JordanCon 2016

Event details
Name
Name JordanCon 2016
Date
Date April 23, 2016
Location
Location Atlanta, GA
Entries
Entries 116
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#1 Copy

Questioner

Would Nightblood appear in the Cognitive Realm?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood will have a manifestation in the Cognitive Realm.

Questioner

…Would it appear as a sword, or because Nightblood appears to perceive itself as something else, would it appear as something else?

Brandon Sanderson

So, um, you will get a RAFO. *laughter* Because most things we're going to deal with we will have some scenes in the Cognitive Realm coming up, and you'll be better able to make guesses along these lines after you've read those.

#2 Copy

Questioner

What color are Marewill flowers?

Brandon Sanderson

Marewill flowers I've always imagined as a kind of bluish-white. But I don't know if I ever describe that, so it's possible that Peter pushed me once and I said something else. But I'm assuming I've never done it because you don't know. So I'm imagining a bluish-white… with a green actual plant.

#4 Copy

Questioner

I have a question in regards to the soulstamps… When Shai is creating it she blows flakes off of it. Are those flakes able to be enchanted and do they have any power?

Brandon Sanderson

Do the flakes that Shai blows off the front of the soulstamp have any hidden power? The answer is, no. I'm sorry, nice theory. The blowing off is actually just related directly to my experience. Soulstamps come from--

I lived in Korea for two years as a Mormon missionary, and then I went back to Taiwan to visit because there's a huge Brandon Sanderson fan base in Taiwan. For those who don't know, what happened is the publisher who got The Emperor's Sou-- No, no, the publisher who got Mistborn in Taiwan, published it the same month or so that Hunger Games came out, and everyone who was looking for-- read The Hunger Games wanted something like it ended up buying Mistborn. So actually-- *laughter* It's one of those things over here, like The Maze Runner or one of these other YA dystopians are what took off in the kind of halo of The Hunger Games. Over there, Mistborn was in the halo of The Hunger Games. It actually sold about as well in Taiwan which is-- So we just sold tons of copies in Taiwan. So I went back and it was really fun-- by the way you can go to my timeline on Facebook and whatever, and here, people like to ask questions. A lot of the superfans like to have a question and things like that. There, the superfans like to get pictures. And so there are like 5,000 pictures of me and teenage schoolgirls *laughter over Brandon* just all over Facebook from that period. But I went and visited the palace museum.

And anyway, I remembered a time in Korea where I'd seen someone carving these and he would do a little of this and blow it off, do a little bit and blow it off. Kind of the old-school carver. Now most days it's actually-- they're actually made by machines. You load in a design, you lock in your little tojong into the machine, and it goes and it will carve it out to look like the little computer design. But you see occasionally old school people carving them hand-- That's why I made it do that, because I'd actually seen someone carving one. There is not supposed to be any hidden magical meaning, other than the fact the stone that they're using is a traditional type of stone, which may or may not have Invested properties.

#5 Copy

PallonianFire

As of Secret History, are the Ire aware of Feruchemical chromium?

Brandon Sanderson

As of Secret History, are the Ire aware of chromium. Not as fully aware-- They don't know everything.

PallonianFire

…The Spiritual Feruchemical metals, where we obviously have Invesiture, Identity, Connection and Fortune. Are all four of those cosmere-wide things?

Brandon Sanderson

So a lot of things-- The short answer is yes. The long answer is, there are certain things such as Investiture or whatnot, that when we write the books we translate different words as the same word because they're the same meaning, right? So what you're getting it is when they use the word "fortune", do they mean exactly what the Feruchemical-- and the answer is no. But it is a very similar concept.

#6 Copy

Questioner

Is the reason Dalinar rejects the Thrill because he has a connection to Honor through his visions from the Stormfather?

Brandon Sanderson

…Is the reason that Dalinar rejects the Thrill because he has a connection to the Stormfather through his visions?

Questioner

Yes.

Brandon Sanderson

The answer is yes, this is parti-- this is in play. Though you could say the two of them have a si-- The reason he has a connection to the Stormfather also influences the reason that he rejects the Thrill, so it may be more correlation than causation, but there's at least a little causation as well.

#7 Copy

Questioner

What happens to the spren the Parshendi bond when they switch form? So say if they're in soldier form, and they switch over to mate, what happens to that spren?

Brandon Sanderson

The spren is released.

Questioner

So when they took on void, they didn't kill their previous spren?

Brandon Sanderson

No, they don't kill when they-- No. That's a good question. Nope.

Questioner

Do those spren evolve in any way into something else?

Brandon Sanderson

Those spren that they are bonding with are generally what we call non-sapient spren, and so, no, and also the spren are barely aware that they-- they're bonded--- those spren, the non-voidspren, right? Like when they're bonding, generally what's happening is how... It's a symbiotic relationship, right? And the spren that gets bonded to them, it's just kind of like, "Oh, this is my life now! This is just normal. This is what's happened." The same thing happens with spren involved in greatshells and things like this. This is a natural part of the natural cycle for those spren.

#8 Copy

Questioner

When a Parshendi changes forms, are they taking different spren into their gemhearts?

Brandon Sanderson

When a Parshendi changes forms, they are carefully entering into a symbiotic relationship with a new spren.

Questioner

But-- *audience laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

That's the answer you're going to get. That's a RAFO.

#9 Copy

Questioner

So I noticed in Mistborn Era 1, there-- the head guard of the Venture House was a man named Felt.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Well… yeah.

Questioner

He was in the guards.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Questioner

There's also a character in Words of Radiance--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes!

Questioner

--a scout called Felt. Is that the same person?

Brandon Sanderson

It is the same person. *audience murmurs/laughs*

Moderator

You didn't repeat that one.

Brandon Sanderson

Is the Felt from Mistborn the same as the Felt from Stormlight. Yes it is.

That's one of the two things I can remember surprising Peter. Which was, when he's like, "This name is kind of interesting. It's kind of different. You sure you want to use this? Shouldn't he have more of a Vorin name?" I'm like, "Go read back in Mistborn." He's like "OH!" *laughter* I'm always happy when I surprise Peter, because-- The other big one that surprised Peter was when I put Vasher into Stormlight, right? He's like, "Huh... Vasher-- Vasher is in Stormlight?" And I'm like, "Go read Way of Kings Prime." Which he had read, which is the Way of Kings I wrote in 2002, where lo and behold Kaladin's swordmaster is Vasher, named Vasher at that point. He hadn't realized that I had written Warbreaker after as a exploration of this character who'd already been in The Stormlight Archive. Those are the two things I can remember Peter not catching about the cosmere. He gets most everything but those two surprised him.

#10 Copy

Questioner

What was the reasoning behind there being many, many years between different stories in the different parts the cosmere, like the huge gap between… Warbreaker and Way of Kings. Like why is--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, why are there some huge gaps in the length of the cosmere. There's-- I want the cosmere to be more than just a little blip of time. The concept for the cosmere was never something, to me, like the Avengers for instance. Which a lot of people kind of view it that way, particularly because the Marvel movies have been so big, and that's good. But it's not like all these concurrent stories with the same characters converging. That's not how I have ever planned it. Now there are certain people who are functionally immortal or close to it that will be involved in things across time, but this is-- I'm telling an epic story, right? And I knew we needed thousands of years between some of the events. For instance, Roshar, we start in the Prelude at 4500 years or whatever before the book starts. It's like, if I didn't have some big gaps, then what are all the stories that are happening in between? It feels illogical and false to me to have all the stories happen in a short time period. Now as certain part of the magic allow more communication and connection, then we will have to, by nature, kind of accelerate some of those things. But I feel like if I spent, you know, ten thousand years or whatever, and only had all the stories happen in the last 50, it would feel really weird. So that’s why.

#11 Copy

Questioner

Did the Lord Ruler create the lerasium that he gave to the ten foreign kings? Or where they put there by Leras--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, good question… No one's asked me that before, I don't believe. Did the Lord Ruler create the lerasium that he gave-- No, he found the lerasium. It was existent before his Ascension.

