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robardin

Yet Another Nightblood Theory

14 posts in this topic

We have a few hints about the creation of Nightblood, and the comment that it was a fairly unique convergence of conditions not known or intended by its creator that would be difficult to replicate.

One thing that's unusual about Nightblood is that it "contain's Ruin's investiture". So how can Nightblood contain Ruin's investiture without being composed of atium? Simple: he's a hemalurgic spike.

But how is that possible? To be a hemalurgic spike, he'd have to be created with Intent, and furthermore, a hemalurgic spike steals from A and staples onto B - who's the A, and where's the B?

Here's my thinking:

  • Hemalurgy works anywhere in the Cosmere, as Ruin's power is "everywhere" at the Spiritual level.
    • It requires intent, the right metal for the spike, and the right placement of the spikes in the donor A and the target B.
  • Before being Awakened, Nightblood was simply made of steel (per Warbreaker itself, ch. 53, cited in the Coppermind wiki).
  • Now imagine Shashara, a leading figure in the Manywar, going about creating the first Awakened sword, a Shardblade equivalent.
  • She amasses thousands upon thousands of Breaths from her followers, as Vahr did, but drawing upon a whole country.
  • She then either takes a dark turn, or acquiesces to a dark suggestion from someone else, to do a standard symbolic gesture when making a sword of war: quenching it in the blood of an enemy.
  • Hemalurgically, steel steals human physical ability (it's what goes toward making a koloss).
  • She takes that newly forged steel blade, and stabs it through the heart of a living person. Ta-da, inadvertent hemalurgy!
  • She draws it forth and Invests it with thousands of Breath to Awaken it with the Command, DESTROY EVIL.
  • The effect of hemalurgy seeks for a Spiritweb to attach onto, but it finds only Breath. But, lots and lots of Breath.
  • Lots and lots of Breath with a common cause: GATHER INVESTITURE.
  • Perhaps enough to form a kind of "Spirtweb canvas" for the hemalurgy to staple onto the sword itself?
    • ...With a bit of extra Endowment?

What do you think?

 

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You can't accidentally do Hemalurgy 

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Posted (edited)

18 minutes ago, Inky said:

You can't accidentally do Hemalurgy 

There are different levels of "accidental". You can certainly do it without personally knowing what hemalurgy is.

Consider Spook getting spiked for pewter in Urteau. A guard killed a Pewterarm by stabbing him through the heart with a steel sword, a sword that then ran him through entirely and pierced Spook in the arm, and then snapped off.

That length of steel that pierced and killed the Pewterarm hemalurgically transferred A-pewter to Spook. Did that first guard know anything about hemalurgy? No. Nor was that guard spiked himself, or crazy in the head and hearing voices. But Ruin "wanted it to happen", and set up the parameters for it to happen, and that was enough.

So in the case of Nightblood, perhaps simply being able to watch the events from afar (being imprisoned as he was in the Well) and rooting for it to happen counted for intent.

Edited by robardin
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That person was being controlled by Ruin to spike Spook. If you don't want to do hemalurgy it won't happen

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Creating a spike requires intent to create a spike, as mentioned by Inky. 

Quote

Questioner

Allomancy requires, you need to be either a Misting or a Mistborn to be able to do that. But Hemalurgy you just need to stab someone through the heart. So what would stop someone on Roshar from using Hemalurgy, because it's not Innate? Do you have to be in proximity to Ruin?

Brandon Sanderson

Intent is a big part of a lot of the magics, including Hemalurgy, meaning that you need to know what you're doing. Or somebody needs to-- There needs to be Intent involved in what's happening to you.

Questioner

So like with Spook when he got spiked, where was the Intent?

Brandon Sanderson

The person who was driving that spike was being influenced by Ruin, and the Intent was there.

Questioner

So unless you knew what you were trying to do with a Hemalurgic spike, you couldn't do Hemalurgy?

Brandon Sanderson

You could not steal attributes no.

Questioner 2

Is it possible to steal Surgebindings.

Brandon Sanderson

It is possible to steal Surgebinding.

Questioner

Is there going to be crossover, like is someone going to have Feruchemical powers and also Surgebinding?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a Read And Find Out.

Holiday signing (Dec. 12, 2015)

Additionally, we know that no one needed to be killed for the creation if Nightblood. 

Quote

Viridian's eldest daughter

Did it take a life to create Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

Did it take a life to create Nightblood. It did not. It just required a lot of Breath, which you could assume each one is a little piece of a life so maybe. Multiple lives in that way but no one actually had to die. Good question.

Bands of Mourning release party (Jan. 25, 2016)

 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Calderis said:

Creating a spike requires intent to create a spike, as mentioned by Inky. 

