Is the Night Brigade related at all to the Night Aether?
No. Well related is a very... a term fraught... But not in a meaningful way.
Is the Night Brigade related at all to the Night Aether?
No. Well related is a very... a term fraught... But not in a meaningful way.
So the last thing we're going to be revealing is the artist for Secret Project 4. The artist is Ernanda Souza, she is from Brazil. The way that I met her is through Dan dos Santos' SmartClass that he does. An artist class, and this is made up of students and working professionals who go to people like Dan; there are other artists who run these sorts of things too through SmartSchool to get better and improve their craft. And they often have a visiting art director who gives them an assignment and then comes in and checks in on the artist. We kinda run it like you would an assignment in the real world.
Anyway, we were doing Skyward pieces and I noticed that Ernanda's Skyward piece was really well done; so well done we actually bought it from her. And then later on I was looking for an artist for Secret Project Number 4, and started seeing Ernanda's art around. At first I didn't make the connection. I showed Brandon some of the art and then I'm like, "wait a second! I already know this artist." That was a nice reveal. So, I contacted her, and she's excited about it.
I asked her to send me a few things about herself, and she says she has worked for Hit Point Press, Paizo, Upper Deck; she's illustrated for Magic the Gathering, has done cover art for Marvel Comics. You can see her breadth of style, that she can go very realistic like a Magic card, and then go over and do very comic, bright style, so she's very versatile. She also works as a concept artist and fantasy artist for video games and other projects that she can't announce. She did graphic design at a Brazillian university, but there she met other people doing digital art and that kinda set her off to going into the videogame market to work for indie RPG companies. She says: "I love to do art, I love the amount of possibilities to create something that sometimes can't be described through words, how drawing and painting can easily describe what words can't. Art and design are the first thing to call eyes' attention. Funny, since the world is driven more and more by technology and fast-paced rhythm, our inner selves still know how to appreciate color, harmony and draftsmanship."
So, very excited to be working with Ernanda on Secret Project Number 4.
You've talked about an upcoming book on Threnody called The Dust Brigade. What are we supposed to understand now that we've learned about the Night Brigade?
I've canonized that as the Night Brigade instead. I like the term "the Dusk Brigade" better, but I already have a character named Dusk, and so I decided to go with a name that's just a little more generic but doesn't copy one of the character names. So The Night Brigade will be the title of the Threnody novel. When and if I get around to writing it, you will find out who the Dusk Brigade is!
Is this a homage to the Night Watch?
It is more an homage to the Black Company.
Yeah well, they are, they are interested in perhaps doing something together is what that says. Which I am as well ... I actually have a pitch for them, in the back of my head, that that if I ever had a chance- so I may have to send them my pitch and see what they.
Are Sigzil's Skips and Yumi's/Painter's swap using the same mechanism?
Ehhh *waves hand noncommitally*
What is the name of the planet The Sunlit Man takes place on? Also, last week, we asked about Painter and Yumi's planets, too.
Secret Project Three, I talked to Isaac, and we have not canonized that yet. I thought we had, but we haven't. So I'm not gonna give that one away.
We have named the one for Sunlit Man, but it's somewhere in the text. I'm not gonna go look it up right now. We're not gonna canonize those.
When I talked to Isaac, he felt very uncomfortable about this, because it might change. We are not gonna canonize either of them. I'm sorry. We've done Tress's, but the other three planets, we are not canonizing yet. The two in Secret Project Three, and the one in this one [The Sunlit Man]. We will get you names, eventually.
[Secret Project Three], Yumi [and the Nightmare Painter], is partially written because Emily likes romance books. Cheesy romances. And I don't want to ever be described as cheesy. But I'm like, "Well, I know Emily likes sincere romance stories, and so I'm going to put some more romance stories into the two that I wrote most specifically for you." One and Three have a little bit more romance. Well, not a little bit more; I mean, they are focused around that idea.
Neither of them are romance stories; I wouldn't shelve them in the romance section, even if they weren't sci-fi/fantasy. But they definitely have much more of a romantic subtheme than other things that I've worked on.
Has writing any of the Secret Projects changed any of the plot points or plans for upcoming Cosmere books?
Not appreciable, except for: I've been able to expand a few worlds, I've been able to build out some side characters that I'd had in the back of my head. I am sure you will see references to these planets in future books, where you wouldn't have if I hadn't written these, almost assuredly. That's part of it.
And then, Secret Project Four, which you guys don't know much about yet (but you will get to, coming up soon), that does have more Cosmere implications. It's something I've been wanting to do. But once I get a book done, I feel way more confident in... because all the various things that could happen, one of them has solidified into actually happening.
