Alicila

Why have no genocide happened on singers?

49 posts in this topic

(I have searched a while and not seen questions same as this. There's theories about future genocide possibilities but I'm talking about the past. )(Try to talk using in-world moralities. I know genocide is bad in our values, this is just for discussion's sake.)

So, between the normal Desolations, a discussion between human villager A,B may go like this.

A: "Aren't those singers the ones that will become Voidbringers every time?"
B:"Yeah."
A:"And we are sitting around, waiting them to become magical warriors and shoot lightening at us, and then we fight back?"
B:"Yeah."
A:"I got a brilliant idea. Why not kill all those singers BERORE they can become Voidbringers?"
B:"Yeah that's a great idea! Why haven't anyone thought of it?"

I understand the Knight Radiants may be above genocide, but it is highly plausible for the normal politicians to conceive something like this. Humans are very capable of committing genocide even on humans, and after about 2500 years of war with a complete different species, it was very weird that no one has done this already. Especially the Heralds, who were getting insane and were immensely tired of the war. The Heralds could just left an instruction for the Vorin church to wipe out the Voidbringers each time they left, and these orders are unlikely to be doubted. Not sure how Knights Radiant would respond to this sort of command though.


Some might argue that human society was too broken after Desolations that they couldn't pursue the singers. But the singers are supposed to be even more broken, so it makes no sense to wait for both sides to rebuild, than clash again without an end. 

One possibility is that humans and singers lived far enough that they couldn't meet each other. Or if the Knights Radiant put efforts to stop the genocide that would be the end of the story, but still there were long times when there was no Radiant.

Same could probably go for singers to humans, but they were defeated each time so they haven't got any chance. Except for Raboniel's bioweapon, which I think is a very rational respond to the war. 

(Makes me think of Attack on Titan and The Dark Forest, but that's off topic.)
 

Edit: summarize some good points made by the discussion below

  • Population was dispersed, societies were broken and without Knights Radiant(Blades, Plates, Soulcasters), it's hard to wage wars of such scale.
  • Likely all three Shards wouldn't like the idea of genocide and would have intervened.
  • There likely were failed attempts.
  • Why didn't the Heralds instruct humans to genocide is unexplained. (Especially after the Last Desolation) 

 

 

Edited by Alicila
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it’s likely that between desolations there was attempts at this. The two species populations were probably too evenly numbered for one to genocide the other. Remember, unlike the false desolation where mishram was imprisoned, the singers had access to their full minds and forms. So basically I bet people tried to between desolations but just couldn’t due to singer numbers. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Humans and ten Heralds can defeat the singer with perhaps hundreds or more Fused and thousands or more forms of Power. I think even without the Heralds, humans can handle singers without Fused and forms of power just fine. The singers' army structure would have to adapt greatly without forms of power, but human's army won't be affected.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a very good question.  I don't have any good answers, but it did remind me of something I noticed recently when rereading the very first scene of WoK:  Kelek sees piles of bodies, some human, some not... and blood - red, orange, purple.  OK, red = human, orange = singer.  WHOSE PURPLE BLOOD WAS THAT?  Apparently there was a 3rd species involved in the fighting immediately before the breaking of the Oathpact?  One that, for Kelek, was unworthy of mention, yet has not been seen on Roshar since?  Could that explain why humans could never finish off the singers?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, AquaRegia said:

It's a very good question.  I don't have any good answers, but it did remind me of something I noticed recently when rereading the very first scene of WoK:  Kelek sees piles of bodies, some human, some not... and blood - red, orange, purple.  OK, red = human, orange = singer.  WHOSE PURPLE BLOOD WAS THAT?  Apparently there was a 3rd species involved in the fighting immediately before the breaking of the Oathpact?  One that, for Kelek, was unworthy of mention, yet has not been seen on Roshar since?  Could that explain why humans could never finish off the singers?

This is an interesting line of thought. But I think that such species, if truly that important, would have more mentioning. The simplest answer would be that it's blood of a native animal.

Edit: Cremlings do have purple blood. https://coppermind.net/wiki/Cremling

Edited by Alicila
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Alicila said:

This is an interesting line of thought. But I think that such species, if truly that important, would have more mentioning. The simplest answer would be that it's blood of a native animal.

Edit: Cremlings do have purple blood. https://coppermind.net/wiki/Cremling

So it is possible that the singers used axehounds, chulls, whitespines, even chasmfiends (as seen at the end of RoW) in their armies... that's pretty cool.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know much about Sleepless, but they have "bodies" made of cremlings as well, right? Purple blood.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try to remain on topic though. Regardless of what animal singers may have utilized, it won't change the fact that humans defeated them each time. This doesn't offset the power balance between humans and singers.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still feel like there's so much we don't understand about the mechanism of the desolations...I believe RoW was the first time we were told that the Heralds chose to return to Braize when they felt that humans could succeed on their own? But even so, we are told that humanity gets absolutely shattered in the aftermath of a desolation. So why wouldn't the Heralds stick around for longer?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah. boggles the mind.

