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Skyward San Francisco signing ()
#101 Copy

Questioner

Have we seen Kelsier outside of Mistborn yet, and will we see him outside of Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

No you have not. And RAFO, but realize, he is-- The way Investiture works, you would consider him similar to how you would consider a spren. It's gonna be hard for him to get off-world.

Questioner

It also means that he can still-- He gets kind of close, he gets really close--

Brandon Sanderson

I considered him still--

Questioner

Still on this side.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, but he got close to the line. But I would say he did not get off [Scadrial].

Questioner

So it's gonna be hard.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
#102 Copy

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.

Orem signing 2014 ()
#108 Copy

zas678 (paraphrased)

And my other question is about Taravangian. It becomes clear that when he's smart, he's less compassionate, and when he's dumb, he's more compassionate.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah, he mentions that in his interlude.

zas678 (paraphrased)

Is that intentional, or is that just how you believe intelligence works?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

No, that's intentional. There's plenty of really smart people who are also compassionate, and dumb people who aren't.

zas678 (paraphrased)

So when Taravangian is smart, his Cognitive aspect is stronger. So when he's dumb, is his Spiritual aspect stronger?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

*With a sly grin, pulls out a RAFO*

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
#109 Copy

Farnsworth

Why was Hoid drinking perfume when he met Wax [in The Bands of Mourning]? And where did he get it?

Brandon Sanderson

Why was Hoid drinking perfume when he met Wax and where did he get it. This is an answer-- You are getting RAFO'd-- But this is one I do intend to talk about eventually. There are lots of seeds of things in the Mistborn series that I can't promise I'm going to be able to get to, that I hope I'll be able to get to. Secret History, which is in the Arcanum Unbounded that hopefully many of you have. If you haven't read through to the end of the released Mistborn books, don't look at that story, because it's a behind-the-scenes story of things that are happening, that I put seeds in the original trilogy for. That's another seed, and it might be one I can take up. I might just have to explain it someday.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#111 Copy

Questioner

Dalinar Ascends, right? Like, right then, there.

Brandon Sanderson

I have RAFO'd that. Whether he is Ascending or not is a RAFO.

Questioner

Okay, because I know he kind of mentions from that, I don't know how to say his name but the older guy who has the Diagram--

Brandon Sanderson

Taravangian, yeah. Whether that deserves to be a capital "A" or not is a matter of argument. It can be disputed.

Questioner

I guess my main question would just be Dalinar's now able to pull Stormlight and give it to people now.

Brandon Sanderson

He definitely can. That is a Bondsmith power, so.

Questioner

That is a Bondsmith power, okay.

Brandon Sanderson

That is specifically a Bondsmith power.

Questioner

Because my roommate was saying well, the Stormfather was surprised he could do that or was the Stormfather surprised that he was able to bridge--

Brandon Sanderson

He was surprised by what was happening to Dalinar as a whole.

Questioner

Oh okay, that's what I thought because I was like, because I felt like the Stormlight, that power would be a Bondsmith power.

Brandon Sanderson

Let's say that the Stormfather and Odium were seeing something in Dalinar that, perhaps, the average person watching even who is knowledgeable about Surges would not completely understand... But he will be able to use that power and Bondsmiths in the past have used that same power.

Skyward release party ()
#113 Copy

Questioner

If you had an AI like M-Bot with subroutines that simulate emotions, if it was written well enough, could it attract a spren?

Brandon Sanderson

I will RAFO that for now, I have been asked it a bunch. Let's just say, AI in the cosmere are going to be an interesting thing to explore. We will explore that.

Steelheart Chicago signing ()
#114 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.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#115 Copy

Pagerunner

Four clues you've given over the years about unknown Shards: 1) One that wants to hide and survive. 2) One that's not on a planet, but not Ambition 3) One that Hoid would have taken 4) One that would have been used for Rithmatist

I'm not looking for a new clue. I'm wondering if there's any overlap between the clues. Are these four separate Shards? If not, which hints apply to the same Shard?

