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JordanCon 2016 ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

If the highstorms existed prior to the Shards' arrival, what's the relationship between the highstorms and the Stormfather?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh good question. I was wondering if someone was going to ask that… So, I'll tr-- Let me see… *sighs*

You know, I'm actually going to RAFO this one. *laughter* And let me tell you why, because I mean, I want to give you some reasons to be interested in the things that Dalinar will be talking about with the Stormfather. So this is a RAFO with an explicit promise that book 3-- These are things that are covered now that we have bonded the Stormfather to a person who can now ask some of these questions. I could totally just tell you now, but where's the fun in that? Read book three.

Steelheart Portland signing ()
#3 Copy

swamp-spirit

Does it take longer for spheres to charge on the western side of the continent?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, because of the… No it doesn't, but that's an excellent question. The highstorms are a little weaker, but that's more of a… Of it's been blunted from the-- It's not an-- Like if the continent, the mountains weren't there, they wouldn’t be weaker.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#4 Copy

Snote85

I did have a question about the story if you're willing/allowed to answer it for me. In the TWoK and WoR when the Highstorm and Everstorm meet, we're told that they will feed each other and that their strength is increased. What I wonder is that if that increased power is sustained after they pass, so that they get bigger each time they meet. Because if that's the case, it will basically turn into a Fibonacci Spiral of planetary destruction. (at least if my terrible understanding of both that sequence and math itself is right.)

So, if you could just say if I was supposed to understand that "They will feed each other" means only during their interaction or gives a more permanent upgrade.

Peter Ahlstrom

That's a good question. The answer is that they feed each other only while they're interacting. Once they pass they return to normal.

Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

Yesterday you said that crem was actually like Shard poop.

Brandon Sanderson

No, I was saying that it was more like that than what they were saying.

Questioner

It's not really poop?

Brandon Sanderson

No, its not.

Questioner

Dang it, I like poop jokes! Can you make it poop so i can have a poop joke.

Brandon Sanderson

Ok, for the next thirty seconds it is.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#9 Copy

Questioner

On Roshar, because of there's no tectonic activity, it would suggest that it's possible that the magnetic dynamo inside doesn't create enough of a magnetosphere to protect life from solar radiation, so my question is, do the highstorms function as a form of protection against solar radiation?

Brandon Sanderson

That's an excellent question.

Bystander

That's a RAFO. *laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

That's a really cool question.

Skyward San Diego signing ()
#10 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Is the crem--is it natural--are the highstorms magically created?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah the crem is there to keep the continent from washing away. So I had to add a magical element that, if it were not in the cosmere with magic, this would not work.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Is that why the Weepings don't have crem, is that's a natural storm?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That is because I didn't want there to be too much crem at that point. These are all story structure things, instead. World wise, I would say a little more natural, sort of blow off steam, there.

Skyward release party ()
#11 Copy

OrangeJedi [PENDING REVIEW]

In several instances of the highstorms, several characters mention seeing large creatures walking in the highstorms; they don't seem to be super fazed by this. Do they know these creatures exist, is it part of their lore?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes. But you've got to also remember that people who are out in highstorms, they expect it to be... they expect to see odd things. When you're out in a highstorm, it does not phase you in the same way that if you go to a horror movie, you expect something horrific to happen.

OrangeJedi [PENDING REVIEW]

Do they have a name for said creatures?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

There are names in various parts of the lore, but there is no one name.

OrangeJedi [PENDING REVIEW]

Could you give us one of them?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#13 Copy

Karen Ahlstrom [PENDING REVIEW] (paraphrased)

1. Just as highstorms come less frequently around the Weeping, they are more frequent around Midpeace.

2. Following the advent of the Everstorm, the normal highstorm calculations/schedule was found to be thrown off by about four (Rosharan) months.

3. Highstorms move at about 370 miles per hour. The Everstorm moves at about 120 miles per hour. Those are variable of course, and shouldn't be taken as official, definitive numbers.

4. For approximate Everstorm timing calculations we used a cycle of 9.1 (Rosharan) days.

5. Roshar's circumference is about 22110 miles. Again, this shouldn't be taken as an official, definitive number.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#16 Copy

EHyde

What information do Stormwardens use to predict Highstorms?

Brandon Sanderson

Many things, some of which is necessary to the process and some of which is not. But previous Highstorm arrival is a very big part of it, and Highstorms from previous years, most recent Highstorms, and if they can get when the Highstorm left the other side [of the continent], that's a calculation that will help them, and things like this.

Firefight Phoenix signing ()
#17 Copy

ZenBossanova (paraphrased)

I asked if knowing the positions/orbits of the moons would be enough to predict the [highstorms].

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He said not enough. You need the historical records of storms as well because there is a pattern. You need that pattern and the tides, to correctly predict the timing of the storms. He said it was more than a simple beat.

ZenBossanova (paraphrased)

I then turned back and asked, "Are you saying the highstorms are music?"

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He replied, "I didn't say they were music. You said that."

