king of nowhere

potential problems with too many immortals

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as the cosmere progresses, it's gradually being filled by immortal people with awesome powers.

I worry that could pose narrative problems, of the "why don't they intervene" variety.

oh, for a story about something relatively unimportant that's not an issue. everyone could read alloy of law and accept that harmony is not going to personally intervene against a band of robbers, no matter how dangerous.

however, when there is a threat to the world - which is what happens near the end of most sanderson books - brandon has to find ways to remove those powers from the action. he did so in tlm, and his touch was... less than subtle, mostly because of how many of those he had to cover

- harmony could not interfere because his vision and future sight were conveniently blocked

- nor could he send kandras to fight because their most battle capable member was conveniently removed from the planet few days before

- marsh put in an appearance, then he got conveniently sick (not really clear, by the way; he still had age stored, otherwise he'd have died in minutes, so there was nothing preventing him from tapping more youth)

- kelsier was conveniently placed on an airship in the middle of the ocean

- the ghostbloods apparently have tendrils everywhere, except near the area of operations.

all those coincidences were fine, taken individually. But all together, they become noticeable. and the more superpowerful immortals gather around, the more people will have to be conveniently written out of a plot.

do you think this is going to become a worse and worse problem as the cosmere goes on?

as a possible solution, the future age with the industrialization of investiture will give great powers to the common man, so that those superpowered people are less powerful by comparison. certainly giving common soldiers aluminium gear and allomantic granades would work nicely to threaten wax, but it will still be a hard sell against a radiant or a full mistborn/feruchemist.

 

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9 minutes ago, king of nowhere said:

- marsh put in an appearance, then he got conveniently sick (not really clear, by the way; he still had age stored, otherwise he'd have died in minutes, so there was nothing preventing him from tapping more youth)

This one actually makes sense given his physiology. Inquisitors by their nature have to rest for long periods of time, and they need to rest more the longer they are inquisitors.(FE 518)

But let's not forget that the Bands of Mourning were also mysteriously drained... because.

 

I did notice this, Marsh even showing up in the first place caused a lot of problems for me, because he came out of nowhere, solved the problem and disappeared, though it makes sense why he had to leave it was still a poor decision.

I would like to think that Brandon will either get better at this, or otherwise as magic crossovers become more common, and our superpowered immortals move more openly that the issue will resolve itself.

Edited by Ookla the Frustrated.
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Definitely a problem, you can also see this in Rhythm of War with Zahel, except that one isn't even explained at all (despite Brandon saying that there is a reason ... thanks Brandon, we really would have liked to know...).

To be fair though, Kelsier couldn't have done anything since he doesn't have powers at all at the moment. I'd even say it's possible that he even lied about not being able to get there in time, because if he had gotten there, he couldn't have pretended to be an Allomancer anymore. Also, at least Harmony sent TenSoon, so that is at least something. But like I said, I agree with the general sentiment. (As long as we're talking about Scadrial and Roshar. Less central stories like the Cosmere Secret Projects presumably won't have this problem.)

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1 hour ago, Elegy said:

Definitely a problem, you can also see this in Rhythm of War with Zahel, except that one isn't even explained at all (despite Brandon saying that there is a reason ... thanks Brandon, we really would have liked to know...).

 

i felt that one was ok because i don't think vasher could have taken the tower all by himself. he can whip up a small army with stuff lying around, but the tower hosted dozens of fused and thousands of soldiers. the only reason kaladin lasted as long as he did is leshwi's insistence in playing fair.

2 hours ago, Ookla the Frustrated. said:

This one actually makes sense given his physiology. Inquisitors by their nature have to rest for long periods of time, and they need to rest more the longer they are inquisitors.(FE 518)

 

not clear. yes, i am familiar with the source, but what does it mean exactly? iirc, marsh became old all of a sudden, something that would be covered by feruchemical atium. in general, there are very few ailments that could not be healed by some feruchemical healing, which marsh should have.

