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MasterK-Bob

If Sazed Was Killed but his shard(s) were not splintered, would they appear as two or one?

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Question is in the title:

If Sazed Was Killed but his shard(s) were not splintered, would they appear as two, Preservation and Ruin, or one, Harmony?

 

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One.

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Thanatos17901

If Sazed were to die, would he drop the Shards Ruin and Preservation, or would he drop the Shard Harmony?

Brandon Sanderson

Excellent question. The shards are now intermingled, and would take effort to split apart. He would drop Harmony. (This is what Odium feared would happen, by the way.)

/r/fantasy AMA 2013 (April 23, 2013)

 

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On 5/5/2019 at 7:58 AM, Agent34 said:

One.

 

To elaborate, it would be like Preservation—Leras—in the first place: Since he died slowly, his power was still whole when Kelsier took it up. With a Shard like Honor, who was Splintered, his powers were split into smaller pieces. Another question would be if Harmony were to be Splintered, would he separate into the two original Shards or would he turn into Spren (for lack of a better word)? I think the next part of my answer also answers this: If he were simply to die, he would drop Harmony because they are now one power and Harmony is only one Shard. Therefore, if he were Splintered, he would probably turn into "Spren," though they may be more powerful than other "Spren" (I can't be sure because Brandon's whole explanation of all the Shards being parts of infinity doesn't make any sense). I hope this made sense.

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17 minutes ago, Jruesch2 said:

To elaborate, it would be like Preservation—Leras—in the first place: Since he died slowly, his power was still whole when Kelsier took it up. With a Shard like Honor, who was Splintered, his powers were split into smaller pieces. Another question would be if Harmony were to be Splintered, would he separate into the two original Shards or would he turn into Spren (for lack of a better word)? I think the next part of my answer also answers this: If he were simply to die, he would drop Harmony because they are now one power and Harmony is only one Shard. Therefore, if he were Splintered, he would probably turn into "Spren," though they may be more powerful than other "Spren" (I can't be sure because Brandon's whole explanation of all the Shards being parts of infinity doesn't make any sense). I hope this made sense.

Eh, it's not quite that simple. The Shards are intermingled and connected, and would drop as one thing... But both Shards still exist. Whether you think of it as one shard or two is a matter of perception/semantics

Quote

Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

You've said that Splintering a Shard is essentially the same thing as the Shattering of Adonalsium, repeated on a smaller scale.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah.

Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

And a while ago, someone asked you if Splintering was permanent or reversible, and you said that it can be reversed.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah.

Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

And Shardholders [Vessels] tend to take the name of the Shard they hold. So you've got Sazed, who goes by "Harmony" now, after taking up Ruin and Preservation. That makes me wonder, does he hold two Shards... or one?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

You could really answer that either way. The distinction is a really subjective one, and you could say that he's holding both Shards, or that he holds one single Harmony.

A Memory of Light Seattle Signing (Feb. 12, 2013)

Seeing as we've been told that Harmony could make more atium but has no plans to, and that if the Shard were to be split it would be unlikely to become anything other than Preservation and Ruin, I believe that we would see Splinters form of both Shards, with perhaps a slight number of mixed Splinters as well. What form those would take though is anyone's guess as there are currently no Splinters of either Shard on Scadrial. 

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On 5/6/2019 at 8:25 PM, Calderis said:

Eh, it's not quite that simple. The Shards are intermingled and connected, and would drop as one thing... But both Shards still exist. Whether you think of it as one shard or two is a matter of perception/semantics

True but was it not equally true that Honor held both the shard of oaths and the shard of binding?

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Just now, Karger said:

True but was it not equally true that Honor held both the shard of oaths and the shard of binding?

No, I really don't think it is. 

Quote

Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

You've said that Splintering a Shard is essentially the same thing as the Shattering of Adonalsium, repeated on a smaller scale.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah.

Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

And a while ago, someone asked you if Splintering was permanent or reversible, and you said that it can be reversed.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah.

Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

And Shardholders [Vessels] tend to take the name of the Shard they hold. So you've got Sazed, who goes by "Harmony" now, after taking up Ruin and Preservation. That makes me wonder, does he hold two Shards... or one?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

You could really answer that either way. The distinction is a really subjective one, and you could say that he's holding both Shards, or that he holds one single Harmony.

A Memory of Light Seattle Signing (Feb. 12, 2013)

Adonalsium was split into 16 distinct pieces. Harmony is two of two of those, both of which intents we know still exist. But they are merged enough to drop as one thing to be picked up. 

Honor was a single Shard. 

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6 minutes ago, Calderis said:

Honor was a single Shard. 

