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Found 53 results

  1. In Rhythm of War, both the Sibling and Kalak claim that the imprisonment of Ba-Ado-Mishram not only impacted the singers, but also impacted all of the spren. Here's the Sibling in RoW 49: And here's the relevant passages from Kalak's journal in the epigraphs from Part 4: Note how the quotes suggest that BAM's imprisonment caused damage to Roshar itself, and by extension to those entities who souls were Connected to Roshar. To me, this suggests that the method BAM used to connect to the singers somehow exploited their Connection to Roshar. I tend to think that it was their Connection to the rhythms/songs of Roshar. Consider this WoB: There's also this line from the final Eshonai flashback, when the Stormfather lets her ride the storm: Note also that the rhythms are a cosmere-wide phenomenon that manifests in a particular way on Roshar: Ok, so this all makes me think that BAM must have connected to Roshar itself in some way and it was through that Connection that she was able to Connect with the singers. The singers are Connected to the rhythms, and the rhythms are Roshar. (This fits with the listeners being spared because they were in dullform and had only a tenuous Connection to the rhythms, which we've been told are difficult to hear when in dullform). So what about the spren? They are little pieces of Honor and Cultivation. Honor and Cultivation have Invested in Roshar. So the spren are clearly Connected to Roshar. But BAM's imprisonment did not tear our the Connection and Identity of the spren like it did the singers. How did it impact them then? What part of themselves are the spren missing with BAM still imprisoned? Whatever it is they are lacking, could it's absence be what causes them to become deadeyes now when Radiants break their oaths? (The book is not real clear on this. Kalak says deadeyes never existed before the Recreance. But we know the Recreance happened shortly after the imprisonment of BAM and shortly before the death of Honor. A lot of crem went down around the time of the False Desolation). The only real hint we get about what's missing is from the Sibling, who says that when BAM was imprisoned they lost the ability to hear Honor's and Cultivation's tones. I had once thought - then abandoned - but have come back around to the idea that BAM's imprisonment somehow cut off the signal or broadcast of the pure tones. In other words, before the imprisonment the pure tones emanated from Roshar itself. And entities with enough Connection to Roshar or one of the Shards could hear them. This would include the Sibling, spren more generally, the singers, and maybe Knights Radiant as well? But now, with BAM imprisoned, it's as if the tones are trapped in the Spiritual Realm and can't get through, so you need some other means of touching the Spiritual Realm in order to hear them. Here's a rundown of the times when characters are able to hear the pure tones (without someone singing them or playing them on a tuning fork or metal plate): Eshonai and the other soldiers who are the first to adopt warform hear Honor's tone during their transformation Eshonai mentions that there are stories that the first listeners to adopt workform heard Cultivation's tone Eshonai hears Honor's tone (along with Odium's and the Rhythm of War) when she bonds with Timbre right before her death Navani and Rushu catch hints of a tone and "thump" early in RoW when Dalinar opens a perpendicularity Venli hears an unspecified tone when she sees Rlain in the cell ("Venli felt all the rhythms freeze when she saw Rlain in the cell. Like the silence following a crescendo. ... In that silence, all of Roshar changed ... And in that silence, Venli thought she could hear something distant beyond the rhythms. A pure note.") Venli hears Cultivation's tone while thinking on the history of the listeners as told in her mother's songs; then she hears Odium's tone and its harmony with Cultivation's while communing with the stones of Urithiru and practicing her stoneshaping The Sibling is able to hear Cultivation's tone again during the climax of the battle of Urithiru, but can't find Honor's (I suspect the Sibling was able to hear Cultivation's tone again because Venli had been able to hear it while interacting with the stones of the tower) Navani finds Honor's tone within her just as she's about to bond the Sibling I think that's all of them. And I think that in each instance there's something happening to bring the character into contact with the Spiritual Realm. It's definitely the case with the transformations, with the characters bonding or about to bond a spren, and when the perpendicularity is opened. The borderline ones are the two Venli ones and the Sibling. But I think that with Venli, in those moments she's feeling an intense connection to her people and their history, helped along by communing with the old stones of Urithiru. And as I mentioned above, I think that the Sibling was picking up Cultivation's tone because of Venli finding it while communing with the stones. Could also have been the bond forming with Navani. (Or maybe Cultivation herself helped out? The Sibling does say that Honor should have been able to help her when she lost the ability to hear the tones, but that he didn't because he was losing his mind). Here's another thing. Aside from the Sibling and the stones of Urithiru, I don't think we ever hear a single spren talk about the pure tones. Doesn't that seem weird? Here's the stones in Urithiru noticing Odium's tone when Venli is using Voidlight to practice her surgebinding: They also mention the tones once later, but we don't get any sense one way or the other of whether they can actually hear Honor and Cultivation's tones: That's it. It just seems odd to me that we never see any other spren talking about the tones. (If I missed instances, please let me know) The main piece of evidence against the theory that BAM's imprisonment cut off the signal of the pure tones is the fact that Infused gems are able to pick up and echo the tones. But it's very faint and requires intense focus to hear. And given that it's really the Light that is picking up and and echoing those tones, and that the Light is itself Investiture brought forth from the Spiritual Realm, I don't think it completely destroys the theory. It would be weird if Investiture itself completely lost the ability to echo it's associated tone. As for what continuing impact the muffling or silencing of the pure tones might have on the spren, I don't really have any good theories. But if color is like flavor for spren, then maybe tones, especially the pure tones, carry some significance for them as well. I started this post genuinely questioning what impact BAM's imprisonment had on Roshar and the spren, but in the course of writing sort of convinced myself that it has something to do with a silencing of the pure tones of Roshar. But who knows, maybe I've got it all wrong and there's some other way that BAM's imprisonment damaged both Roshar and the spren. Do folks have other theories? I'd be interested to hear them.
