Confused

Perpendicularities’ Role in the Cosmere

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Perpendicularities IMO are the cosmere’s most important post-Shattering structural element. They spike the Realms together. They are the conduits through which massive amounts of Investiture pass. They are a critical part of a Major Shardworld’s system of recycling Investiture. They make Worldhopping possible.

Here I analyze and interpret some perpendicularity WoBs. (I edited these WoBs to focus on the relevant parts). I start with perpendicularity basics. I then ask (and try to answer) about a dozen questions on perpendicularities, their properties, and their role in the cosmere.

PERPENDICULARITY BASICS

What a Perpendicularity Is

To confirm what you all know, here’s a few WoBs defining what a perpendicularity is:

Quote

“Let's just say that large concentrations of Investiture will cause a puncture through the spiritual realm straight to the physical realm....” [OdysseyCon 2016 (April 8, 2016).]

“What happens with a perpendicularity is, where there is a massive collection of Investiture, it pulls a conduit through.... [] A huge concentration of Investiture will warp the realms.” [Arcanum Unbounded release party (Nov. 22, 2016).]

“[O]ne surefire way to create a perpendicularity is a massive collection of Investiture in the Cognitive or mostly Physical realm. But Cognitive’s weird, doesn't always work the right way. But there are ways to do it that way too.” [(Salt Lake City signing (Dec. 16, 2017).]

I believe “perpendicularity” refers to the conduit a massive Investiture concentration creates. IMO, the word does not refer to the Investiture that flows through the conduit.

Perpendicularities need not be permanent. If Investiture continues to flow through the conduit, the perpendicularity remains even if the Vessel dies. But “there are ways that a perpendicularity could vanish.” Brandon doesn’t describe those ways.

Perpendicularity Formation

Relevant WoBs:

Quote

Shardpools, as they are called, are a natural effect of a Shard spending a lot of time on a world. [/r/books AMA 2015 (June 24, 2015).]

Quote

Argent

The more a Shard stays on a world--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Argent

--the Investiture kind of seeps--

Brandon Sanderson

It does.....

Argent

Can a Shard choose to just instantly invest in a place?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, they just need to start making some stuff.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing (Dec. 6, 2016)

These WoBs show a slow way and a fast way to make a perpendicularity:

1. A Shard can “stay” on a planet and start to seep Investiture onto that planet’s Physical Realm location. This stalactite perpendicularity allows the Investiture to integrate slowly into the Physical Realm as matter or energy. I speculate “stay” means the Vessel’s mind is focused on that Physical Realm location.

I also speculate some minimum amount of Investiture, a critical mass slowly collecting in the Physical Realm, causes the Spiritual Realm to puncture. Does every Shard’s Investiture have the same critical mass before a perpendicularity forms? If Investiture is the same except for each Shard’s “spin or magnetism,” the critical mass for “seeping” perpendicularities should be a constant. But who knows... This assumes, of course, we can measure Investiture, something Brandon’s team has supposedly been working on but has yet to share.

2. Or a Shard can instantaneously Invest a Physical Realm location. The Shard must use this massive Investiture infusion “to start making some stuff.” Presumably any unused Investiture would find its way back to the Spiritual Realm rather than integrating with the Physical Realm as matter or energy. Some of this Investiture could also stay manifest in the Physical Realm.

Realmic Compression

Perpendicularities push the Realms closer to one another: You can see into the Spiritual Realm through a perpendicularity. The Cognitive emptiness of space makes Worldhopping possible, but the Cognitive Realm’s proximity at perpendicularities gives Worldhoppers easy access. I suggest possible explanations for Realmic compression after quoting the relevant portions of these WoBs:

Quote

[Investiture] draws the three Realms together. So it's got like-- Imagine a gravitational pull piercing Realms.... [(Salt Lake City signing (Dec. 16, 2017).]

Quote

Brandon Sanderson

Let's just say that large concentrations of Investiture will cause a puncture through the spiritual realm straight to the physical realm....

Questioner # 2

Now that's a very interesting analogy you just made, you said "punctured" almost as though it were a spike.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, yes, that was intentional.

[OdysseyCon 2016 (April 8, 2016).]

Two possible (and not mutually exclusive) causes of Realmic compression:

1. “Puncturing” or “spiking” will draw the punctured barrier after it. Imagine a tack going through paper. You see the perforated edges of the paper following the tack through to the other side. In this way the Spiritual and Cognitive Realms move closer to the Physical Realm, the repository of that Investiture.

2. OR maybe the Cognitive Realm collapses a bit at a perpendicularity, drawing the other two Realms closer together. My reasoning: Space and location are irrelevant in the Spiritual Realm. (Brandon applies this rule to Dalinar’s perpendicularity.) If space is irrelevant there, maybe the Spiritual Realm can’t be “moved” except right at the place the Investiture punctures it. And to human perception, the Physical Realm itself has defined limits. Maybe perpendicularities compress the Cognitive Realm alone, squeezing the Realmic sandwich at that spot?

FWIW, when I first read Brandon I conceived the three Realms as alternate “phases” of the same reality, different aspects. The idea the Cognitive Realm comprises physical space people can walk through still boggles me.

QUESTIONS AND SPECULATIONS

Massive Investiture concentrations cause perpendicularities and Realmic compression, but that’s about all we know. The rest are questions and speculations.

What Causes Investiture to Concentrate in the Physical Realm?

IMO, the Spiritual Realm doesn’t spontaneously seep massive amounts of Investiture onto some Physical Realm location. There are no “accidental” perpendicularities (excluding the one near Threnody). Shards choose to “stay” or instantaneously Invest there. They either drip Investiture through the equivalent of an intravenous tube or inject the Investiture all at once. In both cases Shards willfully make their perpendicularities.

