alder24

Where are missing Shardblades?

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Quote

 

There looked to be a good two hundred Shardbearers out there. Alethkar owned some twenty Blades, Jah Keved a similar number. If one added up all the rest in the world, there  might be enough total to equal the two powerful Vorin kingdoms. That meant, so far as he knew, there were less than a hundred Blades in all of the world. And here he saw two hundred Shardbearers gathered in one army. It was mind-numbing.

Soon, there were some three hundred Radiants out on the field.

 

From Way of Kings chapter 52 - Dalinar's vision of Recreance at Feverstone Keep

 

So, where are all those deadeye Shardblades? At Feverstone Keep there was 300 Shardblades left by Radiants. But at the present times less then 100 are known, with some hidden one let's say 100 are accounted for.
But during False Desolation thousands of Sprens answered the call and went to war bonding with humans. 2000 Honorsprens alone, potentially several thousands more of other Sprens. Where are all those Shardblades? At minimum there should be 200 more, at maximum thousands all scattered around Roshar. But only 100 are known. First let's establish correct number of how many Shardblades should be found. I think of 2 different approach to this:

1). Event at Feverstone Keep was in isolation and it was the only instance of Radiants leaving behind blades and armor. That means there is only 200 missing blades, much more reasonable number, potentially easy to "hide". All other Radients broke their bonds "silently" without Sprens materializing as blades, leaving only Deadeyes in Shadesmar. Exactly the same way as Shallan, she broke her bond with Testament's physical form not as a blade in hand, no Testament-shardblade materialized in that place as far as we know. 
But there is a catch. Shallan is still bonded with Testament as a Shardblade and was using it, and maybe even some parts of Nahel Bond remain allowing her accessing surgebinding (she's confirming it at the end of RoW). I can only assume, that if Shallan dies, Testament would materialized next to her body as a blade. Moreover no gem is placed in that blade like in other shardblades.
So if all other Radients broke thier bonds the same way as Shallan, would it means that some remains of Nahel Bond were still present with them? Wouldn't it also resulted in leaving shardblades when they died? 
A solutions to it - it is also required for Sprens to break their bonds with humans the same way as Radients did it. At Recreance it happened both way, as Maya said they had chosen it. That way the bond is broken completely on both side, and resulted in Deadeyes left unbounded in Shadesmar. Shallan did not fully break her bond with Testament, as Testament did not do it. Shallan later begins reinforcing her bond with Testament with small steps, only so much to allow her some access to her powers and blade and maybe even starting to replace broken truth/oaths with new one (Soulcasting goblet to blood?). If this is not the case, then let's think about next approach.

2). All Radients broke their bonds the same way, leaving shards behind them, like in Feverstone Keep, or the way Shallan broke her bond is the same way Radients had done it before, and as they later died, shardblades materialized next to them. That would mean there should be thousands of shardblades left around. This fact alone makes me feel that this was not the case and I'm in favor of first approach as it also explains how to properly break Nahel Bond. 

But I think there might be another problem. Where are all the Deadeyes in Shadesmar? We have seen a few of them here and there, they are common enough to be seen during our heroes visit in Shadesmar. The biggest number of them we've seen is during Adolin trial in Honorsprens Fortress, days before it began Adolin witnessed 200 of them gathering outside of Lasting Integrity, and 20 dead Honorsprens already kept inside, possibly few more of other types. It is also highly probable that even more Deadeyes gathered till the day of trial, few dozens or maybe hundreds more, but not in thousands as that would probably be mentioned by someone. 100 of accounted Shardblades would probably not be present there as they would have been constantly summoned by their owners during Desolation time, so most of them were probably non-owned - number close to our missing 200, when Adolin saw them, be not even close to thousands of Deadeyes there should be. Is that enough of them in Shadesmar to add up to true number of Deadeyes? We don't know it. If it is, then vast majority of them did not care about trial or was too far away to get there on time. If not assuming almost every deadeye wanted to witness trial, but they could not get there - something/someone could restrict their movement, or they may exist only in form of blades in physical realm.

So where could all of those Shardblades and Deadeyes be? Somewhere on Roshar, as carrying them out would be too hard and in last thousands of years since Recreance we would have seen them in another words. So let's think of a place suitable for hiding all of that treasure, isolated from most of the world, place with good protection form weather and unwanted eyes, guards that may know how to use them, people already in possession of similar but much rarer and more powerful Shardblades, people with abilities to collect all of them form all over the world, people that might even use them in the past in failed attempts to conquer Roshar, people who probably use one of them to replace a newly appeared Honorblade to a Shardblade. 

Yes of course I'm talking about Shinovar! They all probably in Shinovar as no other place would be as good as that. Shins don't respect warriors and treat them as slaves - which is perfect if you don't want to lose all of your Shardblades and keep bigger treasure safe - Honorblades. It also helps preventing someone from fighting with another Shardbearer as they all have to obey their master command. And we know Shins tried several times to invide rest of the Roshar - nation that doesn't even have a city (we don't know of any, no city is marked on the map or even mentioned) was capable of launching invasions that left deep scars in history - how? With Shardblades, and Honorblades and cavalry too! Or maybe all these invasions were just so Shins could gather every Shards they could? That's what Shardblades somehow disappeared?

Depending on how Radients broke their bonds, it would mean that Shins are in possession of at minimum 200 Shardblades or at maximum thousands of them! If it's the latter, Shardblades may be kept in physical form rather than bonded to thousands of warriors - that would also explain relatively small number of Deadeyes in Shadesmar. Or maybe just imagine for fun, that only few Shins are bonded to thousands of Shardblades each - that would lead to very "funny" situation when if one of them dies of heart attack, suddenly all of his Shardblades would materialized next to him - I would not want to live in flat below his.

However I think there isn't that many Shardblades, as only around 300 was left, and rest are just Deadeyes wandering somewhere in Shadesmar as explained in point 1 above. That would leave only 200 blades in hands of Shins - reasonable amount, which explains their early success during failed invasions, without strong warrior culture (success as it was not forgotten since then so they have to conquered something before they were driven back). As Adolin mentioned, shardbearers can't hold conquered land, Shins were doomed to fail due to low number of warriors each time.

