Recent entries

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5352 Copy

    Argent

    Do any of the characters in The Stormlight Archive share a familial relationship that we don't know about? Considering that we know about Jezrien and Ash. Not necessarily Heralds but--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, Yes. No more on that.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5355 Copy

    Argent

    Are mandras gravityspren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *Very hesitantly* Nooooo? Kind of-- So the actual gravityspren, you're talking about the things Kaladin saw stuck to a wall? Those are not mandras.

    Argent

    Oh no, I was thinking about the ones that appear around dead chasmfiends.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, dead chasmfiends, yes. The arrowheads, yeah.

    Argent

    But you're saying those are not gravityspren? They're mandras?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So the things Kaladin saw stuck to the wall are not gravityspren, right. So I want to make sure.-- So arrowhead spren, that Shallan is philosophizing, theorizing about, are mandras.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5356 Copy

    Argent

    Do Feruchemical metalminds experience physical change such as wear and tear, due to just being used as Feruchemical metalminds

    Brandon Sanderson

    Never thought of it.

    Argent

    Do you want to make up canon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sure...

    Argent

    Half-canon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's say half-canon. Wear and tear being used as metalminds, not counting clasping them on and things like that. Simply tapping or taking out? I would say no, but I would really have to think about that. Are we losing any particles to the transfer, the change? I don't think you are, but I don't know. I'd have to really dig into the physics of that. I had not even considered of that. There are ramifications of things-- So I'm going to say no, half-canon.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5358 Copy

    Argent

    How many waves of human populations have migrated to Roshar? So I'm thinking the Ashynites coming from Ashyn, right? Was that just the only humans that ever came as a population?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on if you count the Iriali?

    Argent

    That's specifically the one I'm thinking of.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They came in a separate migration.

    Argent

    Not from Ashyn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not from Ashyn.

    Argent

    From whatever the Third Land was.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5359 Copy

    Argent

    Lightsong's personality is very different than Stennimar's. If the Returned are their previous lives--Cognitive Shadows as you've said before, just stapled with Divine Breath--where do their new personalities come from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My argument there is when I was writing him, getting into a kind of writer-thing, this is the person he would have become... My philosophy there was, the way that the Returned happen, and you losing your memories, it comes down to this nature versus nurture thing for me. The personality-- He is the same person, but with certain life experiences removed. Different circumstances. And in his case, that resulted in, let's say, a secondary mode of personality that had never been encouraged before.

    Just like how, you put me in the right situation I'm an extrovert, but in a lot of situations I'm an introvert. So you remove a lot of the cultural conditioning and that is who he becomes.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5360 Copy

    Argent

    Spren grant control over surges because surges are perceived as fundamental powers on Roshar. Would other Cognitive beings grant different powers based on what they perceive to be fundamental? Such as electromagnetism is on Earth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is plausible, although this was set up in a specific way.

    Argent

    By Honor or Adonalsium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO on that. Set up might be the wrong word. There were seeds that caused this to happen the way it did.

    Argent

    The Surgebinding thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, specifically... Those influenced what people perceived as fundamental forces.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5363 Copy

    Argent

    Would Aons work even better if they were drawn with a cartographer's or calligrapher's attention to detail? ...If you draw a map of Arelon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *long pause* Yes and no. The answer really is, it depends. I'm going to say, on average, yes. 

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5364 Copy

    Questioner

    It is said by a spren, Syl, that everything has a spren. Does aluminum have a spren? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Does aluminum have a spren? This is a good question for philosophers in world. I would say the majority of them would say yes, its just a very isolated and unresponsive spren. There are some who would say no, it is the dead material, that has no spren, but others would argue that a dead material with no spren would just disintegrate to death, so aluminum is kind of a strange duck. 

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5365 Copy

    Argent

    If two Surgebinders are next to each other in the Physical Realm and their spren are with them, chatting or whatever. Would this proximity be reflected in Shadesmar somehow? For example if there's a third Surgebinder in the same physical location, but in Shadesmar. Would they be able to deduce that this is what the physical-

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, theoretically possible. 

    Argent

    Maybe difficult?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll dig into the mechanics. Not necessarily though.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5368 Copy

    Argent

    Voidbinding, and what Renarin does, we are still very confused about how much--

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am happy that you are very confused about that, because I haven't explained it very much.

    Argent

    Ok.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And Renarin didn't figure it out very much.

    Argent

    And he hasn't figured out it much, yeah. And we're not even sure whether he's a Voidbinder.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Argent

    He's probably a Voidbinder, right. Then I'm not going to ask you that, because you're going to say RAFO.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yup.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5369 Copy

    Argent

    Khriss believes that the reason Preservation is experiencing a slow death is because Ruin is not strong enough to Splinter Preservation.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that is a theory.

