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Comparing Lightweaving and Soul-Stamps (TES spoilers)


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In TES we hear hints that the spirit world exists in part as a huge network of connections between objects and ideals. By altering these spiritual connections, Soul-stamps can cause physical and cognitive transformations to occur for the objects affected. With this in mind, there are some interesting implications to pull out of the Ars Arcanum of WoR.

"this method [of Lightweaving] has a powerful Spiritual element, requiring not just a full mental picture of the intended creation, but some level of connection to it as well...I wish to delve more into this ability, with the hope to gain a full understanding of how it relates to Cognitive and Spiritual attributes"

So lets look at a specific Lightweave: Shallan drawing herself in Ch 36.

"She saw only the drawing, knew only the emotions she bled onto the page. Jasnah's determination. Tyn's confidence. A sense of rightness that she could not describe, but which she drew from her brother Heleran, the best person she'd ever known. It all poured from her into the pencil and onto the page."

When she actually did meet with the Highprinces, Shallan became a different person. It was more than just a visual illusion, she acted differently, thought differently from the girl we knew before. She started to exhibit the attributes she had infused into her drawing.

We know from WoK she can pinch off "soul-buds" and infuse them into her artwork. I believe this is the way Shallan's mind interprets the formation of spiritual connections. It seems she actually formed links to these attributes in the spirit realm while creating the drawing, then used Lightweaving to apply them to herself during the meeting with Dalinar.

There are obviously many differences between the two magics. For example, Soul-stamps can be permanent, cause physical changes, and require a certain plausibility to function. Lightweaving requires a mental focus, needs active use of Stormlight to maintain, and can't create tangible changes. It will be interesting to see how Yolish Lightweaving compares, since the Ars hints about a spiritual element there as well.

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An interesting theory.


Some things to note: You really oughtn't to have snipped out that part of the Ars Arcanum. The full passage reads:


"...level of connection to it as well. The illusion is based not simply upon what the Lightweaver imagines, but upon what they desire to create." (emphasis in original)


The "desire to create" seems rather important moving forward, nay? 




Also, we are by no means sure that Forging works as you say it does. I certainly say it does, but I'm crazy.  :wacko: Also, I (the crazy person) assign the connections as governors of the changes done by stamps more so than as the direct agents of change.

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I posted something like this last week on Tor's thread. (post 348)


I was initially thinking along the lines of the ability to change even one's own abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. However, after talking with people at the signing a couple nights ago, I realized that Soulcasting (at least the way that we've seen Shallan use it) has a certain innate similarity to Forging in general.


For instance, during one of the earlier info dumps about how Forging works, we learned that the object, whether a window, table, etc, has to accept/believe that the Forgery could be the Truth (also similar to the relationship of Truth and Lies for Lightweavers). The closer the lie  was to the truth, the easier it would be to create the Forgery. Early on in Words of Radiance, we watched as Shallan unsuccessfully tried to convince a stick that it was fire. Like with Forging, changing something to something completely different becomes more challenging.


However, this makes me think that the Lightweavers' form of Soulcasting may actually be different from that of the Elsecallers. Considering the relationship of Truth and Lies to the Lightweavers, I would suggest that they have to convince the objects to change and to believe that they are different. The difference is probably a result of the interaction between the Surges. It would surprise me to discover that the Elsecallers' method of Soulcasting would be so problematic, considering that it is nearly always changing things from one thing to another completely different thing. I would also suggest that the Soulcasters that we see are based on the Elsecallers' method.

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