Recent entries

    General Reddit 2015 ()
    #9801 Copy

    HorseCannon

    I didn't realize Horneaters had parshmen blood, didn't even realize that was possible. How closely are humans and parshmen related, do they have a common ancestor? Or is one an artificially created version of the other?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There was intermixing long ago. Horneaters and Herdazians are both a result. (Signs of this are the stone carapace on Herdazian fingernails and the Horneater extra jaw pieces--in the back of the mouth--for breaking shells.)

    Humans and parshmen don't have a common ancestor. And as a side note, both of these strains of humanoids predate the ascension of Honor, Cultivation, and Odium.

    ccstat

    Are there Aimian-Human hybrids as well? (Either type of Aimian) If so, are the Thaylen people one of these?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Blightsong

    *via private message*

    Some of us believe that you are saying that humans and listeners existed pre-Shattering while some of us believe that you are saying that Horneaters and Herdazians existed pre-Shattering (you have mentioned that humans had been on Roshar since before the Shattering recently). What were you trying to say here?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Humans (other than those on Yolen) existed pre-Shattering, as did parshmen.

    General Reddit 2015 ()
    #9802 Copy

    Axartsme

    I was just listening to Darn Carlin's Hardcore History podcast and Dan Carlin was talking about Genghis Khan's habit of seeing the potential in anyone, even an enemy. He was specifically going over the story of Jebe, a soldier who shot Genghis Khan in the neck and was recruited by the Khan because of his skill. This, at least to me, bears a striking resemblance to the final scene in the first flashback of [Oathbringer]. [Brandon] can you confirm or deny my suspicions that this scene was directly inspired by the real life event?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yup, that's where it came from! I read a history of Genghis a number of years back, and loved this story, which was included there (though said to be just a legend.) Since I based old-school Dalinar on Subutai, a Mongolian general, I thought that this would be a perfect inclusion.

    The origins of the Mongolian-Dalinar link, by the way, can be traced back to a friend of mine, Bat-ultzi, a Mongolian who went about always claiming to be "The Great descendant of the Great Genghis Khan." He'd throw his shoes at people if they offended him. He was such a character that I got very interested in Mongolian practices and history.

    More tidbits. Rock and his culture started Mongolian long, long ago. (98-99 era, when I first wrote him.) As Roshar in general (and the Alethi in specific) became more Asian in look and less Semitic (though they are still a mash-up) I decided to push Rock's people in the direction of a human/parsh hybrid strain. This also was part of moving Rock himself from Yolen to Roshar, following after Dalinar and some other characters, who came earlier during the original Dragonsteel / Stormlight split in the early 2000s.

    These changes drove the Horneaters away from Mongolian influences, though I can't say specifically where the Polynesian/Russian mashup came from. I liked how it read, and felt the linguistics supported the accent. These changes, of course, had a domino effect that resulted in the Veden people gaining their occasional red hair and fair skin from Horneater relation, which means Shallan is part parshman--though the relation is distant at this point.

    General Reddit 2015 ()
    #9803 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most of the magics are unaffected by being taken off world, though still subject to their own inherent flaws. Stormlight seeps out. Sand loses its glow. Metal can only be used by one with the right genetic code. Note that the magic from Sel is different, and is location dependent for reasons I don't think fandom has quite teased out.

    zotsandcrambles

    I assumed the shard Dominion was the reason why magic's are geographically and/or geopolitically based. Is there a different, essentially unrelated reason?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there is a different reason.

    General Reddit 2015 ()
    #9804 Copy

    DeliberateConfusion

    Who would win in a fight between a Full Shardbearer and a Space Marine?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't know 40k well enough to say. But you will see Shardbearers in space some day.

    Pariah_The_Pariah

    ...that's amazing. You've got high sci-fi fantasy coming? That'll be amazing.

    Uh... Now I've got this image of Kaladin in modified shardplate(hell, can shardplate just serve as a spacesuit?) floating about in space and Syl appearing with a little bubble helmet.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The cosmere (the shared universe of my epic fantasy books) is interconnected, and eventually there will be space travel between them. Those books are quite a ways down the road, though.

    Pariah_The_Pariah

    I've known a long time of your cosmere! But I figured you'd take a "stargate" approach eventually -y'know, magical gates?

    But actual Space travel?

    I can imagine the various magical systems lending themselves well to that kind of stuff! I mean, gravity fabrials for artificial gravity, using some sort of cross-world steel pushing fabrial/biomechanical steel pushing device for a gauss rifle..

