Argent

The Nature of the Dawnshard

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2 hours ago, Czernobog said:

Or "different" could merely mean that (at the time of that quote) one dawnshard is not currently held by any mind.

This is interesting, and immediately gave me an idea. What if one Dawnshard has become self-aware? That would certainly qualify as different. 

Edited by Kairos
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5 minutes ago, Kairos said:

This is interesting, and immediately gave me an idea. What if one Dawnshard has become self-aware? That would certainly qualify as different. 

Oooh... that would fit with the suggested “Think” Command quite well.

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5 minutes ago, Ashbringer said:

Oooh... that would fit with the suggested “Think” Command quite well.

Or even with a “Feel” command. I could see that being the passion/anger of the overarching Odium-tied Command

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7 minutes ago, Ashbringer said:

Oooh... that would fit with the suggested “Think” Command quite well.

That's a good point! Think would be good as well. 

And excellent points about the difference possibly being self aware, or not held. My issue with the idea of it not being held as a difference is that it just seems... Flat. Is being held really a difference? It could be, but it can clearly be moved around and stored in odd things, (like a wall) sour seems they would always be held. Now if it is more of a physical object, that would be a different story. I'll have to dig back through, but I think there was something in the WoBs that relates to the Dawnshards more critically that we should go look for, in the 'weappn that destroyed Adonalsium' area.

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The “weapon” is no longer in its original, functional state, we know that much. But we also know that Hoid has something called the “First Gem”, a piece of that weapon. Could be a Dawnshard, could be something else. But I don’t think Aldonalsium fell from the four Dawnshards alone.

My guess for a “different” is that one of the Dawnshards is “broken” to some degree. But I like the sentience idea.

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Could the whole "Dawnshards known to bind any creature voidish or mortal" quote mean Dawnshards will bind to a fused as readily as one bound to Rysn? Much like a spren bond?

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1 hour ago, Fezzik said:

Could the whole "Dawnshards known to bind any creature voidish or mortal" quote mean Dawnshards will bind to a fused as readily as one bound to Rysn? Much like a spren bond?

I think that means that that Dawnshard CAN bind (or affect) any creature, regardless of whether they're human or not. Which is points for another Dawnshard on Roshar.

Although I wouldn't be surprised if anyone could take up the Dawnshard as well, including a Fused or Odium himself.

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Making "Creation" one of the dawnshard "quadrants" seems flawed as creation itself is the purpose of Adonalsium.  So we should be looking for aspects that would enable constructive creation of life/matter on the Book of Genesis model.  Let there be X...X was good.  Both constructive and evaluative of the construction.

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What you needed to, another part of her thought. You have adapted. You have Remade yourself.
It was then that she grasped, in the smallest way, the nature of the Command inside her. The will of a god to remake things, to demand they be better.
The power to change.


Sounds to me like Rysn just got "soul-casted."
At least, that's how the target of a soulcast must feel right? You have this entity pushing itself into your perception, asking you to change. Convincing you that you've already done it, that you're capable of doing it. Do it again. One more time.

The cosmere functions on Investiture, Command, Intent, and Connection.
The Dawnshard just used three of those on Rysn. 
And if it can 'bond any creature mortal or voidish' maybe it doesn't have a problem with connecting either.
"Change" is just another surge, just another manifestation of investiture—a force of magic that gained classification from people's perspective. No better than Gravitation or Division.




Big-A was shattered and its power split up among the first wielders of the Shards right? God's power of Preservation, Ruin, etc.
Investiture imprints and interacts with sapience, so the Shards of Hatred, Honor, Ambition probably got their intent from Ado right? After all Investiture will form Sapience if given the chance as well. The power sits in the Spiritual and is classified and keyed by cognitive thought: even the big capital-S Shards are bound by the intent keyed to their investiture. 
And in some cases we see unbound investiture pursue its intent and grow sapience. But sapience also shapes investiture—intent is hard-coded into the cosmere and it came from some intellect with these concepts.

But we've seen Ado's investiture!
It's the Shards. There's sixteen of them, they can be splintered or merged further, but we're familiar. Almost intimately with some of them.
Why call these Dawnshards? Why are they different?
Seems silly that only just now Brando would introduce us to some "Super Shards" that are somewhere between a Shard and Adonalsium itself? 


What happened to Adonalsium's mind?

After all, what is a Command except a manifestation of someone's will.
 

