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  1. In this post, I use “nature,” to describe Vessel-independent Shard behavior and “expression” to describe Vessel-influenced Shard behavior. @Jofwu first suggested this distinction and nomenclature. IMO, “intent” and “mandate” muddle this distinction, since their meaning varies with usage. Summary Brandon says each Shard combines personality with a “primal force.” Consensus agrees Vessel personality determines Shard expression: how the Vessels choose to direct their Shards’ Investiture. IMO, a Shard’s “primal force” defines its immutable nature. This primal force Connects the Vessel to its Shard. I believe magic system mechanics show us each Shard’s primal force Connection. Theory Spiritual Realm Investiture is the same for all Shards. Shards differ only in how they access this Investiture and how they grant it to mortals: “The 'role' of the Shard has to do with the WAY the magic is obtained, not what it can do,” and “The means of getting powers…are related to the Shards, but not the powers themselves.” Brandon tells us Connection is not Investiture: “Connection is, like, the equivalent of a quantum connection in our world, so it's more like a force than something comprised of something.” If Spiritual Realm Investiture is the same for all Shards, then Shards differ only in their Connection to their Vessel. I believe each Shard’s primal force IS this unique Connection. Magic users draw Investiture from the Spiritual Realm through their Shard’s primal force Connection. Magic systems IMO supply the best evidence of each Shard’s primal force Connection. Here are Brandon’s three examples from the WoB I quote in full below. Ruin – Primal Force Connection: Entropy. “Ruin is a charged term for” entropy. Ruin’s magic system gives Investiture to mortals through an act of entropy – spiking. Any Ruin Vessel IMO would deliver its Investiture via entropy. Personality: “Kind and generous” Ati chose decay to express entropy. He was the best Ruin possible. Another Vessel might have chosen cataclysm. Preservation - Primal Force Connection: Stasis. “Preservation is a charged term for stasis.” Any Preservation Vessel IMO would deliver Investiture to mortals through metal’s static molecular structure. Personality: Leras created the Terris Prophecies and imprisoned Ruin. Other Vessels might have acted differently. Honor - Primal Force Connection: Connects People. “Honor is the sense of being bound by rules, even when those rules, you wouldn't have to be bound by.” I think any Honor Vessel would deliver Investiture to mortals through a person-to-person Connection like the Nahel bond. Personality: Tanavast’s Honor chose oaths to create binding rules. Another Vessel (Dalinar’s Unity?) might favor other means to bind people. Tanavast’s personality gives “this sense that [‘honor’] is noble,” though “there's also something not honorable about Honor if taken from the other [primal force] direction.” I speculate about other Shards’ primal forces in other posts, but these are the only three Shard natures Brandon confirms. I believe, for example, Odium gives his Investiture through broken “people” Connections. When mortals eschew emotional pain (“I’m not to blame”), they isolate themselves from others. The resulting void lets hate in. Mechanically, Odium’s Investiture flows through the cracks in the soul left by the broken Connections. Breaking people Connections seems to be Odium’s nature, its primal force. A different Vessel than Rayse, who chose this repulsive force for his Shard, might break people Connections in a way that doesn’t generate violent passion. Shards eventually compel Vessels to conform to their Shard’s nature. Vessels succumb IMO because they draw all their power through their primal force Connection. Entropy made Ati more destructive. Stasis made Leras unable to harm Elend. The compulsion to Connect with others made Tanavast rely on bare oaths devoid of meaning. Analysis Two WoBs give guidance on Shard natures and Vessel expressions. Theorists have picked over the first the past year. The second WoB asks if Connection or “intent” attracts a Shard to its Vessel. I think at minimum this WoB says Shards reflect both personality and primal force. From his examples, I believe Brandon refers to Vessel personalities plus primal force. Here’s the second WoB about Connection and “intent”: This WoB distinguishes between “general intent/mindset” and Connection. I read “general intent/mindset” to mean Vessel temperament. Brandon says temperament alignment is unnecessary, though it makes ascension “easier.” Instead, the Vessels needed to “create Connection” to assume their Shards: “there was a lot going on with” Connection creation at the Shattering. Brandon’s answer shows personality is not part of Shard nature. Otherwise, temperament alignment would be necessary. Based on the first WoB, I believe the Vessels created a separate primal force Connection to each Shard. Sixteen different means to draw Investiture enabled the Vessels to divide Adonalsium’s power into sixteen equal parts. The “Adonalsium Personality Trait” Theory of Shard Natures @Calderis proposes the alternative “Adonalsium Personality Trait” theory of Shard origin. Because Shards are both personality and primal force, I don’t think it matters which origin theory is correct. The two quoted WoBs are mushy enough to allow either interpretation. But I know Cal will mention his theory if I don’t, so I summarize and respond to it in this Spoiler. Conclusion I think each Vessel Connects to its Shard by a different primal force. I believe that primal force Connection defines their Shard’s nature. Shards deliver their Investiture to magic users by the same primal force Connection. That mechanic appears immutable. Everything else IMO is the Vessel’s expression of its Shard’s nature, until nature ultimately overcomes expression.
  2. From the album Ghostblood symbol art

    Using that Ghostblood sybmol, just messing around, came up with this abstract composition and gave it some psychedelic colors.
  3. A few years ago Brandon dropped this nugget: there was a plot to "destroy" Adonalsium and it failed. I wonder if this is the same group of people who eventually "killed" Adonalsium and split the power. Adonalsium is mostly if not entirely made of Investiture and as the third WoB below says it cannot be destroyed. The 16 (or a subset of them) wanted to destroy Adonalsium, but they realized it was not possible, so they "killed" the sapience of Adonalsium, splitting it into pieces and picked up those pieces so it could not recombine or gain sapience on it's own again. At first I was thinking it was the same attempt. Like they intended to destroy big A, but they couldn't and the Shattering was the result. But this contradicts what Khriss told Kelsier about the Vessel motives in MB:SH. She says some did it because they wanted the power. She wasn't there, but the letter from Frost to Hoid in WoR indicates Rayse wanted to become Odium. #investiture
  4. So Ruin&Preservation was just some weird opposites attract thing where one can't just be alone without the other interfering so that makes sense. Honor&Cultivation settled together because they're romantically involved so that one is quite obvious. However how did Aona and Skai end up together settling on the same planet when the shards they held don't seem to gel well by concept ? Do you guys think it is personal like they personally know each other enough that they trust each other to settle together ? Are they previously romantically involved as well ( tho Sanderson did say they were just business partners of sort but I think I read some wob there was something more) ? Or after picking up the shards did with their warped personality both made a conscious agreed decision together as they foresaw they would work out well for their personal shard intents ? It feels like their settling on the same planet together like how two friends/strangers who have different personalities just decide to become roommates or something. Their case is a curious as if I think about it Dominion and Devotion sounds almost as disastrous as R&P. Any relevant wobs ? Speculations ? Thoughts
  5. Do we have evidence that Adonalsium existed from the beginning? Is it possible that there was a cycle of shatterings and reunifications?