Yes but even a single shard can have multiple aspects

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5 minutes ago, Karger said:

Yes but even a single shard can have multiple aspects

While that's true, it not relevant to what was being discussed. There's a difference between things that exist with the scope of a single Shard and the subjectivity of whether two Shards have merged or not. 

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CosmereQuestioner

Like Adonalsium, could Harmony split into 2 shards OTHER THAN Ruin/Preservation with the right intent.

You once stated that it is plausible that with a different intent Adonalsium could have shattered into a DIFFERENT 16 shards. You have also said that Harmony is one shard (or could be viewed this way.) My question: Could Harmony split/be split into 2 shards OTHER THAN Ruin/Preservation (yet still complementing/opposite) with the right intent of the splitter?  And if not is this because Harmony is still too invested in Scadrial as Ruin/Preservation?

Brandon Sanderson

Almost anything is possible... but it is very, very unlikely that Harmony would split except back to Ruin/Preservation.

Quote

Thanatos17901

If Sazed were to die, would he drop the Shards Ruin and Preservation, or would he drop the Shard Harmony?

Brandon Sanderson

Excellent question. The shards are now intermingled, and would take effort to split apart. He would drop Harmony. (This is what Odium feared would happen, by the way.)

Some WOBs on the matter.

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15 hours ago, Calderis said:
16 hours ago, Karger said:

 

While that's true, it not relevant to what was being discussed. There's a difference between things that exist with the scope of a single Shard and the subjectivity of whether two Shards have merged or not. 

Is there?  I see no reason (other then methodology) why A could not have broken into 32 shards at the shattering.  I don't realy see anything special about a shard.  It is just the piece of investiture a vessel happened to get the way he broke.

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5 minutes ago, Karger said:

Is there?  I see no reason (other then methodology) why A could not have broken into 32 shards at the shattering.  I don't realy see anything special about a shard.  It is just the piece of investiture a vessel happened to get the way he broke.

Then we fundamentally disagree on what the Shattering did. 

All Investiture was assigned to one of the 16 at the Shattering. Further subdivisions may have been possible, but they didn't occur. 

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1 minute ago, Calderis said:

Then we fundamentally disagree on what the Shattering did. 

All Investiture was assigned to one of the 16 at the Shattering. Further subdivisions may have been possible, but they didn't occur. 

No, I agree that that is what happened.  I just see no reason why it had to happen that way.  Perhaps if it had occurred during a different time or if more or less"shattering force" was used A could have broken into a different number of Shards

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Just now, Karger said:

No, I agree that that is what happened.  I just see no reason why it had to happen that way.  Perhaps if it had occurred during a different time or if more or less"shattering force" was used A could have broken into a different number of Shards

Yes. But on the topic were talking about, those further subdivisions are irrelevant. They exist under the blanket of a single intent.

There is something specific that was taken from Adonalsium, which is precisely what makes Harmony's situation subjective. He holds one mass of Investiture that would drop as a single unit to be picked up, but both intents are still present pushing him in multiple directions.

Whereas as Honor, and all of the possible subdivisions under that umbrella, was pushed by only one intent without the issues that Harmony has to deal with. 

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3 minutes ago, Calderis said:

There is something specific that was taken from Adonalsium, which is precisely what makes Harmony's situation subjective. He holds one mass of Investiture that would drop as a single unit to be picked up, but both intents are still present pushing him in multiple directions.

Whereas as Honor, and all of the possible subdivisions under that umbrella, was pushed by only one intent without the issues that Harmony has to deal with. 

Could it not just be because Harmony's single intent is more complicated?

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40 minutes ago, Karger said:

Could it not just be because Harmony's single intent is more complicated?

No. It can't. 

Quote

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Sazed's two Shards do not "cancel out", as Brandon said that it would like being pulled by two huge gravitational tides. You can get to a way that you aren't instantly ripped apart, but that doesn't mean you don't feel it. (When asked what effect the Shards would have on Sazed, Brandon said, "Read Alloy of Law to find out".)

Alloy of Law 17th Shard Q&A (Nov. 5, 2011)

And in his own words. 

Quote

I am the least equipped, of all, to aid you in this endeavor. I am finding that the powers I hold are in such conflict that the most simple of actions can be difficult

Add in that a Vessel can have no long term effect on the shard they hold (what is picked up is the same thing that is dropped)...

Quote

Questioner

I was just wondering if a Shard's intent can change over time without changing holders?

Brandon Sanderson

Without changing holders? The holder can have a slight effect on how the-- a big effect on how the intent is interpreted, but what the intent is stays the same. So it's gonna be filtered. The way it manifests can change, and you'll see that happening, but it is the same intent. When it was broken off, it took a certain thing with it.

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

Quote

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Shards and Shard intents: Holding a Shard is a contest of willpower against the Shard that, over time, is very hard to resist.