Perpendicularities are why there are Major Shardworlds. They are the residue of the Shards’ massive post-Shattering Investiture in planets. This Investiture made the Major Shardworlds more magical – and more unbalanced. Adonalsium wove the cosmere tapestry with an eye towards the whole, but the Shards didn’t. They disrupted Adonalsium’s vision and remade the Major Shardworlds to suit themselves and their Investiture. Perpendicularities brought magic to mortals.

Does Investiture Flow Only Through Perpendicularities?

No. Perpendicularities are reserved for massive amounts of Investiture collecting in the Physical Realm (usually). Investiture also flows from the Spiritual Realm to fuel magic systems or to manifest in gaseous form. Perpendicularities are only one form of Investiture seepage into the Physical Realm.

Cultivation’s perpendicularity, for example, is in the Horneater mountains. Yet the Nightwatcher’s Valley fills with gaseous Cultivation-light. Preservation’s mists permeate the Final Empire, though the Well of Ascension lies hidden beneath Kredik Shaw. These gaseous Investitures don’t appear to flow directly through a perpendicularity.

Did Adonalsium Have a Perpendicularity?

I think Adonalsium did have a perpendicularity – the one on Yolen that got him killed. I speculate Adonalsium created the entire Physical Realm through this perpendicularity. I do not believe he needed to create planets with their own perpendicularities. Adonalsium was the entire cosmere by himself, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. He could change his Physical Realm “body” at will without needing to inject massive amounts of a particular Investiture “flavor” like the Shards did.

Example: Roshar’s pre-Shattering ecology already depended on Stormlight’s precursor to energize its life cycle. But lesser amounts of that Investiture filled the pre-Shattering highstorms – maybe not enough Investiture concentration to form a perpendicularity. The Parsh Rider of Storms pales in Investiture concentration compared with the Tanavast-fortified Stormfather. Even the metaphor of their names shows this: The Parsh great spren “rode” the storms. The human Stormfather commands them (though with still-limited powers).

Even pre-Shattering planets have inherent Investiture. As with Cultivation-light and the mists, those Investitures somehow cycle through those planets’ systems without a perpendicularity. Otherwise every planet would have a perpendicularity, and Khriss says they don’t.

What Happens to the Investiture that Makes the Perpendicularity?

Brandon says the Shards that form “instantaneous” perpendicularities “just need to start making some stuff.” Thermodynamics’ first law applies to this Investiture. It must be converted into matter or energy or some other Physical Realm manifestation. The only difference between this and the “seeping” perpendicularities is the rate of thermodynamic conversion.

Can Shards Change Their Perpendicularity?

Yes, with difficulty. Brandon says, “Once you've got a Perpendicularity, you are starting – That's trouble for going other places.” Presumably the massive Physical Realm Investiture concentration ties the Shard to the planet. Maybe a Shard like Odium wouldn’t scruple to destroy a planet (Roshar) to recover his Investiture and leave. Most Shards I suspect have some appreciation for the people and things they’ve Invested in over the millennia. I also suspect Shard divestment from a planet requires vast amounts of Investiture to execute.

Which Shards Have “Seeping” vs. “Instantaneous” Perpendicularities?

Except for Ruin and Preservation, it’s hard to know. Investiture continues to flow through all perpendicularities including the “instantaneous” ones. Ruin and Preservation created Scadrial in a cosmere moment, but Investiture still condensed in the Pits of Hathsin and Well of Ascension afterwards. Investiture manifests in the Physical Realm through perpendicularities regardless of how they were created. They are an essential part of a Major Shardworld’s “Investiture cycle.” Without perpendicularities, pre-Shattering planetary plumbing might flood trying to handle the new Investiture infusion.

Other than Scadrial (and Dalinar’s), I think the clearest examples of “instantaneous” perpendicularities are Autonomy’s Avatars. I believe Autonomy creates these perpendicularities when they Invest their Avatars including Patji. Autonomy’s assigned Investiture is already present (I believe in the form of matter with the same “spin”); and Autonomy further Invests this “gathering” of Investiture to give it consciousness. The additional Investiture IMO passes the “critical mass” threshold and creates the perpendicularity. But all of this is speculation.

Is a Perpendicularity’s Size Related to How Much A Shard Invests There?

I don’t think so. Kelsier and other prisoners had to crawl through narrow spaces in the Pits to find atium geodes. Yet through that perpendicularity Ruin created half a world.

Why Do Different States of Investiture Collect in Different Perpendicularities?

These differences seem to relate to the Shard, the planet, and the Vessel. Shards can manifest in the Physical Realm in any state and do. But these different Investiture states do not all flow from a perpendicularity, as we see with Cultivation-light and the mists. It’s unclear why Shards manifest in their perpendicularities as different Investiture states.

Brandon describes the general causes of Investiture state differentiation:

Quote

In my head it's just like when some of that power permeates, some of it distills, just like water. There's some water in the air, there's some that freezes: that's temperature. But it's not always temperature whether it's in the air, or whether it's falling. Imagine a Spiritual version of humidity, that is influenced by what's happening on the Spiritual Realm and the Cognitive, and that's what you'll get.

Manchester signing (Aug. 6, 2014)

I find that WoB vague and unhelpful, but there it is. Most perpendicularities hold liquid Investiture. The known exceptions are Ruin, Honor, and Autonomy. Atium collects in the Pits of Hathsin as solid Investiture. Stormlight’s gaseous Investiture fills Honor’s “moving” perpendicularity. Autonomy’s perpendicularity sits in Taldain’s Dayside sun. It presumably holds gaseous Investiture. We don’t know anything about Odium’s or Dominion’s perpendicularities.

