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General Reddit 2019 ()
#1 Copy

TheFoxQR

Is this (see sources) a valid breakdown of known Rosharan Magic? The idea here is that two Shards on Scadriel gave us 3 systems - two mono-shardic and one di-shardic. Mono-shardic systems being each shard expressing itself, and multi-shardic systems arising from an interaction between the two. So by that logic, on Roshar, 3 shards should give us 3 mono-shardic, 3 di-shardic, and 1 tri-shardic systems. It is mentioned that Odium (the Void) is bound by the powers of Honor and Cultivation. With the caveat that the Everstorm is also probably in between Honor and Odium?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. I'd suggest the chart is worth studying, however.

Footnote: I don't know if Brandon was talking about the Voidbinding chart or my linked chart.
Idaho Falls signing ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

I was wondering about the pictures in the cover of this [Oathbringer]. Are they specific characters in the book, or just art?

Brandon Sanderson

They are the Heralds. I went to some artists and said, "Do me your rendition of something that would be on the Sistine Chapel in-world for the Heralds," so that's four of the ten. So that is what we ended up with.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

Moash killed a god? One of the Heralds?

Brandon Sanderson

He did. One of the Heralds. And trapped his soul so he couldn't be reborn.

Questioner

That's what it is. Trapped his soul, didn't actually kill him?

Brandon Sanderson

It's killed him-- It was like, extra killed. The Heralds are bound to a cycle of rebirth that happens-- that they wanted to make sure didn't happen that time.

Skyward Atlanta signing ()
#6 Copy

Jofwu

Who or what is Vorinism named after?

Brandon Sanderson

I can't remember. I named it twenty years ago, now. In-world, it is named for somebody. The early influential writer who put the whole thing together. But that's the new continuity, because the old continuity, it was kind of put together by the Heralds.

Skyward Atlanta signing ()
#10 Copy

KalynaAnne

Lift has lots of pancakes and you only describe six of them. I was wondering if you could tell me of any of the other three?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, sure... One is a terrible, awful, seafood one that Rosharans would eat and I would hate, and people that I know would love. Not sure what the other two would be. Probably a very spicy one, a savory spicy one. Probably a vegetable greenish one, something that over here would look like it has spinach in it.

KalynaAnne

Is that different form the one-- she mentions one that has chopped vegetables in it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that would be different. It would be a pure green one as opposed to one more like--

KalynaAnne

Like a fritter?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. Yeah.

Skyward Chicago signing ()
#12 Copy

Questioner

Why is it called a Nahel bond?

Brandon Sanderson

That is a word in Rosharan. I'm not sure what it meant in 2002, but it basically just means "the bond to divinity." I'm not sure what the 2002 version of the linguistics played out as. I actually just called it Nahel in the original draft. I added "bond" in as I prepared this [Way of Kings Prime excerpt] for reading so it would make more sense to people.

Skyward Chicago signing ()
#13 Copy

Questioner

Do the Heralds know about AonDor?

Brandon Sanderson

I would say, conceptually, a few of them do, but not in specific detail.

Questioner

'Cause Ash's name is a combination of Transformation, Beauty, and Light. I didn't know if that was a coincidence, or--

Brandon Sanderson

There are some non-coincidences in the linguistics that people have started to pick up on, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the people who have those names know about the origins of their names.

Skyward Chicago signing ()
#15 Copy

Questioner

How do the Heralds come back? As Cognitive Shadows, how do they a physical body?

Brandon Sanderson

That system will be explained in the coming books, so that is a RAFO. I'm gonna dig into it pretty deeply. It's relevant for multiple reasons...

In the original version, Taln ended up in someone else, like they would get a body from someone else, which was part of fueling the "Is he crazy, is he not," because people were like, "I recognize this guy!" I don't use that system anymore.

Questioner

That's what I was wondering, because the Fused--

Brandon Sanderson

They use something kind of more like the Fused in the original draft, it's not that process anymore.

Questioner

Is that gonna give us lead-ins to how it worked with Kelsier?

Brandon Sanderson

Maybe. Maybe. You shall see.

Skyward Denver signing ()
#16 Copy

Kogiopsis

Are the rats that Spensa eats actually rats, or is this a Rosharan chicken situation?

