Calderis

The long peace...

65 posts in this topic

The timing surrounding Taln's reappearance has never sat well with me. He turns up on Roshar just in time for the Listeners to discover Stormform, bring the Everstorm and start a Desolation, but their decisions and choices are made irrespective of his return. I might be misremembering, but they don't know of his return and despite what happens, they're not deliberately trying to bring back their gods. I mean, it may be possible that Venli only discovered Stormform after Taln's return (or if she was influenced/nudged into the discovery, it only started after that point), but, also, maybe not. 

And the way that Taln speaks is as if they have at least some time to prepare - to learn how to cast metal and train leaders and soldiers - yet there's only around two months between Taln's return to Roshar and the Everstorm, which just doesn't seem to be enough time.  

I like this theory, it solves the things that currently bother me. But with that being said, this is heartbreaking @Calderis D:

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Traditionally the Heralds would return together. Now though, Taln have no access to stormlight and is delusional. That could explain his delay. We don't know if the Heralds have to travel all to way from Braize or are just dumped in Roshar after a breaking.

Edited by ScavellTane
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Or, you can fight me:) because we all know everyone really means me. 
First, the whole late thing- Hoid doesn't seem overly concerned about Taln being late, he doesn't give any indication that Taln is something to be feared. 
Second, he cracked at some point. The likely thing is that Taln didn't head back to Roshar immediately after he cracked. We don't know exactly when he gave in, but I find it doubtful that he came right back. 
Now, let's look at another thing- the Diagram. The diagram says pretty clearly that the ancient of stones begins to crack. I think Taln did finally bend sometimes between the diagram being written and the time that he arrived at Kholinar. 
Another note, Ulim seems to be a spren that got out despite Taln's oathpact, from what his dialogue implies. That implication wouldn't make sense if Taln had broken long ago, which would have allowed all of that out without Ulim being special in any way. 

Now, perhaps Odium did want this. He wanted humanity to grow complacent and war among themselves. But manipulating Taln's sacrifice is a far different thing from saying that Taln's sacrifice was planned to give an advantage to Odium. I can see Odium using circumstances to his advantage, but not Taln being his pawn. Because honestly there are way better ways for Odium to get the advantage than to let Taln just be tortured for a long time. Just imagine if Odium had sent his minions right after Honor died, which occurred soon after the Recreance. Or even any point after that. Wouldn't it make more sense to attack humanity while the spren are wrecked and feeling betrayed? As soon as possible after that, in order to not give the time for things to heal like they are right now? Or before when humanity started developing more technology? No, that doesn't make strategic sense.

Finally, and most importantly, you are a cynical old dude who has no appreciation for how beautiful Taln is. /s  

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14 minutes ago, Steeldancer said:

Or, you can fight me:) because we all know everyone really means me. 

No, it really doesn't. 

15 minutes ago, Steeldancer said:

Hoid doesn't seem overly concerned about Taln being late, he doesn't give any indication that Taln is something to be feared. 

Hoid specifically says he is too late, and I said nothing about fearing Taln. 

16 minutes ago, Steeldancer said:

Another note, Ulim seems to be a spren that got out despite Taln's oathpact, from what his dialogue implies. That implication wouldn't make sense if Taln had broken long ago, which would have allowed all of that out without Ulim being special in any way. 

I'm assuming you mean the "I am the one who escaped" line. I'm sorry, but I don't trust Ulim in the slightest. 

20 minutes ago, Steeldancer said:

Now, perhaps Odium did want this. He wanted humanity to grow complacent and war among themselves. But manipulating Taln's sacrifice is a far different thing from saying that Taln's sacrifice was planned to give an advantage to Odium. I can see Odium using circumstances to his advantage, but not Taln being his pawn.

Again, I didn't say that. I think it was opportunistic. A way to take the things the Heralds did and use it to their advantage. I didn't say he was a pawn. Your conflating this with a long dead theory that I've only brought up as a joke recently. 

21 minutes ago, Steeldancer said:

Because honestly there are way better ways for Odium to get the advantage than to let Taln just be tortured for a long time. Just imagine if Odium had sent his minions right after Honor died, which occurred soon after the Recreance.

