Ardjet

The dwellers in the Fortress [Secret History spoilers]

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Hi all. I'd like to start possibly identifying the Elantrians in the fortress of blue-white light, if they haven't been. I want to suspect that Elrao is Raoden, based purely on his name. But there's not a lot of support for that beyond the name. Could even be a title or descendant. What does everyone else think about possible identities?

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I think this discussion is scattered throughout the other threads on the topic. The general feeling seems to be that these are new characters that we aren't meant to recognise yet, and possibly pre-Reod Elantrians. (Secret History is set hundreds of years after Elantris)

 

By their appearance, they seem to be Reod, but the Reod itself was due to a physical change to the geography of the lands around Elantris, cutting off the flow of the Aon-Dor. Hence, their appearance may be explained by themselves being deprived of the Dor by being so far away from that geography. Hence the drinking of some fluid to maintain themselves. Without it, we'd probably see them moving gingerly like Raoden when he initially entered Elantris. At the very least, I don't think any of them would be keen to ride a horse.

 

Alonoe is also the name of the lake near Elantris (according to the Coppermind Wiki) so I'm considering that she may have had the lake named after her centuries ago, rather than her being a recent character who was named after the lake.

 

On a side note, their skills and capacity are similar to what I would imagine Raoden would work toward after gaining full control of his abilities. This could be a post-Reod research team that has gone rogue, or even a sanctioned team tasked with bringing home a Shard.

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It seems to me like they might be the Elantrians who were dissolved in the Shard Pool. That would certainly explain how they ended up in the Cognitive Realm, at the least.

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It seems to me like they might be the Elantrians who were dissolved in the Shard Pool. That would certainly explain how they ended up in the Cognitive Realm, at the least.

I think that there is a lot to merit this being the case. Apart from being the only way for Elantrians to enter the cognitive realm, there is also the fact that they would continue looking as they did when they died. Because that's how they viewed themselves. This is the case regardless of if they were pre-Reod or not. (If you ascended into godhood you'd want to remain that way and if you were cursed with an inability to die you may only see yourself as this cursed being.) Your explanation also helps to explain why so few Elantrians were in the cognitive realm, especially if this was post-Reod. Cool idea. 

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It seems to me like they might be the Elantrians who were dissolved in the Shard Pool. That would certainly explain how they ended up in the Cognitive Realm, at the least.

 

It seems the most likely option, especially if they were 1) returned to full working order by Cognitive Realm self-perception mechanics or 2) returned to full working order by Raoden back in Sel's Physical Realm. 

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I suppose it was a stretched hope that we'd see those characters again so soon after seeing more Elantrians. :D

I like this dissolved idea, though. I'd bring up Galladon being in the Physical Realm in Stormlight Archive as a "But-", though there are likely several other entrances into Shadesmar and likely other portals he/the 17th Shard can use.

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I suppose it was a stretched hope that we'd see those characters again so soon after seeing more Elantrians. :D

I like this dissolved idea, though. I'd bring up Galladon being in the Physical Realm in Stormlight Archive as a "But-", though there are likely several other entrances into Shadesmar and likely other portals he/the 17th Shard can use.

 

Galladon wasn't metallic-looking on Roshar like he was on Sel.  That could still be an illusion of some kind, but it's looking very likely that it's simply due to Galladon's connection to Elantris being stretched quite a distance (several hundred light-years, assuming I'm judging the scale correctly).  

Edited by Landis963
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It seems to me like they might be the Elantrians who were dissolved in the Shard Pool. That would certainly explain how they ended up in the Cognitive Realm, at the least.

 

I'd considered this one as well, but I don't like it as a theory.

 

The level of sophistication and planning that went into the fortress would indicate that this was a planned expedition and not a "well, we're here now, let's do a thing" situation. I think it was implied that the building blocks of the fortress were imported from Sel, which would require two way transitions. 

 

The clincher is the support staff - the hooded, robed Elantrians could have been the guys that got dissolved in the pool, but then we've got the generic guards who came along for muscle. These guys are harder to place. If they are from Sel, I doubt that they would have gotten close enough to Elantrians touched by the Shoad to be recruited for an interplanetary jaunt. If they've been here for centuries (as they would have to have been if they left while the Shoad was still active - a 20 year period around Elantris' time) then how have they lived as long as the Elantrians?