Edited by Zmann966
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On 11/6/2020 at 1:02 AM, Pagerunner said:

In another thread, I mentioned how Rysn's Dawnshard has similarities to both Cultivation (though theme mostly) and Endowment (through some theme and through the manifestations she experiences at the end). Which ties in with the mural, that has sixteen Shards, four associated with each Dawnshard.

We've got three Shards associated with Roshar, and I suspect that each of them are tied to a different Dawnshard. My tack would be to use them as springboards for Dawnshards (or quadrants, as has been the long-maligned yet always popular theory), and to look kind of at the different kinds of spren. It actually brings me back towards the "conflict in literature" meme, but not about conflict, but how reality operates. You've got Nature (the Growth Dawnshard, which would have Endowment/Cultivation/Ruin/Preservation), you've got Emotion (Odium/Devotion/hypothetical-Wisdom-Prudence-what-have-you), you've got Civilization (Honor/Ambition/Dominion/maybe-even-Ingenuity), and you've got Religion (Autonomy). All essential aspects of creation; you need a world, you need it inhabited by actual people, those people need to talk to each other, and those people need to talk to God. And nothing is inherently negative, like Stasis or Destruction.

It would be nice to know exactly what all the Dawnshards did back in Dragonsteel. From the WoBs, we know that Hoid could still heal, so I'm actually guessing he had the same Dawnshard that Rysn now holds. The only other thing we know is microkinesis that lets you manipulate individual atoms, which really feels like Civilization to me; you've got to tame the natural order of things and manipulate it as you see fit.

On 11/6/2020 at 8:56 AM, Pagerunner said:

For the first point, I don't see what is problematic about it. The mural indicates there is some form of commonality among sets of four Shards - Adonalsium, split into four, split into four more each. The Dawnshards aren't the the four; the Dawnshards are specific items/concepts/Investiture that guided the splits. The Shards, together, are the summation of Adonalsium; the Dawnshards are tools that accomplish ends. The commonalities between the infinity of the Shards are the clues to reverse-engineer what the Dawnshards were that divided them (not that created them). And, while one data point does not define a trend, that is what we can see with the single Dawnshard we know about. Change does seem very much like Cultivation, but the concept of Cultivation gains more depth in the destruction required and in the intentions behind it. But the concept of Change can also be further specified and refined to Endowment or Ruin (although it's possible to make quite a variety of cases, similar to how various characters can be argued to the path for multiple Orders of Radiant); Change isn't limited by Cultivation, it's the starting point to take Cultivation from God. We need to start at the Shards and work backwards; not because the Dawnshards are created from the Shards, but because the Shards are the only tangible influence we can see to the Dawnshards' nature.

For the second point, I think you've got it backwards. The Dawnshards need to describe life, not just everything in existence. The universe is more than just somethings; you've got the immaterial, you've got the social, the emotional, the spiritual. The existence of the Cognitive Realm shows that the fundamental fabric of the cosmere requires minds to observe it; and the Spiritual Realm holds Connections between people and all the things, material and immaterial, that influence and determine their natures. Intelligent life is not just a part of the cosmere; the cosmere exists for the purpose of developing intelligent life.

To look at it from another way, the Dawnshards are fundamental elements of the human (and singer and dragon and sho del etc.) existence. There are views of the physical world that have fundamental elements: the four classical Elements, or the Rosharan ten elements and ten Surges. The Dawnshards you've proposed seem, to me, to be a different take on a similar theme; what does the world require. But I'm saying the world we live in is only one part of our experience, and the Dawnshards will reflect the rest of that. The fundamental elements of creation are more like Physical, Social, Emotional, and Spiritual.

I think you need to take a week or so and mull things over, because there are some pretty big signs in the text that you're ignoring, and some assumptions that you need to recognize and evaluate.

First is the word "creation." It's got multiple related meanings; it seems you're using it to describe the final product of the creative process. Like how "the universe" or "reality" could be interchangeable with "creation." But there's a different sense, to describe the actual creative process itself. So when you're trying to come up with how four Dawnshards can sum up creation, don't look at the different aspects of existence, the aspects of the universe. Look at the specific actions required to create anything in any form.

And that's why these are "Commands." They're verbs, they're things that are done by an agent to a target. Contrast that with "Intent," which is a goal. Investiture, the very "power of creation" (as it has been referred to before), needs guidance in how to act: Intent tells it what to accomplish, and the Command how to accomplish. Creating the world required the Intents we see from the Shards. (Ruin, Preservation, Endowment, Ambition, etc. All guided Adonalsium in how the world would look like once it was created.) Intents are the "What." But exactly how it was done required the Commands; those are the "How."

