CosmereQuestioner

Why does Nightblood drain investiture?

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I understand Nightblood's drive to destroy evil (the given command), and that his creation process with 1000 breaths gave him sentience, etc...but where did his draining of investiture come from??  

It's such a huge part of him, yet I never thought to ask about that part til later books came out.

Edited by CosmereQuestioner
Edited for possible spoiler alert
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This is a fantastic question! I'm not the most equipped to handle this question but I'll hazard a guess it has to do with the WoB about how when Nightblood hits something it erases it from all 3 realms. This must take a lot of energy to do.

I hope someone else can lend a solid answer to this.

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We don't have a real answer to your question. Naurock's one may be the right one, I have another explaination for example but both of them are our speculations.

The mine is:

Nightblood is an incomplete being, it's a functional but unstable Splinter. It can't express both its Mind and Its Power at the same time. When Nightblood is removed from its protection (who stops its power), this lack of Investiture is quite oblious (Nightblood can't think as before) and with its basic instinct it try to obtain new Investiture from the owner.

But this doesn't work. Nightblood isn't uncapable of keeping the stolen Investiture and adding to its own because it's an Endowment creature who steal from other...In the process the investiture is twisted and expulsed with the effects we associate to Nightblood's edge...the total annichilation of whaterver it cuts.

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Like Yata said, we don't know for sure. Personally, I think it has to do with granting sentience.
The returned need extra breath to survive, non-sentient awakened objects don't seem to need this. Perhaps an unknown rule of awakening stemming from how little testing has been done.
For all we know, Nightblood's "condition" is just because it's a hack of one system's tech in another system

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I am still about "the Returned need Investiture to resist the call of the Beyond" after all they are not really resurected...or they will not die when they give away their Divine Breath

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I also wonder why Nightblood could kill from the "3 realms" whatever he hits. It makes more sense when IF he came from Ruin(since it's an act of decay/destruction/death) but nightblood came from Endowment.

It kinda doesn't match.

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On 9/6/2016 at 2:37 PM, goody153 said:

I also wonder why Nightblood could kill from the "3 realms" whatever he hits. It makes more sense when IF he came from Ruin(since it's an act of decay/destruction/death) but nightblood came from Endowment.

It kinda doesn't match.

How a shard's manifestation of investiture is used usually has little do with its intent. Endowment gave awakening the concept of putting power into an object. The fact that Nightblood can damage all three realms is just a result of how the manifestation of investiture was used in that particular case. Preservation gives the concept of preserving an allomancers strength, but the power is used to augment them.

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On 9/6/2016 at 8:16 AM, The One Who Connects said:

Like Yata said, we don't know for sure. Personally, I think it has to do with granting sentience.
The returned need extra breath to survive, non-sentient awakened objects don't seem to need this. Perhaps an unknown rule of awakening stemming from how little testing has been done.
For all we know, Nightblood's "condition" is just because it's a hack of one system's tech in another system

It likely has to do with granting sentience to an object which shouldn't have it. Returned are people who have died, and thus shouldn't have sentience. Nightblood is a hunk of metal, and thus shouldn't have sentience. This then plays nicely into Vasher's quote of having awakened metal before Nightblood, but no accompanying news of other sentient objects like Nightblood.

Stormlight Archive spoilers

It's also possible that the feeding mechanic stems from the whole copying Shardblades thing, assuming Nightblood was modeled after a Sprenblade rather that a Shardblade. Though we haven't actually gotten published evidence that it costs a KR stormlight to keep their spren in "Tool" form.

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Quote

COGNIZANTASTIC

As I understand it, Nightblood is most comparable to a Shardblade. However, unlike a Shardblade, Nightblood requires constant input of Investiture in order to realize his full destructive potential. Why is this?

BRANDON SANDERSON

Vasher kind of hacked in order to imitate another magic system. Shardblades are organic parts of the world they are on, but Nightblood is a bunch of souls stuffed into something. Nightblood is like a Frankenstein.

