Lightspine

Heralds + We're missing an Unmade

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I like this. I haven't thought that the Unmade were reflections of the Heralds. 

If this is true there's a different reason there's only 9. If they were made by torturing the Heralds until they broke, then there wouldn't be one for Taln, as he has only broken once.

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2 minutes ago, rosin_the_beau said:

I like this. I haven't thought that the Unmade were reflections of the Heralds. 

If this is true there's a different reason there's only 9. If they were made by torturing the Heralds until they broke, then there wouldn't be one for Taln, as he has only broken once.

I can see that interpretation. However, I think you misinterpreted my post. I mention that I believe Ishar to be the only Herald not associated with an Unmade, due to a WoB i cited and also because Nale says he's the only Herald who is "whole."
My theory wasn't that Taln didn't have an Unmade, but that his Unmade was bound with him on Braize until he broke, and there were thus only 8 Unmade active on Roshar following Aharietiam. Apologies if I didn't make that very clear in the post! I will add a TL;DR to help.

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I like the ideas presented, though I do have the same question as rosin_the_beau above: Why would it be Ishar without a corresponding Unmade rather than Taln, the Herald who never broke? I'm not saying your theory is wrong - I am aware of the WoB on the lack of an Unmade that corresponds to Bondsmiths (though their connection to an order is implied to be bit more nebulous than a straight match). However, in the context of your theory, it all points to Taln being the one who wouldn't match up. 

So my question to you is: why is it Ishar, not Taln? What mechanism or reason would you propose?

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4 minutes ago, 18th Shard said:

I like the ideas presented, though I do have the same question as rosin_the_beau above: Why would it be Ishar without a corresponding Unmade rather than Taln, the Herald who never broke? I'm not saying your theory is wrong - I am aware of the WoB on the lack of an Unmade that corresponds to Bondsmiths (though their connection to an order is implied to be bit more nebulous than a straight match). However, in the context of your theory, it all points to Taln being the one who wouldn't match up. 

So my question to you is: why is it Ishar, not Taln? What mechanism or reason would you propose?

Good question, I understand your concerns! Maybe I relied a bit too much on that WoB. I do think that Ishar is the most "special" of the Heralds. As is mentioned in Oathbringer, he was the one who came up with the Oathpact and called the "Binder of Gods". Conversely, you could say that Taln is more special because he never broke and because he was the only "commoner" (if that's the right term. He wasn't royalty).

Nale and Shalash both believe that Ishar hasn't gone mad, although WoB suggests otherwise. I thought the other Heralds may have thought he was more sane because he didn't have the focused attention of one of the Unmade. Another reason I thought Ishar was unique was because I of the theory I tied in about the Unmade being formed from the Heralds. To be clear, I don't believe that they had to have broken under the torture for fragments of their soul to be twisted. Ishar's power is all about binding things together, including souls, so if any of the Heralds were able to keep pieces of their soul from being torn away and remade into the Unmade, it would be Ishar. Combined with that WoB about the Bondsmiths not having a corresponding Unmade, this pointed me towards him.

Lastly, I thought that Taln being bound to an Unmade tied together really well with the fact that Chemoarish is a complete unknown. I found it an elegant solution to the lack of information we have on Chemoarish. If Taln were exempt from having an Unmade, then there would be nine Unmade on Roshar during the Era of Solitude and there must be some other reason that we don't see Chemoarish.

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I think you have some cool ideas here. The Chemoarish connection to Chanarach is especially interesting to me. I dont really feel strongly against the idea of her hanging out on Braize, but I’m not strongly for it either. I do wonder how Hessi (and other random people) would know of her if she was torturing the Heralds though. Their agonies werent common knowledge, and so whatever they faced on Braize would probably not be very well-known at all.