So here's the turning point: all magic, all Investiture, is the very power of creation, merely applied in novel manners. I say that the four Dawnshards embody the four Commands, and that the four Commands exemplify all types of magic. If you got someone with every magic system and access to the power of sufficient Investiture, they would have the means and mechanisms to create in the same way that Adonalsium originally created the universe. One big aspect is "change for the better," or growth. What are the other three?

(The Star Wars expanded universe is a good jumping off point for this thought experiment. The roleplaying games originally classified the Force powers into one of three categories: Alter (external manipulation), Control (mastery of self), and Sense (observation). Alter powers were Mind Trick or Move Object. Control powers were Force Speed or Healing Trance. And Sense powers were Blindsight or Force Visions. Magic was structured. I think the Dawnshards and their Commands are similar structure for cosmere magics. One of these schools of magic is Change. What are the other three?)

With that in mind, let's survey some of our magic systems to try to find patterns.

What magic systems embody CHANGE? On Roshar, we've got Soulcasting, the Surge of Transformation. I think some of the other Surges embody this, as well, specifically Tension, Cohesion, Division, and Progression. On Scadrial, I think you can essentially describe all of Feruchemy and Hemalurgy this way. Both are an agent using Investiture to manipulate a spiritweb; on Feruchemy it's your own, on Hemalurgy it's others'. Sel has Soulforging. I don't see anything on Nalthis, Taldain, Threnody, or Sixth of the Dusk; but those are all either much more specific and narrow magic systems, or just big question marks for the time being. But each of our three big magic environments has a magic system in the vein of "changing."

What are other fundamental types of magic in the cosmere? The next one to jump out at me is "MOVE." Looking back to what little we know about Dragonsteel, we've got microkinesis, the ability to manipulate matter on an atomic level. What other magics in the cosmere move things? Surgebinding has Adhesion, Gravitation, Abrasion, and Transportation. I'd say a good chunk of Allomancy is moving; Steelpushing and the temporal metals for sure, and I'd argue metaphysically that stuff like Rioting or the enhancement metals are all moving, too; either moving someone's mind or moving someone's spirit. Nothing specific with AonDor as a whole, but it certainly has movement-based applications, like teleportation, and many Aons that just strictly apply energy (like fire) are ones I'd classify in this category. Nalthis and Taldain are primarily move-based magic systems; Breath animates things to move and do things, and Sand Mastery (at least as far as we know) is just moving sand.

There's one Surge left, which can guide us to a third fundamental type of magic. "SEE." Illumination is how this manifests on Roshar, letting you affect what others see or potentially even letting you see into the Spiritual Realm about others (as we've seen with Renarin and Shallan here and there). In Allomancy, this is atium, which would springboard into any other Fortune-based powers across the cosmere; and also Bronze/Copper would be involved.

So, what is the last one? I'm honestly not all that sure. I might be lumping too much into Change , and some of the spiritual manipulations would be in there. I could also try to break down Feruchemy and Hemalurgy into specifics, the sixteen different manifestations of each magic system, and try to line things up. You've got a lot of Change, you've got some Move (with mental speed or memories), you've got some See (with Fortune). But what about the other Spiritual metals? What about Determination?

And that takes me back to the other side of the coin. We can look at the fundamental kinds of magic, or we could look at what sorts of fundamental magics would be required to create the world. There needs to be this sense of positive change, to create something out of nothing. There needs to be movement, the world isn't stale and static. There needs to be sight, the intelligent feedback to the agent of creation. But I'm still struggling to come up with a fourth Command, a fourth kind of action needed to create. Unless it involves the original plan; maybe Fortune isn't See, but instead it and the other Spiritual Realm properties have to do with the blueprint of creation, something like Know? I'm not gonna bold it, because I'm not that confident of it. It would be cheesy and sappy, but maybe Love could be another one? Maybe I'll take a week of my own to do some reconsidering.

