hoiditthroughthegrapevine

[OB] Combat Uses of the Illumination Surge

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I think there are a lot of these types of strategies possible. Have the enemy waste their arrows on a fake cavalry charge.  Create a false unit of troops in a flanking position for distraction so that reinforcements have time to arrive.  Cover the ground in oil and then cover that with an illusion.  When the enemy troops move in, set the fire.

.............Channeling my inner Dalinar, need to stop.

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I bet the surge of Illumination can make waveforms across the electromagnetic spectrum. So, building off your ideas, things like x-ray, microwave, and gamma radiation grenades could be done. The last one terrifies me since it would basically mean that Lightweavers and/or Truthwatchers are walking, potential, partial nukes. Storms, gamma radiation might hinder Stormlight healing if not outright overwhelm a surgebinder's healing factor, Regrowth or not.

 

Other than that, the waveforms part of Illumination's scope opens up some potential mechanical shenanigans. I would imagine earthquakes and Marvel's Quake level of shenanigans are on the table. It probably would just take more Stormlight than normal.

Edited by Knight Oblivion
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9 minutes ago, Knight Oblivion said:

Other than that, the waveforms part of Illumination's scope opens up some potential mechanical shenanigans. I would imagine earthquakes and Marvel's Quake level of shenanigans are on the table. It probably would just take more Stormlight than normal.

I have a theory that the Dawnshards might have been used as terra-forming tools to shape the landscape of Roshar. The Dawnshard of Illumination could have been used in conjunction with the Dawnshard of Cohesion (the surge that Yelig-narred Amaram used to sink Kaladin into the stone) to create the cymatic rock formations of the 10 capitals of the Silver Kingdom. The Dawnshards of Gravitation and Cohesion could have been used to sculpt the gigantic Mountain of Urithiru. And the Dawnshard of Transformation could have been used to terraform the interior/exterior of Urithuru as well. This is just a guess, but if the Dawnshards are overpowered keys to the 10 surges (like I suspect they are) then they would have the ability to create and shape entire worlds as well as destroy them.

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I am super curious about the big flash of light Renarin used to stop the Thunderclast. I know there is some controversy as to whether he actually has the surge (I think he does), but we do know that Ym's spren wanted him to "make light" to try and escape Nale- so I suspect it could have a powerful impact on any enemy. Hope to learn more in the next book. 

If the Catapult Gems are used for sounds, you could shoot in "commands" using Listener accents/rhythms.  Imagine if in a middle of battle suddenly you hear voices from the sky yelling "retreat" in your native tongue? That would cause chaos.

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I wonder if lightweaving could be used to make you invisible, that could certainly be useful in a battle.

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3 hours ago, Doomdrinker said:

I wonder if lightweaving could be used to make you invisible, that could certainly be useful in a battle.

And attached to a gem, instant Invisible army. Rad!

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On 1/29/2018 at 4:36 AM, Doomdrinker said:

I wonder if lightweaving could be used to make you invisible, that could certainly be useful in a battle.

Probably not, except in the perfect camouflage sense of putting an image in front of you that shows what's behind you, which would be too much for a mere mortal to manage in a battle situation.

There might be some kind of super advanced Illumination application that bends the light around you or allows it to pass through you but then you're blind.

That last part goes for @hoiditthroughthegrapevine's concealed archers, too, although making a view slot in the blind would work, and still be really hard to spot from any distance.

ETA: Show up for a plateau run with what looks like twenty bridge crews, ten with full armor and ten in vests and sandals. Actually, each of the ones that look unarmored are just one guy in armor with a really big shield holding a gem. The ones that look armored aren't, but they do have an actual bridge.

Edited by digitalbusker
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2 minutes ago, digitalbusker said:

That last part goes for @hoiditthroughthegrapevine's concealed archers, although making a view slot in the blind would work, and still be really hard to spot from any distance.

That's a good point, but if Shallan's illusions can simulate glass or jewelry then they should be able to simulate transparent objects. This seems like something that would be worth putting the time into figuring out (becuase of its extreme utility) how to make objects semi-transparent. So with the archery blind you could have semi-transparent slits that integrate seamlessly with the rest of the illusion that the archers could see and fire through. And for the invisible soldier the illusion could be crafted to map perfectly to the soldier/spy to be made invisible, with a semi-transparent visor where the soldier/spy's eyes are. I agree that it would be very difficult to come up with a self contained illusion that creates perfect invisibility, but I really like your bending light rays around the illusion idea. This would probably still have to leave the area around their eyes more visible, but it would be a pretty big advantage to have soldiers that were nearly impossible to see.

