Goatborn

[OB] Shin sounds like:

21 posts in this topic

[Originally posted on r/stormlightarchive, and figured that I'd bring it over here. The more I think about it, the more interested I am in Shinovar. I think they've got some serious secrets. A poster pointed out a WoB that confirms Rosharan humans originated on Ashyn]

Another random observation that's probably been noticed, but I haven't seen on here. (That kinda spiraled into a general post about the Shin)

The going theory at the moment is that Humans in the Roshar system originated on Ashyn - WoB states that there was a cataclysm there, with small pockets of civilisation living in cloud cities as a result. Hence, the idea that humans caused said cataclysm and jumped ship to Roshar (planet) with their advanced tech/powers.

We know that when humans first arrived on Roshar, they were given the Shin lands in the West because it was most like their natural habitat and they could raise horses, chickens etc.

I just noted that the word Shin is very similar to the back end of Ashyn. If humans were introducing themselves on another planet, they would likely introduce themselves as the 'Ashyn' people. Over millennia, that would boil down to Shin. This also ties back to the Shin culture and the amount of control they (likely) secretly hold over the cosmic Shard war raging in the background, implying that their histories passed down hold a lot more accurate knowledge that the rest of Roshar had available.

The aversion to walking on stone has been noted previously as a possible link to the fact that the Dawnsingers owned the rocky portions of the continent, and might actually have developed as a belief due to the guilt surrounding the original voidbringers' actions.

Another interesting point is the circumstances of Szeth's Truthless stamp. He claimed that the voidbringers were returning. If the Shin hold a better history than the rest of humanity, then Szeth's original claim might be interpreted oddly. If he was referring to the 'modern' voidbringers (the Fused), then his story plays out unchanged - he saw a crisis coming and was ignored.

Now, if we look at the ancient use of the word voidbringer, then he may have been referring directly to Radiants or any forms of power. I'm having trouble putting this one together in my head, because I might have been missing some nuances in Szeth's lines. He flips out when there's a possibility of Kal being Radiant, as this would confirm his suspicion of the return of voidbringers. Without the revelations of Oathbringer, this was read as Radiants returning providing indirect proof that modern voidbringers were going to be stomping about soon. Going by the ancient definition, he may have predicted the return of ancient voidbringers with Kaladin as direct proof of their return.

All of this has to go through a few layers of culture and Shin development. If the Ashyn histories were preserved to the point that knowledge of the first desolation remains, then we would have to wonder how pervasive this knowledge would be. The way that Sanderson writes religion, I would assume that the general populace is completely unaware of this information and holds to their devout beliefs as a matter of culture. In this scenario, the higher up members of Shin culture (the council who exiled Szeth) would have more context to their religion - possibly holding knowledge from before the move to Roshar, but more likely having gaps in their knowledge due to the sheer time passed since then (and repeat Desolations). I can't speculate on whether Szeth would have been privy to this information, but don't recall any great surprise when Nale drops the voidbringer revelation on him. Szeth just doesn't seem to react to much with surprise though.

In terms of how Szeth gained his knowledge in the first place without leaving Shinovar - I think that comes down to his training with the Honorblades. Discounting the possibility of seeing the future (just because Odium influencing him here seems a little off to me) multiple Radiant orders have experienced visions of the present day (scrying?). Kaladin's storm riding visions showed him Ash scratching eyes. Shallan had an instance where she accidentally drew the sailors washing up on a shore, but in Oathbringer she did another drawing that seemed to confirm this ability (can't remember exactly when - maybe while she was still in Urithiru?). These seem like Order-specific perks that we don't know transfer with Honorblades.

Another option is that Szeth did something unusual regarding the Honorblades and gained knowledge that way, something along the lines of wielding multiple blades at once during his training.

