/r/books AMA 2015

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Name /r/books AMA 2015
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Date March 12, 2015
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#3 Copy

Avatar_Yung-Thug

Quick question: I had a hard time "hearing" the Parshendi's singing in my head while reading The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance. Are there any real world examples you drew from you could give me so we have a better idea of what they sound like to you?

Brandon Sanderson

It was tough, as I didn't want to constrain their language in English to a certain rhythm, as I felt it would be too gimmicky on the page. I used Hindu chants in my head, though, so that might help.

#5 Copy

trevorade

Vasher has shown us that he can substitue his need for Breath with another investiture (presumably Stormlight). To what extent is investiture interchangeable between magic systems?

Brandon Sanderson

Very interchangeable, but not always simple to apply.

#6 Copy

trevorade

Is investiture finite? Hemalurgy and a Return's need to consume breath seems to show us that it can be destroyed. If it is finite, is the Cosmere's magic source doomed to the law of entropy?

Brandon Sanderson

Investiture can not be created or destroyed. It follows it's own version of the laws of Thermodynamics.

Joe_____

So what happens to the investiture that is lost when a person is spiked and the spike isn't set in the new person immediately? Does it return to the big pool of investiture in the sky like the power from wheel of time where if its not actively being used it returns to the source?

Brandon Sanderson

What happens to someone's body when it's not being used by a particular person? The system is built to work like that.

#7 Copy

focoma

What are the names of the Aons for West, North, and South? I'm assuming that these are also the names of the other cities around Elantris besides Kae ("East"). Is that right?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Peter pointed out to me that we really needed these, so they should be in the Elantris 10th anniversary edition.

#8 Copy

focoma

We've seen Kandra True Bodies made of crystal, stone, or wood. Can a kandra use a True Body made of metal? If so, what happens if each metal "bone" had a Hemalurgic charge, and each one is touching an appropriate bind point?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. And that would work, better than you think, because Kandra have fluid bind points. But too many spikes can be dangerous to the psyche, even with Ati not messing things up.

#9 Copy

WeiryWriter

Could you explain a little more about Cognitive Shadows? When you first mentioned the name and gave the examples of Kelsier and the Shades from Threnody you kind of gave the impression that they were kind of like ghosts. But this past December at the Orem signing you mentioned that the Stormfather and the mist were also Cognitive Shadows. The first makes sense to me, I had an [entire theory about that (although I argued he was specifically Tanavast’s and not Honor’s). The second however really doesn’t make sense to me, unless it was actually the mist spirit that is the shadow and that got missed in the report (it wasn’t verbatim), but even still Preservation is still alive at that point so how can he have a “ghost”? (Unless him sacrificing his mind to form Ruin’s prison counts as “death” in this situation?)

Brandon Sanderson

On the first question, I did not say the mists themselves were a Cognitive Shadow. That must have been a misunderstanding. The Stormfather totally is, though. Cognitive Shadows are basically ghosts, which can take a lot of different forms in the Cosmere, but follow general rules.

WeiryWriter

Is the mist /spirit/ a Cognitive Shadow then?

Brandon Sanderson

The mist spirit is a little more complicated than that. That was actually Leras, kind of. He was in the process of dying. But other things are involved there that, unfortunately, must be RAFOd.

#13 Copy

WeiryWriter

What if the Throne of Idris passed to someone who was not the child of the monarch? Like if they were the niece or nephew of the previous monarch. Their parent would not have passed on the Royal Locks to them, but if they gained the throne would they spontaneously manifest the Royal Locks? Would their children if they were born before?

Brandon Sanderson

This will be discussed in the Warbreaker sequel, most likely.

#14 Copy

WeiryWriter

Does hair that is still attached to a person's head get cut if a Shardblade passes through it? If not, if that person had the Royal Locks could they change the color of the hair "below" the cut?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, hair gets cut. It counts as dead in my mind--but not to someone who has the Royal Locks. They could only change below, as you state, and wouldn't get their hair chopped off. (I'm not 100% sure on this, but I Think I've mentioned in Stormlight before that you can cut things like shells on living animals with a Shardblade, but then it doesn't cut the flesh.)

WeiryWriter

With the Royal Locks, the individual would be able to change the color in the bit between the cut and the scalp? (In my original question I had meant "below" to mean the bit between the cut and the end whereas your answer uses it the opposite, I think?)

Brandon Sanderson

Distance between scalp and cut, yes you can change that. Otherwise every time you got a haircut, you wouldn't be able to change the hair. Maybe I don't get your question.

WeiryWriter

So just for clarity's sake is the following correct:

Let's say Siri's hair is two feet long. A shardblade passes through the hair exactly in the middle ("dividing" the hair into two one-foot sections). In your previous answer you said that while usually the shardblade would just sever the hair (leaving only a foot attached to the head) with the Royal locks the entire two feet would remain attached but only the foot on the "head" side of the cut would be able to change color.

Thank you, I just want to make sure there is zero doubt in what is actually going on.

Brandon Sanderson

I did misinterpret your original question. As a shardblade cut is likely to be wider than a piece of hair, I doubt you could cut the royal locks lengthwise.

#15 Copy

mooglefrooglian

You've said previously that the molecular structure of metals serve to act sort of like the Aons in AonDor. Why, then, can mists power Allomancy? Shouldn't the metals themselves be the things causing the powers? And if metals don't cause the effect, how can a non-Feruchemist burn a metalmind that has been 'unlocked' through identity tricks and get a boost of an attribute without Feruchemist sDNA?

Brandon Sanderson

I was trying to figure out how to answer this, and then I realized while driving to get a hair cut that you were regarding this wrong in a fundamental way. Remember, the source of power for Allomancy is EXTERNAL while the source for Feruchemy is INTERNAL. This is a fundamental difference discussed in the series.

When you burn metals, you're drawing power from another place. When you tap a metalmind, you are drawing power that the person has created--a battery developed by themselves, so to speak.

So I think that's going to answer the source of your confusion.

#16 Copy

potterhead42

You recently changed up the text of Elantris and Words of Radiance. Do you feel like you need to change something about the Mistborn trilogy? I think it's perfect

Brandon Sanderson

I've expressed that my one regret with Mistborn is the climax of Book One, where I think I bring in drawing upon the mists too early in the series without enough foreshadowing. That said, I'm not planning to revise it, even if we do a 10th anniversary edition like with Elantris. The problems with Elantris created continuity issues; the problem with Mistborn is more of an artistic choice, making it similar to the problem in WoR. The difference here is that I'm still working on Stormlight, so it is considered to be an open book in my head--while Mistborn is done, and it's time to leave it alone.

#17 Copy

potterhead42

On Scadrial, humans were created as a result of the deal between Preservation and Ruin. But what about the rest of the humans on the other worlds of the Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

It's split. Some predate the shattering; others were created. The humans that existed before were always a model, which is why they're so similar to one another.

#18 Copy

lightylantern

I'm fairly invested in the pairings of The Stormlight Archive, with my favourite being Jasnah/Szeth. Do either of these two have any romance planned in their future?

Brandon Sanderson

I am purposefully vague about upcoming romantic pairings in my books, because most of the characters would not want to be defined by their romantic inclinations--and at the top of that list is Jasnah. So I'll remain quiet on this one for now. Sorry.

#19 Copy

lightylantern

In The Hero of Ages, Demoux gets together with a woman named Aslydin. He's then seen on Roshar in The Way of Kings. Knowing how loyal Demoux is, he wouldn't just leave Aslydin behind like that. Is she connected to his reasons for becoming a member of the Seventeenth Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Aslydin is in the Seventeeth Shard, and had her own work to be about. I've given subtle clues about her before, but the ethnicity of the name should strike you.

#20 Copy

lightylantern

I'm pretty interested in the integration of magic and sport, like in Harry Potter and The Legend of Korra. Will we be seeing any allomantic sports in the second Mistborn trilogy?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably the third. Scadrial is behind on a couple of things, technologically, and they've been very practically minded lately. I have some hints of professional sports in the Era Two books, but they're slight.

#23 Copy

i_am_a_watermelon1

I've heard somewhere that you already have a backstory for Hoid written, but you're waiting to release it as it would reveal too much about the Cosmere universe... is this true?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, this is true.

i_am_a_watermelon1

Do you ever plan on bringing different realms together?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes I do.

#24 Copy

Windrunner

Threnody and Scadrial are both noted as having unusally bright patches of stars in their skies. Are these two planets near to one another?

Brandon Sanderson

They are both seeing the same thing, yes.

Windrunner

Does this mean that Threnody and Scadrial are part of the same system, or are these bright patches visible from other worlds as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Visible from other worlds as well. The cosmere is a relatively small place (on a galactic scale, that is.) We'll publish the star map when that becomes relevant in a decade or so.

Footnote: It took approximately a year and a half to publish the star map.
Sources: Reddit
#26 Copy

Windrunner

As you've stated that the magic of First of the Sun is natural and independent of any particular Shard, what is the nature of the pool on Patji? Is it also a natural manifestation of magic, a perpendicularity, or simply a pool like any other?

Brandon Sanderson

It's a natural manifestation, but on a much smaller scale than you might find on other worlds.

#29 Copy

zuriel45

1)Would it be possible to invest a metal such as bendalloy so that it's "active" and create a time bubble? 2)Would an invested object creating a bubble move about the bubble like Wayne does inside his? Or would the bubble move with the invested object? 3)Wayne implies that it takes a couple seconds between dropping a time bubble and creating a new one. Is this a biologically related limit, or magically related limit? 4)Would more powerful allomancy/investment increase the size of the bubble, or change the time differential?

My theory is that if someone created a large bubble that sped up time inside of it (so time outside seems slower) You would cross the bubble faster than light would cross the same difference outside of it. Of course the journey would take the same time inside as it would without the bubble which would mean the need for a generation ship. To compensate someone could then create a smaller pocket of slowed down time (cadmium) which would cancel the sped up time and create a normal time flow. This would allow living humans to experience the same flow of time as someone on scardial itself while the ship still travels are FTL speeds. If the bubbles traveled with the ship then there wouldn't be any additional strain the structure. If the bubbles couldn't travel with the ship but if the time it takes to create a new bubble could be overcome you could theoretically turn on/off the bubble maker at a very high frequency to allow the bubble to be re centered with the traveling ship.

So I'm curious if my theory is feasible?

Brandon Sanderson

You've got some serious RAFOS in there, I'm afraid, but let's see what I can answer.

First, I'd love to have your contact info through my website for running calculations. We've got some people, like Eric, who know their stuff--but having more physicists to help out is important when I start figuring things like red shift and what not.

As for the other questions, I'm digging out answers for you, where i can. Might take me a little longer, though.

#30 Copy

DMTrnkers

Any other cosmere short stories in the pipeline?

Brandon Sanderson

I do have a couple more in the works! One perpetual one is the Silence Divine (which I'll probably rename, since I've used Silence in a title recently) about the planet where magic is tied to disease. But there are others!

#32 Copy

neart_roimh_laige

First of all, it seems that when Returned give their blessing that requires their life, to do so is to give up all of their BioChroma. Well, there was a time where Vivenna can't sense Vasher because he was a drab. Since that would mean he put all of his BioChroma somewhere and is SPOILER one of the Returned, why isn't he dead?

Also, it seems as if only the royal family has the ability to change their hair color. However, when Vasher kills Denth, his hair flashes through a ton of colors before he dies. What are his ties to the family? Is there something I missed? Will there be another book explaining this?

Brandon Sanderson

I did mention these things in the annotations, as has been pointed out, but boy--it's been a while. I don't remember what I wrote in the annotations and what I didn't.

All Returned are, in a way, "related" to the royal family in their Investiture. (The magic they hold.) Vasher has some specific and powerful control over his own powers, which I didn't go into much in the book. But if you delve into the annotations, you'll get more.

#33 Copy

Heartlight

What is Nightblood's opinions on gender, and who decided on him having he/him pronouns?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood is fascinated by gender, and trying to figure it out. Unlike spren like Syl, Nightblood has not self gender assigned as an influence of interacting with humans. That said, Vasher was probably the one who just started calling him He, so if you want to take the issue up with anyone, go to him.

#34 Copy

pat_skelly

What are your thoughts on Kramer's depiction of a Herdazian accent? Is it what you were trying to go for or no? When I read WoK I thought they had more of a Mexican accent but Kramer has brought me over to his, what I believe is, Australian accent.

Brandon Sanderson

It makes me laugh, and I like that there are other interpretations out there--since it's a fantasy world, and their accent doesn't have a 1-to-1 correlation with our world. That said, the were originally Hispanic inspired, so you were on the right track.

#35 Copy

_0_-o--__-0O_--oO0__

You’ve been known to say that the fantasy genre is the best genre because you can do anything another genre can do and you can have dragons. And yet, we haven’t had a dragon from you yet. Well we see a Sanderson Dragon anytime before Dragonsteel? I’m assuming Dragonsteel has dragons?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I smile inwardly as I say that, because I know that--indeed--I don't use a lot of dragons. I do like reading about them, but I haven't found myself eager to put them into my works. I think it's because I've read so many excellent dragon books, I figure, that area of fantasy is being covered by others--and I should try different things.

That said, Dragonsteel has dragons, and so you will eventually see them there. I don't know that I'll do them before.

#36 Copy

chocolatechoux

Hello Mr. Sanderson. This is probably too late but I just wanted to ask what ends a desolation? Is it mainly about winning the battles or is the fighting just about holding out and buying time for something else?

Brandon Sanderson

It involves the departure of the Heralds.

#37 Copy

vernontwinkie

Can two different people invest an item with Breath (either to use the sum of the investiture or just theirs, or as a way to tell that something contains Breath if it doesn't work)?

Brandon Sanderson

The question is tricky to answer, because it's partially a yes, and partially a no. So I'll RAFO for now.

#38 Copy

A_Dunyain

This is just a stab based on perceived hints, but is Yolen the most "Earth-like" planet in the Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

Scadrial is, actually. Sel isn't too far off either. Yolen has some strangeness to it. Two competing ecologies, and some strange geography. But I have wavered on how to convey all of this, so none of it is set in stone yet.

#39 Copy

tisces

Do you keep a timeline for your Cosmere books? I'm assuming the events from books such as Elantris and Warbreaker happen before the Stormlight Archives but I'm curious about how much time has passed whether it is months/years/centuries.

Brandon Sanderson

Centuries have passed. I think we're closer to a thousand years covering events you could place on the line, with closer to ten thousand years since inciting incidents.

#40 Copy

participating

In Warbreaker, Vasher makes the claim that Nightblood's personality is essentially static, that he'll never change. How true is that? Assuming Nightblood managed to stick around for thousands, or millions of years, could he grow in even the smallest of ways; develop a legitimate sense of right and wrong and figure out what's really going on around him?

Brandon Sanderson

Vasher believes it's true. Vasher has been wrong on occasion, but he is a fairly authoritative source.

#41 Copy

2dark_22

RAFOed I'm sure, but you said you are planing 2 arcs of 5 books each in Stormlight Archive. Having read all of your published works (and some unpublished:)) I know your storytelling pace is astronomicaly quick. I'm positive you will end current desolation story in the first 5 books, since as I understod, other 5 books will be set in near future in SA universe. So I guess my question is; can you drop any hint will Odium survive to see 6th SA book:)?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, Odium will survive. Now, whether the one HOLDING that power will survive...that's a different question. :) (Not quite a RAFO.)

#42 Copy

The__Good__Doctor

Hi Brandon! I wanted to talk about the revised ending of Words of Radiance.

So, it looks like Kaladin won't be actually delivering the killing blow to Szeth any more. I think that Kaladin was entirely justified in doing this, since it was a fight to the death, and Kaladin was protecting not only Dalinar but his entire squad below. Kaladin even seems surprised when he lands the blow, expecting Szeth to block it like he had been doing the entire fight. The killing was not done in vengeance or with malice, unlike what Adolin does later. Having the storm kill Szeth seems like an anti-climatic way to end the scene, since it takes away Szeth's decision to die by the sword, and means we no longer have an example of why the spren Shardblades don't immediately kill people.

