Chaos

RoW Prologue and Chapter 1 Discussion

172 posts in this topic

14 minutes ago, Karger said:

Lirin would have no problem healing a soldier who intended to keep fighting.  He would also not have any problem doing so to an enemy soldier.  I personally would keep him around if he was near my army because he reduces total casualties.

I guess my point is, we don't know what he's going to do in the next second after "death had come to Hearthstone." 

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14 minutes ago, Kuram said:

So far we've seen no evidence to suggest that Spren can exist independently as physical phenomenon, so I lean towards Stormfather being of the storm and not the storm itself.  

Quote

Narkac

Where does the Stormlight in highstorms come from? Is there like a "rain cycle", but for the Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

The Stormlight in the highstorm is transferred from the Spiritual realm through the Stormfather into the highstorm.

Paris signing (Oct. 22, 2016)
9 minutes ago, Q10fanatic said:

I guess my point is, we don't know what he's going to do in the next second after "death had come to Hearthstone." 

Probably transition from clinic worker to field medic is my guess.

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43 minutes ago, GriffinMaze said:

“I obey the person who holds the sword to my neck, General,” Lirin said. “Same as I always have.”

 

Lol exactly what he's doing?? Keeping his head down and just doing what he's told like a good little boy and not rocking the boat of his Fused master

Right now his choices are A) light eyes who would kill him if he stepped out of line and B) Fused who would kill him if he stepped out of line. A dead surgeon can't help anyone. Ergo, being pragmatic and helping in the way he can given his circumstances doesn't seem cowardly to me. It's called choosing your battles. 

There isn't some freedom fighting cause that is going to liberate the dark eyes from their oppressors, not in Alethkar and certainly not in Hearthstone. So what is he would he be fighting for exactly? The right to have his son sent off to war to die for someone else's wealth? Why would he want to fight to protect the status quo of the light eyes when it did so much harm and this new situation isn't worse? 

So he chooses to continue to save lives the way he knows how. 

I don't really think there is a wrong way to read a character, but it doesn't seem that you are at all trying to understand his situation or perspective. There is a lot of nuance to the conversation of pacifism vs militancy, it certainly isn't black and white. For some, dominance is a hill they are willing to die on. The status quo is the hill they'll die on. Lirin is not one of them.

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11 minutes ago, Singer said:

There is a lot of nuance to the conversation of pacifism vs militancy, it certainly isn't black and white. For some, dominance is a hill they are willing to die on. The status quo is the hill they'll die on. Lirin is not one of them.

Lirin is definitely a nuanced character. I don't understand him. Pacifism is one of his guiding principles, but apparently so is "stay in town with people that mistreat you when you can leave and better support your family at any time." I'm genuinely curious how Lirin and his principles will react when faced with violence and war. What happens if someone physically threatens Hesina? Would he tackle them? Strike them? Would he commit violence to buy his family time to escape? Would he use a regrowth fabrial to heal a soldier and ask them to commit violence?

We've seen Kaladin wrestle with the issue of violence vs. protection for three books now. We've never seen Lirin wrestle with them and I desperately want to. 

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Gavilar is a Storming Crem. 

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The way I see it.

12 minutes ago, Q10fanatic said:

Would he tackle them? Strike them? Would he commit violence to buy his family time to escape? Would he use a regrowth fabrial to heal a soldier and ask them to commit violence?

No.  Do no harm.  Transitive property.

13 minutes ago, Q10fanatic said:

What happens if someone physically threatens Hesina?

Talk.  Try and deescalate the situation.  Play for time so that she can get to safety.

14 minutes ago, Q10fanatic said:

We've seen Kaladin wrestle with the issue of violence vs. protection for three books now. We've never seen Lirin wrestle with them and I desperately want to. 

I think he has made his choice.

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1 hour ago, GriffinMaze said:

“I obey the person who holds the sword to my neck, General,” Lirin said. “Same as I always have.”

