Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'listeners'.

More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


  • Brandon and Book News
  • Events, Signings, & Giveaways
  • Columns and Features
  • Site News
  • Shardcast


  • 17th Shard
    • Introduce Yourself!
    • 17th Shard Discussion
    • The Coppermind Wiki
    • Arcanum Discussion
  • Brandon Sanderson
    • General Brandon Discussion
    • Events and Signings
    • Sanderson Fan Works
    • Arcanum, the Brandon Sanderson Archive
  • The Cosmere
    • Cosmere Q&A
    • Cosmere Discussion
    • Stormlight Archive
    • Mistborn
    • Elantris and Emperor's Soul
    • Warbreaker
    • White Sand
    • Cosmere Short Stories
    • Unpublished Works
  • Non-cosmere Works
    • The Reckoners
    • The Rithmatist
    • Skyward Spoiler Board
    • Alcatraz
    • Other Stories
    • The Wheel of Time
  • Related Works
    • Writing Excuses
    • Reading Excuses
    • TWG Archive
  • Community
    • General Discussion
    • Entertainment Discussion
    • Science, Tech, and Math Discussion
    • Creator's Corner
    • Role-Playing
    • Social Groups, Clans, and Guilds


  • Chaos' Blog
  • Leinton's Blog
  • 17th Shard Blog
  • KChan's Blog
  • Puck's Blag
  • Brandon's Blog
  • The Name of your Blog
  • Darth Squirrely's Blog
  • Tales of a Firebug
  • borborygmus' Blog
  • Zeadman's Blog
  • zas678's Blog
  • The Basement
  • Addy's Avocations
  • Zarepath's Blog
  • First time reading The Well Of Ascension
  • Seshperankh's Blog
  • "I Have Opinions About Books"
  • Test
  • Which actors would you like to see playing the characters of Mistborn?
  • Drifted Mists
  • Jaron's Realm
  • Roshar Speculative Theories
  • ChrisHamatake's Blog
  • Paradox Flint's Blog
  • Deoradhan's Blog
  • Storm Blessed's Blog
  • Elwynn's Blog
  • firstRainbowRose's Blog
  • Rotabush ShardBlog
  • Hoid's Compendium
  • InterContinental Adventures
  • Claincy Creates
  • WoR Thoughts and Questions
  • Blogfalcon
  • David Coppercloud's Blog
  • yurisses' notes and theories
  • Lark Adventures
  • LeftInch's Blog
  • LUNA's Poetry
  • Inspiration Board
  • Trying to be Useful for a Change
  • Rocket League Boosting Service -RL Rank Boosting -
  • The Way of Toasters
  • Cosmere Nerd Things
  • Vascular X
  • Gleam And Glow Cream Review
  • g10 force
  • Custom Quality Services Offered By Painting Contractors Spring Valley
  • How AR will impact the market in Current time | Brossard Design
  • A few things that weigh less and will make your Camino more comfortable
  • How to Expand Your Business Internationally
  • Track Advanced - Racing, Flight and Game Simulators by Next Level Racing
  • DA blog
  • Wyn's Adventures in Geekiness
  • Words With Ene
  • thirty-two and a half


  • Community Calendar

Found 35 results

  1. So Brandon said: Ansalem1 Hypothetically, if all of the Listeners were to go extinct would the Rhythms still exist? Brandon Sanderson Yes. WeiryWriter Are there any other species in the cosmere that also interact with the Rhythms like the listeners do? (Though not necessarily in the same way?) Brandon Sanderson Yes. /r/books AMA 2015 (Aug. 24, 2015) And Im thinking that he is talking about the seons. any ideas?
  2. Parshendi. Listeners. Singers. All the same? When'd the names "listeners" and "singers" divide? So they lived on Roshar with Cultivation and Honor. Then humans brought Odium with them to Roshar after destroying their last home with Surgebinding. Parshendi gave them Shinovar. Then...what? Used Surges forbidden to the Parshendi? When did the humans start fighting the Parshendi? I seem to remember something about the humans gradually taking over the homes of the Parshendi. And what's the deal with the spren abandoning the listeners for humanity? I don't remember any of the spren saying anything like that. From what I remember of Syl and Pattern, it seems like they fear the Parshendi and seek to eradicate them for fear of being forced into bonding with them.
  3. This is... not exactly a deep question, but, Are Parshendi teeth covered in white enamel, the same as humans? Or does the color match their red bones? Yeah, it's silly.
  4. Apologies if this has already been discussed and I missed it, but do we know why the Listeners were hunting chasmfiends so vigorously on the Shattered Plains? We know they have been experimenting with capturing spren in gems, but that doesn't seem to account for why they would need greatshell gemhearts. And it can't be just about killing them, because then why bother fighting pitched battles with the Alethi? I have a vague sense it has something to do with thunderclasts, but I can't put my finger on it. Maybe I'm just missing something obvious. (I've only just crawled out of the woodwork because I'm re-listening to the series from the beginning.) Anyway, hi folks!
  5. At the beginning of WoK the Alethi first encountered the Listeners, who they dubbed the parshendi . At this time the parshendi had no shardbearers. Jasnah confirmed this by her conversation with Dalinar in WoK . In WoR we find out after 6 years of battle Eshonai is the last Parshendi shard bearer.. so sometime after Gavilar death and the beginning of the Vengence Pact the Singers found a cache of shardblade . If you remember the Singers learned Alethi rapidly and the first question they asked was to see the Alethi maps. So did Ulim Who was around back then “ he was the voice that told Klade to buy Szeth. Tell the singers about a city where they could find shards? The most obvious answer is Urithiru . The Singers beat them ( alethi their long ago ) and took all the shards . Szeth could of took them thru the Oathgate. Maybe that is what he meant when he said he had seen this before when shallan activated the Oathgare. I assumed it was someone in Shinovar that went there but it could of been the singers guided by Ulim . What do you guys think ? Where did they get all those sets of shards??
