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#SayTheWords ()
#2 Copy

Dan Wells

Sixth Epoch, Year 31, Palahachan 5.3.2.

Dustbringers

I have a soft spot for the Dustbringers. I've never met one, or at least I don't think I ever have. But their core principle is one uncomfortably close to my own heart: that we all bear the capacity for unimaginable damage and destruction, and that the only way to protect those around us is to always maintain a firm unshakeable control over ourselves. I'm no Dustbringer, but I've caused my fair share of destruction. Mental, emotional and even physical. It's a hard thing to live with. The Dustbringers dedicate their entire lives to making sure that this kind of thing doesn't happen. That no angry outburst or selfish whim ends up harming the people they love. There is a part of me, I think, that would enjoy being a Dustbringer.

A big part of Dustbringers' incredible self control comes from their quest to understand themselves and the world they live in. How does a given thing work? Why does that river flow in just that way? Why does that rock stay on that ledge? And if it falls, how will it fall? Where will it land? Why does this experience cause this emotion, and why does this word or this attitude cause this particular response. When we understand something, we can control it. We can make that rock fall exactly where we want it, or cause or avoid an emotional response in a person we're taking to. Wouldn't that be wonderful? To know yourself and your family, and the world in general so well, that you can always keep everyone happy?

Or maybe I'm revealing a little bit more of myself than I should be. So back to the fun stuff: physical destruction. Dustbringers are the sappers and siege-masters of an army. The ones who could bring down an otherwise impenetrable enemy fortification, through the one-two punch of having a lot of power, and knowing exactly where to apply it. Want to take down a bridge? Who better than someone who takes bridges apart for fun, just to see how they work? And who better than- okay, now I'm thinking about the potential of targeted emotional destruction, and it's... pretty terrifying. So let's end on the control thing instead. Who better to defend your own bridges and forts and hearts, than someone who knows exactly how they work, and someone who has the self awareness and the emotional control to keep them completely safe.

YouTube Livestream 25 ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

Which order of Knights Radiant was hardest for conception?

Brandon Sanderson

It was definitely the Dustbringers, which I'm not even sure yet, because I haven't done a lot with them in the books. But I wanted the Dustbringers to be more than just "generic fire magic." Not that people haven't done great things with generic fire magic that they have individualized, but kind of the whole idea behind the Surges in the Stormlight Archive is that they are using, as the elements of their society and the fundamental forces, things that you wouldn't normally see as magic systems in a fantasy novel. And generic fire magic didn't fit into that schema very well.