Is Lopen still going to have one-armed jokes?
Oh, he will always have one-armed jokes! He's probably going to have to come up with some two-armed jokes.
Is Lopen still going to have one-armed jokes?
Oh, he will always have one-armed jokes! He's probably going to have to come up with some two-armed jokes.
How many people that we've met know the story of Dalinar's wife?
Know which story?
The story about the pact, why he doesn't remember anything.
Oh. Not very many at all know that he doesn't remember. He's had to fake it.
I do have to know, how many cousins [does Lopen have]?
It depends on what your definition of cousin is. By Lopen's definition, there are a lot of cousins. He's counting like fifth cousins.
Third cousin twice-removed?
Yeah, that's his cousin. Like [someone] dating his sister, or his mom's sister - that's a cousin.
With the ten books split into five and five, is that going to be chronological?
Yes. They will be chronological.
So what's your favorite thing from The Way of Kings? Quotes, coming from the actual book in The Way of Kings.
The book in-world? I would say it's the story that Nohadon shares about walking and passing the man with his burden.
Can you tell something about Vax? Shardworld?
No, I can't tell you anything about that. But I can give you a card [RAFO] for not telling you anything about Vax; they're very interested in Vax, everybody's interested in Vax.
But I stayed very close-lipped on Vax.
Not because *inaudible* whatever-
There are things that he still has to learn, and yes, he is not willing to go. He doesn't do what he is supposed to either, at that.
We were wondering about the stances and I was wondering if you could match them?
I would have you email it to us, because Ben McSweeney made the final call as he drew these, on which one was which. While I had notes on each of them, he matched the stances to them, and so it would be really easy for me to get them wrong.
I was wondering if you have off the top of your head any one-armed Herdazian jokes to offer?
Only the obvious one.
How do you get the one-armed Herdazian out of a tree?
Is Shai on Roshar?
Has she already popped up?
She has not already popped up.
So she's not a Radiant. Or is she?
You have not seen her on screen yet, other than in her story.
So when do we get to see a Radiant and a Mistborn go at it?
It's gonna be a while.
So Nohadon's still alive, right?
RAFO! Why would you say that Nohadon is still alive?
I know he's still alive.
Why would you say he's still alive?
It's the perfect trick, that you're gonna bring back Nohadon. It's my feeling about things.
So I was reading the Wheel of Time and in the first one when they get to the saidin and saidar, the pools—they're very similar to Shardpools.
Yes, and that is something that he kind of dropped. The Eye of the World is just like pure saidin, and I would be surprised if that weren't an unconscious influence on me. I didn't think of it when I was coming up with these but that's definitely way back in my brain when I was creating these.
Does each specific order have their own spren that they would bond?
Yes. Each order has a spren that is distinctive. All Windrunners come from honorspren.
Is the power of the bond between humans and spren, the Nahel bond, or from the swords—the existing Shardblades—that causes the eyes to turn light?
So, my question is glowing Shardplate and retractable helmets. Is that a similar origin of the Shardblades—
There's a similarity, but they are also very different.
Yeah, I noticed they do seem like advanced fabrials, because Adolin just keeps going on and on about how they're all interchangeable and they all feel comfortable after a while, and it doesn't have the same kind of thing with the Shardblades.
No, it doesn't. Though a Shardblade, used for a long time, will change shape slightly.
Were the Ryshadium artificially created or enhanced, or are they natural?
Oh, RAFO! Good question!
Since the evil on Threnody isn't a Shard, can you tell us anything about its nature? Is it an actual being, and is it related to Adonalsium?
Everything is related, in the Cosmere, to Adonalsium. Most of the magic you're seeing is a just a natural outgrowth of Cosmere-related magic, you're seeing Cognitive Shadows. The Evil is similarly related.
<> Elantris be created <> Aon <> place?
Yes, but it would have be very different but it’s possible that something like that can be created somewhere else.
What would the Willshapers think about Adolin killing Sadeas?