Also, since clue #3 was from before Ambition was revealed, was Hoid going to take Ambition? He certainly is an ambitious individual.

Brandon Sanderson

I'll tell you this--those aren't necessarily four different shards. But I do have to RAFO which one Hoid might have taken.

JordanCon 2021 ()
#116 Copy

Kingsdaughter613

Hero of Ages, Harmony in the epigraphs says that brass and copper Allomancers can become savants and never even notice. I know that generally savantism is supposed to have really extreme effects, so how does that work that they do not notice?

Brandon Sanderson

So, most savanthoods have extreme effects, some of them it's just not as noticeable. It can warp your soul without you really even paying that much attention to it. I kind of have a push and pull on how debilitating it is in some ways versus others. In this case, those are two that you can become that it would not be very debilitating in your life.

Kingsdaughter613

What effects would that have for that?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll RAFO that.

Supanova 2017 - Sydney ()
#117 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*

General Reddit 2016 ()
#118 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.

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
#119 Copy

Herald (paraphrased)

Is Vax present (lurking) in any of the star systems explained in Arcanum Unbounded? Personally I think there will be more star systems that would be discovered in the future and Vax might be part of them. Comment?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

RAFO for Vax. Yes, there might be more stars. The picture on the cover is the sight observed from one particular place.

Herald (paraphrased)

Silverlight?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

RAFO. Let's just say that there are more planetary systems present in the existing star chart itself that you don't know yet.

Herald (paraphrased)

Is Yolen present in the dragon constellation?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

RAFO.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#121 Copy

Silasary

If someone is a full Mistborn and is able to use Feruchemical gold... can they safely burn harmonium?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, okay. This is theoretically possible. 

Silasary

Would it have an effect?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. It would do something.

Silasary

And I'm going to hopefully ask what that is.

Brandon Sanderson

*gives a RAFO card* You've earned their card.

Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson ()
#122 Copy

Maru Nui

What does aluminum do in Feruchemy? What does malatium do in Hemalurgy?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. We'll be releasing a chart eventually that includes all of the powers. I don't want to speak until I have everything nailed down exactly the way I want.

Oathbringer release party ()
#123 Copy

Brightlord Maelstrom

Would there be a way that is reasonably feasible to use Aon Tia to teleport off-world?

Brandon Sanderson

Theoretically yes.

Brightlord Maelstrom

...Would there be a way to create it where instead of teleporting you directly there, it opens a portal?

Brandon Sanderson

We'll go ahead and start RAFOing at this point.

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
#125 Copy

Questioner

If it's possible for a Shard that's been shattered to be recombined, has it happened yet?

Brandon Sanderson

You have seen things be added back together. I'm not going to say whether you've seen a splintered shard fully be recombined, alright. Ah, you haven't seen it happen, I'm not going to say whether it's happened in the Cosmere or not.

Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
#126 Copy

Questioner 1

So I've spent quite a few hours trying to work out Pattern 1, you know Ceiling of the 2nd Rotation of the Diagram. *inaudible* But I wanted to ask you-- And Peter said you wanted to make us sweat, you know of course, on the 17th Shard. But I want to ask you, and hopefully you'll be able to answer this... Is Pattern 15 used in the solution? Would you tell me that at least? Please, I beg of you.

Brandon Sanderson

The solution... Indeed, the key to the solution is somewhere in the book.

Questioner 1

No, that doesn't help me!

Brandon Sanderson

That helps you! That helps you. 

Questioner 2

*Questioner 1 moans* We've already got 15 pages. On the 17th Shard.

Brandon Sanderson

You can interact with Peter, because I ran everything through him on this. Because... And so... I actually did it all myself, but then he corrected me where I was wrong. So I'm gonna send it his way, because I don't know if he's made any tweaks to it from what my original concept was.

Questioner 1

I know there was a change in the gamma read with some of the number.

Brandon Sanderson

Mhm... Yes.

Questioner 1

You know it's pretty cool. There seems to be a ketek in there people have discovered, or a palindrome or whatever where there's numbers, patterns matching. Mirror image. Yadda yadda. *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

You should be... Yeah, see what you do.

