Oltux72

The magic dagger and Jasnah's plans

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Now that Heralds can be permanently killed, does Jasnah need to change her plans? Her plan to forcibly return the Heralds to Damnation depends on Odium being unable to just kill Heralds. Given that they can return to Roshar if they so wish, risking them being killed permanently for a brief respite just does not look like a rational move anymore. What strategies does this leave the Knights Radiant with?

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My guess is a new oathpact. Alternatively, turning the greater part of the Parsh population against Odium.

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As the Oathpact is a horrible thing in itself I strongly vote for "end it for good and make something entirely different".
The Oathpact is basically "let's throw these ten people under the bus greatshell so we can life on in blessed ignorance". Not cool.

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By the sound of things, especially the words of Odium himself, Killing the Heralds permanently would essentially be taking direct steps to Free Odium, which if nothing else would make him less likely to agree to a Contest of Champions.  I dont think it's a sound strategy.  He's said he plans to then attack Cultivation and leave, which would require that he rip his increasingly Invested essence from the world, with major fallout. 

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I wonder if killing the Heralds first would prevent Odium from perma-murdering them? It might be a good solution. 

(although, I for one think the gem-hemalurgy death is reversible) 

Edited by teknopathetic
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4 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Given that they can return to Roshar if they so wish, risking them being killed permanently for a brief respite just does not look like a rational move anymore. What strategies does this leave the Knights Radiant?

I am not convinced it will change the plan at all. It could even accelerate it now that they could lose the option if they don't ask fast.

That said it seems likely that she won't kill any Heralds but I think that will be for reasons unrelated to the dagger.

28 minutes ago, Quantus said:

... be taking direct steps to Free Odium, which if nothing else would make him less likely to agree to a Contest of Champions.

I fall in the camp that thinks he already agreed and can't back out now so this would be moot for me.

What words are you thinking where Odium implies killing Heralds will directly lead to his freedom? I thought the relationship was indirect, that killing Heralds prevents the reimprisonment of the Fused which will speed up his escape.

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Jasnah's plan to kill the Heralds is stupid.  It wouldn't accomplish anything.  The Oathpact prevented the Fused from returning when killed, but the Everstorm allows them to bypass that restriction.  

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17 minutes ago, Jace21 said:

What words are you thinking where Odium implies killing Heralds will directly lead to his freedom? I thought the relationship was indirect, that killing Heralds prevents the reimprisonment of the Fused which will speed up his escape.

We know they (and the Oathpact) are in some way linchpins to his being imprisoned, and in his conversation with Daliar he said "In fact, I cannot leave behind the Splinters of Honor, as I once thought I could." Which I took to be a reference to the Heralds given that he then found a way to Kill one. Though in looking back at the passage it could also have been simply that he doesnt want to leave behind any significant accumulations of Honor's Investiture, and "Slivers" in that context could also have referred to Spren of Honor in general, especially the big ones like the Stormfather.

 

EDIT: 

5 minutes ago, Scion of the Mists said:

Jasnah's plan to kill the Heralds is stupid.  It wouldn't accomplish anything.  The Oathpact prevented the Fused from returning when killed, but the Everstorm allows them to bypass that restriction.  


Agreed, it might have been technically workable at one point, but no longer.  Though honestly it probably would have made things worse rather than better.  She thought it would kick the Desolation can down the road enough to gain them significant time, based on how long it had been since the last one, but it only lasted that long because only the strongest went back.  Towards the end of the historic Desolation cycles, it was only a few years between them, and sending the heralds back would just increase the odds that one of them would break.  Though arguably it's just that Talanal broke along a more useful line than the rest:  I think his mind broke hard, but unlike the rest his madness didnt allow him to actually Give Up, which is why he lasted so long.  I think he got back because of the Everstorm, on the same mechanism that lets the Fused return each Storm rather than being trapped on Braize.  Meaning even killing the Heralds now (normally, not Super-Dead like Jezerin) would only last to the next Everstorm. 

