Dragonsteel 2023

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Name Dragonsteel 2023
Date
Date Nov. 20, 2023
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Entries 101
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#2 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

what inspired Lift?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

(inaudible, there was a cultural influence), then he said that he wanted to have a teenager to kind of represent teenagers for his goal of representing everyone possible.

#4 Copy

Lightweaver2 (paraphrased)

Does Rysn have a Torment?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

She hasn’t had the Dawnshard long enough for it to change her spiritweb enough.

Lightweaver2 (paraphrased)

Will she?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

She may not call it that, but the Dawnshard will change her spiritweb in drastic ways.

#6 Copy

#1 Taln Fan

Who in the Cosmere could beat Taln in a fight back when he was in his prime?

Brandon Sanderson

Depends what level of abilities he has access to. If you're saying access to full abilities, I don't know of anybody who could beat him in an actual one-on-one.

#7 Copy

Questioner

Is Hoid able to use soulstamps?

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid is working on how to figure out how to use soulstamps. As you have seen so far, he has not figured out how to make that work. But he only just barely managed to get access to Selish magic systems. He's working on it.

#8 Copy

Questioner

Is there a specific reason as to why Hoid cannot Skip, but Nomad can?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, there is a specific reason for that. I'll get into it someday. Let's just say the Skipping started because of a certain event, that probably I won't write a book to talk about, but you will get an answer to that someday I hope. So it's a RAFO, but a RAFO with a little bit of a promise.

#9 Copy

Questioner

What would happen if a Mistborn ingested anti-lerasium or anti-atium, assuming they don't explode?

Brandon Sanderson

If you are not highly Invested yourself, and you get the anti[-Investiture], it's not gonna be a fun time. You won't explode, but it will kill you, almost assuredly. Not a fun time, but not an explosively not-a-fun-time, just a regular old not-a-fun-time. Maybe a little bit like pouring molten metal down your throat.

#11 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

Could you Awaken a chasmfiend as a Lifeless with just one Breath, or would it require more?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It probably would require more.

Questioner (paraphrased)

And would a Lifeless chasmfiend still function normally, because they use spren in order to support their weight?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah, it wouldn't be able to make the Nahel bond work, so it would collapse.

#14 Copy

The Rosharan Ecologist (paraphrased)

We've seen on Roshar creatures like chasmfiends evolve to have symbiotic relationships with spren. Are similar things possible between animals and Aethers?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

This could happen, yes. The Luhel bond is able to do these sorts of things.

#15 Copy

Questioner

So the Threnodites are described as having a smokey shadow something to their soul; we don't really know what that is. Is it more similar to the black smoke that comes from Awakened objects in Yumi and Nightblood? Or is it more like Midnight Essence in Tress?

Brandon Sanderson

It is more like Breath than it is like either one of those. More like Breath, but something's a little wrong with it

#16 Copy

Questioner

What would happen if an Awakener drew color from an emerald and then a Soulcaster tried to Soulcast with it?

Brandon Sanderson

That's an excellent question. The color of the gemstone is working as a sort of key to help the Soulcaster and to facilitate this. There are Soulcasters that could do it if it's been drained, but for most of them it's just not gonna work. They're gonna view that too much like a diamond or even quartz and it's just gonna fiddle with the process to the point that it won't work. There are some people who could do it anyway.

#17 Copy

Questioner

What would happen if a person from Scadrial were to try to burn a manifested metal from Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

So you're meaning they're in Shadesmar, they manifest it, and they try to burn it, right?

Questioner

Say a Spren of a Radiant manifests as a bead of metal instead of a Shardblade?

Brandon Sanderson

You're not going to be able to burn that if it's something that's coming from a spren, because that's not going to be treated as a metal in your body. Like, those are God Metals, and that one is actually alive and awake and it's just not gonna work. There are ways, though, that you could make that work. So it's totally possible, but you're gonna need something that's not an alive spren that's manifest like that. You're gonna need some way to get access to some tanavastium or something like that that's not, like, some living being.

#18 Copy

Questioner

Do dragons in the cosmere have their own magic system? And if so, what can you tell us about it?

Brandon Sanderson

You'll get some answers to this very soon because you'll be able to read Dragonsteel Prime. (And some of you have read that. We'll be doing this as a Curiosity, like we did Way of Kings Prime). Dragons act in the cosmere as kind of this... the Primary magic system that they use is something akin to soothing and rioting, but they have followers who pray to them and ask for them to help them with their emotions during difficult times, and the dragons are able to do that across any distance. That's kind of the main thing that they're doing, other than that they can transform between a dragon and a person in shape. There's a little bit more to it, but I'll give you those nuggets.

#19 Copy

Questioner

You've said previously that the Oathgates don't obey Physical Realm speed of light. Do they obey the speed of light in Shadesmar? Or are they tapping into the Spiritual Realm shenanigans?

Brandon Sanderson

They're tapping into Spiritual Realm shenanigans. An Elsecaller is capable of creating something that can teleport you faster than the speed of light.

#21 Copy

Lego Mistborn

Aethers in Tress seem to take over their hosts aggressively, probably without the host's permission, whereas we see in The Lost Metal with TwinSoul it's more willing. Is this related—and how—to the corruption of aethers on Lumar?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it is related. You have the main aether planet, which we just named but I can't... so Kalyani named it for me. Well, Kalyani and Rahul. I'm relying on them a lot for this planet, and they actually just sent me a five-thousand-word world guide for it. [...] They could tell us how to pronounce it. "Dhatri" might be how it is?

Regardless. On the main planet. So the idea here is they're very formalized, how you interact with the aethers. But on some other planets (not just Lumar), aethers have gone that are not connected to the main set of them on the main planet, and what's going on on Lumar is directly related to how that separation happened.

So that answer is a long-winded yes.

#22 Copy

Use the Falchion

Have we met the Admiral of the Night Brigade, or the family of said Admiral, before?

Brandon Sanderson

The Admiral of the Night Brigade is the protagonist of the unnamed Threnody novel. You have not met her yet. I didn't say "hero" on purpose, I said "protagonist"! But when I write the Night Brigade novel (it'll probably just be called The Night Brigade), she's the protagonist.

And yeah, Continuity Chains are very involved in that story if I ever get around to writing it.

#24 (not searchable) Copy

Brandon Sanderson

<Dyel> had the most unusual of visitors. That was not uncommon in Iri these days, now that the owners had returned. They walked the streets with bodies bearing patterns, like they were painted red, white, and black. But these visitors were not of the owners. These visitors were different.

The three sat at a table in her shop, on the far side, near the cubbies on the wall where her grandfather—before his murder—had put shoes. They huddled around their table, and when they’d come in, they’d pretended they were from “the east.” But <Dyel> knew accents, and these men were not from the east. Besides, their clothing was very strange, particularly the tallest man, with the long white coat and the strange spectacles peeking from his pocket.

She hovered in the doorway to the kitchen after delivering their tea, listening in, hoping her mother wouldn’t notice her loitering.

“Are you certain this is the right time?” asked the tall man, the one in the coat. He had skin like he was from Azir, with short black hair and muscles like a soldier. She could almost believe he was from the far east, where terrible men were said to be the fiercest warriors. And he had the height to maybe fit in there. But he liked sugar in his tea. What kind of fierce warrior liked sugar in his tea?

