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Found 46 results

  1. "Unless maybe Brandon is playing with words (we've seen those things, but we haven't seen them doing magic)." is this something that brandon said? well if so, then there is one instance that comes to mind where this is possible. During the battle of Thaylen City, the Amaram's army appears to have bonded with Voidspren. it was said also by i think one of the fused that lord, have you learnt to bond voidspren with humans? to which odium replies that it was always possible but it requires a specific mindset and environment to achieve.. i think, what those soldiers were doing were forming the equivalent of Nahel Bond with voidspren. they probably were capable of voidbinding. but we never saw it onscreen because they were very newly formed and knew not how to.. moreover, the moment dalinar trapped thrill, the environment + mindset changed and they may be kind of lost their bond to the voidspren and are left crying. i think some were even heard crying that why have you abandoned me so!!
  2. Wow! My first big theory! Feels good! I can't wait to see how Book 4 disproves all of this with a single paragraph. So, let's get into things. Some Background Most of this speculation comes from a small argument I had on our lovely Discord about magic systems and methods of access. Yknow, stuff like Bonds and Oaths and breathing in Stormlight. So, at the tail end of this discussion, I had a thought. What is Voidbinding's method of access? Well, you might say Voidlight, but I don't believe the Fused are Voidbinding (yet). But even if that's the case, I assume Voidlight would only be a key, similarly to Stormlight. Not everyone can Surgebind, you need to have a Nahel bond with a Radiant Spren, and you need to say Oaths. So that's what I'm going to call a "method of access" for this theory. With that, let's begin! The Nightwatcher, the Unmade, and providing external powers So, two big parts of my theory are these two nuggets of information. First up is the information that Voidbinding usually originates with the Unmade. The second nugget is that Voidbinding and the Old Magic are "cousins", as stated by Khriss in the Ars Arcanum: So, how does the Old Magic work? As far as we know, it's just the Nightwatcher chucking Investiture at people to facilitate a change. So, if Voidbinding and the Old Magic can be considered "cousins", perhaps the similarities lie here. The Unmade provide an external form of Investiture, either in the form the ability to use Voids/Surges/Voidsurges (terminology unclear), Voidlight, or both. But unlike the Old Magic, Voidbinding seems to be a much more rigid magic system standard of Brandon. It was used (at least in some form, since we can assume that Voidbinding has not been fully explored) frequently enough that the Vorins were able to make a (probably incorrect) chart for it. So, if it's a rigid, Sanderson-brand magic system, how's it work? What's the key? The focus? The method of access? Well... The empty pit that sucks in emotion I can't fully confirm what Voidbinding does once it's activated, whether it's Surges used in a crazy new light, to simply corrupted Surgebinding, to something entirely out of left field. But I can ask you a question: why does Surgebinding love bonds so much? I'd think it's because Honor likes bonds and oaths. It's his "thing". Gravitation even works the way it does in Surgebinding because Honor loves bonds. He likes to make them, he sticks by them, and he uses them for all his crazy magic (sealing away Odium, establishing the Oathpact, etc). So what's Odium's "thing"? What does he do? From what we've seen in Oathbringer, and that ominous quote from the Eila Stele I put before this paragraph, Odium "takes away pain". His followers (this is especially apparent in Moash) throw the blame on someone else. They relieve themselves of their pain, and as a result they feel a depressive void. When Dalinar abuses the Thrill, he becomes unable to be sated by anything but Thrill-infused carnage. There is no emotion unless he is accessing Odium's power. While this is obviously a metaphor for drug/alcohol abuse, I do think it still relates to Odium magically. So, how does this relate to Voidbinding? Well, if we go forward with the idea that the method of access for magic systems is related to the Modus Operandi of their Shard of origin, than perhaps in order to use Voidbinding, you have to drain yourself. Possibly of emotion, possibly of a variety of things that the Unmade ask of you, maybe both, but I believe that Voidbinding requires the user to drain themselves of something. Once they give up their "pain", the Unmade can step in, and provide that internal Investiture source, whatever that may be. I'm not quite sure how it works, but one possible way might be like this: Some person has Voidlight. They breathe in the Voidlight, and focus on their "pain". The Voidlight gets to work and takes the person's pain. Some Unmade steps in, and forges a quick connection with the person, filling them up with Voidy Juice. Ta-da! You've got yourself a Voidbinder! This might not be exactly how things work, and it might not even need Voidlight at all, but that remains to be seen. I will give you my sorrow There's still a chasmfiend in the room: Renarin. He's obviously related in some way to the Void, due to Brandon's chart-pointing and the fact that his Spren is "Enlightened" by Sja-Anat. Since he seems unable to produce illusions (this remains to be seen, but he does seem to have an abnormally difficult time producing them, even accidentally), many people have considered the idea that his Surge of Illumination has been coopted and replaced with the Void/Voidsurge of Illumination. But Voidbinding originates with the Unmade, right? Well, only usually, whatever that means. So, Renarin bonding a corrupted spren. That might be one of the less common methods of obtaining Voidbinding. Now, according to Brandon, Renarin is "weird' and not really fully Voidbinding. What does he mean by this? Well, there are a lot of theories, but one I think works is that Renarin isn't really doing much - Glys is facilitating everything. It's definitely possible for spren to access Surges. Syl does a bit of it, and Fabrials obviously work that way in some form. And now, this might be a stretch, but consider, Right before Renarin sees his final vision in OB, this little line shows up : "I will give you my sorrow". And then the next time we see Renarin, boom. Vision time. I might be completely reading too far into this, but if Voidbinding does require giving up "pain" or emotions, than perhaps to use Voidish Illumination, one must give up their sorrow. And since Renarin either doesn't want to or doesn't know how, Glys has been facilitating it for the time being? Can Renarin Voidbind on his own? Does he need an Unmade, or will his strange bond suffice? That remains to be seen. Ending And with that, all my weird speculation comes to a wrap! Thanks for reading, and feel free to tear into this in the replies. I think it holds some water, and even if I'm mostly wrong, this might be a piece to a larger puzzle. See you all soon!
  3. So I’m greatly interested in how the Fused power their surges . Logic would have us thinking it work Like stormlight . Yet the Fused don’t carry spheres .we know that everstorm does not recharge spheres with stormlight . So I’m going to come up with a theory and see what u guys think . The everstorm brings Voidlight with it when it comes . The Voidlight is captured in the Fused gemheart , gems woven into the Fused hair, and possibly even its skin . We have seen the Fused glow constantly with Voidlight . I think the Fused are extremely efficient with their use of Voidlight . We see the Flying Fused that lash constantly Float around to where they hardly ever walk . So when it comes to surges they are extremely efficient or it cost little to anyvoidlight . it could possibly cost more for Healing as we saw a Fused survive a shardblade tp the stomach. It wasn’t until the Gem heart was destroyed and possibly the source of its Voidlight healing did the creature die ! as the everstorm comes more often than a highstorm , they usually have enough to last until the next everstorm . If u ask me the Fused have more efficient powers . KR have to have constant stormlight and it runs out way too fast. And the high storm does not come around enough . What do u guys think
  4. Do we have any idea whether voidspren can be materialized as "voidblades"? I cannot see a reason why not, but if it would be possible, why don't Odium's forces use the possibility?
  5. On Roshar, the people believe seeing the future is evil. The few instances we've seen of foresight are associated with Odium. At a recent signing, Brandon said this: I find the bolded part where he trails off to be amazingly fascinating. Given the rest of the conversation, I propose that seeing the future is dangerous because of the following possibilities: 1. It draws the attention of the Shard (or its agents as explained below) that is powering the foresight. 2. It is heavily influenced by the intent or motives of the Shard that's powering it. 3. It's an ability granted by the Shard on purpose in order to manipulate events toward a future that the Shard (or its agents) desires. 4. It aligns you to the intent or motives of the Shard. This can be short-term (see atium below) or long-term. Repeated uses may cause a more lasting efect. 5. There's also the always-present conundrum of trying to change the future after you've seen it. Without context, you have no idea if changing your actions will cause that future or if not changing your actions will cause that future. The true answer could be any of the above, none of the above, or some combination of the options I've given. In order to evaluate possibilities, I've discussed the instances we've seen of people seeing the future, either as a summary, or as specific text, or links. Atium: We know how atium fuels Allomancy. It lets you see a few moments into the future. It also increases your mental and physical capabilities in order to take advantage of that knowledge. Sazed speculates in one of the HoA epigraphs that This appears to correlate to possibility 4--That seeing the future via atium temporarily aligned a person toward Ruin, the essence of entropy toward destruction. It might also explain why, after using atium as a metal mind and burning it for so long, TLR had such Ruinous impulses--mass slaughters, willingness to let the nobility destroy each other, etc, etc. After a thousand years of compounding atium, it's likely that he was very Connected to Ruin. It might also tie into possibility 3, assuming the possibility of Ruin wanting Rashek to become such a despot that he's overthrown just as the Well is about to fill, opening the way for Vin to take and release the power. Endowment: Endowment appears to be able to see some of the future, and sometimes her Splinters, the Returned, can pick up on this as well. We see this in Warbreaker, when Lightsong has his dreams and visions of T'Telir burning. She appears to send her Returned back in order to do a specific task (or set of tasks) based on what she sees, giving rise to possibility 3. Endowment apparently wanted the Hallandren and Idrians to persist, and sent back some of her Returned to help prevent the coming destruction. She probably has multiple contingency plans for if one of them dies before his or her task is accomplished. Wyrn: In the Elantris Annotations Brandon says: And Given that the Seons are Splinters of Devotion, (Love) and the Skaze are Splinters of Dominion, it seems like the Skaze are manipulating Wyrn in order to achieve their goals (Goals hinted at in the new epilogue in the 10th Anniversary Edition of Elantris) , tying back to possibility 3. Devotion and Dominion are both splintered, but the Skaze may retain enough of Dominion's intent to want to have complete dominion over the world (or maybe re-assemble Dominion?). And we come to the Stormlight Archive! We have more examples of foresight in SA than we have in any other book. There are three primary examples of it: Moelach: On the bridge between life and death, Moelach grants visions of the future, that the person utters in a cryptic and strange way, a phenomenon coined as Death Rattle. We don't really understand much about how this works, but the Death Rattles have been startlingly accurate, if incredibly obscure, so far. However. Moelach is a Splinter of Odium (along with the other Unmade). The Death Rattles we've seen so far all seem to be related either to the conflict between Odium and most of Roshar, or related to the people that are in that struggle. I have no absolute proof of this, but it's not a wild assumption (imo) to think that Odium, via Moelach, is using the Death Rattles to affect people's behavior. I realize this is putting conclusion before evidence, but I feel that it's a credible conclusion. Moelach is one of the mindless Unmade, as far as we know, so he's unlikely to have motives of his own. As a Splinter of Odium, Odium must have created him for a reason. We know Odium has a pretty good grasp of possible futures. Creating an Unmade to give people glimpses of the future (in a rather morbid way) to get them serving his purposes isn't beyond the realm of possibility. Renarin: We know very little about how Renarin's abilities work, and what types of things he can see, or how they will affect events. We know that his spren, Glys, is a Truthwatcher spren corrupted by Sja-Anat, another Splinter of Odium, and that Glys is likely what grants Renarin the ability to see the future. Renarin has seen Jasnah killing him. This would end him as a Radiant and as a Kholin. I confess, I am unsure what purpose his death would serve in Odium's cause. However, Renarin also saw Dalinar turning into Odium's champion. This would obviously be quite a desirable outcome for Odium. Given that Renarin has done a few things in order to try and warn about or prevent the things he sees, did he, consciously, or subconsciously, take actions that helped to bring that set of events into reality? We don't know yet what effects this might have, so I'm unsure which of the above categories this could fit into. The Diagram: Taravangian believes that he wrong the Diagram out of pure human capability and insight, rather than foresight. However, according to this WoB: As we know, in the Spiritual Realm, all times and places are essentially one. Seeing into the future in all other instances has been seeing into the Spiritual Realm. If Taravangian was closer to the Spiritual Realm than the Cognitive Realm, then he's likely incorporating at least some parts of what he sees in the Spiritual Realm into the Diagram. What we've seen him do so far has seemed to align him toward Odium's desires and motives. However, he was granted this ability by Cultivation, who is at odds with Odium. There was a lively discussion in this thread about the Diagram being a plant (pun intended) put in place by Cultivation. That T's actions, although they seem at odds with Dalinar+co, actually are meant to help them; and that T himself is unaware of this. As you can tell, I subscribe to this theory myself. This would fit in with possibilities 2, 3 and 4 above. Cultivation seems very crafty and careful, playing the long game with Dalinar, with Lift, and probably with T. And finally, we have Hoid. He has an ability to know where he needs to be at any given time. We don't really know most of his motives, so there's no way to determine what "where he needs to be" means, exactly. We're also very unsure as to how he knows to be in those places. We do know he uses something similar to Chromium Feruchemy in order to tap Fortune, but possibly isn't Feruchemy itself. We don't know what Shard he draws on, what intent that Shard might have, or if it's even a Shard at all. If someone can manage to tap directly into the Spiritual Realm without intervention from a Shard, it seems like Hoid would be the one. I'm also sure he's self-aware enough to know when/if he's being manipulated by whatever power he's using. So in short, I have no conclusions to draw about Hoid's abilities, other than a reiteration of his own speech to Shallan: There's always the risk, in seeing the future, of bringing about the exact consequence you want to prevent. That might be the simple answer to this entire question. Won't my face be red if it is! So, there is my long winded theory about the dangers of seeing the future. Please feel free to add to it or rip it to pieces, and thanks for reading!
