KandraAllomancer

theory
Yet another Voidbinding theory

10 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

This theory started as a crazy idea in my head (that Voidbinding might be Odium's equivalent of fabrial magic system rather than Surgebinding), but the more I thought about it, the more sense it had, so here it goes:

The nature of Odium's magic

Based on what we can infer from the nature of the Unmade and the Fused, Odium's magic typically seems to be a twisted and corrupted version of something that already exists. The Fused (and most of the forms of power) were Odium's response to Surgebinders. From a recent reading of this Rhythm of War we know that the Nightwatcher is not a “natural” spren – she was specifically created by Cultivation to not be influenced by the perceptions of humans and given very specific powers (the Old Magic) – and the Unmade seem to mimic that. Although that might seem counterintuitive at first, I believe that Voidbinding and fabrials might be connected in a similar way.

Fabrials originated on Ashyn

We know that the magic on Ashyn wasn't always disease-based, but used Surges somehow. Given that:

  • we have a WoB suggesting that fabrials existed on Ashyn
  • the Dawnshards (originally from Ashyn) and Surge fabrials are both linked to Aimia, which doesn't seem like a coincidence

I assume that fabrials are the original magic system of Ashyn, which was then somehow moved to Roshar.

On the origin of Voidbinding

We know that Voidbinding (in most cases) originates with the Unmade. They can provide it in an indirect way: Sja-anat can corrupt true Spren and Ba-Ado-Mishram could possibly have been responsible for some Voidbinding-related forms of power (e.g. the Nightform) that are noticeably absent on modern Roshar. That's not “pure” Voidbinding, however – not in the sense described by the Voidbinding chart.
The Unmade are probably the Voidbinding's equivalent of Bondsmith spren, granting Voidish versions of the Surges of Tension and Adhesion. But what about the other Voidbinding “orders” (levels?) shown in the Voidbinding chart? They are not only missing (their spren imprisoned on Braize?) but completely forgotten – in popular consciousness Voidbinding is only associated with the Unmade and predicting the future. Why is that?
Voidbinding has ten levels, so it cannot be originally from Braize – that leaves us with either Roshar or Ashyn. It was well understood by humans once (someone must have created the chart, assuming it's an in-universe document) but it's barely known by the ancient Singers (Turash is surprised that the Voidspren can even bond humans). That strongly implies Ashyn – which makes sense.  If Voidbinding existed (alongside fabrials) long before Surgebinding and the Fused, the knowledge of both was probably partially forgotten and partially suppressed, as they both might have been part of Ashyn's downfall.

Voidbinding Initiation and the Wheel of Time analogy

OK, so how do you become a Voidbinder? We know that humans can be temporarily affected by the Unmade (the Thrill, death rattles etc.) and even temporarily bond some (probably lesser) Voidspren (Amaram's army). That requires a particular mental state (broadly described as giving your pain or control to Odium), but that alone doesn't constitute Voidbinding yet. We have, however, one example of an attempted bond that goes further – Aesudan's and Amaram's bond with Yelig-nar, which requires swallowing a gemstone and trying to control him. While the first part is probably not necessary for all Voidbinding spren, I believe that gemstones and trying to control the power might be, next to the right emotional state, crucial elements of Voidbinding Initiation (though predicting how a said gemstone could be used is very hard). Based on that, we can actually make an interesting analogy to the basic principles of channeling from Wheel of Time.
The magic of Ashyn represent saidin. You have to capture and take control of the spren in order to use magic. An incredible amount of power can be held by individuals with the help of Dawnshards (equivalents of saidin-specific Sa'angreal) and it literally led to the destruction of the world. Roshar, on the other hand, is more about saidar. Magic systems that originated there require a submission to either Oaths or Voidspren possession. What is more, Singers, the original inhabitants of Roshar, have the natural ability to link their power (just look at the summoning of the Everstorm) and in large number might potentially act like a saidar-specific Sa'angreal (I wonder if the whole Singer race could count as a Dawnshard different from the rest...)

Edited by KandraAllomancer
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Interesting theory. It's reminiscent of hemalurgy, too, swallowing gemstones, and giving access to the spirit web by attuning to the matching emotional frequency.

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I like this theory. It does seem that Odium did go to Ashyn first and came to Roshar with them so it's very possible that Voidbinding originated there.

"The Unmade are probably the Voidbinding's equivalent of Bondsmith spren..." seems to be contradicted by this WoB:

Quote

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)

 

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3 hours ago, KandraAllomancer said:

Voidbinding has ten levels

It has 9 last I checked.

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Posted (edited)

19 minutes ago, Karger said:

It has 9 last I checked.

