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Hi, I'm probably way late to this discussion and probably someone else has done a discussion about this with more research done. But I don't follow these forums much so almost all of this comes from my crackpot brain and hasn't been contrasted with information in other posts over here.

[Full spoilers ahead]










I recently finished The Lost Metal and my mind was blown more than the ship that carried the bomb. I've been thinking a lot about what Moonlight (which after watching reactions I finally realized that she was Shai) did to become an Elantrian. I've heard some thoughts about it, but none really spoke about the same things as I was thinking, so here goes. 

At first I didn't think that it was Shai because it felt strange that she would only have only three stamps (one of them an Essence Mark), but after some considering, it now makes sense. The stamps that she has in Scadrial are not only Universal Stamps as she called them, they are "unsealed" stamps, in the sense that they can be used OUTSIDE of Sel, which in itself is pretty incredible. Now, how can these stamps be "unsealed"? I heard a thought in the Shardcast about Offworlders in TLM that suggested that the reason Shai chose Moonlight as her codename was that she had recovered the Moon Scepter at some point.

My theory is that she did find it, and discovered the method to create stamps that are disConnected from Sel, and she also developed (probably by herself) the method to create the Universal Stamps, which can be used on multiple objets to obtain the same (or similar) effect, no matter the object or surface that is stamped, as long as the change would be feasible. These Universal and "unsealed" Stamps are sure to take a lot of time to develop and create, and their power is probably linked to the amount of purified Investiture is applied when used, and that's why the doors created with those stamps last for a few seconds, as they would need more investiture to make that change last longer, or even be permanent. Now, addressing the Essence Mark, this one must also have been "unsealed" and, by its complexity, must have taken years or even decades to create (and it was tested for the first time here so what we can observe from it possibly doesn't extrapolate, but anyways), so now I had my justification for why Shai had so few Stamps. I also in my minimal investigation for this theory came to hear about the WoB asking if an Essence Mark could turn someone into an Elantrian and how it would need a lot of Investiture to do something like that.

So, after this I started to think with more Detail about the specifics of Soul forgery, and how it works. My conclusion is that what the Essence Mark does is change your Cognitive Self, possibly altering your Spiritweb, and with the ink it opens the body to receive a small amount of Dor that makes the change in the physical body (similarly to how the Healing via surgebinding works, and that's probably how feruchemical gold healing works as well, I don't know if that's confirmed somewhere). Now this change in the Cognitive Self would need Investiture to be sustained due to the changing nature of living beings, and that's why the soulstamps need to be reapplied every day, and it's also why, in some cases, when applied during a very long period of time, it may not be necessary to stamp anymore to maintain the changes, since the Cognitive Self would have been kept in that state for a long enough time so as to make the individual being stamped to have assimilated the changes in their Spiritweb, and thus their Cognitive Self would become the altered one. Now with this understanding of Soul forgery, what Shai did was turn herself into an Elantrian, for which she needed to use a whole jar of purified Investiture to complete the change, but since she wasn't in Sel, she wasn't getting more Investiture, in fact, she was losing it due to the fact that Elantrian bodies seem to use Dor to function and channel it in them, that's why she made an Aon in the floor. My theory is that that Aon was designed with a similar process as the "unsealed" stamps, so as to be able to use Aons outside of Sel, and that Aon could have, in my opinion, one function out of these: either it Connected the Elendel Basin to Elantris and thus created an artificial flow of Dor into Scadrial or it Connected the innate Dor that Shai has as an Elantrian to the Elendel Basin, and tricked it so as to be able to use Scadrial's environmental Investiture to function, or maybe it Tricked Shai's Dor as an Elantrian to think that Elendel Basin was part of Elantris, or maybe something else that I couldn't even think about. Either way, the implications of what that Aon could do are MASSIVE, especially for other Elantrians who may be interested in interplanetary travels. 

Now for the last thing about this situation, Shai is probably now stuck as an Elantrian with that personality because, as I said earlier, Elantrians naturally channel Investiture constantly to function, so part of that Investiture is fueling the Stamp that maintains the changes, and probably the only way to turn her back is, as it was suggested in the Shardcast I mentioned before, to leech her with a Chromium allomancer or any other type of Investiture absorption or deletion, (such as a Larkin, for example).


So that's my theory about that, I'll accept any thoughts about it since, as I said, I've barely researched anything about this topic, so any inconsistencies between this theory and the cannon or WoB cannon you guys can point out to me I would appreciate.


Last thought: RIP Wayne, The Statue in your honor couldn't be more perfect, you made me cry, and laugh.

Edited by Edhack77
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