Fanghur Rahl

Why does Ashravan need to be restamped every day?

18 posts in this topic

I just finished listening to Emperor’s Soul, and I’m a little confused about something. Shai implies that the more ‘plausible’ and ‘correct’ a Forgery is, the longer it will tend to last before having to be restamped. But the ending of the book implies that she managed to recreate the Emperor’s soul so perfectly (other than one or two things that the book implies would have eventually happened anyway) that for all intents and purposes the term ‘forgery’ arguably doesn’t even apply. She didn’t so much create something new and ‘false’ as recreate what was already supposed to be there. Which should seem to suggest that the ‘forgery’ should have been if not permanent then at least lasted a very long time, but for some reason he has to be restamped every morning (at least for a while) or he’ll become a vegetable again.

Why exactly is this the case? Why should a perfect recreation of what a person is supposed to be only last a day whereas something trivial like turning a chamber pot into an ornate vase last indefinitely? Is this just a plot hole or did I miss something? 
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Because unlike an object, humans are a constantly shifting and changing mass of Connections. The stamp wears off. 

No matter how good a stamp is on a person it will need to be frequently reapplied. 

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It is heavly connected to the Investiture. In cosmere human soul is basically made of magic, and different kinds of magic interfere with eachother. It is implied that one day is the max for the soul forgery to hold, while inanimate objects have no upper limit.

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But Shai did say that eventually the forgery might become permanent, analogized to repeatedly drawing the same image on a stack of paper until it eventually bled through to the bottom sheet. I mean, the fact is that people change all the time, so clearly souls in the Cosmere are not at all immutable. So it’s confusing why this would be any different.

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@Fanghur Rahl The issue as has been mentioned above, is that his soul is being interfered with by the stamp - even if it is magic that fixes a problem - and so the soul fights against it. She wonders if the soul will accept the changes because the beliefs of the objects stamped likewise affects the stamp - the wall wanted to be beautiful, so an implausable stamp held because the wall wanted it to, and a wall has less of a presence than a human does. The emperor's soul is damaged, the stamp patches it, and though the soul naturally fights against it - even Shai's essence marks don't last forever as her soul fights against them to, even though she applies them to herself because she wants the changes  - but it might accept it. Or, as Gaotona said, using the stamps repeatedly is like being worked on by a surgeon, the cuts eventually leaving a scar.

 

I don't know if you have read mistborn, so I will put this in spoilers

Spoiler

Humans on Scadrial are part Ruin and part Preservation, and slightly more Preservation. Yet metals in their bodies are shielded from Preservations allomancy even though they contain Preservation. The investiture fights against investiture which tries to affect it. Two magnets will repel one another even though they are magnets.

Other examples are in Stormlight. The issue is that a vase or a chair or a wall have a presence in the Cognitive realm and the Spirital in the Cosmere, but much smaller than humans. A human soul in the cosmere fights against being interfered with, and so the soul rejects a stamp that isn't close enough to it in the Spiritual realm, but a Cognitive acceptance of the changes over time will alter than Spiritual link, as does repeatedly being exposed to the stamp.

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9 hours ago, Ixthos said:

@Fanghur Rahl The issue as has been mentioned above, is that his soul is being interfered with by the stamp - even if it is magic that fixes a problem - and so the soul fights against it. She wonders if the soul will accept the changes because the beliefs of the objects stamped likewise affects the stamp - the wall wanted to be beautiful, so an implausable stamp held because the wall wanted it to, and a wall has less of a presence than a human does. The emperor's soul is damaged, the stamp patches it, and though the soul naturally fights against it

From what I understood, his soul is gone. He died and his soul moved to the beyond. The sealers came and fixed his body. She didn't fix a damaged soul. She created a facsimile as best she could with the information she had (sans her tweaks).

She created a more sentient Lifeless.

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@Naurock They say his soul is gone, but remember inanimate objects in the Cosmere are also present in the Cognitive realm. His body was still alive even though he was dead, and a tree likely has a larger presence than a table. He still had a history and connections, and still had a brain

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19 minutes ago, Ixthos said:

@Naurock They say his soul is gone, but remember inanimate objects in the Cosmere are also present in the Cognitive realm. His body was still alive even though he was dead, and a tree likely has a larger presence than a table. He still had a history and connections, and still had a brain

Yes, but this is where it gets very sketchy. We have not seen the CR on Nalthis or Sel. We don't know when a body changes from a vessel for a soul and when it changes to an inanimate object. Sel's CR is very dangerous, and we don't know what a Lifeless (or Returned for that matter) looks like in the CR. These are things we would have to ask Brandon and I would expect a complicated answer.