  6. so Hoid was offered a Shard, right? and Rayse seems like he was the kind of guy you wouldn't want to give that level of power to. so what if hoid was orignally offered the shard of Odium, accompanied by him making an oath never to harm (or something like that) to keep it in check, but when he turned it down, Rayse jumped at his opportunity to take Odium... thus Wits heavy involvement in SA, fighting Odium. Edit: fighting Odium because he is responsible for Odium
  7. Pre - Shattering there was a being or power source Adonalsium that controlled or encompassed all of the investiture in the Cosmere. Presumably this investiture was imbued throughout the existing stars, planets and beings that existed in the Cosmere which included almost all of the current systems and types of intelligent life forms that currently exist (Scadrial and its line of humans being notable exceptions.) Also presumably all of the original ways of using investiture (proto-lightweaving, proto-sensory enhancement, proto-future sight, etc.) were either inherently granted by or naturally derived from Adolnasium. At some point in the past, either 1) Adonalsium either was under some threat that would affect the way of life in the cosmere or at least on Yolen. 2) Adonalsium itself was becoming a threat or a perceived threat to the way of life in the cosmere/Yolen. 3) The leaders of the various groups on Yolen convinced others/themselves of point 1 or 2 above. I believe that at this point, the leaders split into several factions. Faction 1 - disagreed entirely with any plan to interfere with or 'kill' Adonalsium - I feel fairly confident adding Frost to this group. Faction 2 - Agreed with plan to separate and distribute Adonalsium power but thought that this would be sufficient to end the threat or could be used safely - Leras, Tanavast, Uli Da, Aona Faction 3 - Agreed with plan to separate and distribute Adonalsium power but thought that the power should be kept separate or should be further splintered - Rayse, Bavadin, Edgli Not sure about: Ati, Skai, Cultivation's vessel Huge Question mark - probably doesn't fit into any of these categories - Hoid. A lot of this comes from information and impressions of the various Letters as well as some semi-canon sources (The Traveler, DragonSteel sample chapters, Liar of Partinel sample) and my own impressions and thoughts while reading the books, exploring the Shard and listening to Shardcast podcasts. Let me know your thoughts.
  8. So, I was talking with a friend, and she was saying that she thinks Adonalsium has to have a Cognitive Shadow somewhere in the Cosmere. She was convinced by a WOB were Brandon RAFO'd the question of "Does Adonalsium have a Cognitive Shadow in the Cosmere." My first response was doubt. To me it just didn't seem like something that would happen. She asked me why, and I mentioned that Cognitive Shadows were imprints of people's investiture that were left behind, really as an excuse out of an explanation. Looking through the WOB's on this topic, that is just the common in-world theory, and that cognitive shadows are super complicated. Either way, when I told my friend that she said that something with as much investiture as Adonalsium must have left behind a Cognitive Shadow, saying "Where did all that investiture go then?" to which I responded "What do you think the Shards are?" and then I realized... The Shards. What if the Shards are in fact Cognitive Shadows left behind by Adonalsium, or at least the Intents are. According to the Coppermind, a Nahel bond between a Cognitive Shadow and a person is possible, and what if the Vessels are bonding in some strange, or maybe simple, who knows, way with the Cognitive Shadows of Adonalsium. Please let me know your thoughts.
  9. Okay, here's what I'm basing this theory on. First, from what I understand, we know that Hoid was present, at the Shattering of Adonalsium. Next, we know that Hoid was offered a Shard, and refused to take it. (please note that this is my personal understanding, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) Now, here's my evidence. This all comes from the chapter heading of Part 4 of WoR. These chapter headings are a letter from Frost to Hoid, in reply to Hoid's letter to Frost, through the chapter headings of one of the parts of TWoK. Here are my quotes: "Is not the destruction we have wrought enough? The worlds you now tread bear the touch and design of Adonalsium. Our interference so far has brought nothing but pain." (Chapter 66, "Stormblessings") This seems to me to be Frost expressing grief over causing the Shattering of Adonalsium. Because what else would happen if your God was killed, than chaos? "However, it seems to me that all things have been set up for a purpose, and if we--as infants-- stumble through the workshop, we risk exacerbating, not preventing, a problem." (Chapter 68, "Bridges") This, to me, seems to imply that they countered Adonalsium's diving design, in shattering him. "He bears the weight of God's own diving hatred, separated from the virtues that gave it context. He is what we made him to be, old friend. And that is what he, unfortunately, wished to become. (Chapter 71, "Vigil") This I think, is the most telling of the quotes. "He is what we made him to be..." How else would they have made Rayse full of hatred, than Shattering Adonalsium, and giving him the Shard of Odium? You, however, have never been a force for equilibrium. You tow chaos behind you like a corpse dragged by one leg through the snow. Please, hearken to my plea. Leave that place and join me in my oath of nonintervention. (Chapter 74, "Striding the Storm") Let me refer back to the first quote, "Our interference has brought nothing but pain." Although this could be referring in general, to Hoid's interference in important events, but based on the context and the other quotes, I'm going to go with he sowed chaos by Shattering Adonalsium. More Implications: If Hoid directly shattered Adonalsium, with the help of Frost, and neither of them received a Shard (I'm assuming Frost isn't a Shard), then it was in order to prevent some terrible thing from happening, not to grow in power. (Although I'm sure that those who helped him had that as at least a secondary motive.) Conclusion: Hoid shattered Adonalsium, with the help of Frost.
  10. Okay, first off, this thread will make a lot more sense if you read my theory that it's based off. However, I will provide a basic explanation here. My theory is that Hoid was the mastermind behind the Shattering. We also know that he was offered a Shard, and refused it. Now, here's the question. If he decided to shatter Adonalsium but refused a Shard, there are only a few possibilities as to his motives. This would say that it wasn't for power unless he had a change of heart between the Shattering and the time he was offered a Shard. So, what was his motive? Could Adonalsium have seemed threatening to him in a way we don't understand? What do you guys think?
  11. Hey Sharders! Long time lurker, but first time poster! Hopefully im not regurgitating a theory posted elsewhere, and apologies if this theory expands a bit beyond the confines of roshar, it's about an entity on roshar but by necessity has to expand a bit further! Let me know if i should move this to cosmere theories! but i have some ideas about the origin of the Nightwatcher. It starts with our current understanding of the nature of spren capable of nahel bonds. From what I understand, these spren are small pieces of honor, and cultivation to varying degrees depending on the variety. And have been referred to as splinters of honor or cultivation. These splinters are bits of investiture left without will or a host long enough that it gains sentience. (There has been confirmation in a WoB that spren are splinters similar to the way seons are on sel) I've come accross a number of theories proposing that the nightwatcher is of cultivation, possibly a kind of cognitive shadow similar to the stormfather. This doesnt hold up in my opinion, there is a WoB that i dont know how to link which tells us that cultivations holder is still alive, and from what we know of the old magic, it doesnt seem to fit into the types of investiture made possible by honor and cultivation. (nor the possible iterations of voidbinding that we'll see more of soon) I propose that the nightwatcher is actually a splinter of adonalsium from pre-shattering. There were already other spren on Roshar before any of the shards came there. I think it's possible that this is a magic system that predates all other kinds on roshar, and was put into place before any shards were taken up. The concept of a boon and a curse doesnt feel at all like the symbiosis present in all of the magic from honor, cultivation, or even odium. Thoughts?
