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Steelheart Chicago signing ()
#1 Copy

Argent (paraphrased)

Is there any other canonical way to refer to a set of Shardplate and a Shardblade other than Shards, so as to not confuse them with the Shards of Adonalsium?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

They call them just Shard(s). It is a little confusing, because there are other Shards, but they don't know about them. I call them a set, but there is no canonical way to refer to them.

Firefight Atlanta signing ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

In the book [The Way of Kings] you discuss that if you were to lose a piece of Shardplate you have to regrow the part back, or else someone takes it and tries to regrow the entire plate. One thing that has been bugging me for a while now is if you were to take a small piece of the armor, such as a glove, and fuel it with Stormlight to regrow the whole armor, does it retain the original armor? Like does it retain how it looked before, the glove?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes

Questioner

So it just transfers over.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, and the original glove will disintegrate.

Words of Radiance Washington, DC signing ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

Would Allomancy affect Shardplate or Shardblades?

Brandon Sanderson

It cannot affected Shardblades. Well, "cannot" is a strong word. Things with innate investiture are much more difficult to affect with any of the magics at all. Which is why it's very hard, for instance-- Szeth is not able to bind people, or Lash people wearing Shardplate to the ceiling. In the same Allomancy would not be able to Push on it without some help. Duralumin and a really strong [Steel]Push could probably do it. 

Questioner

I was just wondering if it's actually metal.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh yes. It is metal-ish... it is metal enough for Allomancy to work on it.

Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
#4 Copy

Tirithna

Does Shardplate have one general style as a pattern, or do different types exist (like European armour vs. Japanese armour), as the different kingdoms have different cultures?

Brandon Sanderson

Different types exist, but it's more along order lines than cultural ones. (That said, a person's culture could certainly influence their armor.)

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#5 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.

Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

What happens if you put Shardplate in a highstorm? If you are in Shardplate and you go out into a highstorm...

Brandon Sanderson

You're pretty well protected, but a boulder flying through the air can still do some major damage to a person in Shardplate.

Questioner

What will happen to the gems in the Shardplate?

Brandon Sanderson

They will be recharged.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#7 Copy

Overlord Jebus [PENDING REVIEW]

Adolin is hit by Parshendi lightning, and then his Plate reacts and starts blocking out the light from the rest of the lightning strikes. Is he awakening his Shardplate as well as his Blade?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So Shardplate didn't have as much of a problem as the Blades did, so if someone else were wearing that they could have had the same effect.

Overlord Jebus [PENDING REVIEW]

So it's more just a function of the Shardplate, really.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, but I mean the Shardplate needs to be a little more aware, you know. It didn't have as much of an effect on Shardplate as the Blades.

Overlord Jebus [PENDING REVIEW]

That being the Recreance?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The Recreance, yeah.

Oathbringer San Francisco signing ()
#12 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

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 [PENDING REVIEW]

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.

Salt Lake City signing ()
#19 Copy

Questioner 1

Shardplate thus far has been powered by Stormlight in the spheres. But after-- now that we've got Radiants, is it powered by themselves?

*adds something about "spren" but is spoken over by Brandon*

Brandon Sanderson

Well so far we have not seen Radiants wearing Shardplate.

Questioner 2

Yeah, I was kind of wondering that myself, 'cause-- 'cause they're not spren, because the spren were the... Shards [Shardblades]. So what <are> they?

Brandon Sanderson

So, that's a big ol' "what really is Shardplate?" *hands RAFO card*

DragonCon 2012 ()
#20 Copy

Trae Cooper (paraphrased)

Why are Invested objects like metalminds and Hemalurgic spikes able to be Pushed and Pulled on, but Shardblades and Shardplate, which are also invested, are not susceptible to Pushing and Pulling?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

There were a few concepts that he outlined in answering this question.

1.) The ability to Push/Pull an Invested object is predicated to the amount/power of the Investiture.

2.) Further, Invested objects also gain resistance to pulling/pushing based on proximity to soul possibly via the soul. An example given is that a Hemalurgic spike touches the blood of the person, and from there is now part of both the Spiritual Realm and the Physical Realm. This provides what Brandon termed a kind of "soul interference," based on its proximity to the soul.

