WeeDunadan

New character in Edgedancer [Edgedancer Spoilers]

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@Brgst13 I assumed that Nale could fight Arclo but it wouldnt be easy or sure fight so he prefer to avoid it.  Lift were holding quite well against Nale, I imagine that for example Kaladin especially with 3rd Oath would be quite hard opponent for Nale, so we shouldnt assume that Arclo is more powerfull then Radiants with shards.

As for two Skybreakers, I believe that they still didnt spoke 3rd Oath and were simply too weak and without Shardblades had no chance but maybe someone with 3rd or higher Oath could fight Arclo.

 

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True, but if the scouring happened post-Recreance as is very clearly implied, who was around that had taken the 3rd oath, let alone enough of them to scour an entire country?

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I think it comes down to a number of things.  For one, the Journeyman Skybreakers went into a fight, they thought, against a proto-Radiant with less knowledge and training than themselves.  Instead they found Oogie-Boogie and his swarm of crabs.  Vastly under-prepared.  Nale most likely would not have made that mistake.

For another, I don't think that a Shardblade would be a really effective weapon against a hive mind.  I see two options for how Arclo functions, either with a "Queen" telepathically controlling the "workers" at range.  At which point, no matter how many of the cremlings you kill, they keep coming, as the central intelligence is still directing the living workers.  The other option is that they have a networked conciousness, where each cremling contains a part of the mind, and when added together in a swarm, create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.  I find this option less likely, but regardless, there is still no central nervous system to shear with the blade.  Severed limbs will either reattach after shedding the dead cremlings, or continue to attack on its own.  You know, if it doesn't just zergling rush you and give you the death of a thousand cuts via cremling claws.

No matter how you look at it, a Shardblade is not the right weapon to face a swarm of thousands of tiny opponents.  Even one full shardbearer against a thousand human opponents would eventually be crushed under the weight of the dead and the combined fatigue of all that combat.  With these, it happens faster.  

Try to have a sword fight with a wasp nest.  Even if your sword is a shardblade, one hit one kill, you have hundreds of enemies who can all engage you simultaneously.  You lose.  the loss of 100 cremlings is nothing to a hive, workers can be replaced, where as you cannot.

And that is if the Queen is anywhere near the fight.  I assume that the Dysian Aimians have a queen, hidden away, rather than a networked intelligence.

So I don't think it really matters if you've spoken one Oath, all the Oaths, are a herald, have Nightblood, or are a Gold Compounder.  When you bring a sword to a fight you can only win with a flame-thrower, you are going to lose.

Thoughts on the scouring: It probably probably involved a destruction of their homeland, where the central hives/queens were.  The revelation of a queen weakness likely forced them "underground" as it were, and to become better at hiding and blending in.  And seeing as we saw in the essay (and mentioned obliquely in Edgedancer), Roshar has an above average Oxygen content in its atmosphere, so fire is super effective and hard to put out.  The scouring was likely accomplished with fire Soulcasters, or flame emitting fabrials, not Radiants. 

Edited by Chaos
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I think there's no queen. I think there's something like a spren (or just a run-of-the-mill soul). I don't know if Arclo would die even if you killed all of his cremlings. I think he would die--or at least be cut off from the Physical Realm in a way that would be difficult to come back from--but it's possible. I mean, this is all just a guess, of course, but it makes sense to me.

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@Stark  Good points.

But alive spren can be anything. Sword might not be effective but maul, bat, shovel, big spatula :D?
Plus full Radiant would have armor.

Which bring question, do we have any idea what happen when you get hit by blunt Shardblade? Like maul?

Will it just hit you or will it pass by flesh killing it's connection to soul? Shardblade mists when it pass flesh so it dont rly need to be sharp to kill living organism.

@Brgst13  I think it could be matter of numbers. We dont know how many Aimians were there. Kinda like in @Stark argument that shardbearer wouldnt be effective against Arclo - no matter how powerful you are if there are just too many enemies.

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They can be anything. A sword is the traditional form, though. I would imagine that it hasn't occurred to your average rigid, law-above-all Skybreaker to try something different.

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I think they are a network, not a queen hive set. The parts where he talks about specialized cremlings for holding memories in particular are good evidence for this.

Also, a sorta tennis racket form would be excellent for destroying hordes of cremlings. The wires acting like small blades would cut through swathes of enemies. Cremling enemies anyway.

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Quote

 I wonder if this is actually true or if the inhabitants simply broke themselves down into cremlings, waited for everyone to go away, and then quietly reformed into their body shapes.

"lol, they fall for that every time"

I'm laughing my butt off over here, please excuse me. :D

 

I would vote queens if the scourging was real. Otherwise, I would vote hive.

