soulcastJam

Are most of the Shin dead?

20 posts in this topic

Shin typically only experience the minor effects of a spent highstorm.  The storm's power is used up for the most part while it is sweeping across the continent.  Consequently, there is no reason for them to build buildings with highstorms in mind.  

 

We are told that the rest of the continent slopes their roofs to block the wind, but they presumably also use strong, heavy materials (like stone) and they have a near infinite foundation of stone to build on.  Shin don't use stone in their usual buildings (I believe), they have soil instead of bedrock everywhere, and we don't have evidence that they have any reason to build particularly strong structures (such as frequent storms, earthquakes, etc).

 

So with the everstorm sweeping from the west, can we conclude that most of their buildings were destroyed? Are the Shin left in the storm without protection, and therefore dead?  There is a mountain range protecting them to the east and west, but I doubt tempers the storm enough to protect them.

 

So here is my theory:

 

The Shin as a people are nearly wiped out.  The Stone Shamanate survived.  This is because they use stone in their temple/religious building, which is OK for priests to walk on it because they are holy and for people participating in holy rites.  There is a small cluster of people that gathered at the temple, but for the most part the Shin are wiped out.  Depending on the number of stone buildings (if there are any) more or fewer people would have survived.

 

Edit: I am also including caves in the "stone buildings" category.

 

So when Szeth comes home to confront the Shamanate, they will be the leaders of a very small population (fewer than 500?) that survived the everstorm.  He will then have to decide if he will kill even more of his people.  It's possible that in the process he will become the last survivor (that he knows of) of the Shin which will make for an even more emotionally unstable character.  Yay problems!

Edited by soulcastJam
4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well... technically I don't think any of this has happened YET. But yes, considering that the Shin have had no reasons to build strong structures, and they will be getting the absolute worst of the Everstorm, and all the stuff you mentioned, I came up with the phrase "EverThis post has been reported for attempting to skirt the rulesed" to describe what's about to happen to the Shin.

 

I mean, even in a Highstorm, it's theoretically possible to survive. Surely there are banks, or jails, or maybe a cave formation, root cellar, whatever. I don't see the entire literal population dying apart from a few hundred in one location. I think they will literally be decimated, if 10% of them are still alive it'll be a miracle.

 

With our relatively small sample set, it's difficult to determine, but I gathered that the Everstorm is both more powerful but also slower moving than the Highstorm, yes? (So Fleet could outpace it, no problem.) More destruction, but also that much longer for people in the village to see it coming and get to whatever safe place there might be.

 

Also, the island of Aimia might draw down a bit of the energy of the storm, but the stretch of water between it and Shin will more than replenish that.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

500 survivors? the shin certainly had plenty of dead, but not to the point of the population being wiped out. they just wheathered a highstorm without cover. There have been hurricanes hitting the united states regularly at least since the end of the last ice age, yet the natives managed to survive them without having stone buildings. Maybe I'm making a fool of myself, because I have never seen a hurricane, but I think, if you lie down on the ground and cover your head, you're going to survive, and just get wet and a bit bruised. Also keep in mind that in the west a highstorm will carry rocks with it, but in shinovar there aren't many rocks for the storm to toss about, and dirt does not hurt. at most you can get hit by a tree branch, which is still much softer than a stone.

So, I'd say the vast majority of the shin population survived the storm. I would however expect that most of their buildings have collapsed (5-10% of total people dead, mostly in collapsed buildings). Luckily they don't have harsh winters, so they can survive even that. food storage seems a bigger problem: most crops would be destroied by a highstorm, and if it comes every few days they will never be able to get an harvest. the shin may be doomed to starvation in the long run. In the short run, their main danger comes from the voidbringers. I'm not sure if they used parshendi slaves like the rest of the continent or if they did not for some cultural reason. in the second case, they may be the ones whoo got hit more lightly.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name="king of nowhere" post="284833" Also keep in mind that in the west a highstorm will carry rocks with it, but in shinovar there aren't many rocks for the storm to toss about, and dirt does not hurt. at most you can get hit by a tree branch, which is still much softer than a stone.

