Order of Bondsmiths
|Order of Bondsmiths|
|Spren||Nightwatcher, Stormfather, Sibling|
|Surges||Tension & Adhesion|
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
The Bondsmiths are Surgebinders who use the Surges of Tension and Adhesion, and they are associated with the heliodor polestone. They form a Nahel Bond with one of three unique spren: the Stormfather, the Nightwatcher, and the Sibling. The exact nature of the Nahel Bond that Bondsmiths share with their specific spren is unclear; it may or may not be similar to other orders of the Knights Radiant.
While each order of Radiants contains a variety of personalities within it, those who join the Bondsmiths generally subscribe to a philosophy of peace and unity. They seek unity at all levels, from unity the highprinces of a single kingdom in one purpose, to uniting the kingdoms of the world in the face of the True Desolation. This philosophy is reflected in their Ideals, which are generally themed around unity. Bringing people together is their highest calling and this is their most important duty as Radiants. Among the other orders, the Bondsmiths are generally the most respected and celebrated of Radiants. The role of the Bondsmiths serve as the heart and soul of the Radiants makes them some of the most respected and celebrated of the Knights, making their protection and safety a paramount concern. The order tends to attract the peacemakers of the world, those who want to bring people together rather than divide them.
Ideals of the Bondsmiths
The Ideals of the Knights Radiant, also known as the Immortal Words, are a set of rules by which the Radiant lived. The First Ideal is shared by all of the orders, and is used as a motto for the Knights Radiant as a whole. Each of the order then has an additional four Ideals that are unique to that order. The Ideals of the Order of Bondsmiths all focus on uniting people. However, the uniqueness of the Bondsmith spren means that each individual's specific Ideals may take various forms depending on the spren they are bonding and the situation.
The First Ideal
”Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination.—The First Ideal of the Knights Radiant.
The Second Ideal
”I will unite instead of divide. I will bring men together.
The Third Ideal
The main focus of this oath is about becoming a better person over time.
”I will take responsibility for what I have done. If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man.—The Third Ideal of the Bondsmiths, as sworn by Dalinar Kholin.
”No Radiant is capable of more than you. Yours is the power of Connection, of joining men and worlds, minds and souls. Your Surges are the greatest of all, though they will be impotent if you seek to wield them for mere battle.
The Bondsmiths have access to Tension, the Surge of Soft Axial Interconnection, and Adhesion, the Surge of Pressure and Vacuum. While they are capable of performing the same mundane abilities they share with their adjacent orders, the powers of the Bondsmiths are generally used in very different ways. Their powers even tend to work differently for one Bondsmith than another. Their ability to manipulate Connection gives them great influence over the nature of oaths, bonds, and power. Their access to raw levels of Investiture is the greatest among the orders of Radiants.
- Full Lashing
Using the Full Lashing, a Surgebinder can pool Stormlight into an area. All objects that subsequently touch this area will be bonded to the object, sticking them there and hindering their movement. The bond ends when the Stormlight runs out.
- Spiritual Adhesion
Using the Surge of Adhesion to manipulate spiritual, rather than purely physical forces, a Bondsmith can touch another person and forge a spiritual connection between them. This allows the Bondsmith to temporarily speak the native language of this other person. Whether the Surgebinder must remain physically close to this other person for the ability to be continually used or if it can transfer any other skill or knowledge is unknown. The power bears a great similarity to other applications of Connection such as duralumin Feruchemy on Scadrial.
The Tension Surge can be manipulated by the Surgebinder to alter the stiffness of an object.
- Spren and Shardblades
Each Bondsmith shares a Nahel bond with one of three unique spren: the Stormfather, the Nightwatcher, and the Sibling. These spren are all sort of the same type, but obviously have substantial differences between them as well. The sheer power of the various Bondsmith spren allows them to behave in ways that differ from the true spren bonded to other orders. The Bondsmith spren are more omnipresent and can be located great distances from their Radiants while still granting them powers and communicating, as they are much more widely Connected than other Radiant spren. Bondsmiths typically do not have access to a Shardblade, although it is possible to force their bonded spren into a shape of power that allows them to activate Oathgates. However, like typical Radiant spren, Bondsmith spren are still vulnerable if their bonded Radiant betrays their oaths.