 

Lol exactly what he's doing?? Keeping his head down and just doing what he's told like a good little boy and not rocking the boat of his Fused master

He's in a position to help people with his skills and knowledge. If he does not obey the sword to his throat, and consequently dies, then those people that he could help, will not receive that help, and the benefit? Lirin is dead for no benefit at all. This is his mindset, and the mindset of many *honourable* human beings throughout history, especially wartime medical professionals. 

 

Despite all of this, he actually is doing something. He literally and directly disobeys his "masters" and puts himself in danger by helping and attempting to smuggle a known and wanted fugitive.

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I don't think Lirin is a coward, I'd actually say he's quite brave for the work he's doing under the table and out of sight even though he'd be killed if caught. On the other hand, I do think his pacifism is defeatist and that he is sticking his head in the sand in the big picture of events on Roshar. This quote is perhaps a bit cliche, but I think it sums up the flaws of Lirin's "I obey the person who holds the sword to my neck, General,” Lirin said. “Same as I always have." policy.

Quote

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

He's perpetuating the social order of persons who hold the sword to his neck with his blanket obedience. There's been comparisons of him to Oskar Schindler in this thread, but the death camps didn't stop killing Jews until men with guns knocked the gates down. It's every animals' natural instinct to survive, but if you can never draw a line in the sand I have no sympathy when they come for you. You didn't fight for others.

2 hours ago, agrabes said:

It has also not been shown that Odium plans to wipe out all life on Roshar, nor has it been shown that the Fused are waging a war of extinction against the humans.  This may be your personal theory, which is fine, but it seems most likely that Odium's only goal is to shatter Cultivation and then leave Roshar to shatter the other Shards.  The Fused themselves may want to kill all humans (we don't even know if that's true or not), but they are a small minority of the Singers/Listeners/Parsh.  It's pretty likely that if the humans are defeated militarily, the Singers would settle for being rulers over the humans and not continue a war to kill them all

Quote

"And so, I cannot leave her behind. In fact, I cannot leave behind the Splinters of Honor, as I once thought I could. I can already see that going wrong. Once you release me, my transformation of this realm will be substantial.

Rayse might not be killing everyone, I still wouldn't want to live in a world of his design that is, in his words, substantially different from current Roshar.

Perhaps some people aren't ok with the Singers being rulers over the humans? Perhaps some people would find that a more stratified version of the Lighteyed-Darkeyed divide and would rather reach a solution where the Singers have their own lands and reparations and both humans and Singers can live under a Pax Roshara.

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14 minutes ago, MyrmidonOfAchilles said:

He's perpetuating the social order of persons who hold the sword to his neck with his blanket obedience.

Only publicly.  He is committing what is almost certainly a capital crime against authority based on his principles.

15 minutes ago, MyrmidonOfAchilles said:

Rayse might not be killing everyone, I still wouldn't want to live in a world of his design that is, in his words, substantially different from current Roshar.

Agreed.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, MyrmidonOfAchilles said:

I don't think Lirin is a coward, I'd actually say he's quite brave for the work he's doing under the table and out of sight even though he'd be killed if caught. On the other hand, I do think his pacifism is defeatist and that he is sticking his head in the sand in the big picture of events on Roshar. This quote is perhaps a bit cliche, but I think it sums up the flaws of Lirin's "I obey the person who holds the sword to my neck, General,” Lirin said. “Same as I always have." policy.

He's perpetuating the social order of persons who hold the sword to his neck with his blanket obedience. There's been comparisons of him to Oskar Schindler in this thread, but the death camps didn't stop killing Jews until men with guns knocked the gates down. It's every animals' natural instinct to survive, but if you can never draw a line in the sand I have no sympathy when they come for you. You didn't fight for others.

Rayse might not be killing everyone, I still wouldn't want to live in a world of his design that is, in his words, substantially different from current Roshar.

Perhaps some people aren't ok with the Singers being rulers over the humans? Perhaps some people would find that a more stratified version of the Lighteyed-Darkeyed divide and would rather reach a solution where the Singers have their own lands and reparations and both humans and Singers can live under a Pax Roshara.

