VirtuousTraveller

What are the Skaze?

14 posts in this topic

What can we infer about the skaze, which are barely mentioned at all in Elantris, yet somehow are very relevant to the parts of the story we do not yet know?

  • Brandon refers to skaze as "evil seons" in the annotations of Elantris.
  • They are related to Skai (via WoB).
  • They have a large amount of influence on most politics and most workings in Fjordell (via WoB).
  • Dilaf had information from the skaze that the Elantrians were not indestructible (Elantris chapter 62).
  • They can speak, they are "a hovering dark sphere, the size of a melon," they suck in light, have undefined edges that warp the light around them, they are ringed with a pattern of misty symbols, "running like a hoop from its top down the side to its bottom," have a wide range of emotions, and are a synthetic race (Elantris postscript)

I've seen it mentioned that we assume they are splinters of Dominion, but I'm not so certain.  We don't read that anywhere and if there is a relevant WoB on the subject, I haven't seen it either.  I understand that they seem similar to seons, which contain splinters of Devotion (aons), but how can something "synthetic" like a skaze be a splinter anyway (unless seons are artificially created too)?  Are the misty symbols aons?  It would be odd to not refer to them as so, unless they weren't.

 

We know from Elantris that the Fjordell Empire has changed significantly over the centuries.  "Wyrn the King" was edited significantly to add in modern understandings of Shu-Dereth, and Jaddeth was originally a minior god in their culture that cared for rocks under the earth, not this super god they claim him to be now.  The skaze seem to be creating a "Dominion" like influence on Fjordell, but for what purpose?

 

What do you think about the skaze?  (also, please don't be that one person who only posts a correction to something I say, but don't actually answer the question :-P)

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I would say a few things.

1. The assumption that they are Splinters if Dominion can be inferred even if we don't have a specific WoB... "They are evil Seons"... Seons are splinters of Devotion, Skaze are "related to Skai", they are involved in Fjordell politics which is all about Dominion... To me that is fait accompli that they are splinters of Dominion

2. I'd be hugely surprised if the script floating in their haze wasn't ancient Fjordell just like on the bones of the Drethi monks. We have WoB that the Dor on Sel is accessed through the actual words/scripts and just a like Seons have Ains floating in their middle, I'd bet the script on Skaze are Fjordell.

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Well it makes sense that the Skaize are "evil Seons", because they are splinters of a shard whose Intent is purely dominating everything, without context or human personality. Skai likely moderated his shard, and his love and relationship with Aona likely helped contain the negative extremes of Dominion. But with Skai dead, pure bits of sentient power trying to dominate things (in this case Fjordell) would make them fairly evil, relative to Seons at least.

 

That said, their physical description is fairly evil too. Perhaps they are infected with Odium's power too? Hims splintering Dominion left a bit of his power behind, and the Skaze became tinged with Hate? Unlikely, but interesting

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Well it makes sense that the Skaize are "evil Seons", because they are splinters of a shard whose Intent is purely dominating everything, without context or human personality. Skai likely moderated his shard, and his love and relationship with Aona likely helped contain the negative extremes of Dominion. But with Skai dead, pure bits of sentient power trying to dominate things (in this case Fjordell) would make them fairly evil, relative to Seons at least.

 

That said, their physical description is fairly evil too. Perhaps they are infected with Odium's power too? Hims splintering Dominion left a bit of his power behind, and the Skaze became tinged with Hate? Unlikely, but interesting

Well a Splinter may have its own Intent a little divergent with the Main Shard (there is a WoB somewhere) and 

Stormlight Spoiler:

We saw how the Spren may be different in their Intent/Mandate

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The description of the skaze reminds me of a similar glowing black ball that sucked in the light in TWOK.

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I see a lot of people on the forums talking about the shard Dominion being about domination. Is there anything in the books or from the mouth of the Sanderson to corroborate that? My understanding of Dominion is that it's about belonging to a place (the part of the Selish magics that relate to birthplace and physical location) similar to the feruchemical attribute Connection.

 

As for the Skaze, I assume that they are corrupted splinters similar to void spren on Roshar or shades on Threnody

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@SwordNimiForPresident quite a few people do think that. I'm one. I'm unusual in thinking Sel magics are all even splits of dominion and devotion and the reason they have to do with geographical formations is devotion to land.

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The Skaze are splinters of Dominion, and their attitude lends credence to the dominance or ownership aspect of Dominion.

Quote

Questioner

[Does] the expansion of Jaddeth’s empire have more to do with greed and hunger for power, or the innate nature of Dominion?

Brandon Sanderson

Both. I would say both. The innate nature of Dominion probably caused the greed and hunger for power.

Questioner

What would you say percentage-wise?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, one caused the other. It definitely started with Dominion. The Skaze are pretty thirsty for power.

source

Additionally, if you know MTG card types, Brandon said that Dominion would be black/white 

Quote

LordSkybreaker

Hey u/mistborn I have a couple questions about Magic: the gathering.

What colors/kind of deck do you play in magic?

What colors are the known shards?

What colors are the various orders of the knights Radiant?

And finally, have you ever thought of doing the story for Wizards Of The Coast on one of their mtg blocks?

Brandon Sanderson

Any combo-style deck I can draft--or esper if I'm constructed.

Ruin: Black. Odium: Red. Honor: White. Preservation: White. Cultivation: Green. Devotion: Green/red. Dominion: Black/White. Autonomy: It's complicated.