The Willshapers would probably be okay with that.
Yes, you're not seeing the last of Kelsier.
In Shadesmar there are some animals, but it's not exactly what you think. Third book will give you some clues.
Marsh Visits Penrod in Luthadel
This chapter didn't exist in the initial draft of the book; I added it in revisions. I originally liked the idea of the characters happening upon Luthadel later in the book and having to piece together what happened to Penrod from the aftermath of his getting spiked.
Ultimately I decided to drop that in favor of showing this chapter in-scene. It was a tough choice, but knew I needed to show Marsh being active. I also had enough complaints from alpha readers about the lack of news from Luthadel that I realized showing this scene would work better. We are so attached to Luthadel as a city that it's hard not to know what's going on there. Plus, this choice allowed me to include some interesting things—such as talking about what Marsh and the other Inquisitors were doing with their time and showing another character getting spiked.
You may remember one of the spiking attempts on Elend earlier in this novel, right at the beginning. I flirted with putting more of these in, but decided that it would grow too obvious and too heavy-handed if I emphasized it that much. (The scene I toyed with included a madman unexpectedly rushing Elend with a spike.)
I think this is the last of the Marsh insert chapters, meaning others you read after this were in the first draft. You'll probably notice a larger gap before seeing him again. Marsh and TenSoon kind of get lost in this third quarter of the book, I'm afraid. We still see them, but it's infrequently enough that Spook/Sazed and Vin/Elend dominate.
Another reference to previous books comes when Sazed mentions the executions from book one. This is the second or third time we've had a reference back to those in this novel, and there were a couple references in the second novel as well. I hesitated to put those executions into the first book because of the graphic nature of the beheadings (which, if you recall, were done into the fountains at the central square, causing the water to flow red). However, it became such an important scene throughout the series that I'm certainly glad I did it. The characters needed a poignant visual memory of the Lord Ruler's brutality.
Kelsier's voice here has gotten to the point where Spook no longer questions its presence, though he still hesitates to do what it says. For those of you who are paying attention to the connections between the books, it should start to seem more and more like the voice that Zane heard in book two. This one is a little bit more powerful and controlled than the one Zane heard—but then, Ruin is free now and can affect things more directly.
Spook Escapes the Burning Building
This scene with Spook bursting out of the burning building, trailing smoke, is one of two big focal scenes I imagined for his storyline. Interestingly, I had planned on three focal action scenes, and ended up skipping one as I drafted. I planned to have assassins attack the ministry building and Spook fight them off, but could never quite work it into the pacing of the story, and I figured that after this scene—which works so well to convey what I want—another scene was unnecessary.
Sazed and Breeze Discuss the New Survivor
I'm not sure whether this is an appropriate use of the term ostention or not. I guess Dr. Thursby, my folklore professor at college, will have to read the book and let me know. Seemed like it worked for me.
For a lot of my readers, this opening paragraph—with Sazed acting like his old self—was a very triumphant one. They said "Finally, Sazed is back!" in compliment. However, I took that as a sign that something was wrong in the earlier chapters. True, it's a good archetype to have one of your characters do something wrong for a time before finding redemption. However, the problem with Sazed is that the thing he'd done wrong as a character was boring. You never want that as an author. In the rewrite, I hope that the difference between Sazed in this chapter and previous chapters is still there—just not as stark.
Ruin Interferes with Communications
Another note on what Ruin is up to here. He figures that keeping supplies from Elend—and not letting him know about the chaos in Luthadel—will make him more likely to attack Fadrex. So, Elend and Vin get it wrong. In this case, Ruin is more successful than when he helped destroy the koloss, and his ploy has the desired effect. By putting the pressure on Elend, Ruin hopes to make the emperor more impulsive and more likely to follow his gut, which is telling him just to attack.
Lieutenant Conrad is Tom Conrad, another roommate. Tom was my first roommate ever—a computer stuck us together in Helaman Halls at BYU, and wacky high jinks ensued. We roomed together for two years, after which Tom decided he wanted to pay less for rent than we were paying. He then moved into the crawl space beneath a trailer home off campus. (Well, not really, but it sure felt like that when I visited.)
