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Astalsi = Nalthis??


trendkill

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I have been re-reading Mistborn: The Final Empire, and I stumbled on something interesting. In Chapter 29, Sazed was explaining one of his many religions to Vin, and some of it sounded very familiar from another book.

"Why, the Astalsi were rather advanced--they mixed religion with science quite profoundly. They thought that different colors were indications of different kinds of fortune, and they were quite detailed in their descriptions of light and color. Why, it's from them that we get some of our best ideas as to what things might have looked like before the Ascension. They had a scale of colors, and use it to describe the sky of the deepest blue and various plants in their shades of green."

Most of the first paragraph doesn't sound anything like the culture from Warbreaker, but what Sazed says about them mixing science and religion and the scale of colors sounds too close to be a coincidence.

Anyone else think this, or am I just looking too much into it? Discuss!

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I didn't even think of that!

I looked at the annotations for this chapter, and it doesn't mention anything about this. Of course, the annotations might have been written before Warbreaker, so he might have intentionally left it out to avoid spoiling a future book.

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He's also been good about not telling us what's similar between the books, so he might be intentionally keeping us in the dark about it. Does anything about this religion mention sound? That's also a big part of the Iridescent Tones.

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He's also been good about not telling us what's similar between the books, so he might be intentionally keeping us in the dark about it. Does anything about this religion mention sound? That's also a big part of the Iridescent Tones.

The part that I quoted was about all that is mentioned about this religion in the first book, and if I remember correctly, Sazed doesn't talk about the same religion twice anywhere in the series (unless you count the brief mentions when he's setting the world right at the very end).

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If this is anything more than a coincidence (and remember, Sazed basically lists at least one religion that worships everything), I'd be more likely to ascribe color as being something important in the "Grand unifying theory of everything" than evidence of world-hopping. 

Put in a meta sense, I find it hard to believe that Brandon was gutsy enough to put in a specific allusion to a book that he wouldn't write for three years, and existed as a pair of very rough stories at the time.  It's not nearly as hard to believe that he would introduce themes (i.e., color as an aspect of divinity), however.

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Well, if I remember from one of the annotations, he specifically said that when he was writing Warbreaker, he used one of the religions from Mistborn.  Specifically, I believe it was the religion that he offered to Clubs.  However, I'm not sure if this is evidence of World-hopping, or if it is simply a "common themes by same author" kind of thing.

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Here you go-

Annotation Fifty (WoA)

Also, the religion Sazed preaches here is one I decided to spin off into its own book, focusing Warbreaker around it. They aren't the same planet, but I wanted to do more about a religion that worships art, and that was one of the initial motivations for Warbreaker's setting.

Sorry. No obvious magical connection.

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  • 1 month later...

An interesting thought.  The thing is, from the Annotations, we do learn that art in Warbreaker does have power.  Endowment's magic is definitely related to color.  We also have a connection in WoK to Shallan.  So it's possible that there are other places in the Cosmere where art really does have power of a sort.

On the other hand, lots of the religions in Mistborn are definitely false.  So while it's not impossible, I don't think it will end up as more than a sidenote in the larger cosmology.

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  • 10 months later...
and if i remember correctly, Sazed doesn't talk about the same religion twice anywhere in the series

well we know he mentions the religion of Trell to Vin on multiple occasions. I forget the thread but I believe it was an AoL thread focused on Trell that had all of the quotes from the three books.

lots of the religions in Mistborn are definitely false

In WoK the people worship "The Almighty", who is actually Honor. I remember a quote from Brandon stating that what the people worship and what is actually going on may be different things. Religions may be wrong, but there are important lessons and clues found in them. I'd keep my eyes open for any other similarities we can find.

Edited by TheStephenRay
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  • 7 months later...

I found a similarity between Ishikk's Religion (Roshar) and the Trelagism (Scadrial).

Both of them worship a God who has a jealous brother!! (Ok it's a bit weak... and I only have some quotes wrapped in a bunch of disconnected ideas... but maybe it can help...).

"Nalt only had one eye, he made it blaze brightly to outshine his brother. The Nelazan, however, were not impressed, and preferred to worship the quiet Trell, who watched over them even when Nalt obscured the sky."

— The Well of Ascension Chapter 9 - Sazed tries to offer the religion to Vin

"Foreigners were so stupid. Of course Nu Ralik was their god, but you always pretended that he wasn’t. Vun Makak—his younger, spiteful brother—had to be tricked into thinking you worshipped him, otherwise he’d get jealous. It was only safe to speak of these things in a holy grotto."

— The Way of Kings Interlude I-1 - Ishikk discussing his religion with the worldhoppers

From what I could find referring to Ishikk's religion (which, I belive, was only mentioned on his interlude in TWoK) this is as far as the similarity goes.

