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Calamity release party ()
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Zas678

How long before-- How long either before modern day or before the Heirocracy was the Recreance?

Brandon Sanderson

Um...

Zas678

Like 200 years-ish? 100 years-ish?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, Recreance to Heirocracy is what you're asking? 

Zas678

Yes. Or to modern day, I don't care.

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, so Recreance to Heirocracy... Heirocracy is in recent memory. Recreance is not.

Zas678

Okay. So that's probably like a 500 year difference. Something like that.

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, yeah, or more. Heirocracy though is recent-ish memory.

/r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
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zas678

How long before [The Way of Kings] is Alloy of Law? I heard somewhere that it's a hundred years, but I don't think that's right.

Brandon Sanderson

I intended them to be happening roughly close to one another, with [The Way of Kings] slightly before.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
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Questioner 1

Timeline-wise will Warbreaker 2 come before Stormlight Archive or is it after?

Brandon Sanderson

Before the end of the Stormlight?

Questioner 1

So Warbreaker 2 would it take place before the start of...

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, before. Yeah, Warbreaker 2 chronologically is pre-Stormlight. Before Stormlight 1, yeah.

Questioner 1

Pre-Stormlight. Okay.

Questioner 2

I'm excited for that.

Brandon Sanderson

In fact, chronologically I think it's the exact book before Stormlight 1. I don't think there's anything in between there.

Questioner 1

Will the book say why Nightblood's on [Roshar]...

Brandon Sanderson

It will at least hint at it. I mean the book is called Nightblood. If it doesn't I'll write a bridge novella to kind of do that.

Questioner 1

Bridge the gap?

Brandon Sanderson

Bridge the gap. Because the story-- I'm not sure if I can work in everything. Because the story isn't about Nightblood leaving. It's about-- yeah.

Questioner 1

Yeah, it's not about that. It's just kind of like a... how did that transition happen.

Brandon Sanderson

I mean, yeah. Vasher's cosmere-aware, and so the more you talk to him the more some of this stuff will come out.

Idaho Falls Signing ()
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Shawn M. Halversen (paraphrased)

I asked him about the time between each of the original 99 desolations.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It turns out that the number 99 in the stories was made up, and that there were much fewer of them. He also then stated that the cosmere runs along a 10,000 year gap and that Roshar falls right into the middle of the timeline. He ended with "That should give you a perspective of the timeline and events of the desolations".

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
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Wetlander

How much time elapses between the beginning of the main part of the story [where they start out at the Shattered Plains] and the end of the series?

Brandon Sanderson

And the end of the series? Because the end of the series, um, we have a 15-year gap between [books number] 5 and 6. So, the first five will probably be Wheel of Time-ish, sort of, each one picks up where the last one left off; we have a little more time, maybe, than Wheel of Time, but not terribly much, so it will probably be just a couple of years for the first ones, but then we will jump.

Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
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BeskarKomrk

When you say Scadrial has an earth similar year, are you referring to the time it takes the planet to go around the sun? Or the year as people on the planet would measure it (e.g. Vin is fifteen years old when her brother leaves her)? Are these the same thing?

While I'm here, a selection of related questions for you if you have the time:

  1. Did the length of a year (as measured by the people on the planet) change when Scadrial was moved by The Lord Ruler/Harmony?
  2. I've assumed that lengths of time given in the books use that world's time lengths. For example, the Reod happens ten Selish years before Elantris (which may not correspond exactly to Scadrian years or Earth years), or that the 4500 years between the prelude and the prologue of Way of Kings is in Rosharan years. Is this an accurate assumption?
  3. I've assumed in the past that all the major shardworld planets we've seen have roughly earth similar years. Can you confirm/deny this for any of them specifically? I'm especially interested in Sel and Nalthis. (Specific numbers would be ideal, but even a yes/no for any of the planets would be super super awesome!)

Brandon Sanderson

  1. I mentioned in another post that I'll wait a bit to give you exact numbers, because I want to make sure Peter has run all the right calculations. But yes, changing the orbit had an effect on things--though official calendars didn't need to change, as they'd been used since before the original shift happened anyway. When we talk about 'Years' in the Final Empire, it's original (pre LR) orbit anyway. I knew I was going to go back to them later in the series, and when characters were actually aware of things like the calendar, it would be close to earth standard.

  2. Though, since you mention it, all numbers mentioned in their respective series are in-world numbers. This makes things tricky, as Rosharan years (with the five hundred days) are blatant enough to start the average reader wondering about these things.

  3. Mostly, Roshar is the big one (not in actual deviation--I think a Roshar year is only 1.1 Earth years--but in how the scope and terminology of the novel will make people start to notice and ask questions.) Other planets have deviations from Earth, but it's not as noticeable. We'll give specific numbers eventually. I promise.

