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Found 205 results

  1. So, there is something very weird and not yet revealed about the timeline for the human migration from Ashyn to Roshar, the Heralds, and the Oathpact. From what we are told in Oathbringer, humans came to Roshar and were granted Shinovar to live in, eventually they wanted more land and fought against the singers/Dawnsingers, starting the wars that became the Desolations. But most if not all of the Heralds were born on Ashyn, before the migration to Roshar, with the only possible exception being Shalash. And the Heralds became Heralds when they were the age they now physically appear to be. (See the WOBs at the bottom of this post...) This puts a fairly tight constraint on the time scale for these events; probably no more than 30-35 years or so, if Shalash was born around the time of the migration. Yet it seems this must have taken a very long time. Shinovar is a pretty large land, and much more favorable to human life than most of Roshar - there wouldn't seem to be an immediate need to move beyond Shinovar. And the humans from Ashyn presumably arrived as refugees, not immediately ready for a war of conquest. And furthermore, it seems the Oathpact couldn't have been a response to the initial war with the singers. The Stormfather says (Oathbringer chapter 38; I'm not copying his ALL CAPS): So the Oathpact didn't happen until after: - humans fought a war with the singers - the dead singers became the Fused to fight against humanity further, and were repeatedly reborn - this process continued long enough for it to become clear that humanity couldn't win the war unless something drastic changed That pushes the timeline out even further, as these wars probably lasted years (maybe many years) by themselves. This seems to be a major timeline issue. But do we really know that the Heralds became Heralds at the same time as the Oathpact was formed? The Stormfather says (same chapter) that the purpose of the Oathpact was to seal the Fused spirits in Braize: But then, why do they get Surgebinding powers and Honorblades? How does that help? (This question isn't original to me- wish I could remember who brought it up - but I've seen it used as evidence that repeating Desolations, and thus a need to fight, was Honor's plan. But the Stormfather made it very clear that it was supposed to "end the war forever", ie no more fighting needed...) We do know that the Honorblades were given to the Heralds as part of an oath (Oathbringer Chapter 16, the Stormfather speaking:) But perhaps there is more than one oath involved. One maybe 30 years after the migration to Roshar, when the Heralds stop aging, get Surgebinding and Honorblades. And a second one, the actual Oathpact, after decades of war with the singers, becoming an endless losing battle as the Fused arise and reincarnate endlessly, which doesn't involve Surgebinding but does trap the Fused spirits on Braize. WOB #1:
  2. All people have a Cognitive Aspect which is formed of Investiture (as technically everything is). Upon death this Aspect begins to dissipate, just as the body begins to decay. An infusion of Investiture to the body will heal it and an infusion of Investiture to the Cognitive Aspect will maintain it. Living people are effected by other people’s perceptions. The effect is simply minimized for unknown reasons. In contrast, the Cognitive Aspects of objects and non-sapient creatures do not have whatever safe guard minimizes this effect on living sapients and are strongly effected by perceptions. Shadows seem to fall into an in between area. They’re less effected by perception than non-sapients, but they’re more effected than living sapients. Whatever safeguards living sapients appears to be damaged, though a strong enough infusion of Investiture or exposure to the Spiritual Realm may help. What’s even more interesting is that there’s some indication that the whole problem is tied to memory and the limits of human capacity for it. It’s possible memory is the safeguard. There are some indications that an ordinary living sapient who lives too long will begin to have the same issue as a Shadow. And others that indicate natural immortals may avoid the issue. It’s also worth noting that Vessels seem to have a similar problem and some take advantage by trying to shape perceptions of themselves in particular manners. (Note that most Vessels are alive.) To me this indicates that the problem is less of perception and more a matter of Spiritual Connection. If the body is the physical function, and the Cognitive is the consciousness, it seems like the Spiritual is the totality of our lives experiences: the web of memories and connections we form throughout our lives that define who we are. It seems to me that as the Cognitive Aspect reaches its natural threshold for recall, it begins to lose its ability to access portions of that web, almost like a magical version of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s as though the Connection between Consciousness and Experience begins to fray, leading to the weakening of the Self. I’m going to call this the recall threshold: the point past where a Cognitive Aspect can access the sum totality of its Spirit Web. If something happens to expand the Cognitive Aspect’s ability to ‘recall’ or if something stimulates this, the Cognitive Aspect will ‘remember’ itself. In the absence of a whole link to the Spiritweb, I think perception takes its place. That’s a type of Connection too, but it’s one formed by the collective experiences and memories of other people. If you don’t know who you are, then you have to take it from other people. Imagine someone with amnesia, being told ‘You are X. You work as a Y. This is your family.’ etc. and determining who you are based on that. Except on a much broader and unconscious scale. In this hypothesis, as the ties from the Cognitive Aspect to the Spiritweb fray, the collective Consciousness, the perceptions and Connections of and with other people, act to shore up the fraying supports. Over time, as the ties between Realms continue to weaken, this collective consciousness becomes a pseudo-Spiritweb shaping the way the Cognitive Aspect defines itself while still allowing that self to maintain some definition. This has little to do with whether it’s the original person, or soul, or not. It’s not a problem of perception - indeed, perception would actually be acting as a symptom reducer - but a problem of Connection between Realms. The problem that Shadows face would simply be a result of those ties being damaged by having died. Just as a person loses their Connection to the Physical, they also lose their Connection to the Spiritual upon death. When a Shadow has their Cognitive Aspect stabilized, it stops the severing process and may even reverse some of the damage. But it seems reasonable that these Connections between Realms are no longer whole. The Connection to the Physical, for example, needs to be intentionally restored. If the tie to the Spiritual remains damaged, then it would be more vulnerable to breakdown than that of a living sapient. So while both living and Shadow will experience the recall threshold problem, a Shadow will experience the effects much sooner. This effect would apply to all Shadows over time. In fact, it would apply to all non-natural immortals. Even natural immortals could, in theory, eventually hit their (presumably much higher) recall threshold and experience the effects of the loss of Spiritual Connection. In conclusion, whether or not a Shadow is the original person’s consciousness/soul is immaterial and remains a philosophical problem (as per WoB). The problem is one of Realmatic Connection that would ultimately effect all sapients, with the closest Physical Realm equivalent being something like Alzheimer’s or other disorders of memory. The fact that increasing the recall threshold or decreasing the distance between Realms can heal this damage would be indicative of this problem not being tied to original personhood of a Shadow, but to a greater Realmatic effect to which Shadows are simply more susceptible due to their weakened ties to the Realms.
