Bigmikey357

[OB] Cusicesh, the 3rd Bondsmith Spren?

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I believe that Cusicesh is the mysterious Sibling the Stormfather speaks of. This post will explain why I feel this is a plausible theory.

First, we know that Spren are manifestations of the thoughts of sentient beings and in Roshar everything, no matter how large or small, gets manifested. Now, what's the largest concepts humanity tends to anthropromorsize? Land, Sky and Sea. Nightwatcher looks like living land. Stormfather manifests in the Physical Realm as a literal face in the sky. What does Cusicesh look like? Here's the quote:

At precisely seven forty-six in the morning—the locals could use it to set their timepieces—an enormous, sea-blue spren surged from the waters of the bay. It was translucent, and though it appeared to throw out waves as it rose, that was illusory. The actual surface of the bay wasn’t disturbed. It takes the shape of a large jet of water, Axies thought, creating a tattoo along an open portion of his leg, scribing the words. The center is of the deepest blue, like the ocean depths, though the outer edges are a lighter shade. Judging by the masts of the nearby ships, I’d say that the spren has grown to a height of at least a hundred feet. One of the largest I’ve ever seen.

To me, that seems like a perfect candidate for the Mega Spren personification of the Sea.

That Cusicesh is important is obvious; Brandon would not waste an interlude describing it otherwise. However that isn't quite enough to come to any firm conclusion of its nature. For that, we turn to the Recreance. We know that at the time of the Recreance there was only one Bondsmith of the possible 3. We know that Bondsmith was not bonded to the Stormfather; Honor was Investing him before his Shattering. We can assume that the Nightwatcher wasn't the one who was bonded as she is still viable and operational. Also, Cultivation lives and seems to be holding her leash. We know that 9 of 10 Orders abandoned their Oaths. The Skybreakers stayed true; the Bondsmiths did not. So, one Bondsmith abandoned the Order. The Recreance damaged all the Spren who held a bond at the time. Stormfather and Nightwatcher may be crazy but they don't seem to be fundamentally damaged. That leaves Cusicesh, a Mega Spren, one of a kind, one who looks like the Ocean given form, and one who looks damaged as the Sibling bonded during the Recreance must be damaged. It is the perfect candidate for the third Sibling. Furthermore, I believe the faces displayed by the Spren are the faces of every Radient whose Oaths were abandoned during the Recreance, sort of a living memory of a forgotten time.

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Some recent WoBs make that fairly unlikely, alas.

 

Quote

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Does Cusicesh the Protector have anything to do with the third Sibling at Urithiru?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

See, you gave me too much wiggle room there. Because "anything" is a really broad term. So I could say yes, but not in the way you're thinking.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Okay, hmm I have to rethink my theory then.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I'll say probably not in the way you're thinking.

source

 

Quote

Questioner

Speaking of the Stormfather, would the Nightwatcher and the giant water spren be on the same level of spren as the Stormfather?

Brandon Sanderson

...The Nightwatcher, yes. Um... There are, I would say, a level below the Stormfather and the Nightwatcher who are also much-- a much bigger deal than something like one of the sapient spren, and that's what Cusicesh is.

source

 

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The WOB doesn't completely invalidate my theory. The way I see it, Stormfather and Nightwatcher are a level above Cusicesh only because they got a Spinter of Honor and Cultivation respectively. Cusicesh didn't get invested but is still above the common High Spren and thus eligible for Sibling status. Cusicesh is the little brother without a Shard to call its own.

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Well you have to read between the lines a little bit, but it's pretty clear to me that the questioner was trying to ask if Cusicesh was the Sibling without getting RAFO'd.  And Brandon picked up on that and answered that they're not associated in the way that the questioner was hoping.

In order to be a Splinter, it needs to be associated with a Shard.  All investiture is associated with a Shard, and a Splinter is just investiture that's gained sentience.  My opinion is that the Sibling is a bit of Cultivation and a bit of Honor mixed together, or two Splinters fused into one (on purpose, by Tanavast and Culti). Even if Cusicesh is not the Sibling, whatever investiture he's composed of is still associated with a Shard or three.

 

 

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If we're talking Splinters, well we know that the Rosharan System was an Adonolasium construct back before it got shattered. We also know that Stormfather at the very least and probably Nightwatcher predate the arrival of Honor/Cultivation in system because spren and Stormlight were both at the beginning. Sometime later, after the Shards arrival, Honor/Cultivation chose their personal avatars from among the Mega Spren. Of the 3, Stormfather/Nightwatcher got picked and therefore got an extra boost from a local Shard. Cusicesh didn't and so only has the original Adonolasium Investiture.