Your arguments are much better. And, yes, I agree that extreme pacifism is something I normally criticize (this defeatist pacifism ended up allowing our world to be the way it is), but Lirin is not a aphatic person who does nothing. He is still resistant to social order, in his own way. He saved hundreds of people in the course of his life, and even more so now.
I think that the great beauty of SA is to make us not only question what is really right, but also if several different things can all be correct.
Is a man's sense of honor more important than  situation of world? The ends justify the means? When is killing people justified?
It is not without reason that Sanderson presented us with 10 orders focused on different meanings of honor. Lirin would get along very well with the Windrunners, Dustbringers, Bondsmith, Stoneward and especially Edgedancer. But probably not a Willshaper.
It is always good to see different people with different points of view.

Edited by Raphaborn
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Posted (edited)

8 minutes ago, Raphaborn said:

(this defeatist pacifism ended up allowing our world to be the way it is

A rather bellicose statement.  I can't prove you wrong but I think a few more Lirins would make our world a much better place.

8 minutes ago, Raphaborn said:

But I think that the great beauty of SA is to make us not only question what is really right, but also if several different things can all be correct.
Is a man's sense of honor more important than  situation of world? The ends justify the means? When is killing people justified?
It is not without reason that Sanderson presented us with 10 orders focused on different meanings of honor. Lirin would get along very well with the Windrunners, Dustbringers, Bondsmith and especially Stoneward. But probably not a Willshaper.

I would peg him as an Edgedancer(surgery after all).  Still your point about their being ten orders and senses of right and wrong is a good one .

Edited by Karger
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3 minutes ago, Karger said:

A rather bellicose statement.  I can't prove you wrong but I think a few more Lirins would make our world a much better place.

I would peg him as an Edgedancer(surgery after all).  Still your point about their being ten orders is a good one.

Well well. I was probably wrong to cite Lirin as an example of defeatist pacifism. It even helps oppressed people.

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, Q10fanatic said:

I guess this comes down to each person's interpretation of the text. I saw this as far more vicious and emotionally violent than a simple lack of communication. You don't have to be overflowing with love and gratitude to show appreciation for someone's well-done job. You do have to be overflowing with contempt and anger to belittle them the way Gavilar did. That's more & worse than a mere lack of communication. That was physical intimidation. If you read that differently, that's your interpretation and valid but I don't think most people read it that way.

I think it's a fair point and I want to be careful that I make clear that I believe there is a fine line between being very angry and upset with someone in a marriage or relationship that has gone bad and actual abuse.  I went back and read it a second time and Gavilar comes across worse to me than the first time.  My opinion still is that Gavilar is walking right on the line between bad relationship and abuse.  I read it as him expressing anger and frustration in an unhealthy way.  His behavior is something he should be ashamed of.  He treats his wife in a way no one should be treated.  The situation read to me as a marriage that has gone bad, with huge amounts of anger and frustration built up over the years and never properly dealt with.  It's not just a one time lack of communication, it's what happens when you have a lack of communication for years which causes issues that then cause other issues and all of them are there boiling under the surface, ready to jump out at the slightest provocation.  It read to me as Gavilar not caring about Navani's happiness, and Navani not caring about Gavilar's happiness.  Navani says nasty things to Gavilar in that scene too.  Gavilar just takes it way too far in response to relatively minor provocations from Navani.  Both have a right to be angry with the other.  Again - I reserve the right to completely reverse my opinion if we learn more about the situation and find out it's all because Gavilar is just a terrible and abusive person and it's completely not Navani's fault.  But, just my opinion, I think this is going to be a situation where we find out that Navani has done something very hurtful to him in the past.  Not that it justifies him being the way he is, but that makes you understand why and it changes the character flaw from "evil, abusive man" to "man who can't forgive and does terrible things because of it."

2 hours ago, MyrmidonOfAchilles said:

I don't think Lirin is a coward, I'd actually say he's quite brave for the work he's doing under the table and out of sight even though he'd be killed if caught. On the other hand, I do think his pacifism is defeatist and that he is sticking his head in the sand in the big picture of events on Roshar. This quote is perhaps a bit cliche, but I think it sums up the flaws of Lirin's "I obey the person who holds the sword to my neck, General,” Lirin said. “Same as I always have." policy.