- Synergy with other Radiants
Another power unique to the Bondsmiths is their ability to work jointly with other Radiants to create effects that neither could manage independently. A Bondsmith has a unique interaction with the Radiants of each order, and it may even be that the specifics of these joint abilities vary between each Bondsmith spren. When a joint power may be used, both Radiants feel a tugging or leaping sensation towards one another. These joint powers only appear to be active when the Radiants are physically together, although there may be some way around this requirement. It is uncertain where this power comes from, although it may be the Resonance of the Bondsmiths. Only one such specific synergy is known and experiments attempting to find others have so far failed; the Stormfather's Bondsmith may work in tandem with a Lightweaver to create a three-dimensional projection of Roshar as it appeared to the Stormfather the last time a highstorm passed over the continent. This map behaves like any other illusion that is created by a Lightweaver, its appearance may be altered and it may collapse if the Radiant is distracted or if the illusion is touched. The map is able to be zoomed in and zoomed out at Dalinar's will, and can be detailed to the point that people are the size of a speck of dust. It can also show troop counts of both sides marked with different colored glyphs. The troop counts tend to be inaccurate because when the Stormfather sees the world, most people will hide in stormshelters and thus cannot be seen on the map.
- Repairing inanimate objects
Bondsmiths may be able to feel and hear the cognitive aspects of certain broken objects around them. With some combination of physical effort, Tension, and Adhesion, they can fix them. It has been suggested that this ability may have similarities to Progression-based healing - it is easier for users of Progression to heal those who are recently wounded, and it gets harder as the "soul" becomes accustomed to the wound.  While doing this, the Bondsmith's strength is increased if necessary.
Stormfather Bondsmith Abilities
In the modern era, the Stormfather's Bondsmith, Dalinar Kholin, exhibits some abilities that, according to the Stormfather, differ from those available to ancient Bondsmiths. Chief among them is the ability to open a perpendicularity, joining the three realms and bathing the area in vast quantities of Stormlight. The Stormfather speculates that this is because Honor has been Splintered, and as such can no longer regulate the Surges. It is unknown if this power is unique to the Stormfather, as the Cognitive Shadow of Tanavast, or if other Bondsmiths could achieve similar feats. Honor also left a journal of visions for future Bondsmiths to prepare for the possibility of the True Desolation, charging the Stormfather to choose likely candidates to share them with. As such, the Stormfather's Bondsmith can enter and replay these visions at will, as well as bring others in to experience them. In addition, the Bondsmith can use their link with the Stormfather to send their consciousness out into the highstorm, and speak to people within it as the Stormfather can, as well as exert some minor control over the storm while within it.
Sibling Bondsmith Abilities
The only known example of the Sibling Bondsmith's powers are those of Navani Kholin's. How much similarity the Sibling's Bondsmith shares with the Stormfather's Bondsmith is currently unknown. The Bondsmith can mentally talk with the Sibling and expand their mind to see everything in Urithiru. Together with the Sibling, they can control all the tower's fabrials and defenses. The Bondsmith can light up the garnet vein within the wall strata and talk to anyone touching it. Leaving the expanded state makes the Bondsmith feel mentally small, but senses of the tower would remain in the back of their mind. The Bondsmith can also create large amounts of Towerlight.
A person must be directly touching the crystal pillar to bond with the Sibling.
This order was founded by the Herald Ishar during the cycle of Desolations, who also served as the order's patron. The Bondsmiths along with the other orders helped in the fight each Desolation against the Voidbringers. As becoming a Bondsmith is contingent on convincing one of only three specific spren to bond with a person, the Bondsmiths commonly had no more than three full members, making them the smallest of the orders. Additionally, this number varied over the centuries and there have been times where there was only one Bondsmith. That is not to say that there were no others who considered themselves to be Bondsmiths. Bondsmiths could have squires themselves, although this may not have been the norm. Additionally, the Bondsmiths were surrounded by attendants and protectors, who were generally considered to be members of the order. Some even swore Bondsmith oaths as well, despite the fact that this would grant them no powers. Some considered this to be the purest form of Radiance, for the oaths were sworn for the love of the oaths themselves.
