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Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
#52 Copy

BeskarKomrk

When you say Scadrial has an earth similar year, are you referring to the time it takes the planet to go around the sun? Or the year as people on the planet would measure it (e.g. Vin is fifteen years old when her brother leaves her)? Are these the same thing?

While I'm here, a selection of related questions for you if you have the time:

  1. Did the length of a year (as measured by the people on the planet) change when Scadrial was moved by The Lord Ruler/Harmony?
  2. I've assumed that lengths of time given in the books use that world's time lengths. For example, the Reod happens ten Selish years before Elantris (which may not correspond exactly to Scadrian years or Earth years), or that the 4500 years between the prelude and the prologue of Way of Kings is in Rosharan years. Is this an accurate assumption?
  3. I've assumed in the past that all the major shardworld planets we've seen have roughly earth similar years. Can you confirm/deny this for any of them specifically? I'm especially interested in Sel and Nalthis. (Specific numbers would be ideal, but even a yes/no for any of the planets would be super super awesome!)

Brandon Sanderson

  1. I mentioned in another post that I'll wait a bit to give you exact numbers, because I want to make sure Peter has run all the right calculations. But yes, changing the orbit had an effect on things--though official calendars didn't need to change, as they'd been used since before the original shift happened anyway. When we talk about 'Years' in the Final Empire, it's original (pre LR) orbit anyway. I knew I was going to go back to them later in the series, and when characters were actually aware of things like the calendar, it would be close to earth standard.

  2. Though, since you mention it, all numbers mentioned in their respective series are in-world numbers. This makes things tricky, as Rosharan years (with the five hundred days) are blatant enough to start the average reader wondering about these things.

  3. Mostly, Roshar is the big one (not in actual deviation--I think a Roshar year is only 1.1 Earth years--but in how the scope and terminology of the novel will make people start to notice and ask questions.) Other planets have deviations from Earth, but it's not as noticeable. We'll give specific numbers eventually. I promise.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#53 Copy

gingermancer

How are the main characters like with regards to homosexuality? I imagine the likes of Sazed wouldn't care, but it'd be interesting to see how much of a deviant the characters we've come to know are, when compared to their world's societies.

Brandon Sanderson

Again, you're going to see a wide variety of attitudes and impressions here. Some are very deviant from society, while others are good expressions of it.

One thing I do downplay in the books is how often characters are terribly biased. Basically all the protagonists in the Stormlight books are, for example, HORRIBLE racists. I bring it up now and then to make sure the text, at least, knows this fact--but it's also something that, if I did with a dose more realism, would be very offputting. So I try to walk a line where it's an ugly thing that rears its head now and then, but it is still possible to like the characters, acknowledging they are products of a very different society from our own.

Views on homosexuality are the same. You'll see, for instance, that Sigzil has a problem with Drehy in Bridge Four. Similarly, some characters have more progressive views than their society, as I think would be realistic for the types of people they are. So you don't see as much from the text as there might otherwise be. Ranette's relationship is not quite as accepted in Scadrian society as Wax and Marasi's viewpoints would lead you to believe, for example.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#54 Copy

RobotAztec

Is all the chickens who are not chickens in Stormlight a big fat joke about [Terry Goodkind]?

Brandon Sanderson

No. Loan words into Alethi (chicken, wine, hound, etc) are a little bit of linguistic worldbuilding I am using for quite a different reason...

muther22

I'm guessing you aren't willing to elaborate on that point?

Brandon Sanderson

Book three will make it clear, but it is not so hard to guess right now. I will avoid saying more until November.

Stuttgart signing ()
#56 Copy

Paleo (paraphrased)

Have Rosharan mathematics advanced far enough to know Julia sets?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, they know Julia sets. Some of the mathematics are farther along at this time than ours, some are behind. Kinda like abstractionalism is a centuries-old art style on Roshar, calculus was discovered way earlier.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#57 Copy

Questioner

On Roshar, the Alethi, their hair breeds... I was wondering, what happens if, say, Adolin and Shalan have a child. Does that child have red and black and golden hair? Does this mean that at some point in the future you could have a rainbow haired child?

Brandon Sanderson

You can have a rainbow haired child on Roshar. Do know that the hair breeds true. It's easy for it to be bred out.

