honorblades

The Shattering & The Recreance

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Today I would like to make a guess about a greater Cosmere idea that Brandon is foreshadowing to us using a pivotal moment from the Stormlight Archive. The evidence I have is mainly thematic. Let's start with a quote from Khriss:
 

Quote

Once you step behind the curtain and see the actors as the people they are, it becomes harder to pretend the play is real 

Khriss is talking to Kelsier, alluding to the nature of the Shards of Adonalsium as mere men and women. People who seized power and became something more. 



Brandon talks broadly about the bigger themes that he is writing into the Cosmere in this article, among them being that Warbreaker is meant to foreshadow something greater: 
 

Quote

 Warbreaker is about people literally called the Returned. (People who die, then come back as gods.)  . . . and Warbreaker is meant as a little foreshadowing toward the greater arc of the cosmere–that of the Shards of Adonalsium, who are held by ordinary people.



This leads me to a thought; what if the Recreance on Roshar is foreshadowing a future event when people in the Cosmere become aware of the true nature of the Shards? 


Now, to be clear, I am not referring to the actual action of the Knights Radiant breaking their oaths, but rather to them gaining the knowledge that would eventually break them. The Recreance was an event that doubtless had multiple causes. The Radiants learning the true nature of humans on Roshar (that Surgebinders had destroyed Ashyn, were the original Voidbringers and, according to Honor, were bound to destroy Roshar as well) was only part of what lead to the downfall of the Order as a whole. However, I believe this event is a hint towards how many people will act once it is widely known in the Cosmere that 16 people killed God and usurped his power. 

I can only imagine the fallout from that revelation would be destructive & immense.

 

I think that Brandon hints at this eventuality with groups, cultures, and persons who do seem to have some sort of knowledge of Adonalsium. In certain societies, the there is a sort of cultural memory pertaining to a God that existed before the Shards. This is heavily debated, of course, but I contend that the Iriali's belief in the One, and the various mentions of The God Beyond are examples of this. 

 

Now, it's not as if this knowledge is completely unknown at our current point in the timeline. Of course all of the original Vessels know of their own origins, and we can assume that new Vessels such as Harmony have a pretty good handle of their Shards history as well. There are certain informed scholars, such as Khriss, who seem to know quite a lot. And of course there are outliers like Hoid or Frost, who have just been alive forever. My point is simply that by and large, the vast majority of people in the Cosmere are unaware of the various Shards and the origin of their power. 

 

Alright, let me wrap up the argument I've laid out here with a summary: Once we hit Space Age Cosmere (or possibly sometime earlier, depending on technological advancements) the majority of cultures will be able to rapidly communicate and share information. During this time, it will become known that the Shards of Adonalsium are just that - mortal beings who murdered God and stole his power. What happens after that is anyone's guess, but I imagine it will be chaotic. 
 

 

Please let me know what you think, and thank you for reading.  

Special thanks to Pevin-son-Kalak on Discord & @asmodeus for their help with a little bit of research I couldn't seem to find. 

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They already know a lot of this on scadrial.  They know that shards are held by mortal beings who are prone to failure just like everyone else.

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1 minute ago, Karger said:

They already know a lot of this on scadrial.  They know that shards are held by mortal beings who are prone to failure just like everyone else.

They know a lot, but not quite all. I believe this is similar to Rosharans knowing that the Knights Radiant betrayed their oaths, but not knowing why. 

I think the question of how exactly these mortal beings came into their immense power is quite important, and will change people's perceptions of their gods. 

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Just now, vegvisr said:

I think the question of how exactly these mortal beings came into their immense power is quite important, and will change people's perceptions of their gods. 

I am pretty sure that some scadrian theologian thinks that what happened once can happen again IE that those vessels must have gotten their power from somewhere/someone.

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8 hours ago, vegvisr said:

They know a lot, but not quite all. I believe this is similar to Rosharans knowing that the Knights Radiant betrayed their oaths, but not knowing why. 

That was true during Era1 and TLR certainly, but in the age of Harmony they know the details simply because he made sure to tell them.  He wrote The Words of Founding, which among other things included the true history of the Shards on Scadrial (if not their previous lived or the Shattering or any of that, Harmony isnt very Cosmere-aware).  In them he included the real history of Scadrial as known and recorded by the Kandra, as well as the truths about Vin and Kelsier and Crew, their actions and actual motivations, etc.  And he is still whispering in many of their ears.  Where Roshar had thousands of years and a cycle of cultural destruction to bury events, Scadrial has a god who's purpose in life had been to Preserve Histories, so he isnt allowing them to become as incorrect about things as the Rosharans have.  

8 hours ago, vegvisr said:

I think the question of how exactly these mortal beings came into their immense power is quite important, and will change people's perceptions of their gods. 

Absolutely.  I assume it will be significant that Mistborn era4 where all the cultures are going to start interacting, and Dragonsteel where we learn about those events, will be very illuminating.  

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I'd love to see even more of theological crises in the Cosmere. It's really well suited to exploring that, and Brandon's good at it.

I think we've seen echoes of responses to the Shattering, perhaps with the belief in a God Beyond, and most noticeably, the One.

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