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Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#1 Copy

luckat

What is something that you would have put in the Nalthian essay if you had one in there?

Brandon Sanderson

I probably would have talked about how close some of these scholars are on Nalthis to understanding all of this. They're probably the closest to understanding the nature of the cosmere of anyone outside of the people who are actually worldhoppers. I probably also would have given some hints where the pool is.

Shadows of Self London UK signing ()
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Questioner

In Shadows... did we see a Shardpool? And was it Harmony’s or some other mysterious god who...  

Brandon Sanderson

So where do you think it is in Shadows?  

Questioner

In one of the newspaper articles.

Brandon Sanderson

I am RAFOing that, the whole newspaper article. So the newspaper articles, who knows what’s going on in them. They're tabloid-ish so maybe, maybe--

Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
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Questioner

Do you know how you're going to write how Hoid travels between worlds?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes I do. Yes. Yes there's a big clue in [Words of Radiance]. There is a very big clue in the very first book I published.

Footnote: We know now that the trick is to jump into shardpools, or "perpendicularities". We see one in Elantris and Rock tells a story of Hoid coming out of one in WoR
Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#10 Copy

Questioner

Hoid worldhops between places. How did he do it on Scadrial? With Ati's body?

Brandon Sanderson

So, there were two perpendicularities on Scadrial.

Questioner

I know he uses the pools, but how did he do it with Pits of Hathsin? There was no pool? The body was there...

Brandon Sanderson

So, it doesn't have to be going through the pool. What happens with a perpendicularity is, where there is a massive collection of Investiture, it pulls a conduit through. So, if you know what you're doing and where you are, you can get through that.

Questioner

So you don't have to use the pools, just where there's a huge concentration...

Brandon Sanderson

A huge concentration of Investiture will warp the realms.

Questioner

So can anyone worldhop that way, then? If they know what to do?

Brandon Sanderson

If they know what to do, in a perpendicularity, anyone should be able to get through there. But as proven with Raoden, if you don't know what it's supposed to do, nothing happens. He gets dumped int he pool, he thinks he's gonna die... nothing. So, it's more than just being there.

Questioner

That's how he went from the Physical to the Cognitive, so I was wondering how did he do that at the Pits of Hathsin, when there shouldn't be a pool there

Brandon Sanderson

Well, that is the equivalent.

Orem signing ()
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Questioner

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

Brandon Sanderson

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.

DragonCon 2019 ()
#19 Copy

Questioner

Is the Threnody novel--is the perpendicularity in a specific place or does it have to do with a set of circumstances?

Brandon Sanderson

Threnody does not have a perpendicularity.

Questioner

The way to travel...?

Brandon Sanderson

The way to travel on there has specifically to do with the fact that a Shard was killed nearby.

Oathbringer release party ()
#21 Copy

Questioner

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

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

Questioner

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

Brandon Sanderson

If they had not, they would be gone.

Questioner

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

Brandon Sanderson

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 ()
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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.

Salt Lake ComicCon FanX 2016 ()
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Questioner

This is about 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 the 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-- 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. Roshar is really 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

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
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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.

Leipzig Book Fair ()
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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.

When Worlds Collide 2014 ()
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Khyrindor (paraphrased)

Hoid went through Cultivation's Shardpool to get to Roshar as opposed to Honor's. Yet, he notes he never got along well with Cultivation. Why did he choose her Shardpool rather than Honor's?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

You're making assumptions!

Khyrindor (paraphrased)

Is it possible that it is Honor's?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It's possible.

Sofia signing ()
#36 Copy

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.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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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.

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

Salt Lake City signing ()
#45 Copy

Questioner

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

Brandon Sanderson

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

And that's how a perpendicularity works?

Brandon Sanderson

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.

Elantris Annotations ()
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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.

ICon 2019 ()
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Nextorl

Well, in Elantris, we saw two people get in the Shardpool, right? We saw Riino, who we later saw in Oathbringer, and we saw Saolin- the warrior. Will we see him again? Like, will we see a cameo?

Brandon Sanderson

It is possible that you will, but I will have to RAFO it. You'll have to wait to see.