StanLemon

Harmony's Enemy

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So, with Sazed's epigraphs, we now have an interesting question. Who is his enemy? Back when BoM came out the assumption was that he was simply facing a Shard and that his limited understanding of the overall Cosmere kept him from understanding that. However, we now know that he has met other Shards by the time of BoM and was at the very least aware of Odium. This now makes the Discord theory seem much more likely though it is still possible that it could be a Shard obfuscating itself in some unknown way. What are all of your thoughts?

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Still think it's Autonomy, at least in the main.

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If I were just using my observations about the Cosmere to think of an answer I'd say: Autonomy Avatar seems really likely, or maybe it's just a bunch of loose investiture from Ambition, Mercy, Odium from their fight, or maybe it's Taravangodium hiding that it's him.

If I were answering based on my knowledge of epic fantasy then I'd say it's the first glimpse of the forces of Anti-Adonalsium. Anti-light has to be Anti-Investiture, which has to come from somewhere. It only makes sense that Adonalsium, whatever it was, had an enemy, or an opposite. The devil to it's god. We haven't seen any direct evidence of this yet, but if you look at the Cosmere as one titanic epic fantasy series, then it makes sense that the biggest baddest bad will be something larger in scope and more powerful than a mere Shard.

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Odium+El, but ironically as a reaction to Kelsier/Thaidakar interfering with Roshar's affairs.

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23 hours ago, seriodor said:

If I were just using my observations about the Cosmere to think of an answer I'd say: Autonomy Avatar seems really likely, or maybe it's just a bunch of loose investiture from Ambition, Mercy, Odium from their fight, or maybe it's Taravangodium hiding that it's him.

If I were answering based on my knowledge of epic fantasy then I'd say it's the first glimpse of the forces of Anti-Adonalsium. Anti-light has to be Anti-Investiture, which has to come from somewhere. It only makes sense that Adonalsium, whatever it was, had an enemy, or an opposite. The devil to it's god. We haven't seen any direct evidence of this yet, but if you look at the Cosmere as one titanic epic fantasy series, then it makes sense that the biggest baddest bad will be something larger in scope and more powerful than a mere Shard.

De-vestiture? Some entity that wants to make the Cosmere non-magical and without shards? I wonder how Nightblood fits into this.

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Plot twist: the five scholars wanted to end magic in the Cosmere.

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1 minute ago, Golstar said:

De-vestiture? Some entity that wants to make the Cosmere non-magical and without shards? I wonder how Nightblood fits into this.

That's a good question. He kind of seems like he might run on anti-endowment. Maybe part of making Nightblood involved inverting the breaths used somehow.

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I disagree that anti-investiture implies anything about an opposite of Adonalsium.  Brandon has stated that physics works similarly in the Cosmere to our own universe.  In our universe, antimatter exists without any evidence tying it to a bifurcated deity.  All the presence of anti-investiture suggests is that the Investiture quantum particle has an opposite.  Inverting the tone could simply change one of the quantum numbers to its opposite.

Also, Navani is very close to some of the equations of Investiture Relativity, if she could measure discrete units of Investiture and the explosive force generated at annhialation.

At any rate, it is likely that Autonomy is the Shard attacking Scadrial.

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I agree that Autonomy is the most likely one, it was mostly just an observation

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1 hour ago, Brgst13 said:

I disagree that anti-investiture implies anything about an opposite of Adonalsium.  Brandon has stated that physics works similarly in the Cosmere to our own universe.  In our universe, antimatter exists without any evidence tying it to a bifurcated deity.  All the presence of anti-investiture suggests is that the Investiture quantum particle has an opposite.  Inverting the tone could simply change one of the quantum numbers to its opposite.

Also, Navani is very close to some of the equations of Investiture Relativity, if she could measure discrete units of Investiture and the explosive force generated at annhialation.

At any rate, it is likely that Autonomy is the Shard attacking Scadrial.

I mean our universe doesn't have a God everyone knows created matter either. Adonalsium existed, and it was the source of all Investiture. I guess anti-investiture could just be something that happens, but it just seems kind of weird and unbalanced if there's a source for all of something, but not for all of it's opposite.

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4 minutes ago, seriodor said:

I mean our universe doesn't have a God everyone knows created matter either. Adonalsium existed, and it was the source of all Investiture. I guess anti-investiture could just be something that happens, but it just seems kind of weird and unbalanced if there's a source for all of something, but not for all of it's opposite.

Not necessarily, Adonalsium could be the source of both.  Adonalsium's creation could easily have the same asymmetry in Investiture that our universe has in matter.  If the amount of Investiture, matter, and energy is constant, as it appears to be, that suggests that the total has been consistent since Creation.  If anti-investiture were to be annhialated by regular Investiture, then a small amount of regular Investiture would remain.  Every time an atom or photon were converted to Investiture, there is a 50-50 chance that it would become anti-investiture.  If it did, it would annhialate and go back through the cycle.  If it were regular Investiture, it would remain as Investiture.  This would lead to a gradual, slow accumulation of regular Investiture.  Therefore, it is unnecessary to have any deity beyond Adonalsium to explain the lack of free anti-investiture.

