PiedPiper

Skybreakers... meh.

40 posts in this topic

Skybreakers is a pretty awesome name, but that's where I feel this order's usefulness ends.

I know modern Skybreakers are corrupt and Nale is crazy, but I'm talking about old Skybreakers, not modern Skybreakers. Let's journey back to the Heraldic Epochs.

Skybreakers start as squires and must learn that the most important thing is to follow the law before they swear the second oath. To become a full Skybreaker, they promise to fully and completely obey one person/system/pirate code (the pirate part is in a WoB somewhere -- I think one of his livestreams -- but it's not that important so I didn't bother finding it).

It seems to me that all of Skybreaker training is about learning to not think for yourself. This is what Wandersail was all about: not taking responsibility for your actions and blindly believing what you've been told. Wandersail is a cautionary tale that no one is listening to.

While oaths 4 and 5 do focus on finding your own justice, we know that very few people actually get to the fourth oath and no one new (or sane) has said the fifth in thousands of years. They even stress that it's perfectly okay if you never make it past the third oath, which makes it even worse. The longer you stay a mindless drone, the less likely you are to be able to decide things for yourself farther down the road.

I hope I haven't upset anyone. If you disagree with me, I would love to hear your (non-inflammatory) argument.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always thought of the Skybreakers swearing to follow a code as more of a way to remove themselves from their own selfish desires than to remove their responsibility for their actions. They see humans as fallible and so they strive to follow a code so that they can be better people. I think the fact that the current Skybreakers blindly follow the law is the result of Nale's influence more so than being what the Skybreakers are actually supposed to stand for. 

13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think they're more useful than you would think. Having a police force that can't break the law without losing their power to enforce it seems appealing. Other Skybreakers would likely be compelled to deal with a lawbreaker in their ranks as well. Of course they're limited by the system of laws they're sworn to uphold, but that's a problem with any law enforcement agency, spren bond or not. According to the Radiant quiz info, one of their main duties was policing the other Radiants, kinda an answer to the "Who watches the Watchmen" situation. I'm interested to see what happens to them, I don't believe they'll stay on Odium's side permanently. 

10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really have too much to say, since I'm sure the Skybreakers will be explained later, but I think Wax from the Wax & Wayne Mistborn books is a decent view of what a Skybreaker should look like. Granted he's more of a mix between Windrunner and Skybreaker, but he easily leans more towards Skybreaker. 

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, the Skybreaker oaths aren't trying to make it so people don't think for themselves; they are aiming for consistency. Even in many laws or codes, there is a lot open for interpretation. 

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Harrycrapper said:

I think they're more useful than you would think. Having a police force that can't break the law without losing their power to enforce it seems appealing. Other Skybreakers would likely be compelled to deal with a lawbreaker in their ranks as well. Of course they're limited by the system of laws they're sworn to uphold, but that's a problem with any law enforcement agency, spren bond or not. According to the Radiant quiz info, one of their main duties was policing the other Radiants, kinda an answer to the "Who watches the Watchmen" situation. I'm interested to see what happens to them, I don't believe they'll stay on Odium's side permanently. 

Yes, exactly. Windrunners seem to follow their own personal code on what is right, but that can be flexible, and biased. Skybreakers, on the other hand, trust what they consider to be a more 'objective' code. Of course, there are downsides to following the letter of the law, but that's why we have so many different orders. 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right. But that's a path that people can take, it's still a form of an honor system.

There's a really excellent martial arts film from China called "Hero." It stars Jet Li, Donnie Yen, whole bunch of the great modern martial arts stars. Everything I'm going to say about it is a spoiler. It's about a tyrannical king who is trying to take over all of the lands that will eventually become China, and a supremely gifted assassin who has devoted himself to a years-long charade in order to get himself close enough to take out the king. As a teenage boy, I was thrilled by the unfolding story of this hero and his allies putting their lives on the line to defeat the tyrant. 

