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Hello 17th sharders, tip of the hat to you all, you do amazing work.

So, I have been doing some high level speculating as to the nature of Investiture on Roshar, and have some thoughts that I would like to get feedback on.

So we know that the number 10 is an important number on Roshar, and that the 2 shards Honor and Cultivation each have 5 surges associated with them. Honor has the 5 surges of emotion and Cultivation has the 5 surges of natural forces. Further, each order of Knights Radiant has access to 2 surges, one from Honor and one from Cultivation (with the possible exception of the orders that are in the God Eye positions (bondsmiths deriving 2 surges from Honor and truthwatchers deriving 2 surges from Cultivation)).

I've seen speculation that voidbinding will have 10 orders, and this does seem plausible given that Brandon is a fan of Symmetrical systems.

This is the speculation, what if Voidbinding was a mixture of 5 Odious surges with the 5 surges of Cultivation. Honor and Odium seem like diametrically opposed intents, and I find the idea of them mixing very problematic. But Cultivation is an end neutral force, it doesn't have a goal it simply is. There are positive and negative aspects, and given that it's alignment is probably Lawful Neutral, it could mix with both Honor and Odium providing access to it's surges to both of 2 other shards invested in the Rosharian system. This is a kind of symmetry that allows for balance but a great degree of difference between voidbinding and surgebinding. Also it would be fun to see how the parallel systems are similar and how they are different.

This said, I think the fused seen in the final Kaladin chapter in Oathbringer are using the surge of Gravitation (from Cultivation) and have a voidish surge in reserve that they weren't using at that time. Maybe the reason that they are seen bobbing like kites, not in full control over their flying isn't that they have little practice, maybe it's the nature of how they control the surge. The Nahel bond is a friendly agreement, the voidish bond that grants access to the surge is probably more of a domination of the surge, like they have to fight or master it to use it.

The speculation that maybe Odium is complete and unalloyed in the extension of his Investiture, composed of 10 specific surges doesn't feel right to me. Because it would be too much of the case that he is simply the inversion of the Honor. Like deciding his forms of investiture  were like a playground squabble: "You got a stick, well I have a really pointy stick. Oh you have a rock too, well my rock is obsidian and it's really sharp." This seems like a petty and boorish way to develop his investiture.

I think we totally don't have enough information on the nature of Cultivation yet to do much more than reasoned conjecture, but holy crap this book is so amazing and it's fun to build castles made of speculative sand.

Looking forward to your thoughts.

Edited by hoiditthroughthegrapevine
correcting spelling errors **blush**
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Moved to Oathbringer Spoilers.

Welcome to the Shard! Can you clarify exactly which Surges you identify with Honor, and which ones you put with Cultivation? I do not see how any of them are "surges of emotion"; they all appear to me as natural forces.

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4 hours ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

I've seen speculation that voidbinding will have 10 orders, and this does seem plausible given that Brandon is a fan of Symmetrical systems.

This isn't speculation, it's in the books:

Quote

I’m not certain yet how the ten levels of Voidbinding or its cousin the Old Magic fit into this paradigm, if indeed they can.

The Way of Kings - Ars Arcanum

 

4 hours ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

So we know that the number 10 is an important number on Roshar, and that the 2 shards Honor and Cultivation each have 5 surges associated with them. Honor has the 5 surges of emotion and Cultivation has the 5 surges of natural forces. Further, each order of Knights Radiant has access to 2 surges, one from Honor and one from Cultivation (with the possible exception of the orders that are in the God Eye positions (bondsmiths deriving 2 surges from Honor and truthwatchers deriving 2 surges from Cultivation)).

This, on the other hand, is speculation. I don't recall anyone suggesting that each of the Surges is related to a specific Shard: the generally accepted view is that the Surges are independent of the Shards and that the magics each access all of the ten Surges. Do you have anything to substantiate this claim? 