Now, although I am stubbornly holding to my pet theory I could certainly be wrong. But if I am then the question becomes, where are the other spren like Cusicesh? A one of a kind Mega Spren, a step below Stormfather/Nightwatcher and a step above our common High Spren? Another question that comes to mind is, what spren was bonded to the last Bondsmith and, if Dalinar is true to form and Bondsmiths don't get Shardblades, what does a damaged Mega Spren look like, both Physically and Cognitively? 

If Cusicesh isn't the Sibling then there has to be something else in its weight class or higher that takes that role. The series is far from over and we haven't seen everything obviously. There could be another candidate. I just don't know what other spren could possibly be big enough to hold the massive abilities a Bondsmith is granted. Maybe a Mountain Spren?

The other possibility is that there is a Bondsmith for an Splinter of Odium but that seems truly unlikely. Stormfather told Dalinar that another title for Bondsmith is Binder of Gods. I truly cannot see Odium making a move like that when he wouldn't even take up the Shards he shattered so as not to be influenced by their Intent. Besides, he's invested on Braize and has his Unmade. 

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45 minutes ago, Bigmikey357 said:

If we're talking Splinters, well we know that the Rosharan System was an Adonolasium construct back before it got shattered. We also know that Stormfather at the very least and probably Nightwatcher predate the arrival of Honor/Cultivation in system because spren and Stormlight were both at the beginning. Sometime later, after the Shards arrival, Honor/Cultivation chose their personal avatars from among the Mega Spren. Of the 3, Stormfather/Nightwatcher got picked and therefore got an extra boost from a local Shard. Cusicesh didn't and so only has the original Adonolasium Investiture.

As I've said, all investiture is associated with a Shard.  There is no Adonalsium-only Investiture any more. And it's unlikely that Brandon wants to introduce a 4th Shard into the Rosharan mix, so Cusicesh has to be associated with Honor, Cultivation, or Odium.

While the Stormfather existed in some form before the Shattering, there's no evidence that the Nightwatcher (or Cusicesh) did.

Also, Cusicesh is very much a water-related spren, yes?  I don't see how it would be the Sibling, assuming the Sibling is what powers Urithiru.

It's a great theory :) And a lot of people are wondering what the significance of Cusicesh is and what its relationship to the Sibling is.  Sadly, I just don't think the information we have matches up with it being the Sibling.

 

Quote

Overlord Jebus [PENDING REVIEW]

Is all Investiture in the cosmere associated with a Shard?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, well, okay. So this is a complicated one. *pauses* So, Investiture predates the Shattering of Adonalsium, all Investiture was from Adonalsium, all Investiture got assigned to one of the 16 Shards when Adonalsium was Shattered. Some of the Investiture was not on Yolen but location is irrelevant. So Investiture is related to Shards even on planets where none of the Shards are inhabiting. 

Overlord Jebus [PENDING REVIEW]

Are they aware of that Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That's part of the whole seeing into the infinite, being beyond even the power of a Shard. So, technically you could make the argument that Harmony could feel the sense of Preservation on every world in the cosmere, right? Because the building blocks of all life and creation are these things.

Overlord Jebus [PENDING REVIEW]

So the Shard of Preservation embodies all preservation in the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes but he just can't do that, right? Like, he's not infinite. The Vessels are not, even if their minds are enormously expanded by holding a Shard, they are not infinite. The Connection is all there in the Spiritual Realm

source

 

Edited by RShara
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I was a big fan of this theory so I was gutted when I first saw the WoB saying that Cusicesh didnt have anything to do with the sibling in the way the questioner thought.

The "1 level lower" WoB never bothered me, there are plenty of ways the Cusicesh could be a level below and still be the sibling.

Alas, it seems it is not to be.

Cusicesh is one of the mysteries that mosts interests me, he seems to be unique so far, inasmuch as he doesnt seem like a Godspren or an Unmade but is definitely above a regular spren. Strange.

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If you are uncomfortable with the idea of an Odium spren somehow being bonded with a KR (like I am), there's the theory that The Sibling is the third Bondsmith spren, and is made of a fusion of Honor + Cultivation, sort of like Feruchemy between Ruin and Preservation.  

We also need to check the assumption that Cusicesh is one of a kind.  There may be other spren at it's 'level' that haven't been shown yet.  

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If Cusicesh isn't the Sibling then there has to be an upper level Mega Spren at least at its level. And that Spren has to be damaged or a deadeye since that's the Spren that was bonded at the time of Recreance. I think it's pretty safe to say that neither Stormfather nor Nightwatcher was bonded to that Bondsmith.

It does beg the question, what makes Cusicesh so important that Brandon goes out of his way to introduce it? I obviously believe it's the Sibling but you amazing posters have come up with enough points that my belief is teetering. I guess we will just have to RAFO. BTW, I like the Sibling as being blended H/C.