  12. By now, everyone probably know that in the beginning (or at least the beginning of time relevant to us in the Cosmere), there was Adonalsium. He was Shattered by 16 people, who split his power into 16 equal parts, and then separated and went their different ways, some together, some not. Then, after everyone settled down, Odium (formerly known as Rayse) travelled around the Cosmere, splintering Shards as he went. The Splintering split the Shards into Splinters with different Intents to the Shard they were once part of. Now here's the thing; Shattering sounds very much like Splintering: a new Intent? Check; a splitting of the power? Check. This means that the things we know about Splintering can be applied to Shattering, and vice versa. As proven by Sazed, more than one Shard can be held by the same person/entity. This means someone can take a Splinter's power and merge it with another to creat a new Intent, with a greater power than before. This means that Splintering may not be irreversible as once thought, merely difficult to gain enough Splinters to gain power equal to the power held by the Shards. This is no doubt what Odium wanted when he started his killing spree. He may not have been able to destroy the power completely, but could do enough that it made things really hard to gain a power level equal to that of Odium's. Of course, he might have trouble trying to combat Harmony, what with him having the power of two Shards, but that will come later. This means that, eventually, someone may be able to gather the power of all 16 Shards (and their Splinters), and become Adonalsium. Of course, this doesn't make one invincible... Feel free to add anything if you like, since this theory is probably incomplete and needs refining.
  13. The Shattering is the singular event in cosmere history. Brandon says, “The great writing question of the cosmere, the underlying theme is, what do men do when given the Power of the Gods? How do they act? What do they do?” This post speculates how the Shattering might have happened mechanically. It is another in my periodic series, “A Theory of Cosmere Magic.” Unlike splintering, which leaves an indeterminate number of differently sized splinters, the Shattering produced precisely 16 Shards of originally equal Power. Khriss says the Vessels “divided [Adonalsium’s] essence between them.” (M:SH, Part 3-2, Kindle Loc. 938.) Brandon uses the word “essence” to mean the Physical Realm manifestation of “the godly powers.” (I use the term “Powers” to describe the “godly powers” – Spiritual Realm Investiture that isn’t part of a Spiritweb.) The Vessels could easily divide Adonalsium’s liquid “essence” if he had a “godpool.” Shards leave perpendicularities on planets they Invest. I think Adonalsium left a single “godpool” at the place he Invested the entire cosmere. That place was Yolen. “Killing” Adonalsium meant erasing his mind, his capacity to direct the Powers. His godpool gave the Vessels access to his mind. I speculate the Vessels dropped an aluminum “bomb” into the godpool. Aluminum is “magically inert” and acts as an “Investiture sink.” The aluminum neutralized Adonalsium’s Cognitive Realm Investiture – his mind – making him “brain dead.” The Spiritual Realm Investiture – the Powers – survived undamaged. After the aluminum “bomb” killed Adonalsium, his liquid “essence” lay in the godpool. The Vessels quickly sluiced his essence to 16 separate pools of equal volume. The Vessels entered their pools and ascended, emerging as Shards of equal Power. When Rashek and Vin immersed themselves in the Well, their ascensions were partial and temporary. The Vessels’ ascensions were full and permanent. I attribute this difference to the fact that Adonalsium was dead when the Vessels entered their pools, but Preservation was still alive when Rashek and Vin entered the Well. The Well also didn’t represent all of Preservation’s power, since he created it from his own mind to trap Ruin’s consciousness. After Preservation died, Vin did fully ascend by absorbing the mists, the “condensed ‘essence’ of [Preservation’s] godly powers.” Did the Shards hide Yolen to prevent someone like Vin from using the godpool when it replenishes? That’s why Rashek hid the Well. In an accompanying post, I speculate Mistborn foreshadows Dragonsteel. Perhaps Odium wants to kill the other Vessels to become the “one god” when the godpool is full again…16,000 years after the Shattering? Is this what Hoid fears?
  14. Hey there Sanderfans, I just want to let everyone one know that there is a Brandon-themed Humble Bundle available now. It will be running for the next two weeks and features most of Brandon's novellas, a selection of Mistborn Adventure Game sourcebooks, as well as the Graphic Audio editions of Elantris and Warbreaker. Check it out here! The Bundle is broken up into the following tiers: For those who pay $1 or more Firstborn / Defending Elysium Omnibus The Emperor's Soul Legion Legion: Skin Deep Warbreaker Part 1 - Graphic Audio Elantris Part 1 - Graphic Audio Mistborn Adventure Game For those who pay $8 or more Sixth of the Dusk Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell Perfect State Warbreaker Part 2 - Graphic Audio Elantris Part 2 - Graphic Audio Terris: Wrought of Copper - Mistborn Adventure Game For those who pay $15 or more Snapshot Dreamer The Hope of Elantris - Graphic Audio Warbreaker Part 3 - Graphic Audio Elantris Part 3 - Graphic Audio White Sand volume 1 Alloy of Law - Mistborn Adventure Game All told, if you pay $15 you are getting $174 worth of stuff (that's over 90% off). For reference, just one Part of the Graphic Audio adaptations ordinarily costs $14. It is also important to note that The Emperor's Soul, Legion, and Legion: Skin Deep are not available in regions where Gollancz has exclusive distribution rights (pretty much anywhere that used to be part of the British Empire). Also this Humble Bundle is currently (as far as I can tell) the only place to get the solo ebook release of Dreamer and the Graphic Audio edition of The Hope of Elantris. In other news Amazon.com has a listing up for preorder for a solo hardcover release of Edgedancer. Previously, Edgedancer was going to be exclusive to Arcanum Unbounded for five years but it looks like Tor is amending their contract with Brandon in order to give it an individual release in October 2017. Just in time for a re-read before the release of Oathbringer in November! Nauvoo Games, who are making the Reckoners board game, has also posted some pictures on Twitter, from an event they did last month: I do not know for sure if this is the actual art style they are planning for the game, but I really hope it is. I think it captures the feel of the Reckoners trilogy perfectly. I also love that they used the Superman symbol, presumably as the symbol of the Faithful. Unfortunately however, I doubt that will remain in the actual release due to licensing reasons. Especially since the pendant in Abraham's portrait uses a different design for it. Edit: Since the people over at Nauvoo Games are awesome they just shared on Twitter that there will also be minis included in the game and posted a mock-up of a mini for Abraham!