Prague Signing ()
#58 Copy

Paleo

On the Discord also they tried to... because the moon is always like on the horizon and they did the math and technically it's possible but it would have to change its inclination I think through one hundred degrees every turn. Is it natural or is it also maintained by...

Brandon Sanderson

It is also maintained by the system. We ran the math on that one too. It, like, the Rosharans also are not in a stable orbit but this one's even less in a stable orbit, let's just say that.

Paleo

Somebody did like the universe simulator thing and somebody ran it to Roshar and they said it crashed into each other.

Brandon Sanderson

I mean they would, we find we got like ten, no like a hundred thousand years before it happens but yeah, the moons are very not stable on Roshar, let's just say that. I'm not convinced that the continent is stable either. On geological terms I don't think... if Roshar were as old as Earth is, you would not have a continent, is what I think. Even with the crem and stuff.

Paleo

The crem isn't enough... you said before that it shifts east?

Brandon Sanderson

That's what I think, I haven't done the math but that's what my instinct says that it wouldn't be enough. But we'll leave that for people who actually run the math until they... because I do not have time to get a degree in ecological science.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#59 Copy

holdencaufld

I feel like society on Roshar would develop a bit differently because of emotion spren. You'd have to be very careful talking/ interacting with people since you can't hide things like fear, anger, awe, anticipation, joy, passion and shame. Imagine going through high school having to deal with them...

The_Bravinator

I have to imagine it alters things like, say, the concept of masculinity. Obviously the Alethi have very strong ideas about masculinity, but attracting fearspren/feeling fear doesn't seem to be a negative within that like it would be in our culture. Men attract fearspren all the time, and it's totally fine.

It also seems like it might be taboo to mention someone else's emotion spren. People are constantly noticing internally that other people are attracting them, but they NEVER EVER comment on it (until the part in OB where they're investigating it in Kholinar). There must be a really strong boundary around commenting on other people's spren.

It's one thing I did want to ask Brandon about if he does another AMA--how emotion spren affect Rosharan culture.

Brandon Sanderson

This is some good theorizing here. I'd agree with what /u/The_Bravinator says.

The effects are all over the place, but they are just how life is on Roshar, so I rarely point them out. For example, the classic Alethi sort of idolizing being "straightforward" with people. No assassinations. (Well, supposedly.) You're used to being able to see people's emotions, so you take it for granted that only hyper untrustworthy people do things in ways that don't expose emotions. Emotions aren't bad, they simply are, and everyone has them. Views of masculinity are certainly changed.

The_Bravinator

Is it taboo to mention emotion spren that other people are attracting, or do people just not generally think to do so?

Brandon Sanderson

Depends on the situation, really. Not exactly the same, but note how in Earth societies the different responses to something like passing gas, depending on context, culture, etc.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#61 Copy

Questioner

I want to know if Taravangian, the Ghostbloods, Amaram, is there any kind of like connecting... are they working together or anything like that?

Brandon Sanderson

Taravangian, so the Diagram, the Ghostbloods, is that the two you mentioned? Amaram is Sons of Honor; Amaram and Gavilar are Sons of Honor. These are three different groups who are aware of what is happening and have different philosophies on how to deal with what is coming. They have opposed views, for example, the Sons of Honor are trying to bring back Voidbringers because they believe it will return the heralds as well. Where as the diagram has his plan... y'know, I wont give them away. Some of the are hinted at, you can read. He talks about it, but you can see what he's doing. The Ghostbloods, they have not talked about their motives very much. They have different motives. The Sons of Honor are the easiest to figure out and they are also the most wrong, right. If you read what Taravangian says you can probably see what the Diagram is trying to do.

Firefight release party ()
#63 Copy

Questioner

Is there more to the Roshar world than what is shown on the map or is it just that?

Brandon Sanderson

There is only one continent. Now if you are paying attention, that's not answering your question completely.

Questioner

It's just different realms and all that. I meant like more landmass.

Brandon Sanderson

There is only one continent on Roshar.

Questioner

Just different versions of it.

Brandon Sanderson

That doesn't mean there aren't islands out there.

Now the Mistborn world there is a whole lot more.

Questioner

We've only had that one little part so far.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, but it's basically almost all empty because... Which is actually very fun for the worldbuilding, is this idea of a mostly unpopulated world.

