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Found 29 results

  1. HDjsnvjdnvjsnvkcn what is that Emperor’s Soul dog meme I can’t. :lol: 

    1. R J

      R J

      It is The Truth. 

    2. AonEne


      Is that your dog, or did you just find the image? 

    3. R J

      R J

      I just found the image. My family has cats sadly 

  2. So I read a part if the Rythm of War Prologue and a paragraph caught my attention. Its Navani's PoV and shes looking for Gavilar on the night of his murder and finds him whispering with 2 other people. I think one might've been Nale. From my understanding, they have discovered a way to send,probably voidspren(although it could be regular spren), back and forth from Braize. But one of the "Heralds" says that going back and forth from Braize is "too close to be relevant" Gavilar says that it was impossible just a few years back and mentions that the Oathpact isn't gone and that it can be "warped" to allow for travel and mentions that it isnt as far as theyd like to go but they're still in the beginning stages. So the big question is.... where the hell do the Sons of Honor want to send these Spren. Spren are bound to their system, but if Roshar to Braize isn't far enough, where do they want to send them? One of the 10 gas giants? Or maybe theyd find a way around the Location problem and wanted to send spren all over the cosmere XD
  3. <Mistborn Spoilers> This (trapping a shard for a period of time) however, isn't a unique occurrence in the Cosmere. Honor used the Oathpact to limit Odium's influence on Roshar. What I'm proposing is that what Tarnavast did to Rayse is the same thing that Leras did to Ati, using cognitive force concentrated in a physical form to hold the power of a shard, however instead of using his own cognitive aspect, he used 10 Heralds instead. Every 1024 years the well of ascension would fill with investiture, what I'm saying is the sort of outlet to Ati's power, stopping the whole system from breaking by using the excess. Tarnavast however, didn't create such a system, and instead used humans (shored up with a little of his own power) to prevent Rayse from escaping his prison. Since humans work different to Shards however, the Heralds had to physically be at the site of the prison, and so could be broken by Odium (creating the Desolations).
  4. Hey all, After reading OB and understanding the Oathpact's purpose and the importance of the Everstorm (now we understand what Jasnah meant at the end of WoR, don't we?), I have thought of something I want to share. As we know, in the current Desolation the Fused can return in the next Everstorm after been killed, as opposed to all previous Desolations (except for the first one, because you know, roles reversed and all that). Given that the Fused are formidable opponents even to the Radiants (at least the 3rd Level Radiants, the ones we have so far), this is a big difference. But maybe there is a solution for this! Since it is known that when the blade (Nightblood) inflicts a wound, it vaporizes and destroys on all three realms, Cognitive, Physical, and Spiritual, maybe it can be used to destroy Fused for good. This is (I think) good for everyone, since we have seen that not all re-Connected parshmen are really into fighting, the Fused being the ones that really hate humans. Since possessed listeners are already dead, killing Fused with Nightblood is not killing listeners. This may be a big step towards ending the listener-vs-humans conflict, so they can present a unified front against Odium. I'm sorry if this has been brought up elsewhere! Edit: formatting
  5. A sudden thought. Dalinar is a Bondsmith of Honor. Honor is dead. Odium talks to Dalinar and implies that Dalinar has the power to release Odium from the contracts/bonds Honor has placed on Odium. My conclusion from this is that in becoming the Bondsmith of Honor - by virtue of Honor being dead - Dalinar has become essentially the Executor of Honor's Will, and can enter new contracts, and modify existing contracts/Oaths on Honor's behalf. One of these contracts is the Oathpact. Thoughts?
  6. We learned a lot of information in Oathbringer, and it's taken me quite a few days to process what I've read. A lot of that processing seems to happen as I'm lying in bed half asleep, and that is where this theory comes from. TDLR; Surges came first, Honor bound them to Heralds and his Investiture via the Oathpact, and this was done to help stop surges from destroying Roshar during Desolations. Now that the TLDR is out of the way, let me actually explain where my brain went with this. 1. Humans, according to OB, came to Roshar because they'd destroyed their home with Surgebinding. -- I believe that it's being called surgebinding because that's how the powers are known on Roshar at this time. My theory postulates that humans had Surges, ALL surges, in an unchecked manner and this led to the Cataclysm on Ashyn (likely) or whatever their original home was. They were able to use Surges because it it simply just channeled/focused Investiture. It did not *require* Stormlight, but whatever the equivalent is where they are from. 2. Humans came to Roshar, as refugees, Odium followed them, and they were accepted there. -- At first they settled in fine, but then decided they wanted more... seems plausible. In the book we're told the humans were the enemy in the first Desolation (if not some of the first few Desolations). I can buy this. They would have been seen as invaders, as is evident by the Fused's hatred of humanity. There are still remnants of human worship of Odium on Roshar (in the form of Thaylen Passions, as one example). 3. Odium is the side with the most Passion. -- I believe the reason Dalinar's visions show humans fighting humans fighting parsh, et al, is because there were not distinct sides. Odium basically liked to stoke the coals and cause a ruckus in order to inspire passion. Early Desolations were a manifestation of this I believe, and throughout the years people simply gravitated to the side they were more comfortable with. 4. Early Surges were unchecked. Hence, the Oathpact. -- Here comes part of the meat of my theory. I believe early use of surges were unchecked, and all surges were accessible by anyone who drew upon Investiture to use them. This made them extremely dangerous. Also I believe ANY Investiture could fuel them. Therefore my theory postulates that 9 of the Heralds (not Taln) were men and women who could use all surges AND were in positions of power in Roshar were chosen by Odium during the creation of the Oathpact. The Oathpact was a way for Honor to allow Surges to remain on this world, but be limited and bound by oaths, so as to not destroy it like it did the previous world humans occupied. Taln was selected by Honor. I don't necessarily think the Heralds were told they were selected or by whom. I also think this is why today it's called Surgebinding. Honor literally bound the Surges, and bound them to HIS Investiture, created the Honorblades as a way to limit how many surges of what type could be used in conjunction and that this is the basic idea of the Oathpact. Honor did not want these surges on Roshar all the time, so the agreement was made that after each Desolation the Heralds would go to Damnation to give humans time without them. I don't think Honor counted on the Spren trying to mimic the Honorblades. The KR were then formed to keep the spren in check and to keep humans further bound by oaths in order to use Surges. This was all rolled into the Oathpact. EDIT: After reading some WoBs I'm adjusting my theory a bit to account for information I did not have while sleeping... 5. Odium sidesteps the Oathpact. -- Once the Surges were no longer free to be used by anyone, Odium was at a disadvantage. He began by torturing the Heralds, trying to corrupt them. I think their Connection to Honor was too strong to be corrupted, so he turned to the next best thing... the spirits of the dead parsh from the early Desolations. (He still tortured the Heralds, as we know, and he did so to begin new Desolations as soon as he could following the last one). He couldn't allow them to use Surges, since he Surgebinding is bound by the Oathpact, but he sidesteps this with what we know as "Voidbinding", a corrupted version of Surges, likely powered by one or more of the Unmade. This is legal since the Unmade are not likely part of the Oathpact. 6. The Death of Honor. -- Wild tin-foil part of this theory is that the Heralds themselves, with the help of Odium, killed Tanavast and splintered Honor. WHY??? Why would the Heralds do this?? Because he was weakening. I posit that the Heralds believed that if Tanavast was killed someone would take up the Shard and strengthen Honor and keep the Oathpact strong. Odium swooped in and Splintered Honor before that could happen. This is all extremely unlikely, but it kind of fits the narrative I have going here so I forced myself to write it anyway. So, here we have it. This is what I ended up with after digesting the information given to us in Oathbringer. I only have a physical copy of the book, so I don't have actual quotes in this post, but I can probably work to find some. I'm pretty happy with this theory, even though I'm probably wrong in most, if not all, of it, but it's what my brain concluded while I was asleep so I thought I'd share and see what the other more-cosmere-aware folks here thought about it.