 

Quote

QUESTION

Why does Nightblood need to eat Investiture?

BRANDON SANDERSON

So, Nightblood is… leaky, is how would say it.

These are the best I could find. So, Nightblood's consumption of investiture is not used to power himself, it's due to flaws in his construction. He leaks investiture, and needs to replace it.

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I've always wondered if Nightblood's true name would give some insight on how he worked. But unlike the name of Dalinar's wife, I don't believe Brandon Sanderson told anyone the name yet. Guess we just have to wait for the sequel. 

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54 minutes ago, shadowwisp said:

I've always wondered if Nightblood's true name would give some insight on how he worked. But unlike the name of Dalinar's wife, I don't believe Brandon Sanderson told anyone the name yet. Guess we just have to wait for the sequel. 

Nightblood has another name? Where was that stated?

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Yup. I don't think too many people know that. At least I couldn't find any mention of it in this forum. I suspect it will be revealed in the last chapter of the sequel paralleling how Vasher revealed his real name in Warbreaker. 

In the annotations: http://brandonsanderson.com/annotation-warbreaker-chapter-fifty-one/ 

Quote

Note that Nightblood is capable of more change than Vasher assumes. Vasher has a bit of a blind spot when it comes to Nightblood. He makes assumptions he wouldn’t make regarding other people or elements of Awakening. It’s hard for him to regard the sword without bias. If you want to know more about this, read the sequel. (Er, if I ever write it.) Which is tentatively named Nightblood.

Anyway, Nightblood is named for the smoke he leaks, and he originally had a different name when he was created. Vasher himself dubbed the sword Nightblood after he had used it to kill the woman he loved. The blackness that leaks out is actually corrupted and consumed Breaths, the ones that Nightblood leeches off anyone who draws him.

 
I have been toying with a theory that depends if Nightblood knows that it has another name.

If Nightblood forgot its original name, similar to how it forgot that it killed Shashara, then it would be too much of a coincidence that a character missing part of its memory is traveling with a character with the ability to remove memories (Vasher).

We have already seen the results of a Spren forgetting its name/identity:

Stormlight Archives Spoilers

Spoiler

Sylphrena/Syl. Her abilities are dramatically decreased.  

 Perhaps Vasher intentionally crippled Nightblood as a fail-safe in case he died or if he lost Nightblood. Doesn't seem too far-fetched considering that he killed his wife to prevent awakened steel from falling into the wrong hands. 

Still a rough theory and I'm sure there are some holes in it, which is why I never created a thread for it. 

Edited by shadowwisp
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Interesting indeed. Regarding whether Nightblood knows it's original name, I wonder whether Nightblood really knows its own name, either the current one, or its original one. I haven't read Warbreaker in some time, but is there any point where Nightblood actually refers to itself by a name? I know it recognizes when someone calls it by its name, it knows they are talking about it. However, that could just be because it is mentally linked to them and sees the intentions behind the use of its name. We already know Nightblood's memories are faulty. The only long-term memories it has are of the moments directly surrounding its creation. It forgets anything that has occurred after that point, which is why it still thinks Arsteel and Vasher are friends and Shashara is alive. So it is not necessary that Vasher has been tampering with Nightblood's memories, it's just faulty enough that it cannot remember well.

It would make sense though, that Vasher changed Nightblood's name, because its original name would've given clues to what it was, or its creation, something he wants to keep hidden. That or the name was something so "Shashara-like" that Vasher changed so he wouldn't keep being reminded of what he did, though just having Nightblood is more than likely reminder enough.

I wonder though, what kind of changes Nightblood has been going through. I suspect that Nightblood contains a splinter of Endowment, as a result of all its breath gaining sentience, or something very close to a splinter. I wonder if Nightblood is, in a sense, trying to complete itself. Brandon has described it as a hack between systems, and as a result, Nightblood has issues, such as continually requiring more breath. As such, I'm thinking that Nightblood is trying to change itself so that is no longer the case, or maybe refine its personality. 

