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Found 20 results

  1. I was out of the 17th Shard loop for a few years, so I'm hoping to get caught up on what we know. What revelations in Shardic theory, Realmatic theory, how Investiture works, and more have been revealed from August 2016-August 2018? Don't be afraid of any spoilers.
  2. It is stated that in end-negative systems, hemalurgy being the prime example, investiture is lost during the process. However, it is also said that investiture can not be created or destroyed, so what happens to it? Does it return to the shards?
  3. If you struggle understanding the relationships between the Physical, Cognitive, and Spiritual realms, this video has an interesting perspective:
  4. Brandon’s use of the terms “Powers of Creation,” “Investiture” and “Adonalsium” has confused me. In this post, I explore the precise relationship among these three terms and the implications that flow from that relationship, including some issues of Realmatic theory. SUMMARY 1. “In the beginning,” the Cosmere consisted solely of the Powers of Creation. No mind yet existed to direct the Powers of Creation into any creative acts. 2. Power needs a mind to direct it or it will develop sentience on its own. Eventually the Powers of Creation did develop their own mind, and that mind was Adonalsium. Adonalsium became the Powers of Creation. 3.. Adonalsium’s mind and Soul together were the Powers of Creation, and they pre-existed the three Realms. In a post below, runyan_ft mentions that “Adonalsium” is an anagram for “a mind, a soul.” Because Adonalsium had not yet created the three Realms, he may himself be the “God Beyond” the Realms. Even after the Cosmere’s creation, I believe Adonalsium’s mind and Soul remained outside the Realms rather than become a part of them, although that's unclear. 4. The Powers of Creation were not originally Investiture themselves. Adonalsium’s creations were Investiture: “Investiture is…the building blocks of the Cosmere.” IOW Adonalsium directed the Powers of Creation to create everything else, and that “everything else” consisted of Investiture or the matter or energy Adonalsium converted Investiture into. 5. The Shattering caused the Shards to become “pieces of the Power of Creation.” Unlike Adonalsium, the Shards inhabited all three Realms, as their mortal Vessels did before they became Shards. Thus, the Shattering invested the Shards' Souls with the Powers of Creation, turning the Powers of Creation into Spiritual Realm Investiture. Splinters are even smaller, "self-aware" “pieces of the power of creation,” also composed of Spiritual Realm Investiture. ANALYSIS What Are the “Powers of Creation”? Brandon has given us few descriptions of the “Powers of Creation.” In 2008, Brandon said that the “Shards of Adonalsium [are] pieces of the power of creation itself.” Source (Q 18). In 2012, Zas asked Brandon whether “the power of creation [is] this thing of power that powers Allomancy and powers the Aons, or is the power of creation just what each Shard has?” Brandon responded: “I would say [the power] each Shard has is more the definition.” Source (Q 7). And 10 months ago, Chaos asked Brandon, “Is Adonalsium and the ‘power of creation’ synonymous?” Brandon’s answer: “In some people's usage.” The earlier snippets confirm (to me) that Adonalsium WAS the “Power of Creation” despite Brandon’s later equivocation to Chaos. Shards cannot be “pieces of the power of creation itself” if Adonalsium wasn’t first that power in whole form. The 2008 quote is also noteworthy because of what immediately followed it: “Allomancy, Hemalurgy, Feruchemy are manifestations of this power in mortal form, the ability to touch the powers of creation and use them.” Source (Q 18, emphasis added). IOW different Magic Systems permit mortals to “touch” the Powers - through Connections to the Shards - but that does not thereby convert these mortals into the Powers themselves, into Shards. Mortals can pluck the guitar strings, but they are not the guitar. In the current Cosmere, only the Shards are guitars. Brandon has not defined what the specific Powers of Creation are, only that they do create. Some time ago, Kurkistan argued that Cosmere "magic" applies to the Connections between Souls and Essences, for example, changing the direction of gravity (the relationship between a Soul and an aspect of a Shardworld's Essence). The closest Brandon comes to identifying these Cosmere-wide Connections are the Surges of Roshar, which correspond to the “fundamental forces” of our universe, as modified by magical influences: Q: “The ten Surges on Roshar, I think you said are basically a different set of laws of physics.” A: “Yeah.” Q: “Are those laws of physics consistent throughout the Cosmere?” A: “Um, y-y-yes, to an extent. You would consider, like - it's kind of weird because I based them on the idea of the fundamental forces, but this is kind of like a human construction. Like you could say that physics is pure and natural, but we're still putting things in boxes. And the scientists on Roshar would for instance consider being able to travel between the Cognitive and Physical Realms as a force, the thing that pulls people back and forth between that, as a fundamental force. I don't know if it would fit our definition of a fundamental force.” Source at [1:41:30]. I suggest that the Powers of Creation, therefore, are the magic that both creates Souls and Essences and changes the Connections between them. What is “Investiture”? Let’s start with a review of some relevant WoBs, which we’ve all seen before: Q: “What is the Realmatic composition of investiture?” A: “Investiture is intended to be the building blocks of the Cosmere so I would say for the most part it transcends the different realms. Probably more of the Spiritual if anything but more accurately it transcends them.” Source (Q 39). Q: “What can you tell me about investiture?” A: “That is the