tobar14

[Edgedancer Spoilers] The Stump might be from Nalthis

26 posts in this topic

On page 600 of AU, I noticed something that sounded really familiar to a game that a confirmed Worldhopper from Nalthis has played in the Stormlight Archive, Zahel/Vasher.

     "The children seemed to love it. They ran up and down the steps, laughing and giggling. Others sat in circles on the ground, playing games with painted pebbles."

This game seems awfully familiar to the game that we saw Zahel playing.

     "Kaladin marched them up to Zahel, who stood at the back of the sand-covered courtyard. Though the other ardents all busied themselves carrying water, towels, or sparring weapons to dueling lighteyes, Zahel had drawn a circle in the sand and was throwing little colored rocks into it."

This could mean a number of things:

  1. The game that Zahel/Vasher brought over from Nalthis (Travel edition of Tarachin) has spread to other places in Roshar, and is played by many.
  2. The kids that live in the orphanage learned the game from "The Stump" (the lady who runs the orphanage).
    1. The Stump just learned it from other people playing it on Roshar
    2. The Stump might be a Worldhopper, or knows Worldhoppers, and learned the game from one or both of those possible facts.
  3. The kids learned it from the guy who might be Hoid.
  4. Other reasons that I have not thought of...

Did anyone else notice this, am I crazy, is it just coincidence?

 

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No, you're not crazy. Knowing Brandon, I doubt this is just a coincidence. Especially since the only time we've seen the game before was when Vasher was playing it, and Kaladin didn't seem to recognize it. I'm not sure if it means the Stump herself is from Nalthis, but it very well could be. Nice catch.

Edited by Amanuensis
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Is it the only time we've seen this game?  Or is it the game Lightsong was playing with the other Gods without knowing the rules?  Granted, his board was of deific proportions because they were Returned, but it was still a game involving throwing coloured balls at markings on the floor.  

Seems to me to be a pretty solid link between Nalthis/Vasher-Zahel/Stump.

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13 minutes ago, Stark said:

Is it the only time we've seen this game?  Or is it the game Lightsong was playing with the other Gods without knowing the rules?  Granted, his board was of deific proportions because they were Returned, but it was still a game involving throwing coloured balls at markings on the floor.  

Seems to me to be a pretty solid link between Nalthis/Vasher-Zahel/Stump.

Pretty sure it's confirmed to have been the same game.

Could The Stump be Vivenna?

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Ooooh... @Jondesu, I really like that idea.  I don't think so.  I think there've been enough years between Warbreaker and Stormlight that Vivenna would have passed from old age.  Unless she had enough breath to be immortal, but I can't think of any mention of an aura around her, or any mention of her hair changing colour.

 

Can anyone confirm?  Other than the kids playing the Nalthis game, is there any more evidence that Stump is Vivenna?  Odd phrases, appearance issues, anything?

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4 minutes ago, Stark said:

Ooooh... @Jondesu, I really like that idea.  I don't think so.  I think there've been enough years between Warbreaker and Stormlight that Vivenna would have passed from old age.  Unless she had enough breath to be immortal, but I can't think of any mention of an aura around her, or any mention of her hair changing colour.

There's no mention of an aura around Zahel either, and he has enough breath for the First Heightening (unless his Divine Breath still allows for that benefit even when he's suppressing it, I don't know if we know that for sure).  Of course, the First Heightening doesn't stop aging, but it's not absurd that Vivenna could have enough.  Perhaps Zahel/Vasher would have even given her most of his Breath once he knew he could use Stormlight to stay alive anyways.

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Are you sure we can assume that they did not increase the amount of breath they produce?  All we know for certain is that at the end of Warbreaker, both had about the first Heightening.  A lot of things could change between "now" and then.  And I can see both wanting to get back to about the third Heightening to make defensive awakening simpler.

 

And Zahel can suppress the divine breath, right?  Though you are right that the colour auras may not appear on Roshar.

 

But I cannot think of any instance of Stump using Nalthian idioms or expressions like Zahel does.

