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Jasnah Prologue

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With the Spokane reading from the WoR prologue, we have a Jasnah POV for the night of Gavilar's assassination.  This thread is to discuss what we have learned and what hints we can find.  Here's what I noticed:

  1. The reference to a creepy slave seems like it could well be Szeth, in which case we get some more backstory for him.  If true, it still doesn't explain how/why the Parshendi had him and why they thought they could entrust the assassination to him. 
  2. Jasnah hiring assassins is a new side of her.  It seems to hint that she is not unwilling to use them as assassins, an interesting activity for a budding Radiant.  Does she develop her Radiant abilities later or is assassination compatible?
  3. When considering the party, she thinks of her uncle's activities, but not her brother, mother or father.  While it could be a personal connection to one of many getting smashed at the party, it seems a bit odd.  When combined with her not-close interactions with her mother in tWoK, it suggests to me that there is a story that may predate her father's death. 
  4. Shallan doesn't seem to have witnessed any spymaster activities, so either she stopped at some point or she has been hiding it from Shallan. 
  5. If Jasnah can arrange for a maid to be released and another hired, Jasnah presumably already has a highly placed agent in her sister-in-law's entourage. 

 

Are some of these whiffs?  What else is there?

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As to 1), I think it is a given that Lyss's former slave is Szeth.  The description has too many precise features as other descriptions of Szeth as a slave that we already have.

 

2) Not only does Jasnah appear to be willing to use assassins as assassins, she also has contemplated potentially using them to assassinate a family member.  I caution the presumption of Jasnah as a budding radiant.  We know very little about her and the nature of her soulcasting.  Even if she thinks of her ability as a radiant ability, recall that Szeth thinks of himself as a Windrunner, but we know his powers are not sourced from a spren bond

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Jasnah hiring assassins is a new side of her. It seems to hint that she is not unwilling to use them as assassins, an interesting activity for a budding Radiant. Does she develop her Radiant abilities later or is assassination compatible?

 

Keep in mind that this is the same woman who intentionally set herself up as bait so that she could play vigilante.  While the two actions are different (one is focused, the other looks for targets of opportunity), both suggest an easy familiarity with killing people.

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Ok, A little context is needed here beforewe can jump to conclusion that Jasnah is some kind of rutless killer.

 

Given the Taravagian exemple her sister-in-law can be some kind of psycho that Jasnah thinks that can put in risk her familty so the master spy act.

 

And in the case of the 4 bandits in the book one, I really think that she must have some kind of major trauma (my guess is that she was raXXd) and like Kalladin she was great bias againt this kind of person, aka Bandits. 

 

All in all I'm with her in the case, if you are ready to draw your sword be ready to be cut down by someone with a bigger sword, or like we say "se você não sabe brincar então não desca para o playground"

 

In the end I don't think the Jasnah is Evil, just a little similar with Kelsier in some aspects =)

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...and Kelsier's a very driven psychopath...  :rolleyes:

Edited by Kurkistan
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Psychopath yes, But with a good heart =) 

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One should also remember that not all Surgebinders are Radiants... Even when sourced from Spren. For basic surgebinding, it is possible that a primary trait (honesty? Learning? etc) is sufficient. Not to mention that we don't know requirements for the non-honor orders to begin with... And that Kaladin probably killed way more people than Jasnah ever did (sure, battle is not assassination, but still).

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 Not only does Jasnah appear to be willing to use assassins as assassins, she also has contemplated potentially using them to assassinate a family member.  I caution the presumption of Jasnah as a budding radiant.  We know very little about her and the nature of her soulcasting.  Even if she thinks of her ability as a radiant ability, recall that Szeth thinks of himself as a Windrunner, but we know his powers are not sourced from a spren bond

But none of her family seem to have died mysteriously ... What did happen to Dalinar's wife?

 

Just a nitpick, but while Szeth knows he has windrunner abilities,I don't think he thinks of himself as a Windrunner.  For me, one of millions of interesting question is how he came by the knowledge of what he can do and was trained. 

 

You do bring up an amusing possibility.  Jasnah is faking using one fabrial to cover up the use of a different fabrial.  I'd bet against it, though. 

One should also remember that not all Surgebinders are Radiants... Even when sourced from Spren. For basic surgebinding, it is possible that a primary trait (honesty? Learning? etc) is sufficient. Not to mention that we don't know requirements for the non-honor orders to begin with... And that Kaladin probably killed way more people than Jasnah ever did (sure, battle is not assassination, but still).

