Gasper

Cultivation and Rosharian genetics

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In the Are Honorblades Spren thread, the diversity of Rosharians was brought up. Given that the Rosharians are not natives, and biologically distinct from the Rosharian ecosystem, I think Cultivation might be messing with the human genome. I think that Cultivation might have modified humans for some reason to make them either better adapted to the planet or for some bigger purpose. 

Examples:

Alethi: Shallan remarks in Words of Radiance that the Alethi are freakishly tall. 

Herdazians: They have rock like fingernails

Horneaters: Have throat teeth and can see spren.

I think that the Herdazians are a prototype for the Horneaters and the Horneaters are a prototype for what ever Lift is. I think that Cultivation might be trying to fight back by modifying humans to do her dirty work. A human who can see spren and make their own stormlight would be a huge boon against Odium because they do not have to rely on the Highstorm to fuel their abilities. That is a backup in case Odium manages to destroy Dalinar, the Stormfather, and the Highstorm.

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4 minutes ago, Gasper said:

Horneaters: Have throat teeth and can see spren.

 

Horneaters can see spren because they have listener ancestry.

Edited by Kal-Eldin
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Both Herdazians and Horneaters have listener/singer ancestry which leads to their extra traits. Not every Horneater can see spren the way Rock can.

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Just now, Kal-Eldin said:

Horneaters can see spren because they have listener ancestry.

Yeah, thats what I am saying. The Singers and Humans have very different biochemistry based on what we have seen on their internal biology and blood. They are only superficially similar. Two arms, two legs, a head, and maybe some other bits. The Singers can change form and shut down or start up different parts of their anatomy and physiology based on their form. They can also see spren.

What I am saying is that Cultivation combined human and Singer DNA to create the mostly human Horneaters. She needed to test to see if a human could be modified to see spren without having to warp the spirit web too much. Given that she had good future sight, she might have begun experimenting so that she could roll out human 2.0 once Odium returned so that she could keep Cultivating. I think Lift may be one of the first test cases for Humanity 2.0.

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I think they just interbred.

Quote

Finallity [PENDING REVIEW] (paraphrased)

We've seen a number of human/singer hybrids (Unkalaki and Herdazians) and even human/Aimian hybrids (Natans). How is such a thing possible biologically or is there some outside influence there?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW] (paraphrased)

He said that they (humans and parshendi/aimians) can interbreed because they were made by the same person, or rather that they were made with the same intent, that they were made that way on purpose. They don't have a common heritage or anything though.

source

 

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47 minutes ago, RShara said:

I think they just interbred.

 

I’m sure they were created the old fashioned way, but the humanoid life on the planet is so diverse: 

2 different types of Aimians, Parshendi, humans, at least 2  human / Parshendi blends,  whatever causes Thaylens to have eyebrows they can tuck behind their ears, the people with very prominent blue veins that Sigzil got in trouble for groping Even the diversity within humans themselves is extensive Aletha, Azish, Iriali, Shin, Veden, 

Thats A LOT of diversity considering humans have been on the planet less than 10,000 years. Probably closer to 6 or 7 thousand. And humans were isolated in Shinovar for a portion of that time. 

Roshar is nuts and I love it! And we’ve barely seen a third of it in any detail.  

I would guess Cultivation is influencing things. Not like in a lab with test tubes, but maybe giving a little nudge here or there to push groups together and see what happens. It was partially her idea to let the humans settle. She probably also wanted the Iriali who we know are world hopping people. She’s collected a diverse garden of humanoids to tend.

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35 minutes ago, Child of Hodor said:

I’m sure they were created the old fashioned way, but the humanoid life on the planet is so diverse: 

2 different types of Aimians, Parshendi, humans, at least 2  human / Parshendi blends,  whatever causes Thaylens to have eyebrows they can tuck behind their ears, the people with very prominent blue veins that Sigzil got in trouble for groping Even the diversity within humans themselves is extensive Aletha, Azish, Iriali, Shin, Veden, 

Thats A LOT of diversity considering humans have been on the planet less than 10,000 years. Probably closer to 6 or 7 thousand. And humans were isolated in Shinovar for a portion of that time. 