Brandon Sanderson

I made them actual rats.

Kogiopsis

Are they native to the planet?

Brandon Sanderson

They are not native to the planet... They predate her people crashing on-- There were humans on Detritus before, when it was not called Detritus.

Skyward Denver signing ()
#18 Copy

Questioner

Can you turn a parshman into a Parshendi by giving them breath?

Brandon Sanderson

Parshendi is a nationality. So, no. No more than you could make someone an American by teaching them to speak with an American accent. But also, how do you define being a Parshendi when the culture is basically collapsed at this point? Basically, no.

Skyward Denver signing ()
#19 Copy

Questioner

How did the Nahel bond manifest in Way of Kings Prime? What was missing?

Brandon Sanderson

I had a little light-and-sound show. It never actually happened on-screen. I had it-- If you've read Snapshot, it was this sort of thing that I intended to be a thing that they would see and could not be replicated, and you just kind of knew when it happened. Like, you were glimpsing the Spiritual Realm, something like that. But it never actually happened.

Questioner

Was he actually a Herald, then?

Brandon Sanderson

He was actually a Herald. The book ends with him dying, and no one believing; except Jasnah, the atheist, believed he actually was a Herald, even though she didn't believe in God. And so it was like, "Well, we have to find out how to get him back. Because he can obviously be reborn." So that was one of the ends.

Questioner

Are we ever going to get to read that?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, once it's no longer spoilery.

Skyward Denver signing ()
#20 Copy

Questioner

You said some of those things [from Way of Kings Prime] are still canon. Is the fact that if you have one of the honorblades, you can find the other honorblade holders?

Brandon Sanderson

The 2002 version, he thought that's how it worked, but it actually just led him to the other honorblades, because he had never seen a Herald without their sword before. It doesn't even work in the 2002 version; he ends up finding the honorblades, but no Heralds. He finds the place that they abandoned them later on. So, no.

Skyward Anchorage signing ()
#21 Copy

Questioner

Do the Heralds know about Aons? I am asking specifically about Shalash. Shao, Ale, Ashe. Transformation, Beauty, Illumination.

Brandon Sanderson

Let's say that some of them do and some of them don't. The question is "do the Heralds know about Aons?" How cosmere-aware are the Heralds? It depends on the Herald.

Skyward Seattle signing ()
#22 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.

Skyward Seattle signing ()
#23 Copy

Questioner

So Lift gets her awesomeness from food. Is that a Lift thing or is that an Edgedancer thing?

Brandon Sanderson

That is a Lift thing. She is a very specific thing, and what she is will come out more, as the series progresses. It's not just a little one-off, there is actually something more behind it, but it is not an Edgedancer thing.

Questioner

I was starting to think that maybe there was something that Cultivation's people had their own kind of Heralds, that had their own alternative energy so--

Brandon Sanderson

It's going to probably take until Lift's book to start to dig into it too much, but it isn't that far off, 3 books.

Questioner

*laughs* Only 3 books?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, she is 6th.

Skyward San Francisco signing ()
#24 Copy

Questioner

The second set of Stormlight books, [six] through ten, will that-- will those be more focused on the Heralds' point of view, is that the idea?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, so Taln and Ash, who are both Heralds, are going to be main characters, and they'll each get books dedicated to them. The characters who survive the first five will still be main characters as well, but it's gonna turn more on what happened with the Heralds and things like that. The first five are turning more on what happened with the Knights Radiant and then the last five are more what happened with the Heralds... 'Cause we'll get flashbacks to the time of the Dawnsingers and things like that.

Skyward San Diego signing ()
#26 Copy

Questioner

Are we going to see any other viewpoints from the Heralds?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you will see-- I mean, Taln and Ash are both main characters, right? But you should see other viewpoints of other Heralds as we progress. The ones that survive long enough to get viewpoints.

Questioner

Are they gonna be viewpoints in this current timeline?

Brandon Sanderson

You will see more in this current timeline. I know specifically several that are going to be interludish sort of things coming up.

Skyward San Diego signing ()
#27 Copy

Questioner

You mentioned that the Heralds could sense each other's location--

Brandon Sanderson

Only in that version of the story... In that version of the story he actually gets his sword and it lets him sense and it leads him, not to the other Heralds, but the other Honorblades. He was mistaken even about that power because they have never separated from them before. And so, he thinks that he's going to find the other Heralds and he just finds their abandoned Blades.

