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Dlyol

The Recreance as Elite Plot?

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So I was procrastinating my essay by listening to the Shardcast episode on the History of Roshar, which is excellent by the way, and as they were talking this epigraph popped into my head.

Quote

 

'My spren claims that recording this will be good for me, so here I go. Everyone says I will swear the Fourth Ideal soon, and in so doing, earn my armour. I simply don't think that I can. Am I not supposed to want to help people? 

- From Drawer 10-12, sapphire' - Oathbringer Chapter 86

 

Now I know that everyone loves this one because it confirms that Kaladin will get plate at the next ideal and hints at what that ideal would be but it occurred to me its interesting for quite a different reason. This Windrunner, with the encouragement of the rest, is trying to progress in his Oaths. That on one level is trivial but it completely contradicts my and I think a lot of people's head canon of the Recreance. We know that the tower was abandoned because it was failing and that the 'strike team' of scholar Radiants and Melishi is (at presumably a similar time to this recording) planning their imprisonment of Ba-Ado-Mishram which will ultimately end the False Desolation and lobotomise the Singers. But as those things are happening it does not sound as if the plan is to abandon the Oaths, indeed rather the opposite, we have evidence that many of the Radiant's continued to believe progressing with the Oaths to be a good idea.

The reasonably grounded supposition that having accidentally lobotomised the Singers they freaked out and abandon their oaths and this together might therefore suggest the Recreance was really a moment rather than a process - a dramatic turn. But we also know that in those days Honour was ranting and raving about to the Radiants about how their powers would destroy the world (which they then 'confirm' by destroying Roshar's native sapient species) and that Kaladin says to Syl that he thinks the Recreance very much was a process not a moment. (That is potentially unreliable narration but it doesn't feel that way to me, it feels like Brandon trying to tell us something true and important). How do we reconcile these two impressions then?

Because I'm me and always suspicious of power and elites my mind immediately went to a two-tiered process. My theory is that Honour was only speaking to a subset of the Radiants - the most important ones such as Melishi and those who were had reached the end of their Oath progression - who for that (and possibly other reasons - and we know something odd goes on with the Bond after the last Oath) had embarked on the process Kaladin described and wanted to end their Oaths and their orders. However, the great bulk of the orders, those not at the highest ideals and in Honour's confidences, do not know about this and would be unwilling to go along with out a push. All of a sudden a group comes along with a plan to end the war but one with warnings of unexpected consequences.

Quote

 

'We are uncertain the effects this will have on the parsh. At the very least, it should deny them forms of power. Melishi is confident, but Naze-daughter-Kuzodo warns of unintended side effects.

- From drawer 30-20, fifth emerald' - Oathbringer Chapter 81

 

I would theorise here that Melishi isn't ignoring those objections for no reason, he's been told by Honour his powers our awful after all, but because he sees them as an opportunity. He doesn't know exactly what but he thinks something very bad could happen here to the Singers that he and those around him who agree with him could leverage into getting what they want - the Recreance. 

Now if we imagine the moment that Melishi imprisons Ba-Ado-Mishram and all of Regals the Radiants have been fighting suddenly go mute and dumb we can figure out pretty quickly what happens; the most important, respected and powerful of the Radiants - who are all in on the idea - declare that this is a sign, dramatically revealing that this is what Honour was warning them about and all must abandon their Oaths. The bulk of the orders, overrawed by a combination of horror and authority and in no mind to question, meekly agree and the Recreance happens.

-30- 

Addenda; This conception of hierarchy in the Radiants also rings nicely for me because it resolves the problem that even beforehand Rosharans saw the Radiants as corrupt but we also see them in the epigraphs to generally ordinary sounding, quite nice people. The outward face was the corrupt leaders over a body of rather more pleasant average Knights. The fact that the objecting scholar is Shin given what we know/suspect about the Shin and the Honourblades since the Aharietiam is very interesting to me and I might when we know more about Shin society come back to this to see if that connects.

Edit

Quote

 

'This generation has had only one Bondsmith, and some blame the divisions among us upon this fact. The true problem is far deeper. I believe that Honour himself is changing.'

- From drawer 24-18, smokestone - Oathbringer Chapter 67

 

This epigraph I think supports my theory that Honour was only speaking to the higher tier Radiants quite nicely - they all know that he's changing because he's constantly ranting and raving to them - while the ordinary Radiant could only know this through some informed guesswork and deduction. As for the divisions in the Radiants that could either potentially be a reason why the leaders wanted to destroy the orders, because they're sick of the infighting, or something they have been manufacturing to lay the grounds for their plan to destroy them.

Edited by Dlyol
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IMO, I don’t think it’s quite as complicated as you think it is. 

1 hour ago, Dlyol said:

The reasonably grounded supposition that having accidentally lobotomised the Singers they freaked out and abandon their oaths and this together might therefore suggest the Recreance was really a moment rather than a process - a dramatic turn.