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I saw a theory similar to this on the Sandersonian Institute podcast. Personally I agree on Taln's Unmade being the last one, but maybe Ishar's is captured? Since he was a "Bondsmith", I could see him tracking down Chemoarish himself Years and years ago

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16 hours ago, Lightspine said:

 

  1. Jeizren hears voices in his head, much like Dalinar's and Szeth's. These voices have been confirmed by WoB to be tied somehow to the realmatics of the Cosmere, and I don't think it would be terribly contentious to say that they're specifically tied to the regional conditions found on Roshar.

Elantris spoilers

Spoiler

Dilaff had similar voices.

 

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2 hours ago, Toaster Retribution said:

I think you have some cool ideas here. The Chemoarish connection to Chanarach is especially interesting to me. I dont really feel strongly against the idea of her hanging out on Braize, but I’m not strongly for it either. I do wonder how Hessi (and other random people) would know of her if she was torturing the Heralds though. Their agonies werent common knowledge, and so whatever they faced on Braize would probably not be very well-known at all.

My theory doesn't involve Hessi knowing that the Unmade were involved in the Herald's torture. She was able to scrounge up the names of Unmade such as Re-Shephir and Ba-Ado-Mishram despite the fact that they have been trapped or missing for millennia, so I don't think it's a terrible stretch to say that she could have found the name of an Unmade who has been missing since Aharietiam. However, Hessi doesn't know that Chemoarish is missing, and instead tried to piece together her lore from stories that had been mismatched with the Nightwatcher and maybe Chanarach.

1 hour ago, Frustration said:

Elantris spoilers

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Dilaff had similar voices.

 

Wow, I had completely forgotten about Dilaf's wife and had to pick up Elantris again. I'm not sure what this means for my theory, as its hard to rule out Dilaf's experiences with Dakhor as a contributing factor to hearing his voice. I thought the special closeness of Realms on Roshar might have some affect, and the state of Sel's Realms aren't exactly normal either.

Looking back at my interpretation of Jezrien's suffering, perhaps breaking away from the influence of one of the Unmade is simply one way of many to regret having done terrible things. They drive people to do acts that they would be unlikely to do otherwise, so maybe all they're doing is making it easier to fulfill the circumstances needed to hear the voices. I'm not sure how that would relate to Nale's comment on Szeth's torment being tied to his power. 

Dilaf also gains a very different motivation from his voice. Instead of being directed at him, his wife's fervor for revenge is pointed at Elantris. Although I agree that they are likely to also be echoes from the Spiritual Realm, the mechanism behind their occurrence may be completely different.

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I really like the theory that the Unmade are pieces that were "unmade" from the Heralds.  But I think Sanderson has directly said it's not true, unfortunately.  They are simply Splinters that Odium made from himself.

 

Quote

WeiryWriter

Are the Unmade Splinters of Odium?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Good guess.

/r/books AMA 2015 (March 12, 2015)

 

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2 hours ago, agrabes said:

I really like the theory that the Unmade are pieces that were "unmade" from the Heralds.  But I think Sanderson has directly said it's not true, unfortunately.  They are simply Splinters that Odium made from himself.

But this is still plausible theory - Odium Un-Made Splinters as answer to Heralds. Maybe they are not parts of Heralds Souls, but they can be based on each Heralds specific cognithive part. Like with Hemalurgy, Odium tear part of Herald and add to his Splinter.

This Theory also can easy explain, why is only 9 Unmade. Each Unmade is un-made also to torture each Herald by presented him his twisted version. But we havent Unmade for Ishar - because he was tortured by Odium himself. He was responsible for Oathpact, wich imprisoned Odium on Roshar, so its clear he will be Herald who is hated the most by God with Hatred Intend.

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4 hours ago, agrabes said:

I really like the theory that the Unmade are pieces that were "unmade" from the Heralds.  But I think Sanderson has directly said it's not true, unfortunately.  They are simply Splinters that Odium made from himself.

This WoB doesn't contradict the theory at all - Returned are Splinters of Endowment, but they are definitely made from a piece of a mortal.

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1 hour ago, 18th Shard said:

This WoB doesn't contradict the theory at all - Returned are Splinters of Endowment, but they are definitely made from a piece of a mortal.