Brandon Sanderson

I woud be fine having him do it, though I think killing a foe who has given up was against this thematic plot. But what pushed me over the edge to change was the sense that I was pulling too many fast ones on the reader with people coming back to life. I wanted it clear to readers that Szeth was not dead, so this scene wasn't a fake out, which would weaken Jasnah's arrival later.

Dancingedge

Um, Mr. Sanderson, I don't mean to be disrespectful as you probably have the scene better in your head than I do but how is a man without Stormlight falling from a very large hight, while in the middle of two Highstorms coliding and throwing entire platoos in the air expected to survive? Maybe I don't have the right persective on this given that I saw both Jasnah (the body disapearing is just as much a give away as it never being shown in my book) and Syl (Pattern outright said Sprens can be revived) coming but unless you severly change the fight scene I don't see how being stabbed actually matters for Szeth survival chances.

Brandon Sanderson

The idea is that the reader didn't see him die, so there's a psychological trigger--one that says "Ah, I didn't see a body. He's probably not dead."

Yes, Szeth totally died from that fall--just as the young man that Lift revived had died from what he suffered. We know that Stormlight can fix the body and bring back the dead, so long as very little time has passed.

The import of the tweak to me is allowing some question in the reader's mind, so that the return is not a betrayal.

The__Good__Doctor

That is a lot more understandable. Having too many reveals at the end could be problematic. I agree that Jasnah coming back felt like pulling a fast one right at the end. However, I think the suprise of Szeth coming back was really well done, especially with the reveal of Nin (Nale, Nalan? This dude is so old he has three names!) at the very end with his special sword friend. I feel like that was the real zinger that should have closed the book.

I was a little underwhelmed with Jasnah coming back, not because I dislike her, but because I thought she was well and truly dead. She died so early in the book that I was completely accepting of her death by the end, and her coming back in a 'gotcha' moment felt a little hollow. Perhaps this could have happened about a hundred pages into the next book? I don't know the entire story like you do, of course, but as a reader it felt like Szeth and his rebirth should have been the final closing image.

Brandon Sanderson

This all came about, if you're curious, during the detailed plotting of the second book. Originally, the outline did not call for Jasnah to leave, but I was having real trouble getting Shallan into a place--emotionally and experience-wise--where she could do the things she needed to do while Jasnah was around. I determined that Jasnah needed to pull a Gandalf, and let her ward alone for a while, and I'm glad I did it--the book is much, much stronger for it. However, the side effects of the last-minute change in the plot required Jasnah's reappearance, which sent a few waves through the book. (Szeth's death and survival being the main one.)

#43 Copy

Pillotsky

What's with the Stormlight Chapter symbols, and their similarity to other Cosmere symbols? I guess this is specifically talking about Kaladin and Shallan's symbols, and their resemblance to an Allomantic symbol and an Aon, respectively.

Is this just showing Roshar's place as significant in the Cosmere? Is there a reason those specific symbols were chosen for those characters? Anything you'd want to share, I'll take.

Brandon Sanderson

The meaning of Kaladin's symbol will be made manifest eventually. The connection to an Allomantic symbol, however, is mostly coincidental. (Both were drawn by Isaac.)

#44 Copy

TallRedditor

Is there a specific reason as to why Lift can synthesize food into stormlight? Or is she just special?

Have we met/Will we meet anyone else that can take in stormlight in a different way?

Brandon Sanderson

She is unique, and was not born with the ability.

#45 Copy

PrinceofMagnets

What is Cosmere sentience? By this I mean what does it require and what does it entail?

Brandon Sanderson

In the cosmere, most things are sentient on some level. Basically, anything with even the smallest amount of investiture. (Which is all matter, and most cognitive creations.) Sapience is something different, of course.

#49 Copy

BartimaeusTrilogyFan

Have you included (or do you potentially intend to include) any asexual characters in your published works? Asexual characters don't seem to be very common in fiction, and I'm sure it would be fantastic for people that identify as such to feel in any way represented by one of your characters!

Brandon Sanderson

I originally conceived the asexual nature of most Parshendi (from the Stormlight Archive) forms after reading a very thought-provoking article written by someone asexual. The idea of a primarily asexual race was a fascinating idea to me, and you will see this more in future books.

RobotAztec

can somene be born half-parshnedi or maybe even half-spren??

Brandon Sanderson

The Horneaters and the Herdazians are both descendants of Parshendi/human interbreeding.

Spren do not reproduce biologically. As such, the term "half-spren" is basically meaningless. You could argue that the Parshendi, when bonded to spren, are part spren--as are many creatures on Roshar, if they have a spren symbiosis.

#50 Copy

RobotAztec

can spren go thru walls like ghosts too?

Brandon Sanderson

Depends on the spren, and how strongly they've been pulled into the physical realm.

RobotAztec

so the ones that cant are the ones people can trap in gems for fabriels?

do they catch them with big butterfly nets and thrwo a gem into the netting? or is it like poekmon where they just throw gems and hope they hit??

Brandon Sanderson

Ha. No, neither one. This is a RAFO, I'm afraid.

#52 Copy

ThingsThatMakeMeMad

Dalinar insists that honorable men would not fight their allies, when Adolin wishes to spar. Would the knights radiant spar one another, or would they generally agree with dalinars point of view?

Brandon Sanderson

Some would agree but many would disagree. Do note there is a difference between sparring and prize fighting or dueling.

#53 Copy

AndyC50

Hey, Brandon as a big fan of the Stormlight books. I'm wondering what is the ratio between dark eyes and light eyes in the country where Kaladin is from. Sorry if this was mentioned in the books and I just forgot.

Brandon Sanderson

Weighted toward darkeyes, though the lighteye/darkeye disparity is not nearly as great as the noble/peasant disparity was in our world.

#54 Copy

uchoo786

I know that Nightblood is technically a shardblade (invested sword), but can one use it without being bonded to a Spren since on Roshar the only way to breathe is stormlight and use it is by being bonded to a spren? Would Nightblood also work like a shardblade, in that it severs the soul instead of consuming it when it touches a person?

Brandon Sanderson

Remember that the Honorblades do not require one to be bonded to a spren to use, or gain access to powers. Nightblood goes one step further, vaporizing and destroying on all three realms.

uchoo786

So, if I understand this correctly, Nightblood will act like an Honorblade and allow Szeth to breath in Stormlight? Will his surges be completely different than anything Roshar has seen before, or will his surges be those of the Skybreakers since Nightblood's purpose is pretty similar to theirs?

Brandon Sanderson

You'll have to wait and see.

#55 Copy

uchoo786

You have mentioned before that there are several groups on Roshar who have Parshendi blood, like the Horneaters, but are there any that have Aimian blood? And are Aimian's more beings of the cognitive realm than humans and listeners, since their shadows go towards the sun?

Brandon Sanderson

What Rosharans call Aimians are two different races, neither of which is particularly human, despite how they may look. More will be revealed eventually.

#56 Copy

uchoo786

Last question, are thunderclasts just voidspren animating dead greatshells that have bee turned to stone by crem, kind of like Kalad's army? And could light eyes who have been turned to stone by soul casters be reanimated, either by Vasher or by voidspren?

Brandon Sanderson

Thunderclasts are animating stone itself. Reanimating someone turned to stone would be more easy than simply animating the stone, but animating stone is tough, so that's not saying much.

#57 Copy

zotsandcrambles

I've always wondered why Hoid stole the Moon Scepter from The Rose Empire. He is collecting investiture, so it must be pivotal.

Is it possible that the Moon Scepter is connected directly to Dominion and Devotion's investiture (maybe via the moon-rocks?). If you have the Moon Scepter, you can get around the pesky proximity problem of the magic system(s)?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll talk about this eventually, but it IS related to the proximity problem--just not in the way you're assuming.

#58 Copy

sonofstannis

Regarding the sibling relationships of Yesteel/Arsteel and VaraTreledees/Shashara, were either pairing Returned simultaneously? If so, how did they know they were siblings? And do any of the four know their original birth names? Finally, is it coincidence that there are two pairs of siblings in the Five Scholars or is there something more at work?

Brandon Sanderson

I do intend to delve into questions like in your first point when I return to that world, so I'll RAFO for now.

#59 Copy

sonofstannis

At the end of Words of Radiance, does Nale resurrect Szeth using the stormlight obtained from Lift earlier in the novel or does he have another method?

Brandon Sanderson

Nale uses the same power, but has a specific hack that lets him accomplish it, when he otherwise would not be able to.

#61 Copy

RenegadeShroom

You said earlier that Parshendi are primarily asexual, does that extend to all Listeners -- parshmen, and those descended from Listeners, like Horneaters and Herdazians -- or is it just the Parshendi?

Brandon Sanderson

Most Listener forms are asexual, but several forms are different, including slaveform. Horneaters and Herdazians are not, as a rule, though there are higher instances of asexuality among them.

uchoo786

I was actually wondering about how Parshmen would reproduce if they are only in slaveform? I thought one had to be in mateform in order to reproduce?

Also, could Horneaters and Herdazians change forms as well?

Brandon Sanderson

For the first, mateform is not the only form capable of producing--any more than warform is the only one capable of swinging a sword. The forms are specializations.

For the second, RAFO.

#62 Copy

Argent

Why is it that Allomancers and Feruchemists get either one or all of the powers? Radiants / Surgebinders being limited to two Surges makes sense, because it depends on the type of spren they bond with, but Allomancers?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not ready to answer this one yet, I'm afraid. So it's a RAFO.

Argent

Fair enough. Is this something we'll see explored in future (far future?) books, or will we need to bug you about it during signings / AMAs every few years?

Brandon Sanderson

It will explored in far future books, most likely.

#63 Copy

Kurkistan

Does Forging work by some kind of "procedural generation"? So Shai says "make me a stained glass window with a swirly pattern" and (assuming it's plausible) a window is "generated" without Shai having to go into exacting detail about its form? If so, what are the templates/guidelines that this generation is based off of?

Brandon Sanderson

It's somewhere between the two things you mention, and the guidelines are somewhat quantum in nature--meaning, what's the most likely pattern she'd have created if she'd actually gone about creating it.

#64 Copy

ceraius

Unless I have overlooked something, I have noticed that lifespren tend to show up only due to plant, or perhaps non-animal life. Is this a simple mislabeling by Roshar's inhabitants (vegetationspren?), or is there something significant to this discrepancy - and if so, is there any comment you can make on the subject?

Brandon Sanderson

Technically, you'd be right. Lifespren, as they are called, are more "things are growing here" spren. I mean, if you think about it, most emotion spren are "life spren" in that they're only around when sapient beings are drawing them.

#66 Copy

mooglefrooglian

My question is, what 'causes' an effect in the end for Allomancy? You've got Investiture being filtered through a metal, but does putting it through the metal turn the Investiture cause a Steelpush, or is it putting the Investiture through your soul that causes it? At what point do you turn Preservation's Investiture into a Steelpush, or is there no one 'point' where it happens?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, imagine you've got one of those play-dough machines you can stuff with dough, then press a handle on the top to make a little snake-like tube of play-dough squirt out.

Those have appendages you can affix to the front to change the shape of the tube that comes out. The metals are the appendage that determines the shape of the power released, but only certain souls can unlock those metals and use them.

#67 Copy

WeiryWriter

What are your current plans with regards to the Jasnah novella you wrote last summer?

Brandon Sanderson

Jasnah Novella is for my eyes only, unfortunately. It was needed so I could work out mechanics of what was happening, but I don't like releasing it for various reasons.

Footnote: The following scene is from the novella in question: https://www.tor.com/2014/08/06/stormlight-archive-scene-after-words-of-radiance/
Sources: Reddit
#68 Copy

Yourigath

Can you access the Dor while on other planets? Can you, I don't know, "tell the Dor" that you are on Roshar using an Aon that doesn't have the base on the map of Sel but in the world of Roshar and use Elantrian magic there? An Aon with an spiral pattern with the right lines, dots, etc... that tells the Dor "I'm here. This is Roshar. And I need your power to do X"

Brandon Sanderson

Great question, and one integral to the workings of cosmere Magic! No, you cannot currently access the Dor anywhere else. The Dor is a big part of why magic on Sel is distinctive.

Yourigath

If an Elantrian worldhops does it returns to a normal human pre-Shaod state? If this Elantrian goes back to Sel it recovers his Elantrian powers or he keeps his pre-Shaod form?

Brandon Sanderson

An Elantrian away from Sel would still be an Elantrian--but many of the visible signs would fade away, much like something florescent that stops glowing when moved away from a Black Light.

#69 Copy

marnsvi

The visions that have Dalinar and Renarin are very different. This is related to the type of their spren ? One related to Cultivation who allows to see the future and other related to Honor who allows to see the past ?

Brandon Sanderson

Afraid this is a RAFO.

#70 Copy

Argent

There seems to be a certain parallel between the naming of Elendel and Luthadel. If the former is named after Elend, is the latter named after somebody called Lutha? Luthad? Who is (was?) that?

Brandon Sanderson

Good Question! Yes, there is a person this city is named after. But I'm not ready to give specifics.

#71 Copy

Argent

When you were coming up with names for the Orders of the Knights Radiants, did you have any names that you liked but couldn't include?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of the names I liked but discard were tossed because they sound too much like other compound words I've used, or other terminology in the cosmere. Shardbearer is already troublesome enough; I want to avoid others like this. The toughest one to name was Renarin's order, because most of the ideas I came up with over the years ended up being repeats. Others, like Stoneward and Windrunner, were powerful enough in my mind that when I wrote later cosmere books, I intentionally stayed away from terms that would sound too similar.

#72 Copy

unknown

Hey Brandon! If you're still answering these...what would happen if a Surgebinder absorbed Voidlight? (Or whatever's powering the Everstorm)

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. (Sorry.)

Argent

Is Voidlight a good name for it? We've been playing with the words "void" and "odium", stitching them together into Voidlight, Voids (as opposed to Surges), Voidspren, Odiumspren, etc. Are any of those accurate?

Brandon Sanderson

It may not be accurate, but it is a valid conjecture. Afraid I won't say more right now.

#73 Copy

uchoo786

I was wondering, if one were to take an Honorblade to Nalthis (I think that's the Warbreaker planet?), would it function like a minor version of Nightblood?

And could one fuel one of these Shards with other forms of Investiture, not gas-based like Breath and Stormlight, e.g. burning metals?

Brandon Sanderson

Shardblades will not lose or change functionality when taken off of Roshar.

#74 Copy

focoma

Is there a quantum of Investiture? Just as how the photon (the quantum of light) is the force carrier particle of electromagnetism, is there a force carrier particle for Investiture, and do you have a name for it? (My follow up question would involve string theory, but I'll leave that one for later.)

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, there is a quantum of Investiture, though it acts very oddly in the cosmere.

True Investiture is a purely Spiritual Realm thing. In the cosmere, there are two alternate planes of existence, with their own specific laws. Some of them, as you've undoubtedly notice, behave similar to ideas in String Theory.

#76 Copy

mooglefrooglian

If metals shape the Investiture in Allomancy, causing a Steelpush or whatever, how is it that the mists can be used to perform the same feat? What is 'shaping' the inhaled mists into a Steelpush, if there's no metal "nozzle" to do so?

Brandon Sanderson

Consistently through the cosmere, once you have the power in hand and it has permeated you, will becomes your nozzle. This can be seen in Warbreaker, where the power has been distributed and inhabits the people. The nozzle idea is important for Magics that are drawing power externally, as it keeps the power from overwhelming and destroying you. (Which, basically, happened to Vin at the end of the Trilogy--she got consumed by the magic. She became something new, now, so it didn't KILL her. It destroyed what she was, transformed her into something else.)

So you see magics like on Sel and Scadrial where a specific nozzle is needed--as the power source is external, at least with Allomancy. Will and intent take a backseat, though still pop up on occasion. On Nalthis (and in a lesser way, Roshar) will and intent are more important, and what you are trying to do shapes the magic more directly.

A little direct manifestation in this is found in the subtle differences between Allomancy and Feruchemy. In Allomancy, when you enhance the senses, you just get a blast of power--and all senses are enhanced, whether you want them all or not. In Feruchemy, you can be more precise, and pick a specific sense to store. The power is internal here, and therefore more limited in how much you can draw--but you can also be more precise with its manipulation.

