Are the Shardholders gonna get into a fight at some point? Are you allowed to answer that?
That is Read And Find out.
Are the Shardholders gonna get into a fight at some point? Are you allowed to answer that?
That is Read And Find out.
Is there more about Marsh in the next book?
Marsh will... you will find out more about Marsh, but that's probably some of the stuff that will be in either Secret History 2 if I write it, or the next Era. Marsh is only a little bit involved in this Era. You'll see more of him later.
On Roshar, we're very aware of... there's humans and non-human species. Is that a unique phenomenon to Roshar? Or do we see that on other worlds?
You do see that on other worlds. Dragonsteel has one, so Yolen has one. Of course, Scadrial has them, but they started as human, so it doesn't quite count. Everyone on Scadrial started as human, but now there's been some divergent things. Meddling. Other planets do have things like that, but most of the cosmere is human. Based... coming from the origins on Yolen. But there is at least one planet where there's no humans. And I'm not talking about Braize.
Oh, the Szeth card. It's just a fun little Easter egg. It's for a game I designed that maybe will get made some day. But it's not something that's in development, it's just, "Here's the game I made. Let's put some stats on it."
Do you think that a Skyrim game of Stormlight Archive...?
Boy, I would love to make one. So, here's what I've been told. I don't know this industry well enough to say whether or not. I've been like, "Let's make Skyrim." They're like, "Skyrim was only profitable after it was out for four years, and its the most profitable game in that genre ever made." So, they're very worried about spending that much on a game. So, if we had a movie come out, yes. Until then, what you're more likely to see is something that feels open-world but isn't truly open-world. Like, something with an open-world hub that you go on missions through, is kinda like the closest we'll probably get if we do get a game made. That said, someone came and offered on an MMO for it recently, so I'm going to hear their pitch.
In the Mistborn books, there's no one who can do chromium Feruchemy. If there was someone who had both the Feruchemy and the Allomancy related to chromium, they could create infinite luck. So doesn't that mean they could just do whatever they wanted?
Well, we will deal with how exactly Fortune works in the cosmere at a later date. There's a reason I haven't shown somebody with it yet, because I'm saving that for later on. Let's just say that even the Terris people don't quite understand it, even during Era 2.
In Bands of Mourning, we learned that the Sovereign, who they confused as being the Lord Ruler, came after the Catacendre. [He] was their god, was their king and god. And then Kelsier looking for a string. Is the spike somehow connecting Kelsier's soul to Spook's body.
No, good question. It is connecting his soul with his body, his current body, but it is not Spook's body. That's a great theory.
In all the Cosmere books, on all their worlds, the only thing <brazenly> different about the ecosystems than Earth are the things affected by magic. So, in one of the books, you mentioned, like, a dolphin. Why is everything the same?
So, there's an in-world answer and an out-of-world answer. The out-of-world answer is that every book has something we call a learning curve, so that is what makes it harder to get into the book. And learning curves, usually, if they're written well, have great payoffs, but also act like a brick wall when getting into your book. And so certain books, I have designed to have shallower learning curves, so you can focus on learning all these new characters, and the situations, and the political situation, but not have to learn entirely new terminology for the setting.
In-world, most of these worlds were created by people or... who came from an original world. For instance, there was a planet that the gods from Scadrial (the planet of Mistborn), they came from this world, and they created what they had seen there. So the animal life there, they just created in their own world, because that was what they had a pattern for.
So in-world, there's a reason, they're all connected. But you'll notice that some of the ones with the steeper learning curve are the ones that have the weirder world, and Way of Kings has the steepest.
On Roshar, the only area that isn't affected by the Highstorms, Shinovar, is basically like Earth, where everything else has changed.
That gives us a little bit of a frame of reference to contrast things with. There's some in-world things about that you'll learn eventually, but it gets us some ways for you to be like, "Oh. The grass looks like this because it is so different from the grass that this girl is pointing out. It's grass like ours." It's very helpful for establishing a conversation topic.