Don't agree - that's a completely different Shard and completely different situation.

Returned = People chosen by Endowment who, when they die, are reborn with the Splinter attached to them.

Endowment is a shard whose intent is to give its power to others (AKA endow them with power).  The people it gives its power to are friendly to it and also are dead before it happens.  I also wouldn't call the Returned "splinters of Endowment" - they are people who are granted the power of Splinters of Endowment.  This WoB indicates the Divine Breath is the splinter, not the Returned.  

Quote

Skyler

If a Returned gives away his/her Breath they die right? So why doesn't Vasher die after he gives his to Denth?

Brandon Sanderson

They will die the moment they run out of Breath to harvest. Once a week their body needs a Breath in order to survive. Each Returned has one single superpowered Breath. Imagine it as one breath that propels them up through the Heightenings, but it is only a single Breath. It's what we speak of in Shard world terminology as a Splinter. And when the seventh day comes, if a Returned does not have another breath for his body to consume to keep him alive, his body will actually eat his divine Breath and kill him. So they don't die immediately after they get rid of the Breath, they're sort of put into a state of limbo where if they don't find more Breath by the time that their feast day comes, then they will die. (Vasher did not give his Returned Breath to Denth, just a number of normal Breaths.)

Goodreads Fantasy Book Discussion Warbreaker Q&A (Jan. 18, 2010)

 

Unmade = (if your theory is correct) Pieces of the Heralds, shredded off by Odium, then fused into a Splinter of Odium.

Odium is not a Shard whose intent is to grant his power to others.  He also is a Shard who specifically wants his power to remain pure and unmodified by other influences.  This makes it highly unlikely that he would fuse parts of himself with parts of others.  It seems needlessly complex - why create splinters of himself, then fuse them with ripped off pieces of the Heralds?  If he can truly rip off pieces of the Heralds, why not just destroy them or lock them away?

Like I said, I love the theory (especially the version where each hyphenated name means the associated herald has broken an additional time), but I really don't think it's very likely true.  A lot of things Sanderson has said make it seem unlikely.  First, that they are splinters of Odium.  And second, that the only Herald without a pseudo counterpart is Ishar, even though we know that Taln is the one who has never broken.

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18 minutes ago, agrabes said:

Unmade = (if your theory is correct) Pieces of the Heralds, shredded off by Odium, then fused into a Splinter of Odium.

Odium is not a Shard whose intent is to grant his power to others.  He also is a Shard who specifically wants his power to remain pure and unmodified by other influences.  This makes it highly unlikely that he would fuse parts of himself with parts of others.  It seems needlessly complex - why create splinters of himself, then fuse them with ripped off pieces of the Heralds?  If he can truly rip off pieces of the Heralds, why not just destroy them or lock them away?

You're right, and this is one of the reasons I was hesitant about this theory. However, I don't believe it nullifies the theory because I'm not sure how strict the definition of "splinter" is. Every Shard's investure permeates the Cosmere, whether or not the Shardholders controlling them actively handles that investure. This, for example, is why Nightblood is said to contain some of Ruin's investure, despite seeming as if he should be a splinter of pure Endowment. His nature is to destroy, so some of the character (perhaps the best term here is Intent?) of his investure is that of Ruin. (At least, that's my interpretation of that.)

The same could apply to the Heralds. If the Unmade were created out of their malice during torture, Odium does not need to necessarily give the investure in order for them to manifest as investure with the Intent of Odium. So, the real question is, would this be considered a splinter of Odium? Is any being of Odium's investure a splinter, or do they need to "break off" from him as the imagery of the term "splinter" seems to imply?

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I try mach Unmade - Herald according to your Theory:

Re-Sephir - Shalash/Lightweavers of course.

Ba-Ado-Mishram - This one i see as mach for Jezrien/Windrunners. She was Odium General, practicly rule over Parsh, and Jezrien is Herald od Kings.

