Windrunner88

[OB] Heralds vs. Radiants

39 posts in this topic

Greetings everyone!

I attended Book Con at NYC this past weekend! I've been wondering how the Heralds differed from the radiants of their order prior to their abandoning of the oathpact in terms of strength and abilities. So i asked Brandon this:

Windrunner88- So far during the stormlight archive we've seen that the spren bond appears to have some distinct advantages (i.e. armor, more efficient stormlight consumption, access to a variety of weapons) over what Tanavast via the oathpact provided the Heralds. With the exception of Nale, and the fact that the Heralds had no need for stormlight, can you please tell me one way in which a Herald had a distinct advantage over a level 5 radiant of their corresponding order?

Brandon Sanderson- Rebirth; (and after seeing what must have been a crestfallen look on my face added) The heralds had access to raw levels of power that no radiant could ever achieve. 

I'm still trying to rap my head around what that would look like in terms of magical abilities.. I would love to hear your guys opinions on this!

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4 minutes ago, Windrunner88 said:

The heralds had access to raw levels of power that no radiant could ever achieve. 

The Heralds had a direct feed from Honor's investiture. Efficiency didn't matter because the power source was limitless. 

As such, they didn't need to worry about running out and could have pumped ridiculous amounts of power into their surges. 

Imagine Jezrien lashing a whole building at a Thunderclast. It's not like he had to worry about running out. And that's a single, fairly small scale example. 

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The thing that has always bothered me is that the Heralds could have just lost their blades. Without them, they really aren´t any more than really skilled warriors who happen to be able to return from the dead.

Edited by Toaster Retribution
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Exactly as Calderis described. I was hoping for something more unique than just Super Surges but they would've been devastatingly effective.

You know what's crazy? They still died repeatedly.

 

What does Odium have up his sleeves?

Edited by Nymeros
Removed OB info...
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8 minutes ago, Toaster Retribution said:

The thing that has always bothered me is that the Heralds could have just lost their blades. Without them, they really aren´t any more than really skilled warriors who happen to be able to return from the dead.

I'm curious as to how they kept the bond through death.....

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43 minutes ago, Calderis said:

The Heralds had a direct feed from Honor's investiture. Efficiency didn't matter because the power source was limitless.  

That's a good point. I wonder while  Nale choose to enlist in the skybreakers after being so reluctant to accept patronage of them in the first place. 

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21 minutes ago, Nymeros said:

Exactly as Calderis described. I was hoping for something more unique than just Super Surges but they would've been devastatingly effective.

You know what's crazy? They still died repeatedly.

 

What does Odium have up his sleeves?

Kalak says in the prologue that he has been killed by the thunderclasts before, and he has access to the Transportation surge. Maybe we just haven't seen all of what the enemy can do.

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53 minutes ago, Calderis said:

Imagine Jezrien lashing a whole building at a Thunderclast. It's not like he had to worry about running out. And that's a single, fairly small scale example. 

If i had one more question to ask Brandon it would've been in regards to Jezrien. He fascinates me, i really hope we get to see him in action at some point (whether it be via flashback or in the present). The thought of him doing something like this during a climactic battle gives me chills

Edited by Windrunner88
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3 hours ago, Crucible of Shards said:

Kalak says in the prologue that he has been killed by the thunderclasts before, and he has access to the Transportation surge. Maybe we just haven't seen all of what the enemy can do.

Oh we definitely havent. There used to be hundreds of Radiants in addition to super heralds and Odium was still able to compete.

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Another thing important to note about the heralds is that they likely didn't suffer negative effects from large amounts of investiture usage.

This one is a little fuzzy since Brandon is still making the rules, but the original intention was to have Investiture savantism be both good and bad. Using large amounts of investiture would warp the soul, allowing greater use of the investiture but with damaging consequences. Think Mistborn 3 and you'll understand what the original intent was. The non radiant soulcasters that slowly become the element they soulcast is another example.

