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Order of Skybreakers

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Order of Skybreakers
Skybreakers glyph.svg
Gravitation
Division
Herald Nale
Spren Highspren
Surges Gravitation & Division
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive

I watched you destroy yourself in the name of order, watched you obey your personal code when others would have fled or crumbled. Szeth-son-Neturo, I watched you keep your word with perfection. This is a thing lost to most people--it is the only genuine beauty in the world. I doubt I have ever found a man more worthy of the Skybreakers than you.

Nale, Words of Radiance[1]

The Order of Skybreakers is an order of the Knights Radiant on Roshar.[2]

The Skybreakers are Surgebinders who use the Surges of Gravitation and Division.[3] They form a Nahel Bond with highspren.[4] They are widely thought of as fanatics in both Shadesmar and the physical realm. Highspren is usually used as a derogatory term.[citation needed] The Skybreakers were the only Radiant Order not to have abandoned their oaths on the Day of Recreance, and continued to operate in secret until the present day.

History[edit]

Ancient Skybreakers[edit]

The group that would become the Skybreakers began when the highspren, trying to imitate the honorblades, granted men Surges.[4][5] Ishar, understanding the implication of men having Surges, forced them to accept laws and organization, becoming the Order of Skybreakers.[6] Given the Skybreakers' dedication to the law, they likely had one of the easiest times accepting Ishar's rules. The Skybreakers pursued Nale as their patron. Nale initially refused to accept the patronage, believing the position to be annoying and vain. The Skybreakers operated for some unkown length of time without a patron Herald after his refusal. He finally accepted them after the disturbances in the Revv toparchy were quieted. He was the last Herald to accept their Order.[2]

The Skybreakers acted as the military police among the Radiants.[7] This role required separating innocent and guilty parties.[8] Their considerable ability to do so was acknowledged by all, even those who did not like the Skybreakers.[9] Despite being described as an almost divine skill,[9] there was no magical cause for it.[10]

The ancient Skybreakers seem to have been involved in conflicts with other Orders frequently, especially the two Orders they share Surges with. The Skybreakers considered the Dustbringers to be on the edge morally and did not get along with them.[11] They also reportedly had some issues with the Windrunners. Highspren and, through them, the Skybreakers judge and dispense justice according to the letter of the law and what may make logical sense to them, while the Windrunners will disregard these laws or logic at their letter to do what is considered right.[12][4] Debates ensued when Windrunners and Skybreakers tried to decide the fate of the guilty.[8] These conflicts got significantly worse as the time of the Recreance approached.[13] Some believed these and other conflicts caused the Sibling to retreat, but it was unrelated to the true cause.[14]

At some point before the Recreance,[15] Nale secretly retrieved his honorblade from Shinovar and bonded his own highspren, officially joining the Skybreakers. He is the only known Herald to have joined their Order.[16]

In Hiding[edit]

Led by the ancient Herald Nalan'Elin—often simply called Nale—the Skybreakers are the only order of Radiants that did not betray its oaths during the Recreance. They have maintained a continuous clandestine line from ancient days.

Mraize's letter to Shallan[17]

The Skybreakers were also the only Order that did not partake in the Recreance and remained active in the following two millennia.[1][18][17][3] It is mentioned by Mraize that Helaran Davar had been attempting to locate the Skybreakers, and that Nale had recruited him, although he was not worthy of a spren bond before he died.[citation needed]

The Order has a small fortress in Marabethia that overlooks the Purelake.[3] Hopefuls are brought to the fortress for testing, and Squires and Masters reside there while training (unless they are away on a mission).[3]

Skybreakers usually wear the uniforms of local law enforcement wherever they travel, regardless of their own race or nationality.[3][19]

True Desolation[edit]

Right at the onset of the True Desolation, Nale, recruited Szeth to join the Skybreakers.[1] Despite the Everstorm's arrival, he remained in denial about the failure of his Order's mission for weeks until a confrontation with Lift showed him the truth.[20] Nale left the Skybreakers to train as normal, before coming back to tell them the truth of Rosharan history and give them a choice.[19] As the original owners of the land, Nale claimed that the law of the land was that of the singers.[21] He and most of his Order decided to follow Odium and the singers' with their return to Roshar.[22] Szeth is currently the only known Skybreaker to not serve Odium.[23]

Abilities[edit]

Surgebinding

The Skybreakers are able use the Surges of Gravitation and Division.

The full extent of their powers are so far unknown. They are able to use a Basic Lashing like the Order of Windrunners, since they share the Gravitation Surge. They also have the Surge of Division, which allows them to destroy or degrade things around them.

Other Skills

They reportedly had the ability (unrelated to their Surges) to divide the innocent from the guilty that was by some even considered to be an almost divine skill.[24] However, they do not have any supernatural abilities in determining a person's guilt,[10] so this appears to be some combination of mundane experience and exaggerations in folklore.

Ideals of the Skybreakers[edit]

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, identical for all orders of the Radiants, is used as their motto. Each of the Radiant Orders then had an additional four ideals that were unique to each order. Their Ideals and interpretations would be compatible with the philosphy that the ends justifies the means.[25]

The First Ideal[edit]

The First Ideal is also known to the Skybreakers as the Ideal of Radiance. Before swearing this Ideal, hopefuls travel with the Skybreakers on a mission. They must prove their dedication and solemnity on that mission to a full Skybreaker before they are deemed worthy of saying the Words. The Ideal of Radiance does not give powers or the ability to draw Stormlight, but it does qualify them for further tests among the Skybreakers so that they can become Squires. The Skybreakers pardon any past misdeeds when someone swears this Ideal, using the proper local authorities and paperwork.[3]

Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination.