(Also, question 3 is way too large for me to commit to right now. And for 4, if the right opportunity came along and they were interested, I could see myself doing this.)

SoupOrMan692

What about Endowment and Ambition?

Brandon Sanderson

Ambition is mono-black, and endowment is probably mono-green. Some of the blue shards are ones we haven't seen as much from yet.

source

 

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On 5/25/2016 at 9:01 AM, VirtuousTraveller said:

We know from Elantris that the Fjordell Empire has changed significantly over the centuries.  "Wyrn the King" was edited significantly to add in modern understandings of Shu-Dereth, and Jaddeth was originally a minior god in their culture that cared for rocks under the earth, not this super god they claim him to be now.  The skaze seem to be creating a "Dominion" like influence on Fjordell, but for what purpose?

What...  wait a second. Jaddeth was an earth god?!? Wasn’t there a WoB that said the planet was becoming sapient as a plot point for Elantris 2? Is Sel it’s self trying to take dominion.

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On 5/25/2016 at 9:38 PM, Blackhoof said:

Hims splintering Dominion left a bit of his power behind, and the Skaze became tinged with Hate? Unlikely, but interesting

Odium did not leave his power behind - he left the broken Dominion/Devotion power behind.  

Quote

sufficientlyadvanced

It says that it's dangerous to travel to Shadesmar on Sel. Why?

Brandon Sanderson

It has to do with the Dor and the lack of an entity controlling much of the power Odium left in his wake on Sel.

Phantine

Woah, that's interesting. I had no idea Odium left little bits of his power on Sel... I guess it kinda makes sense for evil monks to be powered by pure hate, though.

Brandon Sanderson

Odium did not leave his power behind, one should note. He left several other powers which are now, to a large extent, mindless...

Windrunner

If you wouldn't mind answering, does Roshar have a similar problem, with Honor being Splintered?

Brandon Sanderson

No, Roshar does not have the same problem. There are some differences going on. (One reason being that the spren are far more extensive on Roshar, and provide something of a "release valve." The seons and the skaze on Sel are not numerous enough to fulfill a similar function. Though, of course, that's only one part of the puzzle. Raw power is dangerous.

It's one reason everyone should be thankful Kelsier was around on Scadrial.

source

 

As for my thoughts on the Skaze, I basically agree with everyone here: they are definitely splinters of Dominion, their symbols are the Fjordell equivalent of Aons (same as the ones used in Dakhor), and they're going to be very important in the Elantris sequels.  

 

On 5/25/2016 at 11:01 AM, VirtuousTraveller said:

(also, please don't be that one person who only posts a correction to something I say, but don't actually answer the question :-P)

LOL - like we can resist :P

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With regard to the Devotion/Dominion intent, I think the discussing between Raoden and Sarene where she apologizes for thinking he was a tyrant, he says "well I kind of am," and she forcefully asserts that he couldn't be a tyrant because the people love him is a pretty good frame for understanding the intent behind Dominion and Devotion as it comes to obeying/worshipping monarchs/deities. (Don't have the book on me but happy to look for this quote later if requested.)

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@Calderis I'm no MTG guru, but wouldn't white/black be a net neutral on the good/evil scale? It also seems like there is a general assumption that the Seons come from Devotion and the Skaze from Dominion, but I assumed they were a little bit of both sort of like spren are a mix of Honor and Cultivation. Were Aona and Skai romantically involved like the other two? Seems like the splinters could be their "children" much like the spren.

 

@Emurii I'm a bit off topic, but I like the parallel of the conversation you mentioned to the one in The Way of Kings where Dalinar asks Hoid if he's a tyrant. I feel like Hoids answer sums up what Raoden meant by calling himself a tyrant.

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2 hours ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

Calderis I'm no MTG guru, but wouldn't white/black be a net neutral on the good/evil scale? It also seems like there is a general assumption that the Seons come from Devotion and the Skaze from Dominion, but I assumed they were a little bit of both sort of like spren are a mix of Honor and Cultivation. Were Aona and Skai romantically involved like the other two? Seems like the splinters could be their "children" much like the spren.

It's not quite that simple as far as magic goes. White is more "order" than good in many respects. 

And the Dor is mixed, the Seons and Skaze are not. 

Quote

Questioner

Seons are Splinters?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Splinters of Devotion.

Questioner

Um, Splintered...Honor is the *inaudible*...the stormwall...

Brandon Sanderson

The Stormfather?

Questioner

The Stormfather.

Brandon Sanderson

The Stormfather is technically a Splinter of Honor, but it was an intentional Splinter, that Honor did himself.

Questioner

Does he have another Splinter?

Brandon Sanderson

So, all of the honorspren are Splinters of Honor, but this is a different situation because he actually did this intentionally.

source
Quote

Questioner

[Does] the expansion of Jaddeth’s empire have more to do with greed and hunger for power, or the innate nature of Dominion?

Brandon Sanderson

Both. I would say both. The innate nature of Dominion probably caused the greed and hunger for power.

Questioner

What would you say percentage-wise?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, one caused the other. It definitely started with Dominion. The Skaze are pretty thirsty for power.

source

Note the first answer in the second WoB. "The innate nature of Dominion probably caused the greed and hunger for power." The second answer as well, "It definitely started with Dominion." 

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@VirtuousTravellerThe Skaze are yet another set of beings in the Cosmere whose name starts with an "S" and has a "z" near the middle (e.g. Sazed and Sigzil). I hope that helps!

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