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/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#253 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. :)

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#256 Copy

uchoo786

I know that Nightblood is technically a shardblade (invested sword), but can one use it without being bonded to a Spren since on Roshar the only way to breathe is stormlight and use it is by being bonded to a spren? Would Nightblood also work like a shardblade, in that it severs the soul instead of consuming it when it touches a person?

Brandon Sanderson

Remember that the Honorblades do not require one to be bonded to a spren to use, or gain access to powers. Nightblood goes one step further, vaporizing and destroying on all three realms.

uchoo786

So, if I understand this correctly, Nightblood will act like an Honorblade and allow Szeth to breath in Stormlight? Will his surges be completely different than anything Roshar has seen before, or will his surges be those of the Skybreakers since Nightblood's purpose is pretty similar to theirs?

Brandon Sanderson

You'll have to wait and see.

Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
#264 Copy

ckannan90

I have a cosmere question. At the end of Words of Radiance, Szeth receives Nightblood. The wiki told me it was a sword from Warbreaker, but I didn't realize how significant it was till I read the book. This, to me, seems like the first major cosmere crossover. All the other crossovers so far seem to have just been cameos (Hoid tells stories, or there are mysterious people hunting somebody, etc). I will RAFO, but it does seem like Szeth getting the sword means Nightblood will play a not-insignificant role in Stormlight 3. Does this mean the cosmere books are going to converge more going forward? Specifically, would someone need to have read Warbreaker to understand Oathbringer? Till now your different cosmere series have been readable in any order (and I didn't read them in publication order). Similarly, Mistborn: Secret History seems to be a prerequisite for at least the next Mistborn book.

Brandon Sanderson

One thing you have to remember is that in my cosmere outline, Warbreaker was a prequel to The Way of Kings, explaining Vasher's backstory. So I consider them more closely connected than some other things. But you could consider this the first major crossover.

Nightblood will be re-introduced, so those who haven't read Warbreaker will be brought up to speed.

Thoughtsunthought

Wow. Cool to see this.

One of my "concerns" is that eventually the cosmere stuff will overwhelm the individual series arcs.

Kinda like the Marvel Avengers movies, whilst they are great on their own, they lose some of the individuality that an Iron Man movie might have. If the overall story adds characters then you may end up with a Captain America: Civil War movie which whilst was amazing. Wasn't really a Captain America movie and would lose so much to someone who had only seen Capt America movies.

That being said I totally trust your judgement on this, I say concerns but I don't mean in a bad way.

That being said is any book flagged for an Avengers style "battle for the cosmere"?

Brandon Sanderson

I do have some plans for mixing later on, though I'll be very forthright about when those books come out. Meaning, so long as I'm not talking about these things as the main focus of a series, you don't have to worry about it taking them over. Conversely, you can be very excited when it does happen, as those stories will be very clear about what they're attempting to do.

One thing I do try to warn people is that the cosmere isn't an "Avengers" style concept--the goal here isn't to collect a variety of heroes from a variety of worlds and then throw them at a problem. It's more of a, "What if you could watch the world of something like Star Trek develop, by seeing individual engaging stories from various planets, then slowly watching them merge into a larger universe."

While some characters will, obviously, continue on through the series, and the Vessels of the Shards will be very important, the focus of the greater cosmere storyline is the cultures, the magic, and the evolution of the planets, while the individual stories are about the people who live on them during turning-points in their history.

Steelheart Chicago signing ()
#270 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.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#272 Copy

yulerule

*Written:* So somewhere it says that the number of Breaths doesn't determine the power of the object. But are the number of Breaths directly tied to how much Investiture is in an object? You're repeatedly said that Nightblood is ridiculously heavily Invested, more so than Shardblades, Honorblades, or the Bands of Mourning. But it only has a thousand Breaths, which doesn't seem all that much from the point of view of the God King--Tenth Heightening, over 50,000.

Brandon Sanderson

So this is a RAFO, but you're starting to ask the right questions there. Okay?

*Writes:* RAFO

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
#273 Copy

Questioner

How does Nightblood work on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

Well Nightblood feeds on Investiture, which is the general life-force/magic-force in the cosmere and so he can feed on basically any source of magical energy.

Questioner

And do other magics work on other worlds?

Brandon Sanderson

I've been describing it lately more like you see DC current and AC current, where they're similar things but slightly different. It is possible to make magics work on other planets, some it's easier than others.

Salt Lake City signing ()
#274 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.

Miscellaneous 2022 ()
#275 Copy

Travis Gafford

End of [Words of Radiance], Szeth meets Nightblood. Nightblood normally makes people feel very sick as a test. He does not have this. And I'm curious if there's a reason for that other than you didn't want to end your book with Szeth puking in a corner.

Brandon Sanderson

What happens when you take Nightblood is based entirely on what your desire on how to use Nightblood is. If your intent does not align with Nightblood's created Intent, which is kind of a deep, Cosmere sort of thing. But, basically, if you want Nightblood because you can then destroy all of your enemies, you're not gonna match to that Intent. If your desire to use Nightblood is either: "I don't even want to use Nightblood," you're actually gonna be fine; or if your desire to Nightblood is matching what Nightblood's view is... And Szeth is, like, the perfect person, because Szeth only wants to do what he's told, and Nightblood kind of only wants to do what he's told. So there's, like, a perfect alignment. They're both messed up in the same way, and they both view the world in the same way, and it's hard to find a more perfect alignment than those two. And so, because of that, there was just no reaction. And that should be something that I wanted people to pick up on.