Have we seen a Dawnshard in any Cosmere book?
Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)
Yes and no. *hands RAFO card*
Have we seen a Dawnshard in any Cosmere book?
Yes and no. *hands RAFO card*
Compared to Oathbringer, how much Szeth are we going to see in the book?
This one, probably less Szeth than Oathbringer. Mostly, because we're going to get his big plot in the next book. There's some cool Szeth stuff in this still, but we're looking more like first book Szeth rather than third book Szeth, where I give him his own micro plot in book 3.
I was kind of imagining, he's like the first character expected to die in the first five books.
He starts in jail, in book four. Because Dalinar told him to go there.
Of course the Parshendi wanted to play their drums. Of course Gavilar had told them they could. And of course he hadn't thought to warn Navani.
"Have you seen the size of those instruments?" <Hratham> said, running her hands through her black hair. "Where will we put them? We can't..."
"We move to the upper feast hall," Navani said, trying to project a calm demeanor. Everyone else in the kitchen was close to panicking, cooks running one direction or another, pots banging. Gavilar had invited not just the highprinces but their relatives. And every highlord in town. And he wanted a Beggar's Feast. And now... drums?
"We've already set up in the lower hall," <Hratham> said, "I don't have the staff to..."
"There are twice as many soldiers as usual loitering around the palace tonight," Navani said, "We'll have them move the tables." Gavilar never forgot about things like posting extra guards. Projecting strength, making a show of force? He could always be counted on for that. For everything else, he had Navani.
"Could work, yes," <Hratham> said. "Good to put those louts to work rather than having them underfoot. Alright, deep breaths."
A short palace organizer stumbled away, narrowly avoiding an apprentice cook carrying a large bowl of steaming shellfish. Navani stepped to the side and let the cook pass. The man nodded in thanks. The staff had long since stopped being nervous when she entered their kitchens. She made it clear to them that doing their job sufficiently was superior praise to her than a bow. Fortunately, this staff was the kind of middle ranked lighteyes who understood the need for a little practicality.
They seemed to have things well in hand now, though there had been a scare earlier when three barrels of grain had been discovered with worms in them. A little creative thinking had reminded them that Brightlord Amaram had stores for his men and Navani had been able to pry them out of his grip. For now it seemed that with the extra cooks borrowed from the monastery they might actually be able to feed all the extra people Gavilar had invited.
"I should leave some of the tables set up in the lower hall," she thought, slipping out of the kitchens and into the palace gardens. "Who knows who might show up with an invitation." At the very least she might need to feed some military officers who couldn't be seated in the main feast hall.
She turned to hike up through the gardens and entered the palace through the side doors. She'd be less... out of the way, and wouldn't have to dodge servants if she went this way. Maybe she could...
Navani slowed. The Kholinar palace was brightly lit tonight, with spheres adorning every hallway and all the garden walkways. By that light, Navani could easily make out Aesudan, her daughter-in-law, Elhokar's wife, standing just near the fountains. The slender woman wore her long hair in a bun, which was lit with gemstones of each shade. All those colors were gaudy together. Navani preferred a few simple stones themed to a color, but it did make Aesudan stand out as she chatted with two elderly ardents.
Storms bright and brash. Was that <Rushar Kris>, the artist and master artifabrian? When had he gotten into town? Who'd invited him? He was holding a small box with a flower painted on it. Could that be one of his new fabrials? Navani found herself drawn to the group, all her thoughts fleeing her mind. How had he gotten the heating fabrial to work? How had he captured a flamespren? How did he make the temperature vary? She'd seen drawings, but to talk to the master artist himself?
Aesudan saw Navani and then smiled brightly. The joy seemed genuine, which was unusual, at least when she directed it at Navani. Navani tried not to take Aesudan's general sourness to her as a personal affront. It was the prerogative of every woman to feel threatened by her mother-in-law, particularly when the girl was so obviously lacking in talents. Fortunately, Elhokar liked her and she was of a good family. Navani smiled at her and turned, trying to enter the conversation and get a better look at that box. Aesudan, however, took Navani by the arm.
"Mother! I had forgotten completely about our appointment. I'm so fickle sometimes. Terribly sorry Ardent <Kris>, but I must make a hasty exit," Aesudan tugging Navani forcefully back through the gardens toward the kitchens.
"Thank Kalak you showed up Mother. That man is the most dreadful bore."
"Bore?" Navani said, twisting to look over her shoulder.
"He was talking about gemstones, and another gemstone, and spren, and boxes of spren, and... storms, what a night! You'd think he would understand we have important people to meet. The wives of highprinces, the best generals of the land come to gawk at the wild parshmen. Then I get stuck in the garden talking to ardents! Your son ditched me there, I'll have you know. When I find that boy..."
Navani extricated herself from Aesudan's grip. "Someone should go entertain those ardents. Why are they here?"
"Don't ask me," Aesudan said. "Gavilar wanted them for something, but he made Elhokar entertain them. Poor manners that is, really."
Gavilar had invited one of the world's most prominent artifabrians to visit the palace, and he hadn't even bothered to tell Navani? An anger stirred deep inside her, a fury she kept carefully penned and locked away. That man. That storming man. How could he...
Calm, Navani, the rationalist inside her mind said. Maybe he intends to introduce you to the ardent as a gift. He knows how interested you are in fabrials. Perhaps that was it.
"Brightness!" a voice called from the kitchens. "Brightness Navani, oh please, we have a problem!"
"Aesudan," Navani said, eyes on the ardent who was slowly walking away toward the path to the monastery. She could catch him. She could spare a few minutes. "Could you help the kitchens with whatever they need. I'd like to..."
But Aesudan was already hurrying off towards another group in the gardens, one attended by several powerful highlord generals. Navani took a deep breath, shoving down another stab of annoyance. Aesudan claimed to care about propriety and manners, but she'd butt into a conversation between men without even her husband as an excuse.
