Could you make a Lifeless out of someone killed with a Shardblade?
Shardblades sever the soul from the body, but Awakening makes a "fake" soul for a body, so how the soul left doesn't matter.
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The soulcasters. They have, like, the effect on people-- like she's turning into smoke, those guys who turn into stone... So do-- since-- do Shardblades, that are not from Radiants, have an affect on the people?
Uh, like, you're talking like Honorblades?
Uh, oh, no no, sorry, sorry. Not held by--okay, because I know the guys who are Radiants--Not, I mean no, sorry. But just I said not from Radiants when I mean not held by Radiants--
Oh, oh, oh, I get what you say. So do they have a similar affect? No, they do not. Good question.
The missing number of Shardblades. I just want to confirm that, when the Blades were abandoned, that all of them stayed in the Physical Realm. My question is, did some just evaporate?
Ahh, good question. They did not evaporate.
You mentioned that human can’t bond Honorblades, but Nalan tells Szeth that his bond with his Honorblade has been broken. Can you clear this up?
Humans CAN bond Honorblades. There's a crucial difference between Honorblades and Shardblades. When you drop an Honorblade, it does not disappear, even if it has been bonded. A Shardblade will disappear when dropped.
Does a limb that has been "severed" by a Shardblade have any Hemalurgic bindpoints? If the same limb was then cut off more conventionally, would a Bloodmaker ferring be able to grow it back?
A severed Shardblade limb needs repair to the soul before it would function again. A Bloodmaker would be able to heal it without needing to grow it back.
So, my question is glowing Shardplate and retractable helmets. Is that a similar origin of the Shardblades—
There's a similarity, but they are also very different.
Yeah, I noticed they do seem like advanced fabrials, because Adolin just keeps going on and on about how they're all interchangeable and they all feel comfortable after a while, and it doesn't have the same kind of thing with the Shardblades.
No, it doesn't. Though a Shardblade, used for a long time, will change shape slightly.
A sword. Can they, like, feel it when they stab something?
Some of them really don't like it. Watch Wyndle's reaction to this sort of thing.
I also asked about the connection between the spren and Surgebinder, such that the spren turns into what the Surgebinder wants. Like in Edgedancer, [Wyndle] turns into a bar of metal and into a Shardfork. Wyndle himself isn't "in tune" with Lift, so his turning into something that she needs with no prior warning...
Yeah, they actually mix. When the bonding is happening, what's happening is that the gaps in the souls are being filled with the spren's <essence>. And they are actually melding into one
And they are actually melding into one individual *inaudible*.
<And the minds are separate?>
If a Leecher was holding a Shardbearer and burning [chromium], would the Shardbearer be able to summon their Blade?
Since you have basically established that spren are at least to some extent alive, how is it possible for a Shardblade to not cut right through a living weapon, like Syl for example.
What you are seeing is: when they are pulling through into the Physical Realm they are creating something that is not 100% physical, not 100% metal, it's like an amalgamation of the two. And that is doing something very special that then prevents other things from cutting through it. It's specifically the way that it's happening. You could make this happen with other things too.
Another big part of it is the amount of Investiture. If something is highly Invested it's going to stop a Shardblade too, because the Investiture is gonna kinda bounce off of each other. It's theoretical, for instance, you could make a Hemalurgic spike that would stop a Shardblade...
So, Invest something highly and it will stop a Shardblade almost always. But, you can cut souls; they are highly Invested also. So you need something in the Physical Realm that is pulling power through from the other Realms.
Related to Kaladin's abilities and their application to medicine, is a Shard-scalpel possible, or does a Sylblade of any kind have to do the whole burning-eyes deadened-limbs thing that Shardblades do?
(actually, I bet this is going to be addressed in the book, unless my memories of lore are insufficient and this is a silly question that is already answered if I look closely enough.)
It's not a silly question--and while it's not answered in the books, the topic (or at least ones similar to it) is discussed. So I'll RAFO for now.
I'm curious. Are any of those rare metals from Mistborn on any other world?
So, not those exact metals, unless they've been taken off-world. But there are other metals like them that you could find.
So they could have Allomantic lore?
They theoretically could...
Let's just say it's not a coincidence that you find Investiture manifesting as metal on other places. Such as Shardblades, as well.
IF they were to fight with a lightsaber and a Shardblade, which would be able to cut through the other?
Depends on who’s world you're in, that's what I would say. Is Lucas writing it or am I?
Well say you are writing it, since we're--
If I'm writing it I say they bounce off of each other.
Are Shardblades Splinters? If not, are they related to Shards in some other way?
RAFO. More to come.
So could somebody using maybe a duralumin Push or Pull, or just a strong Allomancer, take control of a Shardblade?
