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Tel Aviv Signing ()
#102 Copy

Questioner

When Zahel worldhopped to Roshar, did he ever do that before Warbreaker?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, in fact Roshar was where the idea for Nightblood kind of came from.

Questioner

Will you ever write about that?

Brandon Sanderson

I will probably reference it in future books and maybe I'll do some flashbacks, but I haven't decided. I'm unlikely to write a book that covers that time period on its own.

YouTube Livestream 23 ()
#103 Copy

lucagreene18

If Szeth were to have drawn Nightblood immediately after he had consumed Rayse, would he still have drained Szeth's Stormlight? As it said he seemed like he had eaten as much as he could.

Brandon Sanderson

At that point, Nightblood had entered into essentially a food coma... Well, no, the food coma one came when he was drawing from the perpendicularity. I don't think he was in food coma mode at that point. I think that he could still have drawn more at that point, I'd have to go look at exactly what I wrote, if I'd put him into food coma mode or not. It is possible.

This is one of the things I wanted to answer with the book. A lot of people have been theorizing, could Nightblood eat an entire Shard? And indeed, Nightblood could not eat an entire Shard. That is not within his capability. In fact, one of the reasons that he leaks Investiture is: he's too stuffed full of it. There is more Investiture in the sword Nightblood than it can actually hold, it's supersaturated. And it leaks Investiture (that it's done some weird things to). But it is constantly hungry for more and constantly leaks it, but it definitely can get full for a time, and it could not eat an entire Shard.

I did see questions about that from people floating around, and it's something I'd been meaning to get to eventually. Nightblood is definitely relevant to things that are happening in the Cosmere, but it is not as simple as grabbing the sword, sticking it into a Shard, and defeating the Shard, unfortunately. Though, as you see in this book, there are reasons for a Shard to still be afraid of Nightblood. It didn't destroy Odium, but Rayse still really had a bad time.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#104 Copy

Shadow Guardian

Nightblood, being a sentient object, could he give away his Breath? 

Brandon Sanderson

Ah, Nightblood...could not give away his Breath. It's a good question. It's because that Breath is making him...like something weird has happened to him where the metal is Invested almost to a Hemalurgic or Feruchemical way, right? Like it's no longer just an object with a bunch of Breath. It's become permeating the whole thing. So it's more like the soul of a person, the part of the Breath they can't give away. Like when you give away your Breath, you retain some of your Investiture, you can't give that part away. It's the same thing. 

Shadow Guardian

Cuz I imagine it would be kind of like a Lifeless where that Breath is probably stuck so close that it would not be removable by an Awakener at least.?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, Yep. It's stuck in there, yep. I mean there are ways to get the Investiture out, but it's not the simple "We give it away" thing. Yeah, he can't just give it away. 

Shadow Guardian

<inaudible> corrupted or? 

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that is part of it, that is part of what that means. 

Legion Release Party ()
#105 Copy

OrangeJedi

When Nightblood created, was Endowment involved in any way more than normal?

Brandon Sanderson

Good question, you qualified that the right way! I would say yes, but maybe not to the extent you're thinking.

OrangeJedi

Normal being using Endowment's Investiture to Awaken. There's something special.

Brandon Sanderson

I would say, there is something special.

BYU Writing Class Wrap-up 2017 ()
#107 Copy

Just another guyn

If an Elantrian were to get a hold of Nightblood and draw it, how would Nightblood react to that-- What kind of power would be unleashed?

Brandon Sanderson

So Nightblood needs kinetic Investiture to feed upon. The Elantrian would have to be able to get a conduit to the Dor to feed Nightblood or Nightblood would just eat their soul.

Just another guyn

So if they used AonDor to fuel Nightblood--

Brandon Sanderson

There are some types of AonDor that would work, and there are others that would not.

Just another guyn

And would Nightblood just keep going until either the Aon was--

Brandon Sanderson

He would dissolve the Aon as he drew the power from it.

Just another guyn

So it wouldn't just empty the Dor?

Brandon Sanderson

No, it would not empty the Dor.

Steelheart Chicago signing ()
#113 Copy

Argent (paraphrased)

What command would you have to give to an Awakened object like Nightblood in order for it to not go insane?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

I am going to RAFO that about Nightblood, but - is Nightblood insane? It just has no concept of... It was commanded to do something it was not equipped to judge. I would not call Nightblood insane. I would say that you have commanded something with no concept of morality to make moral decisions, and that's very confusing to him.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#114 Copy

Silasary

So Nightblood drains investiture from people. How would it operate on Sel?

Questioner 2

Oh yeah, because the investiture's in the ground, practically.

