Steeldancer

[OB] The Case for Autonomy

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So I'm pretty sure the second letter is from Autonomy. And here I will explain why. I will attempt to explain how Trell, Pajti, the Sand Lord, are all seperate pieces of Autonomy. This does bear some similarity to my Spirit Realm thread, which is in my signature. But the most important thing is this WoB:

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Play/Pause
 

Overlord Jebus [PENDING REVIEW]

Is all Investiture in the Cosmere associated with a Shard?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, well, okay. So this is a complicated one. So, Investiture predates the Shattering of Adonalsium, all Investiture was from Adonalsium, all Investiture got assigned to one of the 16 Shards when Adonalsium was Shattered. Some of the Investiture was not on Yolen but location is irrelevant. So Investiture is related to Shards even on planets where none of the Shards are inhabiting. 

Overlord Jebus [PENDING REVIEW]

Are they aware of that Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That's part of the whole seeing into the infinite, being beyond even the power of a Shard. So, technically you could make the argument that Harmony could feel the sense of Preservation of every world in the Cosmere, right? Because the building blocks of all life and creation are these things.

Overlord Jebus [PENDING REVIEW]

So the Shard of Preservation embodies all preservation in the Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes but he just can't do that, right? Like, he's not infinite. The Vessels are not, even if their minds are enormously expanded by holding a Shard, they are not infinite. The Connection is all there in the Spiritual Realm

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/256-oathbringer-london-signing/#e8605

So I think that by splitting up her mind, Bavadin became more powerful. How? Investiture. This is the hack here. She split it, and used the investiture to grow a new personality. A persona. An Aspect. Almost like harnessing the ability of Investiture to create sentient life. Then, with these personas, she is able to grasp more of this Autonomous investiture than she could if she was just one mind. It's a hack. One that appears to have created a collective. And with these personas, she will spread her Autonomous doctrine across the Cosmere. 

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I like this. I have to say that I support the "Ambition wrote the Letter" theory a bit more currently, if only because I am not overly fond of the "Autonomy is a hive-mind" thought. I have to say though, that this is fully possible. It fits very well with the intent of Autonomy too. She is truly autonomous, since she is able to be everywhere, basically. 

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I'd like to say I support this and add what sense I've made of the situation in my own head. 

Autonomy chooses planets where there are significant landmarks of some kind, the sun on Taldain, and Patji on First of the Sun. In some cases, it results in an Avatar, such as the Sand Lord, but from the letter, we know that Patji can't communicate, and can assume that it has no Avatar. 

As Steeldancer says in the OP, this is a way of circumventing the limitations of Vessel's mind by splitting into smaller autonomous personas that each run their world. They also have very much restricted investiture which is manifest in how the investiture works on those planets. Taldain requires very little investiture outright, but lots of finesse for Sand Mastery. Investiture is very limited to only Patji on First of the Sun, and it's very constrained. Compare this to Rosharan investiture, you've got a thimble next to a waterfall. 

By selectively splitting off new personas to take on new avatars invested into objects or pantheons that are then worshipped, Autonomy then had created an empire where other shards have created a kingdom. Each autonomous personas has enough investiture and awareness split off from Bavadin theirself to hold dominion over their own territory. Wherever Bavadin theirself resides may be able to connect with all of them through the spiritual realm, and be the center of the hive, able to appear as any and all of them, having created them all for their purposes. 

The Shard* exists in each of the planets in a limited capacity. The Shard is housed somewhere, probably finding new planets to continue to assimilate into the autonomous collective.

Edit: found a nice WoB

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Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Can a Shard go to a planet, create an autonomous Splinter, and then leave the system of the planet and then *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, that's possible. In fact, that's happened. You've seen that happen.

 

Edited by Ookla the Obtuse
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Ok was just talking to Chaos on Discord, and Brandon confirmed that the second letter was Autonomy. Interestingly, any shard can create an aspect. So, I think I'm on to something here :lol:

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what if autonomy is trying to take over the cosmere ?? ( empire of autonomy )

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There are indeed theories out there that Autonomy is doing something like that and will eventually upstage Odium as the biggest threat in the Cosmere. Or that one of her 'avatars' goes rogue and assumes that role. Certainly, she'd be an interesting antagonist with her belief that she's acting in the name of the greater good, while we know that Odium's motives are entirely selfish. There's definitely reason to suspect that Autonomy is Shard Behind The Curtain in Mistborn Era 2.