Edited by Quantus
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25 minutes ago, Quantus said:

We know they (and the Oathpact) are in some way linchpins to his being imprisoned, and in his conversation with Daliar he said "In fact, I cannot leave behind the Splinters of Honor, as I once thought I could." Which I took to be a reference to the Heralds given that he then found a way to Kill one. Though in looking back at the passage it could also have been simply that he doesnt want to leave behind any significant accumulations of Honor's Investiture, and "Slivers" in that context could also have referred to Spren of Honor in general, especially the big ones like the Stormfather.

No, know Odium is imprisoned and that the Oathpact imprisons the Fused. At best the relationship between the Heralds and Odium's imprisonment is indirect.

I am almost positive he is talking Spren, especially larger ones like the Stornfather as you say. I don't even think Heralds are splinters, though I think their Blades are.

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3 minutes ago, Jace21 said:

No, know Odium is imprisoned and that the Oathpact imprisons the Fused. At best the relationship between the Heralds and Odium's imprisonment is indirect.

I am almost positive he is talking Spren, especially larger ones like the Stornfather as you say. I don't even think Heralds are splinters, though I think their Blades are.

Ya, my memory of the actual quote was incorrect, I thought he'd said Slivers

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3 hours ago, Quantus said:

I think he got back because of the Everstorm, on the same mechanism that lets the Fused return each Storm rather than being trapped on Braize.  Meaning even killing the Heralds now (normally, not Super-Dead like Jezerin) would only last to the next Everstorm. 

Didn't Taln return at the end of Way of Kings?  The Everstorm was summoned at the end of Words of Radiance.  

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Blast, you're right.  Could have sworn it was the end of WoR after the Everstorm hit.  So at best I had the cause and effect reversed, at worst they are entirely unrelated.  It does make a certain amount of sense that the heralds wouldnt be stuck on Braize anymore since the Fused no longer are, but I guess there isnt much actual evidence to connect the two. 

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5 hours ago, Winds Alight said:

As the Oathpact is a horrible thing in itself I strongly vote for "end it for good and make something entirely different".
The Oathpact is basically "let's throw these ten people under the bus greatshell so we can life on in blessed ignorance". Not cool.

Fully agree:

 

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Setting aside the morality of letting 10 people bear all the weight of the responsibility, and torture, to protect the rest (which Im not innately opposed to, if they gave fully Informed consent it would become a very Noble Self-Sacrifice in my eyes, so the actual circumstances will decide) it proved fundamentally flawed because Tanavast had forgotten too much about Human Nature by the time he built it.  The Heralds simply Changed Their Minds, which was a possibility Tanavast had (apparently) forgotten existed.  The same model will not work again, even assuming it could still hold up against all of Odium's various new and/or future tactics. 

Though while we're on the subject, even though it seems like a very reasonable blind spot for the God of Oaths, Id have thought that the various ways Mortals can Change would have been at the forefront of Cultivation's perspective.  Maybe she didnt have much of a hand in the initial Oathpact, but she'll be able to come up with something better?  Even as simple Change as adding some Mechanism for replacements to Offer themselves (again, Informed Consent is key here) would prevent the same issue from happening, as broken Heralds would know that they have an Out, some sort of torture free Retirement.  Though from a Doyistic perspective I think any attempts to trap a Shards will ultimately prove futile in the Long Run. 

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6 hours ago, Winds Alight said:

As the Oathpact is a horrible thing in itself I strongly vote for "end it for good and make something entirely different".
The Oathpact is basically "let's throw these ten people under the bus greatshell so we can life on in blessed ignorance". Not cool.

To be fair, whether the Oathpact is good or bad rather depends on the time frame involved.  If the idea is, as you say, "Let's throw these people under the bus and live on in ignorance," then yeah, that's pretty dumb.  But if the idea's more "Let's have these people buy us a decade or two while we get our house in order and prepare for the inevitable war," then it becomes a much more reasonable plan.

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I don't think Jasnah wants to kill all of the heralds. I think she is going to use them as a way to buy Roshar time to figure out how to deal with the Fused and Unmade. Just keep finding and killing the Heralds to send them back to Braize. Each time one breaks, kill another one, find the recently broken one and kill him or her once its his or her turn. As long as there is a Herald on Braize, the Fused cannot return and Odium's main army stays bound. The Unmade are kept in their perfect gem prisons(or killed with Nightblood) and Odium has no way to full unleash his power. Its not perfect, but it would work until Jasnah figured out how to save the world.