41 minutes ago, shadowwisp said:

Doesn't seem too far-fetched considering that he killed his wife to prevent awakened steel from falling into the wrong hands. 

Nitpick: He killed her to prevent the spread of Type IV awakened entities, not knowledge of awakening steel. I don't think the two are the same, though the former does require the latter. 

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1 hour ago, Spoolofwhool said:

Nitpick: He killed her to prevent the spread of Type IV awakened entities, not knowledge of awakening steel. I don't think the two are the same, though the former does require the latter. 

Per the Coppermind, they apparently aren't the same. They can mix, but that's because of how broad the type criteria is.

Quote

Type III

The process generally thought of as Awakening creates Type III entities, a BioChromatic manifestation in an organic host far removed from being alive. Examples include Awakened ropes, cloth, or skeletal remains.

Type III objects can take a great deal of Breaths, often over one hundred, to create. However, since the object being Awakened is far from being alive, the Breath can be recovered afterwards. For this reason, much more is known about the Commands to Awaken Type III entities.

Someone who has reached the Ninth Heightening is able to Awaken things like stone or steel, which were never alive. Such Awakenings require enormous amounts of Breath.

Type IV

Type IV entities are Awakened objects with sentience. The only known such object, Nightblood, required Shashara to be at the Ninth Heightening and to expend one thousand Breaths. No other research into Type IV entities has been conducted.

Emphasis added. Type I is Returned and II is Lifeless, Type III was considered awakening anything else. Since the only example of Type IV is Nightblood, I imagine that Vasher/Shashara created that classification afterwards for Sentient Awakened Objects.

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Hmm I'm not sure if Nightblood ever refers to itself with a name. Its introductions have always started with just "hello". Vivenna did verbally call out its name and Nightblood responded. But like you said, that doesn't mean much. 

1 hour ago, Spoolofwhool said:

 We already know Nightblood's memories are faulty. The only long-term memories it has are of the moments directly surrounding its creation. It forgets anything that has occurred after that point, which is why it still thinks Arsteel and Vasher are friends and Shashara is alive. So it is not necessary that Vasher has been tampering with Nightblood's memories, it's just faulty enough that it cannot remember well.

I don't think Nightblood has any issues with long term memory. From my understanding, it is able to remember and learn like any other living creature. But it can't remember a certain chunk of it's memory where it killed Shashara and thus why Arsteel and Vasher aren't friends anymore. And since it can't recall that part of its life, it ignores any evidence of the contrary. I'm not sure if it is just denial with Nightblood's childlike personality or if there is a mental block of sorts. I suspect the latter. 

I just find it interesting that Brandon Sanderson hints that Vasher can remove memories. Here is a skill that doesn't seem to fit into the Awakening magic system in any way and it has very little relevance to the story. So why include it? 

Good call on the Nitpick! I forgot you could awaken steel normally.

Unrelated but this annotation quote is quite interesting. Especially since we assumed that the biggest difference between Nightblood and a Shardblade is that the latter can change forms. Not sure if there are any implications of this. 

http://brandonsanderson.com/annotation-warbreaker-chapter-forty-one/

Quote

The strangest thing about him is the idea that his form isn’t that important. The sheath is like a binding for him, keeping his power contained. So drawing him out isn’t like drawing a regular weapon, but rather an unleashing of a creature who has been kept chained.

Once that creature is unleashed, he becomes a weapon—even if he’s unleashed only a little bit. The sheath itself turns into a weapon, twisting those around it. You don’t need to stab someone with Nightblood to kill them; smashing them on the back with the sheath works just as well. It will crunch bones, but beyond that, merely touching them with the sheath when the smoke is leaking can be deadly.