  3. So, something I've wondered about since I read RoW is what has happened to the Honorblades, and what will happen with them going forward. Based on Dalinar's encounter with Ishar, it's strongly implied that he attacked the Shin and took the Honorblades from them. He may have only recovered his own, so we don't know that he has all the missing ones. But that means that 6-7 of the Honorblades are either in the possession of the Shin or Ishar's forces, or split between them. Nale has his, Moash has the WindRunner blade, and we still don't know what happened to the StoneWard blade. Since Kaladin and Szeth are headed to Shinovar in book five, it's more or less guaranteed that more information about the other blades Shinovar protected all those years will come out. What really happened to them, where they are, who has them, we don't yet know. But we will hopefully find out. What I'd like to ask/postulate, is what will happen if they honorblades are recovered by the radiants? If the desolations truly end after book 5, then there won't be the same kind of need for them anymore. The desolations will be done. The heralds my eventually recover, but who knows what state they'll be in. And as a certain honorspren said and Szeth has proven, the honorblades are dangerous. Without any kind of oath restricting the actions of the ones holding them, they can be used to terrible effect. Of course, some of the honorblades could still be useful. The blades could be used to train people in the surges of that blade's corresponding order, which would be useful in times when there aren't many radiants of that particular order, such as BondSmiths. Or ElseCallers at the present time. So the honorblades could still be very useful, but also very risky. This brings me to my conclusion. I think the honorblades should be destroyed. They were forged from Honor's soul, and Vorenism likely considers them holy artifacts, but with the danger they represent and the need for them greatly diminished, they should probably be disposed of. The way to do this, of course, is with Knightblood. If that sword is capable of damaging one of the honorblades, then it should be capable of destroying them. It would be tricky, given how Knightblood works, but it should still be possible. Of course hiding them or locking them away is an option, but the Shin tried that. And while they were successful for a long time, the blades were ultimately recovered by insane heralds who have done Adolnasium only knows what with them. That's why I think the honorblades should be destroyed. What do you think?
  4. Hemalurgy can take Connection via duralumin. Could one take the Connections that the heralds have, then give themselves those Connections, then somehow "heal", those damaged and weakened Connections to re-forge the Oathpact?
  5. Something about the physical appearance of the heralds seems off to me, particularly the ages of Ash and Jezrein. Sanderson was askedabout it and he was very evasive about the timeline of the Oathpact and particularly how it related to the ages of the heralds. The only hard comments we have about the timeline is that 1) The Heralds appear the age they were when they became heralds, 2) At least some time passed between escape from Ashlyn and the Oathpact (They left when they were "younger than they were when they became Heralds"), and 3) Shalash is the youngest herald was born right around the time of the escape, possibly right after. The first point is a bit of an issue because Jezrein canonically looks to be in his late 30s. Shalash doesn’t have a canon age description due to the absence of comments on her being a teenager, so probably early twenties at the youngest. This is a bit of an issue because is Jezerin in Ash's father. The simplest explanations - Ash is Jezrin’s biological daughter and he was a teen dad, but Jezerin as a father that young doesn't really make sense to me with his character - Ash is adopted. She’s more ‘western’ looking while Jezrerin is described as more ‘eastern’ looking by Rosharan standards. If so she could be around 10-15 years younger than him which fits the appearances better than the biological limitations. Whatever caused Ashlyn to be destroyed likely created orphans, and adoption is a totally Windrunner thing However, this discrepancy also led me to a fairly tinfoil theory, but one I think there is mounting evidence for. That the Oathpact was founded over many years, and not all of the heralds were created at the same time. Specifically, they joined up in their numerical order. In general, the consistent ordering of the heralds has its roots somewhere, and the surge binding diagram, with its extra connections, implies that there is an innate organization to the Rosharan surges. I also think it's likely that the heralds were specifically selected individually as the best candidate to wield a pair of surges, not that the most awesome-est ten people were chosen and then assigned surges. It's not too much of a stretch to perhaps people had to be added to the Oathpact (or the Honorblades had to be created) in some specific order. This actually works well with the scant evidence we do have about the Herald's early history and synergizes well with some of the numerology and mythology we have about them. Jezerin was the first, which makes sense as the leader. Ishar is technically 10th/last, but since the heralds are portrayed on a circle, Ishar could have initially first (and Jezerin 2nd) which got the perception got shifted over time since Jezerin was seen as the leader. Or Ishar could have been the last officially made a herald (last Honorblade made maybe?) and was using his non-Herald Ashlynite bondsmith powers initially. We see in Nale’s flashback that he is approached by Jezerin who says that “Ishar and I agreed. There is no person we would welcome more eagerly into this pact than you.” To me the grammar implies to 'we' welcoming him into the pact is 'Ishar and Jezerin' which places Nale as the next (2nd) before others were selected. Also the 'welcome into this pact' could be interpreted as the pact already existing, with people added to it over time. Shallash as #6 is much later than Jezerin. This allows time for her to grow into an adult while Jezerin is frozen at the 30s/40s he became a herald in. Taln was supposed to be Herald, and hadn't distinguished himself before being chosen like the others. As 9th, the last except for Ishar, Odium could have time to catch on and eliminate the initial choice, or do something to threaten the plan and force Ishar to make a snap decision (maybe Taln was just the best candidate in the right place/right time). Any other ideas or interpretations? I think the adoption explanation is the simplest to clear up the Ash/Jezerin age discrepancy but I do there's something to the numerology.
