salka

Vasher and Zahel

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Hey guys! I just finished Warbreaker and this is probably going to be a stupid question, but how do we know that Vasher is Zahel? And how do we know that Vivenna is Azure?

So the connection between Vasher and Nightblood is obvious. But Zahel? And why is Vivenna hunting him? Why is he a criminal now? Or is she talking about Szeth? At the end of Warbreaker they seem like pretty good friends. I'm really looking forward to Warbreaker 2: The adventures of Vasher and Vivenna, but I'm worried if it's going to end badly.

I will admit when I was reading through the Stormlight Archive I did not pay as much attention to Zahel as I probably should have.

But what am I missing? Is there a story that explains how they split up? How they got to Roshar?

Sorry if this is a stupid question. I'm just really confused about two of my favorite characters.

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Their story will come up in the future (the novella called Nightblood), but by their appearance and attitude, we know that Zahel is Vasher and that Azure is Vivenna, she is not hunting Vasher though. I don't know exactly who she is hunting, but we'll probably get an answer for that. Have you read all the Stormlight Archive?

 

 

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Vasher uses a few colourful Nalthian expressions, is a Cosmere lore expert, general disposition and mannerisms also matched Vasher, so people correctly guessed his identity and got confirmations from Brandon, and of course with RoW, we hear his view on being Returned, are directly told by him that he isn't from Roshar and see him using Awakening. Vivenna gives a few hints about her past, her blade raised some eyebrows, used Awakening and finally she had the Royal Locks, so people once again correctly deduced her identity and got confirmation from Brandon.

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9 hours ago, Legui01010 said:

Their story will come up in the future (the novella called Nightblood), but by their appearance and attitude, we know that Zahel is Vasher and that Azure is Vivenna, she is not hunting Vasher though. I don't know exactly who she is hunting, but we'll probably get an answer for that. Have you read all the Stormlight Archive?

 

 

As far as I can tell the source for that is this WOB, which is not exactly one that inspires confidence...

 

Quote

 

Questioner

Was Azure hunting the Herald or is she hunting Zahel?

Brandon Sanderson

She's <not?> hunting Zahel.

Orem signing (Dec. 21, 2017)

 

 
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1 minute ago, Quantus said:

Questioner

Was Azure hunting the Herald or is she hunting Zahel?

Brandon Sanderson

She's <not?> hunting Zahel.

ouch. Now that's unsure. Wonder if she was hunting whoever got Nightblood to Nale. Doubt that was Vasher tbh, he seems pretty aware how dangerous immortality can be

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1 minute ago, Benkinsky said:

ouch. Now that's unsure. Wonder if she was hunting whoever got Nightblood to Nale. Doubt that was Vasher tbh, he seems pretty aware how dangerous immortality can be

There's a hint that it was in the Nightwatcher's hands at some point, since she offered it to Dalinar when he first visited her.  Or I suppose she thought she could arrange it at least.  

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We also have this:

Quote

Questioner

Is Vivenna hunting Zahel?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Then why won't she tell him that she's looking?

Brandon Sanderson

She is hunting him. There's more to it, but yes.

FanX 2018 (Sept. 8, 2018)
Quote

Questioner

So after Nightblood was used pretty obviously in Thaylen City does Zahel [or Vasher] know?

Brandon Sanderson

Where Nightblood is? Zahel is pretty sure where Nightblood is; Vivenna does not know. She's on the look out let's say.

Questioner

I guess it's hard to get back from Shadesmar.

Brandon Sanderson

It is. She had some plans and that didn't work out.

Prague Signing (Oct. 26, 2019)

 

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1 hour ago, Quantus said:

There's a hint that it was in the Nightwatcher's hands at some point, since she offered it to Dalinar when he first visited her.  Or I suppose she thought she could arrange it at least.  

That's interesting! I think I interpreted that as fodder for the theory, that the Nightwatcher helped make Nightblood rather than currently having it.

Not my theory, but the biggest hints are:

- we know the Returned were worldhoppers, and had visited Roshar, Shardblades being a bit inspiration for Nightblood.

- Something weird is up with the creation of Nightblood. We know Endowment was involved unusually much, but also just doing something like that with "just" 1000 Breaths is odd.

Taravangian asked for Capacity, and got some hefty future sight. Though that was Cultivation, I wouldn't put it past the Nightwatcher to be able to give Shashara the knowledge on how to create Nightblood. (Speculation on my part, there was some knowledge on how to connect/tie it to shards somehow, or to "tap into" them. We know Endowment was unusually involved, and we know there's some of Ruin's Investiture involved in Nightblood apart from it having eaten some).

