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Heraldic Knights


nightwatcher

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What would happen if you gave a Knight Radiant an Honorblade?

 

My first impression was to say that it was impossible. Seems far too overpowered- the magics would have to cancel each other out, or something. But then I thought back on Sanderson's style. In mistborn, when a man is both an allomancer and a feruchemist, the powers don't weaken, they compound.

 

Though the two worlds are very different, I think the Stormlight Archive has something similar.

 

The Heralds.

 

As far as I know, there is no concrete explanation for the unique attributes of the Heralds. From what I can see, the heralds should have been weaker than the knights. For instance, While he held his honorblade, Szeth consumed stormlight far more quickly than Kaladin. And while the stormlight enhanced his physical abilities, he seemed to show none of the innate benefits granted by the nihil bond. Without stormlight, he had no more power than a normal man.

 

Why, then, was Taln able to catch a poison dart midflight, plucking in from the air as though it were no more dangerous then a fly? The cell was dark, which means he was NOT imbued. In addition, there is no indication that the Honorblades offer the powers of reincarnation. When taken together, we can, at the very least, assume there is more to the heralds than the blades they hold.

 

There is an alternate explanation, of course. That the Honorblades are now dead, just as the Shardblades are. That while still living, the enormous spren of the Honorblades granted the Heralds almost divine power. Those who weild the honorblades of today grasp only a fraction of their true power, much as modern day shardbearers.

 

But if so, why don't the Knights hear the screams? 

 

All taken together, the only definite, as stated, is that there is more to the heralds than their Honorblades. I personally believe it is the nihil bond, or, at the very least, something similar. There's only one way to find out for certain--

 

Send Kaladin into battle swinging around Szeths sword, and see what happens.

 

Thoughts?

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I agree with you that there is more to the Heralds. I think Honor gave them some innate power as part of the oath pact, but that raises some questions. Like do the Heralds need Honorblades in order to surge bind and if so why couldn't Honor just grant surge binding to them? Also do they need stormlight to surge bind? Maybe they can do what Lift does. Honor blades would be useful as weapons, but it seems somewhat inconvenient to have the Honor blade give some power and the Heralds have some on their own.   

Edited by Hemalurgist
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I don't see how giving an honorblade to a Radiant would be at all overpowered. Nothing that can accomplish that anyone else can't with more honorblades and more stormlight.

As for Heralds, they're already blatantly immortal. Superhuman reflexes should probably be the last thing used to emphasize their inhuman nature.

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You have a valid point, but still. The knights radiant could hold stormlight better that weilders of the honorblades, and have abilities that are implied to be directly connected to the nihil bond. Things like superhuman reflexes and battlefield awareness, in Kaladin's case, or a perfect memory for Shallan. Taken together with the honorblades, those abilities would massively compound.

 

For instance, even underdeveloped and inexperienced with his abilities, Kaladin defeats Szeth, who's had an honorblade for years and training specific to it's use. Imagine that kind of raw power, then throw in a few additional surges, or double the power of the surges he already has? That is A LOT of power for one man. Almost heraldic power, I'd think.

 

Personally, I don't think its too much of a stretch to think something similar is what created the heralds in the first place.

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All you need for double the surge strength is to use twice the stormlight. It hardly matters. One lashing will always be the same for the same person since it is exactly one iteration of the object's weight. To get double the effectiveness you use two lashings.

The honorblade inefficiency more than overcomes any extra strength you get.

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There's a bunch here.  The compounding effect (say, Kaladin using Jezrien's blade) is minimal, since proficiency with the Surges is mostly a function of the strength of the Nahel bond.  You can bond several Honorblades, and they will each give access to their specific surges.

 

The Heralds are something else entirely - even without their Honorblades, they have powers above and beyond any normal human.  The most obvious example of this is immortality.  With their Blades, they have access to the Surges and other abilities that we know.

 

As far as I know, the Honorblades are not dead spren nor do their powers stem from spren.  Brandon explicitly stated (in the above link) that Honorblades work very differently from everything else.  My most informed guess is that the Heralds have (fairly large) splinters of Honor which grant them their superhuman abilities, and that the Honorblades are Splinters as well.

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The Honorblade itself doesn't cause inefficiency- it's just because the human body is too porous a container, according to Szeth. The nihil bond, therefore, counteracts this inefficiency, rather than the honorblades creating it. which means that an honorblade in the hands of a KR would do one of three things- Give additional surges, strengthen existing surges, or nothing at all.

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I agree with you that there is more to the Heralds. I think Honor gave them some innate power as part of the oath pact, but that raises some questions. Like do the Heralds need Honorblades in order to surge bind and if so why couldn't Honor just grant surge binding to them? Also do they need stormlight to surge bind? Maybe they can do what Lift does. Honor blades would be useful as weapons, but it seems somewhat inconvenient to have the Honor blade give some power and the Heralds have some on their own.   

It has been confirmed that Heralds cannot Surgebind without their Honorblades, but they do have other powers beyond surgebinding.

 

And as far as I understand it, in order to Surgebind, you need Stormlight.  Lift is unique in that she can metabolize food into Stormlight, but she still has to use Stormlight to be awesome.

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The Honorblade itself doesn't cause inefficiency- it's just because the human body is too porous a container, according to Szeth. The nihil bond, therefore, counteracts this inefficiency, rather than the honorblades creating it. which means that an honorblade in the hands of a KR would do one of three things- Give additional surges, strengthen existing surges, or nothing at all.