  6. Now that Navani and Dalinar are bonded to the Sibling and the Stormfather respectively, are they the most powerful couple ever to live on Roshar? Unless two of the Heralds were married to each other or two previous bondsmiths, I think they probably are. Also, I find it fitting that two bondsmiths are bonded to each other.
  7. I'm rereading WoR and when shallan talks to taln he says ishar made the knight radiants a few desolations ago. So that means the heralds fought off the fused without the radiants before? And does that mean the 10 of them destroyed ashyn by themselves? Or did the honour blades originate on roshar? And if they did where did the magic come from to destroy ashyn? Sorry i know its alot of questions
  8. Now that Navani and Dalinar are bonded to the Sibling and the Stormfather respectively, are they the most powerful couple ever to live on Roshar? Unless two of the Heralds were married to each other or two previous bondsmiths, I think they probably are. Also, I find it fitting that two bondsmiths are bonded to each other.
  9. Hi! This is my first time ever posting on the Shard, I've been playing around with this theory ever since I learned about the Ashyn magic system. As a sort of preamble, I want to first just describe the overarching idea of this theory. 1) Voidbinding is a viral-based "hemalurgy" or spiritweb-stabbing magic. 2) The Shin have or had Voidbinding, practiced or no. As in, they are capable of being infected by a sort of viral disease empowered by Odium that attaches to one's spiritweb to give them power. Or at least, I believe that, originally, Voidbinding would do this. 3) Ashynians originally hoped to invade Roshar with the disease. 4) The Heralds were or are Voidbinders. We can blame the Ashynian magic system for their insanity, as well as Szeth's. Yes, okay. Now that we have my probably rather insane ideas. Let's dig in! Also a brief reminder all of this is insane speculation and a lot of it is me extrapolating information. I want to explain what I mean by Voidbinding, and how I describe the magic in this system. First, Odium sends a sort of proto-spren (a splinter of himself, potentially more like proto-Unmades) to attach themselves to a host. In order to "bond", the proto-spren begins a strong infection of the spiritweb in a way much like Hemalurgy. I believe this magic system was inspired by trunelife and the Sho Del on Yolen. A sort of extraterrestrial magic system that is capable of infecting anyone but also able to move between planets without forming a stable Connection. Essentially, it would corrupt as it spread to grant species of people incredible power, only to also infect them with Odium's powerful emotional control. Indeed, it could also explain why Ambition was first to go-- the Shattering was probably accompanied by a Dawnshard for Change to forcibly create a new power for himself. At the height of the system, Ashynians could use unrestrained Surges that were modeled after Yolen's own magic system (I also operate on the belief that Surgebinding comes from Yolen-- at least as a basic concept). I think Odium messed up a bit, and what ended up being created was a sort of Hemalurgic spike that'd destroy the spiritweb once it left the host, if it ever did. Indeed, we can later see how the influence of an Unmade on an area can disrupt one's spiritweb; I forgot the WOB, but it essentially stated that there was a relation to hearing screaming voices and Unmade influence. As a secondary theory, I also want to say that original Fused cognitive shadows are those who were initially Voidbinded. Essentially, they became infected enough that the disease attached to their spirits, making them Invested (Infected/Invested, same thing) enough to remain as Cognitive Shadows by Odium's desire. Of course, the constant cycle of rebirth has made the deeply spiritual disease continuously tear open their sanities. And then, and I know I don't have any information on this, once Odium realized that the humans were turning on him, he rescinded his powers from the cognitive shadows he had as his champions and turned them all into the Unmade we know today-- now Frankenstein's monsters of living beings. The remnants of this magical disease left on Ashyn has now evolved due to it not having access to Odium's power, now requiring the full absorption of the health of Ashynian people to survive. 1: The Shin had/have Voidbinding. Yes, I'm sorry, right off the bat I need to say that I think the people of Shinovar have Voidbinders, and that we'll finally see it in the next book. Not only is Shinovar the place most unlike the rest of Roshar, and due to it also being the one place where the Ashynians were originally supposed to be, I believe them to be inherently connected to the Voidbinding magic system. At the very least, the Shin have proven to be repeatedly war-like in the past, perhaps a bit Odious, at least to me. The fact that it is more of a throwaway line leads me to want to place even more emphasis on it. I think the fact that the Shin even attempted any sort of excursion into Roshar despite being isolationist in the present leads me to believe a large amount of influence was swaying their decision-making. Of course, it is also important, I believe, to note that the Shin also intone that there is a way to speak with stones in the same way that the Willshapers do (at least, Venli was able to do). Furthermore, Ashyn's magic had changed, and I think it is also different with the Shin-- especially since Odium seemed to have shifted his desires long after to focusing upon the Fused (which, by