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Apologies if this has already been discussed and I missed it, but do we know why the Listeners were hunting chasmfiends so vigorously on the Shattered Plains? We know they have been experimenting with capturing spren in gems, but that doesn't seem to account for why they would need greatshell gemhearts. And it can't be just about killing them, because then why bother fighting pitched battles with the Alethi? 

I have a vague sense it has something to do with thunderclasts, but I can't put my finger on it.

Maybe I'm just missing something obvious. (I've only just crawled out of the woodwork because I'm re-listening to the series from the beginning.) 

Anyway, hi folks! :)

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The same reason that the Alethi were. For food.

Whether it was through soulcasting or a method of making plants grow with Stormlight directly, they needed them to make food quickly. 

I'm trying to find a quote, but I don't remember the wording. There is a place where after they get a gemheart Eshonai thinks something along the line of "her people would eat a while longer," but I can't find it at the moment. Those are definitely not the actual words, I've tried searching for all of them individually except eat... Cause with seat, meat, sweat, etc... There's just too many. 

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I’m pretty sure Eshonai does say something along those lines in one of her chapters. 

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Now that you mention it, I remember what you're talking about from Eshonai's viewpoint. That being said, it still doesn't seem to add up. The Alethi weren't really hunting them for food, but rather for profit. Maybe I'm grasping at straws, but it seems like there is something more there. 

In any case, thanks for jogging my memory. 

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10 minutes ago, Corax said:

The Alethi weren't really hunting them for food, but rather for profit. Maybe I'm grasping at straws, but it seems like there is something more there. 

One of the reasons the gems (specifically emeralds) are so profiable is because they can be used to Soulcast food.

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Yeah. I oversimplified it in the extreme. It was greed for the Alethi pure and simple, but emeralds are worth as much as they are because they're specifically what enables the Alethi to not need costly supply lines. 

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It makes sense for the Alethi, absolutely. The emeralds fuel the turnover of their military complex. I suppose that what I'm getting at is the Listeners aren't part of a similar structure, and the cost of lives for them seems like it should outweigh the benefit of any Investiture-based fertilizer. 

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The entirety of their people was there. They were unable to run and had probably outstripped what the land could produce naturally. 

The battles were definitely not worth it in the long run. They lost thousands of their numbers. They knew that they were slowly dying. 

But not engaging in those battles meant starvation. It was immediate death vs. Eventual death. 

Edited by Calderis
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IInterlude 1, WoR

Quote

‘We won,’ Eshonai said, leaning back against the wall and folding her arms with a clink of Shardplate. ‘The gemheart is ours. We will continue to eat.’

My understanding is they are able to use the stormlight to facilitate plant growth. 

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8 minutes ago, Extesian said:

My understanding is they are able to use the stormlight to facilitate plant growth.

Per this WoB. 

Quote

Questioner

For Words of Radiance, could you put a comment about something in the upcoming books, something not too specific, just something I can think about? Something like "Renarin has a spren" you wrote for somebody else in The Way of Kings?

Brandon Sanderson

[written] Stormlight makes plants grow. 

source

 

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Ah, thank you for that WoB; I hadn't seen it before. 

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Were the chasmfiends something more once, like the Parsh forms? Trapping spren in their gemheart allows transformations so what about chasmfiends?

Edited by Angsos
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On 8/9/2018 at 4:37 PM, Calderis said:

The same reason that the Alethi were. For food.

Whether it was through soulcasting or a method of making plants grow with Stormlight directly, they needed them to make food quickly. 

I'm trying to find a quote, but I don't remember the wording. There is a place where after they get a gemheart Eshonai thinks something along the line of "her people would eat a while longer," but I can't find it at the moment. Those are definitely not the actual words, I've tried searching for all of them individually except eat... Cause with seat, meat, sweat, etc... There's just too many. 

If you add a space before and after the word, in iBooks at least, the search results should only include that specific word and not larger words containing that word (eg. searching " eat " instead of "eat"). Makes searching for specific subjects a lot easier.

