manugutito

[OB] The importance of Nightblood

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Hey all,

 

After reading OB and understanding the Oathpact's purpose and the importance of the Everstorm (now we understand what Jasnah meant at the end of WoR, don't we?), I have thought of something I want to share.

 

As we know, in the current Desolation the Fused can return in the next Everstorm after been killed, as opposed to all previous Desolations (except for the first one, because you know, roles reversed and all that). Given that the Fused are formidable opponents even to the Radiants (at least the 3rd Level Radiants, the ones we have so far), this is a big difference. But maybe there is a solution for this! Since it is known that when the blade (Nightblood) inflicts a wound, it vaporizes and destroys on all three realms, Cognitive, Physical, and Spiritual, maybe it can be used to destroy Fused for good. This is (I think) good for everyone, since we have seen that not all re-Connected parshmen are really into fighting, the Fused being the ones that really hate humans. Since possessed listeners are already dead, killing Fused with Nightblood is not killing listeners. This may be a big step towards ending the listener-vs-humans conflict, so they can present a unified front against Odium.

 

I'm sorry if this has been brought up elsewhere!

 

Edit: formatting

Edited by manugutito
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It could go the other way too though.  In this book we got a lot of clues that the Oathpact may not be as shattered as once believed.  If the enemy could get their hands on Nightblood, however, they could end the Heralds permanently.  Nightblood falling into Odium's hands is terrifying, we should all be VERY grateful to Nale at this point for putting it in Szeth's hands BEFORE deciding to join the Skybreakers to him.

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Luckily Nale gave NB to Szeth indeed... but Moash has that dagger that can permanently kill a Herald anyway.

 

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2 hours ago, AerionBFII said:

but Moash has that dagger that can permanently kill a Herald anyway.

It may not be permanent - it appears that Jezrien's soul may have been trapped in the sapphire on the pommel of the knife Moash used. It looks like a mirror of the way the humans have trapped the Unmade in gems to me. If the Unmade can be released from them, perhaps the Heralds can too. It may not mean a physical rebirth of course, but he may at least be able to go to the spiritual realm.

Edited by PhineasGage
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On 20/11/2017 at 7:38 AM, Wolfbeckett said:

It could go the other way too though.  In this book we got a lot of clues that the Oathpact may not be as shattered as once believed.  If the enemy could get their hands on Nightblood, however, they could end the Heralds permanently.  Nightblood falling into Odium's hands is terrifying, we should all be VERY grateful to Nale at this point for putting it in Szeth's hands BEFORE deciding to join the Skybreakers to him.

The last talk between Nale and Szeth made me think that his giving Nightblood to Szeth was intentional. I could be wrong, however. Anyway, Moash's dagger seems suspicious (see below). 

 

On 20/11/2017 at 0:35 PM, PhineasGage said:

It may not be permanent - it appears that Jezrien's soul may have been trapped in the sapphire on the pommel of the knife Moash used. It looks like a mirror of the way the humans have trapped the Unmade in gems to me. If the Unmade can be released from them, perhaps the Heralds can too. It may not mean a physical rebirth of course, but he may at least be able to go to the spiritual realm.

It seems I did not pay enough attention that scene! The relevant passages say:

Quote

"You have killed a king," she said, removing something from a sheath within her robes. A strange knife, with a sapphire set into the pommel. The weapon was of a bright golden metal, so light it was almost white. "Would you do the same to a god?"

Quote

"Was, was, was..." The man started to tremble violently, his eyes opening wide. "Was... no. No, what is this death? What is this death!"

Huddled forms stirred, and some of the wiser ones scuttled away.

"It's taking me!" the man screamed, then looked down at the knife in Moash's hand. "What is that?"

The man trembled for a moment, then jerked once, going motionless. When Moash pulled the yellow-white knife free, it trailed dark smoke and left a blackened wound. The large sapphire at the pommel took on a subdued glow.

The "dark smoke" part seem intentional, maybe the knife is Awakened like Nightblood? In which case, I guess Jezrien is done for good... But then I cannot really explain the "glowing" part. We know Nightblood can be powered with Stormlight instead of Breath, so if the sapphire was glowing strongly at first and then the glow weakened, this would be my first option. I think this is not 100% incompatible with the text, but I think it would be mentioned if the sapphire was initially bright. We also have a comment on the dagger's lightness (do we know if Invested metal is consistently lighter? I think so) and colour (I feel it is important, since it is mentioned in both passages).

