Fifth of Daybreak

[OB] The Wicked Thing of Eminence, Oathbreaking, and the Last Legion: A Theory in Three Parts

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I. The Wicked Thing Of Eminence

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Now, as the Windrunners were thus engaged, arose the event which has hitherto been referenced: namely, that discovery of some wicked thing of eminence, though whether it be some rogueries among the Radiants’ adherents or of some external origin, Avena would not suggest.From Words of Radiance, chapter 38, page 6[21]

 

That they responded immediately and with great consternation is undeniable, as these were primary among those who would forswear and abandon their oaths. The term Day of Recreance was not then applied, but has since become a popular title by which this event is named.From Words of Radiance, chapter 38, page 6[22]

 

This act of great villainy went beyond the impudence which had hitherto been ascribed to the orders; as the fighting was particularly intense at this time, many attributed this act to a sense of inherent betrayal; and after they withdrew, about two thousand made assault upon them, destroying much of the membership; but this was only nine of the ten, as one said they would not abandon their arms and flee, but instead entertained great subterfuge at the expense of the other nine.From Words of Radiance chapter 38, page 20[23]

What is the secret that caused the Knights Radiant to break? What could cause nine orders of Knights with separate oaths to have broken them all at once? What is that wicked thing of Eminence? I'd like to present a theory to answer these questions. 

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“Now, now,” he said. “I’m going to help you, Eshonai. Did you know, I’ve discovered how to bring your gods back?”

No. She hummed to the Rhythm of the Terrors. No . . .

“My ancestors,” he said, holding up the fabrial, “first learned how to hold a spren inside a gemstone. And with a very special gemstone, you can hold even a god.”

“Your Majesty,” she said, daring to take his hand in hers. He couldn’t feel the rhythms. He didn’t know. “Please. We no longer worship those gods. We left them, abandoned them.”

“Ah, but this is for your good, and for ours.” He stood up. “We live without honor, for your gods once brought ours. Without them, we have no power. This world is trapped, Eshonai! Stuck in a dull, lifeless state of transition.” He looked toward the ceiling. “Unite them. I need a threat. Only danger will unite them.”

“What . . .” she said to Anxiety. “What are you saying?”

“Our enslaved parshmen were once like you. Then we somehow robbed them of their ability to undergo the transformation. We did it by capturing a spren. An ancient, crucial spren.” He looked at her, green eyes alight. “I’ve seen how that can be reversed. A new storm that will bring the Heralds out of hiding. A new war.”

Oathbringer Prologue

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So Melishi retired to his tent, and resolved to destroy the Voidbringers upon the next day, but that night did present a different stratagem, related to the unique abilities of the Bondsmiths; and being hurried, he could make no specific account of his process; it was related to the very nature of the Heralds and their divine duties, an attribute the Bondsmiths alone could address.From Words of Radiance, chapter 30, page 18[18]

With the advent of the preview chapters, a lot of expectations I had were laid on their head, namely how human the newly sapient parshmen are. With this information, and the information Gavilar presented in the prologue, I think that the wicked thing of Eminence was the capturing of whatever crucial spren it was that gave parshmen that sapience. We know from WoB that the Desolations are somehow tied to the Heralds and how long they remain.

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luke.spence (paraphrased)

What caused a Desolation to end? Was it just the defeat of Odium's forces? Because the Desolations start when the Heralds break under torture.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Because the Heralds can no longer be in existence. There is a certain period of time that they can be there, and after that, if they're there, they will start a new one. So the Heralds do need to leave for a Desolation to end

darkanimereal1 (paraphrased)

Oh. So they've got a time limit.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

They do. Otherwise the Desolation will start again. What they discovered is not all of them have to. As long as one remains, the Desolation will not start again.

luke.spence (paraphrased)

So, by the nine leaving, did that actually break the Oathpact for them? Did it change the cycle of Desolations?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

They have not completely broken the Oathpact, despite what they may think.

This could be related to Melishi. I am proposing that Melishi's strategy was to somehow use the bondsmiths to capture this spren and break the bonds between the parshmen and the sapience allowing spren, forcing all of then into their "dull form" and preventing them from forming any bonds with voidbringers, defeating the voidbringers indirectly by attacking their hosts. 

