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Oathbringer release party ()
#1 Copy

CaptainRyan [PENDING REVIEW]

*written* Could a Shard refuse to "fuel" a magic user? E.g. Could Preservation have refused to "fuel" Ham's pewter? (Please, for the question, assume Preservation is whole and undamaged.)

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

*written* No, but he could have interfered.

*spoken* So, the answer is "no, he couldn't." Like, if you just had the Allomancy going, like--

CaptainRyan [PENDING REVIEW]

They can't shut you off?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

They can't shut you off, but they can interfere with you using it. They could do other things. But, like, the magic, it would be like saying, "I refuse to let gravity work on this person."

CaptainRyan [PENDING REVIEW]

But couldn't a Shard-- Technically, they can control forces--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No, they can't, but they can interfere with it, does that make sense? ...Gravity is not gone, but this person is being interfered with and their relationship to these sorts of things.

CaptainRyan [PENDING REVIEW]

Kind of like if I throw your pen in the air, gravity's not gone, but I've interfered with something.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, exactly. And you can, like, twist the gravity, so it's pointing... But the laws of natures, burning is, like, a law of nature, and things like that. And they can circumvent, and they can twist, and they can bend, but the laws of nature are still the laws of nature.

CaptainRyan [PENDING REVIEW]

They can't just cut it off?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah.

Firefight San Francisco signing ()
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Questioner

What is Feruchemy, is it tied to any Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Feruchemy, is it tied to any Shard in specific? Yes, they talk about that in the books.

Questioner

Ok, it's like, of Preservation?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you could say that.

Brandon Sanderson

Because it seems like one Shard, one magic system?

Brandon Sanderson

Here's the thing, it's more that-- They, in their philosophy, say that it's kind of a hybrid between the two, but you could kind of feel that it's more--

Questioner

It seems more Preservation.

Brandon Sanderson

It seems more Preservation, but in-world they think it's kind of a hybrid. The philosophy says that one was kind of net-positive, one was kind of net-negative and one was a hybrid. That's their in-world philosophy. I personally would place it more with Preservation.

Questioner

Ok so more than one magic system can be tied to one Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. 

Questioner

Ok, that's what I wanted to know.

Brandon Sanderson

Here's the thing, the definition of magic system can be, is so fluid. Like you can look at this book and say "how many magic systems are there?". Is Surgebinding one or is it ten?

Questioner

Allomancy's 16--

Brandon Sanderson

Is Allomancy 16 or one, and things like that. So yes multiple magic systems can be tied to a Shard.

Shadows of Self release party ()
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the.fulgid

It seems to be more apparent that different abilities are granted depending on the design of one's spiritweb. Is the design of a spiritweb, and the abilities it grants, limited to a specific Shardworld or are the designs universal across the cosmere? For example could someone from Roshar go to Scadrial and have Hemalurgy done on them and have it work?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, yeah, some of the magics are more regionally-locked than others. Hemalurgy will work on any planet. But, for instance, you'll notice that Elantrians have trouble even going to the next nation over. There's a specific reason for that. Most of the magics transcend location.

the.fulgid

My question, in regards to Dragonsteel, is: Is there a possibility that somebody with the ability of microkinesis can see the spiritweb and alter it according to their will?

Brandon Sanderson

This is, this is totally possible. But you have to remember this is pre-Shattering of Adonalsium. Dragonsteel is the story of the Shattering of Adonalsium... the whole book is before, the whole series... So there are lots of things going on there that are-- like you will-- yeah. But it’s not canon yet.

Oathbringer Portland signing ()
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Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Would all the different powers, or magic. Would they all work on the other--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Almost all of them will. AonDor, and the ones from Sel, are very hard to get to work elsewhere, because of certain things, but others are much easier. For instance, if you can get Breaths to another world, you can just use them, you don't need to do anything special.

Oathbringer release party ()
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Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Could you build Aons or something similar to Aons off of the natural landforms on Roshar, like the Dawncities and the other cities that are sort of symmetrical?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The Elantrian magic system, the Selish magic systems, are the ones that don't work very well-- don't interact very well with other worlds... Other ones are a lot more easy to interact between worlds.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
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Questioner

How does Nightblood work on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

Well Nightblood feeds on Investiture, which is the general life-force/magic-force in the cosmere and so he can feed on basically any source of magical energy.