That would be another obstacle for coalition to obtain Shinovar and another one for Szeth, our favorite UnTruthless with our favorite Evil-Destroying-Friendly-Superweapon-Nimi. Not only he would have to deal with bearers of Honorblades but with hundreds of regular Shardbearers too. And reward also is increasing in this scenario, gaining 5 times more shards then currently in possession of coalition (40ish?) next to Honorblades which could be a significant help in war effort. Not to mention that those Shardblades might be soon back to life, bonded with new Radients as they return - or whatever is that what Adolin and Maya have. 

Or maybe all of this is not important as releasing BAM will fix everything so who cares where all of Shardblades and Deadeyes are right now? Well I care! It was fun theorising.

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This is a good question.

We know from Navani's research that knowledge of how to use a gemstone to bond a Blade came some time after the Recreance, and as far as we know it's the gemstone-driven bonding of a Blade that causes it to appear next to the corpse of its (former) wielder. So I don't think that Testament would definitely appear next to Shallan if she were to die because her bond to Testament is direct, not just some person holding an arbitrary Blade with an attached gemstone. She certainly didn't keep Testament with her for the requisite period to bond a dead Blade.

I also think it's more likely (though I wouldn't say it's definitive, given how unreliable a narrator Shallan has been) that her Soulcasting of the goblet to blood was from her developing relationship with Pattern rather than a lingering effect of her broken bond with Testament. It's also possible that Shallan was Surgebinding without a bonded spren, which seems possible (though we know nothing about it).

As for the Recreance, my impression was that the summoning of Blades and driving them into the ground was more  of a dramatic, symbolic statement, and not necessarily how every Radiant rejecting their oaths would have done it. The Radiants summoned their spren as Blades, then broke their bonds as they walked away from the keep. This left the bodies of the spren manifested in the physical realm rather than the cognitive, so they wouldn't be manifesting in Shadesmar as deadeyes at that time. Between the Recreance and the discovery of attaching gemstones to Blades they would be much harder to keep track of, and harder to even keep on hand (they're so unwieldy and obvious when carried!). For example, look how long it took to find Oathbringer after Sadeas' death.

Shadesmar itself is huge and mostly covered by the bead ocean, where we know many deadeyes spend a fair amount of time. We also know that spren can be hurt and even killed, so maybe some of them were destroyed by dangerous spren (like angerspren) while unable to defend themselves. So I don't know that we can say there are too few of them there. And a spren whose bond was broken while in Shadesmar might never physically manifest, given how hard it was to get to and from the realm after the Recreance.

 

So in summary I don't think that it's all that suspicious that there are so few Blades known on Roshar, and so few observed deadeyes in Shadesmar. Of the remaining physical Blades, many may just be lost in the physical world. Many are known to still be around and are in active use. Some are probably in the hands of the Skybreakers (they may not use them themselves, but Helaran's Blade came from somewhere, and was given to him by the Skybreakers). I think that it's a good guess that at least some are in Shinovar, though I am not convinced that it's as many as you suggest or for the reasons you suggest.

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Anything that lies outside for a couple days gets eaten by the world. Blown away by storms, buried in cremstone. Over thousands of years, a lot of Shards have probably just wound up in the ground or the ocean. Stuff happens. Say your group gets caught in a highstorm or your ship sinks, that's it for any Shards.

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Posted (edited)

Also, it makes sense why you wouldn't find many deadeye spren in Shadesmar, because the spren follow the blades, and I doubt that there are many Shardbearers sailing or swimming about, so the spren would be in the ocean. It is actually suspicious that there are so many deadeyes on land. Looking at how many are just lingering around, there are probably hundreds of blades at the bottom of the ocean. It would be interesting if there were a bunch of shards in Shinover, though.

Edited by Shard Bearer
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I ment shards, not shades.

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Posted (edited)

On 5/7/2022 at 8:28 PM, Shard Bearer said:

I ment shards, not shades.

You can edit a previous comment with the 'edit' button that hangs out around the 'quote' button on your own content, which will then be marked as having been edited, it allows you to give a reason as well

typically considered bad site etiquette to double comment / post :)

Edited by Anomander Rake
like this!
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On 8.05.2022 at 1:03 AM, Returned said:

This is a good question.

We know from Navani's research that knowledge of how to use a gemstone to bond a Blade came some time after the Recreance, and as far as we know it's the gemstone-driven bonding of a Blade that causes it to appear next to the corpse of its (former) wielder. So I don't think that Testament would definitely appear next to Shallan if she were to die because her bond to Testament is direct, not just some person holding an arbitrary Blade with an attached gemstone. She certainly didn't keep Testament with her for the requisite period to bond a dead Blade.

I also think it's more likely (though I wouldn't say it's definitive, given how unreliable a narrator Shallan has been) that her Soulcasting of the goblet to blood was from her developing relationship with Pattern rather than a lingering effect of her broken bond with Testament. It's also possible that Shallan was Surgebinding without a bonded spren, which seems possible (though we know nothing about it).

As for the Recreance, my impression was that the summoning of Blades and driving them into the ground was more  of a dramatic, symbolic statement, and not necessarily how every Radiant rejecting their oaths would have done it. The Radiants summoned their spren as Blades, then broke their bonds as they walked away from the keep. This left the bodies of the spren manifested in the physical realm rather than the cognitive, so they wouldn't be manifesting in Shadesmar as deadeyes at that time. Between the Recreance and the discovery of attaching gemstones to Blades they would be much harder to keep track of, and harder to even keep on hand (they're so unwieldy and obvious when carried!). For example, look how long it took to find Oathbringer after Sadeas' death.

Shadesmar itself is huge and mostly covered by the bead ocean, where we know many deadeyes spend a fair amount of time. We also know that spren can be hurt and even killed, so maybe some of them were destroyed by dangerous spren (like angerspren) while unable to defend themselves. So I don't know that we can say there are too few of them there. And a spren whose bond was broken while in Shadesmar might never physically manifest, given how hard it was to get to and from the realm after the Recreance.

 

So in summary I don't think that it's all that suspicious that there are so few Blades known on Roshar, and so few observed deadeyes in Shadesmar. Of the remaining physical Blades, many may just be lost in the physical world. Many are known to still be around and are in active use. Some are probably in the hands of the Skybreakers (they may not use them themselves, but Helaran's Blade came from somewhere, and was given to him by the Skybreakers). I think that it's a good guess that at least some are in Shinovar, though I am not convinced that it's as many as you suggest or for the reasons you suggest.

