I asked Brandon just how many secret societies were on Roshar.
Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)
There are nine currently working.
I asked Brandon just how many secret societies were on Roshar.
There are nine currently working.
Please tell me the name of the holder of Cultivation
Hoid calls her Slammer... but that isn't her real name.
In what type of glassware did Wayne serve the Blue Sunset to MeLaan? Asking for reasons.
I imagined like a tall cordial glass, without much of a base on it.
Isn't Adolin not in the original [Way of Kings draft]? That the son listed is an entirely different character that was cut and Adolin added as a different son?
Aredor is Adolin's old name. They're still the same person. However, Shinri Davar is a completely different person from Shallan Davar.
Then, at the sixth chapter [of White Sand Volume 2] I was like "ugh... A new artist.." and then I was all like "Oh! A new artist!" I hope new Julius stays on for the rest of the series.
Sadly, new Julius has other commitments, but the current proposed artist looks promising.
Oh yeah? Who's that going to be?
That's not for me to announce.
Are you able to speak to what drove the change to a new artist?
I believe not.
Was there a being/entity named Patji onworld - prior to the Shard 'interfering' - that lead a life that was more conducive to Autonomy, and was it a case of that entities (for lack of a better term) natural bent towards Autonomy naturally turning it into a portion of Autonomy (again, for lack of a better term)?
This is a good and valid theory that I don't think I should comment more on right now, as I feel like I would muddy the water more. I need to wait until I approach these concepts in-book.
I'll just say that I don't consider what you said to be excluded by the things I've said about the situation.
Who was the last person Cultivation spoke to before Dalinar? Is he/she important?
If you mean the last person she gave a boon/curse to instead of letting the Nightwatcher, RAFO. (But otherwise, she talks to lots of people.)
Has Hoid ever had a love interest?
Was the planet destroyed by the Surgebinders Ashyn/some other Rosharan planet?
It was Ashyn.
Is it possible to use Hemalurgic spikes to steal multiple attributes from the same person?
No. At least, this isn't thought to be possible
Is it possible to create a Hemalurgic spike with several stolen attributes?
Not as far as anyone knows right now
The universities of Silverlight, where is that headquartered?
In the city of Silverlight.
Does that happen to be in Shadesmar like the IRE are?
A lot of people think that it is what they call (the fans) The Restaurant At The End Of The Cosmere. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I haven't talked about where it is yet.
Will we see more of that in novels?
Yes, Silverlight will be referenced. I have a story brewing set in Silverlight.
Is Calamity a Shard?
Calamity is not, good question. I decided I would not put that in the cosmere, because there's certain rules in the cosmere it's breaking.
Can I ask for any more role-playing games?
There are no specific plans.
Crafty Games is good, but they're slow.
They are real slow, I think they're waiting- they're doing the board game.
If Marasi could burn duralumin, would that make time go faster or her bubble get bigger?
This is on tape so I have to make sure I do this right.
It is less about the size of the bubble and more about speeds. You can expand the size and change the size of the bubble, so it's possible that you could use duralumin for either one if you knew what you were doing, but the speed is the more relevant part. So, I just wanted to say that correctly.
Who is Trell, is it Kelsier?
*Hands RAFO card*
If an Allomancer drew Nightblood, would it eat the metals first?
Only if they were burning it.
At the time, otherwise it would go straight through and eat them?
Yeah it would just eat them. Yeah. If they were burning the metals, it would burn through the metal, and he would take the power instead of you gaining whatever ability you were trying to get from it.
Who he be able to use the metal power or would he just eat it as...?
He would just take it as raw Investiture.
Have you heard any updates on the Steelheart Screenplay?
Uhh, last I heard from the Steelheart was two weeks ago...a week ago? They are shopping for a revision. They are- This is their next set of revisions.
So they finished their first and are on to the second?
Was Elantris built before or after the prologue of Way of Kings?
*Pauses* Go to my notes and find out. I would have to actually specifically look that one up. My instinct says.....oh boy.
Yeah, because they're both really old.
