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Adonalsium’s Shattering – New Mandate (Intent) Theory

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I previously theorized that Adonalsium’s Shattering caused the powers of creation to “choose” the Shard each Vessel became based on the Vessel’s dominant psychological trait. Our new understanding of Connections IMO confirms the theory: the power chose the Shard based on each Vessel’s Connection with that aspect of Adonalsium. Evidence:

 

1. The biggest objection to my initial theory was Ati. How could such a “kind and generous man” have become Ruin the Destroyer? But Preservation tells Kelsier in M:SH that "Everything passes, nothing is eternal. That is what Ati always claimed... [emphasis added]” Preservation here refers to Ati, not Ruin. That suggests that Ati always had an affinity for Ruin, even before his ascension, as a matter of deep-seated personal belief. He was Connected to Ruin despite his personality.

 

2. Brandon says that different Vessels would have had different mandates (intents). That suggests the mandates were based on something personal to each Vessel.

 

3. Kelsier had difficulties holding Preservation because he was so Connected to Ruin. As a “destroyer,” Kelsier has few equals: see you later, TFE…

 

I use the word “mandate” instead of “intent” because that’s the word Sazed himself uses. In HoA, Sazed describes the mists as acting with a "vague will of their own tied to the mandate of their abilities" (HoA, Chapter 79, emphasis added.) I think that’s what we mean when we talk about a Shard’s “intent,” a word coined by Chaos in an excellent post some years ago. I prefer the textual word.

 

Does this sound right?

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I read mandate as more of a restriction/instruction, akin to a program performing/designed for a purpose I.e Leras created them to snap mistings when the well refilled each time

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Brandon says that Adonalsium may Shattered in different Shards, but we can't say if the actual division was forced by the Specific Vessels or not.

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My theory on the Shattering of Adonalsium:

Adonalsium is like a closet.

When it shattered, a bunch of shirts, pants, and shoes came spilling out.

Each vessel got one shirt, one pair of pants, and one pair of shoes based on their style of clothing.

Another set of sixteen would have the same clothes, but not necessarily the same sixteen outfits.

In non bad metaphor form, Adonalsium had natural fault lines. The Connection of the sixteen influenced what fault lines it was broken on. However, there would have been chunks of power that stayed together no matter who shattered it, as Adonalsium could only be divided on some combination of those fault lines.

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With the exception of the comment about the "powers of creation"  "choosing" the Shard's Intent for each future Vessel, this is pretty much what I also think.  

 

 Adonalsium's Vessel has just dropped the body. Some smoke is coming off. Sixteen people step up (well -based on the one example of power-taking from a dead Vessel, this is a possible scenario). The power is starting to split 16 ways. But I do not think there there is an outside controller. Rather - the power splits under the pressures from 16 incoming Vessels. Each forms a specific Connection with one part of the power... and Shards are born. If different people step up, or different number of people step up, the separation would happen differently.

 

Which brings me to my theory.  A very nice 17th Sharder (Paladin Brewer) has asked Brandon "my" question about what happens if two people step up to take up power from a dead Vessel.  Brandon RAFOed.  I believe that the Shards can be further subdivided. In fact:

 

 * I believe that the power of Adonalsium consisted of numerous atomic Intents. Each atomic Intent represents an aspect of power of Adonalsium that cannot be held by different people separately (i.e., an atomic Intent is always held by a single Vessel).  

 

 * Upon shattering of Adonalsium, the following algorithmic process happened:

 

    for each atomic Intent AI :

        for each future Vessel FV:

            determine Connection(AI, FV)

 

    for each Atomic Intent AI:

        assign AI to arg Max (Connection(AI,FV)) over all FVs.

  

    for each future Vessel FV:

        Shard(FV) := {AI | AI is atomic Intent assigned to FV}

 

* To put it in human terms:  each atomic Intent got taken up by the Vessel who had the highest connection with that Intent.

   Each Shard is the collection of atomic Intents taken up by a single Vessel.

 

 * I do not know know how much more granular than the final Shards the atomic Intents are. That is, I do not know how many atomic Intents went into every single Shard. I suspect, some Shards got more, some - got fewer.  But I do believe that most if not all Shards that are/were out there consist of multiple atomic Intents.

 

 * Ergo, it is possible to kill a Shard Vessel, and turn their power into a pair of Shards.

 

 

PS. What might contradict the algorithm above is the assertion that Brandon I think have made at some point, that each Shard walked out of Shattering with the same amount of power.  To achieve that, the distribution algorithm above needs to be altered. Instead of  assigning the power to the most Connected Vessel we can take the nearest neighbor approach: each Shard gets  Total Number of Atomic Intents/16  atomic Intents that are closest to them (with "ties" broken though amount of Connection).