Does Harmonium Condense in a New Perpendicularity?

Harmonium (ettmetal) is a different substance than either atium or lerasium. The Shards are now combined. My guess is Sazed formed a new perpendicularity when he re-shaped Scadrial, and harmonium condenses in that perpendicularity. Brandon says Scadrial’s cycle of Investiture leaves the Well and Pits empty “for now,” suggesting there may still be some uncombined Ruin and Preservation about.

ASIDE: Off topic, but why should Ruin and Preservation combine into Harmony with a new god metal just because the two Shards now have one Vessel? This is especially weird given the 180° difference between the Shards. I don’t think this is “resonance” given how opposite the Shards are. Just curious for your thoughts.

What’s Different About Dalinar’s Perpendicularity?

Brandon says Dalinar’s perpendicularity is “both the bug and the feature at the same time.” At least five things distinguish Dalinar’s from other perpendicularities:

1. It’s the only known perpendicularity to form without a massive Physical or Cognitive Realm collection of Investiture pulling it through the Realms. Dalinar plucked the Investiture directly from the Spiritual Realm by collapsing the Realms at Thaylen City.

2. It’s the only perpendicularity created by mortal action. (Dalinar’s still mortal even if he’s now a sliver. I ignore Elsecalling’s “mini-perpendicularity.”)

3. It’s the only “instantaneous” perpendicularity we’ve seen on-screen.

4. Dalinar’s is the only perpendicularity seen on-screen while filled with kinetic Investiture.

5. Dalinar’s and the Well of Ascension are the only two perpendicularities described from within the Cognitive Realm. Kaladin, Shallan, and Adolin see Dalinar’s. Kelsier sees the Well.

I’m not sure what conclusions we should draw from any of this. “Seeing” a column of Investiture spike through the Realms is pretty cool though.

Why Does Nightblood Collapse Some Perpendicularities But Not Others?

Quote

Questioner

What would happen if Nightblood was drawn inside of a perpendicularity?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on the perpendicularity. It has a good chance of collapsing it.

[Starsight Release Party (Nov. 26, 2019).]

A preliminary question: Is simply drawing Nightblood enough to start him eating Investiture? Doesn’t he feed on Investiture only to fulfill his command to “destroy evil”? What would Nightblood do if Vasher, for example, draws him and is the only person there? Maybe there’s a WoB I’m unaware of that addresses this. If there isn’t, I suggest Nightblood might not eat Investiture in any perpendicularity unless he first determines he must destroy evil.

Moving past that, I think the Physical Realm outlet for the perpendicularity matters. I can see Nightblood collapsing Honor’s “moving” perpendicularity but not the Pits of Hathsin. Even if Nightblood ate the atium, the Pits as conduit would remain. If Nightblood ate all the Stormlight, there’s nothing left to Honor’s perpendicularity.

CONCLUSION

Perpendicularities are strange and perplexing. That’s all I’ve got to say. What do you folks think?

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15 minutes ago, Confused said:

ASIDE: Off topic, but why should Ruin and Preservation combine into Harmony with a new god metal just because the two Shards now have one Vessel? This is especially weird given the 180° difference between the Shards. I don’t think this is “resonance” given how opposite the Shards are. Just curious for your thoughts.

They have actually become one shard.

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.)

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

 

18 minutes ago, Confused said:

Why Does Nightblood Collapse Some Perpendicularities But Not Others?

This WoB may be relevant

Quote

PhantomMonstrosity

Let's say some Mistborn jerk tosses Nightblood into the mists. What happens?

Brandon Sanderson

I suspect the mists would pull away from Nightblood, though he'd try to feed on them.

Steel Ministry report (Aug. 20, 2014)

Certain investiture would try and avoid being consumed by Nightblood.

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Has it been confirmed that Autonomy's Perpendicularity is in the sun?

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15 minutes ago, Dreamer said:

Has it been confirmed that Autonomy's Perpendicularity is in the sun?

No.  We had a big argument about this.

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2 hours ago, Karger said:

No.  We had a big argument about this.

Assuming no new WoBs since then

 

@Confused Autonomy's Investiture is distributed to Taldain in the form of light from the Dayside blue sun, which is pointed out by Khriss to be a simplified explanation of the process in the Arcanum Unbounded. Unless there's newer info on this, their Perpendicularity being located on the sun is just conjecture

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Just now, Dreamer said:

Assuming no new WoBs since then

I have been reading the new WoBs as they come out.  I do not recall having seen any that pertain.

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Leaving that aside, I really liked what you pointed out about Dalinar's Unification Perpendicularity, @Confused

It's a popular theory that Devotion's and Patji's Perpendicularities could be collapsed by Nightblood. Also that the Dor wouldn't pull away from Nightblood, being both dead and pressurized.

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1 hour ago, Dreamer said:

It's a popular theory that Devotion's and Patji's Perpendicularities could be collapsed by Nightblood. Also that the Dor wouldn't pull away from Nightblood, being both dead and pressurized.

Its intent might matter.  The Mists were largely not controlled by Preservation.

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On 4/1/2020 at 2:15 PM, Karger said:

They have actually become one shard.

Yes, I know. My question is, why should that have happened? It seems odd to me for the reasons stated.

On 4/1/2020 at 2:15 PM, Karger said:

Certain investiture would try and avoid being consumed by Nightblood.