  2. At JordanCon Brandon gave us this WoB The purpose of this thread is to brainstorm what these other methods could be, I have three ideas : Use a piece of meat soulcasted into something imperishable, maybe a rock that already have filling slots for the spikes. We know soulcasted flesh remember it use to be alive and can be made into lifelesses, maybe it'd be enough to trick the spike? Use the same kind of Soulcasting Fabrial Melishi used for the shield to have the material around the spike believe it's alive Bath the spike in ichor-alcohol. Ichor-alcohol is basically lifeless blood so it should manage to trick the spike and it's far easier to obtain than blood. It's possible you would have to use ichor that used to be in a lifeless which would make things more difficult but it'd still be far better than blood
  3. Honor's death has been a great unanswered question since TWoK, but after RoW, I think we can make some educated guesses about what happened. The biggest clue comes from Rayse's negotiations with Dalinar, where he reveals that breaking his agreement with Dalinar would leave him fatally exposed. This could all be exposition, revealing to us readers some fundamental rules about the nature of shards. Maybe a bit of misdirection too; just as we start hypothesizing about how Odium could be defeated through a broken oath, he gets stabbed in the face. But it seems like bad storytelling to show us a Chekhov's gun that can kill a shard and never pull the trigger. Unless, of course, the gun has already been fired. And it seems poetic for the god of oaths to be undone by a broken promise. Theory: Honor was able to be killed because he broke an agreement/oath The obvious follow-up questions are "what is the agreement?" and "who did he make it with?" One possible answer is that he made some kind of deal with Odium. This seems plausible - Odium is bound to Roshar by something Honor did, and I don't think he could have done so unconditionally without Odium's compliance. But if Odium agreed to be bound under some conditions, and Honor violated those conditions, it feels like Odium would have been able to free himself rather than simply kill Honor's vessel. Additionally, I don't think Tanavast would be dumb enough to make an agreement with Rayse and then violate it in such a way as to put himself at Rayse's mercy. And if that did happen, there's no way Rayse would take partial credit; he would not exclaim "We killed you!" as he did in Oathbringer. Instead, I think Honor broke an agreement he made with the Singers and/or the Fused. Once that happened, Tanavast exposed himself to the Fused, and Odium somehow empowered them to deal the killing blow. This would mean that the Fused named Rine, who also says "We killed [Honor]," was not speaking metaphorically or in a vague collective sense, but literally. I have some evidence to support this theory, and piece together approximately what promise was broken. The first has to do with Windrunners and Honorspren - it does not seem like a coincidence that the Windrunner oaths are all about protection. "The choice of Honor is life" and all that. From the Eila Steele, we know that after humanity destroyed Ashyn, Tanavast commanded the Singers to accept the human refugees. The steele suggests that the Singers did so out of pity and compassion, but it seems obvious that many would have objections. I think the leaders among the Singers (who would eventually become the Fused), demanded that Honor make an oath along the lines of "I will protect you from them" or more specifically "I will not allow the humans to destroy you with surgebinding" before they agreed. Consider how the timing lines up. Prior to his death, Honor apparently was going insane and no longer considering the meaning behind oaths, just the oaths themselves. In this state of mind, he might not consider the capturing of BAM and subsequent lobotomizing of the Singer race as "destroying" them. But it's obvious to the rest of us that such an atrocity is equivalent to genocide. When the Fused learned what happened, they would seek vengeance against the shard that allowed it to happen. Also, this theory helps explain another question I've had: Humanity "won" every desolation, but apparently never tried to exterminate the Singers after the Heralds sealed away the Fused and Regals. Genocide is bad, but towards the end the desolations occurred so frequently that people were living through several of them over the span of their lives. Surely there would have been powerful factions willing to do whatever was necessary to end the desolations once and for all. Unless, of course, Honor himself forbade it. TLDR: I think Honor promised to protect the Singers, and the Fused perceived the imprisoning of BAM as a violation of that promise, allowing them to kill him
  4. theory

    (This is in the Rhythm of War board rather than the Cosmere or Mistborn boards because it touches on RoW reveals to elaborate on a few of its points, and the spoiler policy does not allow RoW outside of these boards, even tagged.) (0.) TL;DR I believe that the "atium" we know in Mistborn Era 1 is actually an alloy of Ruin's true godmetal and electrum, as it potentially provides an answer to multiple oddities with the metal (though this does raise several questions of its own). I further speculate that the abilities of Ruin's pure metal may relate to transcending the Realms, and could perhaps be used in some manner to allow properly transitioning (the former part with more evidence than the latter, which is entirely a guess on my part). (This theory has been proposed before, I'm aware, but I feel that the threads I have found on it don't really delve into all of the evidence for it, and in some cases predate certain things such as the Hemalurgic table and several WoBs that I believe provide further evidence. So I'm fine resurrecting the debate.) (Also, as always, this is probably kind of roughly-written because I wrote it in fits and starts over several days and was too lazy for more than a cursory proofread. So let me know if anything is inconsistent or confusing.) (1.) What's odd about atium? (2.) That raises some new questions... (3.) What does Ruin's pure metal do, then? (I.) References
  5. Ok, so in RoW we see Dalinar find Ishar's creepy experiments of forcing spren into physical bodies in the physical realm. But how was he doing this? Whenever spren have entered the physical realm in the past, even through perpendicularities and the oathgates, they always reverted to their manifested form, like Pattern as his dimple on the ground and Syl as a ribbon of light. So is it some application of his Bondsmith abilities that allowed him to force the spren to manifest physical bodies or some sort of twisted power we don't know about yet?
  6. Thing is, we all have perfect color pitch (color-blinds just see less colors). We all know if a yellow is yellow effortlessly, without comparing it to red or blue, just like someone with perfect pitch recognizes a G4 when they hear it. BUT, a grid is needed to express the frequency heard. If that someone comes from a culture with f.e. a 4 note equitempered scale (the first being C) and all their melodies use only those, when they hear a G they will immediately know it's between their 2nd and 3rd notes, closer to the latter than the former, but they'll have no means to pinpoint it exactly. The same happens with colors: a painter may easily tell garnet from ruby, but for me it's just red. That's because I have a low-res grid and my brain cannot store those different shades separately, but not bc I don't have perfect pitch, I still can picture the shade of color in my head without reference like the aforementioned person can sing the note. This video isn't exactly about this but segments 3 and 5 could be useful. The interesting thing is we don't have relative color pitch, which is what everyone has with sound. That's because light doesn't interact in our cones/receptor system like sound does in our cochlea. We can tell if a sound interval is dissonant or sounds "harmoniously" without training, but no one can tell which shade of green the color-equivalent fifth of garnet's frequency is. And I think this is what Brandon was going for: Relative Color Pitch. He's always said that color and sound, tones, have a special place in his worldbuilding and the Cosmere. He's very interested in how these are shaped by perception. However, with this magic he aims for the opposite. He wants to show there's something underlying that perception, something objective that follows only the laws of nature. There's only one problem with all this: we only see the equivalent to an octave. What does this imply? The harmonics of a base frequency that could be grouped into the same color (like different shades of red), would be too far in the harmonic extension, meaning they would be so close that would be dissonant. So the palaces' rooms in Warbreaker would actually be even more hideous to those of 3rd+ Hightening than they are to us. Comparison to sound Harmonics of C1: C1 C2 G2 C3 E3 G3 Bb3 C4 D4 Fifths and thirds would be too far off (blue-greens and yellows for a red, respectively), only those within a 2nd would still count as red. Sound-wise, they might add a bit of color (pun intended) to a full chord, but only the tonic and second it's just plain dissonant. It's a very interesting theme and I love it, but I just think he was a bit too hasty when he introduced it in Warbreaker and it won't work as I would've liked it to. Of course, I respect the fact that Brandon can't go so deep in every aspect of the Cosmere, and some things will need some magical mumbo-jumbo to make them work in a roundabout way and that's fine. I'm just a wee bit disappointed because it seems color and sound will have huge implications in the future and I don't see this part working perfectly. If someone disagrees or thinks I'm on the wrong path I'd love to discuss!
