Confused

Forced Splintering – Take 3 [SLA 3 Spoiler]

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I’ve rambled on about this subject twice before. Now that there are some newer WoBs out, it’s time for Take 3.

 

I believe forced splintering involves changing a Shard’s Cognitive Realm investiture – the material of its Mind – over time. Eventually, the local Cognitive investiture – the Shard’s Mind – will lose its capacity to direct its power. The power then seeks other minds to direct it, or the power becomes self-directing as a splinter.

 

How does this happen? Odium is the only known Shard-splinterer. (Vin didn’t splinter Ruin; Ruin remained whole for Sazed to take up.) Let’s look at what I believe is Odium’s method.

 

1. Odium doesn’t waste himself by investing in a planet or change himself by absorbing the power of the Shards he splinters. We know he is restrained on Roshar, but I believe that Odium can influence sapient minds throughout the Cosmere, causing them to have “hateful thoughts.”

 

Roshar is an example. WoB and text describe the local humans as diverse, fractious and warlike. Those traits result in many “hateful thoughts.” I’m curious to know Sel’s history: was there a period of rebellion among an otherwise “unified” population that preceded Domination’s and Devotion’s splintering?

 

2. Such “hateful thoughts” become a GROWING part of that Shardworld’s Cognitive and Spiritual Realms. They begin to change the Shard’s Cognitive Realm investiture, its Mind. My analogy is brain cancer squeezing out healthy cells, interfering with the capacity to think and function.

 

When a Shard invests in a planet, its Mind and Body merge into the fabric of the planet and becomes one with it. That’s how the planet BECOMES a “Shardworld” – that unique combination of time, place and mandate (intent) that defines each such planet and its magic.

 

“Time and place” refer to the then prevailing physical and social cultures of a Shardworld. The very substance of each Shardworld’s Cognitive investiture (the Mind of the local Shard) is a mixture of the ideas and emotions generated by these cultures, plus the Shard’s own thoughts and ideas. These are stitched together in the pattern compelled by the Shard’s mandate (intent) to produce the Cognitive component of each Shardworld’s magic system.

 

On each Shardworld, the Shard’s Mind and mortal minds thus merge into one substance. That substance – the Shardworld’s Cognitive investiture – is unique to that Shardworld and exists nowhere else in the Cosmere.

 

3. MISTER Sanderson gives us the mechanism for this process in the draft SLA 3 Jasnah excerpt. There we see Ivory warning Jasnah to beware of painspren because painspren can “harm more” when Jasnah is physically in the Cognitive Realm. This excerpt is in draft form and may not make it to the final novel, but I doubt that MISTER Sanderson would change this aspect of the Cognitive Realm.

 

Thus, ideas do battle in the Cognitive Realm, competing to stick around and become Spiritual Realm ideals. Some ideas survive; others do not.

 

In this environment, “hateful thoughts” are likely to do well. “Hateful thoughts” are aggressive and hurtful, as we’ve seen with the listeners. In Stormform, “amusement” becomes “ridicule,” and Eshonai feels “fury,” “irritation” and “spite.”

 

Such hostile, aggressive ideas can drive out other thoughts. In Elantris, Dilaf tells Hrathen how he found love in Arelon. But when an Elantrian misused his magic and couldn’t save Dilaf’s wife, Dilaf devoted himself to Elantris’s destruction. Hate drove out love.

 

The fact that  Raoden read about this event suggests we’ll hear more about it. Did Odium influence the mis-healing Elantrian to make a mistake at the critical moment?

 

4. The result over time is a local Cognitive Realm changed dramatically by “hateful thoughts.” The Shard’s Mind is now something different and more hateful than it previously was. I suggest that the local Shard at that point can no longer exercise its power due to the mismatch between its Mind and Body. That’s when its power begins to splinter, since Odium doesn’t assume it. Eventually the Shard dies.

 

EDITED to reflect Stormgate's correction.

Edited by Confused
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I feel I should make a small correction. Raoden did not witness the failed healing, he read about it in the library. The one healing we know he witnessed was performed on his broken leg as a child, which went well. In the book, it is brought in as a dream flashback, but the pain doesn't go away in the dream due to his post-Shaod injuries.

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While it's an interesting theory, I don't think you need to drag Odium into the Dilaf story to explain it. 

 

Sidebar: He was an invested Gragdet of the Dakhor monestary standing next to an Elantrian trying to work their magic. In the same way the he disrupted the Illusion Aon, his mere presence probably prevented the Aon from completing, which trapped his wife in the state of incomplete healing. He was the ultimate author of her demise, not the Elantrians, which explains even more his deep seated hatred and intensity. Deep down, he knows it's his fault. 

 

Back OT: From a newer WoB, we know that Odium has Shardic allies. His method of splintering seems much more of a physical act to me than what you're describing. Hoid says in the Letter that it was Rayse's visit to Sel that lead to the Aona & Skai's death and splintering, not his sending hateful thoughts. I suppose you can argue that is semantics, but to me it seems like simplest explanation should apply here. "Odium Smash"TM is much more simple than, "Odium send long range telepathic subliminal messages that slowly corrupt thoughts on a world to the point that it disrupts other shard holder's ability to access their power, then Odium SmashTM". 

 

Not to say it couldn't be true, just doesn't seem that likely to me. 

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Sidebar response: it's noted in the text that the healer left out one of the basic lines, which is a big clue that the current state (with the same symptoms) is also caused by a missing basic line. I don't think Dilaf could've caused that.

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So how would something have done this to Adonalsium?

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