The three vital elements that appear to comprise Godslayer are:
Can these items be exactly the same elements that made up Godslayer originally? Or are the new items "replacements" not "reincarnations" for the old ones?
Let's break it down some:
The bound hilt of the new Godslayer is made up of Spellbreaker, which seems to give the weapon some of its special abilities, and is the element that seems to provide the link to Vlad which is vital for its status as a Great Weapon.
Was Spellbreaker created when the original Godslayer was deconstructed? Was it modified after this point? Or was the hilt element of the original godslayer destroyed, and Spellbreaker itself is a totally new artifact that simply happens is to embody the same properties?
While the latter would seem to be quite a coincidence, we do have fate playing favorites here, so it can't be written off entirely.
But there are hints throughout Issola that Spellbreaker is destined to be a Great Weapon, that it is hostile to Verra, and even that it is fated to be part of Godslayer. In particular, as Vlad figures out that he is creating a Great Weapon, he recalls all these clues at once (p. 244).
- See also Speculation:Spellbreaker.
Presumably the original Godslayer was crafted by the Serioli as a morganti dagger. If this is the same dagger, how did the Jenoine get their hands on it? You'd think that when the gods "broke up" Godslayer, they wouldn't want their primary foes to come into possession of any part of it...
To the left, Vlad mentions that the hilt is too narrow and the balance is consequently off -- as if this dagger has an incomplete hilt. (completed of course by Spellbreaker later) Plus the Jenoine believe it to be strong enough to kill Verra, which may be unusual even for a morganti dagger.
Spellbreaker reacts immediately to the touch of this dagger's hilt, getting thinner and wrapping itself around the hilt and along the blade. So it's possible that Spellbreaker "recognized" its former companion.
In the last chapter of Issola (book), Vlad and Sethra seem to believe that this dagger was special --
- I touched the hilt and it was almost as if I could feel her fingers touching mine. I said, "Do you suppose the Jenoine knew?"
- "No", said Sethra. "They would never have put the weapon into your hands if they had suspected. They wanted you to kill Verra, just as they said."
It seems likely that Sethra believes the dagger was part of the original Godslayer.
However, in Chapter 10 of Yendi (book), while talking about Iceflame, Vlad states, "The only other known artifacts with the power to match it were the sword Godslayer and the Imperial Orb." Which implies the common knowledge and myths about Godslayer revolve around a sword. This could potentially be attributed to Godslayer's ability to assume other shapes. Since it always reverts to the same dagger shape, it's possible that the original form was actually that of a sword.
While not canon, in the short story 'A Dream of Passion' Godslayer is also a sword. A greatsword, which Vlad comments was longer than he was tall.
This brings up another possibility, that the greatsword Pathfinder was hidden in was the original form of Godslayer. The Serioli said that that for Vlad to get Godslayer Pathfinder must first be found, but Pathfinder played no part in Vlad acquiring Godslayer. That comment could have been directing Vlad to find the sword that housed Pathfinder, knowing that it was originally part of Godslayer. "The two artifacts were, or are to be, created together--" could be the Serioli's literal explanation for how Pathfinder was hidden within what was formerly part of Godslayer.
In order to be part of the original Godslayer, Teldra's soul (originally some unnamed Dragaeran) would have to have been released from Godslayer when it was dispersed, then sent to the Paths of the Dead. She eventually reincarnates as Teldra, serves Morrolan, etc. etc., and then in Issola gets killed and the soul returns to living in Godslayer.
We are told that someday Godslayer is going to "wake up". (Sethra Lavode in Issola), which indicates that while Teldra's soul was damaged during the encounter with the morganti dagger, that it is still vital enough to survive and "heal" back to the point where she is again fully (or at least mostly) aware.
This is a rather long and treacherous path for a soul to follow, and it is unclear if it's even possible for the soul of a Great Weapon to reincarnate in the "normal" way. If this is the case, whose soul was originally part of Godslayer? Is that soul completely dead now? How is Teldra's soul special enough to be part of Godslayer now? (See Teldra's speech about unavoidable destiny in Issola for some good food for thought on this one...)
It is also possible that a soul wasn't a part of the original Godslayer. While most of what we know about Great Weapons indicates that each has its own personality, it's possible that Teldra's soul exists "inside" Godslayer, but separate from whatever makes the blade what it is. Who knows what state the souls that the holder of a Great Weapon decides to preserve are in?
If we are really going to use Occam's razor (least complex hypothesis is usually correct) to analyze this situation, it would seem that a lot more complicated stuff has to happen for these elements to all be exactly the same ones as they were before the "break-up" happened. Perhaps the simplest explanation (taking into account the Serioli's recognition of Spellbreaker) is that Spellbreaker was part of the original Godslayer, Teldra's soul is a new component, and the dagger is more likely to be the original (after Dzur). Only the Gods who broke up Godslayer originally can say for sure, assuming they even remember.
There's one more important thing to consider about the reconstruction of Godslayer - the intentions of the Jenoine involved in getting all the pieces together. Sethra believes that this was completely unexpected and accidental, and that the Jenoine simply expected Vlad to try for a straightforward assassination of Verra. Of course, this is completely at odds, presented earlier, of the Jenoine as subtle, Machiavellian plotters who always have wheels within wheels within wheels...