I tried to justify it like this

-> Singers become Voidbringers
-> new generation of Radiants exists/appear, but they are few and of low oath.
-> Listernes win. a lot. like, almost annihilating human kind (80-90% loss)
-> Radiants become more, oaths get higher
-> Listerners lose more and more
-> breaking point
-> Radiants become unstoppable
-> Listerners get beaten back, everyone back to Braize

now, Singers lost a a lot, humans lost a lot.
Radiants won't commit genocide so the fighting subsides as the humans are too few to actually keep on waging war.
also, everythings in shambles and they focus on rebuilding rather than killing the enemy for good.
populations slowly recover on both sides. old Radiants die off.
and eventually the next cycle starts.


this has holes, ik, but its the best I could come up with.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Radiants didn't always existed and were a "new invention". At first, humans fought with stones and still won. (Raboniel mentioned that) By the time Radiants were organized and made Urithiru their headquarters and all that, I would think humans could won with relative ease? (Also I don't get why you think Radiants don't exist between Desolations. Old Radiants dying means that new Radiants get their spren. The Knights lasted until the Recreance.)

25 minutes ago, trav said:

now, Singers lost a a lot, humans lost a lot.

Yeah that's probaly the most likely reason. But it was still strange that the Heralds didn't at least try to tell the humans to wipe out singers. They were insane, abandoning the Oathpact without much hesitation, but were noble enough to think genocide is immoral?

Edited by Alicila
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember, the singers didn’t turn into slaves until the imprisonment of Ba Ado Mishram. This was after the breaking of the Oathpact.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, trav said:


now, Singers lost a a lot, humans lost a lot.
Radiants won't commit genocide so the fighting subsides as the humans are too few to actually keep on waging war.
also, everythings in shambles and they focus on rebuilding rather than killing the enemy for good.

I think it's this. Desolations before the Knight's Radiant were founded and codified were devastating. In the Nohadon vision from WoK, he says 9 out of 10 people in his kingdom were dead and his kingdom was luckier than most. Looking out the window Dalinar sees most of the buildings are rubble. I think this is in ancient Kholinar, but either way it's a capital city destroyed. They don't have the Heralds to help them, they need to focus on rebuilding.  

After the Knights Radiant order was codified by Ishar the Oaths of most Radiant Orders would prevent them from murdering civilian Singers. The 3rd oath of the Windrunners "protect even those I hate so long as it is right", would oblige them to step in and block an attempt to massacre Singers. 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Between Desolations there was no fighting. No one left on Roshar would want to fight after something called a Desolation ended. I'm willing to bet there were always humans that fought on the Fused's side and Singers that fought on the Herald's side. By the time fighting stopped, the world was destroyed and both sides helped each other rebuild. And I feel like singers in workform were extremely helpful in rebuilding.

Also keep in mind that Cultivation probably doesn't want the race that was there before humans to be completely wiped out, no matter which side anyone is fighting on. Neither did Honor.

When the singers were rendered mindless after the False Desolation, there was no reason to fear them. I'm sure many were killed out of spite, but their utility as slaves was far too inviting to waste.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Alicila said:

Same could probably go for singers to humans, but they were defeated each time so they haven't got any chance. Except for Raboniel's bioweapon, which I think is a very rational respond to the war. 

It seemed pretty clear in RoW that Odium wanted humans alive to use as soldiers when he eventually moved past Roshar to destroy other, so fused and Odium at least wouldn't support it.

14 hours ago, Alicila said:

Humans and ten Heralds can defeat the singer with perhaps hundreds or more Fused and thousands or more forms of Power. I think even without the Heralds, humans can handle singers without Fused and forms of power just fine. The singers' army structure would have to adapt greatly without forms of power, but human's army won't be affected.

So a couple things, the Radiants wouldn't go for this. It is pretty clearly against at least the Windrunner oaths to not oppose this. This still leaves the possibility of before the Radiants exist, and after the recreance. I would guess that before the Radiants existed, the humans probably weren't going to be able to easily kill singers. While I agree that they might have been able to have an eventual victory, it would have probably been a difficult battle, and nobody wanted that. 

2 hours ago, trav said:

-> new generation of Radiants exists/appear, but they are few and of low oath.

I am pretty sure that after the original founding of the Radiants their orders continued to exist and recruit during the entire in-between phase of desolations, making the current situation with no old radiants somewhat unique.

2 hours ago, Alicila said:

Radiants didn't always existed and were a "new invention". At first, humans fought with stones and still won. (Raboniel mentioned that) By the time Radiants were organized and made Urithiru their headquarters and all that, I would think humans could won with relative ease? (Also I don't get why you think Radiants don't exist between Desolations. Old Radiants dying means that new Radiants get their spren. The Knights lasted until the Recreance.)