But wait, aren't all spren as discerning as honorspren? :)

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I don't have my book with me so I can't pinpoint the quote specifically.  But, at one point, Szeth refers to himself as a windrunner.

 

Also, I am not suggesting that Jasnah is using a fabrial in any way.  I was only pointing out that we have no indication of Jasnah being bonded with a spren yet except for her soulcasting.  Yet, we know that surge abilities can be present/acquired/whatever without the presence of a spren bond (i.e., like the case of Szeth).  I'm not saying she doesn't or won't have a spren bond.  Just, that it is to early to declare that she does beyond speculation.

Edited by Shardlet
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Interlude 3 after Part 1, "The Glory of Ignorance"
 

Szeth tried to play the part, tried to make himself act less refined. It was very difficult for him. Perhaps impossible. What would these men say if they knew that the man who emptied their chamber pot was a Shardbearer and a Surgebinder? A Windrunner, like the Radiants of old? The moment he summoned his Blade, his eyes would turn from dark green to pale—almost glowing—sapphire, a unique effect of his particular weapon.

 

This does allow the possibility that the Windrunners as we know them were simply the branch of Radiants who were also Windrunners, though I agree that Szeth being mistaken is more likely.

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Thank you Kurkistan.  That is precisely the one I was referring to.  And I fullly agree with your comment as well.

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Okay. I stand corrected.  I guess it's a matter of definition.  Is a windrunner a Radiant with the gravity and pressure surges, or just a surgebinder with those surges?  Jasnah could probably tell us. 

 

"Hey Jasnah, I have a question for you."  Musical note.  Fire, smoke or statue?

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Shallan and Jasnah both don't seem to be 'honorable' in the same sense as Dalinar and Kaladin, and this doesn't seem to be impacting their status as Radiants (or, at least, Surgebinders). Perhaps you have to speak the First Ideal (journey before destination, etc.) before you're officially a Radiant?

 

Or perhaps it was only the Windrunners/Stonewards who were required to follow the Alethi Codes of War while the other orders served more of a utility role.

 

Also, woo, go Jasnah. Best character for being vaguely utilitarian besides Taravangian. Between the two of them, the world should manage to be saved.

Edited by Moogle
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Shallan and Jasnah both don't seem to be 'honorable' in the same sense as Dalinar and Kaladin, and this doesn't seem to be impacting their status as Radiants.

I believe this is because the spren they have bonded have more investiture from Cultivation and less from Honor compared with Syl. Other traits such as creativity and wisdom will strengthen their spren-bonds instead of the Honor traits Kaladin and Dalinar show.

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I think that as long as a potential Surgebinder is fulfilling their Primary/Secondary Divine attributes, they can attract a Spren and form a Nahel bond.  In Jasnah's case those are most likely Learned and Giving, respectively.  The first one should be easy enough for her, and the second might only require her to be a bit charitable at times, or interpreted any number of ways.  Even her killing of those muggers could be considered as her giving, since she's doing a service of sorts to the city.

 

Activating the Knights Radiants Ideals #2-5 is probably a bit trickier though.  Those require the Surgebinder to confirm to a stricter set of rules and laws.  But even then, I doubt every Radiant had to be a saint.  Jasnah should have a pretty good intellectual idea of how the 40 unique Ideals of the KR relate to the 40 Parables in Nohadon's Way of Kings, so I'd be a little bit surprised if she's still below level 2, but then again, the Ideals might be more of a spiritual thing.

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Activating the Knights Radiants Ideals #2-5 is probably a bit trickier though.  Those require the Surgebinder to confirm to a stricter set of rules and laws.  But even then, I doubt every Radiant had to be a saint.  Jasnah should have a pretty good intellectual idea of how the 40 unique Ideals of the KR relate to the 40 Parables in Nohadon's Way of Kings, so I'd be a little bit surprised if she's still below level 2, but then again, the Ideals might be more of a spiritual thing.

 

My take on this is that knowing the words is of limited value until you reach a point in the bond where they become a revelation. So someone could have told Kaladin the words of the second ideal even hours before he said them and they would have lacked the personal impact they had on him when he became one with those words. He adopted them as part of himself and because of this he strengthened the bond between himself and Sylphrena. The vocalization of the words is the last step in a process of self realization. Knowing the words may help you reach that point if you realize the value of the words towards progressing through the levels of power and intentionally strive to reach that ideal.

