nightmares come with some serious teeth. The philosophers of the various worlds often discuss the dangers and natures of ideas among a population. Naturally they were making references to the fickle hearts of men in times of transition and stress. Individuals such as you and me know that the dangers of ideas are real in the Cognitive Realm. There is nothing more terrifying than the realization that one slip, one misstep or encounter with a powerful cognitive being and your life can be snuffed out like a candle in the wind. I once practically lived among the shadows of the cognitive realm, and now that I have returned once again, I find myself fearing that abyss. Although you may understand the traversing of the Cognitive realm in an academic sense, I doubt you truly understand the strange and fascinating perils that reside here. Roshar is of itself particularly dangerous, for the Spren here are far more powerful than their diminished counterparts in the physical realm. Here they are a horde, most are more like forces of nature rather than beings of intellect. They move and act, bound by their nature and intent. I have been warned by the whispers of the cryptics of the dangers their fellows present. One should not travel the Cognitive realm lightly here. On the other hand, the spren are fascinating to converse with. The cryptics in particular seemed to enjoy my company, something about the lies I tell. I found that they themselves were hard to ply for information, but if you listen carefully you can decipher meaning in their circling words. They remind me of politicians if I am honest, perhaps that is why I felt I could follow their logic better. It was almost like being with family again. I have seen the powers of Investiture here on Roshar that create holes or perpandicularies in the cognitive realm. This is most fascinating because until now, I had assumed that the only points where someone could pass from the physical world into the Cognitive real was through locations of condensed Investiture. Shard Pools, as they are called, are points on the various worlds where the raw power and investiture of a Shard collects and condenses. So far I have found such pools on each of the worlds I have visited, for I could not have traversed there without them. Yet there are old stories and new whispers that claim that some of the Knights Radiant can send themselves physically into the Cognitive Realm without using a shard pool. I also believe that the Oath Gates that I’ve used to travel great distances in an instant also operate by traversing the Cognitive Realm but how this works is still a mystery to me. I wonder if someday everyone will have access to the Cognitive Realm. I have a…unique background and with concentration, I can pass through a perpendiculary with relatively safely. The issue is, I don’t know if just anyone can survive this process. I have never tested it, fearing what would happen if the concentrated power would harm or kill others. The concentration of pure Investiture is so great that it effectively dissolves the boundaries between the physical and cognitive realms. Perhaps like so many things in the Cosmere, using the Shard pools in this way is more about Intent, rather than physical limitation. Sadly, the ways of these pools are far exciding my understanding. One of the many reasons why I am hesitant to use them is rooted in the knowledge that I understand almost nothing about the mysteries of shard pools, except that they can carry me between realms. Even so, I know there are others who use these pools for the very purpose I do. As I have written to you before, Hoid is a master of traversing the various worlds via shard pools. In fact, I think that the only way he can be reasonably tracked is watching the points where he can travel. However, he is far too crafty to make it that easy to catch him. Independent of our little organization, the 17th Shard is the only operating group of Worldhoppers that I know of for sure. They seem to see themselves as a policing force, attempting to keep some kind of balance and observing the actions that are happening across the Cosmere. Like I have said before, they are no longer fond of me since I set foot and integrated myself among the people of Roshar. They seem to feel that these peoples are far too easy for an outsider to manipulate. Although they have sought me out, I have hidden myself well and make sure not to draw attention or meddle in things other than behind the scenes. Besides, subtlety is often a more powerful tool in making things happen. Let the heroes take the spotlight. Instead I move people into places they need to be, funds where they are most advantageous, and building structure and wealth where there is chaos. Where some wield knives or armies, I wield politics, information, and influence. I sometimes feel ashamed of the distinct advantages my skills and knowledge allow me. Yet doing nothing, as my pursuers would wish of me, would go against all that I have become. Never again will I sit back and watch the world burn beneath me. I have been given too many gifts and understanding to just let myself wander away. I will watch, and I will nudge when I feel it will be of greatest benefit. I am not a man to make history, just a man who wants things to run as smoothly as possible. Regardless, I have kept an eye out for these 17th shard peace keepers, they will not get in my way for long. There must be others out there that traverse the worlds beyond their home. The only possible exception would be travelers from Sel. Sel is nearly impossible to visit, and very dangerous at that. Well, all the Cognitive Realm is dangerous for the physical bodies that walk the dark paths. But Sel is far more so even than Roshar. Yet I have a feeling that if travelers haven’t been able to leave as of yet, they someday will find a way. At the