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I call them reverse MacGuffins, or Niffugams

Quote

In fiction, a MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin) is an object, device, or event that is necessary to the plot and the motivation of the characters, but insignificant, unimportant, or irrelevant in itself. -- From Wikipedia

Rather than an incidental item used to advance the story, a Niffugam is an extremely important thing that has to exist but would ruin the story somehow. Story time has to be expended to make sure there's a reason the Niffugam didn't solve the plot's conflict.

The Lost Metal was a small story with huge players and overblown ramifications. Brandon introduced too many things into the story that really didn't need to be there. Harmony didn't need to be involved at all (his conversations with Wayne and Kelsier in the epilogues would have been more interesting if it was his only appearances). Kandra could have kept their mouth's shut about Harmony's issues. Marsh and Kelsier could have been Epilogue only characters. The Niffugams didn't NEED to be there, hence why the were shoved out of the way.

Why didn't Harmony stop Autonomy? He did by sending Wax and Wayne and monitoring their progress. How did Wax get those mysterious vials? It's a mystery! Why didn't Marsh help? When has Marsh actively helped before? Why wasn't Kelsier there? Why would he be when he's obviously spending most of his time and energy in the south? All of the questions posed in the story are answered by things we already knew or could simply be mysteries we try to figure out. The Niffugams didn't need to be there.

I think Brandon solves this issue in future stories by NOT giving us direct motivations of Shards and Vessels, unless they're integral to the plot; NOT integrating Cosmere hopping super beings into the plot unless the plot was designed for those Cosmere hopping super beings; NOT creating planet-wide calamities when localized calamities will do.

 

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27 minutes ago, Leuthie said:

The Lost Metal was a small story with huge players and overblown ramifications. Brandon introduced too many things into the story that really didn't need to be there. Harmony didn't need to be involved at all (his conversations with Wayne and Kelsier in the epilogues would have been more interesting if it was his only appearances). Kandra could have kept their mouth's shut about Harmony's issues. Marsh and Kelsier could have been Epilogue only characters. The Niffugams didn't NEED to be there, hence why the were shoved out of the way.

the problem is, once you establish that harmony is there, and that the kandra are there, and that scadrial risks complete destruction, then it would not make sense for harmony to not intervene. the problem with the niffugams is that they should intervene in the plot.

you can't just ignore a plot/worldbuilding element because it's inconvenient to the plot. hence why you need to provide a reason for the niffugam to not interfere with the plot

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I think this is true, but now most immortals who could make it into a story on Scadrial are pretty extensively foreshadowed as not being able to solve major issues in Era 3.

Marsh is entirely dependent on getting small flakes of atium out of explosions in order to survive, plus due to spikes can be controlled by anyone who can soothe/riot or use connection at a certain level, and needs constant rest. Kelsier is a fraud whose only real ability is to see metal and he cannot leave the area. The Kandra cannot use the metallic arts without access to pure godmetals, and have been socially conditioned against being able to use any kind of violence. The Selish immortals on planet are entirely dependent on getting rare bottles of Dor to do anything, any Nalthis immortals who pop up will have similar dependency issues to Marsh, and Sazed is about to fall into Discord and has no 'sword' anymore. 

It poses a bigger risk for Roshar, imo, where there's so much free investiture just floating around. Any mortal character without surges is just a bit irrelevant.

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One quick thing to note is that just because a character is immortal doesn't mean they're also highly powerful, and capable of solving the plot in a better way. The only one in TLM who would have had the power to seriously intervene was Marsh, and he'd probably still have issues with all the investigative aspects.

Just because someone is immortal doesn't make them hugely powerful as well. In fact, quite a few of the worldhoppers we've seen didn't appear to have much power at all. I suspect that this is partially because gathering new forms of investure is actually pretty difficult (good luck getting Scadrial's investure without committing gruesome murders), and partially because different forms of investure seem to have a degree of a cap on how strong they can get, and anything beyond that requires either a lot of knowledge to figure out some kind of hack, or just involves becoming more skillful.