Yes, but I read that WoB to refer specifically to the mists pulling away. Nightblood is filled with Ruin. Just like the mists pulled away from Vin when she wore Ruin’s earring, they'll pull away from any Ruin manifestation including Nightblood. Diametrical opposites.

10 hours ago, Dreamer said:

Autonomy's Investiture is distributed to Taldain in the form of light from the Dayside blue sun, which is pointed out by Khriss to be a simplified explanation of the process in the Arcanum Unbounded. Unless there's newer info on this, their Perpendicularity being located on the sun is just conjecture

When and where was this discussion? I know some of these questions have come up before, but I didn’t see this one. I’ll quote Khriss’ language and then give my reading:

Quote

For years we assumed that our Shard, Autonomy, had Invested only Dayside, through the sunlight itself. We know now it is not as simple as this, though the mechanism is best explained under those assumptions. The Investiture beats down from the sky...” (AU, “The Taldain System,” Kindle p. 369.)

First, I distinguish between Autonomy and their (likely) Avatar the Sand Lord. The Sand Lord will have their own perpendicularity on Taldain. My guess is that’s the blocked perpendicularity. But if Autonomy themselves “resides” anywhere, it is in the Dayside sun or someplace in a direct line with the sun. Khriss is definitive in saying the Investiture comes from the sky.

When Khriss says, “it is not as simple as this,” I think she means Autonomy Invests more than Dayside. I believe Autonomy’s Investiture falls into its oceans. Taldain’s water cycle causes that Investiture to circulate throughout Taldain, including Darkside. If you’ve read my Autonomy theories, you’ll know how important I think water is to Autonomy’s magic. Darkside may look lit by blacklight, but IMO its magic comes from Autonomy’s Investiture.

“The mechanism is best explained under those assumptions” because sunlight does carry the Investiture. Khriss’ initial mistake was not seeing how Investiture beating from the sky hits water as well as land. Having said all this, I agree it’s still conjecture.

Also, @Dreamer, why do you believe light carries Autonomy’s Investiture? I think heat carries it, not light. I think light carries Endowment’s Investiture to Nalthis.

And to anyone who may read this, my purpose in writing the OP was to spark discussion, not assert conclusions. Perpendicularities are very puzzling to me. I still hope you might find something new in my observations to comment on or lead you to your own ideas. If not, I’ll keep looking for other stuff to excite and entertain you! Stay safe and healthy, everyone.

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8 minutes ago, Confused said:

When and where was this discussion? I know some of these questions have come up before, but I didn’t see this one. I’ll quote Khriss’ language and then give my reading:

First, I distinguish between Autonomy and their (likely) Avatar the Sand Lord. The Sand Lord will have their own perpendicularity on Taldain. My guess is that’s the blocked perpendicularity. But if Autonomy themselves “resides” anywhere, it is in the Dayside sun or someplace in a direct line with the sun. Khriss is definitive in saying the Investiture comes from the sky.

When Khriss says, “it is not as simple as this,” I think she means Autonomy Invests more than Dayside. I believe Autonomy’s Investiture falls into its oceans. Taldain’s water cycle causes that Investiture to circulate throughout Taldain, including Darkside. If you’ve read my Autonomy theories, you’ll know how important I think water is to Autonomy’s magic. Darkside may look lit by blacklight, but IMO its magic comes from Autonomy’s Investiture.

“The mechanism is best explained under those assumptions” because sunlight does carry the Investiture. Khriss’ initial mistake was not seeing how Investiture beating from the sky hits water as well as land. Having said all this, I agree it’s still conjecture.

 

Also, @Dreamer, why do you believe light carries Autonomy’s Investiture? I think heat carries it, not light. I think light carries Endowment’s Investiture to Nalthis.

Quote

swieczq

Would someone with enough knowledge be able to use Autonomy’s Investiture if Taldain’s star was seen from his world?

Brandon Sanderson

So I’m on a world and I see Taldain’s star, what you're asking if someone could use the Investiture? Oh, OK I see. Yeah yeah yeah yeah. That’s good! You stumped me. I haven’t gotten that question before. I would say yes, if the light particles are reaching you. I mean technically you could use the light from one of those stars to power a solar sail so…

Kraków signing (March 21, 2017)

 

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On 4/1/2020 at 0:55 PM, Confused said:

Perpendicularities IMO are the cosmere’s most important post-Shattering structural element.

I think they had to have existed pre-shattering too. As there were worldhoppers back then.

 

Questioner

Before the Shattering, were people already able to worldhop from Yolen to the other planets like Roshar, and so on?

Brandon Sanderson

It was possible, it did not happen nearly on the extent that it happens now. It's possible. I would say that, I don't know if there, yeah very very very few instances.

Prague Signing (Oct. 26, 2019)

 
            
29 minutes ago, Confused said:

Yes, but I read that WoB to refer specifically to the mists pulling away. Nightblood is filled with Ruin. Just like the mists pulled away from Vin when she wore Ruin’s earring, they'll pull away from any Ruin manifestation including Nightblood. Diametrical opposites.

I dont think it was because of that.

Well... it probably was too

But im thinking since the mists were kinda of alive and looking for a host that they wouldn't let let themselves or whatever get eaten by anyone. Exept someone it chose

 
Edited by Eternal Khol
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39 minutes ago, Confused said:

Yes, I know. My question is, why should that have happened? It seems odd to me for the reasons stated.

Saze does not seem them as opposites.  He sees them as complementary forces(as do I actually).  He convinced the powers to merge and manifest that way when he ascended.