  7. Aluminum can be used to store identity and create unkeyed metal minds. So, can someone breath in light and use aluminum to store the light's identity? Could that produce pure investiture? Could that light be transported anywhere in the Cosmere and be used to power any magic system? What if a cognitive shadow was created when invested with light with no identity? Could they travel anywhere? I am new to the forum. Sorry if this has already been discussed.
  8. I find the way the shards of different intents can be combined into new intents to be a very intriguing idea, and so when warlight was introduced it piqued my interest. That honor and odium would combine into the the shard of war is a very satisfying conclusion. It also made me realize that I do not find that preservation + ruin = harmony to be satisfying at all. In the past I have accepted the explanation that preservation and ruin are somehow diametrically opposed and so would not merge as seamlessly as some other shards could, partially because they are presented as diametrically opposed in mistborn. But now that we know more about the other shards I no longer buy it. Preservation and cultivation would be just as opposed. Ruin and cultivations are also opposites along a different axis. Following the themes of mistborn I think that ruin and preservation together would more naturally fall into a shard of survival. The idea that you need to break down and consume resources to preserve yourself feels much more satisfying as a blend of their intents than harmony does. Indeed I think if somehow Kelsier had managed to get both shards, it would have become the shard of survival, and in this hypothetical scenario I don't think Kelsier would have the same problems that Sazed currently has. I think the two intents would been blended and Kelsier would not be being pulled in two directions the way Sazed is. So I think that Sazed actually had a lot of influence in how the new intent was formed. Harmony is less a result of blending ruin and preservation and more a result of what Sazed thinks a good deity should be. The idea of Harmony is how distinct, sometimes opposing, parts can work together in a way that the result is better than any component on its own. Sazed personal convictions here shine through, in how he maintained opposing religions in the belief that they all had worth to contribute. Indeed a lot of his counseling to his friends was along these lines as well. If I understand the intent of harmony along these lines then I think it sheds some light on Sazed's condition. He is unable to act directly not because his two shards are opposed but because harmony is not about unified motion. Rather he needs to select servants to enact bits of them separately in a way that fits together to make something better. This is what we see him learning in era 2 of mistborn. The logical leap I want to make here is that because Sazed was able to choose an intent that allow preservation and ruin to remain distinct forces under him, he would be able to pick up any other shard and not actually have to change his intent. He would be able to remain Harmony even with odium or honor or cultivation's shard being added with his. He would just be able to harmonize across more notes so to speak. If somehow he was able to take up all 16 shards, he would still be harmony. I don't think this would be him becoming adonalsium, I think it would be something distinct from that, all 16 shards still being their own forces with their own agents in the world pushing with their intents, but in a way that results in harmonious outcomes. Now I want to be clear that this is a hypothetical situation, I don't think this is the directions things will head. Harmony does not have the disposition to go around consuming shards, and so unless some external force is working to make this happen then I think it remains hypothetical. But this way of thinking makes the idea of how harmony works as an intent much more satisfying to me. It also implies that a vessel's interpretation of an intent can have a lot effect, that while a vessel will slowly become single minded to a purpose that purpose is less the shard bending the vessel to its will and more a compromise between the shard and the vessel on what their purpose is.
  9. Sorry if this has been mentioned before, but i couldn’t find a thread on it. Chapter 106 kaladin breaks as a result of teft’s death and... then kills the pursuer horrifically. But a few things interest me here. Venli says: Like what Venli??? It doesn’t sound like void light?? But perhaps it is something about odium?? Or just a general corruption? But with all the light theory in this book it seems to not fit any categories. Kaladin also says he only has a vague memory of killing the pursuer and can’t think straight, and then proceeds to jump off the tower. So moash earlier had said that kaladin could either embrace odium’s emotion taking powers or could kill himself, and he did... both? Not sure if this whole thing is a consequence of him getting too far from the oaths (hence his reduced lashing ability), and if all radiants when they’re about to give up get a yellowish red cast to their glow but... I’m interested to hear other’s thoughts on this. what the heck does yellowish-red mean??
  10. So we're shown in ROW that windrunner shardplate is formed from windspren, which are shown to be similar in many ways to honorspren. What would the plate-spren of other orders be? Edit: I was looking through the coppermind, and the elsecaller plate-spren are logicspren
  11. Alright this is my first theory post and I bet this theory will be somewhat shared by most people and has probably even been posted before, but I haven't found it if it has and I haven't seen any WoBs that directly approve or disoprove of it. So here it goes. My basic theory is that the dawshards were used to shatter Adonalsium, or were at least a fundamental component of the weapon or technique used to shatter it. Brandon has stated that the dawnshards were created post Adonalsium but pre-shattering so I think that they are fundamentally related to Adonalsium and this is how they were able to shatter it. My secondary theory to go along with this is that the intent and commands of the dawnshards influenced the intents and commands of the resulting Shards of Adonalsium. We have seen the Dawnshard of Change in the novella and this could obviously be related to Ruin and Cultivation who both work towards differnt types of change. Also, Preservation could be related to a dawnshard with an intent along the lines of protecting or making things remain the same, and this could be the dawnshard Hoid possesed that has made him unable to harm others or eat meat, becuase he can no longer do things that would harm other living creatures. So thats pretty much it, I'm still new to 17th shard so I'm not sure if I've looked over all the sources I could have, but I just saw this connection and it seemed strong enough to put out their. Below is the WoB that dawnshards were post Adonalsium but pre-shattering. Gary I was wondering if Dawnshards were created at the same time that Adonalsium was. Brandon Sanderson Dawnshards, I’ll have to RAFO that, mostly because my timeline for all the Yolen stuff, with the Adonalsium stuff, is going to depend on writing Dragonsteel. And right now, I intend those to be post-Adonalsium but pre-Shattering. But I can’t canonize that until I’ve actually written that mythology and lore. Because the original intent of the Dawnshards, when you read Dragonsteel Prime (which we’ll release with the Words of Radiance leatherbound), you will find two Dawnshards in there. And their original intent has changed a great deal as I’ve canonized things and really, really dug into building the cosmere. And you’ll see what my kind of original intent for those was. (Or at least I can talk about it.) And it’s changed since then. The way that they were in that book (and have remained so far) is that they are younger than Adonalsium. Dragonmount Zoom Call (Dec. 10, 2020)
