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Karger

How did the Skybreakers swere the third ideal

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So Correct me if I am wrong but before a Skybreaker can swear the third ideal they have to squire another third ideal squire.  So how did the original Skybreakers make this work?  Their were no third ideal Skybreakers and Nale did not OK their order until much later.

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It’s possible that it is more of a post recreance in hiding tradition than an actual need in Skybreaker bonds. There are lots of things on Roshar and in real life where rules or practices are just a part of the times/culture versus actually being an actual necessity. 

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I agree with @Philomath. It's an established structure. Not a necessity. 

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Not only might it be a cultural thing (an "easy" way to help proto-Skybreakers reach the next Oath level), remember that there's at least some evidence that the original Surgebinders didn't have any Oaths to follow at all.  In that case, there would have always been older Skybreakers around for newer ones to apprentice to.

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14 minutes ago, galendo said:

remember that there's at least some evidence that the original Surgebinders didn't have any Oaths to follow at all.

I very strongly disagree with that interpretation of what Ishar did. 

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@Calderis: You could well be right -- it does seem a lot for even a Herald Bondsmith to do -- but we know that there were issues around unrestrained use of surgebindings due to the Nohadon vision.  We have the quote from the in-world Words of Radiance.  We know Bondsmiths can affect Connection as a significant part of their power set; we can reasonably suppose that Honor would have approved the establishment of Oaths if they were not already present.  Assuming the Stormfather isn't lying, we also know the Honorblades are capable of more than just granting surges.  There's a fair bit of evidence to suggest that the imposition of additional Oaths may have occurred, and if it did then possibly the Skybreakers had a mentorship thing going on since the beginning.

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@galendo my issue is that that would be a greater shift in the magic system than we have seen literally anywhere in the Cosmere. Shards do not design their magic systems. They are a natural outgrowth of the planet and the Investiture if the Shards. The Shards can nudge them, but they don't structure them consciously. For a single man to do that just seems ludicrous to me. 

The quote from Words of Radiance states that Ishar forced organization upon them. And we know that the Knights were founded after Nohadon and that in the vision with him he refers only to "Surgebinders." 

I think that the Organization is the Knights themselves as an institution. There is no need to have created oaths, when you can teach a set interpretation of those preexisting oaths. 

Under the Knights, we most likely wouldn't have a Malata because the oaths would be schooled to mean certain things. And in the event that someone did break away you than have full orders to deal with them. Rather than lone Surgebinders interpreting the oaths themselves and everyone going in their own individual direction. 

Prior to the order of Skybreakers existing, someone bonded to a Highspren would have just needed to adhere unfalteringly to a code if Szeth's oaths are any guide post. Without the Skybreakers to set a direction to that "code" that could end very differently. 

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As further evidence that a squire stage isnt a requirement: Nale apparently thought Szeth might be able to skip straight to the Third Ideal.  Szeth only went through the Squire stages because Nale wasnt present at the time and the other masters didnt think they could judge that, so they had Szeth follow their standard procedure and be tested with the other squires.

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Perhaps Nohadon's writings gained such a deep place in the Roshar subconscious that they created the oaths as people thought about words and their meanings.  We know that spren are created out of human perceptions so perhaps Nohadon changed them so that they would respond to oaths by changing human perceptions. 

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2 hours ago, Quantus said:

As further evidence that a squire stage isnt a requirement: Nale apparently thought Szeth might be able to skip straight to the Third Ideal.  Szeth only went through the Squire stages because Nale wasnt present at the time and the other masters didnt think they could judge that, so they had Szeth follow their standard procedure and be tested with the other squires.

This is a very good point.  Ultimately, the progress is up to the spren and not whatever societal structure humans wrap around it.

1 hour ago, Karger said:

Perhaps Nohadon's writings gained such a deep place in the Roshar subconscious that they created the oaths as people thought about words and their meanings.  We know that spren are created out of human perceptions so perhaps Nohadon changed them so that they would respond to oaths by changing human perceptions. 

Possible, but this seems less likely.  Such a change would presumably take a long time to occur.  One of the most influential books in our own world, Darwin's On the Origin of Species, took a solid hundred years to achieve widespread acceptance and evolution still has deniers today -- and this in a world where Desolations don't come every few decades and wipe society back to the Stone Age.  Also, it seems a bit of a stretch to go from "people think about the responsibilities of leadership" to "spren require Oaths".  It's not too much of a stretch, but there's no indication that kings and other rulers were required to swear oaths, which seems like it would be a necessary intermediate step.