Moellach - source of the Death Rattles. Palilah/Truthwachers for me. Paliah is associeted with Wisdom, and Truthwatchers can have futuresight.

Nergaoul - Thrill. Chah/Dustbringers for me. Chah is associeted with Bravery - and we all know what Thrill can do.

Sia-Anat - for me Battar/Ellsecallers. Most carefull and least evil from Unmade, and their powers are Shadesmar-related. Also can reflect Care atribute.

Ashertmarn - for me Vedel/Edgedancers. Mostly because of twisted Love atribute. But Vedel maches also Sia-Anat.

Yelig-Nar - probably Skybreakers.

Dai-Gonarthis - only Kalak/WIllshapers left.

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6 hours ago, agrabes said:

Don't agree - that's a completely different Shard and completely different situation.

Returned = People chosen by Endowment who, when they die, are reborn with the Splinter attached to them.

Endowment is a shard whose intent is to give its power to others (AKA endow them with power). ... This WoB indicates the Divine Breath is the splinter, not the Returned.  

Unmade = (if your theory is correct) Pieces of the Heralds, shredded off by Odium, then fused into a Splinter of Odium.

Odium is not a Shard whose intent is to grant his power to others.  He also is a Shard who specifically wants his power to remain pure and unmodified by other influences.  This makes it highly unlikely that he would fuse parts of himself with parts of others.  It seems needlessly complex - why create splinters of himself, then fuse them with ripped off pieces of the Heralds?  If he can truly rip off pieces of the Heralds, why not just destroy them or lock them away?

Personally, I don't think the above theory is true, but I think it is interesting and novel. 

As for Odium and Endowment being different in Intent - yes, that is true, but counterexamples abound: The Fused are deceased persons who are literally Splinters of Odium, and are repeatedly reborn, just like the Heralds (albeit they do need someone else's body). 

As for why take a Splinter of their soul instead of destroying them entirely - many theories on the Shard have guesses Odium may Splinter a Shard by forcing it to work against its Intent or by corrupting its Investiture. The Heralds may not have been the ultimate target, but merely a means to strike at Honor. 

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On 7/12/2020 at 1:08 AM, rosin_the_beau said:

I like this. I haven't thought that the Unmade were reflections of the Heralds. 

If this is true there's a different reason there's only 9. If they were made by torturing the Heralds until they broke, then there wouldn't be one for Taln, as he has only broken once.

I'm new to these forums, but is this not a prevalent theory for the Unmade? It may be too simplistic in this form but, before finding out in this thread that a WoB says there wasn't a Bondsmith correlated Unmade, it always seemed the most likely fundamental explanation. To me, it fits perfectly when we look at the Nahel bond.

From the notorious Spren article on Coppermind:

We don’t sleep; we don’t eat. I think we might feed off humans, actually. Your emotions. Or you thinking about us, maybe. It all seems very complicated. In Shadesmar, we can think on our own, but if we go to your realm, we need a human bond. Otherwise, we’re practically as mindless as those gloryspren. 

Sylphrena on the nature of spren
 
Unmade are obviously an order of magnitude greater in their investiture, and Heralds are cognitive shadows, but there are still undeniable links between them that seem well suited to this explanation. Yes, millenia of torture will change a person, but the changes found in the Heralds are too specific to their individual natures for their fallen states to be simply the result of trauma. It could very well be that there is a different type of bond that could allow a different type of exchange between two entities of this nature. With Nale, we do see that Heralds are capable of bonding Spren.
 
15 hours ago, Bzhydack said:

I try mach Unmade - Herald according to your Theory:

Re-Sephir - Shalash/Lightweavers of course.

Ba-Ado-Mishram - This one i see as mach for Jezrien/Windrunners. She was Odium General, practicly rule over Parsh, and Jezrien is Herald od Kings.

Moellach - source of the Death Rattles. Palilah/Truthwachers for me. Paliah is associeted with Wisdom, and Truthwatchers can have futuresight.

Nergaoul - Thrill. Chah/Dustbringers for me. Chah is associeted with Bravery - and we all know what Thrill can do.

