Channelknight Fadran

Theory about Shardplate

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One of the many long-awaited reveals that we expect to see in Rythyms of War is the consistency of living Shardplate.

Just as a little context info, Shardplate's most straightforward use is that of deflecting blows from Shardblades. This is not the only use of Shardplate, however; the incredibly heavy armor grants the user increased strength and increased dexterity. Shardplate users are notable for their ability to hold Shardhammers--incredibly heavy hammers that no normal person could lift--and Shardbows-- which have an incredibly heavy drawback weight. This, as well as the fact that they can leap the chasms between plateaus on the Shattered Plains, and scale incredibly sheer cliffsides.

Most shardbearers would agree that they would choose Shardplate over Shardblade every time (except possibly Adolin because he's awesome, but whatever). This seems to coincide with the fact that Radiants get their living Shardblades before they get their living Shardplates. This leads to the million-broam question: What is living Shardplate made of?

I might have an answer.

It's out of the question that it might be made of a spren, as you'll only hear the screaming of the dead spren when you wield a Shardblade, not wearing a Shardplate. This makes sense, because most Radiants will only bond one spren (there are exceptions, but not many). So what else could the Plates be made of?

There are a few possibilities, but in my opinion, the most likely consistency of Shardplate is that of pure stormlight.

It makes so much sense! Stormlight grants Radiants increased strength and dexterity when they breath it in. What else grants people strength and dexterity? Shardplate. If that seems like more of a coincidence than proof, then get this: Stormlight is required to make Shardplates regrow. In order to mend the Plates, they must be fed the same energy that powers the Radiants. Without stormlight, the Plates will also lose their power, becoming dead weight and ridding the Plate wearer of their increased power and speed.

If this is true, then not only would the power of a bondsmith uniting the realms be a kind of turning-point for living shardplates, but we might also have a guess at what living Shardplate can do: Heal the wearer. Radiants can heal themselves by breathing in stormlight. If the Shardplates are made of stormlight, then would they even have to consciously heal themselves, or would it just happen automatically?

But hey that's just a theory: A COSMERE theory.

Thanks for reading! :D

 

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I think some of us came up with this one.  Who knows?  Great minds.

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Yeah solidified Stormlight is my currently slightly preferred theory. It has some problems but makes more sense than the lesser spren theory.

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5 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

Stormlight grants Radiants increased strength

VERY minor nitpick but this is false.

stormlight gives enhanced stamina and reflexes/balance (like allomantic pewter but without the strength/speed). Plate gives enhanced strength, speed, and does stuff like blocking Stormform lightning from view automatically.

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6 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

It's out of the question that it might be made of a spren, as you'll only hear the screaming of the dead spren when you wield a Shardblade, not wearing a Shardplate.

I don't think it is. Yes plate doesn't scream, but that's because, if its made of lesser Spren as many suggest, they never could talk in the first place. I'm not saying your theory is absolutely wrong, I actually think it's the only other theory I've heard that makes sense, but I don't think it's right to just dismiss it like that.

Here's a couple of other thoughts.

1. I don't think just stormlight has enough stopping power. By that I mean we've never seen stormlight stop a blade. If this were there case I'm sure some extremely rich light eyes would wear gem encrusted armor to help stop blades. Even the half Shards have a Spren captive in them

2. If it was just stormlight made physical it would've required an insane amount of gems from the Radiants to form each time. Adolin mentions that growing back parts of plate shatter the gems used. I can't imagine what it would take to reform it each time. Also, if they are just stormlight, why does reforming a gauntlet from a set make the old one vanish? 

3. If the lesser Spren don't form plate, what is their significance? They show up too after and seem too directly linked to the Radiants to not be important. If they aren't the plate, I don't see what other purpose they could serve

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46 minutes ago, Halyo_Alex said:

VERY minor nitpick but this is false.

stormlight gives enhanced stamina and reflexes/balance (like allomantic pewter but without the strength/speed). Plate gives enhanced strength, speed, and does stuff like blocking Stormform lightning from view automatically.

Really? I could've sworn that the whole Dalinar-fixing-the-temple thing was stormlight-fueled...

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1 minute ago, Nellac said:

1. I don't think just stormlight has enough stopping power. By that I mean we've never seen stormlight stop a blade. If this were there case I'm sure some extremely rich light eyes would wear gem encrusted armor to help stop blades. Even the half Shards have a Spren captive in them

2. If it was just stormlight made physical it would've required an insane amount of gems from the Radiants to form each time. Adolin mentions that growing back parts of plate shatter the gems used. I can't imagine what it would take to reform it each time. Also, if they are just stormlight, why does reforming a gauntlet from a set make the old one vanish? 

