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Ripheus23

Elantris is a literal compass

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I got to thinking, maps usually have compasses. Arelon has the distinction of being shaped like the fundamental Aon, and the focal point of Aonic power is in a city shaped like a compass. Something to do with the "cartographic" relationship between Arelon/Aon Aon on the one hand, and Elantris/the gate cities on the other, is the source of the special power that Elantris has.

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If the city is a compass, which way is it pointing exactly? It has four points, (the surrounding cities) but no distinction between which one points north or anything. Unless there's something in new versions of the book I haven't seen. I just have the pocket paperback size one. 

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The names of the gate cities are the names of the direction-Aons.

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19 hours ago, Ripheus23 said:

The names of the gate cities are the names of the direction-Aons.

Well in that case isn't it cannon that it's a compass?

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Yes it's canon, but it's also something that can be overlooked. I think Khriss overlooked this fact when analyzing the issue of why some people become Elantrians, although how exactly Elantris being a compass determines why that happens, IDK. (I assume Khriss would have been in a position to figure out why/how, otherwise speaking.)

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3 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

Yes it's canon, but it's also something that can be overlooked. I think Khriss overlooked this fact when analyzing the issue of why some people become Elantrians, although how exactly Elantris being a compass determines why that happens, IDK. (I assume Khriss would have been in a position to figure out why/how, otherwise speaking.)

We know that Elantris is not a necessary component of whatever creates Elantrians, because Elantrians predated Elantris.  

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Aon-wielders might, but I don't recall reading that Elantrian-level Aon-wielders did...

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The Shaod is a production of The Aon that is Elantris, but you can't have AonDor without Elantrians... It's a conundrum. 

Personally, I think that originally, AonDor was more like the other magic systems. Learnable and usable by anyone of the right heritage. When they built the city, they somehow changed the magic. 

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Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The Shaod is an effect of Elantris.

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chalkonthewall

In Elantris did Elantris ever not exist? like before it was built did the Shaod choose people? and if it did was their power the same? I'm mostly asking that if they were to build another Elantris in Teod would Elantrians be just as powerful over there?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, there is a point where Elantrians didn't exist. Excellent question. The rest is a RAFO.

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Brandon Sanderson

Weak Aons

Elantris is like a massive power conduit. It focuses the Dor, strengthening its power (or, rather, the power of the Aons to release it) in Arelon. This far away from Elantris, however, the Aons are about as powerful as they were before Raoden fixed Elantris.

If you consider it, it makes logical sense that the Aons would be tied to Elantris and Arelon, yet would work without them. The Aons had to exist before Elantris–otherwise, the original Elantrians wouldn't have known the shape to make the city. Their study of AonDor taught them a method for amplifying Aon power.

source

 

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