The comment on the dagger's sheath also feels relevant to me, because Azure's sword's sheath is also referred to frequently so that the reader notices it is no regular Shardblade. This also points to the Awakened theory, save for the fact that there is no mention to Moash experiencing side effects because of having the dagger without sheath.

Also, how the hell did Odium get his hands on an Awakened dagger?

Another consideration would be what you propose - the glow is a sign of Jezrien being trapped in the sapphire. But then I don't get the purpose of all those remarks (dark smoke, sheath, colour).

What do you think? Lots of things to consider I guess ^_^.

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3 hours ago, manugutito said:

The "dark smoke" part seem intentional, maybe the knife is Awakened like Nightblood? In which case, I guess Jezrien is done for good... But then I cannot really explain the "glowing" part. We know Nightblood can be powered with Stormlight instead of Breath, so if the sapphire was glowing strongly at first and then the glow weakened, this would be my first option. I think this is not 100% incompatible with the text, but I think it would be mentioned if the sapphire was initially bright. We also have a comment on the dagger's lightness (do we know if Invested metal is consistently lighter? I think so) and colour (I feel it is important, since it is mentioned in both passages).

Ok so here are my thoughts; 

1) When a shardblade/Honourblade kill, the eyes burn out and there is smoke. I think the smoke is meant to represent the destruction of the bonds between the physical/cognitive/spiritual realm. Certainly, we know normal shards destroy the link between body and soul.

2) The colours of the blade may relate to Odium. When Dalinar interacts with Odium in chapters 56 and 57, he is wearing white and gold, has white hair and carries a golden sceptre.  I think this blade may be a splinter of Odium. Essentially Odium's version of the Honorblades.

3) We know that awakened blades like Nightblood and Azure's blade are supernaturally sharp like Shardblades, they can't be summoned and dismissed though because they aren't spren. They have sheaths made of aluminium because that is the only metal that blocks investiture. Awakening requires a command word as well as a great deal of Breath, if this is indeed a splinter of Odium it will work slightly differently to the Honourblades, not least because the ability to summon/dismiss a shardblade seems to be the result of the bond between blade and person.

4)The shardblades stopped being summonable/dismissable after the Recreance until gemstones were added to the swords to allow the to be bonded again. Honour's intent is all to do with oaths being made so it makes sense that the "sheath" for a shardblade/Honorblade is the bond between sword and carrier. Odium, on the other hand is the void - oaths are not an intrinsic part of his Intent, it makes equal sense that a sword related to him would not bond with its carrier.

5) I think it is significant that Jezrien was killed using a blade associated with a Sapphire (which is the gem that represents him). I would be unsurprised if Moash was sent out to kill other Heralds but either is given a new blade with the appropriate gem in it, or the gem is replaced on the blade he currently carries.

6) I hypothesize that the black smoke and the black wound suggest that either a different bond has been cut than simply the bond between mind and body. We know the Heralds were all bonded because when they were sent to Damnation they could share their suffering. I think that it is this bond to the other Heralds that has been cut. That is why the other Heralds feel the pain of it happening then Ash says she can no longer feel her father. I suggest that Jezrien's soul has been trapped in the gem to prevent him going back to Braize (which might inhibit the desolation in some way) and also to prevent him healing the bond between himself and the other Heralds. It is possible that now that the Heraldic links have been partly broken that the Oathpact is now genuinely shattered.

 

 

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I didn't think about destroying the Fuse. I was hoping Nightblood was there (or maybe later) to wound Odium, as there is a WoB saying this is possible. I honestly thought Szeth was going to sneak up on him and stab him with NB, scaring him off and saving Dalinar...but I guess it's better than Dalinar saved himself :)

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2 hours ago, PhineasGage said:

Ok so here are my thoughts; 

1) When a shardblade/Honourblade kill, the eyes burn out and there is smoke. I think the smoke is meant to represent the destruction of the bonds between the physical/cognitive/spiritual realm. Certainly, we know normal shards destroy the link between body and soul.

2) The colours of the blade may relate to Odium. When Dalinar interacts with Odium in chapters 56 and 57, he is wearing white and gold, has white hair and carries a golden sceptre.  I think this blade may be a splinter of Odium. Essentially Odium's version of the Honorblades.

