Syntal

What is required to hold a shard?

6 posts in this topic

Probably don't need to include, but huge spoilers for RoW and Mistborn:

This feels like a very general question and more than likely it has been answered and I just didn't look hard enough for the corresponding thread, but in case it has not been:

What are the prerequisites for holding a shard?

Obviously humans can take them, as we saw with Taravangian and Sazed. This leads to the assumption that all sentients can take them (so a parshendi could in theory hold a shard). If sentience is the only prerequisite, then could nightblood hold a shard? Ignoring its other special properties such as feeding off investiture and cutting in the spiritual realm, is its sentience sufficient to allow it hold a shard? We always see people 'take' shards through some physical action. Does this imply that physical agency is required? If so this would disqualify nightblood.

I expect I have misinterpreted nightblood's sentience in some way, but even if so my first question remains: what are the prerequisites to take/hold a shard?

Edit: After some more reading, it appears that nightblood is a sort of artificial spren. This makes sense seeing how it was created to mimic shardblades, and leads to another question which seems a bit easier to answer: could a spren hold a shard? This has (sort of)  been answered in WoB, but in short no because its investiture would just combine with the shard it tried to pick up. So are the differences between nightblood and spren sufficient to allow it to do so?

Also, the coppermind does state that Connection to the shard is the major prerequisite. Clearly Nightblood can form a Connection (consider its bonds with those have wielded it in the past), but I am unsure if it could form a sufficient Connection with a specific shard to actually become its vessel.

Edited by Syntal
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Singers can hold Shards, Nightblood might be able to, the exact rules aren't clear.

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It's... weird. Because while Kelsier did Ascend as a Shadow, Tanavast's CS merged with the Stormfather's Investiture instead, as Brandon has said a spren would do. So on one end we have types of people who can just Ascend, on the other we have types of people who can just merge, and then we have types of people in a grey area who can somehow do either depending on the situation... And the differences between any of these states are ???

My guess is Nightblood theoretically could (though I'm not sure how it'd occur), but that's mostly a gut guess, instead of something I can point to any reason for.

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7 hours ago, Syntal said:

What are the prerequisites for holding a shard?

Obviously humans can take them, as we saw with Taravangian and Sazed.

Uli Da was Sho-Del. Cultivation apparently is a dragon.

7 hours ago, Syntal said:

I expect I have misinterpreted nightblood's sentience in some way, but even if so my first question remains: what are the prerequisites to take/hold a shard?

I am afraid that is a fundamental mistake. Kelsier showed that the requirements for taking and holding are different things.

 

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There seems to be three big requirements that are confirmed. Connection to the Shard, sapient mind, and a Connection to all three Realms. While Kelsier was technically able to take hold of Preservation he was vastly limited because of his improper Connection to the Shard and him lacking a Connection to the Physical Realm because...well...death

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2 hours ago, StanLemon said:

There seems to be three big requirements that are confirmed. Connection to the Shard, sapient mind, and a Connection to all three Realms. While Kelsier was technically able to take hold of Preservation he was vastly limited because of his improper Connection to the Shard and him lacking a Connection to the Physical Realm because...well...death

Agreed, though with at least one asterisk.  Post-Dawnshard I think the Dysians might be have trouble ascending because infusing their swarm with that much Investiture would start waking up all the individual entities to sapience, effectively destroying the swarm as a cohesive entity.  Spren on the other hand cant themselves become a Vessel because they lack the native Physical realm Connection, at most I think they could provide a seed intelligence for the Shard to become its own self-aware entity.  

 

EDIT:  No Idea where that leaves Nightblood, a robot spren with a Sapient mind that was born to the Physical Realm natively through Awakening...

 

Here's a few relevant WOB's. 

 

Quote

 

Questioner

I was wondering if Sleepless-- the Dysian Aimians-- if they could hold a Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Could the Sleepless hold a Shard? Could they be a Vessel? Is what you're asking?

*hems and haws* There is nothing innate about the Shards that prevents any one with a-- I have to phrase this very carefully...

Non-humans can be Vessels. Non-humans have been vessels. Certain sapient creatures in the cosmere, could not be. But that's an asterisk, not the rule.

Salt Lake City signing (Dec. 16, 2017)

 

 

Quote

 

Questioner

Can holders of Shards give them up voluntarily? If so, what would happen?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, a Vessel for a Shard of Adonalsium can give up their power if they wish.

As for what would happen...well, there are some variables in there. Kind of like the variables in what happens to a bucket of water if you dump it out. Depends on where it falls, how strong the wind is, what the air is like.

Power dropped like this, if left alone, could end up Splintering and turning into something like spren/seons. It could become something more like the Stormfather--a large, self-aware entity. It could become something like the Dor or many of the Unmade--something proto-aware, but not truly an individual. There are other possibilities as well, depending on lots of factors. (Are sapient beings involved? what is being done with the power--is it concentrated in the Spiritual Realm as normal, or is it being pushed somewhere else?)

FAQFriday 2017 (June 9, 2017)

 

 

Edited by Quantus
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