It was very cool in the context of that book. But of course, where the other Honorblades are now is not necessarily a mystery anymore. It doesn't kinda work in the current continuity.

Skyward release party ()
#28 Copy

Questioner

On Roshar, if a Herald were to die, to not-really-come-back die, would it possible for someone to take up the mantle of that Herald?

Brandon Sanderson

You're gonna need to read and find out, because this is the first time that happened was at the end of Oathbringer.

Questioner

Because he is dead--

Brandon Sanderson

He is dead dead.

Skyward release party ()
#29 Copy

R'Shara

A long time ago, where you said that Pailiah was the elderly ardent in Kharbranth that Shallan saw, is that right?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes? If you say I said that, then I did.

Questioner 2

Does that mean it is still true?

Brandon Sanderson

Let's just say there is a Herald in close proximity to Taravangian.

R'Shara

It was in a signed book but we never got a picture of it.

Brandon Sanderson

There is a Herald in close proximity to Taravangian. I'm not being sneaky about that.

R'Shara

Is there more than one?

Brandon Sanderson

There have been in the past, but there is only one that you would call influencing him right now. But there have been others in the past.

Skyward release party ()
#31 Copy

Questioner

Are the Unmade and the spheres that contain them only on Roshar or are they in other planets in the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

You need to rephrase that question a little bit. Ask me again, remembering there's a big difference between the Rosharan system and the rest of the cosmere. There's three planets in the Rosharan system.

Questioner

*Gestures* Particularly in these ones.

Brandon Sanderson

It's possible that Unmade influence and existence would extend beyond Roshar.

Skyward release party ()
#32 Copy

Questioner

Would Hoid be able to harm a Herald or a Cognitive Shadow?

Brandon Sanderson

Um, so, he is curious about this too. I don't know if I should canonize this. Let's say: odds are, no. Cosmere scholars would guess no.

Skyward release party ()
#33 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

So I have never read this to anyone before. In fact no one has seen it in ten years. It is not canon, but it is where Taln as a character started. If you're not familiar, Taln is the crazy guy that shows up at the end of Way of Kings. And here is how his first scene went in the original Way of Kings.

 

Taln awoke from a dream of agony and screams. Two things occurred to him immediately. First, as a Herald, he should not need to sleep. Second, as a Herald, he definitely shouldn't dream.

He frowned, sitting up. The last few days were a blur in his mind. He had come to the city, and he remembered his arrival and his bursting in on some sort of feast or party. Beyond that, the Sign hadn't worked.

Taln hissed in surprise, thrusting forward his hand, trying to manifest the Nahel bond within him. Nothing happened. What of his other powers?

He analyzed his surroundings with a quick glance. He was in a long rectangular chamber set with beds along both walls. The room was set with stone pillars and the windows were shaped with triangular peaks. In fact, the architecture had a great number of angles and lines. He was probably in the Alethi section of the city.

Many of the beds were occupied with the lame and the sick. And the men tending them wore undyed tan robes, some with the glyph Ele, the mark of the priesthood. There were two long doors leading out of the room and the windows provided an alternative exit. They looked wide enough to be broken with relative ease. A table would probably do it.

There was a small chair beside his bed, and a chest with amber knobs. He reached out, blessing his fortune. He had the sourcestone of Stonewarding. He touched the amber, seeking to draw upon its power, and again, nothing happened. Taln withdrew his fingers, frowning. Something was very, very wrong.

Why won't my Stonewarding work, he thought with frustration. And the Sign. I need information.

He scanned the room again. His mind was far less fuzzy than it had been. Images, places, and thoughts were all becoming more clear. There were only two monasteries in this section of the city, unless new ones had been constructed. Lighthome and Mercyhome, of which Lighthome was a female monastery.

One of the attendants noticed Taln was awake, and the man waved over an older monk. The elderly man regarded Taln with a displeased expression, whispering to his companion in a voice most men probably wouldn't have been able to overhear. But Taln was not most men.

"Where's Brother Lhan?" the elder monk hissed. "He should be here!"