Additionally, we know that no one needed to be killed for the creation if Nightblood

Darn, the second bit does kill my theory, doesn't it?

On the first point, though, I think "intent" must be allowed to include "someone else's intent (other than the physical agent of the creation of the spike)", otherwise how does one explain Spook's spike for A-pewter in Urteau? Or for that matter, Vin's mother killing her Seeker baby sister to make an A-bronze earring for Vin - she couldn't have known about hemalurgy.

In the case of Vin's mother she was getting "whispered to" by Ruin, but I doubt that whispering consisted of a primer on hemalurgy, more like twisting her around to commit the deed.

I've always thought that those two spikes indicated that "Ruin knew what was going on and wanted it to happen" counted as "intent for hemalurgy".

The more interesting question is if that "someone else's intent" only works for Ruin, or if anybody who knew about hemalurgy and manipulated someone else into stabbing an Allomancer (or other magic user) through the heart with a piece of metal to that end would end up with a spike.

Edited by robardin
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@robardin in those Cases, what prevents ruin Himself from providing the intent?

Others act and he touches the spike with his metaphysical hand... Voila. Spike. 

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Perhaps because all humans in the cosmere contain part of Ruin and Shashara's intention was to create something capable of destruction she asked her followers for help creating something destructive so Ruin's essence came along with their breath. 

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1 hour ago, Calderis said:

@robardin in those Cases, what prevents ruin Himself from providing the intent?

Others act and he touches the spike with his metaphysical hand... Voila. Spike. 

Yeah, that's basically what I mean. In my scenario, it wouldn't matter if Shashara herself had no understanding or concept of hemalurgy - if she'd stabbed someone in the heart with a steel sword as part of Awakening Nightblood, it could still have involved hemalurgy as long as Ruin would have wanted it to be so. And oh yes, I'm sure Ruin would have loved to have Nightblood turn out exactly as he did.

But your WoB that nobody died in the creation of Nightblood seems to put the kibosh on that idea.

Unless it's one of those "non-fatal acts of hemalurgy" he's also mentioned as possible... Or that whatever, or whoever, the steel sword pierced at that critical time, was alive enough to count as hemalurgy, but not to count as "killing" when spiked - like a spren, a scenario which another WoB has hinted at will be "gotten around to".

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4 hours ago, Inky said:

That person was being controlled by Ruin to spike Spook. If you don't want to do hemalurgy it won't happen

No, the guard attacking Spook was not being "controlled" by Ruin, at least not in the same way as a kandra, koloss, or Inquisitor would count as being under his direct control. Ruin was, at best, whispering in an advisory role to someone "spiritually cracked" enough to hear him, which we have no evidence of most people being who aren't spiked or insane.

And even if that guard was somehow "hearing' Ruin like Vin's mother did, it's still clearly enough for Ruin to know what's going on and to want it to be an act of hemalurgy for it to be one, even when the physical agent doesn't know.

I find it more interesting to question if that would apply to another non-agent human with knowledge of hemalurgy as well, or only to Ruin as the source of hemalurgy.

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@robardin I will admit, I don't believe that Nightblood was made from a Hemalurgic spike, so most of this is just entertaining the idea...

Ruin wouldn't have been able to be the one to provide the intent to a spike elsewhere. He should have been limited to the Scadrian system in the same way that Harmony is. 

Quote

Questioner

How far does Sazed's power actually extend?

Brandon Sanderson

It is mostly limited to his immediate sphere of influence, so the planet.

Questioner

...But doesn't he move stars at the end?

Brandon Sanderson

No, he moved the planet. His solar system, he can definitely have influence on the whole solar system. But none of the other planets around Scadrial are inhabited.

Firefight Miami signing (Jan. 8, 2015)

But that doesn't mean that a different Shard couldn't make use of the Intent I'd think, unless (like, unfortunately in Endowment's case) that went against their intent. 

I imagine that Hemalurgy has a lot of potential as an "attack of opportunity" 

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True, Ruin couldn't touch anything with his power off Scadrial - not even on Scadrial, not while imprisoned by Leras' perfidious little trap. But I think it's possible he still could know of events going on.

For example, we have WoBs that Odium is scared of Harmony the Double Shard. He's been "trapped" in the Rosharan system since before Harmony Ascended, right? Yet he knows of a major event like that.

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13 minutes ago, robardin said:

For example, we have WoBs that Odium is scared of Harmony the Double Shard. He's been "trapped" in the Rosharan system since before Harmony Ascended, right? Yet he knows of a major event like that.

Spiritual Realm ramifications would make that easy to know about.

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Posted (edited)

It's also been hundreds of years since Harmony ascended, and Odium is bound to have servants that keep an eye on other parts of the Cosmere for him. He would be stupid not to.

Edited by SwordNimiForPresident
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