“Of course I’m not sure,” said the tubby one, who was constantly scowling. “The device is always unpredictable, don’t you know?” This one was Azish, perhaps, and completely bald. Older, shorter. Again, he wore odd clothing for this region. Most people she knew went around without shirts, and only <bandlo> for the women. He had on robes beneath the cloak. A cloak and colorful robes, in this weather?

The tall man grunted, then sipped his sugared tea. The third of them sat quietly. A Shin man, maybe, of middling height, but also balding, with lighter skin and more normal clothing, for an outlander. Shirt and trousers. He didn’t talk as much, but he watched things. She knew people like that.

Lest they think that she was observing them, <Dyel> busied herself with other tasks for a short time. Cleaning tables, standing by the door to give welcoming smiles to those who passed on the street. She liked that part. Looking at all the different kinds of people that were part of the One. She also liked smelling the ocean air. Though they were too poor to have a shop in the best part of town, the breeze still carried crisp, salty air inward to them. A gift of experience she could add to the One.

Outside, an owner walked past, a hulking figure with carapace and eyes that glowed red. There was some discussion—were these singers, these owners part of the One? Were they part of the grand connecting experience that unified all people? Or were they something else? <Dyel> thought they must be the One. It wouldn’t be the One unless it—God—encompassed everything. Every person a piece of it, extended out into the cosmere to live a different life and bring back enriching knowledge. Her mother didn’t believe that, but <Dyel> did. Because if she did, then grandpa Ym was always with her, and she with him, because they were the same.

“Serving girl,” one of the men called, “could I get another?”

She started, then hurried back to the table with the three strangers, her hair aflutter. She kept it long, only trimmed it when Mother forced her to. She was Iriali, and golden hair was her heritage.

She quickly refilled the men’s cups, though the thoughtful one—the quiet one—sat a sphere on the table. Her breath caught. A full broam? She looked to the man, who had a round friendly face. He nodded.

She snatched it up, the azure light inside making her skin glow. But Mother would insist she ask, so reluctantly, she spoke.

“Would you like some change?”

“No,” he said, still smiling. “Thought wouldn’t mind if you answered a question or two.”

She shrugged. “Sure.”

“Have you ever seen,” the man asked, “a strange collection of lights that moves across the wall or floor, though you can find no source reflecting it?”

<Dyel> felt an immediate spike of terror. She nearly dropped the teapot. She’d suspected they weren’t what they said, but this? This?

“I’m sorry I have to go I forgot my mother wanted me to check on the biscuits stay as long as you want thank you for the tip we’re closed now good bye!”

She scampered into the back room, now kitchen and living space transformed from her grandfather’s workshop. She put her back to the wall, heart thundering, and tried to breathe in and out. He was back. The murderer. What to do?

Find Mother.

But Mother was gone. <Dyel> searched the entire shop. Wasn’t hard, considering how small it was, and found nothing but a note: Back in fifteen. Watch the shop.

Oh no. No no no no no no no.

She scrambled and found a knife—for spreading butter—then she hid in the corner holding it, trying not to be too loud as she cried and trembled. Until they darkened the doorway. Three men, two shorter, one taller.

<Dyel> yelped despite herself, holding out the knife. The three looked almost bored, as if killing her would barely bother them.

The tall one looked to the thoughtful one. “Look what you’ve done, Demoux,” he said, gesturing to her. "I told you you should keep quiet about that!”

“I need an intelligent spren to study,” he said. “They keep telling me no!”

“Perhaps that’s because you keep saying you want to study them, isn’t that so?” the grumpy one said. “We certainly frightened fewer people when your translator didn’t work.”

The tallest man walked up to <Dyel>, then knelt beside where she knelt, trying to force herself back against the wall, her skirt getting twisted and crumpled, the rough grain of the wood pressing against the skin of her back, except where she wore her <bandlo>. The man considered her.

“I’m sorry,” he said, “to have—”

The back door slammed open, and there was her mother, frantic, in loose trousers and <bandlo>, a glowing mane of hair that was radiant with the light of the setting sun. She seemed alarmed, wild-eyed, then she saw the three strangers. Her Shardblade materialized a second later, bright and silver. Their family’s hidden secret, kept quiet since it had manifested a few months back. But few secrets mattered when you burst into the room and found your twelve-year-old daughter frightened by three assailants.

“Woah,” the tall one said, leaping backward.

He was the one, the killer named Darkness!

“Woah!” He pulled something from his belt, something he brandished like a weapon, though <Dyel> had never seen a weapon that was just a small tube of metal.

Strange lights followed as the grumpy one smashed a sphere on the ground, somehow cracking it. Stormlight flowed up around him, and strange symbols formed in the air. Mother leapt in front of <Dyel>, sweating, holding her weapon in two hands.

“We knew you’d come back,” Mother said. “We knew you’d come for me once you heard!”

Mother’s voice trembled. <Dyel> crawled forward and grabbed her around the legs, terrified.

They all stood quietly in the room until the thoughtful one, the Shin man said, “What the hell is going on?”

“We know about you,” Mother said, inching backward toward the door. “I spent months trying to find the tall Makabaki man who killed my father! I spoke to the families of the others you killed! We know what you are, what you do, murderer!

<Dyel> cowered. Mother kept trying to inch them toward the door. Strangely, though, the tall man—the murderer who had killed her grandfather—relaxed, lowering his… strange weapon. The bald one lowered his hands, the strange glowing lights around him evaporating.

“I told you you looked like him.”

“I do not," the tall one said.

“You kind of do,” the thoughtful one said.

“Just because he and I are both dark-skinned?” the tall one said.

“I’m dark-skinned too,” said the bald one, “and no one says I look like him.”

“You’re silver most of the time, Galladon,” the tall one said, depositing his weapon back in his cloak. “Look, I’m not the murderer you’re worried about. That’s Nale, the Herald. I’m just a traveler.”

They both watched him in terrified quiet until Mother, strangely, cocked her head. She dismissed her Blade, which made <Dyel> quiver. Surely Mother didn’t believe the words of this killer?

Uma appeared a second later, sliding up the wall, a collection of lights like those scattered by a prism. Except none existed here. She made a kind of shimmering pattern that she said was unique to her.

“It’s alright, <Dyel>,” Uma said. Her voice was quiet, like the sound of glass when a cup vibrated in the hands of a musician. “I told your mother as well. I know the Herald Nale by sight, the one called Darkness, and this is not him. I suspect he is from very distant lands indeed.”

Oh. <Dyel> carefully stood up behind her mother, her heart still pounding, likely the same as all of them.

Until a moment later, the thoughtful one said, “Can I study you?”

“Umm,” Uma said, “no?”

“I told you to stop phrasing it like that, Demoux,” said the one called Galladon.

“I don’t want to lie to them,” Demoux said, gesturing.

The tall one cleared his throat. “Perhaps we should be going.”

Mother eyed them and was still tense. <Dyel> realized why. Yes, this was not Darkness, but she’d still burst into the room, likely after hearing her daughter cry out, and had still found three strange men in a part of their shop where no customer was allowed.

“Mother,” <Dyel> whispered, pointing, “they knew. They asked me about Uma.”

“How?” Mother demanded.

“We didn’t mean to frighten the girl,” the tall one said, with a placating hand forward. “We simply heard rumors. We’re scholars and like to study spren.”

“See?” Demoux said. “Baon uses it!”

“Baon is not an example of how to be in any way tactful,” Galladon said. “Crazyfools, all of you.”

What a curious word, smashing two together like that. He stepped forward, and though he had been the grouchiest at the table ordering drinks, he made his tone polite now.

“I’m sorry we frightened you. We will go now, with your leave, Radiant.”