At 50 mph, dirt most definitely hurts. And typical hurricanes have wind speeds that fast, or more, so that's still a danger. If it were sand, unprotected skin could be flayed from your body, so it's not the worst that could happen.

That said, being completely unprepared might still be better for them than being WRONGLY prepared, like the other nations will be.

I think that there will be a sizable number left, at least enough to play a significant role in the conflict that just began in earnest.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dirt does not hurt.

Uh, you probably never heard of landslides. Plus, a Highstorm can lift boulders, so I doubt "hugging the ground" will protect you. Honestly, I doubt more than 3% of the Shin survived.

Edited by CognitivePulsePattern
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Correct me if I'm wrong but Shinovar has mountains on both sides of it, albeit the ones towards the coast are probably not that tall. I also believe that they have caves where they place their dead (they give them up to the stone, but would they be willing to break that taboo to save themselves? Their biggest problem for the percentage that survives is food. Does the Everstorm rip up all the trees, grass and soil in Shinovar? What will the animal herds feed on?

 

(In an ironic twist, does Rysn's "stupid grass" become the last remnant of the stuff on Roshar, and thus priceless? And is her Babsk somehow collecting items that will become rare and valuable once the Desolation begins? Do the Thaylen passions provide visions of the future?)

Edited by Kelek's Breath
5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Correct me if I'm wrong but Shinovar has mountains on both sides of it, albeit the ones towards the coast are probably not that tall. I also believe that they have caves where they place their dead (they give them up to the stone, but would they be willing to break that taboo to save themselves? Their biggest problem for the percentage that survives is food. Does the Everstorm rip up all the trees, grass and soil in Shinovar? What will the animal herds feed on?

 

The people could retreat to the caves if they happened to be near enough to them to get there before the storm hit, but it's not as if there are hours between when you see the storm and when it hits.  Even accounting for the everstorm being slower than a highstorm, I would expect few people to be within range of the caves.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

King of Nowhere... perhaps I'm mistaken, but I believe you are downplaying the force of an Everstorm. By several orders of magnitude. I invite you to re-read any part of either book where a Highstorm is experienced, especially either of the ones Kaladin gets caught out in. Or when Eshonai goes out into one.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a very interesting theory and it is fun to see bright people considering the various factors influencing Shin survival.  Any scenario from near complete slaughter to disaster of epic proportions (loss of 20% of the population) seems possible to me.  All the factors being discussed above seem influential, but there is one factor that controls them all, in my opinion.  What story does Brandon want to tell? 

 

If Brandon wants the Shin effectively wiped out, he can make it so.  If he wants them to be a society surviving a horrific experience and needing to rally to survive further hardships with the knowledge that their worldview is flawed, he will make that so. 

 

Consider the knobs Brandon controls to construct the outcome his story needs:

  • How powerful is the storm?
  • How effective were Dalinar's warnings?
  • How sturdy are the Shin structures?
  • How much protection do the Leeward mountains offer?
  • What is the population distribution?
  • How big is the population?
  • How do the survivors react? rioting?  helping each other? hopelessness?
  • How much food is stored?
  • How effectively does the leadership respond?
  • ...

With no evidence or justification whatsoever, I believe that there will be a traumatized society that survives.  Brandon has gotten me interested in the Shin as a piece of Roshar.  If the Shin are exterminated, what was the point of learning about their society?  They have been a significant part of the history of Roshar and the story so far.  It seems to me to be a more interesting world with the Shin being a factor.    The dramatic potential of their Valley of Truth being founded on lies should make for a very interesting story as Szeth and Nale proceed.  As a society more affected by Cultivation, they can help Brandon tell more of his story of Roshar, the Shards and the Cosmere.  But don't trust my judgment, as I have often been wrong about Brandon's intent.  I just don't think the physics of the situation will get in the way of the dramatic requirements of the story, particularly since the physics are unknown. 

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Sir Terry Pratchett himself once said, "...unless the characters get totally beyond the author’s control. They might."

