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Powers of the Heralds


cometaryorbit

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WOR Ch. 42 Epigraph:

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"But as for Ishi’Elin, his was the part most important at their inception; he readily understood the implications of Surges being granted to men, and caused organization to be thrust upon them; as having too great power, he let it be known that he would destroy each and every one, unless they agreed to be bound by precepts and laws."

And how, exactly, was Ishi going to do that? According to Syl, Honorblade Surgebinding is less efficient than normal. Taln displays more-than-human reflexes/speed, but Stormlight boosts your physical capability too. The Heralds must have had some really impressive powers unrelated to Surgebinding... with just the Bondsmith Honorblade (and the Bondsmiths probably aren't a primary battle Order) and super-reflexes, Ishi would have had trouble beating a single "battle Order" KR, much less all of them.

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Funnily enough, we had another topic covering this exact subject a short time ago: 

The common opinion and conclusion was that the Honorblades granted superior abilities to the Heralds, and granted greatly subpar abilities to anyone who wasn't the Herald it was created for. In other words, each Honorblade was designed to be used by a specific Herald, but a design flaw allowed someone who wasn't that Herald to gain an extremely limited amount of power.

So, overall, Heralds with their Honorblades probably were magnitude times stronger than a KR, and Ishi probably did have the power to enforce order. We just don't see that power with Szeth because he wasn't a Herald. Also, it has been strongly implied that Heralds have other abilities.

Edited by Spoolofwhool
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3 hours ago, marianmi said:

of the top of my head - let's assume heralds have access to stormlight, given their connection to the almighty => unlimited supply of power.

stormlight, as is already said in the books, it's a precious resource / currency.

It's possible but we don't even know if Stormlight is Honor's Investiture (and I find really unlikely that Stomlight is of Honor) and at the moment (if you are right) they aren't uncapable of obtain nothing from Honor, because of course there "Honor is dead" (cool cit.)

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4 minutes ago, Yata said:

It's possible but we don't even know if Stormlight is Honor's Investiture (and I find really unlikely that Stomlight is of Honor) and at the moment (if you are right) they aren't uncapable of obtain nothing from Honor, because of course there "Honor is dead" (cool cit.)

Investiture is never lost.

if Lift can turn food into stormlight, imagine something cooler the heralds can do :)

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4 minutes ago, marianmi said:

Investiture is never lost.

if Lift can turn food into stormlight, imagine something cooler the heralds can do :)

Yes Investiture is never lost, but Honor's Investiture is now a tons of Spren....no more Raw and usable Investiture 

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5 hours ago, Yata said:

Yes Investiture is never lost, but Honor's Investiture is now a tons of Spren....no more Raw and usable Investiture 

I don't quite think that's how it is. There's a WoB, which contains Elantris things, so spoilers.

Spoiler

The WoB relates the leftover investiture of Honor to the Dor on Sel. It also states that Spren are a sort of "release valve" for that investiture. This implies to me that there is a central system of Honor's investiture that most, if not all, spren are drawing upon, similar to the Dor. This system might be connected to stormlight, and might be where Lift is drawing stormlight from. In any case, I think it would be possible for someone to connect to the pool of investiture and draw from it.

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Spren give access to investiture, are not investiture.

but I think based on the spren, you gain access to different levels of investiture. E.g. Honor could have controlled all of its investiture, stormfather can control less, honorspren even less, windspren minimal/none.

there's also i think a matter of "distance" - e.g. i think honor could control his investiture from wherever, using a spren you need to have stormlight close-by to use. so maybe the heralds didn't need to be close to stormlight to make use of it, but they could draw it directly from the honor-pool.

Edited by marianmi
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So, the question I have at this point is, do heralds need gems to access Stormlight?

If they don't, how would it work?

Is it possible that Radiants after certain level do not need gems to access Stormlight? It's a bit silly to imagine a radiant becoming useless in middle of battle because he ran out of gems!

Edited by muco
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1 hour ago, muco said:

So, the question I have at this point is, do heralds need gems to access Stormlight?

If they don't, how would it work?

Is it possible that Radiants after certain level do not need gems to access Stormlight? It's a bit silly to imagine a radiant becoming useless in middle of battle because he ran out of gems!