Edited by manavortex
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The dysaih Amians are basically Stormlight d'ivers!

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I must be the only person who saw "change faces" and "disappear" and when confronted by Arco and saw "missing body parts, but forming together" and thought KANDRA!

Proved quite wrong a paragraph later but damnation, had me going for a second.

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2 hours ago, Oolka the Paranoid said:

The dysaih Amians are basically Stormlight d'ivers!

I've only read Gardens of the Moon and Deadhouse Gates, but based on the latter book alone, it does kind of sound like it.

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Prior appearances: I am positive that the Sleepless have shown up multiple times in the books so far. There are too many descriptions of cremlings in the middle of scenes for that not to be the case. Besides, there is no way that Brandon would ignore the opportunity to foreshadow something like this. Several scenes spring to mind as likely candidates, but I'll wait to list them until I can include exact quotes.

@Argent, good catch on the connection to the back cover copy--I had totally missed that. So much to speculate about!

As for Aimia being "scoured," the WoK and WoR Axies chapters make it sound like the numbers of both Aimian species were reduced dramatically by whatever happened. I imagine that a straightforward approach to accomplishing this involves fire. No need to mess about with physical combat when you can eradicate anything alive with a well-tended wildfire. (For the record, I am fully in the gestalt consciousness camp, rather than queen+hive.)

And a question: how did the proto-skybreakers actually die? Lift hears a scream of pain, then describes the woman's corpse being covered in "some kind of silky substance", and the man was "tied to part of a shanty." There is some sort of web or silk being spun, and possibly some venom involved as well? 

Side question for Brandon: could a kandra eat/impersonate a Sleepless?

Edited by ccstat
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On 11/22/2016 at 1:14 AM, Chaos said:

Okay, it's time. I'm going to put this in spoiler tags just in case. 

I assume this is about the Sleepless.

 

  Hide contents

Weiry figured out the race (and I'll let him explain, so he gets those upvotes) but I'll start with saying that what I noticed immediately was that the way he talks is the same as the way the back covers on Way of Kings and Words of Radiance.

The Sleepless are the ones who wrote those. 

"We watch the others. The assassin. The surgeon. The liar. The highprince." 

It's exactly the same.

This is crazy important. I remember at the Words of Radiance release I asked Brandon to sign in my book who wrote the back covers. Brandon does like to please fans, and he looked physically pained by the question. He wanted to answer but he said that he could not. It was that important.

These guys? These guys are super important.

Ian figured out the race of these guys very easily, which I had missed, but 100% the Sleepless wrote those back covers. It's awesome and terrifying we see them now.

 

While I definitely agree that the wording is VERY similar, this has been bugging me since I first read it and today I finally hit on why while referencing something totally unrelated. From the back of TWoK:

Quote

The world can change. Surgebinding and Shardwielding can return; the magics of ancient days can become ours again. These four people are key.

One of them may redeem us. One of them will destroy us.

Emphasis mine. If this was indeed written by an Aimian.....What magics do the Aimians not have currently that they used to possess? It can be argued that this refers to Surgebinding and Shardwielding, but why not just leave the sentence there? Even if it does refer to that, does that mean that the Aimians used to possess those capabilities as well? We've not seen or heard of anything to do with Aimians binding spren that I'm aware of, although I've seen that theory before, without much substantiation.  Fabrials? Did they have something to do with the larkin, since we know those seem to have come from Aimia?

Also, this makes me read "One of them may redeem us. One of them will destroy us." in an entirely different light than I ever have before. I always read it as redeeming the Knights Radiant. Perhaps it still is and the Aimians were involved with them (I know Arco says "ally").  Or perhaps it means redeeming the Aimians in the eyes of the general populace of Roshar? (Not sure what caused the scourge, except that it seems to have been more recent than most other things we know nothing about haha). 

Why do the answers to anything always leave me with more questions?!

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11 minutes ago, Shlee said:

One of them may redeem us. One of them will destroy us.

That's something I haven't yet considered. SO MANY QUESTIONS!

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34 minutes ago, ccstat said:

Prior appearances: I am positive that the Sleepless have shown up multiple times in the books so far. There are too many descriptions of cremlings in the middle of scenes for that not to be the case. Besides, there is no way that Brandon would ignore the opportunity to foreshadow something like this. Several scenes spring to mind as likely candidates, but I'll wait to list them until I can include exact quotes.

@Argent, good catch on the connection to the back cover copy--I had totally missed that. So much to speculate about!

As for Aimia being "scoured," the WoK and WoR Axies chapters make it sound like the numbers of both Aimian species were reduced dramatically by whatever happened. I imagine that a straightforward approach to accomplishing this involves fire. No need to mess about with physical combat when you can eradicate anything alive with a well-tended wildfire. (For the record, I am fully in the gestalt consciousness camp, rather than queen+hive.)