  15. This post speculates about magic on the Major Shardworlds before the Shattering. I think pre-Shattering magic gives insight into post-Shattering magic. I exclude Scadrial because it didn’t exist pre-Shattering. Based on the following WoB, I believe the planets that became Shardworlds each incorporate “magic aspects to the setting” that allows mortals to “interact with nature.” Pre-Shattering, there were no “people with magic” like Mistborn and Surgebinders who could direct the magic’s effect. Brandon thus confirms that Adonalsium’s Investiture is on every planet except Scadrial. Because this Investiture is “inherent,” it remains on each planet even after the Shattering. I believe Adonalsium’s Investiture is encoded into its planet’s Spiritual DNA, part of its soul just like the planet’s mountains and oceans are. Shards later Invested to change these planets into Major Shardworlds. I theorize they Invested in the part of the planet that I believe already held Adonalsium’s Investiture: Roshar’s highstorms, Taldain’s oceans, Nalthis’ electromagnetic radiation, and Sel’s ground. I discuss each Major Shardworld’s pre-Shattering magic separately below. I think Adonalsium’s pre-existing magic constrained what the Shards could do. The Surgebinding and Fabrial magic systems, for example, are built atop Adonalsium’s pre-existing spren-based magic. IMO, this is what Brandon means when he says that magic systems result from the “interaction” of a Shard with its Shardworld – the Shards adapted their magic systems to their Shardworld as they found it. Adonalsium’s effects permeate the cosmere. I believe we can deduce many of the elements of each Major Shardworld’s pre-Shattering magic by looking at the Shardworld’s current magic and applying a retrograde analysis – what are the Shards’ magic systems built on? ROSHAR – Highstorm-Invested Magic Roshar’s pre-Shattering “interaction with magic” system is spren-based. Khriss describes current Rosharan magic as “an expansion” of pre-Shattering magic (AU, Kindle, p. 535): Stormlight. I believe Adonalsium created and Invested Roshar’s highstorms. When Brandon says the highstorms began as “natural” meteorological events, I think he means Adonalsium’s Investiture of the highstorms is “natural.” Everything Adonalsium created is “natural” – meaning “in its original state.” I think Stormlight began solely as Adonalsium’s Investiture. Though Honor later added his Investiture to the highstorms (IMO), I believe Stormlight continues to hold Adonalsium’s Investiture. The pre-Shattering spren types still appear on Roshar. “Stormlight is essential to the ecosystem of Roshar.” Stormlight “makes plants grow.” Native lifeforms could not exist without Stormlight. Many like the listeners and greatshells change form through spren symbiosis. Stormlight evaporates and disperses quickly. Brandon says that’s by design – part of Roshar’s natural ecosystem. He cites the amount of “free” Investiture on Roshar. Realmic Compression. Because Roshar is “heavily Invested,” Brandon says the Realms “compress” there. Bits of Spiritual Realm Investiture “leak” into the Cognitive Realm as splinters, meaning they become self-aware. These splinters in turn “leak” into the Physical Realm. Eshonai confirms such transformations occur during highstorms, when the listener’s “Rider of Storms” (later the humans’ Stormfather) appears. For this reason, I theorize Realmic compression precedes Honor’s Investiture of the highstorms. Personification. Brandon’s above quote states that “minor spren…like lifespren” can exist on a world like pre-Shattering Roshar. IMO this statement confirms the listeners, the Aimians, and other native sapient beings personified natural phenomena before humans arrived, ascribing their own thoughts and feelings to such elements. Lifespren and other “minor spren” are the result. Thought Becomes Reality. I theorize Realmic compression, personification and the availability of “free Investiture” cause Cognitive Realm splinters to become spren and gain access to the Physical Realm. Jasnah says spren are thought made living reality – “living ideas.” I believe the “touch and design” of this system was already in place when the Shards arrived. TALDAIN – Ocean-Invested Magic I theorize Adonalsium placed his Investiture in Taldain’s oceans. Darkside has magic, but it’s “not nearly as explosive and obvious as the magic on Dayside” where “most of the Investiture [is]…but there is some stuff going on [in Darkside].” We haven’t seen Darkside’s magic, so it’s difficult to speculate about it. Hints of Adonalsium’s Investiture come from an examination of Dayside’s magic. 1. Sand Masters’ dehydrate to perform their magic. I believe their body’s water is Sand Mastery’s Catalyst, the consumed substance that causes Autonomy’s power to Invest the Sand Master. Khriss’ Sand Mastery description IMO confirms this (AU, Taldain Essay, Kindle p. 369): 2. Brandon says, “white sand can be charged in the presence of any Investiture…But it's not really using the magic, it’s just charging it with other Investiture (at [58:20]).” This statement, together with Khriss’, IMO confirms Sand Mastery (the “magic”) configures the sand at the Sand Master’s direction. But “white sand can be charged” with any Investiture, since that part of Sand Mastery is “not really using the magic.” The magic happens when Sand Masters use “the water from their own bodies…to control the sand” – drawing power “directly from the Spiritual Realm.” The pattern of other Major Shardworlds suggests if a Sand Master’s body water is Sand Mastery’s Catalyst, then that water holds Adonalsium’s Investiture. 3. Brandon adds in the cited WoB that “it would be very easy…to use Breath to fuel...Windrunning right? Because the oath and the bond and things like that make it pretty easy.” I interpret this statement to refer to a Returned’s bond with its Divine Breath, like Vasher’s. Each Returned represents a human ideal, like Lightsong “the Brave.” A Returned whose ideal is “Protection” (a Windrunner’s Primary Divine Attribute) might be able to use Breath to Windrun. That’s the “oath” part. I also think Brandon means the bond between a Returned and its Divine Breath and a Windrunner’s Nahel bond are similar. Both bonds allow mortals to process gaseous Investiture like Breath and Stormlight. The SLA Ars Arcana says that the “body focus” for Windrunners is “Inhalation,” though Khriss cautions us not to rely on “body focuses.” 4. Brandon elsewhere says “Roshar is really the easiest place in the cosmere for [Vasher] to consistently get [Breath]. Taldain would not be bad either...” [Emphasis added.] IMO, Vasher could only get “easy” Breath equivalents on Taldain if he could absorb Taldain’s Investiture like he does Breath and Stormlight – through his lungs. That suggests there’s Invested water vapor on Taldain. 5. I theorize Adonalsium Invested Taldain’s oceans. When the sun “beats down” on Dayside, it causes the water, and Adonalsium’s Investiture, to evaporate and enter the atmosphere. From there, the natural Water Cycle (Evaporation-Condensation-Precipitation, etc.) circulates that Investiture through the ecosystem and into human lungs and stomachs. “Certain people” can then use that water to control the lichen’s reactions. NALTHIS – Electromagnetic Radiation-Invested Magic I theorize Nalthis’ electromagnetic radiation holds Adonalsium’s Investiture. Endowment later Invested Nalthis’ electromagnetic spectrum and the precursor to Breath. I believe before Endowment’s Investiture of Nalthis, each Nalthian’s innate Investiture consisted of a single photon attached to their soul, a quantum of electromagnetic radiation. IMO, Endowment’s Investiture added its “life-giving” Mandate to that photon – the “Bio” in “BioChromatic” Breath. 1. Starting point: IMO simple Breath transfer to other people and objects doesn’t need Endowment’s power like Awakening does. Unlike Awakening, which IMO drains the Invested EMR that colored objects absorb, simple Breath transfer is end-neutral. A command and physical contact with the recipient suffices. That suggests the mechanism for Breath transfer pre-exists the Shattering. 