Did people exist on Nalthis prior to Endowment's arrival there?
Some planets had people before the Shattering.
|Name||17th Shard Forum Q&A|
|Date||Sept. 25, 2012|
Did people exist on Nalthis prior to Endowment's arrival there?
Some planets had people before the Shattering.
Is the Dor made up of both Devotion and Dominion's power?
The Dor's nature, and why it acts as it does, is in part related to this question.
Can obligators marry?
In your books, we see a lot of really interesting and diverse world elements that make these places and cultures really come to life. What are some of the world elements you've had the most fun creating, and what do you like best about them?
I'd say that the spren on Roshar have been my favorite so far--they are so different, but also so RIGHT. They have a mythological fae-feel to them, but also fit into the cosmere arcanum just perfectly. I also like writing them.
Can all Investitures be classified as end-positive, neutral, or negative?
Yes, though in the overwhelming majority of cases, it's end-positive or at least neutral. Hemalurgy really is an oddity in the cosmere.
Can anyone with access to Shadesmar learn how to worldhop?
In theory. Getting to Sel is really tough...
So, those things on the inside cover of [The Way of Kings]. Crabwasps, or crabdragons?
(These guys, for clarification.)
They range between the size of a hand to perhaps the size of a small melon. You'll find out more about them eventually. Like most things from Aimia, they're pretty odd, and are also now very rare since the Scouring.
Just after the Shattering (but before they started created humans or something), did all Shards have roughly the same amount of raw power?
Yes. Good question.
Can Demoux burn malatium?
Does Forgery use the Dor?
Can people from one area of the cosmere Return to the place in the cosmere where Awakeners are from?
Meaning, can they travel to Nalthis, where Warbreaker takes place? Yes, they can.
Is there any use to being a copper Compounder, from a Feruchemical point of view? I think the same point would also apply to an aluminum Compounder.
Some combinations, like some abilities themselves, aren't really that useful. That said, being able to Compound copper...that could do some things. Aluminum, not so much.
A lerasium Mistborn's kids would surely be Allomancers. If such a lerasium Mistborn traveled to, say, Nalthis, fell in love and had kids with a native [Nalthian], would those kids be Allomancers? Or something else?
In most cases, they would still be Allomancers. Mixed, potentially, with something else depending on the native innate Investiture. That mixture could do some strange things, though.
Is there a cosmere-specific term you use to describe, say, a Shard's power inside someone? For example, people on Scadrial had little bits of Preservation in them that made them sentient (and, with enough Preservation, Allomancy). This obviously doesn't make these people Slivers or Splinters, so I was just wondering if you had a word for it.
In my own terms, I refer to all of this as types of Investiture. The degree, and effects, can be very different--but those people are Invested. I term this innate Investiture, and it is similar to what happens with people on Nalthis. That is also innate.
In the Ars Arcanum of The Way of Kings, next to the Essences are listed ten Body Focuses. Are these Body Focuses the focus (in cosmere terms) of Surgebinding?
Is Splintering a Shard permanent?
What do you call a human from each Shardworld (demonyms like Scadrialeese) ?
Selish, Scadrian, Nalthian, Rosharan.
Does the intent/personality of the Shard affect the personalities of the humans they create?
It has some very small effect.
Why does Devotion's Shardpool act so differently from Preservation's?
For similar reasons to why the Dor acts so differently from Preservation's essence...
How does Snapping work after Sazed changed it? If you don't want to reveal it all right now, are there any hints you can give us?
He couldn't get rid of this entirely. I don't want to spoil things, but Snapping was built into Allomancy primarily because of larger-scale magical issues. This is getting deep into the issue, but it has to do with a person's spiritual makeup and a 'wounded' spirit being easier to fill with something else, kind of like a cut would let something into the bloodstream. Sazed made this threshold on Scadrial much easier to obtain.
Most of your heroes are true traditional "heroes", because they want to be useful for the family/society/other, and they often lack selfish, "dirtier" motivations. Will we sometimes see characters, who are not villains but are rather egocentric?
Expanding that, however, I feel that in general, other people are telling stories about "dirtier" characters and doing it well. I don't feel characters who are generally good characters are any less realistic, however--in fact, almost everyone I know is more like Vin or Dalinar. They want to be good people, they TRY to be good people. Fantasy has taken a very dark turn in many ways, and this is fine, but it is not the type of story or characters in which I am interested.
That doesn't mean I won't ever do it. There are some far more borderline characters mixed into some of the series, but they are more the exception than the rule.
Are the intelligent spren like Syl the "seons of Roshar"?
What a clever question. Gold star for you.
As Dalinar gave his Shardblade to Highprince Sadeas, was his motivation only to free the Brigdemen as "Thank you" for the help? Or did he already plan to build a team from soldiers who are loyal only to him?
He certainly saw the side benefits. However, his primary motive was to make a statement. Not just as a thank you, but as a way of proclaiming to all of the Alethi "What we have been doing is wrong. This wealth is not worth the lives of men."
When will be see the whole Cosmere-concept (Shards, the plans of Hoid) at the level of the books? In the third Mistborn trilogy or earlier? In which books do you plan to finish the "hidden story" which connects all your earlier books?
Third Mistborn Trilogy will certainly include some of this. We shall see if I do any of Hoid's stories before then.
Do you plan a magic system which enables the character to manipulate the four elements with their will? I mean not so bounded, like Allomancy with Pushing or Pulling but shaping/summoning the elements according to the wishes of the person. I ask this, because in the whole fantasy genre I rarely find something like this (except: Arc Magica RPG), so I had to develop it myself at home. But from the authors I know you are the person who has the creativity to do this without doubt.
Maybe, but there are a few problems here. For one, "Four elements" magic has been done over and over in books and video games, so it feels hard to make fresh. And in what you describe, it sounds like the characters would be very powerful, which makes for a challenging story to write.
Is Szeth bounded to the Oathstone (master) with magic/force or just with his honour? As I can remember, in the end of [The Way of Kings] he nearly killed Taravangian.
What would happen if you Allomantically burned an Awakened piece of metal?
Would an Archivist who was sufficiently practiced be able to store memories at different strengths? (Keep a vague recollection of the memory as well as a stored copy which would degrade faster)
I don't think this is outside of reason for one to do, if they wanted to. I'm not sure if they would want to, but it's plausible.