We can see why this would be considered a "wicked thing of Eminence" by the Windrunners already in OB.

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“Storms, I don’t know,” he said. “But I can’t be a slave again, Kal. I won’t let them take Vai and imprison her. Would you defend them, after what they did to you?”

“They’re my people.”

“That’s no excuse. If one of ‘your people’ murders another, don’t you put them in prison? What is a just punishment for enslaving my entire race?”

...

“I…” Kaladin said. “I don’t know, Sah. But a war to exterminate one side or the other can’t be the answer.”

“You can fight alongside us, Kal. It doesn’t have to be about humans against parshmen. It can be nobler than that. Oppressed against the oppressors.”

...

He read betrayal in their postures, though he couldn’t even tell if these were members of Khen’s group or not.

“What?” Syl asked, alighting on his shoulder.

“I can’t help but feel a kinship to them, Syl.”

“They conquered the city. They’re Voidbringers.

“No, they’re people. And they’re angry, with good reason.” A gust of wind blew across him, making him drift to the side. “I know that feeling. It burns in you, worms inside your brain until you forget everything but the injustice done to you. It’s how I felt about Elhokar. Sometimes a world of rational explanations can become meaningless in the face of that all-consuming desire to get what you deserve.

“You changed your mind about Elhokar, Kaladin. You saw what was right.”

“Did I? Did I find what was right, or did I just finally agree to see things the way you wanted?”

“Killing Elhokar was wrong.”

“And the parshmen on the Shattered Plains that I killed? Murdering them wasn’t wrong?”

“You were protecting Dalinar.”

“Who was assaulting their homeland.”

“Because they killed his brother.”

“Which, for all we know, they did because they saw how King Gavilar and his people treated the parshmen.” Kaladin turned toward Syl, who sat on his shoulder, one leg tucked beneath her. “So what’s the difference, Syl? What is the diff rence between Dalinar attacking the parshmen, and these parshmen conquering that city?”

“I don’t know,” she said softly.

“And why was it worse for me to let Elhokar be killed for his injustices than it was for me to actively kill parshmen on the Shattered Plains?”

“One is wrong. I mean, it just feels wrong. Both do, I guess.”

“Except one nearly broke my bond, while the other didn’t. The bond isn’t about what’s right and wrong, is it, Syl. It’s about what you see as right and wrong.”

“What we see,” she corrected. “And about oaths. You swore to protect Elhokar. Tell me that during your time planning to betray Elhokar, you didn’t—deep down—think you were doing something wrong.”

“Fine. But it’s still about perception.” Kaladin let the winds blow him, feeling a pit open in his belly. “Storms, I’d hoped… I’d hoped you could tell me, give me an absolute right. For once, I’d like my moral code not to come with a list of exceptions at the end.”

She nodded thoughtfully.

“I’d have expected you to object,” Kaladin said. “You’re a… what, embodiment of human perceptions of honor? Shouldn’t you at least thinkyou have all the answers?”

“Probably,” she said. “Or maybe if there are answers, I should be the one who wants to find them.”

Already Kaladin sees a moral dilemma in fighting them, and that's if his side is not directly responsible for their condition. But this wouldn't have been the only problem. In order for this strategy to work, they would have also had to have destroyed the remaining fused. I propose that this was also in tandem with a deadly attack that caused the shattering of the plains:

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Listener Song of Wars

55th Stanza
They blame our people
For the loss of that land.
The city that once covered it
Did range the eastern strand.
The power made known in the tomes of our clan
Our gods were not who shattered these plains.

 

 

 

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She passed into the shadow of a big lump of rock that she always imagined might have been a city gate. From what little they’d learned from their spies over the years, she knew that the Alethi did not understand. They marched over the uneven surface of the plateaus and saw only natural rock, never knowing that they traversed the bones of a city long dead. 

Eshonaishivered, and attuned the Rhythm of the Lost. It was a soft beat, yet still violent, with sharp, separated notes. She did not attune it for long. Remembering the fallen was important, but working to protect the living was more so. 