Discussing How to Defeat Ruin
This chapter is mostly intended as a reminder that something larger is happening. I worry a lot that the reader will see the struggles for Fadrex and Urteau as a step down in conflict from book two, where Luthadel itself was besieged. In other fantasy books, the heroes would go on some quest to find a magical object or person that could defeat the dark god for them.
And in a way, that's what they're trying—searching out some mythical answer that may or may not be there. However, my goal with this book was to show that when faced with something as powerful and incomprehensible as Ruin, there isn't much that common people—even Allomancers—can do. They're fighting their best, but how do you even start to deal with something like Ruin?
The Creation of New Inquisitors
It was very convenient for the system I built into Hemalurgy that the Inquisitors were designed and commanded to hunt down skaa Mistings. There were always enough of those that they could create new Inquisitors to replace the ones who eventually died of old age.
The Inquisitors were always so determined to catch the skaa. So passionate. With good reason, for that was the only means by which their race—and Inquisitors are a separate race, just like the koloss and the kandra—could perpetuate itself.
The Blessing of Stability
It's mentioned in this chapter, and in the preceding chapter's epigraph, where the epigraph author notes that it is "rarely used." There's a simple, rational reason why you never see this one getting used in the book.
I added the Blessing of Stability after the fact.
You see, I realized that I needed at least one more Blessing to fit with what I'd built for Hemalurgy. I needed another mental power to complete the set of four. Two are the basic physical powers from Allomancy and Feruchemy: strength and fortitude from one, increased power of the senses in another. However, for Allomancy and Feruchemy, the mental powers deviate from one another. So I wanted the same thing to happen here. Hence the Blessing of Presence—which makes the mind more stable.
But after writing the book, I realized I needed a forth. The Blessing of Stability was born, and I wrote it in in a few places just to make token note of it. I like the concept for the power—that of making one emotionally stable—and am kind of glad I don't show anyone using it. I can show it off better in a later book.
The Mechanism of Hemalurgy
The Blessings and the workings of Hemalurgy gave me some trouble as I designed the second and third books of this series. On one hand, I liked the way Hemalurgy worked by stealing powers from Allomancers or Feruchemists and giving them to other people. However, if I was going to limit myself to sixteen metals and be able to steal both Allomancy and Feruchemy, that meant I needed a mechanism to determine which power got stolen. If, for instance, you drove a pewter spike into a person who was both an Allomancer and a Feruchemist, then how would that spike know which power to suck out and grant to the one who would gain it?
As I was toying with how this would work, I realized that I needed to work the kandra and the koloss into this as well. Only, it was ridiculous to assume that the Lord Ruler would kill Allomancers to make koloss. There weren't enough Allomancers, for one thing—plus it would be foolish to lose the power of an Allomancer to gain an inferior tool in a koloss.
So that meant koloss had to be made out of regular people, not Allomancers or Feruchemists. Suddenly I had another set of abilities that Hemalurgy had to be able to steal—the basic pieces of Preservation inside the souls of all men.
Hence the decision that where the spike was placed in the receiver, and how it was used to kill a person, influenced how the power was shaped. Now a pewter spike could steal any of a number of powers, based on how it was used. And regular people could be used instead of Allomancers—however, when that happened, the receiver was twisted much more than if an Allomantically charged spike or a Feruchemically charged spike was used.
My rationale for this is that if the spike is pulling out the pure power of Preservation—part of the power of all creation—and twisting it, it would change the body of the recipient greatly. Twisting them through use of the twisted power.
Wouldn't you like to know what that is? Maybe you will, eventually. Not in this book though. [Editor's note: If you see it spelled “Adonasium” anywhere, that is an unfortunate typographical error.]