  12. So the concept of "the hearts of men" seems like a really important one in the Cosmere. That exact phrase crops up multiple times in the Stormlight Archive, and at least once in Mistborn, Elantris, and Warbreaker. With an eye towards teasing out the importance of the hearts of men, I thought it might be useful to compile a list of the times the phrase has appeared. And then, I broadened my search to include places where it's clear characters are talking about the hearts of men, even though that specific phrase is not used. I've grouped the results into three tiers below. Tier one are times when the phrase shows up in a way that points toward the hearts of men as a central and crucial part of the events to come. Tier two are times when we get a sense of how Shards and/or those working on their behalf are battling over the hearts of men, but without any real indication of how they fit into the broader conflict. And tier three is pretty much everything else. I've spoilered the longer excerpts for tiers one and two. After researching this, I'm fairly certain that when Shards come into conflict with one another, the major battlefield is not a physical one so much as a battle for a greater number of hearts that are open to or attuned to that a particular Shard. Note: The tiers were sort of a last minute addition and attempt to organize the post, so I'd prefer not to quibble about what tier things belong in. But if you see greater relevance to some of the quotes there, feel free to point that out. Tier One - The Hearts of Men are a BFD 1. Words of Radiance Epilogue: After making a point of distinguishing Tanavast/the Almighty from capital-G God, Hoid tells Jasnah that she'll find God, and salvation from the True Desolation, in the hearts of men. 2. Rhythm of War, Ch. 99: Another Hoid and Jasnah scene; this time he tells her that the Contest of Champions will really be about the hearts of men and women 3. Rhythm of War, Ch. 87: Notum steals the show at Adolin's trial by proclaiming that "Honor is not dead so long as he lives in the hearts of men!" 4. Rhythm of War, Ch. 110: in a sort of counterpart to the Notum scene above, Navani here realizes that Honor lives on in the hearts of his "children" Tier Two: Passages hinting at the importance of -- and/or a Shardic fight for market share within -- the hearts of men 5. The Way of Kings, Ch. 45: historians/theologians speculate in sort of the right direction in thinking that Voidbringers could take up residence in men's hearts 6. Mistborn: Secret History, Part 6, Ch. 4: Fuzz implores Kelsier to quit toying around with the hearts of men 7. Elantris, Ch. 60: Hrathen feels conflicted about the potential destruction of Teod; one upside he considers is that "The hearts of men would increase in faith." I ... don't really get this one, but it seems important. 8. Warbreaker, Ch. 21: Vasher reminds Nightblood that his temptation trick doesn't the hearts of men who are pure 9. The Way of Kings, Ch. 38: after Kaladin takes in the Stormlight Teft offered and begins to heal, Teft uses an exclamation about the Almighty living in mens' hearts Rereading this line after RoW, it feels like incredible foreshadowing for the whole "Honor is not dead so long as he lives in the hearts of men" thing. 10. Rhythm of War, Ch. 114: newly-Ascended Todium realizes what a risk Cultivation took given her inability to see the hearts of men Tier Three - All the other interesting "hearts" references I found Way of Kings Ch. 22: Dalinar, citing the in-world The Way of Kings: Dueling someone because they claim I’m a coward doesn’t change their beliefs. It might stop them from making the claims, but it doesn’t change hearts. Ch. 29: Shallan making an argument that Taravangian didn't when debating religion with Jasnah: Our hearts, Brightness. I believe because I feel something, a closeness to the Almighty, a peace that comes when I live my faith. (Jasnah pushes back) But didn’t you yourself argue that the way we act – the way we feel about right and wrong – was a defining attribute of our humanity? You used our innate morality to prove your point. So how can you discard my feelings? Epilogue: Hoid, before concluding that men actually value novelty/timeliness the most: In our hearts, we want to believe in – and would choose – great accomplishment and virtue. That’s why our lies, particularly to ourselves, are so beautiful. Words of Radiance, Interlude-12: Brother Lhan getting the symbolism of the Oathgate just comically wrong: They passed into the Circle of Memories, a round room with ten lamps on the walls, one for each of the ancient Epoch Kingdoms. An eleventh lamp represented the Tranquiline Halls, and a large ceremonial keyhole set into the wall represented the need for ardents to ignore borders, and look only at the hearts of men … or something like that. He wasn’t sure, honestly. Oathbringer, Ch. 91: Tukks responding to Kal's reluctance to hurt opposing soldiers: Means your sane. I’ll take ten unskilled men with earnest hearts over one callous idiot who thinks this is all a game. Rhythm of War Ch. 4: Shallan recalling Mraize's description of the Sons of Honor: Mraize had explained about this group and their efforts to bring back the Heralds – who had actually never been gone. Gavilar had led them along, used their resources – and their hearts – to further his own goals. Ch. 74: Venli disagreeing with Lirin about the value of Kal's example: “Or maybe they simply need something to keep them going, surgeon. A symbol they can trust when they can’t trust their own hearts.” Elantris Ch. 9: Dilaf, with a prophecy he intends to self-fulfill: Jaddeth will not wait while our arteths preach His name against the unyielding walls of Teo hearts. Ch. 18: Hrathen tasking Dilaf with turning people agaisnt Shu-Korath: I will speak second, and my speech will offer logic. You, however, are more passionate – and their disgust for Shu-Korath must first come from their hearts. Ch. 32: Roial commending Sarene on putting a team together: “Ah, Princess,” Roial said, “we’ve come to rely on you so much in these last few weeks. You crept into our hearts and did what no one else, even myself, could have done – you unified us." Ch. 36: Hrathen preaching after his faked healing from the Shaod: “People of Arelon!” he yelled. “Know ye this day who is Master! Let your hearts and souls be guided by the religion which can offer evidence of divine support. Mistborn Well of Ascension, Ch. 29: Oreseur warning Vin about bad-boy Zane: “However, most kandra are very good judges of character. When you practice imitation for as long as I have, you learn to see to the hearts of men. I do not like what I have seen of Zane." Secret History, Part Two, Ch. 2: Kelsier recognizes Ruin's game: He continued to follow the Well’s pulses. These trips gave him cryptic clues to Ruin’s motives and plots. He sensed a familiar pattern to the things it changed – for Ruin seemed to be doing what Kelsier himself had done: coopting a religion. Ruin was manipulating the hearts of the people by changing their lore and their books. Shadows of Self, Ch. 20: Wax realizes the Bleeder will expose the kandra through their attempts to save the Harmony's reputation: “She knows what you’re going to do, TenSoon. What you’ve done.” He felt cold, and met the kandra’s inhuman eyes. “She’s planned that you would send your kandra to try to win back the hearts and minds of the people. That exposes you. Her next step is to bring them down. Interested to hear others' theories on the importance of the hearts of men.
  13. What if cephandris was the weapon. He could have held "Destroy" long enough after that it warped his spirit web to the point that he was dependent on its existence to "destroy" anyone/thing or be destroyed. The reason he can't be harmed/harm is because in the spiritual realm his spirit web is literally missing the piece that let's another web hurt it or be hurt by it.(It's mumbo jumbo-ey. I know.) He worked with the 5 scholars to bind "Destroy" so no one could use its power. The impossible thing he's trying to do is change "Destroy" to "Destroy Evil". That's also how a dawnshard is different from the others. That dawnshard is nightblood. Actually I guess it should be Nightblood.
  14. I have had this theory sitting in the back of my mind for a while and the recent events in RoW prompted me to join 17th Shard and pitch it to the cosmerenauts. This is my first major theory post, but I thought it was worth sharing. Please be gentle in your critique haha While reading RoW and experiencing Navani experimenting with the science of frequency in the Cosmere I was reminded of Kabsals experiment with cymatics and how tones created different sand patterns corresponding to Akinah, Thaylen City, Vedenar, and Kholinar as a proposed proof that the Almighty exists. I propose that this happened on a scale larger than a city back when Odium killed Honor. I believe the splintering of a shard shattered the plains. The remnants of this event are seen in the symmetric shape of the plains that could represent Honors tone before his death. I included some images of documents we were given from the cymatic experiment and the birdseye view of the shattered plains for comparison. What do you think? Any contrary or supporting thoughts? Has this discussion been brought up before?
