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RoW Chapter 11 Discussion

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24 minutes ago, Karger said:

Or perhaps this is what it feels like to become one.

Thats what i was thinking too


It was either a brand on their soul or this

we know Odium’s power is usually felt as a burning heat(like when he showed Dalinar his true power when they met in a vision)

i assume its similar for the Singers. Having their soul ripped/burned away and replaced with Odiums power

Edited by Eternal Khol
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29 minutes ago, Eternal Khol said:

I like how Venli mentions Brands and then has a thought that she’s never seen a brand on the skin of a fused.

I think the brand isn't on their skin. Its on their soul

I agree. I had the impression that it was related to Selish magic. I know Sel is far away, but it sounds just like it to me.

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10 hours ago, LuckyJim said:

YES! My theory of a third faction of listeners was right!

It's cool to see Venli building her own pseudo-rebellion, I like that the listeners are able to maintain agency in obtaining freedom instead of being forced to rely on humans, she's becoming a proper Willshaper. I'm also just really excited to see more chapters focusing on the singers/listeners as well, and hopefully maybe some more Radiants from this as well.

I really hoped this is the direction Venli would take as well! Maybe because the quiz suggested I was a Willshaper myself, this chapter got me totally jazzed for Venli's arc. Free the Singers!

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This almost has me sold on Venli being the Envoy that goes with Adolin and Shallan.

I could see a twist happen where they are successful on getting the Honorspren to bond again but it is with the Singers. 

It will be interesting seeing how they cross paths.

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8 hours ago, GudThymes said:

I've seen elsewhere on the shard that that epigraph was a typo and was supposed to be pewter and tin (I think).

I’ve been championing this theory, but afaik it is still just a theory. It’s technically possible, but even I will admit it’s unlikely. We won’t know until the book actually comes out, or we get an official word from Brandon’s camp.

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Chapter reactions: 

Wow, this chapter was fun. We learnt so much of what is going on in Kholinar.

Those tower rooms are crazy! 
Do you think Leshwi and kaladin are a possibility?!! It appears that she is fascinated by Kaladin and has even told Venli loads about him. I am not even sure that she wants to kill Kaladin! 

And Venli is trying to recreate (Listeners) what she happily destroyed! Kind of bittersweet moment for me reading this. 

But I do agree with her. Singers have it bad! For them, there are no free lunches! It is either oppression and slavery to humans or fused tyranny. Total Subservience to a god who does not really care about them. To him, singers are just bodies that his fused can use.

In fact I think for the first in Rosharan  history, listener culture may be more attractive to most singers. They have seen human atrocities and they are already questioning fused tyranny. 
Unlike in the past desolations, fused have their tasks cut out for them. As they have not come back to singers who worship them. 
Remember that Moash’s singer group in OB was also not very thrilled with the authority! There are likely to be many more such singers out there. 

Trying to stay out of this whole drama is actually a smart choice. But I also think that she will realise that it is also a short term solution. Ultimately listeners also got caught in the problem. And I hope she decides to join dalinars forces! 

I hope fused, some of them, atleast realise that odium would even see this world destroyed just to get a chance to kill honor (fully) and cultivation.  They may not get their world back. 

Glad to know that Yokska survived! Obviously Adolin’s tailor was the best tailor in Kholinar! 

Edited by The Traveller
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9 hours ago, The Traveller said:

Do you think Leshwi and kaladin are a possibility?!! It appears that she is fascinated by Kaladin and has even told Venli loads about him. I am not even sure that she wants to kill Kaladin! 

And Venli is trying to recreate (Listeners) what she happily destroyed! ... I hope fused, some of them, atleast realise that odium would even see this world destroyed just to get a chance to kill honor (fully) and cultivation.  They may not get their world back. 

Well I am not in full shipping mode, but I must say seeing Leshwi "at home" (and presumably unguarded and acting naturally) blunted a lot of my suspicions from the Chapter 10 discussion thread about the motives of the Heavenly Ones, and her in particular.

She does appear to be "fascinated" by Kaladin in a way that suggests she'd rather continue to study and spar with him than to end him. Specifically, Venli thinks of him - in terms she must have been told by Leshwi, after all - "Leshwi was fascinated by the Windrunners, and in particular their leader—the young man who had forged a group of Radiants without the guidance of god or Herald".

As a Fused, Leshwi has surely fought Windrunners in the sky through many, many Desolations. So she's not "fascinated by the Windrunners" in the sense of "wow, look at what they can do!"

