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Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
#451 Copy

Ray745

When a person dies who is then Returned, do they come back essentially immediately? According to Llarimar it sounds like a quick process...

"When we found you dead, I lost hope. I was going to resign my position. I knelt above your body, weeping. And then, the Colors started to glow. You lifted your head, body changing, getting larger, muscles growing stronger."

When they do come back, are they unconscious? I only ask because as Llarimar was holding him when he changed, if he came back right then, Lightsong's first memory would be of this man who was to be his priest holding him. I assume this would be something Lightsong would have asked about numerous times, why he was with Llarimar when he died, so it seems to me a Returned must be unconscious for a while in order to give them a chance to be brought to the Court of the Gods without being exposed to their family, whom they were probably around when they died.

Brandon Sanderson

It's usually a quick process, but not standardized. It could take hours, or longer, but generally does not.

It's something between what you're saying, and instantaneous waking up. More like they start to glow, and the transformation begins, then they wake up and stand. But they're confused and disoriented, and Lightsong was told his priests were gathered as soon as he started glowing, so that they could greet him as he came to himself. He never had reason to question, and that moment is fuzzy anyway. (As evidenced by him not remembering the event, and needing to be told about it.)

At least, that's my rationale as I remember it. It's been ten years at this point, so I could be fuzzy on the details. :)

General Reddit 2017 ()
#452 Copy

porcipotimus

*fan art of a whitespine*

Ben McSweeney

Well done. I had a difficult time with the whitespine's anatomy, to the point of largely redesigning the body again just before the deadline (we wrote an article about it on Brandon's blog, I think? -EDIT- We did! ), but you've interpreted it nicely considering the limited reference.

Missed the vestigial claws behind the primary legs though (sorry, your quality kicked my AD brain into gear :), and the skin could be bit smoother/slicker on the flanks (they get more shellie as they dry out, so maybe he's very dry).

porcipotimus

Oh snaps, you're right! I missed that detail :*( He did come out a bit chunkier than I think I would have liked (I imagined them looking a bit more agile and bug-like and less "tanky"/dragon-y than this) but alas I just went with it since I was having fun.

Ben McSweeney

The interview talks about a bunch of the design motif stuff we went through. There was an active need to step away from the chunkier arthropod/crustacean thing we had done with chasmfiends and axehounds and cremlings, and start to widen the field a little more. I think you were right to push away from being tanky-dragony. What you have here is remarkably close to some of our earlier designs.

At the end I was thinking of the flanks being clad in a sort of sharkskin, merging with the bonier protrusions along the spine flowing just under the skin... as the creature dries out, the skin contracts and even cracks with mineral buildup, and it becomes more rocky/tanky. It needs the storms to stay active, otherwise it's inclined to go into a sort of hibernation to conserve energy unless prey comes near. I imagine as things dry out, they crawl into cracks and hollow between the stones and blend in, waiting for the next storm. Still ready to snatch up prey or even emerge to hunt when prey draws near.

When the weather is wet, they're out and hunting all the other critters that come out to feed in the aftermath of fresh rainfall and the newly stripped, tossed landscape. Then they fill out a little and become more like sleek sharks stalking the mountains and chasms. They get shinier and smoother and more able to move quickly. That's when they become the real terror of the hills, stalking like wolves or tigers but climbing like goats.

It's still a mishmash design, it's not really as cohesive as I would have liked. There's room for evolutionary improvement... after all there's probably always another breed. Southern Whitespines, if you will. The Great Northern Rockback Whitespine. The tiny but deadly Deep Chasm Whitespine. The sleek and slender Eastern Spinybacked Whitespine (much more needly). I'm making all of this up as I go, but that's half the secret to doing this at all :)

JordanCon 2018 ()
#455 Copy

Argent

Spren grant control over surges because surges are perceived as fundamental powers on Roshar. Would other Cognitive beings grant different powers based on what they perceive to be fundamental? Such as electromagnetism is on Earth?

