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Oathbringer release party ()
#51 Copy

Questioner

If people from Scadrial were to colonize, like, Nalthis, and not intermarry with the people there, would their children continue to have the Scadrial Investiture, or would they have the Nalthis Investiture? In the sense that, is it genetic, or is it planetary?

Brandon Sanderson

Scadrial is more genetic.

Questioner

Than Nalthis, where they have the Breaths?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

So, would their children continue to--

Brandon Sanderson

Their children would continue, for a while, to have Scadrian Investiture.

Questioner

For a while. Could you say, like, how many generations?

Brandon Sanderson

I cannot.

Orem signing 2014 ()
#52 Copy

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Shadesmar- you can WALK to the other planets. It’s a pretty far ways away (at least days, if not more), but you can go to Shadesmar, walk in the directions where it says "The Realm of the Vapors" and it runs into Scadrial (which is confirmed). In Shadesmar all of that empty space doesn't really have any human interaction, so it doesn't really have an aspect in the cognitive realm, so all of that place gets shortened immensely. Whenever a planet has enough thinking life on it that's it's considering it a planet, it drops into Shadesmar.

Eventually, he’ll come out with a Shadesmar map of the Cosmere, and a Starmap as well.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#53 Copy

nIBLIB

Did the Lord Ruler move the mountains North, or the Well of Ascension south? I couldn't figure it out and it bugged me

Brandon Sanderson

Technically, it's a little of both. What the Lord Ruler did was tilt the planet's crust until the Well was where he wanted it, then put the mountains in place as misdirection.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#54 Copy

Kaymyth

So, the Synod in Elendel in Era 2. How much political control or guidance do they have over the other Terris enclaves? Do they have some sort of central government that makes decision for everyone? Or are they all--

Brandon Sanderson

Excellent question. No... I would say... let's see if I can find a real-world example. I'm not sure off the top of my head. I'm gonna say, they do not have any official control. They are well-regarded and respected, and sometimes ignored. And different groups regard this differently, the authority that they have. They would claim to have more than they do, how about that.

General Reddit 2015 ()
#56 Copy

amilynn

Are there any black people in Scadrial? Or any other races? I couldn't find an answer online, but the descriptions in the book all seem like white/European people.

Brandon Sanderson

The Terris had a lot more skin color diversity than the people of the central dominance. A large number of those preserved had darker skin, so in the W&W era, you are starting to see skin color become associated with them. During the Final Empire, skin color was basically ignored.

Note that for even people in the Elendel Basin, darker skin won't get nearly as dark as what you will find on Roshar or Taldain.

EDIT: Now that I'm on my computer instead of my tablet, I can dig into this a little more. What other posters have been saying is true--the region of the Final Empire we see in the first trilogy is very small, and the Final Empire itself isn't terribly big. There's not a lot of racial diversity at all.

That said, the Terris are a distinct ethnic group. I carefully didn't describe people in the original books with regard to a lot of racially identifying features. One of the Lord Ruler's goals over the years was to stamp these things out, to create a single unified people. While he couldn't change genetics, his work here did make people start to look at things like class and clothing more than accents or racial identifiers. In addition, it was important that the Terris be diverse enough that, while some looked Terris from just a glance, with others, you could meet them and (for obvious reasons that are spoilers) not know they were actually Terris.

That isn't to say they aren't there--they actually are. Elend and Straff would have a bit of an accent, and Cett a fairly strong one. Sazed would look racially distinct from Vin.

As we get further from the Final Empire, we see these things becoming more of a marker. The Terris work to preserve their cultural heritage, and this distinctiveness highlights other aspects about them, including the dark skin that many of them brought through the end of the world. The next trilogy (1980's era) is planned to star a Terriswoman right now, and she would likely resemble someone ethnically black to many of us on Earth.

sirgog

How far off your impression of Sazed was I in imagining him looking like Teferi from MTG?

