kroen

So why exactly is Nightblood so stupendously overpowered?

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According to WoB, anything hit by Nightblood's blade is erased from all three realms (Spiritual, Cognitive and Physical). This is more powerful than Shardblades and Honorblades which are actually remnants of an actual Shard (Honor). Why is something man-made (or Returned-made, whatever) more powerful than something Shard-made? Yes, Nightblood is Invested with Breath which is from Endowmend, but it's still just a constructed artifact. What am I missing here?

Edited by kroen
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Off the top of my head, density is considerably different. Shards are the "normal" expression of Investiture, while Nightblood is "concentrated" or "condensed" Investiture.

Similarly, if you have a volume of air in a large room, it will do a bunch of regular things (allow fires to burn, you can breath, produce air resistance), but now take all that air and compress it into a container the size of a thimble and you have a very different creature. The compression will super-heat the gas, the gas may become a liquid with totally new properties, the different gases may separate in the liquid phase which will again alter the properties.

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Also Nightblood feeds upon investiture so violently that it will kill you if you don't have enough at hand. This, plus the innate investiture, are what makes it so powerful.

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Surely you're not implying that a manmade construct of intentional, human-guided design should be incapable of surpassing the natural phenomenon on which it was based?

Because that's kinda the entire point of technology. To be better than the normal way things work because you know how to make it that way.

I would think the innate investiture of 1000 people forcibly shoved into a sword all at once and brought to life to destroy something would be pretty dangerous. Especially since it's apparently broken, AND it drains its user to function.

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Well Honorblades also bestow Surges upon their wielder so that's a cool thing. And we don't know what they're capable of when wielded by an actual Herald.

But yeah it's mostly what others have said, it's a matter of concentration. So much Investiture was shoved into Nightblood that it's kindof insane.

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Surely you're not implying that a manmade construct of intentional, human-guided design should be incapable of surpassing the natural phenomenon on which it was based?

Because that's kinda the entire point of technology. To be better than the normal way things work because you know how to make it that way.

I would think the innate investiture of 1000 people forcibly shoved into a sword all at once and brought to life to destroy something would be pretty dangerous. Especially since it's apparently broken, AND it drains its user to function.

 

 

That's a really good point.  I would like to add to it a little (philosophically) if that's alright.

 

Nature has produced dramatically more impressive technology both in scope and complexity (stars, galaxies, life itself) than people ever have.  However your point about human technology is really unique in its intent.  People make technology for highly specific purposes.  This allows them to be potent beyond the elements that comprise them.

 

Nightblood is what happens when the amazing power of nature is harnessed by intelligence for a specific purpose.  Yes a shard is more powerful than Nightblood in the way that a mountain is more powerful than a chisel, but the chisel was designed to puncture the mountain. 

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Yeah, not really buying the 1000 breathes concentrated into a sword theory.

I agree with Kreon, that something else is going on.

The five scholars have done exhaustive experiments on awakening both objects and lifeless. I could be wrong here, but I believe that it was the actual commands that gave them more success, rather than simply adding more breath. Well commands and learning that things that were once alive are far easier to awaken. Seems that they would have tried to awaken a lifeless with 1000 breathes in their experiments at some point in time.

Does anyone know if we have a WOB stating that Nightblood was not created using a divine breath.

If so, I've got nothing,

If not, then is it possible that Shashara told Vasher she used 1000 breaths but actually used her divine breathe in the creation if Nightblood, surviving for a time afterwards on the stored 1000 normal breaths.

Nah I'm not buying that either, but I still think something else is involved.

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Well my post had both the concentration issue and "its command literally involves the destruction of something".

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Yeah, not really buying the 1000 breathes concentrated into a sword theory.

I agree with Kreon, that something else is going on.

The five scholars have done exhaustive experiments on awakening both objects and lifeless. I could be wrong here, but I believe that it was the actual commands that gave them more success, rather than simply adding more breath. Well commands and learning that things that were once alive are far easier to awaken. Seems that they would have tried to awaken a lifeless with 1000 breathes in their experiments at some point in time.

Does anyone know if we have a WOB stating that Nightblood was not created using a divine breath.

If so, I've got nothing,

If not, then is it possible that Shashara told Vasher she used 1000 breaths but actually used her divine breathe in the creation if Nightblood, surviving for a time afterwards on the stored 1000 normal breaths.

Nah I'm not buying that either, but I still think something else is involved.

Remember that also if the Command was a simple "Destroy Evil", the mental image to put the Command in work was probably incredible complex.

About the Lifeless, you can't simply put 1000 Breath inside a lifeless (unless you use the "My Breath is your" command) an ex-living being is the most compatible target of the Awekening in the World and doesn't use many breaths.

 

One popular theory was about the choice of a metal object to the creation of Nightblood. The metal (together with Stone) is one of the Hardest materials to Awaken. Therefore through a metal Object, they may put inside the Sword a lot of Breath that they can't in other ways.