But as time went on other people ended up using this power without too much side effects. Mistborn 2nd Era, one of the characters is definitely in the savant realm, but no negative side effects. Szeth is described as having to use dangerous amounts of stormlight while wielding the honorblade, but isn't shown to have side effects directed from the blade. During the battle of Thaylen, Jasnah notes to herself that the body wasn't capable of holding that amount of stormlight for long without consequences, but its not clear what those consequences would be. Its also a little confusing since stormlight is suppose to heal the user, but other the same time can warp the soul/mind/body? And shards are basically the ultimate Savant, although I guess in their case they have to deal with the Intent as the side effect.

But considering the heralds are cognitive shadows forged by Honor, they can likely handle amounts that no one else on the battlefield would be capable of handling, no matter radiant efficiency.

Mistborn Second Era Spoiler WoB:

Spoiler

Brandon Sanderson

Warning, Evgeni. I'm really considering doing a backpedal on Savants. The more i think about them, the less I'm not liking how my current course has them being treated in upcoming books. I think it deviates too far from my original vision.

Argent

Hey, I wouldn't normally contact you directly like this, but given that you thought it important enough to reach out and let me know you might change how savants work, I figured you probably wouldn't be too upset by this message. I replied to your Facebook comment, asking if you could clarify a little bit which aspects of savantism you are thinking of keeping and/or cutting. I don't need an essay on the topic (though you know I'd love one!), just some details on what we can consider canon for theories, and what we should be careful around.

Brandon Sanderson

Evgeni,

So here's the problem. The more I dig into savants in the later outlines, the more I feel that I'm in a dangerous area--in that I'm disobeying their original intention. (Which is that using the power so much that it permeates your soul can be dangerous, a kind of uncontrolled version of a spren bond.)

And so, I don't want to let myself just start making people savants right and left. It needs to be a specific thing. Wax is the troubling one, as I have him burning so much steel that he's well on his way, but isn't showing any side effects. If I'm going to give him savant-like abilities, he needs savant-like consequences.

That's the danger, just falling back on savanthood to do some of the things I want, so often that it undermines the actual point and purpose of them in the cosmere lore.

So if I backpedal, it will be to contain this and point myself the right way, sharply curtailing my desire to make people savants without their savanthood being an intrinsic part of their story and conflict in life. (Like it was for Spook, and is for soulcasting savants on Roshar.)

Feel free to share this.

Argent

Okay, so - if you do decide to go this route, I see the story implications (larger focus on consequences, less easy to get to the point where a character can be considered a savant). What I am not sure about is the potential for a mechanical change. Would a backpedal on your side cause a conflict with information you've shared with us, in or out of your books? Are you saying that it's possible that Wax won't be considered a savant (if you can't squeeze a good ramifications plot for him that doesn't contradict the apparent lack of consequences so far, for example)?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't decided on anything yet. It's mostly consequences for the future--just a kind of, "be aware I'm not 100% pleased with how Wax turned out, re: savanthood and Allomantic resonance."

The idea of resonance is that two powers, combined, meld kind of into one single power. This is a manifestation of the way Shards combine. Wax was intended as a savant of the two melded powers. But without consequences in his plot, I'm not confident that I'll continue in the same vein for future books.

Footnote: The first message comes from Brandon reaching out to Argent (Evgeni) on Facebook with a follow-up regarding this entry. This rest is from a Reddit PM exchange between Argent and Brandon.
source

 

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@Wandering Investor healing does not prevent Savantism specifically because healing is based on the soul. When the soul is warped by excessive investiture use, that is considered the person's new normal for healing purposes.

Quote

Questioner 1 [PENDING REVIEW]

Do all Soulcasters risk turning into the element or is it only those using the device?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

All Soulcasters have an affinity but the ones using the device are locked down much more than the Soulcasters who are Knights Radiant.

Questioner 1 [PENDING REVIEW]

So they are protected from being turned into--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Oh no they-- I wouldn't say protected... *clarificaiton* Protected is the wrong term but that event, the savanthood and how it affects them and things like that is much less pronounced if you are a [Knight].

