Cosmere

Table of Contents

Here are my notes about Cosmere and Cosmere books. I usually make them as I read the books, so there might be inaccurancies. I have started making them during my first read of Shadows of Self, when I had already read most of the other cosmere books, but I continue to make them during the re-reads1, or when studying WOBs and other resources.

I mark some of my theories with a [THEORY] tag.

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD FROM ALL OF THE COSMERE BOOKS!

General

Every breath you take. Every move you make. Every bond you break. Every step you take. I’ll be watching you.

– The Police (sorry, I couldn’t stop myself)

Realms

All things exist in three Realms, Gaotona. Physical, Cognitive, Spiritual. The Physical is what we feel, what is before us. The Cognitive is how an object is viewed and how it views itself. The Spiritual Realm contains an object’s soul – its essence – as well as the ways it is connected to the things and people around it.

Wan ShaiLu to Arbiter Gaotona, The Emperor’s Soul, Day Twelve.

Three Realms exist in cosmere: Physical, Cognitive and Spiritual.

  • Physical Realm - a Realm which we perceive with our senses.
  • Cognitive Realm - the world of thought and perception. On Roshar Shadesmar is on a Cognitive Realm.
  • Spiritual Real - made entirely of Investiture, lies beyond space and time. Shards are almost entirely contained in the Spiritual Realm (wob).

Some believe that Spiritual Realm is the destination for the souls after death, although Secret History makes it clear that after death one goes to the Beyond, which is unknown even for the Shards.

The Almighty calls all men back to the Spiritual Realm eventually.

– Lyrin to Kaladin

On Roshar the theory of three Realms has been proposed by the scholar Gavarah, which Jasnah mentions to Shallan during one of their conversations in Kharbranth.

Investiture

Investiture is the type of energy which is the base of all cosmere magic systems.

It naturally belongs to the Spiritual Realm. If it somehow makes in large quantities into Cognitive or Physical Realm, where time and space do matter, it is going to cause time dilation. It’s not doing that in Spiritual Realm, because space and time don’t matter in it (wob).

Dawnshards

“Taking the Dawnshard, known to bind any creature voidish or mortal, he crawled up the steps crafted for Heralds, ten strides tall apiece, toward the grand temple above.”

– from Jasnah’s Kholin notebook (The Way of Kings epigraph)

Seventeenth Shard

I am being chased. Your friends of the Seventeenth Shard, I suspect. I believe they’re still lost, following a false trail I left for them.

– Hoid, The Way of Kings

Seventeenth Shard is the mysterious cosmere-wide organisation. Its members are worldhoppers.

The name is a pun to the fact that originally there were 16 Shards of Adonalsium. Do they believe that they’re influencial enough to become a piece of power of creation itself?

Their leader (or one of their leaders?) is probably a dragon Frost, as confirmed in Hoid’s letter.

Hoid

“I began life as a thought, a concept, words on a page. That was another thing I stole. Myself. Another time, I was named for a rock.”

“A pretty one, I hope.”

“A beautiful one,” the man said. “And one that became completely worthless for my wearing it.”

– First conversation between Hoid and Kaladin, The Way of Kings

In above conversation Hoid tells he “was named for a rock.” Rock, meaning a shard. But he wasn’t a Shard, he was a Dawnshard[^wob-dawnshard-443].

[THEORY] I think I have read somewhere that Hoid began his life as RPG character for teenage Brandon Sanderson. This might explain the part in which he “began a life as words on a page.”

[THEORY] What are Hoid’s goals? Considering that he didn’t become a Shard, we can assume that he opposed to the shattering or at least didn’t consider it as good or necessary. So maybe he wants to re-unite Adonalsium?

The Rosharan System

General

  • Vorin language simplifies terms. For example, all birds are “chickens”, all small insects are “cremlings”, all alcohols are “wines” (wob)

The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive 1)

  • Brandon spoiled the Everstorm in the very first book’s epigraph.

    The love of men is a frigid thing, a mountain stream only three steps from the ice. We are his. Oh Stormfather … we are his. It is but a thousand days, and the Everstorm comes.

  • Teft is the first person from Bridge 4, who Kaladin asked for his name after his “rebirth” at the chasm.