  6. I would like to discuss the Singers . Compare notes and see if we are overlooking anything. To begin with i’d Like to go over the difference between Singers and listeners . The Singers are the original race that became the Parsh when a Bondsmith imprisoned one of the Unmade which trapped them into Slaveform . The listeners were the last company of Singers that turned. Away from the “Old gods” and eventually became the parshendi. I thought that all the listeners were wiped out in the creation of the Everstorm except for Rlain, Venli and demmed. However on my last re-read Venli spoke of 2000 listeners that survived the Everstorm . It is worth noting that the Listeners are considered traitors by the Fused for turning away from them and actively preventing their return by assasinating Gavilar. The Singers and Listeners both have 4 sexes . Malen and Femalen, which are appear like male and female but are asexual and have no reproductive parts. As far as I can tell all forms of power and most forms that the pashendi know are Femaen and malen. The only forms that are male and female that are in use are mateform , dullform , and slaveform. This is how the parsh were able to reproduce. The. Current hierarchy of the singers is as follows . The Singers are on the bottom . They have no forms of power.; Limited to mateform workform, nimbleform, slaveform, dullform , The next in power are the Regals which are Singers and Listeners who have taken a lesser voidspren into their gemhearts, they still possess their own minds . So far we have only seen Regals in Stormform and Envoyform. Lastly we have the Fused , who are Cognitive Shadows that all occupy Forms of Power. And exist by killing the spirit web of a Singer. They see the Singers as cattle and are the true Leaders of the Race. A last note is the Singers who have been awakened by the everstorm. To fill the gaps in there spriteeb they have all been given the consciousness of whatever country they served as parsh. Parsh from Alethi , act Alethi , parsh from Thaylan act Thaylan . now hear are the things we must figure out. Can singers use stormlight ? Can they become squires , can they bond spren. I strongly believe that singers cannot ! That is why Rlain says he has to adopt a form to be able to embrace stormlight . I think only Regals can use stormlight or bond a spren. i have discussed this with Sages before and I strongly feel they are totally misreading what Rlain is saying . Buf here is the more interesting question ? We have seen Venli bond a spren and thus be on her way to becoming a KR ( specifically a Willshaper. Can the Fused bond Higher Voidspren like Ulim? If so can they eventually learn to create living shardblades ? Can they learn to developer shardplate . Syl said the spren saw what honor did with the honorblade and they copied it. Can Ulim and the higher Voidspren learn to copy what Syl and wyndle do? This has never happened before but a lot of things are happening that has never happened before? And our last big question is what would happen if Dalinar and Venli and Kaladin and Rlain convince the Singers to abandon the Fused . Will this deny them bodies to posses or can the Fused force themselves into any Singer unfortunate enough to be caught in the Everstorm? I think the Singer has to open his body up to receive the Fused. What do the sages say? Are there any other forms that are male and female? Scholar form perhaps.?
  7. Did Roshar originally have Spren? Sylphrena indicates 4 genders of spren. 2 for the Parsh, 2 for the human. I don't think Roshar was formed like other Shardic worlds. No other Cosmere world has spren like Roshar, so far. It would seem that the Parsh thought of their objects being Malen and Femalen, voila SPREN! Perhaps? Maybe? Did the way they think or sing create the spren way back then? Shard worlds seem to have the 3 realms setup. Roshar wasn't created by a Shard (that I'm aware of.) The way I understand the history is that Odium saw the existing native Parsh and decided to become their god. He got invested to that Solar System. Along comes the human Voidbringers to settle around Shinovar (initially.) Honor and Cultivation either settled with them or decided to call it home at a later time. Introducing Honor's high storms, Odium's Everstorm (old in design) and the Cultivation's/Nightwatcher's Old Magic. When I read TWoK, I assumed Honors' death and Splintering brought about the spren. I have now been proven false. So, I suspect Roshar was similar to an Earth like world and topography. The Parsh evolved naturally and all was pleasant until Odium rolled on in. My question is HOW and WHEN do you think Roshar got spren? A certified timeline of these early events would be great to read. Thank you.
  8. Ok... Just had a crazy thought and I haven't seen any speculation on it. Please feel free to shoot me down. I seem to recall (sorry, can't provide a quote) an Eshonai interlude that suggested the Listeners intentionally severed themselves for their Gods. The Recreance, we have been told, Humans intentionally severed their bonds with their Spren. Causing a great deal of damage and essentially killing their associated Spren in the process. I am getting to a point, maybe. With the advent of the Everstorm and subsequent healing of the Parshmens Spirit Webs, I began thinking. Usually a bad idea for me. However... What if the Recreance and the Listeners Severing were the SAME Event. Something drastically nasty came to light (Spren bonds and Listener Forms both.) And it was decided mutually by both sides that is was necessary? The Skybreakers would have abstained for, insert clever idea here, reasons and a group of Listeners, **idea reasons** possibly abstained as well. Crackpot idea built of Crem and Wattle, but I thought I'd throw it up. Dissect accordingly.
  9. There's been a lot of speculation about what the secret was that destroyed the Knights Radiant, as well as speculation into the causes or mechanics of the Desolations and the Oathpact. I have a wild theory that connects the two. There's probably a thousand things wrong with it, and even I see a bunch of holes and leaps in logic, but hopefully it will at least be entertaining. It starts with a WoB exchange I saw posted in another topic earlier today by Steeldancer, so credit goes to them for finding this quote: So we know that the Heralds all being present on Roshar causes another Desolation to occur. The question is, why? Well let's consider what we know of Worldhopping, because that is essentially what is happening. Spren (and perhaps originally the Listeners themselves) come from Braize to Roshar. Other worldhoppers transition between the Cognitive realm and the Physical realm using Perpendicularities. Other WoB have confirmed that perpendicularities could be caused by a massive amount of Investiture. I believe it was confirmed that Jasnah essentially did a miniature version of this to return to the physical world. My theory is that the Heralds act like Investiture lodestones. If they stay long enough in the world, there is a kind of critical mass that occurs, creating enough of a perpendicularity for Odium's forces to transition en masse into Roshar. This is basically how the new Everstorm worked. Once a critical mass of Fused Listeners was reached, they were able to call the storm. I believe the Everstorm itself is Odium’s perpendicularity on Roshar, at least this time around. We know it carries Voidspren with it, and could be what allows them to come into the Physical realm in large numbers. We also know that it was created by a large number of Fused (ie, Invested) Listeners pooling their energies. That sounds like a recipe for a perpendicularity to me. Now what if the Highstorm works in the exact opposite way (which would make sense, since they are reversed in every other way). The Highstorm is described by (suspiciously colour-obsessed and oddly familiar) “Zahel” as “invested to the hilt and looking for somewhere to stick it.” (As an aside: god bless “Zahel”). The Highstorm disperses Investiture. It takes a huge amount, maybe enough to form a perpendicularity, but then spreads it out across literally the entire world. I submit that this was its primary purpose (because remember, the Stormfather has been tasked with keeping the Highstorms coming, and presumably Honor would have some reason for unleashing these things periodically upon the world). My theory is that there are other ways to enable (or hasten) a Desolation. Perhaps with sufficiently concentrated Investiture, Odium can create a workaround, or at least speed things up, with less time between Desolations. The Highstorm is a check against this by dispersing Investiture, whereas the Everstorm keeps it concentrated (which is which it doesn’t infuse gems with Stormlight). So Honor works to prevent (large) perpendicularities from forming, and Odium tries to create more. Smaller perpendicularities ensure that the two worlds will never be entirely isolated, but might not facilitate a lare-scale invasion. The Oathpact, then , could be an agreement. Honor creates a bargain by which Odium has a shot at Roshar every once and a while. Honor essentially creates the Honorblades as a controlled means of opening a path between worlds by way of highly concentrated Investitute (which could be why Syl refers to Szeth using a dangerous amount of Stormlight with the Honorblade). At the same time though, he makes them double as a means of fighting against the very invasion they facilitate. Odium, in turn, agrees not to just come over to Roshar and destroy it himself, an agreement that binds him even after Honor's death. So how do the Knights Radiant fit in? Well we already know that they were not intended by Honor. They were the result of the spren taking it upon themselves to mimic what he had done. They mimic the Honorblades, which are presumably involved with the Oathpact (see above). What if, unintentionally, they have re-created certain aspects of the Oathpact as well, as a side effect of the nahel bond? The Heralds, when concentrated on Roshar, kicked off Desolations. The Fused, when concentrated on Roshar, kicked off the Everstorm. And for however many centuries, human beings, Invested to the hilt, as it were, were concentrating themselves in a specific location: Urithiru. What if this was enough to, if not cause the Desolations, at least exacerbate them in some way? What if it created enough of a perpedicularity to allow some of Odium's forces onto Roshar in a consistent manner, like a door propped open even between the Desolations. Spoilers from Edgedancer: To me, this seems like the kind of revelation that would utterly crush a group dedicated to sacrificing for the good of all. To learn that they and their spren had in fact been causing or at least hastening/worsening the Desolations, that all of their efforts and sacrifice were only perpetuating a cycle of endless violence, I could see that breaking them, and causing the Recreance.