Edited by emailanimal
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  A very nice 17th Sharder (Paladin Brewer)

 

*blushes*

 

I always felt like the Shards are exactly what they are, they're basically parts that, in many ways, all humans have. We want to preserve, but we also want to ruin, we love, we hate, we want to grow things, we have honor...sometimes we don't. Adonalsium sounds very human to me, with all the parts combined.  I think the Vessels just got which one they were connected to the most.  Kind of like when Ganon touched the triforce...he got Power, Link got Courage, Zelda recieved Wisdom. Yeah, nerdy Zelda reference, but the same, I think.

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Thank you all for your excellent observations and comments!

 

ParadoxSpren: I’m comfortable that “mandate” is the textually correct description for “intent,” but the word “intent” is fairly engrained by now. Chaos did too good a job! You can see the arguments for and against my word choice in the thread “Mandates of the Known Shards.” I would now modify some of my conclusions there (about what each Shard’s mandate is), but stand by most of it.

 

Yata: I don’t think the Vessels “forced” the Shattering into those specific Shards (if that’s what you mean by “division”). I’m simply saying when the Shattered powers of creation went looking for new minds to direct them, the powers “chose” each Vessel based on the powers’ Connection with that Vessel. The Shards each represent different aspects of Adonalsium. Other aspects – Pride, Joy, Competitiveness, e.g. – might have become Shards if those had been the dominant traits of the potential Vessels. (For what I mean by the word “chose,” see below.)

 

thegatorgirl00: You raise an interesting point. What would have happened if there were 20 conspiring Vessels, or 100? Would the powers still have chosen only 16 of them based on your “natural fault lines” suggestion?

 

We’ve assumed that 16 is the “magic number” (literally). We don’t know that for sure. We only know that there ARE (or originally were) 16 Shards, 16 Allomantic metals (although we now know there are as many as 256 – 162), and Preservation used the number 16 to “select” Allomancers capable of burning atium. The first may be coincidence, and the others may have been caused by Preservation’s fixation on the number 16 (“preserving” the memory of the original conspirators?) And 16 is a binary exponent: 16 = 24 supporting the notion that Adonalsium may have been a computer running a software simulation (the Cosmere).

 

I don’t necessarily agree, therefore, that Adonalsium had “natural” fault lines, meaning divisible into some specific number of Shards or in the sense that gemstones have natural fault lines. (Gemhearts? See my parody of the Shattering.) I do agree that Adonalsium could theoretically have Shattered along the fault lines of the powers of creation, but didn’t, as I state in the OP’s referenced “Shattering” post. Instead, he/she/it Shattered along the fault lines of the mandates.

 

Emailanimal: “Chose” is a poor word. I mean that the Vessel’s primary affinity for a given aspect of Adonalsium (its Connection to that aspect) created a Shard with its particular mandate. That sounds like your “atomic intent” algorithm.

 

The possibility of additional “atomic intents” is a good idea, but not necessarily restricted to 16 such “intents,” as discussed above. At any number, the powers could theoretically still be equally allocated.

 

I agree with your and Paladin Brewer’s speculation that the Vessel with “more” of a Connection becomes that Shard. That’s why Vin could accept Preservation’s power, but Kelsier had difficulty doing so. Brandon has said that Connections are not an “on/off” switch. I interpret him to mean that the degree of Connection matters.

 

Again, thanks all for your interesting comments!

Edited by Confused
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With the exception of the comment about the "powers of creation"  "choosing" the Shard's Intent for each future Vessel, this is pretty much what I also think.  

 

 Adonalsium's Vessel has just dropped the body. Some smoke is coming off. Sixteen people step up (well -based on the one example of power-taking from a dead Vessel, this is a possible scenario). The power is starting to split 16 ways. But I do not think there there is an outside controller. Rather - the power splits under the pressures from 16 incoming Vessels. Each forms a specific Connection with one part of the power... and Shards are born. If different people step up, or different number of people step up, the separation would happen differently.

 

Which brings me to my theory.  A very nice 17th Sharder (Paladin Brewer) has asked Brandon "my" question about what happens if two people step up to take up power from a dead Vessel.  Brandon RAFOed.  I believe that the Shards can be further subdivided. In fact:

 

 * I believe that the power of Adonalsium consisted of numerous atomic Intents. Each atomic Intent represents an aspect of power of Adonalsium that cannot be held by different people separately (i.e., an atomic Intent is always held by a single Vessel).  

