Follow TV Tropes


WMG / Unsounded

Go To

Elka has one of the pymaric simulcrums.
The one she's looking at in the last panel we see her with the catalogue. She appears to be looking at her hand in that panel, as if she's comparing it to the one in the catalogue, and if you look closely, it looks like her palm is glowing blue, just like a pymaric. It could just be the lighting, though. Of course, this means that simulcrums must be capable of looking like ordinary limbs, but surely, in a world with healing magic, it would be easy to graft skin over the metal or some such thing?

Either that, or she's thinking about getting one.

The real reason for Sette's mission is to get Duane into Cresce
Lord Winalils mentions the Ilganyag, so he is almost certainly a member of the Black Tongues. He also looks similar to the Black-Tongue doctor that Cara describes. He probably convinced Sette's father to send Sette to Cresce with Duane. They used Sette because they knew that Duane felt protective of children. And apparently Starfish is being threatened by Frummagem to get his job done. Matty suggests that Starfish is smuggling something that likes pain, but maybe he is actually luring Duane by hurting children (although there seem to be some magical reasons as well).

But the Red Berry Boys are running a slave operation that's complicated, long, and tough to keep hidden. It seems like too much potential hassle for a black tongue sorcerer to commission this solely to get an undead wright into Cresce.


  • Confirmed, though the intended destination is Alderode and not Cresce.

The crow amulet Bastion gave Sette is Duane's phylactery.
Think about it: Duane is really closer to a lich (albeit a primarily benevolent, involuntary one) than a typical zombie, and clearly has his sense of self/soul harbored elsewhere considering that his brain dribbled out his nose years ago. The amulet gives Sette control over Duane in the night-time hours, and also bares a crow motif- very similar to the crow deity that serves as a 'mascot' for the Black-Tongues.

At very least, it's filled with his blood from the night he died.

  • As of chapter 7, it's made clear that Duane's soul is housed in the khert at night, not in a pymaric, and as of chapter 10 it seems like his tether is connected directly to his body. Whatever the amulet does, it doesn't seem to have anything to do with Duane's soul.

Sette and Duane are Decoy Protagonists. The real story is going to revolve around Murkoph.
Ashley pretty much says it outright here.

Murkoph's body is made out of First Materials.
Murkoph is a roleplaying character of Ashley's who will be appearing in the story eventually. He's apparently a zombie who has maintained sentience, like Duane. We don't know much about him other than that — all we have to go on is a short comic on Ashley's deviantArt page. That comic (assuming it's canon) is pretty enlightening, though. In it, not only is Murkoph surprisingly well-preserved (unlike Duane, who is a skeleton), he's standing over water. Pymary doesn't work over water, and since zombies are held together purely through pymary, they just collapse if they go over water. But Murkoph is just fine. The only things that can maintain magical properties over water are enchanted First Materials, so it's probable Murkoph made a body for himself out of some. (This would also explain why he doesn't decay, since the enchantment preserving him would be permanent.)
  • A possible problem with this theory — in the comic, there's another wright who uses pymary, even when he's out as far as Murkoph. It's possible that he just wasn't out far enough for the Anti-Magic to take effect, though the fact that he was willing to get that close to something that should be fatally dangerous to him still lends credence to this theory.
  • Advertisement:
  • Most likely Jossed. Ashley says that docks and the like can be "grounded" by filling them with earth — this allows the khert to move over them unhindered. The dock Murkoph was standing on was one such object, so even if the comic is canon, it can't be used to prove anything.