Note that Roshar Surgebinding is a special case, as the magical symbiosis there is stronger than it is on other worlds, as much of the magic involves bits of power who have become sapient.

uchoo786

How much crossover is there in use? Like if one "breathes" in the mists they can use it to power their allomancy. Could an Allomancer utilize stormlight to power his allomancy as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of the magics can be hacked together in one way or another, but some are easier to interchange than others.

#78 Copy

drughat

Is the reason why Allomancy creates allomantic pulses visible to Seekers because it is an external magic drawing upon Preservation's power? In other words, is the reason why Feruchemy is much, much harder to detect by burning bronze because it is an internal magic?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

#80 Copy

Tellingdwar

How did Hoid get to Scadrial? He didn't seem to know the location of Preservation's Shardpool until book 2, and I feel like him crawling out of the Pits of Hathsin would have created a bit of a stir... Unless he slipped out during the confusion caused by Kelsier...

Brandon Sanderson

In answer to your question, that IS a RAFO, but it's one I am planning to answer before too long.

#81 Copy

Argent

On Roshar, certain people seem to be able to always see spren (Rock comes to mind). Are there people who can never see them? Similarly, can people from other worlds see them?

Brandon Sanderson

Those with Listener blood are more likely to be able to interact with spren who aren't currently trying to manifest.

If they appear on the physical realm, then they're visible to all who can see.

#83 Copy

vorpal_username

In mistborn you can't access someone else's feruchemical stores. However, what if feruchemist A stores something, and then hemalurgy is used to take A's ability and put into person B. Can person B use A's stores?

Also, what happens when someone burns metal with a hemalurgic charge? Or stores/retrieves something in a spike using feruchemy?

Brandon Sanderson

All RAFOs here, I'm afraid.

#84 Copy

Shadowglass0

We've seen the drawing of a gigantic greatshell towering over a city in Way of Kings. Jasnah's book called it a voidbringer. How big was that compared to the Reshi islands greatshells? Do they look similar (proportions, etc.)? Are the Reshi islands greatshells really-really old? So old that someone pretentious enough to speak in all-caps could call them 'ancient ones'?

Brandon Sanderson

That picture is very, very inaccurate--by design. However, the Reshi Island greatshells were one of the models this illustrator in world used to create his fanciful drawing. They are, indeed, very long lived.

#85 Copy

Shadowglass0

If someone used Hemalurgy to give Lift from Words of Radiance the ability to use Bendalloy Feruchemy, could she convert the nutrition she gets out of Feruchemy into stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

Theoretically possible, I suppose.

#86 Copy

ceraius

This is involving gemstones and their properties on Roshar. Given that Sapphire and Ruby are actually the same crystal - corundum - differing only in their impurities - how would you explain the differences in their properties, with respect both to their essences and their function in fabrials? For example, I am assuming that two identical fabrials, one made with a sapphire and one made with a ruby, would not function the same. To take it a step further, any corundum that is not ruby red is simply called a sapphire of whichever color it happens to be (blue sapphire, green sapphire, colorless sapphire, etc.). How does this play into things; would a blue sapphire have different properties than a green one or a colorless one?

Brandon Sanderson

This was a big part of the magic for me in working on Roshar, as I wanted the gems to work differently from Scadrials metals in order to avoid repetition. The fact that many gems are basically the same thing was one of the launching points actually. Let me say that you are on the right track.

On Roshar, color of the gem is more important than actual crystalline structure.

#87 Copy

Argent

Are there non-Invested (or at least not heavily Invested) objects that cannot be cut by Shardblades, or that offer more resistance than what we see in The Stormlight Archive?

Brandon Sanderson

You're unlikely to find anything without high Investiture that can resist a Shardblade. By definition, to stop one, you're going to need something with a powerful spiritual component to it.

zotsandcrambles

Would [Ralkalest] (the unforgeable metal) be at all resistant to a Shardblade given its proven resistance to other forms of investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a RAFO, but is a question you should be asking.

#88 Copy

Argent

In The Hero of Ages, there is a scene where Spook wonders why Clubs spent all that money and traveled all that distance just to save him (Spook) from likely death at the hands - or foot, as it is - of his father. Why did Clubs do it?

Brandon Sanderson

Clubs had his reasons, not all of which were altruistic.

#89 Copy

zotsandcrambles

Shai mocks the Rose Empire's belief that a new sun rises every day for a set number of days. Is the reason Sel is difficult to travel to related to the religious notion that Sel has many MANY suns in their Shadesmaar equivalent?

Brandon Sanderson

Good guess! But no. (Sorry.)

#90 Copy

TheTetress

Some of the characters (I think it was Sarene) in Elantris mention that the constellations in their part of the world look like Aons. This seemed kind of odd to me. How significant is this, and does it play a role in how accessing the AonDor works (or do they just love astronomy)?

Brandon Sanderson

The characters in Elantris claiming that constellations look like Aons is mostly akin to us thinking that constellations look like animals--if you're looking for patterns, you'll find them.

#91 Copy

Kurkistan

If Investiture can neither be created nor destroyed, and Feruchemy is all fueled by the Feruchemist himself, then how do metalminds end up being invested without Feruchemists seeming to suffer any long-term loss of Investiture? If they're not "creating" the energy that's going into the metalminds, then where's it coming from?

Brandon Sanderson

The cosmere takes physics from our universe, and adds additional layers to it. Where we have energy and matter (simplified), the cosmere has additional building blocks that make reality. Investiture is one of these. It IS possible to change matter, to energy, to investiture, and back.

#92 Copy

Argent

I've been listening to the Graphic Audio The Hero of Ages and just got to the point where Vin meets with Slowswift. While the meeting itself revealed nothing knew, the events after it made me wonder about something. When Vin leaves Slowswift, she burns her bronze to check whether the informant is an Allomancer, and then heads off to meet with Hoid - where, of course, something makes her turn away. Was she still burning bronze at that time? Was Hoid maybe manipulating Investiture in a way unfamiliar to Vin, so her bronze alerted her of something, but because it was such a foreign experience to her, she didn't recognize it for what it was?

Brandon Sanderson

I have to RAFO this one. It's been hard not to spill the beans here, as it's such a small thing, but it has important ramifications. You will have an answer eventually, I promise.

#93 Copy

Argent

Is the Earth-like biome in Shinovar a product solely of environmental factors (e.g. shelter from the highstorms), or is there a magical component as well?

Brandon Sanderson

On Roshar, the environment and magic are so intertwined, environmental factors ARE magical components.

Argent

Interesting, hadn't really thought of it this way, but much of the environment and its events depend on magic - highstorms, plant and animal life, crem and water deposits, and those are just off the top of my head. Was it this way before the Shards showed up, or is this a change they caused (intentionally or not)?

Brandon Sanderson

This will eventually be revealed.

#94 Copy

zotsandcrambles

Is the silver on Threnody imbued with investiture? The presence of a silver knife in Stormlight leads me to believe Threnodoic Silver is actively different than average silver and Threnody's silver could be used off-world in a way - say - Sel's silver couldn't.

Brandon Sanderson

I'm RAFOing most questions about Threnody for multiple reasons. It's a RAFO you shouldn't read too much into, however.

#97 Copy

Chaos

You have once said, with regard to a question about Shards being the most powerful thing in the cosmere, that some would say that other "subtle forces" are being manifest. Are these subtle forces related to Adonalsium's opposition?

Brandon Sanderson

There is belief in a God who is not one of the Shards.

#98 Copy

mooglefrooglian

Why is Hoid’s color aura from his Breaths not noticed by anyone on Roshar? Are the characters just not used to noticing that sort of thing, or does he not have one?

Brandon Sanderson

There are a mixture of reasons. Not the least is Hoid's control over investiture.

uchoo786

Would someone with breath be able to notice his aura on Roshar? E.g. Vasher?

Brandon Sanderson

Various methods of detecting investiture would still work, depending on how good a job Hoid is doing of suppressing his.

#103 Copy

bridge4shash

Were the Plains originally shattered by a Dawnsinger? Are Dawnshard magical musical instruments? Are the Parshendi of Odium? Are the gods that the Parshendi abandoned Odium? Are the people above in Sixth of the Dusk Scadrians?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a whole pile of RAFOs. But I can answer one; the gods that the Parshendi abandoned are of Odium.

#104 Copy

Enfeathered

Assuming that the events of the first Mistborn book took place on Nalthis instead, and especially considering the circumstances of Kelsier's passing and the events afterwards, would he have Returned?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a very interesting question. Endowment can be somewhat...erratic. I don't know, honestly. I'd have to think about it.

#105 Copy

Thadamin

Do Shards need to be based on the same planet to create the interactions that made Feruchemy possible?

If the Parshendi are not originally from Odium and are referred to as the Ancient Ones by spren, then would that make the original Parshendi, bonded to the Splinters that existed before Honor and Cultivation arrived, the Dawnsingers?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#106 Copy

WeiryWriter

To what extent are Cognitive shadows the same as the individuals they are shadows of? Do you count them as the same person or are they just a "copy" so to speak? Or is this a discussion for philosophers (which you've said is the case with the cosmere's "far afterlife")?

Brandon Sanderson

I've considered answering this a few times, and have decided I just have to RAFO it. This is a discussion for philosophers, as you've said. It may become a plot point in future books.

#107 Copy

uchoo786

Has Vasher met Hoid, and are they BFFs?

Brandon Sanderson

Not BFFs by a long shot.

KingSloth

Has Hoid seriously offended someone on EVERY planet he's been to? Kelsier, Shai, the Alethi nobility, who knows how many shards from Yolen, AND Vasher are all out for his blood..? :o

Brandon Sanderson

That's only a small fraction of the total list.

#109 Copy

psychomanexe

I think that in the Spiritual realm a person's spiritweb sort of manifests as a collection of "nodes" which are the Forms of their body/mind/subconscious, and these nodes are connected by "lines" which are interactions between the pure Forms. These lines are what actually make up the person's character, how the body is "supposed" to be (barring accidents/disease, basically what magical healing attempts to restore the body to), as well as what interactions with investiture the person can use (what magic systems they have access to)

Am I completely off base here or should I keep thinking about this?

Brandon Sanderson

This is a good line to be thinking along.

#112 Copy

minefieldpotato

So, it's mentioned throughout the Mistborn books that Allomancers can 'see' their metal reserves to determine how much they have left. What allows them to do this? I really have no theories, except the boring one: 'It's an innate property of Allomancy and its interaction with Preservation.'

Brandon Sanderson

It's just an innate part of the magic. Not really because of Preservation. A Surgebinder will know when their stormlight is running out. It's more similar to how you might know your strength is running out when you're holding something heavy, though obviously more delineated.

#113 Copy

Argent

How old would you say somebody has to be in order to attract a spren (with bonding intentions)? I can't imagine infants performing anything remarkable enough, but what about, say, 5-6 year olds? I could easily imagine them being selfless and protecting in their own little way - does this mean we can have children who can barely speak well Lashing their breakfast to the ceiling?

Brandon Sanderson

Someone like Lift is near the lower threshold, though it does depend on the spren in question.

#114 Copy

yafeshan

Scadrial will get to space age sometime in future, what about other worlds. Will we see space tech based on other magic systems, shiny space battles etc.? Did we see space age tech of a world in another main (roshar, sel, scadrial) world(conveniently excluding Sixth of Dusk world)?

Brandon Sanderson

The cosmere is heading this way eventually.

#120 Copy

KingSloth

Does a Spinner Ferring have to be actively doing something to 'lose' fortune, while storing? Slightly worried that they'd end up giving themselves cancer or something if they were sat storing fortune, without doing something like playing cards to 'drain' the luck away from..

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#121 Copy

Argent

Are the glyphs on The Way of Kings front sheet the Alethi glyphs for the Radiant orders and the Surges? If so, can you tell us the name (i.e. the pronunciation) of the Windrunners glyph? Or, if you don't have this one, maybe another one?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. I'll see if we can get all of the pronunciations into the appendix of the third book.

#123 Copy

vandar10

Could someone with enough Breaths use part of them to heal himself without the help of a Returned?? Could the God King have healed himself without Lightsong with enough knowledge?

Brandon Sanderson

The nature of the Warbreaker magic is tied to the shard of Endowment, which is about giving. There are, therefore, things you cannot do for yourself.

RobotAztec

For healing can Big Breaths heal only one person at a time or can you heal a bunch of people at once?(as long as they are not yourself)?

Brandon Sanderson

Legends say you can heal many.

#124 Copy

vandar10

Will we see in Nightblood why the returned base breath cannot be given away in the same way the other breath are given?? I'm referring to the fact that when a returned gives his breath the person who receive it don't reach any heightening but use it to heal instead of reaching the fifth heightening and healing anyway.

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#126 Copy

Sharadee

I am going to shamelessly take advantage of the fact that you are still answering questions here (and wow ! thanks for that). It's about the sprens. Isn't it inconvenient in some social situations if sprens can give away people's emotions? For example, if someone is working hard to hide their anger and angersprens appear... Can people have any kind of control over them appearing ?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, it can be inconvenient. And you'll see more about this in future books.

#127 Copy

wackyHair

What's the population of the shardworld's we've seen so far (even in very general terms, like one's much bigger than the others or something)?

Brandon Sanderson

Scadrial is certainly the least populated of the major shard worlds. Then Nalthis, I'd guess, followed by Roshar, and finally Sel--which likely has the largest population. I would have to look closely to see which is bigger between those last two.

Phantine

Does a population of about 100 million during The Final Empire (with 1-2 million in Luthadel), and around 15 million during Alloy of Law (with about 5 million in Elendel) seem right?

Brandon Sanderson

Have to RAFO this for now, for reasons I can't explain without giving spoilers.

Phantine

How about as far as Elend/Wax knows, at the beginning of their respective series?

Brandon Sanderson

Then those numbers, if they're off, are at least close.

faragorn

Interesting that Sel has such a large population, given that the actual numbers of soldiers shown seem to be quite small.

Brandon Sanderson

Let's just say that Opelon has an inflated opinion of its own size in relation to the rest of the world.

Footnote: The RAFO about the Scadrian population may be due to the existence of the Southerners, which had not been revealed as of this time.
#128 Copy

focoma

Are the Essences strictly just a Roshar thing, or are they also connected to the manifestations of Investiture on other Shardworlds? For example, is the Essence of Foil in any way connected to the Metallic Arts of Scadrial?

Brandon Sanderson

The idea that things exist on three realms is not unique to Roshar.

That those things are self-aware is a Rosharan thing, though other places in the cosmere have similar beliefs.

#130 Copy

Jericho5589

In regards to the time period each series takes place in. What time period is it during Mistborn whilst the other series are going on?(More specifically. Is it Wex during Stormlight? Or still Vin?)

Brandon Sanderson

Stormlight is closer to Wax than Vin, but takes place between the two.

#133 Copy

gossypiboma

When communicating over spanreed, do you have to compensate for the curvature of the planet? For example, would communicating with someone on the other side of the planet result in upside down writing?

Brandon Sanderson

Spanreeds auto-compensate when you activate them. Meaning, once you tap them on, they will follow the same pattern in relation to the writing board as the other one.

#135 Copy

Nazrax

Can Forgery rewrite someone's gender (after all, it's just swapping out an X for a Y ...)?

Brandon Sanderson

Forgery could do this, but it is a tad bigger a change than you imply. Think of it this way: It's much easier for the magic to pretend that a table was cleaned up and polished than it is for the magic to pretend the wood used to make the table instead was used to make a chair.

#136 Copy

Nazrax

Are seasons on Roshar truly unpredictable, or have the storm wardens just not figured out how to predict them yet?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, if you consider the planet to be a closed system, then nothing about the natural processes are TRULY unpredictable.

#137 Copy

GenericMastermindAnt

Do both 'The Path' and Kelsier's religion have actual gods? I remember Sazed talking about Kelsier and Vin in whatever afterlife exists, but are Kel and Vin also proper gods or just dead hero mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

This is discussed in the next books.

