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/r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
#6 Copy

Kurkistan

Does a limb that has been "severed" by a Shardblade have any Hemalurgic bindpoints? If the same limb was then cut off more conventionally, would a Bloodmaker ferring be able to grow it back?

Brandon Sanderson

A severed Shardblade limb needs repair to the soul before it would function again. A Bloodmaker would be able to heal it without needing to grow it back.

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
#8 Copy

Questioner

Could a bloodmaker heal a Shardblade wound?

Brandon Sanderson

Could a...whatmaker? Oh, could a bloodmaker heal a Shardblade wound? Um, yes, yes they could. So, what...so, yes, this is possible. (Long pause) Is it possible? I haven't actually thought about it. I have to work through the mechanics of the magics. Jury's out. Jury's out. I've gotta go and look at the actual mechanics, so I'm gonna "jury's out" on that one. That's a read and find out as, you would think I'd figured that one out, because I'm planning for the conflicts but I haven't, like... So what's happening with the healing on Roshar is that they are using Stormlight to bridge the severed soul and glue it back together, right. So, the magic of bloodmaking is different to an extent, in that it is prompting healing directly from the body, right... I'm gonna go with yes, until I look at it but, jury's out.

Salt Lake City signing ()
#9 Copy

Questioner

Why does the Shardbearer-- when they are dueling with Adolin and Renarin-- Why does the Shardbearer freak out when Kaladin grabs the sword? The <Shardbearer> like... He screams, and he's like, "I didn't kill you", and ran away.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Why does he do that?

Brandon Sanderson

Because when Kaladin was there, and they were touching it, they actually heard the spren that was inside of it. Right? Because when an--

Questioner

So it wasn't Syl that he heard, it was the sword.

Brandon Sanderson

It was the sword's spren... that Kaladin was touching it. When the Knight Radiant touches it-- You can see when other Knights Radiant pick up swords, they can hear the screaming.

Oathbringer release party ()
#11 Copy

Questioner

So, I noticed in the books that they like to paint their Shardplate, most of them do, with one notable exception. The Shardplate isn't dismissed, so I imagine, when it's broken, they have to repaint it after they've regrown it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Questioner

So, if I painted a Shardblade and then dismissed it, would I have used paint in the shape of a Shard to sell?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh-- it would come back without the paint.

Questioner

So, the paint would go away with it, but not come back?

Brandon Sanderson

I've never been asked this before, let me think about it. I think the paint would get left behind.

Questioner

So I would have used paint in the shape of a Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, you would, yeah.

Questioner

So, you could mold a Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

You could mold a Shard, yeah, you could totally do that. Yeah... I haven't been asked that before but that's my answer right now, because-- yeah.

Questioner

If the books contradict then the books contradict.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah but I don't think they will. So yeah, you can-- I mean, it could come up.

GenCon 2017 ()
#15 Copy

AugustDream

If you made a sword-shaped nicrosil metalmind, and dumped a lot of unkeyed Investiture into it, could you make a Nightblood-esque Shardblade? And if you actually didn't go to the trouble and just dumped a lot of keyed Investiture into it, would that change the outcome?

Brandon Sanderson

You're getting close to how this type of thing works but you're missing a few things. Keep working on it.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#16 Copy

18th_Shard

Does a Herald using an Honorblade consume the same "dangerous" amounts of Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

Honorblades are less efficient; this doesn't change when a Herald uses them. (But they have other advantages.)

uchoo786

Are Honorblades closer in power to Nightblood than they are to Shardblades made from Spren?

Brandon Sanderson

Hard to say. They're all similar, but at the same time, very different. And in a way, Nightblood is what you might call a "Third Generation" blade.

uchoo786

Ah gotcha. And in this analogy, Honorblades would be 1st gen and Sprenblades would be 2nd gen?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#18 Copy

greaterbookwyrm

What happens when you cut a kandra with a Shardblade?

Brandon Sanderson

So a kandra is going to react basically the same way, in that the Shardblade's going to be hitting at the soul and severing it and things like that. They are not immune to Shardblades. But because they have mutable shapes, there will be a little bit of weirdness involved in that. You'll get to see that happen eventually.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#19 Copy

Rit

So, my question is glowing Shardplate and retractable helmets. Is that a similar origin of the Shardblades—

Brandon Sanderson

There's a similarity, but they are also very different.

Rit

Yeah, I noticed they do seem like advanced fabrials, because Adolin just keeps going on and on about how they're all interchangeable and they all feel comfortable after a while, and it doesn't have the same kind of thing with the Shardblades.

Brandon Sanderson

No, it doesn't. Though a Shardblade, used for a long time, will change shape slightly.

Firefight release party ()
#23 Copy

Questioner

So I have heard that it is harder to Push a Shardblade with Allomancy than it is a normal sword.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Is that true of both living and dead Shardblades?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Equally?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, no.

Questioner

Okay, so it's even more difficult to Push one alive.

