ReinyxGrey

Navani and Zahel [Navani levels up theory]

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My brother and I were contemplating different theories for the Cosmere, two steps away from donning full tinfoil hats when he said something that I hadn't thought about.

We were discussing Navani and what's next for her, trying to think about things that were repeated throughout RoW. A problem that Navani has is that she isn't a singer, so she has to really work at getting the correct pitch with Raboniel. Right before this, we had discussed Zahel and how Brandon had mentioned that he will get to what Zahel was doing - prompting me to ask the question "But why is Zahel is Roshar of all places, from a literary standpoint?" ... then he said it - 

 

Is the endgame for Zahel to, one way or another, end up giving Navani his breaths - thus enabling her to obtain perfect pitch?

 

Sorry if that has been mentioned before, it was an "OH GOD" moment for me, and wonder if anyone else has anything to add to supplement, or debunk, this theory.

 

Thanks!

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Its definitely possible, but if it is, there has been none of the foreshadowing I would expect for this event. To me, it would make more sense for her to start delving into worldhopping more and become a liaison with Silverlight and/or the Seventeenth Shardin the back half, if we assume that the back half is gonna be hugely Cosmere connected. 

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Posted (edited)

The general assumptions about why Zahel is on Roshar are that 1.) It's easier for him to live there than elsewhere in the Cosmere (he can siphon Investiture from the Highstorms rather than having to get a Breath every week), and 2.) He's involved in something relating to Nightblood (either finding and taking him again, or making sure that others don't, or something we don't know about at all yet).

As for giving Navani his Breaths... I mean, maybe. It would give her perfect pitch, and others have the same benefit through the same means (Hoid, presumably Mraize, Azure). It's not clear how many Breaths he has right now, and if he'd be willing to part with enough of them to do that given current events. He doesn't hoard them, that's for sure!

What more do you think Navani might do with perfect pitch? She's already got the Rhythm of War down, and has the plates for some rhythms. Maybe more research into cymatics, or more varied and intricate light manipulation?

Edited by Returned
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I do not know if it will happen but I LOVE IT.  If it does happen, your brother wins a FutureSight Award!

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Hello, I am the brother mentioned that had the theory. To clarify, given the interactions between Vasher and Denth in the end of Warbreaker and how Vasher acted when all was lost in their fight, and the distant stare kind of tired that Zahel portrayed at the end of his little spar with Kaladin...I feel like there is more reason for this as a possibility than at first glance. We know that Zahel was up to things through out the course of RoW that we have not been shown yet. Though he seems to have placed him outside of direct conflict regarding the happenings on Roshar, he is bound to have to get involved at least as much as to keep himself alive. 

His statement of having a "falling out" with Nightblood makes me feel that he is sincerely not too concerned with where the sword is. 

Looking at this from a more scientific viewpoint, Navani in her experimentation during RoW focuses greatly on music theory, more specifically pitch, rhythm and harmony.  It lightly touches at one point at getting almost a fingerprint for each type of light by breaking the light though a prism and recording a spectrum of color bands. Both of these aspects of advanced senses would be greatly beneficial in the manipulation of the forms of Rosharian light. 

Taking this one step further, utilizing Awakenings by whispering a command at the right pitch when pushing light into a gem...this seems like a clean means to remove spren from the fabrial equation. 

Now to look at this from a writer's perspective. In a situation where his Breath was on the line, Zahel doesn't seem to the be the type of person to allow his Breaths to go to waste if he see's a clear benefit to their use. If he were to be forced into that choice, via his death for example, I could see this as being a powerful scene in which he levels up Navani. That being said, I would also be willing to say that at the very least the moment Navani's character learns of Breaths and what they do, she will be searching out this power like a bloodhound. It is too powerful a tool in her scholarly pursuits to deny. 

That's my theory at least. I really look forward to learning more about what he was up to during RoW.

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Posted (edited)

Well, Vasher/Zahel doesn't have to die (i.e., to give up his Divine Breath) to transfer enough Breath to Navani to reach the Second Heightening, assuming he has that many. He knows the Command to give away Breath without giving up his Divine Breath (it's how he established Peacegiver's Treasure in the first place, and all subsequent God Kings have done), and how to do a partial transfer (if nothing else, to put enough Breath in an Awakened object before doing a full transfer, then regaining what he'd put into the first object).