4 hours ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

This is the speculation, what if Voidbinding was a mixture of 5 Odious surges with the 5 surges of Cultivation. Honor and Odium seem like diametrically opposed intents, and I find the idea of them mixing very problematic. But Cultivation is an end neutral force, it doesn't have a goal it simply is. There are positive and negative aspects, and given that it's alignment is probably Lawful Neutral, it could mix with both Honor and Odium providing access to it's surges to both of 2 other shards invested in the Rosharian system. This is a kind of symmetry that allows for balance but a great degree of difference between voidbinding and surgebinding. Also it would be fun to see how the parallel systems are similar and how they are different.

I disagree with this on multiple counts. Firstly, the intents of Honour and Odium do not seem to be opposed to me, why would you necessarily be incapable of acting honourably if you happen to hate someone or something? I also disagree that Cultivation doesn't have a goal, the word "cultivation" has a very clear meaning which is to grow or to develop. I don't see how this could imply neutrality, to my mind this would be far more opposed to odium than honour would be. Then I also disagree with how you're trying to assign the Shards into a D&D style alignment system. None of the Shards are good or evil, they are forces defined by their intent.

Finally, I'm fairly convinced (this is my speculation) that Voidbinding is of Odium and Honour, not of Cultivation. Partly because of the "binding" in the name, which I'm fairly sure is referring to Honour, and partly due to the Voidbinding chart being based on the Double Eye of the Almighty.

Edited by BlackYeti
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4 hours ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

So we know that the number 10 is an important number on Roshar, and that the 2 shards Honor and Cultivation each have 5 surges associated with them. Honor has the 5 surges of emotion and Cultivation has the 5 surges of natural forces. Further, each order of Knights Radiant has access to 2 surges, one from Honor and one from Cultivation (with the possible exception of the orders that are in the God Eye positions (bondsmiths deriving 2 surges from Honor and truthwatchers deriving 2 surges from Cultivation))

Aside from not being aware of any evidence to support this, as @BlackYeti has mentioned, I don't really follow the reasoning. What are the "surges of emotion"? ALL of them are natural forces. That's kind of the point. By your logic, if Bondsmiths uses two "surges of emotion," then that means that Adhesion and Tension are both...emotions? Or emotion-based? I'm sorry but I don't see it. Each of the surges refers to specific natural forces. 

 

 

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As I understand it, Surges are natural forces.
Spren which give access to them for Radiants, are mixture of Honor's and Cultivation's Investiture.

Fabarials can access Surges by other means via other spren then ones of Radiants, so it makes sense that Voidbinding could access that Surges too.

 

Edited by Kanrei
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1 hour ago, BlackYeti said:
5 hours ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

So we know that the number 10 is an important number on Roshar, and that the 2 shards Honor and Cultivation each have 5 surges associated with them. Honor has the 5 surges of emotion and Cultivation has the 5 surges of natural forces. Further, each order of Knights Radiant has access to 2 surges, one from Honor and one from Cultivation (with the possible exception of the orders that are in the God Eye positions (bondsmiths deriving 2 surges from Honor and truthwatchers deriving 2 surges from Cultivation)).

This, on the other hand, is speculation. I don't recall anyone suggesting that each of the Surges is related to a specific Shard: the generally accepted view is that the Surges are independent of the Shards and that the magics each access all of the ten Surges. Do you have anything to substantiate this claim? 

So Jasnah and Shallan have a conversation aboard the Wind's Pleasure in Chapter 3, Pattern, where Jasnah discusses the Knights Radiant in depth. The following is transcribed from the audio book (I lent out my physical copy, if someone can copy and paste the passage from the WoR ebook that would be fantastic).

Quote

(Items in red are my additions, I am listening to the audiobook and transcribing, so I am only adding the cogent bits, all parts skipped from the transcription are noted as deleted)

Jasnah "It comes down to the nature of Spren, what has your research revealed"
-deleted Shallan POV complaining about how hard Jasnah makes her work

Shallan "All-ay (SP? this is spelled phonetically) says that Spren are the fragments of the powers of creation. A lot of the scholars I read agreed with that."

