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/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#2 Copy

Boogalyhu34

Can Nightblood be considered a Splinter and does it function like a spren realmatically, are there distinct differences is what I'm asking.

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood is kind of his own strange thing. He's an attempt to use one magic to replicate something in another. He's closest to a spren, but kind of like a...robot spren, for lack of better words to use.

Argent

When you say that Nightblood is "an attempt to use one magic to replicate something in another," do you mean life in general, or are you referring to a specific effect in a specific magic system?

Brandon Sanderson

There are those involved who knew that Shardblades existed before they tried the Nightblood experiment.

uchoo786

So does this mean Vasher had knowledge of Shardblades before creating Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

It means what I wrote, and nothing more at this point. :)

wickedmath

Dude. That's the most tantalizing RAFO I've seen in awhile. Have other Shards made Shardblades besides Honor?

Brandon Sanderson

:) RAFO

Phantine

Is that why Vasher uses the word 'Investiture' instead of some personal term for it?

Brandon Sanderson

I could be wrong, but I think Vasher was the first one in any book I allowed to use cosmere-aware terms for speaking of things like the magics. (Investiture is one of these.)

BYU Writing Class Wrap-up 2017 ()
#3 Copy

Just another guyn

If an Elantrian were to get a hold of Nightblood and draw it, how would Nightblood react to that-- What kind of power would be unleashed?

Brandon Sanderson

So Nightblood needs kinetic Investiture to feed upon. The Elantrian would have to be able to get a conduit to the Dor to feed Nightblood or Nightblood would just eat their soul.

Just another guyn

So if they used AonDor to fuel Nightblood--

Brandon Sanderson

There are some types of AonDor that would work, and there are others that would not.

Just another guyn

And would Nightblood just keep going until either the Aon was--

Brandon Sanderson

He would dissolve the Aon as he drew the power from it.

Just another guyn

So it wouldn't just empty the Dor?

Brandon Sanderson

No, it would not empty the Dor.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#5 Copy

Questioner

Would Nightblood appear in the Cognitive Realm?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood will have a manifestation in the Cognitive Realm.

Questioner

…Would it appear as a sword, or because Nightblood appears to perceive itself as something else, would it appear as something else?

Brandon Sanderson

So, um, you will get a RAFO. *laughter* Because most things we're going to deal with we will have some scenes in the Cognitive Realm coming up, and you'll be better able to make guesses along these lines after you've read those.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
#11 Copy

Questioner

I assume I'm going to learn a lot more about this in Stormlight 3 but Nightblood, is he more dangerous or less dangerous now that he-- obviously he needs Investiture that is why *audio obscured* any Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

I'd say more dangerous, a little bit easier to get the Stormlight.

Questioner

I assumed I'd learn a lot more about him...

Brandon Sanderson

You will, and he's pretty dangerous, but he is also less dangerous because other people have Shardblades, if that makes sense.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#15 Copy

platysaur

Well Mr. Sanderson, I finally finished Words of Radiance as well. I thank you for answering previous questions of mine on this thread.

I didn't read Warbreaker but I intend to. That said, if I don't get to it (college is quickly approaching now), will it be a setback? I know that Szeth's sword is now a character from Warbreaker, but I don't want to be at a disadvantage if I can't get to it.

Brandon Sanderson

If you don't read Warbreaker, I doubt you'll be confused. I wrote Warbreaker as a prequel novel (after writing the original draft of The Way of Kings) to give some backstory to side characters I knew where cosmere-aware, but the story should work just fine without having read it.

Skyward release party ()
#16 Copy

Questioner

How did Nightblood get from Warbreaker to Oathbringer.

Brandon Sanderson

He was carried.

Questioner

How?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO! He was carried by someone.

Questioner

What book will you have to read to find out?

Brandon Sanderson

You will find out eventually. Nightblood, the sequel to Warbreaker will include some, Stormlight books will also include some.

BYU Writing Class Wrap-up 2017 ()
#17 Copy

Just another guyn

If a Shard were to wield Nightblood more directly, like Odium's champion and Odium channeling his power through Nightblood, would we see a lot of world ending stuff from that?

Brandon Sanderson

That-- What you just described would work no differently from a Knight Radiant wielding Nightblood

Just another guyn

Okay. And that would be scary powerful?

Brandon Sanderson

No. No, they'd feed off the Investiture and eventually would either run out or be drawing it so quickly that it would dissolve the person's soul.

Just another guyn

So souls are made of Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, in the cosmere, souls are. So you'd have a little while, but eventually the person would just die and get eaten.

Boskone 54 ()
#20 Copy

Steeldancer

The Heralds, back before Honor died, were they directly powered by Honor?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. You’ll find out more about that, but the Shardblades [pretty sure he means Honorblades here] were pieces of Honor’s soul that he gave them and direct access to his essence.

Steeldancer

Like Vin and Elend?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, a little like that. That’s why Honorblades don’t work like Shardblades do, like Radiants do.

Steeldancer

The second part of the question is, what would happen if they were directly powered by Honor and they were holding Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#22 Copy

18th_Shard

Does a Herald using an Honorblade consume the same "dangerous" amounts of Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

Honorblades are less efficient; this doesn't change when a Herald uses them. (But they have other advantages.)

uchoo786

Are Honorblades closer in power to Nightblood than they are to Shardblades made from Spren?