  7. Hey 17th Shard, My best friend shared with me an interesting theory that I wanted to run past you. He is not much for the forums but he did say he would be OK if I shared it here. I took his idea and built up a quick assumption list to help solidify his insight. Assumptions: 1. Bondsmiths can make and break Nahel, and other, bonds between a person and a spren. This assumption is not, necessarily, pivotal to the theory but perhaps the Bondsmiths are the ones who figured out what to do. 2. There is some sort of fundamental, underlying principles that dictate how these bonds are formed. Perhaps it is the innate system of the Rosharan system that makes the rule, perhaps Honor/Cultivation have a hand in it, perhaps it is a mix of those two, or perhaps it is something else altogether. Whatever the reason is, I do not think it is too big of a stretch to say that Brandon would create governing principles for the Rosharan magic systems. 3. The Knights Radiant of old (pre-Recreance) knew that Parshendi (or Parshmen) were Voidbringers. Or, since there is some debate about what a Voidbringer actually is, we might say that the Knights Radiant of old were aware that Parshendi/Parshmen were involved, somehow, with Desolations and Voidbringers. Theory: The Knights Radiant, knowing that Parshendi were related to the Desolations/Voidbringers (see assumption 3), discovered a way to break (see assumption 1) the underlying magical principle (see assumption 2) that allowed Parshendi to bond with Voidspren. In doing so, however, they also had to break their own bonds as well because the underlying principle applied to both their Nahel bond and the Parshendi bond. The Recreance was a direct result of the Knights Radiant deciding to give up their bonds because they thought it would forever prevent the Voidspren from bonding with the Parshendi again. We know that one Order of Radiants (possibly the Skybreakers) secretly kept their bonds which means that whatever a Bondsmith (see assumption 1) did to break the underlying principle (see assumption 2) was not completely successful - either due to the Order that secretly refused or perhaps because the Bondsmith just did something wrong. This mistake/accident/betrayal meant that some of the Parshendi remained Parshendi (Eshonai's people) and most turned into the Parshmen. This also means that the line in the Diagram about Taravangian possibly reusing the secret that broke the Radiants before could be referring to this. If the current Radiants were told that they could break all of the Voidspren's bonds with Parshendi by sacrificing their spren what would Kaladin, Shallan, and the others do? Could they justify to themselves not doing this? If they could save the world by sacrificing their spren... well, I think it would be hard for them to refuse. What say you Sharders? Is it possible that the Recreance was caused by the Knights Radiant delibrately trying to break the bonding process so that Parshendi could never again join with a Voidspren?
  8. I theorize the Heralds are humankind’s personification of the Divine Attributes. Those Ideals – the Heralds in Shadesmar spren form – IMO fend off Odium at the place Roshar’s and Braize’s subastrals meet. Judging by the Shadesmar map, I think Roshar is a major Shadesmar crossroads. I suspect Braize, the farthest planet of Greater Roshar, has only one Shadesmar passage back into the main channels – the planet Roshar. Somehow Odium is boxed in on Braize. The Oathpact binds the Heralds to stand at Roshar’s gates and keep Odium out. Like the Returned, which Brandon says is the same magic system, I think Honorblades are splinters bound to the Heraldic Ideals. On Roshar, alignment with an Ideal determines the strength of the bond that gives power. I think this must be true of Heralds, since spren modeled the KR on the Heralds. IMO, as humankind’s belief in the Heraldic Ideals strengthens, the bond between the Honorblades and Heralds also strengthens, increasing Heraldic power. As belief fades, the bond – and the Heralds’ power – weakens. This may explain the Sons of Honor’s actions (with reverse causation). I believe Odium attacks the Heralds’ strength in two ways. First, he seeks to undermine human belief in the Heraldic ideals. Second, he directly assaults those Ideals in their spren form. IMO, Odium’s power severs bonds. That what hate does – it generates power but consumes you. Odium’s power tries to sever the weakened Ideals from their bond with Honor. IMO, the Heralds’ torture is Odium’s bond-severing power melting through their bonds. Over time, Odium’s power breaks the Herald’s bonds. Desolation spills into Roshar. The Heralds cry havoc, and war comes to the Physical Realm.