Questions that would help guide this thinking: 1. How open is the Shin religion among its members with its information/history? Does even the lowest warrior know as much as the highest councilmember? 2. Does every Shin train with the Honorblades, just the warriors, or a select subset of warriors? 3. Have the Shin been known to use parshmen slaves? I don't recall any being mentioned in Vstim's trade in WoK, but Rysn was focused on the warriors being dressed so poorly.

TL;DR - The Shin know things, man, and they're not sharing. And Ashyn=Shin over time.

Edit: A quote from Szeth's interlude in WoR (I-10) - This is immediately post his first clash with Kaladin, and he is standing atop Urithiru contemplating the fact that his Truthless status might be in error:

"He had fought an impossibility. A man with Stormlight, a man who knew the storm within. That meant... problems. Years ago, Szeth had been banished for raising the alarm. The false alarm, it had been said.

The Voidbringers are no more, they had told him.

The spirits of the stones themselves promised it.

The powers of old are no more.

The Knights Radiant are fallen.

We are all that remains.

All that remains... Truthless."

Later, on contemplating his inefficiency with Stormlight:

"Too imperfect a body. The Knights Radiant... they'd been said... they'd been said to be better at this... like the Voidbringers."

Time to re-read Nale's discussion with him over the Battle of Thaylenar. (To be continued!)

Edit 2: Nale/Nin/aboshi fills Szeth in on the Voidbringer revelation off-screen. When we return to them, they hover over the battlefield observing Amaram's forces go Thrilltastic. (Ch 116, Alone) (beginning of the Sanderson Avalanche): {Throughout this passage, there are no emotional qualifiers used to describe Szeth's speech. It reads as a purely logical discussion of lawyers deciding which code is relevant based on the parshmen being the original owners of the land.}

"All along," Szeth said, "this world belonged to the parshmen. My people watched not for the return of an invading enemy, but for the masters of the house." (I read that as a surprised statement, but it is difficult to draw conclusions)

{Jumping ahead, Nale asks Szeth to join him in backing the singers. Szeth's inner monologue is as follows:}

"Wind rippled Szeth's clothing. All those years ago, he'd been correct. The Voidbringers had returned. Now... now he was to simple accept their rule?"

Later in the fighting, Szeth continues to refer to Fused combatants as Voidbringers. I think I've pulled apart a bit of my theory a little too well. I've placed myself in the camp that Szeth was unaware of the revelations of the First Desolation prior to being informed by Nale.

This still leaves the question of how much the religious leaders of Shinovar (the Shamanate) know/knew prior to the Battle of Thaylenar. Regardless, the implications of having a culture on Shinovar with very direct/lasting Ashyn influences is very interesting. I'm going to have to go through and look closely at references to the Shin so far.

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Probably important in this context, one of the epigraphs in part 3 (from Urithiru's library) mentions a person with a Shin-style name. That implies there were KR Shin as well.

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I think even the Shin have lost the original history at this point. Otherwise Szeth's PoV would be incredibly inconsistent with the revelation when it comes about, all to keep a secret. That would be pretty disappointing. 

Otherwise I like the idea of Shin being short for Ashyn/a hint. Good Catch. 

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I don't think Voidbringer applies to humans anymore. I think it's pretty safe to assume that one must be working with Voidspren and Voidlight to be a voidbringer. So some humans (Moash) and Voidbringers, it no longer applies to all humans. We in the forums, the Rosharans, all have become distracted by this new revalation, forgetting that Odium is the true threat, the true enemy. He hates, he wishes to break free from his cage to destroy, to end all other shards in the Cosmere and cause massive destruction and pain in the process. 

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i would love to know where the humans on Ashyn came from. Were they there before odium, or did Odium bring humans from Sel to Ashyn. Kaladin notes that the Sel Man at the lighthouse looks Shin. 

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1 hour ago, Ookla the Leyspren said:

Probably important in this context, one of the epigraphs in part 3 (from Urithiru's library) mentions a person with a Shin-style name. That implies there were KR Shin as well.

