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Stormlight Three Update #5 () Copy
#1

Iceblade44

So White Sand [than Elantris] is earlier... Then how the heck old is Kriss then? Will we ever get an answer as to why every worldhopper is flipin immortal?

Brandon Sanderson

There is some time-dialation going on. I'll explain it eventually; we're almost to the point where I can start talking about that. Suffice it to say that there's a mix of both actual slowing of the aging process and relative time going on, depending on the individual. Very few are actually immortal.

Faera

Implying that some are actually immortal? :D

Brandon Sanderson

Depends on which definition of immortal you mean.

Doesn't age, but can be killed by conventional means. (You've seen some of these in the cosmere, but I'll leave you to discuss who.)

Heals from wounds, but still ages. (Knights Radiant with Stormlight are like this.)

Reborn when killed. (The Heralds.)

Doesn't age and can heal, but dependent upon magic to stay this way, and so have distinct weakness to be exploited. (The Lord Ruler, among others.)

Hive beings who are constantly losing individual members, but maintaining a persistent personality spread across all of them, immortal in that as long as too much of the hive isn't wiped out, the personality can persist. (The sleepless.)

Bits of sapient magic, eternal and endless, though the personality can be "destroyed" in specific ways. (Seons. Spren. Nightblood. Cognitive Shadows, like a certain character from Scadrial.)

Shards (Really just a supercharged version of the previous category.)

And then, of course, there's Hoid. I'm not going to say which category, if any, he's in.

Some of these blend together--the Heralds, for example, are technically a variety of cognitive shadow. I'm not saying each of these categories above are distinct, intended to be the end-all definitions. They're off the cuff groupings I made to explain a point: immortality is a theme of the cosmere works--which, at their core, are experiments on what happens when men are given the power of deity.

Shagomir

Heals from wounds, but still ages.

Would Bloodmaker Ferrings exist in this category as well? If not, what about someone compounding Gold?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you are correct.

Shagomir

As a Bloodmaker ages what keeps them from healing the damage and carrying on as a very old, but very healthy person? Do they come to a point where they can't store enough health to stave off the aches, pains, diseases, and other things that come with old age?

This makes sense for traditional Feruchemy as it is end-neutral, so storing health becomes a zero sum game - eventually, you're going to get sick and you're not going to be able to overcome it with your natural healing ability no matter how much you manipulate it with a goldmind.

...Unless you've got a supply of Identity-less goldminds lying around. Would a Bloodmaker with a sufficient source of identity-less goldminds (or the ability to compound, thus bypassing the end-neutral part of Feruchemy) eventually just die from being too old?

Brandon Sanderson

Basically, yes. They can heal their body to match their spiritual ideal, but some things (like some genetic diseases, and age-related illnesses) are seen as part of the ideal. Depends on several factors.

Salt Lake City signing () Copy
#2

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Do you have, like on-- Like the actual gem inside a Stormlight sphere, do you have an idea of how large it actually is and--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, we do have an idea of that, and how much it can hold, and things like this. And that's all known so that's going to start with the basis. But it's going to take math, it's going to take real math.

Chaos [PENDING REVIEW]

Math is hard!

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, math is hard! And we're going to have to look at things like-- Yeah just make stuff up then make Peter shake his head.

Holiday signing () Copy
#3

zas678

When Kaladin is Invested Stormlight specifically rises from his skin. When he is Lashed to a wall, what direction does it travel? Up to him, or to the world?

Brandon Sanderson

When he is Lashed to a wall where does the Stormlight go. So when it's puffing off him, and he's Lashed to a wall it will asc-- I think it will puff-- It will escape and go up.

zas678

Typical up.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, typical up.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing () Copy
#4

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

There was a point when the Heralds didn't need to draw Stormlight from gems, although the Stormlight-in-gems predates Honor's arrival.

There was a following conversation about this topic, about how a lot of the elements were there before Honor arrived, but he co-opted them. So, Stormlight were there, but there are big differences now.

