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[AU Spoilers] Selish Essay Contradiction


VirtuousTraveller

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There are two comments in the Selish Essay that seem to contradict each other:

Spoiler

Sel is notable for being dishardic, one of few planets in the cosmere to attract two separate Shards of Adonalsium: Dominion and Devotion. These Shards were extremely influential in the development of human societies on the planet, and most of their traditions and religions can be traced back to these two. Uniquely, the very languages and alphabets used today across the planet were directly influenced by the two Shards. I believe that early on, the Shards took an unconcerned approach to humankind— and society was shaped by the slow, steady discovery of the powers that permeated the landscape.

And then, the seemingly contradictory statement:

Spoiler

I am uncertain whether their power was left to ravage the world untamed for a time, or was immediately contained. This all happened during the days of human prehistory on Sel.

So, how can these two things be true?  How can the shards be extremely influential in human culture on Sel, while at the same time have been splintered long before human prehistory?

Thoughts?

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Just now, PallonianFire said:

I noticed that, myself. My immediate thought is that "prehistory" doesn't mean before humanity, it just means before recorded history. So the Shards could have impacted the cultures that arose before they started developing language.

Agreed

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/prehistory

Prehistory means the period in time before writing was invented, it doesn't mean the period before humans existed.

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16 minutes ago, PallonianFire said:

I noticed that, myself. My immediate thought is that "prehistory" doesn't mean before humanity, it just means before recorded history. So the Shards could have impacted the cultures that arose before they started developing language.

True, but the shards are noted as being "extremely influential" in the development of human society.  Khriss even says that "uniquely, the very languages and alphabets used today across the planet were directly influenced by the two shards."  Granted, I guess the influence of the splintered shards could have impacted this too, but it still seems off to me.

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3 minutes ago, VirtuousTraveller said:

True, but the shards are noted as being "extremely influential" in the development of human society.  Khriss even says that "uniquely, the very languages and alphabets used today across the planet were directly influenced by the two shards."  Granted, I guess the influence of the splintered shards could have impacted this too, but it still seems off to me.

No, this makes sense. Their influence was before language was developed, so it had an impact on said development.

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11 minutes ago, PallonianFire said:

No, this makes sense. Their influence was before language was developed, so it had an impact on said development.

It makes sense that their unique, direct influence on language and alphabets...took place before language was developed?  I'm still not following.  What do you mean, my friend?

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Is there any reason that D&D's cognitive shadows could not have been around after death influencing culture? (I know that we have no evidence or even reason to believe that D&D have cognitive shadows) Or more likely: Seons and Skaze. Do not forget that these are splinters of Devotion and Dominion and Khriss may count them as shardic influence. Also remember that Seons (and possibly Skaze as well) have Aons in their center. (Technically that Aon is the splinter and not the Seon itself)

Edited by WildSpeculation
Regonized some wyld speculation on the part of CogShads
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17 minutes ago, WildSpeculation said:

Is there any reason that D&D's cognitive shadows could not have been around after death influencing culture? (I know that we have no evidence or even reason to believe that D&D have cognitive shadows).

AU Spoilers

Spoiler

"Both Devotion and Dominion were destroyed. Their Investiture— their power— was Splintered, their minds ripped away, their souls sent into the Beyond."

This makes it sound like a Cognitive Shadow option wasn't likely.  Granted, this is how it sounds to me based on the language, however:

Stormlight Archive Spoilers

Spoiler

If splintering a shard means "ripping" the mind of the Vessel away and sending the Vessel's soul into the Beyond, what do we make of the Stormfather and him being a Cognitive Shadow of Tanavast, the dead Vessel of the splintered shard Honor?

 

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I think that this isn't necessarily as complicated as its being made out to be. The various symbols and forms of Selish Investiture were not designed, they existed independently of humankind. Prehistory indicates that there was no written language, but that does not mean that there was no spoken language for the Shards to influence. In my mind, people gradually discovered these natural symbols, and correlated them with words that they already spoke that seemed to have a shared meaning. It would not have been a written language yet, simply pictographs.

We already have an example of something like this occurring later in history from Brandon's Aon descriptions. The original Arelish people that discovered Elantris had a written language very similar to Duladen. However when they discovered Elantris they incorporated these symbols into their preexisting language and even went so far as to retroactively change names in accordance with these symbols, such as King Rhashm to King Raoshem. Devotion is still influencing language from beyond the grave (not directly, I might add. I am not a proponent of the Cognitive shadow theory). This is obviously later than the time period mentioned in the essay, but very similar things could have happened in prehistory. These essays are fascinating, but they are still brief overviews. I'm sure more will become clear in time, with the Elantris sequels.