Jasnah "It is one opinion, what does it mean?"

Shallan tried not to let herself be distracted by the spren on the floor. "There are 10 fundamental surges, forces by which the world works. Gravitation, Pressure, Transformation, that sort of thing. You told me Spren are fragments of the cognitive realm that have somehow gained sentience because of human attention. Well it stands to reason that they were something before, like a painting was a canvas before being given life."

-deleted discussion of how paintings are alive

Shallan "So before the spren were alive, they were something- power, energy. Szen daughter Bath (Sp?) sketched tiny spren she sometimes found around heavy objects, gravitation spren, fragments of the power or force that causes us to fall. It stands to reason that every force was a power before it was a spren. (THIS IS THE MAJOR POINT) Really you divide spren into 2 major groups, those that respond to emotions and those that respond to forces like fire or wind pressure."

Jasnah "So you believe Namar's (Sp?) theory on spren categorization?"

Shallan "Yes"

Jasnah "Good, as do I. I suspect personally that these two grouping of Spren emotion spren vs nature spren (emphasis here is mine) are where the idea of Man's primeval gods came from. Honor, who became Vorinism's Almighty was created by men who wanted a representation of Ideal human emotions, as they saw an emotion spren. Cultivation, the god worshipped in the west, is a female deity that is an embodiment of Nature and  nature spren. The various voidspren, with their unseen lord, whose name changes depending on what culture we are speaking of, evoke an enemy or antagonist."

The words of the foremost scholar on Spren, and this is specifically stated to be her opinion. So this leads me to believe that this is the true division of the surges. 5 derived from Cultivation, 5 derived from Honor. Regarding what I think the specific divisions of the surges are as far as which ones are emotional and which ones are of Nature, I can only guess, but here are my guesses (TOTAL SPECULATION HERE, the only one that the above confirms is from nature is Gravitation, but I think that it might be implied from the above that Pressure is an emotional surge):

HONOR derived emotional surges (based on thinking of investiture in terms of analogs for human relationships, specific reasoning for each surge stated)

  1. Adhesion (This is a bondsmith surge, and I am pretty sure Bondsmiths get both of their surges from Honor (from their radiant order position in one of the God eyes spots in the chart that shows the relationships between Knights Radiant. Also pressure could be viewed as the emotional pressure necessary to keep disparate people together in a group, useful for the attritube of Leading or Guiding)
  2. Division (the functional antithesis of pressure, could be viewed as the process of severing social bonds perhaps)
  3. Abrasion (who hasn't met an abrasive person, this seems like a natural fit for an emotional bond. Could be one of the reasons no one really likes Releasers. I found Malata's character to be annoying and her interaction with Shallan was certainly abrasive)
  4. Tension (this is the other bondsmith surge, and it's like long distance adhesion. Keeping things together even though they physically separated. seems to fit to me).
  5. ?? Not sure on the fifth one, but if I had to pick I would probably say Transformation (at least how Shallan uses this surge to redeem her rag tag group of followers seems like an emotional transformation to me)

CULTIVATION derived nature/force surges:

  1. Progression (wyndle refers to the nightwatcher as mother, he's a progression crystal vine thing, I think this is a no brainer and it's one of the 2 truthwatcher surges (which is the other order of Knights Radiant in the God Eye position on the Radiant Order chart).
  2. Illumination (this is another truthwatcher surge, and it seems natural to put the surge of light into the nature camp)
  3. Gravitation (from the above quote this is directly stated to be a nature/force surge)
  4. Transportation (motion in the extreme is a natural force, this one also seems kind of like a no-brainer for the nature camp)
  5. ?? not sure on the fifth one, though Cohesion is a natural force. This is just a guess though.
1 hour ago, BlackYeti said:

I disagree with this on multiple counts. Firstly, the intents of Honour and Odium do not seem to be opposed to me, why would you necessarily be incapable of acting honourably if you happen to hate someone or something? I also disagree that Cultivation doesn't have a goal, the word "cultivation" has a very clear meaning which is to grow or to develop. I don't see how this could imply neutrality, to my mind this would be far more opposed to odium than honour would be. Then I also disagree with how you're trying to assign the Shards into a D&D style alignment system. None of the Shards are good or evil, they are forces defined by their intent.