Sia-Anat - for me Battar/Ellsecallers. Most carefull and least evil from Unmade, and their powers are Shadesmar-related. Also can reflect Care atribute.

Ashertmarn - for me Vedel/Edgedancers. Mostly because of twisted Love atribute. But Vedel maches also Sia-Anat.

Yelig-Nar - probably Skybreakers.

Dai-Gonarthis - only Kalak/WIllshapers left.

These are good matches, and I think could be accurate. I would peg Ba-Ado-Mishram as Ishar's Unmade all day long if there wasnt an apparent WoB contradiction to that. I always thought Nergaoul seemed very likely to be tied to Jezrien and the Windrunners.

Either way, the Heralds that we've met in detail have been shown to currently embody character traits directly opposite the virtues they are known for. Shallash destroys beauty, Nale cannot understand true justice, Jezrien avoids duty, Ishar's advice is actively destructive to the world he gave everything to protect. To me, it's not hard to envision a link between the strength/cognition/investiture of an individual Unmade and the depth of an individual Herald's insanity/value reversal. I'm not sure I agree with the hyphens in their name correlating to the amount of times the Herald broke, as that would allow for 15 total Destinations. Is that really all there were? I can be convinced but it seems low. 

Anyway, Nergaoul has long been present in Alethkar, which was once Alethela, the Silver Kingdom of War, and the lack of honor, remorse, and restraint that the Thrill encourages seems to match well as an inversion of Jezrien's heraldic principles. I could see your take, too, though.

Edited by Sbs
Clarity.
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11 minutes ago, Sbs said:

I disagree with this somewhat for a couple reasons, most importantly that Nergaoul seems very likely to be tied to Jezrien and the  Windrunners.

The Heralds that we've met in detail have been shown to currently embody character traits directly opposite the virtues they are known for. Shallash destroys beauty, Nale cannot understand true justice, Jezrien avoids duty, Ishar's advice is actively destructive to the world he gave everything to protect. To me, it's not hard to envision a link between the strength/cognition/investiture of an individual Unmade and the depth of an individual Herald's insanity/value reversal. I'm not sure I agree with the hyphens in their name correlating to the amount of times the Herald broke, as that would allow for 15 total Destinations. Is that really all there were? I can be convinced but it seems low. 

Anyway, Nergaoul has long been present in Alethkar, which was once Alethela, the Silver Kingdom of War, and the lack of honor, remorse, and restraint that the Thrill encourages seems to match well as an inversion of Jezrien's heraldic principles. 

When you put it this way, it is very good anlizys. So we can do better:

Nergaoul - Jezrien/Windrunners

Re-Sephir - Shalash/Lightweavers

Moellach - Paliah/Truthwachers

Sia-Anat - Battar/Elasecallers

Ashertmarn - Vedel/Edgedancers

Ba-Ado-Mishram - Kalak/Willshaper - they are assosiated with Freedom, and this is what Ba-Ado hits

Dai-Gonarthis - Chah/Dustbringers. He destroyed Aimia after all.

Yelig-Nar - Nale/Skybreakers left.

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12 minutes ago, Bzhydack said:

When you put it this way, it is very good anlizys. So we can do better:

Nergaoul - Jezrien/Windrunners

Re-Sephir - Shalash/Lightweavers

Moellach - Paliah/Truthwachers

Sia-Anat - Battar/Elasecallers

Ashertmarn - Vedel/Edgedancers

Ba-Ado-Mishram - Kalak/Willshaper - they are assosiated with Freedom, and this is what Ba-Ado hits

Dai-Gonarthis - Chah/Dustbringers. He destroyed Aimia after all.

Yelig-Nar - Nale/Skybreakers left.

I like it. 

I'm not 100% sold on Sja-Anat and Yelig-Nar (might swap them) but I think there is real nuance to choosing Ashertmarn for Edgedancers and Dai-Gonarthis for Dustbringers. 

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13 minutes ago, Sbs said:

I like it. 