Does aluminium have any effect on the other Allomantic metals aside from iron/steel and zinc/brass? If yes, does that include god metals and their alloys?
Yes and no.
Are there more kinds of kandra blessings than just the four we've seen?
Before Adonalsium was Shattered, was there magic in the cosmere and what form did it take?
Yes, and when I write Dragonsteel, you shall see the answer to this.
With Stormlight being in your mind 2 five book arcs, is there still a single "through-line" so to speak (aka, the Everstorm, A clash with Odium, or the like).
Are there any other Shards on Nalthis aside from Endowment.
I suppose I can answer this if I haven't already. No, it is only Endowment.
If Kasbal hadn't been trying to kill Jasnah, would him and Shallan have gotten together?
It's uncertain. He actually did care for her, but he was an assassin trained to infiltrate and gain the trust of people like Shallan. If he hadn't been trying to kill Jasnah, he would never have had a reason to begin spending time with Shallan. However, I assume your question is if they had somehow started interacting, would they have gotten together. It's possible, but I don't think--in the end--it would have lasted.
What aspect of a new setting do you find to be the most difficult to develop?
Hmmm.... The everyday stuff is actually the hardest. For example, the question about racist jokes. They'd have them in world, but getting everything like this into a novel can be tough--particularly since it has a chance of squeezing out the story if you do too much.
Do you have any of the Power Nine, and if so, which ones?
Pearl, Emerald, Ruby, Time Walk, Recall. Four left to go. I try to pick them up at times when it means something--for example, I bought my Ruby in Taiwan during my visit there earlier, and my wife gave me one as a gift...that sort of thing.
When Dalinar and Honor are having a "chat" at the end, Honor says "I don't know who you are, or how you found your way here." Does Dalinar visit the Spiritual Realm in his dreams then?
Does the world map in The Way of Kings show all of the landmasses of Roshar? Does that make the continent on Roshar a Pangaea-like supercontinent? And as I think about it, are there tectonic plates on Roshar?
It is a supercontinent. I won't say there is NOTHING out there, but (unlike Scadrial) there is not another full continent. Plate tectonics are not a factor on the supercontinent.
You once told me that Roshar is the name of the planet from the cosmere-literate point of view. Were the dawnsingers cosmere-literate?
There are various levels of cosmere awareness.
Now that you have finished writing [The Wheel of Time], how does it feel going back to telling your epic story that you have wanted to share with the world and being able to write a story naturally without the outside constraints that came with [The Wheel of Time]?
What if anything has been the biggest challenge getting back into writing Stormlight Archive after working so hard on [The Wheel of Time]?
It feels great, though it's a feeling I've felt before. It was the feeling I had when jumping out of the Mistborn world after finishing all three books and instead doing Warbreaker. For most of the process with [The Wheel of Time], I didn't feel 'constrained' really. It was more a sense of difficulty--it was difficult to do for unique reasons. Matching [Robert Jordan]'s story, making certain to keep characters consistent, that kind of thing.
It is refreshing to move to a new project, but this one presents difficulties of its own. I have to follow up The Way of Kings, which I feel is the best book of my career so far. I poured twenty years of effort into that book. Now, the sequel needs to be equally awesome, which is a real challenge.
Also, I keep wanting to use [Wheel of Time] curses.
is one of the symbolhead-spren (or maybe all of them) responsible for Shallan's ability to Soulcast (in the way that Syl is responsible for Kaladin's Lashings)?
There is indeed a similar relationship there.
When Surgebinding, the person is Binding a Surge (the elemental force). Are those Bindings (the spiritual link) the focus for Surgebinding on Roshar?
Do Stephen's aspects exist in the way bonded spren exist (independent Spiritual and Cognitive aspect but tied to a human.)?
Legion does not exist in the cosmere, so Realmatic Theory is not at play in the story.
Did Razon's camera use the same Spiritual gravitational anchors as time bubbles?
If two people grabbed the hilt of a Shardblade at the same time and then it got knocked out of their hands, which one could resummon it?
The one it's bound to.
How do worldhoppers communicate on all the cosmere worlds? Is there one universal language? Do they just learn a new language for each world?
There is not a universal language.
What would happen if, right after someone died, they were made into a Lifeless, and then Endowment tried to Return that person?
Oooh...now that's a spicy one. Endowment's gift of a superpowered Breath would come down, strike the Lifeless, and all kinds of craziness would occur. You'd end up with a drab god, which would be hilarious.
Is Soulcasting mass-conservative (Soulcast a 1kg goblet, you get 1 kg of blood)?
In most circumstances, yes.
Could vampires survive on Soulcast blood?
Does chocolate exist in the cosmere?
Yes. Not on Roshar, though.
Is it at all possible for Kelsier to be reincarnated/posess someone/show up as a ghost/whatever and become a character in a future Mistborn book?
He's shown up before, so I'd say that's a pretty good indication for the future.
Can a Feruchemist store an attribute in a metalmind that someone else has already stored in and if so, do the charges affect each other in any way?
Yes, but the charges are just stored in separate pieces of the metal, and don't really influence one another.
Do Honorblades have the same sort of relationship to Honor (possibly to a much greater degree) that Shardblades do?
You're on the right track.
Is it necessary to touch a Shard--not necessarily to become its Holder, but to at least touch it briefly--to Splinter it?
Some dictionaries list two meanings for the word "odium": the feeling of strong hatred, and that which provokes hatred from others. Do both of these apply to the Shard with that name?
Does the Shard Odium seek to separate things, much like the Shard Honor seeks to bind things together?
An interesting theory.
Can a Shard tell the difference between itself and its current holder?
Tricky question. Depends on the circumstances. The power as a whole, no. Pieces of it, yes. (Ala Spinozism.)
Do Breaths inherently possess the ability to interpret and carry out commands, or does the Awakener need to impart that decision making ability on Awakened objects?
If the Awakener does need to impart the decision-making ability, then does Awakening consist of an Awakener copying a portion of his/her Cognitive aspect (as determined by his/her visualization and verbal Command) onto the Cognitive aspect of the object being Awakened, with Breath then providing the "juice" for the object to actually follow its Command: powering both physical motion and "cogitation" based upon the copied Cognitive aspect?
If so, is that copying what drains color?
You're very close here.
If you are standing inside of a time bubble, and throw a spear out of the bubble, what happens to that spear as it traverses the border of the bubble? Are different parts of the spear ever in different "time zones," going fundamentally different speeds?