Questioner

Can I ask if it was placed there intentionally by Leras or did it sort of grow similar to how atium--

Brandon Sanderson

The Lord Ruler-- It was not placed for him, he had to-- he had to get it.

#12 Copy

Questioner

Spren. The phenomenon that creates spren. Is that Roshar-specific or is that a general effect?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, yes and no. So the question is, the effect that creates spren, is that Roshar-specific or is it general. The general fundamental rules that create spren are cosmere-wide. Spren are pieces of Investiture, usually pieces of Investiture that come straight from one of the Shards of Adonalsium, split off in some way, that because of human or other sapient creatures thinking about it or interacting with the power, the power starts to take on a life of its own. Develops personalities and comes alive, so to speak. And this can happen on any pla-- in any place where there is Investiture. So it could happen on any planet in the cosmere with significant amounts of free Investiture. The places you've seen this happen most commonly are on Sel and Scadri-- err Roshar. You haven't seen it on Scadrial, and you've seen little kind of hints at it on Nalthis, but not quite. And so-- But it's possible for it to happen anywhere. Seons and spren are basically the same thing with different powers-- powers kind of pushing them in different-- growth out of them-- That said, the non-sapient spren, so the spren that are not quite as-- They're not going to stand up and talk to you. Those all existed-- not all, but most of them existed on Roshar before the Shattering of Adonalsium.

#13 Copy

Questioner

Question about Hoid--

Brandon Sanderson

Okay. RAFO. *laughter* No, no, go ahead…

Questioner

When Hoid said that Ivory wasn't capable of harming him, is that related to his stated difficulty in harming others?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#15 Copy

KalynaAnne

In The Rithmatist you previously confirmed that Lines of Vigor behave a lot like light waves.

Brandon Sanderson

Mmhmm.

KalynaAnne

So if two lines of vigor collide do we have wave interference patterns? Does it matter if--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I am planning some wave interference patterns and things like that, definitely.

KalynaAnne

Does it matter if they come from the same Rithmatist?

Brandon Sanderson

Eh... It should not, no.

#16 Copy

Questioner

In Awakening an object when you give it the sort of Command like, go get the keys, or something. How does that object perceive the world around it? Since it doesn't have standard human senses, how does it see? How does it touch?

Brandon Sanderson

It is not--

Moderator

Repeat the question.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh… go ahead.

Moderator

The question was, how do Awakened objects actually perceive the world.

Brandon Sanderson

…The closest correlation you have to this is how Inquisitors see.

Questioner

Okay, following up on that say, someone who has-- say someone with bronze who-- a bronze Misting managed to somehow get access to Breath and Awaken would he then be able to tell that object "Hey I sense this Allomancer over there, can you find it".

Brandon Sanderson

That is not outside the realm of possibility.

#17 Copy

Questioner

You have, like you said, thousands of years of history--mostly I'm talking about Stormlight Archives--you have, you know, Radiants have done this, and Heralds have done this, you have in some ways figured out what happened and what's going to happen with that stuff. And you have a, at least I think, friend/author Patrick Rothfuss who also has kind of this mythos of stuff that happened many, many years ago, have you guys ever talked to make sure you're not going to do the same cool thing?

Brandon Sanderson

You know we-- *laughter* Good question. No I haven't ever asked him about that. We haven't spent a lot of time-- Like the only thing I ever remember talking to Pat with-- about world-building wise was magic and his magic and things like that. I was really interested in sympathetic magic also, Warbreaker has an element to it. I really liked how he did his sympathetic magic in Kingkiller. But when I get together with Pat I try not to ask the questions that I know the fans are asking him a lot, I try to be somebody who's a colleague that we can talk about other sorts of things to give him a break from that. I never ask him when the next book will be out *laughter* That's your job not mine. I ask him how his kid is, and I ask him how has it been working with DAW lately, are there any frustrations for you in the business, and that sort of stuff. The stuff he can't talk with other people about. He can talk about his kids but he can't really talk about publisher stuff with a lot of other people.

#18 Copy

Questioner

In the Letter, in The Way of Kings in all the epigraphs. It was mentioned that the author of the Letter was accused of perpetuating grudges regarding Rayse and Bavadin.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

That being said, are there any Vessels or Shards i.e. Bavadin, sympathetic towards Rayse's cause?

Brandon Sanderson

There are some who are more li-- more willing to go along with it than others, yes.

#19 Copy

Questioner

You recently said that dragons in the cosmere can take the form of humans.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

A kandra from Mistborn can do something very similar. Is there a meaningful connection between what the dragons and kandra can do?

Brandon Sanderson

Noooo, except for on fundamental cosmere rules stuff, but that's-- I would say no, in the same way that if you're like, "Is there any similarity between the way that bats fly and birds fly?" Well, there is some similarity 'cause-- But there is [convergent] evolution and stuff like that.

#21 Copy

Questioner

So in Words of Radiance, when Hoid has-- switches places with the carriage driver, who was mentioned as having a hat and a strange accent - is that carriage driver important?

Brandon Sanderson

Hehehehe… That's a-- I'll leave this one to you. It's a RAFO, but it's not a big RAFO.

#22 Copy

Questioner

Just in the cosmere alone, are there any--Do you believe there are any specific magic systems that are stronger than the others, or have an advantage? Or do they kind of even out?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, do-- Yeah. Do any of the magics have advantages or stronger-- Definitely some are stronger than others. Definitely. There is no attempt made on my part to power balance between magic systems and things. Power balancing is for RPGs where it's very important, it's not for storytelling.

A lot of people like to ask the "Who would win, X or Y?" sort of thing, and I don't get into a lot of that, I usually say, "Well, what's the situation?" I'm not big on the-- I will, if people clash, or if different powers clash, I will write the situation, but it's so conditional. So I have a hard time with these cage match things that people really like to do and things like that, because they're fun, but as an author I'm like, "I can come up with a dozen situations where either one of them wins or someone else does". Right? That's what you do, in writing. You say, what is the context of this?

But that's a tangent from your question, which is the powers are not equal. The Shards were generally equal. Some have given up more power than others.

#23 Copy

Questioner

If a kandra where to get the bones of a Dakhor monk, would they get the Dakhor monk's abilities?

Brandon Sanderson

If a kandra got a hold of the bones of a Dahkor monk, yeah, would they get the abilities… It would take more than just the bones, but that would be a big part of it.

#24 Copy

Questioner

In the original Mistborn series, when Leras plans the 1 in 16 Snapping, was he not aware of chromium and nicrosil? Or--

Brandon Sanderson

He was aware that they would not be aware of and were not aware of it. He was using the kind of vague ability in some of the cosmere magics to read possibilities on the future. He was also already not completely there when he was building this.

#25 Copy

Questioner

A dullform listener is indoors when the Everstorm passes over, will they be transformed into a Voidform?

Brandon Sanderson

No. It depends on the strength of the boundary between them, but it is possible for them-- And also being transformed, taking new forms is-- There is a measure of will behind it, meaning-- For instance, even when Eshonai took the new form, she had herself open to taking a new form. By the time she didn't want to, it was too late. But she had made the decision, even though she'd been kind of misled in some ways. If a parshmen were in-- even in the Everstorm, and aggressively didn't want this to happen, I'm not saying it won't, but I'm saying there is room for discussion of whether or not they would change there. But also one who does want to, and is-- there's only a little pane of glass and things like that, then-- Yeah.

#27 Copy

Questioner

Was the other god in Scadrial, Trell or whatnot, they're kind of mentioning him, does that imply there other really powerful beings out there outside of the Shards?

Brandon Sanderson

There are possibly really powerful beings, but… how should we say… *long pause* I mean, there are those who would call Hoid a very powerful being, who exist outside Shards, but if you're talking deific level things in the cosmere, they're all related to the Shards… Or demigod level.

#28 Copy

Questioner

In Nalthis, when is Breath first bestowed upon a person?

