Kaleid

[OB] Where is Odium's army?

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The desolation has come. The Everstorm is terrorising the lands and the Voidbringers have returned.

 

But why does it all feel so... Underwhelming?


Alethkar got conquered when most of the army was off on the shattered plains or in Urithuru by Alethi-like war-loving Parshmen. It was more a surprise attack than anything else and despite it feeling so hopeless, it wasn't as easy for the Parshmen as one would assume, and if the humans were anywhere near as prepared as they had been for Thaylenah, it wouldn't have been anywhere near as easy for them.

 

Alethi-like Parshmen aside, the rest of these supposed Voidbringers don't seem to be all that bad at all. They'd rather not live in slavery, but just as much, they don't seem to want to be at war either. It seems that it would be very easy to strike an accord with these people if an attempt was made and the humans were trusting enough.

There don't seem to be very many fused at all - at least not enough to call an army. And besides, they seem to have similar limitations to shardbearers in that they cannot Hold Ground.

 

The Thrill has been captured, so Odium cannot even use the Thrill against the human armies.

 


With the humans almost wholly united, and someone like Dalinar in charge, who has historically proven willing to deal with the Parsh - not to mention kal who will likely advise that peace is possible - it doesn't seem like Odium has much of an army left.

 

Actually, he doesn't seem all that scary at all. Insane Heralds in charge of countries are scarier at the moment.

 

Am I missing something? Odium seems a rather impotent god who has already lost. In another topic, it was asked why Taln arrived when he did. Now it seems like it may have been a rather desperate move by Odium.

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Part of what you’re describing is, I think, one of the main themes we are supposed to take out of OB: that, even though the everstorm has come and has restored the Parshmen’s Connection and Identity, they are not instantly turned into evil Voidbringers. Most of the Parshmen are restored as what would be akin to a normal human; they don’t want to be enslaved, but they’re not mindless killing machines hellbent on destroying mankind. 

 

As for the army, the significance of the Everstorm is that the Fused, once killed, can simply return and take over a new host body. In previous desolations, it is suggested that the Fused came over at once or in waves, but once a Fused was killed, they returned to Braize and could not return in that desolation cycle. In current times, the Fused can be killed over and over and still return with the next passing of the Everstorm. Furthermore, in the last Venli scene from OB, the Fused are “excitedly” discussing why the Thaylenah battle went so poorly: namely that not all the Fused have “awakened,” and that some of those that have been awakened are so old/newly awakened that they’re more mindless than they had been before. 

 

Finally, for Odium’s army, even with the imprisonment of the Thrill, at least 7 Unmade remain at large (assuming Sja-Anat is now working to oppose Odium), and a few of these are considered to be sapient/intelligent.

 

I think that it is premature to suggest that all of mankind on Roshar is united. Dalinar’s coalition, while impressive, is in a tenuous position at best. There are still factions within the coalition working against Dalinar, and Taravangian is now working alongside Odium (whether this will actually help Odium is another story, as I’m partial to the idea that the Diagram was a “plant” by Cultivation to throw Odium off or mislead him). 

 

We we will continue to learn more about the state of the Parsh people in book four given that it will focus on Eshonai for flashbacks and likely Venli in the present. It will be interesting to see if she will be able to bring together the factions of Parshmen uninterested in warring with the humans/working for Odium.

 

TL;DR: Odium’s forces still have a lot left in the tank, and I do not believe the human coalition is not as rock solid as you seem to imply. 

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Yeah. The main point of this story was that things are not what anyone was lead to believe. 

The Singers aren't all instantly the bad guys, and the Radiants don't have to be good guys. (Malata and the Skybreakers) 

This is not a simple Good vs. Evil fight and was never going to be, despite what the people in world or readers believed. 

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If Odium couldn't even take Thaylenah, what hope does he have against something as well situated as Urithuru?

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The Singers plus subverted human forces seem to have been the intended army. That didn't exactly work out but... Now there's a traitor in our heroes' midst, quite a few Singers may still be whipped into soldiers and the humans are fairly scattered.

Alethkar, the warrior nation, is occupied, their armies diminished, their leaders not always seeing eye-to-eye. Also they are a nation in exile at the moment which may negatively impact their morale, along with the infighting between various armies. One of their armies also betrayed them (yes, we know they were supernaturally influenced, but can that be verified by the characters?) probably not helping them look trustworthy in the eyes of their allies. Oh, and their leader is a heretic when several of the nations are nominally Vorin.

