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[OB] The secret that caused the Recreance

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The recreance happened long after the oathpact was (believed to be) broken and the desolations stopped forever. At that point, they became the greatest danger to their world. Why that meant they had to kill their spren over it, I don't know. Seems to me, they could have just stopped using their powers, died of old age, or retired to Shadesmar. It really doesn't track. I suspect the Stormfather doesn't even know the whole story, and we'll find out what really happened later, maybe when Adolin manages to revive his sword.

Edited by Bacon
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This thread contains many great arguments about why the Recreance explanation given in OB seems insufficient.  Another aspect to think about is the trustworthiness of where that explanation came from.  I've been giving it increased credibility because I thought it was confirmed by multiple in-world sources, but thinking about it more, I'm not sure that is actually the case.

First, Jasnah learns the secret from Hoid, but she won't share it because it would destroy the other Radiants.  I trust Jasnah here, and mostly Hoid as well (although I'm not sure why - this is instinctive rather than having any particular reason behind it).  One oddity is that Jasnah herself doesn't seem particularly destroyed by the revelation.  Takes a big ego to be ok with something yourself, yet convinced that it would be too much for others.

Later on, Taravangian arranges for a secret to be broadly communicated.  He is certainly NOT a reliable actor!  And the interesting thing is, he's the only one that really seemed to care about that particular piece of information.  The Azir and Thaylens were focused on other information, which was carefully tailored to their individual concerns.  So why did Taravangian bother to release that Dawnchant translation at all?  I think it was cover.  This wasn't necessary to break up the coalition, but to give him a plausible excuse for backing out of it while retaining moral high ground, so he could step in later and pick up the pieces.

Nale takes Taravangian's information seriously, but he's already crazy (starting with, how did a Herald of all people not already know this?).  None of the other Radiants seem particularly bothered by it.  So why did Jasnah think this would be so damaging?

I think Jasnah's information is different from what Taravangian released.  I can't recall seeing confirmation they are the same, and she wasn't exactly about to speak up: "no, this damaging information is not true.  I can prove that because I know this other thing which is so much worse..."

The Stormfather does kinda seem to confirm Taravangian's account, but re-reading I think that is misdirection.  His memory of these events is flawed and seems to fill in only as Dalinar learns things.  So if Dalinar learned a partial (and therefore highly misleading) account, I suspect Stormfather would 'confirm' just the part that Dalinar had already heard.

Edited by shawnhargreaves
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39 minutes ago, Bacon said:

The recreance happened long after the oathpact was (believed to be) broken and the desolations stopped forever. At that point, they became the greatest danger to their world. Why that meant they had to kill their spren over it, I don't know. Seems to me, they could have just stopped using their powers, died of old age, or retired to Shadesmar. It really doesn't track. I suspect the Stormfather doesn't even know the whole story, and we'll find out what really happened later, maybe when Adolin manages to revive his sword.

The Radiants, at least some of them, were able to talk to Honor directly.  The Recreance happened well after Aharietium, the so-called Final Desolation.  Why would we ever expect the Radiants to think that the Desolations were gone forever?  Did Honor somehow think that they were done and over with because 9 of the 10 people supposed to lock the gates had instead broken completely?  Or did Honor just decide to clam up and say nothing about how screwed they were all going to be?

These are unsatisfactory assumptions to me, based on what we know to be true.

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2 minutes ago, kaellok said:

The Radiants, at least some of them, were able to talk to Honor directly.  The Recreance happened well after Aharietium, the so-called Final Desolation.  Why would we ever expect the Radiants to think that the Desolations were gone forever?  Did Honor somehow think that they were done and over with because 9 of the 10 people supposed to lock the gates had instead broken completely?  Or did Honor just decide to clam up and say nothing about how screwed they were all going to be?

These are unsatisfactory assumptions to me, based on what we know to be true.

Could they talk to Honor directly? Since Nightwatcher and Stormfather are still alive(ish) and kicking, as is the 3rd bondsmith spren as far as we've been told, that would mean there weren't any bondsmiths during the recreance. So maybe they couldn't talk to Tanavast at all. But then we don't know anywhere near that whole story either. Maybe whatever Odium did to kill Tanavast also cut off the lines of communication to him beforehand, or set it up so that Odium could talk to them pretending to be Honor. 

