Calderis

[OB] Shardplate.

36 posts in this topic

It is widely accepted that Shardplate is composed of the lesser spren associated with each Radiant order. I've always been opposed to this idea for a few reasons. 

First, and least important, we've already seen a metal composed of a Sprens physical essence in Shardblades, and it's indestructible. 

Second, and much more importantly, plate doesn't scream when touched by a Radiant. Lesser spren may not be sapient, but they are still living beings, and if they were injured similarly to Nahel Spren I can't imagine they wouldn't feel similar pain. 

Third, and most importantly is identity. Shardplate blocks surges for all but the Radiant who it was made for. This shows that it is identity locked to the Radiant themselves as their surges, and only their surges, can be used to effect or bypass their plate. If the plate were made of spren, it would have an identity other than that of the Radiant, and would resist the effects like it does from all other sources. 

People have taken the scene where Kaladin uses adhesion to protect people from the storm, where the windspren cluster and the framework appears around his body, as confirmation of the Spren theory. I think that this is premature. 

Kaladin heavily effected the winds, so them being drawn to him at that point makes sense. But we have one definite incident in which this framework appeared and there were no spren present, and a possible but unconfirmed second occurrence. 

From the vision in which The Stormfather pulled in Venli. (thank you for pointing this one out in discord @RShara)

Quote

He fell beside the hole’s perimeter, and stretched one hand toward Venli. His other ground against the rock wall, hand scraping the stone. Something flashed around his arm. Lines of light, a framework that covered his body. His fingers didn’t bleed as they scraped the stone.

The framework appears and protects him, and we see no spren.

Second, but unconfirmed we have Jasnah and the geometric shapes. There's been a lot of mentions of this as possible Shardplate for her, and I think it is, but like Dalinar and Kaladin, I think it is still incomplete. Geometric shapes in the air around her could very easily be the way a wire frame would look around her to an outside observer. And again, no spren present. 

So, what I think that Shardplate is, is this framework of investiture made and filled in with crystallized Stormlight. It is created by the Radiant themselves, and so is keyed to their own identity, allowing their powers, and no others to be used on them.

I don't think that plate ever died, because it was never alive to begin with, but without the Radiants to whom it is keyed, it doesn't function fully. If a Radiant were to drop their plate, I think it would be able to function exactly as we see now, and as soon as they put it back on, it would begin glowing again. 

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I'm sceptical. If this is the way shardplate is formed, what is the role of lesser spren? And what are the ramifications of Syl's musing about children? I'm not convinced of any theory yet though so I'm willing to throw an upvote each way.

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6 minutes ago, Ookla, the Incalculable said:

Third, and most importantly is identity. Shardplate blocks surges for all but the Radiant who it was made for. This shows that it is identity locked to the Radiant themselves as their surges, and only their surges, can be used to effect or bypass their plate. If the plate were made of spren, it would have an identity other than that of the Radiant, and would resist the effects like it does from all other sources. 

Interesting, I'd never actually considered that being the reason Surgebinders can't use their Surges with (pre-recreance) Shardplate. Is this a widely accepted theory? It's clever, and makes a lot of sense. 

On the issue of the pained spren, lesser spren don't form nahel bonds (at least, we don't think so) they just are influenced by the Radiant spren. I don't think there would be any kind of pain, as there is no betrayal, no shattering bonds. 

I've actually also been against the theory, but Oathbringer has convinced me lesser spren do make up Shardplate. There's just been so much teasing about the importance of lesser spren, from Dalinar's Gloryspren to the Windspren on the Honorspren ship (that one in particular, though I admit it can be attributed to other things).

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7 hours ago, Ookla, the Incalculable said:

I don't think that plate ever died, because it was never alive to begin with, but without the Radiants to whom it is keyed, it doesn't function fully. If a Radiant were to drop their plate, I think it would be able to function exactly as we see now, and as soon as they put it back on, it would begin glowing again. 

My main question to your theory is: Why then did the plate not disappear when the Radiants abandoned their oaths? There is a good reason why the Blades did not, but your theory leaves that question open.

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6 hours ago, aemetha said:

I'm sceptical. If this is the way shardplate is formed, what is the role of lesser spren? And what are the ramifications of Syl's musing about children? I'm not convinced of any theory yet though so I'm willing to throw an upvote each way.

For the first question, I'm not convinced that they have one, beyond being attracted to what the Radiant does. 

