Rg2045

Possible tWoK foreshadowing

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In tWoK prologue with szeth he mentions that the alethi are “not too far” from acquiring new shardblades. A thought followed by him commenting on the alethi warmongering and worried about the future. 
this of course brings up an important question. Why were the alethi confident to have new shards soon? 
my first thoughts was they had fanciful thoughts of new fabrials. But after O, RoW, and book 5 prologue, I think the alethi were rather talking about

1) a possible voidspren bond, 

2) having the radiants return therefore the shards return with them. 
3) or that gavilar was talking about a great new weapon and the alethi in their wisdom, thought it was a Treasure of shardblades. 
 

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Just a small problem with that. Szeth knew nothing about Gavilar’s plans, voidspren, and very little about Radiants. And the Alethi knew even less. And remember, Szeth thought the Radiants would never return because he was dubbed Truthless when he said they would. And does Gavilar ever talk about a weapon?

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I think that we have to be careful in whom we're describing when we say "the Alethi", as there are a lot of different groups that might be described that way but that don't necessarily interact.

Alethkar as a nation wasn't too far past its unification wars, which were successful. With all of the Shards of Alethkar, plus its wealth and combined conventional military might, they would be much better equipped to invade other nations and claim their Shards. This was already a major worry of Vedenar, Thaylenah, the Makabaki kingdoms, and others. 

Gavilar knew a great deal by the time of his death, so he might well have known about possible new Radiant (or Radiant-style) bonds, discovering the cache of Shardblades posters here at 17th Shard are so fond of theorizing about, or any number of other things (we really don't have a grasp how how knowledgeable Gavilar truly was; it always seems he knew more than we'd thought). He was also tied up with the Sons of Honor, whose goals included events which the spren themselves feared enough that they started seeking out new Radiants on their own.

Veden researchers were pursuing what ultimately produced the so-called half-Shard shields, and we know from a variety of comments that Alethi researchers were engaged in similar research (if not in quite the right direction). It wouldn't be unreasonable to imagine that big breakthroughs were coming soon, especially since we know that the Veden efforts really did produce the half-Shard shields not so long after Szeth's worries.

The Sons of Honor, with or without access to much of Gavilar's secret knowledge, were actively seeking to bring about another Desolation. This would be connected to Nale's efforts to prevent new Radiant bonds from forming, and so might plausibly prompt new Bonds to form apart from whatever Gavilar's plans were.

And finally, we really don't know how much information Szeth had about the state of the world. I think that it's a safe bet that the Shin know far more than they've demonstrated so far, and the training Szeth had with the Honorblades would have included Truthwatcher powers. We don't really know exactly how those work (for "regular" Truthwatchers or those like Renarin), but he might have gained a large amount of information about Roshar's present and future that would not have been available any other way. 

Edited by Returned
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@Returned I guess me using “the alethi” was a bit, reckless. I ment more the “sons of honor” as we know multiple members and recruities was present at the feast. 
and we know gavilar was holding many cards close to his chest. So when he discussed a weapon to fight their ancient enemies everyone assumes shardblades. 

anyways we know that nobody knows that spren are shardblades at the time. 
 

also I like the idea of the veden with the half-shards. 
I wonder what would happen if they put the fabrial on a sword. Or spear. 

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31 minutes ago, Rg2045 said:

So when he discussed a weapon to fight their ancient enemies everyone assumes shardblades. 

anyways we know that nobody knows that spren are shardblades at the time. 

Well, nobody might be a bit strong-- the Heralds know, the Sleepless probably know, Taravangian probably knows, the Ghostbloods might know, Gavilar might know, and the Shin might know, and who knows who else? Szeth is a pretty good candidate for being someone who knows, or at least has an idea. He knew an awful lot about Radiant abilities when he fought Kaladin in WoR, for example. We just don't know very much about how much the Shin understand about mystical matter, nor what special knowledge they might generate in the course of training with the Honorblades.

But I agree there's not any direct evidence that Szeth knew any of this. For the record, I've always assumed that the "soon Alethkar will have new Shardblades" just referred to future Alethi conquests and the Shards they'd claim in the process. Alethkar was pretty occupied during the unification wars, but after they unified would be more able to turn the combined might of the ten Princedoms outward.

39 minutes ago, Rg2045 said:

I wonder what would happen if they put the fabrial on a sword. Or spear. 

