Shardcast: Endowment


This week we talk about a Shard of Adonalsium that we think we know a lot of, but there's a lot of mystery about her: Endowment. We discuss her plans, what her Shard means, the Returned, the Tears of Edgli, Austre, and, of course, dragons. We also of course talk about Nalthian TSA agents, and are sad about how long the Warbreaker sequel will take to get in our hands.

Our cast today is Eric (Chaos, who talks too much in this one), Ian (WeiryWriter), Grace (the voice of Endowment), and back from the shadowdays of Shardcast is Josh (Rubix, who is exceptionally bad at Who's That Cosmere Character).

 




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Child of Hodor

Posted (edited)

Perfect Endowment performance, Grace!

As far as Endowment shaping Edgli's mind, The divine attribute she represents is Blessing. She is the cosmic gift giver! In her letter, she expresses disdain for Hoid refusing the divine power that was offered him (when he had a chance to be one of the vessels). She hates it when someone turns down divine powers offered them. 

Her whole thing seems to be giving the Cosmere a little extra oomph. Colors are more vibrant, Nightblood is more powerful than he should be (I know not confirmed it was her doing). 

The magic system on Nalthis, Awakening, allows humans to do what she does on a micro-scale: giving abilities to things that did not have them before. With Awakening the Breath must be freely given it cannot be stolen (it can be coerced). Also, note the receiver doesn't have the option of refusing the gift of breath once the words are said, much to Denth's dismay. They can re-gift, but they can't be rude and refuse the gift sent to them. 

Gifting, enhancing, blessing is Endowment's deal. She is about enhancing already existing things, not so much about creating new things. She takes what exists and makes it the same, but more so. "You had a chance to be more and refused it" How rude!!!

On Nalthis, everyday is Christmas (or other gift-giving holiday).

Edited by Child of Hodor

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For the "what would endowment's description be like?" question I'd like to submit;

 

She was a force that gave from an infinite well of power. A thread that started with the first aspect of life, and continued on until the end of all things. She was that which connected all things, the inheritance of the first ancestors to their very last descendants. She was the talent of a craftsman, the belief of a martyr, the knowledge of a genius, the wealth of a merchant, and the strength of a warrior, for she was every trait that was passed to an heir. She was passed from father to son, mother to daughter, teacher to student, mentor to protégé, since the beginning of mankind and until its end. She was the light that gave sight, the blood that gave life, and the air that gave Breath.

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Josh said during the podcast that Brandon does a good job keeping his LDS faith out of his writing.  I'm just jumping in here with a comment that the whole system of how Radiants work is definitely inspired by the LDS endowment, whether consciously on Brandon's part or not.  The endowment is a story about people making increasingly demanding promises to god about what kind of person they will be, going through a testing phase where they prove that they will keep those promises, then getting a reward for it, and making more promises.  Sound similar to the Ideals of the Radiants?  Yeah.  Then there's the whole notion of humans becoming gods, and just the themes Brandon chooses to write about and the way that he writes them; it's pretty obvious to someone who grew up LDS that Brandon is a product of his culture.  Not that that's a bad thing (we all are), just saying that there are plenty of influences of Brandon's LDS faith on his writing, if you know where to look.

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She was the construction project that expands a two lane road into a four lane highway, the architect that designed the addition to your house. She was the special edition re-release of your favorite movie, the 20th anniversary remaster of a hit album, the DVD extras menu, the new game + play through of a video game. She was the executive who decided that some M&Ms would now have peanuts inside!

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So I've been thinking on the description of Endowment. I thought in my head how cool it would be if Vivenna had met Endowment and how she would describe that. (Also I'm not a writer so this might be rough :P)

Vivenna looked into Endowments eyes. In that moment she saw infinity and in that infinity she found a warmth unlike any other. A gift she felt made for her, but no that wasn't the right way to describe it. It was all gifts. Infinite versions of herself, everything and anything she could become stretched across infinity. It felt warm at first, but now she realized suddenly how cold she was, how cold this vastness had become. "Was this a lack of... of emotion? No, that wasn't the right word." Vivenna thought to herself. The power peered straight into her soul and she could feel that it didn't see her as a person, an individual, or even alive. This vast infinity seemed to encapsulate her, suffocating her, threatened to fill her with a piece of its infinity against her will. This infinity threatened to render and stretch her until she no longer existed. And then the moment passed...