There's so many pieces missing from this, but based on what we've been told, I think Stormfather doesn't really know the story. We can't trust the authenticity of the visions either since Honor or Odium could have set them up to show people literally anything.

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Honor was still alive during the Recreance, but his Intent was overpowering his personality.

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I agree, that there's always another secret - there are gaps in what we know of Recreance, that may change it's meaning completely, if filled. For example, are we certain Radiant's spren didn't agree to Recreance? It could have been a sacrifice on their part - eternal torture to save the world, like Heralds. And I find it odd, that in vision they left Shardblades in a place, where people would fight and kill for them. Why didn't they try to leave such terrible weapons with somebody more trustworthy or hidden away. Granted at the time, people's opinion seemed to be turning against Radiants for some reason, if some books are to be believed. 

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1 minute ago, Kessler said:

I agree, that there's always another secret - there are gaps in what we know of Recreance, that may change it's meaning completely, if filled. For example, are we certain Radiant's spren didn't agree to Recreance? It could have been a sacrifice on their part - eternal torture to save the world, like Heralds. And I find it odd, that in vision they left Shardblades in a place, where people would fight and kill for them. Why didn't they try to leave such terrible weapons with somebody more trustworthy or hidden away. Granted at the time, people's opinion seemed to be turning against Radiants for some reason, if some books are to be believed. 

I mentioned that in my post on pg 2:  I don't see how the spren wouldn't have known what the Knights were going to do.

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5 minutes ago, RShara said:

I mentioned that in my post on pg 2:  I don't see how the spren wouldn't have known what the Knights were going to do.

But why the secrecy then, why not tell the other spren? Especially if they wanted to prevent new surgebinders arising in the future.

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12 minutes ago, Aleksiel said:

But why the secrecy then, why not tell the other spren? Especially if they wanted to prevent new surgebinders arising in the future.

Because they didn't want future surgebinders.  Having the other spren see humans as bad would prevent them from wanting to bond with humans in the future.

 

Here's my post: 

 

Edited by RShara
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I hope that there is more to it, because I too found it underwhelming. I can see the whole disarmaments-idea, but I have a hard time believing that every single Radiant, except the Skybreakers, voluntarily killed their best friends (the bonded spren). Wouldn't they have tried to find another solution first? And even if there wasn't one, I doubt that every single one would have agreed to the mass-killing. 

As for the fact that the humans were invaders, and of Odium... well, it was a cool twist, but I don't really feel that it has much impact. In part because a big part of the book already was wether or not fighting parshmen was the right thing to do, so this didn't feel as groundbreaking as it could have. 

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The only way I can see "surgebinding will destroy the world" being the reason for the Recreance is if somehow the Radiants and their spren were all convinced that the Nahel bond was in itself destroying the world, not in a "potential nuclear annihilation" kind of way or even in a "it's probably already too late to stop catastrophic climate change" kind of way but in a "this flask of nitroglycerin is precariously perched on the edge of the crib and the baby inside is throwing a tantrum" kind of way. If that's the case, then what they did seems like a pretty good tactic to suppress surgebinding on Roshar for a long time (that was certainly the effect).

I think it's more likely that it was some combination of guilt over human origins and guilt over creating the parshmen by imprisoning the Unmade that was giving them Voidlight. (I spent most of Oathbringer convinced the Recreance reveal was going to be about creating the parshmen, not the other thing.)

Even so, it seems like they must have thought they were going to accomplish something. Maybe Nale is right and if all the surgebinders are gone then things will get better, and his order screwed it up by not going along?

Edited by digitalbusker
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Oh there's definitely more to it. Too many questions and holes.

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I guess part of the issue is that the problem they faced, that their civilization is a dangerous one with a history of doing dark deeds, that sometime thousands of years ago incorrect and perhaps evil gods were worshiped by their ancestors is an issue that faces almost everyone today, and almost every soldier alive. It just doesn't ring right that they'd react so strongly.

We know, say, that a lot of our countries have nuclear weapons. That doesn't make most of us want to murder every physicist in case they do something vaguely related to nuclear weapons. We know that bad things were done by some of our ancestors at some point, we mostly don't care. Why do they care so much about people thousands of years ago? Why do they think that it's a good idea to kill their best friends because of an unrelated magic system?

