Aug 14 2014 12:00pm

Words of Radiance Reread: Chapter 9

Welcome back to the Words of Radiance Reread on! Last week we left Shallan’s soulcast boat water to return to the Shattered Plains (much to Carl’s unexpected chagrin), watching Dalinar trying to play politics on a plateau run, with limited success. This week we’re back in the chasms with Kaladin and company, talking about spren and rites of passage.

This reread will contain spoilers for The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and any other Cosmere books that become relevant. Be warned! There’s nothing in the post, but the comments are a wilde beastie, full of unpredictability and occasional rotspren.

Chapter 9: Walking the Grave

Point of View: Kaladin
Setting: A chasm near the Kholin warcamp
Symbology: Spears, Nalan


IN WHICH a group of bridgemen reenter the chasms as an unofficial initiation; an exceedingly messy grave is observed and poked about in; many spren are discussed; Kaladin’s irrational fears are addressed but not solved; hints are dropped; and theories are triggered. (Oh wait—that’s the commentary, not the chapter.)


Quote of the Week:

“You,” Syl said. “You’re going to need to become what Dalinar Kholin is looking for. Don’t let him search in vain.”

“They’ll take it from me, Syl,” Kaladin whispered. “They’ll find a way to take you from me.”

“That’s foolishness. You know that it is.”

“I know it is, but I feel it isn’t. They broke me, Syl. I’m not what you think I am. I’m no Radiant.”

“That’s not what I saw,” Syl said. “On the battlefield after Sadeas’s betrayal, when men were trapped , abandoned. That day I saw a hero.”

This is the core of most of Kaladin’s conflict in Words of Radiance. He doesn’t quite believe he’s becoming a Radiant; he doesn’t believe he can be a hero. Further, he not only can’t bring himself to trust a lighteyes, he’s convinced—against all evidence and logic—that if they see him becoming a Windrunner, there will be a way it can be taken away from him. Oh, the irony… It will, of course, be taken away from him. By his own stubbornness, bitterness, and secretiveness, he will reach the point where his bond is stretched to the breaking point, and he himself will turn Syl away. This is one of the places where I want to reach into the book and either slap him or hug him. Better yet, both—but that slap would be a doozy! (My whole arm aches just thinking about it…)


Commentary: Poor Carl. I get all the good chapters! This one is loaded—not with action, but with hints and peeks and insights, mostly about spren. I’ll save that for Sprenspotting, but there’s other stuff here too.

We see progress with the bridgemen; Teft has apparently set up the twenty crews, with two potential leaders for each. Unfortunately, they don’t see themselves as leaders yet. Storms, they don’t even see themselves as soldiers yet! They’re still just bridgemen, and not even special Bridge Four men; just plain, ordinary, beat-down, run-down, lowest-of-the-low bridgemen. The idea of entering the chasms, walking the grave, as a rite of passage… that is both weird and inspired. It makes sense. I think.

Speaking of the chasms, we talked about this on the spoiler thread a bit. Is Sadeas the only one salvaging in the chasms? Or only those who follow his lead in bridge-running? Granted that there’s a lot of debris to sort through (making it a perfect job for grinding people down and a lousy one for treating people well), it seems like there are a lot of valuable spheres lying around down there, and a fair pile of weaponry that could be recovered. Dalinar seems to have made no effort at all to reclaim any of it.

(Also, if this is where all the bodies from all the battles wash up after a highstorm, doesn’t it stink down here? And doesn’t that smell rise? I want to know why the warcamps don’t reek of decay.)

Syl’s frustration with not knowing what she knows is not only hilarious, it’s painful. She knows about Cryptics, but she doesn’t know what she knows about them. She knows it’s vital that the Radiants be refounded, but she doesn’t know quite why, or how. Still, I loved the hint:

“There are others like you,” Syl whispered. “I do not know them, but I know that other spren are trying, in their own way, to reclaim what was lost.”

I am also extremely frustrated with it (insert visual of me yanking my hair out to the sides), because it’s another case where we know more than the characters who need to know what we know, and we’d really like them to figure it out NOW ALREADY, but of course that isn’t going to happen because a) there wouldn’t be much of a story and b) it wouldn’t be realistic inside the story for them to know what we know. (That’s… really quite a sentence, yes? No. Ouch.) We need the Knights Radiant to be refounded soon. We need them to develop their skillsets very, very quickly. We need them to find each other and work together. We need them to do it before everything goes down the big swirly, but the swirl is picking up speed faster than they are.

And… we’re back to slowly building the bridgemen into soldiers and bodyguards. SANDERSOOOON! (There’s definitely a love/hate thing going on up in here.)

At least they found a good Windrunner training ground.


Sprenspotting: The list of spren we see or hear about in this chapter is impressive: gloryspren, dangerous stormspren like red lightning, Cryptics, rotspren, lifespren, spren like living lights in the air, windspren, honorspren, other Radiant-making spren, Stormfather. There are questions, too: why can’t spren attract spren, could a spren have made the Stormwatch glyphs, where did Syl (and the rest of the spren) come from before entering the physical realm?

So. Syl’s pout is absolutely hilarious:

“Has it ever struck you as unfair that spren cannot attract spren? I should really have had some gloryspren of my own there.”

As I recall, we had an extended discussion on gloryspren in the spoiler thread, too. FWIW, I’ve decided that whatever attracts them—whether it’s a feeling of accomplishment, a definite accomplishment, the adulation of others, or what you will—they are rightly called gloryspren because that’s what the Rosharans call them.

(It’s like the debate over why Tolkein-the-great-philologist would use such a boring, ordinary name as “Mount Doom.” In truth, he had other names for it, like Orodruin and Amon Amarth, but the ordinary people simply called it Mount Doom—as ordinary people are wont to do. We misname or over-simplify things all the time. It’s easier, and sometimes far more descriptive of our understanding than a more technically correct term.)

In any case, Kaladin gets gloryspren because Teft has become a real leader, and poor Syl gets none because she’s a spren. Anyone want to take bets on whether that will change as she and Kaladin develop their Radiance? She seems to be gaining mass, becoming more strongly a part of the physical realm; will she someday be so physically present that she can attract spren, too?

This is our first glimpse, albeit secondhand, of stormspren. “Spren like red lightning. Dangerous spren. Spren I haven’t seen before. I catch them in the distance, on occasion. Stormspren? Something dangerous is coming….” I don’t think I caught the significance of this the first time through; not until the later references to red lightning illuminated it. Well, that discussion can wait for the Interludes.

And then there’s this, which almost made QOTW:

She nodded, alighting in the air and settling down, her legs crossed at the knees as if she were primly seating herself in an invisible chair. She continued to hover there, moving exactly in step with him.

“Giving up all pretense of obeying natural laws again, I see,” he said.

“Natural laws?” Syl said, finding the concept amusing. “Laws are of men, Kaladin. Nature doesn’t have them!”

“If I toss something upward, it comes back down.”

“Except when it doesn’t.”

“It’s a law.”

“No,” Syl said, looking upward. “It’s more like . . . more like an agreement among friends.”

Oh, my. My poor brain might be breaking right there. It implies, at least, that from Sylphrena’s perspective, physics on Roshar is more subject to the spren than I had expected. Does this mean that the Surges are always controlled by the spren, or is it merely that the spren can affect them whenever they want? Which is cause, and which is effect?