40 minutes ago, Confused said:

Yes, but I read that WoB to refer specifically to the mists pulling away. Nightblood is filled with Ruin. Just like the mists pulled away from Vin when she wore Ruin’s earring, they'll pull away from any Ruin manifestation including Nightblood. Diametrical opposites.

Depends on how you view them.  I imagine that given a lack of sapience uncontrolled mist would be rather simplistic and just pull away.

42 minutes ago, Confused said:

First, I distinguish between Autonomy and their (likely) Avatar the Sand Lord.

It may well be that the only avatar of Autonomy currently in residence is the Sand Lord(we realty should confirm that he is autonomy).  Second in this case why distinguish?

48 minutes ago, Confused said:

The Sand Lord will have their own perpendicularity on Taldain

That is not necessarily true.  Their exists no law that says a shard or avatar MUST for a perpendicularity.  Only that it tends to happen over long periods of time.

49 minutes ago, Confused said:

Also, @Dreamer, why do you believe light carries Autonomy’s Investiture? I think heat carries it, not light. I think light carries Endowment’s Investiture to Nalthis.

We have confirmation otherwise as has been pointed out.

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1 hour ago, Confused said:

Also, @Dreamer, why do you believe light carries Autonomy’s Investiture? I think heat carries it, not light. I think light carries Endowment’s Investiture to Nalthis.

Although one could argue the physics of it, that there are three methods of transferring heat: conduction, convection and electromagnetic radiation, the latter emitting photons and that this is what the WoB is referring to but for now I'll take him verbatim ("light particles").

I do see why you made that distinction though, and I rather like it, with Autonomy distributing Investiture in the form of energy from her sun and Endowment in the form of light which is seen as the colours from the visible light of the electromagnetic spectrum. Since, colour isn't really a physical thing, it's just a sensory perception to detect objects without having to come into direct contact with them, but that's just it: it's Physical and the Cosmere has more than just Physical laws applying to it. With how Endowment's Investiture has been described: breath, life, colour, it's definitely more

Besides Investiture isn't really light or vapour (Mist and Stormlight), it's something else behaving like mundane matter and energy but which can apparently convert itself into either of those. 

Edited by Dreamer
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Doesn't Darkside still receive reflected sunlight from the asteroid belt? I always assumed that was how Autonomy's investiture got over there. Not obvious, but still can be simplified to "Autonomy's investiture beats down from the sky".

 

Eta: "particulate ring" not asteroid belt according to the chart.

Edited by John203
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Pre-Shattering Perpendicularities

On 4/2/2020 at 8:51 PM, Eternal Khol said:

I think they had to have existed pre-shattering too. As there were worldhoppers back then.

I can see this going either way. Your cited WoB makes clear Worldhopping may not have happened pre-Shattering (“it’s possible...I don’t know if there [were]”) and in only “very very very few instances” if it did. I still think the safer bet is that pre-Shattering perpendicularities didn’t exist. Logic supports that tenuous conclusion.

All planets have inherent Investiture, but pre-Shattering the planets had much less. Magic then involved “interactions with nature” using the planets' ambient Investiture. “People with magic” systems like Surgebinding and Awakening arose after the Shards Invested their Major Shardworlds through their perpendicularities. Few if any planets pre-Shattering held the “massive collection of Investiture” that pulls a perpendicularity from the Spiritual Realm. Otherwise “people with magic” systems would have existed before the Shattering. Such systems need perpendicularities’ massive Investiture.

It’s possible one or more Vessels explored the Cognitive Realm through the Yolen perpendicularity to prepare for the Shattering. They could have gone in and out the one entrance. FWIW, I think the Vessels killed Adonalsium by killing his mind, his personhood, leaving his unattended raw power behind for the Vessels to Connect to. I once posted the Vessels killed Adonalsium’s mind with an aluminum “bomb”:

Quote

I speculate the Vessels dropped an aluminum “bomb” into the godpool. Aluminum is “magically inert” and acts as an “Investiture sink.” The aluminum neutralized Adonalsium’s Cognitive Realm Investiture – his mind – making him “brain dead.” The Spiritual Realm Investiture ... survived undamaged. [Source.]

And it may be worth a chuckle to look at my short parody of the Shattering.

Taldain’s Perpendicularity

On 4/2/2020 at 9:25 PM, Karger said:

That is not necessarily true.  Their exists no law that says a shard or avatar MUST for a perpendicularity.  Only that it tends to happen over long periods of time.

I agree with you, but there’s strong evidence of a Taldain perpendicularity. Taldain wasn’t always isolated. Khriss got off-world somehow. I distinguish between this perpendicularity (whichever Avatar’s it is) and Autonomy’s own perpendicularity because the latter is clearly not on Taldain. Khriss says, “The Investiture beats down from the sky.”

Autonomy and Endowment

On 4/2/2020 at 9:59 PM, Dreamer said:

Although one could argue the physics of it, that there are three methods of transferring heat: conduction, convection and electromagnetic radiation, the latter emitting photons and that this is what the WoB is referring to but for now I'll take him verbatim ("light particles").

I would never argue physics with you or anyone else, Dreamer! I was an English major whose last college science class was almost half-a-century ago. But despite Emerson’s admonition, my little mind still insists on a foolish consistency when it comes to cosmere theorizing. That means periodically updating my stale science knowledge with the Internet’s fake news. That venerable source tells me you are correct.

Before getting to my lay understanding of Shard science, here’s context for the heat-light distinction. I theorize at least some Shards move their Investiture to magic users through some substance magic users consume. Sand Masters dehydrate (burn water) to draw Investiture, Awakeners drain “color,” and Allomancers burn metal. Marasi calls Allomantic metal a “pathway to power,” and Khriss describes it as a “catalyst.” When the pathway/catalyst is gone, the magic stops. Yet none of these substances is fuel or Investiture.