We don't actually know when Honor died. I agree that would be better timing and I'm waiting to find out why he stayed his hand, because Taln lasting that long doesn't add up. 

25 minutes ago, Steeldancer said:

Finally, and most importantly, you are a cynical old dude who has no appreciation for how beautiful Taln is. /s  

And you are naively obsessed with a character we know almost nothing about :P

39 minutes ago, LadyLameness said:

I like this theory, it solves the things that currently bother me. But with that being said, this is heartbreaking @Calderis D:

It is. I don't think Taln is a traitor or a pawn, but I think he's been unduly tortured well beyond even what the Heralds were ever able to mentally endure and he deserves better. His moment of lucidity shows that strongly. He's been reduced to a traumatized shell, and he's the only one of the Heralds who didn't walk away. 

He's been horribly victimized. 

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20 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I'm assuming you mean the "I am the one who escaped" line. I'm sorry, but I don't trust Ulim in the slightest.

Why would he have any reason to lie about that? It doesn't seem like the kind of thing you make up in order to look cool. Also, why would he lie to Venli of all people? I get skepticism, but I'm inclined to lean towards that meaning something. 
Also there's the line in OB where they say it takes about a year after a herald breaks for the Voidbringers to show up. Now as pointed out in this very thread, he showed up a couple months before they did. That means that he might have sat there for 10 months, maybe from sheer exhaustion, maybe he was so broken he couldn't move or something, who knows. Or maybe it was shorter because the oathpact was weaker. But I just don't see Taln having broken a long time ago, because that makes a lot less sense than him lasting for 4500 years. And 10 months is a pretty serious delay when going to prepare humanity for the forces of Odium coming. 
Also, looking through WoB's we have no context whatsoever about when Taln broke. So, in order to defend my favorite character, I plan on asking Brandon about when Taln broke. But I only see "late" being a difference of 10 months, not centuries. 

 

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46 minutes ago, Steeldancer said:

Why would he have any reason to lie about that? It doesn't seem like the kind of thing you make up in order to look cool. Also, why would he lie to Venli of all people?

I don't know. But this is also the same sentence in which he called himself the "spren of redemption." Another thing I have trouble believing.

And it's not exactly like has shown us a history of being honest with her. He used her to bring about the return of the Fused, and then attempting to house one of them in her body. She had no idea what that meant until after Demid was dead.

46 minutes ago, Steeldancer said:

Now as pointed out in this very thread, he showed up a couple months before they did. That means that he might have sat there for 10 months, maybe from sheer exhaustion, maybe he was so broken he couldn't move or something, who knows. Or maybe it was shorter because the oathpact was weaker. But I just don't see Taln having broken a long time ago, because that makes a lot less sense than him lasting for 4500 years. And 10 months is a pretty serious delay when going to prepare humanity for the forces of Odium coming. 

I think you view the mechanics of what I'm proposing differently then I do. I don't think he could have held Taln and released the Fused...

And the last piece just clicked into place. Going to need to go edit the OP a bit. 

In order to allow the Fused freedom he had to let Taln free, the Oathpact is still in effect. But he didn't just free Taln a couple of months before the Fused arrived. He did it before the final piece he needed. 

Honor died shortly after the Recreance yes... But with the Singers crippled he didn't have bodies for them anyway. He needed the Everstorm to heal the Parsh so the Fused could have bodies. He needed the proper climate to push them to take stormform, and he couldn't release the voidspren to facilitate that until events favored them taking stormform and releasing the Everstorm. 

Releasing the voidspren at a time earlier would have played his hand and driven the Spren to again seek Radiants just as they're doing now. It would have destroyed any advantage the Recreance gave him. 

46 minutes ago, Steeldancer said:

Also, looking through WoB's we have no context whatsoever about when Taln broke. So, in order to defend my favorite character, I plan on asking Brandon about when Taln broke. But I only see "late" being a difference of 10 months, not centuries. 

I think, with Taln's flashbacks in the back five, that's a guaranteed RAFO. 

Edited by Calderis
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2 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I think, with Taln's flashbacks in the back five, that's a guaranteed RAFO. 

I hate when people tell me this. If it hasn't been asked, it is not guaranteed! 

