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So, AonDor functions, on an essential level, by creating a gateway (Aon) through which the Dor (trapped in the cognitive realm) may pass into the physical realm. The Dor, is a result of the splintered remains of devotion and dominion being crammed into the cognitive realm. So, if one were to ascend and somehow reforge the splintered remains of the two shards, what impact would this have on AonDor and the other magic systems on Sel? Would it still be capable of functioning in at all the same way? If there is no Dor to be channelled, then what's the point in AonDor? Would the ascended vessel be able to provide a fuel source for AonDor? Or would the magics of Sel simply revert to their more primal form before the splintering of the shards? If this is the case, what would happen to Elantris and the Elantrians? Or the Dakhor monks? Etc. Well, thanks in advance for your input.
Hey all. So this is a quick speculation thread based on some stuff I was thinking about in the shower after re-reading Elantris and some WoBs about nicrosil. The way interplay between all these different forms of Investiture is hinted at is fascinating. I've been a casual poster here for a while, but this is my first foray into actual speculation. If what I'm saying has any spoilers in it (I don't think it does, but I could be wrong), feel free to mark it as such. Also, I'm not really up-to-date on the latest Realmantic lingo, so bear with me. Anyway, as far as I'm aware, Feruchemical Nicrosil stores Investiture. In terms of Scadrial magic systems, this usually means storing the Investiture an Allomancer or Feruchemist uses to fuel their other abilities, with the ability to tap it at a greater rate to get more of that power over a shorter duration. However, we know from various WoBs that a nicrosilmind can stor other forms of Investiture from other worlds, including Divine Breaths from Nalthis or the ability to use the Surges of the Knights Radiant (whether this refers to storing the Nahel bond or Stormlight is unclear). We also know that in Selish magics, the Dor is heavily linked to location, because of the Dor being essentially the shattered corpses of two gods dumped in the Cognitive Realm by Odium. This means there is a sharp drop-off in the power of Selish magics the farther they get away from their particular region-- most notably in AonDor and Forgery, with the Dakhor monks being a little better at this, for currently-unknown reasons. So my hypothetical is this: Let's say I have nicrosilmind--whether I'm an actual Soulbearer or just using an unsealed nicrosilmind is an irrelevant distinction at this stage. If I were on Sel, could I store Investiture from the Dor in my nicrosilmind and take it with me, to fuel Selish magic with it? If I were an Elantrian or Dakhor monk on another world, could I tap that nicrosilmind to increase the power of my Aons/Bone-twisties to the level they would be closer to home? A sort of Dor-battery or Dor-transformer? Or is there something I'm missing in my analysis. Be gentle.
You know, I think we kind of take it for granted how much we know about the cosmere. I remember not so long ago that Sel and Elantris was a complete mystery. We all argued over what Aona's Shard was, mostly to no avail. We had no idea about how the Shaod happened, and virtually no clue to how the Dor worked. These two mysteries have made theorizing about Sel pretty hard, to say the least. With the knowledge of Aona's Shard being Devotion, the theory that people who are particularly devoted to something get taken by the Shaod makes perfect sense, and matches with the Principle of Intent. Though a new mystery arose with Forgery and Bloodsealing: why are Selish magics so region locked, and what's so important about the land? Well, Kerry has pretty much answered this here: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/3363-devotion-dominion-and-magic-on-sel/ So really, the prime theoretical difficulty with Sel is the Dor. That's what this theory will hope to explain. Sel is very unique in its magic. Scadrial makes sense having three distinct magic systems, but Sel is way different, despite having just two powers. Even discounting the fact that there are way more than three magics on Sel, they are odd: they all channel the Dor, not Devotion or Dominion independently. They all focus the same power. And that's very bizarre, considering Scadrial's magics. Why does the Dor appear to act some homogenous thing? Any way you slice and dice it, it's odd. Is the Dor Devotion's power? No, because the Dakhor magic isn't really accessed in a way in line with Devotion--it really feels a lot more Dominion-like. Dakhor channels the Dor just as AonDor and Forgery do. So, clearly the Dor is some bizarre combination of Devotion and Dominion, for some reason. And no one has (to my knowledge) really given a complete treatise on why that might be. Any reasoning on the Dor's nature would need to explain how it is related to both Devotion and Dominion, and why it is this homogenous entity. It's certainly homogenous enough that Brandon has no qualms saying that virtually every Selish magic channels the Dor. First of all, I'm kind of assuming you've already read the Letter, which says Devotion and Dominion have Splintered. Additionally, much of the power left there is not under anything's control: Why does Brandon say "much" of the power on Sel? Well, the Seons and Skaze are related to Splinters, so those are the things controlling part of the power. But the rest? Presumably the Dor. So what is the Dor? The answer, I believe, comes straight from this quote: This blew me away. But, considering how important I find a Shard's intent, it's not exactly surprising that a way of altering the Shards is really fascinating to me. There's a discussion on this particular quote over here, and Windrunner and Senor Feesh suggested that this may have happened to Devotion and Dominion--that they are intermingled as well. If you'll allow me, I'd like to name this "intermingling" effect as convergence, as something this important--Shards beginning to merge--certainly would warrant an in-world term, I think. It also has a nice parallel with "conflux," which is what Brandon named a book that has to do with multiple worlds in a very direct fashion (instead of in the background, as things are now in the books). So, Ruin and Preservation are currently converging. This is because a common mind is holding them. I propose that Devotion and Dominion are also converging as well. But, the obvious question next is, why the heck would they be converging? Presumably, Sazed holding both Ruin and Preservation--one mind holding two powers--imposes some Cognitive change on the Shards. In the Realmatic terms like Shai, they are like two bricks in a wall, and they begin to think of themselves as a wall, not two separate bricks. This is, I think, the most intuitive way to