Karger

Bondsmith Oaths (Based on Interfaith Dialogue)

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Bondsmiths are in many ways the most powerful and important of the Radiants.  They bond the three great spren of Roshar and from them gain some equally unique abilities.  Their rarity made them in great demand in ancient times.  The monarchs of Roshar depended on them for advice, the fact that only one of them was around at the time of The Recreance may have contributed to that tragedy, and the Knights of the time clearly thought it an ominous sign.  While there is no real equivalent of the Bondsmiths on earth the way there is with Edgedancers and doctors they are often considered priests.  In recent years a philosophy of interfaith dialogue has developed and it relates to known Bondsmith ideals quite nicely. 

For those of you who don't know I believe that Radiant Oaths (with the exception of Lightweavers) follow a pattern.  The first ideal is constant, the second is about service, the third is about fairness, the fourth is about trust and the fifth is about the ultimate goal.  This belief fuels all of my oath theories. 

The first ideal for Bondsmiths is of course the same "Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination."  This is always the first ideal.  After this however we have to speculate.

Thanks to the collection of badassery that is Dalinar Kholin we know the first second ideal of Bondsmiths "I will unite instead of divide. I will bring men together."  This is a rather straightforward ideal although unfortunately it has not been a particularly common ideal for priests.   However a desire for dialogue and understanding have become much more popular in faithful communities around the world.  A quick Wikipedia search revealed some of this idea to me.  Of these one part of its explanation jumped out at me.  ""In the dialogue of the hands, we all work together to make the world a better place in which we must all live together."  Wait a minute I thought.  These two concepts embody the same principle.  Religions differ so wildly in almost every respect that the term "religion" actually escapes definition.  The belief in bettering the self and the communities around us however is nigh universal both in schools of ethics and in religions across the world.  It also ties nicely in with my pattern radiant ideals theory. 

Thanks an amazing moment of badassery by Dalinar Kholin we know the third ideal of Bondsmiths I will take responsibility for what I have done. If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man.  This ideal is clearly very individualized however at its core it is about learning from others(including yourself) and doing better in the future.  It is also quite similar to a point from Wikipedia on interfaith dialogue, "In the dialogue of the heart, we share the experience of the emotions of those different from us."  This is also somewhat related to my third ideal of fairness, making sure that you do not give yourself to much or too little attention, responsibility but also forgiveness.  These concepts might seem contradictory but both are necessary parts of spiritual growth and learning and both are tied to the lesson of treating people better.

Dalinar has not yet progressed to the fourth ideal.  However I believe he is actually making progress toward it even as we speak.  The last thing Dalinar does during Oathbringer is become literature so he can share his experiences.  Another quote from Wikipedia on the idea of dialogue was "In the dialogue of the head, we mentally reach out to the other to learn from those who think differently from us." Dalinar's current mission is to help other people understand him intellectually and warn them about what he was.  He hopes that other people will not have to undergo the experiences that he did and knows that the least he can do is warn them so that they can have some intellectual framework through which to view their experiences.  In helping people understand him he works hard to help them understand themselves and through this to take actions that will benefit everyone as a whole.  This is where Dalinar's last major flaw might get in the way.  In his writings it might be too easy for him to equivocate.  To give information that might technically be true but is designed to promote an agenda.  Dalinar has always had trouble letting go of power.  In this case he might have to let go of the meaning behind his own life.  As such I think the fourth ideal (at least for Dalinar) will be "I will not interfere with what other people finding their own truth."  A more general form might be "People are aloud to formulate their own ethics without my interference." 

The final ideal for Bondsmiths should relate via my ideal theory to the ultimate goal of Bondsmiths.  Assuming that Bondsmiths have the same beliefs as interfaith organizers then then they must realize that "dialogue is a two-way communication where participants come with the primary goal of learning from each other, ready to establish trust, in honesty and sincerity, without hard-and-fast assumptions, as equals."  All of these sound like exactly the sort of thing that a person who spends time mediating between world monarchs should keep in mind.  A Bondsmith always has to be prepared to cast aside their own beliefs and be receptive to new ones.  As such I think the final ideal of a Bondsmith should be "I will help us see each other for who we are."