The more heavily Invested something is, the most-- the more <release?> other forms of Investiture? But as we have proof in Mistborn you can Push and Pull on metalminds, you can Push and Pull on even a spike that’s inside of somebody. If you have the strength. So it's kind of pushing against the strength of the Investiture.
The dead shardblades, could you possibly get Stormlight into them to reawaken them?
Dead shardblade could you pump enough Stormlight into them? That alone would not be enough.
So you would have to find someone to re-swear with oaths?
There is something broken on the Spiritual Realm because of the broken oath and simple Stormlight will not fix that.
If the person were still alive and could re-swear the oath then yes.
[...] the Spiritual Realm?
It is not outside the realm of reason but it would be very very very difficult.
Someone else’s question was about the safehand.
So that essay he told us about, the one that defined masculine arts as being ones with two hands and feminine needing only one? That was in order to let men secure power over Shardblades.
So, when a Shardbearer, they get caught off guard, or, like, they're trying to throw their Shardblade, you know that it <quickly poofs> But yet, they can give it someone else, and it doesn't poof. I was just wondering how that works.
Mental control. It's kind of in-- it's a control thing. Some people-- I mean, you have to practice it, and things like that.
So, it takes some kind of mental control to give to someone and allow them to use it?
But it's something they have to practice at, it's not just a--
Do deadeyes disappear in Shadesmar when they are summoned as blades to the Physical Realm?
What about Kaladin getting sliced with the Shardblade and then being able to rejuvenate?
That is a clue for what is going on with Szeth and his understanding of Shardblades and the Shardblade he has.
Which is an Honorblade, right?
I can't say, but Szeth says in Book One you can't heal a Shardblade wound with Stormlight. There are other very big but subtle discrepancies between what Szeth does and what Kaladin does.
Hi, the community has a [question], we have two WoBs: Shardblades can cut aluminum and Shardblades can't cut it. Which one is true?
Hm. Yes, I wondered last night if I'd ever answered this before. Truth is, the answer is contentious at Team Sanderson.
I've been pushing for one answer, but Peter (whom I trust) is pushing back. We will see what ends up in the books as canon.
Problem with magic like I do is sometimes you have to wait for the scientific consensus... :) Err on "no" for now.
Oh, I think aluminum would stop Shardblades from magical cutting. But if it's too thin like foil, a sword...
...would cut it anyway. What I'm arguing is that something else that Shardblades don't cut doesn't need...
...to necessarily be made of aluminum, for various reasons.
For example Invested objects (metalmind,spike,etc) or polestones (from some SA's Quote) ?
Could you use steel or iron to Push or Pull off Shardblades or Shardplate?
Anything that's Invested resists, the more Invested it is the more it resists.
Okay, so you could technically--
--if it was not charged?
Well-- Certain objects just have more Investiture and are more purely of the Investiture. A Shardblade's going to be really hard, but it's possible, it's just going to be really, really hard. Even more hard than an absolutely full Feruchemical metalmind because the Shardblade is being created directly out of the Investiture, it's basically all Investiture, it's not a metal that is Invested. It's going to be real hard.
Can you confirm if the scene with Taln at the end of Way of Kings is entirely in Hoid's perspective? There was some discussion that it might not be, since Taln's Honorblade was called a Shardblade.
That entire scene is in Hoid's POV, and the reason for it being called a Shardblade is because Honorblades are Shardblades.
Why does the Shardbearer-- when they are dueling with Adolin and Renarin-- Why does the Shardbearer freak out when Kaladin grabs the sword? The <Shardbearer> like... He screams, and he's like, "I didn't kill you", and ran away.
Why does he do that?
Because when Kaladin was there, and they were touching it, they actually heard the spren that was inside of it. Right? Because when an--
So it wasn't Syl that he heard, it was the sword.
It was the sword's spren... that Kaladin was touching it. When the Knight Radiant touches it-- You can see when other Knights Radiant pick up swords, they can hear the screaming.
What would a Shardblade do to [a "zombie" Elantrian]?
Um, a Shardblade would...oh boy. A Shardblade...a Shardblade would still be dangerous to them, um, the trick is, um, the Shardblade's gonna treat them half alive, half dead. So, it probably would be kind of a flicker, so it depends on when you hit them. It might cut the arm off.
It might cut the arm off...
And it might just leave it dead.
I expect just a RAFO for this, but would we see any interesting effects if someone were to Awaken a Shardblade? Because I am honestly starting to think that might be close to what Nightblood is.
Depends on the type of Shardblade you're trying to Awaken.
Has Brandon said that the Shardblades are based off of the swords from Soulcalibur/Final Fantasy. (You know, those stupidly huge swords?) Or are they just normal swords when it comes to the shape and size etc?
Shardblades come in many shapes and sizes, but are often larger than normal swords, in order to fight larger-than-normal enemies.
Not always, though. Szeth's Blade, for instance, was about the size of a scimitar.