Dunno about the Heralds, but I don't find the Radiants needing to manage their Stormlight silly at all.  Think how many times in the book lack of Stormlight has played a key plot role.  I figure that's what the Ryshidium (the super-horses) were for: getting the KR to the battlefield quickly without needing them to burn through their Stormlight reserves.  If the Orders weren't restricted by available Stormlight, there wouldn't be much need for the super-horses at all.  A Windrunner could fly there (or an Edgedancer glide there) without needing other means of transportation at all.

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29 minutes ago, galendo said:

Dunno about the Heralds, but I don't find the Radiants needing to manage their Stormlight silly at all.  Think how many times in the book lack of Stormlight has played a key plot role.  I figure that's what the Ryshidium (the super-horses) were for: getting the KR to the battlefield quickly without needing them to burn through their Stormlight reserves.  If the Orders weren't restricted by available Stormlight, there wouldn't be much need for the super-horses at all.  A Windrunner could fly there (or an Edgedancer glide there) without needing other means of transportation at all.

Agreed, until now stormlight has indeed played a key role and I am sure it will too.

To be fair, the enemies the "radiants" faced until now were just too "weak", relatively. Even Szeth who was portrayed as a bogeyman was in reality no match for heralds. And heralds lost their lives during desolations.

So, the enemy Kaladin and the rest of the radiants would be facing would make szeth look like some sort of a kid.

Facing such enemy, stormlight would be a crutch for radiants for sure. And just think on how many gems Kaladin went through to rush to his village from Urithru!

The other side of the argument is that having Stormlight at their disposal constantly would make killing a radiant almost impossible.....

Now I am ranting :)

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There's too many disparate things to quote for this one, so just take it as an alternate viewpoint on most everything :)

Heralds and Stormlight - up till now, I imagined that they would need gems too.. now though, I'm not fully sure

Radiants and Stormlight - popular theories have improved(but not perfect) Stormlight retention at higher Ideals.
     There's like 3 ideas floating around about how Shardplate "helps" as well somehow
     Good catch on the Ryshadium, I hadn't considered that.

Given that Brandon said that the only parties to the Oathpact were Honor and the Heralds, I support the idea that the Honorblades are custom-made for them. What all that customization implies is argued in at least 2 threads already.
However, I don't see it as unreasonable that it improves their Stormlight retention the way the Ideals do to the KR. It gives the spren yet another thing to pattern after the Honorblades.

I know there's all sorts of argument on Herald vs KR, but let's get a few points out of the way.

  • The Heralds have several Desolations worth of combat experience, as evidenced by Taln's reflexes.
  • Kelek is on the record for killing a Thunderclast during the Final Desolation (the fiercest one yet).
  • The 10 Heralds managed to take on at least the 1st Desolation without Radiant help.
       My logic: 1st Desolation is the first time man/spren see the Heralds work, so they copy them after it
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I hadn't seen the idea that the Heralds may not have required a nearby source of Stormlight, but instead just draw from Honor directly, but I love it.  Honor directly granted the Heralds at least some of their abilities, and in particular the Honorblades; it makes sense that he would have designed them to be powered directly by his Investiture.  The Spren copied those, but they wouldn't have the ability to draw power directly from Honor, so Stormlight was their available source of Investiture to power the Surges.  A non-Herald wielding an Honorblade would gain access to the Surges as we see, but they wouldn't have the ability granted to the Heralds themselves of drawing from Honor's Investiture directly, so they also have to turn to Stormlight for their Investiture, and since it's a sort of hack, a source that wasn't the intention, there's a power loss involved, leading them to burn through their Stormlight at a significantly accelerated rate.

jW

Edited by Jondesu
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The Heralds having better efficiency as the true, proper owners of the Honorblades makes sense. But improved efficiency isn't going to let one Herald defeat all the KR. Maybe KR weren't all that numerous in Ishi's time, but there were enough to organize.

Even if the Heralds were the Surgebinding equivalent of Lerasium Mistborn... there's no way Elend could have beat a dozen normal Mistborn. IMO he'd have had trouble with two. Give him a couple of dozen Desolations' worth of combat experience and maybe he could take on three or four.

Yeah the Heralds have super-reflexes too. But there's got to be a lot more to it, either ridiculously vast Surgebinding strength or totally new powers.

KR are terribly powerful. Kaladin & Shallan aren't even at the peak of their development. A dozen combat-order KR (Windrunners, Skybreakers, Dustbringers, Edgedancers, etc.) would have given the Lord Ruler a serious run for his money IMO, and quite possibly actually killed him, depending on exactly how the powers interact.