Duane will become Murkoph.
Murkoph is very similar to Duane — a plod that has maintained sentience. He also likes to ramble a lot about existential weirdness, something that isn't entirely uncharacteristic of Duane. Murk's psychopathy should disqualify him, but Duane is already displaying Sanity Slippage...if he snaps, Murkoph could be what he becomes. Furthermore, assuming the above-mentioned comic is canon, he's a tacit caster as well...
  • A kink in this theory — Murkoph has hair. Duane is bald. Although, Murkoph is also not a skeleton, so if Duane does become Murkoph, he would have to make a completely new body...which could tie into the above theory, if he makes it out of First Materials.
  • Jossed. Murkoph is from Sharteshane:

Quigley is doomed.
Even setting aside the fact that he's entering the threshold for keeling over from old age at any moment, he can't stay alive if the plot is to be kept intact. Quigley wants to save the children from Starfish's operation, which will derail that major plot thread. It's too early for that plot to be solved, even partially. There's also another problem that decreases his survivability: whatever wants those slaves isn't going to be happy if Quigley comes up and goes "So hey I'm taking these kids with me bye~", especially if they're the main course. As if that wasn't enough, Ashley says there's going to be a Wizard Duel in the next chapter — almost certainly between Quigley and Duane, which would be a perfect chance to off him.

As a corollary to this, Matty may be doomed as well without his father to help him...

  • The fact that Quigley wants to save the children doesn't mean he must do so or die...he could easily just fail, as Duane failed to save Cara. Or he could succeed. Starfish is just a thug hired to do a smuggling job. The short term plans on those who hired him might hinge on the success of that job (if they didn't account for the possibility of such a risky undertaking failing...Starfish might not be the only one they hired), but they're still around no matter what happens...the failure of one smuggling job wouldn't come close to resolving everything.
  • Advertisement:
  • As of chapter 11, Quigley has survived the Red Berry Boys arc. His future survivability is still up in the air, of course.

Bastion had something to do with Duane's reanimation.
We haven't seen much of Bastion so far — however, in the one scene we've seen him in so far, he places great emphasis on Duane's condition, insinuating that calling him a mere plod is not at all accurate. Alone, this wouldn't be too suspicious...except that Ashley has also said on her Formspring that he's an exceptionally knowledgeable gruftgrammer who knows a lot of weird, unknown magic. Most notably, he's practically the only wright on the continent who can reliably teleport, a skill that requires a strong sense of self. Duane's enchantment seems to use a similar function — his self is persisting even after his death. These facts seem to point to one of two things: Either Bastion reanimated Duane himself, or knows a great deal about how he was reanimated.

The reason pymary fails over large expanses of water is because...
(Post your own theories here!)

  • Blank ocean is like a void in the khert, or there are no Ley Lines over it or whatever. Perhaps magical energy is attracted to land, so there's nothing to tap into if you go out too far.
    • This theory is impossible — the khert is required for life. There's life in the ocean, so there must be a khert (or something very similar) over it.
  • Water is Anti-Magic for some reason, though only in large quantities.
    • Perhaps there is such a thing as First Water, and large expanses of water (like the ocean) contain a fair amount of it?
      • Unlikely. Word of God says First Water does exist, but it's contained in nereids. It's possible there's some freefloating First Water, but probably not enough to dispel the khert so effectively.
  • Vengeful water spirits. They were apparently trapped and controlled by wrights earlier in history in an attempt to stop natural disasters, so perhaps those that remain have learned to stifle pymary.
  • There's a competing force that bonds to water and water animals to contrast with the khert that bonds to land and land animals. They're not compatible and wrights haven't had the means or maybe even the chance to develop something like pymary to control the water-khert.
  • The khert is attached to land for some reason. There is a khert in the ocean, but only on the ocean floor — thus, people on boats can't access it.
  • The khert's powers fade with distance. If you were to travel by airplane, the same effect would occur. Since the khert is bound to the land, the farther you are away from it, the weaker it is. Just like magnetism and gravity. Water has nothing to do with it beyond acting as a physical barrier between you and the khert.
    • Answers on Formspring seem to say this is the case. Going too high in the atmosphere will also cause you to escape the khert's influence, and mountain ogres (i.e. the things that become the earth) have their own kherts attached to them. So yes, it seems like the khert is bound to land.