Setting that aside, what we know for certain is that Bavadin is much more proactive about searching for Investiture associated with her Shard and generally expanding her influence.

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I think that Autonomy is distributing the power of her shard across multiple autonomous yet interconnected vessels, rather than creating new avatars by splintering her consciousness into separate personas or aspects. I think Autonomy is more Borg than Dysian Aimian (more of a centralized shared directive than a distributed singular consciousness).

We know that one of the inherent limits of shardic power is the finitude of the Vessel's mind. What better way to circumvent this limit than to distribute this power over multiple sentient vessels? Separating or segmenting her mind would only serve to diminish the power of the original vessel from which the avatars are created.

Most likely there is an innate world view, compatible with Autonomy's intent, that is the primary pre-requisite to joining the pantheon of autonomous deities. I think this pantheon of autonomous avatars are linked together by their service to the greater goals of autonomy, but once the field has been cleared, I think we will eventually see a highlander-esque battle for supremacy between the avatars of autonomy. Fundamentally Autonomy is an intent that can allow only one supreme, independent power.

 

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I like this idea, especially because it might help to explain why Brandon is so fond of Bavadain.  A master-manipulator of the cosmere who is slowly expanding their influence and leading up to a grand plan or objective in the future surely must be a fun character to envision and write.  I have frequently thought that Odium might be unexpectedly defeated early, killed just within the Stormlight books, and that the real major villain of the cosmere will then turn out to be Autonomy.  Bavadain's motivations are much more mysterious and complicated than Rayes's, I think, and she is much less purely evil - I can see her becoming a sort of antihero villain who features prominently near the end of the cosmere, and pulls together threads from all the earlier books.  

I had a quick question about this.

On 12/10/2017 at 0:53 PM, Fifth of Daybreak said:

As Steeldancer says in the OP, this is a way of circumventing the limitations of Vessel's mind by splitting into smaller autonomous personas that each run their world. They also have very much restricted investiture which is manifest in how the investiture works on those planets. Taldain requires very little investiture outright, but lots of finesse for Sand Mastery. Investiture is very limited to only Patji on First of the Sun, and it's very constrained. Compare this to Rosharan investiture, you've got a thimble next to a waterfall. 

I find it very interesting that the Perpendicularity on First of the Sun exists because the influence of one of Autonomy's avatars - where did we learn this?

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9 minutes ago, Llarimar said:

I find it very interesting that the Perpendicularity on First of the Sun exists because the influence of one of Autonomy's avatars - where did we learn this?

OB tour in London, we found out that "Patji is a Shard" which caused all kinds of confusion, as evidenced in this wall of back and forth. 

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ReadAndFindOut

In 2014, Brandon said First of the Sun - the planet in Sixth of the Dusk - is a minor Shardworld, in that it does not have a Shard present (https://wob.coppermind.net/events/103-salt-lake-city-comic-con-2014/#e1010). However, we've now gotten a WoB saying that Patji - the Father island - IS a Shard (https://wob.coppermind.net/events/256-oathbringer-london-signing/#e8606). Patji was a Shard, but isn't during SotD? Or did we finally get confirmation on that elusive "Survival Shard"? What do you guys think?

Brandon Sanderson

I stand by them. Though, as always, quotes and WoBs at signings aren't always as deliberately thought out as I'd like them to be. Answering questions on the fly can be challenging, and my phrasing can be bad in retrospect.

But no shard was in residence on First of the Sun during the events of that story. The investiture on that planet is residue, normal investiture from Adonalsium. Everything happening there could happen with or without a shard present. Indeed, I would say that no shard was ever "in residence" on First of the Sun.

The being called Patji still exists, and is a shard of Adonalsium. Shards in the past have been interested in First of the Sun, and have meddled in small ways there. (Like they have on a lot of shardworlds.)