  10. [ Spoilers from the first 30 chapters of Oathbringer currently released ] So with the "final Desolation" pretty much officially underway as of the end of WoR, the main question going through my mind has been: how the hell can Odium actually lose??? Think about it. We know from Dalinar's visions and various other lore elements that in the past each Desolation nearly wiped out humankind. In fact, the justification for the current level of technology (or lack thereof) is that civilization is basically pushed back to the bronze age with each Desolation because of how devestating they are. And now consider this: that was with the full, organized strength of the Knights Radiant. Literal armies of them. Plus the Heralds! Now we have the Final Desolation coming, and so far there's only a handful of fledgling Knights Radiant, none of whom even have their Shardplate yet. Not only that, but the existing nations are super divided, and at the start of Oathbringer it looks as though it will not be easy to unite even a small number of them. So how can Odium screw this up? How could this be even a close fight? It seems to me that the only possibility is that the Listeners (at least some of them) are going to fight with humans. This is being set-up already at the beginning of Oathbringer, where we see groups of former parshmen slaves, healed by the Everstorm, basically just on the run. Not trying to attack, not out to kill humans in vengeance even (though they have real cause to want revenge). Just trying to survive, and most importantly not yet infused with any type of Voidspren (at least not in any obvious way). We also know that the Listeners way back made a choice to cut themselves off from their gods (Odium and co), restricting their forms drastically but earning freedom. They assassinated Gavilar in an effort to stop their "gods" from returning. They don't want to be Voidbringers, and I can totally see at least some of them fighting to maintain their freedom, refusing to be used by Odium. This could be what is "different" about this Desolation, the edge that humanity needs to balance the scales just enough to have a hope of winning. It would also fit with the themes established throughout the Cosmere books (spoilers for Mistborn series coming). We know from The Hero of Ages that the Deepness was in fact the mists. But more than that, it was Preservation's power tainted by Ruin. Ruin caused the Snapping process to be more brutal than it needed, killing people instead of just awakening their powers, covering the land and blocking out the Sun when it wasn't meant to, etc... This was Preservation's actual power, but Ruin managed to influence it. This shows that the influence of the Shards is not always rigid and distinct. There is overlap and intermingling, where multiple Shards use the same basic phenomenon. That is what the Thrill has to be. Dalinar's first revealed vision, where he fights Midnight Essence, with a poker. The Knight explains that any who feel the desire to fight should be compelled to go to Aletha. The Thrill USED TO BE a force for good, a way of telling people that they were destined to fight evil alongside the Knights (either as a full member or as a "squire." Since then, it has been twisted by Odium into something that makes people lust for battle and death. And without actual monsters around, they turn on each other, or make a game out of war, or almost kill their own brother. Odium is doing the same thing that Ruin did. But maybe it can go both ways. I've seen others here comment that it is odd that the Everstorm seems to heal the parshmen, making them whole again by reforging their Connection (incidentally, because of how we know this works from the second Mistborn series, this explains why they all speak unaccented Alethi). This seems like a very un-Odium thing for the Everstorm to do, especially since they do not seem to be possessed by Voidspren yet. What if Cultivation pulled the same kind of trick? Twisting the Everstorm just enough that it healed parshmen without automatically dominating them, giving them at least a chance to resist, run, be free, what have you? We know from the Jasnath-Hoid dialogue that the Everstorm is "new" or at least working differently than how the Desolations worked in the past. Perhaps the reason is that this time there are forces other than Odium at work on it. There are even hints about this in the depiction of the Midnight Mother. During Shallan's interactions, it is revealed that she was created to sow chaos, but that over time she became curious. Yes, it is a twisted, warped curiosity. But consider her actions at Urithiru. Did she flood the tower with monsters? Did she set about assassinating actual targets? No, she just copied what humans were already doing. Does this seem particularly effective? Or does it seem like a lost, broken creature trying to comprehend these creatures through the only relationship she understands: violence? My point is just this: she has actually changed since her creation. Just like the Everstorm is different this time. Just like maybe the Listeners aren't behaving the way Odium might want this time around. A big theme so far is how the good guys, left to their own devices, become corrupt and fell. But I think Brandon is hinting that maybe, just maybe, the reverse is true for the villains. Odium is banking on how time changes humans, makes them forget why they fought and abandon what they once were. But wouldn't it be poetic if the same was also happening to his forces? The Unmade have changed, however slightly. The Listeners seem to have changed as well. And maybe this time around they will surprise him, make him think that he could actually lose...
  11. When i first read WoR i assumed that when Listeners whet into stormform they all became like Eshonai. That they lost part of they minds, and something else took over. But looking back on it a lot of Eshonai's action in stormform don't add up with that assumption. If every Listener in stormform fell under the control of Odium then it seams like the first thing stormform Eshonai would do would be to gather all the smartest, freest thinking Listeners and get them into stormform. As a way to neutralize any opposition. Instead she dose the opposite. She seams afraid of anyone too smart going into stormform. She picks out people who take orders easily, and don't think for themselves as the first ones to take on stormform. At first i thought she didn't want strong willed people transforming because they might be able to brake out of being controlled. But then Eshonai super strong willed herself and that doesn't stop her from being controlled. I'm guessing that stormform, and the other 'forms of the gods' make Listeners more pron to hatred, and violence, and open up a doorway for Odium to control them. But that he can only control a few at once. Probably only 9. I think the 9 people Odium is controlling (both Listeners, and humans bonded to voidspren) are spread all over Roshar. And that Eshonai was the only Listener on the Shattered Plains directly under Odium's control.