Nightblood is a "lifeform" made possible to the effort to put the many Breath as possible packed inside a Awakened Object with the hope that he develop a sentience (remember that Investiture take with itself sentience)

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Nightblood is a "lifeform" made possible to the effort to put the many Breath as possible packed inside a Awakened Object with the hope that he develop a sentience (remember that Investiture take with itself sentience)

That is a very matter of fact statement, considering we don't know if it's true. WoB suggests that the granting of sentience is something completely different from Awakening, particularly when you consider that Vasher states in Warbreaker's prologue that he's awoken various metal objects in the past. The granting of sentience is something special, an extra step to the Awakening process, and I doubt it's as simple as "just pour more breaths in it".

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A Shardblade is one part of a Splintered Shard and Nightblood is Invested with 1,000 parts of a full Shard, and it also feeds off of any other kind of Investure while being used. Not to mention that it is possible that Nightblood holds one or more Divine Breaths among the 1,000, and he is semi-sentient.

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Well obviously one breath would be weaker than a surgebinder spren, or I'd be able to sever souls from people with an army of stick/plank-wielding awakened straw bundle puppets.

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...an army of stick/plank-wielding awakened straw bundle puppets.

 

Hold on, this is about Nightblood being overpowered, stick being overpowered is a whole other issue. :P

 

Now seriously.

A spren's ability to sever souls isn't necessarily an indication of strength (or amount of investiture) as compared to breath.

It's like comparing a hammer to a screwdriver, they have different functions making one or the other more suited to a given situation, but that does not mean one is inherently better than the other.

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I kinda feel like there's a little magic exploit going on inside Nightblood.  On the one hand, there's a concentration/focus thing in that it takes a thousand Breaths to animate Nightblood (though, unless I'm forgetting something, I have a feeling he was awakened using several thousand more), and that means it's now stuck with at least a few splinter's worth of Investiture.  

 

On the other hand, it eats Investiture and we still don't know why.  This ability isn't all that strong in a Drab-vs-Drab fight.  But it scales infinitely to match the competition.  This is key.  A wrench needn't be stronger than a machine -- it just has to get jammed in its gears.  And Nightblood is the ultimate Shardwrench.

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I kinda feel like there's a little magic exploit going on inside Nightblood.  On the one hand, there's a concentration/focus thing in that it takes a thousand Breaths to animate Nightblood (though, unless I'm forgetting something, I have a feeling he was awakened using several thousand more), and that means it's now stuck with at least a few splinter's worth of Investiture.  

 

On the other hand, it eats Investiture and we still don't know why.  This ability isn't all that strong in a Drab-vs-Drab fight.  But it scales infinitely to match the competition.  This is key.  A wrench needn't be stronger than a machine -- it just has to get jammed in its gears.  And Nightblood is the ultimate Shardwrench.

I always assumed that is because, Nightblood is a "living paradox".

It's not a perfect (stable) Spren and it need extra Investiture to work (for example Nightblood has not enough Investiture to be both a Sentiet being and a Blade who cuts on all the realms at once).

At this point there isn't still the paradox:

Therefore Nightblood feed of near Investiture, and it tried to drain Investiture. But Nightblood is made by Endowment's Investiture. Take for Itself, it's a thing aganist his own being. Therefore Nightblood can't add the stoled Investiture to his own and reject it in a Twisted (and Dangerous) form.

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It also should be noted that Nightblood can cause people who have greed or evil intent to pick him up and kill each other and then themselves

Edited by Lilamal
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It also should be noted that Nightblood can cause people who have greed or evil intent to pick him up and kill each other and then themselves

Actually that is just a Nightblood decision.

 

The Blade can't know the difference between good and evil, therefore It decided that anyone who wanted to pick up and use it is "evil" and the other are "good".

 Mistborn Spoiler

Nightblood uses something similar to "Ruin's Influence"

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Not really Nightblood's decision. His command from his creator upon first coming to being was "Destroy evil". The only thing he has to decide is what evil is exactly.

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Not really Nightblood's decision. His command from his creator upon first coming to being was "Destroy evil". The only thing he has to decide is what evil is exactly.

I meant that Nightblood decides if you are a good guy or bad guy with that criteria.

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Putting the aside the question of just how much Investiture 1000 Breath is (compared to a Blade), Awakening steel and stone requires the Awakener to have reached the Ninth Awakening which is approximately 20,000 Breath. There is probably something significant there.

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To go with a very shaky foundation (partly because I don't have any of my books and partly because I will be making several assumptions as part of my hypothesis), perhaps Nightblood isn't overpowered. He seems to be the equivalent of a spren and when a 

 

STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE SPOILER

spren, whether dead or alive in their shardblade form, kills a living being, we are treated to a scene of the person's eyes burning out as the shardblade kills them. When Nightblood kills, it leechs breath from the user (possibly in a somewhat similar manner to how a living bonded spren will borrow and use the bonded person's stormlight to do Knight Radiant abilities on the 3 realms of cognitive, physical and spiritual) and while we haven't yet seen Nightblood 'kill' a person, we have seen it 'kill' lifeless and objects. When it kills a lifeless or an object, they turn into smoke

Which is remarkably similar to a type of Soulcasting on Roshar. Perhaps Nightblood is killing either a cognitivie or spiritual identity just like how a shardblade kills a spiritual identity of an object/being or Soulcasting changes an identity of an object or worse yet, both changing the identity and killing it.

