Blaze1616

Paalm and Her Spike

64 posts in this topic

All right, I tried to keep that title from spoiling anything, considering the reader knows Paalm has at least one spike the whole book, but let me know if it needs to change.

 

So we've all been clamoring with theories, and rightfully so, particularly about Paalm and her wonderspike.

 

We also know, thanks to Chaos, that the spike is from a Shard we know. As many have detailed in other threads, the likely candidates are Autonomy or Odium, as none of the other Shards we know of are 1) alive or 2) give a flying lick about Scadrial or Harmony.

 

In addition, we've all been curious as to how Paalm could speak to Wax's mind in a way similar to Harmony, and many have been saying this ability is due to the wonderspike.

 

I apologize if this has been stated before, and if so please point me to the source.

 

Hypothesis 1: The spike is of Autonomy, and not Odium. As a result, the spike grants Paalm her autonomy in regards to Harmony.

 

Reasoning: Paalm kept her sanity. This means that she had more than one spike within her. I know what you're thinking: Blaze, that's obvious, it says so in the book, as they found that polka-dotted spike in her along with the one granting her allomantic steel! Correct, and I'm saying she keeps her autonomy because of that spike. The spike grants her the ability to be autonomous of Harmony. We know that Preservation had some access to the spikes, even though Hemalurgy is of Ruin. Harmony says outright that while Ruin could speak to spiked individuals, it was Preservation who could hear those people's thoughts. So why, then, would this new spike be invisible to Harmony? Sure, it being of a different Shard might prevent Harmony from controlling it, but that doesn't mean Harmony should be blind to it.

 

Hypothesis 2: Paalm got her hands on that extra bit of Ruin, either directly or indirectly from Harmony.

 

Reasoning: It was made very clear in the book that Paalm had Ruin's power to speak with hemalurgic people. She couldn't hear them, only speak to them. As I've said, this is specifically something Ruin could do. In addition, Paalm's plan of "overthrowing" Harmony is exactly the plan Ruin would use. Her whole purpose was to bring Elendel into chaos. There could easily be other ways of doing so, given her more expansive knowledge about the situation, but she specifically focuses on bringing Elendel to its knees.

 

Now, we know that Harmony has an extra bit of Ruin due to Preservation's gambit to keep Ruin in check prior to and during Era 1. We also have a very coy WoB of "Well I wonder what Harmony could possibly be doing with that extra Ruin?" My theory would suggest that Harmony did one of a few options:

 

1) He gave this power directly to Paalm. This seems rather unlikely, but it would fit with the theory. Perhaps Saze did so as a means to convince/force Paalm to kill herself as Lessie, just a thought.

 

2) He gave this power to kandra as a whole. None of the other kandra have spoken to Wax using this method, but it too is a possible reason for why Paalm would have the ability. Perhaps the little bit that Paalm gets is enough, or perhaps she managed to take some from other kandra. We don't really have enough information to judge this possibility further, aside from TenSoon's comment which seems to contradict this possibility. He says that Wax is Harmony's Ruin, while he is Harmony's Preservation. Perhaps TenSoon wasn't given part of the power, but other kandra were, though that feels a bit like straw grasping to me.

 

3) Harmony discharged the Ruin into someone/something else, and Paalm got her hands on it. The first thing that jumps to my mind are the Bands of Mourning, as it offers us an easy lead into the next novel, as well as providing a base story line to follow throughout the trilogy. In addition, the Bands are made of atium, so perhaps that's the reasoning why Harmony can store some Ruin in them. I can't really think of any other possibilities as for where Sazed would store the extra Ruin, but I am a bit rusty on my Era 1 knowledge for important artifacts.

 

tl;dr: The extra spike is of Autonomy and grants autonomy from Harmony. The ability to speak to spiked people's minds came from that extra bit of Ruin that Harmony has hidden somewhere.

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Regarding TenSoon's comment that he is Harmony's Preservation, let's remember that the kandra frequently referred to themselves as being "of Preservation" and humans being "of Ruin" even though humans have more Preservation in them, due to Laras' contribution, while kandra have more Ruin in them, because they are hemalurgic constructs. So TenSoon is not specifically talking about amounts of Investiture, if he's even correct in what he's saying.

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Regarding TenSoon's comment that he is Harmony's Preservation, let's remember that the kandra frequently referred to themselves as being "of Preservation" and humans being "of Ruin" even though humans have more Preservation in them, due to Laras' contribution, while kandra have more Ruin in them, because they are hemalurgic constructs. So TenSoon is not specifically talking about amounts of Investiture, if he's even correct in what he's saying.