3 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I think you view the mechanics of what I'm proposing differently then I do. I don't think he could have held Taln and released the Fused...

That's not what I'm saying. I think Taln broke somewhat before the events of WoK, give or take a few months. After he lets them through, the heralds are supposed to go right back to Roshar in order to prepare humanity. But note how broken Taln is, after all that he might have just collapsed of exhaustion for 10 months, eating up that time delay before the voidbringers could finally arrive. Therefore, when Taln shows up, he is too late to properly prepare humanity as he understands it. 

 

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I think this long delay is perhaps really impossible without Odium "helping" Taln to endure, but is this the reason the humans are unprepared?

Taln died in a fight, but 9 Heralds stayed back on Roshar - this was a unbelievable opportunity that would have given the other Heralds the chance actively preparing the humans - but they didn't do their job.

Worse even - they lied.

They told the humans that they had won, that this was the last desolation, they are imo responsible, not the one who had bought time for the humans and his fellow Heralds.

Perhaps Taln thought he had time because all this time his 9 companions were supposed to prepare the humans.

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12 hours ago, Calderis said:

But I don't think he's the reason for the millenia long break between desolations. I think this is what Odium wanted and that he acted to make it occur.

Your argument has a lot of good points in your favor. But in OB Odium's Everstorm was explicitly destructive to Taln's temple. That seems to imply that Taln did hold Odium back or thwart him in some way.

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1 hour ago, Naurock said:

Your argument has a lot of good points in your favor. But in OB Odium's Everstorm was explicitly destructive to Taln's temple. That seems to imply that Taln did hold Odium back or thwart him in some way.

OK, this has come up before, and I don't get the argument. Of course Taln thwarted him in some way. If he didn't another desolation would have started immediately and Odium would have won. He's the only Herald who never broke previously, and he still fought when the other Heralds gave up. 

Just because Odium is using him now doesn't mean he likes Taln, or he's thankful for it. He resents him. Hates him more for having to use him in the first place. 

I mean, imagine there a ton of people that you absolutely hate. They've done everything in their power to hurt you and they have you cornered in a room. One of these people comes into the room and wants to keep you there, and then you hear all of the others leave. After a little while, you realize that no one other than this one dude is paying attention to you, and that he has a key to the door, and a key to a car so you can escape. He's also got a walkie talkie though. So you have to take him out and keep him quiet and try to make sure there's no one outside the door who can keep inside when you open it. 

Are you thankful that the dude locked you in the room in the first place? I doubt it. He's still the one that locked you in the room, and he's still the one that you had to deal with in order to fight your way out, and you still had to keep him quiet the whole time. He's still your enemy and he's still done more than anyone else to stop you.

I don't see how the destruction of Taln's temple is in any way incompatible with this idea. 

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1 hour ago, Calderis said:

OK, this has come up before, and I don't get the argument. Of course Taln thwarted him in some way. If he didn't another desolation would have started immediately and Odium would have won. He's the only Herald who never broke previously, and he still fought when the other Heralds gave up. 

So did he always plan on the long break to turn humans against each other and easily steamroll them when he returns because they've forgotten or did he want to return immediately after a Herald broke again? I can see him embracing the long term plan because Taln has never broken and that's the hand he's been dealt, but you're suggesting two incongruous thoughts here.

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42 minutes ago, Naurock said:

So did he always plan on the long break to turn humans against each other and easily steamroll them when he returns because they've forgotten or did he want to return immediately after a Herald broke again? I can see him embracing the long term plan because Taln has never broken and that's the hand he's been dealt, but you're suggesting two incongruous thoughts here.

No I'm not. I'm not saying Taln didn't hold out at all. Of course he did. If it had been any other Herald that were there the desolation would have started almost immediately and the game would have been over. 

I don't think that Taln being singled out by the other Heralds was planned. The whole thing is reactive. 

But I think that Taln did break eventually, and Odium didn't allow him to come back like normal. I'm not saying two incongruous things. I'm just saying something different than people assume. 

