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White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#1 Share

Questioner

I guess... At what point or which book will Sixth of the Dusk eventually tie in to?

Brandon Sanderson

So... Heh...

Questioner

And if that is unanswerable, then how many years until that book comes out?

Brandon Sanderson

It's not unanswerable, but it's a ways off. The problem is that's a weird planet, and visiting it from Shadesmar is-- it just-- in the Cosmere Collection I'll talk about that, okay? It's a weird planet, and getting to it is interesting. 

Questioner

Okay...

Brandon Sanderson

There's no Shard in residence, but there's a Shardpool. But it's on... one of the most dangerous places... that exists. And so, let's just say it's not going to be relevant until you can regularly travel there somehow that doesn't involve popping up into a giant death trap.

Questioner

Okay, follow-up question though. How many people have tried to pop up, only to find out it was a death trap?

Brandon Sanderson

Go ahead and read what Khriss has to say about it.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#2 Share

Questioner

Is there any way it's possible that somebody could have gotten to the Cognitive Realm on Scadrial without the Well of Ascension?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

And can we know how?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, how many Shardpools would Scadrial have?

Questioner

Two, so the Pits of Hathsin would be so? That's what I theorized.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. So you've adopted the term "Shardpool". That was never really my term, but I've started using it. What happens with a Perpendicularity is large concentrations of Investiture, particularly purely attuned to one of the Shards, will create an access point. You've seen another one in--

Questioner

Yeah, yeah I know these.

Brandon Sanderson

You know which one I'm referencing?

Questioner

Yes.

Brandon Sanderson

That you didn't see a Pool from?

Questioner

Oh wait--

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, he knows, so… We'll move on. *general outcry* Okay, fine. Umm, at the end of Words of Radiance.

Argent

There has to be one there because Jasnah has to leave somehow, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, but Honor's Perpendicularity moves.

Questioner

Woah...so...Highstorm?

Brandon Sanderson

*makes non-committal noises*

Questioner 2

Kind of related to that, I don't know if this is a RAFO kind of question, but you call them Perpendicularities, are we going to see this sort of thing created? Could there be, like--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, Perpendicularities can be created. You'd need a lot of Investiture, right? You'd need a ton of Investiture. But, basically what Jasnah does is create a little mini Perpendicularity, right? And slips herself into the Cognitive Realm.

Questioner 2

So it's just a question of skill, not a question of--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. It's hard to pull off, but some of the powers are built to do it.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#3 Share

TurtletheFlsh

So we know both Cultivation and Honor have shardpools on Roshar and we also know that Odium is around somewhere on Roshar, does this mean he also has a shardpool somewhere on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

Shardpools, as they are called, are a natural effect of a Shard spending a lot of time on a world.

Orem signing ()
#7 Share

JoyBlu [PENDING REVIEW]

The Patji lake, theoretically, could an Aviar fly into the lake on its own and enter the Cognitive Realm? Like, have a bird catcher on the other side waiting for the bird to fly in and catch it?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Theoretically... I'm going to RAFO that, but it's not a big RAFO. It's more along the lines of, I'm going to get into the mechanics of how things go through Shardpools in future books. Um, what you just described is not outside of reason.

JoyBlue [PENDING REVIEW]

And could also, one of the grubs or one of the parasites or the rotten fruit, whatever, could that have fallen through the lake?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That is plausible. The question is, once it gets to be a non-sentient thing, how does going through the--- to the Realms work, and that's where it starts to get-- that's where you get your asterisk. Like, just a piece of fruit falling. I'm going to asterisk that one.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#8 Share

Questioner

So I was reading the Wheel of Time and in the first one when they get to the saidin and saidar, the pools—they're very similar to Shardpools.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, and that is something that he kind of dropped. The Eye of the World is just like pure saidin, and I would be surprised if that weren't an unconscious influence on me. I didn't think of it when I was coming up with these but that's definitely way back in my brain when I was creating these.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#11 Share

Questioner

So we know some people can survive going through Perpendicularities.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

But we also know, like, when Rock talked about the lake that people swam in, that Hoid came out of, he said that some people who swam in it died. So, who can and can't survive a Perpendicularity?

Brandon Sanderson

So, you should not take much of what Rock says. When he says they swim in it and they die, they have gone through the Perpendicularity. They just don't come back. What would you think if someone swims and doesn't come back? They have drowned. Right?

Questioner

So pretty much anyone can?

Brandon Sanderson

It is not traumatic to go through most Perpendicularities.

Questioner

So it depends on where, who and when?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh huh.