    I mean, the last one is if you make this like space ship battles.

    Windrunners and Skybreakers could just function as fighters themselves!

    here's a question: how are cross world magics gonna work? Let's say a space freighter powered by fabrials enters Scadrial space. What happens to those fabrials?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most of the magics are unaffected by being taken off world, though still subject to their own inherent flaws. Stormlight seeps out. Sand loses its glow. Metal can only be used by one with the right genetic code. Note that the magic from Sel is different, and is location dependent for reasons I don't think fandom has quite teased out.

    Pariah_The_Pariah

    Isn't Sel the original planet where Adonalsium happened?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yolen is the original.

    Stormlight Three Update #8 ()
    #9805 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    This might be our final Oathbringer update--as today, I finished the fifth and final draft of the book, and am ready to send it off to Tor. From here, the book is in /u/peterahlstrom's hands as he handles the copyedits, the gamma read, and the proofreads. It's possible I'll make a few small tweaks to the text, but the book is mainly his burden now.

    I'm extremely pleased with the final draft, which I managed to cut to 450k words. That meant trimming about 64k off of it--roughly 12.5%. These are mostly line edits, with only a few small scenes being cut out. I improved pacing, and even added a few small sections to smooth out certain plot lines.

    Fans tend to hate the idea of cutting--but trust me, this version reads far better. I did make sure to keep anything substantive I cut so you can see it later as deleted scenes.

    We're still planning a November 14th release in the US. (I think UK releases on Thursdays instead of Tuesdays, so it would be a few days later over there.) Simultaneous audio and--if we can swing it--simultaneous Spanish.

    For now, I'm at Supanova in Sydney and Perth--which unfortunately means I won't be monitoring these comments (or my direct messages.) Be forewarned, you might not get a reply to questions posted here. (I will try to do a proper AMA about the book once it's out.)

    My next project will be The Apocalypse Guard, a book with loose connections to the Reckoners. I'm chomping at the bit to do some actual writing again, as I've been working on revisions of Oathbringer nonstop for almost exactly six months now. I think the last time I wrote anything non-Stormlight was Snapshot, fourteen months ago. Whew!

    By the files in my folders, the first chapter I wrote for Stormlight Thee was started on June 24, 2014. The last scene I added was written today, in my hotel in Sydney. The bulk of the writing happened June 2015-December 2016, with revisions lasting until just now.

    It clocks in at 122 chapters, with 14 interludes, plus a prologue, epilogue, and ketek.

    Looking forward to you all being able to read it, come November. Thanks, as always, for your support--and your patience.

    Stormlight Three Update #7 ()
    #9806 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Back with another update. It's been a few months, and I have worked through the third draft of Oathbringer. Original draft didn't have a few of the interludes, so I added those in this revision, as well as incorporating feedback from my team and the team at Tor Books. Earlier today, I wrote the epigraphs and the Wit monologue, then polished off the ketek.

    The current length is 514,000 words--so around 100k longer than Words of Radiance. Whew! That's big enough that we're not sure if we can bind it in paperback. (We can manage it in hardcover without too much trouble, though we might have to do some old term paper tricks such as expanding the margins.) The book won't be split in the hardcover US release, or in the ebook, but there's a possibility the US paperback might be split into two volumes released at the same time. (As has been common in the UK for all the books in the series.)

    We'll see what happens. Next revision, 4.0, is to incorporate Beta Reader comments and to make some tweaks I've been thinking about. This should be the fastest of the drafts, as I don't need to make any big structural changes or write many new scenes.

    5.0 (the final draft) will be a polish and trim. Publication date is still scheduled for this November. The US cover came in just recently, so expect a reveal on that soon. Michael did a fantastic job.

    As a warning: I'm not going to be able to monitor this thread very well, as I'm off to Europe. (I'll be in Poland, Germany, and Bulgaria--details on the events section of my website.) So be warned in advance that I probably can't post many replies to your questions here.

    I'm still making my way through my recent AMA on /r/fantasy, though, so you can pop over to that and read what I've had to say recently.

    As always, thanks for your patience. Beta read responses to the book are strong, so I think you'll be pleased with the result come this fall.

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
    #9808 Copy

    Oversleep

    I have a philosophy question that could actually be answered in cosmere:

    Ship of Theseus in cosmere. If I went and replaced every part of the ship, would it still - Cognitively - be the same thing?

