eveorjoy

Maybe this is a dumb question, but where are all the Shardblades?

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From Dalinar's vision of the recreance, we learn there were a lot more shardblades in Roshar during the shadow days than in the time of the novels. Dalinar seemed to notice more shardblades being dropped in front of Feverstone Keep than there were in the whole world in his time.

What happened to all of these shardblades?

When I read this chapter in TWoKs I didn't think much about it. I figured the blades were destroyed from misuse or something. However, WoR gives us a lot more information on shardblades.

They are the remains of spren. Spren bodies are not going to be worn away from misuse. I don't know that anything in the physically can hurt a spren. The only things that could are words. In this case, the pen is truly mightier than the sword. A sword can't cut a spren, but a pen can define and trap it. Still, spren bodies are not going to rust or decay.  They can be caught in gemstones but that will not destroy them.

As for shardblades, they can't be cut or damaged by anything. I know this sounds like my other point, but my other point was more of a focus on the spren themselves. Now, I am just referring to the blades. They remain sharp no matter what they cut. The only thing that can shape them are the blades themselves. So we can be sure no one can just gather up shardblades and melt them down or bash them into a pile of scrap metal. Even in battles with other shardbearers the shardplate is the only thing that can be damaged. The blades never are damaged.

So it appears shardblades are indestructible. Then where are all the shardblades the Radiences discarded?

Did Nale and his Skybreakers or perhaps the Shin gather them up and store them somewhere?

Did the blades that didn't have a mind to connect to finally fade away?  

So what happened to all of these shardblades? What do you think?

 

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i'm convinced there is a stockpile of them somewhere. I just have no idea where

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I think the majority have been lost over time and are buried in hardened crem. 

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6 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I think the majority have been lost over time and are buried in hardened crem. 

That would be really foolish. Having a shardblade makes you into a lord or at least a person others must listen to. You can't imprison someone who has one, which is likely the reason Brandon had Kaladin imprisoned one more time in WoR. That will not be possible anymore. Even without the ability to surgebind because of lack of stormlight, Syl can still turn into his shardweapon, then cut through almost anything and set Kaladin free.

Shardblades are like the atomic weapons of Roshar. Rock said if just one of their leader won one then they would become king of the horneaters because none of the others could not challenge them.

It takes time for enough crem to be deposited to make stone. I just have a hard time believing a whole bunch of shardblades were left in the middle of nowhere long enough to be covered in crem unless they were gathered up and hidden in a place where no one else would find them. So maybe the Skybreakers or the Shin did that. But if people were just randomly leaving a shardblades here or there to be lost, that is a lot of really foolish people.

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That vision always made me wonder about the creation of the "dead" Shardblades.

 

I think it was Navani who mentioned how they only later figured out how to make the gemstone fabrials to allow people to form bonds to the dead spren to the point of being able to summon and dismiss the Blades. And if the person bonded to a Blade dies, the Blade just appears in the Physical Realm as a free agent.

 

So for some time all Shardblades were just unbonded, ready to wield but undismissable superweapons.

 

We also saw from Shallan's summoning of Pattern as a Blade and then "lending" it to a non-KR Kaladin in the chasms that there is no reason even a living Shardblade cannot be wielded by someone other than the KR the spren is bonded to; just that to create the Blade in  Physical Realm in the first place requires someone who has reached the Third Ideal.

 

From Dalinar's vision of the Recreance, it seems they are all Blades summoned by KRs who then immediately abandoned their oaths, thus "killing" their spren while locking them in physical form. Which means they collectively made the very specific choice to create this pool of "superweapons with no spren checks on them" in the world. They could all have just abandoned their oaths as Kaladin did, killing their spren in the Cognitive Realm. 

 

So the Recreance wasn't "just" a mass, coordinated oathbreaking of 9 out of 10 orders of KRs. It also involved the decision to leave these weapons in existence, and mostly in the hands of one group of people (the proto-Alethi).