Brandon Sanderson

The thing-- An Invested object is more difficult with any of the magics. So, for instance, even a Feruchemical metalmind is going to be harder. Depends on how much it is Invested, and things like that. But, y'know, it can range from you barely notice it or don't even notice it to "Wow, that's hard to Push on". Same for a Hemalurgical spike, depending on how much Investiture is left over, how long has it been outside of a body, and things like that. Same thing Pushing on something inside a person's body, their Investiture is going to interfere with it.

Same thing, when you read White Sand, why a person slapping their hand through someone's stream of sand can throw off the entire creation of the sand mastery. It's just-- There's interference patterns, and things like that.

Questioner

And is that true of a Drab as well? Does the body affect--

Brandon Sanderson

The Drab is going to have less.

Questioner

So they just have less Investiture, but they still have some natural Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

They do still have some. They've lost their Breath but that isn't the entirety of the Investiture inside of them.

Almost all of the times we see Vin--in fact I think every time--we see Vin, or someone in the Mistborn books, Pushing or Pulling on an Invested metal they are either drawing on the mist or they're Elend or the Lord Ruler who have the enhanced power, or something like that. Or it's a duralumin Push, or its one of the Inquisitors who's had a spike-- y'know, and things like that, that've-- And so it's not something that you see done very often in the Mistborn books.

Rubix

I can actually confirm that's correct.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh you guys looked it up?

Rubix

I checked.

Brandon Sanderson

I mean it can be done. And depending on Investiture it can be not even that hard to do but--

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#24 Copy

Questioner

We were wondering about the stances and I was wondering if you could match them?

*unfolds image*

Brandon Sanderson

I would have you email it to us, because Ben McSweeney made the final call as he drew these, on which one was which. While I had notes on each of them, he matched the stances to them, and so it would be really easy for me to get them wrong.

Oathbringer release party ()
#25 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I have it cutting right now, but I don't know if I can have it actually completely cut because we slide it through the rock and things like that, right? So it's gotta be that, like, atomizing a little bit into Investiture or something like that. Because I use it in a way that they just-- but there's not really friction on it, so mathematically I'd probably have to say that something is vanishing... I don't want it to but I probably have to.

Questioner

Yeah, I was just sitting there, thinking about Dalinar getting that trench. That would be difficult.

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. RAFO for you, sir.

Firefight release party ()
#27 Copy

Lady Radagu

If Shai were to gain a Shardblade and she gave it up, could she then create an Essence Mark that represented the history where she still had the blade? And then if she applied it could she summon the blade? Or a copy of it?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, so doing that sort of thing, like re-writing herself to be an Allomancer or something like this -- This is possible but in order to gain the Investiture she wants to have she will have to input that much in Investiture which her current magic system is not capable of doing. Okay? Alright, so "re-write so that I have a Shardblade" would require some sort of hacking of her magic system, which is currently impossible to her in her current situation.

Lady Radagu

So if she had had a Shardblade and gave it up she could not rewrite herself to have that back without more input --

Brandon Sanderson

She could-- Yes, exactly. Now rewriting-- That would be a lot easier than just rewriting herself so that she had a Shardblade--

Lady Radagu

That's what I was asking--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, but what you're asking about would be much easier and that is probably within her power. But what that would do is-- Yeah that's totally within her power. It would create some weird implications where she's summoning it and someone summons it back from her because the Shardblade thinks it's owned by two people.

Lady Radagu

So it wouldn't be a copy it would be the same Blade?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Bonn Signing ()
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Questioner

Since you have basically established that spren are at least to some extent alive, how is it possible for a Shardblade to not cut right through a living weapon, like Syl for example.

Brandon Sanderson

What you are seeing is: when they are pulling through into the Physical Realm they are creating something that is not 100% physical, not 100% metal, it's like an amalgamation of the two. And that is doing something very special that then prevents other things from cutting through it. It's specifically the way that it's happening. You could make this happen with other things too.

Another big part of it is the amount of Investiture. If something is highly Invested it's going to stop a Shardblade too, because the Investiture is gonna kinda bounce off of each other. It's theoretical, for instance, you could make a Hemalurgic spike that would stop a Shardblade...

So, Invest something highly and it will stop a Shardblade almost always. But, you can cut souls; they are highly Invested also. So you need something in the Physical Realm that is pulling power through from the other Realms.

Oathbringer Edinburgh signing ()
#31 Copy

Questioner

You know the sparring guards, for the Shardblade training, the guards they put on the Shardblades. Are they made of aluminum?

Brandon Sanderson

So, they are not. Peter will not let me make them made out of aluminum. He's my continuity editor, he keeps me honest. I tried to get them to be aluminum, but there are reasons why they can't be. So we had to make them their own weird little thing, unfortunately. But you could make a sheath out of aluminum for a Shardblade that would work.

He keeps me honest, so it's good, but I did try to fit them in that way.