For example, in Zahel's case, he might have a lot of skill with Awakening and combat, but his main advantage if he'd try to take the tower back is that his magic is completely unknown to anyone there, and they'll have trouble figuring out what was going on. However, at the same time, when it comes to raw power his abilities are relatively limited unless he has access to an extreme amount of Breath, and the Fused most likely have at least some understanding of off-world magic, and an ability to adapt to it.

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17 hours ago, Leuthie said:

I call them reverse MacGuffins, or Niffugams

Rather than an incidental item used to advance the story, a Niffugam is an extremely important thing that has to exist but would ruin the story somehow. Story time has to be expended to make sure there's a reason the Niffugam didn't solve the plot's conflict.

The Lost Metal was a small story with huge players and overblown ramifications. Brandon introduced too many things into the story that really didn't need to be there. Harmony didn't need to be involved at all (his conversations with Wayne and Kelsier in the epilogues would have been more interesting if it was his only appearances). Kandra could have kept their mouth's shut about Harmony's issues. Marsh and Kelsier could have been Epilogue only characters. The Niffugams didn't NEED to be there, hence why the were shoved out of the way.

Why didn't Harmony stop Autonomy? He did by sending Wax and Wayne and monitoring their progress. How did Wax get those mysterious vials? It's a mystery! Why didn't Marsh help? When has Marsh actively helped before? Why wasn't Kelsier there? Why would he be when he's obviously spending most of his time and energy in the south? All of the questions posed in the story are answered by things we already knew or could simply be mysteries we try to figure out. The Niffugams didn't need to be there.

I think Brandon solves this issue in future stories by NOT giving us direct motivations of Shards and Vessels, unless they're integral to the plot; NOT integrating Cosmere hopping super beings into the plot unless the plot was designed for those Cosmere hopping super beings; NOT creating planet-wide calamities when localized calamities will do.

 

I completely agree. I think editing is becoming a problem in the last books published by Brandon because RoW also had some overexplaining issues.

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On 14.12.2022 at 5:58 PM, king of nowhere said:

as the cosmere progresses, it's gradually being filled by immortal people with awesome powers.

I worry that could pose narrative problems, of the "why don't they intervene" variety.

oh, for a story about something relatively unimportant that's not an issue. everyone could read alloy of law and accept that harmony is not going to personally intervene against a band of robbers, no matter how dangerous.

On Scadrial the number of extremely powerful individuals is going down. No more Mistborn, no new Steel Inquisitors, no full Feruchemists. In the wider Cosmere, the number of Shards is going down, too. On Roshar the Fused are a shadow of their former glory. A vessel is killed by mortal hands. Aluminium is spreading.

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1 hour ago, Oltux72 said:

On Scadrial the number of extremely powerful individuals is going down. No more Mistborn, no new Steel Inquisitors, no full Feruchemists. In the wider Cosmere, the number of Shards is going down, too. On Roshar the Fused are a shadow of their former glory. A vessel is killed by mortal hands. Aluminium is spreading.

mistborn, inquisitors, feruchemists, none of them was powerful enough to derail a plot.

harmony is powerful enough to derail a plot. so is marsh.

we though kelsier was also way too powerful, but apparently he lost his powers somehow, that simplifies matters

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10 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

mistborn, inquisitors, feruchemists, none of them was powerful enough to derail a plot.

Yet major plot points of The Final Empire revolved around hiding from them.

10 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

harmony is powerful enough to derail a plot. so is marsh.

So was The Lord Ruler. Yet he is dead and gone.

10 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

we though kelsier was also way too powerful, but apparently he lost his powers somehow, that simplifies matters

It seems to me that the issue arises from Brandon telling stories about near-normal people in clashes of titans, if you will.

Earlier stories, especially The Final Empire, were about people in hiding.

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On 14.12.2022 at 5:58 PM, king of nowhere said:

as the cosmere progresses, it's gradually being filled by immortal people with awesome powers.

I worry that could pose narrative problems, of the "why don't they intervene" variety.

 

Yes, I very much agree with you. In fact, I think that both TLM and RoW handled this issue in a rather awkward and clearly contrived manner.