  15. I'm guessing there are some good pre-RoW threads discussing the "warmth from a place beyond" that Dalinar has felt at various points in the Stormlight Archive. But it seems easier to discuss here where we can delve into RoW material as well. I've been going back through the books to find the times when Dalinar experience that warmth, with an eye toward putting together a list of candidates of who/what is responsible for that warmth. Below I list the five times that I think Dalinar has experienced this warmth/light and suggest some possible culprits. Dalinar's Experiences with the Warmth/Light from Beyond Dalinar first experiences the warmth in WoR 89, on the morning of the day when he would later formally bond the Stormfather: When Dalinar asks the Stormfather about this vision, the Stormfather says he didn't send it. Dalinar later tells both Kadash (in OB 4) and Taravangian (in OB 28) about this warmth and light he has felt coming from a place beyond. He feels the warmth again, just before swearing the third Ideal and opening a perpendicularity in OB 119: This passage shows that whoever or whatever the source of the warmth is, is also the one that Dalinar hears in his head at times, telling him to "Unite them." There's actually an earlier time in OB when this is hinted at as well. In OB 111, Dalinar hears the words in his head and asks if it is the Stormfather. The Stormfather says he didn't say anything. Dalinar feels the warmth again in OB 122 in his rooms in Urithiru with Navani, just as he's completing the introduction to the in-world Oathbringer. In that introduction, he shows that he has discovered what the most important words he can say are (I will do better) and the he has truly come to understand the concept of journey before destination. The next instance comes in RoW 107, just before Dalinar Unites/Connects Kaladin, enabling Kal to swear the Fourth Ideal and save Lirin: Note that Dalinar does this immediately after feeling a "warmth" that the SF does not feel. Note also that shortly after drawing the warmth close, and gaining some kind of understanding, Dalinar speaks as the storm, as indicated by the small caps font. Why do I say that he was speaking as the storm here? Because earlier in RoW, in Chapter 71, we see Dalinar's words in the small caps font for the first time. While riding the storm to try to figure out what is going on with Urithiru, Dalinar grows angry with the Stormfather for refusing to spare some foragers caught in the storm: Then later in the chapter, Dalinar forces his way from the stormfont to the middle of the storm to get a second look at Urithiru (the first went by too fast). He sees Kaladin climbing the outside of the tower, and after he is unable to get through to him speaking normally, Dalinar does this: After the stormriding vision ends, Dalinar reviews the scribe's written account of what he said and notes that the scribe "hadn't heard the parts where he'd spoken as the storm." Even more interesting, however, is this bit about Dalinar drawing power from the soul of the storm. Well that's new. So to recap, the four times that Dalinar explicitly mentions feeling this familiar warmth/light are: The vision of his childhood home at the end of WoR (WoR 89) During the battle of Thaylen Field, just after telling Odium that he can't have his pain and just before opening the perpendicularity (OB 119) In his rooms in Urithiru with Navani while writing Oathbringer (OB 122) Just before majorly leveling up his Bondsmithing game and Connecting/Uniting Kal with Tien so he can swear the Fourth Ideal (RoW 107) In addition to these, although warmth is not specifically mentioned, I think that the second Nohadon vision (the one with an aged Nohadon after he'd written The Way of Kings) may be related to the warmth/light beyond. The Stormfather did not send this vision, and Dalinar sees an intense light: The Nohadon in this vision seems to know who Dalinar is, even calling him by name at one point, and seems to know that Dalinar is having a rough go. This vision comes when Dalinar has fallen off the wagon after being excommunicated from the Vorin church. Nohadon gives some advice about how a hypocrite is sometimes a person in the process of changing, and the very last thing that happens before the vision ends is that Nohadon asks Dalinar "what are the most important words a man can say?" This question jogs Dalinar's memory, taking him back to the night of Gavilar's funeral. That was the night he first heard a reading from The Way of Kings, courtesy of Jasnah. Here is the passage Jasnah reads (slightly edited for clarity and to consolidate the passage): At this point, Dalinar thinks about how, for years, it seemed that he'd been seeing everything around him through a haze. But those words reach him and he thinks "Could words give off light?" After to listening to the whole thing again from the beginning, Dalinar decides then and there to go on a journey, specifically to the Nightwatcher (though he keeps that part to himself). Given that the Nohadon vision reaches Dalinar at a point of despair and points him back towards Gavilar, and the Way of Kings, and remembering his visit to Cultivation in the Valley, I feel pretty confident that the vision is tied to the other instances where Dalinar experiences warmth from beyond. More generally, all of the times that Dalinar experiences the warm/light from beyond seem to relate to a deepening understanding of the meaning of the first ideal of the Knights Radiant, to the concept of Unity, and to Dalinar's growth as a Bondsmith. The first instance (the childhood home) comes just at the end of a book where Dalinar has successfully united the highprinces of Alethkar to try to stop the Everstorm, and just before before Dalinar swears the first two oaths and bonds (unites with) the Stormfather. The second (the old Nohadon vision) causes Dalinar to remember Gavilar's dying words, the Way of Kings, and the beginning of his journey to Cultivation, which helps him remember that his memories of Evi would return. The third instance (battle of Thaylen Field) comes at the end of a book where Dalinar has united multiple nations into a coalition to fight Odium and just before he swears the third oath and unites the three realms to summon a perpendicularity. The fourth (while writing Oathbringer) comes once Dalinar has come to understand what the most important words are for him to say, but also that the words will not be the same for everyone. The key is to keep taking the next step. The fifth (before Uniting Kaladin) comes as Dalinar begins to more fully understand his powers as a Bondsmith and uses them Connect Kaladin and to allow him to continue his journey and take the next step at a time when he didn't think he could go on. So Who/What is Responsible for the Warmth/Light from a Place Beyond The short answer is that I don't know for sure. But I think that we can draw up a fairly narrow list of candidates. Adonalsium - I mean, if Dalinar has concluded that the Almighty was never truly god, and that there was/is something larger/more powerful, this seems like a pretty obvious possibility. I don't think we know enough about Adonalsium at this point to really come up with persuasive arguments for or against this possibility. Honor/Tanavast - Maybe through some sort of spiritual mumbo-jumbo, possibly related to the idea that Honor is not dead so long as he lives in the hearts of men, and tied to the visions, Dalinar is experiencing some sort of Connection with some aspect of Honor/Tanavast that persists in the Spiritual Realm even though he was killed. Nohadon - Almost all of the instances where Dalinar experiences the warmth/light are tied to Nohadon in some way, and there's that WoB that says that even among kings and surgebinders, he was someone special. Maybe Tanavast set up the young Nohadon vision in such a way that would allow Nohadon and Dalinar to make a Connection despite the fact that they lived millennia apart. Also, when Dalinar notices the warmth while writing the introduction to Oathbringer, it feels like a very obvious mirroring of the introduction to The Way of Kings that Jasnah read to Dalinar. Cultivation - Just as most of the instances are tied to Nohadon in some way, they are similarly tied to a recognition of the way that Dalinar has "grown" and "changed." Also, I mean, the female who can see the future that Nohadon spoke with? Who is encouraging him to experience his own journey of growth/change. I'll be shocked if that wasn't Cultivaton he spoke to. Hoid - this one is a little far-fetched maybe; but perhaps part of his vow to be there when needed involves him delivery these little Connections at crucial points; see also how Hoid's small bubble of protection for Kaladin during the nightmare when Hoid tells the Dog and the Dragon, is described as "a pure white light, a longing warmth," and Hoid's assurances that Kal will feel warm again Someone else - I think the five candidates above are the most likely, but who knows. Maybe it's another Shard. Maybe it's the Dawnshard of Unity. The God Beyond (thanks for the reminder @Frustration). Or [insert your favorite crackpot theory] Thanks for reading what turned out to be a long post, and I look forward to hearing others' thoughts.