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
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Questioner

So I have a question about the cosmere. I recently read The Stormlight Archive books and I love them, and then I reread Warbreaker and I noticed something. When Siri was teaching the God King how to read, she says one of the letters is called shash and this is the name of one of Kaladin's slave brands. I was wondering why.

Brandon Sanderson

It was just a coincidence, that one's been asked of me before, yeah it's just a coincidence.

General Twitter 2015 ()
#66 Copy

JD Thorne

Now I love [The Stormlight Archive] as much as the next person, but I see a hole that just gets under my skin no matter what!

Brandon Sanderson

?

JD Thorne

SKYEELS! They would have been discovered first and called Eels. It's always bugged me, unless you can offer a reason that is

Brandon Sanderson

The hound question is what you should be asking. Roshar has regular water eels, so skyeel isn't nearly as odd as axehound.

JD Thorne

Ahhh but that's my point exactly. shouldn't it be eels and water eels? Not skyeels and eels. Watereels discovered second.

Brandon Sanderson

The answers are there in the books. They will be made clear soon, but I suspect many have guessed already.

San Diego [email protected] 2020 ()
#67 Copy

StarburstWrapperTie

What is it like at the poles of Roshar, where the highstorms are circling around?

Brandon Sanderson

We've thought about this a lot, and I'm going to RAFO this for now. Because I need some meteorological help on some of these things. And so I'm not gonna speak until I'm sure that I know... Like, the meteorology of Roshar is bizarre anyway, the storms are magical, they're dropping crem. So it doesn't mean we have to keep to it exactly. But this is one that I don't quite want to answer yet.

Tor.com The Way of Kings Re-Read Interview ()
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Isilel

Does military service raise one's nahn/dahn?

Let's say somebody from a very low nahn, who is basically a serf, right? I mean, they don't have the freedom of movement. So, what if a man like that rises to a sergeant and serves 25 years with distinction, does he go back to being a serf when/if he retires from the military? Would he be required to return to his village/town of origin? Can something like this be properly controlled, even? I mean, do they check traveling people's papers?

Brandon Sanderson

There's a lot of parts to this. Rising within nahns and dahns happens more easily in Roshar than rising in social status did in most societies that had similar things in our world—for instance India, or even England. To an extent, it is very easy to buy yourself up a rank. What you've got to remember is the very high ranks are harder to attain. By nature, the children of someone of a very high rank sometimes are shuffled down to a lower rank—until they hit a stable rank. There are certain ranks that are stable in that the children born to parents of that rank always have that rank at as well. Your example of the soldier who serves with distinction could very easily be granted a rank up. In fact, it would be very rare for a soldier to not get a level of promotion if they were a very low rank—to not be ranked up immediately. The social structure pushes people toward these stable ranks. For the serf level, if you're able to escape your life of serfdom and go to a city, often getting a job and that sort of thing does require some measure of paperwork listing where you're from and the like. But if you were a serf who was educated, that would be pretty easy to fake. What's keeping most people as serfs is the fact that breaking out of it is hard, and there are much fewer of those ranks than you might assume. The right of travel is kind of an assumed thing. To be lower ranked than that, something has to have gone wrong for your ancestors and that sort of thing. There are many fewer people of that rank than there are of the slightly higher ranks that have the right of travel. It's a natural check and balance against the nobility built into the system. There are a lot of things going on here. Movement between ranks is not as hard as you might expect.

Isilel

Ditto with the lighteyes—does exemplary service raise one's dahn?

Brandon Sanderson

It's much harder for a lighteyes, but the king and the highprinces can raise someone's dahn if they want to. But it is much harder. In the lower dahns, you can buy yourself up in rank. Or you can be appointed. For instance, if you're appointed as a citylord, that is going to convey a certain dahn, and you could jump two or three dahns just by getting that appointment. Now, if you serve poorly, if a lot of the people who have the right of travel leave—which this doesn't happen very often—if your town gets smaller and you're left with this struggling city, you would be demoted a dahn, most likely. If a lot of the citizens got up and left, that would be a sign. They could take away your set status by leaving. That’s something that’s built into the right of travel. So these things happen.

Isilel

If parents have different nahns/dahn's, how is child’s position calculated? For instance, if Shallan had married 10-dahner Kabsal, what dahn would their children belong to?

