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A Joe in the Bush

How do the Heralds Break?

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The desolations start when the heralds break under torture. What exactly does that mean?

 

Personally, I think it means they lose their honour. They're the champions of Honour, and the Enemies of Odium. They 'break' when they feel hatred for their tormentors.  They're meant to be an ideal that Humanity strives toward. So when Odium makes them feel hatred, he's allowed to attack Humanity.

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I don't think it has actually been revealed/confirmed yet. There's a death rattle that was speculated to be from 'Taln' during his time on Braize/Damnation which states a harsh situation

 

 

WANDERSAIL
I hold the suckling child in my hands, a knife at his throat, and know that all who live wish me to let the blade slip. Spill its blood upon the ground, over my hands, and with it give us further breath to draw
-Dated Shashanan, 1173, 23 seconds pre-death. Subject: A darkeyes youth of sixteen years. Sample is of particular note

 

It could be like an induced Hallucination by Odium/Rayse or an actual physical act. If i remember rightly, I think the Prologue of WoK has Kalak say something about hooks/spikes so it might be something akin to torture on all three Realms maybe and they break if they succumb to it.

 

I think it might be the opposite if that Death Rattle is correct but that might only just be one complex piece of it

Edited by ParadoxSpren
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i assumed that they could ask to stop being tortured at any time, but when they ddo the desolation starts. however, we have no elements for it.

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This is the most we know.

Q:  What caused a Desolation to end? Was it just the defeat of Odium's forces? Because the Desolations start when the Heralds break under torture.
A:  Because the Heralds can no longer be in existence. There is a certain period of time that they can be there, and after that, if they're there, they will start a new one. So the Heralds do need to leave for a Desolation to end.
Q:  Oh. So they've got a time limit.
A:  They do. Otherwise the Desolation will start again. What they discovered is not all of them have to. As long as one remains, the Desolation will not start again.
Q:  So, by the nine leaving, did that actually break the Oathpact for them? Did it change the cycle of Desolations?
A:  They have not completely broken the Oathpact, despite what they may think.

Funnily enough, I can not find where Brandon first confirmed that Desolations start with the Heralds breaking under torture but given that this whole exchange is based around said idea, I supposse that's just as good. Does that make the Desolations a sort of vacation for the Heralds?

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So basically everyone worships them like christ-figures, but ironically them descending upon the realm of mortals (to sound dramatic) is actually what makes everything go to hell? And they help fight back because it's really the least they can do to prevent the extinction of humanity?

You could say that they aren't really Heralds of the Almighty, but Heralds of the Desolations?

Edited by natc
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That death rattle. . . I always thought it was referring to Taravangian. . . The way he kills children?

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I thought that death rattle was related to this one. I don't know who it refers to.

“So the night will reign, for the choice of honor is life...”

—Observed circa Ishi 1173 by Taravangian. Subject was King Valam of Jah Keved.

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I thought that death rattle was related to this one. I don't know who it refers to.

“So the night will reign, for the choice of honor is life...”

—Observed circa Ishi 1173 by Taravangian. Subject was King Valam of Jah Keved.

Well this is turning completely unrelated but i wondered if maybe "night" and "life" could refer to the Nightwatcher and Cultivation. :ph34r:

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Well this is turning completely unrelated but i wondered if maybe "night" and "life" could refer to the Nightwatcher and Cultivation. :ph34r:

The Nightwatcher is of Cultivation in similar, but not necessarily identical, ways that Stormfather is to Honor.  The Broken One reigns; Odium reigns; night will reign.

 

Makes sense to me that Honor had a chance to end it all by killing a child, but didn't--because to choose honor is to choose life.  Because Honor didn't, Honor died, and Roshar is hosed.  (Not necessarily Honor himself, but the side of Honor.)

 

On topic, OP seems to--not really understand torture.  Which is a great thing, really.  But in common parlance, to break under torture means just that: to be unable to resist anymore, to be willing to do or say anything just to get it to bloody stop.  It doesn't even necessarily have to involve physical torture, or threats, but can be psychological.  It can be as simple as have one drop of water hit your head every second for years, and nothing else.  Of course, hooks and chains burning through your skin would likely do the job a bit faster, especially in conjunction with whispered threats and dire warnings bleeding straight into your mind and all you have to do to make it stop, all you have to do is just say, "stop," and it will all end; it will all go away; no more pain, or torment or agony; you can have peace once more, if you would just say "stop."  To go on is to serve no purpose, as all you've done is prolong the war a few thousand years, and seen how despicable and pathetic the humans are; they do have of the job of killing them all on their own; why suffer for them?  You are the only one who does, you know.  All the others?  Jezrien, Ishar, even Nalan have given up.  Why do you linger on so?  Just say "stop" and let it all.  End.  Finally.  And.  At.  Last.

Edited by kaellok
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One related thought is that it is presumably a matter of the first Herald to break that triggers the Desolation.  I suppose it could be any arbitrary number or form of plurality, but the first to break is the simplest solution.  I don't think it can be all of them breaking, because Taln is supposedly stubborn and would take much longer to break. 

I also can't imagine Odium saying: "Cool, you broke.  Now enjoy yourself while we wait for five more to break." 

Odium would have to love the exquisite torture of the Heralds each knowing that one of them broke and still working together effectively in the subsequent Desolation. 

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