Mother looked down at <Dyel>, then sighed, looking back at the men. “I have a letter for you.”

“…What?”

“What?”

“Mother?” <Dyel> asked.

“You remember when that odd woman visited last month?” she said. “She left me a letter, it’s in my nightstand. Please fetch it.”

<Dyel>, confused, did as she asked. Mother remained eye to eye with the three strangers. <Dyel> did remember that woman, the one who wore too many rings, and who had helped for several weeks at the local charity hospital. A healer skilled with herbs, and whose room had smelled of fish, from the creatures she had caught in the Purelake, then dried. She’d come for tea each morning, but had left a few weeks ago. Apparently not without leaving something.

In the nightstand beside the table they shared, <Dyel> found a sealed envelope. And on it was drawn roughly the profiles of the three men. These three men, except with quite comical exaggerated proportions. She’d have found them amusing if she weren’t so tense.

What an odd experience from the One. How had the woman known? But then, <Dyel>’s life had been turned upside down ever since Uma had arrived and her mother had started glowing sometimes. Unique experiences indeed. She cherished thinking of it that way, as she’d been taught. So many didn’t believe these days, but she did, for Grandfather’s sake.

She scampered down the stairs and handed the letter to her mother, who tossed it to the men.

“I was told,” Mother explained, “I would know who to give this to.”

The tall one, Baon, caught it. He eyed the others, then slit it open with a pocket knife. “It’s from him,” Baon said.

“Of course it is,” Demoux replied. “Right as we’re leaving. You think he wants to tease us back, make us keep wasting time?”

“What,” Galladon said, “does it say?”

Baon closed the envelope. “It has only his signature. And a crude depiction of male genitalia.”

“From the Trickster Aspect?” Mother said. “He was here too, last year.”

“Of course he was!” Demoux repeated, then sighed. “I’m ready to be off this rusting planet. What about you two?”

“Yes, please,” Galladon said. “One of the eldest beings in the cosmere, and he has the mental age of a thirteen-year-old.”

“If this man ever returns,” Baon said, “keep your distance. He isn’t terribly dangerous, but things around him always are. When he’s spotted, innocents get hurt. It’s inevitable.”

Well, of course. He was the Trickster Aspect, spun out of the One to create chaos. But you couldn’t just insult him by not serving him tea when he asked.

A ding came from Galladon’s pocket. “Time,” he said. The three men nodded to the two of them, then started out. Baon hesitated by the door.

“Things might be chaotic in your city for a little bit, but it will pass. Best stay inside.” Then he too left.

<Dyel> hugged her mother. Because they were alive, tense though it had been, but also because she was worried. Not just because of what Baon had said. Because it meant Darkness had not yet come, and they still needed to fear him.

Outside, people started shouting.

“I will look,” Uma said in her tinkling voice. “Stay strong. I do not know yet what this is.”

Mother nodded and grabbed <Dyel> and led her up the steps as Uma went out the door. Their shop was part of a larger building, four stories high, and they helped keep it tidy and fix things. Which meant Mother could take them up the access stairway all the way to the roof. There they burst out, and found what was causing the chaos.

Cusicesh the Protector had risen from the bay. The great multi-armed spren made only of a column of water. It had risen high in the air, larger than usual.

That was all? <Dyel> relaxed. She’d seen Cusicesh many times. This was nothing to fear. But why, then, were so many people pointing and crying out? Why were so many people running?

“It’s the wrong time of day,” her mother said, staring across the rooftops toward the bay.

Cusicesh, breaking tradition from the way he normally acted, waved his hands out to the sides, palms toward the city. And then, before him in the bay, the air split in a glorious radiant font, a column of light.

“The gateway,” Mother whispered, “to the Land of Shadows. Honor’s gateway. Oh, Father, Mother, ancestors become one! <Dyel>, it’s time! Run and fetch the traveler packs, it’s time!”

<Dyel> froze. Time? The traveler packs? All good Iriali kept them, of course, in case they needed to leave, but that was mostly a formality, unless…

It was time?

“PEOPLE,” Cusicesh spoke.

That spren never spoke.

The voice was deep and vibrated the city, somehow loud enough to make her soul shake, but not so loud it hurt her ears.

“IT IS HERE. I AM TO BE YOUR GUIDE FOR THE FIFTH JOURNEY.”

Time. That meant time to continue the Long Trail. Time to find the Fifth Land. Finally shocked out of her reverie, she went running for the travel packs, terrified that this great day should have come during her life. The One was certainly testing her with new experiences. She wished there were a way to explain that she was filled up with them, that she’d rather experience some peaceful days, without owners returning to the land, or her mother starting to glow, or the call to the Long Trail itself occurring.

But it wasn’t to be, as when she met back with her mother, Uma had returned. Mother was crying.

“We will try,” Mother whispered to the spren, who brightened the floor of the rooftop. “We will see, see how far you can go. Come, <Dyel>. We mustn’t miss the call. The gateway will not remain forever, and boats are already rowing out to meet it.”

And so she went with her mother. Found their way to a boat with only their travel packs. Joined with the light of the gateway, which she thought briefly must be like rejoining the One when she died. She emerged into a place of shadows with the leaders of their kind, who had already begun preparing caravans to cross the darkness. Other portals, she heard, had opened all across Iri, one in every major city. Nearby, she did spy the three strangers passing, Demoux complaining about the “odd behavior for a perpendicularity of this nature.”

Mother settled her down on some blankets to wait as she went to find their position in the caravans. <Dyel> clutched her pack to her chest, stunned by how fast it had happened. Stunned to realize that her time in the city, with the shop, was over.

And so she whispered a quiet farewell. It was time to leave Roshar.

Forever.

#25 Copy

Questioner

Is Mraize a Sleepless?

Brandon Sanderson

Mraize is not a Sleepless, despite the scar. Sometimes it may be something I use to indicate someone is a Sleepless. It's an excellent question, but I can go ahead and let you know Mraize is not a Sleepless.

I'm glad somebody asked that, because I realize now if I ever give a scar to somebody they're like "oh that means Sleepless," but not always. Sometimes scars just mean you've been in a lot of fights.

#27 Copy

Questioner

Nomad was able to overcome his Torment. Would someone else be able to do something similar using soulstamps?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, this is theoretically possible.

Soulstamps are one of the easiest ways to play with spiritual DNA and spiritwebs and stuff like that, so yeah.

#28 Copy

msyverw

So, what's up with Canticle? You've got the sunlight, it appears to be Invested and then the planet's core is trying to suck it up. And you know, where does it go after it does that, and...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, Canticle was built for a very specific purpose by a very powerful being in the Cosmere, that I will someday get to. You're going to see some more stuff like this. Basically, megastructures that imitate planets or other sort of heavenly bodies.

msyverw

So it's not like some avatar of Autonomy or something like that?

Brandon Sanderson

It's not an avatar of anything, it was built for a specific purpose, yes.

Just wait til I get to the Grand Apparatus, you're gonna love that. What was that voice that talked about a future Cosmere planet? Hmm!

#29 Copy

Questioner

I was wondering if the Skybreakers' armor spren... what spren they are?

Brandon Sanderson

Well... Do you have any guesses?

Questioner

Stormspren?

Brandon Sanderson

No, not stormspren, good guess. Any other guesses?

Gravitationspren. We're going with gravitationspren for them. So you should see some little hints of that in future books.

And this isn't too much of a spoiler 'cause we will be releasing all of these when the RPG comes out, 'cause you gotta know how you get your armor when you play the RPG.

