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Right, so the other day I was considering the use of spheres and gemstones as money on Roshar. Yeah they are super useful for holding stormlight and giving off light so it makes sense that they would be used for money. But (and this is where the theory starts) where do those gemstones actually come from? We know from a recent WOB that Roshar specifically does not have plate tectonics. I'm not a geologist or nothing, but it seems like this would make it rare or even impossible for gemstones to be created naturally by underground pressure. In addition to this, we have never heard of a single person having the profession of a miner who would get those gems in the first place. Considering all of this, where do we know we can find gems on Roshar? Inside the bodies of certain creatures that inhabit the planet. In the early days of Roshar, before the coming of humans, the Parshman were probably the largest population of organisms that had gemhearts. What if one of the reasons the humans who came to Roshar started to try and conquer the world was because they figured out that they could get very valuable gems by cutting them out of the bodies of the indigenous people? This may have inspired a full scale slaughter and war of greed against the natives of the planet. What if the monetary spheres used by Rosharans are the cut up gemhearts of generations of Parshman?
Rlain, bridge four's dawnsinger, is in Urithiru right now. He probably knows how to capture spren, and a great variety a new spren the Parshendi haven't been able to catch yet. So basically as Rlain bonds all these new spren, what kinds of new forms will he discovered? Do you think he can find non-Odium forms of powers?
I intentionally made the title as benign as possible because I didn't want to setup a "clickbait" situation, but the more I think about it, the more I think the parshmen were actually treated just how they needed to be treated. Now, before everyone jumps on me, please hear me out. We know that someone somewhere "stole" their minds and made them into brain fogged obedient slaves and while I agree that is terrible, we don't know the circumstances behind it Maybe it was that or commit genocide against them and this at least allowed them to live? I don't want to get into THAT debate right now, but I do think that once whatever was done to them was done, I don't see how the Alethi could have done too much else. They could have treated them with more dignity than was generally done, but what else could have been done with them? It's pretty obvious that in the state they were in they could not care for themselves in a way that would have allowed them to live. If the Alethi had all gotten together and said "enslaving the parshmen is unfair, let's let all of them go so they can be free", I'm guessing they all would have stood around and starved to death (IIRC, that is actually mentioned in TWoK). I can understand why they are mad now that they are back in their right mind and it might be too much to ask of them to see that they could not have been given their freedom as they were, but I can't see what else could have been done by anyone currently alive on Roshar. Am I seeing this wrong?
The Nahel Bond The Nahel Bond is the spren-bond that grants humans and parshendi access to surgebinding and voidbinding. If a "cultivation bond" exists, it probably falls under this heading as well. The quallification to receive the bond is primarily about behavior. It requires either a willing—or at least accepting—subject in order for it to work. (or in the case of Eshonai, one who is unable to resist. Something about her being Parshendi: I don't think a human could be forced into a bond that way.) While I think I understand most of this fairly well, I don't know if others will. I'd also like some feedback, to tell me if I've made any obvious mistakes. Humans The primary effect for a human host is gainting magical power, including the ability to consume and use stormlight, as well as additional abilities depending on the specific bond. To the spren, the benefit is even more important: sentience. It is important to note that Spren who normally participate in Nahel bonds, are sentient in their own right while in the cognitive realm; once crossing over into the physical realm, they quickly begin to deteriorate. The bond stops that deterioration, allowing them to function as they normally would. Additionally, the presence of a spren on the physical realm allows them much greater freedom and greater ability to influence world events. Parshendi are Different. The minds of Parshmen are much closer to the cognitive realm then those of humans are, and as a result, parshmen face a deterioration of intelligence and identity similar to what spren experience. Though the effect is to a slightly-lesser-extent, the results is roughly the same: parshmen do not think if they can avoid doing so—it's just too difficult, and too unpleasant. (Words of Radiance; page numbers later) Because of this malady, universal to the parshman and parshendi race, the Nahel bond takes a largely different form: Rather than the spren having their mind drawn further into the physical realm, and allowed to dwell there safely, the parshendi mind is drawn further into the cognitive realm, thereby allowing them to escape the mental inhibition they and the spren both normally experience when on the physical realm. (consider this section well founded speculation) Sadly, when bound to a parshendi, the spren is not granted an independence cognitive presence on physical realm, as they would be with a human host. Instead, the spren is allowed a presence within the mind of the parshendi, granting them a VERY strong influence on the thoughts, emotions, outlook, and actions of the host in question. (This does vary. Think of the mental impact granted throught the WORK, MATE, and STORM forms. they are all very different in degree and nature.) While it might be argued that the amount of influence this allows the spren on the physical realm is more or less than that which they would receive from a human host, the nature of the influence clearly appeals to some spren more than others. (Honorspren might be adverse to mind-control) Additionally, it should be mentioned that the Parshendi are capable of bonding with nonsentient/marginally sentient spren already found on the physical realm. Most common 'forms' used by parshendi are, in fact, of this type. (A great deal of speculation could also be attached to this one detail.) ---- Beyond this I have three connected questions I am not certain about, and likely should take to Brandon at the next open Q&A. 1. If a parshman bonded to an Honorspren (, Cryptic, etc) would they gain the same surgebinding abilities as a human? Would a Human gain the same abilities as parshmen do if he were to bind to a Stormspren? 2. Parshendi change their physical shape when they take on new Nahel bonds. Is this a trait of the Parshman race, or a result of the type of spren they are bonding? 3. Parshendi are able to exchange the bond they have with one spren for a bond with other spren of their choice. Is it possible for humans to do the same? Would the spren be harmfully effected by this kind of activity? ---- Any ideas on these 3 are appreciated as well.