sprocket

Can We Talk About Shardplate?

87 posts in this topic

So recently I finished my re reading of SA, and somewhere into WoK I got into a discussion with some friends about shardplate, and it got me thinking.

 

At this point probably stop reading if you haven't finished Words of Radiance.

 

I'd like to see what people think about shardplate, since it seems it doesn't get as much attention as the other various shards.  I had been thinking about the workings of plate, it started with realizing that if shardplate was really made out of metal, it should dent, except it doesn't, it shatters. When I brought this up to my freinds they seemed to think treating plate like a fabrial was silly since doing that in the past turned out to be false (i.e shardblades being spren). They believed that construction of plate was in some way related to the Nahel Bond, as shardblades are. Despite this, I'm pretty sure they are just fabrials. We know the gemstone in a shardblade isn't actually related to its function, but shardplate requires them AND a steady supply of stormlight. If the gemstones aren't infused then the armor is anything but light. And, probably most importantly, everything shardplate does can be related to the surges.

 

Shardplate is metal, yet it shatters instead of deforming, I imagine that is is related to the surge of either tenstion or cohesion, but I can't say for certain since we don't yet know much about those surges. Progression or transformation would allow the plate to regrow from a single piece. The misting of the visor due to illumination. Obviously there's some pretty advanced fabrial science that is beyond our current understanding but as we've seen, the ancients had some pretty wicked knowledge in that department.

 

This brings me to my second topic. History. Recent and not so recent. The vision where dalinar meets Nohadon seems to imply that Bond granted surgebinding was present long before the founding of the Knights Radiant. This is important because I believe shardplate was the hallmark of the Knights and came into existence around the same time. In fact I think this time was one of the few where it's construction was possible given the level of technology at the time. That they managed to construct something as sophisticated as the oathgates makes me think they could manage shardplate. As for recent history, both Kaladin and Renarin seemed to have no problem touching shardplate, which doesn't help the assertion that shardplate is of the spren. Something both my friends were eager to prove.

 

tl;dr: Shardplate is just a very advanced fabrial that was made at the same period as the founding of the KR and the construction of Urithiru.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This seems relevant.  As I can easily do this, I hope it helps to quote it.
 

The armor bearers inspected his boots— checking to be certain the laces were tight— then brought a long padded vest to throw over his uniform. Next, they set the sabatons— armor for his boots— on the floor before him. They encased his boots entirely and had a rough surface on the bottoms that seemed to cling to rock. The interiors glowed with the light of the sapphires in their indented pockets. Dalinar was reminded of his most recent vision. The Radiant, his armor glowing with glyphs. Modern Shardplate didn’t glow like that. ...

He stepped into the sabatons, and the straps tightened of their own accord, fitting around his boots. The greaves came next, going over his legs and knees, locking on to the sabatons. Shardplate wasn’t like ordinary armor; there was no mesh of steel mail and no leather straps at the joints. Shardplate seams were made of smaller plates, interlocking, overlapping, incredibly intricate, leaving no vulnerable gaps. There was very little rubbing or chafing; each piece fit together perfectly , as if it had been crafted specifically for Dalinar.

One always put the armor on from the feet upward. Shardplate was extremely heavy; without the enhanced strength it provided, no man would be able to fight in it. Dalinar stood still as the armor bearers affixed the cuisses over his thighs and locked them to the culet and faulds across his waist and lower back. A skirt made of small, interlocking plates came next, reaching down to just above the knees.

... the armor bearers locked his breastplate into place, then worked on the rerebraces and vambraces for his arms. Already, he could feel the strength of the Plate surging through him...

... the armor bearers locked the gauntlet onto his right. He made a fist, tiny plates curving perfectly . The left gauntlet followed . Then the gorget went over his head, covering his neck, the pauldrons on his shoulders, and the helm on his head.

Sanderson, Brandon (2010-08-31). The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive) (pp. 371-372). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.

