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Bands of Mourning release party ()
#2 Share

little wilson

How many Shards are whole at the time of [Shadows of Self]?

Brandon Sanderson

How many Shards are whole at the time of Shadows? I'm just going to RAFO that because-- because I don't want to do math right now.

Bystander

More than half or less than half?

Brandon Sanderson

At the time of Shadows? How many Shards--

zas678

Or about half?

Brandon Sanderson

Ha! *long pause* *really high and stretched out* Half-ish?

zas678

Half-ish?

Brandon Sanderson

Half-ish. It depends.

zas678

Give or take?

Brandon Sanderson

Give or take. Like it de-- Are there now only 15? Like what's the number? ...So-- I'm not going to-- I'm not going to--

zas678

RAFO.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, RAFO.

Boskone 54 ()
#4 Share

Questioner

On the [star map, there are different systems.]

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

And there are constellations.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

But who’s looking at these constellations?

Brandon Sanderson

So it is from a specific perspective, that Isaac will someday reveal. He drew this at my request; this is from a frame of reference. But we haven’t told you what it is. The best guess is that it’s Silverlight. I haven’t confirmed it, but it is the best guess. The second best guess is Yolen. There are a couple things that people have guessed, but I haven’t confirmed which it is.

Footnote: The perspective is now known not to be Silverlight. The painting itself resides in Silverlight, but the perspective is from elsewhere.
Words of Radiance Houston signing ()
#5 Share

Questioner (paraphrased)

In the chapter 84 code, does the sequence 111 denote a special character such as a space between words?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

I do not believe there is a 111 to separate words unless it was added by Peter when I wasn't looking. I will say this, the key is in another epigraph.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
#7 Share

Questioner

In Way of Kings, one of the interludes we see the Purelake--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

--and I've thought a lot about the fish. 

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

He mentions that one of them has healing effects and potentially that's--

Brandon Sanderson

The lore of the area states that fish have healing-- some of them--

Questioner

I was wondering of your thoughts. Is that Investiture in the fish or just local superstition?

Brandon Sanderson

Well that is the question of the scene, so that's also a RAFO. I will say that there is still superstition, Roshar in particular. And it doesn't necessarily mean that everything they say is magic is. But there is a good chance.

Supanova 2017 - Sydney ()
#8 Share

Darkness (paraphrased)

Was Ivory watching when Shallan was in Jasnah's bathing chamber and that whole swap thing kind of went down… what did he relay to Jasnah…?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Umm… he would've been there… but I don't have an answer for that, mostly because I haven't considered it.

Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
#9 Share

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.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#11 Share

Questioner

When Galladon appears in Way of Kings why is his skin not silvery?

Brandon Sanderson

When Galladon appears in The Way of Kings why is his skin not silvery. That's a RAFO but there is a good reason for it.

Footnote: Brandon has previously answered this. It has to do with Galladon's distance from the Dor, his skin no longer glows for the same reason something fluorescent will cease glowing when removed from a black light.
17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
#13 Share

zebobes

Since Allomancy is powered by burning metal, isn't Scadrial going to eventually start running out of metal?

Hmmm... is that why there's a space trilogy? They have to mine asteroids and other planets for their metal?

Brandon Sanderson

It could happen. However, it's not really a danger with the current population of Allomancers. There just aren't enough of them.

Minicon 2015 ()
#15 Share

Blightsong (paraphrased)

Is Roshar, or has Roshar always been the only large landmass on the planet?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Roshar is.... *Brandon then paused and looked up, thinking very hard* Roshar has always been the largest landmass--as long as there has been land.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#16 Share

A_Shadow

Was Hoid a Feruchemist before he ever got to Scadrial?

I remember reading this somewhere but I can't find it. Not sure if it is a theory or a WoB.

Brandon Sanderson

I don't believe I ever said anything like that.