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51 minutes ago, Stark said:

But I cannot think of any instance of Stump using Nalthian idioms or expressions like Zahel does.

WoB states that normally the magic translates words to the idioms of the local culture. Zahel uses Nalthis phrases because he's more stubborn and really wants to use the actual verbatim phrase. So if she's not so adamant, we'll never know she wasn't from Roshar. At least, that's my understanding. The game is an interesting tidbit though. Maybe Hoid taught it to somebody at some point and it's spread throughout the west.

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Or painted pebbles are just a common game pieces, especially when you are an orphan that cannot afford real marbles. I don't think there is any evidence that the Stump is Vivenna aside from this one random thing. I don't think a Nalthian could even become a Radiant without some serious finagling on their part, which belies the Stump's confusion about what is going on with her.

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49 minutes ago, Windrunner said:

Or painted pebbles are just a common game pieces, especially when you are an orphan that cannot afford real marbles. I don't think there is any evidence that the Stump is Vivenna aside from this one random thing. I don't think a Nalthian could even become a Radiant without some serious finagling on their part, which belies the Stump's confusion about what is going on with her.

Actually, I have seen no evidence that Surgebinders have to be Rosharan. It is about the spren choosing you, not your sDNA. Strange, I know, but that is how it is.

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I don't think you can simply assert that. Unless you have a quote for me that says otherwise, I don't think there's any reason to believe that it could just happen. I'm open to the possibility that it could happen to anyone, but I need evidence.

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@Windrunner , I think that stance is a little unreasonable. It assumes that magical abilities are "by default" connected to location or genetics, if you assert that you need proof otherwise. There is precedence for alternative cases, and I don't see any reason to assume Surgebinding works that way. So I don't see any reason to disbelieve by default.

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22 minutes ago, jofwu said:

@Windrunner , I think that stance is a little unreasonable. It assumes that magical abilities are "by default" connected to location or genetics, if you assert that you need proof otherwise. There is precedence for alternative cases, and I don't see any reason to assume Surgebinding works that way. So I don't see any reason to disbelieve by default.

It's not entirely unreasonable. Part of the reason Hemalurgy is cool is because it can be used by anyone for most anything.

1 hour ago, Windrunner said:

I don't think you can simply assert that. Unless you have a quote for me that says otherwise, I don't think there's any reason to believe that it could just happen. I'm open to the possibility that it could happen to anyone, but I need evidence.

I'm on mobile, so getting a quote is a pain, but I do have evidence. At the AU signing, I asked if a gold/gold Twinborn could use a gold shadow of them becoming a Surgebinder and then tap a lot of gold to grow a spren that they are bonded to so they actually are a Surgebinder. He said no, and then I asked if Regrowth could do it instead of tapping gold, and that would enter the realm of possibility. He then went on with some other stuff. You can find the verbatim over in the signing thread.

The point is, a Scadrian could become a Surgebinder, or else they couldn't pull up the shadow.

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I have no doubt that a Scadrian, or anyone from any world for that matter, could become a Surgebinder. I'm saying that I think it would take some serious planning on their part to get it done, similar to the preparation required to use AonDor on another planet. I've seen the quote you mentioned before, and like I said, the process outlined there requires a lot of preparation and work (and I think might be overly complicated, I'm virtually certain that there are simpler ways to become a Surgebinder than the one outlined in the quote).

I don't think its just as easy as someone from another planet simply acting in accordance with the spren's ideals. As Djarskublar so rightly mentioned, one of the reasons Hemalurgy is notable because it can be used by anyone, anywhere in the cosmere. This indicates that universal ability access to a magic system is uncommon. Is it possible that any worldhopper can stroll over to Roshar, act honorable and pick up a spren? Absolutely! I think that Surgebinding is a system that very possibly is open to use by people from other planets. Is this definitely the case? Absolutely not. It's possible that some preexisting connection to Honor or Cultivation is required as well. We don't know.