 

 * Upon shattering of Adonalsium, the following algorithmic process happened:

 

    for each atomic Intent AI :

        for each future Vessel FV:

            determine Connection(AI, FV)

 

    for each Atomic Intent AI:

        assign AI to arg Max (Connection(AI,FV)) over all FVs.

  

    for each future Vessel FV:

        Shard(FV) := {AI | AI is atomic Intent assigned to FV}

 

* To put it in human terms:  each atomic Intent got taken up by the Vessel who had the highest connection with that Intent.

   Each Shard is the collection of atomic Intents taken up by a single Vessel.

 

 * I do not know know how much more granular than the final Shards the atomic Intents are. That is, I do not know how many atomic Intents went into every single Shard. I suspect, some Shards got more, some - got fewer.  But I do believe that most if not all Shards that are/were out there consist of multiple atomic Intents.

 

 * Ergo, it is possible to kill a Shard Vessel, and turn their power into a pair of Shards.

 

 

PS. What might contradict the algorithm above is the assertion that Brandon I think have made at some point, that each Shard walked out of Shattering with the same amount of power.  To achieve that, the distribution algorithm above needs to be altered. Instead of  assigning the power to the most Connected Vessel we can take the nearest neighbor approach: each Shard gets  Total Number of Atomic Intents/16  atomic Intents that are closest to them (with "ties" broken though amount of Connection).

 

I think it has already been confirmed that shards can be broken further into further shards and these minor shards form an intent of their own. There are enough examples of that in elantris, warbreaker and stormlight archives. 

 

I think that when a vessel dies the shard simply passes to the next vessel with the highest connection. If there are two or more vessels, I do not think that the shard would break into minor shards based on the connections of the vessel. I think the shattering has to be deliberate and has to be done by an external entity, probably another vessel. This would mean that Adonalsium was probably 'killed' by the original sixteen vessels. 

Edited by Jaddeth
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With the exception of the comment about the "powers of creation"  "choosing" the Shard's Intent for each future Vessel, this is pretty much what I also think.  

 

 Adonalsium's Vessel has just dropped the body. Some smoke is coming off. Sixteen people step up (well -based on the one example of power-taking from a dead Vessel, this is a possible scenario). The power is starting to split 16 ways. But I do not think there there is an outside controller. Rather - the power splits under the pressures from 16 incoming Vessels. Each forms a specific Connection with one part of the power... and Shards are born. If different people step up, or different number of people step up, the separation would happen differently.

 

Which brings me to my theory.  A very nice 17th Sharder (Paladin Brewer) has asked Brandon "my" question about what happens if two people step up to take up power from a dead Vessel.  Brandon RAFOed.  I believe that the Shards can be further subdivided. In fact:

 

 * I believe that the power of Adonalsium consisted of numerous atomic Intents. Each atomic Intent represents an aspect of power of Adonalsium that cannot be held by different people separately (i.e., an atomic Intent is always held by a single Vessel).  

 

 * Upon shattering of Adonalsium, the following algorithmic process happened:

 

    for each atomic Intent AI :

        for each future Vessel FV:

            determine Connection(AI, FV)

 

    for each Atomic Intent AI:

        assign AI to arg Max (Connection(AI,FV)) over all FVs.

  

    for each future Vessel FV:

        Shard(FV) := {AI | AI is atomic Intent assigned to FV}

 

* To put it in human terms:  each atomic Intent got taken up by the Vessel who had the highest connection with that Intent.

   Each Shard is the collection of atomic Intents taken up by a single Vessel.

 

 * I do not know know how much more granular than the final Shards the atomic Intents are. That is, I do not know how many atomic Intents went into every single Shard. I suspect, some Shards got more, some - got fewer.  But I do believe that most if not all Shards that are/were out there consist of multiple atomic Intents.

 

 * Ergo, it is possible to kill a Shard Vessel, and turn their power into a pair of Shards.

 

 

PS. What might contradict the algorithm above is the assertion that Brandon I think have made at some point, that each Shard walked out of Shattering with the same amount of power.  To achieve that, the distribution algorithm above needs to be altered. Instead of  assigning the power to the most Connected Vessel we can take the nearest neighbor approach: each Shard gets  Total Number of Atomic Intents/16  atomic Intents that are closest to them (with "ties" broken though amount of Connection).

 

 

While I love the theory, my concern with this is that the Vessels may not have had the highest connection with that particular Aspect of Adonalsium - evidence for this is seen in the First Letter when Hoid talks about Ati...

