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Simple theory, but profound historical Rosharan implications. The girl who looked up tells the story of a girl who climbed a wall forbidden wall only to find on the other side that she was the monster all along. On the other side they also had Stormlight, and Storms. After she climbed her people experienced these things as well. (Ostensibly). Meanwhile, we have some interesting facts. Shinovar is behind a giant wall of mountains. The storms have no power there. There are few (or no?) Spren. There may not be any Stormlight (unconfirmed). Shinovar has a typical ‘human’, Yolish environment, whereas the rest of Roshar is profoundly alien. The Shin religion holds walking on stone to be profane, meaning religious shin can never leave their valley. The Shin also see using Stormlight as illumination to be profoundly disturbing, implying it’s too holy to use like that and that they don’t have/use Stormlight. Meanwhile, the Listeners were the native rulers of Roshar, who have since been delegated to a slave species. THEORYTIME: The stone shamans prohibition against walking on stone wasn’t originally strictly religious; it was part of a deal, a treaty. Humans settled on Roshar in the Shinovar valley, likely with shardic or other magical help (dawnsingers?), but either way some serious terraforming was done to create a ‘wall’ and to give the valley soil. A deal was made with the Listeners (possibly by the humans, possibly by the shard or dawnsingers that helped set up Shinovar) that the Humans wouldn’t cross over the wall; that it would be illegal for them to walk on the bare rock or Roshar. Thus the humans (likely refugees?) were able to settle an enclave of Roshar in peace. Generations pass, and reasons may have been forgotten (or simply prohibitions and restrictions ignored). It’s possible too that new humans came to the valley of truth or any number of things. But what happened was that someone climbed the wall, and broke the treaty. After that, or as part of that, more humans came over the wall from Shinovar and began to colonize Roshar. Were they adventurers and colonists? Were they refugees fleeing ethnic discrimination by the Shin? Were they ‘truthless’, banished from the valley? Or did they just want new lands to settle? Either way, significant populations of humans crossed the mountains and began to spread throughout Roshar, stealing the fire from the gods and opening Pandora’s box, all at once. This began the millennia long struggle between Humans and Listeners (although it may have had long stretches of peace, commingling and cooperation - see the herdazians and horneaters). Likely, it is the human/listener tensions that Odium was attracted to/fanned into the flames of war and hatred, leading to the cycle of desolations where Odium would infiltrate both sides and seed them with voidbringers. Eventually, the Listeners being more naturally susceptible to Spren bonds and having more righteous anger against the humans were suborned en masse by Odium. (Alethi and Iriali are both ethnically interesting with their hair - likely they arrived on Roshar later). Tl;dr - Stone shamanism is a memory of early humanities treaties with the Listeners, and The Girl Who Looked Up is about those treaties starting to fall apart/early human forays from the valley of Truth.
kaellok posted a topic in Stormlight ArchiveHypothesis: The Shin worship Odium in the same way that much of Roshar worships Honor through the auspices of Vorinism. Looking at things through this lens allows for some very intriguing and entertaining possibilities. There is very little evidence to directly support or refute the idea, and so it remains mere speculation. But the more I think about it, the more sure I am that something very, very odd is going on there. With Stones Unhallowed likely to explore that a lot more, guessing what may come is a fun game for me. I started this thread in a sleep-deprived frenzy, and am slowly getting it cleaned. Also, this is a ridiculously massive wall of text, and so I'm using spoiler tags to hide it. There are also several sub-theories that I'm developing based off of this thought that are included, which contribute to the size. Edit: Heavy edits to introduction and point 1. Supporting reasons! Problems with the idea! Thoughts? Comments? Responses? I have edited some points, in order to rectify mistakes and confusions! Thank you all who have posted so far! Keep posting. I know this is a bit ridiculous, but I find myself enjoying this idea more and more as time goes by, even if I don't think it's actually true. Adding spoiler tags just to hide some of the post and make it less likely to accidentally give someone a coma when they run into it.
On page 944 of WoK there is a drawing of a man raising a sword, and "shining". He is barely dressed, and in surrounded by people all dressed alike and all but one of them saluting with the LEFT hand. Questions: 1. Is this a radiant ascending or a Truthless getting an Honorblade? 2. Are these ardents bowing, or Stone Shamans granting the sword. 3. What is the lefthanded salute about and why is one only holding two hands together? Any good ideas?
Szeth said that if he were to die the Stone Shamans would come to collect his blade from whoever killed him. How would they know? Clearly they are always watching Szeth, which begs the question of how? Do they have a web of spies or does one of the surges granted by the honorblades give the ability of far-sight? Or maybe this is a power entirely separate that the stone shamans employ. Either way, I would guess they are aware that Szeth lost his blade, and possibly that he is coming for them.