Yeah that's probaly the most likely reason. But it was still strange that the Heralds didn't at least try to tell the humans to wipe out singers. They were insane, abandoning the Oathpact without much hesitation, but were noble enough to think genocide is immoral?

I think one of the things we see Raboniel talking about is how both sides were relatively equal with technology, and that no side had managed to gain a significant technological advantage over the other before. So while she may have said that humans fought with stones, the singers probably also fought with stones. By the time the humans organized to Urithiru, the singers were also probably more organized. I think it is also worth keeping in mind that the fused who are experts with their surges and competent fighters in the books in present day, got that way through thousands of years of experience. Original fused would have been far less skilled. 

 

 

I do think though that there is still some merit to this question, and I personally kinda doubt we are ever going to get a very satisfying answer.

Edited by Ishar
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just thought Honor and Cultivation stopped any such attempts by the Humans or perhaps it was part of the Oathpact or the compact between the Honor and Odium that the two species wouldn't try to preemptively strike at one another between Desolations/Returns

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Alicila said:

Try to remain on topic though. Regardless of what animal singers may have utilized, it won't change the fact that humans defeated them each time.

Defeated their attack. There is no indication that they counterattacked and devastated the lands of the Singers.

18 hours ago, Alicila said:

This doesn't offset the power balance between humans and singers.

I think we are underestimating how far the balance between attack and defense is shifted on Heraldic Roshar compared to our time.

  • You cannot do long sieges
  • You cannot do earthen siege works
  • You have no Shard Blades without the Knights Radiant
  • You have no stable major waterways to supply your armies - no Soulcasters without the Knights Radiant
  • You cannot undermine walls without the Knights Radiant - it's solid rock

A good fortress or walled city is basically invulnerable

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the entire world is infused with Honor. RoW made it very apparent that even some Fused operate with a certain sense of honor. I think Genocide wouldnt come very natural to the peoples of Roshar, even with Odium pushing them to do so regularly.

It should be noted that some desolations have been implied as attempts at genocide also... So I don't think an attempt hasn't happened before.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Ishar said:

I am pretty sure that after the original founding of the Radiants their orders continued to exist and recruit during the entire in-between phase of desolations, making the current situation with no old radiants somewhat unique.

Kaladin progressed in his oaths in fights. or under different form of stress. well, mostly.

we know that Radiant Orders kept existing. the Skybreakers for example.
my point is that the Radiants stop to fight the Singers once the Fused leave and that the next generation is so far away that the old generation Radiants, the ones which are on high oaths, died away. leaving weaker or maybe even fewer Radiants.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lunu’anaki said:

Well, the entire world is infused with Honor. RoW made it very apparent that even some Fused operate with a certain sense of honor. I think Genocide wouldnt come very natural to the peoples of Roshar, even with Odium pushing them to do so regularly.

It is an idea Jasnah calls obvious.

6 hours ago, Honorless said:

I just thought Honor and Cultivation stopped any such attempts by the Humans or perhaps it was part of the Oathpact or the compact between the Honor and Odium that the two species wouldn't try to preemptively strike at one another between Desolations/Returns

How? That the Knights Radiant would listen is imaginable. But every king?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

How? That the Knights Radiant would listen is imaginable. But every king?

Religion. Honor is a god to them, popular uprising would stop any king from attempting such.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also in the wake of the False Desolation and Recreance, whose to say there wasn't a genocide attempt? We have a slave population of Parshmen, and what's essentially a refugee population of Listeners. Those are both things that happen in the real world when genocide is attempted, and there's been thousands of years since the False Desolation for small slave/refugee populations to grow again.

I think it's also worth looking at this in the context that humans were a small group of traumatised refugees from Ashyn, and the world was probably covered in Singers. The numbers have shifted, and that's logically happened due to violence at the hands of humans.

Edited by Proletariat
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think people are forgetting how hard food is to grow on Roshar. There is a very real chance by the end of the fighting both sides would be starving and need to concentrate on just survival. Without the use of soulcasters they would need to farm and hunt/gather, so before the radiants they just wouldn't be able to prosecute a genocidal war into hostile territory, and with the Radiants they would likely not be party to supplying food for an army intent on genocide.

That's my take on it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Singer society is much harder to break then the human one.  Remember they can specialize much more easily and rely less on knowledge and training then on forms.  Roshar is a pretty big place and it did not always have a large scale information network. Trying to kill the entire population sounds implausible.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i will also note something that remains unmentioned: regals. if there are around as many fused as there are radiants, as people often compare them as equal, we must remember that regals were there during desalations, and are not to be underestimated (i don't recall direct confirmation of this, but forms of power were mentioned in the listeners songs.). also, if there were humans working with odium, it's likely that lots of singers questioned the fused and such, especially with so much time between earlier desalations, and probably join the humans.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.