General Reddit 2015 ()
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HorseCannon

I didn't realize horneaters had parshmen blood, didn't even realize that was possible. How closely are humans and parshmen related, do they have a common ancestor? Or is one an artificially created version of the other?

Brandon Sanderson

There was intermixing long ago. Horneaters and Herdazians are both a result. (Signs of this are the stone carapace on Herdazian fingernails and the Horneater extra jaw pieces--in the back of the mouth--for breaking shells.)

Humans and parshmen don't have a common ancestor. And as a side note, both of these strains of humanoids predate the ascension of Honor, Cultivation, and Odium.

ccstat

Are there Aimian-Human hybrids as well? (Either type of Aimian) If so, are the Thaylen people one of these?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

Blightsong

*via private message*

Some of us believe that you are saying that humans and listeners existed pre-Shattering while some of us believe that you are saying that Horneaters and Herdazians existed pre-Shattering (you have mentioned that humans had been on Roshar since before the Shattering recently). What were you trying to say here?

Brandon Sanderson

Humans (other than those on Yolen) existed pre-Shattering, as did parshmen.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
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Jericho5589

In regards to the time period each series takes place in. What time period is it during Mistborn whilst the other series are going on?(More specifically. Is it Wex during Stormlight? Or still Vin?)

Brandon Sanderson

Stormlight is closer to Wax than Vin, but takes place between the two.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
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Questioner

So Stormlight and Breath are both just different manifestations of Investiture.

Brandon Sanderson

That's correct.

Questioner

So Nightblood and Shardblades are both kind of powered by Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, in fact you can call Nightblood kind of a miss-made, evil Shardblade... more miss-made than evil but yes.

Questioner

But a Shardblade wouldn't shear through Nightblood.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes a Shardblade would not shear through Nightblood. In fact I wrote Way of Kings first and then I wrote Warbreaker and Way of Kings came out after Warbreaker but in my mind Warbreaker is a prequel to Way of Kings, where I was telling Vasher's backstory.

Questioner

Oh really, so the Warbreaker we know takes place after Way of Kings?

Brandon Sanderson

No, it takes place before, it's a prequel meaning I wrote Way of Kings and then I went back in time and told Vasher's backstory but Warbreaker ended up coming out first because Way of Kings wasn't ready yet.

JordanCon 2016 ()
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Questioner

Are we ever going to get an official Cosmere timeline?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, we will eventually. We're really close to being able to release it, I'm not sure when we will. Um, the real trick is-- Like now that we're locking down White Sand, that's kind of like the last wild card because the novel version wasn't canon. So it's like where do we make sure this is, and stuff like that. So yeah we should be, once White Sand is out I think, everything we can lock down. The trick is, like if I release it there are certain-- like where is Sixth of the Dusk exactly? It's not something I want because that's got spoilers.

Questioner

..It is actually canon that Era Two [of Mistborn]takes place between the first half and the second half of [The Stormlight Archive]?

Brandon Sanderson

Well I haven't written the second half of Stormlight so that--

Questioner

But does it take place after the first half?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes it takes place sometime after the first half, but it depends on how long I break and things like that, whether they overlap, maybe it takes place after 7, maybe it takes place after 5, maybe it takes place after-- Like we'll see when I get there how many years, because the timing on those is a little more tight.

Questioner

So they're more interweaved with those, those are closer to the same time period.

Brandon Sanderson

They are much closer to the same time period than other things, which is why I have to be dodgy on those ones, mostly just because they are on a similar timeline.

Calamity release party ()
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Zas678

Did Vasher visit Roshar before the Recreance? Because he had-- *Brandon mumbles question* Because he had to see Shardblades, and... presumably live ones.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah... I'll RAFO that. I'll RAFO that. It is an assumption that he had... He doesn't necessarily have to have seen alive ones. He could have heard records of them.

Zas678

Okay. Because I've tried to make out a timeline, to be like, "Okay, if this is here..."

Brandon Sanderson

Kara has a timeline-- Not Kara-- Karen has a timeline in hand. But I would have to look at it to give you exact dates, but yeah.

Zas678

Okay. So you didn't have to see...

Brandon Sanderson

He did not have to see.

Ancient 17S Q&A ()
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Chaos (paraphrased)

Could you tell us a chronology of the Shardworlds thus far? Like, did Warbreaker happen after Mistborn or before, things like that. Personally, I was under the impression you said Mistborn was a sequel to Elantris, but Mi'ch and Josh disagree.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He wasn't positive on where Warbreaker went, but Elantris is first and MB is after it.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
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Questioner

How does time work in the Cosmere? Or a better question to ask: are any of the books happening at the same time in the Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm gonna have to look at the timeline. Most of them do not happen concurrently. Mostly they have been at distinct points. But the closer we get to modern and future era Mistborn world, the more overlap there is between them, just kind of by necessity 'cause they eventually start ramming together. So, the further we get in the Cosmere, the more likely things are overlapping.