Sheattuned Resolve again and entered Narak. Here, the listeners had built the best home they could during the years of war. Rocky shelves had become barracks, carapace from greatshells forming the walls and roofs. Mounds that had once been buildings now grew rockbuds for food on their leeward sides. Much of the Shattered Plains had once been populated, but the largest city had been here at the center. So now the ruins of her people made their home in the ruins of a dead city.

WoR I-1

These excerpts both give the impression that the Listeners lost people in the shattering of the plains and they were not responsible. If there were normal parshmen in the city when it was attacked, it would be another reason for the Stonewards and Windrunners to abandon their oaths as they would not be willing to risk innocent lives in a mass attack to end the war.

II. Oathbreaking

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Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination.

The Oathbreaking on the part of the WR and SW is pretty obvious, they gave up protecting the regular humans from the voidbringers, in this theory under the presumption because of a mass attack that took innocent lives followed by the robbery of free will of the parshmen. But what about the other seven orders? In the vision, Tanavast tells Dalinar "they are the first and they are also the last." There would also be many more Shards, as we haven't even accounted for all of them at Feverstone if the other orders broke their oaths in a similar fashion. I'm proposing that the WR and SW Oathbreaking was separate from the other orders, and wouldn't leave shards behind.

In orchestrating a large scale attack that took innocent lives, and then robbing the parshmen of sapience even though they are not the voidbringers, the other orders fundamentally broke the first oath by putting the destination before the journey. They sacrificed others to fight their enemy, a running theme from the first book. They didn't turn away from mankind like the other two orders, but were destroyed after acting against the very basic tenets of their core ideology. Normally, if a spren's bonded dies, it's an emotional event, but not a lethal one (quoting my own question ^.^) but if they had broken their oaths it would have killed spren en mass.

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Questioner

After a spren has been bonded, what happens if the person it's bonded with dies?

Brandon Sanderson

If the person they are bonded with dies, it is an emotional event for the spren, but not a damaging event. As long as their oaths were not <broken>.

Argent

Kind of like if a friend dies?

Brandon Sanderson

Maybe a little more personal than that.

III. Last Legion

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“Long are the days since we knew the dark home,” Mother sang softly to one of the Rhythms of Remembrance. “The Last Legion, that was our name then. Warriors who had been set to fight in the farthest plains, this place that had once been a nation and was now rubble. Dead was the freedom of most people. The forms, unknown , were forced upon us. Forms of power, yes, but also forms of obedience. The gods commanded , and we did obey, always. Always.”

“Except for that day,” Eshonai said along with her mother, in rhythm.

“The day of the storm when the Last Legion fled,” Mother continued in song. “Difficult was the path chosen. Warriors, touched by the gods, our only choice to seek dullness of mind. A crippling that brought freedom.”

Mother’s calm , sonorous song danced with the wind. As frail as she seemed other times, when she sang the old songs, she seemed herself again. A parent who had at times conflicted with Eshonai, but a parent whom Eshonai had always respected.

“Daring was the challenge made,” Mother sang, “when the Last Legion abandoned thought and power in exchange for freedom. They risked forgetting all. And so songs they composed, a hundred stories to tell, to remember. I tell them to you, and you will tell them to your children , until the forms are again discovered.”

WoR I-4 Last Legion

So here, the last legion, most people's freedom dead, has been set to fight in the farthest plains in a nation that is now rubble. This seems to parallel very well with this line from the in world WoR "This act of great villainy went beyond the impudence which had hitherto been ascribed to the orders; as the fighting was particularly intense at this time, many attributed this act to a sense of inherent betrayal; and after they withdrew, about two thousand made assault upon them, destroying much of the membership."

The last legion, feeling betrayed that the KR would use a weapon of mass destruction and then destroy the ability of the regular people to think, felt inherently betrayed beyond the influence of the voidbringers, and destroyed much of the Knights Radiant membership. 

 

And then they fled and adopted dull form. Maybe it was the precedent taught be whatever method the KR used that allowed them to do it, maybe it was the flare of emotions at seeing the plains shattered, maybe it was the destruction of the Knights Radiant, but after completing their counter attack, the Last Legion adopted dull form and fled deep into the shattered plains, founding the Civilization of the listeners.