Heat and Light

I speculate heat and light are how Autonomy and Endowment each disperse their Investiture. I think both Shards flare Invested photons onto their planets from their suns. Photons, as you know, are quanta of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and carry both light and heat energy depending on the photon’s frequency. I think Brandon calls photons “light particles” because that’s how most people view photons. But I interpret him to mean if you can see starlight, you will get the energy its photons carry regardless of that energy’s form.

I theorize Autonomy Invests photons mostly in the infrared frequencies and Endowment Invests photons mostly in the visible light frequencies. Autonomy’s photons cause irradiated objects to heat. Endowment’s photons cause irradiated objects to absorb some light frequencies and reflect the frequencies our eye perceives as “color.”

Autonomy Uses Heat

Heating water seems important to Autonomy’s magic systems. Sand Masters dehydrate to forge a Cognitive bond with Invested microflora. They literally burn water to shape the sand. I believe Patji’s land predators form Cognitive bonds with their prey through the island’s “dense humidity.” Ocean predators are more dangerous than land predators IMO because the Cognitive bond is stronger in water. By placing their Investiture in the infrared frequencies, Autonomy ensures their Investiture will release into the atmosphere through evaporation and the planet’s water cycle. Autonomy chooses to Invest in hot climates like deserts and jungles.

Endowment Uses Light

Brandon says any Investiture can fuel Awakening including Stormlight. I think the photons an object absorbs carry Awakening’s Investiture. IMO, “color draining” turns objects gray because, like with Shardblade wounds, the drained object no longer holds Investiture. This has been a controversial view, but I’ve not seen another explanation for how Awakeners fuel their magic. Breath is not fuel since all the Breath is returned after Awakening. Like Feruchemy, Intent alone works for non-animating Breath transfers to a person or object; but Brandon says Awakening an object needs Investiture as fuel.

I think Rosharan Awakeners access Stormlight through color, or more accurately through Investiture-carrying photons. Awakeners can drain a gemstone of its Stormlight until the gemstone’s color turns gray and it disfigures. Photons absorbed by the gemstone somehow carry Stormlight to the Awakener. I suspect this is how Vasher gets his Stormlight. His colored rocks may be drained gemstones.

IMO, photons must always carry Endowment’s Investiture to the Awakener. Inhaling Stormlight like a Surgebinder won’t work for a Rosharan Awakener. The Awakener uses Breath, not Radiant spren, to process Investiture. I theorize Endowment gives Awakeners access to her Investiture through a quantum physics “primal force.” Breaths are quanta of Endowment’s Investiture, and photons are EMR quanta. I think Stormlight somehow has to be quantized before the Awakener’s Breath can use it as fuel.

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58 minutes ago, Confused said:

Your cited WoB makes clear Worldhopping may not have happened pre-Shattering (“it’s possible...I don’t know if there [were]”) and in only “very very very few instances” if it did. I still think the safer bet is that pre-Shattering perpendicularities didn’t exist. Logic supports that tenuous conclusion.

He was kind iffy on it but he did say that worldhopping wasnt as common and there were few instances.

He was solid at first then questioned himself then stated "yeah there were a few instances."

 

 

Another WoB saying worldhoppers indeed were a thing back then.

I bet they did it with a technique similar to an Elsecaller. Making a mini perp

Questioner (paraphrased)

Before the Shattering, was Worldhopping from Yolen possible to other worlds like Roshar, etc.?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

I'm gonna say yes, it was possible--but it was a lot more difficult to pull off. Not nearly as frequently as now.

Prague Signing (Oct. 26, 2019)

 

            
58 minutes ago, Confused said:

Otherwise “people with magic” systems would have existed before the Shattering

Lightweaving. 

Microkinesis

Just a few examples from Yolen

 
 
58 minutes ago, Confused said:

Such systems need perpendicularities’ massive Investiture.

I dont know about this.

a perpendicularity is nothing compared to the actual shard who powers the magic

 
Edited by Eternal Khol
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I think Autonomy does not limit herself to one part of the spectrum. She definitely uses visible light since that's the part that plants (assuming including Dayside ones, in particular the microscopic ones on constituting White Sand) need, UV seems to be integral to Darkside, infrared probably as well since that's the light that can travel the furthest which might be of importance in the space age.

Endowment's Investiture is Breath, Khriss refers to it as such, it fits her Intent.

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@Eternal Khol, I know there were magic systems before the Shattering. But they were a different kind of system, involving interactions with nature:

Quote

Questioner

What differentiates a minor Shardworld like First of the Sun?

Brandon Sanderson

The amount of Investiture, and whether there is actually a Shard in presence.

Questioner

I'm assuming there is not one there?

Brandon Sanderson

There is not one there.

Questioner

So it's like a Splintered one from something else?

Brandon Sanderson

No what you'll find is that the worlds were all created with a level of-- a little bit of sort of ambient magic. What you'll find in worlds like that is things like, Shadows for Silence and things like this, the magic, it's not necessarily "people with magic" it's you can interact with nature...

Questioner

So there is inherent Investiture...

