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DISCLAIMER: While I don't think this argument is definitive by any means, I do think the case for "Trell-as-Cultivation" is just as strong as "Trell-as-Autonomy," perhaps stronger. It sounds nutty, but honestly I think that's because people here are assuming we know a lot more about Autonomy than we actually do. I'll explain: 

I'm going to start with what I think is the strongest point in favor of Trell being Cultivation: the weird Hemalurgic properties of the godmetal trellium. This may seem like digression, but I promise you this is going somewhere. Trellium acts like no metal we've ever seen. From the Coppermind

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This unknown metal is used for the Hemalurgic spikes that keep the user hidden from Harmony.[5] This has a limited effect, however, and any more than a single spike will make the user visible to Harmony. It is an inherent property of the metal, and not a Hemalurgic attribute that hides the user. It is also used to create Chimaeras.[3][1]

It can steal Allomantic and Feruchemical abilities and grant them to Kandra, as used by Paalm.[4]

Presumably its Hemalurgic ability is similar to that of Atium, allowing the transfer of any ability with somewhat variable success depending on the binding point.

That's pretty strange, isn't it? Trellium is the only metal we know of that affects kandra like that. I know there are technically the human quality-stealing metals that grant the Blessings, but this is clearly a blessing of a totally different variety. Trellium seems to work a lot like atium, in that it can steal any Allomantic/Feruchemical ability, but it only seems to do that with kandra. But what about the chimeras from Shadows of Self? Again, from the Coppermind

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TRIGGER WARNING: gross and creepy

Hemalurgic Chimeras are Hemalurgic creatures that were created by Bleeder. They were originally human, but were given a single Hemalurgic spike of an unknown metal.[1]

They move on all fours "in a distinctly inhuman way" and are described as having joints that bent the wrong way at the elbows and knees, thickened skulls, and pure black eyes, but still having traces of human traits left in them, such as "fingers that were too long" and hands with opposable thumbs.

Another trellium anomaly! Again, we see this godmetal acting weird. What other Hemalurgic construct even approaches this level of sheer inhumanity? All the other constructs we know of are warped from the human baseline, yes, but they remain human or humanoid in some way. Steel Inquisitors are basically artificial Mistborn. Koloss are extremely buff, extremely dumb humans with a skin condition. The kandra aren't human, but Hemalurgy turns them from mindless blobs of mush into sentient beings, so you could argue that the Blessings increase their "human-ness." But with chimeras, one trellium spike gives them some unknown quality, while warping their bodies and minds into something animalistic. Almost like koloss. Only instead of being given a human quality like strength, they were given an animal quality that twisted them into wild beasts. But how to we square this with the other Hemalurgic property of trellium, giving Metallic Arts abilities to kandra? Simple: 

THEORY: Hemalurgic trellium is a "universal spike" like atium, but with restrictions. It can transfer any strait or ability, but only between humans and non-humans. Meaning that a trellium spike only transfers qualities if either the spike's victim or recipient is not human. They work human-to-nonhuman, or nonhuman-to-human.

This is the only way I can think of to square the two abilities of trellium that we know of. (As an aside, it also ties into a theory I'm working on about Hemalurgic godmetals, but I don't even know if I still take my own side on that one yet.) 

Now, if we assume that my theory on trellium is correct, we have an interesting corollary on this godmetal: its powers within the Metallic Arts, from what we've seen, appear to be deeply tied to interactions between humans, the natural world, and the interplay between them. The connection between trellium's properties and the Intent of Cultivation seems pretty clear to me. We also know from the text that Trell's agents appear to be deeply concerned with order, micromanaging affairs, and long-term planning. All of this fits very well with Cultivation's Intent. Given that we also know that a Shard's Intent affects how well they can predict the future, and that Cultivation is reportedly very, very good at predicting the future, we have a Shard interfering on Scadrial who shares a suspiciously similar MO with Cultivation. 