Hoid worldhops between places. How did he do it on Scadrial? With Ati's body?
So, there were two perpendicularities on Scadrial.
I know he uses the pools, but how did he do it with Pits of Hathsin? There was no pool? The body was there...
So, it doesn't have to be going through the pool. What happens with a perpendicularity is, where there is a massive collection of Investiture, it pulls a conduit through. So, if you know what you're doing and where you are, you can get through that.
So you don't have to use the pools, just where there's a huge concentration...
A huge concentration of Investiture will warp the realms.
So can anyone worldhop that way, then? If they know what to do?
If they know what to do, in a perpendicularity, anyone should be able to get through there. But as proven with Raoden, if you don't know what it's supposed to do, nothing happens. He gets dumped int he pool, he thinks he's gonna die... nothing. So, it's more than just being there.
That's how he went from the Physical to the Cognitive, so I was wondering how did he do that at the Pits of Hathsin, when there shouldn't be a pool there
Well, that is the equivalent.
Do Everstorms bring a different type of Investiture?
Yes, though do note, the Everstorm, this is the first one. Previous Desolations did not have an Everstorm. What they had was a different way of that Investiture being distributed.
If you'd expand on it a little bit, where or what book have we seen some Hemalurgy in?
No, you're not gonna find it. It's like an after-the-fact, you'll be like "Oh. Hemalurgy was..."
Is there ever gonna be a book dedicated to the Seventeenth Shard?
I don't have a book right now for the Seventeenth Shard. More that they'll be involved in other things. It's possible you will see a short story, but I don't have a book planned specifically about them.
About the woman that's in the interlude who's destroying paintings.
Yes, Ash. Or Shalash, the Herald Shalash.
Oh. I was just wondering who she was.
Yes, the Herald Shalash. The daughter of Jezrien.
Do the Shards know each others' weaknesses? Like the metal blindness or anything?
They are not aware of every specific, but they know generalities.
So they know that they do have weaknesses.
So would Odium have taken advantage of Honor's weakness to Splinter him?
You could say that, yeah.
On the Roshar system diagram, each planet had the sigil of a certain Radiant. I was wondering why you did that
We're using Roshar itself as a frame of reference, and that is how people on Roshar have named the planets. And they can't see them all, I don't believe, but the naming convention sticks.
And thats why you added the sigils?
Mmhmm. I don't think they've discovered them all on-planet, but since other people off-planet know about them... and in the old days, they knew about them all.
Is there some sort of dead Shardic power on Roshar that is manipulating everyone to be evil and, sort of testy, and stuff like that?
Do you mean the Thrill?
Yes, but not just the thrill. The way that they treat everything like a game.
That is specific to Alethkar, in that region. That is mostly the fault of the Thrill. Like, if you go to Azir, they don't act the same way.
So that's just a cultural thing?
It's a cultural thing enhanced magically by a certain ancient spren.
Is there some sort of a force that is manipulating everyone in the cosmere to seek after glory and power?
There are people and forces who are trying.
Does Rayse have a personal... or did he have a personal relationship with the other [Vessels] before the Shattering?
Some of them, yes.
So he doesn't personally know them all?
He knows them all, but "having a relationship with" is different. They were all in the same place.
He knows who they are but he doesn't necessarily interact with them?
Yeah. Not necessarily. They weren't part of a homogenous group before this happened.
*offhandedly* The Sunmaker was about 500 years ago, pretty much right after the Hierocracy. The Recreance was about 2,000 years ago.
Nazh writes that "spren fishing" is illegal in Ravizadth. What exactly is spren fishing?
It is the act of forcefully attracting spren in Shadesmar for your own purposes. For example, you know how when Adolin is genuinely afraid there, his fear attracts fearspren naturally? That's okay. But if someone were to engineer situations that would attract certain kinds of spren because they wanted to make use of those spren - for study, or other reasons - that would be "fishing". If spren have formal ethics, this would be unethical.