So, now that I've divorced the Intents and the Commands as two independent aspects that determine how Investiture is applied, I start to wonder if the four-in-four groupings on the mural are coincidental with the Dawnshards. The sixteen Intents describe the mind of Adonalsium; the four Commands are specific avenues for his power to act. So I don't think the Dawnshards would necessarily align with Shards, much less exactly four of them apiece. I'd have a hard time distinguishing Shards between Move and Change, specifically Ruin and Preservation. As with the act of creation itself, I'm leaning towards the Dawnshards telling us how Adonalsium was Shattered, not what he was Shattered into.

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https://wob.coppermind.net/events/443/#e14300

Spoiler

Brandon Sanderson
Hoid was a Dawnshard at some point in the deep past, and the reason he (even still) cannot physically harm people, or even eat meat, is related to the changes this made to his spirit. (Consider this the same fundamental principle as savanthood.) The few of you who have read Dragonsteel know that him being a Dawnshard was also the source of his immortality in that book, though the terms were different back then. (The word Dawnshard was never mentioned, for example--though the primary story of Dragonsteel (which is no longer cannon) was about several people who unwittingly become Dawnshards.)
And a preemptive RAFO to all questions on this subject :)

So, in light of this, what Dawnshard would Hoid have held? See?

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On 11/6/2020 at 4:04 PM, teknopathetic said:

The Sleepless were able to “see” that Rysn was a Dawnshard (with some squinting), so is it possible Hoid could detect her as well?

No, the Sleepless did not see that Rysn was a Dawnshard: they only saw that the mural no longer held it (the text strongly suggests that Nikli's attention was on the mural when he squinted). It was only after Rysn herself said "I - All I did was look at it and - " that the Sleepless appeared to realize that Rysn was now the Dawnshard.

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I feel like Move and Change should just be one Change Dawnshard. They’re too close for me to want to separate them.

 If  you think about The Last Airbender magic, each of the four elements is representative of a mindset. Water is Change and earth is the idea of watching others and reacting in the correct way. I don’t think the fire and air mindsets matter here. But earth is very close to the proposed Dawnshards Stasis, Think, and See. So I think React is a Dawnshard that encompasses all of this together. You See, you Think, and THEN you act. This is the Dawnshard that Hoid once had.

So we have Change and React. I’m not sure what the other two are.

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On 11/7/2020 at 9:31 AM, Kairos said:

This is interesting, and immediately gave me an idea. What if one Dawnshard has become self-aware? That would certainly qualify as different. 

OK, so this is a pretty sweet theory, but there is a bit of a preamble. 

Here's the last bit of Nikli's info dump about Dawnshards, and more interestingly Cord's response. 

Quote

... "The four primal Commands that created all things.” He paused. “And then eventually, they were used to undo Adonalsium itself. . . .”

Cord whispered something in her own language.

“So you do know,” Nikli said to her.

“There are songs . . .” Cord said. “From long ago. Of when this . . . Command came through the pool.” She whispered again in her tongue, and it sounded like a prayer.

Combined with this bit from earlier when Cord had tried to trick the sleepless into dueling her (emphasis added) . 

Quote

“Ha!” she said. “You have been tricked, god! I am Hualinam’lunanaki’akilu, the daughter of Numuhukumakiaki’aialunamor, the Fal’ala’liki’nor, he who drew the Bow of Hours at the dawn of the new millennium, heralding the years of change! If you were to kill me, you would be violating the ancient pact of the Seven Peaks, and so must now forfeit the battle!”

And this bit where Cord describes this pact between her people and the gods

Quote

“They don’t seem to know about the ancient treaties,” Cord whispered. “And in truth, those treaties were made with other gods.”

And finally this bit when the deal with the Sleepless is being concluded and Cord says this to Nikli to show that her pledge of secrecy can be trusted. 

Quote

“I am of the Peaks,” Cord said. “Guardians of the pool. You know I can be trusted.”

So, after Nikli talks about the Dawnshards being used to shatter Adonalsium, it triggers Cord's memoriy of the ancient songs of when the Dawnshard came through Cultivatiion's perpindicularity. The Horneaters as a people have made pacts with the gods which specifically mention the millenia of "change" and Cord explicitly states that her people are the Guardians of Cultivation's perpendicularity. 

These items taken together heavily imply 3 things:

  1. Cultivation at the very least knew of the Dawnshard of Change coming to Roshar, and more likely was responsible for bringing it to Roshar. 
  2. With her appointed Guardians of her perpendicularity having made treaties with the gods (most likely spren) that include provisions for the millenia of "Change", Cultivation was aware that the Dawnshard of Change would once again have a vessel. 
  3. Having most likely brought the Dawnshard of Change to Roshar and having likewise made plans for when it was picked up by a mortal vessel, it is highly probable that Rysn was picked by Cultivation to be that vessel and guided to the Dawnshard. 