OTOH, I feel similarly about the many worldhopper cameos that are just there for no observable reason and who, despite alleged bustling inter-planetary trade, don't affect the alien worlds that they are on at all. Like, if the Horneater peaks are a mercantile hub through which rare and expensive imports flow onto Roshar, shouldn't the tribes that control Cultivation's perpendicularity and provide caravan service for the worldhoppers through harsh mountain terrain be obscenely rich? And believed to be the source of these exclusive merchandise? You'd think that getting their hands on a shardblade shouldn't have been such a huge problem for them if powerful world-hoppers with strange powers owe them? That is not to say that I dislike the worldhopper concept - on the contrary, but it should be implemented as having plausible consequences.

 

On 14.12.2022 at 5:58 PM, king of nowhere said:

however, when there is a threat to the world - which is what happens near the end of most sanderson books - brandon has to find ways to remove those powers from the action. he did so in tlm, and his touch was... less than subtle, mostly because of how many of those he had to cover

- harmony could not interfere because his vision and future sight were conveniently blocked

- nor could he send kandras to fight because their most battle capable member was conveniently removed from the planet few days before

 

Frankly, I don't see why there had to be an implicit immediate threat to the world in Era 2. It felt tacked on.

But beyond that, I actually have no quarrel with either Harmony or kandra staying in the background. It is what I expect from Shards in general - it isn't like Honor or Cultivation smote the Fused, rather than relying on people fighting them in a series of exceptionally bloody and destructive wars. They may not be all-powerful or all-knowing, but given their future sight, they tend to be pretty ineffable and generally work through intermediaries/pawns. Sazed prepared the tools to deal with the problem and got them there in time, subtly nudging chance in their favor the whole way. As to the kandra, thanks to Paalm the Set knew how to detect, disable and even subvert them, so it makes perfect sense that they couldn't do much. All of this checks out.

 

On 14.12.2022 at 5:58 PM, king of nowhere said:

- marsh put in an appearance, then he got conveniently sick (not really clear, by the way; he still had age stored, otherwise he'd have died in minutes, so there was nothing preventing him from tapping more youth)

- kelsier was conveniently placed on an airship in the middle of the ocean

- the ghostbloods apparently have tendrils everywhere, except near the area of operations.

 

All of this. Marsh running out of atium right at this moment is just lame, sorry. And he didn't do anything about the Set in the intervening years since AoL, why, exactly? It is even worse re: Ghostbloods, because Tobal Copper was right under the noses of their Bilming chapter, he tried to attract public notice to the Set's doings and they napped through it all. I really hope that they recruit that newspaper editor Maraga Dulcet to keep an ear to the ground for them, because they are so (implausibly, IMHO) bad at it. Kelsier may no longer have allomantic powers, but people working for him clearly have a selection of off-world ones and should have had much greater access  to the medallions and allomantic grenades, which they also didn't use in TLM for some inexplicable reason. Etc., etc.

 

On 14.12.2022 at 5:58 PM, king of nowhere said:

 But all together, they become noticeable. and the more superpowerful immortals gather around, the more people will have to be conveniently written out of a plot.

And people wanted Spook to be around and immortal, too!

 

On 14.12.2022 at 5:58 PM, king of nowhere said:

as a possible solution, the future age with the industrialization of investiture will give great powers to the common man, so that those superpowered people are less powerful by comparison. certainly giving common soldiers aluminium gear and allomantic granades would work nicely to threaten wax, but it will still be a hard sell against a radiant or a full mistborn/feruchemist.

Maybe with some real teamwork? We haven't seen to much of it in Sanderson books so far, it is usually 2-3 people tops. Also, there may be some limits on how many abilities a mistborn/feruchemist can use at the same time. IIRC, Vin never burned more than 4 metals concurrently.

