TheFoxQR

A commentary on Mishim - A possible allusion?

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I think this story is an allegory to some sequence of events that happened in Natanatan at some point. I'm going to be describing the story on two levels - on the level of Cultivation, Honor and Odium, and on the level of Nightwatcher, Stormfather and BAM (who is not the Sibling). The earlier parts of the story fit the former set better, the latter parts the latter set.

The Moons of Roshar are Nomon (brightest, blue), Mishim (slowest, Green), and Salas (darkest, Violet).

Of note are the colors that Hoid uses thoughout. So far, for the Rosharan Shards, the colors that can be best associated are White-Blue for Honor (Stormlight is white, Honorspren are Blue), Green for Cultivation (the mist at the Valley), and Yellow-White for Odium. (Voidlight is technically Stygian Blue, which is a fatigue response to bright, intense yellow on black - most probably this fact is a commentary on the nature of Rayse-Odium)

Let's jump straight into the story then, shall we?

Spoiler

“Everyone knows that Mishim is the cleverest of the three moons.

Subtext: Cultivation is cleverest of the three Shards on Roshar.

Or, the Nightwatcher is the cleverest of the three spren the moons are most likely to represent.

Spoiler

Though her sister and brother are content to reign in the sky—gracing the lands below with their light—

Subtext: Honor and Odium are content sit in the spiritual and manifest avatars, powering the magics of Roshar through their respective lights - Stormlight and Voidlight. Honor has the Highstorm, and a high place on Roshar was called "closest to Honor", whereas Odium is literally on a different planet, and now has the Everstorm. As opposed to these two, Cultivation's influence can be seen in all the flora and fauna of Roshar, and she takes a more hands on approach, if only through the Boon-Curse magic.

The reign in the sky could then be a realmatic metaphor, with Honor and Odium always staying away, whereas Cultivation being super invested in the Valley, and personally taking interest whenever she could.

On the Nightwatcher level, we don't quite know the nature of the Sibling enough to be able to relate it like this with the sky and light. Indeed, I've been suspecting the domain of the Sibling is "stone", or Crem, so I don't know if it would hold with the reign in the sky. I've been suspecting that BAM is to Voidbinding what the Stormfather is to Surgebinding, and in that case she could be the sister to the Nightwatcher who is also content to stay away and "grace the lands with her (Void)light," whereas the brother, Stormfather, would also be cotnent to drive the Highstorms and "grace the lands with his (storm)light."

Spoiler

—Mishim is always looking for a chance to escape her duty.”

I don't know what Hoid specifically means by this, other than maybe a sly referral to why Cultivation is training the Nightwatcher to be her heir, of some kind.

Spoiler

Wit tossed something into the brazier, producing a bright green puff of smoke the color of Mishim, the third and slowest of the moons.

Yep, Mishim is the green moon, and green is the color most associated with Cultivation, and by extension the Nightwatcher.

Spoiler

Wit tossed something into the brazier, producing a bright green puff of smoke the color of Mishim, the third and slowest of the moons.

“This story takes place during the days of Tsa,” Wit continued. “The grandest queen of Natanatan, before that kingdom’s fall. Blessed with grand poise and beauty, the Natan people were famous across all of Roshar. Why, if you’d lived you’d have viewed the east as a place of great culture, not an empty wasteland!

“Queen Tsa, as you’ve doubtless heard, was an architect. She designed high towers for her city, built to reach ever upward, grasping toward the sky. One night, Tsa rested in her greatest tower, enjoying the view. So it was that Mishim, that clever moon, happened to pass in the sky close by. (It was a night when the moons were large, and these—everyone knows—are nights when the moons pay special attention to the actions of mortals.)

“ ‘Great Queen!’ Mishim called. ‘You build such fine towers in your grand city. I enjoy viewing them each night as I pass.’ ”

Wit dropped powder into the brazier, this time in clumps that caused two lines of smoke—one white, one green—to stream upward. Shallan stepped forward, watching the smoke curl. The marketgoers slowed, and began to gather.

“Now,” Wit said, thrusting his hands into the smoke lines, twisting them so that the smoke swirled and contorted, giving the sense of a green moon spinning in the center, “Queen Tsa was hardly ignorant of Mishim’s crafty ways. The Natans were never fond of Mishim, but rather revered the great Nomon.