3) We know that awakened blades like Nightblood and Azure's blade are supernaturally sharp like Shardblades, they can't be summoned and dismissed though because they aren't spren. They have sheaths made of aluminium because that is the only metal that blocks investiture. Awakening requires a command word as well as a great deal of Breath, if this is indeed a splinter of Odium it will work slightly differently to the Honourblades, not least because the ability to summon/dismiss a shardblade seems to be the result of the bond between blade and person.

4)The shardblades stopped being summonable/dismissable after the Recreance until gemstones were added to the swords to allow the to be bonded again. Honour's intent is all to do with oaths being made so it makes sense that the "sheath" for a shardblade/Honorblade is the bond between sword and carrier. Odium, on the other hand is the void - oaths are not an intrinsic part of his Intent, it makes equal sense that a sword related to him would not bond with its carrier.

5) I think it is significant that Jezrien was killed using a blade associated with a Sapphire (which is the gem that represents him). I would be unsurprised if Moash was sent out to kill other Heralds but either is given a new blade with the appropriate gem in it, or the gem is replaced on the blade he currently carries.

6) I hypothesize that the black smoke and the black wound suggest that either a different bond has been cut than simply the bond between mind and body. We know the Heralds were all bonded because when they were sent to Damnation they could share their suffering. I think that it is this bond to the other Heralds that has been cut. That is why the other Heralds feel the pain of it happening then Ash says she can no longer feel her father. I suggest that Jezrien's soul has been trapped in the gem to prevent him going back to Braize (which might inhibit the desolation in some way) and also to prevent him healing the bond between himself and the other Heralds. It is possible that now that the Heraldic links have been partly broken that the Oathpact is now genuinely shattered.

 

 

I see your points. The colour is a point in favour of the blade being of Odium (be it a splinter or anything else). Also the thing about the eyes burning and the bonds (I read something somewhere about the eyes being the Focus of the Connection between Realms? I don't remember much). However, out of optimism I believe that the Oathpact is not totally out of the game as long as a Herald can go back to Damnation, since it worked with Taln alone.

However, this raises a question for me. We saw that the Oathpact worked in the last Desolation, when only Taln fulfilled his duty. This makes me wonder when (in a Desolation's timeline) does the Oathpact start working. Since it isn't when all Heralds are back in Braize (be it killed or voluntarily), when is it? Do all Fused need to be killed? (this is a problem now because of the Everstorm).

2 hours ago, Paladin Brewer said:

I didn't think about destroying the Fuse. I was hoping Nightblood was there (or maybe later) to wound Odium, as there is a WoB saying this is possible. I honestly thought Szeth was going to sneak up on him and stab him with NB, scaring him off and saving Dalinar...but I guess it's better than Dalinar saved himself :)

That would have been a good way of ending, keeping our fear of Odium's power high. Dalinar having enough power to scare away Odium so soon in the series seems premature.

I'm sure it won't look premature at the end of the series because Brandon has increasingly amazing things planned, but I feel it is worth discussing :D

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Agree completely!  With enemies that refuse to stay dead by conventional means, Nightblood is this world's version of Balefire.

Hopefully Szeth does a better job keeping Nightblood safe than our heroes did with Jezrien's Honorblade (kept it safe for almost one whole book!).  Even if Szeth focuses on just destroying higher level targets like the Fuzed and stoneclast spren he could have an incredible impact on Odium's war making capabilities.

 

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We're talking about the utility of Nightblood here. I want to take a moment and pause to think about what Nightblood actually does. Iirc, there's a WoB that it destroys the spiritual aspect. In the cosmere there's basically an afterlife where your soul goes - the Spiritual Realm. Spiked people go there, people killed by Shardblades go there, regular deaths go there. 

Does that mean that Nightblood DESTROYS the soul, rather than severing connections? I think it does - "Destroy" was part of it's Intent, after all. 

(Now I'm comparing Nightblood to a Dementor...) Anyway, is it ever morally right to use an unsheathed Nightblood?

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On 11/22/2017 at 8:59 AM, yulerule said:

We're talking about the utility of Nightblood here. I want to take a moment and pause to think about what Nightblood actually does. Iirc, there's a WoB that it destroys the spiritual aspect. In the cosmere there's basically an afterlife where your soul goes - the Spiritual Realm. Spiked people go there, people killed by Shardblades go there, regular deaths go there. 