  12. So I was thinking about the Dawnsingers and I realized what they must have been; The Listeners before the arrival of Odium. When (the majority of) humans fled Ashyn after it was scorched and became refugees on Roshar (the origin of the Vorin myth about being driven out of the Tranquiline halls) the Listeners were already there as well as Honor and Cultivation. Odium was not yet on Roshar. When humans were struggling and scraping to survive in this new storm-blasted lands the Listeners would have helped them. Odium must have arrived and either struct a bargain with or corrupted the listeners to make them the Voidbringers. The Dawnchant was probably their language (maybe still their language) and the Dawncities may have been the cities they inhabited that the humans were welcomed into. At the dawn of humanity on Roshar, the people who sang were helpful to humans; the Dawnsingers. I couldn't find a thread on this, sorry if it's already widely known.
  13. So is voidbinding just bonding a Spren to fill a void? The Listeners bind various types of spren to fill a void in them that they need filled to function. If there is nothing in that void, they are in slave form. They can bond inert spren (spren who lend no specific form) to ascend to dull form (if you left Parshman out in a highstorm would they become dull form?). They can bond specific spren to attain various useful forms. i.e. Work form, War form, Nimble form, Mate form, possibly art form, scholar form, or mediation form. And they can bond void spren to take the forms of power; Storm Form, Smoke form, night form, and decay form. Voidbinding differs from Surgebinding in that a surgebinder has to be broken, and a spren seeps into the cracks, while a Listener (and various wildlife) have a void that needs to be filled to function. The Greatshells and the skyeels may also be using voidbinding. A Spren has bonded with them to reduce the effect of gravity on them and to give them some level of sentience. Were the Ryshadium also made using Voidbinding? I may be completely wrong, or maybe this has all already been discussed. But I was more or less just musing.
  14. This is a theoretical model I've thought up to help visualize what's happened to the listeners. This is all theoretical and highly metaphorical, but I think it helps explain things. The way Parshendi attune the rhythms has always reminded me of radio. They change rhythms the way a car radio changes stations. What if we assume that the underlying mechanism is analogous? A radio uses a metallic antenna, which receives incoming electromagnetic waves. We know the Listeners are closer to the cognitive realm, and they seem to hear the rhythms in their minds, so let's assume the rhythms are “cognitive waves,” emitted by an unknown source somewhere in Shadesmar. So the listeners receive these waves using cognitive antennae. Imagine every listener has an antenna sticking straight up from the top of their head. But it's an invisible mental antenna, a protrusion of the mind, existing only on the cognitive plane. Now imagine a shardbearer riding across Shadesmar, holding a shardblade out horizontally. He would slice off the antenna of every listener he passes. And since shardblades slice the soul, these antennae will never grow back. The victims will be permanently unable to receive the rhythms, which apparently also prevents them bonding spren and changing forms. And since this change is on the sDNA level, it becomes hereditary. Now imagine a shardblade the size of Roshar, sweeping across the entire continent and antennectomizing the entire listener race. This seems to roughly describe what someone (Melishi?) did all those years ago. The Parshendi, Eshonai's ancestors, escaped this fate by (the equivalent of) chopping off their own antennae with a butcher knife. They chose dullform, a faulty form with a stumpy, barely functional cognitive antenna. It leaves them almost as crippled as the rest of their species, but the damage is (cognitively speaking) only skin deep. Their cognitive antennae are too short for the megablade to slice, so their spiritwebs are undamaged. They retain the innate ability grow an antenna, attune the rhythms, and change forms. It just took them a while to figure out how. The Everstorm has now invested the Parshmen of the world with stormlight (or voidlight), allowing them to regrow their cognitive antennae the same way Lopen is regrowing his arm. Their souls and minds are whole again. Stormform, and presumably other voidforms, hear 'new rhythms,' unknown before their transformation. This implies that these voidforms have a different kind of antenna, which receives different wavelengths. The new rhythms and the old rhythms might be emanating from two different sources, perhaps one Cultivation-related and the other Odium-related. My guess: the sources are perpendicularities. Listeners are attuned to one of them just like Vin was attuned to the Well of Ascension. (Burning bronze approximates the function of a cognitive antenna.) Thoughts?
  15. Now that we’ve met post-Everstorm parshmen, it may be time to rethink our assumptions about the Listeners. I apologize if this has been discussed to death in a different way, but I wasn’t able to find anything challenging the idea that the term “Last Legion” was anything but positive. It has seemed natural to assume that the Listeners (Parshendi is a nationality) are the correct or proper type of Parsh-Rosharan. They are represented by relatable, well-meaning characters and have a fascinating oral tradition that tells of a daring escape from Odium’s influence. We contrasted them with the enslaved parshmen whom they pitied for not having forms or hearing rhythms. Now we have a second group traveling with Kaladin who, despite not having multiple forms or attuning to the rhythms, are just as relatable and intelligent as the Listeners. Is one group more “natural” or “better” than the other? What got me thinking about this is the title of the interlude that introduces us to Venli’s research and stormspren, “Last Legion.” It’s also the chapter where Eshonai’s mother describes the Listeners as the “Last Legion,” and we hear the story of how they escaped: I think this is problematic in a series about the loss of knowledge and how it seems to have led humans to forget critical pieces of their history and set Odium’s plans in motion. Why not the Listeners, too? Eshonai even thinks: It’s possible that others have noticed that this history is a bit troubling, but now, especially after seeing the group traveling with Kaladin, there are red flags all over the place. The Listeners believe that they are a self-sacrificing Last Legion, but given that this is also the interlude where we see the Listeners move toward bonding with stormspren, we should consider the possibility that the Listeners are actually Odium’s last legion (lower case). Much like humans have been manipulated over millennia, is it possible that Odium ensured that there was one last legion remaining when the future parshmen had their spiritwebs damaged? It would actually be easier for him to manipulate the Listeners, to trick them into believing that they had escaped, leaving just enough mysterious information for them to figure out how to discover forms that brought them progressively closer to summoning the Everstorm. I’ve also grown increasingly suspicious of the rhythms, or at least the potential to “piggyback” on the signal and transmit information that helps Odium: I’m wondering if the group with Kaladin would need to attune to the rhythms they are aware of—but don’t understand—before they could transform, even in the coming highstorm. At any rate, I don’t think that we can be sure what these Parsh-Rosharans should look like, if they should have multiple forms, or what their relationship to the rhythms should be. Would the healed parshmen eventually die without a spren bond? Are they fine the way they are? I do think we should consider the possibility that the Parshendi (and any other Listeners) were Odium’s unwitting last legion.
  16. We learn from WOR that the Listeners have children by changing to mate form. We learned that the Parshmen have no form but are closest to dull form. Also, we learned the Listeners once only remembered mate and dull form. Therefore, to have children, the Listeners still went into mate form before they rediscovered the other forms. They did not have children in dull form. Finally, Parshman are not immortal, so they need to reproduce their numbers somehow. But Parshman have no form so they never go into mate form. So how do Parshman have offspring?