“Still, one does not ignore a moon. ‘Thank you, Great Celestial One,’ Tsa called. ‘Our engineers labor ceaselessly to erect the most splendid of mortal accomplishments.’

“ ‘Almost they reach to my domain,’ Mishim called. ‘One wonders if you are trying to obtain it.’ “

Take the towers to be an allegory to something else, say... Ancient Fabrials. The Natanatans would, in this case, be leading scientists, trying to maybe autopsy and study the biology of Greatshells to understand how fabrials would work realmatically. The Natan people were trying to make artificial Fabrials, and impinging on the domain of Cultivation - whose system is this integrated Fabrial magic in the ecosystem of Roshar. It also makes sense in a different way, because the Aimians would eventually be providing Soulcasters to the rest of Roshar, and the end of this story strongly indicates that the Siah were born as an outcome of what happens here later.

The towers could also be an allegory to a lot of different things and not just Fabrials. If you consider the sky and the lands to be the Spiritual and Physical realms, then the tower would be some kind of invested constructs - the metaphor relies on the same description Brandin has previously given to perpendicularities, something that is "heavier" than normal in the physical and stretching it a bit to reach into another realm. A tower is something that is built on land but reaches for the sky.

Spoiler

‘Never, Great Celestial One. My domain is this land, and the sky is yours.’

Translation: I am mortal, my domain the Physical and Shadesmar. The Spiritual is yours. Divinity, yours.

Spoiler

” Wit thrust his hand high in his smoke, drawing the line of white into the shape of a straight pillar. His other hand swirled a pocket of green above it, like a whirlpool. A tower and a moon.

Interesting use of color here - why the white pillar? The description is similar to the description of Honor's perpendicularity that Dalinar summoned at the end of OB (to be fair, they're both described as white pillars, which isn't exactly a spectacularly detailed description, but still), but I don't know if that's what Hoid is actually alluding to or not. Also, why would you need Honor's perpendicularity to ascend to Cultivation?

Except, the allusion is to the fact that Bondsmiths can do it, and this can be used for specific purposes. The answer to that would of course depend on whether the ability to manifest Honor's perpendicularity was a thing Dalinar could do because of the special circumstances involved with Honor's remnants and the Stormfather. Even if it was, that particular ability could be achieved by other Bondsmiths, just not necessarily in that manner, or by those circumstances.

Spoiler

That can’t be natural, can it? Shallan thought. Is he Lightweaving? Yet she saw no Stormlight. There was something more … organic about what he did. She couldn’t be completely certain it was supernatural.

“As always, Mishim was hatching a scheme. She loathed being hung in the sky each night, far from the delights of the world below, and the pleasures that only mortals know.

As always, Cultivation was using her Futuresight and her intent/motivation to see how best she could... well, cultivate. Her intent dictates that she constantly be doing that - constantly be looking to cultivate. Especially after holding the Shard for as long as she has, she would be reaching for some Preservation or Ruin levels of singlemindedness. Unlike Honor and Odium, she rarely makes an active play in events, preferring quiet nudges that may yield results favourable to her sometime in the far future. To mortal eyes, this isn't always apparent, her changes may not always be individually beneficial even, and because she uses the Nightwatcher as a substitute, she is culturally characterized with the attributes "loathes her duty" and "lazy". Another element at play here is that it was Honor that was pro-humanity, while Cultivation's own feelings towards them can, at best, be described as lukewarm.

Spoiler

The next night, Mishim again passed Queen Tsa in her tower. ‘It is a pity,’ Mishim said, ‘that you cannot see the constellations from up close. For they are truly beautiful gemstones, shaped by the finest of gem cutters.’

“ ‘It is a pity,’ Tsa said. ‘But all know that the eyes of a mortal would burn to see such a lofty sight.’

Take this from the perspective of a Shard - for whom looking at all of this in the physical would be trivial. Even Odium, who - unlike Cultivation - is actually trapped, can show Venli visions of Roshar from space, implying that is a perspective a Shard could see through if they so wanted.

Also, yes, if you looked at Stars up close in mortal form, you would truly burn away from the heat of it.