word for someone or something which has gained a portion of the magic of Adonalsium…” Source (Q 45). Q: “Is there a Cosmere-specific term you use to describe, say, a Shard's power inside someone?” A: “In my own terms, I refer to all of this as types of investiture. The degree, and effects, can be very different – but those people are invested.” Source (Q 13). Brandon’s focus on “building blocks” and someone or something that has “gained” magic distinguishes Investiture from the Powers of Creation, at least pre-Shattering. Investiture seems to be the result of Adonalsium's creation process, enabling an Invested person or object to “touch” or “use” part of the “magic of Adonalsium” (the Powers of Creation). Brandon has said that objects have a limit to how much Investiture they can hold (Q 16). People apparently also have such a limit. Here’s how Brandon described Vin’s use of the mists to fuel her Allomancy: “So when a person is burning metals, they aren't using Preservation's body as a fuel so to speak — though they are tapping into the powers of creation just slightly. When Vin burns the mists, however, she's doing just that — using the essence of Preservation, the Shard of Adonalsium itself [the powers of creation] — to fuel Allomancy. Doing this, however, rips ‘troughs’ through her body. It’s like forcing far too much pressure through a very small, fragile hose. That much power eventually vaporizes the corporeal host, which is acting as the block and forcing the power into a single type of conduit (Allomancy) and frees it to be more expansive.” Source (Q 18). At the point of vaporization, Vin is no longer “Invested” by Preservation. She instead becomes the holder of the Preservation Shard. Again, that is the difference between a Shard and other magicians – an Invested person can access the Powers of Creation through his Connection to a Shard, but a Shard IS the Powers of Creation (or at least pieces of them) through the Shard's Spiritual Investiture. What Is Adonalsium? Let’s start with this well-known WoB: “Somebody needs to hold the magic. If no one holds the magic, the magic will start to gain sentience. Interesting and bizarre things happen then...” Source (Q 47). The mindless Powers of Creation eventually did develop a mind to direct them. That mind, that directing creative entity, was Adonalsium. And he began to create the Cosmere by Investing in it. Because Brandon calls Shards pieces of the powers of creation, Adonalsium himself must have become the Powers of Creation. REALMATIC IMPLICATIONS Was Adonalsium Part of the Cosmere’s Realms? By definition, the Powers of Creation predate the Cosmere’s Realms. Before Adonalsium used the Powers to create (that is, used himself to create), there was no Investiture, no “building blocks of the Cosmere.” That means “in the beginning” there were no Realms, since Investiture “transcends the Realms.” That suggests that Adonalsium’s mind, when it did coalesce, was simply a property of the Powers of Creation. As runyan_ft points out in his post below, “Adonalsium” is an anagram for “a mind, a soul.” Did the Powers migrate to the Spiritual Realm after its creation? It’s unclear. Though the Powers are not Investiture, they might have co-existed in the Spiritual Realm with Investiture. The M:SH scene where Preservation shoves Kelsier “upstairs” to see Time suggests the Powers of Creation were then located in the Spiritual Realm. But that scene occurs after the Shattering, when the Shards (who did exist in all three Realms – see below) had become "pieces of the Powers of Creation." It’s equally unclear whether Adonalsium’s mind ever became part of the Cognitive Realm. The Cognitive Realm is the place of perceptions. But Adonalsium was God – he was perfect. His mind either continued outside the Realmatic structure altogether or it remained a property of the Powers of Creation that migrated to the Spiritual Realm. The Spiritual Realm is the place of perfection, of Platonic forms and ideals. The perfect mind should exist only in the Spiritual Realm. If Adonalsium did become part of the Cosmere’s Realms, the best we can say is that Adonalsium co-inhabited the Spiritual Realm with his creations. It's possible Adonalsium's migration to the Spiritual Realm caused him to become Spiritual Realm Investiture at that time. Alternatively, the then-existing Spiritual Realm Investiture - Souls, Essences and Connections – might have remained separate from the Powers of Creation. We do know that, pre-Shattering, Adonalsium did allow some Souls to touch him (whether he then consisted of separately constituted Powers of Creation or as Spiritual Realm Investiture), since magic existed before the Shattering. I believe, however, that Adonalsium remained outside the Realms. He WAS the “God Beyond” the Realms. To the extent Adonalsium Invested himself in the Realms, or created Splinters of himself in the Cosmere (like he did on Roshar), or left “ambient magic” on certain planets, he entered and left parts of himself in the Realms. But I believe his full creative force stood apart and “beyond.” The Shards’ Exist in the Three Realms Pre-Ascension, the Shards’ Vessels were all mortals composed of Investiture who existed in all three Realms. Each Vessel had its own body, Soul and mind, its own personality, and its own Connections. Sazed has said that the Powers of Creation did not have a personality before the Shards acquired the Powers (HoA Chapter 55 Epigraph). I’ve proposed that Shard Mandates (Intents) developed precisely for this reason – each Shard’s personal Connection to the aspect of Adonalsium that became their Mandate. While ascension vaporized the Vessels, their personalities and Connections remained. I believe the Shattering invested the Shards with the Powers of Creation, causing the Powers to became part of the Shards’ Souls, Spiritual Realm Investiture. The Powers of Creation became the bulk of the Shards’ Spiritual DNA that comprises their