Consider this as a possibility: The Jenoine knew that Spellbreaker, in Vlad's possession, plus a certain morganti dagger offered all the pieces needed to recreate Godslayer. They made arrangements to get the dagger into his possession, and protected themselves from its attacks, with the intention of eventually turning the dagger against him. In the Jenoine's Master Plan, it would've been Vlad stabbed with the proto-Godslayer, his soul preserved by Spellbreaker as part of creating the Great Weapon, and a Jenoine acting as external catalyst and eventual wielder of the weapon.
- Or maybe they simply wanted to recreate the weapon because its destiny is said to be to kill Verra, and didn't care who's soul would be used in the process or who it's wielder would be. L3zl13 15:48, April 1, 2010 (UTC)
Note that this would've (a) left the Jenoine, not one of their most dangerous enemies, in possession of one of the nastiest weapons in existence, and (b) ensured that the soul of said weapon was not a gentle, friendly, graceful Issola but instead one of the most hate-hardened Jhereg ever to exist. (Namely, Dolivar.) From the Jenoine's point of view, that's a much more palatable outcome of events.
Unfortunately for them, Vlad's somewhat unexpected arm injury and Teldra's surprising burst of heroism completely short-circuited this in the final stretch.
- Was the arm injury unexpected, or part of the (possible) plot? The Dagger and Spellbreaker got together exactly because Vlad was unable to use his left arm, so he had to use both of them with his right. L3zl13 15:48, April 1, 2010 (UTC)
To the left, if the Jenoine wanted to turn the dagger against Vlad, they're smart enough to realize that it's far easier to control who gets stabbed when you're holding onto the hilt yourself. Giving that control to someone else is a risky proposition at best.
Another interesting to note is that Vlad found Spellbreaker in Loraan's lab with a staff containing Aliera's soul. It's possible that perhaps Loraan was trying to reassemble Godslayer and was trying to use Aliera as the "soul" component. 188.8.131.52 23:15, November 11, 2014 (UTC)
Instead of thinking of Godslayer as being created, then destroyed, then created again, it is possible that it is only created once: with Lady Teldra, Spellbreaker, the Morganti weapon and Vlad as the catalyst. At some point in the future, after having killed Verra (or perhaps at the moment it kills Verra) it is transported back in time and dismantled by the Gods because some lingering evidence that it kills Verra.
Teldra, who appears out of nowhere in the East, apparently without much history, may have herself been transported back in time, or even granted birth by the Gods as part of the dismantling of the weapon.
Therefore, there is no need for dual creations, just a little bit of time bending. We know that time can do funny things in the paths of the dead and that is presumably where Verra will be killed and who knows what effects the death of a God would have on the world.
This theory is supported by the reluctance of the Serioli (in Dragon) to commit himself to past or future tense when speaking of Godslayer. He uses was/will be and claims there is no simple explanation for the multiple tenses.
Build your own Great Weapon in 4 easy steps!Edit
Once upon a time, a powerful Athyra wizard named Loraan paid quite a lot for a Dragaeran soul in a staff. When found in his laboratory, he had the staff in a special magical display case, and Spellbreaker in another case next to it. He was offered lots of money in return for the staff, and told it contained the soul of a friend, and yet he refused the offer. He was obviously playing for larger stakes. Could it be that he was looking for a spell that would combine that soul with Spellbreaker and some convenient morganti weapon (or even was searching for the right one), so as to reconstruct his own Godslayer? If so, perhaps he believed that any soul would do...
Sethra Lavode in Dzur states that one of the legends about Godslayer is that it is destined to kill Verra, and that the Jenoine know this story (as does presumably Verra herself). Another legend that Sethra mentions is that Godslayer is designed to "cut out the diseased flesh in the world" - although she says that she does not really know what that means.
One possible interpretation is that "diseased flesh" somehow relates to the Jhereg, which is the House of corruption and death.
Or, the "diseased flesh" could be the Greater Sea of Chaos and the Lesser Sea of Chaos. It is notable that Godslayer's current owner has demonstrated some personal power over amorphia, which is very rare.
In Dzur_(book) p 81, Vlad wonders if the Jenoine know that Godslayer was destined to kill Verra. Sethra thinks it's likely.
- "Very well. The weapon is supposed to destroy Verra."
- "Hmmm. Sethra, could the Jenoine know about that?"
- "Certainly, Vlad."
If Vlad and Godslayer do eventually kill Verra, it is likely that this will be the focus of the 19th Vlad Taltos novel: The Last Contract.
A thought that has occurred to me: If Lady Teldra acts like Golden Phoenix stone, but self-aware... is that when she wakes up, she might be able to selectively shield Vlad: In other words, hostile effects would be blocked, as normal, but she would still allow friendly effects, or Vlad himself, to use sorcery. Which would be... scary.
- I would say that her recently-displayed healing power while Vlad was wearing the Stones confirms that speculation. Steve and Jock 15:35, January 26, 2010 (UTC)
In Issola, Sethra Lavode said, "the Great Weapons indeed were created by the Serioli." Then, Vlad speculates that Morrolan and Aliera are being held with help from the Serioli. So who provided the Morganti dagger to the Jenoine? Did they have one around that just happened to be the right one, or did the Serioli give the Jenoine a Morganti dagger that was designed to complete Godslayer?