So if you're speculating on why Vasher/Zahel is on Roshar as "the reason he Returned so many years ago", like he's Endowment's Long Game Pawn, Navani getting perfect pitch could be part of it, but it wouldn't require him to give up his life to fulfill.

More likely, he's been put there to combine his Scholarly knowledge of Realmatics to succeed in converting Stormlight or Lifelight (or Voidlight, even?) into Breath - or to help Navani achieve Heightening-like effects with Lifelight, maybe via a fabrial.

Fabrial... Now there's a thought. Zahel likened himself to the Fused: a "Type Two invested entitiy. Dead man walking... The longer one of us exists, the more like a spren we become". And Raboniel tells Leshwi that it's only a matter of time before the humans are "discovering they can do the same for us" as for Ba-Ado-Mishram and Nergoul: trap them in a perfect gem.

What if you could put HIM into the right kind of (perfect) gemstone? Imagine if drawing Light through him, like a filter, might be equivalent to having that much Investiture as Breath for a Heightening (perfect pitch being only the Second Heightening, or 200 Breaths)? Of course one cannot hold so much Light for long, it leaks away, but Navani could have perfect pitch for a while that way.

Edited by robardin
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Oh good idea! I like that. It would be a really cool progression for Navani

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I mean it would be very useful for Navani to gain Second Heightening in what she's learning/doing research about. 

And while I agree that Vasher would rather his breaths be useful than wasted, but I dont' think he'd have to give his Divine Breath in order to get her there

I expect that he'll end up using his Divine Breath to heal someone on Roshar at the end of SA5 personally. Maybe even Maya or something like that if not one of the main POV characters in a time of crisis. 

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On 4/7/2022 at 0:25 AM, Jimjamicon said:

Taking this one step further, utilizing Awakenings by whispering a command at the right pitch when pushing light into a gem...this seems like a clean means to remove spren from the fabrial equation.

Dude. Genius. That's exactly what the Sibling wants, fabrials without spren imprisonment. I can totally see this as a something that happens during SA5.

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On 4/11/2022 at 10:15 PM, Green Hoodie Mistborn said:

I expect that he'll end up using his Divine Breath to heal someone on Roshar at the end of SA5 personally. Maybe even Maya or something like that if not one of the main POV characters in a time of crisis. 

I do like the idea of him giving up his Divine Breath, if he has to for some as of yet unforseen circumstances, to bring back Maya. Even if it's a pipe dream!

 

I also love the Vasher in a gem theory. 

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On 12 April 2022 at 5:15 AM, Green Hoodie Mistborn said:

I expect that he'll end up using his Divine Breath to heal someone on Roshar at the end of SA5 personally. Maybe even Maya or something like that if not one of the main POV characters in a time of crisis. 

Since I learned that Zahel was Vasher (didn't pick up on it myself), I thought that he was going to heal Talenel. And yes, I assume that this is the reason for his Return and part of Endowment's long game. An out of the left field option for his miracle  could be BAM.

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On 4/6/2022 at 10:25 PM, Jimjamicon said:

Taking this one step further, utilizing Awakenings by whispering a command at the right pitch when pushing light into a gem...this seems like a clean means to remove spren from the fabrial equation. 

Wouldn't this require a ton of Breaths though? We've seen how it takes more Breaths to Awaken things that don't look like they are human, like with steel. It seems plausible on paper, but in action I think it would be tougher than it looks.

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On 4/15/2022 at 10:34 AM, Primeval Chaos said:

Wouldn't this require a ton of Breaths though? We've seen how it takes more Breaths to Awaken things that don't look like they are human, like with steel. It seems plausible on paper, but in action I think it would be tougher than it looks.

I think that the bigger issue is that the type of spren is important to making a fabrial do a specific thing. You need a flamespren for a heating fabrial, which is powered by Stormlight to actually make heat; a gravitationspren wouldn't produce the same effect.

It seems clear that usually something in the physical realm draws a spren, like flamespren appearing near a fire. Fabrials use Stormlight and a captured spren to work things in the opposite direction. That is, it's not just convenient Investiture and the right metals that make a fabrial work, it is Investiture and properties of Cosmere-important metals which cause a captured idea of heat (or the exothermal properties of a sufficiently rapid oxidation-reduction reaction, if you want to get really precise, as I imagine some posters will!) to manifest physical heat. I'm not sure how you remove the cognitive aspect from the equation while still having fabrial-style technology. I don't think that Awakening a sprenless gemstone with a Command like "generate heat" is going to do it.

