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New Stormlight 5 Preview Reading from Brandon - Tampa Bay Comic Con


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SIAP

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/517/#e16162

Spoiler

Brandon Sanderson

Jasnah found it difficult to sleep. A part of her wanted to blame this stupid bed. Wit adored plushness; he wanted a mattress that would swallow a person, and he had found her previous one to be unsuitable. So now she swam in stuffing, lying on her side, listening to his breathing. Wit didn’t snore when he slept, but he did occasionally whistle. She turned to her other side–which, since they both tended to sink toward the center of this awful mattress, should have jostled him. He just laid there on his back, whistling softly as he exhaled. Was he even actually asleep? Things he’d said to her indicated that perhaps he went to other places at night around the Cosmere, visiting other worlds, engaging in political machinations at which, even still, she could only guess.

“You lie to me sometimes,” she whispered to him. “You realized that means it can’t be a true relationship. I can trust someone with secrets—but someone who lies?” If he was aware, despite his sleep, he didn’t say anything.

She’d caught him so far only in the most mundane of ways. He’d engage with wordplay with her, or toy with puns, and she’d ask him to stop. He’d promise, and seem to have done what he said. But then she’d notice that the games hadn’t stopped; they’d only grown more inscrutable. Wit, twisting the wordplays to a deeper level, another layer of esoteric, more difficult to spot. He seemed to think it would engage her, push her. Instead, it signaled something disturbing. Wit would do what he thought was best for people, not what they wanted from him.

Despite her efforts, she knew she wasn’t connecting to him physically as much as he’d like. That made him feel anxious, as if he were doing something wrong. He thought if he listened better, tried harder, he’d do something mind-blowing and change the way she felt.

In turn, though, she wasn’t connecting to him on an emotional level. Something she did want—if only he’d be up front with her. If only he’d tell her.

She turned back on the other side; a stiff pillow did little to counteract the strange stuffing. The feathers of baby chickens; or perhaps the smallest feathers of adult chickens? She hadn’t been able to parse the way he’d said, but either way, she didn’t like it. A good lavis-husk mattress was far superior, shredded to not have awkward lumps.

Storms. And this is why it was best to avoid relationships. Nine days until Dalinar confronted Odium, and she was worrying about a relationship? Perhaps this was a way to distract herself; because despite all of her training, all of her learning, all of her preparation, it came down to someone else. She would have no part in the final confrontation; Dalinar had decided he would use no champion.

She did not dispute that choice. He was a Bondmsith. He had built the Knights Radiant. He’d had dealings with Odium and understood the creature better than, perhaps, any mortal. Jasnah had written out her reasons that he was the best choice, and she still agreed with them.

Yet… could it have been her? If, instead of hiding what she was, she’d gone out in the open? Told people what she was, what she could do, what she feared? Her life and Dalinar’s life seemed to be very different things. He’d burned a city in the open, and people forgave him. Yet when Jasnah had been honest about what she feared, what she believed, what she discovered… well, condemnation and judgement had chased her like twin headsmen, each looking to get a whipping in before the final execution. She’d barely stayed ahead of them. Because when Jasnah Kholin spoke her mind, people hated her. Perhaps she had learned the wrong lessons from that. But could she be blamed?

She curled up at that thought, listening to the quiet sounds of Urithiru. Water in the pipes, moving of its own accord. Air whispering as it was pumped through vents. Voices echoing far outside, despite the late hour. Trembling there, she realized, finally, why she hated this mattress so much. It reminded her of the soft restraints they’d given her when she’d been young. When those who loved her had taken away her own freedom for her own good. Those terrible months that basically everyone had forgotten about as an anomaly. Except by Jasnah, who would never forget.

Wit suddenly sat up in bed. “Oh, hell,” he whispered.

Jasnah became alert. It wasn’t difficult, considering how far from sleep she’d been. She formed Ivory as a blade—short, stout, basically just a dagger—and called for her armorspren to be ready. She reached for the cover of the bowl of spheres beside the bed, but did not remove the black shroud, lest she ruin her night vision. In a second, she could have Stormlight, but she hesitated on this, too, as the light rising from her skin would highlight her in the darkness.

Wit sat there, barely visible by moonlight, wearing his silken nightclothes. His hair was immaculate, despite having slept on it. How?

“What?” she finally hissed at him.

“Oh, bollocks!” he whispered, leaping from the bed. “The darkest, hairiest, greasiest bollocks on the most unkept nethers of the most wanton demon of the most obscure religion’s damnable hellscape!”

“Wit?” Jasnah said as he rushed to the counter, searching frantically among his things. “Wit!”

He looked at her, wild-eyed, then he pulled the shroud off some spheres and washed the room in light.

She blinked, dismissing her blade. If Wit wasn’t worried about blinding them, then this wasn’t a physical danger. It might just be another of his strange <range of> oddities. Except… the way he looked at her. Eyes like glowing spheres. Lips drawn without even a hint of a smile. Jaw taut, hands clenched, breathing quick. Genuine panic. She felt like summoning her blade again, if only to have something to hold as a chill went through her. “Wit, she said, “please. What’s wrong?”

“G-give me a moment,” he mumbled, turning back to his things. “I need… I need a moment.” He pulled out a notebook and began writing.

She rose and, though the air was warm—her mother’s transformations to Urithiru heating the air to unnatural levels for this elevation—she felt cold in only her nightgown. She threw on a robe and leaned over Wit’s shoulder. She couldn’t read what he wrote. The symbols were unfamiliar, one of the many languages he could speak from worlds beyond theirs. It looked like a table, though, not paragraphs. And those notations to the left of each line? The dots and lines? Numbers, perhaps? They repeated far more often than the other symbols did.

He wrote, increasingly furious, his handwriting growing sloppy. She didn’t miss that he’d gotten out some of the strange, color-changing sand he used sometimes when experimenting with various uses of Stormlight or other, more arcane abilities. And as he did, he seemed to grow more intense.

The doors began to shake. Jasnah had a sword in hand a second later, but then realized it was him. Nobody was on the other side; it was exerting some kind of strange pressure that made the doors vibrate. The rings in her jewelry box, also on the counter, pushed back and began to spill onto the floor. The shoes by her head scooted across the floor, pulled by their latches. Every bit of metal in the room, save for her sword, reacted to him in some way.

