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Found 8 results

  1. A small theory. In allomancy, gold, electrum, atrium, and malatium all work in a similar way and reveals possible futures or alternative presents. Renarin's form of illumination seems to be a type of future sight, perhaps a type of spiritual illumination, and may work through similar realmatic process as atrium and electrum. What if regular illumination can reveal alternate presents like gold or malatium can? Shallan creates alternate personalities which are incomplete because she doesn't actually have the experiences these alternative personalities would have. What if it isn't so simple? She may not be able to recognize it, but what if she is using illumination to pull in little bits of alternate Shallan? Is it possible that as she becomes more accomplished at using Illumination that she will be able to pull on experience that is not her own?
  2. So I was thinking more about the surge of Illumination, and we really haven't seen anything like the full combat potential for this surge yet. I think Illumination can be used both Defensively and Offensively. One of the big advancements in understanding for this surge during OB was that an illusion could be affixed to a gemstone, this opens up a ton of more possible uses for this fascinating surge. Here are some possible uses: The Combat Flash Grenade: We know that Shallan can manipulate light with her surge of illumination, we also know from the scene in WoR that she can have moving, animated illusions affixed to Pattern, and from OB we know that she can affix illumination illusions to gemstones. Combining all of these, I present to you the combat flash grenade, a complex predefined illusion that starts out as normal sphere and cycles to a state of extreme illumination (depleting the stormlight of the sphere). The effective radius of this combat grenade would probably be dependent on the size and quality of the encased gemstone (an emerald broam would probably be the best). But if Shallan sketched this sequence once in her sketchpad she could essentially (with a bag of spheres) blind the entire front ranks of an attacking phalanx of troops: The Archery Blind: Like the flash grenade, a simple illusion could be attached to a gem and given to a team of archer's. This gem would have an illusion of a natural looking rock formation, and if the archery team was positioned before the enemy troops got a good sight line on them, they would essentially be firing from a place of concealment, giving them an advantage when the enemy archers begin returning fire (this could also be combined with a natural cave, giving the archers a redoubt when the enemy has discovered their location). The yellow part of the illustration is just highlighting the portion that is illusion: The Burmese Tiger Trap with Pallisades: This is a pretty self explanatory defensive strategy, dig a pit, put some pallisades in the bottom, then cover the top with a seamless illusion. Wait for the enemy to fall in. Simple. The Heartbreaker: Given that Shallan can create sound waves with the use of her surge of Illumination, and that they are specific enough that (at least this is implied) she can modulate the frequencies of these waves well enough to imitate voices and other sounds, it stands to reason she has enough control over these generated sound waves to create sound waves of specific frequencies. So with enough research (which I'm sure Navanni would help her with) she could by trial and error discover the resonant frequency of sound that would be required to shatter the Fuzed's gemhearts. This has lots of advantages, because soundwaves propogate through matter, and can be used from a distance this would be a good way if properly deployed (maybe even with Fabrial technology) to take out the Fused. This is a lot like the DARPA project to find the resonant frequency of human eyeballs to disrupt enemy combatants vision (which actually was a project) to create a long distance sonic weapon, and some sonic weapons used to disperse protesters. Similar in operation to how the correct resonant frequency can destroy glass, Shallan with enough research could find the proper frequency and amplitude to shatter Fuzed hearts from a distance: I'm sure these are just the tip of the iceberg, what else have you guys got?
  3. So, nowhere in the books have we seen lightweavers using the surge of illumination combatively. Shallan's army during the final battle in OB did apparently have some substance to it but it is supposed that she did this through a combination of soulcasting and illumination; or simply the 'weight' of concentrated stormlight. However, I see reasonable evidence that illumination could actually be used combatively, and to devastating effect. As we all know, Ars Arcanum has this to say on the surge of illumination: Is this to say that lightweavers/truthwatchers can create ANY kind of wave-form? If so this means that in addition to visible light, (not even going to dig into the sound spectrum for the moment) someone with the surge of illumination would be able to create wave-forms ranging all from radio waves and microwaves, all the way up to gamma radiation. Are we someday going to see Shallan take the field and start microwaving voidbringers to a crisp? How about drop her into the middle of an enemy encampment and give everyone cancer from massive exposure to gamma rays? Even if one couldn't go so far, why not concentrate the lightweaving into a super powerful laser death ray and blast holes through baddies? I see major B-A potential here
  4. So, I'm still in part 2 of Oathbringer, but today I read something in a Shallan chapter that I found very interesting. She upholds an Illumination by "binding" it to a sphere in her pouch. That works for an extended amount of time. And I find it kind of suspicious that pattern acts weird sometimes, saying that "this isn't the lie, Shallan, can't you tell?..." I'm thinking that maybe Shallan changed something about herself (I don't know, could be something small like, hair color...) and is upholding it since her childhood. 1. Could that work? Any opinions for/against it? 2. This is my first theory, please don't be mean. Haha 3. English is not my mother tongue, so if I wrote something weird, please just tell me!