If Cultivation brought the Dawnshard to Roshar, it is very likely that she also made sure it was protected. I think the mega fauna of Roshar are in the purview of Cultivation's magic, and Rysn was given Chiri-Chiri at the bequest of the Reishi island great shell after showing great courage and devotion to her Babsk. 

Nikli says a couple of times that the Dawnshard is not alive, yet Rysn hears a voice in her head, leading her to the Dawnshard and finally asking her if she accepts it. I think this is Cultivation speaking directly in her mind. 

This is a super long preamble to show that I think we have a pretty clear instance of a shard maneuvering a Dawnshard onto their planet and then selecting a vessel to take up the Dawnshard. 

I think this is the second instance of this that we have seen, and I think the Dawnshard that isn't like any other shard is unlike the others because it wasn't taken up by a mortal vessel, it is in fact the Dawnshard for "DESTROY" and it was taken up by a class IV Biochromatic entity with the intent to "Destroy Evil". 

This bit that Nikli says about Dawnshards is interesting, if you substitute the word breaths for the word breadth you are essentially describing Vasher with the 10,000 breaths necessary to create an awakened sword. 

Quote

“The most powerful forms of Surgebinding transcend traditional mortal understanding,” Nikli said. His body began to re-form, hordelings crawling back into place. “All their greatest applications require Intent and a Command. Demands on a level no person could ever manage alone. To make such Commands, one must have the reasoning—the breadth of understanding—of a deity. And so, the Dawnshards.

I believe that Nightblood was created according to Endowment's plan to neutralize the most dangerous Dawnshard. The cost to use Nightblood is terrible, those who consider themselves evil kill themselves with Nightblood, Nightblood is functionally immortal and quite possibly impossible to kill. That's 4 levels of fail safes for the single most dangerous Command (and probably the Command that was used to splinter Andonalsium). 

Edited by hoiditthroughthegrapevine
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So Nightblood is this one?

Spoiler

Curtis
Could you write something about Dawnshards that we don't/won't know?

Brandon
One Dawnshard is different from all the rest. 

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/226/#e4824

From 2014, so, *shrugs*

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I'm reminded of this line from The Second Letter: "[Odium] bears the weight of God’s own divine hatred, separated from the virtues that gave it context."

Up until now I thought that the 'virtues,' here, were the other Shards (or at least those which would balance him, a la Harmony).

I wonder if Hoid wasn't referring to the Dawnshards, either in part or in full.

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On 11/6/2020 at 3:09 PM, vhaloth said:

I'm not sure about the Destruction part and possibly the Creation as well since:

" The four primal Commands that created all things "

Created all things. It could mean that only creation base stuff only. Ruin and other 'destructive' Shards fall unto Change I think or something similar Command.

I totally agree, in that I don't think that Destruction would be a command, purely because destruction is not a necessary aspect of creation, and these four commands were used to shape the universe. Instead I would offer up 'Live'.

Here is the timeline that I see of creation:

  •  First, Adonalsium uses 'Creation', or a command to 'Exist' or to 'Be', calling matter, energy and investiture into being.
  •  Secondly, he uses 'Change', shaping the matter, energy and investiture he has created into different forms.
  • Thirdly, he uses the command 'Live', which would introduce both life and consciousness into the cosmere.
  • Finally he would uses 'Stasis', or the command 'Survive', or 'Remain', so that everything would continue to exist independently of him.  

Most of these are very similar to what @Argent suggested, however the reason why I reject Destruction and instead offer 'Live', is that while some of the more destructive shards can be explained using the command 'Change', some of the Shards whose intents seem more based on emotion, such as 'Devotion' or 'Odium', or as he describes himself, 'Passion', would fit better into the command 'Live' than other commands offered. When Adonalsium created life and consciousness, this contained the command to love and to hate and every other emotion which humans and other life forms have the capability for. Therefore, I think 'Live' makes sense. 

By the way, I offered the commands of 'Exist' or 'Be', instead of 'Creation', and 'Survive' or 'Remain' instead of 'Stasis' because, though 'Change' could be interpreted as both a noun and an imperative verb, I think it makes sense for a command to take the form of an imperative, as an imperative verb is all a command is at its very core.   