Basically, you can look at it like Hinduism and Buddhism. Hinduism has gods, and many Buddhists don't deny those gods exist, but they follow a different path. Obviously, the doctrines and practices are not the same as those two religions, but the relationship is somewhat similar.

It does get complicated in that Harmony doesn't particularly want to be worshiped, but people want to worship him anyway, and find ways to sidestep into religion. Survivorists worship the Survivor, but don't QUITE treat him like God.

#138 Copy

mooglefrooglian

You've previously mentioned that someone bonded to a Seon would get some benefits if they went to Roshar , basically that it would be treated sort of like a Nahel bond. This implies to me that something about Roshar likes to give powers from bonds. (Hi there, Honor...)

Should this be taken to mean that spren-bond based Surgebinding won't work off-world, as it's a benefit Roshar gives from having a bond? Or would it be more specific, and mean that some of the passive benefits Radiants get (visions, Windrunner squire strengths) would be lost, but Surgebinding retained?

Mainly I'm interested in whether or not we can reach maximum Jasnah levels and have the possibility of her appearing in non-SA books. I don't think she'd be much into worldhopping if she couldn't get back with the Travel Surge...

Brandon Sanderson

Surgebinding will work off-world.

#141 Copy

Argent

When Sazed picked up the Shards of Preservation and Ruin, did he actively choose to be known as Harmony (instead of, for example, Balance, or Equilibrium, or Stability), or is there some Cosmeric law that says Preservation + Ruin = Harmony?

Brandon Sanderson

He chose the name, but in part because it FELT right to him.

Argent

Is this similar to how a Shard's "personality" overwrites the Shardholder's over time?

Brandon Sanderson

Similar, yes.

#143 Copy

zotsandcrambles

Mr.T has his emotional intelligence inversely attached to his logical intelligence. in the physical realm, this means that on his emotional days, he is functionally a blithering idiot. The physical realm is more logic oriented, so that makes sense.

However, would this inverted intelligence express itself DIFFERENTLY perhaps in the cognitive or spiritual realm? In the world of forms, emotion, and identity, could weepy/drooly Mr.T express some unique insight inside of Shadesmaar?

Brandon Sanderson

This is a theory with merit.

#145 Copy

mooglefrooglian

I was re-reading the prologues of WoK and WoR... and it seems like there's something wonky going on with the timelines.

Szeth claims Gavilar left the feast hours before he started doing his work.

Jasnah leaves the feast and finds Gavilar and Tearim. Gavilar mentions he's going to head back into the feast. Jasnah then has an adventure. She sees Ivory(?), speaks with Liss and two strange men, and then, what seems like a very short time later in her PoV hears the results of Szeth starting his job.

There's no way it took her hours to walk down two flights of stairs, briefly "drown", and have two short conversations!

Am I completely off base, or is there something going on here with Jasnah's perception of time?

Brandon Sanderson

It's less that, and more me (as the author) glossing over time passing with quick phrases like "after walking a short time" and the like.

#146 Copy

link6112

Where would you place Hoid on this scale: http://i.imgur.com/z9fwRP2.jpg

If you have time, where would you place the other characters of your books on this?

Brandon Sanderson

Though I do like the D&D system conceptually--I think it leads to interesting discussions--one of the problems is that by putting a character into it, I would be making a value judgement upon their actions. Here's what I can say: If you asked Hoid himself, he'd probably say he was Neutral Good. The Sixteenth shard would argue that he's Chaotic Neutral. Frost would rationally argue him to be Chaotic Good, but there are those who even claim his motives far too selfish to be anywhere near "good," and probably deem him something akin to Neutral Evil.

WeiryWriter

Sixteenth Shard? Is this just a typo or a really stealthy dispensation of information?

Brandon Sanderson

Sorry. Just a typo.

Footnote: The scale linked is the Dungeons and Dragons alignment chart.
Sources: Reddit
#148 Copy

vorpal_username

I've been rereading alloy of law and I was wondering about a few things related to speed bubbles.

  1. Speed bubbles can't move once they're put up, but what happens if you put one up while you're in a moving train or something? Does it move with the train? What if the train stops/turns while the bubble is up? (This might have happened and I'm forgetting in which case just ignore me...)

  2. Can an allomancer leave their bubble while it is still up (meaning it stays up with them outside of it)?

  3. What happens to things and or people partially inside of the bubble? Like, if I swing a pole through the time bubble, do I feel extra resistance or acceleration on it? If I stick my hand through it does it get all messed up like in that episode of TNG(S6E25)?

  4. Is the magnitude effect that causes bullets to go off course when entering a speed bubble proportional to the slowing/speeding of time in the bubble? For example, could I put up a very slight speed bubble (gaining me an extra second every few minutes) and get the same deflection as the ones used by Wane in the books?

  5. If you change your weight with feruchemy, is momentum conserved? For example, if I am moving while I decrease my weight, do I start going faster?

Brandon Sanderson

You'd be surprised by how many of these questions I answer in the next two Mistborn books. I think I might have addressed every one except number four. (In that case, the deflection is indeed proportional.) This is a RAFO, but more a "I took all this time to explain it in the text, so let's let you read it there." :)

#149 Copy

Thadamin

How important are Bonds like the Nahel Bond and a Seon bond in the Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

I'd say very important.

Thadamin

Is this kind of bond relatively common or is what seons, spren, and night blood do little more rare among splinters. I'm specifically talking about the act of making bonds not a giving of magic powers really, that appearing to be function of Roshar. Also regarding your post about storm light 3 I am personally ok with 2000 pages if need be so make the chapters as long as you want.:)

Brandon Sanderson

The bonding is basically the same mechanic, regardless of the world, just with different flavoring. Roshar isn't the only place where the bond gives powers; it's a matter of what's stuffed into the soul, and how.

#151 Copy

Argent

Some of the most engaging and fun discussions we've had over at the 17th Shard were the decoding, or decrypting, or deciphering of those puzzles you sometimes hide in The Stormlight Archive epigraphs - the Alethi women script, the Thaylen writing, the excerpts from the Diagram, etc.

  1. Do you always try to make sure those puzzles are solvable, presumably so we don't grow insane?
  2. Will you keep adding things like that, assuming time allows?

Brandon Sanderson

  1. Not all the puzzels are solvable with the information you have, but they will all eventually be solvable as the books progress.
  2. Yes, one of my main goals with the Stormlight books is to make them multi-genre. Visuals, different types of storytelling, flashbacks, ephemera. Puzzles (so long as they're in world, and relevant to the plot) are part of this for me.

 

#153 Copy

Phantine

So you said how stuff is stuffed into the soul changes what a bond can give. Is that like the difference between a Spren bonding a Person and and maybe Hemalurgy forcing a bond or is it more like the difference with how Parshendi form bonds with Spren?

I guess a better way to say that is would the bond be different if a human created the bond with a Spren not a Spren Bonding with a human?

Brandon Sanderson

These things are all important parts of the system, and I'm curious to see where fans go in exploring the possibilities and theories related to it.

...

RAFO

#154 Copy

drabgod

In Words of Radiance we find that Pattern is very literal-minded (at least until Shallan corrupted him), and mathematically-inclined. Even his real name is just a mathematical construct. And his head is a fractal. When I think of Pattern, I think "logic" and "truth", not "art" and "lies".

If all Cryptics are like this, then I wonder why they (and not artistic spren like Wyndle) are the ones attracted to the artistic Lightweavers. Is this just a matter of "opposites attract"? Are spren naturally drawn to people with personal qualities they themselves do not have? I am reminded of the Divine Attributes, and it seems like Shallan has the "Creative" side while Pattern has the "Honest" side. Is that a coincidence?

Brandon Sanderson

These things are not coincidences.

I have some very interesting rationals why certain spren are involved with certain orders. I never wanted it to be so straightforward as, "Oh, you control pressure? Here's a spren dedicated to that power." I feel there is more intricacy, and honesty, to a system that isn't so "on the nose" as we say in writing.

#159 Copy

stormlightfan70

We know it has been stated that adonalsium could have been shattered into 16 different intents. We also know there is a force out there opposing adanalsium. Did it shatter into those 16 intents because it believed that was the best way to defend against this said force?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#164 Copy

keleks_breath

1) In their place of torture, are the Heralds able to communicate with each other or with other people/spren outside of that place? E.g. how is Ishar able to maintain his threat of severing the Nahel bond if he is being tortured for hundreds of years? 2)When the Heralds return to Roshar, do they appear like Schwarzenegger in Terminator (nude) or do they appear with the clothing they wore when they signed up for the Oathpact? 3)Are the Honorblades involved in the torture of the Heralds? Again, thank you for taking the time to interact with us fans and readers.

Brandon Sanderson

I have to RAFO questions along the lines of what you're asking. These are things that are relevant to books 6-10, which probably won't even be written for a decade. Talking about them too much now would be counter-productive, I feel. Sorry. :(

#165 Copy

TurtletheFlsh

So we know both Cultivation and Honor have Shardpools on Roshar and we also know that Odium is around somewhere on Roshar, does this mean he also has a Shardpool somewhere on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

Shardpools, as they are called, are a natural effect of a Shard spending a lot of time on a world.

#167 Copy

TurtletheFlsh

What would happen if you created a lifeless with more breath then is necessary? Would they be more or completely human or just a lifeless that's holding more breath?

Brandon Sanderson

Lifeless with more breath are an interesting situation. It's quite possible for the BREATH to start taking on a personality, much like a cognitive shadow, related to the individual. Whether or not it is actually them, though, is a big question. Note, this doesn't always happen. Often, dumping a lot of breath in them is like sticking it in an inanimate object with no command.

#169 Copy

drabgod

When a Returned who has lots of extra Breath gives them away without suppressing his Divine Breath, does the Divine Breath stick to the regular Breath as they are transferred to the receiver? Will the receiver find himself suddenly possessing a Divine Breath? Or does it still vanish after healing the receiver?

Brandon Sanderson

Divine Breaths don't work quite like others. However, losing one is kind of a "Last resort." You'll give away all the others first, and then, if you push you can give it away as well. It never sticks around and makes the person you choose returned.

drabgod

Could you use it to heal Preservation's mind? (potentially with the Well)

Brandon Sanderson

Depends on what you mean by "Preservation's Mind." Do you mean Leras? During the events of Well/HoA he's WELL beyond the help of such a small bit of investiture, as available in a single Divine Breath. With the help of the Well itself? That's more realistic, but the real reason that he was suffering from such degradation was due to persistent attacks by Ruin.

#170 Copy

VindicationKnight

Do you mind telling us what the average number of Knights for a Knight Radiant Order were (barring Bondmiths) and possibly how close the different orders worked together?

Brandon Sanderson

It varied very widely, and depended on many factors. At their highest, some orders had members in the low thousands.

#171 Copy

VindicationKnight

I know Invested objects and people are harder to effect with magic, but does that also apply to indirect magic, like using Aon Daa to strike someone in Shardplate?

Brandon Sanderson

It all depends on how the magics are trying to interact. In the case you mention, there would be little interference.

#172 Copy

VindicationKnight

If you were to use Forgery for brainwashing, say turning a criminal into a law abiding citizen (not practical but hey it is a what if) would they not remember who they had been? Or would they just not care?

Brandon Sanderson

Depends on the extent of the Forgery. If you reforge someone so their body and soul think they got amnesia, then had a certain set of experiences (very hard to do) then no, they wouldn't remember. Most often, it doesn't work this way, and you simply add memories you don't really have.

#173 Copy

drabgod

Without necessarily naming the particular Shardworld, could you describe what the Cognitive Realm looks like in a Shardworld other than Roshar? Again, you don't have to say which one in particular, and it could even be a Shardworld we haven't seen before.

Brandon Sanderson

Hmm... There is a place where it's an empty wasteland of near-nothingness.

#174 Copy

shoeties

Since Stormlight and Breath are both investiture, would it be possible to use Nightblood with the former rather than the latter? Would it be possible to store Stormlight in metal using Feruchemy?

Brandon Sanderson

Mixing the magics is possible, but some are easier and more natural than other. Feeding Stormlight to Nightblood is easy. Storing stormlight in metal is tough.

#177 Copy

Faera

How far does a forger need to understand a particular skill in order to replicate that skill in their forgery? For example:

  • To forge a painting, it's implied that Shai had to learn painting skills from a master. But it's obviously unfeasible that she has to get as good as the master to forge from it.

  • To forge her 'warrior' personality, Shai had to go train with the actual warriors, at least for a while. But obviously she wouldn't need to get as good as when she's imprinting herself, otherwise she wouldn't even need that imprinting.

It's said that the effectiveness of forgery lies in the feasibility of changing its history. Does that mean that all she has to do is learn enough to make it feasible for her to extended that training over a much longer period?

As for the painting, does it mean that she didn't really need to train in painting skills, she just needed to make it feasible that the particular piece of canvas or whatever would have been painted on by the artist instead of the original canvas? Or does she need some skills to produce something a bit closer to the original so that the change is more feasible?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you are thinking along the right lines. The more feasible it is for something to work, the easier it is to Forge that thing. This is similar to what happens with the Breaths in Warbreaker. The closer you can make something to seeming alive, the less Breath it takes.

#181 Copy

Oudeis16

Bronze has always been my favorite allomantic metal. Could a Seeker learn to sense familiar pulses? Could Marsh, for example, have felt the bronzepulses of pewter, and been able to tell the difference between some Thug he'd never met and his friend Ham? Or is pewter is pewter is pewter?

Brandon Sanderson

If he recognized something about the burning, it would have to be in the personal way someone was burning the metal. However, Bronze is capable of sensing other types of investiture. Expand from that as you wish.

#184 Copy

Cheese_Ninja

Kaladin: “Have you ever had to choose between two equally distasteful choices?” Vasher: “Every day I choose to keep breathing.”

Does that mean he needs to consume Stormlight on a daily basis rather than weekly?

Brandon Sanderson

This is more mundane than that. Vasher is indicating that not letting himself die is a tough choice for him.

#186 Copy

theleadingman

Objects used for awakening turn gray. A limb cut with a shardblade turns gray. You mentioned earlier in this thread that the color of gemstones on Roshar is important. Is there a connection between these?

Brandon Sanderson

Between those two things? Yes.

#187 Copy

defiantburrito

The Hero of Ages prophecy: For a while it seemed to me that the prophecy was entirely bogus (invented by Ruin as a lure), but it ended up coming true! So my question is, where did the prophecy actually come from? Was it Atium in some form, or something else entirely?

Brandon Sanderson

The religions of Scadrial had a lot of ups and downs. First, you have Ruin and Preservation working together as two gods. Then you have the schism between them, and Preservation betraying Ruin, with Preservation adapting the religion to his own needs and trying to hide in it practices that will keep Ruin imprisoned as long as possible, and then give a chance to defeat him when he escapes. (As Preservation assumes he'll be dead by then.) Finally, you have Ruin corrupting the religions with his influence, trying to figure out what he can twist to his own needs--while missing the hidden layers that Preservation left.

Phantine

Were there a lot of Hero of Ages who ascended beyond the ones we directly saw in the books?

Brandon Sanderson

I wouldn't say so.

#188 Copy

defiantburrito

Taravangian: On his "Special Day" where he created the Diagram, was he actually as smart as he thinks he was, or was something else going on? It seems suspicious that any level of raw intelligence would let him deduce all of that...

Brandon Sanderson

That sure IS suspicious, eh? Let's just say that HE believes it was rational deduction. But other theories are valid.

#189 Copy

mooglefrooglian

1) How simple is it to bond an Honorblade? Is it just a matter of willing it? Shardblades need gemstones, but it seems like Honorblades might not even need those.

2) Do you need to be bonded to an Honorblade to Surgebind? Or is just holding it in your hand sufficient?

3) Do you need to be bonded to an Honorblade for it to change your eye color? Or would holding it in your hand be sufficient to do the eye color trick?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#190 Copy

yurisses

So I was wondering how you'd spin Szeth's new sword into The Stormlight Archive's narrative. I know it's very similar to the Shardblades, but its differences are going to be worthy of explanation, if the new sword is going to appear as frequently as a planned Szeth-centric book suggests.

