NightFrost

[OB] Why Soulcasting exists as a surge and a fabrial

26 posts in this topic

So I was thinking one day and realized something soulcasting exists in two different forms as a Surge accessible to two of the KR orders and as a fabrial. Now why would Sanderson do that? From what we have seen surges and fabrials have stayed mostly separate except for soulcasting. My theory is that the surge of soulcasting is something completely different from fabrial version. this can be seen through the effects that the fabrials have on people and the requirement of gems in order to even operate it.

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We have seen one other kind of fabrial that directly mimics an application of a surge: Regrowth.

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oh well i was just brushing up on my knowledge of soulcasting after this and the arcanum of OB says that they are different but it still seems mysterious that this is so as Sanderson could have written in the fabrial and made up a whole new surge. Hopefully we get to learn more of soulcasting in later books. 

 

oh yea i forgot about that but i am not convinced that was a fabtial

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Soulcasting isn't unique, it's just the most prominent example. Any of the Surges could be replicated with fabrial science. As for why fabrial Soulcasting is different in some ways from what Surgebinders do, the restriction on how many things a given fabrial can produce are likely to be a purely mechanical limitation they either couldn't or didn't know how to overcome (we see this sort of thing in other Cosmere works as well) and the long-term effect it has on the person using it is probably because they don't have a Nahel bond to help filter the power they're using.

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34 minutes ago, NightFrost said:

oh yea i forgot about that but i am not convinced that was a fabtial

By the glow of the armor and the eye color, that Radiant was a Stoneward and had to be using a fabrial, as she wouldn't have had Progression herself. Same for Nale and Szeth's resurrection. 

Furthermore we have this WoB. 

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/166/#e3013

Quote

Argent (paraphrased)

Fabrials replicate Soulcasting abilities. Is it possible for fabrials to replicate all such Surgebinding abilities?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, good question! Fabrials can replicate all of the Surgebinding abilities.

Fabrials are limited by the variability of their function. A fabrial is designed for specific uses, whereas a Surgebinder can access the entirety of a surge if they know how. 

Edited by Calderis
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Soulcaster is the name of the surge and thus became the byword for the fabrials with soulcasting. Now, why those are the only radiant fabrials left in circulation is a mystery to me. 

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3 minutes ago, Aleksiel said:

Soulcaster is the name of the surge and thus became the byword for the fabrials with soulcasting. Now, why those are the only radiant fabrials left in circulation is a mystery to me. 

Minor nitpick, soulcasting is what they call the use of the surge. The surge itself is Transformation. 

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22 minutes ago, Aleksiel said:

Soulcaster is the name of the surge and thus became the byword for the fabrials with soulcasting. Now, why those are the only radiant fabrials left in circulation is a mystery to me. 

I would assume because of it's importance to all life on Roshar. Shelter and food are prime hallmarks for survival for any culture. Out of all surge related fabrials, Transformation is the most useful in terms of preserving a population. It has wide spread uses, evidenced multiple times in WoK and WoR during the war on the Shattered Plains. A Progression fabrial would be a close second but healing doesn't matter if the population can't be sustained. In between Desolations it would be vastly important to mass produce resources for humanity. Thus that would be mean that the people would insure the knowledge of Transformation fabrials would be one of the things to last through the generations  

Edited by Kered
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19 minutes ago, Calderis said:

Minor nitpick, soulcasting is what they call the use of the surge. The surge itself is Transformation. 

You are right. Although it brings the question why such a poetic term when transforming would have worked fine, however renaming soulcasters to transformers would be awkward :ph34r:

6 minutes ago, Kered said:

I would assume because of it's importance to all life on Roshar. Shelter and food are prime hallmarks for survival for any culture. Out of all surge related fabrials, Transformation is the most useful in terms of preserving life. It has wide spread uses, evidenced multiple times in WoK and WoR during the war on the Shattered Plains. A Progression fabrial would be a close second but healing doesn't matter if the population can't be sustained. In between Desolations it would be vastly important to mass produce resources for humanity. Thus that would be mean that the people would insure the knowledge of Transformation fabrials would be one of the things to last through the generations  

Fabrial with regrowth sound vital for survival, too. Where did all of them go? I think saying modern day rosharians have knowledge of how soulcaters work is pushing it - they know how to use them, but not how to make them. They can repair existing ones, but not create new ones. Preserving surge fibrials seems like something vital for post-Recreanse society, yet the only fabrial with regrowth we saw was in Nale's hands. May be there are more ancient surge fabrials we haven't seen yet. My point was I understand why transportation based ones were forgoten, but something you can carry in your pocket and it heals you? That's easy to use and keep. It's odd there aren't any of those around, Nale's aside.