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13 minutes ago, Brgst13 said:

Not necessarily, Adonalsium could be the source of both.  Adonalsium's creation could easily have the same asymmetry in Investiture that our universe has in matter.  If the amount of Investiture, matter, and energy is constant, as it appears to be, that suggests that the total has been consistent since Creation.  If anti-investiture were to be annhialated by regular Investiture, then a small amount of regular Investiture would remain.  Every time an atom or photon were converted to Investiture, there is a 50-50 chance that it would become anti-investiture.  If it did, it would annhialate and go back through the cycle.  If it were regular Investiture, it would remain as Investiture.  This would lead to a gradual, slow accumulation of regular Investiture.  Therefore, it is unnecessary to have any deity beyond Adonalsium to explain the lack of free anti-investiture.

That does make sense. I guess scientifically there's no reason for there to be an Anti-Adonalsium. I'm pretty sure Trell is Autonomy, but my story sense still tells me Anti-Adonalsium is a likely biggest bad.

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I think it's important to not assume that godlight/anti-godlight operates entirely similar to matter/anti-matter. We have the following on investiture:

 

Quote

 

trevorade

Is investiture finite? Hemalurgy and a Return's need to consume breath seems to show us that it can be destroyed. If it is finite, is the Cosmere's magic source doomed to the law of entropy?

Brandon Sanderson

Investiture can not be created or destroyed. It follows it's own version of the laws of Thermodynamics.

Joe_____

So what happens to the investiture that is lost when a person is spiked and the spike isn't set in the new person immediately? Does it return to the big pool of investiture in the sky like the power from wheel of time where if its not actively being used it returns to the source?

Brandon Sanderson

What happens to someone's body when it's not being used by a particular person? The system is built to work like that.

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

 

We also know it's primarily spiritual in nature, and transcends all three realms:

 

Quote

 

Questioner (paraphrased)

What is the Realmatic composition of Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Investure is intended to be the building blocks of the cosmere so I would say for the most part it transcends the different realms. Probably more of the Spiritual if anything but more accurately it transcends them.

Words of Radiance Houston signing (March 11, 2014)

 

 

Hence, when anti-light annihilates light, I am not sure we can safely assume the annihilation takes place across all three realms. Just like destroying the physical form of a person will (usually) quickly send their cognitive shadow to the spiritual realm - it may very well be that destroyed godlight is simply sent back to the spiritual realm.

Human capacity for investiture in Scadrial is based on genetics and mediated by metals (shardic and mundane). On Roshar capacity for investiture is based on actions/oaths (via the nahel bonds) and mediated by stormlight.

When a surgebinder absorbs stormlight (which originates in a highstorm/everstorm) and then consumes it - is it destroyed? I don't think so. It just goes back to the spiritual realm to get emitted by another storm.

The same could be the case for anti-light and aluminium. It merely nullifies the investiture on two of the realms. The spiritual realm transcends time and space - and the platonic ideal of the investiture still exists.

So anti-light is very useful for destroying highly invested entities - providing a means to destroy a permanent cognitive entity through interactions in the physical realm. I don't think this makes it possible to actually destroy a shard or investiture as a force. If a vessel was exposed to a massive amount of anti-light or something like Nightblood, it will certainly obliterate the vessel - but the shard is essentially unharmed.

I am pretty sure splintering a shard involves creating a situation where the shard is put into a state where it cannot be held be a vessel. This is not a permanent state, nor does it diminish the (infinite) potential sum power of the shard. It does however make it much easier to manage this investiture for another shard - possibly even co-opting it through intermediaries.

If Ruin had destroyed Scadrial - Preservation, the shard, wouldn't have died - it would just go back to the spiritual realm and from there it might re-manifest on a completely planet, to be picked up by a new vessel. It might even create a temporary vessel.

So while vessels might see the potential effects of a conflict with another Vessel as potentially cataclysmic - I think that's the perception of the Vessel. I think Rayse, dumb as he might be (Hoid certainly has little respect for his intellect), had the right idea when he wanted to zip about the Cosmere and splinter shards. That's a way to make sure there are no vessels to challenge him - as he knows destroying a vessel just leads to a new vessel eventually. 

Harmony's opponent is very likely shardic in nature - the use of god metal (Trellium) and the color red (corrupted and/or non-native investiture) strongly indicates this. I think Autonomy considers the merging of two Shards anathema, and wants them split up and confined to separate solar systems. It may already have been active pre-Harmony, in order to monitor that presence of two Shards in one system. I would not be surprised if it had somehow made Kelsier (pre-snap) an unwitting pawn - or if Kelsier is actually an avatar of autonomy. Avatars in general are pretty fascinating and seems like something where we still haven't been shown the full picture of how these work. 

