galendo

Theory time: Cultivation's "shardic number" is either 4 or 5

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So we've seen that some Shards have preferences for certain numbers.  Preservation likes sixteen, Honor likes ten, Odium likes nine, etc.  I'm going to propose that Cultivation likes either four or five.

On Roshar, there are a lot of magically significant tens: ten surges, ten gemstones, ten Orders, ten Heralds.  Almost everything magic-related involves the number ten.

But there's one glaring exception: there are only five Radiant Oaths per Order.

How do we get just five Oaths?  Originally I thought there must be more Oaths to discover (giving our Radiants something to work toward on the back five books), but that's looking less and less likely.  How can we explain this discrepancy?  Well, there is another Shard on Roshar...and the Oaths are, more or less, cultivating the Radiants toward their Orders' ideals.

At first glance, one might therefore be tempted to conclude that Cultivation's "shardic number" must be five, because there are five Oaths per Order.  But the first Oath is common among all Orders, leaving only four steps of progression.  So it wouldn't be surprising if Cultivation's favorite number were four, either.

(I also note that there's a bit of nice meta-reasoning in support for five, too.  That the Stormlight Archive is planned as ten books seems very intentional -- but it's also broken down into two sets of five.  Hmmm....)

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This is a nice theory. It does still have to account for Endowment though, which also seems five centric. Four would get around this, but does have less to it than your arguements for five :-) Still, if Preservation is sixteen, what would Ruin be?

Perhaps the number isn't from the shards, but the planet, and the shard can influence that somehow, so not nine for Braize, but ten less one because Odium interferes with it. Or all the planets normally have ten around Roshar's star, but something is wrong with Braize and that is why Odium went there.

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https://wob.coppermind.net/events/47-firefight-portland-signing/#e678

Quote

The Only Joe (paraphrased)

Do all shards have a number they're associated with?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Some do, (most/some) don't.

I don't see a particular reason to assume 4 or 5 would be Cultivation's number, as a single instance doesn't make a pattern.

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6 hours ago, galendo said:

there is another Shard on Roshar...and the Oaths are, more or less, cultivating the Radiants toward their Orders' ideals.

@galendo I think this is really insightful. It is very similar to other things Cultivation has done. Also, even though that wob says they don’t all have numbers, perhaps a person could assign all of them a number anyways in an attempt to extrapolate the numbers that are associated. I wonder if anyone has done something like that on the site. I found this wob a minute ago it says that Cultivation has a lot to do with the Spren etc 

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.

Edited by PelekinikeleT
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I would have leaned more towards 2 as her Shardic number. All KR have 2 powers. Why 2? Why not one or all of them? Then the Nightwatcher visit with boon/curse dynamic. 

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14 minutes ago, Bigmikey357 said:

I would have leaned more towards 2 as her Shardic number. All KR have 2 powers. Why 2? Why not one or all of them? Then the Nightwatcher visit with boon/curse dynamic. 

Two because one power means no overlap between orders and no interaction between surges, which is just boring, and three powers means you overlap with four of the other orders, which is just too much. The boon/curse is simply opposites.

Don't feel like either of those would reasonably point towards a Shard number. The Oaths then make more sense.

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When powers are in pairs Interference(Shallan's memory, Kalladin's squires, Waxilium's anti-bullet shield) is the strongest, so mabye that was what they were going for.

A lot of things in Roshar are divided in pairs of fives, with one half to Honor, and the other to Cultivation, but I think it has more to do with 10 as 2*5 beeing focus chosen be a pair of gods than there beeing two main numbers. So I think that five is importand but as a patr of 10

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51 minutes ago, Szmit said:

So I think that five is importand but as a patr of 10

Agreed here. Similar to how in Mistborn you could say 4 and 8 are important, but because 16 is.

Regarding Shard numbers, I am very disappointed about one thing: The complete lack of 12 as important number anywhere. Imo it's a really beautiful number, even beating 16 in a lot of ways.

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I agree that the evidence for Culti as a 2-centric Shard is weak, but no weaker than 4 or 5 or even if it has a number association. We will just have to rafo I suppose.

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At time where numbers are relevant, I have and always will say, that it's a product of the planet and not the Shard. 

Quote

Herald (paraphrased)

Is there more significance to the 10 other planets around the Rosharan star system and them being gaseous? We know that Roshar's moons have unnatural orbits; so there seems to be some astronomical manipulation in the system.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes there is significance of 16 in cosmere and 10 in Rosharan system.