They're really old. They're both really old. I want to say that the prologue is older, but I don't know for sure, because I know things on Roshar are older. But, the prologue happens late in things on Roshar, so it's still old. So I'm gonna go with, I think this but I'd have to actually get the outline and look at the timeline.
Preservation says, "Oh Senna, how I've failed you?" My question is, is he saying as an "Oh deity?" or is he saying this as "Oh my old...?"
Yes, it's more the second.
How did Vasher/Zahel and Nightblood get separated?
Uh, how they got separated is part of the story and so it will come up, that's a RAFO.
We'll eventually find out though?
You will eventually find out, that is a part of the story that is relevant.
Nightblood, being a sentient object, could he give away his Breath?
Ah, Nightblood...could not give away his Breath. It's a good question. It's because that Breath is making him...like something weird has happened to him where the metal is Invested almost to a Hemalurgic or Feruchemical way, right? Like it's no longer just an object with a bunch of Breath. It's become permeating the whole thing. So it's more like the soul of a person, the part of the Breath they can't give away. Like when you give away your Breath, you retain some of your Investiture, you can't give that part away. It's the same thing.
Cuz I imagine it would be kind of like a Lifeless where that Breath is probably stuck so close that it would not be removable by an Awakener at least.?
Yeah, Yep. It's stuck in there, yep. I mean there are ways to get the Investiture out, but it's not the simple "We give it away" thing. Yeah, he can't just give it away.
<inaudible> corrupted or?
Yes, that is part of it, that is part of what that means.
Why did Ruin and Preservation decide to break the agreement and both go to Scadrial?
What will an Atium-Lerasium Alloy do ?
Ah, I've been asked this before. There are a number of theories, but nobody's really sure, since there haven't really been any opportunities to alloy lerasium with atium. You can choose which one to believe. Most require an understanding of realmatic theory to comprehend, which you need to be a Shard or Splinter to even begin to understand.What Lerasium is, is essentially a hack for something like your spiritual DNA. It rewrites what your spiritual self is capable of. So, combined with atium, which allows you a glimpse into the vision of everything - past, present, future - the theories say it could do one of two things. It could either create a substance so volatile that it would have world-ending repercussions, or rewrite your "spiritual DNA" (his phrase, not mine) with atium's power. Is that a vague enough answer?
Have you thought about writing an actual Way of Kings, by Nohadon. I personally would love to read that.
I have considered it, but only briefly. It feels like a ton of work.
Do you have intentions to have a conclusion to the Cosmere, or is it something that's going to be ever expanding?
I did build a conclusion in, and I will write toward it. My goal is to get to it before I get too old. And then if I want to still noodle in the cosmere, do planets that we didn't get to or things like that. So the cosmere main timeline that I'm working on, my plan is to try release a book every year or so in this main timeline. Depends on how long the Stormlight books are. *laughter*
Oathbringer rough draft was 540,000 words. A normal novel is considered 90,000-100,000. The Way of Kings was 300,000. This happens to us fantasy writers. It depends on how long the Stormlight books take. But the main line is 10 Stormlight books in two 5 book arcs. First 5 book arc, then there'll be a break in-world of about a decade. So it won't be as big as the Mistborn jumps. But there'll be a break in world and then we'll come back to it in book 6. And book 6 is where we kind of refocus on different characters, some characters go through the whole thing. Some characters kind of fade more into the background and new characters become the focus. So you can imagine it as two series set in the same world.
We have the mainline Mistborn series, which is taking Mistborn through a bunch of different eras, eventually landing us in science fiction, space travel. I originally plotted those as 9 books, but then I wrote the Wax and Wayne books as more part of that... But the ending of the Cosmere is the science fiction Mistborn trilogy. Chronologically, that's the last thing I have in the plot. That science fiction Mistborn trilogy is space opera. It's Star Wars meets the cosmere. That's our endpoint.
Right before I write that I will do Dragonsteel, which is Hoid's backstory. Which is flashing back to the beginning of the cosmere, before Adonalsium was Shattered. So that's our time line. You'll get that-- So right now, it's finish the first 5 Stormlight books, do the 1980's level Mistborn books, next 5 of Stormlight, Dragonsteel, ending.