    Argent

    Yeah, that's what she thinks. Does she think that this is because of Ruin's trapped power, or because of an inherent difference in the strength levels of Shards?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She thinks it is more along the lines of a matter of leveraging power as the power is-- The things that happen made it harder for him to leverage his power.

    Trapped is a good enough term.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5371 Copy

    yulerule

    Have all the spikes been collected? You have a bunch of dead Inquisitors, you've got the koloss at the end of Mistborn.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Have they all been collected?

    yulerule

    Or are they just lying around, or did they--

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are some that have been lost.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5372 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let me set up this piece for you. Let me see if I can--I'm gonna look at the file and see when I first started writing this piece-- The master computer, that if you ran away with you would get all of my secrets. *crowd laughs* Nope, it says created when I created this new computer, so that doesn't help me.

    But this is old. This is like 8 years old. Maybe 9 years old? And this is a story that I started writing-- You can date it by-- because you guys have been waiting for it. You can date it by when I told people I had written this thing in interviews. So it may be 2010, I dunno. You'll be able to find out I think by looking through the interview archive.

    I wrote this thing that is very cosmere-aware. It's very kind of inside-- sort of a little bit self indulgent. And I wrote it, I'm like, "I'm gonna post this on my website." And then I thought, "No, this gives away too much. I can't post this on my website, and so I'm not going to finish it. We're going to wait." But now most of the stuff that it gave away then has come out in things like Secret History and stuff like that, so now I can actually read it. So I called this "The Traveler."

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5376 Copy

    Pagerunner

    The cracked stone spren that we saw, we didn't get a name for them, are they the Stoneward spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes-- Oh wait, yes.

    Pagerunner

    Do they have a name you can canonize right now?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I don't.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5378 Copy

    yulerule

    Can you Forge liquids, like-- Does that go into Bloodsealing, can you change their blood type?

    Brandon Sanderson

    OK, can you use Forgery to, say, change someone's blood type? Yes. Can you Forge liquids? A little harder to stamp liquids, so this kind of comes down to, can you--

    yulerule

    Like, if you have a glass of water and you put salt in the water can you Forge it or make it and make it--

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is possible, but it requires a few little workarounds. Obviously you can do it because you Forge somebody, and they're mostly liquid.

    yulerule

    But you're putting in on a hard surface.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, in the same way that you would with thr liquid you would probably--

    yulerule

    Touch some ice?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, you would probably take the cup, and make it part of the whole, and if you can-- Remember in the cosmere, it depends on how you view a thing. Is it a whole? Do you view this as a cup of water, or do you view it as a cup and the water? Do you view a person as a vessel and the blood inside them, or together as a person? And that perception really affects your magic. So it's possible, for instance, to Forge a cup of water, Forging just the cup is easier than Forging just the water.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5380 Copy

    Questioner

    Can you Hemalurgy Aviar? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. You could. 

    Questioner

    So you could take a Aviar Hemalurgic spike and put it on a cat and make a Aviar cat?

    Brandon Sanderson

    See, this is where it gets-- you heard the asterisk in my-- These sorts of things-- It wouldn't do what you wanted to. But this is possible. 

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5381 Copy

    Billy Todd

    How closely does Adonalsium map to the gnostic demiurge?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A little bit.

    Billy Todd

    So, not completely? I'm not completely off?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's not off at all. 

    Billy Todd

    So, not the urge, but the demiurge. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, well I'll have to go read to make sure what I'm talking about then. Your answer is: I will go read and make sure I know. I thought I knew what I was talking about.

    Billy Todd

    So, there's the creator, which is the urge, which is the creator of the Universe. *large hand gesture* The demiurge is actually God. The demiurge is the one that creates [its] universe, *small hand gesture inside larger gesture* and entities living within the universe need knowledge of that which is beyond what the demiurge has created.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, that matches pretty well.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5386 Copy

    WinespringBrother

    When Veil went to Mraize's lair, she saw a vial of white sand. Was there a reason that it didn't turn black?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes

    WinespringBrother

    Can you tell me that reason?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, sand will turn white in the presence of certain kinetic usage of Investiture. 

    WinespringBrother

    Okay, so that was what Veil was doing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends on how loud the Investiture is, that sand-- that sand just absorbed some of the Stormlight. I'll just be be clear with you, yeah... It was not the stuff that Veil was doing. 

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5388 Copy

    Questioner

    I know that with Harmony, he has difficulty interacting because he holds two Shards. Did Adonalsium, since he had all these other personality traits, also have issues directly interfering? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    A RAFO! Good question. I've never been asked that question before.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5389 (not searchable) Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    A focused southern breeze made the trees sound like they were chattering. Tiny crisp leaves spreading the news of the Traveler's return. Pure white leaves, clustered along branches like skeletal limbs. Even the bark clinging to the trees was white. In some lands, white meant purity; in others, it meant death. Here, it didn't mean a thing. It was simply, normal. 