 

Mr. Sanderson has repeated similar sentiments before. You can't always just write, "I want this to happen" and then have it happen no matter what. He's already built up the Everstorm to be incredibly powerful. He's made a huge point that the Shin simply do not have the structures to protect themselves from this disaster.

 

Several of the points you mention are valid. Especially if the Shin actually listen to Dalinar's warning. However, we should certainly consider a minimum casualty rating. I personally would not be surprised if the Shin were literally decimated; 90% fatalities.

 

I don't think this would prevent the scenario you describe above, with the lies coming out and all that. And for a formerly prosperous nation, surely even just 10% of the population is enough to rekindle a nation, though it might look very different from the one that came before; I suspect that will be true of most nations on Roshar by the end of the 10th book.

 

I agree with you; not only does it not make sense to actually exterminate the Shin, it would make for a more boring story. That said, I find a 20% casualty rate to be optimistic beyond reason, given the factors we already know. Still, perhaps the Shin have been hiding some secret Fabrial forcefield all this time we never knew about, and they'll weather the Everstorm without losing a blade of grass. After all, the Everstorm is "old of design". Perhaps it was an arms race; one side was crafting the Everstorm, so as part of their preparations, the other side build something in Shin Kak Nish that could weather an Everstorm. I would be surprised if it's the case, but I make the example just to point out that... there's always another secret.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, the island of Aimia might draw down a bit of the energy of the storm, but the stretch of water between it and Shin will more than replenish that.

 

*****Puts on resident meteorology hat (Wayne would be jealous) *****

 

Technically, the stretch of water would only really likely replenish the storm if the water is rather warme because the rate of evaporation is much higher with warm water relative to colder water. Colder climes don't feed storms as well as more tropical climes. This is why we see more hurricane activity in the US in the Atlantic than the Pacific. There is plenty of warm water feeding moisture into the tropical depressions that develop in the mid-Atlantic/Caribbean/Gulf. The Pacific, by comparison, is much cooler and we see fewer tropical depressions and hurricanes in the continental western US because they stall out over Baja, California and lose strength. 

 

One thing to remember, though, with the Everstorm: normal meteorology probably doesn't matter. I doubt this storm will lose a lot of strength over Aimia or need to rebuild too much over the narrow straight to Shinovar. It'll most likely be pretty dang devastating. 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps the loss of most of the Shin will get Cultivation more personally involved as they appear to be her primary worshippers. Although I don't really like that idea as its too soon in the series for direct godly intervention.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A word from the minor nitpick front

As ... However, we should certainly consider a minimum casualty rating. I personally would not be surprised if the Shin were literally decimated; 90% fatalities.

Decimation has two meanings: taking 10% (90% survival) and removing an unspecified large proportion

Literally has two meanings: exactly and not exactly

 

I think you mean exactly 10% survival, but none of the four possibilities for the meaning of "literal decimation" means that:

  1. exactly 90% survival
  2. approximately 90% survival
  3. exactly an unspecified large proportion (is this interpretation an oxymoron?)
  4. approximately an unspecified large proportion (is this redundant?)

Isn't english wonderful?

 

I admire your certainty that the proportion is much larger than 20%.  As far as I know, you are right.  From my perspective, 20% would amount to a societal crisis and a huge disaster, as would 80% or anything in between.  For dramatic purposes, I can imagine Brendan finding any of these suitable to his design. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the Everstorm more powerful than a Highstorm?

 

Remember, both Shallan and Kaladin have survived highstorms in nothing more than a Wooden box on wheels.

 

I believe the real danger from the Everstorm, other than when it collides with a Highstorm, is the direction it comes from.

Given enough warning, I would think that most townships should survive without huge loss of life. Even without warning, I can't see anywhere near a 90% casualty rate.

 

The question is where and when will the two storms collide with each other again. That's where I would be looking for high numbers.

 

 

 

 

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the Everstorm more powerful than a Highstorm?

 

Remember, both Shallan and Kaladin have survived highstorms in nothing more than a Wooden box on wheels.