 

On 14.12.2022 at 6:08 PM, Ookla the Frustrated. said:

This one actually makes sense given his physiology. Inquisitors by their nature have to rest for long periods of time, and they need to rest more the longer they are inquisitors.(FE 518)

Except Marsh should still be able to be active for a few hours or why is he still around? Why didn't he die in HoA as I thought he did until he popped up in AoL? Why didn't Sazed turn him back into a human or close enough on his Acsension, like he did with the koloss? There must be a reason for why he was kept as a hemalurgic construct and why he was given a new lease on life in TLM. He should be able to be more active for longer in Era 3. And yes, it would have been better if he didn't appear in TLM or only in the epilogue. He could have been chilling in the south too or looking for a secondary Set base somewhere in the wilderness, etc.

 

On 14.12.2022 at 6:08 PM, Ookla the Frustrated. said:

But let's not forget that the Bands of Mourning were also mysteriously drained... because.

Not sure why the Bands or the medallions were introduced in BoM if TLM had to go out of it's way to not let them be used.

 

On 15.12.2022 at 2:34 AM, Proletariat said:


Marsh is entirely dependent on getting small flakes of atium out of explosions in order to survive, plus due to spikes can be controlled by anyone who can soothe/riot or use connection at a certain level, and needs constant rest. Kelsier is a fraud whose only real ability is to see metal and he cannot leave the area. The Kandra cannot use the metallic arts without access to pure godmetals, and have been socially conditioned against being able to use any kind of violence. The Selish immortals on planet are entirely dependent on getting rare bottles of Dor to do anything, any Nalthis immortals who pop up will have similar dependency issues to Marsh, and Sazed is about to fall into Discord and has no 'sword' anymore.

Marsh can protect himself from emotional allomancy by burning copper, wearing an aluminum-lined hat or Harmony can just not allow such influence. Vin/Elend could only affect the koloss for as long as Ruin let them, after all. He must be still around for a reason and was only made a feeble wreck in TLM so that he wouldn't overshadow Wax. IMHO he _could_ have helped clear part of the way for W&W before needing rest and it would have worked much better for me.

Just because Kelsier doesn't have his allomancy doesn't mean that he didn't acquire any new powers. He must have a Seon at the very least. And in any case, he has people working for him who have powers and is a capable tactician and strategist.

 

On 14.12.2022 at 7:12 PM, Elegy said:

Definitely a problem, you can also see this in Rhythm of War with Zahel, except that one isn't even explained at all

 

Yea, Zahel and Azure worked well until RoW, but Kaladin lack of reaction to Zahel using strange powers and giving weird lectures that outed him as an off-worlder stuck out like a sore tooth. Ditto him not sharing this info with others.  And then, when Urithiru was occupied, it never occured to Kaladin that Zahel would be a very handy person to recruit?! Pure nonsense, sorry. I mean, he could have failed to find Zahel, who of all people in the tower had the best skills for escaping. And it is believable that Vasher didn't chose to involve himself on his own, given his track record and regrets. But  Kaladin flatly ignoring such a resource made zero sense.

 

23 hours ago, kenod said:

For example, in Zahel's case, he might have a lot of skill with Awakening and combat, but his main advantage if he'd try to take the tower back is that his magic is completely unknown to anyone there, and they'll have trouble figuring out what was going on. However, at the same time, when it comes to raw power his abilities are relatively limited unless he has access to an extreme amount of Breath, and the Fused most likely have at least some understanding of off-world magic, and an ability to adapt to it.

He could have been a great help to Kaladin, though! Alone his scouting abilities with the little poppets would have been worth their weight in diamonds and they require very little Breath.

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16 minutes ago, Isilel said:

All of this. Marsh running out of atium right at this moment is just lame, sorry. And he didn't do anything about the Set in the intervening years since AoL, why, exactly?

What if, and that is just an easy but lame explanation, Marsh just don't want to kill people any more, as he killed enough of the when controlled by Ruin? I can understand why Marsh wouldn't want to kill again, as that just awakes his painful memories of things he done before Harmony. But, that's boring tbf.

21 minutes ago, Isilel said:

But  Kaladin flatly ignoring such a resource made zero sense.

