1

We know that if an individual takes up a whole Shard, then over time (millenia or longer, in some cases), their goals and desires will fall in line with that Shard’s intent. Ati, for example, was originally a good person:

Ati was once a kind and generous man, and you saw what became of him.

The Way of Kings

However, when Ati took up Ruin, he eventually became bent on nothing less than the destruction of the entire Cosmere.

Similarly, Leras eventually was entirely unable to destroy Ruin directly, and Rayse became even worse than he initially was over millenia or more of holding Odium.

However, could it be that smaller amounts of Investiture still influence a person?

For example, every native of a world has some small amount of Investiture granted by the controlling Shards to give them sentience and a soul. Does that mean that people on Threnody are a little more ambitious, people on Scadrial more concerned with preserving, and people on people on Roshar more honorable, or more cultivated (or more hateful?).

Or when someone takes up huge amounts of Investiture without becoming a Shard, as the Lord Ruler did, does it influence them? The Lord Ruler, for example, presided over a technologically and culturally stagnant empire, a state which he brutally enforced. Of course, Ruin corrupted him, but that seems in line with the influence of Preservation.

Does possessing levels of Investiture below that of a Shard influence people?

  • The level of influence you're suggesting would be indistinguishable from the influence of a Shard's general intent on a world, because Investiture never seems to just appear "in the raw", but shaped by the presence of local Shards. – Radhil Aug 27 '17 at 3:39
  • @Radhil - Would it? I’m not talking about “plain” investiture (although it does exist: for example, Sixth of the Dusk’s world has Investiture that doesn’t seem to be associated with a Shard and is correspondingly weaker). I mean, if you have a lot of the essence of Preservation, but not the whole Shard, are you more inclined to Preserve, for example? The Lord Ruler, for example, had far more Investiture than the average resident of Scadrial. It seems reasonable to imagine that he was more influenced by the intent of Preservation - but perhaps it’s all or nothing. – Adamant Aug 27 '17 at 3:42
  • I guess since he's the only example I know of on that level... yeah, he's pretty clearly pulled at by the powers that are dicking with him, and since he never looked for a better way out of his situation, Preservation definitely took solid hold. I'm trying to think of smaller examples though, and there's almost none, because all those smaller examples are entirely dependent on the magic they're using. Heralds would also be on that level I suppose... but we know crap about them except they're pretty nuts by now. – Radhil Aug 27 '17 at 3:46
  • @Radhil - Well, part of the question is about the effect of smaller levels. Would you find, say, more gift-giving (even to a small extent) across cultures on Nalthis? More dedication to a cause on Sel? – Adamant Aug 27 '17 at 3:48
  • "More dedication to a cause on Sel? " there does seem to be a surprising number of large stable empires on Sel, so in that vein, yes? Gonna trigger the chat warning at this rate though. – Radhil Aug 27 '17 at 3:50
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Yes

We know Shards change people per the quote you provide in the OP.

Ati was once a kind and generous man, and you saw what became of him.
The Way of Kings - Chapter 18: Highprince of War

We know that extreme use of investiture changes humans.

They are called Allomantic savants. Men or women who flare their metals so long, and so hard, that the constant influx of Allomantic power transforms their very physiology.

In most cases, with most metals, the effects of this are very slight. Bronze burners, for instance, often become bronze savants without knowing it. Their range is expanded from burning the metal so long. Becoming a pewter savant is dangerous, as it requires pushing the body so hard in a state where one cannot feel exhaustion or pain. Most accidentally kill themselves before the process is complete, and in my opinion, the benefit isn't worth the effort.

Tin savants, however... now, they are something special. Endowed with senses beyond what any normal Allomancer would need—or even want—they become slaves to what they touch, hear, see, smell, and taste. Yet, the abnormal power of these senses gives them a distinct, and interesting, advantage.
The Hero of Ages - Chapter 16

Additionally, the creator of the being affects their personality.

Does the intent/personality of the Shard affect the personalities of the humans they create?

It has some very small effect.
Brandon Sanderson during Q&A

And we can see this in the Alethi being hyperly concerned about honor (Honor)[1], and the Skaa creating a religion around Survival (Preservation).

So to answer your question: "However, could it be that smaller amounts of Investiture still influence a person? Does possessing levels of Investiture below that of a Shard influence people?" Yes, the sliver (not the same as a Sliver) that is imbued during creation affects the human. Using the Investiture of a Shard further changes a person. And becoming the Vessel of a Shard changes the individual most of all.


Footnotes:

[1]: New information has rendered this potentially inaccurate. It is unknown at this time what the correct information is.

  • I'm not sure that this is true. It is true that consistent and copious amounts of investiture changes a human, but I don't think that it changes them according to the character of the shard. A savant just becomes more dependent/gifted with the use of their metal, but that doesn't mean they become suddenly more focused on preserving. Likewise the Kandra as a whole used investiture from Ruin, yet acted according to Preservation. TenSoon, who had a double blessing, still was an important agent of Preservation. – BlackThorn Jan 9 '18 at 19:21
  • A savant does not necessarily assume the attribute of whichever Shard they are using Investiture from (which is a gross simplification of the process). The question asked if Investiture changed a person, and that part was identifying that even a very small amount can change them, not that Investiture had different flavors (so to speak). – amflare Jan 9 '18 at 19:28
  • Does that mean that people on Threnody are a little more ambitious, people on Scadrial more concerned with preserving, and people on people on Roshar more honorable, or more cultivated (or more hateful?). – BlackThorn Jan 9 '18 at 19:29
  • That's what I get for working off memory and not rereading the question. However, let me say, to be more clear, the change is directly related to the use of the Investiture. A Tineye Savant is using Investiture to increase their senses, so the change has to do with the senses. The spark of Investiture in a Human to created them is for the purpose of sapience, therefore the change is in relation to that. Does that makes sense? – amflare Jan 9 '18 at 19:32
  • I'm not sure I entirely follow, though it is clear you are right with respect to Allomantic Savants at least. The change is related to the ability the Investiture grants. A windrunner becomes wind and a skybreaker becomes law you might say. – BlackThorn Jan 9 '18 at 19:38
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Cosmere Spoilers

I think it is difficult to make a conclusion about the macro-effect of investiture at this time. The Shards obviously can have direct, though imperfect, influence on people, such as Ruin's influence on Spook. However, the Cosmere is rife with examples of how investiture does not homogenize its users to the will of the Shard.

There is plenty of evidence, however, that the use of investiture grants that Shard a more direct line of influence with those who use it. The Kandra, Koloss, Parsh Regals/Fused are some examples of this. This influence is deep, but not naturalizing. The Shard can take control of these people, but their inner will and character does not necessarily change. The Kandra (at least some) fought for Preservation until Ruin took control in the end. The Heralds betrayed one of their own at Aharietiam, not to mention Roshar (at least in their minds), despite being flush with the investiture of Honor.

I don't think that the humans in the Cosmere are inherently more akin to their Shards, though we still have only seen the tip of the iceberg here.

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