CogitoErgoArclo

[Theory] Origins of the Unmade, Sin of the Singers [discuss]

17 posts in this topic

On 12/2/2020 at 9:45 AM, CogitoErgoArclo said:

I can’t get this idea out of my head, and I haven’t been able to find folks talking about it, so I thought I’d put it to the hive mind. If this has been debunked already or is being discussed elsewhere please let me know. 

Also, strap in, because this gets long and rambling. Possibly mad.
 

Theory:

I think the Unmade are the Dawncities.
In the same way the Sibling is Urithiru. 

I think that Odium unmade the Dawncity spren, most likely with their consent, by offering them more freedom in the physical realm, but at a cost he played down. 
And the Singers either helped Odium accomplish this, or choose to attune his Rhythms anyway after seeing it happen, which I believe most other Spren would see as horrifying and unforgivable.  

So reasons I think this: 

Brandon’s world building, and foreshadowing are masterful. And anytime we get big exposition dumps and insight into the structure of a shardworld or the Cosmere (pretty much all of Oathbringer and RoW) he’s usually setting up mechanics for later stories and reveals. 

So we learn in RoW: 

The Shards are Sound. They’re vibrational energy that can be perceived as a Tone as well as light (Iridescent Tones anyone?)


People can blend those tones to create new harmonious or dissonant tones/light, and Shards can blend their tones/light to shape the stone of Roshar and with Intent create a massive sapient spren.

Those spren can be Unmade. 

Exactly like we see Raboniel doing to the sibling, but Odium would be doing this at a much greater scale, and more quickly. 
 

Add to that to all the comparisons between Urithiru and Kholinar’s strata in Oathbringer. 
 
So here’s some wild speculation: 

Before the Shattering, Adonalsium creates the Rosharan system, and the planet of Roshar. 
He is God, and as God created an ineffable  and infinite universe. But maybe, the part of Adonalsium that is sentient and personal, wanted to create an Eden. A place of perfect harmony and symbiosis where the perfect tones of Adonalsium ring through the cosmere.

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 Or maybe he needed a shed to safely store his 4 cosmere construction tools.


Regardless, he makes the system and the planet, and it is the Garden of Eden, for crabs. 

As part of this elegant and divine ecological system Adonalsium uses his pure tones to shape the Dawncities, which is why they look like cymatic patterns, and in that shaping gives the Dawncities sentience and effectively creates the first spren. Or maybe creates it all simultaneously, because he’s God.

 So crab folks have a place to live, the continent itself talks to them and cares for them (there has to be a spren of Roshar, the closest real world analog I can find is Roshii, Japanese for old teacher. And often associated with a Turtle. Shelled creature. That cannot be a coincidence when the other two planets are called Ashyn and Braize- the burnt and the burning, respectively.)

Tangent aside, these folk are happy as clams. :o They’re singing to their stones, and the stones are singing back. All is peaceful, and harmonious and in perfect symbiotic stasis. And probably so, so, boring. 
 As Raboniel tells us, and shows us with her actions, the Singers are more inclined to work within natural systems, than push the boundaries of the systems. 

Enter Hoid, and/or the 16 original vessels,

I think as the Cosmere developed, life found ways to travel and eventually stumbled upon this idyllic crab world and Hoid got to dance with a Dawnsinger. (Although this could definitely have happened post shattering)
I think that their visits to Roshar may have seeded the jealousy and ambition that led to the shattering 

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And they may have even found the dawnshards here : those cosmere construction tools I mentioned earlier. 

So Hoid and the vessels leave, shatter Adonalsium, scoop up some god bits and ascend to limited divinity, hoping to go make they’re own little paradises. 
Then they realize, oh damn, we did not understand what we were getting into. They agree to go their separate ways, and play with their own toys in their own rooms. Hoid gets no toys. 
 

Honor and Cultivation make their way back to Roshar, because it calls to their respective Intents, and set up shop. But it’s chugging right along because it was designed by God to be a perpetual investiture machine, and doesn’t really require him to be “present”.  
Honor and Cultivation start experimenting and copying what Adonalsium did with the original spren(Dawncities), and from this we get the Stormfather, the Nightwatcher, and the True Spren. 
 

Enter Odium. 
He’s been wandering around the Cosmere, splintering shards, like one does. Sees Honor and Cultivation and says: I am going to break their toys, and then break them. 
He enters the system, sets up shop on Ashyn, and either creates human life there, or he appropriates humans that settled there pre or post shattering. Odium pushes these humans’ passions to such an extent that they break their planet. Honor and Cultivation allow refugees to come to Roshar, and set up a nice ecological reserve for them, they just need to follow some rules.  
 