  • On the other hand, Moash is the first person from Bridge 4, who Kaladin dragged out from the barracks, hitting him in the stomach.
  • Ishikk, the Purelaker, searches for Hoid.
    • [THEORY] I’ve once read an interesting hypothesis about Purelake being a trap for Honor’s Investiture, similar to how Wall of Ascension was a trap for Ruin. In this theory Lift has to eat all of the fishes from the lake to become a shard. Maybe it’s not far from the truth. We know at least that fishes in Purelake are magical. Ishikk said that catching (and eating?) rarer fish could help him to find Hoid.
    • There’s a nice pun at the end of Ishikk’s interlude, where Grump3 says: “Where are you Roamer? What a fool’s quest this is”, and Ishikk says “Well, you’ve got the ‘fool’ part right.”. Ishikk surely knows that Hoid acts as king Elhokar’s fool.
    • Grump is a member of Seventeenth Shard, which Hoid acknowledges later in his letter (in epigraphs).
  • In the first interlude about Balak it is mentioned that plants (vines) make rhytms - a reference to Roshar rhythms perhaps.
  • Szeth hid Gavilar’s black sphere (anti-Voidlight) in Jah Kaved.
  • Natural color of Shard Plate (at least the “dead” one) is slate gray.
  • Wit to Dalinar about Rhenarin: “That one is less fragile than you think.”
  • I think it wasn’t explained anywhere in Stormlight Archive why Shardbearers must wait 10 heartbeats (or 7 for semi-dead Mayalaran ;)) for Shard Blade to materialize. Why exactly 10 heartbeats?
    • We know (from Oathbringer or Rhytm of War, I don’t remember) that spren must “wake up”, but the question remains: why does this waking up always takes 10 heartbeats?
    • According to WoB it might be cause merely by Shardbearers’ perception. Everyone knows it takes 10 heartbeats to summon a Shardblade – so it takes 10 heartbeats. After all, Szeth summoned his Honorblade in 10 heartbeats as well, and Honorblade doesn’t have a dead spren involved.
    • According to wob, the number 10 is significant on Roshar, similar to 16 on Scadrial.
  • Alethis misunderstand who is the god of Parshendi. They initially think that they worship Chasmfiends.
  • Kaladin was unconsciously using Stormlight at least as soon as when he was “showing off” to Bridge 4, when they refused to obey his orders and he began his training. It gave him strength to do excersises with heavy lodge for few hours.
    • This brings us to the real question: how much intent is necessary for simple use of Investiture in Surgebinding? Is it enough that user intents his own durability?
  • There were unknown strange sprens flying near the body of the Chasmfiend defeated during Elhokar’s hunt.
    • They are mandras, sprens which are used for transportation in Shadesmar.
  • Dalinar suspects that Gavilar wrote his last words to him on a tree with his own blood. It’s untrue, because it was Szeth who did that.
  • The Way of Kings was the book used by Radiants.
    • It’s controversial in vorinism because it puts dark-eyed above light-eyed.
  • Teft and Rock were the first men who helped Kaladin to collect wounded on the battlefield.
  • Why Rock can see Syl? Because he was born and lived his whole life near Cultivation’s Perpendicularity in the Horneater Peaks. It’s the only stable Perpendicularity on Roshar.
  • Jasnah is Veristitalian. Veristitalians are a group of scientists/historians who study the past to understand the present and the future.
  • During his vision Dalinar fought Midnight Essence.
  • Parshendi’s blood is orange.
  • Life before death - we’re introduced with this part of Radiant’s oath for the first time when Dalinar hears it (in his head) during the gemstone assault together with Adolin, when he sees the destruction he brough upon Parshendi with Oathbringer (his Shardblade).
  • When Kaladin performed his kata with a spear in the chasm, an “unknown spren” flew around him. Accordint to Coppermind, it was simply Syl.
  • Parshendi learned Alethi’s language in just a few days.
  • Shinovar
    • Rysn haven’t seen any sprens in Shinovar.
    • The lowest-ranked Shins are warriors. Farmers, however, are rich and very high in social structure, considered holy (see: quirks).
    • Vstim was (presumably) the first one to receive Szeth, or at least the first outsider who became the owner of the Truthless.
  • Axies the Collector - Siah Aimian who is on the quest to catalog all kinds of sprens. Siah Aimian is name of the non-human race on Roshar.
    • He is later encountered by Rysn on one of the Reshi Isles.
  • Jasnah is already well-versed about cosmere during The Way of Kings. The following quote proves it, but I believe that might be also a bow towards Mistborn readers, who remember how young Vin was when she has changed Scadrial.

    Youthful immaturity is one of the cosmere’s great catalysts for change…

    – Jasnah Kholin

  • Deathsprens have red eyes.

  • First mention of Thaidakar: when Amaram steals Kaladin’s shardblade, he asks one of his officers why would Thaidakar risk something like this, meaning sending a Shardbearer to the field to kill Amaram.

  • “Mistress” (Shalash, Ash) has Shin-like round eyes. Meaning, she’s from Ashyn (like all the original humans who live on Roshar).
  • Elhokar sees unhuman figures which he takes for assasins. They are most likelky spren observing him in the Way of Kings. Most likely these are Cryptics.

Strength does not make one capable of rule; it makes one capable of service.

– Teft, explaining Kaladin the meaning of “Strength before weakness”

  • Kaladin said the First Ideal of Knights Radiant when he was about to climb a wall of chasm to hang the bag with spheres and Parshendi’s armor under the permanent bridge.

But there’s a difference between us, Kaladin. You wanted to be able to save someone. Me, I want to kill somebody.