Something I've been increasingly interested in, and which I suspect we'll see in the back five SA books, is how spren and the Cognitive Realm respond to real-world (or Scadrian) technology. If you build a combustion engine that runs on oil to produce mechanical energy, how do spren react to that, and which ones? Will a change in thinking among people, based on awareness of the technology, cause new spren to manifest, or change properties of existing spren?

We'll see, but I think that what we're going to get on Roshar is more "conventional" technology for the most part but which is a component of intricate, Investiture-driven machines. Navani's work will make them pretty efficient and will reduce the need for spren in a lot of ways, and maybe some kind of accord will be reached in which spren take shifts in gemstones or something. We'll also see the Sibling soften in its opposition as its awareness grows through its bond, since it seems fine with Soulcasting (which isn't that different from fabrials in a lot of ways, really, and may be more intrusive to an object. Just not intrusive to a spren).

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My theory:

Zahel is an easter egg, not a Stormlight Archive plot point. He's there because he needs to use Investiture to survive, and using Breaths means taking lives. Stormlight is freely available to those that know how to use it, so he can survive on Roshar without taking lives.

That's it. He crosses paths with SA characters because easter egg.

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21 minutes ago, Leuthie said:

My theory:

Zahel is an easter egg, not a Stormlight Archive plot point. He's there because he needs to use Investiture to survive, and using Breaths means taking lives. Stormlight is freely available to those that know how to use it, so he can survive on Roshar without taking lives.

That's it. He crosses paths with SA characters because easter egg.

I agree for the most part. Zahel's storyline is a background one. He might give the occasional motivational speech or do something behind the scenes, but I don't think he's going to be a main character.

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Posted (edited)

On 4/19/2022 at 2:53 PM, Leuthie said:

My theory:

Zahel is an easter egg, not a Stormlight Archive plot point. He's there because he needs to use Investiture to survive, and using Breaths means taking lives. Stormlight is freely available to those that know how to use it, so he can survive on Roshar without taking lives.

That's it. He crosses paths with SA characters because easter egg.

 

On 4/19/2022 at 3:19 PM, Nameless said:

I agree for the most part. Zahel's storyline is a background one. He might give the occasional motivational speech or do something behind the scenes, but I don't think he's going to be a main character.

So, while I agree that he's an Easter Egg in a way... at the same time he's critical to the Stormlight Archive. 

He trained Adolin in the sword and taught him to care for his blade, both of which have had huge consequences for the plot. He brought Nightblood to Roshar, which... has had huge consequences for the plot. He helped train Renarin to a degree and has advised and trained Kaladin at key moments that are plot-critical. 

He won't be a "main character", but he is critical to the entire Stormlight Archive. 

Also - Brandon specifically wrote/wanted to get Vasher's and Nightblood's story out there with Warbreaker so we know WHO they were/are, before we met them in the SA. That isn't a coincidence, it's the plan. 

I think he has a core part to play in SA5 even if he's not going to be POV/main-character, and I'm betting that it will be a culmination of his story and the full culmination of his initial Returned name, Warbreaker the Peaceful. 

Some way he's going to redeem something that goes horribly awry in SA5 with his breath. 

That's what I'm banking on anyway...

EDIT: there is also this WoB from the RoW release party I just found: https://wob.coppermind.net/events/448-row-release-party/#e14425
 

Quote

Vetterlinj

Has Vasher accomplished what he Returned to do? If he has not, has he had the opportunity?

Brandon Sanderson

No, + not really.

RoW Release Party (Nov. 17, 2020)

 

Edited by Green Hoodie Mistborn
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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, Green Hoodie Mistborn said:

 

So, while I agree that he's an Easter Egg in a way... at the same time he's critical to the Stormlight Archive. 

He trained Adolin in the sword and taught him to care for his blade, both of which have had huge consequences for the plot. He brought Nightblood to Roshar, which... has had huge consequences for the plot. He helped train Renarin to a degree and has advised and trained Kaladin at key moments that are plot-critical. 

He won't be a "main character", but he is critical to the entire Stormlight Archive. 

Also - Brandon specifically wrote/wanted to get Vasher's and Nightblood's story out there with Warbreaker so we know WHO they were/are, before we met them in the SA. That isn't a coincidence, it's the plan. 

I think he has a core part to play in SA5 even if he's not going to be POV/main-character, and I'm betting that it will be a culmination of his story and the full culmination of his initial Returned name, Warbreaker the Peaceful. 