So, if I am not missing anything, either the differences 1) will be explained vaguely, or 2) will be integrated into the greater lore (Cosmere/Zahel), or 3) will be somehow integrated into The Stormlight Archive's own magic system.

And since the sword's emitted Investiture is black and compared to stormlight by Szeth, this is my question: is the blade's "corrupted stormlight" related to anything else we've seen so far in TSA? (e.g. Gavilar's sphere...)

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. :)

#191 Copy

Logic_Nuke

Could decapitation kill a Gold Compounder? With a guillotine, for example?

Brandon Sanderson

Most forms of extreme cosmere healing don't care much what is done to the physical body, as the person's spiritual template is in power at the time.

#193 Copy

Deathbyfire222

Hi Brandon! My friend and I are putting together a Dungeons and Dragons campaign based in Roshar, and were toying with the idea of players being Shardbearers. Unfortunately, only a few of the stances (i.e. Windstance, Smokestance) are mentioned in the books.

Have you given thought to what the rest of the stances are, and the qualities they emulate in combat? What are they?

Brandon Sanderson

Going into the Stances in depth is going to be tough for me as I am answering on mobile. But yes, I have thought about them all. They should all appear in the books eventually.

#195 Copy

youshallnotpass

Will there be a metal called harmonium in the mistborn world?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. But good question.

WeiryWriter

Just an fyi but you have confirmed the existence of harmonium before. (And this is probably a RAFO, but is there a reason you didn't follow the convention of the other "god metals" and call it something like sazedium? "Harmonium" just seems out of place.)

Brandon Sanderson

Sazed didn't like the sound of Sazedium.

#196 Copy

awakenedtassel

My wife really wants to know whether Vasher has had children, or wants to have children. It would mean a lot to her to find out from you!

Brandon Sanderson

Vasher doesn't have kids, but he really does want them. Or, at least, he has wanted them at most points in his life.

#197 Copy

theblackthorne

I find the Shin fascinating. Given their reputation for docility and Szeth's internal monologues, am I right in thinking that the Shin do not feel The Thrill?

If so, is this due to the protection of Cultivation or sheer distance from Nergaoul? And finally, is an awareness or fear of the Thrill the reason for the Shin societal disdain for soldiers or is it primarily to discourage use of the honour blades?

Brandon Sanderson

Distance is the big factor here, though there are cultural reasons for things as well. In addition, being very close to something tied to Honor reduces the effects of things like the Thrill. As for the Shin culture, you'll find a great deal in the next three books, so I'd rather not say much now.

#198 Copy

darklordreddit

With puts and pieces of the respective pieces of harmony still laying about is Harmony actually skewed in one way or another if slightly and does Sazed's personality circumvent this in any way ?

Brandon Sanderson

Personality can always circumvent the powers--it just gets harder and harder to hold out as centuries pass.

#200 Copy

yurisses

You once said that Investiture follows its own version of the laws of thermodynamics. The first one is that Investiture is neither created nor destroyed.

Is the second law of Investodynamics that the amount of corrupted Investiture in the Cosmere cannot decrease?

Brandon Sanderson

Basically, the idea is that there is a third item in the equations--matter, energy, and investiture. That's the basis of how they work.

Entropy is not corrupted Investiture. The second law stands as is. However, there is a fourth law that relates to Adonalsium, which I'm not going to talk about at the moment.

#201 Copy

i_do_stuff

If Wax bonded with an Honorspren and got to the Second Oath, would he be able to use his Twinborn powers in conjunction with Windrunner powers? Or would they draw from the same "pool of Investiture"?

Brandon Sanderson

He could use them, but I do warn that I don't want to dive far into questions about mixing the magics. That sort of thing is years off in the Cosmere.

#202 Copy

i_do_stuff

Hoid likes to be in interesting places. What was so interesting about the Yomen/Joshin wedding that he had to be there?

Brandon Sanderson

In that case, he went to congratulate friends. Not everything is about large-scale cosmere problems.

WeiryWriter

Is there anything you are willing to say about how he befriended them?

Brandon Sanderson

Afraid not.

Footnote: The characters are a shout-out to two of the 17th Shard admins, Josh and Mi'chelle, who had just been married in real life.
Sources: Reddit
#203 Copy

sebarial

Would a Feruchemist actively storing Identity be more susceptible to Forgery? Would more outlandish changes be able to take effect? Thanks for your time, and have a wonderful day.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, if you store Identity, it makes you susceptible to ALL KINDS of things in the Cosmere. Forgery would be on the short list.

bubblebooy

Does the difficulty of affecting metals in a body with Allomancy have to do with Identity?

Brandon Sanderson

No, more to do with the fact that most people are innately Invested in the Cosmere--and certain planets have extra Investiture. Something Invested is more difficult to transform/move/etc with another form of Investiture.

bubblebooy

That is what I had originally thought before you capitalized "ALL KINDS." Is Soulcasting people like Jasnah Kholin did doubly hard since people a have a strong sense of Identity and have innate Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

We're getting a bit far on this course, so it's time to pull out the RAFOs. I don't want to overplay my hand and leave the books without anything to talk about. :)

Phantine

Does that 'inside a body' thing work on most magics?

For instance, if Han stuck Luke into a Mistborn Tauntaun (a distant and unlucky relative of the mistborn llama), would Luke be protected from both the cold and emotional allomancy?

Brandon Sanderson

He'd have to get him inside a living one.

It does work on most magics, though the interactions can be odd unless you know a lot about the workings. Emotional Allomancy, for example, works by lapping against the outsides of someone's cognitive self, influencing you the way music might stir your soul. So being inside a living body wouldn't necessarily stop it--you'd just have more interference. Kind of like how you can still hear music outside if it's loud enough.

Actual mind control in the cosmere requires you to get INSIDE the soul, which you've seen happen frequently enough. There has to be a gap or an opening.

Or, conversely, you just have to be so powerful that you can push through the interference.

#204 Copy

Phantine

Is there more to metallurgy in mistborn than just trying to aim for the 'perfect' ratio for alloys? Like, can you make pewter that gives more strength but less endurance, or brass that soothes anger better, but doesn't work as well for other emotions?

Brandon Sanderson

No, unfortunately that isn't the way Allomancy works.

#205 Copy

Mister_Frodo

If Shallan's mother was a Ghostblood and Shallan is recognized by the ghostbloods in WoR is it safe to assume that they are aware of her role in her mothers death?

Brandon Sanderson

Not 100% safe to assume, but it wouldn't be an outlandish conclusion either.

#209 Copy

djdav

Do you plan on having a true, definite ending to the Cosmere, such that no more books will be written that exist in it?

Brandon Sanderson

I DO have a true, definite ending. However, I can't say "no more books could exist" as there are always more stories to be told. But when I reach this ending in the years to come, I might very well decide enough has been done on this story. We shall see.

#210 Copy

dougpgc

Can you get to the Cognitive Realm using Allomancy? From what I've been reading recently, Shardpools sound like a common way to go.. but Rosharan magic can be used to get to Shadesmar without a shardpool around, for instance. Can Allomancy be used to get there too?

Brandon Sanderson

The parts of Allomancy you know do not allow entering into Shadesmar.

#212 Copy

Boogalyhu34

I asked you at minicon if Roshar had always been the only large landmass on the planet and I think you said that there was once no large land mass on Roshar. Did I hear you correctly? I've been kicking my self for months for not recording that small q and a.

Brandon Sanderson

You heard me right.

FatalTragedy

Does this mean Roshar was once an archipelago?

Brandon Sanderson

Not necessarily.

#215 Copy

VindicationKnight

Can you use Forgery to enhance or diminish a persons intelligence? If so could you use it to uplift a non-sentient animal to human levels of intelligence?

Brandon Sanderson

Uplifting requires extreme amounts of investiture, and needs to be affixed permanently to the soul. This is beyond what a normal person, even a Forger, usually has access to.

VindicationKnight

And if full uplifting is practically impossible then are more minor intelligence alterations (like Taravangian) feasible?

Brandon Sanderson

Uplifting isn't quite as impossible as I might have implied. It would be easier, say, than making Nightblood. But, of course, making Nightblood was VERY hard.

#216 Copy

VindicationKnight

If a person in the Cosmere built a fully sentient and sapient robot would that robot have a soul? How would it interact with Shardblades?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. It would interact with Shardblades the same way that Spren do.

VindicationKnight

How does a Shardblade interact with a Spren?

Brandon Sanderson

Shardblades cut on all three realms. I'm not going to say too much here, though I might note that it's possible a robot like you say would act more like nightblood than anything else--depends on what is involved in the creation, and how you determine the difference between a robot and a golem for these purposes.

#219 Copy

Oudeis16

TenSoon comments that when the unbirthed are given Blessings, they lose the mimickry instinct that mistwraiths have and have to be taught anew. If their only native senses are touch and taste, how exactly do you teach a blob of muscles how to form things like eyes and ears?

Brandon Sanderson

Basically, you feed it some partially digested eyes, then some more eyes, then eventually it starts making eyes on its own. It takes a while; Kandra 'children' grow more slowly than human ones.

Oudeis16

I don't know if you've considered how mistwraiths would be taxonomically classified; have you decided whether or not mistwraiths would be considered 'mammals'?

Brandon Sanderson

They are not mammals. Since they were deliberately created, I'd place them in their own branch.

#221 Copy

zotsandcrambles

You've mentioned that a person's personality eventually erodes and is replaced by the will of the shard they hold. Besides Harmony, are there any Shards holders that are still actively and significantly defying the intent of their shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Kellsier

Is Harmony ([Sazed], for instance) actively trying to fight against it's shard intent?

Brandon Sanderson

Its intent(s) match Sazed very well, actually, and he has the philosophy that these natural powers are best minded and not dominated. So while he pushes back against the inaction holding both of them has caused, he appreciates and understands the need for both. I'd say he has less "push back" than some others.

#222 Copy

unknown

One Wayne and Wax question left in me that I can't get out of my head. What exactly made you decide upon their combination of abilities? Did you focus on the abilities and what they can do, or did you want to give those two characters specific sets of weaknesses and then went from there?

Brandon Sanderson

I built them like I built the original Mistborn thieving crew, actually. I decided their roles, then picked powers to compliment them. This is opposite of the Stormlight archive, where I have the orders, and I fit people to them.

#223 Copy

Phantine

... are there also spren attracted to robots?

man, that would be terrible. Being tied to a concept that nobody's thought up yet, so having a huge identity crisis.

Brandon Sanderson

The way spren are created makes this not an issue. :)

#224 Copy

Thadamin

Will we be finding out what dalinars Wife's name was or has her name been similarly wiped from the flashbacks like Dalinar's mind?

Brandon Sanderson

I feel I should RAFO questions about the flashbacks, except to say that I wouldn't jump into them without understanding what readers want to see--and either fulfilling that, or subverting it in the name of the story. (The latter happening very rarely.)

#225 Copy

Thadamin

Are Spren able to manifest surges like the humans they are bonded to? Syl is able to Stick things together are other types able to do other things or is the sticking things together something else?

Brandon Sanderson

The Spren are living Surges, in a way. There are some "higher" spren which have more ability than others to touch certain surges. Honor, for example, is not a force of nature--but a force of thought. What is attributed to it relates more to the abstract.

And that didn't really answer you, did it? Well, hopefully it's enough.

Phantine

Is them being living surges the same as how seons are living aons?

Brandon Sanderson

Similar.

#226 Copy

trevorade

Did the publicly known nobility Mistborn have some sort of training/play ground? Like a big space they could properly train they're abilities and fly around in?

Brandon Sanderson

Some built things like this.

trevorade

Thinking about it more, a public Mistborn gathering place would probably be a big assasin bullseye... Better to have a place just for you where you can staff it with a lot of misting guards.

Brandon Sanderson

That's what I assumed the question was asking.

#227 Copy

mooglefrooglian

The man who calls himself Taln had his Blade swapped with another. Presumably, the people (or person) doing so thought he had an Honorblade.

Would the people who did the swap have known if Taln did not in fact actually have an Honorblade? Could they have been taking a chance and in fact ended up with a regular Shardblade?

Brandon Sanderson

This is possible. Assuming they knew just what they were trying to grab, they'd probably have figured it out very quickly.

#230 Copy

CPiGuy2728

When you wrote the epigraphs to the third book, how much were you expecting to lead readers astray? How loony is it that I thought their author was TenSoon for most of the book? (After all, he is not a man, but a force. He defended his ways, yet violated them. He was their savior, yet they called him heretic.)

Brandon Sanderson

I wanted very much for people to think they'd figured it out. I was actually annoyed when my editor wrote in the jacket copy a question, implying that the identity of the Hero was a mystery. I wanted people to assume it was Vin.

#231 Copy

CPiGuy2728

What would happen to someone who burned an alloy of Lerasium and lead? Would they a) gain Mistborn powers and a splitting headache from trying to burn lead, b) gain Mistborn powers and no splitting headache, c) just get the splitting headache, d) gain the ability to burn lead without a splitting headache, or e) die of lead poisoning?

Brandon Sanderson

This is a RAFO, not because I want to imply that lead has some big secret to it, but because I don't want to dig into the mechanics of Lerasium right now--and I don't want to kick off more questions like this at the moment.

#232 Copy

CPiGuy2728

How did Spook not die of lead poisoning after losing the ability to burn pewter in the third book? He must have had some pewter left in him. Or was he going to die of it, but Sazed healed him?

Brandon Sanderson

It wasn't in his system long enough to hurt him.

#237 Copy

platysaur

Well Mr. Sanderson, I finally finished Words of Radiance as well. I thank you for answering previous questions of mine on this thread.

I didn't read Warbreaker but I intend to. That said, if I don't get to it (college is quickly approaching now), will it be a setback? I know that Szeth's sword is now a character from Warbreaker, but I don't want to be at a disadvantage if I can't get to it.

Brandon Sanderson

If you don't read Warbreaker, I doubt you'll be confused. I wrote Warbreaker as a prequel novel (after writing the original draft of The Way of Kings) to give some backstory to side characters I knew where cosmere-aware, but the story should work just fine without having read it.

#239 Copy

dougpgc

Is there Shard based magic that's used for translation? Hoid is very smart, but it seems like it would be a pain to learn all these other world's languages -- and he's very eloquent in all of them. Will you tell us any details you can about this? pretty please : )

Brandon Sanderson

There are several ways to do this. Hoid is not learning all of the languages without aid. No details, I'm afraid. Except that if you watch, you will see him slip and use words that have no meaning (or the wrong meaning) in some of the languages he's speaking. Those translate oddly, or don't translate at all.

#240 Copy

unknown

  1. Is the Aon that Raoden misinterpreted Rao?
  2. If yes, does it mean "gateway" or something similar?

Brandon Sanderson

Which one are you talking about specifically?

WeiryWriter

If I'm understanding them correctly they are refering to the "Big Hint" you've said there is about Worldhopping in Elantris, which you later explained as being an Aon that Raoden misinterprets. They are proposing that the Aon is Aon Rao (I think?). At least that's my current guess (though my guess is that Rao actually translates to "Investiture").

Brandon Sanderson

Ah... They're on the wrong track.

I'll cut this one off right here, as I see they're misinterpreting what I said. It's more simple than that, and is something I think they have probably already figured out. The "Big Hint" I put back in Elantris are the murals Raoden and company discover. I believe this is what we're talking about, not the Aon being misinterpreted.

#242 Copy

Boogalyhu34

Can Nightblood be considered a Splinter and does it function like a spren realmatically, are there distinct differences is what I'm asking.

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood is kind of his own strange thing. He's an attempt to use one magic to replicate something in another. He's closest to a spren, but kind of like a...robot spren, for lack of better words to use.

Argent

When you say that Nightblood is "an attempt to use one magic to replicate something in another," do you mean life in general, or are you referring to a specific effect in a specific magic system?

Brandon Sanderson

There are those involved who knew that Shardblades existed before they tried the Nightblood experiment.

uchoo786

So does this mean Vasher had knowledge of Shardblades before creating Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

It means what I wrote, and nothing more at this point. :)

wickedmath

Dude. That's the most tantalizing RAFO I've seen in awhile. Have other Shards made Shardblades besides Honor?

