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Dreamstorm

Splintering and Shards

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Four questions:  (1) Can a shard be splintered before its vessel dies?  Specifically asking here because I believe the Stormfather is a splinter of Honor (as are honorspren) so wondering if they could have existed prior to Honor being splintered.  (2) Do we know how shards are splintered?  (3) If a shard is splintered, can it ever be reformed?  (4)  Does a splintered shard still influence the world around it?  (I'm thinking yes per SA, but I don't have a clear understanding of Investiture and how it interacts with there being a shard on the planet/in the system.)

Just to explain my own understanding... each shard is contained in a vessel (a human which holds it.)  The vessel can die, but the shard can remain whole and intact and someone else can take it up (i.e. for Preservation, first Kelsier (I know this was a bit unusual and he used the weird Ire orb thing - can't say I really understand what went on there), then Vin, then finally Sazed who combined it with Ruin.)  If a vessel dies, then the shard itself can be splintered (somehow, see Q2), which means a billion pieces of the shard are scattered about.  And that's where my understanding ends :) 

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Good questions:

Probably not quite as good answers:

1)  Can a shard be splintered before its vessel dies?
          Kinda. A shard can use a large part of its power to cause a larger affect that what would otherwise be able to happen. This would essentially be a splinter.
2) Do we know how shards are splintered?
         
Kinda. If you've read Mistborn: Secret History you get some ideas towards it, but we don't know much about that. Essentially you kill the Vessel* then probably do something along the lines of just attack the remaining power.
3) If a shard is splintered, can it ever be reformed?          

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Mason Wheeler

You've said that Splintering a shard is essentially the same thing as the shattering of Adonalsium, repeated on a smaller scale.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Mason Wheeler

And a while ago, someone asked you if Splintering was permanent or reversible, and you said that it can be reversed.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Mason Wheeler

And shard holders tend to take the name of the shard they hold. So you've got Sazed, who goes by "Harmony" now, after taking up Ruin and Preservation. That makes me wonder, does he hold two shards... or one?

Brandon Sanderson

You could really answer that either way. The distinction is a really subjective one, and you could say that he's holding both shards, or that he holds one single Harmony.

4) Does a splintered shard still influence the world around it? 
          Kinda. A splintered shard has pieces of it's power scattered across the area in which it was shattered, the Spren are a good example of this. The Spren, the Stormfather, and other things can still influence the world around it, but the shard as a whole is no longer a whole, similar to how Adonalsium is still able to do things even though he has been shattered. Only it's just his power in 16 pieces.

 

*The vessel can be anything sentient. Cant find the WoB right now but it talked about how Yolen (The world of Hoid and the 16 vessels) had 3 sentient races on it, and that any of them could hold a shard. Beyond that we got a RAFO.

The Stormfather: The Stormfather is what the community has been calling a Super Spren. We believe that there are 3 (maybe 4) of them. One for each of the 3 shards on Roshar.
Stormfather: Honour
Nightwatcher: Cultivation
__________: Odium
When Honour died he merged his Cognitive Shadow with the Stormfather, so he still has power and stuff, but...yeah. Not really more than that that I know.

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On 10/11/2017 at 8:17 AM, Dreamstorm said:

(1) Can a shard be splintered before its vessel dies?

Divine Breath are splinters of Endowment, who is not dead. The Unmade are splinters of Odium, who is not dead.

As for the actual full-on splintering, um.. ish?

Quote

Interview: Oct 14th, 2013

Wetlander

Did the Splintering happen before the Recreance?

Brandon Sanderson

I will reveal this as we go. However, be aware that in the past, when a Shard was killed, the person holding it, it is a slow burn to actually kill someone; because power cannot be destroyed. So, what it means to be killed means something a little different in these cases.

hoser

Did Tanavast survive Honor's splintering?

Brandon Sanderson

Tanavast is dead. Good question. However, that is as of the start of The Way of Kings.

hoser

So he could have survived the Splintering...

Brandon Sanderson

He could have survived the Splintering.

hoser

...as a mortal...

Brandon Sanderson

Well, he could have survived for a time, but then he could not have then...

hoser

...passed away in his sleep...

Brandon Sanderson

Right.


On 10/11/2017 at 8:17 AM, Dreamstorm said:

each shard is contained in a vessel (a human which holds it.) 

As mentioned by DroughtBringer, not all of the vessels are/were human. Additionally, consider that Spren are Investiture that has gained sentience of its own(no vessel), and there is nothing preventing a Shard from doing the same. It's less likely, but still possible for a Shard to be sentient without a vessel.

On 10/11/2017 at 8:17 AM, Dreamstorm said:

If a vessel dies, then the shard itself can be splintered (somehow, see Q2), which means a billion pieces of the shard are scattered about.

Of note, a Shard without a vessel can splinter on its own, without any outside influence. So as for how splintering happens, I think the lack of a mind holding it together is the big deal. A Shard attacking it might be able to disrupt it faster by putting extra strain on it, but I'm not sure if attacking it is the actual cause of splintering. A Shard attacking another Shard might prevent it from attaining sentience/new vessel, but what I think really kills it is the lack of a mind holding the pieces together.

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