Sabrina Stormshard (paraphrased)
Where is Nazh from?
Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)
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Where is Nazh from?
My top (realistic) potential options here:
1) Silverlight novella2) The Silence Divine3) SotD 2
(But seriously, give me that Silverlight novella. PLEASE, Brandon.)
Silverlight novella probably needs to wait until I've done the Threnody novel, for some connective tissue reasons, but we'll see.
Quick question. Will we ever see the Traveller short story be published in something like Arcanum Unbounded 2?
Probably not, at least not without a rework.
This just further leads me to bet that the new group that'll be introduced in the Threnody novel will have Silverlight ties.
Will it by chance be tied to how Nazh has gotten involved with Khriss?
No, though we're working on a White Sand graphic novel sequel that will start into that story, hopefully.
[I noticed] Nazh's name at the bottom of the illustrations a lot - is that a character that's going to come in in the future?
He's already appeared in the books. Very very cameo-ish tangential things, you have to be really looking to spot him.
*brief conversation about space age Mistborn*
He wasn't in The Way of Kings, no. Not on screen, I don't think.
I'm assuming they met in White Sand, if Hoid is who I think he is in that one ;) but more how well does she know his agenda?
I'm not sure if you're thinking this, but Nazh and Hoid are separate people.
Your input on the Cosmere goes beyond just the art—you wrote some of the Mistborn Era 2 broadsheet articles. Is there any plan for you to write more small-format things like that, continuing Nazh’s errands for Khriss?
I wrote the Allomancer Jak story from Shadows of Self and the Nikki Savage story for The Bands of Mourning. Currently, we have an origin story for Nazh planned, which takes place on Threnody, as well as a few stories with Nikki Savage plotted out. It’s likely Nazh will probably show up again to torment her with his enigmatic grumpiness.
Nikki’s broadsheet story reads like an old serialized novel. In-world, she’s writing these things to be very sensationalized and bends the truth of true events to fit the needs of her story and to entertain her audience. Nikki’s novella is mostly plotted out. I just need to write it. It won’t be a first-person sensationalized newspaper serial, but the epigraphs will have pieces of the sensationalized stories. So you’ll read a chapter, and then the epigraph of the next chapter will be her sensationalized version of what happened in the previous chapter.
A new Mistborn Era 2 novella—that’s awesome! Do you have any of your own writing projects going, which you can talk about?
Most of my own writing right now is in the Cosmere. I’ve been hard at work on some fun things for Taldain that we can’t quite announce yet, but I’m bursting at the seams wanting to share the cool things that are going on there. Rest assured that as soon as we’re able, we’ll make some announcements.
The worldjumpers in [Secret History] are they ones that have shown up in other books? And we just don’t know their names?
Yeah, they’re only tangential in the other books. I think one of them has only shown up on screen once. The other one’s shown up a couple of times but mostly in certain annotations and things like that. In the books, like on the maps.
When did Nazh and Khriss meet?
In the middle of Words of Radiance, there's a scene where Kaladin's hanging out in the barracks, and Rock kicks out an ardent sketching them. Is that the guy drawing all the pictures?
That is Nazh. You've found him. You have discovered Nazh!
What's his name, the one who sends the letter with pictures … Nazir?
What? Oh, Nazh? Yes, Nazrilof.
He's not in the list of …
He appears in one place in that book.
My favorite character is Nazh... I just want anything about him, even if he's just his favorite food.
Isaac. Give us a favorite food...
So, he likes, and Brandon will have to confirm this, but he likes a plant-- fried-- it would be considered an eggplant almost.
Fried eggplant. We're good on that.
It's not-- It looks like an eggplant, it's native to Threnody.
Why is Nazh short for Nazrilof?
It is a nickname.
*Hands Brandon the Part Four Sea of Lost Lights Map*
How much of a hand did you have in this map or did you kind of let Isaac go crazy?
So this one is half and half, I went to Isaac and said put this and this and this and then he added some craziness. One of Isaac's voices in the cosmere is Nazh and almost everything that is written by Nazh is Isaac and he named a bunch of this stuff, he ran it all by me. I actually vetoed a few. He came up with some, I'm like "Ehh" and then I renamed them to things that actually fit.
Okay, why is spren fishing banned here, is that you or Isaac?
That was Isaac...
Going hand-in-hand with the maps is the character Nazh, who annotates many of the in-universe maps. How much of Nazh was your idea? What about him appeals to you?
The story behind Nazh is, I was in Brandon’s writing group when we were workshopping The Rithmatist. And there’s a character named Nalizar in that book. I could never remember his name, so I kept calling him Nazrilof. So it became this running gag with Brandon, like… “Nalizar and Nazh are different people. Nazh is your alter ego, Isaac, and Nalizar is a character in The Rithmatist.”
When we got to The Alloy of Law, Brandon and I were firmly in the camp of including maps that are artifacts from the world. And we thought, where are they getting these? And who’s labeling them? Diana Wynne Jones wrote a book called The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, and there’s a map in the front that basically says that if a location is labeled on the map, then by golly you’re gonna go to the place during the course of the story. Fantasy maps have gotten this reputation of being kind of spoilery.