I'll probably work some Elantris books and a Warbreaker book in there but that's my main line. Anything that's not in there, like the Threnody novel and things like this, I plan to do but they have to fill a slot of a side project when I have extra time. Might be pushed to be a novella, instead. That's my main line plan. And that's plenty for me to do. And granted, I just finished book of mine number 42 or 43 or something like that, that I've written since I turned 21. So in 20 years, I wrote 40 books. That sounds like a lot but it depends on how long Stormlight books are.
Like, last year, I basically only did one thing. I had Snapshot and then Stormlight. Those take a lot of work.
I notice that Stormlight seems to be a bit volatile in how well it heals or who it heals. Because it seems like Renarin's eyesight would have been a long term problem, kinda like Rysn's legs maybe and Lopen's arm. But Lopen's arm got healed, Rysn's legs didn't and Kaladin's scars didn't. So I didn't know if there was a reason for those things.
So Stormlight healing, there's a couple things that have to be considered. But in reference to what you're saying, the person's perception of themselves is a huge part of it. The way healing works in the cosmere is, you've got the three versions of yourself. You've got your Physical version, your Cognitive version, and your Spiritual version, And a lot of Stormlight is taking your Physical version and matching it to the Spiritual version which is your ideal self. But it has to be filtered through the lens of your mind, and things like this.
I almost always--probably should say always--am using it to reinforce some sort of character attribute. The fact that Lopen never saw himself, even though he only had one arm, as being disabled, as a big influence, versus whether Kaladin feels deserves his brands or not. Does that makes sense? And those are two very different things that influence how the healing works. And you will see that as a metaphor and theme, if you watch what heals and what doesn't.
I've been going back over Mistborn recently, and one thing really stuck out. "I write these words in steel, for anything not set in metal cannot be trusted." I get how Kwaan could've figured out that Ruin was messing around with records, but how could he possibly have known metal was immune?
That's not as hard to figure out as you think it might be. *laughter* I'm going to RAFO that. Partially because it'll dig into that story that I just don't want to canonize right now. I don't think I'm going to write it. People ask me if I'm going to write it, and I really don't think I'm going to. But some of the elements of that are important to things that are coming up, so I don't know. I'm going to RAFO that for now. It's not as hard to figure out as you would think.
With Soulcasting, we know what can be Soulcast based on the color of the gem. Does-- When Awakening, say you have emerald, green, Pulp. If you were Awakening straw or some other form of plant matter, if you used a source of green for the color, would it be, say, more efficient than using red?
So I haven't built that into the magic system yet. Part of me feels like I should have. But I did not. I want color to be relevant to each of the cosmere magics. It's kind of an essential part of it, and it's part of where we stray more into the magical sense. Like, in my books we treat magic scientifically but they're still magic. And it was a thing when I was building Stormlight, I'm like, "So the difference between these two gemstones is a matter of a slight impurity and chemically they are 99% the same thing. Am I actually going to have them do different things or not?" And my judgement call was yes, because I want color to be relevant in the cosmere. But by that point, when I was really getting that magic system to work, I had already written Warbreaker. And I had known that I wanted color to start being a big part. I'd already written Mistborn where I worked in color in different ways
But I didn't work that into the Warbreaker magic. I felt like it already had enough restrictions. I would say my worry about the Warbreaker magic is the color feels tacked on. Like, the magic could work without it, narratively, so why is it there? And that's the question I asked myself while I was building; that's the question I continue to ask myself when I continue to work on-- for that magic system, to make sure it works for me. But my instincts say adding restrictions like that, particularly when they weren't covered in the first book, feels like the wrong way to go. It'd be like retconning the magic. It's something I considered.
How frustrating is it that you have to wait so long and do so many things first before you can tell the Hoid story.
How frustrating is it that I have to wait so long to do things before I do the Hoid story, which is one of the big ones that I want to tell. It's not as frustrating as you think. Because, if you sat me down and said "You can only write one of these, Hoid story or Stormlight." I would pick Stormlight every time. Stormlight is a-- in my opinion, Stormlight is a stronger story over all. And Hoid's really interesting, and it's going to be a really cool thing for me to write. But I'm more excited for Stormlight 8, 9 and 10 than I am-- Though I'll be very excited when I get to write the Hoid ones because they're going to be cool things.