I'm not 100% sold on Sja-Anat and Yelig-Nar (might swap them) but I think there is real nuance to choosing Ashertmarn for Edgedancers and Dai-Gonarthis for Dustbringers. 

Sia-Anat is clear for me, she has Shadesmar related Powers and Elsecallers are the closest to Cognitive Realm Order. Powers of Sia are clearly design to counter them in some way.

Im just not sure about Ba-Ado and Yelig-Nar. I mean, when Yelig-Nar take Host, he is bonded throu Amethyst Gemheart. Amethyst is realted to Kalak, and Yelig-Nar powers also somehow reflect that - he is Herald of Builders and Craftsmen, so all surges make sence. But I also dont see how bond Ba-Ado with Nale/Skybreakers.

Edited by Bzhydack
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On 7/13/2020 at 5:04 PM, Lightspine said:

You're right, and this is one of the reasons I was hesitant about this theory. However, I don't believe it nullifies the theory because I'm not sure how strict the definition of "splinter" is. Every Shard's investure permeates the Cosmere, whether or not the Shardholders controlling them actively handles that investure. This, for example, is why Nightblood is said to contain some of Ruin's investure, despite seeming as if he should be a splinter of pure Endowment. His nature is to destroy, so some of the character (perhaps the best term here is Intent?) of his investure is that of Ruin. (At least, that's my interpretation of that.)

The same could apply to the Heralds. If the Unmade were created out of their malice during torture, Odium does not need to necessarily give the investure in order for them to manifest as investure with the Intent of Odium. So, the real question is, would this be considered a splinter of Odium? Is any being of Odium's investure a splinter, or do they need to "break off" from him as the imagery of the term "splinter" seems to imply?

I believe it is a requirement to be a piece of investure that is intentionally broken off from a shard.  I don't think you could call Nightblood a splinter of Ruin, at least so far as we know currently.  The way Sanderson discusses it, a splinter is always intentionally created.  You can't have a chunk of a certain shard's investure just coalesce and become a splinter on its own.  It's either intentionally separated by the main shard, or broken off by a rival shard.  At least, that's my understanding.  So I don't believe it's possible for the Heralds who are basically splinters of Honor (or maybe just the Honor Blades are splinters, but either way) to have parts ripped off which would then become splinters of Odium.

I really like the idea of the Unmade being parts of the Heralds, but I feel like that requires the Unmade to not be splinters of Odium.  They would be corrupted splinters of Honor in that case.  Basically, pieces of Honor's investure that are warped and twisted so that they are separated from the 

Quote

Questioner (paraphrased)

Please explain what you will about Shards and Splintering and Slivers.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

An event happened long ago which destroyed something called Adonalsium into 16 pieces. And 16 people took up that power.

Questioner (paraphrased)

People?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

I call all intelligent species people. If someone takes up the power and lets go of it, it has the effect much like a balloon that's been stretched and then the air is let out. I call that a Sliver; based off of the Lord Ruler calling himself the "Sliver of Infinity". The Lord Ruler is someone who held the power and then released it. And so, current Slivers are the Lord Ruler, Kelsier, and there may be others around who at one point held the power and let go of it. A Splinter is a term used by certain people in the cosmere for power of Adonalsium which has no person caring for it, no... no person holding it, which has attained self-awareness.

Questioner (paraphrased)

So is that like the mists and the Well? Are they...

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

They are not, because they have not attained self-awareness. But, the Seons are self-aware. So, any piece, for instance there were some spren on Roshar before Honor and Cultivation got there. Those were already Splinters of Adonalsium where he had left power which attained sentience on its own. So, it can be intentional is what I am saying, does that make sense? You have seen other Splinters.

Questioner (paraphrased)

Are the highstorms related to the Splintering of Honor?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The highstorms are more related to the mist from Mistborn which terminology we have not discussed yet. You have seen Splinters quite a bit on various planets.