Another thing is that Stormlight infused Gemstones glow, and that perfectly cut Stormlight infused Gemstones would glow for a long time. So yes, without explaining the deep physics of everything, in a story, to say that the Stars are gemstones cut by the finest of gem cutters wouldn't be exactly be an inaccurate metaphor.

Spoiler

“On the next night, Mishim tried again. ‘It is a pity,’ she said, ‘that you cannot converse with the starspren, as they tell delightsome stories.’

“ ‘It is a pity,’ Tsa agreed. ‘But everyone knows that the language of the heavens would drive a mortal mad.’

Take the Heavens here, to be a state that you attain be Ascending. Yes, the sheer amount of information you would parse then would drive you mad in your non-ascended state. Moreover, as a scholar of Realmatics, Queen Tsa would know this.

No clue what the Starspren mean though.

Spoiler

“The next night, Mishim tried a third time. ‘It is a pity that you cannot see the beauty of your kingdom from above. For the pillars and domes of your city are radiant.’

“ ‘It is a pity,’ Tsa agreed. ‘But those sights are meant for the great ones of heaven, and to behold them myself would be blasphemous.’ ”

Whatever these towers represent, investiture is definitely a big part of them.

Or it could be taken figuratively in a different manner - the societal pillars and domes of that city could literally hold membership with the Knights Radiant - they could literally be Surgebinders, and thus Radiant.

Spoiler

Wit dropped another powder into the brazier, bringing up yellow-gold smoke. By now, dozens of people had gathered to watch. He swept his hands to the sides, sending the smoke spraying out in a flat plane. Then it crept upward again in lines—forming towers. A city?

He continued to swirl with one hand, drawing the green smoke up into a ring that—with a thrust of his hand—he sent spinning across the top of the yellow-golden city. It was remarkable, and Shallan found her jaw dropping. This was an image that lived. Wit glanced to the side, where he’d put his pack. He started, as if surprised. Shallan cocked her head as he quickly recovered, jumping back into the story so fast that it was easy to miss his lapse.

The Yellow-Gold smoke is interesting, as Yellow-Gold is the color of Bondsmiths. The green involved could imply this is a Nightwatcher Bondsmith.

Spoiler

But now, as he spoke, he searched the audience with careful eyes.

“Mishim,” he said, “was not finished. The queen was pious, but the moon was crafty. I will leave it to you to decide which is the more powerful.

The Queen was Pious, which is a Bondsmith trait.

And the Shard of Cultivation, or the Nightwatcher herself, is described as crafty. Also not an inaccurate descriptor.

Spoiler

The fourth night, as Mishim passed the queen, she tried a different ploy.

“ ‘Yes,’ Mishim said, ‘your city is grand, as only a god can see from above. That is why it is so, so sad that one of the towers has a flawed roof.’ ”

Wit swept to the side, destroying the lines of smoke that made up the city. He let the smoke dwindle, the powders he’d thrown running out, all save the line of green.

‘ What? ’ Tsa said. ‘A flawed tower? Which one? ’

“ ‘It is but a minor blemish,’ Mishim said. ‘Do not let it worry you. I appreciate the effort your craftsmen, however incompetent, put into their work.’ She continued on her way, but knew that she had trapped the queen.

“Indeed, on the next night, the beautiful queen stood waiting on her balcony. ‘Great One of the Heavens!’ Tsa called. ‘We have inspected the roofs, and cannot find the imperfection! Please, please tell me which tower it is, so I can break it down.’

“ ‘I cannot say,’ Mishim said. ‘To be mortal is to be flawed; it is not right to expect perfection of you.’

“This only made the queen more worried.

They're trying to achieve something by Applied Realmatic Theory, but something is missing. They're missing a clue. Something in their equations is wrong. And here they try to convince a Shard to help them.

Spoiler

On the next night, she asked, ‘Great One of the Sky, is there a way that I could visit the heavens? I will close my ears to the stories of the starspren and turn my eyes away from the constellations. I would look only upon the flawed works of my people, not the sights meant for you, so that I may see with my own eyes what must be fixed.’

“ ‘It is a forbidden thing that you ask,’ Mishim said, ‘for we would have to trade places, and hope that Nomon does not notice.’ She said it with much glee, though hidden, for this request was the very thing she desired.