"Brightness!" the cook called, waving to her. Navani took one last look at the ardents then set her jaw and hurried back to the kitchen, careful not to catch her skirt on the ornamental shalebark. "What now?"
"Wine", the cook said. "We're out of both the <clavina> and the ruby <bench>."
"How?" Navani said. "We ordered..." She shared a look with the cook and the answer was evident. Dalinar had been at the wine again, it appeared. "I have a private store," Navani said, pulling a notebook from her pocket. She gripped it in her safehand through the sleeves, scribbling a note. "I keep it in the monastery, with Sister <Nama>. Show her this and she'll give you access."
"Thank you Brightness," the cook said, taking the note. Before the man was even out the door, however, Navani spotted the house steward, a white-bearded man with too many rings on his fingers, standing in the stairwell up to the palace proper. He was fidgeting with the rings on his hand.
"What is it?" she asked, striding over.
"Guests have started to arrive, Brightness, including Highlord Vamah, who was promised an audience with the King regarding the border disputes. You know the one..."
"...about the misdrawn maps, yes," Navani said, sighing. "And my husband?"
"Vanished, Brightness," the steward said. "He was seen with Brightlord Amaram and some of those... uncommon figures." That was the term that palace staff used for Gavilar's new friends, the ones who seemed to arrive without warning or announcement, and rarely gave their names.
Navani ground her teeth, thinking through the places Gavilar might have gotten himself to. There were a few rooms he tended to use. He would probably be angry if she interrupted him. Well, good. He should be seeing to his duties rather than just assuming she'd handle it all. Unfortunately, at the moment, she... well, she would have to handle it. Brightlord Vamah couldn't be left waiting.
She let the anxious steward lead her up to the grand entryway where guards were being entertained with music, drinks and poetry while the feast was being prepared. Others were going with master-servants to view the Parshendi, the night's true novelty. It wasn't every day that the King of Alethkar signed a treaty with a group of mysterious parshmen who could talk.
She dealt with Vamah, offering apologetic words, even going so far as to review the maps herself and write them a judgement. From there, she was stopped from locating Gavilar by a line of needy men and women who had come specifically to get the King's attention, a privilege that was growing more and more difficult these days, unless you were one of the uncommon figures. Navani assured Brightlords their petitions were being heard. She promised to look into injustices. She soothed the crumbled feelings of those who thought a personal invitation from the King would mean they'd actually get to see him. It was emotionally taxing work, but nothing new to her, and fully within the Queen's expected duties.
Navani didn't resent her station. Perhaps some day she'd be able to spend her days tinkering with fabrials and pretending she was a scholar. For now, she had duties. The only thing that truly bothered her was the fact that she shouldn't have to do it alone. She was unsurprised at asking that unexpected guests were indeed still showing up, ones that weren't even on the list an annoyed Gavilar had provided for earlier that day. Vev's Golden Keys! Navani kept her increasing fury under control, painting an amicable face for the arriving guests. She smiled, she laughed, she waved. Using the cheatsheet she kept in her notebook, she asked after families, new births and favorite axehounds. She inquired about trade situations, took notes on which lighteyes seemed to be avoiding others. In short, she acted like a queen.
She always felt like an imposter, and with good reason. She hadn't been born to the station. Gavilar, Navani, Sadeas, Ialai, they'd taken these mantles upon themselves. And however prestigious her ancient lineage, Navani had to work hard to suppress her anxiety that whispered she was really just a girl wearing someone else's clothing. Those insecurities had been stronger lately. Calm calm, no room for that sort of thinking.
She rounded the room and was happy to note that Aesudan had found Elhokar and was chatting with him for once, rather than other men. Elhokar did look happy presiding over the pre-feast gathering in his father's absence. Adolin and Renarin were there in stiff uniforms, the former delighting a small group of young women, the latter looking gangly and awkward as he stood by his brother.
And there was Dalinar, standing tall. Somehow taller than any man in the room, but with those haunted eyes, simmering with passion. He wasn't drunk yet, but people orbited him, like they might a fire on a cold night, needing to be close, but not daring to step up and face the true heat of his presence. Storms. She complained to her current conversation partners that she was feeling a little faint and, after assuring them that she would be fine, made a brief exit up the steps where she wouldn't feel so warm.
It was probably a bad idea to leave. They were lacking a king, so if the Queen vanished too, questions were bound to arise. But surely everyone could get on without her for a short time. Besides, up here she could check on one of Gavilar's hiding places. He probably had come this direction, away from both the guests and the location of the new feast hall.
Parshendi with their drums passed nearby, speaking a language she did not understand, though one of the young interpreters was with them, so Navani could have asked if she'd wanted. Instead, she twisted her way through the dungeon-like hallways. Why didn't this place have a little more light, a few more windows? She'd brought the matter up with Gavilar but he liked it this way. Gave him more places to hide.
There, she thought, stopping at an intersection. Voices.
"Being able to bring them back and forth from Braize doesn't mean anything, Gavilar," one of them said. "It's too close to be a relevant distance."
"It was impossible just a few short years ago," said a deep, powerful voice, his. "This is proof. The Connection is not severed, but can be warped to allow for travel. Not yet as far as you'd like, but we must start the journey somewhere."
Navani inched forward, looking around the corner. Yes, there he was, right where she'd expect him to be, in her study, a place she rarely had time to visit but also a place where people weren't likely to search for the King. It was a cozy little room with a nice window, tucked away in a corner of the second floor. He'd left the door cracked and she inched to peer in.
Gavilar Kholin had a big enough presence to fill the room all by himself. He wore a beard, but instead of being unfashionable on him it looked classic, like he was a painting come to life, a representation of old Alethkar. By wearing the beard, someone thought he might start a fashion trend, but nobody else had been able to pull off the look. Others didn't have Gavilar's strong features. Beyond that, there was an aura of distortion around Gavilar. Nothing supernatural or nonsensical. It was that, well, you accepted that Gavilar could do whatever he wanted, in defiance of tradition or logic. For him, it would work out. That was just the way of things.