Steelheart Seattle signing (Oct. 14, 2013)

 

On 7/13/2020 at 10:56 PM, 18th Shard said:

Personally, I don't think the above theory is true, but I think it is interesting and novel. 

As for Odium and Endowment being different in Intent - yes, that is true, but counterexamples abound: The Fused are deceased persons who are literally Splinters of Odium, and are repeatedly reborn, just like the Heralds (albeit they do need someone else's body). 

As for why take a Splinter of their soul instead of destroying them entirely - many theories on the Shard have guesses Odium may Splinter a Shard by forcing it to work against its Intent or by corrupting its Investiture. The Heralds may not have been the ultimate target, but merely a means to strike at Honor. 

It's also hard to say for certain if the Fused are splinters.  I think if you read between the lines, then they are probably bonded with a splinter similar to the Returned or some other similar mechanism.  But it also seems like it's possible they are not splinters at all - that they are just the cognitive shadows/spirits of regular people that Odium himself can snatch them up before they go beyond and keep them and then send them back into someone else's body.

I suppose it's possible that Odium's plan is to split off as many pieces of the Heralds and other investure from Honor as possible and then try to force it to work against its intent.  But it still doesn't make sense why he'd bond them with splinters of himself.  Why not just store them up until he has enough to Splinter honor?  To be fair, I suppose he may have done that and the Unmade may have only appeared around the time Honor splintered.  But, it still seems unnecessarily complex to me.  I think that Odium could have forced Honor's investure to work against itself much more directly by just torturing the Heralds into doing something wrong.  That may have been the whole point of the torture and desolations to begin with - force the Heralds to break their word over and over?

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1 hour ago, agrabes said:

I believe it is a requirement to be a piece of investure that is intentionally broken off from a shard.  I don't think you could call Nightblood a splinter of Ruin, at least so far as we know currently.  The way Sanderson discusses it, a splinter is always intentionally created.  You can't have a chunk of a certain shard's investure just coalesce and become a splinter on its own.  It's either intentionally separated by the main shard, or broken off by a rival shard.  At least, that's my understanding.  So I don't believe it's possible for the Heralds who are basically splinters of Honor (or maybe just the Honor Blades are splinters, but either way) to have parts ripped off which would then become splinters of Odium.

I really like the idea of the Unmade being parts of the Heralds, but I feel like that requires the Unmade to not be splinters of Odium.  They would be corrupted splinters of Honor in that case.  Basically, pieces of Honor's investure that are warped and twisted so that they are separated from the 

 

It's also hard to say for certain if the Fused are splinters.  I think if you read between the lines, then they are probably bonded with a splinter similar to the Returned or some other similar mechanism.  But it also seems like it's possible they are not splinters at all - that they are just the cognitive shadows/spirits of regular people that Odium himself can snatch them up before they go beyond and keep them and then send them back into someone else's body.

I suppose it's possible that Odium's plan is to split off as many pieces of the Heralds and other investure from Honor as possible and then try to force it to work against its intent.  But it still doesn't make sense why he'd bond them with splinters of himself.  Why not just store them up until he has enough to Splinter honor?  To be fair, I suppose he may have done that and the Unmade may have only appeared around the time Honor splintered.  But, it still seems unnecessarily complex to me.  I think that Odium could have forced Honor's investure to work against itself much more directly by just torturing the Heralds into doing something wrong.  That may have been the whole point of the torture and desolations to begin with - force the Heralds to break their word over and over?

I agree with you on your definition of how a Splinter forms, and I think this explains the mechanism theorized here: "It's either intentionally separated by the main shard, or broken off by a rival shard." The OP essentially said that part of the Herald (not necessarily the Splinter of Honor joined with them) was broken off, and merged with a Splinter of Odium to become an Unmade.

Cognitive Shadows exist when a soul is suffused with Investiture. It's implied this was due to the direct action of Odium, as he tells one of the Fused he could "reclaim that which gives you persistent life" (paraphrased, sorry. Don't have my book handy). 

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On 7/14/2020 at 0:22 PM, Sbs said:

I like it. 