 

Edited by Calderis
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Hmm.  Given the period of time involved, I can't see how Taln or anyone could hold out against determined torture, unless:

1) The torture did not last 4500 years.  Maybe Taln was able to play cat-and-mouse for four millennia.  Seems rather unlikely, but we don't really know anything about how Braize works.

2) Taln has some sort of resistance to torture.  Also doesn't really match what we've seen, but some people literally can't feel pain, so who knows?  We know Taln can feel pain, but maybe he has some sort of resistance.  Perhaps his relationship with Honor allowed him to resist until at least Honor's death.  Maybe Honor's protection was previously spread over all ten Heralds, but Taln got all of it when he was the only one who remained.

There are some other options, but I'm inclined to suggest some version of 2 as the most likely.  We know Taln was the best of the Heralds at not-breaking since he never broke during the normal Desolations, and if we assume that Honor provided some sort of magical protection that protected him until the Recreance or later, it might help explain how he lasted so long, especially if the protection took some time to wear off.

This might also explain why Odium was upset with Taln, as evinced by the singling out of Taln's temple during the Everstorm.  The best time for the new Desolation was probably shortly after the Recreance, before men really learned how to bond Blades and use Plate, when there were (comparatively) fewer Radiant spren and the Radiants' betrayal was fresh in people's -- and spren's -- minds.  If Odium waited for a century or so after Honor's death before he finally "got serious" with Taln, it could explain both how Taln lasted so long as well as why Odium was angry at him for resisting.

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@galendo all of this instances discount the Sleepless and Honor themselves saying that The delay was intentional.

9 minutes ago, galendo said:

This might also explain why Odium was upset with Taln, as evinced by the singling out of Taln's temple during the Everstorm.  The best time for the new Desolation was probably shortly after the Recreance, before men really learned how to bond Blades and use Plate, when there were (comparatively) fewer Radiant spren and the Radiants' betrayal was fresh in people's -- and spren's -- minds.  If Odium waited for a century or so after Honor's death before he finally "got serious" with Taln, it could explain both how Taln lasted so long as well as why Odium was angry at him for resisting.

Except that period wasn't the best time. It would have been if the Parsh weren't crippled. But the only singers capable of bonding spren, and therefore Fused, were The Last Legion/listeners a people dedicated at the time to rejecting their gods. And they have to accept the Fused willingly. 

What happened to the Singers hadn't happened, I fully agree, he would have pushed then, with no opposition and won. But he couldn't do it yet. 

And again, if Taln just broke normally, like all of the other Heralds had multiple times, why is he in the state he's in? 

I think Taln's mental state is far better evidence of how much Odium hates him than any attack on a building dedicated to him. Still doesn't make things add up for Taln to be the amazingly resilient bulwark. 

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10 hours ago, galendo said:

Hmm.  Given the period of time involved, I can't see how Taln or anyone could hold out against determined torture, unless:

1) The torture did not last 4500 years.  Maybe Taln was able to play cat-and-mouse for four millennia.  Seems rather unlikely, but we don't really know anything about how Braize works.

2) Taln has some sort of resistance to torture.  Also doesn't really match what we've seen, but some people literally can't feel pain, so who knows?  We know Taln can feel pain, but maybe he has some sort of resistance.  Perhaps his relationship with Honor allowed him to resist until at least Honor's death.  Maybe Honor's protection was previously spread over all ten Heralds, but Taln got all of it when he was the only one who remained.

Another possible variant of #2: We know that part of the Oathpact's effect allowed the Heralds to spread the pain among themselves, for the stronger to take some of the load off the weaker. We also know that "The Oathpact isn't as dissolved as the Heralds would like", and that the nine Heralds on Roshar have been gradually going insane over the eons. What if the bond between them was still in effect, and Taln was able to share his torment with all nine of the others? Since none of them were being tortured, they wouldn't have had any pain to send back the other way, so Taln could have held out far longer than any of them ever managed before. 

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I don't understand why this idea has so much resistance honestly. We're expressly told by multiple parties, one being Honor himself, that the delay is what Odium wanted. 

If he wanted it, then why is it necessary for Taln to have held out? If Taln held, why isn't he functional? This feels like people want him to be amazing and are trying to find ways to justify it, in spite of his mental condition. 

