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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!
One thing that has been expressed in WoK and has become more and more interesting in light of certain preview chapters is the concept of the Parshendi acting with honor. Despite the assassination of Gavilar (something that at least some of them now regret) they seem to portend themselves with dignity and purposed that frankly outshines many of the human characters in the series so far , excepting the main characters. So right now there are a lot of good threads going around discussing why there are parshmen , what different forms they will take, and how they became "voidbringers" if Jasnah's hypothesis is correct. When asked if humans were native to Roshar Brandon responded RAFO. The rest of this post will focus on the "what if" scenario where the answer to that is "No". So what if originally the Parshendi were the good guys, just dending their territory. Somehow Odium came to Roshar brought humans along somehow and let the inevitable conflict of clandestine expansion ensue. Then He used this conflict to corrupt the Parshendi and put forth his plan of desolation and deicide on Roshar. This would be thousands and thousands of years in the past so it would really be the inciting incident of the whole series, The Arrival of Man on Roshar. The Shin throw another wrinkle into this because Shinovar specifically seems like it was made for humans.. but what if it WAS made and not naturally formed. There's a lot of history in there and a lot of time for weird crap to happen when Shards go to war. I know there's alot of stuff out there that talking about the Desolations and Parshmen so if this specific point has been brought up just light this post on fire. I searched and didn't come up with anything so have at it.