Good point about gems and Shallan. However adding gem to Shardblade allows creating bond between wielder and sword, bond that Shallan and Testament might already have due to their specific circumstances.

Deadeyes can be hunted by Angersprens but their attracted by anger and Deadeyes don't really seems to feel a lot of anything (except pain?). It is possible but we don't really know how Angersprens hunt, what it means and what it means for Sprens to be hurt that much - can Deadeyes be hurt even more than they already are?

RoW chapter 75 - Adolin - it is noticed that Deadeyes are staying at the shore, that they "come from the deeps", and Honorspren Vaiu said "they should be wandering through the oceans" - it rough translation from my Polish version, I don't know how it's exactly written in English. But this suggest that Deadeyes can wander through bead Ocean, it' hard probably but they don't have to breath after all. Knowing how interesting Adolin's trial is for Deadeyes, and how many Sprens died during Recreance why there isn't more of them showing at the keep? Maybe most of them don't care, or are to far away, or are physically kept somewhere else? But Shadesmar is almost as big as Roshar, traveling through it even by bout takes long time, not to mention by foot, so it not that hard to fit thousands of Deadeyes there, most probably in bead Ocean, which is simple and fitting answer why we don't see more of them at Adolin's trial. However if most Deadeyes are not bond to human they don't even have to travel, they could have just stayed in one place for thousands of years.

I forgot about Skybreakers, they probably have few of them, but they don't really need them that much, so probably don't have all 200 of them. 

 

On 8.05.2022 at 2:02 AM, earthexile said:

Anything that lies outside for a couple days gets eaten by the world. Blown away by storms, buried in cremstone. Over thousands of years, a lot of Shards have probably just wound up in the ground or the ocean. Stuff happens. Say your group gets caught in a highstorm or your ship sinks, that's it for any Shards.

Knowing how priceless Shardblades are and were even during Recreance, and that most Shardbearers become/are rich landowners, it's hard to imagine that they would allow themselves to be catch in Highstorm and even if this happens, someone would be searching for them and their Shards after they went missing for few days. Everyone would lost their mind knowing that there might be Shardblade just laying around - Shard rush! It would probably take more that one Highstorm to cover sword in to indistinguishable cream - much more then one. Highstorm wouldn't probably carry a Shardblade away with winds - it's slim and it can easily stuck in ground and be fully resistant to winds. But I definitely agree that some Shards were lost in Highstorms and even more in the Ocean but to lose all 200 Shardblades there (or more if Feverstone Keep was not isolated event which I doubt) is too much of a stretch. There still should be more that 100 Shardblades somewhere hidden by someone.

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Don't forget that not all Radiants to renounce Oaths during the Recreance were of the Third Oath  or had the ability to Manifest a Blade (or Plate if Fourth Oath). So we still don't know exactly how that plays out with being a Deadeye (or not); since we do know that Syl did not manifest as a dead blade when Oaths with Kaladin were broken). There has been quite a bit of discussion about these ideas in this thread.

46 minutes ago, alder24 said:

RoW chapter 75 - Adolin - it is noticed that Deadeyes are staying at the shore, that they "come from the deeps", and Honorspren Vaiu said "they should be wandering through the oceans" - it rough translation from my Polish version, I don't know how it's exactly written in English. But this suggest that Deadeyes can wander through bead Ocean, it' hard probably but they don't have to breath after all. Knowing how interesting Adolin's trial is for Deadeyes, and how many Sprens died during Recreance why there isn't more of them showing at the keep? Maybe most of them don't care, or are to far away, or are physically kept somewhere else? But Shadesmar is almost as big as Roshar, traveling through it even by bout takes long time, not to mention by foot, so it not that hard to fit thousands of Deadeyes there, most probably in bead Ocean, which is simple and fitting answer why we don't see more of them at Adolin's trial. However if most Deadeyes are not bond to human they don't even have to travel, they could have just stayed in one place for thousands of years.

Here's the relevant English Passage:

Quote

RoW - Ch 75:

Spoiler

 

One other oddity was visible from this high perch. Gathering on the coast nearby was an unusual group of spren. It had begun about two weeks ago as a few scattered individuals, but those numbers grew each day. At this point, there had to be two hundred of them. They stood on the coast all hours of the day, motionless, speechless.

Deadeyes.

“Storms,” said Vaiu. “There are so many.”

Vaiu was Adolin’s primary jailer for excursions like this. He was a shorter honorspren and wore a full beard, squared like that of an ardent. Unlike many others, Vaiu preferred to go about bare-chested, wearing only an old-style skirt a little like an Alethi takama. With his winged spear, he seemed like a depiction of a Herald from some ancient painting.

“What happened to the ones you let in?” Adolin asked.

“We put them with the others,” Vaiu explained. “Everything about them seems normal, for deadeyes. Though we don’t have space left for more. We never expected…” He shook his head. There were no lights of souls near those deadeyes; this wasn’t a gathering of Shardbearers in the Physical Realm. The deadeyes were moving of their own accord, coming up from the depths to stand out here. Silent. Watching.

The fortress had quarters for deadeyes. Though Adolin had little love for these honorspren and their stubbornness, he had to admit there was honor in the way they treated fallen spren. The honorspren had dedicated themselves to finding and caring for as many as they could. Though they’d taken Maya and put her in with the others, they let Adolin visit her each morning to do their exercises together. While they wouldn’t let her wander free, she was treated quite well.

But what would they do with so many? The honorspren had taken in the first group, but as more and more deadeyes arrived, the fortress had reluctantly shut its gates to them.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” Vaiu said. “They should all be wandering the oceans, not congregating here. What provoked this behavior?”

“Has anyone tried asking them?” Adolin asked.

“Deadeyes can’t talk.”

Adolin leaned forward. Around his hands on the railing, pink crystal fuzz began to grow: the Shadesmar version of moss, spreading because of the crystalline day.

The distance was too great for him to distinguish one scratched-out face from another. However, he did notice when one vanished into mist. Those spren were Shardblades—hundreds of them, more than he’d known existed. When their owners summoned them, their bodies evaporated from Shadesmar. Why were they here? Deadeyes usually tried to keep close to their owners, wandering through the ocean of beads.

“There is a Connection happening,” Vaiu said. “Deadeyes cannot think, but they are still spren—bound to the spiritweb of Roshar herself. They can feel what is happening in this keep, that justice will finally be administered.”

