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Found 43 results

  1. So here's my idea. Remember how Navani could faintly feel the rhythms only when she was touching a large amount of Stormlight? Thus proving the rhythms really do come from it? Well, in Mistborn, burning Bronze let a Mistborn hear the Rhythms of other allomancers, therefore giving them the ability to tell which metal they were using. Coincidence? Correlation? Thoughts?
  2. This line of thought springs from Leshwi's reaction to finding out about Venli's bond to her spren. The relationship between Singers/Listeners was never explained in depth beyond the fact that Singers/Listeners can trap them in their gemhearts to switch between different forms. In the listeners' songs, there is mention of a betrayal from the spren, but the information has been passed down verbally for many generations, and is therefore very unreliable. In Rhythm of War, Venli reveals her bond and Leshwi's reaction is to wonder whether they have been forgiven for their betrayal. That of course raises the question: What betrayal? Was their bonding with Odium some kind of betrayal? What was their relationship to sentient spren?
  3. I’ve been thinking a lot about this. How can Parshmen mate if they can’t turn into mateform? Humans bred them in pens. Is mateform even needed? I’m assuming it’s done through conventional human ways as Herdazian and Horneaters have Parshmen blood in them. Reminds me of my musings on how someone had Koloss blood and could cross breed with humans on Scadrial. Welcome anyone’s ideas.
  4. I am confused as to whether the listeners expected the Fused to return to Roshar when they summoned the Everstorm. They assassinated Gavilar in order to prevent the Fused from returning. As far as I understand it, they didn't want the Fused to come back and dominate their people. Could they have summoned the Everstorm in such a way that the Fused wouldn't have returned? Was summoning the Fused a way of acknowledging that they had no chance of winning the war against the humans without the help of the Fused?
  5. I just wanted to think for a second about why humans had the ability to bond higher spren but singers, who seem to be fully rational creatures like humans, at least in any form besides dullform and slave form. I think the reason for this has to do with evolution on Roshar and what higher spren get from the Nahel bond: sapience in the physical realm. Humans are physical beings--their cognition is a product of biological processes of the physical realm which obviously are manifested in the cognitive realm, and facilitated by innate investiture in the spiritual realm. The Parsh natives of Roshar evolved on a planet where the cognitive-based investiture was all over the place, and from evolutionary terms, the path of least resistance to developing sapience was a symbiotic process between humanoid and spren, rather than a fully physical process. The result is, obviously, that the sapience of singers is less physically grounded than that of humans, and thus a nahel bond is not nearly as firm a grounding in the physical realm as it is for humans, whose sapience is a result of their physical brains, at least on a material level. I think this is correct, but what has changed recently? Are spren bonding singers like Venli or (hopefully) Rlain even though the bond is less secure because they think it's just the right thing to do, and it CAN serve, just less well, or is there some other difference?
  6. So I'm chugging along in my full Cosmere reread in preparation for Dawnshard and Rhythm of War, and I'm on I think the third Eshonai interlude. The parallel I noticed is, Eshonai seems clearly not to be herself, but to be influenced by an external force, while thinking she is being herself. I think this external force might be the stormspren, which acts both as the mechanism by which the form is attained, and a direct connection to Odium. Singer mental acuity seems, to a major extent, to be a biproduct of the symbiosis between the physical singer brains, their cognitive minds, and connection with a spren acting the enhance the connection, and also to alter their physical forms based on a cognitive idea. The form-of-power spren are like an Odium filter there, so all thoughts get a hint of odium. I suspect other non-dullform spren are either of honor, cultivation, or some combination, but there is less powerful investiture in them to act as a filter, and less will put forward by the shards to make the filter achieve a particular end, rather than to let the singers be themselves. I thought the net result, however, was very very similar to the effects Calamity's selfishness and misanthropy has on Epics, and that Brandon is working with the theme of not being yourself, but almost being possessed, in both places. I don't think in Stormight it's a fear-based system like what we got in Reckoners, but the connection is strong, and fear is one of the main motivators in getting the Listeners to take Stormform in the first place. Eshonai's truespren seems to be trying to insulate her from the influence of the stormspren, and that's what it eventually does for Venli when it decided to bond her instead, though I think the form she was given might have been less intensely odious than a stormspren, at least in terms of its ability to motivate evil in an otherwise good person. I don't know what to draw from all this, but I wanted to share the connection I think really is there and see what other people thought.
  7. What form do the listeners have following the Everstorm? It isnt dull form given how easily they can speak and interact. Do they have spren in their gemhearts? If not, how can they be in an intelligent form? I could be completely misunderstanding the nature of their beings, but does someone have some insight?
  8. So while this could be nothing, I was looking through some discussions about stormlight 4 and I started to connect some dots. While it is not confirmed, a lot of the fandom- and myself- believe Hesina, Kaladin's mother, to be originally from Kharbranth. If this is true, we known from the end of Oathbringer that all those who were born in Kharbranth and their spouses will be spared from Odium. We also know that Odium is bound by his word and so he must follow this deal he struck with Taravangian. While I've seen quite a few people saying this deal will end up being bad for Taravangian and that Odium ultimately got the better deal, I think this deal is what will bring about Odium's downfall, not Taravangian's. Now I should say this having any sort of possibility weighs heavily on Hesina being born in Kharbranth, but under the assumption that she is then this means that Lirin is spared by association. And yet, even with this deal potentially protecting him, much of the fanbase believes Lirin will die in Stormlight 4. This is where I think Odium trips himself up. If Lirin were to die as a result of Odium- so be singers, listeners, or corrupted spren- the deal between Odium and Taravangian will immediately become void. And while we don't necessarily know what happens when a shard's word is broken, it is my personal headcanon that a big part of the process for Honor being shattered was that he in some way broke his word. While obviously this has a lot holes in it, I just wanted to point it out as I've been seeing a lot of people talking about the Kharbranth deal and whether or not Lirin will die in the next book.
  9. 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?
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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!
  13. 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??
  14. 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.?
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. [ 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...
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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?
  23. 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.
  24. 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?
  25. 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?