Brandon Sanderson

It is plausible, although this was set up in a specific way.

Argent

By Honor or Adonalsium?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO on that. Set up might be the wrong word. There were seeds that caused this to happen the way it did.

Argent

The Surgebinding thing?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, specifically... Those influenced what people perceived as fundamental forces.

Steelheart Chicago signing ()
#456 Copy

Maximus (paraphrased)

None of the Heralds mention or address the Almighty in the opening scene of [The Way of Kings]; it's a little strange, considering they are his champions. Have they seen or spoken to the Almighty?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, the Heralds have spoken with the Almighty. They also feel that what has been done to them is partially his fault. They are all broken in some way and aren't really honorable anymore.

Maximus (paraphrased)

Was that how and why the deal with Odium showed up?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

RAFO.

Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
#457 Copy

Kurkistan

Could Miles heal back his Allomancy if it was spiked out of him?

Brandon Sanderson

No, he could not. He would no longer be an Allomancer. Also, he'd probably be dead. :)

Kurkistan

Thanks!

I'd thought maybe he could just do some super-tapping from his existing Health in his goldminds (since he'd still have his Feruchemy)...

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, I see what you're asking. Using Feruchemy to heal the removed portion of soul. That's actually plausible, not so different from healing other kinds of soul-wounds. If he survived, then yes, this actually might work. (That's why I get for reading the questions so quickly.)

Elantris Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

The Spirit of Elantris

So, this moment–where Raoden is nearly dead, looking down on the cities, and finally makes the connection–was one of the scenes that made me want to write this book. In each novel I write, I have some important scenes in my mind. They're like. . .focuses for the novel. They're the places I know I need to get, and they're usually very dynamic in my mind. In a way, I tell the rest of the story just so I can make my way to these moments.

This book had two main Moments for me. We haven't gotten to the second yet, but this is the first. I hope that you, the reader, arrived at the realization just as Raoden did. I've had a lot of trouble getting this balance right. Some readers figured out the secret early, while others (the larger group) didn't even understand what's going on in this chapter.

If it requires explanation, Raoden is thinking about Aon Rao. Then he notices that Elantris and the cities around it form a pattern–the exact pattern of Aon Rao. The cities form an Aon on the ground. At this moment, Raoden realizes why Elantris fell, and why the Elantrians went with it. If you haven't figured it out yet, I won't spoil it for you.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#459 Copy

Questioner

Is the reason Dalinar rejects the Thrill because he has a connection to Honor through his visions from the Stormfather?

Brandon Sanderson

…Is the reason that Dalinar rejects the Thrill because he has a connection to the Stormfather through his visions?

Questioner

Yes.

Brandon Sanderson

The answer is yes, this is parti-- this is in play. Though you could say the two of them have a si-- The reason he has a connection to the Stormfather also influences the reason that he rejects the Thrill, so it may be more correlation than causation, but there's at least a little causation as well.

Elantris Annotations ()
#460 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

So, this section marked one of the biggest changes to the text during the revision process. In the Mad Prince version of the novel, the soldiers who ride up to Kiin's house were members of the Mad Prince's army. They arrested Raoden–he went willingly–and tried him for the death of their leader. This took the better part of two chapters, and ended with Raoden almost getting beheaded.

Overall, I kind of happy to lose the scene. The trial was a big distraction, and I'm not sure that I ever pulled it off narratively. There were a few interestingly tense moments, and it did let Raoden show his honor in his defense (he accepted the judgments of the army assuming they promised to make Sarene queen.) However, I sense that the scene in general was just over-written.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
#463 Copy

Questioner

My background is twenty years of military, and as I've been reading your Way of Kings, I've found that your insight into what it like to be a member of the service, all the mental trials including post-traumatic stress disorder is all very well thought-out and I'm curious how you came across that knowledge.