“ ‘I will feign that I am you,’ Tsa promised. ‘And I will do all that you do. We will switch back once I am done, and Nomon will never know.’ ”

Wit grinned broadly. “And so, the moon and the woman traded places.”

Queen Tsa asks to ascend - to pick up enough of the Shard to be capable of achieving what she wants to.

Whether this is something Cultivation also secretly wants to come about, or whether this is really Queen Tsa tricking Cultivation is - atleast according to me - a question the story does not have an answer to.

Spoiler

His raw enthusiasm for the story was infectious, and Shallan found herself smiling.

They were at war, the city was falling, but all she wanted to do was listen to the end of this story.

Wit used powders to send up four different smoke lines—blue, yellow, green, and intense orange. He swirled them together in a transfixing vortex of hues.

This is probably over analysing (well, technically so is the entirety of this post :P), but why the Orange? Why a random fourth color? 

I have only one unlikely conjecture - Odium does appear as the entire spectrum of Yellow to Dalinar in one of the Visions, so the Orange could be him. The fact that the word intense is mentioned could be indicative that the Orange represents something related to Odium, if not directly Odium.

Spoiler

And as he worked, his blue eyes fell on Shallan. They narrowed, and his smile became sly. He just recognized me, she realized. I’m still wearing Veil’s face. But how … how did he know?

When he finished his swirling colors, the moon had become white, and the single straight tower he made by swiping up in the smoke was instead pale green. “Mishim came down among the mortals,” he proclaimed, “and Tsa climbed the heavens to sit in the place of the moon!

The Shard is temporarily passed from one vessel to another.

Or, the Nightwatcher and her Bondsmith somehow swap places. No clue if this is even possible, although theoretically this could be achieved by rewiring one physical body from one Cognitive and Spiritual aspect onto a different Cognitive and Spiritual aspect. Probably unlikely, but not impossible.

Spoiler

Mishim spent the remaining hours of the night drinking, and courting, and dancing, and singing, and doing all the things she had watched from afar. She lived frantically during her few hours of freedom.

hmmm. So after what was ages, Cultivation's vessel, got a chance to be not a Vessel. Of course, she enjoyed however she could.

Or the Nightwatcher is enjoying being mortal.

Spoiler

“In fact, she was so captivated that she forgot to return, and was shocked by the dawning of sunlight! She hurriedly climbed to the queen’s high tower, but Tsa had already set, and the night had passed.

“Mishim now knew not only the delights of mortality, but the anxiety as well. She passed the day in great disquiet, knowing that Tsa would be trapped with her wise sister and solemn brother, spending the day in the place where moons rest. When night again came, Mishim hid inside the tower, expecting that Salas would call out and chide her for her appetites. Yet Salas passed without comment.

“Surely, when Nomon rose, he would lash out against her foolishness. Yet Nomon passed without comment. Finally, Tsa rose in the sky, and Mishim called to her. ‘Queen Tsa, mortal, what has happened? My siblings did not call to me. Did you somehow go undiscovered?’

I do not know what this part of the story means. The Shardic level was working better so far. But the superspren level makes a better fit from this point on.  I don't quite know the exact mechanics/events this story is alluding to.

Spoiler

“ ‘No,’ Tsa replied. ‘Your siblings knew me as an impostor immediately.’

“ ‘Then let us trade places quickly!’ Mishim said. ‘So that I may tell them lies and placate them.’

“ ‘They are placated already,’ Tsa said. ‘They think I am delightful. We spent the daylight hours feasting.’

“ ‘Feasting?’ Her siblings had never feasted with her before. “ ‘We sang sweet songs together.’

“ ‘Songs?’ Her siblings had never sung with her before.

“ ‘It is truly wonderful up here,’ Tsa said. ‘The starspren tell amazing tales, as you promised, and the gemstone constellations are grand from up close.’

“ ‘Yes. I love those stories, and those sights.’ “ ‘I think,’ Tsa said, ‘that I might stay.’

” Wit let the smoke fail until only a single line of green remained. It shrank down, dwindling, almost out. When he spoke, his voice was soft.

“Mishim,” he said, “now knew another mortal emotion. Loss.

“The moon began to panic! She thought of her grand view from up so high, where she could see all lands and enjoy-if from afar- their art, buildings, and songs! She remembered the kindness of Nomon and the thoughtfulness of Salas!"