2. I believe one Breath equals a quantum of Endowment’s Investiture, its smallest usable fragment. Souls “Heighten” as they accumulate more quanta of Breaths. The Heightenings are a “quantization” of Breaths – a “continuous set of values” (because of Breath variability) turned into a discrete set of values. This suggests a magic system related to quantum physics. 3. A photon is a quantum of light, the smallest usable unit of electromagnetic radiation. I believe Breath is a quantum of Endowment’s Investiture because Endowment Invests a quantum of Adonalsium’s Investiture – the photon attached to each person’s soul. 4. I theorize those photons are responsible for Breath transfer. Physical touching is necessary to close the “circuit” between the transferor and recipient of the Breaths. Breaths are unique among Investitures in that they automatically adjust to the Breath holder’s Identity even if the Breathholder isn’t from Nalthis. I speculate this ability relates to the Invested photon at Breath’s core. Photons are a cosmere-wide phenomenon and (presumably) everywhere the same. Movement of photons from person-to-person appears to be the “ambient magic” underlying Breath transfer. 5. I theorize Endowment Invests the Tears of Edgli, vivifying the flowers’ color, to mark the colored object as a source of Investiture. Color is reflected light, but an object absorbs the unreflected electromagnetic radiation. Draining “color” from an object to Awaken leaves the object looking gray (or white for the God Kings). I believe this happens because the Awakener has drained the object of Investiture. The color resembles the effects of a Shardblade slicing a human limb. IOW, I think Endowment vivified the Tears with saturated color both to mark them as repositories of Investiture and to restrict the reflected EMR (color) to a narrow spectrum. That leaves most of the Invested EMR available as Awakening’s Catalyst. SEL – Ground-Invested Magic I theorize Sel’s location-based magic grows from Adonalsium’s pre-Shattering ground-based magic. Just as Honor later Invested Roshar’s highstorms and Autonomy Invested Taldain’s oceans, I believe Dominion and Devotion later added their Investiture to Sel’s ground to create the one “Dor” magic system. Evidence Text. The main evidence is where the Shards chose to Invest. The Shards created Sel’s “one” magic system by using topographic features as their programmatic forms – features rooted in Sel’s ground. I also point to Raoden’s completion of Aon Rao. As a Reod Elantrian, Raoden couldn’t draw any lasting Aons. Yet he could draw the chasm line to complete this Aon with a stick. I believe the ground contains the Investiture that “catalyzed” Aon Rao, infusing Elantris and Elantrians with the Dor. Otherwise, Raoden could simply have drawn a correctly shaped Aon Rao in the air with the same effect. IMO, the now Dor-infused, “mostly Spiritual” Elantrians can draw other Aons without further catalysis. The ground continues to catalyze Aon Rao, which continues to Dor-infuse Elantris so long as Aon Rao retains its shape. Other textual evidence: Derethi prophesy Jaddeth will awake from his slumber “in the earth.” Uncontrolled Dor caused the chasm explosion. Arelenes use the phrase “Domi below.” Forgery soulstones are rocks. The only better soulstamp material is crystal. Khriss (in AU, “Sel Essay,” Kindle, p 18) says This sounds like the ground is becoming the equivalent of a giant spren. Beware of Mother Sel…. Selish Lifeforms Absorb the Dor. I believe Sel’s ground Investiture acts like the Patji’s Eye ecosystem on First of the Sun. The Eye leaches Investiture into the ground. Patji’s Fingers absorb the Investiture through their root systems. Parasitic worms consume the Investiture in the Fingers’ fruit. Aviar eat the worms…. I think Sel’s ground Investiture likewise leaches into the soil and become part of the food chain. Sel’s lifeforms absorb this Investiture. As Khriss says above, “every being on Sel has some Spiritual connection to the Dor and Investiture.” (Note “being,” not “person.”) IMO Khriss describes the bones of Adonalsium’s “interaction with nature” system, the “magic aspects to [that system’s] setting.” I believe Selish magic users consume the absorbed ground Investiture as the Catalyst for their Magic. Shai uses squid ink for her soulstamps. The Bloodsealer uses Shai’s blood. Dakhor monks transform their bones. As stated, I believe Raoden’s completion of Aon Rao relied on Sel’s ground Investiture, opening the pathway for the Dor to infuse Elantris and Elantrians. Motion. Sel’s magic systems seem to require motion for activation. Sel’s Catalytic” magic systems rely on motion plus strict programmatic forms. Shai and the Bloodsealer twist their Investiture-infused stamps a half-turn to make them “take.” AonDor needs the movement of drawing Aons as much as the strict form itself: an imprecisely drawn Aon still pulls in the Dor, just imprecisely, as we see with Dilaf’s wife. I think Sel’s non-Catalytic systems use only motion: “ChayShan focuses on speeding up the motions and gaining power from them.”
  16. Disclaimer: Everything that will soon follow might be completely wrong, but is still interesting. Do not base the foundation of everything you know upon what follows. This theory/speculation is based off of how Hemalurgy and shardblades affect the Spiritual Realm. Hemalurgy tinkers with sDNA, ripping out pieces and inserting them on other beings. Shardblades cut in the Spiritual Realm as well. So what if you could handle hemalurgic spikes and shardblades like a surgeon's tools? During the Shattering, we know that Adonalsium was broken into 16 shards. Each shard was a fragment of the original being. I am trying to draw a line connecting the Shards and the fragments of sDNA ripped out by Hemalurgy. Steel Inquisitors have additional sDNA added to them by the spikes, but each piece is too insignificant to affect the whole of the Inquisitor, unlike Shards, which are so powerful that they consume the Vessel. So, realizing this similarity, one could suppose that Hemalurgy acts somewhat like the Shattering. But Hemalurgy is directly tied to the Physical Realm as well, because the only thing guiding what portion of the Spiritweb is affected is the location on the victim's body where the spike is placed. Now, I bring in the concept of shardblades. Shardblades cut through the Spiritual Realm, which is why they kill living things they slice. As a blade, a shardblade is naturally more precise than a hammer or other crude instrument. Thus, when attempting to remove a specific piece of sDNA, one would use a shardblade, right? It is more precise and it does the job. However, the severed piece cannot be captured without a spike ready. The follow-up must be instant, not to lose the fragment. Of course, this process would be much easier if done in another realm. Through this process of slicing and spiking, sections of sDNA could be removed without fear of imprecision. Then, these pieces could be applied elsewhere using Hemalurgy. Please note any flaws or missing material.
  17. I had to study, therefore.... I was on the Brandon's Reddit. There I found this cool questions https://www.reddit.com/r/brandonsanderson/comments/5ge20y/brandon_book_signings_dos_and_donts/daukmq5/?context=3 A couple of them are quite interesting about Adonalsium both in his past and his future: EDIT: Personal Note: I don't understand the first RAFO, He told for a while where the original vessels came from. Therefore I think he RAFOed the Worldhopper part
  18. Have we ever gotten a WoB about who else knows about the Shattering besides the 16 original shard holders, Harmony, and Hoid? I know he has said that Khriss is the most knowledgable and that Nazh knows approximately as much as Hoid but does that include the Shattering? I can't see how it would, since I doubt K or N are in contact with a Shard Holder and I doubt Hoid gives that info away. And how much do the natives of Yolen know about the Shattering? I would imagine that the destruction of a god would be a notable event but we have heard nothing from other Yolenites (Yoleners?).