The Serpent is in the Garden. 
I think allowing the humans onto Roshar, gave Odium the foothold he needed to work around Honor and Cultivation. Probably through some Connection mumbo-jumbo. 
Because it definitely allowed Odium to become a pure Tone of Roshar, which I don’t think he was entirely just being in the Rosharan system. 
Odium becoming a pure tone that the Singers could hear would definitely influence their feelings about him and would allow him to spread his promises and suggestions, like the proverbial serpent from Genesis. And convincing 9 of the most powerful spren on the planet; the Dawncities themselves, to embrace their passions and take his light/tone, would be very thematically consistent with Odiums Intent. (Also don’t think the similarities between the Unmade and the Nazghul are coincidence. 9 unmade, 9 nine rings of temptation, 9 kings, come on.)

So Odium corrupts and unmakes the Unmade, and probably creates the Fused at the same time with similar promises. Then he pushes those humans still loyal to him to start a war. 
Honor, Cultivation, and most of the spren, see this as a horrific betrayal. They swear off the Singers and convince those humans disillusioned with Odium to fight against him for the good of the planet.  
Honor copies Odiums idea with the Unmade but tweaks it a bit to create the Heralds. Ishar uses his knowledge of Connections to create the Oathpact. Which binds Odium to Braize, and probably stops him from being able to unmake any more spren, or make more Fused.  But the Heralds constantly bending/breaking their oaths while intrinsically bonded to the god of Oaths create the opening needed to splinter Honor. Similar to what Odium says to Dalinar when they’re hashing out the details for the contest of champions. 
 

Whew, ok. Done now. 

Timeline may be a bit wonky, but I think it fits.

So Cusicesh is the spren of Kasitor who was never unmade? It could work but the Unmade seem much more like spren of nature to me.

This WoB might support your theory:

[major Dawnshard spoilers]

Spoiler

jurble

So, Rysn's Dawnshard was totally used with Surgebinding to make the Dawncities right? E.g. the giant windbreaks in Kholinar that everyone wonders "How did they make those?" that would seem outside the power-level of Radiant soulcasting.

Brandon Sanderson

Let's just say this is a linguistic connection I expected people to make.

Also, creation of the Dawncities (and Urithiru) is beyond the scope of what a Radiant, or even a group of them working together, could create via Soulcasting. (Though note, it's not beyond the scope of what Surgebinding itself could do.)

Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A (Nov. 13, 2020)

And hey, I have my own theory about the sin of the ancient Singers:

 

Edited by Honorless
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I think Cusicesh is more likely a younger sibling of the...Dawnspren...for lack of a better term. 
Maybe a spren of tides, or barometric pressure, and possibly involved with the storm wardens. 
Also, I don’t think Kasitor is considered a Dawncity. 

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17 minutes ago, CogitoErgoArclo said:

I think Cusicesh is more likely a younger sibling of the...Dawnspren...for lack of a better term. 
Maybe a spren of tides, or barometric pressure, and possibly involved with the storm wardens. 
Also, I don’t think Kasitor is considered a Dawncity. 

Are the Dawncities the ones with Oathgates? What about Sesemalex Dar then?

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Oathgates. Damn.

I’d forgotten about the oathgates.

Definitely possible the cymatic patterns formed when the oathgates/oathgate spren were created. 

But also possible the oathgates are more like the Romans building roads to and from conquered cities. And may be one of the reasons the Unmade cannot inhabit those cities anymore.  

As for Sesemalex Dar: Definitely possible there were more Dawncities/Dawnspren than 9, maybe the ones not turned ran and hid(possibly Cusicesh). Or maybe a later, none sapient copy created with surgebinding. 

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Great theory. The pattern of destruction on the Shattered Plains will probably be revisited and somehow tie into all of this. Maybe there is more to Stormseat than we know.

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12 hours ago, Golstar said:

Great theory. The pattern of destruction on the Shattered Plains will probably be revisited and somehow tie into all of this. Maybe there is more to Stormseat than we know.

My best guess for for the shattered plains is the splintering of Honor, or the capture of Ba-Ado-Mishram. 
But yeah, I definitely think they’re connected. 
 

Edit: had forgotten the plains were shattered at Aharietiem, so the pattern is most likely due to use of a Dawnshard, like on Ashyn but on a smaller scale. Or maybe caused by Ba-Ado-Mishram, and one of the reasons the radiants chose to capture her/them later. 

Edited by CogitoErgoArclo
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I love this theory even if it's mostly speculation. (Or rather, because of the speculation. Roshar as Adonalsium's shed, and also the reason for the shattering? There's no evidence for either yet both feel...plausible.)