  6. I was looking at these two diagrams and noticed something I hadn't seen before. It was easiest to see when switching between tabs on the same browser on these pages: and The symbols for the surges (the little circles) have their left sides identical, while their right sides are vertically flipped versions. The surgebinding one they're symmetrical left and right, but the voidbinding one is based on the same symbol, but instead of being symmetrical, the right half is a 180 degree rotation. Symmetry is important on Roshar. I've never heard anyone talk about it (though I'm sure it's out there), but I think that symmetry is meant to represent the making and keeping of oaths. I think these voidbinding symbols where the second half is the first half flipped on its head might be meant to represent the breaking of oaths. Oddly though the symbols corresponding to the symbols for the Orders of Radiants (the big circles) remain symmetrical right and left, though they have very different styles to their surgebinding equivalents. Maybe because they keep different kinds of oaths? I'm also wondering who the woman on the outside is, where it has the heralds on the surgebinding one. I wonder if she might be one of the unmade. Sja-anat? Ba-Ado-Mishram? I don't know.
  7. We know that humans from the Rosharan system came to Roshar from Ashyn. When they did so, they brought odium with them. They also brought surgebinding, as mentioned in the Aila Stele. But radiants and surgebinders as we saw them are a result of bonding spren of honour and cultivation, where the fused utilise voidbinding by bonding with spren of odium. So basically, would it not make sense that surgebinders on Ashyn were more like the fused in that they use voidlight and voidbinding as granted them by odium? This would then discount concerns about radiants destroying roshar because it's surgebinding granted by powers not prone to deatruction as odium is. I welcome any input.
  8. Could the Unmade be something like Honor's Heralds, but of Odium? And if they could be, wouldn't it be interesting if they were the "Patrons" of the Voidbinding "Orders"? If Ba-Ado-Mishram could grant Voidlight, maybe she was the "Patron" of the Voidbinding equivalent of the Bondsmiths. I would love to hear your opinions on this!
  9. Hey team, I apologise in advance if this post isn't particularly well laid out - I have little time at the moment and a thought just struck me so I wanted to get it down before I forget about it, and I don't know if this has been discussed before or already theorized (I had a quick look and couldn't find a mention of it). I agree with @Calderis that there are three specific magic systems that operate in three different ways. I also agree that the fused have not been Voidbinding currently. Essentially the theory is that how magic on Roshar works is that: A) Surgebinding is the system of magic through which the fundamental forces of nature are manipulated through the filter of Honor and Cultivation Fabrials is the system of magic through which these forces of nature can be trapped, stored and then used (this one I am less confident about and would be interested C) Voidbinding is the system of magic through which the fundamental forces of nature are manipulated through the filter of odium. This, especially the Voidbinding postulation, I base on the WOB below. Linked to this, if we consider that Voidbinding is the accessing of the fundamental laws of creation and forces (as per the quote) through Odium, then because humans were originally of odium, and we know that they destroyed their previous home, I believe that humans used Voidbinding to destroy Ashyn. This fundamentally would suggest that humans were the original Voidbinders. This would also tie in nicely to them being the Voidbringers. So to conclude quickly: Voidbinding is the accessing of the forces of creation through the filter of odium and humans were the original voidbinders who used voidbinding to destroy Ashyn.
  10. theory

    *EDITED* See bottom of OP for Potential Problems with this theory. Grab some popcorn, this is a long one, but well worth the read. The primary thesis of this theory is that 3 primary modes of distribution of Investiture existed on Roshar prior to the shattering of Adonalsium, and that Voidlight as it is used to power the voidbinding of the Fused is a hacked magic system and is not Odium's actual manifestation of Investiture. An extension of this thesis is that the 3 pre-shattering modes of distribution of investiture (previously splinters of Adonalsium) translate to the post-shattering 3 primary god spren that the Bondsmiths are able to bond. 2 of these splinters have been absorbed into the intents of Cultivation and Honor, while the 3rd god spren is separate and is possibly still a composite of different shardic investiture, but is not of Odium. All WoBs are going to be in spoiler tags so you can read them if you want to or not. We know from a couple WoB's that after Adonalsium was shattered, all pre-existing investiture was assigned to a shard but also there wasn't a 1 to 1 correspondence, rather the investiture was proportionally assigned to different shards based on the nature of the pre-existing investiture and the intent of the shard. Also what has been previoulsy referred to as Voidlight I will be calling violet light, because I think voidlight implies a causal link that is not there. You can see by this WoB that Brandon is somewhat cagey about linking this violet light to Voidbinding: I believe these were the 3 means of distributing Investiture that existed before Adonalsium was shattered: The highstorm (distributes storm light, post-shattering was invested by Honor) The ecological system for maintaining life on a rocky soil-less system and general distribution of life based magic across Roshar (distributes crem, minerals, etc to plants, helps life-based spren become sentient and creates magic purelake fish. I believe the vehicle for distribution of this investiture is the high storm as well and is invested by Cultivation. Further I think this god spren is the gigantic spindly legged glowing form seen walking in the highstorm) The force that allows gemhearts to be created, and allows gemhearted life to bond with spren by creating an invested focal point for the other two forms of investiture (this is the shardicly unaligned force, and the conversion of stored investiture to energy (i.e. the burning away of the gemheart), presents as violet light, while the natural coalescing of this investiture results in the creation of the gemheart itself). FOUNDATIONAL FACTS (Rosharan Ecology and Investiture Pre-shattering) We know from this WoB that the Highstorms are a pre-shattering phenomena on Roshar: And further we know that the Parshendi were created pre-shattering from this WoB: And that they bonded spren pre-shattering as well from this WoB: We also know, post shattering, that the Parshendi can only change forms during a Highstorm (prior to the Everstorm), this implies that Stormlight investiture is necessary for the transformation and further that Stormlight investiture was distributed by the Highstorm pre-shattering. From these data points we know the following: Highstorms and the means of distributing stormlight existed pre-shattering Investiture was used to faciliate life on Roshar pre-shattering Gemhearts and mechanisms to affect life (physical transformation) existed pre-shattering. SUPPORTING DETAILS The three moons are highly symbolic, and we know that Adonalsium created the Rosharan system before the arrival of Honor, Cultivation and Odium, so it seems somewhat safe to assume that the Rosharan moons existed pre-shattering as well. Salas the violet moon which rises first in the night time sky (possibly representing the force of investiture that allows the growth of the gemheart vessel that can house the renewable form of investiture, i.e. stormlight) Nomon the blue moon which rises second and is, according to the Natan origin myth story, the most powerful of the moons (makes sense because it is possibly the most active vehicle for distribution of investiture in the form of Stormlight) Mishim the green moon that according to the same myth is the cleverest of the moons. The color associated with Honor and the direct investiture of the Highstorm is blue (Honorspren are blue, stormlight breathed out or leaking out of skin manifests as blue light as well). The color associated with Cultivation is Green (the color of lifespren, the color of the Nightwatcher) The color associated with Odium is yellow-white (the color of voidspren, the color of the metal of the Dagger Moash uses to kill Jezrien) I think, meaningfully, the color violet does appear but not with any specific association to any of the 3 shards. It's the color of greatshell blood and also is the color of the carapace of Chasmfiends. Also, I think that the one real clue that we've gotten about voidbinding, namely the Voidbinding chart in the endpapers of TWoK shows two different colors of connection between each order of Voidbinder and the surges that they access, yellow and violet, and I think this explains a lot. Here's the chart: Note the yellow lines in the chart connect the orders of Voidbinders together, but don't connect to the surges themselves, those are all violet connections. Also note how the two god's eyes orders of Voidbinders don't have any direct violet connections, they instead show violet energy radiating out from the gem that they are contained in. I think that this is the strongest proof that Voidbinding uses a separate investiture to access the surges, and that further, as we see voidbinding working with the Fused, they are converting the gemhearts of their Singer host's from stored material investiture into energy to access a particular surge. The energy comes from the conversion of the gemheart, the focus comes from the voidbinding. Also, interesting to note, the two god's eye surges suggest that their could be two Orders of Voidbinders that are able to convert and distribute violet light investiture to other Voidbinders. We know from a WoB that Renarin uses Stormlight to fuel voidbinding (specifically seeing into the future), so voidbinding isn't only fueled by violet light investiture: I think that if Renarin's eyes glowed red when he was seeing the future that it would have been mentioned in the scene where Jasnah almost kills him. The fact that his eyes don't glow red, shows that this use of Voidbinding is not a hacked implementaton (unlike for the Fused whose eyes glow red, or the storm form Parshendi who's eyes also glow red). This implies that the conversion of the stored (violet godspren) based investiture in the gemhearts of Singers is a hacked system and therefore the violet light based investiture IS NOT of Odium. If this is true, this would also explain why the Fused use violet light investiture so cavalierly, if they can convert the gemheart of their host into violet light investiture, they could use this perpetually until the gemheart was consumed. This would kill their current host, but they would just fuse a different host when the next Everstorm passes. I don't think that the Everstorm functions as distribution system for violet light investiture, I think rather it is a conduit from the Cognitive realm on Braize to Roshar to allow the Singers to bond either Voidspren or the Cognitive Shadows of ancient Singers. SPECULATIVE THEORIES BASED ON THE ABOVE: I speculated in the [OB] Third Bondsmith and Urithiru thread