  19. When it comes to Shardic Intents, the choice of mental state has always seemed off to me. Why "Ruin" and not simply "Death"? Why "Devotion" and not simply "Love"? Why have "Autonomy" and "Endowment" at all? But then a thought occurred: What if those were the prevailing thoughts and motivations of the Shardvessels when they took up the power? In this vein: Ati might have seen it as inevitable. Leras might have wanted to preserve the power Rayse might have hated Adonalsium. Bavadin might have wanted to be free of Adonalsium's influence. Skai might have seen Adonalsium as a threat to his control. Aona might have done it for the people she loved. Tanavast, because he thought he was giving Adonalsium an honorable death. It breaks down from here because it's hard to reconcile "Endowment" with "I want to kill a god," and same with Cultivation. (Admittedly, it's easier to think of Cultivation's motivation - "I want to kill Adonalsium so that we can build anew" - we just don't know her Vessel's name. Thoughts?
  20. Please note the following theory will contain spoilers for the sample chapters of "Liar of Partinel". New Theory: Some, or all, of the original sixteen holders of the shards of Adonalsium were driven to Shatter Adonalsium because of Blarg! There are so many tantalizing hints and possibilities in those few sample chapters. If only all of the Cosmere books were done and we could know what happened! Ah well, someday.
  21. I’ve speculated a lot lately about Adonalsium’s Shattering, including Frost and Hoid’s role in it and whether Adonalsium anticipated and planned for it. I want to take this discussion one step further, tying in Iriali mythology and the existence of unique Shardworlds; and exploring whether Adonalsium is actually dead and what was actually “Shattered.” Unlike other of my posts, this one is pure conjecture without any supporting evidence. Is Adonalsium the Iriali “One Who Became Many”? Many posters (most recently Stormgate, who reminded me of Ym) have pointed out the similarity between Ym’s description of the “One” and Adonalsium’s Shattering: “Long ago, there was only One. One knew everything, but had experienced nothing. And so, One became many—us, people. The One, who is both male and female, did so to experience all things...Eventually, all will be gathered back in—when the Seventh Land is attained—and we will once again become One.” [WoR Interlude I-2.] “People” already existed when the Shattering occurred. Rather than a reference to the Shattering, we could interpret Ym’s statement as the reason why Adonalsium created the Cosmere’s Physical Realm in the first place: “One knew everything, but had experienced nothing.” Adonalsium converted part of his own soul into the Physical Realm to gain such experience, at least in Iriali mythology. And his conclusion sounds like the end result of a dynamic system that has wound its way down, reverting to its original Spiritual Realm state. But Ym’s statement is also a fair metaphor for the Shattering and a clue to what might have been Adonalsium’s “plan.” Brandon does love foreshadowing. Perhaps Adonalsium had become “bored” with the universe he created. He may have felt his “wholeness” diminished his creative capacity. He needed to “shake things up” to get past his “writer’s block.” Maybe he not only knew in advance but actually engineered or permitted the conspiracy that Shattered him. Did Adonalsium Have “Perfect” Foresight? Could Adonalsium have engineered events even if he wanted to? Unlike the Shards, whose ability to see the future in many cases is limited by their mandate (intent), Adonalsium should be omniscient. Omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence are the three characteristics of God in monotheistic religions – “all-knowing” about the past, present and future; present everywhere; and all-powerful. Brandon has said the Shards, in comparison, are like Greek gods – mortals who have ascended to hold great (but limited) power and who remain subject to their mortal foibles. If Adonalsium is like “God” and not a “god,” he should have perfect foresight. But Brandon has also said that “future sight” in the Cosmere is based on quantum mechanics probability principles, rather than the “deterministic” mechanisms proposed by his influences Baruch Spinoza and Isaac Asimov (in The Foundation Trilogy). The M:SH plot demonstrates Brandon’s approach. It is unclear why Adonalsium should have greater foresight than the most far-seeing of the Shards: presumably Cultivation, Odium or Preservation (of the ones we’ve seen). Maybe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but this at least raises a question about the infallibility of Adonalsium’s future sight. Foreseeing the Shattering and its results may not have been easy even for Adonalsium. At best he could hope to see the “main line” of probabilities and place his bets accordingly. That’s partly why Hoid is such an interesting character. He is the “wild piece,” the joker, the chance element anticipated by the Diagram (WoR Chapter 85 Epigraph.) How much Hoid helps or hinders Adonalsium’s plan should continue to be fun to follow. Did Adonalsium Create the Future Shardworlds for More Varied Magic Systems? Assume that Adonalsium did intend the Shattering as a way to spread new and different forms of himself around the Cosmere, and assume further he had the foresight to set up this possibility. The future Shardworlds he created would by his design then be different from one another. Adonalsium would WANT new and unique magic systems from the interaction of his Shards and the Shardworlds. Forum speculations about different planetary “essences” and “foci” may simply be a reflection of his plan. To “experience all things,” he would further want his magic to be passed down to “us, people.” This may be the reason investiture wants to be used. Through “cracks in the soul,” genetic manipulation and the gift of Shards, investiture seeks out and enters the SpiritWebs of sentient life. People become magicians, creating greater magical diversity across a wide swath of the Cosmere. Magical entropy in action! Is Adonalsium Dead? As pointed out by Pagerunner below, Adonalsium is “undeniably and reliably dead.” [“Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead,” The Wizard of Oz.] Pagerunner reminds us that “death doesn't always mean the end of the story, in the Cosmere.” Leras tells Kelsier in M:SH that the more heavily invested a person is, the longer it takes for them to “die.” Brandon has also said killing a Shard takes a very long time – how much longer would it take for Adonalsium himself to die? It’s hard to imagine the Vessels waiting around for their allocated share of power. If the power were already leaking away, like Ruin and Preservation’s power when Sazed held out his hands, why would it have divided itself equally among them? I’ve suggested elsewhere that Shard mandates (intents) came about because of the psychological make-up of each Vessel – the power entered each Vessel based on the Vessel’s individual Connection to that aspect of Adonalsium. But it wouldn’t have entered them in equal shares unless the Vessels took some action to ensure power equality. Which brings me to the next question… What Was Actually “Shattered”? Hamilcar in an interesting post opined that Adonalsium was the “god metal” of the God named “Adonai.” (I suppose the God could have been named “Adonals,” but whatever…) IOW, Adonalsium was the Physical Realm “power” of the God, just as Lerasium and Atium were the Physical Realm power of Leras and Ati, respectively. If so, that would explain what “Shattered” at the Shattering. Ironically, I suggested something like this in a parody about the Shattering I posted last summer – the Vessels were conducting an autopsy on a dragon named Adonalsium and accidently dropped his gemheart, shattering it. (Young Frankenstein, anyone?) Simply killing Adonalsium would not have “Shattered” his power, if Leras is precedent. Maybe that’s why Khriss in M:SH described the event in the conjunctive: the Vessels “killed Adonalsium, ripping it apart and dividing its essence between them…” First the Vessels killed him by ripping him apart and THEN divided his essence among them – by Shattering his power. This does sound like Adonalsium had a gemheart or something similar, doesn’t it? Maybe the “weapon” (for the Shattering, at least) was a simple pickaxe aimed at the precise spot to create sixteen equal parts? Or maybe the entire gemheart (or whatever) was crushed into