Brandon Sanderson

...On Sel-- I mean Investiture is in everything, right? So I don't imagine it having a difference on Sel in the Physical Realm from what you normally see.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#115 Copy

Questioner

Speaking of the Stormfather, would the Nightwatcher and the giant water spren be on the same level of spren as the Stormfather?

Brandon Sanderson

...The Nightwatcher, yes. Um... There are, I would say, a level below the Stormfather and the Nightwatcher who are also much-- a much bigger deal than something like one of the sapient spren, and that's what Cusicesh is.

Questioner

So the Nightwatcher is a spren you'd say?

Brandon Sanderson

The Nightwatcher-- I mean, they call the Nightwatcher a spren. Everyone in the books thinks the Nightwatcher is a spren. That's what they would call-- that's what they would call, if they knew what Honor was, they would call Honor a spren. A spren is Investiture that is alive.

Bystander

Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

So they would call Nightblood a spren. They would call-- That's the word for what all of these things are. They would probably've called Adonalsium a spren…

Moderator

What would Hoid call one of those?

Brandon Sanderson

What would Hoid call the Nightwatcher? *laughter* What would Hoid call one of what?

Moderator

Yeah what would Hoid call the Nightwatcher?

Brandon Sanderson

Um… *long pause/laughter*

Moderator

If Hoid were to use a non-proper noun?

Brandon Sanderson

Unpleasant names. *laughter*

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

Questioner

So you said that different Investitures from different worlds can fuel different Investitures, right? Would that mean that you could potentially use Stormlight for Allomancy and/or Feruchemy?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, a little harder with the Metallic Arts than, for instance, Nightblood is the easiest example. He can just feed on whatever Investiture is around.

Questioner

Could he feed on the Dor from...

Brandon Sanderson

He could totally feed on the Dor.

Questioner

Would you need to have a special sheath to do that or?

Brandon Sanderson

No, what you would have to do for him on Elantris is you would have to open some conduit to the Dor that's persistent, like a light or something, and he will suck through that, he would probably end up sucking the whole aon.

Questioner

City of Elantris itself?

Brandon Sanderson

City of Elantris itself would work, yeah, but you're gonna be in trouble if he sucks up the whole thing and destroys it, which is totally possible.

Supanova 2017 - Sydney ()
#120 Copy

R.E. (paraphrased)

Does Vasher have a different way of getting access to Stormlight than everyone else? Given that he has no spren, no honorblade and he isn't a squire?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes. He can use Stormlight to stay alive, but it doesn't let him Surgebind.

R.E. (paraphrased)

Could Szeth get access to this method?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes

R.E. (paraphrased)

And use it to fuel Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes he could.

R.E. (paraphrased)

Can you tell me what that method is?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

*smiles*

Warbreaker Annotations ()
#123 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Another note here is that Nightblood can sense where Vasher is. This is because Nightblood has ingested and fed off Vasher's Breaths in the past. When he does that, it connects him to someone. It's also, by the way, one of the secrets as to why Vasher doesn't get sick when holding Nightblood, even though he's a good person. It's not simply familiarity (though that is part of it). Nightblood has a built-in test. If he feeds off you and you survive, then you become somewhat immune to his powers.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#126 Copy

Questioner

Would Nightblood appear in the Cognitive Realm?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood will have a manifestation in the Cognitive Realm.

Questioner

…Would it appear as a sword, or because Nightblood appears to perceive itself as something else, would it appear as something else?

Brandon Sanderson

So, um, you will get a RAFO. *laughter* Because most things we're going to deal with we will have some scenes in the Cognitive Realm coming up, and you'll be better able to make guesses along these lines after you've read those.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#127 Copy

Questioner

If an Allomancer drew Nightblood, would it eat the metals first?

Brandon Sanderson

Only if they were burning it. 

Questioner

At the time, otherwise it would go straight through and eat them?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah it would just eat them. Yeah. If they were burning the metals, it would burn through the metal, and he would take the power instead of you gaining whatever ability you were trying to get from it.

Questioner

Who he be able to use the metal power or would he just eat it as...?

Brandon Sanderson

He would just take it as raw Investiture. 

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#128 Copy

yurisses

So I was wondering how you'd spin Szeth's new sword into The Stormlight Archive's narrative. I know it's very similar to the Shardblades, but its differences are going to be worthy of explanation, if the new sword is going to appear as frequently as a planned Szeth-centric book suggests.

So, if I am not missing anything, either the differences 1) will be explained vaguely, or 2) will be integrated into the greater lore (Cosmere/Zahel), or 3) will be somehow integrated into The Stormlight Archive's own magic system.

And since the sword's emitted Investiture is black and compared to stormlight by Szeth, this is my question: is the blade's "corrupted stormlight" related to anything else we've seen so far in TSA? (e.g. Gavilar's sphere...)

