The Harlem Worldhoppers

[OB] Shallan, Sja Anat and the Ghostbloods

12 posts in this topic

One of the great mysteries of Oathbringer and the Stormlight Archive thus far is determining the motives of the Ghostbloods. They have many investiture related objects from several shardworlds including a vial of white sand, an aviar, a tear of Edgli flower, a knife from Threnody and royal Idrian locks. They are aware that Sja Anat is willing to defect and are eager for Sja Anat to serve their unknown purposes.

So how exactly would Sja Anat serve the Ghostbloods? Other than taking a powerful stick away from Odium, Sja Anat's ability to corrupt spren may give an insight into how she could be of use to the Ghostbloods. I believe that the mechanics involved in corrupting spren are similar to the mechanics involved in altering a spirit web. This would be akin to the effect of a normal person ingesting Lerasium.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Lerasium overwrites Spiritual DNA. It can do some interesting things, and can overwrite your Spiritual DNA in different ways if you do it right. If a Surgebinder ate lerasium, he would become an Allomancer, but Brandon implied other things could be done.

source  

We know that a nahel bond forms with an individual with cracks in their spirit web. These cracks are caused by experiencing severe trauma, similar to snapping in Era 1 Mistborn. Now here's where Shallan comes into play. She bonded Pattern before her family life was destroyed. While her parents may have been in an unhappy marriage, this would not be harrowing enough to cause cracks in the spirit web to form. This raises the question of how and when Shallan's spirit web was cracked and how she came to originally bond Pattern.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Why don't you have to say the words if you're just bonding a Cryptic?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Every Order's First Oath is the same. Then the Second Oaths for the Cryptics go into truths, but everybody says the First Oath the same regardless of Order. Which should raise the question of...

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Did [Shallan] say it when she was a teeny-weeny, like in the cradle?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That should raise a question. She wasn't teeny-weeny, but it should raise a question there.

source

 

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

How was Shallan able to bond with Pattern before she was broken?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

She was open to him even before she went through a lot of that turmoil

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I thought everybody had to be broken in order to--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Well, that's their philosophy in-world. But I'm not going to say whether it's correct or wrong. I will imply that there are other means as well.

source

 

We also know that an unmade was influencing the Davar family at some point

 

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Was Shallan's family, during her childhood, being influenced by an Unmade?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Um, yes.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Was it <the corrupt...>?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I'll RAFO that, but yes, there is some external influence there.

 

 

Theory: Sja Anat is the unmade that was present during Shallan's childhood. Sja Anat altered Shallan's spirit web to allow a nahel bond to be formed with Pattern. Additionally, Sja Anat did so at Cultivation's request.

Cultivation has powerful future sight as shown by The Diagram, which I and many others believe to be designed to intentionally mislead Odium. Cultivation's scheming against Odium has been going on for at least 5-6 years, as this is the age of The Diagram. Cultivation sent Glys to Sja Anat to be corrupted, giving Renarin access to surges which make him a counter against Odium. This sets precedent for Cultivation and Sja Anat cooperating. So how does this tie into Shallan's history? One only needs to look at the sequence of events caused by Shallan bonding Pattern.

  • Shallan bonds Pattern. 
  • Her mother finds out and she conspires with a skybreaker acolyte to kill her.
  • This event permanently scars the rest of the Davar family, driving Lin Davar down into a dark spiral.
  • Helaran Davar joins the skybreakers after abandoning his household.
  • Kaladin kills Helaran in attempting to save Amaram, setting Kaladin down his path.

Given Cultivation's incredible foresight, she would have foreseen the consequences of Shallan bonding Patter and these consequences are obstructive towards Odium's goals.

If Sja Anat is indeed capable of altering an individual's spirit web as I have theorised above, then she would be an incredibly powerful tool for an organisation such as the Ghostbloods and it comes at no surprise that they would be ambitious enough to pursue it.

 

 

 

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Huh. This is interesting. If I would point out a flaw, it would be that Cultivation by her own should be able to mess with Shallans spiritweb. She is much more powerful than Sja-anat.

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5 minutes ago, Toaster Retribution said:

Huh. This is interesting. If I would point out a flaw, it would be that Cultivation by her own should be able to mess with Shallans spiritweb. She is much more powerful than Sja-anat.