 

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1 hour ago, The One Who Connects said:

Per the Coppermind, they apparently aren't the same. They can mix, but that's because of how broad the type criteria is.

Emphasis added. Type I is Returned and II is Lifeless, Type III was considered awakening anything else. Since the only example of Type IV is Nightblood, I imagine that Vasher/Shashara created that classification afterwards for Sentient Awakened Objects.

Yes, exactly. It's just a nitpick I have to make often enough because people always seem to say that Vasher was trying to hide the knowledge of awakening steel, which is incorrect.

1 hour ago, shadowwisp said:

I don't think Nightblood has any issues with long term memory. From my understanding, it is able to remember and learn like any other living creature. But it can't remember a certain chunk of it's memory where it killed Shashara and thus why Arsteel and Vasher aren't friends anymore. And since it can't recall that part of its life, it ignores any evidence of the contrary. I'm not sure if it is just denial with Nightblood's childlike personality or if there is a mental block of sorts. I suspect the latter. 

I just find it interesting that Brandon Sanderson hints that Vasher can remove memories. Here is a skill that doesn't seem to fit into the Awakening magic system in any way and it has very little relevance to the story. So why include it? 

Okay, I found something here. The Warbreaker annotation for Chapter 54.

Quote

Nightblood, however, dwells quite heavily on the past. Though in some ways his mind is very capable, he has the quirk of being an Awakened object. The first hours of his life—during which time he met Shashara, Denth, and Vasher—imprinted heavily on him. It’s like . . . a part of his mind is hard forged in that moment with read-only memory that cannot be changed. Much of him can learn and grow, despite what Vasher says, but he cannot overwrite those initial concepts, states, and understandings that were burned into him during his birth. Shashara was alive then, so he will always think of her as alive, even if thousands of years have passed. Denth will always be pleased with him. Vasher will always be friends with the other two. Those things were some of Nightblood’s first impressions.

I was incorrect about Nightblood having a bad memory. It can live and grow and understand new things. However, based on what this annotation is saying, it's more like Nightblood simply ignores any memories which would contradict its initial memory state. So since it imprinted Shashara being alive and Denth and Vasher being non-hostile to each other, it cannot accept anything else. So basically, it has the neural condition which people can have where they believe something is so true, it rewrites and/or ignores past memories to maintain that self-perceived truth.

Regarding memory changing. I believe it was said that Vasher tampered with the priest's daughter's memories by giving her breath, right after they freed her. That seems to imply that it is somehow related to awakening, and also that it requires transferring breaths. As a result of that second point, I don't think it is possible for Vasher to mess with Nightblood's memories in the same manner, unless he can somehow transfer breath to him. 

1 hour ago, shadowwisp said:

Unrelated but this annotation quote is quite interesting. Especially since we assumed that the biggest difference between Nightblood and a Shardblade is that the latter can change forms. Not sure if there are any implications of this. 

The biggest difference between Nightblood and Sprenblades (Shardblades from Spren) is more that Nightblood was made using awakening trying to enumerate what spren had become using the specific investiture of Roshar. 

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12 hours ago, Spoolofwhool said:

Regarding memory changing. I believe it was said that Vasher tampered with the priest's daughter's memories by giving her breath, right after they freed her. That seems to imply that it is somehow related to awakening, and also that it requires transferring breaths. As a result of that second point, I don't think it is possible for Vasher to mess with Nightblood's memories in the same manner, unless he can somehow transfer breath to him.

It definitely seems like it's related to Awakening, as he also later offers to take away some of Denth's memories and Vasher specifically says "I know the Command".

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On 26/09/2016 at 3:02 PM, BeskarKomrk said:

It definitely seems like it's related to Awakening, as he also later offers to take away some of Denth's memories and Vasher specifically says "I know the Command".

Maybe it's related to the fact that, while Breaths aren't part of the Spiritweb, they are connected to it somehow, so you can use Breath to manipulate Spiritual things.