Questioner 1

I've just-- It would be nice to know.

Brandon Sanderson

I've alr-- I've given you the fact that there's a key to it.

Questioner 1

A key to it... *inaudible* *Questioner 2 gasps* Alright...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. In the book, there is a key to it.

Tel Aviv Signing ()
#127 Copy

TomereK

So Shardblades. When they cut off the victims, the eyes burn up. And deadeyes have their eyes scratched out in Shadesmar. Is there any relation between them?

Brandon Sanderson

There is indeed a connection there.

TomereK

Is it RAFO?

Brandon Sanderson

It's a RAFO, but there is a connection. You got something out of me there.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#128 Copy

EHyde

As Lift's spren refers to the Nightwatcher as Mother, right...

Brandon Sanderson

He definitely calls somebody a mother. The implication in the text is that it's the Nightwatcher.

EHyde

Certainly, so I'm just going to run with that right now. So the question that I'm asking is, is surgebinding in general a melding of Honor and Odium, a la feruchemy being in some sense not directly derivative of Ruin and Preservation?

Brandon Sanderson

It is...Honor and Cultivation is what you mean?

EHyde

Yes.

Brandon Sanderson

There are spren of all three Shards, and those spren can work within the bounds of the magic that has already been set up on Roshar.

EHyde

What Shard are Cryptics associated with?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

Oathbringer San Francisco signing ()
#129 Copy

Questioner

In the past, you have said... that we've seen a metal that is from a Shard that we know, on Scadrial. You said Wax has seen the influence of a Shard other than Preservation, Ruin, or Harmony, and that the spike that Bleeder was using was a metal from a Shard we know. It seems like there's another Shard influencing Scadrial. Is Trell an extension of that?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

And is that Odium?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a RAFO.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#130 Copy

Mason Wheeler

I always sort of got the impression that there were maybe... *waves hand* a dozen or so worldhoppers around *inaudible*. Now this [Arcanum Unbounded] completely blows that idea away.

Brandon Sanderson

Yep.

Mason Wheeler

Approximately how many worldhoppers are there in the Silverlight community when Khriss is writing these essays?

Brandon Sanderson

The Silverlight community is a full-fledged city.

Mason Wheeler

Alright... Well, that could be anything.

Brandon Sanderson

Well, it's not a village; it's a city. I'm gonna let you have a RAFO on the rest until I write the story set there. Let's say we're talking about much larger than people might have originally assumed. But not everyone in Silverlight is a worldhopper. You've got people who are-- that have been born there, and raised their whole lives there, and died there.

Skyward San Francisco signing ()
#131 Copy

xnkvbo

If an Awakener with Perfect Invocation turns something white, can they or another Awakener then use the white thing back to gray, back to white.

Brandon Sanderson

I actually thought about this. My answer ended up being a no.

xnkvbo

Can you give a little explanation why?

Brandon Sanderson

I will delve into it more as I delve into the nature of color and why it's relevant to multiple magics in the cosmere. So it's a RAFO.

Skyward Seattle signing ()
#132 Copy

Khyrindor

So, I was hoping to get a confirmation on Mraize's age?

Brandon Sanderson

I'd probably-- Well, what did I say before?

Khyrindor

Not sure, I was just asking the question.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay good, I didn't think that I had confirmed this. I'm going to RAFO it.

Khyrindor

Like, is he older than a normal person?

Brandon Sanderson

I will RAFO it, yeah. Let's say though, that, though he has been off-world, he himself is a Rosharan.

Khyrindor

A Roshar native?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Oathbringer release party ()
#134 Copy

Questioner

In the chapter about the Wandersail, when Hoid is telling the story, is he using Lightweaving?

Brandon Sanderson

It is not completely natural what you are seeing.

Questioner

Is the smoke in any way related to Rosharan magic systems?

Brandon Sanderson

In any way related, yes? I'm good at wiggling out of these. It's a part RAFO, it's not completely natural. I'll leave it at that. I can't say too much, otherwise I'll give away all my secrets.