tiny bits and equal portions assigned to each Vessel by weight. The pickaxe and other equipment they used became dulled by usage – “expended” and “changed.” (I am being fanciful here – partly…) Stormgate compared the assassination itself to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (“E tu, Cephandrius?”) (Unfortunately, he posted on March 11 – he should have waited four more days until the Ides of March.) As The Invested Beard said in response, “Leras does have a very odd relationship with that bone handled knife of his...” Made of aluminum maybe? Khriss, of course, may be misinformed about these events. It’s clear from her conversation with Kelsier that she herself has never spoken with a Shard. We don’t know how she acquired her information about the assassination or the Shattering. Maybe Hoid or Frost told her. The other question is how the Shards could have obtained access to the powers of creation simply by dividing Adonalsium’s “essence” among them. Yolen isn’t Scadrial, where an Allomancer could metabolize the ingested bits of “essence.” Or maybe they somehow could – something more for us to think about. The important point, however, is that killing Adonalsium and dividing his “power” doesn’t necessarily destroy all of his spirit (which permeates everything). Adonalsium could also have squirreled away a bit of his consciousness too, stored in advance in some remote corner of the Cosmere. Adonalsium did leave splinters on Roshar, after all. Is that why Honor and Cultivation went there, to “bind” and “regrow” Adonalsium? Is that why Odium followed them, to make sure they couldn’t interfere with his plan to be Last Shard Standing? One final thought on this subject: if Adonalsium’s essence was powdered into equal portions for the Vessels to consume, maybe they left over a tiny unseen grain. Maybe a bystander viewing these events might have noticed it and, after the Shards departed, picked up the tiny grain and swallowed it. Hoid maybe, the “smoke” to Adonalsium’s “flame”? That would explain quite a bit… How Do You Remake God? The Iriali myth contemplates a time when “we will once again become One.” Many Forum posters see this as referring to Adonalsium’s reconstruction. The shoal their theory crashes on is lack of a reconstruction mechanism: how can this happen? The answer I believe is “mandate-meshing”: Moogle’s excellent theory entitled “Intent Meshing: How Magic Systems Arise” That theory states that the mandates (intents) of different Shards can join together to create new magic systems. More fundamentally, the theory predicts that Shard mandates can merge into one another to create altogether new investiture. We know this happens on Roshar – Radiantspren are mixtures of Honor’s and Cultivation’s investiture, each of which can do things that pure Honor or pure Cultivation investiture cannot do on their own. What happens, then, if you “mesh” ALL Shard mandates together? Theoretically, the investiture should LOSE all mandates, becoming pure unfiltered Adonalsium investiture. As it was, so shall it be… This may be Hoid’s goal or the goal of or one or more of the “secret societies” lurking in the Cosmere. We suspect from Sixth of the Dusk that the people seeking to exploit the magic of First of the Sun come from Scadrial after they discover space travel. Perhaps they visit a minor Shardworld because the magic there presumably came from Adonalsium directly. No Shard (as far as we know) invested in minor Shardworlds. This magic can act as a “seed” with which to catalyze the Adonalsium-reconstruction process. Again, did Adonalsium anticipate this? Conclusion Conjecture piled on conjecture. I hope you find it entertaining during these between-book doldrums. Regards all! Postscript: I remain unfamiliar with a lot of internet protocol. When I went to college, electric typewriters were novel and expensive and personal computers had not yet been invented. I don’t know what gives cause for down-votes. I’ve assumed that if you don’t like what I post, you’ll just ignore it unless I make a personal nasty comment about someone. But this post (and another recent post) were each down-voted for some reason. Could someone explain why? I don’t want to cross any lines I’m unaware of. I look at the 17th Shard Forums as a place where we can talk about each other’s positions and find “truth” somewhere in the middle. Am I missing something?
  22. The two “Letters” between Hoid and Frost raise questions about the nature of Frost’s participation in the conspiracy that Shattered Adonalsium. Frost clearly had some role in the Shattering: “Is not the destruction we have wrought enough?” “Our interference so far has brought nothing but pain.” “[Rayse] is what we made him to be, old friend.” Brandon has strongly suggested but never confirmed that Frost is not a Vessel for a Shard. Unless there’s something peculiar about dragons, becoming a Shard’s Vessel should have vaporized his body. Yet he’s still an “old reptile.” WoB (# 124) also says that Frost is “functionally” immortal “meaning he doesn’t age but can be killed.” This phrasing suggests that Frost lacks the degree of self-healing capacity that Hoid himself has: Hoid can grow a new head if he were beheaded and is very difficult to kill (WoB). But the First Letter states “as you are now essentially immortal, I would guess that wellness on your part is something of a given.” This suggests that Frost “now” has sufficient self-healing capacity to be illness-free if not violence free. This new capacity seems to have arisen in connection with the Shattering. My speculation: 1. Because Frost and Hoid are the two oldest Cosmere characters – and presumably had the greatest knowledge of Adonalsium – they knew things the sixteen Vessels didn’t know. I speculate that they advised the sixteen HOW to Shatter Adonalsium. Maybe they designed the “weapon” that killed him. Neither wanted to become a Vessel himself. 2. Rayse and Bavadin may have persuaded Hoid to help, who then sought out Frost. That would explain why Hoid is so angry at them, “perpetuating [his] grudge” against them. Hoid may feel they betrayed him, especially after Rayse killed Skai and Aona. (And Tanavast “bought drinks” for Hoid once…one of my favorite lines in SLA.) 3. Frost OTOH seems to feel guilt over his participation more than anything else. Now he languishes on Yolen, bound by his nonintervention oath. 4. It’s possible the “price” the Vessels paid Frost for his help was his “functional” immortality. Perhaps that’s also how Hoid acquired his spectacular Feruchemical ability, as his price. These would have been "paid" after the conspirators ascended. 5. I suspect Frost’s involvement with the Seventeenth Shard is simply as a provider of information. Once Khriss discovered him (and maybe Yolen), he filled in her historical knowledge. I doubt he’s an active member, though he appears in ongoing communication with them (or at least Hoid thinks so). Rank speculation is so much fun! Thoughts?
  23. I previously theorized that Adonalsium’s Shattering caused the powers of creation to “choose” the Shard each Vessel became based on the Vessel’s dominant psychological trait. Our new understanding of Connections IMO confirms the theory: the power chose the Shard based on each Vessel’s Connection with that aspect of Adonalsium. Evidence: 1. The biggest objection to my initial theory was Ati. How could such a “kind and generous man” have become Ruin the Destroyer? But Preservation tells Kelsier in M:SH that "Everything passes, nothing is eternal. That is what Ati always claimed... [emphasis added]” Preservation here refers to Ati, not Ruin. That suggests that Ati always had an affinity for Ruin, even before his ascension, as a matter of deep-seated personal belief. He was Connected to Ruin despite his personality. 2. Brandon says that different Vessels would have had different mandates (intents). That suggests the mandates were based on something personal to each Vessel. 3. Kelsier had difficulties holding Preservation because he was so Connected to Ruin. As a “destroyer,” Kelsier has few equals: see you later, TFE… I use the word “mandate” instead of “intent” because that’s the word Sazed himself uses. In HoA, Sazed describes the mists as acting with a "vague will of their own tied to the mandate of their abilities" (HoA, Chapter 79, emphasis added.) I think that’s what we mean when we talk about a Shard’s “intent,” a word coined by Chaos in an excellent post some years ago. I prefer the textual word. Does this sound right?