The King was speaking with two men that Navani vaguely recognized. 'Ambassadors from the West' were what they'd been called, but no kingdom had been given for their home. They were simply among Gavilar's uncommon visitors.
Was Adonalsium’s power original to Adonalsium?
Yes. As far as anyone knows, there was no predecessor to Adonalsium. Good question.
What would happen differently if a person found a Shardblade and Shardplate that belongs to the same Radiant?
That is an excellent question. It happened way more in the past than it happens now, but certain Blades and Plates are historically kind of linked together. If you were knowing to look for a difference, you would notice a slight difference, mostly if you could speak to or sense the Sword, but it wouldn’t have a very big mechanical difference, if that makes sense.
Would a Seeker burning bronze be able to tell what Order a Knight Radiant is in? <Or at least if they're holding Stormlight?>
Yes, but they'd have to be actively using it, right? So you could hear somebody - for instance - Lashing, but if you just saw somebody who'd drawn in Stormlight, you probably wouldn't be able to tell until they use that Stormlight, which it was. You'd be able to probably hear that they have the Stormlight.
No they're not. You'd be able to do that. In fact there are other things in the cosmere that are kind of the same sort of "radar detection" here and there, that you can read in the same way. Bronze is just the one of the best... way to do it - being a Seeker is really handy for these reasons.
Being able to go off planet with your Allomancy also is a pretty big advantage. It's really hard, for instance, to get a Surgebinder off of Roshar, because of the connection stuff that's happening. In fact you may have heard in a prologue just recently someone complaining about that.
One of my favorite characters is Kaladin, *inaudible* he will ever be able to make peace with that, at some point?
You know, you get one of these. Here's you card, you can come up and get it. This is your RAFO card.
We see the concept of savantism in First Era of Mistborn books. What does that look like on other systems of Investiture, more specifically Roshar?
So on Roshar, I'm going to RAFO this one for now. It's a little harder to make happen on Roshar for various reasons, but I'll give you a card. I'll just RAFO it.
If a coppermind was to be split in half, would the contents of it be destroyed? Or would there be, in the two separate halves, <of different contents?>?
You should err on the side of being destroyed, though not permanently, is what I would say on that. There are ways to approach it that wouldn't, but generally if you're ruining a metalmind, the Investiture will stay in it, and if you know what you're doing you can make use of that, but in most cases, it's not gonna fare well.
Is Khriss planned to be a major character in the future of the Cosmere, or will she be more of a behind-the-scenes source of knowledge?
I do plan some more--some actual Khriss stories. I mentioned I had a Silverlight story in the back of my head--she would have been one of the viewpoint characters of that if I ever get to write it. She will be in the background of most everything, but I do plan a few stories, that will have her. She will come the forefront the more the cosmere comes to the forefront, and more interaction between them.
For those who were curious, my plan for the Cosmere all along has been - now that I have something to point to, people say is it like the MCU? And, yes and no. I'm not developing specific characters to bring forward, some of them will of course will still be be around. My whole goal with the Cosmere is to push toward something a little bit more like Star Trek or Star Wars, in that lots of different cultures, lots of different things--more Star Trek I guess - interspace situation, the conflicts that come between cultures and ideals and things like that, is what I'm pushing for. Rather than taking like the champions of each book and having them. So the characters are important, certainly, but when you're reading a given book series, that's where your characters are important. If you're thinking about the future of the Cosmere, think more about the clash of cultures, is where I'm pushing that.
The areas where you have [true spren] living, does it have a connection to <Stormwall?>
So where the highspren... specifically?
Basically does it...for example, do honorspren have a--are strong in that area, because...?
Oh right, because they're living in like, Lasting Integrity? So... there are reasons why in Shadesmar the spren build the cities they do where they do. It doesn't always correlate one to one with the type of spren. Once in a while it does, but I would say as a rule of thumb, no. It's more about them finding a place that works for the geography of Shadesmar, and where they kind of just have political power and clout and things like that.
On Roshar, all the alcohol on Roshar is called wine.
Some of it is different from what we have on Earth...
Yep. All of it, actually. Well, not all of it--there's some actual Shin wine that you would call wine.
So, on Roshar, do they have distillation processes, or do they have some sort of super yeast that can go way higher than the 20% cap?
A lot of what you're seeing we would just call spirits or liqueurs here. They do have some grain based things and stuff like that. They're not making beer, they're mostly making spirits.
This whole linguistic thing is one of those little clues that I embedded for certain reasons that we won't go into. The reason they call everything wine, the reason that seasons... they call seasons and we're like, "Wait! Those aren't seasons!", and things like that... *with some audience nudging* Chickens is the other big one. This is all there for a specific reason, but the further we get and the better help I get from beta readers... thank the beta readers for the scenes in Oathbringer, where a certain character is getting drunk--they helped me a lot on that. The better information I get from the betas in these things, I write stuff and then they tell me "Ah Brandon, you know nothing about beer!" and I'm like "Well yes, I do not know much about beer!" *laughter* "So tell me..." and the better it gets. I'm trying to give you more and more in the books about that because it is important to specifically several of the characters, and so I wanted to get it right. But most of what they're drinking would be harder than what you might assume.
So, distilled or brewed?
Distilled, mostly distilled.
Are there fermentation spren? *laughter*
I would say yes. There are probably fermentation spren. Because some of the lower... like some of the colors are actual fruit... like *asking back* what do you do when making wine, you're brewing wine, and *with audience help* pressing wine, and you ferment wine. And so, some of them you would drink and be like, "Okay, this is wine-like. It's not made from grapes, but its wine-like." A lot of the... further on the wheel, you'd drink and you'd be like "Oh, this tastes like Vodka! Why're you calling it wine?" Well that's what their word for alcohol is.
Could the Assassin in White assassinate Prof from the Reckoners?