Roshar is nuts and I love it! And we’ve barely seen a third of it in any detail.  

I would guess Cultivation is influencing things. Not like in a lab with test tubes, but maybe giving a little nudge here or there to push groups together and see what happens. It was partially her idea to let the humans settle. She probably also wanted the Iriali who we know are world hopping people. She’s collected a diverse garden of humanoids to tend.

Personally, I think the reason that there are so many different, diverse groups of humans on Roshar is because the Ashynites who fled to Roshar were not all the same race. It’d be stupid to think that all the people all on a planet were of one race. So, there were already distinct races on Roshar when the Ashynites migrated there. Over time, since people that are similar to each other tend to group together, distinct cultures and races began to form.

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10 hours ago, StrikerEZ said:

Personally, I think the reason that there are so many different, diverse groups of humans on Roshar is because the Ashynites who fled to Roshar were not all the same race. It’d be stupid to think that all the people all on a planet were of one race. So, there were already distinct races on Roshar when the Ashynites migrated there. Over time, since people that are similar to each other tend to group together, distinct cultures and races began to form.

True. The Iriali are separate and came from a different system, but apparently the rest came from Ashyn. I guess big-eyed supremacy drove everyone else out of Shinovar :(

Quote

 

#109 April 22, 2018 

Argent [PENDING REVIEW]

How many waves of human populations have migrated to Roshar? So I'm thinking the Ashynites coming from Ashyn, right? Was that just the only humans that ever came as a population?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It depends on if you count the Iriali?

Argent [PENDING REVIEW]

That's specifically the one I'm thinking of.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

They came in a separate migration.

Argent [PENDING REVIEW]

Not from Ashyn?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Not from Ashyn.

Argent [PENDING REVIEW]

From whatever the Third Land was.

 

It's weird that Odium came with the Ashynites and his spren look like Shin. Like Ulim and the spren Kaladin talks to when he is with the Singers. 

"Venli describes his eyes as odd, suggesting a non-Rosharan ethnicity." https://coppermind.net/wiki/Ulim

"Her face was shaped oddly - narrow, but with large, childlike eyes. Like someone from Shinovar. - OB Ch. 23 

The Shin (who look like Shin) were not the original humans that sided with Odium and made war on the Singers, so it's weird to me that he would make spren who look like the pacifist homebodies.  Maybe those Spren helped influence the big-eyed supremacy movement that drove the rest out of Shinovar and sparked the conflict with the Singers.   

Rayse chooses to manifest as a Shin-ish human, so maybe he prefers that look. Either way, none of this explains why the Thaylens have those weird eyebrows. :) 

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10 hours ago, StrikerEZ said:

Personally, I think the reason that there are so many different, diverse groups of humans on Roshar is because the Ashynites who fled to Roshar were not all the same race. It’d be stupid to think that all the people all on a planet were of one race. So, there were already distinct races on Roshar when the Ashynites migrated there. Over time, since people that are similar to each other tend to group together, distinct cultures and races began to form.

True, but some of the "adaptations" seem a little too weird to not be the result of a focused attempt to create a certain trait. The evidence I have for this is that the Horneaters live around Cultivation's perpendicularly. Given what happens when other races live near perpendicularies (the Terris people and the residents of Elantris) and that Cultivation is one of those shards who ignores any sort of noninterference policy, it is likely that she is directly responsible for at least some of the modifications to the various Rosharian races.

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13 minutes ago, Child of Hodor said:

It's weird that Odium came with the Ashynites and his spren look like Shin. Like Ulim and the spren Kaladin talks to when he is with the Singers. 