Yes, this would be a flaw in the theory. A counterpoint would be that while Cultivation is more powerful than Sja Anat, she has not openly been involved in the conflict as of yet. Her manipulations have been in the shadows and I believe she is not ready or capable of direct confrontation with Odium. She usually lets the Nightwatcher handle errands and it is likely that she sent Sja Anat on this particular errand, possibly to see if she was trustworthy.

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14 minutes ago, Toaster Retribution said:

Huh. This is interesting. If I would point out a flaw, it would be that Cultivation by her own should be able to mess with Shallans spiritweb. She is much more powerful than Sja-anat.

That raises the question of how Cultivation could do so without Odium noticing. He's probably paying attention to what she's doing, and would notice if someone was changed by her (remember how Lift could "smell" Cultivation on Dalinar?). He's probably not paying as close attention to what Sja-Anat is doing.

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@Harlem Worldhoppers @Leyrann That is a good point. However, I don’t think SA can corrupt spiritwebs without limits, as that would be too OP. I think she would have needed help, so for this to work, Cultivation would have had to be involved. Unless SAs limit is something like not being able to alter the spiritwebs of grown-ups, and only on children or something.

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12 minutes ago, Toaster Retribution said:

@Harlem Worldhoppers @Leyrann That is a good point. However, I don’t think SA can corrupt spiritwebs without limits, as that would be too OP. I think she would have needed help, so for this to work, Cultivation would have had to be involved. Unless SAs limit is something like not being able to alter the spiritwebs of grown-ups, and only on children or something.

Yes there would be limits to this spiritweb manipulation. Brandon has been on record saying it is the limitations of his magic systems rather than the powers themselves that he enjoys the most. The Unmade in general seem OP in many ways. The Thrill is capable of driving thousands of soldiers to mindless bloodlust, Yelig-Nar provides its host access to all ten surges, Re-Shephir can make an army, Ba-Ado-Mishram can grant voidlight. The Unmade are splinters of Odium so it makes sense that they are on a high power scale. Altering an individual's spirit web to some degree seems within the ball park of what an Unmade could do in my opinion, especially since SA is powerful enough to corrupt higher spren.

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On 7.06.2018 at 0:57 PM, Toaster Retribution said:

@Harlem Worldhoppers @Leyrann That is a good point. However, I don’t think SA can corrupt spiritwebs without limits, as that would be too OP. I think she would have needed help, so for this to work, Cultivation would have had to be involved. Unless SAs limit is something like not being able to alter the spiritwebs of grown-ups, and only on children or something.

Her power is to corrupt sprens and make them of Odium. I would see her "breaking" Shallan as conducting an unsuccesfull transformation (because this can't succed on a human), and as a result having a side effect of her having a generic damage on her soul, that is atracting sprens (because they fuse with souls, and it is easier when there are cracks).

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Cultivation is playing the long game, I would not be surprised if she has been manipulating Roshar to her own ends since the Splintering of Honor. Not to mention that she may be using Unmade and the Nightwatcher to avoid leaving her fingerprints all over the area.

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If it was SA, then wouldn't Shallan have seen corrupted spren when she was young? In which case, shouldn't seeing them in Kholinar trigger childhood memories?

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5 hours ago, Argel said:

If it was SA, then wouldn't Shallan have seen corrupted spren when she was young? In which case, shouldn't seeing them in Kholinar trigger childhood memories?

Maybe Sja-Anat wouldn't have corrupted any spren.

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5 hours ago, Argel said:

If it was SA, then wouldn't Shallan have seen corrupted spren when she was young? In which case, shouldn't seeing them in Kholinar trigger childhood memories?

 

30 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

Maybe Sja-Anat wouldn't have corrupted any spren.

I think SA corrupting spren requires intent on her behalf. She does not want to make Odium too suspicious so she corrupted the spren in Kholinar and the oathgate spren on his orders. I doubt SA corrupts spren simply by proximity

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2 minutes ago, The Harlem Worldhoppers said:

I think SA corrupting spren requires intent on her behalf. She does not want to make Odium too suspicious so she corrupted the spren in Kholinar and the oathgate spren on his orders. I doubt SA corrupts spren simply by proximity

Exactly.

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