Footnote: Brandon has said that Hoid uses Feruchemy to know where he needs to go in the cosmere. He has also said that it may not necessarily be Feruchemy, but something similiar based on the same underlying mechanics.
Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#17 Share

yulerule

*Written:* So somewhere it says that the number of Breaths doesn't determine the power of the object. But are the number of Breaths directly tied to how much Investiture is in an object? You're repeatedly said that Nightblood is ridiculously heavily Invested, more so than Shardblades, Honorblades, or the Bands of Mourning. But it only has a thousand Breaths, which doesn't seem all that much from the point of view of the God King--Tenth Heightening, over 50,000.

Brandon Sanderson

So this is a RAFO, but you're starting to ask the right questions there. Okay?

*Writes:* RAFO

Sasquan 2015 ()
#18 Share

Wetlander (paraphrased)

One question I did ask Brandon, though, was whether Ym was an Edgedancer.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

We both acknowledged that with the healing thing, he had to be either an Edgedancer or a Truthwatcher, of course. He pointed out that Ym's spren doesn't look at all like Wyndle.

Wetlander (paraphrased)

Which I countered by saying that I thought the Ym's spren manifested the way Wyndle would if you couldn't see the Cognitive Realm.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He just smiled... and said something like, "I'm going to RAFO that. You're very wise, and I put the description in for a reason, but I'm going to RAFO for now."

Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
#19 Share

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

The meteorite metal that they talk about that blocks Shards, is that aluminum?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Uh, so-- yes.

Footnote: Referencing OB Ch 100, "There are legends of metal that can block a Shardblade. A metal that falls from the sky. Silver, but somehow lighter." It is a point of contention, however, whether or not aluminum can actually block a Shardblade.
Oathbringer release party ()
#20 Share

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So, I'm about to read the last four books of Wheel of Time, and I know in your interview with Deseret News is that no one has asked you about something big, world-shattering. What should I be thinking of while I read these books?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I can't give you even a clue, because I've been sworn to secrecy by team Jordan. I made it up, but they said "We can't tell people this." So, this is something I added to the books, it's not something that was in the notes. So there, you learned something about it.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#22 Share

Argent

Back in, I think, Words of Radiance I asked you-- Somebody asked the question that had to do with the number 10 on Roshar and I didn't get the question on the recording--which was horrible--but your answer talked about Honor's purposes. Is what you said, and you mentioned 10 of them and that is why the number 10 is so sacred. Could you say something so I have something on the record? So we know what you said about that?

Brandon Sanderson

Honor's purposes...

Argent

Or Shard's purposes... Like what is that all about?

Brandon Sanderson

That will become-- I said it vaguely on purpose.
General Twitter 2017 ()
#23 Share

Yata

Hi, the community has a [question], we have two WoBs: Shardblades can cut aluminum and Shardblades can't cut it. Which one is true?

Brandon Sanderson

Hm. Yes, I wondered last night if I'd ever answered this before. Truth is, the answer is contentious at Team Sanderson.

I've been pushing for one answer, but Peter (whom I trust) is pushing back. We will see what ends up in the books as canon.

Problem with magic like I do is sometimes you have to wait for the scientific consensus... :) Err on "no" for now.

Peter Ahlstrom

Oh, I think aluminum would stop Shardblades from magical cutting. But if it's too thin like foil, a sword...

would cut it anyway. What I'm arguing is that something else that Shardblades don't cut doesn't need...

to necessarily be made of aluminum, for various reasons.

Yata

For example Invested objects (metalmind,spike,etc) or polestones (from some SA's Quote) ?

Peter Ahlstrom

RAFO

Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
#24 Share

ladyknightradiant

Have we seen all four of the genders for the Parshendi?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. 

ladyknightradiant

So it's more than just malen and femalen?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, male and female. So, basically, in my original notes I was trying to decide if I should call them [something else?] but they-- eventually we ended up-- It's basically, they have a male neuter and female neuter, and then a male and a female. So yes, there are four genders. [...] And, if you can't tell, the malen and femalen are both asexual, completely.

