cometaryorbit

Natural Magic on Roshar

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I think there are two distinct forms of spren bonds on Roshar:

- the KR/Herald human-to-Splinter bond;

- the natural-magic bond, which requires a gem, uses the highstorms, and, at least in its basic form, involves a non-sapient spren. Everything else except the Old Magic (as always "its own weird thing") is derived from this - Voidbringer forms of power and fabrials being technologies based on, or "hacks" of, the natural system.

The natural-magic spren bonds seem very common on Roshar, and the basic "gemheart process" seems quite ubiquitous - though smaller species may not produce anything significant enough to be seen as a gem/considered valuable by humans, "the same sort of chemistry" occurs...

Quote

Questioner

Is it only greatshells that have gemhearts, or do all crustaceans on Roshar have some sort of gem inside? And if it is only greatshells then are their unique decayspren related to this fact?

Brandon:

They're not only greatshells, but not ever crustacean has a gemheart, at least not of the style that would be of any relevance to you. Some have the same sort of chemistry going on in their body, they're just too small to have it coalesce into a gemheart. And the gemheart is related to how-- particularly the greatshells, can grow to get so big.

Salt Lake ComicCon FanX 2016 (March 26, 2016)

 

Honor's Innovation

I think human Surgebinding, as used by the Heralds and KR*, is something distinctly different from everything else on Roshar.

(*We're told in Oathbringer that ancient humans destroyed their land (Ashyn) with Surges. Yet we know the KR got Surgebinding when the spren imitated what Honor had done with the Honorblade-Herald bond... which post-dates the arrival of humans on Roshar. So whatever destroyed Ashyn can't have been quite the same Surgebinding as the modern KR are using. That weirdness aside...)

The Honorblades don't involve any gems trapping spren (the Heralds started as regular humans, and we now know Surgebinders don't grow gemhearts) and - originally, when Honor was alive - didn't use regular Stormlight derived from the Highstorms; they were directly powered by Honor.

When the spren imitated the system, they didn't have the direct Shardic "Investiture feed", so the KR started using Stormlight and trapping it in gems, moving things back toward the natural magic. But it's still something different in origin, and KR Surgebinding keeps the Honorblades' Surge pairings - 10 sets of 2 Surges each.

Forms of Power

The Forms of Power (stormform, envoyform, etc.) seem (to me anyway) to be Odium's "hack" of the Rosharan natural magic. The singers/listeners' normal forms (dullform, warform etc) use weak local spren that bind to the gemheart in a highstorm (providing Stormlight). Odium has added in voidspren to provide the Forms of Power. In this Desolation, the Everstorm replaces the highstorm's role in the natural bond, but apparently something else happened in ancient Desolations.

Fused "Pseudo-Surgebinding"

I really am unsure about this one. The Fused who use Surges apparently do not use the same Surge pairings as the Heralds/Honorblades and KR/Nahel-bonding spren. According to Moash, there are 9 "orders" of Fused, and it seems each can use just one Surge.

The Stormfather refers to the Fused 'learning' how to use Surges, so their abilities might not have originated as a direct Shardic gift in the same way as Honor initiating Surgebinding by giving out the Honorblades.

Are they similar to the Forms of Power, with the Fused itself (now having become a Cognitive Shadow) acting as the spren bound to the body's gemheart, and having enough Investiture to use Surges directly?
Or (given the use of 9 in this system) is this actually a Braize magic system, with the Surges themselves being common to all three planets?

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I really like this! It makes sense for surgebinding to be the magic native to Ashyn and the gemheart/fabrial magic native to Roshar. Excellent deduction!

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On 7/20/2019 at 0:10 AM, cometaryorbit said:

 

Are they similar to the Forms of Power, with the Fused itself (now having become a Cognitive Shadow) acting as the spren bound to the body's gemheart, and having enough Investiture to use Surges directly?
Or (given the use of 9 in this system) is this actually a Braize magic system, with the Surges themselves being common to all three planets?

I am fairly sure that the fused use surgebindings fueled by voidlight the same way we see a certain truthwatcher fuel voidbinding via stromlight.