Jah Keved has gone through a chaotic period of important people dying left and right, destabilising the government, at least until Taravangian came into the picture.

Azir seems mostly fine, but the supposed ruler's authority doesn't really extend to all the people they nominally rule.

Thaylenah was hit hard by the Everstorm, was the site of the first real battle of this Desolation and had their fleet stolen... and the fleet was their thing.

Shinovar seems to be staying out of the entire mess and is where the Everstorm hits hardest.

To close out on the nations (yes I know there are more, but I don't have a lot to say about them) all the nations that made use of parshmen had parts of their workforces lost to them, even if the Singers didn't cause any wanton destruction. All their economies would be negatively impacted (in wartime) and we already see people upset at doing work that's "beneath" them.

In addition, basically the entire order of Skybreakers went over to Odium/the Singers, along with their Herald, denying mankind their power and support while granting the same to their enemy, along with a Herald's power and experience.

It's implied that all the Fused are not awake yet, the greatest of their number taking longer it seems. And while the Fused might not be enough to call an army, they are ancient and experienced, not to mention functionally immortal as long as they have a Singer to possess.

Odium has fighting resources other than armies as well, like whatever the inky creature in Dalinar's vision is and thunderclasts, which are basically living siege engines that aren't vulnerable to enemy fire as they advance (seeing as the spren can sneak close and then the "creature" can rip itself from the ground) and that are powerful enough to take down a Herald, as noted in the very first chapter of WoK.

There are eight Unmade still out there, even if one seems to want to switch sides. And related to that, one of them corrupted one of the Oathgates, one of humanity's greatest resources.

The Heralds have all gone various brands of insane and are not very helpful to humanity at the moment, unlike the previous Desolations.

The Everstorm exists (in at least two variations) which it hasn't before and it's of Odium. And destructive...

The Fused have swept in and taken over in Shadesmar, both watching the Horneater perpendicularity and keeping watch over the big Spren city and possibly more.

I suppose the concise answer is that Odium is not there in full force yet and had hoped for/counted on an early decisive victory. Odium is bound by oaths, once he accepted combat by champion he had to abide by it. He was planning on subverting the man who thought himself the human champion to be his own champion instead. He entered into the agreement of trial by combat convinced that Dalinar would fall to him and conquer Roshar as his champion. Dalinar was endowed with the capacity to make this deal with Odium and if he fell under Odium's influence either the Rosharan champion would be defeated by default, freeing Odium from the Oathpact or he'd presumably be empowered by Odium to defeat whatever champion came forward, freeing Odium from the Oathpact, at which point the conquest of Roshar would presumably be a formality.

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3 minutes ago, Kaleid said:

If Odium couldn't even take Thaylenah, what hope does he have against something as well situated as Urithuru?

Were on book 3 of 10. We haven't seen anything yet. 

The majority of his forces aren't committed yet, and he tried a gambit that failed against exceptional circumstances. 

Dalinar isn't just going to be throwing perpendicularities around. 

At this point Odium controls the majority of the world, and the human alliance is in shambles, with a it separated, and Taravangian possibly as well. 

We haven't seen how anything is going to develop.

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Also, many of the Fused have yet to show up.  So I agree, we haven't seen anything yet, and Odium already controls like, 2/3 of the continent.

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19 minutes ago, Calderis said:

Were on book 3 of 10. We haven't seen anything yet. 

 

Sure. But can't that same statement be taken to mean that Odium might not necessarily be the Big Bad by the end of the 10th book?

 

Mistborn spoilers:

Spoiler

In the first mistborn book, Rashek is the big bad. By the end of the third, he's nowhere near as bad as Ruin turned out to be.

 

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Just now, Kaleid said:

 

Sure. But can't that same statement be taken to mean that Odium might not necessarily be the Big Bad by the end of the 10th book?

 

Mistborn spoilers:

  Reveal hidden contents

In the first mistborn book, Rashek is the big bad. By the end of the third, he's nowhere near as bad as Ruin turned out to be.

 

While that is true, Odium is a Shard, what would be the man behind the man (as it were) to him? It would also be incredibly anticlimactic if he were properly defeated before the end, what with his buildup and how he's described.

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What's scarier than a shard? Two shards?

