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Could the Sibling and Ba-ado-Mishram be one and the same? - a Godspren - light-producing - stuck inside a gem - missing a part of itself - wary of Knights Radiant! - both went dormant about the same time Could "Mishram" have been a three-part spren, an equal divide between the three Shards - the three pure tones - of Roshar... perhaps even created to symbolize the unity of the three when the Ashynian Refugees were accepted? Perhaps even created as *part of the Oathpact*?
All spoilers - RoW, Dawnshard, Cosmere, WoB, r/cremposting, whispers of fictive headmates, etc: In a nutgreatshell: I propose that the herald Ishi and the radiant Melishi are one and the same. 1. MELISHI We know that Melishi was a Bondsmith prior to the Recreance. He was bonded to the Sibling. He enjoyed a position of authority among the Knights Radiant. He lead a strike team to capture Ba-ado-Mishram. He was warned that this would have unintended consequences. He ignored this warning. 2. ISHAR We know that Ishar was a Herald of the Almighty. He is currently the mad God-Priest of Tukar. He is obsessed with spren, the Nahel bond, and Connection in general. He is preposterously skilled in combat - far more than even the Blackthorn and several Knights Radiant. Before he was a Herald, he was a part of the development of surgebinding on Ashyn, which led to the destruction of Ashyn, and was part of the subsequent exodus of humans from Ashyn to Roshar. He is still studying the fundamental forces of the Cosmere with an eye towards their manipulation. 3. SIMILARITIES I mean, basically all of it? ISHI, MELISHI - their names are pretty dang similar. Both had positions of authority in the Knights Radiant - Melishi from the way he is spoken of in the Gem Archive, and the Knights Radiant being literally called "Ishar's Knights." Both are closely associated with Bondsmiths. Melishi was a Bondsmith (bonded to the Sibling), the historical Ishar was the Heraldic patron of Bondsmiths, and the modern Ishar tried to steal a Bondsmith's bond to the Stormfather. Both are closely associated with Connection. We really only know Melishi in the context of gems mentioning Ba-Ado-Mishram, who in another gem is specifically discussed in terms of majuscular Connection. Ishar, in RoW, is all about that Connection. Melishi captured Ba-Ado-Mishram in a perfect gem (much the way Dalinar does to The Thrill). Ishar is studying a new way to capture spren, one that involves less jewelry and The historical Ishar was part of the development of surgebinding on Ashyn. The modern Ishar is trying to mess with the fundamental forces of Roshar. Melishi messed with the fundamental forces by capturing Ba-Ado-Mishram. The historical Ishar was part of the exodus of humans from Ashyn to Roshar. The modern Ishar is studying the persistence of Invested entities outside of their home. (This is pretty close to what Restares is doing on Roshar, and what Thaidakar is doing on Scadrial.) In the same way, Melishi was studying how to stop Voidlight from getting from Braize to Roshar by means of a spren. These seem similar - even progressive, one two three. The historical Ishar was part of the Surgebinding investigations that destroyed Ashyn. Melishi was part of the spren-capturing that caused the False Desolation and turned the parshendi into parshmen. The modern Ishar is on his way to becoming the subject of a Behind The Bastards episode. This guy genocides. And I mean, the methods of his madness are bad enough, but his *goals* are probably even worse! The guy should really be the Herald of Ignoring Externalities. "Playing with forces too big for him to control" seems like his bag, baby. He answers the question: What if Lanfear was like "okay, so we've got this Bore. What if we bored a BIGGER bore and then put THAT Bore in THIS bore? Problem solved!" This guy probably has a coffee mug that says "That's a problem for Tomorrow Ishar!" OMG I hate him so much. 4. PROBLEMS From the Gem Archive, we are told: ""This generation has had only one Bondsmith[...]" This suggests that there are multiple, changing Bondsmiths. But it does not imply that it all Bondsmiths are new. Heck, it tells us clearly that the 'multiple' part is not constant. I expect that none of these parts are constant. A) Heralds