I think that Kaladin is still not aware of what Zahel truly is, and what he can do, what Awakening is etc. Zahel didn't admit to doing anything with sheets during their duel. Kaladin just don't have any idea what Zahel can really do. Moreover Kaladin just doesn't care about other words as he cares only about people close to him and all problems they face - guy coming from other world just doesn't help with that in any way.

 

Lack of medallions was disappointing, Ghostbloods lack of awarness of what was awareness happening was also weird, by that might be intentional to show Marasi and us that being too secretive may cause them to miss on action.

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3 hours ago, Isilel said:

OTOH, I feel similarly about the many worldhopper cameos that are just there for no observable reason and who, despite alleged bustling inter-planetary trade, don't affect the alien worlds that they are on at all. Like, if the Horneater peaks are a mercantile hub through which rare and expensive imports flow onto Roshar, shouldn't the tribes that control Cultivation's perpendicularity and provide caravan service for the worldhoppers through harsh mountain terrain be obscenely rich? And believed to be the source of these exclusive merchandise? You'd think that getting their hands on a shardblade shouldn't have been such a huge problem for them if powerful world-hoppers with strange powers owe them? That is not to say that I dislike the worldhopper concept - on the contrary, but it should be implemented as having plausible consequences.

The Horneaters are crazy rich, they can offer up enough money people are willing to risk their shards in duels for it.

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On 16.12.2022 at 3:48 PM, alder24 said:

What if, and that is just an easy but lame explanation, Marsh just don't want to kill people any more, as he killed enough of the when controlled by Ruin?

 

Actually, I have expected to see something like that in TLM, since there was a WoB that Marsh would appear in it. I think that it could have worked much better than what we got - and he still could have been a great help to W&W in such a scenario. I mean, it is rather illogical that the Set didn't have seekers and tineyes  as guards and lookouts, for instance, whom Marsh could have detected, disabled or screened W&W from - though this is a problem in Era 2 in general, IMHO. Not to mention his emotional allomancy and his effect on the morale of the opposition. Then he could have split halfway through - maybe because he was really running to the wire with atium, maybe because he needed to rest or maybe because of some other lead that needed to be checked. Scratch one of the fights with the impersonators for more Marsh - 3 rounds was too much and felt repetitive. Or have him looking into a secondary Set base in the Roughs during that day and only appear in an epilogue.

 

On 16.12.2022 at 3:48 PM, alder24 said:

I think that Kaladin is still not aware of what Zahel truly is, and what he can do, what Awakening is etc. Zahel didn't admit to doing anything with sheets during their duel. Kaladin just don't have any idea what Zahel can really do. Moreover Kaladin just doesn't care about other words as he cares only about people close to him and all problems they face - guy coming from other world just doesn't help with that in any way.

 

Kaladin is a great natural fighter who should have noticed that what Zahel was doing while they duelled had a supernatural element. Not to mention the weird lecture about the nature of investiture and the ages of planets. Every scrap of additional knowledge and power would have helped his people. And even if Kaladin was so dense that he somehow missed all that, a skilled "normal" fighter whom he trusted, like Zahel was a logical person to try to recruit while Kal was sneaking around undercover during the occupation. That this didn't even occur to him was very jarring, IMHO.

Re: Ghostbloods, being secretive doesn't in any way preclude being well-informed. You'd think that their very goal of protecting Scadrial requires it.

 

On 16.12.2022 at 6:29 PM, Ookla the Frustrated. said:

The Horneaters are crazy rich, they can offer up enough money people are willing to risk their shards in duels for it.

 

We never heard about wonderful Horneater dyes/spices or superior Horneater steel or any other potential  off-world imports that Rosharans would have believed originated with them. Also, it is mentioned a few times that Horneaters often leave the Peaks because there are too many people there and not enough food - and in fact we saw a number of such individuals eking out their livelyhoods in the camps/Urithiru as servants and criminals. Finally, you'd think that with off-world knowledge and Horneater physique winning a shardblade in a duel shouldn't have been that difficult - just coat your armor and particularly gloves with aluminum. Last clap works because people don't need to swing shardblades hard and aren't trained to do so, which means that aluminum should survive a hit or 2 and give a Horneater an advantage of surprise. Instead of calling out people with just a shardplate, somebody should have called out and defeated a person with just a blade long ago. Or demanded that a worldhopper obtain them one. IMHO, YMMV. 