And then the ending comes. The assassin gets close enough to make his move, he's even holding the king's own sword and there's nobody around who could stop him. That's when he reveals that he's become convinced that what the king is doing, although brutal and violent and ruinous, is ultimately for the greater good in the long run. He returns the sword and submits to execution, and is then honored with a state burial.

It kind of blew my mind. I was raised on Luke Skywalker and Batman and Jesus. My concept of a "hero" is someone who stands up against corrupt systems, who steps outside the law when he feels the law is unjust or insufficient. I felt like the writers had made a mistake, or something had been lost in translation, and maybe I had to see it in Chinese with subtitles. I was missing something.

What I didn't understand was that different cultures have entirely different ideas of what makes you an honorable or heroic character. "Hero" was a product of the Chinese Communist Party, and the thousands of extras were Chinese military. The movie was literal state propaganda, teaching that submission to a powerful authority, even if it seems awful, is the wise and moral choice for a person to make.

The Radiant Oaths don't seem to have much to say on the subject of morality, and they don't seem to take a side. There's a lot of room for interpretation and personal perspective. All that really seems to matter is a consistent internal narrative. I think you're right about Skybreakers being susceptible to brainwashing and misuse, and I also think we're going to see Radiants of all orders taking positions that will disturb us.

To use a modern American example, one could easily say and believe "I will remember those who have been forgotten" and "I will listen to those who have been ignored"... about the Confederacy and white supremacists. They're a "lost cause" and a "tiny, hated minority" and so on. We could easily wind up with a Nazi Edgedancer.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, earthexile said:

We could easily wind up with a Nazi Edgedancer.

?  I agreed with everything up to this.  Nazis believe that the "inferior" should be left behind or slaughtered outright.  This is completely counter to the ideals of the Edgedancer. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Karger said:

?  I agreed with everything up to this.  Nazis believe that the "inferior" should be left behind or slaughtered outright.  This is completely counter to the ideals of the Edgedancer. 

That depends on your perspective. If you were to check out white supremacist forums, one of their primary beliefs is that they are a people under seige, they feel aggrieved and threatened by the larger culture. They see themselves as the ordinary, downtrodden people of the world. A lot of them even believe that there is a deliberate white genocide happening in the world right now.

Yes, they're wrong. Yes, they're even crazy. But they are a whole community with a shared perspective. I can easily see some struggling young racist taking those oaths because he believes he's standing up for a people on the brink of destruction.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, earthexile said:

If you were to check out white supremacist forums, one of their primary beliefs is that they are a people under seige, they feel aggrieved and threatened by the larger culture

And an edgedancer would listen and remember but I seriously doubt any sane combination of radiant and spren would agree.  That is not in the oaths. 

35 minutes ago, earthexile said:

I can easily see some struggling young racist taking those oaths because he believes he's standing up for a people on the brink of destruction.

That kind of siege mentality is more in keeping with the Dustbingers.  I think an "evil" Edgedancer would be more in line with Kelseir.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Elsecaller_17.5 Elsecaller, actually. Just wanted to add that I'm having tons of fun writing Elsecaller next to your username.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having just listened to the recent Shardcast episode on the Knight Radiant Orders, I recall an important part of their order being kind of the 'police' for the Radiants- such as finding Radiants who were abusing their powers and the law and putting that right, sort of a toned-down version of what Nale is doing.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can understand the appeal for uniformity in having a police force that won't compromise based on their beliefs, but I think taking a strict textualist approach (just in the etymological sense of the word; I'm not talking about politics or religion) leaves little room for evolution in the law or interpretation regarding gray areas. Sometimes, it's better if people take time to wonder if what they're doing is wrong rather than continuing to do it out of complacency with their static society.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who watches the watchmen... who watch the watchmen? :huh:

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

22 minutes ago, PiedPeterPiper said:

I can understand the appeal for uniformity in having a police force that won't compromise based on their beliefs, but I think taking a strict textualist approach (just in the etymological sense of the word; I'm not talking about politics or religion) leaves little room for evolution in the law or interpretation regarding gray areas. Sometimes, it's better if people take time to wonder if what they're doing is wrong rather than continuing to do it out of complacency with their static society.