Edited by Fifth of Daybreak
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The idea that the fall of the Knights Radiant was linked to the Listeners is a very interesting one. It also makes a lot of thematic sense. If this theory is correct, the Knights fought the Voidbringers but eventually did so in a way that broke their own ideals. Perhaps as you suggest the Shattering was the result of a devestating attack that not only caused collateral damage but also broke the very minds of their enemies, allowing them to be enslaved. Ultimately this could have been a very effective strategy, but it betrays the core principles of the Knights. Something that I think supports your theory is Kaladin's recent revelation that he and Syl might not have morals that directly align. And she in general seems less concerned with just killing the Listeners. She was horrified watching humans be slaughtered by Parshendi but seemed almost euphoric as Kaladin killed them (though later claims the violence hurt her). It's possible the spren of the Knights Radiant either supported or facilitated the breaking/enslavement of the Listeners, and feeling betrayed by their own spren the Knights decided to abandon them. 

I'll point out however that there is an issue with this being the "wicked thing of eminence." In the deciphered Pattern 15 epigraph, we learn that Taravangian demands: "Hold the secret that broke the Knights Radiant. You may need it to destroy the new orders when they return." If the wicked thing was an action taken by the former Knights Radiant, there is no logical reason why this would destroy the new orders as well. It would be like learning that a distant ancestor had committed some unforgiveable atrocities. It would suck, and probably be very demoralizing, but I don't see how it could possibly "destroy" the new order. It seems to me that the secret needs to be something that would still be relevant, that would apply equally to the new order. This implies that the secret must be something about the nature of the Knights Radiant themselves, something about their powers or their bond.

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@Naerin The grammar of that passage from the diagram makes me think that the secret is an object and not knowledge. Normally you keep a secret, you don't hold it. In this instance, he could be referring to Gavilar's sphere. Even if not, it would still be pretty relevant to know that your order caused the mental genocide of an entire people who were already being pressed into military service against their will be voidbringers.

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I feel that is it very very important to clarify that the first oath is not always interpreted by a knight as kaladin and teft do. this means that you want to use the first oath as a part of a theory, you must keep in mind that multiple orders are fine with "the ends justify the means" philosophies. also, make sure to keep in mind that one order (probably but not 100% the skybreakers) never abandoned their oaths.

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8 minutes ago, Blacksmithki said:

you must keep in mind that multiple orders are fine with "the ends justify the means" philosophies.

Do we have evidence of this from onscreen or WoB?  'The ends justfies the means' seems to be exactly the opposite from 'journey before destination.'

 

My OP's language accounts for one order not destroyed, even if it doesn't specifically address which order and why.

Edited by Fifth of Daybreak
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@Fifth of Daybreak You're right, he could definitely be refering to something specific like the sphere. The language is ambiguous enough to interpret it that way for sure. But keep in mind that grammatically one can certainly "hold" something intangible. Think about how we refer to people "holding/keeping secrets close" or "holding onto their anger" and similar phrases.

And I agree also that it would be pretty harsh to learn that your order was responsible for basically lobotomizing and entire species. I could 100% believe that such a revelation could absolutely destroy the original Knights Radiant. I just don't buy that this would "destroy" the currently emerging Knights, who have zero direct connection to that order from so long ago. I mean, North Americans like myself live with the knowledge that this land was acquired through genocide, and the average person lives with that just fine. Genocide, Slavery, unspeakable attrocities are a part of many cultural legacies, and it does not destroy the descendants. If anything it is often very difficult to convince said descendants that they are in any way responsible, or to even feel bad about it. 

At most, confirmation that the Knights back in the day actually were awful (as most of Roshar already believes anyway), or at least made some terrible, terrible mistake/decision, would probably just inspire the new Knights to be better, do things differently. Aside from maybe Dalinar, none of them are all that invested in how the Knights used to be, so knowledge of past misdeeds (understatement) probably wouldn't affect them all that much; and there is no specific reason to think that would be different for the other emerging Radiants that we haven't yet seen. 

Keep in mind this is just me quibbling however. I still think it's a good theory. And the argument that the Radiants were responsible for what happened to the Listeners seems pretty solid to me; I wouldn't be at all surprised if this is revealed to be true. 

