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mons456

Problems understanding the desolations - Need help -

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On a reread of Wok and Wor i noticed that i dont get the purpose of desolations;

to express my thoughts i make this crude timeline:

 

Age 1: Heralds are around, no Radiants, humankind gets stomped by voidbringers ( they partially dont even have bronze weapons, culture seems to change between stone age and bronze age); Nohadon writes his book after a stomping

Age 2: Heralds are around; sprens form radiants, human military power multiplies ( shardblades, shardplate, use of stormlight); humankind still does badly, might ocassionally be trashed by voidbringers

Age 3: Oathpact shattered, maybe some desolations afterwards ( in Dalinars visions there was this guy who was said to be able to accuratly predict desolations, so he had lived through some; i dont understand why one should start trying to predict desolations if the best sign was the appereance of the heralds, 100% accuracy in that, why bother predicting then?; except the heralds would have already abandoned the oathpact); day of recreance, radiants no more around

 

If the desolations where there to eradicate human life on Roshar, why wasnt this accomplished in Age 1, when humankind was at its weakest ever? Do the voidbringers even care about killing all humans?

Or is there some kind of wincounter like goals in soccer get counted and it was decided between Odium and Honor that the winner is who first get 100 won desolations, the looser gets shattered or whatever.

While i think this whole fight between Odium and Honor was about shattering Honor, the current upcoming desolation makes no sense in this regard as Honor is already shattered. It might be that Preservation is the target now but i dont understand why she wasnt shattered together with Honor, they both seemed to have worked together, or not?

 

All in all i have no idea whats up with these desolations

Please help me get through this mess

Thanks

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The purpose of the Desolations hasn't been established yet. In particular it's not really clear if the purpose of Desolations is to wipe out humankind.

 

Assuming that Dalinar's visions are accurate, Surgebinding appear to have occurred naturally after some initial number of Desolations (which presumably only involved the Heralds). There are some number of Desolations after that where Surgebinders and Heralds exist (but before KR exist). The KR are formed some time after the Surgebinders are around. It's unclear if Nohadon or Ishar actually formed the KR initially, though Ishar appears to have been involved in some fashion for sure.

 

Dalinar's vision in 'Starfalls' does not imply that there has been multiple Desolations in one lifetime. The quote is:

 

 

The knight sniffed dismissively. “Voidbringers? These? No, this was Midnight Essence, though who released it is still a mystery.” She looked to the side, expression growing distant. “Harkaylain says the Desolation is close, and he is not often wrong. He—”

 

It doesn't necessarily mean Harkaylain is not often wrong about Desolations; it more likely means that Harkaylain tends to be right about anything he talks about, in general (think about the phrase as 'Jasnah says the Desolation is close, and she is not often wrong'). In particular, we know that Taffa is not familiar with Desolations:

 

 

“Let’s go,” he said, moving out into the darkness. “Are attacks by these beasts common?”

 

“During Desolations, perhaps, but not in my life! Stormwinds, Heb. We need to get you to—”

 

The Desolations don't seem to be about shattering the Shards, or at least they don't seem to be necessary to shatter the Shards, since Tavavast wasn't killed until after the 'Final Desolation', and there (obviously) hasn't been a Desolation since then (until perhaps the events of WoR).

 

tl;dr is that no one really knows what the Desolations are about at this point. It seems to be somehow tied to Odiumspren taking control over native Roshar life and attack people, and the Heralds can somehow prevent its occurrence, but that's about as much as has been actually established so far.

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The desolation seems to be not so much a time, but an event. The voidbringers rise up and begin killing everyone, humanity almost goes extinct, the survivors call it a desolation. They lose their technology and fall back into stone age and Bronze Age level tech and the cycle starts anew--though this time, perhaps because it had been 4500 years since the last desolation, the technology for steel and fabrials still exist.

There seems to be some link between surgebinding and the start of the desolations, but no causal relation has been established. Voidspren (odium spren?) start appearing. The honor spren, Cryptics, etc.seem to know when a desolation draws close with some, like Syl, trying to help.

There have been 99 desolations. The heralds lied and said the last one was the last one, and abandoned the oathpact. Since then the KR were still fighting someone at the recreance which was later, then perhaps they were fighting either each other or the remaining voidbringers. We will find out eventually.

Preservation and ruin were gods on Scadrial--mistborn

Honor, Cultivation, and Odium are gods on Roshar--Stormlight Archive

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Zahel thought it important for Kaladin to surmise the reason why the practice ground was flooded -- it was to the sand by flooding and stirring and letting the crud flow off.

 

Perhaps the Desolations are somewhat analagous, needed to reset the balance and harmony between the physical, cognitive and spiritual realms on Roshar.

 

With Honor dead this time around, the situation might be a little different now ....

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The Oathpact seems to contain the Desolations.

 

Per Word of Brandon, Odium is not Party to the Oathpact.

 

Odium is trying to splinter all the other shards so he can be the most powerful, and king of the hill.

 

There are (were) two Shards on Roshar, Honor and Cultivation

 

It could be the Desolations are Odiums attempt to get to Honor &/or Cultivation and splinter them, and the Oathpact was a defensive measure initiated by Honor.

 

It could also be the Oathpact was Honor chaining himself to Odium, so that Odium was trapped in the Greater Roshar Solar System. Preventing Odium from cherry picking his fights with the shards when it was most advantageous to him. He now had to either kill Tanavast (who was championing the other shards and willing to pick a fight with Odium) to attack any other shard than Honor or Cultivation, unless he was willing to leave and abandon much of his power.

 

Then the Desolation could be his attempts to free himself from the Oathpact, which he has to do from within the rules of the Oathpact.

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