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Skyward Seattle signing ()
#2 Copy

Khyrindor

So, I was hoping to get a confirmation on Mraize's age?

Brandon Sanderson

I'd probably-- Well, what did I say before?

Khyrindor

Not sure, I was just asking the question.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay good, I didn't think that I had confirmed this. I'm going to RAFO it.

Khyrindor

Like, is he older than a normal person?

Brandon Sanderson

I will RAFO it, yeah. Let's say though, that, though he has been off-world, he himself is a Rosharan.

Khyrindor

A Roshar native?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Shardcast Interview ()
#3 Copy

Weiry Writer

Kelsier and Thaidakar. At what point did you decide Kelsier would be part of The Stormlight Archive?

Brandon Sanderson

Thaidakar isn't; his minions are! Pretty early on, there's a whole lot of Kelsier in Era 3 and as soon as I decided that when I outlined the original nine books as I was working on the original Mistborn trilogy I knew that there needed to be some more of him influencing the world/universe at large. He is a really fun character to write because he does not fit in boxes very well. He does like meddling. There are a lot of things I want to do with Era 3. 

One of my big concerns when I was building the outline with Kelsier, when I was building the outline for all 9 books before I added the Wax and Wayne books, back in 2004 when I was doing a lot of the big outlining for the cosmere - Emily's got to dig out that paper I once wrote out for her - I guess that would have been 2004 to 2006, because I got married in 2006, and it was 2007 where I drew that thing out for her. No actually it was summer 2006, because I didn't have my laptop with me which I wasn't allowed at the family reunion, so I instead had a notebook, because if I'm not allowed my laptop, I will have a notebook, and that's why we have a physical copy of this thing.

But when I was doing all that one of my big concerns was how to make sure people kept interested in Mistborn while I was potentially spending years and years away from it, at that point in the outline I was going to write Dragonsteel before Stormlight. And I started trying to do that in 2007, either way we're talking 5 to 10 years away from Mistborn at that point. How can I make sure that this stuff-? So I outlined Secret History that I could release in the meantime, and a potential Secret History follow-up. That I've mentioned before that I don't know if I'll ever write. It wasn't until 2010-2011, that I was like "why don't I write some short stories in this world to keep people focused on it?" And I tried one and it was bad, and I'm like "what if I just wrote a little novel?" I can do a little novel, right? And that's where Alloy of Law came from.

Technically speaking these are all solutions to the same problem, which is people can't forget about Scadrial it's really important. They can forget to an extent about Sel; it's still important, but it's not important on the level that Scadrial is gonna be. Scadrial has so many fingers in the technology of the future. So this was another method to make sure we had some Scadrian influence happening while I was in other worlds. Turns out we ended up getting ALL of them, we got Secret History, and The Alloy of Law, and the little fingers in The Stormlight Archive. But it was important to me that the fingers in The Stormlight Archive be through the frame of reference of The Stormlight Archive. 

Chaos

I definitely think Shallan learning about cosmere stuff is a good intro for Stormlight-only readers to get interested in the cosmere, kind of like Mistborn: Secret History is for Mistborn-only readers.

Brandon Sanderson

In Roshar if you learn "hey there's more planets out there," and they see Roshar as something with a very valuable resource. That's enough of an intro to the cosmere to make it work in Roshar, and to make you prep for the future. That's why I did it the way I did. And also knowing people were more okay with this. But also I needed to get it in, I almost should have done it earlier. I saw people guessing that one by Words of Radiance. But by the time I was releasing Words of Radiance I was seeing fan theories that were like "what if this."

Chaos

So like throwing darts on a dart board. "Ah like this person's this other person."

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it might be that. The whole philosophy of the Ghostbloods was suppose to dove-tail with Survivorism. Survival of the fittest type stuff very much. I'm hoping from the things they've read in that they were able to connect the philosophies rather than throwing darts at a dart board, but it could have been the dart board thing.

FeatherWriter

It's funny because we already recorded the Kelsier podcast, but it's gonna come out after this one. You've put me in a very weird situation, because loved the Ghostbloods. I guess I still love the Ghostbloods, I have a terrible villain crush on Mraize, he's one of my favorite characters and Kelsier drives me crazy. So finding out they are intrinsically linked I'm like "Noo! Kelsier is ruining my favorite thing." But it does make sense I have to admit.

Brandon Sanderson

It's okay. Mraize does not have to do what he's told, and Iyatil who - that's the other thing once I dropped Oathbringer, and this is a southern continent Scadrian running around, this is pretty obvious connection to Scadrial. I had to eventually canonize that. Iyatil is - 

Don't consider people in the Ghostbloods flunkies. That's not a very Ghostblood-ish philosophy.