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@eveorjoy that's a very good comparison and I still think it's what's happened. 

There are plenty of bombs in the real world that are unaccounted for. 

Once people learned to bond blades with gems, it would be very easy to keep one in secret. If you go missing and die somewhere and no one knows you had a Shardblade... No more Shardblade unless they find your body. 

Dead in the ocean? Goodbye Shardblade. Fall off a cliff where your body isn't retrievable? Goodbye Shardblade. 

There are lots of circumstances that a Shardblade could disappear. 

Add in the one that could have been lost before they were bond able and yeah...

How many Shardblades do you want to bet are hidden somewhere underground because someone dropped a blade that can cut anything and it sunk into the ground? 

Edited by Calderis
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I still think there might be a stockpile somewhere. Either that or Brandon will give some sort of explanation. 

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Just now, Flash said:

I still think there might be a stockpile somewhere. Either that or Brandon will give some sort of explanation. 

Oh I don't disagree. I'm sure there are multiple caches, both intentionally held, and long forgotten. 

I just think a good chunk of them are also lost. 

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Just now, Calderis said:

Oh I don't disagree. I'm sure there are multiple caches, both intentionally held, and long forgotten. 

I just think a good chunk of them are also lost. 

I'm just presuming that if they are lost, someone in the story will go "oh someone must have left it in the crem or something." 

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@Calderis yes, there are atomic bombs missing, but not the majority. There are likely thousands of blades missing. I'm sure a few were lost, but not most of them. 

Edited by eveorjoy
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Over the chaos of centuries I have no doubt that hundreds of the weapons went missing. Remember at Feverstone keep everyone scrambles to get this "atomic weapon" on steroids. In the generations to follow the chaos and lull of time would have seen the blades either secreted away and forgotten or lost outright. A real world equivalent might be the loss of Durendal if such a blade truly ever existed.Here the blades would have been taken up in ones and two's and overtime probably forgotten as humanity tried to rebuild.

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I think the Heralds have been gathering them, to keep out of circulation.  Once the gemstone bonding method was discovered I think the Heralds starting bonding any they found.  Has Brandon ever said that you cannot bond more than one blade?  Would Herald be different?

I imagine if say, Nalan were to be killed, several dozen if not hundreds of blades would appear near his body.   A herald bonding the blades would be much safer than a hidden cache someplace.

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I think that some have been lost and some are being stockpiled by the various secret societies (Ghostbloods, Sons of Honor etc) and smaller kingdoms to use as a ace up their sleeve.

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27 minutes ago, Ammanas said:

I think that some have been lost and some are being stockpiled by the various secret societies (Ghostbloods, Sons of Honor etc) and smaller kingdoms to use as a ace up their sleeve.

I also like this idea and I think there are probably a good number of blades being held by smaller organizations/kingdoms in secret.  The list we have of known blades is what the Alethi are aware of, other kingdoms have every reason to keep their true number of blades secret from the Alethi.

Also, I think there is more plate in the world than what we see.  I think I remember that the plate will disintegrate if its not kept charges?  Someone confirm this?  It's said to be very expensive to keep a suit of shardplate in working order, but I think this is from the point of view of having to replace the large gemstones as they crack from fighting.  There could be any number of suits that have used the same gemstones for hundreds of years which would lessen the expense considerably.

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It is most likely both explanations are correct. WIthin millennia, some blades were surely lost to the bottom of the sea, or buried somewhere and forgotten. On the other hand, we've seen organizations with good access to blades. So, some were stockpiled, some were lost.

A similar argument must be made for soulcasters. When szeth is taken by taravangian's minions, the guy who speak to szeth then soulcast a wall to smoke. Yet officially mr T doesn't have soulcasters, he needed to hire jasnah's to free his nepew from the cave-in. Unless mr T controls some radiant, which seems unlikely. so there must also be soulcaster caches.