Brandon Sanderson

:) RAFO

Phantine

Is that why Vasher uses the word 'Investiture' instead of some personal term for it?

Brandon Sanderson

I could be wrong, but I think Vasher was the first one in any book I allowed to use cosmere-aware terms for speaking of things like the magics. (Investiture is one of these.)

#245 Copy

mooglefrooglian

Why is it that Returned need to consume Investiture to stay alive? Most other Invested beings (like spren, Seons, and the like) don't seem to have a similar requirement.

Brandon Sanderson

There's a distinction between a being who is made of Investiture come alive and one who has been overstuffed with it. The Returned are fairly unique.

mooglefrooglian

So, would a non-Returned who received enough Breath to overstuff them also need to start feeding on Investiture to live? Or would they be destroyed like Vin before that point?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm going to RAFO this, as I feel I should leave the details of the nature of the Returned for discussion in future books.

#249 Copy

Rah179

How significant will the White Sand be to the cosmere? Any hints on the Shard that resides there?

Brandon Sanderson

Moderately. (Its magic has some cool ramifications for off world use, and several characters factor prominently into the Cosmere.)

Phantine

Is there more than one magic system in white sand?

Brandon Sanderson

Only one in the current outline.

WeiryWriter

Does the one magic have more than one variation? Because I got the impression that there was something going on on the Darkside? Though I guess the Sky Colors (I think that's what they're called, I read the draft you send out early 2014 so my recollection is a little fuzzy) don't have to be related to magic. Or you could have written them out if they were...

Brandon Sanderson

In intended the colors on Darkside to be more a matter of the ecology than the magic--though, on that planet, magic and ecology are very closely tied together. (Well, I guess most of the magics are.)

#250 Copy

Oudeis16

If Bob the Awakener Awakened fifty straw men to dance around, then died, then Returned as FormerBob the Appropriately Named, would FormerBob be able to reclaim the Breath from the straw men in the normal fashion (once he learned the "Your Breath to Mine" Command)?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. He has enough of his original Identity, and the spiritual connection would remain.

sonofstannis

What if he instead were reincarnated as a lifeless? Is there a way he could reclaim it then?

Brandon Sanderson

Lifeless have someone else's investiture replacing their own. (As opposed to Returned, who are augmented.) Depends on how much of them is left, and if they can achieve sapience again, but I'd say this is unlikely.

WeiryWriter

What if the Lifeless is Awakened with their own Breath? (i.e. they gave it away right before they died and the person they gave it to then used it in the Awakening)

Brandon Sanderson

This has happened already in the world, and it does help.

-Nayrb

Did this happen "on screen"?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#252 Copy

Boogalyhu34

Is the mist creature, that was seen through out the second Mistborn book, Preservation/the mists version of the Stormfather, which seems to be related to Honor/Highstorms.

Brandon Sanderson

You are on the right track.

Boogalyhu34

The aforementioned mist being was called a "shadow of self" in one of the original 3 MB books. Does this have anything to do with a book of the same name? The Stormfather also called himself a "shadow" of what Honor was, does this support my above theory?

Brandon Sanderson

The Stormfather would use the same language.

#253 Copy

Boogalyhu34

Do those two weather related phenomenons have something in common. They both seem to have investiture that people can draw on.

Brandon Sanderson

Weather is important to most cosmere magic.

Footnote: The weather being referred to are the mists of Scadrial and the highstorms of Roshar.
Sources: Reddit
#255 Copy

mooglefrooglian

Did Ruin and Preservation create Scadrial, as in the actual planet? The other Shards seem to have settled on already-made worlds (or at least, they did for Roshar).

Brandon Sanderson

What Ruin and Preservation did is less common, for certain.

#256 Copy

windolf7

Is Ashyn the Tranquilline Halls?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

faragorn

Actually, my theory is that Braize is both the TQ and Damnation.

Gamers will all be familiar with the concept of rezzing after you die, often at a specific place.

The legend is that humans were forced out of the TQ and followed to Roshar. If Odium attacked and conquered Braize, and Honor created the heralds before he and Cultivation moved humans to Roshar, then the heralds might very well be rezzing on enemy-held Braize each day as described in the WoK prologue. Against the combined armies of the entire planet they get ganked as described in the prologue, only to rez the next day (kind of like the rez timers in World of Warcraft :-)).

WoR confirms that Braize was called Damnation, but I think it is now damnation, and was once the TQ.

Brandon Sanderson

Excellent theories, strange gaming parallels notwithstanding.

#257 Copy

ccstat

When Jasnah talks about soulcasting the 8 different types of blood, is she referring to transfusion typing within humans (e.g. ABO+/- on Earth) or to different kinds of blood between species (e.g. human vs axehound vs greatshell vs Aimian, etc)?

Brandon Sanderson

Both, though people on Roshar haven't hit upon the levels of complexity in blood types that we know.

KingSloth

Did these arise naturally on Roshar, or did Honor/Cultivation get lazy on templating humanity and copying existing?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. (Sorry.)

#259 Copy

The_Second_Best

Are Feruchemists the Batman of the Cosmere? They can beat anyone with enough time to prep?

Brandon Sanderson

They are very versatile, but I'd say that Elantrians--on their home turf--could win in that department. They things they could do with enough preparation are even more impressive.

#260 Copy

Rillum

Vasher had a strange reaction when Vivenna mentioned Clod to him. Was Clod someone that Vasher knew in life? Or was this a reaction of his general disapproval of the Lifeless in general?

Brandon Sanderson

No, Vasher has a connection to that particular Lifeless. It was indeed someone Vasher knew in life.

#261 Copy

LongclawDescended

If Gavilar was still alive, would he most likely have aligned himself to or taken actions most similar to Dalinar, Amaram or Taravangian? In other words, which of the three is best acting out his will?

Brandon Sanderson

I can say he would align with one of them most certainly, but I want to RAFO this for now. (Though I might have made it clear elsewhere and not be remembering.)

#262 Copy

babididum

Did the Lord Ruler have any hobbies / anything he just enjoyed doing not related to being a tyrant?

Brandon Sanderson

He did. Actually, across a thousand years he tried pretty much everything. He was most fond of music.

Argent

Composing, playing, or listening to?

Brandon Sanderson

Playing and listening to. Not composing.

KeleksBreath

Did he perhaps play the flute?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, he did.

TheCurseOfEvilTim

Is that the flute Hoid gave to Kaladin?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#263 Copy

Rah179

Could you give us a snippet about the Dustbringers? Or Willshapers?

Brandon Sanderson

Dustbringers never liked their name, and tried hard to get people to use another title for them.

awakenedtassel

Was there a mechanical reason they weren't able to effect the name change, or was it just because the new name didn't catch on?

Brandon Sanderson

The latter.

#266 Copy

Wigginns

What would a Hemalurgic spike granting atium do for an Allomancer already able to burn atium? Does it function similarly to bronze, granting enhanced atium-ing? Along this line of thought, would enhancing electrum burning via spike be of any advantage?

Brandon Sanderson

A spike of something you have would enhance your ability, giving your more strength. With atium, more strength makes for a minimal edge--the length you can push out the atium shadows. However, there's a certain breaking point where you kind of crack the whole system, peer straight into the [Spiritual Realm], and kind of have a "It's full of stars" moment.

Electrum could reach this same moment, potentially, though there's more interference to fight through. Extra strength in electrum isn't going to be terribly useful up to that point.

Alsadius

Is that what happened when atium was burned with duralumin?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

#268 Copy

Botanica

Are the Ten Essences from Stormlight inspired from the ancient Chinese theory of the Five Elements, which is often used to explain various physiological and patological phenomena in traditional Chinese medicine?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Part came from there. Part came from Jewish mysticism. Part came from the idea of fundamental forces.

#270 Copy

Wolfbeckett

Are things that are written by scholars on Roshar suspect? In Mistborn, Ruin could change anything that was written down, so can Odium do the same? Are written words on Roshar: untrustworthy, trustworthy because that ability was somehow limited to Ruin, or trustworthy because Odium COULD do it but just won't because it's not his style/he doesn't consider it?

Brandon Sanderson

Odium didn't have a hand in creating Roshar, and his essence doesn't permeate it in the same way as Ruin permeated Scadrial. This gave Ruin a great deal more power over things like this--except when he ran into metals, of course.

Another difference is that Odium has a fully-living, fully-aware, and very powerful Shard opposing him. (Contrasted to one that was half-dead and going mad.)

So yes, you can trust much of what was written. Odium can be subtle when he needs to be, but his primary avenue of attack has been along a different line than the one Ruin used.

#271 Copy

Oudeis16

Zane comments that he's "always had" his spike. Is that just Ruin's influence making him ignore it, "oh this thing, it's always been there" or has he actually had the spike since childhood? Did he get it before he Snapped, after he Snapped, or concurrent with his Snapping?

Brandon Sanderson

More the first.

After snapping.

#273 Copy

mooglefrooglian

Shallan explains the theory that all spren can be divided into two categories (emotions and forces). Jasnah then links these to Cultivation and Honor, and also notes that voidspren are of Odium.

Is this theory maybe a little incomplete? Is there a third category of spren for "sensationspren" like painspren (which don't seem to involve emotions or forces)?

Brandon Sanderson

In Vorin thought, those would be emotions, but that doesn't mean that the scholars who think about these things are right.

#274 Copy

Bithorp

On the Coppermind there is this idea that if a natural Mistborn burned Duralumin and then Lerasium it would empower them to godly levels. Would this actually happen or would another effect happen.

Brandon Sanderson

That actually wouldn't work, but it is a clever idea.

#277 Copy

ParadoxicalWims

So on theoryland there are a couple of WoBs regarding Selish Shadesmar and the ones that stuck out to me were how Rosharan Shadesmar is aligned with Roshar georaphically (and in turn, the other planets are too) and with the name of Sel's shadesmar expanse.

So my question/assumption is...Given the above geographical alignment and sometimes inverse nature of Shadesmar, is the Expanse of the Broken Sky Sel?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not going to confirm what any of these are, I'm afraid. (At least not yet.) You are free to theorize as you wish.

#278 Copy

Yourigath

We have seen some Hoid-related groups on the diferent worlds of the Cosmere...

Worldbringers on Scadrial, Worldsingers on Roshar, Enefel on Sel (this one is a wild guess)

Is there a Hoid-related group on Nalthis? Maybe the Five Scholars are part of it? (That would explain the Shardblade/Nightblood thing you've been talking lately)

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid did not found the Five Scholars.

#279 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.

#280 Copy

18th_Shard

4 Hemalurgic spikes steal Allomancy, 4 steal Feruchemy, and 4 more steal Human traits. Do the other four a) steal a trait every normal human has, b) steal something only some humans have, or c) steal something no human has?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#281 Copy

Overlord Jebus

The Knights Radiants have access to two Surges each, are the two Surges completely seperate or can they be combined together? Something like maybe allowing a Lightweaver to create a solid illusion by combining their Illumination Surge and their Soulcasting?

Essentially, do each of the Orders have a special talent only they can do that isn't available to any other Order?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, they do, but it's not always directly obvious in a straightforward way, such as your example.

Overlord Jebus

Would the lashing system be an example of this? Full lashings apppear to be mostly Adhesion and and the basic lashing seems to be mostly Gravitational, does this mean Bondsmiths will be able do full lashings and Skybreakers can use partial and basic lashings?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#284 Copy

RenegadeShroom

So, I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase 'sick burn' and what it means. Assuming for a moment that it became a phrase on Roshar that fell into widespread use for a long enough time, could the phrase become strongly associated enough with the idea of fire that it actually has an effect on when flamespren can manifest? Could insulting someone harshly enough draw flamespren?

Brandon Sanderson

Unlikely, because when people say "sick burn" fire doesn't appear in their imagination--they're not personifying fire. Just like the name Smith doesn't bring to mind a blacksmith unless one thinks about it specifically, sick burn has taken on its own meaning.

#288 Copy

Tellingdwar

Regarding the classification of magics as end-positive/neutral/negative, is it correct that:

End-positive Investiture requires extreme emotional, physical, or cognitive distress to manifest. For example, snapping into an Allomancer or the process of becoming a Surgebinder.

End-neutral Investiture is inherent: gained by heredity, Connection with a particular region, or through mechanical means.

End-negative Investiture requires sacrifice. For example, Hemalurgy or Dakhor teleportation.

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not ready to answer this--though you should know that connection with a particular region is happening on Sel for reasons unrelated to this line of inquiry.

#293 Copy

FirstSelector

You have claimed that the Shardworlds had their names prior to the settlement of people and Shards. However, Ruin and Preservation created Scadrial (presumably post-Shattering). Where, then, did that planet get its name, and how did the rest of the cosmere learn of it?

Brandon Sanderson

While many of them were named, not all of them were. And the presence of a Shard warps Shadesmar much as large objects warp the physical realm (gravitation.) So if you know how to look, it's not hard to find them.

#294 Copy

FirstSelector

When Kalak sees the ring of Honorblades in the Prelude, he describes them as "flowing in design, inscribed with glyphs and patterns." However, in the main text we encounter two (presumed) blades - Jezrien's and Talenel's, neither of which were included in Kalak's original accounting. The first is explicitly depicted as being devoid of ornamentation, and the second is ambiguous. Were all ten original Honorblades ornamented and inscribed, and if so, what causes the change?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO

#300 Copy

Phantine

Would a lifeless Koloss still be super strong?

Brandon Sanderson

You see, what is happening to create a koloss is a human soul is taken, sliced up, and sutured back together--with the spikes being the "stitches" that holds it all together. That's a problem, since the various forms of investiture don't play very well together. In Awakening, you're basically giving something a counterfeit soul. (But without the skill or knowledge of something like an Essence Mark.)

This means that in investing the corpse of the koloss, you have troubles. It's going to want to snap back to the original human shape and strength. If you COULD overcome this, then yes, it would be stronger.

#301 Copy

ParadoxicalWims

I remember reading a WoB about which of your characters you'd invite to dinner (of which Hoid and Kelsier were two) and you said the both of them have a bit of a problem with each other. Is it anything major and when did this problem happen? (Have they also seen each other again now Kelsier's a cognitive shadow?)

Brandon Sanderson

Big RAFO.

#304 Copy

ArsenoPyrite

Of the few 'evil' magic systems we've seen, two of the most prominent, Fjordell glyphs and stormform both involve growing nigh-inpenetrable bones under the surface of the skin. Are these pointing to some similar fell influence, or is it just a cool thing for bad people to do?

Brandon Sanderson

This is mostly coincidence.

#306 Copy

SageOfTheWise

Is there a reason why Rashek left a nugget of Lerasium at the Well of Ascension?

Brandon Sanderson

He left several. It was, in his opinion, one of the best kept secrets and best protected locations in his empire.

Phantine

Were there originally 16 of them?

Brandon Sanderson

An excellent guess.

#309 Copy

The_Honor_Spren

Should I even care about the flute? If Sadeas had it, would that mean it has become part of Amaram's collection?

Brandon Sanderson

It's not a big deal, but that doesn't stop fans from caring. So I can't say whether you should or not. :)

#310 Copy

ArsenoPyrite

Is the act of taking up a shard parallel to the act of Awakening? In broad strokes awakening gives a piece of a soul for power along with a purpose or compulsion. So, say, when someone takes up Ruin, are they operating on the same principle, taking a fragment of Adolnasium's 'soul' along with the command "ruin things"?

Brandon Sanderson

You could make this parallel, and argue it to many of the cosmere-aware scholars in the books, and they'd find themselves nodding.

#311 Copy

JediofChrist

In Alloy, there are those who use both Allomancy and Feruchemy. However, I recall Sazed in The Hero of Ages stating that he believed he was the last surviving Feruchemist (I think he may have said "Keeper"?). Was he incorrect in his assumption of being the last Feruchemist (based on the fact that people use Feruchemy in Alloy) or could Feruchemy have been recessive in some Terris people?

Brandon Sanderson

It was most certainly recessive. But the specific way Sazed speaks there is important.