Brandon Sanderson

The highest dahn determines the dahn of the child, though that may not match the dahn of the highest parent. For instance, there are certain dahns that aren't conveyed to anyone except for your direct heir. The other children are a rank below. I believe that third dahn is one of the stable ranks. If you're the king, you're first dahn. Your kid inherits. If you have another kid who doesn't marry a highprince, and is not a highprince, then they're going to be third dahn, not second, because that's the stable rank that they would slip down to, along with highlords and the children of highprinces.

Isilel

Or, and another thing—what happens if a lighteyed child is born to darkeyes or even slaves? Which should happen often enough, given that male nobles seem rather promiscuous. Anyway, are such people automatically of tenth dahn?

Brandon Sanderson

The situation is very much taken into account in these sorts of cases. Normally—if there is such a thing as normal with this—one question that's going to come up is are they heterochromatic. Because you can end up with one eye of each color, both eyes light, or both eyes dark. That's going to influence it a lot, what happens here. Do you have any heirs? Was your child born lighteyed? This sort of thing is treated the same way that a lot of societies treated illegitimate children. The question of, do I need this person as an heir? Are they born darkeyed? Can I shuffle them off somewhere? Set them up, declare them to be this certain rank. Are you high enough rank to do that? Are you tenth dahn yourself? What happens with all of these things? There's no single answer to that. The most common thing that's probably going to happen is that they are born heterochromatic. Then you're in this weird place where you're probably declared to be tenth dahn, but you may have way more power and authority than that if one parent is of a very high dahn, just as a bastard child in a royal line would be treated in our world.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#69 Copy

BipedSnowman

This is just a little thing I thought of that is kinda neat. Symmetry on Roshar is seen as holy, but the letter H can be used in place of another consonant without "spoiling" the symmetry.

Is this because of the spelling of the name Honor? If the H is a stand-in for the R, it makes the name symmetrical.

Dickferret

Where is the "h" thing mentioned?

BipedSnowman

I am copying this from somewhere else, but apparently WoR chapter 47. (I guess i tagged the post wrong, but it's just barely a spoiler anyway.)

""Bajerden? Nohadon? Must people have so many names?" "One is honorific," Shallan said. His original name wasn't considered symmetrical enough. Well, I guess it wasn't really symmetrical at all, so the ardents gave him a new one centuries ago." "But ... the new one isn't symmetrical either." "The 'h' sound can be for any letter," Shallan said absently. "We write it as the symmetrical letter, to make the word balance, but add a diacritical mark to indicate it sounds like an h so the word is easier to say." "That - One can't just pretend that a word is symmetrical when it isn't!" Shallan ignored his sputtering [...]"

pwnt1337

Is this similar to the many interpretations of the spelling and pronunciation of YHWH?

Brandon Sanderson

Hebrew, among a few other languages, is an inspiration for some languages in the cosmere. (One of them is Alethi.) That said, in this case it's more like how in some Asian countries, they would give honorific names to famous scholars or rulers after they pass away.

SF Book Review interview ()
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Ant

The use of spren are a brilliant idea, what was the inspiration for these creatures?

Brandon Sanderson

In part, they stem from the underlying cosmology and overarching rules, the dictates of the magic systems of my shared universe. I was looking for a manifestation of that in Roshar. I also was searching for something that would give Roshar a different feel from things that I'd done before. I wanted this book and this series – and everything about it – to feel different from fantasy worlds in the past. I wanted it to be fantastical, but I wanted it to be unique. I wanted something that could consistently remind the reader, "Oh, I'm in a different place. Wow. Their emotions manifest visibly when they feel them strongly. This place is bizarre." That was one of the main inspirations. Looking in our world, one inspiration is certainly the Eastern concept in Shinto mythology of everything having a soul, every rock and river and tree having something living inside of it that is a manifestation of it. Since I was working with the idea of Platonic realms and the like, I spun that off into the spren.

Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
#71 Copy

flying_shadow

How would an albino with red eyes be regarded on Roshar? Do they even exist there?

Brandon Sanderson

They would be deeply mistrusted. (Unfortunately.)

Mathota

Just because Rosharans are racist, or is it a cultural carryover from fear of the Voidbringers?