    What if I replaced everything and made a second ship out of the parts from the first one? What could somebody watching all of that from Shadesmar tell me?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're right, part of the design of the cosmere (which has some deep roots in classical philosophy) was an attempt to answer the Ship of Theseus question.

    In the cosmere, part of the Cognitive--and even spiritual--aspect of a thing (particularly if it isn't sentient) is delineated by the way that thinking beings define it. Per the old joke about the axe, if you replace your axe head and think of the new axe as "Your Axe," then the cognitive and spiritual aspects of that thing will grow to reflect that.

    If you replaced every part of your ship, and gave the sailors time to sail it, thinking of it as the same ship--it would become the same ship.

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
    #9809 Copy

    yafeshan

    I am space nerd with a love of fantasy, so; Why is Scadrial prime example planet to invent space travel. Is its allomancy/ferruchemy/hemalurgy combination more suitable for that kind of technology or do they have other incentives to invent space travel other than regular technology development? Is it related to the intervention of unknown metal/shard/beings we saw?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are a bunch of reasons.

    The most technologically advanced of the planets (Taldain) is extremely isolationist because of its Shard, while Harmony is very interested in the progress of his people.

    Scadrial has an advanced understanding of metallurgy, and for many years was quietly open to visitors from across the cosmere. In the modern era, that has enhanced. It's a much safer place to visit than, say, Sel, Threnody, or First of the Sun.

    There are other reasons, too, which we'll get into as the world progresses. Having some prominent cosmere-aware people pulling strings behind the scenes is a big help. If you know other worlds are out there, and are populated, then you're more likely to push toward space travel.

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
    #9810 Copy

    Phantine

    What does Nightblood do if he gets fully drawn and runs out of breath and people to eat?

    Does he start vaporizing the ground and start boring a hole to the center of the planet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, he won't. (Good question though.) I'm not sure I want to get into the mechanics of why not, yet. It WAS one of the first things we talked about with Nightblood, though. :)

    Phantine

    Not to go into mechanics, then, does Nightblood just 'go to sleep' when his job's done?

    That would explain how Vasher is confident he'll be able to get Nightblood back, even if the person he tosses Nightblood to ends up fully drawing the blade.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He doesn't sleep, but if he draws in enough, he'll start to sound drunk or drowsy (depending on your interpretation.)

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
    #9811 Copy

    Argent

    Is death in the Cosmere a two-stage process? It seems to me like (under normal circumstances) the body dies first, sending the mind fully in the Cognitive Realm; the soul, presumably, remains in the Spiritual for the entire process. I am a little unclear on what happens after that though - what is it that passes into the Beyond, just the mind? Does the soul / spiritual aspect / Spiritweb just kind of... break down in the Spiritual Realm, turn into free iInvestiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. It's a two stage process, and most of what you said is correct. The odd thing is, though, that the Spiritweb doesn't completely break down (just like your body doesn't immediately break down.) Even after a long time, there's a record of that Spiritweb in the Spiritual Realm.

    Oversleep

    Wait wait wait. If there is a "corpse" of Spiritweb (so to speak) and actual, physical corpse is also there... Could it be still viable for Hemalurgy? Could it be still viable for Hemalurgy if you really know what you're doing and have some useful powers (manipulating Connection comes to mind)?

    Could you patch the remnants of the Spiritweb and staple it to the body and end up with some zombie-zombie Lifeless? You'd still need to give it a mind but I figure Awakening is just doing that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
    #9812 Copy

    faragorn

    I recently saw on TV some info about some incredibly violent physical events in our universe, namely a collision between two black holes or a star quake on a Magnetar or Neutron Star. Is a shard holder sufficiently independent of the physical realm to be immune to even such mega-violent events, or would even one of them have a tough time shrugging it off?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ruin and Preservation were, together, able to form a planet--so I'd say they could shrug that sort of thing off, depending on circumstances.

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
    #9814 Copy

    Oudeis16

    Do Idrians Return with a "purpose" they can reasonably complete in a week? From the book and annotations, purposes that we saw tended to be long-term goals. Does Endowment realize this, and only send back Idrians with tasks that can reasonably be accomplished in their shorter lifespans?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is somewhat RAFO territory. (Sorry.)