The Shin (who look like Shin) were not the original humans that sided with Odium and made war on the Singers, so it's weird to me that he would make spren who look like the pacifist homebodies.  Maybe those Spren helped influence the big-eyed supremacy movement that drove the rest out of Shinovar and sparked the conflict with the Singers.   

Rayse chooses to manifest as a Shin-ish human, so maybe he prefers that look. Either way, none of this explains why the Thaylens have those weird eyebrows. :) 

Do we know that the Shin didn't war against the Singers like the rest of the Ashynites?  

Most humans in the Cosmere look like the Shin (i.e. have big eyes).  That's probably why Odium looks the way he does - he just looks like a "normal" Cosmere human.  

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45 minutes ago, Scion of the Mists said:

Do we know that the Shin didn't war against the Singers like the rest of the Ashynites?  

Most humans in the Cosmere look like the Shin (i.e. have big eyes).  That's probably why Odium looks the way he does - he just looks like a "normal" Cosmere human.  

All the humans (except Iriali) were Shin, so the Shin were part of it one way or another. 

But, the Shin (who look like Shin) are extreme pacifists, warriors are the worst thing you can be in their social structure. Giving someone a weapon and sending them out to be an assassin is the worst punishment in their society.  I think the ones we see in the present got this idea from the ones who stayed behind in Shinovar. 

Quote

"Shin are a curious folk," he said "Here, warriors are the lowliest of men-- kind of like slaves" WoK I-4 Rysn

With the Girl Who Looked Up story it seems they were told not to go past the mountains onto the stone and to stay where there is soil (in Shinovar). Some held to that and are the ancestors of the ones still in Shinovar.  Maybe the truthless punishment is a hint at large scale things. Some groups of Shin flirted with exploring past Shinovar and were exiled for it. They were banished and went into the stone lands and conquered. 

That doesn't mean no light skinned big eyed Shin were part of the groups that went out and made war, but they couldn't have been the majority. 

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26 minutes ago, Child of Hodor said:

All the humans (except Iriali) were Shin, so the Shin were part of it one way or another. 

I don't think you're using the common definition of Shin.  I don't think that it's accurate to call all Rosharans (except for the Irali) Shin, just because they came from Ashyn.  

 

27 minutes ago, Child of Hodor said:

But, the Shin (who look like Shin) are extreme pacifists, warriors are the worst thing you can be in their social structure. Giving someone a weapon and sending them out to be an assassin is the worst punishment in their society.  I think the ones we see in the present got this idea from the ones who stayed behind in Shinovar

While the Shin are pacifists now, they weren't always.  We know that there was a Shin Invasion that took place at some point.  

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2 hours ago, Scion of the Mists said:

I don't think you're using the common definition of Shin.  I don't think that it's accurate to call all Rosharans (except for the Irali) Shin, just because they came from Ashyn.  

 

While the Shin are pacifists now, they weren't always.  We know that there was a Shin Invasion that took place at some point.  

I take your point, it's confusing to talk about. All I was saying is that all humans lived in Shinovar before they spread out and conquered. They were all Shin at the time because they all lived in Shinovar, but the humans living there were always ethnically divided subgroups like the Shin with big-eyes and light-skin and other groups that looked different. 

We don't know how slowly or quickly humans spread out or if they spread out peacefully for a little while then butted up against Singers. A WoB from earlier this year at seems to say it was an "event' that happened and everyone dispersed except for the ancestors of the Shin. Implying it wasn't a gradual migration, but whether the war against the Singers came at the same time as the migration is not known. 

The first war against the Singers was of humans taking Singers land. If Shin means the ancestors of the ones who live there now that means the Shin at the time are the ones that stayed behind. The ones who stayed behind in human lands could not have been the ones taking land from the Singers. In other words the Shin did not fight in that first war of conquest against the Singers.  

Now did the Shin, command or drive out the people who looked different and participated in or caused the war indirectly. Possibly.  We don't know if the humans living in Shinovar were part of one government or many. Were the Shin the ruling ethnic group that cast out the rest or were they separate tribes that all made their own decisions? 