Peter Ahlstrom

Probably both.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#73 Copy

Shagomir

Here's the best I can do at what each of the dahns includes, without spoilers. Stuff in italics is unconfirmed but is reasonable to guess based on the information we have from the books and Brandon.

  • 1st Dahn: The King and the King's direct heir.
  • 2nd Dahn: Highprinces, their direct heirs, and the King's direct heir*.
  • 3rd Dahn: Generals?, Highlords, and the non-inheriting children of 1st and 2nd dahn lighteyes.
  • 4th Dahn: Battalionlords, Citylords, Shardbearers, and other mid-ranked nobles.
  • 5th Dahn: Companylords?, along with lower-ranked nobles.
  • 6th Dahn: Captainlords, along with the lowest-ranked nobles and landholders?
  • 7th Dahn: Lower-ranking landless officers, along with higher-ranking (or very wealthy) landless lighteyes?
  • 8th Dahn: Soldiers, along with high-ranking (or moderately wealthy) landless lighteyes?
  • 9th Dahn: Landless lighteyes with some wealth, like merchants and master craftsmen.
  • 10th Dahn: "Tenners", essentially any lighteyes who has to work for a living.

Brandon Sanderson

I'm very impressed by this list. You did a great job. Note that only the king is first Dahn under the Alethi system, however. His heir is second, until crowned. Sixth Dahn, as you've identified, is the "landed" cutoff--if you have land, even a little, you're at least Sixth Dahn.

If you were of a specific dahn (say, seventh) but were elevated by something unusual (say, you got appointed to an appointment that would raise you above this) your children will often be elevated to a rank just beneath you. So, for instance, if a tenner got a shard, he'd immediately be elevated to fourth, and his family would likely be elevated to fifth.

The only thing I'd offer a warning on is that sometimes, people shortcut "Captainlord" to just "Captain" which drives Peter crazy, and so it can be hard to pick out rank from title.

Oudeis16

That's interesting... so, is the dahn system new since Alethkar was unified? Or was it modified once they got a king? Or was it always this way, and there just used to not be someone at the 1st Dahn?

Brandon Sanderson

Kings existed in other places, and had existed in Alethkar before. (Dahn is a Vorin cultural ideal, not just Alethi.) So the system is not new, but for many years, the Alethi refused to accept a king. (Following the division of the kingdom among the Sunmaker's sons.)

Oudeis16

Oooooooh... fascinating. So, this implies that before Gavilar unified Alethkar, King Taravangian and the King of Jah Keved would both have been First Dahn, while the highest-ranked ten people in Alethkar were only Second Dahn. Interesting. In the interests of adding a few more names to the list of "known people of the First Dahn" on the Coppermind, would you be willing to confirm if King Taravangian (let's say at the start of the Way of Kings to avoid spoilers) was First Dahn?

Brandon Sanderson

Traditionally, the monarchs of city-states (like Kharbranth, Bavland, and at some points Silnasen) do not claim the first dahn. There have been leaders of New Natanan who have, same with Herdaz. Depends on how much they want to aggravate the Alethi.

Unification era, there'd be two people of the first dahn: The queen of Thaylenah and the king of Jah Keved. Non-vorin monarchs in the west would be treated like first dahn, sometimes, depending on the situation.

Oudeis16

Did we know that Thaylenah is currently ruled by a Queen, or is this a small tidbit you have just given us?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it or not, honestly. Queen Fen. You'll get to meet her soon. Note that Thaylenah is kind of a plutocracy, with merchant councils holding a lot of power, which changes its dynamic a little when compared to Alethi or Jah Keved.

Shagomir

I see you may have sneakily included an explanation for the 4th/5th dahn thing I noticed in a certain father-daughter duo. I promise not to read too much into it....

Brandon Sanderson

Note that getting a Shardblade isn't the only reason someone could be elevated, and isn't the only reason why children might not be the same dahn as their parent. Most of it has to do with titles, and who inherits, and that sort of thing. The answer is probably more boring than you're hoping.

xland44

Not sure if this is entering RAFO territory, but are highprince candidates (that is, people who can be elevated to highprince status if the post is empty) only people from the 3rd dahn? Or can a 4th dahn also be elevated to highprince, for example?

Brandon Sanderson

Highprince is a tricky one, as the definition of "highprince" is a person who can convince others to call him by the title. I guess that's the same for all of them, but as highprinces tend to be near the top of the pecking order, it's more about military than anything else.

