coolsnow7

Is Kharbranth still safe?

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Odium is bound by agreements made by past holders of the shard. Rayse agreed with Taravangian to preserve Kharbranth no matter what. But now Taravangian holds the shard. Is he bound by that agreement?

The simplest, and most likely, answer is that Taravangian can represent himself to himself and abrogate the agreement. But this still might not be so clear-cut. If that is the case, though, the tragic irony is that all that work and treachery and evil that T put into protecting Kharbranth was a complete waste of time.

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It's an interesting question.  At this point, it would appear that he made a deal with himself... but if the "rules" of such deals are solid enough to bind Shards (or, at least, the consequences are real enough, even for Shards, to compel adherence), then I'd say he's still bound by the deal.  Odium did say that breaking his word would allow Cultivation to kill him, and T later noted explicitly that he is still bound by the contract made with Dalinar.

A related question: why would Taravangian WANT to abrogate the agreement?  He's still himself, with the same personal motivations.  I don't see any reason why he would want Kharbranth (i.e., his own family) to come to harm.  I get that he's going to have some serious internal conflicts as the Intent of the Shard starts working on the personality of the Vessel (protect vs destroy, hatred vs compassion, action vs planning)... but in the specific case of Kharbranth, it seems like both interests align.

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1 hour ago, AquaRegia said:

It's an interesting question.  At this point, it would appear that he made a deal with himself... but if the "rules" of such deals are solid enough to bind Shards (or, at least, the consequences are real enough, even for Shards, to compel adherence), then I'd say he's still bound by the deal.  Odium did say that breaking his word would allow Cultivation to kill him, and T later noted explicitly that he is still bound by the contract made with Dalinar.

A related question: why would Taravangian WANT to abrogate the agreement?  He's still himself, with the same personal motivations.  I don't see any reason why he would want Kharbranth (i.e., his own family) to come to harm.  I get that he's going to have some serious internal conflicts as the Intent of the Shard starts working on the personality of the Vessel (protect vs destroy, hatred vs compassion, action vs planning)... but in the specific case of Kharbranth, it seems like both interests align.

We don’t know the full extent of his plans. He made it seem like he wanted to turn his attention to the entire Cosmere, which could mean that he will use Roshar in the same way Rayse planned, and a planet designated for raising an immortal army.

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I would say no because Taravangian reneged on his end of the deal.

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11 hours ago, Karger said:

I would say no because Taravangian reneged on his end of the deal.

Say what, now?  How do you figure that?  The deal in question was (if I recall correctly, pending looking it up again - I don't have OB handy) "I use my Veden army to betray and attack Dalinar when you say, and in return you preserve the people of Kharbranth."  Looks to me like Taravangian absolutely held up his end of the deal; he did EXACTLY what Odium told him to.

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The Intent of the agreement was clearly that of Taravangian not betraying Odium, though. You can't get out of Shardic contracts by finagling with word choice. Instead of that, Taravangian directly attacked Odium and its Vessel.

Edited by Vissy
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15 hours ago, Karger said:

I would say no because Taravangian reneged on his end of the deal.

Oh great point, this is definitely the right answer.

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5 hours ago, AquaRegia said:

Say what, now?  How do you figure that?  The deal in question was (if I recall correctly, pending looking it up again - I don't have OB handy) "I use my Veden army to betray and attack Dalinar when you say, and in return you preserve the people of Kharbranth."  Looks to me like Taravangian absolutely held up his end of the deal; he did EXACTLY what Odium told him to.

More accurately it was "I and the diagram will serve you."  Taravangian killed Rayse.  I would count that.

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And he burned the Diagram, too. He absolutely reneged on the deal.

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7 hours ago, Karger said:

More accurately it was "I and the diagram will serve you."  Taravangian killed Rayse.  I would count that.

Well, I strongly disagree.  The deal was this - Odium: "if you help me, I will save your family."  T: "The DIagram will serve you, in exchange for the preservation of my people."  That deal said NOTHING about what the parties may or may not do directly to each other.  Why would Odium have any fear of old feeble Taravangian?

Say we sign a contract that says I'm going to buy a car from you for $1000, and while I'm giving you the check, I steal your watch.  That doesn't invalidate our contract.  You can call the police because I stole your watch, but you can't claim I broke the contract, because I didn't.

Taravangian and The Diagram spent a year doing everything Odium asked.  The deal was fulfilled, the Diagram disbanded, and Taravangian was ready to meet his end.  Then Rayse got careless and had an unfortunate accident.  The deal between the Power and the new Vessel is still in force, in my view.  But I won't argue any more.

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I’d say yes. Taravangian made the deal with Odium not Rayse, given the deal between Odium and Dalinar stands then that deal must still stand. 
 

