Matt91

[OB] Who are the Fused?! Theory

22 posts in this topic

Hi Sharders!

Long time lurker here but this is my very first post.

Forgive me if this has been discussed but I don't think I have seen it yet though with all the ideas thrown around on this forum it is hard to keep track sometimes.

I am of the opinion that the Fused are in fact souls of dead Knight Radiants who have been broken or corrupted by Odium.
As far as I have been able to tell no where in Oathbringer does it actually say that they are Parshendi (it does say "they" and "their" though). From memory it says they are ancient soul of leaders and kings who are valiant warriors from long ago. From what we know of the cultures on Roshar, that sounds a lot more like KR than parsh.

I believe that this would explain their access to Voidbinding too, as well as their deteriorating minds. 
As quite a few people have speculated, due to the Nahel bond replicating Honorblades, perhaps an unexpected side effect was that they get sent to Braise, like the heralds, after death. With the link to their spren broken at death this would leave their cognitive shadow stuck on Braise without hope of resurrection, giving Odium an unlimited amount of time to break their minds. Also with the Nahel bond broken, Odium would be able to easily fill the cracks in their sDNA with the requirements for Voidbinding. I think the KR learned this from Honor when he was losing his mind which was the final straw that caused the Recreance.

Lastly, to back to back up this theory is the fact that all of the Fused eyes are permanently Red, indicating corruption by another shard.

My other theory, along the same lines is that the Fused are the souls of the original Voidbringers, the first humans to settle on Roshar. This would be a better explanation for Voidbinding as they would have arrived on Roshar with it after destroying Ashyn.

I do enjoy reading theories that get shot down as much as the plausible ones so if I am completely off the mark please let me know!

Edited by Matt91
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So I found this quote in Oathbringer page 405.

Quote

"IT STARTED WITH THE CREATURES YOU NAME VOIDBRINGERS, the Stormfather said, voice rumbling and low, distant. Introspective? AS I SAID, MY VIEW OF THESE EVENTS IS DISTORTED. I DO REMEMBER THAT ONCE, LONG BEFORE THE DAY YOU’RE SEEING NOW, THERE WERE MANY SOULS OF CREATURES WHO HAD BEEN SLAIN, ANGRY AND TERRIBLE. THEY HAD BEEN GIVEN GREAT POWER BY THE ENEMY, THE ONE CALLED ODIUM. THAT WAS THE BEGINNING, THE START OF DESOLATIONS. FOR WHEN THESE DIED, THEY REFUSED TO PASS ON. “That’s what is happening now,” Dalinar said. “The parshmen, they’re transformed by these things in the Everstorm. Those things are…” He swallowed. “The souls of their dead?” THEY ARE THE SPREN OF PARSHMEN LONG DEAD. THEY ARE THEIR KINGS, THEIR LIGHTEYES, THEIR VALIANT SOLDIERS FROM LONG, LONG AGO. THE PROCESS IS NOT EASY ON THEM. SOME OF THESE SPREN ARE MERE FORCES NOW, ANIMALISTIC, FRAGMENTS OF MINDS GIVEN POWER BY ODIUM. OTHERS ARE MORE … AWAKE. EACH REBIRTH FURTHER INJURES THEIR MINDS. THEY ARE REBORN USING THE BODIES OF PARSHMEN TO BECOME THE FUSED. AND EVEN BEFORE THE FUSED LEARNED TO COMMAND THE SURGES, MEN COULD NOT FIGHT THEM. HUMANS COULD NEVER WIN WHEN THE CREATURES THEY KILLED WERE REBORN EACH TIME THEY WERE SLAIN. AND SO, THE OATHPACT."

The Stormfather implies in this passage that the fuses are dead listeners who did not move on, but he isn’t necessarily a reliable source for information.  I personally don’t agree with your theory but it is just as plausible as any.

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Ulim the voidspren specifically refers to the fused as venlis ancestors 

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Ulim could be lying, the Stormfather could be wrong, or either or both could be oversimplifying. If the story we've been told isn't entirely true, my money is on some of the Fused being humans who fought with the voidbringers.

The idea that each and every Fused is a former Knight Radiant who was tortured into switching sides doesn't square for me with the authority they have and the number that are still sane.