There's something happening here and I don't quite know what. It is however interesting to note the qualities that are associated with each moon - kindness to Nomon (Honor/Stormfather), and thoughtfulness to Salas (Odium/Sibling/BAM).

Spoiler

Wit made a swirl of white smoke, and pushed it slowly to his left, the new moon Tsa close to setting.

It's interesting to know that the color of Tsa is White, as opposed to the Green of Mishim, Blue of Nomon, and Violet of Salas. White is the one color common to all Radiants.

Spoiler

“ ‘Wait!’ Mishim said. ‘Wait, Tsa! Your word is broken! You spoke to the starspren and gazed upon the constellations!’ ”

Wit caught the smoke ring with one hand, somehow making it stay, swirling in one place.

“ ‘Nomon said that I could,’ Tsa explained. ‘And I was not harmed.’

“ ‘You broke your word nonetheless!’ Mishim cried. ‘You must come back to earth, mortal, for our bargain is at an end!’ ”

Wit let the ring hang there.

Then vanish.

“To Mishim’s eternal relief, Tsa relented. The queen climbed back down into her tower, and Mishim scrambled up into the heavens. With great pleasure, she sank toward the horizon.

Queen Tsa broke her word. Not very honourable. It is also interesting that that idea - the idea of her breaking her Oaths, is what gets Tsa to relent. This could be a cultural folk based decision in the story if it is not alluding to anything. But it fits this subtext surprisingly well.

Spoiler

Though just before she set, Mishim heard a song.”

Roshar does have a significant focus on the ability to "hear" spiritual ideals, like the Rhythms. In that vein, this is interesting.

Spoiler

Oddly, Wit added a small line of blue smoke to the brazier.

Blue (and White) have so far been associated with Honor. So this is interesting.

Spoiler

“It was a song of laughter, of beauty. A song Mishim had never heard! It took her long to understand that song, until months later, she passed in the sky at night and saw the queen in the tower again. Holding a child with skin that was faintly blue.

The first Siah? It is interesting that this was a new song.

Spoiler

“They did not speak, but Mishim knew. The queen had tricked her. Tsa had wanted to spend one day in the heavens, to know Nomon for a night.

This is... I already laid out my feelings on this. I don't quite think that Queen Tsa could have tricked Cultivation herself, and this would be a ploy by Cultivation to make it seem like this, but in actuality, the fact is that some of her goals are also being achieved. These goals could be anything ranging from the creation of the Siah so that they could fulfill some specific purpose in the future, to something like letting go of her Shard for a while to potentially delay or decrease the overpowering effect that it's intent could be having in her consciousness. Maybe both, and more. I also don't know what "loss" means to Cultivation, save perhaps a kind of nostalgia on what she had been a long while ago - an understanding that a life like this with Tanavast is what she gave up all those millenia ago.

If however, the Nightwatcher is the one in question, then this kind of makes better sense? Especially the parts where she didn't know mortal life, or the fact that she couldn't know loss. Cultivation would have allowed it in this case because she would have thought it would ultimately be better for the Nightwatcher to understand mortal existence, particularly if she was being trained as an heir to that Shard someday. This could make even more sense if Tsa was a Nightwatcher Bondsmith, and pulled something akin to what Dalinar managed at the Battle of Thaylen City, but different by circumstance, skill, and motive.

Spoiler

She had given birth to a son with pale blue skin, the color of Nomon himself. A son born of the gods, who would lead her people to glory. A son who bore the mantle of the heavens. “And that is why to this day, the people of Natanatan have skin of a faintly blue shade. And it is why Mishim, though still crafty, has never again left her place.

A Child whose mother ascended while she was potentially pregnant, or something else was done by Tsa with her expanded understanding, capabilities, and perhaps most importantly, Honor's (maybe via Stormfather) investiture. Maybe the creation of a certain kind of Slivers was the point of the whole endeavor, or maybe the Siah hold a secret in their genetics/existence that Tsa was looking for all along. (by secret, I don't necessarily mean lore, but rather the fruit of Tsa's endeavors - art of a kind)

Spoiler

Most importantly, it is the story of how the moon came to know the one thing that before, only mortals had known. Loss.” The last line of blue smoke dwindled, then went out.

Read above on what I feel about this.