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8 minutes ago, Nepene said:

thousands of years ago incorrect and perhaps evil gods were worshiped by their ancestors is an issue that faces almost everyone today

I'm pretty sure my ancestors from 4,000 years ago carried out human sacrifices on a regular basis.   I feel zero responsibility for this  :-)

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5 minutes ago, shawnhargreaves said:

I'm pretty sure my ancestors from 4,000 years ago carried out human sacrifices on a regular basis.   I feel zero responsibility for this  :-)

You don't feel an urge to ritually murder your culture's current entirely unrelated gods and their representatives out of your deep sense of responsibility? Just to be safe.

This sort of insane sounding reasoning that they had is why this recreance sounds so odd.

In modern day terms it would be something like "4000 years ago my ancestors sacrificed a human. I feel guilty, so I'm going to kill a religious person so I don't sacrifice any humans." It's not really a chain of reasoning that has likely occurred to anyone ever.

Edited by Nepene
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I’ve begun to wonder whether the Herald’s decision to abandon ship combined with Honor’s changing personality (and probably how he interpreted his intent) played a role. If Honor saw the Heralds’ decision as dishonorable and began to be more “skybreaker” in intent, it might have affected how the Radiants interpreted their oaths as well. And if there’s a random unmade unaccounted for which could have infiltrated Urithiru without a bond smith bonding the Sibling, well, it could have turned the Radiants  against one another, and making them violate their oaths, essentially killing their spren. I can’t help but think what we saw Kal going through with Syl in WoR after agreeing to help Moash was important. But there’s definitely too much going on here that seems unsaid.

Edited by Bliev
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Hello! So I read this thread and tried to do the puzzle. Many things I say have already been discussed, but I think putting it all together may help make some sense. So I ended up with a sort of "Uncomplete and Unreliable History of Roshar", and some final questions.

That said, I'm not native english speaker, so thank you in advance for your patience.

Here we go :)

Human Kind i´s arrival on Roshar

Originally, human´s god is Odium. Odium is the shard of their planet. Investiture is provided by him, in the form of “void binding”. Spren are Voidspren —> and that’s why Ulim and Yixly look human.

Once upon a time,  humans arrive on Roshar. They say they destroyed their planet with Voidbinding. 

(much like the listeners running away from their ancient gods).

Honor and Cultivation (probably knowing how problematic is Rayse) adopt them and urge the Downsingers (AKA parsh, listeners, singers) to do the same.

They settle in Shinnovar, from there they start  wandering Roshar (Shin Invasion???) and mixing with the Dawnsingers (Horneaters and Herdazians have some mixed blood from this period of ancient history?).

The problem is, Odium follows them to Roshar, and brings the Desolation (destroying is his thing). 

Its safe to assume the first desolation consisted in Unmade + “human-fused”. 

We know odium corrupts everyone, so at first the desolations were powered by corrupted humans, then singers? or maybe Odium realized singers where more easily corrupted because of there gemhearts, that make it easier to bond with spren… who knows…

This is when the Heralds and Honor created the Oathpact. Honor gives them the Honorblades that work very similar to the void binding . They stop the desolation by returning to their planet to hold the voidbringers, or fused.

The spren start bonding humans using the surges as the Honorblades to help fight the desolations. 

Ishar realises this power is very similar to the one that caused the destruction of Humans Planet (?) and comes up with the idea of the oaths, the Knights Radiant were born.  Or maybe he just wants to settle some limits.

Honor and the heralds were supposed to guide and control the Radiants.

Meanwhile, the dawn singers feel betrayed by the spren and changed sides.

Fast forward —> Aharietiam

The Heralds leave the Oathpact and tell everyone that They Won. No more Desolations.

We know they didn’t won, just survived. Odium is still there, the fused are torturing Talk, who is the only thing holding them. The unmade are still roaming throw Roshar.

 

The Recreance.

Parsh and KR are still there. The parsh continue to make war with the humans, probably trying to recover their land or/and get vengeance. Mishram leads them and in the False Desolation.

Honor is dying, the Heralds aren’t there. This generation of Radiants has only one Bondsmith and its hinted that there was some problem with the siblings.