That is a very good point, one can still act honorably when angry, it just seems to me that Cultivation is a better fit with Odium. The aspects of cultivation which are in line with growth and development seem like a good fit for honor, while the harsh pitiless aspects of natural disasters and like seem like a good fit for Odium. The alignment point was just how mentally I was picturing the intent of the shard, it was an analogy and probably as you state, out of place and unnecessary. This is just speculation, prior to joining the 17th shard I was posting on the TOR forum. I truly appreciate what you all do here, and the last thing I want to do is spread bad information, but I do love speculating.

Edited by hoiditthroughthegrapevine
had a duplicate line before a quoted passage. Also got rid of some spelling errors
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@hoiditthroughthegrapevine You see, the issue is the distinct disconnect between your quote and your theory, the quote you reference is referring to spren being emotion VS nature, and you attempt to use that to prove that therefore the surges are emotion and nature without proving that there is a relation between those two points, you need to prove that because spren are emotion and nature, that surges are of emotion and nature, and i don't see that done anywhere in your post. As it stands, surges are effectively forces that are accessed through a combination of Honour and Cultivation as per the common understanding not 5 accessed from honour and 5 from cultivation.

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@hoiditthroughthegrapevine I understand where you are coming from, but the division between emotional and elemental spren in that conversation is very different from dividing the Surges into emotions and natural forces. We can see different emotional spren: Honorspren, fearspren, gloryspren, etc... And we can see different elemental spren: windspren, flamespren, lifespren, etc... But these do not correspond to specific surges. For example, Honorspren (a spren of emotion) form the nahel bond to make Windrunners, who get access to TWO Surges: Adhesion and Gravitation. Furthermore, honorspren don't correspond specifically to either one of those. When Kaladin is first experimenting with Adhesion, he can observe tiny "bindspren" gathered around the stormlight holding the rocks to the wall. Aside from that, every Order has two Surges and one bond, making any direct association of spren to Surge impossible. 

Finally, your breakdown of the different Surges is pure speculation. Adhesion is described as the Surge of pressure and vaccuum. Division is described as the Surge of destruction and decay. Abrasion is the surge of friction. Tension we haven't seen in action (well, that's debatable, as I think we see the effects in Dalinar's flashbacks, where he mysteriously keeps bending things) but in either case all of these are physical forces. We have seen them in action. Yeah, maybe you could draw metaphoric parallels to different emotions, but you can do that with ANY of the Surges. 

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1 minute ago, Blacksmithki said:

@hoiditthroughthegrapevine You see, the issue is the distinct disconnect between your quote and your theory, the quote you reference is referring to spren being emotion VS nature, and you attempt to use that to prove that therefore the surges are emotion and nature without proving that there is a relation between those two points, you need to prove that because spren are emotion and nature, that surges are of emotion and nature, and i don't see that done anywhere in your post. As it stands, surges are effectively forces that are accessed through a combination of Honour and Cultivation as per the common understanding not 5 accessed from honour and 5 from cultivation.

It's not my point to prove that one set of surges is of an emotional nature and the other is just pure force, it's rather that in world, the people in Roshar have come to the conclusion that there are two fundamentally different points of origin for the forces that are described as surges, one set clearly from honor and the other set clearly from cultivation. The thing that really convinces me of this is the Double Eye of god chart that shows the linkages and relationships between all the orders of the Knights radiant, and the fact that their are 2 shards and 10 surges, it seems like it's logical to have a symmetrical system in which each shard is responsible for half of the surges (or that each of their investitures created 5 of the 10 surges).