Unrelated I think that if Odium and Cultivation strike up too much of a working relationship, Autonomy will move against them. It may have co-opted the Ghost Bloods for this purpose. Shards are perfectly capable of deception through impersonation. Or perhaps the Ghost Bloods simply conflate an Avatar with the Shard, although we know they can be quite different on many levels.

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I thought it was one of Autonomy's Avatars but now... I think that was Odium, somehow. Immortals. Men of red and gold. Narratively too, it seems more likely that it's Odium, as they, as a villain we know, would be more impactful. The timing of the books, with Mistborn era 2 set between Stormlight Archive's two halves makes it very likely. Plus Kelsier's interference on Roshar as Thaidakar.

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2 minutes ago, Honorless said:

I thought it was one of Autonomy's Avatars but now... I think that was Odium, somehow. Immortals. Men of red and gold. Narratively too, it seems more likely that it's Odium, as they, as a villain we know, would be more impactful. The timing of the books, with Mistborn era 2 set between Stormlight Archive's two halves makes it very likely. Plus Kelsier's interference on Roshar as Thaidakar.

Bands of Mourning implied that Harmony was clueless about the identity of the enemy. Harmony being in communication with Hoid about Odium, how is it possible that he would not know that Odium is attacking?

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Just now, Oltux72 said:

Bands of Mourning implied that Harmony was clueless about the identity of the enemy. Harmony being in communication with Hoid about Odium, how is it possible that he would not know that Odium is attacking?

Hoid's memories are open to Odium now. Hoid and Harmony were in communication.

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Yeah, I think given the timing of these letters, it's more likely to be Autonomy.

If it were Odium, Harmony would know and mention it. Harmony's thinking about Odium, talking to Hoid about plans to combat him, watching him. And in the timeline, at this point Harmony's *already* opposing that force. If it were Odium, the force wouldn't be mysterious, it would just be Odium.

Autonomy is conspicuously absent from the list of Shards that Harmony mentions contacting. That fits with Autonomy being an "unseen antagonist" - if Harmony knew what the red force was, he'd have named it in Mistborn, but he hasn't, so it must be something he hasn't identified by name.

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But on the other hand...

Raysium looks nothing like Trellium

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33 minutes ago, Honorless said:

But on the other hand...

Raysium looks nothing like Trellium

So true. Perhaps it’s another shard that harmony reached out to, or that they couldn’t find? Someone allied with odium/autonomy?

I wonder because I’ve assumed that Trell is an avatar but I’m less sure of that now. Could an avatar have its own god metal? What if Trell is Invention (eg wob: “Trell has been many things over the eons”)? Maybe harmony making his initial overtures spooked him, and though he’s been active all around the Cosmere forever, he’s now coming in force?

(The more I type the less I believe this to be true, but I do think perhaps we have been thinking too narrowly based on the fact that Wit hates Rayse and Bavadin...)

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2 hours ago, Bliev said:

So true. Perhaps it’s another shard that harmony reached out to, or that they couldn’t find? Someone allied with odium/autonomy?

I wonder because I’ve assumed that Trell is an avatar but I’m less sure of that now. Could an avatar have its own god metal? What if Trell is Invention (eg wob: “Trell has been many things over the eons”)? Maybe harmony making his initial overtures spooked him, and though he’s been active all around the Cosmere forever, he’s now coming in force?

(The more I type the less I believe this to be true, but I do think perhaps we have been thinking too narrowly based on the fact that Wit hates Rayse and Bavadin...)

Brandon said Trell is a Shard we knew at the time, so it can't be one of the new ones

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I think that the enemy is Autonomy, or an avatar of Autonomy.  I note that Autonomy is the living shard that we know of which isn't listed in Sazed's letter, which to me makes it feel likely that Autonomy is the one hidden from Sazed's sight.

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On 11/24/2020 at 6:16 AM, Honorless said:

I thought it was one of Autonomy's Avatars but now... I think that was Odium, somehow. Immortals. Men of red and gold. Narratively too, it seems more likely that it's Odium, as they, as a villain we know, would be more impactful. The timing of the books, with Mistborn era 2 set between Stormlight Archive's two halves makes it very likely. Plus Kelsier's interference on Roshar as Thaidakar.

I am beginning to think it is Odium and Cultivation teamed up. 

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49 minutes ago, teknopathetic said:

I am beginning to think it is Odium and Cultivation teamed up. 

Perhaps the joint shard? A combo? But I’d wonder why wit wouldn’t have informed him of that happening if it did...unless his memory was corrupted.

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2 minutes ago, Bliev said:

Perhaps the joint shard? A combo? But I’d wonder why wit wouldn’t have informed him of that happening if it did...unless his memory was corrupted.

I don't think CUltivation and Wit are friends so I don't think she would tell him much. 

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While a Cultivation/Odium team up is possible, I find it unlikely. I can't think of any plausible reason that Cultivation would target Harmony. I could see Todium doing it but I doubt it with the time frame we are given. The Set almost assuredly existed before Odium would be able to be free regardless of Vessel. Autonomy would be the most likely suspect by default. 

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