Souls. (I say the Powers are only part of the Shards’ Souls, because the Vessels’ original Souls still seem to be lurking within them. The Vessels do drop out of the Shards when they die, as Leras, Ati and Vin all did.) Also, unlike Adonalsium’s mind, originally a property of the Powers of Creation, Shard minds continue to occupy the Cognitive Realm. Adonalsium, IOW, was either “beyond” the Realms or was purely Spiritual, except to the extent he chose to manifest himself in some other Realm. The Shards exist in all three Realms, and the Powers of Creation are now part of the Shards' Souls in the Spiritual Realm. That is why Brandon says the Shards are “mostly” Spiritual, but transcend the Realms. It is the difference between a true “God” and the Greek gods subject to their mortal foibles that Brandon has described the Shards as being. Splinters vs. Other Shardic Investiture Splinters are carved-out bits of a Shard's Spiritual Realm Investiture (the Powers of Creation) that have developed their own self-awareness. Source (Q 15). Unlike the resot of a Shard's Spiritual Realm Investiture, Splinters can independently create magic. They have no need to Connect back to their Shard for Power. By themselves, Splinters can perform the same magic as their Shard, though on a smaller scale. Other forms of Investiture allow a Connection to their Shard, but it is the Shard’s Power that performs the magic. This difference can be seen by comparing Divine Breath with mere Breaths. Divine Breaths are Splinters, but mere Breaths are not. A Returned, bonded with a Divine Breath, can perform magic on its own. Breaths OTOH Connect an Awakener to Endowment's Investiture. This Connection enables the Awakener to "touch" and "use" Endowment's magic. IMO post-Shattering Splinters carry the Mandate (Intent) of the Splintered Shard, despite the following WoB from August 2011: Josh: “Do Splinters have their own Intent, in addition to the Shards?” Brandon Sanderson: “Splinters often have their own intent.” “Intent” is a non-canonical term that Chaos invented in February 2011. While Brandon from time to time has used the term in the sense that Chaos uses it, it’s unclear whether six months after Chaos’ post Brandon would have interpreted the question as referring to “intent” in other than its normal meaning. To the contrary, the HoA Chapter 79 Epigraph (published in late 2008) uses the word “Mandate” to refer to the concept of Shard compulsion: “[Power without] a mind to oversee it [has] only a vague will of its own, tied in to the mandate of its abilities. [Emphasis added.]” Evidence: we’ve never seen a Splinter act other than in accordance with its Shard’s mandate, whether it be Divine Breath, Radiantspren (which have “meshed” mandates of both Honor and Cultivation) or Aons. But we have seen Radiantspren with their own “intent” – that is, personality and motivation – Syl, Pattern and Ivory. I think that’s what Brandon’s statement means. Adonalsium’s Splinters would not be subject to a Mandate. That’s why Brandon has said, “Spren could exist on a [world without a Shard], but they would be like the minor spren. You wouldn't find Syl, but you would find something like lifespren.” Source (Q 53). FINAL THOUGHTS: OVERARCHING THEME OF THE COSMERE SAGA In the WoR Epilogue (Kindle p. 1080, emphasis added), Wit/Hoid has the following conversation with Jasnah: “You’re so convinced that there is no God.” “The Almighty is – “ “Oh,” Wit said, “I don’t mean the Almighty…I just think you’ve been looking for God in the wrong places.” “I suppose that you’re going to tell me where you think I should look.” “You’ll find God in the same place you’re going to find salvation from this mess,” Wit said. “Inside the hearts of men.” “Curiously,” Jasnah said, “I believe I can actually agree with that, though I suspect for different reasons than you imply.” I believe this conversation expresses the overarching theme of the Cosmere Saga. In a post-Nietzsche universe where “God is dead,” we must rely on our “innate investiture,” our “spark of life” for salvation. God may be dead, but, to paraphrase the last sentence of William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, “We endure.” EDITS: I've made a number of edits to this post to reflect the comments made by other posters below. Some of these comments were purely editorial, such as the inputs of Argel, who suggested a more readable “Summary,” and runyan_ft, who pointed out a relevant Reddit post. Other changes result from the debates you'll find in those posts. I urge readers to look at those debates, because they contain more information than this edited post and highlight the collaborative nature of theory-building. As examples, there's some interesting discussion about the meaning of "living" investiture and much more about the nature of Splinters. My thanks to all who have participated . Regards!
  5. I'm pretty new to the 17th Shard--and forums in general, really--but I've been an avid reader of Brandon's works since I first read Elantris about five years ago, and I've been aware of the greater Cosmere since I noticed Hoid world-hopping in Warbreaker. As such, I figured I might as well join the discussion, but please bear with any forthcoming ineptitude on my part. All that aside, I figure that with Mistborn: Secret History out we know more than enough about Realmatic Theory to be able to start to analyze and classify the magic in the Cosmere. Moreover, perhaps we might be able to explain exactly what is occurring in the Cognitive Realm when certain things happen. (EX: What happens to someone's Cognitive Shadow if they're killed or maimed by a shardblade?) I also thought it might be fun to speculate about how different powers would interact. Like what would happen if a Mistborn tried to burn a gem filled with stormlight, or if a Surgebinder tried to draw investiture from a filled metalmind. I apologize if somebody's already made a similar post to this one.