I'm not 100% sold on Sja-Anat and Yelig-Nar (might swap them) but I think there is real nuance to choosing Ashertmarn for Edgedancers and Dai-Gonarthis for Dustbringers. 

I think that we've definitely got two Unmade correspondences confirmed. IMO, OB spoilers can help answer our conundrum.

Spoiler

At the end of OB, Dalinar captured Nergaoul in the perfect ruby. Dustbringers -> Ruby -> Nergaoul. I think we can answer for another of the Unmade right away as well - Yelig-Nar(Amethyst -> Willshapers)

The Thrill inhibits responsibility(Dustbringers) and makes people incredibly destructive and brave(Dustbringers).

Yelig-Nar being the Willshaper Unmade makes sense to me.

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Do we know if someone that died on Nalthis and came back as a Returned could also have become a Cognitive Shadow?

<Spoiler below contains the initial post I was making that led me to think that the above is a much more interesting question to ask.>

Spoiler
On 7/11/2020 at 10:15 PM, Lightspine said:

I mention that I believe Ishar to be the only Herald not associated with an Unmade, due to a WoB i cited and also because Nale says he's the only Herald who is "whole."

Nale manages to not understand why people in the middle of a market are distraught that he used a Shardblade to kill a thief that had pulled a knife on him because she feared that he was about to kill her.  Trusting his viewpoint on literally anything at all is probably not a good idea, but especially when he's evaluating other people.  We've also seen Ishar on-screen, and had WoB to confirm his identity as:

<WoB Spoiler that I don't think is spelled out in-text anywere>

Spoiler

Ishar is Tezim, the ultra-religious zealot warlord of the Tukari

That said, there's definitely interesting things going on with the Unmade and the Heralds that we aren't aware of, and there is textual reason to believe that the Unmade were once humans.

<Oathbringer spoiler>
 

Spoiler
Quote

There was a deeper mystery beyond that, a wisp of something she'd glimpsed while intertwined with Re-Shephir.  It made Shallan wonder if this spren wasn't merely trying to understand humankind, but rather searching for something it itself had lost.

Had this creature--in distant, distant time beyond memory--once been human?

Oathbringer, Chapter 32, p.325

This, coming from Shallan, directly after she had her encounter with Re-Shephir--where her soul was laid bare to it, and it, in turn, was laid bare to her.  (I mean, this is Shallan, so not necessarily to be trusted 100%--and I say that with Shallan being my favorite Stormlight character by far--but this bit seems quite reliable.)

<WoB spoiler about Divine Breath from Warbreaker>

Spoiler
Quote

Calamity Chicago signing (Feb. 22, 2016)
#39 Share Copy

Play/PauseArgent

About the Returned, they don’t quite fit the other Splinters, their Breath rather, because it’s the divine Breath that’s a Splinter, right?

... <snipping discussion here where there was misunderstanding of the question being asked>

Argent

I was looking to divine Breath, more specifically.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh divine Breath! … Divine Breath is its own special thing, and it’s more like what happened with the Honorblades, in that the god is pouring a bit of its Investiture, infusing the magic.

This doesn't really answer the question 'is the Divine Breath the Splinter, or is it the Returned?' which I think is what Argent was trying to ask.

There's some other WoB that I read about this regarding Endowment, and the magic system.  The thing about Endowment is that its magic system which relies upon gifts freely given without any cost, reward, or compensation required.  That's what allows Breaths to 'stick' perfectly, instead of 'leaking' like Stormlight.  What we don't have is a solid reason to believe that a Shard of Hate and Discord (Odium) wouldn't be able to use its Investiture and power to bring back a fallen enemy in twisted caricature of its former self as an ally. 

Edited by kaellok
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Quote

Do we know if someone that died on Nalthis and came back as a Returned could also have become a Cognitive Shadow?

Isn't that what a Returned already is? A cognitive shadow of the person, kept alive with a bunch of investiture (a Divine Breath) and shoved back into their old body.

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