So, I don't know that we've had anything actually overlap yet, in fact I'm pretty sure that we haven't, unless you count some of the short fiction might overlap. But even then, I don't think anything big overlaps, but it will start happening soon.

Orem signing ()
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Zas

Elantris. Where does it fit in the timeline in reference to Hero of Ages? Since that's what most other things are referenced to.

Brandon Sanderson

Right. Elantris is far earlier.

Zas

Like thousands? Or like hundreds?

Brandon Sanderson

It's quite... It's not thousands.

General Twitter 2011 ()
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mistlepro

regarding “bumps” in TWoK, did the events referred to in the Part 2 bumps already occur in your other novels?

Brandon Sanderson

So far, the books have been chronological. Alloy of Law is a little out of order, happening before KINGS.

Boskone 54 ()
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Questioner

When Sazed moved the planet in the third Mistborn, I know it has it’s own solar system but did it affect the cosmere in any way?

Brandon Sanderson

Not in huge amounts. Technically yes, because you change gravity, but they are lightyears away, so they wouldn’t even notice. I mean, it changed Shadesmar a little bit too, so there were upheavals, but it was not drastic. If what you are looking for is the cause of the earthquake on Sel, then no. The earthquake was years before.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
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Questioner

Was Elantris built before or after the prologue of Way of Kings

Brandon Sanderson

*Pauses* Go to my notes and find out. I would have to actually specifically look that one up. My instinct says.....oh boy.

Questioner

Yeah, because they're both really old.

Brandon Sanderson

They're really old. They're both really old. I want to say that the prologue is older, but I don't know for sure, because I know things on Roshar are older. But, the prologue happens late in things on Roshar, so it's still old. So I'm gonna go with, I think this but I'd have to actually get the outline and look at the timeline. 

Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
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Questioner

How do the timelines line up? So they're all in the same universe. But how does Stormlight and--

Brandon Sanderson

They are mostly been chronological, yet Alloy-era is after Stormlight book 5.

Questioner

Okay.

Brandon Sanderson

Otherwise, mostly chronological. White Sand is before most of this happens. So if you ever read that one, it’s a pretty early book.

Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
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Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Time-wise, where do the events of Bands of Mourning happen with respect to Words of Radiance?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...So, Bands of Mourning, all the Wax & Wayne books take place after Stormlight 5, but I'm not sure if it happens after or before Stormlight 6, It'll have to wait, because there's a time jump between Stormlight 5 and 6 that I haven't exactly defined in the timeline yet.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
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Mondoodle

I don't know if someone has already commented on this, but something that's caught my attention after listening to the audiobooks back to back is that there seems to be a commonality of a significant event happening 300 years in the past. Was there a particular event that happened on one planet that has cascaded to others?

Brandon Sanderson

There are events that have happened on one planet, and cascaded through, but don't fixate too much on 300 years. The different books are happening on slightly different timelines, for one thing, so the separate '300 years' notations might not actually line up at the same year, if that makes sense.

Idaho Falls signing 2014 ()
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leftinspace

Can you tell me how long it was from the Shattering of Adonalsium to the prelude of The Way of Kings when the Heralds abandoned the Oathpact?

Brandon Sanderson

Current timeline, which I have NOT canonized, is around 6,000 years... I have not finished with my outline document yet.

leftinspace

'Cause I've looked at the current chronology and it's very, very spotty...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes it is... the real trick is... making sure that I fit in, for instance, White Sand and things with the proper amount... because I haven't released that book series yet, I have to make sure while we're doing the graphic novel, that it fits the chronology, which is why I can't quite canonize things yet.

leftinspace

That one takes place before Way of Kings doesn't it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes

leftinspace

'Cause I know one of the worldhoppers from there shows up in Way of Kings...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, White Sand is one of the very earliest.

Firefight release party ()
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Questioner

I've been trying to brainstorm what Stormlight characters would have jumped into the other books so far. You told me they had at one point.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, they have but you've got to remember that The Stormlight Archive you are seeing right now, what's happening in it is like late cosmere era, does that make sense? So there are lots of people from the world that have been to other worlds but the people you know--this is happening just before Alloy of Law era-- So does that make sense? That's the first time you'd be able to see anyone here and by that era the bleed over is a lot less because we have the whole Odium trapped and things like that. There's a lot less-- There are a lot fewer people traveling in and out of Roshar than there once were.

Fantasy Faction Q&A ()
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Windrunner

When is Emperor's Soul set chronologically in relation to Elantris? Because if its around the same time Teod and Arelon might not have to stand alone against the Fjordell Empire.