On that line of reasoning, what would happen to a train and its occupants if Marasi stood next to railroad tracks holding up a Cadmium bubble while that train sped by?
In general, a large object going through a time bubble is not going to notice. An object is either in or out, and it depends in part on how the object views itself. People inside the train would be inside of its influence, and wouldn't notice the bubble. The spear would go from one to the other, but would never be in both.
Is Wax's hemalurgic earring in Alloy of Law giving him slight Allomantic pewter, enabling Harmony to fuel pewter Allomancy directly in the final fight sequence?
Can Hemalurgy be used to steal Shardblades directly, transferring ownership from the victim to the spike's recipient without a need for the recipient to physically take the Shardblade first?
A novel use of Hemalurgy which is not outside the sphere of its powers.
We know that there are 10 orders of Radiants and 10 different powers, with each order having access to 2 of them. Any reason why this "class restriction" exists (they are lot more combinations possible with 10 powers)?
There is a reason. I don't know when I want to get into it, however.
How is Harmony balanced when a part of Preservation's power is expended on human sentience? Isn't that what caused all the trouble to begin with?
Indeed. Hm... What could Sazed be doing with that extra power...
If I used a Hemalurgic spike charged with Allomantic powers on a person on say Nalthis, will the focus of Allomancy change because the power is being used on another planet?
Would it be fair to describe the three realms as the Spiritual Realm providing motivation/general directives (gravity, desires, energy, etc.), the Cognitive Realm interpreting and applying those directives, and the Physical Realm as where these directives--as interpreted by the Cognitive Realm--are actually implemented? All of this with interactions/change flowing back and forth between the Realms as well (Physical phenomena affecting thought affecting the spirit, for example).
Ha! That's a very interesting way to look at it. The theory isn't all there, but it's thinking along the right lines.
A Coinshot able to store weight can, as you showed us with Wax Push in a ridiculously powerful manner, as the weight/mass is the largest factor which controls the Push strength.
I'm wondering if the same can be done with soothing(or rioting). If you where to increase your identity, that may/should increase your emotional imprint(or whatever you might call it), would your soothings/riotings become vastly more powerful in a similar way as weight makes steelpushing more powerful?
And if it does, is this how the Lord Ruler improved his Soothing in such a spectacular fashion?
Well, the Lord Ruler--don't forget--could compound any Allomancy he wanted. That creates some crazy effects. As for what you discuss in your first question, I don't want to touch too much on Identity yet as I am saving it for later books. Talking too much here might undermine my ability to reveal interesting and cool things in books when the time is right. I like your theory, and it has merit, but I'm not going to give you a yes or a no as it delves too much into what Identity, as an attribute, can do.
You've confirmed that several Heralds have appeared or been mentioned in the modern (non-prelude, non-vision) parts of The Way of Kings. Have any members of the Knights Radiant (the one from the days of Urithiru, not near-Radiants like Kaladin) appeared in the modern parts of The Way of Kings? And if you have to RAFO me, could you give me a hint about the Heralds?
I can answer that--no, no Radiants from those days have appeared on screen in [The Way of Kings].
When Shallan is appealing Jasnah, Jasnah reveals that she has heard about Shallan's step-mother, Malise Gevelmar. Has Malise Gevelmar ever met Jasnah or one of her associates (excluding Shallan)?
No, she has not. You'll learn more about Malise in [Words of Radiance]. She really is just a rural lighteyes of not much consequence. Shallan's mother, however...
Do all Shards have some sort of Shard-induced weakness, like how Ruin and Preservation can't see metal?
Can you give me a hint about Nafti, the Uvara girl that Derethil brought with him when he left the Great Abyss?
There is more truth to that story than some may think.
In what ways do you feel that finishing The Wheel of Time helped to prepare you for The Stormlight Archive and how did it change your writing in general, if at all?
I gained three things, I feel, by working over the years on [The Wheel of Time]. (And, in particular, by studying [Robert Jordan]'s work in depth.) I learned how to better balance lots of different viewpoints, I got a better grip for foreshadowing and subtlety over many books, and I gained a deeper understanding of how to write a really sold third person viewpoint.
Is Jek-son-son-Vallano important?
Is Jek-son-son-Vallano Szeth-son-son-Vallano's brother?
He is the same person as Szeth; I just changed the name. Sorry, no hidden truth there.
I love Wax as a Skimmer and a Coinshot. Is that your favorite Twinborn combination? If not, what is?
It's certainly one of my favorites. However, some of the characters in the modern day trilogy have some really neat combinations as well.
Having to do with Legion, if you could take a picture of any historical event what would it be?
Wow, tough question there at the end. Hmmm.... So many choices. Sermon on the Mount, perhaps?
Did Cultivation come to Roshar with Honor, or was she already on Roshar when Honor arrived?
Good question. They came together.
What did Jek and Szeth do to become Truthless?
This will be answered in his book, during his flashback sequences.
Does Szeth-son-son-Vallano's Surgebinding require an honorspren like Kaladin's?
No, it does not. (Hm....) Gold star to you.
Are Surgebinding and Awakening related?
All of the magic systems are related, and these two do share some defining fundamentals.
Is there a way to harvest BioChromatic Breath from a planet, if it holds any? (If a person dies, and their body turns to dusty he dust of the earth, then doesn't [Nalthis] therefore hold thousands, if not millions, of BioChromatic Breaths?)
Possible. It would be the same thing as harvesting the nature of Preservation or Ruin, which--on Scadrial--took the form of nuggets of metal.
What is your favorite world of the cosmere?
Favorite world? Probably Roshar, as it's the most unique.
Could a Shardblade holder potential drill a hole through the planet by using his Blade like Dalinar?
Uh... I think that you'd hit the core and that would not be a good thing for you.
Is there any ramifications to the holder of a Shardblade for using a Blade in a manner that it wasn't intended?
Depends on the type of Shardblade. (You have seen three different kinds in [The Way of Kings].) For most, no. For some, most certainly.
Is it possible for a non-native being to use a Shardblade?
Is Hoid's base magic system Lightweaving?
Would a Breath imbued object stop a Shardblade?
Are there any ramifications beyond leaving one's world behind when they worldhop to other worlds? IE physical ailment, aging, time travel lag X1000
Can magic systems from one world work in any given other?
For some, it will take quite a bit of work, but it's possible to get them each to work. Sel's magics are regional, and so they are going to be tough. Scadrial's magics are the easiest.