  17. Can we talk about the Voidbinding chart now that Brandon has confirmed that theory? Seems like there's been a push lately that it's related to fabrials and all kinds of other stuff. Now that we have some direction, seems like a good time to take a step back and reevaluate in light of this news. I'm including the chart below (with the Shadesmar map, since they go together). Also going to list some of the key observations that I can remember. Then I've got a theory of my own to add. Chart: Observations: Note: I'm going to refer to everything on the chart as a "void-" version of whatever analogue is on the Knights Radiant chart. 1. The void-surge symbols are rotationally symmetrical versions of the normal surge symbols. 2. Many of the void-order symbols resemble the normal KR order symbols. 3. The void-Truthwatcher symbol is also horizontally and vertically symmetrical. It is also incredibly similar to the glyph that shows up on maps of Roshar (around compass roses, behind the R's of 'Roshar', and around the borders - see "Glyphs" link in my signature) 4. The void-Dustbringer symbol shows up in the corners of the artistic view of Kharbranth. 5. Lines connect all of the void-orders and void-surges just like they do on the KR chart, except (strangely) for the two in the center, which aren't connected to a void-surge. Just an artistic thing, or something more? 6. The two in the center are also set on an octagon (rather than a circle) and are shown above a red gem (rather than the clouds to the sides). This sets them apart from the other eight even further. 7. Do the circles around symbols bring Shadesmar-beads to mind? Or Gavilar's dark sphere? The void-orders also have a slightly pink/purple glow. 8. Background imagery: (storm?) clouds, lightning bolts (both yellow and blue/purple, an (infused?) red gemstone. 9. Border: Flames, especially in the corner? Woman with safehand covered implies she is Vorin. Perhaps this helps to date the image? (after the advent of safehand covering) Alternatively, it could be dated to some point in the future, beyond what we have read so far. 10. Shadesmar map: This is clearly meant to accompany the map of Shadesmar, implied by the visual similarity and the fact that the border around the two is rotationally symmetrical. The somewhat detailed information on Shadesmar implies the person who created this voidbinding chart had a greater understanding of Shadesmar than most people in Roshar currently do. This excerpt from the TWoK Ars Arcanum is also worth mentioning perhaps: Questions: Some questions that come to my mind... What IS voidbinding? Is a listener bonded to a voidspren a voidbinder? Or is bonding to voidspren just like bonding to any other spren, and voidbinding is more like surgebinder, but with specific voidspren? Can a human be a voidbinder? Or is this completely off... Is voidbinding more related to the ten deaths, Thunderclasts, the Unmade, or other things like this? Is it voidbinding to create these things, or is voidbinding what they do? Why the heck is the void-Dustbringer symbol on the Kharbranth map? And why is the void-Truthwatcher symbol plastered all over both new and old maps of Roshar? What's going on with the center of this chart? Lots of things separate out the middle two from the other eight. Anyways... Some musing of my own... It strikes me that voidspren might be "corrupted" versions of normal spren. This is based on the Dalinar vision where they are searching for a spren that "doesn't act right." If something like this is correct... what does that mean for void-Bondsmiths? Are there any viable "great voidspren" that can make voidbinders of that type? I've got a little baby theory stirring around in my mind. What if the reason void-Bondsmiths and void-Truthwatchers are cut off here is because they don't exist at the time of this chart?
  18. Please tell me if this idea has been proposed before. WoB's: These three say to me that the Listeners have Odium-related forms and Cultivation-related forms. They have no Honor-related forms. Their other, less magical forms, like artform, dullform, workform, nimbleform, etc. probably predate shardic influence on the planet. They obviously couldn't survive on their own in slaveform. -Song of Secrets Stanza 17 So, Nightform basically predicts the future, something that Cultivation is said to be good at. Also, it whispers "As the gods did leave". If the gods are the unmade, it wouldn't make sense for nightform to give a new prophecy as Odium's influence is retreating. -Song of Secrets Final Stanza I'm assuming that the nightforms refers to the a group of Listeners in nightform. I originally thought that that meant that there were multiple nightforms, but this interpretation makes more sense to me. We know that Honor thinks that a champion might work against Odium because all the Shards are bound by rules. The last line probalby refers to this event, so I think that the future predictions are probably accurate, as Cultivations woud probably be. There's also the "but" inbetween when the song talks about the Unmade and the nightforms. To me, this suggests a contrast between nightform and the Unmade-influenced form And we have the similarity between "nightform" and "Nightwatcher" going for this theory. Most of the lines about the other forms of power speak about the danger of them. Examples: I copied these straight from coppermind so there is still that large blue box there. Sorry. The songs never mention the dangers of Nightform. It's odd. It occured to me that one of the objections to this theory might be the Vorin prohibiotions on predicting the future. But if Cultivation, Honor's girlfriend/wife is good at it, why would Honor's religion object to it? I think that this was probably caused by the Hierocracy, which I personally believe was influenced/caused by Odium. It seems to me like there are a lot of small hints that add up to a pretty clear conclusion. Maybe I'm missing something though. Thoughts?
  19. The Horneater origin story, as told by Rock and paraphrased by me, goes something like this: "Always persecuted by the [rest of the] humans, the Horneaters' ancestors asked various spren for help. These spren offered to grant them their homes as their own, but warned that the [rest of the] humans also persecuted their kind (Kaladin scoffs at the idea of Horneaters being chopped down by woodsmen). The 'spren' of the mountain refuses to help them until they have proven they can cultivate a home for themselves on their barren slopes. When they do so, [she] it grants them the home (which they had already made for themselves) that allowed them to live in relative peace alongside the [rest of the] humans." I believe this is the story of a group of listeners that succeed in breaking from the cycle of desolations by convincing Cultivation to give them a human-like and -compatible form, thereby allowing interbreeding. I'll break this down into notions: 1) The persecution by [other] humans definitely aligns with the desolations. 2) All their pleas to the Spren are answered in terms of transformation: The suggestion that, by living in the forest, they would be targeted by woodsmen, or by living in the sea they would be targeted by fisherman, indicates that in those cases they would become wood or fish. Sounds like Listener forms to me. 3) When they went to the mountains they were not offered such an obvious transformation, and were basically asked to Cultivate the peaks into somewhere habitable in exchange for being sheltered from the persecution mentioned in part 1). On the face of it this seems like the weakest offer, seeming to be 'if you make a home for yourself, thereby making this place easily habitable by humans (and therefore accessible to the ones persecuting you), I'll let you live there'. However, we know there is a Shardpool in the middle of the Horneater peaks, and the suggestion has been that it is Cultivation's, what with all the surprisingly habitable ecosystem. Perhaps, in fleeing to the peaks and Cultivating it into a home, a group of Listeners convinced Cultivation to grant them a human-like (and -compatible) form. It was this that made them safe from the humans, with whom they could now breed to dilute their hereditary vulnerability to Odium whilst maintaining their culture (hence the singing, and treating spren as gods). What do you guys think?
