Child of Hodor

Failed Plan to Destroy Adonalsium

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A few years ago Brandon dropped this nugget: there was a plot to "destroy" Adonalsium and it failed. I wonder if this is the same group of people who eventually "killed" Adonalsium and split the power. Adonalsium is mostly if not entirely made of Investiture and as the third WoB below says it cannot be destroyed. The 16 (or a subset of them) wanted to destroy Adonalsium, but they realized it was not possible, so they "killed" the sapience of Adonalsium, splitting it into pieces and picked up those pieces so it could not recombine or gain sapience on it's own again. 

At first I was thinking it was the same attempt. Like they intended to destroy big A, but they couldn't and the Shattering was the result. But this contradicts what Khriss told Kelsier about the Vessel motives in MB:SH. She says some did it because they wanted the power. She wasn't there, but the letter from Frost to Hoid in WoR indicates Rayse wanted to become Odium. 

 
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General Signed Books 2015 (Jan. 1, 2015)
#2

imriel452

Tell me something about the cosmere that has not been previously mentioned.

Brandon Sanderson

Long ago there was a plot to destroy Adonalsium. It failed.

 

 
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General Signed Books 2016 (Jan. 1, 2016)
#2

imriel452 (Paraphrased)

I asked for "Info on why Adonalsium shattered".

Brandon Sanderson

Adonalsium Shattered because he was killed.

 

 
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#1 

trevorade

Is investiture finite? Hemalurgy and a Return's need to consume breath seems to show us that it can be destroyed. If it is finite, is the Cosmere's magic source doomed to the law of entropy?

Brandon Sanderson

Investiture can not be created or destroyed. It follows it's own version of the laws of Thermodynamics.

Joe_____

So what happens to the investiture that is lost when a person is spiked and the spike isn't set in the new person immediately? Does it return to the big pool of investiture in the sky like the power from wheel of time where if its not actively being used it returns to the source?

Brandon Sanderson

What happens to someone's body when it's not being used by a particular person? The system is built to work like that.

 

 
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There is a fair bit of wiggle room here.

Your first idea could still be correct, it just depends how carefully Brandon chose all his words and the wording of the letter is ambiguous.

Plot to destroy Adonalsium could have referred to the power itself. When Brandon said that Adonalsium shattered because he was killed, he could have meant the personality, not the power. Two equally valid but very different meanings of the name Adonalsium.

The letter mentioning Rayse becoming what he wished to be could just mean that Rayse desired power. That, or that some of the group knew more about the effects of the attempted killing than others.

Its tough to say with the information we have, but I still believe the WoBs refer to a single plot, but I guess we'll RAFO.

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20 hours ago, Child of Hodor said:

At first I was thinking it was the same attempt. Like they intended to destroy big A, but they couldn't and the Shattering was the result. But this contradicts what Khriss told Kelsier about the Vessel motives in MB:SH. She says some did it because they wanted the power. She wasn't there, but the letter from Frost to Hoid in WoR indicates Rayse wanted to become Odium. 

Personally, I think the events are one and the same. 

The Vessels killed the personality and wish to take its power, and they believed there would be some level of restriction or alignment too them... But I believe that the intents themselves are Adonalsium. As a being born of the power, unlike a Vessel just holding it, he couldn't be destroyed, so the alignments came prepacked with the drive to fulfill the Shards intent. 

Adonalsium, though dead, still exists in the Shards. Thus their failure. 

Edited by Calderis
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If the events are one and the same I could see it as the Vessels killing him but then realizing that it's impossible to destroy him.

If it's two separate events then it could go that someone, the original Hoid maybe?, tried to destroy Adonalsium, kind of a preshattering, and in doing so killed him but the pieces came back together over time, maybe with his mind gone the powers became unstable and dangerous, which led to the events of the Shattering and thus fully killing Adonalsium by keeping the pieces away.

Either way we'll have to wait for Dragonsteel for the full answer

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They killed Adonalsium.  The power, absent a Vessel, began to coalesce and acheive sapience, as large collections of Investiture are wont to do.  Think the molten metal Terminator.  To avoid this reforming of their enemy, the plotters came up with the plan to reshatter the reforming Adonalsium and each take a piece.

Two separate, but directly related, events.

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17 hours ago, Calderis said:

Personally, I think the events are one and the same. 

The Vessels killed the personality and wish to take its power, and they believed there would be some level of restriction or alignment too them... But I believe that the intents themselves are Adonalsium. As a being born of the power, unlike a Vessel just holding it, he couldn't be destroyed, so the alignments came prepacked with the drive to fulfill the Shards intent. 

Adonalsium, though dead, still exists in the Shards. Thus their failure. 