  16. Alright, so as of Dawnshard we have confirmation that the Dawnshards were used in the Shattering of Adonalsium. My question is, were there four diferent people that each wielded a dawnshard against Adonalsium, or is it possible that one person took up all four Dawnshards at once to perform the Shattering? Now, my obvious first most guess for who would have wielded all four is Hoid, and this could maybe explain his lingering effects of holding a dawnshard, because when he held all four it stretched his spirit web greatly and left it altered. I bet he probably only used all four to shatter Adonalsium and then just kept one, the one that has alter him to make him incapable of eating meat or harming others. What are y'alls thoughts on this?
  17. After watching the shardcast video that was uploaded today, a point was brought up about a timejump happening IN book 5. Outside of any WOBs I am unaware of this is pure speculation, but what do we think about this? While we have a 10-day deadline for the contest of champions, but we obviously we have boatload of content needing to be shoved in such a small space, and while it is surely possible the entire book will span these 10 days, it's equally possible to go beyond this time, which could result in some Catacendre level event that subsequently results in a time-skip. Thematically speaking, I don't think a large portion of the book would follow this time-skip, perhaps part 5 at most, although his however would also mean that the entire book will almost entirely be the 10 day countdown. So then how much of the book is the actual 10 days? Are we going to see chapters of a section of the book dedicated to bridging the timeline between the front and back halves? The timing of everything has me really intrigued... I am feeling like the "10 days" is something myself and others are sure to be hung up on and may not end up being as big of a deal as presented or I am making it out to be.
  18. Looking back through the notes from my re-read of RoW, I was struck by this bit from the Syl interlude: See how Syl just casually mentions the original Oathpact there? As in there is more than one Oathpact: original flavor, and Oathpact 2.0. So this got me thinking that it wasn't just the abandonment of Taln and the Honorbaldes and the parting of the ways that we see in the Prelude that changed the Oathpact. Rather, some other affirmative step was taken. I find other evidence for this theory from the following: Nale in OB Chapter 106 (emphasis added) Leshwi in Row, Chapter 14 Ulim in Row, Chapter 73 Add in the fact the several times Ishar refers to himself as the "bearer of the Oathpact," and I think there's pretty solid evidence that some additional action was required beyond just abandoning Taln and hoping he would continue to be a bad ass. So what did Ishar (and perhaps others) do to shift the Oathpact onto just poor Taln? One thought I had was that maybe they ceded some of their minds in the process and that's why (above and beyond the millennia of torture) they're all suffering insanity. I don't love this idea though because I feel like it's been done before in the Cosmere (I'm thinking of Scadrial here). Interested in others' thoughts on what might have been done to shift the pact onto Taln. On a final note, I'm struck by just how much the Oathpact was driven by the Heralds (and if Shalash is to be believed, pretty much just Ishar). The Heralds (Ishar at least) went to Honor, and he gave them this right, this oath. A Bondsmith (presumably Ishar) Connected the Heralds to Braize, and made them immortal. It all sounds a bit like Ishar cooked the whole thing up and just needed Honor to sign off on him forging the pact. I mean, yes, he gave them the Honorblades and a conduit to his power, but Ishar was really the driving force.
  19. In Oathbringer, we learned from Notum that Honor created the honorspren himself "many thousands of years ago." We also learned that, sometime before his death, Honor stopped making honorspren, and tasked the Stormfather with doing it instead. Now, with Syl's interlude in RoW, we get a just a little bit more detail on when true spren were created: (I note that both Notum and Syl only mention Honor when talking about the creation of true spren, but given that that all of the true spren are mixes of Honor and Cultivation, it seems likely that Cultivation had some role in their creation as well) Assuming that Syl is correct, that means that the creation of true spren likely predated the arrival of humans on Roshar. I hadn't really spent a lot of time thinking about why Honor and Cultivation created intelligent spren, but I guess before this line from Syl I had kind of assumed that their creation was tied to the arrival of humans. If that's not the case, then why were they created? I was pondering this when I came across and reread this old WOB: The lines talking about how it's dangerous to have power lying around without an entity to control it, and how it was a good thing Kelsier was around on Scadrial jumped out at me. Is it possible that, after seeing what had happened on Sel, Honor and Cultivation created intelligent spren to ensure that at least some of their power was tied to sapient cognitive entities as a safeguard in case Odium came for them? Perhaps they created true spren with an eye toward ensuring that whatever he and Cultivation did to bind Odium to Braize would continue to function? Or perhaps it was done in the hopes that it would be possible for someone to take up or reforge the Shard of Honor in the event of his Splintering? Odium flat out tells us in Oathbringer that the Splinters of Honor left behind pose a problem for him: I presume that Odium's primary concern is someone else taking up the Shard of Honor and that he sees the Splinters left behind as a possible conduit to that happening. So, maybe that was the plan - create intelligent spren to avoid a situation where you had raw Investiture rampaging like on Sel. It would explain why Tanavast wanted to pass the responsibility for creating honorspren to the Stormfather before his death. Could also be part of the meaning of the encouragement to "Unite them" in the visions he created. Interested to hear others' thoughts.
  20. After RoW I've been thinking of the uses Anti-Invesiture can have not only in Stormlight, but in the Cosmere as a whole. I started thinking about Scadrial and Ettmetal. We have a WoB that says that both Atium and Lerasium can be extracted from Ettmetal I'm guessing that those "not normal, mechanical means" are the use of Anti-Investiture. We know that Anti-Investiture repels normal Investiture. So maybe if they can get Ettmetal to a level where it isn't as reactive as it is normally, you could separate Ruin's and Preservation's Investiture aka Atium and Lerasium. What we know about this process is that it can't be done on solid Ettmetal (since they use Raysium to conduct Anti-Voidlight in RoW) so maybe in a liquid state —which is possible since Malatium could be created from Atium— there could be a way to use either Ruin's or Preservation's Anti-Tone to separate their individual Investitures. If there's a way to create undiluted Mistborn (and possibly Full Feruchemists with an alloy of Lerasium) that could give Scadrial a lot of power and there could possibly be a Lerasium and Atium trade.
