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Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#1 Copy

Questioner

Could Nightblood theoretically be turned into a Hemalurgic spike?

Brandon Sanderson

The problem with that is that Nightblood is already invested, so it depends on your version of ' Hemalurgic spikes'. Piercing someone's body with Invested metal can have weird effects all through the Cosmere, but ripping off a piece of a person's soul using an un-Invested spike to Invest it and create one is different... we're talking about two different things, right. So there's the.... so what is a Hemalurgic spike? For instance if you've got a spike that's Invested and you stick it into a Kandra on Scadrial it will still work as an Invested Hemalurgic spike. Making a new Invested spike by ripping off a person's soul, that's a different process and a little more difficult to accomplish and requires some specialized knowledge.

Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
#3 Copy

Phantine

What does Nightblood do if he gets fully drawn and runs out of breath and people to eat?

Does he start vaporizing the ground and start boring a hole to the center of the planet?

Brandon Sanderson

No, he won't. (Good question though.) I'm not sure I want to get into the mechanics of why not, yet. It WAS one of the first things we talked about with Nightblood, though. :)

Phantine

Not to go into mechanics, then, does Nightblood just 'go to sleep' when his job's done?

That would explain how Vasher is confident he'll be able to get Nightblood back, even if the person he tosses Nightblood to ends up fully drawing the blade.

Brandon Sanderson

He doesn't sleep, but if he draws in enough, he'll start to sound drunk or drowsy (depending on your interpretation.)

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#4 Copy

little_wilson

Peter said if we did enough begging, we could see some Nightblood replicas. Can you give us more details? And exactly HOW much more begging would be necessary (Mi'chelle says keep it below $100...I say below $50, but I suppose if you must go higher, I might be able to compensate...)?

Brandon Sanderson

I've had an offer from a swordsmith who was at JordanCon. These would be more expensive replicas, though, as they be hand-made by the swordsmith himself. He does very good work, but the price he mentioned was $200, I believe.

I've put Peter in charge of looking into this and seeing how viable it is. The cost might be too high for the readers to want to buy them. What we'd do is take pre-orders, and then do a limited edition run of maybe ten or twenty swords, hand-made by the swordsmith. If we had ten or so preorders, we'd be able to do it.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#9 Copy

Questioner 1

Timeline-wise will Warbreaker 2 come before Stormlight Archive or is it after?

Brandon Sanderson

Before the end of the Stormlight?

Questioner 1

So Warbreaker 2 would it take place before the start of...

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, before. Yeah, Warbreaker 2 chronologically is pre-Stormlight. Before Stormlight 1, yeah.

Questioner 1

Pre-Stormlight. Okay.

Questioner 2

I'm excited for that.

Brandon Sanderson

In fact, chronologically I think it's the exact book before Stormlight 1. I don't think there's anything in between there.

Questioner 1

Will the book say why Nightblood's on [Roshar]...

Brandon Sanderson

It will at least hint at it. I mean the book is called Nightblood. If it doesn't I'll write a bridge novella to kind of do that.

Questioner 1

Bridge the gap?

Brandon Sanderson

Bridge the gap. Because the story-- I'm not sure if I can work in everything. Because the story isn't about Nightblood leaving. It's about-- yeah.

Questioner 1

Yeah, it's not about that. It's just kind of like a... how did that transition happen.

Brandon Sanderson

I mean, yeah. Vasher's cosmere-aware, and so the more you talk to him the more some of this stuff will come out.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
#11 Copy

Questioner

My brother and I disagreed, at the very end of Words of Radiance, the sword that-- Is it the same as in Warbreaker?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes it is, in fact Vasher is in the book.

Questioner

Is that Vasher?!?

Brandon Sanderson

No, look for somebody making color metaphors and when they are waking up they feel like they can sense other people's presence and things like that. There is one character who is Vasher. He doesn't go by that name anymore.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
#12 Copy

Questioner

So at the end of Words of Radiance Szeth gets Nightblood. But Nightblood on Nalthis will suck your Breath until you die.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

So how can Szeth-- like presumably it takes whatever Roshar's form of Investiture is.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

So how-- but wouldn't it kill Szeth?

Brandon Sanderson

So that's-- First off let's make-- let's mention this: no spoiler questions. That spoils the end of Words of Radiance.

Questioner

Oh, I'm sorry.