Then, the sand burst into light with a mother-of-pearl luminescence and hovered above the table. The filmy clothing on Wit’s back began to writhe and contort as if alive. His motions increasingly frantic, in a flash, it seemed like smoke expelled from his body, blown away by some invisible wind. He was another person. Similar, but different. Shorter, with stark white hair and subtly different features making him seem foreign. This is the real him, she realized. A man not from their world; a man who masqueraded as Wit.

That man turned to her, pencil snapping in his fingers as he grabbed it and broke it across a knuckle. “I’ve been tricked,” he said.

“How,” she asked.

The light of the sand went out, and it sprayed back down on the counter. Wit was back as his familiar self in a blink of an eye, and the odd effects stopped with an abrupt immediacy, as if on an order from him. He stood, again taller than she was, and held up what he’d written. “I’m missing,” he said, “three minute and twenty-seven seconds.”

“I’m not following, Wit,” she said.

“I’m sorry. I’m trying to parse this, but… Storms, what’s happening? Sorry, I’m sorry,” he said, slumping back onto the seat beside the stone counter, a natural feature of the room that jutted from the wall, as was common in these rooms of Urithiru. “I’ve lived a long time, Jasnah. A long, long time. Longer than any mortal’s memories can track, so I must use other means to maintain myself. I store memories in something called Breath: an easily accessible, if costly, form of Investiture that a person can adopt and, with training, use to expand one’s soul and memory. That part isn’t specifically important; I periodically review memories, deciding on what is vital to keep and what can be jettisoned. It is one of the only ways to remain sane after such a long existence as mine. And in that review just earlier, Jasnah, I found something. Something unexpected. Something terrifying.”

“Three minutes and twenty-seven seconds?” she whispered, looking again at the notes on his page. As if by force of will, she could decipher them. “Missing. When?”

“One day ago,” he said.

“And what were you doing at the time?”

He let out a long breath, then met her eyes. “I was having a chat with Odium.”

“A chat?” she said flatly. “With the most ancient enemy of all humankind? The being that seeks to destroy us, to crush my family, to dominate—perhaps weaponize—all of Roshar for his own ends? A chat?”

“We have a history,” Wit explained. “As I believe I’ve told you.”

Jasnah pulled a chair over and sank down, feeling a spike of pain. A kind of final spike of pain. “I asked you, Wit,” she whispered. “I asked you to involve me in any dealings you had with him.”

“I’m telling you now, dear,” he said. “That is technically involving you.”

She held his eyes and knew. Perhaps he did, too. He will continue to be himself, a man so full of secrets he needed some kind of strange magic to keep them all inside his head. And one, it appeared, had been excised. There would never be a place for her inside of his deepest self, would there? She’d always just be another thing on the outside, maintained as part of his collection. Enjoyed, perhaps even loved, but never confided in.

In that moment, she knew she’d have to withdraw, for herself. She tucked away feelings of betrayal. She had known what she was getting into with him. One did not court a god lightly.

“Why?” she asked him. “What were you saying to him?”

“I…” he shrugged. “I had to gloat a little. It was requisite, Jasnah, considering our history.” His eyes became distant. “I remember feeling odd about the encounter… a sense of repetition? Something happened that day in the lost minutes. He got the better of me and excised the memory from my mind, letting me instead think I had won the exchange. I can find the remnants, now that I look, as it was awkwardly done, as if by one unfamiliar.”

“This is wrong, isn’t it?” she said.

“Very wrong. Rayse is a megalomaniac, Jasnah. For all his craftiness, it would hurt him to let me walk away thinking I’d bested him. In this case, he encouraged it.” Wit leaned forward and took her hand. “He’s grown. After ten thousand years, Rayse has actually learned something. That terrifies me. Because I can’t anticipate what he will do.”

“Then what?”

“We need to reread the contract between him and Dalinar,” Wit said. “Now.”

Jasnah had a copy nearby, but before she’d opened her ledger, a pounding on a <nearish> door, real this time, drew her attention. She passed out of the bedroom, through the sitting room, and eased open the outer door to reveal <Hemnid> of the Cobalt Guard. A man with discretion to match his general poise, she trusted him as much as she trusted any, so she wasn’t bothered as he glanced at Wit as he approached. “What?” she said to him, light spilling from the guardroom into her quarters.

“Radiant Shallan and Highprince Adolin have something to report,” he whispered. [Brandon: I’m gonna cut that out so you have some anticipation for what’s coming.] “Your uncle has called for a meeting immediately, despite the hour.”

“Tell him I’ll be there shortly,” she said, then closed the door, looking back into the darkened sitting room towards Wit. [Brandon skips another section.]

“It should be,” Wit said. “I need to study that contract. There might be loopholes.”

“And if you didn’t see them?” She said. “You didn’t before.”

“You’re right,” he said. He took a deep breath. “You’re… you’re right. We need an expert, beyond even my considerable knowledge in the area.”

“Do you know any?”

“From your world?” he asked. “Only one, but she and I aren’t on speaking terms. I will, instead, see if I can contract an old friend.”

Tampa Bay Comic Convention 2023 (July 29, 2023)

I saw this get posted on the Coppermind last night. So much to unpack here. First thought - I feel like the romance experience from Yumi definitely helped him write the small snippet from Jasnah here. 

Edited by Uncle Karlos
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2 hours ago, Uncle Karlos said:

SIAP

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/517/#e16162

  Reveal hidden contents

Brandon Sanderson

Jasnah found it difficult to sleep. A part of her wanted to blame this stupid bed. Wit adored plushness; he wanted a mattress that would swallow a person, and he had found her previous one to be unsuitable. So now she swam in stuffing, lying on her side, listening to his breathing. Wit didn’t snore when he slept, but he did occasionally whistle. She turned to her other side–which, since they both tended to sink toward the center of this awful mattress, should have jostled him. He just laid there on his back, whistling softly as he exhaled. Was he even actually asleep? Things he’d said to her indicated that perhaps he went to other places at night around the Cosmere, visiting other worlds, engaging in political machinations at which, even still, she could only guess.

“You lie to me sometimes,” she whispered to him. “You realized that means it can’t be a true relationship. I can trust someone with secrets—but someone who lies?” If he was aware, despite his sleep, he didn’t say anything.