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@Fifth of Daybreak I am surprised you haven't seen my rants. Rather than just rant again, have this. 

There's multiple WoBs there to show that the first oath is... Exceptionally malleable. 

Edited by Calderis
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5 minutes ago, Fifth of Daybreak said:

Do we have evidence of this from onscreen or WoB?  'The ends justfies the means' seems to be exactly the opposite from 'journey before destination.'

 

My OP's language accounts for one order not destroyed, even if it doesn't specifically address which order and why.

The first Ideal was the same for every order, so in fact we have strong evidence against the idea that any of the orders would be okay with the ends justifying the means. 

If anything, this could explain why the Skybreakers are the only ones still around. Their ideology seems to be able to interpret the first Ideal differently, judging from the actions of a certain figure. Rather than assuming they are representative of a large diversity in this central philosophy among the orders, the fact that they are the only ones left could indicate that they are the exception, the only ones who found a way to live with whatever secret it was that destroyed the others. 

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3 minutes ago, Naerin said:

The first Ideal was the same for every order, so in fact we have strong evidence against the idea that any of the orders would be okay with the ends justifying the means. 

If anything, this could explain why the Skybreakers are the only ones still around. Their ideology seems to be able to interpret the first Ideal differently, judging from the actions of a certain figure. Rather than assuming they are representative of a large diversity in this central philosophy among the orders, the fact that they are the only ones left could indicate that they are the exception, the only ones who found a way to live with whatever secret it was that destroyed the others. 

Not just the skybreakers, others are fine with that idea as well (i believe the elsecallers?) read the page linked to above.

thanks @Calderis i'm not sure how to link threads

Edited by Blacksmithki
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2 minutes ago, Blacksmithki said:

Not just the skybreakers, others are fine with that idea as well (i believe the elsecallers?) read the page linked to above.

Yes. The WoB is in the thread I linked, but it's been split in half in Arcanum, so I'll just go copy paste it here. 

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ANDREWHB

Is Niccolo Machiavelli's political theory, the ends justify the means, incompatible with the Knights Radiants' First Oath?

BRANDON SANDERSON

No. Although many of the Orders of KRs would find Machiavelli's theory that the ends justify the means incompatible with additional Oaths and/or values of that Order, there are some Orders who could accept a Machiavellian. Brandon said that the Skybreakers where a Machiavellian could find a home.

QUESTION

As Brandon was signing my books, I asked if the Elsecallers would also accept a Machiavellian.

BRANDON SANDERSON

Yes.

Edit: @Blacksmithki if you paste a 17th Shard thread or comment (or Reddit) it will auto embed here. Just copy paste the URL and your good. 

Edited by Calderis
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34 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I am surprised you haven't seen my rants. Rather than just rant again, have this. 

I'll say it before and I'll say it again, I've missed way too much in my absence. 

This is a really great thread, thanks for bringing it to my attention. (Btw, if there's any other good ones you think I might be interested in/benefit from, feel free to send them to me via direct message.)

I very much like how elsecallers were specifically mentioned, as it brings to mind Jasnah's philosophy lesson with Shallan. That had a "ends justify the means" vibe to it, but at the same time, Jasnah still had to satisfy her own moral code in order to put herself in a position to act. 

If multiple orders are interpreting the first oath in different ways, and then take different actions to achieve victory, it might cause them to have broken their oaths for different reasons. For instance, with evidence of Jasnah's temperament, we might make the assumption that the elsecallers value sapience and would consider the magical lobotomy a fracture of that first oath. Another order might consider a preemptive strike on the pre-shattered plains a violation.

I definitely do agree that this seems to put a large wrench in my proposed theory though. I have to start adding a lot of moving pieces to start to account for this. Perhaps a simpler explanation is that the order that survived is the one order that would've been accepting of this action as not breaking their oaths. With the Radiants that we've met and know well, I just personally have a hard time reconciling them being ok with condemning an entire race to slavery and loss of conscious thought to win a war against supernatural forces that can essentially possess their bodies and minds. It speaks volumes to me that Shallan's first interactions with Parshmen after learning what they are is to ask them if they want to be free. 