Brandon Sanderson

I often give him a Teferi-like-look in my own head, but in actuality his skin tone is probably more akin to someone like Keegan-Michael Key.

Phantine

>While he couldn't change genetics, his work here did make people start to look at things like class and clothing more than accents or racial identifiers.

How did the 'skaa/noble' class genetic tinkering work out, anyway? Did the leadership of every nation just wake up the next morning and find themselves taller, more intelligent, and less fertile?

Brandon Sanderson

Most genetic differences between skaa and noble were exaggerated, even fabricated, by noble culture as justification for their perceived superiority. Height differences due to nutrition, 'intelligence' due to education and societal expectations, fertility due to common factors in urbanization. The LR did try some minor tinkering, to be played out over time through genetics, but in the end these changes weren't very successful.

emailanimal

This is actually good to know. I've seen your other responses to similar questions, where the inference was that there was indeed a significant difference.

The main changes were for dealing with the atmosphere, correct? And they were reverted by Sazed/Harmony?

Brandon Sanderson

There were also some general hardiness changes for the skaa and some fertility changes, but as I said, by the time of the books those were basically gone. And yes, Sazed reverted the ones designed to help survival in the ash.

Madrid signing ()
#57 Copy

Javi (paraphrased)

Could you compare the Ones Above's technology with your idea of Scadrial Era 4?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes

Javi (paraphrased)

So could the people be related? Could Scadrial be the origin for the Ones Above?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, they are definitely related

Footnote: In previous exchanges structured similarly to this, Brandon has taken a significant degree of latitude in his answers, stating that simply existing in the cosmere is enough for two things to be considered "related".
General Reddit 2016 ()
#59 Copy

jpterodactyl

Kwaan might have understood realmatic theory.

In the chapter 19 epigraph for the final empire, the author of the journal says "When we first met, he was studying one of his ridiculous interests in the great Khlenni library - I believe he was trying to determine whether or not trees could think."

I wonder if that means he was looking into trees have a cognitive aspect. It seemed weird to me the first time I read it, but knowing what I know about the Cosmere and Sanderson loving worldbuilding, I feel like that's what this was about.

zuriel45

Was pre-ascension scadrial cosmere aware?

Brandon Sanderson

The OP's theory is correct. The rest is a RAFO.

TWG Posts ()
#61 Copy

Peter Ahlstrom

The round map [in Mistborn: The Final Empire] makes it look like it takes place over a hemisphere...is that intentional?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, actually. Though, when we put a map in the book, we'd probably fuzz the edges so we don't have to deal with that. However, after what the Lord Ruler did to the world to try and stop the Deepness, the only habitable parts on the planet are the poles.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#62 Copy

wackyHair

What's the population of the shardworld's we've seen so far (even in very general terms, like one's much bigger than the others or something)?

Brandon Sanderson

Scadrial is certainly the least populated of the major shard worlds. Then Nalthis, I'd guess, followed by Roshar, and finally Sel--which likely has the largest population. I would have to look closely to see which is bigger between those last two.

Phantine

Does a population of about 100 million during The Final Empire (with 1-2 million in Luthadel), and around 15 million during Alloy of Law (with about 5 million in Elendel) seem right?

Brandon Sanderson

Have to RAFO this for now, for reasons I can't explain without giving spoilers.

Phantine

How about as far as Elend/Wax knows, at the beginning of their respective series?

Brandon Sanderson

Then those numbers, if they're off, are at least close.

faragorn

Interesting that Sel has such a large population, given that the actual numbers of soldiers shown seem to be quite small.

Brandon Sanderson

Let's just say that Opelon has an inflated opinion of its own size in relation to the rest of the world.

Footnote: The RAFO about the Scadrian population may be due to the existence of the Southerners, which had not been revealed as of this time.
Holiday signing ()
#63 Copy

Questioner

The nature of humans on different worlds, like people from Warbreaker have a Breath, people from Scadrial, do they have a Breath as well?

Brandon Sanderson

They do not.

Questioner

That's specific to the Endowment Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Yup.

