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Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#1 Copy

NutiketAiel

If you could write something, whatever you're willing to tell us, about the Moon Scepter that we haven't already heard?

Brandon Sanderson

(Writes, amidst oohing and aahing)...I run into problems with some of these things, because there's not much to say, but what there is to say can be very spoilery, you know what I mean. Like it's like...and so... (possibly pointing at what he has written)

NutiketAiel

This is probably going to be a RAFO but is that the one...the stick with the writing...seen in Mraize's collection?

Brandon Sanderson

(continues writing)...well, at least I gave you something...

But it is not Mraize's stick.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

Will we see the Moon Scepter again?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I intend for you to see it again. But I've already said what it does, I believe. It's a Rosetta Stone for the different symbols on [the world of] Elantris that mean different things.

Questioner

So, it's more specific to Sel?

Brandon Sanderson

It's specific to Sel, it's specific to understanding the magics on Sel. It helps figure out how the different magic systems do the different things they do on Sel. So, it does have Aons along one side of it. You probably will see it again, but it will probably be in cameo. Hoid got the information he needed off of it, from that.

Skyward Houston signing ()
#5 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Are we ever going to see the Moon Scepter on screen and what it does?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, you should see the Moon Scepter on screen. What it does is it works as a kind of Rosetta Stone for interpreting some of the magics.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So that's why Hoid wanted it?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That's why Hoid wanted it, yes. He's  trying to figure out how to give himself--to be able to use the magics on Sel, and that's a key that he wanted

Shadows of Self London UK signing ()
#7 Copy

ParadoxicalZen

How exactly is the Moon Scepter linked to the Dor?

Brandon Sanderson

The Moon Scepter is-- I suppose I can canonize this, now. Okay you're getting one out of me. So the big thing about the Moon Scepter that it was-- It is a Rosetta stone for the [Selish] magics. Meaning it translates them from one to another, and what the different symbols mean, does that make sense.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#8 Copy

zotsandcrambles

I've always wondered why Hoid stole the Moon Scepter from The Rose Empire. He is collecting investiture, so it must be pivotal.

Is it possible that the Moon Scepter is connected directly to Dominion and Devotion's investiture (maybe via the moon-rocks?). If you have the Moon Scepter, you can get around the pesky proximity problem of the magic system(s)?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll talk about this eventually, but it IS related to the proximity problem--just not in the way you're assuming.

Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
#9 Copy

Botanica

How does the Moon Scepter actually look like? In what shape is it?

Now we have two understandings of the word "scepter" based on different ways of translation:

1) 杖: It shapes like a common wand/staff/rod/cane/stick, usually seen in Western countries. [Mainland translation]

2) 笏: It's kind of a flat scepter of Chinese origin, shaped like a tablet, usually held before the breast by officials when received in audience by the emperor. (Very rarely, the emperor himself holds it.) The officials can take notes on it. [Taiwan translation (I believe the translator once showed you around the Taipei Palace Museum.)] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaku_(ritual_baton)

Could you tell us which one is closer to the original design? Thanks!

Brandon Sanderson

It's not a Shaku, it's a Ruyi, actually. That's an excellent question, though. It does actually come from my visit to the museam, and while I'm aware of shakus, I hadn't heard them called scepters. But I guess they are!

Either way, I imagined it as the wavy shape of a Ruyi. (如意)

Botanica

Whoa what an amazing answer! Thanks so much for the explanation! I once thought of Ruyi when flipping through some reference materials and now it becomes canon! Hooray! Another question if you don't mind: (Someone just asked this a moment ago.) Why is it called Moon Scepter? Does (perhaps) one side/end of it resemble moon? [Full moon or crescent?] Or is it colored like moon? Or does it contain some moon pattern? (Also a fan art question, sorry ;P)

Brandon Sanderson

It has to do with the differences in religion between Shai's people and the Rose Empire. It is colored like the moon, but there's a little more to it than that.

Botanica

Ah, I see. Thank you! So what color is Selish moon when we look at it? (I suppose there's only one moon?) Didn't find any specific descriptions about its color in books. Can we assume it is similar to our moon?

Brandon Sanderson

I didn't say it was the color of Sel's moon...

Just kidding. It is, and there is only one. It's a pale white blue, a little more blue than ours, but similar.