He's perpetuating the social order of persons who hold the sword to his neck with his blanket obedience. There's been comparisons of him to Oskar Schindler in this thread, but the death camps didn't stop killing Jews until men with guns knocked the gates down. It's every animals' natural instinct to survive, but if you can never draw a line in the sand I have no sympathy when they come for you. You didn't fight for others.

Rayse might not be killing everyone, I still wouldn't want to live in a world of his design that is, in his words, substantially different from current Roshar.

Perhaps some people aren't ok with the Singers being rulers over the humans? Perhaps some people would find that a more stratified version of the Lighteyed-Darkeyed divide and would rather reach a solution where the Singers have their own lands and reparations and both humans and Singers can live under a Pax Roshara.

You're forgetting the other, equally important lesson that humanity learned about war in the 20th century.  The reason that France and Britain were so willing to pursue what is now called "appeasement" policies was because in their lifetimes they'd seen tens of millions of soldiers killed and nations bankrupted for absolutely no gain.  I suppose if you were a communist you might like the results of WW1, but no one else did.  The leaders at the time knew the extreme cost of war and felt that they should do almost anything to stop it.  Obviously, their failure was that they didn't understand that the regimes in Germany and Italy were not like the rulers of the past.  They weren't playing the same game - they only wanted domination and nothing else.  

I personally feel that the world could use a lot more people who remember the world before WW2.  People who realize that not every situation will end up like that.  If it does, then we need to stop it.  But we shouldn't assume that will always happen.  There have been countless wars and conflicts throughout human history.  Only a small portion are genocidal wars of extermination.  You provided a good quote about Odium's plan which I had forgotten.  So, Odium's goal (or at least the goal he says, which could be a lie) is to destroy the world.  I think a lot of us are forgetting that Odium and the Singers are not totally aligned.  In fact, most of the Singers we see have almost as much distrust and dislike of Odium as they do the humans.  This is why I don't think falling under their sway is all that bad.  They're only going along with Odium so far (a pretty short time) because he gave them freedom.  My own pet theory is that the Singers under Venli will split off and form their own 3rd faction, along with Nale.

Edited by agrabes
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4 hours ago, Karger said:

Brandon Sanderson

The Stormlight in the highstorm is transferred from the Spiritual realm through the Stormfather into the highstorm.

 

What you quoted suggests to me that the stormfather is not the storm, and only resides there.

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There was a lot of speculation after the Syl PoV about Kaladin getting moved over to the medics. I wonder if this confrontation with Moash is what tipped him over the edge to make Dalinar change his role. Or how he treats Moash once in his custody. Or maybe whatever okay Moash is after starts to work on him and he gets pulled in two directions again. 

 

Also get to see a much less likeable side of Gavilar. Hopefully that is influence of the unmade and he at least has a little bit of a cop out. 

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The Unmade could be a part of it, but not all. He wanted to conquer a kingdom after all, so he has to have some visions of power and glory. The Unmade could certainly heavily influence that. But which Unmade?

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Also, I didn't see anyone mention this, but Lirin would let one person die, if it could mean that he was able to save two people. Lirin simply wants to save as many lives as he can.

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Posted (edited)

One thing I found absolutely fascinating about Chapter 1 was this:

Quote

“Like a stone,” she said again, then shook her head. “Have you seen any plaguespren on these refugees? If those spren get into the city, it could kill everyone.”

I couldn't help but wonder not only where she got the idea, but why she considered these spren so dangerous.  (Likely source: the Fused, because they were instructing singers in a great deal during Oathbringer.)  It made me wonder if singers have to be more aware of what spren inhabit an area than humans do.  Why do I think that?  Singers can bond them.  Suppose these plaguespren inhabited an area and a highstorm rolls through.  We know transformation with a singer isn't a precise art to them (per WoR interludes), so what do you suppose happens if they come out of the storm accidentally bonding one of the more "negative" concepts (e.g. painspren, plaguespren, rotspren)?

My assertion is that singers will put human superstition about spren to the test and vice-versa, because singers can bond a spren and change based on that.  As I said on Discord, I don't think this would necessarily mean a sudden form of power, but with plaguespren there is such a concept as being a natural reservoir for a disease, and their body could transform to incubate it and subsequently release it.  Patient Zero, in other words.