She’d caught him so far only in the most mundane of ways. He’d engage with wordplay with her, or toy with puns, and she’d ask him to stop. He’d promise, and seem to have done what he said. But then she’d notice that the games hadn’t stopped; they’d only grown more inscrutable. Wit, twisting the wordplays to a deeper level, another layer of esoteric, more difficult to spot. He seemed to think it would engage her, push her. Instead, it signaled something disturbing. Wit would do what he thought was best for people, not what they wanted from him.

Despite her efforts, she knew she wasn’t connecting to him physically as much as he’d like. That made him feel anxious, as if he were doing something wrong. He thought if he listened better, tried harder, he’d do something mind-blowing and change the way she felt.

In turn, though, she wasn’t connecting to him on an emotional level. Something she did want—if only he’d be up front with her. If only he’d tell her.

She turned back on the other side; a stiff pillow did little to counteract the strange stuffing. The feathers of baby chickens; or perhaps the smallest feathers of adult chickens? She hadn’t been able to parse the way he’d said, but either way, she didn’t like it. A good lavis-husk mattress was far superior, shredded to not have awkward lumps.

Storms. And this is why it was best to avoid relationships. Nine days until Dalinar confronted Odium, and she was worrying about a relationship? Perhaps this was a way to distract herself; because despite all of her training, all of her learning, all of her preparation, it came down to someone else. She would have no part in the final confrontation; Dalinar had decided he would use no champion.

She did not dispute that choice. He was a Bondmsith. He had built the Knights Radiant. He’d had dealings with Odium and understood the creature better than, perhaps, any mortal. Jasnah had written out her reasons that he was the best choice, and she still agreed with them.

Yet… could it have been her? If, instead of hiding what she was, she’d gone out in the open? Told people what she was, what she could do, what she feared? Her life and Dalinar’s life seemed to be very different things. He’d burned a city in the open, and people forgave him. Yet when Jasnah had been honest about what she feared, what she believed, what she discovered… well, condemnation and judgement had chased her like twin headsmen, each looking to get a whipping in before the final execution. She’d barely stayed ahead of them. Because when Jasnah Kholin spoke her mind, people hated her. Perhaps she had learned the wrong lessons from that. But could she be blamed?

She curled up at that thought, listening to the quiet sounds of Urithiru. Water in the pipes, moving of its own accord. Air whispering as it was pumped through vents. Voices echoing far outside, despite the late hour. Trembling there, she realized, finally, why she hated this mattress so much. It reminded her of the soft restraints they’d given her when she’d been young. When those who loved her had taken away her own freedom for her own good. Those terrible months that basically everyone had forgotten about as an anomaly. Except by Jasnah, who would never forget.

Wit suddenly sat up in bed. “Oh, hell,” he whispered.

Jasnah became alert. It wasn’t difficult, considering how far from sleep she’d been. She formed Ivory as a blade—short, stout, basically just a dagger—and called for her armorspren to be ready. She reached for the cover of the bowl of spheres beside the bed, but did not remove the black shroud, lest she ruin her night vision. In a second, she could have Stormlight, but she hesitated on this, too, as the light rising from her skin would highlight her in the darkness.

Wit sat there, barely visible by moonlight, wearing his silken nightclothes. His hair was immaculate, despite having slept on it. How?

“What?” she finally hissed at him.

“Oh, bollocks!” he whispered, leaping from the bed. “The darkest, hairiest, greasiest bollocks on the most unkept nethers of the most wanton demon of the most obscure religion’s damnable hellscape!”

“Wit?” Jasnah said as he rushed to the counter, searching frantically among his things. “Wit!”

He looked at her, wild-eyed, then he pulled the shroud off some spheres and washed the room in light.

She blinked, dismissing her blade. If Wit wasn’t worried about blinding them, then this wasn’t a physical danger. It might just be another of his strange <range of> oddities. Except… the way he looked at her. Eyes like glowing spheres. Lips drawn without even a hint of a smile. Jaw taut, hands clenched, breathing quick. Genuine panic. She felt like summoning her blade again, if only to have something to hold as a chill went through her. “Wit, she said, “please. What’s wrong?”

“G-give me a moment,” he mumbled, turning back to his things. “I need… I need a moment.” He pulled out a notebook and began writing.

She rose and, though the air was warm—her mother’s transformations to Urithiru heating the air to unnatural levels for this elevation—she felt cold in only her nightgown. She threw on a robe and leaned over Wit’s shoulder. She couldn’t read what he wrote. The symbols were unfamiliar, one of the many languages he could speak from worlds beyond theirs. It looked like a table, though, not paragraphs. And those notations to the left of each line? The dots and lines? Numbers, perhaps? They repeated far more often than the other symbols did.

He wrote, increasingly furious, his handwriting growing sloppy. She didn’t miss that he’d gotten out some of the strange, color-changing sand he used sometimes when experimenting with various uses of Stormlight or other, more arcane abilities. And as he did, he seemed to grow more intense.

The doors began to shake. Jasnah had a sword in hand a second later, but then realized it was him. Nobody was on the other side; it was exerting some kind of strange pressure that made the doors vibrate. The rings in her jewelry box, also on the counter, pushed back and began to spill onto the floor. The shoes by her head scooted across the floor, pulled by their latches. Every bit of metal in the room, save for her sword, reacted to him in some way.

Then, the sand burst into light with a mother-of-pearl luminescence and hovered above the table. The filmy clothing on Wit’s back began to writhe and contort as if alive. His motions increasingly frantic, in a flash, it seemed like smoke expelled from his body, blown away by some invisible wind. He was another person. Similar, but different. Shorter, with stark white hair and subtly different features making him seem foreign. This is the real him, she realized. A man not from their world; a man who masqueraded as Wit.

That man turned to her, pencil snapping in his fingers as he grabbed it and broke it across a knuckle. “I’ve been tricked,” he said.

“How,” she asked.

The light of the sand went out, and it sprayed back down on the counter. Wit was back as his familiar self in a blink of an eye, and the odd effects stopped with an abrupt immediacy, as if on an order from him. He stood, again taller than she was, and held up what he’d written. “I’m missing,” he said, “three minute and twenty-seven seconds.”

“I’m not following, Wit,” she said.