So when we got to the map of Elendel, we were looking at it, thinking if we only labeled the places that were necessary for the story, then we’re falling into this trope of fantasy. So how can we subvert this a bit? So, if the novel is compiled by Khriss, presumably, then maybe she has somebody who goes and gets the maps and labels them for her with pertinent information. It might still feel a little like “these labeled things are the important parts” but at least there’s an in-world reason why that is. That allowed us to develop a character around that. Brandon said, “Why don’t we have Nazh do this?” to which I agreed, and Brandon said, “Isaac, welcome to the Cosmere.”
Since then, Nazh’s role has grown into basically a sidekick for Khriss. Now, when working with Nazh, we think of him as a grumpy James Bond.
I asked him to tell me something about Nazh and Khriss.
Khriss is Nazh's employer. He gets the worst end of the deal.
Did Nazh retrieve Jasnah's belongings from the bottom of the sea by visiting Shadesmar, finding the correct beads, and moving them to land?
Yes, that would be the easiest way. Nazh spends a fair bit of time in Shadesmar, and that this would be the first thing he would think of when asked to retrieve Jasnah's stuff.
Does [Nazh] ever have any arguments with Khriss?
All the time.
But, they're basically best friends anyway right?
I don't know about that, I'd have to ask Brandon. But I imagine that they get along pretty well and he feels okay being grumpy around her.
So it's not like Mythbusters where they're only friends on TV but not actually friends in real life?
I would imagine it's not like that.
Does Nazh want his knife back, the one he gave to Kelsier?
Yeah, he would want it back but it's not like the flute. It's not something that was super super important to the person who gave it away. So he would like his knife back eventually, but you know, nothing important.
Nazh is an embodiment of his adventurous spirit, that he expresses through the books. Nazh is also much grumpier than he is and gets visibly angry when Isaac himself wouldn't.
Nazh is basically a young Peter Capaldi and is very prone to swearing when he is off screen.
I just want to know what sort of tattoo Nazh got after getting himself drunk on Horneater lager.
It's an embarrassing Rosharan glyph.
Did-- this is RAFO bait, but did Khriss and Nazh happen to meet on one of their planets or in a different location?
Oh, you are RAFO baiting hard.
Yeah, that's RAFO bait.
Can you tell us more about Khriss?
- She has a cameo in Bands of Mourning
- She's the main character of White Sand, basically said just read White Sand to get more information since it comes out soon.
- Nahz is basically her grumpy secret agent she sends out to go retrieve artifacts for her.
This guy [in the broadsheet], is that Nazh...
Nazh, yeah. Nazh. It's short for something.
My crazy theory is that Nazh was Isasik Shulin...
Yeah, he is not. Good question. Nazh is Isaac’s character, he designed him and came up with him. I said "I need somebody to be getting these" and the character is all him, doesn’t necessarily look like him. He doesn't actually look like him. But Nazh, he owns. He just credited that, and I knew people would look at that be like "What's going on here?" But it wasn't meant to be anything, just this is Isaac's character and if he ever-- He wants to write some stories in the cosmere, he might write about Nazh.
Although I know something similar has been asked before, but could you please share a fun tidbit about Nazh?
Okay, things we know about Nazh: Scottish-like accent, he likes fried Eggplants because they remind him of a similar vegetable from Threnody, he's grumpy, he looks like a young Peter Capaldi (in my opinion). I'm not sure what else I've said about him. But I'm going to go out on a limb here and tell you that his home town will probably be called Cianalis, or some variation on that spelling.
He clarified that Nazh was caught spren fishing because he was trying to attract a spren to be his stooge and do some work for him. He got in trouble for it because he didn't know that was illegal.
In Words of Radiance I think it was Nazh who was collecting the artwork for Khriss, is that the same person who... did the writeup of the glyphs and--
Who annotates. So, Nazh annotates almost all the stuff. That's almost always Nazh. Khriss almost always writes the Ars Arcanums.
So there's not a new person also?
If you think it's Nazh, it's Nazh.
So, specifically the one that talks about the glyphs and [how] he infiltrated--
Yes, that is Nazh.
He wants me to ask you about the knife that was given to Kel?
To Kal? Oh Kel, Kelsier. By Nazh. The knife is weird. That's all I'll say.
So, in Bands of Mourning there was an advertisement in the broadsheet from "K and N" asking about talking metal. Does that have anything to do with a certain knife that Nazh lent Kelsier?
I'm gonna RAFO that, mostly cause I'm gonna make you ask Isaac and Ben, cause they came to me with pitches for things to put in those and they wrote a lot of the broadsheet stuff themselves.
Okay. But, does Nazh want that knife back?
The knife? Yes, he would like that knife back.
Someone told me once that there's apparently a secret hidden in Nazh's name, but I've yet to determine what it is. Recently finished Shadows again, paying attention to names, and couldn't really find any sort of conventions. The only name given any relevance was the surname Forescout, and that doesn't seem connect to Nazh.