  6. Reading the scene in Calamity where David et al showed down with Calamity makes me wonder if Brandon is hinting at how Adonalsium was shattered. Especially this line by Calamity: "I contain the very powers of the universe. Do you understand that? They are all mine. I am what you call a High Epic a thousand times over." I know the shattering will be different from the calamity showdown, and Earth is not part of Cosmere. I just think that there may be many settings in common: The shatterers and later shards of Adonalsium were very highly invested before becoming shards. They may have been invested in different ways and thus had Connections to different facets of Adonalsium's power and was later able to pick up specific Shards. The shattering was mostly because Adonalsium was doing strange things to the highly invested and powerful magic users, or even magic systems themselves. Adonalsium was sent from outside of Cosmere. All the major and minor shardworlds are with stars closely clustered within a dwarf galaxy. It's hard to imagine that only this part of the whole universe has such a magical being as Adonalsium. The God Beyond may not be from the Beyond after all, but from beyond the Cosmere astronomically And I have some further, wilder guesses: The Realms are divided at the shattering. There was only 1 Realm before the shattering, and that's how humans found and slayed Adonalsium. If Adonalsium was in the Spiritual Realm, I don't think people can even be there without shardic powers. Yolen was hidden somewhere outside the Physical Realm, and maybe even within the Spiritual Realm. And that's why someone as cosmere aware and well traveled as Khriss could not find the planet.
  7. I've been wondering about this for a while actually, but does anyone know what the root word is for 'Realmatics'? Is it 'Real' or 'Realm'? There are arguments for both: On the one hand Realmatic theory deals with the structure of reality, so 'real'. On the other hand, said reality is composed of the three realms, so 'realm'. Knowing Mr. Sanderson's habits it could also a combination of the two.
  8. I got my hardcover copy of The Emperor's Soul. I asked "Can you tell me something about how the people of MaiPon came to their knowledge of Realmatic Theory?" He answered "Through study + observation." Which seems to imply that they didn't have outside help in making those discoveries. I think I remember hearing somewhere that Sel was the most advanced civilization of any of the Shardworlds we've seen so far in the canon, so this defintely makes some sense.
  9. In my signed copy of Alloy of Law:
  10. “I Bind Things” A Realmatic Hypothesis of the Potential Ramifications of Connection in the Spiritual Realm Introduction: I was contemplating the following quote by Sylphrena in The Way of Kings, [1] when I was struck by an interesting disparity. Why would Syl state binding things as a distinguishing attribute of honorspren? The obvious answer, the one that I had previously assumed, is that she referenced the Adhesion-like ability she shares with windspren [2]. But the context of Syl’s declaration shows the fallacious nature of this assumption: Syl and Kaladin had both originally assumed that she was a windspren. Yet, when she first mentioned “binding things,” it was as she was discovering – indeed, telling Kaladin – that she was not, in fact, a windspren after all [3]. Thus, whatever Syl’s “binding things” attribute is, it is almost certainly not an attribute of common windspren. This line of thinking led me to the following conclusions: Potential Postulates of the Spiritual Realm The Spiritual Realm is a Realm of Ideals and Connections [4]. In my studying, I have come to believe that these Ideals are something akin to Kurkistan’s Forms [5]. (I had come up with a similar model independently, but Kurkistan explains it better.) I propose that Ideals are the Spiritual Realmatic aspects of everything. Much as everything has a “bead,” a mind, conscience, or whatever you prefer you call it, in the Cognitive Realm [6], everything has a similar aspect manifesting in the Spiritual Realm as an Ideal. I will also go one step farther and declare my second proposition: Interactions between beings and their Spiritual Ideals (whether natural or Investiture-related) creates Connections. Potential ramifications of these postulates are extensive, and I shall avoid wasting this opportunity by discussing minor, trivial possibilities. Certainly they lend merit to ideas such as Shaggai’s idea of Allomantic steel [7], and explains what, exactly, Feruchemical duralumin may store. Speculation on Shards and Shardworlds: (I will make a bit of a leap here; please understand that the spoiler section is much more speculative, pending further references.) Speculation Application to Investiture and the Laws of Magic The most important application of these statements of conjecture, I believe, is their potential applicability to Investiture and its interactions in current canon. And so I return to my analysis of Sylphrena’s statement. As Syl’s binding ability is likely not the Adhesion (for lack of a better term) demonstrated earlier in The Way of Kings, I present that Syl – and, by extension all Radiant spren – is binding Spiritual Ideals. As a spren begins to form the Nahel bond with an individual, the spren is using itself, a Splinter of Adonalsium, to create a Spiritual Connection between the Radiant candidate and the Ideal of the Radiant Order that the spren is associated with [11]. The candidate’s Spiritual Ideal must already be