dendrophobe

[AU Spoilers] General Essay Stuffs

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Well, Weller send my copy out early. In addition to doing a lovely sketch of Lift and Wyndle, Brandon was kind enough to answer a question for me. I asked if the Tranquilline Halls are a part of any culture outside the Rosharan system: "No, they are not." Oh well, I thought I might be onto something there!

But oh, the spoilers!! Khriss gives us loads of information. Autonomy's gender, a Shard for Threnody, details on the workings of perpendicularities... And even Brandon gives one himself, with the reveal that Nazh's name is not actually Nazh! I've read most of the stories in here before, but I can't wait to tear through Edgedancer.

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Revealing that additional Shard was huge for me. The essays are awesome. 

Did you catch that Khriss revealed the answer as to why Selish magics are localized? We'd been wondering for so long and it is so elegant and easy to describe.

EDIT: I hope you don't mind me suborning this topic and making it generally about the essays.

Edited by Chaos
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All of the essays are awesome!! I especially love the one about Threnody though with it's description of events shortly after shattering and it's Shard. The Roshar essay has some very tantalizing bits of info on Ashyn, Braize, and something about fire acts strangely on Roshar! So cool!

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Isn't Nazh's real name Nazrilof?

I also thought that Bavadin being female (while contradicting a previous WoB that implied Bavadin is male) is pretty cool and opens up a lot of possibilities. Maybe she was Rayse's lover back in Yolen. Maybe Hoid was attracted to her but she rejected him and turned bad in the end, causing his grudge against her. Maybe she appeared to Kelsier's Cognitive Shadow after the events of Secret History and seduced him into betraying Sazed.

Okay, that last one was me being the crazy theorist again. Rusts, how I missed doing that!

(Edit: Of course, a female character need not be defined by her relationship with men. Bavadin could just as well be fully autonomous, helping Rayse only because it would further her own ends.)

I was kind of disappointed that Brandon only named one of the systems' suns, namely Mashe of the Selish system. Because of this, we have a star chart where the stars are labeled not by their name but by the name of their main Shardworld (e.g. Sel instead of Mashe). It's just a minor thing that really gets to me somehow. Khriss doesn't even name the two stars of her own homeworld. Tsk.

(Come to think of it, I would not be surprised if Roshar's sun is in fact called Roshar as well. :P)

Edit: Could Drominad be the name of the star in the Drominad system?

Edited by skaa
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Lots of interesting information from the essays :) 

For Sel's essay, Khriss mentions something about how the landscape has gained self-awareness and it could be related to something with "origins lost in time", wondering if this could be related to the Unknown God/God Beyond (since the God Beyond has some relation to Sel and the fallen rocks that Shai's ancestors carved)? 

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The things that really stood out for me:

The Evil on Threnody was a side-effect of Odium fighting Ambition (yay, new shard! Even if it is dead!) within their solar system, although it appears that this new shard was not Invested on Threnody.

Khriss knows about Yolen.  In Secret History she didn't.  (See part 3, chapter 2.)

Threnody randomly manifests unstable Perpendicularities.  Possibly as a side-effect of The Evil?

Autonomy has closed off access to Taldain, and doesn't like people meddling on her world, "in direct contrast to her interference with other planets."

Odium has splintered "Devotion, Dominion, Honor, and perhaps others throughout the cosmere," but no mention of Ambition, who Odium fought and killed as per the Threnody essay.

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16 minutes ago, Mason Wheeler said:

"in direct contrast to her interference with other planets."

For me this pretty much confirms trellium=bavadinum.

Also, is Khriss refering to the Shard Autonymy by "she" or Bavadin? Since Brandon always refered to Bavadin as "he".

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I'm not sure he ever actually referred to Bavadin as "he", I think that people just assumed that and he never argued. 

If Autonomy has closed off access to Taldain though, how did Khriss manage to get off-planet? She seems to indicate that it was some kind of ordeal, or perhaps that she can't get home.

Also, Silverlight. My question is whether this is the Restaurant at the End of the Cosmere, or if it is merely a subsection of that Restaurant?

I also thought it interesting the way Hemalurgy was described, making false Connection. There are so many mechanics being fleshed out, I love it!

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3 minutes ago, dendrophobe said:

I'm not sure he ever actually referred to Bavadin as "he", I think that people just assumed that and he never argued. 

Here he has. It was a few years back, and he's since gender-swapped a White Sand character, so it's possible he switched things up. Like how he's said if he had a time machine, he would have made Ham a woman in Mistborn. Here, he gets his chance to do a similar change to Dragonsteel.