  9. I mention this idea on another thread and flesh it out here. Many theories highlight the difference between Surgebinders and Knights Radiant. These theories look at these two quotes, the first from in-world Words of Radiance, the second from Dalinar’s Nohadon vision: Theorists conclude the original Surgebinders are not bound by the Knight Radiant oaths. I agree. Here’s my take on what Ishar and Nohadon do and what IMO the Herald's Oathpact's oath is. Ishar’s “was the most important part at their inception.” I think he imposes his “precepts and laws” when spren first grant Surges to men. He organizes the Orders, and I think he imposes the first oath: “Life Before Death. Strength Before Weakness. Journey Before Destination.” IMO, that oath creates the Nahel bond. Since Ishar requires no other oaths, oath makers instantly become full-powered Surgebinders. Nohadon later laments that Surgebinder Alkavish “brought us to war before the Desolation,” weakening humanity. (WoK, Chapter 60, Kindle p, 850.) The problem is the spren less discerning than honorspren; if they choose a bad bond-buddy, there’s no way to ratchet back the full power granted. I agree with posters who think Nohadon is a Bondsmith. I believe he founds the Knights Radiant and creates the Order oaths as a safety valve of phased-in bonding. Unlike “Ishar’s Knights,” as Taln calls them, Knights Radiant gain power as they align with their spren’s ideal. Now the fun and maybe (?) even novel part…Where does the first oath come from? I think it’s the oath the Heralds give to Honor when they join the Oathpact. The spren copy the Honorblades. Ishar organizes the Orders like the Heralds and substitutes the Nahel bond for an Honorblade. I think human Surgebinding requires the same oath the Heralds give. The first oath reads differently from a Herald’s perspective: “Life Before Death.” You will live and die over and over again. “Strength Before Weakness.” Your strength will weaken under torture. “Journey Before Destination.” Your torture will never end.
  10. We know that the Oathpact was between Honor and the Heralds. What we don't know is exactly when the Oathpact was formed. Was it in response to Odium showing up? Was it in anticipation of this event? Or did it have absolutely nothing to do with Odium? Here answer 1. Here answer 3 Here answer 4. Here answer 6. These all show that Odium had no part of the Oathpact, and his being stuck on Roshar is an indirect result of it. Now WAST time. The creation of The Dor, and the fight with Ambition surely could be felt by the other Vessels in the Cosmere. It could have become obvious that Odium was hunting Vessels and destroying them. While not diametrically opposed like Ruin and Preservation, there could be some issues with Honors focus on Permanant Bonds, and Cultivations more change centric intents. As lovers, they should have become aware of these issues fairly early after moving in together (on Roshar). Endowment splits off a splinter of herself in every Returned. The contests that selected the Heralds were designed to select 10 individuals. While some were martial in focus, not all necessarily were. Chana is noted for her great speed for instance. While Honor obviously presided over them, perhaps Cultivation was also a judge. Knowing that Odium would be coming, Honor decided to self splinter. This allowed him to focus his intent into specific individuals with the traits he was looking for, rather than the randomness of being shattered. A bunch of mini-champions if you will. While it might make him a bit weaker overalls to spreading out his power overall, it might make him more resilient in the end because of the individuals would be known. He might have forged a separate pact with Cultivation prior to this where she would also do the same to a lesser extent with the chooses, thus giving her a seat at the judgement. This would have allowed Brandon to state that the Oathpact was between Honor and the Heralds, and not mention her. Now if each was looking for specific traits in the contestants, it would make sense if these became ingrained in the Vorin religion. We have this nice table of essences and relations to Heralds from the Vorinn religion. Divine Attributes Primary Divine Attributes of Protecting, Just, Brave, Loving, Learned, Creative, Wise, Resolute, Dependable, and Pious. I feel that I can tie all of these attributes to something Honor would be looking for in someone to hold part of his power. Secondary Divine Attributes of Leading, Confident, Obiedient, Healing, Giving, Honest, Careful, Builder, Resourceful, and Guiding. I feel I can tie all these attributes to Something Cultivation would be looking for. The individuals selected were to lead the people by being living representative of these ideals. Honor splintered off a fairly large bit of Investature to each, and Cultivation a smaller. But this infusion of Investature would seek to enhance these traits in each individual over time becoming more and more a part of their intent. Since they had strength in particular focuses these would be exemplified. Now this large amount of Investiture would probably have affected their life spans as we have seen on Nalthas and on Sel. Having extremely long lived individuals exemplifying ideals should lead to a highly stable society. Thus the Tranquiline Halls mythology. An almost to perfect society, yet not stuck on the now but also the future do to Cultivations influence. The Heralds had to make the Oathpact with Honor, but what was the Oath. TO UPHOLD THE IDEALS FOR AS LONG AS THEY LIVED. The Reward extremely long life. They would not be Heralds of War. But Heralds of Life. Heralds of Ideals. So then Odium shows up. We have the First Desolation. THEY ALL DIE. But due to the splinters they hold, they all become Cognative Shadows. Odium is set back, but these little fairly helpless Heralds are now trapped. They have held a splinter so long they have been warped on the SR to be almost programmed to stay and uphold these ideals. So each time a Desolation starts they move back into the PR and fight for these ideals against the one who killed them. Because of this Odium is stuck. Every time he tries to destroy Honor, they come back like Army ants attacking his flanks. And by coming back they inspire others to the same ideals. Thus indirectly trapping him in Roshar. He sences that Honor is weak, so his hatred won't let him leave, but every time he attacks, the Heralds show up to buffer honors strength. Thus he starts a long game as I outline in my 10 Heralds 10 Fools thread.
  11. Hi this is my first post so here goes. i recently reread the prologue to way of kings to see what I noticed. Here are the things I only just picked up on: -it seems jezrien as king of the herelds was not based on his position as a herelds but on his preheraldic life there he was a king and so he brought his regal attitude into his life as a hereld -this tells he and the herelds had some sort of regular life beforehand and some event caused the creation of the oathpact -Based on the amount of times Brandon had to explain to questioners the oathpact was between honor and herelds not odium it seems I wasn't the only one who was confused how their agreement with honor gets them repetitively sent to idioms tirture.clise reading leads me to only one conclusion the oathpact must be about their commitment to honor to repetively engage in fight on behalf of all mankind which in and of itself gives odium some hold over them -they gain out of the oathpact some sort of vague minute chance of victory that they have never acheived. When they our leaving the iathpact when jezrien tries to claim as long as tank is still there it will hold he is saying they are not forfeiting that chance completely even though both he and kalak don't really believe tank alone can do what they all together could not -based on this when jezrien says who knows maybe it will turn out to be true(about the lie they will tell mankind about victory) he is saying that not as a product of their attempt to break the iathpact but as an excuse they will give for just leaving. They will say they win -this that there is even a need to lie tells me the people know something if the oathpact so there is a need to rationalize to them why they are not returning to purgotory so what do you guys think an I reading this right -oh one last favorite theory of is crystal clear to me that when adolin makes reference to the ironclad traditions in risharof duals and the rights of the champions to make binding demands that these traditions are based on that cryptic reference honor naked to their ability to get odium to pick a champion and then be bound by the tesults love it or hate it?