the fact that they kind of forcibly bond with beings, implies they, too, were kind of going through the motions of Voidbinding). Indeed, it seems odd that the Shin would have access to any sort of powers-- especially in going to reclaim the Honorblades for themselves, and having what seems to be quite a bit of cosmere awareness. So yes, they know a lot about what truly happened on Ashyn and the movement to Roshar, though the information is not completely accurate. Furthermore, without strong access to Stormlight (at least it was stated they don't use it much), I wanna assume they draw upon Voidlight to perform their magic. The Unmade influencing the Shin leaders is most likely also giving them these illness-like bonds, binding to their emotions and giving them powers. This influence probably leaves tears in the spiritweb, and Szeth's being in the higher echelon of Shin society would have inevitably given him access to the Ashynian illness. Indeed, this would leave a tear in his spiritweb, which would set him up for a Nahel bond, yada yada. 3: Ashynian offensive Okay, now that I've set up that the Shin could have this magic system's remnants floating around, I move to also explain how an invasion of Roshar could have went down. The humans crash down in Shinovar. The singers gave them the space to work with, but the Ashynians, probably influenced by the Ambition-side of their diseases, sought to spread out much further. To become Connected to Roshar, the Ashynian viruses spread out and infect singers left and right, subtly nudging them to Odium while also gaining a Connection to Roshar. I think it also may help to explain how the humans began to wane off of Odium's influence soon thereafter, probably due to the kindness of the singers, while the violence of their diseases affected the singers negatively. The two sides shifted due to the initial bonding of power. I think the reason why people think that mental disorders are requisite for a Nahel bond start here-- where the humans were afflicted with disorders upon removing themselves from the viral diseases. 4: The Heralds were Voidbinders I feel like this one goes without saying, but I want to say how it pertains to their insanity. If the Ashynian disease was a hemalurgic-sort of tear in the spiritweb, then anyone who forcibly removes themselves from it will become massively open to the influence of any Shard or Investiture like a spren. I don't think that the effects of it would kill the user, as it would mostly have torn at sanity and sense of identity. As such, it would explain why the Heralds and their agreement with Honor was formed; to fill in the holes left by them removing themselves from Ashyn's magic, Honor granted them Honorblades to mimic the powers they had on Ashyn. These blades, bonding with the spirit, allowed them to be generally safe from the influence of the Ashynian viruses as they fought against Odium. The Oathpact, being formed, hopefully was to also be used to give them sanity. However, these holes would only grow with more stress upon the spirit, and they began to become less and less sane. We can see today how most of the Heralds have ran away from their original personality traits, or have regressed. I think Nale is a special case because he was able to bond with a highspren; the opening of his spiritweb was filled up again by him also bonding himself with a spren and flying up to the Fifth Ideal to avoid the utter insanity associated with the savantism gained from being an Voidbinder. Furthermore, I think Taln was able to generally avoid giving in because he was both insanely based and badass but also because he never had the Ashynian sickness. He wasn't already broken down by the powers of the sickness, so he was generally able to avoid being torn apart as easily-- and in fact his connection to Honor was the strongest. I think he's still suffering from insanity induced by torture, but the fact that he maintained his oath is telling of a lack of Odium's effect. Sorry for making this so long. I have a lot of ways I could go with this theory, like, I'll probably post more later. But I just wanted to get this out there and discuss what I had made. Thanks
  10. Just had a crazy thought that I am 73.6% sure is wrong, but it’s just so crazy it might work. We know that there is some sort of “magical” something affecting the Heralds mental state. And we think it has something to do with the capture of BAM (and that somehow the Recurrence was all tied up in there as well) Ok. So what if it was intentional? What I mean by that is maybe Melishi was more aware of what would happen then we give him credit. We see from the interactions between Dalinar and Odium that Oaths must be intentional. The letter of the law vs the spirit of the law, and that it would not really work for Odium to get Dalinar to say something if he did not mean it. Well maybe Melishi knew that by making the Heralds go insane they would be incapable of having the correct intent to release Odium. Like if someone were to club Dalinar over the head, turning his brain to mush and then getting him to say something it would have no effect because Intent is very important in the Cosmear. So once Taln lost his mind it was impossible for him to release Odium (not that he would have anyway). And maybe the spren were aware of the “side effects” but thought it was worth it to permanently (or so they thought) lock Odium away. ( I actually have a completely different theory about the Recurrence and why the Knights and Spren did what they did, but that is for another time). What do you guys think?