In your 2019 State of the Sanderson, you talked about a 35-book plan for the Cosmere, which you acknowledged you need to focus on in order to finish by the age of 74. With your newfound writing capacity, you could: finish sooner, add more Cosmere books (or movies/TV shows), add more projects outside of the Cosmere. Have you pondered this?
I am unlikely to go faster. But I'm also avoiding adding too many outside-the-Cosmere projects. Let's see if I can balance getting these four [Secret Projects] done and Stormlight Five in a reasonable amount of time, and circle back to me when Stormlight Five is out. But if I'm able to do more of this in the future, I will add some more secret projects, would be what I would do with the extra time.
If I'm able to. I'm gonna be working hard on these for the next foreseeable few years. Most likely, you're not going to be seeing any secret projects from me for quite a while, now.
This is still in the concepting stage, but for those who've bought into the Year of Sanderson, we've got a reveal for the Cytoverse box, this time. If there are those of you who haven't read that series, there's a race of slugs that we have grown enamored with cute renditions of the slug, because the main character names her pet one Doomslug. Then we ended up having Boomslug, as well, and we've kind of extrapolated form there. So one of the things we're gonna do is, we are going to be doing a set of slug themed Go Fish. We've done playing cards before; we thought it would be fun to have one that would be cool for you to play with your family, instead of just playing cards.
Are there any Easter eggs in any previous Cosmere works that are references to any of these secret projects that we will recognize once we’ve read them? Or were these all brand new ideas added to the Cosmere from where it stood before you started writing them?
You will find Easter eggs, but they've all been fairly well documented, of aethers appearing. Tress is on a world that involves the aethers tangentially. It's not the main, core aethers. So yes to that.
It's not really Easter eggs... Secret Project Four is something I've been laying groundwork for. But that's different from Easter eggs. When you read Secret Project Four you'll be like, "Oh, this is what he meant by 'he's been laying the groundwork'." It's a story that I've been preparing to tell and that you are prepped to read. That you can read if you haven't read anything else in the Cosmere, but you will enjoy more if you...
In fact, I am actually going to give you a minor spoiler on this. We are going to be putting this probably in the description so it's going to be spoiled for everyone. So even those who don't want spoilers, this is one that we're probably just going to make part of the thing on Thursday. It is Stormlight-adjacent. I warned you that it's one of the books adjacent. We're just going to go ahead and let people know it's Stormlight-adjacent. I think that will factor in to whether people are interested in digging in or not. Because those that haven't read The Stormlight Archive might not read the spoilers on that one, and those who have might read only the spoilers on that one. So it's like, Easter eggs? No. Full-on building toward? Yes.
Yumi and the Nightmare Painter is the one that there are no real seeds for. It's just a story that I conceived and decided to write, on a planet that is connected to another one in ways that are interesting, and that don't play into the major Cosmere in large ways.
You've talked about your experiences in Korea before, so it's neat to see that you're now using Korean and Japanese inspirations for Yumi's and Painter's worlds. Are the names and terms in this story gonna be informed by real-world words or meanings, or are they purely aesthetic?
They are mostly aesthetic.
Obviously there are going to be some, like I call it a tobok. (the costume that she puts on) "Bok" is Korean for "clothing". When you wear a hanbok it's a Korean traditional clothing. This is a tobok. I'm doing a few things like that. "Nimi" is obviously based, if you know Korean, on "nim" which is the Korean version of "san", the honorific. "Nim" is what you would say in Korean and "nimi" is just straight a ripoff of that. It's me using a word to translate into English a thing that they're doing in-world. You're going to see some more of that.
A lot of the names... Going and saying, "What does this name mean?" is not a thing... I learned my lesson in the first draft of Elantris shall we say, where I based people's names off the meaning of the Aons. And then you just flipped to the appendix and be like, "Oh, I guess this person's a traitor. Who names their son traitor?" The alpha readers caught that one. I'm like, "That is a bad way to do this." And then I named people based on what you would actually name people. And yes, they're based around Aons but it doesn't necessarily mean that it matches their personality. In the same way you could probably break down some of the Korean morphemes--Korean more than Japanese, because I know my Korean better than Japenese-- and be like, "Oh, this is obviously..." Yumi is... "Mi" means "beautiful" in Korean, right? So it's a very common morpheme in a lot of women's names. You could do that, but I'm not doing it intentional to be relevant to the plot. I just am familiar enough with how words and names are constructed that I can go to base sounds and build things in the same way that I built Elend not knowing that "Elend" actually means something in German because I was going back to base Germanic.
Don't read too much into it but you can find some things like that that you'll be able to split.
Did Virtuosity's Splintering directly or indirectly cause the nightmares to come, 17 centuries ago?
