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Two questions- one about Jasnah, one about the Oathpact.

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I've been reading Sanderson for a while, but never really bothered with a forum account until now. Hopefully I can contribute some stuff to the discussion of the man's latest work!

 

So, it's pretty obvious that each of the books will start with Dalinar's assassination as the prologue, as seen from the eyes of a different participant or character at the time. With Words of Radiance's release, a lot of interesting stuff has been revealed that wasn't shown in Szeth's version of the scene, and there's a /lot/ of weird future hooks that I don't think I've seen addressed anywhere else.

 

For starters, who was Jasnah planning to assassinate? If the two letters she wrote were similar, then it'd imply that Jasnah had reason to possibly want Aesudan dead- but why? 

 

More importantly, though, has anybody analyzed what Jasnah overheard in the hallway?

 

Words echoed in the hallway, coming from up ahead.

 

"I'm worried about Ash."

 

"You're worried about everything."

 

"She's getting worse," the voice continued. "We weren't supposed to get worse. Am I getting worse? I think I feel worse."

 

"Shut up."

 

"I don't like this. What we've done was wrong. That creature carries my lord's own Blade. We shouldn't have let him keep it. He-"

 

 

 

So who's 'Ash'? Who's the person who's 'getting worse'? What exactly are they 'getting worse' in? I'm personally of the opinion that 'That creature' is Szeth, but that raises the question of who 'my lord' is, and why the Azish ambassadors should think that Szeth's Honorblade ought to belong to their lord instead. Alternatively, maybe they're talking about Nalan, Nightblood, and Vasher? That makes so much less sense, though- as far as we know, none of them show up in the scene anywhere.

 

And just /what/ exactly did these people 'do' which they thought was wrong, and how does it relate to Szeth keeping his Honorblade?

 

I have so many questions about this scene.

 

-------

 

On a different note, I also noticed something strange about the prelude to Way of Kings.

 

In the Way of Kings, in the introduction scene where Kalak and Jezrien prepare to abandon the Oathpact, Kalak describes seeing "Men in primitive wraps, carrying spears topped by bronze heads."

 

This matches exactly Talenel's statement in Words of Radiance that, after every desolation, people would be reduced to stone-age level technology, with bronze being their highest technological achievement which could only be reached when the Heralds returned.

 

This raises a few questions, because Kalak also states that the primitive bronze-using men were juxtaposed with "others in gleaming plate armor", presumably Knights Radiant- and it's been stated that the Knights Radiant were founded by Ishar, to preserve knowledge of the past and to help protect men. Does that mean that, as soon as the Knights Radiant were founded, the Heralds immediately gave up their burdens? There's little other way to explain the convergence of the 'primitive stone-age men' period with the 'knights radiant protect humanity' period.

 

But if so, that means that the Knights Radiant only ever fought /one/ single Desolation before the Recreance alongside the Heralds, if even that. Otherwise, with the Knights Radiant around to do their job of protecting and teaching, humanity wouldn't have been reduced to not even knowing how to cast bronze every desolation.

 

So... seriously, Heralds? You just give up the oathpact as /soon/ as you set up the Knights Radiant? Not even a few generations to make sure that you've taught them everything important about fighting Desolations and being Honorable and whatnot? The lack of foresight the Heralds display here is, honestly, completely galling. Though that's not really a surprise, once you take into account the state of Roshar, four-and-a-half millennia later.

 

More interesting, though, is why the Heralds felt like they /could/ put down the Oathpact once they set up the Knights Radiant. The Heralds thought that perhaps they could end the cycle of Desolations forever by setting down the Oathpact- in which case, setting up the Knights Radiant feels almost pointless. If there's no more Desolations to protect humanity from, why even set up an elite corps of magic knights?

 

So, ultimately, my question is this: did the abandonment of the Oathpact require, somehow, that others- the Radiants- take it up? If not, what was the /true/ purpose for why the Radiants were formed? The pieces of information I have doesn't add up to a coherent whole, and I notice I am confused.

 

 

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Ash would be Shalash, recent WoB confirmed Ash as he nickname. *I* believe that this scene is meant to indicate that breaking the Oathpact has had an adverse effect on the Heralds

Edited by b4dave
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And the two ambassadors are Nalan and someone unknown, possibly Kalak. "My lord" is Jezrien, so Szeth's blade is really their lord's.