"I'll fetch him," the other monk promised, bowing his head in deference, then rushing off.

The older man cleared his face of displeasure, smiling reassuringly toward Taln. He had a large nose and grizzled features and his hands were callused.

"I see you finally awoke from your slumber, traveler."

"Yes, holy one," Taln replied, still bothered by the fact that he had fallen asleep in the first place. "Thank you for caring for me." He flexed his arm, testing his muscles against their extended immobility. "It seems I've been out of sorts these last few days. How long was I asleep?"

"Four days, off and on," the senior monk explained. "You were awake for much of the time, but you seemed unable to focus."

Four days. Taln shook his head. Yet he could feel the weakness in his mind, the whispers at the edges of his sanity. It was getting worse each return. Perhaps that was the reason for his apparent slumber.

"I must say, traveler, you seem far more lucid than you were when we first brought you."

"I feel far more lucid, holy one," Taln said with a smile. He raised his sheet, noticing he was still naked. Hopefully the monks would loan him some clothing, though he doubted anyone was going to give him a weapon any time soon.

"Tell me, traveler, what do you remember of yourself?"

Taln raised an eyebrow. "Are you asking if I still think that I am a Herald?"

"In not so many words."

"My problems of the last few days were not related to my identity, holy one," Taln said. "I am a Herald. I will not lie to you. That would do us both a disservice."

"I see," the monk said, his disappointment apparent.

"However," Taln continued, "I don't expect you to believe me. The Sign did, after all, fail. I'll have to solve that problem before I can move on to other items. For now, let's suffice to say that I was a traveler in need of your assistance and you provided it. The Almighty bless you for that."

The monk smiled, glancing to the side as another brown robed form, looking a little disheveled, entered from the north hallway. "You're welcome to stay with us as long as you need, friend," the elderly monk said, gesturing toward the newcomer. "Brother Lhan has been assigned to care for you. He will travel with you and make certain you are acquainted with the city."

In other words, he'll make certain I don't get in trouble, Taln thought, smiling and nodding his head as the elder monk backed away to care for other patients. Taln was pleased to note that this Brother Lhan was carrying a folded pile of clothing for him. Lhan was a younger man, probably in his early twenties. A bit on the pudgy side, with an unconcerned oval of a face.

Lhan blinked tiredly as he approached, and his left cheek was still imprinted with the lines of whatever he had been lying on before they woke him. Lhan yawned as he pulled a stool up beside Taln's bed, resting the clothing on the floor in front of him.

"Greetings traveler. Welcome to the glorious Mercyhome monastery."

"Thank you," Taln said, reaching immediately for the clothing. "I assume these are for me?"

Lhan nodded, yawning again.

"I'm sorry they woke you," Taln said, picking through the clothing.

Lhan shrugged. "It's my own fault, I really should get a better place to hide."

Taln raised an eyebrow at the comment as he examined the clothing. The cut was unfamiliar to him, though fashion changes between returns were normal. The trousers were loose through the legs and ended in wide triangular cuffs halfway down the calf. The shirt was equally loose, probably intended to be worn tucked into the pants and tied with a sash. There were undergarments as well.

The most important article, however, was the thick brown cloak. A piece of Rosharan fashion that would never change. Cloaks were necessary even in the summer to ward off highstorm rains. All the clothing had been crafted from <shanaw>, a plant whose bark was stringy and fluffy enough to be spun. It made for rough fabric. Fortunately all of the cloak had been treated in such a way to make it soft to the touch. Taln nodded in satisfaction.

"Brother Lhan," Taln said, "Please run and fetch me some thread and a needle."

"Excuse me?" the monk asked.

"You and I are in a forced relationship,"Taln said. "Your superiors obviously expect you to keep me from causing serious trouble. If you want my cooperation in this, you'll want to make yourself useful."

Lhan raised an eyebrow. "How very economical of you."

Taln sighed, regarding the man. "I'm not trying to be difficult, Lhan, I'm just trying to save the world. A needle and some thread would be very helpful."

Lhan rolled his eyes, rising from his stool. "All right."

"Oh and bring me some rocks," Taln added. "Small ones, maybe half the size of your fist."

"Rocks?" Lhan asked.

"Yes, rocks. This is Roshar. Last time I checked, which admittedly was several centuries ago, they were fairly prevalent here."