Remember in Oathbringer, when Kaladin is discussing the Oaths with Syl? One thing he asked in that conversation is what determines what "right" means. That marks a main difference between Windrunners and Skybreakers. Windrunners have to keep thinking about that question. Skybreakers make a decision. They don't wonder if what they're doing is wrong because they know whether or not it is to them. The current Skybreakers, in following Nale, don't do this correctly, as Szeth points out. Szeth tells Nale that he doesn't follow his own guidelines, brutally enforcing some laws while ignoring others. This messes up their focus on consistency, and thus leads them to easily make mistakes within their own ideals, like when that one Skybreaker "kills" Gawx.

Additionally, they don't really just follow along with a "static society." Societies are not static. They progress over time, and if that progression changes a Skybreaker's code, they follow along with it. Not only that, but Skybreakers don't really need to follow the law of the land. I've speculated before that they might even be able to dedicate themselves to Vorinism. They can choose to follow the code they believe in following. Again, the current Skybreakers don't really do this, and just all choose to follow essentially the same things.

Edited by ChickenLiberty
5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's very hard for people find their own concept of justice, that's why Skybreakers swore to follow something else 

Skybreakers aren't likely to follow their own loose concept of moral, they need time to mature and most of them will just never reach it

I understand people must find this pretty stale, it is indeed, but seems a acceptable path for me. They don't trust and believe not even in themselves and progress to fourth ideal only when they find a better individual guidance 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, IcaroRibeiro said:

I think it's very hard for people find their own concept of justice, that's why Skybreakers swore to follow something else 

Skybreakers aren't likely to follow their own loose concept of moral, they need time to mature and most of them will just never reach it

I understand people must find this pretty stale, it is indeed, but seems a acceptable path for me. They don't trust and believe not even in themselves and progress to fourth ideal only when they find a better individual guidance 

That could be why so few reach the fifth ideal, most people who join the Skybreakers are people who know their own moral code is insufficient and they need to follow something external. You can't become the law if you know you can't administer it justly and fairly. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Greywatch said:

Who watches the watchmen... who watch the watchmen? :huh:

Whom watcheth the watchethmen

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Harrycrapper said:

That could be why so few reach the fifth ideal, most people who join the Skybreakers are people who know their own moral code is insufficient and they need to follow something external. You can't become the law if you know you can't administer it justly and fairly. 

I've been seeing some things about people speculating that Szeth might reach the 5th Ideal, and this is a reason I don't think he will- He is lowkey insane and admits that he doesn't know what is right anymore. 

Additionally I wonder if a lot of people who join the Skybreakers do so either because they might be executed if they don't, or they are completely in awe of the fact that Knights Radiant still exist. The Squires that we see with Szeth (why do I keep accidentally writing Sazed...) seem way too eager to follow the Knight's orders - to kill people - to be there just because they need to find a higher moral code to follow. 

I would love to see some new Skybreakers that become Skybreakers because of something else other than "They don't know what to do, so they follow blindly." People followed the codes in Alethkar because they believed in what they would do, not because they didn't know what to do. Of course, I guess that's why there are other orders? I mean, Dalinar isn't a Skybreaker.

Anyways-

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder about the role of Odium in the corrupted Nale version of the Skybreakers. I'm in the middle of part 3 of oathbringer for the upteenth time right now. The passions are always wanting people to give up their worries, their sorrow, their guilt. The Nale version of Skybreaker oaths seem to echo this notion: abandon what you know to be right and follow an external version. You don't need to worry about what is right, only enforce it. I think it is corrupted. Justice (ha! username) is more than enforcing the letter of the law. Windrunners aren't Skybreakers following an internal rather than external moral code. They want to protect people. Yes, that might be protection from injustice, but that is not equivalent to judication. A better Skybreaker seeks justice under the law, not enforcement. Nale's version is corrupted and flawed.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Justice said:

I wonder about the role of Odium in the corrupted Nale version of the Skybreakers. I'm in the middle of part 3 of oathbringer for the upteenth time right now. The passions are always wanting people to give up their worries, their sorrow, their guilt. The Nale version of Skybreaker oaths seem to echo this notion: abandon what you know to be right and follow an external version. You don't need to worry about what is right, only enforce it. I think it is corrupted. Justice (ha! username) is more than enforcing the letter of the law. Windrunners aren't Skybreakers following an internal rather than external moral code. They want to protect people. Yes, that might be protection from injustice, but that is not equivalent to judication. A better Skybreaker seeks justice under the law, not enforcement. Nale's version is corrupted and flawed.