MY THEORY: Cultivation is attempting to partially invest herself on Scadrial as a backup plan in case greater Roshar falls to Odium. It's probably safe to assume at this point that Odium's hatred of Cultivation has gotten personal, and Cultivation knows that if things go wrong, she's going to be the next Shard he comes after. So she's investing herself on Scadrial, using it as a "Shardic lifeboat" of sorts to ensure that she can't be trapped on Roshar/Ashyn and Splintered like Tanavast. This growing influence manifests itself as the new godmetal "trellium," whose known Hemalurgic properties seem to fit thematically with her Intent. 

The only real counter-argument I can think of is that Cultivation seems pretty pre-occupied on Roshar, what with the Last Desolation and all. But is that really an argument, or is it just an assumption based on what little we've seen so far? Odium is trapped by the Oathpact, not Cultivation. She may be heavily invested, but as Autonomy shows being invested on a world is no barrier to sowing Investiture other places like a Shardic Johnny Appleseed.

Is this a stretch? Maybe. Am I missing something? Quite possibly, yes. But I still think this Trell-as-Cultivation theory is worth considering, if for no other reason than that it helps us look at the question with new eyes. 

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While I don't agree, my issues with this are less about the Cultivation aspect of the theory (because frankly, I think it's just as likely as the Odium theory by reasons typically given), but with what you think is different about Trellium. 

Granting Allomancy/Feruchemy to Kandra is not a unique ability of Trellium. It's something that is possible through hemalurgy normally, but most Kandra simply don't know how. 

Paalm on the other hand, was TLR's personal Kandra, and according to MeLaan, they believe that he used her to impersonate Inquisitors at times... Which would mean she had to know the secret. 

Quote

“Paalm was the ultimate blank slate,” MeLaan said. “Old-style kandra. Like I said, she spent so much time out on missions that she barely had a personality of her own. She had real trouble with that at the dawn of a new world. Some of the older generations, they liked to spend time in the Homeland, only left for a mission when forced to. Not Paalm. She was the Father’s own, the kandra reserved specifically to do missions for the Lord Ruler.” She hesitated. “She might know things from him. Things the rest of us weren’t told. I think he may even have had her imitate Inquisitors at times, act as a mole among them.
“Anyway, she wouldn’t have been able to impersonate an Inquisitor without a good grasp of Allomancy and Feruchemy. So maybe that’s where she got the knowledge. She was loyal to the Lord Ruler, and then when he was gone, she became loyal to Harmony. Fanatical about it. Insisted on being given mission after mission, and never spent time with the rest of us. Kept to herself. She was almost always in character. Until…”

Quote

“Waxillium,” MeLaan said, leaning forward, “you do realize what you’re dealing with? Paalm was trained by the ancients, and served the Lord Ruler himself. She quashed rebellions and overthrew kingdoms in his service, and she is intimately familiar with the intricacies of Hemalurgy. By your own accounts, she’s learned to use spikes to grant herself Allomancy and Feruchemy—something we thought impossible. If you have her captured, that is a state she’s not likely to remain in for long. Remove that spike.”

As to the chimaeras, I believe you have the right of it in that they have been spiked with non-human traits... But we know hemalurgy works on animals. Why do you think this would be something unique to Trellium? 

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Interesting, I didn't know that.

Is there a WoB or something that says hemalurgy also works on animals? I was under the impression that people were being literal when they talked about certain Hemalurgic metals stealing human qualities; as in, most Hemalurgy only worked human-to-human. Even the Blessings would fall under that category, actually, when you remember that the mistwraiths were originally Terris.

Edited by Unlicensed Hemalurgist
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@Unlicensed Hemalurgist

Here you go 

Quote

Vegasdev

Would Hemalurgy work on animals?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, it would. 

source

Edit: ninja'd 

Edited by Calderis
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Ladies and gentlemen, we seem to have reached ninja-ception.