So this has a lot to do with consent? Drawing spren naturally is part of how spren work, but forcing them to come, that's a no-no?
I am currently outlining a Nicki Savage story, but that's obviously a long way off if it ever happens. No details.
The Nalthis essay and star chart (similar to the ones Khriss put together for the other Shardworlds in Arcanum Unbounded) are in the works, but we don't know when we'll release them. Warbreaker's 10th anniversary next year is a good candidate, but it may happen even earlier.
It seems like we need a ton of Radiants since, like, yesterday. Are these ones gonna get really buff? Or is Lift gonna recruit? Are there lots of shoemakers and Lifts that haven't been found that are gonna come out of the woodwork?
There are some that haven't been found. That's part of the point of the interludes, is to show "This is happening other places."
Was Ash destroying the statues to gain some sort of power, or was it more mental on her part?
Nothing gained, nothing cancelled. It's all her.
Are the reds [in the cosmere star chart] anything to do with the red stuff in Bands of Mourning, the one where he goes and talks to Harmony?
It's more, if you look in the sky, in certain places, you will see red stars in the sky.
Is there significance in the star chart there where Nalthis and Scadrial are connected? They're the only ones that are.
I'm gonna say, not huge significance. We didn't put that in as an Easter egg, it was more like, "This looked right."
Are you having any cameos in the movies?
If they let me, I will do a cameo in each movie.
Speaking part, or not?
Probably not, but who knows. What I've suggested to them is that they kill me in an imaginative way in each book as recompense for killing off characters.
Are we going to see Vivenna again?
Yes. At the very least, you will see her in Nightblood, the sequel to Warbreaker.
What is Lift's favorite food? Answer: yours. It tastes better to her if she's taking it from somebody.
I'm trying to figure out the chronology of the cosmere. The first thing that happened is with Elantris?
So far they are chronological order except for White Sand. And then the Alloy books are getting out of chronological order, we're jumping back and forth. But the first introduction of each book is chronological order, with the exception of flashbacks and things like that. But the actual main line of each book, chronological except for White Sand and the Alloy books.
Did Odium go directly to Roshar from... after he destroyed Devotion?
No. There were other places.
With Vasher on Roshar, is he collecting more Breaths, or just burning through slowly what he has collected?
He can use Stormlight instead. That's why he came to Roshar.
Did he come voluntarily?
He came voluntarily because he was tired of sucking souls. Roshar is where he decided to "retire."
How many Breaths <does he have now>?
He has the same number that he left with. Which, there are clues to what level of Heightening he at least has, in the books.
I noticed Nalthis didn't get a star chart. Will you be posting a star chart?
We'll be doing one eventually, I'm sure. We should get that done and posted on the website. Hopefully, someday, I can find a place to work it in. When I publish Nightblood, maybe we'll put it into that.
Axies the Collector, is he a kandra-like species? Are they common throughout the whole cosmere?
So, the Aimians reside on Roshar right now. They are... I would not say kandra-like, in that the other species of Aimian has more kandra-like qualities. There's two that used to live there, before it was Scoured. But they are a different species; they are not human.
Shapeshifters, there are multiple types of shapeshifters, but... even, you would call the Royal Locks a type of shapeshifting. So, shapeshifting is a common thing in the csomere. Having the ability... Once you know how the magic works, you will see why. So, there are other, kind of, species of shapeshifter.
How do you pronounce the names of the main characters in Elantris?
RAY-O-DEN, SA-REE-NEE, and hRAY-THEN. I say "serene," but in-world, they say SA-REE-NEE. That sounds a little weird in English, but it doesn't sound weird to them. It's a very common name.
Is Hoid gonna ever end up being <the new Adonalsium>?
I will not answer that.
Is there a centralized set of rules for all of the magic systems?