  20. Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination. The Knights Radiant adhere to the philosophy that the ends do not and never will justify the means. Unlike Taravangian who is committing atrocities in the name of "The Greater Good" the KnightsRadiant are forced to work the hard way by living by ideals and honorably. But the Radiants en masse (except perhaps the Skybreakers) broke their oaths on the same day. This was after the Desolations had ended and resulted in the Nahel bonds failing and the Spren abandoning mankind. We know that a war was going on right before the Recreance and that the Radiants were fighting in the war and after they abandoned their blades and plates and left from what we see in Dalinar's vision in WoK (At least the Windrunners and theStonewards). What is something that would break the oaths of all of the knights at once, something that the Knights could be convinced was worth doing that would be dishonorable, that was for the Greater Good, that took the easy path. An unethical action that all the knights would do. I see two possibilities and they're related. There are two events that have happened in the past that require great power and would seem to break the Knights first ideal. One is the shattering of the shattered plains. The other is the enslaving of the Listeners. I don't think it is a conincidence that the last free listeners live on the edge of the kingdom that was shattered by someone. I think Natanatan may have been figthing a war with the Listeners before the Listeners of Narak fled and abandoned civilzation, culture, and the forms and retreated into the wilderness in Dull Form. I think the Radiants were called in to stop the war of join the war and were somehow convinced that the Listeners would bring on another Desolation. I think the Radiants may have been convinced to make a preemptive strike to avoid the Desolation that may or may not be coming and destroy the Listeners entirely before they could summon a Desolation. So they shattered the Area around Stormseat by working together somehow and enslaved all the other Listeners. This stopped the threat, but was such an abhorent, deplorable, dishonorable act, such an egregious breach of the first Ideal that the Radiants agreed to do that it broke all their oaths beyond repair. I haven't put all the pieces together and I don't think we know enough. This is just a hypothesis. I think what broke the oaths was the result of either the breaking of Stormseat to stop the Listeners, or the enslavement of the Parshmen.
  21. So I've been reading through Words of Radiance and the Listener's songs really jumped out at me in this process. I wanted to do an analysis of them to see what clues we could comb from them as we enter the year of waiting for Oathbringer. First, some background on who the Parshendi are, from the words of Eshonai's mother: For some reason, the Listeners in the days of the Last Legion were slaves, forced into forms of power, but also forms that forced them to abandon their autonomy (not a reference to Autonomy). On one day of extreme courage, the Listeners decided to accept Dullform, abandoning their ability to think as individuals with power in exchange for freedom. To prevent a loss of their culture and history, they composed songs to remember. Here are the stanzas recorded in Words of Radiance (as chapter epigraphs): "They blame our people for the loss of that land. The city that once covered it did range the eastern strand. The power made known in the tomes of our clan our gods were not who shattered these plains." Possible Interpretation: The Knights Radiant blamed the Listeners for the destruction of the great city of Stormseat (now the Shattered Plains), but the Unmade did not shatter the Shattered Plains. So, if it wasn’t the Parshendi or Odium that messed up Natanatan, what did? Per a WoB, the Natan people were descendants of the Aimian people – what is Aimia really? Stormseat/the Shattered Plains is also listed as the place where the Parshendi became separated from their gods (i.e. the Unmade). While Eshonai's mother makes this sound like a choice the Last Legion made on their own, I wonder if perhaps they had some help in selecting a new form (i.e. moving to dullform) or if they abandoned a form entirely, submiting to slaveform, which is a lack of spren and not considered to be a form at all. "The betrayal of spren has brought us here. They gave their Surges to human heirs, but not to those who know them most dear, before us. ’Tis no surprise we turned away unto the gods we spent our days and to become their molding clay, they changed us." Possible Interpretation: The Rider of Storms was a powerful spren (maybe even an Unmade), and was responsible for bonding spren to the Listeners, but betrayed Odium/The Listeners by giving the Nahel bond (and surgebinding powers) to humans instead. This great spren’s betrayal was even worse with the eventually merging with the Cognitive Shadow of Tanavast. Spren were known to certain humans before they were known to the Listeners. Perhaps this refers to pre Honor/Cultivation humans on Roshar OR maybe even to the Heralds? The Heralds would have been very familiar with surges. "The spren betrayed us, it’s often felt. Our minds are too close to their realm that gives us our forms, but more is then demanded by the smartest spren, we can’t provide what the humans lend, though broth are we, their meat is men." Possible Interpretation: The realm that gives forms is the Cognitive Realm. The Listeners exist halfway in the Cognitive Realm and the Physical Realm, similar to how Lift’s half-way in, half-way out status grants her certain odd things (like the ability to physically touch her spren). As the Listeners have a song-based hive mind (very loose description), they Listeners seem similar to The Sleepless (Dysian Aimians)? As Aimians are an ancient race on Roshar, perhaps they and the Listeners share a common ancestor in their evolution? Who are “The smartest spren?” The Listeners cannot give something that humans give spren, so in return the Listeners sacrifice their autonomy in return for the powers they offer (which isn’t required of humans). Perhaps these spren are the Unmade again who demand more, which is the full submission of the Listeners. That the Unmade want the meat of men, it seems that the poor Listeners are caught in the middle as a tool to be used rather than the object of divine desire. "But it is not impossible to blend their Surges to ours in the end. It has been promised and it can come. Or do we understand the sum? We questioned not if they can have us then, but if we dare to have them again." The Listener’s surges can be blended with the surges of human surgebinders? It seems that human surgebinders aren’t the problem – it isn’t a question if they’ll accept the blending of the Listener’s surges (whatever this means) – but rather, will the Listeners desire to blend with the humans? Who promised that this blending can and will come? "Our gods were born splinters of a soul, of one who seeks to take control, destroys all lands that he beholds, with spite. They are his spren, his gift, his price. But the nightforms speak of future life, a challenged champion. A strife even he must requite." Possible Interpretation: We know that the Unmade are splinters of Odium and are therefore the gods of the Listeners. The Unmade are also the spren of Odium, but also are referred to as a gift – a gift with a price. Perhaps Odium through the Unmade gave the Listeners power (the gift), but it came at the price of their personal autonomy (the price). The strife even Odium must requite (i.e. respond to) is the challenge of a champion. Consider the Stormfather’s admonition to Dalinar: Therefore, Odium will either be defeated or find victory in this battle of champions, which will be shown (I assume) by the end of Stormlight 5. Whew! It's a lot to chew on, but what do we think? Do these interpretations sound reasonable? It makes me feel even more empathy for the Parshendi - if Gavilar was planning to bring back powers that could return the eyes of the Unmade to Listeners (which he may not have understood), I understand why they felt compelled to kill him. Slavery in a war that isn't really their beef (i.e. Odium using them as a tool, not because they're willing participants) is a horrible existence.