“If you can call it justice,” Adolin said, “to punish a man for what his ancestors did.”

You are the one who suggested this course, human,” Vaiu said.

 

 

 

51 minutes ago, alder24 said:

it's hard to imagine that they would allow themselves to be caught in a Highstorm; and even if that happens, someone would be searching for them and their Shards after they went missing for few days. Everyone would lose their mind knowing that there might be Shardblade just laying around - Shard rush!

Sadeas' murder kinda disproves this. "Oh, a wealthy Shardbearer is dead. . ." but Dalinar has to ask Bridge Four to search for the missing blade and AFAWK nobody else much cares (we certainly don't see squads of Sadeas Soldiers searching for it). I'm not saying that your scenario won't happen; just that apathy or "assumed stolen" are equally likely results of a dead/missing Shardbearer.

On 5/7/2022 at 8:02 PM, earthexile said:

Anything that lies outside for a couple days gets eaten by the world. Blown away by storms, buried in cremstone. Over thousands of years, a lot of Shards have probably just wound up in the ground or the ocean. Stuff happens. Say your group gets caught in a highstorm or your ship sinks, that's it for any Shards.

Have we confirmed that for a blade that has manifested in the Physical Realm, the Deadeye disappears from the Cognitive Realm?

If yes, this this could explain the small number of Deadeyes as lost blades are trapped in the PR, so the Deadeye is "missing"

If no, then I wonder if it is possible to break your bond with a blade without manifesting it first (we see then manifest and break the bond so that the Gem flashes - but is that the only way?); cause I can see people breaking the bond without manifesting the blade to prevent the "enemy" from gaining the blade.

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49 minutes ago, Treamayne said:

Have we confirmed that for a blade that has manifested in the Physical Realm, the Deadeye disappears from the Cognitive Realm?

It's actually confirmed in the very passage you copied. :lol:

Quote

The distance was too great for him to distinguish one scratched-out face from another. However, he did notice when one vanished into mist. Those spren were Shardblades—hundreds of them, more than he’d known existed. When their owners summoned them, their bodies evaporated from Shadesmar.

 

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In Roshar's ocean, or under ground are the two best guesses I've got. Shinovar is another option too, which play well into Stormlight 5, since that's where Szeth and Kaladin are going. The Shin are said to be very fearful of outsiders, protecting the secrets of the honorblades, but possibly the dead-eye blades too.  Also, during Adolin's trial, it was stated that there were nearly 2,000 honor spren killed during the recreance. Assuming at least half of them were bonded to WindRunners of the third ideal, that's about 1,000 shardblades from that order alone.

I've wondered about this too, partly because of Dalinar's vision, and partly because I've got a hunch that the dead-eye spren are going to play a very significant role in book 5. Their situation is extremely similar to what the singers were like when they were parshmen, and the singers all managed to wake up because of one big event.  It wouldn't surprise me if something similar happens with the dead-eyes. 

So wherever they are now, I'm betting they won't stay missing forever.

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I've long thought there is a huge cache of them in Shinovar with the Honor Blades

I can't wait to see how they play into the final confrontations in SA5 and beyond

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I am surprised that no one has brought this up

Quote

“Brightlord?” Bordin said from the door. “I don’t like being here. If we’re
discovered, people might ask questions. The treasure…”
“He truly spoke of Shardblades?”
“Yes,” Bordin said. “A whole cache of them.”
“The Honorblades,” Amaram whispered. “Great Prince, please, give me
the same words you spoke to this one.

Now, Amaram thinks taln is talking about honorblades here, but there isn't a 'whole cache of them', only 9. Seems pretty clear to me taln knows where the missing shardblades are.

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@KaladinWorldsinger Bordin was lying about the whole thing though.Taln never mentioned any treasure. That was the set up by Dalinar to see what Amaram would do and check Kaladin's story.

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On 5/10/2022 at 7:51 AM, Treamayne said:

Don't forget that not all Radiants to renounce Oaths during the Recreance were of the Third Oath  or had the ability to Manifest a Blade (or Plate if Fourth Oath).

Do we know that this is true? It seems to be almost certain that they all were at least of the Third Ideal.

Under normal circumstances the progression for a Radiant goes: 1st Ideal to become a squire, 2nd Ideal, then 3rd Ideal if they're ready for it and a spren is available to bond. We know that the Skybreakers operate this way in the current day and the Windrunners have begun operating this way out of necessity because there have been so few Honorspren willing to bond. It's easy to lose sight of this because in the present day all of the Orders are starting over from scratch, but in the time leading up to and before the Recreance I think it's unlikely that many people, if anyone at all of the 1st or 2nd ideal had a spren. Especially since humans outnumber spren and the squires were probably waiting on a Radiant to be killed so that their spren would become availabel to bond.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, psc92 said:

Under normal circumstances the progression for a Radiant goes: 1st Ideal to become a squire, 2nd Ideal, then 3rd Ideal if they're ready for it and a spren is available to bond. We know that the Skybreakers operate this way in the current day and the Windrunners have begun operating this way out of necessity because there have been so few Honorspren willing to bond.

I think you kind of contradict (or whatever the term would be) yourself here since "Under normal circumstances" and only two examples out of ten orders don't really go together. I would say your example is a Skybreaker-only thing (until we see another order doing something similar). After all, not all orders have Squires, and very few have as many as Windrunners and Skybreakers.

Windrunners have been bonding their Spren at the second Oath, not the third

  • REF: Teft in OB with a spren before the third oath; as well as The Lopen and Huio in Dawnshard with spren before the third oath

Here's a WoB on the subject.

Spoiler

 

Quote

Argent

And each Order's squires are somehow different from the other Orders'?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeeeaaaah... some Orders don't have them, [that] is the difference.

Argent

 But some have more?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

 

 

But you are right, it's not so much fact as deductive reasoning. Simple math tells us that the bell curve should put, on average, as many second oath knights as fourth or fifth oath nights (depending on the crest of the bell curve). So, knowing that at least the few hundred Dalinar saw at Feverstone Keep all had their armor implies that there were at least hundreds of Knights yet to earn their sword. Knowing that, I feel it is doubtful that any of them would essentially swear the third oath just so they could break it and trap their Spren in blade form.

In fact, I'm not even sure that either side (Spren or Knight) realized what would happen when the oaths were broken and how devastating the consequences would be for the Spren.