Brandon Sanderson

Lots of interviews and lots of reading on forums. People who post their hearts and souls on-- if you find the right forums, where people are among like-minded individuals, you can watch like a fly-on-the-wall and see what people are saying and how they are feeling. Because I strive for authenticity, that's what I-- whenever someone is feeling I want it to be authentic, and the more far removed from my own experience the better it is, if that makes sense to me, to get it into my books. So I try very hard for that.

Questioner

In fact I'm going to be suggesting to the Veterans' Administration to use the series for treatment for PTSD. There are literally some things in there I've never seen anyone actually understand or get before. Some of my military friends have just been in absolute tears after reading your book.

Brandon Sanderson

That is an honor to hear.

Read For Pixels 2018 ()
#464 Copy

MiToRo94

Honor has Stormlight and Odium has Voidlight, is there a Cultivationlight? If so, can an Invested person use it as a third magic on Roshar or is a boon/curse the only magic of Cultivation/Nightwatcher?

Brandon Sanderson

There is more! I'll just say that, the rest is Read And Find Out. You are theorizing in an accurate direction.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#466 Copy

Questioner

Abstract concepts, have representations in Shadesmar. Fear, whatever. So, now we are going into complete nerd-land. I'm a programmer. the things that I program, the programs that I make, to me they are discrete things that kind of come alive. So the question is-- The first part of the question would those have a representation in Shadesmar?

Brandon Sanderson

So here's the thing. A lot of people have to collectively start doing this for it to come alive. And it's not just any abstract concept, it is an abstract concept related to the Shards that are there and Investiture actually actively coming to life bearing that sort of personality and attribute. So that's-- you see things relating to human emotions, you can see things related to nature, because of Cultivation, you see a lot of things relating to how people interact with one another, from Honor. So the answer to that is that seems-- That's not really what spren are doing, but programmingspren you could see something coming from

Questioner

Programmingspren, but not a spren for a specific program.

Brandon Sanderson

Unlikely, yeah to have a spren for a specific program. There are some really weird spren, that are different. So it's not impossible, but it's not likely either.

General Reddit 2014 ()
#467 Copy

Kaladin_Stormblessed

It would be an honor to even have a passing mention in any of your works....

My real name is Lyndsey, I'm about 5'4", 29 years old, pretty plain looking really, brown hair/eyes, not fat but not skinny either (about average in most respects). Huge tomboy though...

Brandon Sanderson

Got it. Be aware, it will be a good while before the second book is out--next year sometime, if we're lucky, spring 2013 if the writing takes more time than expected. Look for someone who has a name like yours, and who looks like you.

Footnote: This conversation occurred privately through PMs in 2011, and was shared publicly after the release of WoR.
Sources: Reddit
Firefight San Francisco signing ()
#468 Copy

Questioner

When it comes to like, touring and stuff like that, how do you pick these locations?

Brandon Sanderson

Sometimes, it's my publisher, sometimes it's me saying let's go somewhere different. And sometimes it's places where I've come a lot where they do a good job, like when I come to a store like this, I feel like they do a good job, so I put a good report into the publisher and say, feel free to send me back to that store.

Questioner

Ok, because I'm a student at Sunset University, and I have a lot of people who are fans there, and I'd love it if you know--

Brandon Sanderson

The best way to get me into places like that is if you have a local convention, science fiction convention, having them invite me to be guest of honor, I do that sort of thing a lot.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#469 Copy

Firm_Spell

How does Connection to a Shard actually work? 16 random people took 16 Shards in the past, I don't think all of them had special Connection to a certain Shard each of them picked. We even know that Ati, Ruin's Vessel, was a kind, generous man, direct opposition to Ruin's Intent.

However, in Mistborn we find out that you must gain certain amount of Connection to become a Shard Vessel. Kelsier wasn't Connected to Preservation well enough (he's more of Ruin), Sazed was somehow Connected to both Preservation and Ruin? So, should you be Connected to a Shard to Ascend? Why was it different in the past?