  11. Disclaimer: I'll be citing many things I read in the course of time, but I lack the energy to reference WoBs or other theories, so I apologize if I talk about something that has been confirmed as incorrect! Hey! First post here After finishing Rhythm of War and spoiling myself a lot through many reads of coppermind, I spent this whole year reading through cosmere theories over here and on reddit too. I'm a huge fan of many theories that are around, and one of the things that I'm really curious about is the origin of the unmade. There are many theories around, some a bit more elaborated than others. There is one linking them to the dawncities (mostly based on what the Sibling said about Raboniel unmaking them) and though I like it, I think it'd be a bit of a stretch (perhaps I'm wrong). There are also many theories linking them to the Heralds but for some reason I don't feel super happy about them either... However, yesterday I was reading a theory on Ba-Ado-Mishram having a human/singer part called Mishram (because of stuff like how she was called a "highprincess" or how Kalak talks about Mishram in such a coloquial way) and that got me thinking. Maybe this is a bit of a stretch, but we could say that Heralds more or less are spren, in the sense that they are cognitive shadows and we know they get affected by Roshar's population's conceptions about them (I think this was confirmed on a WoB but I might be wrong). I always assumed the Unmade were originally a spren of high tier like Cusicesh or even higher like the Stormfather or the Nightwatcher, but what if they were actually people, or aspects of people? When talking about lesser spren, we know of the nature ones just like flamespren, windspren, etc. and the "emotion" ones like angerspren, joyspren, etc. In this tier we also have creationspren, logicspren and some others that don't really represent emotions but something more like concepts. Then we have the "truespren" or what we could call the radiantspren. I'm not really sure what are they, I think it was confirmed on a WoB that the 9 kinds were created by Honor and Cultivation (though I know spren in general predate the arrival of Honor and Cultivation to Roshar). So, radiantspren might be the cognitive representation of ideals ? I mean, for honorspren that's quite straightforward of the ideal of honor (not as a shard but as a general ideal) but mistspren, cryptics, inkspren, etc. are more hard to tie to a specific ideal, though we could say ALL radiant spren are tied to the ideals represented by the radiant order associated with them. Relating the last thing to the Heralds, we know there are certain ideals of values tied to each one (creativity and honesty for Shalash for example, I don't recall the other ones). Maybe this ideals used to have a spren of some sort, or maybe the cognitive nature of the Heralds got tied to these values because of how long people associated them. There are many theories around that link the Heralds' madness to their ideals, and there's a WoB confirming their madness is a magical one. What if the unmade are an aspect of the heralds that was taken from them by Odium, causing their madness and also explaining how many of them are mindless and represent specific "bad" things like Ashtermarn or Nergaoul? There are a couple of problems with this theory. First, we should establish when this happened. I don't know how old the Unmade are, so I'm asking you guys, does this make sense chronologically? In Dalinar's vision fighting the Midnight Essence, the KR already existed but we know the Oathpact and the Heralds predate the KR. My theory would be that Odium unmade the Unmade when the Heralds broke the Oathpact (explaining why there are 9, since Taln didn't break), but I'm not sure when this happened. It could have happened after Honor's death maybe? There's also another problem: as far as we know, the 10 Heralds are insane. If the unmade were part of the 9 that stayed, Taln shouldn't be insane, but he is. We could say he is insane because he was tortured alone for 4500 years with no rest, but he regained clarity along with Ash in Thaylen City's battle, so probably his madness is magical too. Anyway, sorry for the wall of text and let me hear what you think!
  12. Give we are told by ishar that he is trying to bring back the oathpack. Given that we are told several times that cognitive shadows are closer to Spren then they are to people. Given that the key difference between the Heralds and other connective creatures are there physical bodies. Given that we see ishar trying to give physical bodies to cognitive beings in the form of high Spren. Is ishar trying to figure out how to give a cognitive being a physical body? If so dose he intended to use this to create new Heralds to replace the old broken ones?