Taravangian agreed to serve Odium and he seemed to feel that when Odium decided that betraying Dalinar would suffice as his part of the deal. So I’d say yeah as part of the deal it’s safe. 
 

but given he now controls the vessel and can somewhat shape its intent then Taravangian can stop any harm coming to it anyways. 

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2 hours ago, AquaRegia said:

Say we sign a contract that says I'm going to buy a car from you for $1000, and while I'm giving you the check, I steal your watch.  That doesn't invalidate our contract.  You can call the police because I stole your watch, but you can't claim I broke the contract, because I didn't.

Your analogy is flawed.  A more accurate portrayal would be signing a contract for security.  The firm is still not getting payed if we kill you instead of an outside force.

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19 hours ago, AquaRegia said:

Well, I strongly disagree.  The deal was this - Odium: "if you help me, I will save your family."  T: "The DIagram will serve you, in exchange for the preservation of my people."  That deal said NOTHING about what the parties may or may not do directly to each other.  Why would Odium have any fear of old feeble Taravangian?

Say we sign a contract that says I'm going to buy a car from you for $1000, and while I'm giving you the check, I steal your watch.  That doesn't invalidate our contract.  You can call the police because I stole your watch, but you can't claim I broke the contract, because I didn't.

Taravangian and The Diagram spent a year doing everything Odium asked.  The deal was fulfilled, the Diagram disbanded, and Taravangian was ready to meet his end.  Then Rayse got careless and had an unfortunate accident.  The deal between the Power and the new Vessel is still in force, in my view.  But I won't argue any more.

I think this is kind of vague. You could advocate for both sides with this premise. On one hand, we see that T did directly go against the will of Odium and his plans (which I would argue that is breaking the "contract", as in T is part of the diagram, and by going directly against Odium's plans he is doing the opposite of serving him). On the other hand, you may argue that the contract was already fulfilled, since Odium told Taravangian that he only needed that last betrayal and would just let him rot in prison (clearly stating that no help was needed anymore).

So, did the "contract" end on Tarvangian's part? Did Taravangian break the "contract"?

Anyway, If we speak about the possibility of Taravangian still being able to represent both parts in this "contract", I would say he can't. When you become a Shard, you are no longer the same being, in this way I think of the way Harmony put this in words:

"You say that the power itself must be treated as separate in our minds from the Vessel who controls it."

"I find this difficult to do on an intrinsic level, as although I am neither Ruin nor Preservation, they make up me."

So, when ascending, you no longer are Sazed, or Sazed + ruin + preservation. You are also not Sazed + Harmony. You, entirely, are Harmony. Or that is what i understand from this letter. A different vessel could lead to a being that is not Harmony.

Argent

When Sazed picked up the Shards of Preservation and Ruin, did he actively choose to be known as Harmony (instead of, for example, Balance, or Equilibrium, or Stability), or is there some Cosmeric law that says Preservation + Ruin = Harmony?

Brandon Sanderson

He chose the name, but in part because it FELT right to him.

Argent

Is this similar to how a Shard's "personality" overwrites the Shardholder's over time?

Brandon Sanderson

Similar, yes.

/r/books AMA 2015 (June 17, 2015)

Following this WoB we see exactly that last bit, so, someone with a different perspective would have been able to pick up the shards giving them a different Intent.

 

So, what I'm trying to say is, when Taravangian picks up Odium, he is no longer Taravangian, nor is he Odium+Taravangian. He becomes Odium.

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this is an interesting thing to note. i thought that the vessel and shard would mold each other, instead of the shard just changing the vessel, because rayse was mostly unchanged, so the shard might have gone from passion to odium, but this kinda denies the possibility of this. this was still not likely because of how changed ati was, but i still thought it could hold true.

Edited by Shob the Voidbringer
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I'm definitely in the camp that says that Taravangian reneged on the deal by attacking Rayse, and so Odium is no longer bound by it. Like, remember what's important is the Intent of the deal, not the exact words. I'm pretty sure the Intent of 'I'm going to stab you with a cursed sword' runs pretty contrary to the Intent of 'The Diagram will serve you.' 

It's not like Taravangian was hedging his bets by not including himself in his mental definition of 'The Diagram' when he made the deal or anything. 

This was why Taravangian had to so careful to not let Rayse sense any disloyalty until the crucial moment. Why he couldn't just tell Dalinar that Rayse was afraid of Nightblood. He had ensure Rayse still thought he was loyal, so he'd still protect Kharbranth.

However. If Taravangian had somehow managed to kill Rayse without turning against him, I would say that the deal would be in place; I don't think he could just break that. And he might magically compelled to serve himself now, which would probably be bad. 

Of course, I doubt Taravangian is inclined to do much damage to Kharbranth, so it'll probably be fine. I just don't think he's being magically compelled to protect Kharbranth.