I think he's as broken as he is because of overwhelming PTSD because he tried to come back a long time ago, and Odium basically grabbed him and said "Not this time. This time you suffer until I decide otherwise." 

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13 hours ago, Calderis said:

 

And again, if Taln just broke normally, like all of the other Heralds had multiple times, why is he in the state he's in? 

 

Because he endured additional torture for thousands of years by himself with no one to share the pain with. The Stormfather says the first gap between desolations lasted hundreds of years and then the gaps became shorte and they were together on Braize to share the pain. They never endured multiple thousands of years of torture and they never did it alone before. 

I don't see how him being an incapacitated wreck is proof he didn't break from torture when we are told that torture likely went on waaay longer than the other times and that they normally could share the pain when they were together and this time they weren't. 

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@Child of Hodor the time frame is irrelevant. He is mentally broken. If he didn't break, he shouldn't be a Non-functional person. He's worse off than any of the other Heralds. 

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I still like my idea in the other thread that Odium intentionally left the other heralds alive because he knew Taln would hold out longer.
I'm still not convinced Odium is in full control of the Singer spirits who are performing the torture.

We keep referring to "breaking" under torture, but iirc they have to agree to let the Singers pass. Maybe Taln held so long he lost his mind, but still never agreed to let them pass and at that point couldn't consciously do so.

I actually wonder if one of the other Heralds went back voluntarily just to free the hordes. perhaps Ishar. Or Kalek, whose whereabouts we don't really know.

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10 minutes ago, Calderis said:

 

I think he's as broken as he is because of overwhelming PTSD because he tried to come back a long time ago, and Odium basically grabbed him and said "Not this time. This time you suffer until I decide otherwise." 

That's not how it Desolations start. They start by Heralds allowing voidbringers to leave. 

"HOWEVER, IF ANY OF THE TEN AGREED TO BEND HIS OATH AND LET THE VOIDBRINGERS PAST, IT OPENED A FLOOD. THEY COULD ALL RETURN." - OB Chapter 38 

Once one is allowed to leave they can all leave. If Odium can hold a Herald on Braize after he has given in and is no longer holding the fused back why not let the fused go back and continue to hold Taln? Why let him go at all if Odium can hold them back after they've agreed to let a fused past?

2 minutes ago, Calderis said:

@Child of Hodor the time frame is irrelevant. He is mentally broken. If he didn't break, he shouldn't be a Non-functional person. He's worse off than any of the other Heralds. 

He did break, who said he didn't break? There is nothing in the text that says timeframe doesn't matter. The other Heralds didn't refuse to go back after the first round of torture it took an accumulation of additional times being tortured for them to want to quit. Nothing in the text says enduring thousands of years of torture by himself without anyone to lessen the pain wouldn't have a worse impact on his mental health than when he endured hundreds of years with people to share the pain with. 

You reject the idea because you don't want the character to be Jesus or near perfect. That's fine and you may be proven right it's just not the only possibility and you dismiss the evidence that's in the text. It is in the text that he never broke in the first ~thousand years of torture and that he martyred himself repeatedly by sacrificing himself in battle to beat impossible odds. He's already a martyr figure with greater ability to endure pain than 9 other incredibly powerful beings. 

I agree with most everything you are saying, Odium wanted the long break and probably manipulated events so that only Taln died, so that the others would be tempted to abandon him and hope one was enough to hold the fused back.  It's Brandon so there is probably a secret about what went on after that on Braize. But it's entirely possible Odium wanted Taln to be the only one to die because he knew Taln had never broken and would hold out the longest and give him the long break he was looking for. But then Taln held out longer than Odium thought anyone could. 

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15 hours ago, Calderis said:

@galendo all of this instances discount the Sleepless and Honor themselves saying that The delay was intentional.

Except that period wasn't the best time. It would have been if the Parsh weren't crippled. But the only singers capable of bonding spren, and therefore Fused, were The Last Legion/listeners a people dedicated at the time to rejecting their gods. And they have to accept the Fused willingly. 

What happened to the Singers hadn't happened, I fully agree, he would have pushed then, with no opposition and won. But he couldn't do it yet. 

