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Shapemaker

[Bands spoilers] The Red Haze

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We have this bit from Harmony (Chapter 28):

 

 

The light ahead suddenly rolled outward, and Wax found that they’d been rounding a planet. They stood high above it, and had stepped from darkness into sunlight, which let Wax see the world below, bathed in a calm, cool light.
Beyond that hung a haze of red. All around, pressing in upon the world. He could feel it choking him, a miasma of dread and destruction.
“Perhaps,” Harmony said softly, “I have already done just as you suggest. You do not see it, because the worst never reaches you.”
“What is it?” Wax asked, trying to take in that vast redness. It beat inward, but he could see something, a thin strip of light—like a bubble around the world—stopping it.
“A representation,” Harmony said. “A crude one, perhaps.” He looked to Wax and smiled, like a father at a wide-eyed child.
[...]
“And when I hold back, staying my hand from protecting those below,” Harmony said, “I must do it out of trust in what people can do on their own.” He glanced toward the red haze. “And because I have other problems to occupy me.”
“You didn’t tell me what it was,” Wax said.
“That is because I do not know.”
“That … frightens me.”
Harmony looked to him. “It should.”

 

This immediately raises these questions to me:

  • What is causing that Red Haze
  • Is it actively attacking the planet itself, Sazed/Harmony, or the people?
  • Is it something from outside, or something already "on" Scadrial (Trell?)
  • Is the "redness" just a representation created by Harmony for Wax to "see" what is going on, or is that an actual property of that power/entity, whatever it is
  • Harmony has no idea what the thing is, which would suggest it is not of shardic origin
    • When someone becomes a Vessel, they immediately become aware of pretty much anything happening on the planet's cognitive bubble
    • It seems quite safe to assume that a shard should be able to easily recognize another shard's influence
  • Had there been something opposing Adonalsium from before the shattering, would a Vessel be able to recognise that power now? What about the shard itself?

I don't recall reading about such "miasma of dread and destruction" before. Of course we haven't seen Odium's direct influence described anywhere yet so that is one possibility, but shouldn't a Vessel be able to tell if they're seeing another shard's power?

 

Also we have these weird spikes made from unknown metal that probably caused the "madness" of Paalm. I read a theory that they're possibly something made by Autonomy (Bavadin) since their influence would suggest exactly such an effect. Maybe these are related to the red haze?

 

Edit: since the Red Haze is a thing that worries Harmony, it probably is something on the power level of a shard.

Edited by Shapemaker
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In the absence of better information, I am assuming it's pretty much another Shard coming to play. Sazed says the haze is a representation, so we can't learn much from its description, but I could buy the idea that it's either a Shard trying to move to Scadrial (and I am very worried about why Harmony, a holder of two Shards, can't just slap their hand but has to defend), or another Shard trying to Invest themselves on Scadrial, and the haze is more of a representation of their Investiture than their body (though those are kind of the same thing anyway). 

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Though Harmony's two shards are opposed to each other, That might weaken him enough to cause his "distraction" of late. Since we saw  in the first Mistborn trilogy when two shards of almost equal power are fighting, their other interactions are very limited. Harmony is able to hold back this other force while also still having a fair amount of influence across Scadrial, if not as much as he used to.

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It's hard to attack directly, I guess, when half of you insists on preserving your enemies.

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Also sheer power isn't all that matters, Knowledge/experience is just as, if not more, dangerous. For all his power Harmony is a mere 350ish years old. Someone with half his power but thousands of times more experience wielding that power might be a real problem for him.

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I'm half leaning toward the Dominion theory, but I'd say with near absolute certainty it's another Shard

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This bit was very interesting to me.  Wax has the opportunity to straight-up ask a deity about the Problem of Evil, one of the best-known arguments against religion.  And instead of giving any of the sanctioned Christian/Mormon responses,  Sazed gives the Manichean response.  Why is there evil in the world?  Because the evil deity is stronger than the good deity, and the good deity has his hands full.   What do you think are the odds that this is the final answer in the Cosmere?  Does the God Beyond have an evil opponent that is even stronger than itself?  Is there an infinite regress--a good god, then a stronger evil god above him, then an even stronger good god above that, then an evil god who's stronger yet, and so on forever?

Edited by ecohansen
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I'm half leaning toward the Dominion theory, but I'd say with near absolute certainty it's another Shard

 

 While I think another shard is the likely explanation, we really don't know how far you can hack investiture as just a normal Initiated human. It's entirely possible that this work is the result of Adonalsium's opposition, and they're going after Harmony first because he represents the threat of that power re-forming.

 

This bit was very interesting to me.  Wax has the opportunity to straight-up ask a deity about the Problem of Evil, one of the best-known arguments against religion.  And instead of giving any of the sanctioned Christian/Mormon responses,  Sazed gives the Manichean response.  Why is there evil in the world?  Because the evil deity is stronger than the good deity, and the good deity has his hands full.   What do you think are the odds that this is the final answer in the Cosmere?  Does the God Beyond have an evil opponent that is even stronger than itself?  Is there an infinite regress--a good god, than a stronger evil god above him, than an even stronger good god above that, than an evil god who's stronger yet, and so on forever?

 

Well, that may be oversimplifying things somewhat. :) Harmony doesn't say he's less powerful than his opposition. Just that he doesn't know who they are yet, and that they're keeping him occupied.