To the point: technically, Brandon just said that Hemalurgy can work on animals. Without more specifics, there's no way of telling what that means. He could be saying that all the metals work normally on animals (iron steals animal strength etc.), or that some metals work on animals or others don't. So my trellium theory is still technically supported by this WoB, pending future clarification. ;)

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19 minutes ago, Unlicensed Hemalurgist said:

Interesting, I didn't know that.

Is there a WoB or something that says hemalurgy also works on animals? I was under the impression that people were being literal when they talked about certain Hemalurgic metals stealing human qualities; as in, most Hemalurgy only worked human-to-human. Even the Blessings would fall under that category, actually, when you remember that the mistwraiths were originally Terris.



That's the only real usage we've actually seen, but there are WOB's that say Hemalurgy can take almost anything, but always qualified that the person has to have the correct knowledge/Intent, so for example I dont think it's the sort of think you can stumble across via experimentation.  The other side is that animals would presumable just have smaller/simpler spiritwebs with little of practical value to steal for a human, though a hyper-augmented animal like a Spike-Horse could be pretty awesome.  In other circumstances I could see there being value of, say, stealing animal senses (ala RuneLords) but when there are Tineye's around why waste the effort on a lesser donor? 

On the other hand, animals could still have useful planetary Connections (simple or sentient they are still residents) and I could see that playing a role in the eventual FTL systems, using animals as humane spiritweb donors.

 

6 minutes ago, Unlicensed Hemalurgist said:

Ladies and gentlemen, we seem to have reached ninja-ception.

To the point: technically, Brandon just said that Hemalurgy can work on animals. Without more specifics, there's no way of telling what that means. He could be saying that all the metals work normally on animals (iron steals animal strength etc.), or that some metals work on animals or others don't. So my trellium theory is still technically supported by this WoB, pending future clarification. ;)


Well, not disproven outright :P 

 

The real issue is that we only have one example of a Godmetal's use in Hemalurgy, and that was Ruin's own Godmetal which is going to be special almost by definition.  That's just too little data to establish any definitive patterns. 

Edited by Quantus
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My problem with this is that I think Cultivation has her hands full with Roshar and Odium.

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1 minute ago, RShara said:

My problem with this is that I think Cultivation has her hands full with Roshar and Odium.

How possible is it that Cultivation has flipped sides?  I mean we're assuming that she's on the Radiant's side because we assume she's on Honor's side, but Honor is gone,

Spoiler

even the Heralds arent all against Odium

, and theirs wouldnt be the first romantic relationship to sour, even without Mind-Altering balls of power that are actively warping both party's personalities. 

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1 minute ago, Quantus said:

How possible is it that Cultivation has flipped sides?  I mean we're assuming that she's on the Radiant's side because we assume she's on Honor's side, but Honor is gone,

Unlikely seeing as

OB spoilers 

Spoiler

He outright says he plans to kill her. 

And we have WoBs saying that he is opposed by her. 

Quote

Wolfbeckett

Are things that are written by scholars on Roshar suspect? In Mistborn, Ruin could change anything that was written down, so can Odium do the same? Are written words on Roshar: untrustworthy, trustworthy because that ability was somehow limited to Ruin, or trustworthy because Odium COULD do it but just won't because it's not his style/he doesn't consider it?

Brandon Sanderson

Odium didn't have a hand in creating Roshar, and his essence doesn't permeate it in the same way as Ruin permeated Scadrial. This gave Ruin a great deal more power over things like this--except when he ran into metals, of course.

Another difference is that Odium has a fully-living, fully-aware, and very powerful Shard opposing him. (Contrasted to one that was half-dead and going mad.)

So yes, you can trust much of what was written. Odium can be subtle when he needs to be, but his primary avenue of attack has been along a different line than the one Ruin used.

source

 

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9 minutes ago, Quantus said:

The real issue is that we only have one example of a Godmetal's use in Hemalurgy, and that was Ruin's own Godmetal which is going to be special almost by definition.  That's just too little data to establish any definitive patterns. 