This further explains why Vin required more than normal power to Push/Pull the metalminds from the Lord Ruler, because of their proximity to his soul, via the Spiritual Realm.

3.) The amount of Investiture is relatively low on Scadrial, whereas worlds like Sel and Roshar are pushing around "high power" according to Brandon. I interpreted this to mean that Hemalurgic spikes and metalminds have low amounts of Investiture compared to Shardplate and Shardblades.

Brandon said that theoretically you can Push/Pull Shardblades and Shardplates but you would need to wield an incredible amount of power. One example he gave that could so such as a thing is that if you were a Mistborn wielding the full power of the Well of Ascension, you could Push/Pull Shardblades/Plate.

Words of Radiance Dayton signing ()
#21 Copy

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

An invested object resists any attempt to put additional investment into it. Just like you can't pull metal that's inside a person's body. When the Shardplate cracks, the streams of Stormlight that you're seeing are actually the plate doing what it's supposed to: healing itself. So, theoretically, you could maybe pull a tiny fraction of that Stormlight out, but you can't just stick your hand up to the outside of the plate and retrieve it. However, if you have the plate open with the gem exposed and you were to touch the gem, then you could pull the Stormlight from it."

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#23 Copy

Questioner

Could you use steel or iron to Push or Pull off shardblades or shardplate?

Brandon Sanderson

Anything that's Invested resists, the more Invested it is the more it resists.

Questioner

Okay, so you could technically--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

--if it was not charged?

Brandon Sanderson

Well-- Certain objects just have more Investiture and are more purely of the Investiture. A shardblade's going to be really hard, but it's possible, it's just going to be really, really hard. Even more hard than an absolutely full Feruchemical metalmind because the shardblade is being created directly out of the Investiture, it's basically all Invesiture, it's not a metal that is Invested. It's going to be real hard.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
#24 Copy

FirstRyder

Could Aluminum be used to protect a Surgebinder from a larkin?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

havoc_mayhem

Would a larkin be able to steal Stormlight from a surgebinder wearing Shardplate? Any comments on whether Shardplate or aluminium would be more effective protection?

Brandon Sanderson

Getting through both would be relatively equal--with the problem being that Shardplate is powered by investiture, which the larkin could feed on. So aluminum is better in that specific case.

Stormlight Three Update #3 ()
#26 Copy

ascensionprops

I've been working on a Shardplate costume and had a couple questions. Firstly, when it comes to the armor/blades of the Knights Radiant (pre Recreance), was there a specific pattern layout to the glowing symbols? Like in lines around the armor, or just covering the whole thing? It wasn't described much (yet) in Dalinar's flashback in Way of Kings, though I understand if you're waiting to describe that as a reveal of sorts.

Brandon Sanderson

The patterns are individual, much as the Blades are, so you can't go wrong. They look more like lines around the armor, though, in most cases.

Oathbringer Houston signing ()
#27 Copy

Questioner 1 [PENDING REVIEW]

I'm building Plate. I would like it to be Radiant. What's the finish? Is it different from standard Plate or is it--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

If you-- like, they often paint theirs. But say it's going to be straight unpainted it's like dull slate grey steel--

Questioner 2 [PENDING REVIEW]

And it doesn't vary order to order?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No. Well, I mean, if it's actual Radiant Plate it does-- But what you've got is-- Yeah, it glows and it has things, too.

Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
#29 Copy

Questioner

Supposing that a skilled Hemalurgist got hold of some a Shardblade or some Shardplate, how would he best use it assuming that the best way isn't to put it on and kill people with it.

Brandon Sanderson

That's probably the best way, to put it on and kill people with it. I'm not sure why a Hemalurgist would want one more than anyone else would because the metal is already Invested which means its not useful to him.

Questioner

So there is no way that he could use a Hemalurgic spike to take some power from the Spren that's crafting it.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, that's what you're saying. You want to grab something off the Spren? That's gonna be way harder than grabbing one that's not already made into something. So I don't see why he would want the Blade, just go grab it from them. Even then its going to be worse then, probably in most cases, a person. Maybe its possible that spiking yourself with a Spren would be valid, but you don't want to take it out of the Shardblade. That's gonna be harder, but you would probably have to go to the Cognitive either way to make it work, so yeah.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#31 Copy

Ray745

During the final fight between Szeth and Kaladin, Szeth seems far too surprised when Kaladin follows him out past the stormwall.