Also hopefully relevant:

  • There may be WoB that Shardplate is invested (duh).
  • The material also cracks rather than denting
  • When it blows, it is described as molten.
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What if it's actually a super viscous fluid?  Kind of like stormlight-infused glass, or the stuff inside a spartan's mjolnir power armor.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • When it blows, it is described as molten.

 

This, I'd forgotten to bring this up. It's always struck me as a little odd, my best guess right now is that the plate is just really good at absorbing the kinetic energy of whatever strikes it, but that doesn't really seem like enough to cause it to melt... You know, maybe it's heating up because all the work (in the energy sense) being done by the stormlight is suddenly changing to heat energy when the stormlight gets cut off, I don't know if that makes sense. But now I'm thinking about investiture in a whole new way.

 

As for the grip of the boots thing, that's something I had completely forgotten about, but that screams surge of abrasion.  

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of note, there is a bond between Shardplate and its user.
 

KiManiak
When Kaladin killed the Shardbearer (Helaran) in WoK, Amaram remarked that Amaram knew the Shardbearer was dead because the Shardblade didn’t disapper and because the Shardplate began to fall off of him.  Is there some type of “lesser” bond between Shardplate and its wearer?

Brandon Sanderson
Yes, yes there is.
(source)

 

While I agree with the obvious relation to fabrials, I'm not all that certain fabrials have bonds to people? It may be a Surgebinding fabrial thing, and that might explain why Soulcasters get their strange deformities. Either way, this bond thing really strikes as me involving spren somehow (which is no surprise).

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What if it's actually a super viscous fluid?  Kind of like stormlight-infused glass, or the stuff inside a spartan's mjolnir power armor.

Hahaha, this would actually make me quite happy

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of note, there is a bond between Shardplate and its user.

 

 

While I agree with the obvious relation to fabrials, I'm not all that certain fabrials have bonds to people? It may be a Surgebinding fabrial thing, and that might explain why Soulcasters get their strange deformities. Either way, this bond thing really strikes as me involving spren somehow (which is no surprise).

A bond like that also makes sense given that Shardplate has to move along with the body of the wearer. Perhaps, once on, the plate links to your cognitive aspect somehow. This could explain why it automatically conforms to your body shape, and why it falls off once you die. That and the soulcaster thing makes me think all fabrials have a bigger cognitive effect than we realize.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I think that the glass/amorphous solid is a good bet for the composition shardplate.  That explains why it has the molten look when it stops working, how it can easily mold to the wearer's body, and why it cracks and shatters, rather than denting.  There's literally no reason that we know of for why this wouldn't be the case.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I think that the glass/amorphous solid is a good bet for the composition shardplate.  That explains why it has the molten look when it stops working, how it can easily mold to the wearer's body, and why it cracks and shatters, rather than denting.  There's literally no reason that we know of for why this wouldn't be the case.

You know, you've got a point here. I could potentially see this being the case. Although wouldn't it mean if you left it uninfused for too long it would melt into a shardpuddle?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, you've got a point here. I could potentially see this being the case. Although wouldn't it mean if you left it uninfused for too long it would melt into a shardpuddle?

 

Probably not.  If anything, it would probably get supper brittle and weak, going from awesome magical glass to boring, normal glass.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You say that you're fairly sure that Shardplate is NOT related to Nahel Bonds, but are instead merely fabrials...

 

I disagree.

 

In the book, Dalinar wondered why Shardplate was not given to common people. Shardplate is incredibly useful for even mundane tasks. Why didn't ordinary people get Shardplate (or even high-ranking generals in the army) if Shardplate was simply a type of fabrial? 

 

I think the best explanation for this is that Shardplate is connected to Nahel Bonds. In Dalinar's flashbacks, the only people who possess Shardplate also have Shardblades. Even in the present world, the number of Shardplates seems to be strongly connected to the number of Shardblades, suggesting that they come from a similar source and are linked.