In life, Duane was a Gold
The girl Duane sees in flashbacks has blond hair and green eyes, and it might explain why Duane can tacit-cast since the Golds have an odd connection to the Khert. And when Quigley asks him his caste, he replies ssom soud, and according to the wiki "soud" is the name for the Gold caste. I'll actually be surprised if this isn't the case.
  • The fact that he explicitly says "I am Gold" in Tainish means this can be considered confirmed. Also, I think Ashley confirmed it even more explicitly on Formspring.

Sette is connected to Tirna in some way
Mostly based on her command over insects, which are shown to be associated with Tirna. Her independence, her by turns vicious and loving nature, and her understanding of the world are also thematic links. Could be an actual in-universe connection or simply a deliberate allegorical link to add a layer to characterisation.

Tirna's a goddess that can effortlessly change her form and Sette's never met her mother. It's not that unlikely Sette's inhuman traits come from the child of a god.

Ashley's "tomorrow Matty dies" jokes are actually a cunning ploy to throw us off our guard.
At one point, she will actually tell the truth — a spoiler hidden in plain sight. However, we won't suspect anything because of all the other times she's said it. Thus it will be a shocking plot twist when Matty actually does die, despite the fact she spoiled it in advance! (Indeed, it will actually make it more surprising, since we will assume she's lying!)

Mr. Starfish is related (by blood or marriage) to the Frummagems.
We already know he's working with them in some capacity, and not just with Sette's branch of the family. Also, compare his face to Knock-Me-Down's: They're eerily similar, especially the nose.

Lawrence Murkoph is Blondo Mcwhoopass from 1-16.
Blondo is blond, and Murkoph is... kinda blondish. They have the same general hair/face shape. And Ashley has been sort of ambiguous about whether Murkoph is from Sharteshane or Alderode, possibly to throw us off the scent? And she hinted that someone's theory about Murkoph being Duane's brother might be on the right track.

Murkoph is Ssael.
  • A serious bit of consideration for this: Murkoph's facial scars are very similar to the glamoured scars that Duane displays here, depicting Ssael's injuries after being mauled by lions. However, Word of God says that Murkoph is Sharteshanian, which throws a wrench into this...unless there's a SURPRISE TWIST that Ssael was from Sharteshane?
  • Appears to be Jossed as of this page. Murkoph explicitly mentions Ssael, which would imply that they are not the same entity.
    • It's possible that the legend of Ssael is based on (heavily distorted) stories of Murkoph's exploits, and Murkoph either doesn't know or doesn't care about this. Alternatively, he may have lost his memory.
      • As of the end of chapter 11, Murkoph's exploits took place after Ssaelism was founded. Unless he's ageless and has wandered Kassylne for centuries, he can't be the basis for Ssael.

Mikaila is responsible for Duane's zombie state.
From one of the comments: "All this time, I've been presuming that Duane zombified himself to protect his daughter. Now I realize I may have been terribly wrong. It's looking like his daughter did it, as/after he is dying. (Since she now has a displayed pattern of miscasting spells) She must have either botched a healing spell to make him undead, or botched the zombie spell, to tie in his actual spirit instead of just the body, which is the proper(?) way to do it."
  • This troper wonders why would Mikaila know how to do that, though? She learns her pymary from some innate talent and from her father's spellbooks. Do you think a devout Ssaelit Rector (y'know, a religion that abhors allowing the human body decay and all forms of undeath) would have material on necromancy? Pymary doesn't run on wishes, it's rather strict.
  • Jossed; it turns out Bastion was responsible.