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
    #9815 Copy

    Blightsong

    Without saying too much, what do you think you have improved on in this novel in comparison to the previous two Stormlight books so far?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hard to say until I have it done. Mostly, at this point, I just want to make sure it's as good as the other two. Though, I do think this book can finally start to really dig into some of the big questions and issues confronting life on Roshar, which is new.

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
    #9816 Copy

    tomerad

    When we all finish reading book 10 in maybe 30 years from now, how much hidden secrets will we be able to discover from re reading books 1 and 2?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There will certainly be a lot of these--but at the same time, the way I plan and execute foreshadowing, I feel that most of them should have been figured out before Book Ten. I don't want to be obtuse just to be obtuse.

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
    #9818 Copy

    flying_shadow

    How would an albino with red eyes be regarded on Roshar? Do they even exist there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They would be deeply mistrusted. (Unfortunately.)

    Mathota

    Just because Rosharans are racist, or is it a cultural carryover from fear of the Voidbringers?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Probably both.

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
    #9821 Copy

    Khyrindor

    You've said that Returned count as Cognitive shadows "stapled" back into their bodies, and that the Heralds are at least similar. Would I be right in assuming that Elantrians could be considered as Cognitive Shadows as well, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Elantrians are something different. They don't actually "die" to be created.

    Recognize that the term cognitive shadow is an in-cosmere theory, which I'm not going to comment on as the creator of the setting. The theory is this:

    Investiture seeks sapience. It looks for someone to control it or, in some instances, spontaneously adopts personality.

    A mind (cognitive aspect of a person) can become infused with Investiture. This acts a little like minerals with petrified wood, replacing the mind and personality with investiture.

    When the actual person dies, this investiture imprint remains behind. A copy of the soul, but not the actual soul.

    Others disagree with this, and think the soul itself persists. Still others reject the theory in its entirety.

    linkhyrule5

    Huh.

    ... Kandra are almost literally stapled to their bodies with Hemalurgy - would they count as such, to the in-setting scholars?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, they wouldn't. They are beings who have had their souls twisted by Hemalurgy--the soul never left, it's just been messed up. Someone else who has a soul stapled to a body with Hemalurgy would count though.

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
    #9823 Copy

    Talbertross

    Do you have the "end state" of the Cosmere in your mind? Do you know where, thirty years or so from now, where the main characters will be once all major Cosmere series are finished? Or do you plan on having them end at all?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I have a plan--but remember, we'll be dealing with a lot of new characters by then. The goal is not to take everyone you're reading about now, and have them appear in the final books. Some will persist, but my end game is more focused on events.

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
    #9824 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hey, all! Back again to talk about the progress of your book. I promised you updates through the year, and I'll do my best to pop in here now and then and let you know how things are going.

    Oathbringer, if you somehow missed the update last month, is done. But it's not DONE done. I turned in the rough draft, but immediately jumped into the third draft. (Because I did the second draft at the same time as the first--basically, after finishing each section of the book, I jumped back and revised it before sending to my editor. The goal being to get him a second draft to begin editing so he could work at the same time I did.)

    I've finished Part One and Part Two of the third draft as of today. This included adding in two interludes, which I hadn't finished in the rough draft. Later today, Part Two should be going to the beta readers.

    (To answer the inevitable question, the beta readers are chosen by Peter--my assistant and editorial director--from among those who have been very active on the fan websites, or who know us personally.)

    I'll jump into the Part Three revision soon, then will do Parts Four and Five together. That will get us through the 3.0 draft.

    4.0 and 5.0 drafts will be done together, hopefully in March/April. 4.0 will input beta reader comments and writing group comments, and 5.0 will be the polish where I try to trim words and perfect the language.

    We're still in the early stages of the art, as Isaac was busy last fall with the Mistborn Leatherbound and doing maps for Tad William's new series. So we'll need to work hard getting artwork done. Plan is to have a new set of colored endpages for the hardcover of the US edition, as we've done in the past, though I can't announce what those are yet.

    Book is looking great so far. Part One needed a heavy revision at the intro, but nothing more than that. Part Two (the slowest of the parts) remains a bit of a questionable area. The only way to speed it up is to cut some fun, but ultimately flabby, chapters. I think they are chapters people will love, as they have some unusual viewpoint characters, but the have a bit of an interlude feel to them. If Tor puts its foot down on length limits for the book, I'll have to cut these out.

    Part Three has some larger revisions I've been planning with Peter these last few weeks, so the 3.0 draft on that might take a little longer than the other two did.