One major problem to this being the same religion is the reference (or rather, lack of it) to the moons. Scadrial has no moons (as already confirmed by Brandon Sanderson). The Trelagism is based on the believes of Trell's thousands eyes (the stars) and Trell's brother only eye (the sun), there is no mention of a larger "eye" for Trell that would indicate a moon in it's believes. Roshar, on the other hand, has 3 moons, and I could not find references to the stars having any major impact in Roshar cultures.

I found one other quote that might be of interest thought:

"A face formed before him, the face he had seen before, the aged face as wide as the sky, its eyes full of stars."

— The Way of Kings Chapter 46 - Kaladin's storm dream (the face is supposedly of Tanavast, the Almighty?).

Also, on a side note, I found this reference "It was the time between moons, and so he was lit mostly by the firelight; there was a spray of stars in the sky above." (TWoK) the "spray of stars" might refer to the same stars as seen from Scadrial ie:"There is a very bright star patch, covering much of the sky-much brighter than on Earth." (Quote from Brandon Sanderson - answering a question about Scadrial).

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I found a similarity between Ishikk's Religion (Roshar) and the Trelagism (Scadrial).

Both of them worship a God who has a jealous brother!! (Ok it's a bit weak... and I only have some quotes wrapped in a bunch of disconnected ideas... but maybe it can help...).

— The Well of Ascension Chapter 9 - Sazed tries to offer the religion to Vin

— The Way of Kings Interlude I-1 - Ishikk discussing his religion with the worldhoppers

From what I could find referring to Ishikk's religion (which, I belive, was only mentioned on his interlude in TWoK) this is as far as the similarity goes.

One major problem to this being the same religion is the reference (or rather, lack of it) to the moons. Scadrial has no moons (as already confirmed by Brandon Sanderson). The Trelagism is based on the believes of Trell's thousands eyes (the stars) and Trell's brother only eye (the sun), there is no mention of a larger "eye" for Trell that would indicate a moon in it's believes. Roshar, on the other hand, has 3 moons, and I could not find references to the stars having any major impact in Roshar cultures.

I found one other quote that might be of interest thought:

— The Way of Kings Chapter 46 - Kaladin's storm dream (the face is supposedly of Tanavast, the Almighty?).

Also, on a side note, I found this reference "It was the time between moons, and so he was lit mostly by the firelight; there was a spray of stars in the sky above." (TWoK) the "spray of stars" might refer to the same stars as seen from Scadrial ie:"There is a very bright star patch, covering much of the sky-much brighter than on Earth." (Quote from Brandon Sanderson - answering a question about Scadrial).

+1

I like the holy grotto reference especially since in a well, or something similar, you can see the stars during the day.

Maybe the massive star patch is part of the shattering of adonalsium.

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Something else to support this theory- Ishikk says that you aren't supposed to speak about Nu Ralik outside of a holy house- why is this? Easy- because a holy house is probably going to have protection against shards (like the place in the Kandra homeland that is covered in metal so Ruin can't hear). If my suspicions are correct, that would mean that the house is lined with gemstones, when which infused would shine brightly, like dozens of stars in a room.

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You will probably find seeds of any shardrealm religion in Mistborn simply because Sazed mentions so many.

That said, I am of the opinion that humans are native to the Mistborn world. It is specifically stated in the text that Ruin and Preservation joined together to create humans. It does not say they imported them, it states they created them.

Warbreaker has the story about how the Vo came to the area and that Siri's people are a spinoff of him and the culture that developed from those that came with him. Centuries could have changed the origin point in the lore.

Way of Kings is very explicit about humans not being native.

Elantris is a little shaky in my memory, but the religion origin story in it could be used to trace back the people to an origin point.

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Perhaps there was a time in Comsere history when interworld travel was much more common, and cultures diffused across different worlds, creating basic similarities in many. We know so little about the variety of pre-ascension cultures in Scadrial that there could easily be many, many similarities to other Shardworlds.

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That said, I am of the opinion that humans are native to the Mistborn world. It is specifically stated in the text that Ruin and Preservation joined together to create humans. It does not say they imported them, it states they created them.

But isn't Hoid a human? Or at least, we assume he's human? And he was alive pre-Shattering, along with at least one other person, (Midius) so that would mean that humans are not native to Scadrial, since Preservation and Ruin are Shards of Adonalsium, so I'm guessing that they couldn't have independently created humans on Scadrial before the Shattering. :P Also, the fact that Ati and Leras themselves existed to take up the Shards puts a stopper to that as well. I imagine that they created humans based off the original group of humans from wherever they came, and then a group or groups of them were perhaps imported to other worlds. (Nalthis, Sel, Roshar)

. . . Wait. Would that mean that -- assuming the above is true and there are descendants of Scadrialians on other worlds -- there are Feruchemists/Allomancers on these worlds who are native to these Shardworlds? And that hemalurgy could potentially be practised there as well?