 

Thoughts?

Edited by dvoraen
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Small detail I want to discuss: an expression that goes through Navani's head when she's looking at Gavilar's body.

 

Quote

Well, the Father of Storms and the Mother of the World ignored the desires of men, no matter how grand.

So, Father of Storms of course sounds like a name for the Stormfather. But Mother of the World does not sound like a name for the Nightwatcher or Sibling; it sounds like a name for Cultivation. Which would make 'Father of Storms' Honor, rather than the Stormfather. Or perhaps a figure that's a weird mash-up of the two. 

Either way, it's an expression about deities that are decidedly not the Vorin divinities. A Sign of pre-Vorin culture lurking behind the scenes of Alethi culture in the form of expressions, like that time Shallan said 'Mother Cultivation' in the same way we'd say 'Mother Nature'? Or a sign that Navani might have a bit of a different cultural background? Jasnah had to get her anti-Vorin sentiments from somewhere, after all. 

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24 minutes ago, dvoraen said:

One thing I found absolutely fascinating about Chapter 1 was this:

I couldn't help but wonder not only where she got the idea, but why she considered these spren so dangerous.  (Likely source: the Fused, because they were instructing singers in a great deal during Oathbringer.)  It made me wonder if singers have to be more aware of what spren inhabit an area than humans do.  Why do I think that?  Singers can bond them.  Suppose these plaguespren inhabited an area and a highstorm rolls through.  We know transformation with a singer isn't a precise art to them (per WoR interludes), so what do you suppose happens if they come out of the storm accidentally bonding one of the more "negative" concepts (e.g. painspren, plaguespren, rotspren)?

My assertion is that singers will put human superstition about spren to the test and vice-versa, because singers can bond a spren and change based on that.  As I said on Discord, I don't think this would necessarily mean a sudden form of power, but with plaguespren there is such a concept as being a natural reservoir for a disease, and their body could transform to incubate it and subsequently release it.  Patient Zero, in other words.

 

Thoughts?

I think it's just general Rosharan superstition that's rubbed off on Abiajan given she calls unclean water, sanitation and germ theory mere superstition.

Quote

“Disease isn’t caused by spren,” Lirin said. “It is spread by contaminated water, improper sanitation, or sometimes by the breath of those who bear it.”

“Superstition,” she said.

She's also been in slaveform all her life as have all her ancestors have been for 2,000 years, so she has little ingrained cultural knowledge about forms and spren bonding, all this is recent to her.

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1 minute ago, MyrmidonOfAchilles said:

I think it's just general Rosharan superstition that's rubbed off on Abiajan given she calls unclean water, sanitation and germ theory mere superstition.

But this is very weird. Why would Abiajan call this things as superstition? I would say that the Fused had taught her about some things like this.

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8 hours ago, Kuram said:

So far we've seen no evidence to suggest that Spren can exist independently as physical phenomenon, so I lean towards Stormfather being of the storm and not the storm itself.  

Even if the storm as a physical phenomenon persisted, its arcane power would vanish. Hence everything with a vital gem heart would be dead in a few weeks. Ecological collapse would set in immediately. You'd have removed most predators and all top predators.

If the crem stops flowing, the nutritional situation will change drastically. Many plants will die out.

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1 hour ago, dvoraen said:

My assertion is that singers will put human superstition about spren to the test and vice-versa, because singers can bond a spren and change based on that.  As I said on Discord, I don't think this would necessarily mean a sudden form of power, but with plaguespren there is such a concept as being a natural reservoir for a disease, and their body could transform to incubate it and subsequently release it.  Patient Zero, in other words.

 

Thoughts?

I think you are right about the test of superstitions.

  • Do painspren cause pain or are they only attracted by it?
  • Are diseases caused by plaguespren or do they just attract plaguespren?
  • Is fire caused by flamespren or are they just attracted by fire?