Urithiru is not safe, the Radiants don’t know how to work the fabrials that keep the city working. Probably an unmade is making trouble there.

So they are at war, they are in trouble in their homeland, Honor ´s behavior is erratic, there’s something going on with the siblings, the Heralds left, plus the natural troubles between the orders. And this supposed desolation is happening, when their gods told them they had won, and would´t have to go throw that any more. They are clearly facing crisis in various fronts.

Now it is important to remember that the Radiants are all about morality and honor. 

It is implied that in the past Oaths were controlled by Honor, so now he’s not there, perspective is more important, but in the recreance this could have been another catalyst for the crisis.

They discover that they are fighting for a land that doesn’t belong to them, protecting people that used the downsingers welcoming, betrayed them, eventually conquered them. Allied with the parsh previous gods and spren, that now are supporting them. AND, in doing so, they are endangering the planet.

I certainly can see how this demoralized them.

But, they didn’t simply left their oaths, they also trapped Mishram, turned the parsh into mindless slaves, and killed hundreds of spren, leaving shard blades behind. 

Why?!

My guess, they were throughly lost and demoralized, but they couldn’t just let the parsh win, kill every human, while odium and the unmade reign. 

So they:

- Trapped Mishram/enslaved the parsh. That secured the victory, but was throughly against everything they stood for

- Killed hundreds of bonded spren: I see 2 reasons why:

1- They betrayed the spren so there would be no more surgebinders, avoiding the evantual destruction of the Roshar on their hands.

2- Leaving their shards was a way of leaving some sort of power, a chance for the humans to defend themselves from the unmade.

Some radiants left their oaths progressively, others did it the way Dalinar saw in his vision. But altogether, they simply stopped believing in themselves. They chose death, weakness, destination.

 

Quiestions:

Humans original planet, is Ashyn? or Braise? Is it what they call Damnation? Are Damnation and the Tranquiline Halls the same thing?

Something is not quite right with the timeline regarding the horneaters and herdazians. I’m sure I read somewhere this predates Honor and Cultivation ascension, so when?

What happened in Urithiru, that forced them to leave?

What about the siblings?

Malishi probably wasn’t bonded with the Stormfather. Probably the third sibling, the dead one, as the oaths were broken?

Why the H / C sided with the humans, and Odium with the singers?

When exactly did the Listeners leave?

How can surge binding destroy a planet? Was it what happened in the shattered planes? 

Why Feverstone Keep is important?

 

 

Ok there are many more. Lets leave it for now.

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I don't think the revelation of mankind's orginis and the Recreance happened in a single day but rather the Recreance is a culmination of a series of events that happened following the revelation, I think the Urithiru archive hints at that

Also I think there is no need for all the Radiants of a single order to abandon their oaths in order to kill said Radiant order, it was said that the mass death of bonded Spren is what caused their brothers in Shadesmar to stop forming bonds with humans, thus even if there were Radiants who kept their oaths(and I am certain there were) they could not train new ones and thus their orders died with them

Edited by Arcoss
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Was it Kaladin who mentioned that he didn't think the recreance was something that happened all at once? I'm pretty sure it was toward the epilogue. I'm inclined to agree with him. I imagine the KRs found out the truth at the same time that Urithuru was being evacuated (not to mention the political infighting of deciding the future of the order). So they find out the truth either at the time or shortly after, they are already struggling to find a new home and set a direction (especially since they have no desolations to fight.). This is exacerbated because (according to one of those gemstones Renarin found in the walls) the actual parshmen were still committed to warring with the humans- suddenly knowing why would make it a sickening experience every time they fought. Throw in the possible theory that Shoots mentioned earlier that the Shattered Plains was shattered by the KRs well.. it starts to paint a clearer picture. It's also important to remember that the unmade were still around screwing with people. 
So to list it, the KRs all had to deal with at the same time:

Political infighting (I recall reading that the Skybreakers were trying to lead without exactly being voted in to do so)
Evacuating their home

Still fighting the Parshmen

Possibly breaking parts of the world

Suddenly find out they are the ancestor's of invaders who worshiped Odium, and destroyed their homeworld with the same powers they currently use

The actual vision of the Recreance shows the KRs throwing down their weapons and then everyone slaughtering each other over them. That level of violence and aggression might be excusable to some, but to me sounds like Nergaoul (the thrill) driving them to that violence and maybe even pushing the KR to abandon their oaths to begin with. I just think that it being as simple as people learned the truth and gave up being silly. Clearly it was something that tormented them, and outside pressures added to a growing sense of pointlessness to the whole order itself. 