Could he? Yeah, he could. Depends on what- which place in the books you would put him. But I would lay odds on Szeth in that one, in almost every situation. *laughter* Now, the thing is, it depends also on how familiar he is with Prof's powers, how much he's acting like an assassin, right? Which is what he's generally going to try to do, but... you know, Gavilar got a lot of warning. So, if Prof got a lot of warning... the more warning Prof has, the worse it looks for Szeth. But the further in the series Szeth goes - if you pick him from a different book--the more likely it is he's going to win.
'Cause he gets a hold of something very important. *laughter*
The concept of bridge warfare and the life of a bridgeman was one of the most horrific things I've ever heard of. Was that inspired by something specific or...?
So, there's a couple of inspirations. One is some of the first-hand accounts of World War One I read, where tactics changed so dramatically that people were being thrown into battle not understanding that this was just terrible tactics, you know, charging machine guns, that's, turns out, bad idea in a lot of situations. And the other half of it is being inspired by actual siege warfare.
One of the things I like to do in my books is, I like to have fantastical versions of things that happen in our world, right? And this gives me a way I can look at history. I can read the accounts of, you know, what it's like to run a ladder, change it to suit my own desires and kind of have a bit more expertise where I can say, "In this situation, this is what they're doing." It allows people who know their medieval history to say, "Oh, that's cool," but also, at the same time, suspend their disbelief, right. Like, if you're a medieval historian and you're reading about actual siege warfare, I have to get it really right, or I'm gonna kick you out of the story. But if, instead, they're running bridges, it allows a lot of the mystique for medieval historians to say, "Oh, this is a different tactic, so we can't say one hundred percent what people would've done in that situation. I can enjoy the story too." And as long as I get enough right, that does that.
So you see me doing that sort of thing quite a bit. Otherwise, I do try to get the things that I do right--as right as I can--but I was just visiting some nice fellows who were showing me their sword fighting in Plate. And you'll see, Shardplate is another thing like this. Actual historical plate combat... I wanted to have Shardplate divorced from that a little bit for the same sort of reasons, right? Number one, it allows me to have the kind of epic fights the way I want to have them, it allows me to draw out the fights. And you'll notice if you watch a lot of historical people reenacting fights, the Shardplate fights will look a lot more like people sparring nowadays and not actually trying to kill each other. And that's intentional, because I can watch a lot of those online, right. I can go to conventions like this and see people doing that. You can't see first-hand two people in plate actually trying to kill each other. And if I can make the fight realistically have a good reason why it would feel like a bout, you know, with Shardplate and things like that, instead of what you'd try to do in a normal plate battle is shove a dagger under someone's armpit, right? Well, that doesn't work in Shardplate, so what do you want to do? You wanna hit them in the same place a couple times. Feels a lot more like a sparring duel in our world, and it just allows me to have this line between realism and theatricality that I really like, and allows people who know a little bit about it to be able to like, "Oh, that feels real, but I can also enjoy it." You see me doing that sort of thing a lot.
That's more than you asked, but that's occupational hazard, going on and on and on and on.
So the Iriali, their religion, the whole the One breaking themselves into the many to experience the universe. You also have Autonomy breaking themselves into many avatars. So I was wondering is Autonomy connected to the Iriali in any meaningful way.
So are the Iriali connected to Autonomy in a meaningful way?
I'd say no. I mean they're slightly connected, but in a meaningful way, no, they're not connected.
Autonomy did not start the Iriali religion.
So, AonDor is super versatile and powerful.
Yes, but region-locked!
Yes, it is region locked, exactly. If a full Feruchemist using nicrosil were to create an unlocked medallion that allowed an Elantrian to store Connection to Elantris' location, would it let them use AonDor at full power as long as they were tapping that Connection?
Yes. That should work just fine.
Just understand that the medallion's going to have to be usable by everyone in order to work. You're going to have to jump through some hoops, but I think what you want there would work. And for those of you listening, that would be the harder way to unlock AonDor. There are easier methods.
We that there are spren that are partially of Honor, partially of Cultivation, and Odium. Can there be spren made of any combination of Shards?
Yes. Well, you would have to call them... Under that definition if you call a seon a spren, then yes. If you don't call a seon a spren, if you define a spren as, "On Roshar, related to the natural world of Roshar," then no. Theoretically yes, but it wouldn't really work. But it depends on how you define spren. If a Shard were to come and reside on Roshar like the other ones have, then you could theoretically see other new spren appearing out of them.
Could there be a spren of all 16 Shards combined all at once?
*hands out RAFO card*
When Odium and Dalinar were having their meeting in Oathbringer, Odium seemed kinda freaked out by something. Could it possibly be related to how Lift can interact with spren in the physical world, and that might cause some problems for him, <seeing the impossible>?
He is weirded out by Lift, certainly. Lift is something that shouldn't exist, let's just say that. You'll find out why, probably in book 6? But she should not exist.
How many hands has Nightblood passed through since he left Vasher?
Since he left Vasher? More than you'd expect. *later adds* It's been a while.
So, on Nalthis, in the Warbreaker universe, when the color's pulled out of something, is that a physical or chemical change or is that a perceptual change?
It is actually a physical change, but the spirit of the thing is changing, and it's filtering through to the Physical Realm.
So, if I do that on a carrot, I can break beta carotin? If I do that on a piece of metal, I can reduce it and charge my battery that way?
Potentially, yeah! Yeah, that would work, you're changing it's Spiritual nature.
Is physical travel between the worlds possible outside of...?
Yeah, if you can get to Shadesmar, you can do it, but you can also do it... you could do it just... if you had FTL or if you were willing to just take a long, long time. If you had the means, you could. The cosmere is a dwarf galaxy, it's like a hundred star galaxy. I imagine it being a real place, but our world is not part of it, so.
Do you draw your own maps?
I used to and then have someone who know what they're doing redraw them. Now that I have... *other person interjecting* Yeah, like this Elantris map, I did a sketch of and then handed it to the artist and then the artist did a version. Now we have an Isaac version.
Did you draw it before or after you designed what the city was made for?