  13. Heralds Madness The Heralds are insane, and that seems to a plot point of increasing significance with Kaladin’s focus on mental health in RoW, Ishar’s plan being dangled as a plot thread for the upcoming KoW. However, a lot of unclear with the herald's madness. I don’t think it’s been confirmed but it’s collectively accepted that a major part of the problem is a ‘magical’ inversion of their divine attributes/purpose. However, what’s causing this isn’t clear. There are so many factors at play that could be screwing with the Heralds heads: Normal PTSD from millennia of torture + war Immortality related Cognitive shadow decay (brain trying to handle millennia of memories) Spiritweb impact of 'breaking' during the oathpact Spiritweb impact of actually abandoning the oathpact BAM being bound Honor's death/shattering Guilt over abandoning one of their closest companions to be tortured alone ??? (Nale specific, but bonding to a Highspren is making him worse) The heralds seem to think that this is purely a result (1) PTSD. Kalak says that they shouldn't be 'getting worse' anymore. Nale tells Szeth at Thaylen Field his loss of compassion is directly torture-related Ash told Adolin that "thousands of years of torture" is what made the heralds insane. Ishar seems only to make the ideal = lucidity connection when Navani swears her ideal. Ishar also says he needs to be sane to fix the oathpact, not that fixing the oathpact will make him sane. I don’t think it’s actually on the herald's radar that they have a 'magical' problem. The source of the magical insanity can't just be the impact of abandoning the oathpact or breaking since Taln seems to still have the 'inverted attribute (resolute/dependable - comatose and cowardice) and he never participated in either of those two things. The cognitive shadow memory problems are definitely an issue but it doesn’t make sense as a root of the herald's ironic madness. I think it's something later, probably BAM being bound and/or Honor's death, that is causing the 'curse'. Heralds are closer to Nahal spren than humanity at this point, per Kalak, and also directly connected to Honor (like the Sibling). What happened to the Sibling and all the spren was drastic and completely uwpredicted. Heralds getting uniquely broken (on top of trauma + memory problems) fits with the other effects we've seen. Furthermore, while, the heralds do seem insane even in the original prologue (Kalak's anxiety, he sees cowardice in Jezerin’s eyes) but it’s nowhere near what we see in modern Roshar. Jezerin is leagues more put together, and while anxiety does seem to be part of Kalak’s madness, but I would argue that his magical anxiety seems to be specifically social anxiety (he’s at his most fearful surrounded by crowds at Gavliar’s party and the Trial) as an inversion of the social organizer role willshapers seems to have had. What we saw in the prologue than the completely reasonable fear of torture driven by PTSD. Finally, on a meta level, this would also help tie two of the major plot threads (Dalinar’s plan to fix the Heralds and Adolin/Shallan’s quest to release BAM) in KoW.
  14. So I’m in the middle of Elantra’s and it seems that taln is suffering an affliction not unlike the hoed, he is in such pain he is essentially insane and like a hoed he constantly repeats a mantra as a coping mechanism and finally, like riino, he is only salvated when being enhanced from investiture, riino was enhanced by the lake and taln was inhanced for a small amount of time by dalinars oath, thoughts?
  15. I belive that wit has 4 surges. Wit was the first one to meet taln after 4500 so I think he took taln's honorblade. So he gets 2 surges form there and then he gets 2 surges form design
  16. Though we've only seen him directly in a couple of scenes so far, I find Ishar one of the most intriguing of the Heralds and a character I'm very interested in figuring out more as Stormlight progresses. Most obviously because, though he doesn't get as discussed as often as, say, Jezrien, and isn't set to be a main POV character like Taln or Ash, almost every time he's mentioned we find out more of the major events of Roshar's history that he's had a hand in - seriously it seems like half the time a rock gets turned over regarding the history and lore of Roshar, we find him hiding under it. Whose experiments with the Dawnshards and/or the surges apparently led to the destruction of Ashyn? Ishar's. Who founded the Oathpact? Ishar did. Who became the Herald associated with the Bondsmiths, arguably the most powerful Radiant order? Ishar. Who enforced order on the proto-Radiants and was apparently already powerful enough to personally destroy them all if they refused? Ishar. Who convinced the other Heralds to abandon the Oathpact, or at least showed them how? Ishar. Who convinced Nale that he had to hunt down surgebinders to stop the coming of the Everstorm? Ishar (and I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out he also convinced Kalak to start the Sons of Honor, considering Kalak and Nale hung out at least occasionally). Who has Ash convinced he's the only Herald to still be sane and trustworthy, despite being a ranting megalomaniac? Ishar. Who's that Tukari warlord with a god complex who gets namedropped every now and again? Ishar. And who's apparently involved in some way with the Shin Stone Shamans? Ishar again. The point being, dude's had his fingers in a lot of pies, even for a Herald. And it seems like he was a very dangerous man even before he went all megalomaniacal. I, for one, have been suspicious of how often his name keeps cropping up from as early as Words of Radiance, and each further book only reinforces my belief that this is a guy to watch and be wary of. From what we see in Rhythm of War he's scary powerful and involved in some strange and creepy things (and I have a feeling we've only seen the tip of the iceberg regarding what he's really capable of). With Dalinar sending Kal and Szeth to bring him to heel it looks like he's being set up for an important role in book five - which, interestingly was originally supposed to be Dalinar's book (aka, the Bondsmith book). Personally, I don't trust even Ishar's moment of sanity; sane or mad, I think there's more going on with him than we've yet been privy too. Now, everything I mentioned above could be just the random acts of a madman, but personally, I'm inclined to doubt it- Ishar may be a madman, but he's also a genius, and I think he's got some sort of endgame in mind even if it doesn't make sense to anyone but him. Is his ranting about taking up Honor and Odium and becoming a new Adonalsim just the delusions of a megalomaniac, or does he actually have some sort of plan to achieve it, even if it probably won't work (he's not actually Honor's champion, for one). Or does sane!Ishar have some other plan that got buried under the character of Tezim the God-Priest? How has he convinced the other Heralds to listen to him - is he just more rational when the person he thinks is Odium's champion isn't around, or does he (as I've seen suggested) know some trick with Connection to make people trust him (which is incredibly creepy in its own right, if true)? Why is he experimenting on spren? Why does he want Dalinar to meet him in Shinovar specifically? And, perhaps most importantly of all, will he be dealt with in Book Five or will he continue to play a role (as an ally or an enemy) in the back half of the series? Personally, I've got a lot of thoughts, but few that feel like concrete answers. But I do think, one way or another, Ishar is going to have a very important role to play in how things unfold from here. Anyone else have thoughts on the Herald of Luck?