Shards affect you over time, but your mind will not leave a permanent effect on the Shard. A holder's [Vessel's] personality, however, does get to filter the Shard's intent, so to speak. However, if that holder [Vessel] no longer held that Shard, the Shard will not continue to be filtered by that person.

Alloy of Law 17th Shard Q&A (Nov. 5, 2011)

Add in the WoB @Wander89 shared about it being very very unlikely that Harmony would split into anything other than Ruin and Preservation...

And this doesn't even dig into the idea that each intent has some weird Spiritual equivalent of quantum "spin."

It's more complicated than "this shard wants these things." 

Edit: all of this is the reason that I think the oft proposed idea of recreating Adonalsium just wouldn't work. Even if you could unsplinter what Shards have been splintered, and get all 16 into one Vessel... All 16 Shards would war within that vessel. 16 "Gravitational tides" that do not cancel each other out, all pushing on the mind of a single mortal being... I think it would result in madness and paralysis. 

Edited by Calderis
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2 hours ago, Calderis said:

Edit: all of this is the reason that I think the oft proposed idea of recreating Adonalsium just wouldn't work. Even if you could unsplinter what Shards have been splintered, and get all 16 into one Vessel... All 16 Shards would war within that vessel. 16 "Gravitational tides" that do not cancel each other out, all pushing on the mind of a single mortal being... I think it would result in madness and paralysis. 

I think Adonalsium could possibly still be made whole again without completely crippling the vessel holding it into inaction.  Assuming the shards can be collected up again into a single vessel as BS has indicated, I think it would make sense that the variety of intents would actually offer a freedom to the vessel that Sazed could never achieve while holding two shards whose intents stand in direct opposition to each other.  

To put it in terms of Allomantic steel/iron:  Sazed only has two points he can push/pull on to stay in the air and so he can only move up and down in the space directly between the two points (Y axis).  He can bounce back and forth between the two points to a degree but each swing one direction would require a swing back in the opposite direction to balance out again.  A vessel holding all of the shards/intents would have 16 different points to push/pull on, offering them the ability to move around in all dimensions (including X and Z axis).

Edited by StarrFall
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27 minutes ago, StarrFall said:

To put it in terms of Allomantic steel/iron:  Sazed only has two points he can push/pull on to stay in the air and so he can only move up and down in the space directly between the two points (Y axis).  He can bounce back and forth between the two points to a degree but each swing one direction would require a swing back in the opposite direction to balance out again.  A vessel holding all of the shards/intents would have 16 different points to push/pull on, offering them the ability to move around in all dimensions (including X and Z axis).

And this is where I disagree.

Sazed can't push one way and then act in opposition to balance out. The pressure of the intents is constant. Which is why he works through intermediaries. 

He cannot do something that Preservation wouldn't allow him to do so long as he then does something that Ruin wouldn't allow. He is restricted, permanently, by both. 

So the intent of Preservation (assuming his interpretation puts it in line with what we know under Leras) does not allow him to act in a violent manner. It doesn't matter that Ruin pushes him in that direction. And Ruin should restrain him in the opposite direction. 

It's less that he has only two anchors to push on in my mind and more that he has two hooks in his flesh suspending him in the air from opposite directions that are semi taut. He can swing laterally between them, but he has no leeway to move more or less in line with one than the other. 

Every new shard would be a further level of restriction. Another hook pulled in a new direction, just as taut, limiting his wiggle room. 

I don't even think it would take 16 to result in paralysis if they were the correct ones. Add Cultivation to the mix with Harmony and I think that might be enough to do it in itself. 

Edited by Calderis
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@Calderis, do you know if Sazed chooses not to act within Preservation's intent more exclusively because he knows Ruin's intent will retroactively assert itself to balance out the action, or if he is actually prevented from a Preservation-heavy action from go because of his bond to Ruin as well?  I always took Sazed's statement that "he felt like his hands were tied" by the opposing intents to be more about him being a good person and not wanting to see a pure Ruin reaction to his pure Preservation action, that extremes are an option to him but not one he favors and so he keeps a balance to his actions and instead works through others like Wax to assert his personality's will. 

I have to imagine Odium fears Sazed because there is SOME kind of synergy to be had by combining Ruin and Preservation within a single vessel, and I'd think that synergy would translate to at least some gain in ability for Sazed (unless Odium simply fears the raw Investiture Sazed holds, which seems unlikely given the original vessels all took on and broke Adonalsium without holding shards).  Perhaps 2 shards whose intents don't stand in direct opposition would be a more powerful threat to Odium and provide more freedom of will for the vessel, but I can't imagine holding 2 shards would actually make Sazed more inert.