EDIT: @Nightweaver I hadn't seen that you had already posted on this thread theorizing that 'Live', or as you suggested, 'Experience', might be a dawnshard. Credit to you. Sorry. 

Edited by Azarias
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10 minutes ago, Azarias said:

in that I don't think that Destruction would be a command,

I wonder if all commands, are derivative of the original Dawnshards.

One could compare them to units of Investiture. Dawnshards are like the Shards; big Commands are like Splinters; smaller parts thereof are like Spren.

Thus that the "Destroy" in our dear sweet murderbot's "DESTROY EVIL" might not be "the Destruction Dawnshard." But it might be a fraction of a Dawnshard.

(Perhaps Shashara held the full Dawnshard; perhaps she had access to it; perhaps she Splintered it; perhaps she only ever had access to this one piece"

...this is also helpful towards my wild speculation that Vin held the Command: "PROTECT." 

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1 hour ago, silver-the-thruhiker said:

I wonder if all commands, are derivative of the original Dawnshards.

One could compare them to units of Investiture. Dawnshards are like the Shards; big Commands are like Splinters; smaller parts thereof are like Spren.

Thus that the "Destroy" in our dear sweet murderbot's "DESTROY EVIL" might not be "the Destruction Dawnshard." But it might be a fraction of a Dawnshard.

(Perhaps Shashara held the full Dawnshard; perhaps she had access to it; perhaps she Splintered it; perhaps she only ever had access to this one piece"

...this is also helpful towards my wild speculation that Vin held the Command: "PROTECT." 

Is it possible to Splinter a Dawnshard? Has that been asked before?

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16 hours ago, spitfireky said:

Is it possible to Splinter a Dawnshard? Has that been asked before?

I hope so because the Dalinar / Dawnshard theories are a lot more palatable if he's been imbued with a splinter of one he needs to unite rather than being both a Bondsmith and Dawnshard holder which seems like it would basically put in handwaving away problems territory very quickly.

---

Lots of great ideas in here. I'm really not sure I'm fully on board with any primal command that is about preserving or keeping the status quo though. Any kind of fundamental command that was related to maintaining equilibrium should mean there was no way to reach a point of shattering it. I know it's a counterbalance to change, but the universe has always been changing. 

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On 11/7/2020 at 8:23 PM, Zmann966 said:


Sounds to me like Rysn just got "soul-casted."
At least, that's how the target of a soulcast must feel right? You have this entity pushing itself into your perception, asking you to change. Convincing you that you've already done it, that you're capable of doing it. Do it again. One more time.

The cosmere functions on Investiture, Command, Intent, and Connection.
The Dawnshard just used three of those on Rysn. 
And if it can 'bond any creature mortal or voidish' maybe it doesn't have a problem with connecting either.
"Change" is just another surge, just another manifestation of investiture—a force of magic that gained classification from people's perspective. No better than Gravitation or Division.




Big-A was shattered and its power split up among the first wielders of the Shards right? God's power of Preservation, Ruin, etc.
Investiture imprints and interacts with sapience, so the Shards of Hatred, Honor, Ambition probably got their intent from Ado right? After all Investiture will form Sapience if given the chance as well. The power sits in the Spiritual and is classified and keyed by cognitive thought: even the big capital-S Shards are bound by the intent keyed to their investiture. 
And in some cases we see unbound investiture pursue its intent and grow sapience. But sapience also shapes investiture—intent is hard-coded into the cosmere and it came from some intellect with these concepts.

But we've seen Ado's investiture!
It's the Shards. There's sixteen of them, they can be splintered or merged further, but we're familiar. Almost intimately with some of them.
Why call these Dawnshards? Why are they different?
Seems silly that only just now Brando would introduce us to some "Super Shards" that are somewhere between a Shard and Adonalsium itself? 


What happened to Adonalsium's mind?

After all, what is a Command except a manifestation of someone's will.
 

The part about “The will of a god to remake things, to demand they be better. The power to change.” made me immediately think of Dalinar in Oathbringer: “If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man.” His quest to change, to be better, to rise above his past. I wonder if UNITE is indeed a Dawnshard, if Dalinar is being influenced by both UNITE and CHANGE. 

If others have mentioned this, my apologies. Also, this is my first post so be kind :) Longtime fan of the 17th Shard!