Rumors of a New Survivor
Oh, and uh . . . I should talk about the chapter, eh? Well, I needed Sazed and Breeze to start hearing the rumors about Spook, but I didn't want them to figure out that those rumors were actually about Spook quite yet. I liked the connection between Spook and the Survivor, so I extrapolated how the religion would deal with new leaders and new mystical forces. And the Survivor of the Flames was born. Ta-da!
All right, so maybe I lied about there only being three magic systems in this book. It comes down to how you term the powers of Preservation and Ruin, who kind of blanket the entire system. There are a lot of things going on here, and—well, the truth is I don't want to mention all of them, for fear of spoiling future books. However, I'll give you a few rules to apply.
First, to these forces, energy and mass are the same thing. So, their power can take physical shape—as Preservation's did in the bead of metal Elend ate. Second, there is a bit of Preservation inside of all the people—and it's this that allows the people to perform Allomancy. It needs to be awakened and stirred to be of use, but when it is, a proper metal can draw forth more of Preservation's power. It's like the metal attunes the bit within the person, allowing it to act as a catalyst to grab more power.
Allomancy is not fueled by metal; it is fueled by Preservation. The metal is the means by which a person can access that fuel, however. If there were another way to access it, then the metal wouldn't be needed.
Preservation's touch on people differs. Some have more, some have less. This doesn't make them better or worse people—indeed, some most touched by Preservation have been among the worst people in the world. As Ruin later points out, there is a difference between being evil and being destructive.
Regardless, if a person can get more Preservation into them, they become better Allomancers. Hence Elend becoming a Mistborn. Like all people, he had the potential within him—it was just too small of a potential to be awakened through normal means. That little jolt of Preservation's body, however, expanded and awakened his Allomancy.
As a tidbit, that was a side effect of what that bead of metal did. It wasn't the main purpose of the bead, and if another Allomancer were to burn it, it would do something else.
Human is a very special koloss. He's quite a bit older than most, his creation running all the way back to before the Lord Ruler's death. He was originally the leader of a rebellion out in the southeast—the same area where Clubs spent his youth fighting. Human, then known as Vershad, was one of the more successful leaders of the wasted men—those who live out in the desert outside the borders of the Final Empire, but come in to raid and steal supplies from outlying villages.
Charismatic and intelligent, he managed to keep his band alive even once the Lord Ruler turned his attention on them. Rather than ravaging villages, Vershad would convert them—quietly, carefully—to his side and get them to give him supplies. In turn, he would "raid" them and destroy the lords' mansions, causing chaos and letting the people get a sideways revenge against their masters. In the chaos, it would be assumed that the raiders got away with the skaa food, and it would be replenished.
The Lord Ruler tired of such games and eventually sent his koloss against Vershad and his men. As clever as they were, they weren't able to stand against a well-laid betrayal and ambush set by an Inquisitor—one who controlled a troop of koloss. The raiders were slaughtered, and Vershad himself was turned into a koloss for his crimes.
He retained enough of his determination and his intelligence, however, to make a remarkably clever koloss. (There is some variety to koloss, based on who they were before the transformation.)
Chapter Thirty-Seven - Part Two
Human Tries to Make a New Koloss
Yes, koloss are people. I assume that many of you guessed this. Then, again, many of you probably didn't. The clues are there, if you care to look—including the fact that small spikes were found in the koloss bodies after the siege of Luthadel. (It's mentioned at the end of book two.)
Unfortunately, the heroes just don't know enough about Hemalurgy to make the connection until this dramatic reveal by Human. There are only three magic systems in this book—all related, all dealing with metal. It's mentioned in book two that koloss, Inquisitors, and—yes, even kandra—are related in some way. All were created by the Lord Ruler during his Ascension.
And all were created from existing material, one might say. There's a little more depth to the kandra, since they're a race that (kind of) breeds true. You'll see as the book progresses. However, all were created through Hemalurgy, and the spikes are very, very important.
