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I think that Vax is somehow connected to the Ire and is possibly a Shard Vessel. Here is my reasoning: Vax is only mentioned in Elantris and Mistborn Secret History. Both feature Elantrians extensively Vax's name alone doesn't provide much information by itself, but we know that Brandon seems to provide some clues using anagrams (Adonalsium = "a mind, a soul"). What's the anagram of “Vax Ire”? Xavier Now, the name Xavier is an interesting one. I didn't exist before the 16th century and originated with Francis Xavier, who was a missionary in Japan and China. Brandon was an LDS missionary in Korea and Far East cultures were one of the inspirations for Selish magic systems The name Xavier also comes from Basque language and means either “castle” or “new house”. The Ire have a fortress in the Cognitive Realm, which serves as their new home after they left Sel Vax is heavily suggested to be a place, but it's not confirmed (WoB) and I don't think it makes much sense. The Ire probably have fortresses all over Cognitive Realm and that hardly deserves a separate name I believe Vax could be the name of an Ire Shard Vessel. According to this WoB, the Ire expected their orb to work and it was not a test. It is possible then that they have already tried that before and on of the Ire Ascended. We know that there is a Shard not held by original Vessel that isn't Harmony (WoB) and a Shard that's not on a planet that isn't Ambition (WoB). I think they're one and the same and that this Shard is Vax Vax as a Shard also explains Ati's reaction. The first person he sees after he dies is Kelsier and he's a Sliver who Ascended using Ire technology. If we assume he can sense that, it's not a surprise he mistakes Kelsier for Vax Since Vax didn't Invest on any planet, I assume the Ire can somehow tap his powers directly from the Spiritual Realm using their technology. We've seen them accessing Connection and Fortune, so why not Investiture? This mechanism explains why Vax ad Taldain are mentioned alongside each other in Elantris Ars Arcanum. On Taldain, the Investiture comes from the Sun. Vax's Investiture comes directly from Spritual Realm which I believe is the Sun over Cognitive Realm (a more detailed discussion here) Vax could also be the Shard originally meant for the Rithmatist (spoilers): One of the planets in the Selish system is Kii (Aon of Justice) which could be related to Vax's Intent
Listening to last week's Shardcast I had a pretty baseless theory on Vax. Theory: Vax is a planet* where a majority or at least large number of humans live in the Cognitive Realm. In Secret History, Ati, while confused, made a comment about Vax, which I believe is because he saw humans and also recognised that he was in the CR, leading him to assume he was probably on Vax because that's where you would expect to find people hanging out in the CR. So a similar concept to Silverlight, except not entirely based in the Cognitive, and on a distinct planet** *I'm taking Vax to be a planet as a base assumption, which it may or may not be (and Brandon has neither confirmed or denied), but is kind of integral to this entire theory. **I am unsure whether or not this is a contentious point or not but I don't believe Silverlight corresponds to a planet based on this WOB. Poke, prod and spike away!