Please comment.  We more more information then normal but Bondsmiths fill one of the most complex and important rolls in Radiant society.

Also my pattern of oaths theory can be found here.

Spoiler

 

Edited by Karger
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It actually fits quite well with the role of the ancient Knights Radiant of Urithiru (and what the modern Radiants are trying to do) mediating between kingdoms and preparing a united, cohesive front between and during the Desolations.

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7 hours ago, Honorless said:

It actually fits quite well with the role of the ancient Knights Radiant of Urithiru (and what the modern Radiants are trying to do) mediating between kingdoms and preparing a united, cohesive front between and during the Desolations.

If you say so.  I find myself being a bit shaky on this one.

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I like it, but not quite as much as the others. I see the Bondsmiths as having a much more active role. Less of a mediator and more of an arbitrator.

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I'm not sure if we have WOBS that say otherwise or anything, but to me it seems that the Bondsmith Oaths have to be a lot more individualized based on the spren that the bond with. I don't really think the oaths that we've seen Dalinar say will really apply to another person that is bonding either of the other two spren. The order itself is so oddly unique. I could see these being the conclusion of Dalinar/Stormfather oaths, but not really when it comes to the Nightwatcher, and we hardly know anything about the Sibling that I can't even make any assumptions there. I do love these oath posts that you make though! Keep up the interesting theories!

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43 minutes ago, Elsecaller_17.5 said:

I like it, but not quite as much as the others. I see the Bondsmiths as having a much more active role. Less of a mediator and more of an arbitrator.

Maybe. 

15 minutes ago, Minimanmax1 said:

I'm not sure if we have WOBS that say otherwise or anything, but to me it seems that the Bondsmith Oaths have to be a lot more individualized based on the spren that the bond with. I don't really think the oaths that we've seen Dalinar say will really apply to another person that is bonding either of the other two spren. The order itself is so oddly unique. I could see these being the conclusion of Dalinar/Stormfather oaths, but not really when it comes to the Nightwatcher, and we hardly know anything about the Sibling that I can't even make any assumptions there. I do love these oath posts that you make though! Keep up the interesting theories!

From the language Brandon uses to talk about Bondsmiths I am fairly certain all three Bondsmiths do swear oaths with identical generic forms.  However I do very much agree that Bondsmith oaths are the ones that very much tend to go outside of the simply generic.

Edited by Karger
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My only issue with this is that the Stormfather was genuinely surprised when Dalinar's words were accepted for the third ideal.  So far, the other third ideals we've seen have been a continuation or clarification of the second.  

 

"I will protect even those I hate" follows "I will protect those who cannot protect themselves".  Technically, the third ideal is included in the second, as the second doesn't exclude people they hate, it is merely a further clarification.  

 

"I will follow this code/person" follows "I will put the law over all else".  It is a clerification of what "The Law" means, because laws are as bendable and different as men and cultures are.  So saying you'll follow the law is all fine and dandy, but the third ideal is to clarify what "The Law" means.  In Szeth's case, it means Dalinar.

 

"I will listen to those who have been ignored" is an extension of "I will remember those who are forgotten", in that it further defines the spirit of the first ideal.  You can remember people without actually doing anything, but once you get to the second ideal, you have to also listen to them.  

 

Lightweavers are, in the same way, needing deeper and deeper truths.  A person's second and third and fourth and fifth ideals are extensions of knowing one's self, of who they are, of being completely honest more and more and more.  It is a further clarification of one's self and who they are, rather than of what one will do.  Likely because you must be honest with who you are before you can become something better.

 

But Dalinar's third ideal doesn't seem to have ANYTHING to do with the second.  The second was "I will unite instead of divide."  That's great.  It fits with Bondsmith very well, considering their role and their surges.  But that has nothing to do with being a good person, which is essentially what his third ideal was.  "I will take responsibility for my past, and if I should fall, I will rise again each time a better man."  That's a personal ideal, and does nothing to clarify or support the second.  It is essentially saying "I will strive to make myself better," which has nothing to do with uniting other people.

