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Bigmikey357

Bondsmiths outside the Oaths

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I have been thinking about Bondsmiths and the spren they bond with for a while now, specifically about the power these spren grant their bondmates.  It takes no great leap in logic to wonder why.  Look at how the Stormfather describes the power he grants to Dalinar:

"Yours is the power Ishar once held. Before he was Herald of Luck, they called him Binder of Gods. He was the founder of the Oathpact. No Radiant is capable of more than you. Yours is the power of Connection, of joining men and worlds, minds and souls. Your Surges are the greatest of all, though they will be impotent if you seek to wield them for mere battle."

Amazing right? But in this post I'd like to highlight a possible feature to the Bondsmiths and the power they wield that may be an added bonus, implied rather than explicit. Pure speculation, emphasis mine:

But as for the Bondsmiths, they had members only three, which number was not uncommon for them; nor did they seek to increase this by great bounds, for during the times of Madasa, only one of their order was in continual accompaniment of Urithiru and its thrones. Their spren was understood to be specific, and to persuade them to grow to the magnitude of the other orders was seen as seditious. 

I highlight this particular passage because the bondsmith spren defy classification.  In every other order one can pinpoint a general shape of what the spren of that order will look like, including characteristics, tendencies, and abilities.  Honorspren are blue, playful, and can hide their presence in the Physical Realm from all but a few people. Cryptics have the distinctive symbol heads, can change size and shape but not go invisible in the Physical Realm, and hum when they hear lies.  Inkspren can hide in the Physical, but when showing cannot change form, only size, and they are ultimately logical.  I could do this for almost every order, spit out facts that differentiate them from other spren, other orders, based on what we find in the text.  The point is that there are commonalities among them.

Those spren who grant Bondsmith powers are different in that they defy typical classification. The only commonalities they share are that they hold more Investiture than any being on the planet who isn't a Shard and they grant Bondsmith powers to those they bond.  After that the similarities end abruptly.  We have met 2 of the Bondsmith spren in the text, Stormfather and Nightwatcher, and they could not be more different, either in appearance, temperament, and what would likely attract them.  We haven't met the Sibling yet but it seems like it has a different function than the others as well.  Take a look at another quote, emphasis mine:

"So Melishi retired to his tent, and resolved to destroy the Voidbringers upon the next day, but that night did present a different stratagem, related to the unique abilities of the Bondsmiths; and being hurried, he could make no specific account of his process; it was related to the very nature of the Heralds and their divine duties, an attribute the Bondsmiths alone could address."

Unique Abilities.  That may not be evidence, but it is a slight indication that Bondsmiths are a bit different.  In my mind they cannot just be talking about their regular surges, Adhesion and Tension in that quote. Even the combination of the two amounts to what Stormfather once referred to as a 'party trick'.  

Well enough preamble, Maybe-Not-So-Crazy Theory time.  I have come to believe that Bondsmiths get abilities outside the traditional powers of their order based on which Mega-Spren they bond.  I do not know what these abilities are so the speculation must come from what the Spren can do.  For the Stormfather he grants his Bondsmith the ability to far see, i.e. he can get a real time video feed of any region the Highstorm touches.  For the Nightwatcher it's uncertain, but she has been delegated the task of granting the boons and curses of the Old Magic.  Any special ability she would grant to her Bondsmith, I would imagine it would be related to that.  We know that the Sibling powered Urithiru and that in the past a Bondsmith was in permanent residence there.  Would it grant its Bondsmith the ability to monitor anything going on in that city?  All of these abilities fall outside any conceivable application of Adhesion or Tension, even if we attempt to factor in Spiritual Realm shenanigans. It sounds far fetched but we've seen Dalinar display some unique abilities that fall outside what his surges could account for already.  Now I'm sure that there are functions that both fall outside what a Bondsmith's surges account and are possible for any Bondsmith to perform. Super Charging spheres according to one WOB is one such ability that all bondsmiths have.  For the Stormfather to call  Bondsmiths the most capable of Radiants has to mean something, right?  I'm just thinking that unique spren with unique functions should grant different abilities as well. 

Tell me what you guys think.  

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I think all Bondsmiths have the same abilities. Only Dalinar is different, and that's because Tanavasts cognitive shadow merged with the Stormfather. 

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I have wondered if the Bondsmiths might have had different areas of expertise or responsibility for the reasons you state.  I doubt their fundamental abilities would have been different though.

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I tend to look at Bondsmiths in terms of tiers. Tier 1 is the basic powers, nothing particularly special from any other type of Radiant. Their surges are Adhesion and Tension and even if one accounts for the spiritual application of the surges what they have is still pretty basic, nothing to single the order out as the greatest Radiants.

Tier 2 are the connection powers, the ones that the SF mentions to Dalinar. We don't know exactly what they are capable of (Stormfather doesn't like specifics apparently) but it must be awesome. From what I can tell, the Tier 2 powers are the result of bonding with an Investiture source so large that it can contain the cognitive shadow of a Shard. The default setting in Tier 2 is deputy Vessel. Dalinar is of course not on the default setting but if Nightwatcher or Sibling (or other candidates if at all possible) gets a Bagel bond then we'll get a baseline on the typical power of a Bondsmith. I expect to be amazed.

Then there's Tier 3, the extra bit, the basic tenant of my theory. I believe that there is at least one thing that only a bondmate to the Sibling has the ability to do. I believe that there is at least one thing that only a bondmate to the Nightwatcher has the ability to do. Same with the Stormfather before the death of Honor and definitely now. It won't be an extensive list of abilities, just something that ties into the duties the these guys perform when they aren't bound to anyone.

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