Either that or it was the defining characteristic of each of the 16 that somehow ‘imprinted’ the intent onto the pieces of Adonalsium. i.e. Rayse was hateful, Bavadin was independent, Aona was loving, Skai was domineering, Leras wanted to preserve things, Tanavast was honorable, Edgli was philanthropic, Uli-Da was ambitious, etc. I guess Ati pretty much falsifies this picture though, since he was described as being the complete opposite of ruinous. But he does in many ways seem to be the exception to the trend.

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At least in the way I read this WoB, something was absolutely taken from Adonalsium in each case. 

Quote

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Shards. We started with fairly obvious ones, magic wise. Trying to keep this spoiler free, so: Ruin, Preservation, this kind of thing. Then we get the weird ones. Why do we have Shards that can only exist in the mind of a sentient creature? Like the concept of Honor can only be done when it's carried out, essentially, by a sentient creature.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So when I split Adonalsium I said, "I'm going to take aspects of Adonalsium's nature." And this involves personality to me. So the Shattering of Adonalsium was primal forces attached to certain aspects of personality. And so I view every one of them this way. And when I wrote Mistborn we had Ruin and Preservation. They are the primal forces of entropy and whatever you call the opposite, staying-the-same-ism-y. Like, you've got these two contrasts, between things changing and things not changing. And then humans do have a part, there's a personality. Ruin is a charged term for something that actually is the way that life exists. And Preservation is a charged term for stasis, for staying the same. And those are the personality aspects, and the way they are viewed by people and by the entity that was Adonalsium.

So I view this for all of them. Like, Honor is the sense of being bound by rules, even when those rules, you wouldn't have to be bound by. And there's this sense that that is noble, that's the honor aspect to it, but there's also something not honorable about Honor if taken from the other direction. So a lot of them do kind of have this both... cultural component, I would say, that trying to represent something that is also natural. And not all of them are gonna have a 100% balance between those two things, I would say, because there's only so many fundamental laws of the universe that I can ascribe personalities to in that way. 

So I find Honor very interesting, but I find Autonomy a very interesting one for the exact same reason. What does autonomy mean? We attach a lot to it, but what is the actual, if you get rid of the charged terms, what does it mean? And this is where you end up with things like Odium claiming "I am all emotion." But then there's a charged term for it that is associated with this Shard. I'm not going to tell you whether he's right or not, but he has an argument. 

source

Combine that with the inability for a Vessel to permanently alter a Shard, and I don't think that the Vessels themselves could create the intents.

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Questioner

I was just wondering if a Shard's intent can change over time without changing holders?

Brandon Sanderson

Without changing holders? The holder can have a slight effect on how the-- a big effect on how the intent is interpreted, but what the intent is stays the same. So it's gonna be filtered. The way it manifests can change, and you'll see that happening, but it is the same intent. When it was broken off, it took a certain thing with it.

source

That one supports the first WoB as well. "When it was broken off, it took a certain thing with it." 

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It might just be something akin to Shallan’s inability to change the Stick though; maybe the Shard’s cognitive identity is just now too set in stone for it to be more than very slightly changed. But if they originally started out as essentially blank slates before being molded by their Vessels, it’s at least conceivable that the original vessels might have been the origin of the Shards’ identities. Unlikely, but at least a theory worth considering.

There are some concepts of God or creative force that lack any real sense of self. Though I agree that the above WOB seems to suggest Adonalsium was not like that.

Edited by Fanghur Rahl
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@Fanghur Rahl The way to explain Ati away would be he was the last one to get his Shard and Ruin was all that was left and he probably hoped he could overcome it. Or he wasn't ruinous in the way Ruin was but instead was accepting of things having an end more than the others did. Heck maybe his job or hobby involves having to destroy something to learn about it, like Leras could've been an archeologist or a museum curator since both professions are about preserving stuff and Edgli could've been a charity worker... It'd be rather funny if Yolen was modern day influenced instead of fantasy influenced and all the Vessels had everyday jobs like trashman, doctor and police.

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38 minutes ago, Calderis said:

At least in the way I read this WoB, something was absolutely taken from Adonalsium in each case. 

Combine that with the inability for a Vessel to permanently alter a Shard, and I don't think that the Vessels themselves could create the intents.

That one supports the first WoB as well. "When it was broken off, it took a certain thing with it." 

Agreed. The personality traits were inherent to Adonalsium. Frost states Rayse wanted to become Odium, but he also implies that by choosing to become a Vessel for Odium he was made into what he is. "He Bears the weight of God's own divine hatred" means to me that the hatred was preexisting his picking it up. 

