Numuhuku

Warriors in Horneater and Shin society

21 posts in this topic

Something I've recently thought about after my latest audiobook re-reading of Way of Kings. Does anybody else find it interesting that there's a similar focus on the status of warriors in both societies being lower? Obviously not to the same extent, with the Shin considering warriors to be debased slaves, while the Horneaters merely consider it a profession for the most junior of sons, but it's something I've come to wonder about in relation to how the Shin and the Horneaters relate to the Parshendi. 

We know that the Horneaters are blood related to the Parshendi. And they share a similar language tree with the Parshendi and shin. It makes me wonder if this low social ranking of warriors has anything to do with an older shared cultural heritage.  This is possibly a more tenuous connection, but I was curious if any other folks had thoughts about it?

I wonder if this will be a topic that might come up when we get a chance for a closer look at Shinovar and the Peaks.

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I think Shin are the remnant's of humans when they came to Roshar, and the Parshendi were already there. I don't think there is a connection, but I could be wrong.

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41 minutes ago, Turin Turambar said:

I think Shin are the remnant's of humans when they came to Roshar, and the Parshendi were already there. I don't think there is a connection, but I could be wrong.

I don't know if I believe that. I see no reason to believe that the original human culture before arriving on roshar had particular prohibitions against walking on stone on their home planet. But it makes a lot of sense as far as an evolution against their initial prohibition against venturing beyond the initial part of Roshar that had been given them in the east by the parshendi.

 

Not sure if that suggests any shared cultural legacy between the Shin and the Horneaters, but it's just something that makes me ponder.

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I always viewed their treatment of warriors as being fairly similar on the surface, but due to very different cultural reasons. The Shin's treatment of warriors, as well as their treatment of merchants, struck me as a logical result of their focus on pastoral life and aversion to travel, among other things. On the other hand, the Horneater treatment of warriors is less derogatory, and seems more based on the importance of family and clan in Horneater society. It's more important for a family to continue than to fight, and so the eldest children are kept from being soldiers. It's possible that, way back when, these came from similar, or identical, belief systems, but I'm not sure about that.

As a side note, you cited the linguistic relation of the three languages as a source for your theory. I can't remember right now, but do we know how Parshendi/Singers view warriors, or did before the war and the Everstorm? It would be worth bringing them into the matter.

What the language family really makes me wonder is how the Shin fit into it. If they're the remnants of the humans who came from Ashyn, why is their language part of the same family as the language of Roshar's original inhabitants? Surely they had their own languages before then, and the Eila Stele implies that there was no contact between the civilizations before they came and settled in Shinovar, so their languages couldn't have been related before then.

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1 hour ago, Ahriman said:

Surely they had their own languages before then, and the Eila Stele implies that there was no contact between the civilizations before they came and settled in Shinovar, so their languages couldn't have been related before then.

There was none prior, but there most definitely was after. 

Whatever the reason, the society that became the Shin, whether it was humanity as a whole or just them, adopted the singer tongue. 

Which again implies that the relationship between the early societies has to be far more complicated than we have information to explain, and it is definitely not as one sided as the Eila Stele implies.

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11 hours ago, Calderis said:

There was none prior, but there most definitely was after. 

Whatever the reason, the society that became the Shin, whether it was humanity as a whole or just them, adopted the singer tongue. 

Which again implies that the relationship between the early societies has to be far more complicated than we have information to explain, and it is definitely not as one sided as the Eila Stele implies.

I would think we have to look at The Girl who Looked Up as well, if nothing else. The Eila Steele takes place before then, and its clearly a metaphor for humanity leaving the area they were given. 

As far as language goes, languages blend. How many words have been added to the English language from others? We have latin and greek words intermingled with languages from around the world. So both languages would have started picking up pieces from eachother. We'd almost need to look at the similarities and figure out which ones came from which part, more than anything else.

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35 minutes ago, Aminar said:

As far as language goes, languages blend. How many words have been added to the English language from others? We have latin and greek words intermingled with languages from around the world. So both languages would have started picking up pieces from eachother. We'd almost need to look at the similarities and figure out which ones came from which part, more than anything else.

Blending is one thing sure. But the Shin language comes from the same root as the Listener and Horneater. That's a very different thing. 

Quote

IneptProfessional

Since you mention languages on Roshar, are there any languages that are completely unrelated to any other on the planet?

Brandon Sanderson

Our basic language families are:

Vorin: Alethi, Veden, Herdazian, and more distantly Thaylen. Nathan is close to dead, but shares a root, and Karbranthian is basically a dialect. Other minor languages like Bav are in here.

Makabaki: Azish is king here, and most the languages around split off this. There are around thirty of these.

Dawnate: A varied language family with distant roots in the dawnchant. Shin, parshendi, Horneater. They share grammar, but they diverged long enough ago that the vocabulary is very different.

