galendo

Windrunners, Bondsmiths, and Ideals

19 posts in this topic

One thing that struck me recently was the difference between Kaladin swearing the First and Second Ideals and Dalinar swearing the First.  In Kaladin's case, he is described as "explod[ing] with Light."  The exact terminology and emphasis is used for both Ideals, in both books.  In Dalinar's case, nothing.

 

Why the difference?  And what exactly is going on with Kaladin anyway?

 

Let's talk about the second question first: what is going on with Kaladin, anyway?

 

From the books, there are a couple of different explanations:

1) Kaladin is sucking up all the ambient Stormlight, thus exploding with Light.

2) Kaladin is getting a boost solely from swearing the oath, and would have exploded with Light even if there hadn't been any Stormlight around to suck up.

 

I'm not sure we have the information to decide between the two proposals.  In the first book, we don't get a close-up view of what's going on with the gems in the Parshendi's beards at the time.  In the second book, all the lanterns in the hallway go dark, which supports the first explanation; but then, "For a moment, they stood in darkness", which doesn't exactly match how we've seen Radiants suck light out of gemstones earlier, where they literally inhale the light.

 

It's also worth noticing that the draining of the lamps and the exploding with light don't happen immediately after swearing the oath, but rather after Syl forms a Shardblade in his hand.  So maybe something else is going on instead, though it's still obviously related to swearing the Ideals.

 

Anyway, that's Kaladin.  But Dalinar's case is very different.  Why?

1) Windrunners are special, and get the boost while other orders don't.

2) Bondsmiths are special, and don't get the boost while other orders do (much like Shardblades).

3) Situation is important: Kaladin had a need for Stormlight when he swore his Ideals; Dalinar didn't.

 

Now this might be another case where we don't have enough information to fully decide, but maybe we do, at least somewhat.  For instance, Jasnah and Shallan have each progressed at least to the Shardblade level, and though we don't see the progression ourselves, we can somewhat infer by its lack of mention, even in retrospect, that either they didn't get the Stormlight boost or they got it when few people were around to see.  Ditto for Renarin, if he's progressed as far as the First Ideal yet.  This seems to weigh somewhat against explanation 2).

 

Any ideas?  I have a somewhat crazy idea somewhat in favor of situation 1), but it's mostly based on me really, really wanting there to be ten Radiant oaths and grasping at any straws I can to make it fit, so I think I'll reserve it for now.  I'm interested to see if anyone has any evidence or arguments for or against any of these cases, though, or any new explanations that I may have overlooked.

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I'm inclined to suspect it's a matter of Kaladin holding Stormlight in the case of the end of WoK while Dalinar is not.

 

It seems like every oath sworn increases your Stormlight efficiency. In Kaladin's case, if his efficiency goes up while holding a ton of Stormlight and he can only hold so much, it makes sense for a ton to be suddenly ejected in a stream of Light.

 

I don't have much of an explanation for the end of WoR (maybe Kaladin can just suck in Stormlight really powerfully now). But I suspect if Dalinar were holding Stormlight when he said the Second Ideal, he might have gotten an explosion too.

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I actually wonder if it's a case of the later ideals generating a bunch of investiture in the bond between the Radiant and Spren (as Honour is all about oaths and the Spren are generally a Splinter of Honour) that gets channeled into a glyph that expresses the oath, shaped like the relevant Honourblade. It could be a case of surplus stormlight somehow, although becoming more efficient at using stormlight doesn't exactly multiply what you have, it just makes you use it more slowly. *shrug*

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It seems like every oath sworn increases your Stormlight efficiency. In Kaladin's case, if his efficiency goes up while holding a ton of Stormlight and he can only hold so much, it makes sense for a ton to be suddenly ejected in a stream of Light.

 

I'm sorry, but I'm not quite sure what you're saying here.  Well, I get the gist of your post -- that whether you get the Stormlight boost might depend on whether you're holding in Stormlight at the time.  This is an interesting variable that doesn't explain Kaladin's second Ideal but would explain why none of the other Radiants got the boost.  I'm not sure how increasing your efficiency/ability to hold Stormlight would cause a bunch of it to be ejected, though, or even how you'd get all that Stormlight in the first place.

 

On the other hand, taken with this post, it creates a new theory:

 

I actually wonder if it's a case of the later ideals generating a bunch of investiture in the bond between the Radiant and Spren (as Honour is all about oaths and the Spren are generally a Splinter of Honour).... It could be a case of surplus stormlight somehow, although becoming more efficient at using stormlight doesn't exactly multiply what you have, it just makes you use it more slowly. *shrug*

 

Maybe swearing the oath gets you a bunch of Stormlight somehow, but then because the proto-Radiant isn't very efficient at holding Stormlight, the rest of it is suddenly ejected.  This would explain the exploding with Light description and might also explain the pressure shock that tosses the Parshendi about in WoK and the shutters in WoR.  It doesn't explain why Dalinar didn't get the boost as well, though, since he also swore an oath.