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@Naurock I agree it is sketchy and it might not work quiet as I said. However, I think that whether or not the soul is gone the state of the body also matters - one thing in Mistborn: Secret History:

Spoiler

When Kelsier sees people die we don't actually see the glow become the person, just the misty body and then the person a little later. There doesn't seem to be any difference between souls and metal, or between dead bodies and buildings or plants - he doesn't comment on any physical plants. But it has been established that even bacteria are enough to sustain an area in the Cognitive realm, so life is distinct from none living things.

With that in mind, I think that if Shai stamped a tree the tree would eventually reject the stamp, while a table - though made from a tree - wouldn't. Ashravan's soul - his Cognitive identity - was gone, but his body remained, as did his cells, which were still alive. It might be - and this is speculation - that a new soul was present in the setting when a person suffers the loss of their Cognitive body - just like (Stormlight spoilers - Oathbringer):

Spoiler

The Fused posses a Listener or Singer, the soul is gone and a new soul takes its place.

So I think Ashravan's body, with its new, tabula rasa soul, would reject changes to it.

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1 hour ago, Ixthos said:

@Naurock I agree it is sketchy and it might not work quiet as I said. However, I think that whether or not the soul is gone the state of the body also matters - one thing in Mistborn: Secret History:

  Hide contents

When Kelsier sees people die we don't actually see the glow become the person, just the misty body and then the person a little later. There doesn't seem to be any difference between souls and metal, or between dead bodies and buildings or plants - he doesn't comment on any physical plants. But it has been established that even bacteria are enough to sustain an area in the Cognitive realm, so life is distinct from none living things.

With that in mind, I think that if Shai stamped a tree the tree would eventually reject the stamp, while a table - though made from a tree - wouldn't. Ashravan's soul - his Cognitive identity - was gone, but his body remained, as did his cells, which were still alive. It might be - and this is speculation - that a new soul was present in the setting when a person suffers the loss of their Cognitive body - just like (Stormlight spoilers - Oathbringer):

  Hide contents

The Fused posses a Listener or Singer, the soul is gone and a new soul takes its place.

So I think Ashravan's body, with its new, tabula rasa soul, would reject changes to it.

Why would she stamp a tree? Is she reforging it after it was struck by lightning and she was trying to reattach a fallen branch? It has to be believable, and the change has to be wanted. 

As per the Oathbringer stuff

Spoiler

The Fused were originally Singers that have been turned into Cognitive Shadows. They've been given extra Investiture from Odium.

These beings are all of different magic systems that doing similar things but  slightly differently. 

Edited by Naurock
Clarification
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Relevant thread to the current discussion. 

More on the specifics of what Shai accomplished, and not Fanghur's question. 

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@Naurock I think you are misunderstanding what I am saying. I am comparing the pre-stamp Ashravan to another object which is alive but doesn't have a mind. Shai could stamp a tree for many reasons - more reasons than one could stamp a wall. She could stamp it so it wasn't hit by lightning, as you said, or so that it was, during a storm where every other tree was hit by lightning. She could stamp it so it had been carved in by children, or well tended, or that it had budded early. She could stamp it so a branch is missing or that is had been damaged in a fire. She could stamp a tree.

A tree is an example of something alive but without a mind. A tree I suspect would reject a stamp like a human would, eventually, but a table would not if the stamp was close enough to hold. The stamp has to match in both cases, but it will last indefinitely on something which isn't fighting it off, and living things fight.

As for the previous example, spoiler free, the cosmere only has one magic system which manifests differently on the different planets, and Sel has a form of this magic system which is itself divided into regional versions. If a soul is gone it doesn't mean the body is now souless.

 

My argument is that a living being will reject the stamp while a non-living being will not.

 

@Calderis Thanks for linking that thread. Rather interesting :-) 

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On ‎8‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 3:46 PM, Fanghur Rahl said:

I just finished listening to Emperor’s Soul, and I’m a little confused about something. Shai implies that the more ‘plausible’ and ‘correct’ a Forgery is, the longer it will tend to last before having to be restamped. But the ending of the book implies that she managed to recreate the Emperor’s soul so perfectly (other than one or two things that the book implies would have eventually happened anyway) that for all intents and purposes the term ‘forgery’ arguably doesn’t even apply. She didn’t so much create something new and ‘false’ as recreate what was already supposed to be there. Which should seem to suggest that the ‘forgery’ should have been if not permanent then at least lasted a very long time, but for some reason he has to be restamped every morning (at least for a while) or he’ll become a vegetable again.

