Karger

How Does One "Kill" a Herald?

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Still exactly what I said, is the part where I didn't include why the Heralds who did survive still had to go to Braize the confusing part? Should I add that in? I thought it was apparent...

Edited by Honorless
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17 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Still exactly what I said, is the part where I didn't include why the Heralds who did survive still had to go to Braize the confusing part? Should I add that in? I thought it was apparent...

This was the part that confused me:

"It does make sense though, if they have to make their way back to Braize voluntarily in case they survive, then they definitely have to be caught in order to get them to break."

I read it as:

 

1. If they have to make their way back to Braize voluntarily in case they survive

2. Then they definitely have to be caught on Roshar (you didn't say Roshar, I am only explaining how it sounded in my head)) to be made to break so they return

 

Sorry I misunderstood, and I apologize for the confusion!

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Side note by the way, I'm pretty sure that the Heralds have to kill their bodies to return to Braize if they don't die during the desolations. I didn't realize they didn't have physical bodies on Braize, but I went through the WoB, and they do not have physical bodies on Braize. 

They get a new body created out of Honor's investiture whenever they come back.

Brandon also refused to say whether they have clothes on or not when they return.

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1 hour ago, Config2 said:

Side note by the way, I'm pretty sure that the Heralds have to kill their bodies to return to Braize if they don't die during the desolations. I didn't realize they didn't have physical bodies on Braize, but I went through the WoB, and they do not have physical bodies on Braize. 

They get a new body created out of Honor's investiture whenever they come back.

Brandon also refused to say whether they have clothes on or not when they return.

So since we have only two instances to draw on with cognitive shadows gaining physical bodies (heralds and 

Spoiler

kelsier

)

it is difficult to say. Considering the bodies are created for them, who knows, maybe theoretically they can will themselves to release their hold/contact with the body. I think that question at least is a very much RAFO because I do not recall any information that can hint one way or the other. 

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23 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

So since we have only two instances to draw on with cognitive shadows gaining physical bodies (heralds and 

  Reveal hidden contents

kelsier

)

it is difficult to say. Considering the bodies are created for them, who knows, maybe theoretically they can will themselves to release their hold/contact with the body. I think that question at least is a very much RAFO because I do not recall any information that can hint one way or the other. 

Oh for sure. I'm pretty sure they do it cause it's super metal. And the heralds seem like they are pretty metal.

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6 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

As this is the stormlight forum, I will spoiler the references I make to mistborn. There are annotations and WoB that I would need to pull up and would be happy to provide you later as I am multitasking at that moment but the long and short of it is this:

  Hide contents

Vin was fueled directly by preservation when she leveled kredik shaw. She could "burn" metals in an unlimited supply, to levels no other mistborn could attain. A steel push, without duralumin was enough to destroy a building via the trace metals in the rock. The annotations confirm this was when Vin was fueled directly by preservation in two separate locations, as well as a WoB.

That is the example of someone being directly fueled by a shard that I am drawing from, and the WoB posted has Sanderson say the honorblades were fueled directly by honor and had access to levels of investiture no radiant could attain. So to me it is pretty clear the heralds were at that level. But I guess to each their own

I've read said WoB, but it still seems very unlikely they were anywhere near that strong. If they were, it's unlikely anyone of them would die ever. If they were that strong, then it makes absolutely no sense for Odium to not bring his forces and absolutely just crush the fledgling Radiants now, especially with Nale joining him.

In your Vin example, she wasn't just being powered directly by Preservation, she was becoming Preservation. While related, it seems unlikely they could compare to that.

 

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27 minutes ago, StanLemon said:

I've read said WoB, but it still seems very unlikely they were anywhere near that strong. If they were, it's unlikely anyone of them would die ever. If they were that strong, then it makes absolutely no sense for Odium to not bring his forces and absolutely just crush the fledgling Radiants now, especially with Nale joining him.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

In your Vin example, she wasn't just being powered directly by Preservation, she was becoming Preservation. While related, it seems unlikely they could compare to that.

 

 

 

As I said earlier, Odium has not brought his full forces because he did not think he needed to. To his knowledge the heralds gave up, he had Sadeas's troops, Dalinar as his champion, Kaladin, Shallan, and Adolin dead, Jasnah killing Renarin, and Urithiru attacked from within. He literally told his parsh force to sit back and chill because he had everything so handled. Now that two heralds have sided with the humans, Dalinar is not his champion, Kaladin Shallan and Adolin are most definitely not dead, Jasnah did not kill Renarin, and Urithiru is still standing, Odium will bring his full forces to bear. He has already begun, hence sending Moash to kill a herald preemptively. So still all lines up to me. Now as to:

Spoiler

Vin. I will bring up the annotations tomorrow. I already had this discussion with another person. Twice in the annotations Brandon specifies that Vin is being fueled by the mists. She has not become preservation yet. Kredik shaw got leveled from a mistborn fueled directly by a shard.

 

 

Brandon Sanderson

Vin Draws In All the Mist

Here we finally have Vin suck in the mists and use them to fuel her Allomancy completely. I began building this plot arc way back in book one, which ends with Vin drawing upon the mists to fight the Lord Ruler. It took me all the way until here to make good on that, though I still don't even explain how or why she was able to do it. Eventually I'd like to be able to do that, but we'll see. It's bigger than this trilogy. I have to leave some secrets for later.

