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Confused

New Theory on the Recreants

9 posts in this topic

@CrazyRioter and @RShara neatly destroyed my “Why the Sibling Slumbers” theory, but I upvoted their posts for setting me on the proper course-correction. WARNING: THIS “THEORY” CONTAINS INFORMED SPECULATION AND GUESSES.

Summary

Note the homophone in the OP’s title. The idea the name “Recreance” began as an epithet for the faithless, cowardly Knights Radiant - “the Recreants” - goes back at least to this 2012 post and others have periodically raised it. I buy this idea.

I think the Radiants believed they acted in the only way they could. Melishi’s plan enslaved the Singers and stopped their transformations. When the Radiants learned this, nine of the orders concluded honor demands “a spren for a spren.” If Singers couldn’t bond spren and transform, Radiants wouldn’t bond spren either. Their own spren may even have agreed. Only the Skybreakers demurred, thinking the result “just.”

Here’s the sequence of events that I think may have brought the Radiants down:

  1. False Desolation Begins – BAM Connects Voidlight to Singers by forging a Connection to the Sibling.
  2. Radiants Abandon Urithiru – Voidlight flowing through them causes the Sibling to “withdraw.”
  3. Strike Team Executes Melishi’s Plan – Radiants “kill” Sibling to cut BAM’s Connection to Singers.
  4. Recreance – Radiants discover what Melishi did and break their oaths. Only Skybreakers think this “just.”

Gem Archives

I think these are the most relevant gem archives:

Quote

"A coalition has been formed among scholar Radiants. Our goal is to deny the enemy their supply of Voidlight; this will prevent their continuing transformations, and give us an edge in combat."

(OB, Chapter 78 Epigraph.)

"Our revelation is fueled by the theory that the Unmade can perhaps be captured like ordinary spren. It would require a special prison. And Melishi."

(OB, Chapter 79 Epigraph.)

"Ba-Ado-Mishram has somehow Connected with the parsh people, as Odium once did. She provides Voidlight and facilitates forms of power. Our strike team is going to imprison her."

(OB, Chapter 80 Epigraph.)

"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."

(OB, Chapter 81 Epigraph.)

Sibling Personifies Gemheart Growth Process

I think Roshar’s three great spren personify essential features of the Singer transformational life cycle: spren, gemhearts and the highstorm. IMO, these are the Eila Stele’s “spren, stone, and wind.” Gemheart Investiture leaks into the Physical Realm like atium. I think the Sibling personifies this process. Like the Stormfather distributes Stormlight, maybe the Sibling distributes gemheart Investiture. This Investiture grows gemhearts.

The Sibling’s Withdrawal

With no Everstorm, Voidlight during the False Desolation must have infused Singer gemhearts directly. BAM “Connected with the parsh people,” not just those with forms of power.

To grow gemhearts, the Sibling must Connect to them. I speculate BAM used the Sibling’s Connections as her conduit for Voidlight infusion. I think this is when the Sibling began to withdraw. The Sibling metaphorically gagged on Voidlight.

The Sibling’s Slumber

Voidlight may have caused the Sibling’s withdrawal before Melishi, but the Stormfather blames humans for the Sibling’s slumber. A Radiant strike team executed Melishi’s plan. Whatever happened stopped Singer transformations. Parshmen no longer bonded spren.

I speculate the Radiant strike team cut BAM’s Connection to Singer gemhearts by somehow cutting the Sibling’s Connection to Singer gemhearts. The sudden break in Connection shocked the Sibling into coma – “slumber.” (FWIW, Syl  also uses the term "asleep" to describe her condition after her first Radiant died.) Gemheart Investiture still flows into gemhearts but it doesn’t seem to aid Singer transformation.

The Recreants

Maybe Singer enslavement is the true “wicked thing of eminence” that turns Radiants into Recreants. The Skybreakers felt the Sibling’s consciousness loss “just” payment to end the False Desolation. That order kept its oaths. Maybe the other nine orders felt Singer enslavement warranted a greater penalty. If Singers could not bond spren, neither would Radiants. These nine orders gave up their bond mates – perhaps in agreement with them – because they felt it was the honorable thing to do.

I’ve never been comfortable with the Eila Stele’s Recreance explanation. It was translated by Taravangian’s ardents in Kharbranth and Jah Keved and served his political purposes. Its explanation to me doesn’t justify everyone but the Skybreakers breaking their oaths. This explanation does.

The Knights Radiant fell in universal disgrace, forever tarnished as oath breakers. But I believe these Recreants did what they thought honor required of them.

Edited by Confused
To add info on Sibling and gemhearts.
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This is really interesting and seems plausible! 