I hadn't heard of something being hidden in Nazh's name. I'll have to look a little closer....
Does Nazh work for Khriss because she's hired him, or because they share common interests?
They share common interests, and Nazh is fiercely loyal.
[The Oathgate map] can't be a very early Rosharan piece, because it lists the Shattered Plains, which weren't shattered when humans came. It also list all the current kingdom names, and the human kingdoms wouldn't have existed anywhere except Shinovar during the early days before humans ventured out elsewhere.
Anything on the artwork that uses that font is an annotation by Nazh.
Is Nazh a cartographer?
Nazh. So Nazh knows enough that he-- Like he knows more than the average person, but I would not call him a cartographer. I would describe him... as a grumpy, cosmere James Bond. Not nearly as cool, but it's the same sort of thing. "Here's the mission. You need to do this. Get in. Infiltrate. Get this thing." Right?
In the drawings, who is Nazh?
He is kind of like a cosmere special agent, who gathers things for the person who is writing the Ars Arcanum.
Does Khriss owe Nazh a new coat?
Is Khriss owe Nazh a new coat? That little picture in there where it says 'you owe me a new coat'. I'm wondering if that's Khriss who owes the coat. Not going to tell me on that one either?
I'm gonna stay closed mouthed on Khriss.
So, I heard you talk about cameos, are there any other cameos besides Hoid and Nightblood in the books?
So, Galladon from Elantris, Baon from White Sand, and Captain Demoux all show up in Way of Kings. They're the Purelake scene. Let's see... the character of Felt is a worldhopper, you see him in a couple of books. Watch out for him. Khriss is in a couple of the books, she's the one who writes the Ars Arcanums. Nazh is in a couple of the books, Khriss's assistant. Vasher is in the book. They're all over the place.
Is it true that you invented Nazh?
Brandon and I invented him together. I kept calling Nalizar from the Rithmatist "Nazrilof" until the name became sort of an in-joke. When we needed someone to collect ephemera in the Cosmere, Nazh was the perfect choice.
He's one of my favorite worldhoppers. Here's hoping for a novella or something to tell us about his background in the future.
Glad you like him! There are tentative plans for some Nazh stories. I don't know when they'll happen. But we do hope to bring you all his backstory at some point!
The labels on the [Oathbringer Oathgates] map are written by Nazh. Anytime you see this font used, it's Nazh writing it.
I assume this means Nazh somehow got his hands on this ancient/priceless piece of art/map and had no compunction writing all over it? I'm honestly just a little surprised Nazh didn't write a note to Khriss somewhere on it.
All his notes are written for Khriss.
Probably this isn't the only copy of this page on Roshar. It's like the manuscripts copied over and over by monks in our world.
Nazh is, presumably, well aware of Hoid. Have they met, and how does Nazh feel about him?
Nazh and Hoid have met. I suspect that Nazh is just fine with Hoid, though he wishes he would say things in a more direct way. Nazh doesn't care much for riddles or flowery language and wishes people would just get to the point.
If you guys don't know who Nazh is, Nazh is the person who annotates all the maps and pieces of art in the Stormlight books. The affectation is that the Ars Arcanum for the books and a lot of the illustrations are things that have been collected or put together by Khriss and [Nazh]. You describe Nazh as "grumpy James Bond," who is sent into the world to grab artifacts for Khriss when she's putting together kind of her guide to a world in the cosmere.
I've discovered a lot more about Nazh in the last year, just because we're getting closer to including him in more things. Right now, his personality is "grumpy James Bond" because he goes on missions, he's kind of a grump... but he kinda likes that sort of thing - he likes going off on his own, figuring out ways to do things. He has a specific skill set that works really well for this sort of thing.
But things kinda go poorly for him most of the time.
Yeah. I wouldn't say he's a Mr. Bean type character, but if you imagine the situations that he gets into, they're those sorts of things - but usually not funny, though he may tell them in a grumpy, funny way later on.
Basically, as Hoid is to me, Nazh is to Isaac. This is very fun because he can write all these annotations on the artwork, and you'll see Nazh popping up in the books now and then, just as cameo references to this guy. The affectation is the text of the book like The Way of Kings is not something that they have in-world, but all of the art in the Ars Arcanum they do, and those are produced by Khriss and Nazh.
Did Nazh fall in with Khriss before or after the Forests of Hell were colonized by Patience's people?
RAFO. (Sorry. I am toying with a book on Threnody, and don't want to lock myself into anything yet.)
I was wondering, like, are we gonna... From the Secret History...
The people he met with... Are they the ones from Bands of Mourning, and Are we gonna see them anymore?
Which people? Nazh and Khriss?
Uh, Nazh-- Khriss is in Bands of Mourning. Nazh is referenced in many of the books. He's been in-- uh-- he's been in a lot of them... Just briefly, or annotating maps or things like that.
Okay. So are we gonna see them more kind of like Hoid in the future?
Yeah, they're-- they are Hoid-esque. Khriss is the one who's been writing all the Ars Arcanum from the beginning, so...