No, she's fascinated by the current crop of Windrunners, who are different from what she's encountered in the past in one very key way: they were self-founded this time, specifically by Kaladin, and not (as she probably saw it in the past) "commissioned" by Honor or Jezrien.

What does that mean? It means Honor is dead... But that humans... Can have honor? Can have nobility? Without having it thrust upon them to use as a weapon against the singers?

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14 hours ago, Karger said:

Or perhaps this is what it feels like to become one.

Hm. They became the Fused before they were Surgebinders.

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20 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Hm. They became the Fused before they were Surgebinders.

This is a good point... Whatever grants them access to Voidlight and Surges, is it simply from bonding a voidspren in their gemheart or something more?

Venli can access Voidlight, but we don't know if that's because she's a Regal or some kind of combo effect of her also having a Nahel bond (thought to be impossible for a listener).

From the way Venli thinks about singer society being stratified between "regular people" singers who took on forms from taking in normal spren to their gemhearts, Regals who bonded voidspren, then the Fused and then the Thunderclasts and Unmade (note that T-clasts are a separate class from Fused, though having names and identities that suggest they were originally singers...).

So there are other Regals than her - can they touch Voidlight? And can they use it to wield Surges, or just to heal with it or something?

We know that during the False Desolation, the one after which came the Zombification of the Singers and then the Recreance, Ba-Ado-Mishram did something unprecedented and not only was able to grant singers "forms of power" to make Regals (voidspren), but to "grant access to Voidlight" - but not to actually trigger a full Desolation and bringing back the Fused and the Thunderclasts. Did those Regals Surgebind, or not? Is that something of the Fused only? I don't think we know yet, right?

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38 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Hm. They became the Fused before they were Surgebinders.

Inconclusive.  It may be just that it took some time for them to figure out the magic system.

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I told myself I would not read the pre-view chapters this time around but caved in yesterday because I have zero willpower. I actually liked this chapter the best so far which is surprising to me because I typically have not enjoyed Eshonai/Venli chapters in the past. I think mainly what I liked was this chapter gave a spark of hope although I think Venli's plan is obviously a tough one to accomplish. Needed a little bit of a lifter after the depressing Kaladin moment of chapter 10. 

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So, to draw a conclusion:

  • Kaladin has not seen any Transportation Fused other than Lezian, meaning there's a strong possibility that he's the only Transportation Fused in the area.
  • Leshwi says that Lezian is 'newly-awakened', so Venli has probably never encountered him.
  • Therefore, there's a strong possibility that Venli has never encountered a Transportation Fused.
  • Venli is able to check what spren other people are bonded with, presumably using Transportation, and it does not seem difficult for her. 
  • It does not seem unlikely to me that a Transportation Fused could do the same thing.

Conclusion: Kaladin isn't the only one who should be worrying about Lezian in the near future. 

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1 hour ago, robardin said:

No, she's fascinated by the current crop of Windrunners, who are different from what she's encountered in the past in one very key way: they were self-founded this time, specifically by Kaladin, and not (as she probably saw it in the past) "commissioned" by Honor or Jezrien.

What does that mean? It means Honor is dead... But that humans... Can have honor? Can have nobility? Without having it thrust upon them to use as a weapon against the singers?

I think Leshwi and possibly some of her fellow shanay-im are being setup narratively to switch sides. Some of the details that setup this arc are the Honorable way the shanay-im fight, Leshwi's fascination with Kaladin, Leshwi's being a leader of the shanay-im, Venli being the Voice of Leshwi, and Venli's explicit plan to tell Leshwi about her desire to create an independent splinter group of Listeners.

In the last chapter we found out that Leshwi values compassion greatly:

Quote

Leshwi took the towel from her barber and wiped her face, then selected a fruit from the bowl offered nearby. She inspected it for flaws. “You are compassionate to them, despite your attempts to appear stiff and stern. I can see the truth in you, Venli, Last Listener.”

If that were so, Venli thought, I would undoubtedly be dead by now.

“I favor compassion,” Leshwi said, “so long as it does not override worthier Passions.” She began eating her fruit, giving instruction in a quick hum.

And then Venli's explicit statement of her plans, and Leshwi's role in her plan as the Litmus test to see whether the Fused will go along with the splintering off of a new group of Listeners.