Yes, but they are things more like the laws of thermodynamics. Not vague, but general, very general. But, yes, there are some rules.
Hoid. Does he show up in Sixth of the Dusk?
Hoid is not in Sixth of the Dusk. I kind of made the little rule to myself that I should not just try to shoehorn him in to everything. On a thing like Sixth of the Dusk, there's no reason for him to be there. In fact, it would be really hard for him to get there. Even harder. So, he's not in Shadows for Silence either.
Does Trell hold a Shard that we have seen in other books?
You're assuming Trell holds a Shard. And I'm not answering that one, but you can have a RAFO. Nice try.
Elend and Kelsier's relationship, what would it be like? I was thinking it would be, like, playful annoyed exasperation?
Kelsier would have really come around on Elend, is my instinct. Partially because Elend came around on Kelsier. If you read the later books, he really understands a little more. He's much more of a realist than he used to be. Which Kelsier would appreciate. I would imagine that Elend would be a little frustrated with Kelsier. But Kelsier would just start treating him like a minion, rather than someone to... And that's a sign of affection. If he orders you around, that's a sign of affection.
Will Kelsier reunite with the crew in the Beyond?
Well, I don't talk about the Beyond. I would like to think that he would. But I don't talk about what happens there, even Sazed doesn't know what happens there. So, if you want to imagine it, then yes, but he would have to get there first.
Is Teft going to become a squire?
Well, the next book will involve all of Bridge Four trying very hard. But, I can't promise that anyone specifically... but, Teft has had a viewpoint in the first book. Teft did get his viewpoint in the second book. He will have one in the third book, also.
You mentioned that you're not doing another Emperor's Soul book. I wanted to know, what would or did happen if [Shai] ever tracks down the Imperial Fool?
So, you might see her again in books. She did eventually track him down. So, I might include her in books. I won't write a sequel story to Emperor's Soul, but you have not seen the last of Shai. You will see cameos. And it's entirely possibly I will sneak one into a book somewhere, or something like a scene. She did eventually track him down.
Is there a particular period of history you feel influences your writing a lot?
Yeah, early 1900s.
Specifically America, or global?
Global. But, you now, America obviously is gonna have a big influence. It really starts for me, Renaissance through industrial revolution, to the beginnings of the modern era. Because, the idea of science being something wonderful that you can study, that is a big part... like, Newton believed alchemy was real, and tried to apply science to it, and couldn't make it work. That sort of thing is really cool to me. That era, moving into the modern era, where science is, like, a wonderful thing that people are discovering, is really cool to me. I'd say that's my biggest influence. I remember reading an essay by somebody who studied ditch-digging in 1910. And had been, the science of ditch-digging, and applied it to ditch-diggers and taught them to ditch-dig better, and how science can help a person dig ditches. Like, everyone's life was improved by science. That's a really cool era to me.
The symbolism [of the Threnody symbol] here has a lot to do with the star system. The three rules, right? I'm not gonna spill it out here. There's the three rules. So, each of these symbols has something to do with the three rules, and also different things that are found in the sky. I'll give you one of them. The eye is the sign of Purity. And then, I'd might as well. This is silver. This stands for "Do not run." And this one is the blood. Which, there are stars in the sky that are red there, so that's the star.
I asked about The Lopen, and it was a public Q&A, so I was trying not to be spoilery. But some of the things he said at the end of Words of Radiance, where he knew a lot about background processes. I asked if I should be suspicious of it, and you said, "Yes." Was that in reference to him becoming the king, that you revealed? Or is it because of something else that he knows about?
Background processes of...?
It seemed he knew more about the squires, the process of being squires
Oh, Lopen. Lopen knowing more. No, that's not about being the king. You are supposed to be suspicious of it because Lopen has been paying a lot of attention. He didn't have foreknowledge. It was completely accidental he ended up in Bridge Four. But once he did, he decided, "I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna learn about it." And he has been the one actively pursuing becoming a full Knight Radiant. He's the only one of the team who's actively been doing that. That's why you are supposed to be suspicious. There's not an ulterior motive. He is proactive.