Brandon Sanderson

When is Breath first bestowed? Um, so I went-- Oh, so you're getting at this sort of-- I got it. *laughter/pauses* So, are you saying is it at birth or conception?

Questioner

Pretty much. I'm just wondering *audio obscured by laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

…What's that?

Questioner

I'm wondering if mothers have autonomy over their own bodies when it comes to Breath?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Uh, I'm going to go ahead and RAFO that one for-- Let's just let it-- Let's let-- Let's let the fanbase discuss that one and come to their own decisions.

#29 Copy

Questioner

I get it that sometimes writers have organic process when they're writing sometime, they start on one thing and end on something else. Is there a particular character, situation where you started that as you were writing it, it kind of evolved on its own, and really kind of surprised you. If you don't mind, could you tell us about it?

Brandon Sanderson

So… there are always things when you're writing that evolve beyond what you expect them to be, and it happens even to the most strict of outliners. And I do, even as I usually call myself an outliner, say that you shouldn't be too strict on outlining. Just because the more--

What happens with the writers, the more you steep yourself in your story, the more your subconscious will start to make connections and the more your skill as a writer will start to-- Um-- Start to take over? It's hard to explain in a lot of ways, but it's similar in-- Honestly, like hitting a baseball, right? Where you, when you're practicing, you can be very conscious about it. "Alright, here's how my stance should be, here's what I'm doing wrong, let's work on that consciously". But in the moment when you're, like, swinging at the ball in the game, most of that's out of your head and you're just letting instinct go. The planning is all of that sort of stuff beforehand that you do, like a baseball player, and then the writing often involves a lot more of the "just swinging", and then the revision goes back to a lot more conscious, if that makes sense as an explanation. And so as you're going, a lot of times the instincts start going somewhere, and you'll get this chapter and say "Ehhh, something's wrong with this", or "Oh, this is a better path, let's go look at my outline and see what needs to be rebuilt."

Um, some examples of this, if I can give them… uh, well, I mean, I write the Alcatraz books completely just as free-written books, but in books you've read, for instance, Spook's story in Hero of Ages was not in the original outline. Um, you know, what happened to him and things like that in Well of Ascension was, and then I was like, um, I want to take this character further and I feel like I need more to this story, I'm missing something and Spook's story is where I started taking that. So that was a more natural, uh, sort of outgrowth of the storytelling. But that happens in every book, there are certain things that'll-- that go off target a little bit and turn out to be better. Yeah, there's a target that you're at that your subconscious is shooting for that your conscious doesn't know about yet. Yeah, it happens every book.

#30 Copy

Questioner

I know the whole, like, "all those characters are your children" type of thing, but is there a favorite one of yours, from your writing and/or how the character is played out.

Brandon Sanderson

Um, I-- You know-- Robert Jordan always said, "It's whoever I'm writing at the moment", which I've stolen wholesale and said that a lot of times. If I'm pressed, I'll usually pick Dalinar, just 'cause he was one of the first, but that doesn't do it justice, because you really do need to-- when whoever you're writing needs to be your favorite at the time.

#31 Copy

Questioner

Are there any detrimental side effects to worldhopping, and if so, have we seen/read it in any of your books?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, it depends on what method you're using to worldhop.

Moderator

And the second half of that question?

Brandon Sanderson

And the second part of that is RAFO. *laughter*

#33 Copy

Questioner

As your characters have evolved and grown, as we've seen in different books-- We've also seen, like with your character Wayne, kind of the sense of humor inside of the characters changed, and with him we've kind of seen this-- I guess, uh, kind of more seedy and base sense of humor with him, which in some ways made him more lovable and more of a favorite sense of humor. But like with kids, I've kind of been like-- worried a little bit.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah Wayne is…

Questioner

--with the age level and I'm wondering if we're going to see more characters like that grow in as we're looking at Mistborn Era 2 and 3 coming out, and if so, do I need to be more concerned, or is it really gonna be, or is it… what methods, do we need some rating system.

Brandon Sanderson

*amused* Rating system… *laughter*

Questioner

*audio obscured*

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I would say that this is more, "I write the character that fits the situation" rather than any sort of an evolution on my part of this, so… I don't know. I will… really, I would leave that to other people. This is kind of one of those weird things where, like, I will both get on the same day, sometimes, e-mails from someone who's like "how can you be so crude in your books, I thought your books were supposed to be family-friendly" followed by "why won't you address adult topics in your books *laughter* why do they all feel so children-esque, child-esque", and I would assume that those are the types of e-mails that everyone gets, even George RR Martin. *laughter* "When are you gonna get to some real adult themes, George?" I'm sure there's someone who's sent that e-mail to him. Um, yeah, I write the books, you know, I have… I'm certainly not as interested as some authors in digging into the more... quote-unquote "explicit content", but at some points there are characters like Wayne where I'm like, "you know, I need to write this character who they would be", and I can have them dance around the worlds-- words to obstinate *laughs* that was not an intentional slip! Dance around the words to obfuscate things and stuff like that, but if I don't let Wayne say some of the things he wants to say, then I'm not being true to that character in the same way I wouldn't be being true to Dalinar if I didn't let him, you know, be the strictly "I follow the rules" type person that he's become, because both of those types of people exist in the world.

Um, your specific question on Era 3 of Mistborn, um, is… I don't anticipate a Wayne-like character, but who knows? Right, Era 3 right now is kind-of focused on two Terris people, the main character and her brother, and she's a computer programmer in the early days of computer programming, and--

Bystander

Fortran.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, like a Fortran programmer or something like that… And, you know, it's going to be-- Her story will be a little bit more geek-culture-ish and things like that. You'll have very fun with the artwork in those, let's just say that.

I can't promise you one way or the other what I'm going to do, so I think what you're-- what you should be doing is reading them yourself and then deciding for yourself with whom you will share the books.

#34 Copy

Questioner

This actually came out of a panel today. You'd originally said that Nightblood is way more powerful than a regular Shardblade, but at the time that question was asked of you we didn' know about live Shardblades, we only knew about dead Shardblades. So is that still true, now that we know we have at least two--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh he is more powerful than a regular Shardblade. *groaning and laughter* that is 100% still true.

Moderator

How does Nightblood compare to a more living Blade?

Brandon Sanderson

More living Blade? Hehe, you’re asking the same--

Moderator

No I'm asking a different question. *laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

Well, let's just RAFO that one.

#35 Copy

Questioner

Is there a relationship between the Parshendi and the airships?

Brandon Sanderson

The Parshendi and the oh-- Okay. So the relationship is that I assumed when people saw the picture they would think Parshendi, and that was an intentional red herring.

Moderator

Or red and black herring.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, red and black herring. *laughter* We spent a lot of time on that picture, Where I'm like "It has to actually look like the people, but it can't be straight up where people are like 'Oh! This is like what we've seen before here!' " And so we went back and forth on it a lot. That picture took a lot of revision to get right.

#36 Copy

Questioner

Much like in The Wheel of Time where there are false Dragons, are there people on Roshar who are pretending to be Heralds that are not?

Brandon Sanderson

Are there people on Roshar who are-- There are definitely lots of people who have claimed to be Heralds who were not.

Moderator

You said "have." The question was, are there?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm sure there are people around who've-- *laughter* I'm sure you can go to any city in the United States and find someone who claims to be Jesus, right? So yes! Absolutely!

#37 Copy

Questioner 1

So, it's been established when Syl transformed for Kaladin that a living Blade can become any weapon, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, based on the perception of the wielder.

Questioner 1

Right. So, why is it that there are only dead swords?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a good question that will be answered in the future.

Questioner 2

Could they make a lightsaber?

Brandon Sanderson

Could they make a lightsaber? W-- They could make metal weapons of a similar style to that, so no, we're not talking lightsabers because… Creating plasma is not something that we're looking at.

Moderator

But like a bow, for example?

Brandon Sanderson

They could create, probably--Well, let's RAFO that one, I'll show you what's going to be happening.