Also, you could effectively create a color shifting warder's cloak, but without direct direction by a lightweaver it probably wouldn't be able to blend in with the surroundings perfectly, but it could cycle through a series of patterns and colors that make the user of the cloaking gem much harder to see.

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On 1/29/2018 at 1:59 AM, Knight Oblivion said:

I bet the surge of Illumination can make waveforms across the electromagnetic spectrum. So, building off your ideas, things like x-ray, microwave, and gamma radiation grenades could be done. The last one terrifies me since it would basically mean that Lightweavers and/or Truthwatchers are walking, potential, partial nukes. Storms, gamma radiation might hinder Stormlight healing if not outright overwhelm a surgebinder's healing factor, Regrowth or not.

 

Other than that, the waveforms part of Illumination's scope opens up some potential mechanical shenanigans. I would imagine earthquakes and Marvel's Quake level of shenanigans are on the table. It probably would just take more Stormlight than normal.

You my friend have some very interesting ideas, but i seriously doubt they could pull all that off maybe x-ray and microwave radiation. Shallan or any radiant with illumination would be dependent on how much stormlight they have available and how much stormlight the gem could hold. You also have to take into account spehere of influence. A microwave uses microwave radiation of course so she might be able to produce microwave or gamma radiation but over a very small area not really usable in large conflicts. IMO Gamma radiation is so powerful though I don’t see anyone ever achieving this. You might have a team of Radiants working together during a high storm and maybe focusing all their power on a fabrial designed to collect that energy an redirect it, but like you said also it might be so powerful they decide not to use it though they could. I see light weavers though more strategic laying traps and ambushes creating lies false hope like the enemy thinking they have reinforcements coming up from behind but in reality it the enemy in disguise.

 

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On 1/29/2018 at 0:42 AM, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

So I was thinking more about the surge of Illumination, and we really haven't seen anything like the full combat potential for this surge yet. I think Illumination can be used both Defensively and Offensively.

One of the big advancements in understanding for this surge during OB was that an illusion could be affixed to a gemstone, this opens up a ton of more possible uses for this fascinating surge.

Here are some possible uses:

The Combat Flash Grenade:

We know that Shallan can manipulate light with her surge of illumination, we also know from the scene in WoR that she can have moving, animated illusions affixed to Pattern, and from OB we know that she can affix illumination illusions to gemstones. Combining all of these, I present to you the combat flash grenade, a complex predefined illusion that starts out as normal sphere and cycles to a state of extreme illumination (depleting the stormlight of the sphere). The effective radius of this combat grenade would probably be dependent on the size and quality of the encased gemstone (an emerald broam would probably be the best). But if Shallan sketched this sequence once in her sketchpad she could essentially (with a bag of spheres) blind the entire front ranks of an attacking phalanx of troops:

Combat_Illumination_FlashGrenade.jpg.9205c9de3e71479011529a960c4398de.jpg

 

The Archery Blind:

Like the flash grenade, a simple illusion could be attached to a gem and given to a team of archer's. This gem would have an illusion of a natural looking rock formation, and if the archery team was positioned before the enemy troops got a good sight line on them, they would essentially be firing from a place of concealment, giving them an advantage when the enemy archers begin returning fire (this could also be combined with a natural cave, giving the archers a redoubt when the enemy has discovered their location). The yellow part of the illustration is just highlighting the portion that is illusion:

Combat_Illumination_ArcheryStation.jpg.fac061d8f739bb191a601a421e1eea69.jpg

 

The Burmese Tiger Trap with Pallisades:

This is a pretty self explanatory defensive strategy, dig a pit, put some pallisades in the bottom, then cover the top with a seamless illusion. Wait for the enemy to fall in. Simple.

Combat_Illumination_TigerTrapPallisades.jpg.ef81db8cc5c36caba54135a38dcf6a07.jpg

 

The Heartbreaker:

Given that Shallan can create sound waves with the use of her surge of Illumination, and that they are specific enough that (at least this is implied) she can modulate the frequencies of these waves well enough to imitate voices and other sounds, it stands to reason she has enough control over these generated sound waves to create sound waves of specific frequencies. So with enough research (which I'm sure Navanni would help her with) she could by trial and error discover the resonant frequency of sound that would be required to shatter the Fuzed's gemhearts.

This has lots of advantages, because soundwaves propogate through matter, and can be used from a distance this would be a good way if properly deployed (maybe even with Fabrial technology) to take out the Fused. This is a lot like the DARPA project to find the resonant frequency of human eyeballs to disrupt enemy combatants vision (which actually was a project) to create a long distance sonic weapon, and some sonic weapons used to disperse protesters. Similar in operation to how the correct resonant frequency can destroy glass, Shallan with enough research could find the proper frequency and amplitude to shatter Fuzed hearts from a distance:

Combat_Illumination_Shatter.jpg.bb929e95f4a75d9b69ad89f4e28acec4.jpg

 

I'm sure these are just the tip of the iceberg, what else have you guys got?

