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Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
#1 Copy

Argent

There is a person on the forums who noticed that Shallan has this awesome Memory thing going on, Jasnah seems to have a really powerful, kind of, geolocation thing going on, Kaladin is a really good fighter - are those just their traits, or is there something supernatural going on?

Brandon Sanderson

There is something supernatural going on. Each Order... Well, how about this. If you look at the scholar interpretations, there are some scholars who think that these things are not supernatural, in the past, and some who said they definitely are. But many, if you look, many Lightweavers had powerful mnemonic abilities.

Argent

So it's definitely tied to the Orders?

Brandon Sanderson

It's tied to the Orders. Now, I am not going to say that you've got them all 100% correct, but each Order, there are things that come with Order, things that do not add up from simple the "you get this power plus this power," there is something else going on. And I would say that for Windrunners, watch the number of squires and the power of the squires... is abnormal for the Windrunners.

Argent

And each Order's squires are somehow different from the other Orders'?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeeeaaaah... some Orders don't have them, [that] is the difference.

Argent

 But some have more?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Salt Lake City signing ()
#2 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I was wondering, with Resonance. Is that a sort of constructive interference?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Constructed? No. Resonance is more about the way-- It's more of a natural interference.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So what I mean like, you have two waves, right? And if their troughs, you know--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Okay, is that the formal term? For the constructed.-- Oh constructive? I thought you had said-- yeah. So yes, I would say that that is an accurate phrase. I mean obviously it's not exactly the same thing. But yeah, that's what I was looking at when I was building it, was kinda things like this with waveform patterns and whatnot. So yes. At least, it was inspired by this kind of idea.

Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
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DSC01

I'm probably too late to this party to get a question in, but just in case... The Resonances for Edgedancers and Bloodmaker/Slider pairings--are they basically the same thing? It's maybe mostly linguistic for Edgedancers and more like Invested method acting for the Wayne types, but if I'm reading things correctly, it seems that they're very closely related.

After all, Progression and Bloodmaking are quite similar. Abrasion and speed bubbles have a more tenuous link, but they do call bendalloy boys "Sliders," after all (no disrespect to bendalloy girls, but I couldn't pass up the alliteration).

Brandon Sanderson

The connections are more because the magics are all inter-related, and based on fundamental rules, and less because I was trying for any specific connection.

Calamity Austin signing ()
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Questioner

So in The Stormlight Archive, they have the two Surges, and they have a third power effect, right?

Brandon Sanderson

They have kind of effects on each other, like a reverberation. Yes. I wouldn’t call it expressly a third power, I’d call it interactions.

Questioner

So, it seems like...you don’t have to confirm anything, but it seems like Kaladin is able to transfer his powers to his men following him…

Brandon Sanderson

The Windrunners are known for having lots of squires.

Questioner

That's the one I thought was really compelling. And the Skybreakers seem like they’re really good at hunting people down.

Brandon Sanderson

I’m not going to answer any of those! But good questions!

Skyward Chicago signing ()
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Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

As far as Hemalurgy, when you it's done to somebody, would that create a new Resonance?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It's possible that it could. Though I'm gonna say, most of the time, no. Lots of things are possible, but I'll give you a "mostly no" on that one.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

What about savantism? Is that possible with Hemalurgy?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, it is.

Miscellaneous 2016 ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Warning, Evgeni. I'm really considering doing a backpedal on Savants. The more i think about them, the less I'm not liking how my current course has them being treated in upcoming books. I think it deviates too far from my original vision.

Argent

Hey, I wouldn't normally contact you directly like this, but given that you thought it important enough to reach out and let me know you might change how savants work, I figured you probably wouldn't be too upset by this message. I replied to your Facebook comment, asking if you could clarify a little bit which aspects of savantism you are thinking of keeping and/or cutting. I don't need an essay on the topic (though you know I'd love one!), just some details on what we can consider canon for theories, and what we should be careful around.

Brandon Sanderson

Evgeni,

So here's the problem. The more I dig into savants in the later outlines, the more I feel that I'm in a dangerous area--in that I'm disobeying their original intention. (Which is that using the power so much that it permeates your soul can be dangerous, a kind of uncontrolled version of a spren bond.)