Also, what would happen if, theoretically Dalinar, a good, honorable man, kill Odium's Vessel and take a Shard for himself? Will he change Shard's Intent to something...let's say less destructive or Odium's intent will just devour his personality and he'll act just like Odium's current Vessel?

Brandon Sanderson

That's pretty big RAFO territory, I'm afraid. I'll just say that this is something I do intend to delve into in the books.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#470 Copy

Chaos

I'm sorry Brandon, you might RAFO me.

*written* For the metal in Bleeder, is it from a Shard we know?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh no… You drove all this way, that's what makes me. Eric comes and he's like--

Chaos

You RAFO'd me at Words of Radiance--

Brandon Sanderson

I know.

Chaos

--I asked you a question that was too much.

Brandon Sanderson

…you push, yeah… There you are you got your answer. You got me.

*writes* Yes.

Footnote: at that time we knew 9 Shards: Devotion, Dominion, Preservation, Ruin, Odium, Honor, Cultivation, Endowment, and Autonomy
Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
#471 Copy

Kirrin

Marsh? The book doesn't mention him after he fights with Elend.

Brandon Sanderson

Marsh is alive. I changed this from when I talked to [Peter]. I realized some things about his use of Allomancy that would allow him to survive. Actually, he is immortal. He can pull off the same Allomancy/Feruchemy trick that the Lord Ruler did. (And he knows it too, since he was there when Sazed explained how it was done in Book One.) He's actually the only living person who actually knows this trick for certain. (Though there's a chance that Spook, Ham and Breeze heard about it from Vin and the others.) So yes, if there were another series, Marsh would make an appearance.

Douglas

I thought that trick required atium and involved burning the atium. With all the atium gone and Sazed not making any more, it would therefore not be possible even for a full mistborn/feruchemist. Am I wrong, is Sazed providing atium specifically for Marsh to allow a friend and valuable servant to survive, or what?

Brandon Sanderson

Marsh has the bag of atium that KanPaar sent to be sold, as well as several nuggets in his stomach. So, I guess 'immortal' is the wrong phrase. He's got the only remaining atium in the world and can keep himself around for a long, long while—but he WILL eventually run out. Unless Sazed does something.

Oathbringer Houston signing ()
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Pagerunner

The letters in [Oathbringer]. Are they all three from Shards?

Brandon Sanderson

...Yes.

Pagerunner

Is the first one, is that one we know? Is that one we've seen yet?

Brandon Sanderson

They are all ones you have seen.

Pagerunner

They are all ones we have seen.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Or at least you know.

Pagerunner

Have seen or know of.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
#473 Copy

Questioner

Will you ever do a prequel to Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

It is unlikely that I will spend very much time with prequels because as a reader I’m not terribly fond of them: Since I already know what happens it ruins some of the story for me. Though the video game, which by the way is taking a long time and I have no updates *laughter* was going to be a prequel. And so that sort of thing you might see mediums like that. And it’s not impossible that I will do something like that. You might see a novella or something like that, but it’s unlikely-- I’m unlikely to do a whole series about, y’know Alendi and Kwaan and people like that.

Hal-Con 2012 ()
#474 Copy

Lance Alvein (paraphrased)

You said to not travel to Shadesmar on Sel. Is this a consequence of Odium Splintering Aona and Skai?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It is indirectly related to the Splintering. There is a clue to why it is dangerous in Way of Kings.

Footnote: The reason it is dangerous to travel in the Cognitive Realm near Sel is that the Dor, the Splintered remains of Devotion and Dominion, resides there and is a storm of uncontrolled Investiture (as the seons and skaze are not numerous enough to act as release valves like the spren of Roshar do for Honor).
/r/books AMA 2015 ()
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The_Honor_Spren

Should I even care about the flute? If Sadeas had it, would that mean it has become part of Amaram's collection?

Brandon Sanderson

It's not a big deal, but that doesn't stop fans from caring. So I can't say whether you should or not. :)