The Elusive Allomancer
It didn't occur to me until doing this annotation that Vin's ability to pierce copperclouds has been a kind of minitheme for all three books. She discovered the power early in book one, and by using it was able to save Elend's from getting killed by Shan and her assassins. In book two, it let Vin try to track down the spy, while also letting her hear the pulsings of the Well of Ascension before they were powerful enough for other Allomancers to recognize.
Now, in book three, it lets her discover this hidden Allomancer and begin chasing him down. Where she got her ability to pierce the copperclouds is a major factor in what is happening in this novel and how the plot will play out in the end.
If you're wondering, then yes—this is Ruin appearing to Vin and acting as a Mistborn to distract her. Right here, he's worried about the siege. He wants Vin and Elend to just attack the city and move on with it. He's frustrated that his pawns aren't doing what he intended them to do—at least not as quickly as he wanted. So he helps Yomen here by distracting Vin, hoping that by having them get attacked and losing some of their koloss they'll get angry at Yomen and strike back in retribution.
Half the Koloss Die
I had to have Elend lose some of his koloss, as just in the last chapter he was thinking that he'd be able to take the city for certain. It would mean losing a lot of lives—mostly on the other side—but he figured he could take it. That left only his morals keeping him from invading.
This way, we've got a double problem. Yes, he worries about the morality of invading—but he now also has to worry about the cost to his own army. It's much more of a risk, which means more conflict and more tension. Hopefully.
Chapter Thirty-Seven - Part One
The Camp Gets Attacked
There's an old adage in writing. If things feel slow, have the protagonists get attacked. (I wonder what literary fiction would be like if they tried this out. . . .) [Editor's note: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?]
Anyway, I'd planned for this scene to happen a little later in the book, but I felt after Elend's last scene—mostly discussion and wrestling with inner demons—that we needed something quick and action-oriented to speed things up. So I moved the battle up to here and had the camp get attacked.
In a way, therefore, Vin's thoughts at the beginning of the chapter were my thoughts. Finally, a fight! A few of my writing group members echoed this feeling when they got to this chapter, which let me know I'd made the right choice. (Maybe it should have been even sooner.)
If the number sixteen seems obvious to you, please don't blame the characters for not figuring it out. Remember, for a thousand years they've had it reinforced over and over again to them that there are only ten Allomantic metals. Sure, you've got the handy illustration in the back of the book showing you all sixteen in a circle, but the characters don't have the benefit of being able to read the novel.
The Number Sixteen
Demoux's problems here are intended to give me another means of reminding the reader of the statistical anomaly found in the numbers of people who fall sick to the mist. As I wrote the draft, I'm glad I was forced to keep Demoux alive, as doing so gave me a character who was intimately connected with the problems of the mists and the things they were inflicting on people.
I realize that my books contain an awful lot of scenes where people stand around talking to each other. I try to keep them moving as much as possible, changing scenery, making the dialogue dramatic, allowing the characters to make conclusions and decisions. But, at the core, my stories consist of a lot of people discussing and weighing options in their heads.
I worry that sometimes I need to make things a little faster paced. I wanted to avoid too much of Elend brooding. In fact, one of the earliest rewrites of the book I did (one I did before I finished the novel, which is rare—I usually don't rewrite until I finish the rough draft) was done specifically to make Elend a more active character. In that same rewrite, I tried very hard to work out his character arc. (It just hadn't been working in the first draft.)
This was what I came up with. The emperor who knows he will end up having to make a very difficult decision, and fearing that he'll do what's right for his people—even if it seems morally wrong at the time. I didn't want to have many chapters of him brooding, but that sort of decision can't be off-the-cuff. For his character to work, I needed him to wrestle with the question—even go back and forth on it, as we as people often do.
The Voice Is Real
One of the most important events in this chapter was when Kelsier's voice told Spook "You're not in danger." This presents strong evidence that Spook isn't simply hallucinating. The voice knew who was coming before Spook did, and has information Spook does not.
The discovery of the metal vials in the burning house should have given enough proof of that, I thought. However, some alpha readers still had trouble. They wondered if Spook was simply making up all the things he was hearing.