Firefight Chicago signing () Copy
#6

Questioner

My question has to do with the color of Shallan's eyes currently, because we've noticed over the books that Kaladin's eyes, as he's continued to use his Surge, changed to lighter and lighter blue. Whereas one could argue that Shallan is farther in her Ideals than Kaladin is, yet her eyes have not changed at all.

Brandon Sanderson

Right, 'cause they were already light.

Questioner

'Cause they were already light? So it only affects lightness or darkness in the eyes, not necessarily any other color?

Brandon Sanderson

It's not like it is-- It's not like it's saying "Light minus 50%".

Questioner

It's not like Honor is blue and--

Brandon Sanderson

No. It is not. It is just kind of the way that the changes the Stormlight is making the body and certain people are already descended from people who had repeated, over time, changes by the body which stopped physically... That's not to say that all lighteyes that's where they came from. There are some that are natural mutations.

Oathbringer San Francisco signing () Copy
#10

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I want to know if there is a toxic level for Stormlight? If you're in the storm, can you get to the point where you have too much?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No, it doesn't quite work that way. Good question, though.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

You said there was one person, I guess it was the Soulcasters, who were starting to change because of that?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That's more the magic changing their soul over time. It's not necessarily a function of the storms.

Calamity release party () Copy
#12

Questioner

So assuming you have mentioned that it is technically possible to be able to use one magic system on another planet from a different one...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Is it possible to fuel that... Like, say could you fuel Awakening using Stormlight, or do you have to bring Breaths?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you could!

Questioner

Okay.

Brandon Sanderson

Excellent question. Now it's-- there are tricks to making it happen on each world. Some are easier than others, but yes you can.

Questioner

So could that allow a loophole to maybe... convert from one form of power to another? Or like from Stormlight to Breath?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. In fact, that's part of why Vasher--

Questioner

Vasher. I wondered that.

Brandon Sanderson

--is on Roshar, is because it's a lot easier to get Stormlight than Breath.

Shadows of Self release party () Copy
#13

Questioner

[Kaladin] gets his arm and various things cut with shardblades a couple times… and he regrows his soul more-or-less. Is that a function of his being a free Radiant or is that from being able to absorb Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

It is by being a Radiant. Which allows him to absorb Stormlight so--

Leipzig Book Fair () Copy
#14

Questioner

I was wondering: Stormlight doesn't cross walls, because people put their spheres outside. But it crosses the glass of the spheres. Is that material dependent or...

Brandon Sanderson

It's thickness dependent. In the third book there's actually a little place where it's mentioned. Some people put it right inside a little, kind of thin rock portion and the Stormlight can still reach it. So I did that quite intentionally.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 () Copy
#15

Questioner

Stormlight, I know it heals wounds and stuff like that but can it heal illnesses like colds?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes it can.

Questioner

So if Kaladin suddenly contracted brain cancer...

Brandon Sanderson

It's plausible-- it depends, see what it does is it takes your body and makes it align with your spirit, and partially through the filter of how you view yourself. So if you view yourself as sickly, then you won't.

Salt Lake City signing () Copy
#18

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Do you have-- Or have you determined an equivalency between how much Breath it takes to make a certain gem's worth of Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I have recently assigned Peter to this task, and he is feeling overwhelmed by it. It was actually during the writing of Oathbringer where I finally said, "Yeah we need to standardize this, so start working on it." So it was like, "Oh great". Which means he has to read through all the books for references and start figuring it all out. And we're going to need like an equivalent of a jewel or something like this, right? *gestures to a sphere that a fan made* And we've been putting it off because it sounds like an awful lot of work. 

So the answer is no, we don't have it yet. It's something I've known for years we're going to need. And on this book, I just started saying, "All right.  I'm going to have them do all the stuff they need to do. And then you're going to tell me how many spheres they need to start with." Right? Like, I write the book, and then we retrofit how many spheres they needed to have how much Stormlight, so that we could be consistent with that.