Mikaila is alive in the present day.
I can see Duane still being in full patriot mode even if Alderode killed him, but I don't think the same would be true if they killed his family. Furthermore, if Mikaila died, wouldn't Duane be flashing back to her bloody corpse instead of seeing her alive and well? He is clearly not a happy individual, you'd think he would be fixating on that if Mikaila's dead.
  • Well, crap. I'm still going to insist she survives somehow. There's apparently a time gap between this page and this one, between which Mikaila's body has gone missing. Also, I know that metagaming is bad, but some time before the scene in question, Ashley talked about how comics can easily be used to mislead the viewer. Coincidence? In the scene itself, there's a lot of margin for error. In the first shot, the view of the sword is blocked by her arm, and in the second, she's hunched over, making it difficult to tell where the wound is centered. Also, I can't find it for some reason, but I could have sworn reading a formspring answer about how Ashley doesn't actually like killing off characters because it ends character development. All of this just seems a bit too suspicious.
    • Well, there is a question that will add another layer of creepy here: how does Murkoph knows name of Mikaila's best friend? What if he was a person who taught Mikaila some of her tricks?
    • We never do see Mikaila's body though, after getting stabbed. We only see her walking into a door beckoning Duane into the khert. I think it was just an illusion of sorts, or some sort of near-death dream since she doesn't answer him when he calls to her.
    • Almost certainly Jossed as of this page. The only way this theory can still be true is if Lemuel's lying, which seems unlikely.
      • I don't think it's that unlikely. Assuming his goal was to get Duane to leave, he'd have a motive to sever his ties to Alderode with that kind of lie.

Sette is somehow born of the Khert.
When she's running around in the Khert in chapter seven, she mentions it smells familiar, can interact with it in unexpected ways, and has an odd interest in Lady Ilganyag's 'baby forest.' Duane translates Ilganyag's line there as "Run away," but could be that he was getting the account secondhand, and it was "Runaway"—tl;dr Sette is one of the crow-lady's babies, incarnated in the real world.
  • It would explain why Lady Ilganyag was chasing her when Sette ran and only left to get Duane when she knew Sette was in danger. She wanted to protect her run away. Makes you wonder if "Aum yut shenut" means something along the lines of "Welcome back home".
  • While it's not a stretch to say a god can manipulate the khert, it's interesting to see Lady Ilganyag interact with the khert.

Murkoph is an infection of Duane's prymarics.
It's pretty well-known that Duane's eyes and larynx are both prymaric, replacing the bits he lost in the fight that killed him. However, it comes to light that pymarics will eventually be haunted with ghosts [1] from the khert, which is a common problem with plods.What if Murkoph who keeps appearing out of nowhere, consistently stalking our heroes, is such a haunting or infection, following Duane wherever he goes.
  • Ghosts that infect pymarics travel outside the khert, though. If Murkoph's still trapped in the khert, he's not inhabiting any pymaric. It's still possible that he's a more-coherent-than-usual ghost, maybe even connected to Duane's creation somehow.
  • Murkoph was around before Duane's reanimation.

Duane dies in the end.
For certain, this time. It will be very much a Bittersweet Ending, Lysa and Lemuel lose him for good, but he's at peace and with Mikaila at last.

Sette is a human child infused with senet beast properties, similarly to how Vienne used the field spreader to spread First Material properties.
This would explain why she's so human-like despite having senet beast properties.

Sette is Mikaila.
Mikaila didn't die; she was captured, had her memories wiped, and was subjected to some kind of experiment that changed her hair color and gave her her special properties.
  • This official art of Sette as an infant seems to disprove this.

Murkoph is Ssael. Lady Ilganyag is Issa
Imagine this: instead of becoming this bleeding-heart crusader of justice when hearing of all of humanity's troubles, Ssael goes mad. Completely, entirely, murderously mad. Mad enough to go murder some gods.There's been some strong evidence that Murk is Ssael in the past, namely the fact that they both seem to be sporting the same scars, which according to the author are from when Ssael was mortally slain.