can bond spren. Look at Nale. Heralds can lead their Order - again, Nale. C) Heralds are immortal. Look at... well, 9 of them. (Sorry Jezza) D) We know that Ishi is older than the Heralds themselves. He was definitely alive during the time Melishi was alive. E) Again, Ishar tried to steal Dalinar's bond to the Stormfather - but another way of saying that is, he tried to bond a Bondsmith spren himself. F) Back in the day, the Nahel bond was less permanent. Maya says that she thought the breaking of her Radiant bond would hurt, but would not kill her. This implies that it would have left her able to be re-bonded to a new person, making a new Knight Radiant - much as she is on the road to doing with Adorablin. By this same method, a bondsmith could well have bon G) We are told by the Gem Archive that "This generation has only one Bondsmith." It does not imply that this one Bondsmith hasn't been a Bondsmith for generations - since, indeed, the beginning. And it does not imply that, just because there's only one bondsmith, only one of the Bondsmith spren is bonded. A person can have more than one Nahel bond at once. And if anyone was ever to do this it would be Mr. Bondypants himself. H) As a result, Melishi could have been bonded to more than one of the Bondsmith spren - before his attack on Ba-Ado-Mishram, or even, during it. I) Storms, it wouldn't surprise me to discover that Ishar CREATED the Sibling - using his Bonding powers to combine Stormlight and Cultivationlight into a new "Bondsmith-level spren." (We need better vocabulary, here. Bondspren? Shardspren? Greatspren? Pleez halp.) J) Storms, I'm guessing that Ishi-Melishi is the one who created the Nahel bond entirely. 5. SIDE THEORY THAT'S TOTALLY BATSHIT, I KNOW Since Ba-Ado-Mishram was a Light-level spren, and the only other Light-level spren are the Bondsmith spren, I'm going to go ahead and suggest that Ba-Ado-Mishram could have been a Bondsmith-bondable spren. Ba-Ado-Mishram might have been a regular ol' spren of Odium, and her only association with Light was to forge a Connection between a Light-source - say Odium himself - and the parsh. Or, Ba-Ado-Mishram could have been the spren of Odium in the way the Stormfather is the spren of Honor, or the Nightwatcher the spren of Cultivation. BUT. What if Ba-Ado-Mishram was a spren like the Sibling - a meeting of the two? And what if, as I theorized about the Sibling, Ishar was involved in her creation? Ba-Ado-Mishram might have been a 'sibling' of Honor and Odium, or of Cultivation and Odium - creating a 'towerlight'-like blend of the two lights. Maybe the creation of such a blended greatspren was part of the Oathpact by which Odium and the Ashyn Refugees were allowed onto Roshar. Maybe there were two of them - three blended greatspren, in addition to one pure greatspren of Odium. Meaning there's one mixed greatspren, and one pure greatspren, that we have yet to meet - or at least to understand. If Ba-Ado-Mishram was a Bondsmith-spren, Ishi/Melishi could well have bonded her at one point - or indeed, could have been bonded to her even while he was imprisoning her. This might be the reason that the Sibling went into hiding, and refused to bond any new Radiant. His last Bondsmith had betrayed one of his other bonded spren! (Aside: I kind of wonder if the Sibling being tied to the Tower is actually not that far off from Ba-Ado-Mishram being trapped in a gem. But that's a bit metaphysical for the moment - save 4 l8r.) And, ifffff this is all true... ISHAR COULD STILL BE BONDED TO BA-ADO-MISHRAM. Still bonded. All this time! This could well be the reason that Ishar is so double extra super crazy at the moment. He could be bonded to a spren who is trapped in a gem and has been stuck underground for a few millennia. That's probably halfway to being trapped himself - halfway to being Taln. Probably not super awesome for the ol' mental health - just guessing. 6. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER My guess is that the history/mechanics went something like this. -Ishar was a human living on Ashyn -He was interested in the Surges - kind of the way Dr Faustus was interested in the spirits, Dr Oppenheimer in the atom, Dr. Eronaile the Power, or the current Ishar in playing Dr. freakin' Mengele with living spren. -Odium tempted Ishar with the power to manipulate the fundamental surges -Ishar did so, creating Surgebinders - probably creating the Nahel bond as we know it. -In doing so, he also delved_too_deep.gif, and created such instability on Ashyn that the planet was rendered uninhabitable - all but destroyed. (Side note - the name "Ishar" is quite a bit like the "Ishtar" of Biblical times. There's a lot of cross-pollenation among old deities, and their names... but Ishtar is associated with the serpent who tempted Adam and Eve with the forbidden knowledge that saw them cast out of Paradise. RIP Tranquiline Halls.) -Odium then asked Honor and Cultivation if he, and his people, could flee to Roshar. The Avasts agreed, under the condition that Odium would stay on Braize and not do, y'know, Odium Stuff. This was the Oathpact. -The Oathpact was created, not just by the power of the Shards, but by the power of Ishar the Bondsmith. He created the rules of the Oathpact. -The reason Ishar was able to bind Shards to an agreement, is the same reason that he was able to bind spren of the cognitive to people of the physical by means of the Nahel bond. It's the same reason that he is all about that Connection and always has been. You see, Ishar is - or at least, was - a Dawnshard. It could be UNITE, as in UNITE THEM; or it could be BIND, as in Surgebinding, as in Bondsmith ("binding contract" sounds a lot like an Oathpact to this attorney.) I'm guessing it's BIND. -Specifically, Ishar was given th Dawnshard of Binding by Odium. And specifically, he was given it by Odium *specifically* so that it would lead to the ruination of Ashyn, so that Odium could play upon Honor and Cultivation's sympathies to admit his people to their system - and in doing so, let him in, to war upon them, and kill them. -Ishar then wrote the Oathpact, and Bound the parties to it. The problem, here, is that - pacts are hard. Words are hard. Hell, I'm a lawyer. Writing contracts is hard. Ambiguities are unavoidable, and can be exploited by other parties - and sometimes ambiguities can be hidden by the drafter to exploit themselves. Odium found, or made, those ambiguities, and exploited them - leading to the death of Tanavast, the splintering of Honor, and the cycle of Desolations. -Hell, Odium might have done this same trick to the other Shards he Splintered. The Bondsmith's power to turn human words into the laws of the Universe is as beautiful and terrible as the very dreams of the skybreakers. (When you've got the Hammer of Gods, everything looks like a Nale. Sorry. No, no I'm not.) -I don't understand the current status of the Dawnshard of Bind. I know it profoundly affects Dalinar. That's all I know. It could be held by the Stormfather. It could be hidden, but was held long enough by Bondsmith-related entities that it suffuses all that they are. But, if I had to guess, part of the Oathpact was that the Dawnshard of Binding was splintered into ten pieces, and divided amongst the Heralds, whose main goal was not to be interplanetary warlords, but simply keepers of a power that was too great to combine - and too dangerous for Honor and Cultivation to want anywhere near Roshar. The Heralds, as prison-guards of the power that destroyed their home planet, were then banished to Braize, and never meant to return. Then Odium went all rules lawyer on them, found mad sploits, and thus the endless cycle of free-trips-to-Damnation. -Whether by Ishar's bindings, or the natural reordering of the world after Odium's people came to Roshar, the Nahel bond became as tied to Voidlight as it was to Stormlight and Cultivationlight. My guess is that three spren were created to be co-equal blends of the Shards in the system. The spren who resides in Urithiru is part Honor, part Cultivation. That spren has two siblings: Ba-Ado-Mishram, and an as-yet-unnamed (or at least, as-yet-unidentified) spren, one of which is of Honor and Odium, the other of Cultivation and Odium. -As a result of stacking playing-god on top of playing-god, Ishar/Melishi's capture of Ba-Ado-Mishram stopped what could well have been the imminent conquest of Roshar by Odium. But in doing so - well, Lews Sealing The Bore. Prepare For Unforseen Consequences. OOPS I DID IT A GAIN. This deprived the parshmen of cognition, deprived the spren of the ability to survive the breaking