 

If this is the case, which seems likely to me, then Jasnah may very well still be in the early stages of the bonding process. I don't know that she has made the connection between the ideals, soulcasting, and Radiants.

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I agree with you 100% Gloom.  Without the ideals, you are not a radiant.  To become a radiant or advance (in power, not rank), you must act in a manner which is so in-line with each ideal that it is revealed to your mind and spoken in response.

 

Some of you may be tired of hearing this, but I don't think that either Jasnah or Shallan has formed a Nahel bond with a spren.  Yes, the cryptic spoke of a bond with Shallan, but I don't see any indication (yet) that this bond is a Nahel bond.  The fact that it is called a 'Nahel' bond suggests to me that there is more than one kind of bonding that can occur with spren. 

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i would like to add here, that powerfull in the magic is maybe not as importand as being more skilled in the magic.

 

---

 

im not sure if Cultivation and Honor is bound so much on human ideals then on natures.

 

some animals eat/kill their weak children, are they less honorable now?

 

isnt the most honorable thing to sacrifice youreselfe for youre family, do all you can to save/help them - like Shallan tried?

 

 

the parhsendi are not human, they will most likely  think/feel different about honor.

maybe we bring to many human and standards of our own time into this.

 

 

---

 

so Jasnah is doing something evil because of this interaction with an assassin?

if i had to compare Jasnahs position in the world with ours, i would say shes like a member of the cabinet (USA)

is it evil for them to speak with the CIA or NSA?

 

thouse high princes represent states of the alethi kingdom.(very new kingdom)

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Some of you may be tired of hearing this, but I don't think that either Jasnah or Shallan has formed a Nahel bond with a spren.  Yes, the cryptic spoke of a bond with Shallan, but I don't see any indication (yet) that this bond is a Nahel bond.  The fact that it is called a 'Nahel' bond suggests to me that there is more than one kind of bonding that can occur with spren. 

 

I think it's safe to assume that the Parshendi bond with spren, and that they don't form Nahel bonds. So I'm going to completely agree with the idea that more than one type of bond can occur with a spren. I'm less certain about Jasnah and Shallan but I won't dispute the possibility. The fact that Parshendi also form bonds with spren that are almost certainly different from Nahel bonds gives us precedence towards your theory. I tend to agree with Isomere about the origins of Cryptics being of, or at least closer to Cultivation, than they are to Honor.

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isnt the most honorable thing to sacrifice youreselfe for youre family, do all you can to save/help them - like Shallan tried?

 

Yes, that would be honorable, but that isn't what Shallan was intent on doing. For her actions to be honorable, she would have had to warn Jasnah of her situation and her intentions to rob her beforehand. Deception isn't honorable.

 

the parhsendi are not human, they will most likely  think/feel different about honor.

maybe we bring to many human and standards of our own time into this.

 

It is unlikely that the Parshendi are capable of forming Nahel bonds. They can bond with spren, but those bonds are different from those of surgebinders.

 

so Jasnah is doing something evil because of this interaction with an assassin?

if i had to compare Jasnahs position in the world with ours, i would say shes like a member of the cabinet (USA)

is it evil for them to speak with the CIA or NSA?

 

I wouldn't say that what Jasnah is doing is evil so much as morally ambiguous. I will say that there are many shades of gray prior to reaching black. Just because someone isn't evil doesn't make them honorable. I some respects, I believe Jasnah to be highly honorable, in some respects I see Sadeas and Amaram as being highly honorable as well. To attract Honorspren, from what I inferred by reading TWoKs, how honorable you are perceived to be is almost as important as how honorable you are. The devotion of Kaladins men was just as important to Syl as Kaladins own feelings. No one who employs assassins will generate the level of devotion from those around them as Kaladin did.

 

Jasnah and Shallan have attracted Cryptics, which are apparently a type of spren. I believe that bonding spren seek the exceptional. I believe they run a gamut from neutral to good, and that they seek those whose talents most closely relate to their spheres of influence. Jasnah is a renowned scholar. Shallan has gained renown in the short time she has been in Kharbranth as an artist. Elhokar is the ruler of a large kingdom. Knowledge, Creation, Rule. Ten orders existed, there is no reason that these three can not be amongst them.