Kaladin exploded out of the stormwall, surrounded by windspren that spiraled away in a pattern of light. He shouted, driving his spear toward Szeth, who parried hastily, his eyes wide. "Impossible!"

And before that you make a point of mentioning all the windspren streaming around Kaladin as he's flying. A popular theory about Shardplate is that it's made up out of "cousin" spren. Obviously that is a RAFO question, but I wanted to ask if Szeth was surprised for any reason other than Kaladin just following him out of the storm? My theory is Szeth saw the beginnings of a vague suit of Shardplate forming around Kaladin. I know you won't answer that directly, but I was hoping to see your face when I asked it haha. Do you have any comment on that theory?

Brandon Sanderson

Szeth was surprised for more reasons than just Kaladin following him out. He is realizing that the Radiants are returning, and that his exile was unearned.

Firefight San Francisco signing ()
#34 Copy

KiManiak

So, for Shardplate, when Kaladin killed the Shardbearer, which we know is Helaran, in Way of Kings, Amaram remarked that Amaram knew the Shardbearer was dead both because the Shardblade didn't disapper and also because the Shardplate began to fall off of him. And so my question is, is there some type of "lesser" bond between Shardplate and its wearer, like is it in sync with the wearer's lifeforce or--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

General Reddit 2015 ()
#35 Copy

DeliberateConfusion

Who would win in a fight between a Full Shardbearer and a Space Marine?

Brandon Sanderson

I don't know 40k well enough to say. But you will see Shardbearers in space some day.

Pariah_The_Pariah

...that's amazing. You've got high sci-fi fantasy coming? That'll be amazing.

Uh... Now I've got this image of Kaladin in modified shardplate(hell, can shardplate just serve as a spacesuit?) floating about in space and Syl appearing with a little bubble helmet.

Brandon Sanderson

The cosmere (the shared universe of my epic fantasy books) is interconnected, and eventually there will be space travel between them. Those books are quite a ways down the road, though.

Pariah_The_Pariah

I've known a long time of your cosmere! But I figured you'd take a "stargate" approach eventually -y'know, magical gates?

But actual Space travel?

I can imagine the various magical systems lending themselves well to that kind of stuff! I mean, gravity fabrials for artificial gravity, using some sort of cross-world steel pushing fabrial/biomechanical steel pushing device for a gauss rifle..

I mean, the last one is if you make this like space ship battles.

Windrunners and Skybreakers could just function as fighters themselves!

here's a question: how are cross world magics gonna work? Let's say a space freighter powered by fabrials enters Scadrial space. What happens to those fabrials?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of the magics are unaffected by being taken off world, though still subject to their own inherent flaws. Stormlight seeps out. Sand loses its glow. Metal can only be used by one with the right genetic code. Note that the magic from Sel is different, and is location dependent for reasons I don't think fandom has quite teased out.

Pariah_The_Pariah

Isn't Sel the original planet where Adonalsium happened?

Brandon Sanderson

Yolen is the original.

Oathbringer release party ()
#38 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Can you awaken a Shardblade?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Can you Awaken a Shardblade? A Shardblade would already be defined as Awakened, by the magic systems.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

And what about the Plate?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Plate would already be defined as probably too heavily Invested to Awaken because it already is.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
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MarlonRand

Is there any information about Way of Kings that you can give us at this time?

Brandon Sanderson

I've wanted to do a long epic for a while. I guess that's what comes from reading Jordan and the others while growing up. And so, way back in the late 90's—when I was experimenting with my style—I started working on ideas for a longer form series. I knew the real trick for me would be to do it in a way that it didn't feel stale after just a few books; there needed to be enough to the world, the magic, and the plot arcs that I (and hopefully readers) would keep interested in the series for such a long time.