For the last question we have some information: Flamespren are attracted by fire and can then be trapped in a gemstone. Artifabrians can construct heat fabrials with those trapped sprens. We know that heat fabrials use flamespren. If you can produce enough heat, you can light a fire using the heat fabrial and therefore indirectly the flame spren creates flames.

Going from there, one could speculate on the kind of spren used in painrials (the one Navani uses). My guess would be - among others (I will have to search for a translation of Navani's notebook in WoK) - painspren. Navani uses that painrial both to reduce and to cause pain, switching the fabrial from Diminisher to Augmenter. So, indirectly, a painspren might be used to induce pain.

If we now consider fabrials a biomimetic technology - basing and expanding on the natural symbiosis of spren and "physical" life on Roshar, a Singer could also be able to transform the attribute that attracts a specific spren to an active effect. So, a Singer with a bonded plaguespren might be able to spread diseases. 

Another explanation why the Singers are afraid of plaguespren is this: The area around the purelake is affected by a disease, assumedly carried in by three looking-for-Wit persons from another world. I have in mind the disease being "just" the flue or a minor cold. For Rosharans without the proper immunities this could be really dangerous though, Human and Singer alike.
No matter if spren or germs distribute that disease, the danger is there and precautions should be taken. The Singers doing that shows some - for me unexpected - prudence and insight with them.

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For Gavilar I like the idea of him becoming a cognitive shadow. I feel like this is something 100% achievable for him and could align with his goal of becoming immortal. It might be what he meant when he said that 'Thaidakar is too late' - though it might also just refer to the fact that he already put the plan in motion by giving the sphere to Eshonai. 
Similarly, all of the talk about how he wants to become something more, something eternal and how Navani says it's seems impossible how a man like that could just die might be there to give readers the idea than he might not be fully gone but it also might just be expanding on his character and what effect he had on people. If he turns out not to be gone it's a great bit of foreshadowing, I personally never before thought he might not be fully dead but it's not like now it's confirmed but the idea is there. 

I also like the idea of (if he's out there) him becoming Odium's champion. Like I'm certain it's not sth Odium has been planning since he's been grooming Dalinar for a very long time and I think Gavilar's assassination was part of that grooming considering how deeply it affected Dalinar and was the catalyst that made him visit Nightwatcher. But now that this plan has failed and if Gavilar is still out there in the cognitive realm probably quite dissapointed in how his existance as cognitive shadow has been, he might be a good replacement. Promises of power and a better form of immortality might be enough to sway him to Odium's side - but again, the familiarity remark from Dalinar might foreshadow that or might foreshadow almost any other character becoming the Champion.

Also, this Gavilar we see in the conversation with Navani seems very different from the Gavilar from Dalinar's perspective at a time, who was reading The Way of Kings and calling people to follow the codes. Saying such cruel things to your wife seems kinda not in spirit with Nohadon's teachings. Makes me wonder if it was not only Navani who was pretending in this chapter - though idk if saying those things just to push her away (to protect her? or because he couldn't fully trust her and he couldn't jeopardize his mission?) wouldn't be against the line of Bondsmith reasoning that ends don't justify the means. I know each Knight Radiant can understand the ideals a bit different but this seems like a very big dissonnance. He tells Eshonai he needs a threat that will unite the Alethi and I don't fully understand how his work with the 'box' is connected to this. Like he might have gotten Ulim and/or voidlight from it which gave him a way to put the Desolation in motion but it seems his main goal is the transportation in and out of Roshar - or is he just playing the heralds to get from them what he needs to get the threat? I found this new side of him very interesting and I'm quite glad we now have a week to mull it over before we move on to the action in the current time.

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“The wisdom of the Heralds,” Lirin replied. “We should be careful.” Fragments of old manuscripts—translations of translations of translations—mentioned quick-spreading diseases that had killed tens of thousands. Such things hadn’t been recorded in any modern texts he’d been read

 

I quite liked this excerpt as well. A reference to the Rosharan humans being from another planet maybe or simply the desolations destroying knowledge. Even a reference to "The Silence Divine" perhaps? Perhaps there's evidence to suggest that the Humans brought with them a disease that also decimated parts of the parshmen population which added to the conflict between the two races.

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