Does Hoid do any sort of investigative research to verify important details of the story he tells?
Yes, he does quite a bit. You can assume that he, again... You're just reading them as they come up. I do think that this is relevant and important. You can assume that this is canon. That he has done his leg work and that he is telling a story the best that he can, which is better than any normal storyteller could.
Is Hoid still in a relationship with you-know-who [Jasnah]?
What is the name of this system, and the two planets in the system?
Isaac has that somewhere. I'm not going to canonize it until Isaac... Next stream we can have Isaac do that because I talk to him about it before I pick these things. So yeah, we've got that somewhere. Well, we'll talk about it. I won't promise it next stream. We'll see if we will.
Is Hoid telling these stories accurately?
Yeah. As accurately as superhumanly possible.
Is Virtuosity the Shard Hoid turned down? Could it have become something different if he were the one who took it?
It could have become something different slightly. But if he had taken it it would have remained as Virtuosity. That does have some influence over. That is a very good guess. I'm not going to tell you yes or no, I'm just going to tell you you made a very good guess.
Is the magic system being used end-neutral? It appears to be using their Identity to fuel it? Or is that just other magic shenanigans going on causing that kind of effect? (making them grow tired, losing themselves, etc.)
RAFO. The book will answer some of this but not all of it.
What synonyms did you go through before choosing Virtuosity as the new shard?
Artistry was the only big one. I did shoot it to the company, and people shot back some suggestions otherwise, but everybody agreed that those two were the best options and I picked the one that I liked the most.
Will [Yumi and the Nightmare Painter] give us most of Virtuosity's story or will it come in a future book?
It will come in a future book.
When Hoid says the nightmares descended on Painter's planet 17 centuries ago, has he converted that for the general cosmere audience. (like how he just called Painter 19 years old)
Yes. He has converted it. Yes, in the same way that he says "we'll call him 19," yeah. You can assume that I'm doing that for most stories, or that Hoid is for the stories he's telling, with some exceptions. We don't do it on Roshar for instance.
Is Design's noodle shop still in business at the time Hoid is telling [Yumi and the Nightmare Painter], under new management or otherwise?
Do the people on Painter's planet have weird biological quirks due to living in the dark so long?
I am sidestepping this by use of the hion. For the most part, they are not going to deal well with sunburns. Not a lot of that going on. But at the same time, this has been going on a short enough time evolutionary wise that the adaptations would be very slight. You don't see a whole ton of that happening in the centuries that they have been living like this.
If you were to drop a rock band and 300 of their most devoted followers onto Yumi's planet, and they performed a set that blew their fans' minds, would the spirits show up to watch?
Does whether or not they know about the planet's magic system change the answer?
Yes. It changes the potency of what they're doing.
Are we going to find...
Can they deduce who Hoid is telling the story to in [Yumi and the Nightmare Painter]?
I don't really think that you can. There's some contextual clues but there is room for debate and so it's not going to be-- As Robert Jordan put it, he would always say "it will be intuitively obvious to the casual observer." It will not be. Don't spend the whole book distracted by trying to figure that out. I will recommend that you will enjoy the story better if you just enjoy the story. And then when you look back, "I wonder what this means? I wonder what that means?" But it's not a puzzle I'm building for you to figure it out.
Are hion televisions black and white, full color, only cyan and magenta, or something else?
Is this Hoid recording a podcast? He kind of seems to be talking to people on several planets at the same time.
What would happen if you stuck Nightblood into the shroud?
Nightblood would feed upon the Investiture as he is wont to do.
If your burned tin could you see through the shroud?
So they have the spirit-powered flyers which would probably have better control, but does anyone ever unchain their tree and ride it as a hovercar when they're short on spirit flyers? How much weight can the trees support without touching the ground?
I actually will get into this in the book, so I will RAFO that. Do be aware that I am aware... Hoid may have warned you. If he didn't, it's not just thermals that are making the trees fly. I think that's probably pretty obvious, but just in case, it's not.
Hoid refers to himself as a “renowned interdimensional storyteller”. Does this word “interdimensional” refer to traveling between the Physical and Cognitive Realms, or does it mean something more?
Nope, that's what it means. Well, and Spiritual on occasions. He is not referencing moving through time, and there is no multiverse in the Cosmere. Good to ask that so I can reinforce it. No time travel to the past. No multiverse. These are two of my big nonos in the Cosmere
What is your favorite question that you had to RAFO at the time that has since been answered? Which current RAFO are you most excited for readers to find in the future?
