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Shardblade

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Shardbearer
Shardbearer from the cover of The Way of Kings.

A Shardblade is a powerful weapon capable of slicing rock and severing the souls. People who possess a Shardblade are called Shardbearers, they are soul-bound to their blade until death, or until the blade is willingly relinquished.

Shardblades are generally associated with Shardplate, a suit of armor that completes the set.

History Edit

According to legend, the Shardblades were first carried by the Knights Radiant, during the times of desolations. They were gifts of their god, granted to allow them to fight the voidbringers, horrors of rock and flame, dozens of feet tall, whose skin were as hard as stone itself, making weapons of steel useless.[1]

Four millennia later, they are regarded as priceless relics. Wars are fought for, and won by them.

Dalinar's visions, showed roughly 300 Shardblades were abandoned by members of two Radiant orders. Dalinar estimated, at the time of the War of Reckoning, there were less than 100 Shardblades in all of the world. Alethkar and Jah Keved owned some twenty Shardblades each and the rest were spread among the weaker nations including five Shardblades held by the Thaylenian royal guards.  Selay and other kingdoms, such as Herdaz, had only a single Shardblade. Kharbranth[2] and the Unkalaki people[3] are not known to have any Shardblades.

So far no amount of fabrial science has even approached the possibility of re-creating Shardblades.[4] However, recently rumors claim Alethi scholars were close to creating new Shardblades.[1]

CharacteristicsEdit

Shardblades cut easily through inanimate matter, so long as the blade is kept in motion. They do not cut living flesh; instead the metal fuzzes as it passed through, killing without leaving a mark or spilling blood. It was said that Shardblades sever the soul itself, the only indication of death being that the victim's eyes burned. Any part of the body that is cut dies instantly. If the Blade touched a man's spine, he died, eyes burning. If it cut through the core of a limb, it killed that limb, rendering that limb permanently limp, numb, and useless. If a vital organ is struck, it will render that organ useless as well.[1] However, once dead, flesh can be cut just like any other object. Also, parts of a living body that are made of non-living tissue such as hair, fingernails, and the shells of beasts are cut normally. A modern interpretation is that Shardblades can only sever nerves.

Shardblades were enormous, yet remarkably light. They were designed to fight something larger than another person. The large weapons took a great deal of skill to swing properly. [5] There was never recoil, landing a blow felt nearly like passing the blade through the air itself. The trick was to control momentum and keep the blade moving. [6]

A Shardblade could only be blocked by another Shardblade, by Shardplate or Half-shard Shields.

SummoningEdit

A Shardblade is summoned by the intent of the Shardbearer, willing it into existence, typically dropping into his/her hand extended to the side. The process of summoning takes exactly ten heartbeats (regardless of heart rate). When it materializes, the Blade is typically seen covered in water beads along its blade, as if condensed from mist.[1]

If a Shardbearer lets go of his Blade, it disappears unless it was willed to stay, which was a protection from being taken by the enemy during battle.

Shardbearers are soul-bound to their blade until death, or until the blade is willingly relinquished. The process requires to simply pick up the Blade. Upon aquiring the Blade, it takes five days before the Shardbearer fully bonds to it, and is able to dismiss it. When the Shardbearer dies, the Blade rematerializes next to them, allowing anyone else to pick up the Blade and become its new owner.

TypesEdit

Though each Shardblade is unique, there are in general three types of Shardblade.  The first one is the type that are wielded by Sharbearers in the first and second books.  They take 10 heartbeats to summon, have a gem in the pommel, and can cut through stone easily.  When held by someone bonded to a spren, screams fill their head.  The second type are ones wielded by Knights Radiant. They can be summoned when the spren are ready, can take any form (transformed to a spear, halberd, and shield during Kaladin's midair duel with Szeth), and have the same properties as other Shardblades.  Syl mentions that the first type are dead spren after the first order of the Knights Radiants abandoned humankind, which is why people that are bonded hear screams. In regards to Szeth's and Taln's "Shardblades," they are assumed to be Honourblades, as Szeth is not bonded to a spren and mentions them, and Taln was one of the Heralds who wielded them. Honourblades are belived to grant some power over the paired Surges (i.e.: Jezrien's Blade grants Adhesion and Gravity, Nale's Blade grants Gravity and Division, etc.).

  • Syl, Words of Radiance, pg 1044

'"Dead," Syl agreed. "Then they live again a little when someone summons them, syncing a heartbeat to their essence."'

  • Syl, Words of Radiance, pg 1044

'"We're spren," Syl said. "We're forces. You can't kill us completely."'

List of Shardblades and ShardbearersEdit

Shardbearer Name of Shardblade Description Current Status
Dalinar Kholin Oathbringer Six feet long from tip to hilt. Long and slightly curved. A handspan wide. Wavelike serrations near the hilt. Curved at the tip like a fisherman's hook.[7] Hidden in Urithiru
Elhokar Kholin Sunraiser Long and thin with a large crossguard. Etched up the sides with the ten fundamental glyphs. [7]
Gavilar Kholin Unknown Six feet long with a design along the blade like burning flames. Silvery metal that gleamed and almost seemed to glow.[8] Unknown
Szeth Unknown Long and thin. Edged on both sides. Smaller than most others.[8][9]
Adolin Kholin Unknown Blue, one-edged blade. Sharp side is sinuous, rippling like an eel curving up into a point. Opposite side has delicate ridges, with the appearance of crystal formations. Six feet long. [10][11][12][13]
Helaran

(killed by Kaladin)

Unknown As tall as a man, curved or sinuous, unsharpened side ridged with flowing waves of flame, etchings along the length, gemstone at pommel. [14][15][16] Held by Brightlord Amaram
Eshonai Unknown Wicked and barbed like flames. [17]
King of Jah Keved[18] Unknown Unknown
Shardbearer guard #1
From Jah Keved [19]
Unknown Unknown
Shardbearer guard #2
From Jah Keved [19]
Unknown Unknown

TheoryEdit

"Ten heartbeats, Return to me, you creation of Damnation." [18]

–Szeth.

It has been theorized that they are stored in the Spiritual Realm, when not used.

ReferencesEdit

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