To the second, I think she was being literal. We see multiple examples of familial relationships between spren. The Timbre-Ico-deadeye hypothesis relies on the them. We learn from the Honorspren on the ship that he was born and raised by other Honor spren. If Syl wants to have children, she can make more Honorspren.

2 minutes ago, bo.montier said:

My main question to your theory is: Why then did the plate not disappear when the Radiants abandoned their oaths? There is a good reason why the Blades did not, but your theory leaves that question open.

And I think that that question makes an assumption. We haven't seen plate completed yet. We don't know what it takes to summon or dismiss it.

I guess I see a few options on how it could have worked, and have my own assumptions about how that would play out. 

1) exactly the same as Nahel Spren, bonded to the Radiant. Dead. Plate should then scream. 

2) not bonded to the Radiant. Plate shouldn't scream, but it should have dispersed to be spren again. 

3) it's this idea, which would mean that it wouldn't even really be summoned/dismissed per se, it would be created/dispersed,or projected and reabsorbed as Stormlight. 

4) it's something else entirely. 

I don't think that it's lack of of disappearance is, by itself, a sign of anything. I think it's juts a magical object, and as such won't do anything on its own. But this goes back to what started me questioning the Spren theory ages ago. If it's spren, and they died, why don't they scream too? And if they aren't dead to scream, then why doesn't the plate disappear? 

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1 hour ago, Ookla, the Incalculable said:

1) exactly the same as Nahel Spren, bonded to the Radiant. Dead. Plate should then scream. 

Unless the minor spren aren't sentient enough to scream. I don't know that that is probable, but it seems like it could be an answer.

I definitely think there's something we don't understand about Plate, and that we've been making assumptions. It clearly hasn't just showed up as a result of people reaching the 4th ideal, so there's something going on that the Radiants haven't fulfilled. 

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1 hour ago, Ookla, the Incalculable said:

1) exactly the same as Nahel Spren, bonded to the Radiant. Dead. Plate should then scream. 

I'm not certain this follows. Nahel Spren are Sapient, lesser Spren only sentient if that. It makes sense that given that, unlike lesser Spren, Nahel Spren express themselves when unbroken, they would do so when broken and lesser Spren would not. Even if this is not exactly whats going, there is clearly a difference in kind between true Spren and lesser Spren that means that it is not obvious that they would act in the same way when broken.

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You're welcome!  I'm still skeptical of your theory, though.  Mostly because Plate can still be broken, while Blades can't (easily).  So if sprenblades are solidified investiture, aka God-metal, and Plate is also solidified investiture, why can Plate be broken when Blades can't?

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Spren are living things... If they died in a similar manner to Nahel Spren, I can't accept that they would just be silent. Sapient or sentient, they're living beings. The argument that they don't have to be feeling the same thing, in my mind, is no different than saying that animals don't feel pain because they can't verbalize it.

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If this were so, why didn't the Radiants create shardplate at will for normal foot soldiers?

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I could be willing to dismiss the lesser spren thing except one scene. The one where Kaladin attracts the windspren in Shadesmar. I don't know what else this was supposed to mean and Kaladin is literally thinking about the 4th Ideal right before they showed up..Then ask Syl about the 4th Ideal. I just don't see how we can dismiss this as not foreshadowing. 

Sorry to post the long scene below but you need the full context to see what I mean. I've bolded the most important parts. 

Quote

 

The Fourth Ideal was unknown to him, but the closer he drew to it, the more frightened he became. What would it demand of him? Something crystallized in the air beside him, a line of light like a pinprick in the air that trailed a long, soft luminescence. A mistspren sailor near him gasped, then nudged his companion. She whispered something in awe, then both scrambled away. What have I done now? A second pinprick of light appeared near him, spinning, coordinated with the other. They made spiral trails in the air. He’d have called them spren, but they weren’t any he’d seen before. Besides, spren on this side didn’t seem to vanish and appear— they were always here, weren’t they? K-Kaladin? a voice whispered in his head. “Syl?” he whispered. What are you doing? It was rare that he heard her directly in his mind. “Standing on the deck. What’s happened?” Nothing. I can just … feel your mind right now. Stronger than usual. They let you out? “Yes. I’ve tried to get them to set you free.” They’re stubborn. It’s an honorspren trait which I, fortunately, escaped. “Syl. What is the Fourth Ideal?” You know you have to figure that out on your own, silly. “It’s going to be hard, isn’t it?” Yes. You’re close. He leaned forward, watching the mandras float beneath them. A small flock of gloryspren zipped past. They took a moment to fly up and spin about him before heading to the south, faster than the ship. The strange pinpricks of light continued to whirl around him. Sailors gathered behind, making a ruckus until the captain pushed through and gaped. “What are they?” Kaladin asked, nodding toward the pinpricks of light. “Windspren.” “Oh.” They did remind him a little of the way windspren would fly on gusts of wind. “They’re common. Why is everyone so upset?” “They’re not common on this side,” the captain said. “They live on your side, almost completely. I … I’ve never seen them before. They’re beautiful.”