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1 hour ago, mattg said:

Josh said during the podcast that Brandon does a good job keeping his LDS faith out of his writing.  I'm just jumping in here with a comment that the whole system of how Radiants work is definitely inspired by the LDS endowment, whether consciously on Brandon's part or not.  The endowment is a story about people making increasingly demanding promises to god about what kind of person they will be, going through a testing phase where they prove that they will keep those promises, then getting a reward for it, and making more promises.  Sound similar to the Ideals of the Radiants?  Yeah.  Then there's the whole notion of humans becoming gods, and just the themes Brandon chooses to write about and the way that he writes them; it's pretty obvious to someone who grew up LDS that Brandon is a product of his culture.  Not that that's a bad thing (we all are), just saying that there are plenty of influences of Brandon's LDS faith on his writing, if you know where to look.

While I am certain that it is true that Brandon received quite a bit of inspiration from his LDS culture, I think it's also important to consider that there are many cultures that have quests or ceremonies that are increasingly difficult, and the notion of humans becoming gods is not just an LDS notion. There are many cultures that have legends of apotheosis, or diefication. So while he may have received the inspiration from within his culture, i imagine he studied up quite a bit into the ideas of diefication before writing his stories. 

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Now, I could be wrong about this (I don't have my book with me right now) but I seem to remember a conversation between Adolin and Shallan in Oathbringer where Adolin makes a pun using the word invested.  He was comparing their relationship and her radiant abilities if I remember correctly.
If that's the case then investment wouldn't be a term only known on Nalthis.

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A challenge to wax poetic?  Sure why not:

Endowment’s power is in a constant state of motion.  It is hard to catch and perceive with the mind for all of its moving, “from” and “to” being its only constants.  It is almost like  a gentle stream of water catching the light as it is poured from pitcher to glass, like the rays of the sun relentlessly providing heat and light, in seasons of growth and in drought, to the earth, like the hurried coming and going of a mother bird supplying young hatchlings with food, or like the slight smile of a hard-pressed teacher whose student has finally made a break through.  It is the fierce need to provide at the expense of all, combined with an uncomfortable  plenty so endless it can never be entirely bestowed.  

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I'd like to think that "Tears of Edgtea" would take you to at least the 3rd Heightening...

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10 hours ago, WeiryWriter said:

You really missed a glorious opportunity to use this image:

9e5c59963880a07f5fcfb0198bacdee3.jpg.e63

This is the first time I've seen it unfortunately. But considering Eric said you've become a meme and you're running theory on Shards has been "if we don't know enough about it, it's a dragon to me until proven otherwise", I used the meme I was familiar with. I thought it was fitting under the circumstances. 

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Hey, I wanted to thank all of you for the great podcast.  You all have been prompting me to be thoughtful about Cosmere esoterica with your entertaining and educational discussions.

In this one there was some discussion about the amount of "meddling" Endowment does in other Shard's affairs.  Obviously the elephant in the room is Nightblood, but I wonder if anyone has more deeply considered the presence of Vasher/Zahel?  Sure...it's easier to get Stormlight to live on than Breath, but he could potentially do that anyplace on Roshar.  Instead he's smack-dab at ground zero for the refounding of the Radiants.

He is Returned...is it possible he still gets prophetic dreams from Endowment?  Not that it would be wise to mention them...but really, training Adolin how to fight against a spear when you only have a knife seems either very specific...or Vasher/Zahel is VERY through with his weapon training.

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Great podcast! I hadn't really thought about Endowment a whole lot before this, so it was quite an interesting listen. Also, I really liked the comparison to the fae since that's exactly where my mind went as well. 

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Great podcast!

Also really good justification on the theory why Endowment brings back dead babies to life (in which she sees that they do something helpful in the future but lacks the opportunity so she brings them back). I have never thought of it that way and i think that's my headcannon for it now.

Oh Endowment is quite interesting. 

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Actually, there's another character that mentions the concept of investiture. On Oathbringer chapter 97, Riino, the Shin fortune teller, says Khaladin could only have seen a vision if he was invested and starts asking what Hightening he was.

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Just now, Xayide said:

Actually, there's another character that mentions the concept of investiture. On Oathbringer chapter 97, Riino, the Shin fortune teller, says Khaladin could only have seen a vision if he was invested and starts asking what Hightening he was.

Actually, since he swears by Merciful Domi, he probably is Selish and not Shin.... Right?

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Yeah, I think the lighthouse keeper in Shadesmar would be Selish if he swears by Merciful Domi. But he probably knows all about Returned and Heightenings, Investitures and whatnot. 

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