#30 Copy

Questioner

Suppression fabrials. They don't work above the Fourth Ideal for Radiants, but they work on all Fused. Why?

Brandon Sanderson

Fused have, in general, a smaller amount of Investiture—or access to a smaller amount of Investiture—than a Radiant of those oaths. That's the dividing line that you can use to figure that out.

#31 Copy

Questioner

If you were divesting yourself of all Identity, and then tapped a massive amount of Connection and Investiture, would you be able to instantly have access to, say, the Surges on Roshar without oaths?

Brandon Sanderson

So, you wanna get the Surges without oaths? What you're saying is you divest yourself of Identity, you highly Invest yourself... You're still going to need something that's gonna tell that Investiture what to be and how to manifest in yourself. And so if it's the right Intent then maybe, right? 'Cause you can have both Identity and Intent on Investiture and you can unkey it to one or the other or both. And so that might be... But the thing is, you're still gonna have to know... This is a step toward getting what you want, but there's still gotta be something that tells it... "You're holding a massive amount of Investiture, what do I do with this? Do I teleport you across the Cosmere to another planet? What do I do with it?" And you're gonna have to have something to give structure to that Investiture. You're missing a step.

#35 Copy

AllomancerSam (paraphrased)

Where did Hoid get the shirt? Is it widely available on Scadrial?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The really loud, colorful shirt? It's not a Scadrian shirt.

MistbornTaylor

What do you mean it's not a Scadrian shirt BRANDON

Brandon Sanderson

It's not a Scadrian shirt in the same way that a lot of very kitschy products in our world are not a product of the culture they propose to represent...

#37 Copy

Questioner

My question is about biology and genetics. We've seen that magical systems rely on *inaudible* genetics, like allomancy, or spiritual DNA. Can we use *inaudible* CRISPR to either weaponize or take someone's magical ability or give them a magical ability?

Brandon Sanderson

Kind of. The in-world version of this is Hemalurgy, as you already know. There are methods that would do this, but straight genetics alone with CRISPR wouldn't do it. You need the spiritual component for these to work, almost assuredly. You might be able to use CRISPR... no, I don't think there are any of them it would work on. Is it possible you could make someone into a kandra? That may be possible, right? But I'm not 100% sure on that.

Questioner

Can you use CRISPR with Ashyn viruses or bacteria?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably not, but that's more likely. I'd have to think on that. I'm gonna say "probably not" for now, but we'll minorly RAFO that. Good questions.

#38 Copy

Questioner

Now that Skyward and Reckoners are over, and it seems like Apocalypse Guard is never gonna get written, is there anything you can tell us about the connection between their multiverses?

Brandon Sanderson

I've kinda been playing loose and freaky. Multiverses are annoying, right? When I wrote Steelheart, I realized, "Ah, multiverses are annoying." And the more I worked on Apocalypse Guard, the more I realized I didn't want to lean into this. And I'm glad I didn't, because as certain media properties have shown us, multiverses are just real hard to juggle and keep any sense of weight or value to the actions of the characters. And so, one of the reasons I didn't want to release Apocalypse Guard is I want to rethink all of that. I do prefer things like I did in Frugal Wizard, where I'm like, "There are certain stable realities. It's not an infinite number of realities; there's an infinite number of possible realities, but some of them are solid. Some of them are real." So you can find alternate versions of yourself, just not an infinite number of them.

So that's one of the places I was going with that. And Apocalypse Guard did lean into this and start to progress that idea. I think one way you could do a multiverse (kind of have your cake and eat it, too) is just be like, "There's not four billion versions of you. There might be seven." And things like that, that are what we call stable, and "real." Which allows you to kind of play with that idea of multiple versions of yourself without everything going out the window in terms of... You know, you guys have seen Rick and Morty. It doesn't matter if we die or if we mess up the plan. There's another one over there. We can only do this an infinite number of times. So, that was one of the things I was playing with, there.

And then, multiverses are just, like, so overdone. Everything Everywhere All At Once did the best one, and we don't need to even try. But that movie is proof you can still have emotional connection and power in a story that is about alternate versions of yourself. And so it is possible.

So what's the connection? I do kind of have in my head that each of these non-Cosmere properties kind of are on the continuum with this multiverse and are shades of one another, and Apocalypse Guard was gonna kind of be jumping between them. But whether or not we'll get to that, I don't know, because I certainly don't want to have Skyward be ruined by the existence of multiverses. I like how Skyward turned out; the whole series, I'm really proud of. So that's the question mark in the back of my head.

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Questioner

You talked about how Hoid would never want to go near Nightblood. If he were to be in proximity to Nightblood, would he be, like, Force-pushed away? Like, he wouldn't be able to get close to him?

Brandon Sanderson

No. He would not want to touch him. The thing about Nightblood is... Hoid's one of the few who knows exactly how dangerous this thing is. And beyond that, Hoid depends so much on the memories that he has in his Breaths, and that would be one of the first things that would get sucked out by Nightblood. So if he were to touch Nightblood, he might lose centuries. And this is a big deal to Hoid. So, yes, he could theoretically pick up Nightblood. It would just be a lot more disastrous more quickly for him than it probably would be for others.

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Questioner

How many different types of Aviar are there, and what do they all do?

Brandon Sanderson

This is a RAFO because I haven't even decided yet. What I decided is that there are dozens upon dozens of different kinds of Aviar. So what that tells me is, I don't want to nail down what all of them do, because if I do, then I might need one for a story in the future. So, this is kind of how-a-sausage-is-made sort of thing. It is on a magic system like this where I'm saving to maybe talk about more in the future, I don't nail things down. When I need to write an entire series, it's something I often will, nail everything down. But when there are as many Aviar as there potentially are, I'm not gonna do that. So, you may imagine powers that may come to exist in the future, but I'm not gonna tell you what they all are.

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Questioner

In Yumi, Hoid hypothesizes about Cultivation giving us nightmares to help us survive trauma. Does Cultivation have influence over people on all planets? Not just Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

This is basically playing to his audience and speaking in terms they would understand.

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Questioner

Which type of slug is your favorite, and why?

Brandon Sanderson

My favorite slug is Doomslug because I came up with her first and I really like writing Doomslug. There's some fun stuff in Defiant; in fact, one of my favorite lines in the whole series involves Doomslug in this book. Doomslug's my favorite; Boomslug, invented by my son Dallin, Boomslug is his favorite. Because he knew about the series, and he knew about Doomslug. He's like, "You should have a Boomslug! And he should wear sunglasses!" Okay... well, we have mindblades, there's gonna be a slug for mindblades. "And he has to explode." Explode? "It's gotta explode, it's name is Boomslug." So Boomslug went into the books, and explodes.

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Questioner

Is there a reason that the Night Brigade is following Nomad, or can seem to follow him, but can't seem to follow Hoid?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. They have a way of tracking who... once they find someone, they can find the chain to the next person. Able to go from Hoid, through the chain, to get to Nomad, and they're trying to find where it went after that.

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Questioner

If Hoid took lerasium in Mistborn: Secret History, does that mean his hemalurgic spikes are feruchemical?

Brandon Sanderson

What hemalurgic spikes?

Questioner

Hoid and his magic systems, he had hemalurgic spikes...