  5. First, this forum is such a cool space to have conversation and speculation among people with similar interests yet such different backgrounds. The different experiences that we have definitely feeds into how each of us reads and interprets, which makes for such a fascinating opportunity to share insights and see things in ways that we might not have thought of or picked up on. Certainly, there are aspects of the fantasy genre that are meant for entertainment – I, for one, love to get lost in a different world every once in a while, disconnecting from ‘reality’ and plugging into dreams and imaginations. However, much of the world deems writing, poetry, imagination, fiction, especially fantasy, as a luxury that is separate from and irrelevant to what is commonly known as ‘real life.’ So I wanted to begin, since this is my very first post in the forum, with a word of encouragement to you fine folks. As the saying goes, fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth (I am sure the progression of Shallan Davar and Pattern would agree with this), and fantasy, as removed from ‘truth’ as it often seems, is a pertinent example of lies through which much truth is often spoken. To those of you who are mocked for choosing to spend your time in a corner, head buried in a book, take heart and confidence in what you learn from your imagination, and in that confidence share your insights with those who might be afraid of the truths they might find within the lies they tell themselves: that reality is what it seems, fantasy is only escape and distraction, and survival is for the ‘fittest.’ Imagination is not a luxury, it is life. I think Brandon Sanderson does well in showing this in the Stormlight Archive, making manifest what we cannot naturally see in our world through spren. As said in one of the books, spren is change, or, at least in Roshar, a visual manifestation of change. To relate this to our world, things are changing all the time. We do not notice, and we take it for granted, but it’s true. Cells are constantly dying and growing; when we stand still, we are moving with the earth’s rotation; we are thinking, always thinking; etc. etc. One thing I wanted to touch on specifically, however, is the nature of light, which I promise I will relate to Truthwatching and Illumination eventually, so bear with me. Questions of sight do not usually inspire responses of detailed reality, with the physics of how one actually sees, in terms of what might even allow for sight – that is, for example, one does not think to tell of the light that reflects off of opaque surfaces and into eyes, or the lack or distortion thereof that might affect vision, or the scattering of such that red might be distinguished from blue, black and white and the shades between. For most, light is rarely thought of as an independent actor, but just a medium through which we see. Even for the blind, however, light exists: at the very least they can feel its warmth, its energy – they would not see in the same way because light exists differently for them. The point is that light is everywhere but it is often not considered – perhaps we actually see more than we think. Perhaps spren really do exist. I first noticed the correlation between spren and quantum theory in the interlude chapter in Way of Kings where two ardents are measuring spren. As a disclaimer, I am not a theoretical physicist, nor will I include any math here on this forum, but it is fascinating to compare the similarities. In classical physics, what we all perhaps learned in high school in one form or another, measurement does not change the state of what is being measured. For example, the weight of one paperclip today will be the same tomorrow, more or less. In quantum physics, however, the rules are different – measurement changes everything. To tangent a little, this discovery in the early 20th century has made physicists rethink how even reality works – what if quantum theory applies not just at the quantum (very very miniscule) level, but to everything? Not just physically, but cognitively as well? This is the context I am placing the Stormlight Archive in. Through fantasy, Sanderson has made manifest and broken down certain theories that pervade contemporary thought. In the previously mentioned interlude