Jump to content

The desolations


Steeldancer

Recommended Posts

With all our discussion of voidbringers I think we've started to underestimate just how damaging these desolations are. They RESET progress, even with heralds and KR. I'm trying to figure out what could even DO that to civilization. I just don't think the powers we have seen could reset the ability to write and read and build things and... have an advanced civilization. There is something more to the desolations, I think. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

45 minutes ago, The Flash said:

With all our discussion of voidbringers I think we've started to underestimate just how damaging these desolations are. They RESET progress, even with heralds and KR. I'm trying to figure out what could even DO that to civilization. I just don't think the powers we have seen could reset the ability to write and read and build things and... have an advanced civilization. There is something more to the desolations, I think. 

I think something you have to consider is that the prior desolations came much closer together than the time between the "last desolation" and the current one (4500 years). So every ~100-200 years would be a much more damaging a grind. Especially if there actually were 99 desolations (although I'm not sure that's 100% accurate, could be poetic vorin license)

 

edit:

We also have no idea how many desolations passed with just the heralds there to fight before the spren started creating surge binders, and then how long before the knights radiant were founded.

Edited by Shard Slayer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure anymore, how often the desolations used to come... I thought more then every 100-200 years (more about every thousand...) but I'm really not sure, and at the moment can't find any quote.

But what I think is more important, the "true desolation" only seems to be at the start. We haven't even seen a Knight Radiant in his final state, neither Midnight essences, or Voidbringers (I think Parshendis were only a part of the species of Voidbinders, as some seemed like Chasmfiends). Plus, we've never seen any Voidbinding.

So, this Desolation is really just at the beginning. What else we're all going to see, who knows. But for sure we haven't seen all. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Thunder_93 said:

I'm not sure anymore, how often the desolations used to come... I thought more then every 100-200 years (more about every thousand...) but I'm really not sure, and at the moment can't find any quote.

So in regards to timeline, there isn't enough time for one every thousand. Here

Also @Shard Slayer there's an old WoB (that I can't easily find) that the 99 was religious license and there were less. (Not sure if "less" or "way less" but..)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

So in regards to timeline, there isn't enough time for one every thousand. Here

Also @Shard Slayer there's an old WoB (that I can't easily find) that the 99 was religious license and there were less. (Not sure if "less" or "way less" but..)

This one is not verbatim but helps

Quote

7

 

So I just got back from the book signing Brandon held today, I asked him about the time between each of the original 99 desolations.

BRANDON SANDERSON

It turns out that the number 99 in the stories was made up, and that there were much fewer of them. He also then stated that the cosmere runs along a 10,000 year gap and that Roshar falls right into the middle of the timeline. He ended with "That should give you a perspective of the timeline and events of the desolations". I figured that if anyone wanted to know a bit more of Roshar's history they might find this interesting

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, The Flash said:

With all our discussion of voidbringers I think we've started to underestimate just how damaging these desolations are. They RESET progress, even with heralds and KR. I'm trying to figure out what could even DO that to civilization.

Killing ~90% of the global population while also wrecking all the infrastructure will generally not do good things to the level of civilization. We know that in at least one Desolation, there seems to have been an active attempt to kill nearly everyone who could write (Dalinar's flashback of the guy he/we assume to be Nohadon appears to have left Kholinar with a single one-armed man who possessed that skill) so if we assume that Odium has some standing instructions for his forces to destroy knowledge and the people best able to remember it and transmit it to future generations, that will add to the devastation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Weltall said:

Killing ~90% of the global population while also wrecking all the infrastructure will generally not do good things to the level of civilization. We know that in at least one Desolation, there seems to have been an active attempt to kill nearly everyone who could write (Dalinar's flashback of the guy he/we assume to be Nohadon appears to have left Kholinar with a single one-armed man who possessed that skill) so if we assume that Odium has some standing instructions for his forces to destroy knowledge and the people best able to remember it and transmit it to future generations, that will add to the devastation.

That's right, assuming it is mindless destruction is probably not correctly. The writers of the blurbs on the back indicate there's a possibility that the 4500 year gap may be partially intentional, giving time for civilization to forget how to fight a Desolation. If that's true, then being able to intentionally destroy key pieces of civilization wouldn't be too far-fetched.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Extesian said:

This one is not verbatim but helps

 

Verbatim or not, it's the one I was searching for. Have an upvote.

He is paraphrased as saying "much fewer than 99" so odds are he actually said "much less" in some fashion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wait - 10,000 year timeline + Roshar in the middle + 4,500 years since the last desolation = all desolations happened in a 500 year period? give or take???