I would like to point out though, that in the unlikely circumstance that a spren was attempting to bond with Vivenna, the situation would likely be further complicated by the fact that she probably has at least some additional Breath on her (which may not necessarily be evident, see Hoid's use of perfect pitch with no mention of odd colors on Kaladin's part). Investiture interferes with Investiture. That is just one more reason that Vivenna would be unlikely to bond with a spren by accident. If she were to want to become a Surgebinder for some reason, she would not be displaying the confusion that the Stump shows upon being confronted with her Radiant abilities. Lets move past this argument for a moment though, because we could go round and round on it and I think we are neglecting a larger issue.

We have a tendency here to jump at shadows a lot of times. This reminds me a lot of when it came out that the constellations on Sel are in the form of Aons. Many people jumped at that, assuming that this had some deep magical implications, when in reality it was just as simple as people looking at the stars and correlating them to something important within their culture. Lets take a step back from the question about the possibility of a Nalthian bonding a spren and look at the evidence. I think we should approach this really rationally, which some people here have already started doing. What indicates that the Stump is Vivenna? Does she behave or speak similarly? Is she described similarly? Does she have any indication of a mysterious past? Any hints at her being royalty, perhaps a mention of her hair color changing? As far as I recall from my reading there is none of that, although I welcome someone to present any evidence. Taking another step back, what evidence is there that the Stump is from Nalthis? The single piece of evidence that has been presented is the use by children at her orphanage of painted stones in playing games.This is not a bad hint, Brandon often drops small hints, but typically there is more evidence once you begin to dig into its implications. Does the Stump even seem like a person that would teach children a game? Is there anything else that even hints remotely at a Nalthis connection? Not from anything that I saw, (although again, I welcome further evidence). So the question becomes, what is likely? Is it likely that the Stump is secretly a Nalthian princess, teaching children games from her home planet that accidentally bonds with a spren? Or is Lift's explanation more likely?

Quote

Lift grunted, climbing from her spot and strolling over to him. Some of the kids from before had left their pebbles, with painted colors that were rubbing off . A poor kid’s imitation of glass marbles. Lift kicked at them

I apologize if I come across as a buzzkill, but the answer needn't be a worldhopper with a secret identity every time something that seems odd an coincidental. I think we need to be more rigorous in our theorizing. Sometimes a pebble is just a pebble.

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I agree that she isn't Vivenna, I was just clarifying that a non-Rosharan could become a Surgebinder. Possibly just as easily as anyone else in planet, maybe with some extra work involved.

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4 hours ago, Windrunner said:

I apologize if I come across as a buzzkill, but the answer needn't be a worldhopper with a secret identity every time something that seems odd an coincidental. I think we need to be more rigorous in our theorizing. Sometimes a pebble is just a pebble.

Dude, did you read the OP? There were 5 options, only one of which said there "might" be a worldhopper. The purpose of the post was to point out that this game has been seen elsewhere and it's not from Roshar.

Also, apologizing for being a buzzkill is "expletive deleted". Be a buzzkill and own up to it, or don't be a buzzkill and have fun.

Be a little more rigorous with reading the OP.

Edited by tobar14
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42 minutes ago, tobar14 said:

Dude, did you read the OP? There were 5 options, only one of which said there "might" be a worldhopper. The purpose of the post was to point out that this game has been seen elsewhere and it's not from Roshar.

Also, apologizing for being a buzzkill is "expletive deleted". Be a buzzkill and own up to it, or don't be a buzzkill and have fun.

Be a little more rigorous with reading the OP.

That tone was a bit disrespectful. Windrunner kept it respectful. You can do the same, right?

Other comments, I can't really make any remarks regarding content. But let's just keep it all respectful on all sides. 

EDIT: For the record as well, I am talking to a few other people in this thread.

Edited by Chaos
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4 hours ago, Djarskublar said:

I agree that she isn't Vivenna, I was just clarifying that a non-Rosharan could become a Surgebinder. Possibly just as easily as anyone else in planet, maybe with some extra work involved.