I just wonder, how do you come to this connection between the Sibling and gemhearts? I love this possible connection between the 3 major spren and the Singers' lifecycle. That theory answers a lot of background questions about Roshar and the Singers.

As a follow-up, do you think that BAM is still connected to the Sibling? If the Sibling awakens and then BAM is released/found, what do you think would happen?

Edited by Q10fanatic
Better understanding of the Sibling/gemheart connection.
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19 hours ago, Confused said:

.

I’ve never been comfortable with the Eila Stele’s Recreance explanation. It was translated by Taravangian’s ardents in Kharbranth and Jah Keved and served his political purposes. Its explanation to me doesn’t justify everyone but the Skybreakers breaking their oaths. This explanation does.

The Knights Radiant fell in universal disgrace, forever tarnished as oath breakers. But I believe these Recreants did what they thought honor required of them.

The Stormfather claims that the Recreince was caused by Honor telling the Radiants that they would destroy the world.  Since he was actually there why exactly can he not remember/is incapable of telling the truth?

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3 minutes ago, Karger said:

The Stormfather claims that the Recreince was caused by Honor telling the Radiants that they would destroy the world.  Since he was actually there why exactly can he not remember/is incapable of telling the truth?

We have lots of evidence of spren not remembering key information in the moment, couldn't this be something similar?

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Just now, Q10fanatic said:

We have lots of evidence of spren not remembering key information in the moment, couldn't this be something similar?

Being drawn into the physical realm damages a spren's mind and leaves them unable to remember some things.  However the Stormfather is already in the physical realm even in his unbonded state so I doubt this applies.  Also, not remember is different from making up false information.

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That’s true. I feel like he has been unable to remember/understand key things though. He mentioned to Dalinar that he understands the Heralds better now, after experiencing the bond. So we know he is changing. And how was affected by the death of Honor?

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@Karger, I’m no more comfortable with the Stormfather’s explanation than the Eila Stele’s. The Stormfather IMO is an untrustworthy witness. He acknowledges this himself:

Quote

My memory of all this is … strange. First, I was not fully awake; I was but the spren of a storm. Then I was like a child. Changed and shaped during the frantic last days of a dying god.

But I do remember. It was not only the truth of humankind’s origin that caused the Recreance. It was the distinct, powerful fear that they would destroy this world, as men like them had destroyed the one before. The Radiants abandoned their vows for that reason, as will you.

(OB, Chapter 113, Kindle p. 1051.)

I have questions the Stormfather’s memory doesn’t answer:

  1. Why would all non-Skybreaker “Radiants abandon their vows for that reason”? Wouldn’t a few think themselves incapable of such destruction? Loving/Healing Edgedancers don’t seem like destroyers. But even Edgedancers might see the honor in abandoning their vows after Melishi “killed” the Sibling and ended Singer transformations.
  2. Why would the Skybreakers NOT break their vows if fear of Roshar’s destruction is the reason?

The Stormfather explains Honor’s role in the Recreance to Dalinar:

Quote

In the past, Honor was able to guard against this, the Stormfather told him. He convinced the Radiants they were righteous, even if this land hadn’t originally been theirs. Who cares what your ancestors did, when the enemy is trying to kill you right now?

But in the days leading to the Recreance, Honor was dying. When that generation of knights learned the truth, Honor did not support them. He raved, speaking of the Dawnshards, ancient weapons used to destroy the Tranquiline Halls. Honor … promised that Surgebinders would do the same to Roshar.

(OB, Chapter 113, Kindle p. 1052.)

Honor convinced Radiants they needed to fight to protect humans despite the human land grab. But not one Radiant convinced themselves or others this was still the case? And if a dying Honor “raved,” would every Radiant have trusted his word? Might some think Roshar needed the Radiants even more with Honor dying?

The Stormfather’s explanations just don’t add up for me. What he says may be true, but not as justification for the Recreance and a mass oath breaking that immediately follows the Sibling’s slumber. I think something more happened to cause the Recreants to kill their spren, especially given the timing.

Edited by Confused
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44 minutes ago, Confused said:
  • Why would all non-Skybreaker “Radiants abandon their vows for that reason”? Wouldn’t a few think themselves incapable of such destruction? Loving/Healing Edgedancers don’t seem like destroyers. But even Edgedancers might see the honor in abandoning their vows after Melishi “killed” the Sibling and ended Singer transformations.
  • Why would the Skybreakers NOT break their vows if fear of Roshar’s destruction is the reason?

1. Edgedancers seem to don't care that much about what we conventionally call Honor.  Their ideals are about helping others not engaging in justice or maintaining fairness.  In fact the only order that I can see finding logical in that kind of fairness is the one that did not break their oaths(skybreakers).

2. Skybreakers don't care about the results of their actions only that they are consistent in their oaths. 

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