Will we see the Moon Scepter again?
Yes, I intend for you to see it again. But I've already said what it does, I believe. It's a Rosetta Stone for the different symbols on [the world of] Elantris that mean different things.
So, it's more specific to Sel?
It's specific to Sel, it's specific to understanding the magics on Sel. It helps figure out how the different magic systems do the different things they do on Sel. So, it does have Aons along one side of it. You probably will see it again, but it will probably be in cameo. Hoid got the information he needed off of it, from that.
So, there's a line in Elantris that has always fascinated me. Raoden is reading really old books, and he says that some of these books mention words such as "frequency" and "pulse length." I'm a physics major, this reminds me a lot of quantum physics.
Yes, it does!
So, my question is, how much is quantum physics a part of the magic in the cosmere?
Here's the thing. I don't know quantum physics well enough. That's a rabbit hole; I am an armchair scientist, I do not have a degree in physics. And so, while I really like it, I build it in... When I'm doing this, what I usually do is I build in cosmere versions, so I can't be held accountable to getting some little thing wrong. So, yes, quantum physics is important. But, in some ways, some of the things in the cosmere are more like the pop science version of quantum physics, what everyone thinks quantum physics is but really isn't, are actually some of the things in the cosmere. The fun, awesome version of quantum physics. I try to make some of it as accurate as I can, not having a physics degree. But I have to be aware that... I am not writing science fiction, I'm writing fantasy, so there will be things that you're like, "That's not quite right," but it works in the cosmere.
Anywhere I should keep my eye out for more stuff like that.
In Words of Radiance... when was the interlude, is it in the first book? The spren, they took their measurements. That's part of it. We're gonna have, just, little things like that around that are relevant, but I'm not gonna dig into it deeply until [Mistborn] Era 4, probably.
Kelsier talks about a myth that seems similar to ours, about the grand maze of Ishathon, which seems to parallel to the labyrnth myth.
There are certain things from being a student of folklore, I know about certain myths that show up multiple times in different cultures, and I know how frequently myths show up in different cultures. So, I will frequently add in cosmere versions of these myths, knowing that different cultures on our world have spawned them independently, feeling it's likely they would spawn on-world in the cosmere. So, when you see a Cinderella myth, if I ever use it, which is the single most common myth throughout all cultures. I'm not saying "Oh, someone's been to Earth and found Cinderella." I'm saying, "People have developed this myth independently." But, yes, that is coming from my folklore background.
Is it a Scadrial-specific myth, or is it a kind of a cosmere cosmere...
This one, in specific, I believe is Scadrial-specific.
Given Sanderson's Laws about limitations...
What would you say are any spiritual, cognitive, and or physical limitations to a Returned's healing ability?
That they can do it once.
That they can do it once, and that's it?
Yeah, right? The Returned get one heal and then they die. That's a pretty big limitation. Like you have to choose really well. However, what they can heal is bounded by cosmere limitations on healing, but it is a supercharged version.
Okay. Could you define more cosmere limitations on healing?
Cosmere limitations on healing can be affected by your own perception.
Okay. Cognitive stuff.
Cognitive stuff. And so there's a part of that, and... But that's really-- cognitive interferes. And if your spirit is gone? Right? Cosmere healing, you know, if your spirit is passed on you just get a dead body even though you've healed it.
So potentially Vasher, having a much greater cosmere knowledge than others could potentially have a much greater usage of that healing than regular--
Well the healing-- What I mean by that is yourself. You impose limits. So the person being healed can impose some limits on the healing working. It doesn't happen as often as I'm making it sound. But, you know-- why Kaladin's scars have not healed, right? So Kaladin being hit by a Returned would still not heal his scars. He's got a major hangup about those scars.