Brandon Sanderson

There is inherent investiture in every world created but you are going to see-- You aren't going to find Mistborn on a world like that but what you might find is a way there are magic aspects to the setting. Spren could exist on a world like that but they would be like the minor spren, you wouldn't find Syl, but you would find something like lifespren.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 (Sept. 4, 2014)

Brandon later confirmed this distinction in the WoB about assigned Investiture, Autonomy, and their Avatars, excerpted for relevance:

Quote

I still consider one of the major dividing lines between "major" and "minor" Shardworlds (other than Shard residence) to be in strength of access to the magic, and control over it. I intend the minor Shardworlds to involve interactions with the magic as setting--coming back to spren, you could have a minor Shardworld with people who use, befriend, even bond spren. (Or the local equivalent--Seon, Aviar, etc.) But you'd never see power on the level of the city of Elantris, the actions of a Bondsmith, or even the broad power suite of a Mistborn.

[Source.]

I read these WoBs to mean people pre-Shattering could interact with magical settings. Yolen Lightweaving, for example, allows Hoid to create realistic and captivating illusions. His illusions cannot create a new audiovisual identity that sticks to him. (He has other ways of doing that.) Pre-Shattering magic does not give people access to large enough amounts of Investiture for Hoid’s Lightweaving (pre-Cryptic) to emulate Shallan’s.

Shards created “people with magic” systems when they massively Invested planets. We agree the perpendicularity “is nothing compared to the actual shard who powers the magic.” But perpendicularities show where Shards placed their massive Investiture concentrations. That’s why I associate “people with magic” systems with perpendicularities.

Examples of each magic system type on the Major Shardworlds:

“Interactions with Nature” (my best guess)

Nalthis - Heightenings
Roshar – Pre-Shattering ecosystem; “Old Magic” (through Nightwatcher)
Scadrial – Mists
Sel – Don’t know enough
First of the Sun - Aviar
Taldain – Darkside magic (IMO)

“People with Magic”

Nalthis – Awakening
Roshar – Surgebinding, Voidbinding, Fabrials
Scadrial – Allomancy, Feruchemy, Hemalurgy
Sel – AonDor, Bloodsealing, Dakhor Dor, Forgery
First of the Sun - None
Taldain – Sand Mastery

On 4/10/2020 at 6:55 PM, Dreamer said:

I think Autonomy does not limit herself to one part of the spectrum. She definitely uses visible light since that's the part that plants (assuming including Dayside ones, in particular the microscopic ones on constituting White Sand) need, UV seems to be integral to Darkside, infrared probably as well since that's the light that can travel the furthest which might be of importance in the space age.

Endowment's Investiture is Breath, Khriss refers to it as such, it fits her Intent.

Even if Autonomy does Invest the full spectrum, they might still choose to concentrate their Investiture in the infrared frequencies. Based on text, WoB, and logic, I believe Autonomy distributes Investiture through heat. The microflora can gain that Investiture through heat just as easily as light. Khriss says Autonomy's Investiture "beats down" on Taldain. An Internet search found multiple references to "heat beating down" but none to light.

Khriss says Darkside’s UV light emanates from Darkside’s white dwarf star: “The ultraviolet light that shines through the [particulate] ring causes a certain reflective luminescence in much of the plant and animal life.” (AU, “The Taldain System,” Kindle p. 369.) I don’t think that star is the source of Darkside’s Investiture. I believe instead it flows from Autonomy, distributed to Darkside through Taldain’s water cycle.

Of course Endowment’s Investiture is Breath. But Breath may not be her Investiture’s only manifestation, just as honorspren and Stormlight both manifest Honor’s Investiture. Even if Nalthis’ sun Invests photons with, say, Autonomy’s assigned Investiture, Awakening can still use that for fuel. Endowment’s magic IMO uses quanta – Breaths and photons. I believe Awakening can use any Investiture in quantum form that photons can carry. Hence the need to “drain color.”

FWIW, I believe all planets have their own Investiture cycle, some means to circulate their inherent Investiture. IMO: Roshar’s highstorms always blew Investiture. Taldain’s Dayside sun always radiated Investiture onto Dayside, circulated through Taldain’s water cycle. Nalthis’ sun always radiated Investiture onto that planet. I suspect the Vessels chose their Shardworlds knowing how their Shards would fit in there and the changes they could make.

Edited by Confused
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@Confused, you believe Taldain's water cycle is involved in its Investiture cycle? I didn't manage to follow your flow of thought. Though, that's an elegant solution to the Autonomy Invested the sun vs Taldain's atmosphere debate, and a possible explanation for the faces in the clouds

I think Nalthis' Investiture cycle functions well as Breaths keep getting transferred or going back to Endowment (or seeping into the Earth, possibly helping the Tears of Edgli to grow?). I don't see how light is involved here.

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2 hours ago, Confused said:

But they were a different kind of system, involving interactions with nature:

Microkinesis literally allowed people to directly see and interact with a Spiritweb how they wish.

Which could be very helpful in just about anything

That's not just "it's you can interact with nature..."

But I do agree that pretty much every "humans with magic" system arose after the shattering

 

the.fulgid

My question, in regards to Dragonsteel, is: Is there a possibility that somebody with the ability of microkinesis can see the spiritweb and alter it according to their will?

Brandon Sanderson

This is, this is totally possible. But you have to remember this is pre-Shattering of Adonalsium. Dragonsteel is the story of the Shattering of Adonalsium... the whole book is before, the whole series... So there are lots of things going on there that are-- like you will-- yeah. But it’s not canon yet.

Shadows of Self release party (Oct. 5, 2015)

 

ccstat

There IS historical precedent of accidentally setting off fission reactions in the cosmere using the magic

Now this is a story I look forward to hearing :-)

Brandon Sanderson

One of the first magic systems I designed for the cosmere was based on the manipulation of sub-atomic particles, and involved the ability to look directly at atoms and interact with them. I decided to back off on this, as it was a whopper of a magic system to get right with my limited (at the time) writing experience. It was fun, though, and is still a canonical Cosmere magic.