And so, I don't want to let myself just start making people savants right and left. It needs to be a specific thing. Wax is the troubling one, as I have him burning so much steel that he's well on his way, but isn't showing any side effects. If I'm going to give him savant-like abilities, he needs savant-like consequences.

That's the danger, just falling back on savanthood to do some of the things I want, so often that it undermines the actual point and purpose of them in the cosmere lore.

So if I backpedal, it will be to contain this and point myself the right way, sharply curtailing my desire to make people savants without their savanthood being an intrinsic part of their story and conflict in life. (Like it was for Spook, and is for soulcasting savants on Roshar.)

Feel free to share this.

Argent

Okay, so - if you do decide to go this route, I see the story implications (larger focus on consequences, less easy to get to the point where a character can be considered a savant). What I am not sure about is the potential for a mechanical change. Would a backpedal on your side cause a conflict with information you've shared with us, in or out of your books? Are you saying that it's possible that Wax won't be considered a savant (if you can't squeeze a good ramifications plot for him that doesn't contradict the apparent lack of consequences so far, for example)?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't decided on anything yet. It's mostly consequences for the future--just a kind of, "be aware I'm not 100% pleased with how Wax turned out, re: savanthood and Allomantic resonance."

The idea of resonance is that two powers, combined, meld kind of into one single power. This is a manifestation of the way Shards combine. Wax was intended as a savant of the two melded powers. But without consequences in his plot, I'm not confident that I'll continue in the same vein for future books.

Footnote: The first message comes from Brandon reaching out to Argent (Evgeni) on Facebook with a follow-up regarding this entry. This rest is from a Reddit PM exchange between Argent and Brandon.
/r/books AMA 2015 ()
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Overlord Jebus

The Knights Radiants have access to two surges each, are the two surges completely seperate or can they be combined together? Something like maybe allowing a lightweaver to create a solid illusion by combining their illumination surge and their soulcasting?

Essentially, do each of the orders have a special talent only they can do that isn't available to any other order?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, they do, but it's not always directly obvious in a straightforward way, such as your example.

Overlord Jebus

Would the lashing system be an example of this? Full lashings apppear to be mostly adhesion and and the basic lashing seems to be mostly gravitational, does this mean bondsmiths will be able do full lashings and skybreakers can use partial and basic lashings?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#11 Copy

Argent

So, the Edgedancer's Resonance, the Perk? I think you've called it Resonance at some point, is that still accurate?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that totally works. The powers affect each other in interesting ways.

Argent

Right.

Brandon Sanderson

Um, so the thing about it is, calling it a Perk, that like saying--

Argent

It's a side effect right?

Brandon Sanderson

It's less a side effect-- It's like, when the powers merge, they are always slightly different. For instance, Lightweaving from a Truthwatcher is different from-- Slightly. There will be things. So, you're gonna see that they all have access to the Surges, but in combinations, they act a little differently from one another.

Questioner

So is the Edgedancer's Resonance something to do with communication? Because we see Lift--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, yeah we'll RAFO that.

General Reddit 2016 ()
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Yata

There is something that recently was debade by some fans and I hope you may give some clue about the "side effect of interaction between magic" as was pointed in the Twinborn and Surgebinder Cases: Are those "perks" stackable ? To say if I am a Fullborn like Rashek, wil I have all the possible Twinborn's perks or a specific "Fullborn's perk" ? And about the same topic, a Mistborn or Full Feruchemist has his own perk/perks ?

Brandon Sanderson

I've worked under the premise that if you hold too many of the powers, like a Mistborn, the result is a loss of these little quirks. The mechanics of it are interesting, but I'll leave you to theorize on that sort of thing.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
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Argent

Have we seen the Resonances of either Wax or Wayne?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, well, Wax is really good at sculpting bullets and things away from him.

Argent

The bubble.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah and things like this. This is playing with the fact that he is-- Let's just say that the abilities make this happen, and I’ll let you theorize on why, but it's just an enhancement to what he can do.

Argent

I might be wrong, but I thought you said it was because he was becoming a steel savant.

Brandon Sanderson

A savant, yeah, definitely, but this is what this is coming from.