Like Stormlight is the thing that I plotted out to be the big opus. It's more frustrated that there's only one of me, despite what the internet says. I don't got any clones, or any Sanderbots to do all this. So I have more ideas than I can write books about. That's kind of the-- The biggest frustrating in my life is that I can only do so much. But that's been a frustration since I was unpublished. I always had more stories I wanted to write than I could. So it's all about story triage for me.
One thing I've learned to do is to write novellas or work on graphic novels. Because the actual word count that I need for a novella like Emperor's Soul or for a graphic novel like White Sand, is a fraction of what a big novel takes. And so I get this cool thing with a graphic novel where I can write something out..like I just finished an outline and script for a new graphic novel, that we're not going to release until after White Sand's done. But now that White Sand 3 is moving along and the writing portion of that is done, and we're just working on the art, I came up with something else. And instead of taking 18 months like a Stormlight book takes, it took me, like, a month. And so that's a way I can get a story ready and can release it to people without having to spend 18 months on something.
If a thieving crew had an Aviar of the breed of Kokerlii, would that be able to function as a Smoker?
If a Listener were on Scadrial, would they be able to hear Allomantic pulses, like a Seeker?
If you were to Feruchemically drain your Identity, would you just be able to be soulstamped by any-- Would any soulstamp work on you?
Not the way I have it now. Because-- You're getting into stuff that I really would like to have my notes next to me for. So don't take this as too gospel. But the way I have this worked out right now, is if you drain your Identity, you still can't use Feruchemical metalminds that themselves have not been drained of Identity, right?
So, any old stamp still is going to be keyed to someone's past and Identity. So my instincts say no that would not work, but I have not worked out that specific interaction in the notes.
So, Miles Hundredlives. If you were to spike his Allomantic gold out of him, would that change his Identity such that he could no longer access his metalminds?
That would not necessarily change his Identity, but it would change his Investiture. So if you took off the piece of his soul that could do Allomancy, and then gave him his metalminds. Well, no... No, this is more complicated than I was assuming. So you're saying if someone took away his ability to do Allomancy, could he still access his Feruchemy metalminds. Yes he could. He could still do that. That should work just fine.
Do the metalminds kind of have a pointer to his Identity, they don't have a copy of his Identity that they're keyed to?
Yeah... he is still him unless you spike him and do something with the Identity specifically.
So you could potentially steal his Identity.
That strays into RAFO territory, so we'll go ahead and give you a RAFO card. But simply taking it away would not change his Identity to the point that it would prevent-- Good question. Very detailed.
The screenplay that we got with DMG came in at like 250 pages.
Yeah, but that's like a four hour movie, not really viable.
I'm good with four hours.
Nobody wants to make a four hour movie.
Yeah, that's why we're looking more at television.
Is that a possibility, of just doing shows instead?
Yeah, it's a distinct possibility. It really depends on what offers come and what DMG puts together, and stuff like that. But it is something that we have always been open to and they have always been pursuing. They just wanted to see, what does a screenplay look like? Turns out, it's a four hour screenplay.
Why do spren appear on Roshar and nowhere else?
They do, but they're in different shapes. Seons are the same thing that spren are, for instance. So there are places where you will see them, it just is going to depend on how the worldbuilding is built and how the magic is channeled and things like that.
In terms of discussing Identity, I know that in Emperor's Soul, they talk about Identity, and the Parshendi talk about losing their Identity, and then I was just rereading Bands of Mourning, and one of the kandra talks about how the spikes are their Identity. Are all of those things connected somehow or are they different forms of Identity?
They are connected, although the Parshendi losing their identity is a little more metaphorical. But yeah, the idea of these things-- Identity is an innate attribute in the cosmere that is related to your soul, your spirit, and it is one of the things that Hemalurgy can fiddle with and Feruchemy can fiddle with. It's kind of important to how the [Metallic] Arts play out, but it's important to all the magics...