Chaos

I guess that makes sense, they're all trying to backstab each other. Well no I guess not.

Brandon Sanderson

No, they're not allowed to backstab each other. [too many people talking at once] [Ghostbloods have]? specific rules, because they need them to be very strong specific rules. If you have an organization of people who are drawn to the way Kelsier works you need some really strong rules. [Hosts laugh] When he is just with his crew, his force of personality, and the people he individually picks you're not gonna have that problem. 

I always imagine-you can relate it to Tor Books, they're all assassins. When Tor really functioned well, back in the 90s, it's because Tom Doherty could keep a close eye on everything. And he liked his editors being a little bit in competition with each other. And he structured his organization so that if you picked an author who did well, you got bonuses, based on how well the authors did which is just a way of working that could really lead to an unhealthy office environment, if you think about it. But if you have Tom there making sure that that doesn't become the case, and if you have Harriet watching and making it a good incentive, not a bad incentive, then it all works really well and you have one of the strongest sci-fi publishers that's ever existed, because everybody was incentivised to find really good stuff. But they we're corralled by Tom Doherty and kept it from becoming toxic. But now that Tom retired I think they're changing a lot of that, because its grown too big for one person to watch over.

And it's the same thing with Kelsier, in an immediate organization of Kelsier's you're gonna find a well bonded crew of people hand picked who are going to work together as a team, and you aren't going to have to worry about too much about backstabbing - less than average for the type of organization that they are. But if his structure is outside of his direct manipulation, the type of people who would be attracted to the organization he makes...

Chaos

...are not gonna be nice.

Brandon Sanderson

...you're gonna have some problems. Mraize would not say that he's not nice. [hosts laughs] Mraize would just say that his niceness is an analogous threshold that does not intersect with the threshold of competence and capability of things he's trying to achieve, those things don't need to overlap in his life.

He'd say he's a very nice person. He was very nice to Shallan by his definition. [hosts laugh] He was very nice to Lift by his definition of things. Think of all the things he could have done with Lift, and what did he do? He gave her as a present to an ancient being who ruled the tower, who could properly take care of one such as Lift.

Chaos

Mraize is very nice.

FeatherWriter

You heard it here, it's canon. Mraize is nice.

Brandon Sanderson

Mraize is nice, and he also wanted to keep is fingers and he felt that was a better way to keep his fingers, was to make sure Lift was someone else's problem. He got what he wanted, which was being able to capture her, which was not that easy, he would say. So he deserves to have whatever reward, because it was quite a difficult enterprise on his part. She is not easy to capture.

You know those Scadrians gotta keep an eye on things, they like to meddle.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

Mraize's Basement Emporium. Is that more like a trophy room or a "In case of emergencies" room?

Multiple people

Or a bank vault?

Or a weapon's vault?

Or both?

Brandon Sanderson

So, yes...

I mean, he can't use the Aether, right? ...He can't use the Aether, he doesn't have an Aether. But the sand, the sand does stuff. So a handful of sand is a really useful amount of sand to have if you're not a sandmaster. Because sand reacts to Investiture. So if you let it fade and you take it somewhere, as soon as Investiture goes kinetic, it'll turn white again. So you'll be able to use it to tell who's using Inve-- it works just like a Seeker, like bronze pulses...

So having white sand, having sand around is really good. If you can keep the little beasties that are growing on the sand around, they will react to basically the Investiture equivalent of radiation. So that's handy.

Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
#9 Copy

Botanica

Mraize is said to come from Thaylenah. If it is true, then what about his eyebrows? 'Cause we didn't see any related descriptions from Shallan's PoVs. Did he cut/shave/dye his eyebrows?

Brandon Sanderson

Mraize...well, let's just say that much about him is mysterious. But no, you would not place him as Thaylen by his eyebrows.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#11 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.

Orem signing 2014 ()
#14 Copy

Arthur Dent (paraphrased)

Is [Mraize] a worldhopper?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, he's been to a few planets, highly supervised by his babsk.

Arthur Dent (paraphrased)

So what planet is she from?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Well, that's kind of a hard thing to say. She has 3 planets she's "from". For example, she's living now on Roshar, but then she's from a different planet, but that's not a planet that her people are from.

Arthur Dent (paraphrased)

So there was a mass exodus to that planet?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Not exactly. If you were to find a Japanese American, where would they say that they are from? Her people did not have a mass exodus.

Arthur Dent (paraphrased)

Have we seen mass exoduses before?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, there are some in the cosmere. There's a mass exodus that is mentioned in one of the interludes in [Words of Radiance].