Salt Lake ComicCon FanX 2016 ()
#15 Share

Questioner:

This is about how certain people from Nalthis living on Roshar and how they are living on Roshar. Could they also do that on Scadrial?

Brandon Sanderson

Scadrial would be a lot harder because getting investiture out of things on Scadrial is tough, there are ways you could do it but it would be much more difficult.

Questioner

Does that have to do with the Investiture being more directed?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it's more the genetic component is a big part of it. The directed component is a big part of it. In Roshar its just flowing around all over the place. For instance, if he could get to a Shardpool he could feed off that, but then he's at the Shardpool and that's kind of dangerous and things. Really, Roshar is the easiest place in the Cosmere for him to consistently get this sort of stuff. Taldain would not be bad either, that's the White Sand world but it is inaccessible currently in the Cosmere

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#19 Share

Questioner

What did Leras do to Kel right when he died that made him stay? That prevented him from going on?

Brandon Sanderson

Right when he died?

Questioner

Right, because he starts to go-- slip into the Beyond, and then Leras keeps him there.

Brandon Sanderson

Read that again closely.

Questioner

He did something. He shoves him into the pool right?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, yes. You just answered it.

Questioner

Okay, but I wasn't sure...

Brandon Sanderson

Okay.

Questioner

...if it was specifically what Leras did? Or if that's something only [Vessels] can do?

Brandon Sanderson

So it's the pool and not Leras that is important there.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#20 Share

Windrunner

As you've stated that the magic of First of the Sun is natural and independent of any particular Shard, what is the nature of the pool on Patji? Is it also a natural manifestation of magic, a Perpendicularity, or simply a pool like any other?

Brandon Sanderson

It's a natural manifestation, but on a much smaller scale than you might find on other worlds.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#21 Share

Argent

Both times when Kaladin has had to survive a Highstorm outside, he finds himself in an area of unnatural calm. Is the eye of the Highstorm not entirely in the physical realm? I've had this feeling that the calm area pulls people into Shadesmar, at least a little...

Brandon Sanderson

This is not 100% physical realm.

Kraków signing ()
#23 Share

Questioner

Could you tell me something about Cosmere, that we don't know?

Brandon Sanderson

Oooh boy, that is so hard, people ask this all the time and I keep running out of things... Was there anything I haven't added recently... There are Shards whose Shardpools are not on a planet they currently inhabit. At least one.

Oathbringer release party ()
#24 Share

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

In Secret History, Nazh briefly mentioned that there's requirements or conditions to become a Cognitive Shadow. Can you tell us one of those?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Uh, lots of Investiture. Is one way. As a certain person discovered.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

If that person were to not have entered Preservation's pool, it still would have given the same result?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

If they had not, they would be gone.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I wasn't clear. If they had done a different pool, not Preservation's.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Oh, if they had been able to Invest themselves heavily, then they could have stuck around, yes. That wasn't Preservation's pool, that was more a function of--dipping themselves, pulling an Achilles inside of a Shardpool when you are dead, turned out to work. It's not the only way, not everyone on... Threnody, for instance, is heavily Invested.

Idaho Falls signing 2014 ()
#27 Share

leftinspace

I've picked up in bits in pieces that it's possible, for some people at least, to use the Shardpools to worldhop...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

leftinspace

Can non-Invested people do that, or do you have to have some form of Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

*hesitantly* Every individual is Invested to some extent...

leftinspace

Do you have to have any special Investiture above and beyond the normal spark of life?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm gonna go ahead and RAFO that.

Oathbringer release party ()
#28 Share

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Could you Invest... Could you use a nicrosil metalmind to Invest the sort of Investiture enough that you could open a Perpendicularity up to the Cognitive Realm?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So, I'll just say it this way. Enough concentrated Investiture in one point is going to pierce the Realms, no matter what form it takes. 

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

...So, it doesn't have to be a nicrosil metalmind.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No. 

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Okay... But it could be?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes. That is theoretically possible. 