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[Sarcasm] It is obvious that Hoid has the all hidden away in his Fortress of Solitude I thought. [\sarcasm]

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4 minutes ago, FiveLate said:

[Sarcasm] It is obvious that Hoid has the all hidden away in his Fortress of Solitude I thought. [\sarcasm]

Good to see you. 

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I bet they're all at Lopen's mom's house. 

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The Shin have the Honorblades stored away. 
Perhaps they accumulated the Shardblades for similar reasons. 

Since the Shin don't use those kind of blades, except in exceptional circumstances, like Szeth, we would not see them, or even know about them. 

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I agree it's likely that some are lost, others hidden in caches or secretly bonded, but we don't know what the other orders did with their blades during the recreance. We only know for certain what two of the ten did with their blades, maybe others left theirs at the top of a mountain where they actually were covered by crem. IIRC we have confirmation that Adolin has an Edgedancer blade, we know that Stoneward and Windrunner blades should be in circulation. Do we know what orders the other known blades belong to? 

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It's worth noting that there's probably a way to recycle the spren, at least while the bond is active. Otherwise, the entire planet would be hip-deep in shardblades from all the Radiants/Surgebinders that have existed throughout history (far before the Recreance). Since figuring out how to bond dead shardblades was something relatively recent (post-Recreance, for sure) this suggests that the dead shardblades are a relatively new thing. Given that it seems unlikely that a KR never broke an oath pre-Recreance, there's probably a way to rebond, revive or recycle the dead spren.

Maybe what the Skybreakers are doing are related to this - there's no reason to think Helaran's Blade was a live one; perhaps Nale knows of a way of reawakening them somehow though the Oaths, similarly to how Kaladin 'resurrected' Syl.

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Agreeing that some blades are lost and some are store, a better question may be, how many?

We saw 400  radiants in the vision, and they were only part of one order. We ccan estimate the number of shardblades existing at a few tens of thousands. there are now about 100 accounted for. So, how many more are secreted somewhere? A few tens? A few hundreds? Several thousands? This could totally change roshar's geopolitics

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We may possibly see a cache found in Urithiru.  Those in the Recreance vision publicly abandoned their shards, but I suspect there were many that chose to do so privately and simply left them in Urithiru where the general public couldn't simply pick them up.

If that is the case, then we could very well see a drastic change in the geopolitics very quickly.  

I wonder of The Diagram has accounted for this and T has worked out a way to deal with it already.

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19 hours ago, Killik said:

Also, I think there is more plate in the world than what we see.  I think I remember that the plate will disintegrate if its not kept charges?  Someone confirm this?  It's said to be very expensive to keep a suit of shardplate in working order, but I think this is from the point of view of having to replace the large gemstones as they crack from fighting.  There could be any number of suits that have used the same gemstones for hundreds of years which would lessen the expense considerably.

There is a WoB that tells us that the gems in Shardplate weren't there originally, but were added later, after the Recreance. So, Plate cannot just disintegrate if it isn't kept charged with Stormlight. You may have been thinking about trying to grow Plate from a fragment of a broken piece? This is mentioned a few times in WoR, how the Plate would disintegrate if another piece of it was given more Stormlight than the piece you are trying to grow.

 

Edit: WoB Link

Edited by Bort
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18 minutes ago, Bort said:

There is a WoB that tells us that the gems in Shardplate weren't there originally, but were added later, after the Recreance. So, Plate cannot just disintegrate if it isn't kept charged with Stormlight. You may have been thinking about trying to grow Plate from a fragment of a broken piece? This is mentioned a few times in WoR, how the Plate would disintegrate if another piece of it was given more Stormlight than the piece you are trying to grow.

Yes I was thinking of attempting to grow new Plate when a piece was broken/lost.  But I was under the impression that without the influence of the KR and their investiture, the plate couldn't function at all, I supposed I simply extended the concept of the plate not functioning to disintegrating without use or new investiture from the KR.  Granted this does not mean that any plate that hasn't been used since the Recreance would disintegrate but plate that has survived but has no gemstones to function would be significantly less helpful than the missing blades.

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