Brandon Sanderson

He does hold some. They may not be in him. Does that make sense? Hoid has hemalurgic spikes carried with him. ('Cause the people who asked me if Hoid has hemalurgic spikes didn't say which one.) He does not necessarily have them spiking him. He actually has, like, a little bandolier type thing. Hoid's got one of those with a bunch of spikes. He was gonna use them in one of the books, but it turned out to not be necessary, so I didn't put it in.

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Questioner

Does silver break Connection or bonds? If silver does have this effect, does it get used in the creation of unkeyed metalminds?

Brandon Sanderson

These are good questions. Silver, as I have it right now, is not capable of that. What silver's doing is is disrupting. It's more like interference. You know how, in White Sand, people can have these columns of sand. If you swiped silver through that, they would fall; but then they would be able to do it again. It's this little nullification for a short time. It's very dangerous to things like shades, and stuff like that. It's more disruptive. If you hit a spren with this, it would be like hitting them with a Shardblade. They're gonna come back together. They're not dead; they're gonna reform eventually, and probably won't take too long. So it's not severing Connection; you're gonna need anti-Investiture to do really destructive stuff. But you can disrupt with some silver. It's specifically bad for Shades for reasons maybe I'll get into someday.

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Questioner

Can you have multiple spren?

Brandon Sanderson

Can you have multiple spren at once? This is theoretically possible, to have multiple spren. They would both have to agree, which might be difficult to get them... But it is possible. Good question.

Someone may have done that already... It's pretty obvious, too. You should be able to figure out who that is from Rhythm of War. It's not two different Orders.

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Questioner

Following the Catacendre, how did capitalism develop in the Elendel basin?

Brandon Sanderson

I find that in history, large disasters cause a great outpouring of fellowship, followed by a great outpouring of mercantilism, shall we say. I think Covid's a pretty good example of this. I would say that, following the Catacendre, the fact that everyone pulled together for a little time worked. But then, there was a whole lot of opportunity, and a whole lot of people looking to seize that opportunity.

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Questioner

On Chapter 36 of The Sunlit Man, the Cinder King is talking with Nomad, talks about power, talks about how someone gets power, and quotes "Do men from your world" (not man, men, from your world) "really become gods?" Is this related to the Surgebinding power that Knights Radiant can develop? Or is this because some people may have Ascended since the events that <happened> on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

This is a brilliant question; and I'm gonna have to RAFO it, because it might be spoilerific.

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Questioner

We've seen Renarin do some pretty fantastical things both in Oathbringer and in Rhythm of War. Are Truthwatchers able to use aspects of the Progression and Lightweaving surge to have someone or something become a different version of itself?

Brandon Sanderson

They can't make that happen, but they can certainly invite.

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Questioner

I was wondering if there was, in Yumi, an in-world reason why the paintbrushes the painters use are so long? Or is that just, like, stylistic choice?

Brandon Sanderson

It's a stylistic choice. There's some things in lore for painting about (this goes with chopsticks, too), the length of your brush (the length of your chopsticks) in part shows how wise you are, it's part of actual Korean mythology and lore. The very long brush is seen as, like, a mark of elegance, and even morality in some cases. (The chopsticks are a sign of morality.) You will see these paintings of Buddha, and he's got chopsticks that are just like *motions for long chopsticks* like that. And I asked them, they're like, "Long chopsticks: sign of wisdom." The long, flowing brushes, they actually do use them, you can see them; they're not used very often, but they look really cool, and I think they're awesome. So that's where I went.

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Questioner

Can someone who's not native to Nalthis use other forms of Investiture to Awaken objects?

Brandon Sanderson

Once again, you're getting into this idea of "how do you tell the Investiture what to do?" What you're asking for is possible, it's absolutely possible. But things becoming Awakened like they are on Nalthis is not a natural result. We have a few natural results. You can take a bunch of Investiture, and some things will happen to you that are gonna be shared across the cosmere. And if you put Investiture into something... Investiture getting separated and becoming self-aware, that is natural, that process takes a long time. Awakening itself is a formalized way of doing it, so you have to have a way to tell the Investiture, basically, what you're trying to do with it.

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Questioner

Is Lift entirely human?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a wonderful question. I would say yes; but the modifications that were made to her make her kind of a unique version of a human. If Hoid is still human, Lift is still human, if that makes sense.

And you shouldn't be reading too much into that Hoid; it's just that he's had so many things happen to him over the years, and so many changes to his spiritweb, and things like that. I would say yes, he is still human, and Lift is as well, but there have been modifications made.

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Questioner

In Yumi and the Nightmare Painter, Design mentions being a Shardblade. So my question is, what oaths has Hoid swore?

Brandon Sanderson

We'll RAFO how many of them, but he is doing the Lightweaver thing, which was kind of hard for him, honestly; he had to admit some truths he didn't want to.

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Strifelover

What is the Grand Apparatus?

Brandon Sanderson

The Grand Apparatus is a reference to a planet in the cosmere you haven't seen yet that is completely... it's very obviously constructed for a certain purpose.

By the way, that's not my canon name for it. It probably will be, but I haven't Googled that to make sure someone else hasn't used it. "Did you not know that Microsoft has a thing called the Grand Apparatus?" That happened to me once; I've got Silverlight, they're like, "Like the Microsoft program?"

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Questioner

Can Shards be spiked?

Brandon Sanderson

Like, a Shard of Adonalisum? This is just not gonna work really well. It's a little like saying, "can I give a piercing to a whale?" Like... okay, but it's not gonna do anything, it's gonna fall off. And the moment they notice it, it becomes irrelevant. It's the most technical of yeses, but it's just basically worthless to try it. Because, again, you're gonna have to find a physical form of a Shard to do that, so what are you doing. Is it some avatar that they've made that'll just evaporate when they're done with it? What does it even mean to spike a Shard? Are you talking about somehow getting access to their Vessel, which has been completely transformed into Investiture at this point, so how do you spike that? There's all sorts of asterisks to this answer, but a technical yes; I'm sure you could find a way to do it.

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Questioner

When somebody takes up a Shard, do they inherently get knowledge when they get that Shard? For example, does Taravangian know about hemalurgy, now, just because he took up a Shard? Or was that just Ruin's...?

Brandon Sanderson

Excellent question. Taking up a Shard is going to impart a large amount of knowledge, more than even a Shard can process immediately, and it will take some time. And it's going to give you the ability to access a lot of other kinds of knowledge. Shards aren't omnipresent, but they kind of are; they are able to do many things at once, they are able to focus on places and be aware of that location in a lot of instances. But at the same time, they are limited in their ability to... they don't know everything. They might be able to get access to most things, but it takes conscious... like, "I need to know this. I need to find it out. It happens it's written in a book that I can just... it's on this other planet, and I absorb it and immediately know." Assuming it's not written in a way that you can't access, which certain formats make it hard to do.

So, Taravangian, if he cared to think about what hemalurgy is, it's well enough known that he could be like, "I wonder if there's a way to steal... Oh, it's this. This is how it works on this planet." That would be an almost instantaneous thing for him to be able to learn, if he wanted to. But does he hold it in his head right now? That remains to be seen.

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Questioner

Does Spensa's mom have a name?

Brandon Sanderson

All right, I'll canonize that for you. It's in my notes. I'll make sure that I canonize that for you. We'll send out a tweet. I'll ask Karen before I do it, though.

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Questioner

My question is about Reckoners. Are there any heroes, villains, or other characters that you came up with that did not make it to the final draft of the books?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, there were a bunch of powers and things like that, names and things, but it's now been long enough that I'd have to go consult my notes. Most of them that I came up with, I abandoned for one of a couple reasons.