Also, my vote for the four Dawnshards are LIVE, THINK, FEEL, and CHANGE. These seem to correspond to the physical, cognitive, spiritual, and temporal categories and could easily encompass the 16 shards. 
 

Edit: LIVE could also be the one Hoid held and the impetus behind Kelsier

Edited by UniteThem
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5 hours ago, UniteThem said:

The part about “The will of a god to remake things, to demand they be better. The power to change.” made me immediately think of Dalinar in Oathbringer: “If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man.” His quest to change, to be better, to rise above his past. I wonder if UNITE is indeed a Dawnshard, if Dalinar is being influenced by both UNITE and CHANGE. 

If others have mentioned this, my apologies. Also, this is my first post so be kind :) Longtime fan of the 17th Shard!

Also, my vote for the four Dawnshards are LIVE, THINK, FEEL, and CHANGE. These seem to correspond to the physical, cognitive, spiritual, and temporal categories and could easily encompass the 16 shards. 
 

Edit: LIVE could also be the one Hoid held and the impetus behind Kelsier

As I have said before, I think that 'Live' is possible, but I don't think Unite is. Here is why: while concepts like change, creation, stasis, life, and numerous others can be seen as necessary for the creation of a universe, unity doesn't seem so necessary. It is important to remember that the dawnshards were four commands used to make the cosmere, a universe that, by nature, contains lots of division. When we see Dalinar say 'Unite', he is uniting something Adonalsium deliberately made divided. If the four dawnshards are the four commands that shaped the cosmere, surely unity would be more present in it. To me at least, unity does not seem such a fundamental concept that it would make up one of the four fundamental commands, as Dalinar 'uniting' could very easily be a sub category of 'change', as that is in essence what he is doing, changing things to make them better and more united. Hope that makes sense. 

On 11/13/2020 at 8:05 PM, spitfireky said:

Is it possible to Splinter a Dawnshard? Has that been asked before?

For this I'm also gonna say no. I think that in the past, and please correct me if I'm wrong, since I don't have time to find the relevant WoB right now, but hasn't Brandon said previously that the relationship between matter and energy in our universe is akin to the relationship between matter, energy and investiture within the cosmere. Just like you can dissipate energy, or break apart matter, you can 'shatter' investiture. However, and correct me if I'm wrong again, dawnshards are commands, and therefore not made of anything themselves, matter, energy or investiture, and are just a way of shaping the latter. I say this because we have seen the use of commands, though perhaps less significant ones, in Warbreaker, and they themselves are the method in which one shapes breath, and are not made of breath themselves. I would argue the same applies here. 

I say this hesitantly, however, as when Rysn takes up the dawnshard, she seems to experience something similar to a heightening. Therefore, perhaps the dawnshards, while not made of investiture, is contained within investiture, or preserved within it, and therefore can be shattered. Commands in Warbreaker are sounds, waves through air. Are the dawnshard's commands that are carried through waves in investiture? This is getting really far out there, so I'm going to stop, but tell me what you think.  

Edited by Azarias
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In thinking about this more, I think we should really try to figure out what the implications would be if the mural is depicting just the Dawnshards. At the time of the Shattering Andonalsium had divested himself of the will of creation, the 4 protean Commands that he had used to create all things. These were given to his creations in order for them to understand the nature of the world, and as seems a prime directive of his act of creation, to better understand themselves. 

These first 4 Dawnshards were used to shatter Adonalsium, allowing mortals to take up the pieces of divinity, again this seems like an analytical process for understanding. So what if the 4 protean Commands were likewise split into 16, and the mural is just showing the Dawnshards and has nothing to do with the deity bestowing Intents? Maybe this is what the Shattering really was, simply the breaking of the links between the Commands and Intents and Adonalsium's relinquishing of control of the Commands and Intents. The fact that Adonalsium voluntarily gave up the four primary Commands himself means that he was in effect sacrificing himself so that his creations could gain more self knowledge through greater experience. This is sounding an awful lot like the religion of the Iriali, which leads me to further speculation that though Adonalsium is Shattered he still remains, and all he has done is relinquish agency in the unfolding of events in his creation. Maybe this is how you solve the Freewill dilemma. 

Digression aside, if the mural is showing that the 4 protean Commands have themselves been split into 4 encompassed Commands (constituent components or thematically linked) , then the Cosmere is actually quite a bit more interesting.

There is some in book evidence that this might be the case, there are the two strange commands before the Command:

Quote

Accept it.

Know it.

CHANGE.