“I’m sorry. I’m trying to parse this, but… Storms, what’s happening? Sorry, I’m sorry,” he said, slumping back onto the seat beside the stone counter, a natural feature of the room that jutted from the wall, as was common in these rooms of Urithiru. “I’ve lived a long time, Jasnah. A long, long time. Longer than any mortal’s memories can track, so I must use other means to maintain myself. I store memories in something called Breath: an easily accessible, if costly, form of Investiture that a person can adopt and, with training, use to expand one’s soul and memory. That part isn’t specifically important; I periodically review memories, deciding on what is vital to keep and what can be jettisoned. It is one of the only ways to remain sane after such a long existence as mine. And in that review just earlier, Jasnah, I found something. Something unexpected. Something terrifying.”

“Three minutes and twenty-seven seconds?” she whispered, looking again at the notes on his page. As if by force of will, she could decipher them. “Missing. When?”

“One day ago,” he said.

“And what were you doing at the time?”

He let out a long breath, then met her eyes. “I was having a chat with Odium.”

“A chat?” she said flatly. “With the most ancient enemy of all humankind? The being that seeks to destroy us, to crush my family, to dominate—perhaps weaponize—all of Roshar for his own ends? A chat?”

“We have a history,” Wit explained. “As I believe I’ve told you.”

Jasnah pulled a chair over and sank down, feeling a spike of pain. A kind of final spike of pain. “I asked you, Wit,” she whispered. “I asked you to involve me in any dealings you had with him.”

“I’m telling you now, dear,” he said. “That is technically involving you.”

She held his eyes and knew. Perhaps he did, too. He will continue to be himself, a man so full of secrets he needed some kind of strange magic to keep them all inside his head. And one, it appeared, had been excised. There would never be a place for her inside of his deepest self, would there? She’d always just be another thing on the outside, maintained as part of his collection. Enjoyed, perhaps even loved, but never confided in.

In that moment, she knew she’d have to withdraw, for herself. She tucked away feelings of betrayal. She had known what she was getting into with him. One did not court a god lightly.

“Why?” she asked him. “What were you saying to him?”

“I…” he shrugged. “I had to gloat a little. It was requisite, Jasnah, considering our history.” His eyes became distant. “I remember feeling odd about the encounter… a sense of repetition? Something happened that day in the lost minutes. He got the better of me and excised the memory from my mind, letting me instead think I had won the exchange. I can find the remnants, now that I look, as it was awkwardly done, as if by one unfamiliar.”

“This is wrong, isn’t it?” she said.

“Very wrong. Rayse is a megalomaniac, Jasnah. For all his craftiness, it would hurt him to let me walk away thinking I’d bested him. In this case, he encouraged it.” Wit leaned forward and took her hand. “He’s grown. After ten thousand years, Rayse has actually learned something. That terrifies me. Because I can’t anticipate what he will do.”

“Then what?”

“We need to reread the contract between him and Dalinar,” Wit said. “Now.”

Jasnah had a copy nearby, but before she’d opened her ledger, a pounding on a <nearish> door, real this time, drew her attention. She passed out of the bedroom, through the sitting room, and eased open the outer door to reveal <Hemnid> of the Cobalt Guard. A man with discretion to match his general poise, she trusted him as much as she trusted any, so she wasn’t bothered as he glanced at Wit as he approached. “What?” she said to him, light spilling from the guardroom into her quarters.

“Radiant Shallan and Highprince Adolin have something to report,” he whispered. [Brandon: I’m gonna cut that out so you have some anticipation for what’s coming.] “Your uncle has called for a meeting immediately, despite the hour.”

“Tell him I’ll be there shortly,” she said, then closed the door, looking back into the darkened sitting room towards Wit. [Brandon skips another section.]

“It should be,” Wit said. “I need to study that contract. There might be loopholes.”

“And if you didn’t see them?” She said. “You didn’t before.”

“You’re right,” he said. He took a deep breath. “You’re… you’re right. We need an expert, beyond even my considerable knowledge in the area.”

“Do you know any?”

“From your world?” he asked. “Only one, but she and I aren’t on speaking terms. I will, instead, see if I can contract an old friend.”

Tampa Bay Comic Convention 2023 (July 29, 2023)

I saw this get posted on the Coppermind last night. So much to unpack here. First thought - I feel like the romance experience from Yumi definitely helped him write the small snippet from Jasnah here. 

Oh wow, thanks, that was interesting. Wit figures out his memories were tampered with but they still don't know it was Taravangian, not Rayse. I wonder if they will realize that before the Contest. I bet the "she and I aren’t on speaking terms" is about Cultivation, but I have no idea who "an old friend" can be if that's somebody on Roshar. If not that's it's most likely Frost, whom Hoid called an old friend in his letters.

What's the writing language Hoid used? They look like Aons.

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35 minutes ago, alder24 said:

Oh wow, thanks, that was interesting. Wit figures out his memories were tampered with but they still don't know it was Taravangian, not Rayse. I wonder if they will realize that before the Contest. I bet the "she and I aren’t on speaking terms" is about Cultivation, but I have no idea who "an old friend" can be if that's somebody on Roshar. If not that's it's most likely Frost, whom Hoid called an old friend in his letters.

What's the writing language Hoid used? They look like Aons.

I agree that the “not on speaking terms” is most likely Cultivation.


Reading it again, two things stand out. The scene of Wit running through his different invested arts was really cool to see. I see awakening, allomancy and some form of lightweaving (radiant or Yolish, not sure, although there is smoke involved and she doesn’t note him glowing like a radiant would accessing stormlight). Second, that Dalinar has decided to serve as champion. Have we had confirmation of this intent previously? If Brandon is telling us this early, I have to think there’s some trickery involved. 

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1 hour ago, alder24 said:

Oh wow, thanks, that was interesting. Wit figures out his memories were tampered with but they still don't know it was Taravangian, not Rayse. I wonder if they will realize that before the Contest. I bet the "she and I aren’t on speaking terms" is about Cultivation, but I have no idea who "an old friend" can be if that's somebody on Roshar. If not that's it's most likely Frost, whom Hoid called an old friend in his letters.

What's the writing language Hoid used? They look like Aons.

He actively said it wasn't from Roshar. 

Spoiler

“You’re right,” he said. He took a deep breath. “You’re… you’re right. We need an expert, beyond even my considerable knowledge in the area.”