Szeth mentions that Lashings don't work with shardplate (on?). Is there any way to get around this (As in, lashing with Shardplate on, or lashing people with Shardplate on), and, if so, does it have anything to do with the Knights Radiant and/or their Ideals?
This has to do with the nature of the magics in the cosmere. They interfere with one another. Something that contains a lot of power--we call it Investiture--resists the efforts of magic to influence it. A strong spirit can interfere as well.
How extensively do you outline?
Depends on the book. Alloy of Law had a few pages. The Way of Kings had hundreds of worldbuilding notes. The outline for [Words of Radiance] sits open on my computer right now at...12 pages single spaced. It's maybe 2/3 done.
Are there any plans for a world where the magic system operates through devices that transform and empower individuals with spectacular abilities? Like...say...a belt with an ornate buckle...a bracer..things like that?
What's your opinion on golems/constructs/robots? The Lifeless are a somewhat similar concept, but I was curious as to whether there's a world in the cosmere that might have a more classical take on ye ol' fantasy standby guardian, or are Awakened suits of armor as close as we can get? Is the Future Mistborn trilogy going to have Anti-Allomancer Alluminaughts?
Ha. I am fascinated the idea of golems, and when I play an RPG I'm often trying to make golems of one sort or another. However, I worry that the idea is a little overdone in fiction, so my takes on that sort of thing come in more unusual flavors.
So, firstly, is the Cognitive Realm the only way to access the Spiritual Realm from the Physical Realm, and vice versa?
Does the Spiritual power used in any given magic system come from the supporting Shard itself, or through it from the remains of Adonalsium and the Power of Creation?
From the Shard in most cases. But it's also often built into the world innately, and so the Shard (if someone is holding it) doesn't always have control over who can or cannot use the magic.
Lastly, less pressingly, do Spirit Points (Hemalurgic spots) apply to ever magic system, and through the cosmere at large? Ie. could Hemalurgy be used to take any other magic systems aspects, and do other magic systems also have these 'Points', such as Body Focuses, that work in similar ways?
Hemalurgy crosses magic systems. You could steal things from people on other worlds, if you knew the right places for the spikes.
What is your favorite of your own books?
I can never answer this. It's like trying to choose your favorite child. :)
What has turned out better for you, starting with the characters, the plot, or the world when you are beginning the writing process for a book?
Any time I have the characters from the get go, I feel like I'm leaps and bounds ahead. Having a very strong ending in mind before outlining is also very, very helpful.
How did you portray Jasnah's atheism so well? As a staunch atheist myself, I think you did an absolutely brilliant job. Honestly, It made me happy that a religious person was trying to understand my mindset. Anyway, who did you ask to get such accurate ideas of atheist thought?
I found some really good atheist forums. Not the 'hate on religion' type atheist forums, but the kind with some serious depth. People asking one another about morality, talking about how they felt when people reacted to them being an atheist, and expressing their philosophy. I gained a great deal of respect for them during these readings.
From there, I went and chatted with some atheists I know to gauge if I had a good handle on things. It was important that I get this right, as it's different enough from my own worldview that if it went wrong, it would have gone VERY wrong and I'd have ended up with something insulting.
Any advice for an aspiring fantasy writer? Besides the obligatory "Read a lot and write a lot!!!" Characterization advice is especially appreciated.
Well, I do have my lectures on this topic. Go to writeaboutdragons.com and listen to the characterization lecture. I think you'll find it helpful.
Do remember that your characters should have passions, goals, and flaws that are distinct from the plot of the story. They can sometimes align, but a character should have a life and passions outside of what happens TO them.
Out of all your magic systems, which one would you choose to be a user of?
I'd be a Mistborn if possible. So many fun interactions. Not quite as powerful as some of those on Roshar, perhaps, but very fun.
Will you ever go into more detail about the dead original shardholders? I'd love to know what kind of people Tanavast, Ati, and Leras were.
They will all be characters in the Dragonsteel series.
I am currently trying to write a book in which the world is drastically different from earth. Do you think it is too ambitious to start out with such a complex setting?
No, not at all. Just don't try TOO hard to describe every aspect of it. It's good to be ambitious. However, be careful to keep you number of viewpoints down for your first few attempts--that will spiral out of control faster than worldbuilding will. Don't feel the need to explain too much, keep the focus on the characters, and you should be fine.
Could a Shardblade sever a Nahel Bond? Could it slice a spren?
Could a Shardbearer materialize his or her Shardblade inside another person? What about something inanimate like stone?
Are the Heralds native to Roshar?
RAFO (Man, you're good at asking those, aren't you?)
What's up with those fish in the Purelake?
Haven't you always wanted magic fish?
Between the Parshendi and the Alethi harvesting gemhearts, how long has it been since a chasmfiend got to finish pupating?
Aha. I wondered if someone would ask that. Much like whaling in our own world, there is a big ecological price building for what is going on here. You are right to worry about this.
Does Sazed's biological body still exist somewhere? If so, does that body still possess Feruchemical abilities?
Yes, it does exist, though kind of...blended-in, so to speak, as happened with the others when they Ascended. Yes, it still has his abilities, though they are kind of moot now.
Can we expect to see a fight between a Windrunner, an Awakener, and an Allomancer in one of the Stormlight books?
I've said before that it's unlikely that the Stormlight books will ever delve strongly into the connections between worlds. There will be some cool things happening for the cosmere-literate, but this series isn't focused on those concepts. I want it to maintain its plot cohesion for those who aren't aware of all of the behind-the-scenes stories.
Epilogue to Book Two should excite you, though.
Where did humanity originate in the cosmere?
The first planet with humans on it was Yolen.
What question do you wish that readers would ask you but that no one has?
Surprisingly, I get this exact question every few months or so. (Mostly in interviews.) I can never come up with something.
It seems that certain colors and numbers appear frequently in specific Cosmere books, like the number 5 in Warbreaker or red and blue in Elantris. Do these colors or numbers happen to refer to a specific Shard, and if so, would they be consistent across the cosmere?
Certain colors and numbers are important in reference to certain Shards.
What are the chances that you will eventually write a fifth Alcatraz book?
Does Alcatraz ever actually end up tied to a stack of encyclopedias, about to be sacrificed by evil librarians?