Oh, yeah, I designed all... I'm an outliner, so I kind of had all of that in mind.
You knew beforehand?
Beforehand, yeah. Nowadays, I just write and then Isaac reads it and then says, "How's this look?" and gives me a map and I say, "That looks pretty good!"
I have one. Are there fermentation spren?
What is the First Ideal of the Elsecallers?
The First Ideal of all the... all of the Orders is the same. She's actually asking what the Second Ideal is and the answer is actually a RAFO, which means "Read and find out". I will reveal that... when... eventually.
I heard a quote that talked about a Shard we haven’t seen yet that only wants to be left alone.
I have a guess but you’ll probably give me a read and find out.
I probably will but you can go on record.
Isolation, I guess.
You are officially on record. I will give you your RAFO card.
*Laughing* Thank you, very much.
So, I was curious about Hoid and how he is sending letters to a dragon, while he is on Roshar and the dragon is elsewhere?
Yes. So, there is a courier service you can hire in the cosmere.
So, it's like a Pony Express and that on the...
Yes. Not everything he's doing is going via that, but it is a thing that exists.
Like, in the Cognitive Realm?
Yeah, they have to go through Shadesmar. So... you can hire a very specialized group to get things where they're supposed to go.
How smart is Doomslug?
Doomslug is, I would say, of not animal level intelligence. Of above animal intelligence.
Do you think Roshar will invent waffle technology?
Waffle technology, I think they will... definitely. There may be a little work left to go.
Will it be in Lift's time?
*laughs* Yes, probably Lift's time. Yes, she would enjoy some waffles.
Do you have suggestions on upcoming authors?
I just read a book called Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell.
Nick Martell, Kingdom of Liars, read that one.
We're going to see more of these guys, right?
You are going to see... In fact, the next book, you're going to see a large number of them.
<Can I please have you tell me> what the Eyes are?
The Eyes are... extra-dimensional beings.
What would happen if Nightblood were wielded inside of a perpendicularity for a significant period of time?
Bad things. Depends on the perpendicularity. He could probably collapse a perpendicularity, so bad things would happen.
See, I like science, because you can be wrong with science. In SA4, you will have a character...a scientist..who appeared in the book we're talking about, talk about some of the things he got wrong.
I know Hemalurgy [has to go to mix and match powers], would it be possible to use Feruchemy for Connection to hack into multiple Knights Radiant, kind of act as a Squire to more than one at the same time.
Great question! I think you could make this work. I think it would take a little bit of legwork, but I think what you're wanting to do could indeed work. More likely in that case though, you could probably be a Squire to multiple Orders. *Hesitantly* Yeah...I think that would work, but I don't think it's the easiest way to do what you want to do. I think there are easier ways.
Could someone use a [seon] or skaze to build a fabrial and what would that do?
It depends on how you define fabrial. If you define fabrial as trapping a sapient Splinter in a gemstone--I guess they don't all have to be sapient--they can all--flamespren and stuff like that--so if you define it as capturing a spren in a gemstone, could you capture a seon in a gemstone, and I would say, yes. The fabrial--what it will do is going to depend on a whole lot of factors--how you build fabrials even sometimes have to do with... Some of the fabrials don't care as much what the Splinter piece is. Obviously a heating fabrial or something like that does. Other ones, it's not as related.
So I would say what the power of the Aon in the seon is, would influence what kind of fabrial you could make from it. Good question, excellent question, I've never been asked it before.
I never understood why Vin couldn't hold the Ruin Shard.
I could see a world where Vin maybe could have done it. But the trajectory she was on was opposed to it. Vin could have understood and become it. But what are the things that are keeping her? Vin, I don't think accepts, number one, that decay has to happen. She's experienced it a lot. But there's that piece inside her that doesn't want that to happen, doesn't want things to change, does not want people to leave her. I think that would be--if you read through, that's the soul, sort of, center event is, "Don't leave me, don't go away, don't change." And this is diametrically opposed to Ruin. People focus on the fact that she's good at killing and she is. But that heart, that soul...Ruin is more about things changing and decaying, than even about destroying.
And I guess that's the reason why she can hold Preservation very easily?
I was the one with the weird alcohol question. I'm a brewer so I was trying to complete the article I wrote--I wrote the article on the [Coppermind].
So really, you're going to have to give me advice. What would you think?
Basically, if they have distillation apparatus? Because they've replaced a lot of technology with Stormlight technology
They do have distillation apparatus.
Okay. Then anything above 20% alcohol has to be a distilled spirit. Anything below has to be a brewed spirit.
Okay, brewed. So a wine can be brewed? You call wine a brewed spirit?
Technically, you call it fermented, but I'd say brewing process. Otherwise it's a distillation apparatus, and you have to actually distill it and boil off the alcohol.
That I know about. But the actual terminology...What we don't see a lot of in the Stormlight Archive is a beer. The hops, the fermented, the bubbles. You just don't see that. What you see is things we would call a wine, and things we would call a hard alcohol. A spirit, I guess. That spectrum is, to most people there, one spectrum. They do use grains for making things like a Horneater White. So that's probably going to be as close to a..
Yeah, there you go. Yeah.
Pink, by the way, doesn't have any alcohol according to the chart?
Yeah it's just juice. Just a squeezed juice, I actually kind of imagine that one. And the next one is they squeeze the juice and ferment it. And then at some point during that line, I guess it would be at the 20% mark, they start distilling, and some of them are going to be grains that they made and stuff like that.
So you can take that all as canon now, and you can write it.
So it's juice, not tea? Because it said tea in the little chart? It said, "I've had tea stronger than this."
Oh yeah. It's not a tea. "I've had tea stronger than this" is just a joke that it doesn't have any alcohol in it. It is a juice.
Would a Seeker know if something's endowed with Breath or if someone was holding it?
Seekers have a lot of trouble with just detecting investiture that isn't being used in some way. They could catch Stormlight that you've breathed in, because it's starting to do stuff. If just something has Stormlight, like a gemstone or something like that...