that Ba-Ado-Mishram might be the third godspren, and might be the Sibling that the Stormfather talks about in OB: The formulation is a little looser than this post, but I think the theory is actually quite sound. Especially looking at the Voidbinding chart, where one of the god's eyes order might be instrumental in controlling BAM to distribute non-destructive violet light to the armies of Odium. The other god's eye order of Voidbinder is likely Odium's Champion (with such a strong connection to Odium, it would be highly probable that this particular Voidbinder could channel and direct Odium's actual investiture and possibly convert gemhearts in the followers of Odium to violet investiture. It might have been one of the responsibilites of the 3rd bondsmith, keeping BAM from going over to the side of Odium and being bonded by a Voidbinder. Melishi might have made the determination after BAM was Unmade that it was safer to seal the Sibling away in a perfect gem prison than to try and fix BAM so that BAM could again be used to power Urithiru. I think we haven't really seen what Odium's investiture is capable of. I think we have seen it being used inefficiently to hack a separate magic system (that predates the shattering of Adonalsium) and that we really won't know what true voidbinding is until the Army that emerges from the Origin with light in pockets (mentioned in the Puuli interlude) arrives. @Wit Beyond Measure, @Varion, @MonsterMetroid put some really good work in building up evidence that Thuderclasts are formed by mindless fused bonding gemhearts embedded in stone in the [OB] Secrets to Parshendi Forms, Thunderclasts, & Urithiru thread. If the theory that violet light investiture is created by conversion of gemhearts to energy, then I think that this is one more point in favor of the Thunderclast theory. I also think that the gemstone that Eshonai got from Gavilar contained the unmade Sja-anat. We know from revelations at the end of WoR that Venli and her fellow scholar form listeners had all tried out stormform before Eshonai did, and the red color of the spren implies corrupted investiture. My guess is that Venli got the sphere from Eshonai and released Sja-anat, and Sja-anat created voidspren by corrupting windspren that allowed the Parshendi to assume stormform. There were a lot of Listeners that assumed storm form, and we know that windspren are plentiful, and before I was always wondering how they found so many of these stormform spren around the shattered plains and why they hadn't bonded them before. But thinking along the lines of this theory it's obvious, the corrupted windspren allowed the listeners to create the Everstorm, which acts like a functional bridge between Braize and Roshar. The reason no listener used violet light investiture before the Fused arrived is because it consumes the gemheart of the host. A cognitive shadow joined to a host wouldn't die as their gemhearts were slowly consumed, but a non-fused Parshendi probably wouldn't last long converting their heart into investiture. Another point in favor of this theory is that Renarin bonded a corrupted truthwatcher spren at the shattered plains, which wouldn't have been possible if Sja-anat wasn't also at the shattered plains. **************************************************************************** POTENTIAL PROBLEMS WITH THIS THEORY **************************************************************************** Thanks to @Darvys, @RShara, @Wit Beyond Measure and especially @StrikerEZ I know that some of the foundational principles of this theory have proven to be just plain wrong. This is the place that I will use to highlight all of the erroneous assumptions, and highlight compelling counter arguments to the main premises of the theory. As @StrikerEZ and @Darvys pointed out, reading too much into the significance of color is problematic, and it leads to oversimplifications that confuse the issue. The theory really hinges on the fact that the color associated with the shards is a compelling causal link, but Stormlight is NOT blue, it is in fact white. We haven't really seen enough of Cultivation to associate anything with her Investiture (other than an ability to manipulate the spirit web/minds of people who specifically sought her out) and Voidspren are not just yellow-gold, Ulim who helps Venli find Eshonai's corpse in the Part 1 interlude is a Red spren. Also there's a WoB that implies pretty strongly that no Spren is completely derivative of a single shard, but is more a proportional mixture of different Shardic investiture, so inferences based on the coloration of spren are most likely more complicated than stated in the OP, and don't prove a causal connection: As @StrikerEZ pointed out, Voidlight looks to be the proper term to use to refer to violet investiture. There is a reference in the Gem Archive that states that Ba-Ado-Mishram was able to provide Voidlight to Odium's followers: Gemhearts are most likely not consumed in order to provide voidlight, but there is a WoB that they are physically manifest Investiture: It's more likely that gemhearts are created from Investiture "leaking" from all the Invested shards on Roshar (given the fact that gems of all different types exist on Roshar and that they are keyed to different fabrials and correspond to the 10 essences in relation to soulcasting). This doesn't preclude the fact that there could be another loose source of Investiture on the Rosharan system, but it makes it less likely that gemhearts are solely composed a single type of Investiture. I still think the Voidbinding chart is information rich and worth scrutinizing. It still feels like there is something hiding in plain sight, something revelatory and amazing. If anyone has anything else to add to this Mia Culpa disclaimer, please let me know. Wild speculation is fun, but good information is better.
  11. So I have 6h 49m left on the Audiobook for Oathbringer and if this is proven wrong in the next few hours feel free to call me a moron and send me on my way but I've noticed that throughout the whole book any Fused which uses a surge has only ever been shown to use one not have 2 like the Knights Radiant. All the flying Fused have only ever been shown to use Gravitation and not Division or Adhesion. And then the Fused thief trying to steal the King's drop from the Thaylen City vaults only use Illumination. So do you think that Voidbinding only allows for them to perform one surge? or that they haven't been using the other surge that they have been given.
  12. So, as I read Chapter 31 and met the "Flying Fused" (trademark pending) - the voidbringers who chased Kaladin into the air - I had to remind myself which two surges Windrunners had again. Well I keep a folder on my PC with all kinds of pics, charts, and the like related to Cosmere novels. When I went digging for a surgebinding chart, I also came across something I downloaded in 2014 named "Voidbinder Chart." Then I realized that the symbols on that chart matched one that I had misnamed as "Surgebinding Chart." So I realized that it was actually a VOIDBINDING CHART! I have attached both files for your viewing pleasure. ← Voidbinder Forms ← Surgebinder Types / KR Orders Kaladin's exploits in Chapter 31 show us that there is a voidbinder analog to windrunners (or Skybreakers). You'll notice that the surge glyphs on the voidbinding chart corrupt the symmetry of the surge glyphs on the surgebinding chart by bisecting them along the vertical axis, rotating the left side along the horizontal axis, and putting them back together. For example... The idea being that there is a relationship between voidbinding and surgebinding. I'm suggesting that the relationship is that each of the magic systems operate along similar pathways resulting in a similar expression of the magic. The difference is what is powering the magic, or in more precise terms, whose investiture is powering the magic. However, no matter where it comes from something about Roshar is going to force the investiture to follow along a predetermined pathway. I imagine this is similar to how some appliances can accept batteries or power via an AD/DC adapter, no matter how the electrons are supplied, they will be sent through the circuitry to achieve the same result (of course there's no alternative to electrons when powering electrical appliances, whereas there are 16 different sources of investiture in the Cosmere). So, maybe a Mistborn example would be better... Highlight for Mistborn spoiler: Ruin's investiture (via hemalurgy) affected metal in ways that were in line with the powers granted by Preservation's investiture (via allomancy) on Scadrial; that is, you have to use a steel spike to steal a coinshot's abilities and you have to use a copper spike to steal memories. There are some oddities, but you get my point. There's also a blending of the two shards' investiture that resulted in a balanced blend of both powers (i.e. Feruchemy). So, similar to the Mistborn magics, the Rosharan magics operate along similar lines no matter which Shard's investiture is powering the magic. Obviously there will be important differences between the magic powered by the blended investiture of Honor & Cultivation (i.e. surgebinding) and that powered by Odium's investiture (voidbinding). I suspect that voidbinding is the literal opposite of surgbinding (it accomplishes the same effect in a opposite manner - if surgebinding pushes, then voidbinding pulls and vice versa - but that's a different post. The question is whether voidbinding is the analog of Feruchemy (a mix of all three shards' investiture) - a result that works well assuming that the voidspren are corrupted or fallen radiant spren - or whether voidbinding is the analog of Hemalurgy (the magic that comes from only/mostly Odium's investiture). Regardless, I think I've proved a solid connection between voidbinding and surgebinding and that it should result in voidbinders resembling surgebinders. Again, the flying voidbringers in chapter 31 strongly support that conclusion. However, that leaves two "problems"... One is the yellow spren and the other is which surgebinders resemble StormForm. I don't think the yellow spren is a problem so much as it supports my theory. Let's put the questions about her to bed... That leaves the question of which order of the KR is analogous to StormForm. Well, my best guess is that StormForm is likely to match the powers of the Dustbringers/Releasers. StormForm released the Everstorm. Lightning isn't that different from fire and the essence associated with Chach is spark. However, I'm not completely sure that I'm right because we haven't seen much from Malata yet. Here are my best guesses: 1. Windrunners → ??? 2. Skybreakers → Smokeform - Kaladin's pursuers in Ch. 31 3. Dustbringers → Stormform * 4. Edgedancers → ??? 5. Truthwatchers → Nightform 6. Lightweavers → Mediationform 7. Elsecallers → Scholarform (?) This may or may not be a form of power. 8. Willshapers → ??? 9. Stonewards → Decayform * 10. Bondsmiths → ??? * Stormform could very easily be the Bondsmith analog with the storms and stuff; they also seem to be guiding/leading the non-Fused parshmen in Ch. 31 * I'm really not sure who matches up with Decayform since the details about them are so vague in the song about them from WoR. I based by guess on this line: "Watch where you walk, your toes to tread. O'er hill or rocky riverbed" It just sounds like stone/walking on stone is involved here. That's it. Let me know what you think!