One of the problems with Spook's sequences is that I had to break the chapters timewise longer than I'd wanted to. Originally, these latest three or four Spook chapters happened in the course of a week's time. However, when I added them into the rest of the book, I realized I had to space them out a lot farther because of the things happening in Vin and Elend's timeline.
So it's a little bit awkward. Three chapters ago, Spook heard men mention the rumors Durn was spreading about him. Then we had two chapters dealing with Sazed and Breeze's arrival. Only now can Spook finally track down Durn and demand to know about the rumors he was spreading.
It would have made much more sense to have had Spook find a way to do this earlier, but I just couldn't work it in until now. The “count the skulls” thing is coming up too; I haven't forgotten it. Unfortunately, it suffered from this same issue.
How Hemalurgy Works
The epigraphs to this chapter and the ones around it talk about Hemalurgy. I'm feeling that by now, you've figured out what it does. You use a spike on an Allomancer or a Feruchemist, killing them and charging that spike with power. Then you drive that spike into someone else, and they gain that same power. (Though they get a little bit less than the person who died. In some cases, if the spike sits outside of a body for a long time, it can lose a lot of its potency.)
Though this mechanism doesn't add any new powers to the world, I really like the way it works. With Allomancy and Feruchemy, we already have a lot of different magic powers to keep track of. I wanted something from Hemalurgy that wouldn't simply add to the list of abilities, but would instead fit with the feel and the nature of the magic. Something to balance Allomancy, in which a lot of power can be obtained without much direct cost to the Allomancer.
Hence, Hemalurgy. In a way, it has the most potency of all the powers, for with it you can make anyone an Allomancer or a Feruchemist. You can steal single powers from the other two arts, then mix them in a person as you wish. It adds a different element to the world—a way to obtain more power, a way for a common man to become like Vin or Kelsier, but at a terrible price. It works perfectly with who I wanted Ruin to be and what I wanted the conflict of these books to become. What is the cost of power?
Cause and effect, action and reaction.
Marsh's Target is Drunk
Though it's apparently not completely clear in the text, the nobleman Marsh kills didn't know an Inquisitor was coming for him. He wasn't drunk because of his despair over his impending death; he was drunk because of his despair over the state of the city, his fortune, and the world in general. It was a coincidence that he was unconscious when Marsh arrived, which is why Marsh was so annoyed at missing out on the anticipatory fear that killing the man would evoke.
The triangles Marsh uses to kill people were requested by my writing group. For those up on your obscure Mistborn trivia, in book one we get some glimpses (really our only glimpses) of the ceremonial aspect of the Lord Ruler's religion. In that religion, the common people—even the nobility—were not asked for devotion or faith. They were required to obey and fill their roles in the Lord Ruler's empire, but they never had to worship.
The priests, however, were required to do more. They had to perform daily prayers and ceremonies to the Lord Ruler, worshiping him and maintaining a religious air that the rest of the world never saw or knew about. Involved in these rituals, on occasion, was the process of slicing one's body with small triangular razors. When Vin and Kelsier infiltrated Kredik Shaw in book one, one of the Inquisitors shot a handful of the razors at Vin.
My writing group wanted a return appearance of these things, though I don't know why. Still, I stuck them in, as they were a nice reference back to book one.
Marsh Kills a Smoker
This chapter was a late addition to the book. My agent, during his second read through the novel, noticed that Marsh basically disappeared through the middle of the novel—much as he had in book two. In addition, the reader got very little sense of what was happening in the Central Dominance while all of the characters were out taking care of other cities. In my books, the cities themselves tend to be characters, and Joshua was disappointed to not have at least a few token mentions of Luthadel in the middle of book three.
I agreed with him, and that's where this Marsh chapter—along with the next one—came from. An attempt to have him doing something, rather than just sitting around being controlled by Ruin, while at the same time showing some of what is going on in places where there aren't any main characters to narrate for us.