I don’t know about about destroying their crystals maybe it’s possible but not IMO likely, but an alternative would be since the listeners and singers use sound to help communicate with each other, so I see no reason why after studying them Shallan or other light weavers  couldn’t mimic those songs on the battle field causing panic disorder chaos etc.

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They don't communicate with the Rhythms.  They're a Spiritual Realm thing that they can tune in to.  At most, they use it to tell time a bit.

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Wait to heating Fabrials harness the surge of illumination by creating thermal radiation..?

if so does that mean Shallan could potentially use a heat grenade? It would probably be small with a gemstone, but if she hooked it to pattern, then she might have a chance.

Edited by TheHeadHancho
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20 hours ago, Hsien99 said:

You my friend have some very interesting ideas, but i seriously doubt they could pull all that off maybe x-ray and microwave radiation. Shallan or any radiant with illumination would be dependent on how much stormlight they have available and how much stormlight the gem could hold. You also have to take into account spehere of influence. A microwave uses microwave radiation of course so she might be able to produce microwave or gamma radiation but over a very small area not really usable in large conflicts. IMO Gamma radiation is so powerful though I don’t see anyone ever achieving this. You might have a team of Radiants working together during a high storm and maybe focusing all their power on a fabrial designed to collect that energy an redirect it, but like you said also it might be so powerful they decide not to use it though they could. I see light weavers though more strategic laying traps and ambushes creating lies false hope like the enemy thinking they have reinforcements coming up from behind but in reality it the enemy in disguise.

 

Oh, certainly Shallan would most likely not use various waveforms like gamma radiation or microwaves. I doubt Rosharan knowledge is aware of the electromagnetic spectrum. However, the spectrum is composed of waveforms which should be under the purview of Illumination.

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20 hours ago, RShara said:

They don't communicate with the Rhythms.  They're a Spiritual Realm thing that they can tune in to.  At most, they use it to tell time a bit.

They use the rhythms or songs as a empathic auditory communication system. They can’t use it to talk like we do, but to express emotions with each other each song represents another emotion. I don’t see why Shallan wouldn’t be able to mimic it if humans can hear the rhythms. There is the possibility that if their rhythms are spiritual or interact with that plane somehow then they would know Shallan as a fraud but so far it hasn’t been proven either way it’s all hypothetical . 

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29 minutes ago, Knight Oblivion said:

Oh, certainly Shallan would most likely not use various waveforms like gamma radiation or microwaves. I doubt Rosharan knowledge is aware of the electromagnetic spectrum. However, the spectrum is composed of waveforms which should be under the purview of Illumination.

 Shallan and others might be able to use it to see in darkness like infrared vision. I just doubt one Radiant with illumination would be strong enough to produce gamma radiation.

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55 minutes ago, Hsien99 said:

They use the rhythms or songs as a empathic auditory communication system. They can’t use it to talk like we do, but to express emotions with each other each song represents another emotion. I don’t see why Shallan wouldn’t be able to mimic it if humans can hear the rhythms. There is the possibility that if their rhythms are spiritual or interact with that plane somehow then they would know Shallan as a fraud but so far it hasn’t been proven either way it’s all hypothetical . 

They speak to the rhythms, but they don't produce them. They can also attune a rhythm that they aren't feeling to show an emotion they wish for emphasis. 

And the rhythms are a spiritual phenomenon.

Quote

Questioner (paraphrased)

Could a Soother prevent a listener from attuning a given rhythm?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

No. A coppercloud could, but I hadn't thought about emotional allomancy interacting. See, the rhythm isn't your emotion and doesn't determine your mood. It is a direct connection to the spiritual realm. So I guess soothing could make it harder just like it makes anything harder, in the same way that driving a car would be harder. [recording starts here] And so, for the same reasons that you can, um, it is possible that a coppercloud can play with it.  Not a normal power of a coppercloud, but you’ve seen them do stuff similar.

Footnote: Question was cut off in recording, first bit reproduced from memory
source

 

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57 minutes ago, Hsien99 said:

There is the possibility that if their rhythms are spiritual or interact with that plane somehow then they would know Shallan as a fraud but so far it hasn’t been proven either way it’s all hypothetical . 

The Rhythms are from the Spiritual Realm. (Ninja'd by Calderis b/c I wanted to elaborate below)

Quote

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

No. A coppercloud could, but I hadn't thought about emotional allomancy interacting. See, the rhythm isn't your emotion and doesn't determine your mood. It is a direct connection to the spiritual realm. So I guess soothing could make it harder just like it makes anything harder, in the same way that driving a car would be harder.