I do want to mention that this scene of Vin blasting Kredik Shaw to pieces was quite fulfilling to write for some reason. It feels like the end of a series to me, with familiar places being torn down and old expectations being dismantled.

The Hero of Ages Annotations (April 13, 2010)

 

 

Brandon Sanderson

Drawing upon the Mists

Vin draws upon the mists here for the second time. I kind of wish I'd been able to make her do it in the second book somewhere, but I decided to back off on that plot in book two. The thing is, Vin drawing upon the mists is kind of deus ex machina, and I didn't want to make the entire series about that. It's a mystery to be explained, true, and was worked into the magic system from the beginning. But I can't deny that it feels like it comes out of nowhere.

So, having her use her ability to draw upon the mists here was an attempt to have that happen sometime other than a major climax moment, reminding the reader of what happened back in book one so we can begin to delve into what was happening and why.

The Hero of Ages Annotations (March 11, 2010)

 

 

Brandon Sanderson

Vin Versus the Inquisitors

Vin fights the Inquisitors, hoping to put herself in a situation where she can draw upon the mists. It's a reckless plan, but I hope it feels exactly like something Vin would do. She's tired of being manipulated; she knows the end is very near (less than a day away) and knows that she needs to do something. This is all she could come up with, and I think it's a good plan. (At least if you're Vin.) It's a final attempt to save the world or go out in a blaze, fighting down thirteen Inquisitors at once.

This is my favorite fight in the book. The previous ones are all too warlike. I prefer the beauty of a couple of Mistborn fighting in the rain and the mist, as opposed to the characters taking out hundreds of koloss. This fight between Vin and the Inquisitors is the kind of thing I developed Allomancy to do in the first place.

The Hero of Ages Annotations (April 6, 2010)

Which would stand the same for a herald as per WoB. But you are entitled to disagree. Guess we will RAFO. 

 

edit: was able to pull up the WoB from the other thread. I have added them to the spoiler since it discusses mistborn

Edited by Pathfinder
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6 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

Which would stand the same for a herald as per WoB. But you are entitled to disagree. Guess we will RAFO.

You are correct, I do disagree. There are multiple meanings to someone being fueled by a Shard.

 

My reasoning is that an Allomancer IS being fueled directly by Preservation, just using the metal as a conduit. But even though they are being directly powered, they don't by any means have absolute power. The Heralds use their Honorblade as a conduit as well, and while I have no doubts that they were stronger than Radiants, I find it heavily unlikely that that they had LR or Ascension Vin levels of power. That or there is little reason for book 4 to end any other way than "Odium wins" if his forces had the power to kill them based on what we know. And yes while Vin was drawing on the Mist for her Allomancy, she didn't need metals while doing so, she wasn't so much tapping the power as becoming it.

Also, at the end of the day, the Herald's power level is purely conjecture. What we know for sure is Ishar was able to force the fledgling Surgebinders to organize. That they had more raw power than any Radiant, but how much more is unspecific. That Nale, despite having an Honorblade on hand and siding with Odium, didn't end the battle in Oathbringer as soon as it started turning around towards the Knight's favor but just let it go on its way. And lastly that Kalak feared Thunderclasts, which tells me that they were a threat to Heralds.

I think the Oathpact has far more to do with why Odium worked to kill a Herald as quickly as possible than their potential power.

Edited by StanLemon
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10 hours ago, StanLemon said:

You are correct, I do disagree.

Then as I will say again below, I guess to each their own. 

Quote

There are multiple meanings to someone being fueled by a Shard.

  Reveal hidden contents

My reasoning is that an Allomancer IS being fueled directly by Preservation, just using the metal as a conduit. But even though they are being directly powered, they don't by any means have absolute power. The Heralds use their Honorblade as a conduit as well, and while I have no doubts that they were stronger than Radiants, I find it heavily unlikely that that they had LR or Ascension Vin levels of power. That or there is little reason for book 4 to end any other way than "Odium wins" if his forces had the power to kill them based on what we know. And yes while Vin was drawing on the Mist for her Allomancy, she didn't need metals while doing so, she wasn't so much tapping the power as becoming it.

Then I guess here we will have to agree to disagree, because

Spoiler

Vin is an allomancer. Her genetic code is what led her to be a mistborn. That is her link. The mists fueled her allomancy to levels beyond any other mistborn. She did not have feruchemy. She did not use feruchemy when she was fueled by the mists because her genetic code that said she was a mistborn, did not say she was a feruchemist.

The honorblades acts the same way. It says what abilities the herald gets. The heralds get direct access to a shard's power. You can lash an object however many times you want so long as you have the stormlight to do so. If there is no limit on the stormlight, there is no limit to how much you lash. What you can soulcast is limited by how much stormlight you have (as a radiant). As per WoB, a radiant in a highstorm can soulcast whatever they want. If you had the honorblade that gave you transformation, there would be no limit on what you could soulcast. This naturally extends from one to the other for me. It does not for you. I guess we will have to wait till we learn more from the heralds, or see Taln's and Shallash's flashbacks before we bury this hatchet. 

Quote

Also, at the end of the day, the Herald's power level is purely conjecture. What we know for sure is Ishar was able to force the fledgling Surgebinders to organize. That they had more raw power than any Radiant, but how much more is unspecific. That Nale, despite having an Honorblade on hand and siding with Odium, didn't end the battle in Oathbringer as soon as it started turning around towards the Knight's favor but just let it go on its way. And lastly that Kalak feared Thunderclasts, which tells me that they were a threat to Heralds.

Conjecture is basing assertions without any information that could support it. I provided information that I believe supports it. You disagree which is your right, but that does not make it conjecture. 

The WoB provided earlier stated that before honor died, the honorblades drew directly from the shard. Honor is currently dead, so current honorblades cannot draw directly on the shard. That is why they are inefficient in using stormlight. The honorblades never needed to be conservative before. If you have an unending power source, you do not focus your design of a machine for efficiency. You design it for power. So Nale, with an honorblade as they currently are, after the death of honor, would not be an auto win button. However they are still a threat because if a certain someone :::cough:::: Dalinar :::cough cough:::: can restore the shard of honor, then the honorblades would work as they once did again, and then the heralds become a clear and present danger. So Odium is preemptively taking them off the board.

Let us take a look at what we have seen from Odium so far:

1. general parsh

2. gravitation fused

3. abrasion fused

4. illumination fused

5. potentially progression or cohesion fused (the fused that alters its carapace)

6. Yelig-nar in faulty vessels

7. unguided Nergaoul

8. scared, fragmented, missing something Re-shephir

9. a taste of Sja-anat

10. a taste of Ashertmarn

11. a taste of Moelach

12. two thunderclasts with specific missions (the gemstone reserve, the oathgate) ignoring everything else

 

Now lets see what we have not seen:

1. the other forms the fused have

2. Ba-Ado-Mishram

3. Dai-Gonarthis

4. Chemoarish

5. Yelig-nar in a true vessel

6. Re-Shephir with whatever Shallan felt she was missing

7. Sja-anat doing whatever terrified the radiants most about her (which we do not know)

8. Ashertmarn not just setting a trap but fully fighting

9. Moelach doing his full deal and not just causing the death rattles from his presence

10. the fused that bonded Venli's lover and friends

 

If Odium was worrying about a "win button", then why did he tell his army of parsh to sit back and do nothing? He already thought he won. He didn't need any of the res. Now he does. Just because an enemy soldier may come to battle with a pistol, and you win with a ak-47, does not mean that army does not have access to tanks, fighter jets, or even nukes. It just means at that point, the enemy only thought it needed a pistol. Now it knows it needs more, you are going to see more. 

 

But at the end of the day it is clear how you feel, and it is clear how I feel, so I guess we are just going to have to agree to disagree. 

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I’m starting to think that are Herald just died in completely normal ways, regardless of their access to Investiture. Maybe they were just killed too fast to instantly heal, I don’t know.

I think they could just get smashed by a thunderclast or overwhelmed by an army. In the prelude to the Stormlight Archive, we see Karak recalling dying at the hands of a thunderclast in the past, and Taln died defending some passage, probably against an army. I personally think they just... died.

But, then, what good is all that Investiture if a thunderclast could still smash you flat?

 

Edited by Knight of Iron
Added amazing thought-provoking question
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12 minutes ago, Knight of Iron said:

But, then, what good is all that Investiture if a thunderclast could still smash you flat?

Practically unlimited Lashings for Jezrien? Setting stuff on fire without needing a constant Stormlight supply for Chana? Infinite Awesomeness for Vedel (who would also get healing from Progression if the Heralds' link to Honor doesn't provide Stormlight healing), practically unlimited Lightweaving for Ash? There's a lot that can be done with a direct feed of Investiture from Honor even if it doesn't provide a healing factor.

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Just now, Weltall said:

Practically unlimited Lashings for Jezrien? Setting stuff on fire without needing a constant Stormlight supply for Chana? Infinite Awesomeness for Vedel (who would also get healing from Progression if the Heralds' link to Honor doesn't provide Stormlight healing), practically unlimited Lightweaving for Ash? There's a lot that can be done with a direct feed of Investiture from Honor even if it doesn't provide a healing factor.

Ah, but you see, none of that does any good if a thunderclast could still smash you flat! ;)

In all seriousness though, very good points. I guess Odium's army just got lucky. The question then, should be not how does one kill a Herald, but how did so many of them die so often? They seemed surprised that only Taln had died, and mention that it was not uncommon for most of them to die.

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I think we have not seen the full might of Odiums forces yet.. we have not seen all the fused and I remember someone saying that many and most powerful ones are still waiting in damnation, some of the forms of power sounds pretty powerful and we do not even know what ba-ado-meshreim and dai-gonarthis do.. exactly how powerful are they? 
Kelek getting killed by a thunderclast could be during some of the later desolations where it happened not because a thunderclast is really at his power level but due to kelek’s Cowardice.. Heralds were very near broken and it is possible that they had lost courage and capacity to fight near the end.. remember Taln cowered down and hid during the entire battle and ash said something like you have truly become like us now..

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Sja-anat doing whatever terrified the radiants most about her (which we do not know)

She corrupted spren, that's plenty terrifying. I think there was something about her not being able corrupt "higher spren", which could refer to Nahel capable spren but we do know that she can corrupt those as well as the Oathgate spren. There could be lack of or restriction of information going on there. But also remember spren are everywhere. We do see her possessing a Gloryspren to talk to Shallan. She was Odium's spy.

Quote

scared, fragmented, missing something Re-shephir

i think her behaviour is simply indicative of her level of sapience and her long imprisonment by a Lightweaver. I interpreted the missing part as what unmade her.

Quote

Ashertmarn not just setting a trap but fully fighting

I think Ashertmarn is supposed to work that way, collapse key places. Him fighting with his massive form in the Cognitive shouldn't be his true purpose

Edited by Honorless
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On 11/21/2019 at 10:36 AM, Pathfinder said:

So potentially the heralds cannot surgebind or heal like they can on roshar while being a cognitive shadow on Braize. But they are still subject to torture as another mistborn spoiler

But Hoid mentioned there is a way out of that after thousands of years they should have figured it out.

On 11/21/2019 at 0:46 PM, Config2 said:

Side note by the way, I'm pretty sure that the Heralds have to kill their bodies to return to Braize if they don't die during the desolations. I didn't realize they didn't have physical bodies on Braize, but I went through the WoB, and they do not have physical bodies on Braize. 

They get a new body created out of Honor's investiture whenever they come back.

Brandon also refused to say whether they have clothes on or not when they return.

Is it actually confirmed they don't have bodies while on Braize?

On 11/21/2019 at 5:46 PM, Pathfinder said:

Which would stand the same for a herald as per WoB. But you are entitled to disagree. Guess we will RAFO. 

They are being fueled by different shards under different circumstances for different reasons.  It is all together possible that their power levels are different.  I would even say it is likely. 

On 11/22/2019 at 11:16 AM, Pathfinder said:

7. Sja-anat doing whatever terrified the radiants most about her (which we do not know)

I think it was a combination of espionage as well as the fear she could corrupt greater(radiant) spren.  Both possibilities are terrifying.

On 11/22/2019 at 11:16 AM, Pathfinder said:

If Odium was worrying about a "win button", then why did he tell his army of parsh to sit back and do nothing? He already thought he won. He didn't need any of the res. Now he does. Just because an enemy soldier may come to battle with a pistol, and you win with a ak-47, does not mean that army does not have access to tanks, fighter jets, or even nukes. It just means at that point, the enemy only thought it needed a pistol. Now it knows it needs more, you are going to see more. 

Also one of the fused says that the most powerful of their number have yet to awaken.

On 11/22/2019 at 5:39 PM, Knight of Iron said:

I think they could just get smashed by a thunderclast or overwhelmed by an army. In the prelude to the Stormlight Archive, we see Karak recalling dying at the hands of a thunderclast in the past, and Taln died defending some passage, probably against an army. I personally think they just... died.

I know but Kalak.  Don't be a wuss.  Heal up and walk it off!  Why doesn't he?

This is basically my problem in a nutshell.

Edited by Karger
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I used to think that the Heralds were just super powered KR's but the WoB's have kind of flipped that idea on it's head for me. I don't think that they are super crazy over powered though. I would like to think that If you where able to pin one down you could overwhelm them to the point of death. I don't see a Herald surviving a severed head. I know we see Renarin tank the TC step but isn't he kind of an edge case? We have no idea what is going on with him as far as what his powers do and how they are changed by the corruption of his spren. Maybe the TC just had a really high arch? :D

Do we know if the Heralds need to be holding the Honor Blades to access the surges? Do we know if they bonded the blades like we see Szeth do later with the Honor Blade or is it possible they didn't know how to use a gem to do that? I would assume that they were bonded to Heralds but I don't recall seeing one of them ever summoning one and we do know that Taln's was stolen... which really begs the question "how does one steal a bonded Honor Blade?". It's interesting to think about.

Also, it seems like people want to think of the Heralds like super powered mini gods fueled with infinite power, which they are, but they are also just men. They must have been really tired of dealing with all the crap. I mean think about it. You get sent to Roshar for the Apocalypse, spend what is probably months doing nothing but fighting, every day. IF YOU LIVE you have to be sent to Braise any way, where you will be hunted down like an animal and then once caught you will be tortured. Lets not forget that the Oath Pack allowed them to share the burden of torture with each other, so you don't even have to be the one being tortured to be tortured. This torture can go on for hundreds of years because you can't die. And then some one breaks. And you get sent back for the Apocalypse. AGAIN. This is a really bad deal.

I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if some times the Heralds were killed because they just simply gave up.

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15 minutes ago, Suffot said:

I know we see Renarin tank the TC step but isn't he kind of an edge case? We have no idea what is going on with him as far as what his powers do and how they are changed by the corruption of his spren. Maybe the TC just had a really high arch? :D

I am fairly certain that Renarin could survive because his order has access to Regrowth, which increases his healing speed, other orders might be able to survive, but they would heal more slowly.

17 minutes ago, Suffot said:

Do we know if the Heralds need to be holding the Honor Blades to access the surges? Do we know if they bonded the blades like we see Szeth do later with the Honor Blade or is it possible they didn't know how to use a gem to do that? I would assume that they were bonded to Heralds but I don't recall seeing one of them ever summoning one and we do know that Taln's was stolen... which really begs the question "how does one steal a bonded Honor Blade?". It's interesting to think about.

Honorblades can be bonded without a gemstone, and the heralds have been seen to summon them normally, in the WoK prelude.

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On 11/22/2019 at 11:16 AM, Pathfinder said:

It does not for you. I guess we will have to wait till we learn more from the heralds, or see Taln's and Shallash's flashbacks before we bury this hatchet. 

Conjecture is basing assertions without any information that could support it. I provided information that I believe supports it. You disagree which is your right, but that does not make it conjecture. 

The WoB provided earlier stated that before honor died, the honorblades drew directly from the shard. Honor is currently dead, so current honorblades cannot draw directly on the shard. That is why they are inefficient in using stormlight. The honorblades never needed to be conservative before. If you have an unending power source, you do not focus your design of a machine for efficiency. You design it for power. So Nale, with an honorblade as they currently are, after the death of honor, would not be an auto win button. However they are still a threat because if a certain someone :::cough:::: Dalinar :::cough cough:::: can restore the shard of honor, then the honorblades would work as they once did again, and then the heralds become a clear and present danger. So Odium is preemptively taking them off the board.

Let us take a look at what we have seen from Odium so far:

1. general parsh

We can say that the general parsh are worth about half of what the collective humans are (since they are basically untrained at the beginning). But humans are split about 70% coalition to 30% odium assuming all neutral parties join the coalition. So it's roughly a wash between general humanity and general parsh. 

2. gravitation fused

3. abrasion fused

4. illumination fused

5. potentially progression or cohesion fused (the fused that alters its carapace)

I think in general it's fair to assume the Fused have access to all Surges except for one. That one is up for debate, but it probably isn't division or transformation, as we have seen those in Yelig-nar and other fused.

6. Yelig-nar in faulty vessels

Not sure that Yelig-nar can have a non-faulty vessel. Maybe a better one, but it seems to me that he probably kills whoever he inhabits eventually. Not that I have evidence for that.

7. unguided Nergaoul

I think this is as guided as Nergaoul and the other mindless unmade can get. Basically Odium can get them to move, but not more.

8. scared, fragmented, missing something Re-shephir

Others have mentioned that her "unmaking" is the missing something. She was scared and fragmented. An infinite army of monsters is pretty powerful as is though, even if they are weak to radiants.

9. a taste of Sja-anat

I don't think she is enough under Odium's thumb to be considered part of his power.

10. a taste of Ashertmarn

I think that's all there is to Ashertmarn. He basically destroys a city, so that's enough as it is.

11. a taste of Moelach

I don't think we have gotten any real Moelach. We know what he does passively, but haven't seen him do anything super scary yet.

12. two thunderclasts with specific missions (the gemstone reserve, the oathgate) ignoring everything else

Since we have the Everstorm, and we know the fused are reborn there, and that Thunderclast are ancient warped singers (or at least Venli thinks they are), we have infinite thunderclasts. That seems pretty bad to me.

 

Now lets see what we have not seen:

1. the other forms the fused have

2. Ba-Ado-Mishram

Since she is supposed to be the most powerful, and we have seen some of the others, she is pretty powerful threat waiting in the wings. I don't think Odium has the ability to deploy her yet, since he probably would do that ASAP. She was supposed to be a leader.

3. Dai-Gonarthis

Supposedly destroyed Aimia. Thats pretty bad news.

4. Chemoarish

I'm pretty sure he is destroying Shinovar with a plague or famine. So thats pretty bad.

5. Yelig-nar in a true vessel

Maybe.

6. Re-Shephir with whatever Shallan felt she was missing

Maybe.

7. Sja-anat doing whatever terrified the radiants most about her (which we do not know)

I think this is the potential for corrupting true-spren. Which she has now done. I think she is actually going to end up as an asset to the radiants. Seems like it might level the playing field.

8. Ashertmarn not just setting a trap but fully fighting

I don't know if he can actually do this.

9. Moelach doing his full deal and not just causing the death rattles from his presence

Ya this is another unknown threat. Might be that he is just a propaganda machine though. We don't know how combat oriented the unmade are.

10. the fused that bonded Venli's lover and friends

I dont think that those guys are too much worse than average fused. Probably worse, but not too much.

I added some extra stuff in bold. I tend to think that Odium doesn't have the win completely locked up and has just been waiting to show off how in-hand the situation was. The biggest reason for this is that is isn't interesting. It makes for more interesting writing when we have more equal footing. We definitely haven't seen all of his power, but I think we have seen a good amount of it.

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The honorblades acts the same way. It says what abilities the herald gets. The heralds get direct access to a shard's power. You can lash an object however many times you want so long as you have the stormlight to do so. If there is no limit on the stormlight, there is no limit to how much you lash. What you can soulcast is limited by how much stormlight you have (as a radiant). As per WoB, a radiant in a highstorm can soulcast whatever they want. If you had the honorblade that gave you transformation, there would be no limit on what you could soulcast. This naturally extends from one to the other for me.

It's possible that this is basically proof that the Honor blades did not give access to functionally infinite investiture. Or if they did, Honor controlled the flow as to not open himself up to direct conflict with Odium. With the kind of power you correctly state they would have with functionally infinite investiture, it seems unlikely they could lose. So maybe we should look at it like that?

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17 hours ago, Suffot said:

I used to think that the Heralds were just super powered KR's but the WoB's have kind of flipped that idea on it's head for me. I don't think that they are super crazy over powered though. I would like to think that If you where able to pin one down you could overwhelm them to the point of death. I don't see a Herald surviving a severed head. I know we see Renarin tank the TC step but isn't he kind of an edge case? We have no idea what is going on with him as far as what his powers do and how they are changed by the corruption of his spren. Maybe the TC just had a really high arch? :D

Do we know if the Heralds need to be holding the Honor Blades to access the surges? Do we know if they bonded the blades like we see Szeth do later with the Honor Blade or is it possible they didn't know how to use a gem to do that? I would assume that they were bonded to Heralds but I don't recall seeing one of them ever summoning one and we do know that Taln's was stolen... which really begs the question "how does one steal a bonded Honor Blade?". It's interesting to think about.

Also, it seems like people want to think of the Heralds like super powered mini gods fueled with infinite power, which they are, but they are also just men. They must have been really tired of dealing with all the crap. I mean think about it. You get sent to Roshar for the Apocalypse, spend what is probably months doing nothing but fighting, every day. IF YOU LIVE you have to be sent to Braise any way, where you will be hunted down like an animal and then once caught you will be tortured. Lets not forget that the Oath Pack allowed them to share the burden of torture with each other, so you don't even have to be the one being tortured to be tortured. This torture can go on for hundreds of years because you can't die. And then some one breaks. And you get sent back for the Apocalypse. AGAIN. This is a really bad deal.

I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if some times the Heralds were killed because they just simply gave up.

I agree that people seem to be overestimating the Heralds.  There are a few things we are missing/forgetting in this picture:

1) We really don't know the Heralds' true power level.  We don't know (for example) that the power provided by the Honor Blades when they were tied directly to Honor would actually grant the healing capabilities of Stormlight or in the same way.  It seems like the Heralds were very powerful in their strengths, but because each one only has a certain set of two powers (plus a possible healing ability), they likely had weaknesses.

2) We also may be over inflating their abilities based on the historical perceptions we see from the people of Roshar.  It seems like a large part of the role of the Heralds was to come back and teach the humans how to live at basic levels.  The way Taln talks about the past, it seems like society was so destroyed that they lost civilization and humans were living like cave men or early tribal societies.  So it seems likely that only a few of the Heralds were actually powerful at fighting.  The rest were probably still held up like gods by the people, but only because the people were so limited in the later desolations that they didn't understand the heralds weren't actually that far above them.

3) I think people are interpreting the wrong thing from that scene with Renarin and the Thunderclast.  People are interpreting it like it means that a Radiant or Herald can survive being flattened so long as they have enough stormlight.  I didn't read that as Renarin getting smashed into a pancake, then reforming himself and slicing out.  It was more like he got out his shardblade and sliced just at the right moment to keep all the weight from coming down on him.  It seemed to be pretty much instantaneous, the foot comes down then the shardblade pokes out.  You see this kind of action scene in books and movies all the time.

I think the Heralds can be killed in generally normal ways.  It just takes the right moment.  Catch them when they aren't looking, destroy their body so badly and so long that there's nothing left to heal.  If the body of a Herald were completely smashed flat, or dissolved to atoms, or burned to ash, or decapitated, etc how does the healing even happen?  Doesn't there have to be something to build from?

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23 hours ago, agrabes said:

If the body of a Herald were completely smashed flat, or dissolved to atoms, or burned to ash, or decapitated, etc how does the healing even happen?  Doesn't there have to be something to build from?

I agree with most of your post, including that catching a Herald at the right moment should be enough to kill one, assuming they do have a general healing factor for purposes of argument and it's not just the two with Progression who can heal. I just want to comment on this bit here. As long as you have a sufficiently powerful healing ability that's active at the right moment, you actually can survive most forms of physical trauma in the Cosmere.

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Logic_Nuke

Could decapitation kill a Gold Compounder? With a guillotine, for example?

Brandon Sanderson

Most forms of extreme cosmere healing don't care much what is done to the physical body, as the person's spiritual template is in power at the time.

/r/books AMA 2015 (July 6, 2015)

 

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So one possibility that no one's pointed out yet is that the Honorblades did provide massive amounts of Investiture, but only while the Herald was holding it.  In which case shutting off the Heralds' invincibility would be a (comparatively) simple matter of disarming them.  Admittedly harder to do with Jezrien or Ishar (might literally require dis-arming them), but still well within the bounds of possibility for a thunderclast or Fused.

This would also explain why the Heralds didn't have or need Plate.  No need to protect the body when you've got massive Stormlight healing, and Plate probably wouldn't much help an Investiture-filled being grip its Blade any tighter.  Might even make it worse, if the Stormligiht-granted strength was more than the Plate-granted strength.

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10 hours ago, galendo said:

So one possibility that no one's pointed out yet is that the Honorblades did provide massive amounts of Investiture, but only while the Herald was holding it.  In which case shutting off the Heralds' invincibility would be a (comparatively) simple matter of disarming them.  Admittedly harder to do with Jezrien or Ishar (might literally require dis-arming them), but still well within the bounds of possibility for a thunderclast or Fused.

This would also explain why the Heralds didn't have or need Plate.  No need to protect the body when you've got massive Stormlight healing, and Plate probably wouldn't much help an Investiture-filled being grip its Blade any tighter.  Might even make it worse, if the Stormligiht-granted strength was more than the Plate-granted strength.

I was thinking that it may be some thing along these lines originally. Maybe they can still hold investiture and surge bind with out touching the Honor blades (literal Shards of Honor?) but they only get the flow when holding them? The thing I don't like about this is that if they are bound to the blades why would it matter if they were touching them? It just seems like a really inelegant way for Ol' Sandy write a weakness in.

The more I think about this the more I realize we just don't know enough about how the Honor Blades, the Oath Pact, and the Heralds work. It's fun to speculate but I think we are going to have to wait a few years... 

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On 11/22/2019 at 5:39 PM, Knight of Iron said:

But, then, what good is all that Investiture if a thunderclast could still smash you flat?

The amount of damage you do before you are taken out? Kamikaze pilots at Pearl Harbor and Suicide bombers are terrifying, and cause countless damage. And they don't get to come back to do it all over again. 

On 11/22/2019 at 5:56 PM, Ookla the Nameless said:

Practically unlimited Lashings for Jezrien? Setting stuff on fire without needing a constant Stormlight supply for Chana? Infinite Awesomeness for Vedel (who would also get healing from Progression if the Heralds' link to Honor doesn't provide Stormlight healing), practically unlimited Lightweaving for Ash? There's a lot that can be done with a direct feed of Investiture from Honor even if it doesn't provide a healing factor.

I agree. 

On 11/22/2019 at 6:01 PM, Knight of Iron said:

Ah, but you see, none of that does any good if a thunderclast could still smash you flat! ;)

In all seriousness though, very good points. I guess Odium's army just got lucky. The question then, should be not how does one kill a Herald, but how did so many of them die so often? They seemed surprised that only Taln had died, and mention that it was not uncommon for most of them to die.

Yes it does if you killed 5 thunderclasts before the one that got you. The vision with Dalinar seeing Kholinar devastated shows multiple thunderclasts shattered and destroyed. 

I do not believe it is luck when we have not see any of Odium's forces at full power yet. 

On 11/22/2019 at 10:29 PM, Honorless said:

She corrupted spren, that's plenty terrifying. I think there was something about her not being able corrupt "higher spren", which could refer to Nahel capable spren but we do know that she can corrupt those as well as the Oathgate spren. There could be lack of or restriction of information going on there. But also remember spren are everywhere. We do see her possessing a Gloryspren to talk to Shallan. She was Odium's spy.

Corrupting spren for spying purposes is dangerous yes, but the epigraph states:

"Of the Unmade, Sja-anat was most feared by the Radiants."

That says to me there is something especially threatening about Sja-anat to the radiants, and I do not think we have seen it yet. Being a spy does not scream "most feared" to me. 

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i think her behaviour is simply indicative of her level of sapience and her long imprisonment by a Lightweaver. I interpreted the missing part as what unmade her.

I disagree. I think it is indicative that she is not all that she once was and the imprisonment either damaged or deprived her of it. That if she was whole, she would be a far greater threat. 

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I think Ashertmarn is supposed to work that way, collapse key places. Him fighting with his massive form in the Cognitive shouldn't be his true purpose

I never said his massive cognitive self was his means of fighting. I mean all he was used for in that instance was a trap. He hung around an area getting certain people to indulge basically broadcasting to the radiants "come here!". To set them up. I do not think that is the full extent of his abilities. 

On 11/24/2019 at 3:45 PM, Ookla the Prolific said:

But Hoid mentioned there is a way out of that after thousands of years they should have figured it out.

We know it is possible for cognitive shadows to get off world (Vasher), but you have to learn how to. 

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Is it actually confirmed they don't have bodies while on Braize?

The fused make the transition without bodies, and the heralds and the fused were originally meant to function the same way. I think that if the heralds have to grow a new body everytime they come to Roshar, and we know they are cognitive shadows, then on Braize they lack bodies. But that is not conclusive. 

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They are being fueled by different shards under different circumstances for different reasons.  It is all together possible that their power levels are different.  I would even say it is likely. 

There are still rules that are obeyed across the cosmere. Any exception to the rule has a reason. We know all Shard's power is in the spiritual realm. There is only one exception, and we know that was changed on purpose. I see no reason why the heralds would function differently. But to each their own. 

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I think it was a combination of espionage as well as the fear she could corrupt greater(radiant) spren.  Both possibilities are terrifying.

When I think of someone especially terrifying to me, spying does not hit the top of my list. 

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Also one of the fused says that the most powerful of their number have yet to awaken.

Exactly. All I have been saying is we have not seen the full forces Odium can bring to bear. I think Odium had greater powers that challenged and could kill herald level threats. Just we have not seen them yet. 

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I know but Kalak.  Don't be a wuss.  Heal up and walk it off!  Why doesn't he?

This is basically my problem in a nutshell.

To me the reason is because there are other forces going on. The thunderclast could just have been the stick that broke the camels back as it were. 

On 11/24/2019 at 8:19 PM, Suffot said:

Do we know if the Heralds need to be holding the Honor Blades to access the surges? Do we know if they bonded the blades like we see Szeth do later with the Honor Blade or is it possible they didn't know how to use a gem to do that? I would assume that they were bonded to Heralds but I don't recall seeing one of them ever summoning one and we do know that Taln's was stolen... which really begs the question "how does one steal a bonded Honor Blade?". It's interesting to think about.

Szeth could still use the surges while the honorblade was dismissed. Now whether the blade can get knocked out of the hand of the herald and prevent them from using it then, I do not know. Honorblades are different than shardblades in that when the blade it dropped, it does not mist away. Szeth had to break the connection or be killed. 

On 11/25/2019 at 1:19 PM, Config2 said:

I added some extra stuff in bold. I tend to think that Odium doesn't have the win completely locked up and has just been waiting to show off how in-hand the situation was. The biggest reason for this is that is isn't interesting. It makes for more interesting writing when we have more equal footing. We definitely haven't seen all of his power, but I think we have seen a good amount of it.

I personally do not think either side had an instant win button. I think if you only look at one side or the other, it will look like an instant win button, but I think both sides check mate each other. I think the heralds had direct access to honor's investiture, and that odium had something just as powerful to balance that. as to your responses:

1. general parsh: my point is the parsh is not at what they once were, which was beings bonding with forms of power numbering in the hundreds, while also some housing fused, and who knows what else. so the parsh are not at full power right now in my mind

5. and my point is we have not see all the surges the fused have access to yet. Not because they do not exist, but because they have not popped up yet. So again, Odium's forces not at full power

6. the epigraphs speak of such a vessel. Personally I think it requires the vessel to be able to use investiture, and if you cannot provide, then yelig-nar consumes you, but regardless I do not think we have seen the full extent of what Yelig-nar can do. so again, Odium's forces not at full power. 

7. Odium had Nergaoul just sit around an area to get the Alethi in the right state of mind for later. Turash was surprised by this. So if this is all Nergaeul ever did in the past, then Turash would not have been surprised in my mind. So to me, there is more Nergaoul can and has done in the past than what we have seen so far.

9. I am beginning to think you misunderstood my post. My point is to show we have no see these entities operating at peak efficiency in their prime heyday. 

10. Ashertmarn did not destroy the city to me. Ashertmarn was a trap for the radiants. I think it can do so much more

11. Again, that is my point. We have not seen what Moelach can truly do. Now have all the unmade at their full power, and then to me, heralds drawing directly on honor being necessary makes sense. 

 

So TLDR, to me the heralds drawing on honor directly makes sense in light of the full extent of Odium's forces and powers being brought to fore. 

 

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It's possible that this is basically proof that the Honor blades did not give access to functionally infinite investiture. Or if they did, Honor controlled the flow as to not open himself up to direct conflict with Odium. With the kind of power you correctly state they would have with functionally infinite investiture, it seems unlikely they could lose. So maybe we should look at it like that?

If I have a tank, and you have a rifle, it looks like your side will lose. Then your side flies in a bomber, and the tank is turned to slag. Then it looks like my side cannot possibly win. But then I bring forward anti-aircraft guns, and then suddenly it looks like you cannot win. So all I am saying is we have only seen a pistol and told that my side has tanks. And people are telling me my side cannot have tanks, because pistols cannot do anything against tanks. And I am saying, your side might have bombers, artillery, or even nukes. So now tanks don't seem so overwhelmingly powerful anymore. Hopefully that clarified things. 

On 11/25/2019 at 2:11 PM, agrabes said:

1) We really don't know the Heralds' true power level.  We don't know (for example) that the power provided by the Honor Blades when they were tied directly to Honor would actually grant the healing capabilities of Stormlight or in the same way.  It seems like the Heralds were very powerful in their strengths, but because each one only has a certain set of two powers (plus a possible healing ability), they likely had weaknesses.

2) We also may be over inflating their abilities based on the historical perceptions we see from the people of Roshar.  It seems like a large part of the role of the Heralds was to come back and teach the humans how to live at basic levels.  The way Taln talks about the past, it seems like society was so destroyed that they lost civilization and humans were living like cave men or early tribal societies.  So it seems likely that only a few of the Heralds were actually powerful at fighting.  The rest were probably still held up like gods by the people, but only because the people were so limited in the later desolations that they didn't understand the heralds weren't actually that far above them.

3) I think people are interpreting the wrong thing from that scene with Renarin and the Thunderclast.  People are interpreting it like it means that a Radiant or Herald can survive being flattened so long as they have enough stormlight.  I didn't read that as Renarin getting smashed into a pancake, then reforming himself and slicing out.  It was more like he got out his shardblade and sliced just at the right moment to keep all the weight from coming down on him.  It seemed to be pretty much instantaneous, the foot comes down then the shardblade pokes out.  You see this kind of action scene in books and movies all the time.

I think the Heralds can be killed in generally normal ways.  It just takes the right moment.  Catch them when they aren't looking, destroy their body so badly and so long that there's nothing left to heal.  If the body of a Herald were completely smashed flat, or dissolved to atoms, or burned to ash, or decapitated, etc how does the healing even happen?  Doesn't there have to be something to build from?

I think the WoB I have posted shows the heralds were of the level I posit. To each their own

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21 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

Yes it does if you killed 5 thunderclasts before the one that got you. The vision with Dalinar seeing Kholinar devastated shows multiple thunderclasts shattered and destroyed. 

The ;) means I was joking. I get that. My poorly-made point was that it doesn’t seem right that Heralds would die in mostly normal ways having practically infinite access to Investiture or whatever. I still get it though. Infinite Investiture is awesome and powerful and they took down many thunderclasts with Lowe’s and all that...... but doesn’t do you any good if you happen to find yourself smashed flat.

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16 minutes ago, Knight of Iron said:

The ;) means I was joking. I get that. My poorly-made point was that it doesn’t seem right that Heralds would die in mostly normal ways having practically infinite access to Investiture or whatever. I still get it though. Infinite Investiture is awesome and powerful and they took down many thunderclasts with Lowe’s and all that...... but doesn’t do you any good if you happen to find yourself smashed flat.

The cat came back the very next day.......

Does you plenty of good if you don't die permanently lol. 

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