    The Traveler sat on the mossy white ground, back to the tree, legs crossed idly as he picked at a pomegranate, eating the seeds one by one then spitting out the pits. They fell on the stark moss-covered ground, leaving red juice like blood running across a sterile white floor. To say he wore rags would have be an insult to many a goodwife who kept her washing rags in much better shape than the Traveler's costume. Ragged brown and black canvas, tattered cloak, and scruffy beard, rubbed dark with a black material that might have been soot — or ash. 

    The leaves suddenly fluttered excitedly behind him, and a strange puff of wind blew across the trunks. A moment later, a figure in simple gray robes walked into the clearing. Clean-shaven and silver-haired, he had the look of an aged scribe, not haughty, but tired. 

    "So, you're back," the elderly visitor said. 

    "Did I leave? I am the lingering odor you can never quite locate, my friend. Just when you think I've faded you open your cupboard and find, in an overpowering reveal, that I've merely been… ripening."

    "Hmph, that's a new look for you."

    The Traveler looked down at his ragged clothing. "I've been learning to blend in. Hard to do that in one of my normal costumes."

    "I doubt you'll ever be the type to blend in."

    "You'd be surprised!"

    "Is that soot in your hair?"

    "Maybe."

    The elderly man sighed, walking across the short clearing and settling himself down on a large protruding tree root. "You can't keep doing this." The Traveler continued to eat his seeds, though he had started to chew them up rather than spitting out the pits. "You will just make things worse." 

    "Ati and Leras are dead," the Traveler said, picking a piece of seed out from between his teeth. The elderly visitor said nothing, and the Traveler eyed him, leaning in closely, studying the man's eyes. The pupils were rimmed with a silver far too metallic to be natural, at least for a human. 

    "You sly old lizard!" the Traveler said, pointing. "You already knew! You were watching! And here you were chastising me."

    "I did NOT interfere," the elderly man said. "You meddle in things we promised to leave alone. Things that we—"

    Traveler held up a finger, interrupting him, then slowly he pointed at the older man. "I. Made. No. Promise."

    "You made your choice. Why now seek for things you so eagerly denied? My friend, it's the dangerous desire, the lust for power best untouched, that created the situation in the first place."

    The Traveler did not reply. The two sat for a time, listening to the winds through the garrulous trees.

    "Did you… find what you were seeking?" the elder man finally asked.  

    The Traveler shrugged, picking at another seed and nibbling on it. 

    "You will not find a way to restore what you have lost, old friend," the aged man said softly. "It is impossible." 

    "You don't know that. The old rules no longer hold." The Traveler turned the pomegranate over in his fingers. "Besides, I've heard of a place… It doesn't matter. I don't care. This isn't about the dead… or it's not JUST about the dead, at least." He dropped the fruit to the ground, wiping his fingers on his riding coat.

    "So it's a simple vendetta, then," the aged man said, sighing. "How many years have you lived, and you still can't learn the wisdom of just letting go?"

    "A simple vendetta?" the Traveler said. He rose, stalking up to the older man, holding out a finger and touching the man's chest. "You saw what Ati nearly did." The Traveler leaned down, face even with that of his older companion. "I would not think it MY vendetta that should worry you, old friend."

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5390 Copy

    Questioner

    I was wondering if the Nightwatcher can offer a boon or curse to other sentient species or non-native to Roshar.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, the Nightwatcher could offer boons and curses to non-natives of Roshar. I mean, humans are not native. So there's a pretty good--

    Questioner

    They were born there, but--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah, someone who's not born there, yeah. 

    Billy Todd, Moderator

    I have a follow-up question, would those boons and curses still apply when they left Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, the boons and curses should still apply when they leave Roshar.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5391 Copy

    Questioner

    I noticed in Oathbringer the scene where Ash shows up as the washerwoman. Her description reminded me a lot of Khriss. Did Khriss have any personal relationships with Heralds? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll RAFO that. Khriss has been around for a while, and the Heralds have been around for a while. 

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5392 Copy

    Jofwu

    Gavilar's black sphere. What was inside of it and how many does he have?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, it is what you think it is. And he had-- yeah... He had access to several. Did we canonize this Karen?

    Karen Ahlstrom

    *shakes head*

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, we haven't canonized it. I'm going to say RAFO on the number, but it is what you think it is and what the third book implies that it is.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5393 Copy

    yulerule

    So if you were in the cosmere, and you know how it works, or how it all should work. Would you hack it like all ridiculously and like what would you-- Do you have a plan of action.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yeah I would. I would have two choices. I would go hide on the planet I know is safe, and ride it all out. I have those two options.

    yulerule

    What was the second option?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well the second option is try to take over, right? 'Cause I know all the secrets. I don't know which one I would do.

    yulerule

    Would you be able to hack it all?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, would I be able to? It depends on where I am in the cosmere, and how easy it is to get a hold of some Investiture.

    yulerule

    But once you get some initial Investiture then you go out.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Then things start rolling. As soon as you can get one of the easy ones, it's easy to use, transfer. 