    Anyway, it's exciting to see the book coming along! November release date is looking very good, and I doubt we'll miss it. Also, my Spanish publisher contacted us with the hopes of trying to do a translation and get their edition out at the same time as the US/UK editions, which would be a first for any of my books in translation. So a big thumbs up for them.

    Thank you again for your patience. Hope to see some of you in Boston next month, where I'm guest of honor at a convention. Otherwise, I should be mostly nose-to-the-grindstone, as my travel schedule is very light until I head off to Germany (and maybe Poland and Bulgaria) in March.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
    #9825 Copy

    faragorn

    You mentioned in a signing that all the heralds are insane. My question is about how they got that way.

    Were they insane at the moment they gave up their swords? Was it more from being tortured?

    Or, was it a direct consequence of giving up the oathpact?

    A third possibility is that being alive for millenia tends to crack you up. Do they even sleep? Not sleeping would really do it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO, I'm afraid. We have heralds as main viewpoint characters. I'll let the narrative do the explaining on these questions.

    emailanimal

    Brandon, what is the rough timeline for us to learn more about the Oathpact? Is this something that will come out when the Heralds become flashback characters in the back five books, or will there be more information in the earlier books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO, I'm afraid.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
    #9826 Copy

    Jamester86

    Would the rate at which a [Nalthian] Returned needs to consume investiture to stay alive (1 breath per week in Nalthis) be the same in a different system? Saaaay in Roshar for example?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it would be--but they could substitute another kind of investiture without too much difficulty.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
    #9827 Copy

    kanuut

    Why don't Feruchemists wear small metalminds like rings, toe-rings, earrings (Lot of rings it seems), as backups.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most Feruchemists do just what you say. Look at the Lord Ruler and Sazed. Both have tons.

    In the new era books, you have two Feruchemstis where it doesn't make sense. Wayne's healing stores are very difficult to build, and take a lot of time. He generally burns through them quickly, though sometimes mentions he's got a little stored away. Being Wayne, though, he tends to use these up and push himself right to the edge of running out.

    Wax is somewhat similar. He can use iron, a very common metal, to store and make a metalmind. He's generally storing weight everywhere he goes, a little, as the books point out. He's got many metalminds, but he's not as possessive of them, as filling his metalmind is as much of a power as tapping it.

    So...I'm not sure what gave you the impression that they don't have lots of metalminds. Also, keep in mind that in your example of someone getting knocked out, they're going to get searched well enough to find a toe ring. Generally, as Wayne has pointed out in the books, sticking a coin or something in your mouth is the preferred way to hide something.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
    #9828 Copy

    Phantine

    I can't remember if I asked you this before - is there going to be anything like a 'khriss's notes' proto-ars-arcanum for White Sand?

    I think it would be neat to see how her style has changed over time.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've been thinking about it. We'll see.

    emailanimal

    Since Khriss is actually from Taldain, does it mean, we are going to get a 100-page encyclopedia? (and please, let the answer be "yes")

    Brandon Sanderson

    Maybe some day.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
    #9829 Copy

    Iceblade44

    The original White Sand was the first of a trilogy so i was wondering what is your plan for the other two books? Writing them as books, graphic novels, or are you just to busy to actually do anything about it right now?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We'll decide when the graphic novel is done and out. Basically, we have to gauge fan response. If sales are good, and fans want more, we'll likely do them as graphic novels.

    When I write more in Taldain, I intend to construct a new story, taking place after the events of the trilogy. (Whether or not we actually do graphic novels of the other two originals.)

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
    #9831 Copy

    Iceblade44

    So White Sand [then Elantris] is earlier... Then how the heck old is Khriss then? Will we ever get an answer as to why every worldhopper is flippin' immortal?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is some time-dilation going on. I'll explain it eventually; we're almost to the point where I can start talking about that. Suffice it to say that there's a mix of both actual slowing of the aging process and relative time going on, depending on the individual. Very few are actually immortal.

    Faera

    Implying that some are actually immortal? :D

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends on which definition of immortal you mean.

    Doesn't age, but can be killed by conventional means. (You've seen some of these in the cosmere, but I'll leave you to discuss who.)

    Heals from wounds, but still ages. (Knights Radiant with Stormlight are like this.)

    Reborn when killed. (The Heralds.)

    Doesn't age and can heal, but dependent upon magic to stay this way, and so have distinct weakness to be exploited. (The Lord Ruler, among others.)