  12. Hi this is my first post so here goes. i recently reread the prologue to way of kings to see what I noticed. Here are the things I only just picked up on: -it seems jezrien as king of the herelds was not based on his position as a herelds but on his preheraldic life there he was a king and so he brought his regal attitude into his life as a hereld -this tells he and the herelds had some sort of regular life beforehand and some event caused the creation of the oathpact -Based on the amount of times Brandon had to explain to questioners the oathpact was between honor and herelds not odium it seems I wasn't the only one who was confused how their agreement with honor gets them repetitively sent to idioms tirture.clise reading leads me to only one conclusion the oathpact must be about their commitment to honor to repetively engage in fight on behalf of all mankind which in and of itself gives odium some hold over them -they gain out of the oathpact some sort of vague minute chance of victory that they have never acheived. When they our leaving the iathpact when jezrien tries to claim as long as tank is still there it will hold he is saying they are not forfeiting that chance completely even though both he and kalak don't really believe tank alone can do what they all together could not -based on this when jezrien says who knows maybe it will turn out to be true(about the lie they will tell mankind about victory) he is saying that not as a product of their attempt to break the iathpact but as an excuse they will give for just leaving. They will say they win -this that there is even a need to lie tells me the people know something if the oathpact so there is a need to rationalize to them why they are not returning to purgotory so what do you guys think an I reading this right -oh one last favorite theory of is crystal clear to me that when adolin makes reference to the ironclad traditions in risharof duals and the rights of the champions to make binding demands that these traditions are based on that cryptic reference honor naked to their ability to get odium to pick a champion and then be bound by the tesults love it or hate it?
  13. So, I was discussing with several people on the Cosmere Discord, and I came up with a question about the Oathpact. I wanted to ask the wise members of the Shard what they thought. Do you consider Heralds to be an integral part of the Oathpact? Or is it more based upon the Honorblades? Is it both?
  14. From the album A Smidgen of Stormlight

    Also made in 3DS Max. I also used the plugin RayFire for the cracks.
  15. So, I want to run this by everyone to see if I am repeating something that is generally understood. Odium comes to Roshar. The goal is to Splinter Honor. Honor knows this. He lays a trap. The cost of possible Splintering (edit: of Honor) is that Odium must be bound to the Roshar system and therefore not be able to leave and chase other Shards. Something Honor would do - put himself between the danger and those it pursues. The Oathpact suddenly makes sense. The way to keep Odium bound to a system is to have Odium Invest. How does one do it on Roshar? Give up its Investiture to create a lot of spren. The more spren, the higher one's Investment. So, Odium, by Oathpact, can battle Honor, but in the way that bounds him: by Investing in Roshar, and fighting the spren war. Basically, the voidspren, the Unmade, *any other object* Invested by Odium on Roshar, makes Odium's Connection to Roshar higher. Which is why there MUST BE multiple Desolations - Odium must be permitted to grow its influence on Roshar to the point of active war. And this is why, short of Splintering Odium himself, this must repeat - if Odium's influence on Roshar wanes, he leaves the system and goes after other Shards. So, Honor chooses to play a long and dangerous game with Odium, just like Preservation chose with Ruin. Also explains Hoid's "I sympathize with you, Dalinar, but what I seek to achieve and what you do are not one and the same, and *my* goals are more important!" Hoid wants Odium bound to Roshar. Odium whose influence is purged from Roshar is free to roam elsewhere. Hoid does not want it. The problem right now is that Odium has splintered Honor. Achievement unlocked. Now is the time to leave the system (or Splinter Cultivation and leave the system). To do this, there must be an all-out war that ends with destruction of all Odium's assets on Roshar (at the cost of a massive devastation), and frees him. TL;DR: Desolations and voidspren are the means of keeping Odium Connected to Roshar. Odium must be kept Invested. This obviously skims over a lot of things (like, why Heralds). But overall, what am I missing? Edit: It has been wisely pointed out that the Oathpact refers to the deal Honor made with the Heralds, not Odium. I struck that unfortunate phrase. The rest of the point remains salient: Honor promises Odium a chance to take him out, but Odium must Invest in Roshar to be able to Splinter Honor.
  16. I was thinking on the Oathpact and the Recreance for a while and I came up with this speculation: I don't know if what follows was already pointed out but I would like to read what do you think about it (though it's very far-fetched in some points and has few gaps). --- On the Oathpact, I think we can assume it's a pact between Honor and the Heralds. Tanavast gave them Honorblades and (maybe) immortality while the Heralds had at least two duties: 1) leading humans during Desolations; 2) keeping Odium at bay (trough suffering a lot of pain) between Desolations. I think duty #2 is "possible" according to the following quotes: - In the Prelude, Kalak says: - In Talenel Interlude, Taln thinks: - In the Second Letter it's said: So I think the Heralds talk of "torture" in a figurative sense: they suffer trying to hold Odium captive. When the Heralds can no more bear the pain, they return to Roshar (preparing humanity for the Desolation) while Odium regains his strength. Perhaps it's very arguable how the Heralds could keep a Shardholder captive (though suffering Hell) but maybe Honor lends each of them a fraction of his power while they are in Damnation. I don't know but let's pretend it's possible. After Aharietiam, the Oathpact is still valid and Odium is kept captive by Talenel. But, with only one Herald holding him, Odium had much more freedom than before. Now, I don’t know if in this condition Odium could flee from Damnation or if simply Taln withdrew from his duty but I think that, during the time of Recreance, Rayse freed himself and used this opportunity to kill Honor (maybe weakened from lending too much power to Talenel, in order to help him in keeping Odium at bay alone). After killing Tanavast, I believe Rayse had no much strength for fighting a Desolation but he tried anyway to further weaken mankind defense. He confronted the Radiants on the treachery of the Heralds and the possibility of fighting without their lead (likely meaning being destroyed by the Voidbringers). But Odium offered a treat: there would be no Desolation if the Knights Radiant gave up their positions. So the Radiants accepted and broke their oaths wile Rayse returned to Damnation, waiting for his opportunity (striking when men weren’t defended by Heralds or Radiants and Surgebinding was forgotten). I don’t exclude that (in this speculation) the death of Honor, that perhaps weakened the Nahel Bonds of the Radiants, had a part in their decision of stepping back. Now, in WoR it's said that only nine Orders out of the ten broke their oaths: I think that the latters are the Skybreakers: probably they are trying (from the Recreance until now) to kill other Surgebinders in order to keep the 'treat' with Odium and avoiding a new Desolation. The Order that didn't break his oaths could also have been that of the Bondsmiths: they (and their squires, because there were very few members) could have become Ardents and tried to unite Roshar in Vorinism trough the Hierocracy (against the threat of Odium). But I like the idea of the Skybreakers better. Thanks for reading until the end XD Sorry if my English was bad: it's not my native language.