Edited by Gilphon
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Weird, I came into it thinking Taravangian completely fulfilled his deal with Odium. He completed every task he was asked to do. Burning the diagram didn't matter as Rayse had (most) of it now. Also, Odium didn't want anything more from it as far as we were told. The deal wasn't 100% honesty either, as not telling Odium about Renarin didn't break the deal. 

Taravangian sacrificed his life and his reputation to do the Veden attack, he got the upper Radiants out of the tower, and was slipping info to Odium. Odium came and said to Taravangian that nothing more was required of Taravangian.

The deal was that Taravangian would betray allies and do everything Odium asked. There was no mention of Odium and Taravangian protecting each other physically. I honestly think the spirit of the deal was to do with information and betrayal of allies on Taravangian's part. 

What I am more curious is if Taravabgian can release Odium from the deal, or if Taravangian is stuck with it. I hope the deal still lives as that would make for an interesting call-back later on (especially with the theory that Kal's mother, and maybe Kal, were born in Karbrandth and therefor protected) 

Edited by teknopathetic
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He said "The Diagram" would serve Odium, then divested himself of the group.  Looks legit to me.  Also, didn't Mistborn establish that the Vessel is essentially in complete control of the power at first, then slowly begins to be bent to the Shard's Intent as they keep holding it?  So I believe Vargo is very much in control of the Shard right now, even if it creeps up on him a couple times a day.

It would be neat if Brandon brought this deal around, like Vargodium wants to trash Kharbranth because the library says something vital about the Dawnsingers, but he can't.

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Posted (edited)

Slowly rereading RoW and came across this account of Taravangian's take on his agreement with Odium (Interlude-6, pp 572/3):

Quote

...he wrote out two simple words.  Do it.  He had to go through with the betrayal, of course.  He needed to keep his agreement; he had to protect Kharbranth.  That came before any other plots or plans.  And any other such plots would have to be executed in such a way that Odium either did not know what he'd done, or couldn't act against him to remove Kharbranth's protections.

I think two things are made abundantly clear from this passage.  1) Taravangian certainly views his action here - ordering the Veden betrayal against Dalinar - as the fulfillment of his promise to Odium.  He knows that since he has now upheld his end of the bargain, the safety of Kharbranth is ensured.  2)  He's already planning to throw a monkey wrench into Odium's plans (in the form of a certain heavily Invested Awakened sentient object)... but he sees that as COMPLETELY SEPARATE from the Kharbranth deal which has now been completed.  "He needed to keep his agreement," and he did so.

The terms of the deal have not been violated by either party and should still be in effect; I don't see any reason why Taravangian's Ascension would change that.  Kharbranth is indeed still safe, and I fully expect that this will tie Todium's hands in some important way in Book 5.  Maybe someone very important will turn out to have recent Kharbranthian ancestry...?  Presumably, he could choose to break his agreement (with himself), but doing so will somehow make him vulnerable to dangers he's otherwise safe from.

Edited by AquaRegia
misquote fixed
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There is something else I wonder.  In the contract between Odium and Taravangian, it was essentially being enforced by Cultivation, even though she wasn't a party to it.  How?  As Rayse said, violating the contract would leave him open to an attack from her, and it is heavily implied that she would not pass up the opportunity.  That seems to be moot now since Cultivation basically placed Taravangian into Odium, or at least started the events that led to that happening.  She seems quite content with the current state of affairs.

From Harmony's letter, it seems that no other Shard either wants to, or currently can, attack Odium.  There is no enforcer.  I think that if Taravangian wanted to break that agreement, he could probably do so with immunity, at least in the short term.  The only question in my mind is why he would want to.  It costs him nothing to keep it, and as an individual, he has no reason that I can see to break it.

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I wonder if T's daughter is the Kharbranth representative since she is now the ruler while T resigned his position pre-Ascending?

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A crazy thought occurred to me: Kaladin's father Lirin travelled to Kharbranth as a young man, and little has been revealed about the family of his mother Hesina.  Is it possible Hesina is either herself Kharbranthian, or the child of one?

If so, Kaladin would be included in the "two generations" (iirc) specified in the agreement, and Todium is prevented from harming Kaladin without breaking his oath and exposing himself to Shardic retribution.

Just a wild hypothesis... but I won't be surprised if SOMEONE very important turns out to be protected from Todium by the Kharbranth clause.

 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, AquaRegia said:

A crazy thought occurred to me: Kaladin's father Lirin travelled to Kharbranth as a young man, and little has been revealed about the family of his mother Hesina.  Is it possible Hesina is either herself Kharbranthian, or the child of one?

If so, Kaladin would be included in the "two generations" (iirc) specified in the agreement, and Todium is prevented from harming Kaladin without breaking his oath and exposing himself to Shardic retribution.

