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How does Jasnah Soulcast living people?


jtburrup

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Ok, so maybe this is an elementary question, but I was reading a post on Reddit,( https://www.reddit.com/r/Stormlight_Archive/comments/5ojrq9/twok_jasnah_and_soulcasting/ ) that talks about Jasnah during her "battle soulcasting" when she turns the thugs into fire, and quartz and such. The discussion is about something else, but it got me thinking about HOW she did that. We know from other examples, such as Shallan with the boat and the stick, that Soulcasting utilizes a sense of arguing, or debate, or logic, per se to convince the object to become something it is not. So my question is how does Jasnah CONVINCE people, to suddenly burst into flame. As I discussed this with my other Brandonites we came to the conclusion that perhaps in Shadesmaar there is a black bead representing the BODY, as opposed to the MIND of the person, and that she is able to convince the actual flesh and bones to change, rather than communing with the actual cognitive self of the people. For some reason, however, this still seems much more difficult to me than inanimate objects. Yes, I understand that flesh and bones COULD be considered inanimate, but especially in relation with realmatic theory, the idea of identity is a strong one, and thus I would think that the actual body of people has a very strong identity with the mind. Thoughts?

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As seen in Words of Radiance, people and other living things appear in the Cognitive Realm as small floating flames. I presume that Jasnah simply touched the flames that represented the cognitive of the assailants and convinced them to change, as is done with inanimate objects. Keep in mind that you're not actually convincing the physical mind of the person, just the cognitive aspect of the person which represents what they are perceived to be. Additionally, I think you can use stormlight to bribe or overcome resistance of the cognitive to change. 

Quote

She stood in a place with a black sky and a tiny, distant sun. The ground beneath her reflected light. Obsidian? Each way she turned, the ground was made of that same blackness. Nearby, the spheres—like those that would hold Stormlight, but dark and small—bounced to a rest on the ground.

Trees, like growing crystal, clustered here and there. The limbs were spiky and glassy, without leaves. Nearby, little lights hung in the air, flames without their candles. People, she realized. Those are each a person’s mind, reflected here in the Cognitive Realm. Smaller ones were scattered about her feet, dozens upon dozens, but so small she almost couldn’t make them out. The minds of fish?

- Words of Radiance

 

Edited by Spoolofwhool
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spoolofwhool, I had not remembered the small little flames. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. Where does the idea of "bribing" or using stormlight to manipulate the transformation come from? I feel that I have heard that somewhere as well, but am uncertain if that is canon or not. Thanks.

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Jasnah does seem to be particularily OP of she can just turn people into puddimg. I assume anyone with investiture is immune or semi-immune. I also wonder how much resistance someone can achieve naturally through meditation, study, or other factors; would a lifelong monk go down as easily as a dim thug?

Edited by teknopathetic
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13 hours ago, teknopathetic said:

Jasnah does seem

to be particularly OP of she can just turn people into pudding. I assume anyone with investiture is immune or semi-immune. I also wonder how much resistance someone can achieve naturally through meditation, study, or other factors; would a lifelong monk go down as easily as a dim thug?

Investiture helps resist, but someone else can always have more, so the advantage is semi-null in the long run.

Because it's in the cognitive realm, it's a battle of wits, so to speak. Shallan failed to convince the stick to change, but Jasnah's forceful personality combined with her use of "you will change" implies that her advantage is exactly what you think it is. Storing that Identity makes you susceptible to all kinds of things, after all.

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"Q: Would a feruchemist actively storing identity be more susceptible to Forgery? Would more outlandish changes be able to take effect? Thanks for your time, and have a wonderful day.
 
A: Yes, if you store identity, it makes you susceptible to ALL KINDS of things in the Cosmere. Forgery would be on the short list.
 
Q: Does the difficulty of effecting metals in a body with Allomancy have to do with identity?
 
A: No, more to do with the fact that most people are innately invested in the Cosmere--and certain planets have extra investiture. Something invested is more difficult to transform/move/etc with another form of investiture.
 
Q: That is what I had originally thought before you capitalized ""ALL KINDS"". Is soulcasting people like Jasnah Kholin did doubly hard since people a have a strong sense of identity and have innate investiture?
 
A: We're getting a bit far on this course, so it's time to pull out the RAFOs. I don't want to overplay my hand and leave the books without anything to talk about. :)"

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Based on the Jasnah escape scene, she doesn't really convince objects to change so much as command them to change.

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Jasnah gripped the beads in her hand.

“You,” she command, “will change.”

“I am a rope,” one of them said. “I am—”

You will change.

The ropes shivered, transforming—one by one—into smoke in the physical realm.

 

Given that, I don't think the Cognitive aspects of those thugs had much choice in the matter.

Edit: That scene, while written by Brandon, is not considered totally canon. So I guess take my conclusion with a grain of salt.

Edited by skaa
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My impression is that if you have enough investiture to give to the cognitive aspect of the object, it has no choice. If you don't have enough to force the issue, or you want to be more efficient, you must convince the object to change itself and the investiture you do have effects that change. A battle of wills, but enough investiture will override the will of the object. In this case, a person. 

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