This idea leads me to believe that with voidbinding have 10 different orders, that likewise Odium's power would contribute to 5 additional surges, and that it would use some other form of manifesting than the Nahel bond (which I believe is stated to be a thing of Honor, but I don't have the specific reference for this).This is fun to speculate because it leads to question like, what is the mechanism whereby the voidbringers access surges of Cultivation (or Honor if @BlackYeti is right about the 10 orders of voidbringers being a mixture of Odium and honor)? How will this different mechanism of accessing these surges alter what the power of that surge can do? Like, a voidbringer accessing the surge of Pressure/Vacuum, could they make an enemy combatant implode? Could they create a bubble of high pressure air, reduce it's volume until the resultant pressure is high enough to break even shard plate (because the surge would be affecting the air around the shardplate, not directed at the plate itself)? Interesting thought experiment stuff like that, that's what I like speculating about.

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@hoiditthroughthegrapevine, as @Blacksmithki and @Naerin have already addressed your point on the spren vs. the Surges quite well, allow me to come at this from a different direction.

If your theory is true, then the Bondsmiths have two Surges of emotion, the Truthwatchers have two Surges of nature, and every other Order have one Surge of each. However, the symmetry of the Surgebinding chart does not allow for this. I've made a quick diagram to illustrate this, assume that a red circle is an "emotion Surge" and that a green circle is a "nature Surge".

5a08c91d80049_SurgebindingCharttest.png.3eeb8779e37f688473f9f6753047f4d0.png

As you can see, both the Windrunners and Lightweavers also share a single type of Surge in this configuration. Certainly, there are other configurations you could try, but all of these have other Orders than the Bondsmiths and Truthwatchers sharing the same type of Surge. The only way to eliminate this would be to assume that the Bondsmiths and Truthwatchers have one Surge of each type, just as the all of the other Orders do.

I'm sorry to shoot another hole in your theory, it was rather nicely thought out, but I don't see how it's viable at this point. :(

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24 minutes ago, Naerin said:

@hoiditthroughthegrapevine I understand where you are coming from, but the division between emotional and elemental spren in that conversation is very different from dividing the Surges into emotions and natural forces. We can see different emotional spren: Honorspren, fearspren, gloryspren, etc... And we can see different elemental spren: windspren, flamespren, lifespren, etc... But these do not correspond to specific surges. For example, Honorspren (a spren of emotion) form the nahel bond to make Windrunners, who get access to TWO Surges: Adhesion and Gravitation. Furthermore, honorspren don't correspond specifically to either one of those. When Kaladin is first experimenting with Adhesion, he can observe tiny "bindspren" gathered around the stormlight holding the rocks to the wall. Aside from that, every Order has two Surges and one bond, making any direct association of spren to Surge impossible. 

I had never thought of that. Holy crap, a separate spren that is the vehicle for the Nahel bond that gives access to 2 specific surges. And @Blacksmithki i totally get your point now about emotional spren (like gloryspren, fearspren, etc.) and force spren. I was thinking before my mind was blown, that the nahel bond was granted by a spren representing one of the 2 surges that the surgebinder has access to, so to take Kaladin as an example, that Syl was a manifestation of the force of adhesion (as that seemed a good symbolic fit for honor, keeping disparate things together). But if I get what you are saying correctly, she is just what she says she is, she is the personification of the ideal of honor, and because she is that particular type of spren she has the ability when joined with Kaladin to grant him the use of the 2 surges of adhesion and gravitation. I think I can hear the sound of my house of cards toppling as I type, one more speculation down... I upvoted you both, good to be proven wrong when there is some amazing thought that goes into the disproving.

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11 minutes ago, BlackYeti said:

I'm sorry to shoot another hole in your theory, it was rather nicely thought out, but I don't see how it's viable at this point. :(

Very nice chart, down in flames again, but like the phoenix right? Rise up from the ashes, stronger and better for the crashing and burning. Really, it's pretty awesome, I just have to let this sink in a bit, but this is very interesting.

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You could perhaps look at the divine attributes as being of Honour or Cultivation? i'm not sure, i haven't looked at them in a while.

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