The Bondsmith's focus was generally on unity and peacemaking, presumably during and between Desolations. Instead of using their powers in an active combat role, they helped resolve disputes between nations and set up functioning governments in regions where none existed. Bondsmiths also helped keep the peace between the various orders of Radiants, who often clashed and squabbled with one another. The Bondsmiths persisted following Aharietiam, but their post-Desolation role is unclear. They likely continued to help in the struggles against the remaining singers. By the time of the False Desolation, there was only one Bondsmith, Melishi, who was bonded to the Sibling. As a part of the plan to defeat Ba-Ado-Mishram, Melishi used his powers to imprison the Unmade in a perfect gemstone. The events of the Recreance followed shortly thereafter, and the fate of Melishi is uncertain, though the Sibling released their bond with him before the Recreance took place. It is known however that the order of Bondsmiths was disbanded at this point.
No known Bondsmiths were sworn for centuries, although the Stormfather was given the task in Honor's final days of choosing a new Bondsmith. It is uncertain how often this happened, but by 1167 Gavilar Kholin had begun seeing visions and had developed at least a tentative bond with the Stormfather. This bond ended when the king was assassinated by Szeth on the orders of the listeners. At some point in the intervening years, his brother Dalinar was chosen by the Stormfather and by 1173 he had begun receiving visions of his own. At the start of 1174 he swore the first two Ideals and formally bonded the Stormfather. Over the next several months Dalinar spent his time acting very similarly to historical Bondsmiths, uniting a coalition of monarchs against the Voidbringer threat, bringing together the Vorin monarchs with the Azish and their surrounding countries. While there were some challenges to his authority, Dalinar managed to successfully coordinate the defense of Thaylen City by swearing the third Ideal and learning to open Honor's Perpendicularity and trap Nergaoul using his Bondsmith abilities.
- Melishi (bonded to the Sibling before the Recreance)
- Dalinar Kholin (bonded to the Stormfather)
- Navani Kholin (bonded to the Sibling)
”But as for the Bondsmiths, they had members only three, which number was not uncommon for them; nor did they seek to increase this by great bounds, for during the times of Madasa, only one of their order was in continual accompaniment of Urithiru and its thrones. Their spren was understood to be specific, and to persuade them to grow to the magnitude of the other orders was seen as seditious.
Melishi retired to his tent, and resolved to destroy the Voidbringers upon the next day, but that night did present a different stratagem, related to the unique abilities of the Bondsmiths; and being hurried, he could make no specific account of his process; it was related to the very nature of the Heralds and their divine duties, an attribute the Bondsmiths alone could address. ”So
Theories and Speculation
- Destruction of the singers
”We are uncertain the effects this will have on the parsh. At the very least, it should deny them forms of power. Melishi is confident, but Naze-daughter-Kuzodo warns of unintended side effects.—Drawer 30-20, fifth emerald
It is possible that a Bondsmith's powers are responsible for the act that robbed nearly every singer of their minds. During the False Desolation a strike team of Radiants attacked the Unmade Ba-Ado-Mishram, who had Connected with the singers centuries after Aharietiam. The Bondsmith Melishi's goal was to use his abilities to imprison Ba-Ado-Mishram within a perfect gem to deny the enemy forms of power and Voidlight. This attack was apparently successful at imprisoning the Unmade, but perhaps inadvertently the singers Connected to the Unmade had their Connection and Identity ripped away, rendering them into the servile parshmen.
- Nature of Bondsmith spren
”Are there others, though? Spren like you, or the Nightwatcher? Spren that are shadows of gods?—Dalinar Kholin to the Stormfather
As Bondsmith spren have been described as shadows of gods, some hold that these spren are in some way be directly related to or associated with the Shards worshiped as gods on Roshar. This might explain why Bondsmiths are said to only bond specific spren, and also why there is a maximum total of three Bondsmiths at any given time, due to the the three Shards relevant to Roshar. Indeed the Stormfather and the Nightwatcher are Bondsmith spren that are associated with Honor and Cultivation respectively and the third Bondsmith spren, the Sibling, is the child of Honor and Cultivation together.
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