 

 

 

 

Edited by StormingTexan
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42 minutes ago, Ookla, the Incalculable said:

Spren are living things... If they died in a similar manner to Nahel Spren, I can't accept that they would just be silent. Sapient or sentient, they're living beings. The argument that they don't have to be feeling the same thing, in my mind, is no different than saying that animals don't feel pain because they can't verbalize it.

This is all true but I think it answers a slightly different point. This is an argument for broken Spren feeling pain which I'm sure they would do. My point is only true Spren express themselves verbally or in an audible fashion. So while, therefore, it makes sense that their pain would take the form of screams, it doesn't follow that lesser Spren that exist otherwise non-verbally would suddenly become verbal when broken. Animals can make noise, generally and so we can hear them whimper and so on when they are in pain but the same doesn't follow for lesser Spren - even if they are still in pain which I'm sure that under this model they are.

As an aside, this is interesting from Adolin describing what I think everyone assumes is Jasnah's plate precursor 

Quote

'A glow faded around her, different from the smoke of her Stormlight. Like geometric shapes outlining her' - OB Chapter 120

This is not to say that it isn't Stormlight, although I don't personally believe it is, indeed under your model it could still be Stormlight but it feels like kind of thing Brandon says to foreshadow Plate is not Stormlight

Edited by Dlyol
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Plate really is one of the biggest head scratchers to me. I was sure we would have learned a lot more about it in this book. My opinion that I have seen others express is that the minor spren are sorta bonded to the Radiant Spren not the Radiant itself. The spren forming the plate we have seen are not dead but their connection to the Radiant spren is severed and they are sort of locked in their form in a state of limbo. Spren cannot be destroyed completely so they re-grow into their locked form when plate is damaged. They identify with being plate and remain in that state. 

This of course will probably be proven completely incorrect in the end but I just see way too much foreshadowing so far that the minor spren form plate to dismiss it. The evidence to the contrary is a couple omissions in the narrative

One of the things I think about is why there is plate in the first place? We know shardblades were created by the Radiant spren to mimic honorblades but as far as I think Heralds did not have plate. Why not? Because they were not bonded with spren. I think the Radiant Spren came up with plate to further protect their bonded Radiants because of how devastating it is for the spren when their Radiant dies. 

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And again I have to ask, because it's my biggest objection to the Spren theory, why can a Radiant Surgebind in their own plate? Spren have individual identities of their own. For plate to block surges from all sources other than the Radiant who it's made for, it has to be keyed to their own identity. 

Warbreaker, and Mistborn Era two spoilers. 

Spoiler

Breaths key themselves to whatever living being held them last. Which is fine. They aren't living things. But the moment something becomes alive enough (lifeless) to have an identity of its own, the awakened can no longer retrieve that breath because it's no longer keyed to them.

The medallions are are biggest source on this though. Metalminds have the same power regardless of who filled them, but unless the power was stored without Identity only the person who stored it can use it.

If the plate is made from spren, and not from the investiture out out from the Radiants themselves, then it should either block all surges including the wearers, or it should block none. 

Edited by Ookla, the Incalculable
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If the lesser spren are connected to the higher spren, and the higher spren to the radiant, does this not circumvent the problem? In many respects they would all be seen as the same entity.

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22 minutes ago, aemetha said:

If the lesser spren are connected to the higher spren, and the higher spren to the radiant, does this not circumvent the problem? In many respects they would all be seen as the same entity.

If Kaladin can Lash Syl as a blade, I'll buy that, but I don't see why that would be. They're bonded, but their still separate entities.