It’s also giving me ideas about the pairing of spren. I’m looking at my chart of Orders and Surges, and I’m thinking. (A dangerous pastime, I know.) If honorspren are linked to windspren, it seems logical that highspren would be linked to gravityspren; the Dustbringers major spren will be linked to the minor decayspren or possibly rotspren; etc. But now I have an even better idea. What if the major spren (for lack of a better term—the bonding spren like Syl, Glys, Ivory, Pattern, and Wyndle) are actually linked to two minor spren—the ones that control the Surges for that Order? So Syl, an honorspren, would have a connection to windspren (Adhesion) and gravityspren (Gravitation); the highspren would connect to gravityspren (Gravitation) and decayspren (Division); Wyndle would have a connection to the spren for Friction (maybe heatspren?) and lifespren (Progression); Glys to Lifespren (progression) and Creationspren (illumination)… Whatcha think? By this theory, it would perhaps take both windspren and gravityspren to form Kaladin’s Plate. I sure can’t prove it, but it makes a certain amount of sense to me in that it provides a rationale for one type of spren (e.g. honorspren) to grant control of two Surges.

One last question for you on spren:

Syl landed on the side of the pool, looking like a woman standing on an ocean’s shore. Kaladin frowned, leaning down to inspect her more closely. She seemed . . . different. Had her face changed shape?”

What’s with that? A fleeting change so subtle he wasn’t sure if he’d imagined it, which says to me he obviously hadn’t imagined it, and it’s significant somehow. Thoughts? Speculation?


Heraldic Symbolism: Nalan: Just / Confident. Judge. Why is he here? I’ve got nothing tonight… You? (Heh. Maybe it’s that “opaque gas, smoke, fog” thing rising from the rotting mess in the chasm.)


Finally, can I get a big cheer for the team at, who manage to get these posts up on time even when I submit them at past midnight PDT? They still have stuff to do after I upload it—and they keep managing to do it in spite of my crazy timing. (The summer of the flu and the walking pneumonia… This stuff is killing my concentration!)

Alice Arneson is a long-time commenter and Sanderson beta-reader. She has been a fantasy lover since the age of eight, when her third-grade teacher loaned her his copy of The Hobbit. (Thanks, Mr. Hamilton!) She’s also a full-time wife & mom with degrees in engineering, literature, and chemistry. Nice combination, eh?

1. Mooglefrooglian
Re: Nalan symbols, I expect it has to do with the discussion of natural laws, and also the themes of Kaladin feeling less than confident with his own ability to be a Radiant.

As to the windspren/gravityspren idea, I'm not sure at all. Syl was mistaken for a windspren for a long time, and WoB is that they are cousins. I expect Skybreaker spren to be cometspren, so it'd be pretty hard to mistake one for a windspren.

I'm uncertain though... I don't expect Shardplate to be made of spren, I expect it to be made sort of like a fabrial. It'll obviously involve the spren at some point, though.

Syl's face changing ever so slightly as she talks about the other spren seeking to bond people is suspicious, I agree with you there. I spent a few minutes rereading when I came to that part, but I wasn't able to make sense of why her face would change or what it could mean.
Glen V
2. Ways
These short chapters, they are so frustratingly short. The next one...well, hopefully we'll get some Shallan backstory discussion going.

ETA-I do agree with Alice, though, that this chapter is packed with goodies.
Alice, I hope that you recover quickly from your recent ailments. I just noticed that you have a degree in chemistry amongst your other academic credentials. Perhaps we'll yet get a chance to discuss some chemistry in the Stormlight series. As to your interesting comments, I believe that Nalan is the featured Herald in this chapter since it deals with Kaladin in the chasms and is entitled, "Walking the grave". Nalan is the Herald most associated with death given his fixation on killing Radiant candidates. He also has Nightblood, whose motto appears to be, "whom shall we kill today". As to the chasm symbolism, it can serve as an inspiration to the still beaten-down former bridgemen. Besides serving a model for the transformation of the Bridge 4 crew into an effective and confident group, it teaches that bridgemen aren't the lowest, most beaten-down group - the dead in the chasms are. In contrast to the latter, the bridgemen can rise and become the equal of those fellows on the surface. As to the temporary, subtle change in Syl's facial appearance, we've seen several instances of such a transformation. Two occurred when Syl took on a protective role in defending Kaladin against the highstorm in WOK, and keeping the deathspren at bay while he started to recover from his serious, storm- afflicted injuries. I don't recall, at the moment, the context of her current transformation. Perhaps it hints at her determination to mold Kaladin into Radiant material.
Adam S.
Thanks Alice, great read as usual. I've been trying to figure out the spren link to shardplate forever (well, a while at least). I still got nothing. I think they're formed from spren- the fact that they can disappear and reappear at will (like the helm in Dalinar's visions in WOK) seems to imply a spren component- but there still isn't enough info as to which specific spren form the plate, or if the main bonding spren are involved (like when Kal eventually forms plate, will Syl be involved at all? Will she communicate with the windspren for him, or will he form a bond directly with wind spren? Or are we totally off base with our windspren assumptions?).
The line about Syl looking different caught my attention, too, but I have no idea what is different about her or what it means. For such a smart and on observant dude, Kaladin really gets on my nerves sometimes (in multiple ways). That fear of the lighteyes "taking away" his bond is just painful. I wanna see him kicked by big horneater feet, every time he mopes like that.
Teft again shows his merit, he definitely earns a competence-spren in my book.
Question from the spoilerish BWS quotes on goodread: If Parshendi are related to Horneaters, and Horneaters are related to some people in Jah Keved (like Shallan, with her red hair), does that mean that Shallan has Parshendi blood? That blows my mind.
Andrew Berenson
5. AndrewHB
Plotwise, this chapter does not do much. Yet, as Alice detailed above, it has a lot of worldbuilding info. I consider information about spren world building. Perhaps I should say "realm" building. As such, I do not have many initial comments.

Alice you said "(insert visual of me yanking my hair out to the sides)". Nice preview of things to come. Syl does this exact thing latter in the story.

Apropos of nothing, I would love to hear a conversation between Syl and Shallan. IMO, that would be quite humorous. Both Syl and Shallan are witty. I could probably listen to them for hours in the Storm Cellar -- provided I have enough pretezls (I prefer pretzels over popcorn).

Thanks for reading my museings,
(aka the musespren)
Glen V
6. Ways
Here's that Nalan=judge thing again. Somebody else asked about that last week or the week before. Is it because Nalan is the nominal head of the Skybreaker order and that order is more-or-less the supreme court on Roshar? Makes sense.

I believe Nalan is the Herald for this chapter because Syl has confidence in Kaladin (last paragraph of the QOTW).

Good question about the stench of death coming from the chasms. Perhaps it's just something the war camps take for granted, hence no comments. But oh wow, especially on a warm day.

My fav for QOTW (by Syl): (Spren) have to be consistent or we'll break your brains. Mwahahaha. An agreement among friends. Heh.

Hmmmm. Fearless Leader steps out on a limb with a nifty theory about the relationship between KR spren and everyday spren. I like it, since I have often wondered why proto-KsR don't have 2 bonded spren--one for each surge.

Not only did Kaladin think Syl's face had changed shape, he later thought she had mass (weight, if you must). Syl seems to have an increasing presence in the physical realm. Perhaps she'll be able to attract spren to herself as this progression continues. We also see a bit of sarcasm from Syl that I don't recall in earlier chapters.

Kaladin also thinks to himself that he'll always have his forehead scar. I expect it will heal when he stops thinking it.

Better living through chemistry. Bring it on.