  13. So let’s talk Renarin, shall we? Now, if you fine folks are anything like myself, you might have found yourself confused by some of the reveals that Oathbringer brought about regarding Renarin and his powers. This was a twist that I saw coming a long way off, and so I was more than ready when we found out that Renarin had been affected by a voidish corruption and that this was the reason for his strange and ominous visions. If you’d like to see how WoR foreshadowed this moment, you can check out my theory Renarin’s Visions and Truthwatching and see all the reasoning for this twist. However, what I want to do here today is get into the nitty gritty of what’s really going on. Is Renarin a Voidbinder or a Surgebinder or both? Is Glys a Voidspren? How do the visions work? How did this happen? All those good questions are the ones that I’d like to try to tackle here. Theory Disclaimer: Most of these things have not been confirmed in canon and Brandon has been cagey about answering or confirming. However, this explanation is the one which seems most plausible to me based on the evidence at hand. So let me do a bullet point run-down of what I think is happening: Glys is actually a valid Truthwatcher spren, not a voidspren. Renarin is a valid Truthwatcher Radiant and therefore a Surgebinder with access to the surges of Progression and Illumination. Renarin uses Stormlight to power his surges, just like other Radiants. Glys has been corrupted by the Unmade Sja-anat. As a result of this corruption, in addition to his normal Truthwatcher powers, Renarin is afflicted by involuntary visions of the future which neither he nor Glys can control. The points above are those that I feel are fairly concrete, and I’ll go into the reasoning behind those ideas later below. However, upon this assumed situation, I believe that the following ideas are viable possibilities. The following points are less certain than those above, but these are the ideas that seem the most plausible to me, given the circumstances: The powers that the Fused display are expressions of Voidbinding. Renarin’s future visions are possibly also an expression of Voidbinding, but his other powers are not. If Renarin’s Voidbinding and Fused Voidbinding work in the same way, it is possible that all Voidbinding powers come from the influence of the Unmade, in that Sja-anat can grant Voidish future visions while other Unmade grant different powers, like illusions, frictionlessness, or gravity, as we see other Fused use. And upon these assumptions, we find several questions arise regarding the nature of the situation: If both Renarin and the Fused are Voidbinders, is a spren involved in the granting of Voidbinding powers to the Fused in the same way they were granted to Renarin? If Voidish powers are each affiliated with an Unmade, why are there seemingly 10 powers on the Voidbinding chart if there are only 9 Unmade? Does Odium grant a Bondsmith equivalent himself? If Voidbinding powers are not granted by the Unmade, how are they gained? In what way are Renarin and the Fused similar in situation that grants them the same powers? What caused the hypergraphia that accompanied the visions of the Everstorm, and why does that no longer happen when Renarin gets visions? All of which are fascinating, but unfortunately, more likely to get a RAFO than an answer in a signing line. The first I have already asked and been RAFO’d and I believe the others are going to be answered similarly, if attempted. If I had to guess, these are reveals that will happen in Renarin’s flashback book. Considering that book is in the back five, we’ve probably got a while to wait. Alas. Regardless, no use fretting over the information we don’t have when it’s so much more fun to dissect the information we do have. And Oathbringer certainly gave us plenty to dissect. So, let’s take the situation that I’ve outlined above and break it down with some textual evidence to help explain where these ideas come from. Glys the Truthwatcher spren and Renarin the Radiant This is one of the easiest points to guess, considering the wealth of information we have on the topic. A lot of this is due to the Renarin point of view chapters in Part 5. (Thank you, Brandon, I owe you my soul for those.) Renarin’s surges seem to work perfectly normally. He heals people with Regrowth at several points in the novel, fairly naturally. I believe we see a slight, unconscious use of Illumination in the scene with Adolin and Gallant, when Renarin makes a perfected vision of Adolin appear. Renarin also mentions trying to train with Shallan in using Illumination, but he has difficulty with it. Now, it could be assumed that Renarin’s failure to grasp Illumination is a sign that his surges are wrong, and yet I think this is simply another example of a Radiant finding one surge more easy to pick up than another. Shallan is naturally better at Illumination than Transformation. Lift is better at Abrasion than Progression. It seems common enough that Radiants have an affinity for one of their surges over the other. For Renarin, I believe this is that Progression is easier than Illumination. In addition to his surges, Renarin’s other expressions of Radiant abilities seem normal. Glys is able to form as a Shardblade, which no one deems as looking out of the ordinary. It also functions to open Oathgates. His healing factor works as the other Radiants’, albeit augmented by his power of Progression to make healing extremely rapid. Most tellingly, his powers use Stormlight, just as all the others do. Ivory says that there is a rightness to the bond between Renarin and Glys and that spren of Odium should not be able to bond with humans under normal circumstances. Through all of these things, one can assume that Renarin and Glys have a valid Nahel bond and are bonded as Radiant and spren, just as the others are. Sja-anat’s Corruption However, in addition to the normal suite of a Truthwatcher’s powers and the Nahel bond, there is another factor in the mix: Sja-anat. When Sja-anat speaks with Shallan she speaks of her son when telling Shallan that she is not an enemy, as though he would vouch for her. This is undoubtedly Glys. It’s interesting to note that this seems to indicate that Glys is working with Sja-anat, possibly willingly. Perhaps she approached a Radiant spren hoping that by giving changing one of them, she would have an ally who would help the Radiants trust her. Or perhaps it’s something else. Hard to say at this point. Regardless, it is because of this that Renarin can see the future, and why he is consumed with visions. Though it is possible that other Truthwatchers have a manner of foresight, I don’t believe it would manifest as Renarin’s does. Ivory states that future sight is a power of Odium, as the Vorins believe. I believe Sja-anat has been hoping to swap sides and is using Glys as a way to do it, as well as helping Shallan instead of killing them when they went through the Oathgate. Voidbinding So in the end, what is Voidbinding? Hard to say with certainty, since despite how often we see Voidbinders, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of answers about it. Working under the assumption that the Fused’s powers are Voidbinding we can see a few things, at least: Voidbinding seems to line up with surges in many cases, as we see Fused manipulating gravity and friction, just like Kaladin and Lift. It’s hard to tell if this means that Renarin’s corrupted sight is also a form of Voidbinding as well, since it doesn’t seem to line up with a Surge the way the others are. The Listener Song of Secrets speaks of Nightform, a form of power which can see the future, which seems as though it might be more similar to what Renarin can do than anything else we’ve seen. The question is, Renarin is getting his void-powers from a corrupted spren, but I don’t believe that the Fused have a corrupted spren giving them powers, which initially made me think that Renarin’s visions were not Voidbinding like the Fused. Now, I’m not so sure. For the moment, I think I will lean toward the idea that Renarin’s visions and the powers of the Fused are both Voidbinding somehow, even if we don’t have details to confirm anything either way. There’s just not enough answers for the moment. Time will tell. If anyone can get answers out of Brandon regarding this topic, I’d be greatly appreciative but I doubt he’s going to answer things. Conclusion There’s a lot that we just don’t know yet, but I’m excited to see where this goes in the future. For now, this is my best guess at what’s really going on until we get some more information on all of it. One thing that hasn’t changed is that I adore Renarin with all of my heart and somehow Brandon continues to write his plotline and character arc in ways which are intensely fascinating to me. Oathbringer has been a triumph and I can’t wait to see what’s in store!
  14. Greetings everyone, I have a theory that possibly explains what Voidbinding is and how it relates to Surgebinding and Sja-anat. Note that there are still many uncertainties when it comes to this topic, so a lot of this will be speculation on my part. Feel free to agree or disagree as you please. Also, if I am stealing someone's idea from another thread, I am sorry. First off, This theory is based largely on the fact that the ten surges are divided into the three realms, as suggested by the Stormfather to Dalinar. Next, I would like to direct our attention to a few of the recent discussions around Surgebinding and Voidbinding(Spoiler tag for length). All credit to those who participated in these threads for the wonderful ideas they came up with. From these discussions we come to a particularly interesting idea and the one that I think makes the most sense. Renarin, as a corrupted Truthwatcher, has access to one "Voidsurge". The surge of Spiritual Illumination, which lets him see the future. I think that Renarin is using this surge, instead of a resonance, for the following reasons: 1) Resonance as not actually been solidly defined in the canon as of yet and we have never had one of our Knight's even mention it. So, I am hesitant to place too much relevance into them. 2) Nightform is known for its ability to see the future. The fact that Renarin's resonance just happens to be the same as Nightform's ressonance/surge seems extremely unlikely. it's more likely IMO that they simply have the same surge. 3) No resonance has been as incredibly powerful as storming future sight. 4) Surges can be used without explicitly meaning to use them as well as resonances. Kaladin on bridge runs for example. So, I am fairly confident that he is using a surge, and the best fit for future sight is Spiritual Illumination for obvious reasons. So far I haven't really said anything that some else hasn't said before and in a more concise manner, but here is where it really gets crazy. My hypothesis is that Surgebinding and Voidbinding are actually the same exact system, but with access to different realmatic surges, with one realm spanning both Surgebinding and Voidbinding per surge. And, that Sja-anat has the ability to change a spren's surge's from one realm to another. First lets focus on Sja-anat. We have only seen Sja's corruption effect on two spren. The oathgate spren and Glys. I have already given most of my case for Glys above, but I will expand it a little further here. People on the forums have noticed that some order of Knights seem to have an affinity for one of their surges and call it their "Primary surge". I slightly disagree. I think what we are picking up on is the various order's Physical Surges and that the other surges of each order are simply more ambiguous because they happen in different realms. For example, Shallan has physical Illumination(lightweaving) and Cognitive Transformation(her personas). Likewise, I theorize that normal, untainted, Truthwatchers have the surges of Physical Progression and Cognitive Illumination. Sja's corruption has changed Gly's surge of Cognitive Illumination into Spiritual Illumination. leaving Renarin with Physical Progression and Spiritual Illumination. Physical Progression explains Renarin's ability to heal so well. To expand the symmetry we can conclude that: Truthwatchers: Physical Progression and Cognitive Illumination Corrupted Truthwatchers: Physical Progression and Spiritual Illumination Voidwatcher/Nightform: Cognitive Progression and Spiritual Illumination So the realm that spans these orders is the Cognitive Realm, though this might be different for other orders. What about the Oathgate spren? Normal Oathgates move purely in the Physical Realm, so they use Physical Transportation. The Corrupted Oathgate spren uses Cognitive Transportation because it takes people into the Cognitive Realm. So, Sja has changed the spren's surge from Physical to Cognitive. Which makes sense if Elsecallers have Cognitive Transportation and Physical Transformation, which they do (Elsecalling and Soulcasting). From there I think that Willshaper's have Physical Transportation because that was the power the Oathgates were origianlly using and I don't think they would have used a voidsurge to power them. Which leaves Spiritual Transportation for the Voidbinders and Corrupted Knights. To sum it up, Sja can transform the realmatics of surges from Physical -> Cognitive -> Spiritual. If she can turn Spiritual to Physical and complete the cycle we have yet to see. Moving from Sja to Surgebinding/Voidbinding: In my mind, the only difference separating the two magic systems is the realms they tend to work through. Knights mostly work in the Physical and Voidbinders mostly in the Spiritual. Which makes sense given that fused have no physical bodies of their own and that Voidbinding is like the "Drak Arts" of Roshar. The symmetry of the Surgebinding and Voidbinding charts also lends its weight to this theory, especially the inverted symmetry for the glyphs of the surges/voidsurges. If people are wondering how Kaladin can use the physical aspect of Gravitaion, Lift the physical aspect of Progression, and Dalinar the Physical aspects of Adhesion. I think it is simply because there is a fundamental way of using each surge that is independent of its realmatics. So, the basic/fundamental way of using Adhesion, for example, is the full lashing. Both Kaladin and Dalinar use it, but I doubt Kaladin can learn to speak other languages or Dalinar control pressure like Kaladin can. Lets start filling out a chart, feel free to lend me your thoughts on what should go where. This makes the most sense to me for the Knights(I really like this one): Order / Surges Physical Cognitive Spiritual Windrunner Adhesion Gravitation Skybreaker Gravitation Division Dustbringer Division Abrasion Edgedancer Abrasion Progression Truthwatcher Progression Illumination Lightweaver Illumination Transformation Elsecaller Transformation Transportation Willshaper Transportation Cohesion Stoneward Cohesion Tension Bondsmith ? ? Adhesion For Voidbinders I think this makes sense, but it is subject to drastic changes: Voidorder / Surges Physical Cognitive Spiritual Windrunner Adhesion Gravitation Skybreaker Gravitation Division Dustbringer Division Abrasion Edgedancer Abrasion Progression Truthwatcher Progression Illumination Lightweaver Illumination Transformation Elsecaller Transformation Transportation Willshaper Transportation Cohesion Stoneward Cohesion Tension Bondsmith ? ? ? For Corrupted Radiants we have(maybe): Corrupted Order / Surges Physical Cognitive Spiritual Windrunner Adhesion Gravitation Skybreaker Gravitation Division Dustbringer Division Abrasion Edgedancer Abrasion Progression Truthwatcher Progression Illumination Lightweaver Illumination Transformation Elsecaller Transformation Transportation Willshaper Transportation Cohesion Stoneward Cohesion Tension Bondsmith ? ? ? That's all folks, now tear it apart. Edit: Random speculation Spiritual Adhesion seems to work on a similar concept as Feruchemical Connection from Mistborn. Spiritual Illumination seems similar Atium. Spiritual Transformation sounds scarily like Lerasium(i.e changing a spirit web). Are we seeing some overlap with magic systems from other planets? I particularly think that the Knight chart fits because the cognitive surges seem to fit their traits quite well. I don't know the specifics of Willshapers, but Cognitive Cohesion seems to fit the name quite well. Malata( or whatever the name of Mr.T's Dustrbinger is) seems like she has an abrasive personality and Cognitive Abrasion seems like something Releasers would be in to.