Brandon Sanderson

You're okay, but let's avoid spoiler questions. That one will specifically be answered in the next book. So you don't have to worry about that as much. That is a read and find out. That one-- but it's a read and find out that's very obviously the answer is coming.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#13 Copy

Questioner

I have a question about Nightblood. What are all the powers the sword has and how much is he going to be involved in the next few books.

Brandon Sanderson

Those are total RAFOes. I mean, I could tell you the powers you have seen him have on screen so far, I'm not going to tell you he has others. What you have seen on-screen that he can do is he absorbs Investiture completely and he will rip it out of any object he touches, and everything has investiture, leaving behind basically... how you see it is he turns everything he touches into black mist, it just disintegrates everything. He also has the power that people who see him, he has an emotional effect on them, one of several emotional effects depending on how they would want to use him. If you watch for when he is seeing people you will see how it is.

Questioner

All fighting over him.

Brandon Sanderson

That's not the only effect he has though, he has other effects.

Questioner

Does he bestow any effects on his wielder? Like Szeth's original Shardblade gave him the same powers as Kaladin.

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood... that's a RAFO but Nightblood was created on a different planet, so.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#15 Copy

Heartlight

What is Nightblood's opinions on gender, and who decided on him having he/him pronouns?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood is fascinated by gender, and trying to figure it out. Unlike spren like Syl, Nightblood has not self gender assigned as an influence of interacting with humans. That said, Vasher was probably the one who just started calling him He, so if you want to take the issue up with anyone, go to him.

JordanCon 2014 ()
#16 Copy

Questioner

Will you tell us a little about the sword from Warbreaker?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood is a weapon that I devised. He is partially inspired by my love of Michael Moorcock's writing. He was built into the cosmere using many of the foundational cosmere magic system things that exist on multiple worlds.

Oathbringer Houston signing ()
#18 Copy

Cadmium [PENDING REVIEW]

With Nightblood. Was the sheath part of its construction when he was Awakened? Or was that kinda afterward?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The sheath is not part of its construction. Good question.

Cadmium [PENDING REVIEW]

So... when the intent was placed on it, was the sheath there?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So-- The sheath was not relevant to that. The sheath was not part of the original Awakening, and it's not part of the intent or anything like that. I'm not saying it wasn't there ready for it, but it is not part of the sword. In the same way.

Cadmium [PENDING REVIEW]

So, at some point we'll figure out why it learned to stop once its in the sheath?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, kind of. It's a function of the sheath.

Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
#24 Copy

ccstat

A question I've been thinking about recently: In Warbreaker we see Nightblood's consciousness shift dramatically when he is actively consuming investiture. Does the Shardic flavor of that investiture (Breath vs Stormlight or Preservation Mist vs Ruin Mist) influence how his mind functions in that state?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO, actually. Good question.

Oathbringer London signing ()
#28 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

What is the most Invested item so far revealed?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

What counts as an item?

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Inanimate object. Sentient swords, stuff like that.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Okay, inanimate objects, would be Nightblood. Well-- is he inanimate?

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Well, he's a sentient sword, but he's an inanimate object.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So, yeah, he would count.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#35 Copy

yulerule

*Written:* How much compounding would a nicrosil Twinborn would need to do to get a metalmind that is as Invested as Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

*Reading question:* How much compounding would... *mumbling*

Wow, so much.

*Writes:* Wow so much. 

yulerule

*Written:* A thousand breaths doesn't seem to be that much--the God King has tens of thousands. Would a piece of stone, wood, cloth, or plain metal that has a thousand breaths be as Invested as Nightblood, or is there something more? 

Brandon Sanderson

No, it needs more. Needs more.

*Writes:* Needs more.

yulerule

More?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

yulerule

Does that-- is it *inaudible* nicrosil? *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

That's a RAFO, good question.

Orem signing ()
#36 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Warbreaker, you were talking about a sequel. Is that for sure?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It is a for sure thing. It's not a direct sequel, meaning some of the characters will be in it, other ones won't. I need to get Nightblood into a certain place.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#37 Copy

platysaur

Well Mr. Sanderson, I finally finished Words of Radiance as well. I thank you for answering previous questions of mine on this thread.

I didn't read Warbreaker but I intend to. That said, if I don't get to it (college is quickly approaching now), will it be a setback? I know that Szeth's sword is now a character from Warbreaker, but I don't want to be at a disadvantage if I can't get to it.

Brandon Sanderson

If you don't read Warbreaker, I doubt you'll be confused. I wrote Warbreaker as a prequel novel (after writing the original draft of The Way of Kings) to give some backstory to side characters I knew where cosmere-aware, but the story should work just fine without having read it.