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Yes, that would be honorable, but that isn't what Shallan was intent on doing. For her actions to be honorable, she would have had to warn Jasnah of her situation and her intentions to rob her beforehand. Deception isn't honorable.

Not so. If a man is plotting to kill your family and you know for 100% fact that he is going to do such a thing if something doesn't stop him and the only way to do so is to kill the man, do you have to tell him you're going to kill before you do such? No.

Also, just because Jasnah interacts with assassins doesn't mean she uses them to assassinate people. This scene here she isn't having the assassin kill anyone, just keep an eye out and watch for contracts to assassinate her family. She does have the thought about "unless she was the one hiring the assassin." That does hint that she is capable of or has done such a thing, but doesn't mean that she has or will per se.

In regards to bonding Spren and Szeth and Shinovar. We see in places where people really believe and worship the Spren they seem to be bigger and stronger and more corporeal. Rock, who Syl isn't revealing herself to, can see her just the same, because his people believe so strongly in the Spren and worship them. Is it possible that there are no VISIBLE Spren in Shinovar simply because its people deny their existence so strongly? From what I can recall Szeth NEVER mentions Spren, even though he spends a lot of time where Spren should be. Could he simply not see Spren because of his disbelief in them?

Sezth has taken on a task of his people, an important task, which no one wants to do, because it requires you to forever become a slave and live a life of isolation and profanity. Is taking on such a task not an extremely honorable trait? I think so.

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There are plenty of mentions of spren in Szeth's prologue viewpoint, he sees them crawling toward the men guarding Gavilar's quarters.

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There are plenty of mentions of spren in Szeth's prologue viewpoint, he sees them crawling toward the men guarding Gavilar's quarters.

You're right. You got me there. Though perhaps his disbelief only extends to him and his people. It could still explain why he would not see an Honorspren bound to him.

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In the Rysn interlude, the Thaylen traders don't see spren in Shinovar, although the detection fabrial, which may have a spren inside, still works.  I think the lack of spren in Shinovar has to do with the Highstorms, Stormlight or both. 

 

Szeth apparently is being punished for doing something to harm the Voidbringers.  His people are punishing him for what he did, but seemingly deny the existence of Voidbringers.  I find it hard to describe it as a task of his people.  Risking the punishment to harm the Voidbringers seems heroic, which may be the point. 

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I think that the lack of any native, visible Spren is caused by the lack of belief in them making them wan or weaker. Brandon has made comment (I don't know where it is off the top of my head) that seems to infer that Spren are something Cognitive that has slipped a little bit into the Physical Realm due to the Cognitive pressure of belief, but aren't really Physical. (I'll look for the quote, it had something to do about taking a picture of a Spren and whether or not it would show up.)

So in Shinovar, where there is such overwhelming disbelief, none of the native Spren will have enough of this Cognitive pressure to be able to appear in the Physical Realm. The Spren are still there, and still cause their influences, i.e. the Machine still working, but I bet if someone really looked one of two things would happen, and mind you this is somewhat of a cop-out since I'm not exactly sure how much Cognitive Pressure is needed to affect the Physical Realm.

1. The Spren inside the Fabrial would not be able to be seen due to the strong disbelief disrupting the Physical form of the Spren.

2. The Spren, empowered by Cognitive Pressure it had received in the past in combination with Rysn and her Babsk's belief would allow it to keep a Physical presence.

I'm inclined to believe the second one is more likely to be true, whereas we never see a Spren which is Bonded to Szeth. He can however, see the Spren all over Alethkar, due to the Cognitive pressure created by those around him which believe in them.

They would not however affect the Spren which is Bound to him, because they would have no knowledge of that kind of Spren and therefore could not create the Cognitive pressure required to counteract Szeth's and the Shen's disbelief which created a large amount of negative pressure over a large amount of time.

However, just because this Spren doesn't have a corporeal form, doesn't mean it can't affect the world.

We see as Kaladin and Syl's Bond grows stronger and his and the Bridgecrew's belief in her and Kaladin grows stronger she seems to be more and more corporeal.

There are strange cases, such as with Rock, where he seems to be able to see Spren he shouldn't be able to. This I would assume is caused by a combination of a strong Spiritual and Cognitive pressure he creates due to the fact that his people worship the Spren almost like Gods. Perhaps he would be able to see a Spren bound to Szeth? I don't know, because I don't know how strong either belief is. Though I would imagine it would come down to who believed stronger, Rock or Szeth.

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