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13 minutes ago, Gasper said:

I don't think Jasnah wants to kill all of the heralds. I think she is going to use them as a way to buy Roshar time to figure out how to deal with the Fused and Unmade. Just keep finding and killing the Heralds to send them back to Braize. Each time one breaks, kill another one, find the recently broken one and kill him or her once its his or her turn. As long as there is a Herald on Braize, the Fused cannot return and Odium's main army stays bound. The Unmade are kept in their perfect gem prisons(or killed with Nightblood) and Odium has no way to full unleash his power. Its not perfect, but it would work until Jasnah figured out how to save the world.

Are we sure this would work? The Oathpact is weakened. The Everstorm is something new (of old design). Will a single Herald on Braize stop the Fused from being reborn? I am not so sure...

Edit: But it can't hurt if they try to kill Ishar/Tezim ;-)

Edited by equinox
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2 minutes ago, Gasper said:

I don't think Jasnah wants to kill all of the heralds. I think she is going to use them as a way to buy Roshar time to figure out how to deal with the Fused and Unmade. Just keep finding and killing the Heralds to send them back to Braize.

If we presume this to be the case, it will still not work if the Heralds can be permanently killed with Odium's new weapon on Braize.

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2 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

If we presume this to be the case, it will still not work if the Heralds can be permanently killed with Odium's new weapon on Braize.

Operative word being "if".

I am not convinced, mainly because the idea that they had Taln for thousands of years and either didn't kill him or didn't figure out how until just after he left seems like a stretch.

Seems more likely that they couldn't, at least while he was on Braize.

Edited by Jace21
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5 hours ago, Jace21 said:

I am not convinced, mainly because the idea that they had Taln for thousands of years and either didn't kill him or didn't figure out how until just after he left seems like a stretch.

True

5 hours ago, Jace21 said:

Seems more likely that they couldn't, at least while he was on Braize.

Unless they couldn't before the Everstorm blew.

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14 hours ago, Gasper said:

I don't think Jasnah wants to kill all of the heralds. I think she is going to use them as a way to buy Roshar time to figure out how to deal with the Fused and Unmade. Just keep finding and killing the Heralds to send them back to Braize. Each time one breaks, kill another one, find the recently broken one and kill him or her once its his or her turn. As long as there is a Herald on Braize, the Fused cannot return and Odium's main army stays bound. The Unmade are kept in their perfect gem prisons(or killed with Nightblood) and Odium has no way to full unleash his power. Its not perfect, but it would work until Jasnah figured out how to save the world.

I don't think that's how the Oathpact works. The Desolations don't end because all of the Heralds die, if that was the case then at some point humanity would have just killed all the Heralds to end it instead of the Fused. The other Oathpact related condition to end the Desolations, killing all of the Fused is now impossible because they return to the Everstorm, not Braize. I'd also like to mention that your first sentence says "I don't think Jasnah wants to kill the Heralds" and your third sentence states she just wants to keep finding and killing them. I'm guessing you meant send them back to Braize as opposed to some sort of permadeath, but that just read kinda funny. Also, Jasnah only knows that Jezrien was somehow actually killed but not how. Regardless, I don't think ending the current Desolation lies in the old Oathpact. My best guess is that a new one will be made to end the current 5 book arc and the next arc will be the final Desolation following someone in the new Oathpact breaking or somehow Odium is defeated in book 5 and the second arc is some sort of new plot.

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15 hours ago, Gasper said:

As long as there is a Herald on Braize, the Fused cannot return and Odium's main army stays bound.

This is not how the Oathpact works.  The Oathpact is still in force even when all the Heralds are on Roshar (i.e. during Desolations).  Fused killed are returned to Braize and are not allowed to leave.  Following the Desolation, there's a time limit on how long the Heralds before they have to go back to Braize, or they would trigger a new Desolation.  So it's not that at least one Herald has to be on Braize to trap the Fused - it's that at least one Herald has to return to Braize following the Desolation.  

The Everstorm, however, allows the Fused to bypass the Oathpact restriction, and be reborn immediately.  Therefore the Oathpact (which is likely still in place), is completely useless - at least as long as the Everstorm exists.  