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4 hours ago, Isilel said:

And even if Kaladin was so dense that he somehow missed all that, a skilled "normal" fighter whom he trusted, like Zahel was a logical person to try to recruit while Kal was sneaking around undercover during the occupation. That this didn't even occur to him was very jarring, IMHO.

Zahel would have been in the part of the tower that was heavily under Fused control. 

4 hours ago, Isilel said:

We never heard about wonderful Horneater dyes/spices or superior Horneater steel or any other potential  off-world imports that Rosharans would have believed originated with them. Also, it is mentioned a few times that Horneaters often leave the Peaks because there are too many people there and not enough food - and in fact we saw a number of such individuals eking out their livelyhoods in the camps/Urithiru as servants and criminals. Finally, you'd think that with off-world knowledge and Horneater physique winning a shardblade in a duel shouldn't have been that difficult - just coat your armor and particularly gloves with aluminum. Last clap works because people don't need to swing shardblades hard and aren't trained to do so, which means that aluminum should survive a hit or 2 and give a Horneater an advantage of surprise. Instead of calling out people with just a shardplate, somebody should have called out and defeated a person with just a blade long ago. Or demanded that a worldhopper obtain them one. IMHO, YMMV. 

The Horneaters are trying very hard to keep the perpendicularity secret, they wouldn't do something so obvious. And only a rare few Horneaters have Rock's strength, and even for those that do it's only during certain times.

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On 16.12.2022 at 3:12 PM, Isilel said:

Yea, Zahel and Azure worked well until RoW, but Kaladin lack of reaction to Zahel using strange powers and giving weird lectures that outed him as an off-worlder stuck out like a sore tooth. Ditto him not sharing this info with others.  And then, when Urithiru was occupied, it never occured to Kaladin that Zahel would be a very handy person to recruit?! Pure nonsense, sorry.

So you say that Dalinar, when going to a battlefield with high value people who might need instructions, would leave behind his slave who happens to be his top instructor?

On 18.12.2022 at 1:39 AM, Frustration said:

The Horneaters are trying very hard to keep the perpendicularity secret, they wouldn't do something so obvious. And only a rare few Horneaters have Rock's strength, and even for those that do it's only during certain times.

Firstly, the Horneaters themselves rarely see worldhoppers. You will leave the final leg of the journey to Spren, who already have ships that can sail the Seas of Beads.

Secondly, what are people actually trading? And whom to? I am sorry to put it that bluntly, but the money in the Rosharan system is in Shadesmar, not on the physical planet. Riino ate fish from another planet, not grain from Roshar. It seems to me that trade goods are either luxury goods or absolute necessities to travellers.

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4 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Secondly, what are people actually trading? And whom to? I am sorry to put it that bluntly, but the money in the Rosharan system is in Shadesmar, not on the physical planet. Riino ate fish from another planet, not grain from Roshar. It seems to me that trade goods are either luxury goods or absolute necessities to travellers.

Aluminum as cord says.

And how do you think the spren get their stormlight? They have to go through the horneaters.

And spren charge off worlders for passage on their ships, directions, the resources they manifest etc.

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On 12/16/2022 at 3:12 PM, Isilel said:

It is even worse re: Ghostbloods, because Tobal Copper was right under the noses of their Bilming chapter, he tried to attract public notice to the Set's doings and they napped through it all. I really hope that they recruit that newspaper editor Maraga Dulcet to keep an ear to the ground for them, because they are so (implausibly, IMHO) bad at it.

The signal to noise ratio on low-quality newspapers has to be very low and the Ghostbloods aren't omniscient; if you didn't know what you were looking for like W&W were, a random guy claiming that a tire manufacturer is producing nukes might be hard to take seriously. The Ghostbloods probably find most of their information elsewhere, possibly using some off-world technology like Breaths for spying purposes, likely just keeping track of important people. Note that they do seem to prefer quality over quantity in terms of membership, which I think would make checking every schizophrenic yelling about a conspiracy threatening the world somewhat harder.