Iri: Iriali, Reshi, Purelake dialects, Riran, and some surrounding languages.

Aimian: These two are lumped together, but are very different. Probably what you were looking for.

That isn't counting spren languages, of course. I might have missed something. Typing on my phone without my wiki handy.

General Reddit 2016 (Nov. 29, 2016)

They didn't blend together. They drifted apart. 

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5 minutes ago, Calderis said:

Blending is one thing sure. But the Shin language comes from the same root as the Listener and Horneater. That's a very different thing. 

They didn't blend together. They drifted apart. 

Sure, but we're talking further back than even that. They would have had a comingling that became the Dawnchant, then spread out from there with the human Diaspora. We're talking a long long time ago when the societies first intermingled, not when they later split off.

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Just now, Aminar said:

Sure, but we're talking further back than even that. They would have had a comingling that became the Dawnchant, then spread out from there with the human Diaspora. We're talking a long long time ago when the societies first intermingled, not when they later split off.

I disagree. I think "the dawnchant" was the singer tongue when humans arrived. But I guess we'll need more clarification there. 

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Just now, Calderis said:

I disagree. I think "the dawnchant" was the singer tongue when humans arrived. But I guess we'll need more clarification there. 

That would imply people were only in Shinovar for a really short amount of time, a century or less, and I'd guess their population wasn't nearly high enough to spread out the way they have when they first came to Roshar. Language changes pretty rapidly.  A couple hundred years would have allowed a great deal of influence between the languages.

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I'm with @Ahriman in believing that they got to the same place from very different roots, though my interpretation is somewhat different.

In the Shin, I see a people who have accepted the Heralds' decree that the war is won.  If the war is finished, then there is no more use for fighting, and those who fight are therefore going against divine will -- they are the lowest of the low, and therefore deserve no consideration.  I think this was why Szeth was made Truthless -- because he rejected the Heralds' truth that the Desolations were forever ended.

In the Horneaters, I see a people eking out a living on mountaintops, which are not exactly known for their fecundity.  They have no Soulcasters, that we know of, and therefore need a great many farmers to produce enough food to feed everyone.  Thus farming is the most important profession; craftsmen are next and, because there isn't really anyone nearby who wants to fight them or who they want to fight, soldiers are lower still.

Neither culture exults warriors, but for one it's a religious thing and for the other it's more practicality.

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13 hours ago, Calderis said:

There was none prior, but there most definitely was after. 

Whatever the reason, the society that became the Shin, whether it was humanity as a whole or just them, adopted the singer tongue. 

Which again implies that the relationship between the early societies has to be far more complicated than we have information to explain, and it is definitely not as one sided as the Eila Stele implies.

Yeah, they adopted the new language rather than keeping their own and blending. If they had just blended, it would have been like Japanese and Chinese--there might be similarities, and someone unfamiliar with either might assume they were related, but they would be from entirely different families. What I find strange is the fact that Shinovar is the place that was made for the refugees (not sure if we have explicit confirmation on that, but logic dictates that it was), and they seem to have more ties to ancient human history than anyone else. So why do they have the only purebreed human language that's in the Dawnate family? Clearly something very interesting happened.

19 minutes ago, galendo said:

I'm with @Ahriman in believing that they got to the same place from very different roots, though my interpretation is somewhat different.

I cut out the rest of what you said for space but that's a solid theory as well, and I think I'm willing to say that we could both reasonably be right. What I had forgotten in my first reply, however, is that the Shin tried to take over the world at least once, so they clearly haven't always had these views. I think it was Gavilar who mentioned Shubreth-son-Mashalan as a conqueror who overextended himself, up there with the Sunmaker and the Hierocracy. Maybe the Shin's deal isn't so much the result of millennia of culture and has more to do with reactionary changes after a failed empire. It's hard to say, with how little we've seen from them.

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We have a pretty clear indication that the Dawnsingers had a high level of technology and culture.  It stands to reason that humans would have picked up their language when they traveled or traded in their lands.  It is also possible that the Shin who kept to their borders maintained their relations with the singers for longer then others and so an intermingling of languages and cultures could have happened.  The result would have been a mixed Singer Shin society that Odium would have been keen on destroying as it was proof that the two peoples could coexist.  I do not think it is an accident that the Horneater's identity myth states that they were chased and reviled by others until they settled.  The Shin kept their language which maintains similar roots to their Horneater cousins and they forgot each other.

 

Its just a theory but I think it is based on logical conjecture. 

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22 hours ago, Aminar said:

That would imply people were only in Shinovar for a really short amount of time, a century or less, and I'd guess their population wasn't nearly high enough to spread out the way they have when they first came to Roshar. Language changes pretty rapidly.  A couple hundred years would have allowed a great deal of influence between the languages.

