Shardcast: Lights


This week's episode is on the Lights of Roshar. Spoilers for Rhythm of War and the cosmere (but not Dawnshard) in this one! Here Evgeni really makes up for not being on the last two episodes by blabbing a bunch, but it is all excellent. This is the good stuff. Even in this episode it feels like we still don't go super in-depth. There's so much to talk about in Rhythm of War! 

We have Eric (Chaos), Ian (Weiry), Evgeni (Argent), David (Windrunner) whose audio cosplays as a robot sometimes, and then we have Joshua (jofwu).

Also, we're going back to weekly after this. Our next episode will be on State of Sanderson 2020, which happens on December 19th, and we'll get a show for you out that weekend on it.

The incredible thumbnail art is from Connor Chamberlain, who does just incredible cosmere art: https://www.reddit.com/r/Stormlight_Archive/comments/kbocxi/the_light_of_roshar/ You can find his other stuff here!

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ROW spoilers

Spoiler

Adonalsium light name ideas:

  • Allight 
  • Primordialight
  • Godlight
  • Fullight
  • Firstlight
  • Omegalight
  • Omnilight
  • Cosmiclight
  • Cosmerelight
  • Investiturelight

 

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RoW

Spoiler

From now on, the opposing teams will sing each other’s antilight rhythms on the battlefield instead of direct physical combat. It will be like a rap battle for Roshar.

 

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Spoiler

So much of the new science in RoW is really interesting to me as it uses music and sound.

I'm not some super expert on the physics of sound, but based on my basic knowledge from studying music, I am thinking about all kinds of weird things.

Are the "pure tones of Roshar" literally a specific resonant frequency? I mean, objects and spaces can have a specific tone that makes the space resonate differently than other notes...how do overtones effect the "pure tone?" Does vibrato or other variations of tone make it more difficult to sing those tones?

Maybe the Singer's can feel the rhythms similarly to how we feel the vibrations of our own voices or a really powerful subwoofer. It's a "forced resonance" that humans don't really experience?

Maybe the tones associated with anti-lights cause pain because the tones literally cross the pain threshold, or they are so dissonantly at odds with the tones of the investiture they hold that the resulting vibration is uncomfortable...

Spoilers + random musical musings...

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Guest Parallax

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Colors. Using Navani's dispersive prism experiment we know that every Shard is naturally associated with a spectral color (which makes Odium violet and not purple). That raises a few questions:

  1. There aren't that many named spectral colors, certainly not 16 (the list usually goes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet). 
  2. Red is a spectral color, so presumably there is a Shard associated with that color. How does that fit with red signifying corrupted or coopted investiture?
  3. Does the color carry any information about the Shard? For example violet (Odium's color) is on the far end of the visible spectrum, would a Shard with color yellow be in some/any way the opposite of Odium? 

Anti-investiture. Anti-matter is a type of matter (defined as anything that has mass and occupies space) and you can combine matter and anti-matter, for example mesons are a class of particles that are made up of a quark and an anti-quark of a different type. Then there are particles that are their own anti-particle such as the Higgs boson. If the analogy with matter holds you could combine anti-Voidlight with Lifelight (to pick a pair) to create a new kind of investiture, this means we have 1008 different possible pairs instead of 256. 

Lights and Combining Shards. Suppose someone took up both Honor and Odium and become the Shard of Retribution. Would Retribution's investiture be Warlight or would it be something new? I am inclined to think it would be something new, since this is the case for solid forms of investiture: Harmonium is not a combination of Atium and Lerasium, it is something new. So why should it be different for gaseous form of the investiture?

Opposite Shards. Ruin and Preservation are not opposite shards, you could think of the Shard of Harmony as preserving a constant rate of ruin. The truly opposite pair would be Cultivation and Ruin (or perhaps Devotion and Odium) which brings up a question someone should ask Brandon: are there any shard pairs that can not be held together by a vessel?

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There’s an old theory about Lift that dealt with the possibility of something happening to the Stormfather/high storm that would make getting Stormlight to the Radiants impossible. 

Spoiler

Maybe now that the tones/rhythms for each shard are known, it could be used to help in such an event. Navani sung Honor’s song with the Sibling and made tower light even though she couldn’t make Stormlight like Dalinar can. Maybe Radiants like Rlain, Renarin, and Venli can use Warlight or the other combination lights to power their surgebinding even if the main source of Stormlight is destroyed. (Thanks anti-light...)

 

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