Questioner

I've read that Hoid does have a Breath. Was he born with a Breath or--

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid was not born on Taldain-- err Nalthis, on Nalthis. So no, he did not start with one. But the magic was much different when he started. He was before the Shattering of Adonalsium so things are weird regarding him.

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
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Straff Venture

Are any of your books' locations (barring Legion) based on real-life places? If so, where? If not, what propels your creative drive to make new worlds?

Brandon Sanderson

All of the keeps in the Mistborn series are based on real structures I've visited. The mists are based on a trip to Idaho, were I drove through a fog bank at high speeds.

Warbreaker's setting was inspired, in part, by a visit to Hawaii.

Much of Roshar is inspired by tidal pools and coral reefs.

General Signed Books 2018 ()
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MiToRo94

Since all matter and energy are Investiture in different forms, and the magic of Investiture depends on the Shard it is most closely connected to, could it be theoretically possible for Lift to burn food on Scadrial to have the powers of a Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

This wouldn't happen naturally - she would still get Surgebinding powers, even on Scadrial.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#66 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

We're moving in the story, timewise, much more quickly here than we were at the beginning of the book. Often there will be a week or so between chapters. It's kind of hard to tell in my books, as I don't talk very often about time passing. That's not one of my things; my books tend to feel very compressed, as if they happen over the course of a few days. However, each of the Mistborn books has covered many months—the first one covered almost an entire year. The nature of the Final Empire, where it tends to have very mild winters, makes the changing of seasons rough to follow.

The Alloy of Law Annotations ()
#70 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Vinuarch

Yes, one of the months of the year is named after Vin. There are twelve months, one after each member of the crew, with a few tweaks. (The days of the week have different names too, but we ended up not using any in this book.)

By the way, Scadrial—the world of Mistborn—is the closest Earth analogue in the cosmere. I did this intentionally, as I wanted one planet where technology and the like progressed similarly to what we have. There are distinctions, of course, but generally we've got a lot of similarities. Even in the original Mistborn, we referenced plants and animals by Earth-style names. You can assume that on Scadrial they have horses, dogs, cats, sparrows, and the like. There are twelve months, and a twenty-four-hour day. Gravity is earth gravity. Things like this.

There's no hidden meaning there—no tie back to Earth, at least not in any important way. The cosmere is entirely separate from Earth. This one planet, however, has creatures that were developed along the same lines as Earth. (Well, it's not the only one, but to say more would be to give away too much.)

General Reddit 2017 ()
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ElonSv

One thing about the sex scenes (or hints of) between Vin and Elend that strikes me, and those I've discussed it with, as odd is that there seem to be no contraceptive in the Final Empire. That'd be the most logical conclusion, seeing as skaa raped by Noblemen needs to be killed, there seem to be no other way to handle it. But that means that, to our understanding of the character, Vin wouldn't have sex unless she actively wanted to get pregnant. She's all too paranoid in general to just leave a thing like that to chance it, even despite loving Elend. How does it work?

Brandon Sanderson

There are indeed contraceptives, but noblemen tend to not trust them. After all, they can be executed for making a mistake.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#73 Copy

TimAnEnchanter

How is homosexuality regarded across the cosmere?

I know one member of Bridge 4, though I forget who, is gay, but I'm asking more in the sense of legality, societal view, etc.

Barleyjuicer

It would probably depend on the planet and culture involved. Roshar has many varied cultures and probably has multiple different acceptance levels. Scadrial is much more progressive and really only has two cultures so it's more likely that most if not all of the world accepts it. Maybe this is something you could ask [Brandon] at a signing or during an AMA.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, this varies widely based on the planet, and even culture, TimAnEnchanter.

Roshar, for instance, has a lot of different perspectives on homosexuality. In Iri, the more religious segment (who believe that life is about new experiences) would approve, while the more rigid modern, secular society has outlawed it.