 

Is there something out there that even shards are scared of (other than Sazed)?

 

Furthermore, if there are 10 books, and Odium is defeated in, say, the 7th (or even the 5th?) before it is revealed that there is a bigger, badder enemy to fight - I don't think that would be anticlimatic.

Edited by Kaleid
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Yes, in theory. But that would depend on both the Shard and the Vessel. What other Shards would a, be willing to work together, b, be as scary/as credible a threat as Odium, c, actually do something like that?

Odium is contained and most Shards seem to not want to interfere. And if Odium were defeated by an outside force in, say, book eight then it'd (possibly) boil down to remnants of Odium's forces vs Roshar's humanity vs wildcard. I expect Odium to be the big bad throughout, as someone else noted, he's taken most of the continent already and he's not even fully committed at the moment.

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35 minutes ago, Inquisitor #5 said:

The Singers plus subverted human forces seem to have been the intended army. That didn't exactly work out but... Now there's a traitor in our heroes' midst, quite a few Singers may still be whipped into soldiers and the humans are fairly scattered.

Alethkar, the warrior nation, is occupied, their armies diminished, their leaders not always seeing eye-to-eye. Also they are a nation in exile at the moment which may negatively impact their morale, along with the infighting between various armies. One of their armies also betrayed them (yes, we know they were supernaturally influenced, but can that be verified by the characters?) probably not helping them look trustworthy in the eyes of their allies. Oh, and their leader is a heretic when several of the nations are nominally Vorin.

Jah Keved has gone through a chaotic period of important people dying left and right, destabilising the government, at least until Taravangian came into the picture.

Azir seems mostly fine, but the supposed ruler's authority doesn't really extend to all the people they nominally rule.

Thaylenah was hit hard by the Everstorm, was the site of the first real battle of this Desolation and had their fleet stolen... and the fleet was their thing.

Shinovar seems to be staying out of the entire mess and is where the Everstorm hits hardest.

To close out on the nations (yes I know there are more, but I don't have a lot to say about them) all the nations that made use of parshmen had parts of their workforces lost to them, even if the Singers didn't cause any wanton destruction. All their economies would be negatively impacted (in wartime) and we already see people upset at doing work that's "beneath" them.

In addition, basically the entire order of Skybreakers went over to Odium/the Singers, along with their Herald, denying mankind their power and support while granting the same to their enemy, along with a Herald's power and experience.

It's implied that all the Fused are not awake yet, the greatest of their number taking longer it seems. And while the Fused might not be enough to call an army, they are ancient and experienced, not to mention functionally immortal as long as they have a Singer to possess.

Odium has fighting resources other than armies as well, like whatever the inky creature in Dalinar's vision is and thunderclasts, which are basically living siege engines that aren't vulnerable to enemy fire as they advance (seeing as the spren can sneak close and then the "creature" can rip itself from the ground) and that are powerful enough to take down a Herald, as noted in the very first chapter of WoK.

There are eight Unmade still out there, even if one seems to want to switch sides. And related to that, one of them corrupted one of the Oathgates, one of humanity's greatest resources.

The Heralds have all gone various brands of insane and are not very helpful to humanity at the moment, unlike the previous Desolations.

The Everstorm exists (in at least two variations) which it hasn't before and it's of Odium. And destructive...

The Fused have swept in and taken over in Shadesmar, both watching the Horneater perpendicularity and keeping watch over the big Spren city and possibly more.

I suppose the concise answer is that Odium is not there in full force yet and had hoped for/counted on an early decisive victory. Odium is bound by oaths, once he accepted combat by champion he had to abide by it. He was planning on subverting the man who thought himself the human champion to be his own champion instead. He entered into the agreement of trial by combat convinced that Dalinar would fall to him and conquer Roshar as his champion. Dalinar was endowed with the capacity to make this deal with Odium and if he fell under Odium's influence either the Rosharan champion would be defeated by default, freeing Odium from the Oathpact or he'd presumably be empowered by Odium to defeat whatever champion came forward, freeing Odium from the Oathpact, at which point the conquest of Roshar would presumably be a formality.

this covers most of the issue, just to add a few things.