moment, only a small number of people know that Worldhopping is possible. But as the peoples of these worlds grow, it becomes more and more likely that others will eventually learn of the secrets of the shard pools. Will we one day see networks of interdimensional highways connecting the peoples of the Cosmere? Will worlds ever push to expand their borders, seeing opportunity in the lands of beyond? With there ever become a time where I become so well know, that I can no longer blend in with alien societies? The future of worldhopping is as unpredictable as the people who practice the art. It is amusing how often we cross paths, seeing how large the Cosmere is. But I feel that many of us are drawn to large and pivotal points in the narratives of the Shard worlds. In fact, as I make my way back to my homeland, I wonder if Hoid or the Scholar have already traveled there. I never thought I would return, but what is more surprising is the fact that I think I am ready to return. After failing my family, knowing they died because I was not strong enough to protect them, I thought I could never face the world that let them die. Yet, dare I say, my travails on Roshar has shown me that through despair and failure, we often learn and gain the strength that we lacked when we were younger. Your report was cryptic at best. Your long silence had me believing that our communications were being intercepted or lost somehow. Disturbing thoughts, that remind me of darker days. In fact, I wonder what forces could be out there, continuing to conspire against us. Perhaps this is why I was called in the first place, to stand and recognize the signs of corruption as they manifest. If the danger you implied is caused by a fallen Shard… well, I just hope I am not too late. I look forward to meeting in person once again, if anything I can’t wait to see the look on your face to see the backlog of reports you now need to sift through, you could make a book out of them I’m sure. I also bring a gift from Roshar, something that might make these reports easier to manage in the coming years, assuming we can keep the gemstones charged. Until we meet again, Elsric Please remember, anyone can submit art for this series, so if you want to share anything, please message me and we can get it in there!
  5. How well could shardplate hold up against bullets? It only takes a few good whacks with a shardblade to totally shatter a piece, so I think that a bullet could penetrate, but this could be due to shardblades somehow being better equipped to fight shardplate. Also, would the bullet just make a hole (due to tiny impulse) or does shardplate always shatter when it fails? Thoughts?
  6. Ok, I've already had 1 crackpot theory shot down, so I think it's time for crackpot theory #2. (I have a hard time believing no one else has come up with this theory, but I did a forum search and haven't been able to find a post about it, so I'm writing it now.) To me, one of the most fascinating aspects of WoR was being introduced to Eshonai and actually being able to learn more about the Parshendi and their society. I think there's still a lot more about them we don't know, but one thing that's clear is that somehow, in the ancient past, they lost most of their knowledge on how to create most of the different forms that used to exist in their society. We also know that the newly-discovered storm form basically changed Eshonai into a completely different personality, which wasn't really the case with the other, "milder" forms that the modern-day Parshendi had been using to that point. So, my theory is this: the spren that the Parshendi have to capture to change into storm form is Odiumspren, and once they change into that form, it's analogous to being spiked by Ruin on Scadrial. Odium can overwhelm their personality and pretty much make them do whatever he likes. Also, since Odium is not splintered like Honor, there aren't just millions of little Odiumspren floating around in the cognitive realm. Instead, Odium "releases" (or otherwise makes the capture of an Odiumspren available) in a highstorm when he knows a Parshendi is waiting to receive it. In this manner, he doesn't lose control of his own essence, but he is also able to directly control the Parshendi, much like I'm presuming he did in the Desolations of old. I don't know that I've quite thought through all of the ramifications of this, but the point that the Parshendi are being "spiked" by Odium seemed pretty clear to me when you see how radically they change when they enter storm form. It makes me wonder if there are other beings that Odium can awaken out of a "dullform" state. Like, for example, chasmfiends... EDIT: So, the WoB's that inexorablePanda quoted below make it clear that the spren are not odiumspren, but are instead spren that have been "spiked" by Odium. That's close enough for me to think that the effect is generally the same, though, with the exception that Odium can't directly tell the stormform parshendi what to do. Maybe they are just imbued with Odium's intent or something.
  7. So, here on Earth, we have a large machine called the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) that smashes particles together at super high speeds to blow them to bits, find what they're made of, and try and understand the basic building blocks and origins of our Universe. Could the Cosmere do the same? Once certain worlds become technologically capable, what would happen if they built their own LHC? But since Investiture is a thing, and the assumed building blocks of the Universe, would they instead decide to somehow distill pure particles of Investiture, and try smashing those together? What would be the results? Can we even assume that the Conservation of Energy, and the laws of E = MC2 are applicable in the Cosmere? Would their laws of Physics be the same on that level? Thoughts?