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I recently had this idea, and I'm not sure I've written it down yet.

 

We know that Renarin is using the Voidbinding version of Illumination.

We know this is because Glys was "enlightened" by Sja-Anat.

We know that Sja-anat has only recently learned to "enlighten" Radiantspren.

We know the idea of symmetry is extremely indentured in Alethi society.

We know the Surgebinding chart was on the front cover of Way of Kings, and the Voidbinding chart was on the back cover.

We know Odium likes to be 9-centric, and Honor likes to be 10-centric. The Voidbinding chart shown is 10-centric.

What if Brandon did that as a hint? In the Way of Kings, the kind of Surgebinding depicted in the chart is considered as being a thing of the past. What if the Voidbinding depicted in the end chart is something from the future, and doesn't yet exist? A sort of temporal symmetry. What if Renarin is indeed the first Voidbinder, and not even a true one, at that? Between a Voidbinder-Surgebinder.

 

Edited by TheFoxQR
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On 7/20/2019 at 0:10 AM, cometaryorbit said:

Honor's Innovation

Forms of Power

I think everything in the first two sections has been confirmed already.  

 

On 7/22/2019 at 0:34 AM, TheFoxQR said:

We know Odium likes to be 9-centric, and Honor likes to be 10-centric.

All evidence points to the "magic numbers" being tied to the planets, not the Shards themselves.  

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On 7/23/2019 at 3:21 PM, Scion of the Mists said:

I think everything in the first two sections has been confirmed already. 

Mostly. The one thing I don't think has actually been confirmed (though hinted at) is my claim that all of Roshar's natural magic involves gems/gemhearts of some kind. The 2 things I'm uncertain of are skyeels and the Purelake magic fish, which don't really seem to be crustacean-ish like most of the native Rosharan wildlife.

(And maybe the Ryshadium, but I'd guess that their spren bonds are not truly natural evolution but the result of Honor, Ishar, a Bondsmith, or a Stone Shaman with the Bondsmith Honorblade messing around.)

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7 hours ago, cometaryorbit said:

Mostly. The one thing I don't think has actually been confirmed (though hinted at) is my claim that all of Roshar's natural magic involves gems/gemhearts of some kind. The 2 things I'm uncertain of are skyeels and the Purelake magic fish, which don't really seem to be crustacean-ish like most of the native Rosharan wildlife.

(And maybe the Ryshadium, but I'd guess that their spren bonds are not truly natural evolution but the result of Honor, Ishar, a Bondsmith, or a Stone Shaman with the Bondsmith Honorblade messing around.)

Yeah, it's not confirmed that literally all the native-to-Roshar magic deals with gemhearts (most, but not all).  

As far as the Ryshadium go, I don't think I'd consider them natural magic, as they're not native to Roshar.  In fact Brandon has drawn a parallel between them and the humans, as "non-native species who have started to form spren bonds like native species do."  The WoBs we have on them don't mention any external involvement, they just use phrases like "they evolved symbiotically" and "a symbiotic bond with a spren has started happening."  

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10 is tied to Greater Roshar. I think the 9 of Braize indicates that its 'broken' somehow and is tied to the home of the voidbringers thats mentioned in the Eila Stele.

Edited by ScavellTane
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On 7/26/2019 at 8:37 AM, ScavellTane said:

10 is tied to Greater Roshar. I think the 9 of Braize indicates that its 'broken' somehow and is tied to the home of the voidbringers thats mentioned in the Eila Stele.

Yes, 10 is the magic number of the entire system. Braize is 9, I suspect because Odium is "in residence" there or other actively did something to break it. Odium is "The Void", maybe his natural number is -1 and him hanging out on Braize makes it 9.  WoB::

Spoiler

Herald (paraphrased)

Would Ashyn/Braize share the 10-centric numerology of Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes 10-centric is for the entire Rosharan planetary system...wait Braize is 9-centric.

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing (Nov. 30, 2016)

 

Image result for voidbinding chart

The voidbinding chart shows 10 but 2 are "trapped" in the ruby at the center. Maybe they are merged into 1 making it 9. This may be the fuzziness Brandon talks about here:

 

Spoiler

 

XS-Terrain

Also, does each of the Unmade have a corresponding order of the Knights Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

Eh... Kind of.