In Azir, you'd find something like existed in middle-ages India. (Some societies there had this curious system where a gay man would be given "social reassignment" so that he was treated like a woman, dressed like one, and had relations with men--even if he wasn't actually transsexual.)

Vorin culture is concerned with oaths. Extra-marital sexuality is strictly forbidden, but homosexuality is regarded the same by most as heterosexual relationships. If the proper oaths are spoken, then the Almighty approves. (This usually means marriage, but there are certain official forms of other relationships that would allow it also.)

There are actually a couple of scenes in Book Three talking about it, for those who are interested, as the family and romantic relationships of the bridgemen are becoming a larger part of the story. (Still a small part, I should note, for space limitations.)

On Scadrial, it's going to fall between Pathian lines (each individual decides for themselves) and Survivorist lines (you follow church hierarchy, which forbids it.)

Don't even get me started on Bavadin's religions.

fbstj

What reasons do Survivorists use to rationalize heterosexuality? Thank you so much for these tidbits it's really interesting to hear more about this stuff from you. It would be great to see some of this canonized, maybe in an interlude, or random background discussion somewhere. Thank you again for your books! Also very interested in hearing why secular Iriali have decided to 'regress' on that.

Brandon Sanderson

Survivorism calls it unnatural, and not conducive to the survival of the species. More than that, though, Survivorism has become very conservative and slow to change. What early thinkers had to say is regarded very strictly in the religion. Back during the early days of the new era, repopulating the basin was of prime concern, and this became a big part of what led to moral codes in Survivorism.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#74 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.

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
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PricklyBear

When Scadrial was closer to the sun, can we safely assume that the middle section of the planet was scorched clean of anything living? Could there have been some underground life thing going on? Anything cool or interesting sitting out there (like ruins or some lost technology)?

Brandon Sanderson

The middle section was scorched pretty clean. I know of a few interesting tidbits, but it's not technology. (The tech level before the Lord Ruler took over was nothing particularly special, early industrial era.) The cool and interesting things are on the southern continent.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#76 Copy

Phantine

Is there any noble house in Elendel that plays up their relationship to Kelsier and Marsh?

Brandon Sanderson

They tend to leave Kelsier/Marsh alone and focus on the other crew members. Getting authority from Kelsier is kind of presumed, a little like the Catholic church using Peter as its line of authority, rather than Christ--because the Christ part is assumed.

/r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
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RankWeis

The characters in Mistborn all have very French names. My girlfriend insists Vin's name is pronounced almost "Veh", as it would be in France, and I'm almost convinced. How do you pronounce it?

Brandon Sanderson

The Central Dominance is intentionally French sounding. I say Vin's name like an American would, but everyone in world would say it with a French accent. Same goes for Kelsier, (which they would say Kel-syay.) Again, I say it as an American would, but then I'm not from the Central Dominance.

unknown

One further question on pronunciation- Sazed. Is it sayzd, sayzed, or sah-zahd? I always pictured the Terris people as somewhat Arabic so Sah-zahd came more naturally to me, but I'm curious as to what the intended pronunciation is.

Brandon Sanderson

I say Sayzed, as does Kelsier. The Terris a is not as harsh as that, but it's not quite a soft "a" either.

Shadows of Self London UK signing ()
#81 Copy

Questioner

Can Odium or any other [Shards] edit text like Ruin could? ...Or is that a special Ruin thing.  

Brandon Sanderson

This is possible for others as well. The trick about it is, [Ruin] saturated everything on Scadrial in a way that not all Shards saturate their planets.  

Questioner

Okay, what do you mean "saturate"?

Brandon Sanderson

Creating it, does that make sense? And so this was partially an aspect that everything on that planet, every atom was, y'know, had him in it... I mean he didn't create the atoms, let's say that, but yeah... The whole planet existence and particularly the people on it are [Ruin], attuned to [Ruin].

The Alloy of Law Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Seventeen

The Mists Form

In writing this book, I had to nail down a few worldbuilding issues I'd been contemplating even before the first trilogy ended. What would happen to the mists, for instance, once Sazed took over and became Harmony?

