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Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
#1 Copy

mathota123

Is the creation of Skaze end-negative?

Brandon Sanderson

So, you're not quite using the term right.

The terms "End negative" and "End positive" refer to a specific system--in most cases, we're talking about the individual(s) using the magic. Do you draw more magic out, or is it powered by your own native investiture?

Awakening is what we call end neutral, despite the fact that (obviously) the Breaths came from someone else in the first place. That's not the point in contention here--do the same number of breaths (the same amount of investiture) continue to exist in the system as you're manipulating the magic.

In something like AonDor, you are drawing out much more power than you put in--end positive. That power is put to work doing something, such as healing a body, or creating a blast of power.

The Skaze, like the Seons, were created when a Shard was splintered. The terminology doesn't quite work there, at least not in the way that scholars in the cosmere would use it.

The question from the physicist in this thread about where investiture goes, and what it means for a shard to have access to certain amounts of power, is related to all of this. I'm hoping to be able to find some time to craft a response there, as there are some fundamental understandings of the magic that are relevant to the discussion that i should point out.

Calamity release party ()
#4 Copy

Little Wilson

You mentioned that half(-ish) Shards are whole at-- during Shadows of Self. Is that counting Splinters?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, one more time.

Little Wilson

You mentioned that half-- like I think it was at the Bands of Mourning release party-- you said that "half-ish Shards are whole" during Shadows of Self.

Brandon Sanderson

"Half-ish Shards are whole?"

Little Wilson

Yeah, you didn't want to do the math, because it was-- *interrupted*

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, I get it. You're saying-- Okay, so I'm sorry. I'm trying to think of Shards that are half-powered. That's not what you're saying. Half of the existing Shards. 

Little Wilson

Yes, yes.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, got it. Yeah.

Little Wilson

And does that-- is that counting Splinters? Splintered Shards?

Brandon Sanderson

Um, no. I mean, a-- Splintered is one of the ways that they are not considered whole.

Zas678

Like completely Splintered as in Dominion and Devotion.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. That's what-- That's the opposite of whole.

Zas678

But having a Splinter, like Endowment...

Little Wilson

Because I-- I was kind of going with "Shattered" <and> "Splintered". So Shattered would be kind of what I was going with Devotion and Dominion. 

Brandon Sanderson

Okay.

Little Wilson

And then Splintered would be more like... You mentioned that Honor kind of Splintered himself off to create the spren before--

Isaac Stewart

Oh, and that's mentioned isn't it?

Brandon Sanderson

Right, but you've got to keep in mind that-- um... So in Scadrial, Ruin and Preservation did the same thing. Their bodies are part of the world. They-- if their exist-- like, the things on the Spiritual Realm don't matter where they are in relation to each other and things like this. All those <piece> spren are still Honor, when he was alive. Does that make sense? Like, yes those are little Splinters of Honor, but they are still Honor. It's not like he's diminished, because his whole essence is the world, right? There is no diminishing that. And so that thing is we're talking about the fracturing of the mind and the killing of the Shard. That's the distinction between whole and not whole as I was making it for you there.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#5 Copy

Questioner

Did the shattering [Splintering] of Honor happen in the Cognitive Realm, and Ruin in the Physical? *Brandon laughs* The reason I'm wondering is, are spren the expression of the shattering in the Cognitive Realm while Ruin's physical being is an expression of the shattering in the Physical?

Brandon Sanderson

This is an interesting theory that I don't want to completely shoot down, but it is not heading in absolutely correct directions. The shattering of a shard is an event that transcends all three Realms.

FAQFriday 2017 ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

Can holders of Shards give them up voluntarily? If so, what would happen?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, a Vessel for a Shard of Adonalsium can give up their power if they wish.

As for what would happen...well, there are some variables in there. Kind of like the variables in what happens to a bucket of water if you dump it out. Depends on where it falls, how strong the wind is, what the air is like.

Power dropped like this, if left alone, could end up Splintering and turning into something like spren/seons. It could become something more like the Stormfather--a large, self-aware entity. It could become something like the Dor or many of the Unmade--something proto-aware, but not truly an individual. There are other possibilities as well, depending on lots of factors. (Are sapient beings involved? what is being done with the power--is it concentrated in the Spiritual Realm as normal, or is it being pushed somewhere else?)

Calamity release party ()
#7 Copy

Little Wilson

And so are there any Shards that we don't know of that are Shattered?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Zas678's sister

Four, right? Ish?