— The First Ideal of the Knights Radiant[26]

The Second Ideal[edit]

Also called the Ideal of Justice, this is a specific oath to seek and administer justice. Once a master chooses to accept someone as a Squire, they may swear this Ideal. This Ideal gives the Squire the ability to breath in Stormlight and use the Surge of Gravitation.[3]

I will put the law before all else.

— A general form of The Second Ideal of the Skybreakers[27]

I swear to seek justice, to let it guide me, until I find a more perfect Ideal.

— The Second Ideal of the Skybreakers, as chosen by Szeth[28]

The Third Ideal[edit]

Also called the Ideal of Dedication, this is a specific oath to dedicate oneself to a greater truth, either a code or, sometimes, a person. A Skybreaker Squire must first bond their Highspren before taking this oath, and it is the minimum oath required before the Surge of Division can be used. Swearing this Ideal makes someone a full Skybreaker. This oath is the furthest that most Skybreakers ever swear.[3]

I swear to follow the will of Dalinar Kholin. This is my oath.

— The Third Ideal of the Skybreakers, as sworn by Szeth[29]

The Fourth Ideal[edit]

This Ideal is also called the Ideal of Crusade, and requires that a Skybreaker undertake a personal quest and complete it to the satisfaction of their highspren. Once completed, the Skybreaker is elevated to the rank of master. Masters are able to accept Squires. Most Skybreakers never make it to this Ideal, and the ones that do can spend decades at the Third Ideal before completing their quest.[3]

I will cleanse the Shin of their false leaders, so long as Dalinar Kholin agrees.

— The Fourth Ideal of the Skybreakers, as spoken by Szeth[29].

The Fifth Ideal[edit]

Called the Ideal of Law, this Ideal requires the Skybreaker to swear an oath that they will become a personification of law and truth. Nale is likely the only current Skybreaker to have achieved it, as it has been centuries since anyone mastered the Fifth Ideal.[3] There is a disagreement among the order on whether this means that the Skybreaker swearing this oath can do anything, as they are an embodiment of the law, or if they need to not break any law to keep their oaths.[30]

Known Skybreakers[edit]

Quotes[edit]

And thus were the disturbances in the Revv toparchy quieted, when, upon their ceasing to prosecute their civil dissensions, Nalan'Elin betook himself to finally accept the Skybreakers who had named him their master, when initially he had spurned their advances and, in his own interests, refused to countenance that which he deemed a pursuit of vanity and annoyance; this was the last of the Heralds to admit to such patronage.

There came also sixteen of the order of Windrunners, and with them a considerable number of squires, and finding in that place the Skybreakers dividing the innocent from the guilty, there ensued a great debate.

The considerable abilities of the Skybreakers for making such amounted to an almost divine skill, for which no specific Surge or spren grants capacity, but however the order came to such an aptitude, the fact of it was real and acknowledged even by their rivals.

'You'd let it go, then?'

'Storms, no,' Kaladin said. 'I'd find my own justice.'

'Oh...' Syl settled on his shoulder. They walked for a long while, eventually approaching the warcamp. 'You're not a Skybreaker, Kaladin,' Syl finally said. 'You're not supposed to be like this.'

Kaladin and Syl, about Amaram[12]

Trivia[edit]

  • If Rashek were to have joined the Knights Radiant he would have made an okay, though not great, Skybreaker.[31]

Notes[edit]

  1. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 88 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_88#
  2. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 43 epigraph Summary: Words of Radiance/Epigraphs/Chapter_43#
  3. a b c d e f g h i j Oathbringer chapter 90 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_90#
  4. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 59 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_59#
  5. Words of Radiance chapter 4 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_4#
  6. Words of Radiance chapter 42 epigraph Summary: Words of Radiance/Epigraphs/Chapter_42#
  7. Words of Radiance Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-08#
  8. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 54 epigraph Summary: Words of Radiance/Epigraphs/Chapter_54#
  9. a b c Words of Radiance chapter 55 epigraph Summary: Words of Radiance/Epigraphs/Chapter_55#
  10. a b Oathbringer release party
    Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
  11. Skyward Seattle signing
    Arcanum - 2018-11-10#
  12. a b Words of Radiance chapter 22 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_22#
  13. Oathbringer chapter 64 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_64#
  14. Oathbringer chapter 70 epigraph Summary: Oathbringer/Epigraphs/Chapter_70#
  15. Orem Signing
    Arcanum - 2019-03-16#
  16. Oathbringer chapter 106 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_106#
  17. a b Oathbringer chapter 40 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_40#
  18. Words of Radiance chapter 41 epigraph Summary: Words of Radiance/Epigraphs/Chapter_41#
  19. a b Oathbringer chapter 98 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_98#
  20. Edgedancer chapter 19 Summary: Edgedancer/Chapter_19#
  21. Oathbringer chapter 116 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_116#
  22. Oathbringer chapter 117 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_117#
  23. Oathbringer chapter 122 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_122#
  24. Words of Radiance chapter 55 Summary: Words of Radiance/Chapter_55#
  25. Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing
    Arcanum - 2016-12-03#
  26. The Way of Kings chapter 59 Summary: The Way of Kings/Chapter_59#
  27. Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-21#
  28. Oathbringer chapter 92 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_92#
  29. a b Oathbringer chapter 121 Summary: Oathbringer/Chapter_121#
  30. General Reddit 2018
    Arcanum - 2018-09-24#
  31. Steel Ministry report
    Arcanum - 2014-08-20#
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