Questioner 1 [PENDING REVIEW]

Or is that counteracted by the healing as well?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Healing doesn't have to do with it because-- in cosmere terms there's nothing wrong with your body, your spirit is actually drifting, and so it's not hurting you physically by what's happening with the magics. So it's not the healing but if you have an active bond with a spren it takes a little different path. Let's just say, in simple terms--

Questioner 1 [PENDING REVIEW]

You are not losing body parts to smoke.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, you are not using body parts to smoke. 

Questioner 1 [PENDING REVIEW]

What timeframe does it happen for the normal Soulcasters then?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

For normal Soulcasters? It takes-- I mean, you've seen it happening in the books. We are talking [about] a process of years even decades, depending on the person. It happens to some--

Questioner 2 [PENDING REVIEW]

Depending on how often they Soulcast?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It depends on how often they Soulcast, and it depends on the person. 

source

 

Edited by Calderis
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44 minutes ago, Wandering Investor said:

During the battle of Thaylen, Jasnah notes to herself that the body wasn't capable of holding that amount of stormlight for long without consequences, but its not clear what those consequences would be.

Without having read the scene, I imagine that she's describing what Szeth has described twice or more. He's pulled in enough Stormlight that it felt like it would tear through him, to the point of creating an explosion of light.

On 1/7/2018 at 8:04 PM, The One Who Connects said:

I swear there was also a discussion regarding Szeth's extreme Stormlight draw in WoK I-9.

Quote

"So let it be," Szeth said, breathing deeply, sucking in the Stormlight of the many gemstones tied in the pouches at his waist. The Light began to rage within him, like a highstorm in his chest, burning and screaming. He breathed in more than he'd ever held before, holding it until he was barely able to keep the Stormlight from ripping him apart.
[...]
Szeth spun into motion, liquid tempest in his veins. Holding this much Stormlight made it easier to infuse things; the light wanted out, and it pushed against his skin.

During the Highstorm fight in WoR, we get Kaladin's PoV. During said Highstorm scene:

Quote

Remember that they were also using Stormlight at a prodigious rate in the storm, flying around and fighting, and they definitely had it coming off their skin a lot; they're described as "two glowing figures", and it says about “Szeth’s glow could not be hidden, and Kaladin kept his attention on that blazing beacon”, and just before that, when Szeth dips into the storm and regains his Stormlight, it calls it a "stark white explosion".

That shows how much Stormlight they were holding during the Storm, and I don't think Kaladin ever describes feeling like Szeth did, despite the sheer volume of Stormlight around/within him.

To use a comparison, Szeth is essentially hosting a small scale version of the Dor: too much power in too small of a space. If you want consequences for holding too much Stormlight, look no further than the "rip him apart" line above. Szeth kept himself alive by using his Stormlight to relieve the pressure on him before his body gave out.

54 minutes ago, Wandering Investor said:

Its also a little confusing since stormlight is suppose to heal the user, but other the same time can warp the soul/mind/body?

Stormlight healing isn't as instant as F-Gold is. If you hold enough of it that your body explodes, that healing isn't gonna help.
Additionally, you can't heal Savantism/Spiritual Drift. In order to "heal" Spiritual Drift, you'd need a magic that can alter the Spiritweb. Forgery, Hemalurgy(maybe, it's iffy), and Shardic Meddling would all work.

Quote

Questioner 1 [PENDING REVIEW]
Or is that counteracted by the healing as well?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]
Healing doesn't have to do with it because-- in cosmere terms there's nothing wrong with your body, your spirit is actually drifting, and so it's not hurting you physically by what's happening with the magics. So it's not the healing but if you have an active bond with a spren it takes a little different path. Let's just say, in simple terms--

Brandon even appears to acknowledge that Savantism is possible for a Soulcasting Radiant, although it might look different than normal.

1 hour ago, Wandering Investor said:

Szeth isn't shown to have side effects from the blade.