And a question: how did the proto-skybreakers actually die? Lift hears a scream of pain, then describes the woman's corpse being covered in "some kind of silky substance", and the man was "tied to part of a shanty." There is some sort of web or silk being spun, and possibly some venom involved as well? 

Side question for Brandon: could a kandra eat/impersonate a Sleepless?

Lift heard a scream, but it wasn't necessarily a scream of pain. It was could have been a scream of horror. Those Skybreaker candidates were not prepared to square off against a Dysian Aimian, and they were no doubt thoroughly terrified by his true appearance. As to how they actually died, well, they must have been swarmed by cremlings. Maybe they were suffocated with spidersilk (cremlingsilk?) or poisoned with venom, or just choked by thousand of bugs cramming themselves into their throats. Whatever the case may be, they were not prepared to face the enemy that confronted them, and the result was their immediate defeat.

I myself wouldn't be so positive that the Sleepless have been around all along as cremlings. Yes, Arclo is made out of cremlings, but are all Dysian Aimians? The fact that they exist as a singular mind controlling a hive may be the actual essence of what they are. The species of the creatures comprising that hive could be irrelevant. There might be Sleepless comprised of chulls, for all we know.

As for the Kandra question, I don't see how they could do it. Despite the incredible shape-changing abilities that the Kandra possess, impersonating a hive creature seems well outside of their abilities. If there is a way for them to do it, it would probably require manipulating various magic systems in ways that won't be explained to us until a good 20 years from now. We could still ask Brandon, but it seems like a wasted question.

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2 hours ago, ccstat said:

Prior appearances: I am positive that the Sleepless have shown up multiple times in the books so far. There are too many descriptions of cremlings in the middle of scenes for that not to be the case. Besides, there is no way that Brandon would ignore the opportunity to foreshadow something like this. Several scenes spring to mind as likely candidates, but I'll wait to list them until I can include exact quotes.

 

On 11/23/2016 at 2:19 AM, Unhinged said:

That scene in WOR where Rock grabs a cremling, pops it into his mouth and eats it, suddenly became a lot funnier.

You know I was just cracking a joke earlier but I might have actually stumbled on something

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On 26/11/2016 at 0:09 AM, Djarskublar said:

Also, a sorta tennis racket form would be excellent for destroying hordes of cremlings. The wires acting like small blades would cut through swathes of enemies. Cremling enemies anyway.

Do we know if there is something like that on Roshar? Or maybe they know of some kind of snowsoes.
Because it could make terrific weapon at times :D 

About non related ideas - imagine shardquirt/shardwhip or shardbummerang in battle :D
 

Either way with some imagination and changing alive shard Radiant could manage to be very effective against cremlings which imo support my guess that both Skybreakers didnt reach 3rd Oath yet.

Edited by Kanrei
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I am excited that Axies got a mention. Hopefully this means that he has a role to play in the future.

Also, wonder how his relationship with Arclo is? They have apparently met, and know of eachother, but  are they friends? Allies? Enemies? What do the Sleepless think of the Siah?

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15 hours ago, Shlee said:

Emphasis mine. If this was indeed written by an Aimian.....What magics do the Aimians not have currently that they used to possess? It can be argued that this refers to Surgebinding and Shardwielding, but why not just leave the sentence there? Even if it does refer to that, does that mean that the Aimians used to possess those capabilities as well? We've not seen or heard of anything to do with Aimians binding spren that I'm aware of, although I've seen that theory before, without much substantiation.  Fabrials? Did they have something to do with the larkin, since we know those seem to have come from Aimia?

"magics of ancient days" makes me think of the Old Magic.

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We know Arclo is "made of" cremlings, but does it necessarily follow that all other Dysian Aimians are cremlings too? What if they are plants - shalebark, or drop-deads, or even grass? Or what if they're skyeels? or ...? etc. Just don't want to see us box ourselves into a corner too quickly.

Then again, I think I remember Lift saying that, the further west you go, the weirder the cremlings are - and Aimia is in the west - so maybe it is just cremlings.

Oathbringer cannot come soon enough! :)

Edited by old aggie
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On 11/22/2016 at 2:41 PM, Argent said:

This might be just semantics, but I don't think Arclo is controlling his hordelings as much as he is the hordelings. Kind of like a hive mind, but... different. 

Completely agree. Especially in a universe where we know a connection can exist on the cognitive or spiritual and not have to be blind mysticism.