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Also sheer power isn't all that matters, Knowledge/experience is just as, if not more, dangerous. For all his power Harmony is a mere 350ish years old. Someone with half his power but thousands of times more experience wielding that power might be a real problem for him.

Lol yeah.  I remember seeing a little 4'9" woman have her purse snatched.  It didn't go well for the large teen that tried to do it as it turned out she was some high degree blackbelt.  The woman might have been 90 lbs soaking wet and and she put a 200lbs teen on  his back in about half a second.

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I don't think Sazed meant it to justify his not interfering on a more daily level. He wasn't claiming to be too busy, instead he was just making a point about Wax's next argument that God could find the line not to cross. "here it is" he basically said.

 

Also @Argent, I think that Sazed's two Shards allow him to pretty much hold off the enemy without any significant strain. Since he holds the upper hand, so to speak, he's just playing defensively. That's actually the smart way to do it, since he doesn't know enough about the enemy to avoid getting drawn into a trap.

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Also @Argent, I think that Sazed's two Shards allow him to pretty much hold off the enemy without any significant strain. Since he holds the upper hand, so to speak, he's just playing defensively. That's actually the smart way to do it, since he doesn't know enough about the enemy to avoid getting drawn into a trap.

Or he can't go after them since he is invested in Scadrial and the attacker is staying out of reach.

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We also have no idea how much of its own power a shard invests into a planet. If we make the math simple and say that it is around 50%, then half of Harmony's power is currently tied up in Scadrial. Assuming the Shard attacking Scadrial is uninvested in any other planet (which is fair to assume since it was able to come to Scadrial) then it would be twice as strong as a single "invested" shard. Given that Harmony is generally assumed to be twice as powerful as your standard shard then that actually makes them even. 

 

This also assumes that strength is constant across all shards and that Harmony has 50% of his power available to him. Any of those number can be tweaked around to give Harmony either a slight advantage or disadvantage,

Edited by Galavantes
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Well Ruin and Pres are theorised to have created Scadrial from scratch, planet and all, so it would make make Saze at a bigger disadvantage

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I honestly don't know what the red haze could be.  If it were a Shard, Sazed would recognize it.  The powers he holds have memories inside them, so they'd remember coming to invest Scadrial.  On top of that, by the time of BoM, he should be well aware of the present politics of the Cosmere, so if another Shard up and left its world, he would have heard about it.  It's conceivable that several Shards are ganging up on him to prevent him from assimilating more Shards, but again, he'd recognize that.  The fact that he doesn't makes me suspect we're about to find a whole new type of entity in the Cosmere, one on the power level of Shards.  Perhaps it's what was used to shatter Adonalsium in the first place?

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This bit was very interesting to me.  Wax has the opportunity to straight-up ask a deity about the Problem of Evil, one of the best-known arguments against religion.  And instead of giving any of the sanctioned Christian/Mormon responses,  Sazed gives the Manichean response.  Why is there evil in the world?  Because the evil deity is stronger than the good deity, and the good deity has his hands full.   What do you think are the odds that this is the final answer in the Cosmere?  Does the God Beyond have an evil opponent that is even stronger than itself?  Is there an infinite regress--a good god, then a stronger evil god above him, then an even stronger good god above that, then an evil god who's stronger yet, and so on forever?

 

Turtles all the way down? :P

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Turtles all the way down? :P

World turtles. Some of my favs.

But no, I don't think there will be turtles all the way down. There may be 2 equally powered turtles at the top, with lessers below. But there is a finite amount of turtles I'd assume.

Edited by The Ninja Yodeler
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There is a lot being said in that chapter. The limitations of Sazed being primarily among them. There is also something else that was deeply discussed: Hatred. Wax's Hatred of Harmony and of Himself. 

While it is the first time the two speak after Bleeder's identity is revealed, it seems like such a marked thing to say when a Red Haze is shown invading, and one of the Main Villains is a being with Red Eyes. I think that the Red Haze is the Power of Odium breaking in. Harmony is a danger to Odium, being the first time two Shards have been united/held by the same person. Of the Shardholders, Sazed is still relatively inexperienced. Odium may be trying to get rid of him before he can exert his power more externally. 

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I think Sazed is playing the long game. Whatever the red haze is, the people of Scadrial need to be of a certain tech level to be able to even compete. That is why Sazed is regretting what he did with the Basin. Instead of an endless supply of resources jump starting a technological revolution, it made them slow and decadent instead. With the discovery of the southern people's technology, the technology of the world will leap forward which is why Mr. Red Eyes at the end of the novel is "moving up the timetable". That Scadrial may catch up in time to become a problem. 

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There is a lot being said in that chapter. The limitations of Sazed being primarily among them. There is also something else that was deeply discussed: Hatred. Wax's Hatred of Harmony and of Himself. 

While it is the first time the two speak after Bleeder's identity is revealed, it seems like such a marked thing to say when a Red Haze is shown invading, and one of the Main Villains is a being with Red Eyes. I think that the Red Haze is the Power of Odium breaking in. Harmony is a danger to Odium, being the first time two Shards have been united/held by the same person. Of the Shardholders, Sazed is still relatively inexperienced. Odium may be trying to get rid of him before he can exert his power more externally. 

 

If the colour red is relevant, (we have no idea that it is, Sazed may have just chosen red because it's menacing, and whatever external force is attacking Scadrial isn't relevant to the Voidbringer that's strolling around killing Set members) the two chief suspects are either Odium, or whatever's causing the Red Rip.

Edited by Ari
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