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Idaho Falls signing ()
#152 Copy

Questioner

Is there a combination of two Surges that you wouldn't normally see, that'd be fun to write about.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh yeah. It was actually a tough decision to let myself-- make myself put them in the groupings that I did. Because my brain naturally wants to say, "What about this, what about this?"

What would be really interesting, you could do really cool things as a Stoneward with manipulating matter and changing it and stuff, and then burning things into it with-- whichever power that is-- [Division]... I should know. Well, I should know. But I always go look at the list. The Dustbringer power. But I think you could do really interesting sculpture type stuff with that. With the burning, you could add color to the things, to an extent. Like grayscale? But it's not really something that's built into the magic.

DragonCon 2016 ()
#155 Copy

Questioner

You've mentioned in the last couple of afterwords that you get interesting results when you mix types of Investiture.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Twinborn and Surgebinders on Roshar. Can you mix a form of magic with a source of Investiture? Can say Vasher use Stormlight in place of Breaths or would that require tampering via Hemalurgy or something like that?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of them require tampering. Some of them are a little bit easier than others. It depends on really what you mean. For instance, white sand can be charged in the presence of any Investiture right? It's just-- But that's not really using the magic, it's just charging it with other Investiture. But, you know, it would be very easy, for instance, if you can get yourself Invested-- Like, for instance, it'd be very easy to use Breaths to fuel Windrunning right? Because the oath and the bond and things like that are going to make it pretty easy. However fueling Allomancy with something else is going to be a lot harder. So it really depends on the magic. It's the sort of thing that there will be lots of science in the books dedicated to making happen in the future and you will find some of the processes these work easier than other ones.

Stuttgart signing ()
#157 Copy

The Forumlurker (paraphrased)

Can a Windrunner use a Basic Lashing on a specific body part?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, but it works the same way a Steelpusher could push on a specific part of metal. Usually, you'd just affect the whole body, because of its Identity and cosmere magic not working as well on parts of something that considers itself a unit. When you're very skilled, you can isolate a hand, like Kelsier could push on specific sections of metal.

The Way of Kings Annotations ()
#159 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Lashings

I'll be referencing the original draft of The Way of Kings (AKA Way of Kings Prime), written in 2002, as I feel it will probably be fun for readers to see how the book evolved over time. Every other book of mine you've read was conceived and executed over a relatively short period. The Way of Kings is different—it had a lot of evolving to do before hitting the state it's in now.

One of those evolutions was the magic. Mistborn had one of my best magic systems to date. In Way of Kings Prime (written before Mistborn) we only had two types of magic: Shardblades and Soulcasting. Shardblades were great, but not really magic. Soulcasting didn't work so well. [Assistant Peter's note: There was also something called Windrunning, but it was completely different from the version we know now.]

Mistborn really upped the ante in terms of magic in my books, and I wanted The Way of Kings to have a more dynamic, interesting magic system. That is one factor in why I waited so long to release it.

I finally worked out Lashings while on tour for The Well of Ascension. (That was the tour I went on following the call from Harriet, asking if I was interested in finishing The Wheel of Time.) What I liked about the Lashings system was the visual power and the means of manipulating gravity and pressure in interesting visual and creative ways. I had already built into the sensibilities of the world the idea that there were ten fundamental forces I had based on the idea of fundamental forces in our world's physics. It all fit together nicely.

Anyway, Szeth (named Jek in the first version of the book) was a more ordinary assassin in the original. He didn't have powers beyond being a really, really good killer.

Firefight Miami signing ()
#164 Copy

Questioner

In Words of Radiance, there's a fragment that says that the Bondsmiths have a power that none of the other Orders have.

Brandon Sanderson

That will be answered in a future book... *discussion on RAFOs* Basically, each of the Orders actually had their own quirks and individual things. Some of them were more dramatic than others. But if you watch through, you'll be seeing that they kind of have some different effects that aren't related necessarily to the Surges.

Questioner

So, then follow-up question, the reason that the Bondsmiths don't get Shards is because they have that extra power?

Brandon Sanderson

The reason is because the Stormfather is particularly-- how he is. And he's more cantankerous than he was, even in the past...

Each of the Orders, I wanted to have a lot of individuality. I didn't want them to all just be different copy-clones. You'll also find that they also have very different philosophies on even things like honor and what is good and things like that.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#166 Copy

Thadamin

Are spren able to manifest Surges like the humans they are bonded to? Syl is able to stick things together are other types able to do other things or is the sticking things together something else?

Brandon Sanderson

The Spren are living Surges, in a way. There are some "higher" spren which have more ability than others to touch certain Surges. Honor, for example, is not a force of nature--but a force of thought. What is attributed to it relates more to the abstract.

And that didn't really answer you, did it? Well, hopefully it's enough.

Phantine

Is them being living Surges the same as how seons are living Aons?

Brandon Sanderson

Similar.

Words of Radiance Houston signing ()
#167 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

If a non-Windrunner picked up Jezrien's Honorblade would they gain Windrunner powers as well?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes.

Questioner (paraphrased)

If a Windrunner picked up that blade, would their abilities be enhanced?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

There would be some compounding but strength is not as much an issue with Surgebinding as is the strength of the spren bond and how much Stormlight you are using.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#168 Copy

Argent

So, the Edgedancer's resonance, the Perk? I think you've called it resonance at some point, is that still accurate?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that totally works. The powers affect each other in interesting ways.

Argent

Right.

Brandon Sanderson

Um, so the thing about it is, calling it a Perk, that like saying--

Argent

It's a side effect right?

Brandon Sanderson

It's less a side effect-- It's like, when the powers merge, they are always slightly different. For instance, Lightweaving from a Truthwatcher is different from-- Slightly. There will be things. So, you're gonna see that they all have access to the Surges, but in combinations, they act a little differently from one another.

Questioner

So is the Edgedancer's resonance something to do with communication? Because we see Lift--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, yeah we'll RAFO that.

Oathbringer London signing ()
#169 Copy

MadhavDeval

So, if Dalinar used Spiritual Adhesion to forge a bond between Sja-anat and Honor or Cultivation or whoever, then could Sja-anat corrupt a spren, an Odiumspren back to Honor or Cultivation?

Brandon Sanderson

Maybe. Nyeh...

MadhavDeval

What about the Fused?

Brandon Sanderson

The Fused-- I mean, it's the same kind of thing, they're a Cognitive Shadow. Eh? Eh. I'm gonna give you an "Eh." on that one... I don't know how you write that on the forums.

/r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
#170 Copy

The_Vikachu

Is Kaladin naturally stronger than Szeth in using Stormlight? Szeth can only hold onto it for a few minutes, but Kaladin has been shown to hold onto it for much longer. Or does it have to do with Kaladin having a spren?

Brandon Sanderson

Ah, so you all noticed that, did you. :) Glad you did. I have like a dozen things I nearly posted here, but all of them spoil a scene in Words of Radiance. So I'll just zip it for now.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#171 Copy

Questioner

[Lift, her abilities] how might that apply to elements? Fire, air, rain.

Brandon Sanderson

She just changes friction, so however it would interact with it in our world it will interact that way.

Questioner

So fire would... I don't know how that works.

Isaac Stewart

She could keep someone from lighting a match, possibly.

Skyward Atlanta signing ()
#172 Copy

Questioner

So you said earlier that color has a lot to do with things and in Warbreaker obviously color is like a big thing *inaudible*. Will that have a relation to anything else?

Brandon Sanderson

It will have relations to a lot of things, including the way The Way of King's magic plays out and works.