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Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#2 Copy


In the Scadrial essay, it says specifically that the Shardholders were humans. Does that imply that there can be nonhuman Shardholders?

Brandon Sanderson



Are any of the Shards we have seen nonhuman?

Brandon Sanderson

The Shards you have seen? I will RAFO that.


And that doesn't just count the way that Shards twist people.

Brandon Sanderson

No, no, no. There were three races on Yolen.


And all the Shards we've seen, you're not gonna answer?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not gonna answer, but there are three races on Yolen. There's humans, there's Sho Del, and there's dragons.


So, kandra and koloss are considered different races?

Brandon Sanderson

They are considered different races, but they did not exist when Adonalsium was Splintered.

YouTube Spoiler Stream 5 ()
#3 Copy


We've seen in both Secret History and RoW that a Shard's power has a will of its own and can "reject" a vessel if it's not adequate (like Preservation with Kelsier) and "tempt" if it is (like Odium with Taravangian). Does that mean that the first sixteen that Ascended needed to be fit for their respective shards?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. To an extent, yes. It was a little easier back then, but yes.

*Thinks for a while*

Yes. So, why am I hesitating on this? Not all of the sixteen could've taken any one of the sixteen. So not all the Vessels could take any of the sixteen. But the flexibility of which ones they could've taken, was much greater than you're perhaps anticipating right now. There were certain Shards that they had, they deliberately had a person pick up, that they thought would be a better controller of that Shard, if that makes sense. Rather than picking the person who is the best match. So, there you go.

YouTube Spoiler Stream 5 ()
#7 Copy


Was any of the original Vessels of the Shards transgender? Can we expect to have a transgender main character in the future?

Brandon Sanderson

You can expect to have a transgender main character in the future. I want to be careful where I place this, and let's say that I'm much... my focus right now is on doing Renarin and Rlain right. But you can expect this in the future.

Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
#10 Copy


What is your favorite original Shardholder?

Brandon Sanderson

My favorite original Shardholder?

I don't knoooowwww...


Are they all that bad of people?

Brandon Sanderson

No no, they're not bad-- they're not all bad people. Many of them are-- you know the trick is I'm gonna have to really write them, as their personalities. Because right now they're really just concepts, and I haven't written very many of them. And so... I'm very fond of Bavadin, but I can't say.

FanX 2021 ()
#18 Copy

Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

Before the Shattering, the original 16 Vessels, how Cosmere-aware were they and were any of them worldhoppers? 

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

In the current continuity, they were not worldhoppers.  Well... the dragons were the most Cosmere-aware.  They might have been off-world.  Might have.  

Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
#20 Copy


I was wondering whether any of the Vessels are blood related?

Aside from the romantic relationship between Honor and Cultivation I'm not sure that we know anything about the relationships that others have with each other within the group of 16, and it would be interesting to know.

Brandon Sanderson

I'm saving most of this for Dragonsteel, I'm afraid. So RAFO.