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On 9/22/2016 at 10:04 AM, Wonko the Sane said:

 

These are the best I could find. So, Nightblood's consumption of investiture is not used to power himself, it's due to flaws in his construction. He leaks investiture, and needs to replace it.

Mmm... yeah he replaces leaked Investiture, but I don't think that means he doesn't use it to power himself too. I think while actively "feeding" he is more powerful than "baseline" and can access his full powers... but it leaks away quickly as black smoke, so he has to "feed" more to get back up to the level where he can access his full powers.

 

Quote

Interview: Mar 11th, 2014

Question

How much more powerful is Nightblood than a a regular Shardblade?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't actually quantified that in my own mind so can't give an accurate comparison at this point. I will say that when he is fully consuming Investiture he can do some really freaky things.

 

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18 hours ago, cometaryorbit said:

Mmm... yeah he replaces leaked Investiture, but I don't think that means he doesn't use it to power himself too. I think while actively "feeding" he is more powerful than "baseline" and can access his full powers... but it leaks away quickly as black smoke, so he has to "feed" more to get back up to the level where he can access his full powers.

Almost like a reverse Endowment. 

We know that Nightblood can drain any type of investiture but I wonder if the type of investiture drained would have any effect on Nightblood itself. Or is all investiture essentially the same? I'm a bit iffy on the realmatic theory on this, anyone know? 

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53 minutes ago, shadowwisp said:

Almost like a reverse Endowment. 

We know that Nightblood can drain any type of investiture but I wonder if the type of investiture drained would have any effect on Nightblood itself. Or is all investiture essentially the same? I'm a bit iffy on the realmatic theory on this, anyone know? 

If I understand it correctly, investiture is like energy. Energy comes in different like themal, kinetic, etc. Investiture is the same. It comes in different forms but it's all essentially the same, no matter where it is from. As such, I don't think the form of the investiture would affect Nightblood.

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19 hours ago, shadowwisp said:

Almost like a reverse Endowment.

Yeah... I think Nightblood's "broken-ness" makes him something like an Endowment-Cancer. A corrupted and twisted version of a Splinter of Endowment, one which drains away rather than Endows.

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22 hours ago, Spoolofwhool said:

As such, I don't think the form of the investiture would affect Nightblood.

I respectfully disagree. While I don't think Nightblood would be drastically changed by feeding him a little bit of Stormlight or whatever, I think that the different natures of different types of Investiture will force Nightblood to utilize them a little differently, or at least "twist" the Investiture in different ways. Now, if you were to somehow completely replace his Breaths with some other Investiture...

Spoiler

Also, since Nightblood establishes some sort of bond with his wielder, that could produce some interesting effects on Roshar, since bonds are so important there.

 

Edited by Turbonator
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15 hours ago, Turbonator said:
Spoiler

Also, since Nightblood establishes some sort of bond with his wielder, that could potentially produce some interesting effects on Roshar, since bonds are so important there.

 

[SA and Elantris spoilers]

Spoiler

Yes, this is a theory which has cropped up before. The main point is that it is theorized that Nightblood will give basic stormlight enhancement abilities, with some thoughts that Nightblood in fact contains an equivalence of a Highspren, giving Szeth the surgebinding abilities of a Skybreaker. There is nothing confirmed yet though. My opinion on the matter is that Nightblood does contain something close to a splinter, which is the base of its sentience and self-awareness, which is what would bond and give abilities on Roshar. After all, we've had confirmation that Seons in Elantris, which contain a splinter, would give abilities to the bonded person when on Roshar.

Also, please remember to spoiler when discussing another series in a series-specific subforum.

 

Edited by Spoolofwhool
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4 minutes ago, Spoolofwhool said:

Also, please remember to spoiler when discussing another series in a series-specific subforum.

 

Hey, for all people know, I was just discussing what would happen if that situation should arise:ph34r:. But fine.

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