“Do you know any?”

“From your world?” he asked. “Only one, but she and I aren’t on speaking terms. I will, instead, see if I can contract an old friend.”

So, it wouldn't be somebody who lives on Roshar. Maybe it is Frost, maybe it is somebody else. Not exactly sure. 

Also, I assumed some cosmere morse code due to the repeated lines and dots. But I guess that does fit with Aons as well. That makes more sense, actually. 

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1 hour ago, Uncle Karlos said:

Reading it again, two things stand out. The scene of Wit running through his different invested arts was really cool to see. I see awakening, allomancy and some form of lightweaving (radiant or Yolish, not sure, although there is smoke involved and she doesn’t note him glowing like a radiant would accessing stormlight).

The Lightweaving was most likely Yolish, smoke is a cue (he used a smoke to tell the story about Wandersail in WoK and Tsa/Mishim in OB) and he was already using it before bonding with Design to change his appearance. But what was he doing there with all those invested arts? Was that because he was angry/frightened or something else? He definitely used White Sand to measure investment of Breaths, but why a random steelpush?

1 hour ago, Uncle Karlos said:

Second, that Dalinar has decided to serve as champion. Have we had confirmation of this intent previously? If Brandon is telling us this early, I have to think there’s some trickery involved. 

Dalinar said it previously, RoW ch 117:

Quote

“I know, son,” Dalinar said quietly. “You weren’t right for the champion job anyway. This is the sort of thing a man must do himself.”

 

34 minutes ago, Firesong said:

He actively said it wasn't from Roshar. 

  Hide contents

“You’re right,” he said. He took a deep breath. “You’re… you’re right. We need an expert, beyond even my considerable knowledge in the area.”

“Do you know any?”

“From your world?” he asked. “Only one, but she and I aren’t on speaking terms. I will, instead, see if I can contract an old friend.”

So, it wouldn't be somebody who lives on Roshar. Maybe it is Frost, maybe it is somebody else. Not exactly sure. 

Right, the way it was said makes sense "an old friend" isn't from Roshar. Then I think that's definitely Frost and we're going to have a letter to/from him in the epigraphs of the first or second part. Frost seems to know Rayse well (second letter: "He is what we made him to be, old friend. And that is what he, unfortunately, wished to become.") and would likely be able to spot loopholes Rayse might use. Or at least that's a chance for Hoid to prove Frost wrong, that Odium had changed and Rayse had changed, that Rayse isn't just a force as the second letter said.

But If they will be searching for a loophole Rayse might use, then unless they realize Taravangian Ascended, I think they will miss it, and Taravangian will have another loophole which they won't predict.

 

And what did Adolin and Shallan tell Dalinar? Why did he cut it??

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Interesting, very interesting. Is the use of White Sand Sand Mastery? It was floating, so I assume so, but I still haven't gotten around to reading White Sand, so I'm not sure. He definitely uses Allomancy, but I'm not sure if the rippling of his clothes is Awakening or just his Lightweaving about to burst. So that's four Invested Arts at most, and two at least.

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We also have confirmation that at least Elsecaller platespren (armorspren) are not present all the time, and must be called upon.
I would assume this holds for other orders as well, though there might be differences.

But it might be possible that in great danger Radiant summons them subconsciously, like we see in other magic systems. Still, this possibly leaves Radiants open to unexpected ambush.

Edit: And Hoid seems to be using his Invested powers without realizing when agitated. Wonder if this happens to anyone, or if it is a quirk of his. Could be useful for detecting users of Invested Arts.

And Warbreaker spoilers

Spoiler

Breaths are considered costly, which is important to note I think, as it is basically first reference to Investiture having a literal price.

 

Edited by therunner
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39 minutes ago, therunner said:

Edit: And Hoid seems to be using his Invested powers without realizing when agitated. Wonder if this happens to anyone, or if it is a quirk of his. Could be useful for detecting users of Invested Arts.

It seems deliberate to me, although I couldn't fathom why he was doing it. When the metal started shaking I thought it was due to an emotional reaction too, and the Lightweaving failing could also be that, but the fact that he pulled out White Sand (and possibly used Sand Mastery) and also maybe performed Awakening is a strong indication that it was intentional. Maybe he was trying to charge the White Sand, and it took Allomancy + killing his Lightweaving to eject its Investiture outward + Possibly Awakening to quickly charge it. The three are presumably low-Investiture Arts, so that could be the case

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1 hour ago, Underwater_Worldhopper said:

It seems deliberate to me, although I couldn't fathom why he was doing it. When the metal started shaking I thought it was due to an emotional reaction too, and the Lightweaving failing could also be that, but the fact that he pulled out White Sand (and possibly used Sand Mastery) and also maybe performed Awakening is a strong indication that it was intentional. Maybe he was trying to charge the White Sand, and it took Allomancy + killing his Lightweaving to eject its Investiture outward + Possibly Awakening to quickly charge it. The three are presumably low-Investiture Arts, so that could be the case

Yeah, those things are tripping me up to.
I'll move the rest of answer to spoilers, as these are just Stormlight forums, not Cosmere general

Spoiler

I don't think he is doing anything of it on purpose. He is described in that section as 'furious', 'sloppy', 'frantic', 'intense' and 'frantic' again. He does not sound in proper control of himself.

The white sand just hovers there, the cloak and clothing just writhes. Neither are actually doing anything. And he snaps a pencil in his hand, and is generally described as frantic. On top of that he is losing control of the Lightweaving that makes him look like Wit, he would not want to do that at all. He maintained it even for Odium.

But I don't think we have ever seen Invested Arts react like that to emotions, or stress, or subconscious wishes.

But the cloak is the most 'problematic', typically Awakening requires Command and Intent. Is it possible he awakened it to respond to some mental commands of his? And so it is now reacting to his mental state?


And why would he want to charge the Sand? The only reason I can think of is measuring the amount of Breath, however then he would not be using the other arts, nor he would let go of the Lightweaving making him Wit. Perhaps he was testing if he still has abilities he gathered, if Odium did not rip out some powers from him?
But why do it in such reckless and careless manner? He would not have to randomly push at everything, make cloak do random writhing, nor let go of his Lightweaving illusion.