  15. We saw a lot of Odium and his various minions during OB, and witnessed them using several kinds of magic. But was any of this actually Voidbinding? I find myself unconvinced. Possible candidates: Stormform listeners summoning lightning and the Everstorm (at the end of WoR) The Fused Amaram (at the end of OB) Renarin The Unmade I will consider each of these separately. 1. Stormform listeners This one is pretty much put to rest by WoB from the Calamity tour - This was well after the release of WoR, and Brandon clearly said we had not seen Voidbinding at that time, so Stormform cannot be it. After OB, in which we saw how similar the Fused powers are to Surgebinding, I find myself wondering whether the Stormform were using Surgebinding to access Division? That's the one we know least about so far, and separating electrons from the air would produce lightning for sure. 2. The Fused We saw quite a bit of what the Fused can do, and boy is it similar to Surgebinding. So similar, in fact, that I believe this IS Surgebinding. Odium is somehow hacking Honor's magic system to power it using Voidlight rather than Stormlight, but this is no more a different magic system than if I modded my gasoline car to run on ethanol, then claimed the result was no longer an internal combustion engine. WoB again - So, red eyes on Fused mean they must be co-opting Honor/Cultivation magic, rather than using something different that is purely of Odium (ditto for the Stormform listeners). I've read a theory that Odium always works by co-opting existing magic rather than creating new things of his own, and thus Voidbinding is by definition just an Odiumised variant of Surgebinding. I don't buy that for metatextual reasons: Think Bigger, as Jasnah would say. It's just not satisfying enough for the boss adversary to have a magic system that, despite a scary sounding name, is identical to the one we already know except for a different fuel source. We already saw an evil shard magic system that works by stealing other magics, with Ruin and Hemalurgy. Brandon wouldn't repeat that so closely. Another theory is that different magics can seem similar because they all work by manipulating the same underlying physical surges. My problem with this is that, even if the underlying surge is the same, the way it is accessed should produce significantly different results. Brandon lists fabrials, Surgebinding, and Voidbinding as the main three magic systems in the Stormlight Archive. Fabrials and Surgebinding have much in common, but their capabilities are quite different at least so far. Maybe eventually the Surgebinders will learn to replicate everything we have seen a fabrial do, or the artifabrians may replicate all of the Surgebinding abilities, but that is not the case today. The differences between the Fused and Knights Radiant seem more on a scale with the differences between Knights Radiant vs. Herald use of Surgebinding, rather than the far larger differences between Surgebinding and fabrials. That said, the Fused don't seem to be 100% identical to how KR Surgebinding works. If I followed correctly, it appears that each Fused gets only 1 rather than 2 surges. They seem unable to lash anyone but themselves (so when flying they must carry others in a harness) and it is mentioned in several places that they are slower to change direction than the Radiants. Kaladin lashes others by pushing Stormlight into them. Could the Fused inability to do this be a result of powering their magic with a foreign form of Investiture? Perhaps they can hold voidlight within themselves, but it dissipates too quickly if transferred to other objects on Roshar. It has been speculated elsewhere that the speed difference could be due to varying planetary gravity. This makes sense to me because we know that lashings work naturally in integer units of gravity. Kaladin instinctively thinks in terms of one lashing, or a half lashing. He can easily hover by exactly cancelling out the natural gravity. He speeds up, not by continuously adjusting the amount of a lashing, but by applying one lashing on top of another in rapid succession. Odd thing here, though, is that Kaladin must be operating in units of one Rosharan gravity - otherwise he wouldn't be able to hover so easily. But the Fused are originally from Roshar too! So why would their use of lashing be tied to something different such as Braize gravity units? Maybe because they are powering the Surgebinding using voidlight, and Odium is on Braize? Possible question to ask Brandon: is the ratio between how fast a Windrunner vs. Fused can change speed the same as the ratio between mass of Roshar vs. Braize? 3. Amaram He got pretty badass there at the end, but was doing the same things we've already seen from Surgebinders. Amaram was to a regular Fused as Mistborn is to Misting. 4. Renarin Now this is where it gets interesting. We know he has a corrupted spren, but without knowing what a regular Truthwatcher does, there's no way to be sure exactly what effect this had. We do have: So we know there is something voidish going on here. At this point I think it is impossible to tell whether Renarin's visions are pure voidbinding, or some blend of regular Truthwatching with void abilities. 5. The Unmade Definitely powered by Odium, but I do not believe these are voidbinding. It seems that shards have considerable flexibility to act directly themselves (eg. Honor creating Honorblades, Ruin modifying writings, Endowment returning the Returned...) in ways that don't constitute a full magic system. I believe voidbinding will be more like other magic systems which can be accessed by anyone who meets the necessary criteria, while the Unmade are more in line with other unique one-offs done directly by Shards. In short: Stormform, Fused, and Amaram were using Surgebinding, not Voidbinding. The Unmade are something different entirely. Renarin has used Voidbinding, but we know too little to say exactly when or what that was. Almost everything to do with Voidbinding is yet to be seen.
  16. First of all, Surgebinding as we see it from non-Renarin radiants is purely of Honour, and while certain spren that form the nahel bonds required for it are not of Honour, they are required to abide by his rules. Radiant Surgebinding is exclusively Honour’s magic system, based on the surges he found on Roshar. All the Honour-derived surges behave within similar restrictions. Honour by intent was focussed heavily on oaths, which he saw as absolutely binding and therefore constant, and the past that caused them, and this is reflected in the surges of his Radiants. For example, Radiant Progression can only grow within the expected life-cyle, or heal/restore to a past state, but cannot go beyond to cause new/unnatural growth, or heal you to a point later in your life. When Shallan lightweaves, she requires a past image to draw upon, and she often takes memories to facilitate this. Her drawings and illusions are best when they are taken or crafted from memories, and therefore the past. Similarly to growth/regrowth with Progression or the multiple lashings for Gravitation, there will be at least one other thematic power other than creating the light/sound as she currently does – perhaps something close to how Gold works in allomancy, showing some past or true version of the self, which would be integral to her getting over her current problems in later books, or else the ability to manifest visions of the past to mirror Renarin, possibly to reveal the full truth of the Recreance or early desolations. - Assuming that the core ideas here are correct, we can bring Odium in. We know from WoB that the red eyes of the parshmen and fused in WoR/OB are caused by one shard interfering with the magic system of another. I think that Voidbinding as Odium’s associated magic system will be revealed to manifest as a twisted version of whatever system is currently held in place by the shards of the worlds he invades. Odium does not wish to heavily invest where possible, and I think the idea of twisting the currently in place systems to suit his own needs fits this agenda well. This also explains the apparent “truth” of the Recreance revealed in OB – the humans coming with Odium may have used a twisted version of their previous world’s magics, “Voidbinding”, causing it to be destroyed, before taking up a new form of Rosharan Voidbinding to face the parsh people. This also presents a reason as to why the earlier Radiants were not so affected by the truth: there was an understanding, thanks to Honour, that Surgebinding was the pure form of the Voidbinding they had used against the parsh people during the first desolation, and not the same art that had caused the destruction of their previous world. He failed to make this distinction as he began to grow more affected by his shard towards the end of his fight with Odium, eventually leading to the Recreance, when men no longer saw the distinction between the two. The basis for this theory comes largely from the Surgebinding and Voidbinding diagrams – the Surgebinding glyphs are all symmetrical, and indeed the Vorins worship symmetry, which in essence is predictable and implies constancy. To me, the half-flipped open ended Voidbinding glyphs imply that they are warped from the original intention, or left open to new interpretation. As the self-proclaimed shard of Passion, and therefore emotion, it makes sense that Odium's magic system should be almost contemptuous of the already established systems, making mockery of other invested beings’ abilities. I also posit that the tenth, secret name for the Almighty, “he who transforms”, is actually a relic of Odium worship among the humans on their previous world – referring to his ability to warp the currently in place systems to his own ends. - Moving on to Renarin. Renarin, who has bonded a Truthwatcher spren corrupted by Sja-anat, and therefore of both Odium and Honour, should exhibit at the very least one corrupted surge. Either he will have access to normal Progression and a warped version of illumination, or to all four. So far, he has demonstrated similar regrowth to Lift, being able to heal the wounded. If he manifests some form of Odium influenced Progression, perhaps he will be able to force mutation in plants or animals, or artificially age people. I think it is more likely he will stick to normal Honour-derived Progression, although his other surge may interfere. Renarin’s Illumination surge was the major giveaway that something was different about him, as it is repeatedly stated that seeing the future is of Odium. The future is illuminated for Renarin in visions of stained glass, allowing him to predict events, future change that Honour’s constancy could not reveal. He has also been proven inaccurate, which is due to his own nature as a sort of half-breed Radiant – as he is trapped between Odium and Honour, he is blind to himself in his own Odium based visions in the same manner as Odium fails to see him in the diagram, and as such any predictions he makes where he has personal involvement are unreliable, similarly to two Mistborn burning Atium. He also seems to be able to create images like Shallan’s, although his method, or when they take place, has not yet been revealed. Personally I think it will relate to his visions, allowing him to create illusions of the things he has seen in the future, or else imitate the present which I expect to be a common ground. Renarin has also shown the ability to somehow finish off a wounded thunderclast using light, ostensibly from his illumination surge. Possibly he is using some form of progression and illumination to enforce his own truth on the thunderclast, or it may be related to his resonance. Speaking of resonance, Renarin will probably display something unique as his combination of surges is new ground – an interaction between both two surges and two shards. In conclusion, I think that Voidbinding is a generic art that manifests as a corruption of local magics, and on Roshar is related to the ten Surgebinding surges, but extrapolated towards change and the unknown to mock Honour's consistency. This explains the pre-Recreance stability, why the fused are able to imitate the Radiant surges to an extent, as well as the warping of Renarin’s abilities as a corrupted Truthwatcher while displaying some abilities more in line with the expected. Hopefully you enjoyed the sweeping assumptions made in this crackpot theory, and I hope that adherence to the Assuredness Movement has thoroughly convinced you of my correctness, although realistically I do think some of the ideas have merit.