3. If the lesser Spren don't form plate, what is their significance? They show up too after and seem too directly linked to the Radiants to not be important. If they aren't the plate, I don't see what other purpose they could serve

1. Investitures can change their state of matter. You could, in theory, solidify stormlight gas just like anything else.

2. This is facts for dead shardplate. Living shardplate would probably be different.

3. Is it possible that spren could change? Is it possible that Sylphrena was, in fact, a windspren before becoming a honorspren?

All those are just theories, of course. Great questions, Nellac!

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My personal opinion is that Shardplate is an Alloy of Honorium and Cultivationium.

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20 minutes ago, Booknerd said:

My personal opinion is that Shardplate is an Alloy of Honorium and Cultivationium.

What do those metals do when a Mistborn burns them?

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6 minutes ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

What do those metals do when a Mistborn burns them?

Probably give access to a surge/surges if I had to guess.

Edited by Booknerd
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2 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

Really? I could've sworn that the whole Dalinar-fixing-the-temple thing was stormlight-fueled...

Yes, it was. He was lifting stuff that was so heavy it was actively breaking his body to do so, but the stormlight was constantly repairing his injuries. He was basically doing the "mother lifts car off of trapped child" thing, but had stormlight to compensate for pushing himself so far beyond normal limits.

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2 hours ago, Booknerd said:

My personal opinion is that Shardplate is an Alloy of Honorium and Cultivationium.

So are Shardblades. They should be made of something not unlike Ettmetal.

Quote

Alpharho

The metal of Shardblades. Cultivationspren versus honorspren, for example. Are they different metals?

Brandon Sanderson

No, but good question.

Alpharho

Are all orders the same alloy, essentially?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. There's a little asterisk on there, but not in the way you're asking... You could call those all the same alloy. Because the mixture to different spren is different, I think that you could argue that each one is its own alloy.

Alpharho

So, different proportions of tanavastium?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, but it doesn't quite work that way with these magics, right? I'm going to say that's up to the individual cosmerologist who is in the world, the arcanist, defining it. You would be able to find enough differences to legitimately call them different alloys if you wanted to.

Alpharho

Would you say different ratios of the same two metals?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. They are not going to have a third one in them, if that's what you're asking. But it doesn't quite work that way. Like, if you were going to take brass, you could measure the exact percentage. In this case, it is a thing; it's not like you could divide it up and split them apart, because they are a thing. And that thing would be called one thing.

Alpharho

But you won't say what that thing is called?

Brandon Sanderson

No, I won't say what that thing is called. But I think you and the 17th Sharders and folks that are dividing them would prefer to call them ten different things, and I think their nomenclature would be relevant.

Skyward Denver signing (Nov. 15, 2018)

and,

1 hour ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

What do those metals do when a Mistborn burns them?

Quote

Questioner

If a Mistborn were to burn a piece of a Shardblade, what would happen?

Brandon Sanderson

This would be hard to make happen, but it would be possible. A Shardblade is going to act as, basically, an alloy of the god metal of Honor and so  what would it do? RAFO, but it is possible and it would do something. It would not be inert. It would be Allomanticaly viable.

Footnote: This question was also addressed here.
Starsight Release Party (Nov. 26, 2019)

 

Edited by asmodeus
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I thought it was implied as heavily as an tank that Plate is made out of 'lesser' spren than the Nahel bond spren. Kaladin being surrounded by windspren (which are basically explicitly stated to be similar enough to honorspren that Syl effectively is one when unbonded) and Dalinar by gloryspren might be a red herring, but they'd still need to be doing something. AS people said above, they probably don't scream because they don't 'think' like the Nahel spren, and unless we learn something more, there isn't actually a bond between Plate spren and Radiants

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16 hours ago, Nellac said:

I don't think it is. Yes plate doesn't scream, but that's because, if its made of lesser Spren as many suggest, they never could talk in the first place.

3. If the lesser Spren don't form plate, what is their significance? They show up too after and seem too directly linked to the Radiants to not be important. If they aren't the plate, I don't see what other purpose they could serve

 

5 hours ago, jamesbondsmith said:

I thought it was implied as heavily as an tank that Plate is made out of 'lesser' spren than the Nahel bond spren. Kaladin being surrounded by windspren (which are basically explicitly stated to be similar enough to honorspren that Syl effectively is one when unbonded) and Dalinar by gloryspren might be a red herring, but they'd still need to be doing something. AS people said above, they probably don't scream because they don't 'think' like the Nahel spren, and unless we learn something more, there isn't actually a bond between Plate spren and Radiants

So I've seen a kind of general consensus that plate is a bond of a lesser spren.

I have to call this into question, because why would a lesser spren be used for a higher Radiant "level?" Shouldn't there be something more... well, awesome... to a plate?

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1 hour ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

I have to call this into question, because why would a lesser spren be used for a higher Radiant "level?" Shouldn't there be something more... well, awesome... to a plate?

"a" lesser spren wouldn't really be that good. I believe the theory is that each piece of the Plate would be one lesser spren.