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@Calderis, that's why Lift can get Stormlight from eating, maybe? Because her spren is plant-like, it can absorb Stormlight in a special way and transfer it into Lift when she "grows," or "cultivates," herself by eating food.

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18 hours ago, Ripheus23 said:

@Calderis, that's why Lift can get Stormlight from eating, maybe? Because her spren is plant-like, it can absorb Stormlight in a special way and transfer it into Lift when she "grows," or "cultivates," herself by eating food.

Lift's ability to acquire Stormlight from food (and inability to access it the normal way) comes from her boon/curse from the Nightwatcher.  

Edited by Scion of the Mists
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Isn't her spren a cultivationspren? Maybe her boon/curse from the Nightwatcher was to get one of Cultivation's special spren, with all that this entails...

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5 hours ago, Ripheus23 said:

Isn't her spren a cultivationspren? Maybe her boon/curse from the Nightwatcher was to get one of Cultivation's special spren, with all that this entails...

Why would cultivationspren be different from all the others though? That doesn't really make any sense. Plus, Lift implies that she only started to bond Wyndle recently before her first interlude, while she says that she visited the Nightwatcher about three years prior. 

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Lift is closer to the Cognitive Realm and Wyndle doesn't know why. Presumably it was either the Nightwatcher or Cultivation messing around but we won't find out for some time I guess.

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The quote says it is unlikely that the Nightwatcher would forcibly bond someone with a spren. However, I am not thinking that Lift asked to be bonded with a spren. First off, she thought Wyndle was a Voidbringer at first. So I'm guessing the bond would have been the Nightwatcher's solution to the puzzle of what Lift asked for. As for when it happened: didn't Kaladin discover that Syl had sort of been trailing him for far longer than he remembered seeing her?

Quote

Why would cultivationspren be different from all the others though?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Wyndle is plant-like. If plants can be made to grow better using Stormlight, if plants can directly metabolize Stormlight or some such thing, I suspect being bonded to a plant-like spren would transfer some of the qualities of this metabolism to the person thus bonded.

Whether Wyndle would understand this process, IDK. He seems a little... out of the loop... to some degree? But anyway, if spren are based out of the Cognitive Realm, and spren generally (on Roshar) have a special relationship with Cultivation, and she has her own namesake-spren, I would think bonding with one of her spren would result in a person being "closer" to the Cognitive Realm than would be normal.

(I recently read somewhere on the Internet that plants apparently use quantum entanglement in the process of photosynthesis. I can only imagine that there is some kind of chloroplastic crystallography involved with Rosharan plants whereby they have, or can have, quasi-gemhearts with which to absorb Stormlight...)

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After Eshonai took on Stormform, she announced that they weren't going to hunt chasmfiends anymore. If they needed the hearts to eat, why didn't the entire population rebel? She's forcing them to abandon their only food source.

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1 hour ago, Gray to said:

After Eshonai took on Stormform, she announced that they weren't going to hunt chasmfiends anymore. If they needed the hearts to eat, why didn't the entire population rebel? She's forcing them to abandon their only food source.

At that point, there were no longer any plans involving civilian Listeners (aside from possibly children.) They were no longer a struggling population but a mobilizing army. And while their prolonged effectiveness would rely perhaps on cultivating food sources, Odium doesn't exactly have their best interests in mind.

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On 8/16/2018 at 5:04 PM, Ripheus23 said:

Isn't her spren a cultivationspren? Maybe her boon/curse from the Nightwatcher was to get one of Cultivation's special spren, with all that this entails...

I doubt it. Windyl tells Lift about how a bunch of the Cultivation spren decided together that he should bond Lift at least in part because she had previously visited the Mother (Cultivation). It didn’t happen simultaneously to her boon/curse from that visit (storm light from food instead of gems/partial existence in the Cognitive Realm), although it is apparently at least part of why she got the specific spren she did.

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