Some way he's going to redeem something that goes horribly awry in SA5 with his breath. 

That's what I'm banking on anyway...

EDIT: there is also this WoB from the RoW release party I just found: https://wob.coppermind.net/events/448-row-release-party/#e14425
 

 

I agree, not to mention his entire conflict is about how to handle power and war, which are the two main themes of Stormlight archive (the knights radiant, Bondsmith unchained, the Alethi society, the desolations etc). Vasher is definitely healing someone in the next book. Also he clearly is going to have an arc with azure in the horneater novella we will have, something is going to change for him i feel.

My theory is that all this is set up for endowment to arrive on roshar.

Quote

 

Edited by KaladinWorldsinger
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37 minutes ago, KaladinWorldsinger said:

Vasher is definitely healing someone in the next book. Also he clearly is going to have an arc with azure in the horneater novella we will have, something is going to change for him i feel.

Is it established anywhere that this is literally the purpose that Returned return to fulfill? As I remember it that was just a feature of the religion that Vasher devised on Nalthis, even though Lightsong returned to do just that. That doesn't mean he won't do it, but Vasher can help out in lots of ways without dying to heal (healing is cheap on Roshar, for the most part). Unless I've missed something that says Returned do come back for that, which I easily could have.

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56 minutes ago, Returned said:

Is it established anywhere that this is literally the purpose that Returned return to fulfill? As I remember it that was just a feature of the religion that Vasher devised on Nalthis, even though Lightsong returned to do just that. That doesn't mean he won't do it, but Vasher can help out in lots of ways without dying to heal (healing is cheap on Roshar, for the most part). Unless I've missed something that says Returned do come back for that, which I easily could have.

Vasher never devised the religion on Nalthis. He was born as a part of it(warbreaker . From WoBs we have real confirmation that the returned coming back for a purpose is real and done deliberately by Endowment. 

I want Vasher's death to be something Endowment didn't plan, as it's clear that he hates her. I want it to be his choice. I only want Vasher because I feel he has suffered enough and needs a good death.

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6 minutes ago, KaladinWorldsinger said:

Vasher never devised the religion on Nalthis. He was born as a part of it(warbreaker . From WoBs we have real confirmation that the returned coming back for a purpose is real and done deliberately by Endowment. 

Really? I'll have to re-read. My recollection is that most of the religion (not the existence of the Returned themselves, but the social organization under a God King and the attendant gods, rituals, and beliefs) was devised by Vasher to safeguard a hoard of Breath (the Treasure of Peacegiver), maintained in the succession of tongueless God Kings. I could swear Vasher said something to that effect, but it'll take me ages to confirm or deny that.

I agree that the Returned gaining a vision of a future issue and coming "back to life" via Endowment predates Vasher, since he's one of those himself. But the religion in Hallandren itself seems entirely different.

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12 minutes ago, Returned said:

I agree that the Returned gaining a vision of a future issue and coming "back to life" via Endowment predates Vasher, since he's one of those himself. But the religion in Hallandren itself seems entirely different.

The Cult of the Returned were the ones who named him Warbreaker, they predate Vasher and are the forerunners of the Iridesant Tone's.

Vasher did leave the priests with a set of instructions, but he did not make the religion.

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17 hours ago, KaladinWorldsinger said:

My theory is that all this is set up for endowment to arrive on roshar.

 

Well, you and I agree fundamentally on Endowment's future though I haven't responded to your last post in that thread yet. So, I have to disagree that Endowment is coming to Roshar. 

Theoretically, Vasher did not return in order to heal someone. He might have another purpose in his Return. That doesn't preclude him from healing someone as well though. 

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If Endowment were to come to Roshar, That would make 3 shards on Roshar - 4 if you include vessel-less Honor in there somewhere...

 

At what point does having so many shards on one planet start to interfere with the planet itself - changing it? Wouldn't Endowment leaving Nalthis also have an extreme adverse effect? 

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Posted (edited)

@ReinyxGrey, I'm late to the party (ironically) and I had asked the question of increased 2nd Heightening relevance back in January actually, but I hadn't made the connection to the characters or how it could play into the bigger story line. If you want some supplemental discussion stuff, we had people debating what it would look like just from a Cosmere mechanics and viability standpoint. I for one think it's a really cool idea, and I'm seriously underestimating Endowment if she foresaw to this eventuality.

 

Edited by Duxredux
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