Just in case you wanted it ;)

Quote

We are uncertain the effect this will have on the parsh. At the very least, it should deny them forms of power. Melishi is confident, but Naze-daughter-Kuzodo warns of the unintended side-effects.

- From drawer 30-20, fifth emerald

Chapter 81 Epigraph, page 785

 

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33 minutes ago, teknopathetic said:

i would love to know where the humans on Ashyn came from. Were they there before odium, or did Odium bring humans from Sel to Ashyn. Kaladin notes that the Sel Man at the lighthouse looks Shin. 

That's because the Shin are the only Rosharans without 'Asian' eyes; the same reason why their eyes are called big.

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25 minutes ago, Ookla the Leyspren said:

That's because the Shin are the only Rosharans without 'Asian' eyes; the same reason why their eyes are called big.

I thought of that too, but it is still a possibility. Did Odium start a Cult on Sel? What happened to those people? How long has Odium been a God to the Ashyn people? 

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1 minute ago, teknopathetic said:

I thought of that too, but it is still a possibility. Did Odium start a Cult on Sel? What happened to those people? How long has Odium been a God to the Ashyn people? 

We have WoBs though, that the "looking Shin" is not actually because they're related, but just because they've got 'standard' human eyes, contrary to the smaller eyes that most Rosharans have. Can't find the WoB that directly says it (pretty sure it was mentioned in one of the Oathbringer signings though), but I did get this one with confirmation about the eyes:

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/190-rfantasy-ama-2013/#e4079

Quote

claytonphillips

Several times in Way of Kings, you have characters think of the Shin as having big or round eyes. Do the Shin really have giant eyes, or do all the other peoples of Roshar have an epicanthic fold on their eyes?

It seemed to me that this was very similar to how characters in second world fantasies, like Faile in Wheel of Time, are designated as "Asian" even though there is no Asia in the book. Is this a subversion of that? Are the Shin the only people on Roshar who look Western European?

Brandon Sanderson

You are right, actually. Normal eyes on Roshar are those with an epicanthic fold. The Shin do not have this. Note, however, that they wouldn't look "Western European." Roshar races are fairly far off from what we imagine as Earth ones. The people most likely to look Western European to you would be those from Mistborn.

 

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Shin would also have some of this going on:

theexpanses01e01177.jpg

They are shorter than normal Rosharans, and that provides additional evidence that they arrived on Roshar later than other waves of immigration. Roshar has low gravity (70% of Scadrial) which causes some odd things to happen to the human body, like the joints separating slightly. This image is of a belter from The Expanse being subjected to gravity torture. Belters live in low gravity environments, and by suspending him this way in a normal gravity environment it is excruciating for him. This image is closer to what you'd expect from an Alethi, but Shin aren't described as having difficulty in the environment which suggests some adaptation also in them.

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5 minutes ago, aemetha said:

They are shorter than normal Rosharans, and that provides additional evidence that they arrived on Roshar later than other waves of immigration.

Aren't they only confirmed to be shorter than Alethi?

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/240-ben-mcsweeney-ama/#e6411

Quote

botanicaxu

Is there an average height for the Shin people?

Ben McSweeney

Shorter than the average Alethi, I should think. :)

 

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1 minute ago, Ookla the Leyspren said:

Aren't they only confirmed to be shorter than Alethi?

Yes, sorry, I misspoke. I meant Alethi. I don't know if we have enough information on other ethnicity to determine where Shin height sits in that regard.

Edited by aemetha
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5 hours ago, aemetha said:

suspending him this way in a normal gravity environment it is excruciating for him.

Maybe normal for you, Earther! Duster for life over here! (Always good to see another Expanse fan - I need to get my hands on Perseopolis Rising, and can't wait to see Amos and Peaches interact next season!)

8 hours ago, Aminar said:

I think even the Shin have lost the original history at this point. Otherwise Szeth's PoV would be incredibly inconsistent with the revelation when it comes about, all to keep a secret. That would be pretty disappointing. 