My other question is also a timeline one. (There are a lot of those tonight haha) I heard you had to move The Way of Kings a little bit due to some plot constraints. So does Warbreaker still fall around the same time as The Alloy of Law or has that shifted as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Thanks for the kind words! Emperor's Soul is after Elantris, but not too long after. It is before Mistborn.

Second question is that I've moved things so that The Way of Kings is around the same time as The Alloy of Law, forced by some behind-the-scenes events. Warbreaker now happens before The Alloy of Law.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
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Yata

If I may ask another thing, did you decide what come earlier in the Cosmere's Timeline between Elantris and White Sand ?

Brandon Sanderson

White Sand is earlier. I was pretty sure on this, but I wanted to be able to glance at the timeline and make sure I hadn't made any changes. (And I haven't.) It's pretty solidly locked into that place because of certain events around the cosmere, so you can assume it won't change.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Spook's Timeline

One of the problems with Spook's sequences is that I had to break the chapters timewise longer than I'd wanted to. Originally, these latest three or four Spook chapters happened in the course of a week's time. However, when I added them into the rest of the book, I realized I had to space them out a lot farther because of the things happening in Vin and Elend's timeline.

So it's a little bit awkward. Three chapters ago, Spook heard men mention the rumors Durn was spreading about him. Then we had two chapters dealing with Sazed and Breeze's arrival. Only now can Spook finally track down Durn and demand to know about the rumors he was spreading.

It would have made much more sense to have had Spook find a way to do this earlier, but I just couldn't work it in until now. The “count the skulls” thing is coming up too; I haven't forgotten it. Unfortunately, it suffered from this same issue.

Worldbuilders AMA ()
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Xluxaeternax

Is the chronology through the whole cosmere fairly linear, or are there some Interstellar-relativity timey-wimey stuff at play?

Brandon Sanderson

Relativity is in play for sure, but I am not allowing time travel into the past in the cosmere. So while you might find places that move at slower/faster speeds, and while foreseeing future timelines is in play for sure, nobody will not be pulling serious time travel shenanigans.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
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Questioner

I'm 66 in a couple months and I want to make sure I live long enough to read the whole Stormlight--

Brandon Sanderson

Alright.

Questioner

Am I going to?

Brandon Sanderson

You'll definitely make it through the first five. The thing about it is I'll break in the middle, but the first five come to a natural climax, and then there's an in-world break of 15 years. Not 15 years away for us but an in-world break. And then I'll do another trilogy. I think you'll make it through them all. I think you'll easily make it, you look very hale and healthy.

JordanCon 2016 ()
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Questioner

What was the reasoning behind there being many, many years between different stories in the different parts the cosmere, like the huge gap between… Warbreaker and Way of Kings. Like why is--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, why are there some huge gaps in the length of the cosmere. There's-- I want the cosmere to be more than just a little blip of time. The concept for the cosmere was never something, to me, like the Avengers for instance. Which a lot of people kind of view it that way, particularly because the Marvel movies have been so big, and that's good. But it's not like all these concurrent stories with the same characters converging. That's not how I have ever planned it. Now there are certain people who are functionally immortal or close to it that will be involved in things across time, but this is-- I'm telling an epic story, right? And I knew we needed thousands of years between some of the events. For instance, Roshar, we start in the Prelude at 4500 years or whatever before the book starts. It's like, if I didn't have some big gaps, then what are all the stories that are happening in between? It feels illogical and false to me to have all the stories happen in a short time period. Now as certain part of the magic allow more communication and connection, then we will have to, by nature, kind of accelerate some of those things. But I feel like if I spent, you know, ten thousand years or whatever, and only had all the stories happen in the last 50, it would feel really weird. So that’s why.

Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson ()
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Jemaclus

In The Way of Kings, the [epigraphs] indicate that the year is 1174 (or thereabouts). In the Prelude, the date is indicated as 3000 years ago. What mechanism is used to delineate the epochs? Obviously in the Prelude they wouldn't refer to their date as -2174. In other words, what are the B.C./A.D./BCE equivalents for that series?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm going to have to RAFO that

Salt Lake City signing 2012 ()
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Questioner

When does Emperor's Soul take place in relation to the events of Elantris?

Brandon Sanderson

After them.

Questioner

Like how long after?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't answered that yet. A lot of people keep asking. But after them, but not so far after them that the technology level has shifted, which I allow, in my worlds, to happen. And also not so far after that the Emperor's Soul- if you keep your eyes open you will see a Derethi priest in full armor. And so, not so far after that the kingdoms we are familiar with no longer exist. They do exist and the tech level has not shifted dramatically so you can use that to kind of ballpark for yourself, a range. It's certainly not thousands of years later, in other words.