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2 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

 

So I've seen a kind of general consensus that plate is a bond of a lesser spren.

I have to call this into question, because why would a lesser spren be used for a higher Radiant "level?" Shouldn't there be something more... well, awesome... to a plate?

I don't think it's actually a bond in the same sense as the Nahel bond, which is done consciously. Unless I'm mistaken, the fourth Ideal is sworn to the spren that makes your blade, not your plate.

From memory, the spren people theorise make the plate are full-on swarms of them. It would stand to reason that taking that many spren would require them to be lesser.

 

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21 hours ago, Nellac said:

I don't think it is. Yes plate doesn't scream, but that's because, if its made of lesser Spren as many suggest, they never could talk in the first place.

 

9 hours ago, jamesbondsmith said:

...they probably don't scream because they don't 'think' like the Nahel spren....

 

On 4/3/2020 at 9:09 AM, Channelknight Fadran said:

It's out of the question that it might be made of a spren, as you'll only hear the screaming of the dead spren when you wield a Shardblade, not wearing a Shardplate.

Another possibility (which I consider more likely), is that you don't hear screaming from Shardplate because the spren that form the Shardplate aren't dead.  It has nothing to do with whether they can't talk or aren't sentient or are a different type than Radiant spren, and everything to do with the fact that although they're trapped in that form, they aren't dead (and don't seem to mind being 'trapped').

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It is strange, in my mind, that every radiant who achieved plate would have a “swarm” of Lesser spren following them around all the time (seen or unseen) until summoned during battle.  ( imagine the mass of lesser spren at Uruthiru cognitive realm with hundreds of radiant living there ).  There has to be some other bond that combines them together to the spirit web of the radiant.   I cannot theorize how the Plate “survived “ the recreance except from a radiant who just took it off and left it like the blades with just enough stormlight to survive long enough till the next person picked it up and kept feeding it.   My hope is the plate and blades dissolved over time from lack of care and feeding.  If this theory is wrong, there IS a treasure trove of plate and blades somewhere.  Yikes, Shin Super Army...

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23 minutes ago, XeGnome said:

It is strange, in my mind, that every radiant who achieved plate would have a “swarm” of Lesser spren following them around all the time (seen or unseen) until summoned during battle.  ( imagine the mass of lesser spren at Uruthiru cognitive realm with hundreds of radiant living there ).  There has to be some other bond that combines them together to the spirit web of the radiant.   I cannot theorize how the Plate “survived “ the recreance except from a radiant who just took it off and left it like the blades with just enough stormlight to survive long enough till the next person picked it up and kept feeding it.   My hope is the plate and blades dissolved over time from lack of care and feeding.  If this theory is wrong, there IS a treasure trove of plate and blades somewhere.  Yikes, Shin Super Army...

Why would the Blades/Plates need stormlight?

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53 minutes ago, Nameless said:

Why would the Blades/Plates need stormlight?

It is the investiture that makes all things work.  Right?

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10 minutes ago, XeGnome said:

It is the investiture that makes all things work.  Right?

The blades didn't have gemstones put into them for a hundred or so years after the recreance.

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13 minutes ago, XeGnome said:

It is the investiture that makes all things work.  Right?

Blades don't need investiture. Plate need investiture in order to regrow and give all of it's benefits. As Booknerd said, Blades went centuries without stormlight, and we have not seen Plate dissolve without stormlight, nor has it been mentioned that it need stormlight in order to survive.

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On 4/4/2020 at 4:09 AM, Channelknight Fadran said:

Really? I could've sworn that the whole Dalinar-fixing-the-temple thing was stormlight-fueled...

What are you trying to say here? Stormlight is the primary form of Investiture on Roshar that fuels its fauna and magic. Dalinar used the Bondsmith Surges for fixing the temple and to use the Surges, you need Stormlight.

Solidified Stormlight is my current favourite theory in regards to Shardplate. The lesser spren plate theory has a few gaps: why don't these spren manifest in the Cognitive in some form, how are they Bonded etc

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I personally don't subscribe to the subspren theory, it feels a little... off.

My theory is that Shardplates are, in some way, related to a Radiant's own soul, as opposed to the spren, which makes the Shardblade. There are two parties in the Nahel Bond (the Radiant and the spren), and two kinds of Shard-equipment, so if one makes one, the other should, theoretically, make the other.

A thematic "My Oaths are my armor" thing, where, as a Radiant swears further Oaths and gets more and more invested, they are able to manifest a part of their soul (an aspect or add-on to the soul which only grew after they began speaking the Oaths, and completed growing at the fourth Oath) to defend themselves, where as the spren makes them a weapon.

Edited by asmodeus
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On 4/3/2020 at 6:39 PM, Booknerd said:

Probably give access to a surge/surges if I had to guess.

I can just picture Kelsier stealing a shardplate, cutting it up, and throwing it in a wineglass.

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