Questioner

And do other magics work on other worlds?

Brandon Sanderson

I've been describing it lately more like you see DC current and AC current, where they're similar things but slightly different. It is possible to make magics work on other planets, some it's easier than others.

Oathbringer Houston signing ()
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Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

How did all the characters learn about the different magic systems?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So, it really depends on the character, and the situation, and things like that.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

How did the first person discover, like--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Oh, Mistborn powers? Ruin and Preservation, in that case, were actively cultivating the society, particularly Preservation. Some of it comes through that. Some of it comes through, if you have the Investiture, part of you kinda knows about it. But it takes experience, so you have to know the right things, and stuff. I'll get into it more eventually.

Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
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Blightsong [PENDING REVIEW]

Are foci a cosmere-wide phenomenon, or are they kinda just a construction of people? 

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Elaborate. 

Blightsong [PENDING REVIEW]

A lot of people think that every magic system has foci? Is that true? 

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes. But, I think people are finding structure in-worlds that-- how should I say this. So, in some ways, some of these questions (this isn't just this one, but in general), you can ask something like "Do alien species fit into phylum and families and things like this." Well, yes, because we come up with the definitions. Right? So, a lot of these questions, like "Do they all have?" Well, yes, because human beings have come up with definitions to define these things and lump them together under definitions... There's a lot of things with the cosmere magic... is yes, because human beings have put that weight on it. It doesn't make it less true, but, at the same time it's not like, 1+1=2 is gonna exist whether or not humankind is there to define it, whether or not something fits into a genus or a species, whether these magic systems are related. Those are human constructions that are noticing real things. 

Oathbringer San Diego signing ()
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Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So, filter that the Shard's power-- Investiture, I guess? Is it that-- So on Roshar, does it count as three Shards stacked on top of each other, next to each other, that's forming different magic systems.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It definitely is influencing it. But, not-- perhaps not as much as you might think. I mean, it is, though.

Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
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Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So, most of your magic systems are limited to only a slight portion of the population. Is that a conscious decision? Are there any that are open to anybody?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Certainly, the Warbreaker magic is open to everybody, and that's part of what I was doing, was I wanted to contrast the other ones. And this is just because it makes for good storytelling, honestly. And when I do this, I'm doing it too much, I go the other way. That's why Sixth of the Dusk is open to everyone, that's why different things are done differently in the magics. But, really, when I'm working on the books, I'm like, "Well, we need something dramatic and cool." And I would argue that at least some of them, such as in Stormlight Archive, those are open to anybody if you can convince a spren. And you're sincere, right? And I like going that direction. Certainly, the kind of old standby of "you're born with it" is really easy. It's really, what we call in Sci-Fi/Fantasy "grokkable." You can instantly, kind of, get it. You're like, "All right, this is just like a talent. Some people are born with different talents. Makes sense." It doesn't take a lot of explanation, you don't have to worldbuild a ton up front. Where something like Stormlight, you gotta send a lot of worldbuilding words to explain how it happens, why it happens, things like that. But the trade-off is, it's in many ways more satisfying if you do it the other way. So, I do try to balance those. But sometimes those short-hands are very handy.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Is Forgery?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Forgery is a Selish magic system, so it is birth-based, tied to location.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
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Questioner

What differentiates a minor Shardworld like First of the Sun?

Brandon Sanderson

The amount of Investiture, and whether there is actually a Shard in presence.

Questioner

I'm assuming there is not one there?

Brandon Sanderson

There is not one there.

Questioner

So it's like a Splintered one from something else?

Brandon Sanderson

No what you'll find is that the worlds were all created with a level of-- a little bit of sort of ambient magic. What you'll find in worlds like that is things like, Shadows for Silence and things like this, the magic, it's not necessarily "people with magic" it's you can interact with nature...

Questioner

So there is inherent Investiture...

Brandon Sanderson

There is inherent investiture in every world created but you are going to see-- You aren't going to find Mistborn on a world like that but what you might find is a way there are magic aspects to the setting. Spren could exist on a world like that but they would be like the minor spren, you wouldn't find Syl, but you would find something like lifespren.