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I used to speculate that the Fused were returned, broken KR, but in re-reading Oathbringer the textual evidence that they are indeed the returned souls of Ancient Listeners is just too great. I believed that Ulim could be lying and that the Stormfather also could be lying, but i think the nail in the coffin of this theory comes from one of the fused themselves. In I-12, Rhythm of Withdrawal, Venli is talking to Rine,one of the sanest of the Fused and Rine says to the Rhythm of Withdrawal (one of the only new rhythms that has a calm tone):

Quote

"The strongest and most skilled of our number have yet to awaken—but even if we were all awake, we would not fight this war alone. This world will not be ours; we fight to give it to you, our descendants. When it is won, our vengeance taken and our homeland secured at long last, we will sleep. Finally"

This makes the goal of the Fused understandable, they are spirits of Ancient Listeners tied to the cycle of Odiuos rebirth through their passion for vengeance, and it also makes their struggle slightly heroic. It's definitely a twisted way to accomplish their goal, but then again, they seem to be bound to Odium who is nothing if not twisted.

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I wonder if the fused could be harmed in the same way, that created the Parshmen? Without their anger and hate to sustain them, they could finally move on. With out this force, odium so campaigns would be crippled due to lack of experienced commanders, their powers and lack of thunderclasts.

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Quote

"IT STARTED WITH THE CREATURES YOU NAME VOIDBRINGERS, the Stormfather said, voice rumbling and low, distant. Introspective? AS I SAID, MY VIEW OF THESE EVENTS IS DISTORTED. I DO REMEMBER THAT ONCE, LONG BEFORE THE DAY YOU’RE SEEING NOW, THERE WERE MANY SOULS OF CREATURES WHO HAD BEEN SLAIN, ANGRY AND TERRIBLE. THEY HAD BEEN GIVEN GREAT POWER BY THE ENEMY, THE ONE CALLED ODIUM. THAT WAS THE BEGINNING, THE START OF DESOLATIONS. FOR WHEN THESE DIED, THEY REFUSED TO PASS ON. “That’s what is happening now,” Dalinar said. “The parshmen, they’re transformed by these things in the Everstorm. Those things are…” He swallowed. “The souls of their dead?” THEY ARE THE SPREN OF PARSHMEN LONG DEAD. THEY ARE THEIR KINGS, THEIR LIGHTEYES, THEIR VALIANT SOLDIERS FROM LONG, LONG AGO. THE PROCESS IS NOT EASY ON THEM. SOME OF THESE SPREN ARE MERE FORCES NOW, ANIMALISTIC, FRAGMENTS OF MINDS GIVEN POWER BY ODIUM. OTHERS ARE MORE … AWAKE. EACH REBIRTH FURTHER INJURES THEIR MINDS. THEY ARE REBORN USING THE BODIES OF PARSHMEN TO BECOME THE FUSED. AND EVEN BEFORE THE FUSED LEARNED TO COMMAND THE SURGES, MEN COULD NOT FIGHT THEM. HUMANS COULD NEVER WIN WHEN THE CREATURES THEY KILLED WERE REBORN EACH TIME THEY WERE SLAIN. AND SO, THE OATHPACT."

Whats fascinating and confusing about this, is the Stormfather called them the "Spren of Parshmen long dead" . Is the Stormfather using the word spren as an equivalent to soul?   Because if not, then he is implying that the Voidbringers arent Parshmen descendants, but rather the spren that were bonded to the Parshmen.  

 

 

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The Stormfather sometimes uses the wrong terminology.  Like, he calls himself a Sliver, when he should be a Splinter.

Also, the Rosharans call just about any kind of sentient investiture "spren" no matter what or where it came from.  So, I wouldn't get too fixated on the SF calling them spren instead of Cognitive Shadows.

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Well Stormfather himself is largely a splinter, but the cognitive shadow of Tanavast in him would have been a sliver as well . . .

 

And yeah they call any sentient power spren here. Stormfather even hesitantly described himself to Dalinar as the spren of the Almighty which is rather inaccurate, but easier to understand.

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Nah, a Sliver is a person who held a large portion of the power of a shard (often temporarily).  TLR was a Sliver.  SF is a Splinter, or a spren, or a Cognitive Shadow, but not a Sliver.

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8 hours ago, RShara said:

Nah, a Sliver is a person who held a large portion of the power of a shard (often temporarily).  TLR was a Sliver.  SF is a Splinter, or a spren, or a Cognitive Shadow, but not a Sliver.

Tanavast's Cognitive Shadow definitely qualifies as a Sliver. He held a Shard, but no longer does. And as Tanavast's CR is part of the Stormfather, he qualifies as well.