Than we are in exact agreement on these matters. :)

41 minutes ago, tobar14 said:

Dude, did you read the OP? There were 5 options, only one of which said there "might" be a worldhopper. The purpose of the post was to point out that this game has been seen elsewhere and it's not from Roshar.

Also, apologizing for being a buzzkill is "expletive deleted". Be a buzzkill and own up to it, or don't be a buzzkill and have fun.

Be a little more rigorous with reading the OP.

I am responding to one specific line of discussion more than I am the OP (which is intended to be a jumping off point for discussion), which is that the Stump is a worldhopper, particularly the idea that she is Vivenna. I do think my response makes my stance quite clear on the other ideas offered. I don't believe that there's reason to think that because painted pebbles are present that it is because of some sort of cross-planet knowledge.

 

I would like to apologize if I've been too animated or dismissive in my posts in this topic. That's why I spoke to Chaos and had him take a look at the topic, to get an outsider's opinion. He thinks, and I agree, that I came off a little too strongly. Theorizing that characters are worldhoppers based on small pieces of evidence is one of my pet peeves, and I think I let it show a bit. I do want to say that I've been wrong before, and I'll surely be wrong again before the cosmere is finished. It is entirely possible that there is more to this game than meets the eye. There is no part of me that wants to stifle new ideas or discussion, I simply intended to add my perspective and I think I overdid it in this case. My apologies.

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Thanks for the apology, Windy. We can all keep things respectful of everyone's opinions.

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17 hours ago, Chaos said:

 

 

17 hours ago, Windrunner said:

 

You are correct, Chaos. That was a tad disrespectful.

Sorry, Windrunner. I should have realized that your statements weren't necessarily towards the OP. Also sorry for going on the offensive.

Side note, I will avoid responding to posts when I've had a few too many Horneater Ale's.

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2 hours ago, tobar14 said:

 

You are correct, Chaos. That was a tad disrespectful.

Sorry, Windrunner. I should have realized that your statements weren't necessarily towards the OP. Also sorry for going on the offensive.

Side note, I will avoid responding to posts when I've had a few too many Horneater Ale's.

Thanks Tobar, no worries :) 

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I actually don't think the two games are the same (or even related). Remember, tarachin is about throwing colored objects in target areas from a distance, and so Zahel's version of it on Roshar (where the target areas are circles he has drawn on the ground) makes sense. It's similar enough. Stump's children are sitting inside circles, playing games - two distinct points of difference. They are not throwing stuff, and they are playing multiple games - if it had been a single game, Lift could've indicated so.

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Just a side note on the commonality of the game- there is some version or another of what English and American culture call "marbles" (different colored stones thrown at targets, holes, rings, each other, etc. in over 54 indigenous or isolated cultures. It is kind of the most basic of game types with the least amount of creativity needed. (It is really difficult and requires a lot of skill, and I love them). A stone throwing game would be everywhere there are stones. I don't think there is enough evidence in this to link worlds based on it. Sanderson might have intended this as a clue, but it is a very weak one if it is.

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14 hours ago, Argent said:

I actually don't think the two games are the same (or even related). Remember, tarachin is about throwing colored objects in target areas from a distance, and so Zahel's version of it on Roshar (where the target areas are circles he has drawn on the ground) makes sense. It's similar enough. Stump's children are sitting inside circles, playing games - two distinct points of difference. They are not throwing stuff, and they are playing multiple games - if it had been a single game, Lift could've indicated so.

And another thought. Roshar has a money system consisting literally of large colored translucent marbles. Why is it so strange then that poor children play with pebbles that are, ... well... colored???  The pebbles aren't a poor imitation of marbles: they are a poor person's imitation of broams.

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41 minutes ago, emailanimal said:

And another thought. Roshar has a money system consisting literally of large colored translucent marbles. Why is it so strange then that poor children play with pebbles that are, ... well... colored???  The pebbles aren't a poor imitation of marbles: they are a poor person's imitation of broams.

Aw crap... Now I have this image of a really bulky game of monopoly played with fake spheres intead of paper. This is unfortunately something I can't unsee.

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