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I've been reading Sanderson for a while, but never really bothered with a forum account until now. Hopefully I can contribute some stuff to the discussion of the man's latest work!

 

So, it's pretty obvious that each of the books will start with Dalinar's assassination as the prologue, as seen from the eyes of a different participant or character at the time. With Words of Radiance's release, a lot of interesting stuff has been revealed that wasn't shown in Szeth's version of the scene, and there's a /lot/ of weird future hooks that I don't think I've seen addressed anywhere else.

 

For starters, who was Jasnah planning to assassinate? If the two letters she wrote were similar, then it'd imply that Jasnah had reason to possibly want Aesudan dead- but why? 

 

More importantly, though, has anybody analyzed what Jasnah overheard in the hallway?

 

 

So who's 'Ash'? Who's the person who's 'getting worse'? What exactly are they 'getting worse' in? I'm personally of the opinion that 'That creature' is Szeth, but that raises the question of who 'my lord' is, and why the Azish ambassadors should think that Szeth's Honorblade ought to belong to their lord instead. Alternatively, maybe they're talking about Nalan, Nightblood, and Vasher? That makes so much less sense, though- as far as we know, none of them show up in the scene anywhere.

 

And just /what/ exactly did these people 'do' which they thought was wrong, and how does it relate to Szeth keeping his Honorblade?

 

I have so many questions about this scene.

 

I strongly believe that this scene can be described somewhat easily.  Ash is Shallash, b4dave mentioned.  I believe that the other two men are Heralds as well (I haven't checked, but one of them apparently fits the description of Darkness, aka Nalan, Herald of Justice).  The "my Lord" they are referring to would then be Jezrien, whose Honorblade Szeth has on him.  As to what is getting worse, that's hard to say, but since its been all but confirmed that Shallash is going around wrecking artwork of herself, I would guess that we are seeing some form of insanity (or worse) in all of them.

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The Heralds might have used the existence of the Radiants to partially justify abandoning the Oathpact, but ultimately, I think they did it because they were tired and broken.

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Every Herald we've seen so far has gone stark raving mad. It seems to be an effect of having broken the Oathpact. Shallash goes around breaking artwork of herself, Nalan is murdering surgebinders in the name of fake justice, Taln who doesn't really count is doing a Madness Mantra, so yeah. It seems like they notices Shallash and felt similar things happening to them and were starting to freak out.

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I have some answers regarding the timeline of the Recreance and the founding of the KR, it seems that the KR existed for a long time "A Few Desolations" however long that is.

 

 

One of Ishar’s Knights,” the madman whispered. His eyes narrowed. “I remember . . . He founded them? Yes. Several Desolations ago. No longer just talk. It hasn’t been talk for thousands of years. But . . . When . . .”

 

but maybe they just did not provide steel tools to every spearman; if I remember correctly, the squires of the KR in the purelake vision also had similar (primitive) tools.

 

Either that or they kept the knowledge alive, but weren't very good at spreading it, to reference another vision, when Dalinar sees the Night essence creatures, the people from the town did not even imagine people could ever break/modify stone, all this while the KR were obviously active and saving people. The KR did not actively spread the knowledge, they invited Dalinar to come to Urithiru (and provably learn), so at least they were open about it.

 

As to the abandoning of the oathpact, WoB is that the oathpact is "Not as broken as they [heralds that quit] think" When the heralds left, they believed that leaving one herald in damnation (taln) would be enough to keep the pact from totally breaking, they then proceeded to lie to humanity claiming that that specific desolation was the last one ever. The truth has become clear now that another desolation has started.

 

As to what Jasna overheard, I agree with happyman

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It's theorized that Jasnah was going to use the assassins to kill a member of her family. Probably Aesudan (Elhokar's wife), judging by the dialogue and context of the conversation. And frankly, I don't blame her. If Lhan's interlude is anything to go by, she makes a really crappy queen. 

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Regarding Men with bronze spearheads and primitive wraps versus Knights Radiant in shardplate, that is possible without the knights being newly established. Taln's POV gave the impression they had been around several desolation's.

 

1. This is at the end of a desolation. Things could have been better in the beginning, but all the "Magic Boom Stick" factories were obvious targets early in the war. This seems to be a favored tactic of Odiums forces. Destruction of an enemies Infrastructure is the gift that keeps on giving. Remember bronze was mentioned by Taln as their go to soulcasting element as it could be easily molded for mass production. Knowing the secret of steel technology and making enough steel swords / armor for everyone two very different things.