I bought the rights to the Alcatraz series back from Scholastic earlier this year, and they were given a 'sell-off' period to sell the rest of their stock. I now own the rights again free and clear, and will probably be putting out an omnibus ebook. (Perhaps a print one with Tor as well.)
I can now write the fifth book (which Scholastic did not want.) It was always planned as the book where he ends up on that stack of encyclopedias. I'll do this sometime next year, hopefully.
Could an iron Twinborn "fly" by drastically increasing his weight, pulling hard on a counterweight so it flew above him, then decreasing his weight drastically and pulling himself up by the counterweight, and repeating?
It's plausible. It's kind of a 'Thor-like' way to fly, isn't it? (For those unaware, he throws his hammer and it carries him with it, and STOP THINKING.) I played with this idea, but the trick is not getting hit by the counterweight as you pull it to yourself. If you could stop that, you might be able to manage it, but it felt pretty hard to pull off to me.
And finally, to speak non-canonically, would burning copper mask someone channeling the one power, and would burning bronze allow one to detect when someone was channeling?
Uh... You should ask Kelsier. He probably tried it when he hung out with Moiraine.
Is Szeth bound to his Oathstone by anything but honor (not the Shard. No loopholes here ;) )?
Are Dawnshards the same thing as Honorblades?
Are spren Cognitive aspects?
:) You guys are figuring this all out pretty well. I want to hold off on talking much about the nature of the spren because the characters in-world are discovering this as the books progress.
Can male members of the Idrian royal family and or Returned grow out their facial hair at will? If so, can this lead to epic beard competitions?
The Way of Kings was named after an in story book, as is the would be Shallan's book if you don't change like you siad you might "The Book of Endless Pages", do you plan on naming all the books in The Stormlight Archive with in world literature?
That was the original plan.
In [The Hero of Ages], what spooked Vin off from meeting Hoid? (My theory is Ruin's infulence, because he didn't want Hoid interfering(sub question that just occured to me. Was Ruin aware of Hoid on Scadrial?)
What would Hoid have told her if they had talked?
Ha. Well, by this point Hoid had been to the Well--getting there just before Vin--and had retrieved something from it. That should have been enough to get him to leave the planet entirely, but he got involved in events. (He tends to do that.) It's pie in the sky, but I would someday like to do parallel novel to the Mistborn series with Hoid in the background like they did in the second(?) back to the future move. I don't know that I'll ever be able to do it, but we shall see. I would answer this question there.
In one of the death sentence things it says something like three of sixteen ruled, but now the broken one reigns. Is this referring to the Shards on Roshar and if so, is the broken one Odium?
Is it possible to give cats intelligence with Hemalurgy? Or transfer cat's identity to a human?
Hemalurgy can do some very, very odd things. And the endowment of intelligence is a common result of tinkering with Shard-based magic.
A few months ago, I discovered listening to classic jazz just really got me into the mindset for my current novel, and I think it might be because the story is set in a time similar to the America in the 1920's; do you ever try to match the music with the setting of a specific book or scene? Is there any one artist or style of music that works no matter what?
Yes, indeed I do. I actually listened to era-appropriate music when working on Alloy of Law. In general, a good soundtrack can work no matter what, but for some scenes I need something more powerful. (Szeth's scenes in [The Way of Kings] were usually to Daft Punk.)
Would you be willing to write a Ketek in High Imperial? It's just something that's been going around in my head for a while, I think it'd be pretty cool XD.
Ha. I...really would rather pass on this one. Getting the Ketek right in [The Way of Kings] took weeks of writing and rewriting. I'm not sure I'd like to try something, even for fun, in a quick forum write like this.
Is Wax's sister a duralumin Ferring?
I'm curious what makes you guess that particular power.
How is heat a mental attribute in Feruchemy?
Because I messed up. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but that power was supposed to be swapped with another one. (You might be able to guess which one.) However, by the time I realized my mistake, it had already been canonized in print in the trilogy, so I was stuck with it. I've been tempted to go back and correct the error, but it reaches pretty far back. People drawing upon warmth is mentioned in the first book. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that in general the 'physical, mental, etc' things are applied by people--they are boxes that people investigating the magic have used to describe it.
How much power does a Breath and a freshly charged Hemalurgic spike have relative to each other?
This is a RAFO. I don't want to be pinned down on this one quite yet.
Tell us something new about Cognitive Realm, please :)
You will get plenty in the next Stormlight book. But more than one type of spren live there.
Just wondering, are you ever going to go back and write about The Further Adventures of Lestibournes? I think his character is pivotal to the Mistborn trilogy and felt cheated that the trilogy mostly focused on Vin, Kel, Sazed, and Elend. I would like to know more of his backstory and how he became the stud that he is.
He became quite the 'stud' in the years following the first trilogy. I might be persuaded to show some of this at some point. He also knew many things he really should not have.
Are there any racist jokes in the Mistborn world?
Yes, I would think there are lots of racist jokes everywhere. It's more of a thing on Roshar, however, where the races are more distinct and rub each other the wrong way more often.
If there's really no upper limit to Feruchemy for practical reasons* , why didn't Sazed just fill steel at ridiculous levels for a few minutes in [Well of Ascension], and then go back to running instead of leaving his steelminds there? Say, being some 100,000 times slower than he would normally be for about a minute. Meaning that a Feruchemist should be able to fill a given metalmind in very short periods of time if you fill at a high enough rate.
*(yes, you have the limit of how much you can store in a given metalmind and for how many metalminds you can carry on your person, but those are probably too high to really be taken into account in more "normal" circumstances)
The low end is bounded. You can pull out tons--but in filling, you can only go so far. I didn't ever explicitly talk about this in the series, but the implications are there. Not all have the same bounds, but in your example, the body just can't slow beyond a certain point. Think of it this way--you can only fill a weight metalmind with as much weight as you have to give. So you can become very, very light--but you only add to a time for doubling your weight. You can't make yourself 100,000 times slower and gain 100,000 times multiplication. You can give up all of your normal speed, and so when you tap that speed out you are at 200% for an equal period. (And that's a theoretical maximum; realistically, you can only go to down around 75% slower or the like.)
What do the Terrismen who aren't stewards or breeders do? Are there castrated Terris craftsmen around in the Terris dominance? What do the Terriswomen who aren't breeders do?
Lots of things. There is a full society up there. Lots of small villages.
If tapping heat means your own body gets hotter, does it also mean you become immune to hot temperatures so long as you're tapping it, or should you fill heat and grow colder for that to happen?