Salt Lake City signing ()
#18 Copy

Questioner

How does a world that is wracked by Storms supply food for and entire population?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, you um... The thing to keep in mind is, it's not a barren planet. There are lots of plants on this planet. When-- I mean, it's no more barren than a corral reef that deals with the tide rushing in and rushing out. Now, the life has to adapt to it, but it's a really lush planet. You-- I mean, if you go and you look at the Shattered Plains there's grass everywhere and plants growing all over the place. It's just, right before a Storm, it becomes barren and then becomes lush again.

*long pause* 

Yeah, that was, um... One of the things I kind of have to overcome with this books is, though it is very rocky and stony, it's also very lush, and it's hard sometimes for people to imagine that. But even if it is a little bit barren, Utah is barren, and it supported people.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#20 Copy

Snote85

Have the Highstorms always existed on Roshar? The excerpt that talks about how one of the Bondsmiths had resigned himself to fight the Voidbringers but woke up and had a new idea, one that had to do with the nature of the Heralds themselves. Then, inside the Oathgate, we see "mythical creatures" like lions and such. It would make sense that the world might have been different when the KR were last around. So much so, that if the Highstorms "Opposite" is the Everstorm and it was made by followers of Odium, then the Highstorm would have been made by followers of Honor.

Brandon Sanderson

Highstorms did predate the arrival of Honor and Cultivation on Roshar, but it has evolved much during the thousands of years since that event. It was not created by followers of Honor, but there is more to this story that you'll find out as the series progresses.

BookCon 2018 ()
#21 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Can you sleep through a highstorm?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Some people can. I probably wouldn't be able to.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So it's not impossible.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It's not impossible... The guys in Bridge Four? They can sleep through anything

Words of Radiance Lexington signing ()
#23 Copy

gpmushu (paraphrased)

Do highstorms get weaker as they move west because of normal meteorological reasons the same way a hurricane gets weaker over land or is it because they slowly drain investiture as they infuse spheres over the whole continent?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Both. He said that anything like that will be affected by both normal science as well as the magic, but then he added that the highstorms are a natural occurring phenomenon that were on the planet before stuff started going down.

Firefight release party ()
#24 Copy

Questioner

So the highstorms, they're just one storm that goes around the world or--

Brandon Sanderson

Well there are different philosophies in the world about that but-- The scientifically-minded believe their is only one storm that goes around the world. The lore says that there is a place the storms blow out of called the Origin. But the scientists don't believe that that is true.

Shadows of Self San Diego signing ()
#25 Copy

leinton

Does Roshar experience storms outside of the highstorms and the Weepings? And if so, how often would Shinovar get them?

Brandon Sanderson

So, the weather patterns are dominated by the highstorms. Non-highstorm storms are rare but do occur. The further to the west you get, the harder it is to tell the difference between a highstorm and a regular storm. Like, in Shinovar, a highstorm is just kind of like-- it feels like what a storm you might get here, or even weaker. But they do happen. They're gonna happen, most often you're going to notice them in the quote-unquote "summers," when the highstorms are further apart.

/r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
#28 Copy

unknown

How often is a "weeping" in Way of Kings?

Brandon Sanderson

Once a year. Opposite it in the year is an extremely powerful highstorm.

eri_pl

When, relatively to the events in Way of Kings is/will be the nearest Weeping? (I ask, because I started wondering, if this powerful storm was, coincidentally, the one, during which... you know... the face in the clouds and all that.)

Brandon Sanderson

Well, there are ten months in year. If I haven't mentioned dates in the last book (I may or may not have) I am planning to in the next. So a timeline should be possible for fans to figure out...

JordanCon 2016 ()
#29 Copy

Questioner

You mentioned the ecology on Roshar, and also you mentioned that mostly the non-sentient spren predate the Shattering of Adonalsium. So my question is about the evolution of life on Roshar, and how essential the highstorms are to life on Roshar, how the plants evolved, so can we assume that life that is dependent on the highstorms predates the Shattering of Adonalsium?

Brandon Sanderson

Um… You--

Questioner

Can we correctly assume?

Brandon Sanderson

--yeah, *laughter* I'll tell you this. The highstorms predate, and there was a lot of natural evolution on Roshar, resulting in a lot of what we have there.

General Twitter 2011 ()
#31 Copy

talonnolan

How do the Shin get Stomlight, if the storms are broken up by the mountains before reaching Shinovar?

Brandon Sanderson

An excellent question that you should be asking. (So…RAFO.) Note that they don’t use it as extensively as outlanders do.

Also note that though the storms aren’t as strong there, they do still reach Shin lands, to an extent.

Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
#33 Copy

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, they can't help but be.  I remember sitting out on my porch as a kid, the storms blowing the other direction so it didn't get me, and just swinging on the porch swing watching the storm.  Those are the storms I know, so I would say when I'm describing them I'm thinking that.  But the original inspiration was the storm of Jupiter, the constant storm, and granted as a gas giant it is very different.