Salt Lake City signing ()
#38 Copy

Questioner

Is the sword at the end of Words of Radiance, is it the actual Nightblood from Warbreaker?

Brandon Sanderson

It is, actually. It's fun because when I first wrote Way of Kings in 2002, Vasher was one of the main characters. And then when I wrote Warbreaker in 2006, I wrote a book about him to do his past. And then when I re-wrote Way of Kings it's like, "Well, time for Vasher to come back." So he's been in Roshar, in my head, since the beginning, for some 20 years. But he wasn't-- He didn't originate there, but... He was one of the worldhoppers that I hid in the very first version. Which was a lot of fun to then be able to go write a book about him and come back.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#42 Copy

Questioner

What would happen if a Forger got their hands on Nightblood and they Soulstamped Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood is so heavily Invested that it would be like trying to freeze the ocean with an ice cube. *crowd wows* Maybe not that scale, that's your metaphor.

#tweettheauthor 2009 ()
#43 Copy

onelowerlight

What first gave you the idea for Warbreaker? What was your first inspiration for it?

Brandon Sanderson

WRBRKR came from a lot of sourcres. Siri and Vivenna were side characters in a book I never finished.

Vasher came from the line that starts the book. No space to post it here, but give it a read.

Nightblood came because…well, I just wanted to have a talking sword.

The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
#45 Copy

Questioner 1 [PENDING REVIEW]

In the Stormlight Archives, do we ever find out how the Assassin in White, how he gets the sword?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, that should be next book.

Questioner 2 [PENDING REVIEW]

And does it intertwine any more with Warbreaker?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Oh, that you're gonna have to wait a little while for. You're talking about Nightblood. I thought you were talking about the Honorblade. Next book will explain how he got the Honorblade. How he ends up with Nightblood, really how Nightblood got onto the planet, is gonna take a little while. I will work it in. But it's gonna take a while.

Questioner 2 [PENDING REVIEW]

Does that sword have a character arc?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The sword is important and relevant to multiple series.

Questioner 2 [PENDING REVIEW]

It's getting better.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

He has learned some things in the intervening years. He learns real slowly.

Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
#47 Copy

Questioner

On the coppermind it states specifically that Nightblood is fueled by Investiture, would that mean that an Allomancer burning, say, steel, could then [draw] Nightblood and fuel it off of that?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, Nightblood would feed off that Kinetic Investiture, you could make that work. You would have to keep that portal open, and he would eat the power instead of whatever you were planning to do with it, and when you ran out of metal he’d kill you.

Questioner

Would that also work with say...whatever you have in a Coppermind or metalmind?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, yes, theoretically you could make that work too. That’s an excellent question, you’re the first to ask that.

General Reddit 2015 ()
#50 Copy

emailanimal

From a very recent signing, we have this new Word of Brandon...

chasmfriend's son: Is there a finite amount of Investiture?

Brandon: Yes.

chasmfriend's son: So is Nightblood consuming it?

Brandon: Yes. Very, very slowly.

This worries me somewhat because of the following observation.

Nightblood consumes Breath (and other Investiture, but let's limit ourselves to Breath for a second).

Every person on Nalthis is born with one Breath.

Populations tend to grow. Which means that under normal rules of demographics, population of Nalthis should keep increasing.

This in turn means that under normal circumstances the number of people with Breath on Nalthis should be growing.

I can see the following possible explanations to this:

  1. Endowment can give Breath to many more people than are currently living on Nalthis. So, the exponential population growth has not yet reached the level at which Endowment's ability to award a Breath to each Nalthis-born human is seriously challenged. When it happens though, things will not go well.

  2. There is some built-in mechanism controlling population growth on Nalthis, making certain that the population stays within the limits. Nightblood's consumption of Breath makes these limits smaller, and overall may lead to Endowment's inability to grant Breath to Nalthis-born, but not for a while (essentially, Endowment controls population trends at she sees fit).

Thoughts?

Brandon Sanderson

Just as a point you should understand, the amount of MATTER in the cosmere is finite too. As is the amount of energy.

Worrying that Endowment will run out of Breaths to give is a little like worrying that the amount of carbon on Earth will run out because people keep being born.

uchoo786

So just for clarification, once Nightblood consumes investiture, that investiture gets recycled? That's what I've always assumed. That it enters the cognitive/spiritual realm?

Brandon Sanderson

The investiture he consumes is not gone forever--it's not leaving the system, so to speak.