Argent

But being a savant has to do with being really good with one power--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Argent

--and Resonances--

Brandon Sanderson

Being a savant has to do with using Investiture a lot, and it's starting to permeate your soul. Like we've ta--

Argent

So he's more a savant with both of--

Brandon Sanderson

He's used them a lot, and they are changing his soul, and so the powers are morphing and changing. Just in slight, little ways. You're not gonna see a whole bunch. But you can imagine these two separate powers are kind of becoming one to him.

Argent

Yeah I can see that. And Wayne?

Brandon Sanderson

So Wayne's is not as obvious. I'll go ahead and RAFO that right now.

General Reddit 2016 ()
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Ray745

You have stated that each Knights Radiant order gets their own unique ability, for lack of a better word, due to the combination of their surges. For instance, you have stated this ability for the Windrunners is strength of squires. My question - is this due to the Nahel bond, or just inherent in the surges combining. Would a non-Radiant get these abilities from the Honorblades, or would they be out of luck due to no Nahel bond?

Brandon Sanderson

Good question! The unique abilities have more to do with the powers interacting, same as how twinborn will often manifest some odd side effects of the powers interacting. But there are limitations. For example, Jezrien didn't actually have any squires, as none of the Heralds did.

Supanova 2017 - Sydney ()
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Darkness (paraphrased)

Is there any spiritual or cognitive affect on the subject of Shallan's memory collecting?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Well… …

Darkness (paraphrased)

Simply from taking the memory, not from the consequences of seeing the pictures or anything.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Right… no, I would say no, but there is a sliiiiight spiritual connection happening. So, so… but it doesn't really have an affect on the person.  I mean, you could say, you could make the argument that any slight connection like that does have one. But I don't want you to read that much into it. So the answer is yes, with an asterisk of no.

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
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Wetlander

In addition to the two abilities given by each surge, does a Knight Radiant order have a third blended ability, the interaction of its two given surges?

Brandon Sanderson

Not specifically as phrased there, but each order has quirks that are unique to it. They are magical quirks, but it's not necessarily a blend of the powers.

Wetlander

So Shallan's Memories is kind of a...

Brandon Sanderson

Is associated with her Order, yes.

Wetlander

It's not just because she had that wonderful ability, and Pattern came along and went, "Oh, I like this one!"

Brandon Sanderson

No that is not necessarily what attracted Pattern.

Words of Radiance Portland signing ()
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Swamp-Spirit

Shallan's Memory ability to capture an image doesn't seem to be working exactly like an eidetic memory...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Swamp-Spirit

...because she can erase it by drawing. Is that tied directly to the magic of Lightweaving? And if so would other creative Lightweavers have similar abilities.

Brandon Sanderson

If you look at the epigraphs there is a big hint on this, where it talks about it and yes... I have problems with eidetic memory, just because scientifically most scientists say this is not a real thing. So I would say that whenever-- Because of my knowledge of the science of it understand that you would need some sort of magical enhancement to be able to do what she does.

JordanCon 2018 ()
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yulerule [PENDING REVIEW]

Okay, so Twinborn have [Resonances], but full Mistborn don't, right?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes.

yulerule [PENDING REVIEW]

So then, um, I assume that a nonmagical person, like someone who doesn't have magic, holding the Bands of Mourning will [not] have no perks.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I would say they would not.

yulerule [PENDING REVIEW]

Will a Twinborn that's holding the Bands of Mourning still have their original perk?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes.

yulerule [PENDING REVIEW]

Or, if a Ferring is holding the Bands, and they use just one ability, will they develop a perk, tied to the second ability they are using?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The longer they use it, the more likely that this is to happen.

yulerule [PENDING REVIEW]

Using Investiture a lot over a long period changes your Spiritweb. So what happens if a nonmagical uses the Bands for a while?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Same thing that would happen to someone else, um, it would have a definite effect on them.

*laughter*

It would change them, as... in similar ways. Not exactly the same, but in similar ways.

Oathbringer London signing ()
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kalamitous_emoashions [PENDING REVIEW]

With Hoid, we know that he's got some sort of Lightweaving, Yolen magic. If we're gonna hypothetically say that he bonds with the Cryptic, at the end of Oathbringer. Talking about resonance between magic systems, what are we going to see if he tried the two together? Would they be separate? Or would they form some sort of resonance magic system?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So, I'm gonna go ahead and RAFO that.