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The Intent of Aona's Shard


darniil

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I was going to post this on the Talk page for Aona's Shard, but I figured I might get more eyes here rather than there.

The intent listed here - Aona's Shard seeks to care after its people. - makes sense if the Shard was Compassion, but Brandon has said the Shard's intent was closer to Devotion. The two concepts are similar, but not identical. While Karata was showing great compassion to the children, Taan didn't show any compassion to the sculptures, reliefs, and other artwork. I would even be hard-pressed to explain how Saolin was being compassionate. They all were, however, very devoted to something or someone.

Consequently, I would think that the intent would be more along the lines of "the (mostly)* complete giving of oneself for the advancement of something/someone else". After all, we were also told that morally good people were not the only ones taken by the Shaod; some "bad" people were taken, too.

* Normally I would just say "complete giving", but that also brings up images of cloistered monks/nuns, and I don't see evidence that the Shaod requires quite that much devotion.

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Derailment: what if someone were very Devoted to advancing something morally wrong or ambiguous, such as, oh I don't know, the political power of the Derethi religion? It doesn't seem to fit with Skai's shard (do we have a name for that yet?), but if he'd been around longer maybe Hrathen could have become an Elantrian.

Shady reasoning for the last bit, but the first question still holds. And then if we combine Aona's shard with others that we know, like Honor or Odium, we could get some very interesting magic systems. Devoted to binding oaths, or absolute hatred. No real relevance, but an interesting thought experiment.

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I agree in principle, darniil, but I'm also looking at the origin story for modern Elantrians on the Ehe Pendant. What I'm seeing is that while it took a little while to happen, the new Aonic people became Elantrians relatively quickly, more quickly then normal DNA recombination-style evolution can account for. The conclusion I'm coming to based on this is that Spiritual DNA mutates and evolves to use new magics faster than actual DNA, and that's part of why I think that given a generation or two, even Fjordells could become Elantrians.

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Okay, let's just remove the genetic requirement, then, for the sake of argument. If that were not in place, then yes, I would say that someone with the same level of devotion to Shu-Dereth as Hrathen could be taken by the Shaod. This person would probably end up going through some kind of religious crisis at that point, but I would say it's possible (minus the genetic requirement, of course).

Morally wrong or morally ambiguous doesn't matter to the Shaod, from the information we have. It's not a matter of morality, it's a matter of devotion. Art is morally neutral, yet Taan was taken by the Shaod. And I think we'd be hard pressed to find a moral good that Shaor was devoted to.

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  • 2 months later...

Derailment: what if someone were very Devoted to advancing something morally wrong or ambiguous, such as, oh I don't know, the political power of the Derethi religion? It doesn't seem to fit with Skai's shard (do we have a name for that yet?), but if he'd been around longer maybe Hrathen could have become an Elantrian.

Shady reasoning for the last bit, but the first question still holds. And then if we combine Aona's shard with others that we know, like Honor or Odium, we could get some very interesting magic systems. Devoted to binding oaths, or absolute hatred. No real relevance, but an interesting thought experiment.

We do have a name for Skai's shard- Dominion. There's a Brandon quote out there, I can't find it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Also, as the themes of Shu-Korath and Shu-Dereth are based in unity, it's interesting that both Shards reflect this, or I should say, the religions reflect the quality of the shards: Dominion and Devotion, two reasons to unite.

It's interesting how similar/balancing Shards end up on the same world. Preservation and Ruin balance each other out, both requiring creation to work upon in their own way, Dominion and supposedly Devotion, each an intent of unity.

The Honor, Cultivation, Odium thing is a little more unique, I have to admit. However, I suppose honor can cultivate someone, as can hatred, and one can be cultivated in either. I also don't think it's possible to act in honor and hatred at the same time. Regardless of personal feelings, only one can be the reason to act.

Edited by Turos
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  • 3 weeks later...

I seem to recall Brandon saying that the pairing of Preservation and Ruin was unique among the Shards. Now, that's not to say that there can't be other pairings, other similarities, other opposites, simply that Preservation and Ruin were paired in a way that the other Shards weren't. (Personally, it kind of reminded me of yin and yang - opposites, but in such a way that it's a perfect duality, drawing them together like opposing magnetic charges.)

Consequently, it might be counterproductive to attempt to find reasons for pairings (triplings, etc) with other groups of Shards.

Edit:

In a textbook case of l'esprit d'escalier, I thought of something else for the following:

Derailment: what if someone were very Devoted to advancing something morally wrong or ambiguous, such as, oh I don't know, the political power of the Derethi religion? It doesn't seem to fit with Skai's shard (do we have a name for that yet?), but if he'd been around longer maybe Hrathen could have become an Elantrian.

This could be pretty much what happened with Shaor - devotion to dominion.

Edited by darniil
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Okay, let's just remove the genetic requirement, then, for the sake of argument. If that were not in place, then yes, I would say that someone with the same level of devotion to Shu-Dereth as Hrathen could be taken by the Shaod. This person would probably end up going through some kind of religious crisis at that point, but I would say it's possible (minus the genetic requirement, of course).

I agree with you here, I'm virtually certain that those with Devotion are those that are taken by the Shaod. One thing to consider though is that Shuden, who is Jindoeese, and his family live in Arelon, and Shuden is actually at least the second generation to live there, although I think it could be more. I think the reason that the sDNA of the Aonic people mutated so quickly is because Aona's shard was looking for a people to use it's magic, similar to how Preservation was looking for a successor, and found Vin.

8. Are Shards all paired? Does Endowment have a counterpart?

ANSWER: RAFO. Also, yes and no. Not all Shards have perfect counterparts like Ruin and Preservation.

As for paired Shards, I think all Shards have a partner, but that partner does not necessarily have to be their opposite. The books talked about how Ruin and Preservation actually complemented each other, despite the fact that they were opposites. This makes me think that Dominion and Devotion (I'm sick of saying Aona's Shard) are paired as well. They're not opposites but two ways different ways to inspire loyalty, or get someone to follow you. I also think that Cultivation and Endowment are paired, they both are different ways to take care of someone or something.

Edited by Windrunner
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As for paired Shards, I think all Shards have a partner, but that partner does not necessarily have to be their opposite.

Well the whole hexadecimal element lends itsself well to pairs (and quartets), I don't particularly agree with Cultivation and Endowment, being that they aren't on the same world, but maybe they do fit together... I'd say that they most likely all overlap a little with each other, due to the nature of their formation.

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I expect many of the shard we know have pairs among those we don't. After all, there are 8 more out there. Maybe Endowment's opposite is Simplicity.

Now how would simplicity work in a magic system, I wonder?

It's probably pretty simple.

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