 

I don't think that they would be Cognitive Shadows like Kelsier as they interact with the trees and plants in Shadesmar. And they can't be derivatives of Threnody tech/shadows, due to the anti-Threnody device. So I think that these are real life humans kicking around the place. Another problem: reinforcements and replenishing troops. It's possible that chilling in Shadesmar as a Three-Realm being halts the aging process, but if it doesn't, these troops would need replacing every 40-60 years or sooner if they like their families. The new recruits could be piped in from Sel, or recruited from other settlements in the Shadesmar?

 

I haven't read Elantris in a while, but I got the impression that the Elantrians who were alive at the time of the Reod weren't all that spectacular. I know that they could do flashy stuff like heal maladies (putting physicians out of work) or create food from nothing (putting farmers out of work) or... How did Raoden's kingdom survive the Reod!? They would be have been royally and economically screwed without their major source of everything! So, with all the flashy stuff, they couldn't figure out the Aon Dor enough to fix it which seems elementary in comparison (in hindsight). It just implies to me that they never turned their eyes toward the true complexities of the Dor, like a surgeon who can perform an operation flawlessly, but can't name any of the structures he's cutting through - they just know they're the right places to cut. If any of those structures were to move or be variable in a patient, they wouldn't know how to react.

 

If I were skipping town/world with a geography based magic system that would need hacking to work elsewhere, I'm pretty sure that I would have been able to fix the Reod issue before Raoden was even born.

 

Hence, I think the Elantrians alive immediately prior to the Reod would be the least suitable people to go Shard hunting, and certainly not as effective as we see Alonoe being.

 

That's my feeling on the matter. I really want to know what happened during the Shoad!

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There are hundreds of years between Elantris and Mistborn, so I think your theory makes sense. It may be a mix though.

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Assuming that they're Elantrians (which is what popped into my mind when I read about them.... though not to the fullest extent that you all have. ;)) are they wanting to take hold a Shard just to take hold of a Shard? Do you think they're trying to take an intact Shard as part of a Gambit to reassemble the Devotion and Dominion Shards?

Edited by icspots
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The problems with them being those who were dissolved is based on one important misconception. Do we actually know the pool dissolves them physically? We know they disappear after entering it. But we now have a concrete scene from Secret Histories showing the pools being used for transition physically between the Physical and the Cognitive by Hoid. In the bonus scene in the Elantris 10th Anniversary, we watch Hoid jump into that very pool and vanish. What if that pool never dissolved anyone, but actually just transported them directly to the Cognitive Realm physically? It's entirely possible the pre-Reod Elantrians never even realized this themselves and still used it for "funerals". This outpost could be made of those who thought they were committing suicide and ended up in teh Cognitive.

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I'm not sure if it's logical, but I've had an idea brewing about the Ire for some time:

 

That they were not just pre-Reod Elantrians, but that they used the Reod to grant them immortality, and that they were the ones that caused the Reod. 

Why? Because they KNEW it would freeze them. And what does that grant them? Immortality. 

The fallen Elantrians are immortal. Almost completely so, as they are 'frozen' (likely between realms?).

 

Normal Elantrians, on the other hand, can and do die of heart attacks, old age, a knife at the wrong time, any normal thing. They can heal and are harder to kill, and are in generally healthier, but they aren't immortal. But fallen Elantrians are. 

 

A common theme in Fantasy (and history too! Look at all the people drinking mercury or looking for the philosophers stone) is that certain people will do almost ANYTHING to gain immortality. What if the Ire caused the Reod in order to gain immortality, but that things spiraled out of control and they fled? 
Likely they had a way to cause the Reod (and gain immortality) then restore things to almost-normal (the Investiture Juice they drink), and were planning on sharing it with all the other Elantrians (so not complete cremlings) but then things went horribly wrong - before they were able to clean the situation up, the serving class rebelled and killed all the most powerful Elantrians (this happened basically the day of the Reod). The Ire fled to the cognitive realm, and left Elantris behind.

 

(Note, from the text we are told that the most powerful Elantrians were overwhelmed by the Dor and almost catatonic, much like Raoden is a few times during Elantris, and so were unable to do anything before being turned into Hoed. Which means that there is a good chance that they COULD have fixed Elantris like Raoden did, but were destroyed before they had a chance to puzzle it out).


There are problems with this theory, specifically this one: If I'm right, why didn't they get fixed along with the rest when Raoden fixed Elantris? Maybe they would be as soon as they left the Cognitive realm, so they stay cognitive (until one of them gets a shard and makes them all immortal on the physical realm? hence their plan?)

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How does one simply cause a massive earthquake that ruptured the foundations of the country though?

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How does one simply cause a massive earthquake that ruptured the foundations of the country though?