I can tell you that RAFO-ing about Secret Projects and things and then eventually knowing I was gonna reveal these to everyone was a lot of fun. RAFO-ing, I have to be careful; I don't know if they're official RAFOs. 'Cause usually, when I put out teases about these, I didn't even tease these ones; I was teasing other secret projects, Kingmaker or the as-of-yet-not-announced/revealed 200,000 word secret project that I will someday maybe write. But knowing that I would be able to tell you guys eventually about this was really fun.
And, of course, there have been a whole lot of RAFOs around Stormlight Five's ending, and I am in the thick of working on that now, and it's very fun to imagine you all getting some of these things.
Both Painter’s and Yumi’s magics involve transforming spiritual entities into other objects and shapes. Are they using the same basic system as one another, just in different applications? And, is there a connection between between these arts and trapping spren in fabrials?
Yes and yes.
Can Yumi's magic work on Splinters other then Torio's spirits and is nightmare painting an Invested Art along the lines of Allomancy or sand mastery?
We've covered the painters one. Let's just RAFO Yumi. You will find out more in the book.
Is the "Survival Shard" one of the newly introduced Shards. Namely Virtuosity, Mercy, Invention, Valor, or Whismy?
Can we have Design's recipe for ramen noodles down to the exact grains of salt and herbs used?
Well we'll have to ask the person who's making the cosmere cookbook some day to figure that out because yes she does like to count the grains of salt. It's the sort of thing you do when you're a Cryptic.
Did Hoid give her the recipe or did she make it up herself? Who taste tested it?
She made it up herself, and she tried it on poor unfortunate people that were offered free food.
You mentioned that [Tress of the Emerald Sea] won't reveal the person that Hoid is telling the story [to] within the text. Is the same true about [Yumi and the Nightmare Painter]?
Yes. Same is true. You can pick up from implications some of what's going on but there is no epilogue where you're chatting with the person or people or whatever that are listening to these things. I contemplated putting one in, and then I decided against it.
Was Hoid frozen as a coat rack during the events of [Yumi and the Nightmare Painter]? Was he frozen like that because he was in a time dilation bubble? If not, why?
Was Virtuosity the Shard that wanted to survive? Did they Splinter the Shard and live on as a Sliver for that reason?
Before he got frozen, did Hoid come to Painter's planet just for the ramen?
*laughts* Knowing that ramen existed was probably a push in that direction. Hoid is quite the ramen fan for those who don't know. So yeah. He actually came to investigate other things, but ramen is a good bonus for coming to visit Painter's world.
When Hoid says that Virtuosity Splintered herself, does that mean "left a lot of Investiture lying around" or full-on "the Shard is no more" Splintering?
The nightmares are described as being a black, dripping ink-like substance, evaporating to smoke before disappearing. I can think of a certain talking sword that shares very similar characteristics. Is this merely a coincidence, or something we should be reading into?
That is not a coincidence, but I'm not sure how far you can read into it. That is not a coincidence.
Is Painter's planet tidally locked so his side is always dark, or is the darkness due to the shroud?
His darkness is due to the shroud, but there there's also some RAFO material in there at the same time. The shroud is a legitimate thing preventing light from reaching him.
How would a nightmare react to silver?
By the time of [Yumi and the Nightmare Painter], it has been more than 10,000 years since the Shattering. In this story, there is an implication that Virtuosity Splintered herself 1700 years ago. Can you tell us something about what she was doing in between?
The 10,000 years since the Shattering and her...
Until then? Virtuosity was exploring the artistic expressions of the cosmere. And choosing not to settle in one location--something that Virtuosity was not keen on doing. Not for too long at least.
The nightmares seem a lot like Midnight Essence, and there's a lot of focus on art and transformation in both those magics. Is it relevant that the colors of the hion are reminiscent of the colors of Lightweavers and Elsecallers (the orders with Transformation)?
That was not done intentionally. The fact that they act like Midnight Essence was done intentionally. You will see me playing with similar things just like Lightweaving works on different planets with things like this. For instance, Midnight Essence... you're going to see pop up now and then. But I did not specifically choose the colors of the hion because they are similar to the Lightweaving orders of Knights Radiant.
Could you nahel bond a nightmare?
Could a Lightweaver with a Shard-Paintbrush trap a nightmare? And how proficient would Lightweavers be with these art oriented magic systems?
Lightweavers would be pretty darn good at this.
Let's RAFO whether you can make a Shard-Paintbrush.
Could the painting mechanism Painter uses to trap nightmares be used to trap other things in the cosmere? A spren, perhaps, or a seon? How about a fused?
Yes, but he does not have any extra power to do this. So for instance, someone from another planet doing what he does would have the same effect on one of those mentioned. Someone from another planet who traveled to his planet who was as talented as him and learned the methodology of him would have the same abilities over the nightmares that he has.