  17. So I know there have been a number of attempts over the years to match up the Unmade with the Heralds. In this post, I also try to match them up, but this isn't another theory about the Unmade being corrupted versions of or split off from the Heralds. Rather, I'm positing that the Unmade are drawn to (or maybe represent, or exacerbate) manifestations of the various forms of madness being experienced by the Heralds and the mal-adaptive ways they are trying to cope with their madness. I got the idea from a side tangent in another thread about whether a Bondsmith is necessary to entrap an Unmade. I think the consensus opinion there is that you don't necessarily need a Bondsmith, but you definitely need someone with a deep understanding of the particular Unmade. For example, Shallan is able to see that Re-Shephir is afraid of her because at some time in the past Re-Shephir had been imprisoned "by a Lightweaver like Shallan, who had understood this creature." (OB 30). This got me thinking more generally about how artifabrians have to attract spren with something they know in order to trap them in gems. But that idea of attraction also reminded me of something Jezrien (as Ahu) said during a drunken conversation with Dalinar in Oathbringer: Jezrien here seems to be drawing a line between the Heralds' madness and the Unmade. From context here, I take it that the "we" in his statements refers to the Heralds and the "them" to the Unmade. So, what might the Heralds have done to attract the Unmade? I think has something to do with the way the Heralds' minds are experiencing a sort of cognitive dissonance with human perceptions of them, and with the different ways that the Heralds are trying to cope with that madness. Here's a WOB on the subject: Shalash is the clearest example of this. Vorinism associates her with the divine attributes of creativity and honesty. But she knows the Heralds were dishonest, and is driven to destroy depictions (copies) of her. Her madness is characterized by the opposites of her attributes: Creativity - Copying; Honesty - Lies. This matches up pretty neatly with Re-Shephir, who we see is drawn to Shallan's lies (her illusions) and spawns copies of the violence she sees. Further, given Jezrien's belief that Dalinar had attracted the attention of an Unmade, I'm wondering if maybe the Unmade are not just drawn to the Heralds' madness or coping mechanisms but to others who exhibit the same behavior. Reasoning along these lines, here's my attempt to match up the Unmade with the Heralds. Of necessity I begin with the Heralds we have actually seen. After that, the theory obviously breaks down a bit, but I still try to find matches based on what we know about those Heralds: Shalash - Re-Shephir: discussed above, I don't think this pairing is controversial at all Jezrien - Ashertmarn:No longer protecting and leading, Jezrien deals with his madness by excessive drinking. This matches up with Ashertmarn, the mindless Unmade who urges people to indulge to excess and abandon their lives and responsibilities Nale - Dai-Gonarthis: Nale's madness manifests as a near-total lack of emotion. It's almost like a void that has consumed all emotion, which I think matches up with what little we know of Dai-Gonarthis (The Black Fisher holds my sorrow and consumes it!). Also we see conjecture that Dai-Gonarthis was involved in the scouring of Aimia. Given what we've learned about the dangerous secret hidden in Aimia, the scouring reminds me of Nale's mission to find and kill proto-Radiants. Ishar - Ba-Ado-Mishram: I feel like these two match up given they're both very knowledgeable about Connection, and they both used Connection to serve as leaders of their respective organizations. Ishar's madness does manifest in opposition to his attributes of pious and guiding, as Ishar now blasphemes by claiming to be god and misleads both humankind and the other Heralds rather than guiding them. BAM also arguably blasphemed by trying to play the role of Odium in the False Desolation. Turned out to be a rather misguided plan. Kalak - Yelig-Nar: This one I'm not totally certain about, but there are connections. There's the Amaram connection. Kalak (as Restares) led the Sons of Honor, an organization in which Amaram played a prominent role. There's the amethyst connection. That's the polestone associated with Kalak's order, and Amaram bonds Yelig-Nar by swallowing an amethyst, and then grows carapace and amethyst crystals from his body. Kalak's madness manifests as indecisiveness, which is opposed to his resolute attribute, but I don't know if I see a Yelig-Nar connection there. The other attribute is builder, and Yelig'Nar seems to consume/destroy his hosts which fits. Battar - Moelach: I really don't have much on the madness theory with this one, but there are other reasons to match these two. First there's Battar's involvement (as Dova) with recording the Death Rattles. Moelach was said to grant visions of the future most commonly at the transition point between realms, when a soul is approaching the Tranquiline Halls. Battar's order, the Elsecallers are those most skilled at navigating the transition between realms. Battar's attributes are wisdom and care. If I wanted to stretch I could say that Moelach, as one of the mindless Unmade fits with the opposite of wisdom. And the actions of the silent gatherers certainly cut against the attribute of care. Vedel - Nergaoul: Although we don't know whether we've seen Vedel on screen at this point (Liss?) Nergaoul, the Unmade that inflames emotions and provokes bloodlust, war, and violence, seems a pretty good opposite to Vedel's attributes of loving and healing Pailiah - Sja-Anat: Again, it's unclear if we've seen Pailiah on screen. (Brandon supposedly wrote in a signed book that she was the aged ardent in the Palanaeum in Way of Kings, but later seemed to back away from that). So I can't describe her madness except to say that I would expect it manifest as someone ignorant and selfish, the opposite of her attributes learned and giving. (Total side tangent crackpot theory: who exemplifies selfish ignorance more than Ialai? And the letters of her name are right there in Pailiah, but I digress, plus RIP) But again, I feel pretty good about this pairing given Sja'Anat's involvement with Pailiah's order, the Truthwatchers. Sja-Anat is the taker of secrets and the Truthwatchers are the most secretive order. Sja-Anat enlightens spren; Pailiah is learned. Sja-Anat can only be seen in reflected light and mistspren resemble the shimmer of light reflected through a crystal. Lots of connections. Chanarach - Chemoarish: just about the only thing we know about Chemoarish is that she's sometimes called the Dustmother, so matching with the patron of the Dustbringers just makes sense. Plus she's the only one left if you don't count Taln. That just leaves out Taln, who didn't have a chance to attract an Unmade with his madness on Roshar because he was holding down the fort in Braize for 4500 years. So there you have it. A somewhat different approach to trying to match up the Unmade with the Heralds. Interested in others' thoughts.