similar in nature to that of the order he/she will join for a spren to be able to start the bond. Example: (spoilered for length) Acting in accordance with the Radiant Oaths aligns the candidate’s Spiritual Ideal more closely to the Ideal of the order he/she will join, allowing the spren to gradually bond the individual closer to the Ideal. Speaking the Oaths is an essential part of the bonding process, markedly increasing the strength of the spren’s Connection. Much of the growth of the Connection is done over this series of five “steps.” Breaking Oaths and misaligning the candidate’s Ideal from that of the Radiant Order strains and eventually breaks the Connection, effectively killing the spren [13]. The Connection between the Spiritual aspect of the candidate and the Spiritual Ideal of the Radiant Order allows the individual’s Ideal to become more like the Ideal it is Connected to; in effect, this allows the candidate to gain the Surgebinding abilities. On Roshar, this system would have been begun initially by Honor. By making the ten Honorblades, the Spiritual interaction between Honor and Roshar created the ten Spiritual Ideals of the ten Orders. The Heralds then were able to bond to these “magic system Ideals” through the Honorblades to create their Connection; the Spren, imitating the Honorblades, began doing the same process with other individuals – Surgebinders [14]. While the other Cosmere “magic systems” clearly differ from this Spren-Binding Process, there are certain similarities that indicate that all seem to rely on Connection to function. This has led me to develop my Connective Law of Magic: All Investiture-Related Phenomena are facilitated through Connections between Ideals in the Spiritual Realm. Through simple observation, with the aid of this Connective Law of Magic, it is easy to see how similar Connections between the Spiritual aspects of individuals and “magic system” Ideals are formed. Scadrial: Much of Scadrial’s magic is based on genetics, due to the extra bit of Preservation in each individual [15]. This is talked of as a connection to Preservation, allowing access to his (or her, depending) “body” or power. It seems that the innate pieces of Ruin and Preservation create a Connection to the power of these Shards. Nalthis: A WOB from Kurkistan [11] indicates that each Breath carries with it the Ideal of being given power from Endowment. The ability to give Breaths allows Nalthians to pass on this Connection to another individual (Heightening) or an object (Awakening). Sel: Every type of Selian magic seems to require not only the mandatory Spiritual Connection to the planet, but also to a specific region. Each regional Connection then grants access to the Dor in its own way: AonDor for Arelon, Dakhor for Fjordell, ChayShan for Jindo, Forgery for MaiPon, etc. Conclusion To summarize, I presented a potential Connective Law of Magic: All Investiture-Related Phenomena (“magics”) are made possible by Realmatic Connections between Ideals (the Spiritual aspects of people and objects as per Realmatic Theory) in the Spiritual Realm. This concept was based off of two postulates about the nature of Ideals: First, that Ideals are, as stated above, Realmatic Spiritual aspects; and second, that interactions between beings and Ideals create Connection. I hope my thoughts are intriguing, or, at the least, thought-provoking. Thank you for taking the trouble to read out my ideas! (Note: This is a rough draft; I still have some work that I need to do. I just think that it is time to begin discussion so I can progress my ideas. Thank you.) Sources
  11. So lately I’ve been fascinated with Realmatic Theory, and here are a few observations and speculations I’ve made. So far, canon Realmatic Theory tells us that the Cosmere is made up of three Realms: Physical, Spiritual, and Cognitive. All entities exist in the three Realms, but are manifest more strongly in one and are shadowed in the others. However, Brandon has noted that Sazed has not yet touched Heaven or Hell nor does he know what the final beyond contains. He has, however, made contact with some people who have been sticking around in something of a middle place. This very strongly implies that there are three realms; and I do not mean the Physical, Cognitive, and Spiritual Realms. Here is how I think of the three greater realms. Brandon’s nomenclature, which is almost certainly not canon, is in parenthesis.The Mortal Realm (Cosmere): This is the Realm we’re most familiar with. It is governed by Canon Realmatic Theory; namely, the Physical, Spiritual, and Cognitive Realm. This is the most relevant Realm as the vast majority of Cosmere stories take place almost exclusively here. Speculations: The interactions between the three Realms has been difficult to explain due to a lack of concrete, canon information. Even some of the canon information is suspect as it is the observations of in-world characters who are capable of being mistaken. So, without any supporting evidence, here are a few of my hypotheses. The Mortal Spiritual Realm allows for Investiture, which transcends the three Mortal Realms, to flow between the Divine Realm and the Mortal Realms. Adonalsium is described as being the, "Power of Creation," but isn't, to my knowledge, referred to as God. This is especially intriguing when you consider that the Cosmere takes place in a dwarf galaxy in a larger Universe. If Adonalsium was God, why would it choose to only be involved in a dwarf galaxy rather then being equally present throughout all of Creation? If