#314 Copy

SageOfTheWise

In allomancy, normal metals are simply a tool that channels allomancers already existing connection to the power of preservation, which is why non allomancers don't get powers from digesting metal. But if I understand it correctly, god metals are an exception, since they are a form of a shards power, burning them directly uses the power stored within.

If I have this right, how come a normal person can burn Lerasium, but not Atium? Or could they, and no ones thought to try? But if that was true why are there Atium mistings?

Brandon Sanderson

Suffice it to say that what people both in the books and out think about the god metals has some holes in it.

#315 Copy

Betaflame

I primarily listen to the books, so my spelling and visual imaging might be a bit off. But, the food that Lopen likes, choutta, is that kind of like a Runza?

Brandon Sanderson

Kinda, kinda not.

They eat flatbread in Roshar--the bread doesn't rise. So in that respect, it's more like a burrito. Only, they roll it more like a cone, and they fill it with chunks of meat covered in gravy. The flavor is going to be more runza like than burrito like, but it's kind of like a pita filled with meatballs.

#316 Copy

EarthRester

In Warbreaker, the closer an inanimate object is to a humanoid shape, the easier it is to awaken it.

Hypothetically, say a race of sentient quadrupedal canines had access to BioChromatic Breath. Would they have an easier time awakening objects if they were closer to a canine shape, or is the rule still that it needs to be more humanoid?

Brandon Sanderson

Closer to canine.

#318 Copy

Ansalem1

Hypothetically, if all of the Listeners were to go extinct would the Rhythms still exist?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

WeiryWriter

Are there any other species in the cosmere that also interact with the Rhythms like the listeners do? (Though not necessarily in the same way?)

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

#319 Copy

L0lbert

My question is however, is Kelsier influenced by Ruin in some way? Does he have any metal in him? The parts that got me thinking is how he is the one who suggested to Vin that she should keep her earrings in. Futhermore he has a strong urge to kill and destroy, though that is mainly limited to nobility and it is meant to help overthrow the empire. Lasltly there was someone in the last book (I'm afraid I can't remember who right now) who said that Lord Penrod (who at the time was contolled by Ruin) used housewars to destroy the city, which is the exact thing Kelsier did also. I'm sorry if my answer has an obvious answer, or if I've overlooked something, but these points got me to strongly belive that Kelsier was influenced by Ruin.

Brandon Sanderson

No metal in Kelsier, though good question. However, he was trained by a man touched by Ruin, and has a certain natural inclination toward destruction and killing. That's all him.

I've said before that Kelsier, in another story or time, might have become something far more terrible. That's what makes him interesting to me as a character.

#320 Copy

Titan_Arum

In TWoK, Dalinar mentions that back home Reshi border encroachments grow increasingly bold...according to the map of Roshar, no Reshi islands are directly adjacent to Alethkar. Is this encroachment simply due to Tai-na migrating into Alethi waters and skirmishing with Alethi boats? Or are the Reshi actually sending raiding parties to the mainland?

Brandon Sanderson

The Alethi have a long history of skirmishing with the Reshi islands just to the north and northeast of Alethkar. (And at various points, they've just considered Herdaz to be an Alethi province.) The fertile fishing up there makes for some coveted seas.

#321 Copy

Titan_Arum

If a coinshot were to drop a gold coin of size X or an iron coin of the same size X, would the coin with more mass (the gold coin), under normal circumstances, allow the coinshot to vertically push themselves higher than they could with the coin with less mass (the iron coin)?

Brandon Sanderson

Mass is indeed a factor in anchors.

#322 Copy

i_do_stuff

And since I love him, I have to sneak an Axies the Collector question in - what kindled his interest in spren?

Brandon Sanderson

Axies belongs to a race who, being extremely long lived, tend to dedicate themselves to some kind of task to keep themselves from going strange. (Well, more strange.) Spren tickled his fancy.

#323 Copy

ParadoxicalWims

Could the Heralds be considered the splinters or would it be the Honourblades they once held? Or perhaps are they something else entirely?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a RAFO, more because I don't want to dig into the nature of the Heralds until the second five books, and would rather not have people's eyes on them too much right now.

#324 Copy

SydneySedai

Say an awakener wanted to cheat in a card game and strolled in with an awakened hat, which is promply placed on a hat rack behind their opponent.

Assuming the awakener knows the rules of the game, would a command like "be as my eyes and signal when I should fold" let the hat tip someone off, or would they need a more general command like "be as my eyes and signal a flush"?

Brandon Sanderson

This is hard because the skill of the Awakener is a factor, as are other elements that aren't entirely understood. For sake of discussion, I'd say the second one is a whole lot more reasonable.

#325 Copy

unknown

I was wondering how Talenel'Elin is able to speak perfect Alethi without much of an accent at all. I believe Dalinar thought that it was a Northern Alethi accent. He is able to speak perfect Alethi after coming back from Damnation being seemingly isolated for 4500 years. Knowing what we know about language development in the real world over time, wouldn't the Alethi language change as well as to be almost incomprehensible?

If he is not isolated, I supposed that would venture into RAFO territory.

Brandon Sanderson

The language has indeed changed drastically.

So...RAFO.

#327 Copy

Yata

If a Ferring creates a metalmind and then loses his power (for example through Hemalurgy), could he still use his previous-made metalmind ?

Brandon Sanderson

No, he could not. And, unfortunately, the person who stole a bit of his soul would probably be keyed with enough Identity to use his metalmind. :( (This is uncertain, though, based on how much of the soul got ripped off, and how much the spike has decayed.)

#329 Copy

Tacticus Prime

Also, what is going on in this chart? Is it all RAFO, or can you hint at anything?

https://brandonsanderson.com/wp-content/gallery/stormlight-1-art-gallery/twok_endsheet-rear-2-webres.jpg

Brandon Sanderson

That's...I'm sorry, that's a RAFO. But thank you for reading! Answers are coming.

#331 Copy

sjhock

The stars Vin sees from Scadrial are the same as the stars as can be seen on Threnody, yes? Would Taln's Scar or the Tear from Roshar also be visible from other Cosmere worlds?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. But remember that on Scadrial, stars weren't an oft-seen feature in the original trilogy.

#333 Copy

mysteriouspenguin

What is the structure of the Cosmere like? i.e. What planets are in which systems orbiting what stars in what galaxy. 

Brandon Sanderson

We'll produce a map of this eventually. Right not, it's not terribly relevant. (Though in books, you can occasionally pick out some cosmological feature seen from different planets.) The stars are very close on a galactic scale--part of a dwarf galaxy.

#334 Copy

mysteriouspenguin

You said that there are ten major Shardworlds. Are Threnody and First of the Sun (planets without shards) part of those ten? What other Shardworlds we know about are not part of the ten?

Brandon Sanderson

I don't know if I've said specifically, but I think I've implied that neither one are major worlds for the storytelling narrative. (Though Threnody is more important by far.) I believe that I've mentioned the others all being major factors in the story.

#338 Copy

AGRooster

I am currently fascinated by your decision to alter the ending to WoR. I understand it was especially necessary for you considering how intent and self realization are inherently tied to the surgebinding magic system. It must have been a tough decision to move forward with a mass change like this nonetheless. What are the logistical implications? Do you know the time frame or if it will be possible at all to change the audiobooks? I'd think at the earliest those wouldn't be possible until the third book comes out (since Michael Kramer and Kate Reading will already be in the booth) but I'm just guessing at this point. How will the roll out of WoR 2.0 proceed?

Brandon Sanderson

It was a tough decision. I think Lucas has ruined doing things like this for a lot of people, and I was certain many readers would dislike it. (Turns out, there have been fewer voices against it than I'd assumed.)

One of the things I'll be doing is making sure Book Three works with either version of the ending. I consider the changes minor. The big reason I made the swap, however, was that (I hope) these books will be read for years to come, and I wanted to get the right ending.

It shouldn't be TOO bad logistically. Remember, the changes shouldn't matter too much for the story as a whole. We will be changing the audiobooks if we can, however, but you're probably right--book three will be when it happens.

I don't plan this to be a common occurrence, but at the same time, I was increasingly certain I wanted this tweak made. So I did it for my own peace of mind, though I figured the majority of fans would rather I not.

#339 Copy

jmarsh642

At what point did you first realize that you had fans scouring your works for hints of the Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

Right around Mistborn Three's release--while I was working on Warbreaker, I think--where people started to realize this "Hoid" thing was relevant.

#340 Copy

KapinKrunch

Out of the genres you haven't written in, which one do you really want to give a shot?

Brandon Sanderson

Hmmm... Noir. Maybe true urban fantasy, though I have one unpublished manuscript in that genre, which means technically I have given it a shot.

#341 Copy

dissociation844

As a women, I loved reading about Vin who was a strong female leading character in Mistborn. It's not something easily found in the fantasy world unfortunately. While I loved Vin, I felt pretty sad after reading about the swooning-over-an-older-man tripe that was Marasi in The Alloy of Law. It felt like kind of a 360 for me after reading about Vin.

I really loved Mistborn and The Way of Kings was great, but I am just wondering if you are planning any more work with strong female leads?

Brandon Sanderson

Marasi was designed specifically to be a contrast to Vin, and to put her in a place where she really had some growth to do. I spent periods of time as a Marasi (though, in my case, swooning over women) when I was younger. I think most of us are like that at some point in our lives, and I like trying characters with different types of arcs and personalities, so I suggest giving her a little time.

I have several stories in the works I think will fit this conversation, though when they come out will really depend on timing. The 1980's era Mistborn series also has a female lead, as does one of my YA projects.

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Costnungen

The Kandra were my favorite part of the Mistborn series. What was your inspiration for them?

Brandon Sanderson

For the kandra, I started with the idea that a thieving crew would need a good "inside man" type, who could do costumes. None of the powers fit this, but I knew I also wanted to foreshadow Hemalurgy. From there, developing them was an organic process digging deeply into the history and worldbuilding I was doing.

The idea of the wolfhound kandra appealed to me a great deal before even starting the first book, and was where I targeted my plotting after it struck me.

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potterhead42

Will we ever see you write a series with a non-rigid magic system? Not that there's anything wrong with allomancy etc. (they're pretty cool to be honest), but I would be really interested in seeing you handle something vague.

Brandon Sanderson

I understand exactly what you mean, and I've played with some, but they don't work as well in the Cosmere. I think I might be able to slip one in, or, do something non-Cosmere.

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_0_-o--__-0O_--oO0__

With Jasnah not being dead when we thought she was dead and Szeth coming back to life; how will you retain tension during future battles if the audience thinks that death might not be the end of someone?

Brandon Sanderson

I try hard to make sure things like this are well foreshadowed, but it's always a concern as a writer. Basically every book you write, in an action/adventure world, will contain fake outs like this.

There's certainly a balance. Gandalf coming back in LOTR worked, and Anakin turning out to be alive Empire Strikes back is a powerful moment--but I feel RJ, for example, may have brought people back too often.

Not sure where this balance is for me yet. I know the story I want to tell, though, and I try to leave clues when something like this is going to happen so that it feels less like a fake out and more like an "Aha. I knew it."

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Dancingedge

Concerning the terminology for Epics, the definitions given for High Epics and a prime invincibility are effectively the same, meaning every High Epic should have one. However, in Steelheart David says that only a couple of the hundredths of High Epics in Newcago have one. Did David change his terminology between books or is there another reason. (I would also appreciate definitions for what differentiates a minor from a lesser Epic.)

Brandon Sanderson

Prime invincibility is the cream of the crop of High Epic, in David's estimation. The hardest of the hard to kill. However, other people define things differently. "High Epic" means "I have a power that, if you stand there and try to shoot me, it doesn't work." That's why in his definition, Regalia doesn't fit the bill--though many others would say her power of keeping herself hidden as she does would totally count. All a matter of semantics, but to him, there's a specific gradation.

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Dancingedge

What exactly is needed to make a motivator? In Firefight they operated on Oblivion to build the bomb, yet people still trade with any amount of Epic cells. Does the amount simply relate to power or is there something else?

Brandon Sanderson

This is covered in detail in book three. I've been pretty sneaky about some of this setup, on purpose.

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Dancingedge

Why doesn't Nighwielder's weakness penetrate his blanket over Newcago when it does pierce the shadow tendrils he attacks David with? Could the reason be that his clouds act as some kind of "security blanket" if for example he got his weakness from being stranded in the dessert clouds like his would have protected him from the sun, which keeps the UV-rays of the sun from triggering his weakness, because they can't recreate the situation it originates from.

Brandon Sanderson

I've been dodgy about answering this one, as I thought I might get into it in Book Three, but as I work on it I don't know that I am. The answer is actually pretty simple--it's for the same reason that someone manifesting Regalia's weakness in Babilar doesn't make the waters suddenly retreat. Or that Steelheart's powers didn't leave pockets of open material around anybody who hadn't ever heard of him. (Which is where this exception started in my mind, as without it, the first book would never have worked.)

Basically, I had to make the rule that a large scale, general use of the powers had a kind of immunity to the weakness--one of diffusion. But the general spreading of the powers on the large scale were also far less precise. (For example, Nightwielder could cloud the sky with darkness, but not stop rain from falling.)

Otherwise, you could just find the pockets where the Epic's powers on the grand scale were not working, and easily figure out their weakness. Hence, engaging Nightwielder directly ruins his immediate powers, but on the grand scale the darkness remains in place over the city.

It's the only way I could make the powers work on the grand scale I wanted, in turning Newcago to Steel or sinking NYC.

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dwhitlo1

I was re-reading through Vin's fight with Zane, and I think that her method of killing him might be more complicated than necessary. Here is the strategy I would use to fight a mistborn with atium (assuming I have no atium myself or electrum). First I would use a duralumin enhanced soothing to deaden everything except complacency. I would at the same time use a duralumin enhanced riot to spike their sense of complacency. I would then go for the jugular with a duralumin enhanced pewter slash. I think this strategy has a good chance of victory since atium does not show what is going on inside of you, only what you will physically do. Therefore, your enemy will not see the emotional allomancy coming which gives you a few seconds to work with as he is stunned. By the way, if you do not think complacency is a riotable emotion replace it with love. What do you think? Does my strategy have a chance of success?

Brandon Sanderson

I like this strategy. Thinking outside the proverbial box. I think it has a good chance of succeeding, depending. Remember, emotional Allomancy is NOT mind control. And a duralumin-fueled blast of emotion is going to draw a lot of attention to itself, but will still be stunning. So yes, I'd say this is a valid method of taking on someone with atium.

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legionaires

I'm like a previous poster and making a reddit account so I can ask you a question about the Alloy of Law setting. How fast would you say technology is developing at that time? I ask because I tried to start a Mistborn game with my friends and they decided they wanted to build a zeppelin and give the rail companies competition due to party grudges against the rail barons.

Brandon Sanderson

Zepplins are totally believable for that era in Mistborn. (Also, rail barons are basically a big theme of upcoming books, so you guys are totally in line with where the story is going anyway.) Tech on Scadrial is following a kind of loopy progress, both because of the Metallurgic Arts and because of the artificial suppression of some technological paths by the Lord Ruler. So you can make arguments for just about anything.

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WhatWasThatHowl

Hail Brandon Sanderson, Master Worldsmith

That's the nature of my question, I'm not quite sure how to make it broad enough, but just how did you birth Roshar? Let alone the entire Cosmere? I find it too easy to view the worlds I've built in my own writing as silly or contrived. Do you see yours in dreams or did you construct yours? Please, I would be personally grateful for the backstory on how these places were forged.

Brandon Sanderson

Building these worlds was a long, long process. Most of that process, however, was in building myself--creating a practiced writer who had build enough worlds that he got an instinct for what created good conflicts and settings, and what did not. So the best thing you can do is keep practicing and writing.

In more specifics, Roshar's origin was in studying the great storm of Jupiter. I went with the idea of a constant, traveling storm, then tried to build the ecology off of that idea. From there, I asked myself how this affected sapient beings, and how I could use the storms to shape culture, and how the characters I was planning to use could interact with it.

Most of this comes down to instinct now, though. Keep writing, and don't stress too much about whether you are silly or contrived. We all feel that way at some point. Put characters into the worlds we care about, and let the rest sort itself out.