Quote

"I thought ... maybe we came from Shinovar originally." That is the land you were given. A place where the plants and animals you brought here could grow.  "We weren't able to confine ourselves to what we were given." When has any man ever been content with what he has? - OB Ch. 113 The Thing Men do Best 

Quote

Idaho Falls signing (July 21, 2018)

#10

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

*Repeating* Why do the Shin look different to the Rosharan significant <face>?

Because the Shin have spent a long time being very xenophobic. They haven't intermixed very much. When the original event happened, that I'm not going to say because of spoilers, different people settled in different places, and the Shin in particular just have been very xenophobic.

As for their pacifism, you are correct they weren't always that way. I'm sure they participated in the Desolations, one of the Urithiru Oathgates goes to Shinovar and a Shin man was near enough the last battle of the "Final Desolation" to be the first to discover the Honorblades before anyone else. There were Shin invasions during the 4,500 year gap, but those seem like the exception not the rule for the Shin. They had the Honorblades all this time and not just Truthless use them, yet they haven't bothered to invade much. This is partly because of the mountains, partly cultural and partly because having the honorblades had an honorable influence on them. 

Quote

/r/books AMA 2015 (March 12, 2015)
#1July 7, 2015

theblackthorne

I find the Shin fascinating. Given their reputation for docility and Szeth's internal monologues, am I right in thinking that the Shin do not feel The Thrill?

If so, is this due to the protection of Cultivation or sheer distance from Nergaoul? And finally, is an awareness or fear of the Thrill the reason for the Shin societal disdain for soldiers or is it primarily to discourage use of the honour blades?

Brandon Sanderson

Distance is the big factor here, though there are cultural reasons for things as well. In addition, being very close to something tied to Honor reduces the effects of things like the Thrill. As for the Shin culture, you'll find a great deal in the next three books, so I'd rather not say much now.

Quote

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 (Sept. 21, 2017)
#8

Questioner

Are Shin who are not Truthless allowed to use the Honorblades?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

I'm not trying to say they were as pacifistic at the time of the first expansion out of Shinovar as they are now. I am saying their pacifism is rooted in their understanding of the past, that they were given Shinovar and were supposed to stay within Shinovar. In the past people who had lived in Shinovar their whole lives left Shinovar and a world altering war or series of wars resulted. The ones who stayed behind in Shinovar, the ones who didn't take the Singers land through war, passed down this history. The history is not completely accurately remembered and has morphed, but it came from the Shin staying put and staying out of that war to take the Singers land. 

I think the Truthless punishment is a metaphor for what happened in the early days. Ancient people living in Shinovar left and killed and it was a bad thing, It helped create the Fused and the cycle of Desolations. They may have been exiled or they may have been running out of space or something else. The fact that the Shin today (and when we see the guy who got the Honorblades) are all so pale skinned and big-eyed when nobody else on the planet is big-eyed and most are tan or darker skinned suggests that who stayed and who left broke down along ethnic lines. 

The majority who left couldn't have been big-eyed and the majority who stayed had to be light-skinned and big-eyed. The light-skinned big-eyed people now known as the Shin would have no reason to fight the Singers for the Singers land if they were content to stay behind in Shinovar, the land that the Singers already willingly gave them.  

Edited by Child of Hodor
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@Child of Hodor I very much like the story/theory that you laid out about the history of the Shin.  It connects a lot of pieces that we know with a few very reasonable assumptions, and I would say is most likely correct.  I was just pointing out that there are a few things that are guesses, not facts (that we won't find out until Book 4).  

Regardless, this is getting pretty off topic.  As for the original questions concerning Cultivation and Rosharan genetics, I think that it's very possible for the large variation in Rosharan races to have something to do with Cultivation.  There was discussion about this very idea a few months back, but I'm unable to find the thread.  

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