Identity is involved in why you can't use another person's metalminds, right, that kind of thing. And those are all related. The Parshendi is more metaphorical.
I wondered because it's always capitalized, in the book.
Yep, and it's done intentionally. Peter always asks, "Are you sure this one is capitalized?" "Yeah."
Are there any Hemalurgic bind points in the mouth or digestive tract?
Eh. *laughs* Why do you want to know this?
...We're trying to make sure we're doing it right.
The Hemalurgic table will be released later this year. I have not planned any bind points inside the mouth. But the Hemalurgic table that we will release will comprise the knowledge of the people in-world at a specific point, and it's entirely possible that new bind points could be discovered.
At what point will they be known? Like, when, in-world?
When will we know what's smaller than a quark and how gravity interacts with subatomic particles?
No, I mean what time in-world, like what knowledge era, for the chart.
Oh, okay, I get what you are saying. I was answering the wrong question. What technology era. I believe we are setting the table-- Wax and Wayne era, is what I told Isaac. But it's weird because it's going in the third Mistborn [leatherbound]. But I think our intent is it's what they know by that era.
So it's what Spook found out?
Yes, basically it's what Spook found out. But you can't count that quite as canon until it comes out, because Isaac's going to be in charge of setting that date.
You know Felt?
Felt, I know Felt.
Is Felt originally Scadrian?
Yep... You guys know about that, right? I don't think that's a big secret. But, he is, and that should be raising other questions.
About his name? Or how he's showing up on Roshar?
About that and the fact that-- He should stand out more.
In the cosmere, sixteen is obviously a very important number, or very significant, but on Roshar everything comes in groups of ten. Is that a cultural construction or is that really how things are being grouped on that planet?
It is both. It is a cultural construction that came from slight cosmere events that are not super, super, super important. Like, there's a reason we think in base ten, right? Is it important to the universe? Meh? Right... And it's maybe a little more on Roshar, but at the same time it's like**
There are ten orders of Surgebinders. Did they order them that way? Or are there actually sixteen different--
Well, it kind of goes back to there were ten [Heralds] with ten sets of power given by Honor, and Honor is an individual, right, so does that make sense? You cannot separate, in a lot of places in the cosmere, the perspectives of the sapient beings who are interfering with what's going on. Even going back to the number sixteen.
Why did you choose the political system in Elantris, just based on an economic system, I thought that was fascinating.
I wanted to explore, this was just an idea for a story I had: what if an MLM were in charge of a monarchy? And it obviously didn't go straight that direction, but that was my pitch to myself. I feel like sometimes fantasy books just take everything as assumed. And you end up with these-- And sometimes it's okay, right? But in every book I write, I'm like, let's look and see if there's something different, not taking all of our assumptions for granted. And with Elantris it was that--MLM runs a monarchy, go. And that's where my worldbuilding went. You can probably blame Dune a bit for this, because Dune's worldbuilding and economy are so wrapped up together that ever since I read that,almost everything I've built has had an economic component to the worldbuilding.
Do you have any book recommendations that are about the same level of "prudishness" as your own? For reference, Dresden and Lightbringer were a bit too much... You and McClellan are perfect.
Prudishness like me. Robin Hobb tends to be right in that same realm. I haven't read all of Robin's work, but everything of I've read fits within that level of prudishness. Have you tried Robin?
...You probably want more epic fantasy or sci-fi. *thinks* Not Guy [Gavriel Kay], and not Nora [Jemisin]. I really like Jane Yolen's short story collection from last year. Well, it didn't cross any lines for me but it might for you. It's possible. I would put it further than I go. Hmmm. Peter Orullian... I'll be honest with you, the first book was weak, I thought the second book was good. I thought his short fiction was really strong...
I mean there's a ton in YA, like Charlie Holmberg but that's very different (she's one of my students, she's very good). I should come up with a list. I mean, Terry Brooks is always safe, but everyone knows Terry. Have you read Pratchett?
I read the Color of Magic.
Okay, Color of Magic is terrible... Go read The Truth. It's not terrible, but Color of Magic is his weakest book by far. The Truth is great, Going Postal is great, those are my two favorites. If you don't like either of those then Pratchett is not for you. And they're both standalones.