 

I believe the real danger from the Everstorm, other than when it collides with a Highstorm, is the direction it comes from.

Given enough warning, I would think that most townships should survive without huge loss of life. Even without warning, I can't see anywhere near a 90% casualty rate.

 

The question is where and when will the two storms collide with each other again. That's where I would be looking for high numbers.

I think it's been stated that it's somewhat more powerful, but slower, but I could be wrong.  The "boxes on wheels" were enough (though were they also lashed to boulders?) to survive, yes, but structures designed to withstand a highstorm normally (with slanted roofs) would actually ironically be less safe in many cases, since they would be more vulnerable to winds from that unexpected direction than a simple box would be.

 

The real danger as noted for the Shin, though, is that they've never had to deal with a storm remotely that powerful at all.  The high storms turn into a little drizzle by the time they reach Shinovar, but the Everstorm will be at it's full terrible potential.

 

jW

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They will certainly be devastated by the storm.  90% or "most" of the Shin dying just seems crazy to me.  A 10% or 20% loss of the population would be a gigantic loss for a Nation the size of Shinovar.  Unless the Everstorm is the Rosharian equivalent of several Nuclear Bombs I can't see the losses being anywhere near 90%.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow I do not usually get words like that wrong... I blame "No More Mutants" where I believe I got the faulty definition for decimate from...

 

Yeah, clearly there are many ways to "guess" how sturdy structures in Shinovar are, or to look at the various examples of storms and try to gauge the power of the Everstorm when it makes landfall. I'm sticking to my guns; I realize, from a sociological standpoint, that only 20% casualty would be devastating. I still expect it'll be no less than 70%. (Unless forcefield or some such).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lets pretend that the Everstorm is as bad as Hurricane Katrina; almost 2000 people died in that. I don't know enough about the size of the shin population to tell what percentage that would be. What I'm more concerned about is the aftermath. Sure a lot of shin might survive, but they will have NOTHING. I like the idea of that tiny pot of grass becoming the only shinovar grass left.

Edit: spelling

Edited by The Honor Spren
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would the Everstorm not, from all projections be SIGNIFICANTLY WORSE than Katrina? Resident meteorologist?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Katrina was bad, but I'd estimate that the Everstorm would be significantly worse.

 

The Shin live in a part of Roshar rather protected from Highstorms due to their topography and the fact the storm has to travel over land for a long time. This always will make any storm weaker.

 

The Everstorm however, would slam into Shinovar in a devastating fashion after acquiring significant moisture from the Endless Ocean (especially if comes from the north-west). As we know, the northern climes of Roshar seem to be WARMER than the southern climes (the Frostlands are on the southern side of the continent and the tropical Reshi Island on the north) so if we assume the Everstorm strengthens/recharges over warm open water like regular storms this will be a huge storm when it hits Shinovar. Shinovar's only saving grace may be if the mountains on its western side are significantly large enough to pull most of the moisture out of the air as it rise over the peaks, creating a rain-shadow effect. I doubt this would be enough. Now, if the storm comes from a more northern direction than western, it could hit Shinovar through the bay it shares with Iri. If this were to happen destruction would be vast.

 

The last thing to consider: architecture. The architecture of Shinovar has probably never been developed to deal with strong storms. Let alone any coming from the WRONG direction. As we know in mainland Roshar, a lot of buildings are built in protective laits...but they're unprotected on the western side due to the natural erosion created by the wind and rain of Highstorms. These buildings get destroyed by the Everstorm and they probably are built stronger than buildings in Shinovar in general. Thus buildings in Shinovar will be blown away, will collapse, or will generally not be soundly built to withstand this type of destruction, even if the mountains weaken the storm some. 

 

Given all of these points, I would argue that the impact will be MUCH WORSE than Katrina. I'd liken the immediate devastation to be like the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004. Immediate, unforeseen, and catastrophic. 

 

[Edit: here's an old thread on a similar topic of the Everstorm and Shinovar, if you're interested in seeing the previous discussions]

Edited by Titan Arum
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.