#38 Copy

Questioner

You mentioned the ecology on Roshar, and also you mentioned that mostly the non-sentient spren predate the Shattering of Adonalsium. So my question is about the evolution of life on Roshar, and how essential the highstorms are to life on Roshar, how the plants evolved, so can we assume that life that is dependent on the highstorms predates the Shattering of Adonalsium?

Brandon Sanderson

Um… You--

Questioner

Can we correctly assume?

Brandon Sanderson

--yeah, *laughter* I'll tell you this. The highstorms predate, and there was a lot of natural evolution on Roshar, resulting in a lot of what we have there.

#39 Copy

Questioner 1

So you mentioned earlier that a lot of the characters that we see in multiple books are functionally immortal-- that interact between the different stories are functionally immortal. Can we-- But some of them when we saw them in actual just books, before we saw them jumping between worlds, were not functionally immortal at that time. Can we then take that to mean that they somehow became functionally immortal?

Brandon Sanderson

You can take that to become that. Now--

Moderator

Correctly. There's an implied correctly.

Brandon Sanderson

You can correctly. Now here's the distinction. Some of them are not. Some of them are using tricks of *searches for correct word* relativistic time travel to move forward in the future. Some of them are not aging and others are just aging really slowly. And those are three separate things among characters you have actually seen.

Questioner 2

And which are which? *laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

...I will give you hints as you read the books.

#40 Copy

Questioner

I get the impression after reading Stormlight 1 and 2 that a lot of what you would consider to be flora, plant-life, is actually something like coral in the ocean which is actually an animal. So is there actually any flora on Roshar outside out of, like, Shinovar?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, yeah, like almost all the things you see as flora are actual flora. Like, rockbuds are flora, trees are flora, shalebark is not, and some of the things like that-- haspers are not, and some of these things are more-- are animal life, are fauna. But grass is actually a flora, and trees.

Now I mean one of the big adaptations they've had to make is that they have to use crem, so a lot of the trees that you'll find on Roshar, they will be using crem that falls and you use this to create shells, you use this to infuse your bark, they use this in a lot of different ways, the minerals there are very important because they're not getting from the soil what plants on our world get from soil, a lot of them do. You have to get all of your minerals and things basically have to come from the crem.

Bystander

Which the farmers already knew.

Brandon Sanderson

Which the farmers already knew.

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Questioner

Did the Dawnchant originate on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

The Dawnchant originate on Roshar? Um, the Dawnchant… Yes… What I won't tell you or not is whether the Dawnchant is an evolution from a different language, but the Dawnchant itself is from Roshar.

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Questioner

So for the Old Magic, in this classification system of end-positive, end-neutral, and end-negative, where would that fall under?

Brandon Sanderson

So, almost every magic in the cosmere is end-positive, almost every magic is relying upon an external source of Investiture to power it. So that phrasing is mostly more relevant to Scadrial than anywhere else, because that concept is how I'm dealing with things like the laws of thermodynamics, and even what they call end-neutral is relying a little bit on the power of Investiture to facilitate. So even an end-neutral magic system as they define it on Scadrial is actually not end-neutral. What you get put in you get out, but the power is facilitating that transfer… So that phrasing is kind of a... Take that as a science on.. Scadrial that does not extrapolate well, and may not even be 100% accurate.

Moderator

That would have been a great thing to know before we did the cosmere magic panel. *laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

I look at it as, is an Investiture externally powering the magic, and if you look at Allomancy, yes it is. You are drawing that power out. Feruchemy, you are putting Investiture in from your own body, it's your energy transferring to Investiture, which is being stored, which you are then drawing out, and things like that. But that changing forms is facilitated by the magic. Whereas you're stealing stuff with-- So you could look, for instance at the magic on Nalthis, you could look at that one as being-- as kind of working as end-negative, meaning "I am taking it away from someone else", or end-positive depending on if you're the one receiving it or not. So again, it's a phrasing that can be useful as a tool but doesn't scale well to the other magics.

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Moderator

Is there such a thing as… voluntary Hemalurgy?

Brandon Sanderson

Voluntary Hemalurgy? Yes.

Moderator

...Where you can give a power to someone through those sorts of means.

Brandon Sanderson

Through any means, or through Hemalurgic means?

Moderator

Er, explain what you mean by that question. *laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

In Nalthis, you are giving up your power voluntarily to someone else.

Moderator

Specifically in the context of Scadrial here.

Brandon Sanderson

I mean, can you not imagine a person who's like "Yes I am crazy and will give up my power to this…" you know?

Bystander

But don't the end results negate?

Brandon Sanderson

You can't imagine somebody who would do that? …I am absolutely sure that at some point even in creating Inquisitors there's somebody who would be like, "yes, I will give my life to the Lord Ruler." So, yes?

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Questioner

If the highstorms existed prior to the Shards' arrival, what's the relationship between the highstorms and the Stormfather?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh good question. I was wondering if someone was going to ask that… So, I'll tr-- Let me see… *sighs*

You know, I'm actually going to RAFO this one. *laughter* And let me tell you why, because I mean, I want to give you some reasons to be interested in the things that Dalinar will be talking about with the Stormfather. So this is a RAFO with an explicit promise that book 3-- These are things that are covered now that we have bonded the Stormfather to a person who can now ask some of these questions. I could totally just tell you now, but where's the fun in that? Read book three.

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Questioner

Speaking of the Stormfather, would the Nightwatcher and the giant water spren be on the same level of spren as the Stormfather?

Brandon Sanderson

...The Nightwatcher, yes. Um... There are, I would say, a level below the Stormfather and the Nightwatcher who are also much-- a much bigger deal than something like one of the sapient spren, and that's what Cusicesh is.

Questioner

So the Nightwatcher is a spren you'd say?

Brandon Sanderson

The Nightwatcher-- I mean, they call the Nightwatcher a spren. Everyone in the books thinks the Nightwatcher is a spren. That's what they would call-- that's what they would call, if they knew what Honor was, they would call Honor a spren. A spren is Investiture that is alive.

Bystander

Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

So they would call Nightblood a spren. They would call-- That's the word for what all of these things are. They would probably've called Adonalsium a spren…

Moderator

What would Hoid call one of those?

Brandon Sanderson

What would Hoid call the Nightwatcher? *laughter* What would Hoid call one of what?

Moderator

Yeah what would Hoid call the Nightwatcher?

Brandon Sanderson

Um… *long pause/laughter*

Moderator

If Hoid were to use a non-proper noun?

Brandon Sanderson

Unpleasant names. *laughter*

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Questioner

This whole talk of both Roshar and the highstorms, I'm glad that you said they predate the Shattering. There are some people on 17th Shard, myself included, that firmly believe the entire continent is crem that's accumulated, one highstorm at a time.

Brandon Sanderson

Good. Let me actually squish that one a little bit because there are mineral deposits that have been mentioned that you have to mine. And crem-- There isactual ferrous iron that you can smelt on Roshar, you have to know how to get to it and things like that, and there are actual gemstone mines and things like that. Much harder to get to and Soulcasting is a stopgap that has helped with this a lot, but there are actual deposits and things like that.

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Questioner

I was just wondering if you had any plans for a longer Legion type work.

Brandon Sanderson

Plans for a longer Legion type work. The goal was for a long time if I could get a television show off the ground, I would write a novel to accompany it to kind of publicize the show. We sold the rights like two or three times, and no one ever got it off the ground. I still think it's possible someday, but I probably don't envision doing a longer one-- In fact, I'll say, I don't envision doing a longer one right now unless that happens. Though I do envision doing a third story at some point.

Moderator

So you would say that Legion is best consumed in forty-four minute blocks?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I mean, when I came up with the idea, I thought, this would make a great television show, let me write a few episodes.

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Questioner

This became a question, I thought this had been answered, but kandra can't produce kandra children.

Brandon Sanderson

Well, yes they can. You get them some spikes.

Questioner

Can the kandra produce human children with consumed parts?