This one seems to have the simplest explanation: He hasn't used it enough. From the same WoB as above:

Quote

Questioner 1 [PENDING REVIEW]
What timeframe does it happen for the normal Soulcasters then?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]
For normal Soulcasters? It takes-- I mean, you've seen it happening in the books. We are talking [about] a process of years even decades, depending on the person. It happens to some--

Questioner 2 [PENDING REVIEW]
Depending on how often they Soulcast?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]
It depends on how often they Soulcast, and it depends on the person. 

Szeth had the Honorblade for roughly 8 years, but how often did he really use it during that time? Other than Klade and Taravangian, I don't think any of his former masters even knew about the Honorblade. And most of his masters were farmers and merchants, who aren't exactly the killing type. Makkek was probably his first master in 5 years to have him kill something other than weeds.

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9 hours ago, Nymeros said:

Exactly as Calderis described. I was hoping for something more unique than just Super Surges but they would've been devastatingly effective.

You know what's crazy? They still died repeatedly.

 

What does Odium have up his sleeves?

The Heralds also have some unknown abilities that Brandon hasn't told us yet.

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@Calderis @The One Who Connects It occurred to me later that stormlight healing is based on your spiritual aspect, so stormlight healing would not stop the spiritual warp.

But it is still unclear when and how the consequences for too much investiture, either at once or over time, will manifest. Feeling like stormlight is about to tear you apart and actually being torn apart are too different things. But if Brandon does go that route, then I would suspect the Heralds would be resistant to warping, considering they're probably already warped.

 

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All this speculation begs the question.. With Honor being splintered, how will Taln and the rest of the Heralds access stormlight? Nale is still bonded to his Highspren (though you would think that after adandoning the oathpact that would have severed the bond) so i understand that. However, i haven't seen any other instance of the other Heralds accessing surges on screen. 

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1 minute ago, Windrunner88 said:

All this speculation begs the question.. With Honor being splintered, how will Taln and the rest of the Heralds access stormlight? Nale is still bonded to his Highspren (though you would think that after adandoning the oathpact that would have severed the bond) so i understand that. However, i haven't seen any other instance of the other Heralds accessing surges on screen. 

When the Heralds have their honorblades they can draw stormlight from gems.

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Also, during my re- read of Oathbringer i came across this:

“I’m no highspren,” the captain spat. “I can see that the variety of humankind is what gives you strength. Your ability to change your minds, to go against what you once thought, can be a great advantage. But your bond is dangerous, without Honor. There will not be enough checks upon your power—you risk disaster.” - Chapter 108 Honor's path

Could this mean that new Radiants, specifically those bonded to spren closer to Honor, will be able to manipulate the surges to a greater degree than their predecessors before the recreance?

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On 6/5/2018 at 0:27 PM, Calderis said:

The Heralds had a direct feed from Honor's investiture. Efficiency didn't matter because the power source was limitless. 

As such, they didn't need to worry about running out and could have pumped ridiculous amounts of power into their surges. 

Imagine Jezrien lashing a whole building at a Thunderclast. It's not like he had to worry about running out. And that's a single, fairly small scale example. 

Doesn't pumping excess power into suregebinding cause a rapid drop in temperature though? I feel like I remember Kal and Szeth freezing their clothes a couple times. While I imagine a Herald probably could lash or burn just about anything with as much force as they wanted to, they would risk being encased in a block of ice.

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13 minutes ago, hwiles said:

Doesn't pumping excess power into suregebinding cause a rapid drop in temperature though?

This is the only thing on Arcanum that's even slightly relevant with "Stormlight" and/or "cold/frost/ice" in it. It's not very helpful.

Quote

Questioner
Why does Stormlight make things cold?

Brandon Sanderson
It’s not the Stormlight, it’s condensation because something is going directly from a gas into a solid. The coldness is caused by that, it’s not necessarily that the Stormlight is making things cold, but that the Shardblade is condensing.

Of possible note, I'm pretty sure that while they use the term "frost" twice, there is no mention of actually being cold, which feels a little odd.


18 minutes ago, hwiles said:

I feel like I remember Kal and Szeth freezing their clothes a couple times.