As everything in Feruchemy, you become immune to the effects of the ability only. Like weight doesn't crush you, but at the same time doesn't have a net gain in strength. Growing colder, however, would be more helpful in this regard.
What do you think to a Sadeas and Zane pairing? Not many people seem to like the idea, but I think they'd get on swimmingly :P
Sadeas would make great use of Zane. Far better use than his father did.
Can a Misting burn the god-metal alloys of their metal? If not, do the god-metals even 'exist' if there are no full Mistborn?
There are metals which exist that any Allomancer can burn, regardless of their own orientation.
Is there any relationship between Hemalurgic bindpoints and the body focuses in Surgebinding? Specifically, the eyespikes and the eyes being a body focus in Surgebinding?
The relationship is there, but it's not a very strong connection.
How has writing Shallan as the focus character been compared to Kaladin in the last book? Easier? More difficult?
So far, I've only done her flashback sequence--but this was a little easier than Kaladin's, as I've been kind of chomping at the bit to tell her story.
Can Knights Radiant of one Order see the spren of someone from another Order?
If a Shardblade was used on an Awakened object, would it physically harm the object, destroy the Breath, or a combination of the two?
You will someday know.
According to [Sanderson's Second Law of Magic] your characters have flaws, weaknesses. What is the reason, that in a lot of them (Vin, Elend, Kaladin, Dalinar, Spook, etc) the most significant weakness is the lack of self-confidence?
It's because of mode-shifting. The people you noted have been doing one thing for a long time, and are now forced into something else. The self confidence is a side effect of that. However, I wouldn't say it's the primary character attribute for any of them, however. I think you're blanketing self confidence as a larger issue, when it's the smaller part of something larger for each character.
Vin: Trusting Others
Dalinar: Conflict between the killer he was and the man he wishes to be.
Spook: Self Worth
Are we going to be seeing Eastern Slang/High Imperial throughout the whole of the Mistborn sequence? How about on any of the other Shardworlds?
RAFO. (But you will see it again.)
Did Sazed do anything with the bodies of Ati and Leras after he Ascended?
No, I'm afraid not. Those might have been useful to have around, though.
Are the lighteyes descendants of the first people who took the Shards after the Knights Radiant abandoned them?
I'm afraid I have to RAFO this too.
What would happen if Nightblood and a Shardblade hit each other?
You have told us there are more than 30 magical systems on Roshar. I am assuming there are 10 Surgebindings and 10 Voidbindings. Do the next 10 belong to another such classification? If yes, can you give us the name for it.
Fabrials are part of it.
Are any of your books' locations (barring Legion) based on real-life places? If so, where? If not, what propels your creative drive to make new worlds?
All of the keeps in the Mistborn series are based on real structures I've visited. The mists are based on a trip to Idaho, were I drove through a fog bank at high speeds.
Warbreaker's setting was inspired, in part, by a visit to Hawaii.
Much of Roshar is inspired by tidal pools and coral reefs.
Are there any worldhoppers that we should recognize as worldhoppers in anything other than [The Way of Kings] beyond Hoid?
They aren't recognizable, and aren't intended to be, as of yet. There are some around, however.
Is there a magic system that best allows people to worldhop between worlds?
Yes, but it isn't needed. Some do help more with understanding how to traverse the Cognitive Realm.
Is there a chance that any dead protagonists will miraculously come back (IE Vin, Elend, Lightsong) to help fight later battles? You have shown Kelsier having influence after he died, and Sazed makes a statement about keeping in touch with Vin and Elend.
I don't want to be unsympathetic to people's love for these characters, but I feel that as a writer I must resist the urge to bring back characters in this manner. I feel it would undermine my storytelling. I never want to get to the point where people read and the tension of a character being in danger is ruined by the thought, "Well, even if they die, they'll probably just be brought back in the future."
I'm not saying I won't ever do it, but I want to be very sparing. I like how Robert Jordan did it with a certain character's return in [Towers of Midnight]. It was foreshadowed, built into the story itself, and relevant.
There are characters--in the 36-book-cosmere-superoutline--who return when thought dead. Some have not met their perceived end yet, while others have. So it's going to happen, but I want it to be very rare.
Where did you get the idea for your Adonalsium mythos? Did it develop in your head for a while, or did you have a sudden flash of inspiration.
Over time, particularly when building Dragonsteel as a novel. I was planning it as I wrote Elantris. Hoid has been around forever, long before Adonalsium became the central plot of his story. I have an old short story from the early, early, early days where he's on a planet trying to figure out how the local magic system works.
What is/was Endowment's gender? Is Endowment the same being as Austre (making him male)?
Are the Parshendi of Honor?
Do any characters from Nalthis appear in The Way of Kings?
What about a lerasium savant? Or would that require so much lerasium that the person attempting it would ascend to become a new Shardholder?
Basically, this is what Ascension is.
After reading The Way of Kings, I couldn't help but to wonder this: hypothetically if there were two equally skilled combatants in every way, one armed with a Shardblade and the other with a Lightsaber, and take magic and the Force out of the equation (except for the weapons themselves), who would win? And yes, the Shardblade would have already been summoned and the two are just squaring off in a dual. Have fun with it.
A lightsaber is actually a little more easy to wield than a Shardblade, I would guess. Shardblades were designed to fight something larger than another person; you don't actually need all of that size when fighting someone. So that gives a slight edge to you average Jedi. If it's someone like Szeth, who has a more modestly sized Blade, then I don't honestly know.
What are the smoke-y spren that appear around a dead chasmfiend?
They are in a symbiotic relationship with the chasmfiend, and are part of what allow the creatures to grow to the size they do with an exoskeleton. (Along with a high-oxygen, lower-gravity world.)
Is there a functional/structural difference between modern-day Shardplate and the stuff the Radiants wore? Did the Radiants have to use infused gems to keep their suits going or could they just 'breathe in' Stormlight and feed the suit off of their 'inhaled' reserves?
Something is different. You will find out what.
Dalinar ever getting an honorspren? :D
RAFO. (You knew I'd do that.)
What's up at the south end of the world (during the 'closer to the sun' phase)? Life there? Cultures? Allomancers? Assuming that there is some life down there, can we assume that we'll have some interesting 'culture clashes' in future books?
They will be known by the modern trilogy, so it's safe to assume that a discovery will happen soon. Either during the Alloy of Law era or soon after.