 

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9 hours ago, cometaryorbit said:

Even if the Heralds were the Surgebinding equivalent of Lerasium Mistborn... there's no way Elend could have beat a dozen normal Mistborn. IMO he'd have had trouble with two. Give him a couple of dozen Desolations' worth of combat experience and maybe he could take on three or four.

Vin vs 13 Inquisitors comes to mind, and she had less strength than Elend (well.. Mistpoint is probably technically more) and she has nowhere near the Combat Experience the Heralds would have.

9 hours ago, cometaryorbit said:

Yeah the Heralds have super-reflexes too. But there's got to be a lot more to it, either ridiculously vast Surgebinding strength or totally new powers.

Brandon has given his sly "I never said that was all they have" answer before, so they must have some additional abilities. Here's another thing in favor of the Heralds, not the KR: Shardplate. Szeth has consistently broke Plate faster with his Honorblade than standard Shardblades do, and if the chestpiece breaks, the suit is crippled pretty badly. Heralds lack this weakness completely, since they don't wear Plate.

9 hours ago, cometaryorbit said:

KR are terribly powerful. Kaladin & Shallan aren't even at the peak of their development. A dozen combat-order KR (Windrunners, Skybreakers, Dustbringers, Edgedancers, etc.) would have given the Lord Ruler a serious run for his money IMO, and quite possibly actually killed him, depending on exactly how the powers interact.

Edit: It's bullet points now because it got severely cluttered while typing it :)

  • Stormlight healing and F-Gold work on much the same principles, so TLR could heal Shardblade wounds too. Actually, since he's got Double Gold, anything Miles can heal through, he can too. Do we know if F-Gold heals faster than Stormlight? That'd be an advantage to the one that does.
  • Depending on the environment, A-Steel/Iron would give TLR decent enough air mobility to match the average Windrunner/Skybreaker (maybe not Szeth with his 5+ years of practice though).
  • Steel compounding is limited in speed by wind resistance, so Abrasion surge could theoretically outrun him if they had means to speed up, but how are they supposed to grab him with no friction? Slicking works both ways. You know, if slicking worked on impacts and not just grabs, they would gain quite a defensive advantage.
  • Edgedancer healing is probably more efficient than the other Orders, so that might be a contest of resource management at the end.
  • We still don't know what Division actually does yet, so Skybreaker/Dustbringer could have an advantage
  • Last point really boils down to if TLR carries weapons. If he doesn't, he's limited to brute force for killing blows. Double Pewter really plays to that, but he'd have to get in close no matter what

That was a tirade. I'll sit down now.

Edited by The One Who Connects
Clutter
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5 hours ago, The One Who Connects said:

 

  • Steel compounding is limited in speed by wind resistance, so Abrasion surge could theoretically outrun him if they had means to speed up, but how are they supposed to grab him with no friction? Slicking works both ways. 

The only thing I have a mild issue with is this (for now). IIRC, Lift's hands and feet keep their friction, and a KR with Abrasion (or really any Surge) wouldn't need to grab TLR. They could just cut him with their Shardblade.

Edited by Turbonator
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9 minutes ago, Turbonator said:

The only thing I have a mild issue with is this (for now). IIRC, Lift's hands and feet keep their friction, and a KR with Abrasion wouldn't need to grab TLR. They could just cut him with their Shardblade.

You're right. I was thinking too narrow when comparing Slicking and F-Steel. The grab comment is also an example of that single track thinking (still on the idea of outrunning him. My bad)

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6 hours ago, The One Who Connects said:

Vin vs 13 Inquisitors comes to mind, and she had less strength than Elend (well.. Mistpoint is probably technically more) and she has nowhere near the Combat Experience the Heralds would have.

Brandon has given his sly "I never said that was all they have" answer before, so they must have some additional abilities. Here's another thing in favor of the Heralds, not the KR: Shardplate. Szeth has consistently broke Plate faster with his Honorblade than standard Shardblades do, and if the chestpiece breaks, the suit is crippled pretty badly. Heralds lack this weakness completely, since they don't wear Plate.