Of course, now that I say that, I have to wonder how Adonalsium was broken apart by those who were not holding shards in the first place... Perhaps Adonalsium WAS forced to inaction due to competing intents...  There has/had to be some inherent weakness in holding multiple shards...

Edited by StarrFall
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@StarrFall I don't think Harmony would have any advantage over Odium whatsoever.

I agree that less opposed shards would provide less inherent restriction... And it's that that I think Odium fears. What Harmony represents, not what he actually is. 

Quote

Questioner

Does Odium actually present a real threat to Harmony, because he-- *interrupted*

Brandon Sanderson

So Harmony is vastly more powerful than Odium.

Questioner

Yeah. 

Brandon Sanderson

Elend was vastly more powerful than Vin. Who would win in a fight?

Questioner

Vin.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, there's your answer.

White Sand vol.1 release party (June 28, 2016)

As to Sazed predicament, I don't think it's merely him being a good person. The idea that one intent could somehow be placate makes no sense in the context of the way shards function. If acting in alignment with the intent somehow relived the pressure of that intent, why would a single shard limit anyone at all? Just do what the shard wants for a little bit, and then do what you wish. Right? But the intents are a constant pressure that slowly warps the mind of the Vessel over time. Additionally Brandon describes the intents in terms of gravity. I don't see why that would fluctuate. 

 

Edited by Calderis
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16 minutes ago, Calderis said:

If acting in alignment with the intent somehow relived the pressure of that intent, why would a single shard limit anyone at all? Just do what the shard wants for a little bit, and then do what you wish. Right? But the intents are a constant pressure that slowly warps the mind of the Vessel over time. Additionally Brandon describes the intents in terms of gravity. I don't see why that would fluctuate. 

 

My thinking was that, for a single shard holder, the vessel would be siloed into that shard's intent categorically and so they would never be able to operation outside of that intent.  However, because Sazed holds two shards whose intents are opposed, any action aligned with one intent will, almost by definition, be opposed the other intent and I was thinking that meant that any action that leans more heavily towards one intent over the other would be balanced by some unintended consequences (for the inexperienced Sazed) that align with the opposing intent.  That's why I'm curious if Sazed's hands are truly tied or if he simply doesn't want to witness the unintended consequences stemming from his connection to Ruin.

Edited by StarrFall
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16 minutes ago, StarrFall said:

My thinking was that, for a single shard holder, the vessel would be siloed into that shard's intent categorically and so they would never be able to operation outside of that intent.  However, because Sazed holds two shards whose intents are opposed, any action aligned with one intent will, almost by definition, be opposed the other intent and I was thinking that meant that any action that leans more heavily towards one intent over the other would be balanced by some unintended consequences (for the inexperienced Sazed) that align with the opposing intent.  That's why I'm curious if Sazed's hands are truly tied or if he simply doesn't want to witness the unintended consequences stemming from his connection to Ruin.

I think his own words answer that question, in his letter to Hoid. 

Quote

I am the least equipped, of all, to aid you in this endeavor. I am finding that the powers I hold are in such conflict that the most simple of actions can be difficult. 

He has to operate in the exceptionally miniscule middle ground between his intents... Or through intermediaries like Wax and the Kandra. 

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24 minutes ago, Calderis said:

He has to operate in the exceptionally miniscule middle ground between his intents... Or through intermediaries like Wax and the Kandra. 

I always interpreted that to meen something along the lines of.  Sorry man but I can't fight another god for you.  He does still have shardic power even if it is tricky to use.

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11 minutes ago, Karger said:

I always interpreted that to meen something along the lines of.  Sorry man but I can't fight another god for you.  He does still have shardic power even if it is tricky to use.

I've provided quite a bit of evidence of why I think the way I do. You're entitled to your own interpretation, but if you expect me to give it any weight, I'd like some kind of reasoning as to why. His own words aren't the only thing that say he's exceptionally limited. 

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1 hour ago, Calderis said:

I've provided quite a bit of evidence of why I think the way I do. You're entitled to your own interpretation, but if you expect me to give it any weight, I'd like some kind of reasoning as to why. His own words aren't the only thing that say he's exceptionally limited. 

True but he mostly says he limits himself based on ideology not lack of ability.

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10 minutes ago, Karger said:

True but he mostly says he limits himself based on ideology not lack of ability.

How does this 

Quote

I am the least equipped, of all, to aid you in this endeavor. I am finding that the powers I hold are in such conflict that the most simple of actions can be difficult.

Or any if the WoBs I posted earlier, say anything at all about ideology? 

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I feel like this thread has gone wildly off topic, and that the Q&A forum isn't the easiest place to have a discussion, since posts can get disordered, due to the default sorting.

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