SzethIsBadAsHell

Does prolonged surgebinding make you insane

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So I have been thinking a lot about how the surgebinders destroyed their previous planet . And the overall fear that they will do the same to Roshar. The only character we have seen who has been surgebinding for years is Szeth. Other than him we have shallan we have shallan who has forgotten much of what she has done . And perhaps some unnamed Skybreakers who we have no POV to judge from. But Szeth is clearly insane . What if it’s not him being abused as a truth less that drove him to insanity ? But his prolonged use of surgebinding that drove Szeth to insanity ? Thoughts ?

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Szeth and Shallan's insanity is what made them prime candidates for radiancy, and not the other way around. So called "broken" people are easier for spren to bond because there's more "cracks" in their spiritweb for the spren to fill

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Yeah, from an in-universe perspective having a cracked spiritweb (whether it's Kaladin's depression, Shallan's mental block or the trauma that snaps allomancers on Scadrial) makes it easier for magic to get into you, so you're putting the cart before the horse in assuming that Surgebinding makes someone insane. Jasnah has also been a Surgebinder for years now and if anything, she's knurd. We also know that Odium was involved in some way with what happened on Ashyn, so we alredy have a pretty easy explanation for how people could have been goaded into misusing their magic to the point of triggering a cataclysm.

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Using Surgebinding(or any form of investiture) does warp your perceptions a bit but weather or not that qualifies as insanity is an open question.  I personally would classify Kaladin as insane for example.

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Kaladin's issues predate his Surgebinding, and are the result of a combination of naturally depressive tendancies and Tien's death.

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Jasnah's been surgebinding for about 5-6 years and she's the most sane of them all. There're also the other Skybreakers below Nale, who seem very sane, as well. I agree with the others, the causation is the other way around--they were able to become surgebinders because they were cracked, rather than went crazy because they were surgebinders.

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I get the premise that you have to be broken in order to be invested . Thing is Szeth is kind of Unique in this regard . He said he heard a voice like Nightblood long ago . So I guess  that was spren trying to bond him long ago . He has  been surgebinding through use of Honorblades and no Nahal bond to protect him . We know he has trained with all 11 blades the shin have had . While Jasnah have been doing this 6 years . I’m estimating Szethto have been surgebinding for 20 to 60 years . He had no Nahal bond to guide his morals .i think this may have cause him to go insane long before he became truthless . The voices he hears of his victims . His infantile logic how it’s everyone’s fault that they can’t stop him . So again I wonder if this is what happen to the humans on Ashyn who were surgebinding for years without the benifit of a Nahal Bond. The Heralds also don’t have bonds. What if it’s not the torture that drove them mad by itself , but the torture and the prolonged use of Surges . The Fused who posses one surge each and have been doing it for 1000 of years are insane too . So I think it kind of provoked further discussion and don’t just dismiss it without thinking about it.

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1 minute ago, SzethIsBadAsHell said:

I get the premise that you have to be broken in order to be invested . Thing is Szeth is kind of Unique in this regard . He said he heard a voice like Nightblood long ago . So I guess  that was spren trying to bond him long ago . He has  been surgebinding through use of Honorblades and no Nahal bond to protect him . We know he has trained with all 11 blades the shin have had . While Jasnah have been doing this 6 years . I’m estimating Szethto have been surgebinding for 20 to 60 years . He had no Nahal bond to guide his morals .i think this may have cause him to go insane long before he became truthless . The voices he hears of his victims . His infantile logic how it’s everyone’s fault that they can’t stop him . So again I wonder if this is what happen to the humans on Ashyn who were surgebinding for years without the benifit of a Nahal Bond. The Heralds also don’t have bonds. What if it’s not the torture that drove them mad by itself , but the torture and the prolonged use of Surges . The Fused who posses one surge each and have been doing it for 1000 of years are insane too . So I think it kind of provoked further discussion and don’t just dismiss it without thinking about it.

Szeth is Jasnah's age, so it's more like twenty or so I'd assume.

Okay so - humans on Ashyn were not Surgebinding. Ashyn had its own magic system that follows completely different rules. Ashyn blew up because Odium managed to convince a few people to put a series of events in play that would further his plans. And, Ashyn's current magic system has users be able to use magic when they're sick, implying a morbid sort of proto-Nahel bond, and likely a bond based magic system existed before they made the floor lava. 

The Fused become insane because they died a lot. Specifically, I think this is because of their routine being killed by Shardblades which messes with their Spiritweb, but that's just a theory. What we do know is that Fused dying over and over again makes them insane. 

So, I don't think it's overuse of the magic

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14 hours ago, Weltall said:

Yeah, from an in-universe perspective having a cracked spiritweb (whether it's Kaladin's depression, Shallan's mental block or the trauma that snaps allomancers on Scadrial) makes it easier for magic to get into you, so you're putting the cart before the horse in assuming that Surgebinding makes someone insane. Jasnah has also been a Surgebinder for years now and if anything, she's knurd. We also know that Odium was involved in some way with what happened on Ashyn, so we alredy have a pretty easy explanation for how people could have been goaded into misusing their magic to the point of triggering a cataclysm.

Im curious about Shallan.  She was a Radiant before the events that she Blocked, since she had a Blade at the time. Did she have some other hang-up prior to that?  We also have WOB that there was a supernatural influence driving her brothers to their various forms of instability, Im curious if it was affecting her in some way too (prior to the events with her mother)?

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Shallan is a massively unreliable narrator so it's likely that when she's thinking of how much better things were before her mother tried to kill her, she's not being completely honest with herself or the readers. There's also the little fact that any mother willing to murder her own child probably wasn't the best of parents to begin with.

The supernatural influence could have been Nergaoul. Jasnah's historical research into the patterns of dynasties turned up lots of stories of royal families imploding as members tried to murder their way to the top, in the Vorin lands where we know Nergaoul has been active. This includes Veden lands even though the Thrill isn't noted to be as big a thing for them as it is for the Alethi. Possibly a lesser influence but still something similar, driving people to fight among themselves. Maybe they're enough on the fringes of Nergaoul's influence (by the time he moves to Jah Keved and things get really bad, the Davars are on their way out of the country) that it doesn't manifest as dramatically? It kind of fits Nan Balat's penchant for cruelty to small animals at least.

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I hypothesize that surgebinding will work like burning metals- the more you do it, the more effective/faster/efficient it is. For example, lashings/illusions/healing/soulcasting would take significantly less energy, and potentially be more destructive. (like Jasnah being able to soulcast over a distance)

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