You're right of course, and this really wants me to expand on my Hemalurgy theory about godmetals, especially Brandon's "lerasium spike = nuclear bomb as a paperweight" comment. Hmmm, so much to do.

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Whether she flips sides or not, I think it would take quite a bit of effort for her to move her focus from Roshar to Scadrial, and she'd still have her hands full with Odium, because Odium wants to Splinter all the Shards. I mean, I can't think of a good motivation for her doing so, is what I'm saying.

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2 minutes ago, RShara said:

Whether she flips sides or not, I think it would take quite a bit of effort for her to move her focus from Roshar to Scadrial, and she'd still have her hands full with Odium, because Odium wants to Splinter all the Shards. I mean, I can't think of a good motivation for her doing so, is what I'm saying.

You mean you can't think of a good motivation to flee a solar system hosting a god-powered serial killer who has repeatedly, explicitly said he wants to kill you?

:P

Edited by Unlicensed Hemalurgist
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Yep. Because fleeing would involve somehow ripping her investiture away from Roshar. We don't know if this is even possible, or how long it would take, and what side effects it would have. Plus, I think she and Tanavast settled on Roshar in the first place was because a lot of her investiture was already there in the form of the spren, so they settled there for her to be able to access more of it.

 

Additionally, given that her nickname is "Slammer," I don't see her as someone who would run from a fight.

 

And also, running from Roshar, to challenge a doubleShard Vessel, with Odium on her heels, would mean fighting on two fronts, which wouldn't be very smart. (I'm assuming here that withdrawing her power from the Roshar system would free Odium, since he is bound by her and Honor's power.)

Edited by RShara
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3 minutes ago, RShara said:

Yep. Because fleeing would involve somehow ripping her investiture away from Roshar. We don't know if this is even possible, or how long it would take, and what side effects it would have. Plus, I think she and Tanavast settled on Roshar in the first place was because a lot of her investiture was already there in the form of the spren, so they settled there for her to be able to access more of it.

Wait, I thought spren were how her investiture expressed itself once she settled on Roshar. How could she be invested on a planet before getting there? That's like moving into your house before it's built.

5 minutes ago, RShara said:

Additionally, given that her nickname is "Slammer," I don't see her as someone who would run from a fight.

Maybe Hoid was making a caustic remark about her drinking habits as a mortal? :P

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1 hour ago, Unlicensed Hemalurgist said:

Odium is trapped by the Oathpact, not Cultivation

Odium is bound by the powers of Cultivation and Honor. the oathpact only binds the fused and has no effect on Odium.

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Just now, Unlicensed Hemalurgist said:

Wait, I thought spren were how her investiture expressed itself once she settled on Roshar. How could she be invested on a planet before getting there? That's like moving into your house before it's built.

The spren existed before Cultivation settled on Roshar. They were made by Adonalsium, and already had a lot of Cultivation-flavored-investtiure in them.

 

Quote

Chaos [PENDING REVIEW]

So, at the Forbidden Planet signing you said that when Adonalsium was Shattered, all Investiture in the cosmere was associated to one of the Shards... So, what happened with Adonalsium's spren on Roshar? Were those associated to Honor and Cultivation? What happened with them?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So they were very-- They were already associated to certain parts of Adonalsium and they went with those associations. There's a lot of Cultivation in all of the spren, particularly the natural spren.

Footnote: Chaos is referencing this exchange.
source
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

 

 

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Maybe I should clarify: I'm not saying Cultivation is actively fleeing to Scadrial yet. I'm saying she might be preparing to do so, depending on how her other plans (Diagram, etc.) turn out. Sending some of her influence there as trellium before deciding to commit one way or the other (if such a thing can even be done).

Edited by Unlicensed Hemalurgist
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Just now, Unlicensed Hemalurgist said:

Maybe I should clarify: I'm not saying Cultivation is actively fleeing to Scadrial yet. I'm saying she might be preparing to do so, depending on how her other plans (Diagram, etc.) turn out. Sending some of her influence there as trellium before committing (if such a thing can even be done).