 

And yet the words were accepted, which shocked the Stormfather.  I don't think he was expecting any words like this, because I don't think anyone had ever sworn an oath in this manner, which seemed to go off script so much.  Maybe it's just a characteristic of Bondsmiths, that they are more individual, and without seeing other Bondsmith Oaths, either past incarnations or ones bonded with the Nightwatcher and Sibling, it's hard to say.  But personally, I think that Dalinar's third oath actually went off script, and that he's becoming something other than a simple Bondsmith.  It honestly think he's gathering the Shards of Honor and is on his way to ascending, interpreting the Shard's intent as Unity rather than Honor.  If you think about it, if one were able to use Oaths and the spren bond to ascend to be a vessel of a shard, and the Shard of Binding and Uniting things no less, it would make sense that the oaths you would have to create would be about binding one's self to a way of being, rather than about what actions you would take.  All the other oaths are about actions.  I will protect, I will follow, I will listen, I will unite.  Even the LIghtweavers can be interpreted as "I will be honest with myself", or "I am this".  But Dalinar's third oath is the first oath, unless I'm mistaken, that says "I will become".  It's more than an action.  It's a state of being.  

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7 hours ago, Tglassy said:

My only issue with this is that the Stormfather was genuinely surprised when Dalinar's words were accepted for the third ideal.  So far, the other third ideals we've seen have been a continuation or clarification of the second.  

At his third ideal Dalinar is doing something that has never been done before and sort of ascends.  Also he defeated Odium something the Stromfather did not think was possible.  I do not think it was the oath itself that shocked him.

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Also,

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

-Confucius

Sounded very familiar the first time I read it.

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17 minutes ago, Kramerfarve said:

Also,

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

-Confucius

Sounded very familiar the first time I read it.

Great quote.

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While I don't see anything to disagree with the proposed final Oaths,  I think that they likely apply to Dalinar only,  or at most the Bondsmiths that bond SF. I personally don't believe that we can codify Bondsmith Oaths at all. The reason is simple.  The spren are different.  

If I were to become a Windrunner I would bond an honorspren. Lightweaver bonds Cryptic. Ect, ect. The spren have their own personality but they're still the same type, attracted to the same type things. But a Bondsmith is bonding a mega spren whose only similarity to its siblings is power level. I imagine that the personality traits SF is attracted to will be significantly different than what would attract NW. I also think that the Oaths SF accepts would not work to pry NW from that valley.

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2 hours ago, Bigmikey357 said:

But a Bondsmith is bonding a mega spren whose only similarity to its siblings is power level. I imagine that the personality traits SF is attracted to will be significantly different than what would attract NW. I also think that the Oaths SF accepts would not work to pry NW from that valley.

Possibly.  However we have no indication that the different bondsmiths did different jobs.

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The jobs that a Bondsmith may engage in, to me, are irrelevant.  They could all serve the same functions and they all get the same general powers afaik, but my argument stems from the fact that SF, NW, the Sib and any other god level spren that we aren't yet aware of are all different whereas all Honorspren are the same. All Cultivationspren are the same.  All Cryptics and lightspren and highspren are the same type of spren. It would make sense if they got different jobs, different responsibilities and so on. It was said of the ancient Radiants that one was always in accompaniment of Urithiru and its throne for instance.  But it doesn't have to be that way. 

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On 2/7/2020 at 0:46 AM, Bigmikey357 said:

The jobs that a Bondsmith may engage in, to me, are irrelevant.  They could all serve the same functions and they all get the same general powers afaik, but my argument stems from the fact that SF, NW, the Sib and any other god level spren that we aren't yet aware of are all different whereas all Honorspren are the same. All Cultivationspren are the same.  All Cryptics and lightspren and highspren are the same type of spren. It would make sense if they got different jobs, different responsibilities and so on. It was said of the ancient Radiants that one was always in accompaniment of Urithiru and its throne for instance.  But it doesn't have to be that way. 

If they have different oaths and different spren they are they not three separate orders?  If the differences are actually that great should they not also have different surges?

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1 hour ago, Karger said:

If they have different oaths and different spren they are they not three separate orders?  If the differences are actually that great should they not also have different surges?

This is a God created framework. Shards cannot deny power if conditions are met but they can certainly shape a magic system.  Harmony replaced two metals in the Metallic Arts after all, I don't see it being outside the realm of possibility that a fully powered Honor and Cultivation couldn't fix it so that parts of their power adheres to a framework.  