explain Ruin and Preservation converging: the powers themselves are beginning to think of themselves as part of a greater whole, thus intermingling them to be considered Harmony. I would only assume that the longer Sazed holds these two power, the more Ruin and Preservation will see themselves as Harmony instead, perhaps eventually literally becoming one Shard permanently. As of now, they can still be split, so that indicates to me that this process definitely hasn't finished yet. Though, I suppose you could say that even a Shard isn't permanent, as Odium certainly Splintered Devotion and Dominion. The exact specifics on Ruin and Preservation's convergence to Harmony is certainly worth discussing, but let's switch back to Devotion and Dominion. Obviously whatever happened with Sazed didn't at all happen with Devotion and Dominion; no common mind holds them both. In fact, they are both more broken than ever. But that may be exactly the key. Whereas Ruin and Preservation in the order that Sazed's control of them imposes, Devotion and Dominion and both similar in that they are both without holders and pretty broken. I propose that this also makes Devotion and Dominion converge, and this combined power is exactly what the Dor is. Think of two vases, one white, and one black--Devotion and Dominion. Now throw them on the ground, so hard that they break into tiny pieces. Collect that pile, mix them up, and zoom out. If the pieces are small enough, the pile no longer looks like black or white; it looks grey instead. When two things are broken, they can combine in new ways, like two liquids forming a completely new mixture. Now I imagine this is a little different in Devotion and Dominion's case, as their pieces would be still tied to their respective intent, but I think eventually, this dramatic change from Odium Splintering them would mean that the leftover fragments would see themselves as a part of a new whole. After all, they both aren't being held, and are both broken. I think this makes a lot of sense as for why the Dor is the way that it is. (Now, you may wonder why I didn't use the word "Splinter" to describe these pieces of Devotion and Dominion, considering Odium Splintered them. Well, we know the Aons at the heart of the Seons are Splinters, and to no one's surprise Brandon hinted that Skaze are similar: The Seons and Skaze--presumably Devotion and Dominion's Splinters--are not enough of a release valve. So this means that there is a lot of power that isn't under anything's control. Duh, since there was no indication the Dor acted any other way. In lieu of a cosmere term to call the pieces of Devotion and Dominion's power, that's why I stayed with vague words like "fragments." We just can't really say they are Splinters, or anything about them.) I totally understand if the analogy I made isn't particularly compelling, but it certainly matches with our conception with the Dor being a unified, mindless whole. It fits with those quotes above. But, maybe you want a little more persuading, so let's talk about some consequences of Devotion and Dominion's convergence, especially on magic. Before Devotion and Dominion's Splintering, magic worked differently on Sel (though I can't find that quote right now). It isn't a big leap to say that perhaps the regionalizing of Selish magic happened due to the Splintering of the Shard. Maybe before the Splintering, there were three magics on Sel, like Scadrial. Kerry's theory about Identity, people have an Identity tied their nationality, culture, and heritage. Her theory basically explains in how magic can be tied to the land, and how it lines up with Devotion and Dominion's intents. But why might have Devotion and Dominion's Splintering even had this effect of tying the magic to the land? Well, Allomancy requires a connection to Preservation, and on a less magical level, people that are freaking ruinous would use Hemalurgy. Perhaps, due to Devotion and Dominion's Splintering and this convergence, people can't use magic with a connection to Devotion or Dominion directly, because they don't exist in the same way. Instead, the "largest" thing that people have a connection or Identity to--instead these all-powerful Shards--is their culture and nationality. People with a strong Devotion or Dominion with that, as Kerry's theory suggests, would now be able to use magic. It's all because Devotion and Dominion are Splintered, and their power doesn't have as strong of identity, so it is shaped by the identity of manmade, regional borders. If anything, the Reod and the Chasm teaches us that these magics are actually very fluid. Aons that worked a thousand years ago may need to be refined. Perhaps as regions and countries change, or as ethnicities converge (see what I did there?) entirely different magics can form. Now, I'll admit, I'm not entirely sure if each regional magic is of Devotion or Dominion explicitly. After all, that's been the standing assumption with AonDor: it's of Devotion, not Dominion, and likewise Dakhor is of Dominion, not Devotion. But, it's a lot harder with ChayShan, Forgery, and Bloodsealing to decide. I am leaning to the idea that each magic can be in line with any sort of combination of Devotion and Dominion. Kerry connects all regional magics with both Devotion and Dominion, so I don't find this hard to believe. So, maybe presently on Sel, a magic is a certain percentage Devotion and Dominion. Unlike Scadrial where magics are 100% Preservation, 100% Ruin, or a 50/50 split, on Sel you could have 73%/27%. Who knows. It's entirely possible that we think of AonDor and Dakhor as Devotion and Dominion-heavy magics because the Seons and Skaze, which are related to Splinters of Devotion and Dominion, exist in these two regions, and so tilt the region's balance toward one Shard or the other. In fact, though I totally riffed that just now, it seems to make sense with the Identity idea. A region's Identity would be related to a ton of different factors, and maybe the nature of a given culture tilts the way a region's magic accesses Devotion and Dominion. Here's an interesting quote on that note: So it's the exact nature of the Dor which makes it regionalized. I don't think the Dor has an intent, like Harmony does. The Dor is a product of chaos and brokenness. When something changes in the Physical and Cognitive, this can have a reflection in the Dor, so these distinct cultural Identities have an effect on the Dor. What do you think? Admittedly, while this works really well for Sel, I'm not sure what is different on Roshar, which despite having Honor Splintered, has a non-regionalized magic in Surgebinding. It could just be that the nature of Honor and Cultivation don't result in regionalization. But, it would explain how some spren are of Honor and Cultivation. It's hard to say at this point, and while there can be more to this than I'm catching here, it seems very theoretically solid for Sel.