    Hive beings who are constantly losing individual members, but maintaining a persistent personality spread across all of them, immortal in that as long as too much of the hive isn't wiped out, the personality can persist. (The Sleepless.)

    Bits of sapient magic, eternal and endless, though the personality can be "destroyed" in specific ways. (Seons. Spren. Nightblood. Cognitive Shadows, like a certain character from Scadrial.)

    Shards (Really just a supercharged version of the previous category.)

    And then, of course, there's Hoid. I'm not going to say which category, if any, he's in.

    Some of these blend together--the Heralds, for example, are technically a variety of Cognitive Shadow. I'm not saying each of these categories above are distinct, intended to be the end-all definitions. They're off the cuff groupings I made to explain a point: immortality is a theme of the cosmere works--which, at their core, are experiments on what happens when men are given the power of deity.

    Shagomir

    Heals from wounds, but still ages.

    Would Bloodmaker Ferrings exist in this category as well? If not, what about someone Compounding Gold?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you are correct.

    Shagomir

    As a Bloodmaker ages, what keeps them from healing the damage and carrying on as a very old, but very healthy person? Do they come to a point where they can't store enough health to stave off the aches, pains, diseases, and other things that come with old age?

    This makes sense for traditional Feruchemy as it is end-neutral, so storing health becomes a zero sum game - eventually, you're going to get sick and you're not going to be able to overcome it with your natural healing ability no matter how much you manipulate it with a goldmind.

    ...Unless you've got a supply of Identity-less goldminds lying around. Would a Bloodmaker with a sufficient source of Identity-less goldminds (or the ability to compound, thus bypassing the end-neutral part of Feruchemy) eventually just die from being too old?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Basically, yes. They can heal their body to match their spiritual ideal, but some things (like some genetic diseases, and age-related illnesses) are seen as part of the ideal. Depends on several factors.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
    #9833 Copy

    Starfishpr1me

    Why do Szeth and Kaladin not suck all the stormlight out of the gems that power shardplate when they fight people wearing plate, thus rendering the plate useless? Is there something different about the gems that power plate that would make this impossible?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, in the magic of Stormlight (and across several of my books) there's are some underlying principles. One is that the power of the magic (which we call investiture) is difficult to manipulate when it is claimed by someone, or something, else.

    You can imagine that magic in the process of being used, like the energy powering plate, works like a kind of negative charge to your own magic. Trying to lash someone in Plate will be very difficult, as the stormlight in the plate is going to resist your attempts to push through it and get at the person. Likewise, that power in the plate is actively being used--draining it is difficult.

    If you can rip off a piece of the plate, disconnecting it from the system, then you can get at those gemstones and drain them much more easily. But tucked away inside, they're both shielded and being actively used by the armor. They would be virtually impossible to drain.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
    #9835 Copy

    Mondoodle

    Do you have future intentions of grouping characters or descendants from across the Cosmere together against a common foe?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The future of the cosmere does involve much more crossover between the worlds, but don't think of it like the Avengers--the goal isn't to bring together a group of heroes, but to show the intersection of cultures and ideals, told through the eyes of those who live them.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
    #9836 Copy

    Mondoodle

    I don't know if someone has already commented on this, but something that's caught my attention after listening to the audiobooks back to back is that there seems to be a commonality of a significant event happening 300 years in the past. Was there a particular event that happened on one planet that has cascaded to others?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are events that have happened on one planet, and cascaded through, but don't fixate too much on 300 years. The different books are happening on slightly different timelines, for one thing, so the separate '300 years' notations might not actually line up at the same year, if that makes sense.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
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    Yata

    If I may ask another thing, did you decide what come earlier in the Cosmere's Timeline between Elantris and White Sand ?

    Brandon Sanderson

    White Sand is earlier. I was pretty sure on this, but I wanted to be able to glance at the timeline and make sure I hadn't made any changes. (And I haven't.) It's pretty solidly locked into that place because of certain events around the cosmere, so you can assume it won't change.

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    cadebengert

    Do you have any plans that you can tell us about for when the events of the rest of the Cosmere will become evident in Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Roshar is an important part of the cosmere. Really, the question should be "When will events on Roshar effect the rest of the Cosmere" as opposed to the other way around.