  22. Ok, I admit, the title is not serious. But my theory is. I am proposing that artifabricians may be using the Rhythms to trap spren in gemstones. To arrive to this hypothesis, I must first state what took me to the conclusion that traping spren in gemstones is a more complex procedure than finding the right gem type and cut. The indication lies in the Ars Arcanun: "The methods of their creation are carefully guarded by the artifabrian community" If one could discover such methods by simply bashing spren with different gemstones based on the ones found in fabrials, there wouldn't be much point in guarding such secrets. However, the listeners discovered how to store spren for later transformation after hearing from humans that it as possible to trap them in gemstones. Why would listeners have such an easier time than humans at learning this method? The answer may lie in what their kind always did since they can remember. To go out during the Highstorm and sing to the right Rhythm may attract an spren that bonds, merges with a listener. Maybe singing does not only attract the spren, but brings the listener close enough to the cognitive realm that they can interact properly. Maybe the single, unified Rhythm they feel when standing before the Rider of Storms is a natural force that transcends the listeners, its vibration permeating the Cognitive Realm and being filtered into the physical by sensitive minds. If a humans somehow learned and memorized a Rhythm, they could bring themselves closer to the cognitive realm by humming to it, perhaps making it easier to attract spren and trap them. As for why I think the Rhythms may not simply attract spren, but make them easier to interact with, I leave this bit of information from a book Shallan read after stealing Jasnah's fake soulcaster: "It claimed that humming, of all things, could make Soulcasting more effective." While I have no idea how artifabricians learned to mimic Listeners and believe the origin of this knowledge was forgotten many desolations ago, I hope to see this theory confirmed or denied now that Rlain is in Urithiru.
  23. hello guys this is my first post hope this makes sense here goes my theory i ve just read books 1 and 2 and just been reading theorys on various forums but i havent come across this one yet as such. it stuck me as i was reading eshonai's interludes when she was talking about the differences between listener/voidbringer forms that it seems to involve captured spren. she alludes that the listeners decided to denounce their gods and chose to become dull form/parshmen out of choice and this lead to a racial cleansing of all memories of other forms/songs that could turn them into servents of their gods. it stuck me as their wasnt a time reference to when this happened and my mind linked it to the stories of cities worth of spren being killed during the KR recreance. Also, there is no reference of when the parshmen were enslaved. In dalaners visions before feverstonekeep there are no parshmen around but in the time the story takes place there are everywhere in all cities/towns. i thought this was odd untill eshonais interludes. this might seem long winded and im probably joining a few other theories (sorry for any liberal plagiarism) but i beleve that after the heralds abondoned the oath pact, the KR became more fragmented as hinted in the back stories on each chapter in WOR. that the nations and orders became fractured and started in fighting. those quotes hint of trechery and whole orders turning on one another. after while they stopped functioning as a whole and abandoned Urithiru fighting off voidbringers/listeners. during this time they learnt of the braking of the oaths. (maybe from one of the heralds) and felt betrayed. During this period of time a faction of the voidbringers atuned into that song of peace of internal screaming stormform eshonia found and decided to brake form their gods. They seperated from the voidbringers forms that the now fractured KR were fighting and made a plan to turn all listeners into dullform/ parshmen. they made a plea to KR. the KR feeling betrayed and tired of fighting came together one last time to try and solve the voidbringer and a potential new desolation by forcing the spren to turn voidbringers into their dullforms/parshmen. this whole act betrayed their oaths and they caused their own bonded spren to die. Eshonai notes theire is little difference between dullform/ parshmen. Maybe the dullform/listerners where the group that choose the path to cleanse their race and stop desolations and the parshmen are the voidbringers that where forced by the KR killing whole populations of spren to change them hence their lack of intelligence compared to listeners because of the violent change compared to the listeners choice. After which mankind enslaved the parshmen. i belive the recreance might have resulted from the desperation the KR fractured and betrayed by the heralds oathbraking and attempting one final combined 10 ordered effort to stop another desolation being convinced by the listeners/parshendi.They might have thought this would be the only way as only one herald was left to fight in damnation. i belive they thought the heralds had abandoned the world and nations and would not be around to help rebuild the orders in time if another desolation came so their bonded spren scraficed themselves staying in shard/pate form for future generations to be used to defend roshar. this is why they abdoned the shards at towns/forts and cities rather than hide them so the peoples of roshar would have a chance to fight back having the heralds forsake their duty. anyway i hope this long winded theory makes sense
  24. THIS POST CONTAINS LOTS OF SPECULATION. PLEASE READ IT AS SUCH. THANKS! Brandon states that Roshar is a heavily-invested planet as compared with Scadrial. Though the aggregate amount of investiture available on Roshar IS greater, I think Brandon refers to the amount of power actually invested in the planet. Harmony touches Scadrial with a light hand. Roshar, in contrast, abounds with “living ideas” – spren – that don’t even belong in the Physical Realm. (See “A Confused Primer on Spren.”) How did that come about? How does Roshar’s magic work? Where does all that investiture come from and where does it go? A. Adonalsium’s “Design.” Roshar bears Adonalsium’s “touch and design.” (WoR, Chapter 66 Epigraph.) Brandon has said that Adonalsium left power on Roshar that developed sentience on its own. We don’t know whether he/she/it left that power there deliberately or as part of the Shattering, or for whatever reason. I speculate that most “natural” spren (defined below) are from Adonalsium, though that’s unconfirmed. 1. “Natural” spren are those that carry no imprint of human thought or emotion. Humans are not originally of Roshar. Adonalsium’s spren, therefore, would be the ones listeners are familiar with: windspren, rainspren, angerspren – even the “Rider of the Storms” himself. These spren now may be colored by human thought and Shardic influence, but they must have existed originally in some “natural” (Adonalsium-created) form with which listeners could bond. a. Human experience – emotionally individualistic coupled with an ever-changing material culture – varies far more than the listener experience of communal emotional response (the rhythms) and a static material culture. An individualistic culture will create more, and more varied, spren than a communal one. These are simply differences in temperament and culture, not differences in emotional or intellectual capacity. Eshonai and Venli are a match for any human. b. Temperamental and cultural differences do mean that far fewer kinds of spren existed on Roshar before the human migrations. Spren spawned or modified by human thought or emotion would NOT be “natural” spren left by Adonalsium. 