But what of Issa? She was only briefly mentioned in "Songs of Ssael", possibly as Ssael's mortal lover. However, there has also been some evidence (and some Ssaelit even believe this) that Ssael fell in love with Sister Tirna and her defiance of her siblings and spared her life. Jilted, Issa became this heartbroken amalgamation of memories, waiting for the day that Ssael will break free from his madness and return to her. Ilganyag herself even says that she has been "wronged" and is "in wait of her love".

Bastion is just trying to get Duane back to his family.
In chapter 10 Delicieu says Bastion is responsible for all of "this" — the most obvious conclusion is the silver monster, but that seems to be Delicieu's creation. The other part of the plan was to smuggle Duane into Alderode, and as of chapter 11 we have confirmation that Bastion was responsible for Duane's creation. That sounded sinister at first, but now... Bastion doesn't actually seem like a bad guy. Maybe he underestimated how badly Duane would be messed up by the events... or maybe Lemuel was supposed to take him back to the Adeliers, but betrayed Bastion for his own purposes. It's possible that Duane fleeing Alderode was not planned. Bastion could be naive enough that he really thinks dragging Duane to Leysa's doorstep and being all "Look I resurrected your husband isn't this great??? :D :D :D" would fix everything.

Ssael never walked the khert. He was an ordinary man who dissolved when he died like everyone else.
Lady Ilganyag seems to have great contempt for Ssael, dismissing him as a "paper god" when revealing herself to Duane for the first time. And now as of the end of chapter 11, she repeats the phrase with some additional information: "Again and again [humans] see gods in themselves and capture them on paper." Ilganyag has been around since the creation of the world, so she'd know better than anyone whether Ssael really ascended to godhood... but she doesn't seem very impressed by him, and that last line implies she's seen something similar happen over and over throughout the ages.

As a corollary to this, it's possible that not even the Gefendur gods are real, or if they are, that the scriptures are wildly inaccurate.

Tirna was/is a doctor.
Tirna is well known to be associated with both poison and sickness, and what is medicine if not strategic poisoning? It also seems a good mirror to Baelar as a god of tools and crafts. Additionally, humans in Kasslyne don't seem to be very well informed on the matter of health and what actually causes disease, nor have they gotten the hang of using poisons in small amounts to treat infections. Two Toes, however, at least know that bacterial infections aren't ghosts, and they appear to have a connection with Lady Ilganyag, who in turn shares Tirna's color scheme.

If Tirna was indeed the doctor of the group, then it may cast the attempted poisoning of the world in a new light. Perhaps she viewed it as an infection, or concluded that bringing it to term would kill Yerta, and she sought to treat her sister, making her action out of worry rather than malice.

Sette is originally the daughter of Lady Ilganyag and Ssael.
We see Sette as a small child with Lady Ilganyag in one of her memories. Lady Ilganyag seems protective of her and appears to miss Ssael greatly. Also, Minnow's perplexity at Duane's mention of Ssael followed by her asking about Sette suggests she knows about a connection that Duane doesn't.

Alderode discovered the secret to immortality but refuses to use it beyond extended longevity due to serious consequences
Even if we ascribe to the theory that the caste system works by siphoning lifespan from the commoners to the elites, a 400 year average lifespan extends beyond what would normally be viable with their general lack of understanding in biological medicine. But then, magic in Kessaline works by stealing traits and grafting them where they shouldn't go; what if they discovered a means of grafting extra 'energy' (mitochondria) into humans, thereby allowing their bodies' regeneration to remain in perfect shape, as opposed to the old growing tired as their mitos shut down?

Unfortunately, immortality in a theocratic police state has its drawbacks. Primary of which would be the sheer envy of the poor constantly reincarnating while the rich grow exceptionally old, their minds deteriorating while their children wait for a seat on a throne they'll never get. With centuries of wisdom, they've come to appreciate the fact that they can accept oblivion if it means the oppressive dictatorship they rule over will exist forever.

Also, cancer is not a 'thing' in Kessaline
Oh look, your body has begun mutating? Why just steal the mutation aspect with pymary and put it in a cancer puppy!



Example of: