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Guest Lifeblesser

Nightbloods Sheath

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So we know from a WoB that Nightbloods sheath is made of aluminum.

So the sheath keeps Nightblood "chained" and in the warbreaker annotations, Brandon says that

"The sheath is like a binding for him, keeping his power contained. So drawing him out isn’t like drawing a regular weapon, but rather an unleashing of a creature who has been kept chained. Once that creature is unleashed, he becomes a weapon—even if he’s unleashed only a little bit. The sheath itself turns into a weapon, twisting those around it. You don’t need to stab someone with Nightblood to kill them; smashing them on the back with the sheath works just as well. It will crunch bones, but beyond that, merely touching them with the sheath when the smoke is leaking can be deadly."

So the aluminum blocks Nightblood when he's sheathed but if he's even a little unsheathed then the sheath will become a weapon too.

So once Nightblood is "loose" the Aluminum that is his sheath is no longer inert and from my understanding, might as well be a part of the sword as long as it is still partly sheathed.

So most of the time Aluminum is Inert and can't do anything, but in the case of Nightblood, it acts as both a sheath to bind his power, and also a deadly soul sucking weapon when still partly sheathed.

 

Anyone have any thoughts as to why Aluminum acts the it does?

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Nightblood's sheath is kind of weird in how it acts but Brandon has implied that it was made specifically for Nightblood (though not as part of the original Awakening) so there might be more at work than it just being aluminum that makes it act the way it does. Given that Nightblood is pretty wonky, it's also possible that he sees the sheath as part of himself as long as the clasp isn't shut and as a result some of its power gets transferred through the sheath and allows it to do the things we see in Warbreaker.

As for why aluminum acts the way it does, we haven't a clue. The Doylist explanation is that Brandon wanted aluminum to act as a check on magic that would become increasingly available as the magic itself became more widespread and better understood. As a metal that was extremely hard to come by before the industrial processes were discovered that allowed it to be refined in bulk, it can be extremely rare in early Cosmere stories and become ubiquitous in later ones. Brandon notes this on a couple of occasions, like here. The Watsonian explanation for aluminum being weird is... unknown.

Edited by Ookla the Nameless
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AHHHHH! I forgot that that works! 

Umm, so like electricity, I think that the aluminum is just an insulator and in the (at least partial) presence of NB, the aluminum's insulation properties are overwhelmed and it conducts it. There is a possibility that the outside of the sheath is more Investiture-conductive than the inside, and was designed for the purpose of using NB without it/ him eating your soul. 

14 hours ago, Lifeblesser said:

It will crunch bones, but beyond that, merely touching them with the sheath when the smoke is leaking can be deadly."

how are you supposed to use it then?  

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