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Yumiya

Why Honorblades?

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With the introduction of the fused I have started to wonder about the purpose of the Honorblades. Yes, they make nice weapons, but why tie the ability to use surges (before the spren copied them) to the blade? Why not grant the Heralds access to the surges and stormlight directly? 


Fused don't require this. Just like the Heralds, they are cognitive shadows. Unlike the Heralds, they can directly ask Odium for Voidlight using the Song of Prayer. Additionally they have access to their surge without needing a special weapon. 

Similarly, when the humans were on Ashyn, they had the equivalent of surges, which they used to destroy most of the world. There is never any mention to it being tied to physical items. And the magic will supposedly mutate in a disease based system.

Maybe honor was trying to build a failsafe if one of the Heralds died, it could be passed to someone new. But this only makes sense if they were created BEFORE the Oathpact and I rather think that they were created at the time of the Oathpact. 

Maybe honor was trying to put limits on Honorblades that a direct connection would not allow for (things like stormlight usage is much higher and you cannot heal). Though that also feels wrong, a direct connection not a medium would probably more efficient inherently. Plus, intentionally reducing the power of your champions seems stupid. 

Maybe honor was doing something quite different. We know that his death was a protracted event. Maybe he saw enough of what was going to happen to put a backup plan in place. Put enough of his power in to the 10 blades of his champions, then when the day of need truly came, Bondsmith could UNITE the 10 blades, potentially with the stormfather, to provide enough power to win the day. 

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5 hours ago, Yumiya said:

With the introduction of the fused I have started to wonder about the purpose of the Honorblades. Yes, they make nice weapons, but why tie the ability to use surges (before the spren copied them) to the blade? Why not grant the Heralds access to the surges and stormlight directly? 


Fused don't require this. Just like the Heralds, they are cognitive shadows. Unlike the Heralds, they can directly ask Odium for Voidlight using the Song of Prayer. Additionally they have access to their surge without needing a special weapon. 

Similarly, when the humans were on Ashyn, they had the equivalent of surges, which they used to destroy most of the world. There is never any mention to it being tied to physical items. And the magic will supposedly mutate in a disease based system.

Maybe honor was trying to build a failsafe if one of the Heralds died, it could be passed to someone new. But this only makes sense if they were created BEFORE the Oathpact and I rather think that they were created at the time of the Oathpact. 

Maybe honor was trying to put limits on Honorblades that a direct connection would not allow for (things like stormlight usage is much higher and you cannot heal). Though that also feels wrong, a direct connection not a medium would probably more efficient inherently. Plus, intentionally reducing the power of your champions seems stupid. 

Maybe honor was doing something quite different. We know that his death was a protracted event. Maybe he saw enough of what was going to happen to put a backup plan in place. Put enough of his power in to the 10 blades of his champions, then when the day of need truly came, Bondsmith could UNITE the 10 blades, potentially with the stormfather, to provide enough power to win the day. 

Interesting question. I thought it had something to do with symbolism.  In a lot of fiction with middle ages technology, people swear their allegiance by "swearing their sword" to someone.  I happens in the Game of Thrones books several times.  Then, in Oathbringer, the StormFather said the Honorblades were the mark of an oath, the Oathpact, which was related to radiant oaths but different. 

Perhaps Honor wanted the Heralds to have a physical symbol of their Oaths and the weight they carried? A reminder of what they had sworn to?  

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It is an interesting question. I am going to say this was done mostly for literary and symbolic reasons. I also think that Brandon kind of realized after Mistborn a single person with every power (i.e. a full Mistborn) is a little OP. You can see it in how they are pretty much extinct currently in E2 (although I know we will see at least one in E3). So the Honorblade is a limiter to an extent. They are symbolic and cool while helping progress the story along. So many things would not have happened the way they did if the surges were not attached to them. 

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I think the Fused get the advantage of a Gemheart to interface with the Spiritual Realm in fun overt ways.  Honor was trying to empower some Humans that didnt have that to act as a Bridge, nor the Diseases of modern(?) Ashyn, or whatever they used on Ashyn pre-Migration (which they might have been forced to leave some critical access means behind), so he created a Medallion-esk object that would Bond with Contact.  And in his original design, he'd expected to personally be the gatekeeper of Investiture for them and a constant restraint on their power and use.