Quote

She leaned forward. “We have two current plans. The first is to find sympathetic Fused and convince them we deserve this privilege. They respect Passion and courage.”

....

It was a frail hope, Venli admitted to herself. Timbre pulsed within her, agreeing. Leshwi though… the high lady seemed to respect her enemies. She could be brutal, she could be unforgiving, but she could also be thoughtful.

....So if Leshwi—who was among both the most sane and the most empathetic of Fused—could not be persuaded, then that left only one option. To run and hide. 

Kaladin is compassion incarnate. Leshwi's fascination with Kaladin really comes down to 3 things, his prowess with his powers, the honorable way that both he and his Windrunners fight, and Kaladin's compassion.

Here are the Chapter 6 excerpts that show the above:

Quote

The forces on the ground might mercilessly brutalize one another, but up here—in the skies—they’d found mutual respect. The respect of combatants who would kill one another, but as part of a contest, not a slaughter.

...

“No!” Kaladin shouted. He couldn’t simply watch. He couldn’t. He Lashed himself forward, but Leshwi met his eyes. He paused.

She yanked her spear from Sigzil’s chest right before his Stormlight went out...

Leshwi glanced to the side. A short distance away—hanging in the air with no weapon—was the Heavenly One that Kaladin had defeated earlier.

Leshwi shouldn’t care that Kaladin had spared the creature. It had been a foolish gesture toward a being who could be reborn with each new storm...

...

Leshwi had brought her spear around to strike precisely as he did. Her weapon hit him in the shoulder, mirroring where he’d struck her opposite shoulder. He felt his Stormlight draining away, leeched into the spear; it felt as if his very soul was being drawn out. He held on, sucking in all the remaining Light from the recharged spheres in his pouches—then forced his spear deeper into her wound until tears leaked from the corners of her eyes.

Leshwi smiled. He grinned back, a full-toothed grin, even while she was draining away his life.

...

He heard an angry-sounding hum beside him. Leshwi had drifted near—closer than he should have let her get—but she didn’t strike. She watched the Fused and his soldiers below, and the sound of her angry humming intensified.

She looked to him, then nodded toward the Fused and the unfortunate people. He understood the gesture immediately. Go. Stop him.

Kaladin moved forward, then paused and held up his spear before Leshwi. Then he dropped it. Though Syl vanished to mist almost immediately, he hoped Leshwi would understand.

Indeed, she smiled, then—her off hand still pressed to her bleeding wound—she held out her own spear and pointed the tip downward. A draw, the gesture seemed to say.

She nodded again toward the manor. Kaladin needed no further encouragement. He shot toward the terrified people.

I think this is more confirmation that Kaladin, and more specifically Kaladin's compassion, will be instrumental in bridging the gulf between the Singers and the humans.

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1 minute ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

I think Leshwi and possibly some of her fellow shanay-im are being setup narratively to switch sides. Some of the details that setup this arc are the Honorable way the shanay-im fight, Leshwi's fascination with Kaladin, Leshwi's being a leader of the shanay-im, Venli being the Voice of Leshwi, and Venli's explicit plan to tell Leshwi about her desire to create an independent splinter group of Listeners.

In the last chapter we found out that Leshwi values compassion greatly:

And then Venli's explicit statement of her plans, and Leshwi's role in her plan as the Litmus test to see whether the Fused will go along with the splintering off of a new group of Listeners.

Kaladin is compassion incarnate. Leshwi's fascination with Kaladin really comes down to 3 things, his prowess with his powers, the honorable way that both he and his Windrunners fight, and Kaladin's compassion.

Here are the Chapter 6 excerpts that show the above:

I think this is more confirmation that Kaladin, and more specifically Kaladin's compassion, will be instrumental in bridging the gulf between the Singers and the humans.

Yes I can see that, but I also felt that was unrealistic initially ... I mean Leshwi has fought in how many Desolations? And now she gets all compassionate about humans and singers and whatnot? Is Kaladin really so exceptionally different from Windrunners of the past?

I think to believable a lot more would have to be invested in sketching out exactly why a Fused like Leshwi would be particularly swayed to compassion for or through Kaladin when literally hundreds of prior iterations with "Kaladin equivalents" have not...

Either they were not Kaladin equivalents - and she thinks about exactly how/why (perhaps the "without god or Herald" angle is the key)... Or maybe something about Venli is moving Leshwi towards singer-ness (listener-ness) and away from Odium (some nascent expression of the Second Ideal of the Willshapers?)