The only reason I think that Nergaoul must have been involved in that actual moment they dropped their swords and killed their spren is because, clearly, there is a very close relationship between Knight and Spren. To knowingly kill one, turning them into one of the Eyeless like poor Adolin's spren is just ridiculous. The Thrill, on the other hand, I could see driving them to do it. 
 

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17 hours ago, greanor said:

The only reason I think that Nergaoul must have been involved in that actual moment they dropped their swords and killed their spren is because, clearly, there is a very close relationship between Knight and Spren. To knowingly kill one, turning them into one of the Eyeless like poor Adolin's spren is just ridiculous. The Thrill, on the other hand, I could see driving them to do it. 

I believe Radiants don't feel the Thrill, or at least not strongly.

Dalinar feels it, but he had a close connection to it for a long time, then stopped feeling it. Seth thinks something about the voices when he is is close to Nergaoul, Kal feel revolted when he´s near the unmade , and we never saw him feeling the Thrill in battle. 

There is som WoB on this matter.

I wonder if every Nahel Bond was as close as Kal/Syl...

Edited by Awesomness
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I think it was a combination of then realizing that they were invaders, plus their power could destroy the world, plus all the fused were dead and trapped in damnation, plus all remaining singers were now parshman in slaveform. With apparently no more desolations coming, there was no more need for the radiants powers, which were dangerous, and with Honor raving, it seems like it was a choice for all of them. Like realizing the world is peaceful so agreeing to a total nuclear disarmament. 

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4 minutes ago, humanchaos said:

I think it was a combination

I don't buy that.  The Recreance was a big enough deal that:

  1. The Radiants went down in history as evil betrayers of humanity
  2. The spren (and not just some spren: ALL spren) felt sufficiently betrayed that they wanted nothing to do with Nahel bonds for thousands of years
  3. The Stormfather is still livid about it

That level of impact requires one huge cause, not just a bunch of things gradually adding up to a reasonable decision for peaceful disarmament.

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There are several events happening around the Recreance :

1. The parshmen are enslaved by capturing a crucial spren

2. Urithiru fails and is abandoned

3. Honor is dying 

4. The secret about humans' origin and Odium becomes known to the KR

5. The KR revoke their oaths and leave their shards

6. Honor dies

The puzzle is how these are connected. 

My theory is that 1-3 are connected: enslaving the Parsh also disabled Urithiru's spren and broke an oath that leads to Honor's death. 

Then 3. causes Ishar to develop a plan to get rid of the KR. He reveals 4. and convinces Nale to continue the Skybreakers but use them to kill all other KR. 

Ishar's motivation could be that he doesn't believe that the oaths will restrain the KR enough to stop them from destroying the planet. Or he fears another desolation, which could him get killed and landed in Damnation again. 

 

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I don't get it. How could their powers have destroyed their other world when nobody back then had surgbinding? If anything it was voidbinding. Surgebinders didn't exist until the heralds and then later the Radiants once the spren mimicked their powers. Why would the Radiants forsake their powers when it was most likely voidbinding that destroyed their old world, not surgbinding. 

Edited by Watchcry
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Dalinar seeing the Recreance in a vision means either one of the following: Honor has lived after the Recreance and the visions are prepared at a later point; or Honor has not lived after the Recreance and the vision is what he imagined might happen and it actually was nothing like it. I like option one because it implies that Honor was really crazy when he prepared the visions and I would like to investigate them for evidence. Or he gained his sanity back just right before dying, made visions, dead. Also I reread the vision and it is interesting enough that the Radiants manifested surges right before giving up the blades and armours - so this implies them willingly breaking the bonds, not like Kal accidentally almost killed Syl, more like what Patterns suggests to Shallan - "you can kill me".

Also one big question, where are these hundreds of weapons and armours, there is like 300 and Dalinar thinks he knows about like 20-30.

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