What's the closest that humans had gotten to the 'inhabitable' zone of the planet during the events of the first Mistborn trilogy?
There were groups who would go out there to escape the Lord Ruler, and the Final Empire in general. Survival was practically impossible. It's possible someone might have gotten across to the southern continent, but it would take a small miracle.
When Scadrial was closer to the sun, can we safely assume that the middle section of the planet was scorched clean of anything living? Could there have been some underground life thing going on? Anything cool or interesting sitting out there (like ruins or some lost technology)?
The middle section was scorched pretty clean. I know of a few interesting tidbits, but it's not technology. (The tech level before the Lord Ruler took over was nothing particularly special, early industrial era.) The cool and interesting things are on the southern continent.
Since we generally don't see inhabitants of your worlds refer to their planets by name, where do the names come from?
From world-hoppers, Shards, and those who know about the cosmere.
You said that a person can have more than one Shardblade--can they be dual-wielded?
Someone did exactly this in the original draft of Way of Kings, back in 2002.
You've already given some information about the origins of the custom of a safehand (feminine arts being those that can be done one-handed) but why the word "safe?"
It grew out of the culture and linguistics somewhat naturally; nobody 'named' it that.
Shinovar seems more earthlike than the rest of Roshar; does this occur naturally or was it somehow changed to be that way?
My question is in regards to the writing system. In Warbreaker, when Siri is teaching Susebron to read, she mentions the letter "shash," which we now know better as a glyph from [The Way of Kings].
so onto the questions:
Are the two writing systems related, or is this a chance coincidence of names?
If they are related, did they stem from the same source? (i.e., do the people of Nalthis and Roshar both descend from a more ancient group of people?)
If I haven't gotten a RAFO yet, did the separation from these other people create the legends of being cast out of the Tranquiline Halls?
There are interesting connections around the cosmere between linguistics and some cultures. Though different groups of humans were created on different planets, the Shards all share a single point of origin. However, the Tranquiline Halls legends are not related to a Nalthis/Roshar connection.
In the Mistborn trilogy, the base 16 Allomantic metals separate into different groups like the Enhancement metals, etc. Given that there are 16 Shards, do they also separate into different groupings as well? For instance, are Shards like Honor and Devotion part of one 'grouping', with Shards like Cultivation and Endowment part of another?
There's been enough speculation that an Elantrian world hopper appears in Way of Kings and that an Elantrian world hopper wrote the Ars Arcanum in Alloy of Law to make it likely that by the time of both books, at least some Elantrians can world hop. So my question is, at the time of Way of Kings, does Sel have the most cosmere-awareness out of any of your Shardworlds (including ones we have not seen yet), or is there another Shardworld that's more aware of the greater cosmere at this time?
Sel is very cosmere aware at this point, but getting to and through Shadesmar (that's not the local term, by the way) is very difficult on Sel. That stunted them for a long while. They're still fairly far ahead.
We're aware by now of eight of the sixteen Shards (Devotion, Dominion, Ruin, Preservation, Endowment, Honor, Odium and Cultivation) and seven of the ten core Shardworlds (the Dragonsteel world, Roshar, Scadrial, Nalthis, Sel, the White Sand world and The Silence Divine world). Given that you now how we love to obsessively speculate based on only the tiniest of information, and also given that it seems an endless source of amusement to you that we do, would you perhaps like to tease us with a smidgen of information about one of the remaining eight Shards or the three remaining Shardworlds?
Ha. If I give you this, what will you speculate on in the future? :) I hate to do this, but I'm going to RAFO that one for now. Sorry.
When Kelsier destroys the Pits of Hathsin in Final Empire, it is mentioned that they'll take something like 300 years to start producing atium again. Do the Pits of Hathsin still exist in any form after Sazed reshaped the world, and is that timeline for them still valid?
This might have been specified in the books, I don't remember, but does duralumin expend itself as well as the metal it's used with? If it does, I've got this theory that its effect is actually just to cause a regular flare, not a superflare, but it affects itself in a feedback loop that keeps forcing the flare higher until it runs out.
Yes you DO expend duralumin in the process.
In Alloy of Law, evidence is uncovered that the bad guys are attempting to breed a Mistborn. The time span of the gap between this and the original Mistborn trilogy, perhaps with the interval I vaguely remember being stated for between Alloy and the next main trilogy added, is suspiciously close to 300 years. Does the organization Wax's father is part of know the location of the Pits of Hathsin, or otherwise have access to atium, either now (as of Alloy) or in the time period of the planned second trilogy?
You are on the right track
1) What benefit does Compounding copper get? Exceptionally clear and detailed memories? Memories that can be split into a new coppermind while still remaining in the Feruchemist's mind? Something else?
2) How does Feruchemical luck work? If a chromium Compounder tried his hand at day trading on the stock market, what would happen? Would it make him choose stocks that were coincidentally going to go up anyway? Would it change stock prices by altering the world around him? Would it fail because the required scale of action is too large? Something else?
So, I've said before that I want to hold off on talking about different forms of compounding and types of twinborn until I can address them in the series. So I'll have to RAFO the first two.
What benefit does an aluminum savant get? Yes, I know this would normally never happen because aluminum burns itself up. Suppose a mad scientist with a willing Mistborn test subject shoved a feeding tube down the Mistborn's throat to pump in a continuous stream of aluminum, replenishing it steadily so there's always a new unburned supply. Add another tube to pump out excess water if necessary. What would he discover? Alternatively, what would Sazed with his Shard-granted knowledge know?
Ha, that IS a little silly of a method. However, on the extreme end of aluminum, I have in the notes the possibility of cleansing the spirit of unwanted effects of other Investitures. You'd get really good at this, and maybe even be able to cleanse the body of other impurities.
Is Honor the only one who created people on Roshar?
What would happen if you gave [a mistwraith] a spike imbued with steel Allomancy? I'm assuming that wouldn't be enough to grant it sentience but could it then use steel powers? Can you give Allomantic powers to a kandra?
Hemalurgy can give Allomantic powers to a kandra. The process to do so is not known to anyone but Harmony.
Will the fact that Roshar and the Silence Divine planet exist in the same solar system come into play at all in The Stormlight Archive, or is that only relevant for later books?
It's mostly relevant for later books, but there are some things here and there.