I do think he is losing control somehow in that moment, and I think it is Brandon preparing us to see him not as 'Hoid-the inscrutiable immortal' who always does thing with purpose and does not lose, but as 'Hoid-protagonist to be' who makes mistakes, and is not as in control as he likes to pretend.

He started already at the end of RoW, with TOdium besting him (which I might add, a lot of readers thought Hoid was fully in control of the situation, despite all the hints otherwise, and Brandon had to confirm that Hoid did genuinely made a mistake), so it makes sense to continue to develop him as character and not plot device.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Scars of Hathsin said:

That is really interesting, maybe we will see them (The Coalition) be a bit more Cosmere aware, or at least Jasnah being more Cosmere aware

I think Jasnah will start searching for more information about Cosmere, but not from Hoid. She just realized that she isn't that important to him, and he can't be trusted. Not only he didn't tell her about his "chat with Odium '', despite asking him to do so earlier, but more importantly Hoid can't change for her, he won't put her where she, as his lover, should be placed. This relationship might be over, or at least be in a complicated phase until Hoid does what he should have done.

3 hours ago, therunner said:

We also have confirmation that at least Elsecaller platespren (armorspren) are not present all the time, and must be called upon.
I would assume this holds for other orders as well, though there might be differences.

But it might be possible that in great danger Radiant summons them subconsciously, like we see in other magic systems. Still, this possibly leaves Radiants open to unexpected ambush.

Yes, I've immediately picked that up too. Important for us in future vs threads :D 

36 minutes ago, therunner said:

I'll move the rest of answer to spoilers, as these are just Stormlight forums, not Cosmere general

  Hide contents

I don't think he is doing anything of it on purpose. He is described in that section as 'furious', 'sloppy', 'frantic', 'intense' and 'frantic' again. He does not sound in proper control of himself.

The white sand just hovers there, the cloak and clothing just writhes. Neither are actually doing anything. And he snaps a pencil in his hand, and is generally described as frantic. On top of that he is losing control of the Lightweaving that makes him look like Wit, he would not want to do that at all. He maintained it even for Odium.

But I don't think we have ever seen Invested Arts react like that to emotions, or stress, or subconscious wishes.

But the cloak is the most 'problematic', typically Awakening requires Command and Intent. Is it possible he awakened it to respond to some mental commands of his? And so it is now reacting to his mental state?


And why would he want to charge the Sand? The only reason I can think of is measuring the amount of Breath, however then he would not be using the other arts, nor he would let go of the Lightweaving making him Wit. Perhaps he was testing if he still has abilities he gathered, if Odium did not rip out some powers from him?
 

 

Cosmere spoilers:

Spoiler

Part of it might be on purpose. The clothing and Allomancy most likely not, but if he wanted to measure how invested his Breaths are, he might need to drop his Lightweaving, as we saw in OB White Sand reacts to it (even if it didn't react to his Lightweaving, he might want to drop it to limit any interference it could have caused). 

I think it's likely the clothing reacts to his distress. With proper command, something like "protect me when I'm in danger" cloak would sense he's in this state and try to do something, but is unable to find any danger. Thus it just wiggles like that.

Or his clothing was Awakened with a specific number of Breaths, which he knew, and he made it move so the Sand could react to it and he could then have a base to know how many Breaths he himself has, comparing that to Breaths in his clothing. After all the clothing started to wiggle after the Sand started to hover.   

About Awakening and mental commands. Every Breath gives you better color recognition or health etc. What if that's the case with every effect of Heightening and you can do mental commands with lower amounts of Breaths but that's just really hard to do and requires training? Nobody would bother with it as some might not even know that's possible, and the one who knows would think that's only possible for 10th Heightening. 

I didn't catch the Sand hovering. I thought he just simply threw it there. White Sand hovering is disturbing, it means that he's likely a Sand Master - which could be done, he had Lerasium and he could take a sliver of it and alloy it with Bavadinium to become a Sand Master:

Spoiler

Stormlightning

If Hoid was to get his hands on "bavadinium," could he alloy it with lerasium and get Sand Mastery?

Brandon Sanderson

This is theoretically possible.

FanX 2018 (Sept. 6, 2018)

If he was testing if all his abilities were still there then he would have used all 16 powers of Allomancy, Jasnah would have felt Rioting and Soothing and metals would have flown towards Hoid, not just away from him. Not to mention time bubbles. Maybe even some Feruchemy if he has it (he was the leader of Terris in WoA iirc).

Remember coins from the epilogue of RoW? He lost one after Taravangian messed with him.

Quote

The coin appeared in his hand, though he’d simply slipped it out of his belt again. He rolled it across his knuckles, then made it split into two— because it had always been two coins stuck together. He tossed those up, caught them, and then made them appear to be four after adding the two he’d been palming in his other hand.
[...]
Wit sighed, tossing four coins in the air, then catching them and presenting one solitary coin.
[...]
Odium, the power said. Let me see … I cannot harm you. But here, you have used this other Investiture to store your memories, haven’t you? Because you’ve lived longer than a mortal should, you need to put the excess memories somewhere. I can’t see your mind, but I can see these, can’t I?
[...]
He shook his head and continued forward, looking for an audience. He flipped a coin in the air, then caught it before snapping his hand forward and spreading his fingers to show that the coin had vanished. But of course it was secretly in his other hand, palmed, hidden from sight.
“Storytelling,” he said to the empty hallway, “is essentially about cheating.”
He tucked the coin into his belt with a quick gesture, keeping up the flourishes of his other hand as a distraction. Then he heard a pling as something slipped free of his belt. He stopped and found one of his fake coins on the ground, the ones that could be stuck together to appear as one.
But just one half? That should have been safely tucked away in the little pocket hidden in his shirt. He picked it up, glanced around to see that no one had noticed the mistake

Either he lost a coin or it unstuck itself from the other half. It seems to me that he might have stored his Breaths in coins (because Odium couldn't sense him but he could sense his Breaths), or at least coins were a bit invested - if that's the case, Hoid might have used Allomancy to measure how much are they invested compared to other objects in the room. 

 

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24 minutes ago, alder24 said:

Yes, I've immediately picked that up too. Important for us in future vs threads :D

Indeed :D

24 minutes ago, alder24 said:

Cosmere spoilers:

  Reveal hidden contents

Part of it might be on purpose. The clothing and Allomancy most likely not, but if he wanted to measure how invested his Breaths are, he might need to drop his Lightweaving, as we saw in OB White Sand reacts to it (even if it didn't react to his Lightweaving, he might want to drop it to limit any interference it could have caused). 

