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Honor

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Honor
Tanavast.jpg
by botanicaxu
Vessel Tanavast
Slivers Stormfather[1]
Splinters Spren
Status Splintered
Shardpool Honor's Perpendicularity
Magics Surgebinding[2]
Residence Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive

I am . . . I was . . . God. The one you call the Almighty, the creator of mankind. And now I am dead. Odium has killed me. I am sorry.

—Honor to Dalinar[3]

Honor is one of the sixteen Shards of Adonalsium, and one of the three, alongside Cultivation and Odium, present in the Rosharan system. The original Vessel of Honor was called Tanavast. Following his death at the hands of Odium, Honor was Splintered.[4]

Intent[edit]

Honor seeks to uphold oaths and agreements, and to make things binding.

Associated magic[edit]

Stormlight[edit]

Stormlight is a gaseous form of Investiture associated with Honor. It was not created by him, as a proto-version of it existed prior to his arrival on Roshar, but in the present day, it has been subsumed into him.[5] The largest splinter of Honor, Stormfather, is responsible for creating and maintaining the highstorms that bring stormlight.[6][7]

Stormlight is crucial to Rosharan ecosystem. Numerous animals form bonds with lesser spren, which most likely require stormlight as fuel. Moreover, large quantities of stormlight are necessary for singers to change forms.[8] In Shadesmar, spren derive sustenance from stormlight.[9] While humans do not normally utilize stormlight themselves, its presence makes them significantly more healthy.[10]

Surgebinding[edit]

Surgebinding is a magic system derived from both Honor and Cultivation.[2] To utilize it, a person must bond a higher spren, which allows them to inhale stormlight and use it to control Surges, a set of ten fundamental forces, although a single spren bond allows access to only two of them.[11] Some bonds favor Honor, and others Cultivation, although the proportion, and whether there are Surges "purely" of one or the other, is still under speculation.[12]

Apart from spren bonds, Honor can also grant the use of Surgebinding through the Honorblades, weapons made out of his Investiture.[13] Like spren, each Honorblade grants access to only one pair of Surges; in fact, Surgebinding came to be through spren attempting to imitate Honorblades.[14]

Spren[edit]

Spren are splinters holding the Investitures of both Honor and Cultivation, though in different proportions depending on the type of spren. Some spren are of pure Honor or pure Cultivation, though which type gets to call themselves "closest to Honor" is a matter of some debate among their society.[15]

The most notable spren of Honor is Stormfather. Unlike most other spren, Stormfather was created by Honor intentionally; moreover, he holds Tanavast's Cognitive Shadow, granting him greater access to the Spiritual Realm.[7][16]

Direct intervention[edit]

Honor's particular intent lends itself well to binding and forming bonds. Among others, he bound Heralds to himself and tied them to the cycle of Desolations, creating the Oathpact to protect Roshar.[17] He also tied Odium to the greater Rosharan system through some other means, making it impossible for Rayse to depart unless either the planet is destroyed or whoever holds the largest remnant of Honor's power willingly releases him.[18][19]

History[edit]

Creation[edit]

The Shard of Honor was created, like all others, at the Shattering of Adonalsium, and picked up by Tanavast. Though the Shards had an agreement to go their own separate ways, he and Cultivation traveled together to the Rosharan system.[20][21] However, whatever the actual text of the agreement, Honor did not consider his actions to be breaking it, or exploiting a loophole in it.[22] The reason for that could be that Tanavast and Cultivation's vessel were romantically involved.[23]

God of Roshar[edit]

On Roshar, Honor and Cultivation became the gods of the singers, a native Rosharan species. An unknown period of time later, human refugees arrived from Ashyn, seeking help after accidentally destroying their own world, and the two permitted them to settle on the planet, likely in the region now called Shinovar. Unfortunately, along with them came Odium, who by that point had murdered three other Shards -- Dominion, Devotion and Ambition -- and was now gunning for either Honor, Cultivation, or both.[24][25] When the relations between humans and singers of Roshar broke down, singers turn to him to help them, leading to the creation of the Fused, Cognitive Shadows of singers who could be reborn in the bodies of their kinsmen every time they died.[17]

To help the people of Roshar, Honor created the Heralds, binding ten people to himself and giving them similar resurrective ability, although one that did not require body snatching.[17] Moreover, he bound Odium to the Rosharan system, making it impossible for him to leave.[14] Unfortunately for him, the Heralds abandoned the Oathpact after numerous Desolations in the event known as the Aharietiam.[26] Sometime afterwards, Odium succeeded at Splintering him.[4][27]