Note that I might have been a little misleading in the first quote by bringing up Threnody, which is a real corner case in the cosmere because of uncommon events there.

That said, I'm sure that every story I write about a planet will bring up the quirks and unusual interactions of the magic there, because that's kind of what I do. (First of the Sun has its own oddities, as mentioned in Arcanum Unbounded.) Every planet is likely to end up as a corner case in some way, just like every person is distinctive in their own way, and never fully fits expectations.

I still consider one of the major dividing lines between "major" and "minor" shardworlds (other than Shard residence) to be in strength of access to the magic, and control over it. I intend the minor shard worlds to involve interactions with the magic as setting--coming back to spren, you could have a minor shardworld with people who use, befriend, even bond spren. (Or the local equivalent--Seon, Aviar, etc.) But you'd never see power on the level of the city of Elantris, the actions of a Bondsmith, or even the broad power suite of a mistborn.

But, as ever, the cosmere is a work in progress. The needs of telling a great story trump things I've said about what I'm planning. (I do try as much as I can to avoid having two texts contradict one another. And when they do, that's often a lapse on my part.)

Oversleep

Wait.

I'm confused.

So the Investiture on First of the Sun is associated with a Shard or is it residue, normal investiture from Adonalsium?

Cause the question was a follow up (on this) where you revealed that all Investiture in Cosmere got assigned to a Shard even if it wasn't part of a Shard.

And then you said that the one on First of the Sun is directly associated with one of the Shards (and since later you revealed Patji to be an avatar of Autonomy (also, what are avatars and how do they work?)) we took it to mean that at one point Autonomy Invested in First of the Sun.

But now you're saying it didn't?

If there was no Shard ever on First of the Sun but Patji is a Shard/avatar of a Shard then where is Patji, actually?

Could you please clarify all that?

Brandon Sanderson

So the Investiture on First of the Sun is associated with a Shard or is it residue, normal investiture from Adonalsium?"

The reason I have so much trouble answering these questions (and you'll see me struggling to get an answer in the 10-15 seconds I have when someone asks me in a signing line) is because this isn't an either or. Is this computer I'm using matter associated with Earth, the Big Bang, or such-and-such star that went supernova long ago? Well, it's probably all three.

When people ask, "What shard is this investiture associated with" it gets very complicated. Shards influence and tweak certain investiture, giving it a kind of spin or magnetism, but all investiture ever predates the shattering--and in the cosmere matter, energy, and investiture are one thing.

I always imagine investiture having certain states, certain magnetisms if you will, associated with certain aspects of Adonalsium. So it's all "assigned" to a shard--because it's always been associated with that Shard. To investiture, Adonalsium's shattering meant everything and nothing at the same time.

We generally mean the term "Invested" to mean a Shard has taken permanent residence in a location, a kind of base of operations--but at the same time, this is meaningless, since distance has no meaning on the Spiritual Realm, where most Shards are. So imprisonment of a Shard like Ruin or Odium is a crude expression--but the best we have.

Autonomy never "invested" on First of the Sun. But even answering (as someone else asked) if they created an avatar without visiting is a difficult thing to explain--because even explaining how a shard travels (when motion is irrelevant) is difficult to manage. It's a subject that I intend to be up for debate, discussion, and argument by in-world philosophers and arcanists.

You can see why I have such troubles explaining these things at signings--and why I fail when I try to, considering the time limitations and (often) fatigue limitations placed upon me. These are concepts I intend to spend entire, lengthy epic volumes explaining and exploring.

Let's say you were Autonomy, and you have--through expanding and exploring your understanding--found a gathering of investiture that has always been there, you always knew about, but still didn't actually recognize until the moment you considered and explored it. (Because even though your power is infinite, accessing and using that infinity is beyond your reach.) Were you "invested" there? No, no more than you're invested on Roshar, where parts of what were Adonalsium still exist that are associated with you (in the very fabric of mater and existence.) But suddenly, you have a chance to tweak, influence, and do things that were always possible, but which you never could do because you knew, but didn't know, at the same time.