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Another thing that's been kicking around in my mind: In prior Desolations, the Radiants would've been lead the Heralds, and in particular, the Windrunners would've been led by Jezrien. So there would not have been Kaladin-equivalents in the prior iterations. Or, depending on how you look at it, Jezrien was the Kaladin-equivalent in every prior iteration.

Leshwi, then, has probably fought Jezrien a whole bunch of times. And she has to be aware that she'll never fight him again. I would think that that would be enough to inspire some wistfulness. At least enough to make her take an interest in Jezrien's 'replacement'. 

Edited by Gilphon
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7 minutes ago, Gilphon said:

Another thing that's been kicking around in my mind: In prior Desolations, the Radiants would've been lead the Heralds, and in particular, the Windrunners would've been led by Jezrien. So there would not have been Kaladin-equivalents in the prior iterations. Or, depending on how you look at it, Jezrien was the Kaladin-equivalent in every prior iteration.

Leshwi, then, has probably fought Jezrien a whole bunch of times. And she has to be aware that she'll never fight him again. I would think that that would be enough to inspire some wistfulness. At least enough to make her take an interest in Jezrien's 'replacement'. 

That's a bit of an understatement, considering she's the one who handed Moash the Special Knife and told him exactly who to go stab and where to find him, and very likely was one of the ones who watched from the sky as the deed "they dared not do themselves" was done.

 

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1 hour ago, robardin said:

Yes I can see that, but I also felt that was unrealistic initially ... I mean Leshwi has fought in how many Desolations? And now she gets all compassionate about humans and singers and whatnot? Is Kaladin really so exceptionally different from Windrunners of the past?

I think to believable a lot more would have to be invested in sketching out exactly why a Fused like Leshwi would be particularly swayed to compassion for or through Kaladin when literally hundreds of prior iterations with "Kaladin equivalents" have not...

Either they were not Kaladin equivalents - and she thinks about exactly how/why (perhaps the "without god or Herald" angle is the key)... Or maybe something about Venli is moving Leshwi towards singer-ness (listener-ness) and away from Odium (some nascent expression of the Second Ideal of the Willshapers?)

I think the thing that is operatively different in this case is that this is the True Desolation. Though the Fused are flawed and broken, they still are the Singers. Maybe the advent of the Everstorm and it's obvious function to destroy will help Leshwi and some of the other sane Fused realize that Odium is not in this for the salvation of the SIngers, and that this is a much more dangerous game.

The callousness with which Odium destroys Singers to give the Fused life probably tips his hand that he will pursue his objects regardless of the cost to the Singers, and my guess is that his Machiavellian tendencies are only going to get more pronounced as the war continues. The case for not siding with Odium is pretty clear, looking around at her drooling Ancient One friends, seeing the strange indoctrination of the Singers that flows from Odium, and witnessing the new cycle of Destruction unleashed on Roshar through the Everstorm paints a pretty compelling picture that Odium doesn't give a crap about the Singers or Roshar. Simple vengeance is not enough to sustain a movement, what good is the struggle to rid Roshar of the Humans if there's no Roshar left for the Singers and the Fused.

Edited by hoiditthroughthegrapevine
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1 hour ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

I think the thing that is operatively different in this case is that this is the True Desolation. Though the Fused are flawed and broken, they still are the Singers. Maybe the advent of the Everstorm and it's obvious function to destroy will help Leshwi and some of the other sane Fused realize that Odium is not in this for the salvation of the SIngers, and that this is a much more dangerous game.

The callousness with which Odium destroys Singers to give the Fused life probably tips his hand that he will pursue his objects regardless of the cost to the Singers, and my guess is that his Machiavellian tendencies are only going to get more pronounced as the war continues. The case for not siding with Odium is pretty clear, looking around at her drooling Ancient One friends, seeing the strange indoctrination of the Singers that flows from Odium, and witnessing the new cycle of Destruction unleashed on Roshar through the Everstorm paints a pretty compelling picture that Odium doesn't give a crap about the Singers or Roshar. Simple vengeance is not enough to sustain a movement, what good is the struggle to rid Roshar of the Humans if there's no Roshar left for the Singers and the Fused.