– [F***] Moash to Kaladin

  • Syl showed herself in the size of human for the first time when Dalinar had been betrayed by Sadeas. She remembered in that moment that she was an Honorspren, spren of promises and oaths.

  • “I will protect those who cannot protect themselves” is Kaladin’s Second Ideal.

  • Stormlight doesn’t give you a skill, it only enhances what you already know.

“This isn’t just about you either.” the figure said, raising his hand into the air. A light winked out in the sky, one that Dalinar hadn’t realized was there. Then another winked out as well. The sun seemed to be growing dimmer.

“It’s about all of them,” the figure said. “I should have realized he’d come for me.”

– Honor in one of Dalinar’s visions

  • [THEORY] In above vision Honor probably spoke about Shards. What are these lights in the sky though? Some kind of things which Shards do in their free time? :)

Hoid’s Letter to Frost

Hoid’s letter to Frost is a collection of epigraphs in The Way of Kings. Frost’s response appears in the Words of Radiance.

The letter is quite long, so I keep it folded by default.

The Letter

[1] Old friend, I hope this missive finds you well. Though, as you are now essentially immortal, I would guess that wellness on your part is something of a given.

[2] I realize that you are probably still angry. That is pleasant to know. Much as your perpetual health, I have come to rely upon your dissatisfaction with me. It is one of the cosmere’s great constants, I should think.

[3] Let me first assure you that the element is quite safe. I have found a good home for it. I protect its safety like I protect my own skin, you might say.

[4] You do not agree with my quest. I understand that, so much as it is possible to understand someone with whom I disagree so completely.

[5] Might I be quite frank? Before, you asked why I was so concerned. It is for the following reason:

[6] Ati was once a kind and generous man, and you saw what became of him. Rayse, on the other hand, was among the most loathsome, crafty, and dangerous individuals I had ever met.

[7] He holds the most frightening and terrible of all the Shards. Ponder on that for a time, you old reptile, and tell me if your insistence on nonintervention holds firm. Because I assure you, Rayse will not be similarly inhibited.

[8] One need only look at the aftermath of his brief visit to Sel to see proof of what I say.

[9] In case you have turned a blind eye to that disaster, know that Aona and Skai are both dead, and that which they held has been Splintered. Presumably to prevent anyone from rising up to challenge Rayse.

[10] You have accused me of arrogance in my quest. You have accused me of perpetuating my grudge against Rayse and Bavadin. Both accusations are true.

[12] I am being chased. Your friends of the Seventeenth Shard, I suspect. I believe they’re still lost, following a false trail I left for them. They’ll be happier that way. I doubt they have any inkling what to do with me should they actually catch me.

[13] If anything I have said makes a glimmer of sense to you, I trust that you’ll call them off. Or maybe you could astound me and ask them to do something productive for once.

[14] For I have never been dedicated to a more important purpose, and the very pillars of the sky will shake with the results of our war here. I ask again. Support me. Do not stand aside and let disaster consume more lives. I’ve never begged you for something before, old friend. I do so now.

  • When speaking about the “element” in paragraph 3, Hoid means Lerasium, the God’s Metal. It makes sense: he protects it like his own skin, because he had burned it and became the Mistborn. It’s now part of him, so to say (described in Mistborn: Secret History).
  • Rayse is the original Vessel for Odium. Ati is the original Vessel for Ruin.
    • It’s interesting to see that Ati was once a kind and generous man in 6.
  • 7: you old reptile - confirmation that he corresponds with a, well, reptile (a dragon).
  • 7: nonintervention. Reminds me of Star Trek’s nonintervention policy. These guys really consider themselves a kind of Starfleet. Also, mentioning that Ati was inhibited - by the Well of Ascension of course.
  • 8, 9: aftermath of his brief visit to Sel is destruction of both Sel’s Shards: Dominion and Devotion (see: The Selish System).

The Letter might give us a hint of Hoid’s purpose through all the books. He speaks about his “quest”. We know that he collects powers from different planetary systems. But why?

My guess is that he wants to challenge Shards, or at least some of them, which he considers dangerous (Odium). He knows that he’ll need power and Investiture to match them. A lot of it. It also explains why he so often hides his true identity.

Shins’ Quirks

Part of Roshar's map showing Shinovar surrounded by the mountains

Shinovar is surrounded by the mountains.

[THEORY] We know that Shins are ultra serious about telling the truth. This is confirmed by Szeth’s fate and also by the way Vstim bargains with them. But why is that?

I like to think that all silly societal quirks, like the whole safehand stupidity, are the natural effect of past events and geo-history-political situation of affected group of people.

Shinovar was the place where Odium and human race had originally arrived (explained in the Rhytm of War, I believe). Mankind had betrayed Listeners and attacked them, starting few-thousand-years-old war known as Desolations. Shins’ fixation over truthfullness might be connected to this original sin of humanity, a kind of penance.