Footnote: Of note, but irrelevant to this entry, is that the questioner, ladyknightradiant, is the one who put together the Where's My Chull? children's book for Brandon. You can find the full illustrations here.
Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#26 Share

Argent

Is the mist spirit in Alendi's logbook the same spirit Vin sees?

Brandon Sanderson

No.

Kurkistan

Is it the same one Elend sees?

Brandon Sanderson

When? No. It is not the same one that Elend sees. There is a different mist spirit back then. Elend sees the same one Vin sees.

Kurkistan

And Alendi saw a different one?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. And originally my rules for what made a mist spirit were a little more lax than I eventually decided them to being.

Argent

But it still works…?

Brandon Sanderson

What is in the books, it still works and is canonized, and those are two different mist spirits. But if you find the deleted scenes—if you look at them—there are- I am exploring more with mist spirits and you’ll find out what that would have been.

Oathbringer London signing ()
#27 Share

Yurisses [PENDING REVIEW]

Investiture on First of the Sun is associated with a Shard?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, it is. That one is even closer associated with a Shard, the actual Investiture of the magic. Remember when I say Investiture, I mean matter, energy and magic. Sometimes the word Investiture just to the magic such as the Aviar and in that it is associated directly with one of the Shards...

Yurisses [PENDING REVIEW]

Which one?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Patji is a Shard of Adonalsium. *silence*

Overlord Jebus [PENDING REVIEW]

Sorry, can you say that again?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Patji is a Shard of Adonalsium

Aurimus [PENDING REVIEW]

Is that one of the Aviar?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No that is the island.

Overlord Jebus [PENDING REVIEW]

Island or islands?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The island but Patji is one of the islands.

Yurisses [PENDING REVIEW]

It's a Shard?!

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, big asterisk! But yes.

Aurimus [PENDING REVIEW]

Shard as in equal or Shard as in a mass of Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

As in one of the 16 Shards of Adonalsium is represented and involved in First of the Sun. In fact, one of the letters references First of the Sun in this *Indicates Oathbringer*

Sorry, I probably killed some theories on that one.

Overlord Jebus [PENDING REVIEW]

Yup, but by doing that you've confirmed some as well so it's fine!

DragonCon 2016 ()
#28 Share

Questioner

I wanted to ask-- So you--I think more than almost any other fantasy author--you create universes and then you leave them behind. Entire uni-- I almost feel like you could sit down-- you could have like pages of a physics lecture in each of your universes and you would have equations for how it works. Do you have-- Have you always had these ideas for these various universes with gods and magic systems and things like that, or are you always creating them, sort of as you go? 

Brandon Sanderson

It's yes and no. A lot of the ones you're seeing in the cosmere are things I created at the beginning to be kind of what the cosmere was. But I left some holes intentionally cause I knew I would come up with cool things that I wanted to add, and so I built in that wiggle room, and I'm always coming up with new ones. And there are way more that I want to do than I can write, like the one I keep wanting to find a chance for is--

Do you guys know how Nikola Tesla tried to create wireless energy? I think I've talked about this one. Like, he tried to create wireless energy, and I'm like "What if there were a world where that happened naturally?" Where you had a natural current going, and you could like set your lantern on the ground and it would create a current from the sky to the ground and your light bulb would just turn on. You don't need electricity. And how would-- What if we have giant toads that could shoot out their tongues that would create a current,  and they're like taser tongues? *makes zapping noises* Stuff like this. And so, I started jumping in to looking at electricity and things like this, and current and whatnot, and that's just all back there and I'm like "Aww, someday I need to be able to write this." But there are so many things that I want to write that I just don't have the time for, so it's a yes and no.

Questioner

So do you have, like, "what if" questions and then you build a universe from there?