Brandon Sanderson

You know, I saw a big thread about this on Reddit and chose not to participate, despite being asked to.

Questioner

I thought she said that you did, so…

Brandon Sanderson

I gave vague and unuseful answers, and so I'm going to give the same to you. RAFO.

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Questioner

On Roshar, because of there's no tectonic activity, it would suggest that it's possible that the magnetic dynamo inside doesn't create enough of a magnetosphere to protect life from solar radiation, so my question is, do the highstorms function as a form of protection against solar radiation?

Brandon Sanderson

That's an excellent question.

Bystander

That's a RAFO. *laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

That's a really cool question.

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Wetlander

As of Secret History, is Khriss working with the Seventeenth Shard at that time?

Brandon Sanderson

Khriss works with anybody who is interested in the information that she has. She is a--

Wetlander

Freelancer?

Brandon Sanderson

No, not a freelancer, really, she is a-- She'd get along with Edward Snowden, right? She is-- For the good of the cosmere, in her opinion, she is providing this information. She thinks that it'll be useful for everyone. So if the Seventeenth Shard comes to her and says "We want to know this" and she knows it, she will tell them. If Hoid comes to her and says "I want to know this", she would tell him. So Khriss will work with anyone who she thinks their motives are for the good of the cosmere in general.

Bystander

Not strictly a mercenary?

Brandon Sanderson

No, not a mercenary, she's kind of a freedom of information type person.

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Questioner

In the last panel we talked a lot about people from different planets using magic systems on other planets, one of the things I've been thinking about, we've been thinking about, talking about Breath, and people being born with Breath, is that something specific to Nalthis or do, technically, other people on other planets have a Breath as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Good question and that is a Nalthian thing. Now, everyone in the cosmere to an extent has Investiture, the Nalthian Breath is part what everyone has and then a little extra, plus the ability to share it around. So a person who gives up their Breath on Nalthis is actually going below what a normal person has. But a normal person on Nalthis has more than somebody-- So if you were for instance to pick a world like Sixth of the Dusk, where there's not a Shard in residence, and you compared them to a Nalthian, Nalthian has an Investiture advantage over them. When they've given up their Breath, they have an Investiture disadvantage.

Bystander

So we're not Drabs?

Brandon Sanderson

So we're not Drabs. That's exactly it. We're not Drabs.

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Questioner

What are the upper limits size-wise of what a kandra form can take? Could they say eat a chasmfiend?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, they would have trouble with the square-cube law, and a chasmfiend does not, because they have a symbiosis with natural spren, which keep them from crushing themselves. *scattered laughter* So a kandra would crush themselves if they tried to do that.

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PallonianFire

If a Shard were to heal the cracks in someone's spiritweb, like Sazed did with Spook, and that person who was getting healed has a Nahel bond, would that break the bond?

Brandon Sanderson

No, because the Nahel bond is already filling in those cracks, so you would have to rip it off to put something else in there.

PallonianFire

So it wouldn't really be-- the Shard wouldn't be able to heal--

Brandon Sanderson

Well, the Shard-- Like, here's the thing we have to get at with this, what we're getting at, which is the question of, for instance, is Kaladin's depression a flaw in him that needs to be healed? And that is a question for philosophers. There are certainly people, cosmere and outside the cosmere, that say "Yes, this needs to be healed" and things like this. But what about somebody who's-- say, someone who is autistic, and their mind just works in a different way, and this way allows a certain bond to happen that couldn't otherwise happen? Is that a flaw, or is that-- is it a bug or a feature, to speak in coding terms? Is what's up with Kaladin a bug or a feature? I know that my wife would probably get rid of her depression if she could, but it's also been fundamental in how she sees the world and who she is, would that change her into a different person? And things like this. So, I want you when you discuss this, to be very careful about treating mental illness as a flaw as opposed to an aspect of a human personality that allows certain different things to happen. Does that make sense? *applause*

PallonianFire

The way I was sort of thinking, was, could Odium say, "Oh, I'm just going to fix this" and then you can't Surgebind anymore?

Brandon Sanderson

Right, right, yeah. If he-- if there w-- that is possible, but it would be hard to do without the consent of the person, but that is possible… You can fix somebody in a way that they didn't want to be fixed, and it would ruin things.

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Questioner

The Aons on Sel… they're all based on, I assume the Investiture in Elantris itself, all the sigils are based on the general shape of the landscape around Elantris. Could that magic work in other places based on the geography of the other places with high Investiture, or is that exclusive to Sel?

Brandon Sanderson

That is an aspect of the Selan magic system-- Did I say Selian or Selan? I can't remember which one we settled on, Peter knows…

Crowd

Selish.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, Selish, that's what we settled on, isn't it, yeah, Selish magic system. This is why we have copy editors *laughter* That's a feature of the Selish magic system that, so far as I know, no one has pulled out in any decent reason for. But there's a distinct reason that could be figured out, but it's one of these things that will make sense when I explain it, but I'm not sure if it's quote-unquote "intuitively obvious to the average reader". I don't think that it necessarily is that, but it will make perfect sense once it's explained.

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Questioner

On that note, in Secret History, Kelsier's reading the symbols. Does he not-- I mean he is able to understand them...

Brandon Sanderson

Right, right. So, if you go look really closely at what happens with Kelsier before he's able to start reading the symbols and understand the language, you can relate it to things in the cosmere that I've talked about before for how he's able to do that.

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Questioner

I believe you've said that you've toyed with the idea of writing books more like Secret History from other characters' viewpoints. Would you consider doing one for Marsh, like, during the events after the Ascension of Harmony to The Alloy of Law?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that's a possibility, people have asked me for a Marsh viewpoint before. I would like to do more Marsh. So, we would have to see-- Like, when I do-- if I can find the time for it, Secret History 2-- Mistborn: Secret History 2, that would cover time before the start of Era 2 and it's possible I can slip in some Marsh. I mean, in Secret History we got some Spook, so…

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Questioner

When you're not writing or doing everything else, what series or authors do you enjoy.

Brandon Sanderson

Who do I read? I read… last book I've read was Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller, because everyone I know - I'm like, why have I never read this before? And everyone's basing every movie off it nowadays, so I finally read Dark Knight Returns. Before that, I read the first book of the Expanse, because it's another one that I've just never gotten to. I like that, those were both good. Dark Knight Returns was good, I was expecting something like Alan Moore level, and it was more… it was good, but it wasn't as mind-blowing, and I think that's partially because everybody's based every movie in existence on Batman since, you know, Tim Burton, on Dark Knight Returns, and so it doesn't feel as fresh as perhaps it would've if I'd been reading in '86 or whenever it was released.

Um, my go-to is Terry Pratchett, or Guy Gavriel Kay, but if you didn't read Uprooted by Naomi Novik last year, it was extremely good. If you like stuff a little more literary, N.K. Jemison's The Fifth Season is really good, but again that's kind of… that's kind of almost for English Majors, that's got viewpoints in second person future tense, and they work, and they're really good. Nora is a very good writer, if you guys haven't tried A Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, which is a little bit more accessible than Fifth Season, she's just a really spectacular writer. Um, what else did I read last year that I liked… I mean, yeah, that's a couple. Brian McClellan's Powder Mage, if you like my stuff, you'll like Brian's stuff most likely, he's an ex-student of mine that I can't take much credit for because he was, he was very good when he took the class. But, he's writing flintlock fantasy that is just really good.

Bystander

Listen to Writing Excuses…

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, Writing Excuses! We recommend a book on every episode of Writing Excuses, um, so.

Moderator

Have you read Pat's books?

Brandon Sanderson

Have I read Rothfuss? Yeah, I've read Rothfuss' books. I've got… I get them early! Um, so, um… I've got my Wise Man's Fear and my The Slow Regard of Silent Things, and both came with a number in the corner like "if this ends up on eBay, we know who we gave it to" sort of thing, it was watermarked, "this is Brandon's copy, don't sell it".