So... yeah. Had to get this out, though it would have been fun if I could have gotten to this before the Myths of Roshar Shardcasts.

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Woah.

This totally sounds plausible! And this story IS coming from Hoid, he would be one of the most knowledgeable and clever non-shardic creatures on shardic matters, so it makes sense that he'd both know this information (or be capable of theorizing it) and be skilled at making it into a story to tell as a disguised explanation of historic, shardic, events. I'm most curious about the orange now... We don't even know of a SHARD with orange color, much less something of Rosharan origin with orange color (except the order of Stonewards, with their Topaz gem association??) so I'm baffled.

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13 hours ago, Halyo_Alex said:

I'm most curious about the orange now... We don't even know of a SHARD with orange color

Cosmere spoilers

Spoiler

Do we know Autonomy's color?  If not, maybe's it's orange?  Orange comes in when the 'moon' switches places, so maybe it's also part of Autonomy's long game?

I normally would think the story is just a story, but this is Hoid telling it...so I agree with you that it means more than first meets the eye.  Great write up.

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I definitely think this holds water. We know that Hoid’s other OB story has deep ties to history. “The girl who looked up” is the story of the first desolation. I suspect all of his stories have a tie to history and this is a solid theory to explain how this one ties to history. 

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Tsa and Mishims swap feels like it uses the Fused body inhabiting mechanic.

And the only mention of orange was in the TWoK prologue IIRC. With the mixed blood.

Edited by ScavellTane
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I dunno.  Not to rain on anybody's parade, but it kind of seems like you're trying to reach for analogies that just aren't supported.  I mean, sure, that's one possible interpretation, and I agree that the moons and their colors have something to do with the Shards, but I'd hesitate to draw too close a parallel.  There isn't a strong correlation between Hoid's other stories and any literal events we have evidence for, so there's no reason to take this one too literally, either.

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25 minutes ago, galendo said:

I dunno.  Not to rain on anybody's parade, but it kind of seems like you're trying to reach for analogies that just aren't supported.  I mean, sure, that's one possible interpretation, and I agree that the moons and their colors have something to do with the Shards, but I'd hesitate to draw too close a parallel.  There isn't a strong correlation between Hoid's other stories and any literal events we have evidence for, so there's no reason to take this one too literally, either.

Hoid's stories - especially ones that have lightweaving involved - have almost always been allusions, though we don't know which specific events he's alluding to all the time.

It's sort of a prerogative to the illusary capabilities of Lightweaving and the nature of lies - art needs truth, but it also needs to interpret it. All of his stories would be anchored in (or reflective of) something true and relevant. All he does is bring it forth, and let his audience draw what meaning from it they may. There's just enough creativity involved for it to be a lie, and yet there is always truth somewhere in it.

Now, the conclusions I'm drawing from the story - those can be wrong. But the story is based on something though - and it seems hard to accept the literal involvement of the moons themselves.

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I guess I'm just saying that there's a lot of fine-grained interpretation going on in the original post, and most of it seems...unsupported?  Unsupportable?  Impossible to really nail down one way or another.  For instance,

Quote

The Yellow-Gold smoke is interesting, as Yellow-Gold is the color of Bondsmiths.

But yellow-gold is also the color of Odium.  So does the yellow-gold smoke refer to the Bondsmiths or to Odium?

Or for another example,

Quote

Whatever these towers represent, investiture is definitely a big part of them.

I have no idea how you even reach that conclusion, other than by a very loose association with the word "radiant".  There is no reason, as far as I can tell, to suppose that the towers represent anything concrete rather than a general Tower of Babel- or Icarus-type allusion about the dangers of pride, perfection, and reaching beyond one's grasp.

It just seems to me that you're building a complete house of cards and thinking that the structure is much more secure than it actually is.

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2 hours ago, galendo said:

I guess I'm just saying that there's a lot of fine-grained interpretation going on in the original post, and most of it seems...unsupported?  Unsupportable?  Impossible to really nail down one way or another.

This is true. Though it is important to note that I only give possible interpretations, not the exact correct one. The only thing I'm fairly confident in is that it's a story of someone temporarily ascending for a specific purpose.

1 hour ago, galendo said:

But yellow-gold is also the color of Odium.  So does the yellow-gold smoke refer to the Bondsmiths or to Odium?