Just a wild hypothesis... but I won't be surprised if SOMEONE very important turns out to be protected from Todium by the Kharbranth clause.

 

I like your thinking!! I think the agreement was “the city itself, any human born into it and their spouses”, not necessarily their next generations unless they were born there. BUT even if Hesina isn’t from Kharbranth, it’s possible that she and Lirin met in Kharbranth and perhaps Hesina got pregnant there and gave birth to Kaladin before they moved to Hearthstone! It would be the best place to give birth with the access to hospitals there. Would also add to the reason why Hesina’s parents hated Lirin, because maybe Hesina got pregnant too soon/too young or something in their opinion... 
 

So there is a chance that Kaladin was born in Kharbranth and would be protected from Odium!

Edited by Kahlani
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Yes, I do think he is still under that agreement. 

Now you may say "But he attacked Odium!". Technically he attacked Rayse, not Odium. They are similar, but not always the same.

And we do know that shards do have to uphold agreements, even if a new host gets the shard, they are still bond by that agreement.

 

I don't think T has even considered the agreement that he made with Odium and will be his downfall.

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1 hour ago, AquaRegia said:

A crazy thought occurred to me: Kaladin's father Lirin travelled to Kharbranth as a young man, and little has been revealed about the family of his mother Hesina.  Is it possible Hesina is either herself Kharbranthian, or the child of one?

If so, Kaladin would be included in the "two generations" (iirc) specified in the agreement, and Todium is prevented from harming Kaladin without breaking his oath and exposing himself to Shardic retribution.

Just a wild hypothesis... but I won't be surprised if SOMEONE very important turns out to be protected from Todium by the Kharbranth clause.

 

That was a popular theory post-Oathbringer, IIRC. It'll probably be important, but as it stands, we can't say. Unless Dalinar finds this out last minute and has Kaladin arrive at Urithiru faster than we know is currently possible, our favorite bridgeboy isn't going to be the Champion; so Odium's word towards protecting those in/from Kharbranth doesn't really affect this situation. Then again, Brandon has pulled out crazier stuff from under our collective noses. 

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Posted (edited)

On 6/19/2021 at 9:21 AM, AquaRegia said:

Slowly rereading RoW and came across this account of Taravangian's take on his agreement with Odium (Interlude-6, pp 572/3):

I think two things are made abundantly clear from this passage.  1) Taravangian certainly views his action here - ordering the Veden betrayal against Dalinar - as the fulfillment of his promise to Odium.  He knows that since he has now upheld his end of the bargain, the safety of Kharbranth is ensured.  2)  He's already planning to throw a monkey wrench into Odium's plans (in the form of a certain heavily Invested Awakened sentient object)... but he sees that as COMPLETELY SEPARATE from the Kharbranth deal which has now been completed.  "He needed to keep his agreement," and he did so.

The terms of the deal have not been violated by either party and should still be in effect; I don't see any reason why Taravangian's Ascension would change that.  Kharbranth is indeed still safe, and I fully expect that this will tie Todium's hands in some important way in Book 5.  Maybe someone very important will turn out to have recent Kharbranthian ancestry...?  Presumably, he could choose to break his agreement (with himself), but doing so will somehow make him vulnerable to dangers he's otherwise safe from.

I'm in the camp that he devested himself from the Diagram and disbanded it, and had fulfilled his agreement with Odium, but reading your quote did bring up another interesting point though.  He makes a point to think that actions that do violate the agreement are acceptable as long as they can be hidden from Odium's knowledge.  Now that he's holding Odium, Odium knows what he knows, so does that violate things?

On 6/19/2021 at 8:28 PM, Malim said:

There is something else I wonder.  In the contract between Odium and Taravangian, it was essentially being enforced by Cultivation, even though she wasn't a party to it.  How?  As Rayse said, violating the contract would leave him open to an attack from her, and it is heavily implied that she would not pass up the opportunity.  That seems to be moot now since Cultivation basically placed Taravangian into Odium, or at least started the events that led to that happening.  She seems quite content with the current state of affairs.

From Harmony's letter, it seems that no other Shard either wants to, or currently can, attack Odium.  There is no enforcer.  I think that if Taravangian wanted to break that agreement, he could probably do so with immunity, at least in the short term.  The only question in my mind is why he would want to.  It costs him nothing to keep it, and as an individual, he has no reason that I can see to break it.

I always sort of assumed he'd leave himself open to Cultivation being able to convince other shards to help against him, similar to the letters trying to garner support against Odium.  If it is shown that Rayse isn't following the "shard rules" then it would be enough to convince the other shards that he was indeed a danger to the entire cosmere.  I now wonder if him not upholding his deals somehow opens himself more literally to an attack by Cultivation.

 

As an aside should some of the Shard examples used in arguments be inside Misborn spoiler tags?

Edited by cfphelps
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