Herald (paraphrased)

The outer 10 gas giants in the Rosharan system suggest a tie to the number 10 that predates the arrival of the current Shards. Is the prominent numerology we see around the cosmere an inherent property of the planets, rather than the Shards who invest them?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Big RAFO.

Herald (paraphrased)

Would Ashyn/Braize share the 10-centric numerology of Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes 10-centric is for the entire Rosharan planetary system...wait Braize is 9-centric.

source

 

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@Calderis I would argue it's a mix of both planet and Shard, considering the whole Rosharan system is 10-centric bar Braize, when the only real difference is Odium residing on Braize. Considering Scadrial being 16-centric and it being created by Preservation, who specifically chose 16 as a number to help people discover the Atium mistings, I do think it can be dependent on both.

On the topic of the thread, I am convinced the number 3 is very important to Roshar and its system - 3 Bondsmith spren, 3 inhabited planets, 3 moons, 3 Horneater Gods, and to a lesser extent the 3 Shards in the system.

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6 hours ago, DracostarA said:

@Calderis I would argue it's a mix of both planet and Shard, considering the whole Rosharan system is 10-centric bar Braize, when the only real difference is Odium residing on Braize. Considering Scadrial being 16-centric and it being created by Preservation, who specifically chose 16 as a number to help people discover the Atium mistings, I do think it can be dependent on both.

On the topic of the thread, I am convinced the number 3 is very important to Roshar and its system - 3 Bondsmith spren, 3 inhabited planets, 3 moons, 3 Horneater Gods, and to a lesser extent the 3 Shards in the system.

Scadrial was made by both Ruin and Preservation in the same amount, but much more, there is no sense in choosing the 16 (or any other specific number) from Preservation. Whatever the number is, Pres had only to enforce it in the natural pattern to show a sign of design (what he did after all)... He didn't require the 16 specifically

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1 hour ago, Yata said:

Scadrial was made by both Ruin and Preservation in the same amount, but much more, there is no sense in choosing the 16 (or any other specific number) from Preservation. Whatever the number is, Pres had only to enforce it in the natural pattern to show a sign of design (what he did after all)... He didn't require the 16 specifically

True, but I was of the opinion that since Preservation had a hand in creating Scadrial, and its number was 16 (same as the number of Shards), that it was somewhat influenced by Preservation to be a number which was already significant in the cosmere, as opposed to any other random number.

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14 minutes ago, DracostarA said:

True, but I was of the opinion that since Preservation had a hand in creating Scadrial, and its number was 16 (same as the number of Shards), that it was somewhat influenced by Preservation to be a number which was already significant in the cosmere, as opposed to any other random number.

Ruin had just as much to do with the creation as Preservation. So either both Shards are 16 by this model, or... 

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In terms of numerology, I could see Honor associated with 2, not 10, and Cultivation with 5. When you combine 2 and 5 you get 10.

After all, there's only two states for an oath: upheld or broken. Honor  splits everything rigidly into a dichotomy of true/false, oaths/lies, and right/wrong based on the oaths you've sworn. 

21 hours ago, Calderis said:

Ruin had just as much to do with the creation as Preservation. So either both Shards are 16 by this model, or... 

...or Ruin's number is 1, and Preservation's is 16.

Although this just brings up one of my pet peeves with the whole Shard/number association. I always thought it would make more sense for Preservation's clues

Spoiler

to be 1/16 or 6.25% instead of 16%. After all, Preservation is 1 of 16 shards, so I'd think the ratio of 1:16 would be significant, as well as the other ratios of 1 to powers of 2 (1:2^1, 1:2^2, 1:2^3, 1:2^4) which would indicate that Adonalsium split four times, each time in half. 

 

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On 10/13/2018 at 2:45 AM, Leyrann said:

I don't see a particular reason to assume 4 or 5 would be Cultivation's number, as a single instance doesn't make a pattern.

Not a pattern exactly, but everything else magic-related reflects the number 10, so having the Oaths and only the Oaths reflect the number 5...it's not a pattern, but it is a break in a pattern, and requires some sort of explanation.

(I mean, the explanation could just be that Brandon couldn't think of more than 4 Oaths for each Order, but that seems a little bit like a cop-out.  Both as an explanation and as an instance of world-building.)

On 10/13/2018 at 9:01 AM, Calderis said:

At time where numbers are relevant, I have and always will say, that it's a product of the planet and not the Shard. 