To become Truthless, Shin must betray their people, for example by committing a dangerous lie. For that, Szeth has been equipped with Jezrien’s Honorblade, which makes sense, considering that warriors are the lowest class in Shinovar. Which, in turn, might be tied to the very first Desolation.

Shins worship stone, to the point that they do not walk on it. I believe this is somehow connected to the fact that they had to cross the mountains when they attacked Listeners: basically a huge stone barrier which surrounds Shinovar. More than that, mountains protect Shinovar from Highstorms, so thanks to these “rocks” Shins may live quite ordinary lifes of growing crops, breeding animals etc.

Words of Radiance

  • Jasnah’s view in the interlude.
  • Sprens made Jasnah to move to Shadesmar. “Black, oil sprens”. Probably Inksprens, possibly Ivory.
  • Also in interlude Jasnah meets Heralds. One of them is worried about Ash, the second one is worried about this “creature which carries his blade” (Szeth, I guess). They are introduced as ambassadors from far west and are clearly a little insane.
  • Shallan’s spren, Pattern, is Cryptic.
  • Jasnah spren: Ivory, an Inkspren
  • Each Surgebinder has access to 2 Surges and Surges overlap between different types of Surgebinders.
  • Jasnah: being a Surgebinder doesn’t make one a Knight Radiant, the same way as knowing how to bake bread doesn’t make one a baker.

SIX YEARS AGO

The world ended, and Shallan was to blame.

– Chapter 10 , “Red Carpet Once White”

  • [THEORY] Shallan started the Desolation by killing one of the Heralds - her mother.
    • A question is: why did her father protect Shallan? Why did he forgive her? Maybe this is answered in Rhytm of War, but I can’t remember it now.
  • Syl sees a spren which looks like a red lightning.
  • Santhid saved Shallan from the drowning ship.

“Smokeform for hiding and slipping between men. (…) Though crafted of gods, It was by Unmade hand.

– Chapter 25th epigraph

  • I think above is the first mention of the origin of Listeners forms.
  • Shallan got the necklance as a gift from his father on a day of his betrothal.
    • Much later we learn that this is aluminum necklance and that aluminum can be only obtained by soulcasting.
  • Parshmen are really a slave form, which is rather a lack of form than the form itself.
  • I think that forms limit Listeners. They give them certain, very powerful powers, but they also change how they act and think, so they cannot be truly themselves and they must adjust to their form. They can’t flourish in many areas.
  • Ym, the Radiant shoemaker who was killed by Nale, spoke very interesting thing about how the One divided to experience many things. Could this be related to the shattering of Adonalsium? Could this be Adonalsium’s plan? To split to experience everything>

Long ago, there was only One. One knew everything, but had experienced nothing. And so, One became many - us, people. The One, who is both male and female, did so to experience all things.

– Ym

  • Rysn meets Axies. She thinks that meeting the Aimian is bad luck.
  • Zahel mentions flowers (which do not grow on Roshar, but there are plentiful of them on Nalthis).
  • Zahel about Renarin: “[he] is the son of the most powerful human on this –“, where he cuts off. On this planet, of course; he reveals that he’s a worldhopper.
    • What does Zahel know? When he said that, Dalinar wasn’t yet a bondsmith, so on what basis he named him the most powerful human.
  • The Listener Song of Wars, 5th stanza, mentions that their gods “were not who shattered these plains.”
  • During the battle on a plateau which looked like a cake Renarin didn’t have his glasses. [THEORY] I think that’s because his sight was already healed by the stormlight.
  • Listeners Song of Histories names humans a Voidbringers who entered their songs.
  • Listener Song of Spren says that it is possible to blend human and Listener’s surges. It also hints that Listeners already had human’s surges (confirmed in the Rhytm of War).
  • Zahel sees, or at least is aware about Syl.
  • Zahel/Vasher waited for a voice (of Nightblood) inside his head after Kaladin had left him.
  • Ishi’Elin (Ishar) understood that giving to the people 2 surges is dangerous and they should be bound by the oaths to control these powers. He is often described as the founder of the Oathpact.
  • Is “Mraize” a title or a name?
  • [THEORY] Could Mraize be Spook?
  • Windspren can “glue” things together, meaning that they have the power of surges?
  • “[Edgedancers] were the most articulate and refined of the Radiants.” Yeah, Lift. :D
  • Rock met Hoid when he came out of the Perpendicularity. Hoid asked him what’s the year, so he isn’t aware of the passing time while he’s worldhopping. Hoid also joked about Rock’s beard.
  • Syl saw Pattern during the arena fight (when Kaladin was helping Adolin and Renarin).
  • When Kaladin caught the Shardblade, he heard the screaming of dead spren. Surprisingly, Relis, blade’s owner, also heard it at that very moment. How did it work?
  • Urithiru is the only place on Roshar where rocks are saint and can be stepped on.
  • Axehounds have violet blood.
  • Iyatil, Mraize’s “babsk”, wears a mask which she won’t take off. Suggests connection to the Southeners on Scadrial.
  • Kal saw something in the Highstorm on the plateau. Two glowing forms:

Something was glowing on the plateau. Something that moved. (…) He swore he saw an enormous figure walking up there, a glowing inhuman form, followed by another, alien and sleek. Striding the storm. Leg after leg, until the glow passed.