Even if the desolations happened in, say, 2,000 years  (still the middle-ish) and there were "only" 40 of them.  That's killing most people off every 50 years.  Once in every two generations or so.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Aoibheann said:

Wait - 10,000 year timeline + Roshar in the middle + 4,500 years since the last desolation = all desolations happened in a 500 year period? give or take???

Even if the desolations happened in, say, 2,000 years  (still the middle-ish) and there were "only" 40 of them.  That's killing most people off every 50 years.  Once in every two generations or so.  

You should take a look at the link I posted an hour ago. Makes it all sound a lot more feasible when certain things are considered.

Also from the bit I linked is a source that the Prelude of WoK is 6,000 years from the shattering, not current era Roshar. Current era is around the 11,000 mark.

Edited by The One Who Connects
Prelude, not prologue
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think people take for granted that cities would always function as cities...but cities die off if:

- the farms that support them die

- they lose water

- their sewerage system breaks (this one is not terminal, but it can mean a moderate to severe loss of population, which then leads to skills loss, which then leads to other problems)

A city is a place where people can specialise, instead of:

- growing / hunting their own food

- building their own house

- making their own clothes 

- making their own tools etc

Many tools require tools to make tools. Sometimes you need a tool, to make a tool, to make a tool (On earth, a computer may require this path hundreds of times). And each time takes specialised knowledge. The loss of that knowledge leads to the loss of the tools, leads to the loss of ability to make many things. If you stopped and asked yourself, what tools do I need to build #### (and you arrived at A, B, C & D), then asked yourself what do I need to make A, B, & C (and you arrived at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8), then asked yourself 'what do I need to make 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8...then asked yourself... (you get the pattern) - I think you'd be surprised how many tools can be involved in making tools to build one single thing . Then move on to the next building project, and repeat. It's an enormous amount of tools. And that's not even mentioning what is needed for the mining, to make metals that make the tools.

When people no longer have access to necessary tools. When they have to grow food just to survive, or fight for it. When they have to fight for or build shelter. When their clothes are falling off their back...what time do they have left to teach much of anything, let alone reading & writing?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Weltall said:

Killing ~908 % of t global population while al. so wrecking all ththne infrastructure will generally not do good things to the level of civilization. We know that in at least one Desolation, there seems to have been an active attempt to kill nearly everyone who could write (Dalinar's flashback of the guy he/we assume to be Nohadon appears to have left Kholinar with a single one-armed man who possessed that skill) so if we assume that Odium has some standing instructions for his forces to destroy knowledge and the people best able to remember it and transmit it to future generations, that will add to the devastation.

I totally agree with you. It doesn't take much strategic destruction to destroy civilization. For example, Odium only needs to kill off most of the ardently and destroy libraries/archives (like the Palanaeum) in order to Fabrial technology and most Scholarly activities in Roshar. This is entirely possible.  Judging from the fact that Odium has been able to successfully splinter several Shards, he must be very cunning and also makes use of good strategies. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some things to keep in mind:

  1. Pre-industrial society birth-rates are crazy high compared to what we're generally used to, so following a desolation we could expect typical couples, who essentially have access to as much farmland as they want, to bear a dozen kids or more.
  2. It's unlikely for there to be any serious wars in the 2 generations following a desolation due to the recent global alliance among mankind.  (there are some real-world statistics on the likelihood of wars breaking out between formerly allied nations as a function of time that are more precise, but this is a decent rule of thumb I think)
  3. Roshar is so heavily Invested that sickness and disease are relatively uncommon and people live unusually long (there are several WoB on this, just too lazy to track them down at the moment.)  Meaning re-population is much easier than IRL, where pre-industrial societies generally face extremely high infant mortality rates due to disease.
  4. Farmland doesn't get exhausted on Roshar in the same manner as on Earth because of the nutrient-rich crem that is spread over the land something like twice a week.
  5. Between Soulcasting and essentially-inexhaustible-farmland, practically everything is a renewable resource on Roshar.

In regards to OP's question, in previous desolations, we've been given the impression that a significant portion of the human combatants were armed with little more than simple spears/hammers, leather armor, and basic battlefield training before being pitted against giant stone godzillas.

Think of it this way:  If you had a few months to organize everyone in your neighborhood to fight a single Rock-Godzilla, using only bronze-age tools and concepts (IE: no modern engineering, physics, or military theory) what percentage of your neighborhood do you think would survive the fight?  I would think 10% would be pretty generous...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Chaos locked this topic
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...