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Honorspren

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Honorspren
Shallan's Sketchbook - Honorspren.jpg
Type Spren
Abilities Nahel bond, Windrunner magic, Splinters of Honor
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
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We're each a bit of power made manifest. We honorspren mimic Honor himself.

Syl[1]

Honorspren are a type of sapient spren capable of forming a Nahel Bond.[2]

They are Splinters of Honor.[3][4] Bonding with one makes someone a Knight Radiant of the Order of Windrunners.

Appearance[edit]

In the Physical Realm, honorspren look like windspren.[5] They can change their appearance, including forms like fire or clouds, although they always glow, and are always white-blue.[6][7] This being said, they generally seem to prefer a humanoid form. Usually, it's very small -- only about a handspan tall -- but if need be, a honorspren can make themselves as tall as a regular person.[5][8] The more powerful their bond becomes, the more they can change themselves, even being able to shift the color of their clothes if not their skin, though this might be unique to Sylphrena.

In Shadesmar, honorspren are blue-white and as large as humans.[9] They cannot vanish, or shape-shift.[1] They appear to be wearing clothes, but the clothes are part of their essence and cannot be changed without Stormlight. Some honorspren buy physical clothes to wear instead.[10]

History[edit]

The honorspren were created by Honor himself, many thousands of years ago.

During the Heraldic Epochs, honorspren were created by Honor.[4] At some point, inspired by the Heralds and their Honorblades, the honorspren, along with nine other types of sapient spren, began forming Nahel Bonds with humans, giving rise to the Order of Windrunners.[11] Back then, they had a reputation for being discerning in their choice of who to bond with, more so than many other spren.[12]

As his death approached, Honor passed the responsibility of creating honorspren to the Stormfather. The great spren made a few of them, including Sylphrena, yet soon the Recreance arrived and the vast majority of honorspren became deadeyes. Syl was the only survivor among the Stormfather's children, as she was slumbering at the time. Her fate wasn't known, though, and Stormfather didn't create any new honorspren for centuries. Eventually, he made ten. Those ten created more honorspren, with their children creating more and so on.[4]

Eventually, the honorspren grew into a large nation once more. Sometime in the recent past, they tried to conquer all of Shadesmar -- a failed attempt that left them with poor reputation among other sapient spren.[13] As a result, these days the honorspren keep to themselves, and it's dangerous for them to travel Shadesmar alone.[14]

Recently, Sylphrena was rediscovered, and brought back to the other honorspren. When she realized a new Desolation was coming, she escaped, leaving the city she's been staying at to enter the Physical Realm and find someone to bond with.[15][4] This caused the honorspren to post a huge reward for her return.[10]

After the True Desolation began, however, other honorspren started bonding with humans.[8]

Culture[edit]

An honorspren fighting deathspren

Oh! She says she would rather trade with honorspren than take another trip to the perpendicularity. I think this is an insult.

Pattern, translating for an ashspren[10]

Honorspren are generally warlike and oath-bound, with a strong military tradition.[13] While fairly isolationist, they are willing to let other spren live alongside them, though it seems a non-honorspren cannot attain a high rank in their society. They believe themselves to be oathbound to follow Honor's path and serve what they think to be his interests. However, they are also highly respectful of the Bondsmiths, and the Stormfather Bondsmith in particular. The latter is likely due to many of them seeing the Stormfather as their parent or progenitor.[4]

Honorspren follow morality instead of a system of laws, and are stubborn in upholding their particular interpretation of it. It is difficult to change their mind with logic, as they focus on what they feel more than what they think.[4][16] Obedience and order are highly valued in their society, and they're willing to put up bounties for their rebellious kinsmen.[8][10] This being said, honorspren pride themselves on not being as uptight as the highspren, and can be flexible when necessary.[4]

Of all spren, honorspren are noted to have the most human mannerisms.[4] They sometimes engage in grand hunts, tracking down and slaying other creatures of Shadesmar, like gloomspren.[17]

Honorspren are not liked by other types of sapient spren, and seem to avoid them in turn. In Celebrant, there are none on the streets.[10] Rather, they have their own cities, forming a grand nation with the capital in Lasting Integrity. They have several strongholds, including Unyielding Fidelity, in the reigon of Shadesmar corresponding to Kharbranth.[10]