I think it's likely the clothing reacts to his distress. With proper command, something like "protect me when I'm in danger" cloak would sense he's in this state and try to do something, but is unable to find any danger. Thus it just wiggles like that.

Or his clothing was Awakened with a specific number of Breaths, which he knew, and he made it move so the Sand could react to it and he could then have a base to know how many Breaths he himself has, comparing that to Breaths in his clothing. After all the clothing started to wiggle after the Sand started to hover.   

About Awakening and mental commands. Every Breath gives you better color recognition or health etc. What if that's the case with every effect of Heightening and you can do mental commands with lower amounts of Breaths but that's just really hard to do and requires training? Nobody would bother with it as some might not even know that's possible, and the one who knows would think that's only possible for 10th Heightening. 

I didn't catch the Sand hovering. I thought he just simply threw it there. White Sand hovering is disturbing, it means that he's likely a Sand Master - which could be done, he had Lerasium and he could take a sliver of it and alloy it with Bavadinium to become a Sand Master:

  Reveal hidden contents

Stormlightning

If Hoid was to get his hands on "bavadinium," could he alloy it with lerasium and get Sand Mastery?

Brandon Sanderson

This is theoretically possible.

FanX 2018 (Sept. 6, 2018)

If he was testing if all his abilities were still there then he would have used all 16 powers of Allomancy, Jasnah would have felt Rioting and Soothing and metals would have flown towards Hoid, not just away from him. Not to mention time bubbles. Maybe even some Feruchemy if he has it (he was the leader of Terris in WoA iirc).

Remember coins from the epilogue of RoW? He lost one after Taravangian messed with him.

Either he lost a coin or it unstuck itself from the other half. It seems to me that he might have stored his Breaths in coins (because Odium couldn't sense him but he could sense his Breaths), or at least coins were a bit invested - if that's the case, Hoid might have used Allomancy to measure how much are they invested compared to other objects in the room. 

 

Spoiler

I don't think he would have to drop his Yolish Lightweaving, in OB the Sand was reacting to Shallan lightweaving, not his Wit form despite the fact he maintains it all the time. Either Yolish form does not leak Investiture, or all Lightweaving can be made undetectable. Or the interference, but it would have been tiny, so question is how exact is the Sand as measurement of Investiture?

The clothing reacting to distress sounds likely on its own. But in the context of seemingly all his powers doing things on their own, I don't think it is the only explanation at least.

The Sand indeed hovers, quote:

Quote

Then, the sand burst into light with a mother-of-pearl luminescence and hovered above the table.

The sand starts hovering as it bursts alight, so he is Sand Mastering it, and it most likely cannot be used to measure his Breathes.

Regarding Allomancy, it is possible he simply did not have other metals in sufficient amounts in his system to produce any effects. It seems he had only Steel.
Or Nahel Bond shields Radiants to some extent, both are feasible, though I lean that he had only Steel.

 

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28 minutes ago, therunner said:

Indeed :D

  Hide contents

I don't think he would have to drop his Yolish Lightweaving, in OB the Sand was reacting to Shallan lightweaving, not his Wit form despite the fact he maintains it all the time. Either Yolish form does not leak Investiture, or all Lightweaving can be made undetectable. Or the interference, but it would have been tiny, so question is how exact is the Sand as measurement of Investiture?

The clothing reacting to distress sounds likely on its own. But in the context of seemingly all his powers doing things on their own, I don't think it is the only explanation at least.

The Sand indeed hovers, quote:

The sand starts hovering as it bursts alight, so he is Sand Mastering it, and it most likely cannot be used to measure his Breathes.

Regarding Allomancy, it is possible he simply did not have other metals in sufficient amounts in his system to produce any effects. It seems he had only Steel.
Or Nahel Bond shields Radiants to some extent, both are feasible, though I lean that he had only Steel.

 

Cosmere:

Spoiler

I think him using the Sand to measure investiture while Sand Mastering it might be possible. The White Sand turns black when used. It turns white in the presence of kinetic investiture. Breaths aren't kinetic when just in body. He might have to Awaken his clothing with all of his Breaths to make them kinetic (that's why they started to wiggle after the Sand starts to hover, but we didn't hear any command - however this isn't the first time, Vasher Awakened sheets to fight with Kaladin and Kaladin also didn't hear any command, we are to assume he was whispering it). He had to first use the Sand to turn it black, but it picks up kinetic investiture from Breaths and it either delays turning black, or it turns back to white while in use, but Jasnah couldn't notice this because of the glow and she isn't familiar enough with the Sand to know where to look. 

Lightweaving is still kinetic investiture. For him to make precise measurements he would have to drop it. But Allomancy is disturbing as it would have an effect as well. 

I seriously doubt he would have just steel with him. He was already using emotional Allomancy on multiple occasions, I think he would certainly have brass and zinc. If he has steel I see no reason why he wouldn't have iron. Tin and pewter are very useful, he should have them too. And if he has 6, why not base 8 with bronze and copper? I see no reason why he wouldn't have those 8 metals with him if he already had steel. Having just steel is simply improbable and makes no sense if he was "sleeping" with metals in his stomach.

I certainly agree that some of those effects are because he is panicking. The other explanation is that he was writing his memories down on a piece of paper, with timing. He started to realize that something is missing and panicked, using his invested arts all at once. However I still think he was doing something with the White Sand because it was specifically pointed out he took the Sand out, he wanted to do something with it. Measuring Breaths is the most reasonable and obvious explanation as we know from RoW that the White Sand can be used to measure investiture:

Quote

She didn’t miss that he’d gotten out some of the strange, color-changing sand he used sometimes when experimenting with various uses of Stormlight or other, more arcane abilities.

 

Also a side note, for a moment I was thinking that one Breath can store three minutes and twenty-seven seconds worth of memories but there was a girl that stored weeks of her imprisonment in her single Breath in Warbreaker, so that's not it.

 

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I think that the reason he used several forms of Investiture but didn’t necessarily do anything with them isn’t because he was agitated but rather that he was taking inventory to make sure all of them still worked.  He knew his memory had been altered and wanted to make sure none of his other abilities had been tampered with.