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You can be a nice and generous person while being a firm believer of the eventuality of death, I guess. Someone else here convinced me of it.

Edited by natc
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I always felt like the Shards are exactly what they are, they're basically parts that, in many ways, all humans have. We want to preserve, but we also want to ruin, we love, we hate, we want to grow things, we have honor...sometimes we don't. Adonalsium sounds very human to me, with all the parts combined.  I think the Vessels just got which one they were connected to the most.  Kind of like when Ganon touched the triforce...he got Power, Link got Courage, Zelda recieved Wisdom. Yeah, nerdy Zelda reference, but the same, I think.

 

Agreed to a very large degree. The key is that I think there are significantly more individual "aspects" or "characteristics" than the 16 that showed up when Adonalsium shattered.  There was a discussion a while ago about the nature of remaining Shards, and we have came up with dozens of different potential Intents, and also observed that a lot of the potentials Intents intersect: Love and Devotion, for example, or Autonomy and Freedom.  So, my suspicion is that the "indivisible" pieces of Adonalsium's power are significantly smaller than a single Shard, and that a Shard is basically a collection of these indivisible pieces.   It's kind of like the old nursery rhyme about what the boys and girls are made of.... only this time it is more like "What is Endowment made of" and "What is Dominion made of"....  And if for one reason or another (related to Connection with these indivisible pieces) different people were taking up the power of Adonalsium, these indivisible pieces would align somewhat differently, and we could've gotten Love and Freedom instead of Devotion and Autonomy.

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While I love the theory, my concern with this is that the Vessels may not have had the highest connection with that particular Aspect of Adonalsium - evidence for this is seen in the First Letter when Hoid talks about Ati...

 

This has been actually discussed on numerous occasions. There is a reference to Ati's pre-Shattering beliefs (Leras mentions it) in the Secret History that indeed suggests that Ati, while being a kind and gentle man, was a good Vessel for Ruin.

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I think it has already been confirmed that shards can be broken further into further shards and these minor shards form an intent of their own. There are enough examples of that in elantris, warbreaker and stormlight archives. 

 

I think that when a vessel dies the shard simply passes to the next vessel with the highest connection. If there are two or more vessels, I do not think that the shard would break into minor shards based on the connections of the vessel. I think the shattering has to be deliberate and has to be done by an external entity, probably another vessel. This would mean that Adonalsium was probably 'killed' by the original sixteen vessels. 

 

Can you please name examples of these "minor Shards"? I am postulating this as a theory, and I am yet to see a "subIntent' form.  If you are talking about splinters, then I suspect, this is not what I mean - each splinter of Devotion displays a tiny bit of the full Intent of Devotion.

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Can you please name examples of these "minor Shards"? I am postulating this as a theory, and I am yet to see a "subIntent' form.  If you are talking about splinters, then I suspect, this is not what I mean - each splinter of Devotion displays a tiny bit of the full Intent of Devotion.

Well, Breath would be a splinter that has an intent to waken things but it is a splinter of endowment so I guess the intent is not really different. Wouldnt Nightblood be a splinter ? If it is then its intent seems quite different from that of endowment. Plus there is this - 

http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=618#53

 

Brandon mentions that splinters have an intent of their own. He would not need to do that if the the splinter's intent was same as that of the shard.

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Nightblood as a phenomenon would not be a splinter, since he's built up from smaller pieces rather than broken off if a larger shard.

He does function in a similar manner, however. An artificial "spren" of sorts, and shardblade by consequence of his body.

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Nightblood as a phenomenon would not be a splinter, since he's built up from smaller pieces rather than broken off if a larger shard.

He does function in a similar manner, however. An artificial "spren" of sorts, and shardblade by consequence of his body.

 

Do we know that any such distinction between ways power is invested actually exists?

 

Spren are splinters. Brandon has previously referred to nightblood as a "robot spren". I'd say he's something pretty close to a splinter at the least.

 

I'm not sure I'd necessarily call individual breaths Splinters, however. To be a splinter, Investiture needs to develop sentience on its own. That's the whole reason Returned are something distinct from (normal) Splinters.

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If we use the name that way it kind of defeats the point of using that particular English word, no?

He's functionally splinter-like, pretty undeniable, but he wasn't a result of a shard-splintering process (be it applied to the self or a deliberate murder attempt). You're less smashing a wooden plank and taking a single piece and more just gluing a bunch of plant cells together until it's big enough for whatever bizarre experiment you needed splinters of wood for.

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