chapter, spren stop moving when they are measured. This is similarly the case in quantum theory (if interested, look up wave function collapse). Okay, cool. But so what? Here is where my theory on Truthwatching comes in. When Renarin says he sees, what he means is that he actually sees. Not ‘see’ in the conventional sense, but literally sees. Wow, really clear man. I know, I know. The closest analogy I could think of is The Matrix, where at the end -SPOILER-, Neo literally sees reality as the code of the Matrix since it is a computer program. What I’m saying is the Truthwatching is a similar thing, except instead of code, what Renarin, and other Truthwatchers, see is the spren (quanta) of everything. Everything. This has nothing to do with his visions. I am in the camp that says his visions are not a result of Truthwatching since Dalinar, Kaladin (dream), and Shallan (drawings), have the same experience (I believe FeatherWriter has a really good and well-written post on this). This brings a new connotation to Illumination. What “illumination” means is to shed light on or clarify. If Lightweavers use Illumination to create illusions (perhaps because of its combination with Transformation), maybe Truthwatchers see through illusions. To relate, if we look at an apple sitting on a table, we see it as still. If we shine a strong light (must be coherent light) on it, however, the shadow that appears will show a hole in the middle; i.e. the solidity of the apple is an illusion. Or, if we shine a light on any object, the boundary of the shadow will appear fuzzy even though the boundary of the object is solid; i.e. static boundaries are illusions – this is due to the property of diffraction and the wave-particle duality that light has, another consequence that quantum theory attempts to explain. The perfect place to extend this theory from merely the physical to the cognitive, emotional, spiritual, etc., is the space of imagination and fiction, which are as real as physical reality. I think this is what Sanderson is experimenting with through the separation of Physical Realm, Cognitive Realm, etc. Truthwatchers might be the only ones able to see what is actually going on. In our world, our eyes often deceive us. Perhaps to see as Renarin does would be to see through the deception of reality. See spren. See what matters. See the stories behind people (Ym). See beauty. And to be able to see would certainly help knowing how to heal whatever is damaged – I am defining ‘heal’ here not as cure or fix, which implies some sort of wholeness, but ‘heal’ as in growth (i.e. Progression not towards, but Progression from). Sometimes a word of encouragement or a pair of comfortable shoes might go a longer way than stabbing someone with a Shardblade, deposing an incompetent king, or summoning highstorms, and this is what Renarin can see. Of course, this is all speculation, and I’m sure what I’ve written is full of holes. So, thoughts?
  6. The Surge Illumination on the Ars Arcanum of WoR is said to be the Surge of Light, Sound and various waveforms. We´ve already seen the manipulation of light to create illusions, and Pattern has said that Shallan could use sound to make her illusions talk for themselves, also possibly letting Shallan alter her own voice just as Pattern does. But these are only two uses of a power that should be able to control many different types of waveforms. So my theory is that this Surge can manipulate mechanical and electromagnetic waves such as microwaves, X-rays, ultraviolet, and even maybe shock waves.Giving the Lightweavers and Truthwatchers more abilities that are less passive such as being able to manipulate these weaves to magnify shocks waves to create (small) earthquakes, use sound to shatter objects (like the thunderclasts rock bodies and the carapaces of voidbringers) by reaching the frequency that the atoms of the object vibrate, and microwaves to possibly communicate between Knights of the two orders or create heat to warm people or objects . However even if this is possible I reckon it would only be seen by the time the Scadrians have FTL travel and visit Roshar, since now the Rosharans knowledge in physics seems not advanced enough for them to be able to access this part of the surge without just stumbling upon it. Any thoughts?