Edited because TorDOTcom can't handle brackets and a couple typos. :-( And where's that "like" button?
Deana Whitney
7. Braid_Tug
Okay, based on Alice’s words, the Front End papers of WoK, and something said on Brandon’s Goodread question sections yesterday- I really think Alice has something with connecting a spren like Syl with two lesser spren. What do we call the Radiant making sprens? Midlevel?

They are not the great spren like the Stormfather, but defiantly not the lesser spren like wind. Radiant Level? Works for now.

The graphs all show one strong line and two smaller line connecting the various Radiant orders with each other. Many have correctly stated that they are related to the various bindings and powers of the Radiants. So why can’t they serve the double meaning of representing the lesser spren associated with each order?

All over the Stormlight Archives, every symbol serves more than one purpose.
So each order has it’s Radiant spren, which makes the person magical. But they also have the two powers for each order, which can also be represented by the lesser spren. Even if they don’t attract one particular lesser spren. But they could call upon the lesser sprens of their binding to help them out when needed.

Ooh… thought while typing. What if Windrunners could actually call upon the Windspren to help move them? To literally help them run on the wind? Even with low levels of stormlight? How would Kaladin’s journey in Book 3 be different?

And I’m glad the Bridgeman to solider rituals do not include harmful hazing. They have already been beaten down by life already. But I do wonder if any new men will be required to undergo the same “walking the grave” ritual. Then again, I guess all the current new soldiers are going into Dalinar’s regular army trained the normal way.
Glen V
8. Ways
Braid_Tug reminded me of something else with her mention of Great Spren (or Super Spren or whatever we are going to call them)...

Syl mentions something along the lines of defying Stormfather to enter the physical realm--in this chapter and elsewhere. And yet Glys, Ivory, Pattern, and Wyndle have not said anything like this, IIRC. So, is this because Syl is a spren of Honor (upper, male half of the orders/surges chart) and is under the "mentorship" of Stormfather, who doesn't appreciate what the former KsR did to "his" spren...//take a deep breath//...while the other KsR spren we've met are from the lower, female half of the chart, hence "of Cultivation" and an unknown Super Spren who don't mind humans refounding the Knights?
9. Capt D
I think Nalan might be the symbolic herald for this chapter because Kaladin begins to fall from his windrunner oaths and in stead becomes something much more like Nalan; consumed by his desire for revenge/justice. He can't trust lighteyes, they take everything from him, it is his calling to mete out justice to those who deserve it.

As to the chasms helping the bridgemen to change: I am active duty in the Air Force and I've learned that there is a great power in tradition. Having new cadets participate in traditions help them (and helped me) feel a part of the organization and to see themselves differently. I could see myself as part of the organization rather than simply observing from the outside. So to me, it is credible that bringing the men down into the chasms helps them feel a part of the new organization. These types of traditions help form a sense of belonging.
11. rDubs30
Hi all! This is my first post for the Stormlight Archive rereads but I hope to become a regular contributor. This series is so good! I just finished reading WoK and less than 3 weeks hahah. I'm happy to be doing a 3rd read of WoR with you guys!

I agree with Ways @6 in regards to Nale's relevance to this chapter. With Nale's traits being just and confident, I think Kaladin's confidence in Teft and Syl's confidence in Kaladin are the primary reason he gets the nod for this chapter.

Syl's changes since we first met her are really interesting and it's fun to speculate what she'll be able to do in the future. For instance, initially rain droplets had an impact on her form:

"She cowered down, kneeling on his palm, misty skirt around her legs, drops of rainwater passing through her and rippling her form" (WoK pg. 160)

However, we find that later in WoR that Syl has become more physically substantial:

"Syl shot out of the highstorm's dense darkness, a sudden flash of light in the black. She spun about Kaladin before coming to rest on the iron railing before him. Her dress seemed longer and more flowing than usual. The rain passed through her without disturbing her shape" (WoR pg 370)

Also in the quote above is a mention of her dress being different...not sure what that's about. Among other changes to Syl over time, this chapter mentions that Syl has a little weight now whereas she didn't initially and over the progression of the books her thoughts and understanding of the world have become more complex. Most of her changes appear to happen in dire are they all momentary changes or are they permanent from that point forward?

Granted that Syl carried blackbane in the WoK, I wonder if her more capable and substantial form now could affect the physical world even more. Could she carry a sphere? Maybe she should start curling blackbane leaves. I have to say that Pattern has the one up on Syl in respect to their affects in the physical world...unlocking doors is sure handy!

I wish I could add or even speculate on Syl's slight face change. It's worth mentioning that she changes her face in another part of the book where she spooks Sigzil in the chasm with his own face. I have a feeling that the face change in chapter 9 beside the violet pool is more profound and important though.

Regarding the spren Shardplate theory, it's worth noting that Kaladin has never heard screams when coming into contact with Shardplate as he does when touching a Shardblade. If Shardplates are made up of spren, one would assume these lesser spren that make up the Shardplate are also dead due to the broken oaths. Off the top of my head, Kaladin has touched Shardplate at least three times: one being in the lighteyes practice ground when Adolin launches him, another being when Kaladin dropkicks the crap out of Relis in the arena, and the third being when Moash hits him in the gut.

Two possible explanations in favor of Shardplate being made up of lesser spren are:
1) In each instance of Shardplate contact, Kaladin wasn't directly contacted by the Shardplate since each hit I believe was through clothing (could be wrong)
2) Only the dead higher spren (Shardblades) will cause Syl (or the dead spren?) to scream since the Knights' oaths were really to them; the lesser spren will not have this effect or bond.

Lastly, I agree with you guys that from an outside perspective Kaladin's stubborness and bitterness towards lighteyes is frustrating. However, given the oppression of his childhood and his betrayals by all other lighteyes to this point (not to mention he's only...20?!), I find his emotions to be believable and authentic. I appreciate that Kaladin didn't capitulate to Syl's viewpoints (which were more correct) and instead had to go through more harsh experiences to come to the same conclusions himself.

Whew! Sorry for the lengthy post. Hopefully I'll be able to pare these down in the future!
Heather LaCroix
12. Bellaberry
I wonder if Syl's face change is at all related to Cusicesh's face changes.
Alice Arneson
13. Wetlandernw
rDubs30 @11 - Hey, never apologize for a lengthy post around here! If you keep doing that, the rest of us will feel like we have to, and they’ll just get longer and longer with the apologies. ;)

Thanks for joining in; good thoughts there. Just to clarify, as much as I like to screech about certain character behaviors, I really wouldn’t have it any other way. The more I get mad at them, the more it means that Brandon did a good job of making them realistic – with all the believable character flaws real people have all the time. (If I were a character in a book, I’m pretty sure people would long for the opportunity to smack me, too, sometimes. Right, Tektonica?) So I’m not complaining about the way Kaladin is written – just reacting to him as if he were real.

@ all - I love the discussion on spren going on here. I want to write a better explanation of my thought process re: shardplate, so you can pick off the useful bits and run with them; last night I was trying to keep the word count down and get the post finished, so I didn’t do as much detail. But… that will have to wait until I have a little more time and a little less chaos around me so I can think.

Keep up the good work!
Deana Whitney
14. Braid_Tug
Random Thought:
If land is water, and water land in Shadesmar : how are sudden floods handled?
Does the ocean in Shadesmar suddenly ‘harden’ and create pathways of solid black ground?

Just thinking of what happens inside the chasms when it floods with the Highstorm.
And how Jasnah appeared at a river that can suddenly flood at the end of this book, so she’s traveling on a boat in Shadesmar, but gets to step onto solid ground to re-enter?