"Rocks," Lhan mumbled again as he walked off.

Taln was dressed by the time Lhan returned. He accepted the thread, needle and rocks from the monk, and began sowing the flap of the hem of his cloak.

The monk sat down, regarding Taln with curiosity.

"The second thing I'll need from you, Brother Lhan, is information," Taln said, pulling the thread tight.

"Ask away."

"What year is it?"

"Tenth Epoch, 980," Lhan replied.

Taln paused, needle halfway through his stitch. "980?"

"Yeah," the monk said. "Not that I've seen the daylight for the last ten years or so, but at least that's what they tell me what year it is."

980. Nearly a thousand years since the last return. That's a long time. Something must have happened to the <cofen> That was the old name for the voidbringers]. They had never waited that long between returns before. "What happened to the epoch kingdoms?" Taln asked

Lhan didn't respond immediately. "You're kidding, right?"

"Pretend I'm not."

"They fell, right after the beginning of the tenth epoch."

Taln closed his eyes, sighing to himself. He hoped it wasn't true but.. "What about Alethkar," he said. "It obviously still exists."

"Well a lot of the kingdom is just a name," Lhan explained. "It's always a good idea to use one of the old names when you found a kingdom. Makes you seem more legitimate."

"Which ones still stand then, even if only in name?"

"Alethkar, of course." the monk said, "And as the king told you, we've expanded a bit over the last few years. Thaylenah still stands, by itself on that island over there. So its borders stay pretty stable. Vedenar is now called Jah Keved, though it's ruled by three Veden houses with a figurehead as its leader."

"That's it?"

"Well Shinovar is still there. But no one really pays much attention to them. The rest is gone. Kingdoms sometimes try to claim their names, but mostly they're uninhabited. Especially <Rianat>. There's enough bandits over there to form their own kingdom."

Taln nodded. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, but... "Vorinism is still strong, I assume?" Taln noted, reaching for the rocks that Lhan had brought him.

"Always will be, Almighty willing," Lhan said in a beautiful monotone, his piousness weakened slightly by the extended yawn he made in the middle of the sentence.

"If the Vorin religion is still in power, " Taln said, "How is it that no one takes my claim to be a Herald seriously? Have you forgotten about the cycle of returns, the coming of the cofen? The religion was founded to prepare for such things."

"Well, we've kind of had to change our focus during the last epoch. You did, after all, promise that you weren't coming back any more."

"What?!" Taln froze, glancing up.

"At the end of the last return," Lhan explained. "The Heralds disappeared and said they weren't coming back. That the cycle of returns was through and the cofen had been defeated."

"That's not possible."

Lhan raised an eyebrow.

"I wouldn't be here if the cycle of returns were over." Taln explained. "Trust me. Which of the Heralds proclaimed this?"

"Well I'm not sure. It didn't become the official doctrine until about the fifth century, I think."

"Why so long?"

"You're kind of asking the wrong monk, actually. Actually, the wrong monastery. The order of Ishar contains all the history experts. This all happened a thousand years ago."

"But it's your theological heritage!" Taln said.

"So the senior monks are fond of telling me."

Taln stood, putting on the cloak.

"You sewed rocks into your hem. How very odd of you."

Taln spun, turning a few times to judge the motion of the cloak. Then he turned to the side in a quick motion, pulling the garment off with a smooth gesture. He nodded to himself, putting it back on. "For weight." Taln explained "A weighted cloak is more easy to position in battle and more easy to remove quickly." You could also use it as a surprise weapon, though he didn't offer that bit of explanation.

"Oh," Lhan said.

"What did you think I was doing?" Taln asked with amusement, sitting down on the bed without removing the cloak.

"I wasn't sure," Lhan replied. "I figured you were confused. You are, after all, crazy."

"You're not a very subtle one, are you, Brother Lhan?"

"I make up for it in sheer laziness," Lhan replied. "What are you doing now?"

"Pockets," Taln said, getting out of the cloak again. "Do you mind if I cut up this blanket?"

Lhan shrugged. "It's the kind of thing they expect crazy people to do, so I guess it's okay. But you'll have to tear it. I'm certainly not giving you a knife."