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sterlingarcher1942

Love you work, spent way to many late nights reading your series. any chance the latest Mistborn books you wrote will be much longer? The series has so much potential that I feel like you weren't able to fully draw out in the shorter length of Alloy of Law.

Brandon Sanderson

The new Mistborn novels will be Alloy-length, but since I plotted the three of them as a trilogy, they should have a little more weight to them across books--adding some of that depth you're wanting.

When I get to Era Three (the 1980s spy mistborn books) they will return to the length of the original trilogy.

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rockeh

Was White Sands inspired by that one episode of Writing Excuses, where you guys brainstorm sea travel on a tidally locked planet?

Brandon Sanderson

Good question! White Sand was actually my first novel, written starting in 1994. It wasn't very good, but I took another stab at it in 1998, and that version was far better. (It's the version I'm adapting to the graphic novel.) It was tidally locked from the get-go, as I found the idea of a planet with a "Dayside" and a "Darkside" very interesting as a fantasy world.

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Moosehead11

How do you pronounce Sazed in your mind? Is it Saysd, Say-Zid, or Say-Zed?

Brandon Sanderson

I say Say-zed, as does Kelsier. But he has a different accent from Sazed himself, who might say it differently among his people.

Moosehead11

I'm actually surprised it wasn't Saysd. Now it's going to take me a little longer to get through book 3 with that extra syllable in my head!

Brandon Sanderson

If it helps, I feel that's pretty close to the way the Terris would say his name.

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King_of_the_Kobolds

In Steelheart you mention the Coven, a group of Epics that I've found immensely intriguing ever since hearing their name. Is there anything you can say about their group or one of their members?

Brandon Sanderson

A member of the Coven will appear in Calamity, and others will be referenced.

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TwiLyghtSansSparkles

What are the extent of Snowfall's powers and territory?

Brandon Sanderson

I have notes on this, but if I come back to the Reckoners world in the future, I don't want to be locked into things I say here. Part of the point of mentioning Epics like this is to foreshadow for future books, but not leave myself too locked in, so I can construct the story I need to.

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TwiLyghtSansSparkles

At the time of Steelheart, are there any regions (besides those mentioned in Firefight) that are uninhabitable?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Not many in the states, but nukes WERE used fighting the Epics. There are some irradiated areas around the world.

And, another poster just reminded me that people are doing a Role Play for the Reckoners, which is the source of these questions. So for that context, I might be able to dig up some more info for you on your questions.

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luke_c

Will you be posting what you change in the Elantris 10th year anniversary re-release like with how you changed the Words of Radiance ending? Also thanks for writing amazing books!

Brandon Sanderson

We'll try. The changes are, on one hand, way more pervasive--but on the other hand, far less substantial. There is a lot of cleaning up language, and a little of moving about the locations of buildings and the like for the sake of continuity.

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Mailliw73

How many Epics have "unique" powers like Firefight or Mitosis?

Brandon Sanderson

Less than 10% are both unique and useful.

Mailliw73

What about unique and useless? ;)

Brandon Sanderson

Happens fairly often.

Mailliw73

So, a power to, say, conjure Big Macs out of their pocket wouldn't be too crazy?

Brandon Sanderson

No. That's actually well within reason.

And actually quite powerful if you don't put a limit on concurrent mass created or speed of creation.

Voidus

What about an Epic whose only ability is to accurately tell the time?

Brandon Sanderson

Sure.

Mailliw73

Can an Epic be given powers that are permanently countered by their weakness? Ex: Being able to breathe underwater, but whose weakness is water?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm going to say no on this one, unless the weakness is something more specific. (I.E, you can breathe under water, but your weakness is water with food coloring in it.) The weakness can relate somehow to the powers, but not in a way that if every time you use the abilities, they're automatically negated.

winter_cloud

What are some of the more common powers, then?

Brandon Sanderson

I based this off of comic books, so I assumed classic comic book superhero powers--various forms of flight, invulnerability, control over various types of matter, energy blasts--are common enough to have "standard powersets" for research purposes. Basically, this means that people like David and the lorists can make references that readers with a familiarity with comics can understand.

King_of_the_Kobolds

Is there any chance we could see the lorist categorization system published someday? As a sort of Reckonerverse Ars Arcanum?

Brandon Sanderson

This is possible, but likely only if I come back to the world for more books beyond the original trilogy.

Voidus

How common would teleporting be?

Brandon Sanderson

Rare.

Mailliw73

Are powers such as being able to negate others' powers or being immune to Epic powers possible?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

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Dancingedge

In Steelheart you mentioned mind control Epics. Just how extensive are some of the mind control powers and are they likely to diffentiate between normal people and other Epics?

Brandon Sanderson

Mind control powers among Epics are more subtle than you might find in something like the Marvel universe. (Making someone think they want a sandwich, so they wander away from their post, instead of directly controlling them.) But stronger manifestations do exist. They're more rare.

Generally, mind control powers will have more trouble with Epics.

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Phantine

Silly Shardblade question: Dick Cheney's artificial heart was a continuous flow model, which meant he had no pulse. If you gave him a Shardblade, how would summoning it work?

Brandon Sanderson

You know, I've actually had to think about this. (Not because of Cheney, but because of cosmere applications.) Just as blind people dream differently from people without visuals, I feel a Shardbearer without a pulse would end up having another method of representing the way their soul reaches toward a dead Shardblade and summons it. But it would vary based on the individual.

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King_of_the_Kobolds

With the second draft of Calamity done and awaiting editor revisions, I thought I'd take this opportunity to re-approach a very common fan question. Do we learn Regalia's weakness in this novel, and if not, would you mind telling us what it is here?

Brandon Sanderson

Boy, I do get this one a lot. I'm wary of saying anything until Calamity is out, not because Regalia's weakness is specifically relevant, but because I've found that even the most innocent of things I say can sometimes lead to spoilers. The nature of the weaknesses is a big part of the three book arc of the Reckoners, so I don't want to hurt anything.

That said, as I mentioned, Regalia's weakness is not actually relevant. I've just been avoiding the question for reasons stated above.

Regalia's weakness was being proven wrong. If you could figure out something she'd done incorrectly, and prove it to her so she couldn't avoid the truth, she'd briefly lose local control of her powers. But I didn't want that book to be about figuring out/using her weakness, in order to distinguish it from books one and three, which use that as the major plot. So I avoided bringing up the idea, or really even using it in the story at all.

Dancingedge

How hard would it be to trigger exactly? For example when David called Regalia to his location in the Reckoner hideout she figured out that she was searching for it in the wrong location. Is that why she took a while to appear or was there something specific about that situation that made it not count?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. That is a time that would trigger her weakess.

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winter_cloud

Is there any more lyrics to the listener songs? If so, can you share some, please?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm afraid I went to a poet and had them rewrite my versions for me, as my poetry chops are pretty weak. So I don't have any more than the ones in the book.

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ccstat

You confirmed at the Atlanta signing that 9-point constructions could be applied to ellipses to generate valid Rithmatic defenses. Could the same be done using open conics such as hyperbolas and parabolas? (Or do open conics become lines of Forbiddance instead of lines of Warding?) Also, the disparity in strength between the sides and points of an ellipse is attributed to their difference in curvature. Does this mean that a large circle is inherently weaker than a small circle since its local curvature is less?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes to all questions, though with a circle, there is an innate structural strength that does weaken with larger sizes, but it isn't as fast as the curvature would indicate.

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trevorade

To what extent can virtual objects be forced into Stephen's subconscious? Stephen says that "those who work closely with [him] know to just pantomime letting [his] mind fill in the details." Does there have to be a physical object present in order for it to interact with his aspects? JC conjures a virtual phone that clearly had no physical counterpart. Could someone lie to Stephen that they have a bazooka in a box, then pretend to pull it out and proceed to virtually blow holes in the room?

Brandon Sanderson

The object does not have to be present, but his subconscious has to see an idea as part of his psychosis for it to appear.

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Smye07

My question for you is this - I got the heeby-jeebies when Shallan heard about Amaram's collection of flutes within just a few pages of Wit bringing up the flute Kaladin lost?

All I can think of is that either: A) Wit's flute will end up among Amaram's collection to resurface later or B) In his work with the Sons of Honor, Amaram or his fellows have stumbled across some flute-related magic or splinterization and his flutes are the brethren and sistren of Wit's flute.

Is either of these the case? Or is there some other significance to Amaram's collection of nigh forbidden flutes?

Brandon Sanderson

It is significant. It is not a huge deal, but it is significant.

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focoma

I may be pushing my luck a bit but I have another question, this time about the symbol of the Ghostbloods. In Way of Kings it was described as three overlapping diamonds, while in Words of Radiance it was described as "triangular". I also heard that recently a fan showed you what he thought the symbol looked like and you told him he was correct, but the picture he showed wasn't triangular in any sense.

Was the triangular description a mistake? Do the Ghostbloods have more than one symbol? I personally imagined it to be something like this, which sorta looks triagular since it has three parts sticking out from the center.

Brandon Sanderson

We'll release this eventually. Yours is not as I imagined it, I'm afraid.

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Dancingedge

Is gifting/power transference to normal people with Epics an all or nothing deal or could there be an Epic that can gift one ability but has another power he can't gift? And while on topic of quirks in Epic powers, how much do emotions play into them? We have some examples like Steelheart were strong emotions can cause the power to run amok, is there more of a guideline to this or just a quirk of some powers?

Brandon Sanderson

All powers can be gifted if any can. Gifting is a power that modifies other powers. Controlling the powers during times of great emotion is generally more difficult, but this has more to do with human nature than the powers.

Phantine

So Gifters can gift gifting?

Brandon Sanderson

No, I'm afraid. That's a separate power.

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Botanica

Will Shallan undergo more apprenticeships in future SA books?

Brandon Sanderson

I think you'd find that she considers herself beyond that. Not because she's full of herself (though she is a little) but because she has started to resist boundaries placed on her by others.

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Thadamin

How many Cutting edges does Nightblood have? I'm just trying to find out what Nightblood looks like exactly, Warbreaker is a little spars on an exact description.

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood is a long, straight sword, edged on both sides.

morsk

If Nightblood was a Dark Souls weapon, which class would it be? Straight Sword, Greatsword, Ultra Greatsword? I think of it like the Claymore.

Brandon Sanderson

Claymore might be close. Though the dark souls ones might be a tad bigger than he is.

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senigmatic1

I've got a more hypothethical question.

Iron stores weight. Pewter stores strength.

What if you both make yourself very light and very strong***? Maybe even throw in burning pewter as well; how does it all work together?

Maybe I should throw this over to askscience..

Brandon Sanderson

I have some ideas, and have done some research, but I'm not ready to comment on this yet. I plan to use it in a future book.

But if you do come up with some info from askscience, I'd love to see it.

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Dancingedge

Could Obliteration (or an Epic with similar powers), in theory, actively suppress his danger sense, so he doesn't teleport, even if someone would score a lethal hit on him? Also, do active Epic powers like throwing energy beams or flying drain stamina?

Brandon Sanderson

Obliteration hasn't learned to do this. Perhaps it's possible, but difficult. As for how draining the abilities are, it varies based on the Epic.

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Amerikoni

I only yesterday found out you changed the ending for the way of kings. So here is my question. I've only read the first version where Kaladin kills Szeth. When Szeth gets killed now, it's by the storm. What is it that specifically kills him since he can normally just evade the storm or even be healed by stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

Good question! So, the idea here is that Szeth has given up, and wants to die. I wanted the storm to kill him, then, as opposed to Kaladin. What kills him is losing control in the storm, and being slammed into the ground.

The bigger change here was actually my desire to leave it at least partially clear that he's not dead, in order to avoid the 'fake out' ending. Having him be dead and reborn was important, but I felt in the first stab I erred on the side of pulling a fast one on the reader.

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WeiryWriter

So I just recently read the Allomancer Jak short story in the MAG Alloy of Law supplement. I have to ask was the dynamic between Jak and Handerwym at all inspired by your relationship with Peter? I can very easily picture you blazing some sort of fantastic literary trail and Peter following behind explaining why it isn't possible (Kind of like how you initially intended the time bubbles to do red/blue shift and Peter was like "No you'll microwave people")

Brandon Sanderson

Peter is not nearly as biting toward me, but always having an editor looking over my shoulder and saying, "Uh...is that actually RATIONAL Brandon?" is probably a big part of my inspiration here.

Peter Ahlstrom

I hadn't made the connection... >_>

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BartholomeusDiaz

I'm reading the preview chapter of Shadows of Self and I'm really curious. Where does the gasoline for the cars in the Wax and Wayne books come? If Harmony remade the world, did he make crude oil too? Does that then mean he can see that far into the future?

Brandon Sanderson

There are clues about this in the upcoming text itself.

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theleadingman08

Do you ever think of how other series might fit in the Cosmere? Are there any that you think would mesh particularly well?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't really considered this. I'll give it more thought.

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Dancingedge

We have seen that Epics have a compulsion to pick a name for themselves (and have been told that some apparently have very bad taste) but is there also some kind of compulsion for them to be at least somewhat appropriate or for example could Nightwielder also have called himself Sunshine Shimmer (if he were such inclined)? And on a similar note, about when does this need start to manifest itself.

Brandon Sanderson

It is possible for him to have named himself that.

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Dancingedge

What is Obliteration's usual M.O.? Does he destroy every town he goes to or does he usually just kill a couple people, melt a small neighborhood, maybe go and hold a sermon and then goes shopping?

Brandon Sanderson

He does not destroy every town. More in book 3.

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VindicationKnight

If you cloned someone using real life technology (so not magic) would they have a normal Cognitive and Spiritual make up or be something like a Drab?

Brandon Sanderson

Cloning would most likely work like creating a twin--the body would pull Investiture for a soul, and you probably wouldn't have a drab. Though it would be possible to do it in such a way that you did create one, if you're simply working from our current cloning technology, you'd get a fully invested human being.

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thecountofchocula

My question is was the change to the use of modern English phrases in The Stormlight Archives deliberate or am I reading too much into it?

Brandon Sanderson

In regards to my books, I use Tolkien's own explanation, which was to pretend that the book you're reading is in translation--everything has been taken by myself from native dialects, and translated it to English. When I make a pun, they probably didn't say those exact words--they said something in Alethi that made a pun, and I put an appropriate one in the same place. Likewise, some of their idioms just don't translate, so I use a modern idiom that means something similar for effect.

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Mnim3

What would be your recommended reading order for the Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

Publication order, if you're already certain you're going to read them all. If you're uncertain, I'd try to find out which book will best match your interests and get you to read that one first.

Right now, order doesn't matter much, though. One thing to remember, however, is that I'm not releasing the books in a haphazard order. Other than Elantris, I've specifically chosen which books to do in which order, as I like the progression.

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SandersonLover1

There is some confusion on the Coppermind on whether Sixthface is the name of the world (I seem to recall it was named ‘the cube’) or just one of the Faces of the world?

Furthermore, can you tell us something we don’t know about any of the Faces?

Brandon Sanderson

Ha. Not often I get questions about that particular story.

It's so unfinished that I haven't established, even for myself, all of the terminology.

SandersonLover1

So, do you have any plans to finish it one day?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on a lot of factors. One is if there is interest for something a tad more ridiculous from readers. While it's not as off the wall as Alcatraz, that story is quite weird with a particularly specific kind of humor. If the Alcatraz re-releases do well, then perhaps there is room for something akin to them.

#393 Copy

blaze1616

When did Besk first meet Kai? Two different passages within the story imply two different times in Kai's life, so I'd love some confirmation.

Brandon Sanderson

Man, I tweaked this in writing, and now I wonder if I created a consistency error. He met Besk during his adventuring days, but later in them.

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KalynaAnne

Near the end of The Rithmatist, you mention that one of Melody's brothers, who isn't a professor, also has a coat. Do the colors of Rithmatist coats have meaning outside of academia?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, they do! Those at Nebrask also pay attention to coat colors.

Event details
Name
Name /r/books AMA 2015
Date
Date March 12, 2015
Location
Location /r/Books
Entries
Entries 395
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