Yellow-Gold is not the color of Odium. His color is intense Yellow-White, intense enough to burn you out. Intense enough that Voidlight straight up appears appears Stygian Blue. On only one instance does he appear as anything else - in the Vision where he gives Dalinar the Passion speech, iirc. And that instance is debatable, because it's a spiritual vision where he we know he's not being fully honest with even himself.

This situation is similar to Dustbringers - there, the Red isn't caused by co-option/corruption. Similarly, the Yellow-Gold of Bondsmiths isn't indicative of Odium.

It's a situation where you have two very similar colors that could point in one direction or another, and the details would dictate which way they go. The lack of a mention of intensity, and the presence of Yellow-Gold as opposed to Pale Yellow is what makes me think Bondsmiths as opposed to Odium.

1 hour ago, galendo said:

I have no idea how you even reach that conclusion, other than by a very loose association with the word "radiant".  There is no reason, as far as I can tell, to suppose that the towers represent anything concrete rather than a general Tower of Babel- or Icarus-type allusion about the dangers of pride, perfection, and reaching beyond one's grasp.

This is also fair, and I don't clearly explain my entire thought process for Tower -> Investiture Construct in the post itself.

Once I took the Heavens and Land as allusion to the Realms (Heavens being a relation to the Spiritual, and Land being Cognitive/Physical. We don't technically know the nature of the Spiritual, yes, but what we do know makes it fair to say that it exists very differently to Shadesmar and the Physical.) The next thing would be to look at the towers, and see what they would represent. They probably aren't literal towers, so what do they allude to? And the idea that they might be trying to convey is of some endeavor that the Natan people, under Tsa, were undertaking. Something that they would be well known for, and Wit does say that in this time Natanatan was a place of great culture.

This endeavor would also need to be of a kind that could be perfected by ascension - requiring the kind of knowledge of Realmatics that a Shard would instinctively have. 

The other thing to keep in mind is the nature of getting invested. In the Cosmere, the difference between a regular person and someone who has ascended is the difference in the magnitude of power that courses through them. Someone who is an Allomancer burning a metal, say, or a Surgebinder holding Stomrlight, is closer to the state of ascension than a normal person. True, it takes a lot more to ascend, but the fact remains that by the very virtue of having investiture coursing through them, they are closer to ascending than regular people. In other words, having investiture pushes you towards the heavens, even though you are still firmly grounded on land.

What we have so far is that the Towers are an allusion to an endeavor that requires certain Realmatic knowledge which would come naturally with ascension. The fact that the Tower is what is used is indicative of the nature of the endeavor - something that approaches the domain of divinity.

Combine this with the word Radiant used to describe it, which on Roshar would be a word you would use to describe anything that uses the investiture if Stormlight inherently. And the fact that "Mishim" says they were trying to impinge on her domain, that is what pushes me towards Fabrials, or some other kind of invested construct if that kind.

Yes, this is longwinded, farfetched. But none of those correlations are infeasible.

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On 9/5/2019 at 10:26 PM, TheFoxQR said:

Except, the allusion is to the fact that Bondsmiths can do it, and this can be used for specific purposes

Only Dalinar can open a perpendicularity.  No other bondsmith has ever had that power(that we know of).

On 9/5/2019 at 10:26 PM, TheFoxQR said:

Whatever these towers represent, investiture is definitely a big part of them.

Or it could be taken figuratively in a different manner - the societal pillars and domes of that city could literally hold membership with the Knights Radiant - they could literally be Surgebinders, and thus Radiant.

Perhaps Radaints just helped build them?  Also the Natan people were famous for their architecture.  It is believed that the Natan people built huge domes and towers(like in stormseat).

On 9/5/2019 at 10:26 PM, TheFoxQR said:

The Yellow-Gold smoke is interesting, as Yellow-Gold is the color of Bondsmiths

What?

On 9/5/2019 at 10:26 PM, TheFoxQR said:

They're trying to achieve something by Applied Realmatic Theory, but something is missing. They're missing a clue. Something in their equations is wrong. And here they try to convince a Shard to help them.

I find this much more likely a reference to a break in a spirit web if I believed this analysis(which I don't but I still think it interesting).