I bet we'll find out! Though my guess is, not much. The half-Shards, as described in the shields, make things harder and/or more durable. We haven't seen a ton of issues relating to weapons breaking or not being hard enough. Kaladin's spearheads and hafts are the only examples I can think of offhand. Maybe as the half-Shards become more common and less expensive/difficult to produce we'll see more. Things like half-Shard hammers might be very helpful against Fused, thunderclasts, and the like.

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Here is the section from the WoK Prologue:

Quote

At the edge of the room, he passed rows of unwavering azure lights that bulged out where wall met floor. They held sapphires infused with Stormlight. Profane. How could the men of these lands use something so sacred for mere illumination? Worse, the Alethi scholars were said to be close to creating new Shardblades. Szeth hoped that was just wishful boasting. For if it did happen, the world would be changed. Likely in a way that ended with people in all countries—from distant Thaylenah to towering Jah Keved—speaking Alethi to their children.

This sounds like rumor based on the research into what eventually became the Half-Shards, to me.

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3 hours ago, Treamayne said:

This sounds like rumor based on the research into what eventually became the Half-Shards, to me.

Though it's worth noting that the Alethi scholars never did manage to produce those or get on the trail of doing so, while the Vedens did. Possibly, maybe even likely, related to Szeth's concerns, but much more boasting than anything related to their progress if so.

Edited by Returned
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11 hours ago, Returned said:

Though it's worth noting that the Alethi scholars never did manage to produce those or get on the trail of doing so, while the Vedens did. Possibly, maybe even likely, related to Szeth's concerns, but much more boasting than anything related to their progress if so.

And this was what made me question it to begin with. If it was half-shards, why haven’t we heard more on the alethi side. 
it’s not like when America made the nuke Russia just gave up on it. They sent spies to infiltrate and steal the information. So the question becomes why did they stop talking about it? Was it the voidspren bonding that gavilar was trying to do? Was szeth so “invisible” that two sons of honor were just talking without worries? I just feel that the half-shards were more of a diversion then the intended foreshadowing.

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20 minutes ago, Rg2045 said:

And this was what made me question it to begin with. If it was half-shards, why haven’t we heard more on the alethi side. 
it’s not like when America made the nuke Russia just gave up on it. They sent spies to infiltrate and steal the information. So the question becomes why did they stop talking about it? Was it the voidspren bonding that gavilar was trying to do? Was szeth so “invisible” that two sons of honor were just talking without worries? I just feel that the half-shards were more of a diversion then the intended foreshadowing.

Did Gavilar even know about spren bonds? If he had, he would have tried to bond the Stormfather, which he didn‘t do. He didn‘t even try. And maybe the reason we don‘t hear about making shards is because it‘s not really relevant to the story. It‘s very, very, very unlikely that anyone will make shards, and right now we‘re more worried about Fused and Odium than technological advancement.

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45 minutes ago, Rabbit Unmade said:

Did Gavilar even know about spren bonds? If he had, he would have tried to bond the Stormfather, which he didn‘t do. He didn‘t even try. And maybe the reason we don‘t hear about making shards is because it‘s not really relevant to the story. It‘s very, very, very unlikely that anyone will make shards, and right now we‘re more worried about Fused and Odium than technological advancement.

Have you read the prologue to SA5? I don’t want to spoil anything 

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3 hours ago, Rg2045 said:

Have you read the prologue to SA5? I don’t want to spoil anything 

Yes I have.

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25 minutes ago, Rabbit Unmade said:

Yes I have.

SA 5

Spoiler

Then what do you mean gavilar wasn’t trying to bond the stormfather, he was literally trying to find the words (not knowing intent was needed) to bind them. And was close to finding out before being killed. 

Also I’m pretty sure that when you’re in a war technological development is essential. Especially if you want to gain/push an edge 

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5 minutes ago, Rg2045 said:

SA 5

  Reveal hidden contents

Then what do you mean gavilar wasn’t trying to bond the stormfather, he was literally trying to find the words (not knowing intent was needed) to bind them. And was close to finding out before being killed. 

Also I’m pretty sure that when you’re in a war technological development is essential. Especially if you want to gain/push an edge 


No. 
 

Spoiler

He was trying to find the words to become a Herald. Not to bond the Stormfather.

And plus, there is no way the Alethi were close to making shards. All they knew about were fabrials, and shardblades aren‘t fabrials so talking about making shardblades is irrelevant to the story.

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I always figured Szeth was talking about fabrial research; before the Radiants returned people thought Blades and Plate were ancient, forgotten fabrial technology. Navani discovered during the series that the gems weren't originally part of the Blade; before that they were assumed to be just really awesome fabrials.

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