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2 hours ago, Harrycrapper said:

I'd also like to mention that your first sentence says "I don't think Jasnah wants to kill the Heralds" and your third sentence states she just wants to keep finding and killing them. I'm guessing you meant send them back to Braize as opposed to some sort of permadeath, but that just read kinda funny.

Ha Ha, thats what I meant. 

1 hour ago, Scion of the Mists said:

This is not how the Oathpact works.  The Oathpact is still in force even when all the Heralds are on Roshar (i.e. during Desolations).  Fused killed are returned to Braize and are not allowed to leave.  Following the Desolation, there's a time limit on how long the Heralds before they have to go back to Braize, or they would trigger a new Desolation.  So it's not that at least one Herald has to be on Braize to trap the Fused - it's that at least one Herald has to return to Braize following the Desolation.  

The Everstorm, however, allows the Fused to bypass the Oathpact restriction, and be reborn immediately.  Therefore the Oathpact (which is likely still in place), is completely useless - at least as long as the Everstorm exists.  

True, but I think if a Herald was back on Braize, it might prevent the Fused from returning during the Everstorm in the time between the Herald returning to Braize and the Herald breaking again. We see that the Heralds can return willingly, or they return when their head meets the fist of a Thunderclast. Jasnah is the kind of person who would exploit this quirk of the Oathpact to slow down Odium's forces. Also, why have the rest of the Fused not awakened? We have only seen 4 orders so far: Gravitation, Abrasion, Progression, and Illumination. Where are the rest of them? 

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1 hour ago, Scion of the Mists said:

The Everstorm, however, allows the Fused to bypass the Oathpact restriction, and be reborn immediately.  Therefore the Oathpact (which is likely still in place), is completely useless - at least as long as the Everstorm exists.  

Is this confirmed (either in-book or per WoB) or is this speculation? I am not asking to argue, I just really would like to know. I was under the assumption that what you say is true, but I don't know anymore whether I read theories or something with more evidence to it...

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The Stormfather info dumps a good description in Oathbringer (ch 38):

Quote

ONCE, LONG BEFORE THE DAY YOU'RE SEEING NOW, THERE WERE MANY SOULS OF CREATURES WHO HAD BEEN SLAIN, ANGRY AND TERRIBLE. THEY HAD BEEN GIVEN GREAT POWER BY THE ENEMY, THE ONE CALLED ODIUM ... FOR WHEN THESE DIED, THEY REFUSED TO PASS ON...

EVEN BEFORE THE FUSED LEARNED TO COMMAND THE SURGES, MEN COULD NOT FIGHT THEM. HUMANS COULD NEVER WIN WHEN THE CREATURES THEY KILLED WERE REBORN EACH TIME THEY WERE SLAIN. AND SO, THE OATHPACT ... THEY GAVE THEMSELVES UP. AS ODIUM IS SEALED BY THE POWERS OF HONOR AND CULTIVATION, YOUR HERALDS SEALED THE SPREN OF THE DEAD INTO THE PLACE YOU CALL DAMNATION...

HOWEVER, IF ANY ONE OF THE TEN AGREED TO BEND HIS OATH AND LET VOIDBRINGERS PAST, IT OPENED A FLOOD. THEY COULD ALL RETURN ... THAT STARTED A DESOLATION...

ONCE ONE BROKE, ALL TEN HERALDS RETURNED TO ROSHAR. THEY FOUGHT. THEY LED MEN. THEIR OATHPACT DELAYED THE FUSED FROM RETURNING IMMEDIATELY, BUT EACH TIME AFTER A DESOLATION, THE HERALDS RETURNED TO DAMNATION TO SEAL THE ENEMY AGAIN...

IF THEY DIED IN THE FIGHTING, THEY WENT THERE AUTOMATICALLY. AND THOSE WHO SURVIVED WENT BACK WILLINGLY A THE END. THEY HAD BEEN WARNED THAT IF ANY LINGERED, IT COULD LEAD TO DISASTER...

THE OATHPACT HAS BEEN WEAKENED ALMOST TO ANNIHILATION, AND ODIUM HAS CREATED HIS OWN STORM. THE FUSED DO NOT RETURN TO DAMNATION WHEN KILLED. THEY ARE REBORN IN THE NEXT EVERSTORM

Edited by Scion of the Mists
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