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45 minutes ago, Mason Wheeler said:

Odium has splintered "Devotion, Dominion, Honor, and perhaps others throughout the cosmere," but no mention of Ambition, who Odium fought and killed as per the Threnody essay.

The essay does not actually say that Odium splintered Ambition. It just says he tried to, and then states that he/she was splintered in another location. It might have been something else than Odium who caused the final splintering.

For me, I was shocked by Bavadins gender. Always assumed that she was a man.

Learning of Ambition was also nice. R.I.P

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http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=1076#18 

Quote

 

QUESTION

Is Bavadin the only shard on Taldain?

BRANDON SANDERSON

He is the only shard on the planet.

 

With respect to Bavadin's gender, Sanderson has previously described them as male. So either he changed his mind (certainly possible), or someone else took up Autonomy. 

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40 minutes ago, Chull #445 said:

The essay does not actually say that Odium splintered Ambition. It just says he tried to, and then states that he/she was splintered in another location. It might have been something else than Odium who caused the final splintering.

Yeah, valid point.

I have some notes on my Kindle on all the essays, but they mostly run along similar lines. 

I am really excited that we got a new Shard. Unlike many other reveals in the Cosmere, the number of times we get to learn about a new Shard is very much fixed, and so each feels like a treat. I also very much like the names of the planets in the Threnodite system. I hope there is a story behind them, and we get to learn it.

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One thing there is to note on the Sel essay was that there was three large empires on the planet, we know of Fjodell and the Rose empires, but this means there is a third one we dont know anything about and most likely has its own awesome magic systems that we know nothing about.

Edited by iceblade44
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So with 4 Shards confirmed killed by Odium now, that's a quarter of the entirety of Adonalsium!  Plus Ruin and Preservation... sheesh.  Gods these days.  They just don't make 'em to last anymore!

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Who called it that Odium killing another Shard was why Threnody is the way it is? THIS GUY. (Though it wasn't a Shard called Threnody, I'm still counting my theory mostly right.)

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I'm also extremely excited about the Ambition reveal, because I'm imagining possibilities for a magic system rooted in that Investiture - he/she might be dead, but as we've seen elsewhere, that doesn't mean there's not a magic system out there with their Investiture in it (not counting Threnody, because while what happens on Threnody is tied to Odium and Ambition's fight, we know its a side effect of ambient magic, not a directly Invested system. I'm really hoping there's an Ambition-based magic system still to be revealed in future cosmere workings.

Also, it makes a TON of sense that Odium would view a Shard named Ambition as his biggest threat and go after them first.

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39 minutes ago, ROSHtaFARian2.0 said:

Also, it makes a TON of sense that Odium would view a Shard named Ambition as his biggest threat and go after them first.

I don't actually think that was first.  Apparently the splintering of Devotion and Dominion occurred "in prehistoric days" on Sel, whereas the onset of the Evil is in a more recent time, in living memory of the characters in Shadows for Silence.  Not sure where in the chronology those are relative to each other, but I'm relatively certain that that happened after Elantris.

Edited by Mason Wheeler
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3 minutes ago, Mason Wheeler said:

I don't actually think that was first.  Apparently the splintering of Devotion and Dominion occurred "in prehistoric days" on Sel, whereas the onset of the Evil is in a more recent time, in living memory of the characters in Shadows for Silence.  Not sure where in the chronology those are relative to each other, but I'm relatively certain that that happened after Elantris.

If I recall correctly, Khriss says that Odium went after Ambition "soon after the Shattering," when he mortally wounded our newest Shard. Ambition's Splintering didn't happen until later, though how much later is impossible to say. 

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8 minutes ago, Argent said:

If I recall correctly, Khriss says that Odium went after Ambition "soon after the Shattering," when he mortally wounded our newest Shard. Ambition's Splintering didn't happen until later, though how much later is impossible to say. 

Wow, you're right!

So that means Shadows must have taken place very early on in the chronology!

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Hey, who says Odium targeted Ambition. Maybe Ambition saw Odium killing Devotion/Dominion, said "I can take him!" and then promptly got beaten.