I meant from Warbreaker. If you'd endowed *inaudible*
Oh, something with Breath, could they find that with a Seeker. That's right. There are theoretical applications of this, but I would say your average Seeker, no. There is a way to get there but if you just took a Seeker from...and said [view?] they would not be able to do that.
Is the Threnody novel--is it *inaudible* perpendicularity in a specific place or does it have to do with a set of circumstances?
Threnody does not have a perpendicularity.
The way to travel...?
The way to travel on there has specifically to do with the fact that a Shard was killed near by.
Will we ever see Vin come back out?
No, we will not, I'm sorry.
I always wanted to...*inaudible* don't know what happened, so...
If you read Mistborn: Secret History, which is a sort of parallel novel to these *gestures to Mistborn books* you will see a brief glimpse of Vin in that, because it's at the same time as these, and it may give you a little bit more closure.
If a Mistborn is Pushing and Pulling on metal at the same time, would it stay suspended in midair?
So most likely not. You could make it happen. Because there's no friction holding it in place, even the slightest change would zip it off in one direction, if you're not perfectly 100% balanced.
Wouldn't it be affected by gravity? If you're Pushing and Pulling at the same time, there's still that downward *inaudible*
There is still that downward force but if you're able to do that, you're able to modulate your Push so that you Push slightly harder on the bottom. Does that make sense? You could do it, the real experts can do it, they can vary how much they're Pushing. But the big problem is the lack of friction. That lack of friction--normally if you're holding a coin with two fingers, it's not going to move. But with no friction, you tap it, it's just going to zip away.
How much does your theology, like your theological background, makes it into...?
It's rarely intentional. But you can find it all over the place kind of unintentional in there. More it's like what I find heroic influences it, right? I find faith and optimism heroic, so you'll find that sort of thing in my books, and things like that. Makes me very fascinated by religion, if you can't tell.
And reading books where people include someone LDS who doesn't well represent what I believe, has made me hyper-conscious to make sure I don't do that to other people, if that makes sense. That's why you find Kaladin's agnostic, Jasnah's atheist, Navani's like orthodox, and Dalinar's kind of more of a reformist. You kind of find all four quadrants of religious thinking and everything in between, it's just me being fascinated by this.
Someone had asked you about a magic system that you liked, that you thought would never get published. I just can't remember what it was, it was so detailed.
Did I talk about the disease magic one? That's one of the ones that I have that I'm just not sure if I can work out, if I can learn enough about immunology. For a planet where, when you catch a disease, you get a magical talent. Because the bacteria and viruses have evolved to try to keep people alive while they're infecting them. So you can fly while you have the common cold. And when you get over it, you can't anymore. That's the one, I still am never sure if I'm gonna be able to do it or not.
I'm sure there's enough people in the community that can help you out.
They can, they can. There's just a problem I have to crack for the story that I came up with, that just might not work at all, with that magic system.
I know that normally Davriel, when he steals a spell, he can only hold it for a short period of time.
As long as he doesn't use it, he can hold it longer. The first time he uses it, it starts to fade.
OK, because he may have stolen a particularly powerful spell from a certain...
An Elderspell. Yeah, it won't be a couple days. He can hold onto those for longer.
So, you read the prologue, does that imply that the guy with the rings, the steward with the rings - are those Feruchemical rings? Or am I gonna get RAFO'd?
You are gonna get RAFO'd so fast. You are gonna get RAFO'd so fast. Sooo fast.
Can Hemalurgy be used to steal [Surgebinding]?
Yes, technically, but since there are spren involved it's not gonna work the same way. It is possible but not gonna be nearly as effective, how about that? Basically since the spren can break the bond in certain instances, you can get it and then immediately lose it.
One a scale of 1 to Daenerys how <careful> can I to be able to name our firstborn child due in March Kaladin?
Kaladin, you would probably be safe naming your kid Kaladin. You should not expect any Daenerys level stuff.
I'm a Steelheart fan.--
Sweet! I do have a little bit more in the works for that world. Probably some audio originals for Audible, I am working on them right now.
Taldain, are you going to do something with Darkside?
Yes, we are actually... now that we have more experience with graphic novels, we are gonna do probably a Darkside-- three more graphic novels that are gonna be kind of like more focused on Khriss.
Will there be a prose for that?
There will probably not be a prose for it. I will probably do Taldain novels in the future but I can't promise them. For right now we are just gonna do the graphic novels. They take a lot less time from me. And we are gonna see it how it works out. There are certain things we like and certain things we don't like, and mostly it's our fault, right? Not getting across some of the worldbuilding to the artists and things like that. We are gaining a lot of experience. But I don't plan on a prose Darkside novel anytime soon.
How are you able to create so many worlds without them getting repetitive?
You know, I worry about that a lot. Repeating yourself is like an author's greatest fear. I don't know that there is anything specific I do to keep... other than being aware that that is a danger. I really like creating worlds and I really try to use a little bit of a different inspiration each time, and sometimes my outlines look a little too similar, so I just kinda don't write that book, if that makes sense. Really, what you're seeing is "I'll build four or five different planets or worlds or ideas and only write one of them" these days. Yeah, it is a real concern - it's not something that I even know if I have fixed yet.
About the Reckoners board game. How involved were you in that process?
Not terribly. I approved the names, and gave them some of the names and some of the writeups on the Epics. But I am not a board game designer, so I just left that to them.
Do you have any *inaudible* for the Reckoners series?
Yeah, I plan to do Reckoners. What we haven't decided yet is if we'll just do three in one volume. That's what I kind of want to do. My team's like, "We don't know if people will like that as much." So we're just kind of asking around, the fans. You would prefer it in one volume, right? 'Cause, together, they're about this length, right?
Maybe the Mitosis side story as well.
Oh, we definitely would find a place for that.
Are you still going to do the ten-year release for this series [Stormlight Archive] as well, for the leatherbound?