  17. Hello everyone, I've been Reading Brandon Sanderson for quite some time now. I have also been aware of this forum for a similar amount of time and decided it was time to sign up and partake of the discussion. Glad to finally be here! So, a couple of musings as I make my way through WoR for about the 10th time - Could Honour have ''cheated'' in the deal he made with Odium - we know there are Spren of both shards, was the original gambit that the he who gets the listners/humans etc to attract the most Spren essentially win. However Honour ''cheated'' and gave humans the Honourblades thus tipping the favour of the War in Honours favour? Could Kaladin be being unknowingly prophetic when he says ''I can't hold back the might of 10 armies...'' potential climax of the first 5 books? Finally, Teft is awfully knowledgeable, is Brandon going to throw a slight curveball and Teft is a Herald? I wanted to write these down before I forgot. Apologies if this is in the wrong area!
  18. Now this is a theory that is mostly based on speculation but I wanted to see what other people think of it. Warning mindless rambling may happen at times, just stay with me. Now lets get to it. The Oathpact. We don't know much about it but I will quickly summarize what we do know. It is an oath by the Heralds that returns them to Roshar with each desolation Whenever the heralds are not on Roshar they are tortured It has been in effect for a long time- "Centuries, perhaps millennia" The Oathpact was broken The enemy who is most likely Odium was bound by it Honor is the one who most likely initiated it While that isn't much to go on I'm going to talk about not only how it effects the heralds, but also how that may have effected the Rosharian ecosystem, specifically the starting the highstorms. Now I'll start with a simple explanation of how the Heralds are important in the oathpact: I believe that they may have become bound to Odium. Now this would explain why they are tortured, after all what else would an entity literally named Hatred do to it's enemy's? Now the reason I was lead to this conclusion was in part because of the fact that shards tend to behave according to the principle of intent. ( Now Torture is not Honorable, and I would love to hear anyone argue otherwise. But Odium is more than capable of torturing people. In fact he probably does it for fun. I mean if you hate someone then you want to torture them so it fits his personality perfectly. Now I hope I haven't lost you because this is where it gets interesting. What if Honor, Cultivation, and Odium were all originally on Roshar? Now Odium hates everything, or at least he probably does. So Honor and Cultivation, in order to create a society that wasn't constantly in danger of being destroyed, they had to get rid of Odium. So give odium something to focus all his hate on, preferably something he knows that you like (the heralds) and give him his own planet and then hope he leaves yours alone. And if he ever comes back make him bring back the Heralds. It's like giving the bully at school your toy and then just pulling out a different one after he leaves. Now Odium Isn't stupid so I'm sure he threw in some of his own conditions, namely getting to leave a small part of himself on Roshar mainly in the form of voidspren. Now that probably seemed like a good deal, after all what could things with no, or at least very little, physical form do? Well a lot as it turns out. Odium could insert the voidspren into the listeners and take control of them, like how Ruin uses hemalurgy. But every time he moved enough of his sentience to Roshar to control the listeners, then the Heralds would return to. This would explain why they always show up right before a desolation, and also why leaving just one of them could end the desolations, Odium still has one of them to Hate. And perhaps having only one of them return stuck Odium in a sort of limbo. He couldn't fully leave because he didn't have all the heralds but he also couldn't return because he couldn't bring the heralds with him as they were already their. Now all of this ties into highstorms because when Odium returned the first time Honor needed a weapon to fight back with. So give the heralds the ability to access surges(the spren) and give them readily available fuel to power those surges(stormlight). Now I know their will be those who say "well what makes you say that?" "why couldn't there have always been highstorms?" Well the answer to that is that Roshar was once much more earthlike. Shinovar across the whole planet kind of deal. This would explain how there were humans in the first place. Shards have access to a lot of knowledge about the workings of the world. Don't believe me, go read what Sazed writes in the Hero of Ages. My point is Cultivation and Honor wouldn't put something as vulnerable as Humans on a land where everything is constantly buffeted by storms that are as big as a continent and as powerful as, well huricane times ten. Therefore Highstorms must come after humanity and since the Heralds were the first of humanity... well you get the point. Shinovar is the only part of Roshar sheltered from the Highstorms and that is the reason it is so earthlike. Sinovar did not evolve to become earthlike. everything else evolved to weather the storms. I know there isn't much evidence to support that but it's the best theory I could come up with so feel free to poke holes and give me feedback.
  19. Hey all, so I'm thinking the Oathpact might be more simple than we've, or at least I've, given it credit for. The way I see it, Honour and Odium have a chat. Maybe after Odium hits Braize and forces H/C to Roshar. Honour proposes a contest. He will pick ten of his best to face any trial Odium can throw at them, if they fail Odium gets a shot at Honour, or Roshar. Odium, being tricksy, rightly points out that Honour could just never said champions to face Odium's challenges. No challenge is no failure, and thus Odium never gets a chance. Honour is like "fine, if they don't return after a while you get another shot" Odium decides fair is fair and thinks torture is the best way to challenge Honour's champions, perhaps not necessarily in keeping with Honour's understanding of the oathpact or intent but the deal has been made. The reason why the Desolations were getting fiercer over time is because with each desolation Odium gets a better idea of how to attack and make use of his resources. Just as the Spren and Heralds seem to get a better idea of the proper game plan. However, with Aharietiam the Heralds throw a wrench into this plan as Taln is too stubborn to break. Odium eventually gets frustrated and just decides to throw the deal to the wind and go at Honour. Because he's no longer acting within the bounds of the deal honour can bind him, in this case to Greater Roshar/Braize. Of course, Honour is dead, so that sucks. The way I see it, the Oathpact is the specific name for the deal Honour made with the Heralds. Thus why it doesn't include Odium as a binding participant, as per WoB...probably. In this model the Oathpact is like a contract of employment between one company Honour and ten people. I've some thoughts on Parsheni and Odium Influence that I may share later. So, that's it. If anything here is mindnumbingly simple just feel free to cruise on by.