8 hours ago, KaladinWorldsinger said:

I am surprised that no one has brought this up

Now, Amaram thinks taln is talking about honorblades here, but there isn't a 'whole cache of them', only 9. Seems pretty clear to me taln knows where the missing shardblades are.

@KaladinWorldsingerThat was the lure to Dalinar's trap for Amaram; Taln didn't really say anything about a cache of Shardblades (since we have his words from Shallan's POV):

WoR Ch 76:

Spoiler

Dalinar nodded to himself, as if this were all expected. “I believe an apology is due.”

Kaladin struggled to remain upright, his leg feeling weak. So this would be his final punishment. Apologizing to Amaram in public. A humiliation above all others.

“I—” Kaladin began.

“Not you, son,” Dalinar said softly.

Amaram turned, posture suddenly more alert—like that of a man preparing for a fight. “Surely you don’t believe these allegations, Dalinar!”

“A few weeks ago,” Dalinar said, “I received two special visitors in camp. One was a trusted servant who had come from Kholinar in secret, bringing a precious cargo. The other was that cargo: a madman who had arrived at the gates of Kholinar carrying a Shardblade.”

Amaram paled and stepped back, hand going to his side.

“I told my servant,” Dalinar said calmly, “to go drinking with your personal guard—he knew many of them—and talk of a treasure that the madman said had been hidden for years outside the warcamp. By my order, he then placed the madman’s Shardblade in a nearby cavern. After that, we waited.”

He’s summoning his Blade, Kaladin thought, looking at Amaram’s hand. Kaladin reached for his side knife, but Dalinar was already raising his own hand.

White mist coalesced in Dalinar’s fingers, and a Shardblade appeared, tip to Amaram’s throat. Wider than most, it was almost cleaverlike in appearance.

A Blade formed in Amaram’s hand a second later—a second too late. His eyes went wide as he stared at the silvery Blade held to his throat.

Dalinar had a Shardblade.

“I thought,” Dalinar said, “that if you had been willing to murder for one Blade, you would certainly be willing to lie for a second. And so, after I knew you’d sneaked in to see the madman on your own, I asked you to investigate his claims for me. I gave your conscience plenty of time to come clean, out of respect for our friendship. When you told me you’d found nothing—but in fact you had actually recovered the Shardblade—I knew the truth.”

“How?” Amaram hissed, looking at the Blade Dalinar held. “How did you get it back? I removed it from the cave. My men had it safe!”

“I wasn’t about to risk it just to prove a point,” Dalinar said, cold. “I bonded this Blade before we hid it away.”

“That week you spent ill,” Amaram said.

“Yes.”

“Damnation.”

 

Edited by Treamayne
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Posted (edited)

It just get to me, that Adolin has a CultivationSpren as a blade - that completely disproves my 1) point - event at Feverstone was definitely not isolated, as only the Orders of Stonewards and Windrunners broke their Oaths there. That means there should be much more then 300 Shardblades - which also means that even more of them could be lost in storms or ocean and there still would be hundreds or even thousands to be hidden somewhere. Why I didn't think about it earlier, I love Maya!

 

On 10.05.2022 at 1:51 PM, Treamayne said:

Don't forget that not all Radiants to renounce Oaths during the Recreance were of the Third Oath  or had the ability to Manifest a Blade (or Plate if Fourth Oath). 

That's true, however Recreance was the last thing happening during False Desolation, Radients had years to swear higher Oaths - more time that Radients of today have. We can surly assume that at least half of them was of third Ideal. But even those of second or first ideal that already attracted spren when they had broken their Oaths would resulted in Deadeye creation - if not there would be some famous survivors among sprens - which there are none. 

On 10.05.2022 at 1:51 PM, Treamayne said:

Sadeas' murder kinda disproves this. 

Yes, that's true - good point, however it was different form lord missing after Hightstorm - search party would be definitely send by his family, even just to recover body - they may as well try to recover Shardblade.

 

On 10.05.2022 at 5:51 PM, Letryx13 said:

In Roshar's ocean, or under ground are the two best guesses I've got. Shinovar is another option too, which play well into Stormlight 5, since that's where Szeth and Kaladin are going. The Shin are said to be very fearful of outsiders, protecting the secrets of the honorblades, but possibly the dead-eye blades too.  Also, during Adolin's trial, it was stated that there were nearly 2,000 honor spren killed during the recreance. Assuming at least half of them were bonded to WindRunners of the third ideal, that's about 1,000 shardblades from that order alone.

I've wondered about this too, partly because of Dalinar's vision, and partly because I've got a hunch that the dead-eye spren are going to play a very significant role in book 5. Their situation is extremely similar to what the singers were like when they were parshmen, and the singers all managed to wake up because of one big event.  It wouldn't surprise me if something similar happens with the dead-eyes. 

So wherever they are now, I'm betting they won't stay missing forever.

That's also what I was thinking - many character's arcs seems to be going into Shinovar - Szeth, Dalinar, Kaladin, maybe even BAM could be there or in proximity so Shallan as well - not to mention all the Heralds. Adding to it Shardblades now it's getting bigger and bigger. And the Singers and Sprens after suffer the same because of imprisonment of BAM. Similarities are striking. But would sprens recovery happen when BAM would be freed or something else would have to happen? We shall see.

 

12 hours ago, psc92 said:

Do we know that this is true? It seems to be almost certain that they all were at least of the Third Ideal.

Under normal circumstances the progression for a Radiant goes: 1st Ideal to become a squire, 2nd Ideal, then 3rd Ideal if they're ready for it and a spren is available to bond. We know that the Skybreakers operate this way in the current day and the Windrunners have begun operating this way out of necessity because there have been so few Honorspren willing to bond. It's easy to lose sight of this because in the present day all of the Orders are starting over from scratch, but in the time leading up to and before the Recreance I think it's unlikely that many people, if anyone at all of the 1st or 2nd ideal had a spren. Especially since humans outnumber spren and the squires were probably waiting on a Radiant to be killed so that their spren would become availabel to bond.