Alethkar, on top of everything above, they have no source of reinforcements, so the troops they have are all they get, and the most effective of those troops have been severely weakened. Dalinar's, Alidar's, Roion's, and Sebarial's armies were devastated by the battle of Narak, and Dalinar's and Aladar's armies were among the strongest in Alethkar. 2 of the high princes have not joined them, and Sadeas\Amaram's army has been, at the least, weakened if not pretty much destroyed in the battle at Theylenah. the Alethi armies are pretty tapped out at the moment. Add to that the economic disaster of losing your working class, and the loss of their home land, and you end up with a very vulnerable Alethi people.

Jah Keved, once again, on top of everything above, Jah Keved also suffered a huge hit to its army in the civil war it just had, up to 50% of its armies destroyed themselves in the fighting for the kingdom. it was probably the second most powerful armed force on Roshar and is severely weekend and destabilized.

Azir (More accurately Makabakam kingdom) seems to be a fragile union of wildly independent states that only in appearance remain united. also, they do not seem to be known as a strong militant force.

that covers the 3 largest groups on Roshar and that does not look good from a defense stand point.

I also don't think we have seen a serious Parsh army yet. the ones they took to Theylenah were meant to see what happened, so that it would inspire them. they were probably not a serious fighting force. I imagine a real battle with the Parsh would be more similar to the battle of Narak X10.

33 minutes ago, Kaleid said:

Furthermore, if there are 10 books, and Odium is defeated in, say, the 7th (or even the 5th?) before it is revealed that there is a bigger, badder enemy to fight - I don't think that would be anticlimatic.

I actually think Rayse will be defeated in book 5, and that someone else, most likely someone worse, will pick up the shard, and be the big bad for the back 5.

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3 minutes ago, Messremb said:

Jah Keved, once again, on top of everything above, Jah Keved also suffered a huge hit to its army in the civil war it just had, up to 50% of its armies destroyed themselves in the fighting for the kingdom. it was probably the second most powerful armed force on Roshar and is severely weekend and destabilized.

Thank you, I seemed to remember there being a Veden civil war but I wasn't sure.

 

5 minutes ago, Messremb said:

I actually think Rayse will be defeated in book 5, and that someone else, most likely someone worse, will pick up the shard, and be the big bad for the back 5.

Interesting.

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12 minutes ago, Messremb said:

I actually think Rayse will be defeated in book 5, and that someone else, most likely someone worse, will pick up the shard, and be the big bad for the back 5.

 

Oooooh, I like this.


What if we take it a step further and say that it's cultivation's vessel who takes Odium.

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Just now, Kaleid said:

 

Oooooh, I like this.


What if we take it a step further and say that it's cultivation's vessel who takes Odium.

My immediate thought is "What possible reason could she have for wanting that?!"

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1 hour ago, Kaleid said:

What's scarier than a shard? Two shards?

Is there something out there that even shards are scared of (other than Sazed)?

Probably!

Brandon does surprises well.  Every book he's ever written, huge things were unveiled halfway, two thirds, or even nine tenths of the way through the story.  Not just filling in the dots between already established endpoints type things (like more Fused arriving, or learning more about the remaining Unmade and Thunderclasts) but the kind of move where the camera pans back and you realize that what you thought was the entire canvas is actually just a tiny corner of something MUCH bigger.

Stormlight is gonna be the same.

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49 minutes ago, Inquisitor #5 said:

My immediate thought is "What possible reason could she have for wanting that?!"

Because her intent is all about growth and change. 

I've actually considered this scenario a few times, and the combination of Odium and Cultivation is terrifying. 

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43 minutes ago, Kaleid said:

What if we take it a step further and say that it's cultivation's vessel who takes Odium.

I'm personally a fan of the Moash theory. I think Moash as the big bag is a good counter point to Kaladin as the Hero.

 

26 minutes ago, shawnhargreaves said:

Probably!

Brandon does surprises well.  Every book he's ever written, huge things were unveiled halfway, two thirds, or even nine tenths of the way through the story.  Not just filling in the dots between already established endpoints type things (like more Fused arriving, or learning more about the remaining Unmade and Thunderclasts) but the kind of move where the camera pans back and you realize that what you thought was the entire canvas is actually just a tiny corner of something MUCH bigger.

Stormlight is gonna be the same.

I agree, I think we will see many changes in the future books, and I don't trust Cultivation at all, her shards intent seems like it could work against our Heros and much as it could work for them. I think we must consider her a grey character whose actions will always benefit her idea of cultivation, and until we know that that is, she is a wild card.