15. Xaladin
@11 Re: Shardplate. Didn't Kaladin touch Shardplate directly when he used a helmet as a shield?

Gloryspren and Bondsmiths?
Nadine L.
16. travyl
Interessting theory about Syl having two lesser spren associated to her. It fits the two surges, though something doesn't feel right. Syl names the Windspren her cousins, tells Kaladin, that without the bond she is basically one of them, and at the start she behaved a lot like them. If there were a second spren-type (gravity) which an equal connection as the windspren, I think we should have heard of / seen them before.

I'm so much in love with Kaladin, that I never had any problem with his story-arch.

I agree this chapter is loaded, but since we're going so slowly, it's pretty obvious and a little bit frustrating how much info-dump and how little forward-progress we have.
It's not a problem of the book, but of this reread. The first time around the infos were all new, but now they're not and the one-chapter-per-week pace doesn't help.
17. rDubs30
Thanks Alice!

@15 you're right! Guess either the deaths of the lesser spren don't evoke the screams or the Shardplate itself isn't made from lesser spren. I'm leaning towards the former since the Radiant in the vision could make her helm disappear and reappear. Seems a bit cold that Syl wouldn't be revolted by the Shardplate as well if it was made by dead lesser spren though
Alice Arneson
18. Wetlandernw
travyl @16 - we may look at the possibility of combining some of the shorter chapters, but we are also trying to give ourselves something to play with until book 3 comes out. Since Brandon has now said he expects to start focused writing on it in January or so, we're probably looking at a Fall 2016 release at the earliest. Granted that we can fill some of that with a Warbreaker reread to refresh our minds on Vasher and Nightblood, we don't entirely want to zip through the reread...
Adam S.
19. MDNY
Yes, Warbreaker!!!!!!!!! Woo-hoo! Me want!
20. JoeH42
@8 well the only other Super/major spren I can think of, who also happens to be feminine apparently, is the Nightwatcher (who also has a similar name to the Stormfather really)

So if your theory is along the right lines I'd say it's decent odds that she is the female counterpart to the Stormfather.
21. JoeH42
On a different subject, several people have referenced Kaladin making shardplate. I don't know what they are talking about or where they're getting this idea from so could someone explain that or tell me where there's a link to Brandon talking about it or whatever?

On a related subject, initially when we heard screams from the shardblades I had thought it was from the humans/mortals who had been killed by the blade. But once we found out where the shardblades originally came from I came to the conclusion that it's probably the screams of the spren. I don't know if this has been confirmed or denied or generally agreed upon so anyone who knows more about that subject, I'd appreciate any confirmation or refutal of my theory :)
Heather LaCroix
22. Bellaberry
Wetlandernw@18- I'm not convinced there is time for both this re read at this pace and Warbreaker before stormlight #3 Is it possible to eventually do Warbreaker on another day of the week?

JoeH42@20- Your mention of Nightwatcher and Stormfather having similar names made me realize that they also follow the Returned naming convention from Warbreaker. Maybe Brandon just likes that name cadence or maybe there's more to it.
June Williams
23. Windspren
How can nanlan be alive? He was a hearld right so didn, t they die like regular peoplle when they didnt go back to the , he?l cant remember prer name for the place, If they done die then is that why they act wrong?

the sharsplate issue I mentioned last chapter, but Alice took it a bit further than I had said, trying to keep mine short. Sly said once something about the windspren being cousins, vut didn, t she say something esle also along the lines they arent aware? Or not sentient

Teft , since he is an envisioner and recognized Kaladin for a possivle RK , then he will make the best trainer of the brodfe men je may start to fiind more RK

WoB on goodreads said Lift is the only one like her, does he mean she, ll be the only edge dancer?
David Foster
24. ZenBossanova
One thing I have had on my mind, is whether each surgebinder has equal strengths in each surge, and consequently, is equally related/tied to two different kind of spren. Perhaps, there is a primary surge, and a secondary surge. So Syl (or Sly) would be associated with the primary surge, but could also work with other spren (dullspren?) or perhaps simply windspren, to do the secondary surge and also armor.
David Foster
25. ZenBossanova
23. Windspren
Lift had the rather unique ability to turn digested food into Stormlight.
I think that is what is one-of-a-kind about her.
Adam S.
26. MDNY
@23 I agree with Zen@25. What's unique about Lift is her ability to use her own body to fuel her powers, instead of stormlight. It's apparently her boon (or curse?) from the Nightwatcher, so it's possible that someone else could be given the same ability, but doubtful. It's independent of her being an edgedancer, so other edgedancers could still exist/develop, but I was under the impression (from somewhere later in this book, I think) that they were never one of the more numerous orders, so there are likely to be way more windrunners, for example, than edgedancers.
Glen V
27. Ways
rDubs30 @11
Welcome aboard!

JoeH42 @20
I think it's a good bet that the Nightwatcher is Cultivation's Superspren. What I was trying to explore in that comment (perhaps not so coherently): the difference between Syl risking Stormfather's anger to enter the physical realm to find a human worthy of becoming a KR vs. Glys, Ivory, Pattern, and Wyndle who didn't have issues with Cultivation or her Superspren for doing the same. And that last part is a big IIRC because those spren possibly did have an issue with the boss that I don't recall. So, my reasoning is that Stormfather is ticked off about the whole concept of refounding the Knights Radiant due to (1) Tanavast's death/Honor's splintering, and/or (2) the "death" of all "his" spren when the Knights gave it up in the Recreance. I don't recall which event happened first (do we know for sure?), if it really matters, but the combination of the 2 may have unbalanced Stormfather a bit. Since Cultivation's Suprerspren presumably had to deal with the "death" of all her KR spren during the Recreance also, Tanavast's death likely plays a larger role. Or I am totally off the wheels here b/c Glys, Ivory, Pattern, and Wyndle do have issues with the boss. Finally, Dalinar and Stormfather reach an agreement toward the end of WoR (albeit grudgingly on Stormfather's part), so perhaps Stormfather is getting back in the groove at that point and accepting that the Knights are necessary again to combat the Everstorm and keep Roshar from going belly-up or Odium from winning or whatever.

There seem to be some differences in the world-view of the Superspren and KR spren in top (male Heralds) and bottom (female Heralds) halves of the orders/surges graphic. Does it mean anything? I'm not sure, but this is BWS' work, so probably yes. "I'm just looking for clues at the scene of the crime." And speculating wildly.

And @21
Not sure what's up with Kaladin making shardplate. When he becomes a full KR he will have shardplate, but we don't know how that comes about and are speculating on that topic in the discussion about the "secondary" spren.

It's at least generally accepted that the screams a proto-KR hears when touching a shardblade are those of the "dead" spren that formed the blade in pre-Recreance days. I tried to find a reference confirming, but failed. My memory, she is not so good. That's why I'm full-on into this reread.
28. scm of 2814
On spren and natural laws: I don't know if someone has presented this theory yet in these comments or elsewhere in the rereads, but Syl's comment about what we'd thinkk of as 'naturals laws' being 'agreements between friends' makes a certain maount of sense, for Roshar. and handily explains most known forms of surgebinding. We assume that Surgebinder powers happen in this order: proto-radiant takes in Stormlight/Investiture -> spren through bond process stormlight into 'messing with natural law radiant is connected to' -> Radiant directs how said natural law is messed with. That's essentially how gravity-based Windrunning and Light-based Illusion is working out. Something similar probably happens with Soulcasting. Is the force invovled with it atomic bonds? In any case, that's our understanding for now.