All Radients at the Feverstone Keep was at least of 4th Ideal - Stonewards and Windrunners. Also in world book "Words of Radients" says that many Orders had hierarchy and squires - Windrunners were keeping the most of them - which would suggest that during Recreance there was more then 2000 Radients ready to be Windrunners, some just didn't have available spren - like today. Windrunners bonds with sprens on 2nd Ideal - Skybreakers also as Szeth had at this point hidden one. Even Bondsmiths had squires. It's interesting to know which order did not have squires - a Shallan's Lightweavers also had some squires but operating differently If I remember correctly.

10 hours ago, Treamayne said:

I think you kind of contradict (or whatever the term would be) yourself here since "Under normal circumstances" and only two examples out of ten orders don't really go together. I would say your example is a Skybreaker-only thing (until we see another order doing something similar). After all, not all orders have Squires, and very few have as many as Windrunners and Skybreakers.

 

Windrunners have been bonding their Spren at the second Oath, not the third

 

REF: Teft in OB with a spren before the third oath; as well as The Lopen and Huio in Dawnshard with spren before the third oath

Here's a WoB on the subject.

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

 

But you are right, it's not so much fact as deductive reasoning. Simple math tells us that the bell curve should put, on average, as many second oath knights as fourth or fifth oath nights (depending on the crest of the bell curve). So, knowing that at least the few hundred Dalinar saw at Feverstone Keep all had their armor implies that there were at least hundreds of Knights yet to earn their sword. Knowing that, I feel it is doubtful that any of them would essentially swear the third oath just so they could break it and trap their Spren in blade form.

In fact, I'm not even sure that either side (Spren or Knight) realized what would happen when the oaths were broken and how devastating the consequences would be for the Spren.

@KaladinWorldsingerThat was the lure to Dalinar's trap for Amaram; Taln didn't really say anything about a cache of Shardblades (since we have his words from Shallan's POV)

  Reveal hidden contents

Dalinar nodded to himself, as if this were all expected. “I believe an apology is due.”

Kaladin struggled to remain upright, his leg feeling weak. So this would be his final punishment. Apologizing to Amaram in public. A humiliation above all others.

“I—” Kaladin began.

“Not you, son,” Dalinar said softly.

Amaram turned, posture suddenly more alert—like that of a man preparing for a fight. “Surely you don’t believe these allegations, Dalinar!”

“A few weeks ago,” Dalinar said, “I received two special visitors in camp. One was a trusted servant who had come from Kholinar in secret, bringing a precious cargo. The other was that cargo: a madman who had arrived at the gates of Kholinar carrying a Shardblade.”

Amaram paled and stepped back, hand going to his side.

“I told my servant,” Dalinar said calmly, “to go drinking with your personal guard—he knew many of them—and talk of a treasure that the madman said had been hidden for years outside the warcamp. By my order, he then placed the madman’s Shardblade in a nearby cavern. After that, we waited.”

He’s summoning his Blade, Kaladin thought, looking at Amaram’s hand. Kaladin reached for his side knife, but Dalinar was already raising his own hand.

White mist coalesced in Dalinar’s fingers, and a Shardblade appeared, tip to Amaram’s throat. Wider than most, it was almost cleaverlike in appearance.

A Blade formed in Amaram’s hand a second later—a second too late. His eyes went wide as he stared at the silvery Blade held to his throat.

Dalinar had a Shardblade.

“I thought,” Dalinar said, “that if you had been willing to murder for one Blade, you would certainly be willing to lie for a second. And so, after I knew you’d sneaked in to see the madman on your own, I asked you to investigate his claims for me. I gave your conscience plenty of time to come clean, out of respect for our friendship. When you told me you’d found nothing—but in fact you had actually recovered the Shardblade—I knew the truth.”

“How?” Amaram hissed, looking at the Blade Dalinar held. “How did you get it back? I removed it from the cave. My men had it safe!”

“I wasn’t about to risk it just to prove a point,” Dalinar said, cold. “I bonded this Blade before we hid it away.”

“That week you spent ill,” Amaram said.

“Yes.”

“Damnation.”

 

As we know from Maya's words they did not know that they would become deadeye, they did expect pain but not death. Also this decision was made spontaneously in the heat of the moment, this was not something they planned. So all Radients broke their at the level they already were, so no one of 2nd oath would swear 3rd just to leave a blade for dramatic purpose.

 

To summarize - there should be definitely more than 300 blades that were left at Feverstone Keep as Maya is CultivationSpren, but not every Radient would be of 3rd Oath so not every spren would be turned into Shardblade. Even if assuming that half of them were, that still leaves us with 1000 Honorsprens alone, that could be potentially left as blades. Not to mention other orders. Half is too much? 1/4 gives us 500 - no matter what number of Windrunners of 3rd ideal we take, that still gives us bigger number then blades left at Feverstone Keep - hundreds or maybe even thousands of them. Also remember that descendants of people who first took Shardblades would become lighteyes and ruling class of the eastern Roshar - there are a lot of them. And as far as we already know from Kaladin - being Radient only temporarily turns your eyes light - unless this is some cognitive healing thing happening with Kaladin - maybe when he starts perceiving himself as lighteye his eyes would stay light?

Edited by alder24
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12 minutes ago, alder24 said:

Adolin has a Preservationspren as a blade

 

12 minutes ago, alder24 said:

Maya is Preservationspren

Do you perhaps mean CultivationSpren?

13 minutes ago, alder24 said:

no one of 2nd oath would swear 3rd just to leave a blade for dramatic purpose.

Yes, that was my point.

14 minutes ago, alder24 said:

We can surly assume that at least half of them was of third Ideal.

I was thinking closer to 65-75%, depending on where the peak of the bell curve should be placed (likely just shy of swearing the 4th Oath - Kaladin's state at the end of Oathbringer)

 

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3 hours ago, Treamayne said:

I was thinking closer to 65-75%, depending on where the peak of the bell curve should be placed (likely just shy of swearing the 4th Oath - Kaladin's state at the end of Oathbringer)

Regardless, anything more than 15% of the Honorspren alone is more than the number of known dead-eye blades. And that seems like a very low number to me. Which means there are a ton of them unaccounted for. 

4 hours ago, alder24 said:

That's also what I was thinking - many character's arcs seems to be going into Shinovar - Szeth, Dalinar, Kaladin, maybe even BAM could be there or in proximity so Shallan as well - not to mention all the Heralds. Adding to it Shardblades now it's getting bigger and bigger. And the Singers and Sprens after suffer the same because of imprisonment of BAM. Similarities are striking. But would sprens recovery happen when BAM would be freed or something else would have to happen? We shall see.