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    Ishana92

    Considering epigraphs, do you know what is going to be in them, do you have like a big list of quotes and letters that are going there or is it more a thing of the moment? Do you link quotes with particular chapters or are they in no particular order?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I know what they will be for each book, generally. As I write chapters, I'll sometimes make notes to myself about what should go in this epigraph. On other chapters, though, I just slice up one that seems good and put it on.

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    manugutito

    Just remembered another physics-related question that has been in the back of my mind since forever! (And this one is no RAFO-candidate, in my mind at least)

    The scene in question is that interlude on SA where two scholars measure the size of spren, and they find that the size oscillates until measured, and then it remains fixed at the measured value. This is totally equivalent to projective measurements in quantum physics, was that your inspiration on this one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, quantum physics plays a role in the way the cosmere works, and this was partially intended to display that. However, we do take a different route, as thinking about something can directly influence it in the cosmere. So it's more a fantastical version of quantum physics.

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    Argent

    I've been thinking about possession within the Cosmere - is it possible for beings (dead, alive, or inbetween) to possess other beings in the Cosmere? Allomantic control over spiked creatures, and the existence of the Lifeless are both close to the idea, but neither is quite what I've been trying to imagine. I think I am looking more into whether one being's cognitive (and/or spiritual) aspect can fully replace (temporarily or permanently) another's. I imagine the victim would natively fight this, similarly to how Rashek's spiritual aspect resisted his anti-aging trick, but... is such a thing possible?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is possible. (There are places where you've already seen the process either begin, or work partially.)

    Oversleep

    Are you talking about Ruin/Harmony controlling Hemalurgic Constructs and Odium controlling Voidbringers... or is there something else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will see soon.

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    mathota123

    Is the creation of skaze end-negative?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, you're not quite using the term right.

    The terms "end-negative" and "end-positive" refer to a specific system--in most cases, we're talking about the individual(s) using the magic. Do you draw more magic out, or is it powered by your own native Investiture?

    Awakening is what we call end-neutral, despite the fact that (obviously) the Breaths came from someone else in the first place. That's not the point in contention here--do the same number of Breaths (the same amount of Investiture) continue to exist in the system as you're manipulating the magic.

    In something like AonDor, you are drawing out much more power than you put in--end-positive. That power is put to work doing something, such as healing a body, or creating a blast of power.

    The skaze, like the seons, were created when a Shard was Splintered. The terminology doesn't quite work there, at least not in the way that scholars in the cosmere would use it.

    The question from the physicist in this thread about where Investiture goes, and what it means for a Shard to have access to certain amounts of power, is related to all of this. I'm hoping to be able to find some time to craft a response there, as there are some fundamental understandings of the magic that are relevant to the discussion that I should point out.

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    Tehdren

    For instance, a person's spiritual component knows how old they are.

    Wow. Has this been talked about before? This kind of seems like a big tidbit. Now we have some idea of how Hoid changes his age?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven't said if this is a method Hoid uses or not, but it's part of the reason the Lord Ruler turned to dust when he lost his metalminds. (His body tried to match the age his spirit said he was.)

    Phantine

    If they somehow killed the Lord Ruler in a conventional manner, would he still have turned to dust?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. The metalminds would have stopped being tapped, and the spirit of the matter would probably still have had this strange effect. Not it didn't happen to the bodies of the shard vessels who died.

    Phantine

    Would koloss spikes turn off when they die too, so dead ones shrivel up like raisins?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hemalurgy changes the spirit. So not necessarily.

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    Oversleep

    If a spike was covered in blood - stopping the Hemalurgic decay - and then split into smaller spikes, would there be power loss or not?

    Let's say the splitting took place in a bathtub full of blood, so that the spikes would be covered in blood at all times.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The split should work.

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    Oversleep

    In the prologue to the Hero Of Ages, Marsh is using a brass spike when spiking the Keeper.

    Why brass? It would allow to steal only Feruchemical Mental powers (memories, wakefulness, mental speed... warmth or determination, that's unclear) and none of them seem particularly important to killing machines the Inquisitors are. Surely Feruchemical healing, or speed, or strength or even age would be more desirable power to steal?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You are underestimating mental speed. And, also, versatility.

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    Oudeis16

    Is duralumin easier, harder, or the same to Push on allomantically as, say, tin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm going to start moving into "RAFO almost everything" mode here, unfortunately, as (with the weekend over) I need to be getting into the ending of the book itself. Some of the questions, though not yours, are getting very detailed and I need to scale back on answers for now. (Sorry.)