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Why not 45 combinations?


Mr. Staccato

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I usually spend most of my time in the Mistborn boards so I haven't gotten around to reviewing the rest of the topics here to see if this question has already been asked. If it has, please point me to the corresponding post, but if not, well then, why don't I just start asking questions?  ;)

 

Okay here's the thing - there are ten surges, right? There is nothing in the current books about the surges being paired (or at least I think so - I'm through 600 pages of WoR). So it stands to reason that there could possibly be 55 combinations of these powers, not only 10. (Don't worry, I've already done the math.) I know that the Orders get these paired surges from specific types of spren born of both Honour and Cultivation (or something like that), and people are probably going to argue that this is the case because there are only ten kinds of spren out there capable of providing surges, but if that's the case then that's very, very underwhelming.

 

By Brandon's own admission and from the accounts we see in the book, there is a near UNLIMITED number of spren out there so I find it very, very hard to swallow that only 10 kinds of spren could possibly provide Surgebinding for the people of Roshar. I can accept that of the 55, only 10 Orders were established, but seriously, the other 45 pairs should also exist.

 

So, what are your thoughts on this people?

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Well to start with the spren only managed by copying the honorblades and only 10 of those exist, other than that it's a little hard to say what's simply in world conjecture and what's hard fact but the 10 surges are portrayed as having set relationships.

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Oh. That makes sense. But the way it's been presented, I always really thought the pairing was only thematic in sense. It looks fixed and the pairings together reasonably convey an ideal or something - but, correct me if I'm wrong here, okay? - but nobody really ever explicitly stated the relationship between the surges were fixed. We just kinda... ended up thinking they were. Anyway, I forgot that part about the ten honorblades, haha. Thanks for reminding me about that. But I do have this feeling that possible combinations do in fact exist.

 

With the number of surprises, sudden revelations, and Easter eggs Brandon keeps juggling, I wouldn't be surprised if such an oddity pops up in later books. The explanation for cases like that would be wonderful. Out of curiosity though (this is kinda branching out of topic but bear with me, kay?), if you were to pair any of the two Surges together, what Surges would you pick and why?

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Oops... so much for claiming I've done the math already  :o . Haha, the great Mr. Staccato has never been good with arithmetics. Thank you my dear @Eagle for telling me this for I shall now begin deep-frying my pride and dipping it tartar sauce in preparation for eating it. Here, have an upvote!

Edited by Mr. Staccato
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the ten surges are represented in a circle, and they are only pairead among adjacent ones, so 10 combinations. Now, as to why there are no other pairings, that's not something I can answer. It doesn't seem to be a thing of thematic linking; I don't see elsecalling having anything to do with lightweaving or soulcasting. I'd say it's just the way the world works.

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He may have changed this, but he said there were about 20-30 magic systems in Roshar, counting for all fabrial magics, surge pairings, and voidbinding. The Old Magic is its own little thing. 

BRANDON SANDERSON

So what do I mean by twenty or thirty magic systems in Kings? Hard to say, as I don't want to give spoilers. I have groupings of abilities that have to deal with a certain theme. Transformation, Travel, Pressure and Gravity, that sort of thing. By one way of counting, there are thirty of these—though by another way of grouping them together, there are closer to ten.

Emphasis mine.

Odd way to disprove this, but with the current information we have, there are only 10 pairings.

Edited by Onceler
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He may have changed this, but he said there were about 20-30 magic systems in Roshar, counting for all fabrial magics, surge pairings, and voidbinding. The Old Magic is its own little thing. 

Emphasis mine.

Odd way to disprove this, but with the current information we have, there are only 10 pairings.

That could be a reference to 10 Surges, not 10 pairings.

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The way I see it, those "systems" are pairings:

  • 10 pairings for 10 Surgebinder types
  • 10 pairing for 10 Voidbringer types
  • 10 ??? for third system

Adding that up: 30.
There are Ten Surges and each system (Surgebinding, Voidbinding and Third System) access them in their own ways.
 

I did some theorising on this things in this topic. About numbers, specifically this post: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/53076-the-third-magic-system/?p=404838.

Edited by Oversleep
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Okay, first of all, are there moderators in the house? Can somebody please change the 55 to a 45? - I blundered with my math here, can somebody please help me fix this? Anyway, to the discussion!

 

the ten surges are represented in a circle, and they are only paired among adjacent ones, so 10 combinations. Now, as to why there are no other pairings, that's not something I can answer. It doesn't seem to be a thing of thematic linking; I don't see elsecalling having anything to do with lightweaving or soulcasting. I'd say it's just the way the world works.

I get this, I really do - I'll be the first to admit that asking for such specific answers when we're barely even a fifth through the entire series is a huge mistake on my part. The information here has been useful and Brandon really did clearly state that there were only 30 magic combinations or something in the book. But all I'm saying here is that, is it really so impossible to consider that there might be more than just the 10 combinations of Surgebinding Brandon has already confirmed?