Adonalsium is merely a tool of the Divine, then its exclusion from the rest of Creation isn't quite so unusual. Not to mention that the idea of humans literally destroying a God is absurd, even in the fantasy genre; misusing and breaking a portion of God's power, however, is plausible and makes for an interesting and compelling story. Brandon mentions both Heaven and Hell in the above quote. He has noted elsewhere that there was a Cosmic Force that opposed Adonalsium. If Adonalsium is a tool of Heaven, then it stands to reason that Adonalsium's opposite is the tool of Hell. Several real world religions explore the concept of Holy and Evil deities competing with each other via their mortal servants and followers. On Roshar, Tanavast suggests to Dalinar that he should attempt to force Odium into using a champion. Even in the Cosmere there is precedent for deific entities using mortals to settle disputes. This supports my hypotheis that the entities of the Divine Realm use the Mortal Realm, using the Mortal Spiritual Realm as a medium, as a battleground for their disputes. Perhaps the force that opposed Adonalsium influenced humanity enough to have them Shatter Adonalsium. The Divine Realm (Final Beyond): We have next to no exposure to this Realm. Brandon specifically mentions Heaven and Hell and refers to both together, in my interpretation of his quote, as the final beyond. This is the location of the afterlife. Speculations: This is likely where the truly significant, yet behind the scenes, conflicts are taking place. There is a Heaven and a Hell and there isn't a myth, legend, or religion in yhe real world that has a Heaven and Hell that are not in conflict with one another. It is also unusual for Holy and Evil to directly war with each other; they prefer to use mortals like a divine game of chess. Investiture transcends the Mortal Realms. Shards of Adonalsium are large, sentient pieces of Investiture. Shardic actions are determined by Intent. I've already proposed that the Mortal Spiritual Realm is the medium through which Investiture from the Divine Realm manifests. My hypothesis is that Investiture is a spectrum, much like the frequency of sound waves, and that different Intents fall on that spectrum. If you pluck a single string on a guitar and the string adjacent to it is tuned to the same note, the second string will vibrate from the soundwaves of the first while the other strings are unaffected. In this case, one string is in the Mortal Spiritual Realm and the other is in the Divine Realm. When Shards use Investiture in the Mortal Realm according to their Intent their Mortal Spiritual Intent reverberates in sync with Divine Investiture and energy can then flow from the Divine Realm to the Mortal Realm. Note to Self: come back and explain that better. Purgatory (Middle Place): Again, we have nearly no exposure to this Realm. This is where Kelsier waited to take up Preservations power. We know that you need strong ties to the Physical Realm in order to linger here. Speculations: This actually just plain baffles me. -------EDITS-------- Edit One: Improved formatting. Removed speculations from the end of the post. Edit Two: Added Speculations under the Mortal Realm, Divine Realm, and Purgatory.
  12. The title essentially says it all, so I'll get to the why. We know that Shards require a sentient mind to be attached to their power, whether it's that of another being or one it created on its own. Well, I think that Nightblood essentially requires the same. Shashara tried to give it the ability to rationalize and think, but it didn't work because the invested Breaths gave it more of a Spiritual, rather than Cognitive presence, which I think could have been the original intent. Thus, you end up with a extremely powerful sword that lacks the context to fulfill its intent - destroy evil. This is where the cognitive mind of another sentient being comes into play. Like Shards require holders to bear their power, Nightblood does too - the mind of its current holder focuses the intent and provides a context to the concept of evil. Simply put, every time someone picks up Nightblood, we're witnessing (on a much tinier scale) something not so different from what Vin or Sazed did when they ascended. Simple, I know, but it just struck me and I had to share.
  13. First topic of my own! Reading this post today gave me a thought about marrying the regional magic systems of Sel with some Realmatic Theory. After a quick search, I didn't see anything posted that covered all of my thoughts, but apologies if this has been said before. Anyways, here goes: Spiritual - A Selian's innate ability to invest in the powers of Devotion and/or Dominion; their particular heritage has an impact on their sDNA and so impacts which system someone can use. Cognitive - As described here, the cognitive aspect of a nation determines the base shape, but I think this must also be in harmony with the physical world. I imagine that the fall of Elantris happened when the chasm appeared, not when the country as a whole learned about it. I also think that an individual's cognitive understanding of their heritage, like their sDNA, has an impact on the system they use. Physical: The base shape must physically match that of the nation you are currently in. The key point: Spiritual and Cognitive impact your ability and method to access investiture. Cognitive and Physical impact the base form. This would mean that someone from Mai Pon could use Forging in Arelon if they used Aon Aon as their base. Let the debate begin!