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Questioner

When it comes to the epic-level spren on Roshar, like the Nightwatcher and the Stormfather-- Is the number of epic-level spren equal to the number of Bondsmiths that you can have on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

Hmm, is the number of epic-level spren related to the number of Bondsmiths you have? Well, I've said there's a maximum of three. And there are three Shards involved in Roshar. I'm not gonna tell you if that's a coincidence or not. Sorry.

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Questioner

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

Brandon Sanderson

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

Bystander

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

Brandon Sanderson

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

Moderator

Clarifying question… Is that place in the Physical Realm?

Brandon Sanderson

*laughs* RAFO!

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Questioner

With Awakening, given that you know the correct command word, could you potentially give anything to the other person, using Awakening?

Brandon Sanderson

Using Awakening, it has to be related to the fundamental aspects of Investiture.

Bystander

Which are…?

Questioner

How would we find what those are?

Brandon Sanderson

…How would you find what those are? Spend a lot of time researching the cosmere, have some conversations with Khriss, and come up with some theories! …There's a bunch of them written in the books and indicated, so yes.

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KalynaAnne

We've kind of circled around the issue, but Professor Layton has talked about conics in general. Are we going to see hyperbolic lines and parabolas *audio obscured*

Brandon Sanderson

So, there is discussion of that in my notes, we'll see if I can get to it. It's more-- The cultural stuff for book two is more important to me right now, I'm not sure how far I will advance Rithmatics in the next book or not, but we will do some kind of origin stuff and fundamentals in the next one.

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Questioner

Is there going to be a map of a recommended reading order or is it…

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, yeah, that's a great question, is there gonna be a recommended reading order. So I've started building a guide similar to the one that they put in the back of Terry Pratchett's books in the US. I don't find that guide incredibly helpful, so I'd want to create one that is helpful, that is basically like what we put on the front page where we list all the books saying "if this intimidates you, turn to this page", and then I'll have kind of a discussion of what the varied series are, and what the entry points are and what-- just kind of like a "what is the style of this book". Like if I can say, you know, if you're really interested, if you're, um, you know, Warbreaker, if you want a standalone, a little bit more romance, a little bit more kind of humor and things like that-- Warbreaker. If you're like "I would love something superaction-oriented that has lots of explosions", then Steelheart, right? And if you're like "I like swimming in the deep end. I want to jump in feet first and see how deep it goes", then we send you to Stormlight, right? And I want to have these introductions at the end and kind of give a sort of mention of "A lot of these are connected, you don't need to read them in any specific--", stuff like that. And we're gonna try and get that starting in books, in the near future.

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Questioner

Will we ever see an entire map of how the different planets are spaced out in the Physical--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, yeah, the Cosmere collection will have a star chart of the cosmere.

Moderator

A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Cosmere, if you will…

Brandon Sanderson

Now, you've got to remember that at the point that this comes out-- The collection's been interesting for a couple of reasons. For one reason, the collection's coming out before Sixth of the Dusk happens in the cosmere, right? And so Khriss gives an introduction to each world, so you'll find her introduction to First of the Sun to be a very interesting introduction that doesn't know things that you know because of that. In addition, the star chart is a star chart created by people who are not spacefaring, right? And so it is a star chart more along the lines of-- It may not be one hundred percent to scale and things like that, like they've been able to figure out a lot of things by using the Cognitive Realm, so they'd be like "alright, here's the relationship", but it will be a while before you get what feels like a Star Trek star chart. Your star chart you're gonna get in this is a fantasy star chart, which will give you the relative positions and things like that, but it's not gonna be like you can measure exactly, which we do have! But I'm not gonna give you yet. *audience laughs*

Moderator

Are you referring to Arcanum Unbound?

Brandon Sanderson

Arcanum Unbounded, yeah.

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Questioner

So we've seen three different cultures of people on Scadrial. Is Harmony involved… well, we can probably assume there's probably more cultures, but there are…

Brandon Sanderson

There are more, yes.

Questioner

Is Harmony involved in all of them, or is he-- Does he pretty much keep his attention on the main one.

Brandon Sanderson

Harmony considers himself the god of all of them.

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Questioner

In The Emperor's Soul… you indicate sort of the opposite of the kandra in regards to… Soulstamps can be made with bone and are considered the lesser, with crystal is the highest. With kandras, if their true bodies are crystal, they are considered weak. Bones are considered strong.

Brandon Sanderson

Ehhh… I'm gonna stop you right there, just because that's gonna depend on the kandra, and their age, and how they feel about it. There are plenty of kandra, I think MeLaan would argue against that and be like "No! Non-bone true bodies are way better! Look, I can take my hands off and stab people with the swords underneath. This is super better!" Whereas TenSoon would be like, "That's not…" It's a little bit like when I was in Korea, and people are like "Things made out of concrete just feel worse! It's bad for the kibun to always be surrounded by concrete. Wood is better for you." I… think there are people who would disagree with that, I think there are people who would totally agree with that.

Questioner

My question. If you were to combine a Soulstamp of a crystal, with a kandra true body of a crystal, would they have additional powers that could compete with regards to Mistborn. If it compounds?

Brandon Sanderson

Alright, so if you took the crystal that they're making Soulstamps out of and you gave it to a kandra, and they used it for bones, generally the kandra are not drawing any sort of extra Investiture or power from the bones, they're making-- they're using. That's-- Though TenSoon would argue that I'm wrong. *general laughter*

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Questioner

What would happen if a Forger got their hands on Nightblood and they Soulstamped Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood is so heavily Invested that it would be like trying to freeze the ocean with an ice cube. *crowd wows* Maybe not that scale, that's your metaphor.

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Questioner

In Bands of Mourning you got more into the Connection element and gave us some hints there. During a previous seminar a question came up on how that relates to your Physical, Cognitive, and Spiritual Realm. I guess, we've talked about if people were to go different places it seems from the hints you've given in your books that there's a Physical aspect to Connection as far as where people are when they use the Connection as well as there's some ideal with… in the Secret History that we've got, when Kelsier was, when he wasn't Connected enough to Preservation. So can you give us anything more--

Brandon Sanderson

I just gave you a ton in Secret History! So much! I gave you a lot in Secret History to philosophize upon, this is very relevant to a lot of the things that happen in the cosmere.

Questioner

I guess, specifically, does someone have to have both-- with Connection, are there more than one elements that people would have to have to have Connection to provide avenue to power from a different area.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, um… there are multiple things that could help with it, yes. There are certain things that you can Connect through to make one strong Connection would be enough for a variety of magics, yeah.

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Questioner

Someone who has Breath Investiture, can they give Breath to somebody who doesn't, so like somebody from Scadrial, or--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Would the Scadrian be able to use it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. You have seen people from off-planet who have Breath before.

Moderator

Or, indeed, perfect pitch?

Brandon Sanderson

Uhuh. *laughter* And are making use of it in a variety of ways.

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Questioner

My question's about Secret History, specifically it's kind of a two-parter. The first part's easier to answer. Is it relevant that the glowing substance that Hoid puts on his oar is very similarly described as the same stuff that the Ire drink, the glowing--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that is relevant.

Questioner

And does it have to do with Connection.

Brandon Sanderson

Ah… *sighs* Yes, but not the way you're thinking. That's a "I'm wiggling out of..." Yes, it has to do with Connection, but so does a dog. Cause a dog is Connected to things. *laughs in the audience* You said "does it have to do with"! The answer is yes.

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Questioner

Will iron mined-- created and mined on Roshar work to power Allomancy on Scadrial? This is a clarification from earlier session.

Brandon Sanderson

Um, hehe… Okay, so what do you want to have happen, talk to me. Explain to me--

Questioner

…Iron is iron, does it have the same effect if it will be iron that was created on Roshar--

Brandon Sanderosn

Oh, I see what you're saying.

Questioner

--power Allomancy on Scadrial--

Brandon Sanderson

The metals are themselves-- and I've said this before, I think, but-- the metals themselves-- where you get it is not relevant.