 

Right, however I don't think TenSoon would have said something like that were he knowledgable of him holding some spare Ruin. I'm thinking that option 3 is the most likely of the 3 I listed.

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We also know, thanks to Chaos, that the spike is from a Shard we know.

I only just got back to the forum after reading, and there's a lot to sift through; can you perhaps link me to this? I haven't found it yet.

 

I know what you're thinking: Blaze, that's obvious, it says so in the book, as they found that polka-dotted spike in her along with the one granting her allomantic steel!

 

That was... not what I was thinking. In point of what, what I was thinking was, I don't personally think that's right; the way they speak of it makes it clear, I think, that it is only one spike, and that the polkadot metal is granting her steel allomancy. And it is DEFINITELY not clear from the book that there are definitely two spikes.

 

Paalm did not keep her sanity; Wax is pretty clear about this. Her goals are insane, but her methods are calculating. Just because she's not random and wearing underwear on her head doesn't mean she's sane. Many serial killers are cold, methodical, logical, and calculating, and not less insane.

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I only just got back to the forum after reading, and there's a lot to sift through; can you perhaps link me to this? I haven't found it yet.

 

Sure buddy. Here you go. It's under his "Info on Shadows of Self" spoiler tag.

 

That was... not what I was thinking. In point of what, what I was thinking was, I don't personally think that's right; the way they speak of it makes it clear, I think, that it is only one spike, and that the polkadot metal is granting her steel allomancy. And it is DEFINITELY not clear from the book that there are definitely two spikes.

 

Paalm did not keep her sanity; Wax is pretty clear about this. Her goals are insane, but her methods are calculating. Just because she's not random and wearing underwear on her head doesn't mean she's sane. Many serial killers are cold, methodical, logical, and calculating, and not less insane.

 

I have to disagree on both counts. My impression from the Marasi scene at the end was that the new spike was one they found that they had not expected to find alongside the one they did expect. Perhaps I'm misremembering, and perhaps I'm not fully understanding Hemalurgy correctly. I also thought that in Hemalurgy, there were only single pairs. One type of spike place in a specific location would steal one type of investiture.

 

I'd say Paalm was very sane. Here's a quick snippet of a definition:

U47g3i2.png

 

For her to be cold, methodical, logical, and calculating, as you put it, she'd have to be sane. Nothing she does really proffers the label of insane either, and the means with which the "good guys" discuss her insanity imply that she'd be unstable. But throughout the whole book she was very stable. The only arguably insane thing she did was murder people, but she wasn't murdering blindly, instead specifically targeting people to further her goals, which I would not call insane at all. After all, murder =/= insanity.

Edited by Blaze1616
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You even admit, that's your impression. In your OP, you say that's it's clear and obvious that there were two spikes. I personally think the balance of evidence is that there was only one spike, but it is absolutely not obvious from the book that there were two.

 

Remember, we're told three times that kandra cannot get a spike for allomancy or feruchemy. It's supposed to be impossible. So there's no 'spike they were expecting' for steel allomancy. The one spike is of an unknown metal, with unknown properties, and she exhibited a power she should not have had access to.

 

Insanity. So... you're saying someone who kidnaps people and eats them is sane, then? "In a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction." Bleeder is trying to incite a riot and cause countless deaths because she believes Harmony is directly controlling all Scadrians and she needs to make the city burn to free them.

 

No part of your definition precludes "cold, methodical, logical and calculating." You can be all those things and still lack the ability to perceive the world, or to interact with people. Serial killers are often very intelligent. They are also insane.

 

There's no consistency in your argument. The definition you provide does nothing to counter my argument or support yours. She's not insane just because she kills people. She's insane because her goals are insane. She thinks that if people get angry enough, they will break free of supernatural control from Harmony. She's decided that killing a good chunk of the population is in their own best interests, and that she's got the right to judge, and to execute.

 

She is insane.

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Not to be rude or anything, but you missed about half the theory. What if the mystery metal spike came from Odium? There are many little things that show evidence for this in the book as well. Wax feeling extreme hatred and it forcing the mist away from him. The 'Visitor from another world" in the broadsheet is described strikingly close to a Parshendi or Lyatil, both of which as far as we know are on Roshar. One of them could have easily been an agent of Odium and brought the spike with them to disrupt Harmonies plans for nefarious purposes. 