I'm in the camp that Szeth didn't know prior to Nale's revelation, and I agree that the wider population likely had no special knowledge. I feel like the Shamanate might have some intact history from that time, or at least be acting on directives handed down from that time. I am stupid curious about where they stand in it all.

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The Ashyn = Shin thing is blowing my mind.  I cannot wait to read Silence Divine.  

To solve the gravity problem, there's a possibility that Ashyn has the same 70% going on as Roshar.  

 

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13 minutes ago, Goatborn said:

Maybe normal for you, Earther! Duster for life over here!

Xetamang tili du xeta. Welwala!

6 minutes ago, Raykoda said:

To solve the gravity problem, there's a possibility that Ashyn has the same 70% going on as Roshar.

It's not really a problem, it's just that any human who has lived in a low gravity environment for multiple generations will appear stretched like in the image I posted. Wherever they came from immediately before Roshar doesn't really matter so much as humans are designed for 1.0 gravity and so 0.7 gravity necessitates changes.

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7 hours ago, teknopathetic said:

I thought of that too, but it is still a possibility. Did Odium start a Cult on Sel? What happened to those people? How long has Odium been a God to the Ashyn people? 

I thought Odium didn't want to become too invested on a planet, so it still seems weird to me that he would stick around Ashyn long enough to become their God. I think it's more likely that Odium showed up on Roshar at around the same time as humans, making it a correlation vs causation problem

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13 minutes ago, aemetha said:

It's not really a problem, it's just that any human who has lived in a low gravity environment for multiple generations will appear stretched like in the image I posted. Wherever they came from immediately before Roshar doesn't really matter so much as humans are designed for 1.0 gravity and so 0.7 gravity necessitates changes.

Exactly. The changes we see in terms of height of Rosharans would have been apparent a generation or two in. The Shin being shorter likely just represents a genetic predisposition to being short, like Asian/Mongoloid body types on Earth. It produces some interesting questions regarding the genetic variations present before migrating from Ashyn, as well as why the Shin (the genetic subset) remained in Shinovar honouring the original deal with the Dawnsingers.

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7 minutes ago, Goatborn said:

It produces some interesting questions regarding the genetic variations present before migrating from Ashyn, as well as why the Shin (the genetic subset) remained in Shinovar honouring the original deal with the Dawnsingers.

Right, there would have actually been two separate things that occurred though. You'd have the physiological response to the different environmental pressures that would have been apparent very quickly. There would also be the continuation of natural selection through random mutation, with adaptive mutations flourishing, which could also contribute to differences in height. What is adaptive to 1.0 gravity not necessarily being adaptive to 0.7 gravity. I think the language differences, the absence of the epicanthic fold, the height differences and the fact that one entire (and quite divergent from the other cultures of Roshar) culture remained true to those rules is very suggestive of the shin being a separate wave of immigration to Roshar.

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7 minutes ago, aemetha said:

Right, there would have actually been two separate things that occurred though. You'd have the physiological response to the different environmental pressures that would have been apparent very quickly. There would also be the continuation of natural selection through random mutation, with adaptive mutations flourishing, which could also contribute to differences in height. What is adaptive to 1.0 gravity not necessarily being adaptive to 0.7 gravity. I think the language differences, the absence of the epicanthic fold, the height differences and the fact that one entire (and quite divergent from the other cultures of Roshar) culture remained true to those rules is very suggestive of the shin being a separate wave of immigration to Roshar.

Okay, I think we're going to nerd it up for a post or two. Evolution via random mutation takes hundreds of thousands of years, so I doubt that under normal conditions we would see any evidence of this in the time since the Ashyn exodus to current era. However, that doesn't account for the added selection pressures of frequent desolations, and the accelerated nature of Investiture. In a more real-world context, epigenetics produces change in gene activation based on physiological pressures, causing subsets of modern Earth humans to have traits that otherwise aren't readily explained by long-term Darwinian adaptation.