– Words of Radiance, Chapter 74

  • Word of Radiance code. Decoded as Hold the secret that broke the Knights Radiant. You may need it to destroy the new orders when they return.

1118251011127124915121010114102151171121011121713 44831110715142541434109161491493412122541010125

1271015191011123412551152512157551112341011129151

21061534

– From the Diagram, Book of the 2nd Ceiling Rotation: pattern 15

  • Kaladin remembered the story of Fleet when he decided to save the king. Wit told him this story

  • Chapter 88 Diagram code appears to be a sequence of dates. According to Coppermind these are the last 10 highstorms leading up to the arrival of the everstorm.

  • Shallan’s mother tried to kill Shallan.
  • [THEORY] As she was most likely Herald Chana, she was probably crazy and believed, similar to Nale, that killing Radiants will stop desolation.
  • Pattern admitted that he was the spren who killed Shallan’s mother. I think he lied though, as we learn about her first spren in Rhytm of War. Why did he lie?
  • Dalinar heard about the plague in the Purelake. What plague?
  • Hoid believes that Jasnah’s shardblade isn’t dangerous to him. Why? Is it because he believes that Jasnah won’t hurt him, or is it really not dangerous to him (because he’s so invested)?

The Last Legion Song

Below song is sang by Eshonai’s mother. I find it interesting for several reasons. First, it tells a story of early Listeners and where they lived. Second, it’s the history that repeats in Stormlight Archive, after the discovery of the stormform.

The Last Legion

Long are the days since we knew the dark home. The Last Legion, that was our name then. Warriors who had been set to fight in the farthest plains, this place that had once been a nation and was now rubble. Dead was the freedom of most people. The forms, unknown, were forced upon us. Forms of power, yes, but also forms of obedience. The gods commanded, and we did obey, always. Always.

Except for that day.

The day of the storm when the Last Legion fled. Difficult was the path chosen. Warriors, touched by the gods, our only choice to seek dullness of mind. A crippling that brought freedom.

Daring was the challenge made when the Last Legion abandoned thought and power in exchange for freedom. They risked forgetting all. And so songs they composed, a hundred stories to tell, to remember. I tell them to you, and you will tell them to your children, until the forms are again discovered.

Oathbringer

  • When she had married Dalinar, Navani was the only person around which glory spren appeared.
  • Galant (Ryshadium horse) has rectangular pupil.
  • On Earth goats, octopuses and toads have rectangular pupils, which get very narrow during day time, giving them great accuracy of depth perception, which helps them as they are prey animals.
  • Ordinary horses also have rectangular pupils, but not as rectangular as goats’ ones.
  • Are Ryshadiums a prey? What’s hunting them? Or are these pupils merely the evolutionary remnant of their ordinary horse ancestors?
  • Ryshadiums work similar to sprens. You don’t choose one, they choose you. Of course, Adolin’s case is special. :)

Book 5 Prologue

On 31 March 2022 Brandon released the very first version of Prologue to the Book 5 of Stormlight Archive. At the time of writing this I don’t know how much of it will go to the final version, but let’s have some notes on this initial version.

First of all, one observation stands out: Gavilar is so bad to the bone that Sanderson decided to kill kim not once, but in every Stormlight Archive book. And in this Prologue he’s even worse. What a petty, petty man.

Right now everyone expects Moash to be cruel and evil. It’s quite logical evolution of this character and I accept that. I’m not even mad at Moash. But Gavilar and his pretentiousness are on a level of their own.

Oh, Gavilar. There is so little you do not know. So much you assume. And the two never do manage to meet. Like paths to opposing cities.