BUT! Taking Syl's statement's as mostly accurate, then we might have an alternate explanation. Let's take Windrunning as an example. Gravity is a thing, so there's a high chance we've got some kind of gravity spren on Roshar. Combining that with the Jasnah piece (do you know the one?) where Ivory says Stormlight is currency in Shadesmar, the process might actually be: proto-radiant takes in Stormlight/Investiture -> spren through bond
takes stormlight and in Shadesmar trades it to related natural law spren (gravity spren) -> Radiant directs how said natural law is messed with.

After all, if natural laws are agreements between friends, then it could be that surgebinding powers are literally favors to friends, in exhcange for stormlight. In essence, the spren the Radiant is bonded to is actingas middleman to exchange the stormlight (or possibly 'deal', if stormlight is some kind of spren drug instead of spren currency). Magic in Roshar is actually spren bribery, graft and corruption! Literally! The Nahel Bond 'grafts' a spren to a proto-radiant, after all...
29. silvermonarch
@24 re: primary / secondary surges

The concept of a primary / secondary surge put me in mind of how Jasnah is better at soulcasting certain substances, while Shallan seems to have a knack at others. Consider how Jasnah has a preference to soulcast smoke, fire, and crystal, with difficulty in soulcasting jam. Also consider how the 2 times we see Shallan successfully soulcast is with blood and water, while having a harder time trying to make fire. Does anyone have an opinion on whether the two orders sharing an ability might approach it in a differnt manner? Will each be better at certain aspects of the ability than the other order?

@28: I love the idea of the Radiant spren 'dealing' stormlight to the natural spren! That sounds so funny!
30. Avbreaksbad
I don't know if I'm the only one, but every time I see someone type "Sandersoooon!", I read it as Sander-soon, as in, give me the answers soon/now! I guess it's the old "Please give me more patience Lord, but can you hurry up with it?!!"
Glen V
31. Ways
I would expect Jasnah to be better at soulcasting oils, given her order and its Herald's (Battar) soulcasting property. Smoke, fire and crystal should be prefered media for Skybreakers, Dustbringers and Edgedancers, respectively (ETA-if they had access to the transformation surge). Something doesn't add up right here.
Alice Arneson
32. Wetlandernw
Ways @31 - I've been repeatedly reminded lately that the Ars Arcanum, the diagram, and a lot of what we "know" about the Heralds are "idealizations" and not necessarily exact rules. In this case, while a particular gemstone in the Ars Arcanum might have specific soulcasting properties associated with it, it isn't necessarily a given that every individual member of the Knights Radiant Order associated with that gemstone would have those exact strengths.

FWIW, I would strongly suspect that in a (real) soulcaster fabrial, the gemstones in it would heavily influence, or perhaps dictate, the product of the soulcasting. A person using the Surge of Transformation, however, is clearly able to choose the form the product will take - as witness Jasnah soulcasting the jam. (Or the people, for that matter.) The reason the jam turned out so awful is that she'd never even seen it before and didn't know what the result should be, not necessarily because her Order has trouble with fruit.
Adam Bodestyne
33. thanners
and I’m thinking. (A dangerous pastime, I know.)
There are many phrases that are have automatic pairings in my head like this, as a result of movies/musicals/etc. As soon as I say or think the phrase, my mind either automatically supplies the next line, or replays it as spoken by the character with whom I associate the phrase.

Hmm, I hadn't really taken note of Syl's various changes in appearance. I think I'll look more closely at them next time. I'm also curious about how many times she's appeared as a full-sized woman, and whether it takes her much extra effort to do so.
Alice Arneson
34. Wetlandernw
thanners @33 - Yup. And about half the time, I just go ahead and type it in...

I'm pretty sure I noticed Syl's change the first time, but didn't spend any time thinking about it. This time I was looking closely at things, and it practically grabbed me by the throat and shook me. Whenever something odd happens, and the character shrugs it off as imagination or unimportant, you just KNOW it has to be important somehow. Why waste words on it otherwise? So... now I want to know.
David Foster
35. ZenBossanova
The transformation of Syl that always struck me the hardest, was at the end of Way of Kings, when she is suddenly, no longer miniscule. She is full grown, full sized woman, right before Kaladin decides to rescue Dalinar's army.

I knew that was significant, but I am still not sure what that significance is/was.
Robert Dickinson
36. ChocolateRob
Could it be that the Subspren (or whatever we're calling them) don't bond directly with the Knight but are instead crafted and controlled by the already bonded Spren. Basically when Kaladin and Syl are bonded strongly enough she gains some control over lesser Spren and is able to craft them into Plate, Syl knows when to banish/summon the helmet or whatever else due to her bond with Kal. These Spren do not have Syl's level of sentience and so do not die if the Oaths are Broken but without Syl controlling them they lose their glow and are stuck as full Plate.
37. birgit
Maybe when Kal looks closely at Syl he looks into Shadesmar and sees her form there.
Maiane Bakroeva
38. Isilel
Speaking of the other bonded spren - didn't Ivory tell Jasnah that he bonded her in defiance of other spren of his type/tribe too? I seem to remember something along these lines.
Wyndle, OTOH, has been sent out by a commitee and directed by them to bond Lift. He also had some unspecified help and protection during his crossing to the cognitive realm, so he should know more about relevant issues than either Syl or Ivory.
And, of course, we have no clue about Glys so far.
Adam S.
39. MDNY
I'm confused by all this soulcasting talk. I thought each power was only shared by the 2 orders that overlap sharing it. So what is all this talk of Jasnah soulcasting certain things better, but all 10 orders soulcasting what is associated with their order? Isn't soulcasting only available to a couple of orders?
Jane Smyth
40. Kaboom
Here's a possibly crazy idea I had today while reading the comments.
It's about the shardblade. Many are refering them to be "dead" spren and that the screams that are heard are coming from the "dead" spren.

I would like to propose that these sprens are not dead but broken and thus stuck as a blade. They were broken when the radiants broke the bond with them. When Pattern had a discussion with Shallan when Shallan was healing her injured feet, he was surprised that Shallan could become "unbroken". He also mentioned that when sprens brake they could not become unbroken without major help. I like to think that at some point in the story, the new radiants will figure this out and heal the broken sprens thus freeing them from the blade shape and that this fact will improve the relationship between sprens and humans permiting many new people to become radiants.

Another piece of evidence to support this theory if I remember correctly is that they have to attach a gem to the blade before they can bind with it. This may give the energy necessary to the broken spren for it to be able to bond again.
I don't know about other instances of Syl appearing full-size, but when she does so at a pivotal moment in Kaladin's life, it appears to have a message. Syl looks in anguish at the betrayed and besieged Alethi army of Dalinar, and appears in the form of a normal-sized woman. The message appears to be, "Look at me and my anguish at what is happening, and do something. Protecting and leading is your mission, and the reason I entered this physical world against Stormfather's wishes. Together we have the ability to change a tragic situation. Don't let the opportunity pass."
David Foster
42. ZenBossanova
36. ChocolateRob Very interesting! I like it.

40. Kaboom Yes, Broken/Dead

I asked Brandon how hard it would be to fix those spren, and he indicated it would be very, VERY hard by cosmere terms to fix that, because part of the spren's soul had been ripped out and destroyed.
Alice Arneson
43. Wetlandernw
Good stuff this morning!

