Banazir864

Theory: Shinovar is the remnant of an original Earthlike Roshar

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I apologize if this has been proposed before (my searches didn't find it), but I think that Shinovar is the last remnant of Roshar's original, Earthlike ecology.  My theory is as follows:

Once, the Rosharan super-continent was Earthlike, with Shinovar at its eastern end.  Then Odium sent the Everstorms, which began to erode the western part of the continent.  In response, Honor sent the Highstorms, which laid down crem, creating new lands to the east.  Over the course of the millennia, the original continent was eroded away up to Shinovar, while a new continent was created.  Meanwhile, sea creatures began to migrate onto the new land (possibly with help from Honor or Cultivation) and, with the help of magic, evolved into chulls, axehounds, skyeels, and the rest.  Now Shinovar is all that remains of the planet's original ecology.

In addition to geology and the storms, this theory is supported by the fact that most of the non-Shinovaran wildlife of Roshar does not seem physically possible without the help of magic.  In real life, a large land invertebrate like a chull would be crushed by the weight of its own exoskeleton, even in a lower-gravity environment like Roshar's (remember the square-cube law).  Brandon has confirmed that chasmfiends require spren to survive, and I suspect that something similar is going on with the more mundane greatshells.  Thus, these life forms must postdate all of the ambient magic that currently exists on Roshar.  Moreover, there's Hoid's comment about the orphaned etymology in the term "axehound", which seems to imply that hounds once existed on Roshar but have been forgotten.

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 Although not my forte, I'm pretty sure that a WoB exists that says that Roshar always had highstorms

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Several relevant WoB. The gist is that Highstorms have always been a part of Roshar, so the ecology has always been more rock based, but you're on to something about the continent breaking down and reforming.

 

Quote

INTERVIEW: Mar 20th, 2014

RYBAL

How did you come up with the geography on Roshar?

BRANDON SANDERSON

The geography on Roshar was developed as a natural outgrowth of the highstorm, which was the first concept for Roshar, which was inspired by the storm of Jupiter, which was me wanting to tell a story about a world with a continual magical storm. And then I built the ecology and all of these things up from that. Roshar had to grow up--I had to find a mechanism by which stone was deposited by rain, because I felt that the constant weathering over that long of a time would leave no continents. So the crem was my kind of scientific-with-one-foot-in-magic hack on keeping the continent. So the continent does drift. They don't have plate tectonics. The continent actually moves as it gets weathered on the east and gets pushed that direction over millennia of time.

 

Quote

INTERVIEW: Apr 2nd, 2015

RURO272

Is Roshar, or has Roshar always been the only large landmass on the planet?

BRANDON SANDERSON

Roshar is.... (Brandon then pauses and looks up, thinking very hard) Roshar has always been the largest landmass--as long as there has been land. (This statement was met with a LOT of OOOOHS, and Brandon had a definite grin on his face).

FOOTNOTE

Now this one is extremely interesting. If any of you guys have followed the discussions regarding the "Hints on the Roshar map" that Brandon's alluded to many times, the 17th Shard finally cracked the code that the landmass is a 2d cross section of a 3d shadow of a 4d Juliet transformation something or other blah blah, some crazy math thing. There is a whole thread about this topic somewhere on this forum, and the similarities are striking--plus Peter himself commented on that thread "About time you guys figured this out". So what does it mean that the shape comes from some complex mathematical methodology and not just random? Well, because somebody in that thread commented that they thought Roshar was created from leftover crem from highstorms over the course of thousands of years. Based on what we know about Roshar's shape, the fact that Brandon has commented on needing a system in which "earth" is deposited from the air, and the strong implication that there was a time when Roshar had no landmass at all, I think I'm definitely on board with the "Roshar = crem" theory.

 

Quote

INTERVIEW: Apr 23rd, 2016

QUESTION

This whole talk of both Roshar and the highstorms, I’m glad that you said they predate the Shattering. There are some people on 17th Shard that believe the entire continent is crem that’s accumulated, one highstorm at a time.

BRANDON SANDERSON

Good. Let me actually squish that one a little bit because there are mineral deposits that have been mentioned that you have to mine, and crem...there is actual ferrous iron that you can smelt on Roshar, you have to know how to get to it and things like that, and there are actual gemstone mines and things like that, but they’re much harder to get to and Soulcasting is a stopgap that’s helped with this a lot, but there are actual deposits and things like that.

 

 

Edited by Wreith
put the WoB in chronological order
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I think it's actually the opposite. Shinovar is a piece of Roshar made safe for humanity by Cultivation. 

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On 10/12/2017 at 1:41 PM, Wreith said:

Several relevant WoB. The gist is that Highstorms have always been a part of Roshar, so the ecology has always been more rock based, but you're on to something about the continent breaking down and reforming.