– Stormfather

  • The focus is on Gavilar, who receives a visions from Stormfather. It is clear from the very beginning what’s the purpose of Gavilar: to become a Herald and immortal. His interest in the codes or in the Way of Kings are fake, just to impress Stormfather.
  • Gavilar stops near Chanarach’s Honorblade. I don’t know much about this Herald, but maybe I wasn’t paying attention. She has flaming red hair.
    • [THEORY]After reading more on her, a lot of people believe that she’s Shallan’s mother. Them two meeting would be insane.
  • Gavilar seeks Oathgate on Shattered Plains.
  • Thaidakar (Kelsier) appears and he has a spike through one of his eyes. I wonder, what power it gives to him. It’s also worth noting that he probably didn’t risk the second spike, because that could give Harmony the power over him.
  • Thaidakar doesn’t visit Gavilar in person, because after their meeting he “melts away”. He becomes a simple floating sphere, with “some kind of arcane rune at the center”. A seon with an Aon.
  • [THEORY] It’d be foolish to believe that Thaidakar didn’t try to reach for the powers of Sel, where Investiture is trapped in a Cognitive realm - a realm where he exists as a Cognitive Shadow. How can he use them?
  • While they speak, Thaidakar is made entirely of white-blue light. And he’s in his younger middle years, presumably thirties. Like Kelsier.
  • Restares (Kalak) explains that Kelsier seeks him because he “can’t abide someone having more secrets than him”. Typical Kelsier’s depiction.
  • Kalak knows where the soul of Ba-Ado-Mishram, the “Granter of Forms”, whose binding created Parshmen, is hidden. The one Heralds betrayed, as he says.
  • “Why would Thaidakar care about an unmade?” Why, indeed…
  • Gavilar had transported Voidlight from Braize through Shadesmar.
  • Stormfather lies. But… why?
  • Gavilar to Nale: “I am the law.” It’s interesting, because Nale as level 5 Skybreaker says the same thing about himself.
  • Taravangian’s mother said the prophetic words of the dead. Might explain his fixation over the in The Way of Kings, when he shows to Szeth the hidden layer of his hospital, where experiment over dying people are conducted.
  • How would Galivar act as a Herald on Braize (in Damnation)? He would “just give in”, immediately returning to Roshar to continue the war.
  • According to Gavilar “war is the path to glory”. What a fool.
  • Stormfater cries out. “A Herald… A Herald has died.” This is not unexpectedas we knew that Talenel had never given up.
    • [THEORY] Can it be that Chanarach is dead from the hands of Shallan.

“What?” Gavilar demanded, stepping forward. “What is coming?”

YOUR LEGACY

– The most satisfying conversation between Gavilar and Stormfather

  • By telling that Dalinar must find the most important words a man can say, Gavilar meant an oath which, he believed, would make him a Herald. Instead, Dalinar found a beautiful life philosophy.
  • It’s confusing which spheres does Gavilar have. He certainly gave Szeth anti-voidlight one, but during the whole Prologue, he shows an “ordinary” Voidlight one to the different people.

The Scadrian System

Shadows of Self (Mistborn 5)

  • In the prologue Wax is a young adventurer who just arrived to the Roughs and can barely shoot.
  • Wayne cares about people and interaction between him and the gang leader (Dark?) shows that. It’s interesting, because at the end of The Bands of Mourning he said that he hates people and that he couldn’t care less about them. Maybe it was only grieve after loosing Wax though.
  • Allriande - a girl whose father Wayne murdered. Does she use Wayne or am I misinterpreting.

    Someday, he hoped he might be able to look into the girl’s eyes and see emotion. Hatred, maybe. Something other than that emptiness.

  • Catacendre - the end of the old Scadrial’s world and the beginning of the new one, after merging of Ruin and Preservation into Harmony.

  • Societal problems of Elendel are caused by rapid technological advancements, faster than the ability of people to adapt.

    Half the city was underpaid and overworked. The other half was simply out of work. A strange dichotomy.

  • It is followed by spectacular analysis of sources of social changes, riots and strikes.

  • Hemalurgy: spiking someone is depicted as tearing out a fragment of soul and attaching it to your own. Coating it with blood prevents it from losing part of its power.
  • Harmony intentionally omitted hemalurgy in Words of Founding. It was, however, described by Spook - I wonder if he was influenced by Kelsier?
  • Bloody Tan: I wonder if he has something in common with Kelsier, as Kelsier can communicate with psychopats.
  • Is it possible that Bloody Tan saw the flight of the bullet shot by Wax in the prologue to The Alloy of Law? Is it possible that he was burning atium at that time? If so, where did he take it? Hemalurgical spike maybe?
  • Hoid appears as a new Waxillium’s coachman.
  • Wax’s earring is hemalurgical. I wonder what’s its power, besides allowing him to speak with Harmony, of course.
  • That said, Vin also had an earring and it didn’t seem to have any special powers, besides influencing her by Ruin. Maybe she didn’t need one, as a full Mistborn, but maybe not all spikes need one? Or Maybe power of some spikes is so weak that it’s negletable?
  • Harmony complains that technological advancements of Elendel Basin is small, compared to the knowledge he gave in Words of Founding. He also compared people of Basin to the “others, who were nearly destroyed” (quote from memory). At first I thought that maybe he meant Rosharians, but after reading The Bands of Mourning I think that he meant guys in masks, from the outside of Roughs.
  • Hoid, as a coachman, heard conversation between Harmony and Wax. What does it change?
  • I kinda dislike Harmony giving hints to Wax. It is cheap. Wax should have fiured it out by his own that kandra is the murderer.
  • [THEORY][CONFIRMED] Innate (the governor) is kandra.
  • The story of Kelsier from Secret History was repeated in Words of Founding.
  • MeLaan is great! :)
  • Elendel is build on Kandra Homeland and Pits of Hatshin.
  • Paalm is Lessie
  • Paalm had hemalurgical spike from an unknown metal. It comes from the outer world, from Trell, who is most likely the other Shard.

