Crucible of Shards

Common Knowledge of the Unmade

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I'm reading through WoR again and I found a couple interesting things of note. First, in Eshonai's interludes she visits her mother who equates the Unmade with the Listener gods, which, I believe, is now common knowledge to the 17th Shard. However, early in Shallan's Middlefest flashback (chapter 45 for those who are curious) she encounters a sort of bird ( the merchant calls it a chicken) that can talk. This is what she says:

“Jeksonofnone,” the creature said.
Shallan jumped back. The word was mangled by the creature’s inhuman voice, but it was recognizable. “A Voidbringer!” she hissed, safehand to her chest. “An animal that speaks! You’ll bring the eyes of the Unmade upon us.”

I was under the impression that the Unmade were relatively unknown to the "uninitiated," you might say. But here is Shallan, the daughter of a minor rural lord in a somewhat isolated corner of Jah Keved, showing that she is aware of the Unmade and at least some connection between them and the Voidbringers.

My question is, how much do the common lighteyes and darkeyes actually know of the Unmade?  Taravangian obviously knows something, but he's more ...involved... than most. How does Vorinism view the Unmade, and how much is accurate? I'm well aware that even among the 17th Shard, information is quite limited, but I am curious as to the common knowledge of the Unmade as far as the average person in Vorin society.

Edited by Crucible of Shards
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My thoughts are that the Unmade are somewhat known in Vorinism, but like dark gods who are watching over the Voidbringers. Overall, what they are, what they can doing, or much details aren't that well-known.

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Given how little consensus there seems to be among the people of Roshar as to what exactly the voidbringers were and whether they existed at all, I think it would be odd if the average person had access to even basic information about what the Unmade actually are.

My suspicion would be that they exist in people's minds mostly as evil phantasms who, in some capacity, marshal the forces of the voidbringers.  To the average citizen of Roshar, I'd imagine that the Unmade are roughly equivalent to the Forsaken or the Dread Lords in the Wheel of Time series: Powerful generals that rally and command the mindless hordes that compose the forces of evil.

They're also probably used to scare children into going to bed on time and eating their vegetables.

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I'm only adding this becasue it's what we did at first, but perhaps Vorin mythos considers the Unmade as anti-Heralds.

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I think @hwiles and @The One Who Connects are pretty on point in that the Unmade are the evil spirits of Vorin folk culture. This being said, I find it far more interesting that Shallan's first reaction to seeing a talking animal is "Voidbringer!". I wonder, would a voidspren-possessed Chasmfiend talk? If so, that would be pretty horrifying, but also very, very awesome.

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52 minutes ago, Rasarr said:

I think @hwiles and @The One Who Connects are pretty on point in that the Unmade are the evil spirits of Vorin folk culture. This being said, I find it far more interesting that Shallan's first reaction to seeing a talking animal is "Voidbringer!". I wonder, would a voidspren-possessed Chasmfiend talk? If so, that would be pretty horrifying, but also very, very awesome.

I think the real question is: "Could it sing and play the piano?" :D

Joking aside, it may be reasonable to posit from this scene with Shallan that there are folktales across Roshar (or at least Vedenar) that suggest things along the lines of, "voidbringers can possess animals or make them act strangely," or, "voidbringers can disguise themselves as animals."  I wouldn't put much stock in these folktales being predictive or based on in-world events or facts; they just make for a little bit of flavor.

Too busy to check right now, but pretty sure I've heard of some old Japanese folktales about talking animals being possessed by demons.  Might be getting the country of origin wrong, but its possible in my mind that Shallan's reaction to seeing that talking bird (parrot?) is a casual allusion to some real-world children's story or folktale.  Don't read too much into this musing, I don't think it's supposed to be particularly important.

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@hwilesif there is one thing I have learned reading Brandon sanderson, it's that EVERYTHING is thought out, purposeful, and nothing is truly just fluff. From other authors I can expect loose ends, but not from this guy. There is always another secret.

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