This could be, but then the very WoB you quoted goes on to say that Braize is 9-centric.  It seems a bit weird to suppose that the entire Rosharan system is 10-centric (10 gas giants, 10 surges, etc.) except for the one planet where Odium hangs out, unless Odium himself is the cause of this difference.

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11 minutes ago, galendo said:

Not a pattern exactly, but everything else magic-related reflects the number 10, so having the Oaths and only the Oaths reflect the number 5...it's not a pattern, but it is a break in a pattern, and requires some sort of explanation.

(I mean, the explanation could just be that Brandon couldn't think of more than 4 Oaths for each Order, but that seems a little bit like a cop-out.  Both as an explanation and as an instance of world-building.)

Out of universe I think the explanation is very easy: 10 is too much, too complex.

In-universe, the same might actually hold true. 10 steps is a lot of progression to make, and it would make every step that much less meaningful. So instead, we divide exactly by two, and get 5 instead, a number that is still related to 10.

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14 hours ago, Leyrann said:

Out of universe I think the explanation is very easy: 10 is too much, too complex.

In-universe, the same might actually hold true. 10 steps is a lot of progression to make, and it would make every step that much less meaningful. So instead, we divide exactly by two, and get 5 instead, a number that is still related to 10.

This could be true, but I see a couple problems with this argument:

1) Would ten Oaths really be too much?  We're "using up" Oaths -- or at least Oath progression -- at an average of one per book.  Seeing Kaladin swear his Shardblade-Oath was awesome.  Seeing Lift swear her Shardblade-Oath was...fine?  Nothing special, though.  You only get that "wow" moment once per progression level no matter who swears the Oath, and those "wow" moments are contributing a heck of a lot to the series just now.  I'm not sure where the "wow" is going to come from in the back half.

2) Would more steps really make the ones we've seen less meaningful?  Would you have found Kaladin's scenes at the end of either WoR or WoK less meaningful if you knew there were seven/eight Oaths left rather than two/three?  I don't think I would have.

The "too much complexity" argument is more persuasive, but I see at least a couple of ways to resolve it:

1) Not every Radiant would have to progress all the way to 10.  We've seen already that most Skybreakers stop at 3 or 4, and that at least some Windrunners had difficulties reaching 4.  It would probably be important for narrative reasons for at least one Radiant to reach 10, but there would be nothing wrong with stopping most earlier, at wherever the story most needed them to halt.

2) There could have been 10 total Oaths, and each Order chose a subset of them.  This would mean having some overlap between Orders, but we're almost there already.  (There isn't really that much difference between "I will protect those who cannot protect themselves" and "I will remember those who have been forgotten", for instance.)  With 10 total Oaths (or 10 total Ideals) and every Order sharing the first Oath, there are a minimum of 9C4 = 126 different combinations and a maximum of 2^10 = 1024 possible combinations (reduces to 386 if you want to limit each Order to a maximum of five Oaths).  Surely there are at least ten interesting Orders in those combinations somewhere.

There are probably more ways to resolve the complexity issue while still keeping 10 significant when it comes to Oaths, so I don't see the complexity problem as insurmountable.

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On 10/13/2018 at 3:19 AM, Ixthos said:

This is a nice theory. It does still have to account for Endowment though, which also seems five centric. Four would get around this, but does have less to it than your arguements for five :-)

I would say that Endowment is Seven based because of the Iridescent tones and the visual spectrum in general. 

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The KR oaths could be seen as 5 oaths between 2 beings. Humanoid says the 5, spren agrees/accepts the 5. So the number ends up being the neat 10 we want.

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17 hours ago, Gasper said:

I would say that Endowment is Seven based because of the Iridescent tones and the visual spectrum in general. 

Awakening - each level is at multiples of five, and at the fifth heightening they gain immortality. The five scholars. Seven doesn't really tie into it, and black is a colour used which isn't one of the seven colours normally associated with the visual spectrum. Seven isn't really a focus in the novel, but five is.

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Something that may or may not be important. 10 + 9 - 3 = 16 

Make of that what you will

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On 10/17/2018 at 11:30 PM, Kaladin Zahel said:

The KR oaths could be seen as 5 oaths between 2 beings. Humanoid says the 5, spren agrees/accepts the 5. So the number ends up being the neat 10 we want.

We are getting the series in 10 books, 2 sets of 5 B)

I'm with Cal on this one. I think the numbers are relevant to shard planets and not the shards themselves.

Except for the numbers we've seen specifically assigned, most of these seem arbitrary and unconvincing. I feel like we are making theories based on random information. 

Not criticizing, that's just my opinion.

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