  17. 10 levels of voidbinding? Why the 9 shadows then? All those niners are just for the unmade only then?
  18. So prior to Oathbringer coming out, I had done as much research as could be done (which admittedly wasn't a lot) on Voidbinding, and came across this post on the forums: Number 4 on jofwu's post points something out - on the drawing of Kharbranth in the first book, the symbol that corresponds to the Dustbringers on the Voidbinding chart is seen in the corners. A bit odd, no? However, we know from Renarin that the spren he bound to still gave access to similar surges as the order that it claimed he belonged to. He had powers similar to Progression, after all. We also know that the Fused could simulate the Lashings as well, though there were differences (possibly due to it being a different sort of Bond - Renarin may have been Nahel-bonded to a corrupted spren of the appropriate type to make a Lightweaver, OR may be a Voidbinder, and the fused are something else- or the two are one and the same, just through different species). So, we know that corrupted spren can simulate the Orders of the Radiants; we also know that they can trick the pseudo-Knight into thinking that they are Knights of that order. Without any original Knights to compare to, who would know (outside of the Skybreakers)? So. Theory-time. If the act of a human binding a Voidspren in a Nahel bond is, in fact, Voidbinding, then it is possible that Taravangian's Dustbringer, Malata, isn't a true Dustbringer. She's a Voidbound Dustbringer. Keep in mind - Taravangian did everything he could to find a Knight to carry out the Diagram. And he was amazed that he found a member of the ONE ORDER that he felt would be most in line with his view. How convenient. If that is the case of course, then the confusion between Dustbringers and Voidbringers becomes a bit of a joke, I think, but I'm fine with that.
  19. Hello 17th sharders, tip of the hat to you all, you do amazing work. So, I have been doing some high level speculating as to the nature of Investiture on Roshar, and have some thoughts that I would like to get feedback on. So we know that the number 10 is an important number on Roshar, and that the 2 shards Honor and Cultivation each have 5 surges associated with them. Honor has the 5 surges of emotion and Cultivation has the 5 surges of natural forces. Further, each order of Knights Radiant has access to 2 surges, one from Honor and one from Cultivation (with the possible exception of the orders that are in the God Eye positions (bondsmiths deriving 2 surges from Honor and truthwatchers deriving 2 surges from Cultivation)). I've seen speculation that voidbinding will have 10 orders, and this does seem plausible given that Brandon is a fan of Symmetrical systems. This is the speculation, what if Voidbinding was a mixture of 5 Odious surges with the 5 surges of Cultivation. Honor and Odium seem like diametrically opposed intents, and I find the idea of them mixing very problematic. But Cultivation is an end neutral force, it doesn't have a goal it simply is. There are positive and negative aspects, and given that it's alignment is probably Lawful Neutral, it could mix with both Honor and Odium providing access to it's surges to both of 2 other shards invested in the Rosharian system. This is a kind of symmetry that allows for balance but a great degree of difference between voidbinding and surgebinding. Also it would be fun to see how the parallel systems are similar and how they are different. This said, I think the fused seen in the final Kaladin chapter in Oathbringer are using the surge of Gravitation (from Cultivation) and have a voidish surge in reserve that they weren't using at that time. Maybe the reason that they are seen bobbing like kites, not in full control over their flying isn't that they have little practice, maybe it's the nature of how they control the surge. The Nahel bond is a friendly agreement, the voidish bond that grants access to the surge is probably more of a domination of the surge, like they have to fight or master it to use it. The speculation that maybe Odium is complete and unalloyed in the extension of his Investiture, composed of 10 specific surges doesn't feel right to me. Because it would be too much of the case that he is simply the inversion of the Honor. Like deciding his forms of investiture were like a playground squabble: "You got a stick, well I have a really pointy stick. Oh you have a rock too, well my rock is obsidian and it's really sharp." This seems like a petty and boorish way to develop his investiture. I think we totally don't have enough information on the nature of Cultivation yet to do much more than reasoned conjecture, but holy crap this book is so amazing and it's fun to build castles made of speculative sand. Looking forward to your thoughts.
  20. So is voidbinding just bonding a Spren to fill a void? The Listeners bind various types of spren to fill a void in them that they need filled to function. If there is nothing in that void, they are in slave form. They can bond inert spren (spren who lend no specific form) to ascend to dull form (if you left Parshman out in a highstorm would they become dull form?). They can bond specific spren to attain various useful forms. i.e. Work form, War form, Nimble form, Mate form, possibly art form, scholar form, or mediation form. And they can bond void spren to take the forms of power; Storm Form, Smoke form, night form, and decay form. Voidbinding differs from Surgebinding in that a surgebinder has to be broken, and a spren seeps into the cracks, while a Listener (and various wildlife) have a void that needs to be filled to function. The Greatshells and the skyeels may also be using voidbinding. A Spren has bonded with them to reduce the effect of gravity on them and to give them some level of sentience. Were the Ryshadium also made using Voidbinding? I may be completely wrong, or maybe this has all already been discussed. But I was more or less just musing.
  21. I think the Everstorm brings Voidlight to Roshar. Just as Stormlight enables bonds and “makes things grow,” Voidlight IMO breaks bonds. Voidlight frees the Parshmen, but only Stormlight enables them to bond again. IIRC, @Calderis theorizes Melishi stripped out part of the Parshmen Spiritwebs, putting them into slaveform. He suggests the Everstorm causes the stripped-out part to regrow. I think the opposite is true, that Bondsmiths can make bonds but not break them. I think Melishi bonded Parshmen with a blank pseudo-spren to turn them into slaves. The Everstorm’s Voidlight breaks the bond with the pseudo-spren, rather than regrowing Parshmen Spiritwebs. I think Parshmen exposed to the Everstorm return to their natural sapient state. Parshmen still need Stormlight to bond with spren. Kaladin’s companions may not yet have been exposed to Stormlight and may be unbonded. I think Voidbringing changes the Spiritual DNA of the spren Parshmen (and other lifeforms/objects) bond with. We’ll see how Kaladin’s companions act when exposed to Stormlight. Some of them may bond corrupted spren; some of them may not bond at all; and some may bond uncorrupted spren. The yellow spren IMO is a Voidbinding spren, Odium’s version of a Radiantspren. Such spren are not necessarily evil, since the Shards themselves are not evil. Some Voidbinding spren may be cruel, just as some Radiantspren are. The difference between spren is magical – how they perform magic – not moral. This yellow spren does not appear evil (so far). I believe Voidbinders use the same Surges as Surgebinders, but Voidbinders access the Surges by breaking the internal bonds that make them who they are. I think the Unmade are “unmade” because using Odium’s magic over time reduces Voidbinders and their Spiritwebs. Voidbinders IMO catalyze their magic by consuming Voidlight to break their bonds. Hate gives you power, but you pay a price. Becoming “unmade” – having hate consume you – is Odium’s price for his power. The yellow spren sees Kaladin as a Voidbinding candidate. I suspect it notices Kaladin’s “protecting” character. The yellow spren itself first warned of Kaladin’s presence, a form of protection, and seems to be marshalling the Parshmen towards their rendezvous. I think the yellow spren is Odium’s version of honorspren – “protecting spren” - even if it does turn out to be a Shinovar stone spren. That may explain Syl’s ambivalence towards it. Just some thoughts before tomorrow’s chapters blow them apart…
  22. So, I recently posted in the chapters 22-24 reaction thread about Kaladin's conversation with the Voidspren and compared it to the conversation that Dalinar had with the Radiant in his first vision in WoK. After thinking about it some more, I felt that it deserved its own topic. Given the similarity between these two conversations, I suspect that the Voidspren was talking about Kaladin's potential as a Voidbinder, just as the Radiant was talking about "Dalinar's" potential as a Radiant. So, let's use that as our base assumption. Why then, could the spren not offer to bond Kaladin herself. Obviously, the Radiant couldn't make such an offer since he wasn't a spren, but that isn't really an issue here. There are three possibilities that I can think of: The spren was lying, so as to test Kaladin's reactions. The spren is the wrong type of Voidspren and therefore has to leave it to a different spren. The spren is already bonded to someone. I would like to focus on the third possibility here since I think that it's the most interesting, and it would explain something that otherwise doesn't make much sense. How is the spren sapient? Every other sapient spren that we have ever seen has either remained Shadesmar or has been bonded to someone. This even extends to other worlds. (Elantris spoilers) So, how can this spren be sapient? The obvious answer is that she's bonded to someone. In that case, who could she have bonded? There are no obvious candidates, after all. If we assume that the Voidspren bond acts anything like the Nahel bond, then, firstly, given her level of intelligence, she must have been bonded to someone for quite a while at this point (which rules out the listeners). And secondly, that person must be nearby in order for her to retain her sapience. But then how is it that we haven't seen this person? Well, the person in question has to be a Voidbinder, so an obvious possibility is that they are hiding themself by the use of Voidbinding. However, as we basically know nothing of what Voidbinding can do, I'll refrain from speculating on the precise mechanism that they are using to do that. Another possibility is that the Voidspren bond does not work precisely like the Nahel bond. Perhaps the way that the Radiantspren slowly awake to sapience is the result of Cultivation's influence, and in a system in which Cultivation plays no part, the spren instead awaken to full sapience immediately, in which case it could be as simple as one of the listeners being the Voidbinder. Or the Voidbinder actually isn't nearby at all. This possibility is far less helpful for making predictions than the former, unfortunately. In any event, I am intrigued by the fact the spren is interested in Kaladin. What does it say that there is overlap in the groups of people who are suitable to attract a Radiantspren, and people who are suitable to attract a Voidspren? And could it be that we have finally "seen" Voidbinding, as far as it is possible to see that which is hidden, at any rate?
