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[Theory] Seons are the key for geographically un-locking Selish invested arts

2 posts in this topic

...or at least, unlocking AonDor.

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[...]

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, it would work the same way.

The only magic that is location-dependent--  The ones who aren't interested in this, just hum to yourself, okay? *laughter* You don't need to know any of this stuff to enjoy the books, okay? I write them so that you could just-- each series can be read independently, and enjoyed. There is behind the scenes stuff, and if you want to dig, it goes pretty deep.

So on Sel, we have AonDor. AonDor is based on the fact that the Dor, which is an amalgamation of Dominion and Devotion, has been pressed together and stuffed into the Cognitive Realm by Odium who didn't want it to gain sentience, as Investiture will do if it is left alone. It will either seek someone to be its Vessel or it will gain sentience. He pressed it in there; he pressed it together, which creates the violent reaction, because those two intents are opposed. And that is the foundation of the magic. Because it's stuck in the Cognitive Realm rather than the Spiritual Realm (the Spiritual Realm is location-independent; Cognitive Realm is location-dependent), it makes the magic on Sel only work in close proximity to what is keyed through there to the location they're keyed to. This has to do with Identity and Connection. Mostly Connection. So that means you can't do AonDor on another planet, but you can do other magics works anywhere, because they're drawing the magics specifically through either the place, or they're end-neutral, like Breath is, and you don't need any extra power.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing (Dec. 6, 2016)

So, Selish arts being geographically locked is a result of Devotion and Dominion's combined investiture - collectively the Dor - having been shoved into the Cognitive realm by Odium after he splintered those Shards. Most end-poitive arts pull Investiture from the Spiritual Realm, Selish arts can't do that because it being in a location-dependent Realm keys parts of it to certain locations through Identity and Connection.

Seons, meanwhile, are splinters of Devotion accidentally created as a side-effect of the splintering of Devotion. Which means that, while they do seem to be mostly-cognitive beings like spren, they weren't part of the central shardic mass of Devotion at the time it was trapped in the Cognitive.

Now, Brandon has been cagey when asked about whether Seon communication is truly instantaneous, because if it's Spiritual in nature then it would be instantaneous since distance isn't a factor, but if it's Cognitive then there'd technically be a slight delay.

The simplest means of achieving instant or near-instant communication, both over great distances and (Rhythm of War spoilers) between the Physical and Cognitive Realms using Cosmere mechanics that we've seen on-screen would be by manipulating Connection in a certain way. In the case of Seon-to-Seon communication, this would be the Connection between the two Seons, or possibly the two people speaking through them using Seons as a medium.

So, quick recap: Shards can normally transmit Investiture at a distance because the live in the Spiritual Realm, and the reason this doesn't work on Sel is the Shards are in the wrong Realm. Seons were broken off of Devotion before it got moved to the wrong Realm. There is a good chance that Seons pull of their long-distance and inter-realm communication by manipulating Connection, just from what we know of Cosmere mechanics.

Now, here's the kicker:

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DoritoJH

So, AonDor is super versatile and powerful.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, but region-locked!

DoritoJH

Yes, it is region locked, exactly. If a full Feruchemist using nicrosil were to create an unlocked medallion that allowed an Elantrian to store Connection to Elantris' location, would it let them use AonDor at full power as long as they were tapping that Connection?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. That should work just fine.

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Just understand that the medallion's going to have to be usable by everyone in order to work. You're going to have to jump through some hoops, but I think what you want there would work. And for those of you listening, that would be the harder way to unlock AonDor. There are easier methods.

DragonCon 2019 (Aug. 31, 2019)

So, you can use f-Duralumin - manipulating Connection - to hack AonDor and let an Elantrian use it at full power regardless of location.

So, what if instead of having your Seon contact another Seon, you have it dial the Dor's metaphorical phone number?  Could doing so allow you to use AonDor regardless of your location in the Physical Realm?

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Seons seemed to work just fine in the Fjordell Empire and Sarene's country whose name I forgot and even on Roshar, so I can definitely see that!

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