I personally think we will see Dalinar "unite" the splinters of Honor and pick up that shard, somehow use it to kill Rayse, probably through sacrificing himself Vin style, then Moash will pick up the Odium shard and start the true desolation. but I think the break in the middle will be because someone will take up the oathpact, even if only temporarily to give them time to prepare. 

 

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12 minutes ago, Calderis said:

Because her intent is all about growth and change.

Point. That actually makes a lot of sense, from one perspective. Hadn't considered that.

Though if we remember that Shardic Intent isn't self-referential (i.e. Ruin isn't about self-ruination, Preservation isn't about self-preservation, etc.) I'd think that she'd only be more likely to decide on doing it (on account of her mind probably aligning pretty closely with her Intent at this point), rather than her 10 times out of 10 doing it just to change/grow.

17 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I've actually considered this scenario a few times, and the combination of Odium and Cultivation is terrifying. 

Yes, yes it is.

¤_¤

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19 minutes ago, Messremb said:

I personally think we will see Dalinar "unite" the splinters of Honor and pick up that shard, somehow use it to kill Rayse, probably through sacrificing himself Vin style

 

If this happens, what is stopping someone from picking up both the Odium and the Honour shards. Hell, why stop at 2 - they could grab Cultivation aswell.


Even Odium is scared of Harmony. What kind of beast would we be looking at if the right (wrong?) vessel ended up with three shards?

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5 minutes ago, Kaleid said:

 

If this happens, what is stopping someone from picking up both the Odium and the Honour shards. Hell, why stop at 2 - they could grab Cultivation aswell.


Even Odium is scared of Harmony. What kind of beast would we be looking at if the right (wrong?) vessel ended up with three shards?

I don't think picking up a shard is as easy as just grabbing the power, you have to a close connection to the intent of the shard (i.e. Dalinar is connecting to the principles of honor so he is able to start to picking up the shards of honor) I think Sazed was a special case, as he could connect to both Ruin and Preservation, and was able to find the Harmony.

We do know that having 2 shards has made it very difficult for Sazed to act, as his intent limits him significantly. yes he is powerful, but he is also restricted. I think there is some WOB that basically talk about Odium not taking on other shards because it would change his intent and restrict\weaken him.

I think Moash has a strong connection to Hatred, maybe even a stronger connection than Rayse. as far as Honors shard goes, I think Rock would be a great holder for Honor.

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3 hours ago, Inquisitor #5 said:

In addition, basically the entire order of Skybreakers went over to Odium/the Singers, along with their Herald, denying mankind their power and support while granting the same to their enemy, along with a Herald's power and experience.

I just want to push back on one point you made. Nale has said he will fight for the Singers, not for Odium. We do not know how that will manifest or how Nale will interpret that. Could he fight to free them from Odium? In the end you may be right, but Nale never says he will fight for Odium, just the Singers. 

 

This is not going to go the way you think. 

Edited by thejopen27
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Just now, thejopen27 said:

I just want to push back on one point you made. Nale has said he will fight for the Singers, not for Odium. We do not know how that will manifest or how Nale will interpret that. Could he fight to free them from Odium? Could he fight for their freedom? In the end you may be right, but Nale never says he will fight for Odium, just the Singers. 

True, true. I myself have a theory hinging on that. My personal idea is that while he swears himself to the Singers' law/the Singers he'll fight Odium if, say, they/their lawmakers/the majority/the most influential of them turn against him.

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1 minute ago, Inquisitor #5 said:

True, true. I myself have a theory hinging on that. My personal idea is that while he swears himself to the Singers' law/the Singers he'll fight Odium if, say, they/their lawmakers/the majority/the most influential of them turn against him.

We don't know when the Heralds were created, who were they? How much do they know about Odium? And always remember, Nale is still insane.

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Just now, thejopen27 said:

We don't know when the Heralds were created

Do you mean when they became Cognitive Shadows? When they became the Heralds? (Assuming the two aren't one and the same.) When they were born?

 

3 minutes ago, thejopen27 said:

who were they?

Kings and queens mostly, it seems.

 

4 minutes ago, thejopen27 said:

How much do they know about Odium?

Probably quite a bit. Ash says "Oh, God. Oh, Adonalsium." or something like that, which I feel either implies a lot of Cosmere awareness, ancientness or both.

 

6 minutes ago, thejopen27 said:

And always remember, Nale is still insane.

Indeed.

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