Number one, I went and did my research, and there's a Marvel or DC character that does that exact thing that exact way. That didn't stop me completely, because they've done everything. But with some of the side characters, because I like to try to throw out something that seemed a little odd.

Number two, there just wasn't a place for it. I'm writing the book, and I didn't need another one to use here.

Those are the main two. You do this a lot in books, so I'd have to go look at my notes, I don't have one off the top of my head.

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Questioner

In a battle versus a Feruchemist and a Windrunner, if the Feruchemist were lashed directly upward, would increasing his weight cancel that lashing out?

Brandon Sanderson

The way that lashings work are by rewriting your body's interaction with gravity. That's very weird. It's very, very weird. The way that Feruchemy works, it is kind of the same way. I play loose and free with this one (this is the one that drives everybody else mad). It is actually changing, so would it... what would it do?

So, part of me wants to say you would fall upward faster. But that's not how gravity works, so that wouldn't happen. But would it counteract the lashing? I think that the lashing would incorporate it, and nothing would change. That is my best guess, but your lashing, then, probably runs out faster. That's my off-the-cuff answer; I'd have to really look at the mechanics of that. But you can take that for now. I'll have to consult with the arcanists to make sure I'm not going crazy on that.

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Questioner

Is there a relationship between cinderhearts and what happened to Amaram? And if so, what is it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, there is a relationship. It just kind of built on some basic, fundamental cosmere principles. This power feeding a little bit on even your own sense of Identity and Connection and things like this, as the power consumes it, and kind of starts to turn you into a spren a little bit, is what's happening there. Drawing it in. They're very similar mechanisms; it's not that they're related magically, like a lineage of magic sort of way. But on the same fundamental principle. And this is what lets the Unmade kind of just take over a person, quickly consume them, and then move on.

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Questioner

When the Heralds abandoned the Oathpact, why did they believe they needed to leave their Honorblades behind as they disbanded? Did they know what would happen to their blades after they left them?

Brandon Sanderson

There's a couple things going on here. If you've read Way of Kings Prime, there is built, originally into the Honorblades, the ability to find other Honorblades by using them. This has not been canonized into the cosmere as it exists yet, but it is still a power that's in the back of my mind, it is most likely something you can access with the Honorblades: let you find the others. This is calling back to the old Fred Saberhagen Swords books, which were part of the inspiration for these. So one reason they would leave them behind, the lesser reason, is: they're supposed to go split up, and they don't want to see each other. They want to leave them behind, because it's like: "The others might be able to find me. We're going our separate ways. We are done."

But the greater reason, the canon reason, that you can cite is that idea of: "I am walking away from being a Herald. This was the gift I was given, and a representation of that gift I was given, that represents me standing up for humankind. And I am no longer willing to do that, so I have to give this thing up." And they all knew it. They didn't have to be told it, because they knew what they were doing meant they didn't deserve those anymore. Not in a magical sense, but in a sort of philosophical and moral sense.

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Questioner

My question is about Vin's earring. We see later on in the books that hemalurgic spikes lose their charge very rapidly. But Vin leaves her earring in a box. So how does it contain enough charge to still have enough of an effect for her to...?

Brandon Sanderson

I have this on a logarithmic scale. At the beginning, you lose some power pretty quick. And then it evens out. And my answer there is just there was enough left, and it could have, at that point, gone decades without getting to the point that it's a hemalurgic spike in name only. The reason they want to keep... they want to maintain as much power in those as they can. Which is why they talk about this thing. The first day you leave that spike without a host, or without taking certain precautions, you lose the most power that you're ever gonna lose. So those who were aware of this tried very hard not to let that happen. But once it does happen, you end up with something like Vin's earring, which still has a hemalurgic charge, a significant one, enough of one to have a change on the person wearing it. If we didn't do this then, like, koloss spikes, would be meaningless very quickly. I built it into this. It's one of those, like, steep drop off, and then not bad.

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Questioner

If a Leecher who also could burn duralumin touched a normal person and then burned both metals at the same time, how bad is that gonna be for you?

Brandon Sanderson

Let me ask you this. What do you think's gonna happen?

Questioner

There is a very short-term, like, "where is my soul" effect? It may or may not be permanent?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm gonna RAFO this one for now, because I'm planning to do some of this in the future. But I'll RAFO it for now. I think you're theorizing in the right direction. Duralumin lets some weird things happen, as you will see in the books.

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Questioner

Why or how are the Heralds the only ones we've seen so far that are affected by magical maladies due to either their high Investiture or long lives?

Brandon Sanderson

I would argue the Fused are having the same situation, so they're not the only ones. The why and how... there's a whole host of things going on here. Like a lot of physical and mental illness, it's not one thing or the other. But it is a compound of other things.

One is going so long without certain protections that you kind of need to take. The human being's soul might be immortal, depending on your argument in the cosmere. (That's really up to you.) But they certainly aren't meant for thousands of years of existence, the same way that our bodies aren't. There's some of that.

There's some of the things they've been through. Like, legit trauma; this is not all simply a magical ailment. You've got people with PTSD, layers of PTSD on top of layers of PTSD, for thousands of years, bearing things that no human being without their level of Investiture would even be able to bear. You've got that manifestation, you've got their own sense of guilt.

And these things are all just kind of overlapping together with the fact they've been alive for so, so very long. And a lot of the people that you've seen otherwise have not been alive nearly... orders of magnitude more for the Heralds. The only people you've seen that are that old are: some of the dragons, Hoid, and Vessels of various Shards. And you're basically at that group. And this is a group who knows what they're doing. Either they were built like the dragons, this is part of their innate nature, that they are functionally immortal. Or you are getting the Shards. Or you're getting people that are 300 years old, which is a very different thing, cosmere-wise, than having lived for thousands and thousands of years, part of it being torture.

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Questioner

You've spoken before about if the Shattering took place at a different time or in different circumstances, the Shards would have been different.

Brandon Sanderson

Could have been. Could have been different, yes.

Questioner

Does that mean, someone 100%s the cosmere and gets all sixteen, does that make them (or does that produce) Adonalsium? Or would that be different?

Brandon Sanderson

That is a RAFO.

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Questioner

Say a Shard is splintered beyond recognition. Would some rather industrious people with something, perhaps like a Dawnshard, be able to change that Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, this is theoretically possible.

Questioner 2

I wanted to ask about how we were just told you could use a Dawnshard to reshape a shattered Shard, perhaps into something different.

Brandon Sanderson

I didn't actually confirm that. They just said "maybe using a Dawnshard." They were looking "is there a way to do this?" And I'm saying, "There is theoretically a way to do this." Would a Dawnshard have to be involved? That is not something that I'm canonizing.

Questioner

Is this the main reason that the Night Brigade is pursuing Zellion in pursuit of the Dawnshard?

Brandon Sanderson

The main reason that the Night Brigade is chasing Zellion is that the Dawnshards represent one of the most valuable things in the entire cosmere. Why are they that valuable? It's because they are one of the things that... I mean, the Dawnshards Shattered Adonalsium. That's what they did. And the Vessels are all very rightly scared of them. That would be the second main reason. There are other reasons.

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Questioner

Given that kandra can replicate human organs, is it possible for a human and a kandra to have a child? And if so, would that child be purely human, or some kind of combination?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a yes, and it would be some kind of combination.