ChocolateRob @36 – I like that idea; it makes sense to me. All of it, really. It’s even possible that a minor spren (subspren? Lessspren? Non-sentientspren? We need to pick a name!) could be any type, and not necessarily just (e.g. for Windrunners) windspren. Of course, that last bit would blow my other theory away, but that’s okay too. Also, since the spren forming the Plate are not actually bonded, a broken bond would only lock them in place (which they don’t mind, being non-sentient?) and not kill them.

Isilel @38 – Yes. Ivory and Wyndle gave clear indications of their individual backstory, as has Syl. Pattern and Glys really haven’t so much, though I have a vague recollection of Pattern saying something about going against the rules a bit. (Anyone help me out here?) The Stormfather, of course, is a different situation altogether.

MDNY @39 – You’re correct, of course; not quite sure how that slipped by me. Only Lightweavers and Elsecallers have access to Transformation, and it’s a fair bet they aren’t limited to the properties associated with the gemstone associated with their Orders! Which probably indicates that the soulcasting properties listed in the Ars Arcanum are a function of how particular gemstones process the Stormlight in a fabrial, though it could also be even less scientific than that – as in, mere traditional associations, and nothing to do with real soulcasting at all. Or it could be more; it might be that the choice of gemstones makes it easier to do certain kinds of Transformations.

This is supported by The Lesson in TWoK; Jasnah had her “fabrial” set with ruby, diamond, and smokestone, and used them to turn the assailants into fire, crystal and smoke respectively. In fact, the diamond dimmed noticeably when she turned the man to crystal, and the smokestone cracked when she turned the last two to smoke. So… my best guess is that a Soulcaster (the person) can probably effect any transformation they want with practice, but it’s made easier or harder by the gemstones they use for the Stormlight source.

In fabrials, though… I sort of assume that a particular type of spren must be captured to form a particular type of fabrial, and so that shouldn’t play into it. I.e., I’m assuming that the specific type of spren associated with Transformation must be captured to make a Soulcaster fabrial. If this is true, the resulting material would not be a function of the spren, but a function the gemstones holding the Stormlight. Does that make sense any more…?

Kaboom @40 – I’ve been hoping for almost a year now that Adolin (who talks to his Blade and refuses to name it because it probably already has a name of its own) will be able to bring his “dead” spren back to life. Brandon has indicated that it would be very, very difficult, bordering on impossible, to do so; from the way he worded it, I got the impression that it’s not something that will happen, but he didn’t want to call it impossible. I’ll try to find the quote and revisit that. (Okay, Zen already did that @42. So… there it is.)

For what it’s worth, when Syl and Kaladin are talking about the Blades in chapter 87, they both use the term “dead spren”, but Syl explains that “…they live again a little when someone summons them, syncing a heartbeat to their essence.” When Kaladin objects to something being “a little alive” she further explains that “We’re spren. We’re forces. You can’t kill us completely. Just . . . sort of.” More, “Break a rock, and it’s still there. Break a spren, and she’s still there. Sort of. Break a person, and something leaves. Something changes. What’s left is just meat. You’re weird.”
Brianna Schneider
44. Halien
"Dead" spren does seem like it could be shorthand for an excruciating stasis inflicted on a spren when it is "broken" by its bonded human. Part of me wonders if this state is similar to what the Heralds are forced to endure between Desolations, trapped and tortured in a place far from home.

The idea of a major/minor surge in the pair for each Knightly order is appealing to me because it offers more variety. If each order was equally proficient with both powers, that's a lot of overlap seemingly making the orders less diverse/interesting. Does the order in which abilities are "unlocked" by the progression of a proto-Radiant's speaking of an order's ideals tell us anything about which is major and which is minor? Does the sequence proto-Radiants receive their powers stay constant across an entire order?

Jasnah learned Soulcasting first and seems quite proficient at it by the time we meet her in WoK. She's comfortable with Shadesmar and her limitations within it. Shallan, meanwhile, learns a little Soulcasting and then a lot more Illumination. Soulcasting seems much more difficult and high-stakes for her, but I don't think we have a good way of knowing if that's personal to her or common to her order. It isn't until WoR when we see Jasnah begin to use her second surge.

I think we're missing something when it comes to the origins of Shardplate, but we don't have much to go on at this time. I hope there's more to it than just "lesser" spren as raw materials. Is there any information indicating whether the installation of the gems that power Shardplate is original to the item or a later addition, like the gems in the pommels of Shardblades?

Speaking of the relationship between bonding spren and their "lesser" cousins, WoR teases the concept of Squires among the KR. I wonder if the bonding spren have an equivalent capability to recruit and direct other spren too.
Cheryl Sanders
45. RestlessSpirit
Regarding the change in Syl's form, I have to agree with birgit @ 37. I have re-read that passage numerous times, I highlighted it with a note on my initial read of the book, wondering if it was the manifestation of some "power" (for lack of a better term) that Syl couldn't remember and was doing subconsciously. However, when I read birgit's explanation it just made too much sense. We've seen every other spren in Shadesmar except for Syl.
Deana Whitney
46. Braid_Tug
@45: I'm starting to wonder can the Windrunners go into Shadesmar? I guess they could if they encounter one of the stable link points between the two realms. But it seems like the powers and system we have seen so far for them, nothing would allow them the power to travel there like Shallan and Jasnah can.
47. Jimmre
@46 I seem to remember Kaladin (while learning to control lashings on a wild run) at one point lashed to what I believed was Shadesmar. He cut it off abruptly. I may be misremembering or may not have understood it correctly when I read. But that's what I thought was happening. If so, then yes it would seem he could enter Shadesmar.
48. Cathy/greytfriend
I'm in no hurry to rush through re-reading this book. Even if the chapter is short, taking the time to read everyone's comments too is what makes it so interesting. You all pick up so much more than I do, plus have seen all of BS's interviews and appearances that I've missed. But I'd definitely be up for a Warbreaker re-read too. I went through a lot of the Annotations on Brandon's site when I read this book to try to remind me of some of the details, but I'd love to really go through it with all of you guys.
49. Jimmre
Sorry for the double post but I can't edit. The idea of Kaladin being able to enter Shadesmar seems more plausible with the section just released. When Jasnah thinks of how she enetered it reads:

"How had it happened? The academic wanted to record her experiences and tease out the process, so that perhaps she could replicate it. She’d used Stormlight, hadn’t she? An outpouring of it, thrust into Shadesmar. A lash which had pulling her, like gravitation from a distant place, unseen..." (I added the bold)

That sounds a lot like a certain Windrunner that we know.
Nadine L.
50. travyl
@21, JoeH42
To expand upon Way's answer @27 to your question about Kaladin making shardplate.
There was quite a bit of discussion on the spoiler-thread. We theorized, that since Syl becomes Kaladin's "Shardblade" (as Pattern does for Shallan), it logically follows, that the Shardplate might have been made by spren as well.
We discusses several theories and concluded it wouldn't make sense for Syl to become both Blade and Plate. Then there is the scene at the end, where the flying Kaladin is surrounded by Windspren ....
To give you a link:
MagnusMuses @141 on the spoiler thread might have been the first to mention it on tor
Braid_Tug @953 reported to have asked about the topic an got an RAFO.
Adam S.
51. MDNY
@Wet 43- Thanks for the confirmation. The listing of gemstones associated with each order might still be relevant, in a sense of each order's ability to use stormlight in general (e.g. Windrunners are most efficient using sapphires, lightweavers use emeralds best, and Elsecallers are best with garnets, which could explain why Jasnah called for a garnet when Shallan was sick from the poison). Or, I could be wrong. It's still not clear exactly what all the relationships in those charts signify.
52. rDubs30
@40 I like your theory! Here's a quote that supports it:

"'Mad' has two definitions," Shallan said. "One means to be angry. The other means broken in the head."
"Ah," Pattern said, "like a spren who has lost his bond."
(WoR pg 763).

