The Shardkeepers Podcast: Corrupted Investiture and Nightblood


Chaos

What! A podcast that isn't Splintercast Reads A Book? I know, it does seem crazy, but it's true. Welcome to the Shardkeepers Podcast, our theory podcast where we discuss all sorts of minutiae of the cosmere. As I learned when recording, this usually results in headaches, but we make that sacrifice for you.

Today, we're going to talk about an amazing quote that we got earlier this year about Nightblood that blew our minds.

Quote

Blightsong: How does corrupted investiture work, like Nightblood.

Brandon: Oh, Nightblood. Again, this is a definition of what somebody feels is a corruption. For instance, there are spren people would feel are corrupted. But that is corruption where the mixing of different shards has changed things, and I think a lot of times when people say corruption, people are meaning the mixing of shards powers.
 
Blightsong: So is there a mixing of shards power with Nightblood?
 
Brandon: *smirks* RAFO. That's the natural question, I'm glad you asked it.

There's so much to unpack from this. Let's get started.

On Shardkeepers you should expect massive spoilers from cosmere books. Beware! Here there are big spoilers for Warbreaker and Stormlight Archive.

Joining me is Kerry (KChan), David (Windrunner), and Ian (WeiryWriter) who should better be known as the quote master, because I don't know how he finds those so fast. We're all thrilled to have awaken (get it? Ha. Hilarious) this podcast again.

Again, you ask? Well there maybe was a Shardkeepers Podcast in May. Of 2013. But shhh, we do not speak of such evils. In seriousness, this is a real thing and we're excited to get this truly off the ground. The plan currently is to not bite off more than we can chew, so expect monthly episodes. Next episode will absolutely be about us unpacking stuff from Arcanum Unbounded, so stay tuned in December for that!

If you'd like to discuss this, we thought we would post a theory topic so you too can dig into what we discuss. Check it out here, or leave a comment below.

iTunes and other podcast support coming sooner than soon(™) but not this week.

Edited by Chaos

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I saw the news section and thought "Hey, I got a pretty cool WoB on this!". Interesting thoughts guys.

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Just now, Blightsong said:

I saw the news section and thought "Hey, I got a pretty cool WoB on this!". Interesting thoughts guys.

Your WoB basically motivated us for this to be a thing. We were discussing it in private and we had to shut the conversation down once we realized, "Guys, we need to make a podcast out of this!" So thanks! We hope you enjoyed listening.

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Isn't it possible that Nightblood was based off of a Shardblade AND made with a dead Shardblade? If Vasher had visited Roshar before and somehow saw or heard of how Shardblades used to be alive and brought back a dead one, isn't it possible they were trying to restore the Shardblade to its alive state by awakening. Nightblood being the end result (an awakened dead Shardblade with the intent of restoring it to its life, but not really realizing what that life looked like). 

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Wouldn't it be neat if Nightblood was like... a mini shard? I mean it has an 'intent' that is unique from all other shards, and is 'magnitudes' more powerful than a shardblade, which is a splinter. Just a thought.

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Well as far as the whole Nightblood = HonorBlade question:
As I was talking to Brandon at the Ogden signing we talked a bit about how HonorBlades work, and we ended up talking about Nightblood a bit, the conversation played out kinda like this:
     I asked what would happen if you got an honorblade of the same surges that you could use as a Knight Radiant, he said that it would increase your power marginally, but would also increase your Stormlight required by a LOT. I then asked what if one person bound all 10 HonorBlades, Syl said that just one made it require a "Dangerous amount of Stormlight" so would this be able to kill you? He responded saying that the HonorBlades were specifically designed as to not take your innate Investiture (the stuff that keeps you alive) and that another blade in the Cosmere was not designed with that in mind. (NightBlood)

I don't remember much else he said, I couldn't record because my phone was being weird
     But looking at the amount of Investiture required they seem to be of similar amounts, with Nightblood literally not having a limit to the amount of Investiture that he can take, this brings up the question, What can Nightblood actually do?

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jamesgrey

Posted (edited)

So, while the podcast was discussing how Nightblood was created the idea that divine breaths were involved was brought up. The team rightly brought up that 1,000 divine breaths would be a lot (maybe even beyond the "very hard" requirements that are discussed). Yet I think there is something to the divine breath theory.

For some reason this drew me back to the idea that Vasher had to kill Shashara to stop the creation of any additional weapons. I've always considered the divine breath to be a Endowment-invested version of someone's cognitive or spiritual essence (basically a souped up version of their soul). As such, I consider the divine breath to be the vehicle by which the Returned continue to exist and also the vehicle for their sentience (which is living on borrowed time and would otherwise be drawn to the Beyond). I'm also, maybe faultily assuming that the group of Scholars (Vasher, Yesteel, Denth, Shashara) were all returned. We certainly know that's true for 2 of them at a minimum.

Now consider that when Awakeners invest objects the amount of breaths needed is dependent on the command. Over time they may learn that "protect me" to a cloak takes X number of breaths but it doesn't seem like that's obvious without experimentation. So, perhaps Shashara didn't know that it took 1000 breaths to create Nightblood until she did it since it was the first of its kind. And perhaps in addition to the 1000 regular breaths she told Vasher about, she didn't notice that it also took her divine breath. That would explain why Nightblood is so invested (has a divine breath which is a direct investiture from Endowment). It also might explain whatever unexplained change of heart that made Shashara so committed to making more weapons that Vasher had to kill his lover. It seems unlikely that he would have killed her just to 'kill the knowledge' unless she clearly had the intent of making more. What if, by inadvertently investing her Divine Breath in Nightblood, she lost the part of her that made her "her" and became less willing to listen and be tempered by Vasher.

My two cents.

Edited by jamesgrey
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jamesgrey: When a Returned gives up his/her divine breath they die. So if Shashara had used her divine breath in the process, she would've died on the spot and Vasher wouldn't have had to kill her. Of course, she may have gotten a second divine breath from another Returned.

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Looking forward to an Arcanum Unbounded Episode. It may run very long, due to the amount of information in the book, may I suggest you do several mini episodes regarding each story? I've read everything but the Mistborn series, only finished the first book and starting book 2 now. Doing several mini episodes would prevent spoilers and also maybe help people get in the mindset of each story. Good luck!

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