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Questioner

In Yumi and the Nightmare Painter, when Yumi is flying out into the Shroud, Hoid makes a comment. He said, "She didn't even have to burn tin." Does that mean that the mists on Scadrial is made of something similar or even the same thing as the dispersed souls on Yumi's planet?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, something similar. The idea is that being able to see through the Investiture happens when you are kind of aligning to it in certain ways, it stops disrupting as much, and you gain some sort of extrasensory perception, that it doesn't interfere with you as it might with someone else. And it's really nothing more than that; she's aligning with this, and in Mistborn, it's aligning to theirs. It doesn't mean she'd be able to see through the mists.

Questioner

That's kind of the answer to my second question, which was: does that mean that any highly Invested individual could see through Scadrian mist, whether they be using Breath or Stormlight...?

Brandon Sanderson

Not necessarily. There are ways you could do it, but not necessarily.

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Questioner

What are the four Dawnshards?

Brandon Sanderson

They are the weapon used to Shatter Adonalsium. What they actually are, I won't tell you yet. Like, what their different... But that's what they are, in case you didn't know that much.

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Questioner

Can dragons only be born through biological means? Or can someone become dragons through another means?

Brandon Sanderson

The way dragons exist in the cosmere is that they are a race. Dragons have this thing where they actually... in the cosmere, dragons breed in their human form (they have both forms) and give birth in their human form. And the dragon form is separate. They raise families and have children as humans, and they consider both an equal form, to them.

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Questioner

What is the biggest editorial change you have ever made to one of your stories from your arcanists who said, "Oh you can't do this because of *inaudible* or for canon content?"

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not sure if I can come up with the biggest. I can list a couple of them that I did change.

They have a lot of influence over Sunlit Man and my weird little tiny planet, my Little Prince planet, that you're traveling around. Getting me to do that accurately... to the point that, at some points, I'm like, "Yeah, I'm gonna give a magical solution to that." And they're like, "That's fine. Know that physicists will complain." And then they did. But then they got mad... not mad, but they're like, "But there is a magical reason."

I only have a full arcanist team on a couple of books so far. They've been involved in all the Secret Projects. They're working with me on Stormlight Five. This is just me finding the people who ask the questions that make me go, "Huh, I hadn't considered that," and then putting them to work to be doing that on my behalf. Really, most of what they do is not say "no," they say "we would like an explanation; you should make sure that this is included." And once in a while, it makes me pull back on an idea. But they're usually really small things that are gonna cause issues for the future, and things like that. I just met with them on Stormlight Five, for instance, and they gave me a few pointers on things. They'd say, "You probably should explain this. You probably should not use this line, because people are gonna explore that and extrapolate that direction." And I'm like, "you are right."

Most of the cases, they're like, "What is this?" And then I explain it, and they're like, "Great. You have an answer. We can move on." You'd have to ask them, but I'd say that one out of ten times, I don't have an answer. But those one out of ten times are really handy for them to be asking those questions that I don't have answers to. Because I have to go do this for all of you, and I'd better have the answers by then.

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Questioner

I have a question about the end of the The Lost Metal, where one character lives and one character dies. That character kind of explicitly talked to Harmony asked if there was a way to not die. Was Harmony lying? And if Harmony was not, *inaudible*?

Brandon Sanderson

I would say that Harmony was not necessarily, but... Harmony's not lying by Harmony's perspective of things. In other words, is there a way to make this not, like... Maybe there is, like... bringing together powers. Is there a theoretical path? Maybe. But not realistically, if that makes sense. I would say Harmony wasn't lying by the way Harmony was seeing things.

Questioner

It seems a little bit like we've seen gold compounding recover from pretty significant things, if he blasts out of the bubble with a duralumin push, and he uses pure Dor to heal, even considering all that?

Brandon Sanderson

Harmony's seeing all that and being like, "None of this is gonna work in this situation."

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Questioner

Assuming you have a way to siphon out a Vessel from a Shard, how much hemalurgic metal would be required to contain that Vessel?

Brandon Sanderson

An astronomically large amount. Oh, the Vessel? Or contain a Shard? The Vessel, just a little dude... not that much. Basically, like a decent-sized gemstone would hold an Unmade, and that's more Investiture than we're talking about.

Questioner

Can hemalurgic metal hold around the same amount of an Invested creature as a pure gemstone?

Brandon Sanderson

No, gemstones can do more.

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Questioner

Does Shallan unwillingly shapeshift when she is holding Stormlight and an alter takes control? If not, why do her alters' Identities not affect her in the same that other people's Identity does?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, she does shift. Sometimes it's conscious, sometimes it's unconscious, but yes, it does happen.

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Questioner

Throughout the Stormlight Archive, there's multiple times where we see characters... most often it's the Lopen, where he'll do, in response, a rude or obscene gesture. Will you please demonstrate it for us?

Brandon Sanderson

Lopen's going to be mimicking something you would do with two hands, because one hand represents men, and one hand represents women. I'll just leave it at that. It's gonna be something like that.

You people...

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Questioner

Originally, you RAFO'd information about whether or not Vivenna and Vasher got together as a couple. But with the fact that the Nightblood story has kind of been put on hiatus, is there any way you're going to unRAFO that information?

Brandon Sanderson

Nope.

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Questioner

What color are the flightsuits?

Brandon Sanderson

Have I never described the color of the flightsuits? I've always imagined light blue. Light blue to dark blue. That's one of my favorite colors, it shows up all the time. Maybe the team would convince me to do a different color. I always end up with blues and reds; I don't do enough greens, and I see you've got green on. In your version, you can canonize it as green. But I've always imagined blue.

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Questioner

A few years ago, you told us a story about the future Skybreakers facing off against Scadrians for aviar. Were they doing that on behalf of their Shards? Or were they doing it for their own reasons?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. Excellent question.

You can find that reading online, a possible sequel to the Sixth of the Dusk that I had worked on for a little while.

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Questioner

If I were to visit Canticle in the subastral, what would that look like?

Brandon Sanderson

I think it'd be pretty violent, and a source of constant shaking and tremors.

Questioner

Would it be dangerous?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I think it'd be dangerous.

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Questioner

At any given point in the cosmere, would Yolen be more technologically advanced than any other planet or society in the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

I think Yolen falls behind because of certain things that they have access to. The point where it is the furthest along is during the early days, when it's, like, Bronze Age and everyone else is, like, Stone Age. So, right at the beginning. I think other planets have passed it by since then consistently. Once the Shards started meddling in things, planets started going faster, and the Shards weren't meddling on Yolen. So Yolen has had a more natural, maybe even slowed technological progression. Where some of the other planets have been super fast.

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Questioner

I have a question about Hoid. If he was previously a Dawnshard that prevented him from hurting himself or others, how could he use a hemalurgic spike on himself?

Brandon Sanderson

We don't know that he has.

Questioner

But would he be able to?

Brandon Sanderson

I think there is a way he could get around that if he needed to. Basically, he has to convince himself that this isn't actually hurting him, it's helping him.

Questioner

Similar to how he could do damage to Cognitive Shadows, because they're not really...

Brandon Sanderson

Yep, exactly.

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Questioner

If Mraize took an atium spike and put it through Hoid's chest and then into himself, would he gain different abilities because of Hoid's altered spiritweb?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, he probably would. That's really terrifying to think about.

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Questioner

Are there any other dragons on Roshar other than Cultivation?

Brandon Sanderson

There have been. There might be some. How about this: you shouldn't be looking for dragons among the characters of the Stormlight Archive.

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Illuminarrator (paraphrased)

Is there an Awakening Command that could stick a Cognitive Shadow to a corpse? 