  20. I have this theory about the Oathpact and the reason for the torture of Heralds, the death of Honor, the reason for the Desolations, and the origin of Honorblades that I don't think anyone else has already stated. First, I'll start with a couple references from Mistborn: In Chapter 57 of Mistborn:HoA, Ruin says this: And throughout the book it's made clear that Preservation's sacrifice was only a temporary solution that caused him to give up his mind, but would eventually allow Ruin to escape his prison. Also, in chapter 81 of HoA, Vin was able to use the power of Preservation to push back against Ruin causing her divine body to tremble in pain and agony and eventually die. I know Vin didn't trap Ruin this way, but I'm just pointing out that she hindered Ruin and that fighting a god causes pain - at least when the gods are so opposed. To me, this sounds a lot like the Oathpact. It's called a bargain, instead of a pact, but they mean almost the same thing. There is pain involved. A god must give of themself. A god eventually dies as a result. A god is trapped/imprisoned or hindered in some way. It's a temporary solution. Now, what if Honor and the the Heralds figured out a way to trap (or at least hinder) Odium and make it closer to permanent? Instead of Honor suffering agony for thousands of years (just like Preservation), dieing, and Odium eventually escaping (or regaining full power), the Heralds agreed to endure the pain in place of Honor (how this was accomplished will be discussed below). And what if by doing so, they prevented/delayed Honor's death? There was some kind of bargain (Oathpact) between Honor and Odium that trapped/hindered Odium temporarily, but caused Honor to die, after a few thousand years of agony, in the process. Afterall, would it not be honorable to give up your life to save the lives of the entire world? However, Odium was tricked because of the intervention of the Heralds (this might be considered dishonorable though, so Honor would not be involved in the trick). Odium still escaped his prison (or regained his full power) every few thousand years and it caused a Desolation. He is defeated and re-imprisoned; the Heralds return to the place of torment; and Honor still lives as a result. Now, I know Taln was still being tortured after the "last" Desolation, but what if that wasn't enough to save Honor's life this time, so he died or splintered. There is speculation that this is what caused the Recreance. Finally, I think this original Oathpact is what forged the Honorblades - their origin being hidden in plain sight. Honor had to give of himself to trap/hinder Odium, and the Honorblades are the physical manifestation of Honor's power - much like the Mist is the physical manifestation of Preservation's power or Atium is Ruin's. These Honorblades were given to the Heralds to grant them great power during the eventual escape of Odium. But in the process, because they held pieces of Honor's "body," they endured great torture when they were in the place of torment. I believe that place of torment is one and the same as Odium's prison. Holding an Honorblade and being in Odium's prison at the same time is excruciatingly painful, but it saved Honor's life - until the Heralds (except for Taln) failed to return the last time. Any thoughts, flaws, additions? Edit: modified for clarity and to address some of the comments below
  21. Theory in brief: There are “fundamental forces” on Roshar that are not surges. I believe the KR will be able to use these forces to defeat Odium. The following quote got me thinking: “[syl] nodded, alighting in the air and settling down, her legs crossed at the knees as if she was primly seating herself in an invisible chair. She continued to hover there, moving exactly in step with him. “’Giving up all pretense of obeying natural laws again, I see,’ [Kaladin] said. “’Natural laws?’ Syl said, finding the concept amusing. “Laws are of men, Kaladin. Nature doesn’t have them! [...] It’s more like…more like an agreement among friends.’” WoR, p. 130 (hardcover). Syl makes this last statement as Kaladin begins his surgebinding education. I immediately thought of Morpheus and Neo in The Matrix. Syl’s teasing tone masks the truth of Roshar: that even the surges themselves are contrivances – “an agreement among friends.” The Ars Arcanum author states in WoR that the “Ten Surges…thought to be the fundamental forces by which the world operates – are more accurately a representation of the ten basic abilities offered to the Heralds, and then the Knights Radiant, by their bonds.” This definition of the surges suggests that Roshar “operates” by fundamental forces in addition to or other than the ten surges. Syl’s light-hearted comment about natural law turns out to be accurate – it IS an “agreement among friends” – the Oathpact itself! The epigraph to WoR Chapter 35 (from the in-world Words of Radiance, chapter 8, page 6) describes that “agreement” as applied to the KR through the Nahel bond: “They also, when they had settled their rulings in the nature of each bond’s placement, called the name of it the Nahel bond, with regard to its effect upon the souls of those caught in its grip; in this description, each was related to the bonds that drive Roshar itself, ten Surges, named in turn and two for each order; in this light, it can be seen that each order would by necessity share one Surge with each of its neighbors.” Note that this agreement limits the surges that any order of KR can bind, but not other forces. Moreover, the statement that each surge “was related to the bonds that drive Roshar itself” suggests that when Adonalsium and/or some or all of the three Shards invested on Roshar, they bound Roshar’s physical phenomenon within certain constraints. [Speculation: Because the Everstorm moves west to east, will it somehow undo “the bonds that drive Roshar”? Will it thus also undo whatever it is that binds Odium to the Rosharian system? Is this what the Everstorm is intended to do, rather than to simply wipe out humanity? And has Odium used the pretext of a Listener triumph over humans as the motivation for them to create the Everstorm? The epigraph to WoR Chapter 89 (emphasis added and reformatted), from the Diagram, says "destroy [the Parshendi] ​outright ​before [​one of them] ​obtains ​their ​power. ​It ​will ​form ​a bridge."] The Ars Arcanum author believes “there should be another series of abilities that is even more esoteric than the Voidbindings. Perhaps the Old Magic fits into those, though I am beginning to suspect that is something entirely different.” What are the implications for Roshar and the war against Odium if there are other fundamental forces than the surges and another “series of abilities” than surge- and voidbinding? Some observations: Nothing in the Nahel bond version of the Oathpact precludes the KR from using non-surge forces. The other “series of abilities” predicted by the Ars Arcanum author may involve these non-surge forces. We don’t yet know either the mechanism or the means or medium of Investiture necessary to access the non-surge forces. Prediction: By Book 10, our SA heroes will discover and find a way to utilize these non-surge forces to win the war against Odium.
