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[OB] Surgebinders unleashed

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Oathbringer had some interesting clues about surgebinders. 

In the expanded, original Nahodan vision, Nahodan laments that due to a war with a surgebinder they were not prepared for the desolations. IIRC, his book laid the foundation for some of the KR  oaths -- so this would mean that there were surgebinders before Knights Radiant.

I cannot recall the reference, but I also believe that the heralds were extreme wary of the KR  until Issai instituted the oaths. 

With Honor gone, it seems like there may be limitations removed from surgebinders. We may see surgebinding and nahel bonds not constrained by the oaths, and dangerous and destructive aspects of the surges unbound. (I suspect that this also played a part in the Recreance, they (like Nale) felt that surgebinding had to be supressed and maybe even deliberately killed their spren so that they wouldn't bond to others.)

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Remember that the Recreance happened before the Shattering though. Additionally, Nohadon lived during the very last Desolation, so if the Heralds were wary of the Knights Radiant until they said oaths they would always have been wary of the Knights Radiant, simple as that, so that doesn't make sense. Oh and one last thing, close to the end Desolations happened extremely fast - we have confirmation that the last Desolation happened within a year after the one before that. I don't believe there were wars with other Surgebinders in between - the Desolations would be too fresh on everyone's minds.

Edited by Leyrann
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54 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

Additionally, Nohadon lived during the very last Desolation, so if the Heralds were wary of the Knights Radiant until they said oaths they would always have been wary of the Knights Radiant, simple as that, so that doesn't make sense. 

No?  We have no indication of that being the case.  In fact all signs seem to point to Nohadon being the philosophical drive behind organizing surgebinders into knight orders long ago, with the Heralds later "adopting" their patronage and Ishar adding a structured process to the oath/power process.

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2 minutes ago, Subvisual Haze said:

No?  We have no indication of that being the case.  In fact all signs seem to point to Nohadon being the philosophical drive behind organizing surgebinders into knight orders long ago, with the Heralds later "adopting" their patronage and Ishar adding a structured process to the oath/power process.

You are right, we do not know when he lived, my bad on that.

However, the whole idea behind writing The Way of Kings was that he walked to Urithiru, and I simply do not see Urithiru being older than the Knights Radiant, as Urithiru seems to have been built as home of the Knights Radiant.

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Or conscripted as? Perhaps they moved there, and it all became associated with the Orders, but it was built before?

Or, in a different form, before the Radiants "took over"?

OR, maybe built from the wreckage of the original city?

Ooh, ooh, OR! Or, it was constructed for Surgebinders, before they became actual Knights via the Oaths.

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I actually think there's 2 important processes going on with surgebinding that we sometimes get confused.  First we have the spren Nahel bonding with humans, this creates the surgebinding, but it was a dangerous process that could give too much power too quickly (including perhaps the Apocalyptic event that occured on Ashyn).  Overlain on top of this though, we have the oath system.  I think the really important point to consider is that the oaths aren't a source of power (the Nahel bond gives the power and predates oaths), they are actually "blocks" put in place, to slow the development of individual radiant's powers.  I further think this might be the reason why Kaladin (and now Dalinar) tends to dramatically explode with power when they swear an oath.  Due to their individual affinity with Honor, all this power "wants" to be used by them, but it's being artificially held back by the Oath system.  Once they speak the oath, all that power finally has a release.  It's sort of like how the mists wanted to be used by Vin, but they were held back by her spike.

With Tanavast out of the picture, Ishi gone crazy and Dalinar holding the remnants of Honor's power who knows how much this system might be modified.  Or how much Odium's followers can exploit being able to use the surges without needing to bother with the pre-requisite oaths.

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1 minute ago, Subvisual Haze said:

I actually think there's 2 important processes going on with surgebinding that we sometimes get confused.  First we have the spren Nahel bonding with humans, this creates the surgebinding, but it was a dangerous process that could give too much power too quickly (including perhaps the Apocalyptic event that occured on Ashyn).  Overlain on top of this though, we have the oath system.  I think the really important point to consider is that the oaths aren't a source of power (the Nahel bond gives the power and predates oaths), they are actually "blocks" put in place, to slow the development of individual radiant's powers.  I further think this might be the reason why Kaladin (and now Dalinar) tends to dramatically explode with power when they swear an oath.  Due to their individual affinity with Honor, all this power "wants" to be used by them, but it's being artificially held back by the Oath system.  Once they speak the oath, all that power finally has a release.  It's sort of like how the mists wanted to be used by Vin, but they were held back by her spike.

