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Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson ()
#5 Copy

Locke219

I know it's a RAFO, but how the eff did Wyrn see into the future? That seems above even a Shardholder's abilities! I bet that sucker's tapping into the Shadesmar. But I digress...

Brandon Sanderson

Ha, wow, that is indeed a RAFO. Note that we have seen temporal abilities in the cosmere before. Most of the time these are related directly to the pure essence of a Shard or to a Splinter.

Skyward Seattle signing ()
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Questioner

So the scene at the end of Oathbringer, when Odium is confronting Taravangian and he uses futuresight to expand upon the Diagram, we have this blacked out section with Renarin's name linked to it.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Is that because Renarin's abilities interfere with Odium's futuresight similar to how electrum interferes with atium?

Brandon Sanderson

Any time that someone else is seeing the future in the cosmere, it's going to have ripples against your ability. Like they are-- you can't-- It's the same sort of thing that if-- someone who has access to atium is going to mess up anyone else's futuresight in any way, because once you use that it's going to cause you to act differently, which then-- And remember futuresight is not very good in the cosmere anyway. But yeah, it's just gonna mess things up.

Oathbringer Houston signing ()
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Questioner

There's a lot of situations where people hear voices or see visions, stuff like that. What would be the effect, if somebody had something like mental condition like schizophrenia or multiple personality? Because you talk about-- Because a lot of the magic is about their will, you know?

Brandon Sanderson

Schizophrenia in the cosmere is going to-- So, anytime you're seeing the future, and things like that, you're kinda glimpsing into the Spiritual Realm. That's why it happens so often, because the magic systems are the way they work, are coming down from the Spiritual Realm. Schizophrenia will make you more open to that, so you are more likely to actually see the future. But you won't be able to tell it from the things your mind is making up, which is gonna be really dangerous.

Questioner

So, what if you had, like, one personality wanna do one thing, and another one trying to do something else, would it cancel each other out?

Brandon Sanderson

Not necessarily. I mean, we're going a little that direction with Shallan, anyway. You'll see.

Salt Lake City signing ()
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Questioner

So voidbinding is-- one part of voidbinding is seeing the future. And atium is also seeing the future. And I notice annotations for Elantris, you said something about seeing the future could go weird-- sends assassins. Is that a running--

Brandon Sanderson

It is a running theme in the cosmere. And it's-- Whatever path you take to do it is dangerous in the cosmere. It's kind of a sign of-- You are in dangerous territory, and drawing upon a Shard that is--

Questioner

Potentially...

Brandon Sanderson

Potentially-- Yes. I mean to say-- Dangerous territory.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
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Questioner

If Taravangian made the Diagram, and telling the future is of the Voidbringers, is that a bad sign?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on if you're speaking culturally or actual magically.

Questioner

Magically, I guess.

Brandon Sanderson

Because he would claim to you that he did it all with strength of mind and no magical influence other than enhanced mind. That's what he would tell you. And so in that case it would not be—culturally they'd look very weirdly at it, but spiritually he would say it's not of the Voidbringers.

MisCon 2018 ()
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Chaos

Odium said to Taravangian, "You did this without access to Fortune or the Spiritual Realm?" How does one access Fortune without the Spiritual Realm or Feruchemical chromium, as almost all future sight tends to utilize the Spiritual Realm in some way?

Brandon Sanderson

So, that line is mostly just me saying... *long pause* I think you're picking apart those things too much.

Chaos

Right, that makes sense. Hey, Odium said it, so I didn't know-- Gotta take that seriously, so.

Brandon Sanderson

So, yeah, don't read too much into picking apart those two things. You can read it as-- Honestly, that is me making sure I am being clear in the text.

Chaos

That there are those are two different things.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah those are two different things, but they are just interrelated. Fortune is a property, and the Spiritual Realm is a place, but not a place. Do you know what I mean? To use Fortune, you're always involving the Spiritual Realm, but in the Spiritual Realm, you're not always involving Fortune.