Does that mean that Nightblood DESTROYS the soul, rather than severing connections? I think it does - "Destroy" was part of it's Intent, after all. 

(Now I'm comparing Nightblood to a Dementor...) Anyway, is it ever morally right to use an unsheathed Nightblood?

First, it's important to note that the Spiritual Realm is not the Beyond:

Quote

Ward (paraphrased)

When Harmony ascended, I think he said he had trouble seeing what was going on in the Spiritual realm. Does he get better at this?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He does. Also it's important to note that the Spiritual Realm is not the Beyond.

Second, Nightblood does destroy the soul since your soul is Investiture:

Quote

senick67 (paraphrased)

My question was since Shardblades can sever your soul and turn it gray. In Warbreaker the priest who held Nightblood and lived his hands were gray. so does Nightblood consume your soul.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes since your soul is investiture.

Third, nobody knows for sure if this means a person won't go to the Beyond:

Quote

Questioner

So, if Nightblood, unsheathed, killed someone, would their soul still go to the Beyond?

Brandon Sanderson

So, that's gonna be a matter of-- There's gonna be disagreement in the cosmere about that. Nobody has been able to actively test it, because there are certain things you can see, but there are people who are actively discussing this concept.

Questioner

So, no one knows for sure?

Brandon Sanderson

Nobody knows for sure. And I'll just leave it at that. It's an astute question that even Vasher has-- Vasher has his thoughts, but he does not have a definitive answer, and others disagree with him.

So, is it ever morally right to use an unsheathed Nightblood? Probably as much as it is ever morally right to kill someone, but no one really knows.

Edited by Salkara
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12 minutes ago, Salkara said:

First, it's important to note that the Spiritual Realm is not the Beyond:

Second, Nightblood does destroy the soul since your soul is Investiture:

Third, nobody knows for sure if this means a person won't go to the Beyond:

So, is it ever morally right to use an unsheathed Nightblood? Probably as much as it is ever morally right to kill someone, but no one really knows.

I imagine "The beyond", the true afterlife (not just ghosts and shadows), and the existence of an omnipotent God are areas where Brandon will remain intentionally vague.

Nightblood might destroy something's "soul", but "soul" is being used in Cosmere in a different sense than most religious people would use the term.  

Ultimately it depends on your own presumptions regarding the existence of God.  

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So we have any WoBs on Spiritual Realm and the Beyond? I thought Szeth and Dalinar were hearing their victims because of Spiritual shenanigans. And if it really was Evi "I forgive you" that it was coming from the Spiritual Realm.

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It's a sword and shardblades are swords, so it's hard to tell at first glance how totally opposite they are from each other. From what I can tell, shardblades don't actually destroy anything in any of the realms, but sever the bond between their manifestations in all the realms. Since stormlight investiture works as a catalyst to bridge things between realms, it makes sense that it can heal the bonds broken by shardblades...assuming enough of them still exists in the realm to heal the connection there (burnt out eyes is a clue). But based on clues from the books, Nightblood does the opposite, destroying the things themselves, but leaving the bonds intact as long as you fuel it with enough investiture to destroy said things. At least in the physical and cognitive. Spiritual is hard to verify. But what you're left with is a power that none of the forms of investiture we've seen so far on Roshar can do anything against. Kind of makes you wonder what would happen if Szeth smacked Odium with it. From how the sword works, he would need to be overcharged with an absurd amount of stormlight/breath, but maybe Dalinar could pull that off.

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Wait, do we know what happens if unsheathed Nightblood hits dead Shardplate vs Radiant Shardplate vs half-shards?

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I would like to know if Fused that are killed by Nightblood return to the Everstorm. It would be very useful for the humans to have that sort of threat: "you can attack, but some of you will die forever". 

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Nightblood is important because he's the funniest storming thing on Roshar.

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10 hours ago, yulerule said:

Wait, do we know what happens if unsheathed Nightblood hits dead Shardplate vs Radiant Shardplate vs half-shards?

Investiture resists Investiture, so most likely the effect will depend on the level of Investiture of the thing being hit.  My guess is all 3 of these things would defend against Nightblood initially, with the half shards being destroyed faster than the dead shardplate and that going before the Radiant Shardplate.

And I would say it's perfectly moral to use an unsheathed Nightblood as long as you're doing so in defense instead of offense.  Whether the slain goes to the Beyond or not is not relevant, if they started the fight the consequences for how it ends is on them.