Moderator

So if say Wit is drinking flakes on Roshar, then those flakes could be Roshar-derived.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

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Questioner

So I've got to say, I love [Shadows Beneath] and I was wondering if you were doing any more projects like that.

Brandon Sanderson

Um, [Shadows Beneath], are we doing any more projects like that. Getting all four of us together to do something is tough. We have talked about doing one where we each write a story in someone else's world and I think that would be the most likely that you would see, like I write a John Cleaver story, and Dan writes a Stormlight story, and Mary writes a Schlock Mercenary story, something like that, but we don't have any immediate plans to do another [Shadows Beneath] where we brainstorm something on air like we did.

Questioner

Would that story be canon?

Brandon Sanderson

Would the story be canon? No, the story would not be canon. Most likely not. I mean, it's possible.

Footnote: During the actual exchange they refer to the Altered Perceptions anthology, but from context Brandon is actually talking about the Shadows Beneath anthology.
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Questioner

You called Nightblood a miscrea-- a misformed Shardblade.

Brandon Sanderson

A Shardblade created with a different magic system.

Questioner

Is that an intentional creation or mimicry? Or--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that is intentional.

Moderator

Intentional on the part of the person who made Nightblood…

Brandon Sanderson

Mmhmm.

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Questioner

If Lift ate something that had like, gold leaf on it, 'cause some foods like-- She would be turning that gold leaf into Investiture or Stormlight, right?

Brandon Sanderson

If it is giving-- So the gold leaf would probably pass through her system.

Questioner

So she wouldn't be...

Brandon Sanderson

Mmhmm, yes, that things that she eats that she can metabolize, she can turn into Stormlight.

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Questioner

So what would happen if [Lift] ate Nightblood? *laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, eating Nightblood would not be a smart idea for anyone. *laughter* Nightblood would eat you. In Soviet Russia, sword eats you? I don't know…

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Questioner

This is just from our discussion earlier. So Taravangian… He asks for two things. The capacity to stop what is coming and the capacity to save humankind. And then he gets this weird thing to happen. Is the intelligence and empathy thing because both of those things can't come true at the same time?

Brandon Sanderson

That's an excellent question. RAFO!

Moderator

Let me ask a parallel to that. Are those-- Does the Nightwatcher perceive those as the same boon or two parallel boons?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO!

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Questioner

Does Hemalurgy require intent to steal the stuff? Or could somebody in theory just stab through in the exact-- I understand the chances are extremely slim, it's like accupuncture ...happen by accident?

Brandon Sanderson

Here's the thing, you've seen it happen without the intent of the person holding the spike.

Questioner

But I think it's commonly accepted that Ruin was sort of manipulating some-- I'm specifically taking the Spook example off the table, I'm just saying, someone by accident stab - whoops! stab - whoops! and have a power?

Brandon Sanderson

Again, Ruin was involved in that. Every spike-- spiking that you saw had Ruin's intent behind it. I'm not going to answer your question, RAFO. You tried, you got me to admit that I was trying to wiggle around it, and I will tell you, today I wiggled around one question that none of you saw me wiggle around, really well, today. Today. I'm not going to tell you which one it is but there is one here that you all thought, you're all like "woo!" but you didn't realize you'd given me so much wiggle room.

Moderator

So about that space station.

Brandon Sanderson

It's not that one.

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Questioner

As the Cosmere gets a lot bigger, what is your biggest worry going forward writing the books?

Brandon Sanderson

Going forward, my biggest worry is making sure that I do things like get The Stormlight Archive done as a solid, complete whole, rather than letting it become... like, too distracted about the Cosmere. Like, I'm not worried about that for Mistborn, but I'm worried about that for Stormlight. Stormlight needs to be a self-contained whole, it needs to be a self-contained epic, and I have to be really careful not to-- in the later books in particular-- let it turn into the Avengers, something like that. So that's my biggest worry right now, is that I will let too much of that seep in. I'm being very careful about it.

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Questioner

When will we find out what the Nightwatcher looks like?

Brandon Sanderson

Um… well, Dalinar, in the past, met the Nightwatcher. Dalinar's third book is getting flashback sequences to his past experiences. You can postulate that one of those important past experiences might be a visit to the Nightwatcher.

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Questioner

Can spren be put back together, through Bondsmiths rejoined, as Shards can be joined and combined?

Brandon Sanderson

That, um… so what do you mean by spren put back together?

Questioner

Could a Bondsmith combine spren in the way that Shards can be combined?

Brandon Sanderson

Ok, so the answer is they can be combined. Whether the Bondsmith is a method or not I won't say, but spren can be combined.

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Questioner

The next tattoo I'm going to get will be the Oaths from the Windrunners, because they are a huge part of my life. And I was just wondering if you'd be able to give me one of them? There's two more, right?

Brandon Sanderson

There are more Oaths.

Questioner

Or if you could tell me which books they're going to come out in, so I can plan on--

Brandon Sanderson

So that's a huge spoiler, and they're recording me right now. So I can, maybe, if you promise you're not going to share this on the internet... So I can give you Oath #3. That'll be it for a while

Questioner

Okay, that's fine. I appreciate it...

Brandon Sanderson

That's the wording as I have it in my head right now. I might not use the exact words, but that's okay because the Oaths are concepts and each person who speaks them will speak them slightly differently. Like you will see in future books people speaking Oaths you have seen before, they'll be slightly reworded to match their personality. But that's the concept. You might be able to see that it's a very important thing.

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Questioner

I wanted to know what your stance on gods were, if you were trying-- If you had a meta-message about God.

Brandon Sanderson

If I what?

Questioner

If you had a meta-message about God.

Brandon Sanderson

I do not really. What I'm fascinated by ends up in the books and I'm fascinated by religion. But even in something like The Stormlight Archive, I don't want there necessarily even be a definitive answer? There are god... lowercase "g" gods. Whether there is a capital "G" God is still, in my opinion, left to the interpretation of various people. I'm not necessarily trying to say anything specific, I'm trying to say what the different characters say. Does that make sense? Jasnah doesn't speak my belief, but neither does Dalinar. But they speak their belief, and I try to respect their belief the best I can. So it's more like trying to be true to the different characters.

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Brandon Sanderson

*reading a personalization request* Specifically what Khriss knows about the red haze around Scadrial and if she was trying to clue Wax in on the situation.

I can't tell you what Khriss knows about the red haze. Definitely not. She knows too much and I-- ...I can say "She knows too much".

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Questioner

What happened in the Cognitive Realm during the Catacendre?

Brandon Sanderson

Um… *sighs* So, um... Have you read Secret History?

Questioner

Yes.

Brandon Sanderson

You are in the Cognitive Realm for the Catacendre in Secret History, that's some things that happened. Saying what happened there is like saying "what happened on Earth in 19--"

Questioner

Well I was thinking more like what you couldn't see on-screen, if you would comment on that.

Brandon Sanderson

"What you see is what you get for that one." Is what I'm going to say of it.

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Questioner

What happened to the Ministries?

Brandon Sanderson

The Ministries, being a legacy of the time of the Lord Ruler's rule, there are trappings of them left but they don't use any of the same names or anything like that.

Ben McSweeney

Can't have the old labeling.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. I mean-- There are cities you can go to where there are more echoes of that sort of thing.

Questioner

Yeah because New Seran made me think of that.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. I mean there are cities you can go that have more echoes of that but in Elendel you can barely even find the trappings anymore-- but you can find some of them. But You won't go in there and find, like, the Ministry of this-or-that. Because it was run by Kelsier's crew, most of that did not make the transition. Though there were notable Obligators who made it through and so they have left their mark. You have to search for it though.

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Questioner

Does Lift's metabolic waste include crem?

Brandon Sanderson

*laughs* ...That's an excellent question. I'm not going to-- I'm not going to answer that one but it's an excellent question.