34 minutes ago, Ookla the Cheesemaker said:

I thought Odium didn't want to become too invested on a planet, so it still seems weird to me that he would stick around Ashyn long enough to become their God. I think it's more likely that Odium showed up on Roshar at around the same time as humans, making it a correlation vs causation problem

This is the part that gets under my skin a little bit. The implication in Oathbringer was that Odium sided with humanity first, driving them to conquest. Then at some point he switched sides? Rosharan history is still such a mess. Maybe with more of the Dawnchant being translated we'll get a bit more context. If Odium invested Ashyn, then travelled across with humans to Roshar, it answers a few questions about their destruction of an entire planet, but raises whole new ones like how did surges exist without Honor or Cultivation's input?

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5 minutes ago, Goatborn said:

Evolution via random mutation takes hundreds of thousands of years, so I doubt that under normal conditions we would see any evidence of this in the time since the Ashyn exodus to current era.

This is generally true, however if you compare the average heights of humans just a few thousand (or even hundred) years ago with the average heights of humans now, the difference in height is not explainable purely in terms of nutritional differences. Some examples from those times involved subjects who appear with the (admittedly limited) evidence we have to go on to have been in quite good health, with adequate nutrition. Anyway, all I meant to suggest is that the physiological response to a lesser amount of compression via gravity on the human body is not the only explanation that might be attributed to differences in height. As you note. I think we are in agreement on that?

11 minutes ago, Goatborn said:

This is the part that gets under my skin a little bit. The implication in Oathbringer was that Odium sided with humanity first, driving them to conquest. Then at some point he switched sides?

Yeah, this bothers me a bit too. I can't help but think it isn't nearly as neat as the histories tell us, because they are, as you say, a mess. I think it far more likely that there was a lot of factionalism both within and between races encouraged by Odium, and that it eventually coalesced into a largely racial conflict. If the modern example is at all analogous to what happened historically, we have humans and listeners on both sides.

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8 minutes ago, aemetha said:

This is generally true, however if you compare the average heights of humans just a few thousand (or even hundred) years ago with the average heights of humans now, the difference in height is not explainable purely in terms of nutritional differences. Some examples from those times involved subjects who appear with the (admittedly limited) evidence we have to go on to have been in quite good health, with adequate nutrition. Anyway, all I meant to suggest is that the physiological response to a lesser amount of compression via gravity on the human body is not the only explanation that might be attributed to differences in height. As you note. I think we are in agreement on that?

There's heaps of agreement going around! I do like a good scientific discussion that doesn't devolve into hard math! I completely forgot about the general increase in height over the last few centuries. Maybe we're all spending more time in bed, so gravity has less of an influence on us? Boom, solved ages old conundrum! (Let's ignore the fact that with the invention of electric light we're probably spending more time out of bed)

I think the piece of the puzzle we're missing is Odium's aim or true intent. Humans and singers refer to him as a god of hate, he presents himself as a god of passion, and we know Rayse was a bit of a tool before he picked up the Shard. Both passion and hate can provide motivation for him jumping around different sides of a war just to feed the fires, so I don't know how he ended up on one side or the other. I think this could be explained by Honor and Odium being in a vague conflict when they both landed on the same planet, Investing with a lack of structure and getting used to each other. Odium starts picking a more formal fight (because that's what he does) and Honor has to step up to take him on (because Honor, and there's been a few splinterings in that time). At that point, Honor would necessitate rules to follow, so each Shard/god picks a team, Honor chooses humans because he sees a chance to slow everything down with the Oathpact, while Odium takes the singers because he can lie to them through song (they're a bit more passionate, and also kinda immortal, and dying has GOT to piss you off - they might even be pre-Invested by Honor/Cultivation, so it doesn't take a big commitment from him to pick their team?). Cultivation just kinda hangs out, watching them fight and trying to help occasionally, but likely can't do much because of Honor's rules.

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