Edited by impec1995
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On 28.12.2022 at 3:58 PM, Frustration said:

Aluminum as cord says.

Aluminium sold for its novelty value on Roshar until very recently. That is, you can earn nicely in relative terms but not absolutely or you flood your own market.

On 28.12.2022 at 3:58 PM, Frustration said:

And how do you think the spren get their stormlight? They have to go through the horneaters.

Getting your trade partners to revere you as a god is really good scheme to get what you desire at really low rates.

On 28.12.2022 at 3:58 PM, Frustration said:

And spren charge off worlders for passage on their ships, directions, the resources they manifest etc.

While that is true, those offworlders will be rare. If you are trading in the CR, your trip kind of naturally boils down to five stages

  1. a trip to the perpendicularity
  2. the origins land area turned into some kind of ocean, which you will sail to the point closest to the subastral you want to get to
  3. an overland trip through the equivalent of deep space
  4. another ocean trip to perpendicularity
  5. from the perpendicularity to the destination

The traders on the caravans for stage#3 have no economic reason to go further than the outermost Spren city. So the Horneaters get nothing from them.

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On 28.12.2022 at 11:02 AM, Oltux72 said:

Firstly, the Horneaters themselves rarely see worldhoppers. You will leave the final leg of the journey to Spren, who already have ships that can sail the Seas of Beads.

Spren can't leave Shadesmar through a perpendicularity - somebody has to bring the goods through.

 

On 28.12.2022 at 11:02 AM, Oltux72 said:

Secondly, what are people actually trading? And whom to? I am sorry to put it that bluntly, but the money in the Rosharan system is in Shadesmar, not on the physical planet. Riino ate fish from another planet, not grain from Roshar. It seems to me that trade goods are either luxury goods or absolute necessities to travellers.

What do you mean? There are all these gems on Roshar that would be very valuable elsewhere, giant crustacean chitin - light and robust, would be valuable on the worlds that don't yet have plastics, like whalebone and tortoise shell was iRL, there are the invested fish from Purelake that retain their useful traits when dried or salted, possibly an aluminum soulcaster somewhere since Shallan's chain wasn't even that valuable and for all we know  much more. Nalthis can offer exclusive dyes, cloths, spices. Scadrial has high-quality steel and, until the return of the Radiants also other metals at the levels of purity unheard of on Roshar. Not to mention various mechanical items, which we, granted, have seen no sign of.

Riino was placed quite far from Cultivation's perpendicularity too, so he had to eat food that could be stored for a long while. I don't remember if it was mentioned what Our Heroes ate in the honorspren city.

 

17 hours ago, impec1995 said:

 

The signal to noise ratio on low-quality newspapers has to be very low and the Ghostbloods aren't omniscient; if you didn't know what you were looking for like W&W were, a random guy claiming that a tire manufacturer is producing nukes might be hard to take seriously.

They knew that Bilming was the Set central and they also have associate members like that driver, Darkwater. Anyway, they are protecting Scadrial from dangers that most Basin citizens consider fantastical, so a sensationalist rag would have been a logical place to start. Not to mention that Copper first tried more reputable papers. To be any good re: protecting they need to keep ears to the ground specifically for odd occurences. I hope that they recruit that editor to gather and sift information for them - so far what she has heard - i.e. "insect people" and "Fairy creaturies with golden hair" - all checks out.

 

15 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

The traders on the caravans for stage#3 have no economic reason to go further than the outermost Spren city. So the Horneaters get nothing from them.

Weren't the Nalthians stuck in the honorspren city initially headed for Cultivation's perpendicularity? Nor did we see spren selling that much stuff, and of course you'd earn much more if you unloaded your goods and chose what to pick up in return closer to the source, rather than through lots of middlemen. There is no reason for merchants to travel to Rosharan Shadesmar without any actual trade. It is not a transport knot like Nalthis.

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