These seem to be qualifying the pathway to a specific type of change, one based on acceptance and self knowledge. And then further, the same internal voice tells Rysn something that helps her realize what kind of CHANGE specifically the Dawnshard she has is:

Quote

Storms, she thought. What have I done? What you needed to, another part of her thought. You have adapted. You have Remade yourself.

The epiphany:

Quote

It was then that she grasped, in the smallest way, the nature of the Command inside her. The will of a god to remake things, to demand they be better.

The power to change.

There is a very compelling case to be made that the Dawnshard Rysn has become is not change en toto, but rather a specific type of Change, namely Self Transformation, or if it can be cut up like this Positive Change along a moral dimension. 

This is very reminiscent of the Illumination (some would say Spiritual illumination) that Renarin used on Adolin and one other person (you know who I'm talking about Row preview chapter readers), and that Shallan used on Gaz and Vathah's men, a view of how they could be if they answered the internal call to be better. This is like the first of the two lowercase commands, know it. Whether the one who experiences this spiritual illumination accepts it and Changes is up to them. Which makes me wonder, if Rysn's Dawnshard is a Command to Change, the only part of this process that she can probably force is the know it, otherwise her power is just some supercharged sanctimonious for of compulsion. 

 

The other underexamined idea regarding the Dawnshards is that if there are truly only Four of them in total, then I think they would have to encompass their opposites as well. 

Like the Dawnshard we know about for certain Change, it should also encompass its antithesis as well, namely Stasis, because how can you control the magnitude of Change without the ability to stop change all together. The ability to control the Positive implies an ability to control the negative as well. 

I will leave the further speculating about what the other 15 Dawnshard Commands could be or what the 4 Commands and their opposites are to y'all, because I have spent too much time trying to read all of the Dawnshard threads in the run up to the Row release. My wife is already using her grumbly voice when she talks about Brandon Sanderson, and I'm afraid that's only going to get worse as I get sucked into the Rhythm of War. 

Edited by hoiditthroughthegrapevine
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even if the commands may not perfectly fit I belie that the constellation of Surges and Shards are very likely a combination of Dawnshard attributes.

 

for Perservation and Ruin this would easily fit

Perservation: Remain / Remain
Ruin: Change / Change

polar opposites

 

for Odium, Honor and Cultivation its not so easy anymore and requires sort of logical leaps. Connect could also be Seperate or Interact.

Odium: Connect / Change
Honor: Unite / Unite
Cultivation: Change / Unite

Honor and Cultivation get along well as they have the same secondary attribute without having polar opposite primary attributes.
Odium wants constant change and interaction. essential life in fast forward. or disarray.

Dominion: Unite / Connect -> bring under control
Devotion: Unite / Remain -> stay loyal

this would make Devotion the polar opposite of Odium. Loyalty to a single thing vs Hatred for everything.
it also fits that the Shards can be interpreted differently. Odium could also mean progress. not evolutionary like Cultivation, but for societies.

 

 

an alternative thought of mine regarding Dawnshards was:

1. exist
2. stop existing
3. remain
4. change

but here there would be no distinction between 1 of the Dawnshards. exist could be the special one.
there is no "stop existing". everything returns to the void and comes back. investiture is never lost. only transformed.
I just can't seem to find a fitting thing for 2. idk, maybe return.

Edited by trav
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On 11/6/2020 at 0:51 AM, Jofwu said:

The thing that irks me about something "symmetrical" like this is that it strips Adonalsium of personality I guess? If every aspect of Adonalsium has an opposite then it seems like they would be one giant can't-do-anything Sazed. It would seem like there's no life to the being.

What if that's the point, though? I like the theory that Adonalsium allowed the shattering to happen. What if he realized a being like himself, full of contradictions, could not create a varied enough universe? Maybe he allowed the group of 16 use the Dawnshards to shatter him and take up the shards, and told them as a condition they must spread to different worlds (a condition some of them obviously ignored). I don't know how someone besides Ado could have used a Dawnshard without his allowance considering it takes the power of a deity to wield them. And as far as we know the beings that shattered him were not deities at the time of the shattering.

What if the "different" Dawnshard (per WoB) was Hoid? Ado secretly gave him a Command to make sure his postmortem will was enacted, so now Hoid wanders the universe to ensure worlds with multiple shards are kept safe.

I'm newer to the cosmere so if there's a WoB that contradicts anything I've said let me know.

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