 

Interestingly, this theory will be somewhat testable when we see Kaladin's next oath.  Since Radiants get more efficient at holding in Stormlight as they swear more oaths, Kaladin should glow less brightly the next time.  He should also produce less of a shockwave.  Come to think of it, that might explain why the Parshendi were tossed about in WoK but Moash and Graves weren't in WoR, though that might also be because they were in Shardplate at the time.

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I'm sorry, but I'm not quite sure what you're saying here. 

 

The idea is that as your efficiency grows, your body can hold less (or rather, doesn't want to hold as much and you would need to consciously force yourself to keep it), and so expels the excess Stormlight in a stream of light. It's not the most intuitive explanation!

 

Maybe swearing the oath gets you a bunch of Stormlight somehow, but then because the proto-Radiant isn't very efficient at holding Stormlight, the rest of it is suddenly ejected.  This would explain the exploding with Light description and might also explain the pressure shock that tosses the Parshendi about in WoK and the shutters in WoR.  It doesn't explain why Dalinar didn't get the boost as well, though, since he also swore an oath.

 

Now that I think about it, Kaladin exploding with Light might have just been him using Adhesion to create that shockwave instinctively. He similarly explodes with Light when he Reverse Lashes his shield to save Bridge 4 from the Parshendi.

 

Interestingly, this theory will be somewhat testable when we see Kaladin's next oath.  Since Radiants get more efficient at holding in Stormlight as they swear more oaths, Kaladin should glow less brightly the next time.  He should also produce less of a shockwave.

 

I'd be careful with this. Both Szeth and the squires in Dalinar's vision glow less brightly than Radiants do, and both probably use Stormlight less efficiently than Kaladin. More efficiency might mean they shine more brightly.

 

This might be explained by Stormlight being a "lightbulb into the Spiritual Realm":

[10:05]

Alterodent: With Stormlight, the better the gem is cut, the less Stormlight it leaks, and the longer it holds its charge. If a gem was perfectly cut, on a molecular scale, would it leak Stormlight at all?

A: In a theoretical flawless gem, then no it would not.

Q: Would it actually give off light?

A: Ooh... Theoretically no it would not, but it's not what you're thinking...

Q: No no no, that’s not what I’m thinking, I figured that’s something totally different

A: Well, actually, it probably would still give off light, because it's drawing out of the Spiritual Realm. So I’d say it still lights, but it doesn't leak. The leaking is not where the illumination is coming from. The illumination is coming from a direct... It's basically a lightbulb screwed into the Spiritual Realm.

(source)

 

If you can use Stormlight more efficiently, maybe you can draw more of this energy from the Spiritual with any given amount of Stormlight... which would then give you the "more efficiency = brighter" effect.

 


 

Edit: Also, I thought of another reason Kaladin might explode with Light during his Amaram thing. He was really wounded, and as we know, when Stormlight heals wounds it usually floats out through the wound... so the Stormlight that Kaladin draws in is going to leave in a big burst as he heals, and he's going to be drawing in an absurd amount. Doesn't quite explain the wind thing, unless Kaladin drew in so much Stormlight that he made a vacuum. Could also just be the effect of Syl returning from the Cognitive.

 

I'm against the idea that swearing an Ideal gives you Stormlight from nowhere. I don't think it makes sense - Stormlight is a physical gas, you should have to get it from the area around you. It can't just be spontaneously created.

Edited by Moogle
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That stormlight efficiency thing is making me think back to my old biochemistry lectures.

Prolonged living in high altitude conditions actually causes your body to try to stabilize your hemoglobin in the form with lower oxygen affinity (as opposed to the norm where the affinity essentially increases as oxygen is bound) so as to accelerate the rate of oxygen release into tissues that need it.

Normally a terrible idea, but since there's barely enough oxygen to take in anyway with the thin air the positives still outweigh the negatives.

I would find it odd that the person's stormlight affinity will affect a spiritual property of the light itself. It probably has more to do with quantity than that.

Edited by natc
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I would find it odd that the person's stormlight affinity will affect a spiritual property of the light itself. It probably has more to do with quantity than that.

 

It is weird, but Szeth has been using "dangerous" amounts of Stormlight, and yet glows less brightly Kaladin.

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It's feasible in Szeth's case that the blade is simply chugging it though. Nightblood would do the same.