Taln frowned but did as requested. "You seem surprisingly flippant with regard to my supposed lunacy. Aren't you afraid I'll become violent?"

"You're not the violent type. I've seen your type come through the monastery a lot. I also know you can't be talked out of who you think you are. My job is simply to make certain you don't accidentally hurt yourself or anyone else, especially not me."

"You have experience with my type, then?" Taln asked.

"I tend to get the more undesirable assignments"

"I wonder why." He fell silent as he worked, turning his thoughts to a topic he'd been avoiding. What was he going to do? Normally he had the other Heralds to decide the plan. But he appeared to be the only one who'd reached the city. He needed to find the others and that required one thing. His sword. It had been taken from him. He remembered that night of the feast only vaguely.

"My sword..." he said.

"That was confiscated," Lhand said. "You didn't exactly make a good impression on the king. Enduring perhaps, but definitely not good."

"There was a woman," Taln said. "She saved my life."

"Lady Jasnah" Lhan agreed. "The king's sister. Don't assume she protected you out of fondness. Lady Jasnah is about as compassionate as a sleeping chull. Even her breathing is politically motivated. No one's certain why she pled for you, but most think it was some kind of stunt."

"Either way, I owe her my life," Taln said. The loss of his weapon was troubling. With it, he could sense the location of the other Heralds. It would be the easiest and fastest way to find them. Assuming, of course, he thought, that the Blade's power still worked.

Taln paused. A feeling of dread struck him. Stonewarding didn't work, and he couldn't manifest the bond. If he'd lost the sword as well...

The window light turned red. Taln gasped, feeling dizzy. An expression of concern actually crossed the monk's face.

"Are you all right?" Lhan asked.

The monk burst into flames. The windows melted. Bloodred fire ripped up the sides of the building, pooling at the top and bearing down on Taln with its heat. Smoke rose from the suddenly ignited beds, curling ominously, bringing with it screams, sudden, formless screams, that came from the far edge of the room.

Taln looked up. Fire roared and something moved within it, something dark. The screams mounted, pulsing in his ears, searing him, flaying him.

"What's wrong?" Lhan asked, still in flames, his flesh melting from his face.

Taln closed his eyes, grabbing the sides of his bed, pushing the screams away. He shivered, exhaling a long, demanding sigh. When he opened his eyes, the room had returned to normal. He sat for a few minutes, breathing deeply.

"I'm fine," Taln finally said, forcing himself to stand up and look at his new cloak. It had one large pocket and two smaller ones, and a small ribbon at the back to hold a hidden dagger, if he ever managed to get his hands on one.

"I assume I'm allowed to leave the monastery?"

"So long as you take me with you," Lhan said, "but.."

Taln raised an eyebrow.

"You're kind of expected to go work in the royal mines, "Lhan explained. "To help pay for your keep."

"No one is going to force me?" Taln clarified.

"Well, no."

"Good," Taln said. "We're leaving."

"Umm...Where are we going?"

"To get some information."

"Oh, you mean my wealth of accumulated wisdom isn't good enough for you?"

Taln turned, eyeing the monk with a suffering eye, then waved for him to follow.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#34 Copy

Extesian

I'm loathed to ask two questions but this is a clarification - it was reported way back that you confirmed that the ardent in the Palanaeum is Pailiah. Are you willing to confirm?

Brandon Sanderson

There is a Herald in close proximity to Taravangian, but she's not anyone in his immediate inner circle seen commonly on screen.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#35 Copy

unchainedt

[The Oathgate map] can't be a very early Rosharan piece, because it lists the Shattered Plains, which weren't shattered when humans came. It also list all the current kingdom names, and the human kingdoms wouldn't have existed anywhere except Shinovar during the early days before humans ventured out elsewhere.

Peter Ahlstrom

Anything on the artwork that uses that font is an annotation by Nazh.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#36 Copy

MS-07B-3

It's noted in Oathbringer that Taln was the only Herald who was not supposed to have been one, and that he was not a king, general, scholar, or anyone "special" as it were. So what occupation did he hold before becoming a Herald?

Brandon Sanderson

He was a soldier and bodyguard.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#37 Copy

Argent

Now that we have canon art of Ishar, Shalash, Jezrien, and Vedel, what Rosharan nationalities would you say they resemble the most?