Stormlight Three Update #4 (Oct. 19, 2016)

Edited by Eternal Khol
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On 4/11/2020 at 8:40 PM, Dreamer said:

@Confused, you believe Taldain's water cycle is involved in its Investiture cycle? I didn't manage to follow your flow of thought. Though, that's an elegant solution to the Autonomy Invested the sun vs Taldain's atmosphere debate, and a possible explanation for the faces in the clouds

I think Nalthis' Investiture cycle functions well as Breaths keep getting transferred or going back to Endowment (or seeping into the Earth, possibly helping the Tears of Edgli to grow?). I don't see how light is involved here.

Thanks, @Dreamer, for the kind words. To be clear, I describe pre-Shattering Investiture cycles that IMO largely remain in place. These pre-Shattering cycles circulate a planet’s ambient Investiture and are part of the planetary ecosystem. Breaths and the Tears arose post-Shattering. Breaths recycle as Nalthians are born and die. The Tears’ Investiture recycles through the Tears, Endowment’s perpendicularity.

My preceding post speculates, “Nalthis’ sun always radiated Investiture onto that planet” as part of its Investiture cycle. Solar radiation is the EMR part. I don’t identify the radiated Investiture as Endowment’s and I don’t think it matters which Shard’s it is. Awakening can use any Investiture as fuel on any planet.

My focus instead has been on EMR as Endowment’s energy carrier. EMR is to Endowment what metal is to Preservation and water (IMO) is to Autonomy. These substances each bring Investiture to their Shard’s magic users. Breath has to process Awakening's Investiture. IMO, the Investiture must first be quantized before photons can carry them. Rosharan Awakeners can’t simply inhale Stormlight. They must drain the gemstone’s color to capture the Stormlight. Stormlight moves along an EMR pathway to the Awakener.

The commonality between Breaths and photons is that both are quanta. I believe Endowment is the “quantum” Shard, the way Ruin is entropy and Honor is bonds. Endowment gives the ability to Awaken through quanta (Breaths) and fuels that ability through quanta (Investiture-laden photons). FWIW, I think Nightblood is so destructive (in part) because he disassembles matter into its subatomic particles (quanta). Poof!

@Eternal Khol, the most maddening part of cosmere theorizing is Brandon’s inconsistency. I interpret the 2015 WoB to say microkinesis is a post-Shattering magic. The transcript itself can be read either way, but the WoB’s recording includes more dialogue. The questioner assumes Dragonsteel takes place after the Shattering and that microkinesis is a post-Shattering magic system. Brandon corrects him to make clear microkinesis is possible, but not at the time of Dragonsteel. That’s how I hear it anyway.

The 2016 WoB says nothing of when such a magic system existed or might exist, only that it was one of the first systems Brandon conceived and is still canon. I interpret “canon” to mean the system still fits Brandon’s cosmere rules. I don’t think he’s trotted that system out yet.

There’s also this WoB that references the cosmere term for atom as “coming from one of the original magics used on Yolen pre-Shattering.” A magic that manipulates atoms can take many forms including Yolen Lightweaving. I’m unsure we can conclude much from that WoB. I mention it for completeness’ sake.

Having said all that, we’re left with uncertainty. You think there were pre-Shattering perpendicularities (other than Adonalsium’s). I don’t but acknowledge the possibility. I prefer Brandon’s two thoughtful, unambiguous WoBs about pre- vs. post-Shattering magic systems over ones that seem more off-the-cuff and confusing. But who knows. Regardless, I still believe my association of perpendicularities with magic systems and Major Shardworlds is correct even if small exceptions may exist here or there.

I am curious on one point: Do you deliberately distinguish between “people with magic” and “humans with magic” systems? As you know, Brandon defines “people” as any sapient entity. They don’t have to be human. Do you think the dragons and Sho Del had pre-Shattering magic systems like the human post-Shattering types?

Finally, FWIW and without meaning to be patronizing, I’d like to praise you two. You always have interesting things to say and think them through. I appreciate your good questions and analysis. I’ve changed many theories on my journey to solving the cosmere puzzle. Folks like you make me refine and focus my approaches. I just wanted to say, “Thanks!”

Edited by Confused
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On 4/13/2020 at 0:41 PM, Confused said:

The questioner assumes Dragonsteel takes place after the Shattering and that microkinesis is a post-Shattering magic system. Brandon corrects him to make clear microkinesis is possible, but not at the time of Dragonsteel.

The reason he said it was pre-shattering is because the shattering changed magics in some ways so it might be different now. And he wanted the reader to know that

And he never said is wasn't possible during dragonsteel. He literally said "it's before the shattering"

 

On 4/13/2020 at 0:41 PM, Confused said:

A magic that manipulates atoms can take many forms including Yolen Lightweaving.

Yeah. But who would be thinking of atoms when Lightweaving?

Microkinesis on the other hand, involved looking directly at atoms and manipulating them.

It makes more sense(to me) that the people's who can actually see and mess with the atoms, would be the ones to name them.

 

Edit: just found this one the theoryland

INTERVIEW: Oct 6th, 2015

THE FULGID

Is it possible for there to be a microkinetic who can see spiritwebs to the point that they could alter a web, granting at will new abilities that were previously inaccesible?

BRANDON SANDERSON

It IS possible that a person could exist who uses micokinesis to see spiritwebs and alter them according to their will. However, Dragonsteel is pre-Shattering. (Which I infer to mean microkinesis no longer exists post-Shattering, when other magic abilities become prevalent.)
Edited by Eternal Khol
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