BAM being freed is one of the possibilities for restoring the spren that I considered. It's been stated that there were no dead-eyes before the recreance, hinting that they exist partly because of BAM's imprisonment, and the damage that imprisonment did to Roshar.  If the Everstorm is about equal to the highstorms, which are the power of the storm father, and the unmade are spren in the same league as the storm father, it's not outside the realm of possibility that freeing BAM could have a significant impact on dead-eye spren.

The only other large scale act that makes sense to me is something similar to the everstorm, perhaps from the restoration of the shard of Honor, or perhaps something from one of the other shards.  

The other idea I've had is that it won't be a large scale act that revives the dead-eyes, but many individuals restoring them specifically, like Adolin did with Maya.  But while that's the logical course to take for the characters, the similarities to the parshmen are too much to ignore. 

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12 hours ago, Treamayne said:

Windrunners have been bonding their Spren at the second Oath, not the third

  • REF: Teft in OB with a spren before the third oath; as well as The Lopen and Huio in Dawnshard with spren before the third oath

This is true in the present day because the Orders are starting over from scratch, I find it difficult to believe that it would have been true in the time before the Recreance. The whole point of having Squires is that because there are more people than available spren, prospective Radiants can swear the first 2 Ideals and train with their powers without the need for a Spren when there are none available, which was probably all the time. Once a new Spren became available, certainly it would bond with a squire that has been ready for the 3rd Ideal and was just waiting for a Spren. Bonding with a squire that isn't ready to say the 3rd Ideal would be a waste of time.

 

13 hours ago, Treamayne said:

I think you kind of contradict (or whatever the term would be) yourself here since "Under normal circumstances" and only two examples out of ten orders don't really go together. I would say your example is a Skybreaker-only thing (until we see another order doing something similar). After all, not all orders have Squires, and very few have as many as Windrunners and Skybreakers.

This is a good point, I left out the other Orders and we don't know how many squires all of the Orders would have had. But the overall point remains the same. At any given point in time there would be some number of squires in an Order (no matter how big or small), and once a Spren wants to bond with one, they would choose one that is ready to swear the 3rd Ideal. As of right now this might be considered a Skybreaker only thing, but it's also simply the most sensible and efficient way of running an Order given that you have a limited number of Spren to work with. I suspect strongly that this will be the way that most if not all of the orders will run things, once they have more time to get established.

You also brought up another good point about not all Orders having squires. I wonder if Brandon is referring to Bondsmiths here, as we know that they can have squires, but they aren't "real" squires. If some of the other Orders (Truthwatchers and Elsecallers for example) don't get squires, then it's possible that some of them at the time of the Recreance were only at the 2nd Ideal. But overall, I think that the number of 2nd Ideal Radiants at the time of the Recreance was very small.

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I think that the second Windrunner Oath is a bit too personalized (compared to the second Skybreaker Oath), and we know that the Oath is filtered through how both the Proto-Radiant and Spren view those oaths.

I would be more inclined to beleive that the way the Skybreakers now function was an adaptation to working in secret after the recreance, rather than how things were done for most orders before the recreance. However, I think both of us have valid points, and there is not enough information to know for sure. 

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11 minutes ago, Treamayne said:

I think that the second Windrunner Oath is a bit too personalized (compared to the second Skybreaker Oath), and we know that the Oath is filtered through how both the Proto-Radiant and Spren view those oaths.

From what we've seen, the second Skybreaker Oath has been more personal. Brandon's generic oath is "I swear to follow the law", and Szeth's oath is "I swear to seek justice, to let it guide me, until I find a more perfect Ideal". Whereas the Windrunner Second Oaths we've seen have both been "I will protect those who cannot protect themselves", and Brandon's was "I will protect". There seems to be more uniformity among the Windrunners than Skybreakers so far.

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There is one detail I tracked down that is curious, and suggests that broken-bond-dead spren are not necessarily deadeyes. This is a conversation between Shallan and Pattern:

Quote

"Pattern," she said softly, clutching a mug of warmed wine, "I'm not a Radiant, right?"

"I do not think so," he said. "Not yet. There is more to do, I believe, though I cannot be certain."

"How can you not know?"

"I was not me when the Knights Radiant existed. It is complex to explain. I have always existed. We are not 'born' as men are, and we cannot truly die as men do. Patterns are eternal, as is fire, as is the wind. As are all spren. Yet, I was not in this state. I was not... aware."

"You were like a mindless spren?" Shallan said. "Like the ones that gather around me when I draw?"

"Less than that," Pattern said. "I was... everything. In everything. I cannot explain it. Language is insufficient. I would need numbers."

"Surely there are others among you, though," Shallan said. "Older Cryptics? Who were alive back then?"

"No," Pattern said softly. "None who experienced the bond."

"Not a single one?"

"All dead," Pattern said. "To us, this means they are mindless-- as a force cannot truly be destroyed. These old ones are patterns in nature now, like Cryptics unborn. We have tried to restore them. It does not work. Mmmm. Perhaps if their knights still lived, something could be done..." (WoR, page 888)

There are a couple of things to note here. The most important is that it reinforces that the Radiant bond exists before a person is a Knight, which in turn suggests that during the Recreance there were bonded spren who could have been damaged by the breaking of oaths but who could not manifest as Blades, and so would not have left Shardblades behind.

But we also have an interesting description. Before being "born", Pattern existed but wasn't "Pattern". This fits with Syl's description of how new honorspren are made, in that they are specific manifestations of power/patterns/Investiture that already existed but are given a new form when the new spren is "created". But before this "birth", spren don't exist in the way we think of them, specifically there isn't a body or mind (or even an organization of components or identity) associated with them. So Pattern's description of dead spren being like Cryptics unborn doesn't quite fit with what we've seen of deadeyes, or what Pattern knew of them at that time. So maybe there are other states for dead spren, particularly those who were not manifested physically/were not able to manifest physically at the time of the Recreance.

I'm not totally convinced that this excerpt is reliable enough to take completely at face value. Most specifically I believe that this was before the major reveal that Shardblades were all dead spren (my memory may not be exactly right on this), and so the details may not be expressed in ways we would expect given that later knowledge. And Pattern's description does fit with what we know of deadeyes in most respects, especially when he describes efforts to restore the dead spren. But it's a bit more information that might bear consideration.