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So hopefully this isn’t too off topic, but this talk of fabrials imitating surges reminds me of unkeyed metalminds, and actually now that I think about it, so do shardblades and shardplate. That’s kind of an interesting parallel, like a spren bond on Roshar plays a similar role to Identity on Scadrial

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13 minutes ago, Aleksiel said:

You are right. Although it brings the question why such a poetic term when transforming would have worked fine, however renaming soulcasters to transformers would be awkward :ph34r:

Fabrial with regrowth sound vital for survival, too. Where did all of them go? I think saying modern day rosharians have knowledge of how soulcaters work is pushing it - they know how to use them, but not how to make them. They can repair existing ones, but not create new ones. Preserving surge fibrials seems like something vital for post-Recreanse society, yet the only fabrial with regrowth we saw was in Nale's hands. May be there are more ancient surge fabrials we haven't seen yet. My point was I understand why transportation based ones were forgoten, but something you can carry in your pocket and it heals you? That's easy to use and keep. It's odd there aren't any of those around, Nale's aside.

True, but out of all fabrials we see, Soulcasters are used the most by the vast majority of nations for multiple important tasks. Regardless of what surge fabrials we think would be most important, the use of Transformation fabrials on Roshar is evidence enough which fabrials people thought were the most important. 

Edited by Kered
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1 minute ago, Kered said:

True, but out of all fabrials we see, Soulcasters are used the most by the vast majority of nations for multiple important tasks. Regardless of what surge fabrials we think would be most important, the use of Transformation fabrials on Roshar is evidence enough which fabrials people thought were the most important. 

I'd rephrase this to it's evidence for what they managed to preserve and can still use. They didn't have to choose just one type to keep how like they have both Blades and Plates instead of choosing between Shards. There has been a discussion why so many Shards seems to have gotten lost, but it's not like a whole category of Shards disappeared.

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I'm pretty sure Navani's flying ship fabrial will use the gravitation surge. I bet that fabrials can use radiant surges.

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I wonder why the tower of the radiants had no devices housed in it. It would make sense if there were fabrials for all 10 surges. So where is the armory.

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22 hours ago, Aleksiel said:

I'd rephrase this to it's evidence for what they managed to preserve and can still use. They didn't have to choose just one type to keep how like they have both Blades and Plates instead of choosing between Shards. There has been a discussion why so many Shards seems to have gotten lost, but it's not like a whole category of Shards disappeared.

Agreed, I didn't explain that well. I'm not saying that they consciously choose one fabrial over another. What I meant is that out of all the "surge" fabrials, Transformation was the one that saw the most use simply due to the fact that it provided food and shelter en masse. Constant use of something will usually just become habitual.  

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18 hours ago, .S.A.M.K.M said:

I wonder why the tower of the radiants had no devices housed in it. It would make sense if there were fabrials for all 10 surges. So where is the armory.

Since the radiants abandoned the tower, I doubt they would have just left those things behind. It seems that from the interlude chapter, Aimia is where the soulcaster fabrials originated from and would like house the answers possibly for the other surge fabrials. But apparently this knowledge is dangerous, hence the reason a Dysian (person made of cremlings) is actively guarding it.

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I just had an idea, what if surge binding is required to make those multiple types of fabrials? So only the knight were capable of building the items necessary to replicate the 10 surges properly.

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38 minutes ago, .S.A.M.K.M said:

I just had an idea, what if surge binding is required to make those multiple types of fabrials? So only the knight were capable of building the items necessary to replicate the 10 surges properly.

Do you mean replicating just what the surge does or all the aspects of a surge such as making a fabrial that could basically turn you into a windrunner because i am pretty sure there are already fabrials that replicate parts of a surge

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I meant that it takes a knight to imbue the specific properties into a fabrial needed to mimic a Knights surge binding.

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On 1/6/2018 at 8:29 PM, .S.A.M.K.M said:

I wonder why the tower of the radiants had no devices housed in it. It would make sense if there were fabrials for all 10 surges. So where is the armory.

I believe there's a comment in Kaza's interlude that people used to go to the Aimians on Akinah to get soulcasters.  Perhaps there's still a large store of them there.  I don't know if that's simply because they had access to lots of gemhearts from greatshells going there to die or if there are other reasons.  My pet theory is that perhaps there used to be some sort of artifabrian university or center of knowledge at Akinah.  Clearly it was important enough to be given an oathgate, and I think if you gave a bunch of nearly immortal bug people a steady supply of large gemhearts they could come up with some pretty advanced technology.  Assuming Aimians were never knights radiant like the parshendi, it would make sense for them to explore other means of accessing the surges.

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There's also the question of what kind of spren has to be trapped in one of these to replicate the Radiant surges. Does it require a mindless spren, or one of the higher spren?

And I can think of two reason why the soulcasters are so common compared to other surge fabrials. The first is that the ancients may not have had the technology to produce anything other than soulcasters or the regrowth tools. The second is that it seems Akinah may have been producing them over the years. This would explain why so many soulcasters there are vs any of the others.

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The oath gates were locked from use, it needed a shard blade to activate. What if the knights had a set of tools used to make fabrials but they also need a shard blade to activate?

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We've seen modern fabrials that can use gravitation. Remember Navani's floating platform from an earlier book?

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