Why exactly is this the case? Why should a perfect recreation of what a person is supposed to be only last a day whereas something trivial like turning a chamber pot into an ornate vase last indefinitely? Is this just a plot hole or did I miss something? 

I should note: It's actually quite possible that the stamp will last indefinitely, or at least longer than 24 hours. There's just no way to know without actually trying it and seeing how long Ashvaran can go between renewals. Remember, this is (as far as everyone involved knows), the first time something like this has been attempted. 

 

Also, another interesting fact: While Essence Marks (which affect the mind and soul) wear off, evidently a Resealer's stamp doesn't (otherwise, Ashvaran would need to be restamped every so often anyway). Which implies that it's the sapient soul that makes the difference, that Essence Marks fade because the human mind wears away at them.

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Sorry for hijacking the thread but I feel this is related.

I understand why the stamp, as is, doesn't attach permanently. Souls and investiture and everything that was explained in the Novella and here in the thread is pretty clear.

What I don't understand though, is why even "create" a soul for the Emperor.

When she stamped the walls of her cell, she made it so it had been used in the past by someone important so it had all the pretty decorations. Same with the table, or when she wanted the floor to sink, she made it so it had been affected by a flood.

In none of those cases she had proceeded to describe how the paint and the art was, or how well treated the wood of the table was, or the structural flaws of the destroyed floor. She just changed an event in their past.

 

With the emperor, it was as easy as "The wound was moved a few centimeters to the side, not hitting anything important, and help came in time so he healed properly". 

No need to describe a whole soul. Just change the past a little...

 

Why go over all that ordeal then?

Edited by Helwar
grammar
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I think because Ashravan's original soul was gone. His body has a soul now, thanks to the Bloodsealing, but it's a blank soul with no info. So she has to change *that* soul to believe that it has a history, a past, and so forth.

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@Helwar Actually, as I recall she said that to make art she had to have the same level of skill as the artist would have had, and that if she had been given paints she could have made it herself. She also used several stamps for the wall, with the last one completing the set. Also, as @RShara said, he now needed to have a new soul written, as otherwise it would be a body that had never been wounded, but otherwise empty, basically the same thing as the resealers ... and again, for resealers, they apparently can't just write away a wound, they have to write how the body should be.

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@Helwar To add to that:

On 8.10.2018 at 5:23 PM, Helwar said:

When she stamped the walls of her cell, she made it so it had been used in the past by someone important so it had all the pretty decorations. Same with the table, or when she wanted the floor to sink, she made it so it had been affected by a flood.

In none of those cases she had proceeded to describe how the paint and the art was, or how well treated the wood of the table was, or the structural flaws of the destroyed floor. She just changed an event in their past.

The idea is, that the wall or the table actually - to put it Shai's way -  'want' to be prettier (which makes sense to me, since being prettier makes humans perceive such items more readily, which in turn grants higher levels of cognitive presence to these items). So for the table or the wall a few good nudges in the right direction are enough, the rest is then 'filled in' by the item's soul (my guess). The Forger could make more concrete descriptions as to the nature of the alterations, which would be necessary if they wanted to achieve a specific result (e.g. a mural in the style of a certain artist), however, that would also create a wider margin of error, since the artist's life would also have to fit within the timeline of creating the item.

Now, with Ashravan - in addition to the points raised by @RShara and @Ixthos - the thing is, that Shai wants/has to achieve a very, very (very) specific result. She doesn't want to recreate any human (not that that would necessarily work with Ashravan's body) but Ashravan himself. So every little thing has to be correct which exponentially amplifies the difficulty and the complexity of the task.

On 8.10.2018 at 5:23 PM, Helwar said:

With the emperor, it was as easy as "The wound was moved a few centimeters to the side, not hitting anything important, and help came in time so he healed properly". 

In addition to the soul being gone this is - as far as my understanding goes - also complicated by the fact that the assassination had an immense impact on Ashravan's cognitive aspect. I think just moving the wound would not have worked since it would not have been believable to the soul itself as it would not explain a hundred days completely gone from his memory and all the rest of the political ruckus caused by the assassination attempt. Such a stamp would not have taken.

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