Kurkistan

[OB] Division and the Shattered Plains

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In WoR we have this line from Shallan in chapter 71:

Quote

“More than that,” she said, standing. “I know too much now to die out here. The Shattered Plains are a pattern. This isn’t a natural rock formation.” Her eyes widened further. “At the center of these Plains was a city. Something broke it apart. A weapon . . . Vibrations? Like sand on a plate? An earthquake that could break rock . . . Stone became sand, and at the blowing of the highstorms, the cracks full of sand were hollowed out.”

Then in Oathbringer during a Taravangian scene (the chapter before 108, I'm using Google Books at the moment) we see Malata use Division to carve out a pattern on a tabletop:

Quote

Malata started glowing, Stormlight rising from her skin. She reached forward, whipping off here glove—safehand, no less—and pressing it against the table.
Marks spread from the point of contact, little swirls of blackness etching themselves into the wood. The scent of burning filled the air, but the flames didn't persist if she didn't will them to.
The swirls and lines extended across the tabletop, a masterwork of engraving accomplished in moments. Malata blew off the ash. The Surge she used, Division, caused objects to degrade, burn, or turn to dust.

Sounds rather familiar, no? As a high-level mini-theory, then, I would suggest that Division was used in some form (I don't know if it was by KR or by Honor or what) to cause the Shattering of the Plains.

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A bit tenuous but it could work. I would like to reconcile the fact that the listener songs claim it wasn't them who destroyed Stormseat and shattered the Plains with the fact that cymatics are a very musical - singer - thing, and so would fit with the listeners powers much better.

But the application of Division could work nicely with our newfound knowledge that the humans messed up the planet they came from with Surges somehow. Division could be blamed there.

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The Song of Wars (55th stanza), for reference, as I was thinking of it too but didn't think to quote it:

Quote

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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Indeed. If Surgebinders could destroy an entire planet, it might be in a similar way to how they ruined Natanatan, and if Brandon gives us a clue regarding how they did that(assuming they did do it), it could be a clue towards finding their original home.

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Didn't the Nale specifically warn Szeth that he needed to be careful learning how to use his Division surge as it was exceptionally dangerous beyond other surges?

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+1 to thinking what happened to Natanatan is what happened to the Traquilline Halls or the Humans' previous homeworld. Given what we see when Dalinar becomes the perpendicularity, I could easily see that much destruction or more wrought in an instant. 

Note I said previous homeworld, not original homeworld. I think it's pretty clear by now that Humans are worldhoppers, so their presence should not be assumed to be natural on any Shardworld.

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I agree with the theory that the KR shattered the land (maybe with division).  I would like to take this theory a step further and say making the shattered plains was a huge contribution to the recreance.  

Going into Oathbringer, the mystery I was most eager to find an answer for was what caused the Recreance.    I was thrilled when I found out the answer would be revealed in this book.  But when I finally read the cause my reaction was like "Really? Is that really enough to cause all the knights to break their oaths?"  While having the power to destroy to the world is a huge concern, it is also very controversial as seen in our world in debates over gun laws and nuclear weapon restrictions.  While I can see some Radiants saying, "no one should have the power to destroy the world," I imagine other Radiants replying "But we'll use our powers wisely as we have done for hundreds of years."  The argument so far doesn't seem strong enough to convince everyone in 9 orders to break their oaths and kill their spren.  I feel like something more is needed, even more than Honor's rantings at the end of his days.  What could really change the minds of many Radiants is a terrible demonstration of their powers such as destroying a whole country.  Now the argument changes from "we need to break our oaths because otherwise we might break the world" to "we need to break our oaths because we are breaking the world."

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23 hours ago, Kurkistan said:

The Song of Wars (55th stanza), for reference, as I was thinking of it too but didn't think to quote it:

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

The more we go on into this series, the more confusing the relationships between the gods (Odium/Honour/Cultivation) and the humans/Singers become. It seems clear now that Odium was the original human god, then they switched him out at some point. But when? And when did the ancient Singers ally with him? The Singers refer to "their gods", but that could refer to the Fused, Odium, Odiumspren or perhaps even the Unmade? And given that Honour and Cultivation seem to have been there with the Singers before Odium and humans arrived, the gods of the Singers might sometimes refer to them too?

In the specific passage you're quoting, Kurk (Hi! btw), I believe the point they're making is that humans did this to themselves.

10 hours ago, Shoots said:

I agree with the theory that the KR shattered the land (maybe with division).  I would like to take this theory a step further and say making the shattered plains was a huge contribution to the recreance.  

Going into Oathbringer, the mystery I was most eager to find an answer for was what caused the Recreance.    I was thrilled when I found out the answer would be revealed in this book.  But when I finally read the cause my reaction was like "Really? Is that really enough to cause all the knights to break their oaths?"  While having the power to destroy to the world is a huge concern, it is also very controversial as seen in our world in debates over gun laws and nuclear weapon restrictions.  While I can see some Radiants saying, "no one should have the power to destroy the world," I imagine other Radiants replying "But we'll use our powers wisely as we have done for hundreds of years."  The argument so far doesn't seem strong enough to convince everyone in 9 orders to break their oaths and kill their spren.  I feel like something more is needed, even more than Honor's rantings at the end of his days.  What could really change the minds of many Radiants is a terrible demonstration of their powers such as destroying a whole country.  Now the argument changes from "we need to break our oaths because otherwise we might break the world" to "we need to break our oaths because we are breaking the world."

But then again, what happened at Stormseat seems to have been orders of magnitude more powerful than anything else we see traces of on the continent. Cities seems to have been made with division, true, but the shattered plains seem to be roughly the size of a Denmark, or something.

What titbits we got in OB leads me to believe that the Recreance happened based on at least partial misunderstandings. That Humans are the original voidbringers seems correct. That they used surgebinding to destroy their original home seems correct, but in my opinion based on confused linguistics. Chicken refers to every bird. Horse to a wide variety of four-hoofed animals. I think surgebinding might be understood as "magics" and might not refer to what the KR are doing at all.

I think that the Oaths Ishar made them swear were aimed at enforcing a "level cap" on the powers, and I don't think a KR can get to the power-level of what happened at Stormseat without a serious bypass. Personally, I think that the "Dawnshards" - whatever that is - seems to be something capable of this, and might be what they tested out at Stormseat, or something.

 

I'd like to note that - while I think the original KR might have been wrong in assuming they might destroy Roshar - I am not so convinced that the current ones are above that danger. When Dalinar ascended as a Bondsmith in OB, he did something that Stormfather said has never happened before, and it seriously overpowered the local KR (atleast as compared to their current number of oaths). Whatever was limiting the powers of the ancient KR might not be as effective as it once was.

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