There is no single source or work from which the inspiration was drawn. It's a refection of a common trope, instead. Isaac and I created a few dozen silhouettes, and Brandon chose the ones he liked best, and we've been extrapolating from there ever since.
If you slash somebody with a Shardblade, kill them, and then cut them again, will the Shardblade make them bleed?
Yes. Just like a chasmfiend once it dies, they are chopping it apart with Shardblades.
You know the sparring guards, for the Shardblade training, the guards they put on the Shardblades. Are they made of aluminum?
So, they are not. Peter will not let me make them made out of aluminum. He's my continuity editor, he keeps me honest. I tried to get them to be aluminum, but there are reasons why they can't be. So we had to make them their own weird little thing, unfortunately. But you could make a sheath out of aluminum for a Shardblade that would work.
He keeps me honest, so it's good, but I did try to fit them in that way.
Would it be possible to break a Shardblade?
If one breaks, what happens to the spren? Could this somehow kill the spren/Nahel bond?
Can it be reforged?
What happens to the Investiture stored inside of the sword?
Could a living spren regenerate the lost part?
What could cause this breaking?
Could a seon or a skaze turn into some sort of Shardblade on their home planet?
That is theoretically possible. They work under the same fundamentals but they would need to have something to pull them more into the Physical Realm.
Szeth has an afterglow because his soul is lagging behind his body slightly.
So if he was moving fast enough, could a Shardblade pass through his physical body and not cut the soul?
Ummm, that sounds like the sort of thing-- I'm going to say, the soul is more stretchy, so I don't think that's possible. But you could do some weird things where you're cutting the soul and not the body.
What was the reason for choosing the base form of Shardblades as blades, why not another form? Was it because of the spren?
Why was the base form of Shardblades chosen to as blades, as swords? It is because the Shardblades were devised... They were devised as imitations of the Honorblades, which were created and given to the Heralds. And so since the original pattern was the Honorblades, they were built to feel like the Honorblades.
If a person stores a lot of Investiture, could they resist a Shardblade?
This is theoretically possible.
Why do the Shardblades in The Stormlight Archive have the effect on flesh (human tissue) that they do?
He originally wrote the scene in the prologue with the assassin Szeth using a traditional sword, but it was so bloody and gruesome that Brandon was actually disgusted. He had to find a way to avoid that and so he came up with a new way for the swords to behave.
Szeth says in the first Stormlight book that he can't heal from a Shardblade--
So when he got cut he couldn't heal that...
No. Not with his powers.
Not from an Honorblade.
Not from an Honorblade.
Could a shadow from Threnody be manifested as a Shardblade?
Is there any information about Way of Kings that you can give us at this time?
I've wanted to do a long epic for a while. I guess that's what comes from reading Jordan and the others while growing up. And so, way back in the late 90's—when I was experimenting with my style—I started working on ideas for a longer form series. I knew the real trick for me would be to do it in a way that it didn't feel stale after just a few books; there needed to be enough to the world, the magic, and the plot arcs that I (and hopefully readers) would keep interested in the series for such a long time.
What it gives me (the thing that I want in doing a longer epic) is the chance to grow characters across a larger number of books. Dig into their pasts, explore what makes them think the way they do, in ways that even a trilogy cannot. In Kings, I don't want to do a longer 'saga' style series, with each book having a new set of characters. I want this to be one overarching story.
One of the things that has itched at me for long time in my fantasy reading is the sense of loss that so many fantasy series have. I'm not complaining, mind you—I love these books. But it seems like a theme in a large number of fantasy books is the disappearance of magic and wonder from the world. In Tolkien, the Elves are leaving. In Jordan, technology is growing and perhaps beginning an age where it will overshadow magic. It's very present in Brooks, where the fantasy world is becoming our world. Even Eddings seemed to have it, with a sense that sorcerers are less common, and with things like the only Dragons dying, the gods leaving.
I've wanted to do a series, then, where the magic isn't going away—it's coming back. Where the world is becoming a more wondrous place. Where new races aren't vanishing, they're being discovered.
Obviously, I'm not the first to approach a fantasy this way. Maybe I'm reading too much into the other books, seeing something that isn't there. But the return of magic is one of the main concepts that is driving me.
Well, that and enormous swords and magical power armor.
Shardblades, they sever <limbs? people’s?> connection to the Spiritual Realm. So, that being said, they cut inanimate matter like a regular sword but inanimate matter is projected into the Cognitive Realm. So does inanimate matter have a Connection to the Spiritual Realm? In the same way living things do?
Yes, but it doesn’t have the same thing going on.
Moving on to Words of Radiance, as we were entering typo fixes for the paperback of this book, I made changes to a few lines near the end. This isn't anywhere near as extensive as the changes in Elantris, but once again I figure I should be up-front about what I did and why I did it.