According to Syl, while honorspren hate inkspren and highspren, they merely distrust Cryptics.[18]

Legal Proceedings[edit]

The honorspren have a complex legal code that they require all parties involved to understand to at least a basic extent. Defendants are expected to carry their own case, and although they may receive legal counsel outside of the courtroom, lawyers are not employed by honorspren during trials.[19]

Defendants are permitted to talk during the trial, and during witness testimony, however, the judge can order them gagged at his or her discretion.[20] When permitted, the audience is allowed to ask questions of the defendant, but cannot make statements.[21] If a witness has been called who is too young or cannot be traditionally examined, the High Judge has the authority to question the defendant and speak on the witness’ behalf.[22] Proceedings are overseen by a High Judge, who is accompanied by a group of honorspren officials.[21] If the High Judge is unavailable, one of these officials can adjudicate in the High Judge’s place.[22]

Trial by Witness[edit]

A particular type of trial that is available under honorspren law is trial by witness. It is rarely used as it heavily favors the prosecution. This type of trial must be requested and approved by the judge preceding over the case. If the request is accepted, the trial is held in three parts, each on its own day, where multiple witnesses are brought forward by the prosecution, and the defendant is also allowed to present their case. On the first trial day, the prosecution will call three witnesses to speak against the defendant.[19] The second day of trial is for the accused to plead their case and the audience may ask them questions. On the third day, the prosecution can bring forth a final witness, whom the defendant can question, before judgement is made.[19][21]

Abilities[edit]

Honorspren have the ability to sense an upcoming highstorm days before it arrives.[23] This is likely related to their origins as Stormfather's children. In the Physical Realm, they can use Adhesion to stick small, light objects together[24], and give pinches of energy or move small objects.[25] They can also shape-shift while in there, and choose who can and cannot see and hear them, although they cannot hide from their bonded Surgebinder, an Unkalaki alaii'iku,[26] or Lift.[27]

They can form a Nahel Bond with humans, turning them into Surgebinders with the powers of Adhesion and Gravitation. In return, they gain the ability to think and act like their Shadesmar selves in the physical realm.[28] Among the honorspren, the bond is considered extremely intimate, as it involves the mixing of souls.[4]

Notable Honorspren[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • Several honorspren have names derived from wind-related myths and legends -- for example, Sylphrena is named after sylphs, wind spirits, while Notum and Borea's names come from Notus and Boreas, the Greek gods of South and North wind respectively.
  • Brandon developed honorspren from windspren. Originally, there were only four windspren that could bond people, each corresponding to one of the four cardinal directions (for example, Syl was initially called the East Wind). Over time, as the spren developed, honorspren were created and made distinctive from windspren.[30]

Notes[edit]

  1. a b Oathbringer chapter 97 #
  2. The Way of Kings chapter 67 #
  3. Steelheart Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2013-10-05#
  4. a b c d e f g h i j Oathbringer chapter 108 #
  5. a b The Way of Kings chapter 2 #
  6. The Way of Kings chapter 40 #
  7. The Way of Kings chapter 27 #
  8. a b c Oathbringer chapter 37 #
  9. Oathbringer chapter 89 #
  10. a b c d e f Oathbringer chapter 102 #
  11. Words of Radiance chapter 87 #
  12. The Way of Kings chapter 60 #
  13. a b Oathbringer chapter 47 #
  14. Oathbringer chapter 99 #
  15. Oathbringer chapter 95 #
  16. Rhythm of War chapter 21 #
  17. Oathbringer chapter 5 #
  18. Rhythm of War chapter 20 #
  19. a b c Rhythm of War chapter 78 #
  20. Rhythm of War chapter 87 #
  21. a b c Rhythm of War chapter 90 #
  22. a b Rhythm of War chapter 94 #
  23. Oathbringer chapter 20 #
  24. Oathbringer chapter 77 #
  25. The Way of Kings chapter 6 #
  26. The Way of Kings chapter 21 #
  27. Rhythm of War interlude I-1 #
  28. The Way of Kings chapter 57 #
  29. Dawnshard chapter 7 #
  30. Shadows of Self London UK signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-19#
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