XS-Terrain

Ok. So there are nine Unmade right, so which one is left out?

Brandon Sanderson

Bondsmith. But it's not as one to one, there's some fuzziness in there.

Oathbringer San Francisco signing (Nov. 15, 2017)

 

 

Edited by Child of Hodor
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On 7/31/2019 at 2:05 PM, Child of Hodor said:

Yes, 10 is the magic number of the entire system. Braize is 9, I suspect because Odium is "in residence" there or other actively did something to break it. Odium is "The Void", maybe his natural number is -1 and him hanging out on Braize makes it 9.  WoB::

  Reveal hidden contents

Herald (paraphrased)

Would Ashyn/Braize share the 10-centric numerology of Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes 10-centric is for the entire Rosharan planetary system...wait Braize is 9-centric.

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing (Nov. 30, 2016)

 

 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

XS-Terrain

Also, does each of the Unmade have a corresponding order of the Knights Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

Eh... Kind of.

XS-Terrain

Ok. So there are nine Unmade right, so which one is left out?

Brandon Sanderson

Bondsmith. But it's not as one to one, there's some fuzziness in there.

Oathbringer San Francisco signing (Nov. 15, 2017)

 

 

It seems increasingly that Honor's number isn't 10, but rather 9 + 1.

Practically everything associated with him follows that trend. There are 10 Surges, but 1 (Adhesion) seems uniquely his. There are 10 kinds of Radiantspren, but 9 are similar-ish, and the Bondsmith spren are different. There were 10 Heralds, but 1 wasn't supposed to be there. 10 Heralds went to war on Braize, but 9 broke and abandoned the Oathpact, and 1 survived. In the Recreance, 9 orders abandoned their Oaths, but 1 went into hiding.

I don't know if this has to do with the influence of Odium or not, but I think that might be the case.

Edited by TheFoxQR
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1 hour ago, TheFoxQR said:

Practically everything associated with him follows that trend. There are 10 Surges, but 1 (Adhesion) seems uniquely his. There are 10 orders of the Radiants, but 9 are similar, and the Bondsmiths are different. There were 10 Heralds, but 1 wasn't supposed to be there. 10 Heralds went to war on Braize, but 9 broke and abandoned the Oathpact, and 1 survived.

Interesting thought.  It may just be a theme of the Rosharn system.  9 and the extra one not Honor's specifically.

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Its odd that the voidbinding chart features 'trapped' aspects that we associate with Honor and Cultivation.

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I think the "fuzziness" on the Unmade/Radiant orders correlation may be that the Unmade really correspond more directly to the nine orders of Fused, which correspond more directly to the nine non-Bondsmith orders of Radiants?

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1 hour ago, cometaryorbit said:

I think the "fuzziness" on the Unmade/Radiant orders correlation may be that the Unmade really correspond more directly to the nine orders of Fused, which correspond more directly to the nine non-Bondsmith orders of Radiants?

But do they have to... ? The Fused orders are said to have only one Surge each, so I don't think there'll be 1-1 correlation.

The KR orders and their Surge-pairs are all divided on concepts. Windrunners are all about leadership and protection of others. So naturally their Surges are Gravitation and Adhesion. (People gravitate to them and form strong bonds) The Skybreakers hunt the guilty and bring justice to them, so they have Gravitation and Division (they gravitate towards the guilty and punish them). The Lightweavers are all about creatively showing the truth (true art transforms and illuminates), etc.

Could the Fused orders be divided not by concepts like these, but by cultural lines? Or maybe they could have to do with how much Odium has invested in them.

The only reason I'm questioning this is this - Odium not utilising every resource that he can for aesthetic reasons doesn't sound right to me. There are 10 surges, so if he can grant them, why would he leave one out? If it has to do with Honor, than shouldn't he leave two out? One for Honor and one for Cultivation?

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2 minutes ago, TheFoxQR said:

The only reason I'm questioning this is this - Odium not utilising every resource that he can for aesthetic reasons doesn't sound right to me. There are 10 surges, so if he can grant them, why would he leave one out? If it has to do with Honor, than shouldn't he leave two out? One for Honor and one for Cultivation?