Brandon Sanderson

Eh... eh... Honor is gone.

Little Wilson

And Devotion and Dominion.

Brandon Sanderson

Devotion and Dominion are gone. There are others. The question is, [is] Cultivation gone or not? I'm not-- I haven't answered that for you. There are others. So this is what I can't-- I'm not gonna <just> share the answer. This is why I'm not gonna give you answers on these things.

Hal-Con 2012 ()
#8 Copy

Lance Alvein (paraphrased)

You've said that "The Pits of Hathsin were crafted by Preservation as a place to hide the chunk of Ruin's body that he had stolen away". How does one Shard steal a portion of another Shard and create a Physical outlet for it, like the Pits were for Ruin's power?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It has to do with clash between the two Shards' power. When pressed, he then said that it was "kind of" like splintering

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
#10 Copy

Questioner

How many Shards have been Splintered, besides the four we know?

Brandon Sanderson

You're gonna make me canonize this? I can't canonize this. There's a couple that I'm just kind of...

Questioner

Odium, Endowment, Devotion...

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, Odium has not been Splintered. Endowment and Devotion have been Splintered... Endowment hasn't been Splintered, sorry. Dominion and Devotion have been Splintered. I've confirmed that one other has been Splintered. And then Honor has been Splintered. Those are your four that I've canonized. The other one is, I don't know if I've mentioned who exactly it is, but it's not one that you've seen on one of the planets...

Yeah, I'm not gonna canonize it, exactly how many there are. Because there are things going on in the cosmere that I wanna settle down and decide on once I get to it, exactly what. And Splintering can be a vague term sometimes, too... So that's a RAFO.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#13 Copy

Argent [PENDING REVIEW]

I thought, like, at one of the signings you told me that when Odium was on Sel and Splintered the Shards there, the reason he did the Cognitive Realm hack was because he was not yet experienced in Splintering stuff.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Right. He did not want what happened to happen, but he didn't know that he didn't want what happened to happen.

Argent [PENDING REVIEW]

What I was getting at is, I could never find a recording of you saying "He was not experienced. He didn't want the power to be taken by anyone, and that's the only solution he could figure out." Does that sound like something you would say?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That is something I would say, yes. There are better ways to do what he wanted to do, which he later did a better job with. But there's not a lot of experimenting he could do.

Argent [PENDING REVIEW]

Limited number of subjects, right?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Mmhmm.

Manchester signing ()
#14 Copy

Questioner

I was reading the first book-- The Way of Kings, there is a scene-- no a Letter. Is that scene-- the person who is sending the Letter says that the Shards in Elantris are broken-- sorry they're, like, [Splintered], and they can’t be used again. How is that so, because if there was Adonalsium which Shattered and people took the Shards.

Brandon Sanderson

There are those who believe you could put the pieces back together and their are those who believe you can't, and shouldn't.

Questioner

You shouldn't put them back--

Brandon Sanderson

There are some who believe that.

Questioner

So will they be able to put it back together?

Brandon Sanderson

Well there are some who believe it is possible. *laughter*

Congratulations, you win a RAFO card!  RAFO is something Robert Jordan would say, that means Read And Find Out and I print out little cards so at least you get something. That means "I'm sorry I can't answer your question but I'm really not that sorry otherwise I would answer it"

General Reddit 2013 ()
#17 Copy

sufficientlyadvanced

It says that it's dangerous to travel to Shadesmar on Sel. Why?

Brandon Sanderson

It has to do with the Dor and the lack of an entity controlling much of the power Odium left in his wake on Sel.

Phantine

Woah, that's interesting. I had no idea Odium left little bits of his power on Sel... I guess it kinda makes sense for evil monks to be powered by pure hate, though.

Brandon Sanderson

Odium did not leave his power behind, one should note. He left several other powers which are now, to a large extent, mindless...

Windrunner

If you wouldn't mind answering, does Roshar have a similar problem, with Honor being Splintered?

Brandon Sanderson

No, Roshar does not have the same problem. There are some differences going on. (One reason being that the spren are far more extensive on Roshar, and provide something of a "release valve." The seons and the skaze on Sel are not numerous enough to fulfill a similar function. Though, of course, that's only one part of the puzzle. Raw power is dangerous.

It's one reason everyone should be thankful Kelsier was around on Scadrial.