Edited by Fifth of Daybreak
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@Fifth of Daybreak I would personally say that it might have something to do with the fact that all the orders seem to value something higher then anything else, and the skybreakers only care about the law. So let's say that the event was unnecessary and brutal (the thing with the parshmen) then i would assume most orders would care, but the skybreakers wouldn't. Probably actually caused by some event way out of left field, but hey, maybe we can get close.

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53 minutes ago, Blacksmithki said:

I would personally say that it might have something to do with the fact that all the orders seem to value something higher then anything else, and the skybreakers only care about the law.

That's a very cogent point. I wish we knew around when Nalan went back for his Blade. 

 

I do still feel pretty confident about the Last Legion portion of the theory though. The evidence all fits very nicely.

Edited by Fifth of Daybreak
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A point in favor of the Skybreakers being the order to have remained. 

Quote

Questioner

It was mentioned that there are 16 gods in your Cosmere.

Brandon Sanderson

Depends on your definition of god.

Questioner

Shards. Are the ten orders of the Knight Radiants related to specific gods? Because Honor, child of Honor-Kaladin

Brandon Sanderson

So all the magic on Roshar, all the surgebinding on Roshar, is going to have its roots in Honor and Cultivation. Um... There is some Odium influence too, but that’s mostly voidbinding, which is the map in the back of the first book.

Questioner

I was wondering how much-

Brandon Sanderson

But, but even the powers, it’s, it’s really this sort of thing. What’s going in Stormlight is that people are accessing fundamental forces of creation and laws of the universe. They’re accessing them through the filter of Cultivation and Honor. So, that’s not to say, on another world you couldn’t have someone influence gravity. Honor doesn’t belong to gravity. But bonds, and how to deal with bonds, and things like this, is an Honor thing. So the way Honor accesses gravity is, you make a bond between yourself and either a thing or a direction or things like that and you go. So it’s filtered through Honor’s visual, and some of the magics lean more Honor and some them lean more Cultivation, as you can obviously see, in the way that they take place.

Questioner

The question kind of rooted because, Wyndle in the short story is always saying that he’s a cultivationspren, he doesn’t like [...]. I kind of got the idea that each order had a different Shard.

Brandon Sanderson

That is a good thing to think, but that is not how it is. Some of them self-identify more in certain ways. Syl is an honorspren, that’s what they call a honorspren, they self-identify as the closest to Honor. Is that true? Well, I don’t know. For instance, you might talk to different spren, who are like, no, highspren are like “We’re the ones most like Honor. We are the ones that keep oaths the best. Those honorspren will let their people break their oaths if they think it’s for a good cause. That’s not Honor-like.” There would be disagreement.

Questioner

Are you saying that the spren’s view of themself influences how they work?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh yeah, and humans’ view of them because spren are pieces of Investiture who have gained sapience, or sentience for the smaller spren, through human perception of those forces. For instance, whether or not Kaladin is keeping an oath is up to what Syl and Kaladin think is keeping that oath. It is not related to capital-T Truth, what is actually keeping the oath. Two windrunners can disagree on whether an oath has been kept or not.

Highspren, and their emphasis on law and rules, are against breaking an oath period. 

If the people who were the Skybreakers shared that view, it doesn't matter how good a reason the Recreance was based on. They took an oath. 

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19 minutes ago, Calderis said:

Highspren, and their emphasis on law and rules, are against breaking an oath period. 

If the people who were the Skybreakers shared that view, it doesn't matter how good a reason the Recreance was based on. They took an oath. 

This is only reinforced by what we see in edgedancer with Nalan. One of the initiates also mentions being the only order.

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"The only path to sanity and action is to choose a code and to follow it."

"“The minds of men are fragile, their emotions mutable and often unpredictable. The only path to Honor is to stick to your chosen code. This was the way of the Knights Radiant, and is the way of the Skybreakers.”

"Only the Skybreakers ever understood the importance of boundaries. Of picking something external to yourself and using it as a guide."

“But…” said the male initiate. “Is it really … I mean, shouldn’t we want them to return, so we won’t be the only order of Knights Radiant?”