  14. I had a thought in the bath today (strange how inspiration strikes so often in the bathroom... maybe I should try and spend more of my day there ) Forgive me if this post seems erratic and scatty, I've not got all my thoughts in order yet, so this probably won't flow too well. I'm re-reading Warbreaker, highlighting what I think are important sections re: the larger Cosmere as I go (yay kindle!) and I've just gotten to the point at which Lightsong turns away petitioners and gets into a discussion regarding his own religion with Larimar. Larimar tells him: The wording here I think is important, which I'll come back to, but also: we know when you cross over, your soul makes a stopover in the Cognitive realm. Makes me think this is relevant to future-perception magics generally. Now, Isomere has started a topic http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/3286-the-focus-on-roshar-is-waveforms/'>here which I think needs some love. He proposes that magic on Roshar is based around the idea of waveforms. I think this has some mileage. It also has implications for crossovers. Why I hear you ask? Breath. With enough BioChromatic Breath, you can perceive perfect colour and pitch recognition. If magic on Roshar is based on waveforms, this immediately becomes relevant (as colour and sound are both a product of wavelength). I'm not sure exactly what implications this may have, but again, stick with me, I'm going to keep going. We also know, in a mostly unrelated way, that Hemalurgy (what? We're on Scadrial now? Stick with me, I promise this get attempt to get stitched together at the end!) can be used to steal many different magical (and mundane) properties. Why should this be? If Ruin created Hemalurgy, why can it be used to steal powers granted by other shards? Why does sDNA have to be able to be affected by another Shard in the first place? We often talk of 'Preservation's power' or 'Honour's power', as though these are completely removed from each other - as though the shattering of Adonalsium split the power of creation along these lines of intent. I now think differently. I think that whilst each Shard has their own unique Intent, they each have a measure of the exact same, universal, power of creation, but this is filtered through the 'lens' of the Shardic intent it's tied to. And we see the evidence of this in the fact that people all over the Cosmere have Hemalurgic bindpoints which those on Scadrial could never have known of, or that the Waveforms on Roshar could be easily interpreted by an Awakener of sufficient Heightening. I might even go so far as to suggest that an Awakener would have an easier time making sense of Allomantic Bronzepulses, or the 'rhythm' of the Dor. This may also go some way to help describe how Odium was able to alter things on Roshar so that he could influence events there - he doesn't need to change the nature of the inherent magics there, only to change the way in which the magic is interpreted (perhaps through altering sDNA, although I'm loathe to tough the topic of sDNA as I don't think we know enough about it yet). Looking back over this, I don't know that I've necessarily said anything that's not been said before... but it feels like a fresh revelation in my head. Does this sound right or wrong to anyone else? Would anyone like to add to this, tweak it, or contradict it? Go nuts! I'd love to know what you all think.
  15. Man, I've been churning out theories like [insert bad metaphor here] today. So, my idea is based upon these principles: 1. Ruin and Preservation each Invested Scadrial 2. Aside from humans, everything on Scadrial was Invested equally I'll start off by stating an idea that I've expressed in other threads but haven't put into a theory yet. Scadrian metal, if put under a microscope, would have the exact same atomic structure as any other Iron in the Cosmere. It would be identical to any other metal in the Physical realm. Scadrian iron thinks of itself in the same way as well. It would be identical to any other metal in the Cognitive realm. "But wait," you ask. "That metal is Invested in a way no other metal in the Cosmere is. Surely the difference shows in some way!" Indeed it does. The only logical outcome at this point is that THE INVESTITURE OF THE METAL EXISTS IN THE SPIRITUAL REALM. Since it is silly for this to be only limited to Investiture on Scadrial, this is a universal law for all Investiture. Of all my theories, this one probably has the most logical evidence behind it. (Which is kind of sad, when you think about it.) Any thoughts?
  16. So, this is a theory that I came up with in response to the Shardic Lens theory, and posted in rough form on that thread. I will restate it here, so that it is a little easier to find (plus I don't want to hijack that thread). So, based on my understanding of the Shardic Lens theory, Adonalsium is basically a wide-band filter for the power of Creation. Upon shattering, we were left with 16 (at first) narrower-band filters, the spectrum of each being defined by the Shardic Intent. This implies that Adonalsium(and the Shards) is not a power unto itself, but rather a means of accessing a power. This is consistent with I believe all the magic systems we have seen as well. Metal, Stormlight, Aons...they aren't the source of the power, but rather a means of accessing it or channeling it. This is important, because it means that the true source of the various powers of the Cosmere is still intact, only the access key is shattered. I believe the AonDor is a very good example of this, in that we are told quite directly that the Aons act as a filter on the power of the Dor, allowing only the desired power through. This makes perfect sense if the Aons are splinters of Aona, and thus an even narrower-band filter on the power of Creation. Which brings me to the theory: I think Hoid's mission is to travel the Cosmere, collecting a sample of each of the various waveforms/powers, in order to reverse engineer the complete "wide-band filter" and enable one to tap into the "full spectrum" of the power of Creation. Because Adonalsium was not the source of the power, but rather just a tool, it is not necessary to reforge Adonalsium. Instead, Hoid is actually trying to replicate that tool, which can be done as many times as desired! Thus the term "Adonalsium Proliferation." What, you want proof?? Well, I don't have any. But how's this: one thing that always bothered me about The Letter was the fact that the recipient disagreed with Hoid's plan. I had always assumed (like many of us) that Hoid was trying to restore Adonalsium/The Cosmere to its previous state, which seems like a good idea. Why would someone disagree with that? However, if Hoid is in fact going for a nuclear-deterrence style proliferation, I can see how that could be terrifying, causing the 17th Shard to try to shut him down. (In this Cold War analogy, the 17th Shard folks represent the Nuclear Disarmament mindset, while Hoid is of the Mutually Assured Destruction mindset). That's it for now! Thanks for Isomere, Senor Freesh, and WeiryWriter for laying the groundwork on this for me! (and any others who I haven't read yet...)