I dunno. Again, Leshwi has been through many previous Desolations and presumably has no problem with replacing the lives of her "sacrifices" to regain physical form. The Everstorm merely shortens that cycle, instead of coming back once per Desolation she comes back once per Everstorm, and clearly has already done so many times (Moash killed her, and by now I'm guessing so has Kaladin - at any rate, as of Chapter 11 of RoW she was in a malen body that she has to shave, which annoys her, which she wasn't when we last saw her in Oathbringer giving the knife to Moash).

If that bothers her enough to defect from Odium, it would not really seem believable as a character development thing vs. her known (historically in-world, very long) backstory and previous thoughts and actions unless it's gradually worked in with another theme involving either Kaladin, Venli, or both.

A Fused of her stature and tenure and history would not just wake up one day and say to herself, that's it, I can't do this anymore, what have I become? or something like that.

 

ETA: The more I think about it, the more I suspect that Venli, the Nascent Willshaper approaching the Second Ideal, being her major-domo is going to be a big part of what we're seeing going on with Leshwi. I mean, this is "The Willshaper book", right? Which Brandon has said was one of the first orders of Radiants he came up with when imagining SA?

Edited by robardin
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1 hour ago, robardin said:

A Fused of her stature and tenure and history would not just wake up one day and say to herself, that's it, I can't do this anymore, what have I become? or something like that.

And Venli makes it a point to note that this is a war based on vengeance, not justice--not anymore. I think for Leshwi to "change sides" or, rather, to envision a different ending to this war that doesn't involve genociding the humans, she'll need to not only feel connected to Kaladin in some way, but to become disillusioned by Odium's strategy. But we also have to remember that she is a cognitive shadow by Odium's power alone. If she is killed, and she has betrayed him, she will be dead-dead, I am guessing, unless she figures out some sort of workaround. 

Maybe Hoid will have some insights for her? ;-)

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How often do we think that's happened in past? I wonder how many individual Fused have realized the Odium's terrible and that they're not really doing it for the Singers anymore, and decided to just not fight for Odium anymore? 

Any time that happened, of course, Odium would've made sure that Fused didn't revive next Desolation. Which would imply that their membership has been whittled down, over the course of millennia, to only the ones who would never consider turning on Odium. 

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I'm just pumped that we could have a three sided conflict.

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How did Leshwi know that Sylphrena was present? She did not show herself. Was that a conclusion from seeing Kaladin talk to the thin air?

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18 hours ago, paperstones said:

This almost has me sold on Venli being the Envoy that goes with Adolin and Shallan.

I think that is too early, that's probably part 2 story for adolin/shallan and I don't think venli is going to get out of there that fast.

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1 hour ago, Oltux72 said:

How did Leshwi know that Sylphrena was present? She did not show herself. Was that a conclusion from seeing Kaladin talk to the thin air?

He summoned her as a spear.

 

I would also imagine that this is the only desolation where the fused would ever have a chance to change their feelings about the human since in previous desolations the Fused would have been so limited in interacting with humans. I would imagine every encounter they have is just battles in which one or another is killed which would limit how they see each other. In this desolation there is a unique situation where Leshwi has had the ability to battle with Kaladin multiple times in which Kaladin has survived and likely killed her before, which gained some measure of respect for him. If Kaladin had died their first battle I'd assume this situation wouldn't have happened. Then clearly with Jezrien and Honor dead this impacts her opinion of him further. If anything the Fused hated the Heralds, who would be the original voidbringers themselves, and Honor, who betrayed the Fused for the humans as well. Kaladin appears to be someone from a different generation who isn't led by these individuals and seemingly fights for the same thing and the same reasons as Leshwi does. To fight for their world and the survival of their people. 

The situation in earlier chapters where Leshwi and Kaladin stop fighting and agree on the draw and then agree that Kaladin should go to the manor show a certain level of trust between them that would have been founded over various other fights. I think at this point Leshwi and the Heavenly Ones do fight with honor and care about it and this is a rare opportunity where they can actually interact multiple times with the same person and gain mutual respect. Therefore I think this is historically the only desolation where it makes sense that they could change. Chapter 11 makes me pretty positive Leshwi isn't attempting to trick Kaladin in any way, although its hard to know for sure considering the whole Moash situation. I would assume Leshwi is fully aware of Moash's connection to the Windrunners and has some measure of leadership over him.

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I can't get over this Leshwi being in a male-en body in this incarnation. How did Kaladin not notice? Is my boy gender-blind or just uber-mad "woke"?

 

He can  recognize Leshwi, no matter what new body she takes, but he doesn't notice anything about the specific body. 

Edited by Zea mays
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