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On 03/12/2020 at 9:20 AM, CogitoErgoArclo said:

My best guess for for the shattered plains is the splintering of Honor, or the capture of Ba-Ado-Mishram. 
But yeah, I definitely think they’re connected. 
 

Edit: had forgotten the plains were shattered at Aharietiem, so the pattern is most likely due to use of a Dawnshard, like on Ashyn but on a smaller scale. Or maybe caused by Ba-Ado-Mishram, and one of the reasons the radiants chose to capture her/them later. 

Perhaps stormseat shattered because because that city spren was unmade into ba-ado-mishram. The shattering may have been an unintended consequence, and the cymatic destruction pattern caused by the Rhythm of the investiture balance of that made up the spren. 

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On 12/1/2020 at 8:15 PM, CogitoErgoArclo said:

 But the Heralds constantly bending/breaking their oaths while intrinsically bonded to the god of Oaths create the opening needed to splinter Honor. Similar to what Odium says to Dalinar when they’re hashing out the details for the contest of champions. 

 

 

I dont agree with everything in your theory but this makes so much sense!

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Late to the party.  Just the opening bit of your post theorizing that the Unmade are the spren of the Dawncities made my jaw drop.  It's theoretical but it is the kind of theoretical leap that is INSPIRING!

But no, you didn't stop there, you went on and wove a great narrative on what could have happened in the ancient past that also looks pretty darn good.  

I've come back to read it again (after coming across your topic for the first time yesterday), and it just occurred to me that some of your narrative about Hoid and the eventual shards running into Roshar and becoming jealous and resenting it fits well with how Hoid speaks so derogatorily of the fauna of the planet.  

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Dawnsingers, Dawncities and Dawnshards are probably all related in some way and probably existed on Roshar prior to the Shattering. 

Adonalsium setting up the Roshar system as a garden of eden and a prison for powerful things makes a lot of sense; there's nothing I can think of that such a revelation would be inconsistent with.

The Unmade all being corrupted spren of Dawncities is definitely possible. We don't know enough about Unmade or Dawncities to make a counterargument, and the only attempt we've seen to unmake something was to unmake the spren of a city. I can see the Dawncities spren being corrupted by Odium, being thrown to the wilds when their cities were destroyed, and becoming more and more insane over time (ala the Heralds) until some of them are now mindless and others mindless without direct access to Odium.

The destruction of these cities coming due to Odium's corruption of their spren would make a great apocalyptic lead in to the Oathpact, which seems like such a last resort kind of move.

The cymatic patterns being what's left of Urithiru style cities after they were destroyed is fun. Were they created with vibratory patterns, or were they destroyed with such powerful sounds that they left vibratory patterns? The former means Adonalsium created cymatic pattern cities and pre-Oathpact surgebinders destroyed them. The latter probably implies that Dawnshards were used to bring enough power to bear (or efficiently use the power available enough*) to obliterate 9 (10?) entire cities.

 

*I believe that Dawnshards don't add power to magic. They aren't amplifiers in the way speakers use power to make sound louder. I think Dawnshards are more like the lenses used in lasers to amplify the power of light by focusing it. Dawnshards take your power (Investiture) and your purpose (Intent) and use the power in the most efficient way to achieve the purpose. So a single Dustbringer can destroy a city using a Dawnshard because the Dawnshard will use the power available in a way that will achieve the destruction. In the case of Dawncities being destroyed, Dawnshards using relatively small amounts of power to create strong vibrations that shake the cities into rubble and leave permanent cymatic patterns just seems right.

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17 hours ago, Leuthie said:

The cymatic patterns being what's left of Urithiru style cities after they were destroyed is fun. Were they created with vibratory patterns, or were they destroyed with such powerful sounds that they left vibratory patterns? The former means Adonalsium created cymatic pattern cities and pre-Oathpact surgebinders destroyed them. The latter probably implies that Dawnshards were used to bring enough power to bear (or efficiently use the power available enough*) to obliterate 9 (10?) entire cities.

I explained my thoughts on why the Dawncities are shaped how they are in another topic which I will quote:

 

Quote
On 12/29/2020 at 6:35 PM, teknopathetic said:

I don't think it is the constructed city that is making the sound, but that spot in particular. The city is build around the sound pattern generated at that place, but it is the location that is important.

I think it’s more like that’s the tone that resonated in that part of the world and the singers sang it into the shape of the city which resonates with that sound.  Effectively all 3 make that sound.  The land, the singers who shaped the land into that shape, and the shape itself makes the sound like a tuning fork makes its tune because of its shape.