 

 

Quote

 

Questioner

Do Honorblades bestow their abilities similar to an Identity-free nicrosilmind with other Metalborn abilities?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, these are working on similar principles. Same principle, divergent applications by the magic system, but yeah, I would say, they come back to the same principles.

Orem signing (March 10, 2018)

 

 
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Singers have gemhearts and they can take forms when taking in a spren. Some spren grant powers that way.

A Cognitive Shadow is basically a spren. A Fused is basically a parasitic form that destroys the host.

It makes sense that the spren/Cognitive Shadow carries the Surge.

But humans did not evolve to include spren in their bodies. They don't have gemhearts. When they bond a spren, it is something external.

Presumably that's why Honor made Honorblades and did not bestow Surges directly on Heralds.

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My thinking has been that Honor's creation of the Honorblades was a manifestation of his oath with the Heralds. Physical objects which are nearly indestructible and grant Surges to their wielders no matter what-- a commitment which endures even after Honor's own death.

We also know that the Shards are limited by their natures, so possibly Honor couldn't grant powers without something like a rigid, permanent oath. Odium, as a different Shard with different limitations, may be able to do things Honor could not, or at least in ways Honor could not. The swords are a commitment that Honor couldn't break under any circumstances, while Odium has at least some discretion over whether or not Fused can access his power. But we know so little about how Odium's connection to the Fused works it's hard to draw good, reliable contrasts.

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On 8/23/2022 at 2:59 PM, Yumiya said:

With the introduction of the fused I have started to wonder about the purpose of the Honorblades. Yes, they make nice weapons, but why tie the ability to use surges (before the spren copied them) to the blade? Why not grant the Heralds access to the surges and stormlight directly? 


Fused don't require this. Just like the Heralds, they are cognitive shadows. Unlike the Heralds, they can directly ask Odium for Voidlight using the Song of Prayer. Additionally they have access to their surge without needing a special weapon. 

Similarly, when the humans were on Ashyn, they had the equivalent of surges, which they used to destroy most of the world. There is never any mention to it being tied to physical items. And the magic will supposedly mutate in a disease based system.

Maybe honor was trying to build a failsafe if one of the Heralds died, it could be passed to someone new. But this only makes sense if they were created BEFORE the Oathpact and I rather think that they were created at the time of the Oathpact.

The Heralds apparently had unlimited Investiture feed from Honor before Honor's death, so probably better than what the Song of Prayer gives the Fused.

And if they could summon their Honorblades Shardblade-style so it can't be lost or stolen, then there's no disadvantage, and they gain the advantage of having an actual Shardblade (and Fused can't heal from a Shardblade to the gemheart).

Ashyn pre-Roshar-exodus apparently didn't have disease-based magic?

I do have a theory that the Honorblades were given to the Heralds before the Oathpact, as they are supposed to be dead for the Oathpact to work so what's the point of Blades? (According to the Stormfather, Honor never thought that the Heralds might be tortured into bending their oaths, so no fighting should have been part of the plan.)

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In addition to what others have said, tying the surgebinding abilities of the Heralds to their Honorblades isn't that much of a handicap. It's not like the Heralds are going to be losing them or having them stolen, the Blades are bonded to their very soul and can be summoned and dismissed instantly. As far as we know, the Fused don't have any means of separating the Heralds from their Blades and their powers, so for all intents and purposes, tying the ability to use surges to a Blade doesn't have that many disadvantages.

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On 24/8/2022 at 7:04 PM, Returned said:

 The swords are a commitment that Honor couldn't break under any circumstances,

This got me thinking of a slightly diffrent take, though of course this is pure philosofical speculation, 

1) if Honor was to modify the Herald's spirit webs to give them surges, it might make them "too much of Honor", thus possibly breaking the rules that bind the shards.

2) I think that the power of an oath stems intrisically from the possibility to break said oath. The very fact that the heralds could drop the sword at any moment is what made the Oathpact as powerful as it was in the first place. To bring this to an extreme and clearly impossible example, could an Oathpact work if it was made between Honorspren and Honor itself? I think not, there is a connection, but it's not an oath.

 

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