  21. Just a random thought I have: would a mistborn, either due to perception or, by their nature regarding Scariel’s mist, draw a particular spren on Roshar?
  22. Loved Rlain POV so much, and once again branderson wrote a marginalized underrepresented character so well. Not gonna lie I wanted him to bond the sibling a. Because seeing a marginalized character with that much power... I want it and b. I didn’t really want another kohlin radiant AND bond smith but i was ultimately happy with navani and him being chosen by a truth watcher spren. Anyways, I’m curious if anyone else picked up on a quote that I simply cannot find in this ginormous volume where he essentially says that mateform doesn’t go right for him... My immediate thought was that we might have another lgbtq+ icon on our hands, since (as far as we know) mateform seems to be a heterosexual pairing for the purpose of producing children. Anyone else have thoughts on this (or the quote lol).
  23. While reading through one of the scenes between Kabsal and Shallan in TWoK recently, it jumped out at me that Kabsal actually used the word "cosmere" twice. This sent me on a research mission hunting for in-world use of the term to see whether it might reveal anything interesting. The word cosmere has been used in-world in Mistborn: Secret History; all of the Stormlight novels and one of the novellas (Dawnshard), and in two of the three novels from MB Era 2. No mentions in MB Era 1, Elantris, Warbreaker, or any of the other short fiction in Arcanum Unbounded. Here's what I found, listed chronologically, with some commentary. Mistborn: Secret History The term crops up twice in SH, first when Khriss breaks Kelsier's brain by explaining that there are 14 additional Shards beyond Ruin and Cultivation and that they are all on different planets. (Part Three, Chapter 2) Later, in the epilogue, a now-Cosmere-aware Kelsier drops the term when talking to Spook. Takeaways: No great insights here. It's not surprising that Khriss, an accomplished, worldhopping scholar knows the correct lingo. And of course, Kelsier's got to start showing off his superior knowledge as soon as he can. The Way of Kings The term shows up four times in Way of Kings. Hoid uses the term in his letter to Frost (Ch. 13 Epigraph). Then, in Ch. 29, Jasnah uses the term during one of her discussions with Shallan: As mentioned above, Kabsal uses the word twice when trying to explain to Shallan what the Voidbringers were. This is in Ch. 45: Finally, Hoid mentions the term to Dalinar during that weird conversation where he seems to be testing whether Dalinar has ever heard the word Adonalsium before. Takeaways: Obviously it's no surprise to see Hoid using the term. As for Jasnah and Kabsal, I think there are fairly simple explanations for both. For Jasnah, we know that she's already bonded Ivory by this point and I'm guessing the first thing she did was ask him a gazillion questions. And Kabsal, as an operative of the Ghostbloods, is likely cosmere-aware. More interesting to me is the substance of what he says. I wonder how much he is just spouting the official Vorin doctrine here about increasing good in the cosmere, or if it's more of a personal view or (probably least likely) a hint at more noble goals for the Ghostbloods than we usually think. Neither Shallan nor Dalinar respond in a way that suggests the word is strange to them. I don't know what to make of that. For Dalinar, the word came in the midst of a conversation where Hoid used a bunch of nonsense words. And Shallan is pretty much always in her own head. Or maybe this is another example of Rosharans being bad at naming things and they just think that the term applies to only Roshar (synonymous with "the world"). Words of Radiance The word cosmere is mentioned in two spots in WoR. First, in the Ym interlude (interlude 2). Ym uses the term twice while thinking to himself about his Iriali religious beliefs. Here's the first: Then later, right after using Progression to heal the boy's foot, he thinks: The second spot is in Frost's response to Hoid. Takeaways: Nothing big. No surprise about Frost. And given that Ym is Iriali and therefore likely descended from worldhoppers, it's not too surprising to see him know the word. Oathbringer Just one mention in OB. In chapter 68, Hoid uses in a conversation with Shallan about the strange man that he is: Takeaways: Again, not surprising that Hoid uses the word. But if you're keeping track at home, this is the fourth time someone has used the word cosmere while talking to Shallan. Dawnshard Spread across four different chapters (15, 17, 18, and 19) covering the climax of the novella, Nikli uses the word about five times, either referring to a duty to the cosmere or the existence of evil forces in the cosmere. Rysn repeats the word back once. Takeaways: Not surprising that the Sleepless are cosmere-aware, and Rysn seems to be just repeating the word back. Rhythm of War Unsurprisingly, the most recent SA book has the most references to the word as the peoples of Roshar are becoming more cosmere-aware. Mraize uses the word three different times when doling out little tantalizing tidbits of info to Shallan (Chapters 13, 78, and 115). Sja-anat, in her interlude, uses the word when thinking to herself. Venli also uses the word when thinking to herself in chapter 53. Kalak mentions it in the epigraph for Ch. 76. Hoid mentions it when trying to explain to Kaladin what a puppy is in Ch. 80. Raboniel mentions it once in Ch. 97 during one of her scientific discussions with Navani: Then Rayse mentions it a couple of times when haggling over terms with Dalinar in Ch. 112; and Taravangian thinks it to himself several times as he's getting a feel for his new situation in Ch. 114. Takeaways: This is the first time - on-screen at least - the either Kal or Navani hears the term. Both were in fairly intense situations at the time though. Or as discussed above with Dalinar and Shallan, it could just be that they assume it's a term that refers to just Roshar. Shallan's up to 7 references now. Venli using the word is interesting, but I think probably explained by the time she's likely spent talking with Leshwi during the time jump. The rest of the references make sense. Mistborn Era 2 I count four occurrences over the first three entries in the Wax & Wayne era. First time is when Wayne thinks it to himself in Shadows of Self, Ch. 13: Then, in Bands of Mourning Ch. 2, Steris mentions it when talking to Wax just after the wedding fiasco. Wax clearly does not know the term: In the following chapter, MeLaan uses the term while getting in a dig at VenDell: And finally Harmony uses the term in an intriguing way during while talking to Wax during the climax of Bands of Mourning. This is Ch. 28: Takeaways: Nothing surprising about MeLaan the kandra using the term. But what's going on with Wax, Wayne and Steris? Is Wax the weird one for not knowing the word? Or are Wayne and Steris the weird ones for knowing it? If Wayne and Steris are the weird ones, how did they come to know the term? And what's with Harmony using the word cosmere in place of "cognitive realm?" Is he intentionally withholding realmatic theory from Wax? Or just trying to make it easier to undestand?