But we haven't done across magic systems calculations, yet.

Boskone 54 () Copy
#19

Questioner

Why does Stormlight make things cold?

Brandon Sanderson

It’s not the Stormlight, it’s condensation because something is going directly from a gas into a solid. The coldness is caused by that, it’s not necessarily that the Stormlight is making things cold, but that the Shardblade is condensing.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 () Copy
#20

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I want to know if there was Stormlight before Honor.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So before Honor arrived there was a proto-version of the storms and a version of Stormlight. Yes.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Okay, but it was different?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It-- Things were different.

Firefight Chicago signing () Copy
#21

Argent

Awakening and Surgebinding, Stormlight and Breath seem really similar in some aspects--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Argent

--except Breaths seem to stick to things better--

Brandon Sanderson

They do.

Argent

--than Stormlight. So when you are holding the Breath it doesn't expire when you put it in something it doesn't go away. Can you tell me something about why that's happening?

Brandon Sanderson

Part of this is kind of inherent to the Shard and the power it's coming from. I mean the power of Endowment is just going to stick, that's part of the nature of its magic. Does that make sense? But it also kind of has to do with how the ecosystems are working. For instance the Stormlight is essential to the ecosystem of Roshar, it needs to be expended, it needs to get out and-- It's like evaporation, does that make sense?

Argent

Recycling? Not the recycling but the cycle of--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, yeah like the cycle of water. And so just part of the way the nature of it works, it has to get out, it has to leak out, it has to run out. I mean it leaks even from spheres, right?

Argent

And when you lash things it's temporary--

Brandon Sanderson

Yep. And even though Szeth says that he thought Voidbringers could hold it they can't. Like it is just not the way that it works.

Argent

Can they just hold it better?

Brandon Sanderson

They can hold it better. It's not permanent. Now there are things that can do it permanently but--

Argent

Like the black sphere for example?

Brandon Sanderson

Well we are not going to... The black sphere is something different. You guys have guessed what the black sphere is, right?

Argent

Well we have some ideas. I support that it holds an Unmade. Am I wrong?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not going to answer that.

Argent

But you said--

Brandon Sanderson

I'm just curious what the theories are. Book 3 the black sphere is-- Everyone who reads the books will know what the black sphere is by the end of Book 3.

Calamity Philadelphia signing () Copy
#23

Questioner

Would setting Stormlight lanterns around a wounded person make them heal any faster?

Brandon Sanderson

No. Not your average person.

Brandon Sanderson

And regarding that healing thing, I’m going to have to back up on that one just a little bit because there would be nominal effects in the same way that if you’re sick and you go sit in the sunlight.  That makes you feel--Stormlight has, not the same effect but it would have a nominally similar effect…Does that make sense? Or a similarly nominal.

White Sand vol.1 Orem signing () Copy
#26

Questioner

So we already know that Vasher was Kaladin's trainer with a Shardblade, 'cause you told me that last time I asked you. So does Vasher just have a large mass of Biochromatic Breaths and that's how he's surviving, or is he somehow feeding off Stormlight while he is there?

Brandon Sanderson

He is feeding off of Stormlight, which is the primary reason why he came to Roshar. Investiture is easy to access in plentiful amounts.

Questioner

How did he know how to use Shardblades so well when he got there, is that related to how they created Nightblood

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, he has experience with Roshar from hundreds of years ago.

Orem signing () Copy
#28

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

If I'm a Mistborn and I change planet-- if I go over to Roshar, do I have to bring metal from Scadrial with me?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No, you do not.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Could I use Stormlight, and just have the same power?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Not-- not-- It would take some work.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, okay. Okay, but I could use steel from Roshar, and you can-- Okay, thank you sir.