But that would be a chunk of her power that she would then not be able to use in her fight against Odium. And from what Sazed said, it seems to me it's more than just the trellium, but actual attempts to move in on his turf, which would really divide her attention in a bad way.

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14 minutes ago, RShara said:

But that would be a chunk of her power that she would then not be able to use in her fight against Odium. And from what Sazed said, it seems to me it's more than just the trellium, but actual attempts to move in on his turf, which would really divide her attention in a bad way.

Well what has Cultivation actually done lately? For someone the text says is allegedly engaged in a life-or-death struggle, she doesn't seem to be actually doing anything. Sending a tiny fraction of her power to another planet is far more involved than anything we've actually seen her do in-text. Perhaps Scadrial's actually where the bulk of her attention (not power, but attention) is right now. 

And if the manifestation of a brand new godmetal isn't an attempt to move in on Harmony's metal-themed turf I don't know what else would qualify.

Edited by Unlicensed Hemalurgist
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Because being obvious would also open her up to a strike from Odium. Clearly, she's cautious and subtle. I think she has a number of plots going that are designed to strike Odium where it hurts at the best possible time, while leaving her with the bulk of her power intact.

4 minutes ago, Unlicensed Hemalurgist said:

And if the manifestation of a brand new godmetal isn't an attempt to move in on Harmony's metal-themed turf I don't know what else would qualify.

Just having a god metal show up on Scadrial, I don't think would need to be a Shard trying to move in. However, Harmony's depiction to Wax and his comments about greater threats makes it clear that there's more than just the metal showing up.

Which is why I don't think it's Cultivation... Yes, definitely someone is trying to move in on Harmony's turf. I just don't think it's Cultivation.

Edited by RShara
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Cultivation is active, but she's a schemer. She's subtle. She's got her fingers in everything, even if it looks like she's not doing much. 

Quote

Gavin-son-son-Odegard [PENDING REVIEW]

How does Cultivation figure in this conflict between Odium?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So, what people assume is that Cultivation is hiding. I would disagree with that. People in-world would assume that.

source

If Cultivation is actually seen doing something, in my opinion, it's because her plan has already succeeded, or she's been backed into a corner where she has no alternative. 

As far as what think she's doing, I'd like to point you towards the Diagram... 

Edit: additionally, unless she's doing what Autonomy has done, to act on Scadrial, she'd have to actuality have left Roshar, because the Vessels are all limited. 

Quote

Questioner

How far does Sazed's power actually extend?

Brandon Sanderson

It is mostly limited to his immediate sphere of influence, so the planet.

Questioner

But doesn't he move stars at the end?

Brandon Sanderson

No, he moved the planet. His solar system, he can definitely have influence on the solar system. But none of the other planets around Scadrial are inhabited.

source

 

Edited by Calderis
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To add to what Cal said

Quote

Leinton (paraphrased)

Is a Shard's influence of power based on Physical distance, Cognitive distance, something else, or does it vary from Shard to Shard?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It varies, but is definitely more Physical.

source

And I really need to rewrite my Diagram post....

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4 minutes ago, Unlicensed Hemalurgist said:

You're right of course, and this really wants me to expand on my Hemalurgy theory about godmetals, especially Brandon's "lerasium spike = nuclear bomb as a paperweight" comment. Hmmm, so much to do.

I know this is not helpful to today's conversation, but my honest interpretation of that is him saying it would still function as a metal capable of acting as a hemalurgic Spike like any other, but that use would be a crazy waste of the Lerasium, which implies to me that it has no additional/unique benefit over mundane metals. 

Hmm, We know a Trellium spike prevents Ruin's ability to monitor or speak to the target, which I think is also the only actual effect common to all spikes.

But then, there is also the Red Haze effect that sure seems to be Trell, and per WOB there are forces actively trying to limit and contain Sazed, which I dont think Cultivation would have any motive to be doing. 

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