I could have sworn that Pattern had another quote that said something along the lines of "the spren from the Recreance returned to everything" but I couldn't find it. Maybe it was Syl that said it or Wyndle. Or I could have just recalled incorrectly. Bah!
Glen V
53. Ways
Wetlandernw @32
Umm, yes, good point about idealizations. I believe your @43 response to MDNY @39 really nails it though. And Jasnah used a garnet to purify Shallan's blood, so yeah.

Tangentially: I suppose Jasnah overtaxed the smokestone in her fake fabrial while soulcasting in the Kharbranth alley and that is why it cracked. I want to see the explanation for how that happened (did I miss it somewhere?).
54. Maxal
@40: It is a popular theory that Adolin is currently reviving his shardbalde by pouring his thoughts into it. He is also showing a great deal of respect by the way he refused to name it (because he did not know its real name) and by insisting it is alive. However, Brandon has more or less infirmed this theory:

Q: Is it possible then to reawaken a shard blade if that blade is wielded by someone who speaks the oaths of a Knights Radiant?
A: (Thinking)...Yes, but it would be extremely difficult. The spren in a shardblade are not trapped in a state of mid-transformation like the Elantrians. They are stuck in an agony cycle after having a significant portion of their consciousnesses ripped out of them. The Nahel bond is what allows Spren to think on material plane and that has been torn away. It would be like having a data jack installed and then having someone come up to your head and rip it out of your head.

Still, many of us like to think Adolin is a unique case and could pull it of, somehow. However, the chances of anyone else managing this feat are quite slim. Therefore, it is not likely we are going to see a whole bunch of new KR reviving dead shardblades.
55. Braid_Tug
Could Dalinar, as a Bondsmith help the process? Maybe?
Julian Augustus
56. Alisonwonderland
One of the things that struck me very strongly when I first read this chapter is that Syl appears to be becoming more and more human in her attitudes. I wonder if it is going to become a problem later. Here's what I mean. In this chapter, she thinks she should attract gloryspren like Kaladin does ... then she (gently) chides Kaladin for not complimenting her... and she takes a lot of pleasure in Rock's worship... etc. In short, she seems to be gaining the emotions and attitudes of a human female. Add to that the fact that she can also assume the shape of a full-grown woman, and you may guess where the potential difficulty could come from. Would she feel slighted, jealous, if Kaladin should form a romantic attachment with another woman? Where is Brandon taking this?
Rob Campbell
57. rccampbe
I absolutely loved the almost-QOTW and Syl's follow up, "We have to be consistent or well break your brains." It is humor and subtle world building in one. Kudos to Brandon.

On the re-read I noted 2 potential sections to dissect. Many have mentioned the first: Kal "possibly" observing some change in Syl. I'll venture a guess though. Seems to me that her face changed when ambient light was minimal and she was directly lit by stormlight. Then she turned away from the stormlight and Kal thought she looked normal again. So perhaps stormlight can have some direct effect on her. We've seen that Pattern can use stormlight with Shallan's help, perhaps Middle Management spren can use it autonomously once they are bonded and matured enough.

Secondly, how about this disguised section:
He snorted, walking around a clump of bones and sticks pierced by a spear. Cankered with rust, it looked like a monument.

"Clump of bones and sticks pierced by a spear" doesn't sound like the natural entropy-induced organization (or lack thereof) I'd expect post-highstorm in the chasms. "Cankered with rust" makes me think of the color of Parshendi "armor" and why would the whole clump rust instead of just the spear head? So my out of left field guess is that these are the remains of Parshendi dead that are metamorphosing (that's a word, right?) into SOMETHING. Like an adolescent chasm fiend...or maybe it's just debris.
Adam Bodestyne
58. thanners
Can someone remind me, when a Radiant (or Radiant-to-be) touches a deadspren shardblade, what causes the screams?

The screams are from the deadspren (as opposed to from the livespren being in contact with an abomination)? What exactly is it that makes them scream? Is it the presence of a nahel bond/living spren? And what determines when you can hear the screams? Do they only scream when they're touched by someone with a functional nahel bond? Even a non-radiant wielder can hear the screams, if they're touching it, right? Should I save these questions for a later chapter? Why did I write this entire post as a sequence of questions?
Alice Arneson
59. Wetlandernw
thanners @58 - LOL! I have answers! Except that, as I go searching, my answers are all based on inference, so they're worth just about as much as any theory. Buh. The things I thought I knew...

So, yeah, so far the screams only happen when someone with a functional bond touches a dead-spren Blade. (Syl calls them dead spren, so I think we're safe(ish) in that nomenclature.) And apparently (see Relis) anyone else touching the Blade can then hear it as well, but only someone actually touching it.

I think we can say it's the dead spren screaming, because in Relis's case, it seems to take the form of "you killed me!!!!!" At least, his response is, "What is it? What is it! No, I didn't kill you!" And of course, he only heard it when Kaladin did the "Catching the Blade" maneuver like Dalinar had done - so, when Kaladin had a firm grip, it screamed. In the other instances, Renarin apparently heard the screams every time he touched his Blade, and Dalinar began hearing them only after the Stormfather consented to the bond.

So: something about the physical contact of a spren-bonded person with a dead-spren Blade apparently makes the only-mostly-dead spren scream. Beyond that, we're guessing, and even this is totally empirical.

Speculation: We could assume that without a nahel bond, any contact with a deadsprenBlade takes place only in the physical realm. The bond, which crosses the physical-cognitive realm line, means that the proto-Radiant touches the dead spren in the cognitive realm as well as the physical relam. (Feeling my way here, sorry if this doesn't make sense.) Perhaps a bonded Blade is normally only brought back into the physical realm, but the touch of a live spren activates what's left of its cognitive aspect, with the added dimension giving it enough sentience to communicate at a fairly primitive level. I'm not sure how that fits with the idea that the Blades go to Shadesmar when they're dismissed; seems like they should always have some presence in the cognitive realm. But... maybe this can trigger ideas for someone else.

I'm sure we'll talk about it more when we hit Chapter 57, but there's a LOT to talk about in that chapter, so we might as well bring it up here too! :D
60. rDubs30
Not that we'll actually find out, but I wonder if Rock would hear screams if he touched a Shardblade given his ability to detect spleen naturally.

I've seen people speculate that Blades go to Shadesmar when dismissed, but I never knew why it was a theory? Could someone explain please?

My first guess was that Blades go to the Origin when dismissed hence the misting and freezing properties, but I've never seen anyone else with the same theory.

If the Shadesmar theory is correct, is the reason that Blades mist because the Shardbearer is on land and therefore over the ocean (of beads?) in Shadesmar? If someone were to summon a Blade on a boat would it not mist?
Deana Whitney
61. Braid_Tug
This is wrong. But taking about the “dead spren” or “mostly dead spren”…. I now have Monty Python’s “I’m not dead yet!” scene running around in my head.

Which is wrong, because thinking about the dead spren is sad.
But in talking about the blades, I just can’t help it.