The way I imagine it, the Recreance was a process, but lobotomizing the Singers was the straw that broke the camels back. The orders were probably on edge already from Honor’s ravings and the revelation that they were the original Voidbringers, not to mention the fact that they were abandoning Urithiru, their home. Also, there was also probably a lot of extra infighting and corruption, considering the fact that they’ve haven’t been fighting any wars for the last 2000 years or so up until the False Desolation. Even though the Knights Radiant weren’t solely dedicated to war and they did make other contributions to society, fighting the desolations was an enormous part of their identity, and wartime organizations tend to deteriorate during times of peace. They were ready to fall; all they needed was a not-so-small push to make them crack. 

Basically, I don’t think the quote from the 3rd oath Windrunner is really a strong indication that the Recreance was a single event (not that you’re saying that, but your assumption about its meaning is what creates the contradiction between that and what Kaladin says). The Knights were probably planning to continue existing, and many were still trying to advance their oaths, but they were shaky as a whole, and the lobotomization completed the process that was the Recreance. Just to be clear, I’m not saying your theory is wrong. But there’s another, simpler answer to the apparent contradiction you found. 

Edited by ILuvHats
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You see I really don't think the orders were on edge from Honour's ravings for the simple reason of the third epigraph I posted. If he were raving at everyone why would that Skybreaker frame his changing nature as deep knowledge only he had discovered? It would just be obvious. I think that Honour's ravings were only known about by a few Radiants, which also makes sense with the general method of Honour of interacting with a few important people in society - the Heralds were all (aside from Taln) like that - and his process for finding a Bondsmith in our era also seems suggestive of a being who prefers to interact with fewer, more important people. (One might argue the strict hierarchy of the Vorin institutions built in his image also reflects this). 

Edit: We can see this trait in Honour more clearly by comparison. Mistborn and Warbreaker spoilers.

Spoiler

Preservation's instruments were a street urchin and a lowly Terris keeper. The main example of one of Endowment's Returned we have was an accountant. Honour chose 'Kings, Scholars and Generals' for his Heralds. That strikes me as important and revealing.

 

Edited by Dlyol
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37 minutes ago, Dlyol said:

You see I really don't think the orders were on edge from Honour's ravings for the simple reason of the third epigraph I posted. If he were raving at everyone why would that Skybreaker frame his changing nature as deep knowledge only he had discovered? It would just be obvious. I think that Honour's ravings were only known about by a few Radiants, which also makes sense with the general method of Honour of interacting with a few important people in society - the Heralds were all (aside from Taln) like that - and his process for finding a Bondsmith in our era also seems suggestive of a being who prefers to interact with fewer, more important people. (One might argue the strict hierarchy of the Vorin institutions built in his image also reflects this). 

Good point. I missed that on my first read (of your post that is). 

Also...

Quote

So I was procrastinating

Same. Except for my entire life.

Edited by ILuvHats
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10 hours ago, Dlyol said:

supports my theory that Honour was only speaking to the higher tier Radiants quite nicely - they all know that he's changing because he's constantly ranting and raving to them - while the ordinary Radiant could only know this through some informed guesswork and deduction.

Could also be that Honor just couldn’t talk to every radiant. There are some Mistborn tie ins here so spoilered

Spoiler

Ruin could only talk to those who were broken in mind or spiked, and his investiture was literally used to create those people. I can only imagine what amount of investiture is required for a normal shard to talk to a person who wasn’t created by that shard. What if only those of the Fifth Ideal or Bondsmiths could commune with Honor because they are the only ones using enough of Honor’s investiture to do so?

 

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@Kramerfarve I don't really see how that contradicts my theory. Any combination of Realmatics and personality works to get to the same place in that regard.

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I wonder if Melishi killed himself when he saw the results of what he did. We can be reasonably sure that none of the Bondsmith spren are deadeyes, so something had to have happened to him before the Recreance.

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19 minutes ago, Dlyol said:

@Kramerfarve I don't really see how that contradicts my theory. Any combination of Realmatics and personality works to get to the same place in that regard.

I apologize if I were not clear, it was not meant to contradict, but to supplement with a comparison to similar events seen elsewhere.

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15 hours ago, Dlyol said:

Now I know that everyone loves this one because it confirms that Kaladin will get plate at the next ideal and hints at what that ideal would be but it occurred to me its interesting for quite a different reason. This Windrunner, with the encouragement of the rest, is trying to progress in his Oaths. That on one level is trivial but it completely contradicts my and I think a lot of people's head canon of the Recreance. We know that the tower was abandoned because it was failing and that the 'strike team' of scholar Radiants and Melishi is (at presumably a similar time to this recording) planning their imprisonment of Ba-Ado-Mishram which will ultimately end the False Desolation and lobotomise the Singers. But as those things are happening it does not sound as if the plan is to abandon the Oaths, indeed rather the opposite, we have evidence that many of the Radiant's continued to believe progressing with the Oaths to be a good idea.

That wasn't the plan. At that point, they were abandoning Urithiru, yes... But the singers had not be broken yet, and the Recreance was not yet decided. Which is why I fully believe the lobotomization of an entire species was the straw that broke the camels back. 

It was a plan, and a progression... But it hinged on a pivotal moment from unforeseen consequences. 

I don't believe there is anything to reconcile here. The gem archive was just made before the inciting incident that led to the major decision. The recreance was still a massive and coordinated event. That requires planning. 

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