I'm guessing that Kaladin will need to swear additional oaths before he gets Shardplate.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i had a topic like 2 days ago talking about shardplate being lesser spren like when kaliden gathers wind spren around him or shallan gathers creation spren and they form a lesser bond

 

since the lesser spren are mindless they wouldn't scream when forced to be plate like any other fabrel

Edited by taveren
5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i had a topic like 2 days ago talking about shardplate being lesser spren like when kaliden gathers wind spren around him or shallan gathers creation spren and they form a lesser bond

 

since the lesser spren are mindless they wouldn't scream when forced to be plate like any other fabrel

Hey that's a cool idea! Sorry I missed that

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You say that you're fairly sure that Shardplate is NOT related to Nahel Bonds, but are instead merely fabrials...

I disagree.

In the book, Dalinar wondered why Shardplate was not given to common people. Shardplate is incredibly useful for even mundane tasks. Why didn't ordinary people get Shardplate (or even high-ranking generals in the army) if Shardplate was simply a type of fabrial?

I think the best explanation for this is that Shardplate is connected to Nahel Bonds. In Dalinar's flashbacks, the only people who possess Shardplate also have Shardblades. Even in the present world, the number of Shardplates seems to be strongly connected to the number of Shardblades, suggesting that they come from a similar source and are linked.

I'm guessing that Kaladin will need to swear additional oaths before he gets Shardplate.

They also had glowing glyths like the blades, and at the very least the helms could be dismissed and summoned as well in the visions. That along with the automatic features that still function would suggest something rather excessively complex enough to make you wonder how it can self-operate for a few thousand years nonstop.

Speaking of, the gemstones are removable right? And Kaladin can power one piece directly. The gems might just be there so you won't, say, accidentally lock yourself in a suit of heavy armor if you drop your money in combat.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You say that you're fairly sure that Shardplate is NOT related to Nahel Bonds, but are instead merely fabrials...

 

I disagree.

 

In the book, Dalinar wondered why Shardplate was not given to common people. Shardplate is incredibly useful for even mundane tasks. Why didn't ordinary people get Shardplate (or even high-ranking generals in the army) if Shardplate was simply a type of fabrial? 

 

 

 

It's obviously not an ordinary Fabrial but I still think it is one, I think it is similar to Oathgates in that it needs a Surgebinder. Why would they need Surgebinders to operate? I have one very simple explanation for this, Ishar. Ishar may have decided that ordinary people are not to have easy access to Shardplate because he understands that ordinary people are not to be trusted. He would rather that only a Surgebinder have access to them because a Surgebinders' actions are controlled through their Nahel-bond.

 

He was ultimately wrong about the Surgebinders but he couldn't know what he and they were going to do. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact that the Shardplate needs both gems and stormlight is one that's been naggling at my brain, so thank you for giving voice to the question. I don't have a lot to add to the conversation as of now.

peaking of, the gemstones are removable right? And Kaladin can power one piece directly. The gems might just be there so you won't, say, accidentally lock yourself in a suit of heavy armor if you drop your money in combat.  

 

However, I think the gemstones may prove to be the non-surgebinder key, meaning they allow non-surgebinders the ability to use the suit and lessen the amount of stormlight drawn directly from the surgebinder wearing it.

This seems relevant.  As I can easily do this, I hope it helps to quote it.
 
Also hopefully relevant:

  • There may be WoB that Shardplate is invested (duh).
  • The material also cracks rather than denting
  • When it blows, it is described as molten.

Another relevant point, I think one of the most important, comes from WoR: 

 

Shardplate "grows" back after being damaged. I don't currently have the book, but at one point Adolin asks Kaladin to grab his helm or other piece after being damaged in battle because it's faster to re-grow if it has a seed.


 

I do not think the Shardplate is as closely related to the Nahel Bond as Shardblades. I think it is of some other construct relating to the material used on the Oathgates. 

 

Edit: I forgot to include my closing thoughts.