On 9/5/2019 at 10:26 PM, TheFoxQR said:

I have only one unlikely conjecture - Odium does appear as the entire spectrum of Yellow to Dalinar in one of the Visions, so the Orange could be him. The fact that the word intense is mentioned could be indicative that the Orange represents something related to Odium, if not directly Odium.

Orange is also associated with kharbranth and healers.  Pretty sure Hoid is being artsy here.

On 9/5/2019 at 10:26 PM, TheFoxQR said:

Or, the Nightwatcher and her Bondsmith somehow swap places. No clue if this is even possible, although theoretically this could be achieved by rewiring one physical body from one Cognitive and Spiritual aspect onto a different Cognitive and Spiritual aspect. Probably unlikely, but not impossible.

This seems basically impossible.

On 9/5/2019 at 10:26 PM, TheFoxQR said:

There's something happening here and I don't quite know what. It is however interesting to note the qualities that are associated with each moon - kindness to Nomon (Honor/Stormfather), and thoughtfulness to Salas (Odium/Sibling/BAM).

Um.  I don't realy get that vibe from(I destroy cities all the time).

On 9/5/2019 at 10:26 PM, TheFoxQR said:

Blue (and White) have so far been associated with Honor. So this is interesting.

Or just the color of the Natan people's skin.

On 9/5/2019 at 10:26 PM, TheFoxQR said:

The first Siah? It is interesting that this was a new song.

The first Natan with blue skin(which they do have from breading with Siah Aimians).

On 9/7/2019 at 1:36 AM, galendo said:

I dunno.  Not to rain on anybody's parade, but it kind of seems like you're trying to reach for analogies that just aren't supported.  I mean, sure, that's one possible interpretation, and I agree that the moons and their colors have something to do with the Shards, but I'd hesitate to draw too close a parallel.  There isn't a strong correlation between Hoid's other stories and any literal events we have evidence for, so there's no reason to take this one too literally, either.

Agreed

On 9/7/2019 at 2:09 AM, TheFoxQR said:

Hoid's stories - especially ones that have lightweaving involved - have almost always been allusions, though we don't know which specific events he's alluding to all the time.

They are not always allusions to events though.  Sometimes they allude to ideas(Fleet = not giving up).

On 9/7/2019 at 2:09 AM, TheFoxQR said:

Now, the conclusions I'm drawing from the story - those can be wrong. But the story is based on something though - and it seems hard to accept the literal involvement of the moons themselves.

The moons on Roshar are odd(we have WoB confirmation) and while I doubt a moon literally got it on with a human I still think that your conclusions are wildly inaccurate.  Perhaps the Natan queen had a good reason for wanting Aimian blood in the royal line for example and went off into the sky(a far away land) in order to spend the night with someone she was not supposed to.  No shards have to be involved.

On 9/6/2019 at 4:54 PM, Truthwatcher_17.5 said:

I definitely think this holds water. We know that Hoid’s other OB story has deep ties to history. “The girl who looked up” is the story of the first desolation. I suspect all of his stories have a tie to history and this is a solid theory to explain how this one ties to history. 

Read above.

On 9/6/2019 at 9:33 PM, ScavellTane said:

Tsa and Mishims swap feels like it uses the Fused body inhabiting mechanic.

Body snatching seems a bit different then what we are talking about here.

On 9/7/2019 at 1:59 PM, TheFoxQR said:

This is true. Though it is important to note that I only give possible interpretations, not the exact correct one. The only thing I'm fairly confident in is that it's a story of someone temporarily ascending for a specific purpose.

I don't think literal assertion is necessary for this story to work.  Remember if Aimia is still active then Honor is already dead and Odium is still very much restrained(just like BAM).  Only Cultivation can do much of anything and she is in hiding throughout the era of solitude.  I don't see her becoming human during a war just for a night on the town.

 

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@TheFoxQR, well thought out. I still do not get the third moon, and if it is odium or another Shard, but I agree with the overall interpretation. I also agree that the Bondsmiths are involved, but otherwise do not think the Spren are required to be part of this particular Story. 

I think you are right about Queen Tsa ascending, but was she a Bondsmith? Having a child with Nomon would but a new twist on Bonding, and also describe why Honor had less power to fight of Odium.

I also agree that this is a big hint about Amians and their importance to the overall story and fight with Odium. "End of worlds" kind of level.

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