Bonn Signing ()
#32 Copy

Excelsius

What's the biological reaction of a limb cut by a Shardblade, because they don't start to rot after being cut?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah they don't start to rot, so the bloodflow is still happening. The limb is still attached, it's not going to rot off, but the soul is dead. This is a thing that can happen in the cosmere that can't happen here. Because you have Spiritual, [Cognitive], and Physical DNA. Your soul's been severed in that part, and it just flops around. You can't feel it, you can't control it. It's something that, again, couldn't happen here.

DragonCon 2019 ()
#33 Copy

Rebeca

What would happen differently if a person found a Shardblade and Shardplate that belongs to the same Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

That is an excellent question. It happened way more in the past than it happens now, but certain Blades and Plates are historically kind of linked together. If you were knowing to look for a difference, you would notice a slight difference, mostly if you could speak to or sense the Sword, but it wouldn’t have a very big mechanical difference, if that makes sense.

San Diego Comic-Con 2015 ()
#37 Copy

Cognizantastic

As I understand it, Nightblood is most comparable to a Shardblade. However, unlike a Shardblade, Nightblood requires constant input of Investiture in order to realize his full destructive potential. Why is this?

Brandon Sanderson

Vasher kind of hacked in order to imitate another magic system. Shardblades are organic parts of the world they are on, but Nightblood is a bunch of souls stuffed into something. Nightblood is like a Frankenstein.

Oathbringer San Francisco signing ()
#39 Copy

Questioner

So, if a person claims a new set of Shardplate, and there's a difference in size between the new wielder and the previous wielder, does it adjust to the size of the new wielder?

Brandon Sanderson

It does... And there are things they can do to size it and things like that. But it slowly changes over time, like a Blade sometimes does under certain circumstances.

Miscellaneous 2018 ()
#40 Copy

OrangeJedi (paraphrased)

Are there a significant number of Shardblades that have made it off Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Define significant.

OrangeJedi (paraphrased)

More than 1 / A number of them are that could come up later.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

There is a connection between spren and Roshar that normally prevents spren, even dead ones, from leaving the planet. Note I said normally; do not imagine a large trade of Shardblades going off world.

Holiday signing ()
#41 Copy

little wilson

Can a Shardblade-killed body be turned into a Lifeless?

Brandon Sanderson

Can a Shardblade-killed body be turned into a Lifeless.  Yeees, it can be re-Invested. Yes.

little wilson

Are there any side-effects to doing so?

Brandon Sanderson

Uhhh, there would be side-effects. I won't tell you what they are. They would be minor, minor, mostly inconsequential side-effects.

Firefight San Francisco signing ()
#43 Copy

Questioner

So the shape of the Shardblades of the spren that pretty much die and leave them afterwards, are they specific because of something? Or just because that's how the Radiant used them, in that shape? 

Brandon Sanderson

It is a mixture of how the Radiant views them, and how-- Their nature. It's a mixture of their nature and how the Radiant views them.

Questioner

Were they still able to shape them however they want? ...The Shardblades. 

Brandon Sanderson

Originally? Yes.

General Twitter 2012 ()
#44 Copy

SwiftxJustice

Quick question to help me settle a debate. Could Allomancy affect a Shardplate/blade?

Brandon Sanderson

No. Investiture interferes with most magics.

eridius

Wait, are Mistborn and Stormlight Archive somehow connected?

Brandon Sanderson

Multiple people from Mistborn appeared in The Way of Kings.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#46 Copy

Questioner

I know at the end of Words of Radiance Syl shows she can turn into different forms, not just a sword. Why do they not... Or why do none of the other past Radiants really show that they have done that. Because normally in the flashbacks they are shown just being swords.

Brandon Sanderson

So the Shardblades came from spren seeing the Honorblades, which were created for mankind, and being like "I can do that". That is what they were imitating.

Questioner

So that's what they wanted...

Brandon Sanderson

No, that's how they see themselves and how they are seen. They can change into other things...

Questioner

They just never...

Brandon Sanderson

But when you let go of one it's going to become a sword again.

Questioner

Oh, I just meant in all the visions they were always portrayed as swords. Was that just for...

Brandon Sanderson

That's cultural, like this is... One thing that is interesting is you are going to see that the new Radiants don't have... I mean the Radiants you have seen almost all of them are after thousands of years of Radiants and Orders and you have certain things that you do.

So the writing reason was I didn't want to give away...

Questioner

That's what I was going to ask.

Brandon Sanderson

There is a writing reason behind it. I didn't want to do that and give too much away. I already worried that having Syl shift shapes as often as she did through the first book was going to be a big clue to people and I wanted to hold off on giving away too much.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#47 Copy

Argent

At one point Syl turns into a hammer when Kaladin fights Szeth. Are there any actual advantages to a Shardhammer over a Shardblade or knife?

Brandon Sanderson

Very minimal. It has mostly to do with a-- How much thrust or swing or things you can get to it. The impact of blade or weapon against armor is not going to be-- The hammer could in some ways get more leverage. But it's not that the impact is going to do--

Kurkistan

So it didn't help against Szeth.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Argent

It was like the flow of the fight was-- Syl turned--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.