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4 hours ago, BeskarKomrk said:

Tanavast's Cognitive Shadow definitely qualifies as a Sliver. He held a Shard, but no longer does. And as Tanavast's CR is part of the Stormfather, he qualifies as well.

I agree with Brandon's rather unsatisfactory answer on the subject. Splinter and Sliver don't really apply to him. To be a splinter he must have already been a human intelligence, but he really wasn't - he's something new as a result of a merging of a sliver (in the form of a cognitive shadow) and a splinter. Since you can't be both a sliver and a splinter, he has to be something else entirely.

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/81-shadows-of-self-newcastle-uk-signing/#e5723

Quote

BlackYeti (paraphrased)

In Words of Radiance, the Stormfather refers to himself as a Sliver, how is this the case when he is apparently a Splinter?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The Stormfather is a Cognitive Shadow, but he doesn't know the correct terminology. Terms such as splinter and Sliver don't really apply to him.

 

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10 hours ago, aemetha said:

I agree with Brandon's rather unsatisfactory answer on the subject. Splinter and Sliver don't really apply to him. To be a splinter he must have already been a human intelligence, but he really wasn't - he's something new as a result of a merging of a sliver (in the form of a cognitive shadow) and a splinter. Since you can't be both a sliver and a splinter, he has to be something else entirely.

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/81-shadows-of-self-newcastle-uk-signing/#e5723

 

He's certainly a unique case. Both a Sliver and a Splinter, yet neither of these things.

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Slight correction to your statement, which I agree with.  To be a *sliver* he must have already been a human (well, sapient being) intelligence.  A splinter is the bit of investiture that gains intelligence (Radiant spren, Seons, etc).  The sliver is the intelligence that gains investiture (TLR).

/end pedant mode

Brandon's too fond of words that being with S.  :wacko:

Edit 3:  BESKAR YOU HAVE A COSMERE TIMELINE!  I've been thinking of making one but you've done it!  THAAAAAAAANNNNKKKKKKKK YOUUUUUUUUUUU

Edited by RShara
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Oops. I swear I spend more time looking at the definitions than typing when I discuss these, and I still got it wrong.

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@RShara I meant to link you that earlier in discord but I forgot. I still need to update it for Oathbringer, but hopefully it fits what you were looking for.

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5 minutes ago, BeskarKomrk said:

@RShara I meant to link you that earlier in discord but I forgot. I still need to update it for Oathbringer, but hopefully it fits what you were looking for.

It's perfect.  Thank you thank you thank you.

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12 hours ago, aemetha said:

I agree with Brandon's rather unsatisfactory answer on the subject. Splinter and Sliver don't really apply to him. To be a splinter he must have already been a human intelligence, but he really wasn't - he's something new as a result of a merging of a sliver (in the form of a cognitive shadow) and a splinter. Since you can't be both a sliver and a splinter, he has to be something else entirely.

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/81-shadows-of-self-newcastle-uk-signing/#e5723

 

A Splinter doesn't Need to have Human intelligence. It need only to be' sentient to a degree.

All the Roshar's Spren are Splinters from the Rider of the Storm to the Windspren.

The Stormfather was once a simple "powerful Spren" (A Splinter) but then He merged with Tanavast's Cognitive Shadow (a Sliver). What he is now as nomenclature is unclear as Splinter and Sliver are mutual exclusive.

 

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@Yata yes, I know. I transposed Splinter and Sliver. @RShara had already corrected me by that point though so there seemed little benefit in trying to hide my ineptitude. We have come to the conclusion that Brandon needs to be more conservative with his use of S words as there is likely to be a cosmere wide shortage of S's soon.

Edited by aemetha
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Just now, aemetha said:

@Yata yes, I know. I transposed Splinter and Sliver. @RShara had already quoted me by that point though so there seemed little benefit in trying to hide my ineptitude. We have come to the conclusion that Brandon needs to be more conservative with his use of S words as there is likely to be a cosmere wide shortage of S's soon.

You made me snicker, which earned me a strange look.  :D

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I was considering writing a story for the one year gap thread about how the Silverlight Sodality for the Sensible and Sustainable Subsistence of S had called a meeting in Shadesmar for specific shards, slivers, splinters, shadows, spren and other societies to discuss a complaint by a lisp sufferer advocacy group.

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You get an upvote for that amazing amount of alliteration.

Also :lol::o

I would read that story.

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