Salt Lake City signing () Copy
#29

Questioner

How does a world that is wracked by Storms supply food for and entire population?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, you um... The thing to keep in mind is, it's not a barren planet. There are lots of plants on this planet. When-- I mean, it's no more barren than a corral reef that deals with the tide rushing in and rushing out. Now, the life has to adapt to it, but it's a really lush planet. You-- I mean, if you go and you look at the Shattered Plains there's grass everywhere and plants growing all over the place. It's just, right before a Storm, it becomes barren and then becomes lush again.

*long pause* 

Yeah, that was, um... One of the things I kind of have to overcome with this books is, though it is very rocky and stony, it's also very lush, and it's hard sometimes for people to imagine that. But even if it is a little bit barren, Utah is barren, and it supported people.

Boskone 54 () Copy
#31

Steeldancer

The Heralds, back before Honor died, were they directly powered by Honor?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. You’ll find out more about that, but the Shardblades [pretty sure he means Honorblades here] were pieces of Honor’s soul that he gave them and direct access to his essence.

Steeldancer

Like Vin and Elend?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, a little like that. That’s why Honorblades don’t work like Shardblades do, like Radiants do.

Steeldancer

The second part of the question is, what would happen if they were directly powered by Honor and they were holding Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO

Bands of Mourning release party () Copy
#32

Questioner

I'm going through Hero of Ages...again and I noticed...when Vin takes the power of Preservation into herself the descriptions remind me a lot of someone who has been Invested with Stormlight--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

--are those powers very similar--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

--in how they operate?

Brandon Sanderson

Ye-- Definitely some similarities. You will see a lot of mist in Stormlight if you are looking. So yeah.

Questioner

It like puffs out like mist.

Supanova 2017 - Sydney () Copy
#33

R.E. (paraphrased)

Does Vasher have a different way of getting access to Stormlight than everyone else? Given that he has no spren, no honorblade and he isn't a squire?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes. He can use Stormlight to stay alive, but it doesn't let him Surgebind.

R.E. (paraphrased)

Could Szeth get access to this method?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes

R.E. (paraphrased)

And use it to fuel Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes he could.

R.E. (paraphrased)

Can you tell me what that method is?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

*smiles*

Oathbringer release party () Copy
#35

OrangeJedi [PENDING REVIEW]

So, Kaladin obviously draws Stormlight from a pouch, all the time... If the pouch was coated in, say aluminum, would he still be able to draw the Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No. Good question.

OrangeJedi [PENDING REVIEW]

What about if it was coated in silver?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, he probably still could.

Holiday signing () Copy
#36

zas678

If an Awakener went to Roshar and bled color from a gem, would this gem still hold Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

If an Awakener bled-- No it would-- Oh wait yes it would because a colorless gem could still hold Stormlight. It just would not have--

zas678

Would not have the properties of the original color.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, the color is integral to what's going on because molecularly some of these gems are the same except for the different coloring. The coloring is kind of what--

zas678

What defines what magic.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. It has to with fabrials and some of the effects, and that relates directly to the spren and what spren-- anyway.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing () Copy
#39

Questioner

Would Vasher be able to use Stormlight in the same way that he can get Breath?

Brandon Sanderson

That would not be immediately easy, but Stormlight could feed Nightblood.

Questioner

Which is why Szeth can wield Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

Eh, you'll have to see if but yes. That could theoretically happen. You can use most of the magics on most of the planets to fuel the other magics, if you know how to do it, it is not easy.

Stormlight Three Update #4 () Copy
#42

mathota123

Does being filled with Stormlight make your skin glow, or are they just leaking mist which is glowing and not glowing themselves?

Brandon Sanderson

The glowing is from the Stormlight, which leaks from the skin. Even any glowing you think is coming from the skin is actually from the Stormlight leaking out.

mathota123

So if a kandra Radiant were to go transparent, but had little bubbles of skin under their surface, would the bubbles of skin inside them leak Stormlight and light up, or does Stormlight only leak from outside surfaces?

Brandon Sanderson

Honestly, while what you say is plausible, I'm not sure I want to start down this path and the directions it might end up leading...