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?
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--
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Can Shardblades kill spren?
I know at the end of Words of Radiance Syl shows she can turn into different forms, not just a sword. Why do they not-- Or why do none of the other past Radiants really show that they have done that. Because normally in the flashbacks they are shown just being swords.
So the shardblades came from spren seeing the Honorblades, which were created for mankind, and being like "I can do that". That is what they were imitating.
So that's what they wanted--
No, that's how they see themselves and how they are seen. They can change into other things--
They just never--
But when you let go of one it's going to become a sword again.
Oh, I just meant in all the visions they were always portrayed as swords. Was that just for--
That's cultural, like this is-- One thing that is interesting is you are going to see that the new Radiants don't have-- I mean the Radiants you have seen almost all of them are after thousands of years of Radiants and Orders and you have certain things that you do.
So the writing reason was I didn't want to give away--
That's what I was going to ask.
There is a writing reason behind it. I didn't want to do that and give too much away. I already worried that having Syl shift shapes as often as she did through the first book was going to be a big clue to people and I wanted to hold off on giving away too much.
So Stormlight and Breath are both just different manifestations of Investiture.
So Nightblood and Shardblades are both kind of powered by Investiture?
Yes, in fact you can call Nightblood kind of a miss-made, evil Shardblade... more miss-made than evil but yes.
But a Shardblade wouldn't shear through Nightblood.
Yes a Shardblade would not shear through Nightblood. In fact I wrote Way of Kings first and then I wrote Warbreaker and Way of Kings came out after Warbreaker but in my mind Warbreaker is a prequel to Way of Kings, where I was telling Vasher's backstory.
Oh really, so the Warbreaker we know takes place after Way of Kings?
No, it takes place before, it's a prequel meaning I wrote Way of Kings and then I went back in time and told Vasher's backstory but Warbreaker ended up coming out first because Way of Kings wasn't ready yet.
What inspired the sword stances in The Way of Kings? Windstance and stonestance--
Yeah, it was old-school, what they call-- the old books that you would see-- sword training guides. Where you would see a guy in a stance, and then go like this, and things. I just thought they were really interesting, and I developed the stances around that.
The metal of Shardblades. Cultivationspren versus honorspren, for example. Are they different metals?
No, but good question.
Are all orders the same alloy, essentially?
Yes. There's a little asterisk on there, but not in the way you're asking... You could call those all the same alloy. Because the mixture to different spren is different, I think that you could argue that each one is its own alloy.
So, different proportions of tanavastium?
Yes, but it doesn't quite work that way with these magics, right? I'm going to say that's up to the individual cosmerologist who is in the world, the arcanist, defining it. You would be able to find enough differences to legitimately call them different alloys if you wanted to.
Would you say different ratios of the same two metals?
Yes. They are not going to have a third one in them, if that's what you're asking. But it doesn't quite work that way. Like, if you were going to take brass, you could measure the exact percentage. In this case, it is a thing; it's not like you could divide it up and split them apart, because they are a thing. And that thing would be called one thing.
But you won't say what that thing is called?
No, I won't say what that thing is called. But I think you and the 17th Sharders and folks that are dividing them would prefer to call them ten different things, and I think their nomenclature would be relevant.
Is there a correlation, at all, between Awakening steel, a blade, and the revival of spren every time a shardblade is summoned? I mean, I know Invesiture is Investiture is Invesiture.
So revival of the spren so--
Okay. So, are you talking about a live shardblade or a dead one, or it doesn’t matter.
Awakening the steel, like that, Shardblades <are like Awakening metal> and stuff.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. The big difference here is that in one you’re using a physical component, right, and investing it. In another, a more pure Invesiture is passing into the Physical Realm and taking on an embodiment, a shape. Does that make sense? And so, similar but different things. There is a correlation, but it’s not--yeah.
Did Vasher visit Roshar before the Recreance? Because he had-- *Brandon mumbles question* Because he had to see Shardblades, and... presumably live ones.
Yeah... I'll RAFO that. I'll RAFO that. It is an assumption that he had... He doesn't necessarily have to have seen alive ones. He could have heard records of them.
Okay. Because I've tried to make out a timeline, to be like, "Okay, if this is here..."
Kara has a timeline-- Not Kara-- Karen has a timeline in hand. But I would have to look at it to give you exact dates, but yeah.
Okay. So you didn't have to see...
He did not have to see.