Btw, this WoB is very relevant to some of your comments about the building of the dawncities

Quote

jurble

So, Rysn's Dawnshard was totally used with Surgebinding to make the Dawncities right? E.g. the giant windbreaks in Kholinar that everyone wonders "How did they make those?" that would seem outside the power-level of Radiant soulcasting.

Brandon Sanderson

Let's just say this is a linguistic connection I expected people to make.

Also, creation of the Dawncities (and Urithiru) is beyond the scope of what a Radiant, or even a group of them working together, could create via Soulcasting. (Though note, it's not beyond the scope of what Surgebinding itself could do.)

Dawnshard Annotations Reddit Q&A (Nov. 13, 2020)

 

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Posted (edited)

Ive been wondering if what Venli did was entirely something a Stoneward can do. I think more likely she is accidentally hacking into Dawnsinger powers by having the Envoy-Form communication powers plus the powers of a Stoneward. 

Edited by teknopathetic
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1 hour ago, teknopathetic said:

Ive been wondering if what Venli did was entirely something a Stoneward can do. I think more likely she is accidentally hacking into Dawnsinger powers by having the Envoy-Form communication powers plus the powers of a Stoneward. 

Communicating with the tones and rhythms of the stone using envoyform and Cohesion from her Willshaper powers? Maybe.

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Posted (edited)

 

On 12/1/2020 at 8:15 PM, CogitoErgoArclo said:

As part of this elegant and divine ecological system Adonalsium uses his pure tones to shape the Dawncities

Yes, Adonalsium could have created 10 "Cityspren" hearts for the Dawncities that the Dawnsingers were constructing. There might have been more Dawncities constructed, like Sesemalex Dar, but I think only the cities that eventually got Oathgates are the ones with spren. And that a Silver Kingdom developed around each of these cities.

On 12/1/2020 at 8:15 PM, CogitoErgoArclo said:

Honor and Cultivation make their way back to Roshar, because it calls to their respective Intents, and set up shop. But it’s chugging right along because it was designed by God to be a perpetual investiture machine, and doesn’t really require him to be “present”.  
Honor and Cultivation start experimenting and copying what Adonalsium did with the original spren(Dawncities), and from this we get the Stormfather, the Nightwatcher, and the True Spren. 

And most relevant here, the Sibling of Urithiru. After all, Sja-anat calls the Sibling "cousin", even though Odium doesn't like it (RoW I2). Maybe because it puts Honor & Cultivation on the level of Adonalsium.  So the Sibling could have been created near the start of the Desolations to be a link to all the Cityspren through the Oathgates (the children of the Sibling, O C116). Now that they are connected each country had its own purpose within the war against the Voidbringers (WoK C19).

On 12/1/2020 at 8:15 PM, CogitoErgoArclo said:

I think that Odium unmade the Dawncity spren, most likely with their consent, by offering them more freedom in the physical realm, but at a cost he played down. 
And the Singers either helped Odium accomplish this, or choose to attune his Rhythms anyway after seeing it happen, which I believe most other Spren would see as horrifying and unforgivable.

Yes. I think this took a lot of time and happened over then entire length of the desolations. I wonder if their level of consent has to do with how intelligent/mindless they are now in the physical realm. Sja-anat and Ba-Ado-Mishram were probably willing converts. And what if their purpose during the war is the thing that got amplified by being "unmade". If Kholinar/Alethela was set up for the arts of war and to train people, maybe it was unwillingly unmade into Nergaoul/The Thrill.

My last addition to this theory is that during the Last Desolation, the final Cityspren of Strormseat/Natanatan was unmade by Odium. But the forces of Honor & Cultivation, probably one or more Heralds*, had finally discovered a weapon against these unmade. Once the Cityspren were turned into splinters of Odium and invested with Voidlight, they could be destroyed by anti-Voidlight. And... KABOOM!... Shattered Plains and only 9 Unmade. Now the Desolations had gone nuclear and the Heralds knew they needed a radically different plan, so you get Aharietiam. The Heralds go into hiding along with their knowledge of anti-lights. The fused, like Raboniel, would of course know the process of unmaking a Cityspren and would know a power to destroy Odium's spren existed, but not how to create it, which leads right into Rhythm of War. 

* I would assume this same Herald gave Gavilar the sphere of anti-Voidlight

Edited by LeahAstonished
Modified Adonalsium part, added Gavilar part
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Couldn't the humans have unmade the dawncity spren as part of their conquest of Roshar that led to the singers going over to Odium? 

 

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