Edit: It's bullet points now because it got severely cluttered while typing it :)

  • Stormlight healing and F-Gold work on much the same principles, so TLR could heal Shardblade wounds too. Actually, since he's got Double Gold, anything Miles can heal through, he can too. Do we know if F-Gold heals faster than Stormlight? That'd be an advantage to the one that does.
  • Depending on the environment, A-Steel/Iron would give TLR decent enough air mobility to match the average Windrunner/Skybreaker (maybe not Szeth with his 5+ years of practice though).
  • Steel compounding is limited in speed by wind resistance, so Abrasion surge could theoretically outrun him if they had means to speed up, but how are they supposed to grab him with no friction? Slicking works both ways. You know, if slicking worked on impacts and not just grabs, they would gain quite a defensive advantage.
  • Edgedancer healing is probably more efficient than the other Orders, so that might be a contest of resource management at the end.
  • We still don't know what Division actually does yet, so Skybreaker/Dustbringer could have an advantage
  • Last point really boils down to if TLR carries weapons. If he doesn't, he's limited to brute force for killing blows. Double Pewter really plays to that, but he'd have to get in close no matter what

That was a tirade. I'll sit down now.

Against 13 Inquisitors, Vin lost horribly until she started burning mists. Burning mists, she had access to essentially unlimited power, a large portion of a Shard's - Elend isn't even vaguely comparable.

TLR could definitely heal Shardblade wounds - it would come down to whether Compounding Gold fills his goldminds faster than constantly healing from Shardblades stuck in him empties them.

In a metal-rich environment, yeah, TLR would be able to match Gravitation-surge mobility, but not, I think, exceed it sufficiently to evade multiple opponents.

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20 minutes ago, cometaryorbit said:

Against 13 Inquisitors, Vin lost horribly until she started burning mists. Burning mists, she had access to essentially unlimited power, a large portion of a Shard's - Elend isn't even vaguely comparable.

TLR could definitely heal Shardblade wounds - it would come down to whether Compounding Gold fills his goldminds faster than constantly healing from Shardblades stuck in him empties them.

In a metal-rich environment, yeah, TLR would be able to match Gravitation-surge mobility, but not, I think, exceed it sufficiently to evade multiple opponents.

Having reread the scene, I somewhat agree. It just didn't stick in my head as her losing that bad at first. If we go with Marianmi's idea of the Heralds being able to get Investiture straight from Honor, then Elend isn't comparable, but post-mistpoint Vin would be. It's an assumption yes, but one that spurs discussion.

I more imagined wounds from a swing, mainly because of how Shardblades work. A "stab" wound just seems out of character for people acquainted with its limb-killing ability. Also, if they did stick one in him, couldn't he just take it out?

No real argument on the last point, it makes sense. I don't know if Lashing based fighting style really favors multiple opponents, but that's not the point

Edited by The One Who Connects
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like @The One Who Connects said, herald would be like vin burning mists, they get access directly to Honor,

if i could ask BS something, i would be: if a person would be related to a herald (similar DNA), would they use *less* stormlight using a honorblade than a random person (very dissimilar DNA)? (w/o whatever penalties are incurred by "perception")

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The idea may be good, but I find hard to believe that 10 Surgebinders with unlimited Investiture at their disposal. May statisticaly died at every Desolation (the Last one with Taln as only victim was an exception not the norm)...The Surgebinding's Healing alone would be capable to stop a lot of wound of them. Neither, I will expect some futureshadow in the TWoTK's prologue from Kalak's PoV

 

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21 hours ago, The One Who Connects said:

Having reread the scene, I somewhat agree. It just didn't stick in my head as her losing that bad at first. If we go with Marianmi's idea of the Heralds being able to get Investiture straight from Honor, then Elend isn't comparable, but post-mistpoint Vin would be. It's an assumption yes, but one that spurs discussion.

If the Heralds could draw directly on Honor's Investiture, rather than using Stormlight from gems the way Radiants do - and could survive using amounts of it that would damage or vaporize normal humans -  that would make a huge difference.

I don't know if it's enough by itself to explain why Ishi thought he could take on all the KR, though - he'd still be limited to using that nearly unlimited Stormlight in the Cohesion and Tension Surges. We don't know much about them, but IIRC they both have to do with manipulating material properties - they don't sound like good battle Surges like Gravitation or Division.

However, the Heralds might be so heavily Invested that Surges couldn't be used directly against them - they couldn't be Lashed to the sky or disintegrated/burned/whatever Division does. If they could also use the drawing on Honor's Investiture to get an extreme version of Stormlight's physical benefits, that would make it work, IMO.

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