Other than that, he's actually using up larger quantities of stormlight, so logically there is less light leaking out of him because it's being used up.

Edited by natc
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It's feasible in Szeth's case that the blade is simply chugging it though. Nightblood would do the same.

Other than that, he's actually using up larger quantities of stormlight, so logically there is less light leaking out of him because it's being used up.

 

Kaladin shines very brightly when he uses his powers, though. When he catches a bunch of arrows, he's like a "fountain" of Light. And similarly, Nightblood isn't exactly subtle when drawn and actively consuming Investiture, leaking black liquid and smoke. So even if Szeth is "using up" the Stormlight, it should have a visual indication...

 

I don't know, Honorblades are weird. Why don't they leak the Light they consume like Nightblood? Are we perhaps wrong about them consuming it?

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I don't know, Honorblades are weird. Why don't they leak the Light they consume like Nightblood? Are we perhaps wrong about them consuming it?

 

The explanation in the book seems rather final to me.

 

“This sword gave the assassin power to use Lashings, but it also fed upon his Stormlight. A person who uses this will need far, far more Light than you will. Dangerous levels of it.”

 

 

We are going to have to assume that, yes the honor blades are consuming the stormlight. Perhaps Nightblood just isn't as efficient as the honorblades.

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Or Nightblood is too efficient despite being "full" and just spills out on the floor.

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The idea is that as your efficiency grows, your body can hold less (or rather, doesn't want to hold as much and you would need to consciously force yourself to keep it), and so expels the excess Stormlight in a stream of light. It's not the most intuitive explanation!

 

Okay, I think I get what you're saying. It seems kind of weird that the amount of Stormlight you could hold would go down after swearing an oath, though. Seems counter-intuitive, though I suppose it's possible.

 

Now that I think about it, Kaladin exploding with Light might have just been him using Adhesion to create that shockwave instinctively. He similarly explodes with Light when he Reverse Lashes his shield to save Bridge 4 from the Parshendi.

 

I'd have to check to be sure, but wouldn't it be his shield that lights up, since he just dumped all his Stormlight into it?

 

I'm against the idea that swearing an Ideal gives you Stormlight from nowhere. I don't think it makes sense - Stormlight is a physical gas, you should have to get it from the area around you. It can't just be spontaneously created.

Well, it doesn't seem to be a physical gas when the Stormfather just puts it into gems during the Highstorms. It's not entirely implausible that whatever "just put it in there" method is at play. 

 

It is weird, but Szeth has been using "dangerous" amounts of Stormlight, and yet glows less brightly Kaladin.

This is a little bit off topic, but do we have any idea why the amount of Stormlight being consumed is dangerous?  Is it just because one's tiredness afterward is proportionate to how much one uses?

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Okay, I think I get what you're saying. It seems kind of weird that the amount of Stormlight you could hold would go down after swearing an oath, though. Seems counter-intuitive, though I suppose it's possible.

 

Note I'm not necessarily saying you can hold less. If you can get more effect out of less Stormlight, it might feel like having just a little Stormlight in you gives you a lot of power and thus more pressure in your veins. So maybe instinctively you just release the pressure inside... with force of mind, perhaps you can keep it inside. Note that in highstorms that Kaladin doesn't overflow to bursting and somehow regulates his Stormlight intake so the storm doesn't burst him.

 

But yeah, I find this one less than likely.

 

I'd have to check to be sure, but wouldn't it be his shield that lights up, since he just dumped all his Stormlight into it?

 

Reverse Lashings actually make the target darker and seem to cast a shadow. But even if it was, a Pressure shockwave should light up too because there'd be Stormlight in it... just like a Full Lashing makes a glowing puddle.

 

Well, it doesn't seem to be a physical gas when the Stormfather just puts it into gems during the Highstorms. It's not entirely implausible that whatever "just put it in there" method is at play.

 

Er, well, storms are movements of air/air pressure... and the storms are "Invested to the hilt" as per Vasher. Mistborn spoilers:

The mists are similar to the highstorms, too.

I mean, they do have a presence in the Cognitive and there's definite Realm intermixing. We also know the Cognitive has some Stormlight or else Jasnah never could have Elsecalled like she did. So it isn't impossible that Radiants somehow draw power from the Cognitive or Spiritual when they swear an oath, but it seems super super unlikely to me. I'd think the rules would be at least semi-consistent and Dalinar should get a power boost if so.

 

This is a little bit off topic, but do we have any idea why the amount of Stormlight being consumed is dangerous?  Is it just because one's tiredness afterward is proportionate to how much one uses?