In fact, probably, the plan is to do it as a Kickstarter. The reason for that being, we can offer a few little options of how you'd like it. I'll probably do a novella along with it. There's some people who will just want the novella, some want the story, some want both. So, it's really easy to track on Kickstarter.
So that's the plan. Next summer, if it all works out, we'll do a Kickstarter for it.
At what point when writing Dalinar's character did you realize that he was going to become the <champion>?
Ah, I am not going to answer that, because you're answering about future books. Sneaky, sneaky. There you go, that's not confirmed yet.
Have you ever thought about doing children's books?
I have. Actually, the thing that I want to do... The Girl Who Looked Up? We've been thinking of doing a picture book of that.
In the flashbacks in Oathbringer, to when we're with Dalinar, it talks about how horses aren't good for distance, and that they would rather run over distance. Why is that the case, when, like, that is not the case!
Actually, in our world, men have beaten horses at the long-distance run. Like, they have a race now. It involves a lot of turns, which makes it hard for the horses. But humans have won long-distance races with horses in most cases. Horses are sprinters. So, humans can outrun horses. On Roshar, it's even better, because it's a low-gravity, high-oxygen environment. So, even more so, humans can outrace horses in long distance. This is also partially because horses are not adapted to Roshar. A lot more stone and things like this. So, you've got, like, three different factors. Number one: normally, they have to cheat a little bit by making more turns in it. But humans can still usually outrace. And then you add on those things, and, in-world, humans can usually beat horses.
Now also remember, they don't have thoroughbreds, right? They've got destriers, they're bred for war.
Oh, and their strength situation's gonna be totally different than a distance running horse.
Yes, exactly. So, if you were able to get the best thoroughbred, maybe they'd think differently. But there's a whole host of factors that are going into that in Roshar.
We're actually calculating this right now, so I'm gonna RAFO you for now. But it's a RAFO along the lines of, "I've actually hired somebody." I need to have actual joules measurement for what the things can do, because we're ramming together more and more. So, we kinda have to look at, how much does it cost to boil a milliliter of water, how much does it cost when we're lifting people, and then we're gonna have to apply that across the magic systems, and it's gonna be a big pain. But once we've done it, then we'll be able to answer that, all right?
What I'm probably going to be doing next is: Stormlight Four. Wax and Wayne. If I can sneak in a standalone of something new in there, I'll do it. Then we'll do Stormlight Five. And after that, it's Mistborn Era 3. And the Elantris sequels.
Warbreaker sequel in there too, yeah, probably.
I'm sure you have characters that you maybe don't quite like, that may be based off of real people. Does it ever help you to understand them by writing out what you think they were like?
It absolutely does. That's one of the main reasons why I write, is to try to understand people different from myself, and even people that I may not understand before I start writing.
The sequel to Elantris. Sometime in 2020?
Probably not. Probably, right now, I'm planning the Elantris sequels once I finish Stormlight Five. Most likely, 2020 will be Stormlight Four. 2021 will be Wax and Wayne Four. Then we'll look at getting Stormlight Five done. It's in there. I mean... the Elantris sequel isn't even the same characters, so I don't feel as urgent on that. You'll hear about them, but... yeah.
What would be Rock's favorite ingredient in his stews?
Chili powder. Their version of a chili powder. It's gonna come out a little bit like a Korean *inaudible*. So, they use a *inaudible* powder. Rock would want to stick in the Rosharan chili, he's gonna make it super spicy.
Thayen and Shin bread are the only ones that have white *inaudible* flour?
Yeah. I mean, the others are flatbreads. What we're not gonna see is rising. They're gonna have yeast in those, that's the big thing they're seeing, is the yeast.
*inaudible* noodles and buckweat would be...
How far out do you plan some of the magic systems? When I was reading Mistborn, you hinted the Hemalurgy stuff so early on.
I like, for a big series, to have a really tight outline, for the worldbuilding in particular, for the whole series. Mistborn, I had an advantage, in that I was able to write the whole thing before the first one had to go to press. I was early enough in my career that they were not rushing my books out. So I wrote the whole series, then went back and did all the revisions in the first one, and sent it in. Hopefully, you will be able to get the same sort of things out of Stormlight.
If I had any questions at all, I would say: ramp? Stormlight Archive, as it's going forward, like super power creep issues. The characters get so powerful so quickly, and it's gonna be a 10 (hopefully) book series.
Remember, it's two sets of five. And we will be... how about this. We're just gonna RAFO you now, because I'm being recorded. I'm not gonna give you any hints about the future. Just... I've got it in hand.
I was able to write three books about Rand al'Thor at the height of his power, so I'm pretty convinced I'll be okay.
Is there any [books] that were really hard to write?
Yes. Mistborn Two and A Memory of Light were the two hardest to write.
Theoretically, Christmas next year is when I play to do this [Stormlight Four]. We're at 52% right now. You can follow on my website.
That 52% is assuming that the book is 400,000 words, which is where I would hope that it would land. Oathbringer's first draft was 540,000 words, edited down to 460,000 in the final draft. So, who knows where this one will go, but my goal is, hopefully, next month, now that I've got a month without travel, to hit it hard during September and get a little catch-up done. You can read, I did a whole post on Reddit a week or so ago that talks about where I am with the book, and things like that.
Let me go down all the movie rights stuff.
Reckoners is still owned by Fox. Shaun Levy's company, 21 Laps, producing. He's the guy who made Night at the Museum. He's one of the directors on Stranger Things. Really great guy, I really like Shaun Levy. They called recently and said, even though there was a lot of turmoil at Fox right now, they were still interested and wanted to keep working on the thing. They just had a new script come in. That's where we stand on that. So, they're enthusiastic, they like it. I worried that The Boys coming out, which is a similar idea, would make our chances less. They think it makes our chances more, because The Boys turned out really well and everyone likes it, and we have a more family-friendly version of basically the same premise. So they think that that will still work. So I'm very hopeful on that.
