|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”Don't know much blustering math...But I do know the Passions. You win when you need it most, you see.
The primary tenet of the Passions is that wanting something changes fate to draw it to you. If you need money very badly, you will win when you gamble, or if you strongly desire to visit a particular destination, you will get there even without a map. In a sense, passionate people make their own luck. The Passions do not have a formal theology, yet some people treat them as a religion instead of a philosophy. Belief in the Passions is reinforced by the existence of spren on Roshar, which often appear in response to emotions.
”The men dream terrible dreams full of premonitions, and their dread Passion creates omens.
Followers of the Passions often perceive unusual events as either good or bad omens, and these omens can have an enormous effect on the morale of Thaylen sailors. An encounter with a santhid at sea is considered the best omen one could have, whereas the death of a ship's pet or food that goes rotten too quickly might be seen as bad omens. Omens are believed to manifest as a result of the emotions of those who witness them. Someone feeling a dread Passion may have bad dreams full of premonitions at night, and witness omens during the day. The traditional way to disperse a bad omen is to derive a good turn from it, thus proving that fate is on your side. If you can win the internal struggle to be optimistic instead of gloomy, it will reflect in the world around you.
Although Thaylens may speak of "Dark Soulcasting" and lore holds that the most Passionate among them could reopen the "portal of worlds", the Passions do not actually have any inherent magical component.
Relationship to Shards
The Passions have their basis in traditions that were influenced by the Shard Odium. Odium refers to himself as an incarnation of "Passion" and many of his followers (such as the Fused and Moash) commonly speak of Passion that comes from or honors Odium. Although the Thaylen Passions are not directly linked to Odium, indirect connections through tradition and inspiration do exist.
Another Shard named Ruin that formerly inhabited Scadrial also spoke pointedly about passion. This may have some significance in the cosmere, as not all of the Shards share Ruin and Odium's regard for passion.
Although Thaylenah is not considered a "Vorin kingdom", Vorinism is culturally dominant and there is an outpost of Vorin leadership located there. Thaylens are therefore nominally Vorin, but many prominent Thaylens (including Yalb, Yokska, and Vstim) also follow the Passions. Febrth openly follows the Passions despite his membership in the Diagram. Hobber mentions the Passions, although his ethnicity is not known.
The Passions seem to be culturally ingrained in most Thaylens. Queen Fen and her husband Kmakl both make reference to the Passions despite the pressure for Thaylen leadership to practice Vorinism. Rysn also maintains a belief in the Passions, despite sometimes feeling skepticism about the philosophy.
”But wishing and expecting is of the Passions. A heresy. A good Vorin worries about transforming themselves.—Elhokar Kholin
The Passions are generally dismissed by people from Vorin strongholds such as Alethkar and Jah Keved. Elhokar Kholin calls them heretical, while Shallan Davar and Navani Kholin see them as a pagan pseudo-religion or set of superstitions. Jasnah Kholin believes that all religions, including the Passions, are equally impossible to verify.
Fen tells Dalinar Kholin that as a result of his heresy, some of her people are calling for Thaylenah to abandon Vorinism altogether in favor of the Passions. However, the return of the Voidbringers, whose culture and practice bear similarity to the Passions, has resulted in its falling further out of favor.
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