The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn 6)

  • Wax is different again. This time he’s 16 years old kid who seeks acceptance of his peers. What a change this guy went through! From this, through adveturer, to the Ideal detective, Dawnshot.
  • What does “V” letter mean among the Terris? “Grandma V” (Vwafendal), “V” embroidered on their clothes, Harmony’s clothes are basicaly made of “Vs”. According to the Steel alphabet, letter “V” is related to the symbol of atium.
  • Coachman Cob - how do I know this name? There was one Cob on Roshar, but after reading the whole book, they’re unrelated and coachman Cob is likely not important.
  • Trell was a god worshipped before Catacendre.
  • Bands of Mourning are, supposedly, metalminds of Lord Ruler. However, they were not created by Lord Ruler, but by Sovereign (Kelsier). Or at least he was somehow involved in their creation.
    • Maybe Kelsier and Harmony cooperated, similar to my i
  • Lord Mistborn (Spook) had abdicated after a hundered years of ruling the Elendel Basin. Meaning, he used atium compounding (enhancing Feruchemy with Allomancy) to extend his life…
    • …meaning that there is still atium on Scadrial
    • …and we don’t know whether Spook’s still alive or not. I believe that he is still alive.
  • Hoid appears as a beggar. He likes being beggar, doesn’t he?
    • He says that “formally” he’s the owner of this place. Does he mean Scadrial? Why would he be the owner of Scadrial? Is it because of his history of not becoming one of the Shards?
    • He tosses a coin to Wax. This coin, in the epilogue, is revealed to be the unsealed coppermind, meaning that anyone can access it. When Waxillium does so, he sees Kelsier (apparently), walking among “the Southeners” - guys in masks who freeze in the mild temperatures.
    • Why does Hoid toss that coin? He certainly wouldn’t help Kelsier after the fight they had in the Well of Ascension. Also in one of WOBs Brandon said that Hoid and Kelsier don’t get along. So, why?
      • Maybe it’s just Hoid doing Hoid things?
  • Southeners are interesting, because they are the people who adapted to the extreme heat of Scadrial after failed “experiments” of Lord Ruler changing the plante’s orbit. Once Harmony fixed that and the temperatures on the planet went back to normal, they are now freezing to death.
    • They use Feruchemical medalions to heat themselves.
    • Wax saw in coppermind coin how Sovereign (Kelsier) saves the Southeners from the “Ice Death” (Catacendre). I wonder if medalions were created by cooperation of Kelsier and Harmony. It’d be very Harmony thing to save this nation: he Ruined their homeland by changing planet’s orbit, but Preserved the nation, somehow.
      • The way he Preserved them feels the same to me to the way that Lord Ruler Preserved his people when he had created Ashmounts. It doesn’t fix the root cause; it merely hides the symptoms of the problem.
  • Khriss appears. Which is interesting, because I haven’t caught her in any other book (apart from the Secret History; she’s also the author of Ars Arcanum).
    • Apparently Nazh, her employee of some kind, briefly appears in Stormlight Archive.
    • Nazh is also the author of some cosmere maps, like the one from Elantris.
  • Allik - man from outside the Roughs who posseses/knows the higher technology than the Basin (flying machines). He also worships Allomancers.

    • These flying ships soar thanks to fans. What a silly idea, if only helicopters wouldn’t be a big, flying fans.
    • Although Allik reveres Allomancers, he has very unique approach to them…

      Gods. Very temperamental.

  • Nicrosil is a metal closely related to Investiture. It is used to create unsealed metalminds, which can be used by anyone (not only by Feruchemists).

    • Inner rings of masked Southeners was made of nicrosil.
  • Red fog surrounds Scadrial. Trell, obviously, but what does it mean?
  • Trell worshippers (or whoever they are) have red eyes. They are the “faceless immortals of the Set”.
    • They say about the “local civilization” (quote from head), which implies that they are from the outer world.
    • Could they be Parshendi? Or rather the Fused?

The Selish System

  • As a part of Arcanum Unbounded, Emperor’s Soul is preceded with Khriss’ notes about Sel, the Shardword where Elantris and Emperor’s Soul take place.
  • Two Shards once existed on Sel: Dominion and Devotion, but they were destroyed. It is uncertain how. It is interesting, though, what has happened to them:

    Their Investiture was Splintered, their minds ripped, their souls sent into the Beyond.

    • They were both destroyed by Odium, as confirmed in Hoid’s letter.
    • The same letter tells the names of their Vessels: Aona and Skai.
      • Aona was Shard Holder of Devotion and Skai – of Dominion (per Peter Ahlstrom, Editorial Assistant to B. Sanderson)
      • Presumably, the name of Aonic people and their writing system (Aons) comes from the name of Aona, and skaze - after Skai.
  • Combined powers of Dominion and Devotion, trapped in Cognitive Realm, are Dor2. Because it is trapped in Cognitive Realm, it is harder to channel Investiture to the Physical Realm.