- Shashara's story then fits the Old Magic scheme we know. Her boon was the knowledge to create Nightblood, her curse was ultimately dying to it. She created a sword that could destroy immortals and it destroyed her.

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I think Nightblood is just an attempt at replicating Shardblades after the Five Scholars visited Roshar

Quote

Questioner

I was wondering, is Nightblood a Shardblade?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood is an attempt by someone who didn’t know how Shardblades were made to create a Shardblade using a different magic system.

Shadows of Self San Francisco signing (Oct. 9, 2015)

and other WoBs suggest the same

The knowledge on how to create something like Nightblood coming from the Nightwatcher is certainly an interesting idea but as Cultivation herself confirmed, the future is not set. I don't think a Bane like getting killed by your creation is quite possible. It's not impossible, Preservation and Cultivation both show how powerful futuresight can be, but it's not destiny manipulation. And I don't think they give Banes like that, it's mostly Spiritweb manipulation. It's not impossible that the knowledge came from there though, maybe Cultivation wanted a faulty but obscenely powerful Shardblade adjacent like Nightblood to kill Odium, but that part of the machination could just as well have been something after Nightblood passed through to Roshar (and passed into the Nightwatcher's hands in exchange for knowledge on how a Returned could feed on Stormlight or some other deal) or Fortune to predict that the Returned would return to Roshar for its free Investiture, likely bringing Nightblood along, which would otherwise feed on souls back home. All are interesting.

Also, note that Brandon mentions that Warbreaker was written to give a backstory to characters in Stormlight, so it's not impossible that Cultivation was involved in Nightblood's creation.

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So from what I've gathered is that Azure has been on Roshar for a year. Zahel has been there a lot longer, and so has Nightblood, if the Nightwatcher/Dalinar theory is correct. Nale and all the heralds are tied to Roshar so they can't worldhop, which means that Nale couldn't have brought it (although an agent of his could have). Maybe Zahel brought it to Roshar and asked Nale to keep it safe. That must have been about 10 years before Gavilar died so Nale didn't seem bonkers back then.

Also I think it was in a video by Man Carrying Things where he mentions that Nightblood required 1000 breaths to be created. After that it sucks in Investiture from everyone it kills and stores it. So the 1000 breaths are only level one for Nightblood. And I'm guessing Odium/Rayse had a few breaths worth of Investiture so it must be pretty powerful by now.

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1 minute ago, salka said:

So from what I've gathered is that Azure has been on Roshar for a year. Zahel has been there a lot longer, and so has Nightblood, if the Nightwatcher/Dalinar theory is correct. Nale and all the heralds are tied to Roshar so they can't worldhop, which means that Nale couldn't have brought it (although an agent of his could have). Maybe Zahel brought it to Roshar and asked Nale to keep it safe. That must have been about 10 years before Gavilar died so Nale didn't seem bonkers back then.

Also I think it was in a video by Man Carrying Things where he mentions that Nightblood required 1000 breaths to be created. After that it sucks in Investiture from everyone it kills and stores it. So the 1000 breaths are only level one for Nightblood. And I'm guessing Odium/Rayse had a few breaths worth of Investiture so it must be pretty powerful by now.

I'd like to say that I'm pretty sure Odium/Rayse had more than a few breaths of Investiture. It's been a while since I read RoW, but if I can recall, after killing Odium/Rayse, Nightblood just kinda... calms down, you could say. It just took in a crap ton of Investiture, so it's pacified for a while. I wonder, though, if there's a calculator or something, that calculates Investiture into Breaths. Idk.

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35 minutes ago, Theldragor said:

I'd like to say that I'm pretty sure Odium/Rayse had more than a few breaths of Investiture. It's been a while since I read RoW, but if I can recall, after killing Odium/Rayse, Nightblood just kinda... calms down, you could say. It just took in a crap ton of Investiture, so it's pacified for a while. I wonder, though, if there's a calculator or something, that calculates Investiture into Breaths. Idk.

Question is, where is Nightblood now? Taravangian pulled it into the Spiritual Realm when he used it to kill Rayse. Does Taravangian have it? Or maybe it's lost between Realms.

Also, will Nightblood be useful anymore? We know it's Command is to Destroy Evil and that it went "dull" after consuming a part of the Investure of Rayse, but even if it is a special Awakened Object, will there be a limit to the amount of "Evil Destroyed" (i.e. absorbing Investure)?