What if, instead of only missing out on one surge due to association with Honor, you're right, and he IS leaving out one for Honor and one for Cultivation, but then ADDING BACK a new, 9th surge associated with HIMSELF? Instead of Adhesion or Progression, the other 8 surges are present, and then the 9th surge Odium has available is uniquely associated to him?

 

This is literally just a speculative hypothesis. I have no evidence. I'm just throwing in my 2 surg- i mean cents. :P

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2 minutes ago, Halyo_Alex said:

What if, instead of only missing out on one surge due to association with Honor, you're right, and he IS leaving out one for Honor and one for Cultivation, but then ADDING BACK a new, 9th surge associated with HIMSELF? Instead of Adhesion or Progression, the other 8 surges are present, and then the 9th surge Odium has available is uniquely associated to him?

 

This is literally just a speculative hypothesis. I have no evidence. I'm just throwing in my 2 surg- i mean cents. :P

That would be weird, because then it means there are 11 Surges in total and that's just heresy.

@cometaryorbit There is something interesting with atleast one Unmade - specifically Re-Shephir and Lightweavers. Lightweavers make Illusions with stormlight, where as the midnight mother weaves entities of pure the essence of midnight.

Lightweavers need to understand or atleast somewhat connect with what they are copying, whereas the Midnight Mother seems fundamentally incapable of doing so.

Edited by TheFoxQR
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Just now, TheFoxQR said:

That would be weird, because then it means there are 11 Surges in total and that's just heresy.

Ok yeah, I knew that was the biggest flaw with it.

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17 hours ago, TheFoxQR said:

 

The only reason I'm questioning this is this - Odium not utilising every resource that he can for aesthetic reasons doesn't sound right to me.

Perhaps he does not trust them with the full potential power of all 10 surges.

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15 minutes ago, Karger said:

Perhaps he does not trust them with the full potential power of all 10 surges.

... but then why leave out just one Surge?

Besides Yelig-nar seems to be granting all 10 at once.

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2 hours ago, TheFoxQR said:

... but then why leave out just one Surge?

Besides Yelig-nar seems to be granting all 10 at once.

We don't know that and its hard to believe anyone took notes.  Also it seems that using Yelig-nar kills you(potentially perpa kills you if you are a CS) so it is not like anyone with his power is a security threat.

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46 minutes ago, Karger said:

We don't know that and its hard to believe anyone took notes.  Also it seems that using Yelig-nar kills you(potentially perpa kills you if you are a CS) so it is not like anyone with his power is a security threat.

There is definitely evidence to believe Yelig-nar consumes you. Even Nohadon mentions it, iirc.

Whether giving someone some surge is any kind of a security threat, I seriously doubt. But to each his own.

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12 hours ago, TheFoxQR said:

Whether giving someone some surge is any kind of a security threat, I seriously doubt. But to each his own.

My point is that giving someone a certain surge might be problematic.  IE if they do not have adhesion this could be because Odium worries that the surge could grant them the ability to empathize with humans(bring people together) via connection and cause peace.  That sounds bad if you are Odium.

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Venli's regal form allows her to understand and speak all languages, much like Dalinar's adhesion when he touches someone. 

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1 minute ago, Pathfinder said:

Venli's regal form allows her to understand and speak all languages, much like Dalinar's adhesion when he touches someone. 

That is a form of power crafted by Odium.  It would not surprise me if he put specific limits on it somehow and we know from Hoid that connection can do more then just translate.

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4 minutes ago, Karger said:

That is a form of power crafted by Odium.  It would not surprise me if he put specific limits on it somehow and we know from Hoid that connection can do more then just translate.

You are entitled to theorize that way and hold that opinion, but the fact of the matter is Venli has envoy form that enables her to speak and understand any language, human, parsh, or otherwise. As every instance of language translation we have seen involves connection (both on and off Roshar), as well as WoB confirm translation concerns connection, then I believe Venli's envoy form works with connection. 

Edited by Pathfinder
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