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Ambition's corpse is Silverlight


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This is something I've been thinking about ever since we learnt that Silverlight is named Silverlight, and that Ambition's corpse is somewhere far away from the site of its battle with Odium.

I have a few reasons for thinking this, so I will list them in point form:

  • Ambition - universities are places you go to learn and gain skills, something reflecting ambition - and Silverlight has several universities, and it is hinted that it is a melting pot of cultures and technologies
  • Silver - we don't know the significance of silver, but the only other place silver - and just silver, not other metals - is important is Threnody, where silver is very important to the magic, and where part of Ambition remains
  • Cognitive realm - it is strange to build a city in the cognitive realm, but if something was special about the region, such as its size or ability to connect to the physical realm ... a mass of investiture in the cognitive realm likely makes that area significant

The only objection I have would be that she doesn't mention it in Arcanum, but that can be explained. A few possibilities are that either she doesn't know or she doesn't want to share. Khriss doesn't say "and Ambition died and we built Silverlight on top of the corpse", which would be something to mention if talking about a place relevant to the subject being discussed. But if she doesn't know where Ambition died, only that it is dead, and its corpse was sufficiently ambiguous, it would well be that she doesn't know Silverlight is built in it - all she knows is that Ambition died somewhere, and Silverlight - if she founded Silverlight or if someone else did - is built on some strange area where the cognitive realm is expanded for unknown reasons, that could explain it. This could also work if Silverlight is built only partially on the corpse, if it was split into pieces and she knows where some pieces are but doesn't know that Silverlight is built on one. Or she does know, and others know, and she just didn't mention it. Or, less likely, she does know but is keeping the information hidden as it would be dangerous to let others know. 

What do you think? Would you be surprised if Ambition's corpse is at Silverlight?


One final note - if Silverlight is the corpse then it might have a perpendicularity, and so it might be in the space stories that it serves as a space station for ships to visit.

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Uncontrolled investiture in large quantities is extremely hazardous, see Sel and the Dor. Its very unlikely that Silverlight would be able to last if built on Ambitions corpse. Of course as I say that, it might be possible that they have a small piece of the corpse. That would be more manageable, would provide a source of power, and would make for an interesting story.

I think it very unlikely, but not impossible for part of Ambitions power to be the foundation of Silverlight.

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In addition to the uncontrolled aspects of Investiture being dangerous in the CR, if a Shard is shattered the only thing that manifests is the Vessel and, if Ati and Leras's deaths are anything to go by, some type of smoke or vapor. Both fade rarher quickly. So first, if Silverlight is built on the sight of Uli Da's corpse the architect of Silverlight would have first had to find a way to keep that corpse from fading into the beyond. Second, it has been stated in a WOB that Uli Da, Vessel of Ambition, was a Sho-Del, another sapient race along with Dragons and Humans. We don't currently know anything about the race, including the average size of it's members. If they're as big as Dragons then I can see buildings that could incorporate a corpse. Not so if they're human-sized. Interesting theory but I don't think it holds up.

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I assumed that @Ixthos was being somewhat metaphorical with regards to Ambition's corpse.  That Silverlight was founded in the location where Ambition was finished off/splintered by Odium, rather that the physical corpse of Uli Da is somehow incorporated into the buildings.  I think that this theory has plenty of merit.  Brandon has always talked about just how weird Silverlight is, and being formed from/at the location of a Shard's death would certainly count.  

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The main problem is we know hat Ambition was splintered.

So anywhere it happened there would be an huge amount of Bits of powers around. As far as we know....we have to find a scenario similar to Sell, with a Maelstrom of power shaking the Realms.

I would not deny the possibility... But a city build there is unlikely.

Much more, a place like that would be impossible to hide...the presence of a Shard is easy to spot from the sheer amount of Investiture available. So there would be no reason to hide that information

Edited by Yata
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@Scion of the Mists Yes, that is what I meant :-) In the same way Saze took up the corpses of Ruin and Preservation, which themselves were emanating from the vessel's corpses - the vessel's corpses appeared in the physical realm while the shard's corpse was in the three.  Perhaps I should have said remains of the shard, rather than corpse - it does give the wrong impression.

Though thinking about it, the vessel's body probably is or was floating in space in the physical realm - maybe that is where the perpendicularity - if there is one - is located.

To address the issue with the danger of a shard, though, I think it actually reinforced the idea that the remains of the shard - that actually is a better way to put it - and can be summarised in a single idea: Expansion.

The shard's remains in Elantris are a danger in the cognitive realm because they were placed there - if they hadn't , they would have been a danger perhaps in the physical and cognitive, but less of a danger overall. But outside of Sel they would probably not be as dangerous, depending on how they diffuse or are used.


If the remains of Ambition are free floating in both realms, and are deduced in size because parts of it are missing - some in the Threnodite system, and maybe some further way - then it would be less dangerous than Sel's cognitive realm because it is less total - one shard instead of two, and less present than a single shard - and also spread across both the physical and cognitive. If the remains are being used to power something, then that could also reduce the danger, like spren on Roshar.

But importantly, the shard might be diffused across the physical and cognitive - distances in the cognitive are related to how much thought is in the physical, and lightyears can be covered in a single step. A shard's power could be spread across a large space in the physical realm and provide enough space in the cognitive for a city. We haven't been told how Ambition died, if someone killed it later or it expired from the wounds Odium inflicted. Perhaps Ambition's last act was to contain itself in a way that ultimately its own Ambitions could be fulfilled even if it died.


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