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13 minutes ago, WildSpeculation said:

To clarify: I for one do not think there are Cognitive Shadows of D&D on Sel. I was merely pointing out that there are more ways that Post-Splintering influence could happen. 

Understood! =) We of course have the seons and skaze who are demonstrating obvious influence in the world and they've been around since the splintering.

20 minutes ago, Windrunner said:

These essays are fascinating, but they are still brief overviews. I'm sure more will become clear in time, with the Elantris sequels.

I'm sure as well.  Sadly, Brandon isn't planning on an Elantris sequel until 2020 at the earliest, according to the last State of the Sanderson.  But, we're supposed to get the final Mistborn Era 2 AND Stormlight 4 before then, so I won't complain too much =)

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The aons could also be viewed as artistic symbolism. At least one is a clear geographic shape. I'm thinking of some cave drawings, which can be seemingly simplistic but are not really.

(I Had a MAJOR argument with a bunch of people taking an art history class where I was the only actual art student on that topic. The other kids were 'oh, that bull is so badly drawn' and I'm like 'if you saw that bull by torch light it would seem to move.' Teacher agreed with me. Basically, prehistoric artists created animated images. Yes, very 'simplistic.')

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As I'm listening through TWoK again, I keep hearing references to the Parshendi's swords/knives that are covered in unknown glyphs/symbols.  We've assumed the Pashendi/Listeners are an ancient, pre-shattering race - I wonder if this language is similar to the ancient Aonic symbols of Sel.  If two shards brought a language system with them from ancient times, and the Listeners are ancient, it could be a connection (or just wild speculation :-P)

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I was also confused by this, but then I remembered that Selish manifestations of Investiture are all based on shapes and forms. Think about it: The moment people discovered that certain shapes are associated with magic, those shapes (and the magical effects they produce) will definitely become a significant part of their culture, and will likely influence any writing system, political system, philosophy, or religion that they would develop in the future. This certainly happened when the people of Arelon discovered the Aons.

So even long after Aona and Skai died, the way their power manifests on Sel still influences the various Selish cultures.

Edited by skaa
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21 hours ago, VirtuousTraveller said:

So, how can these two things be true?  How can the shards be extremely influential in human culture on Sel, while at the same time have been splintered long before human prehistory?

I am not sure if someone else has mentioned it yet, but if Khriss figured out that the Seons/Skaze are splinters of their respective Shards, perhaps that (Skaze's meddling in Fjordell for sure) would count as highly influential.

20 hours ago, VirtuousTraveller said:

Stormlight Archive Spoilers

  Hide contents

If splintering a shard means "ripping" the mind of the Vessel away and sending the Vessel's soul into the Beyond, what do we make of the Stormfather and him being a Cognitive Shadow of Tanavast, the dead Vessel of the splintered shard Honor?

Spoiler

The Stormfather was originally "The Rider of Storms" (likely a superspren of Parshendi lore).
Tanavast's cognitive essence merged with it and became "The Stormfather"
Perhaps his circumstances were unique in that he had an escape vehicle?

 

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I think that Splintering a Shard and make the Vessel goes to the Beyond as a separate factors.

Odium kills a Vessel and the splinter a Shard (it may be argued if this as part of the same process or separate actions), then the Vessel as any other being "spawns" in the Cognitive Realm and had there forever as Cognitive Shadow for their expanded Souls. But if there is some specific circumstance, who actually wanted to remain ? And I don't talk about "go aganist nature and everyone usually want to go Beyond"....I say, Do you really want to stay next to a Shard who had just killed you (when you was as powerful as him) and possible can thorn apart also your soul if he want ? I will run away with almost all I have, the Beyond is probably the best chance to "survive" (yeah I know it's a strange term for a deadman)

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I don't read this as a contradiction. The implication is that the Shards affected humans indirectly.

Consider how she writes that they influenced the alphabets, for example, which presumably includes Aonic. It's my understanding that AonDor didn't exist before the Shards were splintered, considering the magic is based on the interaction between their leftover power (the Dor) and geography in the Cognitive Realm.

So from my perspective, this is the only way to interpret the essay.

Edited by jofwu
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