Brandon Sanderson

Hard to say. They're all similar, but at the same time, very different. And in a way, Nightblood is what you might call a "Third Generation" blade.

uchoo786

Ah gotcha. And in this analogy, Honorblades would be 1st gen and Sprenblades would be 2nd gen?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Oathbringer Leeds signing ()
#23 Copy

Questioner

Could an Elantrian just write an Aon above Nightblood and then use it forever?

Brandon Sanderson

Use it forever? No. 

Questioner

Forever is pushing it.

Brandon Sanderson

No, no, I mean, Nightblood would destroy an Aon pretty quickly. It would pull power through it--

Questioner

It would be like trying to put too much power through a small--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it would just rip it up to shreds. You'd get a little use out of it. He would eat the very structure of it, if that makes any sense.

Warbreaker Annotations ()
#24 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Anyway, a lot of important things happen here. Note that Nightblood doesn't remember being drawn. When he was created, the Breaths gave him sentience as planned. (That was a big part of the goal in making him—to prove the existence of Type Four BioChromatic entities.) However, once he is drawn, his Command takes force and he acts much more like a regular Awakened object—but one with very strange abilities and powers. During this time, his Breath is diverted to creating the powers, and his mind goes fuzzy.

Boskone 54 ()
#26 Copy

Questioner

In the Stormlight Archive we saw the sword from Warbreaker and we also know that the royal line can change more than just their hair, will that come into play?

Brandon Sanderson

They can! What’s that?

Questioner

...will that come into play?

Brandon Sanderson

That will come into play, keep your eyes open.

Oathbringer Leeds signing ()
#31 Copy

Megasif

In London I wanted to ask about Nightblood. The way he is Invested, is that a one-off-case kind of thing, or is it possible to do another of that level?

Brandon Sanderson

It was really bizarre, and I will explain it eventually and that will let you know why. It's theoretically possible to do almost anything so it's theoretically possible to do what he did but it'd be very hard.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#32 Copy

Argent

Can Nightblood damage or kill a Shard? Is he that powerful?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood is not powerful enough for-- *makes weird/hesitant ehhh sound*

Argent

Can it damage?

Brandon Sanderson

Damage? Yes. How damaging? Is a subject to discussion. Nightblood contains a lot of Investiture.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#35 Copy

Questioner

Could Nightblood theoretically be turned into a Hemalurgic spike?

Brandon Sanderson

The problem with that is that Nightblood is already invested, so it depends on your version of ' Hemalurgic spikes'. Piercing someone's body with Invested metal can have weird effects all through the Cosmere, but ripping off a piece of a person's soul using an un-Invested spike to Invest it and create one is different... we're talking about two different things, right. So there's the.... so what is a Hemalurgic spike? For instance if you've got a spike that's Invested and you stick it into a Kandra on Scadrial it will still work as an Invested Hemalurgic spike. Making a new Invested spike by ripping off a person's soul, that's a different process and a little more difficult to accomplish and requires some specialized knowledge.

San Diego Comic-Con 2015 ()
#43 Copy

Cognizantastic

As I understand it, Nightblood is most comparable to a Shardblade. However, unlike a Shardblade, Nightblood requires constant input of Investiture in order to realize his full destructive potential. Why is this?

Brandon Sanderson

Vasher kind of hacked in order to imitate another magic system. Shardblades are organic parts of the world they are on, but Nightblood is a bunch of souls stuffed into something. Nightblood is like a Frankenstein.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#44 Copy

Questioner

I was wondering when you first thought to put Nightblood in Words of Radiance?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood in Words of Radiance happened because... So I wrote the original draft of Way of Kings in 2002 and Vasher was Kaladin's swordmaster and I thought "This guy has a really interesting past, he's not natively from Roshar". So I went and wrote his backstory and that became the book Warbreaker. So he predates-- And then I came back and I re-wrote Way of Kings and I cut him out of it to save him for the later books. So when did I first think of it? Well 2003 probably? Was where that was happening.

Questioner

Nightblood was our apartment's collective favorite character.

Brandon Sanderson

I have some other quote-unquote cons going on the fans so to speak that are going to be very cool when they happen.

Supanova 2017 - Sydney ()
#45 Copy

R.E. (paraphrased)

Does Vasher have a different way of getting access to Stormlight than everyone else? Given that he has no spren, no honorblade and he isn't a squire?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes. He can use Stormlight to stay alive, but it doesn't let him Surgebind.

R.E. (paraphrased)

Could Szeth get access to this method?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes

R.E. (paraphrased)

And use it to fuel Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes he could.

R.E. (paraphrased)

Can you tell me what that method is?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

*smiles*

Salt Lake City signing ()
#49 Copy

Questioner

Does Vasher want Nightblood back?

Brandon Sanderson

Vasher feels responsible for Noghtblood

Questioner

is there any reason why he didn't go by Vasher, as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Because in the original draft he was, and I im like 'that's juts too easy'. Plus he's kinda trying to hide, so he's not as foolhardy as a certain other character who goes willy-nilly by the same aliases over and over again and doesn't care. Picking an alias, if you know people would potentially would be hunting for you, having them not be able to ask for you by name is useful.