Oathbringer Portland signing ()
#30 Share

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

How did you come up with Shardpools and travel between the worlds?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...So, what happened is (close as I can remember; it's been a long time now), close as I can remember, I wrote Elantris in, like, 1998 or 1999, and I, at that point, didn't really have the cosmere in place. I knew I wanted to do some sort of grand epic, I knew I wanted to do some sort of thing, but I just wrote that book-- Elantris is mostly a discovery-written book, rather than an outlined book. And I wrote this book, and that's when I started a lot of these ideas. I stepped away from it, and I started writing a book called Dragonsteel, which was Hoid's origin story. And then I kinda got into the dark age where I was trying to be George R.R. Martin for a while. And then when I came out of that, I wrote The Way of Kings [Prime]. And during those days, I was really looking for these tying agents. When I put the first Shardpool in, I had-- I'm just like "Here's a well of power. I don't know what this does." I was discovery-writing the book. By the time I sold Mistborn and Elantris, I sold those two in a deal in 2003, that's when I'm like, "All right, now I'm gonna do this for real." I've had all this trial run-- I'd written thirteen novels at this point, and I'd sold #6 and #14, Mistborn not being written yet... So, I sat down with Elantris, and I built out the cosmere, and I built out these things, like "Why do I have this pool of power? What am I gonna do with the pool of power in the next book? I want this to be a theme." And I started building out the cosmere from there. So, part of it was organic, part of it was by design.

Elantris Annotations ()
#31 Share

Brandon Sanderson

The Pool

So, this is a SLIGHTLY contrived mechanic, and I realize that. I let Raoden off easily by having him simply choose not to be dissolved by the pool.

Partially, I did this simply because I couldn't think of a better way to get him out of it. In addition, however, I think it fits the form of the novel. The pool represents giving in–though it's giving in to peace instead of pain, it is still an admittance of defeat. I've mentioned over and over that the pain has no power against one who doesn't give in to it. I don't see why the peace should be any different. If you can resist one, then you can resist the other.

Besides, the image of Raoden bursting from the pool in front of Galladon and Karata was too good to pass up.

I'm honestly not sure what the pool is or how exactly it fits into the theory of this magic system. It was added as a plotting devise, as mentioned earlier, and therefore was never tied directly to the cosmology or theoretics of the world. When I do a sequel to this book, I think I'll try and find a way to tie it in. For now, however, it's kind of a loose thread. The only thing I know for certain is what I mentioned above. Just like the pain of an Elantrian, I think the peace offered by this pool is a supernatural force. It has something to do with the physical form of the Elantrians.

Sofia signing ()
#38 Share

Questioner

Do any of the worldhoppers that we've met so far-- Do they all just use this sort of perpendicularity to travel?

Brandon Sanderson

Perpendicularity is the primary way to get between planets.

Questioner

But are we going to get a conventional inter-planetary travel, like based on Allomancy maybe?

Brandon Sanderson

You have seen conventional inter-planetary travel in Arcanum Unbounded, in the story Sixth of the Dusk, which takes place many hundreds of years after most of the stories in the cosmere. So yes. 

Questioner

Ok so that's where it's--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah there's actually space travel involved in that story but not from the main characters, they just reference them, but yes.

Leipzig Book Fair ()
#39 Share

Questioner

You said that there were some things in the Cosmere that happened accidentally. What was one of them?

Brandon Sanderson

Shard pools is a good example. So when I started writing Elantris I knew I would have these concentrations of power. But I didn't know how I'm going to use them exactly. Like what's the connection... This was way at the beginning. By the time I had Mistborn, I knew all this. I knew I had a well of power there. What does it do? Shardpools are a good example of writing into the story and figuring out how the magic works bei actually playing with it.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#43 Share

Questioner

I have a question about the cosmere, and Hoid specifically. The way that he is worldhopping, is he using Cognitive and *inaudible* Realms?

Brandon Sanderson

The times you have seen him worldhop, it has involved shardpools, or perpendicularities, as we call them. He is using primarily the Cognitive Realm.

Questioner

Because, from what I understood from Secret History, that he's going through the shardpool, from the Cognitive to the normal Realm.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, he's traveling through the Cognitive Realm, and then jumping back to the Physical one, once he's where he wants to go.

Questioner

So, I'm guessing what's going on, though, is that he's travelling between planets using the Cognitive and coming out from the shardpool to the Physical Realm?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that is exactly right.

Orem signing ()
#49 Share

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So do each Shard's perpendicularity-- is that, like are they their own individual color or is that sort of--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

There is a small thematic connection. This is not to be taken as one of the bigger deals in the cosmere, but there is a small thematic connection.

Salt Lake City signing ()
#52 Share

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

In our universe, mass and energy curve space. I was wondering if Investiture does the same or something similar

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It does something similar. It draws the three Realms together. So it's got like-- Imagine a gravitational pull piercing Realms. Right? Of kind of--

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

And that's how a perpendicularity works?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That's not the only way a perpendicularity works, but one surefire way to create a perpendicularity is a massive collection of Investiture in the Cognitive or mostly Physical realm. But Cognitive's weird, doesn't always work the right way. But there are ways to do it that way too.