The mists, obviously, are a big part of the series. It didn't make sense—either narratively or worldbuilding-wise—to lose them completely. However, they'd been created as an effect of Preservation trying to use his essence to fight against Ruin's destruction of the world. So . . . wouldn't they go away?

I decided that Sazed would still send them. They're part of the nature of the world now. To acknowledge what had happened, they wouldn't come every night any longer. But they would come. They were changed in that they are no longer simply the raw power of Preservation; they're now a part of Harmony—so they no longer pull away from Hemalurgy in the same way as they used to. They still have the odd effect of being able to power Allomancy. (And Feruchemy as well—if one knows how to do it.)

The mists are, in part, the raw power of creation. And when one is favored of Harmony, the mists have a greater effect than they might otherwise have. We'll see more of this later.

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

Questioner

Does the name [Wax & Wayne] foreshadow anything that's gonna happen?

Brandon Sanderson

No. I named them that because the pun made me crack up. It's not meant to be foreshadowing. The fun thing about that pun is, Scadrial not having a moon, means that those words exist in their language, it's not part of the common parlance like it is here, so they don't get the pun.

General Reddit 2018 ()
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Jamester86

So something I've noticed in the fantasy genre that I love is that my 2 favorite authors (Sanderson and Rothfuss) don't use the traditional fantasy medieval setting (that I love) of castles, knights, feudalism etc. Now there are plenty of great authors that do (GRRMartin comes to mind as one that does it right), BUT the truth is, a good story eclipses all minor details like setting. An example I always give is that Patrick Rothfuss could write about brushing your teeth and it would make a fascinating read, and Sanderson would make an intriguing plot with amazing characterization throughout the dental hygiene experience. But I digress.

My question (If Brandon would be so kind as to show up, and if not, if anyone has any insight) is why; why doesn't the cosmere have any traditional medieval fantasy settings? Mistborn has keeps, but the society is not the traditional technology and setting of the medieval time period, nor do any of the other worlds given us.

Brandon Sanderson

There are both in-world reasons and writing reasons.

The writing reasons are obvious. I grew up on a steady diet of fantasy in a faux-medieval setting. I felt that some of these stories were really good, and enjoyed them--but at the same time, I felt the genre had been there and done that. In some ways, GRRM doing fantasy with the eye of a true medievalist provided a capstone to this era of fantasy.

When I sat down to write, didn't want to write what I was tired of reading. Dragonsteel (which never got published) was bronze age, White Sand was industrial, and Elantris was (kind of) Renaissance. (As you noticed, Mistborn is somewhere around 1820's. I modeled a lot of the society around the fascinating culture/industry of canals as shipping lanes that happened in England right before railroads took over.)

The other big reason, writing wise, is that I feel some of the magics that I enjoy dealing with in my settings need a certain near-industrial mindset to be interesting. The stories I want to tell are about people applying scientific principles to magic--and about the commodification and the economics of magic. Those are early-modern era stories.

The in-world reasoning I have is that on some of these planets, those eras existed--but the books are taking place when the stories of the worlds start smashing into one another. In addition, however, the Shards have an influence on this, because of things they saw happen on their own home planet.

General Reddit 2017 ()
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Oversleep

What is Scadrial's primary intergalactic export?

Ravi

Okay so, this is what I got from Brandon.

Prior to Kelsier exploding the Pits, Scadrial's canned goods were one of the main things exported to the intergalactic market from the planet.

NB: This is something that Brandon can change at any time if the story calls for it.

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
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Herald (paraphrased)

What would have happened if Kelsier hasn't taken Preservation or later Sazed hasn't taken Ruin and Preservation powers? Would the earth have been destroyed due to so much raw power much before the actual destruction due to Ruin's actions?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes. Bad things would have happened.

Herald (paraphrased)

Like Sel?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Not going to answer that. Just bad things would have happened.