  23. Brandon says Roshar has three magic systems, plus the “weird” Old Magic. I think Voidbringing is a fifth Rosharan magic system. This post explores how I believe each magic system works. Quick background: Forum consensus agrees there are at least three magic system components: “Fuel” (Investiture that causes the magic), “Focus” (a component that determines the power available for magic), and “Magic User” (the person who directs the magic). I think there’s a fourth component, “Catalyst,” which Khriss describes as a substance Magic Users consume to cause Shard power to Invest them. (BoM Ars Arcanum - Allomancy.) Catalysts, IMO, make the Magic User an Invested object capable of directing the Invested power. I believe there are three types of magic systems, all of which are found on Roshar. “Interaction with nature” systems use Fuel and a means to Focus power. In “people with magic” systems, Magic Users can direct the magic. Some“people with magic” systems use a Catalyst to access power, and some don’t. IMO, these are the Rosharan Shards’ Mandates (intents): Honor makes bonds, Cultivation makes change, and Odium breaks bonds. I think every Rosharan Magic User, mortal or voidish, uses the same powers, what Rosharans call Surges. Shard Mandates determine how Magic Users use the powers. Background done. Here are the systems, starting with the ones we know best. Surgebinding (Catalytic system) The Magic User is the Surgebinder. I agree with those who think spren are Roshar’s Focus. (Some posters think Roshar’s bonds are its Focus.) I believe Radiantspren’s mixed Investitures make them dual Focuses. IMO, Honor and/or Cultivation’s power is Surgebinding’s Fuel. Surgebinders consume Stormlight as their Catalyst to cause power to Invest them. The Radiantspren as Focus determine which power Invests the Surgebinder. I think the Surgebinder “binds” the Surges by directing the Invested power to create the magical effect – choosing gravity’s vector or drawing a new persona. Fabrials (Catalytic “people with magic” system) The fabrial user turns the fabrial on and off, and IMO is the Magic User. I think the gem-captured spren is the Focus. IMO, the gemstone filters Stormlight to replicate the symbiotic conditions of a gemheart. Spren consume the Stormlight and Focus their power on the machine they think is a lifeform. The spren-Focused power animates the machine for the desired magical effect. Shard power is the Fuel, and Stormlight is the Catalyst. Voidbinding (Catalytic “people with magic” system) I theorize Voidbinding is Odium’s form of Surgebinding. Because Surgebinding needs the Nahel bond to bind Surges, I speculate Voidbinding breaks bonds to bind the Surges. I think Voidbinding binds the same Surges as Surgebinding, except the Bondsmith Surges (or maybe just the Bondsmith’s “perks”). I think Voidbinding is a Catalytic system. I speculate the Nine Unmade combine two Voidbinding abilities like Heralds (other than the Bondsmith). “Void Knights” (if they exist) would have their patron Unmade’s abilities, like KR. The Unmade and any Void Knights would be Magic Users, voidspren would be the Focus, “Voidlight” the Catalyst, and Odium’s power the Fuel. If Odium’s power breaks bonds, then Voidlight IMO destroys matter. Only bondless bits remain – a Void of unreflected light. I think Voidlight’s Spiritual energy shows in Gavilar’s sphere, but nothing else, not even the spren it contains. I suggest an “Ever-Stormfather” Focuses Odium’s power into Voidlight, like the Stormfather Focuses Honor’s power (IMO) into Stormlight. Voidbringing (Non-Catalytic “people with magic” system) I believe Odium Investiture in voidspren form invades other spren like a virus. The “virus” voidspren replaces the target spren’s Spiritual DNA. Odium can then change and control the target spren’s host. I think Voidbringing most resembles Hemalurgy. Hemalurgy’s power to transfer innate Investiture Invests the metal spike. Voidspren, to me, equate to Hemalurgical spikes. Odium Invests each voidspren with the power to replace the target spren’s Investiture with its own. That power IMO is Voidbringing’s Fuel. Like spren in Roshar’s other magic systems, voidspren are Voidbringing’s Focus. I believe Hemalurgy and Voidbringing are non-Catalytic systems because power Invests the spike/voidspren, not the Magic User. Until stormspren summon the Ever-Stormfather, IMO Odium’s power can’t be Focused into Voidlight. Hence, Voidbringing can work without a Catalyst. Sja-anat (mentioned in Dalinar’s Purelake vision) seems able to direct Voidbringing. If so, Sja-anat is a Magic User. We don’t know if a Void Knight Order supports Sja-Anat or if other Unmade can Voidbring. It’s possible Odium alone Voidbrings. Without Magic Users, Voidbringing would be an “interaction with nature” system, mirroring Roshar’s pre-Shattering ecosystem with corrupted spren. The “Old Magic” (“Interaction with nature” system) I think the Old Magic is an Adonalsium-created “interaction with nature” system that Shard Investiture changed. I speculate the Nightwatcher (by some other name) began as a large splinter that native Rosharans personified into a sapient spren. We don’t know its original magic. I think Cultivation’s Investiture and human personification of Cultivation morphed that spren into the Nightwatcher. IMO, as an “interaction with nature” system, the Old Magic has two components. The Old Magic’s Fuel is Cultivation’s power. Its Focus is the Nightwatcher herself. The Old Magic remains an “interaction with nature” system, though Shard Invested, because mortals don’t direct its magic. They can ask the Nightwatcher for a boon; but she determines both the boon and the curse. Av tells Baxil, the Nightwatcher “gives [the boon] she feels you deserve, then gives you a curse to go along with it.” (WoK, Interlude I-7, Kindle p. 709.)
  24. For some months now, I’ve been working on creating a framework for all of the magic systems of Roshar that combines everything we know about them and makes predictions for that which we don’t know. This topic is the end result. Since I’m aiming for completeness, there will be things here that are already well understood, as well as things that I haven’t seen proposed before. So, with apologies for the sheer length that it has become, allow me to present my framework. Magics by Shardic Composition Let's start by listing the various Rosharan powers and classifying them by the Shards which power them. Magic Shardic Composition Surgebinding Honour & Cultivation Ancient Fabrials Honour & Cultivation Modern Fabrials Cultivation Old Magic Cultivation Voidbinding Honour & Odium Voidbringer Powers Cultivation & Odium Surgebinding My classification of Surgebinding shouldn't be raising any eyebrows since it is well understood that each type of Radiant spren is some mix of both Honour and Cultivation. However, let's take a moment to consider how the two powers manifest in Surgebinding as this will provide insight into how I've classified the other magics. While there are many different interpretations of honour, they ultimately all come down to the interaction between two or more people: in a universe with only one person, it would be impossible for them to act honourably (nor to act dishonourably), for there would be no one for them to act honourably towards. This duality is reflected, I believe, in Honour's magic. The most obvious example of this would be the necessity to bond spren in order to perform it. Now, you could argue that since the listeners were bonding spren long before the Shards came to Roshar, this would mean that bonding spren is not related to Honour specifically. However, the listener bond is, by its very nature, very different to the Nahel bond; seemingly less a mutually beneficial partnership, and more a natural process. I would contend, therefore, that this is an example of Honour incorporating this aspect of the Rosharan environment into his magic out of necessity. I do not think that this idea of duality is limited only to the bonding of spren, however; I think that it extends even to the way that the powers form. You likely noticed that in my listing of the various magics that there is no system that is entirely of Honour. I think that Honour's nature means that he requires a second Shard to mix his power with in order to form a magic system. In other words, it would not be in his nature to form a magic that is purely his own. Another example of Honour's effect on Surgebinding is in its structure: the way that Surgebinders are divided up precisely into distinct predetermined Radiant Orders based off of their interpretation of honour, and their determination to emulate that ideal. And also, the way that the powers are divided up between the different orders. This is a rigid and inflexible framework, much like the Radiant’s Ideals can be. In short, this is where the "binding" in Surgebinding comes from: Honour is bound to another Shard and the Radiants to their spren, their Orders, and their Ideals. So if Honour provides a structure to Surgebinding, what does Cultivation provide? I think that it is through Cultivation that Surgebinders get to manipulate the Surges. If we look at the spren associated with each of the Shards, Honour's spren are those of emotion, again linking back to human interaction. Cultivation's spren, however, are the spren of nature, so it makes sense that it is Cultivation's power that gives access to the natural Surges. Now, I can imagine it being argued that since on Scadrial, all the magic systems revolve around metals, surely all the magic systems of Roshar should likewise revolve around the Surges, not simply the ones associated with Cultivation. However, I would argue that this is a false analogy: the metals on Scadrial act as a focus, the Surges on Roshar do not. The powers produced by the Metallic Arts (with the exceptions of Allomantic iron, steel, aluminium, and chromium) are not related to metal themselves. Therefore, whilst all of the Rosharan magic systems should share a common focus, it should not necessarily be the case that they all share the Surges. Modern Fabrials Now with that established, it should be obvious why I think that Fabrials are a magic system purely of Cultivation. They lack the rigid structure that I have associated with Honour, and while the spren are still part of the magic, they are trapped inside the gemstones rather than working with the user as you would expect in Honour’s magic. This leaves Cultivation as the only reasonable candidate, which in turn means that they must be utilising the surges in some way. Although, without the rigidity of Honour’s framework, the way they manifest is apparently quite different. Ancient Fabrials The first thing to note here is that these fabrials do not seem to have much in common with modern fabrials, to the point that I suspect that calling them fabrials at all is a misnomer. Modern fabrials all function by trapping a spren in a gemstone, ancient fabrials do not appear to do this. Spren are clearly involved in some way, just as they are in every other magic; we in fact see this in the operation of the Oathgates. In order to activate them, you need a Shardblade, i.e. the physical manifestation of a spren that is part Cultivation and part Honour. Moreover, the spren needs to be alive. This implies that the person operating the Oathgate needs to be working together with the spren, which sounds just like an Honour based magic. This would mean that the ancient fabrials are far more closely related to the Surgebindings than they are to modern fabrials. Which makes sense given that the effects we have seen (Soulcasting, Regrowth, Transportation) appear to be the same as various Surgebindings. In fact, when Nale heals Szeth with one of these ancient fabrials, he actually refers to it as a Surgebinding. Ideally I would compare the operation of the Oathgates to that of other ancient fabrials, unfortunately though, we haven’t really seen enough of these yet to be able to draw anything meaningful from them. The Old Magic This isn’t a magic like others on this list: it's not something that people can perform; instead, it seems to be practised solely by the Nightwatcher, about whom the only things we can really say with confidence are that she is some kind of “mega-spren”, closely related to Cultivation. This would suggest then that the Old Magic can be described as similar to a sapient, self-operating fabrial. I don’t think that there’s much more that can be said at this point without additional information about the Old Magic or the Nightwatcher. Voidbinding This brings us to the only magic system on the list which I believe to be unrelated to Cultivation. If we look at the Voidbinding chart from the back of The Way of Kings, it is immediately obvious that the structure of the magic is the same as Surgebinding. It even has "binding" in its name, hence why I think that it is of