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He bears the weight of God’s own divine hatred, separated from the virtues that gave it context. He is what we made him to be, old friend. And that is what he, unfortunately, wished to become. I suspect that he is more a force than an individual now, despite your insistence to the contrary. That force is contained, and an equilibrium reached. -WoR Frost's Letter

Given that Hoid was offered a specific one and that Frost said Rayse wanted to become Odium it seems they knew which one they were getting in advance. It may have been the case that the Vessels each got one that they had significant connection to.  Although, that doesn't really fit with Ati getting Ruin. Then again Sazed was a very nice man and he can hold Ruin. 

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Kelsier viewing Sazed pick up Ruin and Preservation: "How is he Connected to them both so evenly? Why not just Preservation?"  "He has changed, this last year," Elend said. - MB:SH Part Six Ch. 9

Not sure how well they understood Connection. Some may have gotten the one they really wanted like Rayse and others got ones that they were significantly connected to out of necessity. 

Edited by Child of Hodor
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Well, all I know is that I don’t believe for a second that Adonalsium, assuming that it actually is God, can be completely reduced to only sixteen different aspects; even an ordinary human being is orders of magnitude more than that, never mind a being infinitely more complicated as a God would have to be. So something must have determined which aspects of Adonalsium became Shards and which didn’t. Or, like I said, Adonalsium simply had no cognitive identity at all, and it was each of the sixteen who overtime bestowed the various identities to the Shards. Honestly, my suspicion is that it’s probably a bit of both. 

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46 minutes ago, Fanghur Rahl said:

...it was each of the sixteen who overtime bestowed the various identities to the Shards. 

Except that we have explicit confirmation from Brandon (via the WoB that Calderis posted earlier) that a Vessel, while able to "interpret" the Intent to some degree, is unable to permanently alter the Invent.  

Quote

Questioner

I was just wondering if a Shard's intent can change over time without changing holders?

Brandon Sanderson

Without changing holders? The holder can have a slight effect on how the-- a big effect on how the intent is interpreted, but what the intent is stays the same. So it's gonna be filtered. The way it manifests can change, and you'll see that happening, but it is the same intent. When it was broken off, it took a certain thing with it.

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33 minutes ago, Scion of the Mists said:

Except that we have explicit confirmation from Brandon (via the WoB that Calderis posted earlier) that a Vessel, while able to "interpret" the Intent to some degree, is unable to permanently alter the Invent.  

Yeah, but the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Like I said, I don’t think the Vessels actually did ‘create’ the intents of their Shards, but even if they did, it could still be the case that the intent caused a kind of positive feedback within the Vessels, increasing the attribute they imprinted it with until they are unable to go against it. But like I said, I don’t think it’s that simple.

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@Fanghur Rahl For all we know each Intent is actually multiple parts of Adonalsium's personality/mind/whatever, they just picked one for the name. Using Ruin for example I could definitely see it being a combination of Eventuality, Destruction, Inevitably, Endings, etc... but together they all become know simply as Ruin because that's the first thing that comes to mind with them together, but then there are others like Honor that could just be one or two parts of Adonalsium instead of a stew of pieces.

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40 minutes ago, Draginon said:

@Fanghur Rahl For all we know each Intent is actually multiple parts of Adonalsium's personality/mind/whatever, they just picked one for the name. Using Ruin for example I could definitely see it being a combination of Eventuality, Destruction, Inevitably, Endings, etc... but together they all become know simply as Ruin because that's the first thing that comes to mind with them together, but then there are others like Honor that could just be one or two parts of Adonalsium instead of a stew of pieces.

I agree that that very well could be the case. I’m just putting it forth as a possibility. The fact that Brandon has said that it’s possible that if different people had Shattered Adonalsium then the resulting Shards may have been different suggests, at least to me, that the Vessels had at least some effect on the Shards though. How significant an effect though is still up in the air.

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4 minutes ago, Fanghur Rahl said:

I agree that that very well could be the case. I’m just putting it forth as a possibility. The fact that Brandon has said that it’s possible that if different people had Shattered Adonalsium then the resulting Shards may have been different suggests, at least to me, that the Vessels had at least some effect on the Shards though. How significant an effect though is still up in the air.

I agree that the Vessels had a hand in how Adonalsium shattered.  At the very least, they determined the number of Shards that it split into (there's a WoB that it could have been different number).  

However, I disagree that the Vessels had a permanent, ongoing effect over time, as you proposed earlier.  

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2 hours ago, Scion of the Mists said:

I agree that the Vessels had a hand in how Adonalsium shattered.  At the very least, they determined the number of Shards that it split into (there's a WoB that it could have been different number).  

However, I disagree that the Vessels had a permanent, ongoing effect over time, as you proposed earlier.  

Fair enough, though I don’t think I would put it like that though. More that the defining characteristics of each of the 16 influenced the way in which Adonalsium shattered. But like I said, I’m not convinced either way.

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