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11 hours ago, yulerule said:

Wait, do we know what happens if unsheathed Nightblood hits dead Shardplate vs Radiant Shardplate vs half-shards?

No, but given that Nightblood believes (and it is somewhat backed up by the Nightwatcher when she speaks to Dalinar) that he is more powerful than shardblades or honourblades. I would suggest that he is capable of destroying them outright because I think he can break the bonds between them. I think Nightblood and the blade that Moash uses to kill Jezrien may be similar although created in very different ways.

 

Quick question, I always thought of Nightblood as a "he" but I think Lift calls it a "she" - does anyone have access to Warbreaker to check on the pronoun? I know it doesn't really matter but I'd like to use the pronoun that Nightblood uses to think of themselves.

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2 hours ago, PhineasGage said:

Quick question, I always thought of Nightblood as a "he" but I think Lift calls it a "she" - does anyone have access to Warbreaker to check on the pronoun? I know it doesn't really matter but I'd like to use the pronoun that Nightblood uses to think of themselves.

I suspect Nightblood itself has no real concept of gender and doesn't have any pronouns.  It seems like whoever is holding Nightblood projects their own impressions onto it.  As I recall everyone else we've ever seen interact with it has used male pronouns for it, but that's basically just Vasher (male), Szeth (male), and Vivenna (already had a concept of Nightblood as male due to talking to Vasher).

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20 minutes ago, Wolfbeckett said:

I suspect Nightblood itself has no real concept of gender and doesn't have any pronouns.  It seems like whoever is holding Nightblood projects their own impressions onto it.  As I recall everyone else we've ever seen interact with it has used male pronouns for it, but that's basically just Vasher (male), Szeth (male), and Vivenna (already had a concept of Nightblood as male due to talking to Vasher).

Lovely - thank you for that clarification.

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13 hours ago, teknopathetic said:

I would like to know if Fused that are killed by Nightblood return to the Everstorm. It would be very useful for the humans to have that sort of threat: "you can attack, but some of you will die forever". 

I think it would destroy them completely, according to this WoB:

 

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On 11/22/2017 at 0:23 PM, yulerule said:

So we have any WoBs on Spiritual Realm and the Beyond? I thought Szeth and Dalinar were hearing their victims because of Spiritual shenanigans. And if it really was Evi "I forgive you" that it was coming from the Spiritual Realm.

You cannot commune with someone once they going into the Beyond. Dalinar was not literally hearing "her" voice, it was an internal struggle and it was about self-forgiveness. He was able to forgive himself because he realized she would have forgiven him, but he was only hearing it as part of his subconscious. 

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On 11/22/2017 at 11:43 AM, Salkara said:

PrncRny (paraphrased)

Is the flute that Vin saw in the Lord Ruler's secret room in [Well of Ascension] the same flute that Hoid gives to Kaladin in [The Way of Kings]?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

RAFO. The origins of that flute will be revealed at some point.

You copied the wrong WoB over, even if you linked the right one.

On 11/23/2017 at 0:55 AM, PhineasGage said:

Quick question, I always thought of Nightblood as a "he" but I think Lift calls it a "she" - does anyone have access to Warbreaker to check on the pronoun? I know it doesn't really matter but I'd like to use the pronoun that Nightblood uses to think of themselves.

WolfBeckett is right:

Quote

Heartlight

What is Nightblood's opinions on gender, and who decided on him having he/him pronouns?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood is fascinated by gender, and trying to figure it out. Unlike spren like Syl, Nightblood has not self gender assigned as an influence of interacting with humans. That said, Vasher was probably the one who just started calling him He, so if you want to take the issue up with anyone, go to him.


On 11/22/2017 at 0:53 PM, Bacon said:

Kind of makes you wonder what would happen if Szeth smacked Odium with it.

You're not the first to ask.

Quote

Argent
Can Nightblood damage or kill a Shard? Is he that powerful?

Brandon Sanderson
Nightblood is not powerful enough for-- *makes weird/hesitant ehhh sound*

Argent
Can it damage?

Brandon Sanderson
Damage? Yes. How damaging? Is a subject to discussion. Nightblood contains a lot of Investiture.

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I got the feeling that Moash's dagger was a dawnshard, honestly. For what it's worth, maybe Nightblood is more similar to one of those than it is a shardblade. 

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