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You will probably find seeds of any shardrealm religion in Mistborn simply because Sazed mentions so many.

That said, I am of the opinion that humans are native to the Mistborn world. It is specifically stated in the text that Ruin and Preservation joined together to create humans. It does not say they imported them, it states they created them.

Warbreaker has the story about how the Vo came to the area and that Siri's people are a spinoff of him and the culture that developed from those that came with him. Centuries could have changed the origin point in the lore.

Way of Kings is very explicit about humans not being native.

Elantris is a little shaky in my memory, but the religion origin story in it could be used to trace back the people to an origin point.

Ruin mentions that he was surprised Preservation wanted to make humans, life that can think and feel in the nature of that which they'd seen before. Makes me think that Scadrial humans are maybe a new subtype, but still not the original source of humans in the Cosmere. I'm inclined to think of Hoid's world maybe. That said, the reason that a lot of religions on Scadrial seem to have analogs on different Shard worlds could be as simple as the fact that all the Shards probably come from the same origin point, and therefore probably draw from the same culture to a degree.

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That said, I am of the opinion that humans are native to the Mistborn world. It is specifically stated in the text that Ruin and Preservation joined together to create humans. It does not say they imported them, it states they created them.

Warbreaker has the story about how the Vo came to the area and that Siri's people are a spinoff of him and the culture that developed from those that came with him. Centuries could have changed the origin point in the lore.

Way of Kings is very explicit about humans not being native.

Elantris is a little shaky in my memory, but the religion origin story in it could be used to trace back the people to an origin point.

I don't think humans can be native to the Scadrial.

The story the kandra tell Sazed sounds a bit off; they say that Ruin and Preservation created the world and it's people, but Brandon Sanderson has stated that all the worlds existed prior to the arrival of the shards, so at least part of the kandra story is either wrong or misleading. They could be saying that they created the "world as they new it", or it could be just a poor interpretation made by the Lord Ruler during the time he held the shard power. Either way, I don't believe that what they say can be taken as proof that Ruin and Preservation created the humans in Scadrial out of nothing.

Also, as mentioned, there is Hoid (if not the Hoid we know then maybe his master) and there are the shard holders... this is pure speculation now (or maybe I read it somewhere?) but I believe the shards had to have a holder - human - so they would acquire the intent that would allow them to create something?

Anyway, I had not noticed that all the other planets had stories about humans not being native... that's very interesting!

I'm inclined to believe (with no real fundament that I can point out at this time of night but, hey! that's what my new signature is for!) that scandrial is the one giving the wrong clue through it's religion while all the other planets tell us that humans came from somewhere else... maybe from somewhere like what in Roshar is called Tranquiline Halls...

Edited by nienn
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I haven't seen anything in text that states Hoid is human. We assume he is because all of the other main characters are. If Hoid isn't human, that would make it a very short step to say that Ati and Leras were not either. They may have looked human though. The annotation about Leras and the end of the series mention of Ati's body tend to make them seem so, but even if they are human, that does not mean that Hoid is.

The Letter in Way of Kings makes it all but explicit that the writer knew Ati, Leras, Aona, Skai, Rayse, and Bavadin before they took up their shards, and that does not even include the person that he was writing to. If Hoid and all of those are non-human, the theory that Ruin and Preservation created humans on the MB planet fits fairly well. Two of his three other cosmere series have some myth about their ancestors coming from somewhere else.

If you take MB as the human origin world, the religious similiarities between the worlds explain themselves.

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That is true. Except have those religions been around for at least 5000 years on Scadrial? Because that is a low low minimum of how long people have been on Roshar, which would mean that if they emigrated from scadrial, those religions have been around for that long as well.

I think that it's more likely that either the Seventeenth Shard or Hoid have been going around telling stories of different religions, which people enjoy, and eventually adopt.

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I haven't seen anything in text that states Hoid is human. We assume he is because all of the other main characters are.

Can we post quotes from The Liar of Partinel?... please edit me if we cant't... anyway, *Spoilers* for that one ahead.

I do believe Hoid is human for this one conversation between Hoid (the Old Master) and Mindius (whom, let's suppose, for the sake of this argument, is our Hoid):

"Men seek for that which is beyond themselves, even when they know that it is too good to be real. This is our most noble of attributes! Our ability to believe that which is false does not make us fools, but kings."

— The Liar of Partinel, Sample Chapter 1 - Hoid tries to convince Mindius to have face in men.

I know this is not the final story but I don't suppose Brandon would change the background history that much. So I'm inclined to belive that Hoid was, at least at some point, human.

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