With AonDor at full power, drawing on the giant Aon Rao that is Elantris itself? It doesn't seem that farfetched, particularly with many of them working together.

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How does one simply cause a massive earthquake that ruptured the foundations of the country though?

 

 

With AonDor at full power, drawing on the giant Aon Rao that is Elantris itself? It doesn't seem that farfetched, particularly with many of them working together.

 

In other words: Magic. 

Or if you prefer, applied AonDor

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In other words: Magic. 

Or if you prefer, applied AonDor

Unfortunately we don't know enough about AonDor to be able to give a better answer. It is one of the magic systems in the Cosmere that unfortunately we know the least about. We know a great deal about its structure from Raoden's experiments, but there are supposed to be thousands of Aons, and that's not even beginning to cover all the modifier lines. I hate giving answers like that, but in this case it is kind of all we can do. It doesn't seem to be too out of line with the power scale we've heard of and it doesn't break any of the rules we know so...why not?

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Exactly! Its possible. Is it true? Maybe not. But as far as we know, it's possible. 

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But how would they prevent the downside that is eternal agony?

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But how would they prevent the downside that is eternal agony?

 

Constant infusion of liquid Dor? Maybe that's why they drink it - and after having drunk it they're temporarily normal again (can heal themselves/etc.), but as it lasts for so short a time, it doesn't significantly reduce their lifespans. 

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Constant infusion of liquid Dor? Maybe that's why they drink it - and after having drunk it they're temporarily normal again (can heal themselves/etc.), but as it lasts for so short a time, it doesn't significantly reduce their lifespans. 

So they remain as transitional, unless they stub their toe, in which case they take a quick sip of liquid Dor to heal it, so they are invulnerable transitional again? That could make combat now that I think about it somewhat problematic. True you could survive anything, but when every wound inflicted by a foe could turn you hoed (so overwhelmed with pain all you do is lay there and chant over and over), then a sustained "fire fight" would quickly overwhelm those elantrians. You would have to hope you take out the enemy quickly, and there is someone left over with a clear enough head (and not too many wounds), to drink the liquid Dor, and distribute it to others to heal them as well. 

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So they remain as transitional, unless they stub their toe, in which case they take a quick sip of liquid Dor to heal it, so they are invulnerable transitional again? That could make combat now that I think about it somewhat problematic. True you could survive anything, but when every wound inflicted by a foe could turn you hoed (so overwhelmed with pain all you do is lay there and chant over and over), then a sustained "fire fight" would quickly overwhelm those elantrians. You would have to hope you take out the enemy quickly, and there is someone left over with a clear enough head (and not too many wounds), to drink the liquid Dor, and distribute it to others to heal them as well. 

 

Which fits, because they don't really seem like soldiers, do they? They have guards, but THEY aren't guards. They don't try to confront things directly (it seems).

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Which fits, because they don't really seem like soldiers, do they? They have guards, but THEY aren't guards. They don't try to confront things directly (it seems).

Still seems like an awful amount of trouble to make yourself "invulnerable" to harm, when you would still need all the safe guards you would need without it, if not more because of it. It is an interesting theory. Just doesn't feel like it fits right to me. Too much effort for too little return. 

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It's not about invulnerability, it's about IMMORTALITY. 
The Elantrians of the Reod are immortal. They can't die. They don't age.

That's what this is about.

 

Because, as far as I'm aware, healthy Elantrians can die. They do get old. But the Elantrians of the Reod are frozen in time, and thus cannot age.

 

At least that's my (crazy-ish) theory.

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It's not about invulnerability, it's about IMMORTALITY. 

The Elantrians of the Reod are immortal. They can't die. They don't age.

That's what this is about.

 

Because, as far as I'm aware, healthy Elantrians can die. They do get old. But the Elantrians of the Reod are frozen in time, and thus cannot age.

 

At least that's my (crazy-ish) theory.

Ah then I misunderstood. You are incorrect, healthy Elantrians do not age. They are immortal. Just it can be "draining" as per Sanderson so they chose to end it. But they are very much immortal. There is a WoB for that. 

Edited by Pathfinder
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Ah then I misunderstood. You are incorrect, healthy Elantrians do not age. They are immortal. Just it can be "draining" as per Sanderson so they chose to end it. But they are very much immortal. There is a WoB for that. 

 

Ah darn, there goes that theory. Thanks for the WOB! I thought they were just long-lived.

In that case, the Ire are likely just a normal group of Elantrians, and the grey skin/infusion of dor-juice is needed to keep them going and powerful far away from Elantris 

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