And...I'm already into WAY more than I want to be typing this out right now. If it's confusing, it's because it's practically impossible for me to explain these things in a short span of time.

I'm going to leave it here, understanding that no, I haven't fully explained your question. (I didn't even get into what avatars are, what Patji was, and what happened to Patji the being--and how that relates to Patji the island.) But hopefully this kind of starts to point the right direction, though I probably should have just left this question alone because I bet this post is going to raise more questions than it answers...

Overlord Jebus

You've confused things so much now. We thought we had a pretty good grasp of this whole Patji situation (Autonomy visited the planet at some point, got themselves all Invested and created an avatar which is called Patji by the locals).

Now you're saying no Shard has ever visited there? And that the pool would have existed if no Shard had ever interfered? But that Patji still exists and is a Shard?

Does that mean Autonomy edited First of the Sun from afar without actually going there? And that the pool would have already existed without any intervention? Does this mean it was associated with Autonomy from the beginning? I'm really confused now.

Brandon Sanderson

I don't believe I said no Shard had visited. I said no Shard was there during the events of the story.

Investiture on First of the Sun predates any shards fiddling with it.

Shards have fiddled with it by the time of the story.

I think fandom might be going down too far a rabbit hole on this one.

Chaos

Are you saying here that Patji is an avatar of Autonomy, or is it a separate Shard and not an avatar of Autonomy?

Brandon Sanderson

When I said Patji was a Shard, I was meaning automony--but it is not quite that simple.

Take this post to mean "no, you should not be looking toward another Shard for Patji's origins. Autonomy is the one relevant." But Autonomy's relationships with entities like this (not sure entity is the right word, even) is complex. I'm not trying to confuse the issue, though.

source

 

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Great WoB @Calderis, thanks!  A lot to think about here.  Perhaps Autonomy is able to maintain some degree of control over her avatars, but not total control, which is why her relationship with them is "complex," as Brandon says.  Maybe she forms the avatars to hold her same ambitions and goals, but they have slightly unique and individual personalities, and so they could potentially disagree with her or go rogue in an extreme case.  

As far as his long quote where he talks about Shards traveling and the way that Investiture is associated with different Shards, I find it really fascinating - it doesn't bother me that he goes off-subject.  I definitely want to learn more about everything he says there, particularly the stuff about the Spiritual Realm since we know the least about it of the the three realms and no character has ever seen it before.  

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10 hours ago, Llarimar said:

I find it very interesting that the Perpendicularity on First of the Sun exists because the influence of one of Autonomy's avatars - where did we learn this?

The shardpool on First of the Sun does not exist because of Autonomy. While Autonomy does appear to have meddled on First of the Sun, everything on the planet would have more or less existed without any Shardic influence. We don't actually even know that Patji is a sentient avatar. Brandon stated that Patji is of Autonomy, but that could just mean Autnomy set up/stole the local religion, making the entire pantheon of Autonomy, but not necessarily avatars or even entities, just ideas. I do think Autnomy is leaving avatars around and would have left one on FotS, but there are a number of islands in the pantheon, and any of them or none of them could be the avatar.

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Windrunner

As you've stated that the magic of First of the Sun is natural and independent of any particular Shard, what is the nature of the pool on Patji? Is it also a natural manifestation of magic, a perpendicularity, or simply a pool like any other?

Brandon Sanderson

It's a natural manifestation, but on a much smaller scale than you might find on other worlds.

source
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Brandon Sanderson

I stand by them. Though, as always, quotes and WoBs at signings aren't always as deliberately thought out as I'd like them to be. Answering questions on the fly can be challenging, and my phrasing can be bad in retrospect.

But no shard was in residence on First of the Sun during the events of that story. The investiture on that planet is residue, normal investiture from Adonalsium. Everything happening there could happen with or without a shard present. Indeed, I would say that no shard was ever "in residence" on First of the Sun.

The being called Patji still exists, and is a shard of Adonalsium. Shards in the past have been interested in First of the Sun, and have meddled in small ways there. (Like they have on a lot of shardworlds.)

 

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