With Tanavast out of the picture, Ishi gone crazy and Dalinar holding the remnants of Honor's power who knows how much this system might be modified.  Or how much Odium's followers can exploit being able to use the surges without needing to bother with the pre-requisite oaths.

The problem here is that the Nahel bond has only come into existence after humans arrived on Roshar, as the Nahel bond is an imitation of Honorblades, and the Honorblades (and Heralds) were called into existence by Honor because of the Desolations.

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4 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

The problem here is that the Nahel bond has only come into existence after humans arrived on Roshar, as the Nahel bond is an imitation of Honorblades, and the Honorblades (and Heralds) were called into existence by Honor because of the Desolations.

Ooh, good point.

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47 minutes ago, Leyrann said:

The problem here is that the Nahel bond has only come into existence after humans arrived on Roshar, as the Nahel bond is an imitation of Honorblades, and the Honorblades (and Heralds) were called into existence by Honor because of the Desolations.

Couple of things.

First, humans most likely existed on Roshar prior to the Ascension of Tanavast to Honor. (See these WoBs on Arcanum) The Nahel bonds only came into existence, as far as we know, after the Honorblades were created and Spren used them as an example. But humans were, in all likelihood, on Roshar before Honor even existed.

Second, it seems likely that Honor made the Heralds and, therefore, possibly the Honorblades before Odium and the Desolations. There is a WoB describing how the Oathpact is between Honor and the Heralds with no mention of Odium. I'll admit, I did a bit of searching to try to nail this down but am left unsure. Perhaps another Sharder can clarify.

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4 minutes ago, CaptainRyan said:

Couple of things.

First, humans most likely existed on Roshar prior to the Ascension of Tanavast to Honor. (See these WoBs on Arcanum) The Nahel bonds only came into existence, as far as we know, after the Honorblades were created and Spren used them as an example. But humans were, in all likelihood, on Roshar before Honor even existed.

Second, it seems likely that Honor made the Heralds and, therefore, possibly the Honorblades before Odium and the Desolations. There is a WoB describing how the Oathpact is between Honor and the Heralds with no mention of Odium. I'll admit, I did a bit of searching to try to nail this down but am left unsure. Perhaps another Sharder can clarify.

Wait... What if humans were on Roshar (be it pre- or post-Shattering), had access to Surgebindings, fought wars with the Singers and got their Heralds and maybe even Knights Radiant, and then a sizable part of them was for one reason or another (a loss against the Parshendi?) forced to go to Ashyn (assuming that's the world they destroyed with Surgebinding), then on Ashyn they got to know Odium but also destroyed the world, then they returned to Roshar, starting the wars that we know as the Desolations?

Yes, it's very much out there, just throwing it in when it's late and, judging from the quality of the theory, I should really go to bed.

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5 hours ago, Leyrann said:

Remember that the Recreance happened before the Shattering though. Additionally, Nohadon lived during the very last Desolation, so if the Heralds were wary of the Knights Radiant until they said oaths they would always have been wary of the Knights Radiant, simple as that, so that doesn't make sense. Oh and one last thing, close to the end Desolations happened extremely fast - we have confirmation that the last Desolation happened within a year after the one before that. I don't believe there were wars with other Surgebinders in between - the Desolations would be too fresh on everyone's minds.

The Recreance couldn't have happened before the Shattering... The Knights and the Heralds didn't exist before Shattering. They were both brought around because of Honor, directly for the Heralds, and indirectly for the Knights. Honor wasn't a Shardholder before the Shattering because Adonalsium was still whole.. Honor becomes a Shard because of the Shattering...

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3 hours ago, Aesicar said:

The Recreance couldn't have happened before the Shattering.

Shattering of Honor I suspect.

Though I also suspect that was ongoing when the Recreance happened. It is supposed to be a long drawn out process.

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It seemed pretty clear to me that when the humans came to Roshar they worshiped (or were led by, or whatever) Odium... the Heralds were created by Honor (the honor blades were created by him, if I remember) and they were surprised when spren created the knights radiant to mimic them. At some point after this (and presumably after WoK was written) the bondsmith herald (the one whose powers bondsmiths imitate) seems to have "codified" those ideals (I can't find a reference to this, so maybe I'm misremembering?.