On 11/23/2016 at 4:30 PM, Argent said:

I think that would be going too far. I don't know this with certainty, but I think that in every ecosystem the biomass of each individual organism tends to be inversely proportional to that organism's species' population; in other worlds, the smaller a thing is, the more of it there are. Which would suggest there are a lot of cremlings on Roshar. I find it difficult to believe they are all Sleepless...


Let me pose you this though:
In the cosmere, all things exist on the three realms. If some cremlings are considered a single creature—either through hivemind or, as I assume, a "Cognitive" hivemind where it is a true "psychic" link—how far do cremlings have to get within their own "sapient" thoughts as an individual creature on the physical to make it so on the Cognitive?
I'm doing a poor job of explaining myself, but say the rules of the cosmere existed here on Earth as we know it. I would definitely wager than an Ant Hive or Termite Hill would be so lacking of the "thought" of the individual that they would exist on the cognitive as a single "being." Our study of these insects really pushes the thought of a single entity made of billions of parts, and that each individual functions as part of the whole, and therefore on the Cognitive, only the "whole" would get an aspect.

So too could be with cremlings. If they don't possess enough of their own thought processes to consider their physical bodies as individuals, they could easily all be Sleepless. By the simple functions of the Cosmere. "I think therefore I am" is one of the most powerful ideas in this Adonalsium-verse... If every cremling thinks of itself as nothing more than a piece of a whole... They are the whole.

Edited by Zmann966
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I'm hoping for some serious "Sleepless in Seattle" puns now that we have a name for them.

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1 hour ago, old aggie said:

We know Arclo is "made of" cremlings, but does it necessarily follow that all other Dysian Aimians are cremlings too? What if they are plants - shalebark, or drop-deads, or even grass? Or what if they're skyeels? or ...? etc. Just don't want to see us box ourselves into a corner too quickly.

Then again, I think I remember Lift saying that, the further west you go, the weirder the cremlings are - and Aimia is in the west - so maybe it is just cremlings.

Oathbringer cannot come soon enough! :)

That's what I've been thinking, too--that it could be more than just cremlings.

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On Friday, November 25, 2016 at 10:51 AM, Brgst13 said:

Another question: Arclo claims that Nale could not kill him, and that the Skbybreaker apprentices stood very little chance.  Yet, Aimia was "scoured" and the implication was that most of the inhabitants were slaughtered.  I wonder if this is actually true or if the inhabitants simply broke themselves down into cremlings, waited for everyone to go away, and then quietly reformed into their body shapes.  Also, given what we know of Aimans, why did humans want to slaughter them?  I think there is something very important here.  Looks like a targeted reread is in order.

Well, as I think was mentioned above, he did seem kind of voidbringerlike. The people of Roshar are not really known for their accepting nature's of different people/things.

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On 11/25/2016 at 6:09 PM, Djarskublar said:

I think they are a network, not a queen hive set. The parts where he talks about specialized cremlings for holding memories in particular are good evidence for this.

Also, a sorta tennis racket form would be excellent for destroying hordes of cremlings. The wires acting like small blades would cut through swathes of enemies. Cremling enemies anyway.

I agree, if you have the imagination to create a gladiatorial style net weapon with your Shard, it would be very effective.  Especially if you had 3-4 four people doing the same, all fighting back to back to cover all angles.  But two, on their own, likely fighting as individuals, not expecting what they were facing?  They never stood a chance.  I apply Starcraft logic to this.  Two protoss Zealots, or Terran Firebats are more than a match for 3 or four zerglings.  But against the entire swarm, pouring in from every direction, coming down from above?  Without shardplate they had no chance of surviving at all.  Even if we modify the analogy to make them a pair of protoss Colossi cutting swathes of Cremlings down with every sweep, eventually the numbers win because you cannot defend/attack every direction simultaneously.

 

I firmly believe that to win that fight, they would have needed shardplate with no openings for even the smallest cut to get through.  No death of a thousand cuts, mountain of dead cremlings, two very tired shard bearers with no vulnerable points.  

 

As for network vs Queen.  It could easily go either way.  Biologically, Queen makes more sense, I can't think of any naturally occurring networked intelligences.  But, this is High Fantasy.  Brandon can do as he pleases.  They could easily be a network like the Geth or the Cylons.  But I think for the scouring of this intelligent a hive species to have been remotely effective, to me it makes sense that they would have a weakness like a queen.  Or at least provided the illusion of that weakness to better allow them to escape and retreat into the shadows.

 

Actually, illusion of the queen makes more sense with the name Sleepless.  Arclo even says it (cue bad paraphrase): They are the Sleepless because they never sleep as a whole.  There is always a part that is sleeping, but never the whole.  So parts of the network go through sleep/restart cycles, but never the whole network at once, allowing the whole to continue, seemingly never asleep.  I'm converted, Hive network, no Queens.

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