A/N: A little one-shot I threw togther after I finished Oathbringer to cheer myself up. It didn't work, instead, I just had several people die offscreen. Enjoy.
When little Oroden and his parents come to Urithiru it's one of the happiest days of Kaladin's life. His dad becomes head surgeon of Dalinar's army and his mom is instant friends with Navani. The two women love to banter with each other and it turns out Hesiana has a wonderful mind for the science of fabrials and her and Navani become best friends.
Bridge Four adopts Oroden, not only as Kaladin's little brother but as theirs too. The first time one of them takes Oroden flying Kalain freaks out because "Oroden could've been hurt what were you thinking?!" But then he realizes he's being overprotective and no one in Bridge Four would let Oroden get hurt and he forgives them.
One day Kaladin takes Oroden to the shattered plains with him for a visit and then he gives charge over to Lopen while he takes care of some stuff. Lopen and Oroden go on many adventures and somehow in the five minutes Kaladin had his back turned the two managed to get warrants out for their arrest in three different war camps and he finds them in a chasm munching on chauta, the baby-safe stuff for Oroden, and Kaladin is about to get mad but then Oroden is holding something out to him and it's Kaladin's flute, the one Hoid gave him, and Oroden is just smiling up at him and Kaladin doesn't know how, but somehow he lets Lopen and Oroden, who granted can't talk yet but puts up quite a good argument nonetheless, conviince him not to tell Lerin and Hesiana.
Kaladin lets Oroden keep the flute because he loves it so much and also because something about it feels right and he thinks Hoid would agree.
Oroden starts trying to play the flute. Renarin helps Oroden find a suitable and willing teacher and before he can even talk Oroden is playing the flute and when he learns to talk he talks about it all the time cause he storming loves that flute! And so when Hoid finally meets Oroden, who is only 3 but can play the flute wonderfully, he is very impressed. He congratulates Kaladin, telling him it's obviously getting more use than it would've if Kaladin had kept the flute. And then whenever Hoid pops up he teaches Oroden the flute a bit and by the time Oroden is four he is masterful. Not nearly as good as Hoid, but it's still impressive and he can give some women a run for their money.
By the time he's 9 he's better than almost anyone on Roshar and he can kinda make the music sing back to him like Hoid can. Hoid is like a proud parent and Kaladin is just amazed and so proud of his little brother he tells everyone about it and Oroden is self conscious and doesn't like all the attention but when he plays the flute he feels at peace. And he's nearly as good as Hoid due to constant practice.
By the time Oroden is eleven, he is even better. The best on Roshar, except Hoid of course. The best, Azure says, on two worlds. The stormlight helps. His spren was a musician in Shadesmar and that makes their bond extra strong. The music helps a bit, with the despair pressing around Oroden. He misses his family a lot. But especially Kaladin. His heart aches with pain and loss every time he thinks about his big brother, or any of the others. He is alone. His family is gone, his big brother is gone, along half of bridge four. He is broken, that's what lets the investiture leak into him. He's starting to heal but it'll be a long road. And the only solace he has is his music. His music, and the fact that one day he and Renarin will kill Odium, that that day is coming. That they will kill the thing responsible for their brother's deaths. Soon. But for now, he has his music. And he plays it. He uses his music to help others, wishing he could play away his sorrow on his flute.
He can't, but he still plays it. He plays it to his mother, one last time, and she seems to come awake for a bit. She looks at him and smiles.
"That's beautiful Oroden." And he's so shocked he nearly drops his flute. His mom hasn't said anything in over a year. And he just smiles. "Thanks, Mom." And then he gets up and kisses his mother on the forehead. "I love you mom." And he feels terrible for doing this, for leaving his mother when he's all she has left. But it has to be done. To save Roshar. To save the whole Cosmere. And so he leaves.
The last time he plays his flute he does it better than ever. He hits every note perfectly and they echo back at him, just like they always do. Just like they did when Hoid played the flute. He pours his whole heart into the music as he plays it. As he plays it for a god. Or rather, a splinter of one.
As he finishes the splinter of a god says yes, and then he becomes the splinter. He becomes one who cultivates. Who creates. And so he joins Renarin, who like him has become something else. And they go. They go to destroy Odium. The shard who has killed so many. The shard who killed their brothers. They go to destroy the bane of the cosmere.