Well, google defines frost as small ice crystals, so I don't think they could get encased in a block unless they stood still for a long while, something I don't imagine they'd do in the heat of battle.

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On 6/5/2018 at 0:14 PM, Windrunner88 said:

That's a good point. I wonder while  Nale choose to enlist in the skybreakers after being so reluctant to accept patronage of them in the first place. 

My opinion is influenced by white sand. I think Nale initially opposed the idea of Surgebinders because it would be messy and chaotic for these powerful people to go flying around everywhere. But if they're put into an organization like the Knights Radiant, they can be regulated and enforce rules to make sure they don't get out of control.

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On 6/5/2018 at 5:27 PM, Calderis said:

The Heralds had a direct feed from Honor's investiture. Efficiency didn't matter because the power source was limitless. 

As such, they didn't need to worry about running out and could have pumped ridiculous amounts of power into their surges. 

Imagine Jezrien lashing a whole building at a Thunderclast. It's not like he had to worry about running out. And that's a single, fairly small scale example. 

If their power source was limitless then they never could have died as the Stormlight will quickly and efficiently heal any wound, as we know, that hasn't been the case and heralds have died many times before.

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54 minutes ago, StormWrath said:

If their power source was limitless then they never could have died as the Stormlight will quickly and efficiently heal any wound, as we know, that hasn't been the case and heralds have died many times before.

I mean you could have unlimited healing but if you don't heal fast enough or you simply just get decapitated like half your body or something healing doesn't matter if you die instantly. They could just hold you then slice you 4 ways including the hand holding the honorblade then your dead.

It's even worse since Heralds don't have shardplate afaik.

Interesting to think of is that Dalinar can charge people with stormlight which seems to be a Herald exclusive ability in past when honor was alive(well they charge themselves not others but still same point) maybe that's what his ability is about that isn't really available to Bondsmith afaik. He can charge stormlight because honor has zero vessel and now that i think about it the line

Quote

"We are something different. His remnants, your soul, my will"

is only possible cause Honor has zero vessel and splintered. Odium was even calling him the man who has is closest to honor and the man who holds his name(which is relevant to the releasing stuff). Maybe that's Dalinar's ability is something similar to heralds except that in the heralds case they are just given permission by honor to suck as much stormlight as they want

 

I think Radiants now have some sort of advantage due to the plate.

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4 hours ago, StormWrath said:

If their power source was limitless then they never could have died as the Stormlight will quickly and efficiently heal any wound, as we know, that hasn't been the case and heralds have died many times before.

Stormlight healing isn't perfect. Szeth was holding stormlight when Kaladin cut his spine. I also recall reading a quote, I believe from Peter, that if you could crush a Radiant's head faster than the stormlight healed, that would kill them. But I can't find the quote in the arcanum. Plus, with Renarin taking thunderclast blows without much danger, that quote may not be accurate. Unless Renarin is special due to the surge of progression, or he just held a ridiculous amount of stormlight at the time. 

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11 hours ago, StormWrath said:

If their power source was limitless then they never could have died as the Stormlight will quickly and efficiently heal any wound, as we know, that hasn't been the case and heralds have died many times before.

Their ability to draw in Stormlight is tied to their Honorblade(a concern we noted after Szeth lost his), so if their hand got chopped off or their arm got slammed, the Honorblade could be dropped and that's game over.

The Spren bond suffuses the soul, and that gives them a distinct advantage in the healing department.

Quote

So the difference is not in the device that did the damage, but in the method using to heal.

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On 6/6/2018 at 1:10 PM, Windrunner88 said:

All this speculation begs the question.. With Honor being splintered, how will Taln and the rest of the Heralds access stormlight? Nale is still bonded to his Highspren (though you would think that after adandoning the oathpact that would have severed the bond) so i understand that. However, i haven't seen any other instance of the other Heralds accessing surges on screen. 

The Heralds did not have Nahel Bonds - they gained their abilities from the Honorblades and investiture directly from Honor.  Nale bonded a Highspren at some later date.  He's the only Herald with a spren - that's why he's the only one with access to the surges.  

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