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Truthwatcher "Oaths" AKA the Occultation-Revelation Theory


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This is my speculation about the nature of the Truthwatcher Immortal Words, and most below is a direct trascription of my post in the "Anything you felt should have been done differently in The Stormlight Archive?" topic:

First, I believe the Lightweavers are not the only order with only one oath. I believe all orders that don't operate with a strict hierarchy and are unlikely to be part of "field action" don't need rigid guidelines and can act under a more subjetive and nuanced morality. Or, if the spren is not picky, just follow the first oath and be done with it.

Now, lets look at some what we know of truthwatchers:

1.They were secretive.

2.They were esoteric.

3.They were tactful and careful.

4.They see the future.

Now, lets look at what we know about another form of future sight:

Q. I've been doing a reread (listen) of Mistborn on my way to work the past month or so. What would a hemolurgic spike granting atium do for an allomancer already able to burn atium? Does it function similarly to bronze, granting enhanced atium-ing? Along this line of thought, would enhancing electrum burning via spike be of any advantage?

A. A spike of something you have would enhance your ability, giving your more strength. With Atium, more strength makes for a minimal edge--the length you can push out the atium shadows. However, there's a certain breaking point where you kind of crack the whole system, peer straight into the cognitive realm, and kind of have a "It's full of stars" moment.

Electrum could reach this same moment, potentially, though there's more interference to fight through. Extra strength in electrum isn't going to be terribly useful up to that point.

From the reddit AMA.

I have theorized that this is how all future sight in the cosmere works: you plug your subcounciouss mind directly into all nearby cognitive aspects and their perceptions and calculate what will happen if no new element enters the system.

What does this have to do with the Words? Well, look at what I posted in the other thread:

The truthwatchers are said to be one of the most secretive orders. I believe there is a pragmatic aspect to it.

If we consider true the theory that all "future sight" in the cosmere is actualy mathematical predictions done with temporary nigh onmiscience, like a powered up diagram, then it makes sense to withold information until it is most useful, since any new element added to the system makes predictions made before it was know more likely to fall apart.

However, if the only people with the knowledge have a strong natural predisposition to keep it to themselves, then they risk being uselessly fatalistic, since their prophecies always come true because they decided it was better to endure them than risking change.

This way, the progression of the order would relate to keeping this balance: holding on to secrets and staying in the shadows, but revealing the truth and stepping into the spotlight when it is needed.

This means their progression depends on first keeping something hidden and holding on to it long enough before revealing it, much like the lies lightweavers must tell themselves in order to later destroy them, except in relation to other people.

This also applies in a more personal scale, with stepping into the light or staying in the shadows. I believe it will be an as important part of Renarin's journey to stop risking himself uselessly for his family as it will be to learn to be more open about his actions.

The interplay of light and shadows, revelation and occultation, also enhaces the esoteric air of the order and works as a powerful imagery, but on the same hand enforces the isolation of the truthwatchers, because their preference for watching over acting, their extreme discretion and their openly mysterious attitude make them seem suspicious, and when they come forward with information that changes everything without saying why they witheld it for so long, it comes as if they were manipulating everything like shadowy puppetmasters, when those who are more likely to be the ones manipulating people do so under a mask of normalcy.

Edited by CognitivePulsePattern
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  • 2 weeks later...

Part 2: Classification of Radiant Progressions.

Here we branch out a little from the truthwatchers into the Lightweavers and some imprecise assumptions made about them, like that truths correlate directly to oaths.

There is a common assumption that is often taken for granted that, barring regressions, Lightweavers have to speak four truths to become full Radiants. This would mean they need four big lies inprinted into their beings. I disagree.

I believe that the five immortal words are something that only applies to the orders that have five oaths, and the Lightweavers and Truthwatchers follow their oersonal power progressions.

I believe that after Lightweavers have a strong enough bond to surgebind and said the first oath they don't need to speak any truths to progress, only pratice and master their lies with time. However what comes cheap fades fast, and falling into denial, wich is a natural defence mechanism fir them, causes then to regress. The truths work as a way of repairing the bond by regaining control of the lies instead of letting they control them.

The truthwatchers on the other side follow a slower road with the regular low power start, directly linked to their periodic visions. By using their knowledge wisely yo prevent disaster, neither too late or too soon, for revealing it makes it less certain, they progress towards full radiancy. By failing to use it well they risk regression. This would also make the progression in the order a shared experience, with older truthwatchers mentoring younger ones and the whole order debating and deciding when to reveal the knowledge. This, togheter with their isolation, would make the truthwatchers a very tight-knit group, like Bridge Four by the later parts of WoK. And probably just as certain of they eventual deaths, if they are as fatalistic as I expect them to be.

EDIT: Is double posting allowed if the thread faded into the second page and it was a important addition?


Acording to The Honor Spren the lightweaver truths are indee their oaths. I am currently hunting that WoB (I am somewhat new in all this), but if that turns out true, there goes part two :(.

EDIT3: Well, it seems there wasn't any WoB and it was just that THS had a less flexible interpretation of Pattern's words than me, so theory saved!

Edited by CognitivePulsePattern
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