Questioner

Wow, you're RAFO'ing that? I was at least expecting a laugh

Brandon Sanderson

I'm RAFO'ing y-- You got a laugh. I didn't say RAFO, I said I'm not going to answer that, which can be considered two different answers.

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Questioner

Does Hoid learn languages magically or is he just a gifted linguist?

Brandon Sanderson

He is learning them magically. He does-- He's decent with languages but he needs to be able speak as if he were a local in order to pass the way he does. And no matter how gifted you are, doing that, particularly for multiple tongues, is-- Yeah.

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Brandon Sanderson

*reading a personalization request* Could a Rosharan be--

Questioner

Hemalurgically spiked with a gem or fabrial?

Brandon Sanderson

*presumably writes RAFO in book*

Questioner

*exasperated "ugh" sound*

Ben McSweeney

Haha.

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Brandon Sanderson

*after reading a personalization request* Expansion of the soul, what do you mean by that?

Questioner

There was something in Secret History...it had to do with Kelsier expanding his soul. And then Hoid also says something about it.

Brandon Sanderson

So what do you mean by "Does worldhopping involve the expansion of a soul">?

Questioner

Well Hoid... kind of was like...

Brandon Sanderson

I'm just trying to get you to be a little more specific. But I'm going to say "Sometimes".

Ben McSweeney

That was the whole point. You get a "Maaaaybe".

Brandon Sanderson

You get a Sometimes.

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Questioner

Has Wax seen the influence of a Shard other than Preservation, Ruin, Harmony--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

--i.e., like Autonomy?

Brandon Sanderson

He has seen the influence of another Shard.

Questioner

Might that Shard be Autonomy?

Brandon Sanderson

It might!

Ben McSweeney

*giggles*

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Questioner

Can you clarify what the structure you are planning on, is going to be for Dragonsteel is? Like for some reason I have it in my head that it's seven?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah it was originally, way back when, seven. I've-- Right now I've cut so much out of that and stuck it in other books, I'm only at three. So we'll see.

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Questioner

I currently have a pet theory--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh yeah? What is it?

Questioner

That... there's a-- That there was-- Whatever the fourth Shard that Odium [Splintered]-- People-- The people who founded Threnody were--

Brandon Sanderson

So you should read Khriss' introductions to the worlds in the Cosmere Collection.

Footnote: The essay for Threnody in Arcanum Unbounded did reveal that Ambition, the "fourth" Shard Odium Splintered was dealt a grievous wound in the Threnodite system, and it's Investiture has had an effect on the planet and it's inhabitants.
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Questioner

Have Hoid and Sazed, since he became Harmony, had a conversation?

Brandon Sanderson

Um… yes, that has happened.

Questioner

Was it meaningful?

Brandon Sanderson

Um, Hoid considers everything meaningful.

Questioner

Of course he does. Would Sazed consider it meaningful?

Brandon Sanderson

Ok, Sazed considers every individual important.

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Questioner

Are we ever going to get an official Cosmere timeline?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, we will eventually. We're really close to being able to release it, I'm not sure when we will. Um, the real trick is-- Like now that we're locking down White Sand, that's kind of like the last wild card because the novel version wasn't canon. So it's like where do we make sure this is, and stuff like that. So yeah we should be, once White Sand is out I think, everything we can lock down. The trick is, like if I release it there are certain-- like where is Sixth of the Dusk exactly? It's not something I want because that's got spoilers.

Questioner

..It is actually canon that Era Two [of Mistborn]takes place between the first half and the second half of [The Stormlight Archive]?

Brandon Sanderson

Well I haven't written the second half of Stormlight so that--

Questioner

But does it take place after the first half?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes it takes place sometime after the first half, but it depends on how long I break and things like that, whether they overlap, maybe it takes place after 7, maybe it takes place after 5, maybe it takes place after-- Like we'll see when I get there how many years, because the timing on those is a little more tight.

Questioner

So they're more interweaved with those, those are closer to the same time period.

Brandon Sanderson

They are much closer to the same time period than other things, which is why I have to be dodgy on those ones, mostly just because they are on a similar timeline.

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Questioner

What is Syl's favorite form? What is her favorite form?

Brandon Sanderson

Syl is kind-- kind of ephemeral. Meaning she has a peculiar little personality and her favorites change quite often. I would say, she probably likes being the human-form the most, because she gets the best reaction from the people she's interacting with. But that wouldn't always have been the case, because she is responding to how people are perceiving her.

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Questioner

I was wondering if the size of a metal determines the amount of Feruchemical charge in it.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

So how does that scale, like, in terms of the volume or mass of the metal or whatever?

Brandon Sanderson

It does not scale as logically as you think it does. It’s more like certain thresholds. You can store Hemalurgy or Feruchemical charge even in a very small piece of metal, but larger pieces of metal will let you get more.
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Questioner

Is the Felt question the one that you got away with?

Brandon Sanderson

No, that really is-- Felt really is Felt. He's been around, let's just say.

Questioner

Are there more places I should look for him?

Brandon Sanderson

Eeehhhh, there are more places you could look for him, whether you find him or not is a matter of…

Questioner

I'm going to guess that he's going by a different name in other places.

Brandon Sanderson

Things that he s-- There are things that he said in Mistborn which are relevant in minor ways... These are not huge big things, when you read them you'll be like "Oh, interesting".

Footnote: The questioner is referring to these exchanges from the RAFOlypmics event the previous day.
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Brandon Sanderson

*reading a personalization request* In the concept of an unreliable narrator, there is a...scope of unreliability. One can be limited by perspective, another can be unreliable with intent. Could you...examine the second type in the Cosmere? Who would be a good example?

Hoid can be very intentionally misleading. The thing is, there aren't many first person viewpoints in the Cosmere stories so if its ever from someone's actual viewpoint-- Like Kelsier is a little unreliable in his viewpoint in that he doesn't go into his plan, which is technically unreliable narrator and it technically is by intent, but it's more like, he's like "I can't think about this" and stuff, but is also him lying to the reader a little bit. Does that make sense? Kelsier is probably the best example of unreliable narrator.

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Brandon Sanderson

*reading a personalization request* Did Kelsier fill copperminds for reasons other than to share knowledge? Did he want to forget certain memories?

*written* Yes. Yes.

Those may not be causally related. You asked two separate questions and got two separate answers.

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Kaymyth (paraphrased)

I asked him about what the board refers to as "reverse" compounding - i.e., using Feruchemy to enhance Allomancy, rather than the other way around. I wanted to make sure that it was really a thing that exists.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He said that it was.

Kaymyth (paraphrased)

Is this what the Southern Scadrians have been doing?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It's similar, but not exactly the same.

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Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

1) The Nightwatcher and Stormfather are parallel entities such that Nighwatcher:Cultivation :: Stormfather:Honor.

2) There is sort of a parallel for Odium, but the parallel is the various Unmade instead of a single entity.

3) They are parallel in that they are all Splinters.

4) The Unmade are voluntary Splinters, because Odium ("like almost all of the other Shards") voluntarily Splintered part of it's power.

5) The Stormfather is different from the others because it's a Sliver.

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Ruro272

THIS JUST IN: KELSIER'S EYES ARE HAZEL.

I have a lot more tidbits and all of them more juicy than this, but this may be the single thing all weekend that actually added to the canon. As far as Peter and Brandon know, they never explicitly stated Kelsiers eye color, only that they were "dark", and Brandon thought about it and went with hazel.

Does it matter? Probably not lol. But the moment he said it Peter contacted the wiki writer to add it officially. Pretty cool to ask a simple question that Brandon graciously chose to answer and then add to the canon story

bschnebs

Since when is Hazel considered dark?

Peter Ahlstrom

It isn't. What we said is that Mistborn doesn't give anyone's eye color and only says Vin's eyes are dark. (Shan Elariel's eyes are also dark.) Kelsier's eyes will now be considered canonized as hazel, which is not dark.

Event details
Name
Name JordanCon 2016
Date
Date April 23, 2016
Location
Location Atlanta, GA
Entries
Entries 116
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