What it gives me (the thing that I want in doing a longer epic) is the chance to grow characters across a larger number of books. Dig into their pasts, explore what makes them think the way they do, in ways that even a trilogy cannot. In Kings, I don't want to do a longer 'saga' style series, with each book having a new set of characters. I want this to be one overarching story.

One of the things that has itched at me for long time in my fantasy reading is the sense of loss that so many fantasy series have. I'm not complaining, mind you—I love these books. But it seems like a theme in a large number of fantasy books is the disappearance of magic and wonder from the world. In Tolkien, the Elves are leaving. In Jordan, technology is growing and perhaps beginning an age where it will overshadow magic. It's very present in Brooks, where the fantasy world is becoming our world. Even Eddings seemed to have it, with a sense that sorcerers are less common, and with things like the only Dragons dying, the gods leaving.

I've wanted to do a series, then, where the magic isn't going away—it's coming back. Where the world is becoming a more wondrous place. Where new races aren't vanishing, they're being discovered.

Obviously, I'm not the first to approach a fantasy this way. Maybe I'm reading too much into the other books, seeing something that isn't there. But the return of magic is one of the main concepts that is driving me.

Well, that and enormous swords and magical power armor.

OdysseyCon 2016 ()
#44 Copy

Blightsong

Would it be harder for Jasnah to Soulcast a Knight Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Would it be harder for her to Soulcast a Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, investiture resists investiture. It's harder for her to even Soulcast a person than a rock, right?

Questioner

Is a Mistborn invested?

Brandon Sanderson

The Mistborn, how their burning the metal, you're right. They are not specifically invested when they are not burning. When the investiture becomes active, the yes. Before, no, you're right on that.

Blightsong

So Kelsier, he stayed around longer, not because he was invested, but because he had the potential to use investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

Over time using the magic will invest you, on Scadrial. Most of the power is not coming from, on Roshar the power isn't coming from the person either [he cut himself off, so I assume this is how it works on Scadrial even though he didn't finish his thought] so I'm going to have to back up on that one and say, yes, the Mistborn are as invested as a Knight Radiant, because in both cases the majority, bulk, of the power is coming from somewhere else, but there is the spirit web. Investing the wrong term, but you have all these connections in the spiritual realm, so yanking you away from them, or rewriting them is harder.

Questioner

Would they be harder with more Stormlight or metals burning?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, yes. That would increase the difficulty ratio. For instance, wearing Shardplate is gonna be a great barrier, right, and things like that so yea. The problem is like, Invested is the wrong term for that, their Spiritweb is connected in different ways.

Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
#45 Copy

Argent

We know that you can't Lash people in Shardplate, but can you Lash the person inside the Plate? If they had their helm off, for example. At that point Plate should be just dead weight, right? 

Brandon Sanderson

There's a bit of an interference envelope. Wearing plate, the person has this big ball of investiture around them, and so pushing any through it--even by touching a person without a helm--is going to be tough. Easier than with the helm on though, I suppose.

Investiture acts (roughly) like a saturated solution in these cases. Sticking more power into something like a Feruchemical storage or a hyper-invested object like Plate is increasingly hard. The other part is that Investiture tends to interfere with other Investiture, unless there's a familiar resonance. (This is part of what philosophers call Identity.) Slapping your hand through a sand master's stream of sand will cause interference, and make them start to drop. It's not that the sand is supporting them, it's that the investiture holding them up gets scrambled for a moment because of your own investiture.

Investiture pushed toward someone inside a hyper-invested (supersaturated) system like a person in Shardplate is going to get hard push-back.

This is similar to the reason that it's harder to Push on invested coins. Depends on how invested they are, in that case. It's generally not as hard as doing something like Lashing a person in plate. (This is more about the interference than the saturation of investiture.) But the two principles are what I use to guide the physics in these areas.

quietandproud

Can we take that as a hint that the Investiture in the Plates and the Investiture that the Surge of [Adhesion] uses come from different Shards? Or do they interfere because they "belong" to different spren?

Brandon Sanderson

You know, I should have realized this one would bring out the follow up questions. Let's leave it at what I posted for now. This is a deep, deep rabbit hole, and I do need to try to get some more writing done tonight. So...RAFO. (Sorry.)