  7. (Warning 1: I will try my best to avoid talking about the plot of Words of Radiance here, but if you think new magic system-related revelations are spoilers, then I suggest you stay away from this thread. Warning 2: I am not a physicist. Do not take physics lessons from code monkeys posting on fantasy fiction fansites.) IRL, Most physicists believe that the four fundamental physical interactions (the electromagnetic, weak, strong, and gravitational forces) were once combined as a single unified force. A "unified field theory" is one that tries to explain how these fundamental interactions (that seem to work in their own fields) can be described within the framework of a single field, as a single unified force. According to the currently-accepted model of physics, the unified force first split into the gravitational force and the electronuclear force. Then the electronuclear force split into the strong force and the electroweak force. Finally, the electroweak force split into the electromagnetic and weak forces. All of that supposedly happened well within the first second after the Big Bang. Cool, eh? So why am I talking about real world fundamental forces in the Stormlight Archive forum? It's because I think the ten Surges on Roshar are Brandon's way of playing with the concept of fundamental forces in a fantasy setting. Here's a WoB from a Seattle signing last year: So, if Brandon thinks fundamental forces are cool, then maybe he finds the idea of a unified field theory to be cool as well. I'd like to propose that he somehow incorporated that concept into his Surge system. With that, allow me to present my own take on a Unified Surge Theory. Table of Contents Part I: The Unified Surge and Decay Part II: The Unified Surge and Transformation Part III: The Unified Surge and Energy Conclusion Part I: The Unified Surge and Decay IRL, the apparent breakdown of the hypothesized unified field into its separate aspects is explained by theories filled with all sorts of crazy (but fascinating) math. Fortunately, Roshar is a fictional world where things (e.g. the mechanism by which a Unified Surge separates into the ten Surges) can be made a lot more simple using fantasy logic. *commences fantasy logic* Since a Unified Surge should contain the potential of all the Surges, it must have the power of Division inside of it, by which it could divide itself. Simple, eh? Well, it's a bit more complicated than that. A Unified Surge would also have the power of Cohesion, and therefore resist Division. But the fact still remains that there are ten separate Surges instead of just one. It means that the forces within the hypothetical Unified Surge cannot be perfectly symmetrical, and it is therefore not perfectly stable. This suggests that the Surge of Division is stronger than the Surge of Cohesion on Roshar, and that the Unified Surge decays via a series of divisions occuring right after Division overcomes Cohesion. Still with me? So far we've determined that a hypothetical Unified Surge combines all the Surges, and that it somehow decays. Have we seen anything like this? Why, yes. We have seen something like this. I think it's very likely (if not obvious) that Stormlight itself is the Unified Surge. It is through the infusion of Stormlight, after all, that Surgebinders and fabrials access the Surges. Also, we know that after a certain period of apparent stability, Stormlight eventually degrades, dissipating into the atmosphere. This is consistent with the previously described decay of the Unified Surge. This fits really well with the fact that Stormlight is a form of Investiture. I believe that the Surges are manifestations of various aspects of the Power of Creation that Adonalsium Invested on Roshar along with his spren, and Stormlight is the concentration of those aspects. In other words, Stormlight is exactly the thing that Surgebinders bind. Stormlight is the Surge. Now, the fact that the Unified Surge dissipates is definitely a problem for Rosharian Investiture. Szeth complains about losing Stormlight so quickly. Even Kaladin has to deal with this, although to a lesser extent. We know that the Stormfather regularly collects the dissipated Stormlight and and transports them into gemstones every highstorm, but won't it be nice if people could somehow make Stormlight stay put on a more permanent basis, like the Breaths on Nalthis? How do we fight the decay of Stormlight? I've mentioned in another thread that this impermanence of Investiture might be solved by transforming it into Innate Investiture. This, I think, is the purpose of the Nahel bond system that Honor's spren invented. I believe the Nahel bond is a manifestation of the Adhesion Surge applied to both Stormlight itself and a human soul. The stronger a Nahel bond is, the more Innate the act of Stormlight-holding becomes, the better the bond between Stormlight and the Radiant. To make another physics analogy, this is akin to how neutrons are a lot more stable when bound inside a nucleus than when it is free. By boosting Adhesion between Stormlight and the Surgebinder, the Nahel bond actually boosts the aspect of Cohesion within Stormlight, which is normally unstable, allowing it to fully counteract the natural dominance of Division and become stable.
  8. "Theory" may be a little ambitious for this, but here goes: The two Truthwatchers we have seen thus far, Ym and Renarin, both wear glasses. This cannot be a coincidence. I think that this may have something to do with the Truthwatchers' use of the Illumination Surge. We have already seen quite a bit about how the Lightweavers use it. My belief is that Orders do not use the same Surges the same way. Obviously, the Lightweavers weave light to create illusions which we have seen are manipulations of the truth, lies made true. The Truthwatchers' name suggests truth will also be given significance by them. They also watch the truth. Watching could well relate to this impairment of vision shared. Maybe this correlation means that the Truthwatchers will, because of their impaired vision, literally view the world in a different way, maybe somehow enhanced or changed by their use of Illumination. Maybe they see more truths in the world through this. The Order's Divine Attributes are Learning and Giving. Maybe because of the truths they see in the world, they have a vast store of knowledge. We know from Words of Radiance (the in-world one) that the Order is secretive and esoteric. Maybe they are waiting until they can reveal all of this truth they have been watching in their special way. Sorry if this makes little sense. It is really more of a bunch of random thoughts from everyone's favorite Pilgrim. Thoughts? Additional speculation?