But the screams were very useful in the fight as a distraction.
And poor Renarin, hearing them all the time.
Adam S.
62. MDNY
@61 LOL. "I feel happy! I feel happy..."
63. Jasuni
@25 Lift can also touch spren. (Windle thinks that Lift partially exists in the cognitive realm, which might also explain her ability to make stormlight)

@26 I think that Lift got her ability(ies) from Cultivation rather than from the Nightwatcher.
Jeremy Guebert
64. jeremyguebert
There appears to be ongoing discussion on several different threads, so I'm putting this in multiple places. I have returned from my vacation and written up a convention report. There is a full, detailed description of the entire convention (>5000 words, including the Q&A), or just the Q&A itself, which is just over 1000 words. Who would be interested in reading what? If there was enough interest in the full convention report, what would be the best way to make that accesible to people?
Alice Arneson
65. Wetlandernw
Jeremy, as noted elsewhere, I WANT IT ALL. :) I'm actually not sure where the best place for a 5000-word write-up is, though; I'm going to flag your comment (and mine) to see if the moderators have a suggestion. By all means, though, I'd say you could post the Q&A, or at least your own questions/answers, right here.

ETA - I'm really, really, really looking forward to this!
66. silvermonarch
@60: I'm of the opinion that Rock can see spren due to his Parshendi blood. Also consider how we know that the Parshendi have blades. I can't recall any mention of Eshonai hearing screams, or making a comment of seeing her blade in Shadesmar. I know that absence of evidence is not evidence for the contrary, but this seems to point in the direction that Rock might not hear screams. However, his mixture of human and Parshendi blood might give him access to more insight in the cognitive realm than a pure Parshendi would have.
Deana Whitney
67. Braid_Tug
@64: I'm guessing if it relates to Brandon's stuff, the is a great place for it.

There are also a few FB groups where you can attach files, so the report as a Word doc could go there. About half of us are either on the WoT ReReaders group or the JordanCon group.

But hopefully the mods will have a good suggestion for you soon.

@62: "I'm feeling better!" ;-)
Alice Arneson
68. Wetlandernw
Jeremy - Of course, you can post it on, too, though I think you have to register (free). I was only thinking in terms of tordotcom...
Bridget McGovern
69. BMcGovern
Just a note to say that I've responded to Jeremy privately--thanks, all!
Glen V
70. Ways
rDubs30 @60
"I've seen people speculate that Blades go to Shadesmar when dismissed, but I never knew why it was a theory? Could someone explain please?"
The Realmatic Theory page on Coppermind used to state that Shardblades were stored in the Spritual Realm when not in use. Note Spritual, not Cognitive/Shadesmar. However, that statement was removed when the Coppermind gurus went looking for confirmation and could not find it (see the discussion tab for that entry)--even though they seem to remain convinced that there is a credible reference somewhere in cyberspace. So, I applaud the due diligence of the Coppermind gurus, but the question of where Blades are stored when dismissed remains a mystery. I think your suggestion about the Origin is an interesting possibilty, but the Spritual or Cognitive Realms can't be rejected either. Could it be the same place the Heralds reside between Desolations, wherever that may be?
Alice Arneson
71. Wetlandernw
FWIW, now that we know the source of the Blades, the Cognitive realm seems much more likely than the Spiritual realm as a "sheath." We know that the Cognitive realm is the natural home of the spren; when a bonded spren becomes a Blade, he or she simply takes a different (visible and effectual) form in the Physical realm, but their "natural" form is the way they appear in Shadesmar. It seems likely that even the broken spren would, to whatever extent they can, return to Shadesmar when they are not bound to the Physical realm.

We have no indication whether or not the spren have any connection to the Spiritual realm - no proof that they don't but no hint that they do.
Glen V
72. Ways
A reference on Dead Spren Screaming can be found at, under the Dead Shardblades heading. The writer of that entry uses fewer qualifiers than Wetlandernw @59, but I am not convinced that means it's WoB.

And what is a Polestone? A gem housing the mostly dead Spren?

Wetlandernw @71
Yes, definitely. But I can also imagine BWS leading us down one path, then throwing a curve ball our way. I like rDubs30's theory about the Origin being involved somehow too.
Alice Arneson
73. Wetlandernw
Hmm. Most of it is supportable as theory, but most of it is also not WoB. I assume the "Polestone" is the gem set into the Blade - which, incidentally, had to change shape to accept the gem in the first place a long time ago. I don't think the term is canon, though. It also doesn't exactly "house" the dead spren, but it somehow makes it possible for the new owner to summon and dismiss it (sort of) like the Radiants did.
Jeremy Guebert
74. jeremyguebert
Braid_Tug @ 61 - What comes to mind when I hear the phrase "only mostly dead" is Princess Bride. Mostly dead means partly alive. I for one would love to see Adolin revive his Blade, despite what Brandon has said about it being extremely difficult.

Wetlander @ 65 - Thanks for the vote of confidence! As mentioned @ 69, I'm in discussion with the Powers That Be to see if there's a way to post it officially. Even if that can't happen, at the very worst case, I could probably throw it up on Google docs or something. I did put some of my questions and answers up over on 17th Shard, but I'm saving the full write up of the overall convention. Regardless of what ends up happening to that, putting a 5K-word document as a single comment doesn't really make sense to me.
Nadine L.
75. travyl
jeremy, just make sure to let us know where you put your final write-up (if it's not on tor). I'm interessted as well, but I only frequent tor.
Not enough time to check 17th Shard and Coppermind etc as well, though I know they would be worth it (from the few time-consuming peeks).
Deana Whitney
76. Braid_Tug
@74: Oh, I get Miracle Max running around inside my head too at times. But yesterday, it was MP all the way. :-)

Glad you are in talks with the PTB.
Agree, a 5K word posts would be a wall o' text death in the comments.
David Foster
77. ZenBossanova
Sometimes, less is more. It is certainly easier to digest.
Even if Jeremy had the answer to every question we have, it would be easier to tackle one section at a time, if possible.

Oh, and every time I see PTB, my brain tries to read that as Pointy-Haired Boss.
Alice Arneson
78. Wetlandernw
Jeremy - I finally had a chance to sit down and look at your report over on 17thShard. All over awesomesauce! :D

Thanks so much for taking questions along - there's some nice stuff there! Mostly, he didn't reveal anything spoilery (of course! also yay!) but some of the answers keep us from going off in wrong directions. I love the idea of Shardrope.
Andrew Berenson
79. AndrewHB
Jeremy, since I have not been on 17th Shard before, can you direct me to where on the 17th Shard I have to go to view your report. If it is in the forum sections, what is the title so I can find it?

Thanks for reading my musings.
(aka the musespren)
Jeremy Guebert
80. jeremyguebert
Wetlander @ 78 - You're quite welcome! It was most definitely my pleasure to be there. Oh, and before I forget, I did say hi from, and Brandon said to say hi back.

AndrewHB @ 79 - My comment @74 should have a clickable link, but if that isn't working, the Q&A I posted is in the Events, Signings and Stalkings section, under the post "Calgary convention thus far". This was originally started by another 17th Shard member, and has some questions he got answered as well. The questions I brought with me from here are on the second page of that thread.
Heather LaCroix
81. Bellaberry
Thank you Jeremy :D it's so fun to see my questions answered. And thanks Wetlandernw for relaying them to Jeremy.
Alice Arneson
82. Wetlandernw
Nothing to do with anything... but I'm sure kicking myself. With Carl off to Loncon last week, I should have jumped all over the opportunity to offer to take Chapter 10 for him. What was wrong with my brain??

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