Brandon Sanderson

Jezrien and Vedel would be seen as Alethi, most likely. Shalash would be seen as Azish, while Ishar would be seen as Shin, probably.

NightWillReign

Wait, but if Ishar looks like he’s from Shinovar, how did the Tukkari accept him as the God-Priest?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a RAFO--but is a question you're supposed to be asking.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#39 Copy

Kyrroti

What's your process for writing Rosharan Myths such as Fleet's race? They are always my favorite parts of the Stormlight novels.

Brandon Sanderson

I love folklore, and spend a lot of time looking into the folk myths and stories for various cultures. I try to make the various myths, particularly those shared by Wit, have a different "Voice" from my normal narrative voice, as I want them to feel like legitimate ephemera from the world.

Skype Q&A ()
#40 Copy

Blightsong

In Oathbringer it is revealed that the humans who originally came to Roshar were the first ones to be named Voidbringers and that they carried magical powers. The Stormfather also implies that modern Surgebinding didn't exist before the Heralds. Were the original powers that the humans possessed Voidbinding?

Brandon Sanderson

So, we're getting into lots of interesting definitional problems here. And also the ways that different entities perceive the definitions of different terms. I will answer this question specifically as we do the flashbacks from Ash and Taln's viewpoints. So you've got a long ways to wait. But understand that definitions are not always-- the way that people define things cannot always be trusted. That said, humans were not using powers from Honor originally.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#41 Copy

WhoisJohnFaust

How much of a Mistborn prequel would the game have been? Are we talking; post pit Kelsier, or more of a Lord Ruler's first days taking over the other nations? Something in the middle?

Brandon Sanderson

It was set early in the Final Empire's existence--second or third century, I believe. So a pretty deep in the past prequel.

Legion Release Party ()
#44 Copy

R'Shara

How many times did a Herald break and let the Fused return to Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, so how many Desolations were there, total?

R'Shara

Between the Oathpact and Aharietiam?

Brandon Sanderson

Not as many as people say there are.

R'Shara

More than fifty, less than fifty?

Brandon Sanderson

I would guess offhand more than fifteen, but not much more. That's the sort of thing I just have to look at the timeline on. You're catching me flat-footed on that one. I would have to go look. Not as many as they think, but more than fifteen.

R'Shara

More than fifteen? Okay, because I actually asked more than fifty.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh you asked more than fifty. More than fifteen, less than fifty.

Legion Release Party ()
#46 Copy

Questioner

Can a Returned be made from Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

How would you count the Heralds?

Questioner

I haven't read much, so I don't really know what you're talking about.

Brandon Sanderson

In the Stormlight books, there is a set of people who are constantly reborn, into full sized grown bodies that are being created for them. Would you count that as being Returned?

Or do you count Returned...What's your definition, right? You can create something that is Returned-like. But your definition of what is Returned and what is not, is going to be involved in that.

FanX 2018 ()
#47 Copy

Questioner

Are these old Radiants?

Brandon Sanderson

Those are Heralds. That's Ash, who you'll see that the very end of this [Oathbringer]. That's Jezrien who's also near the end. You haven't met her [Vedel] yet. Ishar, you have heard about. And it's identified in this book who he is. But those are artist interpretations of them, in-world. They're like the Sistine Chapel versions of the Heralds. They might not look exactly like that, but that is an in-world interpretation of them by an artist.

Footnote: Question refers to the Oathbringer endpaper art
FanX 2018 ()
#48 Copy

Stormlightning

Is there a set number of them[Dawnshards]?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Stormlightning

Are you willing to say?

Brandon Sanderson

No.

Stormlightning

Are you willing to say if they originated in the Rosharan system?

Brandon Sanderson

I am not willing to say.

FanX 2018 ()
#49 Copy

Questioner

I was wondering if the Oathpact was limited just to the 10 original Heralds, or if someone could possibly take their place?

Brandon Sanderson

*Presumably hands RAFO card* 

Read For Pixels 2018 ()
#50 Copy

Oversleep (as Droga Królów)

Do the Heralds need to consume Investiture in order to stay in their body?

Brandon Sanderson

No. Good question. Excellent question. They're asking if they're like Returned and they need to consume a Breath each week.