Shardcast: Rhythm of War Part Two Epigraphs (Part Two Spoilers Only)


Rhythm of War is OUT! We hope you've been enjoying it. This is our first Rhythm of War Shardcast, and it does NOT have full book spoilers, just through Part Two. Honestly, we don't really talk about anything other than the Part Two epigraphs, so as long as you've read those, you are ready for this! Please no full book spoilers in the comments! And if you've read the book, well, you know why we are talking about this first.

We have a big cast today! We are excited to blab about new stuff! We have Eric (Chaos), Ian (Weiry), Evgeni (Argent), David (Windrunner), Alyx (Feather), and Ben (Overlord Jebus)!

Next week will have TWO full book reactions episodes, with different cast members sharing their thoughts on the book. So you have some time to complete the book!

Thumbnail art, of course, is the Rhythm of War cover by Michael Whelan.

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Not to disagree with a god like Harmony, but I think having multiple Shards gives one access to more investiture in the physical and cognitive realms at any given moment and can make a vessel more powerful all other things being equal.

Shards have infinite investiture only because on a long enough timeline it eventually recycles back to the spiritual realm and then flows out to the other two realms. But Shards rely heavily on what’s in the physical and cognitive realms which is finite in the short term. 

The reason Sazed holds Ruin now is because the Atium mistings burned all that Atium up. Ruin lost access to it until it recycles which takes time. Ruin couldn’t just pull as much investiture as he wanted out of the spiritual realm, this lack of available investiture weakened him and he couldn’t finish off Preservation because of it. 

Also, Preservation putting more of himself into humans than Ruin made Preservation weaker than Ruin. Because he can’t pull infinite investiture from the Spiritual realm at will.

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We basically have the broad outline of the future cosmere books:

1. Individual shards are dangerous. This point will be driven home by Odium escaping his prison. We have already seen a similar situation with Ruin. Like Ruin the ultimate solution will be combining Odium with another shard.

2. Going back Adonalsium is not an option. We will learn about this in Dragonsteel books, which among other things will explain why the shattering needed to happen.

3. There will be a new synthesis of shards. In order to avoid the dangers of individual shards with destabilizing intents while not repeating the issues with Adonalsium there needs to be a new kind of combining shards, this will happen in Mistborn Era 4. 

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The best way to understand the shard-vessel relationship is to note that a shard left alone will become conscious at which point it will no longer need a vessel. In other words what the shard lacks is a cognitive aspect which is what the vessel provides. The primacy of the spiritual over cognitive explains why at the end the shard will overcome its vessel. 

We actually have a really good example of this on a smaller scale in Nightblood. It wants to DESTROY EVIL! but doesn't have the cognition to do that which is why it relies on its wielder to think for it. As Nightblood grows and starts to think for itself we see it clash with a wielder who has a different conception of what destroying evil entails resulting in them going their separate ways.

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9:33: "The rest of the letter was completely irrelevant after that drop."

Are you sure? Everyone talks about all the shards, but... OH WOW THE FORESHADOWING! Brandon really pulled a fast one on us here, distracting everyone with shard names but then quietly, subtly doing something no Letter has ever done before: throwing in something that turns out to be incredibly relevant to the book itself!

30:48: "Preservation wouldn't want things to change, and Sazed is not capable of making many changes"
 
Really not the same thing at all. Preservation was capable of acting, and actively worked to not only not make changes himself, but prevent other agents from accomplishing change.
 
36:14: "I don't know if Was is 'endgame goals' for Harmony..."
 
Everyone always pays so much attention to Wax, but have you noticed Wayne's arc? Seems likely to me that he's the enduring one and he's going to end up becoming the first kandra created by Harmony.
 
44:08: "That's Whimsy. 'I'm Ambiguity!'"
 
Kinda sounds like Autonomy to me...
 
1:26:00: "It's interesting, because [Harmony] says 'Mercy worries me,' then like two chapters later, he says 'the most worrying thing I discovered was the Spiritual Realm wound.' And I wonder if Mercy was wounded in some way."
 
The other interpretation of this is that Mercy was somehow the one who *caused* the Spiritual wound...
 
1:37:34: "It has been too long, in her estimation, since your last visit."
 
[Insert "wow someone actually likes him" joke here.]
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Yeah, re: Valor, perhaps, he may have been frustrated at Valor's decision to wait, because they interpreted their Intent as: “Discretion is the better part of valor.” (i.e., caution is better than being rashly courageous). Firmness doesn't mean rashness. But Hoid would have interpreted this differently.

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I am surprised no one talked about "Mercy Kill". To a lot of people Mercy is a form of death or ending pain. What if Mercy goes around smothering people with pillows? 

The Threnody planets also have names that are puritanical like the term Mercy (Elegy, Purity, and Threnody) so to me it seems like Mercy was likely invested there at some point. 

Edited by teknopathetic
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Argent says Invention=Cybertron confirmed lol.

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