Brandon Sanderson

Usually they're "what if" questions, but Sanderson's Zeroth Law--I've got these laws on magic you can look up,  they're named humbly after myself--so Sanderson's Zeroth Law is "Always err on the side of what's awesome". And usually it's less even a "what if?" and it's a "That's so cool, taser toads!" Like if you really want to know the truth of where The Stormlight Archive started, there's all this cool stuff, like part of it was like "What if there was a storm like the storm on Jupiter". And then I eventually changed it to a storm that goes around the planet, something like that, but the real truth was "Magical power armor. YEAH! Magical power armor is cool! Plate mail power armor! Why would you need plate mail power armor?" Y'know, and it starts with the really cool idea. Mistborn started by me drifting in a fog bank at eighty miles per hour in my car and loving how it looked as it drove past and saying "Is there a world where I can imitate this feel, where you look out and it streams by." It's those early visuals or concepts that make me say "Oh yeah, I wanna do that!". That is where my books really come from, and then I layer on top of them the "what ifs?" and trying to build a realistic ecology based around these ideas.

EuroCon 2016 ()
#31 Share

Questioner

Hi. I have two questions about the Cosmere. The first one is if a Radiant can have a bond with two spren, and the other one is if Truthwatcher spren are related directly with Cultivation or the Nightwatcher?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, so RAFO on if a Knight Radiant can have two spren. But the second question was, "Are spren of Cultivation?" One more time?

Questioner

If the spren of the Truthwatchers are related directly with Cultivation or the Nightwatcher? Or both?

Brandon Sanderson

So, most of the sapient spren that form the Orders of Knights Radiant are related to a mixture of Honor and Cultivation. Some lean one direction much more than the other, and the spren of the Truthwatchers leans toward Cultivation.

Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
#33 Share

Argent

The "God Surges" you mentioned recently, are they a part of the Way of Kings frontsheet?

Brandon Sanderson

All I said regarding this was to tell a fan that it was possible to make an analogy between the god metals on Scadrial and certain powers on Roshar. However, these are not a codified part of the magic system.

General Twitter 2013 ()
#34 Share

fryman1701

Would burning atium and duralumin together grant view of single far future or widespread of everyone's near future?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't answered specifically what happens, but there is a hint at the end of Hero of Ages.

Teen Author Boot Camp ()
#35 Share

Skaiiwalker (paraphrased)

Does Hoid use his Feruchemical abilities with the atium to see the future?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Ah ah ah, I haven't confirmed that Hoid had Feruchemical abilities.

Skaiiwalker (paraphrased)

You haven't?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

*grinning slyly* No, but most people think he has Allomancy.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#36 Share

Questioner

Why in the world would the Lord Ruler spike himself?

Brandon Sanderson

...Because he needed to give himself the powers that he didn't have. He could have done it like-- gained the knowledge but the power was gone so fast he actually needed to-- Well no no no, the spikes, the spikes, the spikes. So, it doesn't matter if he was spiked because he was hiding the metals inside himself so people couldn't Push or Pull on them. That's the real reason he was doing that. Does that make sense?

Questioner

No.

Brandon Sanderson

Metal that's inside of him--

Questioner

Ruin influenced him, what did the spiking do?

Brandon Sanderson

Well the metals that were stuck through him were so people couldn’t Push or Pull on them. If they were outside his body people would know he was a Feruchemist. Which is the very thing he was-- so he stuck the metals inside of himself to hide them.

Questioner

And he did that as Hemalurgic spikes?

Brandon Sanderson

I'd have to go back and look because-- Lord Ruler is hespiked or has he just got--

Isaac Stewart

I thought he was... spiked but I can't remem--

Brandon Sanderson

You're asking something that I wrote 12 years ago.

Isaac Stewart

Peter, was the Lord Ruler spiked?

Brandon Sanderson

Lord Ruler was spiked, right?  Or is it just--

Peter Ahlstrom

I don't think so.

Brandon Sanderson

--piereced with metalminds, right? They're not actual spikes, just metalminds.

And I want to ask the Sharders on there [the recorder] about that Lord Ruler question, because I didn’t think he was spiked but--

Isaac Stewart

I think I recall him having the bands with spikes in them?