Honour. However, if we look at the symbols where, on the Surgebinding chart, the Surges are placed, we see not the symbols for the Surges, but a twisted version of them. Hence I do not think that Voidbinding will be related to the Surges at all, and hence Cultivation has no part in Voidbinding. Voidbringer Powers And finally, we come to the powers that were demonstrated at the end of Words of Radiance by the Voidbringers. Why do I think that this isn't Voidbinding? We have a WoB that we haven't seen Voidbinding yet, but we have seen these powers, therefore they must be something different. Additionally we have the following WoBs: Since the Voidbringers are forms of the Parshendi, and the Parshendi are not of Honour, if my classification of Voidbinding as being of Honour is correct, then the Voidbringers cannot be Voidbinders. So, why do I think that the Voidbringers are related to Cultivation rather than purely of Odium? If we have a look at Dalinar’s vision of the Purelake, we see him looking for a voidspren, which ultimately ends up animating a thunderclast. The voidspren is described to him as: “A spren that doesn’t act like it should”, not as a new type of spren. And apparently this is a result of the spren interacting with Sja-anat, an Unmade. What’s more, the spren they end up chasing has a resemblance to a riverspren, a type of nature spren, which is therefore related to Cultivation. I would propose, therefore, that the Unmade corrupt spren to make voidspren. When the spren was originally of Cultivation they go on to form Voidbringers and thunderclasts and the like. And when the spren was originally of Honour, they will bond to form Voidbinders. On Initiation The first thing to note here is that not all magics require an Initiation in order to be used. Some, such as Haemalurgy, are universal and can be used by anyone. Modern fabrials also seem to fall under this category. In order to use a magic, you need three things: intent, Investiture, and a focus. In the case of fabrials, the Investiture and the focus are both incorporated into the device itself. In other words, the user only needs to provide the intent to use the fabrial in order for it to work. The crucial part here is that the user does not need to access an external source of Investiture themselves: the fabrial does that for them. The Old Magic is not relevant to this discussion since it is restricted to the domain of the Nightwatcher. Also, I don’t think we’ve seen enough of the ancient fabrials yet in order to determine whether they would also be universal or not, so, for the time being, I’ll pass over these two magics. The remaining magics all seem to require Initiation. Khriss’ comments on Initiation in Elantris’ Ars Arcanum suggest that the method of Initiation across all of the magics on any given world is consistent. I think it should be fairly obvious, therefore, that the method of Initiation here is the spren bond. All of the remaining magics utilise a spren bond in some form, and Syl has openly admitted to Kaladin that she is the reason that he is able to Surgebind. On the Rosharan Focus So far I’ve seen theories on the focus claim that it’s either the gemstones, or the spren, or the spren bond. Firstly, I don’t think that it can be the spren bond: I have already demonstrated that it is the method of Initiation and I don’t see how it can be both. Also, as previously noted, not all magics require a spren bond, but all magics require a focus which is consistent across all Rosharan magics, therefore if the spren bond were the focus, this would be a contradiction. Things get interesting when we start to examine the spren and the gemstones as candidates for the focus, however. When examining Soulcasting, the gemstones act exactly as you would expect the focus to, the type of gemstone used determines the result of the transformation. However, this does not appear to be the case with any other magic that we have seen, which should mean that the gemstones can’t be the focus. The spren seem like an ideal candidate for the focus since they are, like the gemstones, present in some capacity in all Rosharan magics. Moreover, as they are capable of changing their form at will, if they are the focus then they should be able to direct the form that the power takes by themselves. And, we saw in the climax to Words of Radiance, Syl was able to accurately determine the weapon that Kalaldin wished her to form without him having to actively communicate it to her, it would follow then, that the Radiant spren could do the same thing to provide their Radiant with the power that they wished to use. And since in modern fabrials, the spren would presumably be trapped in a single form, it would account for why fabrials each have only a single function. There is, however, a problem with using spren as the Rosharan focus, and it is essentially the same problem that we ran into when we tried considering the gemstones as the focus: when considering Soulcasting, it is clearly the gemstones, not the spren that is determining the result of the transformation. So both the spren and the gemstones must be the focus, but neither the spren nor the gemstones can be the focus! To resolve this, I think we’re going to need to take a closer look at what a focus actually is. To start off with, I don’t think that a focus is actually physical. Everything in the Cosmere exists to some extent across all three Realms, so that we might be able to see or interact with it in the Physical Realm does not mean that this is where the magical interaction is happening. If we look at AonDor, the focus like in all Selish magics is shapes, however, an Aon will continue to function even if you were to destroy its physical representation. Indeed Elantrians can draw Aons in the air, which shouldn’t have a physical body at all. And of course, on Nalthis, they use Commands as a focus which, being auditory, likewise shouldn’t have a physical body. I suspect that it is in the Cognitive Realm that these gain a more concrete, not to mention, permanent, form. So, Investiture flows from the Spiritual Realm to the Cognitive Realm where it interacts with the focus and is filtered down into the Physical Realm in the form determined by that focus. But, if the focus is cognitive, then shouldn’t it be possible for it to be something more abstract in nature, such as a function? We know that gemstones and spren have some kind of relationship with each other. Just consider Navani’s notebook: Could it be the case that spren and gemstones are bound together as variables in a cognitive function that is acting as the focus on Roshar? When spren are imprisoned in gemstones, is that what’s really happening, or are they instead being constrained to the same space as part of such a function? This is what I think is happening here: neither the spren nor the gemstone is the focus, but they are both components in a kind of complex focus. How the Honourblades Work So, I’ve been repeatedly coming back to the idea that the spren are involved in some way in every magic on Roshar, yet you might have noticed that the Honourblades are an exception to this. They allow their wielder to Surgebind, but they are not themselves spren. In fact, originally, the Honourblades would power Surgebinding by opening a direct conduit to Honour, similar to how Allomancy opens a conduit to Preservation, meaning that even gemstones wouldn’t be needed to provide Stormlight. Thus, the Heralds might not have needed either part of the focus that I specified above. Does this not contradict my argument for the focus? I don’t think so; I think that the way Honour hacked the magic in the Honourblades means that this isn’t an issue. When Preservation hacked Allomancy so that Vin was able to burn the mists, she no longer needed the metals for Allomancy. And similarly, when Vin became Preservation, she was able to power Allomancy for Elend without him having access to the metals. Based off of this, I think it’s clear that a focus is not required when a Shard directly intervenes like this. One final point: it could perhaps be argued that the Honourblades represent the true form of Surgebinding and that the Nahel bond is the true hack since the spren copied the Honourblades. I disagree with this interpretation, though. I think that the Radiant spren have always been able to form the Nahel bond and create Surgebinders since Honour first Invested in Roshar, they simply didn’t know that they could do this. When Honour hacked the system by creating the Honourblades though, the spren were able to figure out that they had this ability from seeing what the Honourblades could do. TL;DR Given the size and scope of this treatise, it is impossible to easily summarise the entire piece, however, a few key points are as follows: Honour’s influence causes a magic to take on a predefined, rigid structure. Voidbinding does not manipulate the Surges at all. Spren Bonds are the basis for Initiation. Roshar has a complex focus which utilises both spren and gemstones as components. The Honourblades negate the need for a focus.
  25. Can we talk about the Voidbinding chart now that Brandon has confirmed that theory? Seems like there's been a push lately that it's related to fabrials and all kinds of other stuff. Now that we have some direction, seems like a good time to take a step back and reevaluate in light of this news. I'm including the chart below (with the Shadesmar map, since they go together). Also going to list some of the key observations that I can remember. Then I've got a theory of my own to add. Chart: Observations: Note: I'm going to refer to everything on the chart as a "void-" version of whatever analogue is on the Knights Radiant chart. 1. The void-surge symbols are rotationally symmetrical versions of the normal surge symbols. 2. Many of the void-order symbols resemble the normal KR order symbols. 3. The void-Truthwatcher symbol is also horizontally and vertically symmetrical. It is also incredibly similar to the glyph that shows up on maps of Roshar (around compass roses, behind the R's of 'Roshar', and around the borders - see "Glyphs" link in my signature) 4. The void-Dustbringer symbol shows up in the corners of the artistic view of Kharbranth. 5. Lines connect all of the void-orders and void-surges just like they do on the KR chart, except (strangely) for the two in the center, which aren't connected to a void-surge. Just an artistic thing, or something more? 6. The two in the center are also set on an octagon (rather than a circle) and are shown above a red gem (rather than the clouds to the sides). This sets them apart from the other eight even further. 7. Do the circles around symbols bring Shadesmar-beads to mind? Or Gavilar's dark sphere? The void-orders also have a slightly pink/purple glow. 8. Background imagery: (storm?) clouds, lightning bolts (both yellow and blue/purple, an (infused?) red gemstone. 9. Border: Flames, especially in the corner? Woman with safehand covered implies she is Vorin. Perhaps this helps to date the image? (after the advent of safehand covering) Alternatively, it could be dated to some point in the future, beyond what we have read so far. 10. Shadesmar map: This is clearly meant to accompany the map of Shadesmar, implied by the visual similarity and the fact that the border around the two is rotationally symmetrical. The somewhat detailed information on Shadesmar implies the person who created this voidbinding chart had a greater understanding of Shadesmar than most people in Roshar currently do. This excerpt from the TWoK Ars Arcanum is also worth mentioning perhaps: Questions: Some questions that come to my mind... What IS voidbinding? Is a listener bonded to a voidspren a voidbinder? Or is bonding to voidspren just like bonding to any other spren, and voidbinding is more like surgebinder, but with specific voidspren? Can a human be a voidbinder? Or is this completely off... Is voidbinding more related to the ten deaths, Thunderclasts, the Unmade, or other things like this? Is it voidbinding to create these things, or is voidbinding what they do? Why the heck is the void-Dustbringer symbol on the Kharbranth map? And why is the void-Truthwatcher symbol plastered all over both new and old maps of Roshar? What's going on with the center of this chart? Lots of things separate out the middle two from the other eight. Anyways... Some musing of my own... It strikes me that voidspren might be "corrupted" versions of normal spren. This is based on the Dalinar vision where they are searching for a spren that "doesn't act right." If something like this is correct... what does that mean for void-Bondsmiths? Are there any viable "great voidspren" that can make voidbinders of that type? I've got a little baby theory stirring around in my mind. What if the reason void-Bondsmiths and void-Truthwatchers are cut off here is because they don't exist at the time of this chart?