Let's see, what else is in development. I just got an offer on Alcatraz. Can't say a lot about that yet, but it has been offered on. Legion is still under option for a television show by Cineflix up in Canada. The Cosmere rights, I'm still working on DMG on part of those, and I'm working with other people on other parts of those. The Cosmere rights are kind of in flux right now, we're looking at a bunch of different things. Nothing I can announce yet.
Of course, the big one that is not mine, but that I am a producer on, is the Wheel of time. Harriet, I asked her first. I'm like, "Harriet, tell me if you would be uncomfortable with me being a producer." Because this is not mine, I don't want to take it over. And she said, "No, no, I want you on it." So I said yes to being a producer. That basically comes down to, they are showing me the scripts, and I am offering feedback. I have liked what I have read so far. The first script is spectacular, and the second one's pretty good. (They warned me ahead of time, the second one needed a little work, so I didn't ream them too much on it. Actually, there was a lot good to it, but the things they said needed work did need work. But they knew it already.) I was able to offer a few (I think) very helpful pointers. I can't say a ton, because I'm under NDA. But I will be flying out to Prague in October, and I hope to represent all of you Wheel of Time fans and get some photos and things that I can release and what-not. I think the Wheel of Time show is in good hands. Rafe, I really like Rafe. He's the showrunner. Every interaction I've had with Rafe has been extremely positive. He loves the series. He has his own vision for it. So I will warn you that. Any adaptation you get is filtered through the eyes of the showrunner, and this is going to be filtered through Rafe's eyes. And there are certain things he wants to do that are bold, but are good choices. So just keep that in your mind. That's what I would say.
Otherwise, let's see. I think that's about everything on there. I'll keep my fingers crossed on the Fox thing. Like I said, I really like Shawn Levy. His adaptation of Real Steel, the Richard Matheson story. If you guys haven't seen that, it's spectacular. I really like it. It's got Wolverine making robots punch each other. It turned out to be a really touching story, really great adaptation. That was one of the main reasons I said yes when they came knocking.
I was working on a book called The Rithmatist, and had just finished it in 2007, when I got a very interesting phone call. The phone call was from Harriet Rigney, who was Robert Jordan's widow, a week after his funeral. She called and said... I'd never met him or her. I'd seen him once at a convention. I didn't know them. And she asked, "Will you finish The Wheel of Time?" Just like that. I didn't know I was being considered, it just came as a phone call. And I said, after much deliberation and thought, I said "Blaeah. Yes. Absolutely." And that required me dropping everything I was working on at the time. Throwing everything into working on that. Any time I did have, I then spent on Stormlight, because I knew I wanted to release Stormlight around the same time I was doing Wheel of Time books. I thought it would be the best calling card that I could do for Wheel of Time fans. What that meant is, three projects I was working on at the time... Several of them actually. The main ones were: The Rithmatist which I just shelved. I said, "We can't publish this yet." The other one was Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians. And the other one was the Legion stories.
I have finished the Legion stories, after a 5-year delay on The Wheel of Time, and then a longer time delay of just being in a different mindset. I have Alcatraz Six, which is being written by Bastille, almost done. It's 45,000 words out of the 50,000 words it will be. So that will be out next year, I would guess. Somewhere around there.
The big cliffhanger, then, is The Aztlanian. Which, I tried writing. I tried working on it a few years ago. It just did not work. The outline that I had for it was wrong. And there was a certain amount of reading and study I needed to do before I felt I could do the book justice. The first one turned out well, but there's certain things looming over me on the first one that I think I did poorly that I want to correct in doing a sequel. And it's still looming over me. I still feel that I need to get it done. It's, like, the biggest promise so far I haven't fulfilled is getting that done, now that I have Alcatraz Six on the way. So, I will do it. But I can't really promise when. Because, there's certain things I want from the sequel that haven't filtered through my brain about exactly how to work yet. I do have confidence I'll do it.
But this is part of the price that I paid by saying yes to The Wheel of Time, was I had to shelve basically all my side projects. And I had to, for a while, dedicate myself only to the mainline Cosmere books and to The Wheel of Time. Sorry about that. But it will happen.
If I could go back, I would revise that ending to make it a little less cliffhanger-y.
Writing my fight scenes, biggest challenges I have. One of the things I learned when I was a brand-new writer, approaching fight scenes, is that the fight scenes I loved in movies didn't translate well to fiction. I can sit and watch Jackie Chan punch and kick people for an hour and a half, and I'll just be happy. But if you tried to write that in the book, even done as dynamically as Jackie does it on the screen, it'll just get boring. "He kicked him. He punched him. He kicked him a different way. He punched him a different way." Just strict narratives of a fight are generally not very exciting, unless you make them very true-to-life and make them very short. You can certainly do just a straight fight narrative if it's a three-minute bout. But if you have somebody in battle, and it's going to stretch forty-five minutes or longer and you're gonna have this big, long, epic thing...
One of the things I learned very quickly is that the advantage we have as writers of fiction is we are inside the characters' heads. And that's an advantage that we have over film. So while they can make kicking and punching really interesting for a long time, we can focus the reader's attention by having the character have distinct goals they want to achieve, show their emotions, and show their reactions to what's happening around them. So, my biggest advice to you would be: look at your character. Decide on what you're character's goals are for this fight. Treat the fight like it's own sort of chapter, it's own sort of narrative, with beginning, middle, and end. With the character trying to achieve things, and either succeeding or failing. And trying to just filter it through their pain, their anguish, their confusion, or their excitement. Whatever their emotion is for that chapter. And keep your eyes on the character. Less on trying to have a spectacularly visual action scene, have a spectacularly emotional action scene.
We asked Brandon about gem cutting tech levels on Roshar.
He hedged some. But did let us know that while it was still labor intensive, it was not as bad as Renaissance Europe. That yes, they do have an edge. But would not state what the edge was. Even with us making jokes about Shard scalpels to make the cuts.
Will we see the Sibling?
Yes, you will see him before the end of book 5
Is he the same as he was last we saw him?
The Sibling is in the same form as he was before.