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4 minutes ago, Bigmikey357 said:

If Cusicesh isn't the Sibling then there has to be an upper level Mega Spren at least at its level. And that Spren has to be damaged or a deadeye since that's the Spren that was bonded at the time of Recreance. I think it's pretty safe to say that neither Stormfather nor Nightwatcher was bonded to that Bondsmith.

We actually don't know which spren was bonded at the time. All we know of at the time is that Melishi was the only Bondsmith. 

The Spren of the Bondsmiths never became blades, and they already have much higher physical presence without bonds then we've seen of typical Nahel Spren, so the thing that would kill most Nahel Spren may not actually kill them. 

According to the gem archive, the Sibling was already receding prior to the Recreance, which leads me to believe that it was not the one to which Melishi was bonded. 

We also have Pattern saying that the the Stormfather survived the Recreance. Survive implies to me that he was effected by it. A spren as massive as the Stormfather may not have been effected as heavily as a normal spren, and Syl refers to him as broken.

Additionally, Honor survived until after the Recreance, and I think that the injury to the Stormfather may be why Tanavast decided to merge his Cognitive Shadow with the Stormfather in the first place. The Stormfather is an integral part of the ecological structure of Roshar, and if he falters the entire system breaks down. The merger may have been done for both future planning of the return of the Knights, and to bolster the Spren itself to maintain Roshar's highstorm system. 

*Rampant speculation incoming*

All that said, I do believe that Cusicesh is the third Bondsmith spren. I think that it is the last surviving "sibling" of a group of spren that were turned into the Unmade. 

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I believe every spren of bonding level alive during the Recreance was damaged. In our meeting with Nightwatcher she didn't seem wrapped too tight either, and that's without the trauma of having her Shard die. While it's possible that Tanavast healed Stormfather of damage as a last gasp before shattering, I believe that's something he would have mentioned to Dalinar. I think it more likely that he had to watch as his Shard slowly lost his mind and thousands of his kind go zombie, that that would damage him enough to require intervention from a dying Shard. A broken bond with a Radiant isn't necessary to cause the type of trauma Stormfather displays, the hesitation in letting any spren bond a human. If he was bonded to Melishi at the Recreance then I think the trauma would have been more severe; he probably wouldn't remember the Recreance and the reasons for it as clearly. I mean we keep hearing how difficult it is to recover a deadeye, that it's nearly impossible, that just throwing a bunch of investiture at the problem won't work. Partially merging with a Shard might work I guess but even then I feel that there'd be gaps. YMMV.

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19 hours ago, RShara said:

As I've said, all investiture is associated with a Shard.  There is no Adonalsium-only Investiture any more. And it's unlikely that Brandon wants to introduce a 4th Shard into the Rosharan mix, so Cusicesh has to be associated with Honor, Cultivation, or Odium.

Is the Rosharan system made up of investiture exclusively from the three resident shards?  I was assuming that it was a mixture of all 16 (although HCO may have an outsized influence due to their proximity).  

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For all intents and purposes, those are the only three whose investiture matters.  I'm sure that there's tiny bits of various other Shards in the mix for some of them, but not to any significant degree.

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32 minutes ago, Scion of the Mists said:

Is the Rosharan system made up of investiture exclusively from the three resident shards?  I was assuming that it was a mixture of all 16 (although HCO may have an outsized influence due to their proximity).  

Logically, there should be various types of Spren that have ties to any/all of the Shards. I(and probably Rshara too, but I don't want to assume) are arguing from an out-of-story literary perspective. Cusicesh seems important in some way, and having him be related to an entirely different Shard makes it a lot harder for Brandon to explore some of the whys/hows of why he is how he is.

Having some of the minor Spren types be tied to another Shard doesn't really affect the story, but the big spren(Sibling, Cusicesh, the Unmade, etc..) are more involved in the narrative, and exploring their natures and pasts is a lot easier when they can be linked to something in this story, like the Stormfather and Honor. Not all readers are avid WoB hunters, and not all readers have read his other works. He's got to tie up loose ends to make a solid story, and it's better to have them be tied off in their own respective worlds so the average reader isn't confused.

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10 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

He's got to tie up loose ends to make a solid story, and it's better to have them be tied off in their own respective worlds so the average reader isn't confused.

That's pretty much how I see it too. 

There's investiture from all shards on the world as it was split up after the shattering. But for meta reasons, if it's a major story element, it's going to be one of the Three. 

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Local Shard Investiture trumps ancient Investiture. It seems that although every world in the cluster has elements of all 16 Shards incorporated into it, the Shards that put down roots so to speak have a larger presence in their particular systems from a Realmatic perspective. Autonomy seems to be the only Shard able to use its portion of investiture on other words in a meaningful way to influence events even on worlds with an active Shardic presence.

As an aside, if all worlds in the cluster have elements of all 16 Shards since the shattering of Adonolasium, is it possible that Odium was able to go on his early runs of shard-shattering because a.) He had help from Badvadin and/or b.) The Shards he killed weren't as strongly rooted to the systems they inhabited when Odium came to town so he was able to use that native Investiture to give him the edge? 