Other things I found interesting from the essays that weren't previewed:

  • Scadrial
    • The gas giant names seem like they're from the Southerners. Anyone able to provide some Scandanavian or German linguistic insight?
  • Selish
    • Ground coming alive. I would be remiss to not mention this.
    • Three large empires. Obviously, Rose and Fjordell. Does Elantris count as the third?
    • Cognitive Realm Shards confirmed.
  • Threnodite
    • Is Ambition the Shard without a planet? Killed in interstellar space, pieces flooding Threnody and latching onto souls to form Shades?
    • Is The Evil a remnant of Ambition? Or something else entirely? It seems to be local to this system, not the cosmere-level threat I had originally thought it to be.
    • Where do Perpendicularities come from? What is this 'somewhat morbid origin.' Does it involve the Shades?
  • Taldain
    • Khriss's explanation leaves the door open for Bavadin to be the sun, and in my mind strongly points there. Bavadin isn't just Invested in Dayside.
    • Autonomy must be Trell. Interfering with other planets. I didn't want it to be true, but I can't argue with it now. The textual evidence is too strong.
  • Roshar
    • Oh, boy.
    • Wow.
    • Things on Roshar sure get broken a lot. I bet whatever Shattered the Shattered Plains is the same thing that broke Ashyn.
    • Remember, the gas giants aren't named after the Heralds. They're just numbers 1-10 (which, in turn, come from the Heralds).
    • The Shades of the Knights Radiant theory comes out stronger than ever! Cognitive Shadows on Braize!
    • Spren are the personifications of the natural forces. This is also given voice in the Threnodite essay, where Khriss says that the spren became self-aware because of "peoples' focus on the surges as being alive."
    • 'Humanoid Life.' Not Human. Humanoid. It sounds like the Listeners might be responsible for the spren.
    • Honor and Cultivation transformed the planet's nature. What did it look like before they got there? Were there self-aware spren?
  • Endsheet
    • Someone else said that constellations only make sense when viewed from a planet. I like the idea that they're Yolen's constellations.
    • There are a lot of stars on there. I wonder what other ones hold major Shardworlds. I bet Brandon has most (if not all) of them named.
    • Wait a minute, is Threnody's star going red? Maybe it is connected to the Red Rip.
    • When were these constellations made? I find it hard to believe that Nalthis is someone's breath, coincidentially.

@Mason Wheeler, SSFH happens after Warbreaker. The Shades are a direct result of Ambition's shattering, but the Evil is something else that happened much later.

Edited by Pagerunner
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Wow. Lots of information to parse through. I'll start with

Ow, the physics is painful.

10 gas giants? Rust and Ruin, our system is barely stable with four! Also, Taldain orbits a blue giant? This definitely confirms my theory that Autonomy has a regulatory effect on the climate of Taldain. Otherwise, the dayside would be a molten wasteland hotter than Mercury. Everything else checks out, though the Dromanid and Roshar have rather generous habitable zones. This is possible, and doesn't need the stabilization of a shard like Scadrial and Taldain. It's also interesting to learn that Sel is a heavy planet, and that there's a third major empire somewhere.

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7 minutes ago, Mason Wheeler said:

Wow, you're right!

So that means Shadows must have taken place very early on in the chronology!

No. According to the FAQ on Brandon's website, Shadows takes place between Warbreaker and The Way of Kings.

Honestly I don't think that the Evil was caused by Ambition's conflict with Odium. The essay didn't claim that it was, in fact it was quite clear that Khriss had no idea what the Evil was. It only claimed that said conflict "Twisted both the people and the planet of Threnody." If I had to guess this is what caused the people of Threnody to start turning into shades upon death, which I think was already happening prior to the Evil.

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4 minutes ago, Pagerunner said:

Three large empires. Obviously, Rose and Fjordell. Does Elantris count as the third?

 

1 minute ago, Glamdring804 said:

It's also interesting to learn that Sel is a heavy planet, and that there's a third major empire somewhere.

I believe the three large empires are the Rose Empire, the Fjordell Empire, and the Arelon Empire (ruled by the Elantrians, with its capital city of Elantris; the capital became Kae after the Reod).

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6 minutes ago, Pagerunner said:

Ground coming alive. I would be remiss to not mention this.

This all but confirms the theory that the earthquake was a deliberate attack on the Elantrian magic system.

8 minutes ago, Pagerunner said:

Where do Perpendicularities come from? What is this 'somewhat morbid origin.' Does it involve the Shades?

 

I'm guessing it involves some sort of mass withering event, when a lot of investiture is concentrated in one place. Silence's battle in the story probably formed a minor one.

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3 minutes ago, VirtuousTraveller said:

I believe the three large empires are the Rose Empire, the Fjordell Empire, and the Arelon Empire (ruled by the Elantrians, with its capital city of Elantris; the capital became Kae after the Reod).

But Khriss also said that the empires largely pretend they don't exist. Fjordell and Arelon have had an incredible amount of interaction, they certainly haven't ignored each other, like Fjordel and Rose Empire.

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