In [Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell], when silver turns to dust, is that a Spiritual transformation or a chemical reaction?
Both, as I have it right now. That one's not canon, but I say not canon because I haven't written it into the books yet and I still have another book to write, there. But I would say both right now.
Can you tell me about the mechanics of Nightblood's revulsion vs. compulsion magic?
What do you want to know?
Is it like Rioting? Like in--
Yes, Rioting is a good parallel to that.
Is agency being taken away?
I wouldn't say agency is taken away but it depends on how you view Rioting, right? If you are enhancing someone's emotions-- Here is the question for you. If someone is feeling depressed, is their agency being taken away? And this is a question that our society has a really bad answer to, right? So if you are being Rioted, strict-line I would say no, your agency isn't being taken away, but you are certainly under the influence of another force which is taking certain emotions you might have and emphasizing them a great deal.
So is it the same kind of push that makes a virtuous person want to vomit?
Virtuous might be the wrong way to put it. But yes, that sort of thing is related. It's related to Nightblood and it's related to how he was created and all of those sorts of things.
How does an object in the Cognitive Realm view itself if there are competing viewpoints of it? Like if two kids view a toy as their toy, how does the toy view itself?
There is going to be often, things are going to be in a position of change. And usually it will have one thing. You will say, "What am I?" "I'm Brandon's toy." Then a little later it might be you say "What are you?" "Well, I'm Brandon and Joel's toy." And then at some point it might just become "Joel's toy." There's-- It's kind of the "When does a pile become a heap?" and that sort of philosophical question. At what point do you transition between one and the other? It happens, but it's fuzzy and it's vague. And it also influences what you can do to it and how to change it and things like that. Like a rock viewing itself as a rock changing into sand, there's some fluidity there.
So far there hasn't been a lot of the Stonewards in the books. Are they going to come forward in the next few?
...Yes. One of the reasons I built the structure of The Stormlight Archive the way that I did is because I knew it would be easy to overwhelm with the number of magical abilities, and to let myself get distracted by some of them and not do them justice. So I've been very careful, perhaps more careful than I need to be, and when I show like a Fused using a power, I focus more on the ones you know about and things like this, intentionally to keep the reader's attention on what they know as I expand.
Can they shape stone? In one of the flashbacks they kind of melt it and it becomes sand.
Basically, my original pitch to myself on Stonewards, one of their main powers--I mean, everybody has two--but this power you're talking about was the ability to grab matter and just kind of-- like what if the whole world were clay to you. Not just stone, not just rock, but if you could just pick something up and stretch it, whatever it was, that was my original pitch for that order.
So architects or combat engineers fill that order?
Yeah, stuff like that, but also, just kind of like you need to get out of a room? Well, let's mash ourselves a doorway here and step through, or just all kinds of stuff.
Can they do that to living flesh?
No. That's the general, the more Invested something is the more it resists, and Stoneward powers are highly resisted by things... Even a small amount of extra Investiture is gonna prevent them. Like if you stuck Stormlight in [an object], say a Windrunner did, a Stoneward wouldn't be able to change that.
Can you transfer consciousness via Hemalurgy? Like could you spike someone's ability to--
I'll RAFO that for now. It's a good question.
If all the Elantrians combined their efforts and made a massive Aon, an Aon Daa, would it be like a Death Star?
*laughs* To do Death Star? This would be a lot of Investiture and a lot of work. This is theoretically possible.
There's... a foreman named Trell. Is it cosmere significant or is it just someone--
Shardplate, I know that you need to put Stormlight into it to regenerate it from a piece. Why can enemies not do that? Is it a thing that only the owner can do?
We haven't dug into this in the books, but if you've got a piece... If you've got pieces you can regenerate it, and if multiple people are trying to regenerate different pieces there is kind of a sort of tug-of-war that goes on there. And certain things are involved in whoever ends up regenerating it. One thing is how much of it you have, but another is how much Stormlight, and things like this. It is possible to steal a piece of someone's Shardplate and start a little war over it that way.