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6 minutes ago, Ookla, the Incalculable said:

If Kaladin can Lash Syl as a blade, I'll buy that, but I don't see why that would be. They're bonded, but their still separate entities.

This would seem to support the premise I suggested though...

 

Quote

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing (Dec. 3, 2016)

yulerule (Paraphrased)

I also asked about the connection between the spren and Surgebinder, such that the spren turns into what the Surgebinder wants. Like in Edgedancer, [Wyndle] turns into a bar of metal and into a Shardfork. Wyndle himself isn't "in tune" with Lift, so his turning into something that she needs with no prior warning...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, they actually mix. When the bonding is happening, what's happening is that the gaps in the souls are being filled with the spren's <essence>. And they are actually melding into one 

yulerule

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

And they are actually melding into one individual *inaudible*.

yulerule

<And the minds are separate?>

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, mhm.

 

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I'm well aware of that WoB, and hadn't thought of it in this context. I still don't see it though. The lesser spren would have to be merged into the same bond to share in that, and then we go right back to the screaming issue. 

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Well, lesser spren haven't demonstrated any ability to communicate in that way. The don't make sounds (perceived or otherwise), ergo they can't scream. I imagined that communication with the lesser spren is some kind of advanced intuition.

I'm still not discounting your theory though. I'm more of the opinion we need more information to justifiably hop off the fence. I'm leaning toward the lesser spren slightly.

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Unless perhaps it is a combination of said framework, stormlight and lesser spren? Framework provides the chassis, spren fill in the frameworkand then stormlight is effectively the glue. We know for certain that the original Radiants were bonded to their plate sets. I would hazard a guess that how they're changed is similar to Soulcasting,in that the sub-spren experience a change in Identity and Connection...I honestly haven't a clue.

The reason why Plate might not scream is...perhaps if it truly is made of sub/lesser spren, then just maybe it may lack the cognitive presence to experience pain...or that their fundamental form has been changed so much that they aren't spren any more.

We'll just have to wait for a WoB if Brandon feels generous :P

 

Edited by ParadoxicalZen
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First, I have and still do hold the theory that Lesser Spren somehow comprise Shardplate. 

HOWEVER, reading through this thread brings to mind a question. 

How, if Plate is a manifestation of lesser spren, have the remaining sets hung around for so long without their Radiant?

Blades make sense and have been explained in world well enough. Plate, however, is a completely different conversation.

 

Lesser Spren would have needed to be bound eternally in that form. Essentially enslaved for thousands of years since their Radiant broke thier Oaths and discarded them. I feel like that would have been somehow noted by either the Stormfather or at least some of the Spren in Shadesmar.

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2 hours ago, Calderis said:

I'm well aware of that WoB, and hadn't thought of it in this context. I still don't see it though. The lesser spren would have to be merged into the same bond to share in that, and then we go right back to the screaming issue. 

Its a really good point but I wonder if since windspren mainly are mainly manifest on the physical realm, not cognitive realm, that is why they don't scream. They do however absorb stormlight from surgebinders which I thought was interesting.

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Before she remembered, the honor spren believed and acted like a wind spren. What if kaladin is not the only one to get an entourage or a group of squires? Like how a the storm father and a group of wind spren attempted to minimize the force of the storm, a group of wind spren under the command and influence of a honor spren come together  and form plate. They don't scream as no oath to them was broken.

 

during one of the visions, Dalinar was told to see a specific person concerning his plate. Even though the Knights apparently created their own weapons and plate, it stands to reason the order had some kind of weapon master any way. In fact when the knight abandoned their oaths, such an individual might have collected and stored away such items.

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I agree.

I've always thought of Shardplate as concentrated investiture that the Radiant pulls directly from the Spiritual Realm through the Nahel Bond in a way that corresponds with their order. Basically what you've already said. I also want to point out that when Syl is trying to get Kaladin to swear the 4th Ideal, we see some windspren start gathering around him. I don't think this is evidence of the windspren about to become Shardplate, I think it's evidence of the windspren about to help Kaladin draw in the the investiture to create the plate, acting as a conduit of sorts. 

I really wish Adolin would have been in his plate when he travels to the Shadesmar. 

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It would be cool if they could create something like a fabrial belt, that allows plate to be summoned and dismissed at need.

 

it might already exist, putting on the armor is tricky. So in an emergency this could be deadly. So the Knights kept thier blade contained somehow. That is why they are so rare, my were stored away when abandoned.

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