 

2. The Knights and Urithiru have kept the knowledge alive, but advanced knowledge is not universal. Either held by the Knights and not shared with some nations (I would not share any advanced military technologies with the asshats ruling Alethkar for example) or were shared but the receiving nation refused to implement them (Polio is coming back in the middle-east because the Taliban threatens/kills those who offer or receive Polio vaccine as an example.)

 

3. This is one of the Desolations where the last one knocked technology back to the stone age, even the KR, but the shards are not made by a technological process, but from the Nahel Bond. OR they are priceless relics from a time when they could be made. Just like current day Roshar.

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Fyi, it's Shalash, with one L :)

 

Brandon confirmed that the first 5 books will have prologues that show a different PoV of Gavilar's death (I presume you meant him, not Dalinar ;) ).

 

It's widely thought that the drunk :Have you seen me?" person is Jezrien, the one talking about "My lord's blade" is Kalak, and he's talking to Nale.  "That monster" is probably referring to Szeth, and he's carrying the Honorblade that once belonged to Jezrien.

 

Th Heralds all seem to be epitomizing fallen angels in that they have twisted or reversed the ideals they once stood for.  Therefore Nale hunts down surgebinders who have broken the law, Shalash destroys art, and Kalak seems rather craven.

 

I'm pretty sure Jasnah was thinking of having Elhokar's wife assassinated.  She's clearly a bad queen and Jasnah is very protective of her family, even from not-so-physical threats.

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Just a quick thought on this - surely only one of the people discussing it in the scene is a herald? Otherwise wouldn't they have used the words "our lord's own blade"... these words also suggest that Jezrien is indeed alive (I know there is speculation he is anyway but this gives further credence)...

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The bronze age tech is not that confusing - we dont' know exactly how many Radiants there were during the pre-Desolation time, but whether it was dozens, or hundreds, or even a couple thousand, it would have been a tiny, tiny number compared to the general population. When you add the fact that the Radiants (and the ruling elite that had access to their services) could rely almost completely on surgebinding and fabrials to replace technology, and it's not a surprise at all that the general tech level of Roshar continued to be pretty crappy. 

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I just find it a little 'troublesome' that the one person uses the term "My Lord's own blade".  I think its pretty obvious that they are talking about Szeth but I'm not sure who that speaker is.

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I just find it a little 'troublesome' that the one person uses the term "My Lord's own blade".  I think its pretty obvious that they are talking about Szeth but I'm not sure who that speaker is.

Consensus is it is a Herald. Reread RShara's post #10 above. It spells out the reasoning for the speaker being Kalak.

 

 

Edit: Also, welcome to the forums! Have a introductory Rep point!

Edited by Bramble Thorn
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Just a quick thought on this - surely only one of the people discussing it in the scene is a herald? Otherwise wouldn't they have used the words "our lord's own blade"... these words also suggest that Jezrien is indeed alive (I know there is speculation he is anyway but this gives further credence)...

 

We don't know the what the relationships between the Herald's were before the Oathpact.  It's entirely possible for Jezrien to have been king to one or some of the other Herald's, but not to all.

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My secret pet theory is that Jasnah was going to have Taravangian bumped off.  We learn later in the book that he was present at the festivities that night.

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My thought is that Radiants were chosen for each Desolation. They don't have a higher tech level or fabrials. They have shardplate and shardblades. They are stone age humans taught bronze by Heralds and given abilities, armor and weapons by spren. And Wonkavators it seems.

Desolations reduce them all to the stone age again, the Heralds disappear. By the time tech increases again, a new Desolation squashes it.

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We don't know the what the relationships between the Herald's were before the Oathpact. It's entirely possible for Jezrien to have been king to one or some of the other Herald's, but not to all.

Also it's possible that Jezrien was king of all heralds in the beginning but now Nalan simply doesn't accept his authority. Remember how Darkness, at the end of Lift interlude, makes derogatory comments about king of heralds (i.e. assuming Darkness is in fact Nalan, which is hypothesized but far from official).
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When I first read the prologue, I was guessing Jasnah was going to have Dalinar's wife assassinated (it would be an interesting potential tie-in for Dalinar's Nightwatcher visit). But, rereading it, it's probably Elhokar's wife. "Spying on the wife of the heir to the throne," "I will arrange for one of my sister-in-law's maids to be released..."

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