Odium doesn't seem to like the Skybreakers. He claims that they are the Order least like him.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I think there's in interesting quote in the recent information. It says, "They tend to attract those who believe in the importance of legal code, those who have strong moral codes of their own, and those who think the best defense against anarchy are things like patriotism, moral fiber, and rules to govern behavior. " Having taken the quiz several times and always gotten Skybreaker I very much and work this statement. The thing I find most interesting is the part about them having a strong moral code, outside of the legal code. Let me explain how, in a free society, you can have both a strong moral code and fight to uphold the rule of law. The way I see law, how I think it should be, is best described by Wax with his sphere analogy. Basically the law is there to make sure that people aren't hurt by the other people around them. Anything outside of that should, in my opinion, not be part of law. With this viewpoint it is easy to have your own strong moral code and also enforce the law. For example, I believe smoking is bad (I don't want to argue this, I'm just using it as an example). But even though I believe smoking is bad, I don't think that I should be forcing them to stop. People have the right to choose if they smoke or not, and until it starts negatively affecting others it's not my place to interfere. Now, if they are smoking a lot with children around or smoking in such a way they could start a fire then there's the line where they've crossed over into being a danger to others and perhaps a punishment should be in order. 

I know this turned into a very moralistic rambling session, but I'm not trying to make anyone believe my morals. I'm simply showing a perspective from which someone can hold very strong personal morals and still uphold a law or code of conduct.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, PiedPeterPiper said:

It seems to me that all of Skybreaker training is about learning to not think for yourself. This is what Wandersail was all about: not taking responsibility for your actions and blindly believing what you've been told. Wandersail is a cautionary tale that no one is listening to.

I came up with this during my Radiant oaths analysis for Skybreakers(it is one of my pattern of radiant oaths theories that can be found below) and I think it is applicable.

Quote

Unlike the average person I am profoundly grateful for skybreakers both in the real world and in the world of Roshar.  Individuals involved in the practice of law including lawyers, cops, and judges are often portrayed in popular media as arrogant, confusing, unfair, or indifferent.  Sometimes this is warranted.  Institutions and individuals responsible for preserving and carrying out the law are just as prone to failure as anyone or anything else and deserve recrimination when their failures hurt people.  At the same time though law enforcement has created an era in which assaults, rapes, thefts, and murder are all increasingly rare.

In many ways we owe our current prosperity to a system of laws and law enforcement agencies that enforce rules of behavior for individuals, corporations, and even government branches.  I may have as much irritation at ticket officers as anyone else but they do decrease the probability that I will be killed in a driving accident.

Edited by Karger
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

22 hours ago, PiedPeterPiper said:

 

It seems to me that all of Skybreaker training is about learning to not think for yourself. This is what Wandersail was all about: not taking responsibility for your actions and blindly believing what you've been told. Wandersail is a cautionary tale that no one is listening to.

 

Actually the way I read Szeth's chapter of Oathbringer where they are hunting the escaped criminals at the pure lake is that they DID want them to think through everything for themselves.  The other proto/squire Skybreakers just looked at the task on the surface, and went off to kill the escaped criminals.  Szeth "passed"/"won" the challenge because he thought about it enough to realize that the lord in charge of the jailer was the true criminal here.  

Yes, that's still following the law/code, but it is thinking for himself the implications of the situation and drawing his own conclusions about who is at fault, rather than just assuming the escaped criminals should be punished by death and that's the end of it.

Edited by cfphelps
4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.