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silver-the-thruhiker posted a topic in RoW Lore, Magic, and Cosmere DiscussionSpoilers All Cosmere This is just some crazy tinfoil idea that I had. I've long had a pet theory that Kelsier was connected to another Shard. He has such commitment to his ideals that it speaks of great Intent. He comes off as cocky and self-interested but his willingness to sacrifice himself - and pursue his ideals even thereafter! - shows the depth of his devotion. I used to think that, if he was influenced by a shard, it was probably Bavadin. Her penchant for Investing herself into Avatars is well known. Kelsier's anti-authoritarianism seems pretty Autonomous. And Kel's immidiate antipathy towards Hoid seems rather as if he "has been instilled with an intense and overpowering dislike of" our favorite flautist. This seems a little hard to square with his becoming a ruler (the Sovereign) on Scadrial, and a leader (Thaidakar) to the Ghostbloods. But it's possible. Perhaps there is no greater autonomy than sovereignty. Kelsier created the Bands of Mourning, an artifact so powerful as to grant its user quite a bit of "freedom and self-direction." But of all the questions about the Bands of Mourning, one gets a little lost: Why are they so named? I don't believe that the eponymous book gives an answer. But another text may: Shadows For Silence In The Forest Of Hell. Shadows for Silence is set on the planet Threnody, namesake of the Threnodite system. The other planets in that system include Monody and Elegy. A threnody is "a wailing lament composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person." Both a monody and an elegy are "poems lamenting a person's death." All three of these are examples of mourning. There's no Shard in the Threnodite system now. We know that several Shards were once there - Odium, Ambition, and Mercy. A "wail for the dead" doesn't speak much of Ambition, and though it is Passionate it doesn't really feel like "God's own hatred." Mercy? "Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm." That doesn't sound much like a death-song - and it sounds nothing like Kelsier. In the Threnodite system, then, one of two things seems likely. The first possibility is that the planets are named for some other Shard. Perhaps this is one of the two we haven't encountered - maybe it is the Shard of Grief? Maybe Memory? The second possibility is that this system was created, or at least deeply touched, by all three of the shards which once resided there: Odium, Ambition, and Mercy. What do you get when you mix striving, passion, and forgiveness? I think that you would get the creation, of a song, of mourning. Perhaps Kelsier is touched by something from these worlds. Kelek's Breath but there are enough Cognitive Shadows running around Threnody! And we know that the Selish Ire have set up pickets around Scadrial's subastral specifically to prevent Threnodite Shades from coming through via Shadesmar. And we know that Kelsier had a deeply transformative experience when he was enslaved in the Pits of Hathsin - the Lord Ruler's prison, the source of all atium, but also a Perpendiculatiry. Maybe a Shade got through the Ire's picket and touched Kelsier. Maybe it was more than one of the apparently simple-minded Shades we see in Shadows for Silence. Perhaps all of the Shades of Threnody contain portions of the three Shards we know were present there. Maybe they contain an especially large portion of Ambition, since Uli Da was the one so wounded there. One part hatred, three parts self-striving, and one part "a desire to relieve suffering." ...that sounds a lot like Kelsier to me.
Umm, what? Why are rats' skulls glowing on Threnody? Has it become the Cosmere's Chernobyl? This also makes glowpaste a bit suspicious. When I first read it, I took it to simply be bioluminescent or some kind of chemical reaction. But could it have been caused by Investiture? Is Threnody's flora and fauna using Investiture like First of the Sun?
So I have wondered for a while what "The Evil" on Threnody is that ravages the Homeland and first banished the people of that world to the so-called "Forests of Hell". Even in Arcanum Unbounded, Khriss (who seems to know a LOT about the Cosmere and the Shards) states that very little is known of it by anyone. But then, after reading the other things mentioned in Arcanum Unbounded related to Threnody, a theory formed in my head that seems completely logical to me but is very likely a RAFO kind of thing to ask. So here's the backstory: According to the essay written by Khriss/Sanderson in Arcanum Unbounded, Ambition inhabited the Threnodite System shortly after the Shattering, but was eventually found there by Odium, who was on his vendetta to become the most powerful being in the Cosmere. The two Shards clashed violently throughout the three Realms, and their epic battle resulted in the Splintering of Ambition and the death of its vessel. The entire system was affected by it, particularly on the planet Threnody, which has two main continents. The smaller one consists of the Forests of Hell, the normal people, and ghostly creatures called the "shades" while the larger one (the Homeland) is dominated by the Evil. The theory: As seen in the form of the shades, Cognitive Shadows of people exist on Threnody due to the way their world works. What I wonder is if people come back as shades after death, why not a Shard of Adonalsium itself as well? My theory, to put it plain and simple, is that the Evil is the Cognitive Shadow, or shade, of Ambition itself. A Cognitive Shadow made from an entire Shard is not unprecedented, mind you. Take the Stormfather on Roshar, for example. After Odium Splintered the Shard Honor and killed its vessel as he had done to Ambition (and others), an enormously powerful Cognitive Shadow formed out of Honor in the form of its spren, the Stormfather. I believe that the Evil on Threnody is the same thing in regard to Ambition as the Stormfather is to Honor: a really big, really dangerous Cognitive Shadow. After all, what do the shades do on Threnody? They attack those who break the Simple Rules, devouring their souls and dissolving their bodies. Who's to say that the Evil, as a Cognitive Shadow of Ambition, isn't just a shade like all the others? It was a person who died, and on Threnody, those come back as the shades. But seeing as this one was so powerful (a storming Shard of Adonalsium), then wouldn't that make it an immensely powerful and really huge shade that can consume an entire continent and feast upon the souls of men in multitudes (as as it is described doing in Arcanum Unbounded)? So there's my theory. The Evil is Ambition's shade. What do all of you think?
In Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, silver that makes contact with a shade is ruined. It turns black and crumbles. My question: is the ruination a natural process (turning into silver sulphate, or silver bromide, for example), or is the silver transmuted into another element, alchemy-style?