  24. So this morning I was thinking about how Nightblood got into the hands of Nale, and based on Vashers placement in book 1 I am wondering if he (depending on how long he's been back on Roshar) was originally working with or around Gavilar and The Sons of Honor? We know he's there because of the (probably moralistic) easy access to investiture, what if he originally had his sights set on getting that investiture off world like the rest, and was betrayed or disillusioned with the goal (we know $$ and power seem to be a big motivator for these groups), and that is how he and Nightblood split and he went into hiding(?) within the Ardentia??
  25. Not sure about anyone else, but I'm endlessly intrigued by Ulim. And not just his weasely, sycophantic ways. There's a lot of weirdness going on with him. So I wanted to put together a post laying out what we know, and what mysteries remain surrounding that Voidspren we all love to hate. What We Know 1. Appearance Ulim generally takes one of two forms. Either that of rolling, crackling red lightning/energy moving across surfaces; or that of a small human male with "odd eyes" and long hair that waves or ripples in an unseen wind. He can also vanish, making only certain people able to see him. And on one occasion, we also see him with spikes breaking through his skin and then retracting: RoW, Chapter 77. 2. Personality and Mannerisms To put it bluntly, Ulim is just ... the ... worst. He's dismissive, derogatory, and downright callous ("Oh, you thought she was alive?") to anyone he views as bring of a lower station than him. Which seems to include pretty much everyone except for the Fused and Odium himself. Although he's not beyond making snide remarks about even the Fused and the Unmade, provided they're not around to hear it: Row, Chapter 73. But when in the presence of a Fused, he's obsequious and frankly, more than a little cowardly. He's concerned about others making him look bad in front of them. He lies constantly, and is a master at manipulating people. While being dismissive is his go to move, he's plenty able to pour on the praise and promises of future glory if that's what the situation calls for. And while he seems firmly on the side of the Fused and Odium, he speaks and gestures in human ways. Here he is in RoW 59, somewhat reluctantly deciding to work with Venli, while using what seems a very un-singer like expression: Here he is in OB Interlude 3 after Venli grows angry at the way Ulim is speaking about Eshonai: Here's another point later in the same chapter, and this time a Fused calls him out for it: He's unforgiving toward those he views as traitors to Odium's cause (even when they do exactly what he wants them to do). Oh, and he thinks pretty highly of himself (perhaps not entirely undeservedly) for what he was able to accomplish in summoning the Everstorm. This is again from OB Interlude 3: 3. Abilities (Note: I'm proceeding in this section under the assumption that what we see Ulim do with Venli, he would also be able to with other singers) Ulim is able to move in and out of a singer's gemheart without needing a highstorm (though it may require some level of permission from the singer). He's able to crowd into the gemheart along with whatever lesser spren gives the singer their current form. While inside a singer's gemheart, Ulim is able to speak to the singer and even hear their thoughts. By taking up residence inside a singer's gemheart, he also grants them the ability to hear Odium's rhythms. Perhaps his most impactful ability is the ability to manipulate a singer's emotions. He makes Venli dance like a puppet on strings, and through her manages to manipulate a number of other listeners as well in pursuit of his goals. (If interested, you can read in the thread below about my theory that Ulim is actually using vibrations/rhythms to perform this emotional manipulation): As mentioned above, Ulim is able to scoot along surfaces in the form of cracking lightning. And although he doesn't appear to able to fly, he does seem able to sort of jump while in lightning form: This is also one of several instances where we see that Ulim can make physical contact with a singer. Other instances are when he hops onto Venli's shoulder, grabbing onto her hair, and shortly later in RoW 77 when he lands on Venli's arm and begins moving toward her gemheart. During that pivotal moment, Ulim also demonstrates that he can vibrate energy through a singer. After hitting on the idea of starting a war with the Alethi, he vibrates energy through Venli while trying to convince her, not just to go along with that plan, but also that it was in fact her idea. There is a limit to his ability to interact with the physical world, though. For example, he is not able to carry a bag of gemstones, and brings Venli along to do that. One ability that Ulim does not have is the ability to see in Shadesmar. I don't know how notable this is. I tried to look back through the first four books to see whether spren are generally able to do this or not and couldn't really find anything definitive one way or the other. 4. Ulim's Role in Odium's Plans Although it is never explained, the Fused (and even one stormform singer) refer to Ulim as the Envoy. He made his way to Roshar by passing through the barrier storm that blocks the way to Braize in Shadesmar. Through some unknown method, he was pulled into a gemstone in the Physical Realm of Roshar at a place in the southern ocean that, presumably, corresponds with the location of the barrier storm in Shadesmar. Axindweth, a Feruchemist agent of Odium delivered the gemstone into Venli's hands and tempted Venli with promises that it held the secret to granting forms that could heal her mother's illness. After Venli releases Ulim, he begins putting into motion Odium's plan to circumvent Taln, who after 4,500 years of torture has still not broken. By manipulating Venli, revealing information about new forms, and sharing human gem cutting techniques, he eventually succeeds in getting nearly all of the listeners to adopt stormform. This allowed the singers to pull a large portion of the roiling barrier storm - that Odium had broken off and moved through Shadesmar to the the Shattere Plains - through to the Physical Realm. The result: the Everstorm, which restores the Connection and Identity of the singers who were lobotomized by the imprisonment of Ba-Ado-Mishram, and allows for the Fused (and other Voidspren as well I believe) to return Roshar for a good old-fashioned Desolation. After that, Ulim shows up just a couple of times in OB (searching for Eshonai, and the scene where Venli and the other singers are lined up to accept Fused souls in the Everstorm). And then he pops up early on in the invasion of Urithiru (RoW 42), letting Raboniel know that they've found Navani, after which they have this intriguing exchange: And that's it. We don't get to see him again throughout the rest of RoW. 5. Miscellaneous This didn't really fit in above, but I wanted to mention that Ulim recognizes the Heralds (at least Shalash, Kalak, and Nale). And Nale, at least, knows Ulim by name. Relatedly, Ulim is terrified of Nale Remaining Questions about Ulim 1. Why is he called the Envoy? 2. Why does he both appear human and have human mannerisms? 3. What's with the unseen wind that's always rippling his hair when he's in his human form? What's so "odd" about his eyes? 4. How the heck did he make it through the barrier storm? 5. How does he communicate with Axindweth and other agents of Odium? In RoW 77 he says that "I haven’t heard from Axindweth in a few days. I’m certain it’s all right. We have a meeting point where she leaves things for me. The gemstones will be there.” How was he communicating with her? How often did he go to the meeting point? What else did she leave him there? How did he carry it? Also, who are these other agents? 6. Why can't he see into Shadesmar? And more broadly, if anyone can point me to any information about whether other sapient spren are able to do this or not, I'd appreciate it. 7. What's the deal with the creepy little poem that Venli seems to use in RoW 86 to locate/summon Ulim ("Say a name on the breeze and it will return, she thought") 8. What was up with those spikes poking through his skin when he was freaking out he night of Gavilar's assassination? (I've seen someone compare that to how Ati appears a couple of times in Secret History; also reminiscent of the several times when light seems to be poking through Rayse in RoW) 9. What did he mean when he referred to Navani as a new toy? Has he used humans as pawns in the past? Who? When?