Orem signing ()
#135 Copy

Mason Wheeler

If Harmony could make it so that koloss can reproduce, why is it he did not do the same thing for the kandra?

Brandon Sanderson

*long pause* I'm not sure how to answer this without straying in directions I don't want to go. It was a conscious choice, I'll tell you that.

DragonCon 2016 ()
#137 Copy

Questioner

I have a question about progression of powers for the Knights Radiant. So we see with Kaladin that it seems that there's a definitive border to the Ideals and how you gain them, I guess? It would be hard to touch on the third without having learned the second. Would that-- Is that the same for all of the Orders? Like the Willshapers are much more varied and individualistic, could they go through a different order and if so would that affect how they express their Surgebinding?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, the Oaths are very individualized. In fact you'll get a lot more of this as you see different people, even within the same Order, swearing Oaths. And you'll see how it works, even with a given Order there is individuality to them. So I'm going to give you a RAFO, you can have a card.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
#140 Copy

Questioner

In Way of Kings, one of the interludes we see the Purelake--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

--and I've thought a lot about the fish. 

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

He mentions that one of them has healing effects and potentially that's--

Brandon Sanderson

The lore of the area states that fish have healing-- some of them--

Questioner

I was wondering of your thoughts. Is that Investiture in the fish or just local superstition?

Brandon Sanderson

Well that is the question of the scene, so that's also a RAFO. I will say that there is still superstition, Roshar in particular. And it doesn't necessarily mean that everything they say is magic is. But there is a good chance.

Boskone 54 ()
#141 Copy

Questioner

Where did the body Kelsier is using come from?

Brandon Sanderson

That’s actually a RAFO. You will find out about that, probably in a Secret History, if I get to it. Eventually, I’ll answer that question for people. I don’t want to answer it now, because it is something I could put into a book.

Questioner

I just realized that his body, most of it was gone. The bones might still be around.

Brandon Sanderson

The bones were in use, and were in Hero of Ages. The bones had made an appearance. They were still around, but whether that’s what he’s using, I’ll leave.

Questioner

I didn’t think putting a spike into his skull [...]

Brandon Sanderson

You’ll find that out eventually.

Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
#142 Copy

Questioner

On all the cosmere worlds, it seem as if-- do all the humans have what you call innate Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

Let's see...

*thinks*

I believe that they all do. I don't think that you've seen anyone without innate Investiture yet.

Questioner

Because when they don't have Breath anymore, they would get Drabs, and those don't have innate Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

They don't have innate Investiture. And on Scadrial they have the pieces of Ruin and Preservation in them. And they do have it on Roshar.

Questioner

Which Shard is that?

Brandon Sanderson

You'll have to read and find out. *gives card*

So yes, I don't think you've seen any worlds where they don't.

Calamity Austin signing ()
#144 Copy

Questioner

If you were a Leecher, could you destroy a Shardblade?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm going to RAFO that for now, let's just say that it would be incredibly difficult if it were possible, and I'm not going to even say if it is. But that kind of power... 

Questioner

Let's just say they were burning duralumin as well.

Brandon Sanderson

Let's just say that the Investiture in a Shardblade is much greater than your average Allomancer, but... This type of thing is not unheard of in the Cosmere. The larkin, the Leechers, and Nightblood all have a similar sort of thing going on. Destroying a Shardblade would be really hard. And Investiture resists other forms of Investiture, so.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#146 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.

Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
#148 Copy

Questioner

We've seen that the "Sylblade" can change shape to fit Kaladin's needs. Is there a limit on the size of the blade that Syl can become?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Okay. And can you share with me what the upper limits on those sort of things would be?

Brandon Sanderson

Upper limits of hers are about human-sized.

Questioner

Is it always going to be something that has to be a fighting utensil, or does it have to...?

Brandon Sanderson

That's going to RAFO. You'll have to see.

[...]

I will say this. You have seen Syl changing shape from the first time she appears onscreen and she is frequently not a weapon.

Footnote: Edgedancer answers this fairly unequivically with the shard-rod and shard-fork