  24. This is probably more appropriate for the Cosmere Theories board, but because I am relying on Secret Histories information, let's keep it here for the time being. So, I have a thought and a question. * We know that taking up a Shard required Connection to the Shard. * We now can parse, from Khriss's comment about the Shattering, and a very recent WoB stating that Adonalsium was Shattered because the Holder was killed, that the actual moment of Shattering probably looked very close to the "inverse" of the scene of Sazed's Ascension. In the latter case, Sazed was alone and there were two power sources which he, having Connection to both, was able to take up. * In the former case, I suspect that a similar progression occured: after being killed, Adonalsium Holder dropped a body; 16 people should have been *in the direct proximity* of the drop, they would have done the same thing Sazed did: stepped in and attempted to take up the power. As each of them had Connection to a specific aspect/Intent of the Power, they took that Intent and became a Shard. This begs the question: if a Shardholder (like Leras or Ati) dies, drops a body and TWO PEOPLE attempt to take up the power, will the Shard be split into "SubShards" with different "SubIntents"? Or, in general, what would happen? As an example: can I train two people to be (a) very active and be ( passively-aggressively hateful, kill Odium (heh!), and have Person (a) become Wrath and Person ( become Passive Aggression. (these are all examples - I actually do not know what Odium is made out of)?
  25. “(You’ve Got) Personality” – Harold Logan and Lloyd Price Summary At or after the Shattering, Adonalsium’s Powers of Creation (the “Powers”) attached themselves to the sixteen Shards in equal and identical pieces. At the time of their attachment, these Powers lacked “thoughts and personalities” but already had what Sazed/Harmony calls the “mandate of [a Shard’s] abilities” (what we’ve been calling “intent.”) These “mandates” (intents) came from Adonalsium. BUT – the distribution of powers upon the Shattering wasn’t random. Like RadiantSpren, the Shattered powers sought cognitively “like-minded” hosts. Each mandated power could be taken only by a Shard whose “mind” could direct that power. Power needs to be matched with a mind that can wield it. Over time, the dominant drive of that Shard – the reason the power chose it in the first place – came to squeeze out all other feelings and drives. Ati became Ruin. That dominant drive arose in each Shard’s unconscious, built into their SpiritWeb. (Forbidden Planet, anyone?) Argument and Analysis WoB mentions that Adonalsium had an “enemy” who had developed a “weapon.” Brandon’s words, as usual, are so vague that they could refer to anyone or anything. So I won’t here speculate on HOW or WHY the Shattering occurred. Brandon has stated the Shattering happened about 10,000 years ago, but this estimate is non-canonical. Facts we DON’T know include whether the “people” who became the Shards (i) planned and executed the Shattering or were simply bystanders; and (ii) intended to acquire the Powers themselves. Brandon calls the entities who became Shards “people” to obscure whether they were all human. (WoB, Question #25.) The best we can say is that these “people” were likely the closest sapient beings with the right “temperaments” when Adonalsium’s Shattered Powers went looking for new hosts. Even that is uncertain. We also don’t know WHY the Powers Shattered into sixteen equal parts. We DO know from Brandon that the Power of each Shard began as equal. From this fact, I induce that the MIX of Powers exercisable by each Shard was (and is) identical, including equal amounts of each of the ten Powers we are aware of. Adonalsium Shattered vertically, along the fault lines of the mandates (intents), not horizontally across the spectrum of Powers. That is not necessarily a sound mathematical conclusion. But it best establishes a thematic story line – that the only difference among Shards (at least at the beginning) is how each Shard expresses its Powers through its mandate (intent). We also have the evidence this quote from Sazed/Harmony provides: “These two minds [Ruin and Preservation] were, of course, independent of the raw force of their powers. Actually, I am uncertain of how thoughts and personalities came to be attached to the powers in the first place – but I believe they were not there originally. For both powers could be detached from the minds that ruled them.” HoA, Epigraph to Chapter 55 (emphasis added). This quote is important because it is the one of the few bits of textual information we have about the Shattering in all the Cosmere novels. It is especially important because the information COMES FROM A SHARD itself (as do all of the HoA epigraphs). Sazed/Harmony may not have been a percipient witness to the Shattering, but he inherited the memories of two such witnesses, Ati and Leras. As his Consciousness became fully invested, I’m sure he learned all about the Shattering. But at the early stage of his Ascension when he made his Epigraph observations, his knowledge, while valuable, was incomplete and speculative. Thus, we have questions… Question 1: What does Sazed mean with his phrase “thoughts and personalities”? Is this the same thing as “the minds that ruled” the Powers? I think “thoughts and personalities” means something different from “the minds that ruled” the Powers. Power itself could be cut off from Conscious control and yet mindlessly function in accordance with “a vague will of its own, tied to the mandate of its abilities.” That is what happened with the mists: “[Preservation had] given up most of his consciousness to form Ruin's prison, and the mists had to be left to work as best they could without specific direction.” HoA, Epigraph to Chapter 81 (emphasis added). “The power needed a consciousness to direct it. In this matter, I am still rather confused. Why would power used to create and destroy need a mind to oversee it? And yet, it seems to have only a vague will of its own, tied in to the mandate of its abilities. Without a consciousness to direct it, nothing could actually be created or destroyed… That makes me wonder who or what the minds of Preservation and Ruin were.” HoA, Epigraph to Chapter 79 (emphasis added). I believe the “mandate of its abilities” refers to what we call “intent,” here Preservation and Ruin. These quotes make clear that the “mandate of [a Shard’s] abilities” was NOT the Shard’s “Consciousness,” since Sazed/Harmony distinguishes between this “vague will” and the Shard’s Consciousness that could direct the power. Question 2: Are “thoughts and personalities” necessary to the Powers? BEFORE the Shards’ minds “ruled” the Powers, Adonalsium’s “mind” did. And his/her/its mind did NOT have “thoughts and [a] personalit[y]” according to Sazed/Harmony. These were “not there originally,” as the first quote above makes clear. To restate my conclusion from this post, “Thoughts and personalities” are unnecessary to the exercise of the powers. Cognitively, power exercise requires only direction, not consideration or introspection. Whatever Adonalsium was had no personality. Perhaps it wasn’t ever human or even sentient (e.g., a computer-driven power)? If he/she/it did have a personality, it was so perfectly balanced as to have no discernible features.” Question 3: Where did the Shards’ “thoughts and personalities” come from? Well…if the Power didn’t initially have a personality until it attached itself to the Shards, then it must have picked up personality from the Shards themselves. This is consistent with Brandon’s comment that a Shard’s personality “’filters’” the exercise of its mandate (intent). Conclusion and Preview In a later post, I hope to detail how each Shard’s mandate affects its expression of the Powers. Here’s an early preview about Devotion (Aona) and Dominion (Skai): “Dominion and Devotion established a symbiotic relationship. Dominion created each local Selian form necessary to access investiture – the means to control that investiture. But it was Devotion’s investiture that Dominion controlled – Dominion took what Devotion willingly and selflessly gave. Example: AonDor. The Aon provides the land-based access/command mechanism (from Dominion) and the Dor is the investiture used to execute the Aon’s command (from Devotion). (Is “Dor” short for “adore”?) [And, yes, I know the Dor is purportedly a mix of the two splintered Shards. This is an early draft…] That’s it for now. As always, thanks!