Footnote: Brandon has previously stated that the Lord Ruler did in fact have Hemalurgic spikes.
DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
#37 Share

DrogaKrolow

What happened with the Shard that just drifts in the space, the one that wants to hide and survive?

Brandon Sanderson

What about that Shard? They want to hide and survive.

DrogaKrolow

Huh, something more?

Brandon Sanderson

I think I will RAFO that for right now.

Footnote: The questioner seems to be conflating two separate Shards in his question. There is the Shard that wants to hide and survive and another that is not on a planet.
JordanCon 2016 ()
#38 Share

Questioner

Obviously the world covers different planets, but most people on all the individual planets don't know about the other planets. Is there a planet within the cosmere where worldhopping is common knowledge?

Brandon Sanderson

Is there a planet in the cosmere where worldhopping is common knowledge. Um… it's not a planet.

Bystander

It's a space station? *laughter* That's no moon!

Brandon Sanderson

That's not as far off as people laughing think that it is. *laughter* It's not a space station, it's not that futuristic, but there is a place in the cosmere where a lot of worldhoppers have settled, is where Iyatil is from, even though her ethnicity is not from there.

Moderator

Clarifying question… Is that place in the Physical Realm?

Brandon Sanderson

*laughs* RAFO!

The Alloy of Law Annotations ()
#39 Share

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Six

The fight in the ballroom

From the early days of the Mistborn books, I'd been planning how an Allomantic gunfight would go down. I felt it the next evolution in what has been stylistically a big part of these books.

There is a fine line to walk in a lot of these sequences. I've made something of a name for myself in the fantasy world by attempting to mix some scientific reasoning with my magic systems. At the same time, Allomancy was designed precisely with action sequences in mind. I wanted them to be powerful and cinematic—and a cinematic fight sequence is often at odds with realism. (Watch two people who really know what they're doing fight with swords sometime, then watch any fight sequence in a film. Most of the time, the film sequences stray far from what would really happen.)

So, as I said, I walk a line. Sometimes, there are things I just can't do because they violate what I've set up as the rules of the world. Other times, I design the setting and nature of the fight specifically to allow for certain types of cinematic sequences. One thing I like a lot about Wax’s abilities is the power he has to manipulate his weight. There's some realism to what he does—for example, increasing his weight doesn't make him fall more quickly, but it allows him to do some powerful things while falling. Destroying the chandeliers is an example.

At the same time, I acknowledge that the weight manipulation aspect of Feruchemy is one of its more baffling powers, scientifically. Is he changing his mass? If so, he should become more dense, which I don't actually make the case when it plays out in fights. (Otherwise, increasing his weight enough would make him impervious to bullets.) So, if it's not mass manipulation, is it gravity manipulation, like Szeth and Kaladin do? Well, again, not really—as when his weight increases, his strength and ability to uphold that weight increase as well. Beyond that, Wax can't make himself so light that he has no weight at all.

So . . . well, at this point, the ability to explain it scientifically breaks down. I do like what it does, but I have to set its boundaries and stick to them—and accept that some of what's going on is irrational. (And don't get me started on what should really be happening scientifically when Wayne speeds up time.)

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#40 Share

yulerule

*Written:* If an Allomancer Worldhopper really wanted to hack the magic system and knew what they were doing, could they get their hands on some tanavastium, rayseium, or egdlium? Basically make god metals from the other Shards?

Brandon Sanderson

*Reading question:* If an Allomancer worldhopper really wanted to hack the magic system.. *mumble*

Uh, yes. This is possible.

*Writes:* Yes.

Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
#43 Share

Questioner

In the last part of the book [Words of Radiance], Wit is talking to <the songling>, and says "If you think hard, this sentence is really clever." Are there any implications beyond this, or was that him just talking?

Brandon Sanderson

Go compare to another sentence he used earlier in the book. He is making a pun off of the sentence he used before. [...] It's not as clever as he thinks he is, I'll just warn you that.