Some This implies a pretty definite timeline.  What is weird though is that surgebinding as it exists on Roshar at "present" cannot possibly work the same way it did on the previous world which was accidentally destroyed, since it depends too much on spren which seem to be specifically of this world and the surgebinding is specifically tied to the way the herald's powers work, and I don't think they could have predated men coming to roshar.

My interpretation is:

* Men and parshmen existed, men were on another world (likely Ashyn) and had a different type of surgebinding -- likely a form of voidbinding, if we accept that they followed Odium when they came to Roshar (bringing a void).  I'm having trouble finding this reference as well, so maybe I'm misremembering here.

* Men came to Roshar and brough Odium with them

* Somewhere along the line many men turned to honor and likewise many of the parsh people and related turned to Odium

* Somewhere along the line the Fused were created -- using void binding they expanded their souls sufficiently that they were able to avoid moving on after death, and using the unique way that creatures on Roshar are able to bond with spren in their gemhearts they were able to take over such creatures, killing the being that was previously there.

* Honor created the Honor blades and empowered the heralds in order to help fight Odium's creatures.  Somehow Odium created the unmade, likely in a similar timeframe?

* The heralds created the Oathpact with Honor's help which somehow allowed them to trap the fused, etc on Braize when they died, rather than returning.

* The spren, likely wanting to help, began to form bonds with humans to give them surgebinding in order to help the heralds

* The more I look at things the more I think Urithiru probably came into being along with this somewhere, before the nahel bond.  I really think that Urithiru is essentially the body of a spren but the spren is missing for some reason.

* The heralds -- specifically the bondsmith one -- imposed order on the knights radiant -- likely in some way tied to the Way of Kings? not sure -- by codifying the way the bonds work and requiring growth and standards before humans could gain full mastery of their surges.

* Along the line, Odium has been gradually corrupting the history that men remember so that they will misunderstand who the real enemy is, etc.

That was longer than I anticipated, but it's an interesting starting point. I'm sure I'm wrong on some of that, but... yeah. 

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On 11/16/2017 at 3:00 PM, CaptainRyan said:

humans most likely existed on Roshar prior to the Ascension of Tanavast to Honor. (See these WoBs on Arcanum)

None of those WoB's say what you are thinking they do. The first WoB only says the Shards didn't create the people on Roshar, which does not preclude bringing them from somewhere else. The second does not specify Roshar, so it tells us nothing. The third uses the word "people," which is not specific enough.

On 11/16/2017 at 0:22 PM, Leyrann said:

Remember that the Recreance happened before the Shattering though.

The word you are looking for is "Splintering." Shattering was Adonalsium, Splintering is what Odium's been doing.

Edited by The One Who Connects
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7 minutes ago, The One Who Connects said:

None of those WoB's say what you are thinking they do. The first WoB only says the Shards didn't create the people on Roshar, which does not preclude bringing them from somewhere else. The second does not specify Roshar, so it tells us nothing. The third uses the word "people," which is not specific enough.

Perhaps I should have been more blatant in my reply. I said "most likely" meaning there is room for doubt but perhaps I should have said "it is a possibility". I don't claim it as a fact that there were humans on Roshar before Honor and Cultivation arrived but I think there are hints that maybe there were. 

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7 hours ago, The One Who Connects said:

The word you are looking for is "Splintering." Shattering was Adonalsium, Splintering is what Odium's been doing.

Yup. I've been watching my language regarding that the last few days, I bet I'd automatically do it right now. :)

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On 11/16/2017 at 11:27 AM, Leyrann said:

However, the whole idea behind writing The Way of Kings was that he walked to Urithiru, and I simply do not see Urithiru being older than the Knights Radiant, as Urithiru seems to have been built as home of the Knights Radiant.

The Way of Kings has been said in world to be what was taken as the inspiration for the Oaths of the Knights Radiant. The first ideal comes from the book. 

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On 11/16/2017 at 9:54 PM, Subvisual Haze said:

Due to their individual affinity with Honor, all this power "wants" to be used by them, but it's being artificially held back by the Oath system.  Once they speak the oath, all that power finally has a release.  It's sort of like how the mists wanted to be used by Vin, but they were held back by her spike.