9 hours ago, Calderis said:

@galendo my issue is that that would be a greater shift in the magic system than we have seen literally anywhere in the Cosmere. Shards do not design their magic systems. They are a natural outgrowth of the planet and the Investiture if the Shards. The Shards can nudge them, but they don't structure them consciously. For a single man to do that just seems ludicrous to me.

Do we have any evidence for this, though?  The only time in the Cosmere I can think of so far where a Shard might have possibly wanted to change the way the system worked is (Mistborn trilogy spoilers)

Spoiler

at the end of Hero of Ages, when Sazed takes up Preservation and Ruin.  And in fact we do see him make some minor changes -- he makes snapping a lot easier and gets rid of full Feruchemists, if I recall correctly, though the latter might have been owing to just the dilution of Keeper blood a la full Mistborn.  Even if so, he decided not to renew the Mistborn and Feruchemist powers to their full extent.

Also, expecting Sazed to make major changes to anything is more than we can reasonably expect, given the contradictory nature of his Shards and the difficulty we know he has in taking action.

Honestly, if you're a Shard and you''ve got things set up the way you like, why on earth would you want to change the system?  There's no reason for us to suppose that we would have witnessed such a change.

As far as the magic systems being a natural outgrowth of the planet and the Shard, I'm not entirely sure that's true.  I'll grant that you're more knowledgeable about Cosmere stuff than I am, but the way I see it, each magic system has three parts:

1) The powers that can be granted.  These are the Surges of Roshar and the effects of burning metals in Mistborn.  These are apparently a function of the solar system (since it seems that Ashyn was also destroyed by the same surges as Roshar), not the planet or the Shard.

2) The way in which power is stored/harnessed.  These are the gemstones of Roshar and the metals of Scadrial.  These appear to be a function of the planet (all magic systems on Roshar can use gemstones, that we've seen; and all magic systems on Scadrial use metals).

3) The way in which power is accessed.  On Roshar, these include the Honorblades and the spren.  On Scadrial these include burning metals and the mists.  From what I can tell, this appears to be the part that the Shard has at least some direct control over.  As far as we know, Honor chose to give the Heralds the Honorblades in exchange for their Oaths; he was not forced to do so.  It does not seem beyond the bounds of reason that he (or Cultivation, if the Ideals are her thing) could have chosen to allow the surgebinders Shardblades only in return for further Oaths.

As for the "single man" doing these things -- I'm not suggesting that Ishar could have made these changes against Honor and/or Cultivation's will, but that he might have been the means by which their will was made manifest.  In the same way that Odium wanted the Everstorm but needed the singers to sing it into existence, Honor/Cultivation may have wanted the additional constraints of the Ideals but needed someone -- say Ishar -- to make the change happen.

Though it's also possible that Ishar was just simply quite mad by then and spouting vainglorious nonsense.  However, the Ideals seem enough different from the first Oath that it's also not unreasonable to suppose that they were tacked on afterward.

Quote

Prior to the order of Skybreakers existing, someone bonded to a Highspren would have just needed to adhere unfalteringly to a code if Szeth's oaths are any guide post. Without the Skybreakers to set a direction to that "code" that could end very differently. 

That's an interesting question.  Are the Skybreakers about adhering to a code, or are they about following the law?  If the Fifth Ideal is accurate, then it's about more than just an arbitrary code.  Then again, no living Skybreaker has managed to reach the Fifth Ideal (other than maybe Nalan, and we have only his word for that).  So maybe their interpretation of that Ideal is incorrect.

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1 minute ago, galendo said:

As far as the magic systems being a natural outgrowth of the planet and the Shard, I'm not entirely sure that's true.

Mistborn spoilers 

Spoiler

Agate

I can guess two possible options for the kandra.

1. God Sazed endowed the gift of presence on the now mistwraiths.

2. Some of the kandra survived in the cave with the Terrisman and people of the city, along with the small mistwraiths, these are re-born with the spikes they pulled out during the resolution.

I can imagine too that some kandra on assignment may have hidden in the shelters with the rest of humanity.

Brandon Sanderson

The kandra.

Yes, they live. The people were smart enough, eventually, to replace their spikes. (And there were a couple who were on assignment who made it to storage caches.)

However, there will likely never be any more of them, since Hemalurgy is required to make them. They are now some of the few people who can communicate directly with Sazed, who—like Ruin—can whisper to people most easily when they are connected to him via spikes. With some speculation, you can probably guess what kind of roles the kandra will end up playing in future books.