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, but that would be a bad way to do it. You'd need something more. 

Illuminarrator (paraphrased)

More Investiture? 

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Not necessarily. The body at that point died because something happened to it, plus it started decomposing. You'd need to do something to it to really get the Cognitive Shadow to stick.

Illuminarrator (paraphrased)

like a Hemalurgic spike?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

That's one way to do it. 

Illuminarrator (paraphrased)

Oh! To follow up... because Regrowth is Spiritual... if a Cognitive Shadow was Awakened into a corpse, then healed with Regrowth, would the body be healed to appear like the Cognitive Shadow's body?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

No, it would heal... wait, yes, Regrowth would heal based on the Identity of the Cognitive Shadow attached to it. 

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Questioner

My question: do we have any updates on Isaac Stewart's Mistborn Nicki Savage book?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, so Isaac's been working away at it. He has not shown it to me yet, but he is excited by it and he has shown it to the writing group I believe. So he is working very hard at that. We have Isaac's story and we also have Dan. Dan's is just in the very early stages of concepting and things like that, so. So yeah, you can corner Isaac and ask him for updates on it. I haven't seen the book yet, but he promises me it's getting very close to where he wants to show it to me.

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Questioner

I was just wondering, would you ever do like a full-blown horror novel set in the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that's on the table. Right, I mean, I don't think The Night Brigade is going to be full-blown horror but it's going to be, you know, epic fantasy horror sort of thing. I don't know if I would try full-blown horror without just working with Dan and having Dan write it. Right? Like he's so good at that. But I could totally see that happening.

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Questioner

Do you have plans to self-produce your books into movies or TV shows? If Taylor Swift can do it, you can.

Questioner

Oh right, yeah, Taylor Swift. Let's point out, there's a little bit of a difference between a 45 million dollar Kickstarter and a 1.6 billion dollar tour. So, we've talked about this, and I've come to the conclusion that for right now I don't want to try it. There are a couple of reasons for this.

Reason number one is that I like my Kickstarters to have a ton of value in them, right? I always tell my team, I'm like, we have to be giving a lot of value to people on the stuff that they do with our crowdfunding or our Kickstarters. And that means that, of that 45 million dollars, we don't make a lot of that. We're putting most of that into the product, and into the shipping, and into the team, and into the company. And so, if we were to do a crowdfunded movie, we need like a 200 million dollar budget, 150 at the lowest, to do a film. And if I'm going to do that, I would want to be giving people a ton of value which means we'd probably have to raise 450 million, which is just a ridiculous amount to do on a crowdfunding, right? So that's number one.

Number two is, a lot of times, these sort of outsider projects don't work as well in Hollywood as you would hope they would. Taylor Swift was able to do a thing and put it directly in the theaters and whatnot, but what we want is a partner over a long period of time. I want someone like Universal, or Disney, or Warner Brothers, who has a long established reputation to buy in on the cosmere, and make things with me for twenty years, right? I don't want to just do one off, I want to build something over time and I feel like I need a really good partner in the industry to do that.

And you know, reason number three is, a fool and their money is soon parted. I've known too many people who think, yeah I can make a movie. And let's just say that there's a reason why The Room isn't that great, and it's because being good in one area doesn't mean you're good in another. I am really good at narrative. I'm getting good at screenplays, right? I'm getting to the point where I feel confident I could do the screenplays myself. But I can't direct, I can't cinematographize, I don't even know how to make that a verb, right? I can't do casting, I can't do all of these things that experts in their field, and yes, I could start hiring them, but I feel like, never having run a movie before, it would just be a disaster. So you would donate all this money, I would waste it all, because I wouldn't know what I'm doing, and this is how Kickstarters go bad real fast, right? I've only done these things when I know I can deliver, and I do not know I can deliver this for you.

So, for the mean time, I'm going to keep trying to use the standard mechanisms. I feel like, you know like, this year we got frighteningly close. Well, frightening is the wrong term. The frightening part is it didn't work out. But we got really, really close. I saw people on stage, in mistcloaks, acting and reading my lines, okay? Yeah. And then it all fell apart, and it's all dead, right? We got really close, but we're getting closer and closer. And Hollywood is really interested in the Cosmere. They recognize the value of my stories. They've been, for years, saying, we know this is going to come, break out, and it's going to be big someday. But it's all about figuring out how to make it work, and beyond that, Hollywood is kind of on fire right now. And so we're waiting for it to, for someone to put it out. So, regardless, the answer is, I've considered it, and I've discarded it for those reasons, but it's still possibly on the table. It is something that, you know, the awareness of the possibility is in the back of my mind, okay?

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Questioner

Hollywood comes to you, says, alright, we've got whatever budget you need, we give you full creative control.

Brandon Sanderson

Woah. Ooh. Oooh. Ooh, you're speaking my language.

Questioner

One thing, it has to be a musical. *all laugh* What do you pick?

Brandon Sanderson

I go get the director of RRR, and I say, alright, you made a musical awesome action movie, show me how to do it. India's really good at that. So, so we do something like that.

Questioner

Which book, or anything, would you...?

Brandon Sanderson

I mean, it feels like you could do any of them. Like, how much of the singing done by the singers counts as musical, right? But the truth is, Stormlight can't be a traditional film. It's got to be a long-form, right? So, we're down to a few options if we want to do an actual, in theaters, traditional theatrical release. That would depend, right? Are we making television show or not? If we're making, like, a premium cable sort of thing, then we can go Stormlight. If we're not, then we basically got to go with Mistborn. Mistborn is the thing that can be contained in a two to two-and-a-half hour film. And so, yeah. Warbreaker: The Musical though, huh? Yeah, mhm.

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Questioner

What is your call sign, and if you were Returned, what would your Returned name be?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, boy. Well, my call sign I've been saying is Zellion because I've just always picked that when I'm doing video games and have for years and years. I won't be able to get away with that anymore because now people will pick it before I can get it. I can't be Mistborn, I can't be Dalinar, now I can't even be Zellion. But, what would my... oh, I came up with a Returned name once. It would probably be something like Storyteller or something like that, right? That's what I would hope, at least.

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Brandon Sanderson

What am I gonna work on after I finish Stormlight 5? Well, Stormlight 5 is at about 90% finished. I have less than one month to finish the rough draft. That's supposed to go in on December 15, and then I will be deep in revisions on that until June. I am feeling really good about it, everything is going really well. In June I will turn that in, and then I will need something different to work on. The plan for me right now is to do a prose version of White Sand, the graphic novel. Now you might have read an older prose version of that. I am going to, I think I can get that into my current writing skill level. And so I am going to do my best to get that revised and ready for you and things like that. So, there is that. After that, my main project is going to be Mistborn Era 3: Ghostbloods. And my plan is to sit down and write Ghostbloods 1, 2, and 3 before we release the first one of them. So it's going to take me a little time. And I actually plan to write Elantris 2 and 3 in the middle of those. This does, say… where do you Warbreaker fans getting your sequel? Ummm… someday. Someday. But that's my next kind of mainline chunk of the cosmere, is gonna be that. And then we'll jump back for Stormlight 6, alright? So, you know, no big deal, I just have, like, the next five to eight years of my life planned for that. So that's what we're gonna do.

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Questioner

My question has to do with the Dragonsteel project. Are you thinking about Utah county? Davis County? Salt Lake County?

Brandon Sanderson

We have some land that we have... It's in Utah County. It's close to us.

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Name Dragonsteel 2023
Date
Date Nov. 20, 2023
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Entries 101
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