 

It just seems to me that a shard with the Intent Autonomy wouldn't be going around messing with other shards. While ,yes, Bleeder was autonomous to Harmony, medeling seems to go against the intent. Much like Preservation was unable to destroy Ruin because doing so would destroy himself, while he was Leras that is. IDK, there were just too many references to Wax's random feelings of extreme hatred in the book that halfway through I was thinking to myself, "This smells of Odium." That and the possible Parshendi coupled with the MeLaan at the end talking with Marasi about this being the work of another god cinched it for me.

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It just seems to me that a shard with the Intent Autonomy wouldn't be going around messing with other shards. While ,yes, Bleeder was autonomous to Harmony, medeling seems to go against the intent. 

 

I wouldn't say this. Being autonomous means that you are free of external control, not that you don't interfere or interact with others.

 

As for the Wax's "extreme hatred [...] forcing the mists away," I am not convinced that it was his hatred that did it. Refer back to the passage:

 

She was gone. There in his lap, he stared at her body. It kept its shape. Her shape. He clutched her, and let out a low-pitched howl, from deep within, a raw shout that echoed into the night.

It seemed to drive the mists back.

 

The bit you are probably thinking of - "Hatred. He didn’t think he had ever felt hatred so intense as he did at that moment" - doesn't come until a little later, after TenSoon tells him that Lessie had always been one of them, a kandra. 

 

On a whim, I also went through the book and look for occurrences of the words "hate" and "hatred." "Hate" shows a bunch of times, but never in a way I would find suspicious. "Hatred" shows up three times - twice in that sentence up there and once when Wayne wishes Allriandre would one day show some emotion, "hatred, maybe." Of course, there can be feelings of hatred without the explicit mention of the word, but nothing smells of Odium to me.

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I wonder. Since Ruin is part of Harmony the usual spikes don't repel mist anymore, but would this mysterious metal as a spike cause the mist repulsion due to being of another shard? (If it is indeed formed from god metal)

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The mists were repelled because Harmony knew he'd hurt Wax dearly, and his sympathy and guilt reacted to Wax's anguish.

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im personally of the belief that the metal is from Sel. 

 

1) Sel is the only known world where there is an unique metal. Sel has ralcolist which is known to be unforgable. it has unique properties. True, we have no idea if all shards produce unique metals in some way, but there really shouldnt be loads of unique, naturally forming metals out there. 

 

2) sel has no living shards. it is possible that metal from Sel would be running blind, since the Dor has no conciousness left. Maybe Harmony is blind to all off-world unique metals, but the Dor being soulless now seems like a fitting answer. 

 

3) the shardpool described in the book was sounding a lot like the blue pools of Elantris.

 

4) the book is called Shadows of SELf. the title makes no sense in terms of the actual story. All we know is that there is another world intervening. a shadow approaching.

 

5) Autonomy makes sense in terms of helping Paalm get freedom. But autonomy shoukdnt really intervene in the affairs of other planets. that would seem to go against the original intent. True, people could use metal from that world on their own accord, but still, it seems odd. Also, ive read the book where Autonomy is found, and nothing jumps to mind metal-wise. There very well could be something as we only get a small glimpse, but still. 

Edited by teknopathetic
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4) the book is called Shadows of SELf. the title makes no sense in terms of the actual story. All we know is that there is another world intervening. a shadow approaching.

 

Are you serious here? Because there are at least two, maybe three interpretations of the title that make more sense to me than that.

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Are you serious here? Because there are at least two, maybe three interpretations of the title that make more sense to me than that.

im about 11% serious. But im still not sure of the title. Self control? The shadow of Wax's past? Nothing jumps to mind specifically. The shadows made by burning different metals never appeared, which i was sure was going to happened. 

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One of the more interesting interpretations comes from The Hero of Ages, actually. This comes from when Sazed meets with the First Generation:

 

 

"Where, then, are the mists?" another asked.

The room fell silent again. Sazed sat, pen held in his hand, yet not writing anything. He leaned forward. "The mists are the body of Preservation?"
The others nodded.
"And . . . it has disappeared?"
Again, a nod.
"Does this not mean, then, that Preservation has returned?"
"That is impossible," Haddek said. "Preservation's power remains, for power cannot be destroyed. His mind, however, was all but destroyed—for this was the sacrifice he made to imprison Ruin."
"The sliver remains," another reminded. "The shadow of self."
"Yes," Haddek said. "But that is not Preservation, just an image—a remnant. Now that Ruin has escaped, I think we can assume that even it has been destroyed."

