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YouTube Livestream 9 ()
#5 Copy

Questioner

Do the Purelakers get pruney feet because of the water? If not, is it because they have special feet or does it have to do with the magic fish?

Brandon Sanderson

They have adapted over time and they do not have magic feet. They have special feet, but they have adapted over time to the situation. Now, let's make the note that most natural selection does not work on the timescale of the cosmere and so there probably have to be some magical foundations for this. The fact that everyone on Roshar is Invested with a bit of Investiture more than average is going to push people over time in a way. Kind of the rationale I give myself on this is because Intent and these sorts of things are so important cosmerelogically that we get evolution on a faster scale in most of the cosmere. And so you can see this just by adaptations that have happened since the history of Roshar itself and the arrival of humans on Roshar and things like that.

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

How do they handle, like, trash and bathrooms in the Purelake? How does that work?

Brandon Sanderson

Fortunately, you have a couple of things going on here. You fortunately have low population. You have highstorms and driving and-- so, the waste is broken down really easily. The trash is a problem. But it's a pre-industrial society, so the trash is not stuff that doesn't ever biodegrade, and things like this, and you do have traders going through, and things like this. So, it all kind of works out. It's the low population that's really helping with a lot of this. It's not as bad, a big a deal as you would think it is...

All of Roshar has a slight issue in that you just can't bury things, but you do have the crem that comes down and hardens around things and creates a layer of stone, and things like this. In my opinion, the way I've worked it out, it all just kind of works out just fine...

It's no bigger a deal in the Purelake, in other words, than these other places. In fact it's kind of a smaller deal. Like, you might ask, like, traveling out on the greatshells in the Reshi Sea, they would have a harder problem in some ways, 'cause they have a tight population density on top of something that they also can't bury anything, and stuff like that. I just had to work out the ecology of the system to work.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
#8 Copy

Questioner

In Way of Kings, one of the interludes we see the Purelake--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

--and I've thought a lot about the fish. 

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

He mentions that one of them has healing effects and potentially that's--

Brandon Sanderson

The lore of the area states that fish have healing-- some of them--

Questioner

I was wondering of your thoughts. Is that Investiture in the fish or just local superstition?

Brandon Sanderson

Well that is the question of the scene, so that's also a RAFO. I will say that there is still superstition, Roshar in particular. And it doesn't necessarily mean that everything they say is magic is. But there is a good chance.