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. :)

Figment chat ()
#129 Copy

Questioner

What’s the most dangerous non-Shard thing in the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood’s up there, Hoid is up there, but not deadly dangerous, a different type of dangerous, yeah no, what we know of, right now, those, those are in the running. Chasmfiends, chasmfiends are pretty nasty. Whitespines are a little more nasty probably. The… the Unmade are pretty nasty. Yeah. There’s a couple of mercenary troops that you haven’t met yet that are really quite, quite dangerous, I would list them as well.

ICon 2019 ()
#130 Copy

Nameles36

Why was it that Vasher was able to throw Nightblood while fully drawn but Szeth couldn't even drop him

Brandon Sanderson

So it may have been part to why Nightblood has less an effect on Vasher in general than the other people, but there's also a little of a bit a measure of experience... but there's some other stuff going on with Vasher.

Oathbringer Leeds signing ()
#132 Copy

Questioner

Could an Elantrian just write an Aon above Nightblood and then use it forever?

Brandon Sanderson

Use it forever? No. 

Questioner

Forever is pushing it.

Brandon Sanderson

No, no, I mean, Nightblood would destroy an Aon pretty quickly. It would pull power through it--

Questioner

It would be like trying to put too much power through a small--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it would just rip it up to shreds. You'd get a little use out of it. He would eat the very structure of it, if that makes any sense.

Legion Release Party ()
#134 Copy

Walin

Does Nightblood contain any of Ruin's Investiture? Like, not atium, but...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, technically; and I'm not wiggling around that, because technically, location in the Cosmere and who belongs to what gets really weird, right? Because Ruin's Investiture is everywhere--but I'm not talking that way. I'm talking the way you actually mean it. 

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#137 Copy

Questioner

I was wondering when you first thought to put Nightblood in Words of Radiance?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood in Words of Radiance happened because... So I wrote the original draft of Way of Kings in 2002 and Vasher was Kaladin's swordmaster and I thought "This guy has a really interesting past, he's not natively from Roshar". So I went and wrote his backstory and that became the book Warbreaker. So he predates-- And then I came back and I re-wrote Way of Kings and I cut him out of it to save him for the later books. So when did I first think of it? Well 2003 probably? Was where that was happening.

Questioner

Nightblood was our apartment's collective favorite character.

Brandon Sanderson

I have some other quote-unquote cons going on the fans so to speak that are going to be very cool when they happen.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#138 Copy

Questioner

So Nightblood is sentient, he can make choices, and now he is in Roshar. Could Nightblood bond a spren and become a Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

Could Nightblood bond a spren-- *drowned out by laughter* That one's just a bit farfetched. *laughter* I rarely say anything is impossible but let's just say that one's pretty farfetched.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#142 Copy

Questioner

This actually came out of a panel today. You'd originally said that Nightblood is way more powerful than a regular Shardblade, but at the time that question was asked of you we didn' know about live Shardblades, we only knew about dead Shardblades. So is that still true, now that we know we have at least two--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh he is more powerful than a regular Shardblade. *groaning and laughter* that is 100% still true.

Moderator

How does Nightblood compare to a more living Blade?

Brandon Sanderson

More living Blade? Hehe, you’re asking the same--

Moderator

No I'm asking a different question. *laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

Well, let's just RAFO that one.

Warbreaker Annotations ()
#146 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Lightsong Thinks about How Hallandren Wouldn't Fall

He's wrong here. If he hadn't intervened and taken responsibility, the God King would have died, and another Manywar would have begun. It would have ended with Hallandren in flames, destroyed by the advancing Idrian coalition, who by then would have gained the secret to creating swords like Nightblood from Yesteel, who is hiding in one of the kingdoms across the mountains and who secretly knows what Vasher did to create the sword. He would have brought his kingdom into the conflict. And the world would have burned.

Salt Lake City signing ()
#147 Copy

Questioner

Does Vasher want Nightblood back?

Brandon Sanderson

Vasher feels responsible for Nightblood

Questioner

is there any reason why he didn't go by Vasher, as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Because in the original draft he was, and I'm like, "That's just too easy." Plus he's kinda trying to hide, so he's not as foolhardy as a certain other character who goes willy-nilly by the same aliases over and over again and doesn't care. Picking an alias, if you know people would potentially would be hunting for you, having them not be able to ask for you by name is useful.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#150 Copy

participating

In Warbreaker, Vasher makes the claim that Nightblood's personality is essentially static, that he'll never change. How true is that? Assuming Nightblood managed to stick around for thousands, or millions of years, could he grow in even the smallest of ways; develop a legitimate sense of right and wrong and figure out what's really going on around him?

Brandon Sanderson

Vasher believes it's true. Vasher has been wrong on occasion, but he is a fairly authoritative source.