Saoilin

Thoughts on the Shattering

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Pre - Shattering there was a being or power source Adonalsium that controlled or encompassed all of the investiture in the Cosmere. Presumably this investiture was imbued throughout the existing stars, planets and beings that existed in the Cosmere which included almost all of the current systems and types of intelligent life forms that currently exist (Scadrial and its line of humans being notable exceptions.) Also presumably all of the original ways of using investiture (proto-lightweaving, proto-sensory enhancement, proto-future sight, etc.) were either inherently granted by or naturally derived from Adolnasium.  

At some point in the past, either 

1) Adonalsium either was under some threat that would affect the way of life in the cosmere or at least on Yolen.

2) Adonalsium itself was becoming a threat or a perceived threat to the way of life in the cosmere/Yolen.

3) The leaders of the various groups on Yolen convinced others/themselves of point 1 or 2 above.  

I believe that at this point, the leaders split into several factions. 

Faction 1 -  disagreed entirely with any plan to interfere with or 'kill' Adonalsium - I feel fairly confident adding Frost to this group.

Faction 2 - Agreed with plan to separate and distribute Adonalsium power but thought that this would be sufficient to end the threat or could be used safely - Leras, Tanavast, Uli Da, Aona

Faction 3 - Agreed with plan to separate and distribute Adonalsium power but thought that the power should be kept separate or should be further splintered - Rayse, Bavadin, Edgli

Not sure about: Ati, Skai, Cultivation's vessel

Huge Question mark - probably doesn't fit into any of these categories - Hoid.

 

A lot of this comes from information and impressions of the various Letters as well as some semi-canon sources (The Traveler, DragonSteel sample chapters, Liar of Partinel sample) and my own impressions and thoughts while reading the books, exploring the Shard and listening to Shardcast podcasts. Let me know your thoughts.

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We know that Frost is big on non-interference and thinks that the Shards and Hoid are potentially ruining some Master Plan that Adonalsium had by running around blindly, but we don't know if he was necessarily opposed to the Shattering per se. He implies in The Traveler that he was part of some promise to not interfere (which is consistent with his writing in the letter, so it's probably canon) while Hoid apparently doesn't feel bound. However, we do have a WoB that Hoid 'kind of' though that the Shattering was necessary. Which really raises more questions than it answers, but there you go.

Edgli claims that all the Vessels agreed to go their own way after the Shattering, even if many of them proceeded to immediately violate that agreement. Given that promises made by the Shards are binding, it may be that this understanding was reached before they all Ascended. Anyhow, if we're trying to group Vessels then all the ones who Invested in worlds together are violating this agreement (Leras/Ati, Aona/Skai, Tanavast/Cultivation's Vessel) but we probably shouldn't assume that that there's a correlation between keeping this promise and their reasons for participating in the Shattering. There may be a relation but it's likely not the only thing. And on the idea of factions, Rayse seems to want to be the strongest entity in the Cosmere so while he's using the idea that some Shards are violating their agreement as a pretext for going after them, it's clearly a self-serving one. Recall that he targeted Ambition first, one of the Shards that didn't violate the agreement by pairing up.

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I found it pretty heart shattering tbh. 

 

-escorts myself out-

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Maybe the 16 were like Adonalsium's Apostles? And Hoid was like... hmm... IDK... Not Mary, but... to suck in some Islamlight :P the Mahdi (forerunner of the superhero's return)?

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I'm suddenly envisioning Hoid realizing that he's the Cosmere Mahdi, taking a look at his schedule and realizing that he doesn't have nearly enough time to live to do everything that's got to be done, so he works out whatever it is that makes him immortal in order to not die before his time and, I dunno, cause the Cosmere to divide by zero or something. But more seriously, we know that Hoid was offered a Shard at one point so there was clearly some last-minute shuffling among everyone involved in the Shattering, enough that the whole thing was probably not a neat hierarchy beforehand.

Tangentially, the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw 'Adonasium's Apostles' was Octum's Apostles from the Gagharv Trilogy, the antagonists who have Obvious Bad Guy written all over them, right up until the end of the game throws a huge curveball at you. Which only makes sense if you've played the (chronologically later) prior game in the series to know just what future event is being talked about. There's a moral ambiguity there that's probably going to be quite similar to what we'll get with the Vessels once we learn all their motivations.

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Yeah I've been wondering about some of this too, I actually had a theory involving whether or not Yolen or Adonalsium or both were threatened. We know from a WoB that once there was a plot to kill Adonalsium that was executed but failed, so it could have been. (Personally, I'm partial to the theory that they were either trying to protect Adonalsium's power from those who would misuse it or kill it, or they WERE the ones who tried to kill it in order to protect Yolen from its power.) But anyways, we know that Frost was in part for the shattering of Adonalsium. When he writes Hoid, he says while talking about Rayse that he is what WE made him to be. Implying that Frost had a hand in the Shattering, and so did Hoid. From the way it all ended up happening, we have to assume that they all were in agreement that they should shatter Adonalsium. Brandon has said that there were some of the vessels that viewed it as their final option, and there were others who simply wanted the power, but in all, they agreed that it should happen. The agreement to stay away from each other is kind of interesting. We can't really be sure if they were just avoiding each other, or they were trying to avoid the danger of having too much of the combined power of creation in one place. On those who ignored the rule, they all have explanations except for Aona and Skai. Honor and Cultivation's vessels were romantically involved and probably weren't able to handle being apart forever, so they probably almost immediately met up. Preservation and Ruin probably kept the rule in the beginning, but eventually their intents drove them to each other so they could have their intents be satisfied, because without Ruin, Preservation could not perfectly create, and Ruin could not destroy without preservation. Aona and Skai are a mystery, but as we go farther, I bet we'll get an explanation for that as well.

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