The Alloy of Law Annotations ()
#90 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

The Church of the Survivor

Another aspect of worldbuilding had to do with building all of the religions. Kelsier is still around, by the way. I'll tell you eventually what he's been up to, but if you look through the original trilogy you'll find hints of it.

I wanted the religions of the world to all be grounded in fact, but all have different motivations. I wanted them to be realistic, however, in that they don't always get along. Harmony may be there watching, but I didn't think he'd interfere too much. That comes from holding two opposed powers; he's got more of a Zen outlook on things.

BookCon 2018 ()
#92 Copy

Dissentinel (paraphrased)

Would it be possibly to have a bunch of iron Ferrings store a bunch of weight into some iron, turn that iron into steel, and then use that steel to make guns as a cheaper alternative to aluminum?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah but the guns wouldn't be immune--

Ravi (paraphrased)

But they would be resistant, that little bit of extra time could be enough to make a difference.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah.

Dissentinel (paraphrased)

And the guns would be harder to see with iron/steelsight, correct?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, they would be. Do keep in mind however that we get a very skewed perception of the world and how important stuff like this is because the main characters of the books are Allomancers. This just isn't something that is important to the average person on the street. But this does relate to some things later on in the series.

Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
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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.

Miscellaneous 2016 ()
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Peter Ahlstrom

The [Scadrian] calendars don't appear in Arcanum Unbounded, but they're mentioned on the map as old calendar/new calendar. Since the Lord Ruler actually kept the calendar the same, what this is referring to is only the placement of seasons, since those have to change from year to year because of the orbit.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#95 Copy

Truthwatcher_17.5

Are we ever gonna see a Twinborn who has Feruchemical iron and Allomantic pewter, and he's pretty much-- sort of like how Ham was training Vin about how to use her body, and we just gonna see this amazing martial artist on a massive scale?

Brandon Sanderson

It is totally possible. I'm not gonna promise any given combination, 'cause the-- I've changed several times the powersets of characters while I'm planning, so.

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
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PricklyBear

What's the closest that humans had gotten to the 'inhabitable' zone of the planet during the events of the first Mistborn trilogy?

Brandon Sanderson

There were groups who would go out there to escape the Lord Ruler, and the Final Empire in general. Survival was practically impossible. It's possible someone might have gotten across to the southern continent, but it would take a small miracle.

Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
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Adrienne

In Well of Ascension, it mentions that the language of Terris had a gender neutral pronoun. If you actually constructed the language, what was that pronoun? Or did you just leave it as its English translation of "it"?

Brandon Sanderson

I didn't spend a long time on the languages in Scadrial, since most people were speaking the same tongue. I just used "it" in my own writings. Roshar has a lot more detail on the languages, because culture-clash is a bigger part of the theme of the series.

The Alloy of Law Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Eighteen

Vindication

I didn't really intend Ranette to become a kind of "Q" figure, providing Wax with a cool gun. I had written into the outline (once I added her) that he got a new Sterrion from her.

However, I wanted some more quirk to her character. Beyond that, I felt that one of the things this book should do is show the ways that Allomancy—and dealing with Allomancers—has entered the common consciousness of the world. It makes sense to build guns to deal with them, just as now we build guns specifically to deal with armor, or specific situations a combatant might find themselves in.

I felt that I wanted to integrate the Metallic Arts more into real society. You may notice, for instance, that I worked hard in this book to work Allomancy and metallurgy into the way that people speak. The metaphors they use, the way they see the world. A person who is up to no good is a "bad alloy." That sort of thing.

It would be possible to overdo this, of course, but I feel—looking back objectively at the original trilogy—that I didn't do enough of it. That's okay, because in the original trilogy Allomancy was something that you kept hidden, and the common people didn't know much about it. Feruchemy was an underground art, and only the Inquisitors knew of Hemalurgy.

Now however, at least two of the three are very common in society. I wanted to account for that. Building Vindication, the special Allomancer's gun, was a way to integrate the two halves of this book—the historical western and the fantasy.