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3 minutes ago, Marabout said:

I think that the reason he used several forms of Investiture but didn’t necessarily do anything with them isn’t because he was agitated but rather that he was taking inventory to make sure all of them still worked.  He knew his memory had been altered and wanted to make sure none of his other abilities had been tampered with.

All other invested arts are based on Connection, impossible for Odium to tamper with due to protection Hoid has. Breaths are the only ones that are outside of this. As I said previously, he didn't check all of his Allomantic powers, so that doesn't make sense.

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2 hours ago, alder24 said:

Cosmere:

  Hide contents

I think him using the Sand to measure investiture while Sand Mastering it might be possible. The White Sand turns black when used. It turns white in the presence of kinetic investiture. Breaths aren't kinetic when just in body. He might have to Awaken his clothing with all of his Breaths to make them kinetic (that's why they started to wiggle after the Sand starts to hover, but we didn't hear any command - however this isn't the first time, Vasher Awakened sheets to fight with Kaladin and Kaladin also didn't hear any command, we are to assume he was whispering it). He had to first use the Sand to turn it black, but it picks up kinetic investiture from Breaths and it either delays turning black, or it turns back to white while in use, but Jasnah couldn't notice this because of the glow and she isn't familiar enough with the Sand to know where to look. 

Lightweaving is still kinetic investiture. For him to make precise measurements he would have to drop it. But Allomancy is disturbing as it would have an effect as well. 

I seriously doubt he would have just steel with him. He was already using emotional Allomancy on multiple occasions, I think he would certainly have brass and zinc. If he has steel I see no reason why he wouldn't have iron. Tin and pewter are very useful, he should have them too. And if he has 6, why not base 8 with bronze and copper? I see no reason why he wouldn't have those 8 metals with him if he already had steel. Having just steel is simply improbable and makes no sense if he was "sleeping" with metals in his stomach.

I certainly agree that some of those effects are because he is panicking. The other explanation is that he was writing his memories down on a piece of paper, with timing. He started to realize that something is missing and panicked, using his invested arts all at once. However I still think he was doing something with the White Sand because it was specifically pointed out he took the Sand out, he wanted to do something with it. Measuring Breaths is the most reasonable and obvious explanation as we know from RoW that the White Sand can be used to measure investiture:

 

Also a side note, for a moment I was thinking that one Breath can store three minutes and twenty-seven seconds worth of memories but there was a girl that stored weeks of her imprisonment in her single Breath in Warbreaker, so that's not it.

 

He said it was done clumsily, so it's still not unreasonable for just one to have been taken and only affect 3 min 27 seconds

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1 hour ago, alder24 said:

All other invested arts are based on Connection, impossible for Odium to tamper with due to protection Hoid has. Breaths are the only ones that are outside of this. As I said previously, he didn't check all of his Allomantic powers, so that doesn't make sense.

But Hoid does not yet know how it is possible that Odium tampered with his memories, and he thought that it was impossible thanks to the contract.

So he might be checking because he is panicking and has no idea what else Odium might have done to him. It is clear that were it not for the contract, Odium could have killed him, because he lacks protection afforded to most.

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42 minutes ago, drunkenbotanist said:

He said it was done clumsily, so it's still not unreasonable for just one to have been taken and only affect 3 min 27 seconds

The clumsiness of it make Hoid's memory blurry and weird. Just like he was in the epilogue.

42 minutes ago, therunner said:

But Hoid does not yet know how it is possible that Odium tampered with his memories, and he thought that it was impossible thanks to the contract.

So he might be checking because he is panicking and has no idea what else Odium might have done to him. It is clear that were it not for the contract, Odium could have killed him, because he lacks protection afforded to most.

That's true. I still think that's unlikely. 

13 minutes ago, Frustration said:

It seems Jasnah has to summon her plate.

I wonder if that is a difference she has from Kaladin, or if Rlain is mistaken about Kaladin's armor always being on.

Rlain said he couldn't see it but "it was always ready" - it might be similar to what Jasnah did, spren are ready to form a plate but aren't on her all the time - just like a Shardblade, it's always there ready when needed but not physically there all the times. And there was no mention of a plate or plate spren in KoWT Kaladin's chapter. I think it makes more sense for a living plate to behave like that.

Quote

Kaladin stepped up beside Rlain and rested a hand on his shoulder. Rlain couldn’t feel the Plate, though it was apparently always there—invisible, but ready when needed. Like a Shardblade, but made up of many spren.

 

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25 minutes ago, Frustration said:

It seems Jasnah has to summon her plate.

I wonder if that is a difference she has from Kaladin, or if Rlain is mistaken about Kaladin's armor always being on.

To be honest, it reads more like she's giving her Armorspren warning in advance that she might need them to manifest, not that they're not there. It's like how if a Radiant tells their Spren to be ready to form as a Shard(something), it will form faster when they summon it since the Spren is already ready and anticipating the call rather than having to react to the summoning as it's happening. A minuscule difference, but I imagine Jasnah just doesn't want to risk even that little bit of time unprotected.

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2 hours ago, alder24 said:

Rlain said he couldn't see it but "it was always ready" - it might be similar to what Jasnah did, spren are ready to form a plate but aren't on her all the time - just like a Shardblade, it's always there ready when needed but not physically there all the times. And there was no mention of a plate or plate spren in KoWT Kaladin's chapter. I think it makes more sense for a living plate to behave like that.

He specifically mentioned that it was invisible, not dismissed, but invisible, which is never used to describe Shardblades.

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Crazy idea:  Hoid eventually (not necessarily within the scope of this book) realizes that he messed up here with Jasnah.
 

 

Spoiler

So he tells her the story of Tress of the Emerald Sea, a romantic story that shows him at a time when he was particularly vulnerable.

 

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1 hour ago, Elder said:

Crazy idea:  Hoid eventually (not necessarily within the scope of this book) realizes that he messed up here with Jasnah.
 

  Reveal hidden contents

So he tells her the story of Tress of the Emerald Sea, a romantic story that shows him at a time when he was particularly vulnerable.

 

I doubt he'll realize what he's doing wrong in time, but there's always hope. TotES happens way into the future, unless Jasnah slows her aging or otherwise becomes immortal she'd be long dead by that point.

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