Death[edit]

Death, however, takes a long time for a Shard.[28] Before passing away fully, Honor took some measures to help Rosharans in the future. Chief among them was leaving behind a series of visions to warn of the possibility of the True Desolation, and to leave behind some information that might be helpful.[3] He prepared Stormfather to be his inheritor, and gave him the task of chosing the possible recipients of the visions.[29] At the very end of his existence, Tanavast was still capable of communicating with humans, but by then he was raving, seemingly overriden completely by the Shard's intent.[30]

He finished dying and became Splintered shortly after the Recreance.[30] Tanavast's Cognitive Shadow merged with Stormfather, along with the largest portion of Honor's remaining power.[16] That remaining power is sufficient to keep Odium bound to Roshar, and the Oathpact ongoing.[19][31]

Culture[edit]

The Almighty accepted the excellence of any man or woman, regardless of what they did.

Vorin doctrine[32]

Honor is well-known among the Rosharan people, and worshipped as a god.[3] Vorinism calls him the Almighty and claims that he's the only deity, considering worship of Cultivation to be pagan.[33] He's believed to be the creator of both Roshar and humanity.[34] In the Vorin tradition, he has ten names, the last of which, Elithanathile, is only used by ardents, the Vorin priests.[34] It's said he resides in the hearts of all people.[35] As it's commonly believed that perceiving him directly would cause one to burst into flames from his sheer glory, he's typically represented by a divine prism with ten facets.[34][36]

Vorins believe that the Almighty is also responsible for sorting out the dead and deciding on their afterlife. The best possible outcome is to be sent to battle in Tranquiline Halls, the lost paradise, and reclaim it from the Voidbringers. To achieve this, one has to pick a Calling - a purpose in life - and a Glory, an aspect of the Almighty that one strives to emulate.[32]

Honor is also worshipped in Azir and the surrounding countries, though there he's known simply as God.[37] Singers worshipped him and Cultivation once, before the arrival of Odium.[24]

Notes[edit]

  1. JordanCon 2016
    Arcanum - 2016-04-23#
  2. a b Boskone 54
    Arcanum - 2017-02-18#
  3. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 75 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_75#
  4. a b Google+ Hangout
    Arcanum - 2012-04-17#
  5. Emerald City Comic Con 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-03-01#
  6. Words of Radiance chapter 83 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_83#
  7. a b Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2016-12-01#
  8. Words of Radiance interlude I-5 Summary: Words of Radiance/Interlude_I-5#
  9. The Way of Kings chapter 101 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_101#
  10. Firefight Phoenix signing
    Arcanum - 2015-01-21#
  11. Stormblessed.com interview with Brandon Sanderson
    Arcanum - 2010-12-25#
  12. FanX 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-09-06#
  13. Boskone 54
    Arcanum - 2017-02-17#
  14. a b Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-21#
  15. Writing for Charity Conference
    Arcanum - 2012-03-17#
  16. a b /r/books AMA 2015
    Arcanum - 2015-03-12#
  17. a b c Oathbringer chapter 38 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_38#
  18. Shadows of Self Lansing signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-13#
  19. a b Oathbringer chapter 57 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_57#
  20. Oathbringer chapter 39 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_39#
  21. 17th Shard Forum Q&A
    Arcanum - 2012-09-26#
  22. Legion Release Party
    Arcanum - 2018-09-19#
  23. Rithmatist Albuquerque signing
    Arcanum - 2013-05-22#
  24. a b Oathbringer chapter 111 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_111#
  25. Skyward Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-10#
  26. The Stormlight Archive chapter prelude Summary: The Stormlight Archive/Chapter_prelude#
  27. Alloy of Law Los Angeles signing
    Arcanum - 2011-11-10#
  28. Oathbringer release party
    Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
  29. Words of Radiance chapter 89 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_89#
  30. a b Words of Radiance chapter 113 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_113#
  31. Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017
    Arcanum - 2017-09-23#
  32. a b The Way of Kings chapter 18 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_18#
  33. Oathbringer chapter 29 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_29#
  34. a b c The Way of Kings chapter 7 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_7#
  35. The Way of Kings chapter 45 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_45#
  36. The Way of Kings chapter 33 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_33#
  37. Oathbringer chapter 122 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_122#
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