of their bonds, and probably other things that we don't even understand, because THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU STICK YOUR DICK IN THE UNIVERSE. And... storms, it is quite possible that the name Ba-Ado-Mishram is a sobriquet. "Ado" could come from "Adora," the same root as the first syllable in Adolin's name, meaning "light" - and "Mishram" contains "Ish" and even "Ishr," which could be linked to the Herald. Maybe there's a Ba-Ado-Mishram and a, idk, Tet-Ado-Mishram, indicating Honor/Odium-light and Cultivation/Odium-light (or vice versa). Heck, maybe the "Sibling" is actually like Asha-Ado-Mishram - three Siblings, created simultaneously by the powers of a Dawnshard, in the hopes of a harmony that Odium immediately sought to destroy. Three multi-shardic blends - three little Harmonys - three little Adonalsiums - simultaneously beautiful in their unity, and terrible in their return towards that which was Shattered. -The phrase UNITE THEM is probably just a general, all-encompassing idea of the Dawnshard of BINDING. It might even be a mixed version, resulting from the Intention of dead Tanavast and mere echoes of the splinitered Dawnshard. However, I doubt it will be satiated until it has united the splinters of itself (if such they are), and, indeed, the Shards of Adonalsium. -I expect that is Hoid's biggest interest in the Rosharan system - the unification of the shards of the Dawnshard of Binding, towards his ultimate goal of the reunification of Adonalsium. -...which interest could very well be at conflict with the best interests of Roshar. -And, as a result, the biggest single piece on the Rosharan chessboard is probably... Rysn. Because A] maybe the only way out of the BINDing Oathpact is to CHANGE it... and B] because my girl Rysn real good at contract negotiation. TEAM RYSN BABY. ALL ABOARD DAT WANDERSAIL! Best from Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where I am off-Trail hiding from a thunderclaststorm -Silver the Ridgerunner
I'd like to bring your attention to Maleshi, now mentione twice - in WoR and OB (emphasis mine): Melishi – the sole Bondsmith of the last Radiant generation during a False Desolation. He imprisoned Ba-Ado-Mishram, the highprincess of the Unmade and commander of Odium’s forces (according to Mythica), who was providing voidlight for the parsh in the absence of Odium - already imprisoned by Honor at that time I assume. These parsh are ‘the devils’ the KR were said to be fighting at Feverstone Keep in Dalinar’s vision of Recreance. Not only did Melishi and the coalition of Radiants manage to capture Ba-Ado-Mishram, but also caused the fighting parsh to lose their ability to form bonds with spren. Around this time the Last Legion escaped all and hid until their descendants were discovered by Kholin expedition. Somehow they managed to avoid losing the ability to bond spren, so the imprisonment of Ba-Ado-Mishram is not the main reason other parsh were stuck in dullform. So, matching False Desolation, cognitive destruction of most parsh and Recreanse, we get Windrunners and Stonewards abandoning their Shards for people to easily find and take. If the reasoning behind it was what was done to the parsh, surely this wasn’t the best way to do it. They deliberately left both Plates (that could have been dismissed for all we know and disappear as a footnote in history) and Blades out in the open for anyone to take at Feverstone Keep. The only threat I can think of that is worth fighting with Shards are Odium’s forces, so I suggest the Radiants were inclined to think they did not permanently defeat their enemy. In the light of all that, I do not believe the revelation humanity isn’t originally from Roshar played as big a role as the Stormfather claimed. They disbanded for whatever actual reason, yet left invaluable weapons to humanity for future war. It is interesting to point out previous books claimed Urithiru was abandoned before Recreanse, yet there doesn’t seem to be much of a time difference between the two. How whatever was happening with the Sibling, Urithiru becoming unsafe and uninhabitable (for more see Urithiru the corrupted city), along with the tensions between Windrunners and Skybreakers, the only ones who kept their Oaths to present day, is related to it all remains to be seen.