    Argent

    Like Breath.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah like Breath, or uh...

    yulerule

    Mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, well Mistborn's harder, but you know Breath is the easiest I've approached so far. Unless you kind distill it, then you've got the... Anyway. We won't go there. You saw that in Secret History

    Argent

    Oh, oh that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. When you strip off all kinds of identity and stuff.

    Argent

    Connection Juice...not Connection Juice.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Connection Juice?

    Argent

    Yeah, that's what we're calling it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, okay I suppose.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5394 Copy

    Pagerunner

    If you need to bring food into Shadesmar, why don't you need to bring air?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Y'know, we actually talked and thought about this. There are certain things I just decided for narrative reasons... I wanted Shadesmar to be travelable and I wanted it to be a real place, and so I just made air, I came up with kind of my own hacks. There are times I do this for narrative reasons. 

    Let me give you an easier example. In the Mistborn books, and I've told people this before, I was working on speed bubbles. Slowing down time, speeding up time in a small little bubble around you, right? I went to Peter and I'm like, "This is what I'm going to do, what are the problems with this?" And he's like, "Well, redshift." Which means that basically you would be irradiating everyone with the light coming from inside the speed bubble. I'm like, "alright, we're just going to say that doesn't happen." This is where the line between for me science fiction and fantasy exists. When I'm building my story, I do try to have one foot in science with things like this. But I tend to work backward... A lot of science fiction starts with what we have now and extrapolates forward to [an] interesting, plausible premise. For my fantasy works, I start with some cool idea. And then I work backward in plausibility, trying to justify it. And we kind of meet in the center, but at the end of the day I am breaking the laws of thermodynamics, right? Just straight-up breaking laws-- I mean, we have our whole Realmatic Theory and stuff like that, but at the end of the day, I am trying to tell stories where certain extreme situations exist. Like, I bent over backwards to make the science of Roshar work with the greatshells, but at the end of the day, we still have to have a magical solution, right. To get beasties as big as we want to do, it doesn't matter how high your oxygen content is, if you've got .7 gravity or not, all these concessions we've made: the square-cube law says those things crush themselves. You just can't have things this big. And so we built in a magical solution. The spren creating this symbiotic bond is making it so these things don't crush themselves. 

    And when I was looking at Shadesmar, there are a couple things-- what I want for the narrative is this place. I am going to work backward and try to make as many concessions and nods toward science as I can. But the air one, I just said "You know what? There's just gonna be air in Shadesmar. I am just gonna make it so that you can." I want you to be able to walk between the planets on Shadesmar, I don't want people to have to worry about bringing a Windrunner with them and plants or whatever to get oxygen. I'm just gonna make that the case. Your in-world answers, I'm like "Well, air kind of permeates and has escaped through and things," but really do we have an oxygen cycle there? We've got plants, but are they really--

    The answer is, there is air in Shadesmar because I want there to be air in Shadesmar. 

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5395 Copy

    Questioner

    So if a person's holding a Shard, someone like the original sixteen people. Some of the Shards got [Splintered], does that automatically kill the people? Or can some of those people still be walking around?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It does not automatically, because you can give up pieces of investiture and things like this. It did kill them, that was part of the point. But there are ways to conceive of this happening that it wouldn't. Technically what Endowment is doing is giving up pieces, intentionally splintering to form these other pieces and things, so yeah.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5397 Copy

    Questioner

    We saw that, in one case that she felt it was very important, Cultivation intervened when Dalinar was asking for his boon from the Nightwatcher. You said that for the most part she just sort of lets her work, but has she intervened in other cases that she feels are important, specifically with Taravangian?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She has intervened before.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #5399 Copy

    Questioner

    In universe, all the intents and charts and names, who names them? Do they name themselves?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have kind of imagined this is one of those things that they certainly have influence over. But obviously Odium thinks that he's named something other than what he is, and I feel like these are intrinsic things that the sixteen all knew. Like, "I am missing this part of me, it is this." And it was less "we went around and named them" more like "this is just what it is". And various Shards are resisting that, but the others are all like "No, this is what you represent". 

    Billy Todd, Moderator

    Follow-up question there. Would the entity that we call Odium refer to itself as Odium when it's honest with itself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ehhh, I don't think Odium is capable of being honest with himself. *laughter* There are times where Odium has called himself Odium. That is more out of convenience and the fact that everyone calls you by a name. But Odium is determined to change that perception. 

    Billy Todd, Moderator

    So, does he genuinely believe in characterizing himself as Passion?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Part of him does.

    Billy Todd, Moderator

    Has he always ever been Odium since the Shattering?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.