Gavilar was 4th dahn before becoming highprince, for example. His branch of the Kholin family wasn't considered a prime contender for the highprince throne--until he took it for himself.

Enasor

His branch of the Kholin family? Does this imply there are other branches of the Kholin family? Meaning, there are other Kholins elsewhere?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, not as many as there once were...

uchoo786

So if I'm understanding this correctly, before Gavilar's branch of the Kholin family started their conquest of Alethkar they conquered Kholinar?

Brandon Sanderson

Yup. (There's some minor mention of this in Book Three, I believe.)

General Twitter 2017 ()
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Payden McRoberts

So with the great map in Oathbringer, I was able to update my map of Roshar from space! Enjoy!

As always, thanks to @BrandSanderson, @IzykStewart, and @PeterAhlstrom for making such an inspiring and awesome world.

[Payden_McRoberts_1_Roshar_From_Space.png]

Peter Ahlstrom

Did you use the one from the ebook? Also your equator is too high...

Payden McRoberts (Part 1/Part 2)

Yeah, I made a grid of 100 degrees latitude and 200 longitude, projected it into azimuthal equidistant, and wasn’t quite able to match it to the graticule in the ebook map. I got it as close as I could and assumed your projection was slightly different.

[Payden_McRoberts_2_Azimuthal_Equidistant.jpg]

[Payden_McRoberts_3_Azimuthal_Equidistant.jpg]

Is the equator supposed to go through the top of Kadrix?

Peter Ahlstrom

Yes. Through the word Kadrix. I’m guessing the latitude the projection is centered on is a bit off.

Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
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AhoyMatey (paraphrased)

Is there anything that I should have asked that I didn’t?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Probably not… Do you know if anyone has figured out the hidden things in the map of Roshar?

AhoyMatey (paraphrased)

Commentary: We discussed the pattern 15 code for a bit. I’m glad it’s been solved! He said that it wouldn’t be earth shattering, but it would be cool to know. And boy, it was!

#SandersonChat Twitter Q&A with Audible.com ()
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Discar

How big is the Roshar supercontinent?

Brandon Sanderson

[Peter Ahlstrom] or [Isaac Stewart], can give you a specific on that, if you need one. I don't have the scale map handy.

Isaac Stewart

Roughly 4000 miles East to West.

Peter Ahlstrom

I can't remember if that is right, per my globe.

Isaac Stewart

True. Things might've changed since the globe experiment.

Figment chat ()
#77 Copy

Questioner

Are the character’s ages given in Stormlight Archive Rosharan years, or Earth years?

Brandon Sanderson

They’re Rosharan years. So, people are actually, it’s a little bit off from our, our world, a Rosharan year is 500 days, but the hour, the days are a little shorter, anyway they end being like when, when S- when Kaladin’s age is mentioned, in our world, he’d be a few years older.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#78 Copy

Boogalyhu34

I asked you at minicon if Roshar had always been the only large landmass on the planet and I think you said that there was once no large land mass on Roshar. Did I hear you correctly? I've been kicking my self for months for not recording that small q and a.

Brandon Sanderson

You heard me right.

FatalTragedy

Does this mean Roshar was once an archipelago?

Brandon Sanderson

Not necessarily.

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
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Questioner

'inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

There's a lot of divisions in the lighteyes. The lighteyes are basically...there's as many of them as there are darkeyes and the lower ranks of lighteyes are basically peasants, like you would look at them and say, but they're not quite, they're like Roman citizens, not all the Roman citizens were wealthy, things like this. And so all of them, their lives would be fairly familiar to you. The higher you go on the rankings, the less likely they are to care for their own children.

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

You'll see a very young child in the next book and I think at least one baby. But it's not a baby of relevance to any of the main characters.

Skyward San Diego signing ()
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Questioner

Is the crem--is it natural--are the highstorms magically created and that's why--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah the crem is there to keep the continent from washing away. So I had to add a magical element that, if it were not in the cosmere with magic, this would not work.

Questioner

Is that why the Weepings don't have crem, is that's a natural storm?

Brandon Sanderson

That is because I didn't want there to be too much crem at that point. These are all story structure things, instead. World-wise, I would say a little more natural, sort of blow off steam, there.