Personally I don't think their Oaths would be that different,  just slightly more Individualized than a Radiant from another Order other than Lightweavers of course.  And I believe that their primary purpose,  to unite instead of Divide, will be the same regardless of the Godspren they bond with. But those spren are nearly (or in SF case, actual) Shard avatars.  Their entire power cannot be pushed into a framework with less capable spren; some of that extra power will leak out, it must go somewhere. The Bondsmiths should be able to channel the extra power into something that reflects their unique purpose in the ecology of Roshar while still running the KR. 

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9 hours ago, Bigmikey357 said:

Harmony replaced two metals in the Metallic Arts after all

Not really.  Those two were never part of the original paradim.  They were just added in as an extra to keep the 16 going until humans could discover how to make the other two.

9 hours ago, Bigmikey357 said:

The Bondsmiths should be able to channel the extra power into something that reflects their unique purpose in the ecology of Roshar while still running the KR. ey h

So they have slightly different powers but the same oaths?

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My theory is that a Bondsmiths role is to unite Roshar but not all alone. What I mean is they would be more like a god emperor or a warden of certain parts of Roshar. To use real world analogy think of Roshar like the Roman Empire. One emperor couldn’t manage it so there was one in the east to manage the eastern half and one in the west to manage the west.

What if Bondsmiths are the same and they have to work together to unite every part of Roshar and if there’s not 3 then the KR and Roshar suffer because the Bondsmiths are being stretched too thin and this could be part of why the KR started the downward spiral to the disbandment.

Maybe the Stormfather Bondsmith is supposed to regulate the east, the Vorin nations, the Nightwatcher Bondsmith could be for the western nations while the Sibling Bondsmith handles the outlying island nations and Urithiru.

Another way to think of them is they are Heralds for ‘peaceful’ times.

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On ‎1‎/‎25‎/‎2020 at 10:32 AM, Tglassy said:

But Dalinar's third ideal doesn't seem to have ANYTHING to do with the second.  The second was "I will unite instead of divide."  That's great.  It fits with Bondsmith very well, considering their role and their surges.  But that has nothing to do with being a good person, which is essentially what his third ideal was.  "I will take responsibility for my past, and if I should fall, I will rise again each time a better man."  That's a personal ideal, and does nothing to clarify or support the second.  It is essentially saying "I will strive to make myself better," which has nothing to do with uniting other people.

I kind of disagree.  I think that taking responsibility for yourself is integral to uniting.  Uniting people is taking responsibility for others, when you think about it.  And not owning your own faults often turns people against you.  Its not as obvious, but to me, the connection is there and very strong

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6 minutes ago, Impact said:

I kind of disagree.  I think that taking responsibility for yourself is integral to uniting.  Uniting people is taking responsibility for others, when you think about it.  And not owning your own faults often turns people against you.  Its not as obvious, but to me, the connection is there and very strong

Excellent point.

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5 hours ago, Karger said:

Not really.  Those two were never part of the original paradim.  They were just added in as an extra to keep the 16 going until humans could discover how to make the other two.

So they have slightly different powers but the same oaths?

They get the same standard 2 as dictated by their Order plus those Super Connection powers we've seen Dalinar display in OB. Not opening perpendicularities,  that's from his remnant of Honor,  but the language thing is viable,  the Radiant boosting too. I just think they get a little extra depending on which spren they bond,  and that's going to be the only difference between them. 

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1 minute ago, Bigmikey357 said:

I just think they get a little extra depending on which spren they bond,  and that's going to be the only difference between them. 

Maybe but if there oaths were different then they would almost certainly be considered different orders.

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Yeah but everyone has different Oaths. They run along the same theme but still different Oaths.  Even the super regulated Skybreakers have different Oaths.  I just believe that the Bondsmiths vary a bit  more than the other Orders. 

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3 minutes ago, Bigmikey357 said:

Even the super regulated Skybreakers have different Oaths.  I just believe that the Bondsmiths vary a bit  more than the other Orders. 

Maybe.  I don't really care about wording that much as you know,

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