We have WoB that the Heralds (before they were Heralds) made the exodus from Ashyn to Roshar. Unless they were extremely long-lived even before they became Heralds, this seems to imply that the cycle of Desolations began rather quickly after the human migration.

Willshaper Wallar[PENDING REVIEW]

...Were the Heralds alive for the human exodus from Ashyn?

Brandon Sanderson[PENDING REVIEW]

Yes. They were not Heralds then, but they all made that trip. I believe. My timeline-- You can't nail me down on that one, because it's possible that Ash was born after, but I don't think so.

Skyward Denver signing (Nov. 15, 2018)
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1 hour ago, duladen said:

We have WoB that the Heralds (before they were Heralds) made the exodus from Ashyn to Roshar. Unless they were extremely long-lived even before they became Heralds, this seems to imply that the cycle of Desolations began rather quickly after the human migration.

Willshaper Wallar[PENDING REVIEW]

...Were the Heralds alive for the human exodus from Ashyn?

Brandon Sanderson[PENDING REVIEW]

Yes. They were not Heralds then, but they all made that trip. I believe. My timeline-- You can't nail me down on that one, because it's possible that Ash was born after, but I don't think so.

Skyward Denver signing (Nov. 15, 2018)

That wouldn't surprise me in the least. We don't know what a Radiant Lifespan even looks like with the constant regeneration and virtual immunity to disease/poison. We've seen many many displays of long livedness related to investiture and we know Odium was giving them surgebinding when they arrived. (I do suspect that Odium had an easy time manipulating the Listeners and that could have pushed a war, but I doubt it happened without a number of intervening generations. Enough time where most of society had kind of settled in. But now I'm wondering if Shallash wasn't "The Girl who looked up."

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17 minutes ago, Aminar said:

know what a Radiant Lifespan even looks like with the constant regeneration and virtual immunity to disease/poison.

Yes actually, we do. This is only the most recent WoB. 

Quote

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Longevity of Radiants. So, I, before [Oathbringer], though that they were immortal. So, they're not?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Do they have longer lifespans?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Slightly. They're very healthy, but it's not an unusually expanded lifespan.

Oathbringer Newcastle signing (Dec. 1, 2017)

Healing in every form that we've seen does not extend age, because age is part of the Spiritual. A Radiant will live to an old age because their health will be maintained... But only to the extent of someone in peak condition for that age. 

Longevity beyond that must be achieved through other means, and for a human, there are only 3 methods I am aware of currently that don't involved dying and becoming a CS. 

The one from Mistborn. 

The 5th Heightening from Warbreaker. 

And the time dilation trick the 17th Shard uses... Which doesn't actually extend your lifespan, just the relative time you've lived for everyone else. 

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On 3/26/2019 at 0:42 PM, Calderis said:

I disagree. I think "the dawnchant" was the singer tongue when humans arrived. But I guess we'll need more clarification there. 

Yeah, I think it must be the Singers language when humans first encountered them. Humans may have used it to the extent they could, given they couldn't really use the Rhythms as well as Singers. But, any kind of musical language must have originated with the Singers. 

I think both the Shin and Horneaters culture are in part a result of them being more under Cultivation's influence and less under Honor / Odium. Mostly because they don't get as much of the Highstorms. Shinovar is protected by mountains that take most of the force out of the storms and the Horneater peaks are above the worst of the effects. Plus the Horneater peaks are right by Cultivation's shardpool. 

Both Honor and Odium have use for fighting, Cultivation doesn't so much. Providing food as farmers or cooks is valued more than soldiering. The Shin treat their soldiers waaay worse. Probably due to knowledge passed down of how human army aggression triggered the first Desolation. The lore is probably twisted by now many thousands of years later, but the idea of soldiers bringing doom is there. Aside from the whole Shin invasion that we know little about they've mostly avoided war.  

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After everything Sanderson has managed, I always seem to let it pass by that he has created numerous languages and names for an entire universe with more to come.

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Maybe it's convergent evolution. The Shins I think are human refugees from another world after something real bad ruined their homeland, probably a bad war, so in reaction to that, Shin now condemns warriors for being the cause of their original plight and flight, as a reminder to themselves to not forget what warmongering did to them. Horneaters, from what Rock said, seem to place little importance on warrior class because their living environment made warfare much too costy, and the losing of able-body youths too impact-ful to the well-being of their clan/village, so to protect their well-being their culture had evolved to promote the importance of other social class while diminishing the fighting class, as a reminder to themselves as well. 

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The Shin could also be very good warriors that only send those out who are too obvious but just waiting for a prophecy or something to try a massive invasion again.

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On 3/29/2019 at 2:09 PM, Angsos said:

The Shin could also be very good warriors that only send those out who are too obvious but just waiting for a prophecy or something to try a massive invasion again.

Armies are pretty hard to keep secret but I would not put it past the Shin.

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