FanX 2018 ()
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Questioner

Is there a reason, with 16 being such an important number, that there are only 10 orders of Radiants

Brandon Sanderson

That is relevant.

Questioner

Am I going to have to read and find out?

Brandon Sanderson

Let's just say 10 is a number that is relevant to Roshar and its inhabitants.

Questioner

And what's the significance of the number 10?

Brandon Sanderson

The significance is that it is very significant.

Questioner

Will we find out by reading it?

Brandon Sanderson

Maybe, that's why you're getting a RAFO. Potentially.

DragonCon 2019 ()
#84 Copy

Questioner #1

On Roshar, all the alcohol on Roshar is called wine.

Brandon Sanderson

Yep.

Questioner #1

Some of it is different from what we have on Earth...

Brandon Sanderson

Yep. All of it, actually. Well, not all of it--there's some actual Shin wine that you would call wine.

Questioner #1

So, on Roshar, do they have distillation processes, or do they have some sort of super yeast that can go way higher than the 20% cap?

Brandon Sanderson

A lot of what you're seeing we would just call spirits or liqueurs here. They do have some grain based things and stuff like that. They're not making beer, they're mostly making spirits.

This whole linguistic thing is one of those little clues that I embedded for certain reasons that we won't go into. The reason they call everything wine, the reason that seasons... they call seasons and we're like, "Wait! Those aren't seasons!", and things like that... *with some audience nudging* Chickens is the other big one. This is all there for a specific reason, but the further we get and the better help I get from beta readers... thank the beta readers for the scenes in Oathbringer, where a certain character is getting drunk--they helped me a lot on that. The better information I get from the betas in these things, I write stuff and then they tell me "Ah Brandon, you know nothing about beer!" and I'm like "Well yes, I do not know much about beer!" *laughter* "So tell me..." and the better it gets. I'm trying to give you more and more in the books about that because it is important to specifically several of the characters, and so I wanted to get it right. But most of what they're drinking would be harder than what you might assume.

Questioner #1

So, distilled or brewed?

Brandon Sanderson

Distilled, mostly distilled.

Questioner #2

Are there fermentation spren? *laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

I would say yes. There are probably fermentation spren. Because some of the lower... like some of the colors are actual fruit... like *asking back* what do you do when making wine, you're brewing wine, and *with audience help* pressing wine, and you ferment wine. And so, some of them you would drink and be like, "Okay, this is wine-like. It's not made from grapes, but its wine-like." A lot of the... further on the wheel, you'd drink and you'd be like "Oh, this tastes like Vodka! Why're you calling it wine?" Well that's what their word for alcohol is.

Salt Lake ComicCon FanX 2016 ()
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Questioner

This is about certain people from Nalthis... living on Roshar and how they are living on Roshar. Could they also do that on Scadrial?

Brandon Sanderson

Scadrial would be a lot harder because getting the Investiture out of things on Scadrial is tough, there are ways you could do it but it would be much more difficult.

Questioner

Does that have to do with the Investiture being more directed?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it's more the genetic component is a big part of it. The directed component-- In Roshar its just flowing around all over the place. For instance, if he could get to a Shardpool he could feed off that, but then he's at the Shardpool and that's kind of dangerous and things. Roshar is really the easiest place in the cosmere for him to consistently get this sort of stuff. Taldain would not be bad either, that's the White Sand world but it is inaccessible currently in the cosmere

OdysseyCon 2016 ()
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Blightsong

How much did Super Mind Taravangian know about the Cosmere as a whole, roughly, rough estimate.

Brandon Sanderson

He had a little bit of knowledge. Not as much as... not as much conscious knowledge.

Blightsong

Did he guess about the three realms?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, he knew about the three realms. He didn't have to guess on that, he had read philosophy and things, that knowledge is there on Roshar

JordanCon 2016 ()
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Questioner

This whole talk of both Roshar and the highstorms, I'm glad that you said they predate the Shattering. There are some people on 17th Shard, myself included, that firmly believe the entire continent is crem that's accumulated, one highstorm at a time.