  17. Yes this about shardblades, but it's pretty heavy in realmantic theory and it relates to Mistborn, so I'm putting it in Cosmere theories. Before discussing my main theory, I want to take about the mechanics of shardblades. I don't know if this has been discussed else where, but for the sake of clarity, here's the idea that I've based the rest if my theory on. Shardblades cut things by affecting them in the Spiritual Realm. Essentially, it is just a really sharp blade in the Spiritual Realm that can cut most things also in that realm. So, when a shardbearer slices a rock in the Physical Realm, in the Spiritual the shardblade cuts the rocks spiritual essence in half, which, by realmantic voodoo, means the rocks physical aspect is seamlessly cut in two. With living things, its a bit more complecated. Basically if you cut someones arm with a shardblade, their spiritual arm is severed, resulting in the physical essentially dying. When someone is cut in a vital area (i.e. spine or face) their spiritual aspect stops working, so their physical body dies. (As a tangent, this would mean most forms of healing Investiture could not heal shardblade wounds, since, as I understand it, healing magic works by restoring the body to its ideal state. i.e. its spiritual aspect. Since the spiritual aspect is armless, tapping gold, if anything, would make your physical arms fall off). Things like shardplate (and hypothetically other invested items) are resistant because of the weird investiture-interference principle. That was longer than I thought it would be...Anyway, the main idea that I wanted to bring up is that if shardblades function essentially as I described above, then could you possibly use a sharblade to preform sort of spiritual surgery similar to Hemalurgy? Basically you would stab someone at a bindpoint and the shardblade severs whatever spiritual essence is there that Hemalurgy would steal. Hypothtically, if you hit just the bindpoint precisly enough, you would leave the person more or less intact. Since Hemalurgy is universal, it stands to reason that anything that can affect things spiritualy should be able to preform a similar function. Although, it wouldn't really be considered Hemalurgy because you can't steal anything, but say you wanted to non-lethally stop a Mistborn, you just slice out his Mistborn-sDNA, leaving him alive but without any powers. Whether this is feasible is another matter. For instance, you'd probably wan't a shardscalpel or something to get the precision needed to hit the bindpoints. This probably isn't something you could do with a normal, giant-sized shardblade, but I thought it sounded cool. Any thoughts on either half of this theory? Edit: Hmm...I misspelled 'shardblades' in the tags. Any idea how to fix that?
  18. I'm not sure if we're allowed to talk about excerpts Brandon has read from unpublished works, but he links to the video of him reading it on his website, so I figured it might be ok. If not please let me know. Anyway, in his reading of Shadows of Self there seems to be a book that is written by Marsh about Hemalurgy. That in itself is cool, because it means we might find out more about the most mysterious of the Metallic Arts, but the small portion of it we get to hear sounds like Marsh is saying that Hemalurgy has changed and that it's no longer evil. I'm wondering what exactly he means by that, and what all is involved with the change. Is the change simply that those with hSpikes in them now hear Harmony instead of Ruin? I've been wondering about that, and I don't think all of the violence and sadism of the Koloss and the Inquisitors could be from Ruin whispering in their ears. I think I saw someone else hint at this idea before, but basically it's that those with an hSpike get a little of the intent (either Ruin or Harmony) which constantly affects them, even when not actually hearing the whispers. The stronger the mind of the person the more they can resist this intent, hence the reason Ruin frequently had to focus on Marsh. So, is this change simply that the whispers and the intent coming through the hSpike is now Harmony? Or has more changed about Hemalurgy? After all, if that's all that's changed, there's still the fact that Hemalurgy is as Marsh put it "messy". Could something have changed to make it less so? Perhaps the spikes no longer have to go through the person's heart to steal investiture from them? Perhaps it could go through other parts of their bodies, which they have a chance of surviving? Or perhaps it's changed in some other way? I don't know. Anyway, food for thought.
  19. So we talk a lot about foci here on 17th Shard. We spend a lot of time trying to determine the focus on Shardworlds where we don't have a definitive answer (currently I believe only Roshar). But what is a focus? The Coppermind page simply states I feel that before we can really determine Roshar's focus, we first need to understand exactly what a focus is. What it it's purpose? What does it do? Based on Phantom's post here which quotes the AoL Ars Arcanum, and Skaa's topic here which theorises that the Essences are the foci on Roshar, I would say that although I'm not yet 100% on if Skaa's choice of focus for Roshar is correct, I like his reasoning. Specifically, based on what we know of other foci, I would define a focus as something that enables a magic system, without necessarily being magical itself. The examples we have so far: Forms/symbols on Sel Molecular structures (specifically metals) on Scadrial Word-based commands on Nalthis I'm not going to rule out the possibility that we may see a focus in the future which is also Invested, but so far all the foci are pretty mundane. Atium admittedly is an exception, but unlike other metals, Atium actually powers the Investiture directly. I can't take much credit for this, as Skaa gave me the core of the idea, but I do think it deserves its own topic so we can discuss it. If you agree/disagree with the reasoning, please post why below!
  20. An April Fool over on Reddit has gotten a comment from Brandon, which divulges (I believe) new WoB on the nature of Spren, which confirms some theories (and probably trashes others). http://www.reddit.com/r/Stormlight_Archive/comments/1bflq6/dreamworks_has_acquired_the_film_rights_for_the/