Isaac Stewart r/Stormlight_Archive AMA

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Name
Name Isaac Stewart r/Stormlight_Archive AMA
Date
Date Oct. 1, 2019
Entries
Entries 15
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#1 Copy

Pagerunner

What writing system are the squiggles around the circumference of Oathbringer's Oathgate map? Do they have any relation to glyph components?

Isaac Stewart

The squiggles are related to Dawnchant. Probably several generations later as the script started to evolve. And yes, they have a strong relation to the glyph components that we start seeing through cultures later on.

#2 Copy

thegatorgirl00

Has Brandon ever wanted an image of something that you had to tell him wasn’t possible to do for whatever reason?

Isaac Stewart

There's a map we've been discussing since Words of Radiance that we want to put in the books at some point, and it almost made it into Book 2 and Book 3, and it's looking unlikely for Book 4. But we just don't have the information yet to make the map work, so that's really the closest experience to what you're mentioning.

#4 Copy

simon_thekillerewok

How's the Nicki Savage story going?

Isaac Stewart

Thanks for asking about this! The Nicki Savage story has been plotted and planned and is almost ready to be written. It was derailed for the time being, however, by Taldain needing a little love.

Argent

Are you going to tie that to the events of any of the existing Mistborn (or Cosmere?) stories, or will it be like the Allomancer Jak ones, where it exists in isolation?

Isaac Stewart

The Nicki Savage story I've got currently planned deals with Nicki in the real world as opposed to her serialized persona. While it's not in the main sequence of novels, it is not as isolated as the Allomancer Jak stories.

#5 Copy

italia06823834

Are there any scenes (or just things in general) you wish you could have included art for that for whatever reason could not make it into the publications?

Isaac Stewart

This is often the case. Like a kid filling their plate way too full at a buffet dinner, I often have too many pieces of art I'd like to do compared to how much space or time we have to realize those pieces of art. Sometimes the hard part comes when an artist sends you too many amazing pieces and you have to just pick which ones work best for the context. For example, Dan dos Santos gave us several options for the Warbreaker leatherbound endpapers. And every one of them was beautiful! It was an extremely difficult decision to make since we could only have two endpapers, front and back. We wound up picking the art that worked best as endpapers, even though some of the options he presented us with would've made even better works of art to hang on the wall. Dan always makes the decisions difficult because he's one of the best artists working today and is just so storming good.

italia06823834

Well, that just begs the question:

When are we going to get an "Art of the Cosmere" book that has all these left out pieces in it? Hahah

Isaac Stewart

We want to do an artbook! It'll probably happen at some point after Stormlight 5.

#6 Copy

RiedDes

Although I know something similar has been asked before, but could you please share a fun tidbit about Nazh?

Isaac Stewart

Okay, things we know about Nazh: Scottish-like accent, he likes fried Eggplants because they remind him of a similar vegetable from Threnody, he's grumpy, he looks like a young Peter Capaldi (in my opinion). I'm not sure what else I've said about him. But I'm going to go out on a limb here and tell you that his home town will probably be called Cianalis, or some variation on that spelling.

#7 Copy

TheFoxQR

Can you shed some light on how you went about designing Roshar's symbol?

Isaac Stewart

We knew that we wanted the Double-eye to be part of the symbol. So it was a matter of finding the right shape for the eye. We went through dozens of ideas of how thick the lines could be, what parts to emphasize, etc. We also knew we wanted swords to be a part of it, so we tried several ways of incorporating those until we wound up with what we currently have. Someday, I'll share the different iterations we went through to land on the current symbol.

#9 Copy

TheFoxQR

What was the process that you went through for designing the various "solar" system charts from Arcanum Unbounded?

Isaac Stewart

I loved making those star system charts for Arcanum. I found an old system chart that I thought looked really cool and combined it with the style of an old Arabic manuscript that caught my eye. I bought vellum, inked the start charts on there, and started painting them. It didn't turn out how I expected, so I scanned the inked lines, turned them into brushes in Illustrator, and created the charts again from there, painting them later in Photoshop and adding textures from the physical vellum projects I'd tried earlier.

TheFoxQR

Okay, that's just cool.

How accurate would they be in-world (they are obviously not to exact scale, but what about planetary colors and look)?

Isaac Stewart

I would say that they're relatively accurate when it comes to the big stuff, but they are also done in a style that would suggest the people of the Cosmere still have a lot to learn about astronomy. Some planetary colors are right, some are just guessed at, so the simple answer to this question is: Your Mileage May Vary.

TheFoxQR

The specific instance I was thinking about was the depiction of the 10 Rosharan Gas Giants. Discarding the glyphs and the names, were the colors of those giants in the star chart a cultural projection, or does it have physical basis in how they appear in the Rosharan sky?

Isaac Stewart

All these maps are products of the cultures and eras they came from. The mapmaker in this instance is probably using reference from all over the Cosmere, and the reference he used for this system came from Roshar itself. Since it's unlikely that the mapmaker has visited all the planets in all these systems, he has to rely on others for much of the information. I suspect he has the same questions you do about this particular map, though he rendered it based on the best information he could find. :)

#11 Copy

Argent

Nazh is, presumably, well aware of Hoid. Have they met, and how does Nazh feel about him?

Isaac Stewart

Nazh and Hoid have met. I suspect that Nazh is just fine with Hoid, though he wishes he would say things in a more direct way. Nazh doesn't care much for riddles or flowery language and wishes people would just get to the point.

#13 Copy

TalenelFPV

I'm getting "Taln's scar" tattooed on my right shin to cover a scar. Any input on the size/shape of the galaxy? (more than just the star map in the front of arcanum)

Isaac Stewart

That's pretty cool! Well, Taln's scar is going to look different from different vantage points in the Cosmere. From the vantage point used on the Arcanum star map, it looks like a curved string of red stars. Elsewhere it's straighter. From some vantages, it will be horizontal, and others it will be vertical. There will be the sides of some planets that won't see it at all, kind of like how the North star isn't visible from the southern hemisphere of earth.

TalenelFPV

Are just the stars red? Is there cosmic space dust around them that's also red? Like a Nebula, but also red?

Isaac Stewart

I honestly don't know if the stars are red or if there is space dust around them making them appear to be red. This is a question better asked of Brandon. However, I don't think you can go wrong making the stars red themselves as they appear on the chart, especially since most of the Cosmere views them as red, too.

#14 Copy

ArtemosHyre

The Steel Alphabet is interesting in that each symbol represents a letter, a number, and a metal. When a Scadrian is reading a sentence with words, numbers, and metals, how do they know which of the three each symbol refers to?

Isaac Stewart

It's all related to context, similar to how we usually know which "they're, their, or there" is being used, even if we sometimes don't know how to spell each.

#15 Copy

ArtemosHyre

There was a really neat recent post that showed how they use a rotated Copper symbol like we use the "cent" symbol ¢. Are there any other examples in your mind?

Isaac Stewart

I'm glad someone noticed that we took copper and rotated it to mean "clip." Since Scadrial is the closest planet to being like Earth in the Cosmere so far, it's fun to do little things like that. I could see us doing something similar with one of the other symbols to use it to mean a boxing, maybe the symbol for Gold.

Event details
Name
Name Isaac Stewart r/Stormlight_Archive AMA
Date
Date Oct. 1, 2019
Entries
Entries 15
Upload sources