2. There’s lots of Forum speculation (with which I agree) that the listeners are the original humanoid life form on Roshar, or at least they migrated there before humans. Brandon hints that Adonalsium created the listeners, but that’s unconfirmed. He also says he modeled the listener chants on Carl Jung’s idea of the “collective unconscious.” That means spren of a commonly-held form – a non-human-inspired form – communicate with one another in the Cognitive Realm and, through them, the listeners do as well. 3. Brandon has confirmed that Highstorms started as purely meteorological, non-magical events, presumably before the arrival of the Shards. I’m sure the Highstorms had their share of wind and rain, but Brandon’s statement suggests they did not bear investiture. 4. Roshar’s seasons also appear to be magical. Though a Rosharian year is 500 days (20 hours per day), Roshar has multiple seasons during that year, each lasting only a few weeks. These seasons bear no relation to Roshar’s orbit around its sun or the angle of Roshar’s rotation on its axis. Brandon has said that the youth of Roshar’s sun should make its planets incapable of birthing life. We don’t know whether Adonalsium or the Shards caused these magical anomalies. B. Honor and Cultivation’s Arrival. Sometime post-Shattering, Honor and Cultivation arrive on Roshar. Brandon has suggested a romantic involvement between the two. Because Shards retain their “thoughts and personalities” despite their ascension, I speculate that their “romance” continued in Shard form. (I also speculate that Skaize and Aona loved each other and continued to love each other after their ascension as Dominion and Devotion. Wyndle’s lament for “Mother’s” loss of interest in humans following Honor’s death supports these speculations. Wyndle’s “Mother” is generally thought to be Cultivation or, more accurately, her partial spren the Nightwatcher.) C. Odium’s Arrival. Sometime later, after a brief stop on Sel because he apparently doesn’t like couples, Odium arrives. 1. I theorize the Highstorms become invested at this time. (Others believe Adonalsium may have invested the Highstorms after first creating them as mere weather events.) It’s unclear whether Honor and/or Cultivation invest them before Odium’s arrival or whether all three do so more or less simultaneously or in response to one another.. 2. I further speculate that the Shards' investment in Highstorms, particularly Odium’s investment, cause the Highstorms to become more violent. Odium’s Aggression mandate (see “Mandates of the Known Shards”) magnifies the power of the Highstorms and may add the thunder and lightning. Cultivation’s mandate of Survival ensures that life nonetheless continues and even flourishes. (WoB: “Stormlight makes things grow.”) Honor, with his Relationships mandate, binds it all together. 3. I believe each Shard creates its own moon. In order of their rising, I believe the purple Salas (the smallest moon) is Odium’s physical body; the larger pale blue Nomon is Honor’s physical body; and the in-between (size-wise) green Mishim is Cultivation’s. Throughout the books, these colors are thematic of each Shard. Example: “When [Kaladin] passed, the grass pulled back in, looking like the fur of some black beast in the night, lit by Salas.” (WoK, Kindle p. 808 (emphasis added).) “Beast” imagery is also associated with Odium. Whenever Dalinar is enthralled by the Thrill, be “bellows,” “roars” and “growls.” That’s consistent with Odium’s Aggression mandate. 4. All three moons are much closer to Roshar than our moon is to earth. I baldly speculate when Odium killed Tanavast, a chunk of Nomon representing Tanavast’s body fell (or was propelled) to Roshar at Stormseat, causing the Shattered Plains to shatter.
  25. Humans existed before the Shattering of Adonalsium. We know this. Besides the existence of the original Shardholders that we know to have been human (Ati and Leras) and Hoid themselves, we know from Sazed's epigraphs in Hero of Ages that Preservation and Ruin created human life on Scadrial based on a form they had seen elsewhere. So, human life existed before Adonalsium was Shattered into Shards. This is established. But what about sapient races other than humans? Besides Adonalsium itself (most likely a singular being), every sapient species we have seen besides humans was either created from or by humans in some way (Kandra, Koloss, Elantrians, Nightblood), or are themselves splinters of a shard of Adonalsium (Seons, Skaze, Returned, most Spren), or splinters of Adonalsium directly (other Spren). Except on Roshar. The Listeners (or Parshendi if you prefer) are the first example we've seen of a sapient species that has no obvious connection to humanity or to a shard. Words of Radiance gives us much insight into the Listeners. I have transcribed a few choice bits: Words of Radiance, Interlude 5 (pages 395 and 396 in the hardcover edition). Listener Song of Secrets, 40th Stanza, epigraph of Chapter 28 of Words of Radiance (page 338 of the hardcover edition). Listener Song of Spren, 9th Stanza, epigraph of Chapter 32 of Words of Radiabce (page 368 of the hardcover edition) Listener Song of Secrets, Final Stanza, epigraph of Chapter 34 of Words of Radiance (page 385 of the hardcover edition) There's a common thread in all of the quotes I noted above- the idea of the Listeners having been betrayed by the Spren. On the surface, this idea makes no sense. The Spren have been identified by Jasnah and Shallan as being the product of human thought. So, if they were created by human thought, how could it be a betrayal for them to work with the humans? Many, if not all, of the Spren are splinters. We know, from the Word of Brandon, that many Spren are splinters of Honor or Cultivation, or some combination thereof (note). We also know that some are splinters of Adonalsium itself, directly, which he had left on Roshar intentionally (note). Humans are Children of Honor. Honor and Cultivation arrived on Roshar together. Odium arrived later. What evidence we have points to humans having been created by Honor, or by Honor and Cultivation. Honor and Cultivation are shards, so logically they cannot have existed prior to the Shattering. So, if there were no humans on Roshar prior to the Shattering, why did Adonalsium leave splinters of himself on that planet? I deduce that there was a sentient species already present on Roshar before the creation of humans- the Listeners. Either naturally evolved or, more likely, a creation of Adonalsium. Why do the Listeners see the Spren working with the humans as a betrayal? Because they, the original Spren, worked with the Listeners first. The humans came later, and some of the Spren, whether the older Adonalsium-based ones or the newer Honor/Cultivation based ones, chose to work with the humans instead. Why? Because Honor and Cultivation made the humans "meatier" for the Spren, as opposed to the brothy Listeners. So, when Odium came, and created Spren (or perhaps empowered existing Spren?) with his own splinters, in order to destroy, the Listeners turned to them as their gods. "Our gods were born splinters of a soul, of one who seeks to take control, destroys all the land that he beholds, with spite." Note that several passages confirm that the Listeners turned to their gods after this betrayal; I think this makes it abundantly clear that Odium did not, himself, create the Listeners (in case anyone wanted to argue for that). All that aside, we have this: The above quote is from the second letter in the epigraphs of Part 4 of Words of Radiance. It is, by my interpretation, a clear statement that Roshar (and possibly the other worlds in the Roshar System) were shaped directly by Adonalsium. All this seems indicative to me. I theorize that the Listeners were created by Adonalsium before the Shattering. This raises some interesting questions, if true. Why would Honor and Cultivation choose to create humans on a world that was already inhabited by sapient life? Were the Listeners changed by the arrival of the two shards? What was the relationship between humans and Listeners before the arrival of Odium? In any event, I am certainly interested in hearing thoughts on this theory, and on the questions it raises.