Edited by Loni
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They also had glowing glyths like the blades, and at the very least the helms could be dismissed and summoned as well in the visions. That along with the automatic features that still function would suggest something rather excessively complex enough to make you wonder how it can self-operate for a few thousand years nonstop.

Speaking of, the gemstones are removable right? And Kaladin can power one piece directly. The gems might just be there so you won't, say, accidentally lock yourself in a suit of heavy armor if you drop your money in combat.

 

I don't remember Shardbearers in Dalinar's visions being able to summon their helms. And I assumed their armor lit up because the men/women were surgebinders, not because of the armor itself (though I could be wrong). 

 

I assumed gems were the most efficient way of storing power. Putting several gems in Shardplate -> more resilient armor.

 

And I still strongly believe Shardplate/Shardblades are closely related... In Dalinar's visions, people who owned Shardplate also had Shardblades. Nobody just had Shardplate or just a Shardblade. 

Why do you guys think Shardplate isn't connected to the Nahel bond?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wasn't there some Word of Brandon that said that the gems used in shardplates are some sort of jury rigging that the Radiants didn't need to use?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Dalinar's vision where he fights Night Essence the Radiants helms appear and disappear -- presumably -- at will, this indicates to me that it is part of the Nahel bond, but the Nahel bond and fabrials aren't mutually exclusive, as proven by the Oath gates. It's probably a combination of both.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wasn't there some Word of Brandon that said that the gems used in shardplates are some sort of jury rigging that the Radiants didn't need to use?

 

That makes sense during the Arena fight the helm that Kaladin grabbed from the downed sharbearer fed on his stormlight rather than the gems from the suit. Heck why would the Radiants even need gems in their armor since they are basically a walking stomlight storage system.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another relevant point, I think one of the most important, comes from WoR: 

 

Shardplate "grows" back after being damaged. I don't currently have the book, but at one point Adolin asks Kaladin to grab his helm or other piece after being damaged in battle because it's faster to re-grow if it has a seed.

 

Hmm, this seems to imply that shardplate is actually a crystalline solid, and not an amorphous.  Frankly, it could just be a crystal.  Think of cloud seeding: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_seeding

 

Having the seed would help the shardplate grow back with less stormlight.  It would act similarly to a catalyst.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Dalinar's vision where he fights Night Essence the Radiants helms appear and disappear -- presumably -- at will, this indicates to me that it is part of the Nahel bond, but the Nahel bond and fabrials aren't mutually exclusive, as proven by the Oath gates. It's probably a combination of both.

 

I reread the passage and yes, the Shardbearer seems to summon the helmet from nothing. Good catch, it was worded subtly. 

 

Even though Radiants can store a lot of stormlight, they still have limits on how much they can store. Szeth can store a crap ton of stormlight, but he still carries around bags of spheres because he will inevitably run out. I'm guessing it's the same with Shardplate.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with Loni and Unhinged; I think the gems are only necessary for those who can't naturally hold Stormlight. I thought the books made it fairly obvious that the gems were only there to act as Stormlight batteries. When the gems run out, the plate gets heavy. A surgebinder then wouldn't need the gems at all, as Kaladin shows in the arena with the helm-gauntlet.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I reread the passage and yes, the Shardbearer seems to summon the helmet from nothing. Good catch, it was worded subtly. 

 

Even though Radiants can store a lot of stormlight, they still have limits on how much they can store. Szeth can store a crap ton of stormlight, but he still carries around bags of spheres because he will inevitably run out. I'm guessing it's the same with Shardplate.

But we also know that 1. Szeth is less efficient (or something) in terms of his use of stormlight than Kaladin is after 3 oaths and 2. that kaladin gets more efficient as he swears his oaths (or at least I think we know this.  I could be misremembering).  This would lead to the conclusion that a full radiant (all five ideals sworn) could power the plate much more easily than szeth or kaladin can right now, and so might not need as much of a backup supply as szeth does.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no such thing as too much backup stormlight, Dunkum.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.