“Unfortunately, no,” Darkness said. “I once thought as you, but Ishar made the truth clear to me. If the bonds between men and spren are reignited, then men will naturally discover the greater power of the oaths. Without Honor to regulate this, there is a small chance that what comes next will allow the Voidbringers to again make the jump between worlds. That would cause a Desolation, and even a small chance that the world will be destroyed is a risk that we cannot take. Absolute fidelity to the mission Ishar gave us—the greater law of protecting Roshar—is required.”

Edgedancer Chapter 9

 

Quote

 

 

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3 hours ago, Calderis said:

@Fifth of Daybreak I am surprised you haven't seen my rants. Rather than just rant again, have this. 

There's multiple WoBs there to show that the first oath is... Exceptionally malleable. 

love that nomenclature.  Thanks for that.

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3 hours ago, Fifth of Daybreak said:

Do we have evidence of this from onscreen or WoB?  'The ends justfies the means' seems to be exactly the opposite from 'journey before destination.'

 

My OP's language accounts for one order not destroyed, even if it doesn't specifically address which order and why.

definitely evidence.  See nale in wor & edgedancer, and jasnah dealing with thieves in wok.

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20 hours ago, djammmer said:

definitely evidence.  See nale in wor & edgedancer, and jasnah dealing with thieves in wok.

I'd actually argue that the Skybreakers are the one order for whom the ends don't justify the means as much as others. They are unwilling to break laws to achieve an end. If the ends justified the means for Nalan, Lyft's pardon in her interlude wouldn't matter to him, as the ends of preventing the desolation would justify the means of killing her without legal authority.

The WoB say they'd let one find a home, but that doesn't mean that a Machiavellian can run around Willy nilly doing whatever they like because they are chasing an end. Skybreakers actually seem to be even more restricted by a code since they are bound by laws, they just aren't bound by moral precepts as some other orders are presumed to be.

I think we're looking at this lens of 'means justify the ends' too simply. It can't be a black and white thing or we'll run into the same problem as applying the First Ideal uniformly across all the orders. There's a means and an end each order wouldn't be willing to cross, and ones they are.

Shallan is willing to join the Ghostbloods in order to find knowledge. Kaladin is willing to blackmail, bribe, threaten, steal and desecrate the dead to keep his men safe. Jasnah is willing to commit pre-meditated vigilante murder to get murderers off the street. Dalinar is willing to beat the ever loving storms out of his nephew to convince him that Dalinar isn't trying to kill him. Each of those things is something the other wouldn't be willing to do. Jasnah thinks using strength of muscle is base. Dalinar would never involve himself with the Ghostbloods. A skybreaker would never break the law to protect. Shallan wouldn't put herself intentionally in danger to lure someone into attacking her allowing her to act in self defense.

Edited by Fifth of Daybreak
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14 minutes ago, Fifth of Daybreak said:

The WoB say they'd let one find a home, but that doesn't mean that a Machiavellian can run around Willy nilly doing whatever they like because they are chasing an end. Skybreakers actually seem to be even more restricted by a code since they are bound by laws, they just aren't bound by moral precepts as some other orders are presumed to be.

I think we're looking at this lens of 'means justify the ends' too simply. It can't be a black and white thing or we'll run into the same problem as applying the First Ideal uniformly across all the orders. There's a means and an end each order wouldn't be willing to cross.

I agree. A machiavellian could find a home there because of the lack of a need for weighing the morals of their actions. They are far more strictly bound by the law. 

Laws can change, and when they do, a Skybreaker has to readily adapt to those changes. The moral implications of their actions are not a factor, but they have to be willing to forego actions that would achieve their goals if they would break any law. 

Laws also vary from nations to nation, and they must learn the legal guidelines for any area in which they choose to operate. 

Skybreakers can get away with things that other orders would never consider, but many things that other orders take for granted are off limits. 

A nation could pass a law that surgebinding is illegal, and they would be barred from using their powers without breaking their oaths. 

Similarly, a nation could outlaw surgebinders being present, and they would not be able to enter the country. 

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With the first ideal all but ruled out, perhaps we can make individual cases based on Order specific ideals that we already know. 

WR/SW- We can assume they actively chose to break their oaths under this theory because the actions of the order we're incompatible with their own moral codes. 