 

Think about it - the spren imitated the Honorblades. But the spren really are quite intelligent (outside the physical realm anyway). Who's to say that there aren't spren out there who figured out how to delineate the distinctions between the Surges? I understand that Surgebinding forms a circle like what @kingofnowhere said, but as long as there is no WoB explicitly stating that the relationship between the current paired Surgebindings are absolute, well, then I'm holding out on this hope.

 

I apologize if I might come across as persistent or annoying here. It's just that... harmony, think of the combinations! Think of the possible synergies that's never going to be put to use just because of this stupid pairing rule. Anyway, I'm not asking for more Orders, just more pairs.The Orders are fine with just ten. For one, I figure no one's going to get any of the names or reputations right if Roshar suddenly ends up with 45 heralds and Knight Orders. Ha!

Edited by Mr. Staccato
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brandon says that every ars arcanum explains the magic as it is understood in the story, so there may be further discoveries to change it; we can't consider ars arcanum as canon for the working of magic. so yes, we can't rule out the ppossibility of more pairings. or even people with more than 2 sets of power. and even if they weren't naturally occurring, hemalurgy could make them.

That said, there are alrready enough magics in roshar to be confusing. i don't think we need more.

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brandon says that every ars arcanum explains the magic as it is understood in the story, so there may be further discoveries to change it; we can't consider ars arcanum as canon for the working of magic. so yes, we can't rule out the ppossibility of more pairings. or even people with more than 2 sets of power. and even if they weren't naturally occurring, hemalurgy could make them.

That said, there are alrready enough magics in roshar to be confusing. i don't think we need more.

Or other kinds of symbiotic bonds, eg. Nightblood.

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Well we already do know that you can have more than 2 surges, because we've gotten confirmation that you can bond with more than one honor blade. So, is it a separate magic system, or just a really clever way of manipulating it?

emphasis mine:

QUESTION

Can someone bond more than one Honorblade?

BRANDON SANDERSON

Honorblade? You can't bond an Honorblade, though it can be given to you. Shardblades, however, come from a spren bond and it is possible to bond more than one. (as stated below, he misunderstood the question, so just disregard his initial answer)

FOOTNOTE
Later clarified, Brandon misunderstood the question. One may be bound to multiple Honorblades.
Edited by Onceler
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Well we already do know that you can have more than 2 surges, because we've gotten confirmation that you can bond with more than one honor blade. So, is it a separate magic system, or just a really clever way of manipulating it?

emphasis mine:

You may have more than 2 surges but they still "arrive" with the standard pairs. and to be honest you may bond with multiple Spren and obtain the same effect (also if it is extreme difficoult).

 

Both Honorblade and Nahel Bond give to you. the same Magic System, The surgebinding, also if maybe the Honorblade may be some kind of hybrid between Surgebinding and Fabrial magic system (in the same way as a Spike with a Coinshot power is both Hemalurgy and Allomancy I suppose).

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About why there are such pairings:
 

Khyrindor
Do the Honourblades reflect the natural pairing of Surges, or did Honor decide which Surge pair to put in each Blade?
Brandon Sanderson (Paraphrased)
The pairs are natural to Roshar in the same way as the metals on Scadrial.
source

So probably to get another pairing you need multiple spren/Honorblades.

Edited by Oversleep
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Also, don't forget that the number 10 is the "holy number" on Roshar. There were 10 Heralds (as pointed out), everything is symmetric in 10 parts, and many other examples, so maybe there is only a possibility of 10 combinations in this world.

Edited by adamlewis
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I am actually at peace with this now. New notes have been released stating that "it is theoretically possible for there to be a Nahel bond with a spren that grants two Surges that are not paired together among the Radiants." Whether this means my theory is correct or hints of the godsurges WoB once stated are now surfacing, I have no idea.

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I mean, if we go into the realm of "theoretically" instead of the norm, then we have to allow for the possibility of a result produced from deconstructing and manipulating the system for all its worth. You can probably create such a spren, but I'd assume spren with such properties do not normally manifest without external aid.

Like there's awakened objects, and then there's Nightblood. Very specific procedures went into bending the rules as far as they can go for the sake of creating a shardblade, and then they ended up with more than they bargained for.

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My real-world analogy is noble gas compounds. Most of the time, noble gases won't combine chemically with other elements. But if you work it right, it's possible to game the system.

 

Since we've seen that the spren which form nahel bonds are tied to cognitive concepts like honor and deception, I'm thinking that if you come up with the proper cognitive concept, you might be able to make a spren which could form a Nahel bond that conveys surges other than those granted by the Honorblades. Maybe a doublethinkspren or schadenfreudespren might exist which could do this, but no one's encountered it yet. Heck, we see from Axies the Collector that captivityspren aren't well-documented, and captivity isn't exactly uncommon on Roshar. I always found it ironic that Kaladin spotted them when he didn't want to, and Axies can't spot them when he does want to...

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