Regardless, the estimates of unknown Shardblades given above are probably a bit high: there is no reason to think that oaths are evenly distributed among people pursuing Radiant bonds, especially since the oaths are difficult to swear acceptably and become increasingly harder (we should have far fewer 5th ideal-sworn people than 2nd, for example). Malchin is an example of this, as he was essentially unable to progress. The points raised about squires are good, but we just don't know enough about how how it worked during the height of the Knights' organizations, and knowledge of which people might be ready to progress seems very difficult to determine. There is a gemstone from Oathbringer which records a Knight who doesn't think they'll be able to swear the Fourth Ideal, even though everyone around them assumes that they will do so soon.

Even then, the most likely explanation for the majority of "missing" blades is just that they're lost. Many in seas, rivers or lakes, and a lot of them buried since just a handful of weeks would be enough to cover over a Blade in crem from Highstorms.

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On 08/05/2022 at 11:03 AM, Returned said:

So in summary I don't think that it's all that suspicious that there are so few Blades known on Roshar, and so few observed deadeyes in Shadesmar. Of the remaining physical Blades, many may just be lost in the physical world. Many are known to still be around and are in active use. Some are probably in the hands of the Skybreakers (they may not use them themselves, but Helaran's Blade came from somewhere, and was given to him by the Skybreakers). I think that it's a good guess that at least some are in Shinovar, though I am not convinced that it's as many as you suggest or for the reasons you suggest.

While logical, I think thats kinda boring for an answer. For plot purposes I could see a secret org or several secret orgs hoarding them (or even moving them off planet) for their own purposes.

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7 hours ago, LordFlea said:

(or even moving them off planet)

Shardblades can't be taken off of Roshar (at least not through the CR) for the same reason(s) Spren and Heralds can't leave Roshar. After all, that's part of the reason Nightblood was created (something like "Oh, we can't take one of these back - well lets go make our own Shardblade"). . .

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On 12.05.2022 at 7:05 PM, Returned said:

Regardless, the estimates of unknown Shardblades given above are probably a bit high: there is no reason to think that oaths are evenly distributed among people pursuing Radiant bonds, especially since the oaths are difficult to swear acceptably and become increasingly harder (we should have far fewer 5th ideal-sworn people than 2nd, for example). Malchin is an example of this, as he was essentially unable to progress. The points raised about squires are good, but we just don't know enough about how how it worked during the height of the Knights' organizations, and knowledge of which people might be ready to progress seems very difficult to determine. There is a gemstone from Oathbringer which records a Knight who doesn't think they'll be able to swear the Fourth Ideal, even though everyone around them assumes that they will do so soon.

Even then, the most likely explanation for the majority of "missing" blades is just that they're lost. Many in seas, rivers or lakes, and a lot of them buried since just a handful of weeks would be enough to cover over a Blade in crem from Highstorms.

There would be definitely very few Radients of 5th and 4th Ideal, we can take Skybreakers as an example, few lucky one were able to swear 4th Ideal and none 5th since ages, except for Nale. But with 3rd Ideal that's different - it's the point when they become full Radient in most Orders. Majority of Windrunners bonded with Sprens in RoW are already at that Ideal. So assuming that 50% of all Radients during Recreance was at 3rd Ideal is not that big of a stretch - that's 1000 of Honorsprens alone.

 

It is possible that lots of Shardblades were lost in storms, but to make them responsible for missing hundreds or thousands of Shardblades is in my opinion too much. As proven time and time again in books it, the knowledge of next Highstorm is common even among the poorest one. Moreover there are shelters natural or man-made placed densely, in every village, in every town, near them and on paths all across country. Even if a Shardbearer was to catch by sudden Highstorm, he could easily made himself a hole with Shardblade - like Kaladin in OB did, Shallan in WoR, or like one that scouts on Shattered Plains were using. Even desperate Eshonai attempt after battle of Narak would be much easier to survive in other places as it would eliminate risk of drowning - just hide behind heavy rock or hill for protection against debries and you could survive. Moreover as Laral said in OB it's not to difficult to put your spheres outside when wind appears, so it's possibly not that difficult to predict incoming Highstorm and find place to hide. As Roshar was tormented by Highstorms even before shattering of Adonalsium (i think so?), these methods used today, would be also commonly used 1500 years before as they don't require technological advancement at all - just a little bit of thinking. So it's hard for me to imagine that majority of the Shardblades were lost in the storms.

 

And than how much cream accumulate on the ground? I don't remember that books describe it often. Cream on the buildings was mention multiple times, but ground was described as solid rock with cracks, stones and plants on it - the only description of cream accumulating on ground was on Shattered Plains in context of buildings as ground level was on the level of second floor of the buildings (Adolin's POV, Battle of Narak). Let's remember that Shattered Plains were shattered befere Last Desolation, so more than 4500 years - assuming that the height of the floor is 3 meters, it gives you roughly 0.67 mm of cream a year, starting from Last Desolation! Crazy low value of yearly accumulation of cream, definitely not enough to indistinguishably cover laying Shardblade not to mention one sticked into the ground. And that's after a year! Let's go even further - assuming that every week (5 days) Highstorm appears, that's gives us 100 Hightstorms a year (year has 500 days) and 0.0067 mm of cream each Highstorm. To comparison, width of the hair is 0.06 - 0.1 mm so you would need 9 Hightstorm for cream to be as thick as the thinnest hair. Good luck covering something with that.

 

The only way for Shardblade to went missing in the storm is to be carried by winds in it, but the farther east the winds weaken, blade would eventually struck the ground - depending on the angle it could be buried deep in the rock, as seen in OB, but it is as likely to strike the ground with its the handle, flat side or blunt edge such as with its tip or sharp edge.

 

I'm also thinking is it relevant to the story? Will finding all those missing Shardblades change anything? It's easy to predict that BAM will be released and that will fixed everything, Deadeyes become alive again etc. Well I think that is just boring! Can BAM reestablish its connection to everything and Roshar just like that, fixing it with ease? The Sprens spiritual web was cracked due to her imprisonment similar to how Radient's web is damage which allows Sprens to form Nahel Bond. It would be much more interesting if the damage was irreversible and to fix Deadeyes reverse Nahel Bond must be made - something like Adolin is doing - that creates so many new possibilities. But that's just my speculation, or rather hopes. 

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