Brandon Sanderson

Good. Let me actually squish that one a little bit because there are mineral deposits that have been mentioned that you have to mine. And crem-- There isactual ferrous iron that you can smelt on Roshar, you have to know how to get to it and things like that, and there are actual gemstone mines and things like that. Much harder to get to and Soulcasting is a stopgap that has helped with this a lot, but there are actual deposits and things like that.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
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Questioner

I have a question about Roshar. Um, how big is this exactly?

Brandon Sanderson

Um, I can get you that if you write to me, because I--I just have to go to the maps.

Questioner

There's a lot of like--physical description *audio skips* And the different races and cool descriptions for like the cultures and stuff. I was wonder if there's like a reason for that in the world?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, yeah, well there's a couple reasons, for instance-- You know, ask me after you've read the third book, and then I can give you some spoilerific sort of stuff, that's-- that comes out in the third book-- I can stand upon it. Um, but yeah I can also-- we can also give you the distance. I think they have it on the 17th Shard. Isaac-- we didn't put the map of actual scale in it, just because we-- I dunno why, I just decided not. But we have it. I let Isaac and Peter kind of nail that down. I say, "This distance is about this far." So they figure out what the rest of it is. But the planet Roshar is smaller than Earth.

Questioner

That--that's interesting.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. And the continent--I mean, but it's one supercontinent, and so it's fairly big, but--

Questioner

I mean, you can travel across it on a storm.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Uh-huh.

General Reddit 2018 ()
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zotsandscrambles

Here is an example of a Mongolian girl with red hair. Would she make a good example of a Vedan darkeyes, [Brandon]?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that's a good example. Though do remember, Vedens aren't all redheads--that's going to depend on region, and even have a lot of variance within regions. (Alethi skin tone will be similar in its variety, depending. Vedens in general tend to be lighter.)

Here's another image I noticed a while back that feels very like what I'd imagined.

https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/55dba2321400002e002e3dd1.jpeg?ops=scalefit_970_noupscale

Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
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Questioner

In this world, assuming that [Roshar] is as old as it appears to be, wouldn't it be that the creatures that have gemhearts in them, as they die their body would rot away but leaving the gemstone? So wouldn't fossil beds exist with layers of gemstones in them from the passing of the ages?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that's why-- yes.

Questioner

That's how they mine them?

Brandon Sanderson

They do mine them. What you've got to remember is, in my opinion these things are going to collect in certain ways in certain places.

Questioner

Densities and stuff.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. But yeah. Because there's no tectonic activity on Roshar, so.

Questioner

Just the buildup of crem over time slowly covers things.

Brandon Sanderson

Mmhmm.

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
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Herald (paraphrased)

Is there more significance to the 10 other planets around the Rosharan star system and them being gaseous? We know that Roshar's moons have unnatural orbits; so there seems to be some astronomical manipulation in the system.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes there is significance of 16 in cosmere and 10 in Rosharan system.

Herald (paraphrased)

The outer 10 gas giants in the Rosharan system suggest a tie to the number 10 that predates the arrival of the current Shards. Is the prominent numerology we see around the cosmere an inherent property of the planets, rather than the Shards who invest them?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Big RAFO.

Herald (paraphrased)

Would Ashyn/Braize share the 10-centric numerology of Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes 10-centric is for the entire Rosharan planetary system...wait Braize is 9-centric.

Prague Signing ()
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Snoxcatko

Roshar--it's obviously, it is or it seems to be in the Southern Hemisphere. Is there something else in the world?

Brandon Sanderson

There are no other continents. It's not completely--it is Southern Hemisphere--but I think we inch up above the equator, don't we?

Isaac Stewart

Just a bit, just the islands. They kinda curve over the equator.

Brandon Sanderson

There are no other continents but there might be other smaller landmasses.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
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cadebengert

Do you have any plans that you can tell us about for when the events of the rest of the Cosmere will become evident in Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

Roshar is an important part of the cosmere. Really, the question should be "When will events on Roshar effect the rest of the Cosmere" as opposed to the other way around.

Steelheart Portland signing ()
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Joshstormblessed (paraphrased)

I've noticed that in both Elantris and Roshar there are specific shapes to the cities and in both instances there are chasms. Is there a connection between the two worlds?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Oooo:) Yes there is definitely a connection there. As you know all of these worlds are part of a universe and my magic systems share basic rules. So you'll see similarities.

Joshstormblessed (paraphrased)

And the chasms?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

*smiles mischievously*