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Oathbringer release party () Copy
#2

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Where did you get the idea for the gemhearts.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So, I wanted-- in the books, I wanted there to be an economic component to the magic, like, something that was based on the money in the world. And I knew I wanted to use the gemstones, but I also knew they would be used up really quickly by the magic, with Soulcasting. So, I built something into the creatures of the world, so that we could renew the gemstones, so they wouldn't all just be gone after a few hundred years.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 () Copy
#3

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I was wondering, in Stormlight, what kind of gem the Parshendi gemhearts were, or do they just, do they hold Stormlight well?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So, this is a good question. This is one that people have been asking me since the first book, if they had one, and I've finally kind of confirmed it in book three. So the reason people don't think Parshendi have a gemheart is it is milky white, and looks like bone.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

But aren't their bones red?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Their bones, well... their bones are red... not completely. If you're going to pull out the bone, what you're going to see.... I'll explain it in the next book. So what you're going to do is, if you break open the bone, you're going to find this white... it's not marrow but it is, yeah I guess it's marrow. Anyway at the center kind of in their sternum there is a gemheart there, but it is fused to the bone and it is grown into the bone, and you have to kind of snap it open and find it inside, and it kind of just looks like marrow, but there's a gemheart in there. And it kind of relates to some stuff in Dragonsteel that I'm not gonna get into. But you'll see in the next books. But there's a good reason people just don't think that Parshendi have a gemheart. 

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So they must not glow much then, I'm assuming.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, well, it's surrounded by bone. So it's a different special thing. We'll bring it out in the following books. It might not be the next one.

Leipzig Book Fair () Copy
#4

Questioner

I was wondering if the Chasmfiends have... like their own Gemhearts...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

It's probably not a coincidence that emeralds that can hold most of the Stormlight. So are Chasmfiends, do they take energy from Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, yes, yes, yes. That's part.

Questioner

So there is a huge energy source there, they can supply it with eating so...

Brandon Sanderson

It is actually most beneficial during their metamorphisis, as you'll notice that the chrysalises are not as big as they get, and so yeah. They depend on the Stormlight and they depend on the Spren that they are bonded to keep them from crushing themselves. So Chasmfiends couldn't exist off world for multiple reasons.

Questioner

I'm guessing that for Chasmfiends the absorption of Stormlight is different because there is a whole shell thing that is thick.

Brandon Sanderson

Yup, yup.

Salt Lake ComicCon FanX 2016 () Copy
#6

Questioner

Is it only greatshells that have gemhearts, or do all crustaceans on Roshar have some sort of gem inside? And if it is only greatshells then are their unique decayspren related to this fact?

Brandon:

They're not only greatshells, but not ever crustacean has a gemheart, at least not of the style that would be of any relevance to you. Some have the same sort of chemistry going on in their body, they're just too small to have it coalesce into a gemheart. And the gemheart is related to how-- particularly the greatshells, can grow to get so big.

Oathbringer London signing () Copy
#7

Overlord Jebus [PENDING REVIEW]

So you've previously described gemhearts as Investiture leaking into the Physical Realm in a similar kind of process to atium. Now atium had a way of-- the Investiture used in the creation of it-- of returning back to the kind of background pool of Investiture on Scadrial. Is there a way of the Investiture used in the creation of gemhearts to return to the Roshar Investiture pool?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes.

Overlord Jebus [PENDING REVIEW]

There is? Have we had any hints of it at all?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes.

Oathbringer release party () Copy
#8

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Where do gemstones come from?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Gemstones on Roshar are mostly coming from gemhearts. And, I remembered to stick in some mentions of this in Oathbringer, 'cause a lot of people have been asking about this. It's not something-- like, the daily ranching of animals for their gemhearts is not something that we bring up a lot, but there is some limited mining operations on Roshar as well, you've just gotta get through the crem.

Stormlight Three Update #4 () Copy
#10

Yata

In Oathbringer will we discover how the type of a gemheart is decided? (what polestone you will find once the gemheart is gathered) I have this doubt for months and probably is a really not relevant think but I have the constant feel of "I am missing something"

Brandon Sanderson

You're asking why certain species have emerald gemhearts, while others have a different type of gemstone?

Yata

In the end yes. Actually, I was even unsure if a specific species had a specific polestone as gemheart. In the books is never esplicity stated but (in-world) nobody ever asked what kind of polestone is retrieved after the death of a chasmfield (as if it was obvious fact) but I had not actually confirmations until now :)

Brandon Sanderson

Note that there are some species that vary. But many do not, which is what made chasmfiends so valuable.

Oathbringer Chicago signing () Copy
#11

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

In this world, assuming that [Roshar] is as old as it appears to be, wouldn't it be that the creatures that have gemhearts in them, as they die their body would rot away but leaving the gemstone? So wouldn't fossil beds exist with layers of gemstones in them from the passing of the ages?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, that's why-- yes.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

That's how they mine them?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

They do mine them. What you've got to remember is, in my opinion these things are going to collect in certain ways in certain places.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Densities and stuff.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah. But yeah. Because there's no tectonic activity on Roshar, so.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Just the buildup of crem over time slowly covers things.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Mmhmm.