  22. I've been reading Sanderson for a while, but never really bothered with a forum account until now. Hopefully I can contribute some stuff to the discussion of the man's latest work! So, it's pretty obvious that each of the books will start with Dalinar's assassination as the prologue, as seen from the eyes of a different participant or character at the time. With Words of Radiance's release, a lot of interesting stuff has been revealed that wasn't shown in Szeth's version of the scene, and there's a /lot/ of weird future hooks that I don't think I've seen addressed anywhere else. For starters, who was Jasnah planning to assassinate? If the two letters she wrote were similar, then it'd imply that Jasnah had reason to possibly want Aesudan dead- but why? More importantly, though, has anybody analyzed what Jasnah overheard in the hallway? So who's 'Ash'? Who's the person who's 'getting worse'? What exactly are they 'getting worse' in? I'm personally of the opinion that 'That creature' is Szeth, but that raises the question of who 'my lord' is, and why the Azish ambassadors should think that Szeth's Honorblade ought to belong to their lord instead. Alternatively, maybe they're talking about Nalan, Nightblood, and Vasher? That makes so much less sense, though- as far as we know, none of them show up in the scene anywhere. And just /what/ exactly did these people 'do' which they thought was wrong, and how does it relate to Szeth keeping his Honorblade? I have so many questions about this scene. ------- On a different note, I also noticed something strange about the prelude to Way of Kings. In the Way of Kings, in the introduction scene where Kalak and Jezrien prepare to abandon the Oathpact, Kalak describes seeing "Men in primitive wraps, carrying spears topped by bronze heads." This matches exactly Talenel's statement in Words of Radiance that, after every desolation, people would be reduced to stone-age level technology, with bronze being their highest technological achievement which could only be reached when the Heralds returned. This raises a few questions, because Kalak also states that the primitive bronze-using men were juxtaposed with "others in gleaming plate armor", presumably Knights Radiant- and it's been stated that the Knights Radiant were founded by Ishar, to preserve knowledge of the past and to help protect men. Does that mean that, as soon as the Knights Radiant were founded, the Heralds immediately gave up their burdens? There's little other way to explain the convergence of the 'primitive stone-age men' period with the 'knights radiant protect humanity' period. But if so, that means that the Knights Radiant only ever fought /one/ single Desolation before the Recreance alongside the Heralds, if even that. Otherwise, with the Knights Radiant around to do their job of protecting and teaching, humanity wouldn't have been reduced to not even knowing how to cast bronze every desolation. So... seriously, Heralds? You just give up the oathpact as /soon/ as you set up the Knights Radiant? Not even a few generations to make sure that you've taught them everything important about fighting Desolations and being Honorable and whatnot? The lack of foresight the Heralds display here is, honestly, completely galling. Though that's not really a surprise, once you take into account the state of Roshar, four-and-a-half millennia later. More interesting, though, is why the Heralds felt like they /could/ put down the Oathpact once they set up the Knights Radiant. The Heralds thought that perhaps they could end the cycle of Desolations forever by setting down the Oathpact- in which case, setting up the Knights Radiant feels almost pointless. If there's no more Desolations to protect humanity from, why even set up an elite corps of magic knights? So, ultimately, my question is this: did the abandonment of the Oathpact require, somehow, that others- the Radiants- take it up? If not, what was the /true/ purpose for why the Radiants were formed? The pieces of information I have doesn't add up to a coherent whole, and I notice I am confused.
  23. “True Wit is Nature to advantage dress’d What oft was thought, but ne’er so well expressed” [ASIDE: In the Spirit of Sanderson, I thought I’d begin with an epigraph of my own, this one from Essay on Criticism, the 1709 poem by Alexander Pope. Unlike our Wit, Pope was a hunch-backed asthmatic dwarf. But, like Wit, Pope was the leading satirist of his time. His jibes earned him the enmity of many. Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. were not the original “gangstas”; when Pope wandered the London streets at night, he took with him two loaded pistols and his two Great Danes (what an image!) You’ve all heard many of the lines from Essay on Criticism, but might not have known their source. Here are a few: “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread”; “A little learning is a dangerous thing”; “To err is human, to forgive, divine.” ASIDE OVER – thanks for reading this far!] On WoR’s last page, Wit says to Jasnah, “You’ll find God in the same place you’re going to find salvation from this mess…Inside the hearts of men.” Of similar import is this phrase from the epigraph to Chapter 71, from the Second Letter: “[Rayse] bears the weight of God’s own divine hatred, separated from the virtues that gave it context.” [Second aside: Does that mean the Second Letter writer considers Adonalsium to be God?] I believe these statements capture the theme of The Stormlight Archives, and perhaps all of the Cosmere novels: the importance of balance. Not necessarily of “harmony,” which assumes perfect equilibrium, but of balance, offsetting characteristics that temper the edges of each. The shattering of Adonalsium upset the balance of the Cosmere by giving primacy to specific aspects of Godhood: Honor, Hatred, Growth, Ruin, Preservation, etc. Maybe it’s the imbalance of each Shard holder that causes them to lose their humanity, since each Shardic Intent operates within them unopposed. I think Wit’s statement to Jasnah means that to defeat Odium, men’s hearts must return to honor – doing what’s right and not only what’s legal. That doesn’t mean that people won’t hate, but that hate cannot be allowed to dominate them – balance is necessary. Sadeas and Nalan appear to be character devices to illustrate what happens when imbalance captures the heart. Adolin may end up showing us balance despite his lapse. As I’ve said in other posts, Honor binds, Odium divides – centripetal and centrifugal forces. To find the place in the middle, they must be combined – not the harmony of Mistborn, but a complementary tension. I think the Battle of Champions in Book 5 will be fought by Kaladin and Eshonai (not Szeth, who is clearly unbalanced in every meaning of that word and will likely continue his story into the second five books). Halfway through her bonding with the stormspren, Eshonai tried to halt the process. This may have caused an imperfect bonding and may explain why the rhythms of peace still try to assert themselves within her. I predict that during the Battle of Champions, her desire for peace will defeat her desire for destruction. Eshonai and Kaladin together will form that unity, that bonding of honor, that will enable them to halt Odium’s gains – the Everstorm may or may not continue at that point, but Odium will be temporarily thwarted. In the second five books, he will seek another approach: hatred among men. Odium is already a long way towards reaching that goal (see Jah Keved and the wars in the West). One last observation: before WoR was released, I speculated on another post what Odium gains by the Desolations and the Everstorm. Based on the Second Letter, epigraph to Chapter 69, we now know that Odium is bound to the Rosharian planetary system: “Rayse is captive. He cannot leave the system he now inhabits. His destructive potential is, therefore, inhibited.” The natural inference is that he seeks to destroy Roshar to free himself from his bonds. The Second Letter writer further states (in the epigraph to Chapter 70) that this binding might have been by “Tanavast’s design.” One can envision that either the Oathpact or Tanavast’s splintering might have had the effect of causing Odium to be so bound. How interesting, then, that Hoid/Wit, who has “never been a force for equilibrium” and who “tow chaos behind [him] like a corpse dragged by one leg through the snow” (epigraph to Chapter 74) should be the one who seeks to re-establish equilibrium by focusing on “men’s hearts.” He may be (reluctantly) content to destroy humankind on Roshar if necessary to triumph over Odium, he tells Dalinar. But if humankind is to save itself, it must find balance within its own hearts.