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1 hour ago, The One Who Connects said:

I(and probably Rshara too, but I don't want to assume) are arguing from an out-of-story literary perspective.

Meta-reasons.  Duh.  Not sure why I didn't think of that.  

 

1 hour ago, RShara said:

For all intents and purposes, those are the only three whose investiture matters.  I'm sure that there's tiny bits of various other Shards in the mix for some of them, but not to any significant degree.

So, you think that the large majority of Rosharan investiture is assigned to the three resident Shards?  Do you think that the initial distribution (at the moment of the Shattering) was roughly equal or do you think that it was imbalanced in favor of Honor/Cultivation (i.e. the abundance of nature spren led to more Cultivation investiture, which made Roshar more attractive to H/C)?  Obviously, over time, H/C and eventually Odium invested more investiture into the system.  

Edited by Scion of the Mists
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Brandon said that a lot of the spren had a lot of Cultivation in them before Cultivation settled there, so I would guess that was a factor in H&C choosing Roshar to settle.

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Why does this unknown Sibling have to be the one that powered Urithiru? Do we have a WoB to that effect?

Presumably, the only "sibling" that we know to not have been powering Urithiru was the Stormfather. The function of the Urithiru mega-fabrial seems to be specifically designed to cultivate life at the tower. What if the "sibling that withdrew" didn't withdraw particularly far an settled at, say, The Valley and the unknown 3rd sibling is the one to which Melishi was bonded. 

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3 minutes ago, Elanmorin said:

Why does this unknown Sibling have to be the one that powered Urithiru? Do we have a WoB to that effect?

Presumably, the only "sibling" that we know to not have been powering Urithiru was the Stormfather. The function of the Urithiru mega-fabrial seems to be specifically designed to cultivate life at the tower. What if the "sibling that withdrew" didn't withdraw particularly far an settled at, say, The Valley and the unknown 3rd sibling is the one to which Melishi was bonded. 

The sibling is specifically mentioned in a conversation between the Stormfather and Dalinar as a third spren, where he and the Nightwatcher were mentioned separately. 

While there's no guarantee that the Sibling is the Spren that powered Urithiru, it's unlikely to be the Nightwatcher, simply because she is named, and the sibling is referred to as only that. 

The sibling acting as a fabrial spren is a theory in itself though. It seems likely, but we don't know enough about either the Spren, or Urithiru to be certain. 

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1 minute ago, Calderis said:
8 minutes ago, Elanmorin said:

The function of the Urithiru mega-fabrial seems to be specifically designed to cultivate life at the tower. What if the "sibling that withdrew" didn't withdraw particularly far an settled at, say, The Valley

it's unlikely to be the Nightwatcher, simply because she is named, and the sibling is referred to as only that. 

We actually have confirmation of that one. It's not her.

Quote

FirstSelector [PENDING REVIEW]
Was the Nightwatcher the spren that powered the Urithiru fabrial?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]
Nope!

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The gem fragments (from the epigraphs) have stuff that talks about the Sibling withdrawing and Urithiru stopping working.

Edited by ElephantEarwax
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The Sibling is also referred to using "they" pronouns, when the Nightwatcher is always "she".

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Quote

My research into the cognitive reflections of spren at the tower has been deeply illustrative. Some thought that the Sibling had withdrawn from men by intent—but I find counter to that theory.—From drawer 1-1, first zircon

 

Quote

Something is happening to the Sibling. I agree this is true, but the division among the Knights Radiant is not to blame. Our perceived worthiness is a separate issue.—From drawer 1-1, third zircon

 

Quote

Good night, dear Urithiru. Good night, sweet Sibling. Good night, Radiants.

—From drawer 29-29, ruby

 

Quote

“Yes, you’ve said. The Nightwatcher is like you. Are there others, though? Spren like you, or the Nightwatcher? Spren that are shadows of gods?”

There is … a third sibling. They are not with us.

“In hiding?”

No. Slumbering.

“Tell me more.”

No.

“But—”

No! Leave them alone. You hurt them enough.

 

It's clear from these that the Sibling is tied to Urithiru, and that it's not the Stormfather or the Nightwatcher.

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I find it interesting that two of the quotes might counter each other:

Quote

but the division among the Knights Radiant is not to blame.

and yet the Stormfather says, "Leave them alone, you hurt them enough."

Something that the Radiants, or possibly humans in general did, wounded, betrayed, or weakened the Sibling.

Possible that something happened to the bondsmith who was tied to the Sibling?  If a bondsmith abandoned his/her oath, wouldn't it "kill" or at least badly affect the spren bonded to it?  Maybe the Sibling is like some giant dead eye in Shadesmar.

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