Also, did anyone ever tell Nightblood that only humans could be evil? Could he be assuming that anything in his way is evil and be destroying everything in the name of destroying evil?

 

We know that shardblades kill on the spiritual realm. We also have seen in in Mistborn and Stormlight Archive that magic interacts differently with living beings and lifeforms. I suspect that if Nightblood was to kill a person directly at full power, then he would do it differently than how he kills non-lifeforms. 

 

Going with that assumption that Nightblood acts in similar manners to shardblades, I think we could say that Nightblood is killing and interacting more directly with spiritual and cognitive realms than shardblades are. If so, then Nightblood is just stronger than the shardblades. Or possibly the shardblades are holding back on part of their strength because they live in those realms and have to interact with what they kill and Nightblood doesn't. If shardblades are actually holding back their full strength just like how professional fighters hold back their full strength and skill while sparring, then Nightblood is more like a bully that doesn't play by the rules of polite warfare.

 

And as for why Nightblood is stealing breath, well, the Nahl bond takes the Stormlight of the human but it seems more like how two atoms might share electrons between each other. Nightblood might be more like a chlorine atom and just takes an electron from what is nearby. He is of a fundamentally different type of spiritual/cognitive (wish I understood the full difference between the two in the Cosmere) element. As such, Nightblood has different properties than Shardblades. They are both primarily spiritual/cognitive beings but their composition is different. 

If the idea that Nightblood is elementally different is correct, then Nightblood isn't overpowered. It is just different. More like chlorine (a deadly poison) than a metal (an excellent conductor - which given Voidbringer abilities would explain why Knight Radiants would rather use Shardblades instead of Awakened objects to fight their destined foe).

 

I don't know which would be more accurate. I would guess the spiritual elemental idea simply because Sanderson studied chemistry before switching his major to literature. He might have decided to treat the cognitive and spiritual realms as being similar to chemical interactions.

 

 

EDIT:

As I was searching through the interview database (wondering about what would happen if someone soulcasted a shardblade by the way), I found multiple quotes saying that Nightblood was more invested than Shardblades as well as Nightblood being a type of Shardblade.
So my idea is debunked. 
 


But going back to why Nightblood is so much more powerfully infused, I guess it would be the quality and quantity of materials used in the construction. Nightblood was made with 1000 breaths. Shardblades are made of 1 spren. The sheer quantity should make up for any imbalance of power quality if spren are more infused than breaths are. Which given that Roshar seems to be higher power when compared with other worlds, is likely. Just not 1000 times more powerful.

 

And the links to the Nightblood and Shardblades are below.

Nightblood is more powerful than a shardblade. #34t

Nightblood is an unique shardblade. #15

Nightblood and shardblades being full of investure #51

Edited by Worldbringer of JoSeun
fixed spoilers
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This is a bit off topic, but does anyone know what happens to the investiture that Nightblood consumes? 

Does it add it to the 1000 breaths already in it or does it burn it off similar to someone burning Atium? 

I always assumed that whenever Vasher drew Nightblood, it added the drained Breaths on top of the initial 1000 but I'm not sure if that is how it actually works. 

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This is a bit off topic, but does anyone know what happens to the investiture that Nightblood consumes? 

Does it add it to the 1000 breaths already in it or does it burn it off similar to someone burning Atium? 

I always assumed that whenever Vasher drew Nightblood, it added the drained Breaths on top of the initial 1000 but I'm not sure if that is how it actually works. 

To me Nightblood can't keep the consumed Investiture and the leaking smoke is exactly that but in a twisted form.

 

Nightblood is an Endowment's being and "take with force" is just the opposite of his Mother-Intent.

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I originally theorised that the amount of corrupted Investiture cannot decrease in the cosmere, and though it might be true Brandon told me corrupted Investiture is not entropy in the Investiture laws of thermodynamic. I do suspect the Investiture Nightblood turns black does not just simply return to its Shard of origin as with most Investiture usages- because of this WoB:

 

PhantomMonstrosity
Let's say some mistborn jerk tosses Nightblood into the mists. What happens?

Brandon Sanderson
I suspect the mists would pull away from Nightblood, though he'd try to feed on them.
(source)

 

So maybe the Investiture returns to the Shard but its Intent gets soiled/corrupted? Or maybe it is locked for a while until it becomes clean again (with a Spiritual mechanic similar to what forced Atium to take hundreds of years to regrow, perhaps). Or maybe corrupted Investiture is just an aesthetic thing and has no further ramifications (although the WoB above suggests otherwise).

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I would argue that normally the command to "destroy evil" would be to abstract to work, but the reason it worked is the sheer power that was behind the command and that the intent of the creator was so well formed it kind of "brute forced" the process into working.

 

And as a result the awakening made nightblood sentient as that was the only possible way for the awakened object ( nightblood ) to have any hope of fulfilling the command. as distinguishing evil REQUIRES full sentience. He became sentient as that was the only way to fulfill the command.

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