This part is going to have some spoilers for the book, so if you haven't read it, please stop right here. I'll put a number of blank lines here to prevent accidental spoilers. Scroll down if you've finished the book.
So, in Words of Radiance, I think the scene I worked on the longest both in my head and on the page was the final confrontation between Kaladin and Szeth.
There was something I wanted to do, and took a stab at it in the text, then backed off because I couldn't make it work. It was important to me that Kaladin refuse to kill Szeth at the end. Kaladin is about protection, not vengeance, and once he realized that Szeth really just wanted to be killed, I wanted Kaladin to hesitate.
It didn't end up working, and I moved on to a new version and submitted it. But this itched at me, and by the time the book was released, I felt I'd made the wrong choice for that scene. So I've taken this chance to roll it back to the previous idea, and written it in a new way, which I like much better.
The events are the same, except for that moment. Szeth is now killed by the storm instead of by Kaladin, which I think is more thematically appropriate.
The question this raises is about Szeth being stabbed by a Shardblade, then being resuscitated. I'm sad to lose this sequence, as it's an important plot point for the series that dead Shardblades cannot heal the soul, while living ones can. I'm going to have to work this into a later book, though I think it's something we can sacrifice here for the stronger scene of character for Kaladin and Szeth.
Does the scene where Shallan is counting heartbeats mean what I think it means? It just kind of strange to imagine her carrying around of of those but then again she does like secrets.
It means what you think it means
Elhokar's Shardblade has all ten orders.
Just to stir the pot for giggles, I can confirm that Brandon specifically called for that particular detail. Hence the extra bit of the glyphs next to the Blade.
Could not tell you why though... he never told me! :)
Every Blade depicted in the Shallan art so far (except perhaps that cleaver-looking beast in the dueling drawing) went through multiple design passes. He definitely cares how they're depicted.
Are the two Shardbearers sparring at the bottom of the page holding Mayalaran and Oathbringer?
Not Oathbringer for sure, because we have a particular Oathbringer design. That chopper is of no particular provenance at this time, at least that I know of.
Though it's not unheard of for Brandon to pick a design that I had thought of as being "throwaway" and elevate it to something significant. :)
Do Shardblades cut as well as like an ideal wedge in a perfect world or better than that?
I would say better than. Because they can cut the spirit, too. The soul.
If a Mistborn were to burn a piece of a Shardblade, what would happen?
This would be hard to make happen, but it would be possible. A Shardblade is going to act as, basically, an alloy of the god metal of Honor and so what would it do? RAFO, but it is possible and it would do something. It would not be inert. It would be Allomanticaly viable.
So we know that Nightblood was created by people who had some knowledge of Shardblades.
But we also know that Nightblood consumes Breaths when it's used.
So do Shardblades require that kind of energy? It doesn't seem like they--
So why are they different?
Because they were made with different magic systems, by different people, and different styles.
Is Shardplate made of the same material as Shardblades? Is there a difference in material between a "dead" Shardblade and a living one?
You can generally look at all three as being the same material.
You were the illustrator for Shallan's sketches of Shardblades, right? If so, huge props for Sunraiser - it's so interesting that you chose such an iconic and historically accurate design, yet still managed to ornament it in a believable Shardblade style. I'd definitely buy one for HEMA if replicas existed, which is something I wouldn't say for most fantasy swords.
For those of us who know what that style was used for, it has some odd implications - like the fact that someone at some point was halfswording with a Shardblade, and seeing fantasy authors acknowledge halfswording always makes me geek out! Was this design a specific order from Brandon or were you just tasked with making a more knightly sword for the king and did your own research?
So, there's a few different things going on here.
One is that, way early into the project, I did a bunch of silhouette studies for Brandon so that we could zero in on just how nutty he wanted Blades to be. From those studies he's picked out a few that we referred to when drawing the Blades in Oathbringer, and one of those in particular became Sunraiser.
He did specify that he wanted Sunraiser to be simple and traditional and purposefully in contrast with other Blades. The long ricasso wasn't a call for half-swording in particular, but that doesn't preclude the use of that technique, and it's likely that the original spren that became Sunraiser was probably used by a Radiant with some experience in wielding oversized two-handed blades.
From a Watsonian perspective, it's worth remembering that Shardblades are impractical interpretations of practical tools. Spren made themselves into what they thought swords were, but because of their nature the result became more about the spirit or the concept of a sword than about the requirements of forgery or physics or the practical needs of sticking pointy bits into other people.
When someone is "killed" by a Shardblade, their soul is understood to be severed. What do Vorin practitioners believe happens to the soul if it is severed? Does this mean that the soul cannot go to the Tranquiline Halls? If this is the case, why are Shardbearers/Blades so revered rather than feared or hated?
Vorin belief doesn't take being killed by a Shardblade as destroying the soul, likely because of Knight Radiant traditions.