 

I believe I have also seen the phrase in reference to cognitive shadows.

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4) the book is called Shadows of SELf. the title makes no sense in terms of the actual story. All we know is that there is another world intervening. a shadow approaching.

 

 

I half-expected the next words to see after this theory to be something about "Illuminati."  :)

 

That's some next-level digging for hidden meanings!

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The book also brings the darker sides of many characters to focus.

Bringing Wayne's past mistake back, Wax being told repeatedly by several that he's only here to kill people and destroy things (worse when it's basically true), Marasi ends up stealing documents trying to find evidence to convict Innate. Harmony as the manipulative jerk. Paalm, period.

I see many ways to read the title.

That #4 . . . that the seriousness level is even higher than -1% upsets me :(

Edited by natc
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You even admit, that's your impression. In your OP, you say that's it's clear and obvious that there were two spikes. I personally think the balance of evidence is that there was only one spike, but it is absolutely not obvious from the book that there were two.

 

Remember, we're told three times that kandra cannot get a spike for allomancy or feruchemy. It's supposed to be impossible. So there's no 'spike they were expecting' for steel allomancy. The one spike is of an unknown metal, with unknown properties, and she exhibited a power she should not have had access to.

 

We were told three times? I don't recall any of them, please do share. Considering even the kandra within this novel were convinced she was using hemalurgic spikes to gain the abilities, remember that it was MeLaan who said she'd have to be falling onto the new spike each time she wanted to swap powers, I feel a contradiction coming on, or the revelation that I've completely missed something...

 

And I understand your point about insanity, but I still disagree. I wouldn't say she was at the point of no longer exhibiting normal perception, considering her perception of the situation was actually pretty spot on, and her social interactions were generally within the realm of normal. I'd argue her only issue was the decision to incite the riots, and of course the murders. But then, given her goals, I wouldn't say they're all that outside the realm of normal either.

 

This is how I'm thinking of it. Paalm is working under the belief that she's at war with Harmony. When at war, you do what you must to undermine the enemy. That's what she was doing. To undermine Harmony, she had to keep him from being able to see, hear, and act, which is what she was striving for. Her final blow to the god would have then been to dismantle his prized city, utilizing those he found most precious; the people of Elendel.

 

Seems pretty sane to me.

 

 

Not to be rude or anything, but you missed about half the theory. What if the mystery metal spike came from Odium? There are many little things that show evidence for this in the book as well. Wax feeling extreme hatred and it forcing the mist away from him. The 'Visitor from another world" in the broadsheet is described strikingly close to a Parshendi or Lyatil, both of which as far as we know are on Roshar. One of them could have easily been an agent of Odium and brought the spike with them to disrupt Harmonies plans for nefarious purposes. 

 

It just seems to me that a shard with the Intent Autonomy wouldn't be going around messing with other shards. While ,yes, Bleeder was autonomous to Harmony, medeling seems to go against the intent. Much like Preservation was unable to destroy Ruin because doing so would destroy himself, while he was Leras that is. IDK, there were just too many references to Wax's random feelings of extreme hatred in the book that halfway through I was thinking to myself, "This smells of Odium." That and the possible Parshendi coupled with the MeLaan at the end talking with Marasi about this being the work of another god cinched it for me.

 

Nothing rude about your reply, we're all friends and fellow Cosmere scientists! Criticism should be welcomed, and if I didn't want people disagreeing with me, I shouldn't have posted the theory  :)

 

That being said, I completely disagree with you. I'll not touch on the arguments presented by Argent, so I'll touch on other things. First off, just because there is a Shard representing the emotion of odium does not mean that every time hatred pops up in a book we need to prescribe it to Odium. It's not like hatred is such a rare emotion. If I were in Wax's position I'd hate Harmony too at that moment. Don't let your emotions for Sazed cloud your judgement on his performance as God. What he did might have been for the best in the long run, but it was pretty crappy for Waxillium Ladrian. 

 

Stormlight Spoilers

Second, I am not convinced in the slightest that the broadsheet was a Parshendi or Iyatil. If it were a Parshendi, why were there no gems in its beard? The beard was very loose with lots of strands, but none of them are tied around some gems, as we know all Parshendi males to do. The females also don't have beards. And before someone says that it's just a sketch based on a witness, I'd say that seeing gems woven into a beard is pretty striking, considering it's one of the first things Kaladin comments on aside from the orange bone-armor.