58 minutes ago, Hsien99 said:

I don’t see why Shallan wouldn’t be able to mimic it if humans can hear the rhythms.

Look at it this way. Do you think Shallan could imitate Bronze Pulses that a Seeker "hears" when burning Bronze? Those aren't that different from the Rhythms, so if she can do one, she should be able to do them all.

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Yeah what Cal and The One Who Connects said.  The Rhythms are a manifestation of the Spiritual Realm.  They aren't an empathic connection to each other.  You can attune a Rhythm you don't feel or that's completely opposite to what you're feeling, really.  And they're not a waveform, as far as we know.  Certainly not an electromagnetic one that could be affected by Lightweaving.

At most, they're an emphasis to their speech, not an empathis ;)  (Couldn't resist, sorry).

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The problem with looking for the resonant frequency of Fused gemhearts is that they won't all be the same, so you'd have to find the individual exact frequency every time, which is obviously impractical from the perspective of your approach. On the other hand, you may be able to just have the illusion play a scaling tone, a la computer music.

As for other uses, the full invisibility via bending light has the problems described, but the easy solution is to just make your arms and weapon(s) invisible. It's much harder to effectively block a weapon you can't see, even if you can generally guess where it is based on posture. Embed little gems onto arrows/throwing knives and make those invisible. Get a volley of those going, and they literally won't even know what hit them! Or where the volley came from if it was from behind a hill. That'll sow some serious confusion :D. Without seeing the volley, peeps are less likely to raise their shields on a battlefield too. It'd be hard to set up, though, at least with the current numbers of Radiants.

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10 hours ago, Calderis said:

They speak to the rhythms, but they don't produce them. They can also attune a rhythm that they aren't feeling to show an emotion they wish for emphasis. 

And the rhythms are a spiritual phenomenon.

 

Well what about Stormlight doesn’t it connect to the spiritual realm? 

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56 minutes ago, Hsien99 said:

Well what about Stormlight doesn’t it connect to the spiritual realm? 

Yes, but that doesn't mean touching Stormlight gives the rhythms... 

Bronze Allomancers could learn to detect them via a WoB that I believe The One Who Connects shared above, so there is probably a way that a surge could be used to "hear" them but it's not something that a human will just do. Humans aren't built for it. They lack the correct spiritual parts. 

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2 hours ago, Hsien99 said:

Well what about Stormlight doesn’t it connect to the spiritual realm? 

Yes?  I'm not sure what your point is?  Not all forms of accessing the Spiritual Realm give the same effects?

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The Combat Flash Grenade:

We know that Shallan can manipulate light with her surge of illumination, we also know from the scene in WoR that she can have moving, animated illusions affixed to Pattern, and from OB we know that she can affix illumination illusions to gemstones. Combining all of these, I present to you the combat flash grenade, a complex predefined illusion that starts out as normal sphere and cycles to a state of extreme illumination (depleting the stormlight of the sphere). The effective radius of this combat grenade would probably be dependent on the size and quality of the encased gemstone (an emerald broam would probably be the best). But if Shallan sketched this sequence once in her sketchpad she could essentially (with a bag of spheres) blind the entire front ranks of an attacking phalanx of troops:

Don't forget about the other component of flashbangs, sound.  So not just blind, but also deaf and disoriented.  

 

Microwaves:

While gamma waves might be a stretch, microwaves seem much more feasible (and safer for the user).  Microwaves actually are lower energy than visible light, and can cause severe burns and incapacitating pain.  

 

14 hours ago, Hsien99 said:

 Shallan and others might be able to use it to see in darkness like infrared vision. I just doubt one Radiant with illumination would be strong enough to produce gamma radiation.

I believe we've only seen Illumination produce radiation, not detect it.  Night vision goggles and the like work by detecting IR produced via black body radiation.  Similarly, she could reproduce the transmit portion of a radar/sonar, but wouldn't be able to make use of it if she couldn't interpret the results.  

 

Edited by Scion of the Mists
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There's so much creativity here :D  But I think the easiest solutions are the best.  Ultrasonic would knock people unconscious easily enough, even cause brain damage or death, and should be easy/low energy to produce.  Or sonic booms to rupture eardrums.

For spying, I don't think actual invisibility would work too well because it would need to constantly change.  But an illusion of a rock or a wall, or a pit where you're standing (you're standing on solid ground against a tent or something, but others see a pit and so walk around you) should work pretty well.  And an illusion of black/gray mottling would do a lot for sneaking around at night.

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