  18. Hi all! I wanted to share a quick cosmere fic that I've been working on today. The idea is that I'm going to do a short character study, between 1,000 and 2,000 words, for each Herald (I've written five of them already). They're generally based between Oathbringer and Rhythm of War. The first chapter is based off of Jezrien! I hope you all enjoy it. All feedback is welcome so long as you're not rude! https://archiveofourown.org/works/29924256/chapters/73652727
  19. So we all know that the heralds have a unique madness that is most likely linked to their divine attributes and how people perceive them. I’ve seen several threads theorizing that the capturing of Ba-Ado-Mishram is what caused their madness, but if you remember what Ishar said in his brief moment of clarity to Dalinar, he says that their madness retreats when they are around Radiants that swear ideals or when they are near the Spiritual Realm. Now I’m not trying to pinpoint when their madness started, although Kalak’s epigraphs hint that it could be a result of their enormously long life. What I am trying to say is that if their madness retreats when around Radiants getting upgrades, and if the only Radiants left after the Recreance are the Skybreakers playing Radiant whack-a-mole, I wonder how many opportunities the Heralds would actually have after the Recreance to experience an Oathed-up moment of clarity. I think it is most likely true that they were quite mad before the Recreance and that they already knew what sort of experienced brought clarity. So ya, there you go.
  20. In the mistborn series when a certain god metal is burned it does two things: 1) weakens the shards influence temporarily 2) regenerates in specific place tied to the shard I think there may be additional rules in place in Roshar with it manifesting as spren as a "release valve" But assuming that it does not manifest as a spren, where does Jezrien's investiture regenerate to when he dies? Does it fuel the other heralds? Does it empower surgebinders? Is it sealed away?
  21. So, does anyone else thinks that Gavilar wasn't actually looking towards bringing something like Everstorm, but just looking to free all singers from their bondage? As we know Restares is Kelek who, from the epigraphs, knew about the effect of Ba-ado-Mishram's imprisonment on Roshar and perhaps guessed that Radiants gave up their powers for this reason (probably) as they felt guilty for causing such drastic change to Roshar and its native population. So he decided to restore the singers and the only way to do that was to bring back Taln from Braize, thereby freeing fused and suing for peace. He had anti-voidlight already prepared and ready to destroy fused as a backup incase they don't work with him. It's such a marvel that we still can't figure out what Gavilar wanted. While he was an asshole towards his family, may be here he wanted to do something good. What do you people think?
  22. So, here’s a random thought I had. Warbreaker spoilers ahead!
  23. Well, this is the first time I submit a topic and I've also been here for a very brief period of time, so I'm not really sure if this is something that has been discussed before, but I've always wondered why (when watching podcasts or videos about the Stormlight Archive) nobody seems to coment on something that I find quite obvious. This would be a spoiler for Oathbringer, but I'll be marking it just in case. I'm posting this mainly to know if this is considered as "obvious" as the fandom as it is to me, because as I said, I've never seen it being at least mentioned.It'd have interesting implications for the future development of other characters of the series, so I think it would be nice considering it.
  24. Do we think the other Heralds had moments of lucidity when Navani bonded the Sibling, too? Or was Ishar special for one reason or another? If they did, I hope we hear about it.
  25. Odium killed Honor, but did he have help? I was going over some death rattles, (getting all kinds of ideas) and had this thought: Did the Heralds kill Tanavast? or somehow knowingly allow Tanavast to be killed? Did they have Cultivation help, did her machinations go back this far, did her power take over her vessel, and she cultivates plots? We know she has sought to replace at least one shard vessel. Chapter 1 Epigraph: "You've killed me. Bastards, you've killed me! While the sun is still hot, I die!" Is this Tanavast, referring to the heralds, the heralds and cultivation, or maybe cultivation and odium? Why would Cultivation want to kill Honor and let Odium splinter his shard? What motivation? The Rhythm of War. The force created by Odium and Honor, as long as the two existed as equal power, the war would continue. Cultivation and the heralds would both have motivation to stop this. Chapter 54: "The burdens of nine become mine. Why must I carry the madness of them all? Oh, Almighty, release me." Was this Taln? Tortured on Braise, giving in, unable to take the torture, but Tanavast, being dead, unable to release him? If the herald could not be released, then perhaps the enemy could be locked away, and indeed it was, for a time. Tell me what you guys think.