 

As for it being Iyatil, the description of her mask didn't say anything about a beard, if I recall correctly.

 

As for Autonomy, Argent hit the big point about Autonomy not meaning he avoids conflict or meddling. Autonomy simply means being free of external control, something that fits with Paalm wanting to avoid being controlled by Harmony.

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Not to be rude or anything, but you missed about half the theory. What if the mystery metal spike came from Odium? There are many little things that show evidence for this in the book as well. Wax feeling extreme hatred and it forcing the mist away from him. The 'Visitor from another world" in the broadsheet is described strikingly close to a Parshendi or Lyatil, both of which as far as we know are on Roshar. One of them could have easily been an agent of Odium and brought the spike with them to disrupt Harmonies plans for nefarious purposes. 

 

It just seems to me that a shard with the Intent Autonomy wouldn't be going around messing with other shards. While ,yes, Bleeder was autonomous to Harmony, medeling seems to go against the intent. Much like Preservation was unable to destroy Ruin because doing so would destroy himself, while he was Leras that is. IDK, there were just too many references to Wax's random feelings of extreme hatred in the book that halfway through I was thinking to myself, "This smells of Odium." That and the possible Parshendi coupled with the MeLaan at the end talking with Marasi about this being the work of another god cinched it for me.

 

Autonomy would absolutely interfere with a Shard it felt was taking free will away from the people it presides over. Freedom to enslave other people is no freedom at all.

 

Now, while Paalm's desire to be free and free others could be a purely coincidental thing resulting in an unwanted push from Harmony, it could also be something Bavadin took deliberate advantage of to build on. I'm pretty convinced the alien spike is made of "bavadinium", or whatever the appropriate name is, due to its ability to allow Paalm to retain control while double-spiked, and due to how much she talks about her desire to free people whenever she talks with Wax about her plans.

 

What we seem to be missing here is, sure, Wax thinks that the ability to talk into someone's mind is specifically from Ruin, but we know that various shards share abilities- some can see into the future, some can read minds, some can change words, etc... it's entirely possible that whichever shard the alien spike is from granted that ability to Paalm as part of the spike. So I think you could get a double-whammy question on confirming who the alien spike came from by simply asking whether Odium and Autonomy have the ability to talk into people's minds when they're spiked. I would bet that the answer is that Autonomy is capable of it.

Edited by Ari
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In addition, spikes damage the spiritweb.  On Roshar, such damage allows spren to come in and work their magic, what if on Scadrial the Shards can speak into the minds of damaged souls?  

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So theory: the spike is not one god metal. It's two, an alloy of Autonomy and Atium. Why these two metals? I think Bleeder had ONE spike for all her abilities, but could only access one ability at a time. Remember that all bind points do not work for all abilities. With one spike, all Bleeder could access at any given time would be one ability. Atium provides the ability to grab any ability from any one, and perhaps Autonomy provides the ability to hold more than one ability in a spike, at greatly reduced capacity. It never seemed to me like Bleeder used any of her abilities at a level we'd expect from a creature as old and crafty as she is... unless she WAS using them to the maximum of her capacity, and that capacity was much lower than expected.

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I'm pretty convinced the alien spike is made of "bavadinium", or whatever the appropriate name is, due to its ability to allow Paalm to retain control while double-spiked, and due to how much she talks about her desire to free people whenever she talks with Wax about her plans.

You are assuming she was double spiked. It is only said it was one of the spikrs she had. That could mean she carries a bag full of spikes of different types or charges.

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Presumably it should also be possible to store a few spikes inside herself as long as they don't make contact with bind points. It'd just basically be a flesh wound by human standards then, surely?

Edited by natc
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Presumably it should also be possible to store a few spikes inside herself as long as they don't make contact with bind points. It'd just basically be a flesh wound by human standards then, surely?

 

I don't think so, considering how Wax beats her. Unless he was insanely lucky to hit one of 300 different bind points that can be as small as an earring piercing.

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Presumably it should also be possible to store a few spikes inside herself as long as they don't make contact with bind points. It'd just basically be a flesh wound by human standards then, surely?

That is... Interesting. They would suffer no decay while inside, but she would have to remove them all before switching spikes, so her mistwraith self doens't absorve multiple spikes at once.

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Doesn't have to be luck. Spook was literally just stabbed by a sword, it hitting the right spot was Ruin's fault.

You do have a point though.

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