Kaimipono

On a broader level, is Hemalurgy officially dead, then? Or is it still extant in some Ruin-free (but still messy) form? (If it's gone, is there any imbalance since Preservation's magic power is kept and Ruin's isn't?)

Brandon Sanderson

Is Hemalurgy dead? No, not at all. It, like the other two powers, was not created by Ruin or Preservation, but by the natural state of the world and its interaction with the gods who created it. It still requires the same method of creation, but very few people are aware of how it works.

Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide (Oct. 15, 2008)

 

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14 hours ago, Karger said:

So Correct me if I am wrong but before a Skybreaker can swear the third ideal they have to squire another third ideal squire.  So how did the original Skybreakers make this work?  Their were no third ideal Skybreakers and Nale did not OK their order until much later.

How did any original members of any cult where you need mentorship from someone of 'X' status to progress make things work? 

 

They were the first and set the rules for those that come after.  In this case, between Nale and the Highspren, there is no reason to doubt that they came up with a structure that the highspren approved of before more oaths were accepted.  But the first ones were a surprise to everyone before Ishar forced the first proto-radiants to form orders and swear ideals.

 

After that tradition.  And in a cult of law, I am not surprised that the Skybreakers were able to maintain a strict adherence to the code of law.

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@Calderis: I don't want to hijack this thread with a "how magic works" debate (though it is an interesting debate and should probably happen), but I'm not sure whether the WoB you cited really supports your position in the way you think it does.

(MIstborn trilogy spoilers)

Spoiler

Allomancy might always have existed in some theoretical sense, but IIRC it didn't exist in a practical sense until Rashik used the power of the Well of Ascension to create the magic pellets that made him and his favored servants Mistborn and their children into mistlings.  (Or maybe it was Leras who made the magic pellets and Rashik who found them; but either way someone willed them to exist.)

Even then, Allomancy was "hard" to access even for Allomancers, and required snapping via severe physical or emotional trauma until Sazed took the reins, said "This should be easier," and made it so.

So the Shards (and those who can access large chunks of their power) clearly have some control over how easy or difficult it is for people to access the magic.  They may not be able to change the fundamental nature of the ability -- accessing Investiture via Honor is always going to require an Oath.  It did for the original Heralds.  It (presumably) did for the original surgebinders, and it does for the Knights Radiant.  But the number of Oaths required -- how easy or hard it is to access the magic -- is perhaps more flexible.  As far as we know, the Heralds were only required to swear one Oath, not five.  Whereas the KR require five Oaths, not one.

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Not getting into the magic debate here...at least not the larger one. 

But I definitely don't believe the oaths came from anything other than the spren themselves. 

Quote

Blightsong

Were the ideals of the Knights Radiant consciously chosen, or did they happen naturally?

Brandon Sanderson

*apprehension*. This is one of those vague ones in that yes and no. They are a natural outgrowth of the spren, but the spren are a natural outgrowth of human's perception of natural forces, but the spren are sentient, so I would say it's a little more by instinct than not. For example two Knights Radiant in the same Order might speak the words differently, but the concept is the same. You will see this happen in a future book, where a Windrunner will speak the oaths. It's a slightly different take on the same concept. Some are moreso, like Shallan's oaths are very individualized truths, so.

OdysseyCon 2016 (April 8, 2016)

The Oaths come from the spren... Which are shaped by both human perception, and the sprens self perception. 

Quote

-snip-

Questioner

Are you saying that the spren’s view of themself influences how they work?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh yeah, and humans’ view of them because spren are pieces of Investiture who have gained sapience, or sentience for the smaller spren, through human perception of those forces. For instance, whether or not Kaladin is keeping an oath is up to what Syl and Kaladin think is keeping that oath. It is not related to capital-T Truth, what is actually keeping the oath. Two windrunners can disagree on whether an oath has been kept or not.

Boskone 54 (Feb. 18, 2017)

The Oaths are variable, both in form, and outcome. 

The imposition of these variable oaths offers far less organization and structure and control than the orders themselves.

If the purpose of the "organization" that Ishar thrust upon Surgebinders was to keep them from warring and abusing their powers, I find the institution to be a far more reasonable method. The oaths alone don't prevent the Skybreakers from switching sides, or Malata from serving the Diagram. 

The oaths are not enough in themselves. 

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I think this is kind of how the Radiants could work.  Bridge Four was swearing the First and Second Ideals before having spren, though Kaladin had Syl before swearing any oaths. I think the options are 1) let the bond form organically and the oaths come later or 2) Be a squire, start swearing oaths and Radiantspren will bond you if they find you worthy

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