 

Quote

INTERVIEW: Mar 20th, 2014

RYBAL

How did you come up with the geography on Roshar?

BRANDON SANDERSON

The geography on Roshar was developed as a natural outgrowth of the highstorm, which was the first concept for Roshar, which was inspired by the storm of Jupiter, which was me wanting to tell a story about a world with a continual magical storm. And then I built the ecology and all of these things up from that. Roshar had to grow up--I had to find a mechanism by which stone was deposited by rain, because I felt that the constant weathering over that long of a time would leave no continents. So the crem was my kind of scientific-with-one-foot-in-magic hack on keeping the continent. So the continent does drift. They don't have plate tectonics. The continent actually moves as it gets weathered on the east and gets pushed that direction over millennia of time.

 

Quote

INTERVIEW: Apr 2nd, 2015

RURO272

Is Roshar, or has Roshar always been the only large landmass on the planet?

BRANDON SANDERSON

Roshar is.... (Brandon then pauses and looks up, thinking very hard) Roshar has always been the largest landmass--as long as there has been land. (This statement was met with a LOT of OOOOHS, and Brandon had a definite grin on his face).

FOOTNOTE

Now this one is extremely interesting. If any of you guys have followed the discussions regarding the "Hints on the Roshar map" that Brandon's alluded to many times, the 17th Shard finally cracked the code that the landmass is a 2d cross section of a 3d shadow of a 4d Juliet transformation something or other blah blah, some crazy math thing. There is a whole thread about this topic somewhere on this forum, and the similarities are striking--plus Peter himself commented on that thread "About time you guys figured this out". So what does it mean that the shape comes from some complex mathematical methodology and not just random? Well, because somebody in that thread commented that they thought Roshar was created from leftover crem from highstorms over the course of thousands of years. Based on what we know about Roshar's shape, the fact that Brandon has commented on needing a system in which "earth" is deposited from the air, and the strong implication that there was a time when Roshar had no landmass at all, I think I'm definitely on board with the "Roshar = crem" theory.

 

Quote

INTERVIEW: Apr 23rd, 2016

QUESTION

This whole talk of both Roshar and the highstorms, I’m glad that you said they predate the Shattering. There are some people on 17th Shard that believe the entire continent is crem that’s accumulated, one highstorm at a time.

BRANDON SANDERSON

Good. Let me actually squish that one a little bit because there are mineral deposits that have been mentioned that you have to mine, and crem...there is actual ferrous iron that you can smelt on Roshar, you have to know how to get to it and things like that, and there are actual gemstone mines and things like that, but they’re much harder to get to and Soulcasting is a stopgap that’s helped with this a lot, but there are actual deposits and things like that.

Thinking about this geologically.... Stormlight mentions marble deposits (as well as several others, but I'm too lazy to look up all of my SA geological references), and marble is a metamorphic rock, not a mineral. Marble is formed by the deposition of calcium into limestone, which is then metamorphosed by heat and pressure, then pushed back up to the surface. First off, this requires limestone, an easy rock to create at the bottom of an ocean, which checks out with the idea that there was a large ocean before there was Roshar. Next we need a mechanic for metamorphism. The limestone can easily be pushed further into the earth by a), more limestone/ ocean sediments on top of it, and b), the ocean drying up and crem being deposited on top. That solves burial, which in turn solves heat and pressure. But if there are no plate tectonics, how is the limestone - now marble - uplifted back onto the continent? Highstorms wear away at the rock, yes, but they also deposit crem, which sort of makes up for it. A highstorm can't weather away and expose a rock three miles below ground. Maybe there's a pluton or a batholith (giant blob of lava) coming up beneath the surface pushing it up, or a very large, deep fault (but with no plate tectonics helping, it too wouldn't work well). The only place where the highstorms eroding everything away and exposing marble actually works is on the stormward coastline of Roshar.

So really, this whole 'no plate tectonics' thing grinds to a stop. But Brandon has enough on his plate without having to worry about minor, minor geological problems.

Maybe my job should be to just critique the geology of Roshar.

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On 13/10/2017 at 2:19 AM, thejopen27 said:

I think it's actually the opposite. Shinovar is a piece of Roshar made safe for humanity by Cultivation. 

This is exactly what I was thinking! 

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Do we know is Shinovar retains Earth-like animals, such as squirrels and rabbits and such. I'd reckon not or at least not as diverse as Shallan did not know what a hound was and Kaladin was unaware of rabbits.

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We do know that Shinovar contains grass, chickens, and strawberries.

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1 hour ago, Brgst13 said:

We do know that Shinovar contains grass, chickens, and strawberries.

And non-Ryshadium horses?

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