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17th Shard Interview ()
#2 Copy

17th Shard

How is The Way of Kings related to the rest of the cosmere? What point in time is it?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, so far I have written the books/series chronologically. Though, I have skipped books. And so there will be jumping back eventually, but Elantris, Mistborn, Warbreaker and Way of Kings all happened chronologically.

17th Shard

Just in general, how is it related to the rest of the cosmere? Or can you say?

Brandon Sanderson

I, uh…officially don't know what you're talking about. I mean, what do you mean by "related to"?

17th Shard

For example, the letter…

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, just like the letter that I have no idea what you're talking about. I will tell you that one of the novels I skipped is actually set in the same solar system.

17th Shard

Oh…so this is the series that that book shares.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, this is the series that the book shares that I skipped. I was planning to do it first, but now was the time to do the Stormlight Archive. So you will eventually see a book set on a planet in the same solar system. You could just pick out in the sky of Roshar if you were watching, and it may even get mentioned because it's a fairly close planet.

17th Shard

Is that on Divine Silence?

Brandon Sanderson

Silence Divine happens there.

17th Shard

What is the name of that planet?

Brandon Sanderson

Hmm…should I tell you? Oh, Peter says no. You got PAFO'd. Peter and not find out.

Yeah, so, I will tell you the name of that planet once it is out like I've told you the rest of them.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

Are birds native to Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

Birds are not native to Roshar.

Questioner

...Did they come over with the initial humans?

Brandon Sanderson

They did. The humans brought them over, along with a lot of other beasts. Like, horses aren't native to Roshar either. You can tell pretty easily the non-native things. Like, Roshar doesn't have any grapes. So the word wine got genericized in the same the way that the word chicken did. You'll see bunches of that. Like the way the weather works. Roshar does not have weather patterns like Ashyn did. They're used to seasons. Suddenly, the words for the seasons, all these weird things that you may have been wondering through the first couple of books, you're like, "Oh I see why they just call hard alcohol a wine," or, "I see why they call everything a chicken." It's kind of related to this.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
#4 Copy

Questioner

Do you have another magic system that you haven't written about yet?

Brandon Sanderson

I have a ton. And, yeah, so there's some that are in the cosmere that I haven't yet gotten to, that I've got planned out. And there's some that I started writing a story on and didn't have time to finish. And I've got some weird settings. And-- yeah. So yes, there are a ton.

Questioner

Wow, that's so cool. Would you be able to share a little bit?

Brandon Sanderson

Well the most famous one that I've talked about before, so fans already know about it, is the one where people-- you gain magical talents based on diseases you catch. Like you get the common cold, you can fly while you have it, when you get over it-- it's the bacteria and viruses have evolved to give-- to interface with the magic to try and, you know, they want to keep you alive to let you spread the disease so they-- you get these powers. And that one's going to be very cool when I can write it.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#6 Copy

Yata

A little curiosity over the word "Shin", is it a deformation/twisting of their origin ? like "Ashyn person" --> "A Shyn person" ---> "A Shin person" ? (I assume this is a quite safe question to response without going into the rabbit hole)

Brandon Sanderson

Shin/Ashyn do have a relationship, but I didn't specifically intend "A Shin" to be Ashyn.

Stuttgart signing ()
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Paleo (paraphrased)

Are the Ashynite magic system, in which micro organisms cause diseases and bestow powers, and the Old Magic related? You could sort of see the powers and the disease as a boon and a curse. If so, does the "Old" part come from that?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, they are related, but the name comes from the magic actually predating spren bonds.

Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
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Questioner

So I was reading that one of the worlds, I think it was Yolen, is going to be a disease oriented magic?

Brandon Sanderson

It's not Yolen, it's Ashyn...

Questioner

How does that work?

Brandon Sanderson

Viruses and bacteria, various strains of them, have evolved in-line with the investiture on the planet to grant you a magical ability when you catch the disease, because they want you to stay alive long enough to--

Questioner

To transmit it.

Brandon Sanderson

--o transmit it. So it becomes part of the transmission vector. So you have superpowers or whatever-- You can fly as long as you have the common cold, but when you get over it, you can't anymore.

Idaho Falls signing ()
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coltonx9

How are the floating cities in Ashyn held aloft?

Brandon Sanderson

By local magic... So basically, I can tell you how it works, because I'm not saving any secrets here.

One of the diseases gives this power. The reason it's called The Silence Divine is right now, the way I've devised it, is this power also causes hearing loss. So you have this virus that does this weird thing, but also gives you the power. And so there's a conclave of them, a chorus of them that keep the cities aloft. And that's why the book, if or when I write it, I guess it can't be a virus in this case. Whatever disease they have, someone develops penicillin and can potentially cause the city to come crashing down. That was the premise for me, but that means it needs to be a bacteria, not a virus but it needs to be a bacteria that stays with you long, so I have to work out exactly how I would make these diseases work.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#10 Copy

windolf7

Is Ashyn the Tranquilline Halls?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

faragorn

Actually, my theory is that Braize is both the TQ and Damnation.

Gamers will all be familiar with the concept of rezzing after you die, often at a specific place.

The legend is that humans were forced out of the TQ and followed to Roshar. If Odium attacked and conquered Braize, and Honor created the heralds before he and Cultivation moved humans to Roshar, then the heralds might very well be rezzing on enemy-held Braize each day as described in the WoK prologue. Against the combined armies of the entire planet they get ganked as described in the prologue, only to rez the next day (kind of like the rez timers in World of Warcraft :-)).

WoR confirms that Braize was called Damnation, but I think it is now damnation, and was once the TQ.

Brandon Sanderson

Excellent theories, strange gaming parallels notwithstanding.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
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beer_in_an_esky

1) Is Ashyn still operating on a sickness-based magic, as indicated in the readings you've done previously? Or are you not ready to canonise that?

2) Assuming it is, was the use of Investiture on Ashyn always sickness-based?

3) If someone who is sick on Ashyn leaves while still unwell, would they still have powers? How about any people they infect on the new world?

Brandon Sanderson

1) Ashyn still has that magic, though I've gone a lot of directions on how I want the culture to feel, so I wouldn't consider that canon yet.

2) No.

3) The powers come directly via the micro-organisms, similar to other symbiotic relationships in the cosmere.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
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Questioner

How much involvement does the other planet in the same system as Roshar have with Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

*long pause* Your question has a fundamental flaw to it.

Questioner

And that is?

Brandon Sanderson

That there are multiple planets that have an influence on Roshar.

Questioner

I thought there were multiple planets in the system that...

Brandon Sanderson

There are, but you said "the other", there are more than one so the phrase, "the other" doesn't make sense.

Questioner

How much influence do the other planets have?

Brandon Sanderson

A great deal.

Oathbringer Portland signing ()
#14 Copy

Questioner

A friend of mine wanted me to ask: Was the cataclysm that rocked Ashyn and forced its inhabitants into the flying cities Investiture-based, and if it was was it Shardic in nature?

Brandon Sanderson

The same cataclysm that the-- did you finish [Oathbringer]?

Questioner

Yes.

Brandon Sanderson

The same cataclysm that they were fleeing, that they caused, is the one that forced people into the skies...

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
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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.