How intelligent is a mistwraith? Could you raise and train mistwraiths like dogs or horses, controlling what forms they take by the bones you give them? Would you be able to train yourself a horsewraith steed by giving it only the bones of a horse?
This is feasible. One thing to keep in mind is that mistwraiths are people who have a blockage between the Physical and the Cognitive Realm, messing with their ability to think. Think of them as mentally-stunted people. There's enough there to train, but then you have to dig into the ethics of it...
I am formerly a Sergeant in the United States Army Reserves. Having read all of your work except for your Wheel of Time additions, I couldn't help but to see that you have a good grasp of leadership displayed in your writing. When I finished reading the scene in The Way of Kings about Kaladin ordering Bridge Four to carry their bridge into battle in a way that would protect them, but ended up causing defeat for the rest of the army, you wrote a well described contrast between an NCO and a high ranking officer (not saying an officer would act like Sadeas by the means of using bridge men like he does), and how the two types of leaders look at battle. I was wondering, do you draw from your own experiences, or study others, or something entirely different you use when you write leadership roles in your characters and how they act in different situations utilizing that trait?
That's very flattering to hear. I've made a study of leadership in many different areas, the military being one of them. It's a topic that fascinates me, and I try hard to get it right. I wouldn't say I have any practical experience in it, unfortunately--just a lot of study, questioning, and curiosity.
Does the Physical Realm of the cosmere have more or less the same structure as our own? It's obvious from Mistborn that solar systems function as they do in our universe, but it's less obvious if there are galaxies, clusters, superclusters, and so forth. Are there?
If the cosmere does have the same structure as our own, are the Shardworlds all in the same general area (a galaxy, for example), or are they completely spread out?
Good question. I designed the cosmere to have much the same structure, but imagined the action happening in a compact dwarf galaxy. Still a lot going on, but far, far fewer stars and systems than our own.
Are all of the Orders of Knights Radiant human?
You said that Preservation created the Terris Prophecies. Why couldn't Ruin see into the future and counter Preservation's plan? Is it because Ruin's intent has him focusing more on the present than the future, while Preservation (wanting to preserve forever) looks more into the future for that goal.
Looking into the future was not something Ruin was good at doing. That ability is confined to certain shards, and not others.
Are there non-human races on Roshar, or non-humanoid races that are sentient?
The Parshendi are not human, but you probably already knew that. The two races of Aimians are not human either. There are many races of sentient spren. From there, it depends if you call something like Ryshadium sentient or not.
Since Allomancy is powered by burning metal, isn't Scadrial going to eventually start running out of metal?
Hmmm... is that why there's a space trilogy? They have to mine asteroids and other planets for their metal?
It could happen. However, it's not really a danger with the current population of Allomancers. There just aren't enough of them.
So some of us happened across a line in [Mistborn: The Final Empire] that gave us pause. It's in the chapter 19 epigraph:
"Not so Kwaan. In a way, he is as unlikely a prophet as I am a hero. He never had an air of ceremonious wisdom - nor was he even a religious scholar. When we first met, he was studying one of his ridiculous interests in the great Khlenni library--I believe he was trying to determine whether or not trees could think."
This sounded to us like Kwaan the Terrisman might have been looking into or might have known something about Realmatics, like for instance knowing of the Realms and that things have aspects in all three. Is this the case? If so, was such knowledge common among his people or Scadrial?
Realmatic theory was part of the ancient Terris religion.
Oh and is Hoid an older Alcatraz Smedry? (This is a joke I know Alcatraz isn't in the Cosmere but with Hoid being present at the Shattering and Alcatraz's Talent being breaking things... That could include Gods.)
Re: Alcatraz. Ha!
For the modern day Mistborn trilogy, have you decided on whether the nicrosil Misting main character will be male or female yet? I haven't seen you mention it anywhere.
I have him as a guy right now, but that could change. (It has before.)
Did Amaram ever find out who the Shardbearer that Kaladin killed was?
Was it Shallan's brother, by the way?
Nightwatcher's curses all appear to be neurological in effect, are the boons limited in any particular manner?
Is it hypothetically possible to Awaken an object using a divine Breath?
If a character bears multiple Shardblades, can they summon them all in the same 10 heartbeat span, or does each Shardblade require a separate summoning? Dying doesn't count.
Does Hoid have a safety-deposit box somewhere, or does he carry all his souvenirs with him?
He has a home base.
Do you ever plan to continue "I Hate Dragons"? I have a theory that Skip does not have a separate knack to make him smell delicious to dragons, but rather that he is high in levels of human magical potential, which the dragons need in their diet.
Perhaps. I've got a few more chapters than I've posted. Including some viewpoints from the most powerful magical sword ever created. Most powerful...in that he has the most powers. Thousands of them. All useless.
Are you planning to include a gay character in the second book of The Stormlight Archive? I know there is that bridge guy, but I mean a character with some weight on the book. Would be cool.
I've tried to be more GLBT aware in recent years, but I want to be careful. Doing it poorly could be more insulting than doing it not at all. Having Ryan, the real world Drehy from Bridge Four, as a friend does at least give me access to someone who can give early feedback and tell me where I might be going wrong. So let's just say maybe.
And I saw on facebook about the discussion about the name of the second book. This is more like a request, please, keep the name of it being The Book Of Endless Pages. That title is awesome! Oh and another suggestion, please, keep making huge books! Now, after reading your books, I expect books to be at least 600 pages, so you can see I get disappointed quite often lol
I will keep the books, in this series at least, long. It's what the story demands. As for title...it does have a certain charm, but I worry that it just feels wrong to too many people. Three out of four laugh when I mention it. That doesn't bode well...
What is the relationship between blood and the Spiritual Realm? (Since Hemalurgy needs blood to graft the sDNA in a spike into someone else's sDNA)
The blood being in motion is part of it.
Why does Preservation fueling Allomancy not weaken Preservation compared to Ruin?
Because the power, once used, returns to him--much as water, after passing over a turbine, continues on in its system.
Why aren't seons affected by the lack of a chasm line in their Aon?
If they tried to actualize their Aon, it would have an undesirable result. In addition, the chasm broke their bond to the humans they were tied to, and you can see the result of that. So they were affected.
There's also been a long standing debate on whether an Allomacer could burn the One Ring, stance on that?
Burn the One Ring, eh? I think it's such a powerfully Invested object that it would be very, very dangerous to try.
|Name||17th Shard Forum Q&A|
|Date||Sept. 25, 2012|