 

Not confident, but if I had to guess, Mistborn spoilers:

QUESTION

If metals shape the Investiture in Allomancy, causing a Steelpush or whatever, how is it that the mists can be used to perform the same feat? What is 'shaping' the inhaled mists into a Steelpush, if there's no metal "nozzle" to do so?

 

BRANDON SANDERSON

Consistently through the cosmere, once you have the power in hand and it has permeated you, will becomes your nozzle. This can be seen in Warbreaker, where the power has been distributed and inhabits the people. The nozzle idea is important for Magics that are drawing power externally, as it keeps the power from overwhelming and destroying you. (Which, basically, happened to Vin at the end of the Trilogy--she got consumed by the magic. She became something new, now, so it didn't KILL her. It destroyed what she was, transformed her into something else.)

(source)

 

Drawing in too much Stormlight might, like Vin, change you. I think in Roshar's case you wouldn't take up a Shard, but becoming a Cognitive Shadow like the Unmade(?) (hopefully not as Odious) seems very possible.

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I agree with Moogle's point. It makes sense. I think the thing that's necessary to make it work is considering Stormlight and Investiture as somewhat different. A body can only hold so much Investiture at once. Stormlight gets converted to Investiture by the Nahel bond. As the bond gets stronger, the conversion rate gets better. 

 

I'm going to try to assign some arbitrary numbers to try to make the point more clear.

 

Before swearing the ideal, Kaladin has say a cap of 100 Investiture, for which he requires 100 units of Stormlight to hit. He currently has all 100 units of Stormlight. Swearing the Ideal doubles his efficiency, making it so he only needs 50 units of Stormlight to hit the same cap of 100 Investiture. So once he swears the ideal, he holds the same 50 stormlight to maintain his cap, while expelling the other 50 stormlight (fully half of what he had before), which is seen as an explosion of light.

 

 

 

I'd actually guess his cap increases some alongside the efficiency increasing (so he actually is able to hold 150 units of Investiture now, and expels 25 stormlight), which manifests as the significant jump in capability from swearing the ideal. But the general idea is the same. Kaladin now needs less stormlight to hit his investiture cap and the rest turns into the explosion of light.

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Stormlight and Investiture aren't different though.  At least not in that manner.  Stormlight is just a kind of Investiture.
 

Question
So Stormlight and Breath are both just different manifestations of Investiture.

Brandon Sanderson
That's correct.

...
(source)

 

Honestly think the explosion of light was just for dramatic effect in that particular scene.

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Maybe the difference is simply due to the fact that the Stormfather entered the bond reluctantly, whereas Syl was very much pushing Kaladin to speak the Oath both times.

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In one of Dalinars visions he talks to Nohodon, and he says that not all spren are as picky with the ideals as Honorspren. In WoR after he accidentally swears himself into a corner Oath wise the stormlight is less effective than before, so Syl could be "promoting" him by allowing more access to stormlight. Pattern also talks about reviving broken spren, I imagine the process is different than what Kaladin dod as Syl wasnt truely dead, just gone. However that could account for the delay. Its also worth noting that Dalinar didnt get any Shards and the Bondsmiths are noted as being drastically different from the other Orders in Words of Radiance WoR the book Jasnah gave Shallan. There being only 3 members at any one time.

I infer that the Nightwatcher is the same as the Stormfather, a spren of one of the Shards, in her case Cultivation. Her boons fit with Cultivating, pruning and planting and such, give and take. Dalinar bonding the Stormfather gives a possible reason for there only ever being three of them. Three shards, three shard-spren, three bondsmiths bound to them.

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I'm inclined to suspect it's a matter of Kaladin holding Stormlight in the case of the end of WoK while Dalinar is not.

 

It seems like every oath sworn increases your Stormlight efficiency. In Kaladin's case, if his efficiency goes up while holding a ton of Stormlight and he can only hold so much, it makes sense for a ton to be suddenly ejected in a stream of Light.

 

I don't have much of an explanation for the end of WoR (maybe Kaladin can just suck in Stormlight really powerfully now). But I suspect if Dalinar were holding Stormlight when he said the Second Ideal, he might have gotten an explosion too.

 

 

 

In WoR when Kaladin swears the third oath, first all the lamps in the corridor go out, then the stormlight explodes in Kaladin.

 

I guess  we see these light effects because Kaladin swears the second and third when his life is in imminent danger and he really needs a lot of light to save others. During the second, he has already some stormlight in his system, plus he probably reflexively absorbed everything from charged spheres around him, during the third, it takes a moment for him to absorb the light from the lamps around him.

 

 

Plus, the different types of spren humans can bond with seems to have a really different mode of operation, so to speak.

Edited by Garfield
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Apparently, more Oaths increases the range of Stormlight inhalation. So with the second, the bridgemen's spheres were probably drained.

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