I admit it slipped my mind that Odium needed willing dupes to kick-start the Everstorm and transform the Parshmen, and maybe he couldn't find a way to do that at the time.  Conning the Parshmen into accepting the Fused would be pretty easy, though -- he could have done that exactly the way he did present-day.

Quote

I don't understand why this idea has so much resistance honestly. We're expressly told by multiple parties, one being Honor himself, that the delay is what Odium wanted.

I think the issue is that some of us have the feeling that something more must be going on.  Otherwise the timing seems hard to explain.  Why 4500 years, rather than 4000?  Earlier seems like it would be better for Odium because:

1) Fewer Radiant spren and more distrust among the spren means fewer Radiants to fight.  Maybe even none at all.

2) Less convenient access to Blade/Plate (or, more accurately, less access to gemstones to recharge the Plate) means less Shard-based resistance to overcome.

3) Though the Parshendi population will recover faster than the humans, proportionately, the longer you wait, the worse it actually gets.  Say you wait several generations for the Parshendi population to grow from, say, 20,000 to 200,000 -- a tenfold increase.  If in the same time the human population only doubles from, say, 10,000,000 to 20,000,000, you're actually outnumbered by over 9,000,000 more people than you were previously.  Better proportional odds, but way worse odds overall.

4) Giving the humans more time gives them more opportunity to develop fabrial tech like spanreeds, half-shards, etc.  Give them too long and they won't even need Radiants to stand against your Fused.

In conclusion, it seems like Odium would have had way better chances to succeed if he'd attacked earlier.  I can easily buy that Odium wanted to wait for Honor to die and the Radiants to disband.  But waiting any longer seems foolish.  Much better to attack when the humans are less prepared, less numerous, less technologically advanced.  So why did he wait so long?

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3 minutes ago, galendo said:

I admit it slipped my mind that Odium needed willing dupes to kick-start the Everstorm and transform the Parshmen, and maybe he couldn't find a way to do that at the time.  Conning the Parshmen into accepting the Fused would be pretty easy, though -- he could have done that exactly the way he did present-day.

I don't understand. You say he needed someone to transform the Parshmen and then you say he could have done that before just like he did now. I'm missing something in your statement...
It's not about "conning" anyone. it's about the last legion, aka, the parshendi of the shattered plains, being the only Listeners capable of voluntarily forming bonds at all.

 

7 minutes ago, galendo said:

So why did he wait so long?

for the reason Tanavast said in what OP quoted

Quote

"Men must face them together,” the figure said, stepping up to Dalinar, placing a hand on his shoulder. “You cannot squabble as in times past. He’s realized that you, given time, will become your own enemies. That he doesn’t need to fight you. Not if he can make you forget, make you turn against one another. Your legends say that you won. But the truth is that we lost. And we are losing"

He waited for Roshar to be too divided to react and he almost got exactly what he wanted.

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I agree with the earlier would have been better for Odium personally as well. I think about a thousand years after the Recreance would probably be ideal. That would give the Parshendi time to repopulate and call the Everstorm, Shards to be lost, countries to be divided, and before technology could be overly developed. 

Additionally I'm not overly surprised that Taln could handle that torture as the first few Desolations were separated by centuries at least and the Heralds have abilities beyond just their Honorblades and Surgebinding so it seems reasonable that he had a way to hold on for that long of a time. And again, it seems weird to me that the Everstorm would focus so harshly on his temple if him holding on that long was part of Odium's plan.

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I have always believed both ideas are true in a way.

1. Odium realised he would be more successful by waiting a long time and therefore a delay worked for him.

2. Taln held out far longer than he was supposed to and as soon as he did Odium struck.

We can clearly see that Odium is taking advantage of the loss of power and knowledge since the last desolation.

But at the same time I believe that if he had broken Taln earlier he would have already released him (if thats even something he can do, I am not convinced).

It just seems to me like once the recreance happened he would have just waited until the next vulnerable moment from Roshar, which would have been long before the time of the books.

Yes, he needes the Parsh to turn but I imagine he would have been able to engineer that at some point before now if he had been able to.

I admit part of my thought process is because I want Taln to have held for 4 1/2 millennia but even without that a "long enough wait" for Odium was long before the time of the books.

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