If we take Szeth's word for everything then voidbringers retain stormlight perfectly and honorblades take 10 heartbeats to summon. Which are both entirely false. Szeth really isn't a world authority on surgebinding any more than Kelsier was on allomancy.

Even Radiants leak like crazy due to being human. The glow alone says that much. In fact, Szeth doesn't glow as brightly as Kaladin, so presumably either he is leaking less stormlight, or something is using up the energy normally responsible for the passive glowing. Something Kaladin doesn't have, which might be the honorblade. As for the former possibility, he clearly depletes faster, so the reduced leaking would not be due to better retention regardless, but extra drain. Which comes back to the blade really.

There is precedent in Nightblood for "artificial" shardblades requiring constant investiture drain when active so it's pretty plausible, though I guess we'll know when the details on Heralds come to light..

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The Honorblade itself doesn't cause inefficiency- it's just because the human body is too porous a container, according to Szeth. The nihil bond, therefore, counteracts this inefficiency, rather than the honorblades creating it. which means that an honorblade in the hands of a KR would do one of three things- Give additional surges, strengthen existing surges, or nothing at all.

 

Syl (who I would assume to be a relatively good source on the topic) states that the Honorblades themselves consume stormlight, whereas it is implied spren in the Nahel bond don't, and that this is the reason it takes, in her words, "a dangerous amount" of stormlight to us them. So yes, it is the Honorblade itself which causes the inefficiency. 

I assume this means that it will still consume stormlight if held by a Knight Radiant and therefor still take extra stormlight for them to use it. 

 

I also don't recall having read or even heard of anything that says that the Nahel bond counteracts the porous nature of the human body as a container for stormlight.

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Wouldn't Kaladin gain the powers of a Stoneward on top of his Windrunner abilities if he bonded Taln's blade? Seems to me that that would make for an incredibly powerful Knight Radiant if that happened.

Since nobody has even figured out where the storming thing is that possibility, while enticing, is pretty pointless to bring up.

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Since nobody has even figured out where the storming thing is that possibility, while enticing, is pretty pointless to bring up.

 

Taln's blade was just an example.  I could have just as easily suggested Kalak's or Shash's.  My point was that any Radiant that bonded an Honor Blade other than their Patron's (ie Kaladin bonding Jezrien's) would have four Surge's.  Making them incredibly powerful.

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There are obviously a lot of things going on with Honor (Honour? damnation these american spellings!) Blades that we don't understand. I have a funny feeling that they are still bonded in some fashion to their Heralds. Jezrien's blade didn't disappear when Szeth died; When a Herald dies, he goes to Damnation and takes his Blade with him. I wonder what would have happened if Jezrien was murdered while Szeth was flying about?

Edited by CabbageHead
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We know Radiants can wield Honorblades and get multiple Surges:

Question
For the Honorblades, if somebody that was already a Radiant used an Honorblade, would they get that Surge also?

Brandon Sanderson
It is possible to get multiples, yes. Good question.
(source)

 

Yes, it's overpowered, but so is Compounding in Mistborn, and in this case it's balanced by Honorblades being incredibly inefficient. It's an open question, but I personally believe you'd get more and more inefficient the more Honorblades you bonded, which is why Honor didn't give all ten Surges to each Herald.

 

As to the Heralds, they were more inefficient than the Radiants, but Honorblades have alternate advantages. So the Honorblades might be "dead" in some fashion, but it isn't because they're less efficient. A possible sign they're dead is that they may no longer work on Oathgates.
 
As to Taln catching the dart thing, that seems like a side effect of being a Herald. For example, in Warbreaker,

The Returned, which are quite similarish to the Heralds, seem to gain physical advantages as well, including superspeed. Denth moves so fast that he kills a man before Vivenna can process it, for example. The three males Scholars - Denth, Arsteel, Vasher - all seem to have been masters of the sword. (Or, well, extremely talented anyways, which we wouldn't expect by random chance.)

 


 

There are obviously a lot of things going on with Honor (Honour? damnation these american spellings!) Blades that we don't understand. I have a funny feeling that they are still bonded in some fashion to their Heralds. Jezrien's blade didn't disappear when Szeth died; When a Herald dies, he goes to Damnation and takes his Blade with him. I wonder what would have happened if Jezrien was murdered while Szeth was flying about?

 

I don't see anything wrong with this - Heralds don't actually die when they, er, die. I expect if they bonded a regular Shardblade and died (while not having given up the Oathpact, anyways) they would have taken it with them when they "died". What seems to happen when a Herald suffers a mortal wound is that they get transferred to a different planet and healed.

Edited by Moogle
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The Honorblades are more than inefficient Surgebinding fabrials. Kalak describes the Honorblades as “weapons of power beyond even Shardblades…unique. Precious” (SLA Prelude, Kindle, p. 15). I believe they're "precious" because of their ability to consume and reconstitute investiture. Honorblades only appear inefficient because their primary purpose is to capture disparate investitures and forge them together as Stormlight.

 

As those of you who have read my posts know, I believe the Honorblades contain the souls of the Heralds, implanted as identity spren. I modified that idea to posit that each identity spren bonds with a Stone Shaman when a Desolation comes.

 

In a very long post about Desolations I'm now working on, I propose that one bar of Odium's "prison" is Stormlight itself. Stormlight consists of the investitures of each of the three Shards. Honorblades sweep Roshar clean of spren (at least all unbonded investiture), which gets rid of Voidbringers. That's a main reason Shinovar is spren-free.

 

So that's why I think Honorblades are "unique" and "precious." Those properties may (I'm asking, not answering) make it difficult to use a Shardblade and an Honorblade simultaneously.

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