According to Khriss (from the WoK Ars Arcanum) there are ten levels of Voidbinding and it is cousin to the Old Magic

Edited by R J
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22 hours ago, R J said:

"The Unmade are probably the Voidbinding's equivalent of Bondsmith spren..." seems to be contradicted by this WoB:

I assume here that having a corresponding KR Order (Re-Shephir and the Lightweavers, for example) is a separate thing from being a (Void-)Bondsmith spren. For analogy, the Stormfather seems to have a special affinity for Windrunners (his relation to the honorspren, the Highstorm being largely about Adhesion) in addition to being Honor's godspren.

A nice potential explanation for the lack of Bondsmith-associated Unmade is that there used to be 10 godspren on Ashyn, the Unmade and the Sibling, and the latter was the only one who didn't end up corrupted

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20 hours ago, KandraAllomancer said:

A nice potential explanation for the lack of Bondsmith-associated Unmade is that there used to be 10 godspren on Ashyn, the Unmade and the Sibling, and the latter was the only one who didn't end up corrupted

I do like the sound of this but last I checked spren are only native to Roshar, not Ashyn.

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On 21/04/2020 at 2:20 AM, KandraAllomancer said:

I assume that fabrials are the original magic system of Ashyn, which was then somehow moved to Roshar.

But a fabrial needs a spren.

On 21/04/2020 at 2:20 AM, KandraAllomancer said:

On the origin of Voidbinding

We know that Voidbinding (in most cases) originates with the Unmade.

How do we know this? Sja-Anat provided it by corrupting spren. It is just as possible the Voidbinding needs a Voidspren, just like Surgebinding needs a normal spren. Yelig-Nar gives you all Surges, not all "Voids".

On 21/04/2020 at 2:20 AM, KandraAllomancer said:

in popular consciousness Voidbinding is only associated with the Unmade and predicting the future. Why is that?

Regals.

On 21/04/2020 at 2:20 AM, KandraAllomancer said:

Voidbinding has ten levels, so it cannot be originally from Braize – that leaves us with either Roshar or Ashyn. It was well understood by humans once (someone must have created the chart, assuming it's an in-universe document)

Spren are sentient. At least some of them. There's no reason they could not make a chart.

On 21/04/2020 at 2:20 AM, KandraAllomancer said:

That requires a particular mental state (broadly described as giving your pain or control to Odium), but that alone doesn't constitute Voidbinding yet. We have, however, one example of an attempted bond that goes further – Aesudan's and Amaram's bond with Yelig-nar, which requires swallowing a gemstone and trying to control him. While the first part is probably not necessary for all Voidbinding spren, I believe that gemstones and trying to control the power might be, next to the right emotional state, crucial elements of Voidbinding Initiation (though predicting how a said gemstone could be used is very hard). Based on that, we can actually make an interesting analogy to the basic principles of channeling from Wheel of Time.

Yelig-Nar grants Surges, not "Voids"

 

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2 hours ago, BrightLordSwageas said:

I do like the sound of this but last I checked spren are only native to Roshar, not Ashyn.

 

2 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

But a fabrial needs a spren.

Both Roshar and Braize have spren. It's a reasonable assumption that Ashyn might have had them when it's magic was Surge-based. We also know that people from Ashyn had a "technology or magic closer to how the Oathgates work" based on this WoB

2 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

How do we know this? Sja-Anat provided it by corrupting spren. It is just as possible the Voidbinding needs a Voidspren, just like Surgebinding needs a normal spren. Yelig-Nar gives you all Surges, not all "Voids".

This WoB:

Quote

dvoraen

"To see the future originates with the Unmade..." "Voidbinding is a dark and evil thing, and the soul of it was to try to divine the future." Is it therefore safe to say that Voidbinding, by extension, also originates with the Unmade?

Brandon Sanderson

Not always. But usually.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA (Oct. 22, 2018)

 

2 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Regals

Nightform might explain why the futuresight is a widely known ability, but not why all other levels of Voidbinding are basically forgotten

2 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Spren are sentient. At least some of them. There's no reason they could not make a chart.

Technically possible, but the chart includes an image of a woman. I know she's not meant to mean anything (WoB), but still - why would spren include humans on their charts?

2 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Yelig-Nar grants Surges, not "Voids"

The godspren seem to provide unique abilities beyond two Bondsmith Surges. The Stormfather, for example, allows Dalinar to summon Honor's perpendicularity. I would assume Yelig-Nar and ten Surges are a similar situation 

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On 4/22/2020 at 6:24 AM, KandraAllomancer said:

A nice potential explanation for the lack of Bondsmith-associated Unmade is that there used to be 10 godspren on Ashyn, the Unmade and the Sibling, and the latter was the only one who didn't end up corrupted

The Sibling alone understood the Lethani, the rest became the Seven- I mean, the Nine

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