  24. I was rereading Hero of Ages, and I began to wonder about something. Why did Honor/Tanavast decide on using the Oathpact in the first place? Shouldn't he have done the honorable thing and sacrificed himself to kill Odium? Even if Odium had somehow become more powerful than him, couldn't he have attempted to imprison him by sacrificing his mind, as Preservation imprisoned Ruin? Any thoughts on why he didn't go with either of these strategies?
  25. First and foremost, I have been away from the forums and the cosmere in general for some time, so my sincere apologies if I am repeating ideas and theories without correctly citing them. That being said, I have had a lot of catching up to do and so hopefully I can start to contribute usefully. I was reading various theories and I started to wonder if the history of Roshar was even less clear-cut than we might have otherwise assumed. In particular, agrooster proposed a theory in which humans are not the native species to Roshar. In particular, the theory claims that due to ecological differences (chitaneous vs mamallian), Parshendi are the native sentient species and the history of wars with humans was in fact the "Desolations." This theory appeals to me since there was a recent quote (which I cannot place now) that essentially said "other nearby planets have influenced Rosharing mythology," specifically referring to the Tranquiline Halls. Note that Rosharians believe they were brought to Roshar from this place. I then did a cursory poking-about (which almost certainly missed things, and my apologies to others who have written on this subject) and noticed this theory which almost assuredly shows that the dark sphere has an Odium-corrupted spren trapped in it. I think there is very little wiggle-room available with what we know to contest this idea. So, with credit to those theorists and my continued apologies to those I have missed, I propose the following idea: The Parshendi killed Gavilar because he proposed to reinstate the Knights Radiant. Let us start with some founding arguments: Sadeas claims that Dalinar is starting to act like Gavilar in his final days. We attribute this to The Way of Kings, which we know is basically a blueprint for the Knights Radiant. Perhaps Gavilar leapt the chasm that Dalinar required Tanvast to throw him across, namely the importance of the Knights Radiant. A key point here is not specifically the Knights themselves, but instead the existence of such an order. I make the following claim: the existence of the Knights Radiant is somehow tied to the Oathpact. Even if the KR were not extant when the original Oathpact was laid down, it could be that their existence somehow fullfilled a clause that prevented further Desolations. This assumption is somewhat justified, since there hasn't been a Desolation since the KR disbanded and might provide insight as to why they abandoned their orders. "If it walks like a god and quacks like a god, it's a god." The Parshendi "gods," as they were, are not Shard-level powers, but instead a group of entities that can force the Parshendi to their will. Suppose, for contradiction, that the Parshendi are aware of the Shards of Adonalsium. They would then know that the reconstitution of Honor (or another Shard) is a very complicated process. Thus, they cannot mean literally that Gavilar will bring back their gods. We then assume that they mean gods in the sense I indicated. I agree with agrooster that the Parshendi culture is very much more like the ideals of Honor than that of the humans. This would suggest that they were originally created by Honor, or at the very least shaped by his existence. This is not to say that Honor was more protective of the Parshendi as compared to humans. Note that the Parshendi took credit for killing Gavilar, knowing full well that they would be hunted to the ends of the earth by the Alethi (see below). So how does this all tie together? Supposing what I and others have proposed is true, events proceed in the following way: Roshar (with its highstorms) is settled by Honor, and then there are Parshendi. Some time later, either due to Honor, Odium, or some other force, humans arrive on Roshar. Odium notices, and in an attempt to be odius, corrupts some spren. These corrupted spren then bond with Parshendi (possibly unilaterally) and cause them to go on mass murderous rampages against the humans. Honor is really not too pleased with this turn of events, and strikes a deal somehow with the Heralds, Odium, and possibly additional parties. They forge some divine agreement that regulates these Desolations in ways we don't yet fully understand. In particular, I claim that Honor (or his executor) gets the Knights Radiant/Heralds if and only if Odium gets to corrupt Parshendi (Voidbringers)/ten leaders of Voidbinders. Now, this didn't work out so well for any of the parties involved. In particular, the Heralds have fallen from grace and Tanavast is dead. However, Odium hasn't been able to outright destroy the world, and his Voidbinders are gone from all but legend. What if this is the direct consequence of the loss of the Knights Radiant? Perhaps the Oathpact prohibits the existence of Voidbringers (i.e. corrupted Parshendi) if there are no equivalent opposing forces? (Note that this system still admits an "Odium wins" solution, through infighting on the humans side and some unspecified looming threat.) The Parshendi realize this, of course, and kill Gavilar to prevent him from accidentally giving Odium free reign to take over their people again. They are willing to die for their cause en masse because the alternative is so much worse. Note that any theory for why the Parshendi killed Gavilar must satisfy this criterion, since they knew the consequences of the assassination. As a final aside, this might shed some light on what Natan is proposed (in the above theory) to be running around killing Surgebinders. The realization by any number of parties that Surgebinding is only forgotten, not lost, would prompt them to recreate the Knights Radiant in some guise. It might only be a school of medicine that utilizes Growth, but this might satisfy whatever requirement that the Oathpact demands to allow Voidbringers. Closing thoughts: This would make for a somewhat interesting dynamic in the story - to prevent the creation of new Voidbinders, the Parshendi have driven the Alethi to war and accidentally prompted the reinstatement of the Knights Radiant. In maybe the cruelest twist of fate I can imagine, what if Odium himself motivated Gavilar to The Way of Kings so that he could attempt to reinstate the KR and thus let the Voidbringers wash over the world. My apologies for the rambling writing and any unattributed theories - feel free to let me know so that I can credit your ideas. Thanks for reading!