Bondsmiths- "I will unite instead of divide, I will bring men together." Assuming the theory is true, their actions divided the KR by ostracizing the SW and WR breaking this Ideal. 

Edgedancers- I will listen to those who have been ignored." If the edgedancers we're aware of how the Listeners felt about the spren and the Nahel bond, severing them from their ability to bond could be interpreted as not listening to those who have been ignored by the spren. Have to admit though, them knowing that information seems like a huge stretch.

Quote

Listener Song of Spren

9th Stanza
The spren betrayed us, it’s often felt.
Our minds are too close to their realm
That gives us our forms, but more is then
Demanded by the smartest spren,
We can’t provide what the humans lend,
Though broth are we, their meat is men.

10th Stanza
But it is not impossible to blend
Their Surges to ours in the end.
It has been promised and it can come.
Or do we understand the sum?
We question not if they can have us then,
But if we dare to have them again

 
Lightweavers- I'm at a complete loss here. Anyone have any ideas?
Edited by Fifth of Daybreak
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13 hours ago, Fifth of Daybreak said:

With the first ideal all but ruled out, perhaps we can make individual cases based on Order specific ideals that we already know. 

WR/SW- We can assume they actively chose to break their oaths under this theory because the actions of the order we're incompatible with their own moral codes. 

Bondsmiths- "I will unite instead of divide, I will bring men together." Assuming the theory is true, their actions divided the KR by ostracizing the SW and WR breaking this Ideal. 

Edgedancers- I will listen to those who have been ignored." If the edgedancers we're aware of how the Listeners felt about the spren and the Nahel bond, severing them from their ability to bond could be interpreted as not listening to those who have been ignored by the spren. Have to admit though, them knowing that information seems like a huge stretch.

 
Lightweavers- I'm at a complete loss here. Anyone have any ideas?

I think Lightweavers' Truths are less about morality and more about self-awareness and development, and that they not have that much moral limitations than other orders. They were also said to be most individualistic order, so i don't think this would be like 'all Lightweavers do the same thing'

Also, why did you post that quote? I always understood it like that: 
- H&C & humans come to Roshar, bringing sapient spren (Higher Spren?)
- Listeners start to make forms of power with spren
- Odium comes to Roshar, Surgebinders emerge
- Higher Spren realize they gain much more form a bond with Surgebinder than Listener
- Higher Spren rapidly begin to break their forms with Listeners

I'm not sure if my timeline is right, but that's how i understood it.
 

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5 minutes ago, Beatsmorn said:

Also, why did you post that quote? I always understood it like that: 

Can you be more specific? I posted a lot of quotes. :P

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So u can't quote a quote, what a surprise xD
 

Listener Song of Spren

9th Stanza
The spren betrayed us, it’s often felt.
Our minds are too close to their realm
That gives us our forms, but more is then
Demanded by the smartest spren,
We can’t provide what the humans lend,
Though broth are we, their meat is men.

10th Stanza
But it is not impossible to blend
Their Surges to ours in the end.
It has been promised and it can come.
Or do we understand the sum?
We question not if they can have us then,
But if we dare to have them again

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@Beatsmorn Thanks! So basically, it's to help reinforce that severing the Parshmen's ability to think could be construed as breaking the second ideal of the Edgedancers if they had the information about the spren and the Listeners. The Listeners could be seen as an ignored party who's been betrayed by the spren and were forced to turn towards Voidspren. By attacking them in such a way, or being party to that strategy, the Edgedancers would then not be listening to the parshmen who have been ignored by the spren in favor of the humans. 

 

Like I said though, it seems like a stretch that the Edgedancers would be that acquainted with Listener history or culture considering the war between them.

Edited by Fifth of Daybreak
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8 hours ago, Beatsmorn said:

I think Lightweavers' Truths are less about morality and more about self-awareness and development, and that they not have that much moral limitations than other orders. They were also said to be most individualistic order, so i don't think this would be like 'all Lightweavers do the same thing'

If they are the most individualistic order, what could of caused them to all kill their spren. Also they don't exactly have oaths to break, how can they kill their spren, I guess they have to want to kill their spren. I guess that puts weight behind the theory that the spren all did something wrong, which angered the KR. 

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