    • [THEORY] There is combined Investiture of 2 Shards in Cognitive Realm, which likely causes a noticable time dilation on Sel, meaning that from the perspective of outside observer, the time on Sel passes slower. This would explain why the events of Elantris take place so long ago.
  • There are multiple empires on Sel which ignore each other.

    Sel—home to multiple empires that, uniquely, have remained somewhat ignorant of one another. It is a willful kind of ignorance, with each of the three great domains pretending that the others are mere blips on the map, barely worth notice.

  • It’s interesting that although the cultures on Sel are mostly based on Asian cultures, the font used on the map attached to Elantris resembles Greek fonts used in pop culture.

The Emperor’s Soul

Part of Sycla's map showing Rose Barbarians to the north of Teod

This map has severe deficiencies especially in the northwest, but it was the best I could find under the circumstances, considering where you abandoned me. --Nazh

  • The novella is based on Chinese culture.
  • The story of Wan ShaiLu - a Forger.
    • Forger is a person who has mystical powers to create soulstamps from the soulstone, which can be used to rewrite a history of an object or a person, “convincing” it that it is something different. Forgery seems similar to Roshar’s soulcasting.
    • Shai is imprisoned after attempted “theft” of Moon Scepter. She was betrayed by the Imperial Fool. Name of the Fool isn’t mentioned, but I’m certain that it was Hoid.
  • Ashravan - the emperor of Rose Empire.
  • Gaotona - possibly the only honest Arbiter.
  • Grand - a race which rules the Rose Empire, where the novel takes place.
  • Soulstones are stones filled with Investiture, which apparently fell from the sky once the Shards were destroyed.

    Her ancestors had worshipped rocks that fell from the sky at night. The souls of broken gods, those chunks had been called.

  • Rose Empire is located to the north of Theod and on Sycla’s map (attached to Elenatris), which has been crearded for the Emperor of Fjorden, they are labeled as “Rose Barbarians?”, which only confirms Khriss’ observations about empires ignoring each other.

  • There’s one unforgable metal: ralkalest. Most likely it’s aluminum.
  • Bloodsealer - uses a blood to create stamps which, for example, seal the door, or animate objects. The bloodsealer met by Shai has milky white face and red eyes. He isn’t dangerous by himself though - only through his blood sealing.
    • His pets are animated bones, sealed with blood. All of their bones were sharpened. They “die” after destroying/shattering their bones.
  • Shai asks herself what’s the reason for writing if not for others to read it. The answer is: for self-satisfaction. This question strikes me, because I write for the very same reason.
    • Emperor Ashravan wrote to his future self, to re-read his past thoughts.
    • We must be aware that Brandon Sanderson doesn’t like writing just for himself, which he explained in one episode of Intentionally Blank podcast. He loves receiving feedback. So the answer th that question seems like a small contradiction to his personal feelings?
  • Shape of stamp: setting mark looks like Shai’s homeland, MaiPon. This is closely connected how Dor and the land itself are connected (emphasized in Elantris).
  • Tao - Shai’s teacher.
  • Creating a new emperor is a challange for Shai, which she just must take.
  • Strikers and Bloodsealers don’t get along They hate each other. Strikers live in the mountains and Bloodsealers live in the swamps.
  • Essence Marks are the most (?) powerful soulstamp which is designed to Forge person’s memories and history.
    • To rewrite soul Shai must use hundereds of stamps and the one which will connect them must be refreshed every day. It’s the only stamp which is placed on the skin.
    • Rewriting history can give person new abilities of make them forget the ones they have. Essence Marks of Shai can make her a great warrior or let her loose the ability to create even the simplest stamps, which would make her normal.
  • It’s interesting to show Ashravan’s life and his personality change through Shai’s research.
  • “Oh, Unknown God, please”

The Hope of Elantris

Aon Ati, which looks like a 3 diamonds on top of each another

Aon Ati

  • [THEORY] Maybe it’s far-stretched, but let’s write it down. Matisse is named after the Aon Ati, which means hope. The symbol for this Aon really resembles the Ghostblood’s symbol, three overlapping diamonds. Could it be the hope for Thaidakar?
  • Another thing: Brandon really likes the name Ati, as its also the name of the original Vessel of the Shard Ruin.

The Nalthian System

Warbreaker

  • Obviously, Nightblood’s homeworld is Nalthis, the name of the world on which Warbreaker takes place.

  1. By re-read I mean either physical reading, like, letters on the paper, or audiobooks listening. I thought it might be more interesting listening to professional lectors for my second run through cosmere. Taking notes for audiobooks is extra hard though as I often listen while driving. 

  2. Normally, Investiture exists in Spiritual Realm

  3. Grump is believed to be Galladon, known from Elantris.