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1 hour ago, Legui01010 said:

Question is, where is Nightblood now? Taravangian pulled it into the Spiritual Realm when he used it to kill Rayse. Does Taravangian have it? Or maybe it's lost between Realms.

Also, will Nightblood be useful anymore? We know it's Command is to Destroy Evil and that it went "dull" after consuming a part of the Investure of Rayse, but even if it is a special Awakened Object, will there be a limit to the amount of "Evil Destroyed" (i.e. absorbing Investure)?

1. I think when Taravangian pulled it into the Spiritual Realm, he only pulled Nightbloods spiritual aspect, and the physical aspect is still laying wherever it was when it got pulled into the Spiritual Realm. I could be wrong, like I said, it's been a few months since I read RoW.

2. Personally, I don't think there's a permanent limit. I think it's just got a <insert time frame here> limit. Like it can consume a monthly amount of Investiture before becoming useless for a time. I'm using monthly only as an example, don't take it seriously.

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2 hours ago, Theldragor said:

I'd like to say that I'm pretty sure Odium/Rayse had more than a few breaths of Investiture. It's been a while since I read RoW, but if I can recall, after killing Odium/Rayse, Nightblood just kinda... calms down, you could say. It just took in a crap ton of Investiture, so it's pacified for a while. I wonder, though, if there's a calculator or something, that calculates Investiture into Breaths. Idk.

Brandon says that he has people helping to find a conversion ratio, as it would be important in Era 4. 

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Just now, Zoey said:

Brandon says that he has people helping to find a conversion ratio, as it would be important in Era 4. 

Ahhh cool. Thanks.

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I don't think Nightblood "stores" the Investiture that it eats; I believe that Investiture is returned to its Spiritual "home" in the same way any other expended Investiture goes back to where it belongs.  So I don't think Nightblood is getting more powerful over time.

I believe Szeth is still carrying Nightblood at the end of RoW, although we don't see this directly.  I feel that if Nightblood had turned up missing, that WOULD have been worthy of mention.

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On 23/09/2021 at 7:58 PM, AquaRegia said:

I don't think Nightblood "stores" the Investiture that it eats; I believe that Investiture is returned to its Spiritual "home" in the same way any other expended Investiture goes back to where it belongs.  So I don't think Nightblood is getting more powerful over time.

She does store it actually, and she's only leaking because she is over the amount of investiture a sword her size can hold

Quote

lucagreene18

If Szeth were to have drawn Nightblood immediately after he had consumed Rayse, would he still have drained Szeth's Stormlight? As it said he seemed like he had eaten as much as he could.

Brandon Sanderson

At that point, Nightblood had entered into essentially a food coma... Well, no, the food coma one came when he was drawing from the perpendicularity. I don't think he was in food coma mode at that point. I think that he could still have drawn more at that point, I'd have to go look at exactly what I wrote, if I'd put him into food coma mode or not. It is possible.

This is one of the things I wanted to answer with the book. A lot of people have been theorizing, could Nightblood eat an entire Shard? And indeed, Nightblood could not eat an entire Shard. That is not within his capability. In fact, one of the reasons that he leaks Investiture is: he's too stuffed full of it. There is more Investiture in the sword Nightblood than it can actually hold, it's supersaturated. And it leaks Investiture (that it's done some weird things to). But it is constantly hungry for more and constantly leaks it, but it definitely can get full for a time, and it could not eat an entire Shard.

I did see questions about that from people floating around, and it's something I'd been meaning to get to eventually. Nightblood is definitely relevant to things that are happening in the Cosmere, but it is not as simple as grabbing the sword, sticking it into a Shard, and defeating the Shard, unfortunately. Though, as you see in this book, there are reasons for a Shard to still be afraid of Nightblood. It didn't destroy Odium, but Rayse still really had a bad time.

YouTube Livestream 23 (Dec. 17, 2020)
Quote

I believe Szeth is still carrying Nightblood at the end of RoW, although we don't see this directly.  I feel that if Nightblood had turned up missing, that WOULD have been worthy of mention.

 Yeah they'd have suspected something was up

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1 hour ago, mathiau said:

She does store it actually, and she's only leaking because she is over the amount of investiture a sword her size can hold.

I sit corrected, thanks.  Someone else also recently posted a WoB confirming that Nightblood has indeed become more Invested over time.

Edited by AquaRegia
link!
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