Yes, this also aligns with Sel 

Spoiler

When the Dor comes through Aons before Raoden completes the Elantris glyph it is explosive.

 

On 11/16/2017 at 9:57 PM, Leyrann said:

The problem here is that the Nahel bond has only come into existence after humans arrived on Roshar, as the Nahel bond is an imitation of Honorblades,

So I mostly agree with @taxilian's timeline but I would like to add a few thoughts.

It is clear from Arcanum Unbound that Shards affect the whole system they are on, not only the single world they reside on. So Ashyn, Roshar and Braize are all under the sway of at least Cultivation and Honour - and likely Odium to a lesser extent (remember he has been on Sel prior to arriving in Roshar and splintered the shards there).

This means that the surges should have been available to all three worlds, though, due to resonance of the shards, it is possible that there are local minor differences in how they work on each individual planet - for example, it is unclear how humans on Ashyn might have accessed investiture given that the only way we see it accessed by humans on Roshar is via the highstorms.

This is important. Assuming that humans came from Ashyn and there are no more major reveals regarding the history of the system, we can assume that humans always accessed surgebinding. What is not clear is how this changed upon Odium's arrival. I for one am perfectly prepared to believe that Odium is the direct cause of the humans destroying Ashyn. Indeed, it is possible he overpowered the access to surges to make it possible for them to destroy their world. He likely planned it so that he had an invading force to use as he attacked Honor and Cultivation on Roshar. I believe that the humans call Ashyn the "Tranquiline Halls" because they had been just that - tranquil (well, for humans anyway - we arent exactly the nicest species) but Odium's arrival likely made tranquility impossible. 

I agree that the Nahel bond comes into existence after humans arrive on Roshar - but that doesn't mean they needed it prior to leaving Ashyn. Most worlds do not require a spren. Most importantly, even if it was required, could they not have bonded spren on Ashyn before they left? They would have lost access to the surges potentially as they went to Roshar because the spren would definitely have been different - for one thing, the spren of Roshar were influenced by the Listeners. It is also possible, and some would say even likely that the humans practiced void-binding which still uses the surges - it just uses them differently. It is entirely conceivable that it took time for the Rosharan spren to figure out the Nahel bond because humans were still relatively new to Roshar - remember spren change very little if they don't have the bond.

The importance of the present version of the Nahel bond is that it is gated. It is implied that this gating is an artificial construct and has been imposed later. It makes it harder to bond a spren in the first place, and slows down the rate a person can access stormlight. This is also important because it shows that "natural" bonding betwen spren and humans was possible on Roshar - this implies it could also have happened elsewhere.

 

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Is there spren on Ashyn? I figured Spren is mostly a Singer/Listener thing because of their gemhearts. Braize's spren/investiture would be because of his 'injuries' sustained when he was on Roshar and the Oathpact kicks them to Braize after the Desolation ends.

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1 minute ago, ScavellTane said:

Is there spren on Ashyn? I figured Spren is mostly a Singer/Listener thing because of their gemhearts. Braize's spren/investiture would be because of his 'injuries' sustained when he was on Roshar and the Oathpact kicks them to Braize after the Desolation ends.

As I mentioned above, the shards affect the whole system they are in so if they can be formed on Roshar (as a result of thinking creatures in the physical realm) there is no reason they wouldn't form on Ashyn. The destruction of the planet may have wiped them out along with sentient life on the planet.

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Yes, the shards affect the whole system. But Humanity don't need/use spren. 

Edited by ScavellTane
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11 minutes ago, ScavellTane said:

Yes, the shards affect the whole system. But Humanity don't need/use spren. 

Do you have canon evidence of this? We know they could surgebind on Ashyn because that is how they destroyed the planet.

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It's hard to say for certain, currently Ashyn is being left purposefully vague for us to speculate about :P

Everything beyond: the planet was largely destroyed, more humans used to live there, and the shards manifested there to some degree are guesswork at this point.

I'm especially interested in the possibility of Honor or the Heralds originally being from Ashyn.  Questions to Brandon in this regard give him a lot of wiggle room since "Roshar" can refer to both the planet and the solar system on the whole.

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It's also worth keeping in mind in all of this that just because they translated the dawnchant and that says something (i.e. that they destroyed the world they were from with surges) that doesn't mean it's completely (or even partially) correct.

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