Miscellaneous 2018

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Name Miscellaneous 2018
Date Jan. 1, 2018
Entries 7
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#1 Copy


Hey Karen, I have a question I hope you can confirm for the Stormlight fans. 

What are the exact gemstone types Rosharans use in their currency? In The Way of Kings Shallan suggests that only nine out of the ten Polestones are actually used in spheres (or is this wrong?), and while eight of those are accounted for in the books, we don't know whether the last one is a smokestone or a heliodor. Is this something you can and are willing to confirm for us?

Karen Ahlstrom

Here's what I have on my wiki page. I'm pretty sure it was written by Brandon before I started to work on things.


Sapphire: blue (deep)

Zircon: blue (light)

Ruby: red (deep)

Amethyst & Garnet: red (light)

Topaz: yellow (deep)

Heliodor: yellow (light)

Emerald: green (deep)

Smokestone: grayscale (deep)

Diamond: grayscale (light)

Karen Ahlstrom

Elsewhere I found this list that shows the spheres from highest to lowest value. It says that smokestone coins are very rare.

Values: Highest - 50 (250, 1000)

Stone: Emerald

Color: Deep green

Essence: Pulp


Values: Prime Pair - 25 (125, 500)

Stone: Amethyst

Color: Pale violet

Essence: Mineral (Metals/claws)


Stone: Sapphire (skymark)

Color: Deep Blue

Essence: Vapor


Values: Middle Weight - 10 (50, 200)

Stone: Zircon

Color: Pale blue

Essence: Blood (Water-based liquids)


Stone: Ruby (firemark)

Color: Deep red

Essence: Spark (Fire/Soul)


Stone: Smokestone (Uncommon as a coin)

Color: Translucent

Essence: Smoke


Values: Less Weight - 5 (25, 100)

Stone: Topaz

Color: Pale orange

Essence: Talus (Stone/Bone)


Stone: Garnet

Color: Deep violet (Bloodmarks)

Essence: Flesh


Stone: Heliodor

Color: Light yellow

Essence: (Sinew)


Cheapest 1 (5, 20)

Stone: Diamond (Clear chip/mark/broam)

Color: Transparent

Essence: Glass (Crystal/Eyes)


One thing I am noticing is that the essences don't entirely match what's in the Ars Arcanum of the books.

Karen Ahlstrom

Yeah, AA is correct and what we base things on. Like I said, these are probably written by Brandon a long time ago when he was just world building.

Footnote: These are from an email exchange between Argent and Karen Ahlstrom. Parts of the emails were slightly reformatted or erased in the interest of clarity, brevity, and privacy.
#3 Copy


I just saw the Feruchemical Table medallion on the store, and it reminded me of a question that was raised on the forums a little while back. It appears there's a mistake in the metal pattern, with regards to pure metals and alloys; Chromium and nicrosil are in the opposite places from what we'd expect. I've attached a color-coded example; with pure metals in green, and alloys in blue, it's evident that the Spiritual quadrant has them criss-cross, unlike the other quadrants.   The medallion matches the poster's layout; that's where the question originally arose, from the poster. Is there a reason for this switch? Or is it an error in the pattern?

Isaac Stewart

I just looked over the chart, and rather than the metals being in the wrong places, it looks like I accidentally swapped the symbols. So the medallion is correct. It's the symbols for chromium and nicrosil that ought to be swapped. I've cc'd Peter on this email, too, so he's aware of the mistake. I'll try to remedy this for future printings.

#4 Copy

OrangeJedi (paraphrased)

Are there a significant number of Shardblades that have made it off Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Define significant.

OrangeJedi (paraphrased)

More than 1 / A number of them are that could come up later.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

There is a connection between spren and Roshar that normally prevents spren, even dead ones, from leaving the planet. Note I said normally; do not imagine a large trade of Shardblades going off world.

#5 Copy

Storm Cellar

If you have a child that can't stop making up/writing stories and never wants to sleep at night, what is the best way to encourage them without letting them be nocturnal? (Child in question is about 13.)

Brandon Sanderson

Well...I'm maybe not a great person to ask, because I was nocturnal myself.  So I don't have experience at forcing the kid to go to bed--I stayed up myself, doing exactly this.  It's not a great thing, because it can have implications for school work and the like. But I never figured it out myself.  I STILL go to bed at around 4:00am. In high school, I stayed up late and took a nap every day, which I wouldn't recommend. But making sure they have time each day to write--like piano lessons, but for stories--might be a way to channel that energy and perhaps make sure they get some done each day, and are more relaxed, as they feel the story is progressing.  This helps me a lot.

#7 Copy

Storm Cellar

We know Snapping is not the same in Mistborn Era 2.  We know Wayne knew he was a slider, but could not afford bendalloy for his early life. How do the poor skaa know they can burn rare metals?  Is there a ceremony, or a formal process of testing skaa for metal powers?

(The assumption is that nobles can just give their children a mix of metals to see if any of them are reactive.)  

Brandon Sanderson

There are lots of ways--remember that lots of groups are seeing Allomancy as valuable to them, and are actively recruiting.  There's no formal process, at least not for everyone, though some houses do have them. But there are events, even at fairs and the like, where you can get a vial and see if you feel anything--in exchange for promises of service if you do turn out to have abilities.  Beyond that, just like getting gold foil to put on food is not horribly expensive in our world, getting little bits of many of these metals is not THAT expensive. It may not give you enough power to do anything useful, but it can be enough to tell.

Event details
Name Miscellaneous 2018
Date Jan. 1, 2018
Entries 7
Upload sources